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"Two European Cities that Begin with the Capital ""P"""

Volume IV, Issue 21

This past weekend, I took the opportunity to finally discover Prague, the other European city with a capital P that people often say rivals Paris in beauty. It has also become a rival for property investors ever since the Velvet Revolution and the fall of Communism when the Czech Republic regained its place as the center of Europe, conveniently near Berlin, Budapest and Vienna. As a new member of the European Union (May 2004), it is now a choice destination for tourists, filmmakers, celebrities and expatriates from around the world.

What’s happening in Prague mirrors the real estate movement in Paris…the central part of the city, and historic districts, are becoming increasingly more expensive as properties are becoming renovated up to modern standards and with the influx of foreign and wealthy Czech buyers. Lower income city residents are migrating to lesser expensive areas outside the city center.
Today we take a brief look at Prague, its beautiful architecture and hauntingly profound character. The photos are mine, taken with awed impression and absolutely, yes, worth a visit!
Moving to the center of Paris, we take you to an in-depth look at the “belly” of Paris — Les Halles — a project for the city that seems like an endless affair of renovation and rejuvenation. Work is scheduled to begin in 2008 and we are sure to have another “hole” to overlook for several years to come. How this will affect real estate in the area is hard to determine.
More from France Notaires on Buying or Selling a Home continues as our second of a series of articles and a brief note about WiFi in Paris — a primary goal by the City Hall to keep Paris on top for WiFi access.
We also bring you some great property picks in the Les Halles district (“betting on the come…”), a Leaseback property on the Mediterranean coast and what’s up for auction this month.

A bientôt…

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

P.S. 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, make your resolution to attend one of our upcoming power-packed conferences…

Living and Investing in France Conference
March 17 -19, 2006

Living and Investing in France Conference
New Orleans
May 26 -28, 2006

Volume IV, Issue 2, January 12, 2006

In this issue:
* Weekend in Prague
* Short History of Prague Architecture
* Prague Real Estate Investing
* Les Halles: New and Improved
* Tips for Buying or Selling a Home in France
* Free Internet in France
* Nice Carnaval on the Riviera
* Knowledge is Power — Upcoming Conferences
* Vive La France Show – January 20 – 22
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: February 14
* Hot Property Picks: Living In and Loving Les Halles
* On the Auction Block January 24, 2006
* Leasebacks: Clarmontis, France, Mediterranean Coast
* Classified Advertising: Last Minute January Deals…Monte Carlo Seaside…Leeds Marais Apartment!

Parisians in Prague
By Adrian Leeds
Reprint from Parler Paris

Everyone who has been to Prague says it rivals Paris in beauty, so I just had to go see for myself. I took my trusty Pentax Optio so I could snap away, to give you a glimpse of the Prague that competes for tourist attention with my true love, Paris.
Externally, yes, Prague i
s stunning. Known as the “golden city of spires,” Prague has architectural splendors that span a thousand years — a blend of Medieval, Baroque, and Renaissance buildings. The streets are cobblestoned, the sidewalks woven of intricate patterns set in tile, the facades of the ancient buildings are laced with delicate reliefs, yet anchored by statues that powerfully guard their doors.

Sure, the tourists flock to the most obvious spots — the Prague Castle at Hradcany that sits elegantly on the hill overlooking the Lesser Town and the banks of the Vlatava River; the 15th-century Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall Tower that every hour on the hour a small trap door opens and Christ marches out ahead of his disciples, while the skeleton of death tolls the bell to a defiant statue of a Turk; and the j2999efov district where lies the remains of a Jewish community that once numbered 90,000, of which almost 80,000 were killed during the Holocaust.
The Czech Republic has long been a land of mystery and magic, home to alchemists, artists and the original bohemians, all of them weavers of spells, creators of fantastic worlds of the imagination.
Internationally famous Czech photographer Jan Saudek is no exception, still surprising us with his nudes, dream imagery, time sequence and multi-panel photographs, with time and mood ranging from sentimental to tough, most often with his basement studio’s crumbling walls in the background. At the House at the White Unicorn at Old Town Square, the best of his work is currently on display.
Writer Franz Kafka, born in 1883, is Prague’s most revered citizen. His memorable words created a concept known as “Kafkaesque” — “…marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies.” His presence in Prague is everywhere…in sculpture, in the museums, in the printed word. He wrote, “Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”
Nestled behind the walls of the Pinkas, Klausen and Old-New Synagogues, in a cemetery dating back to the 15th-century, lie more than 12,000 tombstones, although the number of persons buried there is much greater. Earth was brought in to add further layers. The most prominent person buried there is Rabbi Liwa ben Bezalel, known as Rabbi Loew, without any doubt the greatest religious scholar and teacher from the 16th-century.
For three days we explored the winding streets and arched passageways. We shopped on the chicest street, named appropriately “Parizska” (Paris). We tasted Czech game such as venison, boar and duck accompanied by dumplings and lager. We were privy to a Saturday morning service at the city’s oldest Synagogue — the women only allowed to view the service through narrow cut-outs in the stone walls from a room adjacent to the main sanctuary.
We came to witness Prague with a capital “P” — and we learned that while to fully appreciate Paris, one needs a lifetime, three full days in Prague is a formidable beginning to discovering a few of its hidden selves, of which there are many.
Prague Architecture
From Frommer’s


Look up. That’s maybe the best advice we can give you. Prague’s majestic mix of medieval, Renaissance, and Art Nouveau architecture shares one fairly universal element — the most elegant and well-appointed facades and fixtures aren’t at eye level or even street level, but are on top floors and roofs. Hundreds of buildings are decorated with intricately carved cornices or ornamental balconies and friezes depicting mythical, religious, or heroic figures.
The grime of Prague pollution has been gradually stripped away, and each restored building reveals previously obscured details. What’s interesting, though, is how visitors react to the grime. When people visit Paris or Venice and see dirty, crumbling buildings, they consider them quaint. When they see the same old, dirty, crumbling buildings in Prague, however, they point to the failure of Communism — not entirely fair. If you look at photos of Prague taken in 1900, you’ll also see dirty, crumbling buildings.
The city’s earliest extant forms are Romanesque, dating from 1100 to 1250. The long Gothic period followed from 1250 to 1530. You’ll find many Gothic buildings in Staré Mesto. Plus Prague Castle’s most visible superstructure, St. Vitus Cathedral, is a Gothic masterpiece — that is, its older east-facing half (the cathedral’s western sections exemplify Renaissance and neo-Gothic styles). From 1500 to the early 1600s, the Italian Renaissance style prevailed.
Many of the best-known structures are baroque and rococo, sharply tailored in the high Austrian style inspired by the Habsburgs of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Some of the most flamboyant buildings are Art Nouveau, popular from 1900 to 1918. The movement that swept across Europe developed with the Industrial Revolution. Innovative building materials — primarily steel and glass — opened endless possibilities for artistic embellishments. Architects abandoned traditional stone structures, built in a pseudo-historic style. Art Nouveau is characterized by rich, curvaceous ornamentation that seems sadly to have vanished in the push for functionalism later in the century.
Several intriguing cubist designs from that era have also been hailed for their ingenuity. As an architectural style, cubism thrived in Bohemia, and you can find many examples in the neighborhood below Vysehrad Park.
The late 20th century played havoc with Prague’s architecture. Communists were partial to functionalism with virtually no character. Their buildings shed all decorative details. You shouldn’t leave Pra
e be
fore taking the metro out to Prosek to see the thousands of Communist-era flats, called “rabbit huts” even by their occupants. Created partly out of socialist dogma and partly out of economic necessity, these prefabricated apartment buildings (paneláky) were named after the concrete slabs used to build them. Cheap and unimaginatively designed, the apartment buildings are surrounded by a featureless world. Exteriors were made of plain, unadorned cement, and halls were lined with linoleum. The same room, balcony, and window design was stamped over and over.

But panelák living wasn’t always viewed as a scourge. Unlike the larger, older apartments, paneláks had modern plumbing and heating and were once considered the politically correct way to live.
Two major post-Communist projects have already triggered a new debate among the progressives and the traditionalists. The Myslbek shopping/office complex on Na Príkope near Wenceslas Square is the business district’s first attempt at blending the new with the old in a functional yet elegant way. And the so-called Dancing Building on the embankment at the Rasínovo nábrezí has conservative tongues wagging. Its design strays from the 19th-century Empire classical houses lining the river, but in a most peculiar way. Controversial U.S. architect Frank Gehry, who designed the American Center in Paris, and New Wave designer Vlado Milunic, have created a building that ironically pays tribute to the most classic of film dancing pairs: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Built as the Prague office of a Dutch insurance company, the building depicts the two intertwined in a spin above the Vltava.
Real Estate in the Czech Republic
By Elizabeth Haas of the Ceres Group

For EscapeArtist.com

The introduction of the market economy is one such factor, creating substantial spikes in incomes and higher demands for housing. Likewise, numerous foreign businesses have been drawn to Prague (often referred to as “the jewel of Europe”) due to its central location in eastern Europe and cheap labor costs. These elements, coupled with its breathtaking scenery, have also peaked the film industry’s interests while making it a prime location for urban expatriates who appreciate Prague’s modernity, liberal atmosphere, and low cost of living.
With such an influx of foreigners arriving in Prague, the real estate market is booming and the need for new or renovated housing is at an all time high. Many Czechs are purchasing single-family homes in the suburbs or new condominiums in the city while foreigners have become interested in villas and apartments in affluent central and inner-city areas. The current supply of newly built apartments does not meet the demand for them, as potential buyers seek larger and better equipped dwellings. This makes Prague and the Czech Republic very appealing options to the foreign investor…
To read the article in its entirety, click here:

Restoration of Les Halles: Where are the Projects?
For eight hundred years, this area in Paris was the central market. Initially it included businesses of all types, but by the 1500s, it had specialized in food and related products. Over time, it became more and more crowded, and by the 1900s, it had become a serious logistical problem. As a result, in 1969, the markets were moved to a vast area in the suburb of Rungis, very near Orly Airport to the south. A big empty space was left in this spot after the markets moved, and it was more or less a big hole for years (in fact, it was nicknamed “le trou des Halles” (the hole of the Halles) by the locals.
After quite a few years, it was finally decided to transform the “hole” into what it is today…something Mayor Bertrand Delanoë called the “worst urban planning disaster in the history of the city of Paris.” At the end of the 1970s with the inauguration of the RER in 1977, the opening of the regional shopping center in 1979, the creation of the underground car park and the garden, the site became intensely frequented.
The diagnosis of this district, the center of gravity of a metropolis of almost 10 million inhabitants, led the Council of Paris to decide, in December 2002, to undergo a vast development project in Les Halles. The area concerned is bordered by rue de Rivoli, boulevard de Sébastopol, Etienne Marcel and rue du Louvre.
Following a competition of four teams of architects presenting their plans, the urban party of the Seura team, David Mangin was retained by the city in December 2004.
While pointing out the essential objectives of the urban strategy, the project covers the public space and garden, forum and transports, and the “Square” which will be subject to an international contest of architecture.
* The Walks of Les Halles
The plan is to increase the public space for pedestrians. This project will make it possible to open access to certain tunnels (streets Berger, Coquillière, Pont Neuf et rue des Halles) to facilitate the routes of pedestrians and to extend the park. The essential services operating within the site will be preserved: access to the carparks, deliveries and emergency vehicles.
* The “Garden of Lights”
A larger garden, with more vegetation and more accessible. The garden of Les Halles will gain in accessible surface. The programming of the activities or future uses (play areas for children, areas for pétanque, etc…) will be one of the points of concentration. This garden, the largest possible (4,3 hectares) will offer great views. It will remain open without fences. The project will remove artificial hillocks, facilitate access to surrounding streets, preserve many trees, arrange a more open garden and offer lighting specially designed to emphasize the garden and allow more pleasant crossings and walks at night.
* The Forum and Transport
A new heart for the Forum. The objective of the project is to improve the accesses to the forum and the pole of transport for the comfort and the safety of all the users of the site: travelers, users of the public equipment, customers and employees of the forum and inhabitants. In particular, the project proposes to set up new escalators and staircases which will allow from rue Pierre Lescot and the garden, the access of natural light all the way to level -3. In the same spirit, the existing accesses from rue Pierre Lescot, Berger and Rambuteau will be restructured.
* The Project of the “Square”
An international contest will be launched to define its architecture and to choose its creator. The principle of construction of a “Square” above the forum, within the streets of Rambuteau, Pierre Lescot, Shepherd and the garden, was retained. This will make it possible to redefine the connection between underground spaces and the surface. For the design of this new building in the center of Paris, which will be communicating with monuments as remarkable as the Saint-Eustache church or Beaubourg, a contest will be organized. The objective is to accommodate equipment, trade and traffic spaces within an elegant, luminous and light construction. By the choice of techniques and the materials respectful of the environment, the design of the “Square” will contribute to the durable dimension of development desired by all.
Editor’s Note: Work is projected to begin in 2008. How this will affect real estate in the district will be difficult to tell…
Buying or Selling a Home
The second in a series of articles from France Notaires

An Exclusion of Guarantees (or “as is”) Clause
An exclusion of guarantees clause is often provided in the reservation agreement and the deed of sale. This allows the real property to be sold “as is” (en l ’état) even if significant repairs are indeed required.
But be careful! If the seller is aware of hidden defects (for example, if termites infest the structure or the building is a hazard through lead poisoning), and does not inform the purchaser of such defects, then the agreement may potentially be rescinded and the seller may be liable for damages.
Generally ,no guarantee is given regarding the exact surface area of the property, except in the case of apartments in joint ownership, where the price is often determined according to surface area.
Zoning and Urban Planning
You may of course want to be sure that you can build on the land for which you are negotiating. The zoning certificate (certificate d’urbanism) provides this information. It also states whether the land is used for public utilities or whether any such equipment is planned to be installed, such as water pipes, sewage pipes, and/or electricity power lines.
If you purchase an apartment or home which you do not intend to improve or modify, the notary will ask for a mere note on zoning restrictions from the township. This document may indicate whatever public servitudes may exist on the property, such as any road widening schemes.
Servitudes to Neighboring Properties
Do not lose sight of the fact that provisions in the reservation agreement and the deed of sale may transfer the servitudes which are attached to the property, such as a prohibition to build on the land or construct buildings higher than a certain height, or a right of passage granted to a neighbor for a parcel of land which is nevertheless not an enclosed space, an obligation to comply with a certain style for any building to be completed in the future, the possibility that your neighbor may have a right to alter your view from a window or terrace.
The seller must inform the potential purchaser of the boundaries of the property and indicate common ownership of certain fencing or walls.
If the Property is Subject to a Mortgage
If the seller purchased the property with a loan which has not been completely reimbursed, the mortgage registered in the name of the bank is still in force. This mortgage registration gives the bank a priority right on the price up to the remaining amount on the mortgage. It is also possible that the seller may be in debt and that a court-ordered mortgage has been established on the property subject to sale. The notary shall perform all of the verifications that are necessary to ensure that the purchaser may not be held liable to pay the sellers debts, above and beyond the price of sale. Of course, the purchaser should not pay any money u
ntil the
notary has accomplished his mission.

Purchase of a Property in Joint Ownership
Dimensions of the property being sold
If you are selling a parcel in joint ownership that is larger than 8 square meters, whether an apartment, a shop, professional premises or both personal and professional in nature, or an individual house on land of common ownership, the surface area must be precisely stated in the deed of sale and the reservation agreement (the “Carrez” law of December 18, 1996, Article 46 of the law of July 10, 1965). However, basements, garages and parking spaces are exempt from this rule. If the dimensions of the property are not indicated, the sale may be rescinded at the purchaser’s request within one month from signing the deed of sale. However, the agreement may not be annulled if the notarized deed of sale states the dimensions of the property. The notary will see to it. The purchaser is guaranteed by the statement of the surface area in the deed of sale. If the actual surface area is inferior to the surface area stated in the deed by more than 1/20th (5%), the purchaser may claim a proportional reduction of the purchase price for the difference.
The Joint Ownership Bylaws
Do not forget to carefully read the joint ownership bylaws. In that document you will learn, among other things, which areas of the building are common spaces and which are privately owned, as well as their conditions of use.
You will acquire a proportional percentage of the joint property and all associated costs: general maintenance, elevator, gardening, etc. You will be able to determine the acknowledged purpose of the building: is it entirely destined for lodgings? Can a professional activity be performed there?
Building Obligations in Joint Ownership
The notary will request a certificate from the joint ownership syndicate as provided under Article 5 of the Decree of March 17, 1967. The purpose of this document is to furnish the notary, drafter of the deed of sale, all useful information on the sale and the apportionment of expenses between seller and purchaser. This information may consist of any debts of the vendor to the joint tenancy, and the prior decisions of the assembly of joint owners regarding building, those which have not been completed and those which have been but which have not been completely paid for.
The notary will ensure, prior to delivering the price to the seller, that there are no outstanding debts. He shall state in the reservation agreement the date on which the decisions of the joint tenancy will financially bind the purchaser.
The Maintenance File (carnet d’entretien)
To ensure that the building is in a satisfactory state of repair, the purchaser may review the maintenance file (carnet d’entretien) which is held and kept up to date by the syndicate, as well as the technical diagnostic which was made prior to the establishing of any joint ownership property that had been built in the last fifteen years. The notary will show the purchaser this document in two cases: if this would be the first sale of a lot following a division, or a transfer occurring within three years since the date of the diagnostic.
In buildings holding at least two properties and therefore in all joint tenancies, the owners are obligated to investigate the presence of products or materials which contain asbestos. These rules apply to buildings constructed before a certain date between 1980 and 1997, depending upon the type of construction. The results must be indicated in a document which is annexed to the deed of sale.
Certificate of Conformity If you are purchasing a lodging that has been recently built or significantly modified, you can be sure that the construction was done in accordance with the building permit by reviewing a certificate of conformity issued by the mayor of the township
The Carrez Law in Question
Application of the Carrez Law requiring the indication of the surface area of lots in joint ownership, involves numerous proceedings. Be careful!
Free Internet For All
Posted in Wired + IPTV


The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, believes in giving free access to the Internet and wants to push development of a city wide telecom network. His intentions were first reported in Nouvel Observateur, quite a serious newspaper. James Enck says, “The article refers to a city-wide network, and also seems to suggest that the Mayor has aspirations of offering free narrowband Internet access and local telephony to residents of more modest economic means.”
The city has apparently launched a tender for the construction of this network, as per translation of the French language original. Instead of going for ADSL technologies, the city wants to build a fiber network. It is amazing to read this bit of news emailed by a dear friend, because France is one of the most competitive broadband markets in the world already. Folks like Free are simply changing the game in that country. Rodrigo recently pointed to me his latest post where Free has launched free TV streaming to the PC for its subscribers. “I guess now we are starting to see why we need high bandwidth in this country,” he writes.
According to some estimates, France has fallen behind UK in the broadband subscriber numbers. If you have interest in global broadband, please visit our Broadband Wiki and help us keep it up-to-date (http://www.socialtext.net/broadband/index.cgi).
itor’s Note: For a list of WiFi Hot Spots in France, consult

With Vonage Broadband Phone Service, you’ll be using your high-speed Internet connection to save on all your local and long distance calls. You’ll also get great international rates and many free features including voicemail, caller ID, 3-way calling and call forwarding. With Vonage you can choose your area code and keep your phone number wherever you go. You can also get advanced features like a second line, virtual numbers or toll free numbers…and soft phone — the freedom and convenience of making and receiving calls from your desktop computer or PC! Click here for more information:

Partying on the Riviera
Nice Carnaval and Menton’s Fête du Citron, February 2006
From Maison de la France


A hot spot even in February, the French Riviera hosts Europe’s most famous Carnaval in Nice from February 11 to 28 and the annual Lemon Festival in sunny Menton from February 10 to 26.
Exhilarating music, friendly people, the sizzle of the south – all of the elements of life in the French Riviera are on full display and in living color during the annual Carnaval and Fête du Citron celebrations.
The King of Dupes
From February 11 to 28, Europe’s most famous Carnival brings more than 300 “big heads,” decorated floats, singing and dancing to the beautiful Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The 2006 theme “le Roi des Dupes” (King of Dupes) illustrates society’s overindulgence where the real, the virtual and the ostentatious mingle and eliminate all boundaries. The city expects to draw more than 1,200,000 spectators to the annual celebration.
On the program
Arrival of His Majesty Carnival: February 11 at 2:30 p.m.
Carnival Parade of Lights: February 11, 14, 18, 25 at 9:00 p.m..
Carnival Parade: February 12, 15, 19, 22 at 2:30 p.m.
Flower Parade of lights: February 21 at 9:00 p.m.
Flower Parade: February 11, 18, 25 at 2:30 p.m.
Carnival Grand Parade: February 26 at 2:30 p.m.
Mardi Gras Grand Parade: February 28 at 2:30 p.m.
More information on events, as well as rates and hotel packages can be found at http://www.nicecarnaval.com.
Fête du Citron
Attracting over 400,000 people each year, the 2006 theme of Menton’s unique Fête du Citron is the rhythm and grooves of Brazil.
On the program
Biovès Gardens: Giant Carnvalesque monuments and works made out of citrus fruits add to the gardens’ already enchanting atmosphere.
Golden parades: Lively floats decorated in citrus fruits pass along the sea coast, on the Promenade du Soleil (Sundays, February 12, 19 and 26), while bands and baton twirlers set the tone.
Evening parades: The night explodes in music and light as Brazilian samba, folk groups, and bands lead everyone into dance on the street. (February 16 and 24).
Exhibitions: Held at the Palais de l’Europe, the Orchid Festival is an association of orchid and plant lovers from France presenting some of the most beautiful and exotic plants. At the Artisan’s salon, visitors can see artisans’ citrus-inspired work, including jellies, jams, honey, liqueurs, soaps and perfumes. Also on display is artwork such as wood carvings, ceramics, and small paintings.
For more information, visit http://www.feteducitron.com (French language only) or http://www.villedementon.com.
Yes, New Orleans will have Mardi Gras in 2006!
Despite the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans welcomes everyone back to the “City that Care Forgot” for Mardi Gras 2006 — they will again open our arms with Southern hospitality to everyone who loves New Orleans!
Mardi Gras Day is February 28, 2006
Editor’s Note: Pascal Fonquernie of http://www.Parismarais.com and I are planning on attending the festivities in Nice during Carnival February 24 – 26, so mark the March 2 issue of FPI for a full report!
Upcoming Conferences
Living and Investing in France Conference
March 17 – 19, 2006
Chez Jenny, Paris

Living and Investing in France Conference
May 26 – 28, 2006
Sheraton, New Orleans

There are more reasons than we can count for why we chose to hold this important event in the U.S. city that came close to total destruction this past year.
First of all, we love New Orleans. It’s Adrian Leeds’ home town with a heritage that dates back to the Spaniards who settled there to the French who turned it into the country’s most cultured and fun-filled city. It’s one of the most visited U.S. cities, is host to such important events as the Mardi Gras and the Jazz Festival, has centuries of history not to mention great food, music and art.
The devastation it suffered has touched the hearts of people worldwide. We want to show our complete support to rebuild New Orleans to even better heights by bringing back tourism to the city’s economy as quickly as possible. This is one vital way to achieve that goal. We urge you to come and join forces with us in these efforts!
Or contact Project Manager Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]/parlerparis to be put on a special mailing list.
Tourists Trickling Back to New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) — The paddlewheeler on which they had planned to take a Mississippi River excursion was being used to house Hurricane Katrina relief workers. But visitors Barbara Levy and Skip Hanson still had French Quarter antique stores and restaurants to enjoy.
“New Orleans will get going when tourism gets going. It’s got to start somewhere. Why not us?” Levy, who is from Arizona, said last week.
Four months after the storm, tourists are trickling back to New Orleans.
“They’re coming from as far away as Germany, as far away as Paris, as far away as who-knows-where,” Mayor Ray Nagin said Friday at a ceremony to mark the start of Carnival season, which culminates in Mardi Gras, the city’s biggest moneymaker…read the rest of the article here: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TRAVEL/01/06/katrina.tourism.ap/index.html
NEW DATES: May 15 – 19, 2006
Chateau de Saint-Loup

The Art of Trompe l’Oeil Workshop originally scheduled for December 29 – January 2, has now been postponed until May 15 – 19, 2006, and will be held at the fabulous Chateau de Saint-Loup. Join a unique community of artists, engaging in hands-on painting and conversation with internationally renowned trompe l’oeil muralist 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
Vive la France Show
January 20 to 22, 2006
London, Olympia

The new, revamped Vive La France Show is the biggest French Celebration on this side of the Channel!
NEW – In addition to Brasserie Roux, Club Gascon, Le Gavroche and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Salon de Thé, newcomer Mon Plaisir – London’s oldest French restaurant – will be serving you scrumptious dishes at the show. Delicious!
NEW – Enjoy what the French refer to as “The 7th Art.” International French Language Channel TV5 will be hosting a mini-cinema at Vive La France just for you — bonbons anybody?
NEW – France is renowned for its stylish design and our new interior style area will showcase some of its most eclectic examples – from Maison de Famille’s roomsets to Casapop’s sexy apron creations complete with beads, frills and lace!
Have you ever tried a glass of William Pear’s or blackberry cordial? Come to the show and try the world’s most flavorsome blackcurrant variety from award-winning Merlet & Fils, all the way from Poitou-Charentes.
Also… Beauty and style tips from our fashion gurus on the catwalk; Celebrity Chefs including Raymond Blanc or hot-blooded Jean-Christophe Novelli; Irresistible Chocolate and Champagne Seminars; The UK’s biggest French Property Exhibition; Superb gifts including a free trip to France with SeaFrance, a refreshing gift from Kronenbourg and much more! Treat yourself or your friends and family this side of Christmas: secure your tickets now and save £2 per person Have a fabulous Christmas and see you at the show!
Open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Box Office: 0870 380 0144

FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
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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
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Solution #4: Property Appraisal Service
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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: February 14, 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: Living in and Loving Les Halles
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
*** Paris, 75001, 3 rooms, approx. 68 m²
Near Marché Saint Honoré. In an 18th century building without an elevator, an apartment in perfect condition. On the 1st floor, view on the court, western exposure. Entrance, equipped kitchen, 2 bedrooms, bathroom with separate toilet. Hardwood floors, fireplace, double windows, digicode, large cellar.
Asking Price: 500,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee

*** P
aris, 75001, 3 rooms, approx. 75 m²

Exclusive! Bright apartment on the 3rd floor, with living room, American kitchen, 2 bedrooms bathroom, digicode.
Asking Price: 620,000 Euros + 2.5 % Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 75001, 3/4 rooms, 94 m²
Situated between rue Saint Honoré and the garden of Les Halles. Renovated apartment with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, north and south exposure.
Asking Price: 693,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
Paris Auctions

Next sessions: January 24, 2006 at 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 49.53 m² + Garden + Court
13-15 rue des Fêtes
75019 PARIS
Opening Bid: 275,000 Euros
Deposit: 55,000 Euros
2 rooms, 54.2 m²
23 rue Campagne Première
75014 PARIS
Opening Bid: 451,000 Euros
Deposit: 90,200 Euros
2 rooms, 46.9m² rented
59 bis rue du Moulin Vert
75014 PARIS
Opening Bid: 231,000 Euros
Deposit: 46,200 Euros
2 rooms, 36.9m²
37 rue Sauffroy
75017 PARIS
Opening Bid: 110,000 Euros
Deposit: 22,000 Euros
House 207 m² with a lot of 429 m²
122 avenue Daumesnil
75012 PARIS
Opening Bid: 190,000 Euros
Deposit: 38,000 Euros
2 rooms, 26m²
9-11 rue de Thorigny
75003 PARIS
Opening Bid: 95,000 Euros
Deposit: 19,000 Euros
3 rooms, 67.2 m² + box
60 rue Stendhal
75020 PARIS
Opening Bid: 210,000 Euros
Deposit: 42,000 Euros

France, Mediterranean Coast, Clemont Herault

Studio 35m² to 50m² Euros 79,000 to Euros 100,000
One Bedroom 50m² to 70m² Euros 100,000 to Euros 139,600


Located on the Mediterranean coast only 30 minutes from Montpellier and Béziers, the Herault Valley region boasts a population where 43% of residents are less than 30 years of age and a fantastic climate all year round. The atmosphere is young and vibrant. Close to the Salagou Lake and surrounded by many open green spaces, this region is cal
m and unspoiled. Within close proximity to commercial centers, town Cente
r and green parks and less then 50 minutes from fine sandy beaches. The region is known for its full-bodied red wines and for its oyster beds along the coast in the Bassin de Thau.

The residence is situated in a residential neighborhood that is calm and peaceful offering 68 studios to 1 bedroom apartments spaced out between 3 buildings. Certain apartments have garden areas and there is outdoor and underground parking available. Completion is due for the third quarter 2007. Montpellier, with a population of 230,000, is the capital of both the Herault department and the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It is the backbone of the region’s economy, one of the most cosmopolitan and progressive towns in France. The International Airport of Montpellier and a smaller one in Béziers offer flights from Paris. The fast and comfortable TGV train service also runs through to Montpellier. the Herault is an increasingly popular place in which to own property.
Under the Guaranteed Buy to Let – De Robien solution, investors have a hassle-free pure investment for the short, medium or long term where no use is required of the property for the period of rental and where you have the flexibility to sell the property without a long term rental contract in place. Personal residency is possible at the end of the contract. This plan is for the investor who is attracted by the Leaseback scheme, but plans to sell the property in the near future (less than 20 years), rent more flexibly, or take the opportunity for higher rental income by opting out of the guaranteed scheme at some point in the near future. This solution allows the investor to purchase the property on an interest only mortgage (or repayment if required) at a rate of about 3.8% currently and have a guaranteed income of 4% or more. This scheme is very attractive to investors who are keen to minimize their outgoings and maximize their exposure to capital gains in the French market.
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/



Last minute rental bargains!
Take advantage of these apartment rental bargains from Parismarais.com and enjoy the Paris winter sales! Prices in effect starting January 7, 2006.
*** Studio with king size bed, delightful decor on popular Rue Charlot — only 75 euros per night instead of 120 euros
*** Suite for 4 – enjoy 700 square feet near Pere Lachaise — only 120 euros per night instead of 160 euros
*** Large studio with marble bathroom, including a tub with hydrojets — only 100 euros per night instead of 130 euros
Plus more apartments at 30% off!
Visit http://www.parismarais.com/visit-our-flats.htm
Be sure to mention “FRENCH PROPERTY INSIDER SPECIAL OFFER” to get these rates when booking online.


Monte Carlo Seaside

Located at the f
rench border of th
e principality of Monaco in Roquebrune Cap Martin, this big one bedroom flat of 600 square-feet with a terrace can easily accommodate one couple + one extra adult on a convertible sofa. Fully equiped kitchen, marble bathroom, security doors, pure silence, fresh sea breeze, direct access to the quiet private beach at 200 meters, 5 minutes to Monte Carlo train station or bus stop, easy access from Nice international airport and Monte Carlo train station. Bike, motorbike and car rental available on request.

600 Euros/week Winter Months
800 Euros/week from Easter through Summer Months


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 2006, Adrian Leeds Group, LLC


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