At first it just happened by chance, but it was the best thing that ever happened to someone struggling to survive in a foreign land.
A $47,000 investment (down payment and closing costs) in the year 2000 to purchase a 750-square-foot apartment in Le Marais, Paris has resulted in the ownership of five properties valued at almost $3.5 million in today’s market. I was living in the apartment as a rental for the first two years, then the owners wanted to sell…but, I simply couldn’t bear to leave it and spent nine months figuring out how to buy it. That was just the beginning.
Today, three of my five properties generate a rental revenue that cover the mortgages of all five.
As my first property increased in value, I took an equity loan to purchase another property—a small studio apartment in Le Marais.
The third in which I invested was a life annuity property located in my own building with a large terrace (a rarity) that took five years to acquire, renovate, and place on the rental market. It rents well and was later appraised at three times the original purchase price…affording another equity release loan.
By now my relationship with my lender was solid. The properties continued to increase in value and the rental revenues were proven. In 2008 when the rate of exchange was $1.50 to the euro, I purchased a fourth apartment, this time located in the West Village in New York City using a euro mortgage—making it a bargain then and an even bigger bargain now that the rate is considerably lower. It provided a roof over my daughter’s head in New York and a good investment for both of us. It has since increased in value by 50%.
As the city of Nice on the French Riviera became even nicer, and properties were still half the price of Paris, I once again took an equity release loan to purchase a property there in the best quartier of the city, the Carré d’Or. Today it is both a successful rental property and my home-away-from-home. I spend many delightful and relaxing vacation days there every year.
It may have started by chance, but my property experience grew by design. Location is key to ensure substantial rental revenue. Good design and decor are essential for high rental rates, happy customers, and continued success.
Along the way, I have discovered and nurtured resources such as lenders, notaires, architects, and designers.
I’ve helped many North Americans to realize their own property dreams, with a small investment bundle and a willingness to invest in France. As well as being financially successful, the ventures have changed their lives for the better.
As long as you make the right purchase and manage it professionally, it will broaden and enrich your outlook on life and the world in general…if not your pocketbook.
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