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... to spend my inheritance on a house in France?

59 replies

CurlyWurlyHurlyBurly · 27/07/2015 11:43

An elderly relative has died and left their estate to me and my siblings equally. As a result I am getting an inheritance of around £30K. I currently live in rented accommodation along with my DH and 2 DC and we will probably never be in a position to buy within the UK.

My idea is to buy a small property in the Dordogne region of France (an area we have family links to) and relocate over there. Our budget is small but we could manage it. We nearly moved over there a few years ago, but finances didn't quite work out at that time so we stayed in the UK.

DH's idea is that we use the inheritance to clear our loan/credit card balance, invest some in the highest interest savings we can and spend some on "fun" stuff.

I feel slightly resentful about his plan as he is a spendthrift, and most of the loan/credit card debt has been for his benefit, and his idea of "fun" stuff includes a motorbike for him.

So, AIBU to tell him that I have thought about his suggestion but I still think buying a house in France should be the way forward?

OP posts:

hellsbellsmelons · 27/07/2015 11:46

Well it's yours to do with as you deem fit.
If everyone is on board and you can do it and you all really want to then definitely get a place in France.
Sounds fantastic!


SwedishEdith · 27/07/2015 11:48

I'd be really pissed off at spending it on a motorbike and his debts (and, yes, yes, I realise that paying the debts is sensible so probably need to do that but that they're his would still piss me off)


CurlyWurlyHurlyBurly · 27/07/2015 11:51

SwedishEdith, that's part of my problem - I know that clearing the debts would be the most sensible plan, so I feel guilty about not wanting to do it. Being fair, it's not 100% his debt, just the majority...

OP posts:

8angle · 27/07/2015 11:53

Buy the house before your DH has any more "fun"...


Poledra · 27/07/2015 11:53

The issue here is that they are HIS debts. When I was made redundant a few years ago, I was fortunate enough to get another job almost immediately. DH and I used my redundancy money to pay off the mortgage but that was OUR debt that we had mutually agreed on. I would not have used my 'windfall' money to clear off debts he had run up through financial recklessness.


pickingstrawberries · 27/07/2015 11:54

I definitely prefer your idea, and I was looking into this a while back.


GizzyTiedToATree · 27/07/2015 11:55

This sounds like an ideal occasion to have a serious talk about money. Why did you get into debt for his benefit?

You should really do your homework before you relocate. The job market is dire in France ATM. If you are self-employed and can work from home, be aware that there are still many places without broadband.

There are lots of taxes when buying a house. Have you had a look on Le Bon Coin? With £30k you will mostly find houses that need a lot of work.

If you think it can work, do it! I live in the east of France but would love to relocate to Dordogne. Sadly DH probably wouldn't find enough work there.


SpearmintLino · 27/07/2015 11:55

I'd say that this is a life changing opportunity, so use it to do something to make a positive difference to you and your family. Investment in a property to achieve a dream fits that criteria, I say go for it!


ImperialBlether · 27/07/2015 11:55

Would you really be able to buy a house outright for that amount? If you moved there you'd take the debts with you, so how would you pay them off?

Buying a property always costs a lot more than you think, too. I think you have to allow an extra 10% in France, don't you? I've seen too many Places In The Sun!

I'd be buggered if I'd buy him a motorbike. That's really cheeky of him.

What's he doing about paying off his debts?


ImperialBlether · 27/07/2015 11:56

How much in total do you owe?


FredaMayor · 27/07/2015 11:58

Hope I'm not raining on your parade, but a few words of warning, OP. Property dealings are very much more bureaucratic in France, and houses can also take a very long time indeed to sell, possibly years. It may be cheaper than UK and if your reasons are that you love the place and want to be there and nothing else matters, fine, but don't buy residential as an investment unless you're thinking of letting it because your capital will be tied up or sunk for ages. I have plenty of family experience of it.


pickingstrawberries · 27/07/2015 11:59

What you can do is have it as a holiday let (this was my master plan but DH won't let me.)


CurlyWurlyHurlyBurly · 27/07/2015 12:00

Debts are currently at around £6K all in.

DH is making all the payments at present and would continue to do so. He is self employed and could easily relocate to France (not wanting to be too specific!)

OP posts:

TheRealAmyLee · 27/07/2015 12:00

You have to go through ALL the options properly then decide TOGETHER which is best for your family.


ShotgunNotDoingThePans · 27/07/2015 12:02

Surely 'fun stuff' should be something the whole family can enjoy? A holiday/new car (admittedly dull)/caravan/tent or similar? France aside, he's obviously got weird ideas about sharing money if he thinks your inheritance shouldgo to pay for his debts and his new toy?


RedDaisyRed · 27/07/2015 12:05

Consider whether the property could be in the name of your children in trust for them held by your parents until the children are 18 to keep it out of your marital assets in case you divorce particularly as the husband spends too much.


Holidaysardonic · 27/07/2015 12:06

Research very carefully before you buy in France. Ive never felt such relief as when we finally offloaded our French house. That was as a holiday home though.


CatMilkMan · 27/07/2015 12:07

You consider the majority of the debt his but some of it is yours and he is currently paying all repayments in full?
I know I have nowhere near all the information but it sounds like you have a weird way of thinking about money as a family, maybe before doing anything with the inheritance money you should figure out family finances and whose money is whose.


AnthonyPandy · 27/07/2015 12:07

Consider whether the property could be in the name of your children in trust for them held by your parents until the children are 18 to keep it out of your marital assets in case you divorce particularly as the husband spends too much.

This with knobs on.


MsAspreyDiamonds · 27/07/2015 12:09

Buy the property in France in your name alone and make sure it's legally protected as it's from your own money.

I would buy it and let it out for a year as a holiday or long term rental to generate income. Then think about relocating when the time is right. In terms of employment, what opportunities are there for you over there?

Suggest to your dh that he sells some of his own unwanted items to clear his own debts.


MsAspreyDiamonds · 27/07/2015 12:11

Alternatively that 30k is a healthy deposit for a mortgage in the UK.


Spartans · 27/07/2015 12:13

Hang on. Are people suggesting that in the event of a split the ops husband should not be entitled to half the martial assets. Even though he is paying all their debts?

How many people would recommend a woman moves into a house she wouldn't have half of in the event of a split?


Brunhildafair · 27/07/2015 12:15

France is wonderful.we had a cottage in the Dordogne for many years.Twelve years ago
we bought a much bigger house and moved out to live there full time. We loved it and only returned to England due to my husbands ill health.We still have a lot of friends out there and I would say,France is not a cheap deal anymore. The cost of living is higher than in the UK.Taxes and health insurance are high,and I know several people who have burned their boats,not kept a foothold in England and will never be able to afford to come back.I don't know what your husband does for a living,but unless you have a decent command of the language,there is little available in the job market. The education system is very different from the UK,and quite intense. Would your inheritance not give you a good deposit to get on the housing ladder in the UK? If you are renting at the moment,often a mortgage is no more than you are paying in rent,it's finding the deposit that is the problem.As for the motorbike.. 6 months down the line it will be worth much less that you will have paid for it. What a dilemma ! Whatever you decide ..Good luck...


CurlyWurlyHurlyBurly · 27/07/2015 12:15


"You consider the majority of the debt his but some of it is yours and he is currently paying all repayments in full?"

Most of it is his, and some of it is joint. Things like when the fridge freezer went kaput and had to be replaced went on the credit card. When I want anything just for me, I save up and buy it that way. He works the opposite way - he bungs it on the credit card and then pays it off.

OP posts:

TheoriginalLEM · 27/07/2015 12:16

can you really buy a house for 30k in france? really??

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