Page 0041

How long did it take you to buy your

house?

It was just 10 weeks from the time of the

offer to when Donna (our agent) handed

us the keys.

How was the visa process?

Straightforward. It started before we left

the US and was completed upon arrival.

We now have long term visas which allow

us to stay in France on a permanent

basis. We received our Carte de Sejour

three months after arrival which will be

renewed every year until the 5th year

when it can be renewed for five years.

What about joining the healthcare

system?

We had to provide proof of private

healthcare coverage to get the visa but

after living in France for three months we

can now apply to join the French system.

Have you settled in?

Most definitely, our neighbours have

been more than welcoming - in fact, we

were invited to three superb parties in

our first week here!

Becky & John

Where are you from and how was the

purchase?

We are from San Diego in the US. The

whole process took around four months,

it could have been quicker but the vendors

and Carole (our agent) worked with

us to make the signing fit with our work

schedules and a family wedding. It was

complicated by the fact we really wanted

to be given the keys in person!

Did you become French residents or is it

a holiday home?

For a few years it will be our holiday

home. We originally planned for five

more years of working in the US before

retiring to France permanently….but we

are so excited we are currently working

towards making it here in three.

So you didn't need a visa?

Not yet - from what we understand we

will visit the French consulate in Los

Angeles around six months before we

are ready to leave. We have been told

that this should be ample time for our

application to be approved. Until then

we plan to travel back and forth, making

our home comfortable and enjoying the

Pyrénées.

Have you been welcomed by the locals?

Very much so. We bought a home in a

small but beautiful village 15km north

of the Spanish border. Everyone we have

met has been so welcoming and particularly patient with us when it comes

to

our language skills - they could not have

been nicer.

Happy with your agent?

Donna was instrumental in facilitating

an easy transition through the entire

process, In fact, we made our final choice

based on wanting to be close to her and

this village. She has become a friend

and we truly appreciate her help and

company.

Michele

So Michele, you are American?

Yes, nobody's perfect! (that's tongue in

cheek, of course).

Presumably, as a Leggett agent, you are a

full time resident?

Oh yes, I was thrilled to become a French

resident and live in the French Alps year

round.

There's a story behind this isn't there?

Sure is. I came to France in 1990 for a

two-week ski holiday in Courchevel.

At the end of the trip I got on the bus

back to Geneva airport but when the

driver closed the doors I panicked and

just knew that I didn't want to go home

to the US. Without any thought whatsoever

I shouted for him to open the

doors, jumped off, collected my bags

and watched the bus disappear into the

sunset, with snow falling all around me.

What about your visa?

My tourist visa was only for three

months but luckily Geneva is only a couple of

hours away. Every twelve weeks I

would nip across the border and get my

passport stamped on exit and re-entry.

Nice story - did you access the health

system or do you have private cover?

I had private health insurance for the

first couple of years until I finally joined

the system and received my Carte de

Sejour. This then allowed me to get my

Carte Vitale et voilà!

Have you been welcomed by your

neighbours?

The Savoyards were amazing and welcomed

me with open arms. I have loads

of friends here and am just so glad that I

jumped off that bus!

Kelly & Steve

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