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France > Living


The Most Idyllic Places to Relocate in France

Friday April 05, 2013 (15:57:00)

As mentioned elsewhere on this site, France is home to some of the most luxurious property on earth, a fact that would still hold true even if the commercial center of Paris were excluded from the picture (some might say especially if Paris were excluded from the picture.) Destinations like the Côte d'Azur - more popularly known as the French Riviera, and with unofficial eastern and western boundaries of Saint-Tropez and Cassis - were seen as luxury resorts since the dawn of such a concept, serving as a health spa since the late 1700’s and (after the introduction of continental rail transport) as a prime gathering place for the landed aristocracy and royalty of the 19th century. In spite of the fact that certain of France's most renowned non-Parisian commodities are often produced in amounts exceeding foreign demand (do an internet search for "wine lake" for a good example of this), the region itself remains a rare gem in which the best of nature and man-made artifice melt together in a manner both dramatic and sublime.   more ...

France > Living


Best Neighborhoods in Paris for Expat Professionals

Sunday March 17, 2013 (19:59:22)
Paris as seen from the Eiffel Tower
Though most readers will know that world-class prestige does not come cheap, it is still worth mentioning the fact that residency in Paris can be at the pinnacle of the world 'cost of living' index. France, as a whole, remains the country with the world's most expensive residential property (La Leopolda Villa on the French Riviera, with a price tag of over half a billion U.S. dollars, is the most expensive single property on Earth.) Land within Paris itself has been estimated as having an average cost anywhere from $2,100 USD per square foot to $3,300 USD. U.S. residents bemoaning high land prices in that nation's most popular destinations have it easy in comparison - the average price per square foot in New York City is about half of the low estimate above - and Americans seeking out Parisian properties to rent or own will be quickly reminded that investing in a comparatively richer national history involves a comparatively higher price.   more ...

France > Living


The British Who Move To France

Saturday September 15, 2012 (12:08:55)
Catherine Broughton
The huge surge of British families pulling up roots and moving lock stock and barrel to France, has largely petered out. During the 1980s thousands of families re-located to France, mostly because property was so cheap - sometimes incredibly cheap - and the bargains seemed too good to miss. By the 1990s numbers started to dwindle, though there were still a great many . Now it has all but stopped.

The British who moved to France had some things in common and made the same mistakes:-

- property was very cheap, an entire little smallholding for the price of a garage in the UK (though of course that depended on which part of France. In the centre of the country I once sold a little farmhouse with ten acres of land for about £4000) But there was a good reason why it was so cheap: nobody wanted to live there!   more ...

France > Property


Are Leaseback Schemes in France Too Good to be True?

Sunday May 27, 2012 (16:07:02)

by Deborah Kent

For UK buyers considering entering the French market, there is one purchase option that stands out in terms of investment potential and the ability to get on the property ladder despite the lack of an initial deposit. If this sounds too good to be true - read on!

In actual fact, while nothing similar exists in the UK, the leaseback scheme available in France is worth looking at. The leaseback is a curious mixture of tax incentive and rental guarantee, which is designed to encourage buyers to take on new build homes.

UK buyers will be familiar with developers in the UK offering rental guarantees, which are generally at attractive rates and have a finite life of 1 or 2 years. However, the new build French market differs from the UK in one significant area, namely VAT. Whilst new homes in the UK do not carry VAT, in France that is not the case.   more ...

France > Living


What You Need to Know Before Moving to Paris

Sunday May 27, 2012 (16:04:51)

by Kathryn Valdal Fourie

Shortly after moving to Paris, the fascination with the city of lights and the capital of romance can easily wear off. Your twinkling image of Paris can easily become the city of smoke filled bars, bad customer service and pavements covered with doggie doo. But if you move to Paris equipped with the following information, you should always be able to say 'We'll always have Paris'.

1. Be Organised & Conquer Red Tape

France is famous for its bureaucracy, so you will quickly become an expert in documentation and paperwork. This takes some getting used to, but it's critical from the moment you arrive in France.   more ...

France > Property


Finding your dream home in France - Part 1

Sunday May 27, 2012 (16:01:51)

Buying a home in France can be a complex process. From finding your dream home to relocating to France there are many hurdles to overcome before you can relax and enjoy the lifestyle and beautiful environment that France is renowned for. In Part 1 of this series, Oliver Phillips of PFS France ( walks you through the process of finding and making an offer on your dream home in France.

Finding your new French property is the first hurdle. Assuming you have an idea what you want, in which location and how much you can afford, the easiest route to searching for properties is often via the Internet using a reputable French property website. The advantages are obvious; a good website will not only offer a large database of properties currently for sale, they will offer multiple photos of the property's exterior, interior and grounds together with comprehensive narrative about the property itself. Also it will often have a search facility through which you can view properties that match your specific criteria, and often offer additional benefits such as email notification of new properties, newsletters and other information to help you in your search. Of course the big advantage is that you can build a shortlist of potential properties without having to visit France, saving you money from the start. Whether you use the Internet or not, when considering a property, make sure you get photos and information before you view the property. You can cut down on wasted trips and expense this way.   more ...

France > Property


Employing tradespeople (artisans) legally in France

Sunday May 27, 2012 (15:59:07)

by Ben Hermer, Artisan Anglais

So many British citizens are now moving to France or buying a holiday home here that the demand is steadily growing for tradespeople, or artisans as they are known in France, to work on their houses, carry out groundwork or do any other job that may be needed. We Brits often prefer to buy virtually derelict or ancient dwellings and while this can be a happily symbiotic arrangement because a lot of French people yearn for clean, modern houses on neat estates while we Brits long to escape that and to live in the older, stone-built houses that have been left behind and have often been empty for years, there can be problems.

One of the problems can be that while we want to live in and renovate these houses, many Brits find that they have neither the knowledge nor skills required and often cannot speak sufficient French, so finding an artisan to do any work can be tricky. Many give up trying to find a French artisan because of the language barrier and can be tempted to employ someone who hasn't registered here but was in the building trade back in the UK or dabbled in electrics or put in a bathroom in their own house etc.   more ...

France > Health


Counselling in France

Sunday May 27, 2012 (15:55:32)

by Anne Poulton

A relatively new website for ex-patriates called "Counselling in France" can be accessed at

The site aims to put English speakers living in France in touch with English speaking counsellors and is the only service of its kind in France. The French authorities do not recognise the word 'counsellor' unless it's the person you see in the bank to arrange finance or sort out moving money from one country to another and many ex-patriates find that once they settle in France, their options for counselling are extremely limited as doctors very often have no idea where to find a counsellor who speaks English.   more ...

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