On the third floor of an 18th-century building in a great Marais location near the corner of rue Charlot on rue de Poitou, La Fleur de Poitou has been fully transformed into a regal home away from home. Renovated from stem to stern in 2011 by Interior Architect Martine di Mattéo, the apartment is a colorful and shining example of what is possible when good taste and savoir faire are combined.
FREE one-hour consultation! Guests of Adrian Leeds Group apartments who are considering the purchase of their own "pied-à-terre" for pleasure and profit, can take advantage of a free one-hour consultation while enjoying the apartment in the City of Light or on the Riviera. Simply complete the request form to book your consultation.
You're on vacation in France and you're dreaming of owning something like that gorgeous house or apartment you rented while you were there? So, you decide to look at properties and make a purchase?
Bad idea. Come back when those who wish to sell are interested in selling!
Our North American clients who work at least 50 weeks a year don't quite understand that all of France goes on vacation the entire month of August and that the whole process comes to a virtual stand still. It's not that there is NO ONE at their desks, but even if the crew is skeletal, not much can get done...this goes for the sellers, the agents and agencies, the Notaires, the contractors, etc., etc., etc. Everything must wait until "La Rentrée" – the beginning of September when the kids go back to school and the adults go back to work. This year, September 3 is the magic date, Labor Day in the United States and Canada.
This past week I visited an American woman with two homes in the Provençal village of Venasque; a village house and an independent house at the edge of the village with land. She came to Venasque many, many moons ago, rented a house and fell in love with the village. Then she bought the house she had rented. She went back to Venasque often, fell more deeply in love with the village and the region, then proceeded to buy another house when it came on the market; hence she now has the two to use or rent or both. It's not an unusual story. I fully expect her to retire there sometime in the next few years.
Provence in the summer is when living there is at its best. All the secondary homes are filled with their owners or their guests. The villages are teeming with vacationers and they all come to life. By the end of September, however, the secondary residents have gone home to work and have restarted their normal lives, while the villages are reduced down to the core group of full-time residents...not many, making them quiet and perfect for those who want solitude.
While France has no shortage of beautiful places to hang one's hat, Provence is particularly special. The region is large, extending from the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The administrative region is the "Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur," but that includes the departments of the Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and parts of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Vaucluse. Marseille is the largest port in France, the largest city of the region and the second largest in France with a population of about 800,000. Nice is the second largest of the region and the fifth largest in France with a population of about 340,000.
The Romans made Provence what it is, having first called it "Provincia Romana," hence its "newest" name, "Provence." The capital in the 15th-century was Aix-en-Provence, which now has a population of only about 150,000. By comparison, Venasque has a population of about 1,150 – small enough that our American client and friend living there part-time can get to know most of the other residents. Ansouis, where my friend Barb Westfield has a village house, has about the same population as Venasque. Almost two million people live in the region full time, with about 435,000 secondary residences and sadly, almost 200,000 which remain vacant.
Provence is one of France's most expensive regions, but is surprisingly still very affordable. Prices per square meter range from 2,200€ to 4,000€. Paris, by comparison ranges from 8,000€ to 10,580€ – these figures as reported by the Chambre de Notaires.
For the full price report for France in pdf form, click here.
If Provence moves you to swoon, as it did unsuspecting Peter Mayle (author of A Year in Provence) and the many thousands of others who followed in his footsteps to buy an old stone house in one of the charming villages and renovate it, then take notice of the many different lifestyles one can have within the southern region. This is France Profonde where lavender and sunflowers bloom, olive and a variety of fruit tree groves are abundant, vineyards stripe the landscape at every occasion, truffle farms abound and the sun shines a lot. I've come to love every inch of it, whether it be for tanning on the "galets" on the beach in Nice or shopping at an open-air market in a tiny village perched high in the hills.
If you'd like to learn more about the region and what it's like to live and/or invest there, contact us. We're smitten with this part of France and that can sometimes be very contagious indeed!
P.S. Don’t Just survive...thrive! Mark your calendar for October 6th and be sure to register ASAP for "Bloom Where You're Planted." The Bloom program has become the premier source of information for English-speaking expats in France since 1965. Whether you've been living in France for some time already or have just arrived, you’ll find it very valuable! I'm one of the many informative speakers...and I'll be speaking on "French Property the American Way."
Step into another one of our designer apartments by the well-known Interior Architect, Martine di Matteo, featured on HGTV’s House Hunters International with Adrian Leeds. The episode relates the amazing transformation of a neglected “depot” -- a storage unit (!) -- into a brilliantly-designed and charming studio with a mezzanine and attention paid to the smallest details. We've named it the "Le Petit Loft de Paris."
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