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Will I ever be able to afford my move to France??


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 After getting a bit excited about the pound approaching euro 1.30 a couple of weeks ago, I am now thoroughly depressed as today's official exchange rate is approx 1.18. I had been intending to spend several weeks in January house hunting and was about to book my Ryanair flights to La Rochelle. I now wonder if my dream of years is about to disintegrate? Would anyone care to speculate what will happen in the housing market over the next few months? I think my only hope of affording the size of house I had set my heart upon (and could have afforded two weeks ago) is if sellers are prepared to face up to what are obviously extremely difficult conditions and accept a lower offer than would be usual eg 15 - 20 % rather than 5 - 10%. I know there is no set answer but hoping for some informed and encuraging replies........

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Hi

informed, encouraging ? not sure, but I dont think the exchange rate counts for much with most who have made the move, fortunately the exchange rate was of no concern to me, getting away from UK to a life here, was the best exchange I could ever have hoped for.

Look for another house, there is one, the size your looking for, and at the price you can afford, you just need to find it.

good luck.

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It may not all be doom and gloom and you could take some comfort, and possible advantage, from the fact that currently anyone selling up in France to return to the UK will not only be benefitting handsomely from the strength of the € but also the dire state of the UK market where the buyer, especially cash rich and chain free, is absolute king.

Also, as callous and calculating as it might be, further advantage can be taken of the fact that many such returnees may be doing so under some element of necessity and be hoping to make the move sooner rather than later and consequently perhaps willing to entertain a low offer to secure a deal.

Never be afraid to make a low offer, the worst anyone can say is no !

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[quote user="tj"]I dont think the exchange rate counts for much with most who have made the move, fortunately the exchange rate was of no concern to me [/quote]I think a lot of people on fixed incomes, i.e. UK pensions and income from savings, might take issue with this statement [blink]

If you are indeed immune from the exchange rate you are indeed fortunate but very much in the minority I would say.

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[quote user="tj"]

......................but I dont think the exchange rate counts for much with most who have made the move, fortunately the exchange rate was of no concern to me

[/quote]

Well, I'm not sure how you work that one out as a large number of retired brits living with only a pension and small savings to live on are really feeling the pinch.

If the failing exchange rate doesn't affect you, you are indeed very fortunate.

.

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[quote user="ErnieY"] Also, as callous and calculating as it might be, further advantage can be taken of the fact that many such returnees may be doing so under some element of necessity and be hoping to make the move sooner rather than later and consequently perhaps willing to entertain a low offer to secure a deal.


[/quote]

I find this a rather strange comment ? Given the current  impact of the pounds weakness to these people, the french owned housing market is certainly the place they should be looking, as it is considerably cheaper than the brit market ! And can easily make up for the loss of exchange.

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Folks with all due respect and much thanks for taking the trouble to reply to my post but I'm getting a little bit peeved at my appeal for some positive feedback being 'highjacked' by other forum users who wish to take other posters to task. Of the seven replies so far, the majority are not about the subject. Living France Forum is a fantastically helpful website but there tends to be rather a lot of input going off at tangents....

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Realistically, Hillisder, and I mean no offence......if anyone could speculate constructively on what was going to happen to the UK or French economies between now and you booking a flight to France in January, they'd be able to bottle it and sell it. [:D] I think that "now is not a good time" is a reasonable answer. But what do I know? I'm a woman. My head is full of fluffy animals and knitting patterns.

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Imo, sometimes you just have to take what I call the Ryanair  Passenger Approach to things.

Pick a place, a house and a price that you're happy with RIGHT NOW and then get on with it.

Or don't.

Either way, don't torture yourself with "might have beens".

I sold a house 12 years ago for what was, at the time, the highest price to have been achieved on the street. Even now in these straitened times, it has just sold for about 8 times what I got for it. As I got out of it what I needed, when I needed it, I am not "sick" as one of my acquaintances suggested I might be!

Not an "informed" response I know but an attitude that helps me sleep!

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Eos, I couldn't agree more, things are what they, are which our out of our immediate control so if you want to get on with it or if you don't, don't. We sold in the Gers in July are in the process of buying in the Herault, the amount we had to reduce to sell also was reduced of the amount of the house we were buying so effectively we bought the same house if the market had been bouyant. There is a lot to be said for doing things when other aren't, builders are more available, you can strick a deal on furniture etc etc , generally people are more helpful as they haven't got a queue of people wanting their time. Ans also what price is putting your life on hold?

Please don't think I'm taking an "I'm all right Jack attitude" The credit crunch has hit us, we can't sell our buiness in th UK as banks are not lending, we have 3 sets of people who want it but can't raise the finances who could of done 18 months ago. But we have thought round the problem and come up with a solution, who knows if its right but we've made the decision so we have to  make it work. We  really do live by the ethos of my signiture. Whatever you decide to do Bonne Chance.

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Well exchange rate good,bad or ugly,credit pop,crunch,.......................France is where I came a year ago from dirty,hustle-bustle London which was so much full of soul and now almost souless.....it is about re-booting your life.Finding a way...from within[maybe others offering positive suggestions]to re direct the energy.I am doing it...so can others!
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I'm just hoping that this is merely another cycle like earlier ones before the Euro. Over the last forty-odd years I can remember thePound/Franc rate flucuating by a factor of two. That was anything between 7 and 14 FF to the £. For much of the time 10 FF to the pound was a reasonable rule of thumb.

It always seemed that the pound was weak in the summer (when we had to fork out for holidays) and strong in the winter (when cash presents from rich French grandparents were worth less). I'm sure somebody will look at the statistics and say that's imagination, but it's how it felt at the time.

I really don't want it to be like the pound's performance against the D Mark. That went from 10 DM to about 3 DM with never a sign of recovery.

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[quote user="Hillsider"]Folks with all due respect and much thanks for

taking the trouble to reply to my post but I'm getting a little bit

peeved at my appeal for some positive feedback being 'highjacked' by

other forum users who wish to take other posters to task. Of the seven

replies so far, the majority are not about the subject. Living France

Forum is a fantastically helpful website but there tends to be rather a

lot of input going off at tangents....

[/quote]With respect I think you are being a tad ungrateful.

You didn't appeal for positive feedback, you said "hoping for some

informed and encouraging replies" and understanding the untenable situation in

which an increasing number of people in France are finding themselves

in could have a significant positive bearing on your prospects of being

able to make the move. I would class that as both informed and

encouraging.

I think Eos and Babbles are right, instead of suffering angst because you can't have the house you want but have a sincere desire to make the move then cut your cloth to suit your means and get on with it.

Good luck.

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Rather than getting hung up on the concept of buying a house, why not look for a very nice house to rent in France. In this way you obtain all of the advantages of what you expect to gain in France.

 

Renting of property is highly regulated in France and is clearly on the side of the renter, about 48% of French people rent. Having established yourself in France through renting you can then at a later date make the decision to buy, continue to rent or do something else. You can rent a house that you could not afford to buy, in addition you do not have the additional costs of repairs, tax fonciers and building insurances.

 

When the time is right you can bring your funds across and buy a property. The income generated from your house proceeds should be more than adequate to pay for the rental costs.

 

Just some suggestions.

 

ams

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[quote user="tj"]

[quote user="ErnieY"] Also, as callous and calculating as it might be, further advantage can be taken of the fact that many such returnees may be doing so under some element of necessity and be hoping to make the move sooner rather than later and consequently perhaps willing to entertain a low offer to secure a deal.

[/quote]

I find this a rather strange comment ? Given the current  impact of the pounds weakness to these people, the french owned housing market is certainly the place they should be looking, as it is considerably cheaper than the brit market ! And can easily make up for the loss of exchange.

[/quote]

I see what you are saying. Sure the exchange rate has dropped, but the French housing market has dropped even more. So any loss in the exchange rate would be compensated by obtaining a property in France at a far cheaper price than a year ago. Add to the fact you wouldn't need to bring as much money across to pay for it in the first place, the exchange rate loss wouldn't be as great. If that's what I think you are saying (it's still early morning and before coffee, so my brain is only operating at 20% intelligence at present [;-)]).

For the original poster. The last recession was 16 or so years ago. How long did it last for? A year or two? The boom times last a lot longer than the down times, so bide your time and things will look rosey again. We'll be seeing new episodes of Property Ladder before you know it! [:D] I hope that's positive and encouraging for you (and that's not meant in a sarcastic way).

R.

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Take heart Hillsider. It is not all gloom and doom. When I sold my house recently, I took a drop of 20.000 euros. At the time  felt that I had made a wrong move and I should have held out a little longer. But now as the market gets very sticky, I realise that I was lucky to find a buyer!

There are a lot of people over here that have to move back to the UK, owing to financial and other reasons. If they forced to sell, they will not turn down any reasonabe offer. Don't set your sights too high. There is no need to buy a chateau! Find one or two smaller properties that you really like and make a low offer. You might find that it will be gratefully accepted.

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I note you are planning to fly to La Rochelle .......if its the South Vendee you are looking to buy in then  in the past few months  I have seen more for sale signs go up than in the past 4  years.....prices have dropped a lot  check out what Notaires have on offer as well as the agents ...Now is the time you could just find what you want at a lower price then at you expected . 

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[quote user="Hillsider"]  I think my only hope of affording the size of house I had set my heart upon (and could have afforded two weeks ago) is if sellers are prepared to face up to what are obviously extremely difficult conditions and accept a lower offer than would be usual eg 15 - 20 % rather than 5 - 10%. I know there is no set answer but hoping for some informed and encuraging replies........
[/quote]

Hillsider my bold - I hope to encourage you by saying  - we bought at 30% under price when the € to £ - was so much higher, no reason why you can't achieve your desired discount especially should the vendor be 'financially challenged'. We have recently purchased a Parisian apartment at 22% under asking.  Tourist rate today <€1.12> for our usual annual trip tomorrow to sample the Beaujolais nouveau.  Perks of the job I managed to get the heady rate off €1.16  in house so to speak .  It's not really the wine festival that is a reason for my trip, more for the whole surround of activities that our French neighbours make of it; together with other many events throughout the year we are blessed to be a part off.

Come on you - hae nae fear - our guys in charge <wink>  All the very best to you and yours, look me up when you get here.

Awaiting with interest comments from those who know how to........  more than GB.......further more to buy a copy of there new book 'how to get UK out of recession for DUMMIES' ......Le forum experts financiers sont exactement cela ‹ le FORUM ex-experts financiers qui personne ne sont dans le monde d'extérieur maintenant ›

Le demain est un autre jour ne l'est pas! For all. Factice aussi, non?

Apero

 

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[quote user="Apero"]

 

Le forum experts financiers sont exactement cela ‹ le FORUM ex-experts financiers qui personne ne sont dans le monde d'extérieur maintenant ›

Le demain est un autre jour ne l'est pas! For all. Factice aussi, non?

Apero

 

[/quote]

Apero, I was reading your contribution with great interest, until the above, which I really cannot understand - could you put it in English, please?[:D]

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Just goes to show what Google translate can do if you let it [:)]

Running it through again backwards, it makes a bit more sense...

The forum financial experts are just that <the FORUM former financial experts who are nobody in the world outside now>

The tomorrow is another day is not! For all. Also fake, right?
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[quote user="Eos"]

I sold a house 12 years ago for what was, at the time, the highest price to have been achieved on the street. Even now in these straitened times, it has just sold for about 8 times what I got for it. As I got out of it what I needed, when I needed it, I am not "sick" as one of my acquaintances suggested I might be!

Not an "informed" response I know but an attitude that helps me sleep!

[/quote]

This is such a good philosophy  you have Eos. I am trying to remember this in future, it would certainly make life easier and help me sleep too, especially in this Credit Crunch-depressing times.  

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[quote user="Frederick"]

I note you are planning to fly to La Rochelle .......if its the South Vendee you are looking to buy in then  in the past few months  I have seen more for sale signs go up than in the past 4  years.....prices have dropped a lot  check out what Notaires have on offer as well as the agents ...Now is the time you could just find what you want at a lower price then at you expected . 

[/quote]

Seconded. And some people are even making the extraordinary move of reducing prices! A place near us has been on the market for about 18 months for €175k and has just been cut to €150k. It is still overpriced 'cos he is convinced that un anglais will buy it and he can't grasp the notion that the exchange rate shift suggests a price of €120k might be more sensible, but then Rome wasn't built in a day.

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