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Living In France With Peppy Le Pew

Bonjour from Washington, DC and the Living and Investing in France Conference. I’m heading back to Paris today just in time to arrive in the morning and head straight for Tuesday afternoon’s Parler Paris Après Midi at 3 p.m. (visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for the address)

Lots of the smiling faces that filed in and took their seats that first Friday afternoon were familiar to me — we had met at previous conferences, one-on-one consultations, Parler Paris Après Midis and Parler Parlor Conversation Groups. They have come from far and wide…literally from one coast to the other, north and south, to learn how to make their dreams to live in France come true.

This has been the finest line-up of presenters we’ve ever had, including a cameo performance by Peppy Le Pew. The foul smelling and amorous French skunk from Loony Tunes, was Ruth Mastron’s fixture atop the projector, representing the stereotypes of the French we’ve grown up with. Mastron, author of “Au Contraire! Figuring Out the French” wowed the crowd at the very opening with the most concise explanation of cultural misunderstandings — including why the U.S. and France clashed so naturally in their approach to the Iraq war issue! “Duh!” we all cried, “Mais oui! Now we understand!”

Laurent Mellier, Director of DC’s Alliance Française delighted us all with his perfect English and charming French accent making us feel very comfortable about learning French at our own pace. Kirsten Keppel, a third generation Washingtonian and dedicated Francophile, enlightened us with history about our U.S./French/Paris/Washington, DC relationship that began with Franklin, Lafayette and Washington — how soon we forget how important the French were to our own independence.

Saturday was long and intense, beginning with a few moments of silence and some brief words from the attendees in memory of those who died on September 11th three years ago. It was appropriate to move on with Jean Taquet’s very important messages about how to have the right to live and work in France…first why and then how to obtain the right visa. Sam Okoshken ran methodically through the list of taxes we might expect to pay, but what we can also expect in benefits to get for our tax Euro and how to creatively minimize our taxes through proper planning. That led up to how to go about starting our own businesses in France — seems like many of these entrepreneurial folks are willing to take the hurdles. Sam assured them everything was possible with determination and foresight.

International property attorney John Howell wowed them as he always does with his no-nonsense approach to property purchasing. Then Claude Nédérovique, San Francisco/Paris based short-term luxury apartment rental manager with his incessant smile and charming French accent explained quite thoroughly how to buy and furnish property that will have the best rental return potential. We completed the evening over a delicious dinner complete with “profiteroles” while author and historian Thirza Vallois took us on a tour of Paris Past, Present and Future. Her knowledge of Paris and its many lives is astounding.

On the last and final day, we heard the latest Paris property prices and how to find the best properties from Jocelyn Carnegie. Surprise guest Michelle Imhoff with Banque Transatlantique talked about mortgages and bank accounts available to Expats. Terry Easton opened everyone’s minds to how to make use of our European ancestry to acquire an EU passport along with offshore and banking tips as well as the best way to make use of today’s technology to make the transition from one country to another smoother.

Before saying so long and heading back to our rooms or off to the airport to catch planes, we broke into four round-table discussions where attendees could ask anything they wanted. Their closing comments were heartwarming: “Conference exceeded my expectations…,” “This conference is very inexpensive when compared to the value received…,” “This conference will save me months of time and tons of disappointments…,” “I would 1000% recommend this conference to anyone!…,” “Each and every one of your presenters was a gold mine of information…,” “A must do for anyone contemplating acquiring property in or moving to France…”

For me there is tremendous satisfaction that once again we helped so many get a lot closer to their dreams to live in France…that it won’t be long before many of these folks will be knocking at our Parisian doors with big smiles ready to take the plunge…that we connected them with the professionals who can pave the way simply and smoothly and with each other, making new yet lasting friendships.

A la prochaine…Washington, DC.

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. A special thanks goes to both Schuyler Hoffman for his outstanding professional abilities to keep the conference on its toes and Kirsten Keppel, our on-the-ground Washingtonian volunteer who made so many new friends for us here in the Capital City.

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* Further resources:

* Dream of working and living in France? Don’t know how to go about simply

DOING IT? Rose Marie Burke tells you how!

* Though France might seem as familiar as any other Western country, the truth is, from paying taxes to having a baby — things are done differently in France. Read the stories how other people maneuvered the system.

* Come for the Quiche Feast September 18th! And practice speaking French and English with people from all over the world! Parler Parlor…

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French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. If you’d like to learn about the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week, read more about a subscription here: or call 1-800-643-2479.


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