Turning 55 this week was the start of the two year countdown to our planned move to France. If all goes according to plan (fat chance of that) then August 21st 2020 will be an auspicious date, marking my ‘retirement’ from work and the start of our new adventure. Of course before then we have a house in Yorkshire to sell, about which more soon, and the fallout from Brexit to contend with.

This year we spent my birthday visiting family on the East coast. Each conversation about our plans with family and friends adds something to our thinking. Every question asked helps us to refine our thinking or gives us an idea that without their input we wouldn’t thought of. Miraculously no one has yet suggested that we are mad or that what we have in mind is beyond our capabilities – in fact most people wonder why we haven’t done it sooner!

We continue to browse French property websites which can be a frustrating experience when the perfect property reveals itself two years before we are in a position to do anything about it. We have also signed up to receive details from one or two French estate agents in our chosen area and now receive daily emails with lists of properties slightly outside our budget. However, this process does help to refine what we are looking for.

In a nutshell we need a five or six bedroom old stone house, capable of being turned into a B&B with the addition of en-suite facilities, a large dining kitchen and terrace or patio, not too far from civilisation, with enough land to create the facilities for family holidays, with outbuildings that can be turned into a gîte or two, room for a pool, semi-private accommodation for us and the dogs and not too far from an airport or two. Apart from that we’re not fussy!

One thing this adventure has made easier is deciding what to get me for my birthday as the image above illustrates. We’re not afraid of renovating a property though recognise our own limitations and the amount we’ll have to pay experienced trades people. In fact, having work to do on our English house is an ideal opportunity to ‘audition’ people who might be useful when it comes to renovating a house in France. Every cloud eh?

2 thoughts on “Birthday

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  1. Do just be aware that if you use English tradespeople you won’t be able to offset the costs against any capital gains. Just in case at some point you sell when it is not your principal residence (and therefore exempt).


    1. This move is going to be a permanent one, as far as we can foresee, and so capital gains are not a major consideration. It will be our principal, indeed only, residence and we don’t intend to return to the UK.


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