The Bottom Line: Pure Enjoyment
I took the early train to Nice Saturday and sat in exactly the same seat I always book, for the sake of the good number and good placement: #111 in a first-class car. On the way down, it affords me a sea view, once the TGV passes Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, becoming the slow train with tracks along the Mediterranean.
Once it reaches the water, I know I have arrived on the Riviera as the sun appears, the water glistens and leisure-seekers are either on the beaches or the boats. A sudden calm comes over me as the sun bounces into the coach and lights up the table. That’s when I start to get excited about arriving at “Le Matisse” and seeing “Henri le Cactus,” my pet cactus which is growing like a weed in his happy sunny corner. (In two weeks, Henri has grown at least another two or three inches!)
My love of Paris has not waned with my increased adoration for Nice and the Côte d’Azur. In France we can have many ‘lovers,’ and so it is with these two cities. They are so distinctly different that no comparison can be made between them, like trying to equate Miami with New York or Los Angeles with San Francisco. Paris may be the cultural mecca of Europe if not the world, and could be the world’s most beautiful city, but the Riviera is the world’s most elegant and beautiful playground. Even when I’m working in Nice, it feels like playtime.
The biggest problems I face in Nice are the tendency to take in too many calories (on delicious pastas and Provençal wines) and spend too much money (on colorful and fun clothing). This week in Paris, passing by trendy designer shops with their latest models on display, consisting of gray, wooly, baggy ensembles, I was reminded of how different the sophisticated Parisian look is from the colorful Niçois resort style. I found myself stopping, looking and saying out loud to myself: “Could this be any uglier and less feminine?!” But in truth, it fits the landscape of Paris cut stone, just like the tight little multi-colored dresses on the Niçoises fit the sunny, warm seascape.
Sunday I spent most of the day on a lounge chair on the pebbles admiring the sea, the sun, the surf and the people on the beach. My tan is even bronzier, but once back in Paris, there will be no chance of showing it off, now that autumn has settled in.
In contrast, September is the Côte d’Azur’s best month — the weather is warm, but not hot (evenings are cooler — sweater or not), the kids are back in school and the restaurants are busy, but not overflowing. This is THE time to be here (although I am finding that every season has its virtues).
The first evening I walked with a friend to Place Garabaldi along the Promenade de Paillon at dusk, remarking along the way how it has become a major destination in itself. I learned that the locals simply call it “Le Paillon” so as not to confuse it with “Le Promenade” (des Anglais). Watching the fountain play games with the people running among the spouts, I wondered how often the pattern changed and if I stood there long enough, would it be discernible.
The route took us to Place Garabaldi and then rue Bonaparte where we planned to have dinner — to an area that is now called “Le Petit Marais” because of its blossoming as the center of the Gay community. The street has changed so much in the last five years it’s shocking! Once it was pedestrianized, the bars and restaurants started to pop up and out. Now, it’s teeming with patrons — and they aren’t tourists — they are the locals. This area around the Old Port is growing and changing by leaps and bounds and worth an investment consideration. What I like about it, too, is that it’s not touristy and is still very authentic and a real place to live.
While waiting for the tram to head once again to Place Garabaldi, this time to see a movie at the cinema that is tucked into one corner, I spotted a bride and groom in the middle of avenue Jean Médecin having their photos taken by a photographer, playing ‘chicken’ with the tram. They escaped, of course, but how original is that!?
Could I live here full time? Probably so. Many of my Niçois friends say “Yes, absolutely so!” Would I miss Paris? Of course I would. But there’s no reason to choose. With inexpensive air and train fares, I can have both, and intend to do so the rest of my life, as long as I live it in France.
Tomorrow evening I’ll be meeting here in Nice with a group of people interested in learning how to live and invest in France at what I call a “mini-conference.” The mini-conference will consist of my (at least) hour-long PowerPoint presentation and a Q and A, although a few colleagues will be present to add their support.
The presentation has three-days-worth of material and information to cover in 1.5 hours designed to provide more than just an overview of every aspect of purchasing property in France for investment purposes. We’ll be talking primarily about Paris and Nice, although it is designed to answer the most important general questions:
* Who can purchase property in France?
* Why invest in property at all and why in France? Why in Paris? Why in Nice? * And lets take a look at property prices!
* What are the best locations for investment?
* Can you get financing?
* What are the tax implications?
* Can you rent the property for profit?
* How will the new rental laws affect the investment?
* What is the process and how long does it take?
* Where is the best place to make a purchase?
* How do I find the best property?
* How do you get started?
* The Bottom Line
So, what’s the bottom line?
If you take no risk, then you have no gain…but make calculated risks. Have patience and tenacity finding the right investments takes time and effort. Learn as much as you can and take professional advice. Use both your head and your heart. Never invest in a property you dont love! The number one advantage to investing in property is the pure enjoyment of the real asset while earning money and financial security.
Don’t you agree?
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group
P.S. There is still time to attend! You can register in advance at a lower price, or just show up at the door and we will welcome you. Visit our Conference page for more information. Hope to see you there!
P.P.S. Mark your calendar for Thursday, September 25th from 7 to 9 p.m. when the 102 Gallery opens its doors to two American award-winning photographers, Richard Nahem and Meredith Mullins, whose works will be on display through October 3rd under the title “In Search of the Unusual: Paris & Beyond ” — an exceptional portfolio of color and B&W photographs that confirms their passion for the unseen and “insolite” Paris and the beauty and drama of travel beyond the City of Light. Le 102 Galerie is located at 102 rue Cherche Midi, Paris 75006. Metro: Vaneau or Duroc. For more information, visit eyepreferparis.com, email [email protected], or phone +33(0) 6 31 12 86 20.