Uncorking Champagne

Uncorking Champagne

Äy, in the Vallée de Marne
Home of Bollinger, Gosset and Deutz
Champagne Houses

French Property Insider

August 20, 2009
Paris, France


Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

We’re having record-breaking heat and the quietest days of the year as Parisians are on the beach or in their country homes. Meanwhile, we’re working away preparing for what is to come…a wave of new lovers of France who are ready finally to make their investments in a market that has downturned little and stabilized quickly.

See in today’s issue how the market has stabilized and the trend is beginning to move up — the reason now is such a good time to make an investment with growth on the horizon.

Today’s issue focuses on the region of Champagne — the specific corner of the planet from which REAL champagne is produced and which is one of the most wonderful places to live. Janet Hulstrand, a reader of French Property Insider, and who lives and teaches a writing workshop in her own town of Essoyes, tells her tale in Snapshot: The Champagne Region. Scroll down to read the entire article and learn more about her workshop.

Don’t miss the update on the fractional ownership property, “Le Palace des Vosges” and Gail Aboudara’s off-the-cuff video candidly taken after seeing the apartment for the first time. (Everyone calls it “eye candy.”) See for yourself.

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds
Adrian LeedsEditor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]

P.S. Mark your calendar for October 17th for the Money Matters for Women Conference here in Paris. Money Matters For Women is a half-day conference “for today’s global woman who wants to understand her current financial situation, plan intelligently and take proactive steps in managing her money.” I am speaking on “Property Investment in France” from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. that day. For more information and to register, visit http://www.moneymattersforwomen.org.

Volume VII, Issue 33, August 20, 2009

In this issue:

* Le Palace des Vosges Shares Selling Quickly
* Stability Keeps Property Market Interesting
* Champagne Region is Bubbling
* Find Inspiration in Champagne
* Discover Titillating Troyes
* FPI Fractional Property Offerings
* Register for the Money Matters Conference
* Episode of House Hunters International in September
* Moneycorp Updates Info on the Euro
* How You Can Take the Risk Out of Currency Conversion
* French Property Market in the Positive
* Come Stay, Get FREE
* Parler Paris Apartments: Special August Rates!
* The Route Touristique du Champagne
* Hot Property Picks: Charming Compelling Champagne
* Notaires’ Property Auctions Take Summer Break
* Two Property Shows in the Fall
* How You Can Obtain a Mortgage in France
* Parler Paris Après-Midi: Summer Break Almost Over
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Subscribers Receive Discount on Insider Paris Guides

Le Palace is More Palatial than Ever!
By Adrian Leeds

It’s no easy task to complete a construction project in the month of August in France, but we are lucky to have our crew working up to the last minute. And as everyone knows, “the devil is in the details.” This is where I step in.

Our goal is to make Le Palace des Vosges perfect in every way — or at least, in as many ways as is physically possible. Daily you will find me there working with the contractor and his workers to oversee every little detail, down to where the soap dish in the powder room is being attached to the wall. There have been umpteen trips to the BHV, Leroy Merlin and every little specialty shop to find just the right accessories.

As I write, the built-in f

urnishings are being installed, the Internet
/TV/Telephone are being fully connected, the new planters and hedges are being delivered and a myriad of other details are being attended to. This afternoon I personally delivered the linens for the bedding and ordered a new computer which will fit comfortably in the desk in the living room where owners will be able to relax and read their emails.

Last Friday afternoon, Gail Aboudara, the second shareholder, came to Paris all the way from San Diego to see it for the first time. Not only was she overwhelmed by what she saw, but she was more than enthusiastic to share her impression with us and agreed to be videotaped while sitting comfortably on the spring-green velour sofa in the spacious living room of the apartment. It was past midnight and she had seen the apartment in both day light and evening light.

The next day, Gail assisted me in shopping for the necessities at the hardware store…60 light bulbs (!), smoke alarms, fire extinguisher, trash cans, toilet brushes, etc., etc…all the little things that ultimately make a house a home. It was very helpful to have one of the 13 lucky owners with me to make decisions and we very much enjoyed getting to know her.

To see what she has to say, go to

All the efforts are with September 2nd in view — our formal date of inauguration. It’s then that we will be toasting the ‘birth’ of Le Palace des Vosges, one of (if not) the most luxurious fractional ownership properties and certainly in the city’s finest location in Paris.

To date, there are 5 shares of the 13 sold. The prices have increased since the completion of the renovation. We don’t expect the shares to remain unsold for long, especially once it is fully complete and proper photos can be taken and shared with our readers.

If you’re interested, be sure to contact us soon. Visit http://www.palacedesvosges.com for more information and for direct questions, email [email protected].

French Property Prices Remain Stable
By Adrian Leeds

While some parts of France reported price decreases up through March 2009, the latest news shows stabilization of the property market countrywide.

Up through March 2009, resale apartments on the whole were down by as much as 14.3% (Toulon) and as little as 0% (Amiens). Paris saw little decrease with -1%. On houses, prices remained stable during this same period in a few key areas of France: Caen in Normandy, Rennes in Brittany and Besançon in Franche-Comté, while others decreased on value as much as 18.3% (Bordeaux). New build apartments showed the strongest hold with increases as much as 9.9% (France-Comté), but with decreases as much as 22.7% (Haute-Normandie).

All this is changing as the market stabilizes. We believe that by the end of 2009, there will be an upward swing again and that this is a very opportune moment to make an investment in French property.

Champagne – The Wine Region


The Champagne wine region (archaic English: Champany) is a historic province within the Champagne administrative province in the northeast of France. The area is best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the region’s name. The region is about 100 miles (160 km) east of Paris. The viticultural boundaries of Champagne are legally defined and split into five wine producing districts within the administrative province — the Aube, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne Montagne de Reims, and Vallée de la Marne. The towns of Reims and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area.

Located at the northern edges of the wine growing world, the history of the Champagne wine region has had a significant role in the development of this unique terroir. The area’s close proximity to Paris promoted the regions economic success in its wine trade but also put the villages and vineyards in the path of marching armies on their way to the French capital. Despite the frequency of these military conflicts, the region developed a reputation for quality wine production in the early Middle Ages and was able to continue that reputation as the region’s producers began making sparkling wine with the advent of the great Champagne houses in the 17th & 18th centuries.

The principle grapes grown in the region include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted grape in the Aube region and grows very well in Montagne de Reims. Pinot Meunier is the dominant grape in the Vallée de la Marne region. The Côte des Blancs is dedicated almost exclusively to Chardonnay.

Geography and Climate

The Champagne province is located near the northern limits of the wine world along the 49th parallel. The high latitude and mean annual temperature of 50°F (10°C) creates a difficult environment for wine grapes to fully ripen. Ripening is aided by the presence of forests which helps to stabilize temperatures and maintain moisture in the soil. The cool temperatures serve to produce high levels of acidity in the resulting grape which is ideal for sparkling wine.

During the growing season, the mean July temperature is 66°F. The average annual rainfall is 25 inches, with 1.8 inches falling during the harvest month of September. Throughout the year, growers must be mindful of the hazards of fungal disease and early spring frost.

Ancient oceans left behind chalk subsoil deposits when they receded 70 million years ago. Earthquakes that rocked the region over 10 million years ago pushed the marine sediments of belemnite fossils up to the surface to create the belemnite chalk terrain. The belemnite soil allows it to absorb heat from the sun and gradually release it during the night as well as provides good drainage. This soil contributes to the lightness and finesse that is characteristics of Champagne wine. The Aube area is an exception with predominately clay based soil. The chalk is also used in the construction of underground cellars that can keep the wines cool through the bottle maturation process.


The Carolingian reign saw periods of prosperity for the Champagne region beginning with Charlemagne’s encouragement for the area to start planting vines and continuing with the coronation of his son Louis the Pious at Reims. The tradition of crowning kings at Reims contributed to the reputation of the wines that came from this area. The Counts of Champagne ruled the area as an independent county from 950 to 1316. In 1314, the last Count of Champagne assumed the throne as King Louis X of France and the region became part of the Crown territories.

Military Conflicts

The location of Champagne played a large role in its historical prominence as it served as a “crossroads” for both military and trade routes. This also made the area open to devastation and destruction during military conflicts that were frequently waged in the area. In 451 A.D. near Châlons-en-Champagne Attila and the Huns were defeated by an alliance of Roman legions, Franks and Visigoths. This defeat was a turning point in the Huns’ invasion of Europe.

During the Hundred Years’ War, the land was repeatedly ravaged and devastated by battles. The Abbey of Hautvillers, including its vineyards, was destroyed in 1560 during the War of Religion between the Huguenots and Catholics. This was followed by conflicts during the Thirty Year War and the Fronde Civil War where soldiers and mercenaries held the area in occupation. It was not until the 1660s, during the reign of Louis XIV, that the region saw enough peace to allow advances in sparkling wine production to take place.

History of Wine Production

The region’s reputation for wine production dates back to the Middle Ages when Pope Urban II, a native Champenois, declared that the wine of Aÿ in the Marne département was the best wine produced in the world. For a time Aÿ was used as a shorthand designation for wines from the entire Champagne region, similar to the use of Beaune for the wines of Burgundy. The poet Henry d’Andeli’s work La Bataille des Vins rated wines from the towns of Épernay, Hautvillers and Reims as some of the best in Europe. As the region’s reputation grew, popes and royalty sought to own pieces of the land with Pope Leo X, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain, and Henry VIII of England all owning vineyard land in the region. A batch of wine from Aÿ received in 1518 by Henry VIII’s chancellor, Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, is the first recorded export of wine from the Champagne region to England.

The still wines of the area were highly prized in Paris under the designation of vins de la rivière and vins de la montagne- wines of the river and wines of the mountain in reference to the wooded terrain and the river Marne which carried the wines down to the Seine and into Paris. The region was in competition with Burgundy for the Flemish wine trade and tried to capitalize on Reims’ location along the trade route from Beaune. In the 15th century, Pinot Noir became heavily planted in the area. The resulting red wine had difficulty comparing well to the richness and coloring of Burgundy wines, despite the addition of elderberries to deepen the color. This lead to a greater focus on white wines.

The Champagne house of Gosset was founded as a still wine producer in 1584 and is the oldest Champagne house still in operation today. Ruinart was founded in 1729 and was soon followed by Taittinger (1734), Moët et Chandon (1743) and Veuve Clicquot (1772).

The nineteenth century saw an explosive growth in champagne production going from a regional production of 300,000 bottles a year in 1800 to 20 million bottles in 1850.

Rivalry with Burgundy

A strong influence on Champagne wine production was the centuries old rivalry between the region and Burgundy. From the key market of Paris to the palace of Louis XIV of France at Versailles, proponents of Champagne
and Burgundy would compete for dominance. For most of his life, Louis XIV would drink only Champagne wine with the support of his doctor Antoine d’Aquin who advocated the King drink champagne with every meal for the benefit of his health. As the King aged and his ailments increased, competing doctors would propose alternative treatments with alternative wines, to sooth the King’s ills. One of these doctors, Guy-Crescent Fagon conspired with the King’s mistress to oust d’Aquin and have himself appointed as Royal Doctor. Fagon quickly attributed the King’s continuing ailments to champagne and ordered that only Burgundy wine must be served at the royal table.

This development had a ripple effect throughout both regions and in the Paris markets. Both Champagne and Burgundy were deeply concerned with the “healthiness” reputation of their wines, even to the extent of paying medical students to write theses touting the health benefit of their wines. These theses were then used as advertising pamphlets that were sent to merchants and customers. The Faculty of Medicine in Reims published several papers to refute Fagon’s claim that Burgundy wine was healthier than champagne. In response, Burgundian winemakers hired physician Jean-Baptiste de Salins, dean of the medical school in Beaune, to speak to a packed auditorium at the Paris Faculty of Medicine. Salins spoke favorably of Burgundy wine’s deep color and robust nature and compared it to the pale red color of Champagne and the “instability” of the wine to travel long distances and the flaws of the bubbles from when secondary fermentation would take place. The text of his speech was published in newspapers and pamphlets throughout France and had a damaging affect on champagne sales.

The war of words would continue for another 130 years with endless commentary from doctors, poets, playwrights and authors all arguing for their favorite region and their polemics being reproduced in advertisements for Burgundy and Champagne. On a few occasions, the two regions were on the brink of civil war. A turning point occurred when several Champagne wine makers abandoned efforts to produce red wine in favor of focusing on harnessing the effervescent nature of sparkling champagne. As the bubbles became more popular, doctors throughout France and Europe commented on the health benefits of the sparkling bubbles which were said to cure malaria. As more Champenois winemakers embarked on this new and completely different wine style, the rivalry with Burgundy mellowed and eventually waned.

Classifications and Vineyard Regulations

In 1927, viticultural boundaries of Champagne were legally defined and split into five wine producing districts — the Aube, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne Montagne de Reims, and Vallée de la Marne. This area covers 76,000 acres (310 km²) of vineyards around 300 villages that are home to 5,000 growers who make their own wine and 14,000 growers who only sell grapes.

The different districts produce grapes of varying characteristics that are blended by the champagne houses to create their distinct house styles. The Pinots of the Montagne de Reims that are planted on northern facing slopes are known for their high levels of acid and the delicacy they add to the blend. The grapes on the southern facing slope add more power and character. Grapes across the district contribute to the bouquet and headiness. The abundance of southern facing slopes in the Vallée de la Marne produces the ripest wines with full aroma. The Côte des Blancs grapes are known for their finesse and the freshness they add to blends with the extension of the nearby Côte de Sézanne offering similar though slightly less distinguished traits.

In 1942, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) was formed with the purpose of protecting Champagne’s reputation and marketing forces as well as setting up and monitoring regulations for vineyard production and vinification methods. Champagne is the only region that is permitted to exclude AOC or Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée from their labels.

For each vintage, the CVIC rates the villages of the area based on the quality of their grapes and vineyards. The rating is then used to determine the price and the percentage of the price that growers get. The Grand Cru rated vineyards get 100 percent rating which entitles the grower to 100% of the price. Premier Crus are vineyards with 90-99% ratings while Deuxième Crus have 80-89% ratings.

Under appellation rules, around 8,820 pounds of grapes can be pressed to create up to 673 gallons of juice. The first 541 gallons are the cuvée and the next 132 gallons are the taille. Prior to 1992, a second taille of 44 gallons was previously allowed. For vintage champagne, 100% of the grapes must come from that vintage year while non-vintage wine is a blend of vintages. Vintage champagne must spend a minimum three years on its lees with some of premier champagne houses keeping their wines on lines for upwards of five to ten years. Non-vintage champagne must spend a minimum of 15 months on the lees.

Writing From the Heart…of Champagne

Find the courage, the inspiration, and the time to write about what matters most to you…

The Essoyes School announces Writing from the Heart…in the Heart of Champagne 2010

April 13-19, 2010

Six nights (and days) in a wonderful, family-run hotel with an excellent restaurant and a beautiful view, in the village that nourished the creative spirit of both Pierre Auguste and Jean Renoir (and can do the same for you).

Two and a half hours away from Paris, by train or by car.

Applications for the Spring 2010 session now being accepted.

“A wonderful week of writing in a charming and welcoming French village…” 2008 workshop participant

For more information, visit http://www.essoyesschool.com or contact Janet Hulstrand at

[email protected].

A Bubbly Escape to Troyes
By Schuyler Hoffman

On an impulse really, I decided one Friday night to just head south to Troyes, a little town southeast of Paris. I showed up at Gare de l’Est bright and early Saturday morning, bought my ticket (only 34 euro round trip) and was off on a new adventure.

As with many cities and towns in France, Troyes has quite a history… especially for a small town (today its population is a little over 60,000). Dating back to the Celtic tribe of the Tricasses sometime in the 2nd century B.C., the story of Troyes involves Dukes and Kings, would-be Dukes and Kings, and skirmishes between a number of foreign invaders, including the British.

In 1420, the treaty of Troyes designated Henri V as the legitimate heir to the crown of France… at the expense of the “Dauphin” Charles VII. On July 10, 1429, Joan of Arc and her troops reached the ramparts of Troyes. Joan held up her flag and directed the preparations for the assault under the frightened eyes of citizens. The city opened its gates even before the battle, allowing Joan and Charles to enter Troyes and hear mass at the cathedral.

Troyes sits in the heart of the Champagne region of France. At the end of the 13th century the Counts of Champagne, in fact, brought about the commercial expansion of the city which pushed the ramparts of the walls surrounding the city out and into the shape of a Champagne cork. The main part of the city retains its cork shape to this day, topped off by the Seine River.

The town was famous for its bells (more than 120) at least until many were melted down or destroyed during the Revolution. It has, though, guarded eight historic churches and the main Cathedral, which are fine examples of styles from early Gothic through to the Renaissance. The city is full of narrow pedestrian streets, like the well-known rue des Chats (well-known, but hard to find), all lined with countless charming half-timber buildings. Many of them have been or are being restored and maintained in their original state (unlike Rouen, further north, where most of the half-timber homes were destroyed by bombings during the war). Some of them use plaster and such to fill the spaces between the timbers, while others use intricate patterns of thin bricks to fill the spaces. Troyes is also known for a number of elaborately and colorfully tiled rooftops.

Not the least of its attractions are Troyes’ five main museums: Maison de l’Outil, the tool museum — a look through time at various trades and the tools of those trades (believe it or not, very interesting!); Musée d’Art Moderne, museum of modern art; Musée Saint Loup, museum of fine art and archeology and natural history of the area; Musée de Vauluisant, history museum for Troyes and the Champagne region; and the Apothicairerie, museum of pharmacology, housed in the ornate Hôtel Dieu Le Comte.

Troyes is also the “capital of commercial tourism” with a total sales area of 81,679 square meters. Designer outlets were set up after the war for the traditional textile industry. In the course of the last 10 years, they have acquired great popularity. Every year, three million visitors from the north and east of France, the Parisian region and from other countries go through their region just to discover great bargains.

The fact that leading brands of relatively up-market women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and also accessories, leather goods, cutlery and decorative items are sold at a cut price (30 to 70% lower) has led to the success of the concept. There are two major centres of brand outlets, Marques Avenue (http://www.marquesavenue.com/) in Saint-Julien-les-Villas and McArthur Glen (http://www.mcarthurglen.com/) in Pont-Sainte-Marie.

The town center was so fascinating that I stayed another day exploring all the nooks and cra

ies I could find. And although this was a chance to just relax, I couldn’t help but spend time looking in real estate agency windows. Real estate prices are amazingly low in such a well-known little town, with plenty of tourist attractions, so close to Paris.

Not one apartment was more than 100,000 euro, and most were in the 75-95,000 euro range. Most of those were at least one-bedroom flats, charming, in charming buildings. Apartments that looked in need of renovation or less charming were even less expensive. Homes and houses, in and outside the city, with a bit of land, older and newer, were in the 100-150,000 euro range.

A good investment? It could be, depending on what your goals are. Short-term rental would probably provide minimal return. You’d be competing with a number of nice hotels whose rates are less than 100 euro a night. There is better opportunity for mid to long-term rental. Rents are very reasonable compared to Paris — one and two-bedroom apartments rent for 300 to 600 euro per month. Not a lot, but when you consider the cost of the property here, that could make it a viable investment.

On a property of 75,000 euro the cash needed up front would amount to approximately 30,000 euro… calculating it at a 30% down for the mortgage and up to 10% for notaire fees and other costs (you may be able to obtain 80% financing, thus reducing the up front cost). With current interest rates in the 4.5% to 5.25% range, your monthly mortgage is going to be fairly low. Working the numbers with a lender would give you an idea of how much of your mortgage could be offset by renting the apartment out mid or long-term.

If you’re looking to buy for your own use and not necessarily concerned about rental value, Troyes may indeed be a place for you to consider. For a town of its size, it has a lot to offer someone wanting to live in France. It is full of history, culture, and unique architecture. It is larger than a quaint French village, but still small enough for you to feel at home in…the kind of town where you will know your neighbors. It is of course not big city life, but Paris is not far away either by car (Auto Route 5) or train, nor is Dijon, should you need to experience a faster pace for a day or two. And a plus – the luxury of champagne every day of the week!

There are many interesting towns and areas in France to explore before you decide where you want to purchase, whether for a home or investment. Troyes is one that should be on your list of considerations.

You can explore more of Troyes online at the following Web sites:

http://www.tourisme-troyes.com/ – Web site for the “TOURIST OFFICE OF TROYES AND ITS REGION”
http://www.ville-troyes.fr/premiere.htm – The city’s official website (in French) http://www.aube-champagne.com- The official website for the region

Fractional Property Offerings from French Property Fractional


If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, see below:

Place des Vosges
Chez la Tour

La Rsidence Luxembourg
Le Pet<br /><br />
it Tresor
 Maison Bleue
Paris Residence Club
Notre Maison dan Toulouges

To see our latest Fractional offerings go to http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional/fractional_offerings.html

Money Matters for Women Conference
Saturday, October 17, 2009

If you’ve never benefited from financial coaching, this is the place for you!

Come hear Adrian Leeds enlighten you on “Property Investment in France” 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.!

MONEY MATTERS FOR WOMEN is a half-day conference held in Paris, France for today’s global woman who wants to understand her current financial situation, plan intelligently and take proactive steps in managing her money.

The conference features:

- A dynamic keynote speaker
- Nine concurrent presentations and discussions with professional financial information
- A closing session for all conference attendees and a networking cocktail reception to end the day

This conference recognizes that women have unique financial goals and challenges which must be addressed. So invite your daughter, friend or neighbor to share in this empowering experience and walk away with more confidence and the tools to own your financial future.

The Money Matters for Women 2009 conference is presented by WICE and hosted by The American University of Paris. Special thanks to Smart Women Products for their continued support of this conference.For more information and to register, visit http://www.moneymattersforwomen.org.

Adrian Leeds and French Property Consultation on HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL!

Tune In:
September 01, 2009 10:00 PM ET/PT
September 01, 2009 2:00 AM ET/PT

To learn more, visithttp://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/calendar.html or email Adrian Leeds, at [email protected].



Moneycorp – Euro update

MoneycorpA year ago, due to the credit crunch and prospect of a global depression, investors jettisoned anything smacking of risk and hoarded their cash in safe-haven currencies.

Sterling had been out of favor for a year already, particularly since Northern Rock had gone down the tubes. Having spent the first half of 2007 around €1.50 it had fallen to between €1.30 and €1.25 by March 2008. After six ix months in that range it tanked again in the autumn as international bodies such as the World Bank and the IMF predicted gloom and doom for the UK economy. It came perilously close to one-for-one with the euro on New Year’s Eve.

The story back then was that Britain’s recession would be deeper and longer than anything that might happen to the Euro zone. The turn of the year brought a change of mindset. The financial system had not collapsed. The worst appeared to be over and investors tiptoed out of their shelters. The euro was better-positioned than the pound in interest rate terms; the European Central Bank’s policy rate is 1.0% where the Band of England’s is 0.5%. But sterling had been trashed; the euro had not. Investors saw the possibility of a recovery for the pound and they wanted in.

As the year
progressed, it became clear that the UK economy was doing nowhere near as badly as the doom-mongers had predicted. In fact it is performing better than the euro zone on several fronts. Most strikingly, British companies report that business is improving, while in Europe firms will only concede that things are getting worse more slowly. Also, the UK is faring better than some with unemployment – Britain’s 7.3% rate is considerably less nasty than Euroland’s 9.2%.

We have seen the pound fail to break above the year’s highs over the last couple of weeks with it drifting back to a level close to €1.16 we may now see sterling struggle to make near term progress.

For more information, visit: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/moneycorpconvertor.html and learn more about moneycorp at




The Moneycorp MasterCard Prepaid Card

The Moneycorp MasterCard Prepaid card can be loaded with euros or US dollars, by the main cardholder using a debit or credit card.

There is no line of credit with the card so you can only spend what you have loaded – helping you to stay in control of your money.

You can use your Moneycorp Prepaid Card to make purchases wherever the MasterCard Acceptance Mark is displayed– that’s over 26 million locations including 1.2 million ATMs worldwide.

It’s easy to manage your money with the Moneycorp Prepaid Card and account.

Take the Risk Out of Currency Conversion

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:

Property Prices Remain Steady in France
Compiled by Schuyler Hoffman

Average statistics are reflecting a rise in French property prices while regional variations are bringing ‘overall stability to the French market’ says the latest information from Athena Mortgages director John Busby.

Although areas such as Brittany have experienced a rise of 1.6%, there have been dramatic falls including in Normandy where prices have plummeted by -14%. A positive relationship can be seen between the French banks and the property market as banks are more willing to lend.

Such a situation could help those keen to buy in France to pick up a property at a price that suits them.

Overseas mortgage expert with Conti Finance Michael Axelrod wrote on the Mortgage Solutions-Online website this week that the current market in the country is “calm” and that obtaining mortgage financing there is easier than in Britain. This is because French banks had less exposure to the US subprime losses, he noted.

One-Hour Consultation with Adrian Leeds Free!

Currency Online


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].




Last Minute Deal at all Parler Paris Apartments. All stays of 4 nights or more will be priced at the weekly reduced rate during the month of August!

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.


Near Place de la Bastille and the Bastille Opera, Gare de Lyon, the Viaduc des Arts and the Promenade Plantée, 12th Arrondissement
1-Bedroom, Sleeps Up to 4

Sunny, bright and newly decorated, there are two main rooms, both opening through French doors to a balcony with plants, a bistro table and chairs; plus a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom with tub and shower, and separate toilet. The bedroom has a new, very comfortable queen size bed. The living room has a new modern sofa that converts to a comfortable, extra-long double bed, as well as a dining table and chairs. All rooms open separately to the entry hall; the two main rooms can be separated as well.

Stays of 4 nights or more will be priced at the weekly reduced rate during the month of August!


Reserve now! Visit www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments or email:[email protected].

Snapshot: The Champagne Region
By Janet Hulstrand


Origin: It took millions of years and a unique combination of climate, soil, and brilliant agricultural minds to create the right conditions for raising the variety and quality of grapes needed to make champagne. About seventy million years ago, oceans that once covered this region receded, leaving behind chalky subsoil deposits; sixty million years later, earthquakes pushed marine sediments to the surface. The unique soil created by these geological events is one of several factors that make champagne supreme among the world’s sparkling wines, with a reputation for unsurpassed excellence.

The appeal: The Route Touristique du Champagne is a 375-mile system of eight separate “trails” that lead visitors through forests, hills and fields into picturesque little villages, and into the cellars of the region’s winemakers. More than 80 designated sites offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the complicated process of making champagne, its history and traditions, and to enjoy the accueil of the winemakers, who share their knowledge and enthusiasm as visitors taste their wares. The region also offers many less well-known attractions: historic cities, museums and other cultural institutions, and sites of interest abound. The area encompasses 25,000 hectares of lakes, rivers, and ponds as well as 373 miles of canals, offering abundant opportunities for boating, water sports and fishing. Bird-watching, bicycling, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities are also popular throughout the region. In addition, a diverse array of beautiful vistas—of villages, forests, fields and lakes—delight and inspire artists, photographers, and anyone with an eye for beauty…

To read the entire article go to http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/snapshot-champagne-region.html#ixzz0OjoqefXl.

Photo credit: Janet Hulstrand

HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Charming Compelling Champagne

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 some interesting property opportunities in the Champagne Region.

*** Champagne-Ardenne: Three-bedroom, approx. 202m²

Character property, a former railway station with associated outbuildings. On the edge of the Argonne forest with lawned gardens on 6400 m² of grounds. Ready for renovation. Large open areas, many original features, iassociated outbuildings of 83 m².

Asking Price: € 169 900 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee


*** Sainte Menehould: Four-bedroom, approx. 264m²

Family home recently renovated. Consists of living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, passage, two studies, four bedrooms, attic. Built in 1800, features include original marble fireplaces. Has 1000m² of grounds, thre garages and vaulted cellar.

Asking Price: € 230 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee


*** Marne: Four-bedroom, approx. 250m²

Spacious Champenoise property featuring a mezzanine and vaulted cellar on 1200m² of grounds. Large living area with mezzanine, solid oak kitchen and dining room with original fireplace, study and cellar. Includes four bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, gardens, double garage. Central heating (fuel). Located 12km from Vitry le François towards Sainte Menehould.

Asking Price: € 372 750 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee


*** Lucquy: Four-bedroom, approx. 300m²

Spacious chateau-style home on three floors. The rear garden has access to a lovely waterway with private fishing. Very large open plan living and dining room with bar. Gallery overlooking the ground floor, dressing room, bedroom suite comprising double bedroom, living area, bathroom with spa bath and wash basin. Master bedroom leading to a small enclosed terrace with access to a lovely marble style bathroom with many interesting features including sunken circular bath and large shower. Two additional bedrooms, access to childrens loft/bedroom area, shower room with sauna and WC. Also a cave (cellar), 1,100 m2 of garden with outbuilding and a pontoon to access the canal for fishing. Furniture, furnishings, bedding/linen towels etc are also available if required at reasonable cost. Currently used for holiday rentals.

Asking Price: € 395 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

Summer Break for Notaires’ Property Auctions

Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Paris 1st


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:

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.

Two Property Shows Announced
Compiled by Schuyler Hoffman

* 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.


French Propety LoanWhen 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.

Let us help you secure a mortgage in France at a competitive interest rate. Visit www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan for more information or contact [email protected]


1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet


size=”2″ face=”Verdana”>1 hecta
re = 2.4710538 acres

For more conversions, refer to: www.onlineconversion.com/

Parler Paris Aprs Midi Takes Summer Break

Parler Paris Apres Midi



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, Septemeber 8th, 2009 from 3 to 5 p.m. and every second Tuesday of the month (except August).



Managing Your French Property Insider Subscription is Easy!

French Property InsiderWe receive many emails from French Property Insider Subscribers who want to change their email address, or update personal information. But did you know that you can make these changes yourself?

It’s easy…

1. Go to adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider

2. Click on “Manage Subscription.” You’ll find it under the “Subscribers Only” section in the sidebar.

3. Enter your username and password.

4. On the Welcome Page, go to “Manage Your Account” and click on “Change Password/Edit Profile”

5. Once you’ve made the changes, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Save Profile.”


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
“Past Issues” link on the left under “Subscribers Only” or by going to
www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/membersTo receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property
Report, click on

We wanted better guides, So we wrote them!

insider paris guidesInsider 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:

1. Click on special Web link we give you just for FPI subscribers.

2. Then order one or more guide(s) and use the promotion
code “ED762.” This promotion code gives you 10% off your total

3. If you order two or more guides, then an additional 15% will be
taken off automatically. There is no promotion code needed.

Here is the special “coupon” Web link just for you:


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!): www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis

Copyright 2010, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, www.adrianleeds.co

This entry was posted in 2009, French Property Insider and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>