Home » Currency 101 » “We would have had sleepless nights…”

Last year, Debbie Blaber from West Sussex shook hands on a deal to buy a home in France for €197,000. When completing the purchase took longer than planned due to the pandemic, she watched as exchange rate movements made the price in pounds shoot up by thousands of pounds. How could she save her dream house purchase overseas (and not lose too much sleep!)? We’ll let Debbie take up the story…

“When we agreed the price in euros we wanted to be sure how much our house in France was going to cost us in pounds.

So the agent – Beaux Villages – recommended Smart Currency Exchange and explained that a forward contract would lock in the exchange rate for us.

It worked out really well. The actual purchase process took longer than expected and in that time there was a lot of fluctuation in the exchange rate. So there was one time when had we not locked in the rate the house would have cost us £8,000 more.

We’d exchanged contracts so we were committed to buying, so had we not done the forward contract there would have been some sleepless nights!

Other than that, the only real surprise on the currency side was how easy it all was.

When we first put the offer in, suddenly reality kicked in and it all became pretty daunting. I thought “So, how do I actually get sterling converted to euros and then out there?”.

After we were recommended Smart, I spoke to my account manager there and he explained it all. And it all worked out exactly as he explained it.

I would definitely advise anyone in the same position as us to get a forward contract, unless you’re prepared to take the risk that the property may end up costing you a lot more.

We got a good exchange rate as well. I knew what the high street rate was and I was very happy with the rate I got with Smart.”

The CEO of Smart Currency Exchange, Charles Purdy explains the vital importance of locking in a rate when you’re making a significant transaction such as for a property abroad: “Ideally you should talk to a currency specialist as soon as you decide to buy abroad, even at the early planning stage. That way we can help you set a budget for your purchase, assign you a dedicated account manager who will explain it all, discuss when you want to make the exchange and how to protect yourself from exchange rate movements. It’s all about putting you in charge of your money.

“Frequently people do come rather late in the day, but so long as, like Debbie, you can speak to us before exchange rate movements take the matter out of your hands, that’s the most important thing.

“Having witnessed the ups and downs of currencies through recessions, financial crashes, Brexit and now a pandemic, Smart’s traders can help you through anything, so long as you call us in time! To register with us, just fill in the form on this page or call us on 0808 163 0102.”

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