This Sunday we hold the first meeting of the "French Project team". This project is a collaboration between ourselves and "Team Jerome" (Jerome and his girlfriend). In the past, we have looked in detail at the question of buying a property in France but have been scared off by the French bureaucracy / admin and the problems of organising property rentals. It is these two points that Team Jerome are able to take care of - as Jerome is French (or at least half-French)
So the rough plan is this. Wife and I will purchase a French property. Team Jerome will than live there much of the time as caretakers. They will handle all the local admin and will be in charge of all property rental arrangements. They will also run painting courses during the summer. By a mix of these various income sources, Wife and I will cover our annual costs and will own a French property. Team Jerome will hopefully earn a reasonable income and will be able to live rent-free in France.
At the moment we have been sketching out various purchase scenarios. I have been selecting various properties in the price ranges "low", "medium" and "high" and have been setting up possible business models for each. The conclusion is that the Low properties offer the best return relative to risk. We have a shortlist of 6 to 10 such properties. In August, Wife and I will have our two week holiday in the area of France where we are looking to buy. Hopefully we will see half a dozen candidate properties at the time. Then we will fine tune our wish list and go back in October to select one on which to make an offer, with a view of completing by January or so next year and having a few months to get ready for whatever we are able to offer for next year.
Coincidentally, Daughter has just been to the area we are interested in on a work trip and has come back raving about how beautiful it is and how she'd like to live in a farmhouse there one day.
Such a project is very ambitious and there are a huge number of possible problems - nonetheless, this weekend marks our first detailed meeting to discuss the project and our first chance to meet the other member of Team Jerome.
A typical possible property