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Holiday Home - is it worth it?

Sorry about this long post. I live in the UK, am getting on in years and am thinking of buying a place in Provence as a long term investment  as a holiday home for me to enjoy in my remaining years but also my two grown up kids. When I say investment I mean somewhere that at least maintains its value. Also myself and family will only probably use it for 2-3 months each year so looking for somewhere that perhaps we could rent out. My daughter wants access to beaches and Italy, my son favours more towards Marseilles for easier transport links.  I have about £150k to spend.  I wonder if what I am proposing is a realistic proposition or something that will turn into a burden and a worry. Have any of you done something similar and was it regret or delight?   Has anyone any suggestions for location? Is there a website where private sellers post their properties for sale? Many thanks in advance for any comments.

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Re: Holiday Home - is it worth it?

I assume you have also considered the annual property taxes which can be several thousand a year regardless of how often you visit the property, the cost of keeping the utilities connected even when you're not there and presumably keeping heating on over winter, and also the cost of maintaining the property and any land. Weeds and grass grows when you're not there and the weather has been harsh on empty properties this year.

In terms of investment, most property in France doesn't appreciate significantly if at all, so maintaining its value is probably the best you can hope for.

Renting is fine if you're on the spot although you still have income tax on the rental income to pay in France, but if you're not on the spot you would have to find and pay a person to do changeovers and keep the property tidy and sort out any problems your guests have or damage they cause.

As you've probably guessed, if it was me and I had 150k to spend on holidays I would treat myself to a nice gite in a different part of France, or not necessarily even France, several times a year - no maintenance, no worries about storms or burglaries, no taxes to pay, just turn up, enjoy your holiday, then lock the door and hand the key back. But if you would feel bad about "spending the kids' inheritance" then that is a different question.
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Re: Holiday Home - is it worth it?

Not done it Pel but some thoughts.

You can look for property on
Alternatively do a search for "immobilier Provence" You will get hundreds of hits.

150k does not seem a lot for a property where you are looking, but if you are prepared to take an apartment I am sure it is possible. Any purchase of property as an investment is a risk - possibly more so in France than the UK. PACA (Provence, Alpes, Cote d'Azur - the region you are looking at) has held up well regarding property values, which can be looked at two ways - it is a relatively safe bet, or it is a market that could see a correction. Currently I would favour the former, but I make no claims as an expert.

Beware of properties that are in need of renovation - not what you are looking for.

Think about renting out carefully. The period when you are likely to get short term (weekly) rentals is likely to be exactly the period when you will want to use it yourself. You will also need an agent to handle change-overs and for trouble shooting. This will impact on any income you hope to make.


Nice has virtually as good air connections as Marseille - in fact if you discount the low cost airlines, Nice has a better service with national airlines. National airlines are less likely to walk away from a route than the Locos. The downside is that I think you will find that that end of PACA is more expensive than the more industrial Marseille area.

A European Rahinja.
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Re: Holiday Home - is it worth it?

Regarding French property as an investment, it's probably a good way to lose money, at least in the property market here at present.

Besides the property taxes and standing charges for services already mentioned, all property sales are carried out by a Notaire, who collects transfer tax, together with his fees, which are both charged each time a property changes hands.

These will add at least 8% to your purchase cost, and will be charged again when the property is sold.

Although these charges are paid by the buyers, they are part of the purchase cost as far as they are concerned, so will affect what they will be able to spend.

As a non resident you would also be liable to capital gains tax on the eventual sale, although it is rather unlikely there would be any gain to be taxed.

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H. L. Mencken 1880 - 1956

Some may not like his views, but what a prediction!
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Re: Holiday Home - is it worth it?

To answer the basic question, no it is not worth it unless you get a lot of use out of it which means several months a year, if you enjoy going to the same area very frequently and if your renters chip in to the costs.
Remember that teenaged and older children who enjoyed the place when they were kids may no longer do so, so it will remain empty for even longer.
I concur entirely with the posters who advise renting gites in different places both inside and outside France.
Ticking over, just about.
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Re: Holiday Home - is it worth it?

Many thanks to all of you who replied for taking the time and trouble and for being honest. Certainly lots of food for thought there.

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Re: Holiday Home - is it worth it?

Agree with comments so far.

To add a little, we were concerned that we would eventually get tired of going to the same place for our holidays. However with the concept of home exchange,especially if you have a house in a holiday/popular area, then non-simultaneous exchanges can be made which can be to some wonderful places.
My name is Richard , not Dick or any variant.
Dick is a crude name for a functional organ that is used as a derogatory name. Any reference to me as Dick will be met with equivalent response. Strange that it cant be policed better.
ex Consultant NHS

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Re: Holiday Home - is it worth it?

My holiday home in France was simply the best thing I’ve ever bought. Buying or not is a very personal decision. From what I’ve seen base your decision on what you plan to do with it and don’t rely too much on what others who have not made the same financial contribution say.
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