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This article was submitted by Fiona Catchpowle of DIY Snag Report: www.DIYSnagReport.com
Intoduction: We moved as a family (Me 38, husband Steve 47, daughters Chloe 12 & Tessa 8) to Marbella nearly 18 months ago. We live in our own 2 bed apartment that we bought off-plan in 2002. The first 12 months were a challenge; getting the kids into school, earning a living, learning the lingo etc. Back in the UK we had a Hair & Beauty Salon and have done similar work here, as well as turning our hands to pretty much anything else before setting a long-term plan. We live in a fairly big urbanisation of 224 apartments. As a result of being one of the few owners here all year round we have developed a property management business. This now includes rentals, sales and snag reports. In addition I am now President of our community.
Buying your first off-plan property is one of the most exciting things you will ever do; from choosing the plot to picking the curtains.
Through the minefield of building to completion there are many obvious processes such as handing over the deposit; agreeing on design; picking fittings; and paying the balance.
One of the steps that are never really mentioned by your agent or lawyer is the Snag Report. You cannot underestimate the importance of a 'good' Snag Report.
It is vital that a Snag Report is done effectively in order to have the property finished to your expectations.
When we purchased in 2002 the process was fairly straight forward, but the closer we came to completion the most daunting task was the 'Snag'. To people in the know it seemed difficult to explain what it was. The importance of a good snag did not translate well. We didn't bother doing our own, so asked the agent to do it for us.
After completion it took nearly two years to get the construction company to repair minor faults that hadn't been noticed in the first snag. We were very lucky as there was nothing major wrong - to date! It is a scary thought how careless we actually were. The significance of a good snag became clear.
When we first landed here I worked for a furniture company, preparing apartments for installations. What an eye-opener! Several of the apartments had been supposedly snagged, but there were many faults unresolved. Buyers were just not getting what they paid for.
As a result of this, and having to deal with the constructor on community problems, I looked into snagging on a deeper level. It appeared that many buyers, including on my own urbanisation, like us were not familiar with the procedure and how to get best results from the builders.
I knew that if I had had a one-stop resource on everything to do with snagging it would have been easier to understand its importance. Consequently the concept of the Beginner's Guide to Snagging was born.
As I was researching further for the content of my book I was asked by our original agent (who is now a good friend - despite the rubbish snag inspection!) to do Snag Reports for some of her clients. I confess straight away I have no previous building experience. What I do have is a keen eye for attention to detail and a persistent nature. I have high standards for everything I do and expect it from others. You know the kind of person who sends food back in a restaurant because it's not hot enough - me.
Well, I now have the bug for snagging. I see myself as somewhat of a 'get-what-you-pay-for' crusader. All my clients have been extremely pleased with my reports and I have even had raised eyebrows from site managers on how thorough I am. Since I began doing snag inspections I have also completed writing The Beginner's Guide to Snagging, a handbook that gives you the tools to snag with confidence available from www.DIYSnagReport.com
Delivered to you instantly as a .pdf file, it combines valuable personal experience with easy to follow 'how to' sections. It is not just a checklist - this is a guide through the journey of buying off-plan, the mysteries of snagging and how to turn your property dreams into reality!
There are companies that can inspect the property on your behalf, but in order to get the full experiencing of buying off plan you can do the report yourself.
However if it's your first time, how do you know what to look for?
And if you get someone else to do it, how do you know if they have done it properly?
The Beginner's Guide to Snagging gives you the a-z of 'snagging'
A successful snag report will make the difference between enjoying your property from the word go, compared to months and months of waiting to have minor faults put right; minor faults that can turn in to major faults.
An incomplete Snag Report can cost you extensively to put right and years of heartache. Don't leave it to chance!
If you require further information on snag inspections in the Marbella area please send an email to info@DIYSnagReport.com
The Beginner's Guide to Snagging is available directly from the web-site www.DIYSnagReport.com