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Paris — A Living Museum

Musée Carnavalet, Once Home of Madame de Sevigné, 17th-Century

Paris — A Living Museum

Paris Property Picks
Published by Parler Paris
A Friday Peek at this Week’s Best Paris Picks

Portfolio #42

Friday, September 24, 2004
Paris, France

Special Message


We know of nine destinations right now where you could live better…safer…freer…for less…no matter what your age.

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Reporter Christine Garin of the French newspaper, Le Monde, was highly critical of opinions expressed by Parisians and that made big news. I received a communiqué from the City Hall outlining the results of a recent poll at the same time Agence France-Presse reported on Le Monde’s take on the results.

I get a chuckle because as an outsider to the culture, it rings so true of the French ability to debate with itself…to circle a subject and see it from every angle, even when the subject is itself!

A questionnaire was distributed to 800,000 Parisians, 121,333 of which responded. With a response as high as 15%, this is considered to be a very viable sampling. The telling results prompted Le Monde to accuse the people of Paris of being “spoilt conservatives who prefer to live in a decaying museum than confront the French capital’s pressing problems.”

Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has been trying to end a 30-year ban on building higher than 37 meters and 62% were opposed to tower-blocks. Only the very young (18 to 24) were marginally in favor. Well, I agree! Who wants another Montparnasse Tower to obscure the beautiful Parisian skyline?

An overwhelming majority (82%) want to continue measures to restrict car traffic, including more bus lanes, cycle paths and extending the new tramway. Well, I agree! In a city where public transportation is exceptional, who needs more cars, more pollution, more noise?

Opinions were split over the Mayor’s policy to promote low-income housing in affluent areas of the city, although overall 71% agreed. Not surprising that the poorest response (46%) came from the richest district, the 16th. I’ve personally heard Parisians complain that with property prices rising as they have in excess of 12% annually, that the average Parisian can no longer afford living within the city limits. It’s true that Paris is becoming a city of the “elite,” thanks to folks like us who can afford to own and are banking on appreciation of our properties.

A majority of Parisians are still in favor of creating more parks, while creating new business units to promote economic activity were considered important by only 40%. Also of major concern by a vast majority is the protection of old buildings and for use of high quality materials. I agree! Would you want Paris to turn into a town of Walmart-style retail barns?

Le Monde’s opinion was clearly opposed to the public’s — accusing it of being badly awry. “It must shake off its rigid planning rules and style of architecture that is more and more like a nostalgic pastiche.”

I disagree! There’s a reason this is the number one most visited place on the planet. There’s a reason that Paris is the world’s most beautiful and romantic city. There’s a reason we’ve fallen in love with this place called the “City of Light.” And you can bet your bottom euro that we’re going to do what we can to protect it, especially from those who think money is more important than quality of life.

Today’s property picks are dedicated to the forefathers who built mansions in the city in the 17th and 18th-centuries, still standing today known as “hôtels particuliers” and renovated to accommodate today’s contemporary lifestyle. Now, if you ask me, that’s what fits with the program!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
[email protected]

P.S. This afternoon, Anthony Williams, Mayor of Washington, DC will be meeting with Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë in the office of the mayor at the Hôtel de Ville to further their commitments and cooperation between the two capitals. I’ll be there and reporting back to you on Monday!

P.P.S. If you will be taking advantage of the Thanksgiving week to visit Paris, my apartment is available for rent in its entirety November 21 – 30 and we have lots of others to offer. Visit /parlerparis/apartments for more information or email me at [email protected]


Each week Paris Property Picks 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 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 /frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html

5 room,s 150 m² environ, near Métro Arts et Métiers, on rue du Vertbois, in a hôtel particulier from the 18th-century, on the 1st floor on a courtyard, quiet, sunny.

Asking Price: 725,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee









3 rooms, duplex,

99 m², in a beautiful building from the 18th-century, absolutely quiet and sunny, entry, large salon, kitchen, two bedrooms, two baths, parking. Rare.

Asking Price: 870,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee

4 rooms, 152 m², near Musée Carnavalet and rue des Francs Bourgeois, superb apartment typical of Le Marais with large salon, one bedroom, one office and beautifully decorated.

Asking Price: 1,260,000 Euros + 2 Finder’s Fee (20,000 Euro maximum)







4 rooms, 140 m², hôtel particuliers, very large receptions, two bedrooms, two baths, elevator, recently exceptionally well renovated.

Asking Price: 1,295,000 Euros + 2 Finder’s Fee (20,000 Euro maximum)


7 rooms, 111 m², renovated in 2003, on the 5th floor and last floor of a 17th-century building with elevator and guardian. Double living room overlooking the Seine, four windows, two offices, three bedrooms, kitchen, two baths. Cabinetry, cellar, parquet, fireplace. Lots of charm. Exceptional view of the Seine.

Asking Price: 1,622,000 Euros + 2 Finder’s Fee (20,000 Euro maximum)


* Further resources:

* Many people don’t have the time nor the resources to look for their own little piece of France, especially if they’re located in the States or other foreign country.

* Stay in your own luxury apartment while you’re here…

* Getting a mortgage in France is easier than you think.


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