AT least once a week there is a story in the newspapers of a couple who have sold up and headed to France to ‘live the dream’.
Often they are quite formulaic articles so it is good to see one that offers some useful advice and information, as well as how to steer clear of problems and pit-falls.
The icNewcastle website features the story of a couple, Heather and Phil Barber, who sold their house and moved to the Charente region of western France.
At first they dived straight in and bought a hotel but realised within the seven day cooling off period that it was a rash move.
Now they run a small B&B and have plans for other projects but these will be tackled with a little more thought.
"We got sucked into the ‘fantastic thing,' says Heather. "We bought the hotel there and then. Thank God for the seven-day cooling off period. "Within hours of signing we looked at each other and thought, ‘what have we done?' We immediately sent off a registered letter and backed out of the deal legally, so we didn't lose anything. But that was a lesson to us that you can't let yourselves get carried away."
The article also features information from estate agents as well as a list of dos and don’ts, including the useful tip of visiting your chosen area out of season.
If you found this useful...
+ Stay up-to-date: Get your free This French Life newsletter
This is a long but great article. It shows the reality behind the dream.
I work in this field and I know what I am talking about. The main point to remember is that in France you need to anticipate a lot of problems and situations.
It is just the way it works, it is not harder than the system in the UK. It is simply different.
Usually, people are a bit taken aback by the complications that can happen. It is even a drawback sometimes. It should not be. The most important is that you need someone to explain where and how to work in this minefield.
Again, bravo for this article !
Posted by: Guillaume | 16 August 2005 at 12:56