FRANCE REAL ESTATE
Here is What You Need to Know About Real Estate in France
La belle France seems to have more than its fair share of good things—not least of which are food, wine, and haute couture. Whether you’re looking to move or retire to Europe, or simply plan an extended vacation, France should be at the top of your list of possibilities. It has all the ingredients that we at International Living look for: a good climate, unspoiled countryside, top-notch culture, excellent healthcare, colorful traditions and history, and, of course, the glitter and sophistication of Paris—arguably the world’s most bewitching capital. It’s not surprising that France is the world’s favorite destination, receiving in excess of 80.5 million overseas visitors each year.
If you’re in the market for European real estate, then you will find France real estate attractively affordable. France is a predominantly rural country, so if you have notions of restoring a cottage, a farmhouse, or even a château, there’s an ample supply of real estate for sale in France for you to choose from. The choice of properties in France selling for less than $100,000 is astonishing. And we’re not talking about just ruins and renovation projects.
France Has Plenty of Good-Value Real Estate…Don’t Rush In
The first rule is of buying real estate in France is: don’t rush in. Unless your heart is set on a home in the more popular areas of Provence, there are more than enough French castles, farmhouses, and village houses on the property market for everybody. The supply is not going to dry up suddenly, so take your time. Visit a range of different properties in France to get an idea of French real estate prices. Clearly, you want to get as much maison as possible for your dollar. And note: it’s quite acceptable to make an offer.
Away from the really high-profile areas, houses often sell for less than their listing prices. In France the business of conveyancing (the buying and selling of property), is handled by a notaire. A notaire is first and foremost a public official—not a lawyer—responsible for ensuring that all deeds are authentic and of incontestable value. You will have to appoint one to act for you. Because they are personally responsible for the contracts drawn up, they must be objective in the advice given and must act with impartiality toward the various contractual parties. Consequently, the same notaire often acts for both vendor and purchaser. Although engaging your own notaire isn’t strictly necessary, it is in your best interest.
France Real Estate Prices
The prices in France can run the spectrum, from glittering apartments in Paris that cost $20 million to fixer-upper stone village houses that cost less than $25,000. As with anywhere, real estate prices tend to directly correspond with the popularity of the region, town, or neighborhood. Naturally, real estate in large cities are usually more expensive than equivalent properties countryside or rural homes, and houses in the sunny south will inevitably cost more than those in the damp western coast. But, there are good value or even bargain homes to be found almost every region in France, even if it finding them may require patience.
France Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents (agents immobiliers) in France are strictly regulated. They must be in possession of a carte professionelle, which can be issued only by the agent’s local authority upon producing evidence that the immobilier has a minimum bond or guarantee with respect to the deposit of monies received from property buyers.
More than 8,000 French real estate agents belong to FNAIM (Fédération Nationale de l’Immobilier), a recognized professional body. FNAIM can provide you with a list of member agents in your chosen area. The organization’s website has a comprehensive list of agents as well as a database detailing properties available in any given area. The FNAIM network includes expat British real estate agents who have relocated to France. Obviously, the British house-buying system is not the same as that in North America, but these agents are used to answering questions—in English—about how the process works for buying real estate in France. Contact me to assist you in the international buying and selling process at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If everything is new to you, and you’re unsure of your French language skills, these agents can help you open a bank account and get set up with gas, electricity, and telephone companies. French real estate agents can do the same, but not all speak English.
Buying Real Estate in France
Buying real estate in France is not a difficult process. In most cases, the procedure is completed within two to three months.
The agent will draw up an initial contract of sale, or a compromis de vente. Remember, unless you are completely au fait with the process, we recommend that you get your own lawyer and/or an independent notary to look it over before you sign it.
Although the compromis de vente is the most commonly used contract, there are other types of preliminary contracts also. It is vital you remember that there is no standard form so you must be sure about what you’re signing and be especially sure that it contains any necessary conditions suspensives.
These are conditions that, if not met, render a contract null and void and entitle the prospective purchaser to recover his/her deposit. For example, the preliminary contract could be conditional upon the prospective buyer being able to arrange a loan to purchase the property.
The promesse de vente and promesse d’achat are two other options, both of which constitute a commitment to sell or buy. In the case of both these contracts the other party is not legally bound. On the other hand, the compromis de vente is a binding agreement that fixes the price and obligates both the vendor and buyer to come to an eventual completion. However, with a promesse de vente or a promesse d’achat, buyers who decides to back out won’t lose their deposit, although they could be subject to a claim for damages. The same applies to vendors. If they pull out of the sale, they can be liable for compensation up to an amount equivalent to the buyer’s deposit.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Buying Property In France
Step 1: Hire Your Own Attorney
We strongly recommend that you engage your own lawyer and/or independent notary—one that speaks both English and French—to represent you throughout the purchase process. You may wonder why, when you’re already paying the government notary to handle the property conveyance. Although it’s not necessary, it is in your best interest. The only function of a government notary is to make sure that a sale is properly completed under French law.
As state officials, they are acting on behalf of both purchaser and seller. They are under no obligation to draw your attention to any potential problem areas. An independent French notary won’t cost you anything additional, as he will share the fees with the government notary. He will guide you through the paperwork and have all the legal documentation translated for you before you are required to sign anything.
Moreover, you need to be sure that you understand France’s inheritance laws before signing any legal documents. How you structure any contract (whether it is in a single name, joint names, or the name of a company) affects who inherits your property. Regardless of how you’ve formulated your North American will, don’t assume that your spouse—or anybody else—is going to be the beneficiary of your French property when you die. France’s complex inheritance laws date back to Napoleonic times and guarantee children (and sometimes parents) a share of the estate. A spouse has no automatic right of inheritance. There are ways around this, and a specialized lawyer can advise you.
Step 2: Sign an Initial Contract
The agent draws up an initial contract of sale, the compromis de vente. Remember, unless you are absolutely and clearly au fait with the process, we recommend that you get your own lawyer and/or an independent notary to look it over before you sign it. Although the compromis de vente is the most usual, there are other types of preliminary contracts. There is no standard form. Know what you’re signing, and be sure that it contains any conditions suspensives that may be deemed necessary. These are conditions that, if not met, render a contract null and void and entitle the prospective purchaser to recover his deposit. For instance, there are laws to ensure that the preliminary contract can be conditional upon the prospective buyer being able to arrange a loan to purchase the property.
The promesse de vente and promesse d’achat are options. These constitute a commitment to sell or buy, but, in each case, the other party is not legally bound. On the other hand, the compromis de vente is a binding agreement that fixes the price and obligates both vendor and purchaser to come to an eventual completion. However, with a promesse de vente or a promesse d’achat, a purchaser who decides to back out won’t lose his deposit…and may be subject to a claim for damages. The same applies to the vendor. If he pulls out, he can be liable for compensation up to an amount equivalent to the buyer’s deposit.
Step 3: Pay Your Deposit
When the compromis de vente is signed, the purchaser pays a deposit, usually 10% of the price of the property. This deposit is put into an escrow account, held by the notary or real estate agent. If paying cash, the contract is considered definitive. If you pull out, you lose your 10%. If you’re applying for financing, you have a maximum of 45 days to arrange a mortgage. If the bank refuses to lend you money, then the contract is null and void, and you get your deposit back. If, however, the bank accepts, then the conditions are the same as a cash buy.
Step 4: Notary Investigates Title
Once you’ve signed the compromis and paid the deposit, the notary gets down to business. Various searches are carried out relating to the freehold of the property. During this intermediary stage, you will be required to provide the notary with copies of your birth and (if relevant) marriage certificates.
Step 5: Sign the Deed
Once searches have been conducted and everything is judged to be in order, both purchaser and vendor are called to the notary’s office. The notary reads aloud (in French) the final deed of sale, the acte de vente. Both parties, as well as the notary, sign this deed. If you have given your notary or the real estate agent power of attorney (par procuration), he or she can sign on your behalf. You pay the balance, receive the keys, and become owner of the property. (Note that the balance monies are required to be in place before final sale day.)
You will be given a proof of ownership paper and, approximately six to eight weeks later, receive a copy of the deed once it has been recorded in the French administration system. The original document is kept at the notary’s office.
Once you’ve signed the final acte, you are responsible for the insurance of the buildings. This, by law, must include third-party liability insurance. You are responsible for paying local and land taxes (taxes d’habitation and taxes foncières). Taxes d’habitation are charged to the person occupying the property on Jan. 1st. Taxes foncières are charged to the person who owned the property on that same date. (Owners of new properties are exempt from taxes foncières for the first two years.)
French Real Estate
Taxes Transfer Tax
A transfer tax of 5.09% to 6.40% is levied on the sale of real estate, depending on the type, location and use of the property.
The French government charges a tax for registering a mortgage or loan on your property. The fee depends on the amount of the loan.
Annual property taxes consist of the taxe d’habitation (paid by owners-occupiers and most long-term rental tenants) and the taxe foncière (real estate tax). The calculation formula is quite complex and depends on a number of factors, including whether the property is your primary or secondary residence. Secondary residences are taxed at a higher rate. The taxe foncière is based on the notional rental value of the apartment. It takes into account the age of the building, the area of a city, and the size of a property. For example, a 215-square-foot studio in an older building in the Marais (3rd arrondissement) of Paris might be assessed at $205. The taxe foncière for a 535-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in an older building in the 5th arrondissement might be $240. For a small village house in mainland France, your combined bill for the taxe foncière and the taxe d’habitation will probably be around $500; for a larger house, around $1,000.
Apartment buildings in France are similar to co-operative and condo buildings in the States. You own your apartment but share responsibility for common parts of the building with other owners. There is a monthly copropriété (co-op) fee that pays for expenses involved in maintaining the building, common utilities (usually including water for all apartments), garbage collection, maintenance, etc. This charge runs approximately $120 per month for both of the above-mentioned Parisian apartments. Charges tend to be lower in provincial cities and towns. In Nice, monthly service charges for most one-bedroom apartments in good residences are mostly between $65 and $90.
French inheritance tax is payable by beneficiaries. The rate is applied on the net value of the asset, after the deduction of liabilities, and any tax-free thresholds depend on the relationship between the beneficiary and the deceased. Spouses or couples in formal civil relationships are not subject to French inheritance taxes. However, there is an inheritance tax for lifetime gifts. In this case, a spouse’s tax-free allowance is currently €80,740 and €100,000 for parents and children. The balance in excess of the allowance is taxed at progressive rates from 5% up to a maximum of 45%. For more remote family members, and others, smaller allowances are given and higher rates of tax will apply.
As of January 2018, the old wealth tax system was abolished and replaced with a new one that only taxes real estate. Residents of France with worldwide property worth €1,300,000 or more is responsible for this new property wealth tax. Non-resident homeowners are only liable for property in France.
Homeowners with real estate valued less than €800,00 have a 0% tax rate. Real estate valued at between €800,001 and €1,300,000 have a 0.5% tax rate. From there, the rates increase progressively based on bands of property values, maxing out at a rate of 1.5% for properties over €10,000,000.
Rental Income Tax
Whether you reside in France or not, you will be liable for tax on any rental income earned from your French property. For tax residents of France, this is levied at regular income tax rates (see below). For non-residents, it will be a minimum of 25%.
Income Tax Rates
As of 2018, French income tax rates are:
• On income less than €9,807, the rate is 0%
• From €9,807 to €27,086, 14%
• From €27,086 to €72,617, 30 %
• From €72,617 to €153,783, 41%
• Above €153,784 the rate is 45%.
Capital Gains Tax on Property
If you sell your French property during the first five years of ownership, you will be liable for capital gains tax and social charges totaling 34.5%. A discount 6% per year on capital gains taxes is allowed starting after fifth year of ownership. After 22 years, you’re exempt from capital gain taxes, but will still be subject to social charges until you’ve owned the property for 30 years.
Ownership Issues In France
While perusing real estate ads, you may see some properties have what’s called a viager attached to the title. With a viager, you buy the property at sharply discounted rate, but the former has a lifetime interest in the property. In other words, you can’t reside on the property until former owner dies. While might turn out to be a good investment for some, it’s also risky. You may have heard of Jeanne Calment, a native of Arles. She made world headlines a few years back for a couple of reasons…
The first was her incredible longevity. When she died in 1997, she had reached the age of 122. But when she was 90, she had negotiated to sell her apartment “en viager.” It means “for life,” and this is how the deal worked: Monsieur Raffray, the man who bought Mme. Calment’s apartment, planned to move into it after her death. He also agreed to pay her 2,500 francs per month for as long as she lived. (At the exchange rate of the time, around $500.) He naturally assumed that he wouldn’t be paying the lifer for too long.
But Mme. Calment lived on…and on. In fact, Monsieur Raffray died at the age of 77, without ever occupying the apartment. In total, he had paid out what then equated to $184,000 in handouts to the old lady for a property he never got to live in. And his survivors were legally bound by the agreement. They still had to write Mme. Calment her monthly check.
“In life, one sometimes makes bad deals,” mused the cigarette smoking, foie-gras-eating Mme. Calment.
Transaction Costs When Buying Real Estate In France
In France, the buyer is typically solely responsible for all legal costs and fees incurred in relation to property transfers. These vary, depending on whether you buy a new home or an older property. It’s difficult to give an exact calculation of total costs, but generally, you can expect to pay 8% to 9% for a traditional village house or rural cottage, and 3% to 4% for a newly built house or apartment.
Legal fees include not only the notary’s fees (frais de notaire), but also disbursements, taxes, various duties, as well as searches at the land and mortgage registry. In addition, sales tax may be payable for properties less than five years old where there has been no previous sale. The notaire’s fees are set by the government at 5.09% and 0.715% for properties less than five years old. Contacts on the ground in France have warned us that some notaires try to charge additional fees to English speakers. Obviously, you must expect to pay more than a French person if documents need translation, but determine what the fees are before you proceed.
Commission charges are the fees
charged by the real estate agent for the purchase, and usually represent between 4% and 10% of the purchase price. French real estate agents are allowed to set their own commissions. This cost may be payable by the vendor or the purchaser—there is no standard practice—but in most instances, the purchaser is liable. Commission fees are often built into the selling price. Ask about this when you make initial contact with an agent and begin inspecting properties. You’ll want to know if you are liable for a real estate agent’s commission fee before signing any preliminary contract.
A point worth noting is that you can shave some euros off purchase costs by deducting the agency commission fee from the sale price and paying it directly to them. This will save on notaire costs. Say you have your eye on a $100,000 property. To make things simple, we assume the agent has included her 10% commission fee in this price and that the notaire will be charging 10% on top of that. You will be charged $110,000. However, pay the agent $10,000 and the notaire is left with 10% of $90,000. You’ve saved $1,000. This must be made clear before you sign the initial agreement.
If you are looking to work with a english speaking international Real estate professionnel to buy or sell real estate in Europe contact Tina Whittaker at email@example.com
Article source https://internationalliving.com/countries/france/france-real-estate/
I watched my old video regarding tips I learned in my first year of real estate. I thought it was actually helpful and a little bit honest, cute but still raw and embarrassing!! Check it out here’s the link of what I posted on YouTube (watch before I delete it)
Click here to watch the video:
I had the pleasure of attending the Women Of Paris walking tour. I wanted to learn more about women writers in Paris. This tour showed me where the successful women writers of Paris lived and created. As a group, we also stopped for some sweet treats along the way.
There were some amazing people in the group (more than a few)..but you know I keep it real. Heidi, The host and founder of the tour company Women in Paris was informative and knowledgeable about the history, which I enjoyed. However, she made one or three chummy jokes at my expense and she didn’t get a Trip Advisor review from me. Although I still do recommend the amazing tour, it was all in European humor and fun… I guess what goes around comes around because we had a child psychologist from Vancouver in the group, I jokingly asked her for an impromptu therapy session. The joke did not go over well and the child Dr. And her friend literally did not talk to me for the rest of the tour😂Thank God there were some cool people with a good sense of humor in the small group, like Tom and Angela, the newlyweds from Seattle. Tom works in real estate and awesome Angela is an attorney with great colorful hair. We have since kept in contact via Facebook! Last but not least in the group my spirit twin and buddy, Wonjeung!!! from South Korea, who is a student studying computer science. Wonjeung and I ran around Paris all day after the tour and it was good to run the streets and talk about our Paris experience. We still keep in contact online and send holiday cards!
Now that you have all the group dynamics, here are all the accomplished women that were discussed on the walking tour and the places we visited for our snacks. I’ve included some pictures of the tour below!
Women Writers of Paris:
The brilliant Simone de Beauvoir and her daring activism,
The radical Antoinette Fouque and her Editions des Femmes,
The scandalous Colette and her struggle for independence,
The rebellious George Sand and her cross-dressing liberalism,
The benevolent Sylvia Beach and her love of literature…
Popelini Chou à la créme / Meert Waffle / Un Dimanche à Paris Macaron / Pierre Marcolini Chocolate / La Tarte Tropézienne Baby Trop
Finally, I made it to France. I was ready to settle into my Airbnb French abode. So . Ready 123…I was so happy to arrive. The host’ main language was Portuguese. They were a husband and wife team from Brazil. The language created a small barrier to communication but we were able to get through it. I arrived in a personal cab. Although I was scared for my life and my wallet. But, the cab driver seemed alright despite his body odor! I didn’t have cash so the taxi had to take me to the nearest ATM once we arrived at the Airbnb location. The host husband told me later not to take personal cabs because they could be part of the mafia. He suggested that I take Uber instead. The host wife couldn’t make it out to meet me so the husband went over the house instructions. After 30 minutes I was ready for a nap! I felt like the place was pretty clean and I was happy the place was as pictured. Just a couple of things arose…..
I noticed some ants on the kitchen counter but it didn’t seem that bad. Coming from living in the south in Miami, Florida, I was just glad the ants weren’t roaches. If there’s one creature I can’t stand that’s a dang roach. Those things don’t even deserve life. I digress, the ant problem continued. so I decided to get the bottom of it. There was a loaf full of breadcrumbs left in the bottom of the toaster and sugar cubes in a gappy container left on the counter as well. I opened the sugar container and a bundle of ants flew out. I kept saying to myself at least it’s not a cocka-roach, at least it’s not a coca roach, Amen. So I emptied the dish of sugar and the breadcrumbs from the toaster and voila, no more ants!! Problem solved….. I also purchased some bug spray.
I noticed that there was not a flat sheet on the bed just a comforter and the under sheet. I’m not a sheet expert but there were two sheets there. I was used to 3. I thought maybe it was a difference in culture perhaps. I looked in the closet and there were a few folded sheets with some hair on them and the sheets smelled of smoke but I just brushed it off and put the sheets on the bed since it was getting late. I was getting a little hungry but didn’t even know how to get to the nearest store. Luckily there were a few leftover unopened snacks in the fridge and the host husband gave me a bottle of water, a bottle of wine and 3 rolls of fluffy toilet paper. It was the best I was going to do for the first night. I eventually found out that everything in this secluded part of town, La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, closed early so if I wanted food then I had to get it before dark. Everything was going normally for a few days and then the garage door broke. It started to just go in all different direction and then it just didn’t move at all. Apparently, this has happened before.
The neighbor came by and started working on fixing the garage door. At first, I was like what a nice neighbor! His wife stopped by and I was able to practice my French as the neighbors didn’t speak any English. The garage door eventually was fixed and the neighbors invited me out to dinner. I was so happy because I still didn’t find where all the food was and it was great to meet some nice people. We were able to communicate just fine over a bottle of wine and Chinese buffet. That’s my kinda night! It was July 14. Which was Bastille Day in France. It’s the French equivalent to July 4th. So after dinner, the neighbors and I went to see the neighborhood fireworks! How fun…..But things quickly headed in a different direction a few days later…..
The host wife wrote me on Airbnb and said they will make sure the garage door was fixed and not to worry. She would check the door on Sunday. She told me she wouldn’t enter the home and she had extra keys to the house. I told her okay I had an event to attend and would not be there. The previous day the neighbor fixed the door and had been knocking on the door all day for me to look at each update. The door had been fixed before Sunday, so I didn’t think the host would come and check the door. I was a little jet lagged still and didn’t get out to my event as early as I planned. I was napping, (my favorite hobby) and all of a sudden I heard knocking at the door. I wasn’t expecting anyone and I wasn’t presentable to come to the door as I was half asleep. Still, the knocking persisted and soon it turned into banging on the windows. I heard someone yell up to the window in a sweet soft voice– TEEENA TEEENA. I then got an e-mail notification I had a message on Airbnb from the host. The wife said, Tina, we are at the door we just wanted to drop off some items for the house… I was still under the covers. The knocking got louder and louder at this point I didn’t want to open the door because I felt invaded. I jumped out of bed opened the door and I said yes? I am just about to get into the shower. I closed the door. The knocking persisted. and when I was done with my shower I started packing to leave. I opened the door again and the host rushed in with the items. All the while I heard all the neighbors talking in French about me they were all gathered outside the door. I felt so upset at this point that I started packing the rest of my things. The house owners had moved on to the couch with the house items an iron, ironing board, fan, hot water maker and some cleaning rags. They were putting together the fan. I said well, I am going to my event. and we all moved out of the house. I left my things packed hoping that Airbnb would let me out of my 5 week rental agreement before I returned. I left to go to my event hoping that was the end of that terrible and uncomfortable invasion of boundaries.
The host wife wrote me a note on strict instructions that she was unhappy, She explained how I have to close the security door and lock the door that needed a million twisted and turns to lock. As a Realtor, it was even hard for me to lock it. But I thought the security alarm and the steel door and window shutters would be enough. It was so hot I left the top floor windows cracked open on the tall two-story home. I didn’t think anyone would jump to the top floor to break in and they would have to be Superman to do that. But the host wife was very upset about what she saw… me not closing the top windows and not locking the tricky door although the steel door was secured. She said look at it from her perspective. I definitely understand having a stranger in your house for 5 weeks and not being able to have access to your own house. Scary…well if they wanted to still have access to their house then I could’ve just have been a house guest, not a paying renter with rights. right? I wrote her and explained that if I didn’t look at it from her perspective I would never have replied to her email and I would’ve left immediately. I said if she wanted to stop by just drop me a note as most likely I would not be there. The wife said in spite -well enjoy the rest of your trip! But she continued to watch every story on my Instagram feed. She requested to be Instagram friends but she didn’t allow her Instagram feed to be open to me. I started to put two in two together. French people aren’t that friendly (at least initially). The neighbors didn’t take me out to dinner because they were being gracious they were taking me out to dinner to ensure I didn’t write a bad review and they were monitoring me. That’s when I noticed the windows had steel shades that were half drawn. There was no way to move the shutters up or down but when I looked out of the shutters I could see the shutters were exactly in line with the neighbors window. When I took shower I saw another neighbor looking in the bathroom window in the shower. I know how this sounds! But seriously, every time I took a shower, I looked at the old man neighbor down the street he looked away like he wasn’t looking and every time I checked back he was looking again. There were also cameras in the house. When the host husband was showing me the house on day one, I asked him what was that camera there for. and he took it and turned it around to face the wall……
Airbnb didn’t get back to me until days later to address the owners smooth attempt to overtake moi, a napping jetlagged renter. Airbnb said they couldn’t move me to another place without checking in with the host to mediate first. How good would that be for someone in their house? I said just forget it… Since then the neighbors never came out of their house, if I did see them they would turn their backs to me. The host also said oh, the fan didn’t work we took it back. I had a heat rash because t was so hot but eventually, I bought my own fan! Petty boots!! (and I left it there as a parting gift at the end of my very long 5-week visit).
While I was still renting I’m the home I didn’t contact the host for a few weeks until I needed to get some mail. She said all the mail comes to the house if I put the correct address on the package. (petty shade) Then she sent me a note with a screenshot of all the accounts I use she said I sent it to her but I did not send it to her screenshot had my accounts including Evernote, Hotmail, and my internet provider it was weird. Still hoping I would get my package at this very moment. (as I am writing I will not post this until I check out of this place for sure!) At times I wished I could have handled it differently I wish I could have upheld my boundaries while still respecting hers without offending anyone. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the time. I felt my boundaries were pushed. I feel like I could have considered her feelings as it was her home but not respecting my own. I wanted to save face with the neighbors as maybe they were just being nice after all. The host said I have never dropped over items before… Perhaps I did overreact? At the very least I wish I wrote her back online at the time and said I’m in the shower and unable to come to the door please leave the items in the storage cabinet in the garage I’ll get it when I come back from my event. I sometimes think of better ways to handle weird situations after the situation happens. I’m getting better at finding on time solutions. If I handled with a direct email then my privacy would not have been invaded and I would still respect hers….. my rule still stands as Kermit says when you at my door knocking and you didn’t call first!!..you ain’t getting in! That’s the best I could do for that day. It doesn’t matter how bad you are at first at setting your personal boundaries but as long as you start somewhere.
When I returned to the states the owners attempted to charged me for a broken front door that was already broken into from the previous neighbors, according to the owners who revealed this to me in a written Airbnb online message. They claimed there was dog poop left, however, I cleaned up after my dog and I took out the trash 3 times a week and I even took out the trash for the previous guest who the wife host told me were so messy. Apparently, this is her go-to phrase as she said the same thing after I left although the house was perfectly clean. Her vacuum was disgusting and I didn’t know how to work it so I had to sweep the dog hair up and a lot of it was hard to retrieve but that was the only thing that needed to be cleaned up. She went through Airbnb to request money from me for the “damages” she requested $600. I sent pictures of the home cleaned as I knew this was not the end of this situation so I took pictures of the home right before I left as I had a feeling I would hear from them again. Airbnb did not protect me, the renter. The house was so far out from Paris I wasted a lot of time and energy in this prison with locked windows, doors and cameras and on the time to take the train going to Paris. I removed my credit cards from the Airbnb site and they were not able to collect payment from me so they said they would drop all attempts to collect the money as they should of done from the start.
I felt that their response should have been we see you’ve done nothing wrong and we are not going to attempt to collect any money from you because you were not at fault based on the evidence you have provided including picture and emails.
All in all, looking back, trying to positively reframe my experience I’m glad that I experienced the town of La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, as no one spoke English there and I spoke a lot of French that way. The hour train ride into Paris allowed me to gain perspective on my day. I learned about my personal boundaries and that it’s probably best to just get a hotel at the end of the day and that’s what I did the next time I visited Paris!
Here are pictures of the Airbnb, the peeping tom window that I covered to take a shower, the cameras, the items the owners brought as they sat on the couch to put together, and pictures of the town me and Webster
9 carrefour de l’Odéon – 75006 Paris, France.
Le Comptoir is a popular French bistro located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris in St Germain. I Googled recommended restaurants to dine alone, but, don’t feel sorry for me as I found the perfect place. I was able to skip the long waiting line because I just needed a table for 1.
The restaurant that came up in my search was called L’avant Comptoir which is standing room only. However, because I wanted to enjoy the people watching and 3 courses I walked a few steps away to Le Comptoir. Both restaurants are owned by the same family just next door to each other.
Le Comptoir was full of Americans and bilingual staff. I asked the waitress for menu recommendations and she didn’t lead me astray! I started with a glass of white wine, Bien sur. Next course was Foie Gras, a French staple. Later I would find out this choice did not sit well with me… I’ll leave it at that. Luckily, I was able to easily continue on to the next course. Cochon De lait Braise de roti lentilles de ragout was outstanding and highly recommended. I’ll admit it does not look like much but it definitely favorably ignited my pallet. I’m a sucker for some apple pie a la mode. The next course, dessert, is the French version of Apple pie called Tarte Fine aux Pomme, Glace Vanille. Amazing choice. Even though they charged me for water although I’m sure I said sink water and the Foie Gras was not my jam I highly recommend Le Comptoir! I will definitely check it out the next time I’m in Paris. Check out the menu, prices, and pictures of my plates below!
Finally, I received a 12-month visa to France. But A lot has changed in the months that I set out to move to France for 12 months. I put so much work into getting the visa that I feel a celebration is in order, however…. at this time the 12 months stay in France has been reduced to just 6-weeks! I know- that’s great! I don’t know a lot of people that would complain about spending 6 weeks in France. My plan was to sell everything become a Minimalist, practice and learn fluent French, and write my books. I needed the 12 months!! Now I am scurrying to do everything in the time I have. By “scurry” I mean sleeping in and staying up watching french tv all night.
None the less- I managed to join a writing group and start writing in a span of 7 days. Perhaps this 6-week “time constraint” was the way it was intended all along…!
Let me share my experiences and travel stories as a solo traveler in France, well by solo I mean traveling with my dog Webster and I! Welcome.