How can I get the best rate to transfer money to buy a holiday home
I'm thinking of buying a holiday home for my family to enjoy.
I haven't quite decided which of our three favourite destinations to go for yet the south of France, Menorca or Florida.
But wherever I pandora jewelry official website end up buying, I'm nervous about getting ripped off when sending money abroad.
My experience of foreign currency so far has been limited to buying euros and dollars at my local Post Office or M and paying for some purchases abroad on my credit card.
Obviously, much pandora bracelet canada bigger sums are about to come into play so please can you advise me of my best options to make sure I get a good deal.
Wish you were here? A villa in the south of France may sound idyllic but get money transfer wrong and your dream could turn into a nightmare
Laura Whitcombe, of This is Money, replies: Buying a property abroad whether in Europe or the US can be a complicated process.
There are all manner of costs involved. And you should consider them carefully before deciding on a property and which country to buy one in.
There are three main types of cost to consider.
The pandora au first is simple enough the cost to purchase the property (the sale price).
The next is the additional costs that will often be part of the purchase but which are easily overlooked, such as lawyers (typically a notary in France or Spain), airfare and accommodation costs to visit the propertyand any other professional services fees. These can include things like property inspections, taxes, tax advice and obtaining tax ID numbers.
Each European country has different associated costs, as do each state in the US.
The third type are the (sometimes hidden) ongoing costs of owning and maintaining an overseas property. These include local taxes, a potential overseas mortgage, monthly condominium or service charges (for upkeep of shared areas and services), property maintenance or renovation and utility bills.
Once you've got an idea of all the costs involved of buying your property, and the frequency with which you will have to pay them, that's when it's time to turn order pandora charms your attention to the type of money transfer service you need.
And the process can easily end up a lot more expensive than it needs to be if you don't know how the foreign exchange business works.
How to transfer money
There are several options when it comes to transferring money abroad, which requires the purchase of foreign currency.
If you need to send 300,000 to your solicitor to buy a home in, say, France, you have to buy euros with sterling and have it transferred to the recipient in France.
The cost for the service will consist of the exchange rate, any margin added by who you're buying from in the form of an exchange rate spread, and any transaction fees they choose to levy.
These components vary wildly and it's tricky for consumers to work out where they'll get the best deal. Until fairly recently, individuals, and indeed businesses, have largely been reliant on their banks and may only have been able to compare quotes from a few other banks at a time.
Over the past few years, the market has become more competitive and specialist forex brokers have started popping up and vying for consumers' attention. They make their money by taking a cut of the exchange rate but it's typically much lower than the banks cream off.
There's also a thriving community of online transfer services that charge a small commission rather than taking a margin and they say they are able to offer low prices because they generally have fewer overheads to pay for than the big banks and some of the more established brokers.
And bear in mind that at present, only banks are part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which protects your money if an institution goes bust.
However, reputable specialist brokers and online transfer companies will keep client money separate from company money so should they go bust you will be higher up the list of creditors when it comes to recouping cash.
Daniel Webber, chief executive of This is Money's money transfer comparison site FXcompared, says there are three key areas you can save money on when transferring money internationally:
1. The initial purchase
The ongoing running costs of the property
3. Selling the property.
'Most people will just use their bank to transfer their money both for the initial purchase and the ongoing costs but you can save a lot of money by using a specialist provider,' says Webber.
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