"Mortgages, Matters and Mountains"

Mortgages, Matters and Mountains

The Villiage of Annecy, in the French Alps


French Property Insider

October 22, 2009
Paris, France

Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

Last weekend’s events brings us much on which to report: the Money Matters for Women Conference, the newly announced ridiculously low mortgage rates (well under 3%) and a trip to IKEA to order up the kind of kitchen that changed the face of France.

The morning before the Money Matters for Women Conference, I received a letter from conference attendee Hyacinth Fleming that was a big surprise! I was very proud to read the contents of the letter after making my presentation to all who attended the session. Today’s French Property Insider not only allows you to download the complete PowerPoint presentation from the conference, but to read Hyacinth’s glowing words about how they’ve "made over 70% return in only three years." It’s the real and true story from people who made their dream come true…but like almost everyone, were quite concerned it could not be possible and found it, in fact, is was!

Mortgage rates are hitting rock bottom right now…and that’s good news compared to the latest rates of exchange! This is a great time to buy while rates are well under 3%. Learn more about it in today’s issue and don’t delay to get your dossier started for a pre-approval.

Mountains are in the news this week…the Alps…where the winter season is looking promising and that means a potentially profitable investment. Learn more about it and be sure to visit the Hot Properties…or should we call them "Icy Hot Properties?"

At last Sunday evening’s Conference Call we all learned a lot about the differences between single ownership and co-ownership, but we also learned a lot of other things about property ownership in France not on the agenda. As a subscriber, you have the opportunity to listen to the call and to all past conference calls. Scroll down to learn more and how to access them.

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds
Adrian LeedsEditor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]

P.S. To get the best rate of exchange, be sure to work with our partner, Moneycorp.com to take the risk out of currency conversion. For more information, visit: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/moneycorpconvertor.html and learn more about moneycorp here:

Volume VII, Issue 42, October 22, 2009

In this issue:

* How Low Can They Go?
* Of Conferences and Cuisines
* Proof Your Paris Dream Can Come True
* Report on Another Successful Conference Call
* Life Style: Notaires Provide Practical Consultations
* FPI Fractional Property Offerings
* Looking to Save? Look to France
* Moneycorp: Take the Risk Out of Currency Conversion
* Update on the Goings on at La Defense
* Rent and Get Free Consultation
* Parler Paris Apartments: Fall Discounts Expire Soon
* French Alps Worth Considering for Investment
* Hot Property Picks: Astounding Awesome Alps
* Properties on the Block for Next Notaires’ Auction
* Property Show in November: Focus on Luxury
* How You Can Obtain a Mortgage in France
* Parler Paris Après-Midi: Next Gathering Nov. 17th
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Subscribers Receive Discount on Insider Paris Guides

A Loan in France at 2.04%? Can it be true?
By Adrian Leeds

Excerpt from Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Interest rates have gone so low that you could be paying as little as 2.04% interest on your French mortgage! This is a lender we have worked with for years — in fact, it’s the lender who has held my own personal mortga

ges (all four of them!) since the year 2000…
but I can tell you, none of mine are as ‘brainless’ as that! This is the lowest rate we’ve ever seen.

On a variable-rate mortgage, which is the most desirable in France for a variety of beneficial reasons (in contrast to how the U.S. favors fixed-rate loans), the first year’s rate is as low as 2.3%. After the first year, the rate goes to "Euribor" (the money market reference rates for the euro) plus a 1.3% margin. If the rate stays the same the second year, you could easily be paying only 2.04%!

So, let’s play this out. You purchase a one-bedroom 40 square-meter apartment in the heart of Paris at about 10,000€ per square meter: 400,000€. Your loan is 80% of that: 320,000€. You take a 15-year loan because you’re in your mid to late 50s and the bank doesn’t want to lend beyond the age of 70 (but, this is not always true). The first year your payment per month is 2100€. The second and subsequent years, your payment is 2065€. The payment stays the same, but the term of the loan changes (increases or decreases) as the rate changes — that’s how the variables in France work.

Meanwhile, your rental revenues are covering the mortgage (I call this "OPM" — Other People’s Money) and because of the low interest rate, you stand a very good chance of making a profit, too! The point is, that this is a great time to buy property in France with prices having stabilized in central Paris and interest rates as low as they have ever been.

Editor’s Note: The lender to which Adrian refers is Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier (BPI). If you want more information, our man with a ‘good head on his shoulders’ can help you get a pre-approval on a loan at these rates (at no brokerage fee), contact John Rule at [email protected].



Inside and Outside the Proverbial "Cuisine" (Kitchen)
By Adrian Leeds

Excerpt from Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday morning, instead of the usual routine of walking over to Parler Parlor–the French-English Conversation Group (http://www.parlerparlor.com/)–which has been my regimen for more than 11 years, I boarded Métro line 8, exited at "Invalides" and walked over to one of the facilities of the American University of Paris (AUP) on rue du Colonel Combes. This is where the "Money Matters for Women" Conference was held and where I was scheduled to speak later that day on "Property Investment in France."

It struck me how much there is to MISS in Paris when you just can’t be EVERYWHERE at the same time and being in this "quartier" on a Saturday morning was particularly unusual…"pour moi." The rest of the day and well into the evening, Paris stayed outside the realm of the 50-plus women who had come to hear other women (and one man) speak on financial topics designed "for today’s global woman who wants to understand her current financial situation, plan intelligently and take proactive steps in managing her money" sponsored by WICE and AUP.

Keynote speaker Pattie Simone (who by coincidence has the same last name as my daughter, Erica, but is no relation), set the appropriate tone for the entire day of sessions, with a motivational speech about how she was told she ‘couldn’t do it’ so often she began to believe it herself…until one day she woke up from this ‘nightmare’ and began to take the risks that changed her life.

Pattie is president of "WomenCentric," a firm that places talented, capable, seasoned and ‘sassy’ women experts in speaking engagements all over the world to enlighten others with their knowledge and expertise. She was quite enlightening herself(!), commanding perfect silence while she told her tale of a ‘beaten-down’ woman who couldn’t do anything right to the woman she is today in charge of her business, her family and an exciting life.

This set the tone for the next eight hours of 10 independent sessions on everything from "Starting Your Own Business in France" (Samina Arnoult) to "Conversations with a Millionaire Next Door" (Al Herter) to "Get Rich Slow vs Get Rich Quick" (Justine Trueman) and of course, my own presentation about "Property Investment in France."*

I learned a lot myself from the sessions, but most importantly, that women are at a disadvantage in the financial and economic arena simply because we weren’t programmed to think about our financial well-being in the same way men were as they hold the traditional role of ‘breadwinner’ while the women were ‘in the kitchen’ baking it. The Conference has been held every other year since 2005, and let’s hope for women’s sake they will do it again in 2011. Stay tuned. For more information, visit their Web site at Money Matters for Women (http://www.moneymattersforwomen.org/)

nt size="2" face="Verdana">Early Sunday morning, with marketing cart in tow, I met up with old friend and colleague to whom I have affectionately referred as "My Gay Neighbor," to make a trek outside Paris to IKEA to purchase…guess what?…a "cuisine" (kitchen), for the studio apartment currently under renovation, "Le Saint-Tropez" (http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/saint-tropez.html), I doubt renters will be baking bread during their vacations there, but still, the kitchen is all important and IKEA is THE place to acquire one…

In all the years of making occasional trips to this particular store, I’d never seen it busier. The wait to order the kitchen components was over an hour and once served, the process was less than 10 minutes. All the other tasks went smoothly — purchasing a "click-clack" convertible sofabed for "La Brigitte," the "studette," twin beds for the studio apartment (that combined make one large bed) and various accessories.

I have watched with amazement over the last 15 years how IKEA single handedly changed the French culture with their complete kitchen designs. Its first store here was opened as long ago as 1981 (Bobigny), but it took a while before the concept began to manifest itself in the kitchens of Paris, now referred to as "une cuisine Americaine."…

Read the entire article at http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/issues/pparis19-10-09.html.

Editor’s Note: To enjoy the presentation Adrian made at the Money Matters for Women Conference, download the PowerPoint Presentation by clicking here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/Prop_Invest_in_France.ppt.

The True Story…

A Letter from Hyacinth Fleming to Adrian Leeds
Received October 17, 2009

Just want to say that John and I feel so fortunate to have you guys on our side! You guys are awesome!!!…Three years later:

October 2009…Also, just wanted to thank you again and again for helping us buy our St Germain apartment. The $1000 I spent on the Living and Investing in France conference was THE best investment I’ve ever made!!

In June of 2008 we had it appraised for 1.020.000 EUR. (You should have seen John’s face when we got the appraisal!) Considering our downpayment and renovation costs, we’ve made over 70% return in only 3 years. And that’s not including the equity that our renters are building up for us every month. I still can’t believe that our renters are actually paying down the mortgage for us! So, a million times, thank you thank you!!

Editor’s Note: Hyacinth and John Fleming paid 730,000€ for their two-bedroom apartment on rue des Beaux Arts in the 6th arrondissement in 2006. Closing costs were approximately 73,000€ and complete renovation (we estimate at 2000€ per square meter) turned it into the beauty that it is. To see the apartment for yourself, St-Germain-Romance: http://www.parisforrent.com/paris-apartment-rentals/st-germain-romance/.

Own It All Or Just a Fraction Conference Call
By Adrian Leeds

About a dozen FPI subscribers tuned in last Sunday to the free conference call with Mary Ellen Gallagher and me titled "Own It All Or Just a Fraction." The participants were scattered across the U.S. and Canada, from Portland to Miami to Toronto.

For the first 15 minutes, I presented the pros and cons of single ownership vs co-ownership or "fractional" ownership so that one could make one’s own decision about which structure better fits their personal needs. Then the conversation was open for questions and discussion.

What was most interesting about the call, from our view point (the moderators’), is that the participants weren’t as focused on the subject at hand as their own individual property questions. No matter — we all learned a lot!

Listen to the entire conference call at http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/Conf_Oct_18_2009.mp3.

Editor’s Note: You can listen to other past conference calls at http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/conference_calls.html<


Salon Nouveau Départ (November 7 – 8, 2009)

The first salon in France concerning divorce, separation and widowhood takes place this coming November 7-8 at the Espace Champeret . On this occasion, the Chambre de Notaires de Paris will have a stand where Notaires will be on hand to provide consultations.

Espace Champeret
1 avenue de la Porte de Champeret
75017 Paris
M° Louise Michel)
Saturday, November 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 8, 11 a.m to 6 p.m.

To review the program in detail, visit http://www.nouveaudepart.fr.

To acquire free invitations, visit the Centre d’Information de la Chambre des Notaires de Paris at 1, boulevard de Sébastopol, Paris 1st.

Fractional Property Offerings from French Property Fractional


If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, see below:

Place des Vosges 


Chez la Tour

La Rsidence Luxembourg

Le Petit Tresor
 Maison Bleue

Paris Residence Club

Notre Maison dan Toulouges

To see our latest Fractional offerings go to http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional/fractional_offerings.html

Euro Mortgage Rates Fall Below 3%, Savers Look Elsewhere



Tim Harvey, managing director of UK regulated overseas mortgage specialists Offshoreonline.org comments, “ In the UK, we have seen new loan interest rates dropping to under 4%, but in France, the position is even more dramatic. Mortgages are again at levels of around 2.8% to 3.2%. Interestingly, the French property market has not suffered to the same degree as in the UK. While there has been some downward movement, many of the high quality internationally sought after areas such as the Cote D’Azur and Paris have shown higher levels of stability and basically kept much of their value.”

Data on house price movements in France is published by the State regulated Notaries. The figures for the Paris region give a hint as to the differing French and UK markets: Over the last year to 31 May, Parisian apartment prices fell back by just 5.9% compared to a fall of 17.6% for London properties in the year to June 2009.

The ability of the French property market to hold its value is due partly to lending policies of the banks. Tim Harvey continues, “Banks in France will always ask for a 20% deposit, although with leaseback properties, buyers can often use their VAT refund, so the loan can be virtually 100%. However, lenders will always look closely at affordability and the concepts of loans of greater than 100% or self certification mortgages are both unheard of.”…

Read the entire article at http://www.investmentinternational.com/news/funds/euro-mortgage-rates-fall-below-3-savers-look-elsewhere-3072.html.



Take the Risk Out of Currency Conversion

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.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/moneycorpconvertor and learn more about moneycorp here:

Sarkozy Clan Seeks to Tighten Grip on Paris Skyline Development
By Helene Fouquet


Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) — France’s most ambitious property development since Napoleon III built Paris’s boulevards in the 19th century may soon be overseen by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s son, a 23-year-old undergraduate and county councilor.

Jean Sarkozy’s bid to run the board of the planning agency for La Defense, the business district at Paris’s western edge, has sparked an outcry and charges of nepotism from critics who say he’s not qualified. Proponents say the presidential interest will ensure momentum for the plan…

Impact on Paris

Sarkozy, 54, would follow rulers who left their mark on the local geography — from Henri IV’s construction of the Pont Neuf, now Paris’s oldest bridge, and what are now the Place des Vosges and Place Dauphine; Louis XIV’s removal of his court to Versailles and Napoleon III’s decision to raze the capital’s center and replace it with a network of boulevards and architecture that established the face of modern Paris.

La Defense, conceived by Charles De Gaulle in 1958, is home to about 2,500 companies including Total SA, France’s largest company by market value, Areva SA, the world’s biggest builder of nuclear reactors, and Electricite de France SA, Europe’s top power producer. Non-French tenants include International Business Machines Corp., American International Group Inc. and Ernst & Young.

About 150,000 people work there and 1 million people commute through it.

Overall, Sarkozy’s plan could generate up to 2.5 million square meters of homes and offices, says EPAD. BNP Real Estate said it may seek to build up to 80,000 square meters in an unbuilt zone called Les Groues…

nt s
ize="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Read the entire article at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=a7Zd7SxIOAvQ.

One-Hour Consultation with Adrian Leeds Free!

Currency Online


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].



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 thequality 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): Ask About the Last Minute Fall Special: 10% to 15% Discount off Advertised Rental Rates Through December 20!…

Le Château Saint-Germain

Rue de Bourbon le Château
6th Arrondissement
Three-Bedroom, Three-Bath, sleeps up to 6

Le Château Saint-Germain is an elegant and luxurious three-bedroom/three-ensuite-bath apartment located in the very heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris in a quiet corner with a view on the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and steps from the liveliest part of the quartier. Visitors to Paris who are lucky enough to make themselves at home here will be talking about their delightful stay for years to come and return as often as they can. Located on the second floor (European, third floor American) of a 17th-century Hôtel Particulier (townhouse), the spacious rooms of the apartment circle around a central courtyard affording windows on all sides of the apartment with views of three tiny streets and the lovely serene courtyard.


Reserve now! Visit www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments or email:[email protected].

Promising Signs For Real Estate In The French Alps


The forecast for real estate in the French Alps is snowy and bright, perfect conditions for investors in lifestyle property — while developer offerings promise to fulfill dreams for every budget. Early into the season, interest in property is already increasing steadily, and construction is near its limit. This is keeping prices, and demand for rental properties, strong.

As the first flurries of snow arrive in the French Alps the region’s property industry is reporting an increase in interest from real estate investors who have also been encouraged by last season’s excellent winter conditions.

Many resorts experienced some of the best snow conditions for decades and with local authorities becoming keener to grant permission for new developments a mini property revival is predicted.

‘Inquiries about property in the French Alps have risen steadily in the past six months, despite the fact that the summer is usually the quietest time of year, said Richard Deans, sales consultant for ski property developer MGM…

rdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Rental potential is a key issue for those buying in this part of the world. ‘Lots of lifestyle buyers are looking for somewhere they can use for a couple of weeks a year and rent out for the rest of the time.

There are also investors who are aware of the strength of the French Alps and buying purely for investment returns, explained Johnson.

Overall the opinion in the industry is that property prices in the well known areas have held strong as the interest from prospective buyers has remained and construction limits are being reached…

Read the entire article at http://www.nuwireinvestor.com/articles/promising-signs-for-real-estate-in-the-french-alps-53888.aspx.

HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Astounding Awesome Alps

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 opportunities in the French Alps that could provide year round rental possibilites.

*** Méribel Mottaret: Two-bedroom, approx. 31m²

Méribel Mottaret, in an exceptional setting; comfortable two bedroom apartment on two levels, including a living room with large bay windows. The two bedrooms are situated on the higher floor. Also includes a south facing balcony with a great view on the resort, lake Tueda, and Mount Vallon.

Asking Price: € 275 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



*** Saint Gervais les Bains: Two-bedroom, approx. 80m²

Saint Gervais les Bains; stylish apartment situated on the ground floor of a two story house. Renovated in 2009 with a subtle mix of modern and traditional styles. Includes two bedrooms, one with an office, a living/dining room, a separate kitchen and a bathroom with shower and bath. Also includes access to a shared garden plus a private terrace.

Asking Price: € 320 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



*** La Plagne: Three-bedroom, approx. 70m²

Paradiski; High quality three bedroom apartment on two levels. South facing and directly on the pistes. Situated on the first level is a lounge, a living area with fire place and an open plan kitchen, fitted and equipped. On the second level are three bedrooms, one with en-suite bathroom, plus a bathroom with bath. Also includes a garage, a private parking area, a large cellar and a double ski locker.

Asking Price: € 403 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



*** Annecy: Four-bedroom, approx. 160m²

In a beautiful country setting only 15 minutes from Annecy. Very pretty four bedroom farmhouse set on 1800m2 of land. Recently renovated to high standards with quality finishings. Includes a fitted kitchen and lounge with fireplace. Has a barn, cellar, garden, high ceilings, loft conversion, open fire place, wood floors and out buildings. Possibility for a Bed and Breakfast.

Asking Price: € 469 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee


The Next Notaires’ Property Auction

Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Paris 1st


Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the Web site at www.encheres-Paris.com.

To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:

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  The following properties will be auctioned off November 10, 2009:    


2 Rooms 44m²
5/7 rue de la Comète
75007 – PARIS 7eme
Starting Bid: 252 000,00 €
Sold For: 50 400,00 €




2 Rooms 59m²
78 Boulevard de la Tour Maubourg
75007 – PARIS 7eme
Starting Bid: 540 000,00 €
Deposit: 108 000,00 €



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