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…

Parlez-Vous Français?

Do I speak French? Well I ought to. I studied it for ten years, clocked up a year in the South of France and am a regular visitor to Paris. But can I say with honesty, “oui, je parle français“? Not really. When people learn that you studied languages, or lived in another country, they typically ask,…

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…