Het Hurktoilet

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Your (second) house in France

So, you finally came over detesting French toilets. You spent lots of holidays, having fun in Normandy, at the lake of Annecy or some other gorgeous place in France. Now you're sure: this is the place to be, not just for holidays, this is the place to live.

Bread for everybody at a market in Paris.
The French have bread for everybody, here at a market in Paris. Photo C. Stefan / Courtesy Ministère des Affaires Etrangères - Service Photographique
You're right. Lots of people experienced it already. They live (and sometimes even work) in France and they're happy. Even more people are dreaming of living in France, just like you.

Most of them start buying a second home in France, if only because they still work in their home country. They hope too spent as much time as possible in their second home, waiting for the opportunity to say farewell for good. While at home, they have the opportunity to improve their French. This will be necessary, as talking with neighbours is a lot more difficult than shopping at the hypermarché. At home, in most countries the Alliance Française is a good place to learn the language. Apart from that you will meet people in the same circumstances, so you can exchange experiences.
Fact is, after buying a house in France, you will spend lots of time over there. It's too expensive for summer holidays only.

However, you should find a house first. Hunting for a home is the exciting begin of your new life. Now, be prepared. Unlike in some other countries, several real estate agents will try to sell you the same house. Nevertheless, the owner will be happy to sell the house directly. Even solicitors act like real estate agents. So, compare prices...
Of course, you also need to check the technical condition of the houses. In many areas, you should be especially aware of termite problems.

Please always keep in mind living in France is different from having holidays, not to mention working in France. And running a campground? That's not just working, that's working extremely hard from early in the morning till late in the evening. You will need to earn your living for a year in no more than two or three months.

Whatever you're going to do in France, you will meet lots of questions:
- The houses may be cheap, but it's obvious why...
- Buying agricultural terrain to start a camping is mostly not allowed.
- French banks are not eager to lent money to foreigners, neither is your home bank if you need the money for property in France.
- France has its bureaucracy too, mostly if you do not expect it.
- Your car may need a French number.
- You'll have to get two tax services of your back.
- Nice, this large garden, but where do you buy a decent machine lawnmower?

Fellow countrymen in France can extend this list to enormous proportions. Don't let them stop you. Usually, they have solved the problems too.
The problems of buying property and living go well beyond the topic of this website (holidays in France). However, feel free to make use of our English Forum. Also, the links below will be a great help.

Links

French Entree
Compromis de vente
French solicitors
Sollicitors/real estate agents
French Ambassy
Immogo

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