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A Point of View from a Penthouse in Paris

No, I wasn’t drunk when I took this picture yesterday. It was taken from the balcony off the “double séjour” of a penthouse apartment in Paris owned by two gentleman from Florida. The netting around the scaffolding on the building for roof repairs led me to raise an arm over it and shoot, without seeing what the camera would see and hope for the best. This was the result.

You might not recognize the location. See if you can guess. Here’s a few hints: 1. The arrondissement is double digit. 2. Two major boulevards intersect at this corner. 3. If when you exit the building, you walk to the right you will run into a canal and if you walk to the left you will run into a canal!

One thing for sure, the views from this 7th floor apartment with a wrap-around balcony are pure Paris. From one corner you can spot the Eiffel Tower and Sacré Coeur and from this perspective, what lays before you are beautiful Haussmannian buildings, tree-lined boulevards and church steeples that simply reek of real Paris.

The apartment was a special find for these unsuspecting fellows. The previous owners had lived there all their lives and had done nothing to update the three-bedroom apartment, but kept it immaculately clean. Every inch of wall and ceiling had been covered in wallpaper…the flowered variety in pastel colors. The tiles on the kitchen walls were bright yellow. Layers of carpeting covered the parquet floors that hadn’t breathed a drop of air in more than 50 years. Another quirk they discovered: not a single corner is at a right 90-degree angle.

Once they signed the final “Acte de Vente” (sales deed), the two gentleman proceeded to call in the troupes to reorganize, renovate and decorate. We put them in touch with our finest team to transform the apartment into their dream pied-à-terre. For four months, the contractor stripped the wallpaper, refinished the walls and floors, created an opening between the kitchen and dining room, reconstructed both bathrooms with new fixtures, laid new tile and painted. The decorator managed the project, purchased the furnishings, ordered the upholstery fabrics, creating a unified and traditional/contemporary Parisian look throughout the 122 square meters of space.

I watched its progress from beginning to end, now 98% complete, livable and almost rentable. The apartment is in process of being equipped for a luxury rental to begin the first of June.

In speaking yesterday with the owners, who attended the Living and Investing in France Round Table in New Orleans last year, they said some pretty amazing things about their experience, which was more than positive: “We actually found the whole process even easier than if we had completed it in the US. The apartment renovation was truly less stressful than some projects we have undertaken in the US.”

Are they ready for life in Paris? “It’s now time for us to sit back, have some wine and sit for hours at one of our neighborhood cafés and reflect on our next adventure, which just very well may be yet another purchase in the City of Light.” (To read a full description of their experience in their own words, click here.)

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

 

 

P.S. Don’t forget, tomorrow night May 10th, French Property Insider subscribers may attend a Group Consultation FREE titled “What’s Hot and What’s Not…An Insider’s View on Where to Buy Property in Paris.” Not an FPI subscriber? You can attend the Group Consultation in Paris for 50€…or subscribe now for $49.50 and attend for free! 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., La Pierre du Marais, at the corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne in the 3rd arrondissement. Visit /frenchproperty/insider or sign up now at /frenchproperty/insider or email [email protected]

P.P.S. While traveling to the the San Francisco Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference July 7 and 8, my two-bedroom Marais apartment is available in its entirety. Visit /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html for more information. The conference is filling up quickly and new speakers are getting on board! So, don’t delay, register now! /frenchproperty/conference

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