The Heavenly Saint-Germain-des-Prés
A Colorful View of Rue de l’Abbaye from a Second Floor American’s Apartment
(FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)
June 29, 2006
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
Even though I adore Le Marais, I find myself many times a week on the Left Bank in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. The Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group meets there twice a week at Eurocentres in the beautiful Passage Dauphine, the Luxembourg Gardens which takes up about 25% of the area is the city’s prettiest park and the American community called it home in Paris since 1919 when Sylvia Beach opened it’s first English-language bookstore on rue de l’Odéon.
For all these reasons and many more, the 6th arrondissement is the most expensive neighborhood in Paris, even more than the 7th, home to the Eiffel Tower and the 4th, home to the Hôtel de Ville and Notre Dame. It is the number one most requested area of the city for rental apartments and has more than any other district.
Read in today’s FPI more about why this is both good and bad — a twin-edged blade. As a resident of Paris for almost 12 years, I see how the 6th could lose its appeal as it becomes more and more transient and less and less French. The charm we once knew — the little bistrots, bakers and butchers — have been replaced by chic boutiques that can better afford the high rents. This is the negative aspect to "progress" in this popular area of town.
Today read on for a short report on my renovation project — how to make a small studio into a little jewel and a series of articles centered on money: inheritance tax, interest rates and economic predictions.
We are also announcing the next Living and Investing in France Conference in San Diego, California September 26 and 17 — details to be provided soon. Meanwhile, contact Schuyler Hoffman at email@example.com/parlerparis for more information.
The Hot Properties are a few fabulous buys in the 6th and a Leaseback on the Atlantic coast. All in all, there’s a lot here to "chew on."
Happy Independence Day!
Editor, French Property Insider
P.S. We’re not totally there yet, but with our Webmaster and my daughter at work, Parler Paris Apartments is finally up and running! It’s just the beginning…as we put the finishing touches this Summer on a collection of vacation rental apartments in Paris that have our "seal of approval."
My personal apartment is now available for rental in its entirety July 21 – 30, 2006 and September 8 – 18, 2006. Please contact me soon if you are interested. Also, keep your eye out for new additions to the site and new ways of making it more and more user friendly, as well as adding properties you will love calling your home in Paris. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments
Volume IV, Issue 26, June 29, 2006
In this issue:
* Progress on "Le Provençal"
* Property Purchase in the Popular 6th
* Scrapping Inheritance Tax?
* The Latest Interest Rates from UCB
* News About the French and U.S. Economies
* NEW! Living and Investing in France Conference, September 16 & 17, 2006, San Diego
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: July 11, 2006
* Hot Property Picks: In the Heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
* Leasebacks: Villas du Lac, France, Atlantic Coast, Aureilhan
* On the Auction Block: July 4, 2006
* Classified Advertising: Leeds Marais Apartment, "Le Provençal" Studio: Available as of August 2006, Parler Paris Apartments
By Adrian Leeds
The chaos has begun at the rue Charlot studio. In one day, the kitchen cabinetry and the bedding and other pieces of furniture from IKEA arrived along with the appliances from Darty (don’t buy anywhere else!) all while the "mosaiiste" began the tile work and the carpenters were installing the closets an
d cabinets. In a space as sma
ll as this, working around the materials in the middle of the room is the biggest challenge.
To recreate the bathroom to gain as much space as possible, we broke into a wall that covered piping and zigzagged around the pipes to enlarge the space, allowing the toilet to be moved 10 centimeters and within the new space put shelves that will house all sorts of bath accessories.
The shower stall was built by hand around a larger base than the "prefab" plastic ones you can buy in any DIY store, and then walls were cut to form a design at eye level to open the visual space. The counter top is small, but we chose a red glass basin that sits on top, freeing up more of the counter space and under will be a shelf for towels, hair dryer and other important items.
Veronique Husson, "mosaiiste," and I drew the design on the walls of the shower. She began by laying the design in first, then positioning the main color next to it. I watched her fit the broken pieces like a puzzle, working around the swirl design made of four colors, fitting the last piece in to perfection. It was amazing how she could see the negative shape and find a chip to fill it so quickly.
When purchasing the appliances, I chose the best washer/dryer combination (Siemens brand) and a ceramic flat cook top to maximize the counter space, four times more expensive than the metal burner type, but worth it for convenience and look. The kitchenette, although small, will be every bit as functional as a larger kitchen — with lots of storage and counter space.
The expense is more than I might spend on a renovation for myself, but a rental apartment should be as delightful as it can be to get the bookings and the return guests. It is already getting bookings beginning in August…but you can bet, I’ll be the first person to stay there…and I can’t wait!
If you’re interested in very personalized and special mosaic tiling, contact Veronique and please tell her Adrian sent you.
14, rue Froissart
+33 (0) 6 84 61 24 92
The Pluses and Minuses of Buying in the 6th
By Adrian Leeds
The first times in Paris, home became a small hotel hear Odéon and year after year we returned there, making the 6th arrondissement where we hung our hats.
Most American tourists do something similar — and they end up emotionally attached to this neighborhood, somewhere between Saint-Michel and the Jardin du Luxembourg, spending late afternoons at Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore over a Kir or espresso. They dream of making the 6th their permanent home, finding some quaint pied-à-terre near the Seine-Buci market where they can get a croissant from Carton every day.
And many of them do it. So many, in fact, that the 6th arrondissement has more short-term rental apartments than any other "quartier."
This is twin-edged sword. If you want to own a property that you can count on for rental revenue, then the 6th is less riskier than any other (except perhaps the Ile Saint-Louis — 4th) and no doubt, you’ll love staying in this lively quarter while you’re here for a few weeks a year.
Even if you stay or live elsewhere, you’ll likely spend lots of time in the 6th…the Jardin du Luxembourg is a favorite park in Paris. In the height of a hot summer, under the trees of the Fontaine de Medicis is the coolest spot in town and a heavenly spot to read or rendez-vous with a lover. In October, the flowers are at an all-time high and the park becomes a Monet canvas awash with color.
French history buffs can wander from one tower to the next of the wall constructed under the reign of Philippe Auguste between 1190 and 1220: at 29 de la rue Guénégaud, Impasse de Nevers, Passage Dauphine (Eurocentres), 34 rue Dauphine, rue Mazarine and the cour du Commerce Saint-André.
Admirers of 20th-century American and English literature can follow the lives of famous authors who lived in Paris: Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Janet Flanner, Thomas Wolfe, Henry Miller and the list just goes on and on. Shakespeare and Company Bookstore owner Sylvia Beach called the 6th home, as did most of the others and created an English-language presence where there was none.
Restaurant star collectors can satisfy their high-brow taste buds at Hèléne Darroze, La Bastide Odéon and Chez Maître Paul. And serious shoppers can shop till they drop on the streets around the Bon Marché such as rue du Four and rue du Cherche Midi.
Apartments in the 6th are unfortunately frightfully expensive — the most expensive in Paris at a low of 10,000€ per square meter, with the 7th arrondissement and a few choice spots such as the Place des Vosges and Place Dauphine as rivals. Appreciation the last couple of years has been lower than in other arrondissements — not surprising considering prices seem to be topping off.
But is this a reason NOT to buy in the 6th? Maybe, but maybe not.
First of all, even at low appreciation, you can still expect the market to increase at least 6% a year (reported appre
for 2005). Not bad. And if the 6th is the most desirable short-term location, then you’ll keep your occupancy rates up and earn more on your investment than in other parts of the city (except the 4th which is growing in rivalry).
If you love being in the heart of it all, where everything is at your immediate disposal, and don’t mind hearing more English than French from its transient inhabitants and visitors, then owning an apartment here can be heaven.
Inheritance Tax Redux
By Thomas Brewton
News By Us
Congress has another opportunity to scrap permanently one of the original planks of the socialist platform. Reasons to do so are overwhelming.
The inheritance tax, at the most fundamental level, is an anti-capitalist tax intended to prevent the accumulation of capital in private hands. Its aim is to transfer ownership of all property to the political state. For that reason, in the 1848 "Communist Manifesto," Karl Marx proposed, among the immediate measures to follow the workers’ revolution, the abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Liberal Republicans and Democrats argue that repealing the inheritance tax is fiscally imprudent, because we need all available tax revenues to cut the Federal budget deficit. They also argue that permitting the inheritance of wealth is morally unjustified.
With regard to fiscal prudence, the net amount of revenue from the inheritance tax is almost meaningless in the totality of the Federal budget.
Total receipts from both gift and estate taxes (the Federal budget combines the two) were only 1.15% of total Federal tax revenues in 2005. In addition, Congress’s 1998 Joint Economic Committee report on the economics of the inheritance tax stated, "The enormous compliance costs associated with the estate tax are of the same general magnitude as the tax’s revenue yield, or about $23 billion in 1998," (total gift and estate tax receipts in 1998 were $24.1 billion).
Liberals warn that eliminating the inheritance tax will "cost" the government more than $1 trillion over the next ten years. In that figure they include $222 billion in interest payments on the national debt, on the dubious theory that inheritance tax receipts would be used to pay down the national debt and reduce interest payments to that extent. Even during the brief Clinton balanced-budget interlude, however, not a penny of the Federal debt was retired.
The remainder of the $1 trillion is a projected, cumulative $808 billion ten-year elimination of inheritance taxes. Reaching that number requires an annual growth rate of 24.6% in gift and estate tax receipts. From 1990 to 1999, the largest ten-year growth period since 1940, the annual growth rate of gift and estate tax receipts was only 10.3%, less than half the projected rate.
The $808 billion number also requires $179.26 billion receipts in the 10th year (2014), an increase of 624% over the 2005 figure of $24.764 billion. This is almost 4.5 times greater than the largest increase in gift and estate taxes over any ten year period since 1940.
With regard to liberals’ contention that an inheritance tax is a moral imperative, I noted earlier that President Woodrow Wilson was able to get Congressional approval for higher taxes to finance our World War I preparations only at the price of including an inheritance tax. Liberal Republicans and Democrats openly declared that the purpose was not to raise revenue, but to "soak the rich."
The prevailing sentiment among Wilson-era Progressives (today’s liberals) was expressed by Herbert Croly in his highly influential 1909 book "The Promise of American Life." Croly, it should be noted was the founding editor of The New Republic, the leading liberal periodical. Riding the familiar liberal-socialist pony of egalitarian wealth distribution, Croly wrote:
"Existing inequalities ought to be mitigated; and they can be mitigated without doing the slightest injustice to their owners. The means to such mitigation are, of course, to be found in a graduated inheritance tax…. The preservation intact of a fortune over a certain amount is not desirable either in the public or individual interest…. The multi-millionaire cannot possibly spend his income save by a recourse to wild demoralizing extravagance…. There is a general disposition to justify the possession of many millions by the frequent instances among their owners of intelligent public benefaction…. If wealth… accumulated in large amounts has a public function… a society is foolish to leave such a duty to the accidental good intentions of individuals. It should be assumed and should be efficiently performed by the state."
This echoes the doctrine of Francis Noel Babeuf, a utopian socialist during the French Revolution. Babeuf intended that the political state seize the entirety of individuals’ property at their death, so that within fifty years all property would be owned by the state. Thereafter production would be managed by popularly elected officers, who would determine the needs of the people and divide all goods and services among the workers.
Undergirding this hardy liberal-socialist perennial is the unfounded assumption that the intellectual planners of the political state are more efficient and smarter than private owners of capital. Theoretically, if property is taken out of the hands of greedy individuals, planners will produce more useful goods and services than private business, so that there will be more than enough to raise everyone’s living standards while giving everyone equal access to society’s wealth.
This was the rationalization behind Hillary Clinton’s proposal in 1993 to nationalize the entire health care industry. She and her adviser Ira Magaziner stressed that Federal control would streamline processing and eliminate "wasteful" layers of private management, with the savings passed along in lower
health care costs to individuals.
Mr. Croly’s assessment, which is repeated by today’s liberals, fails to distinguish between capital and income. He assumes that accumulated capital can only be spent wastefully or kept sequestered and unavailable to the workers, from whom in socialist theory it was stolen via the capitalists’ profits.
In real life, even the most profligate inheritors of wealth must keep their fortunes invested in productive assets, which create jobs and add to the nation’s total wealth, while producing current income for the owners. Failing to do so they endure the "shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations" phenomenon. The continual churning in the ranks of our wealthy, with few people or families staying very long in the top ranks, makes clear that this fate is a reality.
Liberal-socialists focus on consumption and fail to acknowledge the absolutely essential role of private savings to provide investment capital. This has been one of their articles of economic gospel since the intrusion of John Maynard Keynes into Federal councils during Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. According to Keynes, private savings reduce consumption expenditures and trap the economy at a level below full employment. Only heavy and always-rising Federal spending can fill the gap to improve business conditions and create jobs.
In that paradigm, private savings are an impediment to the role of government, to be discouraged by heavy taxes on capital gains and inheritances. The result has been an unwavering bias toward inflation from over-expansion of the money supply to finance the welfare state. That inflation has, in effect, stolen part of the value of every person’s savings, from poorest to wealthiest.
The liberal paradigm penalizes hard work and thriftiness and rewards the improvident. Ironically, it does very little to reduce the gap between the top and bottom economic tiers, because of the enormous sums diverted from productive investments by the wealthy to lawyers and tax accountants to create tax-avoidance schemes.
Interest Rate Update
From UCB, A BNP Paribas Company
Contact Alessandro Cavallari
Métier Crédit Immobilier Spécialisé International Buyers
* Interest Rates (on 01/06/2006)
3 month Euribor: 2.90%
12 month Euribor: 3.31%
TEC 10: 4.02%
* Exchange Rates (on 23/06/2006)
€1 = £0.6882
£1 = €1.4531
€1 = $1.2488
A Tale of Two Economies
By Ed Feulner
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Here are two pieces of news. Which is good and which is bad?
1) Economic growth in the coming months is expected to range between 3 percent and 4 percent.
2) Economic growth in the coming months is expected to be 0.7 percent.
The answers might surprise you. The first sentence is bad news because we’re talking about the white-hot American economy. GDP grew 5.3 percent in the first quarter, so a drop back to 3 percent would represent an economic slowdown.
The second sentence is good news because we’re talking about the moribund French economy. France’s central bank had predicted 0.6 percent growth in the second quarter, so anything above that is reason for Paris to pop champagne corks.
It’s a tale of two economies. America’s continues to expand rapidly, sparking growth and jobs month after month. Meanwhile, in the countries of the European Union, a unified monetary policy hasn’t helped individual nations improve their stagnant growth rates.
If France, Italy and Germany were American states, they’d be among the poorest. The French economy would lead only Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi in per capita GDP. Germany would trail all 50 states. German companies are rushing to build cars here (in South Carolina and Alabama) instead of at home. The U.S. creates more jobs in a month than France or Germany creates in a year.
There’s a lesson here. European soccer teams could more than compete with the American squad at this month’s World Cup because the French, Germans, Italians and others expect their soccer teams to excel. If they’d demand that their governments deliver the same level of economic growth as our government does, perhaps Europe’s economies could compete with the U.S.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan almost made this point in a June 12 article in the British newspaper The Guardian. He wrote that he’d like to see "citizens consumed by the topic of how their country could do better on the Human Development index, or exercised about how to reduce carbon emissions or HIV infections."
Annan is right to express such concerns. But does he realize that such improvements would follow automatically if the countries in question increased economic freedom?
In recent decades, the U.S. has excelled at human development, for example. In 1959, 22 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line. Today, only 12 percent do. That’s the power of a growing economy. And as economies grow, people have more money to spend to make their country cleaner and healthier.
Europeans could kick-start their economies by doing what we’ve
done: cut tax rates, limit
government intervention and encourage entrepreneurship.
The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom provides a handy roadmap. It ranks 161 countries based on 10 critical factors. Some of these include the amount of government intervention in the economy (which tends to slow growth), levels of taxation (higher taxes limit growth), regulation, property rights and trade policy (the Europeans are dragging their feet on agriculture subsidies).
While the U.S. is ranked the ninth-freest economy in the world, "old Europe" struggles. Germany comes in at No. 19, Italy at 42 and France at 44. All three score especially poorly in the "fiscal burden of government." That’s an extreme drag on their economies. Just because richer nations can afford bigger governments doesn’t mean they should have them — unless they want to stagnate.
What the world needs is an economic World Cup, a competition to trim government intervention and taxation so we can improve the global economy. Such a race to the top would generate good news worldwide. And it would give us all a chance to be winners.
Ed Feulner is president of The Heritage Foundation (http://www.heritage.org) and co-author of the book "Getting America Right."
Adrian Leeds, Parler Paris, French Property Insider and John Howell & Co. Present the…
Living and Investing in France Conference
September 16 & 17, 2006
Sheraton Suites San Diego
San Diego, California
If you’ve always dreamed of moving to France, starting a new life in Paris, enjoying a "pied-à-terre" of your own part of the year or perhaps investing in property in France, this power-packed conference is a MUST. Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly e-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for John Howell & Co., Law Overseas, London, these two days in San Diego will arm you with all the information you need to make it happen!
For more information, email Schuyler Hoffman, firstname.lastname@example.org/parlerparis
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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:
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Parler Paris Après-Midi
NEXT MEETING: July 11, 2006 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This is your opportunity
to meet every month, often w
professionals who can answer your Working and Living in France questions. You are invited to come for drinks and share your questions and comments about what it takes to create a life here, own property and enjoy what France has to offer. It is also an opportunity to network with other Parler Paris readers.
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers
HOT PROPERTY PICKS: In the Heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
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, 6th Arrondissement, 3/4 rooms, 108m²
Saint-Germain apartment, located between the boulevard and the Seine river, in a beautifully old, but newly renovated building. On the top floor with elevator. This unique duplex apartment is in excellent condition. Entrance, living room/dining room, open kitchen that is fully equipped, office, bathroom, toilet, terrace facing full south. On the second floor is a large bedroom with bathroom and toilet, overlooking the rooftops of Paris. Hardwood, fireplace, beams, cellar, digicode, concierge.
Asking Price: 910,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 6th Arrondissement, 4 rooms, 89m²
In a lovely 17th century building, on the second floor with elevator. This elegant apartment is in perfect condition, and is comprised of an entrance, living room, dining room, 2 bedrooms, bathroom and toilet, fully equipped kitchen. Features hardwood, fireplace, with lots of room and 4m high ceilings.
Asking Price: 1,340,425€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 6th Arrondissement, 7 rooms, 200m²
Very beautiful Haussmannian building on the second floor. Includes an extra large living room, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. With a maid’s room that can be made into a studio apartment.
Asking Price: 2,200,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
LEASEBACK NEWS FROM IMOINVEST
VILLAS DU LAC
France, Atlantic Coast, Aureilhan
One Bedroom 28m² to 47m² 106,000€ to 152,000€
Two Bedrooms 39m² to 64m² 133,000€ to 172,000€
GUARANTEED RENTAL INCOME UP TO: 4.60%
GREAT DISCOUNTS AND OWNER USAGE
Excellent location only 2km from the town of Mimizan and 9km from Mimizan beach and the ocean. The Landes region is between Gironde and the Basque country (French side), running along the Atlantic Coast. The resort is perfect for those who want to practice water sports, go on nature treks, whether on foot, by bike or on horseback through the vast forests of Landes. In less than one hour find yourself at the Bassin of Arachon, Pyla Dunes or the Teich Bird Reserve. Bordeaux and the vineyards of the Gironde area are less than 2 hours away as is the Basque country, Biarritz and St. Jean-de-Luz.
Three-star development, totally fitted with outdoor swimming pool located close to the Lake of Aureilhan, only a 15 minute drive from Mimizan Beach, and halfway between Bordeaux and Biarritz. This complex will contain 70 furnished apartments with parking. The area is famous for its vast pine forests and large sandy beaches, displaying a whole range of seaside resorts combining spor
ts and leisure in a lively atmosph
ere, all set in a very well preserved environment. The countryside boasts lakes, canals, boat excursions and acres of vineyards where fine wines may be bought from small independent owners.
Next session: July 4, 2006, 10:30 a.m.
Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the website 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:
|2 rooms 36,05 m² rented
10 rue de Lyon
75012 PARIS 12th
Opening Bid: 62,600€
|2 rooms 33,40 m² rented
11 rue Mayet
75006 PARIS 6th
Opening Bid: 110,000€
|3 rooms 69,35 m² rented
63-69 rue de la Croix Nivet
75015 PARIS 15th
Opening Bid: 285,000€
|4 rooms 90,6 m² rented
9 bis – 11 rue Simonet
75013 PARIS 13th
Opening Bid: 465,000€
|1 room 16,50 m²
21 rue Descombes
75017 PARIS 17th
Opening Bid: 35,000€
|2 rooms 26,70 m²
21 rue Descombes
75017 PARIS 17th
Opening Bid: 60,000€
|3 rooms 93,6 m² + Box
7 rue Lalo
75016 PARIS 16th
Opening Bid: 470,000€
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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/
==== CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING ===
PARLER PARIS APARTMENTS
Parler Paris Apartments is finally up and running! It’s just the beginning…as we put the finishing touches this Summer on a collection of vacation rental apartments in Paris that have our "seal of approval." Keep your eye out for new additions to the site and new ways of making it more and more user friendly, as well as adding properties you will love calling your home in Paris.
* Leeds Marais Guest Room or Entire Two-Bedroom Apartment — Available in its entirety July 21 – 30, 2006 and September 8 – 18, 2006
Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hôtel Particulier, this 70 square meter 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.
Pictures and more details available here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html
* "Le Provençal" Studio: Available as of August 2006
Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence.
Pictures and more details available here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html
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Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, http://www.adrianleeds.com