The Currency Club

Why are people buying holiday homes in France?

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January 2021

So you have stayed in Gordes, driven through Provence and the fragrance of lavender brings back fond memories of summer? Or maybe it's your last visit to the glamorous French Riviera or the elegant Ile de Re? Perhaps, skiing in the French mountains or your regular visits to a chateau in the beautiful countryside has caught your attention? It may even be the ongoing Brexit negotiations! Whatever the reason, France continues to be a extremely popular to those wanting to buy a holiday or retirement home aboard. From the fine weather and varied scenery to the incredible French cuisine and culture make it a perfect country to consider buying a second home in.

If you are still sitting on the fence, below are some enticing reasons that may sway you to buy a home in France.

1. Great value for money

There are a great deal of bargains to be had when purchasing a property in France and since it is such a vast country there is plenty of choice once you have selected the region that suits you best. The decision here comes down to affordability and what you desire. If you would like to take on a refurbishment project, you can pick up a property with land in a small village for €80,000 or less. However, if you buy in a more popular town or city there is the option of renting out the property during holiday season and earning a yield on the property. Currently with mortgage rates so low in the euro zone and likely to remain so due to the Covid pandemic, now would be as good a time as any to scoop up some great deals.

2. Good healthcare

The French generally speaking have a healthier and less stressful lifestyle which means life expectancy in France is higher than in the UK.

In France, you can opt for private healthcare or opt for the state- run healthcare service, scoring highly on GP numbers and on spending as a percentage of GDP. If you choose to use the state run service, then the majority of patients must pay the doctor or practitioner upfront. The state then reimburses them in part or in full and each patient has freedom to choose which doctor or service to visit. All transactions regarding the state healthcare service is paid for using Carte Vitale so the card is used to record any health related costs and the state then reimburses (up to a certain point) direct to the patient's bank account.

In general, a GP visit can cost approximately €20 and the state reimbursement rate is between 70% and 100%. The poorest people and the long-term sick are covered 100%.

At pharmacies, the patient pays upfront but swipes their Carte Vitale. A large number of prescribed medicines are reimbursed between 15& and 100&.

Most people may have a signed up to a mutuelle, which is a semi-private insurance body, often related to their employer benefits. This facilitates a top up if any remaining amount needs to be paid.

3. Large selection of property

Buying a property in France means you have a vast amount of choice regarding what type of property you can purchase. There are so many styles and the dwellings vary in character and age. Ranging from run down chateaus, to farm houses, modern flats and pavilions. The renovation projects are popular amongst expats since they prefer the charm and refurbishing a property to make it their own.

4. The laid back lifestyle

The French have always had a fabulous culture of food and drink and for this reason lunch time is a time for relaxation and taking ones time to eat. For this reason most businesses in villages and towns will be closed between 12 noon and 2pm. The French are sociable and appreciate the importance of taking ones time for the finer things so the concept of a rat race is removed from the equation and this way of living appeals to many.

Family is also a very treasured concept in France and on Sundays it is normally reserved for Church and family time. Commerce is saved for the weekdays.

5. Warmer climate

Overall France offers all four seasons. If you are a skiing fanatic you can head straight to the Alps, for the beach lovers there's the south and not forgetting all the options to the West of the country. For those that prefer the countryside you can still swim in the numerous lakes and have the best of both worlds.

On the whole, wherever you settle in France, the country tends to be warmer and enjoy more sunshine when comparing it to the UK and offers four distinct climates in different regions.

6. Transferring money to your French bank account

If you are seriously considering buying a property in France, you will also need to look at the options available to you when it comes to transferring your money to put a deposit down for the property you have chosen and then at a later stage, paying the outstanding balance due.

When sending money to France you what you want is to transact at the real exchange rate.The real exchange rate is sometimes called the interbank spot exchange rate and this would be the rate you would normally see quoted in the newspapers, on the internet and in other financial sources

Simply googling send money to France will give you multiple financial institutions to choose from and you may even have thought to simply pay the money via the bank you hold your savings or current account with. This is not something we would not recommend. High street banks charge high transaction fees for sending money abroad. They may also have further fees hidden in the exchange rate that they will offer on your international payment.

It is best to do you research and look for companies that are fully transparent about the service they offer, the exchange rate quoted and any associated fees.

The Currency Club is a foreign exchange specialist that has an online global payments platform where every international payment transaction is conducted at the real exchange rate and a low cost fee is stated up front. They also offer a lower fee with the more funds you transfer. This means that you are not having to spend time calculating any spreads or fees everything is confirmed before you click submit and it's a straightforward, swift transaction. The Currency Club offers a telephone service if you would like advise on what is happening in the market as well as a 24/7 online platform, so you can choose whichever service is most convenient for you. Transfers can go on a premium quick service or a low cost slower service and payments for sending money abroad can be via bank transfer or debit or credit card.

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We have made every effort to ensure that the information published here is correct and accurate, however you should check and confirm the latest exchange rates with The Currency Club directly prior to making a decision. The information published is general and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Full disclaimer available

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