petite anglaise

March 26, 2006

things I will really miss…

Filed under: city of light — petiteanglaiseparis @ 8:26 pm

…if the offer goes through on my Belleville 2 pièces.



wine_view.jpg  balustrade_view.jpg


update: it has gone through. OHMYGOD! I’m officially stressed now at the prospect of having to woo banks and look at reams of paperwork. If any kind reader can recommend a good courtier based in central Paris I would love to hear from you!!!


  1. I don’t doubt it! Is the new view any cop?

    Comment by Huw — March 26, 2006 @ 8:32 pm

  2. Beautiful view. I can imagine that you will miss it. But, it is just a page that turns, and will hopefully lead you to different and better things!

    Comment by Ashley — March 26, 2006 @ 8:34 pm

  3. Look forward petite. It’s all there for you right outside your door.

    Comment by suze — March 26, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

  4. Looks a lot like the view from a flat me and my boyfriend are considering!

    Comment by Maxi — March 26, 2006 @ 9:03 pm

  5. Huw – no view to speak of, a large interior courtyard.

    Mostly I just take my view for granted, but it’s days like today, with one of those sunsets that just make me reach for the camera, when I realise how lucky I have been…

    And I note the conditions were, coincidentally, almost identical to when I took the blog header image, almost two years ago.

    Comment by petite — March 26, 2006 @ 9:19 pm

  6. Hey ho. Courtyards often offer scope for keeping a beady eye on the neighbourxs’ goings on.

    Comment by Huw — March 26, 2006 @ 9:56 pm

  7. But… I don’t understand why you have to buy, rather than rent again?

    Although I guess whichever you do, you now have only the one income, so a downward shift is inevitable. OK, fair enough.

    Courtyards are ace though. I love courtyards. And wherever you are, there is a choice: Adapt or regret. The former is the better option. After all, there is always something better and something worse than what you have. The question is which one you choose to compare your situation with. Innit.

    Comment by Clare — March 26, 2006 @ 10:31 pm

  8. *Sigh*

    Comment by Laura — March 27, 2006 @ 1:10 am

  9. Your other commenters are right. No matter where you are living, you still have the entire city and its views at your disposal. Still, my heart goes out to you as you anxiously wait to hear whether your bid goes through. Good luck…

    Comment by Megan — March 27, 2006 @ 2:42 am

  10. Good luck in whatever comes your way, Petite, and hang in there. Moving is always a little bittersweet.

    Comment by Sara in Melun — March 27, 2006 @ 4:14 am

  11. Change is scarey and it’s natural to feel a sense of loss and anxiety but…

    Sometimes we’re too busy looking back at the door that just closed behind us to see through the one that just opened in front of us

    wherever you live, Paris is still there, n’est-ce pas?

    Comment by Julia — March 27, 2006 @ 5:45 am

  12. Good luck Petite – I hope it all goes well…….but I will admit, I don’t envy you the packing and moving – two things I LOATHE…..

    oh, along with unpacking :)

    Comment by Kasey — March 27, 2006 @ 6:48 am

  13. Very nice perspectives.
    Remember, one step backward, two steps forward x Always the way.

    Comment by fjl — March 27, 2006 @ 10:41 am

  14. I have to say, though I would love to have a view, I think in some ways I’m quite lucky to have always lived facing a courtyard. They have always been bright, pretty courtyards with small buildings and I have always been quite high up, so it hasn’t ever felt claustrophobic or dark and I can see beyond the rooftops. The main plus though is the peace and quiet. When I get home, I’m away from the traffic and hustle bustle, I can sleep undisturbed, I can open my windows without a fog of pollution and I can read a book and hear birds singing, right in the centre of the city. So, although it will be a shame to lose such a fabulous view, there’s a bright side to be had!

    Comment by redlady — March 27, 2006 @ 12:14 pm

  15. … and what about the choice of Belleville? I don’t know Paris well enough to know, though I seem to recall it as an arty, cosmopolitan quarter? A good choice in terms of access to work, to the childminder, to friends, to shops & amenities,etc… and in terms of safety?…. not to mention the ratio of dog excrement per sq m of pavement which has often been of interest? Lift?…. condition of? A reasonably secure location for property appreciation at best and certainly not the converse? I have absolutely no idea what the answers are to these questions and I guess you will have considered all of them… and more!

    Comment by fella — March 27, 2006 @ 12:46 pm

  16. Petite—isn’t it your day off today? I hope you are out and about enjoying Spring! Not sure what the weather is like there—but here in Amsterdam spring has atlast sprung!

    Have a great day plaing hokey ;)

    Comment by Just Dazzle — March 27, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

  17. I, too, like living on a courtyard. Very peaceful and neighbourly.
    Also, did you know that if you walk to the junction of Rue des Pyrenées and Rue de Belleville (you have to go up and up and up from Belleville) you can see the Eiffel Tower when you stand opposite McDonalds and look down the hill. Wonderful on Bastille day.

    Comment by Lou — March 27, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

  18. I love Belleville (and live there): fabulous places to eat, near the park where you are now, and always something to see in the street. I highly recommend the Cleopatre Club hammam, and the marché on the Bld de la Villette, Wed and Sat. Hope it goes through…

    Comment by Katherine — March 27, 2006 @ 4:50 pm

  19. beautiful how the wrought iron grille is reflected in the glass of wine in your photo. that is real magic at work!

    Comment by isabel — March 27, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

  20. Day Off remember!! Go out in that view and drink it in!
    I wold miss the view too!! A courtyard is not bad though, but a bird’s eye view! Sorry, i don’t think my agreeing with you is going to help!

    Comment by Tongue in Cheek — March 27, 2006 @ 5:00 pm

  21. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. It isn’t the only flat. There are/will be others. I sold a small house last year and was ready to put in an offer on a flat I knew I didn’t really want (think major renovations) — but there weren’t many apartments in my price range on the market at the time. After a sleepless night, I decided not to go ahead, and two days later, the perfect place was listed and I bought it. Serendipity like that isn’t guaranteed, but what IS almost guaranteed is that if know you don’t like the place before you buy it, it won’t grow on you. Maybe you’ll have to rent again temporarily or maybe you’ll have to store stuff and camp out with friends — but don’t settle for second best.

    Comment by Passante — March 27, 2006 @ 5:31 pm

  22. Hey Petite

    Could you have a look at ‘closer’ and see if it’s true that there’s an article about me in it?

    Comment by mimi — March 27, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

  23. I have been an avid reader of your blog for a few months now, thank you for sharing slices of your life with us all. I would so dearly love to live in Paris again, confiance Petite

    Comment by Maria — March 27, 2006 @ 7:33 pm

  24. Petite,
    Think that life is all about change. Let me repeat what Julia said above: “Sometimes we’re too busy looking back at the door that just closed behind us to see through the one that just opened in front of us”.

    You don’t know yet how many surprises are awaiting you in the new place.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Uranus — March 27, 2006 @ 8:42 pm

  25. …but don’t leave your red wine behind under any circumstances.

    It’s a hundred years ago now, but I used to live in Belleville, up between Pyrénées and Jourdain, and it was lovely, bar Mrs. Whats-‘er-face from underneath who shouted, “Il faut pas inviter toute l’Angleterre, hein!” if I had a noise-producing guest. But you might easily not be living above her, and she might have moved. And it wasn’t a deux pièces.

    But good luck.

    Comment by BiB — March 27, 2006 @ 9:27 pm

  26. Belleville? Will there be triplets there?

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — March 27, 2006 @ 9:52 pm

  27. Uranus – are you for real?! I mean, your comments apear genuine but YOUR NAME… Keeps me wondering.

    Comment by MPB — March 28, 2006 @ 1:38 am

  28. Good luck, Petite. Change may not always be good, but necessary. Look forward and cherish the beauty that you have seen in your memories!

    Comment by H. (aka NC_State_gal) — March 28, 2006 @ 2:21 am

  29. The closing of one chapter and the opening of a fresh, blank page. You will be taking precious things with you.

    bonne courage.

    Better things for you and Tadpole are yet on the horizon.

    Comment by Gruntled — March 28, 2006 @ 3:02 am

  30. Beautiful pictures, especially the wine view one.

    I still miss my back garden in England, four years on.


    Comment by Loxias — March 28, 2006 @ 9:59 am

  31. For your mortgage you could do worse than to consult the UCB (BNP offshoot) on You’ll see you can do an online simulation and that they promise a decision in 48 hours.
    Maybe you don’t really need a broker.

    Comment by Parkin Pig — March 28, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

  32. ………..but you do definitely need a literary agent!

    Comment by Parkin Pig — March 28, 2006 @ 12:17 pm

  33. get that Excel spreadsheet up and running to compare… has some good advice/info but the offers I received weren’t great… my own bank did better. You’re going to need time for appts etc… and get your questionnaire ready … modulable, no charge for early payments, etc. etc., insurance, frais bancaires, bref.

    Comment by magillicuddy — March 28, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

  34. I do remember it all from the first time around with Mr Frog when we nearly, but not quite, bought a place…

    Luckily I am off work next week so appts shouldn’t be a problem.


    Comment by petite — March 28, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

  35. No courtier advise for you, sorry Petit. As when we bought everything went through a financial advisor provided by the company that I work for and the lovely little 1% allowance that they awarded me.

    All I can say it shop around and go for a fixed rate, read all the small print mortgage and refuse to pay ‘Les frais dossier'(we saved ourselves 5 000 ff and that paid for the removal company to do all the hard work)

    I believe you have 10 days to pull out if you get cold feet…..

    Comment by P in France — March 28, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

  36. Didn’t you say that you were eligable for a “1% logement thingy” ?? – If it’s a CIL that does this for you they should be able to do your simulation and then find the bank that has the best offer.

    Then when you go to the bank it’s for you to check the contract and negotiate the ‘Les Frais de Dossier’ etc…

    Comment by P in France — March 28, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  37. No, a zero percent loan. But I think it is unwise to take it, because in the event of my circumstances changing (one day in the next 25 years), and my wanting to rent out the flat, I would have to immediately pay back the entire amount of the 0% loan (an impossibility without selling up). So it just doesn’t give me any flexibility.

    Comment by petite — March 28, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

  38. may i suggest empruntis? it’s an online courtier that offer your anonymised dossier to all the banks. I used it myself last year for my mortgage and it worked quite well and quite fast.

    Comment by Chris — March 28, 2006 @ 2:37 pm

  39. Yes in your circumstances that’s just too risky and 25 years is very, very long….

    Comment by P in France — March 28, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  40. Chris – have submitted that already so will see how that one works out, am waiting for Mr Frog to give me a friend’s recommendation about broker (I have some, but they are miles out of Paris which is not really convenient for me). But am already planning to see LCL and my own bank on Saturday, and I don’t even sign until Thursay, so ….

    *still hyperventilating*

    Comment by petite — March 28, 2006 @ 2:51 pm

  41. I’m doing the same thing, and I’m terrified! I’m going through I’ve an appointment with them next week. Apparantly theres a small charge but not if you do better on your own.

    Pap publish guides on buying, they’re really easy to read and have really useful, practical information. Laid out in a kind of “buying for dummies” way.

    The meilleur taux thing is only good to give you an idea of what to expect, I think.

    They do say theres nothing like retail therapy to get you through a breakup, but this might be a tad extreme :)

    Comment by Caty — March 28, 2006 @ 2:55 pm

  42. We’ve just bought our first house, and friends in the know agreed that the Credit Agricole and the Banque Populaire are the best placed banks for low rate loans, might be worth starting with those two. Even better if you already bank with one of these as we got a fab rate from our banking lady who has known my husband since he was a tot.

    Our purchase took forever from Compromis de Vente to final signature/handover of keys, but it was pretty straightforward.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Susan — March 28, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  43. Congratulations on your successful bid for millstone mark one. I hope it grinds you down only in the areas where you would happily be thinner.
    Why can’t you take the zero percent loan for now and, when circumstances change (country house, dog, horse and gamekeeper), take out another loan at a commercial rate to pay it back? Of course that’s what I’d do in the UK but I suspect the French wouldn’t do zero percent without attaching a veritable cat’s cradle of strings.

    Comment by laurence — March 28, 2006 @ 3:20 pm

  44. Once you have signed for an appartment (the “promesse de vente”), you actually have 3 months to pull out. You could lose the notary fees but better than going with a flat you have doubts about.
    Also, try and get a fixed interest rate. Variable rates are the British home-owner’s downfall.
    Are you feeling better, btw? Did you manage to enjoy yesterday to the (gold-plated) hilt?

    Comment by Flighty — March 28, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

  45. lawrence – Quite. they can’t or won’t refinance it. utterly rubbish. but I’ve heard it categorically from several sources, so I definitely believe it. Don’t forget this is the country where a mortgage for more than 25 years is unheard of, where you can only borrow up to a third of your income, in short, the financial dark ages beckon.

    flightly – fixed rate definitely, I’d be mad not to right now. Spent much of yesterday in bed, but now feeling much better. Does my bum look big in this gold pencil skirt, by the way?

    I didn’t really. It’s much more flighty than petite

    Comment by petite — March 28, 2006 @ 3:56 pm

  46. Laurence is right about the 0%. The bank should be happy to offer you a normal loan to replace the 0% when you want to move away and rent. You can discuss that with the broker or bank right now…

    It may also turn out that selling (at a likely profit) is the better choice a few years down the road – you don’t need to decide on that now. In either case you’ll be better off if you have not paid interest on your loan in the meantime. Be sure to ask any broker/bank for the “coût total de l’emprunt” that comes with their fantastic offer! That should settle it.

    Don’t worry too much – this is a stressful but definitely wise move.

    Comment by ontario frog — March 28, 2006 @ 4:05 pm

  47. Oh – I did not read your reply while I was writing this last comment.

    I would look further for options though. Especially with a broker, who is not bound by the rules of any bank.

    Good luck

    Comment by ontario frog — March 28, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

  48. Good luck Petite!!

    Moving to a new place and decorating is always fun!

    Comment by Sarah-Jean — March 28, 2006 @ 6:37 pm

  49. This one is not bad and they have offices in Paris and environs – They negotiate best rates and insurance (separately), you pay only for the frais dossier with them but do not have to pay this again with the eventual lending bank. They will also, at your request, include your bank in the rounds and see if they can get a better rate anonymously. Nice way to find out how much they really cherish you. They seemed pretty quick and efficient, but having said that I haven’t closed the deal yet.

    Comment by fibsor — March 28, 2006 @ 6:42 pm

  50. Yup if you’re shopping around for loans, Crédit Agricole, les Caisses d’Epargne and the Banques Pop are the ones who are most likely to give you a good deal. After all, it’s not for nothing that most people in France have mortgages with these banks. And don’t be afraid to tell them what other people are offering. The French mortgage market is highly competitive because rates are so low, so they are dependent on volume i.e. they want your business. I’d forget the BNP Paribas and SGs – they’re pretty small potatoes in this field, and, in my experience, don’t tend to be as flexible. Bonne chance!!

    Comment by rhino75 — March 28, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

  51. Petite!!

    I am just now catching up on your blog after a one-month absence. So much has changed and in all honesty, coincidentally, I’ve just gone through an extremely similar situation as well. I really admire your honesty and courage to share this with us and to be vulnerable. Congratulations on your new purchase and congratulations on the new life that lies ahead!

    You’re a butterfly and there’s a whole world of fun, flirtation, and love that awaits you! When I force myself to realize that, it doesn’t hurt so badly…

    Comment by Dina — March 29, 2006 @ 1:00 am

  52. Our mortgage is with the Credit Agricole, seems fine in most ways but we took a flexible rate because the fixed ones they offered were unfeasibly high.

    Remember to include in the compromis de vente every tiny (or not-so-tiny) thing that you don’t want the vendor to remove – light fittings, curtain poles, fitted kitchen… It works quite well if you raise these matters at the time of signing; the vendor is hardly likely to back out at that stage.

    Comment by Claire — March 29, 2006 @ 3:46 am

  53. I think you should set up somewhere for people to send donations for flat-warmimg presents…
    and then publish photos

    How about a virtual party?
    I’ll be the e-mailer standing in the kitchen…

    Comment by Julia — March 29, 2006 @ 6:07 am

  54. Well, there is a little donate button – for the ikea kitchen fund to your right…

    I’m wondering if I can start like a wedding list, with actual little things on it. Because people are really generous. It never ceases to amaze me.

    Comment by petite — March 29, 2006 @ 9:40 am

  55. I tried to go through the courtier ACE at one point, on behalf of someone, and I called an office near my office and they said, well we can only see you in the office that your friend used. There was no way around it… I found that unbelievable. As someone else mentioned, Banque Populaire is quite good — they got us a great rate for a recent acquisition… 3.3% (fall 2005) but we’ve also had an account there for over 10 years.. so shop shop shop

    Comment by magillicuddy — March 29, 2006 @ 10:17 am


    I am so happy for you…….

    oh, and also happy that you stayed in bed most of your day off – probably not as a result of my suggestion to do just that.

    Did you eat chocolate and read trashy magazines? Because that would’ve been my perfect day off ;)

    Comment by Kasey — March 29, 2006 @ 10:58 am

  57. You could start a wedding list – Amazon now offer one which is similar to their Wish List! The only problem is that appliances etc can’t be sent out the UK. However you could always have the delivery address in England with your parents and then go back and collect the things?!

    Good luck with your flat – it’s great news!!!

    Comment by Hazy — March 29, 2006 @ 10:58 am

  58. But can PA wire a plug, hazy? Not to mention, how many toasters does one need. Nice French custom for weddings is the ‘tirelire’ – raises eyebrows in UK though.

    Comment by J — March 29, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

  59. I’m going to get a list with Ikea. But I think it’s a bit premature right now, I’d better get something signed first. I’m unlikely to see any keys before early July, or later.

    Comment by petite — March 29, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

  60. I’m sure Petite is perfectly capable of wiring a plug or, even better, getting someone else to.

    I didn’t know Ikea did lists!! That’s very interesting news.

    Comment by Hazy — March 29, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

  61. Petite can wire plugs, fit light fittings, drill holes and assemble furniture (with only minimal swearing).

    Comment by petite — March 29, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

  62. So you’re signing on Thursday?

    Then I imagine you will want to spend the first few days of next week doing footloose not-tied-down-by-a-mortgage-yet things. That sounds like the best thing to do by far.

    Comment by anna — March 29, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

  63. oh. yes. involving beer.

    Comment by petite — March 29, 2006 @ 9:47 pm

  64. Courtyard is great – you don’t have to listen to the binmen twice a day…

    Belleville is brill, great food at very reasonable prices!

    Mimi dearest, as you don’t know me I won’t take offense to you asking Petite if I’m telling the truth about the article in Closer – it’s in the post, you’ll see soon enough! enjoy…

    Comment by croque madame — March 30, 2006 @ 9:02 am

  65. Petite, I haven’t been on your site for a while … I am so sorry to hear about you and lover. I know exactly where you are at. In October 2004, I met someone who I thought completed my world, but I was married at the time. Not a happy marriage – we were good friend but not good husband and wife. Anyway, I separated from my husband at the end of November 2004 and got very seriuosly involved with the new boy, to the extent that I was almost living with him. The relationship lasted 6 months and he decided it should end. I was devastated beyond belief, and almost had a nervous breakdown. Looking back on it, I needed him to get me out of my marriage and I needed him to allow me to get over the marriage, but the timing sucked. I was far too intense and anyway, I had chosen someone so different to anyone else I had ever seen, I am not sure it could have worked. I still see him at work (he contracts)and over time have realised that we are not suited at all, even though the memories are difficult to deal with. We meet people for specific reasons and yours and mine sound like it was to allow us to move on in life, no matter how scary. I have also just bought my first house on my own and move in on sat. Scary but exciting. My heart goes out to you, petite. Lots of love.

    Comment by susan — March 30, 2006 @ 11:31 am

  66. “Petite can wire plugs, fit light fittings, drill holes and assemble furniture (with only minimal swearing).”

    I love it when you talk dirty in the blog……….;-)

    BTW, what is a “courtier” anyway? Is it the French equivalent of a real estate agent? I thought for a moment it might have been a man you have decided to hire to keep yourself occupied, but then I realized I might have been confusing that with “courtesan.”

    I really need to learn French…………

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — March 31, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

  67. How lovely. You are so lucky!

    Comment by MiamiGirl — March 31, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

  68. What a fabulous view!

    Comment by K. Bruce — April 3, 2006 @ 9:33 pm

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