Personal experience: an apartment in Paris overlooking the Eiffel Tower

What can you save when buying luxury real estate in France? Is it difficult to make repairs in a foreign country? How do the French treat foreigners? These and other questions were answered by Muscovite Anastasia, who recently acquired apartments in the center of Paris.

– Anastasia, how did you think about buying property abroad? And why did you choose France? 
– First, our sons study in France. Secondly, friends have already bought property here and settled in this country. This has become a key factor for us. We did not even consider other directions, such as Germany or Spain. There was no goal for us – just to move somewhere abroad. I wanted to be close to not just some Russians, but close people.

Friends advised us and the company that dealt with the transaction. The process of sale and subsequent service, we were satisfied. Therefore, now with their help we plan to purchase a small hotel in Paris. In my opinion, this would be a good investment option. 

I do not know how life goes on. But while we are happy with everything. Now most of the time we spend in Paris, we are engaged in the arrangement of the apartment, just finished a long repair. We like it here, and the children are really excited. 

– Please describe your apartment.
– Our apartments consist of two combined adjacent apartments. In total it turns out: three bedrooms, each of which has its own toilet, a spacious living-dining room, kitchen, two bathrooms and a guest toilet, as well as a lobby lounge. In addition, there are two terraces in the apartment: one has a gorgeous panorama of the Eiffel Tower, and the other looks into the courtyard. 

The location of the apartment is wonderful – the 7th arrondissement of Paris. This is perhaps the most prestigious area in the capital of France. There are many shops, restaurants and other infrastructure. And while it is quiet and safe, there are no immigrants from Africa and Arab states.

– And what is it like to live in the center of one of the most popular tourist cities in the world? Do passersby bother? Is there anywhere to park the car? 
– You know, here, surprisingly, everything is properly arranged. I remember when we lived in Moscow, it happened that strangers continually called the intercom. In France, this does not happen. In addition, our apartment is located on the third floor. Consequently, no one looks in the windows to us, and we, on the contrary, have a great view. There is a parking lot next to the house, so the question “where to leave the car?” Does not arise before us. In walking distance there is also a metro station. 

– What was the condition of the apartment at the time of the transaction?
– In a terrible. Completely killed. Previously, the whole house belonged to a French family, whose relatives now decided to sell the apartments one by one. In our lived older people, who, it seemed to me, about 50 years did not make repairs in it. 

However, the deplorable state of this apartment turned out to be a plus for us. Due to the fact that the property required repair, our realtor managed to bring down the price on it. 

– Is it difficult to make repairs in a foreign country? How to find good contractors? How do you talk to them without knowing French? 
– I speak a little French. Of course, not as good as local ones, but at the household level I can explain myself.

In fact, we did not have to deal with all the repairs ourselves. Our real estate company has an after-sales service department. They found us an architect who made a design project of living space. Later they supervised all the work up to the installation of furniture. 

I do not recall any particular difficulties. Perhaps, only one thing: we ordered furniture on the Internet, and we were delivered headsets in a different color scheme. We just said that we do not like. All changed.  

– How do you solve issues with the maintenance of the apartment and the local area? Do you have high utility bills?
“Our house is old.” As often happens in such cases, the view at the entrance was not very good. We asked our realtor to contact the house management and arrange for redecoration of the common space. We are even willing to pay to get our staircase in order. They promised to resolve this issue within two to three months. 

As for utility payments, we did not buy any cheap apartment in a typical house. Taking into account the value of the property, the fee for its maintenance seems adequate to us. 

– Anastasia, and the last question: how, judging by your experience, do the French relate to visitors?
– I can not say that they are so good-natured and immediately take everyone for their own. They, too, are at first cautious, eyeing … I think it’s necessary to live here for years to feel like a full citizen of the country. 

Much more depends on where you come from: people from Africa and Asia usually are more suspicious than Europeans or Russians.

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