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Gites - does size matter?


Mark

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I viewed a house yesterday with a view to buying it and turning it into a gite.  It had enough going for it (pretty building, super riverside location, not in bad nick, enough land etc) for me to make an offer on it (albeit a slightly cheeky low one), but my only concern is the size of it.  The house itself has only 28m2 of living space (essentially a one up-one down with a reasonably-sized shower room off the bedroom).  The bedroom is big enough for a double bed, drawers and maybe a wardrobe, but does feel a bit claustrophobic.  The living room/kitchen is probably ok - just.  However, the market would primarily be summer walkers/anglers/cyclists who would be out all day and in the garden in the evening, so perhaps the internal dimensions aren't quite so important.

So, is it simply too small to be a worthwhile investment?  Is there a minimum size of house insisted upon by GdeF/Clévacances?

Comments welcome before I sign something I'll regret!

Thanks.[:)]

 

 

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Just a personal observation - we used to really struggle to find a place for just the two of us and regularly ended up having to rent houses which were far too big which although nice in a way, did cost!  Rather like the poor single person who always has to shell out for the price of a double room.  Will walkers have room to dry off soggy clothes etc?  That could be the bugbear in a tiny place.
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I don't think it matters all that much, sounds really lovely though! Sort of thing we would look for.

Can i book it now or shall i wait?? (I'm thinking if i say now for next April, i may eventually get round to it.......)[:D]

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So long as your rent out price reflects thats its a pokey hole (come on be honest ! ) and that you make it clear in your sales blurb its not suitable for families then no problems IMHO, but then, I'm always told off for being too matter of fact !  [6]

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Make it really comfortable with a good quality 5' bed and a couple of genuinely comfy chairs. We always used to rent gîtes larger than we needed but that was so there was a choice of bedrooms and beds. We were always concerned that if we rented something with just one bedroom and the bed was appalling, we'd have no other options - such as choosing to use a double and a single, or two singles elsewhere in the house...

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It does not work for us. If you rent a gite even if there are only two of you you want more space than a hotel suite. We rented the same place in Spain for the two of us in October, February and April. The last time two friends stayed with us.

If I were advertising or marketing gites I would hope a good proportion of the business came from either repeat bookings or recommendations. 

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We direct our lets towards couples as they do not lend to more people and there seems to be quite a few couples out there satisfied with what we offer.  Providing you give them a well furnished, clean !! and attractive accommodation it should work out for you.   BUT !! and it is a big but : one can never guarantee how many lets you will be able to encourage irrespective of the size of the Gite you are offering

Regards Les Favets

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I don't know what the sizes are (we are a B&B and it may well be different) but the size of bedrooms etc can effect the number of epis you can receive as a grading. Somebody, ages ago, did put a link up to the forms that GDF (Gite de France) use for their inspection which has details of rooms sizes etc and their effect on your rating, you will have to do a search I am afraid.

If your French is up to it you might find http://www.gites-de-france.com/var/plain/storage/fckeditor/File/Guidecreateurmars07.pdf interesting which is from the official GDF website. It explains loads of things from a technical, practical and financial point of view including getting grants and what GDF want in return for your grant.

I believe there is an increasing market for properties that cater for smaller numbers. I agree with the 'space' theory put forward by others but then you can have the same living space (lounge, kitchen, bathroom etc) but with just one bedroom.

Anyway, good luck and let us know how you get on.

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It sounds just the place for me to buy to live in permanently!  I am currently renting a gite with one living/dining/kitchen on the ground floor and one bedroom/shower room upstairs, but I do get to share a 20m x 10m pool with just  two other gites and there are five acres of garden. I pay £500 a month for a year-round rental.   I am having problems finding a house small enough for myself - I need about 40 sq. metres to be comfortable and about 300 sq. metres of garden. I also want to be isolated - no need of shops, bars, restaurants, etc. just peace and beautiful mountain views.  Where is your little house?  If you don't want it, perhaps I might!

My landlords get lots of requests from couples  wanting to rent throughout the winter whilst they look for houses, or from some people who live on a mobile home park that closes for two months in Winter.

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[quote user="Quillan"]

I don't know what the sizes are (we are a B&B and it may well be different) but the size of bedrooms etc can effect the number of epis you can receive as a grading. Somebody, ages ago, did put a link up to the forms that GDF (Gite de France) use for their inspection which has details of rooms sizes etc and their effect on your rating, you will have to do a search I am afraid.

[/quote]

You don't need a grading from GDF or be listed with them to successfully rent out a gite these days.

I think that a 2 bed property would give you a wider market - limiting just to couples is a bit risky. I have a 40m2 gite with 2 bedrooms (one large double, the second one small with bunk beds) and a big shared garden and pool and it is rented out for around 38 weeks a year on average (just holiday lets) so size doesn't matter, in fact it is more rentable than the larger ones I own. The market is young families and couples.

Why don't you have a look on some of the rental listing sites for your area and one bed properties and check their availability for some idea of how popular renting similar properties is?

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In some ways ltf is correct however the thing is that every area is different and market research is very important. We deal with couples and don't take children but then we are a good hour away from the coast and there are no real activities for children under 14 so that's our lower age limit. On the other hand we are in a great area for water sports, hiking and of course the famous Cathar Castles. The majority of our clients come specifically because we don't take kids because they want peace and quiet. There are absolutely no small Gites in our area specifically designed for couples so they use us instead. Obviously where there are activities, attractions suitable for young kids or the seaside you will get people wanting to come as families. So it's different horses for different courses as they say and doing your 'homework' is just so important else you could end up with a pig in the poke.

As to joining people like GDF or Clevacances well it's up to you but both their lists are sold to people like the AA and other organisations throughout the world. It also gives people an idea as to the quality to expect. Personally I see a time when everyone will have to become members if only for the inspection but that's another story. Of course if you want to aim more at the UK market then you don't need to register but my attitude is I don't care where people come from as long as they sleep in my bed(s) and pay me when they leave.

I whole heartily agree with ltf saying look at whats going in your area, check their availability and how much they charge. It's all part of doing your homework.

Anyway good luck and I hope it works out for you.

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[quote user="Quillan"]

Personally I see a time when everyone will have to become members if only for the inspection but that's another story. Of course if you want to aim more at the UK market then you don't need to register but my attitude is I don't care where people come from as long as they sleep in my bed(s) and pay me when they leave.

[/quote]

I hope not, because my 2 bed cottage failed the GDF inspection because the beam was 2cm too low in the living area. Despite that, we have an excellent level of bookings and lots of repeats both UK and French. With the advance in internet advertising, the French market are becoming less bothered about accredition, nearly all my French bookings come from a French listing site which comes considerably higher than GDF in the Google.fr page rank. All my French guests (and many are repeat customers) have said it was my website which made them book - the photos say far more about the property than a GDF/Clévacances accreditation ever could.:-)

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[quote user="monaco"]It sounds just the place for me to buy to live in permanently!  I am currently renting a gite with one living/dining/kitchen on the ground floor and one bedroom/shower room upstairs, but I do get to share a 20m x 10m pool with just  two other gites and there are five acres of garden. I pay £500 a month for a year-round rental.   I am having problems finding a house small enough for myself - I need about 40 sq. metres to be comfortable and about 300 sq. metres of garden. I also want to be isolated - no need of shops, bars, restaurants, etc. just peace and beautiful mountain views.  Where is your little house?  If you don't want it, perhaps I might!
My landlords get lots of requests from couples  wanting to rent throughout the winter whilst they look for houses, or from some people who live on a mobile home park that closes for two months in Winter.
[/quote]

I'm not going to tell you! [:D]

Anyway, it's only 28m2 so faaaaaaar too small for your needs.  And there certainly isn't a pool.

However, those things aside, it sounds right up your street in terms of magnificent position, size of garden and peace and quiet.

If it falls through, I'll let you know.....

 

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