With the current uncertainty of the effects of Brexit on U.K. owners of French property we spoke to one of our recent clients who bought a house in France as a holiday home a few months ago for herself and her family and friends. We wanted to find out why she had made the decision at this uncertain time and what had influenced her. We also wanted to find out why she had chosen France for her holiday home and how she envisages herself and family and friends using the new home.
Why did you decide to buy a house in France?
“As a family we had enjoyed most of our summer holidays, and the occasional winter holiday, in France since the children were toddlers. I have felt very much at home in France for a long time now and when my husband was alive we talked about moving to France when we retired. Unfortunately, he died a few years ago and I have now sold the family home in Somerset and released some funds to buy a holiday home that I could enjoy with friends and with all the family, while buying a small flat in the U.K. for myself. I did think of buying a holiday home in England but quite honestly, I could not afford the price for something big enough for us all to enjoy. So I started to think about France and to partially implement the plans that we had made as a couple. A holiday home in France just seemed the right thing to do.”
Did you worry about the effect of Brexit?
“Obviously I considered this and did some research and spoke to friends who already owned homes in France. I think I may have been a little more worried about buying a home in France if it was for full time living but for a holiday house in France I don’t really see that there could be many problems.
People from all over the world have holiday homes in France so it doesn’t t seem something you can only do if your home country remains part of the European Union. I am aware that there is talk of British citizens needing visas and there being no emergency health care after we leave Europe but there are so many French citizens living in the U.K. and owning a house in France seems something sensible that will have to be sorted out. The worst case scenario is that we will need medical insurance when we go on our holidays to our house in France just as we do for other holidays and if we need visas, then so be it!”
Were there any other reasons for buying your house in France this year?
“Well, yes….I purposely decided to downsize in the U.K. this year because I wanted to buy a French house while I could still afford it. I was constantly looking at websites and seeing lovely properties at bargain prices but I was also becoming aware that some authorities in France were suggesting that house prices would be rising. I really didn’t want to wait and find that I was priced out of the market. I also thought that some buyers may be holding back waiting for the result of Brexit and if it all became clear that there was nothing stopping Brits buying homes in France, there might be a rush back into the market forcing prices up. Plus, I just didn’t want to wait any longer. I have learnt that life can be shorter than we expect and I wanted to have time to enjoy this next adventure.”
Do you have any regrets about buying your French home?
“Not yet! We have had one family holiday there in August and it was great fun to all be together. The young ones slept in tents in the garden and I found a enough beds for all the adults. We spent lovely times eating all our meals in the garden, visits to the nearby lake for everyone to swim, sharing the chores and just having time to talk. It was very different from renting a holiday home somewhere we had never been as we didn’t feel the need to be tourists and rush around seeing and doing everything. We all know that we have many such holidays to share in future. I also have three friends coming out with me for the New Year. It will be the first time we have lit the log fire and I am really looking forward to having a cosy winter time. No regrets at all, just lots of lovely things to look forward to.”
I would like to thank our client for the time she spent chatting to me and sharing her experiences of buying a French house.
Contact Healey Fox The French Property Experts
If you would like to talk to us about your French property plans please give us a call on 01306 775 008. We are always happy to share our knowledge and experience of France with anyone thinking about buying a house in France.