Paris Promises

Three Windows on Rue Charlot, Photo by Pascal Fonquernie,

Paris Promises

Parler Paris Previews…
A Weekly Community Calendar for English-Speaking Paris

Calendar #96

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Paris, France

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French Property Insider is a weekly e-newsletter that offers a wealth of real estate, legal, investing and tax information. Editor Adrian Leeds and her team are in Paris, on the ground, immersed daily in the real estate market, to bring you the most up-to-the-minute reports, insights and recommendations on purchasing property in the City of Light. If your dream is to live, invest or retire in France, that dream starts with French Property Insider — subscribe now!


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Today I am taking my own advice. This afternoon, I will be in our Notaire’s office, in the same shoes as our clients, sitting opposite the seller of a studio apartment on rue Charlot, to sign what is called a “Promesse de Vente” or “Promise to Sell” contract. This is the first formal procedure of purchasing a property in France, also at times referred to as the “Compromis de Vente.” The second and final formal procedure is known as the “Acte de Vente.”

I know the building well — several of my close colleagues live there and own rental apartments they keep happily filled with vacationers. This little apartment is a mere 18 square meters (about 200 square feet), but has three windows along the length of the apartment and southeast facing affording a lot of light, overlooking the courtyard making it quiet and tranquil. Like most Marais apartments, there is no lift, but it’s only on the third floor and the stairwell is very pleasant. An apartment of this size equates to a good-sized hotel room, but unlike a hotel, for the same price per night or more, will be equipped with a full kitchen, washer/dryer and luxurious bath, not to mention all the amenities such as Cable TV, high-speed Internet and international telephone.

Once again, I’ve lucked out to have found this through “inside sources,” and although I pay my source a finder’s fee, the price is less than the average per square meter in this district. On top of that, the mortgage offering is very advantageous, as I’ve been able to qualify for a particular type of loan that pays 110% of the purchase price, meaning that even the taxes and Notaire fees will be covered, so I’ll have no out-of-pocket expense. The idea is that if I only cover the mortgage and expenses, which will amount to about 1000 euros a month (very rough guesstimate), the property will appreciate (the current rate is 15.9%, as reported by the Chambre de Notaires for 3rd quarter 2004 to 3rd quarter 2005) allowing it to grow in value all by itself.

Yolanda Robins, FPI’s Property Manager, will attend the signing with me, treating me like the client and watching out for the pitfalls. You’d think I could manage this on my own, given how many signings I’ve attended and performed the same function…but it’s always valuable to have another pair of eyes and ears, particularly her keen ones and during such important transactions where there are many pitfalls we can’t always foresee.

Lots of folks believe that purchasing property in France is something they can do themselves without the help of professionals…and they can, of course…but mistakes can be costly. Recently, we’ve had several requests to evaluate or appraise a property that someone is considering purchasing or will soon sign the Promesse de Vente. If a buyer isn’t well versed on the current market valuations, it would be normal to question the true value of the property they’ve agreed to purchase. Thanks to the French government protecting consumers by allowing for a 7-day buyer’s remorse period, a buyer can cancel the purchase with no repercussions within 7 days of signing. This is also when we might get called in to make an evaluation on the last minute.

Just this past month, a couple opted out of purchasing an apartment in Paris based on the evaluation, once they saw that while the apartment itself seemed fine, the homeowner’s association and standard of the building was way under par. If they had purchased this apartment, they would likely have found themselves with years of problems, potentially added expense and low appreciation.

Within three months, I’ll be reporting on the signing of the “Acte de Vente” when I can take possession and start the renovation process. Meanwhile, I dream of decorating it in “Provençal” style — bright sunny colors, fancy mosaic tile work, and I hope to expose some of the 18th-century stone now hidden by plaster and the ancient wood beams under the current ceiling. The goal — to make it so delightful to stay in that it stays booked with happy vacationers 80% of the year!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. To learn all about the ins and outs of property ownership for yourself, don’t miss one of the upcoming Living and Investing in France Conferences in Paris and New Orleans! Visit /frenchproperty/conference/index.html for details.

P.P.S. You don’t have to miss out of Parler Paris Après Midi even if you didn’t join us! Read all about yesterday’s gathering at /parlerparis/apresmidi.html and then plan on coming next month: Tuesday, March 14th from 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais.

French Property Insider

Friendly Meeting of Marais Minds
By Adrian Leeds
Reprint from Parler Paris February 8, 2006
Photo by Erica Simone

Every February, my “copropriété (homeowners association) meets for the annual “assemblée generale” (assembly meeting) that they lovingly call an “Amicale du 43 rue de Saintonge.” I find this in itself amusing, since “amicale” means “friendly” and has the second meaning of “club” or “association,” but I wouldn’t call this particular meeting very “friendly.”… FPI Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. Learn all the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week.

Subscribe today!

Insider Paris Guides

* Excerpt from the Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France

I have an American friend who just had a problem getting on a flight to France with a return ticket back to the US, dated more than 60 days later, from an American airline. She got stuck at the airport for over three hours and missed her flight. Do you know what the new ruling is?

I have received numerous first-hand reports of people traveling to France, either with a one-way ticket or with a return ticket, having serious problems on non-French airlines. Apparently some staff members of US airlines have been blaming their stricter procedures on the French authorities. But I am not aware of any new ruling having been made on the French side. Here is my understanding of what is going on…for the complete answer, see the guide….

The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France is packed with almost 300 questions from real people, for real people…and the practical answers that will save you countless hours of frustration. If you’re moving to France, this guide is a must!

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Further Resources

* Let us help you find your perfect Paris apartment. With a one-on-one consultation in person or by phone, you’ll get the answers you need and the help you want. Book your appointment today! /parlerparis/services/consultationservices.html

* Getting a mortgage in France is easier than you think…let us show you how.

* You’re moving into your dream pied-à-terre in Paris and need to take care of a few details — connecting water, gas, electricity, phone, Internet and Cable TV, arranging insurance for home, health, car, bank accounts, and more! Don’t worry — we can help! /frenchproperty/insider/apres_vente.html

Calendar #96
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Paris, France


To access the complete Community Calendar, you now have two choices:

1. Click here for the online version with hot links to your favorite sites:

2. Click here for a printer-friendly text version:


We gladly run announcements for non-profit organizations. If you wish your community announcement to appear, please provide the text in ENGLISH just as you’d like it to appear and send it to Lynda Sydney:

We reserve the right to edit as necessary. We cannot promise it will be run if the information is provided in French or if the format is unacceptable. Please use the following listings as your format guide.

Thank you, Adrian

Classified Advertising

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Pictures and more details available here: Marais Guest Room or Entire Apartment

2 room apartment near Bastille/Oberkampf

Convenient, quiet courtyard haven steps away from lively, popular, authentic Paris neighborhood. Redesigned, charming, intimate ground-level near Metro Voltaire and several bus lines. Double mezzanine/loft bed plus double fold-out sofa and single bed on floor level. Kitchenette, separate bath and WC areas. Great late night cafes and restaurants, food shops, within walking distance to the Place de la Bastille, La Petite Roquette park with flowers and fountains, and the Marais. Digicode, concierge. High-speed internet, 100 TV channels, unlimited national calls, answering service. Special monthly possibility in February 2006.

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* Please tell Ms. Smith you read about the apartment in Parler Paris!

APARTMENT RENTAL is offering 30% off apartment rentals during the month of February: 4-star suite 90 euros/night, luxury attic apartment 70 euros/night, romantic studio 65 euros/night with champagne included for special Valentine’s Day celebration! Visit or email Pascal at for this special offer.


Coming soon…Parler Paris Apartments rental representation at If you have a property ín Paris you’d like to keep booked and represented properly, please email Parler Paris Apartments at for more information.

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


Parler Paris Après Midi

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

The next gathering is March 14, 2006Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like.

Next Event: 8th Anniversary Celebration March 11th, 11 a.m. at Eurocentres. Watch for more information.


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