Nice is Nice, but Eze is Easy -- Where is Your Favorite Spot on the Riviera?
French Property Insider Volume XII, Issue 1 Thursday, January 2, 2014 • Paris, France
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"La Vie En Paris, France"
AIR TIMES: January 18, 2014 at 11:30 p.m. E/P January 18, 2014 at 2:30 a.m. E/P
Abby Gordon memorized maps of Paris before ever setting foot in France. So when a job transfer to the city of her dreams came up, she took the chance. Now, after five years of renting, Abby is ready to take her relationship with the City of Light to the next level. She wants to buy an apartment that reflects her personal style. But in one of the priciest housing markets in the world, property consultant Adrian Leeds knows Abby will have to adjust her ideas of perfection. See what happens when House Hunters International settles down in Paris, France.
The new year started off on the blue coast -- the Côte d'Azur -- with a string of blue-skied sunny days and nights lit by Christmas decorations punctuated by amusement park rides and Christmas markets. I visited friends and partied with transplanted Americans along with Niçois natives who had left as young adults and returned to their native region years later.
Among the group were Americans who have lived in Paris and have either purchased a vacation home on the Riviera or moved to the coast permanently. Others were renting apartments for a reasonable amount of time to get to know the area better or for long periods of time as their 'home away from home.' Everyone talks about property -- and everyone seems to like something really different, all of which is offered on the Côte d'Azur.
Map of NiceHidden Parking in the new Nice The Old Port in NiceEze le VillageEze-sur-MerEntrevauxFor sale in EzeEze-sur-MerHouse for Sale in Dignes
If you are an urbanite, happy to take public transportation and take advantage of what city living offers, Nice is nice. Nice is better than nice, actually.
If being secluded and removed from the noise, pollution, etc. is your idea of heaven, then into the mountains you go to a house with a lot of property, possibly overlooking the sea and bathed in sunlight.
There are alternatives in between in the luxury of apartments or villas along the coast in the smaller communities that often offer sea views and have easy accessibility to both worlds.
Being ever the urbanite, I prefer living in the heart of the city. Nice is just large enough to provide just about everything an urbanite like me needs. Within steps are all the amenities, lots of friends and cultural attractions. No car is necessary, but should I want to rent one, the car rental companies are literally one block from my Carré d'Or apartment.
Nice is 'movin' and shakin' like no other city I've seen. The city promotes the changes as "a genuine economic, cultural, artistic and architectural revolution." Everytime I land in Nice, not only has "Henri le Cactus" grown another foot, but so have the changes in the city been evident.
It's the second most popular tourist attraction after Paris, is the capital of the French Riviera and is modern and active. Stretching from the sea coast to the ski resorts, Nice offers a wide range of lifestyles. It's the fifth largest city in France with 350,000 inhabitants, 50% of whom are under the age of 40. There are 10 kilometers of coastline and 300 days of sunshine a year.
The city planners have big projects underway as part of their mission:
* To become the “Green City” of the Mediterranean and an undisputed reference in the environmental field. * To make Nice the most popular Mediterranean capital for its unique “art of living,” while meeting the needs of travelers. * To retain Nice’s authenticity and tradition, and to guarantee an outstanding welcome for its visitors. * To become the ultimate short stay destination. * To host major international events.
The changes are all around you -- from the new Promenade de Paillon to the construction along Quai des Etats Unis to pedestrianize the boardwalk to the new parks and gardens that disguise underground parking to...and it goes on and on. A recent press kit outlines the new plans and ambitions in English. Feel free to download it and learn more about why Nice is a good choice for living and investing in France.
For these reasons, Nice is a great place to not only have a "pied-à-terre," but to also invest in a property that will bring a return on your investment, not only via rental income but in appreciation. There are several areas of the city that are sure to reap you profits: Vieux Nice (Old Town), the Carré d'Or, the Old Port, Quartier des Musiciens and the Promenade des Anglais.
Property prices in Nice are about one-half of what they are in Paris. Like anywhere, the more central, the more expensive. The Chambre de Notaires reports an average price in Nice of 3,610€ per square meter, but don't be fooled into thinking you'll find anything worth owning for less than 6,000€/m2 and rising all the time. Recent purchases within our FPI community include a 14.5 square meter pied-à-terre in the Quartier des Musiciens for 93,000€ (6,400€/m2), an 83 square-meter apartment overlooking the Old Port for 6,325€/m2 and my own apartment in the Carré d'Or was purchased for 7,730€/m2.
But maybe you prefer to be secluded and away from the hustle-bustle of the city. Buses and trains run from the airport and the Nice Ville train station to such hilltop towns as St. Paul de Vence and Eze Village. Between Nice and Digne-les-Bains, a small train works its way up to 1000 meters offering breathtaking views and passing through Haute-Provence’s scarcely populated backcountry. Just 1.5 hours from Nice is the beautiful medieval village of Entrevaux. There are hundreds of villages like Entrevaux in Provence, just ripe for the choosing of an idyllic lifestyle, set apart from the more frenetic life of the cities. And property here is not very expensive.
A two-level home of 150m2 near Dignes-les-Bains on 8,000m2 of land with six bedrooms is currently on the market for just 255,000€ (1,700€/m2). Lots of bargains like this can be found in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Rental is highly seasonal and iffy, but at prices like this, perhaps the extra revenue isn't as important.
And if you are somewhere in the middle -- wanting a bit of both worlds, there are the smaller communities along the coast, such as Villefranche-sur-Mer, Menton and of course, Monaco! Seaside communities will not be quite as much as a bargain as those in the countryside, but offer a good alternative to a more relaxed lifestyle than living in the center of Nice. We visited friends in Eze-sur-Mer, just a short walk from the train station, in a villa in a gated community with a large terrace and views of the sea. The proximity to the station and buses makes it very accessible without ownership of a car, especially for those who commute between Paris and Eze.
In a similar gated community with a pool, a two-bedroom duplex apartment of 71m2 with a large terrace and sea views is currently on the market for 395,000€ (5,560€/m2). Property like this is rentable, but more seasonal than property in the center of Nice.
Regardless of whether you are an urbanite like me or prefer to be totally off the beaten track and away from it all, or somewhere in the middle taking advantage of the best of both worlds, there is something for everyone on the French Riviera.
If you are interested in learning more, let us help you get to know the region and make the best choice for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you dare to put your toe in the water of the Mediterranean Coast!
P.S. We are offering, on behalf of one of our readers, a one-bedroom apartment for sale near the Old Port in Nice. See photos and more information!
P.P.S. Don't miss Parler Paris Après Midi this coming Tuesday, January 11th from 3 to 5 p.m. when Jim Haynes, Host of Sunday Dinner Salon presents "How a festival-junkie more or less settled down and started a Paris Salon." For more information, visit Parler Paris Après Midi.
PARLER PARIS APARTMENTS
Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the "seal of approval" from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds. Enjoy the crisp and comfortable fall season, a glorious time to enjoy Paris, when there is so much to see and do!
La Table du Roi (The Kings's Table) is a one bedroom slice of old world charm, destined to please those looking for luxury and elegance. On the first floor (European) of a 17th-century building on rue du Roi de Sicile in the heart of Le Marais (4th arrondissement), it is steps from rue de Rivoli, rue Vieille du Temple, the Hôtel de Ville, Place de la Bastille, the River Seine and everything that Le Marais has to offer.
FREE one-hour consultation! Guests of Parler Paris Apartments or Parler Nice Apartments who are considering the purchase of their own "pied-à-terre" for pleasure and profit, can take advantage of a free one-hour consultation while enjoying the apartment in the City of Light or on the Riviera. Simply complete the request form to book your consultation.