The luxurious two bedroom fractional ownership apartment known as "Le Palace des Vosges" feels more like a house in the country, but is conveniently located right in the middle of Paris’ most elegant square, the Place des Vosges. If this is the year you plan to purchase your Paris pied-à-terre, Le Palace des Vosges is the perfect property – it is finely decorated by Interior Architect, Martine de Matteo, and furnished with every luxurious amenity. Become one of the happy owners of Le Palace des Vosges before it's too late.
"Baby" HenriYesterday I flew to Nice for a long Easter weekend with friends. Most of my time there will be for pure pleasure, but of course, 'business' is always part of the equation now that more and more of our readers are becoming interested in the Riviera as I have these last few years.
Every time I enter my apartment, "Le Matisse," it's so inviting and immediately relaxing. The first thing I do is say hello to "Henri, le Cactus" who grows inches every month. No doubt, he loves his spot in the sunny corner of the apartment. Each time I land, I take a photo to record his incredible growth. He's just as happy as I am in the sun.
One of our clients is in the process of purchasing an apartment on the same street as my apartment in Nice, in the same building as one of my favorite Italian restaurants (where I dined just last night), that he and his family intend to use part of the time and rent the rest. The passing of the new "ALUR" law I wrote about recently is causing delays for the signing of the pre-sale agreement which has led to frustration, anger, blame and an idea to pull out of the purchase altogether.
Henri le cactus todayThis is exactly what we feared at the first inkling of these new laws. Both the buyer and seller are apt to walk away from a transaction simply because of the delays over which they have no control. A French buyer or seller is likely to accept the laws and the delays with more understanding and patience as culturally this is hardly different from other aspects of life in France. For an American who is used to a more efficient business-oriented society that is more 'bottom line' and which lives by the motto "all's fair in love and war" where 'free enterprise' is about freedom rather than restriction or protection, it can be mind-boggling and frustrating.
In a letter to our client, the buyer, our Notaire's clerk wrote: "I am at your disposal to explained this new law, which is very uncomfortable for the purchaser, for us and the seller. Indeed, it take a long time for us to obtained the documents -- it’s more work and there is a cost for the seller. Unfortunately, we have no choice and have to respected this law."
The trick will be to prepare in advance. If you're the seller, then gathering these documents before placing the property on the market will be important. That might not be so easy, however. Will the Syndic want to go to the trouble of organizing the documents prior to having a sale? This is another question to consider. The Syndics are notorious for providing mediocre (and sometimes bad) service and already, we are seeing the problems associated with depending on them.
Of course, wait a bit, and the laws will change again. This current administration is developing a pattern of enacting laws and regulations that one quickly realizes don't work, only to change them again in an attempt to fix their blunders. And in the process, making even more mistakes. If you sense a feeling of frustration on my part, you are right. Here in the field, we'll trying our best to keep everyone happy, both buyer and seller, but all this over-regulation is just getting in the way of satisfying the people. Meanwhile, we have no control.
Meanwhile, I am sitting in the sun on my balcony enjoying the Niçois lifestyle after having a coffee and croissant with Americans who were among the first to stay at "Le Matisse." They introduced me to an amazing bakery on my own street I knew nothing about: Chez Maître Pierre, 41, rue Masséna, where you can sit, have a coffee and whatever delicacy you prefer. Carts of baguettes leave the bakery headed to all the restaurants nearby while you down a flaky, buttery croissant that tops most all. I almost wish I hadn't known about it.
The couple, regular visitors to Nice, stayed in Old Town this trip, trying to find the perfect neighborhood in which to make a purchase. They declared Old Town wasn't it -- the noise from the bars and restaurants that echo up the narrow streets simply wasn't their 'cup of tea.' This is one of the toughest challenges -- to find a property in Old Town that meets all the standards of a great rental or livable property: light, views, quiet, high floor with elevator, etc., etc. It's for that reason I ended up happily installed in the Carré d'Or where one can both live and vacation with ease.
One attendee of the past Living and Investing in France Conference (September 2013) joined us for dinner last night. She moved to Nice from Paris just after the conference and is happily installed in a large rental apartment in the district, not far from the Negresco Hotel. When asked how she's enjoying Nice compared to Paris, she was ecstatic and told us all about her busy schedule doing things she never had the opportunity to do in Paris, thanks to the more outdoor, athletic kind of lifestyle here. Plus, she was making lots of new friends. She was glowing, actually.
There is so much more for me to discover here in Nice. I am jealous of friends who can spend more leisure time on the Riviera to discover all it has to offer. With each visit I hear more about this and that, things to do and see, places to shop, restaurants in which to dine, etc., etc., etc. One of these days I'll just stay for a long time and get a real taste of life on the Côte d'Azur.
If you saw the latest House Hunters International episode that aired April 15th, then you know it was all about Nice and environs. All the properties were so beautiful and inviting. You can see why it was a tough decision for the couple who were moving here and exploring the different areas in which to live.
Anne Morton's Apartment buildingLong time friend and French Property Insider reader, Anne Morton, is offering her studio apartment in the Quartier des Musiciens as part of our 'bouquet' of rental apartments. It's equipped best for a single (although two guests are possible) and is well located just steps from avenue Jean-Médecin, the tramway, the Nice Etoile Shopping Center, the train station, etc., etc. on a high floor (with two elevators) and lots of sun. If you are interested in booking your stay (there or any of our Nice properties), be sure to visit Parler Nice Apartments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.P.S. If you're going to be in Nice this weekend, treat yourself to an evening at the Negresco Hotel to see Farnell Jenkins, a Chicago-based pianist and organist, and accomplished songwriter and vocalist in the genres of gospel, blues, jazz, pop, and R&B. Farnell will be performing in the Relais Bar starting at 7:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. and there is no cover charge! Enjoy a great night out in Nice!
P.P.P.S. If you’re buying a holiday home or investment property overseas, the cost of moving your money can be greatly reduced by working with currency specialists instead of relying on your bank to make the transfer. We work with currency specialists to help you make the most of your U.S., Canadian or Australian Dollor, or Sterling -- Moneycorp, World First, and USForex. Find out how you can make your money go further -- visit our Currency Exchange page.
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