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  1. Thanks for that... in this case 'Renovated' means to a very high standard by professional craftsmen using the finest quality materials - we've seen to many 'bodgers' and 'so called builders' which is why we used our own highly qualified people.

    Projects for a DIY enthusiast is self explanatory - we've left some areas in the barns to finish, having done the hard work ourselves - its up to the buyer to decide upon decor.

    Great potential - We have been buying and selling luxury houses for decades and know potential when we see it!

    I am disappointed with your negativity - please don't assume that we are all out to make a quick profit for very little return.

  2. Thanks for all your replies... I'm following some advice and contacting  a couple more agents who might want to add our house to their books , I'll leave the listings on GreenAcres and FPN as well though.

    Our house is a renovated (although still has projects to inspire a DIY enthusiast) prestigious property with great gite/B&B potential... I'm dreaming of a semi retired couple who want to live the perfect French life in a beautiful house and earn an income!

    As I keep reminding myself - it only takes one person to fall in love with the house and want to buy it... just a small matter of finding them!

    Good luck to everyone who is trying to sell at the moment.

  3. We've just put our house (Dept 87) on the market, privately through on line French property selling sites and are keeping our fingers crossed.

    We had a visit from a local estate agent who gave us a ridiculous estimation of selling price in order to 'sell the house really quickly' and for thousands of euro's fees! We have done our homework regarding pricing, market factors etc and so have followed the private sale route... we may have to wait for as long as it takes to sell but won't be lining the pockets of greedy agents who are out to make a quick sale at our expense!

    A couple of our friends have sold recently so there is some hope that the market is starting to pick up.

  4. I prefer to queue at the post office, I don't get embarased at the counter any more over the length of time I take - the locals in my town take ages to do their business, even buying a stamp entails a conversation that lasts at least 5 minutes... still, it helps to improve my French I suppose!

    Interestingly when I have used other post offices to post the same weight they have charged me different amounts - it is worth keeping your eye on it.  I find that posting a parcel to UK or US is cheaper than posting it to an address in France!

  5. I think I'm right in thinking that EDF read my meter in December (twice a year), this was about 150 euros higher than usual which I thought was a catch up.  In February I found my bill almost identical and estimated - can't possibly have used that much and wonder if they have estimated it on the higher bill in December?

    Don't want this to happen again - how do I submit my readings and when can I do it?  I have bi-monthly bills.

  6. We plan to put our house on the market in a couple of months time and in no rush for a buyer (if it happens, it happens!) just wondered though about any any taxes we will be liable for when we do eventually sell.

    Also, I've been told that there are still people out there in Europe who are looking for larger, renovated houses... hope so!

  7. Happy New Year! I'd love to hear from anyone who has a student at any Lycee in Angouleme that has an International section.  I understand that Lycee Jean Rostand does but can't find their web site for more information!

    We are planning for our son to start in September.

  8. I've had it and lost it... the English speaking number for Orange.fr - if anyone could give me it again I'd be grateful.

    I thought everything was running smoothly, paying my factures when  they arrived by cheque and just noticed that FT have been taking payment from my bank account every month of around 60-70 euros.  Don't know what this is for since I have the Livebox and pay for the line rental in that, we never call out on FT line incidentally!

  9. Still waiting for our Carte Vital to arrive (since February) hence we have had to pay for doctor etc.  We filled in all of our feuille de soins-medecin and sent them off to be re-inbursed.  Have just noticed on our bank statement that we have a couple of small payments paid into our account about 10% of what we have paid out.

    As we are new at this my questions are:  what should we expect to get back?  We have a top up insurance which should cover all extra's but haven't actually used it yet - will we get a form from the CPAM office that we have to take into Mutuelle De Potiers?

    We have tried to chase up our Carte Vital but get the usual shrug of the shoulders and told that it will arrive sometime (I can live with that if I can get this sorted out!).

  10. I sadly left my AGA behind in UK so bought the large Kenwood Slow Cooker (delivered from UK, can't remember which store... Amazon I think), changed the plug and now use it most days for everything from soup to curry, rice pudding to poached fruit. I love Creole cooking, Jambalaya, Gumbo etc and its perfect for that.

     It is also worth buying recipe books especially for slow cookers, I have a couple of great ones 'Slow cooking for yourself' by Catherine Atkinson and 'Slow Cooking, curry & spice dishes' by Carolyn Humphries (try the Minted Lamb tagine with prunes - its delicious!!) - Amazon have a good selection. of books as do ebay.

    The thing to remember with the slow cooker is that you don't need so much liquid as it doesn't evaporate and because the pot has a tight fitting lid, none of the flavours are lost... I wouldn't be without mine and even cook the dog meat in it!!

  11. Its getting to that time of year again... when friends & family are booking their visits to us in December!

    I'd appreciate any information on markets/Vide Greniers/Christmassy  things please in December.

    Live near Rochechouart but travel not a problem up to about an hour and a half - Angouleme, Limoges, Nontron, Confolens etc.

  12. Thanks everyone for your comments.  I won't get too stressed about this as life here is sooooo much better than UK!!

    Just wanted to know where I stood before I put my foot in it!

    We were on fosse but previous owners had (illegally) connected us to mains... OH knows the ins and outs, all I know is that it cost 2000 euros to put it right!  Incidentally we were sold our house by deputy mayor who came & informed us that it had to be put right within a couple of weeks of moving in... the same DM who is now asking for more money!!

    I'll take the advice and pour another glass of wine.

  13. We bought our house and moved here permanently 10 months ago then immediately had to fork our 2000 Euros for drainage repair and fix up to Mains Drains.  NOw we are being told by our commune that the new Mains Drainage system work has yet to be finished and every house in the village will be asked for a payment (contribution) of around 900 Euros!!  No-one mentioned this when we bought the house and if we pay this what's next... when the road needs re-surfacing (it does need it) - are we going to be asked for a contribution for that aswell, where will it end?

    Before I attend a meeting about this I want to have some idea about our rights - has anyone else come across this?

    I don't want to come across as a moaner but.....

  14. I'm getting my hen house and run ready for 6 POL hens.  I used to keep hens years ago and now can't wait to have some more - they are so comical and the eggs are fantastic.

    I remember giving them layers mash or pellets and grit - am I forgetting anything else (apart from water and fresh greens) - is there something medicinal I should give them now and again to rid of worms, infections etc?

    After reading other posts I have decided to totally enclose the run as we have buzzards. kestrels etc overhead and hadn't thought about bird of prey attacks... until now.

    Any advice welcome.

  15. We moved here in January and pay by automatic bank debit to EDF when a bill is due.  I was really pleased to see that this month's bill was reduced (I have been making an effort to cut down!!) - feeling really pleased with myself until a neighbour pointed out that my bills will be estimated! 

    Is this correct as there are meter readings on the bills?  Our electrician and interpretor upgraded the tarrif and supply and sorted this out for us and I assumed that the meter would be read from the little box outside.

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