Unless you already have your eye on your dream home, the chances are that you’ll need to organise a viewing trip. In order to make the most of your time and ensure it doesn’t become an unduly stressful process, it is important to be prepared.
French estate agents are often booked up in advance, so it’s worth arranging some appointments before you travel. When you’re working out how much time you need for a viewing trip, ensure that you’ve left time not only for travelling between locations but also for repeat viewings and a chance to get a feel for the location. It also helps to arrange your finances in advance. If you make an offer and it is accepted, you will need to sign the first formal contract – the compromis de vente – and at this point, after a brief cooling-off period, you are generally committed to buy.
For this reason, it may be worth thinking ahead and opening an account with a foreign exchange specialist prior to your scouting visit. This provides you with an opportunity to develop a stronger understanding of the vagaries of the currency exchange market and get comfortable with the process of exchanging funds. You can also take advantage of services such as regular updates on available rates to help you plan your budget. Having the account already in place also means that the moment you find your dream property you’ll be well placed to act, but there is no cost or obligation of using the account if you don’t find a suitable property.
Using the free guidance from a foreign exchange company –which may not be available from your bank- may help you to determine what can you afford and therefore plan your budget in preparation of your trip. You could even fix the rate before the payments are due to take advantage of a rate movement. Some buyers are also using this tool –called a forward contract- to fix the total amount as soon as they are committed to the property, avoiding last minute fluctuations that can end up affecting the final price in sterling terms. Alternatively, you can track or even target a specific rate which may enable you to make the most of your money in France.
Just as when you buy a home in the UK, there are a number of costs beyond the home itself. As the buyer, it is your responsibility to make sure the deposit and all professional fees reach the notaire’s account in time for clearance prior to the signature. Multiple payments, excessive fees and variable exchange rates can have quite a significant effect on the actual sum required if you haven’t planned ahead.
Indeed, the exchange rate can play a vital role in determining your budget and that’s why it’s so important to do your homework before you go. A currency exchange specialist, such as moneycorp, can offer you great rates and an efficient service, and provide access to an exchange specialist who can guide you through the process and explain the tools available for overseas payments.
A viewing trip is the first step in what can prove to be the rewarding experience of buying a property in France. Planning ahead ensures you make the most of your time and your budget, leaving you to concentrate on finding your dream property. French Entrée members receive free currency transfers from moneycorp for life, so we can help you every step of the way online or over the phone. From the initial viewings through to purchase and maintaining the property with our Regular Payment Plan, moneycorp can help you make your dream of a home in France a reality.
With a Platinum Trusted Service Award 2020 from independent review site Feefo and 40 years of experience in the industry, FrenchEntree 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.
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 FrenchEntree 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 FrenchEntree there are no transfer fees in any payment.
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