How to Save Money on your Overseas Property Purchase
Have you considered using a Foreign Exchange Specialist ? Many
people are unaware of, or neglect the importance that exchange
rates have on the cost of their overseas property and the
currency risk that is associated with an overseas purchase. If
you're emigrating or buying a holiday home abroad, you are
likely to transfer money into a foreign currency. This needs
serious planning, especially if you are buying a new development
'off plan' where you are required to make several 'stage
payments' during the construction of your property. We therefore
highly recommend the use of a specialist foreign exchange
company who offer services such as these:
Travel Money -- by using a foreign exchange agent you can get
better rates than your bank or travel agent & zero commission
charges. You can also have the convenience of the currency being
delivered free to your home or place of work or if you prefer
you can choose to collect from major airports or railway
stations. Off-shore accounts -- Having an off-shore account can
be beneficial for a number of reasons. As a frequent traveler it
can be convenient and economical to hold an account in the
currency of your destination. Bureau de Change and credit cards
both charge chunky premiums or commission. So, if you know
you'll be spending considerable time abroad, why not transfer a
lump sum in advance and take advantage of savings on the
currency conversion? With today's fluctuating exchange rates, it
can be prudent to hold a number of different currency accounts
to protect your assets from global market variations. Offshore
banking havens can offer high earners and investors low or
no-tax environments in which to deposit savings for attractive
rates of interest. Instructing your agent to exchange and
transfer your money into such saving accounts can help you to
avoid tax and, effectively, stop the bank from pocketing your
hard earned money! Mortgages -- Need to re-mortgage in the UK to
"top up" your overseas finance? Are you unsure about the pros
and cons of Sterling vs. currency mortgages? If you're looking
to finance an overseas property, ask your foreign currency agent
who works with selected mortgage brokers to bring you a mortgage
suitably packaged for your maximum convenience and minimum cost
. Spot Contracts-- the most basic and popular foreign exchange
product is an agreement to buy or sell one currency in exchange
for another. You settle the contract the same day, at a price
based on the current value of one currency compared to another
-- the "spot exchange rate". Spot exchange rate movements are
highly unpredictable however, even during a single trading day.
Relying on the spot market for future foreign exchange is highly
speculative. Forward Contracts -- let you "buy now-pay later"
yet fix the rate in advance and thus avoid the risk of the
exchange rate moving against you. Between June 20th and July
20th 2005 for example, the Sterling Euro rate fell from 1.50 to
1.43. If you had booked a forward contract in June, you would
still have been able to buy at or near 1.50. If you had been
buying a property for 200,000 Euros you would have saved
yourself around £6,500 ! A foreign currency agent has specialist
knowledge & can monitor the financial markets on your behalf,
advising you & notifying you of any changes that may affect your
situation. If you use a foreign exchange
specialist at the start
of your property buying or emigration process, they will have
the greatest chance to find and guarantee the best rates in your
required time frame. Their up-to-the-second trading facilities
will allow you to trade or fix the exchange rate on your
purchase at the most opportune time, saving you money. This is
in contrast to mainstream banks and financial institutions who
quote only daily rates and charge a premium fee. We asked a
question of 3 major foreign exchange specialists. Only two of
them responded & their answers are shown below.
We have not yet used either of these companies so can make no
recommendations. However, from our research we are confident you
will receive an efficient service & have the potential to save
some serious money should you choose to use one of them. Your
feedback is essential to help us to provide you with links to
only the best resources. We therefore welcome your positive &
negative experiences of foreign currency agents. Question:
Please tell us who you think your closest competitors are & how
you differentiate yourselves from them and / or are better than
them ? World First -- "HIFX and, Currencies Direct are probably
the 2 competitors we most often are competed against. Relative
to our competitors, we believe that we offer a more friendly
service than them. Clients often say that our salespeople were
the most approachable, least aggressive and most helpful. Unlike
our competitors we offer very low deposit rates. 1 month
deposits are just 3%. We believe we offer better rates than our
competitors and our "Best Price Guarantee" means we'll guarantee
to beat any other verifiable currency companies' quotes. We also
offer Foreign Currency Delivered direct to your door with no
commission or delivery fee." HIFX -- "Our competition:
Moneycorp, Currencies Direct, Travelex. We make no charges for
sending funds abroad & guarantee that clients will not be
charged a receipt fee. We have direct access to SWIFT for faster
payment transfers & our Regular Payments Abroad (RPA) service
can save clients £300 p/a in transfers alone. Our analysts are
consistently ranked within the top 5 global banks and brokers
for their US Dollar forecasting & HIFX was featured in the
Virgin Atlantic Sunday Times 'fastrack' 100 for 2 years running
as well as being featured in the Sunday Times 100 best companies
to work for in 2005. We are founder members of the new overseas
property regulatory body, AIPP & our sister company HIFX
Insurance Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FSA.
Most importantly, our staff are friendly, helpful and happy to
answer any question or worry you may have." Remember: You would
never agree to buy a property in your country of residence if
you did not know how much it was going to cost; if you agree to
buy an overseas property without fixing the exchange rate at the
outset, you are taking a gamble.
About the author:
Pete Adams of www.moving-overseas-g
uide.com to find out more
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Risk Disclosure: Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to invest / trade in foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading.
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