Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Moving back or to the UK
Reload this Page >

Location, location, location.

Location, location, location.

Old Jul 22nd 2020, 5:42 am
  #31  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2015
Location: France
Posts: 241
Helen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Location, location, location.

Hi Moses

I was hoping that by agreeing to buy a small holiday flat around Perpignan where we could spend just under 6 months a year, I could persuade my other half to move to Northern Ireland where we would have our primary residence. Indeed, I even bought a little bungalow there which is currently rented out.
For now, he’s still talking about the South coast of England, although he might change his mind once he actually deigns to visit the area in person.

Is your house in Ireland nice and warm and easy to heat? I think he’s scarred by the 6 months that he spent in my mother’s creaky old place many years ago. Coming from an overheated Moscow apartment (where they had to open the windows in winter because individual residents couldn’t regulate the temperature of the collective heating system) he found it cold and damp and consequently depressing.
What worries me a bit is that since then, my mother has moved into a 1970s bungalow, and my brother and several other family members live in similar properties, yet they’re all bloody freezing. They all have cavity wall insulation yet the heat just seems to disappear through the walls.
Apparently the new builds are much better insulated but any I’ve looked at are seriously pokey.

I know you don’t like apartments but I’m thinking that might be the best option for us. Wherever we end up. We’re in a big old first floor flat in Strasbourg and you get the warmth from the other flats around you. Plus, it’s very easy to just lock it up and leave. No need for fancy security systems.
We have a balcony (many other flats in France come with large terraces) so there is in fact a little bit of outside space.
Noise from neighbours can be a huge problem with flats of course. So far we’ve been lucky although after 23 years we’re probably used to a level of ambiant noise (car engines, the click clack of stilettos on parquet, pots banging, children crying, people making love) that would drive someone who was used to living in a detached house mad.
The great thing about a flat of course is that there is pretty much zero maintenance. Which given that we have zero interest or talent in that direction is probably a very good thing.

Helen1964 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd 2020, 6:03 am
  #32  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2015
Location: France
Posts: 241
Helen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Location, location, location.

Thanks very much Pistolpete. I reckon that’s what my friends meant about Exmouth but weren’t able to articulate it.
Helen1964 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd 2020, 7:25 am
  #33  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 4,250
Moses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond reputeMoses2013 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Hi Moses

I was hoping that by agreeing to buy a small holiday flat around Perpignan where we could spend just under 6 months a year, I could persuade my other half to move to Northern Ireland where we would have our primary residence. Indeed, I even bought a little bungalow there which is currently rented out.
For now, he’s still talking about the South coast of England, although he might change his mind once he actually deigns to visit the area in person.

Is your house in Ireland nice and warm and easy to heat? I think he’s scarred by the 6 months that he spent in my mother’s creaky old place many years ago. Coming from an overheated Moscow apartment (where they had to open the windows in winter because individual residents couldn’t regulate the temperature of the collective heating system) he found it cold and damp and consequently depressing.
What worries me a bit is that since then, my mother has moved into a 1970s bungalow, and my brother and several other family members live in similar properties, yet they’re all bloody freezing. They all have cavity wall insulation yet the heat just seems to disappear through the walls.
Apparently the new builds are much better insulated but any I’ve looked at are seriously pokey.

I know you don’t like apartments but I’m thinking that might be the best option for us. Wherever we end up. We’re in a big old first floor flat in Strasbourg and you get the warmth from the other flats around you. Plus, it’s very easy to just lock it up and leave. No need for fancy security systems.
We have a balcony (many other flats in France come with large terraces) so there is in fact a little bit of outside space.
Noise from neighbours can be a huge problem with flats of course. So far we’ve been lucky although after 23 years we’re probably used to a level of ambiant noise (car engines, the click clack of stilettos on parquet, pots banging, children crying, people making love) that would drive someone who was used to living in a detached house mad.
The great thing about a flat of course is that there is pretty much zero maintenance. Which given that we have zero interest or talent in that direction is probably a very good thing.
I often pass Perpignan on the way to Spain and it certainly is a good option. We opted for a small place near Lloret/Vidreres but I still have a lot of years to work until I can fully enjoy.
I can't complain about the house in Ireland and a lot of things we improved, like attic insulation, heat pump and most of the time we only use the stove in winter which actually heats the whole house.
Here in the West, we see fewer frost days and don't need to heat as much as we did in Kent to be honest. South Coast of England certainly has a few more sunnier days during summer but then in winter you also see plenty of rain, it can feel cold and summers are still unpredictable but there are some very beautiful parts. At least you have options and if you can escape the winters, most places are not too bad in spring/summer. The thing with apartments is that I grew up in one and I just can't take the noise anymore, although one can be lucky if it's built well. That's why in Spain we went for a 2 bed small detached house a few mins away from the coast, rather than a apartment.

Last edited by Moses2013; Jul 22nd 2020 at 7:37 am.
Moses2013 is offline  
Old Jul 24th 2020, 11:53 am
  #34  
BE Forum Addict
 
cyrian's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Scotland & Touraine [37]
Posts: 2,575
cyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Hi Moses

Noise from neighbours can be a huge problem with flats of course. So far we’ve been lucky although after 23 years we’re probably used to a level of ambiant noise (car engines, the click clack of stilettos on parquet, pots banging, children crying, people making love) that would drive someone who was used to living in a detached house mad.
The great thing about a flat of course is that there is pretty much zero maintenance. Which given that we have zero interest or talent in that direction is probably a very good thing.
In France, there are a LOT of buy-to-let flats because the owner get generous tax breaks.
This can mean frequent changes of neighbours.
If the local commune does not have enough social housing then they sometimes rent a flat for social housing tenants in an apartment block.
As for zero maintenance, you have to consider the costs of the copropriété i.e. the joint ownership of the entire building who have responsibility for cleaning and maintenance etc.
If there are many landlords then they are not keen to pay for (as they see it) unnecessary costs.
IMHO there are too many new build flats in France but it would give a good opportunity to buy a well-insulated flat with good double glazing and soundproofing.
cyrian is offline  
Old Jul 24th 2020, 12:11 pm
  #35  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2015
Location: France
Posts: 241
Helen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond reputeHelen1964 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Location, location, location.

Our charges are low - about 1300 euros per year. No lift, which helps.
After two bad experiences with professional syndics (property management companies), we the residents (5 households) manage the building ourselves.
While this keeps the charges low, the disadvantage is that there's no real pressure to do work, including what I would consider essential maintenance.
It never ceases to amaze me that a bunch of owner-occupiers can happily watch the building disintegrate around their ears.

Helen1964 is offline  
Old Jul 24th 2020, 12:28 pm
  #36  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Grenada WI
Posts: 2,810
Pistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond reputePistolpete2 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Our charges are low - about 1300 euros per year. No lift, which helps.
After two bad experiences with professional syndics (property management companies), we the residents (5 households) manage the building ourselves.
While this keeps the charges low, the disadvantage is that there's no real pressure to do work, including what I would consider essential maintenance.
It never ceases to amaze me that a bunch of owner-occupiers can happily watch the building disintegrate around their ears.
It's a big issue everywhere with apartments. I'm a share of freehold owner in a former pure leasehold flat building and we had a situation a while back where we agreed to reduce the service charge to make it attractive for one of us to sell their flat on as low service charges were supposedly what buyers are looking for.

To me, the whole point in sensible management of an apartment block is to have it properly managed from within (with outside expertise regarding maintenance as needed) and a realistic service charge to include provision for building of a kitty to cover major works and those major works should be subject to a reasonable routine so that the building is kept in good order.

The level of service charges in apartment buildings is a big issue though, particularly where there is an outside manager who charges an admin fee on each and every disbursement, including major works and has a pet property insurance company whose rates may not be competitive. As you have hinted, there are then lift costs and they can be scary.

If I'm looking at a flat in a leasehold building to buy, the above are some of the first things that I ask about. Still looking, never did buy, apart from the one my mother once lived in.

Owning an apartment can be a pain. I am now encountering my FORTH leak (two of them were MAJOR leaks) from an upstairs apartment into mine, which is tenanted in the UK

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jul 24th 2020 at 12:34 pm.
Pistolpete2 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.