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A Pocketful of Savings

With home prices the best in a decade, property sales across Southwest Florida are finally on a sustained upswing. Noteworthy amid this months-long buying spree is the number of foreign buyers taking advantage of the best values across all price ranges.

America’s political and economic stability, the desirability and value of its real estate; and the current weakness of the U.S. Dollar (against other major currencies) has fueled intense international interest in owning property here. This is particularly true in Southwest Florida, which has long been the overseas destination of choice for Canadian, British and Western European buyers.

Many of these buyers discover Southwest Florida through the unprecedented worldwide reach of michaelsaunders.com. Others through our strategic affiliations with five of the world’s largest and most prestigious property networks. These exclusive affiliations include Christie’s International Real Estate, Luxury Portfolio International, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Mayfair International Realty and European Real Estate Network.

Laws governing ownership of U.S. properties vary by country, but international property transactions usually include one common denominator—the changing of another currency into U.S. dollars. Currency rates fluctuate by the day, hour and moment. Sometimes drastically. The catastrophes in Japan—combined with escalating tensions in the Middle East—were just the latest to ignite major volatility in everything from stocks to oil prices and currency exchange rates.

International buyers who purchase through Michael Saunders & Company are spared the ugly surprises that have disrupted closings for many of their fellow countrymen. Thanks to our strategic partnership with Moneycorp, Inc.—one of the world’s leading currency specialists—we offer buyers several layers of protection against serious fluctuations in exchange rates. Such unwanted surprises can suddenly cause a property’s cost to spiral beyond what you’re ready, willing or able to pay.

As the horrible scope of Japan’s disaster began to reveal itself, the Euro, Pound Sterling and Canadian Dollar plunged significantly against the U.S. Dollar. Each in just a matter of minutes. They have since recovered, but the alarming speed with which rates can change gives testimony to the sort of volatility an international buyer wants to avoid when planning a money exchange.

For example, the highest rate for the Canadian Dollar since early 2008 was achieved on March 8, 2011—when 1.0341 U.S. Dollars equaled one Canadian Dollar. Then as events worsened in Japan and Libya on March 14, the rate dropped to 1.0025 U.S. Dollars per Canadian Dollar. On a property that cost $100,000 on March 8th, you would owe an additional $3,048 in Canadian Dollars just one week later if you hadn’t previously locked-in the more favorable exchange rate. On a $500,000 property, you would owe an additional $15,240 in Canadian Dollars.

Moneycorp, Inc., in conjunction with Michael Saunders & Company, offers the following options to help protect against adverse fluctuations in currency rates:

• A Spot Contract is available if you need to exchange currency immediately while still achieving the best available rate.

• A Forward Contract which enables you to fix an exchange rate for use at a later date (up to two years). Forward contracts protect against adverse currency movements and can be used to lock-in favorable exchange rates.

Market Orders—including a Stop-loss Order and a Limit Order—guarantee a predictable range of currency values. A Stop-loss Order sets a safety net at which you wish to buy or sell currency. Your order is automatically fulfilled if this rate is reached, effectively guaranteeing a minimal loss of purchasing power.
A Limit Order sets a more favorable targeted exchange rate at which—if achieved—you buy or sell your currency. If you run a Limit Order parallel with a Stop-Loss Order, your final exchange rate is guaranteed within a specific range, giving you the advantage of maximum predictability.

If you’re like most buyers today, you’ve waited patiently for prices to correct downward. If you also happen to be an international buyer, don’t let an unfavorable exchange rate pre-empt any further savings. Working with Michael Saunders & Company and Moneycorp, Inc. you can organize your currency exchange in advance, have the market monitored and be kept up-to-date. It’s all about putting additional savings where it belongs. In your pocket.

  • User Gravatar Ann
    March 30th, 2011

    Wow! I didn’t realize the tsunami had such an effect on currency. I would love to buy internationally, so thanks for the heads up.

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