Stepping Up to Taste the Beaujolais
View from the top of 70 steps
Photo by Erica Simone Leeds http://www.ericasimone.com
(FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)
November 3 , 2005, Paris, France
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
Even though both conferences in the States were successful and lots of fun was had Stateside in both fabulous cities — San Francisco and New York — I am glad to be home in the City of Light. The weather has been unseasonably warm, as it was in New York, and there was a calm the first two days of the week in celebration of Halloween and Toussaint when most things are closed for a typically French repose.
I was jolted back to reality yesterday when I took a fall on a "sleeping" foot and landed on a stretcher in the back of a SAMU ambulance headed to Hôtel Dieu. Once again, I experienced yet another pleasant encounter with the French medical system…they took me in, treated me within the hour, charged me nothing and sent me home with prescriptions for pain killers, crutches and a removable soft cast to put on my torn ligaments.
You may have read in prior newsletters that I have a "love-hate" relationship with the 70 steps that lead to my Marais apartment. Last night was a hateful moment — having to climb them one by one on my bottom. Now I’m housebound for the next few days, unless some big strong friend is willing to carry me down and up the stairs again.
Steps can be detrimental to a profitable rental, particularly three flights or more as I endure. But in certain parts of the city, such as the Marais, elevators are hard to find and light is scarce unless you go higher. It’s a trade off — and there always is one or two. Remember, there is no such thing as the perfect Paris apartment. At least, we haven’t found it — not at any price.
In today’s issue, we are making available a special spreadsheet to help you calculate the return on investment of your Paris property rental! Steps or not, be sure to calculate all the factors for the truest financial picture.
Also in today’s issue, Jean Taquet has some practical answers for a young couple with a baby on the way and an unpleasant water leak! Paris is reportedly first in Wi-Fi access in all of Europe and with Beaujolais Nouveau about to make its debut on November 17th, there is lots to learn about the Rhône-Alps where it is grown and produced and where one can take a taste.
In the meantime, we are feverishly preparing for the upcoming Invest in France Seminar here in Paris on December 28th — so stay tuned for the details and instructions on how to register. To be on a special mailing list to be notified, contact Schuyler Hoffman Pacific Time, Phone 1-310-427-7589, Email: [email protected]/parlerparis
FYI, there will be no FPI Thursday, November 24th for Thanksgiving, as I will be traveling to New Orleans to be with my family who are slowly, but surely, making their way back to their homes. On that note, I urge all of you to attend the Katrina Relief Fund Benefit Concert Sunday night November 6th at the American Cathedral! Click on http://www.katrinafundfrance.com for more information.
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
P.S. Mark Tuesday, November 8th for Parler Paris Après Midi from 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais. See http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.
P.P.S. The next Invest in France Seminar is being held in Paris, France on December 28, 2005. Why not enjoy New Year’s Eve in the City of Light and take just one day out of your schedule to learn how to make your money and real estate investment grow before your very eyes…all while enjoying your property in France or pied-à-terre in Paris. For more information, contact Schuyler Hoffman, Projects Manager, at [email protected]/parlerparis. You will be put on a special mailing list to be notified when the details are in place (very, very soon!).
Volume III, Issue 43, November 3, 2005
In this issue:
* Jean Taquet Tackles Tenant Issues
* Paris #1 in Wi-Fi Connections
* It’s Beaujolais Nouveau Time!
* Celebrate the Beaujolais Nouveau in New York
* Only a Few Tickets Left to Expatica Wine Tasting
* Discover the Rhône-Alps Region
* Running the Rental Investment Numbers
* Register Now for Upcoming Conferences
* Complete Relocation Solutions from FPI
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: November 8
* Hot Properties: Around the Rhône-Alps
* On the Auction Block November 22
* Classified Advertising: Leeds Marais Apartment A
* Classified Advertising: Apartment for Rent, Paris 6th
Jean Taquet’s Practical Answers
November 1, 2005
I just read your October 2005 issue and I’ve always wondered in these cases: What about the couple downstairs with the lady about to have a baby!
You say that in the best case scenario to expect that this work be undertaken within "six months," but what, in the meantime, are the people downstairs supposed to do about the fact that they no longer have a usable bedroom, might well have a large hole in their ceiling, and that this could possibly be the only place for their brand-new baby to sleep? This shocks and, frankly, sickens me.
A friend who lives in Paris has spent the last six months living in a rental, paying 1500 euros per month, while all the time the floorboards have been so damaged by a water leak that they poke straight up in the air…in the room her two young sons shared.
These are appalling conditions to expect any human being in a modern country to live in, let alone families with young children. What is the recourse here? What about this poor family expecting a baby, but with no bed to sleep in? Or my friend, who finally saw action once she stopped paying the rent (which, in my opinion, she should have done in March)? And what if one is an owner, and therefore there is no financial "stick" of stopping the rental payments?
Your response would be greatly appreciated, as there are certainly many people who have lived for months (or years) with damage owing to the refusal of insurance inspectors to come in quickly and make the necessary appraisals.
I often feel like my Q/A column is both a blessing and a curse–a blessing because I communicate with my readers on their level and not mine since I try to answer the questions as I receive them, and a curse because there are some very painful or aggravating issues that are extremely difficult to fit in the format of a column. By sticking to my policy and by forcing myself to adapt to my reader’s situation, I must take into consideration his or her concerns and not simply the legal questions underlying the problem. The issue you are raising, however, represents the perspective of the opposite party. If I stick strictly to the legal issue or even the insurance issue, I am not addressing the nightmare these people go through and the horrendous
living conditions they endure.
1- The initial step you must take immediately is to stop the leak and fill out the "constat amiable de dégâts des eaux" with all parties, both the victim of the flood and the party responsible for it. You should always have one copy at home kept with your insurance policy. As a tenant you should also inform your landlord right away, and I advise you to also inform the property manager-syndic. The person responsible for the leak should fix it to close off the source of the problem. This alone is a lot easier said than done.
2- The second step is to reorganize the lodging in such a way that this damage is the least inconvenient. It is worth spending some time and money to be ready to spend months in those conditions. It is absolutely crucial that the full extent of the damage stay visible at all times. This means that if you need to "fix the floor" in order to make the place livable, do it in such a way that the original condition is visible with very little effort, such as the carpet is not glued, and the slacks of wood are held with two nails. Get as many estimates as you can for repairing the apartment so that you have an idea of what it will take to put the lodging back to its original condition; or even better, have the complete repair done once and
3- Then hold the first meeting with the "expert." It is often someone from your own insurance company who evaluates the extent of the damage. A "convention CIDRE" regulates this industry and keeps things simple; if the repair of the damage costs less than 1,600 euros without VAT-TVA then it is your own insurance company that covers the damage. The bad news is that you pay the deductible and co-payment. The good news is that it makes the issue very simple for you, because there is no need to identify the party who is responsible for the damage. These claims can be settled very quickly (two to three months) but they rarely have a large effect on your quality of life. If the value of the damage is more than 1,500 euros, then someone must identify the party responsible for the damage before you can settle the claim. Then all the experts representing all the insurance companies involved meet at least once. Most of the time, these professionals reach an agreement regarding what caused the damage, and therefore who is responsible. Sometimes the origin of the water damage is easy to identify but very costly or complicated to fix, such as an outside wall which is no longer waterproof. In this case, the insurance process stops until the co-ownership "copropriété" has done the necessary job. Sometimes identifying the origin proves very difficult and costly such as when the leak is somewhere in a wall or a ceiling and the experts must dig more or less at random until they find it. In this case, you must reach an agreement as to who pays for this difficult search.
In extreme conditions where you must do repairs right away to keep the lodging habitable, you can first have the experts agree on what repairs you must do and who should pay for it. If you have trouble settling the financial aspect, ask your insurance company to pay and then sign over the right to reclaim the money.
If the landlord must fix the problem and is slow to do so, seek professional advice before you do anything. Simply retaliating by stopping rent payments can do the tenant a lot more harm than good since the initial legal situation states that you owe rent regardless of the condition of the lodging
. Therefore th
e tenant must prove wrongdoing by the landlord before thinking of using non payment of rent to twist the landlord’s arm.
4- Next you must clearly identify all the parties involved, their respective insurance companies and their respective experts. Should the matter involve four parties, you need to identify a minimum of twelve people and that starts to be a lot. Pay very close attention to that, as it is indeed crucial for an efficient process. Some people spend months breathing down one party’s neck and only months later do they discover that the problem was not at all with this person. This situation commonly occurs when the management company representing the landlord and the syndic disagree as to who is responsible.
5- Next the damage and the repairs must be evaluated and properly compensated. Always keep in mind that you will be paid the value of what has been lost or broken rather than the value of what needs to be purchased to replace it. With some policies and some insurance companies, you should expect compensation for a small fraction of the replacement price. At this point, your research for gathering estimates on your own becomes extremely useful. In some truly major insurance claims dealing with the total or near-total destruction of the residence, such as after a fire or long-lasting flood, you could be better off by quickly hiring a private insurance expert who solely will look after the interests of the insured. These experts normally never work for any insurance company so that you will not need to worry about a conflict of interest. Some people value peace of mind enough to call these professionals for somewhat more modest claims.
6- As a next step you should get builders to do the repair work, which would seem to be a simple thing. Aside from the usual aggravation of the craftsman not starting when scheduled as well as not finishing on time, you might expect another issue here. The landlord might have obtained the money to pay for the work and he/she might be tempted to cut some corners, such as delaying or even never ordering the work to start. This type of problem occurs a lot more frequently than one would expect. Aside from the problem mentioned above there is also the question of the choice of professional; the tenant naturally wishes to protect his/her privacy and keep some control over who is coming into his home, while the landlord principally looks for a quality job for as little money as possible. Do not overlook these types of problems.
7- Only when the builders finish the renovations and receive payment will they issue a receipt, a copy of which you should send to the insurance company to get the remainder of the compensation, which amounts either to the TVA or a larger portion of the payment.
This description for the most part covers a scenario when just about everything goes right. When the initial searching for the origin of the water damage is too complicated or costs too much, you can inquire if your own insurance company will pay first and then get your authorization to collect reimbursement from the "guilty party’s" insurance company in your name. At that stage, your objective is to stop the leak, and just about everything else is secondary at the time.
Even if they respond slowly, you should have no trouble getting the experts to come to the meeting. If the experts find and agree on more than one source of damage, then the situation quickly becomes complicated and impossible to manage. The best thing you can do in this instance is to make a new claim with your insurance company every time the experts discover a new source. Although this seems inefficient, you’re best off with this process because insurance companies find it much easier to deal with separate claims which have a different date and a different ID number. In the long run, they can resolve these claims much more easily because the claims do not overlap.
If the syndic needs to do some work like upgrading the common area plumbing, and should you be a tenant, then clearly you have absolutely no leverage on that situation. This can drag for months or years. The only way to impact the situation is to coordinate a strategy with your landlord. You as the tenant should summon the landlord to address this issue in very strong words. If it is well planned then the landlord should forward your letters, sent by registered mail, to the syndic stating that the experts will pass the liability entirely onto them. Using upcoming general meetings as a stage to expose the problem to all the owners can also help you to get the work done quickly so that when the next meeting occurs the syndic can state that it has been diligent and everything has been taken care of. If you are a co-owner, make sure the president of the co-ownership "copropriété" gets a copy of all your letters. This person can twist the syndic’s arm a lot more than you can. Present your situation simply as a tenant or owner respectfully informing this authority.
In any case, whenever there is a discussion, a phone call, when promises are made, explanations are given, decisions are taken and so on, write a short and respectful summary of the conversation and send it in the mail while keeping a copy for your file. When there are several people involved, send the original to the person of highest authority and copies to the others. What seems to be a very cumbersome and expensive way of dealing with the issue usually enables the victim to track how far the process has gone and who will take charge of the next step. Very quickly you will get promises on which you can count.
You should at all costs avoid losing your temper and making threats you cannot carry out. If you have atrocious living conditions, or if you need to retaliate, make sure the legal issues are absolutely square, as stopping rent payments or the charges can hurt you as much as help you. Make sure you have the appropriate proof and professionals helping you in this matter. Consider hiring a huissier, or call the sanitary inspector in order to know exactly what should happen next.
Editor’s Notes: Jean Taquet is a French jurist and associate member of the Delaware Bar Association, specializes in civil, criminal and commercial law. He frequently gives courses about the legal system in France and regularly speaks at the Living in France Conferences in the U.S. and Paris. He is also well known for his informative Q and A columns in past Paris Voice magazines, which can now be purchased in one document as "The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for L
iving in France."
To subscribe to his monthly newsletter, email Jean Taquet at [email protected]
To make an appointment with Jean Taquet for his consultation services:
Phone: Cell: 06.16.81.48.07 or email [email protected]
To read this month’s column in it’s entirety, click here:
Paris Leads the Way in Free Wi-Fi Access, London Runs a Distant Second
By Ken Young, vnunet.com
Paris is the top European city for free Wi-Fi access, according to a survey by Freehotspot.com.
The French capital came in first with more than 80 free hotspots, followed by London at 21 and Dublin at 16.
The remaining positions were filled by Barcelona, Brighton, Munich, Amsterdam, Vienna, Marseille and Cologne.
"We are excited that so many European cities offer free Wi-Fi access," said Daniel Toomey, chief executive at Freehotspot.com.
"We are working to establish free Wi-Fi service in restaurants, cafés, pubs and other public locations throughout Europe."
It is estimated that there are 6,000 hotspots worldwide. Freehotspot.com is one of a handful of providers installing free services designed to generate revenue through advertising instead of payment for access.
The company is anticipating "exponential" growth in its provision of free services.
Editor’s Note: The Mairie of the 3rd Arrondissement was the first of the city halls in Paris to offer free Wi-Fi. Sit in any brasserie in the immediate vicinity of the Mairie at 2, rue Eugène Spuller, 3rd, and log on to your browser to have free Internet access!
Launch of the Beaujolais Nouveau
On the 3rd Thursday of November every year, the tasting of the new season´s Beaujolais is a special event.
Date: November 17, 2005
Place: Throughout France
Le Pays Beaujolais
Maison du Tourisme
96 rue de la Sous Préfecture
Le Beaujolais Nouveau Arrives in New York!
Raise a glass in celebration of the latest vintage at the 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau Fête on Thursday, November 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lighthouse International, 111 East 59th Street, New York City. Presented annually by the French Institute Alliance Française, the party will be co-presented this year by Lighthouse International and will include wines from j2999eph Drouhin, Le Petit Coq, Labouré-Roi, and Georges Duboeuf. Pâtes, courtesy of Trois Petits Cochons, and crudités, fruit, cheese, bread, and crackers, courtesy of Baldor and DairyLand, will be served.
The annual arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau is one of the most exciting events for any wine lover. At one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of November, people gather at bistros and bars all over France to enjoy the first sip of the new wine. At the same time, more than a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey from the sleeping villages and towns in the Rhône-Alpes to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. By the time this shipment is completed, over 65 million bottles — nearly half of the region’s total annual production — will be distributed and drunk around the world.
Tickets for the 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau Fête are $45 and can be purchased at the Florence Gould Hall box office, 55 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues. Box office hours are Tuesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Friday noon to 7 p.m., and Saturday noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster by phone at 212-307-4100 or online at http://www.ticketmaster.com.
The French Institute Alliance Française, New York’s French Cultural Center, has served New Yorkers for over a century by promoting and enhancing the knowledge of French culture and fostering interaction between French and American people through programs in the arts and education.
Learn more about the Beaujolais Nouveau fête happening throughout France by visiting the website. Discover Beaujolais wines at http://www.beaujolais.com.
Expatica Wine Tasting Evening!
November 15 and 16
ONLY A FEW TICKETS LEFT!
Expatica will be holding a series of Wine Tastings on November 15th and 16th, in conjunction with O Chateau.<
her you are a wine novice or a real connoisseur, this wine tasting is for you!
Come mix and mingle with other expats from around the world and taste five different French wines while you’re at it! With a unique approach, our French sommelier, Olivier Magny, will show you the ins and outs of wine tasting, allowing you to discover the pleasures of wine.
November 15th or 16th
O Chateau Wine Loft
100, rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris
Tickets are 25 Euros and only available online!
Sign up today at http://www.expatica.com/subsites/winetasting/
Tickets are limited for this event, so don’t delay!
Rhône-Alps: Rivers and Mountains, Gastronomy and Beaujolais
Reprinted from Maison de la France
Springing from a glacier, the Rhône River flows south through France toward the sunshine of the Mediterranean. Its broad valley embraces thriving cities, Roman ruins, medieval castles, fabled vineyards and the snowy peaks of the French Alps.
In this region, all rivers feed into the Rhône, and all roads lead to the city that straddles its southward bend: Lyon, in ancient times the capital of Gaul and now France’s second largest metropolitan region, is a two-hour ride aboard the TGV high-speed trains departing 19 times a day from Paris. By car, Lyon is a 285-mile drive from Paris. There are also regularly scheduled flights from Paris to Lyon, Grenoble, Annecy and Geneva.
The newest way to reach Lyon is sailing up from Avignon along the River Rhône, or south from Dijon on the River Saône; both are premier waterways for luxury river ships and hotel barge cruising.
LYON–UNESCO’S newest World Heritage Site
Mention Lyon, and thoughts turn easily to gastronomy and such hallmark regional dishes as poularde de Bresse (Bresse-raised chicken dish), pommes lyonnaises, saucissons and marrons glacés. And while contemplating the area’s delectable cuisine, one may discover that the Rhône-Alpes region produces 90 varieties of cheese, from Beaufort to Reblochon; and the region boasts 365 wines, from the fresh and saucy Beaujolais Nouveau to the more serious vintages of Côte Roti, Condrieu and St-j2999eph.
Lyon’s award-winning chefs Bocuse and Troisgros, are but two of many who have brought the art of cooking to its peak here in a town with France’s highest ratio of restaurants (some 700 to 800) per person. And this gastronomic city is at the center of the part of France — aside from Paris — that holds the greatest number of Michelin stars.
In a city also filled with elegant shops, handsome hotels and lively cafés, visitors find an extraordinary cultural treasury dating from Roman to Renaissance times. The importance of Lyon’s heritage was recognized by UNESCO in 1998 when the historic city center became an official World Heritage site. The area (1,240 acres) covers and encompasses 2,000 years of history in the districts of the Croix-Rousse, Vieux Lyon and Presqu’île.
The Saône River meanders into the Rhône River at Lyon and runs south through the city. To capture Lyon’s grand perspectives, see the city by boat in the company of certified guides. Then head for Fourvière Hill to visit the Gallo-Roman Museum, which overlooks France’s oldest Roman amphitheater, the 3,000-seat Odéon and Cybele Temple.
The most intriguing monument in Lyon, the Arena of the Three Gauls, is on the slopes of the city’s second hill, Croix Rousse, once a meeting place of tribal delegates from all parts of Gaul.
To capture the Renaissance period, one must walk in the lively mile-square district of Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), a restored and now fashionable district of historic homes, chic little restaurants, as well as art galleries and antiques shops — all flowing around the 12th-century St-Jean Cathedral.
Lyon is noted for its museums — 23 of them — and its Beaux-Arts Museum has completed an eight-year renovation that better displays its distinguished collections, ranging from Egyptian antiquities to 20th-century paintings. Also, don’t miss the outstanding Textiles Museum, the Printing and Banking Museums, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art, with its cutting-edge collection of works since the late 1960s.
And in a city famous for food, it naturally has the largest market in Europe, stacked with fragrant and mouth-watering displays of delicious ingredients. Markets are fun in Lyon, particularly on Sunday mornings. Shop for flowers and food on the Quai St-Antoine and arts and crafts on Quai Romain-Rolland. True treasures are on sale at the Brocante Stalingrad, the third largest European antiques market.
Routes of Discovery — North and South
There are two essential detours to take from Lyon: travel 25 miles northeast to hilltop Pérouges, a rare example of a complete medieval town with artisan workshops along the cobbled streets. Veer 17 miles south to Vienne, a town of remarkable Roman monuments and early medieval churches. Link both together in a westward swing to include St-Etienne, which has one of the finest modern art museums in France, and Beaujolais country along La Route des Vins. Small winding roads pass through villages nestled between Romanesque churches and prestigious vineyards; drive right up to the front door of the Beaujolais Village wineries for tastings at their cellars.
Drive 85 miles northeast from Lyon toward Geneva to Lake Annecy and the flower-filled town of Annecy, dominated by a 12th-century château. The old quarter — called the Venice of the Alps — is threaded with narrow streets and quiet can
ng markets full of tempting cheeses are held Tuesdays and Fridays.
Water plays a major part in nearby Evian-les-Bains, a world famous spa on Lake Geneva. The quality and profusion of its waters have long made the Rhône-Alpes the premier spa region in France. This started with the Romans, who built the first thermal baths at Aix-les-Bains on Lake Bourget. Today, visitors enjoy the area’s cuisine, golf, water sports and above all, fitness programs. There are 18 spas in all in the Rhône-Alpes, and perhaps of equal interest, 11 fine golf courses.
Driving east through Alpine pasturelands, travelers come to that mecca of mountain folk, the ski and summer resort of Chamonix. Wedged into a narrow valley, Chamonix looks straight up at Mont Blanc, the highest (15,780 feet) peak in Europe. For breathtaking vistas, make the sky-high climb on the highest cable car ride in the world to the summit of Aiguille du Midi (12,600 feet). Or, take the cog-railway of Montenvers to the Mer de Glace glacier.
Of course, here you are in ski country, and there is no area quite like the Alps for excellent slopes and good living. The mountains shelter sophisticated villages and resorts that offer incomparable skiing, superb food, accommodations, and a uniquely French experience. A ski favorite is Courchevel, the linchpin of the Trois Vallées network of ski resorts, lifts and runs that ranks as one of the best all-around ski areas in the world.
A spectacular 65-mile drive leads from Lyon to Grenoble, over the Chartreuse range, past Chambéry with its château of the Dukes of Savoie. This road also passes the Monastery of the Grande Chartreuse where the Carthusian monks first created Chartreuse in the 16th century; nearby in Voirons, travelers can visit the distillery where the famous yellow-green liqueur is still made.
Grenoble, a university city, rests in a sublime setting where the Isère River flows briskly through the center and where down every street there is a view of the snow-capped Alps. See it from above on a cable car ride up to the Bastille fort, and visit Grenoble’s monuments on foot: under the church of St-Laurent is a 6th-century crypt; the Palais de Justice is housed in early Renaissance splendor; and in the quarter where the famous writer Stendhal was born, a key sight is a 12th-century cathedral. Not to be missed is the Grenoble Museum, where a sensational 1,500-works collection runs from ancient Egyptian artifacts and medieval primitives to Picasso, Braque and Klee.
The historic "Route Napoléon" runs south from Grenoble to Cannes on the Mediterranean coast, retracing the path taken by the emperor on his return from the island of Elba. Before passing into Provence, travelers will meet the south of France around Montélimar, where the Rhône River divides the craggy Drôme Provençale on the east from the wild western Ardèche with its spectacular river gorges.
Travel east to west here, and discover a captivating region of perched villages and medieval châteaux that preside over fields of lavender and olives in the Drôme. Follow the Ardèche River gorges to grottos and deep caves, keeping an eye out for prehistoric vestiges (such as rock paintings recently discovered in the Chauvet grotto) when hiking or canoeing.
Very Special Touring Tools
The Rhône-Alpes Tourist Board has recently published a "Routes of Discovery" brochure, focusing on itineraries throughout the region. Each special route incorporates the best in culture, gastronomy, and scenic and active vacation recommendations, no matter which direction you take.
The regional tourist board has also introduced a new visitor card, Carte Rendez-Vous, welcoming travelers to discover the famous art cities of Annecy, Chambéry, Grenoble, Lyon and St-Etienne. Cardholders benefit from discounts on attractions (museums, boat rides, festival tickets, etc.), special hotel discounts and room upgrades, as well as extra restaurant courtesies, such as a free aperitif (cocktail).
Rhône-Alpes Regional Tourist Board website: http://www.france-rhonealps-tourism.com
Return on Your Rental Investment
By Adrian Leeds
Excel Spreadsheet by John Howell, John Howell & Co.
At the Invest in France Seminars and Living and Investing in France Conferences, we learn from the attendees that one of the most important aspects of purchasing property in France is the justification that the investment will be sound and profitable. John Howell enjoys proving that a furnished rental apartment in Paris can indeed show profits of 5% to 10% with the right conditions. As an illustration of proof, using and Excel spreadsheet, he, with some assistance from Yolanda Robins (Property Search Consultant) and I formulated a method for calculating what an investor can expect from a reasonable rental property.
First of all, we must assume that the property was purchased with rental in mind, meaning that the location and criteria fit the needs of the rental market. One cannot expect an apartment in the outer arrondissements to rent as well as one located in central Paris. However, rental fees are determined in part by location, so the less desirable the property, the lower the rents you can expect to achieve.
Using the Spreadsheet
Before providing an explanation of the analysis, download the spreadsheet by clicking here:
Note that the spreadsheet is in "template" format and any cell may be changed without changing the basic document, although you may save it under another name in any configuration you like!
Price of property: 500,000 Euros
Weekly rental on average: 1,500 Euros
Property management fees: 30%
Percentage of occupancy rate: 70%
Gross rental yield: 54,600 Euros
Gross rental yield as % of price: 10.92%
A property in Paris of 500,000 Euros will likely be either a large two-room (one-bedroom) apartment in a high rental yield location or a 3-room (two-bedroom) apartment in a lower rental yield location. If you really get lucky, you may be able to achieve both space and location in certain parts of Paris, particularly in central growth areas (such as the 1st and 2nd arrondissements near Les Halles and rue Montorgueil).
A property of this nature should rent for approximately 1,500 Euros per week, assuming it is furnished nicely and has the proper amenities (Internet access, washer/dryer, etc.).
Management fees can vary from 10% to 40%, but the average in Paris for a well-run agency providing adequate service is 30% of the rental fees.
Occupancy can be achieved of 70% if all facets of management are functioning normally. This means that you could consider 50% (26 weeks) a baseline easily achievable and a high of 90% (47 weeks) possible, but unlikely.
Given these assumptions, this property could realize almost 11% of gross revenues, or 54,600 Euros per year!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t all land in your pocket. There are unavoidable expenses which remain stable regardless of rental. Fortunately, property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities and homeowners association fees in Paris are generally low. Repairs and maintenance can be moderate, but depend greatly on the quality of the apartment and your own desires. We’ve budgeted here for an apartment with 36 weeks of normal wear and tear.
Management fees of 30% will cost you 16,380 Euros of your gross revenues. If you manage the property yourself, you can save this expense, but beware — those who manage themselves can reap the greatest rewards or the fewest, depending on the quality of their management skills! Doing it yourself isn’t always a savings and there is your own time to consider.
Allocate a small amount for advertising, even if use a rental agency — you’ll find it money well spent if placed correctly. John Howell allowed for 1% of the gross revenues — a fair budget.
Assuming you take no mortgage, that the property was purchased out right, then in this scenario, your yield would be 6.35%, 31,729 Euros annually.
Now, let’s take another look based on having a mortgage of 65% over 20 years at a rate of 3.5%. Clearly the mortgage will offset your profits, so the less you borrow, the higher your annual yields. If you choose to take an interest-only loan, you can yield more than 4% (20,354 Euros), but if you choose a traditional interest + capital mortgage, you will yield less — just under 2% (9,111 Euros).
None of this considers that the property’s appreciation is likely in Paris from 10% to 15% annually!
You may now use this spreadsheet to change the variables and assist you in deciding which property and scenario will work best for you.
Editor’s Note: John Howell is the lead attorney for John Howell & Co., London and is the co-host of the Invest in France Seminars and Living and Investing in France Conferences. http://www.JHCo.org
INVEST IN FRANCE
December 28, 2005
Enjoy your Christmas vacation in Paris, and set aside JUST ONE DAY of your busy schedule visiting museums and dining on foie gras to learn how to make your money grow, while building a portfolio of some of the most desirable real estate in the world.
For more information on The Invest in France Seminars or Living in France Conference, until we have our Web site up, contact Schuyler Hoffman, Projects Manager, at [email protected]/parlerparis to be put on a special mailing list to be notified when the details are in place (very, very soon!).
THE ART OF TROMPE L’OEIL SEMINAR
December 29 – January 2
Join a unique community of artists, engaging in hands-on painting and conversation with internationally renowned trompe l’oeil muralist and educator, Yves Lanthier. An award-winning artist, Yves has created large oil paintings and elaborate trompe l’oeil that adorn the ceilings and walls of many East Coast mansions and Palm beach estates, including Celine Dion’s estate in Jupiter, Florida
FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
Let French Property Insider expert property consultants find your dream home in France for you. We consult with you to help you make the best decisions, ferret out the finest properties to meet your criteria, schedule the visits and accompany you, negotiate with the agencies and owners, recommend the notaires and other professionals, schedule the signings and oversee the purchase with you from start to finish! You could never do it so easily on your own. Let us take the time and effort off your hands.
"Verdana">FPI Offers More Relocation Solutions!
Let our experienced relocation expert help make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property and relocation services normally only provided by employer hired relocation firms…but at a price much more affordable for individuals.
Solution #1: Property Consultation and Search Services
Solution #2: Purchase Assistance
Solution #3: Getting a Mortgage in France
Solution #4: Property Appraisal Service
Solution #5: The "Après Vente"
Apartments for Rent: Long-Term
To book your services, click here:
To download a free brochure, click here
TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel "Click Here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp" for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.
Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting: http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/moneycorpconvertor.html
Charts http://www.Moneycorp.co.uk/members/charts.asp The charts below are updated every ten seconds.
The prices shown are "inter bank" exchange rates and are not the rates that you will be offered by Moneycorp. Your rate will be determined by the amount of currency that you are buying. Please speak with an Moneycorp dealer or your consultant for a live quotation.
Parler Paris Après-Midi
NEXT MEETING: November 8, 2005 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This is your opportunity to meet every month, often with local
professionals who can answer your Working and Living in France questions. You are invited to come for drinks and share your questions and comments about what it takes to create a life here, own property and enjoy what France has to offer. It is also an opportunity to network with other Parler Paris readers.
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers
HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Around the Rhône-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.
As we are not a real estate agency. These properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France. you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html
*** Saint-Georges-de-Reneins (Lyon), 6 rooms, approx. 160m²
This 6 room villa includes 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and swimming pool and approx 2500m² of land. About 10 minutes from Villefranche north.
Asking Price: 485,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** St. Martin de Uriage (Grenoble), 7 rooms, approx. 138m²
This villa offers 7 rooms including 5 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. It has a living room, with a separate equipped kitchen and a swimming pool and terrace.
Asking Price: 520,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** St Just Chaleyssin (Grenoble), 7 rooms, approx. 250m²
Boasting an open view, this house has 7 rooms including 4 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 1 toilet. It has a living room, a terrace and a cellar, plus hardwood floors and a fireplace.
Asking Price: 609,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
Next sessions: November 22, 2005, 2 p.m.
Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the website at http://www.encheres-Paris.com/ Though the site has a button for an English version, it isn’t reliable to work.
To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:
2 rooms 54,2m²
23 rue Campagne Première
75014 PARIS 14th
Starting Bid: 275,000 Euros
Deposit: 55,000 Euros
2 rooms 30m²
12 boulevard Edgar Quinet
75014 PARIS 14th
Starting Bid: 140,000 Euros
Deposit: 28,000 Euros
2 rooms 46,9m² rented
59bis rue du Moulin Vert
75014 PARIS 14th
Starting Bid: 150,000 Euros
Deposit: 30,000 Euros
2 rooms 29m²
5 rue Louis Rolland
Starting Bid: 68,000 Euros
Deposit: 13,600 Euros
SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?
Let us help you secure a mortgage in France with interest rates as low as 3%. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan for more information.
Don’t forget that with your FPI subscription you are entitled to a discount on the purchase of any Insider Paris Guides. You’ll find details of the guides at http://www.insiderparisguides.com/. When ordering, a box will pop up allowing you to enter the following username/password
Order more than one guide at a time and you will receive an additional discount!
Username: propertyinsider Password: liveinfrance
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
To access password protected pages: click on any of the links on the left panel of the home page of FrenchPropertyInsider.com under "Subscriber’s Only," then type in your personal username and password.
Past issues of FPI are available on the website. You will find the
"Past Issues" link on the left under "Subscribers Only" or by going to
To receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property
Report, click on
HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: http://www.onlineconversion.com/
Leeds Marais Apartment
Available in its entirety November 22 – 28, 2005
Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hotel Particulier, this 70 square meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for up to four people when rented in its entirety or a single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian Leeds is there.
Pictures and more details available at
Paris, 6th Arrondissement
Near Musée Delacroix. One bedroom apartment with mezzanine, on the first floor of a building with elevator. Full kitchen, dining area, 1 bathroom with tub, carpeting.
Rate: 3000 Euros/month
November 15 to December 8, 2005
Second week of January to March 2006
To reserve, please contact Lynda Sydney at [email protected]
For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments or http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term apartments.
SUBSCRIBE TO PARLER PARIS
If you’re not a regular reader of the Parler Paris daily e-letter, and would like to be, simply enter your e-mail address here (it’s free!): http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis
Copyright 2005, Adrian Leeds Group, LLC