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Christmas Shopping for Your Pied-à-Terre

Volume III, Issue 47


It may be mostly cold and gray and misty in Paris as Decembers often are, but the streets are animated with Christmas shoppers. This is a great time of year to take advantage of all the Christmas markets, merchandise and bargains to furnish your pied-à-terre or house in the countryside while the specialty markets are alive and thriving. Read on for some good shopping advice to put aside for future reference on where to buy the best of what along with a listing of the markets happening all over the city this Christmas season.
A CNN article gives you some insight into the Americans-buying-in-France market and then read further to discover the conclusion about the riots now that all is calm — it was a spontaneous reaction. This article tells it straight. From the British side, we have a new point of view from those who are heading back across the pond!
Be sure to check the hot properties for a “potpourri” of what’s on the market in Languedoc, Aquitaine, the Marais and just outside Paris and plan on scheduling property visits early in the new year before interest rates go up. January and February are excellent times of the year to find bargains, while air fares are low and accommodations are inexpensive and plentiful.
A bientôt…

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

P.S. Keep your eye out for more details to come on the March Living and Investing in France Conference here in Paris and in New Orleans in May. To be on a special mailing list, email Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]/parlerparis
Volume III, Issue 47, December 8, 2005
In this issue:
* Americans Loving Life in France
* Best Bets in Paris for Home Furnishings
* ‘Tis the Season for Shopping
* Police Report on Paris Riots
* French Buying from Brits…in France?
* Paris Panorama
* Upcoming Conferences: Dates Announced!
* Complete Relocation Solutions from FPI
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: December 13
* Hot Property Picks: Property Potpourri
* Leasebacks: Invest in a Holiday Home
* Classified Advertising: Leeds Marais Apartment

Living La Bonne Vie
Buying a home in the French countryside is a dream worth exploring…

By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Thomas Jefferson said, “Every American has a second home in France.”
Many 21st century Americans are taking that literally. More than 100,000 currently live in France, according to State Department figures, and there’s evidence indicating that number is increasing.
Foreign ownership of French properties has ballooned during the past few years with Brits leading the charge. But Americans have picked up the slack after a stagnant period following September 11. The areas most popular with Americans include Paris, of course, as well as Provence and Bordeaux.
It’s not hard to understand why — there’s the lifestyle centered around enjoyment of leisure time, fine food and wines, and gorgeous countryside pleasantly punctuated by thousands of charming villages and fabulous cities. Plus there are no restrictions on foreigners owning property in France and few on residency.
Le bargains
And French real estate can be viewed as a bargain compared with many regions around the United States.
For less than the price of a tear down in Santa Monica, you could buy a mansion in Aquitaine or Languedoc. A condo in New York costs about 50 percent more than a similar one in Paris, according to a new condominium price survey from Coldwell Banker.
There’s a wealth of beautiful châteaux, manor houses, and mills many costing no more than an average four-bedroom house back home.
Better exchange rate
Helping Americans to afford these properties is an exchange rate that has grown more favorable this year. The euro was trading i
n January of 2005 for abou
t $1.35, now it goes for less than $1.18. That means a property costing 200,000 euros last year translated to $270,000. This year that would cost less than $235,000, about 15 percent less.

And prices in France have stabilized. Howard Farmer, of 1st for France.co.uk, an online broker, reports that house prices had been going up about 10 to 15 percent a year until this year, when the rate slowed.
According to Farmer, the advent of budget airlines has increased interest in the areas around some of France’s regional airports such as Bergerac, Perpignan, Carcassonne, Nice, Toulouse, and La Rochelle. They have become hotspots for foreign buyers.
Furnishing Your New French Home
By Adrian Leeds

‘Tis the season to shop for gifts, but what better time to furnish your new pied-à-terre or country home than now, when the city (and the country) is awash with “brocantes” (rummage sales), “vide greniers” (attic sales) and “marchés aux puces” (flea markets).
Some of the markets stay open several weeks and are more focused on small Christmas gifts, some are open all year ’round on the weekends and others are set up only on very specific days in particular neighborhoods. My own rue de Bretagne periodically holds one of the city’s largest brocantes and is well-known to have a wide variety of merchants with significant furnishings, antiques, bric-a-brac and housewares.
The year-round Marché aux Puces St-Ouen claims to be the largest in the world and no doubt, there is nothing that is not there! Be prepared to spend quite a lot of time or make many trips to cover the territory, or hire someone who has real knowledge about the market and personal connections with the merchants to guide you to finding the best deals.
If you’re looking for finer things, the antique dealers in the chic 7th are sure to have you drooling. Visit the shops along quai Voltaire, rue des Saint-Pères, rue de l’Université, rue du Bac, rue de Lille, rue de Beaune, rue de Verneuil and rue Allent for nothing but the best. William Vonthron’s shop on rue de Verneuil (number 40) displays a magnificent array of fine antiques and “objets d’art. Eric Allart on rue de Beaune (number 8) is “currently exhibiting Willy Rizzo’s fabulous fashion photos and Estelle Bitton, a third generation expert in kilims at “Monseigneur l’Ancien” (number 24) has a workshop filled with every color thread imaginable to repair the finest of carpets.
For “bricolage” (hardware), little can compete with the BHV (Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville, http://www.bhv.fr ) on rue de Rivoli across from the Hôtel de Ville where the “sous sol” (basement) has everything imaginable. I joke that if it isn’t there, it doesn’t exist…but this isn’t far from the truth. The store’s many floors of quality merchandise can completely equip your new home — one-stop shopping — but you’ll pay a fair retail price for the convenience.
Runner-ups to the BHV is both Leroy Merlin ( http://www.leroymerlin.fr) located a few streets away and Castorama at Place de la Nation ( http://www.castorama.fr/). They are missing furniture and appliances, but for almost everything else, they offers a wide choice and lower prices.
For furniture…the field is quite wide, but IKEA ( http://www.ikea.com/ms/fr_FR/ ) and Habitat ( http://www.habitat.fr/ ) are both great for the basics. Everyone will tell you NOT to totally furnish your new rental apartment in Paris with such simple, inexpensive and contemporary furnishings because they lack charm and luxury (which most renters are seeking), but for the “behind the scenes” basics, such as mattresses, linens, dinnerware, storage units, etc., they are both simply the best and easiest providers. IKEA has several stores outside the Périphérique that can be easily reached by RER (and they deliver all you bought!) and Habitat has several locations inside the city, also not far from the BHV. I’ve also known several apartment owners who have had success at Pier Import (several locations around town, http://www.pierimport.fr/ ) with simple, but interesting furniture and housewares.
For appliances, don’t consider anything but Darty (http://www.darty.com )! Large selection, free delivery, one year warranties, great customer service, very fair prices make this the number one supplier of appliances of all sizes, qualities and brand names. Anywhere else you choose to buy your appliances is a bigger risk.
While everything you might need is obtainable here in France, there are still some things you may want to purchase Stateside and ship over that are easy to find and less expensive. Linens, for one. French linens are of the highest quality, but a price tag goes along with that. Just be certain that bedding sizes match! Shower curtains fit this category, too, as they are a relatively new idea for the French and you won’t find them as plentiful here as you will in “Bed, Bath and Beyond” or “Linens and Things.” I love to bring back telephones, particu
rly those that don’t require an electrical outlet, as they work just as well here and are about one-third the price of phones in France.

What’s best to buy here in France? Why…anything decorative! No one denies the French for fabulous style and esthetic, so take advantage of all she has to offer to turn your new “maison” into your own “château” filled with class and charm.


Christmas Markets/Marchés de Noël
Marché de Noël à la Nation
Place de la Nation, 11th
November 29 – December 27

Journées d’amitié et de Rencontre
Paroisse Saint j2999eph des Nations
4 rue Darboy, 11th
December 9, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
December 10, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
December 11, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Concert de Noël, December 10, 7:30 p.m.

Salon Noëlissime
Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, 15th
December 2 – 11
Entry: 8 Euros/4 Euros/Under 7 Free
For more information:, [email protected]

Vide Greniers
Boulevard de Reims, Square Ullman, 17th
December 11

Le Père Noël en Fête
December 17 – January 1
Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles, 15th

Marché aux Puces
Porte de Vanves, 14th
Every Weekend Saturday, Sunday
7 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Marché d’Art
Cours Marigny, 8th
Every Saturday 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Marché de la Création
Boulevard Richard Lenoir, La Bastille, 11th
Every Saturday 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
For more information, [email protected]

Marché de la Création
Boulevard Edgar Quinet between rues de la Gaîté and du Départ, 14th
Every Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Flea Market
Every Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
17 bd Morland, 4th
For more information

Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen, Department 93
The World’s Largest Flea Market
Every Weekend Saturday, Sunday, Monday 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
For more information

Marché à la Ferraille
Porte de Clignancourt, 18th
Between rue des Entrepôts and rue Jean-Henri Fabre
Every Weekend Saturday, Sunday, Monday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Vide Grenier
Place Hénocque, between rue Leray and Carrefour rues Leray, Championnière, Landouzy et Interne Loeb, 13th
December 10

France: Riots were Spontaneous and not Masterminded says Police Report
From adnkronosinternational


A new French police intelligence report concludes the violence that wracked France’s high-rise suburbs last month was the result of a “spontaneous, popular revolt” and was not planned by local gangs, as alleged by France’s interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the Le Parisien daily reports. November’s riots by poor youths of Arab and African descent led to the death of one man and caused hundreds of millions of euros of damage to property in cities across France.
“Their exclusion from French society and a lack of social solidarity in the cities enraged those involved in the unrest,” said the confidential document, some excerpts of which were published on Wednesday by Le Parisien.
“France has experienced an unorganized form of insurrection – a popular revolt by the inhabitants of the outskirts of several cities, that had no leaders or program,” the report continued, regretting the rioters’ “total loss of trust toward the French State.”
It ruled out the involvement of Islamic extremists or criminal organizations, as several French politicians, including Sarkozy, have maintained. “Youths in deprived urban areas feel penalized by their poverty, the color of their skin and their names,” the report stated, adding that the youths are handicapped by a lack of prospects.
During 20 nights of unrest in November, police arrested 2,888 people and put 375 in jail. Dozens were injured, and a 61-year-old man killed. A total 8,973 vehicles were set on fire. The rioting dwindled after the French parliament in mid-November approved a three-month extension of emergency laws allowing local authorities to impose curfews, conduct house-to-house searches and ban public gatherings.
The disturbances erupted with the accidental deaths on 27 October of two youths apparently fleeing police, but grew into a wider protest.
e suis une Estate Agent
Lost in France – the Brits who are head
ing home
By Miranda Ingram

You probably imagine that, once you’ve tracked down the dream French farmhouse, you will be buying it from the French farmer whose family has lived in it for generations. Indeed, a typical house sale, which takes place in the typically pompous office of a local notaire, still sees an entire extended French family ranged down one side of the table: widowed grandparent, a few late- middle-aged children and a clutch of grandchildren all of whom, according to French property law, are due a slice of the profits when the family home is sold off and thus all of whom have to turn up and initial the paperwork.
Facing them is a nervous English couple about to sign a pile of documents in a language they don’t understand and pray that all will be well. Now, in the role of interpreter, I hover behind the English so I can whisper in their ear, and boss Jean Paul, who likes to come along and pick up the agency’s commission in person, lurks in the shadows.
Having run through the procedure so often, I rattle off the documents by heart, to the extent that I sometimes get ahead of the notaires themselves, which would ruin their sense of occasion if only they knew what was happening. Last week, however, I had to sit up and concentrate. This time I was on the other side of the table, as it were. It was the English who were selling and the French who were buying.
Jean Paul winks at my surprise. After we have banked his cheque and he is treating me to a coffee on the proceeds, he whips out the agency’s swanky brochure and flicks though it pointing out which houses are being sold by English. I’m amazed to see it’s a good 60 per cent – a few years into the most recent craze for moving to France we Brits in France are no longer just house hunters but fully integrated into the housing market. If you come to France looking for property, you are as likely to be buying from a fellow Brit as from a French family. And now – and this is a new development – if you’re French, you have a good chance of buying your next house from a Brit.
Nor are we any longer talking only about British sellers who are giving up on the French dream and heading home. There are still plenty of these, of course, who took on an over-ambitious restoration. As I try and explain to enthusiastic clients looking for barns to do up (Jean Paul would fire me on the spot if he heard me), if you’re not much cop at DIY in Britain, there is no logic on earth which says a short Channel crossing will improve your luck with a sledgehammer and a strip of plasterboard.
Half the properties on our books read “to finish renovating” and there’s something desperately sad about these abandoned projects. I took a client to one last week and, frankly, with no DIY skills and without even a Reader’s Digest manual to help me, I could have done better: a festival of loose cables, guttering with no downpipes, floorboards so haphazardly lain that you could feed a copy of War and Peace through the cracks and a glorious, oak staircase propped up on an old stone wall that hadn’t been repointed. But it was the pair of child’s Wellington boots lined up next to a packing cases in the hall which spoke most poignantly of one family’s unfulfilled dreams.
But the point is the number of English vendors on the books is no longer just a reflection of over-ambition and despair. Many have lived here for several years and are moving to be near a good lycée or into town so that teenage children can have a nightlife. Couples may be downsizing because grown-up children hardly visit or upsizing to cope with new grandchildren. Some want to be nearer the shops, or friends, or just fancy a change – all the usual reasons, in other words, for moving house. It is the reflection of a British presence which is here to stay.
Paris in the Round
For a magnificent 360 degree panoramic view of the city of Paris by Arnaud Frich (http://www.arnaudfrichphoto.com), click here: http://framboise781.free.fr/Paris.htm
Upcoming Conferences
Living and Investing in France
March 17 -19, 2006

Details to follow shortly at https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/liveinfrance/index.html
Or contact Project Manager Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]/parlerparis to be put on a special mailing list.
Living and Investing in France
May 26 -28, 2006
Sheraton, New Orleans

Details to follow shortly at https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/liveinfrance/index.html
Or contact Project Manager Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]/parlerparis to be put on a special mailing list.
December 29 – January 2

Join a unique community of artists, engaging in hands-on painting and conversation with internationally ren
owned trompe l’oeil mu
ralist and educator, Yves Lanthier. An award-winning artist, Yves has created large oil paintings and elaborate trompe l’oeil that adorn the ceilings and walls of many East Coast mansions and Palm beach estates, including Celine Dion’s estate in Jupiter, Florida

FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
Let French Property Insider expert property consultants find your dream home in France for you. We consult with you to help you make the best decisions, ferret out the finest properties to meet your criteria, schedule the visits and accompany you, negotiate with the agencies and owners, recommend the notaires and other professionals, schedule the signings and oversee the purchase with you from start to finish! You could never do it so easily on your own. Let us take the time and effort off your hands.
FPI Offers More Relocation Solutions!
Let our experienced relocation expert help make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property and relocation services normally only provided by employer hired relocation firms…but at a price much more affordable for individuals.
Solution #1: Property Consultation and Search Services
Solution #2: Purchase Assistance
Solution #3: Getting a Mortgage in France
Solution #4: Property Appraisal Service
Solution #5: The “Après Vente”

Apartments for Rent: Long-Term

To book your services, click here:

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Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel “Click Here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp Global Money Services” for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.
Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting: https://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/moneycorpconvertor.html
Charts http://www.Moneycorp.co.uk/members/charts.asp The charts below are updated every ten seconds.
The prices shown are “inter bank” exchange rates and are not the rates that you will be offered by Moneycorp. Your rate will be determined by the amount of currency that you are buying. Please speak with an Moneycorp dealer or your consultant for a live quotation.


Parler Paris Après-Midi

NEXT MEETING: December 13, 2005 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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
Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers

HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Property Potpourri
Each week French Property Insider features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various regions of France and districts of Paris.
As we are not a real estate agency. These properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France. you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html
*** Pontalie, House, 300m²
18th century style, 2 sto
ry house, 300m², with a basement of
an additional 150m² and a large terrace. Exceptional site in the large park of Versailles, with a wonderful view, On 3.3 hectares of treed land, with a heated swimming pool, with room for a garden or stables. 20 minutes to Paris by car.

Asking Price: 2,000,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 3rd Arrondissement, Penthouse Duplex, 125m²
On rue de Bretagne in Le Marais. Wonderful penthouse duplex on 3 levels, on the third floor of a building with no elevator. With 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Quiet, sunny, double exposure on the street and courtyard, with a view of Paris rooftops. On the best shopping street in Le Marais, next to the Marché des Enfant Rouge, and 2 minutes for the Picasso Museum.
Asking Price: 915,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

*** Lattes (Languedoc), 10 rooms, approx. 230m²
Lots of charm! Beautiful, renovated villa with 6 bedrooms, 60m² living room, garage, terrace, solarium and swimming pool, southeast exposure.
Asking Price: 466,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

*** Merignac (Aquitaine), 7 rooms, approx. 165m²
House set on a lovely lot. Entrance, living room, five bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and cellar.
Asking Price: 436,430 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

France, French Alps, Méribel

One Bedroom 36m² to 51m² Euros 283,000 to Euros 439,000
Two Bedrooms 45m² to 75m² Euros 279,000 to Euros 689,000
Rare Opportunity in the 3 Valleys
The most elevated resort of the station with spectacular views over the valley and the mountains, standing at 1700m above sea level with direct ski access to the lifts. “Les 3 Vallées” ski area is one of the best in the world with over 600km of breathtaking slopes. In the heart of this unmistakable ski domain, Méribel-Mottaret station boasts 150km of slopes on the north-south axis, meaning sunshine from dawn until dusk. Méribel station offers a range of slopes and ski lifts linked to the two neighboring valleys, meaning you can reach Courchevel, Val Thorens or Les Menuires without ever having to take off your skis. The residence is located in the village of Mottaret, above Lake Tueda and near the famous Pins Cembros (Swiss Pines) forestry reserve.
In keeping with the rest of the resort, the architecture of Les Crêts is characterized by the use of traditional Alpine materials such as wood and stone. The development is composed of 90 stone and wooden chalets with generously sized apartments, sleeping up to 7 people. The residence has undergone a thorough renovation of the facades, refitting of communal areas and rebuilding of partition walls to create roomy functional apartments with elegant decoration and quality furniture throughout. The residence offers general services, parking and a heated ski room. Leisure activities include: alpine skiing, downhill skiing, climbing, swimming, snow-bike, paragliding, bowling as well as many cultural and sports events.
Do not miss this hassle-free opportunity to own an investment/holiday property in the French Alps. Benefit from this flexible Leaseback ‘Buy-to-Let’ scheme and enjoy a good mix of investment and leisure, use your property during your vacation and earn a guaranteed rental income while you are away. In addition, VAT (value added tax) is advanced by the developer, giving the investor an immediate discount
off the sale price. Choose betwe
en attractive personal use solutions packaged in four easy to understand “vacation formulas.” Feel secure in knowing that while you are gone, first-rate management of your property is assured. With today’s low interest rates and our Leaseback scheme, you can start investing with a very small amount.

Let us help you secure a mortgage in France with interest rates as low as 3%. Visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/loan for more information.

Don’t forget that with your FPI subscription you are entitled to a discount on the purchase of any Insider Paris Guides. You’ll find details of the guides at http://www.insiderparisguides.com/. When ordering, a box will pop up allowing you to enter the following username/password

Order more than one guide at a time and you will receive an additional discount!

Username: propertyinsider Password: liveinfrance



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 website. You will find the
“Past Issues” link on the left under “Subscribers Only” or by going to

To receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property
Report, click on


1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet

1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres

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



Leeds Marais Apartment

Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hotel Particulier, this 70 square
meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and
is perfect for up to four people when rented in its entirety or a
single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian
Leeds is there.

Pictures and more details available at


For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/apartments or https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term apartments.



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!): http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis


Copyright 2005, Adrian Leeds Group, LLC


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