French Property Blog: Our Voice from France

Love France… Christmas markets

We’re feeling festive, so with Christmas nearly here we thought we’d give you an insight into one of our favourite French traditions: Christmas markets.

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When and where are Christmas markets?

Christmas markets usually run between late November and the end of December. Each big town or city has its own Christmas market, which is usually set on the main street or the main square.

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What is to be bought on Christmas markets?

French people see Christmas markets as a great opportunity to enjoy the Christmas spirit and the illuminations in the streets, but also to find nice personalised presents as original, handcrafted and local products are sold there.

What food can be enjoyed on Christmas markets?

Christmas markets are also a great place to try new food or enjoy delicious French pastries like the Breton crêpes or waffles as well as local specialties. “Vin chaud” (mulled wine) and roasted chestnuts are fundamental Christmas market treats.

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Christmas market activities

Even though each city and town’s program of activities is different, having your photograph taken with Santa is an activity offered on every market. Cities usually have a pop up Ferris wheel, or even a pop up ice-skating rink like in Angers! There are also lots of street shows going around the streets, such as parades, dancing and bands playing all sorts of music. Sound and light shows are also very popular and are a good opportunity for the cities to highlight their architectural jewels. The Lyon “Fêtes des Lumières” light show is particularly big and famous.

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Language buddy

Christmas market = marché de Noël
Santa = le Père Noël
Stall = stand or étale
Waffle = gaufre
Roasted chestnuts = marrons chauds or marrons grillés
Ferris wheel = grande roue

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Secrets of finding expert help for your renovation job

The renovation project is back. Our appetite for fixer-uppers, wrecks or “projects” has reawakened across France – but are you a little rusty when it comes to finding expert help?

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- First of all, how to find the right person? Choosing someone local is good for Anglo-French relations as long as you can communicate your needs clearly.

- France has excellent craftsmen but also a few cowboy builders – so make sure you check trades people are correctly registered (infogreffe.fr) and with a carte professionnelle.

- Ask to see their insurance document, references but also to see work they have already completed.

- Get three quotes (“devis”) for any work with start and finish dates.

- Make sure that stage payments do not exceed the final budget so that you withhold monies until all the snagging is completed.

For more information, ask your local Leggett agent.

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A jolly trio of properties near festive markets

We all love a Christmas market! Hardly surprisingly that the French – who could be said to do the markets better than anyone else, offer some of the finest. They are great places to browse with a vin chaud and pick up handmade gifts or festive delicacies. Here are three homes to warm the heart near great markets…

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This elegant two-bed apartment is located near Paris’s l’Etoile – ideal for not just markets but shops, theatres, restaurants and museums. Location doesn’t get much better!

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http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/68786JMR75/apartment-for-sale-in-paris-xvii-paris-ile-de-france-france

 

Located on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, this is a great little one-bed apartment with sea views that’s ready to go (so no Christmas shopping time wasted)

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http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/69369GCA06/apartment-for-sale-in-nice-alpes-maritimes-provence-cote-d-azur-france

You can’t get much more Christmassy than a cosy Alpine chalet and this modern four-bed example in the family-friendly resort of La Clusaz is now a great price.

Xmas3

http://www.frenchestateagents.com/french-property-for-sale/view/39021SD74/chalet-for-sale-in-la-clusaz-haute-savoie-french-alps-france

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Trump gives French property market a boost

Whilst the world waits to witness the effects of President-Elect Donald Trump, one thing is for sure – American buyers in France have increased significantly. Americans have always loved France, and before the US election sales to Americans had increased by 25 per cent for us.

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However a poll we ran just after the election suggested that 60 per cent of US citizens were “more likely” to buy in France than before. Typical responses suggested property-hunters were now keen to expedite their purchase, with concerns about the future security and ethics of the USA. As one person put it: I am more likely to buy a property in France – I don’t feel safe, I feel American values have been compromised.”  Natalie Leggett adds: “With 61m unhappy Democrats we’re fielding lots of calls from people saying that they want to leave the country.  Similarly there are 60m ecstatic Republicans and we’ve taken enquiries from people saying they now have faith in the economy and are happy to invest in a holiday home.  No matter what their politics the truth is they’re coming here.”

Whilst the world waits to witness the effects of President-Elect Donald Trump, one thing is for sure – American buyers in France have increased significantly. Americans have always loved France, and before the US election sales to Americans had increased by 25 per cent for us. However a poll we ran just after the election suggested that 60 per cent of US citizens were “more likely” to buy in France than before. Typical responses suggested property-hunters were now keen to expedite their purchase, with concerns about the future security and ethics of the USA. As one person put it: I am more likely to buy a property in France – I don’t feel safe, I feel American values have been compromised.”  Natalie Leggett adds: “With 61m unhappy Democrats we’re fielding lots of calls from people saying that they want to leave the country.  Similarly there are 60m ecstatic Republicans and we’ve taken enquiries from people saying they now have faith in the economy and are happy to invest in a holiday home.  No matter what their politics the truth is they’re coming here.”

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Leggett voted top estate agent – for the fourth time

We are delighted to share that last month we won the title of Best Estate Agency in France for the fourth year running. For the first time, we entered – and won – the Best Real Estate Marketing category too.

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The 2016 European Property Awards, part of the International Awards and now in their 25th year, took place on 27th October in Mayfair, London. After this prestigious industry event Chairman Trevor Leggett commented: “This is the fourth year running that we have won the primary award – a period that has seen our turnover grow from €4.4m to over €11m. To do this, whilst still retaining industry-leading service levels, is a huge achievement. This award is recognition of the exemplary job that our staff and agents do day in and day out.”

Our network of high-quality local agents is key to our success. We pride ourselves on being a family business that offers a friendly and professional service that is far removed from that offered by a franchise or large chain.

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