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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently live in the US but thinking about buying a house overseas, in Europe.
I'm not interested in getting a mortgage so I would like to use cash, but not spending mor ethan 80K.
I am aware of the laws regarding crossing the borders with cash.
But what are the solutions?
I know I can transfer the money to a overseas bank account, but the fees from the European banks are very high. In some countries they change you fees when you withdraw money.
Thanks
 

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I currently live in the US but thinking about buying a house overseas, in Europe.
I'm not interested in getting a mortgage so I would like to use cash, but not spending mor ethan 80K.
I am aware of the laws regarding crossing the borders with cash.
But what are the solutions?
I know I can transfer the money to a overseas bank account, but the fees from the European banks are very high. In some countries they change you fees when you withdraw money.
Thanks
Hi

You should be able to do this using a currency company, they tend to offer better rates of exchange than banks anyway, and many of them absorb any fees and costs normally incurred in a bank transfer. Once a trading account has been set up it also means you can continue to use it for online transfers overseas to cover any follow on costs you may have with an overseas property, such as local community taxes, utility bills etc.

There are many of them out there but here we get a lot of people using the likes of Hifx, moneycorp, currencies direct etc etc ... but Im sure there are plenty in the USA.

Sue :ranger:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Sue, but I am actually not looking into converting the USD to any other currencies. I can purchase a house overseas by paying with USD.
I know of Western Union so far. I can send USD and pick-up USD anywhere in the world where WU has offices, but their fees are kind of high. For 10K the fee is about $250.
 

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Be careful - in some European countries (France, for sure, but they aren't the only one) all payments over a certain amount MUST be made in a "traceable manner." That means a check, certain kinds of wire transfers or certain kinds of bank to bank transfers where there is an adequate audit trail.

For a real estate (i.e. property) transfer like buying a house, there may be other regulations like this. Dealing in cash for anything much over 5K is going to be viewed with great suspicion, even if it isn't out and out illegal.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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It may be worthwhile to reconsider this question once you have found something you like.

The reason is that if the property you choose is owned by an expat, they may well have a preferred account outside of the country which might be easier for you to transfer money.

Also depending on the country or region, a local real estate attorney will almost certainly be familiar with the most advantageous and practical way of moving money into the country from abroad.
 

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Be careful - in some European countries (France, for sure, but they aren't the only one) all payments over a certain amount MUST be made in a "traceable manner." That means a check, certain kinds of wire transfers or certain kinds of bank to bank transfers where there is an adequate audit trail.

For a real estate (i.e. property) transfer like buying a house, there may be other regulations like this. Dealing in cash for anything much over 5K is going to be viewed with great suspicion, even if it isn't out and out illegal.
Cheers,
Bev
In Cyprus they want proof of where large amounts of cash have come from. For instance if you have sold a property in your home country. If you cannot prove where the cash comes from they view it with suspicion as possible money laundering.

Veronica
 

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Although you're not interested in a mortgage, notice where offshore mortgages are offered:

France, Spain, Portugal, and the UK

In searching around Spain seems to be a popular choice for offshore mortgages.

This might be a clue as to where you can buy property with foreign currency (because if an offshore bank can do it, you probably can too).
 
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Be careful - in some European countries (France, for sure, but they aren't the only one) all payments over a certain amount MUST be made in a "traceable manner." That means a check, certain kinds of wire transfers or certain kinds of bank to bank transfers where there is an adequate audit trail.

For a real estate (i.e. property) transfer like buying a house, there may be other regulations like this. Dealing in cash for anything much over 5K is going to be viewed with great suspicion, even if it isn't out and out illegal.
Cheers,
Bev
Indeed - the French for example have really tightened up the regulations and demand details of any incoming foreign bank transfers above a certain sum - somewhere around 10K euros, perhaps less? The receiving bank is under obligation to contact the payee and obtain an explanation for the transfer. On each and every occasion, even if it is a regular transfer, from the same source.
 

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Indeed - the French for example have really tightened up the regulations and demand details of any incoming foreign bank transfers above a certain sum - somewhere around 10K euros, perhaps less? The receiving bank is under obligation to contact the payee and obtain an explanation for the transfer. On each and every occasion, even if it is a regular transfer, from the same source.
The Americans have been requiring information about the source and purpose of any and all transfers (in or out of the country) over $10K for ages, and I thought I had heard that in the wake of the WTC disaster, that limit had been lowered to $5K (maybe only temporarily).

I suspect that most European countries require similar reporting, especially now that the Swiss have agreed to hand over customer information (at least to the Americans).

The French have the additional complication of their inheritance laws, as the source of funds for buying a property can dictate how the property itself is distributed on the death of the owner.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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