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Everything posted by Erica

  1. Having said that, I do not know any of the other parts of the Dordogne, other than my own. I was going to view a house in Piégut Pluviers and a forum member PMed me and said not to go there and I took his advice on board. What was the advice regarding Piegut Plovers, just out of interest?
  2. I'm so sorry to read of your experiences, Idun. What an awful time for you and your family. I wish you all well.
  3. Thank-you Linda, that's really helpful to see it from your point of view when they come out the other end, as it were!
  4. I guess everyone's individual experience is different, Idun. Have you had children who have had a bad experience? I will do a search in French, I hadn't thought to do it in French so thanks for the advice. I suppose I was looking more for British childrens' experiences hence only searching in English and speaking to British parents.
  5. I really appreciate the honest and frank feedback. It all helps me weigh things up. To clarify few things raised I do speak reasonably good French, (A-level) but am very rusty. I'm quite sure I would be quite fluent within a couple of years. My husband doesn't speak a word though... We are looking in Dordogneshire! We love it there and I felt that my crafting idea would have the best chance of success where there is a concentration of expat ladies who would be interested in getting together with other ladies and taking part in an activity. The week long workshop/holidays, (both crafting and writing/illustrating for children), would be aimed at, well, the rest of the world! I would only want to hold 4 or 5 of these out of season. Yes, I would continue to work as a children's author/illustrator as I work from home and it doesn't matter where that is. I have looked into taxation for what I do and it "seemed" to work out similar to here in the UK but I am planning on having a French accountant I know to look through my figures and just double check. Yes, £200'000 is it. It's all we've got and all we'll ever have hence my caution and the hundreds of questions on here. My husband can do the bulk of the work himself but we're wondering how long that will take. Why France? I've been visiting France every year since I was a child and adore the Perigord Vert in particular for its landscape, its general vibe, the quietness and space, the weather of course, a more affordable house, we would be mortgage free, the adventure, a life less ordinary...I don't know. My husband had never been before our honey moon in 2002 and he fell head over heels for the area too. I have heard nothing but good reports, (until today, Idun), of the French schooling system. I have a 9 year old and a four month old baby. However moving my daughter into a french does concern me, obviously. I want my children to be happy. My husband and I are not concerned about having stacks of friends. We don't tend to be part of a social circle here, we're not unfriendly, don't get me wrong! We're just home bodies who enjoy each others company. We never, ever go out in the evening. Ever. I don't want to plough £200'000 into a business that is only going to see us earn back 7000 euros a year, (gites) BUT the crafting workshops/holidays, if a success could bring in a lot more on top of that. Plus there is my income from my children's books which would be enough to live on, but I'm keen to have more than one income. So I don't see the gites as a business that will be our sole income in France, I see it more as a means to affording the lifestyle we want and I would enjoy it. I'm from Northern Ireland, it's my nature to want to look after people! :-D I'm all ears if anyone else has anything to add to any of the issues above raised. I'm not looking to be convinced it's a good idea to move to France, nor am I going to close my ears to the negative comments. I'm just weighing everything up.
  6. Interesting point about the gite business being too isolated. I guess just because I like it doesn't mean everyone would. I thought that the peace and quiet would be our niche. I've looked at lots of gite websites that according to their booking pages are doing well and lots of them are 'out on a limb' so was reassured that it wouldn't be too much of an issue. I must admit that with the cost of artisans being so much more than expected, the exchange rate, brexit, (and possible frexit), stories about gites not getting any bookings, I, and my husband especially, are having serious second thoughts about the whole thing. I already have an income, (my writing and illustrating children books), but it isn't good money every year hence wanting a back up plan of gites. I was also planning on starting crafting workshops out of season as I make dolls and toy animals and things too which I sell in my online shop. I was also planning on running weekend workshops for local ladies both french and expats. Writing for children courses were also a possibility. We have a budget of £200'000 which we have saved up over 10 years and from renovating and selling property here in the UK. I really thought it would be enough but it's not looking likely. Ugh. Maybe it's time to knock it all on the head and buy a semi-detached bungalow. *sad face*
  7. "No one wants to be stuck with property you can’t sell, which is an increasing problem in rural France. " Good point...
  8. Is there a tutorial somewhere of how to use this forum as regards to getting rid of all the extra rubbish when quoting a post? (See above). I don't find the format of this site very straightforward...or maybe it's just me...
  9. [quote user="Mint2"]Also take account of when the children (you and your husband too) develop local interests, they'll have to be ferried around, picked up and deposited for their various activities. It's what you want really and depends on how gregarious you are. Plus, it goes without saying, how you relate to each other as a family[I] It's true that some people can feel lonely and isolated living in a big city and others are perfectly happy on their own, pottering endlessly by themselves. [/quote] All very true, Mint. :-)
  10. Thanks for the insight, Idun. I believe there is a bus that ferries the children to and from school from where we are. It's not remote as such, just VERY quiet. We live in a village now and there are buses and people walking dogs passing our house. It's not piccadilly circus, but my husband likes it, although I'm not sure why because he never talks to end of them! We'll see. I know you read my other post about artisans so we may not be able to afford it at this rate anyway! Ha! Thanks again for replying.
  11. So sorry to hear about the elderly ladies, Norman. That's terrible. We're looking at a place that is its own little hamlet, it's a collection of houses and barns. There are no immediate neighbours or any in sight, (apart from a chateau up on the hill which is actually inhabited). It doesn't bother me, but my husband is wondering whether he'd miss seeing other people around. As for the children, I'm hoping for playdates for friends after school and then dinner at ours, do they do this in France? It's quite easy to find so hopefully no issue if there was an emergency and only a few miles outside a town. Pommier...I need to know more about the nosey man in the field! Sounds very funny! (But maybe not at the time for you!)
  12. Hi folks, I'm just wondering who on here, lives in a home with zero neighbours in sight. I'd be even more interested to know if you have children. Do you like it? Do you wish you'd bought somewhere in a hameau or similar instead? Any thoughts appreciated Smile Erica
  13. I was recommended this site by my estate agent too. https://www.domoclick.pro/accueil.html
  14. Remember that artisans pay HUGE social charges plus all the other things they need to run their businesses, like insurances etc etc, means that they have no choice but to appear / be expensive. -------- I realise that you realise that you are asking how long a piece of string is with this post, and no one can tell you, other than it will probably be a LOT more than you imagine Hi Idun, I know, I'm realising that it is simply the going rate and that's that. Maybe I should jack in the children's books and become a French electrician...
  15. Hi there Chancer, Would you mind giving me a bit more info about a pieuvre? My husband is not an electrician but he isn't inexperienced either having done rewiring on our house we renovated here in the UK, (to fund this venture). I think this might be something that could possibly work for us. Is there a thread/website you know of that you could point me towards?
  16. I really appreciate the figures being mentioned here. It is exactly what I needed to hear as it's impossible to try and suck figures out of my thumb, no matter how much research I do online or articles I read. It's great hear it from people who have experienced it. As gutting as it is I think I may need to find somewhere a bit smaller, or have a complete re-think altogether...
  17. Thanks Andy, the footprint is 144 square metres. Do you mind me asking how big the square footage you have is? If it's similar to mine then I guess my £8000 isn't a million miles away but I'm beginning t realise I might need to add a bit more to my budget, perhaps a lot more!
  18. Thanks for the replies, folks. We would need the rewiring, heating system & hot water sorted by artisans but everything else we would be doing ourselves. (Plastering, flooring, fitting kitchens, bathroom, plumbing etc etc) so were hoping to keep costs less than a "full renovation" by artisans. £300'000 would not be possible for us at all...I've got a figure of around £80'000 for everything. Would a french electrician really charge more than £4000 to rewire a three/four bedroom old property?
  19. I forgot to say there is electricity and water already connected to the properties.
  20. Hello all, I'm aware this question is a bit tricky to help with without actually seeing the property involved but I'm hoping I will be able to find out if my budgeting is completely unrealistic or not. We are considering buying an old property which consists of multiple houses and barns. We want to initially restore 2 of the houses. One to live in, and one as a gite. The houses are joined and the square footage is 144 metres in total for both houses. There are two floors. The roof and carpentry and walls etc are all in very good nick. So I have budgeted - £4000 per house for complete rewiring. (£8000 in total) £3300 per house for a heating system, probably wood and some way of heating water (£6'600 in total). Does anyone have any experience that I can compare with? Again, I know it's impossible to put an exact figure on this but I'd be interested to know what costs other people have encountered so I can at least make some sort of "guesstimate" before making an offer on the property. Thank-you in advance, Erica.
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