The Views When Living on the Ile de la Cité
(FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)
August 18 , 2005, Paris, France
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
This is the most beautiful August I can remember in the city. All those who are suffering the heat in points south are missing out on perfect temperature, sunny blue skies and calm, quiet streets.
Last night I had the pleasure of visiting two apartments on the islands on the Seine owned by author, publisher and editor, James Grayson Trulove. The Ile de la Cité and the Ile Saint-Louis are very special spots in Paris — with very limited availability, rich with history, centuries old and overflowing with charm. They are the number one most requested rental apartment area of the city. Any apartment nicely appointed and well managed will acquire high occupancy rates and high profits…but good apartments are hard to come by.
James was both lucky and smart. Read all about it along with a bit of history about the islands in today’s FPI.
Again we’re talking about money…it’s such a fascinating and important topic. One good tip from FPI could save you thousands of euros.
GE Moneybank, one of the lenders we regularly work with, offers up its varying products to consider. If you are at all thinking of purchasing property in the future, then it’s not too late to consider the mortgage. Start by getting a pre-approval and determining just what budget you really have based on the down payment and expected monthly payments.
Moneycorp currency brokers offers a look at where the euro to the dollar is expected to land and how to minimize the expense of transferring funds. This is very valuable information — it could easily save you thousands of euros in the process.
Read Part II of the Compelling Cathar Heritage and be sure to read how changes in population affect property prices. It’s all here for you to enjoy and make the most of.
Editor, French Property Insider
P.S. We’re gearing up for several upcoming conferences…Living and Investing in France Conference, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, October 21 – 23 and Invest in France Seminar at the Harvard Club in New York City October 26th. Scroll down for more information. The sites and registration will be online and open very soon. Meanwhile, to be put on a special mailing list to be notified with more information, email Schuyler Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org/parlerparis
Volume III, Issue 32, August 18, 2005
In this issue:
* History of the Parisian Iles
* Enjoying Island Property
* French Returning to Their Rural Roots
* The Impact of Currency Exchange on Your Purchase Abroad
* Lords and Ladies of Languedoc: Part 2
* Financing Your French Property Purchase
* Smoke-Free Train Travel
* Free Tickets for the "Welcome to France" Fair
* Upcoming Conferences…Property, Painters and Poets
* Hot Property Picks: Ile Saint Louis and Ile de la Cité
* Classified Advertising: Leeds Apartment and Short Term Apartment Rentals
The Islands of Paris: Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint-Louis
By Adrian Leeds
The Ile de la Cité is where the city of Paris began, where the Parisii tribe lived and where the Romans set up camp when they conquered the Parisii in 52 AD. The city was first named "Lutecia" from the Latin word meaning "mud." From this, I imagine it must have been a mound of damp earth soaked with the waters of the Seine.
Lutecia’s inhabitants, during the barbarian invasion, took refuge on the island and King Clovis who defeated the Romans, made the island his capital. Throughout the Middle Ages, the island remained the center of activity and its inhabitants defended its position successfully during the Norman invasions. Throughout the Middle Ages, the island kept its role as the religious and judicial center and there are still remnants of medieval streets on the square in front of Notre Dame. The plaque in the square is known as "Kilometer Zero," the zero-point where from all distances are measured in France, underlining yet again the central role of the island in Parisian history.
There are three medieval buildings that still remain on the Ile de la Cité:
* The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, built from 1163;
* Louis IX’s Sainte-Chapelle (1245), built as a reliquary to house the relics of the Crown of Thorns and a piece of the True Cross, enclosed within the Palais de Justice;
* And the Conciergerie prison, where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette awaited execution in 1793.
The oldest remaining residential quarter is the "Ancien Cloître." Baron Haussmann demolished some streets here, but was dismissed in 1869, before the entire quarter was lost. Leonard Pitt, author of "Paris Disparu," has much to say about this — what he considers a tragic. (He will be speaking about this and other tragic losses over dessert at the upcoming Living and Investing in France Conference in San Francisco October 22nd.)
The Ile de la Cité is connected to the rest of Paris by bridges to both banks of the river and to the Ile Saint-Louis. While the oldest surviving bridge is the Pont Neuf (‘New Bridge’) at the western edge of the island crossing the tip of the magnificent "Place Dauphine," my personal favorite is Pont Saint Louis connecting the two islands themselves. It is uniquely pedestrian, is a continuous stage for street artists and musicians and is the visual pivotal point from which you have expansive views of the islands, the Hôtel de Ville and points beyond. Just crossing it provides me with rivers of happiness.
The Ile Saint-Louis was originally two smaller islands: the Ile aux Vaches (Island of the Cows), originally nothing but pasture, and the Ile Notre-Dame, the site of judicial duels during the Middle Ages. In the 17th-century, the two islands were united. After the construction, lords and financiers built their homes here, still standing today as one of Paris’ most beautiful residential areas.
The painting "La pointe est de l’Ile Saint-Louis" by Nicolas-Jean-Baptiste Raguenet dates to 1757 and is part of the Collections Historiques of the Musée Carnavalet.
By Adrian Leeds
James Grayson Trulove lives up to his name. He truly loves architecture and truly loves living on the islands…both of them, often at the same time.
In 2001, this author, publisher and editor of dozens of books on the subjects of architecture, landscape architecture, and garden design purchased his first apartment in Paris in a 17th-century building on rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile on the Ile Saint-Louis. It’s a 37 square-meter studio on the 3rd floor (walk-up) with a beautiful balustrade staircase and overlooking one of the island’s largest and prettiest courtyards.
Trulove renovated the apartment to include a murphy bed to maximize the space, furnished it in classic contemporary and turned it over to a professional agency to rent and manage. In the last four years, the apartment has increased in value by about 160% and generates on the average an 80% occupancy rate.
One year later, he purchased another pied-à-terre, but on the other island — the Ile de la Cité. Overlooking the Hôtel de Ville on the quai aux Fleurs, this 4th floor walk-up (with plans to install an elevator) is a mere 20 square meters, but designed brilliantly to maximize the minimal space. The ceilings are low, the beams are exposed, there are two windows affording lots of light and the views are spectacular. He says the occupancy rate averages the same (80%) and because he bought well (a virtual shell that he completely renovated), it has doubled in value.
The Ile Saint-Louis is Paris’ most requested rental spot, but apartments command a very high price. Most properties do not have elevators, so you can expect to walk up several flights to gain light and views. Even though in recent years there are more and more transient residents of the islands, those who live there say they adore island living and feel very special being part of the select few with a piece of these oases on the Seine. Books have been written about them, many of whom are interesting characters in their own right.
You could be among them. Scroll down for a few great properties currently on offer and if you would be interested in renting one of James’ Trulove’s apartments, email him directly at JTRULOVE@aol.com
Editor’s Note: James Grayson Trulove has written, edited, and published over forty books on architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, and art. Recent books include Hot Dirt Cool Straw, Private Towers, Tropical Modernism, and The Smart House.
Trulove is a recipient of the Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He resides in Washington, D.C., New York and Paris and has homes in California, Florida and Virginia that he also spends time in with his partner and two dog.
To purchase any of his books, visit http://www.amazon.com, search "James Grayson Trulove" to find them all.
Rising French Population to Impact Property Prices
Assetz Property News Service
Photo by Tim O’Rielly
A rebirth of French rural communities as communication improves and immigration increases the overall population will soon start to bite on French property prices, says the French National Statistics Office (INSEE).
The demographic change has been revealed by the 2004 national consensus, which has also shown the rising levels of immigration to France from across the world and especially the UK, currently standing at 50,000 a year.
The current population of 62 million will rise to 75 million by 2050 says Gilles de Robien, minister for development, tourism and urban environment, with a profound affect on French property prices.
Changing modes of working and the rise of the Internet has rejuvenated rural French communities, which have been in decline since the end of the second world war and left them open to purchase by British expats.
The smallest communities (those with less than 2,000 inhabitants) have seen the most dramatic change. These were places that lost many of their young people to urban areas between 1945 and 1970, before the population began to shift again from the cities to the suburbs in 1975 to 1990.
From 1999 to today, however, the French have been returning to their rural roots in the very same small Gallic communities so beloved by UK property buyers. The French are also discovering the joys of second home ownership in increasing numbers
The trend is so pronounced that the previously declining French population will soon need to consider large swathes of new housing across green field sites to cope with the influx. The number of new homes has been rising at a rate of 300,000 annually, below the number of new households founded every year.
The government will soon have to face up to how much construction it will permit and the levels of funding needed. The problem is concentrated in the Languedoc-Roussillon, the Central Pyrénées, Provence-Alps-Côte d’Azur, Aquitaine and the West (Brittany and the Loire area) regions.
Regions which were long in decline like Auvergne and Limousin are also now experiencing a population renewal. Mid-size towns seem to be largely unaffected by the demographic changes.
Britain still accounts for 40 per cent of all French property sales to overseas buyers, with an increasing number of buyers looking for more practical property features, such as more modern construction and good transport links.
This is reflected by a rising number of buyers looking for more property in areas such as Limousine at the expense of the Mediterranean coast and Provence.
The Euro vs The Dollar
By Doug Johnson, Moneycorp
Over recent months the European Union has been plagued by political instability and economic uncertainty, however, the first signs of an economic recovery are underway. Furthermore with the US economy still undermined by structural imbalances by holding twin deficits, the EUR vs. the USD looks set to become an interesting story over coming months
The two major powers in Europe, France and Germany, have been having a rough ride lately; in Germany Gerhart Schroeder lost a vote of no confidence in the key Nord West Rheinfahlen state, resulting in the calling of an early election, an election he looks set to lose. Economically, the once mighty manufacturing sector has been suffering from plant closures and exceptionally high unemployment levels, the results of which have helped lead Germany into a technical recession. France has not faired much better. The "non" vote on the EU constitution led directly to the dismissal of the Prime Minister, an embarrassing situation for Chirac to find himself. Europe overall has found itself in sustained periods of stagnant growth, which has not been helped by interest rates being left on hold at 2%. Struggling economies within the European community (Italy, Germany) have been calling for a cut in rates to promote growth and stimulate the economy; however, the ECB has stuck firmly to its monetary policy and left rates on hold, citing that a stable monetary policy is the key to economic recovery. In summary, uncertainty within the European Union has led to lack of investor confidence and has resulted in a weaker Euro over recent months.
At this stage it is important to stress that it is not all doom and gloom for the European Union. We have started to witness unemployment levels take a downward turn, resulting in business and consumer confidence increasing. Furthermore economic activity within the struggling economies has started to show signs of growth, all of which is required to bring back investor confidence. Lastly, Central banks continue to look to diversify reserve holdings out of the USD and into the Euro, as Central banks become increasingly concerned over the implications and impact the running of twin deficits will have on the US economy. To highlight how currency movements can affect your purchase abroad in April 2005, E100,000 would have cost you $131,000 (based on the exchange rate EURUSD 1.3100) whereas today it would buy you $123,000 (based on the exchange rate EURUSD 1.2300) that is a saving of $8,000.
EURUSD has had a high of 1.3580 and a low of 1.1866 in 2005 with the high being almost 13% greater. With a volatile currency pair like EURUSD it is incredibly important to understand that currency fluctuations could make a real difference to the affordability of your purchase abroad. Thus the timing of your currency purchase is of prime importance and you can use instruments such as "market orders" to try and take advantage of any swings in your favor. For example, if after consulting with a currency expert you felt the market had the potential to hit 1.2000, you could place an order to buy a set amount of currency at that level and when the market reached it, the currency would be bought on your behalf automatically. Thus significantl
cing the chance of you missing the opportunity because you were unavailable or simply the market moved to quickly.
If you were risk adverse and would like to take advantage of the current rate of exchange but did not have the required capital to buy the currency straight away, you could use an instrument known as a "forward contract." A forward contract allows you to fix the exchange rate today for delivery at a date in the future, subject to a 10% deposit. The remaining 90% is then paid when you require delivery of the funds. This rate can be fixed for up to two years in the future and a forward contract has the flexibility so that the maturity date can be brought forward or rolled over to a later date if need be. A forward contract is particularly useful if you are working on a long time frame. This way you can fix the exchange rate now and therefore know how many Euros you will have to spend when on a property in Europe. You do not necessarily have to change your money in one lump, so even if you do not have 10 per cent of the total amount you wish to change available to you, you could consider breaking your requirement into two or more chunks. By changing some of your money now, if the rates continue to move against you, you have at least brought some of your requirement and your average exchange rate will be better than it would if you were to sit on your hands and do nothing. Also, if the rates do improve in your favor, at least you have only secured some of your funds and therefore can take advantage of the improved rate for your remaining currency requirement.
Editor’s Note: For a free currency consultation and to discuss a strategy suitable to your currency needs, please contact The Private Client Desk at Moneycorp Inc. on (415) 678-2888 or email us at doug.johnson@Moneycorp.com or for more information visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/moneycorpconvertor.html
THE COMPELLING CATHAR HERITAGE
By Terry Schoen
Photos of the Languedoc-Roussillon region taken by Norm Hartman during an International Living Discovery Tour October 2002.
On July 21, 1209, the invading army led by papal legate Arnaud-Amaury, abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Clairvaux, reached the walls of Béziers. Of all Innocent’s advisors, it was Arnaud who was most insistent on the crusade. Perhaps as a reward for his fervor, the Pope appointed this priest to lead the invasion force. The assault began the next morning, on the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. By afternoon, it was over. Within a few hours of the opening sortie, the invaders had broken through the city’s defenses. In the ensuing mêlée the terrified inhabitants, Catholic and Cathar, rushed into the churches for protection, but they found no sanctuary. Clerics, men, women, children — all were cut down. When his commanders asked the papal legate how they should distinguish between heretics and loyal Catholics, Arnaud-Amaury is said to have answered: "Kill them all! God will know His own." Whether or not this oft-repeated exchange is apocryphal, Amaury’s written report to Innocent leaves no doubt as to his intent: "Nearly twenty thousand of the citizens were put to the sword, regardless of age and sex. The workings of divine vengeance have been wondrous."
Following the massacre at Béziers, the crusaders camped for three days upwind of the ravaged city. As word of the carnage spread, many of the lowland nobility whose estates lay along the army’s marching route to the Trencavel capital came to offer homage to the northern lords, thus sparing their own lands. When the bad news reached Raymond Roger, he ordered a scorched earth policy for the countryside surrounding Carcassonne. Crops were burned, mills destroyed, animals slaughtered or brought within the confines of the walled city. If he couldn’t prevent the inevitable, he could at least make sure that his lands gave the northerners no sustenance.
The invaders arrived on a Saturday, August 1st. According to a chronicler, Raymond Roger was intent on a sortie, an immediate surprise attack. "To horse, my lords!" he shouted to the highland lords who had answered his call for help. "We’ll ride out there, four hundred of us with the best and fastest horses, and before the sun has set, we shall defeat them!" The viscount and his men were hopelessly outnumbered, and the recent lesson of Béziers had shown that an ill-considered sortie could result in disaster. The crusaders were camped too far from the city walls for such an offensive to be practical in any event. The defenders waited for their antagonists to make the first move.
It came at dawn on Monday. The target was Bourg, the weaker of the city’s two suburbs. Raymond Roger did not ride out to counter attack. The chroniclers don’t tell us why. As the walls of their village gave way to battering rams and charging knights, the terrified inhabitants of Bourg scrambled for the safety of Carcassonne. The invaders thundered after them, then past them, and down to the River Aude — and the wells. At the end of the day, the crusading army controlled the northern approach to the Trencavel capital, as well as its precious water supply.
We are told that on the following day, the northern lords were interrupted at supper by the arrival of 100 splendidly caparisoned nobles from Aragon and Catalonia. Their gold and red pennants announced the arrival of the most Catholic King Pedro of Aragon. Pedro was a robust man in his mid-thirties, and there was no question of his orthodoxy. Early in his monarchy, Pedro had turned over his kingdom to Innocent III, thus becoming a vassal of the Holy See. Although he was lax in persecuting heretics in his own lands, his clashes with the Muslims in Iberia had made him a champion in the eyes of Rome. After accepting the crusaders’ welcome, Pedro went immediately
he tent of his brother-in-law, the Count of Toulouse. Raymond and his men were bivouacked on a shady hill at some distance from the main camp. Given the silence of the chroniclers, it’s reasonable to assume that Count Raymond had witnessed but not taken part in the attacks on Béziers and Carcassonne. It’s likely that the count, and the few southern lords who had joined him, now described to Pedro what they had seen.
When the Aragonese king met later with the crusaders, they recognized that he had a valid grievance. Raymond Roger of Béziers and Carcassonne was Pedro’s vassal. Feudal custom dictated that a lord always had a say in the fate of his vassals. The northern lords probably had misgivings about the propriety of attacking a seigneur like Raymond Roger and depriving him of his patrimony. For over a hundred years, successive popes had argued that the Church could depose any noble it deemed unacceptable. The men with the swords had disagreed. The French king, Philip Augustus, was particularly reluctant to cede any ground to the Popes when it came to sovereignty. Pedro of Aragon was driving home the point that even the most orthodox of monarchs could draw a line in the sand when threatened with Rome’s ambitions. He demanded to see Raymond Roger.
Pedro and three of his men rode into Carcassonne amid the joyous cheers of the teaming throng that had taken refuge in the city. It’s estimated that the population had swelled to 40,000 since the attack on Béziers. If the beleaguered Raymond Roger thought that his liege lord had come to save him and his capital, he was soon disabused of such hopes. When the viscount complained of the havoc wreaked by the crusaders, the chronicler tells us that Pedro delivered a stern warning to his vassal. After reproaching him for failing to drive out the heretics, Pedro declared, "Viscount, I am very unhappy for you, because it’s nothing but a few fools and their folly that have brought you into such danger and distress! All I can suggest is an agreement with the French lords, if we can get it." With what must have been a sense of reluctance, if not foreboding, the viscount asked the king to intercede for him and his people with the crusaders.
Pedro had known the papal legate, Arnaud-Amaury, when the ambitious priest was abbot of a Cistercian monastery in Aragon. Now, he was the commander of a crusading army. If the king had harbored any illusions about Arnaud’s rabid hatred of heresy or of his political aspirations, the monk soon set him straight. The fate of the citizens of Carcassonne would be left to the discretion of the crusaders. The viscount would be allowed to leave the city with eleven companions and whatever they could carry. Pedro retorted that "donkeys will fly" before Raymond Roger would accept such an offer. He was right. When Pedro informed his vassal of the legate’s offer, the viscount bridled at the insult. He would rather be flayed alive than agree to such dishonor! There was nothing more Pedro could do. Helpless to save the viscount, and furious with the legate, he rode back to his own country.
The siege continued under the torrid sun of Languedoc. By the middle of August, the loss of its precious water supply had cost the city dearly. Men, women, children: All were dying. Animal carcasses were rotting in the streets. The stench rose to the heavens accompanied by the cries of the people.
One day, a horseman from the crusader camp approached the city walls. He identified himself as a relative of Raymond Roger and requested a parlay. The viscount rode out with dozens of his men-at-arms to see what the man had to say. The message was hardly encouraging. Carcassonne would meet the same fate as Béziers unless Raymond Roger agreed to negotiate a surrender. The situation inside the city’s walls was desperate. If thirst didn’t kill those still alive, disease soon would. Accepting a promise of safe-conduct to and from the crusader camp, the viscount rode out alone to negotiate with the barons of the north.
The pro-crusader chroniclers are silent on the details of what transpired when Raymond Roger was brought to the tent of the Count of Nevers, Hervé de Donzy. Standing alone among the assembled northern barons and a resolute Arnaud-Amaury, it must have become apparent to the viscount that he had made a tragic mistake in believing the promises of his treacherous relative. If the stated purpose of the siege was the elimination of the heretics, the papal legate had his own motivation. The elimination of the Trencavel viscount had been Amaury’s goal from the start. There was no massacre at Carcassonne. Its citizens, Catholic, Cathar, and Jew were told that they could, must, leave the city. One by one, they were forced to file out through a narrow gate, taking nothing more with them than the clothes they wore.
The viscount was brought back to his abandoned city in chains and manacled to the wall of his own dungeon. Three months later, he was dead. On August 15, 1209, Simon de Montfort, a baron from the Ile de France, was made the new viscount of Béziers and Carcassonne, and all of the Trencavel lands in between.
In the years that followed the betrayal of Raymond Roger, the Languedoc was bloodied by ongoing battles, the destruction of much of its native aristocracy and incessant guerrilla warfare. The crusade continued for the next twenty years, followed by fifteen years of revolt and repression. The major Cathar stronghold, Montségur, surrendered in 1244. Hundreds of Perfect were hunted down and burned, but some eluded their antagonists. After almost forty years of slaughter, the war failed to destroy Catharism. It took the Inquisition to do that. In the process of establishing a system of repression that would haunt Europe for centuries, Innocent and the Popes who followed him found determined inquisitors, men like St. Dominic and the men of the order he founded, who would hunt down and punish dissenters in Europe and Latin America for the next 600 years.
How would the Cathar faith have evolved had it endured? It burned bright in the Languedoc and Italy for a time before it was extinguished in the bonfires of the Inquisition. The philosophical differences between relative and absolute dualism had no opportunity to disintegrate into schism. The Perfect retain their pristine luster, and we’re left to contemplate the meaning of their lives.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The first half of this compelling true story of knights, lords and ladies, counts, pri
nces of the Church and dark intrigues can be read by clicking on: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/pastissues/FPI_August_11_2005.htm
Options for Your French Mortgage
On every visit to the City of Light, you can’t help looking in the window of every real estate office you pass by, dreaming about owning your own little piece of Paris. But while you’re shopping for the perfect pied-à-terre, you will also need to think about financing your purchase.
The most popular mortgage programs are fixed, variable, multi-option and interest only. At French Property Insider, we work with a variety of different lenders. Today we are highlighting the products offered by GE Money Bank.
Interest only loans are popular right now because of the rate of exchange. With Flexicredit, you have the freedom to manage your monthly repayments.
Flexicredit is a two phase solution. The first phase is an interest-only payment. The monthly instalments include interest and optional term insurance premiums. In the second phase you pay back the capital and interest (repayment mortgage). At any time during the first phase, you have the chance to repay the outstanding capital with no penalty.
5 years +20 years – 3.40%
10 years +15 years – 3.40%
12 years +13 years – 3.50%
15 years +10 years – 3.70%
With Profil’Immo, you have the flexibility to adjust to fluctuating exchange and mortgage rates. This product gives you the freedom to review the interest rate of your mortgage every 3 years, and you can adjust your mortgage to suit your current financial situation. Within each 3 year period, you have the opportunity to increase or decrease your monthly repayment during a 12 month period. Plus, at the end of each 3 year period, you can repay a part of your mortgage with no penalty.
30% deposit – 15, 20, 25 years – 3.30%
20% deposit – 15, 20, 25 years – 3.40%
EVOLUTO and ACCESSIS
If you are concerned about managing your monthly payments, you may want to consider a solution like Evoluto and Accessis. You will benefit from a competitive low rate for your property purchase. Plus, you can benefit from any future drops in interest rates — your monthly instalment remains unchanged but the term of your mortgage may be shortened. A faster amortization means a lower total cost for your mortgage. Should interest rates rise, you’ll have no surprises. The contract sets a ceiling for your monthly instalments and the maximum duration of the loan, keeping you on firm ground to control your budget. You are also free to switch to a fixed rate at any time with no additional fee.
Less than 150,000 Euros
35% deposit – 15, 20, 25, 30 years – 2.80%
For total security in managing your budget, you may want to opt for a fixed rate mortage on a fixed term. After 24 months, you have the option to increase or decrease your monthly payment for the following 12 months (within the terms set in your loan contract).
This solution also offers flexibility. For example, if your income increases, you can increase your monthly repayment and therefore reduce the duration and total cost of your mortgage. If you’re planning a major purchase or are finding your payments are too high, you have the opportunity to decrease your monthly repayments.
10 years – 3.80%
12 years – 4.00%
15 years – 4.20%
20 years – 4.40%
Editor’s Note: For more information about the mortgage solutions offered by GE Money Bank Real Estate Financing and the other lenders, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan
SNCF to Ban Smoking on All Trains by Year’s End
Agence France Presse
The head of France’s railway company said Monday it plans to ban smoking on all its trains by the end of the year.
"We are going to propose that between now and the end of the year 100 percent of trains be designated non-smoking," said SNCF chief Guillaume Pepy.
The French railway has experimented with non-smoking trains for several years. It declared all its high-speed TGV trains non-smoking from mid-December 2004.
That was followed by some regional Transilien and TER trains banning smoking, Pepy said.
"We now think it’s time to take a further step and make trains in general non-smoking," he said.
He said a new service starting September 5 between the cities of Bordeaux, Toulouse, Montpellier and Nice, will have no smoking cars and will be followed by bans on regional trains that currently allow smoking.
"Travelers are ready for it, their habits have changed," Pepy said, adding that so far the company has not lost any of its smoking customers.
He said for the past 10 years, many smokers reserve seats in non-smoking carriages because they themselves do not like the ambiance of smoke-filled cars.
Pepy said the railway company would "scrub down" the smoking cars, treat the persistent odors in them and get rid of the ashtrays.
Get your tickets to the "Welcome to France Fair" today!
At the Expatica Welcome to France fair you will get the information you need from companies and agencies specialised in expatriate services.
You’ll find information on house hunting, finding a job, immigration and permits, staying long-term, and much more.
Meet the people who make expat life great, including the top clubs and associations, travel agents and sports teams.
Welcome to France October 16, 2005 Carrousel de Louvre Paris, France
Tickets are FREE before September 16 if you sign-up online. Click here
Editor’s Note: Adrian Leeds of French Property Insider and John Howell of EuropeLaw.com will be at booth #17 during the fair. Be sure to stop by and say hello!
LIVING IN FRANCE
October 21 to 23, 2005
Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf
Our popular three-day Living in France Conference will give you all the information you need to make your Paris dream a reality! The line-up for the conference includes seminars, discussions, dinners, cocktails with well-known Paris, Europe and U.S.-based experts. For West Coast folks, or those wanting more comprehensive information on all aspects of living in France, the San Francisco conference is a must.
INVEST IN FRANCE
October 26, 2005
Take just one day and learn from some of the finest experts in French real estate about the best ways to make your money and real estate investment grow. Join us at the prestigious Harvard Club for this power-packed one day event.
INVEST IN FRANCE
December 28, 2005
Enjoy your Christmas vacation in Paris, and set aside JUST ONE DAY of your busy schedule visiting museums and dining on foie gras to learn how to make your money grow, while building a portfolio of some of the most desirable real estate in the world.
For more information on The Invest in France Seminars or Living in France Conference, until we have our Web site up, contact Schuyler Hoffman, Projects Manager, at email@example.com/parlerparis to be put on a special mailing list to be notified when the details are in place (very, very soon!).
FRENCH PROPERTY EXHIBITION
September 23 – 25, 2005
National Hall, Olympia
Now in its 16th year, the London French Property Exhibition gives you the opportunity to learn about all aspects of buying property in France. Visit the John Howell and Co. booth to meet John Howell, and Adrian Leeds of Parler Paris and French Property Insider.
FOURTH PARIS POETRY WORKSHOP
October 2 – 6, 2005
This is your opportunity to spend five days in Paris as a poet among poets. Over the past several years, the success of each Paris Poetry Workshop has contributed to the creation of an expanding international community of poets writing in English, who come together from all parts of the world to generate new work, hone their craft, share and support one another’s creative endeavors. This is your chance to become part of this exciting and vibrant community.
THE ART OF TROMPE L’OEIL SEMINAR
December 29 – January 2
Join a unique community of artists, engaging in hands-on painting and conversation with internationally renowned trompe l’oeil muralist and educator, Yves Lanthier. An award-winning artist, Yves has created large oil paintings and elaborate trompe l’oeil that adorn the ceilings and walls of many East Coast mansions and Palm beach estates, including Celine Dion’s estate in Jupiter, Florida
Apartments for Rent: Long-Term
The term "Long term" applies to furnished or unfurnished apartments available 1 month to three years. FPI provides a service to assist you in finding apartments in Paris or the adjacent suburbs based on your preferences, budget and needs. Our rental professional will provide an interview with you, an apartment search and selection, provide photos when possible, arrange up to five visits, assist you to negotiate the lease or on your behalf and do a final walk-through visit with you.
Long Term Apartment Search: $1450 Paid in Advance
To book your apartment searc
FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
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!
Let our experienced relocation expert help 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.
Solution #1: Property Consultation and Search Services
Solution #2: Purchase Assistance
Solution #3: Getting a Mortgage in France
Solution #4: Property Appraisal Service
Solution #5: The "Après Vente"
To book your services, click here:
TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel "Click Here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp Global Money Services" 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.
Parler Paris Après-Midi
NEXT MEETING: September 13, 2005 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, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers
HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Ile-land Pied-à-terres
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/insider/propertyconsultation.html
*** Paris, 4th Arrondissement, Studio, approx. 24m²
Central Ile Saint Louis, on rue Saint Louis en l’Ile, 2nd floor studio apartment on a treed courtyard. Bright with a kitchen and bathroom, electric heating, eastern exposure.
Asking Price: 250,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
lign="left">*** Paris, 4th Arrondissement, 2 rooms, approx. 33m²
On rue des Deux Ponts in the heart of Ile Saint Louis, on the 4th floor of a renovated building. With a bedroom, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom.
Asking Price: 473,224 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 4th Arrondissement, 3 rooms, approx. 60m²
On Ile de la Cité, a charming apartment on the 3rd floor of a 17th century building. Large living room, dining room, separate kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and toilet, plus cellar. Southern exposure, with a view of the bell tower of Notre Dame.
Asking Price: 525,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
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
David Anderson, Mortgage Advisor
Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier
ExPatriate & No Resident Service
Contact Yolanda Robins
Contact Yolanda Robins
GE Money Bank
Contact Yolanda Robins
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/password
Order more than one guide at a time and you will receive an additional discount!
Username: propertyinsider Password: liveinfrance
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
To receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property
Report, click on
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/
Leeds Marais Apartment
Available in its entirety October 19 – 31, 2005
Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hotel Particulier, this 70 square meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for up to four people when rented in its entirety or a single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian Leeds is there.
Pictures and more details available at
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 2005, Adrian Leeds Group, LLC