Avoid losing money when buying property in France

Buying a property in France is an exciting prospect, but make sure you plan your finances carefully to ensure you don’t lose out when transferring money to France. Current political instability in the UK, and Brexit has also caused the markets to fluctuate wildly. It’s consequently more important than ever to protect your budget when buying abroad – or your house could be surprisingly expensive.

By using Smart Currency Exchange to transfer funds to France instead of a bank, you could avoid losing thousands of pounds to suddenly changing currency markets.

It cannot be emphasised strongly enough how important it is to consider the risk exchange rates pose when you transfer funds to France. If you make an offer on a property in euros and the exchange rate moves between then and you paying the deposit, you’ll find yourself unexpectedly paying more than you’d calculated.

Get a free quote and find out how Smart Currency Exchange can help you save on your property purchase.

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After research and help from the France Property Guide, we understood the step-by-step way to buy a property in France and knew how to approach our property viewing trip, treating it as a business trip and not a holiday. We saw about ten places, but knew as soon as we saw our dream property that it was the one. We put down a fee to reserve it there and then and got organised ready for buying, finding a local, independent lawyer, opening a bank account in France and getting our NIE number before we flew home

Barry Kimber

France Buying Guide reader who bought a property in Lanzarote

The live currency market is a risky place

The price of currency fluctuates by the second as it gets traded on the live currency market. This means the price of the property you are purchasing in France in sterling will also fluctuate second by second – so, over the course of days, weeks and months, this price could change dramatically.

What does this mean in practice when you transfer funds to France?

For example, imagine you agreed to purchase a €300,000 property when the rate hit an eight year high of 1.40. The price in sterling would be £214,286. However, if you completed on the property a few days later the rate would have sunk to 1.36. The price in sterling would have moved to £220,588 – a loss of over £6,000. The most common exchange rate process for most buyers in France will be to find their ideal property, find out the day’s exchange rate, and base their decision to purchase on that rate. However, by the time they get around to going to transfer funds to France, the price of the property could be vastly different, as a result of the exchange rate fluctuations.

A currency exchange specialist will help reduce the risk

One of the best ways to combat this is by using a currency exchange specialist and taking advantage of the tools they offer. For example, you could use a forward contract to set the exchange rate. This would effective ‘fix’ the purchase price of your French property in sterling. This way, you know exactly how much it will cost in pounds, as well as euros. Not only that, it will not be subject to any further rate fluctuations.

Why use Smart Currency Exchange?

As soon as you know you are going to purchase a property in France, we recommend speaking to Smart Currency Exchange – ideally, at least six months before you plan to buy – to give them time to assess your needs and work out a personal currency strategy on your behalf. Once with Smart Currency Exchange, you will be assigned a named personal trader. They will be with you throughout the entire process – so you won’t be shuffled from person to person. They’ll advise you on the effects of fluctuating currency rates based on a personal knowledge of your needs. Additionally, they’ll monitor and assess the market for you and the different ways you can transfer currency abroad – so you can minimise risks and maximise your savings. Finally, their staff are not paid on commission, so they will offer you truly impartial service. Smart is the UK’s only currency specialist focused on property transfers and we have worked together successfully for over a decade. Our readers find them extremely useful in safeguarding their money, leaving over 1,100 5-star reviews on Trustpilot. As well as your personal trader protecting your budget, Smart will equally give you access to free reports and guides about foreign exchange – tailored entirely to property buyers. Smart can also assist you with repatriating funds to the UK, or if you need to regularly transfer funds to France (such as your pension or mortgage payments).

About Smart Currency Exchange

Smart Currency Exchange was set up in 2004 to help clients control the risks of sending and receiving payments internationally, and since then has become an expert in the overseas property market, working as a trusted partner of other overseas specialists such as Property Guides, Rightmove and Your Overseas Home. Smart Currency Exchange’s account opening and payment transfer system is safe, fast and easy.

Benefits of Smart Currency Exchange

Smart Currency Exchange customers benefit from the following:

  • Risk-controlled transfers
  • Safe and secure transactions
  • Dedicated personal trader
  • No transfer fees or commissions
  • Authorised by the FCA

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We partner with some of the most trusted names in the industry

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Laura Richards,
France Buying Specialist

Experts on the ground

France Property Guide has a dedicated Resource Centre in the UK and a team of France experts with offices in La Cala de Mijas, on the popular Costa del Sol.

These experienced teams can help answer any questions you may have and offer advice on the different aspects of buying property in France. They are here to support you throughout the full process of viewing and buying property in France and can put you in touch with the right professional services that you will need to help you along the way.

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