as a holiday home | for the future | as a nest egg | to bequeath to your (grand)children?

Ever thought of a HAT relationship?

With these benefits…

  • a holiday home where you can go whenever it suits you, for as long or short a time as you like
  • easy access from anywhere in the world
    a caretaker living close to that house
  • the certainty that the house and garden will be well taken care of, even if you are not there for a while
  • an English speaking contact who can take care of everything for you
  • arriving in your house and being able to start relaxing immediately
  • fresh fruit and vegetables from your own vegetable garden in the summer, with no need for you to maintain it
  • a house of which you can decide to move there yourself when you are older
  • a house that will increase in value over the years
  • a valuable legacy for your children or grandchildren

…without these concerns…

  • all that goes with buying such a house
  • the French red tape
  • the thought of the house being empty for a long time
  • arriving after a long journey and needing to start airing, cleaning, mowing the lawn and other tasks that you don’t necessarily feel like doing
  • the smell of a long-term unused septic tank on arrival
  • the hassle of renting it out (to ever changing holidaymakers, for example)
  • rental income that, moreover, can be fiscally unfavourable for you
  • not being able to keep an eye on the house
  • having to arrange for cleaners, gardeners or repairmen from a distance. And in French.
  • the expenses for a caretaker

HAT relationship

Holidayhome Apart Together.
On-site caretaker. Permanent housesitter.
Co-paying plot mate.

But not under the same roof.

So how does that work?

Short and sweet: you buy a house in France and rent a part of it to me.

In particular: a house with an annexe, a gîte (there are plenty of those in the French countryside – see examples below). You set up the house as a pied-à-terre for yourself, and I live in the outbuilding.

I will take care of the upkeep of the grounds and my own house/annex, and keep an eye on your house. If so desired, I will make sure your house is clean before you arrive and that any maintenance work has been done. I will also handle any contacts with local authorities.

This way, you have a holiday spot in France that you share with a reliable co-occupant who has every interest in ensuring that it is well looked after.
Not only will you save money for a local caretaker, you can even count on a contribution towards the maintenance.

There are advantages and disadvantages to a HAT relationship, for both sides.
As befits good HAT partners, we can discuss these extensively. And make good arrangements.

My ideal house is in the French countryside, not too far from a village, but far away from crowds, maybe in a hameau. And there is enough land for a decent vegetable garden and some chickens (mmm, fresh eggs!), and for maximum privacy for both you and me.

Your potential HAT partner

Monique Cremer, vital 60-something living in France, who knows the tricks of the French trade and finds her way around.
I work part-time, from home, as a web editor / copywriter / translator ( you will find my website here), I have a big heart for nature, animals and the environment, and two right hands when it comes to regular maintenance of house and ( vegetable ) garden.

I am pretty much a loner and love peace and quiet. I prefer to keep the ‘cosy’ hustle and bustle of a city, a party or children playing at a distance. Hence my preference for a cottage in the quiet French countryside.

Privacy is very important to me and I will give my HAT partner all the peace and quiet he/she needs during his/her stay at ‘our’ French location. In return, I expect the same from my HAT partner.

‘Organiser’ is my middle name – I love minimalism, order and tidiness. That’s how my house and garden look as well: propre, as the French say.
I am also reliable and have a great sense of responsibility – no bad qualities for a gatekeeper.

Long story short: I am the ideal site sharing estate manager for your property.

Why don’t I buy a house in France myself? Simple: I do not qualify for a mortgage in this country.

And if I have to rent, why not from another France lover who would benefit from his/her French property being managed by someone who speaks their language and also contributes to the costs?

Is this a sensible investment?

  • Investing in real estate is an attractive option for people with a jar of money that does not yield interest or has a negative interest rate at the bank.
  • The purchase of property for (holiday) letting in Spain, Italy and France is considered a stable investment within the property sector.
  • For years, France has alternately ranked first or second in the list of popular holiday destinations for many Western Europeans, including the purchase of holiday homes.
  • In addition, with the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a trend for residents of French cities to buy a (second) house in the countryside, which makes the houses there increasingly popular and drives up their value.
  • There is still sufficient supply at reasonable prices.
  • Talking about prices: in terms of development of property prices, things are not as wild in France (in width) as they are currently in the Netherlands and many other countries. As of 2016, average house prices have risen by a little over 3% annually (flats a little more). The expectation for the near future is about 3.5% ( may vary per region).
  • To be on the safe side, take into account a conservative value development of your property of 1.75% per year for the longer term.
  • Should I leave at any time and you would not want to live there yourself, then you still have a well-maintained property that is worth a lot. For your heirs, too.


Of course. Below is a selection of houses for sale in the French countryside.

(Text and pictures are from the hand of the selling parties/brokers. Not all of these properties are currently for sale).

Converted farmhouse 150 m² €135,000

Entre Boussac et Montluçon – un ancien corps de ferme composé de deux logements rénovés sur 2175 m2 de terrain attenant. Le premier logement est composé d’une cuisine – salon – séjour – une chambre et une salle d’eau. Le second – une cuisine ouverte sur séjour – salle d’eau – deux chambres. Entre les deux logements – une grange à finir de rénover si besoin. Un garage à la suite et une dépendance ancien four à pain. La toiture est refaite – l’électricité aussi et l’assainissement est aux normes. Vue dégagée sur la campagne. Chauffage électrique au sol et cheminée feu de bois – Mentions légales : Proposé à la vente à 135000 Euros (honoraires à la charge du vendeur)

Two separate houses € 168,000

Two separate houses on a plot of 4700 m², ideal for family or friends.

The first house contains a nice spacious living room, a kitchen, two large bedrooms, a spacious bathroom and a cellar. On the first floor there is a huge attic with space for more rooms.

A large fireplace and electric radiators provide comfortable warmth.

The septic tank is up to standard, the electricity recently renewed.

The second house has a dining room, a living room, a kitchen, a separate toilet and a cellar. On the first floor 3 bedrooms and a shower.

Under the same roof a large barn and several old stables.

A nice object for a joint holiday and yet for everyone his privacy.

Dwelling house with old mill and outbuildings € 180,000

Belle maison avec ancien moulin située dans une belle nature.  Avec des écuries/bâtiments supplémentaires à rénover.

La maison elle-même peut être habitée.  Il y a une cuisine, un salon, 2 chambres, dans le grenier vous pouvez faire une 3ème chambre.

Dans le bâtiment adjacent, il y a une chambre supplémentaire.  Voici une entrée séparée.

La maison est située directement à côté d’une petite rivière.

(Note MC: Although the outbuildings are not yet ready for habitation, it gives a good impression of what is possible, for this money).

Idyllic detached tollhouse € 159,000

Entirely renovated in authentic French country style. Quiet situation outside the built-up area, no neighbours and beautiful view of the valley. Outside area: 2.8 hectares of (forest) land.

45 m² living room with open kitchen, oak floor and oak ceiling with beautiful old beams. Antique spiral staircase and fireplace from 1683. Two spacious bedrooms with beams and authentic elements.

Private forest with yurt for guests. Swimming pool and 3 terraces.

Two houses, land and outbuildings € 135,000

Characteristic house with an artist’s studio, two terraces (one covered) and a large barn at the foot of the Morvan.
The house is located on private property in a quiet hamlet.

The main house has on the ground floor a living room/kitchen with exposed beams, 2 bedrooms, bathroom with toilet. The attic is habitable.

The workshop is located in a second house. This is also ideal to convert into an independent gîte. Water and electricity available.

The area is wooded and has many lakes. A canal runs through the area. At 4 km you will find all amenities such as shops, health centre and garage. In a village nearby is a small marina. An ideal area for walking, cycling and swimming.


Triggered? Curious? Bunch of questions? Just want to exchange thoughts?

You can reach me at +31 654 207 555 or +33 637 209 366 for a call or a WhatsApp, or by email at We can also make an appointment to look each other in the eyes via Skype or Google Meet.