We saved £100s when we bought in France
Alan and Fiona Bowtell, both 50 and from Bedfordshire, reveal how Smart Currency Exchange helped them save money when they purchased their French home.
How did Smart help you?
We used Smart Currency Exchange to convert sterling to euros to provide the extra funding on top of a French mortgage for the purchase of our property in the Dordogne. The French buying process is different to England in that we needed to pay a deposit in June 2011 before completing the purchase in September 2011. Between these two points in time the fluctuation of the exchange rate meant deciding when to convert a tranche of sterling to euros was very difficult – getting experienced advice through our Smart trader was very helpful.
How much did you transfer?
In the end we converted three tranches worth €83,000 in total using spot rates. Thanks to using Smart rather than a high street bank we were able to get a rate very close to the bank market rate and save several hundreds of pounds. We’ve continued to use Smart since completion, to make further transfers to cover the mortgage payments.
Name of your trader?
Richard Brown. However, each time we rang up Smart we didn’t necessarily have to speak to Richard, as the other traders have access to information about our situation and history so could help us.
What stood out for you?
The whole process of ringing up, agreeing the exchange spot rate, making our payment to Smart and then the onward transfer of the euros to our French bank account went very smoothly each time. Smart’s back office service was excellent too, providing the necessary confirmation emails, documents and fund transfers seamlessly. The hardest part of the process was getting our own bank to transfer the funds to Smart and they charged a fee!
Tell us about your French home?
Dove Cottage is a typical stone built property with studio converted from farm buildings. It is in the hamlet of Guinet, which is near Villefranche-de-Lonchat. It’s not only our retreat but we also rent it out as a holiday home – you can find out more here. We bought it through the agency Beaux Villages. Having their guidance and expert knowledge was fantastic, right from finding the property, acting as go-between and negotiating the purchase price, answering many questions, through to the final completion at the notaire’s office.
If you won the lottery, how would you spend it?
We love the way of life in France, the wine and the great weather so if we won the lottery we would move to Dove cottage permanently, mortgage free!
For more information on how Smart Currency Exchange could help you with international currency transfers, whether you’re buying a second home or emigrating, visit the Currency Zone on Rightmove Overseas.
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