A Cornucopia of Property Picks
Volume II, Issue 47
Here’s how to make your dream to live in France come true. Take the true story of Yolanda Robins:
Last year, a young and enthusiastic Yolanda Robins attended a Working and Living in France Conference here in Paris, asked a lot of intelligent questions and made a big impression on the conference presenters.
She returned to Philadelphia and planned her return to France — rented a furnished apartment, registered with the Sorbonne to learn French and moved everything but her furniture to her new digs in the heart of the Montorgeuil district.
Last June, she volunteered to assist at the subsequent Working and Living in France Conference here in Paris, and once again, impressed us all with her bright personality, sharp talents, amazing abilities and undying enthusiasm.
Today, to our delight (and I know it will be to yours, too), she’s joined the French Property Insider team as our newfound Property Search Consultant, pounding the pavement for our clients to find them the property of their dreams, secure their mortgages and manage the entire process. She has already had huge successes for two clients who purchased apartments here in Paris they will enjoy while they’re here and then rent on a short-term basis (accomplished in less than in one week!) and is currently working with past conference attendees on a search in Normandy for a centuries-old half-timbered farmhouse to be converted into a B and B.
Yolanda will be speaking in tandem with me about how to find property in Paris at the upcoming December 29th “Invest in France Seminar” and again in February in New Orleans at the “Living and Investing in France Conference.” For more information about both forums, scroll down. To contact Yolanda for more information or to book your property search, email her at [email protected]
This issue launches the first edition of Paris Property Picks, a special feature borrowed from Friday’s Parler Paris, no longer published. Be sure to scroll down for what’s hot in the City of Light at the top of mountain…Montmartre.
And for those of you interested in the hassle-free guaranteed-return investment of Leaseback Properties, be sure to visit our new site that taps directly into almost all the Leaseback properties on the market in France thanks to Imoinvest!
Special note: Just twice a year, French Property Insider gets to take a day off. One of those days is Thanksgiving, November 25, 2004 — so we can all enjoy our turkey with family and friends. I’ll be back in Paris for the December 2nd edition with tales of “Nouvelle Orleans” and “all that jazz.”
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
P.S. You may note, that as the year comes to a close and we launch into a new and exciting epoch for French Property Insider, that we will be raising our consultation fees just a tad to keep up with the current rate of exchange, but if you book the services before the year is up, you’ll benefit from this year’s rates. Scroll down for all the details.
Volume II, Issue 47, November 18, 2004
In this issue:
* Rolling Off the Leasebacks
* Special Leaseback Deals Not to Miss
* Save Now Before 2005 Rate Increase
* A New Year’s Resolution: Invest in France
* After Fat Tuesday in New Orleans…What Better Place to Learn How to Live in France?
* Topping Off a Great Seminar with Terry Easton
* Bonjour to the Beautiful Beaujolais Nouveau
* Currency Exchange Update
* Hot Property: What’s Up for Auction
* Paris Property Picks: Montmartre Topping It Off
* Classified Advertising: Last Minute Apartment Rentals for the Holidays at a Big Bargain
Leasebacks at Your Disposal
By Adrian Leeds
Leaseback Properties are a real estate investment opportunity that combines diversification, safety, tax advantages, inflation protection and asset protection-and doesn’t require much capital to get started. Best of all, your income from this investment is actually guaranteed by the French government!
Through this program, you can purchase qualifying property in France free of value added tax (19.6% in France; so a US$100,000 property is discounted immediately to US $83,600). And you can take-out up to a 20 year mortgage for up to 95% of the purchase price at
a fixed rate of interest of 6%. While leverage this high is commonplace in the USA, it’s virtually unheard of in Europe.
France is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, and receives more than 75 million international visitors each year…plus the French themselves typically prefer to vacation in France. Because there is a chronic shortage of short-term rental accommodations in France, the government offers a package of incentives to investors and developers of such projects.
Properties under this scheme run from US$50,000 for a studio in the Pyrenees to more than US$1 million for a villa on the French Riviera. And, since qualifying properties are in the most popular areas in the country–Paris, the Riviera and the Alps-they have excellent prospects for capital appreciation.
You own the property outright…but you agree to turn it over to a property management group for rental for a fixed number of years (typically nine). In return, you are guaranteed a net return after all management and operating expenses have been deducted. This return can vary from 4.5% to 6% depending on the development and the location.
These are real returns, indexed to construction costs. In other words, each year, as construction costs increase, your cash receipts increase as well. If construction inflation is 10%, your pay out will go up about 10%, too. Your return is evaluated each year. The worst case scenario is that you always get your original guaranteed return.
Depending on the project, you may have the right to use the property yourself for two to four weeks each year. But some developers don’t allow owner use at all, so this is an important point to clarify up front. However, guaranteed returns generally go down the more weeks use you’re allowed.
Asset protection? No one will try to sue you in France for your property. The French bureaucracy is difficult enough if you are French. Plus, although no one will know you own the property unless you tell them, for tax reasons you may wish to own the property through a corporation.
The biggest advantage of the Leaseback Program is how easy it is. The management company handles everything. All you have to do is designate the bank account where you want your rental income checks deposited.
After nine years, you can do what you want with the property; renegotiate with the management company for a higher pay out, rent the unit yourself, or sell the apartment. (Actually, you can sell the property before nine years have elapsed, but the new buyer is just subject to the remainder of the lease period.)
All in all, the French Leaseback is a virtually hassle free, almost no-risk investment–perfect, if you’re making your first plunge into international real estate.
*** Special Announcement to All Readers
Parler Paris and French Property Insider announces new Property Consultation and Search Services rates effective January 1, 2005.
All bookings confirmed prior to January 1, 2005 for delivery anytime during 2005 will be booked at the current 2004 rates.
PROPERTY CONSULTATION SERVICES
Many people don’t have the time nor the resources to look for their own little piece of France, especially if they’re located in the States or other foreign country. Our office offers you assistance to do the things you can’t do unless you are here. We have a specific service to help you find your property. Using our personally selected professional locators and real estate agents, we work with you to find the property that is worth coming to France to look at. Or if you are already here, all the better. After getting a basic idea of what you are looking for, we will spend the next month searching for just that. We’re equipped to assist you with every aspect of buying an apartment from locating an apartment, to setting up your contract-signing, getting a mortgage, helping you set up utilities or do a renovation and then rent the property on a short or long term basis.
* Finding Property
Step One: Initial Consultation
First, we will schedule an initial consultation which normally lasts two hours. This consultation can take place in person (in Paris), by phone or email, but must be in advance of the property search. It will help us determine exactly what your criteria and goals are to narrow down the search.
If you go no further in your quest, your charge for this consultation is $95 per hour with a two-hour minimum = $190. If you choose to continue with a property search, we will apply the consultation fee against the search fee.
Rates effective January 1, 2005: $125 per hour with a two-hour minimum = $250
Step Two: Finding Property
Our property experts will be searching out the best properties for you to visit during your stay to make your time here as efficient as possible. Appointments will be set up for your visits in advance to a minimum of three properties..
We will accompany you on most of your visits to the properties we have recommended. There are many complicated aspects to property in France — our expert advice when evaluating property could save you thousands of dollars and hu
ndreds of wasted hours for mistakes easily made.
A property search requires $750, payable in advance and includes a two-hour consultation as described above.
Rates effective January 1, 2005: $1000, payable in advance and includes a two-hour consultation as described above.
Step Three: Finder’s Fee
Should you purchase a property we have recommended, we ask that you agree to the following finders fees:
Finders Fee: 2% of the total purchase price of the property exclusive of Notaire fees, less the prepaid Search Fee with a minimum fee of 4000 Euros, maximum fee of 20,000 Euros.
Fees are paid: 1/2 at the time of the signing of the Promesse de Vente, 1/2 at the time of signing of the Acte de Vente, payable by wire transfer, cashier’s check or by credit card.
* Obtaining A Mortgage
We will be happy to recommend mortgage companies we regularly work with at no charge, however should you need assistance in gathering your materials or presenting your case to a lender, we can be of help:
– Consultation to determine which lender(s) are appropriate
– Assistance with filling out initial applications and collecting the documentation you’ll need to apply for your mortgage
– Set up the appointment with the lender(s) and accompanying you, if necessary
Fee of $95 per hour, with a 2-hour minimum, waived if your property search and purchase is with us.
Rates effective January 1, 2005: $125 per hour with a two-hour minimum = $250
* Consultation Appointments are Accepted:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and other times when available.
The Most Important Thing You Can Do Before the Year is Over
Learn the best ways to watch your money and real estate investment grow before your very eyes…all while gazing at the world’s most famous monument over a frothy café crème.
Now’s your opportunity to take a holiday vacation in the most romantic and beautiful city in the world and set aside JUST ONE DAY of your busy schedule visiting museums and dining on foie gras to learn how to make your money double (and even triple — like mine has since I bought my Marais apartment just four short years ago).
December 29th, the first 100 individuals to register will learn from some of the finest experts in French real estate…how to make the most of the rest of their lives while building a portfolio of some of the most desirable real estate in the world.
* Special Note: For a more comprehensive conference, plan to come to the capital of jazz and Creole cuisine, New Orleans, February 11 – 13, 2005 (just after Mardi Gras) for the Living and Investing in France Conference — three power-packed days covering all the ins and outs you need to make your dream to live and work in France come true.
Words of Wisdom…
A New Addition to the Seminar Line-Up
Lucky for us, Strategic Investment Strategist, Terry Easton, will be vacationing in Paris and has agreed to share his words of wisdom for the closing remarks to a power-packed day at the Invest in France Seminar here in Paris December 29th.
Terry Easton has been a venture capitalist and strategic advisor specializing in cutting-edge technologies in the United States and Europe for over 30 years. He is the Founding Chairman of America’s first graduate school to offer an MBA in telecommunications management. His Internet Entrepreneurship college course run in Silicon Valley has been a popular venue for budding electronics entrepreneurs and he has successfully started a number of diverse businesses dedicated to smart investment decisions, free markets, and free enterprise. He is the author of numerous books and articles in the high-tech and financial fields and has been on the boards of several non-profit organizations including a major U.S. university. He is a popular speaker at conferences throughout the world on the topics of personal investments, technology and economics. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!
By Adrian Leeds
Reprint from Parler Paris, November 17, 2004
Every year, Beaujolais Nouveau is released at the stroke of midnight on the third Thursday of November — that’s tomorrow, November 18th. Over a million cases will be shipped all over the world and well over one-hundred festivals in the Beaujolais region alone honor the arrival of this seductive young wine, without taking into account the celebrations that will be taking place in Paris, all over France and all over the world. By the time the festival over, more than 65 million bottles (about half of the total annual production) will be distributed and drunk.
The Beaujolais region is bordered to the north by the Mâconnais vineyards, to the south by the Monts du Lyonnais, to the east by the Saône Valley and to the west by the first foothills of the Massif Central. The harvest, that started on September 11th, finished at the beginning of October under continuous sunshine and warm temperatures.
The year, prom
oters are claiming that “2004 is without a doubt a winemaker’s year,” meaning a year where hard work, vigilance and know-how result in really remarkable “cuvées.” The wines are “supple and very pleasant, characterized by a good balance between degree and acidity. The attack is good. The tannins are rounded. Besides its lovely sparkling ruby robe, Beaujolais Nouveau this year is fruity, redolent of fresh red fruit like strawberry, blackcurrant and raspberry, to which there is sometimes the addition of violet and peony fragrances. A lip-smacking, pleasure provoking wine.”
Beaujolais Nouveau is about as close to white wine as a red wine can be, so it makes a great transitional wine for anyone whose general preference is white wine. Beaujolais is written with an “S” because there are 12 of them and not all are “Nouveau”: Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages (25% of the total wine production in Beaujolais), Beaujolais Crus, Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte-de-Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin à Vent, Régnié, and Saint Amour. Connoisseurs says it’s well worth waiting for them to mature…they wait for the Beaujolais Crus to have “done their Easter duty” (fait leurs Pâques).
SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?
Let us help you secure a mortgage in France with interest rates as low as 3.35%.
TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
Subscribe for free at: http://www.xe.com/cus/
Live mid-market rates as of 2004.11.17 11:04:55 GMT.
1 U.S. Dollar equals 0.767145 Euros (0.776069 Euros last week)
1 Euros equals 1.30353 U.S. Dollars (1.28855 Dollars last week)
1 U.K. Pound equals 1.43329 Euros (1.43732 Euros last week)
1 Euro equals 0.700733 U.K. Pounds (1.42708 Pounds last week)
Montmartre — Topping Off Paris
Paris Property Picks
By Adrian Leeds
Amelie Poulain put the romantic, authentic and whimsical “quartier” of Montmartre back on the map. She was the waif-like dreamy waitress in a Montmartre café, the central character in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s quirky French film, a homage to his neighborhood, where he has lived since 1975.
Montmartre comprises most of the west part the 18th arrondissement, surrounding the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, to the Cimetière de Montmartre on the west, to Pigalle on the south and boulevard Ney on the north. The hill rises 129 meters above sea level, affording breath taking views of the city of Paris.
Montmartre was first a sacred hill from the Roman Temples, whose name comes from the roman words “mount of martyrs” — “mons martirium” because it was the place of martyrdom of Saint Denis, the first bishop of Paris (late 3rd century) and his companions. Apparently, a burial ground of Christian martyrs’ bones was found there, and it is here that Saint Ignatius Loyola and Saint François-Xavier founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) there in 1534.
A great Benedictine Abbey occupied the whole hill until the French Revolution at which time the nuns were guillotined and the Abbey destroyed. A village called Saint Peter’s survived in what was a former lime quarry in the late 18th century.
Montmartre is known today for the artists and artistic movements at the turn of the 20th century. The geniuses of the artistic revolution depicted mood and life in the area — a new view of the world with a different social attitude expressed impressionistically…Picasso is said to have painted the fist cubist work there — Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Toulouse Lautrec painted much about the cabaret life including many of the advertising posters for the Moulin Rouge and the Théâtre Aristide Bruant. Van Gogh was also there at one time.
The only vineyard alive and well in Paris is in Montmartre. One of the smallest in France, it covers 1,500 square meters off the Rue des Saules and was planted during the 1930’s, encouraged by the artist Poulbot, in conjunction with the township of Montmartre and even the intervention of the French President, to preserve a small patch of land from encroaching developers. Originally dubbed the “Square de la Liberté,” the vineyard is now owned by the community and cared for by gardeners of the city of Paris, who plant, nurture, screen and also harvest the grapes.
Today Montmartre is alive with new blood and new interest. While to some, the hill may seem remote from central Paris with limited Métro access (Abbesses and Lamarck-Caulaincourt being the two primary stations, both of which depend on elevators to transport riders to and from the street level exceptionally higher above the tracks than most), and the uphill/downhill steep streets and never-ending staircases are not for the weak or lazy, those who live in Montmartre report they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It’s one of the few real “villages” left in Paris, with a sense of community and pride.
Little Amelie Poulain with her do-gooder tricks brought us back to Montmartre to discover its charm. These three Montmartre apartments could help you discover it, too…
* 75 PARIS 18TH ARRONDISSEMENT, METRO ABBESSES
2 rooms – 50m², heart of Abbesses, in a pierre de taille building recently renovated, salon, bedroom, American kitchen, shower, toilet, cellar.
Asking Price: 294,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
* 75 PARIS 18TH ARRONDISSEMENT, RUE DU RUISSEAU
2 rooms, 40m² at “Lamarck/Caulaincourt” on the 4th floor of a beautiful pierre de taille building with an unobstructed view, very sunny, quiet. Salon, bedroom, separate kitchen, shower, cellar, digicode, guardian.
Asking Price: 199,500 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
* 75 PARIS 18TH ARRONDISSEMENT METRO PIGALLE
2 rooms, 40m², situated at the base of Butte Montmartre, on the second floor of a pierre de taille building from turn-of-the-century, parquet. Entry, bedroom, salon, kitchen, bath, dressing and toilet. Double digicode, guardian, low monthly charges, cellar, no renovation necessary.
Asking Price: 204,500 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
PARLER PARIS APRES MIDI
EVERY SECOND TUE
SDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, December 14th, 2004
This is your opportunity to meet every month, often with local professionals who can answer your Working and Living in France questions. You are invited to come for drinks and share your questions and comments about what it takes to create a life here, own property and enjoy what France has to offer. It is also an opportunity to network with other Parler Paris readers.
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Mtro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, Rpublique or Arts et Mtiers
For a detail description of the past meeting and for more information
about Parler Paris Aprs Midi.
Copyright 2004, Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
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