Navigating a dream move to France with Adrian Leeds!

Navigating a dream move to France with Adrian Leeds!

Recently I had a fabulous catch up with Adrian Leeds in the Marais! She is a wealth of info about everything you need to know to move to France and a gorgeous soul as well!

Loulabelle's FrancoFiles episode 114 - click here to listen

Guest: Adrian Leeds

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When Adrian Leeds first visited France on a European trip with her not-yet-husband in 1979, she knew right then that Paris was a place that fed her soul.

Since that time over the last 28 years she has built a business that is devoted to assisting Anglophones from all over the world to turn their dreams of moving to France into a reality. The Adrian Leeds Group is now the go-to company for finding out all the details and pitfalls of navigating the complexities when wanting to purchase property and live in France. Adrian seems to have a special skill though which I think is essential, she sees the property in terms of its potential and what it can be, rather than what it is on first viewing. Adrian reminds her clients that they are buying what they can’t change. The view, the light, the bones of the building structure is fairly set, but the rest is smoke and mirrors! No need to despair if you don’t like the pink walls of a property you find! Adrian also has a team who will work to renovate for the client as well if that’s what they want or need. She will work with the client to ascertain what their plans are, whether they want to purchase or rent, assist to find an appropriate property and find the way forward. Some people start with “I’ve been dreaming of moving to France…” whereas others have very specific ideas already set. Adrian’s great at giving a reality check for people who wear rose coloured glasses! There are a couple of considerations she thinks are important:

  • Consider transport and how you will get to your property. Is it close to an international airport if not in Paris? There are four international airports in France, two in Paris, then Marseille and Nice. The fast train (TGV) also goes from Paris to many destinations. There are close and easy transport links from neighbouring countries like Belgium, Switzerland and Spain to some cities across the border in France.
  • Are you planning on being there full-time or a few months of the year?
  • Is city living or rural France your thing? This could be impacted by whether you want to own and operate a car.
  • Is your property close to healthcare? Once over the age of 50 this is often an important consideration!
  • How fluent are your French language skills really? Will you be able to make friends? Perhaps living near some expats will be of benefit?
  • If a château is on your wish list, is your capacity for DIY up to the task?

I was fascinated by Adrian’s observations about how different the various Anglophone cultures are in relation to their wishes for a French life. Interestingly her clients from the US and Australia are a little different to those from the UK. I often consider how those of us from colonised countries like the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have a different manner of viewing the world. The western way we live has not grown organically in our countries, rather it has been introduced. The fascination experienced when we are viewing a way of life that we recognise as similar to our own, but which has organically grown and become that way over thousands of years is exquisite to me. Like many of Adrian’s clients I crave experiencing that side of France. The UK has grown organically where it is, so the wish list for British clients can sometimes be a little different than for those wanting the move from a colonised country.

I have often heard from guests and listeners who have bought a place in France off the internet sight unseen! Adrian assists with this sort of situation regularly! Through COVID, Adrian had dozens of clients for whom she found properties, made a plan with the client, completed all the due diligence, then completed the renovation or restoration with her amazing teams in both Paris and Nice. I’m sure having her team working on the ground in France would have been great comfort to the client that what they saw on the internet was what they would actually get!

Adrian does caution against purchasing in France without a buyer’s agent. Buyer beware! The seller’s agent is only concerned about selling the property, not necessarily about the issues that could be associated with the property. I think if making a huge life decision such as buying property and moving to a foreign country, it only makes sense to get expert advice! There are a number of considerations for how to set up a purchase that will impact the manner in which the property can be passed on to future generations so this expert advice is in my opinion a fabulous investment!

Adrian’s links

Instagram – @adrianleedsgroup

Website –

Watch – House Hunters International


Adrian loves the freshness of the Mediterranean diet when she’s working down in Nice. Recently I had a beautiful fresh dorade (fish) when I was in Cannes which is exactly what Adrian recommended too! The following French recipe is similar to what can be found down in the south of France. Add or hold off on the beurre blanc as you like!

Filets de dorade au beurre blanc


I love a personal music recommendation and Adrian recommended two music artists she knows.

Asa – a Nigerian/French artist

Vinx – French artist from south of France

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