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Every week you'll find new stories, local and national events, comments, recipes and advice on this page. Click on the Archive button to see previous posts full of interesting information and links.

Carcassonne, we've arrived!

Julie Savill // Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Beaux Villages Immobilier is delighted to announce its latest office at 94 rue Verdun, 11000 Carcassonne.

The Carcassonne office is situated within a stroll of several car parks in the 'new' town.

It's a relative term. The new town is what we might call Victorian or Edwardian with tall elegant buildings either side of wide shopping streets. The old town, by contrast, is the amazingly preserved medieval Cité at the top of the hill, the scene for Kate Mosse's evocative book, Labyrinth.

BVI builds its business on success, and we are only able to open now because of the sterling efforts of our local team, Chrissy and Nick Clark and Pauline Johnson.

We now need two more French-speaking team members.

For more information download the PDF file or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Why now is the right time to buy

Julie Savill // Tuesday, 18 September 2018

All things considered, and there are many factors at play, some say now is a very good time to buy a property in France.
We’ll start from the assumption that you are coming from the UK, selling Sterling to buy in Euros, and are aware of the Brexit thing.
(Do you know what your Sterling budget equates to in Euros? Talk to our friends at Smart as a sensible first step).

The choice of property to buy is enormous.
This is principally driven by the time of year, as many local sellers launch their properties onto the autumn market.

Supply and demand means that motivated sellers in a busy market may be negotiable.
Let us help with that negotiation.

Some market observers predict gently rising prices in the local property market.
So the amazing value inherent in much French property relative to many UK prices is still with us.
The gap may narrow.

The exchange rate as a buyer has often been better - but it could be/has been worse, and it might yet worsen.
This same exchange rate currently favours British sellers returning to the UK, and we have the local knowledge of where this might just mean a keen deal.
Do you know how to fix your budget? 

If Brexit fears are a big factor, then conventional wisdom says to tie up a purchase before the end of March 2019.
To do that, count back 4 months for the legal process. Add a month for the anticipated last minute rush and consequent delays.
Add a bit more for Xmas.
And you arrive at ..... do it now.

And is it a good time to cash in UK property?
Who knows?!
The most negative in that industry are talking UK property prices down in the event of a delayed Brexit resolution.

To speak in confidence to an experienced negotiator about how best to get a good deal on your next home, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To ask a question about Brexit please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., our Finance Director

Integrating in a new land

Elle Owell // Sunday, 16 September 2018

We are installing our daughter in university in the north of England.
She might have chosen a French uni, or indeed one of many other countries.
But after 15 years growing up in France she is ready for a new cultural challenge and the ‘homeland’ beckons.

We set the immediate family a challenge: sponsor her something ‘quintessentially British’.
The submissions so far include:
Birds custard powder, Marmite, Heinz Baked Beans, Sherbet Dip, Cadbury’s....anything Cadbury’s.
And from Grampa - a copy of Pride and Prejudice.

So, with enough luggage to support an airborne invasion, and 3 plane tickets (only two of which are return flights - gulp) we are on our way.

It’s a fascinating parallel with our own move during the heatwave of 2003 (well documented elsewhere). She’ll face interesting cultural questions in the country of her birth that she barely knows.

To ease her mild anxiety we offered the following parentals:
1 wave goodbye to Mr Blue Sky.
2 buy a coat (there is no direct translation for Parka).
3 don’t say hello when you get on a train.
4 don’t kiss people on the cheek without written permission.
5 prepare to BBQ indoors.

(Note from Dad - we’re only teasing. It’s not all bad!  Just wait until you see the M and S Food-hall, and all that loveliness you can’t afford!! 😮 Should cure you of window shopping).

It already feels like a long time to the Christmas holidays. Sniff.
Three cheers for short-haul airlines!!

Check out this list of easily accessible properties to buy, where you can still safely smile at strangers§


There's life after la rentrée!

Julie Savill // Wednesday, 05 September 2018

It's that time of year when life begins to return to normal in France.
It's called La Rentrée and the key signs are supermarkets full of felt pens and bright rucksacks and an equally bright and hopeful look on the faces of parents as the summer holidays come to an end.
August is notoriously slow in France, with vendors away and notaire's closed.
So we are delighted to report a record August for agreed deals in the this tricky month.
What might you as a buyer expect for September?
More choice, as new listings are launched onto the autumn market.
A second chance, with price reductions from vendors able to offer flexibility in return for a deal before the winter.
And competition - as buyers look to complete before March 2019.
Property is selling quickly. French buyers are very active.
Be ready to act decisively and work with us to secure your purchase.
It's an odd dynamic, but it is often the case that a property finds 'its time' and it is perhaps surprisingly common for us to have several buyers bidding for the same house.
Never has a local property expert and seasoned negotiator offered better value than right now.
Not all agencies are the same.
To book a free no-strings viewing trip with your own named independent property consultant email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tournon welcomes a cake shop!

Elle Owell // Thursday, 06 September 2018

Now I must declare an interest here; I am addicted to cake.

Chez Moi, opposite Beaux Villages Immobilier in the pretty hilltop town of Tournon d'Agenais offers much more than delicious home baked cake.

It’s styled as a tea shop.

Salads, cold drinks, speciality teas and ground coffee.

Read more ...

French Property Exhibition, Olympia London

Katherine O`Neill // Tuesday, 28 August 2018

It's that time of the year again! It doesn't seem that long since we were last showing in Olympia, just a little over 6 months, but my has this season flown by!

And it's still flying.

We're going to be at the Olympia in London showcasing our fabulous properties with our equally fabulous team.

If you're looking for great ideas for buying in France, get yourself there - it's free!

Here's a link to go to to get registered for fast-track entry - we look forward to seeing you there! 


Building to last

Katherine O`Neill // Wednesday, 22 August 2018

You know times aren't all that bad when your nearest city is punctuated by the exclamation marks of cranes towering above construction sites. Bordeaux is positively buzzing since the opening of the new high speed rail link to Paris and on a recent visit the number of cranes was impressive.

Have breakfast at Karl on Place du Parliament in Bordeaux (really, do not leave this off your bucket list!) and be in Paris for a full day's sight seeing just 2 hours later.

As a result of this super-easy access to the capital, and the fact that Bordeaux is just a mighty fine town to live near, property is much sought-after in and around the city.

Looking for something in easy reach of Bordeaux? Check out our poperties in the Gironde.

Villeréal gets its crown!

Nicky Charles // Tuesday, 21 August 2018

A huge congratulations to Villeréal as it joins Pujols and Monflanquin as one of “Les Plus Beaux Villages” in the Lot-et-Garonne!

Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (meaning “the most beautiful villages of France”) is an independent association, created in 1982, for the promotion of the tourist appeal of small rural villages with a rich cultural heritage.

Alongside Monflanquin and Pujols, Villeréal has gained its crown. No easy task! In order to achieve this status the village must meet three qualifying criteria:

Read more ...

Happy BVI buyer gets married on TV

Katherine O`Neill // Monday, 20 August 2018

Our agent, Caroline Oliver based in our Lalinde office, was delighted to receive news from her clients that they had been picked by Channel 4 for their new show 'A New Life in the Sun'.

After buying their dream home in France through Caroline, they got married!

Caroline's clients sent through some lovely photos of their special day, they even had their beautiful dogs involved in the ceremony with the oldest one being ring-bearer whilst the others followed.

Just lovely.

Read more ...

The secret pleasure of space

Annette Oyagé // Tuesday, 14 August 2018

In the UK, in my little urban garden, a pressure washer was out of the question. I could have cleaned the terraces of about 8 houses without leaving my doorstep.

But here in France it's another story and pressure washing has become my not-so-guilty secret pleasure.

Oh, the satisfaction as years of grime are peeled away in seconds.

I'm running out of dirt to blast and the dogs are looking nervous.



Your turn...

Let your inner author loose!  If you have an experience to share about moving to, living in or simply visiting France then we'd like to hear about it.  Write a maximum of 300 words, attach a photo and we'll publish the best here.

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