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Special Edition: Romancing the Deal

Many of you saw yesterday’s article in the New York Times titled “In Paris, Romancing the Deal” by Deborah Baldwin. I was flooded with copies forwarded from you readers and friends. Deborah was here in Paris not long ago researching the foreign property purchase scene, she being a one-time resident I knew when I first moved to Paris when we were both volunteers at an Anglophone organization.

She, like so many others, are discovering that owning a little piece of Paris is entirely possible, more doable now than it was even five years ago, when property search services such as ours didn’t exist. We are currently working with dozens of Americans, Canadians, British and Australians, who have been successful and quite happy in their experience becoming property owners and investors in Paris and other parts of France.

Today I received another kind of letter from a reader with a very different story. He bought a pied-à-terre in Paris in the Place des Vosges, Paris’ most expensive real estate, that turned his dream into a nightmare. Four people bought in a building that needed tremendous repairs, the owner promising to fulfill his obligations, including adding an elevator. Several years later, the works have still not been done and he is left short a large sum of money still being held in escrow. Some of the other buyers sold out early. He’s still trying to recuperate his loss.

I tell you this story not to frighten you, but to make you aware. We Americans like to think we are capable to doing things on our own, without the help of professionals…we’re so resourceful and optimistic! We can do anything. Right? Weren’t we told anyone can become President of the United States?

Well, even M. Bush had help from his friends to get to the top.

The point is, you have friends, too, who can make it easy and do it right. There is information to be had that will make you savvy and less likely to trip on the land mines. Take advantage of these resources if you hope to be successful. I learned the hard way…and that’s why my “raison d’être” has become helping people like you.

Let me give you a heads up on a few things you can do NOW, if you’re seriously thinking of joining us here in Paris as a part-time or full-time resident or just an investor:


It’s our own publication, online for the last several years, devoted to the property and lifestyle issues we foreign residents face. Naturally, I think you should be reading it!

Each issue of French Property Insider is packed with information on how to find great properties in France, how to structure your real estate purchase, what pitfalls to look out for, how to work with your “Notaire,” how to deal with inheritance tax issues, how to minimize your capital gains tax obligations, how to earn a profit from your French properties and how to build a rich and fulfilling life in France. French Property Insider also contains listings of apartments and homes for sale as of each writing. You’ll be able to find the perfect apartment rental for your next vacation trip to France…or a place to stay to give you the time to take a look at properties for sale that interest you. You’ll also find articles on culture and lifestyle to help you learn those important things necessary to “fitting in,” wherever it is you choose to rent or buy.

All at your fingertips…every single week, 50 weeks a year! Plus, there are bonuses and discounts that you can take advantage of that will save you more than the cost of the publication. Still, at only 95 US cents a week, it’s nothing when you think you might be spending several hundred thousand dollars on an important property investment! And even if all you want to do is dream, it’s still a big bargain.

I could go on, because I so strongly believe in it, but I’ll leave you with this idea: just visit this link to learn more…

*** And if you subscribe now, I’ll gladly extend your subscription an extra month…13 full months, 4 extra issues, for 0 extra dollars. Just click here.

At the top select “French Property Insider (13 months)- Please enter your promotion code below.” At the bottom of the form, it says: “If you have a discount or coupon, enter the code” — now at the bottom, submit this promotional code…9B0525…to get your free month and you’ll be reading long after everyone else.

The subscription cost remains $47.50 per year, but you’ll get 13 months, just for being a Parler Paris reader!

If you’re already a subscriber to FPI, you can extend your subscription an extra 13 months, too, all at the price of 12. Here’s how:

1) Go to /frenchproperty/insider and click “Manage Subscription”

2) Sign in with your username and password.

3) Under “Subscribe or Renew Your Subscription,” select the 13-month product.

4) Enter the promotion code 9B0525 and click to the Secure Payment Form.

That’s all you have to do to add 13 months to the end of your current subscription for the price of 12. Not a bad deal, huh?


You will find this invaluable…money wisely spent. All our attendees say so…

“Great program. Lots of useful information. A must do for anyone contemplating acquiring property in or moving to France. Thank you!”

And so many of them have fulfilled their dreams as a result of the time they spent listening and talking to the professionals who are there to enlighten them.

August 10th, we are holding an Invest in France Seminar here in Paris — one very power-packed day that will get you on the right footing for making a smart investment in Paris or France. The topics we’ll be addressing include:

* Buying and Owning Property in France!…
* The Leaseback Program and Other Investment Property Programs!…
* Finding Your Dream Apartment in Paris
* Getting a Mortgage!…
* Minimizing Your Tax and Maximizing the Benefits!…
* Renting Your French Property for Profit!…
* Renovating Your French Property!…
* Reducing Your Currency Exchange Risk…
* Best Offshore Banking in the World!…
* and a Q and A Panel with All Presenters

We’re also going to get to know one another over a buffet lunch and cocktail reception, plus you’ll be leaving with a stack of reference materials in a free tote bag with gifts from Paris.

Now’s your opportunity to take a holiday vacation in the most romantic and beautiful city in the world and set aside just one day of your busy schedule visiting museums and dining on foie gras to learn how to make your money double (and even triple — like mine has since I bought my Marais apartment just four short years ago).

Again, I could go on, because I so strongly believe in it, but I’ll leave you with this idea: Subscribers to Parler Paris, French Property Insider and clients of John Howell & Co. are entitled to a 50 euro discount! Just visit this link to learn more and to register before it’s too late…

If August in Paris doesn’t suit you, we’ll be holding conferences and seminars later in the year in San Francisco and New York City. If you want to be notified as soon as the plans are firm, email Schuyler Hoffman at mailto:[email protected]

You can also refer to the site at /frenchproperty/conference/index.html for all upcoming seminars and conferences.


You get to choose how much or how little you’d like us to help you do.

If you want to “get your feet wet,” come see us for a two-hour consultation. I can’t tell you how many folks we’ve helped put in the right direction!…whether it’s for property purchase, or finding work, starting a business or determining what kind of residence status one should apply for. Very few people can do what we do. The professionals usually have knowledge only in their area of expertise, and of course, with great depth, so they are very important to your ability to maneuver the system…but often, you just need to get a “lay of the land” before you can delve into the detail.

We do that. And do it well.

That first consultation is at a small fee, but what you’ve paid will apply against the property search services we provide, so not a penny is lost.

Let’s say you come for a consultation and as a result you decide to let us scour Paris or any other part of France for that perfect property just for you. With an advance search fee, we’ll narrow the parameters of the search further, start the search process and set up the visits…all on your behalf.

Our experience has been that by the second or third day of visits, you’ll be making an offer on a “coup de coeur” (something you’ve fallen in love with!). It can happen as fast as that under the right circumstances, and usually does.

Meanwhile, we’re working closely with you to apply for a mortgage with lenders that offer loans to non-residents. You aren’t alone in the negotiation process and we manage the document signing with you and the Notaires. We can even sign on your behalf, with power of attorney, if you can’t be present.

The fees you’ve paid in advance apply against a commission based on the purchase price of the property. It’s peanuts compared to costly mistakes you could make on your own and because we are experienced in negotiation and arranging the purchase for minimal closing costs, getting the best mortgage offers and transferring foreign currencies, we’ll save you as much or more as the cost of the commission.

This is where our friend who bought at Place des Vosges went wrong. If those buyers had been assisted with this kind of professional help, they may never have made such a risky purchase to begin with
and not have been in such a nightmarish situation.

We take no commissions from the agencies. So, we have no preference on properties. You’re the client. We work for you. Our job is to insure you make the best and right purchase in the right way.

Please forgive me if I’m being a bit verbose. It’s just that I see these situations every day and I know how many people have become happy homeowners in the City of Light and beyond. It’s why I stay so enthusiastic! But I’ll leave you with this idea: just visit this link to learn more…

As we’re growing, we’re adding new services:

Maybe you were lucky enough to find the property on your own. If so, then we can also assist you in the purchase process…represent you at meetings with the Notaire, confirm that all the necessary diagnostics have been performed on the property and that the surface (in square meters) has been certified by a third party. We provide contacts for property insurance and with power of attorney, sign key documents on your behalf. Then at least, you’re not alone when the going may get tough! Just visit this link to learn more…

The good news is that obtaining a mortgage here is very doable. You have a few options with our banking contacts. Going directly to a French bank as a non-resident can be a bit dicey. Unless you have a regular salary going into a French account, they tend not to be as interested in dealing with foreign clients. We have experience working with several lenders — British and French Banks who are set up especially to work with foreign clients. If you want to submit an application for pre-approval — a smart thing to do before setting out on your search — just visit this link and let us put you in touch with the best lenders for the best mortgages…

Property Appraisal Service — If you think you’ve find the right property, but are not sure if your getting the most value for your money, we can perform an appraisal of the property and provide you with a proper valuation.

The “Après Vente” — After the sale, we can continue to help you settle into your new home with Utility Connection Service, Personal Finance Assistance, Moving and Shipping Assistance, Choosing the Right Schools and even other services, such as replacement of locks and keys, coordination of rental property management providers, attend homeowner’s association meetings on your behalf and employing housekeeping services.

Wow! Isn’t the nice to have someone here on the ground to back you up? For more details about these services, follow this link…

If you think you want to rent for a while before you buy — often a way to get to know Paris better before making an important investment — then we can now help you find a long term furnished or unfurnished apartment available 1 month to three years. Our rental professional will interview with you, provide an apartment search and selection and photos when possible, arrange up to five visits, assist you to negotiate the lease or on your behalf and do a final walk-through visit with you. When you’re trying to do this long distance, it can be very difficult indeed. Now there’s help. Just click here to learn more…

BTW (by the way), September and onward is a great time of year to start considering a purchase and looking at properties, after vacation at “Rentrée” time when France gets back in gear.

Have you ever been to Paris in the Fall? It’s the time of year I came to celebrate my birthday when I was just a tourist. Now I celebrate it here every year as a resident and a homeowner — in an apartment in a 17th-century building in the historic district of Paris (Le Marais) that has appreciated more than three times its value.

Do you believe I’m happy I did?

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. To read the New York Times article by Deborah Baldwin, click here.


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