We bought our little piece of Paris in April 2015. We got the keys in June and spent our first night there on a blow-up mattress on the floor. In November we finished the renovation and were able to start using it properly. That is what I consider to be our real anniversary. One year on and there are no regrets. There have been ups and downs—challenges to overcome and bills to pay—but I love Paris more than I did then. Our little studio has brought so much pleasure over the past year – to us and to everyone who visits.
One of the worries of buying a holiday home is, will I get bored of going there? It’s true that if you own something—a caravan, a boat, a cottage in the countryside or an apartment in Paris—you feel an obligation to use it and ‘make the most of it’. Although tyring of a city as huge, varied and ever-changing as Paris seems ludicrous, it did cross my mind. Now, the opposite of bored, I’m addicted. I crave Paris. I want to be there more and more. I haven’t visited for a month and I miss it. I think about being there all the time and I count down the days until my next trip.
So, what are the cons? Ownership comes with responsibility and with that comes the potential for stress. There is always the worry that something will go wrong and it has. A plumbing disaster meant we had to decamp to a hotel and fork out a small fortune in plumbing bills. It is hard to decipher the frequent letters and invoices we receive from the syndic, which results in the uneasy feeling of not being completely in control. At one point our electricity was shut off because we hadn’t successfully set up a direct debit with EDF and unbeknown to us, the bills hadn’t been paid. We’ve had ups and downs with our guests, including a broken bed and a broken shower head, but those come with the territory of owning and renting out.
With every incident I learn something and my confidence grows. Even if the thought of calling up the electricity company in another language is daunting, or you have no idea how on earth to get hold of a decent plumber that isn’t going to rip you off, you’ll figure it out. You’ll experience the satisfaction of having overcome the hurdle and know that it will be easier next time.
I think I would go as far as to say that there are no real cons. There are challenges and there is work to do, but it’s worth it. I’m not going to list the pros here (anyone who reads this blog will be quite familiar with them by now) but it feels great that one year on, I am older, wiser and more smitten with Paris than ever. 20 days to go….