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What Does Your Arrondissement Say About You?


Monkeying for Money in Paris Streets

May 23, 2002

In this issue:

*** What Does Your Arrondissement Say About You?
*** Property Opportunities in Paris and the South of France
*** Avoid Tiny Cramped Hotel Rooms
*** Exclusive Properties Now Available for Rent
*** Should You Purchase Property in Your Own Name?
*** The Best Way a Foreigner Can Get a French Mortgage
*** How to Move in Furniture Without an Elevator
*** Where You Should Begin to Buy in Paris

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Let’s face it, even when you live in a city like Paris, you still have
to work (at least most of us do,) buy groceries, and do laundry. There
was a time when I was afraid living in Paris (as opposed to regular
visits) might ruin the "romance." And to be honest, it did
happen…for a while. It may even happen to you. But just about the
time everyday life becomes…well…everyday, Paris turns around and
hits you over the head with the fact that Paris is the only city like
it in the world…and you’re lucky to be here.

While I was stuck working at home last week, during the first sunny,
blue-sky mornings we’ve had this spring, something rich and melodic
began to weave its way through the open windows. I looked out to see
an old-fashioned organ grinder, monkey and all, strolling down the
street. One by one, heads popped out of other windows. A few tossed
down money rolled up in paper towels or pieces of paper. By the time
he had passed through my part of the street, being "stuck working"
didn’t seem so bad. When Paris is your office, you’ve got little to
complain about.

Paris is an amazing mix of the old and the modern. There are large
supermarchés and department stores where you can purchase everything
you need in one place…or the local neighborhood shops. You can go to
Monoprix and buy all the groceries you need to prepare a night’s
dinner…or the "bucherie" for poultry and meat, the "fromagerie" for
cheese, the "primeur" for vegetables, the local "cave" for an
inexpensive bottle of wine, and the "patisserie" for dessert.

These independent little shops also offer kitchenwares…small
furnishings…hardware…everything, really. Yes, this will take you
more time, and it will certainly mean communicating "face à face" with
the local venders. But isn’t that the point? Isn’t that, in fact, the
"raison d’être" for wanting to live in Paris in the first place? (By
the way, the small individual shops are generally less expensive than
the big stores.)

Life is different here. If you are planning to make Paris your first
or second home, or you already live here, I encourage you to be open
to the differences and experience them. And no matter how long you
live here, be prepared to be pleasantly hit over the head once in a

A bientôt,

Schuyler Hoffman,
Editor, Paris Property Insider
Email: mailto:[email protected]


By Thirza Vallois

When I first moved to Paris, some 40 years ago, people hardly ever
spoke in terms of arrondissements.

At the time Paris was perceived as a collection of ‘villages,’ which
is, in fact, how it all started… some thousand years ago. Parisians
in those days referred to their quartier, which meant the neighborhood
around your home, basically within walking distance. It would include
your baker, butcher, greengrocer, newsagent, florist, post-office,
pharmacy, school, church, etc. If you were lucky there was also a
little garden nearby.

Some quartiers had their open-air markets two or three mornings a
week, and all had their cafés and one café-tabac, an important
gathering place for the neighborhood’s men on Sunday mornings, where
they would fill in their coupons for the weekly horse-racing (le
tiercé), washed down by un ballon de rouge (a glass of red wine).

Meanwhile, their wives would be doing all the heavy shopping at the
market, followed by the cooking of the huge Sunday midday meal, not to
mention the washing up (dishwashers were unheard of in your average
French household in those pre-women’s emancipation days). In short,
going ‘into town’ was reserved for special occasions such as shopping
for clothes or an outing to the theatre etc. Other than that, you
could spend your entire life without ever setting foot beyond the
boundaries of the self-contained microcosms of your quartier.

And yet, the division of Paris into arrondissements goes back to the
French Revolution, precisely in 1795. Although the chopping off of
aristocratic heads (as a matter of fact many more belonged to
commoners…) is what sticks out when bringing to mind those
sanguinary days, the main goal of the Revolution was to modernize
France, predominantly in terms of economics and administration. The
church, owner of so much property, went the way of the nobility and
the feudal system, and with it was gone the division of Paris into
parishes (replaced by the quartiers). But striding into modernity also
meant an increase in the population, which entailed a division into
bigger territories–hence the arrondissements, only 12 of them at the
time of the Revolution, each of which was divided in its turn into 4
administrative quartiers, which, being an arbitrary division, do not
necessarily correspond to the ‘personal quartier’ the Parisian refers
to as home.

So where do the 20 arrondissements come in?

To read on, click here:

Editor’s note: Next week Thirza will walk you through the "escargot of
Paris" and highlight the specific character of each of its 20
arrondissements. Thirza is a well known expert, lecturer, and writer
on the history of Paris, and will be the guest speaker for the
upcoming tour of Paris. Write to mailto:[email protected]
for details.

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farmhouses…plus the world’s most beautiful and exciting city…

It’s easy to consider moving here, especially since the dollar has
been so high against the euro. An apartment in Paris…a farmhouse in
Provence…a chateau in the Loire Valley are all more affordable than
ever before.

If you’re thinking about setting up a new life in France…if you’re
thinking about enriching your life with all that France has to
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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


During the "Journey Through Paris and Southern France" Discovery Tour,
June 16th-24th, your time in Paris will include a tour of the city and
its desirable "arrondissements" with guides Thirza
Vallois–knowledgeable in the history of each area–and Adrian
Leeds–providing commentary on the real estate market in each area.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet with real estate professionals and
experts in their fields who will enlighten you on visas, taxes,
insurance and property issues before going off into the city to see
properties for yourself.

June 18th you’ll be escorted, by train, from Paris to Aix-en-Provence
for three exciting days of discovery. Again you will have agents and
property experts who can give you insider information on the real
estate market in Provence. Plus, Adrian Leeds will be your host much
of the way in Provence–her favorite region of France.

From there you’ll bus through the Luberon before landing in Avignon,
visiting hilltop villages like Gordes, Roussillon, Bonnieux, and
Lourmarin along the way. There will be time to tour Mont St. Victoire
and shop the market in St. Remy en Provence, before going to Les Baux,
where you’ll have magnificent views of the surrounding valleys. The
focus, of course, will be to speak with agents and visit properties in
these ancient villages.

For more information on this popular tour, click here:

Barbara Perriello has just told me this tour is almost full–to secure
your place now, call her toll free: (800) 926-6575; email:
mailto:[email protected]


Hotel rooms in Paris are normally quite small. So what’s the best way
to avoid spending your summer vacation cooped up in a tiny hotel room?
Relax in comfort and experience "living" in Paris by renting your own
apartment. Here are some of our favorites:

* Recently re-furnished and available now for rental by the week:
International Living’s very own pied-à-terre on rue Mazarine sleeps
four. Located in the chic 6th arrondissement, one of the best
locations in town, in a charming 17th-century building this
one-bedroom with sleeper sofa. (See all new photos with all new
furnishings at: /parlerparis/property/mazarine.html)
$1,400 per week (reduced rates for longer stays.)

To rent this apartment, send an email to:
mailto:[email protected]?subject=pparisMazarine

* Start your vacation off right by staying in the centrally located
3rd arrondissement, the Marais. You’ll be within easy walking distance
to several of the most famous sites of Paris and surrounded by a
neighborhood full of charm and very day life. Have your choice of
everything from B&B style rooms…to penthouse apartments. They very
in size, sleep 2 to 4 people, and come fully furnished and equipped to
make your stay as carefree as possible. If you’re traveling in July or
August you’re in luck, as these apartments are offered at up to 30%
off the normal rental price for stays of two weeks or more.

For availability and rental information, send an email to:
mailto:[email protected]?subject=parispropertyinsiderrental

* Available for a limited time only: comfortable, well-equipped 45
square-meter one-bedroom apartment, sleeps two, located in Montmartre
(in a charming, non-touristy neighborhood behind Sacré Coeur). The
apartment is available for stays of two weeks or longer from June 27
to July 27 and August 19 to September 6. $1,400 for the first two
weeks, $500 per week thereafter.

For more information on this apartment, please send an email to:
mailto:[email protected]?subject=parispropertyinsiderrental

* Been in Paris before? Looking to stay somewhere off the tourist
track? Available immediately for short-term rental, two very well
equipped, one-bedroom, 50-square-meter apartments in the 15th
arrondissement (same building). Overlooking a small park, one of these
lovely apartments has a sofa sleeper and can accommodate up to four
people, while the other sleeps two. This is a nice non-touristy area,
yet only minutes from central Paris by Métro or bus. Lots of other
amenities (too numerous to mention here.) Both are a bargain at $500
per week

To rent this apartment, send an email to:
mailto:[email protected]?subject=parispropertyinsiderrental


Offering the Best of St-Germain-des-Près…in the heart of history
itself. Exceptionally private, furnished properties to enjoy for a
week, a month, or longer. From 1,500 to 3,000 euro per week, or 5,000
to12,000 euro per month.

* Stunning 150-square-meter apartment on 2nd floor with elevator,
50-square-meter terrace full of plants and trees, overlooking the dome
of the Institut de France, three bedrooms (sleeps up to six), two
bathrooms, dining room with piano, living room, and recently renovated
kitchen. Includes maid service once a week. Very rare and
exceptional.3,000 euro per week or 10,600 euro per month.

* Elegant 85-square-meter on the 4th floor with elevator. Beautiful
and very chic two-bedroom, one-bathroom, baby-grand piano, wall to
wall carpets, art, and lots of sun and quiet. Very special ambience
with loads of charm. Includes maid service twice a week. 2,000 euro
per week, or 6,600 euro per month.

To inquire about either of these apartments and other similar
availabilities send an email to: mailto:[email protected]


by Lief Simon

In France (as most places), you can own property in your name or in
the name of a company. Buying and holding a property in your name is
easier in the short term. There is less paperwork at the time of
purchase, and your name appears on the title so you’d probably have
less trouble setting up your utilities.

Things can get more complicated down the road, though…say, when you
die. If the property is in your name when you die, the inheritance
laws of France come into play. These are complicated and do not follow
any logic that any American would be able to follow. At a minimum, you
need a will made out in France by a French attorney to ensure that the
property goes where you want it to go when you do.

On the other hand, if the property is owned by a non-French
corporation, then the inheritance rules of the country where the
corporation is located apply. And it’s the shares of the corporation
that are inherited, not the property itself.

You’ll reap another benefit of owning a foreign property through a
corporation (formed outside that country) if you eventually try to
resell. If the property is owned by a corporation, the new buyer can
avoid much of the local (in this case, French) bureaucracy, because,
again, he is buying the corporation (which owns the property), not the
property itself. This can be a good selling point, especially if
you’re selling on to another foreigner.

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question you have (over 200, in fact). Now, you can have access to all
these answers in a constantly-updated informative–and

To read more about this amazing reference, click here:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


If, as a foreigner, you’re looking to buy real estate in France, only
British lending institutions (Woolwich and Abbey National) are
generally willing to finance your purchase. If you have a salary which
goes into a French bank regularly, then the French banks will talk to

When you buy real estate, you’ll have to pay notaire fees–most of
which go to the state and the rest to the notaire (a real estate
attorney required to buy real estate). The fees vary depending on the
property, adding up to as much as 8% of the purchase price.

The land tax you pay depends on the surface area of the apartment and
its ame
nities (number of bathrooms, type of flooring, the
arrondissement, etc.) Example: an apartment of 45 square meters in the
16th arrondissement, with one bathroom, a separate WC, on the 1st
floor: 380 euro a year. Additionally, there is a property tax for the
owner of the apartment which depends on their income and also on the
type of apartment.


Following on from last week’s article on Paris stairwells, came a
logical question: How do you navigate these narrow stairwells with
large furniture?

If you are having new furniture or appliances delivered, they will
either carry them up the stairs or will have a hydraulic lift that
they load things on, one by one, lift them up to the windows, and move
them in that way (now you know why most apartments have big double
windows). If you’re moving from one apartment to another…well,
hopefully you have very good friends you can call on.


You love Paris. That’s one of the reasons you subscribe to this
newsletter. Soon you’ll be able to become more of an insider and get
more out of the romance you have with the city of lights. Watch this
space for more details…


International Living is working with agencies, managers and friends to
find apartments for sale in key locations for the best value. To get
started, download this property purchase request form:
fill it out and email it to
mailto:[email protected]

Please keep in mind that properties worth owning in Paris start at
approximately $200,000 and that when a special apartment match is made
for you, a finders fee is normally expected. The properties we have
now at our disposal are of the finest quality in the most prime


Looking for a short-term apartment rental in Paris? None of those
listed above fit what you’re looking for? There’s a quick form you can
fill out online at Parler Paris which automatically sends your request
(as detailed as you want to make it) to all the rental agencies and
apartment managers in Paris that we recommend. If they have an
apartment that matches your request, they contact you. It’s that

Apartments range from $450 per week for simple studios, to $3,900 per
week for three-bedroom apartments in prime locations.

You’ll find it

For a look at properties for rent by owner, you’ll find them here:


If you’re not a regular reader of this e-letter, and would like to be,
simply enter your e-mail address here (it’s free):

*** Know someone who would be interested in the opportunities in this
e-letter? Forward it to your friends, relatives, and associates!


Go to:

Copyright 2002 Agora Ireland Publishing & Services Ltd.

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to: [email protected] or go to our web interface


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