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When Sandra Harris bought her property in southern Spain, she was concerned about having “absolutely no currency control” through sending her money through the banks. We spoke to her about how using a forward contract with Smart helped her to protect her budget and know exactly how much she was paying.

Using a forward contract helped Sandra lock in an exchange, so she always knew what she was paying.

Using a forward contract helped Sandra lock in an exchange, so she always knew what she was paying.

Starting a new life in Spain

Where did you buy and what sort of property is it?

I bought in Playa Flamenca, in southern Spain. It’s a bungalow in a gated community. I’m going to be moving soon, however – I bought this one to have a foothold and now I want to head either up towards Alicante or down south a little more. I want to be ten minutes from an airport for accessibility.

I’ll be looking for either a house or a top-floor apartment. I’m not too concerned about land, a garden or a swimming pool. They all require attention! I just want to be able to walk in and walk out when I want to.

So how do you use it? Is it your permanent residence or a holiday home?

At the beginning, I thought about residency, but that’ll need a bit more thought. For the moment, I’m splitting my time. I’ll probably do end of August, September, October in Spain – maybe the beginning of November – and April, May and June, too.

Was buying property in Spain something you’ve thought about for a long time or was it a quick decision?

It was quite a short period, I think. I was fed up with the weather and thought, “it’s got to be better than this!”

Using a forward contract for currency control

And when you bought your property, you used Smart Currency to transfer your money. How was your experience working with us?

I don’t think anyone else could have done better. I’m more than happy with the choice I made.

The banks wanted me to do a monthly sum of money with them, but you have absolutely no currency control if you do that.

The banks in Spain wanted me to do a monthly or three-monthly sum of money with them, but, as I pointed out to my solicitor, you have absolutely no currency control if you do that.

So how did you manage that risk from the changing exchange rates?

I did two lump sums with Smart where I locked into the same exchange rate with a forward contract and it all went through on the same amount of euros, so I knew exactly how much I was paying.

And how did you find the experience of transferring money with Smart?

My personal trader, Matt, is a great contact for people to have. He’s been really helpful, always polite, always willing to offer advice. I can’t praise him too highly.

I definitely appreciated having a named trader with me through the whole process. I would not like to be speaking somebody different each time. Not only do you build up some sort of rapport, but I think trust grows when you always deal with the same person.

For international home-buyers like Sandra, managing the risk of volatile exchange rates is crucial. It can make the difference of several thousand euros or dollars in the price of your property. Explore how Smart Currency can help control this with our guides and keep yourself informed with our daily market update.

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