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Paris Real Estate +


By David9   Follow   Tue, 1 Jan 2013, 12:08am PST   3,750 views   54 comments   Watch (1)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

Bon Jour,

Just got back from Paris and recovering from jet lag and thought I would post my vacation tourist observations.

1.) Paris real estate is expensive. (Duh, I know.) At least in the Latin Quarter, did not speak with any Realtor but any stroll will usually accompany an old fashioned window of paper real estate listings. Didn't see a Studio for less than 225K Euros and small two bedrooms went for 685k Euro plus. Sorry, no Versailles available in this price range.

2.) Paris rentals are reasonable. Again, from store front listings, many apartments available from 650 Euros to 1000 Euros in a decent area.

3.) Call me crazy, many dark windows in these apartment buildings, sure, it's Paris, they could be 2nd homes.

4.) Other notables, the food is wonderful and fresh, the people like to dress fashionably, everyone uses the metro, taxis are available but not anything like New York, it's easy to get lost as the streets are a collection of star shapes, and there are no 24 hour shops.

5.) For whatever reason, no one was rude to me and I found the French rather friendly actually. Just start with a formal greeting and everything is ok. Noticible difference if the formal greeting is forgot or omitted.

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New Renter   befriend   ignore   Tue, 1 Jan 2013, 8:00am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 15

When I visited Paris a decade ago I did experience some rudeness but most people were friendly and helpful. My wife came down with stomach bug so we were able to experience the wonders of the French health care system. It was not that different from what I have experienced here at Kaiser (in a good way). It helped that my wife looked up her symptoms and wrote everything down BEFORE we saw the doc.

In addition to antibiotics the doc recommended warm, flat non-diet coca cola. She told us she had learned that trick in Africa. It worked to settle my wife's stomach until we could get the prescription filled.

RentingForHalfTheCost   befriend   ignore   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 2:36am PST   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 16

iwog says

I'm impressed by the disconnect between rents and prices. Those who believe that all real estate must be priced according to how high the property can rent for should take note.

San Francisco is also an international destination where rich people are willing to spend huge sums to acquire a second home.

Moral of the story. If you are not rich, don't try to be like them and overpay. Rent and save your non-rich ass. ;)

Rich people can afford to lose half of what they got and still live like they do.

Remember, most rich people in the world just got lucky with their parents. Stats say only 20% inherited, but guess what? No one is going to admit that they were born with a silver spoon. I am surrounded each day with people who think getting rich was easy. Easy because they paid no rent until after college, graduated with no debt, and got a mom and dad loan (never to repay) for their down payment on a house. But, but, it was all on their own. Ignorance is bliss.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/24/mitt-romney-self-creation-myth

Philistine   befriend   ignore   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 3:12am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 17

David9 says

I would always start out with a French formal greeting 'bonjour' for the daytime and 'bonsoir' for evening time, this is manadatory, otherwise you get a raised French eyebrow.

This was true for us except in the restaurants. They get itchy when you order gin martinis in fluent French w/Parisian accent--you still get a terse English reply and raised eyebrow (and a cocktail glass with an ice cube in it: merde!)

bob2356   befriend   ignore   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 4:20am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 18

Philistine says

This was true for us except in the restaurants. They get itchy when you order gin martinis in fluent French w/Parisian accent--you still get a terse English reply and raised eyebrow (and a cocktail glass with an ice cube in it: merde!)

No wonder they call you philistine :-). Gin is a Brtiish abomination looked upon with disdain like the German fixation with fried pork. Barbarian. You need to order a good cognac or eaux de vie. Although I will admit that I do have trouble telling some of the rural area's local eaux de vie from paint stripper.

David9   befriend   ignore   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 4:30am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 19

Philistine says

This was true for us except in the restaurants. They get itchy when you order
gin martinis in fluent French w/Parisian accent

Usually, after a formal greeting in a restaurant, they would speak English if they knew how too. We screamed tourist and did not speak fluent French, but hopefully someday I'll get the chance again to order a drink in fluent French :)

Another Miner   befriend   ignore   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 11:42pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 20

Don't forget that many of the apartments are inherited. In fact, there is probably an oversupply of such apartments that are effectively driving down rents.

Also, I have a friend (born in Lorraine) who is a professional in the Palo Alto area. He purchased a 2bd in the 4th(?) in sometime around 1999 when the euro was 1.3 to the dollar - the inversion of now. I think he paid something less than 300,000E. Backed out in today's dollars, that is not expensive, nor was it really that long ago. (all numbers are from memory, but I think I have it approximately right)

If you are overseas French or French with a principle residence in the outlying regions of France, then Paris is the only place to have a beachhead. It makes for a property market that does not really resemble anything we have in Cal.

The comment that someone made that the food was better in Switzerland is one that I can't really believe....on a cost basis, I don't think most people would reach that conclusion.

RentingForHalfTheCost   befriend   ignore   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 11:53pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 21

Another Miner says

It makes for a property market that does not really resemble anything we have in Cal.

Also, houses and apartments are build to last. Not to be rebuild after 30 years. Lets see, straw, wood, or brick/stone. I'll take the later any day. Build a house once and live in it forever. Wood warps, cracks, doesn't handle moisture well, and is a favorite food for termites.

SiO2   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 12:05am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 22

David9 says

I would always start out with a French formal greeting 'bonjour' for the daytime and 'bonsoir' for evening time, this is manadatory, otherwise you get a raised French eyebrow. Depending on the situation, I would usually ask: 'Parlez- vous anglais?' (Do you speak English?) Not one person said 'No', most would say 'a little' accentuated by a thumb and index finger gesture. Then we began to speak in English.

When I visited Paris as a tourist, I did the same, and found that people were friendly. It seems to make a big difference if you ask if they speak English, vs just assuming. This is about the extent of my French so it was good that most people spoke English.

The worldwide prevalence of English makes travel relatively easy. It would be difficult for someone speaking only Spanish, Russian, or Chinese.

David9   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 1:09am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 23

SiO2 says

It seems to make a big difference if you ask if they speak English,

Precisely, just go up to someone and ask 'Parlez- vous anglais?' and you get crinkled noses and raised eyebrows, but say 'Bon Jour', wait for a response, then ask, and they are sweethearts.

bubblesburst   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:07am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 24

Peter P says

I really prefer food in Switzerland. The VAT on the bill in Paris makes me cry.

Huh? Food in Switzerland is crazy expensive. I spent 3 weeks there this summer traveling around with my family. I also spent a full month in Paris and food prices were MUCH cheaper in Paris vs. Switzerland.

Switzerland is crazy expensive. I travel around the world quite often and in any major city I've been able to find cheap Chinese fast food type places. The only place where I didn't see that exist is Switzerland. Don't get me wrong. They DO have places like that but they are around $25 to $30 an entree. The same thing in Paris or London or Amsterdam or any other major city is less than $9 or so. Even at Pizza places a pizza was around $27 each or so.

Paris is really an amazing city. Definitely real estate prices are very expensive there. As others mentioned, many Europeans own property there and use it as a second home. We always rent a property or do a home exchange there and it's always been from someone else that lived somewhere else in Europe and had a place in Paris as well.

Paris is one of the greatest cities in the world. I wouldn't want to live there but it's amazing to go on vacation.

Peter P   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:15am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 25

bubblesburst says

Huh? Food in Switzerland is crazy expensive.

I went in 2008, when EUR was high and CHF was low. Perhaps that explains it.

I remember seeing EUR 190 appetizers at a restaurant in Paris. For the first time in my life I was scared looking at the menu. Worse yet, ladies were given BLIND menus.

RentingForHalfTheCost   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:22am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 26

bubblesburst says

Huh? Food in Switzerland is crazy expensive.

I lived there for a while and got used to expresso and chocolate. The two cheap things in the country. ;) Forget eating salads and meat. $30-$40US salads are not abnormal. Entries for 50-60 at mediocre restaurants.

bubblesburst   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:22am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 27

Ah ok. I was just there this summer and I've honestly never spent so much on dining out. EVERYTHING is expensive in Switzerland. We spent 3 months traveling around Europe including Monte Carlo and the French Riviera and everywhere else seemed cheap compared to Switzerland.

We have young kids and I remember one day in the train station our son wanted a plain hamburger at McDonalds or Burger King (can't remember which it was) and it was literally $4 for one plain hamburger.

Food prices were really expensive there. I remember going to some nothing special Chinese restaurant and ordering 3 entrees (one for me, one for wife and one for kids to split) and with 2 sodas it was over $100 dollars.

Philistine   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:24am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 28

bubblesburst says

cheap Chinese fast food type places. The only place where I didn't see that
exist is Switzerland. Don't get me wrong. They DO have places like that but they
are around $25 to $30 an entree. The same thing in Paris or London or Amsterdam
or any other major city is less than $9 or so. Even at Pizza places a pizza was
around $27 each or so

LOL, going to Paris and eating Chinese takeout and pizza. Fantastic!!

Peter P   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:24am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 29

Where in Switzerland? We stayed in Vevey and it was not that bad.

bubblesburst   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:24am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 30

Ah ok. I was just there this summer and I've honestly never spent so much on dining out. EVERYTHING is expensive in Switzerland. We spent 3 months traveling around Europe including Monte Carlo and the French Riviera and everywhere else seemed cheap compared to Switzerland.

We have young kids and I remember one day in the train station our son wanted a plain hamburger at McDonalds or Burger King (can't remember which it was) and it was literally $4 for one plain hamburger.

Food prices were really expensive there. I remember going to some nothing special Chinese restaurant and ordering 3 entrees (one for me, one for wife and one for kids to split) and with 2 sodas it was over $100 dollars.RentingForHalfTheCost says

bubblesburst says

Huh? Food in Switzerland is crazy expensive.

I lived there for a while and got used to expresso and chocolate. The two cheap things in the country. ;) Forget eating salads and meat. $30-$40US salads are not abnormal. Entries for 50-60 at mediocre restaurants.

Exactly Renting! Many places we went to had entrees at $50 each for nothing too fancy restaurants. I remember in Bern we ordered a few pizzas and they were about $30 each for nothing too special pizza.

Well we were in Europe for 3 months. I don't know about you but I'm not going to eat French or Swiss food for 3 months straight. When we live abroad we like variety just like at home. Including Pizzas, burgers and Chinese food.

3 months is a long time.

Peter P   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:27am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 31

http://www.hoteltroiscouronnes.ch/pictures/media/Hiver_menus_2012.pdf

Even now, a whole tasting menu costs about $80 to $125, about on par with San Francisco.

bubblesburst   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:27am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 32

Peter P says

Where in Switzerland? We stayed in Vevey and it was not that bad.

We were in Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Lugano, Geneva, Lausanne.

Peter P says

http://www.hoteltroiscouronnes.ch/pictures/media/Hiver_menus_2012.pdf

Even now, a whole tasting menu costs about $80 to $125, about on par with San Francisco.

Yes, but the difference is in most major cities including San Francisco there are plenty of places that have affordable food. You can eat healthy and good in San Francisco for very cheap. That really isn't the case in Zurich. Unless you go to a Migros type supermarket (which granted had surprisingly decent food), it's really hard to eat affordably in Switzerland in the major cities like in the USA or most other major cities in Europe.

In Paris where were MANY places to get great food that wasn't too expensive.

Peter P   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:33am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 33

Ah, all the banking and tourism centers.

David9   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:33am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 34

Can't speak for Switzerland, but my friend and I stopped off for pizza in the Pigalle district (Yes, the naughty adult district), ground beef and goat cheese for 9 euro and it was delicious! We were amazed.

Other culinary delights was a crepe to die for, Grand Marnier and Orange, also for 9 Euro, any cafe (coffee) is delicious, and a 20 Euro French plate of meats and cheese where the portion was so large I had to use my own plastic bag to take the remaining home. My French friend at the time said they don't do take home bags.

Peter P   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:36am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 35

Did you visit Lake Como when you were at Lugano?

bubblesburst   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:36am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 36

Absolutely David! We ate really really well in Paris. Yes, we did hit some expensive restaurants and cafes but there are some great bakeries. We LOVED going to the bakery each morning and buying fresh bread and there were many places where you can buy meat and cheese plates. Delicious!

Man, few things beat having Coffee outside on one of those beautiful French Cafes. I've been to Paris many many times but usually only for a week or so. Staying there a month was really great.

bubblesburst   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:38am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 37

Peter P says

Did you visit Lake Como when you were at Lugano?

Yes. Absolutely gorgeous. I've been to Lugano a few times. It's one of my favorite cities in the world. It was the first time I took my wife and kids there. Just a gorgeous city. We took the train from Milan to Zurich and it's a beautiful ride.

I highly recommend Lugano to anyone.

David9   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:40am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 38

bubblesburst says

We LOVED going to the bakery each morning and buying fresh bread

Heaven. Even the Hotel had Fresh Bread delivered daily for their breakfast. Such a treat from all those preservatives.

Last night I was dreaming of Paris in my sleep all night!

Peter P   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:40am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 39

Food in London has improved greatly. Those bankers do have some contribution to the society.

bubblesburst   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:49am PST   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 40

So true David! The bread there is incredible. We loved living like locals and carrying fresh bread back to our apartment each morning or at the end of the day. I don't think I ate so much bread in my life than that month. LOL.

It's great seeing everyone carrying loaves of bread under their arms. There are several bakeries on almost every corner. We stayed in the 7th and LOVED it. We walked about 5 or 6 hours each and every day. Everywhere is so beautiful in Paris.

Peter, so true about London. We typically go to London every year or so and things have improved greatly in the food department. I used to think food in London was expensive with the Sterling but Zurich made everywhere else seem cheap.

bob2356   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:51am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 41

Peter P says

Ah, all the banking and tourism centers.

Exactly. I've been going there since 92 and Switzerland had always been very, very expensive. Paris is expensive also, as is most of the south of France, especially Provence, in the summer. Go to the south of France outside the school holidays you will find the prices, service, and experience far different.

It's a shame that so many people here said they visited Paris. France is such a great place outside of Paris, which I generally avoid other than going to the airport. Going to Paris and the Riviera is like going to NY and the Jersey shore. Interesting but not terribly representative of the rest of the country.

Peter P   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 5:52am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 42

Yeah, GBP has fallen against CHF.

Indian food in London has always been good anyway.

EBGuy   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 6:07am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 43

Bringing this back to Bay Area real estate -- the last time I was in Paris (almost a decade ago) was through an informal (not through a website) home exchange. We were located in an apartment in the Montmartre district. The local patisserie was great for morning treats to go with our coffee. A local did corner us once in the the neighborhood grocery store to express his displeasure with George Bush (all in French, including pantomime machine gun with sound effects).
Home exchanges are a cost effective way to see another city, and, at times, blend in with the locals. This is another plus for BA real estate, as people in other metropolitan areas want to visit here and are willing to do exchanges.

Peter P   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 6:09am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 44

Worried over liabilities.

David9   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 6:17am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 45

bubblesburst says

Everywhere is so beautiful in Paris.

Another small, beautiful slice of Paris..

Entitlemented   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 8:18am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 46

With a new Socialist President, and higher taxes, is there any home price reductions due to people trying to get rid of middle - upper pay homes to pay the extra tax?

David9   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 8:20am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 47

Entitlemented says

With a new Socialist President, and higher taxes, is there any home price
reductions due to people trying to get rid of middle - upper pay homes to pay
the extra tax?

Wouldn't that be wonderful? ;-)

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 10:13am PST   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 48

EBGuy says

A local did corner us once in the the neighborhood grocery store to express his displeasure with George Bush (all in French, including pantomime machine gun with sound effects).

Probably a bad time to order a basket of freedom fries...

B.A.C.A.H.   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 2:32pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 49

David9 says

no one was rude to me and I found the French rather friendly actually

Yep, that was my observation in 1985 and in 1993. The second time, with toddler. French were very friendly, everywhere we went in Paris and all over the country. Even though we ONLY spoke English. If they talked derisively in their language behind our backs, who cares? if they were so friendly to our faces.

Peter P   befriend   ignore   Thu, 3 Jan 2013, 2:43pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 50

I love Corsica. The people are especially friendly.

David9   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 Jan 2013, 3:24am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 51

B.A.C.A.H. says

Yep, that was my observation in 1985 and in 1993.

I would go back again, this time, more hang out time..

Peter P says

I love Corsica. The people are especially friendly.

A facebook friend of a friend from Corsica took the time to show me around Paris for 2 days, some sites, how to use the subway, all because he just liked showing off Paris. Yes, Very Nice!

B.A.C.A.H.   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 Jan 2013, 3:56am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 52

SiO2 says

The worldwide prevalence of English makes travel relatively easy. It would be difficult for someone speaking only Spanish, Russian, or Chinese.

Yep.

You reminded me of when we were touristing in Kyoto, seeing the Chinese young lady tourists and the Japanese cop struggling to communicate in English about which tram those two should take.

sam1   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 Jan 2013, 4:30am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 53

Paris RE prices are due for a good correction, 10-20% within the next couple of years. There has been a long and big runup in prices over the last decade.

As far as the food, it is possible to eat very well on a budget in Paris. A lot of good local bistros have table d'hotes (2-3 course menu) for under 20€, then you have creperies, traiteurs (takeout/caterers), sandwiches and DIY picnic fares (hams, cheese, packaged salads etc). And of course, wine, bread and pastries are cheap and often of stellar quality. Another thing is that price listed include taxes and service, so the menu prices in euros are roughtly the same as a menu prices back home.

David9   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 Jan 2013, 4:41am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 54

sam1 says

(2-3 course menu) for under 20€,

You're choice of 10, 12, or 15 Euros for Lunch.

You're choice of 16, 18, or 20 Euros for Dinner.

Three Course meal, examples include Salmon Salad, Warm Goat Cheese Salad, Garlic Lamb, beef bourguignon, Chicken in Wine Sauce. For Dessert, Caramel Creme, French Ice Cream, or Cake.

sam1 says

stellar quality

My eating habits have changed since I got back, checking out small markets, etc. Everything tastes bland..

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