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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
If you read our twice-weekly publication, Parler Paris, then you know that we are not insensitive to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. As one might expect, some visitors cancelled their stays in our vacation apartments, requesting their deposits back. In an effort to be accommodating to both parties, the guests and the apartment owners whom we represent, we made an offering to share equally in the expense of the unforeseen circumstances.
(photo by Reuters)All parties lose as a result for these circumstances outside of our control, but more than the financial loss, is the loss by the visitors to Paris whose fear prevented them from enjoying all that Paris has to offer. We have done all we can to assuage that fear, as those of us living and working here don't participate in it. Read yesterday's Parler Paris and read our partner's blog on Paris Sharing to learn more about what life is really like in the City of Light while we stand up for our freedom and our rights.
What's fascinating is that there are those who have fear and flee the scene and those who show courage and stay or come to defend it. Quite honestly, I prefer to have a city of heroes on which we can rely! In the midst of it all, we have a number of clients who will not be deterred from purchasing property here.
One such client came to Paris for the fist time in her life just a few days before the Friday night attack. She decided to purchase a property in Paris long before she had ever even visited the city and employed us to help her. Her adult daughter has been handicapped her entire life and we set out to find a wheelchair-friendly apartment in a location accessible to many bus lines...and we did.
On Friday the 13th, that fateful day of the attacks, she visited an apartment that was perfect. Located near Place de la Bastille, with five windows on a beautiful cobblestoned courtyard, it had the 'bones' to create a perfect "pied-à-terre" for her and her daughter. That day, she made an offer on it and on Monday the offer was accepted readily -- the agent taking a cut off their commission to 'make the deal.'
Our client has not been deterred one iota from her desire to have this property -- in fact, she's even more stalwart then ever. She's here, she has seen the determination by the French and she is not in fear. She's one of those who have courage to defend the city and our freedom to live here. The ability to negotiate well may have been a result of the seller's fear that property would be difficult to sell or go down in price thanks to the recent events. Therefore, our client got really lucky.
The question is how the recent events will affect property sales and values in Paris. With all the predictions the Chambre de Notaire makes based on historical data, something like this throws all that out the window. No matter how much we plan or predict, the future is always only what we believe will happen, but is never the reality. With every investment you make, whether it be property or stocks and bonds, the return on your investment is a kind of 'crap shoot' as you can never predict such unforeseen circumstances to change the game. This one is definitely a 'game changer.'
Jonathan Miller explored the period following 9-11 and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in September 2008 for the Wall Street Journal to see their economic impacts on the sales of Manhattan co-ops and condos. I'm not sure if we can really compare these events in New York with the recent attacks in Paris, but I found it interesting to understand how such shocks can manifest over time.
Both 9-11 and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy made a serious impact on the New York real estate market, but look at it now! Read Erin Carlyle's Ten-Year Review in Forbes.com citing the New York appraisal firm Miller Samuel which said we should all "exercise a little 20-20 hindsight and groan about where we should have invested 10 years ago."
You're going to be saying the same thing about Paris. I see this as a golden opportunity to purchase property at a time when the market is down, prices are down, interest rates are down and rate of exchange is down. It's an ideal moment.
One of our clients in the midst of buying an apartment in the 11th district not far from the cafés and the Bataclan Theater that were attacked considered pulling out of the purchase at the last minute, almost willing to lose her 10% deposit. What she isn't realizing is that this district, once totally unknown to tourists, is suddenly very well-known internationally, and will increase the value of the property much more in the long run.
No, madame, this is the perfect time and the perfect place to buy!
(Photo by CNN)Special Note: I urge you to turn off CNN and Fox News. These media will give you sensationalist reporting that encourages viewers in order to keep up their ratings. Instead, rely on the French national news channel, France 24 http://www.france24.com/en/ where you can stream the news live on your computers and smart devices, as it really happens, told in a more factual way.
P.S.We just heard from the FYI network that, although the Tiny House World series is still premiering on Saturday, they've moved our Paris episode to Saturday, December 5th. They're doing so in response to what happened last week. What a shame we won't be their first show! I think they are making a big, big mistake, don't you? They should be showing their solidarity instead!
P.P.S. There will be no FPI on Thursday, November 26th, for Thanksgiving...as usual! Happy Turkey Day!
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