We constantly add client’s comments to our Happy Buyers page. Many of
our previous buyers have provided written references for us, and have
freely give their telephone numbers to us so that potential buyers may
hear first hand about our service. Please feel free to ask if you wish
to take us up on the latter. Here is what some of our buyers chose to
say about totallyNice:
Happy client from the other side of the world.
Words by Professor Charles Mulvey from Perth Western Australia.
"Everyone told me I must be mad. I bought an apartment in Nice off the internet – I didn’t even see until after it had been renovated and furnished. Nobody who’s been there thinks I mad now – they all think that it was a great purchase and that I’ve done very well.
So why did I do it ? Its pretty simple really, I totally trusted Dennis once I had spoken to him a couple of times on the phone. He sent me photographs, videos and detailed descriptions of the apartment prior to my purchasing it and I felt that I knew the place inside out before I committed to making an offer.
I live in Australia and it wasn’t possible for me to go to Nice so when I saw an advertisement for an apartment pop up on TotallyRiviera’s website which ticked all of the boxes for me, I rang Dennis and asked for more information. Within two hours Dennis had gone to the apartment, made a video with a commentary which walked through every room in the apartment and sent it to me in Australia by email.After further telephone conversations and after seeing more photographs of the apartment and the building, I felt sufficiently confident to plunge and make an offer.
Dennis suggested a figure €15,000 below the asking price and I ended up getting it at €10,000 below.
Dennis introduced me to a Notaire who handled the conveyancing, a builder who renovated the apartment and an interior decorator who decorated and furnished it.Dennis managed the whole process of renovation and furnishing, keeping me in touch with progress with videos, photographs, emails and telephone chats.
When finally my wife and I visited Nice and stayed in the apartment we were delighted with our purchase.It is a beautifully renovated and furnished two bedroom apartment in central Nice. Until we are able to spend the summer there each year we are renting it out as a holiday let.
Everyone who has been there loves it and wants to return.Dennis’ after service is faultless and made a potentially difficult process of renovating and furnishing simple and comfortable.
And to cap it all, when we arrived in Nice, Dennis took my wife and I out for dinner at the Grand Café de Turin where we had a memorable night out!
Professor Charles Mulvey,Perth, Western Australia
"We felt that TotallyNice listened to what we said we were looking for,
which meant that when we arrived we were presented with a selection of
apartments that were all of interest. The walk around town and the
viewings were relaxed and we were able to go at our own pace. Dennis was attentive and friendly, we were put at our ease
"Once we saw our apartment we knew this was the one we
wanted, from then until now TotallyNice have been there to answer our
questions, to introduce us to a Financial Advisor and to Builders for
the refurbishment project. I absolutely recommend TotallyNice, they
made it so much easier for us than it would be without their local
insight and support."
Bill James and Karen Westaway, Henley
Property purchased on place du Palais
"I went to Nice for a few days to do some work and came back with a great
two bedroom flat in the Musiciens quarter of Nice. All thanks to
TotallyRiviera who were totally brilliant.
"The nice thing about TotallyRiviera is that they are honest, genuine
authentic people who don't go in for the usual estate agent bull****!
Totally the opposite in fact! Dennis will actually tell you what
they think, and give genuine advice. So that rare thing - estate agents
who listen to you, try to help you and are totally honest. And fun
Mike Brent, Berkhamsted
Property purchased on avenue Durante
"I am not new to buying property in France and I speak the language but
in all honesty my TotallyRiviera experience was by far the most efficient,
professional, helpful and enjoyable, yes enjoyable. I spoke with
"Totally" on the Tuesday, flew down Thursday evening, met Dennis for
coffee on the Friday morning, fell in love with the first of three
apartments we viewed, relaxed over a delicious lunch accompanied by a
lovely bottle of Cotes de Provence Rose, made an offer Friday afternoon
and celebrated with Champagne when my offer was accepted at approximately
7pm the Friday evening. I met with Dennis on the Saturday to sign the
Compromis and flew back to London that evening.
"Eight weeks later I was officially the proud owner of a beautiful flat
in the old town of Nice, as easy as buying a new dress!
The TotallyNice gang are unique, they genuinely care about their
clients, none of this "estate agent" insincere talk. They bend over
backwards to aid and assist with mortgages, plumbers, decorators you
name it they can help. A truly class act.
Sue Phillips, London
Property purchased on rue Alexandre Mari
"We found your service super; the website is a class act.
"Your friendly informal and very helpful assistance was most valuable,
including recommendations of mortgage brokers and rental agents.
"We would not hesitate to recommend you or indeed use to your services again ourselves."
Nick Davenport, Lake District
Property purchased on rue Benoit Bunico
"We found totally Riviera made trying to buy a flat in Nice a virtually
painfree experience. Dennis and Francois gave us efficient, reliable,
reassuring and friendly service.
"They actually listened to what we had asked for and gave us a
well-organised day of property searching. And on a Saturday too when
you might have rather not been working. As well as all this you have
given, and are continuing to give, wonderful post-purchase
attention. We can't sing you praises highly enough. Thank you."
Elizabeth Brown, Surrey
Property purchased on rue Halevy
"It’s always been a dream of ours to buy a second home in the South of
France and now we have to keep reminding ourselves that it isn’t a
dream anymore and we really own one!!! I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t
have happened, and definitely wouldn’t have gone so smoothly, if we
hadn’t have met Francois and Dennis from Totally Nice. We were quite
sceptical at first when we randomly came across their website and sent
them an email. Our worries were completed unnecessary, they were
extremely helpful but not at all pushy, so we took our chances and
arranged to meet Dennis in the centre of Nice to start our property
search. From finding us somewhere to stay and organising our viewings,
through to nearly one year later, accompanying us at the signing of our
contract with the Notaire and advising us on the renovation work in our
lovely new apartment!
"We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them, they’ve been absolutely
brilliant! It’s been the most exciting year ever and we’ve loved every
minute of it… Thanks guys!!"
Lucy Sainsbury and Stuart Bryant, London
Property purchased on rue du Pont Vieux
"I started to look for properties in Nice through Totally Nice in
February, as being half French, I wanted to relocate to France. But
then I was promoted in my job in the UK and I decided to stay there.
But I could never quite put Nice totally out of my mind!
"On holiday in Nice in June, I idly scrolled through the list of
properties on the Totally Nice website on Dennis's laptop. I spotted a
gorgeous little apartment for only €94,000! I pestered Dennis to show
me it. Once inside the flat, I fell in love with it right away. Though
it was up 5 flights of very steep stairs, the sun flooded in through
the big windows and there were stunning views of the colline and the
sea from the bedroom. I knew that it would make the perfect investment
and I just had to have it!
"Later on that day Dennis suggested I speak to Peter Brooke, a mortgage
advisor. Peter told me that he would be able to find me a mortgage to
suit my needs. The next day I was raring to go to the estate agent and
put in my offer. “Don’t you want to see the apartment again?" asked
Dennis. The answer was a resounding “No!” I had never before been so
sure that I was onto a good thing. So I put in my offer of € 85,000.
But I had to wait for an answer…
"I had to leave for the UK the next day, and as I was waiting for my
bags at Baggage Reclaim at Stansted, my mobile rang. It was "Totally".
“The vendor will accept €86,800!” I was over the moon and couldn’t
stop squealing. People stared, but I didn’t care! I’d gone away for a
holiday and came home with a property!
"Totally Riviera found me a notaire to handle my purchase. All I had to do
now was wait until the signing date! I signed the Acte Authentique on
the 13th September and at last the apartment was mine. But it wasn’t
all over just yet. I had just seven days in which to clean the
apartment, furnish it completely, get a plumber to make plumbing for a
washing machine and find a tenant! No mean feat but I managed it with a
little help from my friends!
"There have been many highs and lows to buying a property on the French
Riviera. When I found out that the plumber Totally had recommended
could do the job the very next day, I was delighted. You don’t get that
in the UK! And when the tenant I’d found loved the house almost as much
as I did, and wanted to sign the rental contract the very same day -
that was a high! The worst low must have been being told by the
delivery men that the lovely bed I had ordered wouldn’t fit up the 5
flights of stairs. Receiving the sorry news was made all the worse by
the fact that I had the world’s worst hangover and I could barely move,
let alone make a rational decision!
"I know I have been incredibly lucky with my property purchase, and a
lot of it has been down to Francois and Dennis. Aside from being great
fun, they always know someone ‘who can’ and everyone they have
introduced me to has been more than helpful.
"Totally Nice totally made it happen for me… thank you so much guys!"
Iona Connor, London
Property purchased on Place du Gesu
“We had been visiting Nice for 10 years and our dream was to buy a pied
a terre in the old town, but lack of time meant that we got no further
than looking in the estate agents windows until we found the
totallyNice website on Google and arranged to meet The Totally Gang on our next
visit to view some properties.
“We did not find an apartment first time, mainly because we had not
quite decided on our budget and priorities, but thanks to Totally's
invaluable advice (and patience!) we returned a couple of months later
and saw a number of 'possibles' including the apartment we eventually
bought in a 17th century building on rue Benoit Bunico.
“Again, Totally helped us enormously in negotiating with the seller,
dealing with the Notaire and opening a French bank account, all of
which would have been much more stressful without his contacts and
local knowledge. They even advised us of the best places to shop for
inexpensive antiques! We completed in July and are thrilled to have our
own bolthole in such a great city.
“ Dennis and Francois have become friends and continue to assist with
anything from finding local contractors to keeping an eye on the
apartment when we are away."
Carole and Kevin Keaney, Manchester
Property purchased on rue Benoit Bunico
"From our first meeting with Totally Riviera we felt completely at ease and in
the company of an extremely pleasant, helpful and trustworthy company. Our initial confidence was not misplaced. There was no
element of 'hard sell', nothing was pressed upon us, what we wanted was
what counted, and nothing was too much trouble.
"After we had been shown numerous apartments we made our choice. But we
were innocents abroad, with scarcely a word of French between us. How
were we going to cope with the intricacies of buying in France, with
its different ways of proceeding, and its own niceties of legal
"No problem! We were not alowed to flounder in an ocean of foreign
customs and demands. Dennis was always at hand, and had the remarkable
quality of making you feel that whatever your enquiry, and
however much you felt that you were wasting his time, you were actually
doing him a favour! He should bottle this ability and market it.
"I don't know how many clients totallyNice has, but Dennis makes you
feel that you are the only one, and that his reputation rests
precariously in your hands. We are totally satisfied with a company
that is 'Totally Nice' in every sense."
Owen and Dilys Milton, Cardiff
Property purchased on rue de la Prefecture
"I live in Dubai in the Arab Emirates, and had been thinking of
investing in the South of France for about 18 months. It wasn't until I
spoke to totallyNice that things started to happen. I received email
updates on properties that the team thought might interest me and with
a list in my pocket I flew to Nice and purchased within three days.
"After my departure the totallyNice guys organised renovation work on the apartment. A great way to do business."
Stephen Marney, Dubai
Property purchased on rue du Marche
"The idea of buying a property in Nice can be so seductive. When you
think about it, it’s all about the food and the weather really, isn’t
it? Nice is just so damn…nice, and when there’s no reason not to treat
yourselves, why hold back? You talk it over, work out what you can
afford, then talk it over a lot more before convincing yourselves that
that perfect flat - minutes from the beach in one direction and the
best food you’ve ever eaten in the other – is only one quick visit
"Problems begin though once you get on the Internet and start wondering
just how many estate agents there can be in one city. Next, you find
out how little information you can expect from any of them. Emails
remain answered. Your French isn’t good enough to ask all the questions
you want to on the phone, even if the agents want to give you the
answers. Before long, you’ve decided to cut to the chase, get on that
cheap flight and spend a day or two trawling the agencies to nail the
flat of your dreams.
"Then you wonder where you’re going to start. You might pick an agent
specialising in your preferred area, but it’s all hit-and-miss really.
You get precious little information and far too many of the agents want
to show you properties just over your budget, hoping that a really
smart one will hook you in. The choices are bewildering, the stresses
boil up and anxiety takes a hold. Before long, you’re plodding the
streets of Nice, stopping at dozens of windows and spending hours
arranging viewings of flats you’re never going to buy, with an agent
who doesn’t really understand what you want.
"That is where the scourge of all spellcheckers, totallyNice, comes in.
Spend long enough on the Internet looking for properties in Nice and
you fall over them before long. Run by an ex-pat former journalist Dennis Broadfield, he offers a package of
support and communication that smoothes over more of the inherent
problems in property buying in Nice than you’d believe possible. Unique
amongst property agencies in Nice, they also don’t charge a penny as
their cut comes from the agents. It all seemed too good to be true, but
we couldn’t really see a downside.
"We dealt with Dennis. We gave him an idea of what we wanted, our
budget, and the areas of Nice we were interested in. He did the legwork
and came up with a short list to match our spec, and an itinerary of
viewings to fit into a one-day visit. We went for two and filled the
second day with repeat viewings and honing down our final decision.
That was it, and with less stress than we had ever managed during
previous failed trips, we surely had our dream flat – a four bedroom
duplex smack in the middle of the old town with a statue or two of a
bishop for company and a view over a bustling square. Dennis handled
all the communication with the agents and we went home happy, waiting
for the legal bit to start up.
"A few days later, the building society dropped a bombshell, relenting
on previous assurances and refusing our loan. It was back to square
one. Badly disappointed, we gave Dennis the bad news, and he told the
agent. She was furious, but he stayed cool and we started all over
again with a different plan and a much-reduced budget.
"Trip two introduced us to a new set of properties, and we didn’t take
long to choose a tiny studio this time – four floors up with no lift,
but a great view from its balcony. A couple of months later, the
Notaire eventually got our details right and, after a short but
delightful ceremony at her office, the flat was ours. We found an
English builder on the Internet and put him to work on the
refurbishment. Two or three more trips later, all the work was done,
and we had our own bolthole on the Riviera, with mortgage payments we
could afford without having to rent out the flat, something we would
have had to do with Plan A. Had it all been really that easy?
"In truth, it was Dennis who made the whole thing much easier and a
lot less stressful and, on top of everything, it really hadn’t cost us
a penny. It made a big difference knowing there was someone on the
ground on our side that we could trust, and who took care of so many
minor problems. He’s more than earned the meal and the few beers we’ve
shared together over the past few months.
"At the end of the day, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would choose
not to use totallyNice when buying, particularly in the old town, where
they have near blanket coverage. They knock off all the rough edges
around acquiring a property and they know the systems well. They’re
very easy to deal with and – most welcoming of all - don’t see you as
some other punter to be ripped off, unlike many businesses in Nice who
can dive in all too often.
"In fact, try as I might, I can’t think of a single complaint. If
you’re buying in Nice, it would seem foolish not to give totally Riviera a
Peter and Sue Corbett, Liverpool
Property purchased on rue Rossetti
"The guys were brilliant from start to finish. Professional, slick and
genuinely nice people. As a Director of my own firm I'm extremely busy
and I could not have done this without Den and Francois helping with the
organisation. They even went as far as to open a HSBC account for me,
hire a van and driver, and find me a translator for my final signing in
"I didn't find the exact place I was looking for on the first visit
from Liverpool as the area of the Old Town didn't suit me. We changed
the brief for the second visit and looked more in the Bl Victor Hugo
and Promenade areas where I found the place I wanted."
Jo Winnard, Blackpool
Property purchased on boulevard Gambetta
"We came upon totallyNice by chance - just by searching for properties
to buy on Google. I have to say I was slightly sceptical at first. I am
always nervous about people promising to do things for me that won't
cost me a penny!
"However, my scepticism was entirely misplaced. Dennis and Francois took on
board the detailed specification we put together. We visited Nice for a
weekend and they took us to see eight properties, seven of which were
absolutely on specification. We really liked a couple of the apartments
but thought one in particular looked like a bargain so we decided to
put in an offer straight away.
"And this is where totally Riviera really proved their worth because they
thought it looked like a bargain as well, but perhaps too good to be
true. They made some enquiries in the neighbourhood and found there had
been a big fire in the apartment and that the builder who had renovated
it afterwards was not prepared to guarantee the condition of the
"Rather than taking their commission and running, Dennis called us
straight away and told us that his advice was not to buy. We found his
honesty very reassuring. We then put in an offer for the other
apartment we liked, which was accepted. totallyNice recommended an
excellent Notaire to work for us and the purchase went through without
"Since then they've also helped us get insurance, hire vans, buy
furniture, find a handyman to do odd jobs and maintain the apartment
for us and shown us where to buy the best wine, cheese and charcuterie
in Nice! The best thing is we know that if we have a problem, Dennis
and Tris are right there in Nice just a phone call away and always
willing to help and advise."
Ian and Kate Simpson, London
Property purchased on rue Marechal Joffre
The fall and rise of buying in Nice Old Town by Chris and David Wheater
Saturday 13 November 2004
We spend a pleasant and interesting day with Tristan in the back
streets of the Old Town looking at 7 or 8 properties that fitted our
brief but weren't quite right. At five o'clock we sit disconsolately
looking out over the Baie des Anges reviewing what we have seen but
deciding that none of them was exactly what we were looking for.
Tristan phones us to say that he has the key to one of the properties
we had planned to visit on Monday. We agree to take a look. Before I
even enter the apartment my son, who went in first, exclaims 'This is
Sunday 14 November 2004
We have a day off. Breakfast in France, morning coffee in Italy, lunch
in Monte Carlo and dinner back in France. Over dinner we decide that we
don't need to see any more properties but need a second look at the
last apartment we saw yesterday. We contact Tristan and tell him.
Monday 15 November 2004
A second look at 'our' apartment and we decide to visit the Estate
Agency to make our offer. The agent says that there might be a problem
because the apartment is not really on the market yet!
The following week
Messages between the agent, and Tristan and us. One of the vendors, one
of the partners of the couple who own the apartment, has agreed to sell
but the other is out of contact. After over a week of waiting they
decide not to sell! Tristan's comments are not repeatable and we feel
Tuesday 30 November 2004
A phone call from Tristan and the agent who tells us that the vendors have decided to accept our offer after all!
Friday 25 February 2005
Finally visit the Notaire for the 'Acte Authentique' and get the keys
to the door. Our thanks to our new neighbour Tristan at totallyNice for
all his help and sympathy. We could not have done it without him.
David, Margaret, Chris, Becky and Tim Wheater, Rotherham (and Nice)
Property purchased on Rue Rossetti
"It is not often in life that you can make a purchase that satisfies
both the heart and the head, but buying in Nice's Old Town has done
both. I now have my own slice of romantic Riviera life — all shuttered
windows and wonderful views — while still satisfying my need for a
sound property investment in an appreciating area.
"What made the process all the better was the service and attention I
received from the totallyNice team. I was met by one of the Directors,
Tristan Rutherford, who proved to be both a great source of local
information, and an enjoyable guide. Tres bon all-round."
Michael Furniss, Staffordshire,
Property purchased on rue St Josephe
"We fell in love with Nice on our first trip in July 2004 and on our
return home began to look, initially out of curiosity, at properties in
the area on the Internet. It was while doing this that we came across
the totallyNice website, which we found extremely informative. In a
rash moment, we emailed an enquiry into the likelihood of being able to
find a property within our price range in the Old Town.
"Tristan's reply was prompt, down to earth (we couldn't really expect
to find somewhere with a balcony for what we could afford) and
dangerously encouraging! We decided that we would like to view some
apartments (just to get a feel of what was on offer) and Tristan
arranged a Saturday viewing itinerary for us at short notice in
October. We had a wonderful day looking at different properties which
had been carefully matched to our criteria and at the same time
benefited from Tristan's "insiders' guide" to Nice.
"We fell in love with a wonderful light and airy studio on the rue
Droite at first sight, and Tristan was happy to accommodate a second
viewing to confirm what we thought, even suggesting a third visit in
the evening when it was dark to see if we still felt the same. This we
did after enjoying a glass of wine with Tristan at a local bar.
"The advice we received was sensible and at no time were we under any
pressure. In fact, Tristan was at pains to prevent us rushing into
anything before we had thought it over carefully – too late, however,
as we were completely hooked! As soon as we got home we emailed to ask
him to make an offer on our behalf and were thrilled to receive an
email back the following day to say that our offer had been accepted.
"During the process of completing the purchase of the studio, Tristan
was unfailingly helpful, chasing up things in Nice on our behalf,
offering advice and answering the bizarre questions that kept occurring
to us – including 'there's no letterbox, how does the postman deliver
the mail? (The answer was surprising!) The moment when the initially
very tentative dream became a reality and we collected the keys to our
property was magical.
"If we had not come across totallyNice, we are sure that our second
home in Nice would have remained a fantasy. We cannot recommend them
highly enough. See you in Nice!"
Vincent and Angela Holt, Leeds
Property purchased on rue Droite
"I have holidayed in the South of France for several years and I love
old Nice. Everything is on your doorstep from cafes to markets to
beaches. I was amazed at the cheap price of houses and apartments here,
which persuaded me to invest.
"When you go into a French estate agents you often have to wait around,
be shown tat, and they can't answer your questions on rental incomes,
mortgage repayments, transferring money from abroad etc· The team at
totallyNice could answer these queries, and they got my specifications
just right when I told them what I was looking for. They even helped
find me a mortgage, insure my apartment, get rental guests in and help
me knock a wall down! As far as I'm aware, no one else offers this
product on the Cote d'Azur, let alone in Nice."
Constantine Azar, London
Property purchased on rue St Francois
"With the UK housing boom over I looked abroad to invest. The Sunday
papers told me about totallyNice so I telephoned Dennis, one of the
partners, with my spec. They emailed back a list of properties within
budget (and none over budget as some agents do!) with details on each
one, right down to what was happening on each street.
"Being freelance, I hope to work in London three days a week then
commute on the cheap easyJet flights. You can do the trip in a couple
of hours if you have access to Luton, Stansted or Gatwick. I also hope
to rent my place and swap it with family and friends who have second
Samantha Jacob, London
Property purchased on place Rossetti