Home » Currency 101 » Good fortune = preparation + opportunity

As we reach the exciting part of the process for many property buyers, viewing trip time, it’s those who are proactive and prepared who tend to get the bargains and be enjoying their home this summer. By taking just a few minutes to sort out your currency and protect yourself from volatile exchange rates, you’ve got a head start to a lifetime in the sunshine.

As spring gets into her stride, in every garden, greenhouse and field, tiny seedlings are poking their heads above the ground and looking towards the sun. Before long they’ll be blooming with colour as flowers, or ripening as vegetables or fruit. Or at least they will so long as the ground has been prepared, the weeds are kept at bay and they’re kept watered.

As every gardener, chef, or inventor knows, the better the preparation the more likely the success of a project. As Thomas Edison first said, “good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” That goes for property buyers too. If you want to be enjoying your home in the sun by this summer, here are a few things you should be doing.

Getting your team organised

It has never been easier to buy a home abroad. There is a network of specialist estate agents and property lawyers. Many countries have learnt the lesson of previous property booms and put in place extra legal protections. And there is so much more information, explaining exactly how to buy property abroad.

If you are ready to buy we recommend calling Property Guides on 020 7898 0549, or emailing info@propertyguides.com to be introduced to a trusted estate agent and lawyer.

Being scientific about it

To be really useful – and not just a holiday with a few property viewings – you should take a scientific and organised approach. That means taking notes, photographs, possibly video walk-throughs, asking the right questions and recording the answers. You can download viewing trip worksheets here.

Know your budget

That might seem obvious! But unless you have spoken to a currency specialist you won’t be sure of two things. Firstly, the rate. Most property websites show the “interbank rate”, but that’s only the rate at which banks transfer money to each other. Normal domestic buyers will get a little less than that – speak to us and we can tell today’s rate.

Secondly, we can suggest where the pound might go in the weeks ahead. The risk when buying abroad is that there is a gap of several weeks between making an offer – and perhaps committing to the purchase with a contract and a deposit – and actually paying you for it. It’s not unknown for the pound to lose 5 or even 10% of its value in that time. We can protect you from that with a forward contract.

Have your deposit ready

Sometimes to get the right property you need to move fast. Especially at the start of the year, when there might be eager sellers wiling to take an offer. If you have your deposit ready you might just be able to get in first. Speak to us about prefunding your account.

Find out how we can help you

Let us know a little more about your upcoming currency exchange needs. We aim to take the uncertainty away by providing guidance on which services suit your individual requirements. You can then rest, assured your money is not at the mercy of the currency markets.

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