France has long been amongst the most popular destinations for foreign buyers looking to buy property overseas. As well as being the number one tourist destination in the word, with excellent transport access and road network, there are many draws to France such as the warm climate, incredible alpine scenery or Mediterranean lifestyle, and the famously fantastic cuisine.
Perhaps you plan to retire to the Dordogne, or maybe you dream of owning a holiday home in the South of France, where you can escape to for holidays or weekends in the sun. Whatever the reason for your move, you will be joining hundreds of thousands of overseas buyers – including more than 300,000 from the UK who have already made the leap and purchased a home across the Channel. A figure that would be considerably higher if you also took into account second-home owners who are only part-time residents in France.
However, many of us are moving to France, and other countries for that matter, unaware of a variety of additional costs that we simply have not budgeted for. This is often a result of buyers being ill-informed about the cost of running overseas properties, due to a lack of research, not knowing the right questions to ask or the language barrier. The exact amount you will pay in additional costs is dependent on a number of factors, such as the type and condition of your property, legal fees and country taxes. Shared maintenance fees for communal areas, air conditioning or heating installation and heating swimming pools are common examples of required expenditure overseas home owners overlook. Therefore, it’s important to understand which of these costs are relevant to you and ensure that they are taken into account – otherwise you could end up in financial difficulties.
This problem can be exacerbated if buyers calculate their budget based on the exchange rate when they bought their property. The foreign exchange market is constantly in flux, under the influence of various political and economic factors. So, while the rate may have been favourable when your offer was accepted in euros, adverse fluctuations can have a detrimental impact on your French property owning dream.
By using a currency specialist such as Moneycorp, you can manage these additional costs conveniently and cost-effectively. Moneycorp offer exchange rates which can be typically up to 3% to 4% better than a bank. That could equate to a saving of up to £4000 on a £100,000 transfer – enough, perhaps, to make important renovations to your new home or cover unexpected taxes.
Plus Moneycorp allows you to take advantage of a positive movement on a rate for your future payments either via a forward contract or via a regular payment plan. That allows you not only to budget your costs, but also to reduce expenses by protecting your payments from any drops or big changes on the rate of exchange. This is very important in a market that can fluctuate substantially.
Mar Bonnin-Palmer is a Senior Key Account Manager at Moneycorp, a foreign exchange expert and a specialist in currency transfers for overseas property. For more information, please visit the FrenchEntrée Currency Page or call +0044 (0) 20 3773 6355.