Last year, Sandra Evans from Surrey and her husband embarked on the exciting pursuit of buying a ski property in Chamonix, France. However, when completion took longer than expected, she was at risk of losing thousands. We spoke to Sandra to get the full story…
It sounds like you’ve been on quite a journey with your ski property purchase, Sandra! Tell us about your property.
My husband and I had been looking to buy a ski property in Chamonix for a while and decided to take the plunge last year. We found an ideal 2-bedroom apartment with a view of the Mont Blanc Massif and all the features we required.
We are hoping to use the apartment at least twice a year and wish to let our family and friends make the most of it also. It really is our dream property!
Why did you decide to use Smart Currency Exchange?
We saw Smart Currency Exchange advertised on the Snow Only site and they were also recommended by our estate agent. We hadn’t considered the risks of transferring money abroad prior to this and, to be honest, we knew nothing at all about transferring and exchanging money.
However, when I opened an account with Smart, as recommended, we were assigned our own trader who explained that currency market movements could change the amount we pay for our property. He considered our budget, timescales and talked us through the process of using Smart.
We had found our dream property at this point but hadn’t completed, so we took Smart’s advice and locked in a forward contract at the beginning of April 2021. This meant that our money would be transferred at an exchange rate of 1.17 – this rate was locked in for us for the next 12 months.
Was the forward contract beneficial?
After locking in the exchange rate at 1.17, just days later the rate had fallen to 1.14. If we hadn’t locked in the forward contract, our €634,000 apartment would have cost over £14,000 more than we had originally expected! This was money that we simply did not have, and we would have been forced to abandon our dream property if it wasn’t for the advice from Smart Currency Exchange.
Would you use Smart Currency Exchange again?
I would definitely use Smart Currency Exchange again to conduct any overseas payments.
Aside from the invaluable and objective information we were provided with, we liked the fact that our trader was always available to talk to over the phone. When dealing with a large sum of money – our life savings – it was extremely reassuring to be able to contact the same person with questions and queries. With so many companies now, you can’t speak to anyone on the phone, so that was extremely refreshing.
Overall, the whole process of buying a property in Chamonix was smooth due to the help of Smart Currency Exchange. If we had lost thousands on our property, we wouldn’t have been able to purchase our dream ski home and enjoy several holidays throughout the year!
How to protect your money
Are you hoping to purchase a ski property abroad like Sandra? Find out more about how Smart Currency Exchange can help to protect your property-buying budget.