Who are we?

A unique company specialised in snagging property in many countries.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Living the dream should never be a nightmare

Many people tell us that they are over the moon with the idea of their future home in the sun. The problem is that the day just doesn't arrive, it seems.

Now for those of you who are quite kamikaze and never can wait well, we can only advise that patience. Patience is a virtue, remember?

"I can't wait!" that great English expression that can so confuse speakers of other languages. Of course the reality is that you have to. At least for now. Getting everything in place is never easy. "Can't we just take the plunge now?!" you cry. "After all, there is never a totally perfect time for anything!". Sadly there are things to be done, obstacles to overcome, hoops to jump through and then you can realise your dream.

However, a word of caution. Don't get so bitter on the way that you are then unable to enjoy your dream! A client said to me a few weeks ago that as the wait has been longer than she expected she no longer wanted to go ahead! Crazy! Two years can seem a long time, but Rome, let alone an apartment in Cape Verde, Dubai or the Algarve - or whatever it is your dream be, was truly not built in a day.

What about "All things come to those who wait!". Of course it's not strictly true. There must have been loads of people who waited and waited and waited and not nothing came to them. But I am sure that in your case, your dream will come. Just don't turn it into a nightmare along the way! And don't raise your expectations to such an extent that you become disappointed or disaffected when you do get it.

"The watched pot never boils!" is another great piece of advice, or nonsense. One or the other!

The world of overseas property, like many other things in life, is all about emotions. After all, no one buys a home abroad because it's practical, do they? Practical was always Bognor, Torquay or Slapton Sands. "Emotion" was always Spain, The Algarve, Antigua, Poço Barreto. Names that evoke the exotic, stir the soul!

So have patience, and if in this downturn you feel inclined to be negative, don't be. It WILL be worth it in the end.

Saturday, 16 May 2009


While crossing Spain with no mobile phone (battery dead, forgot to charge it due to very late night) and then arriving back in The Algarve to no internet, it makes one reflect on how helpless we are in the modern world without our high tech devices.

Communication is so easy nowadays that if we lose it, even for a day or so, we fret and worry and feel like something has been amputated. And really nothing is wrong at all, just a day or so of inability to say hello!

Our new high tech methods would seriously surprise previous generations. People who travelled extensively just a few decades ago were totally out of the loop until they got back. Friends and family who were at home knew nothing either unless the very rare and even more expensive telegram came.

Nowadays a phone call is something that we can usually make from any place in the world with the highest quality.

This goes hand in hand with the expansion of the overseas property industry. The more we can keep contact with our homes the more at home we feel while away. As more of us find our new homes abroad, we feel more connected to home.

Of course it's not just the internet and mobile phones. Travel has become easier and cheaper, bringing many points in the world closer. Although many say that the credit crunch has forced the low cost airlines to reduce their supply of flights, we still see Easy Jet with full flights and Ryan Air expanding into new destinations.

However, do we get adicted to this constant contact? Are not there some people who feel relief on a plane when they are told to switch their phones off? I am sure. Snagging Overseas staff travel a lot and we certainly can not be reached while on a plane, and that is sometimes really great! And yet now, while on a TAP flight recently, we saw that the No Smoking sign and had been changed for a No Electronic Devices sign. After takeoff we were informed that the use of mobile phones WAS ALLOWED! Where will it end? It will end with people being in contact with each others ALWAYS.

Is this good? We hope so.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Snag Dubai!

For those that missed our other Blog that launched our Dubai operation we thought we'd add a few comments from here about our operation in Dubai.

We have set up a separate entity to snag Dubai properties. There are many developments in Dubai that are currently coming up to completion in the next year and we have already started to receive requests from clients on The Palm and also in places like Sport City.

We are pleased to announce that we have met with the owners of Dubai Sport City and so can improve relations with them and thus ensure smoother snagging and inspections of all kinds.

Of course, it is not vital for us to have good relations to snag a new development but everything helps!

Today marks the first snagging inspections in Dubai. We will post information about our progress on the other site and will soon launch a dedicated site just for Dubai. We will announce that here as soon as Serafina, our marketing angel, gets the site sorted (Snagged??).

One thing we will also offer is a relocation service into Dubai for those of you that wish to move there permanently. Just contact us as usual on info@snaggingoverseas.com or on info@snaggingdubai.com or leave a comment on http://snagdubai.blogspot.com/ and we will be happy to get back to you!

We always endeavor to communicate with everyone as much as possible, if we don't get in touch, don't worry, we certainly haven't forgotten you. We will send all feedback and photos and videos (!) to you as agreed.

Hang in there and wish our Dubai associates luck as they inspect their first units!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Vila Verde Santa Maria

These last few weeks have been hectic and fraught with second snagging madness on the Island of Sal in Cape Verde.

The resort of Vila Verde Santa Maria is now really starting to come together. There have been some delays, as we all know, that Tecnicil tell us have been rooted mainly in logistics, but overall the site is looking better and better.

Issues we have seen? Well, the shutter clasps are still causing us some fun over there. Clearly the Africans want the shutters to be closed all the time! In truth it could be a design defect more than a snag. The shutters that are composed of four pieces only get two clasps so if you try and open them out completely they sort of fly away from you.

The famous fridge door / light fitting is still not solved. Tecnicil have suggested that the fridge doors be set to open the other way which might be a solution for all the left handers out there but is a bit of a short cut. Someone asked if this is reason enough not to go to title deed? We wouldn't think so, after all, it's best to be reasonable. In saying that, Tecnicil should provide a solution as it is a bit daft the way it is now.

For those of you far away, you can be sure that we are thinking of you, so fret not. We are on the case!

The first communities have received their habitation licence so this is great news. Not so great is the fact that Electra the power and water company have decided they are just not up to the task of supplying power to these communities as yet. So Tecnicil seem to have laid down all the power lines, connected metres and now Electra have decided to go away and not be a power company for a while. Tecnicil assure us that this will be solved in the next week or so but it is frustrating.

A little bit of background might be interesting here.

Sal Island has two main companies that can supply power.

1. Electra, the state power company that owes every fuel supplier in Cape Verde huge amounts of money. Rumour has it that if they request fuel from Shell, they have to pay cash! For this reason there are so many power cuts in the capital city Praia.

2. Cabocan, the Spanish water and power company that is situation right next to Vila Verde Resort. However, they do NOT have a concession to provide power to places like Vila Verde. They have requested to be able to do this, apparently, but they have had no luck as yet.

So it does appear that we might be in the dark on this one! However, as we move towards a more complete Vila Verde the sheer pressure from Tecnicil and Tecnicil's clients will be such that a solution will be found. Of this we are sure.

For now, apart from shutters and slightly loopy light fittings, Vila Verde Santa Maria is looking great and the snags we discovered in the first and second inspections are practically all corrected.

On to the next communities. Tecnicil have said that the next two communities to be completed are Coprosma and Atriplex. So if you haven't already organised the snagging for these communities, or indeed the other communities, then come on, contact us via
info@snaggingoverseas.com and we'll go into bat for you.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Photographs: should we?

Today, while looking at a fantastic photo, it reminded me that many clients request photos of the snags that we discover in their property.

Although we can, and do, supply photos, there really is no need for this. The snagging process is where we take your soon to be dream home and vet it for imperfections. You wouldn't want pictures of your bride when she's halfway through her makeup would you?

The best use of photos is when the property has been snagged and the snags repaired. Then we can go and take some shots of the product in all its glory. The best way to view this is to imagine that the snagging process is part of the building process and therefore you don't need to be privvy to all the details. All you need is to look forward to the end result: the bride ready for you.

So we will send you photos, but don't spoil your dream home. Ask for the end photos, the ones that really matter.

Anyway back to that photo...

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Tennis anyone?

Today is the start of the Estoril Open Tennis Tournament. The competition will continue until May 10th and is the absolute highlight in the Portuguese tennis calendar, and one of the most important in Europe.

You don't have to be Dora the Explorer to know where Estoril is, but for those who might be a bit geographically challenged Estoril is tucked up close to Lisbon next to the up market Cascais, only 20 or minutes from the capital.

Last year's tournament saw crowd figures peak at 53,888 and was also the last time Swiss professional Roger
Federer won a title. Prize money in the region of 450,000 dollars for the men and 220,000 dollars the women mean that professionals from all over the world come to compete.

From the Portuguese property sector, the sector we work in, the tournament has been co-sponsored by three top end developments:
Troia Resort, the Sonae contribution to real estate located on the Troia Peninsula, some 30 minutes south of Lisbon. Palácio Estoril Residências, a collection of 27 luxury apartments in the heart of Estoril, and the Pine Hill Residences close to Vilamoura in the Algarve.

With the advent of internet and GPRS mobile phones it's much easier to follow this, or indeed any, competition without actually being there.