The Torture and Fascination of Parisian Home Ownership



Left: Before the Renovation in Classic Parisian Burgundy
Right: After the Renovation in the ‘New’ Classic Parisian “Greige”

The Torture and Fascination of Parisian Home Ownership

Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Your taste of life in Paris and France
ParlerParis.com
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Paris, France


HURRY…ONLY TWO WEEKS LEFT TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATION (AND BE SURE TO BRING A FRIEND)!

Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference
March 21-22, 2009
New Orleans, Louisiana

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.

For more information and to register, click here FrenchPropertyconference or email info@adrianleeds.com


 



The Stairwell at Ben and Angela’s –
as seen on House Hunters International

The Classic Parisian Stairwell as Photographed by John Harris While on His Honeymoon in Paris


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Last night was our annual “Assemblée Générale” (general meeting) of our “copropriété” (homeowners association) which is both torturous and fascinating at the same time. In the last eight years of ownership, only one has been missed — last year’s when it coincided with the Miami Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference.

This one was held, for the first time, upstairs at La Pierre du Marais, only two hours after the “Parler Paris Après Midi” gathering (visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html to read all about yesterday’s event). This corner of Le Marais has become home to so many of our meetings, that the waitress, when taking drink orders, just assumed I was the “résponsable” and asked who should receive the check, then realizing she had erred, turning then to M. de L., our volunteer “syndic” (association manager). He also volunteered to pay for the drinks, which of course, we all share in the expense of, since its our association fees which will cover the cost.

As it turns out, we have also all shared in one owner not having paid his fees since 2003, amounting to a ‘small’ sum of 5000€. All owners’ fees are “prélevé” (automatically deducted) from their checking accounts twice a year, but this particular owner’s deduction had been rejected by the bank every time.

This of course, angered the group of about 15, and lively discussion ensued on how to proceed. Naturally, if the money cannot be acquired simply by confronting the owner, a lawsuit will be filed, although no one wants to go to the trouble and expense, especially M. de L., who exclaimed, “Je ne suis pas la banque!” (“I am not the bank!”) He also reminded us that our fees average only about 9€ per square meter of property space per year compared to the city’s average of 25€ per square meter…so he should readily pay his fees without complaint!

Usually I remain fairly quiet throughout the meeting, normally a minimum of two hours. That’s because in the past, my level of French hasn’t been good enough to understand it all or interject intelligent comments. With each year, that improves, so this year was the most vocal, which in turn ended up making a big fool out of me.

It all started when one owner remarked that he had heard I didn’t li

ke the color of the newly renovated stairwell. I suppose that the news had spread among many of the owners, along with the rebellious repainting of the molding on my front door to black. “Quel horror!” No question, I had anxiety in advance of coming that they would turn the ‘violent act’ of changing the color into a big issue and force a repainting of the molding back to the drab “greige” (gray/beige) like all the rest.

Would you believe they all LOVE the industrial, sad color!? Have they all gone color blind? Or are the ‘smoky’ tones of the Parisian stone building facades lulled them into an unconsciousness of color? I wondered how they had come to accept such drabness in their lives.

And when I complained that the buzzers now were anonymously written with an apartment number rather then each owner’s name, further industrializing our once friendly abode, they argued how much more esthetically appealing it was that the panel looked uniformed and untouched by all those “locataires” (tenants, with a tone of disdain) who move in and move out so often and who invariable stick on their own names in such a helter-skelter and amateurish way! “Quel horror!”

There were no other foreign owners to attend the meeting, although I believe there is an American couple who owns an apartment in another part of the building. They weren’t there to help defend our different cultural viewpoints on color and style. So, there I was, all alone, behaving boldly foolish in bad French, but at least having a voice, if nothing else.

Unfortunately, it didn’t do much good. The stairwell is still “greige” and will be so for many more years to come, the buzzer will no longer say “Leeds” but have a number which corresponds to the mailbox number yet bears no relation to us as a family and I can count on next year having the same torturous but fascinating two-hour-plus experience.

A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. By complete coincidence, John Harris commented on my Facebook.com page that he had seen yesterday’s House Hunters International episode reminding him of a photo he had taken of a typical Paris stairwell. Notice how both stairwells are classic red burgundy! Oh, how I long to have it back! (Visit hgtv.com to learn when the episode is scheduled to air again and then scroll down to mark your calendars for watching our newest episode, “Vacation Home in Paris,” debuting later this month.

P.P.S. This Friday I head west for the “Big Apple” before flying south the following week to the “Big Easy” for the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference March 21-22 (it’s not too late to register…visit frenchpropertyconference/LIF_NOLA_2009/ for more information). I hope to learn, first hand, what it’s like for Americans living with today’s economic woes and the hopes they have for a speedy recovery. It will be the first time to see my daughter’s newly-renovated West Village apartment, with her big poster of the Eiffel Tower over the bed and a perfect view of the Empire State Building out the 6th-floor windows. Tune in Monday for first hand impressions.


HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL!…
NEW EPISODE, NEW DATES AND TIMES!
SEE ADRIAN LEEDS AND
FRENCH PROPERTY CONSULTATION
ON HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL!

***NEW: “Vacation Home in Paris” – Episode HHINT-1A05

AIR TIMES:
March 27, 2009, 10:00 PM ET/PT
March 27, 2009, 2:00 AM ET/PT

New Yorkers Jeff Ballinger and Mary Schiller recently began the first steps toward making their dream together a reality. After honeymooning in Paris, they knew they wanted their own vacation property in France. Now, they’ve moved out of their house and into a smaller condo in the Bronx, NY, and have begun their search for a pied-a-terre in Paris.
House Hunters International Episode HHINT-402

To learn more, visit AdrianLeeds.com or email Adrian Leeds, at adrian@adrianleeds.com


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LEARN FRENCH IN FRANCE IN A FRENCH LANGUAGE SCHOOL FOR ADULTS
OFFERING TRUE FRENCH IMMERSION

L’Institut de Français, Villefranche-sur-Mer

Learn French in the warmth of a stunning villa overlooking the lovely fishing village of Villefranche-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur in a full immersion program with like-minded adults…For more information, visit Institut de Francais or contact Fréderic Latty at info@institutdefrancais.com and be sure to tell him Adrian Leeds sent you.


“THE NEW AUTO-ENTREPRENEUR” REGIME: SELF-EMPLOYMENT IN FRANCE MADE SIMPLE?”

A Special Presentation and Discussion with Ann Cary Dana, Attorney, Sponsored by Parler Paris

Saturday, March 28, 2009
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais, On the corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers. See Map Here

The self-employed or small business owners in France, whether French or foreigners, will invariably complain of spending all their Sundays on paperwork and paying such high social charges and taxes that it takes all the satisfaction out of being successful.

The French government recently instituted a simplified self-employment regime in the hopes of encouraging all those who hesitate to take the plunge to set up their own individual business, as well as enabling those who have an informal “side” activity to “officialize” it with minimum complications.

Ms Dana will point out the pros and cons of the new regime which could be of particular interest to foreigners in France. She will also explain how it will fit in with the regulations on work permits and the different categories of “carte de séjour.”

Join us for this 2-hour workshop session sponsored by Adrian Leeds and Parler Paris. Only 30€ per person! Places are limited. Pay at the door. Please expect to order at least one beverage at the café.

To register, email: info@adrianleeds.com

Ann Cary Dana is an American-born French immigration lawyer specialized in foreigners working in France (work permits, temporary assignments, students working or applying for a change of status). To contact Ann Cary Dana for legal services, email anncary.dana@karlwaheed.fr


SPACES STILL AVAILABLE…WRITE YOUR HEART OUT IN CHAMPAGNE!

Don’t delay…Writing from the Heart…a journey into the heart of France, and into your own heart…April 21-27, 2009

For more information visit: /frenchproperty/conference/


DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO BE AN OWNER IN THE BEST ADDRESS IN PARIS — PLACE DES VOSGES

Now you can own a share in an AMAZING “maison” — more of a house in the country than an apartment in Paris, right smack dab in the middle of Paris’ most elegant square — the Place des Vosges.

For more information visit frenchpropertyfractional.com or maryellen@adrianleeds.com


ONLY A FEW SPOTS LEFT TO MAKE YOUR POETIC MARK…

“The Paris Poetry Workshop” with International Poet Cecilia Woloch

Over the past seven years, the Paris Poetry Workshop May 10-15, 2009 led by poet Cecilia Woloch, has become a tradition in the English-speaking Paris poetry community. This is your chance to see and experience a side of Paris not readily accessible to the average tourist…

For more information visit: /frenchproperty/conference/poetry/poetry_paris_2009.html


MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR UPCOMING LIVING AND INVESTING IN FRANCE REAL ESTATE CONFERENCES

London
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The International Law Partnership
The Vaults, Holborn Hall
193-197 High Holborn
London WC1V 7BD
For more information, email info@adrianleeds.com

 

Paris
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Chez Jenny
3, Boulevard du Temple
75003 Paris
For more information, email info@adrianleeds.com


SLEEP UP TO SIX IN OUR LUXURIOUS THREE BEDROOM APARTMENTS! Parler Paris Apartments

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.

*Le Château Saint-Germain

Le Château Saint-Germain is an elegant and luxurious three-bedroom/three-bath apartment located in the very heart of the Saint-Germian-des-Prés district of Paris with a view on the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and steps from the liveliest part of the quartier. Visitors to Paris who are lucky enough to make themselves at home here will be talking about their delightful stay for years to come and return as often as they can.

*Le Penthouse Voltaire

Richard Lenoir and Voltaire – American comfort with a French flair…three-Bedroom, two-bath luxury 7th floor penthouse with two elevators, wrap-around balconies and spectacular views! Located between place de la Bastille and place de la République overlooking both boulevards Richard-Lenoir and Voltaire. Completely newly renovated and professionally decorated.

Reserve now! Visit /parlerparis/apartments or email: Apartments@AdrianLeeds.com


GET TO KNOW THE BEST OF THE GOOD-VALUE RESTAURANTS IN PARIS

Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants
Written and Regularly Updated by Adrian Leeds

You don’t need to be rich to dine well in Paris – you just need to know where to go. Enjoy fabulous three-course meals with wine for just $20 to $35, including tax and tip. Explore more than 200 hand-picked great-value restaurants. Plus, get a pull-out glossary of common food and dining terms found on French menus!

Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Good Value Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…plus, Practical Paris!

For more information, visit Insider Paris Guides at InsiderParisGuides.com


MEET PARLER PARIS READERS TUESDAY “APRES MIDI.”
Next Meeting April 14, 2009

The second Tuesday of every month, Parler Paris and French Property Insider readers gather at La Pierre du Marais for a drink and a “schmooze” — it’s an opportunity to meet and chat with other like-minded people and a great way to make friends! Costs nothing except whatever you drink, so don’t miss the next gathering on Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit Parler Paris Après Midi

 


PRACTICE YOUR FRENCH…OR ENGLISH!
Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

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

For further details, visit Parler Parlor


GET AN INSIDER’S LOOK AT FRANCE
France Today The Magazine Of French Travel and Culture

France Today is an insider’s look at French culture, people and trends — your savvy guide to off-the-beaten-track places and events in Paris and all over France!

France-Amerique est vôtre lien privilégié avec la France et la langue française!”

To subscribe, visit France Today or call 1-800-901-6560


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Copyright 2010, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, adrianleeds.com

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