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Your maison secondaire

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[quote user="JeanS"]

We bought our 'pad' 8 years ago with the idea to move to France when we retired - this didn't happen, we just come for the summer. For the first 5 years we spent all our holidays - Winter & summer in the house. Lots had to be done, some by us. We had the usual ups & downs and nearly came to blows but we came through. At first family & friends would visit and help but now - it's too much trouble.

We're too remote - nearest small town - 6kms, nearest town - 15kms.  So we've put it up for sale - not that we envisage it will sell in the near future but not to worry, we'll still make full use of the house and have no regrets.

On reflection, we should have done more research on the area, not bought such a big house with a barn and a big garden, but then hindsight is a wonderfull thing.


Our experience is like yours in many ways. We bought our house (residence secondaire) 22 years ago, and spent every holiday working on it. Having retired, we can now spread out the work, and let's face it, there's always work needing doing. We are 7km from the nearest village, about 13 from a town, but I still love it, and our two very different kinds of life. They complement each other. ( Our main home is in a busy town near London.)

Regrets? I wish we could go upstairs without going outside, and that there was a bathroom up there.

Causes for grief? Our kids aren't keen, no swimming pool, no seaside, too far from amenities, the people only speak French, it's our dream, not theirs ..... boring!

I should say that we have made some real friendships in France too, and I so value them. So long as we have our health, I envisage that we'll continue to spend around half the year (in two parts) in each of our residences. 

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I bought the bordello [:-))]

It was like most of the neighbouring commerces still operarting as one for close to 40 years after they were declared illegal in France.

Now after spending years converting the place there is talk of legalising them again[:'(] Still it would give a real boost to the local economy, perhaps we will have 400 cafés again for a town of 9000 inhabitants!

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I know its probably not the done thing and we fell into this with a bit of luck.

We have become great friends with an english couple who have lived in our village for over 10 years. (It also helps that he is a builder).  Having someone already immersed in village life who can introduce you to the other residents; tell you what that really official looking letter actually means; introduce you to and intervene on your behalf with the mayor and generally recommend and deal with local tradesmen when a panic (hornets nest or burst pipe) occurs and you are 500 miles away, is extremely comforting.

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  • 5 months later...
We bought our maison/residence secondaire 12years ago. With hindsight we should have checked many aspects that we discovered too late. Fortunately the whole adventure turned out well and we love our house, the garden, the neighbours and the surrounding area.

We visit as often as possible and for as long as possible. Friends and family are frequent visitors and our Grandchildren still find it exciting spending a week in our clutches, away from their parents. Even the dog(s) love it !

The affair has been expensive but very rewarding.

No regrets.
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What would you do differently ?

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have bought it.


My residence secondaire was bought 19 years ago as a mutual silver wedding present by my wife and I. It was to be a home for our retirement.

The following year, she was told that she had cancer and had a 25% chance of surviving two years and none of surviving five.


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