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Spain or France

Spain or France

Old May 15th 2007, 1:01 pm
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Default Spain or France

Hi all, We are retired and have sold our place here in UK. We will soon be looking for a new home but we are a bit dithery about which country will be best for us. We are very inclined toward France (We both speak reasonable french) but we have had some lovely holidays in Spain. We would love to hear your ideas. What made you choose to live where you do? Thanks G.
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Old May 15th 2007, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

I've no doubt France is a wonderful country but on past holidays and in a long period of doing business in France I'm afraid I have found the French to be quite arrogant and generally unfriendly. OK I accept that this is not going to be the case nationwide, but the riek of relocating there and finding out I was right was too great. Why not rent in France for 6 months and if you find you don't like it you can move on to Spain!

(Plus the climate is great here!)
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Old May 15th 2007, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

We are not retirement age , but really wanted to go and live in France, we visited several times, looked at lots of places but seemed to find that everywhere shut at 7.30pm, and I'm talking about any nightlife at all.
Even in a hotel, the owner was putting the chairs on the tables as we having a drink after dinner in his bar. We were staying there!
O.K , this was the Limousin area, a very beautiful region, but I'm still talking about quite large villages. As far as we could see, the locals had a drink after work and then went home at 7.30pm and that was it.
We eventually decided to stay in U.K. but after a flying visit to inland Andalucia, saw and bought a little village house and now spend 3 weeks there every couple of months. The difference is staggering, a large village/small working town, just a few English living there, and a thriving nightlife
Don't get me wrong, we are not out every night, but the opportunity is there, the Spanish are incredibly friendly.
We live in a very quiet part of the U.K, and so now we have the best of both worlds.
Not everyone's choice but we love it.

I do miss the beautiful old stone houses and lovely chestnut and oak forests in France but really have much the equivalent here in U.K., so am more than happy to have hols overlooking olive groves, horses tethered to the railings
of bars, loud Spanish music, and children practising flamenco singing and dancing outside our front door.
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Old May 15th 2007, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

I live in France,but to be honest got really fed up here a couple of years ago, the winters are so long and everybody seems to hibernate in the winter.
We sold up in the UK and decided to buy a place in Andalucia so we could spend the winters there instead.
However, after experiencing Spain for a couple of months we've now decided we prefer it here, so we have the best of both worlds i suppose, lovely long hot summers here in the countryside, then when it gets cold off to Spain.
It really depends what you want out of life. The French in our parts are lovely and so welcoming, theres nightlife if you want it,but you may have to drive a way for it.
Its swings and roundabouts I suppose.
Try both and see how you feel. Do you like the heat? If so, try Spain, but if you prefer the rolling green countryside and old stone houses, then try France!
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Old May 15th 2007, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

I am in the same boat. We are a couple in our late 20's and moved to France a few years back. I am not sure if it was because we were younger but i was demented in France, and we left after a year and a half. We are sick of the rain etc here and the fact that all everyone does is drink (sorry not all-but most of our friends/aquitances) and then can't make plans with them the weekends cause they are dying of hangovers.
We are rethinking a livelier place in france and perhaps think we were very unlucky the first time, i mean very-i have never been that miserable, we are fun (don;t like to drink every single night that's all), love sports (especially water sports), walking, hiking etc and feel spain would be way better, but we both speak fluent French and not a word of Spanish so feel more inclined towards France for that reason alone!
Ah who knows til they try i suppose. My family are really trying to turn me off france after last time.
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Old May 15th 2007, 8:27 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

Originally Posted by Jorgi
Hi all, We are retired and have sold our place here in UK. We will soon be looking for a new home but we are a bit dithery about which country will be best for us. We are very inclined toward France (We both speak reasonable french) but we have had some lovely holidays in Spain. We would love to hear your ideas. What made you choose to live where you do? Thanks G.
France or Spain

Spain about a million times better.. The French dont like us , never have never will , the country is just fields and buildings that look like they will fall down in a strong wind . They generally are a dirty lot dont shave much , live in dirty houses and all they do is eat and drink ..
Weather depends where you go but isnt that much better than the UK so may as well stay in UK.

Spain now you have friendly people , loads of sunshine , they probably dont like us that much either ? But they hide it better so at least they try
Beaches and shops that open longer and they have style !!
They shave regular in all the private bits and dont have onions hanging around them all the time

I looked at France was going to buy a Fishery but after a few trips decided No Good, you will be bored rigid there .. so go to Spain near the coast in my opinion..
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Old May 15th 2007, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

Big Pete: PMSL! (I knew I could use that somewhere!).

Very amusing Pete.
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Old May 16th 2007, 9:06 am
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Default Re: Spain or France

We have bought in Almeria between Aguilas and Mojacar just outside a Market Town called Huercal Overa
Nice detached villa on a 400m2 plot about 25 mins to coast
Why Almeria?
Best climate in mainland Spain
Very Spanish but not isolated and top facilities-the hospital in Huercal Overa is one of the best in Spain
This area is called the Spanish Cornwall
Country Parks near by
Good for golf and walking
Granada is 2 hours away so we can go skiing for a day
It is an agricultural area so there are in parts a few greenhouse [ like UK now] but not as many in this area as near Almeria itself...but you do not notice them
Properties are good value
Cost of living is cheap..local market somewhere every day
So if Spain is a choice.....have a look
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Old May 16th 2007, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

Thanks to all who took the time to reply. It certainly gives us some food for thought. I suppose the problem we have is that there is a lot of coverage on UK tv re Illegal builds and land grabs. It has taken us a looooong time to accumulate enough capital to retire in peace and it would be disastrous to lose out. One thing is certain, we want to leave this overcrowded,overtaxed, expensive (but still beautiful) place they used to call GREAT Britain.
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Old May 16th 2007, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

Originally Posted by Jorgi
Thanks to all who took the time to reply. It certainly gives us some food for thought. I suppose the problem we have is that there is a lot of coverage on UK tv re Illegal builds and land grabs. It has taken us a looooong time to accumulate enough capital to retire in peace and it would be disastrous to lose out. One thing is certain, we want to leave this overcrowded,overtaxed, expensive (but still beautiful) place they used to call GREAT Britain.
Dont let the land grab thing put you off , Thats all in the past its still in the press as so many are still arguing and been caught out .
But i am sure if you get the right solicitor and are careful to choose the right area , you will be safe as houses

Ask and look at past posts on here and you will see good areas and bad landgrab areas etc..

Like i said France i did look at and its in a different league Spain wins hands down ..
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Old May 17th 2007, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

We looked at the choice between Spain or France two years ago before moving to Granada Province.

The difficulty in our situation was that of myself, my wife and mother-in-law who were moving was that I was the only one who could speak French and had spent any considerable length of time there.

Mum-in-law fancied France more whilst my wife and I felt that there would be better working opportunities and a lower cost of living given that we would need to work being in our early 30's, whilst mum-in-law is retired.

I think it was due to my own experiences in France that steered us towards Spain. Dispite my very good level with the language, it did'nt matter in the vast majority of French people. They knew I was English and that was enough to dislike me.

Although France is a very beautiful country, we had to weigh up the the pro's and con's for both. During our time travelling in Andalucia, we found that even with fledgeling Spanish, the locals were generally very warm and welcoming. We ended up buying a house in a small village of about 200 people, with only one other permanent British neighbour, who's arrived since us. I thoroughly enjoy talking with the locals, my Spanish or "Andaluz" has increased rapidly and I've had more or less continual work since our arrival.

We've all settled in and are now a permanent fixture in our village. My parents are also moving to a Cortijo which is about half an hour from where we live and can't wait to get here in a months time.

Perhaps another thing to note is the new French Premier's rather low opinion of Britons buying up properties in his native country and wanting to do something about it - which has been covered in the media over the last week or so.
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Old May 18th 2007, 9:37 am
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Default Re: Spain or France

Originally Posted by heath1974
We looked at the choice between Spain or France two years ago before moving to Granada Province.

The difficulty in our situation was that of myself, my wife and mother-in-law who were moving was that I was the only one who could speak French and had spent any considerable length of time there.

Mum-in-law fancied France more whilst my wife and I felt that there would be better working opportunities and a lower cost of living given that we would need to work being in our early 30's, whilst mum-in-law is retired.

I think it was due to my own experiences in France that steered us towards Spain. Dispite my very good level with the language, it did'nt matter in the vast majority of French people. They knew I was English and that was enough to dislike me.

Although France is a very beautiful country, we had to weigh up the the pro's and con's for both. During our time travelling in Andalucia, we found that even with fledgeling Spanish, the locals were generally very warm and welcoming. We ended up buying a house in a small village of about 200 people, with only one other permanent British neighbour, who's arrived since us. I thoroughly enjoy talking with the locals, my Spanish or "Andaluz" has increased rapidly and I've had more or less continual work since our arrival.

We've all settled in and are now a permanent fixture in our village. My parents are also moving to a Cortijo which is about half an hour from where we live and can't wait to get here in a months time.

Perhaps another thing to note is the new French Premier's rather low opinion of Britons buying up properties in his native country and wanting to do something about it - which has been covered in the media over the last week or so.
Thank you Heath. A nice considered reply. We have about another month to make up our minds
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Old May 18th 2007, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

No problem

People are easily put off by the negative publicity they see about Spain, especially at the moment.

I've seen a posting on one of the forums researching for Trevor McDonald's Tonight programme, asking to hear from people struggling to sell properties, who are concerned about a possible price crash, etc, etc...

So another negative view it seems to come from the media.

I think most people who live and work here will advise you to travel around the areas you fancy most befor making the big move. Renting for a few months is always a good way to get a "feel" of whether you like it or not yourself, as bear in mind everyones circumstances will be different to your own.

So long as you do your homework and don't believe everything you hear, let your own experiences guide you to the right decision for you. Do get your own Spanish solicitor onside before buying a house though and make sure that all the paperwork is in good order or can easily be sorted before parting with your cash. A good solicitor will always advise of any potential problems in advance.
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Old May 18th 2007, 1:06 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

Hi all, I am new to this. I have only briefly looked at the threads and will do in more detail when I have more time. My quandry is, I am thinking of moving to Spain, I haven't a clue where, I need to be within an hour of an international airport for work. I want to try and continue my hobbies which include paragliding, I think I would like to be somewhere near the coast. I will probably rent for a while to get a feel as a lot of you have said, I don't speak Spanish but will make an efort to learn, any advice gratefully recieved, I know this is a wide open question but as I say any help would be great. I am thinking of leaving due to speed camera's, high taxes, and Britain not being Great anymore.

Many thanks
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Old May 18th 2007, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: Spain or France

Originally Posted by tonyb01
Hi all, I am new to this. I have only briefly looked at the threads and will do in more detail when I have more time. My quandry is, I am thinking of moving to Spain, I haven't a clue where, I need to be within an hour of an international airport for work. I want to try and continue my hobbies which include paragliding, I think I would like to be somewhere near the coast. I will probably rent for a while to get a feel as a lot of you have said, I don't speak Spanish but will make an efort to learn, any advice gratefully recieved, I know this is a wide open question but as I say any help would be great. I am thinking of leaving due to speed camera's, high taxes, and Britain not being Great anymore.

Many thanks
We live in Granada Province which has an airport with flights to many British destinations, Frankfurt, Milan, Palma de Mallorca, plus usually over 6 flights a day each to Madrid and Barcelona. Malaga airport which has even more international destinations is about an hours drive down at the coast.

I see alot of people paragliding around the Sierra Nevada mountains, and although it's not something i've done myself, am told that the conditions there are usually always perfect for it.

The city of Granada is beautiful, full of history and culture and is home of course to the Alhambra, which is Spains most visited tourist attraction. It's also one of the nominees for the "updated" 7 wonders of the world.

Like anyone planning the big move though, come and see a few areas first, coastal or inland. Learning the language is very important if you want to integrate with the locals, but I find they are more than happy to help if you make the effort.

Good luck and hope you find what you're looking for.
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