Well it all started in April 2005, it was cold and raining, I read in the newspaper that there was an overseas property fair on in Glasgow where I then lived, we decided to go along just for fun to see what they were saying, we had always had a notion, nothing more than that, of having a wee place in the Sun.
So off we went and wandered around picking up lots of brochures and paper that we knew would probably not read! Then we got talking to a scottish lady who represented an estate agency in Spain, she explained about inspection trips and how it was a no strings offer, you just go and if you buy great, if not then oh well, as long as you spend the days with them looking at property. So we signed up for an inspection trip in July.
Along comes July and off we toddled for a flight from Glasgow to Alicante, we were duly met by the company and off we went looking at properties, we looked at about 15 complexes in all. They were at all different stages, some still on the drawing board, some half built and some nearly finished. We did a lot of thinking and a huge amount of analysis, looking at rental yields (as it was as much investment as for fun) and on where we wanted to be.
We picked an off plan property that was due for completion, the developer said, about Jan 07 all going well, though they hadn't started any building at that time, in fact they were waiting for the final licence to build. So we paid our deposit and sat back and waited.............needless to say when we got the contracts they said the completion would be Sep 07 and that the developer had 6 months grace for a variety of gobblydgook reasons. To be honest we weren't too worried, having read and researched a lot about it, we had anticipated that the likelihood of a delay were, well about 100% we reckoned! We had also ensured we got a bank guarantee!
In the interim timeframe, we ended up taking an opportunity to move to China for work reasons, which does make popping to Spain for the weekend just that bit harder!!
Anyway Sep 07 came and went and from the pictures we got sent from the Developers it was obvious there was no chance of completion for about another 6 months or so we reckoned. Again whilst it was a bit irritating not to know when it was completing we were prepared for the delays.
So March 08 comes round and stil nothing firm on the completion.....again irritating but I didn't see the point in getting upset. Eventually of course we got word that the LFO had been granted and they were ready for completions, we visited the complex in August this year and it was virtually complete, some little work to go on around the place and a lot of cleaning but it was finished and actually looked okay. Of course when you see it for real versus the plans it felt a little dissapointing, with hindsight that came from building it up to much in your imagination and not really being realistic with how your imagination is! I am a great believer you get what you pay for!! Of course the sterling/Euro rate slumping didn't help financially but I guess you know the risks when you do these things and we had to take that on the chin.
Anyway a dear friend of ours was duly recruited to go to Spain and do the completions, snagging, furniture delivery etc, and so this week he finalised the completion, handed over payment, carried out the snagging and dealt with the delivery of our furniture package, so here we are now (okay we are in China...) with our finished apartment in Spain!
So as I look back just now, I wanted to mention a few things
Comples Name: Jardines de Montemar (Moraria/Benissa)
Estate Agent: Livingstone Estates - were fine, the inspection trip did what it said it would do and I am sure they were happy with their commission!
Lawyers: Dianne Zuuring - well they got us completed but lets just say I wouldn't use them again (if you want any details feel free to PM me)
Developers: Rushcliffe - well yes they were a year late, but for Spain I guess thats not the worst, complex is reasonably well built, the complex gardens need time to develop so I think it will look better in a year or so
Furniture company: Furniture Express - These guys were great! We managed to select the package all by email, we got pictures of everything, they switched things in and out the package to get exactly what we needed. there were professional and the end result looks great.
Eye on Spain: Well I would like to thank loads of people for posting here, many of my queries and concerns were answered by searching the forum and I felt very well informed to get through the completion process due to the information and ebooks on the site!
Anyway, I wanted to share my tale, mainly as I know often it is problems that are posted and whilst our experience was not perfect, we had hassles and frustration on the way, we did get there and now we look forward to escaping China and getting back to the UK and hopefully getting to use it, meantime its going up for rent for next season and we will hope the current credit crisis doesn't destroy the world and especially the holiday market in Spain!!!