France or Spain?

Discussion in 'French Property' started by daniel, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. daniel

    daniel New Member

    Hello all,
    My partner and I, mid 50's, are looking to buy a place for 2nd home then retirement, and have narrowed our search down to 2 areas - SW France (Lot & Garonne, Dordogne, Gironde etc.), and rural Andalucia in the general Seville area (big difference I know). We enjoy sun/pool, countryside walks, and eating out. Not big socialisers. I realize it's all a matter of personal choice, but looking for 1st hand feedback on living in SW France, especially re. weather - storms, rains a lot? and eating out - expensive? much choice? waiters rude? - to compare with the Spanish option.
  2. leonardo

    leonardo New Member

    Hi Daniel,
    As you said, it is a question of personal choice, and what you are really looking for in a "home abroad".

    SW France, the areas you mention are really super, however the weather can be very cold and extremely wet throughout out the winter, you may need to checkout where the flood areas are. Summers are normally hot but not very long. Ideal for countryside walks.

    Food is excellent varied but not "cheap".

    Andalucia so I have been told is a wonderful area. If you are looking to go near Seville prices may be more in line with city prices than rural.
    Climate is very good although they do get a bit more wet weather than the Med Costas, therefore less dry and dusty too.

    Do you speak any of those languages or are intending to learn one?
    Keep in touch
  3. kradical23

    kradical23 New Member

    You mentioned you're not big socializers, well in rural France that shouldn't be a problem. Events like Christmas only last for a day in France and you are unlikely to find a restaurant open or have people invite you to join them.
  4. Cannes Flat

    Cannes Flat New Member

    Wouldn't buy in Spain at the moment. Very over priced!
  5. buyingallover

    buyingallover New Member

    In terms of investment, I would recommend Spain. It seems to me like the French market is beginning to go into freefall...
  6. homeseek92

    homeseek92 New Member

    Everyday life tends to be overpriced in major cities of Andalucia because they cater so much to tourists (Americans in particular)...much more so than more remorte regions of Spain.

    I had had a look some time back at property prices in Sevilla and found them outrageously expensive and I'm sure Dordogne never got that bad (but not directly comparable)...I have no clue how the market recession has impacted prices though
  7. mike28

    mike28 New Member

    Well the southwest of France is where I am, and I have found the weather to be much the same as the U.K in the south. The temperature though is always slightly warmer, great for getting about in the S.W as the roads are rarely choca as is the case back in the U.K
  8. Pierre Guillery

    Pierre Guillery New Member

    Hi Daniel,

    A suggestion: why dont you look at the region around Uzès, at the border between Provence and Languedoc (google gardprovencal to find a site with an English versionand lots of info.)? Not far from anywhere because the highspeed train connects the area to Paris and Barcelona within hours, international airport in Marseille flies you to the States, to the UK via Arles & Ryanair. You can enjoy the countrylife - and/or drive to Montpellier, Avignon or Nimes in less than an hour. Go to the beach easily, of drive up to sky in the winter. Prices are comparable to Dordogne.

    Accesswise, Dordogne is, hum, complicated. They've upgraded the motorways in the last few years, so that's getting (much) better. But flying there can get tough: only small airports like Bergerac - and Bordeaux's Mérignac is miles away (the traffic to get there is awful, 2 hours from Dodogne, and 75 minutes to drive around the city to the iarport itslef). Of course, no high speed trains in sight for a good ten years (as public funding for the existing projects havent been approved yet) - or you get off the TGV at Libourne and drive East.

    One of my friends owns a small castle near Castillon-la-Bataille (on the Dordogne river, but closer to Bordeaux) and I own a house near Uzès. I love both areas, but I find the Uzège more "versatile". And I dont know a thing about Spain... Hope that helps!
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  9. SPview

    SPview New Member

    paperwork ...

    Odond - it is absolutely NOT TRUE that all paperwork for Spanish properties in English and therefore can only be re sold to English clients.

    All legal documentation is in Spanish with English translations available to buyers - and there are no restrictions at all on who you can sell property to when you come to sell.
  10. web2dude

    web2dude New Member

    Andalucia will definitely be warm in the summer and most of the year. I've spent quite a bit of time there and in all honesty Seville can get too hot in high summer (might be a good time to go to the UK) with temperatures in the 40's.

    In terms of the general locality I can definitely recommend Grenada, an excellent city - a bit cooler and not far from some excellent walking, an hour from the beach and an hour from the ski resorts in winter. I can't recommend any websites, but there must be loads around to do some further research....
  11. rowlandsbb

    rowlandsbb New Member

    Both are good so it comes down to personal reasons
    In times like this best to play safe and buy in area you know and which will always be popular in normal economic times
    And that means Spain and France
    For winter use the Spanish Costas from Alicante westwards are the warmest and in general the costs of buying in Spain and the living costs are lower than France
    In many parts of the S of France a small apartment will cost you say 200.000 € when in Spain say in Almeria you can get a nice villa for this
    Spanish is easier to learn than French
    I like both it was just that for the money I had available a small hamlet near Huercal Overa in the province of Almeria gave me a very nice villa for the winter !...also a touch quieter than S of F
  12. MarkNoble

    MarkNoble New Member

  13. MarkNoble

    MarkNoble New Member

    What is the nearest airport form the Uk to this area?
  14. MarkNoble

    MarkNoble New Member

    Is it tru that when you die if you own property in France you have to split it across all of your children? How can you avoid this?
  15. SPview

    SPview New Member

  16. Davep

    Davep New Member

    Hi daniel,
    I know you said the SW of France. Just for what its worth, three years ago we purchased a new build house in a small village 20k south of Carcassonne. We did so after 23 years touring France in a caravan ( which we still have in a camping a la ferme, in Dordogne). We intend to retire there in 3 to 4 years . The climate is beautiful and we have been skiing in Ax le Thermes (station de Ski Pyrenees Ax 3 Domaines - Accueil) twice since Christmas. Being to the south of Carcassonne we get a beautiful cooling breeze in summer, which can mean temperatures up to 4C cooler than the city. we are only 45 minutes from the beaches as well.
    I really think that while lots of people have the idea that an old "year in Provence" style house would be great. I can assure you that the town connections for water and sewerage are not to be taken lightly. We can lock up the house and know that all will be fine for our return. Everything is functional and no worries about expensive building work to be done. I cannot understand why more people do not go for this option. We also have the possibility, should we ever need to, of finding a French buyer instead of relying on expats. I know several people who took the option of leaseback properties and have had poor results to date.
    To find newbuild, I would suggest you take a holiday and book into a hotel and tour the villages and see where houses are being built. Then approach and see if the house is being sold on completition. thats what we did and it has worked out. As to your rudeness question, we have always found the French wonderful people. Needless to say having some working knowledge of French is ESSENTIAL and being from Ireland ourselves the rugby is always a big topic in this part of the world.
    Best wishes on your hunt anyway,
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  17. odond

    odond New Member

    Thanks, I was given this information when I was interested in buying in Spain! I did think that it seemed dodgy!

  18. neustria

    neustria New Member

    It is an interesting exercise to look at the older posts above in light of what has since happened and then draw your own conclusions....
  19. rowlandsbb

    rowlandsbb New Member

    The Thread is 'France or Spain' and these two countries are still the most popular for UK and other EU buyers of life style homes for the simple reason that they are modern economies, in EU, well known culture, easy to get relatively safe to invest you money long term

    Now Spain has had some pitfalls for the unwary but now is well regulated, although what is happening in Dubai, Eastern Europe etc is putting what happend in Spain in perspective!!!....and most of the problem properties will be legalised in due course

    Spain or France is a personal decision but in general you will get more for your money in Spain

    And in both countries 2009 is a good time to buy........good discounts in Spain on ready now:-
    3 bed Quad in Mercia was 185.000 € now asking price 140.000 €...and very nice it is too
  20. DC

    DC Member

    Having live in both countries, I would say Spain. better climate, more open people, more relaxed. France is beautiful, for British Spain and UK have better relations than French and UK. In my experience.

    Find it easier to get on in Spain.

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