Many people dream of giving up the daily grind of their lives in the UK and moving to France for a better quality of life. One of the big problems that can prevent them from realising this dream is the thorny question of earning a living. Money may be an evil, but it is certainly a necessary evil! If you want to live in France you will need an income, that is, unless you are independently wealthy or retired with a decent pension, although this is increasingly rare these days! Fluent French speakers may be lucky enough to find employment, but this is the exception rather than the rule, so the majority of ex-pats have to set up their own businesses in order to finance their new lives.
For a long time, many people found that buying or creating gîtes (holiday homes to let out) or a Chambres d'Hotes (B&B business) was a good solution to the need for an income in France, while offering the independence of one's own business. Although many British ex-pats are still doing this successfully, in many areas the attraction and success of these businesses has resulted in so many being set up that the market is oversubscribed. Consequently, it has become increasingly difficult to find sufficient guests to fill the accomnodation and to command a sufficiently high price. As a result, many owners find that these businesses no longer generate sufficient income.
An alternative to these businesses is buying and running a campsite in France (for our list, click on campsites in France for sale). Camping is extremely popular not only with the French themselves but also attracts a very large number of British, Irish, Dutch, Belgian and other nationalities. The pleasant weather, food and other attractions which have made France the most popular European country for foreign property buyers have also made it the top destination in Europe for camping.
Of course, buying and running a campsite requires a certain amount of money, not to mention enthusiasm and dedication. Helpful advice from campsite professionals with experience in France should also be sought.
We are fortunate in working with Espace Ocean, an estate agent specialising in French campsites, who have offered to provide advice and assistance to those looking to buy a campsite in France. Following are some of their comments about this market:
- Clients are becoming more discerning and there is little doubt that the ‘hotel de plein air’ is the camping of the future, i.e. chalets or mobile homes, fully equipped in an attractive setting with access to natural attractions. A growing number of campers rent a permanent pitch on a campsite for their own caravan, mobile home or chalets, and visit more than once a year. By giving the management/ rental of their caravan to the campsite, they generate an income to cover costs.
- We believe that leisure is one of the safest investments for people looking for a change of lifestyle and an income; however, knowledge of French and some management experience is essential. The prime factor in buying any business is finance and our role is to ensure that our clients have sufficient resources to purchase, improve and live on the business they buy.
- A planned trip to visit a selection of properties is the only way to decide if such a venture is viable or suitable; our office will help to plan your trip once we have confirmed dates. We are happy to discuss your project at any time by telephone; we suggest that you keep in touch with our website, which is updated regularly and when ready let us have your dates and we will organize the visits to selected properties.
- To start things moving, please contact our English-speaking office on 0033.2.51.74.17.70. We will tell you everything you need to know about buying a campsite in France - the facts, the figures, the lot! With our wide experience and local knowledge of the areas we are selling campsites in, we can quickly smooth your path to owning a French business & property.
- In the meantime, please browse our website (www.espace-ocean.com) and see for yourself some campsites currently on sale. We have also filled our website with relevant information and advices in order to help you understand the buying process.