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A British Company Brings Home Inspections to Spain


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Sourcewire - March 3

Buying a house is said to be one of life’s most stressful experiences. Buying a property in Spain that is a 2 -3 hour flight away can only add to the stress, but when Roy Howitt bought a Spanish property it created a business providing professional home inspections (snagging services*), for new build properties, to avoid the dream of owning a Spanish home turning into a nightmare.

The service was originally launched in The Costa Blanca, to provide an inspections (snagging reports) for property investors and due to demand is now available to private buyers and has expended to cover The Costa Calida, Costa Almeria and Andalucia areas.

The company was formed by Roy Howitt after his experience of buying a new apartment in the Costs Blanca, on an urbanisation of 193 properties, and when he discovered some major defects, could not find a company that could provide a snagging inspection, or advice and discovered that some Estate Agents really do not provide any after care.

Buying a property is exciting and you arrive expecting to be able to move into your new dream home. The agent will normally request that you inspect on a one day and complete at the Notary the same or the next day which allows no time to get the builder to repair any defects. Emotionally you want to get moved, you may need to get rental income, you possibly have organised furniture delivery and installation of an alarm so often complete regardless of how many defects the property has or even if the pool isn’t finished, or the property isn’t quite finished.

Roy’s own experiences demonstrates what can go wrong. "We arrived on site to snag the property, and were horrified to find the pool not completed, no paths or access, and no water & electricity connected to the property, a 3 bed roomed apartment. We had been assured that everything was finished, and that we would be able to move straight in. With no lighting and a bathroom and kitchen without windows it was difficult to check. I arrived without any tools, torches etc. but I found 36 defects - mostly tiling and decoration, and stupidly completed.

The following day, when I was given unlimited access and the electricity and water was on, I could see lots more problems and luckily, via a local builder, found a contact with home inspection experience, who snagged the property properly and found 117 defects including, water outlets not connected; loose window and door frames; 8 sockets and switches not working; no vent in the bathroom; and a large solarium area that needed relaying because the tiles were loose and lifting.

20-20 hindsight is a great thing but I definitely would not have completed on the property with these problems, and now knowing how long it can take to get defects fixed, I would not have completed on the property if I had been able to get the information from a professional home inspection."

Roy felt that the developers took advantage of buyers’ ignorance of the process and their legal rights on standards, and took little responsibility for spotting any defects themselves. "Plus the language barrier didn’t help when I was asked to sign off on a snagging list in Spanish," So InspectaHomeSpain was launched to provide homeowners with the expertise of an industry professional and to take the stress out of what is already a highly traumatic process. The news of the service spread and they checked 56 properties on the same urbanisation and identified more than 7000 individual defects.

InspectaHomeSpain provides new home inspections in The Costa Blanca, Costa Caliida, Costa Almeria and Andalucia areas and has a team of freelance snagging inspectors from backgrounds including site management, surveying, architecture and civil engineering and provides help and advice to buyers via e-mail telephone and their website, www.inspectahomespain.com which includes a guide to DIY snagging, help and advice plus examples of the most common defects found in Spain.

Reports are provided in English & Spanish within 72 hours of the inspection, and prices start from €150 - less than the cost of a typical airline ticket

For more information and advice see www.inspectahomespain.com or call (34) 965 31 97 43

*Editor's note: A "snag" is the British slang term for a new construction defect. "Snagging" is the British slang term used for new construction inspections.

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