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4 different ways to start a new life in France ahead of Brexit

If you could start a new life in France, where would you go and what would you do?

Out of the 4 million Brits currently living abroad, around 150,000 live in France. While the majority are over 55, according to an HSBC report, France is rated third in the world for families, partly because school and childcare is easy to set up and wellbeing ranks so highly in expat studies.

Before the Brexit referendum around 50% of Home Hunts’ clients were British. Although interest dropped after the Brexit referendum, it has since renewed with the figure now back up to around 40%.

“Towards the end of last year, we were seeing a lot more interest from the UK and we have been particularly busy this year with Brits,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts.

A foothold in Europe before the UK leaves the EU and taking advantage of low interest rates. These are two of the leading reasons Brits are making real estate investments in France.

But there are also many choosing to relocate entirely in France before Brexit kicks in. Most of these buyers are seeking properties that can provide an income.

Here are some of the property-dependent livelihoods – at all budget levels – that Home Hunts can help you achieve in France.

Do you dream of your own B&B or gite property?

Running a B&B or gite complex is the most popular choice for those looking to relocate and earn a living in France. For those on a tight budget, it’s advisable to search for property where the prices are low, but the tourism levels are high. Locations such as Fayence in Provence and some inland areas of Occitanie can offer excellent value for money and income prospects.

For example, Carcassonne, and its medieval citadel La Cité, welcome around 4 million visitors each year. When you consider that the entire Riviera welcomes around 11 million, it is relatively high, yet MeilleursAgents shows that property prices are among the lowest in the country, from €1,101 per m2. By contrast, property on the Riviera is upwards of €5,000 m2, where the sky is the limit.

This rustic five-bedroom farmhouse in Occitanie comes with two well-renovated gites, one with four bedrooms and one with three bedrooms. It is about an hour from Toulouse airport and the golden sands of the Mediterranean, and 20 minutes from Carcassonne. Valued at €581,940 it offers true relocation potential to the right buyer.

How about hosting a holiday retreat?

Properties where the owners can host active holiday programmes, such as a yoga retreat or fishing break, are growing in popularity with international buyers looking to relocate. Gers is a good place to focus a search if you’re not fixed on location as the Gascony countryside is famous for its beauty and lower property prices.

At €1,490,000 this charming listed estate with 20 bedrooms shows how much you can get for your money in this region. A spacious manor house set upon 13 hectares of landscaped parkland, it has an attached apartment and five guest cottages. In terms of facilities to offer customers, there are two lakes with private access, a fishing cottage, two heated swimming pools, stables and a spa that includes a Jacuzzi and sauna.

Do you have grape expectations?

Demand for hobby vineyards is on the rise, but many buyers change their entire careers to fulfil their dream of running a commercial vineyard in France. As learning a new skill abroad is top of the list for many holidaymakers, expert-led tours and trips focusing around gastronomy and wine-tasting are continuing to grow in appeal. With the right structure, vineyard properties can benefit from dual incomes: wine production and tourism.

An 18th century mas with panoramic views, this commercial vineyard property in Lorgues, near Fayence, has over nine acres of vineyards and 450 olive trees ready for production. There are nine bedrooms on site, along with a spring, heated pool and summer kitchen. Just five minutes from the village, this property is priced at €3,050,000, and could provide an idyllic Provençal lifestyle for owners and visitors alike.

Could you run a hotel in the sun?

The French Riviera is one of the most-visited locations in France. For an investment of €11 million you can own this 41-bedroom, fully-renovated beach-front hotel in Villeneuve-Loubet, which is 30 minutes from Cannes and 20 minutes from Nice airport. The occupancy rate of the hotel is 78% and new owners could build 15 extra rooms to create 55 overall.

The option to buy the private beach is also on the table, but it’s not included in the sale price. With off-peak travel trending, occupancy rates in the South of France are likely to increase over the next few years as more tourists take winter trips in Europe.

If you are searching for an income property in France, you can discover more opportunities at To talk to a Home Hunts consultant about your ideas and requirements, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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