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Everything posted by Panda

  1. I make it about 42600 in your hand less any notaires costs which are minimal in sales transactions. Assumptions Second home Purchase price (112) did not include purchase costs (14) (agents or notaires) Offer of 133000 already has agents fees deducted, if not take these off of the above (42600)  
  2. Hello Everyone I havent posted on here for months but these type of queries really make me cringe and I feel compelled to respond.  I moved to France with my son when he was 3 and we lasted for 6 years so left before the dreaded college years.  I could not imagine in a million years moving him after 10, at primaire it was hard enough for him and thats without knowing that life changing exams would be on the horizon.  My son was a  bright confident boy but after a horrible experience in the last year at primaire, racism from the teacher and other kids mainly despite his relative fluency, he turned into a child that did not want to attend school and very introvert.  I loved France but the education system is poor, its under funded, the teachers are apathetic and the job prospects bleak.  I came back because of my sons education, until he is at Uni I will not move him again.  He has just aced his SATS so I am over the moon, more importantly he loves his secondary school and skips out of the door each morning. Do not underestimate how depressing and unsettling for the whole family an unhappy child/teen is! I would wait a few years, if you own the house already what's the rush,? Panda  
  3. Agree totally with the above, how stupid of the adoptees to take the poor dog into that environment so soon after adoption and to allow the young child to approach when he had already warned off another. My rescue was a nightmare the first few weeks and had to be watched constantly and she was possessive and snappy around what she considered her possessions.  It takes a while for them to get used to being in a loving environment and to drop the feeling of threat from all angles.  She's now a totally different dog and loves attention but I still wouldnt leave her with small children, as others say for her sake as much as theirs. It's funny as I've always felt that dogs in kennels in the France have a much higher chance of adoption since they dont go to the lengths that the UK charities do to vet and sometimes over-vet homes but then again things like this can happen. I want another dog and have been scouring the local dog homes web site for dogs than can be homed with another dog and with a 12 year old child but they are few and far between, only yesterday though one came up so I'll be hot footing over there to check it out, these kind of stories will never put me off, if common sense had been added to this mix if woud not have happened IMO.
  4. Regardless of the internet you must pay tax where you are physically doing that work, so if you sit in an office in France doing work for a UK company over the internet you must pay tax in France.  The law is very clear on that point.
  5. Tax is not a big issue, I've yet to pay any for rent of the appartments I have due to costs of renovation which the nice tax office took into account and have since carried forward the remaining sum each year.  Now in year 6, I think it's all used but it was a big renovation project and total revamp of 4 appartments (new central heating, new electrics, new kitches, new bathrooms new windows, all allowed against my tax bill) so no small task, there are lots of ways of reducing your tax bill (mine are all classed under Robien, old properties at a rent per square meter below a certain tariff so get a 26% reduction on the income before tax, worth having, really depends  on what you are buying and if it will be your main income or not, if it is you might have to pay social charges on top of tax.  Dont forget also mortage interest is taken off of income before tax is calculated as are all charges including insurance charges. As I said I dont see tax being a show stopper for anyone, selection of the right tenant is the single most important factor.  I have now also rented out my house since returning to the UK to live and have heaven sent tenants, worth noting I selected them myself, they pay on the nose, they make minor repairs and they are great to deal with!
  6. Hello I think you are talking at cross purposes, they are talking, I would suggest, about a 'finders fee' i.e. getting a tenant, it is normally around one months rent for this service.  Many agents do not offer anything beyond getting you a tenant so you need to find one that offers full letting agency services, what I've found is that some agents have arrangements with larger city based agents for this purpose, in hind sight I would have preferred to find an agent in the town you have the property who can fully manage all aspects and not subcontract any of it. As a guide my letting fees are around 5% of the rent, this covers payment collection, insurance in case of non payment etc, general overseeing things.  I have to say I have yet to find a 'good' agent who is proactive in managing and you are left still having regular headaches over repaits in my experience, much easier if you are living nearby. Its not a something I would suggest you take on lightly, it can be something of a trial if you have bad tenants or want to take the property back, do some research about french long term letting before you commit.  
  7. Thanks all for waiting until I've moved back to the UK to have a meet up not 30 minutes from my house!! What a shame I would have loved to have come. I'm with Rose, sulking!
  8. Hello I know of two vets in Chauvigny, one at the back of the town square, two older guys who I thought were ok util they were terrible when my old cocker spaniel was very ill, told me I was giving up on her for not prolonging her agony, I was distraught and there comments were hurtful, she was 17 at the time and they wanted to operate!  They did agree for her to be PTS and then also messed that up and she lived for a good 10 minutes post the final injection, all in all very traumatic.  The other Vet is on the road out of town towards Potiers (though still not far from the center but just after the bridge over the Vienne), he is a young vet in a clinic and is very nice.  Worth a try to save a long journey.
  9. And I agree with Idun too.  Getting lots of bonjours means nothing, its all very superficial.  I had a very nice neighbour in my first house and a hideous one in my second.  The first was happy to have a neighbour and we helped each other out and exchanged food and without them I would have left France years before.  The second was just awful, a drunk who drove under the influence, noisy, rude and just painful to live near.  If you read french fourms generally you will find that many people have issues of noise, lots of hunting dogs barking etc and feel as they are 'expats' they cant complain and if they do then nothing happens and trouble follows soon after. In genral though in my first town in interacting (hairdressers to school gates) I was asked daily 'why I had come to France' and had a general sense that people were not that impressed with the influx, only a couple of times was this hostile but as my french improved over the years I came to realise that many french have an opinion about what the english are doing in France and this said after a smile and a bonjour to their friends thinking I didnt understand.  When living on the Charente/Dordogne border the english were seen as a cash cow  and therefore had our uses and so were more accepted because of that. To the OP, renting is the way forward, make sure you know an area really well before you buy as making the wrong choice can be years of pain as you cannot simply sell up if the neighbours are horrendous as its taking a good year+ to sell these days.
  10. Hello I live in the west country too and have found that in general things are ticking along.  I dont know anyone who is out of work personally, not to say that companies are tightening their belts but my own employers business was up 16% last year and we are a large employer in the area.  House prices here are not dropping, not rising either though. I agree totally on the freedom point and fitness too, my son is always out on his bike, it's much safer here as we live in a small built up area, all cul-de-sacs and cycle paths he and his mates are out for as long as they can, sadly in France we lived in the middle of nowhere and even the nearest village was dead of freindly kids so our son was often alone and resorted to computer games.  Funny that Sara mentioned sullen kids, I used to find the french in general quite a sullen bunch, I know they enjoy a moan, it must rub off on the kids! As far as learning english goes, it's SATS time here in the UK and our son is predicted to get 5's across the board which considering he spent age 3-9 in a french school is pretty good.  I did always read to him in english and everything was english at home but a year ago his written work was poor, he did get some extra tuition early on but now he's flying so I wouldnt  worry too much about how kids will adapt back in the UK. I think Sara's point on disability is about DLA and testing and removal, that's the only thing hitting the news that I can think of.  On disability and the french, I asked the question of my neighbour, why you dont see many disabled people around, as she worked at a care home for the disabled and she said the french are ashamed of them and they were discouraged from taking them out too much which is appauling.  Im sure thats not a general opinion and one I hope will not remain.
  11. Hello  Again The reduction is taken from the second appel so in October you will only have to pay a small amount if the 50% of the total amount reduction is accepted and mine always was.
  12. My beloved spaniel  (died last year) was also a Working Cocker Sweet, never knew we had that in common!  He would also not wander, never, even on a walk he was always within 10 feet of me.  The rescue I have now, who is a Griffon  de Vendee would take off at a moments notice and will actually enter anyones house/garden/tent(!) to have a nose, she's an independent cuss, and so I feel, as others have said it depends on the dog, I don't treat her any differently than I did my old spaniel but she has a mind of her own and is very much scent driven. Also Sweet just like yours my dog was scared of his own shadow yet bred by the local gun shop owner as a gun dog, he would poop himself if you dropped a spoon so would never had been the champion his mum was, does make you wonder how they develop such traits since he never had any stress in his life, and mum was a champion gun dog so neither nuture or nature made him a woose so what did?  
  13. Get back in your box Simon, or perhaps under it!! There are a few of us who returned to the UK because of the need for some life after a number of years in France, I for one still like France and think I may return when I want a very,very  quiet life.  I still have property there, still have people I consider friends there and on here, so return ocasionally to see what mischief they are up to! I moved back to my birth town and I love it, I am out every day and back in a social whirl, none of which I could do in France.   My son is happy and loves school again (the main driver). I realise I made the move at the wrong time in my life as my son's education is the most important thing to me, so my reason is that,not any of the others since, I had work, can speak french and was OK financially. I will continue to snoop and post on here as I hope will Idun, who's been there, done it and has the t-shirt!  
  14. It goes further than protecting jobs for the French.  I worked at a private ski school during my time in the Alps and my boss was born and bred in the area, had qualified as an instructor and set up her own private ski school which was in competiton to the ESF.  They were totally awful to her constantly,  the maire would not allow her to advertise by placing a wooden sandwich board in a frequently accesed area, they did everything they could to discourage her from being in competition to the very protected ESF.  The ESF have had it too good for too long, many are awful with little children often seen dragging kids up button lifts and leaving them to scream. I hope this goes through not just for Brits but for the sake of everyone who wants to earn a living and offer a service where it's necessary to deliver on your expensive promise to survive rather than do a cr*p job as no one has a choice of who to go to.    
  15. Somehitng on the Simpsons just made me think of this thread.  The dialogue was something like Thank you for choosing XX low cost airline The saftey instructions are ....................2 dollars If you would like wheelchair assistance......................you booked with the worng airline HA, HA. Just about sums it up!  
  16. Just my own thoughts but I cant see a mortgage company 'parking' a good rate, what's in it for them?  If you are selling whilst you have an income on the Alps property then you will need to prove that income stream continues, i.e. be reassessed for 'affordability so pretty much a re-application IMO. Is the leaseback still giving a return and if so how long does it have left to run?  These appartments are notoriously difficult to shift since the buyer has to take on just the remainder of the leaseback plan and these days there are huge numbers of new leasesbacks not selling. Last bit of doom and gloom, the properties at end of leaseback are often worth less than you paid since they had nthe element of ongoing income built in and you often find other second hand 'normal' appartments sell easier and are cheaper. Aside from all that I do hope you can get the result you are after, I would put it on the market ASAP though as sales are way down in the Alps, where I lived the local agent, who was swanning about in a posh car and lunching left and right a couple of years ago, has gone bankrupt. 
  17. Sounds good and Ive been in school holidays and it was not that busy, nothing like the huge resorts.  Did you take a look at the neighbouring resort (La Joue De Loup??), its much prettier but also very quiet, might go back there myself now as you have reminded me of its pull. When I said about the drive I was thinking you were after a short run, 3 hours isnt too bad though, whne I visted I came across from the Charente and it took me 11 hours!!
  18. Hello I spoke with Les Chats de la Rue, they are all over france and when I went to the vets I told them that the charity had said they would pay(no evidence was requested), he said fine and that was it, I didnt pay.  I posted before that the charity were not the most sypathetic (they wanted me to trap and have the kittens PTS) but they def. do subsidie the spaying of otherwise feral cats.  I had mum 'done' and rehomed the kittens to homes who agreed to have them spayed at the approprate time (they were too young to be done immediatley),  Mum is still in France with a friend as she never took to the indoor life but has the life of riley as a well fed stable cat!   http://leschatsdelarue.jimdo.com/
  19. Hello The problem you will have in offering your teaching services is that generally people dont have the money to pay for exteranl courses at a level that would be interesting for you as an income stream.  Most move with a notion of a money making idea the usual gites/b&B etc. which do not bring in enough money to live on let alone hire in external teachers.  So whilst the idea is a good one, you will struggle to get the paying clients IMHO.
  20. Panda

    Discouraging dogs

    I love Nick's suggestion but kind of agree (sulkily) that Alan is probably right. Chancer, eugghghgggggggg dirty horrbile people, how revolting can you get?
  21. It really depends on the renters situation.  Has he lost his job, change of income, if not then could he ever afford it in the first place?  If checks were done and he was able to pay then you need to know why he cant now.  If he is owing lots of money 'all over town; then he may go for volutary bankruptcy, this has happened with one of my tenants and they have only just left the appartment, thankfully of their own choice as once they go for bankruptcy they are protected from expulsion for a fair amount of time whilst their affairs are looked at.  For me, even though this tenant owes me a lot of money I'm glad of course that they've gone, getting the back rent will be nigh on impossible though I would imagine as my tenant owes lots to lots of people.  The agency failed to find this out when she was taken on and I'm pursuing that angle but with french service I'm not holding out a great deal of hope. For me its a shrug and move on situation, anything else is pretty fruitless, eventually she will likely be told to pay me a small amount per month toward her debt but even that may not happen as the courts can simply wipe the debt if they so choose. I would keep on top of it as much as possible, make sure the hussier does go around and keep after the agents etc.  They are all too happy to let things slide and the longer this situation continues the worse it gets, if you had acted on the 3 months not being paid you would be in a much better position and could have had them out by now.  Same goes for me so Im not preaching here! EDIT Yes of course Wooly is right, they have played it rather too well!
  22. Hello Sara In the UK, in my experience, we do have mixed classes in some small village schools, the same as occurs in France, I am not however aware of a single mixed secondary school but then again I didnt know they existed in France either.  In fact I know of a number of kids who had to travel a great distance to college because there were no local small colleges so I think your private example is not that common. I would not want my child to enroll in this system either, the mixed primary in the Alps was enough for me but then that was a single class for the whole school!! 
  23. Hello I did as you are considering and returned to the UK for my son to attend secondary education in the UK.  He had been in France since aged 3 so had only ever been to school in France.  I had always read to him in english and we only spoke english at home, we also watched both english and french television though he always preferred the english channels.  He never had any formal 'teaching' nor did I ever push him in that direction, I simply read to him and had him read to me and went through a range on books, the really good thinig was his love of Harry Potter which meant  he was keen to read.  When we came back he was 10 and due to his DOB this meant whilst he would have been off to secondary school the next year in France, in the UK he had an extra year which I think was important.  I enrolled him in some extra classes for his written work, which are easy to find here, and by the end of the first term he was judged to be around average in his class and so now does not attend any extra classes.  I've just attended a meeting with his teacher and she believes he will score really well in his SATS and should attain well above average. One thing that my son is behind on is his ability to write creativly since this is not covered (or certainly wasnt in his school) in France, he is now getting into books that require you to chose how the story goes, they are a mix of game and book but Im hoping this will unlock his imagination. So my advice, make sure he is comfortable with reading, dont push it too far, get him writing as much as possble in a fun way, dont over do it, he will get extra help if he needs it when he comes back. I wouldn't worry too much, he will be fine! P
  24. Hello I am one of the previous posters who has witnessed some really nasty behaviour towards my son.  I found this both in the Charente and in the Alps and I would tend to agree that it is related to the parents endorsing an anti-foreign mentality, interestingly enough the kids in the Alps hated anyone for outside, sometimes being really awful to kids from the neighbouring school which was just a couple of KM away.  My son became quite withdrawn and is still by far the quietist boy I know despite being back in the UK in school for a year.  I have enrolled him in drama classes now as the teachers here think his timidness holds him back, this from a child who was positively precocious at 3 when I took him to France!  My worst moment in France was hearing kids that he'd known for years send him to the back of the line as France was for the French and he just hung his head and did it, it was the day I decided enough was enough. I dont beleive that its always like this and certainly would have thought that your child having been born in France would be beter treated than those that arrive later in childhood.  Personally I would change schools and let him try with a different set of kids, the larger the school the better for giving the chance of finding his niche in a wider pool of kids.  My son spent 18 months in a town school and I regret having to move from that school as it was by far the best of the three we encountered.  Hope it all sorts itself out, I know the feeling too well.
  25. Hello I agree with the words on Chamonix, I hated the travelling and waiting too.  I really like Sainte Foy which is near to Les Arcs, Val D'isere and La Plagne but it is small and quiet in comparison.  I have never had to queue for more than a couple of minutes even in school holidays. I can also say a word for Superdevoluy, I liked it there too for the same reasons, it's  small resort and quiet at night but I loved the ski-ing on empty slopes, it's really important for me with a child in tow as I always get worried in busy resorts that some idiot will knock my son over whilst taking too much speed.  I stayed at the resort on the other side, La Joue Du Loup, really nice and quiet and pretty (Devoluy is not particularly pretty as it has an old block of appartments central to it). I would have thought it would be a killer drive from Geneva though as it's way in the southern alpes. P
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