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Moving to France

I would also say AirBnB.
The Charente is a bit flat and agricultural, Charente-Maritime is a real nightmare in the summer when the Parisians all head off to their second homes, raising the prices of everything, even in the supermarkets.
I saw a 32m2 studio apartment (bedsit) for sale on the Ile de Re last year for €875,000, that is how they have impacted prices there.
Aquitaine is nice inland from Bordeaux before Dordogneshire, and towards the Lot.
If you want wild country for walking then try Correze and Creuse and the Cantal towards Clermont.
Property prices are a steal around there, the kids have moved away for work and Mum and Dad are in the old folks home leaving the place empty and for sale.
They will just want rid of it to pay the fees of the home and taxes owed.
Consider also round Alsace if you want rural picturesque and also Champagne-Ardennes for forests and walking.
You can never ever do too much research, just don't rush into things.
Seen lots here that do, they usually last just a couple of years and then normally Mum gets homesick for the grandkids etc.
 
That sounds like a really good idea. Decent length recces of a few different areas.

Also, one can make good contacts who can help out when one is actually in the area.
Thing is, if you own a property in the UK that can yield a reasonable profit, the rental income will more than cover rents in anywhere same in Europe. Which means you can spend your time looking for the right place to live.

One of the thing that struck me about the places we rented; the owners were nearly all looking for longer term rentals. They just couldn’t get them. I think it’s important to realise that property markets in Europe are very different from the UK market.
 

Oyibo

LE
Thing is, if you own a property in the UK that can yield a reasonable profit, the rental income will more than cover rents in anywhere same in Europe. Which means you can spend your time looking for the right place to live.

One of the thing that struck me about the places we rented; the owners were nearly all looking for longer term rentals. They just couldn’t get them. I think it’s important to realise that property markets in Europe are very different from the UK market.

Ref your second paragraph, that was my experience as well. Even had one guy desperately trying to sell us his place.
 
French side of Canada? Best of both worlds for you then.
Maybe we'd better ask @terminal or the other Canadians on here about that. I went to expo67 in Montreal and the Summer Games of 1976, and a more surly and unfreindly lot of French Canadians buggers I don't think I've ever met. Maybe they're gotten more mellow since that time though.
 
Plenty of first-hand advice here Scaley....I too have mulled this notion.

My in-laws had a house in Charentes-Maritime for 15 years while my sprogs were growing up.

School hols it wasn't 'are we going to France?' more 'When are we going to France'

( To this day they seek out pain d'epices and Benco hot chocolate...comfort eating)

View attachment 499554 View attachment 499555

Foodies/ Gourmets - just do one ....they were Super-U kids...what can I tell ya.

Not coastal, pretty much la France Profonde....North of Bordeaux, South of Nantes.

[ F-i-L would have moved out there like a shot, M-i-L less keen, her main worry was her lack of language and his health......RIP Cliff ]

The Vendée is gorgeous, and definitely not Dordogne-shire, though small clusters of Brits - pas trop Singes du Nord :)

Good luck.

Love that- Les singes du nord. Best laugh in a while.
 

Ciggie

GCM
True enough. Over the last few years various parts of Iberia have seemed like a good bet to some groups of people seeking a ‘free’ existence
@Ciggie might like to comment. Seems a free and easy place.
Like lots of Portugal and Spain? Easy for Brits to assume it’s an easy living place.
Yes, Spain is largely very laid back unless you get mixed up with their bureaucracy, then it can get nightmarish, but then that doesn't bother me as I have had to deal with Slovak bureaucracy pre- and post EU ( scant little improvement) even getting married in Poland to avoid the potentially ringpiece-widening experience it would have been, to say nothing of pocket-emptying, in good ol SK and could teach monkeys tricks. A couple of mates from the UK are now in Portugal in hippie-style 'communes' and really like it.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Maybe we'd better ask @terminal or the other Canadians on here about that. I went to expo67 in Montreal and the Summer Games of 1976, and a more surly and unfreindly lot of French Canadians buggers I don't think I've ever met. Maybe they're gotten more mellow since that time though.
I always thought that your description was a perfect example of any Frenchy so don't see the issue.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
French demoiselles are generally quite svelte; you'd hate it, you porker porker.
 
Maybe we'd better ask @terminal or the other Canadians on here about that. I went to expo67 in Montreal and the Summer Games of 1976, and a more surly and unfreindly lot of French Canadians buggers I don't think I've ever met. Maybe they're gotten more mellow since that time though.
I've never had a problem in Quebec, people were always polite to me there. Perhaps they just didn't like you?

For someone moving to Canada, the best location would depend a lot on what they want out of life. Different parts of the country offer different advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost of living (cost of property mainly), urban versus rural environment, access to nature versus access to cultural amenities, etc. That's a topic for another thread however.

Edit to add: Are you the Yank on this site who said he's an Indian? If you look like it in a obvious way that could be a problem with some people in parts of Quebec, as casual racism is more common there.
 

TheManFromWem

Old-Salt
Moving overseas...does it help if you speak their language ???
I became reasonably proficent in Greek/Turk/Cyprus in the 70's........
Even met a couple who had the local shop.......
George (georgios) could not pronounce "Guinness".
And his excellent wife was proud to tell all and sundry was her claim to fame to be the "Madame/ mistress" of the best "House" in Cairo.......(Lost on me as a naive 20 year old or so RAF Brat......)
It was a scramble to get to your new house and then figure out how to get to your posting.....
We used :
SHA .....service Housing Association , was on the main street in Limassol.
Do you remember "Bill Karpos" and " Sammmy Andros" SHA limassol....(Housing Agents)
You could not make it up ...........memories pop to the fore......
Enjoyed reading this thread,well done all.
please forgive my typing skills,
Howard,...........WEM
 
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TheManFromWem

Old-Salt
One of the first things I was taught say by a French friend was 'I'm sorry, could you repeat that for me more slowly please..' Works a treat. Shows that you're not a 'little Englander in the John Cleese mode of speaking loudly and waving your hands a lot, and that you've made an effort.

The other thing was DON'T MENTION THE WAR!

And don't tell 'French Jokes' about the war, no matter how funny you think they are. I spent a lot of time there in the early 1990s, when everyone of 55 and over had some pretty clear and still fresh memories of being occupied by the Germans. As Brits, due to that well-placed strip of water, we had no concept of invasion and occupation until Mr Blair's 'Import more New Labour Voters'.

Lastly, take a risk and try things you wouldn't normally eat. One of the most delicious meals I ever ate was a salad in Perigord with divine thinly sliced fried button mushrooms....ER... that actually turned out be thinly sliced Goose's neck! Back then I wouldn't have eaten them if i'd known in advance. My taste was changed irreversibly by the time I spent there. When we have dinner guests, I have to remember to cook meat and eggs the 'English' way. Omelettes must resemble styrofoam and meat must be brown or grey all the way to the middle;)
For a gorgeous snack, a kind of French Tappas, try Rillettes Du Mans (coarsely shredded seasoned pork pate), with fresh baguette and 5 Spice Cornichon pickles, washed down with a cold biere blonde. Very fattening:(

I reckon the 12 month rent thing sounds promising. In some areas you would be an interesting novelty for the locals, but not the Dordogne. At certain times every fourth car seemed to have an English plate.

Places to go? The south coast of Brittany and then further south to Vendee are superb. Check out some of the Islands off the west coast there. Think of Cornwall, but minus the fat blokes in Man Utd shirts swearing at their kids.
Loved this post....true, true, true, excellent, Howard.
 
Please keep in mind I've been here sice 2001 (so don't cut lettuce anymore, eat gut sausage, gizzards and have tucked into tripes for breakfast) so am a bit out of touch and only visit the UK once or twice a year if that, but I'll have a stab at your questions and hope it helps.

What's the cost of living like?

It's more expensive than the U.K. or at least that's what I think. Food seems much cheaper in dear old Blighty but wine is generally cheaper depending on what you buy. Spirits are about the same prix as they are in the UK. Eating out can be quite reasonable, but then again the bill can sometimes take your breath away too...depending on where you are.


What are the pitfalls?

Medical insurance is best described as expensive, ball park figure about €100 if you want most of the bells and whistles...like Dental and Opticians including...the latter really know how to lay it on probably more than the dentists. A friend of a friend was recently was given a quote for some dental work without insurance and it was a whopping €10,000!!! Luckily most Dentists only want to see you once a year and getting in to see one can be tricky, long wait times for an appointment are possible...same for Opticians. My Mrs made one last week and luckily only has to wait until December 23rd of this year.

Along with Income Tax there's also 'Taxe Foncier' & 'Taxe d' Habitation' which are a guess like council tax so vary on where you live and the services you have on hand. I'm in the sticks so it's not so bad, and they are about €120 per month combined. One is far more than the other but I can't remember which way round it is.
Diesel is about €1,30 per Litre, no idea on petrol...but it's usually more.

The bureaucracy can be as bad as it's reported (they excel at it, nay love it..but not the French people only the Govt. types who love to get their own work wrong at your cost) to be and depends on the region you decide to live in. It can also vary from the commune to commune, how efficiant the Mayor is and is in my experience best left to SWMBO to sort out. As an example, applying for citizenship (thanks to the Brexit caper) required copies of all manner of paperwork...not only our marriage certificates, but parents and also death certs all requiring official registered Frenchie translations at €45.00 per document...about €500 for each of us. They said it would take two years and it did take just that, pluse we did everything on time and by the numbers...I think it was 23 months in total.

Never, ever be in a rush for anything. If you like things doing when you want them doing then you will be annoyed very quickly indeed. As an example, if it says a shop will open at 09,00, it won't. Laid back is laid back, don't be in a rush at the checkout, the customer isn't always right, he's usually wrong and that's not over-egging it lol. Walk into a hardware store, don't be surprised not to be asked if you need any help and the country does grind more or less to a halt through the main holiday season when everyone goes on their jollies.


Areas to look at, areas to avoid?

That's the easy one for me, anywhere far away from other Brits...if anything thing stops integration faster, then it has to be living with other Brits. However that said not everyone wants to do that and it's a far simpler option if you are not wishing to go all out froggy and jump in with both feet.

Learn the lingo, it is essential, no need to land speaking like DeGaulle but it does help and you can pick it up along the way, I couldn't speak more than a couple of words in 2001. Listening to french radio and French telly helped a great deal. The local radio being the best, you pick up stuff without realising. I am now B1 level french, which was one grade above the minimum requirement for citizenship....but no way am I fluent in French, way too complicated for my Infantry brain. The LHSgt.Maj. is C1 which I believe is one below the top level, but she's a girly swat and did it at A Level, she wouldn't say she was fluent either...but she isn't far off from what I can tell.


After all of that, it's a great place to live, out here in the sticks it's laid back, no one bothers you much. The French are pretty nosey generally but do know how to keep themselves to themselves when required. Obviously I am painting with a broad brush there, but that's been our experience. Someone touched on rights of passage and things like access to ponds and fruit trees...yes that can be a problem, but there are ways to deter them.

Someone suggested earlier about taking a long term rent...that's what we did...12 months in two rented places while we looked around for the right place...it's a great piece of advice.

My only real regret is not moving here sooner, it's not all been easy, but I'm pleased we stuck with it. I like isolation and this is the place to find it without going too silly. Also very pleased we went down the citizenship route eventually (cheers Brexit for the push) rather than just being a resident, makes life even easier.
 

TheManFromWem

Old-Salt
Please keep in mind I've been here sice 2001 (so don't cut lettuce anymore, eat gut sausage, gizzards and have tucked into tripes for breakfast) so am a bit out of touch and only visit the UK once or twice a year if that, but I'll have a stab at your questions and hope it helps.

What's the cost of living like?

It's more expensive than the U.K. or at least that's what I think. Food seems much cheaper in dear old Blighty but wine is generally cheaper depending on what you buy. Spirits are about the same prix as they are in the UK. Eating out can be quite reasonable, but then again the bill can sometimes take your breath away too...depending on where you are.


What are the pitfalls?

Medical insurance is best described as expensive, ball park figure about €100 if you want most of the bells and whistles...like Dental and Opticians including...the latter really know how to lay it on probably more than the dentists. A friend of a friend was recently was given a quote for some dental work without insurance and it was a whopping €10,000!!! Luckily most Dentists only want to see you once a year and getting in to see one can be tricky, long wait times for an appointment are possible...same for Opticians. My Mrs made one last week and luckily only has to wait until December 23rd of this year.

Along with Income Tax there's also 'Taxe Foncier' & 'Taxe d' Habitation' which are a guess like council tax so vary on where you live and the services you have on hand. I'm in the sticks so it's not so bad, and they are about €120 per month combined. One is far more than the other but I can't remember which way round it is.
Diesel is about €1,30 per Litre, no idea on petrol...but it's usually more.

The bureaucracy can be as bad as it's reported (they excel at it, nay love it..but not the French people only the Govt. types who love to get their own work wrong at your cost) to be and depends on the region you decide to live in. It can also vary from the commune to commune, how efficiant the Mayor is and is in my experience best left to SWMBO to sort out. As an example, applying for citizenship (thanks to the Brexit caper) required copies of all manner of paperwork...not only our marriage certificates, but parents and also death certs all requiring official registered Frenchie translations at €45.00 per document...about €500 for each of us. They said it would take two years and it did take just that, pluse we did everything on time and by the numbers...I think it was 23 months in total.

Never, ever be in a rush for anything. If you like things doing when you want them doing then you will be annoyed very quickly indeed. As an example, if it says a shop will open at 09,00, it won't. Laid back is laid back, don't be in a rush at the checkout, the customer isn't always right, he's usually wrong and that's not over-egging it lol. Walk into a hardware store, don't be surprised not to be asked if you need any help and the country does grind more or less to a halt through the main holiday season when everyone goes on their jollies.


Areas to look at, areas to avoid?

That's the easy one for me, anywhere far away from other Brits...if anything thing stops integration faster, then it has to be living with other Brits. However that said not everyone wants to do that and it's a far simpler option if you are not wishing to go all out froggy and jump in with both feet.

Learn the lingo, it is essential, no need to land speaking like DeGaulle but it does help and you can pick it up along the way, I couldn't speak more than a couple of words in 2001. Listening to french radio and French telly helped a great deal. The local radio being the best, you pick up stuff without realising. I am now B1 level french, which was one grade above the minimum requirement for citizenship....but no way am I fluent in French, way too complicated for my Infantry brain. The LHSgt.Maj. is C1 which I believe is one below the top level, but she's a girly swat and did it at A Level, she wouldn't say she was fluent either...but she isn't far off from what I can tell.


After all of that, it's a great place to live, out here in the sticks it's laid back, no one bothers you much. The French are pretty nosey generally but do know how to keep themselves to themselves when required. Obviously I am painting with a broad brush there, but that's been our experience. Someone touched on rights of passage and things like access to ponds and fruit trees...yes that can be a problem, but there are ways to deter them.

Someone suggested earlier about taking a long term rent...that's what we did...12 months in two rented places while we looked around for the right place...it's a great piece of advice.

My only real regret is not moving here sooner, it's not all been easy, but I'm pleased we stuck with it. I like isolation and this is the place to find it without going too silly. Also very pleased we went down the citizenship route eventually (cheers Brexit for the push) rather than just being a resident, makes life even easier.
It must be a mind-numbing decision to do you and others have done...Really pleased it worked out for you allll..............I would have taken the plunge and opted for the Maildives or Cyprus..........but family commitments voted against a move.........
The UK is not too brilliant for some, but now I am used to what I have, and would never fault anyone for choosing overseas..
Much success, bonsoir mon ami, Howard.
 

Oyibo

LE
Please keep in mind I've been here sice 2001 (so don't cut lettuce anymore, eat gut sausage, gizzards and have tucked into tripes for breakfast) so am a bit out of touch and only visit the UK once or twice a year if that, but I'll have a stab at your questions and hope it helps.

What's the cost of living like?

It's more expensive than the U.K. or at least that's what I think. Food seems much cheaper in dear old Blighty but wine is generally cheaper depending on what you buy. Spirits are about the same prix as they are in the UK. Eating out can be quite reasonable, but then again the bill can sometimes take your breath away too...depending on where you are.


What are the pitfalls?

Medical insurance is best described as expensive, ball park figure about €100 if you want most of the bells and whistles...like Dental and Opticians including...the latter really know how to lay it on probably more than the dentists. A friend of a friend was recently was given a quote for some dental work without insurance and it was a whopping €10,000!!! Luckily most Dentists only want to see you once a year and getting in to see one can be tricky, long wait times for an appointment are possible...same for Opticians. My Mrs made one last week and luckily only has to wait until December 23rd of this year.

Along with Income Tax there's also 'Taxe Foncier' & 'Taxe d' Habitation' which are a guess like council tax so vary on where you live and the services you have on hand. I'm in the sticks so it's not so bad, and they are about €120 per month combined. One is far more than the other but I can't remember which way round it is.
Diesel is about €1,30 per Litre, no idea on petrol...but it's usually more.

The bureaucracy can be as bad as it's reported (they excel at it, nay love it..but not the French people only the Govt. types who love to get their own work wrong at your cost) to be and depends on the region you decide to live in. It can also vary from the commune to commune, how efficiant the Mayor is and is in my experience best left to SWMBO to sort out. As an example, applying for citizenship (thanks to the Brexit caper) required copies of all manner of paperwork...not only our marriage certificates, but parents and also death certs all requiring official registered Frenchie translations at €45.00 per document...about €500 for each of us. They said it would take two years and it did take just that, pluse we did everything on time and by the numbers...I think it was 23 months in total.

Never, ever be in a rush for anything. If you like things doing when you want them doing then you will be annoyed very quickly indeed. As an example, if it says a shop will open at 09,00, it won't. Laid back is laid back, don't be in a rush at the checkout, the customer isn't always right, he's usually wrong and that's not over-egging it lol. Walk into a hardware store, don't be surprised not to be asked if you need any help and the country does grind more or less to a halt through the main holiday season when everyone goes on their jollies.


Areas to look at, areas to avoid?

That's the easy one for me, anywhere far away from other Brits...if anything thing stops integration faster, then it has to be living with other Brits. However that said not everyone wants to do that and it's a far simpler option if you are not wishing to go all out froggy and jump in with both feet.

Learn the lingo, it is essential, no need to land speaking like DeGaulle but it does help and you can pick it up along the way, I couldn't speak more than a couple of words in 2001. Listening to french radio and French telly helped a great deal. The local radio being the best, you pick up stuff without realising. I am now B1 level french, which was one grade above the minimum requirement for citizenship....but no way am I fluent in French, way too complicated for my Infantry brain. The LHSgt.Maj. is C1 which I believe is one below the top level, but she's a girly swat and did it at A Level, she wouldn't say she was fluent either...but she isn't far off from what I can tell.


After all of that, it's a great place to live, out here in the sticks it's laid back, no one bothers you much. The French are pretty nosey generally but do know how to keep themselves to themselves when required. Obviously I am painting with a broad brush there, but that's been our experience. Someone touched on rights of passage and things like access to ponds and fruit trees...yes that can be a problem, but there are ways to deter them.

Someone suggested earlier about taking a long term rent...that's what we did...12 months in two rented places while we looked around for the right place...it's a great piece of advice.

My only real regret is not moving here sooner, it's not all been easy, but I'm pleased we stuck with it. I like isolation and this is the place to find it without going too silly. Also very pleased we went down the citizenship route eventually (cheers Brexit for the push) rather than just being a resident, makes life even easier.

Massive thread drift, but is your avatar from 'Survive to Fight'?
 

Oyibo

LE
I have heard that France has plenty of instant sunshine. Force de frappe, or something like that.

The last EU country to have an independent one.
 

Statistics

War Hero
Sister-in-law and her lot bought a Campsite with Bar and Restaurant about 4 years ago, not far from Thiviers in the Dordogne, we go out there a fair bit. It's a lovely part of the world, there is a ton of Brits though! Kids have excellent French now, eldest is doing an apprenticeship in carpentry and their business is doing very well. I've looked at a few places near them, some nice big houses, cheap prices and most need quite a bit of work, but it's a lot of Bang for your Sterling...! Language is key, makes a huge difference.

Brother in law has had few bits of surgery done, was very well looked after and from diagnosis to operation a matter of days not months as it is over here.
 

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