Living in the Charente?...

Or do you have a second home in the Charente?...
.... Or maybe you just like this part of France?...

This is what inspired this site and launched the Home in the Charente service.

But what started as a website to offer information and advice...

Living in the Charente
... has turned into a full-time service!

What can we do to help you?

Property Searching in the Charente gets easier

We are not estate agents. So that leaves us free to negotiate on your behalf directly with owners and estate agents. Including those that only speak French.

Working to your brief, we will build a dossier of suitable properties for you. When you have selected the homes you want to see, we will organise everything else for you. Even down to meeting you at the airport and arranging accommodation for you... more on this...

Finding, setting up and running your business

Living in the Charente since 1991, we have started and run several businesses, successfully. We have helped many other people get their businesses off the ground (we’ve even provided business advice and services to French companies). And we would like to help you succeed, too.

It’s probably fair to say that most French civil servants and bureaucrats will provide you with the information you need. But only if you ask the right questions! You can save yourself from being sent down blind-alleys and duplicating effort, with just a timely bit of advice or guidance.
We are on your side.

Whatever your start-up capital, we know where to look and who to ask, to help you get your business in the Charente off to a flying start... more on this

Looking after your home in the Charente when you can’t be there

You know what it’s like. You’ve spent the last few weeks getting your home here just right – and then it’s time to leave again. You shut the shutters and lock the gate. You hope that you’ve done enough to protect it from the worst the winter weather can throw at your Charentais haven.

But you know that when you come back next time, after a long journey down, you’ll have to do it all again. The house will need to be cleaned, the garden will have to be hacked back, the beds will have to be made, etc.

It could be very different. As one of our clients, you will arrive to a clean house, with hot water in the taps and cold wine and beer in the fridge. Crisp, fresh linen on your beds and a garden ready for you to relax in. And you will have had the peace of mind of knowing that your home has been well cared for whilst you were away... more on this

Mortgages, Money, Mairies, Meetings and Mating goats

“Does the mayor inseminate the goats himself?” That was what an English farmer asked Sarah to translate for him when we were helping them to set up their farm here in the Charente.

So you see, we really have dealt with all sorts of situations! But most of the questions we are asked are about more everyday issues:
“Can you help us find a mortgage?”;
“Can you help us reduce our monthly outgoings?”;
“We have to meet our bank manager / accountant / insurance adviser – can you interpret for us?”;
“Do you know what shops will be open over Christmas?”

Then there are the more one-off requests:
“Can you help us buy / sell / import a car?”;
“Can you build us a website?”;
“We need a septic tank – can you get us some reliable quotes?”;
“Has this area been flooded in the last 50 years?

In many cases we can provide an answer by return email free of charge. When we have to go out and about, our clients unanimously agree that the 20 euros per hour we charge is well worth it. If you have been chewing over any problem and can't seem to find the solution, then let us know.
Even if it's about the mating habits at the Mairie, chances are we can help!

(You will be in good company, too, as any of these people will tell you.)

France regularly takes first place in International Living Magazine's annual Quality of Life Index. No surprise. Its tiresome bureaucracy and taxes are outweighed by an unsurpassed quality of life, including the world's best health care.

Every year, the magazine ranks and rates 194 countries to come up with a list of the places that offer you the best quality of life. This isn't about best value, necessarily. It's about the places in the world where the living is, simply put, great.

To produce this annual Index they consider nine categories: Cost of Living; Culture and Leisure; Economy; Environment; Freedom; Health; Infrastructure; Safety and Risk; and Climate. This involves a lot of number crunching from "official" sources, including government websites, the World Health Organization, and The Economist, to name but a few.

During the years that we have lived here, we have lost count of the number of times people have asked us where they can find: books on the Charente; maps of the Charente; information on restoring property in France; wine coolers; wine racks; bird feeders; and so on.

So, to try to help, we decided to find a way of bringing these sorts of things to you. With help from the good people at Amazon, you can now browse through the Home in the Charente Store. We have stocked the Store with all sorts of items that we have either been asked for or we thought were interesting. If you are looking for something in particuar that you cannot find, please do drop us a line.

This site is independent of any property or travel companies and is here simply to help with your move to the South Charente and integration into the Charentaise way of life.  Access to the site and the advice is completely free and we welcome enquiries and feedback.

Each page covers a wide range of topics to help with looking for your property in France and when you have found your dream home there is advice on moving to France and living in the Charente.

Living in the Charente

Site Guide:
Finding a property - with or without estate agents
        Moving - from your first trip over, to waving off the removal van, including:
        Travel - how to get here and what to bring and lots more

Moving with animals - and the documentation you will need to bring
        Accommodation - while you look around
        Buying a house - who does what and things to look out for
        Removals - self-drive van or bring in the professionals?

Improving - dedicated to moving your project forward, helping with:
        Shopping around - where to find what you need
        Regulations - ...legally!
        DIY dictionary - a useful list of DIY words & phrases

Living in Charente - all about the area and the services available:
        History of the sud-Charente - some useful snippets
        Out & about - a what's on and where to go guide
        Shopping - basics, bargains and baubles
                       including a guide to French Clothing Sizes
        Schools - finding your way round the education system
        Cars - registering, trading-in, buying what you want
        Marriage - what to do if you want to tie le knot
        Retirement - drawing your pension and making life easy
        Hospitals and health care - a look into the French health service
        Language - cracking those conjugations...
        Weather - with links to keep you up to date with the latest                forecasts...

Working - how to earn a living in the Charente
        Taxes - a look at Local taxes and the TV Licence
        Running a Business - what to do and where to find help doing it
        Running gites and chambre d'hotes -some helpful hints and resources                 

[Disclaimer: the information and advice provided in this website is from our own experience and research and whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the advice on this website we are unable to reflect all changes as they happen]