VIVA True Stories - Friends like these
VIVA customers: Robert Evans & David Roberts - Where and what they bought: Two-bed, two-bath frontline golf apartment in Alhaurín Golf - a new development around a stunning golf course, close to the bustling Spanish town of Alhaurín el Grande - Their dream: To own their own home in Spain
Rob Evans and Dave Roberts have been firm friends for 27 years. They run a business together in Coventry, and in May 2005 they decided to look for a holiday home in southern Spain.
"We're both divorced now, and knew we wouldn't be able to afford it on our own," explains Dave. "We've been friends for so long, we trust each other implicitly. We also have similar ideas and views, so getting together to buy was the obvious choice."
VIVA's representative, Mia, was brilliant. She really understood our needs and when we saw the Alhaurín Golf development, we knew she'd found the right place for us - the golf course was an added bonus!"
Following a recommendation from a friend, Rob took a trip to Birmingham, to meet VIVA at Spanish Living, part of the BBC Good Homes Show. A week later, Dave and Rob were in the Costa del Sol looking at properties. In just two days, they found the perfect place.
"We'd originally planned to go for a traditional Spanish property," says Dave. "But after viewing some we decided the upkeep would be too much. VIVA's representative, Mia, was brilliant. She really understood our needs and when we saw the Alhaurín Golf development, we knew she'd found the right place for us - the golf course was an added bonus!"
Both men have children, and the property is ideal for weekends and longer family breaks. The pair raised the deposit for their apartment against their homes in the UK, and their combined incomes give them much greater borrowing weight when it comes to a mortgage. Together, the €214,000 home was easily within their budget - alone, they'd have been looking at much more modest properties.
"Buying together has given us a lot more choice," agrees Dave. "On my own I might have been able to afford a tiny flat that I wouldn't look forward to visiting."
So grouping together definitely has its advantages, but its not something that should be entered into lightly. It's important that all parties agree everything in advance, and that these agreements are formalised with contracts.
"This is the first time we've bought a property together and we will spend some time drawing up legal papers with a solicitor," explains Dave. "These will confirm each of our shares in the property, and outline the procedure if anything happens to one of us or either of our circumstances change. These are the things you need to sort out that a married couple probably wouldn't."
And Dave has some great advice for anyone considering buying a home with a group of friends or family:
"You need to be very good friends! Rob and I have a solid friendship, we're both looking for the same thing and know we can count on each other. There's no one else I would go into this with - as a simple rule, if you wouldn't do it in the UK, don't do it in Spain."