VIVA True Stories - Advice from the experts
VIVA Customers: Gordon & Susan Thomson - Where and what they bought: Apartment in Puebla Aida - Their dream: A Costa del Sol holiday hideaway
"We had lived in Gibraltar for two years and visited the Costa del Sol many times on holiday, so we were keen to buy a property in the region. Early in 2006 we decided that the time was right.
Having looked through the pages of 'Spanish Property', I got in touch with VIVA. We decided to take a four-day holiday in Spain in August, during which time we hoped to see some properties. VIVA contacted us beforehand to find out exactly what we were looking for.
On arriving in Spain our VIVA representative, Phil, picked us up from our hotel and took us to view a variety of apartments. As soon as we saw the property in Puebla Aida, we both knew that it was ideal for us. I phoned Phil that evening to tell him we wanted to put in an offer. He suggested that we meet an independent conveyancing consultant the next morning to get a brief overview of the Spanish system. This was a really valuable exercise, especially as all the lawyers are either English or speak English.
I was concerned about how money would be transferred from UK to Spain and Phil gave me all the relevant information about currency exchange and transfer companies in the area. All the transactions went without a hitch. Our lawyers carried out all the conveyancing work and set up a bank account in Spain so that all necessary payments could be made on time.
In October, just eight weeks after first viewing the property, we completed. We didn't want to arrive to an empty flat, so we asked VIVA Homecare to help. They emailed us photographs and prices of furniture, which we chose and paid for and Homecare arranged to be delivered.
Overall everything progressed reasonably smoothly, which when buying from 3000 miles away is really what you want and need. This was certainly due to all the good advice and contacts we were given along the way. We are glad to have bought a property in Spain, and one that has all the qualities we were looking for at the outset.”