There are lots of great reasons for buying property in France and it’s not hard to understand why it’s the number one location for British expats living overseas. There are almost 150,000 UK expat living in France, and around 46% of these are over the age of 55.

If you’re thinking about early retirement and perhaps considering whether a move to France would be a good plan, the following brief summary may help you make a decision:

Arranging your finances

Some expat living in France retain their UK bank accounts when they move. However, this can work out expensive over the long term. Any cash withdrawn from ATMs will incur fees, such as exchange rate charges. So, you may want to consider the benefits of setting up an account in France to run alongside your UK bank account.

If you have savings or a cash lump sum, check out exchange rates prior to making any large cash transfers to France. Poor exchange rates can impact on the available total considerably. If you move to France at a time when euro exchange rates are very low, you could just transfer your living expenses for a month or so and hope the rates will improve at a later date.

French healthcare

Once you’ve lived in France for at least three months you will be able to access the universal healthcare service, which will provide you with instant and continued free healthcare for the duration of your stay. You will also be able to apply to get a carte vitale.

Cost of living

The cost of living in France differs from UK living expenses. You’ll find food quite a bit more expensive, but petrol and alcohol are far cheaper than in the UK. If you do buy a property needing renovation the costs of DIY supplies and tools is also a lot more in France. Many expats tend to return to the UK for a couple of weeks to buy all their DIY supplies as this works out much cheaper. Running your French home will generally work out around the same as in the UK, as French utility costs are comparable.

And, finally, buying a property in France can be much cheaper than in the UK. Brits tend to be amazed at the size of some of the homes on the market, and many of them also feature extensive gardens or land. Of course, this will depend on where you plan to buy a home as properties in some of the popular holiday locations or Paris are a lot dearer. 

If you’re looking around for French mortgages, get in touch with HB Property to find out about some of the amazing expat mortgages we can source.

Best holiday destinations in France? Nice is the place to be!

Choosing a holiday destination is quite a task. You are always spoiled for choice, or at the very least in a dilemma. Nice, France, is a perfect destination. There is a myriad of reasons why it should be at the top of your list of holiday destinations, whether you’re going with your family, partner or friends. Here are several reasons to consider Nice for your next holiday.


Getting accommodation in Nice is easy. Property owners are willing to rent out their property for use over the holidays. It is easy to spot and rent holiday apartments in Nice – Harrison Brook Property Holiday Bookings make it relaxed and hassle-free. We are a property management firm in Nice that brings together people renting out holiday apartments with those who are looking to book, ensuring tourists visiting the area aren’t left stranded on arrival looking for a place to stay.

Pebble beaches

Nice has some of the best pebble beaches in the South of France including La Plage Publique de Beau Rivage and Opera Plage. A stay in Nice gives you easy access to these beaches with no hassle. Pebble beaches offer scenic views; glimpses of rare beauty which is difficult to find elsewhere.

Ideal for families

Nice is accommodating for travelling parties of all sizes and relations. Starting with the variety of apartments on offer, it’s a perfect place to bring your kids. The breathtaking view of the city provided by the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean and the peaceful woods in the nearby countryside offers perfect hiking sites both for you and your kids. There are lots of activities that your kids can enjoy in Nice, not to mention the perfect child care services available in case you need to run an errand.

Nice is a place like nowhere that you’ve been to before and is definitley one of the best holiday destinations in France, adding some taste and luxury to your holiday. To have a pleasant and convenient stay in Nice, make sure you book a holiday apartment before your arrival. Also, prepare a schedule to manage your time and pick the places you most want to visit – at the end of your holiday in Nice, there’ll be so much left to explore you’ll wish you could have stayed longer!

The HB Property team has enjoyed the beautiful Fete des Roses at the Ephrussi Rothschild Villa in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, here in the French Riviera. 

The amazing villa is a must do for anyone coming to visit the French Riviera. Not only for the magnificent gardens but also in order to get that insight feeling of what life must have been like for the rich and famous a century ago. The villa is a heaven for art collectors with porcelain, furniture –  a games table that once belonged to Marie Antoinette and a Louis XIV rug – and paintings by the Great Masters. 

You might find the entrance fee a bit expensive – 15 euros – but it is money well spent as the location has a lot to offer. Nowhere else on the French Riviera will you find a better place to enjoy art, architecture, nature and history all in one place.

The only downside we have found is that it is not easy accessible to people with limited mobility or pushchairs.

The English visitors might be particularly interested as the villa has an amazing tea room. The tea room’s terrace overlooks the Bay of Villefranche and offers unrestricted views of the bay. You can enjoy your high noon tea in the conservatory area overlooking the garden while also admiring the impressive porcelain collection of Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild. 

The villa is also available to rent for receptions and/or weddings so if you are looking for an original and charming location for an important event in your life this is the place to choose.

Why not visit the Rothschild Villa on your next visit to the French Riviera? Get in contact with HBProperty your perfect apartment and villa partner on the French Riviera.