Summer in the City of Light
Along The "Paris Plage"
July 2, 2009
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
It’s hot in Paris — almost 90 degrees in the shade. Most apartments are not air conditioned, thanks to the laws that govern what one can do to the exterior of a building. With this heat, even commercial spaces with professional systems are failing — I was in Darty earlier today (purchasing appliances for "Le Palace des Vosges" fractional ownership) and their system had shut down rendering them at the mercy of fans.
I find that the older buildings with thick walls insulate best and manage to stay very cool. My apartment has that luxury and one lone fan manages to keep the warm weather quite tolerable. If you’re lucky enough to have an outside space that allows a unit, you can enjoy the luxury of air conditioning. If not, a portable unit can suffice, as long as there is a way to vent the exhaust pipe.
The summer is a special time of year in Paris — it has its ups and downs, plusses and minuses for visitors as well as residents. In today’s issue, we’re going to explore what makes it and what breaks it. Coming soon are all the exciting summer events in the city, so be sure to read and take note of the things in which you may wish to partake.
We have surprising and sad news about one of our closest colleagues — John Howell, who has felt the economic crisis harder than most. Be sure to see our tribute to our long time friend and associate.
There’s fair argument why it makes sense to take a mortgage rather than pay cash for your property purchase. This is too important a topic to miss.
In today’s Hot Properties, look for perfect Paris properties that suit a summer stay and make a perfect investment.
At the end of July, we’ll be taking one Thursday off (of the two we allow each year) for summer vacation, so mark July 30th on your calendar for no FPI that day. We’ll resume the following week with a report on life in Greece where I will have been working on my tan and drinking "Retsina" (a Greek white resinated wine that has been made for at least 2000 years).
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
P.S. Remember that Parler Paris Après Midi is this coming Tuesday, July 7th, from 3 to 5 p.m. — exceptionally one week early as the 14th of July is Bastille Day! Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html for details and plan on spending the afternoon with all of us!
Volume VII, Issue 27, July 2, 2009
In this issue:
* A Colleague and Friend Closes Shop
* FPI Fractional Property Offerings
* Summer Sizzles in Paris
* Come Stay, Get FREE Consultation
* Pay Cash or Take a Mortgage?
* Business Fair for English Speakers
* Lifestyle: Paris in the Summer
* Parler Paris Apartments: Le Trésor du Marais
* Hot Property Picks: Special Summer Sizzlers
* Myth of the Brit Exodus
* Lineup for the Next Property Auction
* Fall Property Shows Announced
* How You Can Obtain a Mortgage in France
* Parler Paris Après-Midi: Next Tuesday!
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Subscribers Receive Discount on Insider Paris Guides
I’ve known John Howell since March of 2002 when we both presented our services at an International Living Conference in Florida. We became fast friends and collaborators, merging his depth of knowledge and stunning presentation style with our American and hungry readership of would-be French property owners to create the Living and Investing in France Conferences.
Since that time, John and I have co-hosted 25 such events, held in Paris and in cities across the U.S. — San Francisco, Miami, New York, New Orleans and Washington D.C. The most recent was
this past May 31st here in Pari
s. He speaks on all legal issues surrounding a purchase in France, including the broader question, "Why Invest in France" and the final details, "How to Minimize Your Tax and Maximize Your Benefits."
At the end of each conference, we ask participants to rate each speaker. John consistently yields a rating of 4.9 out of a possible 5 as he delights the participants with an incomparable command of knowledge and a smooth delivery bordered by a typically British dry wit. His wife, Janie, is his sidekick and personal assistant, traveling with him everywhere and assisting at every venue.
When we first met, the firm was called "John Howell & Company" until it grew formidably taking on a variety of partners and later on changing the name to "The International Law Partnership." In just the past few days, a series of articles have hit the press thanks to John’s own announcement of the firm’s closing, due to a collapse in income.
Another major player has ‘bitten the dust,’ so to speak — an unhappy outcome for all of us who have worked with John and Janie and shared in the gifts they bring to the equation.
The announcement read:
The UK-based law firm, which specialized in cross-border legal issues and international property, announced it will cease to practice from 10 July 2009.
In a statement issued to OPP, Howell revealed that the company had written off over £500,000 of anticipated income so far this year, while actual income had fallen by nearly 75%. Howell has subsidized the firm with over £100,000 of his own money over the last year.
"Over the last few months our clients and, in particular, our developer clients have been going bust at a catastrophic rate and many of our other clients are unwilling or unable to pay their bills," said Howell. "We have, therefore and with great regret, decided to close the business."
Howell will take the opportunity to retire from frontline legal practice, although he will continue to provide trustee and general consultancy services for a small number of personally chosen cases. He also plans to write and lecture and hopes to continue encouraging international cooperation between lawyers.
The International Law Partnership was founded as John Howell & Co. in Sheffield in 1979 and began undertaking European work in 1986. Howell left Sheffield and took over the firm’s London office in 1996, expanding the practice to deal with legal issues in over 30 countries. In 2004 the company was voted the best international property lawyers by the Bentley Awards.
John has already given us his word that he will continue to work with us in a variety of ways — "I don’t see that this needs to end our collaboration. I am still intending to do speaking, writing and referral of business to others."
We know that John will not let this economic crisis overtake his instincts as a survivor, so we await the rise of John Howell in his newest endeavors. We’ll keep you posted!
To reach John Howell, you may email us at [email protected] and we will forward on your emails directly to him.
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
Spending the Summer months in Paris carries certain assets and liabilities. This period of time is generally from mid July (after Bastille Day on July 14th) till the end of August.
As a tourist or resident, on one hand, many small independent businesses close for their annual vacations leaving you in the lurch for their services. On the other hand, there’s less traffic, more available parking, less pedestrians, less noise and more of a general calm. Biking is safer with less vehicle traffic and with fewer dogs (who have gone with their owners to the beach or country house), there is less "chocolat" on the sidewalks, too (!) — so the sidewalks are less of an obstacle course.
With so many residents gone, there is a glut of available apartment rentals and hotels don’t have the usual business person’s bookings, therefore availability is high and rates are at an all time low. The weather in Paris can be unpredictably warm or unseasonably cold and with limited air conditioning, you risk being uncomfortable almost anywhere you go.
All that in consideration, the cafés open their doors wide to sidewalk sippers and their tables can be filled with people from all over the world just enjoying the laziness and Paris people-watching from a sidelines. The venue will surely melt your blues away.
You wouldn’t want to choose August as the month to get anything seriously accomplished, although one property-owner here says he’s found his best bargains on apartments during this month. We have discovered the truth in it — while there isn’t much property on the market in August — the agents are on vacation along with the sellers — still those who are desperate to sell don’t deny August the pleasure of their promotion and therefore are ready to drop their prices to make a sale. If you’re the owner of such a rental property in Paris, then it’s an excellent time to make use of it.
Meanwhile, Paris is teeming with things to do in August — more than one might imagine. Just to name a few:
The Bals des Pompiers July 13th and 14th
Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower July 14th
Paris Plage July 20 – August 20
Open Air Cinema:
Cinéma en Plein Air July 15 – August 16
Au Clair de la Lune August 5 – 23
And much more! Visit http://www.paris.frfor all there is to do in the City of Light.
There are residents who loathe the season and others who revel in it. For whatever reason, year after year I am a resident of Paris in August, taking whatever assets and liabilities come my way. It can be casual and calm, or filled with energy and activity. One thing for sure, it’s a unique time of year in the City of Light worth experiencing at least once if not every year.
Editor’s Note: Take advantage of low rental rates — and a free consultation to guests of Parler Paris Apartments. See http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments for information and available luxury apartments at the year’s lowest rates.
If you are a guest staying in any one of our luxurio
us Parler Paris Apartm
ents, 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].
For a culture that lives on credit, it always surprises me that most Americans feel uncomfortable with taking on a new debt, such as a mortgage. And yes, if you’re only looking at the bottom line, investing your cash into a property saves you the interest and fees associated with a loan. But that’s a narrow and short-sighted viewpoint of a much broader picture.
Purchasing a property in France using ‘someone else’s money’ such as a bank’s or lending institution’s makes smart financial sense. Let’s look at why:
1. You’re not tying up your own liquid assets which may be better invested in other ways. If the currency is currently weak, then your liquid assets can be held until the currency recovers, at least partially.
2. Mortgage interest is tax deductible and therefore reduces your tax burden.
3. If you’re buying in another currency, you will not bear the rate of exchange issue on the full amount of the purchase, only on the initial costs, and can control the risk or even benefit from a fluctuating risk on future mortgage payments.
4. If your property generates an income, such as a rental apartment, then rents can offset the operating costs in euro value, thereby reducing the exchange risk and effectively covering mortgage costs with "OPM" — other people’s money.
5. You can minimize your tax liability further. French wealth tax is paid on assets in excess of €790,000, therefore a mortgage minimizes your net asset position.
6. Asset diversification reduces your investment risk and therefore a mortgage allows you to spread your risk.
7. At this time, interest rates are at an all time low and therefore your monthly mortgage payments can be set at a minimum, particularly if you choose a variable mortgage that increases or reduces the term rather than the monthly payment.
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.
Well before midsummer, the sun sets late over Paris. Even at 9 p.m., you can sit on the banks of the Canal St.-Martin in the 10th Arrondissement, and see in the still water the reflection of the sky, a blue mottled with thin clouds, and the low pale buildings with their amber lights just turned on, and the ruffled, fractal edge of the trees in full green bloom. Night seems as if it will never come.
By the water, there is a small pink dot of a helium balloon, bobbing in the intermittent breeze. The balloon is key. It was given to you by Pink Flamingo, a pizza parlor down the nearby Rue Bichat, whose bicycle deliveryman will use it as a beacon to locate you and present the five pies you’ve ordered (10.50 to 16 euros each). They’re not all for you, of course — you’ve got friends to help eat the pizza and drink the four bottles of red wine (40 euros) you picked up from Le Verre Volé, a wine bar across the canal.
And you, you’ll take off on foot, up along the canal toward Belleville, where Asian, Arab and African immigrants live alongside artists and yuppies and bobos. And you’ll climb the stairs at the Hipotel Paris Belleville and collapse into the single bed of your spartan room, not caring that the toilet is in a smelly closet down the hall, because the sheets are clean, the rate is dirt cheap and you’ve just experie
the most wonderful, traditional and frugal activity in the City of Light — the picnic…
To read the entire article go to http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/travel/28frugalparis.html.
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): Le Trésor du Marais
Rue Vieille du Temple, 4th Arrondissement
1-Bedroom, Sleeps Up to 4
Le Trésor du Marais is a charming one-bedroom apartment with a mezzanine (sleeping loft) located in the heart of the Marais district (4th arrondisement) of Paris just opposite the beautiful pedestrian street, rue Trésor, teeming with restaurants and boutiques. Its location on a charming courtyard provides solace in the midst of the exciting, high energy Marais district just outside your door.
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/consultation
This week our focus is on properties in Paris, perfect for summer stays and rentals.
***Paris, 3rd: 1-Bedroom, approx. 37m²
Magnificent two-room apartment measuring 37m² located in a 17th century building in perfect condition. The apartment has exposed beams and stone from the period is completely renovated and is full of charm. There is a spacious living room with open, fully equipped kitchen. The bedroom faces a quiet courtyard and has an ensuite bathroom.
Asking Price: € 294 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
***Paris, 10th: 1-Bedroom, approx. 48m²
Charming one bedroom located near Canal St Martin on a small, quiet street. The apartment is located on the second floor and has been renovated. There is a spacious living room and open fully-equipped kitchen, a bathroom with shower/tub, and a bedroom facing a landscaped courtyard. Perfect as a Pied a Terre or rental investment.
Asking Price: € 294 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
***Paris, 1st, Châtelet : 1-Bedrooms approx. 60m²
Charming one-bedroom apartment located in the heart of Paris. On the top and fourth floor, with elevator, the apartment consists of living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and separate toilet. Wood floors and exposed-beam ceiling throughout.
Asking Price: € 593 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
***Paris, Eiffel Tower: 1-Bedroom, approx. 45m²
Located at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in a well maintained stone building. This apartment has been optimized for highend, furnished rental market with all furniture and appliances necessary for this very specific market. The double living area is complete with high quality sleeper sofa, cable TV, high speed Internet and wifi and telephone with free international calls. The kitchen is fully equipped (oven, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, stove, fridge and ventilation hood). The bedroom is perfectly peaceful and has a large fitted wardrobe. The apartment is being sold completely furnished and equipped and ready to rent.
Asking Price: € 596 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
They’re telling us there’s a mass exodus of Brits from France. Wrong…
Last Saturday’s "Daily Telegraph" devoted much of the property section to ‘The Au Revoir Gang’ – this much scribbled-about horde of Brits returning to the UK, their dreams of the good life in France shattered. The piece dealt almost entirely with top end properties (‘Les Parrets is on the market with Savills for £7.17 million’) and offered not a single statistic from start to finish.
This is not atypical of articles about ‘Le Grand Retour’. At times it seems like editors know their readers find the schadenfreude of other people’s disappearing dreams very comforting. But only anecdotal evidence supports the trend’s existence; hard numbers suggest it simply isn’t happening.
Saying ‘Brits in France’ is like saying ‘British Muslims’. There are 200,000 expats living full-time in France. Another 300,000 do so on an ‘unofficial’ basis. In turn about 180,000 own property there, but retain a genuine main residence in the UK…
Thus, it seems highly unlikely that a brief fall in currency and interest rates would cause a mass exodus…
To read the entire article go to http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/49528,news,the-flood-of-disillusioned-british-expats-returning-.
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 will be auctioned off:|
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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, July 7th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m. (Exceptional due to Bastille Day on July 14th) and every second Tuesday of the month (except August).
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