Help please - the realities of living in France

(Wendy Cooper Wolfe) #110

I did visit Saint Foy last September when hanging around for a viewing in Le Fliex!

(Barbara Deane) #111

ah but I am not in St Foy.

(Wendy Cooper Wolfe) #112

Apologies, nice area though.

(Barbara Deane) #113

not a problem at all.

(John Wellum) #114

We spend our time between the UK (>190 days), France and Spain. We love France and have been visiting France for more than 30 years. Over those 30 years we have seen France become more and more expensive. There was a noticeable increase in prices when the EU members adopted the euro. Wine is cheaper and better quality but many other staples are more expensive. White goods generally cost the same. As always shop around and compare prices. We have found tradesmen expensive and project costs increase if the artisan restricts their activity to their trade. (For example, we have had new windows fitted and there is a large gap (5 cm between the frame and the wall. It is not the meunisiers job to fill the gap, but the masons.)
The cost of living is cheaper in Spain. We find the spanish very welcoming - our neighbours water our external plants when we are away and are always pleased to see us when we return.Advertised house prices can seem expensive, but have a budget be ready to bargain. There are houses in the village that have been on the market for many years and offers could be acceptable. We are finding that tradesmen’s prices are reasonable. But, the best thing about Spain is the national complaint system. It applies to solicitors, it applies to your local petrol station. If you have a complaint that you cannot resolve with the service provider then you make your complaint to a central government department. Result, a genuine focus by retailers on providing customer service and no complaints. p.s We have found that most spanish drivers are very considerate, pedestrians expect cars to stop at Zebra crossings. But, Spain can be very hot in the summer.
You are doing your homework. I agree with the encouragement to learn some french. You will be required to demonstrate some knowledge of french when you apply for residency. Spend as much time as you can - spread over the year so you understand the weather - but you need 190 days in the UK to remain UK tax resident until you are ready to cross the channel permanently.

(David Martin) #115

That’s the beauty of Europe John, despite the EU individual countries retain their individuality and anyone considering moving away from Britain needs to weigh up the pros and cons of each country. Nowhere is perfect.
You don’t, at present, need to be able to speak French to be a resident that happens as soon as you move here intending to stay.

(Barbara Deane) #116

Yes David knowing French has been mentioned rather a lot recently!

(David Martin) #117

Barbara, I think you have misunderstood my post. I wasn’t saying that speaking French happened as soon as you planted yourself here, I was saying that you were a residentas soon as you arrived intending to stay. Residency wasn’t something that needed a certain level of French. .

(Barbara Deane) #118

David I did read what you said.
But lets not disagree about learning languages let us help
T May find a way to deal with Mr P.

(David Martin) #119

In that case I was just correcting a point that John made in his post where he suggested that residency depended on a certain level of French. :slight_smile: