Sharing France with you
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.
French Property Exhibition, Olympia London
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
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!
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
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
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.
We get the occasional bluetit in the house. It sends the dogs crazy when they flap against the window trying to get out.
This week there was a kerfuffle and when we went to see what was going on we'd been upgraded! It wasn't your common or garden bluetit on the mantelpiece but a rather splendid and exotic-looking hoopoe!
These zebra-striped migrants come and go between France and Africa and we keep our lawn neatly cut to entice them to hang around. They wander around the short grass listening carefully and probing the ground with their long curved beak looking for crickets and larvae.
Shakespeare in a chateau
I confess that when I moved to France I had absolutely no idea that occasional summer evenings might be passed watching Shakespeare.
Last night we attended a magical performance of Much Ado About Nothing, conducted in French and English, in the grounds of a chateau in the heart of the gorgeous bastide town of Eymet, Dordogne.
The company Antic Disposition never disappoint. The performances are spirited, engaging and brilliantly acted. And so much easier to understand than written Shakespeare!
You just have time to try for a ticket in one of the other equally special locations...
For property in places likely to deliver a welcome surprise, click here.
Viewing trips, French style!
Keep an eye out for Montaigu de Quercy sales consultant, Edite Hill.
She's hard to miss as she whizzes around the Tarn et Garonne and Lot et Garonne on viewing trips in her snazzy 2CV.
Keys to the door, and so much more!
We bought our house from Jean-Marie, 'un homme d'un certain age'. Don't you just love that phrase. So much nicer than 'an elderly man'.
Anyway, he sold us this house that he had known since the 1960's and he wanted to pass on so much more than the simple ownership.
He asked if he could spend the day with us prior to the final signing so he could introduce us to our new village.
The tour started with a visit to the local medical centre where we were presented to the receptionist who then looked a bit perplexed as the three of us stood in line to gaze over her head at the main reason for our visit. Behind her desk was an old black and white photo on the wall. 'Look', said Jean-Marie, 'on the left, you can just see your house amongst the trees.' True enough, with a squint and a bit of wishful thinking I could see that that might be the house.Read more ...
Go on, make a cheeky offer!
Property in France is by and large negotiable but it’s not a free-for-all. Jacqui Reddin-Williams shares her experience of negotiating the best deals
We spend an amount of time disabusing our clients of the idea that they can follow the screaming headlines they have read imploring them to offer 30% under the asking price. It might very occasionally be true, but statistically it is a very long way from it. Most deals are agreed much closer to the advertised price.
You cannot apply a formula to the very individual and current circumstances of any property that tugs your heartstrings. You wouldn’t do it at home, and you can’t do it in France.
But where exactly are these headlines? Can anyone remember actually seeing them in print? There is something of the urban myth about all this.
For the purposes of selecting properties to view, by all means add a margin to your budget.
And be prepared to spend what you have to, to achieve the ‘right’ property at a fair price.
To be clear, if you have seen or heard that every sale is a fire-sale, it is bad advice.
Read on to understand why.
What is any given property worth?
As professionals it is difficult to draw comparisons between unique individual rural properties.
However, we will apply skill and experience in doing so.
As a buyer you will rapidly develop an instinct - and you will be of course be influenced by what you like.
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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