French Property Shares


Sharing a Thousand Memories                           February  2010


 Chers amis,


An email popped up on my computer screen about a month ago- "You are invited to our 2nd Annual Maison Bleue meeting at the home of Chris and Cheryl V in New Jersey on January 18th and 19th". "Oohh", I thought, "That would be really fun!" and perhaps I could drive there from upstate NY.


 I placed a tentative "oui" phone call to our Maison Bleue home manager and anxiously monitored our winter weather forecast to be sure the coast would be clear. The story of Chris and Cheryl's venture into fractional home ownership in our wonderful 3 bedroom village home in the south of France is one of my favorites. May I share it with you?




Chris, whose roots are from South Africa and has this lovely English  accent, contacted me early in 2008 to learn more about FPS and shared ownership in general. Our correspondence continued for several months and typical of many of my newsletter readers, I think Chris was enthralled with France, the way of life there and very much wanted to be a part owner. In the meantime, his wife Cheryl, was more skeptical of the concept and probably found it all "too out there for comfort!"


Nonetheless, November 2008 rolled around and Chris finally convinced Cheryl to get on a 3-way phone call with me so that we could begin including her in our discussions. Believe you me; Cheryl had a list of questions that took me through the wringer!  "What is the legal structure? Was parking available? Who cleaned the house after each visit? Can we resell our share later on? This went on for about an hour.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cat cartoon
When I didn't hear back from the V's for a couple of weeks, I figured that ownership in France in 2008 was probably not in the cards for this family. Chris confirmed this in a later email. About 10 days before Christmas, I got a discreet phone call from Cheryl nervously explaining that although it scared her to death to buy something sight unseen, Chris really wanted to own this home and "well..."she hesitated, "I just really want to do this for Chris and surprise him on Christmas Day." I was thrilled with the idea- How romantic! And caring! And adventuresome!          

On January 18th 2009 as I sat in Chris and Cheryl's NJ living room for the annual meeting, these memories were resurfacing in my mind. Here we were, owners from NY, NJ, Georgia, Michigan and Calfornia with five other owners joining us remotely via Skype (New Zealand, Australia, Ohio, Texas, and California). Isn't that too cool?



After a review of our budget, booking procedures, and house goals, which were accompanied, "bien sur" with great hors d'oeuvres and Languedoc wine, our group headed to Dimaio's for one of the best meals I've ever experienced ( see description below!) Talk turned to our shared adventures at our home in Quarante. Lorraine and Gary wondered who among us had eaten at "Auberge de la Croisade" right near the Canal du Midi, where the owner Bruno is such a hoot. Cheryl and Chris showed us incredible photos of the lively Quarante village tradition of running the bulls from one end of the town right to the other. Karen mentioned how lovely it was to simply "vege" and not move an inch from MB. "How about the daily market at Narbonne?" chimed in Marion.


running of the bulls Quarante

 Photo (on a computer screen) of the running of the bulls



What a marvelous group of owners who are truly friends now. We feel so lucky to share this treasure called Maison Bleue in France which is our home away from home. As Chris said "People ask me how I could ever make an investment in something like this when we could surely rent each year. I tell them that this is an investment in something I get to enjoy every year and down the road, if we ever decide we've had enough, we'll sell our share and move on."


           "The best kind of investments", Lorraine piped in, "are those where memories are made." "Yes", smiled Chris, "like Maison Bleue- a place to share a thousand memories!"


Italian restaurant


Dinner with friends  at Dimaio's was fantastic! Cheryl and Chris met with owner Sal
Passalacqua several days prior to our arrival in Berkeley Heights to create a special one-of-a-kind five course menu. It was TO DIE FOR!

Sal began working on Emeril Lagasse's Food Network television program, learning his culinary secrets from the maestro, and today his food emphasizes fresh ingredients and lively seasoning with bursts of unexpected flavors. My personal favorite was the fresh tuna spring roll. Or was it the bouillabaisse?  Hmmm... No, really maybe it was the incredible dessert finish with three delectable samples in exquisite tiny cups- crème brulé,  chocolate mousse, and a petite tiramisu.

To learn more about our 2010 co-ownership home near Avignon: CLICK HERE 
Telephone: (001) 585 905-0849
Contact Information
Ginny Blackwell   phone: (001) 585 905-0849 email: