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The episode features Renée Jacobs and Wendy Hicks who visited three homes in the Languedoc-Roussillon region and ended up choosing...well, decide for yourself which you think they SHOULD choose:
House #1 Two Houses for the Price of One
Located in the heart of a lovely village on the banks of the River Cesse with all amenities and restaurants, just 20 minutes from Narbonne and motorways and 40 minutes from Carcassonne and the beaches, the entire "compound" consists of a renovated character house plus a converted barn, offering about 250 m² of living space with seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, a garage (36m2), multiple terraces and pretty courtyard/garden of 75m2.
The main, old house:
Ground Level: Entrance hall of 3m2 + lounge of 14.8m² with marble fireplace + fully equipped kitchen of 17.5m2 (upper and lower cabinetry) with a door to a summer kitchen + a corridor of 3m² with a storage room and a door to the garage + shower room of 3m2 (shower, hand basin and WC).
1st Level: The original staircase goes to landing of 13.3m2 + a bedroom of 10.6m2 + a bedroom of 12.3m2 + a bedroom of 14.7m2 + 2 bedrooms of 9.4m2 each + another living room of 14.4m2 with marble fireplace and a door onto a terrace + a bathroom of 5.3m2 (shower, hand basin and bidet) + a separate WC of 2m2.
Exterior: Summer kitchen of 9m² + a private dining area outdoors of 15m2.
The second, newer house:
Ground Level: An open-plan living room of 52m2 with a fitted kitchen (oven, hob, dishwasher, extractor), a pantry, a sitting room with a log-burning stove and large sliding glass double doors onto the terrace and garden + a cloakroom of 3m2 with a hand basin, a WC and a storage area.
First Level: At a landing of 2m2 + a bedroom of 17.8m2 with an ensuite bathroom of 7.3m2 (shower, hand basin, WC) and sliding glass doors onto a veranda + a bedroom of 16m2 with an ensuite bathroom of 6.3m2 (shower, hand basin, WC and storage cupboard) and sliding glass doors onto the veranda + a veranda of 17 m² (the length of the facade).
There is electric heating in the main house + reversible air-conditioning system and solar water heater in the converted barn. The main house rents for about 900€ per week in the high season. Annual property taxes are about 2000€.
Asking Price: 328,900€
House #2 Medieval Modern
Located in a "petit hameau" near Prémian and Olargues, as well as the Gorges d'Heric, this 5-bedroom/5-bathroom stone house has been completely modernized with a stucco exterior, a contemporary fully equipped kitchen, a large swimming pool and exceptional outdoor entertaining area...all nestled against the mountains of the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc.
Ground Level: Large entry, spacious living room/dining room with fireplace leading to terraces, bedroom with ensuite bathroom, WC, fully equipped kitchen.
First Level: Four bedrooms, each with ensuite shower rooms with WC.
Second Level: Possible attic to be renovated/developed for additional living space.
Exterior: Pool, patio, terraces -- totally private, views of the mountains. Parking lot for the residents and guests just beyond and below.
Asking Price: 318,000€
House #3 Charming Village House
A characteristic stone house, a former winegrowers home, entirely renovated, with 186 m² of living space offering a spacious living/dining room, five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a terrace and garden of 400 m² with stunning views of the mountains and coastline in the distance.
Set in the hills of the Minervois, surrounded by the Muscat vineyards and the unspoiled views of the country side, in a picturesque village with restaurants, popular spots for hiking, cycling, horse-riding and swimming, all within 30 minutes, and just 10 minutes to Saint-Chinian, a lively village offering all amenities, schools and restaurants, 30 minutes to the beaches, 25 minutes to Béziers and Narbonne, 45 minutes from Vias Airport and less than an hour from Carcassonne.
Ground Level: An entrance hall of 6 m² + a spacious living room of 35 m² with an insert fireplace and dining area with large double doors leading onto the terrace and garden + a fully equipped kitchen of 16 m² with a wood-burning stove + a WC of 3 m² with a handbasin + a utility room of 10 m².
1st Level: A bedroom of 16 m² with built in wardrobes + a bedroom of 14 m² with hot-air heating + a bedroom of 14 m² with hot-air heating + a bathroom of 10 m² (corner large tub and hand-basin) + a separate WC + a mezzanine for storage.
2nd Level: a bedroom of 15 m² + a bedroom of 15 m² + a shower room of 5 m² (shower, handbasin).
Exterior: Garden of 400 m² with possibility to install a pool + outbuilding/garage of 40 m².
The home has a newly insulated roof still under decennial warranty. Bread is delivered to the village daily. Annual property taxes of 800€.
Asking Price: 247,320€ ____________________
PARIS-UPDATE: Living in Paris
The website Paris-Update has started a new "rubrique" (topic) under their menu item "Living in Paris" for "Housing" offering articles further noted as "A Home in Paris." I've written an article for this new topic: "Quality of Life and Cost of Living in Paris. What's So Great about Living in Paris?". Here it is, if you missed it on Paris-Update.com.
Why do we choose to live in Paris when it ranks high on cost of living and low on quality of life?
Mercer’s 2018 Quality of Living Ranking, published in March, ranked Vienna first (for the ninth year in a row) of the 231 cities considered, with Paris in 39th place. Since the rating is based on a destination’s attractiveness to expatriates on assignment, it looks at a city’s economic and political stability, as well as infrastructure, recreational facilities and housing, primarily for business purposes.
I’m not so sure that Mercer’s report provides a fair basis for evaluating quality of life for the “average” expat. What about the intrinsic value that cannot be measured? For example, Paris can outperform most cities on the list when it comes to beauty, an asset we Parisians live with every waking minute of every day. And what about the quality of the cuisine and culture? How do we begin to measure the sensual pleasure of a city – doesn’t that affect quality of life?
Another recent study, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2018 Worldwide Cost of Living report, rates Singapore as the most expensive city in the world, with Paris coming in second. The study compared more than 400 individual prices of 150 products and services in over 200 countries. Paris is the only euro-zone city in the top 10. We all know that Paris is an expensive place to live and work, but it must be kept in mind that currency fluctuations account for many variations in the rankings.
According to these two reports, Paris ranks low in terms of both cost of living and quality of life. I disagree! How do you explain why so many Americans are moving here right now, and not just from their native United States, but also from other cities around the globe? If it’s not because of low cost of living or high quality of life, then why? Could it be Emmanuel Macron’s open-arm foreign policy? Or Donald Trump’s closed-arm foreign policy – or both? Food – or should I say “cuisine? – for thought…”
We're going to be addressing this same topic on the evening of April 18th. You'll have a chance to witness one of Oliver Gee's podcasts this coming Wednesday, April 18th when he interviews me live at 7 p.m. at Café Méricourt, 22 rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris. Be in the audience for an estimated 45-minute interaction between Oliver and myself when we discuss the topic of "Why Paris?"
Why Paris? Why do we live in Paris? Why do others want to live in Paris? What makes Paris so great...especially when recent reports claim Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live and beaten out by dozens of others for quality of living?
Be there when we debate this question that hits us all right in the heart! For just €10, you can be a part of the podcast's audience. Have a drink or two at the café and then stay for dinner if you like.
P.S. For those of you living in Southern California, I'll be in Los Angeles and open to meeting with clients for two-hour property consultations in person sometime between April 30th and May 4th. Special rate $350. To book your consultation, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ADRIAN LEEDS GROUP 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 ALG, Paris Sharing and me, Adrian Leeds.
Modeled after a typical Parisian bistro, Chez Antoine Paris is a completely renovated apartment located in the very heart of Le Marais. The location could not be more convenient with the Saint-Paul Métro entrance nearby and everything Le Marais has to offer at your feet. You will have non-stop fun staying at Chez Antoine – just what is intended by the extraordinary décor by Interior Architect, Martine di Mattéo.
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