An inveterate Paris real estate shopper, my radar is always up when I scan the apartment for sale ads in Paris. I view hundreds every month, but rarely find something special. As we advise our clients interested in buying property in Paris, always hold out for the absolute best: light-filled, upper floors buildings with character and an elevator … and if there is an Eiffel Tower view and a balcony, get your checkbook out since you’ve hit the jackpot.
Serendipity and determination converged to bring about my chance encounter with the gorgeous Cairanne apartment. Last July, just before the annual summer exodus of Parisians to the beach and beyond, I was doing the daily scan of Paris real estate classifieds online. We were at the beautiful University of Virginia to visit our daughter, but distance didn’t stop me. Skipping over the hundreds of mundane listings, my heart skipped a beat. Well, hello lover! There it was: a lovely street on the desirable Left Bank, an apartment located high up in a building with an elevator. There was only a solitary photo of a sad-looking living room, but enough for me to deduce the location and the potential for, dare I say it, an Eiffel Tower view. Eureka!
Heart pounding, I was on the hunt. This is it! This is where my years of real estate knowledge kicked into high gear and ultimately paid off. The real estate agency with the listing was practically in my backyard. But, being summertime in Paris, the listing agent was probably busy tanning and drinking pastis poolside in the south of France and wasn’t likely get back to me for weeks. This agency had shown me a few apartments in the past, but nothing had come of it, so I didn’t have any pull to get anyone in the office to take me seriously. To be fair, my casual attire when I’m on the go looking at apartments, sourcing furnishings, talking to contractors, means I probably didn’t give the best impression as a serious client. What to do?
I remembered that we had met a personable, young agent just starting out at that office a few years before. I tracked him down through their website, found he worked across town at another branch, and although he too was on vacation, he got back to us promptly. I brought him up to speed on the many apartment sales we had facilitated for owners over the years and, without blinking, instructed him to submit a full asking price offer, no contingencies, on the apartment immediately, sight unseen.
Buying an apartment sight unseen is not for the faint of heart! But we really, really knew this wonderful Left Bank neighborhood and what to look for. The agent took us seriously only because he knew us and of our experience sussing out great properties and commitment to making things happen.
No great love is without its share of drama. There was some last minute hand-wringing on our part, while we waited out a 24-hour stare down between competing real estate agents, another claiming they had an offer in the works. It was touch and go, with visions of our true love slipping away, but we managed to prevail and sealed the deal.
For the makeover, we teamed with the fabulous duo of Ann Huff and Meg Harrington with Huff Harrington, transformation artistes extraordinaires. The Cairanne has had a complete and total remodel, and we can't wait for you to see the final result. Click here to read more about the before and after transformation of the Cairanne apartment in Paris!