Are you thinking about buying Paris property remotely? With 56Paris, it is certainly possible.

This new blog continues our interview series, like our previous blog about working with a buyer’s agent in Paris.

It gives an insight into a successful purchase, even while working within the confines of the coronavirus pandemic.

From Tokyo to Paris, meet Ruckika and Brian

Ruckika and Brian are Canadians currently living in Japan. Buying a property in Paris is a lifelong dream of theirs. A dream currently being realized with the services of 56Paris.

Their requirements for the property search were certainly a challenge. They were looking for a Hausmannian apartment in the Marais, an area where properties from that specific period are hard to find!

Also on the wish-list were both a balcony and an elevator.

After getting to work, the couple was delighted that 56Paris found them a place in the only Haussmann era building on the street, and before it even appeared on the market.

Following remote visits and videocalls from their home in Tokyo, they successfully purchased their dream apartment.

The whole team at 56Paris are so happy to help make this couple’s dream come true.

First steps when looking for a property

56Paris: What was your primary reason for buying real estate in Paris, and how do you plan to use your property?

Client: Ever since I was a little girl and heard La Vie en Rose for the first time, it has been a dream of mine to live in Paris. When we first started dating one of our first trips was to Paris and we’ve been back over 20 times. As my 50th birthday approached, Brian decided to make that dream come true! Our little apartment will be used as a true pied-a-terre.

56Paris: You entrusted your search to a search agent. Why?

Client: Following everything we read about buying property in France, it seemed like it wasn’t an easy feat. Add to that the complexity of being approximately 10,000km away in Tokyo and then Covid on top of that, it seemed like the best option.

56Paris: Had you already searched on your own before contacting 56Paris? If so, for how long and what was that like?

Client: We had been casually browsing sites to get an idea of what the inventory looked like and what we could get for our budget for about a month. We very quickly found 56Paris and engaged them based on the stellar reviews.

Then, from the very first conversation we had with Anne we knew we made the right choice and were in good hands!

The challenges of buying Paris property remotely

56Paris: What was it like buying in 2020 during the pandemic? Did that affect the process for you?

Client: It was highly unusual but also surprisingly doable. It helped us to be very precise and we spent an inordinate amount of time researching areas, discussing what we loved, what was non-negotiable, what features were nice to have and what were the must-have features.

When we did write the brief, it was very detailed and we were able to articulate what we were looking for. I believe this helped Alexander, our search agent at 56Paris, to narrow down to the appropriate choices. And when we found one that was the right fit, it was immediate!

The biggest challenge was the amount of paperwork that was necessary to finalize the sale, but the team at 56Paris guided us through every step.

56Paris: How many apartments did you see with 56Paris before deciding on the one you bought?

Client: We fell in love with the third one we “saw”. It was in fact, the first one we did a virtual walkthrough in. The first two were good options but this one was perfect. Alexander knew it and so did we!

56Paris: How is the apartment you ended up buying different from what you pictured?

Client: It was almost exactly what we wanted and pictured, right down to the neighborhood and street. Finding a Haussmannian apartment in the Marais is very challenging, and a building with both a balcony and lift is a rarity! We feel very lucky.

The only evolution is that we were adamant on having a two-bedroom apartment but had to sacrifice space for location, and we were fine with that.

Waiting for the ‘coup de coeur’ feeling

56Paris: Was your choice carefully weighed and reflected or was it love at first sight?

Client: “Coup de coeur” (love at first sight) is what Alexander said is what would happen, and as predicted it really did, even though we were oceans away! Every major real estate decision we have made was love at first sight followed by careful consideration. This was exactly the same.

56Paris: Was the process different from other real estate purchases you have made elsewhere in the world? 

Client: The process was extremely different from our other real estate purchases. The level of detail necessary to secure the loan and to finalize the sale was time consuming. The bureaucracy associated with sales in France is very different from other countries. 

Thanks to 56Paris and the team they assembled, we were able to go step by step and finalize the sale. Through it all there was a ‘can do’ attitude and a level of patience we are incredibly grateful for.

56Paris: Are you renovating? How is it going?

Client: We are starting the process to renovate the property, and it is a rather large renovation. The trickiest part at the moment is doing it remotely and deciding on detailing without seeing it. 56Paris has referred us to an excellent architect who will make the process simpler for us.

Applying for a mortgage in France

56Paris: Did you apply for a mortgage? How was that different from what you are used to?

Client: Yes, we did apply for a mortgage and again, it is different and more demanding compared to other countries. In one sense the due diligence needed in France ensures that people do not default on their loans and it saves the country from the financial crisis brought on by mortgage defaults. We had the support of 56Paris here too.

56Paris: If you could offer one piece of advice to a first-time buyer in Paris, what would it be?

Client: Go with 56Paris! We are firm believers that the process should be as pleasurable as the outcome, and with Kerstin, Anne, Alexander, and the team at 56Paris it surely has been!

Buying property remotely with 56Paris

If you are thinking about buying Paris property remotely, the experts at 56Paris are here to help.

As you can see, we are already working with international clients making successful purchases, despite the current challenges of the pandemic.

Whatever stage you are at, contact the team at 56Paris to see how we can assist you at this time.

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