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Posts posted by Patmobile

  1. [quote user="ltf"]Yes, I did, and it doesn't say anything about chambre de commerce registration being compulsory for locations meublées. To be honest, I didn't understand the relevancy of your post at all.
    Doing a quick search, I have found this and this  (the second actually from a ch de com website), which are a lot clearer to me.

    Sorry OP - in answer to your question, you could probably live quite nicely on and income of 20000€ per annum, do you really want the hassle of running gites? Sharing your personal space every summer, always knocking at the door for something or another, asking if you can take them to the doctors because they don't speak a word of English, breaking your furniture/crockery, taking divots out of the garden when they practice their golf, doing changeovers every Saturday in hot weather, all the ironing, finding things that don't work on Saturday that the guests never told you about and it is too late to get a plumber/electrician before the next guests arrive, other people's children everywhere, all the time. If so, then running gites is for you.
    A pool is quite important for a decent income if you are inland.

    Thanks for finding those web pages.  I found the first one very interesting, especially the last few lines

    "Exonération de taxe professionnelle (sauf exception) pour les personnes qui louent tout ou partie de leur habitation personnelle à titre de gîte rural, sous réserve de deux conditions :

    - le logement ne constitue pas l'habitation principale ou secondaire du locataire,

    - le gîte est classé "Gîte de France" dans les conditions prévues à l'article 58 de la loi n° 65-997

    du 29 novembre 1965."


    I assume the reason my tax office is telling me that I don't have to register as a business is because I fulfill all these requirements.  The gites are built in the old stables in the grounds of my home, and they are classified Gites de France 




  2. I think the Fiat 124 was well-regarded because it's motor gave 60 bhp from 1200 cc., about the same as most 1500-1600cc standard family saloons at the time.  The engine loved to be revved, too, unlike many of the engines in British cars of the day.  The body was lighter than other popular saloon cars like the Cortina, and it had decent handling, when many of its contemporaries still sported cart springs on the rear axle.

    Against, it was poorly equipped, noisy, badly finished inside, and it rusted like all Italian cars of the day.  The driving position was designed for the average Italian male, who, apparently, had short legs, so you either had to drive with your knes up round the steering wheel, or with your arms stretched out to maximum reach. 

    Many years later I was taken out as a passenger in a new Lada.  The motor of the Lada was sluggish, rough, and noisy.  Back axle noise was awful.  I suspect the Russians modified everything to suit their roads, climate, poor petrol and lack of servicing facilities, so although it looked similar, underneath it was not the same car.


  3. One night in August 1979 I was sailing my boat up the Channel.  It had been a long and tiring passage with several sail changes and some complicated stretches of coastal water to navigate earlier in the day, and, alone on deck towards the end of a four-hour late night watch I realised how overtired I was when I imagined seeing flashes of light streaking across the sky.  I thought it best not to wake the next man on watch and thus alert the crew to my exhaustion, so I hung on doggedly until the watch change, all the time telling myself the flashes in the sky were an illusion caused by fatigue.

    The end of my watch finally came, I was relieved by the next man, and I went wearily below to write up the log and plot the boat's position on the chart before turning into my bunk for a welcome rest.  Suddenly, the new man on watch shouted excitedly from the deck. "Wake up you lot, and get up here quick!  You've got to see this fantastic show of shooting stars!"




  4. [quote user="sclarke2208"]


    I am moving to Pas de Calais in 4 weeks time and wondered if there were any golfers on the forum in that area. I am a comparitive novice to the game, having only played 3 nine hole games. But I love the idea of improving. I am a single 60 year old lady who would love to keep up the sport in France. Anybody willing to take a chance?



    Roseysan, try Nampont Golf Club.  It's very friendly and there's a good bunch of seniors who meet informally to play on Thursday mornings at 9 - 9.30.  You can play with them no matter what standard your golf, and afterwards enjoy lunch and a lively conversation in French (very good for improving your fluency).

    Nampont is not the finest of courses, but it's good value and the people are famously welcoming.



  5. [quote user="Eslier"]
    In order to make a profit of around 20k€ you really should be looking for a letting income of about 30k€ which should be achievable if you have the right properties in the right location. At this sort of income level, you will need to register as a business so don't forget you will need to budget for those nasty cotisation payments etc. but this shouldn't be prohibitive.


    I agree with pretty much all that Eslier says, except that you should not have to register as a business.  Since you have a reasonable income already, your earnings from lettings will be allowable as earnings from a non-professional activity.  In other words it's a sideline. 

    The French tax system offers you the opportunity to take this Micro-Bic option and pay a very reasonable amount of tax on your non-professional earnings from letting furnished gites, up to a ceiling of a bit over 70,000 euros (I forget the actual limit).  I think this started as a concession to the farming community who once owned nearly all the gites.  The record keeping required is minimal, the declaration is very simple, and best of all, they let you keep most of your money. 

    I would certainly suggest you talk to your local Hotel des Impots (Tax Office) and see if this option applies to you, before even thinking about registering as a business.


    Edit:  The official Gites de France figures for average occupancy are 16.45 weeks per year.  I suggest you use this figure in your forecast model and see if it works for you.  In my view you should be able to do much better, in the region of 20 - 30 weeks depending on where you are, provided you do the right marketing and maintain high standards.


  6. This woolybanana guy obviously knows next to nothing about the Pas de Calais in general or Hesdin in particular.  I would suggest ignoring any "advice" he might offer.

    Since it's an easy trip for you I suggest you spend a few weekends in the area and get to know it better.  Half a day of exploration will provide you with a better working knowledge of the region, its history, culture, facilities and attractions than the banana person seems to have.




  7. They are all rust colour - just some have a coat of some other colour over it.

    Re the Caravelle, I had a company Caravelle for a few months in the sixties.  I was embarrassed to be seen in it because it was considered far too girly for a bloke to drive.  Got rid of it and got a Fiat 124 instead.  Now there was a car you could really thrash.  Same old rust problem, though.  

    So, unless you are actually a hairdresser, I would suggest you try to find a good Dauphine.



  8. My hint, in all seriousness, is not to call them gîtes.  Not because it's difficult to spell properly, but because the word may now have connotations for some people, with experience of renting them years ago, of a certain shabby, amateurish, second-handness in their furnishings, decor and equipment.

    Call them holiday cottages, country cottages, farm cottages, or even houses.

    Build them ... and gits will come


  9. I had a 1957 Dauphine in the '60s.  It was a good car to drive by the standards of the day but awful in the wet.  As already mentioned above they suffered from corrosion and mine was no exception.

    A common mechanical problem was that the camshaft was driven by a set of internal bakelite gears.  These would wear down and leave you, suddenly with a mysteriously non-functioning engine.  I always liked the sound of the rear mounted engine when it was running, and driving my Smart, which makes a slightly similar noise, often gives me a tingle of nostalgia.

    The gearchange linkage was very prone to developing slackness and play, so that it was quite easy for your hand to touch somewhere quite high up on a female passenger's thigh while "trying to find reverse".  This was a most useful feature at the time.

    Eventually I lost it while negotiating a sharp left-hander on a wet day.  I over-corrected, lost it the other way, over-corrected again, etc. until eventually I hit the wall of an unfortunately placed church.  No damage to the church but the Dauphine's rusted-through front end folded up alarmingly.  My suitcase, which was in the front luggage compartment, was compacted to about half its original length.  Lucky it was there.  It was probably the strongest, most crush-resistant component in front of my legs, and may have saved me from injury.

    A few years later I had the use of a company Caravelle which had originally been the MD's wife's car.  It was embarrassing to be seen in it, frankly.



  10. I have always liked a song by the Kursaal Flyers -  "Little Does She Know".  It's very meaningful to me.

    Here is a sample from the lyrics:

    "Little does she know that I know that she knows that I know she’s two timing me.  Little does she know that I know that she knows that I know she’s cheating on me."

    Great stuff!


  11. [quote user="Gluestick"]

    By the way Pat: I do hope you have a certificate of origin for the fur your sporran is made from! Or you will be the next criminal to be banged up! [:D]

    Anyone else picked up on this latest inanity of law making?


    My sporran is cowhide leather - not furry - so no licence needed I hope. 

    I don't see that there's a greater divide between haves and have nots now than ever before.  Quite the reverse I would have thought.  Nowadays, in Britain, anyway, you have the haves and the have mores.  There was far more real poverty and need in Britain when my father was a young man than there is now, yet there was less crime.  I suspect very few criminals these days are motivated by need. 


  12. We went to our French bank and asked for a 90% loan for a third French property.  Showed them our French tax returns as evidence of income, 6 months bank statements from our UK bank to prove no other loans or mortgages - and no excessive outgoings.  Came out with a loan.  No problem.


  13. I see that the poor parents have gone off to see the Pope today.  I assume this is because, as the world's leading employer of paedophiles, they think he might have some influence, if indeed she has been taken by one.



  14. I've just remembered I kept hens when I was a lad of about 8 or 9.  My dad wanted me to do something useful about the place and this was it.  I remember making a shedload of pocket money from eggs and the occasional bird for the pot.  I could never bring myself to kill them though - someone else had to do that.

    I even started breeding, and so began to learn the facts of life.  It all ended in tears when the fox got in and killed most of them - and then I was sent away to boarding school. 

    I have done some googling on the subject of alpacas, too.  I read somewhere that they aren't keen on escaping.  A simple low fence suffices, because they don't like jumping.  And they will see off a fox, too, apparently, although foxes are very scarce in this part of France - shot on sight as pests, I suspect.

    Are they noisy?  I haven't found the answer to that anywhere.



  15. Well, I haven't said I'll definitely get some yet!  And if I posted photos you might see that far from driving fat cat BMW 4x4s, we have a pair of Smart cars in the drive.

    Yes, I can see that there would be a cost involved in keeping them, and that the fleeces might not fetch a lot in return, but there is also a significant cost in mowing the grass and chopping down undergrowth with a débroussailleuse.  What's more, a lot of the mowing cost is the government's rip-off tax on petrol.  Why should I pay tax to keep my grass neat?

    Then there's the mower's carbon footprint to consider (ha! what a load of unscientific b*ll*ocks!) and, far more to the point, the fact that I detest gardening.

    Taking all that into consideration, alpacas begin to look like an attractive alternative.  Nice looking and friendly, too, so I'm told.   I would like to know a bit more about the costs and work involved, though, before I become, for the first time in my life, a keeper of livestock.


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