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balcony. Even from the bedroom at the back we can see the mountains. With the location and the views being great starting factors, we knew after the renovation it would be perfect!


Last year Eric and Hans shared their experiences in our 2010 guide with us. On a visit in February, they had trawled around the offerings with numerous agents to no avail. Empty handed, they found us the day before they were about to get on a plane back to Holland. We were able to show them a great buy with a balcony and sea view in a prime location on Rue de France. Despite having many ingredients of a sound investment, the apartment was being overlooked because it needed considerable vision to picture how it could look with some loving care.


Eric and Hans put in an offer of €240,000 that was accepted in April 2010. Here’s the sequel to their story of how it went after they got the keys.


“As soon as we signed, we moved into the apart- ment for a few weeks. We were really happy and excited, and we were there to make some small changes so that we could rent it out. Nice Pebbles advised us to leave the work until the low season since it would rent for the summer in its present condition, so that’s exactly what we did. Nice Peb- bles couldn’t put it on their website as it wouldn’t be good enough, but said they could help find guests for the summer who were looking for a lower grade apartment for a cheap price.


“So, as soon as we took the keys and moved in, we measured everything so we could make a plan at home. We’ve done this renovation thing before so we knew what we were in for. Though, it was hard for us to tear ourselves away from just enjoying the apartment and the great sea view from the


114 PEBBLES 2011-2012


“We wanted to renovate the apartment properly with up-to-date fixtures and fittings so that guests would love it. We wanted to make sure there were no later problems and that we’d have a solid investment for the future. Although we wanted a modern look, we didn’t want the apartment to look like it could be in any city, and wanted to retain a touch of France. We asked Harold Grove (a Dutch builder) to do the work; he has lived in the South of France for many years and knows all there is to know about where to buy and what we needed. We trusted him to do a good job.


“We made the plans for the renovation ourselves and bought things like the kitchen units, the bathroom pieces and the tiles ourselves before Harold started, but he arranged all the deliveries and helped with organizing the project.


“The renovation started in November 2010 and all went smoothly. We finished in late December 2010. I think it helped that we agreed on weekly plans with Harold and we all kept in touch whilst the work was going on.


“For the furniture, we bought pieces like the antique table and chairs in Holland and a mover brought them to France. We also spent some time in the shops around Nice. We were really happy with the finished result and excited to show it to Nice Pebbles. We’re pleased to say they were impressed! We knew it was important for them that everything was perfect and we know they encourage their clients to do things as upscale as possible.


“We now just hope our guests love our little home from home too. And though we’re sup- posed to be coming to Nice to enjoy the pleasures of biking around and enjoying the gorgeous outdoors here, we know that we’re going to be keeping an eye out for any more opportunities here. We just enjoy the project of transforming an apartment and then getting to share the finished result with others.”


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