SPECIAL NOTE: MA MAISON MIRON COULD BE YOURS IF YOU ACT VERY, VERY FAST!
You might remember when I first wrote about "Ma Maison Miron?" It was this past June in a Parler Paris Nouvellettre® when we first began the process to convert the 18 square-meter studio in one of the oldest buildings in the city to a "Fractional Share Property."
Immediately upon the launch of that newsletter, we had many more written commitments to purchase shares than we had shares available! The response was overwhelming, and thus began the process to renovate and decorate the property as well as organize all the legal documents.
Yesterday at about 6 p.m. Paris time, we sent an email to those who had made a written commitment to purchase a share with links to the buyers' set of documents. Within three hours, more than half the shares were sold! By end of day today, it is possible that the rest of the shares will be gone, but if you have any interest in owning a share of Paris' newest and smartest Fractional Ownership Property located in one of Paris’ oldest buildings — a building that dates back to the 14th-century...don't hesitate to contact us today!
PROPERTY TAX TIME: ASSESSING THE COST OF LIVING IN FRANCE
I just got my Taxes Foncières bills (annual property taxes) for my two French properties, with payment due October 15th. They are almost a joke, especially by U.S. standards. My one-bedroom apartment in Nice owes a "whopping" 586€ and my two-bedroom apartment in Paris is being assessed for 627€. Neither will break the bank.
By comparison, annual property taxes in Los Angeles are 1.25% of the value of the property. Based on the current value of these properties and taking into consider the rate of exchange (low right now at $1.10 to the euro), the Nice property tax would be about $4,800 and the Paris tax would be $13,750 for the year, each! Now, that breaks the bank! In fact, I wouldn't be able to afford the ownership of both properties.
Just think how that alone reduces your cost of ownership and cost of living by living in France?
We are often asked by those who are considering moving to France, what they can expect their cost of living to be. You can search sites such as Numbeo.com or International Living, but everyone's lives are different and how we spend our money varies with our lifestyles.
There are certain aspects we all share in: accommodations, transportation, healthcare, utilities, etc. Others choose to augment their standard of living, with such expenses as clothing and accessories, travel, dining out, etc. We all spend our money different ways, but the basics are what's most important to consider.
One way to drastically reduce your cost of living is by living in a part of France where owning a car isn't necessary, such as Paris or Nice or many of the other larger cities (Marseille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg...). Just imagine saving about $7,500 a year simply by not having to own and operate a vehicle (not to mention the reduction of stress)!
"AAA has been tracking vehicle ownership costs for decades, and motorists are often surprised when they learn the full scope of the costs involved. In 2016, owning and operating an average sedan costs $8,558 per year, which is equal to $713 per month or 57 cents per mile. If these numbers shock you, then consider that they represent a six-year low and a 1.6 percent drop compared to 2015 — mainly because of lower gasoline prices." (Source: aaa.com/articles/)
Compare that with the Paris Navigo Monthly Pass that costs 75.20€ per month (902.40€ annually) for central Paris and all Zones 1-5 which includes travel in central Paris as well as out to the CDG Airport, Disneyland Paris, Chateau de Versailles and Orly Airport. That leaves you plenty of money to take taxis or Ubers whenever you want, or make extra trips to other cities and countries for holidays!
Holidays are part of that extra benefit, because from most major cities in France, you can hop an easyJet, Ryanair or Air France, or TGV to most other cities in Europe for under 100€ round-trip. I just checked Google Flights for the latest deals from Paris. How would you like to go to Porto for $34 or Malaga for $55? How are you doing that from the U.S.? Face it, you aren't.
And what about utilities? Free, Orange, SFR and Bouygues are France's premier Internet service providers. I prefer Free over the others. Their service starts at 9.99€ a month for Internet and VOIP telephone. Add TV for another 5€ a month. Add a cell phone for another 2€ a month. Pretty "stupid," right?
You know how much that costs you in the U.S.? There are four top wireless telecommunications facilities in the U.S.: AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless:, T-Mobile and Sprint. Internet alone with AT&T starts at $40 a month. Add TV and pay $99.99 per month. Add a VOIP phone to that and pay $114.98 a month. This is what they advertise online, but it's the lowest deal to suck you in. Most of our clients claim they pay about $250 a month for the same service that costs me about 35€ (with tax). Ok, so that means you just saved yourself about $2,500 a year for your Internet, TV and phone needs.
Want to consider health insurance? Ha! That's the biggest savings of all. It's tough to compare because everyone's insurance costs vary depending on age, policy benefits and if it's an employment perk or not, but consider that a retiree moving to France can get a "Carte Vitale" that provides health care coverage based on scheduled fees; about 70 percent of your health care bills. (See service-public.fr/particuliers/ for more information) Top that up with a "mutuelle" — a policy that will cover the rest up to 100%. This costs as little as 1,000€ a year for someone my age (over 65). Ridiculous, right?
If you have kids you need to educate, then you're about to save yourself a ton of money by letting the French educational system give them way more than you bargained for absolutely free, even on the higher levels, depending on what schools you choose. Private schools still cost money, but a whole lot less than those Stateside. Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel's primary school fees are about 6,500€ a year. Compare that to the Lycée Français de Los Angeles that start at $18,750! That's almost three times the price!
What about rent? The average rent in Paris is about 35€ a square meter, so count a one-bedroom of about 35 square meters to cost you 1,225€ a month. Want to compare that New York, where our large studio in the West Village (525 square feet) just rented for three times that? And the average rent in Los Angeles as reported this August was $2,516 a month for 791 square feet, a one-bedroom. (Source: rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/)
Sure, salaries are lower in France and taxes (withholding) are higher, but your cost of living is quite a bit lower, so ultimately you can afford a whole lot more. Plus, if you're trading in your car for tickets on the TGV or flights to neighboring cities and countries, then you're improving your lifestyle in the process of saving a whole ton of money. And that means you can dine out more (and likely better, too), buy nicer clothing and accessories or enjoy more cultural events (although lots of that is provided free, too, thanks to all the public offerings).
If you're worried about what you need financially to move here, money won't be the problem. The only concern you should have is how to accept the idea that you're never moving back!
P.S. We know not everyone wants to live in Paris. Are you interested in other parts of La France Profonde? Our network of professionals is here to help. Contact us to discuss your interests and we'll get to work for you. Do it today!
One-Bedroom Apartment on Avenue Gambetta in Nice!
Just at the corner of avenue Victor Hugo and avenue Gambetta in Nice, where the new East-West Tramway will have a station, in a beautiful Art Deco building, is this superb 48.11 m2 two-room one-bedroom apartment with a west-facing balcony in perfect condition, fully renovated with high-quality amenities. It is composed of an entrance hall with an independent toilet, living room, fully equipped kitchen, and a large bedroom with bathroom.
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