At Home In Paris

This is how you can have your own home in Paris. Photos by Karen Segal.

At Home In Paris

Parler Paris–your daily taste of life in Paris and France

Friday, August 29, 2003
Paris, France

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Yes, that’s really my front door (for those of you who can see the photo and for those of you who can’t, just use your imagination!). And yes, that’s the entrance to the courtyard that once hosted horses and carriages. As you can see, the lanterns from the turn of the century are still there at every door, but it was built in the 17th-century and at one time the courtyard led to a garden and the house was surrounded by countryside, much like a home in suburbia of the U.S. is today. And yes, that’s really my staircase…all 70 steps to the 3rd floor (4th U.S.).

Finding your dream Pied-à-Terre can be one of the most difficult things you do in your lifetime…visit dozens of agencies, read the For Sale by Owner ads, order up property searches, etc…Or it could be one of the simplest…if it should happen to just fall in your lap. That’s what’s happened to me — when my landlord offered me the apartment I had been renting.

But, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I didn’t know how to begin to find a mortgage. I didn’t know that France had strict inheritance laws that would supersede my own will. I didn’t know a Notaire that spoke English and not charge me for it. I didn’t know if the price offered me was fair or not or if this part of Paris was worthwhile owning it. I was absolutely clueless.

Little by little, with the help of professionals and friends, these questions were answered. I even took a trip to talk to my bank, accountant and attorney in the U.S. to see if they could help my get a mortgage! What a waste of time and money I later learned…since the mortgage was right here waiting for me all the time. The whole process to make the apartment my own took nine months (like giving birth to a child!) and the learning process was often expensive and painful.

I’m telling you all this, because this has become my beat. I have been researching and reporting on the Paris and French property scenes now for years — the advantages…and the pitfalls…every topic relevant to renting, buying, owning and selling property in this country. And now, we want to help you who have the same glimmer of a dream as I did — to own your own pied-à-terre in the heart of Paris (you know how I feel about Le Marais!) or farmhouse in Provence where you can spend your entire summer basking in the sun (just wait till you smell the fields of lavender!), or a village house in a tiny town in Bretagne with fewer than 500 families (have you read Jeffrey Greene’s story about his Presbytery in “French Spirits?”)?

That’s why IL chose me to lead our French Property Insider electronic magazine (“e-zine”). Every Thursday I bring you detailed and in-depth articles on the things you need to know to make your property rental or purchase in France successful…with special articles on neighborhoods in Paris, the Ile de France, indeed all 22 regions of France. Plus, there are special reports and money-saving benefits you get just for being a reader. I’ve scoured the Net for something else like it, and there just isn’t.

If you want to learn more, click here

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. For those of you who have particular questions, we’re taking appointments for personal one-on-one consultations. You can learn more about private consultations by visiting the French Property Insider site


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