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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to move to south of France. (Missus and I). Going to come with £200k-ish. Aiming to buy and let out some holiday property for an income. I can also HGV drive, as a back up plan.

Are we dreaming, or is this feasible? It seems possible, hence, to good to be true (property prices etc).

Oh yeah.....Hiya everyone!
 

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Not enough....to buy somewhere to live and let?
You said 'Looking to move to south of France. (Missus and I). Going to come with £200k-ish. Aiming to buy and let out some holiday property for an income'.

Are you going to live in and let out and the same time ? :eek:

Joking aside...

200 k won't go far in France. If that were the case everyone in France (including me) would be heading south and try and do what you want to do. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We only need a small place for ourselves and were looking at the possibility of buying another property to let out.
 

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One big question: how well do you speak, read and write French? It really does make a difference here.

It's harder to do "pick up" work in France. (Thinking here of your HGV drive.) The French do tend to hire their own and they want their employees to speak the local language and have the training and work attitudes that you find locally (not to mention the sécu number and Carte Vitale).

Take a good, hard look at the notion of letting out a holiday property for a living wage. It's tough work and may or may not provide enough income to live on. You'll need to set up some sort of business entity - complete with registration in the cotisation system (social insurances). If you're not prepared to deal with the paperwork and regulation structure in French, it could wind up being "challenging."
Cheers,
Bev
 

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It's good to have a dream, but to make it come true you must seriously plan and research.

You don't say how old you are, why you want to move to France, how well you speak French. So it's not easy to give you advice.

The south of France is a vast area, do you have any particular part in mind?

You say you are hoping to find work as a lorry driver if necessary, but be aware that the employment situation in France is bleak at present.

Lastly you will need health insurance, have you looked into this? Are you retired?

And if it doesn't work out would you have the possibility to return to the uk?

Good luck!
 

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Well, I have found some properties for that in the south in very popular areas. However, a flat with no garden etc. . And I speak French which as everyone points out, rightly, is the most important. In some very popular areas you get a much longer letting season, or you can rent it all year at a much lower rate. It really depends if the 200k is for the house or all of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I am a French speaker.....and a bit of German too. I have driven for Norbert Dentressangle, so don't see that as an issue. I'm 47 and we're looking at the Dordogne.
We want to be somewhere a bit more rural and for what it's worth, we're both proper grafters and are not going for a holiday. We enjoy getting really stuck into things. We have been researching this for a good year and really enjoy the culture of France and can't wait to get immersed into it.
Plan B, returning to the UK, is of no issue at all. My missus is fortunate to be able to walk straight back into a job, just like me.
Thanks for the pointers. Really appreciated.
 

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Just one small caveat (actually more in the way of "food for thought") - I think I saw recently in the news that Norbert Dentressangle has been bought out by some American company. They've promised so far not to lay off anyone, but the drivers (in particularly) are skeptical. (OK, that's always the way here when a foreign company buys up a well known French brand.)

It could be an advantage to speak fluent English. Or it could make the other drivers nervous around you. Just something to consider.

Still, if you've done your homework and have a viable exit strategy should things go wrong, it sounds like you have a plan! Let us know as new questions pop up.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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What I don't understand is whether the OP is looking for a property at GBP 200k that will serve both as principal residence and holiday lets - which would mean a larger property and would possibly require some work to render it suitable for both purposes. If the funds are just for the holiday lets, then I think it is possible. As you say Alice, it depends whether or not the GBP 200k is for all of it and whether the OP has some other income.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Smeg seems to be the 1st responder to every post with doom and gloom. Can I ask why you've even bothered moving to France?

To the other posters. Thank you very much. We are going to rent a place for a month and get a real good feel for the place (Dordogne). In the UK, you can see the business incomes etc. Are these details available for existing French gite businesses? Are there any good links for buying gite/rental businesses?
 

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Smeg seems to be the 1st responder to every post with doom and gloom. Can I ask why you've even bothered moving to France?

To the other posters. Thank you very much. We are going to rent a place for a month and get a real good feel for the place (Dordogne). In the UK, you can see the business incomes etc. Are these details available for existing French gite businesses? Are there any good links for buying gite/rental businesses?
There are lots of sites with gites for sale - don't know whether they are good or not. Do a google search for 'gites à vendre'. (I don't see how anyone could hope to sell a business without showing financial details.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks EverHopeful. I have to ask some dumb questions. It's not a move we're making without asking all of them.
Again...really appreciate your help.
 

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Thanks EverHopeful. I have to ask some dumb questions. It's not a move we're making without asking all of them.
Again...really appreciate your help.
It wasn't a dumb question. When you're moving to another country, you don't know what you don't know. You are wise to look for the potential differences.
 

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Smeg seems to be the 1st responder to every post with doom and gloom. Can I ask why you've even bothered moving to France?

To the other posters. Thank you very much. We are going to rent a place for a month and get a real good feel for the place (Dordogne). In the UK, you can see the business incomes etc. Are these details available for existing French gite businesses? Are there any good links for buying gite/rental businesses?
To Wacker67

In response to your question, I moved here in 1998 when I was transferred for a job. My wife is French.

Further to your 'doom and gloom' point.....

The trouble is people pick up a copy of 'living France' magazine in WH Smith, look up some cheap crappy property on 'English expat' estate agent websites in the Dordogne and think that is reality France. The reality is, that is not. Everyone who has been here a long time will say the same.

I could sell my house tomorrow and have more than twice your budget and buy a gîte type business with a pool and all that and have cash to spare. Would I ? No. We would lose most of our very hard earned cash and probably go hungry. Even if I suggested the idea to my OH (who is a finance exec) she would whack me around the head with a frying pan.

Gîtes will cost you money not make you money. Lets assume you can buy a viable gîte business for 200,000 (which you can't) and rent it out for 500 euros at the very very best :fingerscrossed:8 weeks of the year. That is 4000 euros. Now take out lots and lots of taxes, cleaning, electricity, advertising, wear and tear. You are left with nothing.

How long will it take for your 50,000 - 100,000 euros investment to pay itself back ???

You may say that your investment is in the bricks and mortar. Well, actually it is not in France. Most of the gîtes for sale in the dordogne have probably been on for sale for years. The reason they are for sale is because they are losing money and the owners are very desperate. The trouble is they will only sell to people who believe gîtes make money. Also, if you buy from expat owners through an English expat estate agency you will pay over the odds for it.

With regards to renting out a house in the Dordogne. How are you going to do that ? A French landlord will not rent their house out to anyone who is not on a French employment contract. That means you will have to rent from a desperate 'expat'. The question is, why are they renting their house out.

The best advice was given to you earlier. Buy a smaller house (new build), put half your dosh in the bank, and get a driving job with Dentresangle and enjoy life.

This is not doom and gloom..this is reality France. I like reality France. Reality France is not 'living France' magazine or a 'place in the sun' or what muppet expat estate agents try and tell people to try and sell their god awful houses.

Good luck.
 

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Hey, you need to hear advice from "all" sides of the issue, so even a voice of gloom and doom serves a purpose in the grand scheme of things.

If you find a gite that is set up as a "real business" (i.e. an EURL, SARL or something similar), it should be possible to get financial statements through the Greffe du Tribunal (for a fee). There are a few sites online where you can look up businesses (often by their SIREN) to get an overview of their financial status - but many small businesses simply don't bother doing the necessary reporting.

Anything run as an AE won't have financials, as that's one of the "simplifications" in the legislation: the auto entrepreneur only has to track revenue coming in and pay the related cotisations and taxes based on revenue. (Also one of the "gotchas" in going the AE route, since you may not even know yourself that you're losing money until the bank account has been drained.)

A key factor to take into consideration is what sights and attractions there are in the immediate area that would bring people to a gite - especially off-season. It's fine to be full booked during July and August, but darned difficult to live off two months' worth of income the remaining 10 months of the year.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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