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House in France - 5 tips for getting more from
your home in France?
A home in France
I like living in France and have lived here for 5
years. Having a house in France seemed like a good idea when we did it
because at the time the sterling and the euro rate were very different.
It was cheaper than living in the UK and the quality of life seemed much
A house in France seemed just the right move.
But after 6 years of living away from my place of birth what have I
learnt about having a home in France?
At Home in France you will never speak French as well as
A few of you natural linguists
reading this will disagree with this statement, but you are
in the minority. For the rest of us it is important not to
give up. Speaking a little is better than not at all. Read
whatever you can as it helps to know what the word you hear
look like in the printed form. With time your confidence
will grow and you will learn to speak better French. If you
really persevere you will maybe even become average!
French Tradesmen will rip you off.
I have never found this to be the case.
All the work that has needed to be done around my home in
France has been done by local French tradesmen,
They do the work quickly and well and know the local trade
and tradesmen. It is a good idea to check the local paper
and ask around if you can. Before they leave your French
house share a drink or a cup of coffee with them.
like what they do you will probably need their services again so it’s a good idea to get to know
them a bit. I say coffee because once I did try offering a cup of
Tea to an electrician once a job was completed but was met by a
shocked look at his watch. “What, at this time”? Was his incredulous
Opening a Gite or B and B will provide you with
a living in France.
Well it might do? If you have experience in
rentals or the holiday trade go ahead and rent your property for
holidays. You could make a good living but remember this is an over
saturated market. The accommodation income from your house in France
will pretty much die between October to March and even longer with
bad weather. The bills will still continue to come in each month and
they always cost more in the winter.
As a part time income it is probably a good way to supplement your
income and if you can capitalize on it a good place to start if you
have the time and money. As a full time income it is going to be a
lot of work turning your home in France into a full time income.
Get to know your Country.
Buy a map of France and go and see it. The more
you know about living in France the more you will get from it. You
will find out more about your local area in France by going out to
find somewhere for some lunch or a beer than all the guide books can
give you. By taking part in something as simple as eating out you
will gain a personal view of your new country that will lead you to
a personal understanding of what living in France really means.
We were without a car at one time and had to catch the infrequent
bus service into the local city.
It was 20 minutes before sunrise when we got on the bus and I got to
see all the little French towns waking up as our 2 hour trip made
its way through the French countryside. I learnt a lot about the
French way of life from having to find a new route into town and the
4 euros cost was well worth it.
Your House is now a hotel
The winters can be very quiet, sometimes I hardly
even see my neighbours for 2 months a year. The summer though will
be very different. When summer comes your home in France will be the
place everyone wants to visit. The people who come to grace your
French house will eat and drink far more than they normally do at
home and be in that carefree holiday mood during their stay.
After the tenth visitor of the summer this can be physically and
emotionally draining and people will rarely realise that living in
France you have to earn a living while you are entertaining them.
Some will even turn up without transport adding another job to your
already busy entertaining schedule.
It’s great to see people, but be realistic and get them to
contribute whenever possible. The fresh eggs your chickens provide
for their breakfast still have to be fed and paid for and when all
the guests have gone you still have to pay the bills and catch up on
the work you have missed.
Get guests to contribute with work rotas and food bills - everyone
will enjoy it more if they have to take part. After all this is what
having a house in France probably meant for you in the first place.