Bathtub Blues and Stairwell Shock

Bathtub Blues and Stairwell Shock


The Beaumarais — Newest Luxury Apartment

French Property Insider

December 4, 2008
Paris, France

Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

Today’s FPI is a grab bag of news and information.

Be sure to read the update on "Le Palace des Vosges," our finest Fractional
Ownership property currently available with 13 shares of four weeks per year.
We’re working hard to have it ready for occupancy next year — in as palatial a
quality, style and comfort as is possible.

The week has been filled with personal renovation trials and tribulations, two
of which are recounted in today’s issue — the shock of a new color in my 17th-
century stairwell and the discovery of a hole in my brand new bathtub! You will
get a laugh, but I’m crying my heart out. Oh, woe is me!

We have a new rental apartment to add to our line-up at Parler Paris Apartments
plus two others that should be launched prior to year end. All of the apartments
are owned by people like you who came here to invest in something that would
generate revenues and provide a great place to stay while visiting Paris. If
this is what you’re thinking of doing, then take a good look…not only is it
doable, but very viable, too!

There are several articles today of note regarding the current property market.
There is flux as a result of the current economic crisis that could and should
affect your decision-making regarding your French property investments. You will
definitely want to see what our associate publications have to say.

And, we are pleased to announce our next Living and Investing in France Real
Estate Conference this coming March 21-22 in New Orleans, Louisiana, my home
town, affectionately called "The Big Easy." Details are soon to follow, but for
more information, contact Schuyler Hoffman as per the links below.

Enjoy today’s Hot Properties, the most recent Leaseback Property for sale and
the results from recent Notaires’ auction.

A bientt!

Adrian Leeds
Adrian LeedsEditor, French Property Insider

P.S. The Free Consultation Offer still stands! As a small token of our appreciation for you as readers and friends…during this holiday season…we offer you a ONE-HOUR FREE CONSULTATION by phone or in person between now and December 31, 2008. Simply schedule it any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Paris time (except holidays) by emailing:   

Volume VI, Issue 49, December 4, 2008

In this issue:

* Palace des Vosges, the Deal Gets Better
* Renovations Can Be Frustrating
* Breaking News: Dates Set for Next LIF Conference
* A Resuce Package for the French Property Industry
* Parler Paris Apartments Expands Luxury Listings
* Why You Should Invest in French Property
* Fractional Ownership Offerings
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Hot Property Picks: Paris Paris Paris
* How the Auction Properties Fared
* Hot New Leaseback: STUDEA GRANDE ARCHE
* French Property Mortgage Assistance
* Parler Paris Apartments — Book Your Home for the Holidays!
* Parler Paris Aprs-Midi: When We Meet Next
* Managing Your FPI Subscription

An Update on Le Palace des Voges
By Adrian Leeds

December 3, 2008

I thought I would take this opportunity to give you an update on the progress of Le Palace des Vosges.

The signing of the "Acte de Vente" was originally scheduled for December 19, 2008, however, we have asked for a delayed closing in order to have the documentation for the SCI complete and for other tax advantage reasons, until January 2009. The delay should not affect our projected occupancy date of May 2, 2009.

A "Socit Civilie Immobilire" is the French property holding company
which acts as the official ‘owner’ of the property. It has two members
consisting of Home Owners Associations (HOA’s). These HOA’s will be made up of the 13 shareholders. This is how the legal structure will work, as with most co-ownership properties.

The final changes are currently being made to the Owners Operating Agreement — the Bylaws under which the shareholders will manage this very special property. Once this document (about 50 pages!) is complete, we will make it available to all potential purchasers for their review and approval. We are working with two law firms, John Howell & Co, London, and Andrew Sirkin, a U.S./French specialist of co-ownership law, so we are confident it will be well received.

A representative from The Architectes des Btiments de France came to make suggestions for changing the windows and doors that would be in keeping with the esthetics of such a historic monument. We will require their approval to make any changes to the external building. Designs for "atelier" style windows which resemble the windows and entries on the other buildings on the courtyard are being submitted for their review. This will make a big improvement to the beauty of the 400 year-old courtyard!

Friday we are meeting with our Architects, Martine di Matteo and Derek Bush, to review the floor plans. As soon as we finalize the drawings, we’ll be able to post them on the site for review. The plans will include a large gourmet open kitchen with laundry facility, powder room, plenty of closets and cabinetry, luxurious bathrooms (one with tub/shower and the other with an easy step-in shower) and air conditioning in both bedrooms.

Not long ago, we met with flooring and building specialists who hope to be able
to uncover ancient beams in the ceilings throughout the apartment that will
enhance the decor and provide additional height to the ceilings! The stone floor
will be replaced with a higher quality classic chateau-like stone floor, on
which carpets will be added for warmth and comfort.

Martine has been gathering design ideas for an elegant and palatial feeling, without sacrificing convenience and comfort. She is the master of luxurious fabrics and colors, that tell a very unique and unified "story." Le Palace des Vosges will make anyone who enters its doors feel like royalty…the royalty who once made their mark in this very spot, hundreds of years ago. If they could see it now…they would be very jealous indeed!

Since we launched Le Palace des Vosges in September, the U.S. dollar to euro rate of exchange has made a big difference to the price of the shares. On September 23rd, when we signed the "Promesse de Vente," the rate was $1.47 to the euro. Today the rate is $1.26 to the euro. This means that the shares are $27,279 LESS expensive than they were two months ago!

If you believe you will be purchasing one or more shares, then this could be an ideal time to transfer your funds. You can "buy forward," locking in this low rate by using Moneycorp Currency Specialists. To contact them and make the transfer, visit our Web site at

Some of the lowest priced shares are still available, but we don’t expect them to last long. If you don’t want to take the chance of losing your opportunity, 15,000 euro deposit will hold your share and the weeks you choose to take.

I will continue to keep you posted on the progress of Le Palace des Vosges. If you’d like to be included on our special mailing list or you’re ready to make your commitment, do not hesitate to contact Mary Ellen Gallagher at

Bathtubs, Stairwells and Renovation Woes
By Adrian Leeds


Last March I returned to Paris from a trip to the U.S. in the midst of the renovation of my Marais apartment, only to discover that what I thought installed in the new bathroom was a bigger, better bathtub, was in reality, a smaller, worse bathtub. You may recall my shock and dismay from an article I wrote in Parler Paris titled "Dreaming (or Drowning?) in a Paris Bathtub," March 3, 2008 (

It happened through no fault of anyone in particular. The space was tight. My designer, Martine di Matteo, found only one which would fit the space. I approved the ordering of it and while I was gone, it arrived and it was installed, the tiling placed around it and the cabinetry built in next to it. Little did we know that the new contemporary shaping of the tub reduced the length by quite a bit from the previous old, less angled version. Without anyone thinking it strange, it was installed just as it should be…and then I took one look and had a virtual "cardiac arrest."

The episode embarrassed Martine to no end and after much discussion about tearing it all out and starting over to the tune of many thousands of extra euros, we gave up the idea and I got used to smaller tub…unhappily.

When the renovation was complete and I moved back in, I took my first bath in the new tub and discovered a drop of caulking material was s

tuck to the bottom of the tub. I peel
ed it off to find a small spot — what looked like a nick in the enamel. Again, unhappily, I surmised that a worker had damaged it, repaired it without telling anyone of his folly and hoped I’d never notice.

For months I have lived with the nick…until last week, when the bathroom floor flooded. After close inspection, the nick was no nick at all…but a full fledged hole that was now allowing a stream of water running out and under the tub onto the floor and lord knows, into the ceiling of my neighbor below!

The real fun begins. Can the manufacturer fix the hole so that the tub looks like new? Or will it look like just a bad patch-job? And if it can’t be repaired, what will it take to replace the tub? Must the entire bathroom be totally unassembled and then reconstructed? And if so, who is going to pay for it? And on top of all that, where will I stay while the work is being done?

The answers to these questions are yet to be determined, but for now, I’m taking no baths at all…only showers. Woe is me.


Yesterday, I had heard knocking at my door from time to time, as painters have been here for several months renovating the 17th-century stairwell, long overdue for a face lift. The assessment for the works was in excess of 6,000 for my share alone, but I didn’t mind, since the condition of the stairwell was particularly disagreeable for as long as I can remember.

The walls were covered in a linen-like paper to disguise all the cracks and make the walls more durable and long lasting. Then the walls were painted a bright white, quite different from the previous creamy color. It seemed a bit stark, but at least clean and bright. The classic burgundy red on the doors and trim were last to see fresh paint.

Last night after a full day working at the computer I exited my apartment into the alcove leading to the stairwell, and again, experienced a mild "cardiac arrest." The doors were no longer that lovely deep red, but instead, "greyge" — a cross between a grey and a beige, looking like milk added to a bad brand of coffee. It could possibly be the ugliest color I have ever seen in my life! This was not MY hallway!

I stood there and literally cried. Then, I asked the painters if it were an "undercoat," to which they replied, "No, that’s the color." I banged on my neighbor’s door who was in charge of the renovation. She explained that a meeting had taken place in July during which the color had been voted on and all the stairwells now had this putrid shade on all the doors and banisters. Well, "I wasn’t invited," I exclaimed! And it seems there is nothing I can do about it now.

This is Paris "coproprit" living. Woe is me…
Adrian Leeds
I’ve decided to paint the molding on the door another color to at least give it some style. It’s not "legal" to do that, but I’m going to take my chances, considering the door is in an alcove that only I and my guests see!


Go March-ing Into the Big Easy!
By Adrian Leeds

Mark your calendars and start searching for great airfares to come to the "Big Easy" (New Orleans) for the 23rd Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference March 21-22, 2009!

Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference March 21-22, 2009 New Orleans, Louisiana

If you’ve always dreamed of spending more time in France, enjoying a "pied–terre" of your own in Paris that you can profitably rent when you like, or just make a smart investment in the strong Euro by owning property in France…then this power-packed conference is a MUST. There is no doubt, from the hundreds of others who have attended conferences of this kind and fulfilled their dreams…this weekend in Paris will point you in the right direction to really make it happen!

There is nothing else you can do in less time and as inexpensively to learn all you need to learn to make your dream to live and invest in France come true. Take advantage of this two-day power-packed conference with expert speakers from France, Europe and the U.S…

Details of the conference will be announced shortly! To reserve your place, email Schuyler Hoffman at

Sarkozy Announces Rescue Package for French Property Industry

From PropertyWire

The French government is preparing an economic support plan to rescue the country’s real estate industry from crisis.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said he planned to introduce interest-free loans to finance energy-saving improvements to homes and that the government would buy up to 30,000 new homes to support the construction industry.

Sarkozy said that the government would also raise the threshold of
income that would allow home-buyers to qualify for state
guarantees for their mortgages. The aim is to have 60% of people taking out mortgages eligible for the guarantees compared with 30% currently.

"This will avoid excluding households with modest income from the property ladder," he said.

However, Sarkozy warned that house prices must become ‘attractive’ for the real- estate market to recover and that a situation where property prices have soared well above pay levels is unsustainable.

"A sector in which prices have doubled in 10 years is a sector that was preparing a crisis for itself," Sarkozy said. "When there’s a total disconnection between the evolution of buyers’ revenues and property prices, we were preparing for ourselves a latent crisis," he added.

Part of the plan means that from 2009 France will offer homeowners zero-interest loans of up to 30,000, a measure that will help the construction sector, while boosting energy efficiency. The part of the rescue package to buy up to 30,000 new homes is aimed at the construction sector to keep people at work. Sarkozy said it not intended to sustain high real-estate prices in France and he stressed that the government would only buy at reasonable prices.

The president also said that he supports broader home ownership in France. The full details of the rescue package will be announced on December 4.

Le Beau Marais and Two On the Way…
By Adrian Leeds

Within the next week or two, you’ll see three more luxury rental apartments advertised on Parler Paris Apartments ( All three apartments are owned by people who set out to make an investment that will generate a revenue and provide a home-away-from-home when visiting Paris. In all three cases, the French Property Consultation team arranged the mortgages, found the properties, managed the purchases, organized the renovations, prepared them for rental and will be advertising, booking and managing the rentals.

"Le Beau Marais" is the first one that will be up and running on the Web site. It’s a large studio apartment in the "Haut Marais" near rue du Temple on a tiny dead-end street on the 3rd floor. It started out as a small one bedroom, but the owners, living in New York and both working for New York Universities, chose to open the space, but arrange it in such a way that it could still comfortably sleep four by virtue of a drape to separate the living room with a sleeper sofa from the bedroom.

Martine di Matteo did the renovation and design work. Using a palette of purples, blacks, whites and grays, she turned the once personality space into pure heaven. Contemporary elements mix beautifully with old-world details and accessories…from the "Toile de Jouy" draperies, to the crystal chandelier, to the white leather sofa, to the gilded wall sconces. The bath and kitchen are compact, but luxurious and totally contemporary. The apartment is fully equipped with all the necessary appliances, including a washer/dryer combination.

This gorgeous short-term vacation rental apartment, "Le Beau Marais," is ready for rental NOW, but not yet advertised on the Web site. For more information, contact John Rule at and stay tuned for our announcement when it’s accessible via Parler Paris Apartments (

To Buy or Not to Buy
By Suzanna Chamber

From France Today
Originally published in November 2008

It’s hard to escape the staggering events that continue to unfold in financial markets across the globe. As yet another leading bank falls by the wayside, felled by toxic credit from America’s sub-prime fiasco, the world watches with bated breath as the U.S. government tries to thrash out a plan to save the country from a grave and unprecedented recession.

No news bulletin or morning newspaper is without a stream of economic pundits warning that rising inflation is about to get even higher, that student loans will soon be almost impossible to obtain and that the cost of living will become yet more expensive in the coming months.

The cause of the global financial meltdown lies with the sub-prime market, which saw banks consistently lending money to people with poor or no credit history. When interest rates began to rise in 2005 and 2006, homeowners began to default on sub-prime mortgages, leading banks to literally run out of money.

And as the money ran dry, so did the available credit that had previously helped more solvent buyers to invest in property. As the housing markets began to falter, prices started to fall, and it’s the housing markets that continue to destabilize the world’s financial institutions, especially in the U.S., where sales of new homes plunged in August at the fastest rate since modern records began. Repossessions have also increased to an unprecedented level.

There seems, however, to be one exception to the rule: France. And for Americans with ready cash to splash out on a home under the European sun, there has never been a better time to buy…

Editor’s Note: To read the full article, please visit:


Fractional Property Offerings from French Property Fractional

If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, see below:


Paris: La Rsidence Luxembourg


Place des Vosges


Le Petit Tresor Paris: LE PETIT TRESOR
Chez la Tour Paris: CHEZ LA TOUR
Maison Bleue Languedoc-Roussillon: MAISON BLEUE
Chateau Living Meaux: CHTEAU LIVING FRANCE



MoneycorpVisit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel or click here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp Global Money Services: Moneycorp Currency Conversion Tool for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.

Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting:

Charts: The charts are updated every ten seconds.

The prices shown are "inter bank" exchange rates and are not the rates that you will be offered by Moneycorp. Your rate will be determined by the amount of currency that you are buying. Please speak with an Moneycorp dealer or your consultant for a live quotation.

HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Paris Paris Paris!

Each week French Property Insider features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various regions of France and districts of Paris.

As we are not a real estate agency. These properties do not constitute a sales listing. Fo

r those readers
seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France, you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit



***Paris, Latin Quarter (5th): 2-bedroom, approx. 37.4m

Centrally located just a few steps from Pantheon. Immediate proximity from Parisian cafes, restaurants , common transportations. Investment property for sale in a beautiful Haussmanian freestone building. Rental income guaranteed.

Asking Price: 320 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



***Paris, North Boulogne: 2-bedroom approx. 53m

Typical Parisian property in the so demanded North part of Boulogne. Just several metro stations from Place de l’Etoile and Champs Elysees. 4th floor , elevator. Will be delivered fully refurbished.

Asking Price: 405 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

Barge***Paris, 9th arron.: 1-bedroom, approx. 50m

In a Haussmannian buildind, superb apartment presented in mint condition. Two steps from Trinit d’Estienne d’Orves, a few minutes from famous Galeries Lafayettes. Located at the third floor with elevator of a beautiful stone building, one bedroom apartment comprising an entrance, a large living room, balconies with south exposure, US kitchen, a bathroom, water closet.

Asking Price: 500 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

Paris, Center: 2-bedroom, approx. 54m

Nestled in the most central part of Paris, this tastefully renovated flat is the typical dream Pied a Terre: Gorgeous Limestone Haussmanian building, great views over Paris and a tree planted avenue, prestige address, large balcony, period hardwood floor, mouldings and fireplace. This perfectly layed out apartment has 2 bedrooms, large living area, bathroom with tub, separate toilet, a semi open kitchen, and a convenient and sound underground cellar. Located just a few steps away from the Marais and Pompidou centre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Seine quays, Louvre Museum and Royal Palace, Paris City Hall. You will also enjoy the multitude of boutiques and the main shopping street of Paris: Rue de Rivoli. Located 2 minutes on foot from the main transport link of Paris (5 metro lines, 3 suburb trains and many bus routes). This is a little haven in the centre of Paris, awaiting your moving date!

Asking Price: 457 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

Results for the Latest Notaires’ Auction

French auctionWhile you may not be interested in this method of buying property in Paris, it is still instructive to take a look at what the opening bids were and what properties actually sold for to get an idea of what the market is doing.

Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchres des Notaires can be found on the Web site at Though the site has a button for an English version, it isn’t necessarily reliable.

To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:
An Alternative Way to Buy Property in Paris 

Notaires de Paris
Place du Chtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Paris 1st

December 2, 2008
Beginning at 2:00 p.m. the following properties were auctioned off:


3/4 Rooms 87m
121 rue de Turenne
75003 PARIS 3eme
Starting Bid: 577 500,00
Sold For: 577 500,00



French auction
2 Rooms 42,30m
127/127bis rue du Ranelagh
75016 – PARIS 16eme
Starting Bid: 220 000,00
Solds For: 240 000,00



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4 Rooms 64,4m
5 rue Csar Frank
75015 PARIS 15eme
Starting Bid: 562 500,00
Sold For: 740 000,00




3 Rooms 63,7m
40 boulevard Exelmans
75016 PARIS 15eme
Starting Bid: 287 000,00
Sold for: 355 000,00



**Next Auction December 16, 2008**

French auction

Chateau 600m
8 rue de la Bergerie
Lieudit Le Village
89300 LOOZE
Starting Bid: 76 225,00
Deposit: 15 200,00


Editor’s Note: Full list of properites and details for the next auction at


French leaseback

France, Paris, Courbevoie


Studio 25m 100,000


Located in the heart of the largest (and highest) business area in Paris, also known as the 21st arrondissement and directly linked to Paris via the Metro and RER. Many large international companies have their head offices here. La Dfense is the prime high-rise office district of Paris where the tallest buildings in the city can be found. Located beyond the central arrondissements of Paris and the last Parisian loop of the River Seine, La Dfense borders the wealthy suburb of Neuilly sur Seine, West of the city itself. This area offers excellent access to the Residence: Access / Metro line 1 (Esplanade de la Defense station), RER line A (La Defense station) 5 mn from the residence – links with Gare de Lyon and Gare Saint- Lazare. Allow 45 minutes from Roissy CDG Airport, and 1 hour from Orly International Airport.

Key Investment Points:
– Rare Leaseback resale: quick and easy property purchase
– Immediate rental income paid directly to you!
– Excellent location in Paris’s business district
– Excellent capital value
– Reputable management company backing the project


French Propety LoanWhen you make a purchase as important as a piece of real estate in a foreign country, you want to know that you can trust the people you are dealing with. Adrian Leeds has developed a network of professionals that meet only the highest of standards. With the expertise and experience of Adrian and her team, you can depend on getting the best advice and support to feel completely confident that you are making an informed investment decision.

Let us help you secure a mortgage in France at a competitive interest rate. Visit for more information or contact


1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet

1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres

For more conversions, refer to:

Email: >

Parler Paris ApartmentsWelcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the "seal of approval" from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.

RESERVE NOW FOR THE HOLIDAYS…Check our holiday availabilities…

* Le Provenal Studio: Available 2 weeks before Christmas only
* Le Pinot Noir 1-Bedroom: Available December 23-30
* Le Dco 1-Bedroom: Available December 2-6 and 12-17
* L’Aubergine 1-Bedroom: Available December 2-5 and from December 13 through January
* Le Balcon Plant 1-Bedroom: Available December 2-9, 15-18, from December 29-January 7
* La Rose du Marais 2-Bedroom: Available December 6-30
* La Bonne Nobel 2-Bedroom: Available from December 3
* Le Penthouse Voltaire 3-Bedroom: Available December 2-13, 18-24



Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!

Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.

Reserve now! Visit Http://  or email:

Parler Paris Aprs Midi

Parler Paris Apres Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…

The next gathering is Dcember 9, 2008 and every second Tuesday of the month.



Managing Your French Property Insider Subscription is Easy!

French Property InsiderWe receive many emails from French Property Insider Subscribers who want to change their email address, or update personal information. But did you know that you can make these changes yourself?

It’s easy…

1. Go to

2. Click on "Manage Subscription." You’ll find it under the "Subscribers Only" section in the sidebar.

3. Enter your username and password.

4. On the Welcome Page, go to "Manage Your Account" and click on "Change Password/Edit Profile"

5. Once you’ve made the changes, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "Save Profile."


Of course, we’re always happy to help, so if you do need assistance, send an email to


To access password protected pages: click on any of the links on the left panel of the home page of under "Subscriber’s Only," then type in your personal username and password.

Past issues of FPI are available on the website. You will find the
"Past Issues" link on the left under "Subscribers Only" or by going to

To receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property
Report, click on

We wanted better guides,
So we wrote them!

insider paris guidesInsider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…and the newest guide, Practical Paris!

French Property Insider subscribers receive a discount of 10% off any guide and up to 25% off the entire purchase (if two or more guides are purchased at the same time). Here’s how it works:

1. Click on special Web link we give you just for FPI subscribers.

2. Then order one or more guide(s) and use the promotion
code "ED762." This promotion code gives you 10% off your total

3. If you order two or more guides, then an additional 15% will be
taken off automatically. There is no promotion code needed.

Here is the special "coupon" Web link just for you:


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