The City of Light Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple
New York City Rooftops
Photo by Erica Simone
(FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)
February 28, 2008
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
I’m writing you from New York City where my daughter and I are purchasing an apartment for her in which to live. It’s the primary reason to have traveled here, given the complexity of submitting an application to the co-op board for approval. Yes, it’s possible that we would be denied permission to purchase the property! Shocking…but true.
Monday we turned in nine copies of the 100-page-plus application package to the real estate management firm and visited with a mortgage broker to get pre-approval. It was a two-month-long ordeal to prepare the documents and $300 later at Kinko’s and Staples to organize the papers — the most invasive documentation of our lives we’ve ever had to produce.
In Paris, you can purchase what you wish, when you wish, wherever you wish and use it, pretty much, however you wish. Not in New York. This ‘provincial’ town protects the rights of the property over the rights of the consumer, "au contraire" to French property laws, which are complex, but seem "laisser faire" by comparison. Read more about it in today’s issue of French property Insider.
Also take note of how the current rate of exchange affects the price of property and how to manage having assets on both sides of the equation so that a balance is always met. Smart investors understand how to protect their assets by doing just that.
One advantage of being Stateside is the ability to purchase things less expensively and have a wider choice than in France. Learn what to buy on this side of the ocean and ship across, and what to leave behind. It’s a valuable tip if you’re currently planning your next pied-à-terre in Paris.
There’s more in store from outside contributors and Hot Properties include New York-like lofts in Paris — for those of you who love the Big Apple as passionately as I love Paris.
Next week we’ll be reporting on the outcome of the renovation completed (hopefully) that awaits me at home when I arrive in Paris on Friday morning. Anyone want to take bets on if it will be ready or not?
Editor, French Property Insider
P.S. The U.S. dollar has hit an all time low, having broken the $1.50 to the 1€ mark just yesterday, but it didn’t seem to stop Americans from coming to France in 2007. In fact, according to the official tourist Web site of Paris Ile-de-France (http://www.pide.com/) for the first nine months of 2007, no single group of foreigners to arrive at a Paris airport came close in numbers to the Americans who made up 15% of the total…followed by Italians with 9%. A majority had been to Paris before, but surprisingly, 44% had visited Paris for the very first time. Almost one-third caught what I affectionately call "la maladie" ("the bug") assuming to return within a year. All this good news makes Paris still a good bet for profitable rental apartment returns.
Volume V, Issue 9, February 28, 2008
In this issue:
* Comparing New York and Paris Real Estate
* What to "Buy and Bring" to Your New Paris Pied-à-terre
* Credit Crunch Crisis Averted in France
* Do Your Homework Before French Property Purchase
* French Star Shines at Oscars
* More World Heritage Sites in France
* Fractional Ownership Solution – New Property Listing!
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: March 11, 2008
* Hot Property Picks: Lofty Paris Pied-à-terres
* On the Auction Block: March 18, 2008
* Leasebacks: Cap Affaires Béziers, France, Mediterranean Coast, Béziers
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments — L’Aubergine
Buying in the Big Apple vs. the City of Light
By Adrian Leeds
Photo by Erica Simone
I’ve learned a lot since delving into the New York property scene about the differences of purchasing in the Big Apple compare
d with the City of Light. My
daughter and I are currently in the midst of securing a 475 square foot apartment (44 square meters) in the West Village, what I would consider equivalent to Le Marais in popularity.
The French have a lot of consumer protection laws that create a ton of red tape and paperwork, but serve a purpose in eliminating risk. For example, once a "Promesse de Vente" is signed, the first purchase contract, the buyer has a seven day period within which to cancel the purchase with no penalties, and once a loan offer is made by a lender, the borrower is required to wait an 11-day period before signing to ensure that the decision is not made too hastily. The seller must provide the "diagnostics" for termites, lead and asbestos and with a contingency clause, the buyer can not be held responsible for making the purchase should a mortgage fitting certain conditions not be offered, nor will he lose his deposit, normally 10% of the purchase price.
New York sees the necessity for protection more for the seller or selling property than for the buyer, particularly in the case of co-operatives, which makes up about 85% of the New York market.
New York City co-ops are incorporated and governed by a board of directors with the owner of each individual unit having one vote. The owner has no deed, only stock and a proprietary lease which has a term from 10-50 years renewable automatically or at the discretion of the shareholders. The owner cannot refinance the unit. Mortgage, property tax and maintenance fees are paid pro rata by the owner according to the percentage of the overall size of the unit. Property tax appeals involve the corporation and the stockholders. Each month the owners pay an amount that covers their share of the operating expenses of their cooperative corporation. Personal income tax deductions, lower turnover rates, lower real estate tax assessments (depending on applicable New York tax laws), controlled maintenance costs, and resident participation and control are some of the benefits of choosing cooperative home-ownership, however, in recent months, the purchase of co-ops is declining because of the high down payment requirements (normally 20% to 25%) and invasive financial disclosures.
The co-op therefore protects its own interests and it is the consumer, or purchaser, who is under scrutiny.
In today’s market, the price of New York real estate compared with Paris is gaining parity thanks to the weakening dollar. A 340,000 equity release against my Paris properties yielded more than $500,000 with which to make the New York purchase. In the case of the West Village apartment, the cost is approximately $1,150 per square foot or $12,615 per square meter, or in Euro terms, 8,400€ per square meter — equivalent to the cost of a Marais apartment today.
In Rebny’s New York City Residential Sales Report from May of 2007, average prices per square foot for New York City apartments increased three percent to $1,013. By comparison, the average in Paris as of September 2007 was 6,181€ per square meter:
|NEW YORK CITY||PARIS|
|$1,013/square foot||1,292€/square foot|
|675€/square foot||$861/square foot|
|7,269€/square meter||6,181€/square meter|
|$10,904/square meter||$9,271/square meter|
Paris is still slightly less expensive than New York, but much closer to parity. If the dollar weakens more, Paris property will quickly gain parity with New York. Now is a good time for foreigners with euro purchasing power to buy assets in the U.S. while at the same time, Americans need to secure the value of their assets by investing in the euro. While there is parity is a perfect time to diversify by owning both dollar and euro assets so that no matter which side strengthens or weakens, the investor can’t lose either way!
Furnishing Your Pied-à-Terre: What to Bring and What Not to Bring
By Adrian Leeds
Usually I travel to the U.S. with a suitcase inside of a suitcase so that Stateside I can load it with inexpensive goods that either cannot be easily found in France or that cost and arm and a leg, especially at today’s rate of exchange.
Over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics are a good start, as there is nothing quite like a U.S. pharmacy with aisles and aisles of every conceivable (and inconceivable) product. Those that are inexpensive and plentiful worth loading the suitcase with are:
cold and flu remedies
At the electronics store, stock up. Many items are now dual voltage, so all they need is a plug adapter for them to work in France. Large items, like printers/scanners, don’t make sense to bring or ship, but the following make loads of sense:
laptop computer with a QUERTY keyboard (U.S.)
QUERTY keyboard for desktop computer
telephones (cordless may need a small voltage convertor)
portable anythings (radios, clocks, etc.)
software in English versions
Be sure to visit a housewares store and put certain items at the top of the list:
ize="2" face="Verdana" What to leave behind? Lots! The French do so many things with so much more "panache":
> towels and bed linens
convenience gadgets (no one knows more about convenience than Americans!)
What to leave behind? Lots! The French do so many things with so much more "panache":
electrical kitchen appliances
dinnerware and flatware
All that being said, if you really want to furnish a Paris apartment fast, purchase everything in your country of residence and ship it. Then, when the container is delivered, it’s simply a matter of opening the boxes and placing it. All in all, it may be the easiest and least expensive way of furnishing a flat, but beware, it may not end up having the French flair you’re looking for.
France Survives Credit Crunch
Since the term credit crunch entered the lexicon at some point last year, the mortgage market has become tougher in the UK, with this week’s withdrawal of 125 per cent mortgage products being the latest reduction in the availability of products with which to buy property in Britain.
In France, however, lenders have always been forced, due to strict consumer laws, to lend in such a way that a sub-prime market is not possible and therefore the wrath of the credit crunch has not been allowed to have the same affect in this country. In addition, with Nicolas Sarkozy’s pledge to create a nation of homeowners, the mortgage industry has in fact seen a major boom leading to the launch of increasingly more competitive mortgages during the first half of last year according to Katy Hepworth, Overseas Mortgage Manager of Assetz Finance Limited.
Loan-to-value ranges were increased rather than reduced, the length of loans become greater and set-up fees were cut back. Theses product changes came just before the sub-prime crisis began in the U.S. and UK and so far have not been pulled.
Ms. Hepworth pointed out that it comes as no surprise that the sub-prime crisis has not hit the non-resident property investment market in France given that there has never been a sub-prime market in this country. Hepworth explains that when non-French resident consumers want to borrow money from a French lender to purchase property in France they do not have, and have never had, the option of borrowing more money on a higher rate if they were seen as a higher risk profile by underwriters. Instead this kind of borrower would only be allowed to borrow a smaller amount of money and on the same rate as all other borrowers.
She goes on to explain that "in the past UK investors have complained of the low loan to value deals available to them in France and of the over-cautiousness of the lenders’ underwriting policies and vigorous application process. Now French lenders could almost be entitled to say "we told you so" and their market has only continued to get stronger thanks to avoiding the sub-prime crisis, with their mortgage lending currently up 3.8 per cent up on the equivalent period in 2007.
However Assetz Finance is warning potential borrowers that French lenders are currently reviewing underwriting criteria and buyers should be aware that making a clear and complete application to French lenders is as essential as it has always been. In fear of the sub-prime issue reaching their doors, lenders have started to take a harsher view on some borrowers that they were previously slacking their policy for. For example, one lender, Credit Foncier de France, has issued the criteria that in order to qualify for their 25 year term mortgage a debt to income ratio of the standard 33% will no longer be sufficient and in fact the borrower will need to prove that his debt to income ratio is in fact only 30%.
Another lender has introduced a new policy that they will not assist purchasers to mortgage a property in France that is worth more than their property in the UK or if the borrower does not own a property in the UK. If other French lenders take up on this policy this will be particularly bad news for first-time buyers who were turning to the property market over the Channel due to being priced out of their own market.
Assetz Finance warns that although France has not had to deal with a Northern Rock-style calamity it is a very cautious nation when it comes to financial matters and therefore issues that have hit other countries have made French lenders keep their guard and tighten up in some areas merely for fear of a fate such as those lenders in the UK and U.S.
However, Ms. Hepworth explains that, while the products launched last year are still available, UK buy-to-let investors should make the most of the excellent mortgage deals available for property in a popular country for British ex-pats and holidaymakers.
As long as the French are able to keep the credit crunch at arm’s length, the market for French property certainly looks very attractive.
Money Talk: Homes in France
The allure and accessibility of France continues to entice British buyers seeking a bolthole abroad.
Around 250,000 Britons own second homes there, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), making it the most popular place to buy abroad after Spain. And even more are likely to consider investing in la vie française since the launch of Eurostar’s high-speed rail service from London St. Pancras last November.
But it’s vital
to do your homewor
k before taking the plunge, as the process of buying is different from the UK, and an array of fees may make your overseas home pricier than expected…
To read the entire article, visit http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/main.jhtml?xml=/property/2008/02/21/lpmoney121.xml
Oscars Delight for French Star
Marion Cotillard surprises the critics in a winning night for La Vie En Rose
The surprise win at last night’s Oscars was French actress Marion Cotillard, who was awarded the Best Actress gong for her role in Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose.
British actress Julie Christie had been the front runner in this category for her role in ‘Away from Her.’
Cotillard’s emotional acceptance speech, littered with amazed "thank yous", took a philosophical turn; "thank you life, thank you love, and it is true, there is [sic] some angels in this city"!
The star stuck to her gallic roots, appearing radiant in a pearly toned, sequin encrusted Jean-Paul Gaultier gown. Her glamorous mermaid inspired look, completed by a delicate fish tail train, won her many fashion plaudits on the night.
La Vie En Rose also scored an award for Best Make Up, beating Disney’s Pirates of he Caribbean: At World’s End’ and the Eddie Murphy flop ‘Norbit’.
Another French favorite, Julian Schnabel’s ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’, walked away empty handed, but French director Philippe Pollet-Villard picked up a gong in the Short Film (Live Action) category for ‘Le Mozart des Pickpockets’ (The Mozart of Pickpockets).
Disney’s ‘Ratatouille,’ the story of a French street rat who dreams of becoming a top Parisian chef, won in the Animated Feature Film category.
France — One Huge World Heritage Site?
Fourteen sites across France have recently been submitted for World Heritage status with UNESCO.
The sites, all of which are citadels and fortifications, were built by Marshal Vauban, Louis XIV’s most valued military engineer, and have been put forward to UNESCO to mark the tricentenary of his death.
The sites include St Malo in Brittany, Besancon’s citdel and a mountain fort in Briancon, which is the highest town in Europe.
Vauban is famed for having designed and built ground-breaking fortifications and has been referred to as history’s greatest builder and conqueror of fortified places. Born a commoner, he worked his way up through the ranks of the army by merit alone and although his remains were scattered during the revolution, his heart was placed in Les Invalides in Paris by Napoleon a hundred years later; a great honour indeed.
In fact, France already contains 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Pont du Gard, Chartres Cathedral and the Loire Valley. With such a rich array of sites of global importance, France contains something to interest every visitor, and these proposed additional sites can only add to the attraction.
Le Jardin Saint Paul
The "Fractional Ownership" Solution Update
By Adrian Leeds
Fractional ownership is a hybrid of direct ownership and time sharing, combining the best elements of both. The primary differences are that while timeshares involve many thousands of shares in a large complex with “resort” amenities and costs built specifically for that purpose, fractional ownership is joint ownership by only a few individuals in a single property whose value can easily be determined on the open market and for which there are very few, if any, resort amenities which must be managed and maintained (and paid for!). For Paris Home Shares, the city of Paris is it’s own resort!
See the Paris Home Shares Fractional Ownership Offerings:
LE JARDIN SAINT-PAUL — ONLY 3 SHARES LEFT!
The months currently available for 2008 are July, August and November.
Those who have purchased shares in Le Jardin Saint-Paul on Rue Ferdinand Duval, 4th Arrondissement, Le Marais, will be happy to know the renovation is complete! As a final touch, the granite counters were installed last weekend.
You can view a slide show of photos of the apartment at: http://www.flickr.com/gp/69276774@N00/07R372
To see a virtual visit of the apartment, click here: http://www.digitalive.fr/paris/tour.html
To those who
have not yet pur
chased and are interested in learning more, the price of one share is now 92,000€. Only three shares remain for sale. They won’t last long.
To visit the site describing the property, visit
Apparently, rue Ferdinand Duval, home to Le Jardin Saint-Paul is THE TRENDY street in Paris. The attached article, highlighting rue Ferdinand Duval, was featured in the February 11, 2008 issue of ELLE magazine. We always knew that Jardin Saint-Paul was situated in a great little location. Now, apparently the secret is out…
To read the article in French, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation/sales/fractional/ferdinand_duval_elle.pdf
NEW FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP FOR SALE NEAR EIFFEL TOWER
Chez La Tour
Boulevard de Latour-Maubourg, 7th Arrondissement, Eiffel Tower
Two-Bedroom, 88.1 m2
99,500€ / 12 Shares Available
Available for Use May 2008
Price increase scheduled late February 2008: 109,900€/share
If you would like to receive more information on this apartment, VISIT http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation/sales/fractional/chezlatour.html
NEW FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP FOR SALE IN LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON
52,500€ for the first four shares / 10 shares available
Available for 5 weeks/year
Maison Bleue is a 3 tiered, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom village home, with an open living room/dining area and a fully appointed kitchen. The house is furnished with a combination of French antiques, wicker and pine furniture, firm beds, unique lighting, fully equipped kitchen and many decorative items. It also includes Satellite TV, telephone, washer and dryer and all dishware and linens.
If you would like to receive more information on this apartment, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation/sales/fractional/maisonbleue.html
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!
Moving to Paris? Our experienced relocation expert will make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property and relocation services normally only provided by employer hired relocation firms…but at a price much more affordable for individuals.
Download Complete Brochure
TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel or click here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp Global Money Services: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/moneycorpconvertor.html
for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.
Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting:
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.
width="185" height="238" align="left">Parler Paris Après Midi
Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…
The next gathering is March 11, 2008, and every second Tuesday of the month.
HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Lofty Paris 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/consultation
*** Paris, 9th Arrondissement, 4 rooms, approx. 47m²
Spirited loft on the rez-de-chaussée includes a living room with 4m high ceilings, separate kitchen, bedroom, office, bathroom. Perfect for an artist.
Asking Price: 407,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 20th Arrondissement, 2 rooms, approx. 80m²
On the second floor with elevator, you’ll be surprised by how much space this loft apartment provides! Entrance, large main room, open kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, separate toilet. High ceilings, large bay windows, lots of light.
Asking Price: 414,750€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 9th Arrondissement, 2 rooms, approx. 66m²
An exceptional loft with a view of Sacré Coeur, renovated by an architect. The large wall of windows bathes the space is light. Lots of space, many charming, high-quality features.
Asking Price: 730,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
Next Sessions: February 19, 2008 at 2 p.m.
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 http://www.encheres-Paris.com/ Though the site has a button for an English version, it isn’t reliable to work.
To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:
|STUDIO 26,73 m²
36 rue Marx Dormoy and 30 rue du Département
75018 PARIS 18th
Opening Bid: 62,000€
|2 rooms, 50,90 m²
38 rue Sambre et Meuse
75010 PARIS 10th
Opening Bid: 165,000€
|3 rooms, 73,8 m²
38 rue Campo Formio
75013 PARIS 13th
Opening Bid: 300,000€
|3 rooms, 75 m² duplex and terrace
48 avenue Despréaux
75016 PARIS 16th
Opening Bid: 500,000€
LEASEBACK NEWS FROM IMOINVEST
CAP AFFAIRES BEZIERS
France, Mediterranean Coast, Béziers
Studio 18m² to 22m² €79,000 to €103,000
One Bedroom 28m² to 38m² €130,000 to €180,000
Two Bedrooms 59m² to 59m² €261,000 to €261,000
Guaranteed Buy to Let – Leaseback
GUARANTEED RENTAL INCOME: 5.50%
THE HEART OF BUSINESS & FESTIVE LIFE
Languedoc Roussillon’s capital city with a confirmed position as a front ranked economic center, ideally situated near the railway station and close to the main motorway networks running between Marseille, Barcelona, and Toulouse, and connecting northern Europe with Spain and Portugal.
Comfort and quality. Surrounded by landscaped gardens, the Residence will comprise 162 apartments spread over 5 levels, most with balconies. All services common to the Leaseback investment scheme will be provided including laundry facilities, reception, breakfast service and house cleaning. Here, everything has been thought of for the complete comfort of the residents and the durability of your investment.
Investment will be from 65,000 euros net (excluding French notary fees and furniture), guaranteeing up to 5% of rental income. Guarantees are legally binding and secure with a solid commercial lease and management company on your side.
- 19.6% VAT tax refund by the French administration
– Historic city, with beaches close by
– Excellent position for a variety of business sectors
– Apartments sold with at least parking place
– 1h30 from Paris by plane, 4h10 by train (TGV)
– 2h20 from Marseille by train and 2h30 by car
– 4h from Barcelona by train and 2h50 by car
– 4h from Bordeaux by train and 4h by car
SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?
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.
Managing Your French Property Insider Subscription is Easy!
We receive many emails from French Property Insider Subscribers who want to change their email address, or update personal information. But did you know that you can make these changes yourself?
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Of course, we’re always happy to help, so if you do need assistance, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We wanted better guides.
So we wrote them.
Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…and the newest guide, Practical Paris!
French Property Insider subscribers receive a discount of 10% off any guide and up to 25% off the entire purchase (if two or more guides are purchased at the same time). Here’s how it works:
1. Click on special Web link we give you just for FPI subscribers.
2. Then order one or more guide(s) and use the promotion
code "ED762." This promotion code gives you 10% off your total
3. If you order two or
more guides, then an additional 15% will be
taken off automatically. There is no promotion code needed.
Here is the special "coupon" Web link just for you:
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Past issues of FPI are available on the website. You will find the
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HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: http://www.onlineconversion.com/
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.
One-Bedroom, Sleeps up to 4
L’Aubergine sits tucked away on an historic and quiet Marais "cul de sac," making it an oasis of peace and calm. This second floor apartment (two flights) has two large bright windows that face a classic Parisian courtyard. With digicode, intercom entry system and elevator, it has been completely renovated and professionally decorated to the height of luxury, with a soothing "aubergine" (eggplant) and taupe color scheme. Everything in the apartment is new, from the designer linens and towels, to the appliances and electronics.
Reserve now! Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/aubergine.html
or email: Apartments@AdrianLeeds.com
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