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The Ultimate French Gîte


alittlebitfrench
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OK.

Contrary to the advice given by ALBF not to buy or run a gîte in France , ALBF is going to buy a gîte !!! Well...it is a free gîte that we get with an investment project. Long story.

So what do I need top do to ? What makes the ultimate gîte ? What do people expect in there 'gîte de rêve' ? This will be in a very small city/rural (very popular) location.

P.S it is not being marketed to the Brenda and Paul's of this world. You know what I mean....Scousers, easyjets or those horrible ryanair types that get drunk and pick fights with each other. I don't want them.

So what do I need to build. Modern or old ? I am thinking more get away weekends !!!

Many thanks in advance..

ALBF

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It has to be le destin that you are given the opportunity to prove yourself right [:D]

 

I never doubted you by the way.

 

Play to your strengths and exploit your  competitive advantage,  run residential week-end workshops on how to survive France for dummies

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Check out standards required to get into the 5-clé/ 5-épi category for Clevacances/Gites de France. That means your prices should deter the riff-raff!

Kerb appeal

No invasive wildlife; I.e. Rats and mice.

Tasteful furnishings

Good wifi

Efficient heating

State of the art bath/shower rooms (so often the shower head no longer fixes to the wall, or has suffered twisting to its hose)

Immaculate kitchen, with new machines - and enough electricity to run them all.

Professional-looking refurbishment (I have stayed in a few that smacked distinctly of DIY renovation)

Excellent and reliable arrangements for cleaning etc at changeovers.

I hope it's close to Eymet!

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That is a well considered and thought out list Loiseau, my place ticks all the boxes except kerb appeal.

 

From the feedback that I have had I would say that guests value having the owner on site, nearby, available but not visble so as to make them feel they are in someone elses house, if ALBF can create the privacy needed he should sell on the fact that they are on site to react immediately if needed.

 

Guests dont like arriving in the dark with a code to a keysafe, no-one to show them round and explain things and having to phone a UK mobile to try and get hold of the owner when they cannot use the heating/oven/shower/whathaveyou or to deal with a cleaner speaking another language.

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[quote user="Loiseau"]It is indeed wonderful, Chancer! I have stayed there... (If it's still the same lovely guys, I think one is Canadian and one Spanish.) But a gîte it ain't...[/quote]

 

Its actually a chambre d'hôte, and then some..............................

 

Have not met them but that is the couple that people have told me about, I set off from the car park opposite their place tonight with my running club, until ilooked on Google maps I did not realise it was in the main square, after the training I had a wander and could not see which of the imposing dwellings that it was, no signs on the door, probably to keep away the riff-raff [:D]

 

ALBF, if you dont do people then forget about it, I never thought I was a people person and I definitely dont suffer fools, however to my great surprise the customers seem to think that I am friendly, curteous and serviable, believe it or not my highest score is for the accueil,  9.7 for staff followed by 9.3 for cleanliness. Despite that and by complete co-incidence I had a complaint this evening from Mme Maniaque who insisted that I changed the bed which was only made up this morning with freshly laundered linen because  she had found one hair in it, either, mine, hers, her Partner who looked very ill at ease or one that had gone through the washer and drier, clean a bedside drawer where there was one hair and I had to take that outside in daylight to see it, she had pulled out the shoe rack from the wardrobe and found some dust behind it, fair enough, and the piece de resistance was a tiny bit of dust on the top surface of the wall mounted televison, this was at 1.8 me high and I had to stand on a chair to see it and to clean it [:'(]

 

In her words and certainly in her mind there was poussiere et saleté partout [:(] This was the first ever complaint in 3000 letting nights but better that I know and can do something about even if it is humouring someone by replacing fresh linen than get a bad review, and you have to do this with a smile on your face, in many ways its easier when you are charging €300 per night like Le Macassar and in my experience the more people pay the less demanding or more understanding they are.

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I felt the same and have just spent half an hour reading their Tripadvisor reviews, WOW!!!!!!!!

 

Now I know why there is not even a sign outside and why the website is pants, their word of mouth removes the need for any advertising, I am literally blown away and even though I only live 15 minutes away I have decided to stay there.

 

Sunday is the quietest night in thes parts and the lowest occupancy for any hebergeur yet those guys with their rooms costing €200+ have a waiting list to stay there on a Sunday because thats the night the guy cooks because all the local restaurants are closed, one of the reviews was from April and they spoke of 13 guests staying on a Sunday night, do the maths ALBF and eat your heart out.

 

If you look at the reviews I commend you to  filter them to read the lowest scoring ones which are still higher than most establishments get, why read the not quite perfect reviews? For the opportunity to read the guys responses, you will love them!

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Well then, ALBF, if you don't like cleaning and want to rip off Brits, why not have a themed French version of les Fawlty Towers?

Get your wife to answer to "Sybil", employ a maid of all works and call her "Polly" and import a waiter from Barcelona called Manuel.  There, sorted!  PLUS, a huge plus this, you can be as rude as you like to the guests and they'd lap it all up; you would definitely NOT need to be a "people person"!

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[quote user="mint"]Well then, ALBF, if you don't like cleaning and want to rip off Brits, why not have a themed French version of les Fawlty Towers?

[/quote]

Or an authentic Ancien Régime theme - musty and dusty, with smelly drains?

Don't forget the wallpaper on the doors and ceilings.

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We saw a tiny 3 bed house yesterday (potential gîte) in the middle of a very famous place. Views to die for. Garden to die for and the house was not that bad. 2 mins walk from restaurants and shops and all that. 290 k. Rental income 800 euros per month or 700 euros per week as a gît. But how many weeks would you need to do before it becomes profitable over a monthly rental ????

The trouble is that the house had been 'toiled de verred' and it is being sold as renovated !!! Eek. Anybody who has tried to remove toile de verre will tell you that it is near on impossible without taking most of the wall with it. So the price has to come down.

God I hate that suff.

Anyway, gîtes are a mugs game. I will take the monthly rent.

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[quote user="Chancer"]I tick one of those boxes and raise the stakes by flooring on the walls [:P]

True!!![/quote]

I didn't mention carpet on the walls because mixing it with wallpaper is such a nono !

I do hope you have plenty of well wormholed brown furniture though.[:D]

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Laminate flooring!

 

Used for crédences headboards and cupboard doors, sounds naff but looks très tendance if you see it, the design is a patchwork of old weathered and patinated pastel painted timbers and would look far to "busy" for use on a floor.

 

Wallpaper on ceiling is plain white crystal texture Muraspec commercial vinyl used above showers, impervious and very practical, no mould or damp marks.

 

I have a couple of rolls of a really vintage toile de verre that I will sell for a fortune to some Sloany Yummie Mummy on E-bay.uk.

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[quote user="alittlebitfrench"]We saw a tiny 3 bed house yesterday (potential gîte) in the middle of a very famous place. Views to die for. Garden to die for and the house was not that bad. 2 mins walk from restaurants and shops and all that. 290 k. Rental income 800 euros per month or 700 euros per week as a gît. But how many weeks would you need to do before it becomes profitable over a monthly rental ???? [/quote]

800€ per month gets you 9,600€ a year before overheads, taxes and 15.5% prélèvements sociaux.

As a micro foncier you pay tax on 70% of the income, making a taxable amount of 6,720€, so tax at, say 30% plus PS will be 3,058€, but you'll have to add at least 30K to the price for work to bring it up to scratch, making your outlay 320 k.

Let's say 500€ p.a. for insurance, 1000€ p.a. for TdH, and you put aside 2000€ p.a. for maintenance and repairs. That's another 3,500€.

So annual net income after overheads and taxes is 3,042€ on an outlay of 320,000€.

That's 0.95%. Is it worth the hassle? You may not be even able to get possession of the house back when you want it.

If you put the money into an AV you would almost definitely get more than 1%, probably nearer to 2%, and the tax regime for withdrawals is much kinder. - If you make a profit at the end of a year of 2% on your 320,000€, 6,400€, and withdraw that amount, you pay tax only on 2% of that, i.e. 128€.

Of course, your fixed capital sum will be eroded by inflation, whereas a house might increase in value, but when you sell the house, any increase in value could be wiped out by plus-value and PS, unless you own it for a long time, and who knows how the laws on that will change?

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I am currently enjoying a 50% annual return on capital invested and am liable for taxe and social charges on only 29% of that income.

 

I will soon be having an expert valuation, the price has certainly dropped because of the slump in visitors this summer but what was in my head was only a predicted figure based on future earnings that this year will fail to meet.

 

The figure will probably be twice that of your tiny overpriced cottage, hopefully more, at that sort of figure the sensible part of me would remain to fill my boots for a few more years but if the impulsive side won and I sold it to someone a little bit French they would enjoy a return on capital invested of 10% together with a 71% defiscalisation paying taxe and charges on the remaining 29%.

 

You could borrow the money at what - 2 - 2 1/2% for a 10% return plus capital growth the building plus a 10+ multiple of any turnover increase, the smart money is currently pouring into immeubles de rapport and very young people who dare to deviate from the standard parcours, often those who were en echec scolaire are quickly building up big lucrative portfolios in France.

 

You can even use the impôts site to search for sales of immeubles de rapport in any area and any radius around that chosen hotspot, these are actual notarised sales not kite flying immobiliers listings, you can see the superficie, how many apartments or dwellings of each type, whether or not it was sold already tenanted, a quick check of rents on Leboncoin and a calculation will show you that these guys are making really serious money.

 

And the Wise old ALBOF wants to buy a potential gîte with toile de verre for a 0.95% rental return [:)]

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[quote user="alittlebitfrench"]The trouble is that the house had been 'toiled de verred' and it is being sold as renovated !!! Eek. Anybody who has tried to remove toile de verre will tell you that it is near on impossible without taking most of the wall with it. So the price has to come down.

God I hate that suff.

Anyway, gîtes are a mugs game. I will take the monthly rent.[/quote]

Our present house had been "tendanced" by the idiot son of the previous owner.

The almost century-old multiple layers of hideous wallpaper had been covered, in some rooms, with 5 mm plywood fixed to the walls with countersunk head woodscrews. The red plastic chevilles for the screws protruded above the plywood surface, so there were very visible lumps under the toile de verre which was glued over the plywood and painted mostly white.

In other rooms the walls were covered with rough sawn strip planking in random widths, painted blue, brown, or white gloss paint, and others had very thick, rough outdoor crepi, which caused severe skin damage if one brushed against it.

After I ripped off the plywood/toile combination the walls looked pretty nasty, so I covered the interior walls with plasterboard on metal armature, to get them vertical and flat! and took the opportunity to use plasterboard with 40 mm insulation, with a further layer of glassfibre insulation between the montants, for the outer walls. All the other rooms received the same treatment.

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[quote user="Chancer"]I am currently enjoying a 50% annual return on capital invested and am liable for taxe and social charges on only 29% of that income.[/quote]

But that includes your remuneration for working your nuts off at all hours.

How much of your "return" is left if you deduct your salary at a realistic hourly rate?

EDIT: I think the "investor" you sell to will just be buying work[:D]

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[quote user="alittlebitfrench"]ALBF is a wise old owl !!!

We are buying an investment house for family members (my idea) to rent off us. They have 10-15 years left. I could put that better I suppose.

So the gîte won't come into play until they have left us and the mortgage is paid off. Or we might move there....who knows.

Keerching[/quote]

Pretty difficult to exert pressure on family members if they fall behind with their rent, or you want to increase it [:(]

And you still have the overheads I mentioned above.

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[quote user="nomoss"][quote user="Chancer"]I am currently enjoying a 50% annual return on capital invested and am liable for taxe and social charges on only 29% of that income.[/quote]

But that includes your remuneration for working your nuts off at all hours.

How much of your "return" is left if you deduct your salary at a realistic hourly rate?

EDIT: I think the "investor" you sell to will just be buying work[:D]
[/quote]

 

Certainly it all falls to pieces if you were to consider employing someone like many muppets do!

 

I pay myself what I am worth, 0 per hour so I am a cheap overhead [:)]

 

Changeovers take one hour each, this has been the busiest week-end, I did 5 yesterday and am in the middle of doing 3 today (am taking a coffee break) July and August average 3 per day but those months bring in the lions share of the turnover, in 2 weeks time I have one booking taking all 5 apartments for 3 days for the fête aérienne so lots of money and little work, outside of les vacances most are weekly/monthly lets so little to do, one guy has been renting for 3 years, many stay 4 nights in the week.

 

The worst is waiting around for hours waiting for people to turn up or be no shows, people who wont advise an arrival time or dont think anything of arriving hours later, were you to pay someone for those hours en astreinte it would be crippling, OK so I am at home but would rather be elsewhere, even if Ilived somewhere idyllic it would wear off and you would want to get away.  

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Nomoss wrote ....'Pretty difficult to exert pressure on family members if they fall behind with their rent, or you want to increase it'.

We owe them for all the help they have given us over the years (they are French relatives BTW)....so I am not worried. They can live there rent free as far as I am concerned.

We just want to buy the right product for the long term. Hence the thread.
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