First Impressions? Who Cares, It’ll Sell Anyway.

Want to sell your home at a great price? Make sure it sparkles. Tidy it from top to bottom, get rid of clutter, fill it with fresh flowers and brew a pot of coffee. Sell a lifestyle others aspire to be part of. That’s what real estate agents, lifestyle TV, magazines and blogs tell you to do…

A Little Piece of Paris – One Year On

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…

Paris Weather – Expect the Unexpected

Paris can be freezing cold, scorching hot, and everything in-between. What I have learned is that the weather is never guaranteed. Expect it to feel colder than you think in winter and either hotter or colder than you would imagine in summer. Any season can produce an unexpected cold-spell, or an Indian heat-wave. One thing…

Beautiful Brittany

When we bought our little piece of Paris, our plan was not only to get to know Paris as a city, but to explore its surroundings whenever we got the chance. France’s high-speed rail network makes it possible to cover large distances. Within two hours we were in the heart of Brittany and a world…

Merde, Literally

Stephen Clarke wrote A Year in the Merde, Merde Actually and Merde Happens about life as an Englishman in France. But has he ever experienced merde, literally? I have. In my shower, on my bathroom floor and in other places I’d rather forget. We were washing up dishes from the previous evening’s cheese and wine,…

The Furnishing Touches

Once the renovation of our Paris studio was complete, the fun part began – making it our own. When an apartment is only 18 square metres, everything in it has to be perfect (well, as perfect as your budget allows). In a tiny space, there is nowhere to stash plastic storage boxes, no space for…

Taxes, Fees and Hidden Costs (The Boring Stuff)

When budgeting for an apartment in Paris, there is more than just the asking price to consider. I got together with Frank van Zelst, from ParisScarabee Househunters, to get the low-down on the extra costs associated with buying a property in the City of Lights. Frank advises that as a general rule of thumb, budget…

Why Paris?

Paris has been seducing visitors and dreamers for centuries. It has a timeless elegance, a frenetic energy. Importantly, it has a stable real estate market and an insatiable demand for central accommodation. What is it about Paris that captures so many hearts? There is the obvious: the iconic architecture; the cloud-scraping Eiffel Tower; the leafy…

Renovating a Paris Studio

Reality TV and a couple of bestselling books have given French builders a bad rep. The internet is alive with tales of renovating property in France. Some are comical – cavalier carpenters who disappear for a three hour, boozy lunch – some are horror stories of mould, rot and soaring, unbudgeted expense. My own experience was a good one. We…

Buying an Apartment in Paris

What does 100,000 euros get you on the Paris real estate market? A dark, ten square metre hovel with leaky taps and suspect neighbours, that’s what. But for 200,000 and a little more? A beautiful, beamed ceilinged studio in the heart of the historic centre. It was Ernest Hemingway who convinced me to buy something in Paris. His beautifully…