Home Forums General How & why did you choose area & house in France

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  • #44284

    benson
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    We bought a house here because we wanted to own something. Houses were too expensive in UK for us. We were accepted for a French mortgage and had lots of viewings. We chose our area as we wanted a ‘do yer uppa’ which ended as a renovation. We wanted to be able to come over at weekends with the car loaded with equipment etc. We could leave work Friday, catch the night boat and be at our house by 9.00 am Saturday, returning on the Sunday evening boat and being at our UK house by 10.00 pm. It is difficult to explain why this house. We looked at houses that needed no work, one even had central heating, some with football fields for gardens. We ended up with a small 1 up (the grenier)/ 2 down ‘cottage’ on edge of village, surrounded by fields, small garden, loo down end of garden – you get the general idea. Just got out of car and fell in love with it. Just felt we could cope with it & hubby was happy ‘cos mile from beach. We paid 150,000 francs for it which was about £15000. As time went on we were lucky enough to buy a house in UK but have to say it got quite neglected sometimes as we were spending any money on trips to france and the renovating bit. Funnily enough we are over here (france) but updating house in UK.

    #44292

    vette
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    October 13, 2016 Ambrieres les Vallees

    We got up on a Monday morning in the October half term. It was raining and my good lady said,
    “Can we go to France”.
    “Yes” I said.
    “Can we go now” she said.
    “What, right now” says I.
    “Yes” she said.
    So, we packed a case, went and bought a French road map, a CD & book on French language, a GB sticker, booked the Eurotunnel and set off.
    We arrived late at night and booked a hotel in Lille before setting off for the Mayenne area the next day.
    We contacted an agent on the way down and ended up viewing a few houses.
    We put in an offer on one which was accepted. Off back to the UK we went.
    Just as we were about to leave for France in December to go and complete the purchase, we had a call to say the full price had been offered, so we lost that house.
    Undeterred, we continued to look for a house and found one two days after Xmas, albeit was a Chateau with 8 acres. We set off straight away, saw it as we drove down the long driveway and made an offer for the full price. We weren’t going to lose this one!
    It had been empty for 20 years and needed lots of work, no worries.
    Back in the UK we put both of our houses up for sale and sold the main house the same day, result! The second home took a while longer.
    By March, we were in France having bought an 8 berth mobile home to live in whilst we renovated the Chateau. Best thing we ever did by the way as when we sold it two years later, we got just €200 less than we paid for it.
    We are still here 12 years on and still renovating parts. It is a big project really. But to save something that is over 800 years old with lots of history is well worth the effort.
    We also now run it as a very successful B&B, which is great fun.

    We did this with no planning or forethought. My good lady had never been to France and I had only been to Monaco with the Military years previously.
    We didn’t even think about a school for my 14 year old daughter, but everything turned out fantastically for her.

    So, there you have our story so far.
    Who dares wins eh!

    #44307

    benson
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    Now that, Vette, is an adventure!!! Far braver than we were. But there didn’t appear to be estate agents when we bought just the notaire selling their clients houses and actually no fees from commission claimed from notaire for the selling only the basic notaire fees. Over the years when things got tough, we have thought we gave thoughts to selling but as they say ‘when its gone its gone’and we would never have been able to afford to do it again. My husband (who has been teaching himself how to swear in French) would love to know how you went to Monaco with the military (he is ex Royal Artillery – bit of jealousy creeping in)

    #44310

    marmite
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    December 29, 2017 Falaise

    We came to buy cheese…a lovely friend of ours loved Livarot …we decided to buy her some from Livarot …which we did …but we looked in an estate agents window…we were amazed by the prices. Decided to invest in a holiday home…our first house was a colombage longere..in The pays d’auge..everytime we came it became harder to leave…we reached the point where we decided early retirement was possible.
    Almost twenty years ago…regrets ?no!we love France…is life perfect?of course not but today we had lunch with 8french friends…it was noisy,they talked about the food ,the wine…I sat and thought..how lucky we are that we made a spontaneous decision.

    #44331

    farmerchris
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    March 10, 2017 Haute Vienne

    I came to live in France for the freedom . I chose where I still live now since 1990 because it was free of industry and not many people to the square kilometre , one of the poorest areas in France. I bought the house without seeing the interior , but was spellbound by the ” cadre” . It is a beautiful site with a 200 year old beech tree 10 metres from the front door ( as everyone knows, beeches give wisdom and we sleep every night beneath it’s branches) I have worked with French men all my professional life and when I told them where I lived I was declared ” crazy” , now I am told that I was lucky !

    The house had been empty for 7 years , it needed a new roof,floors,electrics,water and sanitation . All that has been done.

    When we moved in , we had no neighbours , all the houses around were empty . Now, we have Brits,Dutch and German neighbours ( and a couple of old French ). I am thinking that perhaps it is time to move to the Atlantic coast of Morocco?  :yes:   :yes:

    #44337

    Vegemite Kid
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    October 13, 2016 Carhaix (29)

    Not the Atlantic coast, FC, there’s too much wind and the water’s too cold.

    #44339

    farmerchris
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    It’s great Vegi , I love essaouira, not planning on going in the water , just eating the fish !! I should have bought something there 15 years ago when we went first time , now the prices are sky high !

    #44342

    farmerchris
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    Oh yes see what I mean with “no don’t go there” ! It was Limousin 27 years ago . :yes:   :yes:

    #44351

    jo-infrance
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    October 13, 2016 19150. La Corrèze, Limousin.

    I didn’t. it was par hazard.
    I have been spending time in France- with French people – since I was in my early teens. I came on a school exchange because my parents couldn’t afford for me to go on a cruise! (remember school cruises?) Still never been on a cruise! I digress.
    In 2007, after having cared for my mum with Alzheimers full time for 4 years, I could no longer cope. I put her in a home. Her house – that I lived in – was sold from under me to pay for the care and I became effectively homeless. I was already ‘unemployed’. SOme friends in the south – near Nimes – invited me to spend the summer with them and whilst I was there I saw an ad for someone who needed help in their pottery (I was a potter in a previous life) in the Correze. It was board and lodgings and a bit of pocket money, so I came here for 6 months, at the end of which time I was in 3 choirs, a meditation group, an association of potters and the local SEL.
    After that I stayed with friends and did helpx all over the place, but mostly I was in and around Tulle. I did at one point go backpacking around the world for 8 months, but by then my UK OAP had kicked it so I wasn’t entirely penniless.( I travelled the world on about £100 a week!)
    I got back from that and went to visit my mum. I saw her 3 times in the course of a week, then set off for France again. I didn’t get here, she died during the night. At her funeral I was told that there was a bit of money left from her estate. I came back to the Coreze and, when I knew how much money there was, started looking for a small house to rent. Then a friend told me that it was enough to buy a house in a village. I doubted it, but she insisted. Her daughter worked for an immobilier. Amelie found this little house. It took every penny of what I had, and needed a lot of work, but it was habitable. So here I am. It is in a much better state than it was, thanks mostly to helpxers. I live relatively comfortably. There isn’t much money for luxuries, but that doesn’t bother me. I am rich in friends and experiences.
    Given the money and the choice I would like to live somewhere that has less stairs and is not so cold in winter, but the last two years I have been lucky enough to escape for at least part of the time.
    Happy Sunday all…

    #44354

    jo-infrance
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    I forgot to mention. The school exchange is still functioning. I visited my friend who was in Frejus when I was in Grimaud. We still phone each other most days. The exchange was in the early ’60’s!

    #44369

    vette
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    October 13, 2016 Ambrieres les Vallees

    Hi benson.

    In answer to visiting Monaco with the Military, your chap obviously joined the wrong branch.
    You know the old saying, join the Navy and see the world! I’ve been just about everywhere on the planet.
    I’ll make him even more jealous. When we were in Monaco, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace bought us all a beer. Lovely people. Cheers.

    #44373

    franglosaxon
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    October 27, 2016 Normandy

    My first, exploratory, trip to France was spur of the moment, a bit like Vette.

    I was running my bath in my flat in Poole, and wondering what to do for the few days that were left of my holidays, when I thought “I’ll go to France”. Just like that. I phoned the ferry company to find out when the next boat left. In two hours, they told me, but you need to be here an hour before (or something like that). “I’ll be there,” I said. My flat was 10 minutes drive from the ferry terminal.

    I phoned a taxi to take me to the ferry terminal in 20 minutes, which gave me time to jump in the bath, quick scrub, out and dried, get passport, wallet and essentials, and by the time the taxi driver rang the bell I was ready. I had nowhere to stay, but found a hotel in Cherbourg within an hour or so of arriving.

    So I spent a few days in and around Cherbourg. Even though it was a short visit, I decided I would go back one day. As it turned out ‘one day’ was not to be for some years. My mother moved to Poole to be close to me, and I became more and more her carer, especially in her later years when she had a series of strokes. When she died, I decided I would come back for another look. This time I brought my car. A couple of estate agents in Poole had list of properties for sale in France, so I spent much of the crossing going through the lists, finally deciding which town in Basse-Normandie to aim for.

    When I was about 20 km short of my destination it was already getting dark, so I decided to find a hotel for the night, and drive the final few miles in the morning. Seeing the house over the road from the hotel was for sale, I contacted the notaire who was advertising it, viewed it and made a silly offer. They wanted 20K, I offered 10K and we settled at 12.2K. I didn’t get to see my intended destination for some years, and was pleased that I had stopped for the night.

    I spent 30K on the house and finally sold it for about 80K, just before the crash. No capital gains because I was a resident with a few years declarations and avis d’impôts ready for the notaire when he mentioned plus value.

    I bought my present house outside a small village while I was still working on the first.  I have now lived in it longer than any other house I have owned since I left the family home back in the 70’s. No plans to move again. I’m now in my 16th year in France.

    #44377

    petejames
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    October 13, 2016 St Junien

    Not much choice for me, I followed the jobs.

    #44389

    farmerchris
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    But you were a radio operator in the Merchant Navy Pete , so surely could live wherever you wanted to ?

    #44403

    petejames
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    I did fc, I lived in Normandy in the ’70s as it was handy for the office in the UK.

    #44429

    farmerchris
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    That’s not really following the jobs ? Otherwise you would have lived above the shipping office , you must have had a different reason than the job to live in Normandy , love perhaps ?

    #44527

    tuileries
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    October 14, 2017 Brittany

    Breton friend we were staying with said that her mother had died and her house was up for sale. Offered her the asking price and got it. Main reason for buying it was for the proximity to Roscoff and easy access to England. Partner and me were both still in full time work then. Now retired but still happy flitting twixt and between England and France.

    #44536

    petejames
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    That’s not really following the jobs ? Otherwise you would have lived above the shipping office , you must have had a different reason than the job to live in Normandy , love perhaps ?

    More like lust !

    #44540

    farmerchris
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    Now we are getting to the truth Pete !

    Then again , how does a young man differentiate  love from lust ? Whom did you “lust “after , not ALL the young French ladies ?

    #44548

    petejames
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    A very good-looking jeune fille who I still see from time to time – lots of regrets from both sides…..

    C’est la vie I suppose….

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