Many thanks to all for your contributions. It certainly seems like some of you have learned the hard way! I’m happy to benefit from your experiences. I appreciate the reality check nature of your posts and take your points.
Apologies for my first post which was quite lazy of me. I was rather vague and made us sound very naïve, dreaming of Never-never-land! I didn’t expect to get any responses, I was just saying hello for posterity. It’s nice to join such a thriving, lively forum!
My wife and I are in our late 30’s and have a 1 year old son. We do of course realise we would need an income to live on, never mind to renovate a property within in our price range. Just the mere mention of growing veggies and I get labelled as a dreamer!! In our case it’s quite the opposite, my dad’s a farmer and I’m a qualified bumpkin so growing stuff has always just been normal for me, like doing your washing or cleaning the windows. It’s really not a problem. Some things can’t be bartered with a bunch of carrots though sadly so yes we’ll need to earn.
I’m almost certain we will end up self employed, running a small business or two to earn our cents. We’re enterprising folk and know how to get by. Our motives for wanting to move to France are two-fold: adventure and to be mortgage free. Nothing grand, we’re not looking to run the greatest gîte the world has ever seen or start a unicorn sanctuary or anything like that. I’ll be interested to hear peoples experiences setting up a business in France if anyone has any tips?
With regards to budgets, we can only spend what we have and in my experience no matter the figure, it’s never ever quite enough… We’ll have to cut our cloth accordingly and do our best to cope. I take note of the cost of building materials though, that’s very important. Is that across the board, trade and retail? We might have to go for the “rustic” look… I will indeed do all renovation work myself. Not for the first time.
We’re mulling over various options, which all involve freeing up capital by selling our UK home. Then we might rent in the UK and continue to earn while looking for a property in France, visiting as often as possible (I’m self employed so I can time off without a problem, other than not getting paid of course haha!). Once purchased we can renovate over time, topping up the piggy bank as needed with work in the UK, figure out the local situation and plan how to make a living in France, visit for holidays and then move in when we’re ready. We’ll see.