8 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD MOVE TO THE CHARENTE / DORDOGNE

The golden triangle to invest in, one hour drive from Bordeaux, between the Dordogne and the Atlantic Coast.

Why you should move to South-Charente, 8 times over. (in no particular order):

  1. 1)The climate, of course: 40% more hours of sunshine than in the U.K.. With a milder climate, not nearly as extreme as in the Provence.
  2. 2) Distance: The South within reach! At the very most, it will take you 1 day to get here.
  3. 3) Economic development: the LGV-project: an 8 billion euro investment! Since July 2017, to go from Paris to Bordeaux only takes a short two-hour ride by high speed train, Angoulême being the penultimate stop.
  4. 4) Low prices: your budget gets you a (much) bigger house! Building land prices are set at 10 €/m², low energy fees, etc.
  5. 5) A real sense of security: very low crime rates.
  6. 6) Climate change: ideal altitude. 80 to 180 meters above the sea level. So no worries there.
  7. 7) Higher life expectancy: Live 10 years longer in the South-West of France. We’re serious. Try “The French Paradox”.
  8. 8) Stargazing “à volonté”. No light pollution whatsoever. Enjoy those stars.

1– Come live in South-Charente / Dordogne… for the climate

Due to the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the climate over here is milder than in the Ardèche or in Lubéron. It can also get really hot here in the Summer, but ventilating the house at strategic hours usually more than does the trick. You don’t have to go hiding in a room with air- conditioning.
Depending on the season, the average temperatures are 5 to 10 degrees higher than in the U.K. 40% more hours of sunshine than in the U.K.

*Statistics 1999 – 2019:
London: 1.410 hours of sun / year
Manchester: 1.416 hours of sun / year
Dublin, Ireland: 1.424 hours of sun / year
Glasgow: 1.203 hours of sun / year
Montmoreau (South-Charente): 1.955 hours of sun / year
This means that, in one year, we enjoy at least 80 days or almost 3 full months of extra sun! (With 7 hours of sun a day in average)

*Carte d’ensoleillement:
This is a term used by the French government to determine the amount of energy generated by solar panels throughout the area. The guaranteed amount generated in South-Charente is equal to the energy generated in the Rhone Valley (which is 30% more than what is generated in the North of France).

2– The perfect distance

The South is within reach thanks to France’s excellent infrastructure.

By car: 900km:
Go via Rouen or around Paris and follow the A10 to Bordeaux until Poitiers, take the exit at Angoulême and then follow Libourne.
Almost the entire trip can be done on the motorway (130km/h) or 2×2 voie rapide (110km/h).
The trip is easily done in about 10 hours

By Train: TGV:
From Lille straight to Angoulême in just 4 hours!
From Paris to Angoulême: 2 hours
If you book early enough you can find tickets at 40 € or less.

By Plane: From the UK:
Flights to Bordeaux-Mérignac – BOD from:
London City – LCY (11km from London)
Stansted – STN (64km from London) – Ryanair: 9,90€
Gatwick – LGW (53km from London)
Luton – LTN (64km from London)
Other flights possible from Bristol, Birmingham or Dublin (Ireland)
Flights to Mérignac (Bordeaux) or Bergerac: 1h30′ from 10 € onwards

3– Charente’s Economic Development 

8 billion euros (8.000.000.000 €) has been invested in a new train track from Tours to Bordeaux, for high-speed trains (LGV)

This means that it takes barely 2 hours to go from Paris to Bordeaux. All cities and areas near this new train track are experiencing an economic “boom”. Angoulême is now only 35 minutes away from Bordeaux and 1h35′ from Paris and is developing into an interesting economic (i.e. cheaper) expansion of the Bordeaux metropole (1 million inhabitants estimated by 2030).

4– Prices 

Get more for your money!

After a substantial price decrease following the financial crisis:
Figures 2020:
Charente: 1.146 €/m²
Dordogne: 1.288 €/m²
Charente-Maritime: 2.318 €/m²

Gironde: 2.950 €/m²
Bordeaux: 4.673 €/m²

A “Golden triangle”, the South-Charente, emerges and its real estate prices are increasing by the dynamic imposed by its neighbouring regions.

Lower energy fees: a very efficient electric grid, and thus cheaper.

5– Sécurity 

Barely any crime : low crime rates.
It is still possible to leave behind your car unlocked here. Doors and windows are usually only closed over long absences.

6– Climate Change 

Location, location, location: not too high, not too low.
Altitude: 80 to 180 meters above the sea level.
Even with global warming and the sea level rising, the Charente is safe until the 23rd Century at least!

7– Longer life expectancy 

People in the Charente tend to live longer. In fact, the longer people live here, the longer they live. The life expectancy in the South-West of France is 10 years higher on average than in the North-East of France.

This is due to:

The French paradox:
« The so called contradiction between the eating habits of South-West France locals and their health. Despite their diet of foie gras and confit de canard, drinking Bordeaux wine, Cognac, Pineau de Charentes, etc. people here live longer than average.

There are several explanations for this French paradox:

  • - Good cholesterol in the poultry used in local dishes.
  • – A milder climate:better air ventilation of the workplace and home during the entire year. Warmer temperatures reduce the risk of heart attacks. Only 80 out of 100.000 people get a heart attack versus twice as many in the rest of France and four times as many in the US!
  • – A sense of freedom and space.
  • – Excellent healthcare.
  • – The Charentais way of life: our “savoir vivre”: NO STRESS

“Demain” or “la semaine prochaine” are the most commonly used expressions in the Charente. After all, it is definitely not a coincidence that the symbol of the Charente is a snail (La Cagouille).

8– Stargazing “à volonté”

The air quality: barely any industry, factories, etc. as well as very little traffic (traffic jams are rare phenomena around here!) so very little fine dust particles. No air and/or light pollution whatsoever. Enjoy those stars!