French Property Insider Volume XIV, Issue 38 Thursday, September 29, 2016 • Paris, France
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North American Expat Financial Forum Sponsored by Cross Border Planning and The Adrian Leeds Group
October 17, 2016 4 to 8 p.m. Hôtel Ellington, Nice, France
Five international speakers are coming together for this very special event in Nice, France!:
Brian Dunhill, Cross Border Planning (formerly Dunhill Financial) Bruno Gruat, Moneycorp Exchange Experts Adrian Leeds, Adrian Leeds Group James McEvoy, Cross Border Planning Peter Zipper, Caye International Bank
Monday I landed in Paris from a week being in New York. Tuesday morning I awoke in the middle of the night to watch the U.S. presidential debate live. Wednesday morning I boarded a train at 7:19 a.m. for Nice. By 1:30 p.m. I was dining with Moneycorp's Bruno Gruat at Il Vicoletto (6 Bis Rue de France, 06000 Nice, Phone: 04 93 87 30 55) and by 2:30 p.m. I was visiting about a half-dozen apartments in the Carré d'Or district of Nice with American clients along with our number one agent. At 9 p.m. I was dining at another Italian restaurant in the "hood" -- "Portovenere" topped off by Panna Cotta with chocolate sauce and rosé wine.
Such is life in France and lack of sleep. Nice is not as busy as it was in August, but the weather is GORGEOUS: warm and sunny during the day and a little cool at night. September-October is a great time of year to be here -- it's still warm and beachy, but the kids are back in school and only the locals and adult tourists are taking up the restaurants. I can actually walk down rue Masséna without having to weave through the masses.
Henri-le-Cactus, at Le Matisse
The Carré d'Or District of Nice
An Apartment for Sale on Rue Meyerbeer, Nice
The Districts of Nice
Henri-le-Cactus is taller than ever -- a few inches taller than me and getting tougher to photograph without standing across the room to get all of him in the picture. He clearly loves his sunny spot.
I'm here only for two days with a lot to fit in. Later this morning I will be the signing the "Acte de Vente" (deed) of an apartment on behalf of an American couple who is buying in which to retire -- after a long life in a Texas city in the U.S. They came to Nice earlier this year, never having been here before, and fell in love with the French Riviera town enough to spend their life savings on an apartment and retire here. It's located in the heart of the Carré d'Or district just two blocks from the ocean -- in a location I am confident they will love living. After many months of the complicated administrative process, the property will finally be theirs and their full renovation will begin.
At the same time, we are searching for an apartment for another American couple in the same district. These two gentlemen looked at property in several districts of Nice in June -- you may remember my report of it. They also looked in the enclaves outside of the city for a solid week before concluding that central Nice -- the Carré d'Or -- was as perfect as it gets. They are in the market for a two-bedroom apartment and of course, with outdoor space.
The purchase of the one they settled on in June on rue Meyerbeer was retracted when they discovered that the copropriété (homeowners association) had recently voted to outlaw short-term rentals. It seems to be "à la mode" at the moment to keeping the "riffraff" out by creating such regulations. It's not quite like building a wall on the Mexican/American border, but the idea is similar: it's "us" against "them" -- a sentiment that recent events has helped spark. So, they came back to Nice to do a new search and another round of visits, this time finding a lot more on the market and lots of interesting properties.
Property in Nice is about one-half the price of property in Paris. The properties we have visited have ranged in size from 60 m2 to 100 m2 and priced from 400,000€ to 600,000€. The same property in Paris in its most expensive district (the 6th arrondissement; the Carré d'Or is Nice's most expensive district) would cost from 800,000€ to 1,500,000€.
The properties we are seeing are mostly either those that have been lived in for 50 years with no updating that need total renovation or "flip properties" that are under renovation by a developer and resold "like new." Nice, unlike Paris, has a bevy of developers who buy up properties, renovate and flip them for a profit. Paris has it's share of these kinds of developers, but the Parisian companies are more apt to buy an entire building, gut it leaving the historical facade and then renovate it in its entirety rather than taking on individual apartments as projects, as it is so in Nice for the enormous foreign market of secondary residences.
The newly renovated properties can be desirable, because the renovation work is done for the buyer, but the downside is that the buyer usually has very little control over the finishings. And the contractors/architects, don't always do such an intelligent or good job. For example, we saw two apartments in the same building with similar attributes under renovation by two different contractors. They both had corner windows leading to corner balconies and both were facing the same street. One was 25% more expensive than the other and it was the one that had a seriously bad floor plan. It also didn't have the same sea view as the other, but in addition, the architect had placed a second toilet (powder room) in the front entry in direct line with the expansive circular corner of windows/doors leading to the balcony, so as to block the view and create a bottleneck entry into the salon. It was a deal-breaker to have ruined such a gorgeous space by "plugging" it with a toilet that wasn't even necessary! (Why am I so plagued by toilets?)
By end of day today, the gentlemen will likely have made a decision, albeit a tough one once again. I'm pushing them for sea view in lieu of more space and bang for the buck (on a per square meter basis) because as we all know, the bottom line on real estate investment is location, location, location...and in Nice, being by the sea is what it's all about!
By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea! You and me, you and me, oh how happy we'll be!
(Lyrics from the song "BY THE BEAUTIFUL SEA" from the musical "For Me and My Gal" by Harold Atteridge and Harry Carroll, 1914.)
P.S. Don't hesitate to contact me to learn more about Riviera living...living by the sea is addictive! email@example.com
P.P.S. Don't miss our newest House Hunters International episode that takes place right here on the Riviera!
"High Above the Côte d'Azur" - Francophiles Todd and Jim want to purchase a vacation home in Villefranche-sur-Mer on the French Rivera. The area is known to be very chic, and the asking prices for properties overlooking the Mediterranean are as impressive as the views. Can Todd and Jim's budget afford them the view of their dreams?
Airing Thursday, October 27 at 10:30 p.m. EDT and Friday, October 28 at 1:30 a.m. EDT - See our House Hunters International page for more information!
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