French Property News - - Expert Advice -

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.”

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