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Renovation for Rightful Rewards

Volume IV, Issue 37

With still a little jet lag in my system, we report to you today after a very successful Living and Investing in France Conference in San Diego. So much so, that we are already planning the next one for December, the week between New Year’s and Christmas right here in Paris. Scroll down to read all about this pas conference and stay tuned for details on the next one so you don’t miss out.

Interestingly, we had one couple who want to buy in the Languedoc-Roussillon, one woman who already has purchased there and a past conference attendee who came just for cocktails who has been a resident of the Languedoc ever since she toured there when I was once tour leader. The three women seriously bonded and once introduced, we never heard from them again as they huddled getting to know each other quickly vowing to meet again in the south of France.
One topic we discussed was renovation — something you can plan on doing to just about any property. Since I just went through it personally with my own little studio apartment, the subject was as fresh on my mind as is the paint. The rule is: twice the time, twice the price. This almost always holds true, so plan on it. Scroll down to ready important facts about renovation to prepare you for your purchase.
Because of these two articles, we bring you a series of fixer-uppers in the Languedoc-Roussillon — small stone homes under 100,000 euros that the banks may not even be willing to lend on, since they all have minimum loan policies. But, these little dwellings, with renovation, have the potential to be award-winners with some foresight.
You can also sink your teeth into some serious notes about borrowing and trasferring money — a very important aspect of purchasing property in France. Don’t miss a single word.
A bientôt…

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

P.S. Take note of a special property for sale by owner…a houseboat on the Seine! Doesn’t that sound romantic?


Volume IV, Issue 37, September 21, 2006

In this issue:
* Living and Investing in France Conference Report
* A Diamond in the Rough: Renovating a Fixer Upper
* How to Save on International Currency Transfers
* The Latest Mortgage Rates from BPI
* The Rush to Buy French Holiday Homes
* For Sale: Houseboat on the Seine
* Langudoc-Roussillon Still Popular with Buyers
* On the Auction Block: October 3, 2006
* Living and Investing in France One-Day Seminar December 28, 2006
* Expatica’s Welcome to France Fair, October 15, 2006 – Last Day for FREE Tickets!
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* French Property Consultation Concierge Services
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: October 10, 2006
* Hot Property Picks: Languedoc Fixer Uppers
* Leasebacks: Mas des Arènes, France, Mediterranean Coast, Mouriès
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments


Reporting on the Living and Investing in France Conference
By Adrian Leeds

Attendees came from all over the country and Canada, but as usual, more Californians were represented than any other state. Split between couples and singles, we recognized a few familiar faces that had attended previous events. All were eager to learn how to go about investing in property in France that could become home or generate a profit.
After a long and information-packed first day, during which John Howell (International Law Partnership), Ruth Mastron (Sococo Intercultural), Eugenie Desarnauts (Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier) and I spoke on having the right to live and work in France, why invest in France, how to go about finding property, getting a mortgage and dealing with the cultural divide, we convened for cocktails along with a few San Diego natives who we have come to know over the years.
Laura Klesper, who assisted us in organizing a group dinner, reminded me that we had first met quite a while back while taking a ride on a barge on the Seine during the Travel Photographer’s Workshop! Thanks to Laura, dinner at Café Cerises just around the corner from the hotel was delightful (especially the White and Dark Chocolate Checkerboard with Raspberry Coulis dessert), but more so was the opportunity to meet some of our readers who had joined our conference group for the evening.
Sunday was the final day of sessions, where we discussed minimizing taxes, renting and renovating property, starting a business and taking the risk out of currency exchange (with Justin Harris of Moneycorp). After a panel session where anyone could ask anything of anyone, which concluded the two-day conference, the participants turned in their evaluations and vowed to see us in Paris very soon.
Here are a few of their comments:
“Can’t say enough good things about the whole conference — what an amazing amount of information. I feel much more confident now about purchasing a French property.”
“Wonderful program. Worth the cost and time. I feel very confident about purchasing property now.”
“Overall, very good value — lots of content, interesting presentations. Thanks for the good balance between seriousness and humor.”
“Excellent info — answered questions we didn’t even know to ask!”
“Loved it!”
“This put our worries to rest!”
“Although investment income is nt out intent, the info was very well done.”
“Even though we don’t plan to have a business, the information was fascinating.”
“I really got what I needed — an insider’s perspective.”
“Thank you…this was really helpful and surprisingly entertaining, for such a complicated and heavy subject.” (Minimizing Tax)
“General information was very good, entertaining as well as informative.”
Once again, I headed home feeling a sense of satisfaction and reward that we’ve made a difference in a few people’s lives by giving them the tools and knowledge to make their dreams to live in France come true…and already, over dinner, we decided to do another conference very, very soon:
Living and Investing in France
One-Day Seminar
December 28, 2006
Chez Jenny, Paris, France

Details to be announced…to be on a special mailing list to be notified with complete information about the conference, email [email protected]/parlerparis
Fixer Uppers: Renovating Your French Property
By Adrian Leeds

Don’t expect to find a property in Paris or anywhere in France that doesn’t need some renovation. French owners tend to live in a house or apartment many years without having done much to keep it up to date, and buildings can easily be at least one century old, if not several.
If you do find a property that is move-in and perhaps only needs your decorating touches, then aren’t you lucky!? But, my guess is that you’re going to pay dearly for it.
In most cases, renovating your new property purchase is the best solution, because you can renovate and decorate just exactly as you like. This means, that if your purchase is an investment for short or long term rental, you can build in the amenities a well-occupied rental requires.
First of all, before you even make the purchase, the seller must provide certain certification: the “Loi Carrez,” the exact habitable space in square meters; the presence of lead, asbestos and termites; the energy efficiency, risks to natural disaster (such as flooding), measurements and what work has been voted on by the homeowner’s association. This information is helpful when preparing for you renovation. If the walls (or other) prove to contain some lead (and most do!), then you must provide a copy of the certificate to the contractor or other workers to protect your liability.
Taxes applied exclusively to renovation of residential properties is lower than the normal sales tax of 19.6% — 5.5%. This includes the labor, materials and supplies. The expenses and taxes can be deducted when reporting capital gains, but only on that work which improves the property and is not merely cosmetic. For example, a second bathroom constitutes an improvement, but new carpeting does not.
Choosing to work with “au noir” (black market) labor, is not wise as it is risky and you cannot deduct the cost of any work you’ve had done &qu
ot;under the table.” For a tax as
little as 5.5%, we recommend only working with licensed contractors and subcontractors.

The technical aspects to keep in mind before you begin are of course, the state of the electrical system — paying attention to the grounding and the safety of the current system. Be prepared to update it, add plugs and breakers. Be aware of the heating system and its efficiency. Gas heating is best, but there are new efficient electrical systems on the market. If your heat is “chauffage collectif” (central heating for the entire building), you may want to add a space heater or two to “fill-in” on cold days when the collectif heat isn’t operating.
When considering adding more toilets, try to place it near existing sewage pipes. If not, you may be required to use a “Sani Broyeur,” or electric toilet. While these have greatly improved over the years, they are still noisemakers and are likely to cause maintenance problems.
Don’t tear down walls till you’ve double checked if they are supporting walls or not. Supporting walls cannot be tampered with unless you have express permission from the homeowners association. This is when a licensed architect is virtually indispensable — as they are well-versed in dealing with problems of this sort. We recommend leaving the walls in tact as much as possible!
Air conditioning is a feature that has become important to luxury rentals, but air conditioning is not always that simple to install. Be sure to ask your architect or contractor what system will work best for you before forging ahead.
Depending on the nature of your project, you may either choose to contract the work yourself or hire an architect or interior designer. If you do the work yourself, expect to be on the premises almost daily to ensure the work is being done correctly and on time. If you hire an architect, then you hire his/her experience, often well worth the added expense, even on small projects.
One thing I can almost guarantee…any renovation you do is likely going to take twice the time originally estimated and cost twice as much. It almost never fails to prove to be true…but still well worth the time and expense if you want to enjoy your new French home to the fullest.
Don’t let the banks cash in. Currency specialists Moneycorp could save you $1000s on international transfer fees!
Once you have purchased your French property, you will still need to buy and transfer currency on a regular basis to cover overseas mortgage payments. However, organizing regular currency transfers can be a headache. Currency fluctuations can make budgeting impossible and the international transfer fees and commissions charged by your bank can soon add up to a tidy sum over time.
Help is at hand! Moneycorp has developed a Regular Payments Abroad service enabling French Property Insider clients to fix the rate of exchange and organize payments abroad for up to 24 months ahead. The service is currently used to make over 20,000 payments every year, and because the process is fully automated, Moneycorp guarantees customers will never miss a payment. All you need to do is arrange a monthly direct debit, and the benefits include:
Unlike most banks, with Moneycorp every monthly transfer is free (which alone could save you over $300 each year).
Moneycorp has eliminated all international bank receipt charges. GUARANTEED!
With Moneycorp all transfers are commission free. Most banks can charge as much as 2% per transfer.
Fix the rate for up to 24 months so you will know exactly how much
money is being debited from your US account every month and
because all payments are made via direct debit, the whole process is automated for total peace of mind.

Click here to download the Moneycorp Regular Payments Abroad Information Request Form: https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/Moneycorpcurrencyconversion_files/Moneycorp_RPA.pdf
To register with Moneycorp or simply view their website, click here: http://www.Moneycorp.com/pservices/overview.asp For a free, no obligation currency consultation either call +1 (415) 678 2770, e-mail [email protected] or click here: http://www.Moneycorp.com/agent/frenchpropertyinsider/, filling in your details, and one of the team will contact you at your convenience.
Brian Westwater, Consultant
Private Client Services, Moneycorp, Inc.
250 Montgomery Street, Suite 910
San Francisco, CA 94104
[email protected]

Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier (BPI)
Newest Rates

In direct relation to the European bank, BPI has increased mortgage rates. The discounted rates are no longer available and mortgage term increases are all limited to 5 years.

James Coney, Daily Mail
September 13, 2006

More than a quarter of a million Britons own a foreign property. This number has risen by almost 50% in the past six years and continues to grow, thanks in part to the numerous television shows extolling the joys of having a holiday home.
To read the entire article, visit http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/mortgages/article.html?in_article_id=412634

HOUSEBOAT on Seine, central Paris, 24m long, navigable, sleeps six, excellent appointments, sacrifice at 450,000 Euros! Living space 100 m², large salon, two small cabins with built-in bunk beds, captain’s quarters with double bed, sitting room and walk-in closet, full kitchen, separate WC and shower room. Call SeinePlus about Pilar, +33 (0) or email [email protected]
French Property Buyers are Truly International for Languedoc-Roussillon
From HomesGoFast.com

The Languedoc-Roussillon region of France has been named the top region for the strongest growth in the French property market. Languedoc-Roussillon is located in Southern France and stretches along the Mediterranean to provide a warm climate and beautiful coastal scenery…
To read the entire article, visit: http://www.homesgofast.com/view_news/194/
Paris Auctions

Next session: October 3, 2006, 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:

House, 183,91m² + garden approx. 162m²
8 rue des Boulangers, 75005 Paris
Opening Bid: 1,900,000 €
Deposit: 380,000 €

Hotel Particulier, 645m² with land 332m²
15 rue Legendre, 75017 Paris
Opening Bid: 3,250,000 €
Deposit: 650,000 €

Adrian Leeds, Parler Paris, French Property Insider and John Howell & Co. of International Law Partnership Present the…
Living and Investing in France
One-Day Seminar
December 28, 2006
Chez Jenny, Paris, France

If you’ve always dreamed of moving to France, starting a new life in Paris, enjoying a “pied-à-terre” of your own part of the year or perhaps investing in property in France, this power-packed seminar is a MUST. Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly e-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for John Howell & Co.,International Law Partnership, London, this one day in Paris will put you on the right footing to make it happen!
You will learn how to…
* Obtain the Right to Be in France!
* Buy and Own Property in France!
* Profit from the Leaseback Program, Corporate Housing in Paris (CHIP) and Other Investment Property Programs!
* Find Your Dream Apartment in Paris or Home in the Country!
* Get a Mortgage!
* Minimize Your Tax and Maximize the Benefits!
* Rent Your French Property for Profit!
* Reduce Your Currency Exchange Risk!
* Plus, answer all the rest of your questions during a Q and A panel with the presenters.

Details to be announced…to be on a special mailing list to be notified with complete information about the conference, email [email protected]/parlerparis
Welcome to France Fair

Welcome to France
October 15, 2006
Carrousel de Louvre
Paris, France

This is your last day for FREE tickets to the Welcome Fair!
On October 15th Expatica will once again be hosting the Welcome to France Fair 2006 – the biggest fair for expats in France.
Over 2,000 expats attended last year’s Welcome to France Fair, and the 2006 event promises to be even bigger and better, with more stands, more entertainment and more information this time around!
*** See the French Property Insider Consultation and John Howell of International Law Partnership booth number 55/56 next to the entertainment area and stay for our presentation, “Getting ready to find your dream home in France…” with John Howell and Adrian Leeds
at 3:45 p.m.

Tickets are available online FOR FREE, however they will only be available until Friday,September 22nd – (after that, tickets will be available at a cost of EUR 10)
Sign up for your tickets NOW at http://www.expatica.com/welcometofrance
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!
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

NEW! Concierge Services
French Property Insider Consultation now offers a range of Concierge Services. You can trust our team of professionals to help you take care of your Paris property investment when you’re not in France. https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/consultation/concierge.html


Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel or click here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp: 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

NEXT MEETING: October 10, 2006 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: Languedoc Fixer Uppers
Each week French Property Insider feature
s 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
*** Béziers, Village Home, approx. 40m²
Typical village home in a charming hamlet, ideal for a holiday home. 2 bedrooms, plus a basement of 23m² with a large window that can be converted into additional living space.
Asking Price: 44,000 € + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Lauragais, Country House, 5 rooms, approx. 40m²
Village house ready to renovate. 3 floors, with the potential for 3 bedrooms and 2 bathroom. Must be seen.
Asking Price: 55,000 € + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Béziers, Stone Barn, approx. 160m²
This stone barn has two levels, and is ideal for renovating into a lovely holiday home. The ground surface is 160m², with the possibility of creating an upper floor with terrace. Sound structure with water and electricity already connected. Located in a nice village with shops.
Asking Price: 89,000 € + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
France, Mediterranean Coast, Mouriès

One Bedroom 32m² to 32m² €113,000 to €118,000
Two Bedrooms 41m² to 54m² €150,000 to €198,000
Three Bedrooms 55m² to 55m² €202,000 to €211,000

Known for its stunning scenery, Mouriès is located between Avignon and Arles, in the heart of Provence and is the largest olive-growing community in France. Visitors to this area can enjoy rock climbing cliffs, golfing, exploring ancient villages, and more. This picturesque town is surrounded by little hills and fields of olive trees at the foot of the Alpilles, in the heart of the Valley des Baux. Located only 22km east of Arles between Les Baux de Provence and Salon de Provence, Mouries is fortunate enough to have a bullring which can accommodate up to 3,000 people.
This new build development located in southern France could not have a better location – Provence bordering the Mediterranean; its southwest coast is situated on the Gulf of Lion; Italy borders it to the northeast and the French island of Corsica lies southeast in the Mediterranean sea. The residence offers an outdoor swimming pool and over 200m² of communal space including a lovely reception area, lounge area, baggage check and a plethora of beautifully landscaped outdoor space.
This is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a leaseback investment on the French Riviera, receive 19.6% VAT refund after purchase, and an index linked guaranteed rental income. The residence will be completely serviced by one of France’s top management companies. Completion is scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2008.
Let us help you secure a mortgage in France with interest rates as low as 3%. Visit http://www.frenchpropertyloan for more information or email [email protected]


Managing Your French Property Insider Subscription is Easy!
We 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 https://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider
2. Click on “Manage Subscription.” You’ll find it u
nder the “Subscribers Onl
y” 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]
Remember, as an FPI Subscriber you can take advantage of a special discount on the popular Insider Paris Guides, plus get an extra 15% discount when ordering two or more guides. Choose from:
* Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris Restaurants by Adrian Leeds
* Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France by Jean Taquet
* Writers Insider Guide to Paris by Elizabeth Reichart
* Insider Guide to Black Paris by Melinda Herron

Just visit http://www.insiderparisguides.com. When you order, a box will pop up allowing you to enter the special FPI Subscribers discount code:
Username: fpi
Password: subscriber

You’ll receive download instructions, then just save the guides to your computer. Happy reading!



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/



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 are primarily properties in central Paris owned by our own clients and readers (investment-minded individuals) or managed by the agencies we have to come to know and trust over the years who can provide high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. These are the kinds of owners and managers you can fully trust and they, in turn, are seeking trustworthy tenants such as yourselves, to welcome to their Paris homes.
We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally. In many cases, we were instrumental in the purchase of these properties and therefore, stand behind the quality of those we represent. Because we’ve been working with Anglophone clients for many years who want to live and invest in France, we understand your needs and desires 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 their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.
Click here to learn more…https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/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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