Penny Osborne

Articles by Penny Osborne

Holiday lettings in France

Buying a property that will earn its keep as a holiday letting in France is a big part of many British buyer’s ‘French dream’. Some buyers hope to fund their new French lifestyle by buying a home with an annex to convert to a gîte and earn some extra income. How viable is that and what are the opportunities and challenges of running such a business?

From neglected shell to quirky seaside retreat – renovating a property in France, part one

When I moved to Normandy in 2017, I had little intention of embarking on a renovation project. Having left a stressful job behind, my aim was to kick back and relax for a while, before easing my way into paid employment. But when I set eyes on a neglected fisherman’s house for sale in one of the prettiest villages in France, I knew I had to have her. This is my story of how I gave this sad old lady with spectacular views a new lease of life. 

Building your own home in France, part 3: finding a builder

Once you’ve found your perfect lot of land in France, you’ve got your architect to help you put your dream home down into an actionable plan, it’s time to find a trustworthy builder or developer. Penny in Normandy investigates how to find the right builder for you, how much to expect costs to be and what you should look out for.

Build your own home in France: architects and planning permission

Those of us who enjoy browsing property websites, either because we’re moving house, or just dreaming of a new life abroad, have often come across the term “architect-designed’ home. This phrase conjures images of swooping ceilings and imaginatively designed kitchen and bathrooms, but what does this term really mean?