Who are we?

A unique company specialised in snagging property in many countries.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Progress Photos: New service from Snagging Overseas

Many clients that we speak to have requested information via our website and often do so many months before completion.

Now the more organised like to plan in advance and they also like to see progress as it is made. We are often asked if we can go to the resort and take some photos. In fact, so many people have requested this service that we have decided to launch it as a separate service for you.

From July 1st Snagging Overseas, in all of its current territories, so that's for property owners or buyers in Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Dubai and Cape Verde, will offer a Progress Photo Service consisting of a series of photos taken over the build time of your property.

So, if you would like to see how your development is coming along or are concerned because it has been suggested in our oh so optomistic national press that things are not looking good abroad, starting from 60 Euros we will send you a set of photos of your property, your development and the surrounding areas.

Come on, impress your friends, annoy your mother-in-law by showing that your dream is becoming a reality.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Palmela Village - You love it or you hate it

We have been snagging and inspecting a futuristic, architecturally designed development near Lisbon for so long that sometimes we forget to mention it! Palmela Village!

Palmela Village is a development built by Pelicano, a Lisbon based family developer grown large.

The project was designed by the famous - those in the know would say "infamous!" - architect Tomás Taveira, the brain behind Sporting's Avalade Stadium and also Amoreiras Shopping Centre in Lisbon, one of the first macro shopping malls to grace a capital city now bursting at the seams with macro "shoppings" of one kind or another.

Tomás Taveira is well known for his love of using many colours. The Marina in Albufeira pays colourful testimony to this as do many other buildings across Portugal.

The truth is that no one sits on the fence with the Taveira designs and finish. You either love them or you hate them. And Palmela Village is no exception.

Built near the picturesque town of Quinta do Anjo (Literally, The Angel's Hamlet or Estate) but pertaining to the town hall of Palmela, Palmela Village consists of villas, townhouses and apartments designed around a golf course.

With Lisbon only some 30 minutes away and the new international airport planned for that side of the river, Palmela Village is set to be a great investment for those that bought there. Whether they like it or not!

We have been inspecting properties and homes on Palmela Village for a couple of years now. The delivery of some units has been quite slow and once the teething problems on Phase I were ironed out, the next group of deliveries improved considerably.
So if you have purchased a property on Palmela Village and need the best inspection to be done for you, with an attention to detail that characterises Snagging Overseas, then contact us at info@snaggingoverseas.com and for the months of July and August we will give you a 10% discount on all snag and clean combinations for Palmela Village.
Have a colourful summer!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

When does the dream become reality?

It's always worth bearing in mind that when you commit to an overseas property, like committments of any kind, you have to accept that you're in for the long haul.

With the purchase of an overseas property, it is important to take into account that you are entering into a long term transaction. Although we speak of "living the dream", once you have started you do need patience to see it through. We are not speaking of Utopia here. People down the pub, sometimes, or perhaps especially even your friends, will nod sagely and say, as soon as the first delay occurs, "It'll never happen."

This can lead to you giving up. We have seen overseas buyers say they are no longer going through with it because a property it is a few months late. Even when it is becoming clear that it is taking shape. "We can no longer believe in it, anymore! It's like winning the bonolotto, or something! We want to believe it, but more and more we're thinking of buying a caravan in Cornwall...".

So what do we say? As we are in the industry of overseas dreams, of turning the muddy field into the permanent dream home, we say, hang in there. If you feel that it is taking too long, communicate, find out what has gone wrong, what obstacles are in the way. Can they be removed easily.

Above all, do not become disenchanted.
As I believe we mentioned once before the word Utopia comes from the Greek, meaning Perfect Place but also meaning No Place. The idea being that it is unobtainable.
But your dream is not impossible. It is truly obtainable. It is on its way. It's being built. It will be well worth waiting out the long haul. You really don't want to lose faith.
And once it's built, guess who will be willing to snag it for you?
Have a snag free weekend! No fretting, leave that to us. We'll do that for you. Que remedio?

Monday, 8 June 2009

Inside looking out

No more fretting, the summer is here, the sky is blue and so there is no reason to fret. On either side, ok?

Now, we often moan about problems with communication. When one is relegated to just emails it can be easy to foment misunderstandings that run and run.

Many companies are using internet chat programmes, you know, Yahoo, Google Talk, MSN Messenger etc. to communicate with their clients. We thought of trialling this for our clients.

The other day I was using a chat program like MSN to try and get to the heart of a problem. This is harder than it seems. We developed, it seemed, an ongoing tension that left us circling the problem for what seemed like hours. God knows what they pay staff in these companies, but I think I took up most of the other person's morning.

Did we solve the problem?


What did we do?

We resorted to a phone call! Yep, Graham Bell may have said that people would not want to speak on the phone, but if you need to, it is second only to the face to face meeting.

Should we adopt a chat client? Have someone stuck to a desk all day when a two minute call would fix the issue and injet a bit of "human" into the process?

No thanks!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Delays - Blame British Rail?

Demora, demora, demora – Delays, Delays, Delays and more Delays – it often makes clients echo John Cleese sentiments when talking about Gondolas in Venice …."Gondolas Gondolas and more ###### gondolas!!!"

In all our experience this is the one word that raises its head with incredible familiarity – why is this such a frequent issue people ask us at Snagging Overseas?

Fundamentally it should be relatively straightforward for developers to actually complete the construction and the build itself. Therefore there must be other reasons to consider when looking at the excuses…sorry... the actual root cause!

Bureaucratic – National and European laws are constantly changing in a bid to ensure that property owners and holiday makers are safely catered for in their respective accommodations. Whilst these are effective and positive steps they can take time to filter through the bureaucratic system and instead of getting the speed of Usain Bolt it often manifests itself at the warp factor pace of a small frozen perfectly preserved mammoth!!

Let's take an example, the huge landmark, yes landmark, NOT white elephant, that is Oceanville in Albufeira has been plagued by regulation changes during its inception and construction. So much so that the confusion surrounding the various licenses – there to protect owners and meet safety criteria – has changed so much it’s obviously significantly affected the developer’s ability to complete, open and operate. How the owners must rest easily knowing that they thus protected!

The actual coming together of numerous Government run departments tasked with the role of ensuring that all building regulations, construction, health and safety issues - fire, gas, water, residential and touristic plus many other areas - are met can be somewhat complicated! Add to the “Manha”, “Amanha”, “Ish” factor mindset and it would seem likely that it would be a miracle of the Hannah Montana scale to culminate on time and work in tandem! As you know the Spanish word for tomorrow is “Manha “– in Portugal we often joke that we do not have a word for the same "level of urgency"!.

Financial – Such delays obviously have a significant impact on a developer’s ability to function during the final process to completion and title deeds. The final payment you make will generally be made up of the developer’s profit and their repayments to banks, business partners and financial institutions that helped fund the project.

Today’s Global climate has evidently not contributed much to the situation. Although the major players are weary of mentioning that “green roots “are starting to grow it is clear in our areas of operation that property is still moving (albeit at Small Mammoth pace!) And will in our opinion rise “out of the ashes” like Philip Glenister fired up in the Quattro! Now he’d make a great developer!

Weather and Materials
Picture a beautiful tropical island with an abundance of sand. Imagine a resort being delayed because it has the wrong type of sand? Is this a British Rail project?! Seriously this can and does happen as is evident in Cape Verde. Whatever really happened behind the scenes, and we may never know the answer to that one! But who would want their properties to collapse like the England Middle Order?!

What ever reasons there are and whatever “excuses “are given it can be understandable if you suffer from great difficulty in remembering the reasons for purchasing property in the first place. If you can hang in and hold on remember it’s vital after what you have been through to finalize the process correctly and utilize the services of a professional experienced snagging company. And that’s where we join your party.

Anyway, they say that proverbs and sayings form the rich backbone of our society, so what happened to "better late than never"?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

More aftersales in Portugal, now Tavira

To continue with some of the developments we are snagging in Portugal we will continue with the Eastern Algarve and the lovely development of Cabanas Gardens.

Snagging Overseas has deployed here to offer the full suite of aftersales products, cleaning, the odd snag or two and also some photos for far awar clients.

These pre and post completion services are carried out in Cabanas by Ricardo, Pedro and Esteban, our Spanish speaking cross-border madman!

We have around fifteen units to work on in this resort. Located a few kilometres east of Tavira, and perhaps 25 minutes from Faro airport, Cabanas Gardens is only a few minutes walk from the shoreline. We say shoreline because for those that do not know this part of the Algarve, there is no beach directly on the front. You have to take an aqua taxi to the real beach, which is about half a kilometre away on the famous sand bar that makes up the Ria Formosa.

Sound annoying? Well, that beach is probably one of the finest beaches in all of Europe! So it is more than worth it!

The quality in Cabanas Gardens is of the level we have come to expect in The Algarve. Nice size units with a decent finish. They could have done a bit more dusting and cleaning before delivery but that's probably us being fussy!

Now we could not do any article or Blog about Cabanas without mentioning the cafe at the end of the road there, just before the always controversial Aldeia Formosa.

Known in Snagging Overseas as the "Tosta mista" place, the old gent that owns this café makes quite possibly the best ham and cheese toasties in Portugal, if not the world.

As long as your not in a hurry, you can be sure to get the most amazing sandwich. And perfecciontists that we are we do not know his secret.

So, next time you're out that way order a sandwich. And the good thing is that it doesn't matter if you're not hungry when you get there!

Now back to Cabanas Gardens. Here are some photos of the development.

Snagging in The Algarve: Monte de Eira

Some great developments are now completing in The Algarve and so we have been called to snag some of them.

The first one that we have been inspecting in the last few weeks is Monte de Eira in Albufeira. Built by the developer Jose Coutinho from Caldas de Rainha in central Portugal, the development is well located and of a high standard.

Snagging has gone quite well there, with only a few "silly" issues to be addressed. We were surprised at the outside stainless steel railings being decidedly unstainless! Well, rusty is a word we would use.
The interiors have been fine, the usual snags, not quite so straight extractor hoods, the odd hole here and there. Some cracks and scuff marks. Nothing to write home about ad certainly nothing to worry about!
So, if you are the proud owner of a unit in Monte de Eira and need to snag and to clean there then let us know. Alternatively, you could request some photos, as this is a service we are getting more and more requests for. Remember you can get us always on info@snaggingoverseas.com or just browse the usual website.
Have a snag free week!!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Some useful links

We have been given some links to a Blog from Tecnicil, the developer of the Vila Verde project in the Cape Verde Islands.

So if you are a client from Tecnicil or are just interested in the Cape Verde Islands project, here their Blog is well worth reading.