The story…….My husband John is an unpredictable chap. We live at the very bottom of the world in Queenstown, New Zealand and over the years he has surprised me with his out of the blue decisions like building a house in Fiji and  buying a traditional Turkish wooden yacht in Turkey but can take years to decide more crucial things like where to install the Aga cooker we bought a very long time ago. In 2015 we were staying with friends who’ve had a house in Sotogrande since the 80s and John expressed a sudden burning desire to go and look at property for sale here.

Our friend rang James  and within minutes we were off - the first house we looked at was a tired old beast with a shabby garden and needing a lot of attention. The agent who showed us round, couldn’t have been more patient. She showed us house after house, and never for one minute suggested we were just wasting her time. We went back to look at the first house again. I’m still not entirely sure how it happened, but John had fallen in love and we eventually bought it. It just needed a lick of paint and a bit of TLC. Or so I thought...

During the next New Zealand winter, we spent 3 months in our new house  and decided it needed a garage. We were recommended to contact Bradley Falconer at BM Sotogrande who drew up some plans, and calmly redrew them dozens of times as we discovered more and more work that needed doing. He found Jose for us - a fantastic builder with a team of men who all arrived early each day and sang and laughed and really seemed to enjoy their jobs. When the language barrier got tricky, Bradley sorted things out and when we headed back to New Zealand for our summer, he took over as project manager . He sent us weekly progress photos which John would pore over and come up with new suggestions. Needless to say, we’ve ended up with every last speck of the house being repaired or replaced, and we also ended up spending far more than we’d ever intended to.

Now it’s 2019 and the house is finally finished. John’s a property developer, so he’s very used to the aches and pains of renovation and building but he has thoroughly enjoyed the building process in Spain - the people who’ve helped us have all been so cheerful and keen to do a great job, the cost of building in Spain is far less than in other countries, and the process of getting building permits seems much more streamlined and efficient than we’ve experienced elsewhere. Now all I want is some time to enjoy our lovely new house and pool and garden and to invite all the friends we’ve made here to come and enjoy it with us. John has just reminded me that actually, the house isn’t quite finished he still hasn’t built the garage - I think he can’t bear to think the fun of building is over.

Looking to breath new life into you house contract Bradley on T: +34 650736623 or E:  bradley@bmsotogrande.com

RENOVATION -Breathing new life in to an old property Image