The Unofficial Beginning of Summer Vacation
Bastille Day is just two days away and for the French, this is the unofficial beginning of summer. From this point forward, getting anything accomplished in France becomes a challenge because so many people take their vacations. In fact, it’s the reason it works—with everyone indisposed, your expectations are lowered and therefore you can relax, too.
Summer is a funny time of year for us because our client base is not made up of the French, but of North Americans who don’t have the same concept or practice of taking long vacations at the same time of year. The Americans have been traveling with revenge after the last couple of years of confinement and want to make things happen as quickly and completely as they can. We are therefore doing a juggling act to balance our clients’ readiness with our and the market’s unavailability.
If you really want to put your best foot forward in your quest for a move to France or finding property here, wait until September when everyone is back to business!
Saturday night instead of painting the town red, I happily sat in front of my computer’s camera to Zoom a webinar sponsored by the Federation of the Alliances Françaises USA.
The Federation was founded in 1902 and represents more than 100 chapters of Alliances Françaises in the United States with a national board of 19 members. It organizes an annual national conference (the next one is scheduled for Oct. 20-22, 2022 in Detroit), provides grants, showcases literature and film, and supports all its chapters with publications and best practices resources as well as organizing national cultural events (such as this one) and promoting the activities of Alliance Française chapters throughout the country. We’ve been working closely with them for almost 20 years!
The Paris-based Fondation des Alliances Françaises provides oversight of the worldwide Alliance Française network, with more than 800 chapters in 130 countries and half a million students. It is the modern-day embodiment of the Alliance Française organization that was launched in 1883 by notables such as Jules Verne and Louis Pasteur. It was there that I took my French test for citizenship.
Learning French before you come to France to live is one of the smartest and most practical things you can do to advance your acclimation to the culture and everyday life. Like an idiot, I did not do this and instead started a French-English conversation group (called “Parler Parlor”) that I ran with a partner, a past director of Berlitz, for 20 years. So, I learned French by practicing it, but not by studying it properly as I should have. Yes, I could have reached out to the Alliance Française long ago, but was too lazy, and therefore too stupid. The lesson here is “don’t do what I do—do what I say!”
Even if you missed it, you can still watch it by clicking here for the recording.
The webinar generated more than 100 participants across the globe, mostly from the U.S. and Canada. The Top 10 Mistakes can also be found in a Nouvellettre® written in April. Then here are three more to add to the list:
The list could easily get longer, but take note of these before we go further:
Plan ahead for inheritance taxes and issues
French inheritance taxes are no joke, so you want to ensure that you have the structure of your purchase set up correctly for your future. Consult our tax advisors on this issue before signing your Acte de Vente.
Don’t expect real estate to function in France as it does in North America
This is a life lesson to be learned and is more about “expectations” than anything else. You can change your life in a positive way by exchanging the word “expect” to “hope” because expectations usually lead to disappointments. In this case, if you expect real estate in France to function like it does in the U.S. or Canada, you will be in for a rude awakening!
Don’t think you can do it on your own!
You can do it on your own, but you’ll pay the price. Whether you work with us or another team, having professionals protect you is the best insurance you can get. Be smart and realize that even if you can do it on your own, it’s smarter not to. It’s kind of like my not having taken courses at the Alliance Française…I did it on my own, but I paid the price!
Happy Bastille Day!
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group®
P.S. I’m taking a couple of vacations this year—to Greece in July and to Corsica in August. I may be writing my usual Nouvellettres® from Greece, but you can count on NOT hearing from me while I’m vegging out on the beaches in Corsica August 12-19! This way, you get a break, too!