Offer accepted - the admin fun begins! Advice?

Thanks Mark - good tip. I’m in danger of being ‘too English’ about things and worrying about bothering them too much with stuff, but I will need to get over that :slight_smile:

A little way north of Albi

Go on, which village/lieu dit… My business is in Carmaux and i live in Mirandol :wink:

Montirat commune - what’s Carmaux like? We drove through and looks like it has a range of functional facilities…what business are you in?

Montirat, know it well. I run and own a tabac in Carmaux (le jean Guillaume, place Gambetta). Carmaux has pretty much everything you’ll need but it’s a bit “spécial”, Albi for more choice and nicer, bigger town.

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I very much agree with @Mark on that.

The rates advertised by alternative suppliers are subject to drastic revision - upwards - and also changes in terms of service. To offer lower prices than Orange or EDF they have to cut corners somewhere and they do.

Resident smiling Aussie @toryroo can vouch for that. Read all about it here WTF!? Just had this email from Mint Energie. I had been tempted by Mint Energy myself, till I read that.

I got signed up 3 months ago, d/d details and all, with an ISP for fibre when fibre will not available in my locality till June this year. Orange, however, consistently told the truth on this - ADSL only to my house. When the ISP jibbed at me cancelling the contract I offered to see them in court for misrepresentation. They bowed the knee.

Orange own all the phone/internet infrastructure. Their rates are not the cheapest - especially when compared to prices in UK - I’d say the FR are about 5 years behind in terms of price levels. But I have had excellent service from the Eng lang c/s. Well worth the premium.

Back to lekky. EDF are the Big Daddy of lekky. Enedis, their brother wearing the overalls and toting the spanners, deals with the hardware side. Once again, I have found the Eng lang c/s of EDF to be a godsend and when things go awry with Enedis - rdv’s to install Linky, for example, the Eng lang c/s of EDF will help sort things with Enedis. This is my experience.

One is not made to feel like an ignorant Anglo - is strictly business. If I had had to deal with the issues I have had in French only, I’d have had a very hard time - and my day-to-day FR is not too bad, except on the phone.

I would say the same about insurance. You will find constant references here to insurance broker @fabien in the threads concerning insurances of every sort. Fabien and his team deal in English and the saving in any level of anxiety is worth gold when it comes to insurances. Fabien’s policies are competitive, as well as being made “as simple as Frenchly possible”.

Someone on this forum has been there and done it. My experience is that help is plentiful and willingly offered. You will survive France and love it!


After yesterday’s election results we might have bought a house in the the next village along rather than this one! But overall don’t think we would have done anything major differently. Thoughts on starting out:

Go gently with your neighbours, and feel your way carefully. Too much instant bonhomie can be a total turn-off. So smily, polite and bonjour at all times, but don’t go over the top with wild enthusiasm. Remember you might have bought as a second home the house their kids couldn’t afford.

Keep all paper, and sort out a scanner/printer and filing system straight away - as you won’t do it later! Even as second home owners it is always useful in France to have a paper and electronic dossier to hand - ID documents, attestation de domicile, etc etc.

We have a (now very tatty) notebook which is a collection of measurements, reminders that Madame X is the grandmother of Georges Y, numbers, addresses of shops we want to visit next time we are in X and so on. As you amble around vide greniers and brocantes it is useful to know the size of that alcove that needs a table! It’s now also a rather nice reminder of things.

And patience!! You will need it.


The one obvious thing no-one has mentioned yet - if you don’t have one already, get a French bank account. Credit Agricole have Britline, with an English speaking front end (and very French heart).

We bought in Feb, having our first week here this week. So much to do, but that’s expected. I somewhat wish we had required the house to be empty instead of taking the ornate, heavy furniture, but it will be great.

Welcome to France. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’d say not. I pay €17 per month. For that,I get 75/25 mbps internet (that’s measured, not promised), all calls to landline and mobile in France and all of Europe and the UK included. I also get roaming calls whilst in the UK to UK or France mobile or landline. All in. You can’t get that in the UK for three times the price.
Edit: Sorry, that’s €18 per month.
Edit2: Getting confused. Had a few glasses of my excellent home made ginger wine. It’s the colour of piss after a night out but lovely. The roaming is for my mobile, for which I pay €8 per month for French, EU and UK landline and mobile calls with free roaming calls.

One very important thing to remember is that as a second home owner you are not “domiciled”. This comes with making France your principal residence.
You would need to be on the INSEE database & that requires you to be put on it as a result of making your annual income tax declaration here & getting a carte Vitale etc.
When asked to show proof of domicile (such as an EDF bill) when you are not can be interpreted as fraud should a later check be made. It is accepted on the basis that people know the difference between “domicile” & “address”.

How exciting - hope it’s everything you planned when you were buying!

Another gold-plated tip. You really do need to get a ‘secretariat’ organised from the word ‘go’ as @JaneJones mentioned.

The very first thing I did when I signed my tenancy contract back in Nov '20 [getting feet under table before 01/01/2022] was to buy a multi-function gizmo. I had the experience of monumental Spanish bureaucracy/‘docamenti’ to go on and I found France was even more so, which I found most surprising. Pieces of paper arrive which say ‘retain this for X years’.

Files, page dividers, paper for the printer - you will be surprised at how much of this side of life in FR will feature. And photos - record everything on jpg.

Life in FR impossible without. And to go along with it, check out online ‘banks’ like Revolut for [mostly] free, instant, FX at the interbank rate [except w/e’s]. Don’t transfer via your UK ‘retail’ bank. Dreadful rates, high costs…

I pay iD Mobile £7 p.m. for the same. What ISP is giving you that excellent rate?

Its RED. Its also a monthly contract that can’t be increased, so I can move without penalty with 1 months notice. It uses an IP phone via a normal phone socket on the router and so we don’t have to pay the Orange line rental. It was originally €15 per month for the internet plus all calls within France. I was offered international calls to lots of countries including UK plus 10GB data for an extra €3.

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Another tip. If not already fitted, get a towbar fitted to your car or fit one yourself and buy a trailer. (preferably a tandem.)


…another tip we wished we had know was when you get a lttle plaque made for your letter box, make sure its got both your names on and clearly shows your maiden name. Twice now important letters to my wife have not been delivered because they were addressed to her maiden name… and tip 2 have all your services in joint names. You never know when you might both need to show residency.


Thanks Emma. It’s going to be a lot of work, but worth it in the end. Despite some design flaws, the house is lovely and the area beautiful. It was great getting up this morning and looking across the misty valley at the rising sun.

Following up @captainendeavour comments about documents, we left our attestation of purchase behind this trip. I had planned to take a lot of stuff to the dechetterie, but they require the attestation as proof of living in the area (along with car registration document - carte gris - which I did bring). 2 small kitchen range cookers and an electric oven are now going to be stored in our cellars until next trip.

We will also be making a name plate for the mailbox. :stuck_out_tongue::roll_eyes:

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I’ve never had one, been well over 5 years now :see_no_evil::laughing: Met the postie early on and introduced myself and that was enough, he sees me occasionally walking the dog on the other side of the village and yells my name and passes me the post through the van window so I think I’m pretty infamous at this point, even when my absent minded mother sends things and forgets to put my name or half the address on things there’s never an issue having no name on the box. Helps that unlike you @Ancient_Mariner I’m here every day though I guess.


We have one replacement postie who complains that our box is not “au normes”, but all the regulars are fine with our home made box and wobbly hand painted names. And go the extra mile to make sure we get stuff. A while back we went away for three weeks and forgot to lock front door :scream:. We came back to find a large parcel in the front hall, postie didn’t want to leave it outside in the rain! A great advantage of of living in a teeny tiny place.


I had similar myself and found it so adorable! He delivered some books, well, was going to, and knew we were away for a few more days so kept hold of them, (in his van, at home, I’ve no idea and french post men and women seem to have more power and authority than the government and army put together so I didn’t ask lol) and delivered them the first day when we were back saying they’d had thunderstorms so he didn’t want to put them in the box in case they were ruined, which was lovely!