The French have traditionally considered themselves a cut above the rest of Europe—more style than the Italians, better food than the Germans, better lovers than the British. The annoying thing is that the rest of Europe, though it tries to hide it, has a sneaking suspicion that they might be right. It’s no wonder that foreigners from every continent are buying property in France, and the trend shows no signs of diminishing.
France has it all. There are hundreds of miles of fabulous beaches; there are mountains with some of the best skiing and hiking in the world; there are rolling forests and the bluest of lakes.
It is easy to get around in France. It is a huge country, yet has a population roughly the same as the UK, which is half the size. Driving is a pleasure along open country lanes or fast toll roads. Trains are fast and comfortable.
French towns have resisted globalization and most still have all the charm of former times. Nearly every small town has a quiet square where you can sit outside with a drink and watch the world go by.
No one can deny that French food is amazing. Today you can get food in London that is as good as anything in Paris, but in France you can get good food anywhere. Everyone has a story of stumbling across some dreary looking restaurant in the middle of nowhere and having a meal they will remember forever.
Then there is the wine. French wine struggles to keep up with the world’s new regions, but you will get drinkable local wine in every corner of the country. You can discuss the distinctive style of each region, and there will always be very good wines on the list, served with aplomb by a waiter who really knows his business.
There was a time when the French rather disdained old houses, and purchasers could pick up whole chateaux for a song. Those days may be gone, but prices generally remain on the low side for most types of property outside the cities.
Luxury developments in the south of the country are very popular, and deservedly so. Visit la-baraquette.com for an example of the homes that are available on the Mediterranean coast, right by the sea and with easy access to spectacular countryside.
National statistics may be affected by the very high prices of property in Paris and the major cities, but rural properties, which are a big draw in a country full of stunning locations, are much cheaper than in Britain. There is also an abundance of cottages available for development at very reasonable rates.
Have Your Gateau and Eat It
There is so much in France to lure anyone who is retreating from the hectic pace of life in so much of Europe, or just looking for somewhere to get away from it all. With beautiful countryside, excellent food, history, culture, and tempting property as well, France has it all.
Yasmin Perkins moved to France several years ago and is so glad she did. She writes about her life in France and answers questions of folk who are thinking of making the move to a better life.