Perhaps another idea for you? We moved over here 17 years ago and have no regrets, especially as our two sons followed us out here so we don’t have the emotional pull of family. We have a 3-bedroom house which we ran as a gite, very successfully. We then purchased a block of three apartments which we let on a permanent basis so this gives us an all year round income. We do, however, live in Brittany in a town labelled ‘Petite cite de caractere’, are very close to a 15th century chateau (we can see the chatea from our house), with the Nantes/Brest canal within five minutes walk. We had an average of 40% returns on our gite.
I know this is a very late response! We have traveled a lot around France mostly because my French spouse wants me to see everything, and now we’re looking for a good place to live. Usually we get an Airbnb because they are comfortable, easy to book, consistent, reasonable, and the owners tend not to fuss over us and every little detail of our stay, but some of these also operate as gîtes. If it says “Gîte”, 95% of the time there are English-speaking hosts: British or Nederlandais mostly. They are EVERYWHERE. Literally every village you drive through has at least a couple. I don’t know how they can possibly stay afloat because there just isn’t the demand most of the time. The owners all seem to want to sell and get out! I feel sorry for people who use their time and money to create a nice space for guests that simply don’t appear. I would echo the sentiments of those who ask “Why do you want a to have a gîte?” Check on Airbnb and look at availability in the area where you would envision having a gîte. Then decide if it’s actually worth it. Maybe just have a house with a guest area and invite your friends and family to visit? That might fulfill your desire to host guests? Good luck!
How odd. Overall according to the tourism boards about 75% of gîtes are french owned. I can imagine in areas where there a lot of foreign immigrants that wouldn’t be the case, but in our direct area the foreign ownership is probably no more than 1%.
Having said that, you are absolutely right that you need to do your research as some areas are oversubscribed, whether by AirBnB or gîte as they are basically the same - meublée saisonnière. And above all not see it as a sure fire route to financial peace.
(We generally don’t use airbnb/booking.com as a booking platform as disagree with their policies. And the only time we did try AirbnB it was awful, so we’ll stick to places that are inspected,)
I rest my case.
So sorry your experience with Airbnb was poor, but there are many gîtes that fall into the Airbnb category so maybe you can’t write them all off? It helps to read the reviews…
Here’s my absolute favorite: fabulous space and incredible, warm, generous, intelligent and quite attractive I might add, host.
Check out this awesome Entire house on Airbnb: Wonderful Home in a Perfect Location!, sleeps 5
Thank, but no thanks. Anyway I have no intention of going back to the States - probably for the rest of my life. My objection to AirBnB is the policies and practices of the company, not the individuals who use it. Also applies to Booking.com. Although of course it has been shown that in many areas large numbers of the places offered are not owned by individuals.
And yes for the one AirBnB we tried of course we read the reviews, and checked it out on streetview. We are not stupid. And when we raised the fact that the place did not match the description with AirBnB they did nothing.
So out of all the reviews you read, you were the only one to raise on objection about the place??? Hmmmm.
I like Airbnb, and Booking.com is ok, not great, but ok. You really need to read between the lines sometimes on the reviews as the scores can be inconsistent. I received a 4/5 one time because the guest said the brand new beautiful bathroom smelled like mildew. I think maybe if they had picked up their damp towels instead of stuffing them into the back floor of the linen closet floor and leaving them for several days in July, they might have had a better experience. I do know what you mean about properties being owned and managed by companies rather than individuals and I saw the Netflix documentary about how people are being displaced in London, rents driven up, with residents angry about the constant influx of irresponsible tourists, but I know that Airbnb has, and continues to address many of these issues. Unfortunately, in a capitalist society there is this thing called “restraint of trade” where one can not prevent one entity from doing business in favor of another.
But I digress. When we travel internationally, we prefer to experience the culture of the country and seek accommodations owned and operated by people native to the area rather than foreigners. If we wanted to visit England, we’d definitely look for a gîte. But generally not in France, although there have been wonderful exceptions. I know not everyone feels this way, so it’s nice there are options.
I think the point I was originally trying to make was not that the majority of gîtes are owned by British ex-pats, but I believe a large number of British ex-pats own gîtes and I find it difficult to imagine there is sufficient tourism seeking that type of accommodation. Am I wrong? I hope so because as an Airbnb host, I know the effort and expense it takes to run a successful temporary lodging. Oh, and I wasn’t inviting you to Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Really.
Gîtes don’t exist in the UK. They are a french thing, originally for rural farming communities to be able to earn extra money - a 20th century version of AirBnB if you like. The term is now used more widely for furnished rural holiday rentals, of which there are about 150,000 across France. I really don’t think more than a tiny proportion of those are owned and run by UK natives (I am an immigrant, not an ex-pat by the way). But if you are looking in tourist hotspots favoured by UK natives then perhaps you might get a different impression. And AirBnB is also used to rent their properties by UK natives here - it is no guarantee that it will be owned by a local person.
And France is the most popular tourist destination (or rather it was, let’s see what kind of world we end up with post virus) so if you do your research then a gîte can pay its way, and make a profit. I do believe tho’ that it is probably true that quite a few UK natives didn’t do their homework which has resulted in pockets with too many UK owned ones since they seem to congregate is small patches of France.
Had to look up expat versus immigrant. I guess I fit into the latter category as well, since I moved here with absolutely no intention of moving back, or even visiting as long as that dangerous despot is reigning over the land. God I honestly feel like telling people I’m Canadian. He (and the racist, ignorant, right-wing conservative morons who voted him and his idiocy into office, STILL support him and can’t admit they made a huge mistake), is now more than just a huge embarrassment, he’s a threat to the health and welfare of the entire planet.
I need a drink.
Yes, ex-pat is a bit of a dirty word in our household. Smacks of over-rich colonials living in compounds separated from the natives.
Haha!!! And I think of Ernest Hemingway sitting in sidewalk cafes along the Rive Gauche, trying to shake off his hangover.
He was an emigré!
Went to his house in Key West a couple of years ago.
Yeah…He was an American writer. France can’t claim him anymore than England can as he didn’t stay married to his French wife very long before marrying the British one and moving to England. And then somewhere (?) during the war and then back to the US permanently. I think that puts him in the expat category, at least for a little while? All from Wikipedia…not exactly a scholarly source, I’ll admit.
I can hear him turning in his grave…emigré, not expat!
Visitor. Traveller. Passer-by.
This grave-turning phenomenon gets lots of mention but there is a dearth of reliable research data on it, which interests and has disquieted¶ me.
How prevalent is it, and where does it occur? Is it something that only occurs in the graves of celebrities who carry out the manouevre when their reputations are sullied, their works misquoted, or their achievements subject to careless diminution?
What is the usual manifestation of coffin perturbation? Is it registered on the Richter Scale? Has the sound ever been recorded and what is its characteristic noise? Some have reported a low humming sound of the kind generated by something spinning on its horizontal axis).
I would donate my corpse for post-mortem study if anyone is interested in a properly worked up research project. I could (or what remains that is roll-overable might) be wired up with movement-detection technology, and/or a virtual watch maintained as individuals told disgraceful whoppers about me, or revealed whoppers I’d told to deeply shocked others.
The possibilities for study of this neglected topic are huge. I might consider setting aside a modest amount of my wretched estate to fund someone who would undertake this potentially ground-breaking, earth-shattering venture in my name.
¶this word dedicated to those with an interest in fossilised words from past aeons.
Well my grannie was a celebrity then, as my mother spent most of my teenage years telling my that grannie was spinning in her grave. The vibration obviously got to my mother as she would shout a lot at those moments.
Excellent, excellent, fresh data to be filed under granny-spinning events, sequelae, personal accounts (third hand). Thank you for your input, which will be referenced if you will waive copyright, otherwise held as confidential.
Well take a turn on this:
Hemmingway never immigré, was never an immigrants, and from the evidence, didn’t even like Paris.
So spin on!!!