What, Where and How to Buy Property in the South of France

Welcome to the French Riviera!  Famous for the azure blue waters, white sandy beaches and chic lifestyle.

FRPS0012This has been the chosen location of royalty and celebrities for their second homes and, according to recent articles, is still the choice of those with a more modest background to invest in property.

There is a long affiliation with this region and those wanting to buy holiday homes, investment properties or simply make a permanent move to the warm climate. Even in these more difficult economic times the magic of the Cote d’Azur continues to attract international buyers.

Why by a Property in the South of France? Well, there are the obvious advantages of climate, ease of access with the international airport at Nice and of course the gastronomic draw of this region.  But more than that, property in this region has continued to grow in price, albeit more slowly and French mortgage rates are still among the lowest in the world with today’s rates around 3% – you shouldn’t forget that here in France, the interest rate of your mortgage can be fixed for the lifetime of the loan. For those investing, maximising on a property investment is relatively simple with the influx of tourists seeking holiday accommodation in the summer months and if you consider carefully where you buy,  you may be able to attract year round corporate rentals for visitors attending events in the region such as the Cannes Film Festival  + other major conventions.

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Where to Buy? So now you’re rushing to book flights to come and find your perfect holiday property. But you need to decide where to buy. The French Riviera stretches from St Tropez to the borders of Monaco and inland to the edges of the Alps. It’s a large area, each region offering something a little bit different in terms of property, prices and styles. What is right for you? What will give you best return on investment? And more importantly what will give you most for your budget?

nice483If you are buying a holiday home that will only be used by you and your family, just follow your heart and your budget. A waterfront property on Cap Ferrat will be a stunning holiday home. If you want to use your second home as a bolt hole, you might consider the areas closest to the airport. The Old Town of Nice enjoys beautiful architecture and a wonderful eclectic mix of nationalities who live there. Peace and quiet and family villas with gardens are to be found in the hills above the coast. The hill top village of Mougins is the gastronomic home of the region, and you can stroll through its cobbled streets before heading to one of the internationally renowned restaurants.  An apartment within walking distance of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes will give you the best chance of a short term rental income throughout the year. Think carefully about the focus of your purchase; it’s easy to get carried away and fall in love with a property that, later on, you realise doesn’t really deliver what you were looking for.

How to Buy? So once you’ve decided what and where, it is vital that international buyers consider the HOW to buy. Property law is very different here in France. For instance did you know that there are two types of marriage and that children must inherit the property on the death of a parent? And that’s not just children of a current marriage, that’s all children from previous marriages and relationships. Mistakes after you have purchased are costly to put right and it is essential that you seek solid financial and legal advice before you buy.

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Use a Property Search Company – A free service that saves you time and money.  Looking for, finding and finally buying your perfect French Riviera Property is an investment of time, effort and, of course, money. Using a Property Search company is a great way of being able to enjoy finding and buying your French Riviera Property. You will have one dedicated, English speaking, contact who lives and works in the region. You can benefit from their inside knowledge and let them approach all the estate agents / private sellers, and undertake negotiations on your behalf – even more important if your command of the French language is somewhat limited. You will also be able to tap into a network of English speaking financial and legal professionals, all able to give you the best advice about how to buy your dream home here in the South of France.

So what are you waiting for…….the sky is blue and the sun is shining….what is the weather like where you are today?

Jackie Pressman

French Riviera Property Search

www.frenchrivierapropertysearch.com

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Making supporter communication more engaging – our e-marketing successes

LCFC crest 0910 cmykIt’s fair to say that Leicester City Football Club are getting more than the average amount of attention at present,  with the team sitting at the summit of the Sky Bet Championship table.

Extremely hard work is being put in at the training ground to ensure a successful bid for promotion to the Premier League, an opportunity that needs to be maximised within the Club’s marketing efforts.

We’ve always been keen to involve the fans. Their opinions and behaviours are what shape our marketing strategy and help us to ensure that we have a passionate set of supporters that get behind the team.

We’re always looking for new ways to improve our communications, trying to make them more engaging and set out to provide key information pre and post-match in a nice easy to digest format.

This has increased click-through rates significantly, showing that it’s been a positive move.

To drill into that statement a little further… on average our communications around a game have seen an increased click rate of 380%, with certain features of the email way in excess of this.

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It’s come about just by making the design more appealing, making the information clear and most importantly, by giving the fans the content that they want without making them have to go searching for it.

It’s relatively simple stuff really, but it’s really powerful and is leading to decent results. We can track the level of engagement, open rates and clicks in our CRM system, which we get from Green 4 Solutions, allowing us to measure success and make further improvements.

There’s no doubt that we need to drive our ticket sales to upcoming games and by refining certain areas of our marketing activity we can drive extra clicks to the ticketing site in the short term.

However, the bigger picture of our communications is to connect our fans more tightly with the team and ensure they’re more engaged with the Club for the long term.

Written by Tom Crosse, Marketing Executive at Leicester City Football Club.

Credit Green 4 Solutions – CRM, Ticketing and Fan Loyalty solutions experts for sport and leisure. For more information visit www.green4solutions.com

@Green4Solutions

Football clubs are part of this country’s National Treasure and should be equally protected in Law

There is a law regarding Treasure Trove in this country, which says that certain items of unearthed treasure are of such immense historical, scientific or cultural importance to the nation that they must be saved from being lost, transferred, broken up or sold overseas.  The law says all such Treasure comes under the protection of the Crown to be saved for the nation. 

No matter that you found it on your property, that it was unearthed by archaeological excavation or by enthusiastic treasure hunter, an individual cannot profit from ownership of such treasure to the detriment of the nation.  Football clubs are of no less value to this country – being just as much part of Britain’s cultural heritage as the bones of Richard III or the gold and silver of the Staffordshire Hoard.  Why can’t they also be protected by law from being lost to the nation, sold to overseas investors or traded for profit, and then abandoned when the money runs out?

When the skeleton of what we now know to be King Richard III was disinterred in Leicester in 2012, or when the vast hoard of gold and precious metal dating from 600 AD was discovered in Staffordshire in 2009, there was no unseemly dash to assert ownership or to profit from the finds.  Yes, there were – and are – ongoing tussles over the most appropriate parish for Richard III’s bones to have their final rest and yes, the finders of treasure trove should be suitably recompensed for their efforts or plain good fortune.  But because we are a cultured people, we have recognised for many centuries that valuable items of antiquity – whether lost, buried or hidden with the intention of later recovery – belong to all of us and should be protected by the state for the enjoyment of all the generations.

If you will bear with the history lesson a little longer, the English law of Treasure Trove dates from as far back as the 11th century and it has naturally evolved over time.  So, whilst it may have been easy for Edward the Confessor and his ilk to claim title to all buried gold, silver, bullion or plate with the force of an army behind him, in later, gentler times it has often been necessary to amend or re-interpret the common law so that loopholes cannot be exploited to unjustly enrich finders or to allow national treasures to be sold abroad – or only saved for the nation by the payment of a high price.

And this is where the parallel between Treasure Trove and the nation’s Football Clubs becomes quite interesting.  In 1996 the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (you see where I am going with this) was forced to step in to enact the most recent change in the law – The Treasure Act 1996 – when two particularly valuable finds (the Sutton Hoo ship burial and a hoard of thousands of Roman coins found in Lincolnshire) did not precisely meet the definition of Treasure Trove and so ownership could not be claimed by the Crown, and there was a huge risk they would be sold abroad.  Effectively the Secretary of State said “To hell with that, if the law needs to change to protect what is of value to the nation, then the law will change.”  And so the law changed to encompass all such finds and the Sutton Hoo treasure was saved, although sadly it was too late to save the Lincolnshire coins.

There is no reason on earth why the same end cannot be achieved for an equally valuable part of our historical and cultural heritage, Football Clubs.  That is not to say that someone who invests in a football club should not be entitled to make a profit on their investment, or indeed accept full liability when it turns a loss; of course they must, that is the nature of the free market.  But there must be a clear distinction made between ownership of a Football Club and ownership of the shares in a corporate entity.

When an individual, family, consortium, investment fund or foreign prince acquires the assets and liabilities of an English Football Club, what they acquire in fact and in law is the corporate entity behind the club – whether that is Chelsea Village Plc or Hull City AFC Ltd.  But ownership of its shares should not confer “ownership” of the Club.

A football club belongs to its community, its town, its fans.  It belongs to its hundred years of history, its players, its moments of triumph and disaster, its goals, promotions, relegations, its chants and songs.  It belongs to the very ground it was built on.  It belongs to the nation’s cultural heritage, every bit as much as Treasure Trove.  No investor – however generous, however well-intentioned – should be at liberty to make changes to a Football Club’s location, name, club colours or emblems, or any other paraphernalia which are the essence of the Club, anymore than they should decide that the club will henceforth only play 7-a-side games on a Thursday afternoon or, at a whim, decide that they have had enough of the ephemeral joys of ownership and take their investment away, perhaps selling to the highest bidder, perhaps bankrupting the Club at its heart.

And the government can change the law, just as it did to protect buried treasure:  We can have a Protection of Football Clubs Act, which would not only protect the history and nature and status of all of this country’s historic Football Clubs, but also require Clubs to subscribe to a universal trust fund or bond arrangement, a sinking fund for when a Club finds itself in difficulty.  And the trustees of such fund would retain – along with the FA and Premier League – an audit responsibility to ensure compliance with the law, which should also reduce the chances of any Club going too far down the road to annihilation to be saved.

Let there be no more Wimbledon’s, Accrington Stanley’s, or Halifax Towns, no more Portsmouth’s or Leeds United’s, no more failed “fit and proper” regimes, no more investors claiming “I own this Club and can do what I like with it”.  Sir, you do not own the Club, anymore than the Chancellor of the Exchequer owns the contents of the Treasury.

I have a two hundred year old ash tree in my garden.  I enjoy its shade and its beauty, I spend a month every autumn raking up its leaves.  Every three years I have to apply for planning permission and engage a tree surgeon to give it a health check and prune its branches.  I would not dream of claiming to “own” that tree.  It belongs to the community and I am simply its guardian.  If the law of this noble country goes to such lengths to protect and preserve a tree, surely it is not too difficult to ask it to do the same for its Football heritage?

 

Liz Heade                                              

Web: thinkingwomansfootball.com

Twitter:  @T_WomansFootie