Transcript for Episode 239: Buying a House in France

Categories: France How To, Moving to France

Discussed in this Episode

  • Quillan
  • Aude Department


This is join us in France Episode 239. Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and join us in France is the podcast where you’ll hear pragmatic advice for your next trip to France. Or in this instance, maybe it will be inspiration for your next big purchase. On today’s episode, Anthony Slayton shares how he bought a house in southern France. In preparation for his retirement, he saw a great opportunity and jumped on it will talk about the oddities of the French realtor system and the French realty market and how he managed despite it all to buy a house in one week. Amazing. Show Notes and photos for this episode are on join us in forward slash 239. Although photos are hard to come by, because there aren’t a lot of houses for sale around my neighborhood I drove around has night, I could hardly find Danny. And also for reasons that we explained in the episode. realtors are not real keen on putting on a big sign that says this house is for sale.

You wonder why? Well, we’ll explain.

Layton and welcome to join us in France.

Oh, Annie,

how are you today?

We are doing good today.

Excellent. So you are actually in France? in your home in France today?

Yes. When you’re writing a few days ago.

Excellent. And you found everything in good order.

Yes, everything was great order. My wife was she’s funny. She we rented out on Airbnb when we are not here. And there were two or three things out of place. And so

that’s the nature of the beast. Here,

right? Yeah, of course, of course. Okay, so let’s, let’s dial it back a little bit and explain why you have this house in France.

Well, I started working for a company who does business with Airbus. So I would come to France, about 10 years ago, at one point, I spent five months working here in France. So I fell in love with France. We had the opportunity to buy our retirement home early. And so we were looking around for a place and we decided to pull in the southwest of France, because that’s where I decided I want to retire.

Yeah, but by then if you’re truly retired, you won’t need to go to Airbus very much.

True. But with my job, I’d had the luxury of traveling most of the most of the Northern Hemisphere. And so I had already settled upon two locations in the world. One was the southwest of France, and the other one was Vancouver Island. I would never have a million dollars to buy a house on Vancouver Island.

I know the prices are pretty high over there.

We can think the Chinese

always know, right?

They have they have driven people, they’ve driven people, Canadians out of the housing market around the Vancouver area in the Vancouver Island area around Victoria. And and then was just when I went out there and fell in love with that area and realize that housing prices there. Yeah, it was just out of my reach.

Yeah, yeah. Well, thankfully, the Chinese have not discovered the southwest of

housing prices. Yes.

Yes, yes. I mean, there are people in France who complain that we have too many English and Americans who buy houses he and that it raises the prices a little bit but it’s nothing like that yet. So that’s good.

Going over going on.

It’s shocking, but because of that we chose the Southwest because the other area was we were priced out of it. And then we decided that instead of coming over here and searching for the perfect house that we would instead decide upon where we wanted to live narrow it down and then we would just find a house in that area. And so we identified for us instead of running around and and finding since this was going to be where we’re going to retire we want to be very careful about selecting the village or the area we wanted out everything within walking distance we wanted a hospital we wanted dentists and doctors we wanted a schools so even though we should not have children when we come over here full time living with us we thought that a school would provide a vibrant Yeah, it has a school it has a vibrant it’s not you know retirees only its functioning slot you know functioning community. We wanted a railing we wanted

laundry patisserie pusher any

Yeah, we did we enjoy we enjoy. I actually yesterday bought a leg of a full leg of ham ham leg. Wow. On all summer long anyway. And

the cured ham.

Yes, the cured ham. Spam that you shave off.

Yes, those tempt me all the time. But I’m trying not to eat meat. So

this this was the first time I actually broke down and bought one of them because they are very tempting.

very tempting. But we came up with about 1015 things that and then we went online. And I knew that based upon having been in Toulouse region, I knew that the Department of code which is you know, the next department over that it was in the US it’s the equivalent of crossing the railroad tracks. It’s really close, but the prices and the experience is you know, you’re no longer in the large city you’re now in the rural area right. The housing prices dropped substantially just by leaving the I’m trouble pronouncing it every time the homegrown

get on the Yes. Oh god, this is where two loses and right next to us to the east of us is loaded. That’s all these were caca son is that’s the biggest town. But to where you are is also a good sized city.

It’s about 4000 people I think, with about 400 Brits, Americans and Australians in it suddenly

a lot.

We were surprised we that was not an intent of our nowhere on our list was a large English speaking community. But we for our purposes, we were very lucky in finding one that had a large English speaking community because we don’t speak French I’m I’m even though I’m a professional. I’m dyslexic. So learning French is just been. I’ve been at it now for a decade, and I still speak like a three year old child.


you manage you manage, I survived.

I survived only out of pure necessity and desire. Yeah, it is. The lady who sells us our croissants and morning will tell you I cannot speak French at all.

Okay, so so let’s let’s explain a little bit. First of all, this was a cash purchase. Yes, ma’am. Yes. So So you didn’t have to worry about it alone and applying for all these loan type things. So that makes it easier,

right? We we, we probably would not be doing if we had to borrow? If we would have had to borrow any money and gone through the banking system. It would have just been too daunting for us. Yeah. And we would have been waited until we came over here if we were going to do that. Yeah. But since we had the cash on hand, based upon some inheritance monies, we were we decided to go ahead and we actually decided that investing in a house in France that we could then put on Airbnb and recoup the annual operating costs from that. Yeah, make good financial sense for us, since that’s what we would have done with the money in a bank account anyway. Right. And so usually, I’ve always thought I’ve always heard people say the best time to buy a house is 20 years ago. And so we thought was the best time to buy our retirement house. This is 10 years before we made it. That That sounds like a good idea to us. Yeah, we got lucky in the breaks that helped us out financially substantially. Because it reduced down the Euro to the US dollar, right. Yeah, so we received

some, anyway.

So it felt like a lot more euros than you should get if the if the exchange rate was the normal average. Right. You know,

when we bought the house, the exchange rate was $1 10. To to the euro. And it works normally. I think right now it’s $1 2022.

It’s usually between 2025, something like that. Yeah.

And I’ve seen it in 2008 2008. I saw them to dollar 60. Before.

Yes, that’s when we move we moved in 2005. And we had the equity from the sale of our house in the US. And we we were told to that we Well, we’re not finance ears by any means. And so we probably made some mistakes. But what we did is we put it in an account in dollars but in a French bank in an account account in dollars. But when we when we needed to use that money to buy a house, I think we were at 152 or 153 it was terrible. It was really bad for suffer a few years there around 2004 2007 2008 the dollar was just not doing very well against the euro and you needed a lot of dollars to buy your euro.


yeah, yeah, it’s got better vacations in

those days or

Yeah, yeah. Yeah.


But luckily for us, at least not so much for you but for us when we bought our house the dollar to the to the Euro was very strong. Yeah. And that was one of the reasons we decided to do it was because we we felt that we would never we would never make that money up in the retirement account setting in the US if the Euro went back to his natural you know, right. Yeah, and that’s already got up 15 20% in the three years we’ve had it so we feel we feel like vindicated in our decision but

then also financially I mean buying a house in France unless especially in a house in a town that’s 5000 to 10,000 it’s probably going to hold up its value quite well if not go up in price

our house has gone up we I checked it recently a friend of mines a not a realtor not an estate agent but I in the French the word is no no no the real estate agent the guy actually arranges the side

had a had a what we call yet anyway I could not think of the word

I had him look and our houses as has gone up a little bit since then. Primarily because the British people are no longer afraid of they’re not all rushing when we bought all the British people put their houses on the market because they’re afraid they will not be able to stay in France that that’s ended now. So the housing market here stabilized to the good because a lot of houses have come off the market so we were we were lucky in that sense as well. Yeah. But but there’s enough turnover here that we were wanting to sell will be able to

probably but

yeah yeah so in France typically the housing market I mean it varies greatly depending on where you want to buy. I was just reading in the news the other day that in Paris a square of property is going to run you minimum 8000 euros per square meter and that’s anywhere in Paris that’s the cheapest place in Paris

this ridiculous like, why would you want to live there like

it’s I mean yeah, you you work just to do I mean just to buy a house that’s it you wouldn’t eat you wouldn’t have any recreation it’s like work non stop just to buy the house. It’s ridiculous. So for most people anyway, so yeah, it’s it’s very expensive so so you have Paris at where the cheapest place in Paris is 8000 more or less per square meter. And then you have to lose city you know, where things are not near as expensive but it’s you know, it’s around three to 3000 to 3500 per square meter, depending how you know, desirable where it’s located all that but as soon as you go out a little bit, then you know it’s 2500 2200 and the first further away you get the less you you have to pay so that’s why is somebody speaking find a place that’s a sweet spot, you know, that has everything you need. But not the high prices. You’re very happy camper,

exactly it has been I could not have that price just leaves me speechless. Compared to what we got from what we bought. The house we have, I honestly do not know the square footage, but it has five bedrooms, two living rooms, a kitchen with a combined that combined kitchen and dining room. And then one of the bedrooms is an efficiency apartment that has a small kitchen a bathroom attached.

In our house is on the river with a balcony overlooking the river.

So it’s pretty.

It’s just in where we’re eight doors off the square in town. It’s just and it’s four storeys tall. It’s a it’s a village house.

But I cannot I cannot imagine painting

that just leaves me speechless. Yeah, yeah.

I mean, yeah, this is this house is extremely affordable.

Yeah, no, it’s it’s it’s, I mean, I understand why people want to live in Paris, if that’s where the where their job is, then definitely. But you know, you just like that’s still a lot more money than most other places in France. So anyway,

well, I could not about I could not about this house for the price of an apartment and told us when when we looked at the prices of for this house, yeah. And probably 10 or 15 houses to choose from in our area. There was no comparable houses or apartments in Paris and told us to choose from.

Yeah, it’s and these things go up and down. So a place is going to get popular and you know, I mean, Provence used to be just like young. A lot of you know, 50 years ago, all these little towns in Provence. Were not that expensive. And then some English guy wrote a book that became a best seller and then everybody and their dogs wanted to go pay whatever to get a house in Provence or get some old crumbling building so they could write a book about renovating it. Cheese that out you know that hurts and the locals they have to that’s that’s why for locals it’s not so good because then their kids can buy a house next door either.

Oh, I I don’t know how I don’t know how families do it in Provence. I it feels unfortunate. That’s one of the things I like about this area is is I feel like other than Qian itself, you are immersed in the fringe culture. And it is it is farmers it is it is the people who work here in town, who you see, you know, in the cafes, and everywhere. A friend of mine, who I was talking to last night was talking is Tim, we were talking about shipping goat cheese and the little Shepherd in town who comes and sells his goat cheese. And he was mentioning he can’t go to the market on Saturday because he knows everybody. So he can’t get through the market and do his shopping. talking to everybody.

There’s worse fates in life.

There are far worse.


So sorry. Go ahead. So I just wanted to get back to basics. So you picked an area you pick the southwest of France, then then you picked a house that met certain criteria. And then you you went looking

how long did you look? Well, we because we were we know we had a very specific area we were buying within the old city of Qian, they were not even buying outside the old walled city of Keon even though the walls are now gone, right? Yeah, it’s it’s an oblong shape, small, very small center part of the city, we only had probably 10 or 15 houses to choose from our parents. So knowing that I scheduled a week to come over here. So I left my wife and my two kids and up in the US. A friend agreed to come because of the kids were in school, it was in September. So we came, we came over here, got an Airbnb in the last month. And next week looking at houses, it was a little problematic for me first, because in the US, the buyer hires a realtor and the realtor then arranges for them to see all the houses. Were here in France, I did not know that. So when I went to my first realtor, and I picked the realtor, they showed me the two houses they had. And then when I asked them to show me other houses, because of the and this was a British lady who I was working with, and because she was British and could speak, and we could really communicate very well. But there was this barrier between us that she did not fully understand what I was asking, because in Britain, apparently they do it the same way as in France, where the realtor represents the seller, and actually the house even more so. And they don’t represent other people’s houses. And so when I asked her to show me the other houses, she understand the American approach, right? So I wasted a day and a half, waiting on her to make all these arrangements for me that now I realized there’s no way she was going, she was not going to do that, because you’d be selling someone else. Right.

So the way it works in France is that people can list their house with as many realtors as they want to. And as a matter of fact, most people start out by trying to sell it themselves. So sale by owner. And if that doesn’t work, they will go to one realtor and then to two realtors and then two, three world realtors. And usually the ones that are listed everywhere. It’s because the owners did not set the price. Realistically, it’s too high. Or maybe it’s it would be okay if the house was in great shape, but the house is not in great shape, you know, that sort of thing. And so you have houses that sit on the market for a long, long time, because the sellers are not very, very realistic. And as a realtor, you can’t argue with these people. Because if they tell you I want to sell my house for a million euros, and you know that the house is not near worth near that? Well, if you don’t, if you if you try to talk them down too much, they’re just going to say, well, you’re a lousy realtor, and you won’t get that kind of money for me. So bye bye. And so so then realtors have to agree with the owners that yes, maybe we can sell it for X amount of money, even if they know it’s not going to sell. Anyway, when American when an American buyer comes around the goal, this guy is in America, and he probably hasn’t oodles of money. So we are just going to show him all the houses. So you tell you, you tell them I want a house with two bathrooms. And they show you three houses with one nice bathroom. You know, and you’re like, what part of two bathrooms was so difficult, but it’s just been it’s not that they don’t want to work with you. It’s just that they don’t have a house that has two bathrooms. So they’ll show you the house that they can show you.

That’s exactly what happened me is is we specifically requested

older ancient I, you know, 19th century, you know, we wanted an older house and the realtor was showing us buildings made in the 1950s. Because that’s what they had. Right. And and it took me a while to figure out what and they were showing me houses outside the center of the city. And they were and I couldn’t because I and we hadn’t done the research on a website called right move Okay, and you could, and it puts all the web, all the house listings that the realtors have put online on for their own websites, they will collect all of them together and put them in one place and you go to right move UK. There’s all the houses, that’s good. And so we were we knew that we want to see this house in this house in this house,

but they can’t figure out who was listing it.

And that was the issue we ran into was we didn’t fully grasp who was listing on. And then was that realtor available the day to show me the house that I wanted to be able to see it based upon me scheduling with another realtor. And

right now it’s complicated. Yeah, especially when you want to go fast when you

have four days to do it. And and eventually one of the realtors admitted to me that she was so used to buyers from the US or the UK showing up and wanting to see houses as I were thinking about someday buying a house, right? She really didn’t understand that I had a check in my pocket. I was going to buy the house this week. I was going to accept the I was gonna put the offer in and we were doing you know, but this was not a game I was playing that. And I only knew that because I met her in the cape went over and talked to her one day in the cafe. As we were having coffee. We were starting to talking and she was like, oh, did you buy a house? He bought a house.


She must have been like dang it.

So so that was sort of a funny thing was that. And then she said, Well, most people show up and they asked him where they want to buy. And they say well, maybe you know the coast and she’s like, oh, why was that? You know? Yeah. You know, Keon on the moon, you know? Or Burnett. But, uh, yeah, so those are all near places really close by?

No, but it’s true. People don’t know what they want. And that’s, I think that’s a huge difference between what you did, and what most people do. You knew exactly what you want it you had it narrowed down to one part of, you know, one region of France and then one town, and then you knew you wanted City Center, which is smart, because it’s prettier. And you know, yeah, you you knew what you wanted, but it’s hard for the realtor to ascertain, you know, is this guy. For real?

It was, it was rather humorous. Between between the realtors who I had, I had the one realtor who didn’t understand what I was after. And I couldn’t understand what she was saying. So it was a mutual confusion. Yeah, the other realtor who sort of blew me off and showed me a house and passing and and when I asked to see another one she couldn’t find the key to it. And she didn’t really try that hard. Yeah, in the last realtor who when I walked into her office on the last day I was here and was like, I want to see that house that you have listed. Because I’ve got to buy a house today. One other house I found online and I’m going to buy this house or that house today because one of our rules was we were not going to do a remodel job we were not into this. Oh we’re gonna buy a ruin and spend all this time Yeah, I was not going to write a story I was not going to try to do that

for the book

Yeah, that was that was not what was going on. I wanted to buy a house I could enjoy all my summers now and then retire in with as little work as possible. And so there were two houses I had not seen on the last day and by that point I’d sort of figured out what to do and I walked in and said I am buying a house today I want to see a house I want to see this house Can you take me there now?

That realtor had never heard that before and she will probably never hear it hear it again.

And but it got her attention for what for my purpose I and that was what I needed was I needed their attention I didn’t have to wait around for one of the realtors to get an English speaker to take me because that was my one I could not overcome that barrier right luckily I found my house which is it was my sometime between

1100s and the 1500s

huh yeah so there’s been a house there that long is just that it got you know, remodeled and added on and this and that and that

actually this one really hasn’t that much it has bathrooms but

the stone walls and everything it is a I am very very it hasn’t been for in the first four but I was very lucky to find a very ancient the when you come in the door the front house and you can only find this in France you can’t find I don’t think you can really find this it’s difficult to find anywhere. Even this is even difficult finding France but we found one that had a medieval lintel entryway for a village house because most of the villages you know the houses were updated as the villages you know over time people would Yeah, just due today the remodel for whatever reason this house other than it has the the traditional stucco front on it, but the back still has the post and being back and the doorway was never the doorway you come into was never modify. So it’s still as the three stone lentils those two, you know, a stone on each side of the doorway that is stored stone going across the lintel. And we had no idea how old That was until we saw a place in Miro po which is a medieval town nearby here that had one of the matching that had a doorway that it was very similar to ours.

And it was dated 1400 I think so we were

lucked out for somebody who was trying to be to go fast you lucked out because you know houses like that. They don’t come up for sale every day.

But they we were we were the funny story about this is I refused to view this house when we were in the first couple days I would not come and look at this house because the photographs online of the house were so bad the room that now I absolutely love and adore because it is ancient posts with stone stacked in between them and lying mortar look like to before and installation on the picture was a little it was it was like this dark room. And you could see that you could see what it looked like to before is are stripping. And it looked like the room was unfinished. And I won’t you know, I don’t want an unfinished house. out of desperation I came and looked at it and fell in love with it because it wasn’t insulation. It was Stone said in line mortar right? There was so far from my reality that I cannot adjust until I saw it. Right, right. Oh, mathematic static.

Mm hmm. So, so the thing is in France, realtors don’t try as hard I think to sell your house as they do in the US. I mean, in the US, I’ve had friends who sold their houses after hours, and they say oh, by now they send a consultant to to, you know, above a certain price. They’ll send a consultant that will tell you paint this wall, do this change this light fixture blah, blah, blah, do all these things. Here, they don’t even turn the lights on. Sometimes you go visit a house, the owners hasn’t even left the owners hasn’t hasn’t cleared up the dishes. I kid you not I visited a lot of houses. Before we bought ours and it was just I was like, you guys should try a little harder because it could be nice, but you’re not putting it in its best light. DTOI.

Very, I would agree with that completely from what I saw. I I went into houses beforehand, where if they had spent about 5000 euros, doing some basic repairs, I might have bought that house and never even come to the one I ended up buying. Right. But they but but one of them had a hole in the ceiling that that they replaced the roof. But they hadn’t replaced or the roof had leaked. into the into the room. Wow. And so you had this plaster falling down? In the whole online? You did the hard work, but you’re not willing to do that work? Yeah, you’re scaring me off because I don’t want any repairs. Right? It was a strange, it was very strange to me that the the, the simple hands off approach of the entire process. Yeah. Except for the notary, the notary did not take a hands off approach.

We used a

very well versed English speaking notary.

And, and he had, it was fascinating me because he had a TV and digital TV, or a large screen TV behind his desk, and he put all the papers up on so you. So you could view in this little tiny town and rural France, he was more modern than any attorney or closing agent I had ever seen in the US, I was so impressed with him.

Right? Right. And they do that typically, because they want everybody in the room to read the same documents. And so they will by law, they have to go down the the whole document and tell you and make sure you understand and agree and all that. And and so they just wanted to do it just once, you know, point once and all of them get it will probably was just you and your wife, but

it was just me actually that she was arriving the next day because of airline tickets in debt.

And so I I had I had her power what we would call her power of attorney. Right. But it was it was fascinating. And and one thing that surprised me was in the you. I did I used to. I’m an attorney by profession. And I actually did closings in the US in the past. And we would do an attorney’s opinion in the US. In some states, you do an attorney’s opinion, where you would go off and you would read the abstract. And then you would just tell the person the pertinent information in your letter, knowing full well that unless there was any reservations taken, the person would never even see your letter. We’re here in France, I had to sit for about 45 minutes as he laid out the known history of the house to me.

Right, right. They have to disclose all of that.

It was it was it was fascinating and very different. As you know, in the US from the seller’s perspective I come in are the buyer’s perspective. I come in, I signed my mortgage, and I get everything else. We’re here the seller, I’m sorry, the buyer felt I felt much more protected by the system, if that makes sense. Yes.

Because what happens especially well, yours is a city is a village house, city house. But mine is right. It’s like 200 meters from the school. But it’s still we have this kind of right away complication. And a lot of houses in France have that. And so they have to make sure you understand exactly what you can and cannot do with this right of way, and what your neighbors can cannot do with this right away. And so that just that part took half an hour, you know.


it’s the American says, Well, this is silly. I don’t mean to spend all this time and money. But then the attorney of me says that’s I like that system better because it tells everybody up front before they do anything. Yeah. need to know.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, it’s good. So did you find because it was a cash purchase? There was the bank complication was out of the way. But did you you find the paperwork was particularly difficult, or was it pretty straightforward. For someone like you that has experience?

I was I was, I go back to the fact that, and I can’t remember the gentleman’s name right now. But he was because he was so good at his job. And I was he didn’t know what I did in the US. So in my previous life, before I went to work for the company I work for now.

So I would look at the documents that we would be receiving in the mail.

And between Google Translate, and between his English versions of them.

It was actually very reassuring to me to get the documents to see that they were doing the Property Inspections, as a matter of course, to see that that was getting literally I was getting earthquake, or geological reports have been prepared. Everything that in the US they only apply in very unique situations where fear there for every sale, and the electrical report and everything. So I did discover that there were two or three small little issues with the house that I otherwise would not have. But I didn’t care about them. By that point. I’d already done the terrible thing that a buyer would always do, which is they fall in love with the house. Yeah, I had. I by that point I’d come to understand while I was buying, I tend to understand how lucky I was to have found it when I found it. And how lucky that I was on the price I come to understand, so that I was going to ignore the fact that the heating system was only that I did not realize until I saw it, the heating system for the house has only one wood stove in the dining room as its space heaters. And if you plug for more than three years, they blow the circuit. Yeah. But I knew that before I bought the house. And that was something different that would have happened in the US. Yeah. So I respected the fact that now I had to read the reports. And I had to understand what the reports were saying by the by the information within them about the electricity, TriCity and the voltage and all that. Yeah. So I had to sit down my wife and go, you need to understand something, we’re only going to be there in the summertime for two or three months a year until we retire. And when we retire, we may have to do something different. Yeah. We may have to get upgrade the electrical system in 10 years to be able to put heaters in each room, if that’s what we want. But the other side of the coin is the house is centuries old. No one else has ever thought the need to do this. Instead of taking the American approach. Let’s just see what happens. Right,


And we’ve been we’ve been pleasantly surprised we’ve been here and we were spent one Christmas here. The kids made this promise never to come back to France and the Christmas time. But we spent one Christmas here and it took a day and a half to heat up the house. But after this after the it heated up that that one stove, he did the house very nicely. And we never so we probably won’t upgrade it like we had originally planned because it actually works.

Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, in France, we have lots of different types of heating, but a lot of houses will come with pretty basic heating systems compared to what we had. I lived in Utah. So you know, you get cold, cold winters and you have a massive furnace. And also massive Carrier Air Conditioners outside, you know, to to make it livable. Otherwise, you know in the desert in a biplane desert like that. It’s not good. You need

down the minus 27. Fair. Hi, this winter. Yeah,

there you go.

Oh, in our house in the US is a built in the 1850s. With 18 inch brick walls. There’s no way you can eat a house when the cold is seeping in through the wall.

Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s a very, very cold. Yeah, you have that?

Yeah, that was our frame of reference when we looked at this house. So now we’ve been pleasantly surprised. Yeah, yeah. Learning to live with with France, instead of importing our American wise, if that makes sense.

Yes. Because when I bought the house, we bought that first I was thinking okay, I would like duct system heating system. And I did find one company that did that. But it was an arm and a leg. And clearly they weren’t really, you know, they were trying to to establish this, but they mostly sold it for kind of warehouses commercial stuff. Yeah. And they were like, What is it with this woman? Why does she want that but it was so comfortable to me in Utah, I thought well, this is the way to go. And then we didn’t do anything the first few years and then eventually we found a French system a very French system that works great and it does both cooling and heating. And it’s it’s based in each room. So each room has its own settings. So you can you know, you can have the office be quite cool. But the bedroom is not so much me but you can do anything you want. It’s very flexible. And I really like that better by now. But at first I was like what is the system? You know, what are they doing

in the US they call them mini splits they are starting to become very very, very utilized. And I actually I have some rental properties and one of our houses have a rental properties we actually installed mini splits because it’s the most economical way to not not to install but to continue to keep the house warm and cold. Yeah, we It was the most economical way for us to do it because it was a small house.

Yeah and also if you if you want to keep your office at a certain temperature you can do that and you don’t have to cool the rest of the house. You know you can just cool the rooms when you need them. Yeah, it’s it’s very good. I’m I’m in love with this thing.

They are I I stayed in we went to CES no not Sicily.

Naples last year for our once we’re over here we usually take one little small week trip and we went to Naples and the place we stayed in the south of Naples, south of Naples. Had the men had each bedroom had one in the main room and one where they were Nah,

yeah, yeah, it works really well. And our neighbor when I walked home earlier, I saw that my neighbors getting one installed. So I was like, oh, finally you got you got wise you got tired of getting too hot and this anyway,

they’re very nice. I will tell you that the other thing that was that I think people need to realize is the cost of furniture in the in France for new furniture. We because our house was so old, we furnished it with

from from Boca

mosses which is the equivalent of a Catholic charity that supports homeless

use it how do you say that email use

in the US we always say a mosque but Mo Mo us? Yes. I had to say that correctly. But we are in game a premier anyway. Garage Sale.

VV good. Yeah, yes.

We’ve grown as we utilize those to buy our furniture.


Now it took us two and a half years. Here’s to furnish our house during summers.

Yeah, because I had to go around and find something that

we had. And and and we made the decision. We wanted older pieces to match the house. And that that made a little bit more challenging. But financially it actually helped us out a lot. Because the most expensive piece of furniture we have in the house was an Ikea couch for me. But for my son’s the efficiency apartment in the top of the house. It has it’s an old attic that got converted in the 90s so it looks IKEA asks to begin with so putting an Ikea catch up there. That’s fine. perfectly fine. Yeah. But it was the most expensive piece of furniture we bought was his IKEA couch. Because I don’t know why but used furniture is extremely cheap in in France from our perspective, compared to what

was the name of the other one. It’s not going to come back to me. But there’s another one just like you might use where you just do.

Mr. Let

me spell it. Oh, you’re gonna get me the line now. Moshi mon

PO pushy mom. I’m trying to find it on the map as I’m sitting at my computer.

Yeah, because that might be a local thing. I don’t wreck I don’t recognize.

Lou LeClaire.

Anyway, the places in France where you would find old furniture like a secondhand furniture is lukewarm.

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, we use them as well.

So that’s online. And you it’s like a permanent yard sale, but online. But then of course, you have to deal with shipping. Or if it’s close enough, you could restrict it to around you, and then you could go pick it up. So that’s a good way to do it. Or you having my user you have what’s the other one? I can email you.

Google the one,

the one that I was saying was LE, and then as Vice MNPARCHEMIM.


Shema, Pasha, mom.

I have never heard of it. But I see there’s one in Li mu.


Yeah. It’s apparently a British thing, because all the British people are like,

partially mon.

parchment. It looks like parchment. Yeah. Yeah.

I never heard of it before. But they’ve been in the US is the equivalent of a Goodwill store. Right. Right. Right. people donate their stuff, and then they sell it for a good cause.

I never, I’ve never seen one around to lose. I never have one in woman anyway.

Excellent. Yeah. So that that’s good to know that furniture can be had at a decent price because shipping your furniture, but of course, you kept your house in the US. So you wouldn’t have had a big container to move. But big containers are very expensive and very slow. So yeah, very so. So you know, you you, you have a swarm of people coming to pack your house for a day or however long it takes them. And then you’re not going to see your stuff again for at least three months. So in the meantime, what do you do? You gotta go somewhere, you know? So it’s, it’s, it feels like a long, long time anyway, even if they can do a little bit of that. So

I’ve had a conversation, my wife about the fact that we are not doing that when we come over here.

Yeah. UN salad over there. You know,

I never had a conversation about a table that my that was my mother’s and two other pieces of small furniture.

We’re going to give it to our children at that point, we are not taking it with.

We’ve we’ve given we’ve given stuff to family members and friends and stuff, you know, we knew we weren’t going to need a snowblower in to lose, you know. So there’s no need to bring the big old, it was one of these fancy snow blowers from Costco, you know, that has the lights and all the day some of that and we’re like, Yeah, no, no need

to bring once every three years. Yeah.

And then even that is for like happening. So anyway, so So did you do you have to keep a car in Qian,

I do keep a car, but I’m about to get rid of it because it runs me about 1500 dollars a year to own the car. And I only drive it two months out of the year. So when you consider the cost of insurance and the cost of repairs and all that. This year, I’m going to I’m going to park the car the this year. And we’re just going to walk around town and bike and all that that we normally do. Because again, we made sure was able to purchase the house for when we retire. So all these things were within walking distance. Yeah. And if we go somewhere, we’re going to use the app Dr. V, to rent a car out of lu. lu, if we need to go somewhere further away. Yeah. Because I’ve decided that I spinning approximate $900 a month to drive a car and Frank don’t want a car in France, when we only are using it two months out of the year. It is Yeah, it’s just doesn’t make any sense. Yeah. But it took me a couple years to finally figure that out.

Right. Right, right. Yeah. And as car sharing becomes more kind of happy to oil little you might get to that point to when

we started this, it wasn’t even an option. The closest car on a car sharing app was in Carcassonne on, which for us is about 45 minutes to an hour RY and there’s only three connections a day between our city in our persona and back then they had the train now they’ve the train stopped because of track conditions. Now we take a bus, but I have to get up at 545 in the morning, come over to carcass own, rent the car come all the way back, pick the family up do what we wanted to do. Yeah, them off, go back and be able to catch the last train or bus out of carcass I don’t. That’s very problematic for us. So that’s why we went ahead and bought the car. Now that more people are in the system. There’s cars that are 15 minutes away for us now.

Yeah, no car rental agencies,

no car rentals, agencies and Keon that was not on our list that probably should have been.

But even if it was the way you

know, it comes and goes. I mean,

it’s likely it’s not we aren’t in a town that has one book, one bowl or the laundry and 1515 little French women. There’s a lot of towns like that even around place. There’s a lot of towns were like, Oh, it’s beautiful. It’s amazing. came on north of here. CACAMONMO. Yes. Is one of the bells of France, you know, one of the beautiful villages. But I would not live there. Yeah. It’s in the middle of nowhere. They have a boundary but not much anything else. And that’s one of the things that makes it beautiful is because it’s been left behind.

That’s true. That’s funny that you mentioned that we talked about Come on in a recent episode. By time This one comes out it would be probably a month later, you know, this one will be a month later but Camilla is gorgeous. But yeah, you want to live there, you know?

Oh, the bridge that goes into it and the tree line and it was just amazing. Beautiful. And the Chateau that’s just right north of it’s been burned down. That’s just fascinates me. But anyway.

It’s just amazing place but I don’t really want to live.

Yeah, too small, too small. It’s just yeah, pick your size.

Yes. Some people might be perfect for but Yeah,

yep. All right. Well, thank you so much. It’s been very informative. And I’m sure you’re going to inspire people to you know, but put their cash where their money their mouth is like you’ve been talking about this for years. Just Just buy one already. You can do it in a week. Come on.

I’m impressed.

With with the airfares being as low as they are. We it does it for us coming to France are going to Yellowstone is about the same price. Wow. Yeah,

that’s unbelievable. Well have a wonderful time in France. Thank you so much for talking to me. And hopefully I’ll get to see your beautiful home someday soon.

Have a wonderful one.

Nancy. Oh,

thank you, Walter. Administrative ZF ski. Sorry about that, Walter. Peggy do MUML That one’s easy, but it’s French. But how would you say it in English, I don’t know. You ml, ml ml do MLU is French name and Charlene brand for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week. And my thanks also to all the other patrons who support the show month after month. Thank you for giving back. I added a new reward for patrons this week. And this one is for anyone who joins at the $5 level. When you join Patreon, you will get invited to a secret Facebook group where I will answer your questions. The $50 tier is for people who want a full review of their itinerary on the phone with a detailed email to follow. But if you just want to ask a few questions from the Facebook group, the secret Facebook group is perfect for you. I used to do all of that in the join us in France closed group but it’s getting so big. I could spend my whole day answering questions a lot of the time the same questions over and over again. And so I’ve decided I need to give back to my patrons and people who support the show and spend less time in the the ginormous Well, it’s not that ginormous. They’re much bigger groups. But to me, it’s ginormous. It’s pushing 4000 people. So visit forward slash join us to do it already. BATRUON Join us no spaces or dashes. I’m still working on inviting everyone who’s donated to the podcast one way or the other into the secret Facebook group. I’m grateful there has been many donations. And so it will take another couple of weeks probably for me to invite all of these people, the secret group is going to stay quite small because you know the people who have been donated on on to the podcast, they’ve had their trip many of them. And so they’re not interested in joining because by now they’re preparing a trip to Greece or whatever the case may be. And so it’s going to stay pretty small and it’s mostly going to have repeat visitors to friends who listened to the podcast, which is exactly who I want to hang out with. This week I also released a new reward for Patreon supporters. It’s a pre show recording. chit chat between me and Elise, we were talking about the Women’s Soccer competition going on in France right now. The insufferable sexism that it has revealed a few TV shows we like and I can’t remember what else but it was just you know, chit chat before recording. And I hope you enjoyed that. I am going to be experimenting with different rewards because anybody who donates at the $5 level gets all $5 rewards, you have to pick one when you join Patreon. But I give you access to all of them. So I might as well try new things right? See what you like the best. And you know who else gets invited to the secret Facebook group, folks who donate $20 or more via the tip your guide button on join us in France. com. It’s a green button. And my thanks to Jose Rodriguez and my know psyche for doing just that. I’ve been watching the women’s soccer game, it’s been terribly hot. So I’ve had to spend a lot of time watering my garden and my flower pots. And usually you can get away with once a week you know, not with this heat. You gotta do it every day. But they are hanging in. I’m going you know, we got to eat quite a bit of lettuce already from the garden and I think tonight will have some yellow zucchini for the first time, it went from tiny to edible. like three days. It’s unbelievable. As soon as it gets hot, the zucchini loves it. I just love this little garden of mine. I don’t know why. If you are in France right now, let me give you 10 points to prepare you for the heat wave. Or the Kenny cooler as we call it in French. Number one, more and more places have air conditioning in France. But even if they do understand that nobody keeps a room as cool as what you’re used to in North America, restaurants will have their air conditioned room at 80 or 85 degrees, not the 70 degrees you might be used to. So dress accordingly. And yes, shorts are okay.

Listen to Episode 195. If you want to know more. Number two, if you coming to friends in June, July or August, you should book accommodations with air conditioning. I know a lot of hotels say the walls are thick, you’ll be fine. Yeah, that’s fine for a French person who’s never had air conditioning, and we’re used to this, but for the rest of us. And that includes me. You know, they say open the windows at night. And yes, it does cool off, you know, during a heat wave, you go from 101 hundred to 105 down to 90. Okay, so that’s some cooling off, but it’s not a lot of cooling off. And then also the bugs will come in because we don’t have screens on windows in France. I have some at my house. But most houses don’t have a most hotels don’t have them. So, you know, think about that. Number three, almost every year now in France, we get the first heat wave in June, then another one in July and one more in August. So we haven’t had any in September. But time will tell. Number four. When it’s hot like that you will want to spend most of your time indoors, go to churches because they are naturally cooler year round. Go to museums and drink twice as much water as you think you should. And and really take it easy. Number five, overdoing it on the wine, when it’s hot like this will raise your blood pressure. Go easy on that stuff, even if you’re on vacation. Number six, I say that because I’ve seen so many drunken tourists. So just just just mentioning it in passing. It’s okay to drink in when you’re in a cool environment, not so much when you’re going to go be in the heat. Number five, number six, sorry, during a heat wave it is to be expected that you won’t, you won’t cross so many things off the list. Why? Because getting anywhere in public transportation is really difficult. Which leads me to number seven, taking the metro in Paris on a hot day is torture. Only line 1259 and 14 are fairly comfortable because they are air conditioners. And that works most of the time all the other ones are there many others do not have any air conditioning, the air or your to go to the one to the outside might have some air conditioning, but some of them don’t have air conditioning either. And so you know, you can have 105 degrees in the car it’s awful, with the buses are usually cooled, but you have to wait for them in the heat. So it makes transportation really difficult. And number eight I’m not saying don’t come to France in June, July or August, but be smart plan indoors activities. If you’re in Paris, or in another large city, maybe take a taxi instead of taking the metro if you can afford it. Don’t go cheap, you know, a 20 to $20 taxi ride isn’t worth you overheating and feeling like death. Number nine, if you’re outside of large cities plan activities that involve getting wet, go to the doctor union and book a hotel with a C and a pool, then you will be great. We have some we’ve tried and recommend on join us in France. com under the resource tab number 10. And lastly, if you’re going to be buying a house in France, look at those fabulous air conditioning splits. I guess they called split units. We mentioned them on the show. They are really, really easy to find in France. They are a lifesaver in the summer, and you spend less on electricity overall throughout the year. So why not?

Okay about my GPS aware tour, my editor had to take a medical leave for at least minimum a couple of weeks, he said. So we’ve they’ve assigned me a new editor and she wants to review the whole thing, which I mean, it makes sense. So it will delay things a little bit, but not too much. I hope I will keep you posted on the release date on the podcast on social media and the email list as well. In the last episode, Emily talked about last episode was about a honeymoon in Paris. And my guests, Emily talked about creating a detailed personalized google map for her trip. And surprisingly, I had never tried to do that. But I don’t know why it’s never tried. But a contributor to the join us in France close group on Facebook, called it fruit Tikka. I hope I’m saying that right? crew Zika. She is shared detailed steps. So let me tell you the steps and I will put them on the show notes for this episode as well. So that’s join us in France. com forward slash 239. So you open Google Maps, so that’s you sign in, you have to be signed into Google. Then you click on the hamburger menu menu, it’s on the left hand side of the search bar. Okay, it looks like it doesn’t look like a hamburger. It looks like lines on top of each other. Then you select your places from the drop down menu, select maps, and you create a map you give it a name. And now in each map that you create, and you can have as many as you wish, you can create layers and those layers are where the magic happens. In one layer, you can put all the towns you want to visit if you’re visiting, or all the streets you want to visit if you’re in Paris, on another layer, you put the attractions you want to see on another layer, you put down the restaurant, so the hotels, whatever you’re considering, you know, ice cream, shop, whatever you want. You can do layers for shopping, museum parks, places to visit that have a nice view. Whatever you want, it’s you know, whatever tickles your fancy. And then you can preview it all on one big beautiful map that will show you all of these things and you can make them different colors and different shapes and stuff. It is awesome. I tried it. It’s not that difficult. I don’t know why I never did it before. So it’s pretty cool. I think it’s going to be super helpful. Thank you, Emily for evangelizing, and crew Zika for helping out with specific steps. If you want to recommend the podcast to someone who already listens to podcasts, tell them they’ll find join us in France, anywhere they get their podcast, just do a search. If they listen to music, but not podcasts on their phones. Tell them to search for join us in France on Spotify or Pandora. And if they don’t normally listen to anything on their phones, then send them to join us in France. com There is a play button there for each episode. And thank you so much for listening and for spreading the word that’s going to do it for me today. Send questions or feedback to Annie at join us in Have a great week of trip planning have a great time in France if that’s where you are or wherever you are really, and I’ll talk to you next week or the join us in France travel podcast is written and produced by Annie Sargent and copyright 2019 by addicted to France. It is released under Creative Commons Attribution non commercial no derivatives license

Transcribed by

Subscribe to the Podcast
Apple Google Spotify RSS
Support the Show
Tip Your Guides Extras Patreon Audio Tours
Read more about this transcript
Episode Page 

Categories: France How To, Moving to France