Are you a UK or US citizen looking to buy property in France?

Are you a UK or US citizen looking to buy property in France?

Buying a new home in France should be an exciting and stress-free journey. You shouldn’t need to burden yourself with the stress of working out the best ways to exchange your funds for the purchase, but in reality, if you are not holding Euros this is unavoidable. 

For those who have not been exposed to currency markets before, and particularly not for the value of a house, it can be quite a daunting and stressful process. There are also many misconceptions that it can be lengthy and expensive process. 

This, however, is not necessarily the case…. 

Why’s that you ask? 

Using a currency specialist for your transactions offers a lot of benefits. Not only will you have access to competitive rates of exchange, but you can also benefit from the expertise of a market specialists who will discuss your requirement in full, providing guidance on the market and useful FX tools (explained further down under currency tools) to help protect your funds when the market moving against you. 

Take a look at a recent case of how this has been achieved when using Moneycorp. 

Case study of Harvey and Ella 

Harvey and Ella had dreamt of buying a holiday home in the South of France for years where they could enjoy the school holidays away with the family. 

19th of June  

Harvey and Ella were introduced to Moneycorp by a Harvey’s brother who had used our services to also purchase their property in the south of France.  

Harvey and Ella were previously looking to use the bank to make their transaction however, Harveys brother made him aware that he utilised a forward contract during their property purchase with Moneycorp which ultimately saved them money on the exchange. 

They had a free consultation to discuss the options they could use to facilitate the purchase of 350,000 Euros for their French property. The GBP/EUR rate at the time of their initial consultation was 1.16. 

23rd of August 

Having received guidance on the market following upcoming and recent data releases as well as being made aware of a forward contract that Moneycorp offers, they decided to lock in the GBP/EUR rate of 1.1737 (this required a 10% deposit).  

This secured them 350,000 Euros for £298,202. 

23rd of September  

Property completion day was here, and the couple paid the full amount at the previously agreed rate of 1.1737.  

During the past month, the GBP/EUR rate had moved to down to 1.1480 due to a combination of various political and statistical data from the UK and Europe. If they had waited until the completion date to exchange their funds, €350,000 would have cost them 304,878. 

Overall, they saved £6,676.  

Harvey and Ella were pleased to let us know the spare money they had set aside for their budget will be going towards a new kitchen at home which they hadn’t previously thought they would be able to afford yet. 


Currency tools for the overseas property buyer 

Here are an example of a few of the tools available to you and how they can benefit your exchange: 

  • Spot contract- A spot contract is an agreement between you your FX provider to exchange money and buy foreign currency at the present exchange rate. This is the most common and traditional form of currency exchange and is suited to addressing any imminent currency transfer such as the initial deposit, taxes and fees. 
  • Forward contract * – This allows you to fix a rate of exchange up to two years in the future in advance of a payment. This tool is very popular among property buyers as it allows them to fix the whole price of the property ahead of completion giving peace of mind and the certainty of how much you are going to pay for the property.  
  • Market order- you could target a rate of exchange and if that rate is then hit, we could either buy the funds for you automatically, or notify you for your permission to buy. With the same principle we can set up a limit order to protect your transaction in case the rate falls below a certain level. This suits those who have some time on their hands and are optimistic that the rate might improve within their time frame. One of the advantages of the market order is to ensure that the currency is bought at the desired level even if the market only touches that level very briefly – and this includes when the markets are closed for trading. 


Finally……….The importance of Time 

Time is your biggest friend. The more time you have, the more opportunity you have to take advantage of these tools and increase your budget. It also allows you to add some certainty around your budget. As soon as you know your budget, you need to be speaking to a specialist. 

Why Moneycorp?

With a Platinum Trusted Service Award 2020 from independent review site Feefo and 40 years of experience in the industry, FrenchEntrée has been recommending Moneycorp for more than 15 years. During this time they have helped thousands of client planning the best way to pay for their property as well as supporting them afterwards with any further payment from paying bills, mortgages to repatriating UK pension payments for those who have retired to France.

Image preview

Furthermore, we have worked with the same person at Moneycorp for more than a decade! You might be familiar with her as she often writes for our French Property News magazine. She has 13 years’ experience in foreign exchange, and is a qualified European lawyer with experience in European transactions. Mar will be happy to answer any questions or enquiries to support you through these difficult times

Opening an account is really easy and free of cost. You can register online or over the phone in a couple of minutes and for FrenchEntrée readers there are no transfer fees in any payment.

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

More in currency

Previous Article News Digest: Tax Payments, French Senate Elections & Macron’s TV Interview
Next Article Cautiousness persists – Sterling Update

Related Articles

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  •  stephanie brett
    2023-09-27 10:39:17
    stephanie brett
    Hi, we are moving to France very soon. We have the long stay visitor visa. To begin with we will be working on our house and garden, getting it back to the way it was before we had tenants. We want to be able to stay in France forever but are too young to retire and not wealthy enough not to need to earn a. decent living. We appreciate we are not permitted to do any paid work or sell anything we have brought into France within the first 3 months. So during those 3 months can we apply to be entrepreneurs? I'm a teacher of English and a cook, my partner is a carpenter and joiner. We need to earn as soon as we are legally permitted to do so. Can you clarify this for us?


    • Zoë Smith
      2023-09-29 16:09:16
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Stephanie, I'm afraid a visitor visa does not entitle you to work in France. Your only option would be to apply for a different type of Carte de Sejour (one that permits you to work) when your visa comes up for renewal. If you would like more information on your options, I'd be happy to put you in touch with one of our partners that specialise in visa applications. King regards, Zoe