The Home Finders - Murcia Property

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The Home Finders - Murcia Property

we did it!

The home finders

Many of us want to escape the rat-race and

start a new life in Spain. Pat and Maura did

just that and their move to Murcia started

off a whole new business venture

Pat and Maura Dunne had

become frustrated with

their 9-5 lives in England and

decided to move to Spain for a

new challenge in life. Little did

they realise that the challenges

they met on making the move

were to form the idea from

which they have now built up

a successful property locating

service on the Costa Cálida.

This lovely coastline of Murcia

has only really seen the serious

attention of North European

property buyers over the past

three of four years and although

now it is catching up with the

more established costas, in the

early days things didn’t go too

smoothly.

Maura explains, “When we

started the buying process

ourselves, the information

provided by the agents was

minimal; people didn’t respond to

phone calls or emails and over all

the service was appalling. People

coming to Spain from the UK

expect more. People are now

well travelled and more aware

of want they want and want to

know more about where they

are buying they want to know (or

should know!) their rights. They

want more information about

everything in the area they are

buying in, not just the details

about the property.”

And it was more than the

difficulties they themselves

encountered that made the

couple realise that there was a

need for the service they now

provide. On moving to Spain

they began to hear stories of

how people had been treated by

agents and developers.

“We met so many people

Getting started

For anyone thinking of

starting up in business

in Spain Pat and Maura

had a few key tips

• Setting up your own business

is not easy and especially in a

foreign country where you know

nothing about the legal or tax

systems. There’s lots of red tape

and patience and perseverance

are the key words to remember.

• Find a niche in the market,

research it well, get to know your

target audience

• You will need some money

behind you before you start; for

advertising, buying stock etc.

• Starting your own business takes

a lot of time, effort, money and

dedication - it won’t land in your

lap! Remember not everybody

can cope with the unpredictability

of being self-employed.

For more information on Pat and

Maura’s property location service

check out their website at:

ADS-property.co.uk

who had bought properties on

inspection trips and been given the

‘hard sell’ by some agents. People

said that they were rushed around

from one development to another

over the space of a few days

and at the end of the weekend

were pressurised into signing a

document in order to get some

peace and quiet and to get away

from the agent.”

Maura and Pat

Gradually the idea of a

property locating service was

born. The plan was to offer a

no-nonsense, common sense

approach to choosing property in

the Costa Cálida, just what they

could have done with themselves

at the beginning of their own

property search.

“We had had the dream of

relocating to Spain and finding

our ideal place in the sun. In

the end we decided on the

Mazarrón Bay area of the Costa

Cálida and were delighted with

where we ended up. We thought

we’d like to invite people to

allow us to search for their

place in the sun and benefit

from our experience and the

knowledge we’ve now built up

on this corner of Spain.”

Personal touch

“Many of our clients want the

personal touch and are very

comfortable dealing with a

small company. Our aim is to

provide lots of information; we

offer to help with the entire

buying process. We are not a

big company so they will not

get passed from one person to

another. We are living in the area

ourselves and are very switched

on to what is happening here.”

Apart from the property and

the all important location one

of the other important ways in

which Pat and Maura offer a truly

valuable service is in the are

of dealing with bureaucracy in

Spain. Spain may well be ahead

of the UK in many respects

such as healthcare, schooling,

standard of living etc but you

can’t deny that the red tape

can be frustrating especially for

those with no experience of the

way things work in Spain and

even more so for those with

little patience. “We can help

explain and simplify the legal

bureaucracy that you have to

deal with when buying property

over here. Visiting the police

station to apply for your Spanish

identification number can be a

daunting process, especially if

you don’t speak the language.”

Living Spain issue 25


we did it!

When we started

the buying process

ourselves, the

information provided

by the agents was

minimal; people

didn’t respond

to phone calls or

emails and over

all the service was

appalling

Pat and Maura’s job is to help

simplify this process and make

the entire buying experience as

stress free as possible. They work

with a number of estate agents,

builders and promoters in order

to offer the best choices helping

buyers to make an informed

decision.

“We don’t charge our clients

a fee, our income comes from

whoever they eventually buy

through - and sometimes we can

negotiate a better price than if

someone had gone directly to

the agent,” explains Maura.

So who would benefit from

this service Surely the Internet

is a great tool for finding the

information you need these

days “You might be just too

busy at work or with family

matters to do all the research

that you would like. Our aim is

to give clients the maximum

amount of information about

both the property and the

area and we promise unbiased

information with no ‘hard sell’.”

There’s not a property to be

found on their website which

comes as a bit of a surprise but

then they are not estate agents

in the general sense of the word;

they are specialist independent

property locators, locating your

dream home for free (to you

at least) on the sunny Costa

Cálida. What is fascinating on

the website though are the

sample reports on properties.

If you decide to choose a resale

property, they will view the

property on your behalf, and

provide really comprehensive

reports on each property viewed.

They act as your eyes and ears

and save you hours of slogging

round in the sun when all you

really want to do is to enjoy

Spain.

Strength to strength

Pat and Maura have not sat

on their laurels after their

initial success. They have now

branched out into offering a

complete after-sales and project

management service. They

oversee everything from

furniture delivery to organising

swimming pool and garden

maintenance to project

managing extensions and

alterations to your property.

I asked them for any final

thoughts on the subject

of property buying. Maura

answered, ‘Apply the same

principles when buying property

abroad as you would if you were

buying in your own country and

remember, location, location,

location are still the key

words when making that right

investment decision.’ n

Bookshelf

There are many good reference books for anyone considering

starting up in Spain. Read on for two of our faves

We might be a tad biased but whether you are looking to get a job, start a

business or buy a going concern; Making a Living in Spain should be the first

book you read.

Living Spain writer Anne Hall spent ages getting to know expatriates already

living in Spain who had achieved their ambition of earning a living there.

Through a series of interviews she learned the good and the bad of setting

up in Spain from a hugely diverse number of people and thankfully we can all

learn from their experiences.

The book is packed with case studies to inspire readers and show them that

the dream of a new and profitable life abroad really can come true.

The practical information and advice in Making a Living in Spain is invaluable

and makes this book probably the best on the market for anyone thinking of

starting their own business, buying a business or simply looking to work in

Spain.

For the self-employed in Spain, Anne has all the answers on how to go about

it, how to survive those potentially tricky first few months and how to really

make a go of that business idea.

It is straightforward, well written, easy to read and packed with real life

stories of those that have already done what many just continue to dream

about.

n Making a Living in Spain

Anne Hall

Survival Books

£11.95

ISBN: 1901130835

The United States and the UK are among the

largest overseas investors in Spain, and many

leading American and UK companies operate

in Spain either through subsidiaries or in joint

ventures with Spanish partners. In a world

of email and mobile commerce, for many

business people location is no longer relevant.

All that matters is being able to communicate.

Hobbs’ book looks at both larger investment opportunities – the outright

purchase of a business in Spain to run it as a going concern or the creation of

a business in various diverse sectors – as well as working on a self-employed,

or cuenta propia, basis. There is a mine of vital information in his book,

which covers everything from tax, pensions and employing staff to the joys of

Spanish red-tape, marketing and selling on your business. There is also a very

useful glossary of business terms, including the words: estudio de Mercado

(market research). The publishers and Guy Hobbs clearly did theirs, for this

is well-researched, carefully put together book which has a bigger potential

readership than one might first expect.

n Starting A Business In Spain

Guy Hobbs

Vacation Work

£12.95

ISBN: 1854583077


issue 25 Living Spain

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