What happened to French gites?

I was talking to some older family members about gites they were saying when they were traveling around France in the 60s too 80s that finding a cheap gites was no problem and the standards where not big some times not even hot water even a stamped dirt floor and cheap way too see the country but I have a hard time finding dose places now days it seems that the standards of what people expect is totally different now days most places now days looks like some upper class hotels do anybody know when it all changed ?

Around 1995…

A lot of them were owned by elderly people who didn’t want to spend any money on them and didn’t really bother with the paperwork. And it was an era when Gîtes de France were pretty relaxed about requirements and just accepted anything. Or you could go to local Marie or bar and people would tell you who to ask.

We used to stay in lots of them!

They were cheap, sure, but also meant owners didn’t earn much from them. Many were owned by elderly people who didn’t earn enough to pay tax anyway and ignored other requirements, and they have now gone. So it’s just not worthwhile any more.

There’s a very famous - and I imagine wealthy - architect near us (Jean-Pierre Le BAIL) who lives in a traditional Breton house retaining its compressed dirt floors - it is, he maintains, a perfectly practical option…

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As long as the ventilation is ok and you have sorted out rising water then they can be lovely if built correctly… our neighbours opposite (who are a bit special) still have earth and it is absolutely not lovely and their house is damp and stinks of damp.

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Don’t hold back!

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I Do se allot of gites that is not renting out the hole summer too and owners that don’t go down in price

Our gite is a home away from home.
A mixture of antique family furniture and modern beds and equipment.
We have a heated pool and fabulous views as well. We also give seasonal produce from our garden to our guests and a welcome pack. there are no extras, the price is the price.
We already have nine weeks booked, but how many more we will have or if they turn up is, at the moment, in the lap of the gods.
It is not difficult to achieve this, but many people put their worn out stuff into their gites.
We stayed at a French farm gite when we were house hunting and you could read through the towels!

Are people’s demands bigger today? Different types of people too maybe that’s what friends are saying less the culture nature types more the same people that are going too Spain every year

Isn’t it simply economics - offer a better quality gite so you can charge more whilst still obtaining a good level of occupancy.

I think that’s what I was trying to say…people used to rent out auntie’s old house for not very much money (which they may not have paid tax on) and had no interest in spending any of this meagre sum on anything other than essential maintenance.

These days that equation just doesn’t work…taxe foncière, utilities, etc add up to needing to charge higher rents. And you can’t charge higher rents on a poor quality property. So you get out of the business completely or you bring it up to a higher standard and charge more. And you still won’t make much money!

We rent our gîte to culture nature types, and they still want clean sheets (washed in eco-products), hot water (heated with renewable energy) and a comfortable place to stay.

100% yes.

Many renters expect a similar level of accommodation and comforts that they’re used to at home plus a pool etc, that of course comes at a cost. The biggest house we manage charges close to £3k a week in the peak summer period.

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If I were ever to rent my house out that is about what I would charge. (It’s what I have been offered, only it is my home, so… no)

What I see around here is people renting a place for a week and newer go anywhere maybe then you expect the house to have everything all the stuff pool etc

People with young children often just want a place where they don’t have to go anywhere special to entertain them.

do people recoup the investment I mean too get a property too that high start is not cheap heated pools and everything up to the high standards

If you mean profits then that depends on occupancy and is never guaranteed. It is certainly possible to earn a living if you have a couple of gites or a complex but it’s bloody hard work.

We make a better return on our gite than if we had put the money in the bank, up to 6% depending on the year. But if we factor in the work we put in then we’re getting much, much less than the SMIC!

I don’t know how typical the places on Bienvenue Chez Nous are, but some of them seem more like boutique hotels than B&Bs.

Our website says relax in Burgundy, which makes it fairly clear that this is not a hot spot.
Having said that, we now have a Cabaret in Trivy, which is seven k away from us.
Two restaurants , a cabaret and no other useful shops at all!

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I like “Relax in Burgundy.” How many bottles does it take to fill the pool?