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VIVA True Stories - Love at first sight

VIVA customers: Nick & Janet Cook - Where and what they bought: Two-bed apartment in Gran Calahonda - Mijas Costa, situated minutes from the beach, and local restaurants and shops - Their dream: They went on holiday and ended up buying a place of their own.

Their story...

Love at first sight

Nick and Janet Cook had never been to Spain before and on the second day of their holiday, a family friend showed them around the Coast. The day after that, they visited VIVA for a pre-arranged tour of properties, and at lunchtime that same day they decided to buy a property in Gran Calahonda.

"We were very impressed with the whole VIVA service," said Nick. "They don't waste any time at all. We talked to one other couple who took a year to find a property. We did it in a day! And being chauffeured around was brilliant. We'd never have found the places we saw if we'd been on our own. We'd been to Portugal a few times, to the Algarve," said Janet, "but we didn't know Spain at all."

"Gran Calahonda appealed to us for various reasons," said Nick. "First and foremost it's an investment, because property is something that's going to appreciate in value. But after five years we'll probably move here semi-permanently."

"We asked some of our golfing colleagues what they thought, friends who had been to Spain, and we got the impression that property prices were cheaper than in Portugal," added Nick. "A close friend who lives in Spain then gave us an insight into the lifestyle and we decided, ‘Let's do it now'."

The first property they saw was within their budget but too far away from the coastline. The second was a resale property, which also wasn't exactly what they were looking for. The third was a plot of land with construction due to be finished in two years. This wasn't a problem, and it was "exceptional value", but, again, it wasn't close enough to the beaches, etc. Then they were taken to Gran Calahonda. They decided not to see the next property on the schedule, headed to a beach restaurant for lunch, and talked it through over fresh seafood and fine Spanish wine. "We couldn't see any negatives," said Janet, and thought, ‘We're not going to find anything better." After lunch, they went to the VIVA office and clinched the deal.

"Gran Calahonda appealed to us for various reasons," said Nick. "First and foremost it's an investment, because property is something that's going to appreciate in value. But after five years we'll probably move here semi-permanently." In the meantime, they plan to rent the apartment to golfers during part of the year and use it as the ideal holiday home for themselves and family; they have two grown-up daughters and one son and two grandchildren.

The apartments came without fitted kitchens and pre-installed air-conditioning so, once settled back home in Lincoln, they contacted VIVA for advice. Within 24 hours VIVA's Homecare department phoned Nick and Janet in Lincoln to make the necessary arrangements.

"The service was excellent and a great reflection on VIVA," said Nick. The Cooks have been back on the Coast many times now, with their family and also rent out their apartment for part of the year. They have got to know the area well now, and are very pleased with their decision to buy in Calahonda. "And it's all thanks to VIVA. They gave us a lot of confidence."


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