Under the Tuscan Sun or A Year in Provence?
Volume IV, Issue 30
Sunday night we returned from ten scorchingly hot days in Tuscany and Umbria with a short stop in Rome. (It turned cool in Paris the moment we landed!) Even though Italy is delightful, those ten days of vacation were an eye-opening experience to all the things I love most about living in France!
By coincidence, a reader of FPI contacted us for advice about buying a property in Provence, specifically in the Vaucluse, an area of France that I have enjoyed on several vacations and which reminds me much of the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria.
For these reasons, today’s issue explores life in Italy vs France, and in particular these regions. Take in the articles about Italy and then be sure to learn more about the beautiful villages of the Vaucluse where life can be idyllic.
We also welcome to French Property Insider Consultation, Ms. Tracy James, our new Mortgage Manager, who will be assisting you with financing your next property in France.
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
P.S. Parler Paris Apartments is getting lots of requests for September and October…so if you’re thinking of coming to Paris during those months, you may want to book now! See https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/apartments for more information.
Volume IV, Issue 30, August 3, 2006
In this issue:
* French Property Consultation Welcomes Tracy James
* Ten Days in Tuscany
* Tuscan vs. Provençal Living
* Discovering The Vaucluse
* Villages in the Air
* Park Protection for French Area
* France Still Attracting Property Investors
* Buying Overseas a Popular Choice
* Living and Investing in France Conference, September 16 & 17, 2006, San Diego
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: September 5, 2006
* Hot Property Picks: Vaucluse Village Value and Harmonie on the Mediterranean Coast
* Leasebacks: Hauts de la Houle, France, Brittany / Normandy, Cancale
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments, Leeds Marais Apartment, “Le Provençal” Studio: Available as of August 2006
Welcome Mortgage Manager Tracy James to French Property Insider Consultation
We are proud to announce that Ms. Tracy James of San Juan Island, Washington, joined the staff of French Property Insider just this month with 20 years experience in retail sales and 10 years experience as a top producer in the mortgage lending industry. She was a volunteer on a committee to bring affordable housing to San Juan Island. and was voted San Juan County Real Estate Affiliate of the Year…twice! All this success comes from a small bundle of energy who was once a stage actress, singer and dancer who obviously also loves to travel.
Originally raised in San Diego, she moved to San Juan Island in 1992 and moved to Paris in July of 2004. Home in Paris is a rental apartment on rue des Rosiers in the 4th arrondissement. She has a daughter aged 20 and now a pet toy poodle puppy named Lucy who goes with her whenever possible.
We first met Tracy about one-year-and-a-half ago when she volunteered to work with Parler Paris to produce the weekly Community Calendar. Her bright smile and overwhelming energy impressed us then and delights us now as she takes on the responsibility of assisting property purchase clients in finding the right mortgage that suits their needs. She is also working directly with many of our clients to search and find the perfect property.
Welcome Tracy James to French Property Insider Consultation.
To contact Tracy regarding your mortgage in France, email her at [email protected].
Ten Days Under the Tuscan Sun and in t
he Shade of Umbria — Without Rose-Colored
By Adrian Leeds
From Parler Paris, July 31, 2006
Every year about this time, I take a week-long vacation with my daughter. Last year, we explored the Dalmatian coast of Croatia along the Adriatic Sea, with nothing but some simple beach clothing, sun tan lotion and a few guide books. This time around, with ten days planned in Tuscany, Umbria and Rome, I took an old laptop computer so I could spend every morning typing away on the keys to recall the previous day’s experiences.
My daughter, a budding photographer with an assignment from McGraw-Hill to take photos that can be used in educational books, took with her a Canon EOS 20D digital camera and a stack of memory cards. It was a pleasure to have someone with me who is forever recording the scene enabling me to be free to fully take in the landscape and the true-to-life experiences without looking through the lens of a camera.
We chose Italy for several reasons. First, we hadn’t been to Italy in a long time — about 8 years. Second, the air fares on EasyJet and Ryanair were really reasonable — about 105€ round trip for each of us. Third, I had a friend in Assisi that I wanted Erica to meet.
It was an aggressive trip — five different overnight locations in ten days, arriving in Pisa, flying home from Rome. There were many points along the way we wanted to stop and lots to see and accomplish. I rented a car, booked the flights and the hotel accommodations on the Internet, bought maps and a guidebook in Paris before leaving and tried to anticipate the little snags we might encounter along the way if I didn’t think ahead.
Erica took more than 1500 photos. I wrote almost 5000 words. It’s a long and perhaps winded tale of our ten days in Italy, of what we liked, what we didn’t like, what we discovered and what we didn’t discover. For those of you who love Italy, for all its assets and regardless of its liabilities, you may or may not appreciate my viewpoint without the usual “rose-colored sunglasses.” Italy is not perfect, as isn’t France, and it is possibly these imperfections that colored the excursion with real vitality, if not wonder.
My travelogue is peppered with Erica’s best and most poignant photos — at least in my opinion. Of 1500 images, there are too many that I’d love to publish, but we’ll let McGraw-Hill and Erica publish the rest in their books and on her Web site (http://www.ericasimone.com). Meanwhile, if you want to take a voyage with me and my daughter through Tuscany and Umbria, from Pisa to Rome, from your seat where you now sit, then click here…
Under the Tuscan Sun vs A Year in Provence
By Adrian Leeds
Often I come across people who are confused about their feelings toward Italy vs France for good reason.
In some ways, the two European countries are quite similar. They have quite a bit of shared history and shared territory, the borders having changed over the years leaving remnants of each other’s cultures on the terrain.
Their two Latin origin languages, French and Italian, are not too dissimilar — it’s fairly easy to learn Italian once you know French and vice versa. For example, “Bonjour” in French is “buongiorno” in Italian.
There is every bit as much romance attached with owning a “villa” in the Tuscan hills as there is in owning a “maison de campagne” in Provence. What charms North Americans to each of these not-so-undiscovered spots on the European landscape are very much the same reasons — history, lifestyle, culture.
So, one of the reasons I took ten days in Italy on vacation was to refresh my own memory as to why I preferred France over Italy as a place to permanently hang my hat. Ten days was long enough to make the comparison and reinforce my original decision to “Francofy rather than “Italiafy” myself.
Understand that my impressions are sweeping generalizations about each “people” after having traveled as a tourist and also talked with friends who live there. The comments are exaggerated to make a point and not intended to be offensive to either, but to illustrate the assets and liabilities of making a home in one vs the other.
For instance, while the French are the inventors of the word “bureaucracy,” the Italians invented “anarchy.” The difference between the French sense of order changes to chaos the moment you cross the border into Italy. Of course, life would be better somewhere between extreme order and extreme chaos, but that’s some other nation we haven’t yet found so romantic.
French roads are well tended, well marked and virtually free of ugly distractions. If you cross the border by car, you will note immediately the difference finding an inconsistency of the quality of the roads and directional signs that lead you nowhere or drop you in the middle of your journey altogether. The driving seems chaotic, too, but in fact, the fatality rate per capita in Italy is less than in France by about 20%.
The bureaucratic French will make you dot every “i” and cross every “t” several times to get something accomplished, but you can count on accomplishing it within a predictable amount of time. The anarchistic Italians, however, might make it seem easily doable from the outset, but then never accomplish it all — things as simple as installing a phone line or fixing a water heater.
Costs to purchase and maintain a home in Tuscany vs Provence are similar and both are at
lophone buyers in similar fashion. You are sure to find neighbors that don’t speak much French or Italian and share your frustrations with the cultural differences. You might find your Italian neighbors warm and inviting while the French will seem cool and aloof, but then again, they may be quicker to take advantage of you compared to the French indifference and sometimes arrogance.
Either way, ten days in Italy taught me that I’m quite spoiled by the lifestyle in France…where the trains run frequently and on time, where I can count on a baguette costing the same in every boulangerie and where I know my plumber isn’t going to quit the job if he has been jilted by his lover.
From Provence Web
Here is the interior of Provence. The boundaries of the Vaucluse are defined by the valley of the Rhône in the west, which provides irrigation for this land of fruit, vegetables and vineyards.
The north of the department has a unique story in that four of the villages of Vaucluse were hemmed in inside the “departement” of the Drome and have since been named the Pope’s Enclave just above Vaison la Romaine in the rocky Haut Vaucluse.
The eastern boundaries are sculpted out of the Alps and the Mount Ventoux; while in the south one finds the Luberon, between Cavaillon and Pertuis which follows along the Durance River.
The villages in this part are known to be charming, found so high up in the rocky chain of the Luberon.
* Le Luberon
This is a land of castles, perched villages and craggy landscape. The Luberon is a place much sought after. Even before Peter Mayle and his bestseller Une Année en Provence, famous people both in politics and show business came here to escape the curious crowds.
Right in the heart of Provence, Luberon offers such historical and cultural sites as the Abby of Senanque and the typical villages of Gordes, Ménerbes, Lourmarin.
In the midst of this rough countryside of deep crevices and terrassed slopes, the Luberon inhabitants have made a living out of wine making and the cultivation of lavender, native to this soil.
* The Rhône Valley and The Comtat Venaissin
From Bollene in the north to Avignon in the south, and passing through Orange, one must add Cavaillon and Carpentras to this fertile valley.
These vast plains, dedicated to agriculture, head the national production of fruit and vegetables.
Here wine making is a tradition; it is the land of Côtes du Rhône, Côtes de Ventoux and Côtes de Luberon mostly classed A.O.C. Chateauneuf du Pape, along with Gigondas, add prestige to the region without forgetting the fragrant Vacqueyras or Rasteau.
* Haut Vaucluse (Provence des Papes)
This protected site, historically rich for more than 20 centuries, is surrounded by oak and pine forests.
The Dentelles of Montmirail, curious looking hills with sharp peaks that have eroded in a manner resembling lace, attract mountain climbing enthusiasts.
Below the Pope’s Enclave the land is rich in truffles, lavender, honey and good wine. Here nature is strong and is respected by the inhabitants. This is the Provence made from the love of hard work and the knowledge that has been transmitted from generation to generation.
The Most Beautiful Vaucluse Villages
From Provence Guide
In Provence, stone, water, wind and earth are inextricably connected, and man has always used all four to advantage, benefiting from the climate and the forces of nature. In Vaucluse, the architectural heritage blends harmoniously with the natural setting, for the organization of society in Vaucluse dates back to the Middle Ages, and sometimes even to Roman times. Drystone architecture is quite prevalent, due to the stones produced when fields were cleared and the many quarries. Drystone architecture is seen in stone walls, bories, homes and cobblestone streets. Water, the symbol of life, flows from countless fountains on shady squares, often next to clock towers which stand guard, topped by wrought iron campaniles — forming the heart of the village. Water mills and wind mills supplied flour and olive oil, precious, vital ingredients to the Provençal way of life.
Architectural heritage, natural beauty, both work together to delight the eye as you travel through Vaucluse, discovering how the villages blend in with the stone, the rock and the natural colours.
* Village of Ansouis
The Castle, built in the 13th century and restored in the 18th century, overlooks the village, where the houses are built in a semi-circle on the hilltop. The village is sheltered from the Mistral Wind. Beautifully picturesque winding streets and squares, the good life all year long.
* Village of Gordes
Here in Gordes, stone architecture has been perfected, reaching the pinnacle of a fine art. Homes and walls cling to the rocky spur where the village was built centuries ago. Walking along the winding cobblestone streets, the visitor senses the history of this beautiful village on the road to Apt.
* Village of Ménerbes
Ménerbes is built atop a rocky spur, and stretches langourously along the hilltop, facing the Monts-de-Vaucluse. Splendid medieval architecture. The Citadel stands out like a stone sailing ship above a sea of vineyards. Discover Ménerbes in all seasons, as did artists Nicolas de Staël and Picasso.
* Séguret Village
The name Séguret comes from the Provençal word Ségur (sûr), which itself comes from the Latin Securitas, which meant safety. Built into the hillside, on the last foothills of the Alps, overlooking the Comtat Plains and the Rhône Valley, with their vineyards. Séguret has retained its strong medieval character, with its cobblestone streets, its old homes, the fountain “Fontaine des Mascarrons”, a historical monument, the ruins of its feudal castle which affords a breathtaking view. Also see the 17th century belfry with a single hand, 10th century Saint-Denis Church, and Notre-Dame-des-Graces Chapel.
* Village of Roussillon
Ochre cliffs surrounding the village, ochre-colored fronts of homes in Roussillon, deep green pine trees against the brilliant blue sky… the magic of color in the beautiful light of the Luberon delights visitors to Roussillon.
* Village of Lourmarin
In the heart of the Luberon, amidst vineyards and olive trees, Lourmarin has many homes dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Picturesque streets, gurgling fountains, home to Albert Camus and French author Henri Bosco, who are both buried here.
* Village of Venasque
Venasque is a hilltop village overlooking the plains. Saracen towers, an old baptistery whose origins are the subject of controversy, the church and the crucifixion scene dating from 1498… Mystery and architectural beauty in its winding streets, pleasant to visit winter and summer alike.
Idyllic French Area Seeks Haven by Becoming a Park
July 13, 2006
The Washington Times
A beautiful corner of southeastern France, beloved by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, is planning to become a nature park to protect itself against tourism and a property boom…
To read the article in its entirety click here:
Property Investors Head to France
By Nick Gibbens
From 999 Today
France is still as popular as ever as an overseas investment destination despite the distraction of emerging markets, experts have said…
To read the article in its entirety click here:
Bye Bye to Britain and Buy Buy to a Home Abroad
Rosalind Russell on the rush to buy overseas
Telegraph Group Limited
As the value of your home climbs ever higher, you are not the only one calculating the gains to be made. Developers overseas have identified the British as the Europeans most willing and financially able to buy a second home abroad, and they are targeting us in seductive advertising campaigns….
To read the article in its entirety click here:
Adrian Leeds, Parler Paris, French Property Insider and John Howell & Co. Present the…
Living and Investing in France Conference
September 16 & 17, 2006
Sheraton Suites San Diego
San Diego, California
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 conference 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.,
Law Overseas, London, these
two days in San Diego will arm you with all the information you need to make it happen!
The Conference Location
Sheraton Suites San Diego
701 A Street · San Diego, California 92101
Phone: (619) 696-9800
Click here for more details and to reserve your room.
There is nothing else you can do in less time and as inexpensively to learn all you need to learn to make your dream to live in France come true than take advantage of this 2-Day power-packed conference with expert speakers from France, Europe and the U.S…
Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of Parler Paris and French Property Insider, director of French Property Consultation, author of the Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris Restaurants and co-coordinator of the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group!…
You will learn how to…
* Obtain the Right to Be in France!
* Earn a Living in France and Start a Business!
* 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!
* Renovate Your French Property!
* Reduce Your Currency Exchange Risk!
* Learn the Language!
* Cross the Cultural Divide!
* Plus, answer all the rest of your questions during a Q and A panel with the presenters.
You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and learn all you’ll need to know to make your dream to live in France come true or how to take part in the profits of owning property there.
• John Howell, Europe Law Solicitors and International Attorneys
• Adrian Leeds, Editor of Parler Paris and French Property Insider
• Ruth Mastron, Co-Author of Au Contraire, Figuring Out the French and Vice-President of SoCoCo Intercultural
• Douglas Johnson, Moneycorp Currency Brokers
More to come…Get to Know the Conference Presenters…Click Here
• Coffee Breaks Mid-Morning and Mid-Afternoon
• Cocktail Reception
• Workbook and Reference Materials
• Parler Paris Canvas Tote Bag with Free Gifts from Paris
Click here for the complete full-day schedule…
Earn $100 When You Refer Your Friends!
Refer your friends, as many as you like, to attend the Living and Investing in France Conference. For each one that registers at the full price of $797, you will receive $100 off your registration*!! Refer 8 friends and you will be able to attend virtually free of charge!!
FIRST PERSON CONFERENCE
Yes, sign me up NOW for the Living and Investing in France Conference in San Diego for one person at $997!
Early Bird Registrations and Subscribers of Parler Paris, French Property Insider and Clients of John Howell & Co. — Save $200! First Person Pays Only $797
SECOND PERSON CONFERENCE
Yes, add my spouse, partner or friend NOW to attend the Living and Investing in France Conference in San Diego at an additional $847!
Early Bird Registrations and Subscribers of Parler Paris, French Property Insider and Clients of John Howell & Co. — Save $200! Second Person Pays Only $647
EARN $100 WHEN YOU REFER YOUR FRIENDS!
Refer your friends, as many as you like, to attend the Living and Investing in France Conference. For each one that registers at the discounted price of $797, you will receive $100 off your registration*!! Sign Up Your Friends and Earn $100!
*A credit will appear on your credit card account from the Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, for each of your friends who regsiters with us at the conference at full price!
Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
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pert will make your move easy and hassle-free. We
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TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
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
PLEASE NOTE: THERE IS NO MEETING IN AUGUST
NEXT MEETING: September 5, 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: Vaucluse Village Value
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
*** Gordes, House, 6 rooms, approx. 220m²
18th century maison de village. Two rooms restored in stone, beautiful Provençal ceilings with beams. Living room with fireplace, large kitchen, 2 bedrooms, bathroom, toilet, garage. Full of space and charm, with many old features retained. Lovely view.
Asking Price: 300,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** La Bastide des Jourdans, House, 6 rooms, approx. 120m²
Magnificent 17 century maison de village. Quality renovation featuring lots of space, two terraces and an independent workshop. A rare find!
Asking Price: 350,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Pertuis, House, 11 rooms, approx. 232m²
Spacious maison de village with 6/7 bedrooms on a garden. Full of charm, with a rooftop terrace. This rare house offers many possibilities!
Asking Price: 395,000€ + 2.5% Fi
France, Mediterranean Coast, Nice
One Bedroom 41m² to 41m² €307,000 to €307,000
Two Bedrooms 62m² to 80m² €448,000 to €619,000
EXPECTED RENTAL INCOME UP TO: 5.00%
MOST EXCITING CITY ON THE MEDITERRANEAN
The capital of the Riviera and fifth largest city in France, Nice lives up to its glittering reputation. Known to be one of the best cities in France to live in and a fantastic international holiday destination. Situated in the South of France, on the French Riviera, also known as the Cote d’Azur bordering the Mediterranean from St. Tropez in the west and to Menton in the east; then the Italian Riviera takes over!
Located in the Musicians District only 10 minutes from the beach, an up-market area of central Nice. The main shopping area, beaches and old town are all within short walking distance, as well as the museum, library, public transport and local amenities. There is something magical about a city on the sea not to mention that Nice has a fantastic climate all year round. Think Athens; think Barcelona; think Nice! Only a few minutes walk from the “Promenade des Anglais” and its beaches. Completion is set for the 4th quarter of 2008.
LEASEBACK NEWS FROM IMOINVEST
HAUTS DE LA HOULE
France, Brittany / Normandy, Cancale
One Bedroom 37m² to 37m² €156,000 to €156,000
Two Bedrooms 48m² to 52m² €199,000 to €227,000
Three Bedrooms 59m² to 71m² €240,000 to €286,000
LEASEBACK PROPERTY NEW LISTING
GUARANTEED RENTAL INCOME UP TO: 4.60%
HOLIDAY GETAWAY THAT PAYS FOR ITSELF
Charming Breton port benefiting from a prominent position on the coast, facing Mont Saint-Michel. Brittany and its many faces: superb seaside, magnificent forests, archaeological sites, artistic and historical towns and so on. Along the coast, steep cliffs give way to fine sandy beaches, and former fishing villages lie alongside well-known seaside resorts. Cancale is a hidden treasure nestled within this beautiful region, a splendid panorama, a rich gastronomic heritage, authentic Cancale, a town of character and so much more.
Cancale covers an area of 1,300 hectares and lies at a point where Breton and Norman cultures meet. A fishing town, it has preserved what makes it one of the jewels of the Emerald Coast, namely its authenticity and its rich traditions. Activities within this region include, canoeing and kayaking, surfing and sailing, riding, diving, fishing, hiking, mountain-biking, golfing and so much more. This Leaseback ticks all the boxes, with a first-rate tourist site, a high-quality location, firm and renewable lease with a minimum of 9 years, a big-name management company, high and guaranteed profitability.
SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?
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Order more than one guide at a time and you will receive an additional discount!
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
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
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HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: http://www.onlineconversion.com/
==== CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING ===
PARLER PARIS APARTMENTS
Parler Paris Apartments is finally up and running! It’s just the beginning…as we put the finishing touches this Summer on a collection of vacation rental apartments in Paris that have our “seal of approval.” Keep your eye out for new additions to the site and new ways of making it more and more user friendly, as well as adding properties you will love calling your home in Paris.
* Available in its entirety September 8 – 18, 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 up to 4 people when she’s traveling. Includes high speed Internet access, free international calling, housekeeping one time per week and all linens.
Pictures and more details available here: https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html
Email [email protected]/parlerparis
* “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/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html
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Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, http://www.adrianleeds.com