Samantha Biddles – AKA the Relocation Fairy!
These days, there are still plenty of property bargains to be had in Spain, although prices are creeping up at long last. That said, there’s a bit of a feeding frenzy going on, as estate agents try to offload stuff from their portfolios, and eager buyers look to snap up the bargains. And that’s creating problems. Instead of looking at the bigger picture, buyers are looking for the best bargain, without stopping to think if their bargain home is where they really want to be. It’s okay picking up a 3 bedroomed, fully furnished town house on a gated community with a pool for €75,000 (Around £53,000 in early July 2015), but it’s not such a bargain if it costs you €400 a month to commute to work or do the school run, because there is no public transport available.
And what about if you have children with special educational needs, or need to register for employment? What happens then? Unless you’re very lucky, not a lot, because estate agents are qualified to sell property, not to guide you through the intricate and often scary process of starting a new life in a new country. Yes, there are relocation experts and property finders who can provide this service, but they don’t come cheap. When we bought our garden apartment on La Finca in Algorfa, we paid around €800 for the agent to guide us through the process and deal with everything in Spain while we sold up and packed up in England, but not everyone can afford to pay that. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Relocation Fairy to sort out everything from checking on public transport, through sorting out the Spanish wills and anticipating problems in the future? And wouldn’t it be even better if the services of said Relocation Fairy came free of charge?
Well, now they do, and this is no fairy story, although it should have a happy ending for everyone concerned. Samantha Biddles of Algorfa has just launched Sunzone Properties.com, and she is that Relocation Fairy, although she doesn’t have a magic wand – just 16 years of experience of life in Spain, both as a fully integrated immigrant – never call her an expat, if you value your life – local councillor and regional co-ordinator for European residents. Since Samantha, her husband Lee and their three young children became the first English family to settle in Algorfa on Spain’s Costa Blanca, she’s seen a lot of changes, at local, regional and national level, and she knows how hard it can be to settle in a new country and find the right way to slice through that famous Spanish red tape. As Samantha says:
‘When you buy a property abroad, it’s not like buying double glazing. You don’t just hand over the money and get on with it, it’s a life-changing event. You’re not just moving to another country, you’re choosing a different culture, and another way of life. And you need the right guidance so you get it right first time, rather than making an expensive mistake. That’s where I come in.’
In her 12 years in local politics – 8 as a councillor – Samantha has picked up the pieces many a time when someone has ended up with a property that wasn’t suitable for their needs. Sometimes, they got carried away with the moment and bought the dream, which soon turned into a nightmare. Other times, they just hadn’t thought about the future. Samantha mentions her brother as a case in point. As a young, single man who wanted to be near the beach and the night life, he bought a property in La Zenia, Orihuela Costa. However, before it was completed and ready to move into, he was married with a young child, so his property needs were very different. 10 years on, he still has the property, but it’s rented out because he can’t sell it, and he’s now living with his family in Algorfa, which is more family oriented, and has a good local school.
Then there’s the couple in their 40s, who buy a finca in the mountains with a view to taking early retirement. That’s fine while they’re both fit and healthy, but what if he dies, and she’s left alone and isolated in her 70s, in a huge house? How quickly can she expect to sell the property and move into something more suitable, or maybe return to the support of her family? These are the questions very few people ask themselves, but Samantha’s new venture takes an imaginary crystal ball and looks into the future of your new life in Spain, as well as putting everything in place so you can enjoy the here and now. Only then will she search her portfolio of recommended properties to match each client with the right fit for their circumstances.
Inspection visits are available at just £49 per person, including flights, hotel and transport. You’re probably wondering where the catch is by now, but there isn’t one. Samantha works in tandem with her husband Lee, an estate agent established for 15 years in Torrevieja. He’s one of very few local agents to have ridden the storm of Le Crisis, because he’s always prided himself on offering efficient, honest service and value for money. Samantha personally inspects properties before approving them for her clients, and the emphasis is on pairing the client with the right property in the right location, not making the sale. Why are they prepared to go to such trouble? Let Samantha have the last word on this.
16 years ago, we made our home in this wonderful, hospitable country, and we want everyone to discover just how great life in Spain can be if you make the right preparations and ask the all-important questions. Anyone can enjoy a wonderful quality of life here, and that’s what we’re hoping to help them achieve with Sunzone Properties.
Maybe you should contact the Relocation Fairy and explain your Spanish property needs. You have nothing to lose, and a great new life in Spain to gain! Oh, and Samantha, if you want to use the Relocation Fairy handle as a trademark, I’m up for negotiations!