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Calling all second homes owners


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As some of you may have gathered, I am now finding the south of France too hot to comfortably live in all year round. I am considering either buying or renting a smaller property in Brittany. The idea is that I will retreat " up north" in the summer. My question is to all of you second home owners on the forum. What advice would you give someone looking for a 'holiday home' in France?

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Brittany isn't necessarily wet and it can be hot here - it was very hot in July last year. This was the temperature outside our kitchen door on July 18th 2022 at about 5.30 pm.

We are in postcode 56310.

A good source of historical weather data for just about anywhere going back 14 years https://www.timeanddate.com/551986926_44.5centigradeoutsidekitchendoor.thumb.jpg.c2401c82bd9920682f215192153b0961.jpg

 

Edited by Harnser
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Not sure Brittany is good idea. It is far too touristy in the summer and taxes will be a nightmare. The area is far more interesting in the Autumn or early Spring. But not in the summer. You will go mad.

Also, it is far too far to drive on a regular basis from where you live. Must be at least 7hrs to Rennes or Nantes.

Our holiday home is 3.5-4 hrs away. And it is a chore to drive. I think that is the max to drive on a regular basis to make buying interesting.

That said, the house/area was cooler than Tours this year and there was plenty of rain. So going North does not necessarily mean less cold in the summer. Our house is 1 hr North West of Lyon near Charolles. Needed a blanket to sleep at night even during the canicle.

Edited by alittlebitfrench
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I know Brittany very well. My family came from there and I have relatives in the vicinity to where I'm thinking of setting up shop. I was more interested in the mechanics of running a second home in France. How do you run the day to day managing of a property remotely? Do you pay an agency or rely on neighbours. What types of property should you avoid?

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24 minutes ago, menthe said:

The many times I have been in Brittany, I have always found that 56 is considerably warmer than 22.

Have you found this also, harnser?

I believe the wet part is Finisterre and we were warned about that by a French friend when we were househunting.

Pretty much true about that 56 is warmer than 22 - probably due to the high ground - the "Mur" = Wall that runs roughly 

east/west along the middle of the Brittany peninsula.

Drought last year, no drought this year, although the prefecture is trying to talk up a drought as we have had 2-3 weeks without any significant rain.

 

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14 minutes ago, DaveLister said:

I know Brittany very well. My family came from there and I have relatives in the vicinity to where I'm thinking of setting up shop. I was more interested in the mechanics of running a second home in France. How do you run the day to day managing of a property remotely? Do you pay an agency or rely on neighbours. What types of property should you avoid?

Things that spring to mind are:-

If no mains drainage avoid fosse systems that rely on electrical power to function - power cuts etc

Avoid properties with a lot of trees, arborists are a lot harder to engage than a regular guy to keep the grass down and the garden tidy.

Make sure whatever you buy has a good tight roof -  old slates crack and leak, no tiled roofs north of the Loire!

Most local gite owners will do keyholding and regular inspections for a modest charge.

Etc Etc 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Don't forget that if you have a 'résidence secondaire'  either rented or owned you pay taxe d'habitation, and in some places it  has been  sharpy increased to make up for  the loss of income from its abolition on one's main place.https://demarchesadministratives.fr/demarches/residence-secondaire-fiscalite-et-imposition

 

https://www.francebleu.fr/infos/economie-social/residences-secondaires-decouvrez-la-liste-des-nouvelles-communes-autorisees-a-majorer-leur-taxe-d-habitation-2355775

 

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47 minutes ago, NormanH said:

Don't forget that if you have a 'résidence secondaire'  either rented or owned you pay taxe d'habitation

Thanks Norman, yes I did know that. I know my own commune would quite fancy upping the Taxe d'Habitation on second home owners if they were allowed. Not that we have that many but they've felt the loss quite keenly.

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We do debate on buying a second hut to do up somewhere from time to time.  Last week we spent 5 days in one of (imo) the most beautiful part of Brittany,  a camp site on the shores of the Golfe de Morbihan, specifically Presqu'ile de Conleau. The picture below shows us waiting for the little ferry that runs from the other side of the main land, at then end of 30 kms bike ride, back to the camp site.  Whilst waiting  for the ferry we got talking to a local French couple who had brought down their sea kayaks to launch.  Their tales of the area in the summer, infested by both holidaymakers and second home owners was quite dreadful to listen to.  They too were of the option that those who found it too hot down south were moving up/buying up houses.   

Our dreams of buying something with a the view in the photo are long dashed ( a similar flat to ours in Vannes is heading towards a million).  However, holidays in areas where we could never afford to live, taken at (relatively) low cost with non of the other financial burdens seems to best option for us.

 

IMG_20230926_122712.jpg

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Beautiful view, just waiting for that lottery win. 😀 Where I live at the moment is terribly touristy in the Summer so I tend to hibernate July and August. I just fancy doing it in lower ambient temperatures. What I might try next year is booking a BnB for a month or so to see how bad it is. Try before you buy.😉

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1 hour ago, DaveLister said:

Beautiful view, just waiting for that lottery win. 😀 Where I live at the moment is terribly touristy in the Summer so I tend to hibernate July and August. I just fancy doing it in lower ambient temperatures. What I might try next year is booking a BnB for a month or so to see how bad it is. Try before you buy.😉

Or, you could try a pet/house sit. The advantage being that it is free, and you would be living in a real home, as opposed to a tourist pad.

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50 minutes ago, DaveLister said:

Hey, hadn't thought of that. What a great idea.

I can wholeheartedly recommend trustedhousesitters.com (no connection). There is a small fee to join, but after that all is free, both for sitters or home owners.

 

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