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?
With little practical experience, I took on a project to renovate a sad and neglected grande dame on the quayside at the beautiful port of Barfleur in Normandy. Learning traditional skills from scratch, I managed to transform her into a quirky seaside retreat within a reasonable budget, with a mix of good luck, hard work and the help of excellent workmen.