Retirement: Second Homes….Moving To France…Retirement Lived Between France And The UK
As a company specialising in helping U.K. people to buy homes in France, Healey Fox find that the average age of our buyers is 45 to 60 and that all of them are looking to buy a property to enjoy in their retirement or even to enjoy their retirement in!
Many people have enjoyed holidays in France whilst working and have had held on to the dream of owning a house in France one day. For such people as they come up to retirement, any children they may have had have left home and they are free to consider how they want to spend their time and money as they grow older. As people now approach retirement knowing that they are likely to have many active years ahead, for many of them it is time to turn their earlier dreams of owning a home in France into a reality.
Their are several tips which we share with this large group of our buyers, especially those who plan to move to France full time:-
¥ If possible buy your property before you are ready to retire, especially if you intend to move to France full time. It is good to get to know your neighbours, to feel settled in your home, to understand the intricacies of living in a new country etc. before taking on the major life changes of retirement and a full time move to a new country.
¥ Consider sharing your property fund and downsizing in the UK as well as buying a property in France. French property is amazing value compared to the UK so most UK sellers can afford to buy a flat in the UK and a property in France with the proceeds from the sale of the family home. If you are able to do this it allows you not to feel as though you have ‘burnt your boats’ which is good on those days in your new country where things don’t go quite right (and there will be some of these).
¥ Maintaining a base in the UK also means that it is easy to return home to see family and friends, especially for many people when there is the ‘pull’ of new grandchildren. Being able to visit them in the U.K. and have them to stay with you in France in the school holidays is a wonderful way to enjoy the pleasures of being a grandparent without getting too involved in the day to day care!
¥ If running two homes seems expensive you can always consider letting either one of your properties when you are not there. With the rise of such companies as Air bnb and Homeaway it is all very simple and financially rewarding.
¥ And a real joy in having a home in the UK and in France is that you can share your treasured possessions between the two homes. When younger people talk about downsizing to those reaching retirement age they do not realise that it’s not the reduction in house size that is the major problem it is what to do with all those ‘bits’, those ‘knick knacks’ that have come to mean so much to people the older they get. The joy of being able to share them between two properties cannot be underestimated.
That is what we tell the many people who come to us for advice. Once they have made their decision to go ahead and look for a property in France then we get on to the nitty gritty of checking with them on the lifestyle they are looking for, the climate, ease of access from the UK and, of course, their budget. But whether they are planning a full time move or a long- stay holiday home
at Healey Fox we know that we have all the help on hand to make the purchase a wise one.