Breaking the Da Vinci Code

Breaking the Da Vinci Code

Le Louvre
Photo by Erica Simone

(FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)

French Property Insider

May 4 , 2006
Paris, France
http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider

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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

The month of May is laden with holidays. Monday we celebrated Labor Day and this coming Monday marks the end of World War II. Long weekends and beautiful weather has everyone out on the streets and at the outdoor cafés enjoying the Spring.

Everyone is also talking about the new film "The Da Vinci Code," especially the Maison de la France and the Paris Office de Tourisme. It was filmed here last year and takes you on an excursion through many of your favorite haunts in Paris and other parts of France. Maison de la France has teamed up with VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Sony Pictures and Eurostar to offer the chance to win a unique Codebreaker prize package, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s last home is now a shrine to the brilliance and invention of this Renaissance genius. The Château du Clos Lucé and its grounds, bring together the art and multi-faceted visions of the great Tuscan creative genius. Visitors may stroll through this medieval think-tank and explore the world of Leonardo. In honor of this beautiful château in the Loire Valley, we bring you properties of a similar kind to keep you dreaming.

Scroll down to read all about it and visit http://www.visitdavincicode.com for more information.

In today’s issue, Jean Taquet’s May Q’s and A’s take the lead on two issues: immigration and property purchasing. It’s a great read and full of valuable information. On a financial note, be sure to read how new and more flexible financing is available thanks to today’s competitive market. On an opportunity note…now may be your time to become the owner of a vineyard in France! Be sure to read on and see the sample properties for sale that fit the bill.

Special notes…we welcome Ruth Mastron, co-author of "Au Contraire: Figuring Out the French" and Vice-President of SoCoCo Intercultural to the Living and Investing in France Round Table in New Orleans May 27th where she will be the Special Guest Speaker over Dinner at Tujague’s. And we also welcome GE MoneyBank’s Client Managers Philippe Vasseur and Meadda Ang who will be present at the Round Table to provide you with specific information on how to get a mortgage!

To learn more or to register, scroll down to learn more or visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/liveinfrance/LIF_NOLA_2006/LIF_NOLA_home.html (Only a few weeks left to register — and dinner is open to everyone!)

A bientôt…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: Adrian@AdrianLeeds.com

P.S. Don’t forget to come Tuesday, May 9th to Parler Paris Après Midi to meet with me and the other readers and friends. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information. See you there!

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Volume IV, Issue 18, May 4, 2006

In this issue:

* On the Trail of the Da Vinci Code
* Practical Answers for Immigrating to France and Buying a "Complete" Apartment
* Flexible Financing Makes Borrowing Easier
* Getting a Mortgage is Doable in France
* Price of French Vineyards Falling
* An Afternoon with Adrian and Dinner with Ruth Mastron in New Orleans, May 27, 2006
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: May 9, 2006
* Hot Property Picks: Dreaming of Châteaux and Vineyards…
* Leasebacks: Domaine des Oyats, France, Atlantic Coast, Longeville sur Mer
* On the Auction Block: May 16, 2006
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments

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Paris at the Heart of The Da Vinci Code
From Maison de la France

On the trail of The Da Vinci Code, the reader-turned-visitor can explore at leisure the principal locations in which the story is set. The wealth of intrigue opens up new horizons, where all of a sudden fiction becomes reality.

In 2005, 26 million tourists visited Paris. A record number that confirms the French capital as a leading destination for lovers of culture,
history, romanticism…
and mystery! There is no shortage of ways to add spice to these visits and since the publication of The Da Vinci Code, fans of Dan Brown’s book are discovering a whole new take on the City of Light, one of esoterism, art history and unsolved enigmas. The heroes of the novel — and soon the film — are at large in Paris, and the French capital, central to the plot, is revealed in all its beauty and also its mystery. It is an ideal setting and Paris plays its very own role in the story.

On location!

The Louvre Museum – The story’s opening crime takes place in the Grand Gallery. Jacques Saunière, curator at the Louvre, is found murdered in the vicinity of the greatest masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance. Later, the protagonists meet beneath the inverted Pyramid. – http://www.louvre.fr

Rue de Rivoli – When Langdon and young Sophie Neveu escape from the Louvre, their wild car chase takes them down the famous street that runs alongside the Louvre and the Tuileries gardens and into Place de la Concorde.

Champs-Elysées – The pursuit continues on to the Champs-Elysées, in the manner of a perfect sightseeing tour of the city.

The Ritz – Professor Robert Langdon stays at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. The prestigious hotel, host to the stars, stands proudly in the Place Vendôme, like another gem in the jewelery district.
15 place Vendôme – http://www.ritzparis.com

Saint-Sulpice – Silas, the Opus Dei monk in the story, goes to Saint-Sulpice church to find the keystone, supposed map leading to the treasure of the Templars. – place Saint-Sulpice

Seine river banks – Leaving the city and heading for the Château de Villette, the characters travel along the banks of the Seine.

The Paris Meridian – This imaginary line can be discovered through Langdon’s comments when he talks about the meridian, once used to determine geographical coordinates, visible today thanks to the 135 bronze medallions outlining its route through Paris.

Da Vinci Code experts lead the way

Paris has gone crazy for The Da Vinci Code! Visitors are keen to follow in the path of the narrative and explore the city from this novelistic angle, where fiction flirts with reality. Step by step, travelling along the same streets of the French capital as the two main characters, the investigation is brought to life and the guides’ knowledgeable explanations add a new dimension to the details gleaned from the reading of the novel. Continue the adventure with a list of agencies offering these activities:

Les Balades de Magalie – 14 rue Portefoin. http://www.lesbaladesdemagalie.com
City Walks of Paris – 24 rue Edgar Faure.
Paris Vision Plus – 214 rue de Rivoli. http://www.parisvision.com

Maintaining the mystery in Paris

Arago and the Paris meridian – In Dan Brown’s book, we simply hear about the Paris meridian in a conversation between characters. However, this meridian, accurately recalculated by François Arago in the 19th century, was once used to determine geographical coordinates before Greenwich was established and has a fascinating history. The Dutch artist Jan Dibbets was commissioned to create a discreet monument along this imaginary line throughout Paris. Taking the form of an open itinerary through the city, it consists of 135 bronze medallions, each 12 cm in diameter, set into the ground along the route. Information and location of the medallions on http://www.amb-pays-bas.fr/fr/ambassade/pcz/arago.htm

The Knights Templar in Paris – The history of the Order of the Knights Templar, Christian soldiers whose hidden treasure is at the center of the storyline of The Da Vinci Code, takes place in Paris at different points in the city. The Parisian headquarters of the Templars was the Square du Temple, an authentic fortified city within the city of which, apart from the name, only a small garden, a covered market and some medieval vestiges remain. The trace of the Templars can be followed to the Square du Vert-Galant on the Ile de la Cité or at the Café des Templiers.

Square du Vert-Galant – Café des Templiers, 35 rue de Rivoli. Tel: +33 (0)1.42.72.00.07

Sacred feminine – In Dan Brown’s novel, the Holy Grail turns out to be the bloodline of the ultimate Sacred Feminine, Mary Magdalene. On this subject, the French capital abounds in references. The principal temple is thought to be the Madeleine church, where all forms of the theme’s iconology can be found. Elements of the Chalice, symbol of the Sacred Feminine, are also present at the Musée Carnavalet, Musée de l’Erotisme, Musée de Cluny and in the Saint-Merri church.

Musée de Cluny – 6 place Paul Painlevé. http://www.musee-moyenage.fr
Eglise de la Madeleine http://www.eglise-lamadeleine.com
Eglise Saint-Merri – 76 rue de la Verrerie –

Treasure hunt in the antique shops – Objets d’art, cryptex and mysterious boxes all make life difficult for the characters in Dan Brown’s book. For those who are fascinated by objects that have a story to tell, a tour of Parisian antique dealers is just the thing. The Louvre even has its own dedicated space, in the Place du Palais-Royal, in addition to the many treasures of antique dealers along the Left Bank of the Seine.

Le Louvre des Antiquaires – 2 place du Palais Royal. http://www.louvre-antiquaires.com

Carré Rive Gauche quai Voltaire – rue des Saints-Pères, rue de l’Université, rue du Bac, rue de Lille, rue de Beaune, rue de Verneuil, rue Allent. http://www.carrerivegauche.com

Secret societies – By definition, discretion is the order of the day for such groups. In Paris, some are more visible than others and followers of mysticism can note the actual existence of certain groups referred to by Dan Brown. Indeed, the Rosicrucians (order of the Rose Cross) have their head office and a boutique in the French capital, the museum of the Freemasons

of the Grand Orient of France can be found on rue
Cadet and, anecdotally, the Maison de Victor Hugo, supposed master of the Priory of Sion, is well worth a visit.

Temple Rosicrucien – 129 rue Saint Martin
Musée de la Franc-maçonnerie du Grand-Orient de France -16 rue Cadet
Maison Victor Hugo Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée – 6 place des Vosges. Tel: 33 (0)1.42.72.10.16

Books for solving enigmas – Reading The Da Vinci Code raises a multitude of ideas and mysteries that the author, out of necessity and because it would take several books in order to do so, does not entirely explain. So for those who would like to continue the research, broaden their knowledge on the subjects tackled and, during a trip to Paris, assume the role of scholar and art historian, Paris has plenty of just the right kind of libraries and bookstores to do just that.

Les rayons ésotériques du Centre Pompidou place Georges Pompidou – http://www.cnac-gp.fr
La Bibliothèque Forney Hôtel de Sens – 1 rue du Figuier. Tel: 33 (0)1.42.78.14.60
La Librairie du Graal – 15 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Tel: 33 (0)1.42.36.07.60
Gibert Jeune ésotérique rive gauche – 23-27 quai Saint-Michel. Tel: 33 (0)1.56.81.22.22

Places of worship – Different beliefs, Christian or otherwise, form the background for Dan Brown’s novel. All the different communities in Paris practice their chosen religions in places of worship, often of great beauty, that contribute to our understanding of the wide diversity of rites, their origins and common mythologies.

La cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris place du parvis Notre Dame – http://www.cathedraledeparis.com
Mosquée de Paris – 2 bis place du Puits de l’Ermite. http://www.mosquee-de-paris.net
Synagogue de la Victoire – 44 rue de la Victoire. http://www.lavictoire.org
Cimetière du Père Lachaise – http://www.pere-lachaise.com
Temple Rosicrucien – 129 rue Saint Martin

For an in-depth look at Paris, visit the Paris Tourist Office web site at http://www.parisinfo.com

*** Win a Codebreaker Prize Package! ***

Maison de la France has teamed up with VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Sony Pictures and Eurostar to offer you the chance to win a unique Codebreaker prize package, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu. Visit http://www.visitdavincicode.com

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Practical Answers for Living in France
By Jean Taquet
May 2006 Column

Getting Into France (Immigration Issues) and Buying the "Complete Apartment"
http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/practicalanswers.html

QUESTION
I am an American citizen. I used to live and work in France a long time ago, both with and without an official residency status. The problem is that my girlfriend is Russian, and we are now living in St. Petersburg, so she needs a visa just to enter France, and, thus far, all the options we’ve researched have major drawbacks.

Basically, what I would like to know is:
* If I had an official work visa, would I be able to invite her to join me as my girlfriend/fiancée?
* If she were to get a U.S. Green Card, would she then be able to enter France on her own, like me?

ANSWER
Your questions should be asked differently in order for both of you to have legal status in France. In fact, French law currently defines seven types of immigration visas, and these each have sub-categories, from a few to more than forty.

The only way for both of you to live in France is that she comes as a trailing partner, provided that you give all the guaranties needed to secure this. For the most part, this means having enough assets to meet the financial requirements and paying for lodging and health coverage for two people.

Therefore, I must focus on you and your plans in France to secure the success of this double request. The crucial issue is often about your need and/or your ability to work in France. So, do you wish to work? If YES, in which capacity, under which status? Will you have a French or foreign employer?

Now let me answer specifically each of the two questions.

1) You MUST get an immigration visa at this point, no matter what you do in France. Therefore, you must focus on your plans and your professional and personal situation in order to apply for the best immigration visa for you. Doing anything different will jeopardize your entire plan and could make your fiancée’s life in France plain miserable as a clandestine who would risk being expelled back to Russia. Apply for the visa at the French Consulate in Russia.

Let me remind you that the right thing to do is to identify what you want to do short-, mid-, and long-term in France and then take the corresponding steps, knowing that there will always be a visa-carte de séjour (immigration title) that more or less fulfills your needs. Once you have completely secured your right to stay in France with an excellent visa request, you and your fiancée then simultaneously submit what I call a trailing partner/spouse visa request. This way, you either sponsor her or she sponsors herself in order to get the entry-level immigration status, called visa-carte de séjour VISITEUR. All this takes is the proof of financial means equivalent to 22,000 Euros per year — it can be some income, a pension payment, or assets in a portfolio — as well as proof of lodging in France, and proof of health coverage valid in France. My assumption is that you have the means to secure all of this for her, and then you jus

t vouch for her every step of the way. In
other words, if your stay in France is legal and well established, then hers becomes as easy as the above description.

Now should you be unable to find a job or create a business or set up a consulting/self-employed business, then nothing prevents you from just asking for the "visiteur" status, which will give you at least the right to live in France without the right to work in France, which can come later on when you are settled in France and capable of meeting with employers, business partners, and so on. Once you have legal status in France, it is always possible to change to a different category once you properly comply with the requirements.

Also, regarding the employee position, for any job paying less than 4,000 Euros per month gross salary, it will be difficult, although not completely impossible, to get your work papers and, therefore, a residency status. On the other hand, realize that it will be nearly impossible to get the same treatment for your partner. Indeed, you need to be aware that there is a definite double standard in the way French administration handles immigration issues depending on the nationality of the applicant.

This is a complete dead end no matter how you look at it.

France looks at the citizenship of the applicant, not their country of residence. This means that even if she lives legally with you in the USA, she would still be treated as a Russian. So this does not significantly help your partner’s situation.

Considering the current requirements for acquiring an American immigration status versus a French one, she could still be waiting for an American immigration visa while, in France, she would already have legal status and could be in the process of getting the right to work in France. In fact, most of the initial part of the French immigration process — from submitting the visa request to holding a definitive immigration status — takes less than a year.

Acquiring a Green Card currently takes years for those who clearly qualify for it, and I have serious doubts that simply being the girlfriend, or even the fiancée, of an American citizen will swiftly grant her a Green Card, which becomes null and void after having resided more than six months in a different country. In other words, large sums of money and years of procedure thrown away for nothing once she starts residing in France.

So to sum up your situation, stick to the French procedure, plan your next two years in France as well as you can, and secure sufficient funds or financing, and then choose the appropriate immigration status.

QUESTION
My husband and I are buying a large apartment with a cellar in the middle of Passy in the 16th arrondissement. We thought that everything was settled, but when we went to sign the presale contract, our "notaire" (real-estate lawyer) was adamant that the by-laws be amended by seller at his own cost before the closing. From what I read and understood, the apartment, the cellar, and the maid’s room on the top floor are all one unit that should be broken up into smaller portions, and we would be buying some of them. Does that mean that we would be sharing ownership with someone else? This is NOT what we want, and the price we are paying is for the complete apartment, which will be used only for ourselves.

ANSWER
Your question addresses quite an interesting aspect of the SRU law passed a few years ago, and I can assure you that you will get your apartment for the exclusive private use of your family. First I need to explain what the current situation is. Your seller appears to own three different elements — the apartment, the cellar, and the maid’s room. The current set of by-laws probably identifies these three elements as one unit, considering the fact that, traditionally, a family living in such an apartment would have the need for a cellar and a maid’s room, and it was simply not conceivable to have the ownership of one without the other two. It happens that some of these maid’s rooms are, in fact, decent studios if well renovated, and can be rented or sold independently. It is possible that your seller hopes to keep the maid’s room. The other aspect of the situation is that the SRU law demanded that all the existing by-laws be changed so that, among other things, the situation you have encountered does not exist anymore. The new by-laws must identify every single independent lot, and everything should be renamed. This situation triggers another one: for each new lot there should be a ratio of ownership compared to the rest of the building. So a certain type of architect, who is an accredited expert called a "géomètre expert," should measure all the lots in the building and come up with a new set of ratios. This would take months, and the cost would be quite astronomical. So I suspect that, based on the time-frame mentioned in your question, the "géomètre expert" will limit the work to creating three lots, where there was just one, and leave the rest of the by-laws in their original and probably illegal condition. This is what I call "sweeping the problem under the rug" — the immediate problem is fixed; the rest can wait until later. Next, this new set of by-laws must be unanimously approved at the upcoming general meeting of the building co-owners. Considering the fact that it does not cost the co-ownership a cent, that it is a legal obligation and the alternative is a very expensive process, I can see the management company pushing heavily in favor of passing the motion, so much that it will, indeed, happen in due time. The alternative process in effect, means committing to having everything in the building measured, which can open up some serious liability issues should the sale be substantially delayed. That said, it leaves the rest of the by-laws and the related problems unaddressed. This means that you could get hit with the cost of redoing the by-laws for the other apartments still connected to the cellars and the maid’s rooms at a later time, also creating an expense for the entire building for which you will be called to contribute for your fraction of ownership.

So, on the day of the closing, your notaire should have the minutes of the meeting approving the change and the expert’s report that identifies the size of each of the elements, as well as the usual documentation the seller is supposed to give: the statement about the size of the apartment (called "loi carrez") and the statements about termites, lead paint, and asbe

stos
. All of these documents should go into your file. So even though it did not appear to be the case at initially, your notaire has really been working in your interest by making sure that what you are buying is clearly and specifically identified. Appearances can be misleading.

Editor’s Notes:

Jean Taquet is a French jurist and associate member of the Delaware Bar Association, specializing in civil, criminal and commercial law. He frequently gives courses about the legal system in France and regularly speaks at the Living in France Conferences in the U.S. and Paris.

He is also well known for his informative Q and A columns in past Paris Voice magazines, which can be purchased in one document as "The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France," available at http://www.insiderparisguides.com/answers/index.html (Don’t forget, you get a discount as a subscriber!)

To subscribe to his monthly newsletter, email Jean Taquet at qa@jeantaquet.com

To make an appointment with Jean Taquet for his consultation services:
Phone: Cell: 06.16.81.48.07 or email qa@jeantaquet.com

To read this month’s column in it’s entirety, click here:
http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/practicalanswers.html

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French Property More Accessible Due to Flexible Finance
By Assetz France

It is now even easier for British investors to buy property in France due to a relaxation of lending criteria and the introduction of more flexible finance, enabling France to compete more successfully with other international markets, says Assetz.

Traditionally French banks have required deposits of 15% – 20% on average. But in an effort to compete with the UK and Ireland, France is tailoring its finance to suit the international investor.

Mortgages of 100% are now available on selected leaseback properties, with the investor paying a 5% deposit upon reservation, which is then used to cover all stamp duty/legal costs on completion, with any leftover money being refunded to the investor. Three-year fixed rate repayment mortgages are available at just 3.45% and it is possible for investors to use the property as a holiday home for two weeks every year. With the 100% mortgage, investors will experience a small monthly shortfall, whereby the rental income covers most but not all the monthly mortgage costs, although this can be avoided by paying traditional deposit levels of around 20%.

Martin Sadler, Sales Manager of Assetz France comments:

"Highly geared French properties are appealing to professional investors looking to expand their portfolio with a hassle-free leaseback investment, which will cost them a minimal initial cash outlay.

"Property prices have been rising at a steady 10.3% over the last ten months, and the rental market in France continues to look strong, driven by high demand and minimal new development."

Some lenders have also relaxed their debt ratio from the traditional 33% to 40%. French banks use a debt ratio to assess the suitability of a non-resident property investor. The individual’s outgoings, including current mortgages and loans and the intended French mortgage must not make up more than one third, or now 40% of his or her income after tax, in order for them to be considered suitable for a French mortgage.

The buying process in France is generally becoming more straightforward for British and other foreign investors, with mortgage and legal paperwork commonly available in English.

Editor’s Note: While the above article is targeted to British buyers, the offerings by lenders apply to all non-resident, foreign investors.

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Getting a Mortgage in France
By Adrian Leeds

The good news is that obtaining a mortgage here is very doable. You have a few options including going to a French bank or a British bank doing business in France.

Going directly to just any French bank as a non-resident can be a bit dicey. Unless you have a regular salary going into a French account, they tend not to be as interested in dealing with foreign clients.

We have relationships with several lenders that specialize in providing financing to non-residents of France that are interested to purchase property in France. There are various mortgage options, including variable, fixed, interest only and blended rate programs that allow foreigners to take advantage of attractive financing. Each loan is collateralized by a mandatory insurance policy that secures your payments in the event of death or total disability.

Lending institutions in France evaluate your loan based on your income not your net worth, for the most part. Income is determined to be revenue from salary, pensions, investments, rental, alimony and other sources. You should also be aware that banks will not lend beyond a debt ratio of 33%, which means your overall debts, worldwide, cannot exceed 33% of your income. The monthly amount of the mortgage cannot be more than one-third of your monthly income. If the apartment you are purchasing expects some income from rental, then this can often be applied.

size="2" face="Verdana">As a general rule of thumb, you will be able to finance up to 80% of the purchase price and renovations for a period of up to 25 years, depending upon your age. However, because of the rise in foreign buyers in the Paris, lenders are beginning to develop ways to provide more attractive financing options, including increasing the amount they will lend, extending the term, increasing the age limit and providing faster turnarounds on approvals.

The paperwork and requirements to obtain a mortgage are fairly simple. You will fill out a multi-page application, plus an insurance questionnaire (a verified physical exam may also be required).
We can help you get a mortgage on property in France or even a pre-qualification on a mortgage that will enable you to buy something without a contingency placed on the offer.

To start, we suggest you contact the lenders we work with. GE MoneyBank is a trusted and proven lender. Client Managers Philippe Vasseur and Meadda Ang will be present at the Living and Investing in France Round Table in New Orleans on May 27th.

To contact GE MoneyBank, email Meadda Ang, Client Manager meadda.ang@ge.com
(When you use the link provided, it lets the lender know that we recommended you speak with them, so please be sure to do so!)

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French Vineyards Turn into Real Estate Business for Tourism
http://www.zeenews.com

The French wine industry is in crisis as the French drink less, and abroad ‘new world’ wines prove more popular. As a consequence, the prices of vineyards have gone down because land owners often find themselves forced to selling their estates.

Close to the historic town of Carcassone, a beautiful house with 50 hectares of vines is on sale. The owner, Michel Pinet, has toiled his vineyards all his life but complains that he can no longer make a living from wine.

"You just can’t make wine anymore, now you have to invest in other things on the estate, whether creating flats, bed and breakfast accommodation. You must have several different businesses going on at the same time in order to get by."

The traditional French wine industry is going to its worst crisis since 1907, when phylloxera ravaged the country’s vineyards. Since 2002, vineyard prices have fallen by at least a third.

Adam Dakin, from the wine investment agency "Vignobles Investissement," has been selling vineyards in southern France for 15 years. On his sale list is a $7.5 million property belonging to Alexis Rey. The estate offers luxury weekend accommodation, a top notch restaurant and over the summer one of the buildings is turned into a jazz club.

Rey, who bought the property at a time when it was producing a poor quality wine and has now an acceptable rosé, says the changes and improvements he made to the place are no longer enough to keep him going.

"We have to step it up a gear and build luxury apartments, closed condominiums where people can have a quality spa, can do sports and enjoy the right to a quiet atmosphere, and all that within a 50-hectare vineyard," he said, adding: "Those who cannot do that, either because they do not own any buildings or because their land is to far from the coast, should be really concerned.

Those who will survive are the best artisans, the jewellers of the wine industry; the good wines will always find a place. The producers who work hard, who go looking for clients abroad and who manage to diversify their client base, will have a chance to survive."

Foreign entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly conscious of the crisis hitting French wine production and they’re keen to enter a market which used to be restricted to a small amount of local producers who owned all of the wine farms in their area.

Prices keep being pushed down by the number of small wine producers who can’t adapt to the changes in the market and decide to sell their estate instead of diversifying their business. Changes in the society and French laws on inheritance also make it less likely for a small winery to be passed on from its owners to their children.

Due to this process, investing in French vineyard real estate is much less expensive than it used to be only some years ago, as prices fell in the areas where low and medium quality wine is produced. Small wineries are mostly affected by the crisis, while prestigious labels still keep their sales high.

In some French wine producing regions, prices have fallen by half in the past two years, according to a study researched by BNP Paribas bank group. Languedoc, the Mediterranean area where Rey runs his property, didn’t suffer such a dramatic drop, but prices still fell by 20 per cent.

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Parler Paris, French Property Insider and John Howell & Co. Present the …

Living and Investing in France
Round Table — An Afternoon with Adrian Leeds
May 27, 2006, 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
at Historic Tujague’s
823 Decatur Street
New Orleans

If you’ve ever dreamed of moving to France, creating a new life in Paris, purchasing a "pied-à-terre" of your own or perhaps investing in other property in France, this power-packed afternoon with Adrian Leeds is a MUST.

New Orleans is Adrian Leeds’ Home Town

New Orleans has a heritage that dates back to the Spaniards who settled there, to the
French who turned it
into the country’s most cultured and fun-filled city and to all the others who followed and added a profound texture of culture and spirit. Before Hurricane Katrina struck, it was one of the most visited U.S. cities and is still host to such important events as the Mardi Gras and the Jazz Festival. New Orleans is also one of the only U.S. cities that can claim centuries of history not to mention the greatest food, music and art.

The Round Table

Round Table and Discussion will be led by Adrian Leeds, Editor of Parler Paris and French Property Insider, Director of French Property Consultation, author of the Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris Restaurants and co-coordinator of the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group!…

There is nothing else you can do in less time and as inexpensively to learn the important facts you need to know to get you on the right road and in the right direction for a successful investment and life in France!

Adrian will give you a brief overview and introduction to each the following topics:

* Obtaining the Right to Be in France!
* Buying and Owning Property in France!
* Profiting from the Leaseback Program, Corporate Housing in Paris (CHIP) and Other Investment Property Programs
* How to Rent Your French Property for Profit!
* Finding Your Dream Apartment in Paris or Home in the Country!
* Getting a Mortgage!…with GE MoneyBank*
* Minimize Your Tax and Maximize the Benefits!
* Reducing Your Currency Exchange Risk!
* Crossing the Cultural Divide!

* Plus, you’ll get answers to all of your questions during a Q and A session…an opportunity to ask questions particular to your situation and receive answers you need to make your dream to live in France come true and how to invest in property there profitably.

* Plus special appearance by Client Managers Philippe Vasseur and Meadda Ang who will be present to provide you with specific information on how to get a mortgage!

The Round Table Location and Dinner (Open to Everyone!)
http://tujagues.com/
The Second Oldest Restaurant in New Orleans!
823 Decatur Street, New Orleans

Plus Special Guest Speaker!
Ruth Mastron, Co-Author of "Au Contraire: Figuring Out the French"

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, facing the historic French Market, Tujague’s has retained its reputation for providing an unforgettable dining experience in the original Creole tradition. Tujague’s has been a favorite for over 143 years, entertaining and satisfying the appetites of delightfully robust patrons to the French Quarter.

You’ll think you’ve stepped back in time when you see the ancient mirror which graced a Paris bistro for ninety years before making its journey to New Orleans, or when you run your fingers across the famous cypress bar which splendidly survived prohibition. When you enter the restaurant and smell the aroma you’ll be enjoying the same sensations as did brunch guests to Madame Begue’s "petite déjeuner" all those years ago, as Tujague’s serves-up those same famous dishes today!

The original Creole tradition of hand selecting fresh produce purchased daily from the open French Quarter market also continues today, ensuring cuisine of the finest possible quality. Sit back, relax and enjoy course after famous course of traditional New Orleans dishes and drinks!

Plus, gain insights to French culture and lifestyles…Meet Ruth Mastron, co-author of "Au Contraire: Figuring Out the French" and Vice-President of SoCoCo Intercultural. She has delighted our Living and Investing in France Conference attendees for many years stopping the show every time with her mascot Peppy Le Pew by her side — the amorous French skunk from Loony Tunes, who sits atop the projector, representing the stereotypes of the French we’ve grown up with. Ruth’s engaging presentation wows the crowd with the most concise explanation of cultural misunderstandings foreigners are sure to encounter upon moving to France. "Duh!" we all cried, "Mais oui! Now we understand!"

May 27, 2006 Round Table

2 p.m.: Registration
2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.: Round Table with Adrian Leeds
7:00 p.m.: Optional Dinner at Tujague’s –

Dinner is Open to Conference Participants, Their Guests and Everyone Who Would Like to Join Us!

Round Table Also Includes

* Coffee Break Mid Afternoon
* Canvas Tote Bag with Free Gifts from Paris
* Reference Materials

Dinner at Tujague’s Includes

Menu:

• Cocktail
• Shrimp Remoulade
• Louisiana Gumbo
• House Specialty Brisket of Beef with Tujague’s Special Creole Sauce
• Choice of Main Course: Fish, Meat, Chicken
• Banana Bread Pudding
• Wine and Coffee

Round Table and Dinner Fees

1st Person Round Table Only $147
1st Person Round Table with Full Cocktail and Dinner $197

>

Add a S
pouse, Partner or Friend!

Two People Round Table Only $267
Two People Round Table with Full Cocktail and Dinner $367

Dinner for your friends or
anyone who would like to join us! $67

Cancellation Policy

Round Table: Cancellations received on or before April 30, 2006, will receive a full refund, less a $50 processing fee. From May 1 – 15, 2006 a refund of 50% per person will be given, less a $50 processing fee. After May 15, 2006, the round table Round Table fee is non-refundable. Please call, fax, or email our offices immediately to avoid any unnecessary charges if you are unable to attend. If you cancel due to medical reasons that are covered by your purchased travel-insurance policy, we will advise the insurance company that your travel and conference or seminar fees are non-refundable. Any refunds issued by the insurance company will negate any credit due.

Protect Your Investment: We strongly suggest you protect your investment by purchasing trip-cancellation insurance. We are happy to recommend a policy to you. Please visit http://cruiseorairtravel.com/travel_insurance/insurance.htm for more information or contact Maria Maher at Agora Travel, tvlfirst@bellsouth.net.

Don’t miss it. Visit the site for more information at
Round Table — An Afternoon with Adrian Leeds

http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/liveinfrance/LIF_NOLA_2006/LIF_NOLA_home.html

Or sign up now.

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Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation

Visit our new site!

Let French Property Insider expert property consultants find your dream home in France for you. We consult with you to help you make the best decisions, ferret out the finest properties to meet your criteria, schedule the visits and accompany you, negotiate with the agencies and owners, recommend the notaires and other professionals, schedule the signings and oversee the purchase with you from start to finish! You could never do it so easily on your own. Let us take the time and effort off your hands.

FPI Offers More Relocation Solutions!

Moving to Paris? Our experienced relocation expert will make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property and relocation services normally only provided by employer hired relocation firms…but at a price much more affordable for individuals.

Download Complete Brochure
http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation/fpibrochure.pdf

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TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE

Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel or click here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/moneycorpconvertor.html
for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.

Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting:
http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/moneycorpconvertor.html

Charts
http://www.Moneycorp.co.uk/members/charts.asp
The charts below 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.

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Parler Paris Après-Midi
http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html

NEXT MEETING: May 9, 2006 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This is your opportunity to meet every month, often with local
professionals who can answer your Working and Living in France questions. You are invited to come for drinks and share your questions and comments about what it takes to create a life here, own property and enjoy what France has to offer. It is also an opportunity to network with other Parler Paris readers.

Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stat

ions Temple, République or
Arts et Métiers

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HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Dreaming of Châteaux and Vineyards…

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. For 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 http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation

*** Pays de la Loire, Château, 6 bedrooms, approx. 500m²

Old French château, fully renovated with respect to authenticity. Offers a total of 500m² of habitable space with a lovely reception, 6 bedrooms with the possibility of 4 or 5 more, magnificent wine caves, outbuildings and walled parkland totalling 5 hectares.

Asking Price: 1,320,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

*** Val de Loire – Indre et Loire, Château, 600m²

In a rural location, 14 kms to Tours and 10 kms to the nearest motorway, this fabulous south facing 17th and 19th century château is set in 10 hectares of wooded land with a pond and an ornamental lake. The building has 600m² of habitable space on 3 floors with lovely light 5 spacious reception rooms, 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. The property also has having electric gates, a video entry phone and a garage.

Asking Price: 1,605,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

 

*** Val de Loire – Cher, Château, approx 1200m²

A superb moated château in the Berry, dating from the 15th and 18th centuries offering about 1200m² of living space, set within a 73 hectare estate. With 6 reception rooms, 15 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms. Remarkable period interiors, heated swimming pool, tennis court, lake and charming neogothic caretaker’s house to renovate. Good autoroute access to Paris. This is one of the most beautiful châteaux in the Berry and has been in the same family for many centuries.

Asking Price: 2,950,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

*** Bordeaux, Château and Vineyard, approx. 350m²

19 ha of Superb Premiers Cotes de Blaye and Cote du Bourg estate with a further 10,5 ha rented. Nicely renovated château (350m²) with Winemakers house (100m²), Chambres d’hotes (200m²) and house to be renovated (200m²). Average annual production of 180,000 bottles. Excellent commercialization reputation.

Asking Price: 3,150,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*** Bordeaux, Château and Vineyard, approx. 550m²

Beautiful château built in 1650 with 14th century origins, that has been superbly restored inside and out. The château with living area 550m², is set in lawned gardens with far reaching views of the surrounding countryside. The other buildings and wine production have been restored to the same high level and there is a 15m salt swimming pool. The vineyard is set on exceptional terroir and produces a high quality Bordeaux superior. Wine cellar. Land 60 hectares including 30 hectares of vines that are on very good terroir and have good protection by the forest. The further 30 hectares consists of lawned gardens, forests and pastureland.

Asking Price: 3,255,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*** Aix and St.Tropez, Vineyard, approx. 1500m²

Magnificent domain of 142 ha in one block with 52 ha of vines producing quality wines. The 1500m² of building are comprised of a main house of 400m² with 6 bedrooms, and 3 others independent houses, large pool, wonderful view. The 1000m² for working the property include a cellar with 6000 hl of capacity, air conditioned for the storage room. All the furniture is included. 4 boxes and 3 parks for horses. 100 olive trees complete this nice property with gallo-roman origin.

Asking Price: 5,600,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LEASEBACK NEWS FROM IMOINVEST
http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/sales/leasebacks/lb_list.php

DOMAINE DES OYATS
France, Atlantic Coast, Longeville sur Mer

PREVIEW

One Bedroom 30m² to 32m² Euros 89,000 to Euros 111,000

Two Bedrooms 42m² to 67m² Euros 132,000 to Euros 232,000

Three Bedrooms 58m² to 67m² Euros 177,000 to Euros 232,000

GUARANTEED RENTAL INCOME UP TO: 3.00%


Only 5 minutes from the beaches of the French Atlantic nestled within a forest of 650 hectares. Longeville sur Mer is a commune of the Vendee region located 30km from the Sables d’Olonne, 70km from La Rochelle and the Island of Re. Tenants and owners alike will enjoy direct access to the Marais Poitevin that is situated at the exit of Longeville offering beautiful paths perfect for strolling or bicycling.

This is a high-quality architectural project comprising new build homes with, where applicable, private pools, garage space and spacious terraces. The resort will be constructed within a national forest only 400m from fine sand beaches. The project corresponds to holiday goers needs in terms of setting and functionality with trade, a private car park and recreational areas all close by. In addition, the residence offers 12 swimming pools, shared between homes, two to three apartments maximum. As owner, you may benefit from 3 weeks of holiday use per year. These vacation weeks are offered and will not decrease your rental yield!

Leaseback enables anyone to buy their dream holiday home or overseas investment property and cover a lot or all of the mortgage costs with a guaranteed rental income that is index-linked! The resort will be fully serviced by one of France’s best management groups that will rent the property on the owner’s behalf. You do not have to pay VAT on the property which saves you the 19.6% that would normally apply — a nice discount!

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Paris Auctions
http://www.encheres-Paris.com

Next sessions: May 16, 1:30 p.m.

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

Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the website at http://www.encheres-Paris.com/ Though the site has a button for an English version, it isn’t reliable to work.

To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:
http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/articles/auctions1.html

May 16, 2006

3 rooms 70,90 m² + terrace 134 m²
1 square Racan
75016 PARIS 16th
Opening Bid: 408,380 Euros
Deposit: 81,676 Euros

3 rooms 76,50 m²
118 boulevard Suchet
75016 PARIS 16th
Opening Bid: 291,470 Euros

Deposit: 58,294 Euros

3 rooms 73,80 m² + terrace 166 m²
92 boulevard Suchet
75016 PARIS 16th
Opening Bid: 372,940 Euros
Deposit: 74,588 Euros

3 rooms 74,90 m²
108 boulevard Suchet
75016 PARIS 16th
Opening Bid: 310,080 Euros
Deposit: 62,016 Euros
3 rooms 37,90 m²
10 rue Bisson
75020 PARIS 20th
Opening Bid: 72,010 Euros
Deposit: 17,550 Euros

rder="0" align="left">Studio 18,19 m²
17 rue d’Alésia
75014 PARIS 14th
Opening Bid: 65,000 Euros
Deposit: 13,000 Euros

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SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?

Let us help you secure a mortgage in France with interest rates as low as 3%. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan for more information.

================================

INSIDER PARIS GUIDES DISCOUNT FOR FPI SUBSCRIBERS

Don’t forget that with your FPI subscription you are entitled to a discount on the purchase of any Insider Paris Guides. You’ll find details of the guides at http://www.insiderparisguides.com/. When ordering, a box will pop up allowing you to enter the following:

Username: fpi
Password: subscriber

Order more than one guide at a time and you will receive an additional discount!

================================

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

To access password protected pages: click on any of the links on the left panel of the home page of FrenchPropertyInsider.com 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
http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/pastissues/index.html

To receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property
Report, click on
http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/reports.html

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HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE

1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet

1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres

For more conversions, refer to: http://www.onlineconversion.com/

==== CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING ===

==APARTMENT RENTAL==

Coming soon…Parler Paris Apartments rental representation at adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments. If you have a property in Paris you’d like to keep booked and represented properly, please email fpi@adrianleeds.com for more information.

For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments or
http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term apartments.

================================

SUBSCRIBE TO PARLER PARIS

If you’re not a regular reader of the Parler Paris daily e-letter, and would like to be, simply enter your e-mail address here (it’s free!): http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis

================================

Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, http://www.adrianleeds.com

 

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