Getting Your Share of France
16th Century Manor House, Normandy, France
July 9, 2009
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
With Bastille Day (July 14th) soon upon us, we can plan on the real summer vacation to begin and this is a great time to reflect on how you’ll be setting up your future investments in French property.
Today’s issue tells the ongoing tale of the "viager" apartment I’ve been trying to acquire for almost four years and am soon to have all rights to! Have a fun read!
There is a special announcement about our new partnership with Moneycorp — a currency specialist designed to reduce your expense when transferring funds from one currency to annother. This is very valuable information, indeed!
We focus today, however, on fractional ownership as a solution for those who want to make a good investment in France, enjoy their stays here, but have no hassles that normal ownership might engender.
First, learn more about the concept and how it differs from timeshare. Then learn all about the properties we have been developing and marketing — that are available for you to explore and possibly purchase. We have added some new developers and new properties, so don’t miss this special part of today’s FPI.
Make note that there will be no FPI on July 30th when we take a brief vacation, but stay tuned for the completion of the renovation of "Le Palace des Vosges" which we expect within the next couple of weeks.
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
P.S. Stay at least 6 nights and get 1 night FREE in Parler Paris Apartments luxury air conditioned "La Table du Roi" any time during the month of August — located in the heart of Le Marais and sleeps up to 4. Visit http://wwww.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/table_du_roi.html for more information and to book your stay!
Volume VII, Issue 28, July 9, 2009
In this issue:
* Viager with a View: The Next Chapter
* FPI Fractional Property Offerings: New Additions
* New Partnership to Provide Currency Services
* Come Stay, Get FREE Consultation
* How Fractional Ownership Works
* Currency Update: New Partner, New Converter
* Business Fair for English Speakers This Weekend
* Parler Paris Apartments: La Table du Roi
* Hot Property Picks: French Fractionals
* What Happened at the Last Après-Midi?
* Results of the Last Notaires’ Property Auction
* Two New Property Shows in the Fall
* How You Can Obtain a Mortgage in France
* Parler Paris Après-Midi: Summer Break
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Subscribers Receive Discount on Insider Paris Guides
Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Monday , July 6, 2009
It’s a never-ending story that changes by the moment — the ongoing ‘saga’ of "Viager with a View" (an apartment destined to be called "Le Saint-Tropez"), a "viager" that I purchased in September of 2007.
For those of you who have followed the story, you may want a quick reminder to get you back up to speed and for those who haven’t, you may want to read Parts I, II, III, IV and V before you read this chapter. They can be found by clicking on the following links:
First a little background (skip this if you’re already "au courrant" (up to date)…
A "viager" is a life annuity property, also known as a "reverse mortgage." It’s fairly common in France where a person would sell their property in exchange for a down payment and regular cash installments as long as they are alive and continue to live in the property. When the person dies, the purchaser assumes the rights.
The advantage can be to both parties: it allows elderly people to benefit from the sale of their homes while retaining its use and the buyer benefits by paying a minimum price for such a property. If the person dies soon after entering the arrangement, then the buyer gets the property at a bargain.
If the person lives a long life, then the cost could escalate beyond reason, as was the case with Jeanne Calment, the oldest living human, who lived to the age of 122 and outlived her Notaire, André-François Raffray, who purchased her apartment, promising to pay $500 per month until Jeanne died. He paid twice the market value for the apartment before dying himself in December of 1995.
The sad side of this arrangement, of course, is that the buyer is often ‘betting’ on the person’s death. You can imagine the jokes told by friends about my own situation, making light of all the ways to ‘do away with’ Monsieur N. who holds the rights of usage! But before you pass judgment, let me remind you that although he still holds the rights of usage, he’s been living with his nephew in the Charente-Maritime for several years, abandoning the apartment for occasional usage by his relatives, therefore it’s virtually unused. Giving up the apartment would not take the roof from over his head!
"Le Saint-Tropez" (the name it will take upon becoming a rental apartment) took two years to acquire and now it’s almost two years in the making to obtain the rights of usage.
Now for an update…
In the last chapter (Part V), I had just sent off an offer letter to the nephew of Monsieur N. (the "viager") ‘splitting the difference’ — an offer of about 700€ per square meter to purchase the rights of usage from him.
Before long, I had a phone call and a positive response of acceptance! And on May 5th, I received a letter from his Notaire to arrange for the transfer of the rights of usage as quickly as possible. I was thrilled! And couldn’t wait to learn how much money should be transferred to the Notaire’s escrow account (the offer plus transfer taxes and fees) and when a signing could take place.
Nothing has gone smoothly so far, so why should I think it would go smoothly now? Still, I had not seen the "chambre de bonne," nor the "débarras" nor the two caves, as we never could find keys to these. Monsieur de L. (the "Syndic"), upon news of the acceptance, gave me a set of keys to the apartment itself, but no matter how thorough our search in the apartment, we could never come up with keys to the other rooms.
The Notaire told me the signing could go directly to the "Acte de Vente" bypassing the need to have a "Promesse de Vente," but not without having the "diagnostics" of the lead, termites, asbestos and measuring the official size of each room. While I was willing to forego the diagnostics, the Notaire said that was impossible, as the certification was more a protection for the seller so that later I could not dispute anything. It’s still tough to get my head around that idea…but it seems the logic must be very French indeed!
Nonetheless, I have requested that Monsieur N. give me permission to have a locksmith open the doors, but he refuses. His plan is to remove all his uncle’s belongings on July 9th and until then he does not want me to have access.
What he does not know is that it has very much been accessed! Not only is the Syndic having work done to the exterior wall of the terrace, but I have had contractors come to review the apartment to provide estimates for renovation, all unknowing that Monsieur N. would object!
Monsieur de L. asked me to come see the replastering of the exterior wall and have my own workers come to organize their part of the work to install electric plugs, lighting, a wood slat floor and by my request, air conditioning. During that visit, we stumbled into a neighbor, Madame d’A., who had a real revelation for me.
As it turns out, Madame d’A. and her husband, purchased a part of the mezzanine of the viager (a "cagibi") from the copropriété a while back (2001)! Imagine my surprise? They also own a chambre de bonne on the 5th floor along with this cagibi that for the moment is accessible from a door on the 5th floor that is directly above mine — the one I still haven’t seen!…
To read the rest of the story go to http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/viager/part6.html.
If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, see below:
LE PALACE DES VOSGES
CHEZ LA TOUR
LE PETIT TRESOR
NOTRE MAISON DANS TOULOUGES
To see our latest Fractional offerings go to http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional/fractional_offerings.html
If you’re buying a holiday home or investment property overseas, when you trade your currency is crucial. The euro exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, so trading at the right time will mean your money goes a lot further.
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC and Moneycorp are working together to ensure you make the most of your Dollar or Sterling when buying a property in France.
Exchange rate fluctuations
At the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, global exchange rates went through their most volatile period ever. On one memorable (and rather unsettling) occasion for example, the pound fell 3.5% against the euro. Fluctuations like this can have a huge impact on the Dollar value of a euro-based property.
***USD vs EUR currency fluctuation example
A French property worth €250,000 would have cost $322,450 on 21 April 2009, but by 13 May 2009, it would have cost $342,600. That’s a loss of $20,150 in just two weeks only due to the exchange rate movements.
***GBP vs EUR currency fluctuation example
For example, a French property worth €250,000 would have cost £236,295 on 1 April 2009, but by 15 April, it would have cost £224,215. That’s a saving of £12,080 in just two weeks.
etting more for your mone
If you leave payments until the last minute, you will have to accept the rate that the markets offer at the time of transfer.
From currency markets to contract options, Moneycorp’s experts will ensure you get to grips with foreign exchange. They will provide a personal, tailored service, guiding you through the transfer process and helping you plan your trades.
Making transfers with Moneycorp is faster, more convenient and more cost-effective than using your bank. Whether you’re making regular transfers, or need to make a one-off payment, they don’t charge commission and guarantee no receiving bank charges. They also offer free information and guidance on the currency markets, helping you decide on the best time to buy.
Flexible service to suit your needs
As an example of how Moneycorp can help, they offer a ‘forward contract’, which allows you to fix an exchange rate at which you buy/sell currency for delivery at a later date (up to two years ahead). Forward contracts protect against adverse currency movements and can be used to lock into favorable exchange rates.
To ensure you take advantage of positive exchange rate movements – and avoid negative ones – your Account Manager will also be proactive, and call or email you if there is a move in the currency market.
There are also a whole range of other contracts which may suit your needs – your Account Manager will help you to understand which suits your needs best.
Using Moneycorp – The main benefits:
•Expert guidance from your own dedicated Account Manager.
•Highly competitive exchange rates.
•Free use of their secure credit and debit card payment gateway to pay your reservation deposit.
•Ability to fix exchange rates for a set time period, protecting from adverse currency movements.
•No commission or receiving bank charges.
•No cost and no obligation in opening a Trading Facility.
•Extended opening hours: 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday (GMT).
Moneycorp is a trading name of TTT Moneycorp Limited. The company was established in 1962 and has been dealing in foreign exchange since 1979. Since that time, Moneycorp has been providing clients with an exceptional level of service – as well as value for money. Last year alone they traded more than £11 billion in currencies.
For more information go to http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/.
If you are a guest staying in any one of our luxurious Parler Paris Apartments, and would like to consider having your own "pied-à-terre" for your pleasure and profit, contact Adrian Lees for a FREE one-hour consultation while you’re enjoying the apartment in the City of Light. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments for more information or email me at [email protected].
Let’s start with understanding that Fractional Ownership IS NOT a Timeshare.
Yes, it’s a bit of a hybrid of direct ownership and time sharing, but combines the best elements of both.
"In its broadest definition, fractional ownership is any arrangement where a group of people (numbering from 2 to 10 or more) share the ownership of an asset and also share certain rights to use the asset. The use of the word "ownership" in the definition therefore excludes timeshare arrangements, where there is no ownership of the underlying asset." TheFractionalTimes.com.“Timeshare involves the purchase of, typically, one or two weeks per annum use share and it is not a deeded purchase. Fractional properties have to offer a minimum 1/13th ownership share to qualify as a fractional purchase, while having a maximum of 1/4 ownership share, and the purchase is often a deeded ownership –- fee simple or a deed of entitlement to the purchased share of real estate at a single location.” Nick Turner, Vice President of Business Development at The Registry Collection.
Most fractional property opportunities in France are properties that have been purchased, renovated and decorated by one developer who then sells off the shares. Most of these offerings sell six to thirteen shares to minimize the investment amount while maximizing the size, location and qualit
of the apartment.
Our entrée into Fractional Ownership began with Steve Navaro of Paris Home Shares properties, after having met one owner of their first property, "The Villa Monceau," in early 2007. Steve quickly sold out the shares and began to develop more properties. We helped him find some of those properties and put him in connection with you readers who welcomed the new concept and the fine Paris apartments he offered.
Our relationships grew with other well-respected developers to assist them in marketing their properties. All the developers we work with are professionals in the industry and can be trusted to provide a fine product.
At the same time, we developed a "Design Your Own Fractional Ownership Property" solution for those who wanted to organize their own small group of co-owners and legally "fractionalize" it.
Then in 2008, we saw an opportunity to develop our own fractional property when a two-bedroom apartment in the 400 year-old Place des Vosges became available. It was a complicated acquisition because of restrictions by the city of Paris as historically classified property, but now with the renovation almost completed, we expect it to be the most elegant and luxurious property on the Paris market and certainly in the finest location possible.
With great pride, we are now able to offer a wide variety of fractional ownership properties in Paris and in the south of France that offer many of the benefits of an investment property, without the hassles of single ownership responsibility.
To learn more about fractional ownership in Paris or France visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional or email [email protected].
Editor’s Note: See our new Fractional opportunities in Hot Properties below!
If you’re buying a holiday home or investment property overseas, when you trade your currency is crucial. The euro exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, so trading at the right time will mean your money goes a lot further. Adrian Leeds Group LLC and Moneycorp are working together to ensure you make the most of your Dollar or Sterling when buying a property in France.
For the latest exchange rate use our currency converter at http://www.moneycorp.com/tools/currency_converter/.
English speaking businesses have the chance to meet up with potential customers at a networking event taking place in Eymet.
The Dordogne village hosts the event at its Salle des Fete on Saturday, July 11 with the doors opening at 10am and continuing until 4pm.
A variety of trades are expected to attend, including translators, financial advisers and property services, enabling business to business networking but also general questions about French life to be answered.
Entrance to the fair is free.
See http://maps.google.co.uk/maps for a map to Eymet.
Parler Paris Apartments Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the "seal of approval" from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds. Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible.
We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do heir best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.
SPOTLIGHT APARTMENT(S): La Table du Roi
Rue de Roi du Sicile, 4th Arrondissement
1-Bedroom, Sleeps Up to 4
***Special offer on "La Table du Roi" (air conditioned for your comfort) — Stay at least 6 nights and get 1 night FREE any time during the month of August!
"La Table du Roi" ("The Kings’s Table) is a one bedroom slice of old world charm, destined to please those looking for luxury and elegance. On the first floor (European) of a 17th-century building on rue du Roi de Sicile in the heart of Le Marais (4th arrondissement), it is steps from rue de Rivoli, rue Vieille du Temple, the Hôtel de Ville, Place de la Bastille, the River Seine and everything that Le Marais has to offer.
Each week French Property Insider features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various regions of France and districts of Paris.
This week we focus on Fractional Ownership property opportunities in Paris and the south of France.
***The Best Address in Paris!…
Le Palace des Vosges is more of a house in the country than an apartment in Paris, right smack dab in the middle of Paris’ most elegant square — the Place des Vosges. The square, located in Le Marais, in the 4th arrondissement, is the BEST ADDRESS in town. Nothing comes close! Living on the square is as elegant and special as any address could be. It’s the center of Marais life and it gets more beautiful with each passing moment. Developed by the Adrian Leeds Group, LLC in cooperation and counsel of John Howell & Co, London, it’s the most prestigious Fractional Ownership property in Paris today.
To learn more about "Le Palace des Vosges" go to http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional/pdv/index.html.
***Le Notre Dame
A studio apartment within a few steps of Notre Dame where life in Paris began, is new in the fractional offerings. This luxurious "petit pied-à-terre," is a perfect Parisian home for a single or couple wanting a centrally located home in the City of Light at a "petit prix." Offered by Paris Fractional Ownership and Glenn Cooper, shares begin at 14,900€ per two week share.
To learn more about "Le Notre Dame" go to http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional/pfo/lenotredame.html.
***Paris Residence Club
Paris Residence Club is an elegant urban mix of private residences owned by its members and operated for their leisure enjoyment and business use. The Club provides hassle-free ownership by combining the advantages of quality Parisian real estate with many of the services and amenities of a fine hotel. Located in the best neighborhoods of the 6th and 7th arrondissements, Paris Residence Club commands prestigious and convenient locations for business and pleasure. Fractional ownership at Paris Residence Club is the sensible way to own your Paris dream home!
To learn more about Paris Residence Club properties go to http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional/prc/index.html.
***Paris La Résidence Luxembourg
DwellParis was created to offer Americans who love Paris an opportunity to own a fabulous apartment there at a reasonable cost and with minimum hassle. Formed by two Americans now living in Paris, the DwellParis partners combine 22 years of legal and development experience in fractional ownership, with a Louvre curator’s insider knowledge and connections to the Paris decorative arts community.
To learn more about "Résidence Jardin Luxembourg" go to
***Paris Home Shares
Founder, Steven Navaro, has been a real estate attorney and broker since 1977 checking out property in exotic places as a pastime. He was no different than anyone else, always dreaming of owning a beautiful "home away from home." Steve decided that finding a few like-minded Paris lovers to share the costs made so much more sense, plus they could decorate the property to fit their tastes as it truly could be their home. Even better, there would be no need for a mortgage, and they could purchase a higher quality property. See the Paris Home Shares Fractional Ownership Offerings…
Le Petit Trésor: http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional/tresor.html.
***Gerard Benton Homes
Nestled in the charming town of Toulouges, population 6,000 in the South of France, at 18 rue Jean Jaures lies your new home away from home. This historic stone house was constructed by local artisans in the time-honored tradition of quality craftsmanship. Local building materials of thick river rock and Catalan bricks impart an authentic patina to the 200 to 400-year-old structure. Many of the original architectural details remain intact.
To learn more about "Notre Maison dans Toulouges" go to
It was a packed house in spite of the fact that we met one week earlier than usual — thanks to Bastille Day falling on the 14th of July and the second Tuesday of the month. As usual, there was the eclectic collection of regulars and newcomers who gathered to say hello and chat, although the din was more like a roar for the whole of the two hours.
Newcomers today included:
Bernard de la Bourdonaye, a friend of Adrian McGinn’s, retired, but still busy! Adrian is a Dubliner who has lived in Paris many years.
Jeanne Govert, who came to Paris because her husband has a two year position at a French firm in Nanterre, has always loved the "idea" of Paris so living here is a thrill. Unfortunately, she goes ‘home’ on August 1st but plans to visit often.
Christina Oettl’s husband’s job took here here, but she’s learning French history, language and "joie de vivre" along with painting, photography and making new friends.
Noreen Dillman came along with Sharon Roberson, who was here same time last year. Noreen sold her law practice to live in Paris, is lucky to have Irish citizenship and is looking for a new career. Sharon is here till the end of August, and is living in the US, but dreams of buying an apartment in Paris with her son sometime in the near future.
Romy Teh attended a Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference in San Francisco in 2008
to say hello to us. He’ll eventually own a property in Paris, now that he has the "bug."…
To read the full account, and that of past meetings, go to http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html.
Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the Web site at www.encheres-Paris.com. Though the site has a button for an English version, it isn’t necessarily reliable.
To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:
|On July 7, 2009 the following properties were auctioned off:|
Editor’s Note: If you look at the properties on the Notaire’s site (www.encheres-paris.com), when you click on the information for a particular property there is also a link to Google Maps to show you exactly where the property is located.
* Exhibition of French Property Set for London *
A French property exhibition will be held in London in September, publisher Archant has said.
Run by lifestyle magazine Archant Life France, the event will take place from September 11th to 13th at Olympia, with the company stating that the recent exhibition held in Harrogate revealed widespread optimism about the French market.
Buying the right property in France could reap dividends over the next few years, French property law specialist at solicitors Furley Page Sarah Bogard said this week. She stated that the country is a buyers’ market and is offering falling prices.
* Luxury Real Estate Trade Fair Loves Paris in the Autumn *
Not everyone can afford a private island or a fancy penthouse on New York’s Upper East Side. Still, for those who can, an invitation to the Luxury Real Estate Trade Fair will be just the thing to make the autumn seem brighter. And where better to promote high-end property than Paris, the world capital of chic? This elegant ambience will be further enhanced by the venue, Paris’s famous Musée du Louvre.
On the 27th, 28th and 29th of November 2009 Prestige-Paris will celebrate its third birthday with the assistance of France Convention, a specialist in niche and luxury trade fairs. This year’s gathering will be required both to meet the visitors’ very demanding expectations and outdo last year’s exceptionally successful event.
The recent recession has failed
to affect the luxury sector as much
as the rest of the economy, in fact the latest figures have revealed that the Parisian real estate market has improved. It seems that the most beautiful and luxurious homes never fail to find a buyer, a thought that will encourage participants in this most prestigious property exhibition.
When you make a purchase as important as a piece of real estate in a foreign country, you ant to know that you can trust the people you are dealing with. Adrian Leeds has developed a network of professionals that meet only the highest of standards. With the expertise and experience of Adrian and her team, you can depend on getting the best advice and support to feel completely confident that you are making an informed investment decision.
HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: www.onlineconversion.com/
The second Tuesday of every month, Parler Paris and French Property Insider readers gather at La Pierre du Marais for a drink and a "schmooze" –It’s an opportunity to meet and chat with other like-minded people and a great way to make friends! Costs nothing except your drinks. Don’t miss the next gathering Tuesday, Septemeber 8th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m. and every second Tuesday of the month (except August).
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Of course, we’re always happy to help, so if you do need assistance, send an email to [email protected]
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Past issues of FPI are available on the Web site. You will find the
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Report, click on
Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…and the newest guide, Practical Paris!
French Property Insider subscribers receive a discount of 10% off any uide and up to 25% off the entire
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