My wife and I have been searching for a very long time for a nice place for us to retire in Spain. I have first visited this great country back in the late nineties and needless to say, it was love from first sight – a welcome respite from the hectic, stressful and fast-paced life in the United States.
I visited it even more times and yes, my fascination and infatuation with this incredible country, its amazing history, culture and yes, truly gastronomic cuisine, grew stronger and stronger with each subsequent visit. Thanks to Facebook we have seen plenty of stunning views and vistas of Spain.
So, our decision to retire and live a laid-back, quiet and easy lifestyle in a first world country that has everything to offer, and then some, was only natural. I am sure, folks will agree with me that permanently moving to a foreign country especially one with a different way of living and by a person with no language experience is a worrying and taxing experience – what do we do now, how do we handle domestic minutiae like water, electricity, you name it.
Then my wife embarked on the lengthy and time-consuming process of looking at properties, amenities, locations, prices coming to us from Facebook. By happenstance we came across Paul Cox and his company Movehappy, so initially we were curious and skeptical – after all, an estate agent theoretically takes care about himself first, and then of his clients, right? WRONG!
Paul is the absolute exception to that widely held belief. I do not remember exactly how many of his competitors we contacted with my exhaustive and yes, exhausting list of at least 20 questions, repeated and amended every 2-3 months! Most of the time we either got a late response, or something totally inconsequential – “Go check my web page!” Sorry guys, this is not how you buy a property across the ocean! It is one thing jumping on a plane from the UK and arriving in Spain after a few hours, entirely difference experience from the US to Spain, not to mention that in the States annual leaves of absence are extremely short.Very quickly we decided to deal with him, as Paul always, rain or shine found enough time from his busy schedule to explain in perfect details the ins and outs of buying a permanent property in Spain.
From the very beginning he was frank, professional and straightforward, plain business and no bollocks: “The price of the property is X, you will have to pay the following expenses spelled out – 10% VAT taxes, so much for notary, land registry, so much to connect water and electricity, on and on…” And, here comes the sweet part – in writing – if you buy from us, we will provide you with an English speaking lawyer who will handle everything for you, free of charge and to show our appreciation, you will get 5000 € credit to buy furniture. We still have not used it, due to COVID-19 restrictions, but it is on the table.
Paul showed us a few properties that we liked and as it usually happens, we settled on the first one that we saw, a lovely small development close to where he lives called Green Hills in La Zenia, what a little cracker, even though its price was a bit out of our reach at the time.
For the record, I must say that it happened during the October bank holiday, when Spain was celebrating. We had at least 2 other estate agents turn us down for that reason who did not seem to care too much about us. Not with Paul – he drove us around, never got tired of answering our numerous questions, in a nutshell he was our nanny and a genuine guardian angel. He helped us with the builder of the property, spicing up his recommendations with a great sense of humour, vital in this business.
We flew back to the US, and Paul kept us in the loop, every step along the way – “such and such actions have been completed, waiting for this and that, this is what everything looks like…” Not to mention the fact that I kept “bothering” him with my questions, day in and out, and he never got tired. So, naturally we developed a real kinship and friendship which I am hoping to continue once we move permanently to Spain.
In conclusion, I must say that Paul is the absolute dream come true to anyone who is seriously contemplating relocation in Spain, the ultimate professional and genuine friend.
by George and Marusya Primov, Washington, USA
January 7th 2021