French Property Insider Volume XVI, Issue 43 Thursday, November 1, 2018 • Paris, France
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APARTMENT FOR SALE: 36 rue de Buci, Paris 6th Arrondissement
Studio Apartment Fully Furnished, 28.55m2 (307 sq. ft.), Third Floor with Lift
Located in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where rue de Buci meets with boulevard Saint-Germain and rue de l’Echaudé, the apartment is in the perfect location on the third floor (with elevator) of an old building completely restored to modernity. The apartment has two large windows overlooking the quiet rue de l’Echaudé.
Today my daughter moves to Los Angeles from New York, where she has been living for 16 years. It makes sense that she make this transition on 1-11 or 11-1, depending on how you look at it, since she considers herself an 11:11. Numerologists and New Age philosophers believe that "events linked to the time 11:11 appear more often than can be explained by chance or coincidence and is an example of synchronicity. Some authors claim that seeing 11:11 on a clock is an auspicious sign. Others claim that 11:11 signals a spirit presence." (Wikipedia.org)
Of course there are skeptics, but Erica is a serious believer since these combinations of numbers have haunted her since birth. I won't elaborate on the long list of elevens that have been significant in her life, and maybe she chose this date to make her move, or it was chosen for her, but either way, it will always remain significant.
She and I bought the New York apartment when the euro was worth $1.50. That meant that the euros stretched 50% longer and afforded a much nicer property. A French bank loaned us the money based on the equity we had built in our Paris properties over the previous nine years. (I wish I could claim "11," just to make the story juicier, but that would be a lie.) It was the bright idea of our loan officers here in Paris who were way smarter than we were. At the time, some of those Paris properties were generating a healthy revenue from short-term rentals making the mortgage a very low risk for the bank. (Those were the days, my friend...)
We met our real estate agent in New York by virtue of following a lead on a property of interest on the Internet. That particular property didn't pan out, but Maryann did. I gave her only the five days I was physically in New York to find the perfect apartment for our budget, and in only two areas of town: the West Village and Soho. My idea of location, location, location is dead center of the universe — we didn't want to be in Brooklyn (where everyone was telling us to buy) and I wanted to be in a part of the city that was "human scale." Those two parts of Manhattan may be a small bite out of the Big Apple, but are as village-like and humanly tolerable as is possible among the skyscrapers.
The apartment is a "co-op." You New Yorkers know exactly what that means, compared to a "condo." Greg Jacobs does an excellent job of describing the difference between a New York co-op and condo in the Huffington Post. There are plusses and minuses to consider with both, but one thing for sure in a co-op: the board and the by-laws RULE. A buyer, or a renter, must be interviewed and approved by the board, which makes them highly exclusive, plus a real pain in the neck!
When we were looking at properties with Maryann, I instructed her to only consider co-ops with a "lenient" board. My daughter was 22 years old at the time, living alone, and I feared the board would see someone so young as a risk for late-night parties, etc. — the kind of goings-on in which college students might engage. (They hadn't yet gotten to know my industrious and independent daughter!) When we walked into this particular apartment at Barrow and 4th Street, I took one look at the apartment, saw the perfect view of the Empire State Building and said, "I'll take it." I didn't bargain or quibble — I certainly didn't want to lose what clearly was a great piece of property.
Erica has lived there ever since and loved it. Now, it's time for her to move on. Because of the less lenient part of the co-op by-laws, it can only be rented for up to two years, and only with board approval. That may be a pain in the neck, but the upside is that we're sure to get a good tenant, one of the main reasons co-ops maintain such exclusivity.
Multi-family properties in Paris and elsewhere in France fit the description of a condo, not a co-op. When you buy an apartment, you actually own the property, not just a share in the building. You pay monthly maintenance charges to take care of the common areas of the building, but you are responsible for your own apartment. There is a "copropriété," or homeowner association with a board of directors or "Conseil Syndical" made up of elected owners and usually there is a management company to administer the operations. The copropriété or Conseil Syndical cannot determine who buys, sells or rents in the building like in a New York co-op. There are no interviews and no approvals (or disapprovals), and they can't tell you who you let stay in or who uses your own property. They can, however, dictate what type of lease you may give a renter.
More and more buildings in France are voting to deny rentals of less than three years, which by French law is an unfurnished lease. This is their way of securing long-term residents and becoming more exclusive — by denying short-term vacation rentals or even long-term furnished rentals that hold a one-year lease. Remember, French law, or Napoleonic Code, dictates how a lease can be written — the law is based on what is allowed. You do not have the freedom of choosing the terms of the lease, as we might under U.S. or English law, where the law is based on what is forbidden. Some revisions may be possible, but even these are limited.
The current city laws in Paris that deny the rental of secondary property less than one year, ignoring what the copropriété is willing to allow or not, is an effort to make Paris more affordable and available for residents, but actually creates the more exclusive environment — much like the New York co-ops — and drives up the prices for the privilege of ownership. We've watched the price of property in Paris on a continuous uphill climb since 1998 and in recent years, with even greater gains. The administrators in City Hall apparently can't quite see how they contribute to the opposite effect of what they are trying to achieve.
The Leeds Family West Village Studio is up for rent (for up to the next two years). Maybe you or your friends will want to know about it:
Location: 9 Barrow Street, 6th Floor
The building: The Hallanan, built in the 1890's as a printing house, is located in the heart of the West Village. This spacious, renovated studio boasts 10 foot vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors throughout, roomy kitchen with new appliances, including new dishwasher, queen-size Murphy bed and dynamic day and nighttime views of the Empire State Building. Generous custom closets, abundant storage and newly renovated bath. Large, north-facing windows flood the apartment with natural light. Amenities include: Doorman 8 a.m. - 12 a.m., live-in Super, laundry facility on every floor, pets considered. Just off Sheridan Square at West 4th Street and one block from the subway at 7th Avenue/Christopher Street station. Available immediately. Board approval required. Rent includes utilities, gas and electricity up to $1,200 per year.
P.S. I am offering personal one-on-one two-hour consultations in the central Los Angeles area November 20th, 21st, 23rd and 24th at a dollar rate (a 15% savings from the normal euro fee). If you are interested in booking one, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 13, 2018
Janet Hulstrand Writer, Editor, Writing coach Downsizing, the Keepers and the Throwers
Come join us!
Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher of writing and of literature who divides her time between France and the U.S. Although she is mainly known for her writing about France, and particularly about the village in Champagne where she spends much of her time, she is also known as a downsizing expert, as coauthor of a book (Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home) and a blog (Downsizing the Home: Lessons Learned) on the subject. At this Après-Midi she will share her expertise in downsizing, focusing on how the “keepers” and the “throwers” of the world can work together harmoniously to get the job done (!) when it is time to downsize the family home.
The second Tuesday of every month 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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