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Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

My husband and I are retirement age and wish to relocate to France with our 13 year old daughter who will repeat 8th grade (college, I think), attend public (or perhaps private) Lycée, and enroll in/commute from home to a French University that offers a broad range of subjects. We cannot afford Paris and prefer a picturesque, safe, low traffic rural village. The Universities that attract us are Lyon, Toulouse, Poitiers, Grenoble, Montpellier, Avignon (costly dwelling?). We would dearly love it if people recommend towns in which we could find a dwelling and where our daughter could prepare for University. My husband lived in France and is fluent; my French is good; our daughter is very excited by the idea of relocating to France as French culture is familiar to her (from afar) and she will have had two year of French. We know to expect a period of adjustment and stress for her, but the big picture tells us that this would be a good move.
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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

Have you simply looked up prices with the estate agents in these areas you mention.

I would say that cities are usually expensive and of those you mention the two I know best have awful traffic jams at rush hour so what might be 30 minutes on clear roads, can be triple that.

Also, even round cities some areas are cheaper, and France is no different to anywhere else, some places are not 'good' areas to live in, high incidence of crime etc. Just something to think of as you did mention 'safe'. And I would hazard a guess that drugs etc are available in every french village, even the rural ones. So is anywhere really safe?

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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

Thank you for your reply, idun. Yes, I have looked at properties on two excellent French real estate sites. Our price range is about 125,000-145,000 euros. For that much I think our best bet would be an apartment in a villa-style building. I have seen many such offerings. Two, even three bedrooms, and sometimes even a garage. New dwellings, clean, wood floors, etc. And then there are small cottages "well maintained," but seeing is believing. But there are literally hundreds of such towns. And from the US I have no way to gauge the safety and society of such towns, the traffic, and, ideally, the public transportation to, for instance Universite de Toulouse. I was kinda hoping that some nice people already living in France would recommend a vicinity, say, around Grenoble....or Rheims....or Rennes....I don't know? We simply need a small dwelling within comfortable, safe commuting distance from a first-class University. Can anyone suggest some locations, s'il vouz plait?
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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

https://www.leboncoin.fr/ventes_immobilieres/offres/midi_pyrenees/haute_garonne/?th=1&ps=4&pe=6&sqs=7&ret=1&ret=2

Might give you some ideas.

I would point out that French 'Universities' are open-access with low standards in general, so the idea of a 'first-class university' is not really applicable.

The best establishments are the 'Grandes Ecoles' which have competitive entrance examinations in French.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandes_%C3%A9coles


This is just one of the cultural differences you are likely to encounter

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell
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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

Tours !!!!
ner ner nee ner ner!!
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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

Toulouse has a university with quite a good reputation. Property in the Gers, next Dept. to the west of the city, can be cheap. There are lots for sale, and it's a good time to buy.
The further from Toulouse, the cheaper the property.

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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

For Lyon you are really stuck with the rail network. As Idun has said a 30 minute drive in quiet times becomes over an hour in the rush hour - and on Friday afternoons in the summer it can start at 14:00hrs and still be heavy with traffic at 22:00hrs due to all the holiday makers funnelling through the city, and its ring roads.

To the South this would suggest Vienne as an outer limit and to the North Villefranche sur Saone. Eastwards there are relatively few sizeable communes and to the west it becomes immediately very hilly.

Around Grenoble the good communication links are again quite restricted to the valley floors and the motorway link Southwards. Again it is a driving nightmare at busy times, though not as bad as Lyon. So again look for communes on the rail or tram network.

For both cities make sure the property has good central heating and you might well want to consider air conditioning. Typical daytime high temperatures range from -5C (-20F) in winter through to +35C or more (+88F) at the height of summer.
Andy

A European Rahinja.
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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

From my experiences French estate agents deserve the highest award for fiction and no idea where the property is that they photograph to use in the listings.

Think two of the best that I encountered were:

Views of the Pyrenees - when I queried this or rather lack of it, I was taken up to the top floor, stood on a chair so that I could look out of a velux window and yes, you could just about see one of the peaks.

No neighbours -the property was surrounded by six other properties.


It is undemocratic to ask the people if a negotiated deal is what they want.

Then how can it be democratic to ask MPs for a third time if what they do not want is what they want?
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