A property in France represents much more than an investment. For a majority of buyers, it also means a change of pace, a fresh start, a new adventure, or the culmination of a lifelong dream. That’s why FrenchEntrée Property doesn’t just offer one of the most comprehensive online databases in the industry, it also offers the power of experience with a human touch. They are a dedicated team that assists buyers through every step of the search and answer any questions about buying a property in France. Listening attentively is the first step to a successful French property search.
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Alistair Lockhart – FrenchEntrée Property Director
Alistair Lockhart is FrenchEntrée’s bilingual Property Director, with responsibility for growing the property, mortgage and currency business.
Alistair joined the FE team in Summer 2018, and has an extensive background in French real estate, digital marketing and sales. His passion for all things French began at the tender age of 11 when he began learning the language at school, and was cemented with a school exchange to Flers, Normandy at the age of 13. He came home and told his Mum, “I’m going to live in France one day…” Twenty years later it would become a reality. In the intervening period he studied A Level French as well as French and European Law at university, followed by a spell in corporate UK with PricewaterhouseCoopers and others. In 2001 he met his wife-to-be, and as her parents had been plotting to move out to France for about 25 years, the idea of emigrating was reignited!
Alistair and his wife relocated to the Périgord Vert (on the Dordogne/Charente/Haute-Vienne border) in 2004, and spent a glorious 6 years in rural France. As Managing Director of a regional estate agency selling to international clients, he held the carte professionelle for a number of years and grew the business across France into the market leader. Selling hundreds of properties a year, there wasn’t a type of client, property or issue he and his team didn’t encounter! In 2010 he and his family (including two children born in France) returned to the UK. He joined the well-known UK charity Help for Heroes in 2003, established a digital marketing team before becoming became Director of Fundraising, raising over £25m/year.
Alistair’s favourite areas of France are naturally, the Dordogne/Charente where he lived and worked, but also the Lot/Corrèze region as well as Normandy where he has family and visits regularly (well, not too regularly, they are the in-laws!)
Alexia is a native born French speaker having lived her formative years in Paris and spends time in the South of France where her family are based. Being a keen skier from an early age Alexia is delighted to share her knowledge and experience of the Alps. Alexia also assists clients with tailored manoir and châteaux searches across France.
Her property background is extensive, having run sales and lettings offices in some of the prime areas of London with firsthand understanding of relocation and dealing with multinational clients. She liaises with our colleagues over in France on a daily basis, allowing clients to either centralise their search to one point of contact or to be put in touch with the most relevant and useful agents for their search.
Alexia is excited to combine both her property skills and French cultural heritage to deliver an outstanding service to FrenchEntrée clients.
After a few years in finance in the City and in Sydney Australia, John set up and ran a restaurant for 10 years.
Throughout those years he renovated flats, so it was a natural progression to start selling in the cutthroat Australian market. In 1988 he moved to France as one of the early ‘Dordogne Brits’, did up a barn and rented it out in summer.
Thereafter he managed a château rental complex in the Charente for a number of years before going back into selling property again with a leading agence immobilière which he found very enjoyable especially the training of new recruits and visiting them all over France.
John says, “I think I know France and French customs and laws pretty well, so nothing surprises me any more. Of course I love the country and go back there as often as I can!”
Born in a suburb of Paris, France. Laura spent her career in marketing/sales roles working in Canada, USA and Australia.
After working overseas relocated to Australia initially working for the French company Michelin as a bilingual French/English national marketing and sales role.
Laura changed career to become a real estate sales agent working in the Brisbane area and then converted to a Buyer’s Agent opening own company. Working in Sydney for two years and then returning to Brisbane. Laura’s buyers’ agent company specializes in buying properties on behalf of buyers located in Australia or overseas.
Laura has a passion for researching properties for sale in France and visits her family in France frequently. Her dream role is working for FrenchEntree as a Buyers Agent for clients based in Australia/New Zealand looking to purchase a property in France.
FrenchEntrée works in partnership with a very large number of established and reliable local estate agents in France and therefore is able to email you properties from different agencies, centralise all your questions, and help you put together a viewing itinerary. Having one point of contact will definitely help you save time and confusion. They must be doing something right, judging by what people have to say about the team!
David and Trish Schneider
David Schneider has admired France, mostly from afar, in chilly Minnesota. A high school trip brought him to Paris, and, he was hooked! Dave and his wife, Trish, now travel to France every chance they get. They’ve visited Paris, the Loire River Valley, French Riviera, and Normandy. They’ve experienced France by plane, car, train, and bus, and love to share their stories and wonderful relationships they’ve developed over the years. Dave and Trish love to travel to and from Europe. They’ve developed an understanding for, and appreciation of, air travel.
Dave is a lawyer and also an accomplished carpenter. His experience with real estate, and his construction experience, gives him a unique insight into French properties being offered to Americans. Dave can explain differences in style, look, finish, as well as matters of substance, from comparable American properties, provides the American buyer with insight and knowledge, thus facilitating the transaction.
Trish is a school principal and has studied differences between American and French educational systems for those buyers who wish to move their families to France. Between them they have the drive and passion to present properties in a professional and meaningful way. Dave and Trish will present options to the American buyer in an understandable and comprehensive manner.
In the States, Dave and Trish are active in civic and charitable organisations and supporters of the arts. They look forward to helping others build their dreams in France.
Ian is originally from South Bucks, qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in London and then moved to Budapest, Hungary in 1994. After 17 years working in Central European commercial real estate he moved to France with his wife Anita and young son Oli to start a new life in the Pas de Calais.
They bought and renovated an old fermette in the village of Inxent, 10 minutes from Montreuil-sur-Mer and lived happily there for 3 years during which time they had a baby boy, Marcel. They spent 3 happy years in Inxent and then moved to Aosta, Italy in 2011. Since then Ian and his family live about half the year in Aosta, which is just across the Mont Blanc tunnel from Chamonix, and the other half in Inxent.
Ian will be working with FrenchEntrée to develop both the North of France, an area popular with British, Dutch and Belgian clients, as well as the international resorts of the French Alps.
Katie moved to France at the beginning of 2019 with her husband and three sons, for a lifestyle change.
With a background in genomics, academic cancer research and pharmaceutical research (respiratory disease), Katie moved to New Zealand in 2006, where her three sons were born. They returned to Hampshire in 2014, relocating to France five years later.
Katie and family live an hour south of Pau, in the Pyrénées, and run a successful Chambres d’Hôtes with five bedrooms. They hope to incorporate cycling into the business as her husband is a keen cyclist, and Katie tries to keep up. She spent every Summer holiday camping in France when she was growing up and she and her family love it there. They were lucky enough to find their house on their first trip to France property hunting in August 2018, where they had a very busy ten days travelling the length of the Pyrénées to and fro viewing numerous properties (some accurately described by the estate agent blurb, and some far from accurately described!)
Katie enjoys sports, particularly running and cycling, and competed in the Bournemouth triathlon, Olympic distance, in 2017. She also enjoys crafts, patchwork quilting, dress making, knitting, sewing, spinning and she is hopefully soon to learn weaving. The family have just acquired three llamas along with an alpaca and Katie hopes to spin their wool, when she has learnt how to shear them, in the Spring! Watch this space!
An ardent Francophile for more than 35 years, John’s knowledge of agriculture, organic and conventional, and assisting farmers to diversify provided the perfect launch-pad for assisting mainly UK families establish farming and leisure-based businesses in France. Working in conjunction with a wide range of professionals including local and regional government bodies, notaires and property agents provided John’s clients the best mix of safety and timeliness.
John will be supporting FrenchEntrée clients looking to establish commercial operations – including vineyards, farms, eco-projects and carbon capture operations.
Leslie comes from Hawaii where he was an architect designing homes. Having first started in interior design before plunging into architecture school, he is well versed in all aspects of design for living.
His love of France started when he was young and saw the movie the Three Musketeers. That was it for him and his love grew to the point of annual trips to Paris since 1991. He made the move to Paris in 2013 and is loving it! Walking the streets, photographing the buildings and parks, wondering what is behind the façades, inspecting hidden courtyards whenever possible.
With a critical eye towards renovation and re-use, Leslie loves transforming spaces into homes and finding the right apartment for you.
Having spent a career in the motor industry, mainly in senior sales and marketing roles, Ray realised his dream of living in France in 2015. Having done all the research possible, Ray along with his wife purchased a rundown and neglected 18th century farmhouse in Normandy where the real experience began.
The project started, the learning curve was steep, but the experience has been tremendous. For someone who was more used to being behind a desk, the number of new skills discovered whilst renovating the building, have been countless. Understanding the French State system alone was a monumental task. Not quite on the scale of the TV series ‘Escape to the Chateau’ but just as challenging, especially for a London boy who has never lived in the countryside before.
Does he regret making the decision to move to France? Absolutely not!
April and Don Baggs
With backgrounds in international banking, tourism and management development, April & Don ‘retired’ to France in 2005 – after holidaying in France for 25 years. They initially bought on the Corrèze/Lot border where they renovated an outbuilding into a successful gîte, looked after a hectare of gardens and entertained regular visits from family and friends. In 2018 relocated ‘up North’ to Normandy to be closer to coast/ports/UK.
Having lived on and off in France since 2004 as well at long stints in the U.S. and Asia, Lara now lives full-time in the Lot-et-Garonne region. She and her family have been renovating a property together and has learnt about the ins-and-outs of owning a French property along the way.
Never content to just stick to one thing, Lara has a background in marketing and has worked for several years in U.K. law. A big proponent of the self-employed lifestyle, she manages several different work projects and is also studying to become a Paralegal. She enjoys making the most of living in the beautiful South-West of France during the summer and visiting her family around the world in the winter months.
With a detailed knowledge of the region, she is excited to finally put her hours of trawling estate agency listings and exploring quaint villages to good use and to help others to find their dream property!
Nina Woodwiss, originally from Essex, spent most of her childhood in East Anglia. Nina and her partner Peter never wanted to retire in the UK, and as both had renovated properties before, they bought a complete project in Brittany in January 2011. After working on it every holiday for 5 years, they moved out lock, stock and barrel to be in France permanently, and have never looked back!
Nina has managed teams for a number of blue-chip organisations including British Gas, Abbey National, Barclays, Aviva and BNP Paribas.
“I am a people person, very social and love chatting and getting to know everyone, and if I can help them and make their day, that’s what it is all about. I’m an avid reader, and spend any spare time I have in my garden, growing flowers, fruit and veg. I love DIY and renovating properties, enjoy cooking and try to keep fit with walking and cycling, which is not hard as we look out over a beautiful forest with tracks all around.”
Lily is a student, originally from Northern Ireland and now studying French and Politics at the University of Manchester. Having spent the last year living and working in Nice with the Luxury Estate Agents, Vaneau, Lily gained valuable insight into how the property market works in the South of France.
From a young age Lily has travelled to and from the South of France on family holidays, making it a dream of hers to eventually live there. While this dream came true, Lily also developed a passion for property and helping clients to find their ideal home on the French Riviera.
“During my time in Nice I worked with a range of clients, both French and International, and I thrived off finding the perfect selection of properties to fit the clients wishes! I luckily got to work with French Entrée while I was there as well, and so I feel I have gained a great understanding of the relationship between French agencies and French Entrée. I can’t wait to put into practise the knowledge I have acquired and join the amazing team at FE!”
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“Both myself and Lorraine would like to extend our thanks to Wendy for the effort, patience and persistence she has afforded us throughout the process. Moreover, we have every confidence in Richard to continue his excellent work with us as the process moves forward.” Peter and Lorraine (July 2019)
“All ready for moving to France, sign contracts and move in on the 18 November so a busy time, thank you for your help to make our dream to move to France so uncomplicated” Kay & Peter
“We are very happy with ourselves we’ve negotiated the contracts for the château and paid the deposit yesterday so were all on track to finalise the sale mid September.
Thanks so much for all your assistance and advice along the way. The FrenchEntrée website has been such a great resource for us and I’m sure will continue to be as we prepare for many holidays in our beautiful new French home.” Kate & Warren
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your excellent help & advice and it has been a real pleasure dealing with such a charming & efficient team.” Tony
“Thank you for all your help we were singing your praises saying how very helpful you were going beyond the call of duty. The house we picked is in Gouarec, I remember you saying what a nice place it was and you were right. I think you handled us really well and we were quite difficult as it was not a straight forward case. If you can handle us any other client should be as easy as a walk in the park!” Debbie and Paul
“Thank you so much – you have been amazing arranging all of this for us, we will not let you down and will be at the appointments for each of your agents.” Leigh
“We moved in our fantastic new house in the Var, Provence, two weeks ago. This after only a few months since we contacted FrenchEntrée! As we already knew which area we wanted to move to, we chose a selection of houses from the FrenchEntrée site and submitted the extensive list. We planned our trip, and visits were organised over three days. Most of the 18 houses we viewed met our requirements. Well done FrenchEntrée! But only one ticked virtually all the boxes, “un coup de coeur” as they say here in France. A few hurdles were “jumped” over, and we are now settling in our dream house. We shall wholeheartedly recommend you to anyone who wishes to buy a house in France!” Mr and Mrs C
“Thank you for organising these appointments. You have been exceptional in your help and assistance with these arrangements. Looking forward to our visit to Brittany!” Jan
“One thing I didn’t want to do in our search is to complicate things by introducing too many properties into the equation. We want to have time to evaluate from a short list, those that most closely match our criteria and you have been invaluable in contributing to that end.” Neil and Desrie
“I would like to say a massive thank you for all your help; it’s been super-informative and you were actually the only person, who explained our mortgage options very well and were very helpful.” Blanka (August 2019)