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  1. Thanks for the advice Gardengirl, I'll pop down to the local Tourist Information office this week to see if there's anything they can suggest.
  2. Hi, Having bought our little peace of France just over a year ago now, my Mum has decided she's ready to come for a visit and see what its all about! We're delighted she wants to come and stay but are a little concerned about her mobility and how she'll manage with getting around. Mum has a condition that means she's unable to walk very far and uses a wheelchair quite frequently. This isn't a problem in the UK, but in the part of France we live, Correze in Limousin, its very mountainous and hilly and our village is full of hills and slopes so just getting around there will be a challenge. I was wondering if anyone could suggest any visitor attractions in Limousin that are disabled friendly we could take her to for a couple of days out? Thanks
  3. My buildings and contents insurance is coming up for renewal soon and I’m wondering whether anyone has used a UK based holiday home insurance company?   I’m currently insured by Allianz France, I’ve never had a problem with them but obviously all the policy documents I receive from them are in French, and though my French is improving, I’m still not fluent so worry I’ll miss something important!   I’ve been in touch with a couple of UK based insurance companies who offer specialist holiday home insurance and the premiums I’ve been quoted sound competitive enough, but am wondering if there are any downsides to being insured by a smaller UK company I might not be thinking of?   Thanks
  4. Just looked at my latest bank statement online and there's an entry on there I've never seen before. It says 'Virement Offre Entree Relation Eer' next to a 30€ credit? From my rough translation, that means something along the lines of a transfer for entering a relationship. I opened the account with Credit Agricole about 8 months ago, so it is quite a new account. Is this just a one off payment as a thank you for opening the account with them or am I missing something? If it's just a one off payment, I'm not complaining, that'll buy me a few nice bottles of red [:)] Thanks
  5. Hi all, I'm a relatively new French property owner and am wondering if anyone can recommend a property maintenance company or know of anyone local to me offering property maintenance services? Our house is in a village called Treignac in Dept 19, Correze, Limousin. Am looking for someone who could keep a spare set of keys, check on the house regularly when we're not there for any damage, cut the lawn in the summer months etc etc. Our neighbours are all lovely and have said they'll keep an eye on the place, but we don't want to burden them too much so are looking for someone we could come to a more formal arrangement with. Any suggestions or local knowledge would be gratefully received [:)]
  6. My Other Half and I have been the proud owners of our holiday home in France since March this year. We’re married but have no children and for us there’s no possibility of any children arriving in the future. So, when we bought our French house we asked our Notaire to include a ‘Tontine’ clause so that should either of us die the surviving partner would inherit the deceased’s share of the property.   But, what then happens to the property and money held in French bank accounts when the surviving partner dies? Or, what happens if both die at the same time, in an accident for example?   We have wills in the UK where we’re named as each other’s benefactors and we’ve specified what we want to happen to our property and other assets in the UK should we both die at the same time or after the last surviving partner dies. Can we include our wishes for what we want to happen to our French property in this UK will (as in the French property just becomes part of our overall estate), or do we need to have a separate will for this drawn up in France?   Not the cheeriest of topics I know, but any advice would be gratefully received.
  7. Thanks everyone, some really helpful advice. Have a few things to add to my shopping list before I head off. You've definitely scared me off leaving any of the electric heaters on, I certainly don't want a bill for 1000€ come the spring! I had thought about leaving a window just slightly open behind the shutters to let some air flow through but was advised against this by a neighbour who did just that and came back in spring to find some bats had found their way in and were roosting in the bedroom!    I hadn't thought of damp or mould so I'll definitely be getting some moisture traps. But what about bedding, soft furnishings and clothes, are they likely to get damp over the winter? What about using those vacuum pack things or would putting things in plastic trunks work? And what about mattresses and sofas etc, things you cant wrap in plastic, does just covering with an old sheet offer enough protection?     
  8. Hi everyone,   Just looking for some advice, hints or tips anyone may have about locking up a holiday home in France for the winter? I only bought my home in France earlier this year so this will be the first winter I’ve had to prepare for. We’re in the Monedieres mountains of the Correze, Dept 19 in central France, and I’m told that even though the last few winters have been quite mild it can get very cold, so I want to make sure I’m properly prepared.   I’m heading over to France in the next few weeks and will be there for all of October, but when I come back to the UK in November I won’t be back in France again until March next year so am just wondering what precautions I should take before heading back home or are there things I need to take over to France from the UK that I might find useful?   I don’t want to sound totally clueless here, I think I’ve got the basics covered, pipes insulated, hot water tank drained down, anti-freeze in the toilets, we have electric heating which can be left on frost guard and we have a friendly neighbour who’s agreed to keep a key and pop in regularly to make sure everything’s ok. But I was just wondering if there’s anything I’m not thinking of?   Thanks GT
  9. Thanks everyone for the advice! Our notaire did provide an attestation with a breakdown of all costs, and we've not been asked to pay for any of the tax fonciere for the remainder of the year - the previous owner had paid both taxes for a full year? I've now spoken to EDF and have set up an account with them and arranged for all bills to be received electronically and have set up a DD for payments - but this was before reading some of your responses about DD's in France? Has anyone had trouble with EDF taking unauthorised or unexpected payments? I'm not currently in France and will next be over in a couple of weeks time when hopefully I can go and visit the Mairie to sort out the water bill and also try and speak to someone about taxes for the next year. There is a Centre des Impôts - Trésor public office in the little town we’ve bought in, so I guess they’ll be my first port of call for this?
  10. Hi everyone, Am pretty new to the forum, so be gentle with me! We've just completed on the purchase of our property in France and there are a few things I'm not sure of what the next steps are or what I should do next, so any advice would be gratefully received. There are two main things I'm looking for advice on: On the day of completion the imobiliare took the water meter reading and said she would write a letter to the Maire showing the reading on the day we took ownership. But, how will we now be billed for water rates, is it quarterly or annually? Can I request that the bill is sent to my UK address as we wont be permanent residents in France for a few years yet and I don't want a bill to be sat unpaid on the doormat for a few months whilst we're not there.The second thing I'm a bit unsure of are the local taxes, habitation and fonciere. I know these are paid in January each year, but again this is a time of the year when we're unlikely to be in France, so can these bills be sent to my UK address? Also I believe that with the tax d'habitation the rates of tax vary slightly for second homes and primary residences etc and that there is an option to opt out of the TV licencing element if you do not have a TV at the property. Who and how do I inform about my circumstances to make sure I'm paying the correct level of tax, is it just a visit to the Maire?OK, I think I've rambled on enough there! I don't know if it will make a difference, but the property is in the Correze, dept 19. Thanks in advance!    
  11. Thanks everyone for your replies. Sorry, should have said that yes, I am a UK resident, so it will be my income here in the UK that will service any mortgage I take out to buy a property in France. I had thought that a French mortgage would be a better idea, as any future risk associated with defaulting in payment would only put the French property at risk not my main UK home. Not that I foresee ever defaulting, my finances are stable, but you never know what the future will bring? In the short term, our plan is to use the French property as a holiday home but also to rent it out seasonally. Then in the longer term we would look to start and spend more time there before making the move permanently when we retire, so don't worry Sue, I'll still get to take holidays elsewhere too. And in terms of French banks not lending to non-residents, that doesn’t seem to be the case. I sent an enquiry to the international arm of the French bank BNP Paribas yesterday and got a reply today. Based on the information I sent them they've already made an 'in principle' offer. Has anyone actually taken out a French mortgage? Would still be interested to know if it worked for you?
  12. Hi everyone Am a forum newbie, so please be kind. Have been reading some other posts on here for info, but this is my first post. Have been dreaming of buying a holiday home in France for some time now, and finally I'm an a position to do it! I've seen some houses online that I quite like the look of that are within my budget, but don't know what the next step is - other than coming to France to view them, which I'm hoping to do in September. What I really want to know about is French mortgages. I have 50% of the budget I've set myself available to put down as a deposit in cash, but I would need a mortgage for the other 50%. I don't know whether I should just approach a French bank, ask the immobilier for help or to use a UK company that will guide me through everything. My French is ok, but not so good that I'd feel confident dealing with solicitors etc. Has anyone else used a UK based agency to get a French mortgage, is it a waste of money or money well spent? Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
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