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Everything posted by Moorejw

  1. Don't worry about the letter asking if you want to change regimes that is another standard letter that goes out at this  time of the year.
  2. If you heat up your main oven (3Kw) just to make a rice pudding or cook a casserole for two, why not invest in a smaller freestanding (1200w) oven or a Remushka (60 w - from lakeland). the saving on electricity makes the layout well worth it.
  3. You will be looking at around 450 - 550 euros per calendar month. Tenant to pay all utilities and tax d'hab. Depends on location, condition etc. With no central heating it could be a bit grim as the temperature in Charente Maritime has not climbed much above 5 degrees for a week now!
  4. You should consult the PLU (Plan Local d'Urbanism) at your Mairie which will tell you what zone your land is in, and therefore whether you have any hope of gaining a CU. The CU should describe the type of development and the plot size, so if you want to sell 3 separate plots you will need to apply for 3 CUs.
  5. I put a few drops of cider vinegar in their water which helps prevent worms.
  6. We also purchased a roller iron - a Miele 895B, one metre wide and ironing (for 3 gites) has gone from being an endless chore to almost being a pleasure. It is foot pedal operated and will steam iron for 20 minutes on one litre of water. It cost me 1,000 euros from a discount website.
  7. Ditto to most of the above, plus each of our gites has a herb garden, strawberries and a cherry tree, so that those who holiday at the right time get to 'pick their own'. At the mo we have two hens who lay their eggs nearly every day on one gite terrace, and that is also very popular but difficult to orchestrate!!
  8. The French ads usually say 'donne contre bon soins' donated in exchange for good care. That is the best translation you will find that will be understood by French readers. Good luck!
  9. I think with your hobbies and interests you will be very happy here. Rural France suits self-contained, country-minded people very well - its perfect for those wishing to live the good life, as land is more easily available and not too expensive. Everyone expects you to grow your own and keep a few hens, my neighbours wondered why we hadn't acquired a rooster, when we were worried about annoying them with the noise!! We now keep hens, ducks, geese, quail and either piglets or lambs for the freezer, something we could not do in the UK for a number of reasons. I would say 'go for it' with your eyes wide open and having plenty of time for research you should find what you are looking for. On the climate front, why not look at Poitou-Charentes? We have defined seasons, and usually long hot summers (not too hot apart from 2003) and short sharp winters. We have had a lot of rain this year, but so has everywhere in europe (apart from Barcelona). Good luck!
  10. Well, we have a 10 x 5 pool with a bubble cover and the temp was up to 25 degrees two weeks ago, before all the rain. We regularly get 28-29 degrees in the height of summer. Keeping the bubble cover on heats it up, so don't take the cover off except when you are swimming. Is your pool in a very exposed place? I would have thought you would achieve more than 23 degrees.
  11. Ask at your nearest tourist info office, ours in Surgeres hires bikes by the day or week.
  12. It is easy to overlook/forget this form as it arrives with your planning permission! We were reminded by our local Mairie recently (building work finished last June after 3 years hard graft!!) and promptly submitted the back-dated form. We had already submitted the building tax form and paid the required amount, as they send you a form each year until you have finished renovating but they do not inform the authorities at the DDE!!
  13. Moorejw

    hens worming

    I have never wormed my hens in over 5 years - I use cider vinegar in their drinking water once a week as a preventative measure and have never had a problem. As for red mite, when we built our coop we treated the wood with insecticide and we dust once a week with Saniterpen and have never had a problem.
  14. I am surprised that you took a cheque from somebody who had not paid before they arrived. We normally ask for payment six weeks in advance and on the odd occasion that we take a booking at short notice we explain that we will require payment in cash before they can take the keys to their gite. Better safe than sorry! Hope your guests are OK.
  15. Prices vary enormously in the different areas. You can rent a gite out of season if it is equipped for winter lets (heating etc.) We rent our 3 bedroom gite in the winter to house hunters and there are lots of web sites that specialise in longer term lets.
  16. You can buy a hygrometer from Ducatillon for 15 euros. www.ducatillon.com
  17. Moorejw

    can't find

    Carrefour do a similar product, its very good.
  18. Yes, there is a building tax that kicks in 18 months and 2 years from the start of your project. Sorry can't remember how it is calculated, but I am sure that somebody will know.
  19. I think there is some confusion here, you should get a better rate from a currency exchange company, with no charges, than from a high street bank. Have a look at http://www.firstratefx.com they deal with our exchanges and are very on the ball.
  20. There are some lovely towns and villages with good fishing in Charente Maritime. The two main rivers are the Charente and Boutonne, but there are lots of tributaries as well. The local fishing authorities actually stock the rivers with trout at this time of the year. I have sent you a PM.
  21. I am amazed that anybody would buy a house without knowing where their waste goes! I once had vendor tell me that their house had a septic tank and when it was investigated for the purchaser there was an overflow from a fosse etanche (cess pit) which ran down a ditch at the side of the drive. This was not 'treated' sewage, just the liquid overflow! The house had been modernised and had two bathrooms, both of which emptied into the small cess pit and overflowed into this ditch. The smell in summer must have been unmentionable! (Mind you they had lovely peaches on the trees in the drive!) Even a modern septic tank should be empted every 5 years or so, to reduce the build up of solids.
  22. Depends on the size/location of property that you want to rent. We rent out a 2 bed cottage for 600 euros per month in winter. You could pay as little as 450 for an appartment up to 1000 for a 4 bed house.
  23. Have purchased a DLINK range extender and after two days of pulling our hair out IT WORKS! Gives us a full strength signal where we previously struggled to get 2 bars. Thanks for all the help.
  24. Also, if you earn below the current lower limit you can claim back some of your charges. I claimed back 75% of my cotisations for retirement benefits in years 1 & 2, which made a big difference. BUT you will not get the credits towards a pension if you do not pay - depends whether you will need a French pension or not. I also received a reimbursement from URSSAF without asking for it when I had a really bad year. I even received a tax credit from the tax man - not bad eh?!
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