On the third floor of an 18th-century building in a great Marais location near the corner of rue Charlot on rue de Poitou, La Fleur de Poitou has been fully transformed into a regal home away from home. Renovated from stem to stern in 2011 by Interior Architect Martine di Mattéo, the apartment is a colorful and shining example of what is possible when good taste and savoir faire are combined.
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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
Client's Apt in the Carré d'Or
Terrace Apt For Sale in Fleurs
View from Apt For Sale Rue de Rivoli
Rue de Rivoli Living Room
Rue de Rivoli Bed Room
Mont Boron Sea View
Old Town Nice
Chaise Bleue Promenade
Monday afternoon in Nice was busy -- I visited three properties for sale and two properties for long term rental. One for sale is actually already sold to one of our clients, but I hadn't visited it myself to give it, what we jokingly call, "The Adrian Leeds Seal of Approval." (It passed with flying colors!)
Another property I visited will soon be on our listings, and the third property is already on our listings, shared with my collaborating agent on the ground in Nice, owned by a Canadian couple with whom we have worked for years. All of the properties for sale were within walking distance of each other in the Carré d'Or and Fleurs districts, and all within steps from the beach -- at the most three blocks.
The property for immediate sale will make a perfect short-term/vacation rental. It's a three-room apartment of 54 m2 literally behind the Hôtel Negresco and the Villa Masséna, steps from the beach and the Promenade des Anglais. Located in a superb fully rehabilitated bourgeois building from 1900, this elegant fully renovated and luxurious apartment, has a fully-equipped kitchen, a bathroom with a shower and a window. There is a small "balconette" from which the views are beautiful. Asking price: 5250,00 euros. (If you are seriously interested in learning more, contact me at [email protected])
The rental properties were visited on behalf of one of our clients moving to the Riviera town, but both were on the other side of the city and east of the Old Port in the Mont Boron district -- both with amazing sea views. That was her first priority.
Choosing a location in Nice for purchase or rental depends entirely on your personal goals. If your property is for short-term rental purposes or for vacation use mostly, then you will want to be in the most central areas: Vieux Nice, Carré d'Or, Nice Centre, Port, Fleurs and Musiciens. For long-term living, one might consider every other area of the city -- but be prepared to need a car to enjoy living in the more remote areas, except those in areas which will be (or are already) well-serviced by the tramway. These include the western communities closer to the airport and the districts north of the train station.
Our rental client was dead set on having a sea view. Having a sea view is a very romantic idea, but it comes with a price. It's not difficult to find properties on the Promenade des Anglais because unfortunately, "thanks" to "progress," the avenue that runs along the water is basically a highway with a lot of noise and pollution. When you sit on your balcony on the Promenade, you must endure the noise of the traffic and the fumes while having that wonderful sea view. It is not my first choice, and it's evident I'm not the only one to feel this way when you see how many properties are for sale in the seaside buildings, left unsold for a very long time.
Other buildings with sea view can be high up in the hills, around the Old Port, or in Mont Boron. The price one pays is reduced access to central Nice. Our client settled on an apartment overlooking the eastern end of the Old Port near La Reserve, where the ferries go in and out. The views are amazing to say the least, but she has been forewarned that when the one bus that travels in front of the building is not running (after 8 p.m. at night), she'll either be hoofing it home, taking a taxi or hired vehicle (€€) or depending on friends who have cars. She was willing to trade accessibility for the view, but she'll know in short time whether this ultimately suits her or not.
Personally I believe in being dead center. There is nothing more enjoyable than having everything at your fingertips: markets, merchants, cafés, restaurants, etc., but let's not forget friends and transportation! Sea view (in my opinion), does not replace these conveniences, particularly for a single person who is more dependent on outside stimulation than a couple or family who are quite content at home with each other.
I find that North Americans who have always lived in a "bubble" using a car to transport them from one bubble to another, have not yet discovered the true pleasure of being independent without a car. Good public transportation and an urban environment that provides everything within walking-distance relieves you from the necessity of having a car and is a very liberating experience -- you can go from Point A to Point B, to Point C, and so on without having to go back to Point A to retrieve the car. Owning and operating a car is very expensive.* Other benefits include becoming more a part of the world around you as well as the good exercise you get from walking.
The only downside I see of living dead center is possibly the noise of traffic or people, but there are properties that aren't affected by this (overlooking courtyard or small less-traveled streets) and there are inventions such as double-glazed windows, etc. that reduce noise pollution to a minimum. My Nice apartment, "Le Matisse," is located directly on a pedestrian shopping street: Rue Masséna. It could not be more dead center and it's what I love so much about it. I call it "the parade route," because it's so busy with shoppers, diners and tourists. Vehicle traffic is only on the street up till 11 a.m. to make deliveries. During the day and night, there are the voices of the strollers and diners and the street vendors and musicians. The noise dies down about 11 p.m. when the restaurants start to close. The windows are double-glazed and therefore keep out the noise entirely, but in all truth, I love the sound of life outside my door and adore sitting on the balcony watching the parade pass by. The beach is two short blocks away, the rental car companies around the corner and I can walk to just about everything, even the train station. I wouldn't trade it for a sea view, which turns black at night, has no interesting sounds to offer and never really changes except for the occasional boat. (Boring!)
With the sea two short blocks away, I am often there having as much sea view as I want. I can be on the beach, on a Chaise Bleue overlooking the gorgeous color of the Baie des Anges or in a café on the Promenade watching the passers-by. Then, I can walk home to my dead center apartment and be perfectly content. I am only dependent on public transportation when going outside of the city.** With the rental car companies around the corner, this is hassle-free!
While I have a strong opinion about living in the heart of a city, there are many reasons to do otherwise and we understand and respect that, but it's our job to point out the realities of such a choice! Naturally, we can find just about anything that suits your goals and still ensure that a good investment is being made, regardless!
* AAA says that in 2016, owning and operating an average sedan costs $8,558 per year, which is equal to $713 per month or 57 cents per mile. If these numbers shock you, then consider that they represent a six-year low and a 1.6 percent drop compared to 2015 – mainly because gasoline prices have fallen significantly in recent months.
**Nice is a city of 343,630 inhabitants of which 47% of the inhabitants are owners. Nice is a lively town with 92% apartments and 8% houses. There are 7,820 local shops including shops, restaurants and supermarkets. The city is well served by public transport with 35% of households without a car and there are many green areas.
If you are thinking of making Nice your part or full-time home, contact us to help you find the perfect location and property that suits your needs: [email protected].
One of our most amazing apartments -- only 23 square meters, but with lots of light and great views from three large windows, a sweet separate eat-in kitchen, surrounded by great transportation and has what one recent guest says is the most comfortable bed she has ever slept in!
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