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Crikey, I should have checked this forum a long time ago (nothing new there though).

My partner and I are moving to the castres/mazamet area next month and our main priority is to escape the rat race.
We've come up with a couple of highly original small business ideas: can you guess what they are? Yes, property finders and property maintenance.....
However, after reading some of the posts on this forum my head is spinning; prohibitive taxes; endless red tape; everyone else offering the same services...all I'm looking to do is earn a few quid shovelling soil or mowing a lawn!
Our property finding idea makes things a bit more complicated, because we think we've come up with a few twists on the theme and are considering advertising in LF or simmilar to get the message accross. I guess this means investing our savings into the business-- with a paucity of business nous and confusion as to whether there's a big enough market to cover costs,no matter how decent our service is.
We're relocating mainly because my partner is French, and that's probably not the reason most Brits are moving over, so we don't actually 'know' our target market!!
Anyone out there willing to pass on their experiences when searching for property in France and what help they might have found useful-for instance from our super new buisiness- please let us know!
Yes I suppose I've sneaked in a request for market research there.
Cheers folks.
Steve and Marie.
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Good luck in your endeavours and hope it works for you.

The best tip I can offer in property hunting is, buy something that you can afford. This may seem obvious but we seem to run into endless people who have not finished their projects because they ran out of money. After the English property market things appear to be cheap, but actually very few people need umpteen hectares of ground (we only have about third of hectare and frankly that is enormous) and most houses here - at least by English standards - need quite a lot of refreshing/ renovating which is always more expensive than expected. For example, when we purchased our house - which didn't need major building works - the estate agent kept saying loudly how anyone could turn it into a palace for 10,000. We knew better than to believe him and to date have spent at least 50,000 on improvements, still work to go and we have done most of the work ourselves. We only employed local artisans to do electrics and plumbing. If we had to employ someone else to do all the other bits and pieces we would have spent at least twice that. We are very happy with our house, and we have no loans to pay off so the fact that we are not earning a huge income is not too stressful. If, we had believed the estate agent, bought the house with a mortgage and then had to pay French social charges we would be very poor and very scared indeed.

Starting up a business is a bit frustrating and expensive but it can be done and if at least one of you speaks French that helps.

Good luck anyway

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