SPECIAL EDITION: Got an Itch to be in France? Here’s How to Scratch It!
You’re itching to have your own place in Paris, or Nice or Provence or wherever in France, right? And maybe you’ve saved a little money and maybe you haven’t, right? But the bug got you…you got bit bad. And now that the French lifestyle sunk its teeth into you, you simply have to scratch that itch…keep coming back for more and hoping that one day you’ll have something here you can call your own.
Guess what? There’s no reason that can’t happen. I did it. Thousands of people have done it. You can do it, too.
All it takes is 1. the itch, 2. the hope, 3. a little bit of money (not necessarily a lot) and 4. the know-how.
The good news is that you only need the first three: the itch, the hope and a little bit of money. I can give you the 4th — the know-how. And I’m going to give you that know-how right now…right here in this very “Nouvellettre®.”
That sounds pretty confident, right? Well, let’s just say that I’m going to present a slew of ideas that will get you thinking about how you can scratch this itch you have to be in France. And then, once you know which ideas suit you most, you can proceed to the next level and really make it happen.
First let’s talk about what itch it is you have. Do you want to just have a place you can enjoy from time to time? Do you want it to pay for itself or even earn a profit? Do you want to come for a long period of time and test out the ‘living in France’ waters? And do you realize that once you do any of this, you will never regret it and never look back (or go back!)? (I warn you!)
Ok, so you’ve got the itch to be in France. Now you need the hope. If you don’t have the hope, then it will never happen. Hoping is all part of dreaming. And no action takes place without first thinking about it, even the most spontaneous of reactions. Our brains tell our bodies what do do, remember? So, it has to be a hope and a dream before it can become a reality.
Do you have the hope? Do you believe it can become a reality? Or have you just put the idea on a shelf while everyone else around you manages to realize their dreams. Let’s take it off the shelf now and take a good hard look at this dream of yours.
Have you saved a bit of money? Some of you have saved a lot and likely have been looking for a good, safe place to put it where it will earn interest, dividends, or grow and provide security. Some of you may not have saved much at all and that’s why you’ve put your dreams on a shelf. And while it’s true it takes money to make money, it also takes the itch, the hope and the know-how to make money.
I’ve helped hundreds of people realize these dreams in the last almost 20 years. That’s because I went through exactly the same process. I had an itch, a hope and a dream, a very little amount of money (you’d be shocked to know how little), but not the know-how. That I had to acquire by research and experience. And it’s that “connaissance” that takes us to today’s Nouvellettre®.
So, here are a few ideas to help you scratch that itch of yours. Then you let me know which ones work for you…
1. Come for one year (more or less) and rent an apartment or home
Apartments are hard to find, particularly in Paris. And if you’re not ‘on the ground’ to visit them and say “I’ll take it” the moment you see the right one, sign the lease and make the landlord feel secure you won’t ‘squat’ in the property, you may have a hard time finding what you’re looking for. In Paris, allow about 35 per square meter per month for rent of a furnished apartment.
You can attempt it on your own (there are lots of Web sites promoting furnished rentals), but ‘it ain’t easy.’ If you want help, check out our Long-term Apartment Search service to find you a great place to spend that year in France!
2. Invest in a property in France
You can buy an apartment in Paris or Nice that you can rent and reap the rewards. Or you can buy a home that’s just for you and your friends and family. There are lots of possibilities! The amount of money you needs depends on your goals and how you go about making the purchase.
If you’re under 70 years of age and have an income, you can get a mortgage in France (French Property Loan). The lenders will mortgage up to 80% of the price of the property. That means you need 20% of the price as a down payment. Then you need another 10% in closing costs (yes, the cost of entry is high, but the cost of ownership is low). So, allow 30% of the price of the property in cash before you make any improvements.
Apartments in Paris are expensive. Apartments in Nice are half the price. Homes in the country are a serious bargain.
Finding the properties is the tough part. There is no “MLS” (Multiple Listing Service) in France. There are thousands of real estate agencies, each with their own little bouquet of properties. That’s why people like us exist to help you find just the right property and make the legal hurdles so much easier. We can take you from soup to nuts (French Property Consultation) — meaning getting the financing, finding the property, managing the purchase to closing and then assisting in the renovation, decoration and eventually the rental if that’s what you want to do. (We don’t advise you do this on your own — there are too many legal, language and cultural differences that lead to costly mistakes!)
3. Share a property with a friend (or family or even strangers)
If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in a property, or if you want something hassle-free in which you can simply enjoy your time in France, consider sharing the purchase with other like-minded folks.
There are several ways to do this. You can purchase a share in a “fractional property” that already exists, is professionally managed and therefore is “du gateau” (a piece of cake). We have two particular properties of interest: Le Palace des Vosges (a luxurious two-bedroom, 2,5 bath apartment located at Place des Vosges) and Le Notre Dame (a ‘petit’ studio located next to Notre Dame).
You can also make a purchase with a friend or a few or family members (Design Your Own Fractional), sharing in all the benefits and expenses. Sharing a purchase with one, two, three or four others greatly reduces the expense per each party, the effort and the responsibility. It doesn’t require much different than purchasing a property as in individual, except for creating the property ‘legal structure’ and loans are possible dependent on that legal structure.
We have the legal advisors who can provide the necessary documentation and help you, not only in constructing the agreement entering into the transaction, but to help you plan the ‘exit,’ or the future sale of the property. (Too many people forget that the exit plan is more important than the entry plan!)
4. Do the research in advance and learn more
This coming September 27-29 is your opportunity to learn more about how all this works at the Living and Investing in France Conference in Nice.
Yes, Nice is nice. The weather that time of year is gorgeous — warm and sunny — and the kids are gone! With property prices half of what they are in Paris and the growth in Nice and the region remarkable, we believe it’s a great place to invest. This is a chance to get to know it better…but we’re not just going to be talking about the Riviera! We’re going to talk about all of France!
Eleven speakers are going to fill your heads and notepads with important information to help you make these dreams come true. Plus, we’re going to take a property tour to show you what’s on the market in Nice and on top of it all, take a full day tour of the Riviera from Nice to Menton!
It’s not to be missed (Conference in Nice 2013)!
5. Come for a visit and take advantage of a free consultation
Even if you just come for a visit to Paris or Nice, if you stay in one of our luxurious Parler Paris or Parler Nice Apartments, I’ll meet with you for one hour free of charge to discuss your goals…in person, on phone or using Skype.
This is just a start. There are lots more ideas to help scratch that itch of yours and we can explore them together…you and me and my team of professionals. Don’t hesitate to contact us now and tell us all about your hopes and dreams to be in France. Our goal is to make them come true!
Email [email protected].
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris & Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
P.S. We will also be happy to speak with you by phone in a brief (10-15 minutes) conversation about how we can help you scratch the itch most afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m. Paris time. Email us to arrange a time at [email protected] or call 1 (877) 880-0265, listen to the message and then press “3.”