Living in France

So I've search engined and can't find a specific thread.

Looking for experiences of living in France.

I'm staring at 100's of properties in Brittany with acreage, woodland rivers and ponds and wondering why the Feck I've not made the jump earlier.

I work worldwide, not tied anywhere, self employed and don't want to tie myself to a UK insanity handcuff mortgage for the rest of my life.

Got a couple of places in UK I pimp out and currently live in the countryside on a big estate (renting a tiny annexe)

Would probably be a cash purchase, not looking to "profit" or flog on to liquidise captital in the near future

Reasons for France. I like it, its close to the UK, I want to get my french language improved (too stupid to start a different language from scratch) I like the culture, its a decent climate for growing stuff

Buy renovated or buy in need of renovations? Any problems or issues etc etc

There are plenty of living in france forums, be interesting to get an arrsers angle on it also

Thoughts please

cheers

TheGimp
 
I've been warned about that, not sure how it works, any links?

Currently legitimately tax free without having to jump through too many hoops in the UK

And would only be in France for six months of the year
 
What about that income tax, 60% was it? What about Belgium?
Belgian NI contributions are even more testicle-squeezing than those of France. In return, however, the standard of public healthcare is fecking good.
 
I've lived in France for a while and owned houses. It depends if you can spend the time and money and have the knowledge to do the renovations yourself. If so, yes buy in need of renovation. If you can't, then buy already renovated because getting the right people to do the job will be difficult and expensive. Try to look on the French gouvernment sites for tax details, too. Their tax system is horrendous
 
Be careful. Brother in law had a fantastic rural pad in Normandy which was bought as a semi wreck, it was a run down chateau with 7 acres and he had lots of fun living and renovating it.

Just some random comments:
1. The caretaking of it in your absence. Obviously you won't be there all the time. If you have agricultural land think of a peppercorn rent to the/a local farmer with a clause that he looks after the property in your absence
2. The tradesmen are notoriously fickle and quite slipshod, some people I know ship a load of UK bods (actually Poles) over in a caravan and they do a blitz job for you otherwise it can drag on for years.
3. Be careful as the current French Government have imposed some rather draconian taxes for non French national. So come its disposal you get hung out to dry.
But that aside I loved the lifestyle when I stayed over there, sadly it was the language that stuffed me big time.

Very best of luck but do look closely at the tax and property ownership laws for non French national!
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
Not a clue but it was the first thing to enter my head. That big nosed frog actor skipped over to Belgium. Beer is better and you can smoke in the pub. When you retire you can make your house a b&b for people doing battlefield tours. I'll have the full English cheers.
 
What about that income tax, 60% was it? What about Belgium?

70 % but only for the mega earners, Income tax is for most people fairly low in France, NI contributions are bloody steep though.

Taxation and law for a small business is a complicated mess.

When buying a property remember all those things your surveyor / solicitor does in the UK (ie inform you that the forest behind your house will be an Asda next year) they do not do in France UNLESS you specifically ask the question.

According to mrs L Soliciters fees are a %age of the house price (10 - 15 ) im hoping shes got this wrong.

You the buyer pay the estate agents fees.
 
Not a clue but it was the first thing to enter my head. That big nosed frog actor skipped over to Belgium. Beer is better and you can smoke in the pub. When you retire you can make your house a b&b for people doing battlefield tours. I'll have the full English cheers.
Just be careful where on the Trench line you choose. There is a farm with a very large unstable mine under it, it will go bang sooner or later. I would steer clear of the battlefields, unless we are talking Waterloo!!
 
My advise on buying property in any foreign country is rent before you buy , then talk to the expats and locals , you`ll find the grass is not always greener.
 
My sis in law has lived there for about ten years now. Not Brittany, further south - Limoges way.

What she doesn`t know about buying pads over there probably isn`t worth knowing.

Would you like her email by PM?
 
Just remember that if you spend too long in the UK you will get to enjoy both taxation systems and have to untangle it via the tax treaty.

The only person to benefit from this are your two tax advisors, one for each country.
 
If you go to the doctor with almost any complaint other than a visibly broken bone, they will proclaim that it is a 'crisis of the liver.'
They also have a national obsession with vitamins and supplements.

If you are prescribed antibiotics, ask first if they will make you shit yourself in your girlfriend's shower. I wish I'd asked.

Really fcuking fierce B.O. is more common than in England.

Check out inheritance law if you intend to buy, as I believe in the event of the death of monsieur papa, the house goes straight to les enfants, even if maman still needs to live there!
 

philc

LE
Beware of the taxman as others have pointed out they want their pound of flesh, stick to non residency. The dual tax agreement seems to mean nothing.
 
I'm out of uk and europe at least six moths of the year. it'll pan out somehow........................

I just need to chop my born again clean as the driven snow accountants firm in for a dubious back street magician
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
I'm out of uk and europe at least six moths of the year. it'll pan out somehow........................

I just need to chop my born again clean as the driven snow accountants firm in for a dubious back street magician
Sweet, when do we leave?
 

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