The Beautiful Burgundy Boom
The Presbytery, Home of Author Jeffrey Greene, Rogny les 7 Ecluses, Burgundy
(FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)
September 20, 2007
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
From a seat in a neighborhood café with WiFi and an open sunny terrace, I dream of the beautiful landscape of the Burgundy region with its fine wines, gastronomy and stunning old stone homes. Today we take a look at the property boom Burgundy is experiencing and what the region has to offer foreign buyers as well as some choice properties for you to dream about, too.
Foreign buyers represent a large part of the property market throughout France, as noted by Odit-France — surprisingly few Americans in comparison to Europeans. Read all about it and download the pdf file that outlines the specifics with pretty charts and graphs.
Paris is still booming, too, in spite of reduced appreciation, holding strong compared to the suburbs of its region, Ile de France. See the latest figures as reported by the Chambre de Notaires de Paris.
Lender UCB has words of wisdom on why you should take advantage of a mortgage in France rather than in your home country and we concur. For more information about financing your next purchase in France, contact our UCB directly (be sure to tell them you are a reader of FPI) or our Mortgage Manager, John Rule at [email protected] You can also visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan for more information.
Parts II and III of "Viager with a View" is reprinted here, as taken from this past week’s Parler Paris. One reader commented that the tale, with all its intricacies, may not be all that encouraging to would be buyers! True! And, I’d never recommend to anyone that they attempt what I’m attempting to do on their own, but that’s the whole point. With a team of experts like we have amassed, even the impossible is possible. If I can do it and make it happen, so can you, as long as you’ve got experienced resources working on your behalf.
This is what you will find at the upcoming Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference October 13th…the best of the best, all gathered in one place at one time to inform you and answer all your questions. It just doesn’t get better than that. For more information, and to register now, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/conference/LIF_Paris_Oct_2007/index.html
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
P.S. On October 1st, you’ll have a chance to see us "live" on House Hunters International TV (scroll down for details) and on the 14th we’ll see you at the "I’m Not a Tourist" Expatica Fair (booth 92/93). What a perfect time to come to Paris and start your search for the property in France of your dreams.
Volume V, Issue 37, September 20, 2007
In this issue:
* New Paris Property Prices
* Who is Buying Second Homes in France
* French Home Loans
* Burgundy a Popular Purchase Spot
* Bits About Burgundy
* Viager Saga Parts II and III
* Options for Owning a Piece of Paris
* House Hunters International Encore in October
* Living and Investing in France Conference, October 13, 2007, Paris, France
* Expatica Welcome to France Fair, October 14, 2007
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: October 9, 2007
* Hot Property Picks: Best Burgundy Buys
* On the Auction Block: October 16, 2007 at 1:30 p.m.
* Leasebacks: Saint Clair, France, Mediterranean Coast, Cap d’Agde,
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments — Le Penthouse Voltaire
Paris Property Prices Remain More Stable Than in the Ile de France
Reporting on the Period of May 2007
As Reported by the Chambre de Notaires de Paris
Compared to the end of 2005, the period showing the strongest appreciation of resale apartments in the Ile de France of more than 15%, at the end of May 2007, appreciation had dropped to almost one-half — 8.3%. The
evolution for the quarter w
as equally as different — 1.3% compared to 2.2% in May 2006.
Paris is another story. The level of appreciation remains higher than in the Ile de France in comparison to past periods: 9.3% in May 2007 compared to 8.9% in April 2007 and 12.7% in May 2006. The evolution for the quarter rose 1.9% in May 2007 compared to 1.4% in April 2007 and 2% in May 2006.
Paris continues to show strength as there is scarcity of good properties helping maintain the high values.
A Panoramic View of Foreign-Occupied Secondary Residences in France (A Report from 2005 Based on Statistics from 2003)
Of all the foreign-owned secondary residence in France, U.K. owners beat all other nationalities by a landslide with a 23% share, compared to American owners at 3% and Italian owners at 14%.
The two most popular regions are the Alpes-Maritimes (eastern Côte d’Azur from Cannes, 17%) and the Var (western Côte d’Azur from Cannes, 10%).
American owners stick to a small range of regions: (from highest to lowest) Paris and the eastern Côte d’Azur; western Côte d’Azur, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon, Alsace/Strasbourg, Dordogne, and the Biarritz/Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
For a more in depth look at the foreign market, download the online pdf file at:
French Property: The Burgundy Boom
Burgundy may be most famous for its wines, but it’s also becoming well known among UK buyers for its affordable properties and superb location. Only two hours south-east of Paris, the gastronomic heart of France ideally positioned for easy access to the rest of Europe, and to the UK, thanks to the international airport at Dijon and fast, regular rail links.
This surge in popularity comes as no surprise to Alexis Pelcener from Guy Hoquet Immobilier, who says, "The region is beautiful and is not saturated like other areas in France. It’s untouched, easily accessible and affordable."
Costs are rising in this region, but for UK buyers, they remain very attractive among second-home buyers. Burgundy also appeals to relocators thanks to its incredible food, rich culture and visible history — ancient castles and abbeys are scattered across the rolling hills. Of course, the quintessential views of vineyards are never far away either — wine is still a major industry here.
Lee-Anne Keers is just one of the British professionals to have bought as second home in the region, and she explained, "Burgundy is truly charming and is really one of France’s best-kept secrets. There are many interesting properties that can still be acquired here at reasonable prices."
"Viager" with a View, Part II
Excerpt from Parler Paris September 17, 2007
You’ve waited a week for me to unfold the rest of this amazing story, now realizing that it may take more than just Parts I and II to tell it properly. This is the story of the "Viager" — the studio apartment with a terrace that last week became mine, except that I don’t hold the rights of usage!
To get up to speed, you can read Part I by clicking here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/issues/pparis10-9-07.html If you’re already there, pour yourself another glass of wine…
This takes us to just after the homeowner’s association meeting where they voted to leave the two terraces in tact, but vowing to work toward getting them legalized by incorporating them into the title deeds of each of the apartments the next time they transferred hands.
With the help of the Syndic, I learned that the apartment had several pieces to it: the apartment itself with its large terrace, two cellars, a storage closet and a "chambre de bonne" (servant’s quarters). It was curiously in the hands of the State — that no one actually held the deed. In bits and pieces I’ve come to learn that 18 years ago, aged Monsieur N. had sold it to Monsieur S. as a life annuity,
to live in it, holding the rights of usage till his death.
Unfortunately, Monsieur S. died about eight or ten years later, and as I understand it, although all the details have yet to be revealed, left it with taxes to be paid, his heirs not wishing to take on the responsibility. Monsieur N. was no longer living in the apartment. The utility bills, taxes and association fees were being paid, but his whereabouts were unknown, at least not by me.
(Do you know about the case of Jeanne Calment? She was the oldest living human, who lived to the age of 122 and outlived her Notaire, Andre-Francois Raffray, who purchased her apartment, promising to pay $500 per month until Jeanne died. He paid twice the market value for the apartment before dying in December of 1995. Let’s hope I won’t have the same bad luck!)
This forced the property to land in the hands of the State, in care of the "DNID," or "Direction Nationale d’Interventions Domaniales," which is part of the National Taxation Administration and works in three principal areas of activity: asset management (more than 6,000 estates handled), sales of personal property (more than 50,000 lots sold each year) and real estate (nearly 500 properties sold) and estate appraisal assignments (5,000 appraisals in Ile de France alone).
I contacted the DNID, dealing with one lone individual, a "fonctionnaire" (civil servant) who didn’t care about me or the property, seeing it more as a nuisance than a reason for him to be paid a salary. My Notaire, Maître A., prepared an offer letter stating a price we thought would be possibly accepted. Over a period of many months, with long awaited absences of response from the DNID, and finally on the third try, each offer a little more, an offer was accepted — a price about one-half of what we estimated it was actually worth, were it not a Viager!
This began the usual process to purchasing a property. The Notaire began to secure all the documents in preparation for the signing of a "Promesse de Vente" (Promise to Purchase). There are diagnostics required by law the seller must provide: content of termites, lead and asbestos as well as measuring the apartment for the "Loi Carrez," the legal habitable space. Because there was actually no one residing there, it was impossible to enter to perform the diagnostics, and so I agreed to purchase the apartment and all its parts without any proof of its condition and without seeing any of the parts. This is something I’d never recommend to a client to do! (Even now, I have not yet seen either of the cellars or either of the auxiliary rooms — only the studio apartment itself.)
The Notaire ‘tore out his hair’ dealing with the fonctionnaire at the DNID, but finally they gave Maître A. the proxy to sign on behalf of the State…all this after 1.5 years of push and pull, it came time to sign the first document — the Promesse de Vente.
When reviewing the document with Maître A., the terrace had clearly been excluded, only listing the apartment, the closet, the chambre de bonne and the two cellars. I asked him to write the terrace into the deed, as Monsieur de L. would have wanted, to which he replied as he was smiling broadly, "Now, why would you want me to do that? No one can enter the terrace without going through the apartment, so even if you don’t own it, you will have full and private usage of it, without the maintenance expense of it, which will be provided by the homeowner’s association." Knowing Monsieur de L. would be displeased, there was not much to do, but sign the document happily.
Meanwhile, I contacted my lender for a mortgage, Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier, who holds the mortgage on my other properties. This was by far the easiest part of the process, even though it is a long and hard journey to secure all the necessary tax returns, bank statements, medical exams, etc. required for the lender to assess a borrower’s capability to repay the loan. The high rental returns from my rental apartment, "Le Provençal," made a big impression on the loan officers, illustrating the potential of this new property to yield a good income…that is, if it weren’t a Viager!
The lender gave a thumbs up to the project a loan offer was issued. The obligatory 11 days were waited before accepting the offer and the date of signing the final "Acte de Vente" (final title deed) was confirmed for September 7, 2007, three months passing after signing the Promesse de Vente.
Part II stops here, as so much more of the story will unfold. So until next time…when there is sure to be even more new developments!
"Viager" with a View, Part III
Excerpt from Parler Paris September 19, 2007
The story continues to unfold, but at least, today’s issue will get you up to date and then it can be filled in along the way, weeks or months down the road. After taking Judith Merian’s Scriptwriting Workshop last Saturday, it is clear that the story has all the elements of a great screenplay…filled with mystery, romance, drama, moral issues and legal questions…all set in the world’s most exciting city — Paris, and in particular, "Le Marais."
To get you up to speed, you can read Part I by clicking here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/issues/pparis10-9-07.html
If you’re already there, pour yourself another glass of wine…
Before the date arrived to sign the final title deed, Monsieur de L., the "Syndic" (manager of the homeowner’s association), requested a meeting with me. I was nervous it had something to do with the illegal terrace, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
me down and sai
d, "Madame Leeds, vous êtes une femme sage." (Ms. Leeds, you are a wise woman.) And then proceeded to tell me that when the elevator was installed in the stairwell many years ago, even before I arrived on the scene in 1997, they needed to appropriate the cave belonging to Madame B.
(My neighbor, Madame B., and I have had a strangely synchronistic relationship from the very beginning as we see each other on the streets in the neighborhood regularly and more often than any other neighbors. Each time our paths cross we chuckle while saying, "Bonjour Madame," knowing we are each thinking the same thing — it’s odd to have so much coincidental contact.)
She handed over the cellar to the copropriété for the elevator installation, but not without requisitioning the one belonging to the studio and Monsieur S. (you remember, the man who had purchased the apartment 18 years ago and had died eight years later?). I’ve heard rumors that there is some past and interesting relationship between them, but this is purely speculation and time will tell as more facts unfold. (At one of our per-chance meetings, she promised to tell me at some future point in time.)
The Syndic continued to explain. His request was for me to give her title to one of the two cellars (the smaller of the two) as a good-will gesture, in light of the fact that I had a wonderful terrace (free) and elevator (free), both so treasured in "Le Marais. "
At first, it seemed a bit silly to give away the property I had worked so hard to achieve, but in being the "femme sage" (I’d like to think I am!), I agreed it was well worth the exchange, especially to keep peace in the rue de Saintonge family, of which I was fast becoming a solid member.
The morning of September 7th, Monsieur de L. allowed me to enter the apartment, now for only the 4th time. You remember, the first time was when the terrace caused a flood into my apartment. The second time was when the committee was called in to discuss the illegal terraces. The third time was when first beginning the process to make an offer to the State to purchase it and now, just prior to signing the final deed. My memory of it had not registered much of the details and was surprised to find it twice as charming as the faded images left in these old brain cells.
I hadn’t remembered the picture window with the exposed beams, the working fireplace or the extra room under the eaves (which may make a perfect closet), nor the archways that led to the kitchen, another to the bath and one with a small staircase that leads to nowhere. The rounded cupboard with the carved doors opened to a large space filled with shelves and the closet space in the corner will easily allow for constructing a larger bathroom. The nooks and crannies carved from stucco were countless, and the hand painted wall mural screamed "Saint Tropez." I couldn’t wait to show the photos to the Notaire who had been driven nuts by the year-and-a-half long project to closing.
There was no key to the closet in the hall, nor the chambre de bonne that both belonged to the purchase so I have still not seen either one. No visit was made to the two cellars, as there is no key available to those, either. Unimportant in the grand scheme of things, that morning I signed the final deed, regardless. An appointment was made for two weeks later to sign another Acte de Vente to ‘sell’ the cellar to Madame B. for a whopping one euro. Monsieur de L. was thrilled to finally come to terms with an issue lasting 18 years. Little did we know then there would be a next twist in the saga.
When you purchase a property in France, there are always taxes and fees associated with the transaction. That was also true for the one-euro cellar — but a bit more than the usual 7% to 7.5% of the purchase price (7 to 7.5 cents!). In this case, the total was over 1200 euros just to transfer the title to Madame B.!
Naturally, she refused to pay it. Naturally, I was not expected to pay it. This left the problem back in the hands of Monsieur de L. and the copropriété! When the next "assemblée générale" takes place this coming February, the owners of Stairwell A will vote to share the expense of the Notaire fees, me now being one of them, and obligated to pay a portion of the fees just so that Madame B. can own my cellar!
Seems crazy, huh? But still, the issue of the rights of usage remain, as neither she nor I have the legal right to use either of the cellars, not as long as Monsieur N. still holds the "droits d’usage!" Clearly, that has not stopped her from using the cellar all these years…but me?…I don’t even have a right to have the key! Nor have I seen either one of them!
Now that I was the proper and full owner, Monsieur de L. provided the contact information for Monsieur N., who now actually lives with relatives in another part of France, leaving the apartment for occasional usage by friends and family. He told me there had been a law suit involving the apartment, ‘le monsieur’ and Madame B. many years ago, but that I must not know anything about it…not just yet, as it would be best if I remained a "vierge" (virgin) when approaching Monsieur N. (I laughed at his choice of words, but understood totally!)
Last week I sent a registered letter to Monsieur N. in my best French, with the help of a French friend and Monsieur de L. I requested that he entertain the idea of relinquishing his rights of usage for an equitable sum of money.
I have no word from him to date, but my fingers are crossed for a positive response. Meanwhile, I dream of the little studio I will call "Le Saint Tropez," its new kitchen and bath in mosaic tiles of blues, greens and sandy tones, with lots of lazy sunny days on the terrace under leafy palms…but I have a feeling it’s a long way away with a lot more "histoire" to unfold. I’ll keep you posted.
The "Fractional Ownership" Solution…
Le Jardin Saint-Paul
Rue Ferdinand Duval, 4th Arrondissement, Le Marais
To take a video tour of this gorgeous property, visit http://www.parishomeshares.net/jspvideos.html
Chez La Tour
Boulevard de Latour-Maubourg, 7th Arrondissement, Eiffel Tower
Soon to Come
Editor’s Note: We will be discussing Fractional Ownership at the upcoming Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference October 13th but by then it may be too late to take advantage of this opportunity. If you’re interested in learning more about Paris Home Shares upcoming projects, call or write Steve Navaro: +1-303-793-0900, email [email protected]
French Property Insider to be Aired on House Hunters International!!
New Dates and Times in October!
If you missed the show the first time around, now you have another chance to see Adrian Leeds live on House Hunters International!
Settling Down in Paris
Angela and Ben met in 2003 when they lived in Los Angeles working for the same clothing company. Now, the two are engaged to be married. When Ben started receiving frequent overseas work, the company believed he’d be more valuable in Paris, so they happily relocated. They immediately moved into a cozy rental in the 17th district near the Arc de Triomphe and started to explore the different neighborhoods of Paris. The pair is now ready to take the big leap and purchase an apartment to stay for good. Real estate agent Adrian Leeds is enlisted to help.
Property Search Consultant, Adrian Leeds Group
Web site: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation
• October 1, 2007 11 PM ET/PT
• October 2, 2007 3 AM ET/PT
Editor’s Note: Be sure to read the entire story about Ben and Angela on FPI issues: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/pastissues/FPI_April_6_2006.html and http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/pastissues/FPI_June_22_2006.html
Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference!
October 13, 2007 at Chez Jenny, Paris
If you’ve always dreamed of owning your own "pied-à-terre" in Paris or home in the Provinces of France, perhaps as a future retirement home or for now as investment property rented part of the year…this power-packed one-day conference is a MUST.
Hosted by Adrian Leeds, long time resident of Paris, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly E-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for the International Law Partnership, London, this one day in Paris will point you in the right direction to make it really happen! Includes three course lunch and cocktail reception.
For more information and to register, visit: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/conference/LIF_Paris_Oct_2007/index.html
Or email Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]
I AM NOT A TOURIST
Expatica.com Welcome to France Fair
October 14th, 2007
Carrousel de Louvre, Paris
New to France or looking to make the most of expatriate life?
Get the information you need from companies and agencies specialized in expatriate services, from banks, investment firms and insurance companies to schools and tax agencies. You’ll find information on house hunting, finding a job, immigration and permits, staying long-term, and much more.
Meet the people who make expat life great, including the top clubs and associations, travel agents and sports teams.
Explore the expatriate life and your ambitions – higher education, career opportunities, your own business, travel and lifestyl
e possibilities. Every year, thou
sands of international managers and employees arrive in France. The I AM NOT A TOURIST Fair answers the 101 questions you have about living here, in a unique environment where you can meet the right people face to face.
News: Expatica is proud to announce that Sir Peter Westmacott, the newly arrived British Ambassador to France, will be on hand to give the opening ceremony at the Fair. We are thrilled to have Sir Westmacott participate in our event and thank the British Embassy for their continued support.
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC and John Howell & Co will be at Booth 92/93 — be sure to come by and visit us!
To order your FREE tickets, click here: http://www.expatica.com/welcometofrance/ticket_signup.asp
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Parler Paris Après Midi
Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…
The next gathering is October 9, 2007, and every second Tuesday of the month.
HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Best Burgundy Buys
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
*** Burgundy, Presbytery
Located in the Burgundy Lakes area, this beautiful old Presbytery is full of charm with wonderful view of the countryside.
Asking Price: 280,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Burgundy, Millhouse, approx. 65m²
This wonderful property is located in a beautiful landscape, crossed by a river with over 6.5 hectares of land. All the roofs are new and there are several outbuildings including a barn and stables. Great potential, needs renovating.
Asking Price: 371,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Burgundy, 6 Bedroom House, approx. 220m²
This beautiful house includes a gorgeous stone staircase, living room with fireplace, fitted kitchen, 6 bedrooms (2 with access to the terrace), 2 bathrooms, 2 toilets, study, converted attic, plus over 8,000m² of land.
Asking Price: 400,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
Next Sessions: October 16, 2007 at 1:30 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 Web site 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:
|3 room duplex 93,90m²
8 rue François Miron
75004 PARIS 4th
Opening Bid: 633,750€
|4 rooms 78m²
5/7 rue des Beaux Arts
75006 PARIS 6th
Opening Bid: 500,000€
|2 rooms 54m²
2 place de la Porte d’Auteuil
75016 PARIS 16th
Opening Bid: 291,600€
|No Image Available||4 rooms 94,80m²
35/37 rue Bonaparte
75006 PARIS 6th
Opening Bid: 926,400€
LEASEBACK NEWS FROM IMOINVEST
France, Mediterranean Coast, Cap d’Agde
Studio 21m² to 45m² €66,000 to €130,000
One Bedroom 26m² to 45m² €108,000 to €150,000
Guaranteed Buy to Let – Leaseback
GUARANTEED RENTAL INCOME UP TO: 4.60%
INTERNATIONAL SEASIDE TOURIST RESORT
Located in the heart of the Mediterranean basin at the gates of Spain, the Languedoc-Rousillon region is an enchanting area where the sun shines for more than 300 days per year. Nestled within this exceptional region you will find the lively French department of Herault, appreciated by connoisseurs for its heritage, gourmet cuisine and vintage wines. The area displays breathtaking landscapes, clear ponds, lakes, lagoons and beaches spread out for miles.
Cap d’Agde is nestled at the crossroads of the Herault River, the Canal du Midi and the Mediterranean Sea, lulled by fresh and seawater. This famous seaside resort is situated between two bustling cities — Beziers and Montpellier. This beautiful resort has been awarded with the national label for quality beaches and as a top rated family resort too.
Personal comfort is of the utmost importance within Residence Saint Clair. This residential complex comprises 83 apartments with parking possibilities. Apartments range from studio to 1 bedroom mezzanine with balcony overlooking the marina or swimming pool. Residence facilities include Spa and Jacuzzi, Sauna and fitness centre as well as outdoor swimming pool
with beach, lounge and bar. Hotel services include reception,
breakfast, cleaning service and bed linen.
The French Leaseback investment scheme includes a guaranteed rental income backed by a commercial lease and a specialized management company to take care of the running of the residence. Investors will also benefit from a full 19.6% VAT refund.
When you make a purchase as important as a piece of real estate in a foreign country, you want 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.
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Le Penthouse Voltaire
American comfort with French flair! Overlooking Boulevards Richard Lenoir and Voltaire, in the 11th Arrondissement. This three-bedroom, two-bath luxury penthouse with wrap-around balconies and spectacular views, sleeps 6.
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