When I set out to find a property in Nice, the idea was to have a vacation home...consider a possible future retirement there...and use it to expand my property rentals business from Paris to the French Riviera. Nice was my city of choice for a few reasons. This is the hub of the Riviera. It's a real city with a lot of life, a real heart and great inner-city transportation so you don't need a car.
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.
I was lucky, not smart, when I bought my first Paris apartment, but it was still the smartest thing I ever did. I simply didn't want to move from my 17th-century pied-à-terre in Le Marais district when the owners wanted to sell.