Toyah Willcox can easily be
said to have lived her life from her early
training as an actor, through the
anti-establishment image she had as a punk rocker
(an image from which she has now stepped away) to
TV presenting, writing, an appearance on Im
Get Me Out Of Here! and a slot
as a guest panelist on Loose Women. Toyah is
currently back on stage and touring a production
of the musical Vampires Rock.
In between appearances on stage, I managed to
catch up with Toyah to have a quick chat about
her overseas property ventures.
What is clear is that Toyah hasnt gone into
any of the property investments she has made in
the UK or overseas with her eyes closed. What
comes across is a sense of purpose in all of the
properties she has bought there appears to
be a clear plan of what the property is there
for, and why it has been added to her portfolio.
This is an approach which allows her to become
attached to the properties bought for herself,
and not to the investment properties.
For example, Toyah currently owns two properties
in the south-east of France one as an
investment intended for long-term lets, the other
purely for herself in the town of Menton. The
apartment in Eze was bought off-plan as an
investment, and is in a modern block of five
apartments. Until recently it had been rented out
by a local IT worker for a long period, and
provided a regular rental income she said.
The recent recession has resulted in many people
working in Frances IT and technology
sector, based in the technology park of Sophia
Antipolis, northwest of Antibes, being made
redundant, which has meant Toyahs long-term
tenant has had to move out.
The second French property Toyah owns is a much
more personal choice, and is located in the Cote dAzur town of
Menton. Known as being the warmest town in the
whole of France, Menton has its own microclimate
to keep temperatures up, but also is private
enough to allow Toyah the escape she needs.
I was looking for somewhere a little warmer
to buy a property, and my percussionist in the
band mentioned Menton. As soon as I went out
there, I felt I had found a town of like-minded
people. The lifestyle is superb, and much more
culturally-rich than people expect. Im
teetotal but can happily sit in a restaurant on
my own for the evening without any problems and
the town isnt a tourist destination for
most people so it doesnt get too full up
even in the summer. It is my escape, and I go out
there to write around four times a year in
fact Ive written a book and two albums on
the balcony of my apartment in Menton.
despite the enjoyment she has had from owning her
apartment in Menton, Toyah is considering selling
both of her properties on the Cote dAzur:
Im thinking about selling both
properties, and then buying one, bigger property
overseas she says, but wont be drawn
on where that new property might be. In any case,
it appears that both properties have performed
well as investments. On top of the rental income
received for the apartment in Eze, Toyah says
that both properties have increased significantly
in value since she bought them.
Im interested to find out how Toyah found
the infamous French bureaucracy during the
process of buying not one, but two properties.
I remember that it was an incredibly slow
process, and there was an awful lot of red tape
to sort out, but I was slightly removed from it
all. Luckily, I have a friend who is an estate
agent in the area, so I was able to pass much of
it off to a professional who could look after
things for me. I would say that it is important
to make sure you have someone you can trust who
is familiar with the local market and knows how
to get things done in that part of the world.
Also, I found it incredibly useful to make sure
my money was transferred using a specialist
currency exchange company I saved a
significant amount of cash through a great
With that kind of sound advice, its little
wonder that Toyah will be able to reap the
benefits of her sound investments.