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Posted March 9th, 2017 by Charles Purdy

Book that viewing trip! (Just get your currency organised first)

 

We are approaching the prime time for property buyers heading out on viewing trips, looking for an overseas home. One thing always surprises me at this time of year. That’s when I chat to prospective buyers, seriously looking for a home, and they tell me they will open a currency account when they return from their viewing trip. This is, and I’ll use the polite form, a case of putting the cart before the horse.

It really does make more sense to get an account opened before you leave. Here is why:

You need to know what the property will cost.

The price of property will vary, unless you lock in a currency. If you find the property of your dreams it will have changed in price by the time you get back to the UK. And not just by a small amount, potentially by thousands of pounds – enough to make it unaffordable. One of the sad things about the Brexit vote was seeing people who’d set their heart on a property suddenly find they couldn’t afford it due to the falling pound. Don’t let that happen to you over Article 50. Simply opening an account does not in itself lock in a currency, but it will enable you to have a free consultation with a currency specialist so you will know what you are doing.

One of the sad things about the Brexit vote was seeing people who’d set their heart on a property suddenly find they couldn’t afford it due to the falling pound. Don’t let that happen to you

You need to a team of professionals in your corner.

Buying a home abroad is a major project and one that takes you out of your comfort zone. In a different country, in a hotel room perhaps with iffy wifi, your judgement can easily be skewed without you even realising it. That is why it is so vital to get your professional “team” lined up in advance. That should include a lawyer and a currency specialist, on your side, each playing their part both in protecting you and in helping you to make the dream a reality.

There is absolutely no benefit in delaying, but there are some risks.

The process of opening an account takes seconds. All that happens is that we take your name and address (it’s a government rule, just to prove you’re a real person), email you a form to sign, and that’s it. With that done, you are ready to set your currency if you want to, and can speak to a currency expert for guidance.

It means that if you suddenly find yourself standing in the hallway of the home of your dreams, you are ready for action.

Happy hunting!

If you can’t organise a trip abroad just yet, could you make it to London instead? Smart Currency Exchange will be at Your Overseas Home, a new style property show where you will have the time and space to discuss your requirements in depth, with carefully selected experts. It’s free to come along, on Friday 31st March 2017, so if you are ready to buy, click here.

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