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Paying the Fair Price for Living Life in France to the Max

French Property Insider
Volume XV, Issue 24
Thursday, June 15, 2017 • Paris, France

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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, Paris Sharing and me, Adrian Leeds.

Adrian Leeds Group Apartments - Le Bien Illuminé

Le Bien Illuminé

A sense of “bien-être,” or “well-being” is what you will find at Le Bien Illuminé. From the natural light streaming in the windows, to the sleek efficient design, to the long list of amenities, all has been conceived to make you feel completely at home and comfortable.

This one-bedroom gem, designed and decorated by Interior Architect Martine di Mattéo, is located on the third floor of a typical Marais building in a centrally located area with all desired services, transportation and commerce.

Stay in this gorgeous apartment seen on House Hunters International -- book today! Visit Adrian Leeds Group Apartments to view our full selection or email: [email protected] for more information.

Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

French property - Paris, France

France property Prices

Paris property Prices

Vieux Nice

Ile de France Property Prices

The value of real estate is at the heart of every real estate project. The assessment and evaluation of real estate allows the Notaires to assist and defend their clients in situations as diverse as donations, community settlements, inheritance, wealth tax, tax adjustments, etc., not to mention the basic evaluation for use by lenders, sellers and buyers.

The Chambre de Notaires de France provides these statistics for houses, apartments and land all over France. Based on sales prices recorded in their real estate transactions, Notaires allow you to find real real estate prices by city, district and department. The Notaire Real Estate Barometer gives you the latest trends in the real estate market.

The Notaire is the only professional to offer its customers three methods of sale: classic sale, auction and sale in Immo-Interactif®. It is also the only one to take over the entirety of the legal procedures, thus offering, in addition to a guarantee of title, the simplicity of a single intermediary by intervening at all stages of the sale: evaluation of the property, a mandate, publication of real estate announcements, drafting of the pre-sale agreement and authentic deed. The Notaire is competent throughout the French territory for all types of property: houses, apartments, land, buildings, businesses, business premises, agricultural or viticultural property, etc.

Notaires make available various online calculation tools, whether to estimate taxes due to the administration, registration fees or consider a partitioning of property: the calculation of costs (Notaire fees), of capital gains, of life annuity properties, of usufruct and simple ownership, etc.

But how do you know that the price of real estate in France reported by the Chambre de Notaires is correct?

The truth is you can't know and they aren't equivalent to the true market values. Even the Chambre adds this disclaimer: "Real estate statistics can therefore be volatile and should be taken with caution."

Here's why:

* The statistics reported by the Chambre de Notaires covers both apartments and houses, both new build and resale, but does not take into account atypical properties such as servants' rooms, lofts, workshops, large homes ("manoirs") or castles.

* All the prices in all parts of France are calculated, but only if the the number of sales registered for the period studied, the geographical area and the type of property selected, is greater than or equal to 20.

* The property must be free of occupation at the time of sale, acquired for full ownership by a sale by private agreement, and intended for the strict use of housing.

* Real estate statistics are calculated on periods of 3 months, 6 months or 12 months.

* Real estate prices exclude transfer taxes and notarial fees. They correspond to the net selling price (not including the amount of furniture or agency commission). (Agency fees are traditionally 5% and furnishings could be just about anything!)

* The published real estate statistics correspond to a median per square meter price for apartments and a median selling price for houses. The median real estate price (or median price per square meter) is the central value that shares the total selling price (or price per square meter) observed in two groups of the same size: 50% below and 50% below. Median real estate prices sometimes involve low volumes of sales and depend on the quality of the properties sold (structural effects are not corrected).

* Just as the method used to calculate the indexes makes it possible to eliminate structural effects, the correction of seasonal variations aims to correct those of seasonal fluctuations. Its aim is to make the changes between two consecutive quarters comparable without interfering with seasonality. For example, every year, housing prices are pulled upward in the third quarter, especially those for homes, due to the demand of families marked by the school calendar.

* The Notaires-INSEE indexes are only available in geographical areas where the number of samples is sufficiently large. At more detailed levels, they use median prices. The median price is such that 50% of transactions have been concluded at a lower price and at a higher price. It represents the "middle" of the market, better than average, more sensitive to extreme values.

* The method used to calculate the Notaires-INSEE indexes is based on econometric models that break down the price of a dwelling according to its main characteristics (location, size, comfort, etc.) so as to avoid the structural effects likely to vary transaction prices from one quarter to the next.

The information is very valuable to all parties concerned, but one must read them with caution for all the reasons stated here. And there is another big reason, not mentioned here: cash exchanged between buyer and seller outside of the formal transaction.

It's illegal and risky, but it's done. We would never be involved ourselves in such a transaction, but it's not uncommon practice for the two Notaires to leave the room for a few minutes at the final signing of the Acte de Vente, while the seller and buyer exchange a certain sum in cash. Most often, the sums are modest, from €5,000 to €50,000, but the practice happens more frequently with expensive properties bought by individuals who have more access to cash and where the cash difference is less obvious. There was the case a few years ago of an assistant mayor of Avignon who handed over €400,000 in cash towards the purchase of a restaurant in the city. That didn't go over very well with the authorities!

The practice often is insisted upon by the seller to avoid or reduce the payment of inheritance or capital gains taxes. And the buyer benefits by reducing his notarial taxes and fees, but will pay for it when he sells the property and is faced with increased inheritance or capital gains taxes! The losers are the Notaires, the tax coffers and the agencies who base their fees on the registered price of the property. Sometimes, in the case of an estate sale involving several inheritors, one of the owners can put pressure on the others in order to agree to the deal.

The cash isn't easy to come by, as the banks are watching for large sums of money withdrawn and will question their clients. And buyer beware -- the seller may meet you in advance for your cash, then never show up to sell the property, leaving you holding an empty bag.

Needless to say, we don't recommend you engage in such an illegal practice! Pay the fair price and be happy you did. So, what is the fair price, we ask once again?

Market value. Compare prices with similar properties on the market. Ask your consultant or agent for his advice. Then, make your own fair judgment and decide what you're willing to pay. What one property is worth to you can be quite different than its value to another buyer.

My mother always said, "If you like it, buy it." You have one life to live. Remember, that's what your money is for, so live your life best you can.

See the most current prices reported by the Chambre de Notaires de France on their website.

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds - Paris, France

Adrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group

Respond to Adrian:

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P.S. We're seeking long-term accommodations in Bordeaux for an American student of Oenology (wine!) and hoping you readers who live in or near Bordeaux can be of assistance. Any connections with apartment rentals would be very helpful. If you know of anyone, please email: [email protected]. Thanks!


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 ALG, Paris Sharing and me, Adrian Leeds.

Adrian Leeds Group Apartments - Les Beaux-Arts

Les Beaux-Arts

15th Arrondissement, Two-bedroom, Sleeps up to 4

"Les Beaux-Arts" is an exquisite apartment that will suit both the art connoisseur or anyone who appreciates a sophisticated, artistic touch to interior design. The apartment offers a contemporary, yet classically elegant Parisian style that includes luxurious fabrics, designer furniture as well as French antique pieces. It is the art collection that makes the this apartment truly unique...and the artworks are for sale! The collection, put together by the apartment’s art collector/dealer owners, includes pieces by some of the finest contemporary European artists.

Visit Adrian Leeds Group Apartments to view our full selection of rental apartments or email [email protected] for more information.

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