The luxurious two bedroom fractional ownership apartment known as "Le Palace des Vosges" feels more like a house in the country, but is conveniently located right in the middle of Paris’ most elegant square, the Place des Vosges. If this is the year you plan to purchase your Paris pied-à-terre, Le Palace des Vosges is the perfect property – it is finely decorated by Interior Architect, Martine de Matteo, and furnished with every luxurious amenity. Become one of the happy owners of Le Palace des Vosges before it's too late.
Now that Mardi Gras is over, I've gotten the "Noo Awlins" bug to own a condo in the French Quarter or the Faubourg Marigny. It seems like a reasonable investment to make as New Orleans is one of the fastest growing cities in America. Since Hurricane Katrina, the city has grown 28% to 370,000, but it's still way below the 2002 population and way less than it's peak in 1960 of 628,000. This means the growth should continue as long as all is on track.
Having investments on both sides of the proverbial pond in two currencies is a smart way of hedging rate of exchange bets and owning offshore on both sides that are real assets, rather than bank accounts. The architecture of a house centuries years old is appealing -- just like it is in Paris -- and where else in America can one find such seasoned properties?
There are rental restrictions in New Orleans not unlike those in Paris, except more reasonable and more enforcable. Short-term rentals are considered less than 60 days in the French Quarter and less than 30 days outside of the French Quarter. This means the Faubourg Marigny might be a more interesting proposition from a return on investment point of view, although I still believe in being in a location that is 'dead center' and that will hold its value best. As they say: "location, location, location."
I met with a mortgage broker and a buyer's agent to visit properties while I was there...and will continue to look long distance...just like our clients do searching for properties in France! The search will prove to be interesting, to say the least and it gives me more excuse to spend time in my home town.
PARIAHS ON THE BANKING SCENE
Word is out that AXA Bank is closing 250 accounts belonging to Americans or U.S. residents as it does not wish to have to report accounts of $50,000 or more to the Internal Revenue Service! Americans have become 'pariahs' on the foreign banking scene, thanks to FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act).
Articles in both Le Figaro and Le Point noted clients of the bank who are, in fact, French citizens. Called "Accidental Americans" because they were born in the United States but have always considered themselves to be 100% French are now learning through a private bank that they are also U.S. Citizens. If they wishes to renounce their U.S. citizenship, they will have to file back tax returns and bank account reports.
This is direct damage FATCA causes, and the problem lies with citizen-based taxation compared to residency-based taxation -- the U.S. is the only country other than Eritrea that does this. One blogger suggests that "The U.S. consulate in Paris should give him his renunciation interview right now and waive the fee (yes, there is a fee to renounce U.S. citizenship). And he should get his Certificate of Loss of Nationality within a few days after that. As for the back tax returns, he should be absolved of having to file anything at all with the U.S. IRS or Treasury."
While the U.S. is trying to battle tax evasion, it's 'shooting itself in the foot' so to speak, with these regulations that go into effect July 1, 2014. Anyone who has U.S. citizenship or U.S. residency will be subject to the same treatment. AXA Bank considers that the cost of monitoring these 250 clients (citizens or U.S. residents with accounts in excess of $50,000) is "disproportionate" and therefore, simply not worth having them as clients!
Clients of the bank have two options: give up U.S. citizenship or change banks. Maybe the larger banks will continue to provide service to U.S. citizens -- we can only hope so! Let's hope the others don't follow AXA's lead and send us all packing!
SEEKING PROPERTY ON THE RIVIERA IN WHICH TO FILM A TV EPISODE
I am excited to be filming a new House Hunters International episode on the Riviera March 13-16! We are looking for properties in which we can film in or near Villefranche-sur-Mer that fit the following description: 1 or 2 bedrooms with 1 bath, about 20-40 m² with a value of about €175K. If you know of any property that fits this description, please contact me IMMEDIATELY at Adrian@AdrianLeeds.com.
P.S. France always makes sense for anyone who dreams of moving overseas -- it offers a good climate, unspoiled countryside, top-notch culture, excellent health care, affordable real estate, rich traditions and history, and, of course, the romance of Paris. Learn all the information you need to make the move to the world's favorite destination with France: The Owner's Manual, edited by me and Schuyler Hoffman. Get your copy today!
See Adrian Leeds and French Property Consultation on House Hunters International!
Air dates/times: March 21, 2014 at 10:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. E/P
Since her first visit as a 17-year-old exchange student, Karin has dreamt of living in Paris full time. Boldly deciding life is short and now is the time to finally make her dream a reality, she and her practically minded mother go to Paris to find the right flat. But in the City of Light's fast paced market, this long time dreamer nervously realizes she hasn't given much thought to what she wants in her new home. Property Consultant Adrian Leeds will have her work cut out for her when House Hunters International looks for la vie en rose in Paris.
FREE one-hour consultation! Guests of Parler Paris Apartments or Parler Nice 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.