I am happy to have my friend Adrian Leeds as my Parisian of the Month. Her company Adrian Leeds Group provides comprehensive property search and after the sale services for living and investing in Paris and France, plus temporary Paris apartment rentals.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
New Orleans and New Orleans.
When and why did you move to Paris?
I came to Paris 21 years ago with no future in mind. At the time, it was a whimsical idea to ‘test out’ life in Paris just to see what it was like. I came with a husband and a daughter…three years later I left the husband, but I didn’t leave Paris.
How did you get into the real estate business and buying apartments in Paris?
At the end of 2001, International Living recruited me to open their Paris office. Their readers wanted help to find property so I found a team of people who could provide it. That was the beginning of the real estate business. They needed mortgages. They need renovation. They needed management. That’s how the rental business started and everything happened rather organically. I worked with the resources I developed during the purchase of my own apartment and that opened up opportunities for me personally to purchase properties. I took several equity release loans and leveraged my holdings so that I had three rental properties and two residences, one here in Paris and one in New York. I have since sold two of the rental properties in Paris.
You live in the Marais. What was it like when you first moved here and how has it changed?
It was scruffy, but a fledgling quartier about to burst into stardom! I actually preferred it when it wasn't so 'branché!" Although it's really got the kind of lifestyle I like best!
You are frequently on House Hunters International. How did that opportunity come about and what has it been like since you started appearing on the show?
I did the first show in 2006 -- the producers were looking for 'agents' and they found me. Since then, I've done 21 shows. A 22nd is about to air and there are 2 we are working on right now. I also filmed an FYI Tiny House Nation with my daughter and niece that will air very soon.
Has there been an increase in apartment sales now that the dollar is much stronger against the euro in 2015?
There is an increase in desire, but the Paris rental laws and rent control laws and increases in taxes have put a damper on the return on investment and therefore hurt sales for the middle-class buyer.
What area of Paris do you think has the best value now in terms of buying an apartment?
That depends on what your goals are. For rental purposes and ultimately low risk investment, nothing is better than central Paris. The Marais will always be the Marais. St. Germain des Prés will always be St. Germain des Prés. In these areas you cannot go wrong. If you want to really get big appreciation and have a long time to wait, then buy in the outer districts that are the least expensive, like the 18th-20th, but it will be another 10 years before it will make a serious difference.
What are the three top tips you have for people buying an apartment in Paris?
1. Don't do it without professional advice and assistance. (Don't trust a real estate agency to be that professional.)
2. Location, location, location...is always the #1 rule to success.
3. Think in the long term, not the short term, to maximize your investment potential.
What do you prefer about Paris?
I like that we Parisians really live in the city among other Parisians and not in 'a bubble' -- in our cars, in our homes, in our suburbs, etc. It's a lifestyle that is not achievable anywhere in the U.S. -- even New York City.
Eye Prefer Paris Postcards
I am thrilled to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Postcards, a 6 or 12-month subscription service where the subscriber receives three physical postcards of my iconic Paris photos every month. Each month will have a specific theme, from architectural street scenes to romantic outdoor cafes to beautiful gardens to unique shots of iconic monuments. Each mailing will include two postcards in color and one in black & white or sepia, beautifully packaged in a special French Blue postcard holder with a custom designed seal.
Each 6” X 4.25” traditional size postcard is printed on thick matte coated card stock, similar to traditional vintage postcard stock that enhances the vibrancy of every image.
Only $60 for a 6 month subscription (plus shipping)or
$110 for a 12-month subscription (plus shipping)
My offer of a 12-month subscription with an extra month free is good until October 11, so remember to order now before the offer ends.
Come experience Eye Prefer Paris live with Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I personally lead. Eye Prefer Paris Tours include many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes, food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks and gardens and much more. In addition to my specialty Marais Tour, I also lead tours of Montmartre, St. Germain, Latin Quarter, in addition to Shopping Tours, Gay Tours, Girlfriend Tours, Food Tours, Flea Market Tours, Paris Highlights Tours, and Chocolate & Pastry tours.
Tours start at 225 euros for up to 3 people, and 75 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 195 euros per person (about $210)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.