“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

House Hunting France

The last couple of weeks we have visited many properties in France as to see what our options would be for living in France in stead of in the Philippines or the Netherlands.

Initial research showed - the best source for me was French Property - that from a way of living point of view France could be an option. The tax regime for elderly (retired) people is much better than in the Netherlands. Also the rules for reconstruction of your property are much better (easier) than years ago and last but not least property prices - in rural areas - are affordable for my available budget.
In the Netherlands you can't get similar properties for such prices, but in the Philippines you can get even more.

I would like to thank all agents and others of Leggett Immobilier who showed me most of the properties (from 5 to 9 July) and Tony of  Homes in France who also showed us around a whole day (20 July).

Below I have listed the properties - dates, location, price and pictures- we have visited, including some comments. The best three ones I have put on top of the list, the rest in timely order. Note that most prices are negotiable and will end-up 10-20% lower.

We also learned that some - or maybe many, because the reason for sale was not always discussed- properties are being sold because the owner(s) had specific problems with their health and wanted to return to their home country (usually UK) as to being treated there (local treatment seems difficult due to language problems) and/or they wanted to be closer to their family when the end of life seems approaching.

These were also important eye-openers which we have taken into account for our final decision, which I will discuss in more detail in one of the next posts.

Conclusion: All the houses we liked had the same architecture, the French Pavilion, a basement with garage, utility rooms and a second level comprising of the living, kitchen and bedrooms and the entry via a wrap around balcony.

Melle, Deux Sevres, Friday 9 July 2010, price 180.000 euro 

Comment: Our 1st choice overall, it had all, lot of space, basement, oil fired heating, garage, barn, swimming pool, in a nice village, but above budget and sold a few days after our 2nd visit

Louin, Deux Chevres, Tuesday 20 July 2010, price 139.000 euro
Comment: House was perfect, also large garage, in a small town and separate shack and veg garden opposite across the road, but no shops and garden to steep to easy maintain

La Tardiere, Vendee, Friday 9 July 2010, price 130.800 euro 
Comment: Perfect, basement, garage, oil fired heating, well maintained, small bathroom, but rural (3km from small town with shops), and a bit smelly from farm next door, but our favorite before we visited Melle

Sacierges-St. Martin, Indre, Monday 5 July 2010, Price 125.350 euro
Comment: Too rural, much work to do, no garage, but nice view

St. Mathieu, Haute Vienne, Monday 5 July 2010, price 149.950 
Comment: Impressed, nice house and lot and situated along the road, big basement with garage and oil fired heater, some work to do upstairs, this was our preference until the last day of the first week

Pressignac, Charente, Monday 5 July 2010, price 139.950 euro
Comment: Surprizing property, very well maintained, on the hill, nice view, lot of space, basement with garage, extra B&B facility detached, but we didn't get the wow feeling

Near Pressignac, Charente, Monday 5 July 2010, price 150.000 euro 
Comment: When we approached the property we knew already it was not hours, new area with bungalows, next to a cemetery, no vegetation, it looked like a school.

Ruffec, Charente, Tuesday 6 July 2010, price ???
Comment: Good location, basement with garage, but should be rotated 180 degrees (back side is in front)

Ruffec, Charente, Tuesday 6 July 2010, price 130.800 euro
Comment: Unbelievable property, it looked like a museum, upstairs you had to bend going from room to room, it was attached on 3 sides to other properties.

Monpazier, Dordogne, Wednesday 7 July 2010, price 139.520 euro
Comment: Nice location, along the road, but a lot of maintenance required, could be well used for B&B

Genise, Dordogne, Wednesday 7 July 2010, price 141.700 euro
Comment: It looked impressive, but very old inside, lot of maintenance required and we couldn't see the big garage.

Rouillac, Charente Maritime, Thursday 8 July 2010, price 137.000 euro
Comment: An old lady's bungalow with garage, well maintained, garden needs some updating, in a small hamlet. Not our choice.

Rouillac, Charente Maritime, Thursday 8 July 2010, price 165.000 euro
Comment: Nice property, same hamlet, next to a wine factory, a big area and nice view, basement with garage, good for me but too remote for us.



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