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jules's Achievements


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  1. True. But then you could say where we are now in Cockermouth is "in the picturesque Derwent valley" and there has been flooding in the town, too, yet our house is about 40 or 50m above the highest flood level. Still, I downloaded Google Earth 4 and zoomed in on the exact location of this development and according to that it is at most 2m above the level it shows for the river. Even here the river can rise that much after a lot of heavy rain in the mountains, and we always think what a good job we didn't buy one of the houses by the river which a couple of years ago had it lapping at the front door. So this development is probably not for us. I won't be making a special viewing trip, anyway. But from what I have found out I really like the look of Anduze and the surrounding area, so I think we will go and visit some time soon.
  2. [quote user="Mpprh"] Anduze is subject to flooding. It is worth checking the exact location with the communal flood maps here : [/quote] I didn't make much sense of the communal flood maps, but judging by the location shown on one of the French agents' maps, the development is located on a bit of land right next to the river. And one of my rules even when buying property in the UK is, never buy a house right beside a river...
  3. [quote user="Tresco"] Try searching using specific town names within the area you want to be along with immobiliere (have I spelt that right?). [/quote] Thanks, that's a useful tip.
  4. Yep, I know. But the agent had this listed so it came up when searching for properties in Provence, otherwise I'd probably never have seen it. Languedoc actually looks a very nice area from what I've seen on the Internet and we'll probably have to consider it if we can't find anything we like and can afford nearer to where my aunt lives.
  5. Thanks for the suggestion. I've visited the site, though not the forum. Languedoc is a bit outside the area we wanted to consider, as one of the boxes I wanted to tick is to be within a day trip visit of an elderly relative who lives in Lorgues, Var. Unfortunately that area almost certainly is well outside our budget, however most of my searching so far has been done using the key word "Provence".
  6. Thanks for answering, Andy. The bank is worth a try, though a couple of years ago when our branch still had a manager that we knew personally it would have been much easier than it is now. As for trying to second guess currency fluctuations, that seems to me to be an exercise in frustration, at least with my luck! I felt it would be better to borrow (or draw the money) in stages to avoid paying interest until you have to. The problem is the need to get the loan approved before you sign the agreement. In our case, the initial stages would be paid out of our own resources, so it might be 9 months after getting approval for the loan before we needed to draw. I can't predict what exchange rates will be in 9 months time but I do know what 9 months interest payments will be.
  7. I was interested in a development of new houses being built at Anduze, advertised by aplaceinfrance.co.uk. There are 2 bedroom houses from EUR 144K and 3 bedroom houses from EUR 167K. It ticks all the boxes for us. This development seemed to me exceptionally good value as most of the property in our price range in SE France seems to be apartments and even many of those are priced at over EUR 200K. I do not want an apartment, and my wife does not want anything in a rural location with no amenities within walking distance. However, having received the details from the agent it seems that all the houses that we would have chosen if we did decide to buy there are already reserved. I am therefore in a quandary, wondering if we may be passing up an opportunity to buy a house in that area that may not occur again within our budget. So I have a question for those who know the area. Is this development really unusually low priced, or, if we are patient, will there be other similar developments in the same price bracket where we can get in at the start and have our pick of plots?
  8. How do people finance the purchase of an off-plan property when it is intended to become your permanent home and the funds to purchase it would only become available on the sale of your UK property? Do you just take out a mortgage with the intention of paying it off in full when the property is completed and you can move? Or are there special loans, secured against your UK property, that you can take out specifically for the purchase of off-plan property, which guarantee the funds needed at the various building stages, so you only start paying interest on the money after the payments have been made, and can repay in full early without penalty? The only other solution I can see is to sell the UK property now to release the equity and then move into temporary rented accommodation while the French property is built, but that seems undesirable for several reasons, not least losing out on any gains in the UK property value during the period.
  9. Am I the only one who has been attracted to the idea of moving to France, bought the magazine and surfed this forum, and then been totally put off the idea by the amount of tax I would have to pay? I found it profoundly depressing to read in the February issue that under the Micro BIC you will pay about 45% of gross income. The corporation tax of my private limited company is about a third of that, though I do have to pay accountant's charges. But then I suppose there are social charges and so on on top of that, whereas the personal income tax and NI I pay are quite small. For the amount of tax I would save by staying here, I could afford several holidays. Do people who move to France only think about the cheaper property, better weather, wine and food, and then get a horrible shock on their first encounter with the French taxman? Britain does have its disadvantages, but I find myself agreeing with Maggie Thatcher that such high levels of taxation as there seem to be in France are not much of a motivation to work hard at creating a business.
  10. I just came across this page while trying to find a definition of what "cotisations" are. This has thrown another spanner in the works by suggesting that if you are self employed you must only work at one thing or else you must operate (and pay cotisations on) separate businesses. Although our main income comes from websites I also write a column for a computer magazine, and do ad-hoc software development. I don't think the Inland Revenue would care if I cleaned windows some of the time as long as I declared the income from it. I thought one of the reasons people moved to France was for a less stressful existence...
  11. Thanks for the replies. > In France you pay some cotisations on dividend income, including that received from abroad. So we would pay tax twice, once in France and once in the UK. I was afraid of that. > For a profession liberale the cotisations amount to about 46% of taxable income. Then you pay tax on what is left. There is no way round it. This is the scariest bit of advice I've seen. 46% tax is way higher than anything we pay in the UK. Most of the business turnover is profit because the deductions - renting a web server, telephone charges, the occasional computer or software upgrade - are quite small. Isn't it demoralizing for people to see more than half their income being taken by the state? > Cumbria ain't the Home Counties but you may still earn on swapping a UK home for a French one. I don't think we'll have much change left out of selling a £200,000 house, especially as the area we would prefer to go to - Provence, where I have an elderly relative - is not one of the cheapest places in France we could go to. > Just get yourself a good acountant - that's the only way to not pay more than you have to. I certainly will once - if - we are there. But at the moment we are at the feasibility study stage. What I have learned so far only confirms that finding out how much tax we would have to pay and how much money we would have left to live on is vital to the decision making process. But it's not so easy to get this information while we are not in France and it is just a theoretical matter.
  12. My wife and I have an Internet based business which is a private limited company in the UK. My wife and I are sole directors, and receive a small directors salary from the company, the rest of the benefits being as dividends on which we don't pay income tax because tax has already been paid by the company. I am trying to find out whether this arrangement would continue to be the best option, or even possible, were we to move permanently to France. We work entirely from the end of an Internet connection and there are no UK premises: the web server we use is located in the USA, as are many of the businesses we earn money from. Although several posts suggest that if you are working from France everything has to be based in France, the advice given at the end of this posting here suggests that it is possible to continue to work as we do now. However, I'm not sure what the statement "you or your other half must not be 'gerant majoritaire', i.e. adding your div shares together must not receive more than 49%" means, and whether that would rule us out. The alternatives, presumably, are to de-incorporate the company and then either set up a French limited company (I'm guessing this could be expensive, as I've read that France isn't as small-business friendly as the UK) or just work as self employed in France. One reason I'm not keen on this is that it would not be transparent to the various people who provide our income, and we might lose some customers on the way. Various posts about high costs and bureaucracy show the reason why although I have dreamed about relocating to France or Spain for many years it has always seemed easiest in the end to stay in the UK and just go for holidays. Unfortunately we could never afford a second home abroad, and it's a hassle trying to find places with broadband access and remembering to take everything with us that we might need if something goes wrong while we are away, so we don't escape the UK as often as we need to. The lousy weather and total dissatisfaction with the health service here in Cumbria has finally made me consider taking the plunge and relocating, but we need to understand the effect such a move would have on our income, and whether the reputed lower cost of living in France would be negated by higher taxes. The bottom line, I need a rough idea of what the costs are likely to be. Our company currently has a turnover of just over £30,000. What would we expect to pay in taxes and accountants' fees on a similar income if the business was registered as a French company, or if we operated as self employed?
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