DOING the research before buying can make all the difference to how successful your time in France will be.
And with the increasing number of books covering a property purchase in France you can start investigating before you have looked at your first house.
The second edition of Charles Davey’s The Complete Guide to Buying Property in France takes you through the various stages of buying but also provides a more rounded view.
The book opens with a very extensive tour of the different regions of France giving you an insight into the major towns, UK travel links and details of English language contacts.
The main section of the book deals with the property purchase as well as mortgages, using a surveyor and the things you will need to do when buying a new property.
Most importantly Charles Davey goes into great details about renting for a period of time before actually buying – something I would heartily recommend.
In this section he points at ways to find a place to rent and the different legal responsibilities both the landlord and tenant have to undertake.
One thing that may upset people about the book is the number of advertisements from related businesses, although there are not many they can sometimes break your concentration.
A very useful feature in the book are a selection of letters written in French and English that will allow you to contact notaires and arrange tenancy agreements.
Charles Davey also covers a great deal of ground about life in France, he owns a property in the Cote d’Azur so talks from experience, about heating, setting up a business and settling-in.
There is a great deal of information in The Complete Guide to Buying Property in France and it would be a good place to start your research.
Choosing your location – the regions of France, their property markets and transport links
Every step of the purchasing process
Financing your purchase
French inheritance and taxation rules
Health and education
Adapting to your French lifestyle
Renting and letting a home in France
Setting up a business in France
Paperback. 256 pages.
To buy at Amazon, please click here.
If you found this useful...
+ Stay up-to-date: Get your free This French Life newsletter
I really don't see the Influx of english people in france as a good thing, I even really look at it as a danger to our way of life.
English people never really like french people, and now with the english language dominating in the world is one more reason not to bother to speak french...
I know some americans who bought a house in "Provence", and damn what do I have to hear about france, putting down the same reasons they moved there in the first place...
How unbusiness like we are, bla bla bla...
So now we have a bunch of speculators, coming in trying to bank on this "Joie de vivre".
And the newcomers are going to remodel the regions to the one they left, I already can see all the the neat pretty green lawns...
Oh yes I know, the local economy is loving it, how short sighted...
I know it's a simplistic opinion, but it's a fact.
Posted by: Gerard lion | 30 April 2005 at 17:49
As Scots, we have had a friendship with the French that goes back many years and decided to leave the UK to get away from the English and submerge ourselves in the cultural ways of France.
We agree with Gerard's comments as there is a village in our region which has become exclusively a 'Little England' - promoted by an English immobilier, who directs most expats to buy there so that they can feel like they are still 'at home'.
We chose our village because it still contains its indigenous population, apart from a couple of Dutch families. Our immediate neighbours are all French who speak no English, which has encouraged us to learn the language (albeit patois!).
Anyone who decides to move to another country should respect the customs of its people.
Vive la France!
Posted by: Tina Hamilton | 04 May 2005 at 09:31
Following up on Tina's comments, whilst I may be accused of bias in the matter (see later), I agree.
We chose to base ourselves in France (close to HESDIN in the Pas de Calais) 11 years ago and took that decision after having had a holiday/weekend retreat for more than 6 years; so our decision was in no way taken on impulse. We had found the French lifestyle to our liking and the 'neighbourliness' shown to us by the local french in our village was stunning. We wanted to be a part of their way of life and they reciprocated generously with their friendship.
We established a mail-order business which provided an income for ourselves and some employment for local people. More recently, we established an organisation (THERE-4-YOU) which offers help and advice to, mainly British, who have or are looking for property in our area and have recently opened an Hôtel in HESDIN.
During the last 11 years we have helped numerous British families to get the most out of their investment in full- or part-time lives in this area. Those that have chosen to integrate with their French neighbours and local communities seem to really enjoy the benefits of living here and contrast starkly with others - mainly English - who seem to have a preference for mixing almost exclusively with other British.
We have always endeavoured to be a part of the community we have chosen to live within and would encourage anyone else who takes up residence in France to do the same. Make the effort to learn at least some of the language and the culture; you will get a handsome return on that investment.
Posted by: Eric Rush | 07 May 2005 at 21:53
I am a French student and with 2 other friends I am working on a presentation about the reasons why some British people have decided to leave the UK to settle in France.
Did you plane to find a job or a house ? Tell me about your experience and opinion.
Posted by: Gabrielle | 03 November 2005 at 15:30
You may want to spend some time reading over a number of interviews I have done for the website, please see:
And please feel free to drop me a line if you have any other questions.
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 03 November 2005 at 15:42
we are considering moving to france. Our reasons are, in opinion quite straightforward ..... the french way of life. To be able to give our children a unique experience of learning the language particularly as they have picked up the welsh so well. I certainly do not want to get there to find i am in mini england!!! or in our case mini wales. would appreciate any info on running a b&b in france with 4 children to school?
Posted by: Pam newton | 07 July 2006 at 13:38
As english, we have had a friendship with the French that goes back many years and decided to leave the UK to get away from the Scotish and submerge ourselves in the cultural ways of France.
Posted by: david | 18 October 2006 at 19:42
We agree with many of the comments above, and below, but think there is, obviously, a big variance, depending on region, and nationality.
It is the concentration of English owners which is often the problem, and the natural/artificial market forces of
supply and demand which intensifies and encourages
Not alot you can do about that I'm afraid apart from
adding to the Code Napoleon, restricting the arrival of
Brits on French soil, or penalising the sale of English
product and services in certain regions!
For another personal perspective on French Life,
look out for more info and our experiences in 'le roannais' within the Rhone-Alpes region in France.
Visit our new website www.purefrancenow.com
Buying, renovating, renting and selling property.
Our pitfalls as well as successes!
The weird and the wonderful (and there's plenty of them!)
Plus all the fantastic people ( who are now friends) that
we have met on our journey during the last 10 years.
Commentary on the French and the English expats. and
Places to see, restaurants to visit, food and drink!etc.,etc.etc.
Posted by: Brian Franklin | 30 April 2007 at 18:48