Find the answers to many of your expat questions here

View Latest Posts

You're missing out...

As a member you can enjoy exclusive info and offers.


Whats the problem with France

Posted by jessndaff - Created: 3 years ago
0 0
Sorry no image available

10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

Sorry no image available
Posted by Rudge - 3 years ago

France is a lovely place, where I lived in the South West UK house prices were four times a house in central Brittany. Here, after divorce and reitirement I can at least manage to own a pleasant house, enjoy a sizeable garden, adjust to quiet roads, free parking and generally adjust to French life . 

Property taxes ( council tax) are low, Summers a little warmer, it is a pleasure to live here , many events on within a reasonable drive for most of the year , my small Uk pensions would destine me to a UK council flat otherwise, it is a much better life here . With all the moans going on about EU membership, French strikes at holiday times ....I jjust get on with life and consider it a priveledge to live here . 

Yes, I do miss some aspects of the UK, but the plus points here far outweigh the negative for me.

Sorry no image available
Posted by buttermaker - 3 years ago

This post must go down as one of the most level headed that I've read in a long time. France is a great place to live as long as you make it home and forget about how things are done in Britain. It's pointless to worry about irrelevant things. I am particularly lucky as my children all live and work in the South East of England and thanks to cheap flights they are able to visit me much more often than they would if I lived in a different region of the UK.

Sorry no image available
Posted by Janouk - 3 years ago

JohnP has hit the nail right on the head, follow his advice  and you won't go wrong. Did exactly that before we came 19 years ago. It is not the UK, it is France and it is French that is spoken, shops do close for 2 hrs at lunchtime, most do not open on Sundays, it is not a land of milk and honey (there is no such thing) beaurocracy rules & I knew this before we came as I had done my research, sadly a lot do not and are surprised that life is lived in the French way, some of whom are those returning to the UK. Of course there are all sorts of other reasons why people do.

I speak as a retiree (although MOH did work here when we first came) when I say it is the French way of life that appeals to us, slower pace of life, no volume of traffic, peaceful Sundays and wherever you live, as others have said, life is what you make of it, come willing to embrace the French way of life, learn some basic French, be prepared to eat with the seasons and look forward to an enjoyable retirement.

As for property, you buy a home and it's location and it's only worth what you're prepared to pay for it when you buy it and what someone else is prepared to pay for it when you sell it, no matter what you've done to it.

Good luck with your venture!

Sorry no image available
Posted by garethe - 3 years ago

Completely agree. I bought a holiday home here, spent a lot of money on it and still do. However it isn't an "investment" in the monetary sense. Its an investment in quality of life. We always had several holidays a year here and rented some beautiful (£££) and some terrible (£) places. added up what we'd spend on 6 weeks a year here in a decent place and that pays half the bills. We have created a home from home, have great neighbours, had our challenges with artisans, but probably no more than the UK. On top of this, we've got somewhere we can go to for a long weekend "for free", somewhere i can work from, if I want to escape London (as I am now). Ultimately there are more things to life than making money. Come and enjoy a different pace and quality of life! As to what's wrong with France, not much really. Nowhere is perfect, its what you make of it.

Sorry no image available
Posted by Itwasntme-998041 - 3 years ago

If France you buy a house to live in not as an investment.

Sorry no image available
Posted by yorkie2-406437 - 3 years ago

Bought my house here january 1991,loved life here then,love life here now,BUT,I had retired so did not have to find work,which seems to be quite a drawback for the brits without an income,only dreams ,I love the easy,relaxed attitude of the french around my little patch of paradise,and I never did have the brit attitude of 'that's not how it's done in the uk' or as I've heard one brit say'they would have done it at B&Q' as he tried to split a packet and buy just half,a lot of the moaners have gone back,but reading these postings,theres still plenty still here,I didn't buy my house to make a profit,it's my home,and I'm hoping to still be living in it for many more years .

Sorry no image available
Posted by peggy29 - 3 years ago

Hear hear

Sorry no image available
Posted by JohnP-390097 - 3 years ago

There is nothing wrong with France.. The problem is that many people move here without doing their homework. Life here is very different to the UK and you need to be aware of the different systems in place, the legal requirements and the high level of beaurocracy. The house market is governed by market forces and the law of supply and demand. France has suffered the recession along with all countries in the EU and the low exchange rates have forced many people to return to the UK when they cannot find work here causing a glut of properties on the market. Taxation also makes buying and selling/renovating properties for profit unviable.

The good £/€ exchange rates at the moment makes buying here very attractive but if you are moving here on a fixed income from the UK you need to bear in mind that the rate can go down as well as up as many of us found to our cost who bought here during the boom years.

Overall I love France but you need to adjust to the French way of life and be prepared to accept it is a different country with different rules and regulations. If you are thinking of coming to live here do some research, read some of the many books about living here and subscribe to one of the many magazines about life here. Do that and you won't be dissappointed, but don't come here expecting things to be the same as the UK, they are not.

Sorry no image available
Posted by blotto - 3 years ago

Home is where the heart is, and ours are definitley here in France.  We are already finding opportunities to integrate into village/local life and being met with nothing but friendliness.  We couldn't afford to live like this in the UK without working long hours, and we're still only a relatively short journey away from the family.  The language is the most important barrier, and from a zero baseline last year I've already grown my vocabulary considerably, and it can only get better.

Sorry no image available
Posted by kervéor - 3 years ago

Ah ,that's it for most of us France IS home .