Post Brexit is it wise to buy a house in France?

Thinking of getting out of UK and buying a house in France. Is it a good time and what are the things I need to consider?

Brexit really makes little difference, all is still possible but it just requires more planning and paperwork and adequate finances.

Personally I would say do not move if you feel pushed out of the UK. Only do so if you feel pulled to live here.

If you are British there are only four ways to get a visa to move here

  • have enough money (approx €1400/month) and promise not to work. Which includes no remote work for employer in UK

  • find a French based employer who is prepared to do the necessary to get you a work permit. Not easy as they have to show no European could do the job)

  • set up a self-employed business which will need a business plan to be accepted by Ministry of the Interior via local préfecture of where you plan to be based. A common route, but the hiccup is that your qualifications may no longer be accepted here.

  • marry a French person

To apply for the visa you also need health insurance and an address.


and, IIRC, the application has to be made before you emigrate…

As for getting the Visa in place, you might find the link in the top bar “VISA/CdS” helpful. Check it out.

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I’ve seen that you suggested Fabien before for visas, but out of curiosity what can he offer apart from the necessary health insurance?

Check the link out - it explains the service provided there.
Do you have a problem with recommendations provided by the owners of SF?
Take it up with @james or @ cat if you do, not me.

I just wondered if you have direct experience since you seemed to be recommending that people click on the link (different from Cat/James agreeing to put up the link). Handholding is a completely unregulated and unqualified occupation here and there are many, many horror stories of paid handholders getting it wrong.

I have a lot of time for Fabien, who a fully qualified professional, and based on my own experience am happy to recommend him. And he can of course promote what he wants. However it seems odd for us to promote this unqualified and unregulated handholding service without any knowledge whatsoever.

I can’t see a Siret, list of staff, any hint of experience - all that sort of thing.

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Thanks for the prompt advice - we love France so not just to exit UK. The fourth option you suggest may be a little more difficult but I will look into the other 3.
Merci ,Jane


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The wisdom of doing anything depends on your specific situation, does it not. How good a match it is with other aspects of your life, your aspirations, your attitude to risk taking etc. What would be wise or even a self evidence for one person, would be a disaster for another.

I think a move like this is about weighing up what you stand to lose by moving, versus what you stand to gain by moving. In particular you have to do your homework and be realistic about your potential gains and the hurdles you will have to negotiate in order to achieve them.
That is what we did many years ago.

I am sorry if that sounds pretentious garbage, reading it back I realise it is the sort of thing I say to my daughters and they roll their eyes at me.


Not garbage, but wisdom. And probably for @Ray_Harris very sound wisdom, given that he himself uses the word “wise” in his title

We, on the other hand, decided on the spur of the moment. One moment looking for a retirement home in the West Country and the next, buying a 300+ year old house in SW France, much to the astonishment of our friends.
We were anything but “wise”. We leapt before we looked and are still here fifteen years on. I admit, prebrexit and with the euro at 1.45 it was a lot easier for us than it is today.


I do think it is different though when you have served your time in the workplace and thrown off the yoke and are in a position to follow your dreams. By that stage most people have got to know themselves pretty well and know what is right(if not necessarily wise) for them. If you cannot cast care to the wind and follow your gut feeling then, when will you get another chance.

For some reason, I suppose because no mention was made of retirement, I assumed that Ray Harris is not in that happy position yet.

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Or buy an existing business - eg. a house with a gite or gites that already generate 17,000€ a year (of less if you’re only topping up other income).

As others have said, it’s by no means impossible - just substantially more difficult, especially if you need to work!

Feel free to provide any information about your circs: that may help any advice to be more focused.

My perception as someone who bought this time last year is that house prices have been going up based on my idle curiosity looking at immobiliers sites. If cost is a major factor then pick your area carefully.

Are you a fluent speaker, a regular visitor, do you know where you want to move to? There are things I might have done differently in retrospect, but as they say, experience is something you acquire just after you need it. We’re not resident in France yet.

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It may be only because I have moved countries so many times that I don’t see it as either a great obstacle nor an irreversible crossing of the Rubicon.

A major thing is that moving costs money so it is important to know beforehand that you can cover all those costs. There is a fair amount of bureaucracy in France but nothing that lots of people find too impossible every year. Even Brits, post Brexit!

The only consideration I can envisage is that generally, in France the property values do not escalate at the rate they do in UK, depending on where. This, even though UK is predicted to endure a ‘correction’. But then, the home you buy in France can provide years of joy and a comfortable base for discovering an enormous and diverse country and culture. So, investment may not be the first priority.

At the end of the day I suppose you could say to yourself, after having done the maths, do you want to live or merely exist?


Not any more. You can only get a visa to run professional gîtes, ie LMP not LMNP. They must have a turnover above €23,000 and each business must be self-reliant. So you can’t get a visa that allows you to work with a gîte that turns over €11,500 and a cleaning business that also turns over that amount.

Pre-pre-Brexit many people came over with a small AE business like a gîte that only earned a few €00, but gave them access to health cover etc for very small cotisations. No more.

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This is normal, we don’t sell hand holding services directly. We’re basically recommending people based on the experience we’ve had working with almost a thousand visa applications so far as some of our customers have used hand holders or immigration lawyers so we’re happy to share the details of the ones who have been particular good from experience although you are correct to assume this is an unregulated business hence why we only share details and focus on the insurance bit which is our core market/target :wink:


Would strongly disagree with the statement that “Brexit really makes little difference”(the clue is that it was then backed up with a list of requirements ,none of which were necessary before Brexit!Unfortunately,as a direct result of the UK leaving the EU,if you decide to move to France now you will be treated as a third country citizen,same as people from any other country outside the EU,you no longer have any rights to healthcare etc,etc,all the things that you would have previously been entitled to as an EU citizen have gone.I would say living in France as a non EU citizen is very different to living in France as an EU citizen,sorry to say,but in my opinion i would proceed with caution.


I agree with you but I also disagree with you.
Since Brexit, the requirements such as having somewhere to live, having health insurance, having sufficient money to live on or having a viable means of earning a living, have been formalized.
Before Brexit, these things were not formalized and monitored but they were still pretty much necessary to have in place if you wished to make a success of the move, and in fact some of them are conditions of freedom of movement even though that was not enforced either.
I do not think it is true that non EU citizens have no right to healthcare. I think they have exactly the same rights as any resident?
So for retirees or early retirees I think that very little has actually changed although there is more paperwork now.
For workers of course it is rather different picture, the significant right that has been lost is the right to work, also the recognition of qualifications.


wasn’t that ever thus pre-brexit too?

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