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Parler Provence

Volume III, Issue 4

You’re receiving this one day early because tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn, Property Search Consultant, Yolanda Robins, and I are boarding the Eurostar for three days in London. Our goal is to attend the Vive La France Property Show and also meet at length with John Howell, lead attorney of John Howell and Co. and his staff of French property attorneys.

More than 38,000 visitors are expected at the show and over 600 French and British exhibiting companies will bring the delights of France to the heart of London, at the Olympia Exhibition Centre Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We are sure to see many of our colleagues manning their stands at the show, but we’re sure to make new friends along the way, too. To book, or find out more about the show visit http://www.vivelafrance.co.uk or call the ticket hotline on + 44 870 902 0444.
John Howell is co-host of our Living and Investing in France Conferences and Seminars — an expert in all legal aspects of purchasing property, not only in France, but in all of Europe. He’s the lead presenter who consistently wows the audience with his depth of knowledge and casual, humorous style of presentation. His Covent Garden Glassworks office house more than 30 attorneys for the sole purpose of assisting property purchasers.
TIP: Buy your Eurostar tickets at cheaper than either Eurostar London or SNCF France prices, by visiting http://www.eurostar.com, select country and U.S. and language as English. It will show all prices in U.S. dollars — and lucky for us, they haven’t adjusted for the rate of exchange!
This week’s issue offers a look at Provence from a Southern Girl with a twang. Don’t miss Marcia Mitchell’s personal look at Southern France and if you’re thinking of making a trip down South, take my advice on a great way of doing it on the cheap. A few years ago, I followed this advice and maneuvered a week in the heavenly land of lavender for no more than $50 per person per day. At the time, I was able to rent my apartment and cover the cost for both myself and my daughter, plus have one of the most memorable vacations I’ve ever taken.
On another profitable note, take notice of the 1948 rent control laws that put properties on the market for less than half their current value. I’m about to take the plunge and make the investment on two such properties which will result in excellent rental/revenue-generating investments, all made possible by the equity built in my own Paris apartment.
Next week, I’ll be reporting on findings at Vive La France and a weekend in neighboring London
A bientôt…

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

P.S. The Early Bird Discount for the Living and Investing in France Conference in New Orleans is good only until Friday! Schuyler Hoffman is taking registrations now at 1-310-427-7589, Email: [email protected]/parlerparis


Volume III, Issue 4, January 20, 2005
In this issue:
* How the BNP Paribas Take-Over Will Affect Abbey National
* Speaking About Provençe with a Twang
* One Day Left to Save $600
* Provençal Events All Month
* Five Lazy Days in Provence on a Budget
* Taking the 1948 Risk — Will It Be Worth It?
* Populating France
* Currency Exchange Update
* Provence Property Picks: Three Departments, Luxury Homes
* What’s On the Auction Block
* Classified Advertising: Household Goods Sale

Abbey National France International Buyers News
Issue 10
Publication date: January 2005

The mortgage activity of Abbey National France (ANF) had been bought in December by BNP Paribas. The integration of Abbey National France into the BNP Paribas Group is an important element of a project designed to boost the Group’s mortgage activities.
ANF has joined UCB and BNP Paribas Invest Immo to form a dedicated mortgage service within the Financial Services and International Retail Banking Division of the BNP Paribas Group. To build this new structure, 15 working groups were formed in early December. Colleagues from all three entities are represented in the groups thus allowing a high level of integration immediately
in order to work on a project which aims to achieve significant growth in mortgage activity by 2007.

The first phase of the project consists of an analysis of what exists today. This will permit ANF to identify short and medium term synergies as well as to recommend a new organization, new procedures and processes as well as a coherent action plan which will permit this new grouping to work efficiently from mid-2005 and onwards. This project is complex and ambitious.
Thanks to the purchase of Abbey National France by BNP Paribas, and once this integration phase is completed, ANF should be able to provide clients with even better support for their activity. For the moment, ANF will continue to offer a range of products and services and we will gradually be adding others to our range. BNP Paribas fully intends to facilitate the development of ANF. This also means your development and the benefits of the integration will flow to their clients.
* Interest Rate Indexes (on 01/01/2005)
3 month Euribor: 2.18%
12 month Euribor: 2.30%
TEC 10: 3.72%
Source: Abbey National France Treasury Dpt.

* Exchange Rates (on 11/01/2005)
Euro 1 = £ 0.699
£ 1 = Euro 1.431
Euro 1 = $ 1.313
Sources: ECB & BoE

* Construction Cost Index
(applic on 01/01/2005)
2004 2nd quarter annual variation: 3.85%
Source: INSEE

Parlez-Vous Provence?
By Marcia Mitchell
Photos by by Andrew Petrov

Bonjour from The Deep South, y’all. I’m talking about Provence. It is in the South of France. And while it’s only a couple of TGV hours from Paris, it’s a whole ‘nother place.
When I moved here from the U.S., thinking France is France, my new friends set me straight “tout de suite.” There is Paris, France, there is provincial France, and there is Provence, which wasn’t even part of France until the 16th-century.
Before that, this bountiful sun-drenched land had been sacked regularly by envious neighbors. It was the Romans who gave it a name: Provincia Romana. They tamed its tribes and civilized its landscape with little Romes from Apt to Orange to Nimes. When Rome fell, La Provence rolled up her sidewalks and headed for the hills. The charming little perched villages so pictureque now were the security measures of the Dark Ages that followed.
While Paris is worldly, sophisticated and exciting, Provence is provincial, naive and easy-going. A traffic jam here is likely to be caused by a flock of sheep. Time slows down. Lunch can last two hours, even on a weekday. Shops and offices close for the occasion. The only thing a body can do is sit back and enjoy a sumptuous spread. Ah well. Somebody has to do it.
Speaking of food, the Provençal truly appreciates home cooking and even in the most “raffiné” restaurants, the chef is influenced by generations of “grand-mères.” Menus are seasonal in this agricultural area, and no matter when or where you happen to be visiting, you’re just minutes from an open-air market and the freshest, tastiest grocery-shopping you’ve ever thoroughly enjoyed.
If the idea of a sunny and slow-moving France appeals to you, why not come south for a peek? Remember, we’re country folks down here. Not all of us speak English — let alone American — and even the French language is spoken with a distinctive twang that delivers “pain” as “paing” and “demain” as “demaing.”
You don’t have to worry, though. Just say “Bonjour Madame” or “Bonjour Monsieur” and the friendly natives will take it from there.
Ya’ll come down now, ya’ hear ?
Editor’s Note: Marcia Mitchell grew up in the American South. She and her artist partner invite you to their perched village for a week or week-end. http://www.personalprovence.com
In just three days you can have all the tools you need to totally transform your regular life… into la vie française… and you can do it without leaving the US of A. In fact, you can do it by spending those three important days in one of the greatest cities in the US — “Nouvelle Orléans.”
In one fun-filled and informative weekend, you will have everything you need to make it happen. We are going to teach you how to…
** Obtain the Right to Be in France…
* Learn the Language…
* Earn a Living in France…
* Minimize Your Tax Liability…
* Find, Buy and Own Property…
* Learn About the Leaseback Program…
* Rent Your Property for Profit…
* Get a Mortgage…
* Protect from Foreign Exchange Risks…
* Cross the Cultural Divide…
* And more!…

Ask your questions of our experts — get the real answers. This is your opportunity.
Living and Investing in France
February 11 -13, 2004
Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Canal Street

Click here to learn more https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/liveinfrance/LIF_NOLA/LIF_NOLA_home.html
or email Projects Manager, Schuyler Hoffman at :[email protected]/parlerparis


What’s On in Provence This month — From Provençal Village to Provençal Village

How to Have Five Gloriously Sultry Days Meandering Through Provence on the Cheap
by Adrian Leeds

1. Squeeze four people and four carry-on sized suitcases into a compact rental car, with air-conditioning, if traveling in the summer months. Considering the cost of a rental car, the high cost of gas (four times what an American pays for gas), the tolls on the autoroute, and all total that is still less expensive than four traveling by train or plane. Besides, if you’re planning on exploring any part of Provence, a car is absolutely essential.
2. Stay in “Chambre d’Hôtes” (bed and breakfasts) for one to two nights, using these locations as pivot-points to take day trips to surrounding areas. While most are not luxurious in the same sense as a four-star hotel, they are comfortable, adequate and usually very reasonably priced. Also, it was much easier to find accommodations for four in one room or adjoining rooms, reducing the expense of two hotel rooms.
3. If you’re traveling from Paris, start off your first night in the northern part of Provence to reduce your travel time, such as in the Drome near the Château de Grignan (Madame de Sevigné died there in 1696).
4. The next day, travel first south towards the Alpilles, then in a circle and sometimes diagonally, stopping to visit both the picturesque villages as well as some of the more major cities of Provence: Avignon, St-Rémy-de-Provence and Arles. Stay a couple of nights near Les Baux — a location perfectly situated between these cities.
5. Shop at the open-air markets and picnic in the town squares. Bring home spices and olives, hand-woven baskets of all shapes, sizes and colors and scented soaps, body care lotions and fragrances from the market in St-Rémy-de-Provence. Provençal tomatoes are firy red, juicy and sweet. You can buy garlic bulbs and red peppers on braids to hang in your kitchen. To dress up your dining room, don’t leave without a set of printed tablecloths, place mats and matching napkins in Provençal yellows, blues, greens, oranges.
6. Spend more time in the little villages than in the bustling towns…La Fontaine de Vaucluse (the source of the Sorgue River), Eygalières, Nyons (known for its olive oil and tapenades), Carpentras (with the oldest synagogue in France)…less traffic, slower paced, more interesting.
7. Drive east from the Alpilles to the Luberon for your last two nights. I’m partial to this part of Provence, particularly one of the prettiest villages — Lourmarin. It boasts of the 15th century Château de Lourmarin, which is the burial spot of writers Albert Camus and Henri Bosco. From this home base, you’re in direct route to the stunning hill towns of Bonnieux, Oppède-le-Vieux, Ménerbes, Gordes and Roussillon. Be prepared to climb the steep hills to enjoy the fabulous views.
8. Read “A Year in Provence” while you’re relaxing in the sun. Ménerbes was made famous by this Peter Mayle tale of the trials and tribulations of an Englishman and his wife who have set out to retire to an old stone Provençal home in “peace.” Tourists flock here now, but the charm remains.
9. Extend your vacation…high-tail it to Nice to catch the ferry to Corsica. A smaller car reduces the fare on the ferry and finding the ferry in Nice is simple — just follow the signs to the old port and you can’t miss the boat! It takes about three hours.
10. Dock in Calvi, the major port on the north side of the island. Corsica is a perfect blend of France and Italy. The architecture is simpler in style as in Italy, but isn’t quite as laisser faire. Drive along the coast and discover dozens of stunning beaches. Eat Corsican “charcuterie” and cheeses, get tan, never leave.
Useful Web Addresses
Auto Europe

Corsica Ferries

Impasse de la Cordière, Lourmarin

By Adrian Leeds
Reprint from January 19, 2005 Parler Paris

This morning I met with a real estate agent who has two apartments remaining for sale on rue Charlot which fall under the rent control law number (#48-1360) of September 1st, 1948. Rue Charlot is one of the hottest streets of the 3rd arrondissement with a host of new boutiques, galleries and restaurants. This “maison” is just off rue de Bretagne with four small buildings surrounding a lovely courtyard, and houses a few apartments advertised for short-term rental on parismarais.com®.
The law, which changed as recently as October 2002 to phase out properties with this restriction, maintained the rents at their 1948 values plus allowing for small cost of living increases, so in most cases, the rents landlords achieved didn’t even cover their costs — taxes, utilities, maintenance. Tenants cannot be evicted! And only the surviving spouse, the asc
endants, handicapped or minors can inherit the lease if they lived with the primary tenant more than one year. Article 17 of the law specifies that “the habitation of the property is a right exclusively attached to the person and is non-transferable.” The amendments to the law enable the owner to offer similar accommodations in another property and the tenant must be willing to relocate.

Buying an apartment in which the tenant has a lease of this nature can be profitable under the right circumstances. For an investment that just sits there and grows, in a few years, once the leases are up or the tenant dies (sorry to say, but this is one way out), or if you can negotiate with the tenant to leave sooner than the end of the lease (there are attorneys who specialize in this procedure), you can own a property worth much more than double what you paid.
We offered these apartments in “French Property Insider” last year and three of five were sold. Now that I’ve built equity in the value of my own apartment, it affords me the luxury of making this investment. Of course, this is only the beginning. The tale will unfold as we investigate further into the feasibility of the purchase. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.
Property prices in Paris continue to remain affordable in comparison with New York or London, in spite of the annual appreciation of more than 13%. In last week’s “Zurban” entertainment guide, it noted that there are 202 inhabitants per hectare in Paris (compared with only 76 in London and 91 in New York). I found this all quite meaningful in consideration that my daughter just returned to New York yesterday to begin the second half of her school year and tomorrow we’re off to London to attend the Vive La France French Property Show — three of the greatest cities in the world, at least in the Western Hemisphere.
Naturally, while New York is native American to me, and London is English-speaking and culturally Anglo-Saxon, Paris continues to touch my heart like no other place on the planet. In fact, each time I land in some other megalopolis, I find myself saying “Well, it just isn’t Paris” — and having a little “pied-à-terre” to call my own still gives me goose bumps.
French Population Tops 62 Million
PARIS, Jan 18 (AFP) – The population of mainland France has risen to over 60 million with three quarters of the annual increase due to births and the rest to immigration, according to the latest official census figures released Tuesday.
In January 2004 there were 60.2 million people in France – including Corsica – with a further 1.8 million in French territories overseas, the National Statistics Office INSEE said.
France has added some 365,000 people per year since 1999, a just over 0.5 percent rate of growth per year. Fertility has also risen during this period, from 1.72 children per woman in the period between 1990 and 1999 to 1.86 children between 1999 and 2003.



Let us help you secure a mortgage in France with interest rates as low as 3.35%. Visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/loan for more information




A service of http://www.xe.com
Subscribe for free at: http://www.xe.com/cus/

Live mid-market rates as of 2005.01.19 14:36:38 GMT.

1 U.S. Dollar equals 0.764832 Euros (0.756056 Euros last week)
1 Euros equals 1.30748 Dollars (1.32265 U.S. Dollars last week)

1 U.K. Pound equals 1.43647 Euros (1.42305 Euros last week)
1 Euro equals 0.696152 U.K. Pounds (0.702718 Pounds last week)


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
* 84 MENERBES 120m²
Exceptional estate in the heart of the Luberon. 18th-century sheepfold, entirely restored sitting room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms and bathroom, swimming pool, 5 hectares of land including woods. Charm and authenticity. Superb views.
Asking Price: 817,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
Beautiful property on 1 hectare of land, wooded, living room, equipped kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, mezzanine,
veranda, solarious, garage, cellar.

Asking Price: 801,800 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
* 26 MONTELIMAR 170m²
Vast villa, large living room, 4 bedrooms, office, two showers, 2 terraces, pool, pool house, summer kitchen, outbuildings, carport.
Asking Price: 638,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris Auctions

Next sessions:
February 15, 2005, 2 p.m.

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 website at http://www.encheres-Paris.com/ Though the site has a button for an English version, it isn’t reliable to work.
To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:

7 Rooms 224,7 m² + 2 chambres de service
11 rue Bayard
75008 PARIS 8th
Starting Bid: 1,400,000 Euros
Deposit: 280,000 Euros
2 Rooms 42,8 m²
62-74 boulevard Garibaldi
75015 PARIS 15th
Starting Bid: 137,000 Euros
Deposit: 27,400 Euros
2 Rooms 28,8 m²
26 rue Henri Barbusse
75005 PARIS 5th
Starting Bid: 95,000 Euros
Deposit: 19,000 Euros
2 Rooms 33,85 m²
67, rue Saint Jacques
75005 PARIS 5th
Starting Bid: 150,000 Euros
Deposit: 30,000 Euros

4 Rooms 77,11 m²
8/12, rue Vergniaud
75013 PARIS 13th
Vente avec prix de réserve
Deposit: 54,000 Euros



NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, February 8th, 2004 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.

For a detail description of the past meeting and for more information
about Parler Paris Après Midi, visit:

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



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 this password protected page:

The username is: fpisubscriber
The password is: paris1001

If your computer utilizes cookies, once you log into a subscriber only section, the login information will remain active for seven days, after which you will have to login again.

– 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 https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/subscribersonly/pastissues/index.html

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



Matching leather sofas, full set of kitchen cabinets w/ cutting board counter top, De Detrich 4 burner stovetop, air conditioner, assorted French antiques, paintings, decor, 4 Oriental carpets, 4 Philippe Starck chairs, and much more all at reasonable prices – 7th Arrondissement. – 01 47 05 16 71 – Email me for the full list of items…[email protected]


The best and easiest way to find an apartment in Paris…

So, you want to rent your own “pied-à-terre” for a week, a month or a year? It’s easy — there are thousands of apartments in Paris to call home, but it’s not so fast and easy to surf through all the thousands to fine the one perfect for you.

For just $39, we’ll do all the legwork and you’ll just move in and unpack. Let us do a customized search for you with our favorite short-term vacation rental agents!

To start your search, contact Yolanda Robins at [email protected]


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.



1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet

1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres

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



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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