Keep­ing it in the fam­ily

French Property News - - Location -

Jackie Whit­taker bought her two-bed­room apart­ment in a side road off lower Gam­betta in 2008. “It’s a quiet quartier, served by many buses and sev­eral su­per­mar­kets and is only three or four blocks from the sea,” she tells me.

Jackie had been a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to Nice for week­ends when she worked in Geneva, and was im­pressed by the beau­ti­ful build­ings, the prox­im­ity of the air­port and sev­eral ski sta­tions, plus the won­der­ful seafront prom­e­nade and, of course, the cli­mate.

“I en­joy hik­ing, and the fact that sev­eral buses go up into the hill vil­lages was a def­i­nite ad­van­tage – no real need for a car!” she ex­plains.

Al­though English is quite widely spo­ken here, some knowl­edge of French is use­ful, she adds. “And the daunt­ing French bu­reau­cracy re­quires a lot of per­sis­tence!”

Since De­cem­ber 2017, her sis­ter Jene­fer Thomas has rented a quiet fifth-floor, one-bed­room, 40m2 apart­ment with bal­cony on the Rauba Capeu Point, over­look­ing the bay be­tween the Old Town and port. “It feels like a real French city, not sim­ply a place for wealthy ex­pats,” she says.

Jene­fer, who di­vides her time be­tween Nice and her Lon­don home, has no plans to buy here: “I ap­pre­ci­ate that rent­ing could work out more ex­pen­sive, but I like the flex­i­bil­ity and I couldn’t af­ford to buy a flat with such a won­der­ful view.”

Al­though she says the French have a ten­dency to strike rather a lot, “which can be rather frus­trat­ing”, she prefers France to most Euro­pean coun­tries. “I like the food, cul­ture and lan­guage and I find the peo­ple friendly.” Her French is im­prov­ing and she feels “rea­son­ably con­fi­dent speak­ing”.

Jene­fer rows at the Club Nau­tique most week­ends, skis at Isola 2000 in win­ter, and ap­pre­ci­ates the prox­im­ity of the beau­ti­ful coun­try­side and Mar­itime Alps. Pub­lic trans­port is “very rea­son­ably priced”, there are sev­eral good mu­se­ums and art gal­leries – free en­try to many for res­i­dents with the Nice Mu­seum Pass – and con­certs ga­lore. “To me, Nice has it all,” she says.

Jene­fer

The view from Jene­fer’s apart­ment

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