Something to really focus your mind.  We knew how we would finance the rebuild of phase 1, but we didn’t fully appreciate the challenges and timeframes that this would take.

Working through the bureaucracy of the financial services took up a vast amount of time, paper, and money to release the finances we needed to start the rebuild. Without the support of a colleague who fully understands the financial industry in the UK, we would have taken a lot longer.

We reflected back on the process so far.  In all things relating to buying the property in Madeira – residency, tax references, legal representation, notary requirements, opening bank accounts – it had all seemed so simple.  We recognised in our reflections the support and guidance we had received from Madeira Property Centre – it was fantastic.  We cannot recommend them highly enough, especially when you start to talk to others on the island and understand their experiences.  We were just very lucky in our choice of organisation to purchase through.  The challenges we have experienced to do with the purchasing and not to do with the rebuilding of the house were all based in the UK and the restrictions imposed on the financial industry.  At times I felt as though this industry was supporting the paper industry on it’s own.  The volumes of paperwork we’ve gone through – the time this has taken for us to read it and understand it (not that we really understood it at all), the background processing involved – it’s a huge paper and bureaucratic driven industry.

Eventually we were able to negotiate exchange rates and send the money over to Madeira to start the phase 1 rebuild!  Again we’ve been extremely lucky to be able to work with Tom Trevorrow (for all your foreign exchange dealings just email him on tom.trevorrow@torfx.com) – Tom and Tor FX have made the process of exchange rates and conversions so straight forward and easy to do.

Our learning from this is to really make sure that you’ve got your finances in place before you find the property to buy. We know that we were incredibly lucky to find the exact property that we wanted to purchase on our first trip, but it has left us finalising our finances after the event rather than being clear about where we are with them in advance.

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