If you own a property in France or are thinking of buying one to rent it out then this article could be for you. Whether you are planning to make it a full-time business, or perhaps just looking to cover your overheads from occasional rental there is much to understand about the gite business. In the beginning the word gite translated into something akin to a shelter. Of course, things have developed a little since the early days; however, the basic essence of the gite still remains to this day. The rustic early days of the gite was something that provided a very real local feel. A feel that could not be achieved elsewhere.
Modern Day Rentals
Today, it is fair to say that holidaymakers expect their gites to be as close to, if not on a par with the accommodation standard that is called home. In fact, understanding this requirement is one of the trickiest parts in owning a successful gite rental business. The fact of the matter is that today’s guests are more discerning than ever. Yes, they want rustic, but not necessarily at the cost of home comfort! If you are looking to make profit from your property you will surely need to make sure that it is up to the standard that most expect. Investment might well be required to reap any real holiday rental rewards.
Reaching Saturation Point?
Some people are of the opinion that the gite market is indeed saturated, with very little opportunity for new rentals. The truth is that while it is not impossible to break into, you will be joining a very competitive market place. Many British (and other) nationals have taken the option in recent times to invest heavily in the French countryside. There are many stories published online like Tony Tidswell – A French Life, which depict the fascination with running a French gite. Other stories tell of the opportunity to buy two homes in France and then rent one out for around 50 percent of the year, thus providing enough rental income to cover both property costs. While this has been achievable for some, for others it has been far from the case.
Choosing the Right Property
Access is one of the most important consideration when thinking about a gite. How can the people you want to attract reach you? Don’t limit yourself to just one option of road, unless you are comfortable with long spells with no rental income. Choosing a property that can be accessed by flights, ferries and a drive from the tunnel is nearly always the best option. Think a little rustic, once you get past the main travelling and you are onto a winner. Those gites that are in walking distance to local shops for the early morning croissant or that provide the opportunity for a stroll to dinner are almost priceless.
Buying a single gite on its own is unlikely to provide much in the way of a true income. In most cases a proper income from gite rental is only available when you buy a series of properties in reasonably close proximity. This way some of the running costs for maintenance and the like can be shared across the group. The reality is that to be successful in a busy market you must stand out from the crowd. It’s worth exploring website such as Chez Nous or French Entree to get an idea of the level of competition that is out there in the different regions.