- But property and other scams are still rife in some destinations
As Britons head overseas this summer, with perhaps a few more euros stuffed into their pockets than usual, AES International is warning them not to get conned when their guard is down and they are in holiday mode.
Exchange rates between the sterling and euro are at their most favourable since 2007, with rates having hovered between €1.3 and €1.4 per pound for the past month.
“Feeling a bit more flush on holiday can lead people into making slightly more hasty financial decisions,” according to Sam Instone, chief executive of AES International, which provides financial advice to British expatriates.
“More often than not these just lead to a bigger bar bill. But the intoxicating mix of sun, sand and Sangria can sometimes lead to much more substantial financial decisions being made, such as buying a holiday home or investing in a ‘holiday club’ or timeshare.
“On many occasions, people successfully purchase holiday homes and the dream works out well. Unfortunately in some instances people find themselves either stuck with half built homes, no property and large debts or even facing serious legal problems.”
One of the worst examples of holiday home purchases going wrong was in Andalusia, south east Spain, where thousands of Britons bought homes which were ultimately deemed to have been built illegally and who have spent nearly a decade fighting developers and local government.
Holiday club and timeshare scams are also still rife in many popular holiday destinations and so holidaymakers need to keep their wits about them and not sign up to anything they will live to regret once back at home.
“Many people fall in love with the place they have spent time holidaying and want to make it a permanent or second home, but they should do it the right way.
“There are many complex issues at stake when you buy property in another country or even decide to leave your home country permanently and we would urge anyone considering it to take the time to research everything thoroughly. They should then employ an expert adviser who is qualified to give them the advice they need,” added Instone.
“Don’t let your dream holiday turn into a financial nightmare.”
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