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Be it a medieval city apartment, a riverside cottage or a quiet rural retreat, a low-maintenance pied-à-terre in France can come in all shapes and sizes. We’ve short-listed a selection of lock-up-and-leave properties where you simply turn off the stop-cock and lock the door. Then, when you return, open the shutters and you’re back up and running straight out to the local market for a coffee and some fresh supplies for lunch:
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Autumn has well and truly arrived.
Venison, boar, cassoulet and boeuf bourguignon are back on the menu.
Time to make sure the wood store is in good order...........
Followed by a much deserved large measure of Armagnac of course
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This month the French government has announced changes to the cooling-off period after signing contracts when buying property in France. Previously, once the price is agreed and the initial contract is signed by both purchaser and vendor, the buyer then had 7 days to reflect on their decision. They could change their minds for any reason, without penalty, within this time. The government has now extended this cooling-off period to 10 days, with immediate effect.
The French property buying system is, generally speaking, a far more straight-forward and transparent affair than here in the UK. This is because both the vendor and the purchaser are contractually bound when the initial contracts are signed. In contrast to the UK the French, rather sensibly, do this at the start of the process so both vendors and buyers can make their moving plans safe in the knowledge that the other party is committed.
In France, if the buyer does want to pull out of the deal during the cooling-off period, a recorded delivery letter must be sent to the estate agent or notaire giving notice of their withdrawal before the 10-day period expires.
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Catch the Annual Fete de la Gastronomie
On the 25-27 September, 8725 culinary events are scheduled to take place to celebrate the wonders of French Gastronomy. Whether you’re a committed foodie of have yet to be convinced about the delicacy of snails and frogs' legs, take a look at what's new in French cuisine this year and see if there’s an event near you: http://www.economie.gouv.fr/fete-gastronomie/homepage?language=en-gb
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Favourable Buying Conditions
A significant split is emerging in the French property market between domestic and overseas buyers. While property prices are falling and the domestic market is struggling, there has been an increase in demand from overseas buyers looking to take advantage of the current favourable conditions.
Experts predict that property prices will fall by 2-3% this year, a return to 2007 levels, and the government is being urged not to interfere. Official figures for property sales in 2014, released by the Notaires de France organisation (reported in the June 2015 edition of Living France), estimated a drop of 3% compared to 2013.
In contrast to this, there has been a spike in sales in 2015, following the UK election result in May and it seems clear that a Conservative majority has given confidence to UK buyers who see the triple whammy of low prices, cheap financing and a weak euro as an exceptional opportunity. Add in the fact that prices have dropped in recent years and that you can get a fixed rate mortgage for around 2.55% with an 80% loan to value makes for once in a decade buying conditions.
As you may have found through your search, there are a lot of properties on the market at the moment, another nod in favour of the buyer.