It's Finally Happened - We've Received An Offer! What Do We Do Now? SFN Help Needed

Hi everyone! Sincere apologies for the lack of contribution to this group. The horrendous work life balance that we are striving to escape has totally engulfed us. But out of the blue this week …OMG! It’s finally happened. After 11 months on the market, we’ve received - and accepted an offer on our UK house. In fact, not one but two! Talk about buses…Our new life is set to begin!

With this news came a wave of delight, fear, panic and calm (all blended together). Also the realization that we need to get our act together - quickly. Assuming everything goes smoothly, we are fortunate that our buyers have nothing to sell, we could be starting our new lives in our beautiful French home within 3 months!!!

Aside from the logistics of the physical move of effects across the channel we so many other things to consider. Due to the state of the property market our proposed move has always felt like an open-open-ended pipe dream. We thought we would deal with the intricacies of our transition to French living “when the time came”. Well it has, and to say we feel unprepared is an understatement.

Questions are racing through our minds. What should our residential status be? Where do we keep our money? Prescriptions, car insurance, etc etc. How do we quit work and work our 4 weeks notice without a house to live in? Do we even bother to work the notice (although we hate the jobs we do have some sense of loyalty!). All of the above are nice predicaments to have given that our dream is about to begin, but concerning nevertheless.

Initially my gut feeling is to go with Maison Secondaire status using my parents address as a UK base whilst we take stock of our situation.

This is where we call on the SFN’Sbroad base of expertise and knowledge! What did you do? How did you guys prioritise?

No share is a bad share and we await your contributions please! Not too long, we might only have 3 months!

Thanks in advance of your contributions :slight_smile:

Thank you Melissa,

It depends whether you spend over six months of the year in France or UK as to where you are tax resident. If you become tax resident in France because you live here then sell your home in the UK then in theory you are selling a 2nd home. If you were in the process of selling that UK home and sold it within say 9 months there would probably be no questions asked but a year later may be pushing it. The same capital gain 22 year rule (or whatever it is at the time!) applies. As far as they UK is concerned they would regard it as your primary residence (no capital gains tax) for 2 years while it is being let (if it is) and you may get away with another year but after that they will hit you for capital gains if you sell. These are not facts just my knowledge so please search through the internet for answers or seek advice as I have done. We went back to re establish residency in the UK to sell our house after letting it for two years.


Please explain what you mean about selling your English house and French tax man having a shAre? I have just bought a house in France by re-mortgaging my uk house with an intent to sell the uk house in two years if all goes well in France (to allow me to develop French house)… Would I have to pay tax to France and how is it calculated?

Congratulations on the sale. We have recently (1st May) moved full time to France having had a house here for several years, and also had a longish wait to sell a UK property.

I would echo the points made that, depending on your financial position, it is essential to understand the differences between the UK and French tax systems and arrange your affairs accordingly. There are many things that are better done while being UK resident. The question of tax residence is one of fact, and while if you have tow residences and so arrange your time in each country you can control where you are tax resident, merely using someone else's UK address will not do so.

We have always taken the view that if we want to live in France then we should understand the systems and abide by French laws and pay French taxes, which are overall unlikely to be higher than UK ones (assuming things are properly organised) and may well be less. As someone else has said, assurance vies are excellent "wrappers" for savings in France but are better set up before you move if possible. Generally UK "wrappers" such as PEPS and ISAs are ineffective in France.

We have learnt that if there are two ways of doing things or expressing ideas or anything else - the UK will do one and the French the other. Neither is better - they are just different.

All the emotions you are experiencing are perfectly normal, after months of waiting its all happening at once. You are in a similar situation we were 3 years ago we had a completion date, gave in our notices at work and organised a removal guy who came and had a look gave a price which we excepted and started to accumulate boxes packing and labeling everything all the time going to work during the day exhausting then the completion date was put back October then November finally December 10 2010 so living in a warehouse full of packing cases the removal guy turned up on the 9 December just as i was turning down a job offer on the phone my old boss had rang to try to persuade me to return, loaded everything into the removal lorry ,that night we went out for a final meal with friends and slept on the floor on a blow up mattress as all the furniture was crossing the channel or at least we thought but that's another story Friday the 10 December we handed the keys over loaded our 4 dogs and dads budgie we inherited when he died into our van and left

The completion date is the key can you get one to coincide with the finish of your notice or a few days later if so then you have a time table to work to,the solicitor wont be finished overnight with the paperwork so you should have plenty of time. You require your S1 they are being stopped but you should be able to get one ring Newcastle if you havent already done so.Also financial advice if you have a large sum of money leave it in the uk or bring it over, your call but get advice you want to lessen any tax impact also giving a uk address when resident in France could throw up complications, there are advisers lurking on here who are far better at giving useful advice and know the French system, will you remain on the UK tax system or change to the French i am financially better off on the French, double taxation form from the UK if so. First though get over here sit down with a cup of tea and take stock

Well I am amongst the vines...

Happy to tell you more.

A Friend of mine is selling a one bedroom house river view but not on river

and she has a small manageable garden.


no agents.

BEEN here 33890

for more than 6 years and keep talking about downsizing and going somewhere

else.....BUT it is lovely here.

ask me more?

You are never to old for an adventure we were 62 and 53 no regrets at all though its not been plain sailing , no doubt you will go through all the feelings of elation, worry are we doing the right thing and excitement that the dream is about to happen, we had all those, leaving the house in Stoke on Trent i had lived in for 40 years without ever looking back it wasnt until we arrived at Dover and boarded the ferry it really hit me, this is it myself my wife our 4 dogs and a budgie we inherited when my dad passed away all starting our new life

Please make sure that if you want to take out an Assurance Vie to take care of your savings, that you do so before leaving UK, as this will give you a distinct advantage.

Good luck with the new adventure.

FANTASTIC!!!!! See you soon?

So excited had to share my news with anybody who cares to read. Today have had an offer which we have accepted from a couple who are in a position to actually move and buy having sold their own house nor do they have to find a mortgage. I am sure their buyers will , so not sure of the length of the chain as yet. We have longed for this day and had really given up, Just living in limbo unable to do anything here or there Now we can actually move on in or new adventure even though we are 56 and 59 respectively Our sons are amazed you can have an adventure at our age but are 100% behind us. So hopefully here we go SOON

Colette n` Chris White

PS Where is Trehane these these days how are your plans coming along


I moved myself from our house in the home counties last year after having the french house for 10 years prior, I am going back to england with my luton van for the last time in July, if you need a van and driver contact me, not sure where you are , I am in Dept 79 near Niort


simon Othen

Just looked it up! It's great!

Hi Rob,

If you want to discuss advertising with us, let me know and we can arrange a time to chat.

Kind regards


Congratulations on the impending sale of the house! You are getting some good advice here. If you haven't already done so, start assembling all the documents you will/might need - birth certificates, marriage certificate (if previously married/divorced, include those), check your driving licences and passports for expiry dates. If you receive bank statements on line, get your bank(s) to send you hard copies, just in case you are asked for originals. Then set yourself up for a scanning session, and scan each document, save as PDF. Using gmail or any email service you can access on line, send the PDFs to yourself, just in case of any emergency or loss.

You may get asked for a traduction assermenté. The majority of SFNers believe that fonctionnaires are wrong to request these, but if you do come up against an intractable one (as I did), you can get these translations done. There are a couple of members who offer this - Sarah Wafflard (who is an SFN member) did ours, so I can happily recommend her.

When we left Ireland, we brought with us our house phones, the modem and most importantly, our little HP Photosmart printer/scanner/copier.

If you have time, do read through earlier discussions (as has been suggested here). Here's one to get you started:

Hi Trehane,

I sense you are really looking forward to this move, and so you should be. You are rightly sounding out as many views as possible, but I would caution you that you will get some 'iffy' ideas this way. You need to sort out the wheat from the chaff! I recommend that you get the help of a professional group of advisers who will sit down with you and thrash out every aspect of your current and future requirements and produce a free report for you to act on or not, as you choose. I didn't think advertising was allowed here,(though TOR FX seem to get away with it), so if you ask James, I'm sure he'll be able to recommend someone. All the best, Rob

Sarah - I use Peppa Pig, fantastic simple day to day language and family sayings which I pick up whilst keeping the kids entertained on rainy days (of which we've had a lot recently)

try stuart collins insurance which is AXA - they do a year round green card policy for a UK plated car in Europe as long as car is in the UK 1 day a year.

Just to clarify John's remark: if one of your household is over 60 and your household is under the income threshold, you do not pay have to pay Taxe d'Habitation. This is possible if you let a UK house and live off the rent, or sell and bank the money from a UK property before you arrive in France and live off the income staying under the threshold for that tax year.

We moved three years ago after buying our house in 2003 having had various setbacks stopping us from moving earlier, we finally did it in 2010 going through all the emotions as yourself elation, trepidation, oh hell what do we do now, have we done the right thing. I had been made redundant 3 months earlier at the age of 62 my wife was at work at the local school they were very good about it telling her just finish when you need to they had known about the impending move for some time. Having 4 dogs we already had a transit van so hired a trailer for the overspill our removal guy couldn’t fit in, leaving the car at my daughters house to be collected later we left England without looking back. Three years on no regrets, having heard all the horror stories of French bureaucracy we haven’t experience any of the problems others have, our Carte Vital came without a hitch on the French side though the uk Department had me married to a girl in Bristol they sorted that out blaming me for the mix up, we registered our uk car here far cheaper than buying a French car and driving doesn’t pose a problem, beware giving an incorrect address to the DVLA carries grave consequences I know lots do it giving a relations uk address but in the event of a serious accident it really hits the fan, so described by an employee of the DVLA, as for living under the radar I ask why, you may loose out especially on your tax habitation, we lived on the proceeds of the house sale and savings until I reached 65 and my pensions started classed as no income so didn’t pay tax, my wife is 9 years younger so not eligible for her pension yet means we don’t pay Tax Habitation saving 700€ per year