What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
Our TV was accidentally shipped. It doesn't work here as a TV but we use it offline to play the VCR and DVD movies. We brought everything else so don't miss anything.
Moving to France
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
The housing and neighborhoods south of the Loire river is more expensive but are nicer. When deciding where to live, think about the traffic you will face daily to get to and from work. All rental contracts in France allow the renter to get out with three month notice to the owner. If the owner wants to remove the tenant, he has to have a legimate reason such as non-payment of rent or he wants to move into the property himself. He can't just arbitrarily force you out even if he sells the property to another person. You can stay as long as your contract which is either 3 or 6 years. Read the book by David Hampshire entitled "Buying a Home in France".
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
We live in a four bedroom house with 1920 sf (176 sm)of space. It has three full bathrooms but small closets. The kitchen was empty of everything except the sink so we had to buy a complete kitchen cabinet set which we will take with us if and when we move. The house has a very nice front and back yard (garden for the Europeans) but we planted all the flowers in it. The house backs up to a small town park and sits on a street that is a closed loop so only residents and delivery people drive on the street so it is very quiet.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
Our first place was determined because it was close to my work in Geneva, Switzerland but on the French side of the border. Colleagues at work told us it was less expensive to live in France. When I retired we moved to the Orleans area to be close to Paris without living in Paris (too much traffic, noise, polution typical of any big city in the world). We found this house to rent on a French real estate website which was large (for France), in a quiet neighborhood and close to shopping and other services. The added benefit is that our neighbors are all very, very nice and welcoming.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
I know this house would rent for twice the 1000 Euros we pay monthly in the area we lived in Florida. I know because I had to arrange housing for our foreign executives and houses this size rented for $2,500 a month. I would say that Orleans is far less expensive that Paris but if you live in the country, you will naturally pay less. However, you won't have the conveniences we have.