Managing currency when buying property abroad

Buying a second home abroad continues to be a popular investment option. It provides a holiday haven when you want to get away from it all and can be a useful second income through lettings.

If you’re considering buying property abroad, you’ve probably been thinking about where the best places to buy are and how to go about paying for your new home, without getting stung by the weak pound.

We’ve put together these tips to help you get the most out of your new home abroad.

1. Look at the best value destinations

Before you begin your property search overseas, you’ll need to decide where is the best place to buy. Even if you’ve fallen in love with a destination that you’ve holidayed in, you still need to look at whether the country is financially viable for you.

We’ve compared the costs associated with buying a second home, to help you narrow down your search on where you would like to buy.

In the FairFX Property Abroad Cost Calculator we compare the average price of a property in over 30 countries, based on the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment. The cost calculator also factors in the cost of buying a car overseas and a year’s worth of petrol, utilities and daily essentials such as food and drink.

2. Consider what money you’ll need to transfer

If you’re buying a second home overseas, there will be a number of costs that go with it. Along with any form of down-payment and mortgage payments, there will also be utility and maintenance costs to consider.

We’re not trying to put you off buying your dream home abroad, we just recommend you plan ahead with your payments – that way you can bag a better exchange rate.

Plan ahead and you’ll be able to take advantage when the pound is having a good day. Forward contracts for example allow you to lock in a current rate for transactions up to one year in advance and draw from the agreed amount to make transactions throughout the year at the set rate.

3. Don’t just default to your bank

When you’re transferring money abroad, don’t just default to your bank. Banks have some of the highest transaction fees and poorest rates for international money transfers.

When venturing away from your bank, make sure the provider is FCA registered so that they offer security as well as good rates.

With FairFX you can move money in real time, wherever you are. Make simple, fast, secure payments online or over the phone.

4. Compare rates on a like-for-like basis

When searching for a provider to help you transfer money for your new property payments, make sure you’re comparing rates at a similar point in time. The foreign exchange market can be very volatile with rates changing from one minute to the next.

Also make sure that you are comparing the real rate that you’ll actually get when you make a transfer. Many foreign exchange providers like to list interbank rates (the exchange rates that banks trade currency at) but this isn’t the rate that you get when you make your payment.

On the FairFX website we display the true rate that you’d get if you’d make your transfer there and then – no hidden fees or charges.

5. Consider your day to day spending

Finally, you’ll want to think about how you’ll manage your money once you’re living in your home abroad. Again, planning ahead will mean that your foreign currency will go further…meaning more to spend on new home furnishings or drinks by the beach.

With a FairFX Currency Card you can load with smaller amounts throughout the year and by the time you visit your holiday home you’ll have squirrelled away the spending money you need for your trip.


Give our dealing team a call on 020 7778 9350 to find out more about how we can help you get maximum value out of money transfers and help manage your risk.

Don’t choose between security and speed when transferring money overseas. Move money in real time, wherever you are.
FairFX Money Transfers
Any money loaded on the FairFX Card is not protected by the FSCS.

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