Currency conversion for an out of country investor

5 Replies

Hey everyone,

I'm trying to get things working for buying my first rental property, and one of my challenges is that I am an out of country investor, which means that the cash that I have for my first deal isn't physically in the states, and it's not in dollars. Basically, I need to transfer a big amount of money to the states, and convert it from the currency we use here (New Israeli Shekels) into dollars.

I was wondering if anyone here at bigger pockets has experience or advice how such a thing could be done safely and cheapest as possible?

Hi Gideon,

If you wish to minimise your FX risk while you look for properties one option is a bank that offers foreign currency accounts. There are banks here in London that offer USD accounts if you already have a GBP account. It tends to be the large multi national banks.

Some folks here in London like Transfer Wise to send money more cheaply than banks. I don't know if it's a safe method.

I'm not sure if there's any problem to wire funds from an Israeli bank in Shekels to a US bank in USD. I think that should be ok if the parties involved are used to foreign transactions. 

If you are able to open a US based bank account, that is likely to make things easier. Is that an option? 

Also, there seem to be a lot of UK people buying in the US (mainly Florida). There is a whole ecosystem of service providers who facilitate this. I think some of these people actually get mortgages on the ground in the US. I think they just have to put more down. So this might be useful info to your situation.

Best of luck


ps forgot to mention, I know a friend in London who got a mortgage from a big US bank for a US property based on a GBP, London-based income. Happy to discuss, message me for more info

Thanks for the advice.

Still didn't open yet a US account because I'm investing with a partner (also lives abroad), and after consulting with a lawyer and CPA it makes sense that my partner and I form an LLC for the property, which means the account I open won't be under my name personally (but we will open an account in the States).

I'm not sure how much I like the idea of moving money through a British bank, doesn't it raise costs adding another mediator in the process? In addition I would assume that they will do a double conversion, first from Shekels to GBP and then to USD.

Wiring money from an Israeli bank to an American bank is safe an easy, the only problem is the fees, that's why I'm looking for a transfer service with lower fees (and preferably one that's a long time running company with a reputation of not disappearing with the money...)

there are few service providers here in Israel for those specific needs. feel free to connect and I will refer to a few gladly
Hi sorry I was unclear, I was just using the London example in case there were banks in Israel who offer a similar Usd account. Best of luck!

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