British Expats

British Expats (https://britishexpats.com/forum/)
-   France (https://britishexpats.com/forum/france-76/)
-   -   Help selecting region for move (https://britishexpats.com/forum/france-76/help-selecting-region-move-924469/)

ItsDoe Apr 26th 2019 4:10 pm

Help selecting region for move
 
Hi everyone, thank you in advance for the time any of you take to offer advice on my question. I will try to keep it succinct.
Myself (my wife and our 2 year old boy) are considering a move to France. Reasons are quality of life, lifestyle and family.
I would still need to commute to London on occasion (possibly every other week, fly out one day back the next) so airports within a reasonable distance is a top priority. Given the precarious situation with some of the budget airlines and regional airports, I am focussed on the larger internationals, so probably an hours drive of Marseilles or Nice, Toulouse or Bordeaux I suppose. If there are also smaller airports available that's a bonus especially if they fly to Birmingham (where our extended family will be.)
Ideally we want a house with some land (an acre or more so 5000m2+) and nice views, close (ideally walkable) to a decent village or small town for boulangerie, bar etc.
If it had existing or opportunity to include a gite, or separate annexes then even better (ageing parents who might join us.)
Schools will also need to be a consideration soon.
We don't like really arid scenery (like much of spain) but ideally we are looking to an extended spring/summer/autumn that allows more time and activities outside (cycling, horseriding etc.) Beaches within an hour is always a bonus but we are happy in land. We like old and pretty villages and towns and prefer to avoid the tourist traps.
With all this in mind where would people advise us to focus our search. We have never been to Provence which from a weather perspective appears an obvious choice but it's such a large place and I'd need to be within an hour or so of Marseilles I guess. I'm also concerned that many places are dead for much of the year I understand, being full of holiday homes and we want an active community. Also not so keen on the pine forests, prefer more 'traditional' woodland.
We did enjoy the area around Sarlat when we stayed there last year so was thinking somewhere between Bordeaux and Toulous or perhaps further down on the SW side but is the weather there much better than the UK?
I know this is a very broad question but any thoughts to help us narrow the search would be great.
Incidentally we have two weeks in July/August to take a holiday anywhere we consider though we are aware this is peak season so not properly representative.

dmu Apr 26th 2019 4:43 pm

Re: Help selecting region for move
 

Originally Posted by ItsDoe (Post 12676115)
Hi everyone, thank you in advance for the time any of you take to offer advice on my question. I will try to keep it succinct.
Myself (my wife and our 2 year old boy) are considering a move to France. Reasons are quality of life, lifestyle and family.
I would still need to commute to London on occasion (possibly every other week, fly out one day back the next) so airports within a reasonable distance is a top priority. Given the precarious situation with some of the budget airlines and regional airports, I am focussed on the larger internationals, so probably an hours drive of Marseilles or Nice, Toulouse or Bordeaux I suppose. If there are also smaller airports available that's a bonus especially if they fly to Birmingham (where our extended family will be.)
Ideally we want a house with some land (an acre or more so 5000m2+) and nice views, close (ideally walkable) to a decent village or small town for boulangerie, bar etc.
If it had existing or opportunity to include a gite, or separate annexes then even better (ageing parents who might join us.)
Schools will also need to be a consideration soon.
We don't like really arid scenery (like much of spain) but ideally we are looking to an extended spring/summer/autumn that allows more time and activities outside (cycling, horseriding etc.) Beaches within an hour is always a bonus but we are happy in land. We like old and pretty villages and towns and prefer to avoid the tourist traps.
With all this in mind where would people advise us to focus our search. We have never been to Provence which from a weather perspective appears an obvious choice but it's such a large place and I'd need to be within an hour or so of Marseilles I guess. I'm also concerned that many places are dead for much of the year I understand, being full of holiday homes and we want an active community. Also not so keen on the pine forests, prefer more 'traditional' woodland.
We did enjoy the area around Sarlat when we stayed there last year so was thinking somewhere between Bordeaux and Toulous or perhaps further down on the SW side but is the weather there much better than the UK?
I know this is a very broad question but any thoughts to help us narrow the search would be great.
Incidentally we have two weeks in July/August to take a holiday anywhere we consider though we are aware this is peak season so not properly representative.

Hi, and welcome to the forum!:)
Others will come along with ideas about possible areas in the S.W., but while you're researching a location, you should find out about your employment status, which in turn will determine your healthcare coverage. If you're salaried with a UK company, they must arrange it with the French URSSAF; if you're free-lance, you'll have to set up a French business structure and pay your Contributions directly to URSSAF. In either case you'd be advised to take out a Mutuelle (top-up Insurance), esp. with a small child.
Take a look in the Read Me: Moving to France FAQs above, particularly #20 and #21 concerning employment with a UK company while resident in France, and also the threads on Inheritance Laws if you're buying property, Schooling for when the time comes (your son could start Maternelle at 3 and speak French and make friends in no time), Growing Old in France and Death in France (important to know before your parents come), and other aspects of living in France.
HTH



ItsDoe Apr 26th 2019 4:51 pm

Re: Help selecting region for move
 
Thank you DMU, I will study those sections for information around schooling etc.

Annetje Apr 26th 2019 10:40 pm

Re: Help selecting region for move
 
Hi, I live in a village in Provence. Not sure you will find a property within walking distance from a village with 5000 m2 land. Most villages are getting build up fairly quick and for that sort of property you will need a car. Most villages inland here are just working villages ... I mean they don't die off in winter. The tourist traps are mainly on the coast. What you will find is that, in the winter, evening life seems to happen at home and not really in the village. Here there are 2 restaurants open in the winter but (obviously) no terrasses outside open at night. The village feels dead at night. Pub life as they have in the UK does not exist here. During the day the terrasses will be open though and even busy.

Your search seems to involve most of the south / south west. Maybe you should try to decide which part of France you want to be in. There is 800 km (+/-) between Marseille and Bordeaux ... and a whole different coast and climate. Toulouse is not really within 1 hour of the coast I think. Nice is even further east than Marseille.
I am at 1 h from Marseille airport and 30 minutes from the coast.
Climate here is warm in the summer, cooling of at night since not on the coast and 480 m high up, but in the winter it might freeze at night whilst on a sunny day you won't need heating if you don't have an old house. I often survive without heating during the day but have to switch it on at 4 o'clock to make sure it stays comfie in the house.

You should also consider your budget. I mean, prices in Bordeaux are not the same as in the Provence. (coincidentally, I have my property for sale ;)).

HTH and good luck :fingerscrossed:

dmu Apr 27th 2019 10:22 am

Re: Help selecting region for move
 

Originally Posted by ItsDoe (Post 12676115)
Hi everyone, thank you in advance for the time any of you take to offer advice on my question. I will try to keep it succinct.
Myself (my wife and our 2 year old boy) are considering a move to France. Reasons are quality of life, lifestyle and family.
I would still need to commute to London on occasion (possibly every other week, fly out one day back the next) so airports within a reasonable distance is a top priority. Given the precarious situation with some of the budget airlines and regional airports, I am focussed on the larger internationals, so probably an hours drive of Marseilles or Nice, Toulouse or Bordeaux I suppose. If there are also smaller airports available that's a bonus especially if they fly to Birmingham (where our extended family will be.)
Ideally we want a house with some land (an acre or more so 5000m2+) and nice views, close (ideally walkable) to a decent village or small town for boulangerie, bar etc.
If it had existing or opportunity to include a gite, or separate annexes then even better (ageing parents who might join us.)
Schools will also need to be a consideration soon.
We don't like really arid scenery (like much of spain) but ideally we are looking to an extended spring/summer/autumn that allows more time and activities outside (cycling, horseriding etc.) Beaches within an hour is always a bonus but we are happy in land. We like old and pretty villages and towns and prefer to avoid the tourist traps.
With all this in mind where would people advise us to focus our search. We have never been to Provence which from a weather perspective appears an obvious choice but it's such a large place and I'd need to be within an hour or so of Marseilles I guess. I'm also concerned that many places are dead for much of the year I understand, being full of holiday homes and we want an active community. Also not so keen on the pine forests, prefer more 'traditional' woodland.
We did enjoy the area around Sarlat when we stayed there last year so was thinking somewhere between Bordeaux and Toulous or perhaps further down on the SW side but is the weather there much better than the UK?
I know this is a very broad question but any thoughts to help us narrow the search would be great.
Incidentally we have two weeks in July/August to take a holiday anywhere we consider though we are aware this is peak season so not properly representative.

West of Marseille in the plain, it's very arid with little or no "traditional" woodland. It's better in the Haut-Languedoc or Cévennes, but there again, they are medical deserts, i.e. outside of Montpellier or Béziers the medical facilities are much reduced. A factor to be taken into account with a young child and possibly elderly parents in tow....
Another aspect not mentioned, do you both speak adequate French?

grannybunz Apr 27th 2019 2:02 pm

Re: Help selecting region for move
 
Hi and welcome.

I'm another living in Provence. In a small but lively hameau which is in a commune with an extreley touristy and beautiful centre. There are several young families in new-build housing at the outskirts of our and other commune hameaux. The village school is excellent but I am not so sure if the local coolege or Lycee as as desirable. As retired teachers we often get asked for help/advice.

We are on the North side of the Luberon range and while the light is almost always wonderful the mistral is not and the winters can be very cold indeed. Another consideration is the rather terrible internet connection and, in this hameau total lack of mobile signal which has greatly annoyed 2 recent inhabitants who work from home

DMU is correct, is your Franch adequate? Have you given thought to your employment status.

So many things for you to consider so please feel free to ask. Someone will be able to help/advise. We have had this house for nearly 30 years now but only moved permanently 15 years ago when we retired so, as you will gather we in the (much) older age group.


All times are GMT. The time now is 8:42 am.

Powered by vBulletin: ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.