The Present of Properties Past
Historic Property in the Dordogne
December 3, 2009
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
Welcome back after a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. I certainly hope you enjoyed your turkey as much as we did ours…even at 8€ per kilo!
We have returned to a rainy cold Paris after one of the most beautiful fall seasons ever, but it’s not the gray skies that cloud our days. On the top of the agenda is the newest issue regarding laws enacted long ago that are just now being enforced, designed to increase housing in central Paris that will affect the way we offer our properties on the short-term rental market.
Please be sure to read today’s newsletter in response to recent press and publicity that could be misleading. We aim to provide a clear and concise picture of the issues and offer solutions so that we may continue to find profit in our French property investments.
On another note, we look to the dreamy idea of château ownership — if the realities don’t cloud the blue skies of being the "lord" of a château or "châtelaine" (mistress of the château). One such gentleman, famous for more than 200 different voices, did just that…become "Fou de châteaux" ("Crazy about Châteaux"). Learn more about it and château and historic property ownership in today’s issue of French Property Insider.
On the Hot Properties scene are Paris properties for great rental investment and châteaux to get crazy over. And there are a variety of supporting articles from our sister publications to keep you up to date on what’s on in France.
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
P.S. Don’t miss Parler Paris Après Midi! Be there Tuesday December 8th, 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais — where we will have a chance to meet one another, share ideas and make friends. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information.
Volume VII, Issue 47, December 3, 2009
In this issue:
* Quelling Rental Rumors
* Le Palace des Vosges: Special Offer
* Meet a Collector of Châteaux
* How to Buy and Renovate Historic Property
* House Hunters International in Paris: Tomorrow Night!
* Paris Expanding to Improve Suburbs
* FPI Fractional Property Offerings
* First Step to New Metro Line Taken
* Moneycorp: Take the Risk Out of Currency Conversion
* Parler Paris Apartments: Le Grand Ciel
* Demand for Property in French Regions Growing
* Hot Property Picks: Real Rentals Charming Châteaux
* On the Block for the Next Notaires’ Auction
* Dont Miss France show 2010
* How You Can Obtain a Mortgage in France
* Parler Paris Après-Midi: Next Gathering Dec. 8th
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Subscribers Receive Discount on Insider Paris Guides
The buzz is spreading like wildfire and creating an unnecessary panic among the short-term rental community, thanks to some self-serving individuals who decided to create their own spin on the news to gain publicity for themselves by issuing press releases and posting blogs on the subject.
While some of what they report is true, like much in the news today, it comes with a slant and a failure to tell the whole and true story. This lack of responsibility is shocking to all of us in the rental industry — those who are owners of such properties, those who manage short-term apartments and even those who rent them.
In an attempt to c
omprehend the nature of the legal
issues and the allegations publicized by the current media, many of the primary rental agencies in Paris met this past Tuesday to discuss the issues at hand. During that meeting, a federation was formed (FLAT: Fédération des Loueurs d’Appartements Temporaires) to address the issues in a unified manner so that solutions could be found and people’s fears could be addressed and assuaged.
It is my personal objective to provide you with a clear and correct assessment of the position we face as investors in French property and as occasional visitors to the City of Light who rent apartments for as little as three nights or as much as 11.99 months a year. We are currently working with our own advisors (attorneys and accountants) to not only comprehend the law, but to learn how and what we must do to find ways to work within and through it…or to change it, if we can be successful.
It’s not that the laws didn’t exist — they have since June 2005, when the city pf Paris decided they needed to combat their lack of housing and protect the renter of furnished apartments by enforcing a particular kind of lease. What they were seeking were furnished apartments that would provide long term housing for principal residents (minimum one year or nine months for student tenants), by enforcing a change of usage to "commercial" should the apartment hold leases of a lesser term.
Do not assume that the laws were designed to raise taxes! "Au contraire." What they are seeking is more housing and that which is more affordable!
The laws sat dormant until May of 2008 when Mayor Bertrand Delanoë addressed a letter to the prefect. He directed the prefect to make it his primary goal to find more affordable housing for residents by starting the campaign to enforce these laws and find apartments on the short-term rental market which could be converted.
This past summer, letters from the "Direction du logement et de l’habitat," the office for the protection of rental housing, went to a smattering of owners whose property was known to be offered as short term rental. These letters indicated that they should apply to change the classification of usage of their property to "commercial" or risk high fines — between 25,000€ and 80,000€.
It’s any wonder that a kind of panic set in among owners and professionals and to date, I have also seen many renters concerned about their involvement as tenants!
Meanwhile, even our professionals were unable to come up with much concrete information. In one online forum, a manager of a rental agency points out that "income tax documents in France can easily trace anyone declaring income made through short-term lets. There is, in fact, a special section on the tax document to enter the necessary information. Why would they do this if it is illegal?" The same author also makes note that there is the "question of private property rights." "If this is indeed a law, it should have been voted at Parliament level. This is insane! France is not a communist country."
They and others we spoke to do not believe the statistic reported by that there are 38,000 vacation rentals on offer in the capital, as so many agencies promote the same properties, and therefore believe the true number is closer to 8,000. Since most of the vacation properties are located in central Paris, for the most part prices in these locations are prohibitive to students and young professionals and therefore wouldn’t make much impact on the housing market, at any rate.
As we learn more information, we will keep you informed and updated. But, as an owner, lessor or lessee, our advice to you is:
1. Do not panic. Do nothing different than you are now doing.
2. Seek the advice of professionals to learn how to "find ways to work with it and through it."
3. Support the organizations that will represent you well and lobby to change the laws for a more suitable solution.
4. Believe wholeheartedly that we will be successful in accomplishing these goals.
Editor’s Note: The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC will find an equitable solution for non-resident property owners. Consultations will be held in private and in confidence. Those who are already clients of the Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, may benefit from this advice at no additional charge. In all other cases, standard consultation fees will apply. Should you decide to seek this advice, contact [email protected].
If you’ve followed the progress of "Le Palace des Vosges" (our Fractional Ownership property at Paris’ best address) over the past year, then you’d know that the first owners are already enjoying the property. Just before they arrived, we had an opportunity to take a full video tour of the finished product and new photos!…
The latest photos are available at http://www.palacedesvosges.com/PDV_decor.html.
Special offering to French Property Insider Readers:
Purchase a share and have your 15,000€ deposit received in the escrow account by December 31st, 2009 and receive a 5000€ discount off the price of your share!!!
Eight shares are still available. For more information about how to purchase your share of Le Palace des Vosges, visit http://www.palacedesvosges.comor email Mary Ellen Gallagher at [email protected].
Behind massive wrought iron gates extends a golden autumnal avenue, positioned to deny the passer-by a view of Château de Villiers. The gates swing open electronically and, deeper into the grounds, I finally come upon an imposing Louis XIII edifice. Inside, in the oak-panelled and tapestry-hung winter drawing room, within a mantel of veined ox blood marble, logs crackle behind an embroidered screen. On a circular wooden table, beneath a chandelier, a bottle of Krug champagne nestles next to a box of Lenôtre chocolates from which someone has already plucked his favorites.
The scene has been set by owner Yves Lecoq who, despite employing a maître d’hôtel, makes me midmorning coffee. When I comment on the flavor he switches from French to English and, in George Clooney’s voice, says, "It’s Nespresso — what else?"
The uncannily good impersonation is no surprise. As France’s leading impressionist, Mr. Lecoq has a repertoire of 200 voices, from Woody Allen to Zidane Zinedine. Not to mention his controversial takeoff of the nation’s first jogging president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
What’s less well known about our host is that thanks to more than 30 years of show business success and a French fiscal regime that deals kindly with owners of officially classified historic properties, he has become a collector of châteaux. Since 1975, when he was 29 years old, he has purchased five, all in states of disrepair…
His main home at Villiers-le-Bâcle is in a pretty countryside 30 minutes drive south-west of central Paris. Set within wooded 40-hectare grounds where deer and wild boar roam, the 40 rooms are furnished in a finely judged mix of period style and modern comfort (central heating, flat-screen TVs concealed behind framed Louis XIV tapestries.)
Having rescued the property from Sleeping Beauty dilapidation, Mr. Lecoq plays tour guide with great courtesy. Were he in a more reclusive mood, however, he could retreat to Château de Maisonseule, his fortified medieval manor secluded deep within the rugged mountain ranges of the Ardèche in south-central France…
The first house Mr. Lecoq bought, at 27, was a restoration project on a modest scale — a suburban villa with garden, but without heating or bathroom. It was when he began thinking of a half-timbered farmhouse in the country that his agent handed him the French property bible, "Indicateur Bertrand," saying, "For the same budget, why not buy a château?"
Which is how, before turning 30, Mr. Lecoq acquired Château d’Hédauville in northern France, an 18th-century construction with classic stone and red brick façades but also a leaking roof and gardens turned to cattle pasture. He reinstated its original glory and furnished it with antiques gleaned when touring the country with his own stage show…
As with all previous restoration projects, Mr. Lecoq is often on site at Chambes and acts as his own interior designer, taking equal delight in picking up a hand-forged period door handle in a flea market as in more ambitious schemes. At Maisonseule, he had a walled stone enclosure built overlooking the valley. From below, it looks like an ancient annex but it actually conceals an outdoor swimming pool with a breathtaking mountain panorama.
Mr. Lecoq considers the time and money invested in his properties as his contribution to the national heritage…
Read the entire article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125865631447656047.html.
Many people dream of purchasing a dilapidated Château, mill or 16th century cottage and lovingly restoring it to its former glory with style and taste. While this idle daydream absolutely has the potential to become a reality, it does require careful planning as there are strict regulations governing the preservation and renovation of properties classed as “monuments historiques.” Don’t be put off – if you do your homework, that shabby Château in Charente can be yours!
In France, ‘grade-listed’ buildings belong to one of two categories: it can be listed as a monument historique (historic monument) or on the more prestigious “inventaire supplementaire des monuments historiques.” For properties in both categories, you are required to obtain official approval from the Ministry of Culture before embarking upon any renovation projects, in compliance with article 9 of the law of 31st December 1913.
Listed buildings are protected by “le service departemental de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine” (SDAP for short) – this roughly translates as the “departmental office for Architecture and Heritage.” The SDAP is an inter-departmental government service with links to the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Culture and Communication. It has a number of roles, dealing with architecture, cultural heritage, landscapes and urban development, and, broadly speaking, exists to ensure the preservation and protection of buildings of architectural and cultural interest.
Once you have successfully purchased your listed building and drafted plans for your refurbishment work, you will need to go about obtaining a permit. The process is notoriously lengthy – between one and four months – so be prepared for a long wait between submitting your proposal, receiving an answer and beginning work on your new home. It is useful to know that you may well also be able to benefit from one of a number of grants available.
The sum that you will be granted depends on the category into which your building falls. For example, for buildings listed as “monuments historiques,” while there is in theory no limit to the amount that you can request, around 35% of the cost of the renovation work will generally be covered by the state. It certain cases, however, this figure can be as high as 50% – for example, for an owner with limited income. For buildings included on the “inventaire supplementaire des monuments historiques.” you can you will be granted on average around 15% of the total cost of the renovation. As with buildings classed as monuments historiques, in certain cases this figure can rise to around 30%. The maximum sum that can be awarded is 40% of renovation costs. In both cases, the owner must fund at least 20% of works. Normally, you will receive the money as the works progress – you will be reimbursed upon submission of invoices that you have paid. In order to access these grants, you should contact the Direction regionale des affaires culturelles (DRAC).
Buying and renovating an historic building in France is possible no matter what your budget – it just requires careful thought and planning…
***"Settling Down in Paris" – Episode HHINT-1A05
December 4, 2009 7:00 PM ET/PT
December 14, 2009 12:00 AM ET/PT
House Hunters International Episode HHINT-402
MONTFERMEIL, France (Reuters) – Bleak tower blocks crammed with decrepit apartments, buildings smeared with graffiti and children
ing in potted, garbage-strewn streets.
These are the scenes of some of Paris’ rundown suburbs which were rocked four years ago by riots that drew the world’s attention to France’s disenfranchised youth.
But the government and locals hope that ambitious plans to expand the boundaries of Paris, and link the city’s hinterland to a modern transport system will provide a desperately needed economic fillip to some of France’s poorest neighbourhoods.
"The more cut off a place is, the more problems it will have," said Xavier Lemoine, mayor of the suburb of Montfermeil to the north east of Paris, which is home to one particularly rundown public housing estate.
"Firms will prefer to hire people who have more chance of arriving on time … and who will not spend their whole life in public transport only to fall asleep at work," Lemoine added.
The 10-year project, billed as the biggest shake up of the French capital since Baron Haussmann redesigned the city in the 19th century, was to take a step forward late on Tuesday when parliament was to start debating on a law that lays the way for the rail link…
Read the entire article at http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-44211720091124.
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
MAISON DANS TOULOUGES
To see our latest Fractional offerings go to http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional/fractional_offerings.html
PARIS (AP) – A French government plan to build a new 80-mile (130-kilometer) subway system through the Paris suburbs has cleared its first hurdle in parliament.
Lawmakers in the National Assembly cleared the plan 299-216 on Tuesday. The bill must still go to the Senate.
The proposed subway is expected to make a figure-8-shaped route between suburban business hotspots, research centers and the airports. It will connect to the existing subway, the Metro.
The new subway is expected to cost about 21 billion euro ($31.4 billion), and the bill also includes another 14 billion euro to improve existing transport lines.
If you’re buying a holiday home or investment property overseas, when you trade your currency is crucial. The euro exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, so trading at the right time will mean your money goes a lot further. Adrian Leeds Group LLC and Moneycorp are working together to ensure you make the most of your Dollar or Sterling when buying a property in France.
For the latest exchange rate use our currency converter at http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/moneycorpconvertor and learn more about moneycorp here:
If you are a guest staying in any one of our luxurious Parler Paris Apartments, and would like to consider having your own "pied-à-terre" for your pleasure and profit, contact Adrian Lees for a FREE one-hour consultation while you’re enjoying the apartment in the City of Light. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments for more information or email me at [email protected].
Parler Paris Apartments Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in
a private apartment in Paris that has the "seal of approval" from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds. Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible.We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind thequality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same greatteam 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): Introducing another New Parler Paris Apartment, Le Grand Ciel
Le Grand Ciel
Studio with Separate Kitchen, Sleeps 2
Le Grand Ciel is a studio apartment with a separate kitchen, completely renovated in 2009 to provide a stylish and relaxing retreat in this most convenient part of Paris. The apartment has been profess
y remodeled to provide a fantastic feeling of spaciousness which makes the most of the three large traditional windows — one in each room to create a very sunny aspect and provide great views of the neighborhood. This light and bright ambiance has been further enhanced by contemporary decor where teals and turquoises contrast with crisp cool white. A solid oak parquet floor, warm underfoot, is the perfect compliment to the modern and comfortable design. Located on the third floor of this recently renovated Haussmannian building, set on a quiet street just steps from from a Métro station, this is the perfect spot for a sightseeing trip to the City of Light.
Reserve now! Visit www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/saint-germain.html.
More and more Brits are buying property overseas despite the current crisis in the USA. Everybody knows how France is diverse. It has lots of different regions, landscapes, dishes, products etc. That is probably why it attracts so many tourists…and French property is not an exception to that rule.
Brittany. It is close to Britain indeed, and has a rich cultural history. It is a great touristic region thanks to the many activities we can enjoy there, but also for the beauty of its landscape…in the midst of lakes and typical Brittany properties. They are usually stone made and with slate roof, like the longeres…
The Limousin region is favorite place to buy property. One reason for this is definitely the cheap French properties we find there. They are usually country houses, with barns, wells and far-reaching views. The other reason is that the Limousin is the traditional heartland of France and retains some of the most unspoilt countryside in Europe. It is much less affected by tourism than many other parts of France and its landscape has something of the UK 1950 countryside…
The Languedoc region also attracts those who want to buy property. Thanks to its particular location, it is one of the most fascinating French regions: right between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees Mountains, enabling every one to enjoy activities such as hiking, rafting, fishing and water sports. Owning a property in the Mediterranean climate of this region is the dream of many. Languedoc wines and food specialities reflect the local culture. It is fresh and tasty, and relies heavily on local produce: olive oil, tomato sauce, herbs from the wild garrigue landscapes such as thyme, rosemary and sorrel. Typical Languedoc properties are stone village houses and villas…
Read the entire article at http://afc.an-xi-cha-ye.cn/kudao/398760.
Each week French Property Insider features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various regions of France and districts of Paris.
This week we focus on opportunities for rental properties in Paris and châteaux in France.
*** Paris, 3rd: One-Bedroom, approx. 52m²
- 19th Century Building, 52m2, on the 2nd Floor, Elevator, Renovated
Asking Price: € 430 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
p> ze="2" face="Verdana">*** Paris, 7th: One-bedroom, approx. 43m²
Close to the banks of the Seine, the Pont Neuf, Île de la Cité, Notre Dame, Île St Louis. The Marais is minutes away.
- 19th Century Building, 43 m2, on the 3rd Floor, Renovated
Asking Price: € 460 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Château, Vichy: Five-bedroom, approx. 260m²
This 12th century château is set in 4.5 acres and comes with a pool and double garage. Although modified in the 1800′s the foundations of the building date back to the 12th or 13th century. The property maintains many of its original features such as marble flooring, front steps and spiral staircase. The Château offers living space across three floors. The ground floor comprises what was originally the servants quarters, a kitchen and a dining room. On the second floor, accessed either by the internal staircase or the outside steps, is a large lounge, office and a bedroom with bathroom and one other bedroom. The third floor has a large bedroom with parquet flooring, walk-in wardrobe and fireplace, a bathroom with shower and another bedroom. Generally in good condition with central heating and double glazing installed, however redecoration is to be expected. The property is located just 8 minutes from Vichy and not far from Moulins.
Asking Price: € 505 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Château, Saumur: Eight-bedroom, approx. 300m²
This beautiful château dating back to 17th, 18th and 19th century is set in a 4.5 acre garden and comes with an open view and several outbuilding of 400m2. The property offers 300m2 of living space, comprising 14 rooms including 8 bedrooms, several lounges and 2 shower rooms. The outbuildings include: barns, stables, cellars and many others. This property has an enormous potential. Located close Saumur. Saumur is a historic town situated in the Maine et Loire department. Its graceful hilltop 14th century Château overlooks the river Loire and houses 2 museums. It’s a very attractive and touristic area with a large choice of sight sites, restaurants and shops.
Asking Price: € 635 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
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.
To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on: www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/articles/auctions1.html.
|The following properties will be auctioned off December 8, 2009:|
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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.
Three days of indulgence in French cuisine, art, culture and property at London’s Earls Court, January 8th-10th, 2010…
Discover the magic of France by immersing yourself in the colors, the culture and the party atmosphere that is the France Show 2010 — the UK’s largest celebration of all that makes France such a special place.
The French Property Exhibition brings together estate agents, developers, solicitors, banks and other professionals covering just about every aspect of buying your property in France. Whichever location has taken your fancy — and suits your budget — you’re sure to find a suitable property.
Always a hive of activity, the French property section offers everything from expert financial advice to innovative energy solutions to picture perfect barn conversions and great investment opportunities. With hundreds of different exhibitors ready to talk to you, this is simply the biggest and best French property exhibition available in the UK.
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, December 8th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m. and every second Tuesday of the month (except August).
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Of course, we’re always happy to help, so if you do need assistance, send an email to [email protected].
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 Web site. You will find the
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Report, click on
Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…and the newest guide, Practical Paris!
French Property Insider subscribers receive a discount of 10% off any uide and up to 25% off the entire purchase (if two or more guides are purchased at the same time). Here’s how it works:
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