The Dutch Don't Look So Frugal

Mortgage crisis Dutch style
Amsterdam's Gracht waterfront Photograph by Alexander Hafemann/Getty Images

When Wilco Drijver bought an apartment in Amsterdam’s gentrifying De Pijp neighborhood in 2008, the bank gave him a no-money-down loan of 209,000 euros  ($274,000). That was 24,000 euros more than the sales price. Drijver used the extra cash to renovate the place, figuring it was a good investment.

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