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    Get more of the Alps for your money

    An experienced currency specialist can save you thousands of pounds when you buy a mountain property. Michael Hart of Halo Financial explains how.

    There’s a lot to think about when you buy a mountain home. Chalet or apartment? High altitude and snow-sure, or low-altitude and cute? Leaseback or classic freehold? There may also be mortgage brokers to contact, tax advisers to consult, and a notary to commission. So it’s no wonder that picking the right moment to buy your Euros often slips down the list of priorities. But it shouldn’t: because using the right methods to exchange currency can bring big savings during the purchase process.


    Getting to grips with exchange rates

    Exchange rates fluctuate constantly. The rate you get when you first agree to buy a property will be different to the rate you get when you pay your deposit. It’ll be a different price again when you sign the final deeds of sale and – if you’re buying off-plan – each time you make a scheduled payment during construction.

    In the current political climate, these currency movements can be considerable. When it comes to buying property the difference they make to the final cost is measured not in hundreds but thousands of pounds.


    How a currency specialist can help

    At every stage of the buying process there are ways you can save on the overseas payments you’ll make for your property – whether it’s for the deposit, the final payment in Euros, or the ongoing mortgage or property maintenance costs. By enlisting the help of a currency specialist, such as Erna Low’s recommended firm, Halo Financial, you’ll bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the task, and save yourself both time and money. For example, we can monitor the currency markets and let you know how they are moving, as well as alerting you to upcoming political and economic news that will affect future exchange rates. When it comes to buying Euros, we can also offer rates that are usually closer to the Interbank rate than your local bank. This is the rate banks use to exchange currency with each other, and it can be up to four percent better than the standard high street or retail exchange rate. That’s a difference of €20,000 on a €500,000 property.


    Tools of the trade

    There are ways you can protect the price of your property at the very start. A currency tool called a Forward Trade lets you set the exchange rate when it is favourable, at a time that suits you, so it will not change by the time you come to pay for your property. If there is an exchange rate you have in mind and the rate hasn’t quite reached it yet, there is another tool available called a Market order, where you can place an order for a specific exchange rate and then make your currency transfer when it hits that rate. A qualified currency specialist can talk you through the different tools and strategies available to ensure you are maximising your money for your Alpine purchase.


    What next?

    If you have other big overseas transfers on the horizon – for property bills, a mortgage, or perhaps for pension or salary payments – a qualified currency consultant can help with those, too. Savings can be made on regular currency payments by forward planning, setting the rate with a Forward Trade, or simply by avoiding banking charges. It’s one less thing to think about, so you can focus on enjoying your time in the Alps.