Who are we?

A unique company specialised in snagging property in many countries.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Size IS important!

Far be it from us at Snagging Overseas to make that kind of joke! However, many clients do ask us to measure their units, er, properties. This is usually something that is rooted in horror stories within the overseas property industry than because developers routinely build the property to a smaller size.

In saying that, we have come across some units that have appeared of a slightly different size but, certainly in Europe, there is usually a perfectly good explanation for this. I say Europe because we have seen some strange things in Sharm el Sheikh!

The easiest mistake to make is when comparing the square metres you were told at point of sale with the finished article.

As real estate agents have been known to make a few small exaggerations, not to mention a couple of white lies here and there, you would be forgiven for thinking they have deliberately misled you. In reality they will almost invariably speak of the total area of the property, including the thickness of the walls, any low, attic type ceilings and "lost" space like cupboard areas and kitchen units.

You see, when you measure inside a property you are measuring the total living space. In France it wasn't until as late as 1996 that they introduced a law to control the measurement of properties. The Minister of Housing for France, Loi Carrez, who brought in a law that standardised the measurement of a property. Sounds incredible, but it was a good idea.

Now everyone knows where they are when it comes to computing the space in an attic apartment, for example. Any floor space beneath 1.8 metres does not count. Cellar space also does not count. Separating walls, balconies and stairwells.

In Spain they speak of gross metres (Metros brutos) and net metres (metros útiles) and apply a very similar standard measurement. Almost the same as in France except that exterior balconies count as 50% - so a 20 square metre balcony counts as 10m2 of space. Simple right!

However, if you are unsure of the final measurements, Snagging Overseas will double check for you. Remember, however, once an apartment is built it is sometimes not possible to measure the total area, only the interior area.

So it isn't size that counts, after all, it's just HOW you measure it (The, ah, the unit, you know, the property).

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Snagging: Important questions

Today a potential client told us that they had a friend who was "going out there", wherever "there" could be, and so felt it was not necessary to have a professional snag. Others tell us that another guy they have met will do it for less money.

What do we say to this? Well firstly, other companies should be cheaper than Snagging Overseas!

EXPERIENCE: Only Snagging Overseas has the experience and the know how to do a professional, efficient job for you, where ever you have bought. Only we can snag in five different countries, working with our international team of bilingual inspectors that work to our exacting standards.

REPORTING: Only Snagging Overseas ensures that reports are delivered to the legal advisors and the developer in the local language.

CORRECTING: Only Snagging Overseas pushes for all snags to be resolved in record time. Given that we tend to focus on whole developments we obtain a critical mass that makes our requests much more compelling to the developer and his team.

ACCURACY: We guarantee that all measurements given in the contracts can be checked at any time. All promissory contract details are checked in the original language (Which is the only one that prevails in all overseas contracts) against the finished product.

So, if we are more expensive than the guy you met on a plane or the neighbour's mate, or even if we cost more than a company that claims to be just like us, think about your whole investment and choose Snagging Overseas.

Monday, 23 March 2009

And NOW... Dubai!

Yes, it's amazing but after Turkey we have already begun working in a new destination: Dubai! Dubai has been almost synonomous with international property for several years now so it only makes sense Snagging Overseas now finds many clients there in need of pre completion and post completion services.

Surely Dubai is a tough place to work, you might ask? Not at all. In fact, there has been an unremitting level of proffesionalism and attention which is simply brilliant.
We have not snagged any propery as yet but are now taking on clients. Anyone who has bought in any part of Dubai or indeed. Ras al Khaimah can contact us in the usual way on info@snaggingoverseas.com or just by visiting the website.

Good luck to all of us!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Snagging Overseas and Turkey

Great news for Snagging Overseas and above all, customers who have purchased in Turkey. Snagging Overseas has been hired to snag property in Turkey. We have been liaising with our new team out there for some weeks now and finally we have gone live!

Essentially we have started with customers from developments in the Bodrum, Golluck, Akbuk and Didim area of Turkey. We have been hired to snag, amongst others, developments such as Sunset Bay in Golluck, Apollonium Spa Beach Resort in Didim and Akbuk and Turquise Project in Bodrum.

The landscape and the beaches of these areas is just breathtaking and we are very envious of those clients that have purchased there and will be clearly spending some great holidays out there! So if you're off to Turkey for Easter, for Summer or for good, let Snagging Overseas inspect your property by contacting us on the usual info@snaggingoverseas.com but in the meantime let us wish you...

Iyi Yolculuklar!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Cape Verde Update

Cape Verde is really buzzing at the moment and many clients have asked us to comment on the Vila Verde Santa Maria Resort.

Whilst not wishing to enter into any debate as to deadlines, dates and completion, we have decided to post some photos here for you so that you can see for yourselves the exteriors and some of the infrastructure of one of the first communities.

But before we look at buildings, it's always good to be reminded of why people go to Cape Verde on holiday.
The colour of the sea, the warmth of the sun and sheer rugged aspect of the island of Sal really appeals to the snagging team we have there.We're sure it appeals to you too. Looking at these photos from a sunny but brisk Algarve (Headquarters for SOS) is one thing, but those of you over there in Blighty must be wishing you were there!

Now onto the development of Vila Verde Santa Maria. There have been some delays and setbacks on Sal. In fact we did have to put a few apartments back so that certain items could be finished off. In saying that the quality has been good and now that some outside areas are being finished off the final product is starting to appear.

This is SEDUM community and here the place is really starting to come together. The exterior quality is great and when the pools and pool bars are running then what better place to chill out and have a coconut cocktail. Just have to hope for some coconut palms, I guess! The size of the apartments is quite surprising. Having snagged in Costa Blanca, Spain and some other areas, it is great to see large apartments. Look at this kitchen lounge area! One thing the snaggers have observed is that they don't think that air conditioning is really necessary on the islands. It can get a big humid in the summer, apparently, but that most of the time the temperature is between 28º and 32º centigrade. Not bad, we think.

So the first three communities of SEDUM, ALOE and CANNA are now moving towards to conclusion. No news yet on a habitation licence so there's no need to go breaking open the piggy bank yet.

The next communities to be snagged will be COPROSMA, ATRIPLEX and PEPPER. Tecnicil have informed us there is a 30 day delay on the original snagging dates they had sent to everyone. So, don't jump on a plane for nothing. Hire us to do the job for you so that you don't need to go out again and again.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Mortgages rates go down AGAIN!

Amazing news that the European Central Bank (The BCE) has lowered Euribor, the European version of Libor, to 1.5%, the lowest ever recorded.

The question everyone asks is whether this will stimulate the ecomony or not. Some of the banks have been criticised for now lending money. In Spain the president of the governemnt, Jose Luis Zapatero, even called the banks in to give them a roasting over their failure to loosen up lending in spite of the new interest lows.

What has this got to do with snagging? Well, we have seen an increase in snagging and cleaning activity in The Costa del Sol. Clearly our activity in pre and post completion services is a direct reflection of real estate sales and movement. As a company operating in many markets we can see that the area around Marbella is starting to hot up. "Again!" you may say.

In many ways it makes sense, given that the Costa del Sol started having problems a few years ago, before anyone had thought of the credit crunch. So maybe Marbella would come out first. Recovery? Let's hope so!

Monday, 9 March 2009

So what is Snagging really all about?

So Snagging is just like, looking for defects right?

Yes and no. At Snagging Overseas we believe that snagging is not just wandering through a new apartment and noting down the slight defects in the workmanship. Snagging is the final step in the buying process that you began when you paid the reservation fee. Snagging is the introduction of your new investment to the critical eye of professionals who will inform you objectively if you should go ahead and sign the title deeds.

Well, alright, it does also involve wandering through the property and jotting down some notes. However, we like to think that our experience and candidness means that we really appraise the property and it’s surroundings where relevant. We apply our Five Point Snagging Process and systematically vet your property. Many times we have snagged with the owner present and they marvel at the details we pick up on. Many clients comment on the fact that they would not have thought of looking there, or under that. Old tricks, like filling the bath to see if the grouting holds, is just an example of tried and tested methods that we apply. Do the loos flush? Do the lights work?

Owners get self conscious when viewing their own property. They sometimes don’t want to find any problems because it will be upsetting to them. Perhaps make them think they made a poor investment choice. Some clients ask us NOT to send the snagging inspection report to them. Just to guarantee that we will liaise with their legal representatives and the builder to ensure that the defects (snags) are sorted and in this way they move into their dream property without ever knowing it might not have been at its best at some stage.

So whether the property is for you or for rental and long term investment, it is always worth it to get the professionals in. We will snag for you so that you don’t have to.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Tourism in Cape Verde

Despite the credit crunch we have seen lots of activity on the Island of Sal, in the Cape Verde Islands. While hopping from Sal to the other, beautiful island of Boavista, we snapped a couple of Tui planes that were coming in to park at Amilcar Cabral airport on Sal. We are happy to report that these planes were totally full!

So if you have bought on Sal to holiday or to rent your property out, you'll be pleased to know that it appears that the demand to go there is still strong. With the opening of the new Riu Karamboa Hotel on Boavista island and Thomson launching flights there, let's hope that the numbers increase and that Cape Verde continues to be a huge success.

Of course the lads from Snagging Overseas who were going to Boavista for some snagging and cleaning didn't get to go in a flashy Tui jet.
No, they were confined to the joys of the propeller driven TACV aircraft. Here's a photo they took from trembling hands as they went out to the plane...

But Boavsista Island is beautiful and they soon got to work. So if you are thinking of the Cape Verde Islands for a holiday or even better as an investment, we think you won't be disappointed. BOA

Friday, 6 March 2009

Builders cleaning – Deep cleaning – industrial cleaning – cleaning cleaning???

Whatever you call it, one of the valuable services that clients need and request of us is the cleaning of the property. Whether it is a new build or a refurbished second hand property, it is always nice to have the property thoroughly cleaned before putting in furniture and using it. Indeed, with some newbuilds it makes great sense to not only clean but also to TREAT the property. Insect infestation, grime and built up dust and detritus from the building works need to be removed professionally. Usually the property needs to be literally scrubbed from top to bottom. Whichever country you buy in, Snagging Overseas can ensure that the cleaning and treatment of the property is carried out properly.

It's funny, because when you tell people that one of the main services you perform is industrial cleaning they look slightly concerned about you. So we tend to speak more of the snagging and inspections that we do, focus on that as if it is the only aspect of our business that matters. Well today we are standing up and saying we do clean. We clean deeply, we clean industrially, and we clean cleanly.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Spain is the new Spain

Over the past few years many new overseas real estate markets have been launched to the UK and Irish market and seen great success. One expression that the press and the ever present “A Place in the Sun” will use to predict solid growth is that “This new country (Bulgaria? Romania? Cape Verde?) is the new Spain!”.

Last week saw the delivery of several hundred units in the Costa Esuri project on the border of Spain and Portugal. Since the mighty Martinsa Fadesa went into administration in Spain some months ago, becoming the largest corporate bankruptcy in the history of the country, many thought that people, both foreign and Spanish, would not receive any of the 177,000 units that the developer had in its portfolio. Lucky for some this was not the case for Costa Esuri.

Snagging Overseas have more than a hundred clients currently in the development in Esuri plus another dozen or so in some Martinsa Fadesa projects in the Costa del Sol and also in North Costa Blanca.

Many people believe that just because Snagging Overseas grew up in Portugal we might be anti Spain. In fact, being the kings of snagging as we are, we get to view finished developments in both countries on a regular basis. While true that the Spanish have, over the years, reduced average sizes for holiday apartments from 75m2 ten years ago to 55m2 nowadays and not bothered with frills on the finish like coving, architraves and the like, the overall quality has been improving. Bathrooms now see more marble than ever before, with the top notch travatino being used more and more. The boring grey marble used so much in the 80s has given way to the cream marbles and smooth quality of some of the artificial floors that companies like Porcenalosa now make. More durable and less porous than the real stuff.

Kitchens are now not only fully fitted but there’s a constant brinkmanship with the brands placed there. This fierce one-upmanship is the result of the massive competition that has grown in Spain. And when it comes to brands, the Costa del Sol is where, as you might expect, you can see some of the highest quality finishes. In fact, in terms of pure value for money, we have snagged some apartments in the area around Manilva that were just beautiful. Casares Golf, following the Flintstone type architecture that in the UK is hailed as “typically Spanish” but was started by Bolivian architect Melvin Vilaroel, has been one of the best developments we’ve seen in years.

So, while not losing sight of the quality standards throughout Portugal, we would like to mention that Spain, now with prices being driven downwards thanks to the credit crunch, and the quality of units already at their highest spec for years, Spain could now well be the new Spain.