Private individuals

Buying a property in France: first things first

30 Jan 2020

You have been thinking about you project for a reasonable amount of time, and you have already gathered a lot of information. It is important to start following a proven methodology to manage you project ;  validating key aspects, capitalizing on essential information, doing in the right things, in the right order. And then organising and accessing the file, all the accumulated information of what will become a big and important project, potentially a life changing one.

Motivations & reasons

You have many elements that come to mind, may be many that don’t seem compatible or coherent with one another. At this stage you should really lesson to yourself (all stakeholders), and list your deep motivations.
We believe that the key is to write down why you want to BUY A PROPERTY IN FRANCE, the very reasons, associated thoughts and feelings, because they will become clearer in that process.
It is useful to track the evolution of those key elements also because they most probably will evolve and  will be powerful criterias to keep in mind, they should be anchor to help you define your project. Very often by showing you what they have, AE can make you lose track.

Over the years we have tried many ways and template to analyse and rank those elements : Short/long term, Emotional/rational, … In the end what we have clearly identified as the key is : 2 types than can be in 2 column : Non négociables and “Would love” that could be completed with some “No/never”.

Wish list and type of property

Many key aspects aren’t just about the property, but should also be about how the global project is associated with a property, and the context in which you will invest.

To build you list, which can be as long as you need it to be, taking into account all stakeholders contribution, we suggest that you consider the following elements, which should positively contribute to your brainstorming cession by pin pointing aspects that shouldn’t be forgotten.

A check list of some key aspects to contemplate:

Holiday home for you own use ? or that you could rent ? to cover your running costs ? or to generate incomes ?

Is it a property that you want to buy with other people ? or a place where you can see yourself living once retired ?
Why buying now ? Do you want to diversify your investments ?
Have you saved enough and want to buy for the 1st time abroad ?
Have you already bought a 2nd home ?
Are you planning to sell your current home or another to finance this new project ?
The family is expanding, and you want to buy a property, that we will extensively use whilst the children are young and later, where you still accommodate the entire family around holidays periods.
For that specific property, are you meanly interested at the best possible return on your investment ? with a long term view ? or a more short term one ?
When and How will you come out of that investment ? by selling the property or by transferring it to your children ?
How often will you use that property ? for short stays or more longueur ones ?
How will you travel to that place ? will you fly and then rent a car  ? will you leave a car there ? Will you travel by train ? will you drive you car packed with the family, the dog and all needed gear.

The type of property

To begin with, we think that it is reassuring to take the time to look potentially at many area of the french marked, and at many possible options. At this stage to be and stay open, not to stick to soon to a specific scenario that might come from specifics situations, that are not close to yours, to positive or negative experiences, a clever communications … that might not be reflecting what you really want.

When you are ready and according to your objectives, expectation and goals, then you should begin the narrow the scope of where you want to buy and what you want to buy. Remember that earlier, we suggested not to close to many options without looking into it, to see if there something for you.
This is the time to consider your options, all of them. It will take a bit more time but it is now or never ; and you might regret it or even worst will suffer from a wrong initial orientation.

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19 Jun 2018

7 of the best Paris apartments for rent

The Paris we see today owes much to the work of Baron Haussmann, who led an overhaul of the whole city back in the 19th century. Its present-day residential architecture remains a hallmark of that transformation. But there are more than just Haussmann-style properties on offer for visitors. We’ve scoured the streets to bring you five of the best Paris apartments to rent, in everything from former factories to contemporary townhouses….

Gilded apartment in Saint-Germain-des-Prés

You can get a glimpse of the grander side of the city, in this elaborately gilded Paris apartment for rent on the Left Bank. Antiques dot its parquet-floored interiors, while oil paintings and bookshelves filled with vintage volumes line the walls.

A former chocolate factory on the Left Bank

This light and airy apartment on the Paris’ Left Bank is close to the action, but tucked away behind a quiet, greenery filled courtyard. It inhabits a former chocolate factory, which means high ceilings and wide, open-plan spaces. A mezzanine dining room sits under a sloping glass roof.

Artist’s loft in Bastille

Huge windows are the main selling point for this former warehouse, which looks out across the Bastille rooftops. Interiors are decked out in a soothing palette of whitewashed walls and pale flooring, and come filled with a pleasingly haphazard collection of furniture and art.

Haussmann-era apartment in the Marais

This slice of Haussmannian Paris is tucked away in the Marais. It features the requisite parquet flooring and crown moldings, juxtaposed with contemporary furniture.

The Pierre Levée Residence

Double height ceilings and oversized windows give this Parisian townhouse – near Canal St Martin – its loft-style edge. Design details from around the world fill the space, such as a wooden painted door from India in one of the bedrooms.

A former factory in Montreuil

A Modernist design and a Mondrian-inspired colour scheme blend together in this bright Paris apartment, also sited inside a converted factory. The property retains the building’s original metal beams and double-height ceilings. It lies on the city’s outer perimeter.

Art and design-filled apartment in the 14th

Midcentury design pieces and modern art prints fill this three-bedroom apartment in Paris’ 14th arrondissement. At the heart of the space is a Cubist-inspired winding staircase joining the main living space to the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms.

5 May 2018

13th arrondissement: lowest prices in Paris?

When you think of where to look for more affordable properties in Paris, the northern and eastern ‘quartier populaires’ come to mind. But the 13th arrondissement in the city’s south should not be forgotten: it is one of only three where average asking prices remain below €8,000 per m2.

It is known mainly for its universities and one of Paris’ two Chinatowns. But as a destination for affordable property purchase and investment with a long-term view, it rarely gets a look-in. This might partly be down to the fact it offers less in the way of bars, cafes, clubs and culture to young, creative outgoing types than similarly priced 18th-20th arrondissements, and so it figures less in the conversation about ‘where to be’. But its value is undeniable. Several universities lie at its northern portion as well as the lovely Latin Quarter; it is surrounded by the Seine to its north and east; it is well-served by the RER C and lines 6, 7 and 14, the latter of which is getting an extension as part of the Grand Paris project. The country’s national library, and Paris’ only pool on the seine, also figure in its northern edge.

And average asking prices for apartments, excluding fees, are sitting at just €7,936 per m2. That’s a whole €2,000 less than the city-wide average, so you’d save €100,000 when buying a 50m2, for example). Only the 19th and 20th are cheaper. It saw a wealth of post-war construction which gives it a less authentic Parisian feel as Haussmannian buildings dominate less than in other parts of the city. It is dominated by new-builds that, while not to everyone’s taste, offer great value for money.

And it has the highest proportion of green space of any arrondissement (unless you count the Bois de Boulognes and Vincennes as part of the 16th and 12th arrondissements). In fact, one part of the 13th stands out for its leafy, village-like feel: the Butte aux Cailles area – a pocket of charming homes and low rise buildings lining cobble stone streets. This area is one of the best kept secrets in Paris. At the end of the 20th century the arrondissement was mostly brownfield sites and industrial depots. The ‘Rive Gauche’ project in the 1990s started to change that, bringing in massive urban redevelopment including the construction of the BNF, the country’s largest public library, and huge building projects around that are ongoing today. With these projects its neighborhoods have seen an influx of younger working professionals mixing with the existing working classes, though to a lesser degree than the often-discussed 2nd, 10th, 11th, and 18th-20th.