Paris Cracks that Keep Coming Back

View from the Bedroom Window on Rue de Saintonge, Where the Cracks Keep Coming Back
Photo by Erica Simone

Paris Cracks that Keep Coming Back

Parler Paris Previews…
A Weekly Community Calendar for English-Speaking Paris

Click here for Calendar #100 or scroll down for more information

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Paris, France

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To learn more, visit /frenchproperty/insider or go directly to subscribe at /frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html

But hurry…offer ends March 31, 2006


Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Yesterday afternoon, after the usual Parler Paris Après Midi fun gathering, I rushed home to meet an official appraiser scheduled to evaluate my personal apartment.

The reason he was scheduled by BPI (Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier) is because the loan I am getting to purchase my tiny “pied-à-terre” investment property on rue Charlot (16.5 square meters!), is not based on the property I am purchasing, but is based on the equity I’ve built up in my primary residence. According to BPI officials, the apartment has increased in value so much over the last six years that there is plenty of purchasing power left over for even more than this one miniature studio. (You must know this makes me very happy, indeed!)

I was a bit nervous about the appraiser under-evaluating the property, and I won’t know the outcome for a while, but as a trained eye, he taught me much about my own humble abode I didn’t already know. He held a gadget that looked like an “Etch-a-Sketch,” that he made notes on using a pointing pen to tick off yes/no answers or select from a list of categories. I’d never seen the system before, but it was a very practical method of making precise notes.

Early on, he pointed out the cracks in the living room wall that outlined what appeared to have once been a door frame. This indicated that a door may have at one time led from the living room to the adjacent bedroom that doesn’t exist now. On the other side of the wall in the bedroom, the cracks mirror the ones in the living room, and I had never noticed the coincidence. The bedroom had been completely refurbished a couple of years ago, but the cracks come back quickly and naturally, as the building continues to move.

Cracks reappear all over the apartment, no matter how hard I try to have them patched and sealed. When I was living in the States, in much newer buildings, I would have been extremely concerned for structural problems and they would have been eyesores for me on a daily basis. These I have come to actually admire, like old friends that keep coming back.

I asked him if that affected the value of the property and he immediately shook his head — it is to be expected of a 17th-century building and it means nothing to the value; if anything, it is valued higher as the building has withstood centuries of life.

His trained eye could see the difference in the wood floors, where they had been patched and perhaps why. The herringbone design wide-slatted oak floor in the second bedroom are original, about 350 years old, and as he said, are “the really good floors.” The others he didn’t think were much more than 50 years old, although I’ve had other outside opinions about their age and type of wood. Either way, they are a golden tone and glow with the many lives of the past whose weight they have endured.

At the end of the inspection, which lasted about 30 minutes, he commented that “This is a very nice apartment” and I beamed with pride. I wondered if he said that to every apartment owner he encountered, or if he really meant it, even though he must see thousands of apartments every year, most of which would be much grander than this ancient space of 750 square feet.

That’s when I realized how much I love the three things dearest to my heart: my very adult daughter who is both bilingual and bicultural; my homey Paris apartment up three flights of 70 stairs where no angle is 90 degrees, the floors tilt down and the cracks keep coming back…and life in Paris itself, that is a never-ending adventure.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. If you missed Parler Paris Après Midi, don’t worry. You can read all about it and see photos by clicking on /parlerparis/apresmidi.html and you can mark your calendar to come to the next one on April 11th.

P.P.S. To celebrate today’s issue as the 100th Parler Paris Previews Community Calendar, the 1st, 10th and 100th reader to click on this link: [email protected] …that says “I read Parler Paris!” will win one free electronic copy of the Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants! Do it now!

French Property Insider

* Pricing Property on the Ile de France

5,138 euros per square meter is the average you can expect to pay in Paris according to the Chambre de Notaire’s report of January 17, 2006 based on findings from 3rd quarter 2004 through 3rd quarter 2005. Property in Paris has increased on the average +14.7%… FPI Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. Learn all the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week.


Right now, get the FREE 10-page report “17 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved to Paris”… By Adrian Leeds when you subscribe for two years to French Property Insider! Plus, save 20% off the regular subscription price! Offer ends March 31, 2006. To learn more, visit /frenchproperty/insider or go directly to subscribe at /frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html

Subscribe today!

Insider Paris Guides

* Excerpt from the Insider Guide to Black Paris


Paris is invariably linked to food and culinary delights of all kinds. Black visitors and residents seeking the tastes of “home” will soon learn that they can find many familiar (and new!) products in Paris markets and stores. The term “produits exotiques” seen on store signs or awnings refers to products from the “tropics,” i.e., Africa, the Caribbean or Asia, such as African/Creole spices, condiments and fresh produce like sweet potatoes or plantains, cooking oils (palm, coconut, etc.), fish (fresh, smoked and dried), fruit juices and peppers. It may also mean fruits, vegetables and other food products that cannot be found in traditional grocery stores...

UPDATED FOR SPRING 2006…The Insider Guide to Black Paris! Get all the insider information about what there is to see and do in Paris, from and for the very active Black community. This is the first guide of its kind, totally devoted to Black Paris. Order your copy today!

Further Resources

* Starts Friday! Living and Investing in France Conference, Paris March 17-19, 2006…

If you’ve always dreamed of living in or owning property in Paris or France, this 3-day power-packed conference is a MUST! When you register today, you’ll pay the conference price in dollars instead of euros — a savings of more than 15%! For more information or to register, contact Project Manager Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]

Don’t wait! Register now! /frenchproperty/conference/LIF_PARIS_2006/LIF_PARIS_2006_home.html

* Getting a mortgage in France is easier than you think…let us show you how. /frenchproperty/insider/mortgage.html

* Moving to Paris? Our experienced relocation expert will help make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property consultation and search services…visit

* Experience Food and Cooking the French Way! On Rue Tatin Cooking School is run by Susan Herrmann Loomis, an internationally-recognized food expert and the author of six cookbooks. Class sizes are small, giving you plenty of hands-on learning, and the recipes are geared to daily home cooking. Choose from her week-long cooking courses, or special themed classes including:

* April 10 – 14, 2006, Susan in Paris at Patricia Wells’ Left Bank Cooking Studio
* April 30 – May 5, 2006 Standard Week-Long Course
* May 14 – 19, 2006, Mother/Daughter Week

For more information visit or e-mail mailto:[email protected]
… and let Susan know you’re a Parler Paris Reader!

Calendar #100
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Paris, France


To access the complete Community Calendar, you now have two choices:

1. Click here for the online version with hot links to your favorite sites:

2. Click here for a printer-friendly text version:


We gladly run announcements for non-profit organizations. If you wish your community announcement to appear, please provide the text in ENGLISH just as you’d like it to appear and send it to Lynda Sydney: [email protected]

We reserve the right to edit as necessary. We cannot promise it will be run if the information is provided in French or if the format is unacceptable. Please use the following listings as your format guide.

Thank you, Adrian

Classified Advertising


Coming soon…Parler Paris Apartments rental representation at If you have a property ín Paris you’d like to keep booked and represented properly, please email Parler Paris Apartments at [email protected] for more information.

For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at /parlerparis/apartments or
/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term apartments.


Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:

The next gathering is April 11, 2006

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like.


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