Beating the Decline of the American Dollar

The American Statue of Liberty Shining Brightly Over the Paris Skyline
Photo by Eva Lee Lichtenberg

Beating the Decline of the American Dollar

Parler Paris…

Your taste of life in Paris and France
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Paris, France

Community Calendar Updated Every Wednesday

“The Fractional Ownership Solution” Conference Call
FREE to French Property Insider Subscribers!

Learn how to own your own piece of Paris at a fraction of the cost during this one-hour conference call with Steve Navaro of Paris Home Shares, and hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of French Property Insider and Director of French Property Consultation.

Date: Sunday, November 11, 2007

Time: 8:00 p.m. Paris time, 2 p.m. E.S.T.

Cost: FREE to French Property Insider Subscribers — a 50€ value!
To register, email

Not an FPI Subscriber? Subscribe now at /frenchproperty/insider only $49.50 for one year/50 issues or $79.50 for two years/100 issues! Or pay 50€ by credit card at //order/genericorder.html

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Over a scrumptious lunch at Café Guitry, we learned how to beat what seems like the decline of the American Empire…the weakening dollar.

The elegantly decorated restaurant in red velours, adorned in photos of French celebrities, is situated in the lower level of the Théâtre Edouard VII, named in honor of Sacha Guitry, the French film actor, director, screenwriter and playwright. John Rule, our staff Mortgage and Rental Manager, and I were the guests of Mary Fort and Stéphane Denner, the two people who were responsible for my personal good fortune to not only own a family apartment in Paris, but a rental studio apartment called “Le Provençal” and a “Viager” (life annuity) apartment with a terrace overlooking rue de Saintonge that closed on the title deed just a few weeks ago.

In the time I’ve know them both, Mary moved up the ladder as the Director of the International Department of Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier (BPI) as well as did Stéphane, Expatriate and Non-Resident Service Manager, a short time after our first encounter in 2000. The lender was known as “Woolwich” then, one of the very few British banks offering loans to non-residents. It was a relief at the time that they were willing to take the risk to lend me money to buy the apartment, while their competitor, “Abbey National,” refused me. They’ve taken a special place in my heart ever since.

Over the years, many other lenders have discovered the non-resident market and competition has gotten fierce. It drives the resourceful ones to becoming ever more creative in their approach to the ever burgeoning and changing foreign buyers market. We’re working with five other lenders (much to their chagrin), but the competition is healthy.

This year is a bigger challenge than ever as Paris property has steadily increased in value and the euro has gained so much strength against the dollar. Those who have dreamed of owning a “pied-à-terre” in Paris have seen their dreams wan as the stretch to make it a reality len

gthens like an old piece of chewing gum.

Lots of new loan products have been added to the line-up since coming in contact with that first application for a mortgage in France, which was a standard variable rate with a static monthly payment and a term that lengthens and shortens with the disparity. Now there are every sort of configuration of fixed rate, variable rate, interest only and combinations of the above to choose from. Yes, they’ve come a long way, baby.

But, what Mary and Stéphane had to reveal, beat them all. It’s the answer to the big question: “How to invest in a real asset in the strengthening euro without losing dollars due to the rate of exchange?”

Here’s how:

Normally 20% is required as a down payment and normally, this is the amount of money that must suffer the transfer from dollars to euros. The rest is provided by the lender (80% loan to value), with the exception of the Notaire fees (closing costs), about 7% to 7.5%. So, in a normal situation, about 30% of the purchase price of the property must be transferred in to euros. If you use a currency broker, such as HiFX, you can save quite a lot on the transfer, but still, you’re at the mercy of the rate of exchange. (See /frenchproperty/loanmoneycorpconvertor.html for information on HiFX.)

In this new scenario, 20% is held in an interest bearing bank account — not an account in euros, but an account in dollars! That means that there is no exchange to be made and nothing is lost. As they say in French, “en plus,” a loan of 100% (!) is offered…utilizing any of the various kinds of loan products BPI makes available.

Sounds unbelievable? Maybe, but it gets even better. As long as 20% of the outstanding capital is held in the interest bearing account, the mortgage can be repaid without penalty using the funds from that very same interest bearing account! So, your principal keeps reducing while your money just keeps growing.

Of course, your monthly mortgage payments will be in euros, but if what you own is a rental apartment designed to self-finance the property through its euro-value rental revenues, then there is not a “centime” to lose, but everything to gain. If you work with HiFX to set up their “Regular Payments Abroad” program, then you save when you transfer money to make the payments, too.

This is exciting news for all those who think their dream has vanished into thin air due to circumstances beyond their control. Now there is a way to beat the fall of the American dollar and have your dream to live and invest in France, too.

Editor’s Note: Stéphane Denner will be joining us at the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference February 16-17, 2008 in Miami Florida. Stay tuned for details on how to register coming soon. And meanwhile, for more information about the new mortgage program, contact Stéphane Denner and/or John Rule by clicking here or visit /frenchproperty/loan and be sure to tell them Adrian sent you.

A la prochaine…  

Adrian LeedsAdrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. A few important reminders…

1. Sunday evening at 8 p.m. Paris time (2 p.m. EST), we’ll be talking with Steve Navaro of Paris Home Shares about “The Fractional Ownership Solution” during a FREE Conference Call for all French Property Insider Subscribers! Not an FPI Subscriber? Subscribe now at /frenchproperty/insider for only $49.50 for one year/50 issues or $79.50 for two years/100 issues! Or sign up to participate by

2. Join us next Tuesday afternoon November 13th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Parler Paris Après Midi to meet and get to know other readers. See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information.

3. To avoid missing any issues of Parler Paris, be sure to White List our email address or add our email address to your contact list:” — this will prevent our newsletters from landing in your “spam” filters or “junk” box. Thank you!

Your Complete Solution to a New Home in France…

Adrian Leeds and her team of property professionals can help make your dream to live or invest in France a reality. These experienced property experts provide comprehensive services including property search, purchase, mortgage and other after-the-sale services, such as renovation and rental management.

Visit /frenchproperty/consultation or email info@adria

This Week in French Property Insider…

NEW WEEKLY COLUMN: “Ask Adrian’s Advice”

Regularly we receive interesting questions from readers whose answers would be of use and information to all the readers. You, the readers, now have an opportunity to ask Adrian anything related to investing in Paris and France real estate, lifestyle and living in France issues.

QUESTION What’s the least expensive way to set up an apartment or house in France to communicate by phone to friends, family and business associates living in the U.S. or elsewhere?…

Learn how to buy property in France!

French Property Insider is a weekly e-zine, sharing insights, recommendations, tips, and discoveries about Paris real estate and French property. Each information-packed issue is devoted to educating its readers on how to effectively, efficiently and profitably purchase property in France.

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Plus, when you subscribe now, you can participate in a FREE Conference Call, exclusively for French Property Insider subscribers… “The Fractional Ownership Solution” with Steve Navaro of Paris Home Shares, and hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of French Property Insider and Director of French Property Consultation on Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. Paris time. To register email

Subscribe today at /frenchproperty/insider

For more information visit

Miami FloridaNEW! Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference!
February 16-17, 2008
Alliance Française, Miami, Florida

If you’ve always dreamed of owning your own “pied-à-terre” in Paris or home in the Provinces of France, perhaps as a future retirement home or for now as investment property rented part of the year…this power-packed two-day conference is a MUST.

Hosted by Adrian Leeds, long time resident of Paris, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly E-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for the International Law Partnership, London, these two days in Miami will point you in the right direction to make it really happen! Includes three course lunch and cocktail reception.

For more information and to register, visit: /frenchproperty/conference/

Or email Schuyler Hoffman at

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Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.

Le Penthouse Voltaire

American comfort with French flair! Overlooking Boulevards Richard Lenoir and Voltaire, in the 11th Arrondissement.This three-bedroom, two-bath luxury penthouse with wrap-around balconies and spectacular views, sleeps 6.

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Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…

The next gathering is November 13, 2007 and every second Tuesday of the month.

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!

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