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French culture do’s and don’ts

Whether it’s the alluring promise of a high quality of life, or the idea of living in a country where the healthcare system is considered to be world-class, there are plenty of reasons why many expats choose to call France ‘home’. But moving there as an expat brings new challenges – not least getting used to the cultural differences.
To help expats understand and integrate into this country’s rich culture, this article offers some cultural do’s and don’ts – from food etiquette to language learning.

  1. Language

Do’s:Learn the local lingo. This doesn’t mean you have to be fluent right away, but learning some basic phrases and sentences can really help you communicate with others and blend in with the locals more easily.

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Why do people move to France (or not)?

Apart from my job as webmaster of Immogo, I have also kept a Dutch web log with daily tips about France, with an ongoing discussion about France in a alternately humorous, vivid, knowledgeable and ignorant atmosphere. The nice thing about it is that people are evidently interested in France for many different reasons. Let’s try and make an inventory of the people who (want to) move to France. Or not.

First of all, of course, you have the real Francophiles. They know the wine atlas by heart, have their own addresses for monks cheese, goats cheese and she-ass cheese, blue veined or not, and talk about the perfect glass of Chateaubriand with their Médaillon de Veau aux truffes.  They are the people who bring home stories about obscure restaurants with a divine cuisine, where they have lived in an olfactory and tasting paradise for a few moments and only a few sous.

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Buying a house in France with or without real estate agent? An analysis.

Buying a house in France without a real estate agent?Are you buying a house in France, where real estate agents easily charge 5% and sometimes even more? Then it is certainly worth asking yourself whether you should  maybe buy a house without a real estate agent. Depending on the selling price, the brokerage fees can add up considerably. The average price of a house in France is between 200,000 and 300,000 euros. So, at a commission rate of 5% you pay a brokerage fee of many thousands or euros. Of course, in itself it might not be a bad thing to pay a specialist for doing his or her job, as long as that job means that the numbers still add up. The question is what precisely a real estate agent does for

Read moreBuying a house in France with or without real estate agent? An analysis.

Buy a hotel or restaurant in France

hotel for sale france - FSBO restaurant franceBuying a hotel or restaurant in France is easier than ever. While I am writing this, various restaurants and hotel restaurants in my touristy French town of Tournus are for sale. That is because like in many countries in Europe, and also in France, keeping the business afloat in the catering industry is not an easy job. Moreover, many French do not manage to adapt to modern marketing practices. None of the hotel restaurants that are for sale have a good website and most of them show little activity on social media. This is why they cannot compete with the more innovative players on the market, who make full use of the services of AirBNB, Bookings, and Trip Advisor. So, no other option than offering their French hotel for sale – restaurant for sale France remains.

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French real estate prices rise – The trend for 2018

2017 was an exceptionally good year for the French real estate market. House prices in France have increased with 2% on average and it now looks likely that this trend will continue in 2018.

French house prices rise

When we take a closer look at house prices in France we see big differences within the French market. The prices in the countryside have on average stayed more or less the same, while the prices in the cities went up.

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Houses for sale by owner : why would you still choose to pay for advertising?

vendre ma maison euros       So you’re about to buy a house in France – or sell one –, and you’re there, staring in awe at the multitude of free solutions offered on the Internet. From the biggest actors on the market, some of them making millions of daily connections, to the smallest, personal websites that offer just one house or apartment, there is much to choose from when it comes to offering or searching for real estate in France. But despite this profusion of “zero Euro” offers, there are numerous services that demand a fee to connect buyers to sellers, or landlords to tenants. In this context, where most services are free, what is the interest of paying?

Firstly, if there is something to paying for a service, the fee remains very reasonable in comparison to the price of the properties offered. For example, Immogo proposes two different

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Moving to Europe from the USA… why would ya?

Achat-immobilierWhereas many people from all over the world are seeking to enter the United States to take refuge from persecution or to seek their fortune in this ‘land of opportunity’ there are also many Americans who are considering moving to Europe for good. They have different reasons, but we can see the election of Donald Trump has been a catalyst for the desire to swap the USA for Europe. What do Americans hope to find in one of the ‘old countries’?

1. Affordable health care

As a non-resident, not all European countries will allow you to get into their excellent public health care system. Depending on your age and health history, you can get excellent private health

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Living “off the grid” in 2017: fantasy or real opportunity?


photovoltaique off the gridFirstly, what’s this idea of “living off the grid” really about? American people seem to be really fond of it lately, and the word can often be heard or read. Initially, the term used to stick to people like conspiracy theorists and “patriots” who’re inclined to shoot on sight in the name of private property; but the idea soon reached others, less militant but nonetheless seduced by the particular thematics that comes with the concept.

grange photovoltaique

Originally, “the grid” refers to the power grid, a.k.a. the electrical network. To live “off it” is nothing more than to do without, with the purpose of reaching autonomy, self-management and, more and

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How to be your own estate agent

If you are trying to sell your house in France without using a property agency, you need to know how to be your own estate agent. This means you basically have to do everything a good agent should do. And if you do, you’ll probably do a much better job than 90% of the property professionals in France.

How to be your own estate agent and sell!

We’ve written a site filled with articles about buying and selling your house in France without a property agent. We just want to quickly remind you of some particulars in the selling process. It seems this is for many private sellers the hardest part. You need to be a professional marketeer and

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A free property agent? How now, brown cow?

I just received a message from a private seller using our site Immogo hoping for contacts with private buyers. In spite of our strong request to steer clear of our site, another Leggett agent has tried to get in contact. Using the form on the presentation page of our seller, she sent the following message:

Hi, sorry I am an agent working for Leggett, and live near La souterraine. I would love to help you market your lovely property, we are completely free, and without exclusivity,and are internet based,

Read moreA free property agent? How now, brown cow?