Thinking of buying a gite in France?

When people think of moving to France their first thought as to how to generate an income is to buy a gite complex and rent it out to people from back home.

It sounds like an idyllic lifestyle, doesn’t it? You work one day a week and the rest of the week you can be sunbathing by the pool.

The snag is that you need to wash all the sheets and towels and carry out maintenance work during the week. OK, so two days work and five at the pool? In theory, you might get away with that though, of course, the guests will be using the pool too and, usually, expect you to do things for them like organise tours or the area, tell them all the best places to go and so on.

What’s frequently forgotten about in all this is the financials that go along with this lifestyle. From a typical six or seven person gite you can probably get around 700€ a week in the peak season. That size of gite equates to a small three bedroom house in size and, of course, amount of work to look after. In reality most people aim for a gite complex of around four or five gites. On the whole, you’ll eventually reach an occupancy of around ten weeks per year for the gites which translates into around 35,000€ a year of an income.

However, there’s the matter of expenses to consider. Bearing in mind that you only have four or five hours to reset the gite between guests you’ll end up hiring a cleaner to help you which eats into the income somewhat and you may need someone to look after the pool. There’s also the business of maintenance: unlike a normal house rental you’re getting a new set of tenants virtually every week and that tends to be quite hard on the furnishings so you’ll need to renew at least some items pretty much every year.

Oh, and don’t forget the taxes!

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