If you are interested in the prospect of living in France and are considering buying property in the most visited country in the world, what are some of the pros and cons you should be aware of? Here are ten areas to think about before you make your first move…
Buying a property and living in France is a dream for many. While the pros far outweigh the cons, the team at Home Hunts has put a list together covering what we think are the major advantages and disadvantages of living in France.
The pros of living in France
Proven property market
France is renowned for its stable property market and many of its regions, such as Paris and the French Riviera, are investment savvy, safe haven locations. Now, more than ever before, is the time to buy property in France as the combination of lower property prices, reduced interest rates and vendors willing to negotiate deals means that dream properties can be snapped up at dream prices.
The French government is creating innovative schemes and implementing new laws to boost economic activity in France. It is a great time to be an entrepreneur in France with an improved focus on start-ups and accelerator funding. The auto-entrepreneur regime means that launching a business and filing taxes is simple and straightforward, which is good news for expats who often run businesses when living in France.
Well-maintained roads, international airports and a fast TGV train network means that you’re never far away from where you need to be. Advanced transportation systems run in cities across France – for example, Bordeaux is renowned for its smart infrastructure and tram system, and Paris, of course, has its metro system, Autolib’ electric car-sharing system and Vélib bicycle-sharing service, which is the sixth largest in the world.
Although in the north of France the climate is similar to that of the UK, areas in the South of France, such as Provence and the Côte d’Azur offer around 300 days of sunshine each year. As stated in Home Hunts’ recent property insights brochure INSIDE FRANCE, buying a property in an up-and-coming area, such as Narbonne in Languedoc or Grasse on the French Riviera, means you can enjoy glorious weather and live minutes from the beach for less than in some of the more coveted locations.
There is a reason why France is the most visited country in the world. Whether you want an Alpine chalet in a world-class ski resort, a traditional stone farmhouse surrounded by olive groves, a town house in a smart city (such as Montpellier) or a waterfront villa with a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea, France has it all.
Divine food and wine
Wherever you live in France, the food – from regional specialities both savoury and sweet, to fresh market produce and restaurant menus – is second to none. Local wine is often excellent, but you can also choose to live in a world-class wine region, such as Bordeaux (recently voted “best destination in Europe”) and enjoy the many food and wine tasting events that are especially plentiful throughout the summer and autumn.
From the crèche to “maternelle”, then primary school and secondary school all the way through to the BAC, the French education system offers top notch facilities to those living in France. You can expect after-school care to support parents who work, and for your children to benefit from a varied four-course lunch menu on a daily basis.
France offers an excellent healthcare service that is accessible to all those who are working and living in France. It is efficient and thorough, and recognised as being one of the best public healthcare systems in the world.
The cons of living in France
If living in France is your goal, life will be far easier if you can speak the language. However, if you don’t then there are ways around it, for example, such as working with a bilingual property management company if you wish to rent out your property, and services that deal with administrative issues on your behalf. As a buyer’s agent Home Hunts is well connected with bilingual specialists and will be happy to put you in touch as and when required.
Some say that while the standard of living in France is high, so is the cost. Although at the moment, the favourable exchange rates mean that, particularly for the British and Americans, spending in France is cheaper now than it has been for a long time. However, despite Paris being named by TripAdvisor last year as being one of the most expensive cities in the world (along with London and New York), an affordability index by Youthful Cities saw Paris take the top spot for most affordable city in the world.
To view property for sale in France, visit www.home-hunts.com, and to discuss any concerns about living in France, speak to a consultant on +33 (0)970 44 66 43.