Plenty of Nothing, Noses and Normandy
The "Labyrinth of a House in Normandy"
February 19, 2009
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
"I don’t know about you, but I’m already tired of doing ‘nothing’…doing ‘nothing’ while investments are shrinking and life-long dreams are being put aside in hopes the economy will improve."
"While we’re doing ‘nothing,’ you can bet, ‘nothing’ is going to improve. You can also bet, that those who stop doing ‘nothing’ and start doing ‘something’ are the ones that will prosper most in the end…while those who continue to do ‘nothing’ will have ‘nothing’ to show for it."
Those were the opening words to a Parler Paris "Nouvellettre" this past week, repeated here because of their importance. While you’re ‘snoozin’," you’re going to be ‘losin.’ And that applies to making your dream to own a property in France come true. Be sure to read the opening article which proves why doing ‘nothing’ is going to get you nowhere while doing ‘something’ could turn you into a millionaire!
Also in today’s FPI, we learn more about the new interest rates from Crédit Foncier; how to assess your homeowners association fees; the route to new energy sources; our favorite chef’s house in Normandy (Susan Herrmann Loomis), "A Labyrinth of a House;" reasons to sell at this time or not (if you already own French property) and how some people screw up by trying to manage the purchase system all by themselves, when there’s plenty of help out there to avoid the pitfalls.
It’s a power-packed issue working to get you off your buns watching life go past you instead of being a part of what’s happening. Hope you take heed!
Editor, French Property Insider
P.S. Take the fist step to doing ‘something,’ by joining us this coming March 21-22 in New Orleans for the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference. Visit www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/conference/LIF_NOLA_2009 for more information and to register.
Volume VII, Issue 8, February 19, 2009
In this issue:
* How to Become a Millionaire
* Crédit Foncier to Present at New Orleans Conference
* Just a Few Places Open
* Inside the Assemblée Générale
* Paris to Use New Energy Source to Heat Buildings
* The Latest Fractional Property Offerings
* The Labyrinth in Normandy
* Book Review: "Buying a Piece of Paris"
* Currency Update from Moneycorp: Update on the Dollar
* Repossession of Property in France
* Time to Sell Your French Property? Or Buy?
* Preview the Next Notaires’ Auction
* Hot Property Picks: Naturally Neighborly Normandy
* How You Can Obtain a Mortgage in France
* Parler Paris Apartments: Le Provençal Studio
* Additional Conferences in April and May
* Parler Paris Après-Midi: When and Where We Meet Next
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Subscribers Receive Discount on Insider Paris Guides
Let’s say you had $450,000 in stocks, but they lost 1/3 of their value. So, now the certificates are worth $300,000. That $300,000 is worth 236,000€ at today’s rate of exchange.
That’s ok. You’ll use it as your 30% cash down payment and closing costs towards a property in Paris worth 750,00€. That property is a 75 square meter two-bedroom apartment in a central location in Paris. It generates weekly rentals on the average of 1,750 at least 36 weeks a year (70% occupancy) yielding 63,700€ in revenues. Agency management fees are about 35%, or about 22,300€ for the year. At greatly reduced interest rates (the Euribor today is 1.89!!!), your payments on a variable rate are low — about 3,000€ a month on a 25 year loan, or about 36,000€ a year.
Therefore, your PROFIT before mortgage expense is about 32,000€, which is almost 4% profit based on your cost of entry and almost 15% profit of your capital investment.
If you consider your mortgage
expense, you will h
ave a small out-of-pocket expense annually of about 4,000€ but keep in mind that:
1. The property has been totally paid for by OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY (I call this "OPM").
2. Interest expense is tax deductible!…a savings on taxes!
3. The property will increase in value on the average about 10% a year as long as you hold it for at least 10 to 15 years.
4. Rental rates will increase while the monthly payment stays the same and…
5. You will pay no capital gains tax on it if you don’t sell it for 15 years.
As a result, in 10 or 15 years, that $150,000 loss you experienced this year will have amounted to a property valued at 1,945,306€ after 10 years and 3,132,936€ after 15 years with very little, if none, out-of-pocket costs!
Now you tell me if it’s better to do ‘nothing’ or do this ‘something!’
To take advantage of our Return on Investment Calculator from which I derived this analysis, click here: www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/Rental_Return_On_Investment.
It will be a first for the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conferences…Sarah Maslen, Customer Advisor of Crédit Foncier, one of our primary lenders, will be broadcast live from Paris to the conference room via Teleconference, enabling conference participants to see her presentation and ask questions just as if she were with them in the room, but instead, via Internet and live feed on the conference computer and projector!
Rates have come down and offerings for financing is ripe for the picking. See below Crédit Foncier’s latest rate offerings:
* From 10 to 25 years
* No pre-payment penalty within the quarter preceding each revision of rate.
* Fixed rate the first 3 or 5 years, then the rate is revised every 3 or 5 years on the Swap against Euribor index 3 or 5 years for another 3 or 5 years duration.
* In case of variation, the adjustment is as follows:
In the first place, made over the duration which is reduced if the rate goes down and extended if the rate goes up (maximum extension: 20% of the initial duration). As a consequence, the monthly repayment remains the same.
Only in the second place, the adjustment is made on the monthly repayment. In order to work out the monthly repayment, the rate applicable cannot exceed initial rate + 1,5% (= maximum rate to work out monthly repayments).
IN ADDITION: this product is now capped at +3% of the initial rate throughout the entire loan duration.
FONCIER TRANSFORMABLE – interest only loan
How it operates: the loan finances up to 100% of the transaction, while the down payment is placed onto a saving vehicle and will refund the capital upon expiration of duration.
* First period of interest only repayments, over 15 to 20 years + amortizing period possible, up to 10 years.
* No compulsory additional down payment onto the saving vehicle for the first 8 years, and not after the first 8 years either, if the vehicle is growing sufficiently to repay the capital at due date.
* Fixed rate for the 1st 5 years, then indexed on Euribor 1 year + margin.
*No pre-payment penalty after 10 years
If at the end of the first loan period the borrower wishes to keep the vehicle for saving purposes (instead of redeeming the capital), he/she has the possibility of extending up to another 10 years the repayment of the capital, on an amortizing basis.
Foncier Transformable also exists in a variable capped version at +2% for the first 8 years (No pre-payment penalty after 8 years), and a FIXED RATE version for the entire loan duration!
Basic insurance rate: 0,252%. These rates apply to loan amounts up to 230 000 €. For loan amounts exceeding 230 000 € rates are negotiable: please contact us.
This document is for information purposes only and is not a contractual document. These interest rates are applicable during the above mentioned month, and for clients not already in process.
Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference
March 21-22, 2009 New Orleans
There is nothing else
you can do in less time and
as inexpensively to learn all you need to learn to make your dream to live and invest in France come true. Produced by Adrian Leeds and John Howell is the 23rd conference of the series, which was the first ever of its kind to be offered both in Paris and the United States. Take advantage of this two-day power-packed conference with expert speakers from France, Europe and the U.S…and these two days of conference activities include the coffee breaks, the cocktail and five course dinner at Tujague’s(!).
Reference materials and a tote bag filled with FREE gifts from Paris!
If you register now, you can SAVE $100 off the registration fee. And when you bring along your spouse, partner or friend, you can SAVE AN ADDITIONAL $200! Plus, if you bring a third person, we’ll EXTEND THE SECOND PERSON DISCOUNT!
Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference
March 21-22, 2009, New Orleans
An Excerpt from
Parler Paris "Nouvellettre"
By Adrian Leeds
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Yesterday there was a rather thick package of paper in my "boites aux lettres" titled "Amicale du [number] rue de Saintonge." One might have thought it the manuscript of a new screen play at first glance, but no, it’s the preparatory documents owners will need to attend the annual "assemblée générale" (meeting) of the "copropriété" (homeowners association).
The meeting will take place March 10th, just after our own "Parler Paris Après Midi" gathering, in the same location — the upstairs at La Pierre du Marais. Convenient for me…I won’t have a long commute — may not even have to change seats!
The association meetings of any group of owners is predictable. It is sure to be both dastardly and fascinating at the same time. While the meetings usually drone on with incessant conversation over the most mundane decisions (the French can ‘circle’ a discussion like driving cars around the "Etoile" (Arc de Triomphe) never to actually spin off in any direction), the interaction among the owners is always an eye- opening experience.
At one meeting of one of our clients (who owns a one-bedroom apartment in a 16th-century building in Le Marais), kicked off with a ‘duel of noses!’ Yes, you read right…a duel of noses. The father of the volunteer "syndic" (association manager), who also lived in the building and who was present to defend his son from the accusations of absconding with 10,000 euros of the association’s money, actually thrust his long French nose into the nose space of another owner and whacked it back and forth as if it was an epee!
I swear, this is true. It’s never been seen before and never been seen since, but my first thoughts were that in a weird way it was quite civilized, if not downright bizarre. Is it cultural, we might wonder?
Nonetheless, what is so interesting about the thick package of papers has more to do with the contents, which includes a friendly letter from our volunteer syndic. He’s an elderly gentleman with whom I’ve developed a very pleasant rapport over the years, mostly because in his eyes I’m a real oddity — a woman with real estate/business sense. It seems he hasn’t come across too many of those in his past experience and for that reason, must respect my opinion as he includes me in many of the committee meetings only involving a few owners.
In his letter, he refers to the decision by the association in 1995 to manage itself rather than hire an outside agency. In an effort to ‘pat himself on the back’ a bit, he notes that of the 500,000 associations in France, representing 20 million people, 90% to 95% are managed by professional agencies, while the remaining 5% to 10%, usually of small associations, manage themselves, citing an article in Le Monde this past December. The letter goes on to say that the normal annual cost for an owner is 25,30€ per square meter while at our building, the cost is less than 9€! That’s an annual savings of more than 1,100€ for my part alone.
No doubt, I have new-found respect for the volunteer syndic who has to endure all the owners’ issues and complaints, including the rebel owner who painted her door different from the others (like me).
Monday February 16, 2009
There are currently 170,000 homes in France heated by geothermal energy but the country has ambitions to get that figure up by six times come 2020. "In Paris we’re trying to adopt a strategy in which France is largely behind other European countries, because we’ve under-invested in renewable energies," said Denis Baupin, a Paris deputy mayor.
size="2" face="Verdana">What the city is doing now is digging deep into the earth to tap into geothermal energy. It’s impossible to harness as much energy as Iceland does from underground due to France’s geology, but the potential is there. Drilling has recently begun at the construction site in search of hot water from beneath that has a temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Like many other geothermal energy source set-up, the hot water from underground would be pumped up onto ground level and pumped into residential homes for use. The hot water would be used to heat more water for consumption and heat radiators.
This project is expected to power a new residential area to be built by around 2011 consisting of 12,000 apartments and more buildings. Using geothermal energy on all these structures would mean the prevention of 14,000 tons a year of carbon emissions. It will cost the city’s environmental department $40 million, but it will provide 54 percent of the area’s electricity needs. Says Michel Galas of CPCU, the urban heating company carrying out the work, "For about 25 years there were no new projects because the price of a barrel of oil had gone down, but in recent years there has been a growing awareness of environmental issues, combined with a hike in the price of oil."
If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, see below:
Paris: LE PALACE DES VOSGES
Paris: La Rsidence Luxembourg
|Paris: LE PETIT TRESOR
|Languedoc-Roussillon: MAISON BLEUE
Published: February 17, 2009
New York Times Great Homes and Destinations
Photos by Owen Franken for The New York Times
Editor’s Note: Parler Paris and French Property Insider brought Robert P. Walzer and Susan Herrmann Loomis together, resulting in this great story about her Normandy "Labyrinth of a House"…
When Susan Herrmann Loomis recently remarked on the “dark” side of her adopted French town, she was referring to the local exorcisms and burnings of two priests accused of witchcraft in 1647.
But she also could have been speaking of the troubled spirits who she suspects inhabit one room of her ancient house, which stands across from a Gothic church in this Norman town about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Paris.
Ms. Herrmann Loomis, a food writer, chef and cooking teacher, lives in a 12th-century house whose rambling layout pairs well with its lengthy history…
To read the article in its entirety, click here:
A book review by By Charles Solomon
Little is illuminating in this apartment-shopping memoir set in the City of Light.
"Buying a Piece of Paris," Ellie Nielsen’s account of her quest to find the perfect apartment in the French capital, continues a recent trend in popular travel writing that started with the suc
of Peter Mayle’s books about Provence. This led to the literary subgenre of British expatriates recounting how they bought an old house in the south of France or Italy or Spain and fixed it up.
Made up of equal parts of love letters to the adopted country, rueful memoirs and mildly patronizing descriptions of the locals, these travelogues offered lightweight reading for people who couldn’t afford European retreats of their own. Now that Provence, Tuscany and Majorca have been pretty well covered, expat writers have turned to their quests to live in the most civilized of cities, Paris…
To read the article in its entirety, click here:
Monday – Market Holiday – President’s Day
Tuesday 2.00pm Treasury International Capital System (TICS) for December. Previous $-21.7bln
Wednesday 1.30pm Building Permits & Housing Starts for January. Previous 547k & 550k
Wednesday 1.30pm Import Prices for January. Previous -4.2%m/m Wednesday 2.15pm Industrial Production for January. Previous -2.0%m/m
Wednesday 7.00pm Fed release minutes from prior 27th-28th Jan FOMC meeting.
Thursday 1.30pm PPI for January. Previous -1.9%m/m & -0.9%y/y Friday 1.30pm CPI for Jan. Previous -0.7%m/m & 0.1%y/y
The Dollar strengthened across the board last week as the ebb and flow of investor risk appetite continued to dominate currency trading, boosting safe-haven demand for the US currency. The greenback posted strong gains on Tuesday after Washington’s anxiously awaited bank bailout package proved long on promises but short on specifics, with the resulting uncertainty prompting a flight to the Dollar. Meanwhile a surprise rebound in US retail sales and reports that the Obama administration were set to announce plans to subsidize mortgages for homeowners failed to ease market anxieties. In a busy US data calendar, Wednesday’s FOMC minutes are likely to steal the spotlight, showing the Fed are progressively closer to buying US Treasury bonds while revised economic forecasts will be published and should be downgraded, at least for 2009.
Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel or click here for Currency Currency Convertor by Moneycorp Global Money Services/Currency Online by Moneycorp: Moneycorp Currency Conversion Tool for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.
Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting:
www.Moneycorp.com/agent/parlerparis/Currency Convertor by Moneycorp Global Money Services/Currency Online.asp
Charts: www.Moneycorp.co.uk/members/charts.asp The charts are updated every ten seconds.
The prices shown are "inter bank" exchange rates and are not the rates that you will be offered by Moneycorp. Your rate will be determined by the amount of currency that you are buying. Please speak with an Moneycorp dealer or your consultant for a live quotation.
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
France has long been one of the most popular countries with British retirees who are going in search of sunshine in retirement as well as a laid back and healthy lifestyle. What’s more, it’s a popular haunt with those who want a holiday home abroad and has been considered an excellent place for investment property seekers too…
However, France has certainly not avoided the effects of the global financial crisis, and at the current time there are many on the continent who are personally feeling the effects of the credit crunch. Those who have assets in more than one country and who need to consolidate may be being impacted, those who have a euro mortgage and a sterling income may be seeing their monthly payments rise, and anyone who is facing job insecurity and who has an outstanding balance to find on their French property may very well be worried about the potential reality of repossession.
To read the article in its entirety, click here: www.shelteroffshore.com/index.php/avoiding-repossession-of-property-france.
18 February, 2009
With the euro at an all time high, British holiday home owners are erecting for sale signs knowing they can sell at a loss and still bring the cash home at a profit.
French Riviera estate agents, such as Chez Riviera, are reporting an almost 20 per cent increase in property sellers as the Brits take advantage of converting their sales profits back into pounds.
Donal Warde from Chez Riviera explains: "A property in the Eurozone selling at €200,000 would give its owner in the region of £188,000 – that’s roughly a £57,000 increase over the last two years…
To read the article in its entirety, click here: www.beattiegroup.com/prclients/pr-press-releases.aspx.
Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the Web site at www.encheres-Paris.com. Though the site has a button for an English version, it isn’t necessarily reliable.
To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:
March 3, 2009
Beginning at 2:00 p.m. the following properties will be auctioned off:
3 Rooms 93m² 107 rue La Fayette – 75010 – PARIS
Starting Bid: 294 800 €
Deposit: 58 960 €
2 Rooms 58,77m² 74 rue notre Dame des Champs 75006 – PARIS
Starting Bid: 459 000 €
Deposit: 91 800 €
CHATEAU 600m² Lieudit Le Village – 89300 – LOOZE
Starting Bid: 429 000 €
Deposit: 85 800 €
Next Auction 3 March, 2009 (There are also some commercial properties up for auction this go round. If interested, please visit the Web site.)
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
This week our focus is on properties found in the various regions of Normandy.
***Normandy, Mortagne au Perche: 1-Bedroom, approx. 64m²
The property is located is a pretty hamlet, close forest on the edge of a village with shops. The property has been fully restored and offers 64m² of living space comprising a fitted kitchen, living room with fireplace and exposed beams, original tiled floor, bedroom, shower and wc. There is an adjoining barn used as a garage (16m²) suitable for onversion.The property sets on 650m² size garden with lovely views.
Asking Price: 108 000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
***Normandy, Belleme: 2-Bedroom, approx. 102m²
The property stands on 2800m² size garden with beautiful views over the countryside. The property is located near the medieval town of Belleme and close to a public forest. The
property offers 102m² of
living space comprising a fitted kitchen, living room with fireplace and bread oven, exposed beams, dining room, 2 bedrooms (one has direct access to a side patio), shower room, wc. Loft suitable for conversion (great potential). In the adjoining part, work shop, wood storage unit. There is also a lovely stone barn with a new roof, garden shed, front patio.
Asking Price: 216 000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
***Normandy, Nogent le Rotrou: 2-bedroom, approx. 134m²
The mill-house offers 134m² of living space with potential for more. The habitable part is composed of a spacious (38m²) room with fireplace large kitchen, and WC.Upstairs: landing leading to two bedrooms, shower room and WC. There is also one outbuilding. The entire property consists of 2.8 acres of land.
Asking Price: 222 000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
***Normandy, Tourouvre: 3-bedroom, approx. 155m²
The property sets in a pretty village on a top of a hill, close to a town with shops.The maison de maitre has been fully restored from top to bottom and has a brand new gas central heating with doubled glazed windows. It offers 155m² of living space with a huge loft suitable for conversion. On the ground floor: fitted kitchen with tile floor, large living room with fireplace, lounge with mezzanine (bedroom), utility room with wc. On the second floor: landing to three bedrooms, bathroom with wc, dressing. Third floor loft suitable for conversion. On the land, one of the stone barns has a new roof and comprises a cellar and a boiler room. The other one is has a bread oven. There is also an open barn used as a garage for three cars. The property stands on 2800 m² of land with lovely countryside views and public forest.
Asking Price: 450 000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
***Normandy, la Fresnay sur Sarthe: 3-bedroom, approx. 63m²
The property is in very good condition and offers 300m² of living space comprising an entrance hall, fitted kitchen, living room with monumental fireplace, dining room with fireplace, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, WCs, utility room, various outbuildings (one with swimming pool) around the courtyard, bread oven, "orangerie." Oil central heating, main sewerage. The Manor stands on a 4539m² size garden with mature trees.
Asking Price: 549 000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
When you make a purchase as important as a piece of real estate in a foreign country, you want to know that you can trust the people you are dealing with. Adrian Leeds has developed a network of professionals that meet only the highest of standards. With the expertise and experience of Adrian and her team, you can depend on getting the best advice and support to feel completely confident that you are making an informed investment decision.
HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: www.onlineconversion.com/
Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the "seal of approval" from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.
Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!
Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.
SPOTLIGHT APARTMENT: Le Provençal Studio
Rue Charlot, 3rd Arrondissement, Le Marais
Studio Apartment, Sleeps 2
"Le Provençal" studio, located on the quiet courtyard of a very charming 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, is the pride and joy of owner, Adrian Leeds, editor of the Parler Paris and French Property Insider newsletters. There isn’t an apartment in Paris more charming and cheerful…ask all who have had the pleasure of staying here.
Le Provençal is completely equipped in spite of its size! Complete with a king size bed that converts to twin beds when desired, a Siemens brand washer/dryer combination, espresso maker, microwave, toaster-oven, two-burner ceramic stove, refrigerator, high speed Internet, flat screen TV, DVD player, stereo, and free(!) long distance phone service, this delightful and cozy studio makes a perfect Parisian home for one or two.
The studio has been crafted with loving hands by a local mosaic artist who created the mosaic-tiled kitchen and bathroom and special touches on the walls. The bright colors of Provence make it a continuously happy place to hang your hat after a long day visiting Paris.
The bath is equipped with both a rain shower head and hand-held shower, magnifying mirror, hair dryer and glass shelving to put all your personal belongings. There is ample storage space in a floor-to-ceiling closet equipped with a clothing hamper, marketing cart, step stool, three areas of hanging space for your clothing, four drawers and lots of shelving.
Located on the third floor (European, no elevator) up sweet carpeted wooden Marais stairs, facing southeast, this quiet studio gets a beautiful amount of sunlight through all three windows, decorated with colored shades and white linen drapes. When the windows are open, you’ll be able to smell the fresh rosemary planted in the window boxes.
For more information and to reserve your stay in Paris now, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html or email: mailto:Apartments@AdrianLeeds.com…
For more information and to reserve your stay in Paris now, visit www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/portesdenotredame.html or email: firstname.lastname@example.org/parlerparis
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The International Law Partnership
The Vaults, Holborn Hall
193-197 High Holborn
London WC1V 7BD
For more information, email email@example.com/london
Sunday, May 31, 2009
3, Boulevard du Temple
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org/paris
Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…
The next gathering is March 10, 2009 and every second Tuesday of the month (except August).
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