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kenav Apr 26th, 2007 09:35 AM

Buy European city?
Anybody ever gone to a city/town in Europe that they loved so much, that, even though they didn't intend to move there, they bought an apt. or house in that area?

Padraig Apr 26th, 2007 09:50 AM

Lots of Irish people do that. Personally, I am against it.

It can result in local people being priced out of the market, which I think is undesirable.

In some cases towns have lost so much of their permanent community that much of the character which gave them their initial appeal has been lost.

StCirq Apr 26th, 2007 09:52 AM

Well, I bought a house in France 16 years ago, but it's not in a big city and I do intend to move there.

mikemo Apr 26th, 2007 09:52 AM

After having purchased two houses (sold the first) in San Miguel de Allende, Gto., MX, I would seriously consider a purchase In Buenos Aire, AR.
In Europe? Not until USD/Euro parity.

Christina Apr 26th, 2007 09:55 AM

Do you realize that most people can't just randomly buy houses as souvenirs, they have enough trouble paying and maintaining one residence?

Michel_Paris Apr 26th, 2007 10:30 AM

Here is my plan...I would like to buy an appartment in Paris, then hire an agency to rent it out, maintain it,etc.. I would use it myself for a couple of weeks myself. At some point I would like to live a good part of every year in France. I have not yet decided if that should be in Paris or in the countryside. But if I can swing a down payment on that appartment, and have rentals pay mortgage and a bit more, I'm in for that plan.

I still have much research to do, locations, laws, agencies,etc. But..I am saving up for that downpayment.

kaneda Apr 26th, 2007 11:01 AM

If you buy a place in a foreign country, it can be burgled or worse because it is untenanted for periods of time. If you rent it out, there are many dodgy agencies who will let to doubtful clients and do nothing when they leave owing a few months rent and have caused a lot of damage. Other agencies let the apartment, deny it is let and pocket the money. Bills have to be paid and at worse, failure to do so can mean the apartment being sold or a service cut off and a large payment required to get the service put on again. People trust neighbours and give them keys which can be a very bad mistake. Rooms have to be aired, linen changed, etc. otherwise the place can end up mildewed or musty.

SuzieCII Apr 26th, 2007 11:24 AM

Unless we can go live there permanently (and watch the grapes grow...wherever) several hundred thousand euro PLUS the maintenance expenses/taxes per year can go really really far at wonderful places to stay, in the meantime. Plus, one has an obligation to need to "go there" rather than whimsically say, "Hey! Why not Thailand this year?".
That said, we want to check into this, but good friends just spent (I'm told $20,000) for a two-week time-share in an apartment at St. Maarten. The organization has a trade situation. So far, they've only enjoyed St. Maartin but look forward to France, Spain, Germany, etc.)

Michel_Paris Apr 26th, 2007 11:28 AM

Acknowledge the above. I've identified these issues also. One reason for owning a rental (and having qualified agents tkaing care of it) is that year could decide to go to...Thailand for a couple of months, or could decide to go to Paris for 6 mths. With a rental, if not being used by is earning income. That is would another reason to prefer a rentable place.

kenav Apr 26th, 2007 12:34 PM

SuzieCll - Didn't know that people were still buying into time shares. Anyone I know who did this, years ago, never got an opportunity to go to those fantastic places you supposedly could with trading your time share for anothers (like their brochures say.)

I hope your friends have a different tale to tell.

Dukey Apr 26th, 2007 12:48 PM

Are you willing to put up with a possible negative cash flow from the apartment and if so, how much?

I assume you'll have to figure in all the costs of ownership to include possible real estate taxes.

Also, doe the fact that the apartment is generating revenue and assuming a positive cash flow does that subject you to any local income taxes despite the fact that you aren't a permanent resident or would that income have to be considerably higher for it to do so?

Also, would that income from a "foreign investment" subject you to increded income taxes at home or could you write it off somehow?

Lots of financial questions I would think to consider before making a final decision.

Michael Apr 26th, 2007 12:56 PM

<i> have not yet decided if that should be in Paris or in the countryside.</i>

If the countryside you mean a free standing house, you are multiplying your problems. The terrain around the house must be taken care of. You have to maintain all the outer walls and roof. We had vandalism on our house, we have to arrange to get the grass cut, we've had roof problems--all things things are minimized with an apartment.

mikemo Apr 26th, 2007 01:16 PM

Amen D,
Paid combined property taxes of US $19K
in Dallas: higher market value residential real estate here was US $388.50 for 2007.

SuzieCII Apr 26th, 2007 01:20 PM

They still exist (I am assuming its on the up and up...the husband in this pair is with the AG's office...and she's anal beyond belief, I trust they researched it well).

SuzieCII Apr 26th, 2007 01:22 PM

All this rhetoric aside, Adrien Leeds' group and parlorparis (or is it parisparlor) anyway...they have seminars, successful ex-pats to &quot;made it&quot;, bankers, mortgage people, Notarys...all sorts of books to buy etc.

It would be FUN to investigate. Michael and I looked at brochures when we were in Paris and staying in the 17th. I could live there.

Michel_Paris Apr 26th, 2007 01:25 PM

That's why I have you guys to help me out :)

Many things to figure out, many consultations with tax lawyers,etc.
In the end, it may work out to be better to rent every year.
My &quot;theory&quot; about buying is that there is a short rental market that exists and will continue to I/can I be a part of it?

Maybe I could rent it only to Fodorites...

kenav Apr 27th, 2007 07:16 AM


janeygirl Apr 27th, 2007 07:31 AM


You can rent it to me!

Seriously, once I retire I'm hoping to spend three months per year in Paris, mainly so I don't have to deal with visa issues.

If that works out well, I may venture into visa territory for longer stays.

Michel_Paris Apr 27th, 2007 07:49 AM


I have May-July 2017 available, should I pencil you in? No need for prepayment, I trust Fodorites :)

I am also a subscriber to Adrien Leed's Paris newsletter, but not her Real Estate letter. It sounds simple when she talks about buying (giving examples of people who are doing it now), but she is...selling seminars. So at some point I'll consider that sort of seminar, but I think for now I'll just keep putting money aside, gather info by looking at on-line real estate adds for Paris area and see what prices are like, what areas are cheaper,etc..

I'm an engineer, so project management and problem resolution is part of my everyday work, I hope it will help in finding my little 18th century hideaway on Ile St Louis ;)

Nice to a have a dream.


janeygirl Apr 27th, 2007 08:55 AM

Nice to dream, indeed. And 2017 is just about the right timing for me, believe it or not (fingers crossed that I can do it then).

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