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A Piece of Paris for a Fraction of the Price

This is the view from all of the windows — this lush garden that looks more like a corner of a tropical rain forest than the center of Paris. It’s an oasis just two steps off newly pedestrianized rue des Rosiers in Le Marais and one block from Métro Saint-Paul, behind a stone-encased wooden door, down a stone-walled corridor and up seven small tiled steps.

Just before arriving at the Notaire’s office to sign on the dotted line yesterday afternoon on behalf of Paris Home Shares Fractional Ownership company, the real estate agent and I performed a “walk-through” to ensure that all was in order and that the buyer could feel comfortable taking possession of it in its present condition.

The two-bedroom apartment looked even better without the previous owner’s 1970’s Jetsons Retro furnishings, leaving only an enormous gilded mirror, window shades and of course, all the high quality kitchen appliances. The open “American-style” kitchen, dining and living area is expansive, with approximately four-meter-high ceilings, exposed 17th-century wood beams, stone walls and a large stone fireplace. Tall windows in all the rooms frame the picturesque garden around which the apartment wraps in the shape of an “L.” I wanted to move right in.

Instead, we headed to the signing where the seller’s Notaire, our Notaire, the real estate agent and I reviewed the “Acte de Vente” (deed) thoroughly, initialing or signing every page, every pertinent document so that title could be taken in the name of “SCI Jardin Saint-Paul” (SCI = “Societé Civile Immobilier” — a French property company) which in turn, will be equally shared by 12 different owners.

For years of discussing various investment schemes at the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conferences, “Fractional Ownership” has been an idea on many people’s lips. It is not a brand-new concept, but there are only a handful of developers testing the Paris market, and even that has only been recently.

Fractional Ownership is a hybrid of direct ownership and time sharing, combining the best elements of both. The primary differences are that while timeshares involve many thousands of shares in a large complex with “resort” amenities and costs built specifically for that purpose, Fractional Ownership is joint ownership by only a few individuals in a single property whose value can easily be determined on the open market and for which there are very few, if any, resort amenities which must be managed and maintained (and paid for!).

You may have seen the r

ecent article in the New York Times about Fractional Ownership in Paris: “A Less-Expensive Way to Own in Paris” by Andréa R. Vaucher. Read it, but there are a few things you should know as you do:

1. This particular Fractional Ownership seller could get the owners into trouble as the units are rented for income because French law says that if the French company, the SCI, generates income, it will be treated as a business and therefore there will be tax of 3% of the value of the property assessed every year.
2. Compare the price per square meter with Le Jardin Saint-Paul. Their charge is 1745€ per square meter (for an apartment of only 47 square meters with a mansard roofline), compared to 1169€ per square meter for an apartment two-thirds larger at 77.4 square meters with very high ceilings
3. Owners only get two definitive weeks per year for their one-twelfth share, and must return a second time each year for any additional weeks they want to use. Paris Home Shares has a better plan and believes this arrangement is very awkward.
4. The apartment was offered on the market in June 2006 and according to the article, wasn’t yet sold out. Le Jardin Saint-Paul was offered on the market only two months ago and was two-thirds sold out even before yesterday’s signing of the final deed!

Before the owners can take possession, Steve Navaro and the team of Paris Home Shares will renovate and decorate to ultimate luxury in the regal style to which this ancient space deserves. When all is said and done, there will be 12 very happy owners enjoying their own pied-à-terre in Paris and its appreciating investment value, with absolutely no effort.

Remember, the first shares which were at the lower price are gone and a new price has just one into effect — 90,500€ per share, and worth every penny.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. We will be discussing Fractional Ownership at the upcoming Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference October 13th but by then it may be too late. If you’re interested in learning more about Le Jardin Saint-Paul and Paris Home Shares upcoming projects, visit /frenchproperty/consultation/sales/fractional/jardinstpaul.html or call or write Steve Navaro: +1-303-793-0900, email: mailto:[email protected]

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