Flirting with France


(Martin Solomon) #1

Hey folks…


Just stumbled upon this great looking site whilst upping my research into buying a french property and also avoiding going outside to work, in what seems to feel like an endless barrage of wind and rain!

My partner and I are currently residing in a coastal village in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and as charming as it is for the three days of summer we get a year, the winters are vey much starting to grate!

So far our research and day dreaming have attracted us to the South West, in particular the Quillan/Limoux areas. I’d love to know if anyone has any knowledge/experience of these areas? Main reasons for the attraction are the obvious lovely climate, not too far from the coast and fairly close to the mountains, we’re both quite active and love outdoorsy stuff like cycling, walking etc... Any hidden draw backs to the area? I’ve read a few things about different weather patterns and in particular the Tramontane wind which can be quite ferocious.

We haven’t got as far as doing any reccies to this part of the country yet but we are planning a trip in the summer to possibly view some properties. If we did eventually take the plunge and commit to buying a property we would probably go for a doer upper (I’m a carpenter and builder so the challenge of a little project is quite appealing). Also I think while the long term goal would be to eventually live there permanently, realistically for financial/work reasons we would have to use the property as a holiday home for ourselves and to rent out.

Any recommendations or useful nuggets of information would be very much appreciated… Looking forward to chatting with you all and thanks in advance!

Cheers, Martin

(Martin Solomon) #2

Thanks for all the help and info guys... Very much appreciated! Planned our trip for July so hopefully get to see some properties and a bit of le tour! Maybe Wales will have won the euros by then too!!


(Barbara Deane) #3

And where I am S W France near St Emilion and Libourne there seems to be ample work for

carpenters and builders and I here that the property market is getting fairly lively!

We are on the edge of 33 and 24 and from what I hear from contacts and friends renting out

accom and B and B is not just about Aug.

It all depends on you and how you do it!


(Andrew Hearne) #4

looks like i'm here to stay... in this part of france that is ;-)


(Andrew Hearne) #5

The cycling's good throughout the midi-pyrénées, P-O, elsewhere too so you'll be spoilt for choice, nice climbs around Quillan, my old club spent a week there, I did a different week's training with them based in Rosas (better winter training weather!). We also did a weekend around Tarascon finishing with the plateau de Beille which is a great climb. As far as cycling goes - it's best to stay just out of the mountains to be able to cycle year round (if that's what you're after) so don't go any further up than the valley than Quillan ;-)

As for the tour, Alez Geniez (FDJ) is one of my OH's distant cousins and as of last year he organises a good autumn ride in the Aveyron, then you've got the Audoise and the Jalabert closer to Quillan plus others too ;-)

and for the record, it's an area I like too and I'd have happily settles around Limoux but I met my OH whilst working in the Aveyron/Cantal, she's aveyronnaise, and our business/shop is here in the Tarn so looks like I'm here to stay!


(Andrew Hearne) #6

it's a limited company (société à responsabilité limitée) ;-)


(Lis Steeden) #7

Well, it does sound a bit like us, not completely, I know, though we bought an apartment locally some years ago, and we rent this out in the summer, as we were not ready to give up work…both of us, so it gave us a base. My husband owed up last year, saying that he had hoped that the apartment would be enough, and that I had forgotten all about my B&B dream…nooo way…

We only came in our holidays and looked and finally found our ok’d house in the Autumn 2013. Moved in end of February 2014. My hubby still works in the UK, to Jeff me in the lifestyle I gave become acostomed to, he says, but until thing have been done in this ok’d house,mhe’ll keep working, he says. So it’s a one woman and dog band here most of the time…

Anyway, whatever you decide…good luck :wink:


(Martin Solomon) #8

He Suzanne... If we make the move you'll always have a good carpenter here to call on! What does SARL stand for? Good luck with the rest of the renovation!


(Martin Solomon) #9

Hey Chris... Thanks for the info. The good cycling is what initially drew us to that region. We're currently planning our trip to accommodate house hunting and le tour! We'll be sure to check out Aux Quatre Salsons... Cheers.


(Martin Solomon) #10

Hey Laurence... That's sound advice and very much what we're thinking. We can't really make a permanent move at the moment so getting somewhere to rent out and using it ourselves as much as we can will ease us in gradually. Hopefully! Cheers...


(Martin Solomon) #11

Hey Lis... Thanks for the advice but unfortunately we can't really do that. My partner is a bit less gung ho than me about the whole 'plan' and she currently holds a pretty decent job so moving lock, stock and barrel is a bit out of the question. Therefore we'd be looking to get a place to rent out and for our own use 3-4 times a year before moving permanently...


(Martin Solomon) #12

Hey Peter... Good to know it's a nice area and thanks for pointing me in the direction of Mr Sausage!


(Suzanne Parker) #13

Hi Chris,

I'm knee-deep in a renovation here, and there have been many challenges, as always with these things. If you're buying materials yourself, to apply yourself, perhaps it's not as expensive, but bring someone else in who buys the materials (as every SARL insists on doing), and it certainly is.

Sounds like you've had good experiences - good to hear.


(Chris Lawton) #14

Suzanne, I'm interested in your comment that building materials and renovation are more expensive than in UK. I've read that a number of times befroe. But I haven't found that to be the case on the whole (although painting/decorating is an exception). If anything, I'd say it's cheaper here!


(Chris Lawton) #15

No such place in France as a wind-free zone but Limoux and Quillan are relatively protected. Delightful part of the world and brilliant for cycling (I actually live in the southern Tarn about 1 1/2 hours from Quillan but our bike club had a great 5 days based in Q last year). Also, if your French isn't brillaint, there are lots of Brits livinbg round there. There is a great B & B in Axat (10 minutes south of Quillan) if you need a base while looking around. Run by English, called Aux Quatre Saisons. http://www.sudfrancechambresdhotes.com/ Bonne chance!


(Laurence Hayes) #16

hi,

just a thought - but think about getting somewhere with an active holiday let market. Letting out our Dordogne property for just August alone pays pays our annual mortgage. And it will fund trips and holidays back to the UK.


(Lis Steeden) #17

Hi Martin…whatever you do, before deciding to buy, rent and do a lot of driving around the area that attracts you, see a lot of properties…that way if you find, that after all the area was not for you, then you can move on! Selling property in France is Seldom easy, it can take years!

Good luck whatever you decide…greetings from sunny mild Privence… :wink:


(Peter Bird) #18

Nice area Martin and I usually stop off in Quillan for a meal when passing en route to Perpignan. The saturday morning market is good and the English sausage maker on the doorstep is a big plus !!

http://www.mistersaucisse.fr/


(Martin Solomon) #19

Hey Andrew...

Glad to know that the places on our list aren't in the "wind tunnel"... I think where we currently live has to be up there as one of the windiest places on the planet!


(Martin Solomon) #20

Hi Suzanne…

Thanks very much for the info.
Our French is pretty limited but we’re fully prepared to immerse ourselves as much as we can and learn the lingo. Good to know that it’s not hard to find people to help if we decided to rent out for the first couple of years.
Cheers