Shopping Centers New Marketing Tool

A new marketing tool, designed specifically to help shopping center owners and managers utilize the deepest elements of social media in their local and regional marketing programs, has been launched by a joint venture of leading internet savvy companies.  It is called Claire-Voyant.

Hans Hansson, President of Starboard TCN Commercial Real Estate in San Francisco, and one of the principals of Claire-Voyant, remarks:

“While many industries have jumped on the social media bandwagon to expand their reach and to create new ways of marketing themselves, shopping centers have been slow to incorporate this technology into their businesses.  As a result, their marketing programs, in many instances, have changed little since the 1950′s.  Claire-Voyant was created specifically to remedy this situation, and give shopping center owners and managers a remarkable tool to directly engage their communities and to expand their business, both for the centers themselves and for their tenants.

Claire-Voyant is not a start-up, but rather a joint venture of two very well established companies with 30 plus years of internet and software experience, with clients such as Jaguar, Amtrak, Ben & Jerry’s, Hilton Garden Inns and several hundred other national and international firms.

For more information, and to arrange an online presentation of the program, please contact Jim Hilgendorf at 510-501-9564, or Carl Bosse at 520-625-9207.

Aix-en-Provence – Provence, Art & Sun

Aix-en-Provence real estate

Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence, about 20 miles north of Marseille, in the south of France, is one of the most beautiful cities in Provence, a center of art, history and long a youthful university town.

Paul Cezanne, the great French post-impressionist painter, lived and worked here.  Aix is one of the most sought-after places for foreigners to settle in and purchase a second home, a vacation home, or simply to retire in.  The weather is mediterranean, with 300 average days of sunshine a year.

Take a look at a short video of Aix-en-Provence.

To view a contemporary estate home near Aix, click here.

The Matchmakers is a real estate company specializing in beautiful homes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.  We are teamed up with an excellent real estate agency in Paris, which works with properties not only in Paris, but also in some of the most beautiful regions of France, including the Loire Valley, the Dordogne Valley, Provence, Aix-en-Provence, and the Lot Valley, among others.

If you are considering buying a home in France, we can help you through the process of searching for and buying that home.  We are very familiar with many areas of France, and Jim, the principal broker, has also made a 35 minute film on Bordeaux and the Dordogne.

Wherever you are in the United States, or another country, we can set up a time to talk on the telephone or in person or via video teleconference.  We are here to help you find your dream home.

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf, The Matchmakers

The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California

Tele: 510-501-9564
Email
CA DRE # 00667290

Loiret Chateau near Orleans France

This old fortified chateau farmhouse in Loiret (1 hour from Paris), in the Orleans area of France, dates from the 13th century, and has almost 6500 square feet of living space on two floors.

Loiret Chateau near Orleans

Loiret Chateau near Orleans

The chateau has been tastefully restored, and includes a double living room, large dining room, 5 large bedrooms with bathrooms, and a library on the first floor.

Restored farmhouse in Loiret, near Orleans, France

The property also has a large guard house, with studio and artist’s work area, as well as a pool.  About 1.7 acres of wooded lot surrounds the property.

Offered at 2,080,000 Euros.

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We are The Matchmakers, a real estate company specializing in beautiful homes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.

Searching for and buying a home in France is a different kind of animal, and we are here to help you through the hurdles.  We have been to France many times, and love the country, and we have also partnered up with an excellent agency in Paris to help you through the entire process.  This agency covers not only Paris, but other lovely areas of France as well, including the Dordogne, Aix-en-Provence,  Normandie, the Loire Valley, Provence, and the Lot Valley. You can take a look at a few properties in these areas on our website.

We can set up a meeting in person if you are in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, or meet with you anywhere in the world via online video conference, to talk over your plans and dreams and share our experience.  Just give us a call or send an email.


Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf, The Matchmakers

The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California

Tele: 510-501-9564
Email
CA DRE # 00667290

The Dordogne Valley – Treasures from the Past

The Dordogne Valley, in southwest France, is our favorite area in all of France – and it is the favorite of many others, including even many of the French.

It is a treasure trove of castles and chateaux, lovely countryside, food, wine, and a history that dates back to the fabulous cave paintings of Lascaux, and beyond.  There is an ambiance here, a softness, a glow, and an atmosphere of timelessness.  The roots of human history are here.

Lovely Home in France

Home in Beynac, along the Dordogne River.

Josephine Baker, the great American singer and dancer, who was an international star in France for decades, had her home here, at Chateau des Milandes, where she raised her world family of 12 children from 12 countries around the globe.  You can see her story here.

Several years ago, on one of our trips to the area, Jim made a video on Bordeaux and the Dordogne.  Hope you enjoy.

If you are interested in living in France and buying property there, you might want to check out the Dordogne as a possible destination for your dream home.

We are The Matchmakers, a real estate company specializing in beautiful homes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.

Searching for and buying a home in France is a different kind of animal, and we are here to help you through the hurdles.  We have been to France many times, and love the country, and we have also partnered up with an excellent agency in Paris to help you through the entire process.  This agency covers not only Paris, but other lovely areas of France as well, including the Dordogne, Aix-en-Provence,  Normandie, the Loire Valley, Provence, and the Lot Valley. You can take a look at a few properties in these areas on our website.

We can set up a meeting in person if you are in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, or meet with you anywhere in the world via online video conference, to talk over your plans and dreams and share our experience.  Just give us a call or send an email.

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf, The Matchmakers

The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California

Tele: 510-501-9564
Email
CA DRE # 00667290

Michel de Montaigne -Writer for the World

Michel de Montaigne was one of the most influential writers of the 16th century French Renaissance.  Especially, he was known for his essays, which were some of the most widely influential essays ever written.  He had a direct influence on many later famous writers and thinkers, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rene Descartes, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Isaac Asimov.

Several years ago, I visited Bordeaux and St. Emilion – two famous stars of French wine making – and heading east about 30 miles from St. Emilion, following the Dordogne River, I turned off the road to visit the chateau and tower where Montaigne lived and wrote his famous essays.  While there, I did a short interview, and took some video.

The video is below.

We are The Matchmakers, a real estate company specializing in beautiful properties in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.  If you are considering buying your dream home or apartment in France, we can help you through the process.  We have partnered with an excellent real estate agency in Paris, which covers not only Paris, but other beautiful areas of France as well, including the Loire Valley, Normandie, Aix-en-Provence, the Dordogne Valley, Provence and the Lot Valley.  Combining our knowledge and experience, we can provide everything to assist you, from the initial search, to the actual process of buying a home in France.

We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and can arrange to meet with you in person if you live in this area.  If you are out of the area, basically anywhere in the world, we can set up a video conference to begin talking about your plans.  Please contact us for more information.

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf
The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California
510-501-9564
CA DRE # 00667290
Email Us

2 Restored Dordogne Houses, Southwest France

Located in the Dordogne region of southwest France, this beautiful property includes two houses, dating from the seventeenth century, both recently tastefully restored with quality materials.

Home for Sale in the Dordogne, France

The first house has a large living room and dining room with fireplace, 2 bedrooms and bath.  The second house includes an entrance hall, kitchen, lounge, 3 bedrooms and bath.

Restored house in the Dordogne region, France

Home near Bergerac, France

Within a quiet park, with pool, this would be an ideal second home.  Thirty minutes from Bergerac or Brive, this property would make an excellent home for lovers of the Dordogne, nature, and old stone buildings.

Offered at 790,000 Euros.

Restored Houses, Dordogne, France

The Matchmakers is a real estate company specializing in beautiful properties in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.  Jim and Elizabeth Hilgendorf, The Matchmakers, love France and have traveled throughout the country many times. (Jim is also a highly regarded film producer, and has made a film on Bordeaux and the Dordogne region of southwest France).

After much searching, they have established a trusted working relationship with an excellent Paris agency, whose owners are extensively involved in selling lovely homes and apartments, not only in Paris, but in other beautiful areas of France, including the Loire Valley, the Dordogne, Aix-en-Provence, the Lot Valley and Provence.

With this working relationship, we are able to provide the experience, knowledge and service to our clients to help them in searching for and buying a home in France.  No matter what stage of your quest you are in, we can assist you in finding your dream home.  Contact us for more information, and, if you like, to set up a video conference to answer your questions.

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf - The Matchmakers

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf
The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California
510-501-9564
CA DRE # 00667290
Email Us

Buying a Home in France – The Notaire

For those interested in buying a home and property in France, it is important to be aware of some of the differences of how real estate works in France compared to elsewhere. The Real Estate Registration system in France is fairly straightforward and efficient, but there are important differences.

Lovely Home in France

First of all, it is important to realize the functions of the “Notaire” in real estate transactions.

The notaire is the French lawyer who specializes in property matters.  He is a public official, with powers delegated by the State to authenticate the deeds he drafts, and to provide complete security for the contracts he supervises.  He has an important role at every stage of the purchase process.

The use of a notaire is not compulsory at the beginning stages of the buying process, but it is for the later stages, since he has a government-mandated monopoly over the preparation and signing and execution of the final deed. He is also responsible for making good title to the property, and is liable for any mistakes he may make in the deed, for which he has professional indemnity coverage.  Only deeds settled by the notaire can be registered.

The notary fees, as they are commonly known, are paid by the buyer, and amount to about 7% of the purchase price.  This includes transfer duty payable to the French government, stamp duty, land registry charges, and the notaire’s fee and VAT on the notaire’s fees.  These figures are fixed by law and are broadly the same throughout France.

For information on the home buying process in France, go to one of our articles.

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf, The Matchmakers

Jim and Elizabeth Hilgendorf are The Matchmakers, a real estate company specializing in beautiful homes and properties in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.

They have traveled extensively in France, and love the country, and Jim has even produced a film on the Bordeaux and Dordogne regions in southwest France.  They have developed a close relationship with an excellent agency in Paris which deals in lovely properties in some of the most beautiful areas of France, including the Loire Valley, the Dordogne, Aix-en-Provence, the Lot Valley, Provence, and, of course, Paris.

Whatever stage of the process you are in, please contact us to explore how we may help you achieve your dream of a beautiful home in France.

The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, CA
Tele: 510-501-9564
Email Us
CA DRE # 00667290

Loire Valley Home & B&B near Sable sur Sarthe

This charming 18th century mansion in Anjou, in the Loire region of France, has been tastefully restored.

Mansion in the loire valley region of france

Anjou Mansion, near sable sur sarthe, france

About 2300 square feet, on three levels, the home consists of a large living and dining room, a fitted kitchen, a back kitchen, 4 bedrooms (one is a master suite), 2 bathrooms, a shower room, a large study, a dressing room and two stone fireplaces.

Kitchen, Anjou mansion for sale near sable sur sarthe

Home for sale, anjou, france, near sable sur sarthe

The property has been used as a bed and breakfast, and a new owner could continue the B&B and restaurant activity.  There is an approximately 900 square foot outbuilding also, which contains a fitted kitchen and a bedroom upstairs.

The home is near Sable sur Sarthe, about 30 minutes from Angers.  Paris is 1-1/2 hours away by TGV train.

Along the river La Mayenne, in a quiet but famous area, the home is near all amenities. Perfect for a second home, and for those wanting to continue the B&B activities.

Offered at 530,000 Euros.

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The Matchmakers is a real estate company specializing in beautiful homes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.  For more information on this property, or on homes in other areas of France, contact us.  We work very closely with an excellent agency covering Paris, the Loire Valley, the Dordogne, Aix-en-Provence, Provence, and the lovely Lot Valley.  We can provide the experience, knowledge and commitment to service to help you in your search for the home of your dreams.

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf, The Matchmakers

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf
The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California
510-501-9564
CA DRE # 00667290
Email Us




Lot Valley France Restored Mill

The Lot Valley, in southwest France, is a magical place.

This lovely mill in the Lot region dates from 1870 and has been tastefully restored.

Restored Mill in the Lot Valley, southwest France

Built on three levels, the ground level of the mill contains a large living and dining room, a bedroom with a shower room, and a fitted and independent kitchen.  The second level consists of two bedrooms and a shower room.  The basement level has a large dining room, a shower room, a cellar, workshop, and an authentic section of the old mill.

Restored mill, lot valley, southwest France

Lot Valley, France, restored mill for sale

Restored mill, lot valley, France, near Gourdon

The property includes a large terrace, with views of the surrounding area, almost an acre and a half of tree-planted gardens, a pond, and a guest house.

Lot Valley France Home for sale near Gourdon

Guest house, lot valley restored mill

This beautiful home is located just north of Cahors, near Gourdon, and is close to a village with all amenities.  This is a quiet area, but not at all isolated.  If you love Le Lot and old mansions and mills, this is it!

Offered at 440,000 Euros.

___________________

The Matchmakers is a real estate company specializing in beautiful properties in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.  We work closely with an excellent agency covering Paris, Normandie, the Loire Valley, the Dordogne, Aix-en-Provence, Provence, the Lot Valley, and elsewhere.

For more information on this property, or on homes in other areas of France, contact us.

The Matchmakers Real Estate, San Francisco and France

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf
The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California
510-501-9564
CA DRE #00667290
Email Us

Loire Valley Restored Farmhouse Orleans France

Orleans, France, is the gateway to the beautiful Loire Valley and its fabled castles.

This lovely farmhouse, recently restored, is near Orleans and dates from the 17th century.

Farmhouse near Orleans, France

The residence includes an entrance hall, 7 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 3 shower rooms, a game room, a fitted and independent kitchen, study, office, and a large living room with a bar and fireplace.

Home for sale, Orleans, France, Loire Valley

The property also offers a pool, terrace, a lovely tree-planted garden on over an acre of land, and a restored chapel dating from the 11th century.

11th century restored chapel, Orleans, France, Loire Valley

The home is only 15 minutes from Orleans, one hour by train and 1-1/2 hours by car from Paris, and is near a village with all amenities.

Offered at 1,100,000 Euros.

_________________

The Matchmakers is a real estate company specializing in beautiful homes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.  We work closely in partnership with an excellent Paris agency which covers not only the greater Paris area, but also the Loire Valley, Normandie, the Dordogne, Provence, Aix-en-Provence, and the lovely Lot Valley.

If you are interested in buying property in France, but need expert advice and superb service in your search and purchase of French real estate, contact us and we can begin helping you through the process of finding your dream home.

The Matchmakers Real Estate, San Francisco and France

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf
The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California
510-501-9564
CA DRE # 00667290
Email Us

Video Conferencing to Help Buy a Home or Other Property in France

Interested in buying a home in France?  Love France, but wondering about the process of buying property in France?

The Matchmakers, a real estate company specializing in beautiful homes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France, is offering free consultations for seriously interested individuals and small groups via video meetups on the internet.

The Matchmakers Real Estate, San Francisco and France

Jim and Elizabeth Hilgendorf are The Matchmakers.  They are very familiar with France, having visited many times with friends or on business or making films (Jim is also a recognized filmmaker, and has produced a video on Bordeaux and The Dordogne, in southwest France…see below).

Real estate, and buying a home, are considerably different in France than in countries like the United States.  Different laws, rules of taxation and inheritance, different ways the real estate industry and agents operate, language – all present formidable barriers to the foreign buyer who has little or no experience with purchasing real estate in France.

Jim has spent a great deal of time talking to different agents in different parts of France to find just the right match (again, The Matchmakers!) to team up with, in order to provide our clients with experience, knowledge of the various areas of France, real estate savvy, and above all trust and excellent service.

We have found such a connection, and we are proud to have teamed up with an excellent agency located in Paris, which is also working in other beautiful areas of the country, including the Loire Valley, Normandie, the greater Paris area, the Dordogne, Provence, Aix-en-Provence, and the lovely Lot River Valley.

The Matchmakers is now offering an online video conferencing service, where seriously interested buyers can meet to discuss the ins and outs of searching for and buying a home in France.  We would be glad to help educate you on the process of buying a home in France, answer questions, present ideas, and, if the interest is really there and you are ready, begin working with you and our French connections to begin the search for your dream home.

Take a look at a few sample properties on our website, and then contact us to begin setting up an online video meeting.

The Dordogne is one of our favorite areas in France.  Take a look.

The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California
510-501-9564
CA DRE # 00667290
Email Us

New Bells for Notre Dame Paris

Paris is getting a new sound from its famous Notre Dame cathedral.

For generations, the sounds of Notre Dame’s bells has cast a discordant note over the city.  The original bells of the cathedral were melted down during the French Revolution to make cannons and coins.  Only one of the original bells – a 13-ton bell named Emmanuel – had survived.  The replacement bells were not the best for such a grand Paris institution.

For the 850th anniversary of the Notre Dame Cathedral, on March 23rd, just in time for the Easter celebrations, the cathedral’s new bells were rung.

Nine new bells were added to the remaining survivor, Emmanuel, and the new bells were cast to be in tune with the old bell.

It was a new and wonderful sound for this timeless city.

Notre Dame Paris

Notre Dame's New Bells Being Presented to the Public

As The Matchmakers, we specialize in bringing together people and properties throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.

We love France, and we work very closely with an excellent, trusted French real estate partner to help clients navigate the waters of French real estate, and to aid them in their search for and purchase of the dream home they have always envisioned.

We deal in beautiful properties in several of the most beautiful areas of France, including, of course, Paris, and also the Loire, the Dordogne, Provence, Normandie, Aix-en-Provence, and the lovely Lot River Valley.  Check out a few of the properties on our website, and then contact us.

We can hold online video conferences with seriously interested individuals and small groups.  Let us know your plans and preferences.

The Matchmakers Real Estate, San Francisco and France

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf
The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California
510-501-9564
CA DRE # 00667290
Email Us

Aix-en-Provence Lovely Contemporary Estate Home

This lovely contemporary home, in the Montaiguet area, about 20 minutes from Aix-en-Provence, has stunning panoramic views of the adjacent countryside.

Montaiguet home near Aix-en-Provence France

In quiet surroundings, the home, originally built in 1980, was tastefully restored in 2008/2009.

Estate near Aix-en-Provence, France

The home has a large living room and dining room, with a lovely American kitchen; a back kitchen, a study office, and a master suite with a dressing room and bathroom; 3 bedrooms, cellar, and large garage.

Home in Montaiguet area, near Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence restored estate, France

The property includes over an acre of tree-planted gardens, with a pool and terrace.  The home is only 3 hours from Paris by TGV.

Offered at 1,760,000 Euros.

The Matchmakers is a real estate company specializing in beautiful homes and properties in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.  Contact us for more information on this property, or on homes in other areas of France.  We work very closely with an excellent real estate agency in Paris that deals in properties in some of the most beautiful areas of France.  We would be glad to help guide you through the process of searching for and buying a home in France.

The Matchmakers Real Estate, San Francisco and France

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf
The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California
510-501-9564
CA DRE # 00667290
Website
Email Us


Stunning Chateau in Lot Valley, Southwest France

The Lot River Valley, in southwest France, is one of the most beautiful areas of France.

This beautiful chateau in the Lot – located between Cahors and Agen – dates back to the 15th century.

Chateau in the Lot Valley, southwest France.

The main residence (there are three buildings, of which the main building offers four levels) includes 11 bedrooms, each one with a unique atmosphere; a large living room with fireplace; a fitted and independent kitchen; a music room; a dining room with a lovely fireplace, and a library.

Home in the Lot Valley, France

The chateau is located near a village with all amenities.

Offered at 2,360,000 Euros.

Lot Valley, southwest France, castle, or chateau

The Matchmakers is a real estate company specializing in beautiful homes and properties in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.  For more information on the property shown here, or on homes and properties in other areas of France, contact us.

The Matchmakers Real Estate, San Francisco and France

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf
The Matchmakers
El Cerrito, California
510-501-9564
CA DRE # 00667290
Email Us

Paris Apartment 16th Arrondissement

This tastefully restored Paris apartment in the 16th arrondissement (Avenue Georges Mandel) is on the ground floor in a lovely building.

Paris Apartment 16th Arrondissement (Avenue Georges Mandel)

The flat includes a large living and dining room, a large, fitted kitchen, large entrance hall, and a large master suite with a dressing room and bathroom.

Paris Apartment 16th Arrondissement France

The property also includes an independent studio flat (which may be rented) on the fifth floor of the building, with a small kitchen and a shower room.

The apartment has a tree-planted garden with a terrace, and is located in one of the best areas in Paris.

Offered at 1,780,000 Euros.

For more information on this apartment, or on other properties in Paris, the Loire, Normandie, the Dordogne, Aix-en-Provence, Provence, the Lot Valley and other areas, contact us. We are The Matchmakers, a real estate company specializing in lovely homes in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and France.  We work closely with an excellent agency in Paris to cover all of these areas, and offer excellent help and service for buyers coming from abroad.

Interested in knowing the ins and outs of buying a home in France?  Take a look at the checklist on our website.

Jim & Elizabeth Hilgendorf
The Matchmakers
510-501-9564
CA DRE # 00667290
Email us