Paragliding or skiing for half of the year, accountant David Windell has a work-life balance most of us would envy – and all thanks to buying his dream chalet in the French Alps, which he did with the assistance of Smart Currency Exchange’s currency transfer service.

Article written by The Overseas Guides Company

Sussex resident and father-of-four David purchased his six-bedroom chalet in Montagny, a pretty village in the heart of the Savoie ski region, in December 2010. The property cost him €362,000, including fees and taxes, and David kept the actual cost to him in pounds to a minimim by using Smart Currency Exchange to exchange funds and send euros for the transaction to France.

“I got much better exchange rates using Smart than I would have done from my bank,” said David. “The great thing is, I continue to benefit from Smart’s great rates as I still use them to send regular payments to France, typically around €2,000, to cover the mortgage and running costs. I’m very pleased with the service. I have a standing order that every month sends funds in pounds to Smart, who then send me a reminder so that I can agree an exchange rate to convert pounds into euros for sending on to my French bank account.”

David dedicated two summers paragliding and touring the French Alps in search of the right property. He estimates he saw between 150 and 175 properties before finding his chalet, which is a 15-20 minute drive from two of the world’s largest skiing areas, namely the Three Valleys and Paradiski, and in area ideal for David’s other passion, paragliding.

“I spend five to six months a year at the chalet, mostly in the winter season,” added David. “As a self-employed accountant, I can work remotely while I’m there if I need to, so it’s ideal.”

David rents out his chalet, called Chalet Helene, and will usually be there to help out and ferry guests to the ski lift and airport. The sixth bedroom forms part of a self-contained flat, so he can assist guests as little or much as required.

If, like David, you are buying property in France or another overseas destination and will need to transfer Sterling to a euro account to pay for your purchase, consider using Smart Currency Exchange, as they consistently offer better exchange rates than banks. For more information on this, visit the Currency Zone or download Smart’s free report here.

To understand the full step-by-step process to buying a property in France and receive regular news updates, collect The Overseas Guides Company’s ‘France Property Buying Guide’