Still on an Upward Motion
Pont de la Tournelle, Photo by Cathleen Mangan
French Property Insider
Thursday, December 11, 2003
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
In yesterday’s Parler Paris, we published news that happily surprised me…. the city is launching a program called “Paris Entreprendre” to assist in the creation of new business enterprises in Paris!
I was delighted because in the nine years I’ve lived in Paris, I’ve seen things change drastically, not all for the better, but with the Internet came a more global viewpoint and with that viewpoint has come an entrepreneurial interest that hasn’t been, until now, a part of the French culture, so steeped in socialist ideas.
As it turns out, sixty-five CEO’s have agreed to personally assist new companies in their first year of establishment with their experience and their advice. In addition, an average amount of 30,000 Euros will be allocated to certain selected projects to facilitate bank loans for these new enterprises. This association falls under the national federation founded by André Mulliez — “Réseau Entreprendre” — comprised of 2500 company heads. This initiative reinforces the city’s support of the creation of new companies, new business and new jobs.
This news reinforces my feelings that as long as the ideas and efforts of Bertrand Delanöe’s administration continue, that this city is going to continue on an upward motion in all respects…culturally, economically, socially and politically. That means that property values are going to continue to rise and it won’t be long before Paris property is as expensive as New York, London or Tokyo.
Property all over France is continuing to increase in value — last year (from 2nd quarter 2002 to second quarter 2003) some spots increased in price as much as 21.3% (Nevers). A few showed decreases…and guess where?…in the northern areas of France, like Strasbourg, Brest and Boulogne-sur-Mer. But in the south, prices keep moving up at a steady healthy pace.
It makes me sleep well to know that I own a little piece of France, that is increasing in value as I snore zzzz’s and that the appreciation is in Euros, strengthening with every day.
Editor, French Property Insider
P.S. A reader, George B., just wrote and commented: “You have not had anyone address the ‘weak dollar’ and how much the ‘real’ cost of property is in Paris for an American because of the strong Euro.” Well George, we expect the Euro is going to get a whole lot stronger (up to 1.3), so buy now while the rate is as “low” as it is and watch your investment grow in EUROS.
Volume I, Issue 44, December 11, 2003
In this issue:
* Talk to the Property Experts in Person
* Strict Laws Protect Tenants from Unhealthy Conditions
* Getting to Know an Oyster
* 11 Days and Counting
* The Final Touches at Rue de la Huchette
* See You in San Francisco in March
* A Currency Exchange Update
* Hot Property: The Overlooked 14th Arrondissement
* Property For Sale: Great Buys Next to the Oyster Beds
* General FPI Information…
CONFERENCE CALL: HOT PROPERTY SPOTS OF PARIS
In just a few days, Sunday, December 14th at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) to be exact, you can participate in our quarterly FPI conference calls. International Living’s various satellite offices around the world began providing this service earlier last year. They have proven to be very successful and valuable for the participants.
Talk in person with Adrian Leeds and Jocelyn Carnegie of our Paris Office to learn what parts of Paris are HOT and what parts are NOT…where will your property investment grow the fastest?…what parts of the city yield the hottest rental returns?…what parts of Paris are best to live in?…what parts of Paris give you the most space for your money…and anything you want to ask about property in the Paris!”
Here are the instructions for participating in the call:
Conference Date: Sunday, December 14th 2003
Conference Time: 2pm EST
Dial-in Number: 1-503-767-1200 PIN Code: 18330
1. At conference time, dial the Conference Dial-In number above.
2. At the prompt, enter the PIN Code followed by the # key.
3. You will hear music until the Leader enters the call.
To mute/un-mute your individual phone line, press * 6.
Instructions are also on the FPI website. You’ll find the link under the “Subscribers Only” section on the left of any page.
STRICT LAWS TO INSURE RENTALS ARE LIVABLE CONDITIONS
By Adrian Leeds
Jeff Lehman, a reader with studio apartments in Paris (6th) and in Cap d’Antibes, reminded us of the strict laws passed January 30, 2003 on rentals, particularly “chambres de bonnes” These are the servants quarters traditionally on the top floor of Haussmannian apartments that when renovated, can make small apartments for students or rentals, or when combined, can make lovely larger apartments with lots of sun and fabulous views.
The law decrees that in order for a property to be rentable, it must be no less than 9 square meters and with a ceiling height no less than 2.2 meters. It must have an effective heating system, be well ventilated, drinking water, sanitation facilities and electricity to the standards. In addition, it is not possible to rent a tiny room without a window as it must have some daylight. It is also necessary that it has a kitchen or stove to boil water as well as a sink with hot and cold water
According to the decree, if housing is not to the standards or does not answer these criteria, the tenant can constantly make requests t the owner until the standard comfort level is met without calling into question the validity of the lease. The objective of the decree is to avoid abuse by landlords, particularly in the larger cities, where certain owners do not hesitate to rent tiny attics hardly having minimum comforts, and in many cases are unhealthy to live in.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This photo of the rooftops of Paris was taken by Jeff from one of his apartments on rue de Vaugirard. (For those of you reading text emails, click on http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/subscribersonly/currentissue.html and put in the username and password to access today’s issue.)
* The following apartment that appeared in Parler Paris Pocket Property Picks Friday, December 5, 2003 is still unsold:
Studio in the 10th: 35,000 Euros
1 room apartment of 10 m2 on rue de Paradis. In a fine 17th-century building. Entry code system and concierge. This ‘studette’ is on the 5th floor with an elevator. Access by principal staircase. In the mansard of the building with velux windows for extra light with shower, wardrobe and cupboard, kitchenette. Repainting required.
Serious inquiries email: Studio_10th_5-12-03
Normally, when a loan is accepted on a property in France, French Law requires that the borrower is granted 10 days ‘remorse’ (sometimes known as a ‘cooling-off period’). All lending banks in France (whether French or otherwise) must offer this; although the fact that you, the borrower, has signed the Offer of Loan would indicate that you do require it! This period is obligatory and it can cause all sorts of last minute problems as the money will not become available until the 10 days has fully run its course – therefore on the eleventh day. This can be costly and time consuming, not to mention irritating and stressful.
There is, however, respite (albeit technical) for those real estate investors who are purchasing through an SCI (Société Civile Immobilière). Loans to SCIs need no cooling off period as far as the law is concerned. Your lending bank will try to impose the condition as it keeps them safer, but you can insist that this period be waived through your Notaire or simply plan ahead to make sure that the extra eleven days is taken into account.
I NEVER MET AN OYSTER I DIDN’T LIKE
By Adrian Leeds
Author of “Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris Restaurants,”
Every year I think that when the air turns fresh and cool, and the name of the month has an R in it, the oysters will come out to tempt me. Particularly during the holiday season, you’ll see vendors curbside in front of super markets and poissoneries shucking and making mountainous trays to send home with you, as restaurants offer up varieties of oysters for the entrées du jour on their blackboards.
In fact, oysters are cultivated and farmed all year, though in May, June, July and August – the warmest periods – but precautions are taken in transporting them. From May till September, when the oyster is busy with its reproduction, you may find the liquids in the shell somewhat milky. So if you already have qualms about downing oysters, this may not be the best time to try them.
I learned to eat raw oysters (from the Gulf of Mexico) at the age of two, and they were served with a mixture of ketchup, lemon, horseradish and hot sauce. Momma said, “Don’t look at it – just dip it in the sauce, put it in your mouth, bite on it once or twice, not more, then swallow it down. Now isn’t that delicious?”
Very Different Mollusks
And of course, it was. Eating a freshly shucked plump, sweet, juicy oyster was as sensual an experience as I had come across in my young years…and it still is.
Here in France, like with almost every other experience, eating an oyster was a new adventure. You see, a French oyster and a Gulf oyster are very different mollusks. And within France, you are faced with having to familiarize yourself with a large variety of oysters – those farmed and harvested from different parts of France plus oysters defined by size and refinement…plump or lean; small, medium or large; more or less solid, fat or refined.
Oysters are classified according to official regulations in five categories that correspond to weight ranges – from 5 as the smallest to 0, the largest. The French, as a practical matter, tend to define them simply as Petites, Moyennes and Grosses.
Conditions of refinement fall into two main categories:
1) Those that stay in their final stage of refinement in the basin for less than three weeks in a density of 20 oysters per square meter.
2) Fleshier oysters that stay up to six weeks in a density of 10 oysters per square meter.
Some producers have marketed a special oyster known as Spéciales Pousse en Claires having been refined four to six months in a density of five oysters per square meter. These are available only in fall and winter and are, of course, the top of the line, the haut de gamme!
Farmed Since Roman Times
The French have almost as many terms for defining the taste of oysters as they have for wine: bien en chair for a firm, crispy, milder taste, bien équilibrées for a well balanced taste with smooth flesh, “bien en eau” for not too much flesh with a little bit of a salty taste.
The river Seudre in the south of Charente-Maritime flows through Saujon before forming the Marennes-Oléron basin. Oysters have been farmed there since Roman times, and the area is still the heart of French oyster region, producing 45% of all the huîtres creuses eaten in France.
Renowned for their taste and purity, oysters go through a final extra refinement stage. For 30 days, the oysters are put into natural inland sea-water basins (claires) where they take in glycogene and become fleshy and green. A special blue seaweed native to these waters turns the oysters green.
The Bélon oyster, named after the bay in which they are raised on the Brittany coast (known as the European Flat Oyster in the U.S.), is also cultivated in New England and the Pacific Northwest in the U.S.
Don’t Forget the Wine
Because of a mix of fresh water and seawater, the Bélon oyster is famous for its noisette, or hazelnut, flavor. French promoters of the
Bélon claim that in less than 10 years, they have replaced Belgian varieties on the platters of most of the finest restaurants in Paris. Five generations of ostréiculteurs have farmed oysters in Bélon and preserved their high quality.
To fully appreciate a French oyster, eat them with no dressing, although they are normally served with lemon or red wine vinegar with shallots and accompanied by bread (usually rye) and a dry white wine, such as Muscadet, Grâves, Bourgogne, Sauvignon, Sancerre or Riesling. Don’t hesitate to chew.
To dine well on oysters in Paris, LFP readers might consider a few of our favorites:
Le Dôme (literary chic), 108, boulevard du Montparnasse, 75014 Paris; tel. 01 43 35 25 81, fax 01 42 79 01 19. Open 7 days a week, 12 noon to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to midnight. Lunch or dinner 50 Euro to 90 Euro per person.
Wepler (big and bustling), 14, Place Clichy, 75018 Paris; tel. 01 45 22 53 24, fax 01 44 70 07 50. Open 7 days a week, 12 noon to 1 a.m. Lunch 15 Euro to 60 Euro per person, dinner 25 Euro to 60 Euro per person.
Cap Vernet (elegant), 82 avenue Marceau, 75008 Paris; tel. 01 47 20 20 40, fax 01 47 20 95 36. Open 7 days a week, 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Lunch 25 Euro to 90 Euro per person, dinner 30 Euro to 90 Euro per person.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Recently I dined on a Seafood Platter at Bofinger in the 4th arrondissement, well known for it’s Belle Epoque decor and fabulous fresh seafood. Not only was the service less than adequate, but I came home with a small case of food poisoning!
OYSTERS AND WATERSPORTS
By Jocelyn Carnegie
The Charente-Maritime forms the southern coast of Poitou-Charentes region. The walled sea port of La Rochelle has its ancient harbor, the oyster beds of the Ile dOleron and the holiday and sailing resort of Ile de Ré. Numerous historic forts protect this strategic coastline and it offers miles of sandy beaches, bird sanctuaries and a zoo. The region offers many different leisure activities including horse racing, casinos, beach clubs, sailing schools, tennis, riding, cycling, windsurfing and sand yachting.
The port of La Rochelle has many fascinating buildings and landmarks from the very ancient to modern. The mouth of the ancient dock is flanked by monumental towers and a huge clock forms part of the gateway between the harbor and town. La Rochelle’s Port des Minimes is now the largest marina on France’s Atlantic coast.
The Ile de Ré can be reached via a toll bridge. It is mainly a tourist destination with 60 kilometers of tracks to walk or cycle.
We return to our story from the mainland via a 3km bridge which spans the oyster beds of the famous Marennes-Oléron from the Ile dOleron. A museum in Fort Louvois celebrates oyster and mussel farming. The landscape is of long sandy beaches with a backdrop of sand dunes and vast forests.
The Charente-Maritime offers a richness of ancient French culture, with gastronomic and leisure activities to match.
Scroll down to the property listings to see several properties on the market today.
REPORTING ON THE PROGRESS OF RUE DE LA HUCHETTE
By Adrian Leeds
Five days left and counting. The first tenants arrive on Tuesday. The finishing touches are being put in place. The new windows are in, the insulated wall is up, the thorough cleaning starts on Saturday and by Monday evening the apartment will be furnished, fresh and ready to rent.
Porter Scott, our Property Rentals Manager and expert antiques buyer/renovation specialist, has labored over every last detail to insure that the apartment is up to luxury snuff. Next week I’ll bring you photos of the final product…and hope that you’re as impressed as I expect to be!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Our new Paris Apartment Rental Management Service is getting geared up with the launch of this apartment, so for more information about renovation, maintenance and apartment rental, contact Porter Scott, Property Rentals Manager
LIVING AND INVESTING IN FRANCE CONFERENCE
MARCH 19 – 21, 2004
Now’s your opportunity to meet with the IL Paris Office Staff and our finest professionals to teach you everything you need to know about living and investing in Paris and France:
* Obtaining the Right to Be in France * Making the Move * Finding Property * Buying and Owning Property * Renting Your Property for Profit * Learning About the Leaseback Program * Getting a Mortgage * Smart Offshore Investments * Minimizing Your Tax Liability * And more!
You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions to put you closer to making your dream come true to live in France or just be a part of the profits on owning property there.
We’ll open with a cocktail party, enjoy a dinner together and discover all the fabulous atmosphere San Francisco has to offer.
Brought to you by and hosted by the International Living Paris Office…visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/liveinfrance/LIFhome.html for information or email us to be on the mailing list for more information as it unfolds: Schuyler Hoffman, Special Projects Manager
“DR. DEREK’S” ARCHITECT’S ADVICE AND SERVICES
If you have basic questions concerning apartment and home renovation, contact our resident expert Derek Bush by visiting http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/services.html
TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
Rates as of 2003.12.11 14:25:40 GMT.
1 U.S. Dollar equals 0.823789 Euros (0.828765 Euro last week)
1 Euro equals 1.21390 U.S. Dollars (1.20661 last week)
1 U.K. Pound equals 1.43511 Euros (1.42776 Euros last week)
1 Euro equals 0.696810 U.K. Pounds (0.700397 Pounds last week)
SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?
The International Living Paris Office can help you secure a mortgage in France with interest rates as low as 3.35%.
* FOR SALE: FPI HOT PROPERTY OF THE WEEK
We are constantly looking at properties for sale to offer to our subscribers only. Each week we will be bringing you one or two properties we believe are especially worth your consideration. As a subscriber, you will have an exclusive first look at these.
Properties sell very quickly in Paris. The best way to find the apartment or home of your dreams is to allow us to do a preliminary search before your arrival so that you visit only the best of the properties and can make a decision quickly.
To learn more about our property search services, visit: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html
See photos of the properties by visiting the website at http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/subscribersonly/currentissue.html
To access any password protected pages, the username is: fpiuser and the password is: paris1802
*** PARIS 14th – ROOF TERRACE DUPLEX IN THE ARTISTS DISTRICT
FPI was privileged to visit an apartment last week in the heart of the 14th near the church at Alesia. The apartment is in a quiet bright street in the Montbrun area and in an architect designed contemporary building. Glass and sky are features of this apartment – the light and spacious layout gives one the feeling of being in an artist’s studio.
The building consists of 4 levels with 3 duplex apartments on each floor. Access by elevator of external staircase on a well maintained courtyard with trees and plants.
The apartment covers just under 70m2 with a 23m2 roof terrace overlooking St. Pierre de Montrouge. The main room on the lower level is about 43m2 with vast South east-facing verrière (skylight) windows from floor to ceiling – double height giving light to both levels of the duplex. These windows have electric blinds. The room consists of sitting area and dining area with a well-appointed, fully-equipped kitchen with window and WC off. Plenty of cupboard space for storage and wardrobes.
A spiral staircase leads to the upper level currently laid out with 2 bedrooms, small study area and bathroom. The first bedroom is on the landing with fitted bookshelves and cupboards. This area would lend itself to an office. Fully fitted bathroom with double basins, bath, shower, WC. Washing machine. Electric heating. Cross ventilation.
Asking Price: 460,000 euros + 2% Finders Fee
Serious inquiries email: 14th_FPI_11-12-03
* FPI PROPERTY LISTINGS – SALE
See photos of the properties by visiting the website at http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/subscribersonly/currentissue.html To access any password protected pages, the username is: fpiuser and the password is: paris1802
*** CHARENTE-MARITIME – TO RENOVATE
19th-century property typical of the area in need of renovation. The property has much potential with a large garden near to Pons.
Asking Price: 86,400 Euros + 2% Finders Fee
Serious inquiries email: Charente-Maritime_11-12-03
*** MAISON DE MAITRE
renovated maison de maître in good condition with c/h plus an outbuilding and a garden set in a rural position west of Jonzac.
Asking Price: 142,560 Euros + 2% Finders Fee
Serious inquiries email: Maison_de_Maitre_11-12-03
*** ON THE COAST NEAR SAINTES
19th century habitable property with outbuildings and a large garden on the edge of a small hamlet near to Saintes and the coast.
Asking Price: 238,600 Euros + 2% Finders Fee
Serious inquiries email: Coast_11-12-03
*** PARIS 5TH – RUE DES ECOLES
On rue des Ecoles. A three roomed apartment of 48m2 in need of redistribution. Elevator.
Asking Price 302,100 Euros + 2% Finders Fee
Serious inquiries email: Paris_5th_11-12-03
PARIS 2ND – FASHIONABLE 2ND
2-room apartment of 45m2 with separate bedroom in the heart of the fashionable Montorgueil pedestrian district. In a contemporary building. Elevator. Cellar. Gives onto the courtyard. Some redecoration required.
Asking Price: 260,000 Euros + 2% Finders Fee
Serious inquiries email: Paris_Fashionalble_2nd_11-12-03
*** PARIS 2ND – MONTORGUEIL HOTSPOT
Montorgueil area. 68m2, 3-room apartment in one of the hottest spots of Paris. Main room of 20m2 and two further bedrooms. Equipped kitchen and bathroom. Located on the 5th-floor with an elevator, this apartment has maximum south facing light.
Asking Price 305,000 Euros + 2% Finders Fee
Serious inquiries email: Paris_Hot_Spot_2nd_11-12-03
*** PARIS 9TH – OPÉRA
Near the Opéra, this charming 2-room apartment of 41m2 is on the 3rd-floor with a lift in a traditional building of 1900 renovated in 1994. Well located near the Métro, shopping and some of the main sights of Paris. Separate bedroom, cable, entry phone system.
Asking Price 230,700 euros + 2% Finders Fee
Serious inquiries email: Paris_9th_Opera
PARLER PARIS APRES MIDI
NEXT MEETING: NEXT MEETING: December 23th, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. AND EVERY SECOND AND FOURTH TUESDAY OF THE MONTH
This is your opportunity to meet twice a 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.
For a detail description of the past meeting and for more information about Parler Paris Après Midi, visitb http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html
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!
RENTING AN APARTMENT IN PARIS OR HAVE AN APARTMENT TO RENT?
If you are seeking to rent a furnished apartment for a week, a month or a year or you have an apartment you wish to rent, contact Adrian Leeds
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- FPI Website: To access any password protected pages, the username is: fpiuser and the password is: paris1802. If your computer utilizes cookies, once you log into a subscriber only section, the login information will remain active for seven days, after which you will have to login again.
- 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/subscribersonly/archives.cfm
- To receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property Report, click on http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/subscribersonly/reports2003.cfm and download the pdf versions.
- Instructions for upcoming conference calls are on the FPI website. You’ll find the link under the “Subscribers Only” section on the left of any page.
- Get In On The Discussion: Care to weigh-in on current HOT topics of discussion on France? Get in on or start your own thread on our bulletin board at http://www.agora-inc.com/forums/index.cfm?cfapp=15
2 lovely apartments in the 1st arrondissment across the street from the Tuileries Gardens, 3 minutes form the Place Vendome. Available for rent by the week or longer term: 6 months to 1 year. 2-3 bedroom duplex w. 2 baths/ Tuileries view. OR 1-2 bedroom same building. Both are elevator accessible, non-smoking and no pet properties.
To check them out and for reservation and contact information go to http://www.youlloveparis.com
Elegant, Tasteful, Calm at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 6th arrondissement, one bedroom apartment, sleeps 4. Amenities: Fireplace, Phone, Cable TV, Full Kitchen, Microwave, Refrigerator, Cooking Utensils provided, Linens provided, Washer & Dryer, Bathtub with Shower.
http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/rentals/scott.html or contact
Stay in your own 17th-century pied-à-terre in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, by the week or month. Sleeps 4. Newly furnished and redecorated. Totally charming. From $150 per night. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/rentals/mazarine.html or
contact Porter Scott at Mazarine
Guest Room or Two-Bedroom Apartment Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hotel Particulier, this 70 square meter apartment two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for a single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian Leeds is in or for up to 4 people when she’s traveling.
The Guest Room is offered at $575 per week ($250 deposit required). The Entire Apartment is offered at $875 per week ($350 deposit required — AVAILABLE MOST DATES THE SECOND AND THIRD WEEK OF MARCH.) References are required.
Pictures and more details available at http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html
For information and reservations email: ABL_Apartment
In the heart of the Marais extremely charming 42 square meter studio with loft. Fireplace, exposed beams on a beautiful 17th century courtyard.
All amenities: telephone, fax, Internet, cable TV, washing machine, fully equipped kitchen, housekeeping once a week, piano allure
Métro: Arts et Métiers 600 euros per week / 2000 per month available year-round
Contact: Alexis Magaro
HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
To convert square meters to square feet, multiply 10.763 by 3.281 and for more conversions, refer to:
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.internationalliving.com/signup.cfm
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Copyright 2003, Agora Ireland Publishing & Services Ltd.