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Old 05-04-2018, 04:01 PM   #1
VeedubLove
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Default Holiday home in France

Afternoon all, I'm looking at buying a small holiday home in France and wondering if anyone has any experience.

Ideally I would like it around the Normandy area and a small holding with some land and outbuildings. Ideally I want it to be knackered so I can do it up.

Does anyone have any experience of what the costs are of living there such as local taxes (like our council tax) etc as the house will be standing empty quite a bit.

The idea is to buy now, do up over a few years then spend more time there in retirement.

Any advice or experience welcome, cheers!
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by VeedubLove View Post
Afternoon all, I'm looking at buying a small holiday home in France and wondering if anyone has any experience.

Ideally I would like it around the Normandy area and a small holding with some land and outbuildings. Ideally I want it to be knackered so I can do it up.

Does anyone have any experience of what the costs are of living there such as local taxes (like our council tax) etc as the house will be standing empty quite a bit.

The idea is to buy now, do up over a few years then spend more time there in retirement.

Any advice or experience welcome, cheers!
Hi,

I live in France - way south of Normandy though. There are a few other Brits who've moved to France on here too. I'm sure they'll be along with some advice if they have any.

You shouldn't have a problem finding a 'cheap' property - the French tend to build 'new' when couples get married etc. Consequentially there are usually lots of older properties available - and old farmhouses with big (often derelict) barns are abundant in France.

Here's a decent website to check prices: https://www.century21.fr/ - but there are many French 'Immobilier' (Estate Agent) websites - google is your friend here.

As for 'council tax' - at the minute in France it is split into two - a local tax and a national tax - both combined are usually a fair bit less than the UK equivalent. They are removing one of them shortly too - see:http://impotsurlerevenu.org/nouveaut...habitation.php or similar (you'll need a 'translation' webpage possibly.)

Also, forums like these are a lot of help to Brits in France:

http://www.expatforum.com/expats/fra...living-france/

http://britishexpats.com/forum/france-76/

And finally, France has a few 'English' newspapers for ExPats . . .

https://www.connexionfrance.com/

http://www.thebugle.eu/

Do your homework first, ask questions on those forums etc. and BON CHANCE!

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Old 05-04-2018, 07:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by VeedubLove View Post
Afternoon all, I'm looking at buying a small holiday home in France and wondering if anyone has any experience.

Ideally I would like it around the Normandy area and a small holding with some land and outbuildings. Ideally I want it to be knackered so I can do it up.

Does anyone have any experience of what the costs are of living there such as local taxes (like our council tax) etc as the house will be standing empty quite a bit.

The idea is to buy now, do up over a few years then spend more time there in retirement.

Any advice or experience welcome, cheers!
Hi,

I live in Lower Normandy, close to the Pays de La Loire and Brittany borders. We bought our place around 3 years ago and love the life here. We have a fairly large property with barns etc and our 'combined' council tax is about 1050 a year, although most people seem to pay less!

Property in this area is dirt cheap and the choice plentiful. Older properties are not sought after by the French, so they fetch low prices. I have a couple of contacts at local immobiliers if this is the area you are after. We looked at a lot of properties on Cle France's website.

I'm more than happy to give you any advice I can, so please PM me if I can help. People will tell you it's a minefield, but it's really not.

Bon chance.
Jon
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:21 PM   #4
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As above really. It's not a minefield. Buying is more like the Scottish system ie. you sign an agreement when you make an offer and both parties are bound to the sale going through (on penalty of the 10% deposit paid). Hence gazumping is not an issue.
Taxes are lower than in the uk and will be noted on the house details.
There will also be a report on its compliance or not with the norms and its thermal efficiency.
It's a good time to buy because, outside of the major cities, house prices have not recovered much from the crash after 2008.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:27 PM   #5
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Hi, I've lived in France for 14 years with my wife, my 3 kids were all born here. First thing to say its a great country to live in! But its not all great, like anywhere there are plus and minus points. For us there are more plus's though! I love the space, the people, variety of countryside and having a house with a massive garage! Simple pleasures really.
Think carefully what you want. Yes, there is an amazing selection of cheap rural properties with land. Do you want total isolation? often properties are cheap but they are miles from anyone or anything. It could be lonely and the lack of activities and long drives for a litre of milk is not for everyone. We lived in the Mayenne on the Normandy/Brittany border for about 9 years. Its a lovely region and handy for the ferry to and from UK. Land with properties is cheap, but do you need lots of land? People are lured into buying lots of hectares because its cheap. They then spend every visit trying to tame it! The land is very fertile and there is good rainfall, so everything grows like mad. Particularly pastures. We moved around 5ookms south to the Charente maritime, for a change and to be nearer more amenities and activities for the family.
The cost of living is comparable to the UK, its definitely not cheaper. Your council tax is calculated on the Sq metres of living space. And as said will be around 1000- 1500 euros per year. A lot of houses have electric wall heaters for heating, they eat up electricity which isn't that cheap. Oil fired heating is also common, likewise the price of heating fuel is always going up. There are good stocks of firewood in that region, so good quality woodburners definitely are worth fitting to boost the heating.
If your looking for a project, realistically how much time can you allocate to renovate a run down property? It can take along time as the properties can be big, and in bad condition. You don't want to fall out of love with something because your flogging yourself every visit trying to finish a house. Local artisans in traditional skills such as timber framing and stonemasons tend to be excellent so well worth considering. Building materials are expensive here.
Overall its a great place to live, I've just tried to add a few realistic pointers. If your planning to move over then sign up for an evening class in French, you will get so much more out of the country if you can just speak a few words it will get you started. Try Leggett immobilier for properties they have agents across the country. Good luck and keep us posted on your plans.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses all it is very much appreciated.

At the moment my French is basic so a good place to start - I don't want to be seen as a tourist that expects everyone to communicate in English so I intend to get that sorted.

House and land wise I don't need/want a massive house but something of decent size with plenty of outbuildings to convert etc. This certainly isn't to make money from (which seems to be a complete no no with French property) but with the idea of supplying a basic income in the future.

Gites to rent and some space for camping would be idea and I have been doing a lot of reading on the restrictions around that.

Started looking on-line at some properties and we are over in a few months so will ideally see some in the flesh then as well. Work wise the company I work for has offices in france but ideally I want to jack all of that in and just work for myself.
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Old 17-10-2019, 09:16 PM   #7
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thread dredge!
Rather than a holiday home, I'm looking for something similar to the OP, but habitable initially, rather than a renovation and a permanent residence, rather than holiday home.
Has anything changed much since this post?
Brexit stuff? I am due a new passport in December and am entitled to an Irish one, as my parents were both born and raised in Wicklow...would that 'ease my passage'?

I love the look of the areas, the people and the space.....plus, I can hopefully buy something outright with my pension, even though the tories have done as much as possible to steal most of it.

I've also split with my ex-happiness hoover, and I am in need of putting some distance and a bit of water between us....

I don't care about the house so much, but need a fettling shed!

I noticed Cle France's office is near to me, so will be popping in for a chat..... Its exciting!
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Old 18-10-2019, 09:47 AM   #8
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No nothing much has changed. Which part of France are you looking at?
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Old 18-10-2019, 09:55 AM   #9
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No nothing much has changed. Which part of France are you looking at?
Possibly Normandy/Brittany regions..... Guingamp area looks like the kind of place.
I want to spend time cycle touring...a base for this is ideally all I'm bothered about, hence the need for somewhere to lay my head, wash my salty balls, service and store my bikes and engine'd things!
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