My Paris Place: Two Years & Counting

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Two years ago today, I found my little Paris apartment. Wait—strike that. Two years ago today, I found a tiny 24-square meter life raft in the middle of the hell that was my life. Yeah, that’s more accurate.

My mom had died of breast cancer the year before, in 2011, and my sister and I were about to go through the gut-wrenching task of emptying and selling our childhood home. Round about January of 2012, I became obsessed with the idea of buying a pied-à-terre in Paris. At the time it wasn’t clear why I felt so compelled; the hotel I usually stayed in was swell enough, smack in the middle of a swanky neighborhood in the Left Bank. But no, I had to have a place of my own—had to. So what did I do? Did I call up an expat real estate agency? Go to a bank to research loans, or seek out investment information on overseas properties? Nope. After researching places online, I flew to Paris for a day, picked one of the six places I saw, and dropped a wad of my retirement money on it.

Best freakin’ thing I ever did.

Looking back, I realize what a profound source of joy my apartment in Paris has been. And I understand now that the driving desire to have this place was my way of grasping at hope during a hopeless time. Having the apartment got me through the hardest years after my mom died. Did I say, “life raft?” I meant life saver. Whenever I felt like I couldn’t go on, I’d think of my sweet place in the 11th arrondissement waiting for me, and I’d be at peace again.

Two years later, I’m not the same person I was when I began this journey. Happier yes, but there’s more. Buying my place in Paris made me braver; I live more boldly than before, take more chances, trust the universe more. My life is richer, too, more exciting, more fun. All this from a piece of real estate, you ask? Yes, all this. The key to my Paris place opened up my life, and made it worth living again.

14 responses to “My Paris Place: Two Years & Counting

  1. have a fantastic visit on your next trip…soak up all that sunshine…and walk thru the Lux for me:)

  2. Again I relate to that. I wish I had the funds to do the same (well I need to get my own place here in Paris first, but estate prices are sky high). And additionally, I’d buy a house in New Orleans, if I could.

    I guess I just have to win at Euromillions first !

    • The place in New Orleans would probably be cheaper! But mortgages in France are really quite cheap compared to the US. And if you get a tiny place like mine, you might do ok!

  3. thank you for posting this! paris has been my salvation every summer for the past 3 years. i’m going through tough times now and when it gets too much to take i think of paris. i may have a life in l.a. but paris is where i live.

  4. You are such an inspiration. I have been thinking of buying my Paris apartment lately. I plan to meet a real estate agent and visit some apartments before I make a commitment. 🙂 Could you please tell me if the value of your apartment now has gone up? Please delete my previous comment. Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Marj
      The best thing for you to do is contact an expat real estate agency. They can best advise you as to the what, how and where to buy for the best investment, and can walk you through the whole process once you decide to go for it. My support is more of the emotional kind. Contact one of these agencies, both of which are great and trustworthy (tell them I sent you):
      Susie Hollands Vingt Paris: http://www.vingtparis.com
      Adrian Leeds Group: http://www.adrianleeds.com

      • Hi Lisa, thank you for your reply 🙂 I also found an expat real estate agency. Their company is called cobblestoneparis and they also look after foreigners’ apartments short-term and longterm rentals. How is your apartment lately? Do you rent your apartment to tourists when you’re not in Paris? And who takes care of your apartment if you are not there?

        How do you cope with paying your mortgage in Euro and while living in NY? Do you also own a house or apartment in New York or just renting? How do you manage paying mortgage and renting in NY at the same time?

        I would like to know your experience as I live in NZ and I’m paying rent at the moment and I plan to get an apartment in Paris and will have to pay my mortgage in Euro.

        I look forward to hearing from you again 🙂 Thanks.

  5. Pingback: My Paris Apartment—4 Years Later | My (Parttime) Paris Life·

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