“It’s a low stress lifestyle – you can earn a decent income while still having time to relax in the sunshine”
The scent of Provence’s lavender fields in a summer breeze, the vines of Champagne fat with grapes, the sun-dappled snow white-Alps encircling Chamonix, the ineffable romantic air of Parisian boulevards…
All the best things in life are free, but unfortunately everything else comes with a price tag. So it’s important to find a way to fund your French dream. However, before you rush to get a job and find yourself in the same old rat race just in a different place, why not consider working for yourself and setting up a business.
One of the most popular small business options amongst British expats are gîtes. “Gîte” used to refer to simply shelter and is a rural holiday rental that traditionally offered a very basic accommodation in the beautiful French provinces. But, coinciding with France becoming the world’s number one tourist destination over the last few decades, gîtes have become a byword for well-appointed, self-catered holiday cottages.
The advantages of gîtes being self-catered accommodation means they are a relatively low maintenance business to run. And as such, are perfect for a low-stress new life; you can get a decent income and still have time to relax in the French sunshine. Your main worries will be marketing and sales to ensure the gîte is filled every season and getting the right property in the first place for your business.
The more expensive, but less hassle, option is to buy an established business. Though, if you want your French dream to be just right you can buy your perfect property with a view to convert it into a gîte business. In both cases, from day one, you need to approach your property search in a professional and commercial manner. You will need to have a business plan and it is advisable to follow an expert checklist.
Once you have found your dream property and before you even begin purchase negotiations, you need to think how you will pay for it. You have to bear in mind that your payments will need to be in euros. Managing the exchange rate risk can save you thousands of pounds, which can be reinvested to cover the expenses of your move or give you some extra cash for the conversion of the property.
For example, back when we bought our property on August 1st 2013, the GBP/EUR rate touched a low of 1.1399 whereas just a couple of weeks before, on July 3rd 2013, the rate was 1.1789. On a property purchase of €500,000 this could have translated to a difference of nearly £15,000.
A specialist currency broker like Moneycorp has a range of services that could help you manage the exchange rate on your money transfers. They will offer free expert guidance so you can find the best time and method to transfer your money to purchase the gîte of your dreams. And if you need long term transfer services, for example for a mortgage or other regular payments, their RPP (Regular Payment Plan) can help you manage your monthly costs and transfers.
Should you want to receive more information about how Moneycorp can help you, you can contact them on +44 (0)20 3773 6355. Please remember to mention FrenchEntrée to benefit of the above offer. Alternatively, you can click here to register for free international money transfers for life.
Read a case study from FrenchEntrée customer, Nicholas Hayward, who switched a job in the city for the slopes of the French Alps.