Y UD ST SE CA
Ann and Chris Adair live in St-cyprien, an attractive sunbleached coastal retreat in Pyrénées-orientales, loved for its many golf courses, peoplewatching cafés and markets selling the finest local produce.
The couple moved to their twobedroom beachside apartment nine years ago, and over time have made adjustments to help with the cost of utilities. This included replacing a bath with a walk-in shower to save on water (and space).
“Bills are not cheap here, so we do watch our usage,” said Ann. “The major problem for us and others we know who live in communal residences is badly constructed drains which results in blockages and very nasty back-ups.
“We now have a maintenance contract with two inspections a year, although Chris still regularly lifts the drain covers! Home insurance is a must here for this reason because you never know what issues could arise in communal complexes.”
Ann pointed out that although it’s easy to fall for a dream property in the country, it’s essential to think of the impact of buying a large pad in the rolling countryside. This was one of the reasons why they opted for a compact apartment rather than a larger villa in la France profonde.
“Anyone thinking about moving to France in retirement really should think about what they want long-term,” said Ann. “We have golfing friends who have big houses with large gardens, some in small villages inland; very nice but now they’re getting older, like us, it’s too much work running large places in the heat, plus your bills will be higher than necessary. Several are now looking to downsize and move nearer to Perpignan.”