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"Refresh, Renovate, Redecorate"

Volume IV, Issue 23

The sun is shining, the air is warm and we are immersed in renovations.

Monday the contractor started the renovation to the studio apartment I purchased last week by chipping holes in the wall to expose and examine the underlying stones and carving out panels in the ceiling to expose the beams and evaluate their quality. We discovered the stones weren’t as pretty as we expected and determined that the amount of work and expense to remove the wall and clean the stones simply wasn’t worth it. The beams, however, proved to be more worthwhile a project. Even though some of the beams were very new (and therefore not so charming), the others were classic and the added height to the ceiling a valuable addition to the small space. The new beams will be recovered by a storage unit which will frame the beds, so no one will be the wiser.
There was much discussion about whether the beams should be left natural or painted. No matter how many times I asked, “Do we have to think about that now?” and no matter how many times the answer came back “No,” they still insisted on pursuing the question until I gave in and said, “Okay, we’ll leave them natural as you suggest.” They were adamant that the natural dark tones of the wood, even though it would darken the space, would be more authentic. Oh, the passionate French!
Several trips to the apartment each day have my heart and legs in good shape. I imagine I’ll be losing weight during the process from all the stair-climbing, an added bonus to the renovation process. Jan Hanson, who renovated her Bastille apartment from long distance (San Francisco) didn’t have the same reward for all the time she spent overseeing the project…she had high phone and Federal Express bills in place of stronger muscles. Read all about it, complete with photos, in today’s issue.
The FPI property team have been diligently working to find good properties for our current clients and tell me there is very little good property on the market. This keeps the prices high and the negotiation nil. Many clients complain that, of course, they regret not having purchased sooner, when the dollar was stronger and/or the prices lower…but hind sight is 20-20 vision and regret is wasted effort. Buying now still means that 5 or 10 years from now, the investment will still have grown at the same or similar rate.
In today’s FPI discover the ups and downs of renovation, the hidden Cour Damoye, a Leaseback property in the Alps and some fabulous buys in the Bastille area of Paris.

A bientôt…

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

P.S. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for next Tuesday’s Parler Paris Après Midi gathering from 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais. Visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information
P.P.S. Ready for rental!…July 21 – 30, 2006, my Marais apartment will be available for rent in its entirety (while I’m in the Tuscan sun) and the new studio “Le Provençal” will be ready for rental from August! For more information, visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/apartments or email [email protected]/parlerparis

Volume IV, Issue 23, June 8, 2006

In this issue:
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: June 13, 2006
* Hot Property Picks: Limousin
* Leasebacks: Green Bastide, France, Mediterranean Coast, Roquebrune-sur-Argens
* On the Auction Block: June 20, 2006
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments
“Travaux” Twice the Time, Twice the Price
By Adrian Leeds
Reprinted from Parler Paris…
Monday, May 29, 2006

Last week, I stepped off the plane from New Orleans and went directly from the airport to the Notaire’s office to sign the “Acte de Vente” (closing sale documents) on my new little studio a
partment on rue Charlot that
I have purchased for investment. It was projected to take 2.5 months to complete the legal process, but it took four months instead.

This morning, the contractor started the “travaux” to renovate the space — a whopping 16.5 square meters which will require as much effort and expense as a space twice as large, considering all that I plan to do to transform it into a “petit bijou” (little jewel): expose the 18th-century stone wall and ceiling beams, install hand mosaic tile in an all new bath and kitchen, plus equip it with all the latest and best furnishings and appliances. The projected date of completion is the end of July, but knowing that every renovation project takes twice as long and is twice as expensive as expected, I’m keeping an eye on the end of August as a successful completion date.
Last night, on route to Patricia Laplante Collins’ Paris Soirées, I passed rue des Rosiers only to discover an amazing transformation of the west end of the street. After eight public meetings and nine months of examination and deliberation, the project to renovate the “quartier Rosiers” was validated and begun. Over the next few months, the narrow, congested street where the cars constantly battled with the pedestrians, will undergo the work to become pedestrian, planted and lit for a more convivial ambiance. By September of this year, the “travaux” is expected to be complete.
For the moment, some parts are paved completely and delightfully open to accommodate the massive amounts of pedestrian traffic, while other parts are simple dirt and make-shift stepping stones into the boutiques and restaurants. Let’s hope the works will be complete more or less on time, and although, the general rule of double the time, double the cost applies to home renovation, I have noted the city seems to maintain their schedules better than general contractors.
Jan Hanson was the guest speaker at Paris Soirées showing off her beautiful photos of Paris. She’s a San Francisco attorney with a passion for photography who first attended a Living and Investing in France Conference then purchased a two-room apartment we helped her find on the Cour Damoye. This cobblestoned pedestrian courtyard is an oasis just off Place de la Bastille and at the time of purchase, the apartment didn’t seem like it needed much work.
She ignored that fact and hired an architect/decorator, then proceeded to change absolutely everything about the apartment, shipping most of the furnishings from the States and overseeing every tiny detail. She concurred — it took twice as long and twice the cost to do it right, (not to mention twice the expected anxiety and aggravation), but now she’s pleased, in fact, delighted, and it’s ready for rental to “discriminating travelers.” For more information, email Jan at [email protected]
Jan’s evocative photos of Paris can be viewed (and purchased) by visiting the restaurant “Les Fous de l’Ile” at 33, rue des Deux Ponts on the Ile Saint-Louis. The restaurant is quite good, totally charming and the photos are magnificent. See them now before they come down on June 24th.
Over the past several years, I’ve seen and heard more stories than I can count to support the general rule of “‘Travaux’ Twice the Time, Twice the Price” — but in every case, the owners were content. Like getting pregnant and giving birth (mothers, I know you can relate…), the child is worth the wait, the indigestion and the pain of delivery!
Living San Francisco Style on La Cour Damoye
By Adrian Leeds

FPI found the perfect apartment for San Francisco attorney and amateur photographer, Jan Hanson. In fact, I’ll never forget the day we discovered the Cour Damoye and this charming two room apartment that we all fell in love with at first sight.
Place de la Bastille is one of Paris’ most bustling pivotal points — a circular “place” bordered by cafés, restaurants, markets, movie theaters and the new Opera House. It’s not a spot one would necessarily choose to live at, except for this one oasis in the midst of chaos: La Cour Damoye.
This narrow cobblestoned street runs from the “place” over to rue Duval, closed at night by a large iron grill gate (accessible only by key or code). Surprisingly few people enter and stroll down the street, in spite of its inviting and tranquil ambiance.
La Cour Damoye had been built on the lands of the “grand bastion Saint-Antoine,” a part of the old Bastille castle. In 1780, the old King’s ’archers’ barrack had been bought by Nicolas Damoye, an administrator of the city, who rescued the doors, the windows and the chimneys. “La Cour Damoye” had been occupied by scrap merchants and other “auvergnats” ragmen till 1816 when it had been purchased by a family who still owns it. In 1914, it was the place where cart wheels were repaired.
Today it is home to architects, graphic designers, advertising agencies, art restorers and other artisans in ateliers on the ground level; apartments above. The Hanson apartment clearly had all the attributes one looks for in a Paris pied-à-terre, with the exception of the third floor walk-up. The layout was superb, the exposition sunny and very quiet, the views pleasant and charming and the location at the heart of the Bastille district made it a perfect investment and a potentially successful rental property.
Jan knew she wanted to decorate and renovate to bring it up to the standard of her San Francisco life and hired an architect to assist her in the process. This was especially important and virtually necessary given the long distance from which she was working. Still, she chose most of the furnishings and fabrics in San Francisco — even upholstery fabrics of classic French style, possibly even manufactured in France, but purchased in California! Then, she shipped it all to Paris, much of which went in overnight shipments to what Jan claims resulted in thousands of dollars spent with Federal Express.
Jan and her architect, Nicole Champagnol of Elastic Interior Design, transformed the once plain-but-good-bones apartment
to tot
al perfection. These Before/After pictures are proof of their talented and industrious handiwork.
La Cour Damoye is now ready for rental to “discriminating travelers.”


Recommended Architects by French Property Insider:
Derek S. Bush
Téléphone +33 (O) 1 47 63 12 77
Fax +33 (0) 1 47 63 12 76
Email [email protected]
Site web – http://www.bush-architecture.com

Nicole Champagnol
Téléphone + 33 (0) 1.42 52.07.50
Fax + 33 (0) 1 42.58 68 54
Mobile + 33 (0) 6 21 23 72 55
Email [email protected]
Site web – http://www.elastic.fr

Editor’s Note: Please be sure to tell them each French Property Insider sent you!

Interest Rate Indexes (on 01/05/2006)
From UCB
Contact Alessandro Cavallari
Métier Crédit Immobilier Spécialisé International Buyers
Email: [email protected]
3 month Euribor: 2.90%
12 month Euribor: 3.31%
TEC 10: 4.02%
Source: UCB

Exchange Rates (on 18/05/2006)
1 Euro = £0.6872
£1 = 1.4552 Euros
1 Euro = $1.2815
Source: Boursorama

Rented Dwellings Reference Index (on 07/04/2006)
2005 4th Quarter Annual Variation: 2.30%
Source: INSEE


Metrovacesa’s Gecina Acquires Two Office Buildings in Paris for 103 Million Euros
AFX News Limited 2005

Metrovacesa SA said its Gecina property unit in France has acquired two office buildings in Paris for 103 million euros from Colony Capital.
In a statement, Metrovacesa said the larger of the buildings, the 33,300 metre squared Crystalys block, is currently under development and due to be completed by 2007.
The other building, the 7,300 metre squared Velizy Square block is currently fully let.
Recently, Metrovacesa chairman Joaquin Rivero told the Financial Times that Gecina is looking for buyers for 18,000 rented apartments and houses, concentrated mainly in the Paris area, in order to focus more on the office segment of the French property market.
Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions

Visit our new site!
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 ou
t the finest properties to meet your criteria, schedule the vi
sits 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!
Moving to Paris? Our experienced relocation expert will 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.
Download Complete Brochure



Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel or click here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp Global Money Services: https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/moneycorpconvertor.html
for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.

Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting:

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
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

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/consultation
TRIDENT France, French Alps, Grenoble
Studio 20m² to 26m² Euros 76,000 to Euros 108,000
One Bedroom 28m² to 34m² Euros 120,000 to Euros 160,000
Beautifully situated on the Drac and Isere rivers at the crossroads of three mountain ranges, Vercors, Belledonne and Chartreuse, Grenoble boasts an extremely unique geographical location with incomparable views of the surrounding area. Grenoble is a lively, thriving, modern city and home to a university of more than 35,000 students.
The residence will comprise 8 floors of 4 star apartments with terraces. Situated in southern Grenoble, residence Trident is ideally situated close to facilities that make for the perfect business trip or professional stay. There is a tramway within walking distance from the residence that crosses the city from north to south. The residence is located only 10 minutes from Grenoble Hospital, 5 minutes from Summum Stadium and 10 minutes from the highly popular and extremely energetic city centre. The city is host to many large companies that are known on an international scale adding to the pulse and dynamics that is characteristic of Grenoble.
Properties will be so
ld furnished and maintained in excel
lent condition by a management company during the lease term. Rental income will be guaranteed over a minimum of 9 years and the purchase price of the property may be financed by our partners at attractive rates (subject to approval). This property is located in a high growth tourist area in the French Alps, in a steady political and economical environment in the first most visited country in the world.

Paris Auctions

Next session: June 27, 2006 at 1:30 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:
June 27, 2006

5 rooms 160 m²
5-7 rue Des Beaux Arts
75006 PARIS 6th
Opening Bid: 928,000 euros
Deposit: 185,600 euros
7 rooms 202,20 m²
6 rue de Seine
75006 PARIS 6th
Opening Bid: 1,600,000 euros
Deposit: 320,000 euros
3 rooms 51,4 m²
13 rue d’Armaillé
75017 PARIS 17th
Opening Bid: 246,000 euros
Deposit: 49,200 euros
4 rooms 119,20 m²
12 rue des Nonnains d’Hyères
75004 PARIS 4th
Opening Bid: 643,000 euros
Deposit: 128,600 euros
Studio 31,30 m²
45/47 rue Saint Paul
75004 PARIS 4th
Opening Bid: 152,000 euros
Deposit: 30,400 euros
3 rooms 58,5 m²
6 rue de Vintimille
75009 PARIS 9th
Opening Bid: 270,000 euros
Deposit: 54,000 euros

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: fpi
Password: subscriber

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



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/
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* Leeds Marais Guest Room or Entire Two-Bedroom Apartment — Available in its entirety July 21 – 30, 2006.
Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hôtel Particulier, this 70 square meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for a single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian Leeds is in or for up to 4 people when she’s traveling.
Pictures and more details available here: https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html

* “Le Provençal” Studio: Available as of August 2006
Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence.
Pictures and more details available here: https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/rentals/provencal.html

Parler Paris Apartments rental representation at adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments. If you have a property ín Paris you’d like to keep booked and represented properly, please email Adrian Leeds at [email protected] for more information.

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 2006, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, http://www.adrianleeds.com


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