Ten Reasons to Buy a Property in France After Brexit

Updated on September 16, 2017

The beauty of France

Limousin, France - land of lakes.
Limousin, France - land of lakes. | Source

Ten reasons to make a new life in France If Britain leaves Europe

Whether you are for or against Brexit, there are good reasons to relocate to another European country now that Britain has choosen to leave the EU.

Britain might not remain Britain for long. Scotland may well choose independence in order to stay within Europe. Would Northern Ireland finally join with the rest of Ireland to stay in? It could be that we're looking at Exit rather than Brexit if England is left behind by the rest of the British Isles.

In the recent referendum 'the people' of Britain were asked whether they wanted to stay in the European Union or not. Of those who voted, almost half voted to remain in the EU but slightly more voted to leave. Whatever happens, half the population will be unhappy in Britain. Many are exploring the idea of leaving Britain to find a happier and more secure place to live.

What are your choices? Stay and try to ameliorate the situation somehow? Stay because you have no choice? Or vote with your feet and move abroad to live in another European country - for at least some of the time depending on what comes out of the negotiations? Remember Guy Verhofstadt is suggesting that one solution to the problem is individual membership in the EU for British people.

Each European country has so much to offer, but I have lived in rural France for almost fifteen years and I would like to share with you the benefits of buying a home in rural France in these uncertain, Post-Brexit times.

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Will Britain become Little England?

Britain will be a very small island with no close allies once it breaks from the EU
Britain will be a very small island with no close allies once it breaks from the EU | Source

1. Stay connected to Europe

Benefit from all the rights and protections that the EU offers its members:

Human rights

Theresa May has proposed leaving the European Convention on Human Rights. This will leave you at the mercy of whatever government becomes elected in the future.

Freedom of movement

Keep your freedom to move around and work in Europe, you don't know what the future holds for yourself and for your children.

An added extra for anyone moving to France who would like to travel is the fact that you can get into your car and be in Spain or Italy or Germany in a matter of hours.


Benefit from the security of a large number of countries who have belief systems and standards similar to us. Be surrounded by friendly countries who pool their strengths for the greater good.

Safety, standards and regulations

The EU regulations protect our rights, our safety and the rights of animals that we farm for food.


There is a big question mark over the economic future of Britain. Will trade deals be made to keep British standards of living as they are now, or will we be isolated from our biggest markets? (Look at the map below to see just how isolated England would be.)


French pensions are almost double those of the UK. I have just found this out - alas too late. Come to work in France and retire relatively rich.

Save the United Kingdom

Nicola Sturgeon announced a referendum on leaving the UK on Monday 13th March 2017 in direct response to Brexit. Will the Union Jack become the flag of St George?

When Scotland leaves the UK the Union Jack flag will be no more

The blue will disappear out of the red white and blue of the Union Jack
The blue will disappear out of the red white and blue of the Union Jack | Source

2. Survive a possible recession in Britain

If you are a keen Brexit supporter, you will believe that Britain will stay together as Britain and will become great again. You will believe that there is a whole world out there to trade with, a whole world to form alliances with and that Britain will go from strength to strength. I hope you are right - my pension depends on this.

If you are a gloomy remainer, like me, who listens to the much maligned experts, you will see Britain falling away to leave only England, you'll see a race to the bottom in trade deals with the previous Empire countries and countries of dubious repute. America might be that special friend - or it might gobble up our industries and enterprises. If you are like me, you will see ten years of uncertaintly and recession ahead as England is passed over for trade deals. A recession from which, according to the experts (The Economist, for example), Britain will never recover.

If this scenario plays out and you don't have pots of money, moving to France might mean that you don't starve - which brings me to Reason number 3 - Cheap housing with lots of land. Act now as since Brexit the pound has plummeted and forecasts (by experts I'm afraid) suggest that the pound will reach parity with the euro in 2017.

A markerLimousin, France -
Limousin, France
get directions

Limousin has some of the cheapest housing in Europe

3. Rural France has cheap housing

Just to give you a couple of examples of what you could own if you moved to our region of France. You can buy a four bedroom, fully renovated house for 140,000 euros with lots of land for horses or for several new houses. There are several toilets and bathrooms, woodburning stove and garage. All in a peaceful, beautiful rural setting only minutes on foot from a fishing lake with beach and cafe.

The farm below consisting of a two bedroom fully renovated farm house and an array of other farm buildings that would be ideal for a holiday cottage / B&B complex. It has a large barn and two smaller buildings all with planning permission for conversion to gites. It has spring water and woodland - ideal for anyone looking for an eco-build site.On the market for 180,000 euros.

These are just two of many houses. You can buy a basically habitable house (indoor toilet, running water etc) for perhaps 50 - 70,000 euros. The Brits have been holding off since the Brexit sword has been hanging over us so now is the time to buy!

4. Live in an immigrant-free zone (apart from British immigrants of course!)

It never fails to amaze me that a number of British people living in France voted to leave the EU and many of them came here "to get away from the immigrants" in the UK.

Two points especially puzzle me - firstly, they themselves are now the immigrants, although I think they prefer the world 'expat'. Secondly, they are now totally surrounded by foreigners and are in the minority here. Anyway, they also seem to be very happy to move to France.

5. You can be self sufficient and survive in France

Lets suppose that the worst comes to the worst - you can buy a house with land to grow vegetables and raise animals, woodland and a well or spring water for less than a two up two down terrace house in Manchester. You can heat water and cook on a wood burning stove, you can light your house with petrol lamps. You can even get a horse or two. And if war breaks out they are unlikely to be gunning for us in the middle of woodland and fields.

A taste of rural France

6. Rural France is great for drivers

Rural Limousin has miles of empty roads, loads of free parking and is a great place to drive. No more traffic jams, no more car pollution, no more heart attack inducing road rages.

As you get older driving becomes more difficult so one of the advantages of moving here is that you avoid the hectic roads in the UK. Another advantage is that you are not subjected to tests at seventy.

7. Great internet connection

Limousin is perfect for anyone who can work on line. It was one of the first areas to benefit from fast internet connections.

8. An agreeable climate

This is one of the main reasons to move to France - warm sunny summers and bright if cold winters. Say goodbye to miserable, grey, wet winters and disappointing British summers. Spring starts in March and Autumn extends to November so you have perhaps four months of winter. Save money on heating.

Having said that, winters can be colder, if sunnier, than most parts on Britain and, thanks to the government cheating pensioners by including the islands of the Caribbean as part of France when calculating average temperatures, you won't get a cold weather allowance.

9. France is safe, clean and civilized

For any Brexiteer who wants to return to Pre-EU times, Limousin is the place to be. It's like stepping back to 1950 - No litter, no crime, no vandalism, no noise, no graffitti - rural France is a great place to live and raise a family. I can't tell you what it's like in the outskirts of Paris or Marsailles, but here in Limousin people are really civilized.

People are so polite. When someone walks into a bank or a shop, they greet everyone. People shake hands, say Bonjour, chat to neighbours, swap vegetables and fruit. Children are fabulously courteous.

Pollution in British towns is reaching dangerous levels. You'll live much longer, on average if you move to France.

10. Great health and education systems

The writing is on the wall for the National Health system. People lying on beds in corridors, long waiting times even for urgent care - they hope you die before incurring the costs of treatment. People who can pay are being encouraged / forced to go private. Also, at the moment the NHS is run heavily by an immigrant staff that are highly skilled and highly motivated but they are leaving in droves since Brexit and the fall of the £. Say good bye to foreign doctors and nurses, say goodbye to your operations and treatments. In France the health care couldn't be better, faster or more thorough. They even care for you before you get ill with preventative medicine and tests.

Similarly, the education system adheres to the old fashioned values that many British people who long for times gone by will love. The children are polite and well-controlled, the syllabus traditional and academic. I found it too constraining and not lively enough - but it is up to the parents to provide the extra-curricular activities - sports, drama, art etc

Have I convinced you to move to France?

I've put forward ten good reasons to move to France after Brexit but I can think of plenty more - good food, dark night skies full of stars, a natural landscape rich in wildlife, lovely neighbours, cheap and good wine .... I could go on. Why not leave a message in the comments box to tell me why you might want to move to France - or not?

Are you ready to take the plunge?

Is Britain still the place for you?

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© 2017 Barbara Walton

What are your post-Brexit plans?

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    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 4 weeks ago from France

      Thank you for this, Blake. It is true that all the pensions, care, benefits, health is a minefield. But so it is in the UK. You do have to top up your health care here - or just pay yourself - but at least that care is available, fast and incredibly efficient whereas on the NHS people seem to be dying on long waiting lists. Yes, do your homework. It is all too technical and complicated for a little article like this. I suppose ultimately you can do what my neighbours did and go back to retirement and sheltered homes respectively, in the UK.

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      Blake 6 weeks ago

      Rules change all the time. Be careful with health care. Private health care can be bought in France for a 100 euro or more topup if you qualify for the CMU. See here, https://tinyurl.com/yd7rq6db and here: https://tinyurl.com/y8pk64dr . This is vital. Most ex-pats would be advised to have some work history in France before retirement because Mr. Sarkosy restricted the rights of non-French to become "grandfathered" into the generous French social protection if they retire in France. Coming to France now, in the middle of Brexit - well, everyone has their reasons. Jacky O'Callaghan, there are several tiers of private elderly care in France. There are also limits on the cost of public care, which does exist still. If the elderly person has rights in France, and public care is found, the family does not pay. Of course, if the elderly person is in France without rights, then the next of kin or the person's state government will be contacted by the public elderly care facility. I know for a fact that the difficulty in finding state-supported or "public" elderly care has greatly increased in France. Prices? An elderly relative of ours had a place for 1490 euros per month. Their pension was 1260, and a solidarity fund that the person's children wrote to agreed to contribute the shortfall. This is quite standard. I might add that the person in question was a home-owner with a decent amount of liquidities and the state didn't touch any of it - the children inherited each their share. You might read things on the web. This is a personal and true story. The individual passed away 2 years ago so, as I said at the beginning, laws change, you have to keep informed and be aware that your baseline information, on which you make a decision, may change beyond all recognition by the time you are in need.

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      Jacky O'Callaghan 3 months ago

      As I understand it from various websites on the subject, there is no state-funded elderly care in France, and if your assets run out before you die, the state doesn't take over like it does in the UK . Your children - all of them including inlaws - are liable. Thoughts?

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 4 months ago from France

      JWilson - yes, thanks to Brexit our lives may well be left in shreds. On the other hand things might not be so bad - there are non-EU people living here and they seem to be doing OK. Perhaps the best thing to do is prepare, wait and see what is offered then be ready to move quickly if protection is extended until the UK leave the EU.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 4 months ago from France

      Jeannie - yes I must rephrase that. What I meant to say was that many fantastic EU workers are running our health system and if they are forced to go the already struggling NHS will collapse.

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      JWilson 4 months ago

      Nice thinking... apart from after Brexit 2019, you'll almost certainly be an illegal immigrant with no rights.

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      Paul Martin 4 months ago

      What a load of rubbish, Better pension ? And why did you not say that 51% of your income will go back to the government !

      You make it look as if staying in the UK we are all doomed, And being part of the corrupt EU we are not.

      You need to jog on !

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      Eleanor 4 months ago

      Hi yes indeed I share your thoughts and fears about post Brexit Britain. The result made me so sad and you have convinced me too. I see myself as a Francophile having visited France many times over the last 40 years I always said I would move there when I left Corporate life. Alas I have yo yo'd around the idea and now its too late as I am probably too old now and would not want to be a "taker".

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      Sally 5 months ago

      Yes, you've convinced me... but I'm relatively young and have another twenty years work in me. My fear is the job market (my work as a gardener, and in general, modern horticulture, is more respected in the UK than in Europe as reflected in wages). And while my partner and I are becoming fluent in French? I'll learn faster living and working there but what do I do for work when I first arrive? Are there lots of seasonal jobs for non French speakers? I don't want a worse job for the next twenty years and end up with a bad standard of living at my age (nearly 50). My partner and I are in such a quandary over this and time is running out! Does anyone have any advice or thoughts. In all honesty we're both quite cowardly but my partner especially, wanted to move to France when he retired. We don't want to be trapped on a parochial island with a crap economy and no escape!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 months ago from France

      Hi, yes, there are lots of British people in Limousin. Partly because it's cheap, green (like the England in Constable's paintings), and rural. There are lots of groups, clubs etc so it's easy to make friends. Local people are generally welcoming. Your work in IT id ideal. I often wonder why everyone who is free to live anywhere doesn't live here. As a muslim man it might be easier to keep a low profile as they will assume you're English. I'm not sure about the reaction to the headscarf. The French do like you to fit in - they will love it if you grow your own veg. Most of the muslims living here live in Limoges and I'm not sure how they find it. I hope this is of some use.

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      Jennie 5 months ago

      I was enjoying this article until I read this 'Worse of all, the NHS is run heavily by immigrant staff. Say good bye to foreign doctors and nurses, say goodbye to your operations.' What an awful thing to say. One of the worst things about Brexit is the racism & racists really don't need any encouragement from you. We have wonderful 'immigrant staff' in the NHS a lot of whom are leaving thanks to Brexit.

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      VINCE 6 months ago


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      Adrian Hants 7 months ago

      Great article Barbara.

      Moving to France has always been my aim, although always thought I'd do it at 55, when I retired from corporate world. However, since taking an opportunity of leaving the corporate world early, through redundancy, I am now exploring this early at 52. The last few months have been spent researching the different options. Huge part of this decision is whether its better to be living in France, registered as such, before any Brexit deal is finally agreed, to be included within any reciprocal agreements for currant nationals of EU countries living in other EU countries. Gut feeling, and from all the many opinions, online, print, news etc, is that this will likely be advantageous to be in this position.

      I completely understand views already expressed, I have been living outside of UK in Central Europe for some years, and now, having returned, the UK is less appealing now than ever. Politically, I can see UK pushing morals, integrity and citizen rights to the background in order to do deals around the globe, some with countries that have regimes that are unsavoury say the least. UK ref' has seriously restricted the UKs future generations, the youngsters growing up now and those not yet born, to live fuller lives, contribute to a strong UK economy and have the opportunities we in this generation enjoy so freely.

      All in all, I know that rural France is somewhere I want to be. France is somewhere I knew well in my youth, and has the essential elements that make a place special, people and culture.

      For me, the biggest fear is possibly jumping in sooner than I had planned, and the pressure on time decide where and when.

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      Anne Spencer 7 months ago

      I enjoyed reading your thoughts on France, inspired by such. Since my school days, I have loved France and her people. My French teacher was a French man which really opened me to the culture and the language, I also played netball against the French in the 1970’s. This was the beginning of my love for this country I believe and certainly has never left me.

      I am now 56 years old, my children are grown and sadly my husband has passed last year. Not to elaborate, can I ask, that as single woman of my age, do I still have the chance of living in this country I would love to call home?

      I am taking a visit to Bergerac in July to inspire and give me food for thought. Ideally a small cafe (I know many have endeavoured to do this) However I would like to incorporate within this a business. Can you advise me on the possibility of giving drama workshops to school children and students alike?

      I guess this is outwit Brexit - To Brexit or not to Brexit, it was never in question!


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      riz Ahmed 8 months ago

      I am too wanting to make the move to rural France but concerned about the isolation and as l am a Muslim the racism l might or might not encounter as my wife (no kids yet) wears the headscarf. I have always wanted the quite life growing my own veg's and looking after animals which is next to impossible in the UK with the land prices. As l work in IT and can work remotely and flights to London are pretty cheap now but after the official Brexit not sure if they will remain soo low. Are there many Brits in the Limoges area as that is the area l want to move as the land prices are cheap.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 8 months ago from France

      Thanks for your comment, Albert. Yes, you're right, but I'm writing about my experiences here.Re health: I know several people who have had major operations here, heart surgery etc. They have seen their doctors straight away, had very speedy appointments for surgery, had three weeks convalescence in special centres together with nutrition advice and even cooking classes to help them with weight problems. You can see doctors and specialists quickly here on the whole. On the other hand only 70% of non-major care is covered by the state so you have to pay yourself or pay for a Mutuelle to cover the 30% and this is an added expense. I have my eyes tested in the UK because I've found the waiting list to be long and the test more expensive than UK, and more trouble to get the glasses sorted. You are also right about the education. UK education is much more liberal and creative. French edcucation is much more rigorous and thorough. The main thing about education here in the countryside, is that all the children are so polite and well-behaved. There are few problems with discipline, bullying etc Another down side is there are NO jobs - you have to make your own employment. The main advantages of living here are the weather, cheap housing with plenty of land, clean air and environment - there is no litter or graphitti - very little crime or traffic and a much calmer way of life. Not sure that I'm a racist as I didn't say the French people were better than the British people - indeed I rather think that people divide in nice people and not so nice people all over the world - but I do certainly think that for our family, we've had a better life here than we would have had if we'd stayed in West Yorkshire. Must go, 29th April at 10am and the sun is shining so on with the garden.

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      Albert 8 months ago

      You are a racist ! France is great but it's got many of same issues as U.K. re it's health system. UK standard of education is at least as good and schools are much more dynamic in U.K.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 9 months ago from France

      I wouldn't have thought so, Sandra. There are so many of us older people here. I have friends in their 70's 80's and 90's. Your bones will do better in the sunshine and there are great support networks here so you'll find it easy to make friends and get professional help if you need it. If you can speak French that will really help. Many of the older people (like me) struggle with the language. It will be a new lease of life!

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      Sandra Crichton 9 months ago

      As a widow of 66 is it too late for me to re locate to France.? Kids are busy leading there own lives, I speak French and fancy a change.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 9 months ago from France

      We think that on the whole it it miles better for our family, Jules. Just hope we are allowed to stay.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 9 months ago from France

      The French organised things do tend to stop, Patricia, but I was just listing, to myself, all the things there are to do here, many of which continue through the winter - there are bool clubs, English speaking groups, dinners with friends, swimming pools and fitness centres, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, art groups, pilates, yoga, keep fit classes, walking groups, horse rinding, French language groups, amateur dramatics, volutary work with refugees, the Red Cross etc .......... In rural France manypeople keep animals, grow their own veg, build houses, extend and renovate, create businesses, B&B, do online marketing .............. in fact just thinking about it makes me want to lie down for a bit.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 9 months ago from France

      I do agree and hope that we can live out our time in rural France. I do worry about the UK as I have family there and, more selfishly, my pension will come from the UK. Now, though, my heart is here in France with the EU. Lets hope Le Pen doesn't spoil this too.

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      Jon Alport www.lasouqueto.com 9 months ago

      We moved to the Languedoc, Southern France nearly 4 years ago for a new start away from a very dark place we used to call our home. We had no idea then that the UK would shoot itself in the foot, but knew it was heading to a place we didn't want to travel to! Thanks to Brexit, Mediocrity has prevailed. Great Britain it is not...The notion of isolating itself from the rest of the world will drain the country of its International talent. How stupid can you get...or should I say how ill informed and badly educated!! Asset stripped Britain in industry and sport will soon find itself without friends and investors because it will fail to be a brave and dynamic place! So sad!!

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      Patricia Egan 9 months ago

      Alot of what you say is very true. However people should appreciate there are some downsides that take some getting used to. Rural France pretty much closes down in winter if you need people around you it can get very isolating....

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      Jules Holland 9 months ago

      Fabulous life-style living and working in France

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 12 months ago from France

      As you know, I'm a great fan of rural France. Thank you so much for leaving your French story here, Frances.

    • Frances Metcalfe profile image

      Frances Metcalfe 12 months ago from The Limousin, France

      Moved here for all those reasons. We can leave anything out and never worry if it'll be still there in the morning. Our French neighbours are fabulous and are always handing over traditional goodies through the gapin the hedge.