Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Moving to France - do I take the plunge?
This is the third long-term recession of my property career and it's clear that most people are cautious about making any kind of major expenditure. I wish that I had a euro for every time I have heard an estate agent say that they have had a sale lined up but that it's fallen through because the buyer couldn't get financing/didn't like the survey/has lost their job/simply changed their mind.
If you are looking upon your home in France merely as an investment then such caution is obviously justified. I genuinely think that this country has one of the most stable and reliable property markets in Europe and that there are some cracking bargains to be had but they are increasingly difficult to find and you must do your due diligence before taking the plunge.
However, if you are looking to buy in France for reasons beyond mere financial gain then welcome to the club and get off the fence!
Like most ex-pats I know over here we didn't buy a house in France to make a killing. We moved here for a mixture of positive reasons including education, healthcare, climate, scenery and the general quality of life.
We left the bright lights of London behind in 2003 and not for a single second have we regretted the decision. We have watched our children growing up in a secure and spectacular environment, their education to date has been excellent and as a family we are happier and fitter than we have ever been.
Of course, it's not all sunshine and roses - people get ill, it rains, cars break down and roofs leak just as they would anywhere in the world.
My point is that life is not a dress rehearsal. As the quote goes "It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions".
Or even better is the quote from Jean-Paul Sartre "It is only in our decisions that we are important".
The opportunities are here - now, do you really want to turn your dreams into reality?
ps: I pinched the picture from a very old friend called Paul Boross who I haven't seen for a while....if you're reading this Paul I hope you don't mind and I hope that your backhand is as lethal as ever!