Our property search is now getting into full swing. This was initiated by the discovery that we will need to have a confirmed address and school enrolment on our visa application. I had hoped we could wait until our our visas had arrived. Anyway - this is the standard text listing our requirements:
The Bisset family of 5 are planning a grand adventure for 2008. The principal idea is to spend a year in the south of France, absorbing as much of the culture and language as we can. My wife, Angela and I met overseas and both travelled around France, we absolutely adore the place and yearn to travel back and spend some quality time there.
We have 3 young children: Jack 8yrs Henry 6yrs James 4yrs. Our French is very basic but we are learning slowly and aim to get ramp up lessons as we get closer to the time. While we plan to do some travelling we envisage finding a rental property in the south/ south west, finding a school for the kids and settling in to village/ rural French life. Spending some quality time together as a family experiencing the culture, lifestyle is the top priority. We are fortunate in that we will be able to take a year off and have no plans to work while in France. We are both keen sportspeople and look forward to training for and competing in running, cycling and other multi-sport events.
The timeframe is next year, ideally arriving in January or February and leaving in December or January. We are in the process of applying for French Long Stay Family Visa a process which can take 2-3 months. A key challenge is confirming a location/ property and school prior to submitting the applications. Visa requirements do vary according to who we talk to, but having accommodation and schooling finalised would greatly support our visa application. I have been planning a scouting trip to review properties and schools, this trip could take place in Oct/Nov or Dec although it would appear the sooner would be better.
- The area we are interested in is quite wide: Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Roussillon. I'm particularly keen on the Quercy/ Lot region. To date it has come out on top in most of our searching for property and schools. It is also the area where I have spent most of my time in France to date.
- We would need to ensure that a suitable school is within 15-30 mins drive. We are approaching this from two ways: looking first at good rental options and then for schools and also the reverse.
- A Farm House/ Village House within short drive of a village with most amenities
- Furnished, ideally fully furnished and suited to a young family
- Minimum of 3 bedrooms, ideally 4-5 bedrooms. We expect visitors to stay for short periods so ideally would like to sleep 8 people with relative ease.
- Ideally some section/ land/ garden for the kids to run around in
- Ideally a swimming pool