Andy Simpson Devon Property Finder home slider large image.004

Andy Simpson has lived in the South West for many years and currently lives on the edge of a pretty traditional Devon village between Dartmoor and the Atlantic coast with his wife Sarah. A small home based cottage business, Devon’s Property Finder was established to fulfil an interest in finding high-quality property in some of the hidden corners across the county of Devon and bringing them to the attention of discerning buyers who are looking for property and good old fashioned excellent service and commitment.

Previously, Andy established and operated a successful estate agency business in France specialising in carp fishing lakes, waterside properties and small functioning rural businesses. During this time he wrote several articles for French Property News and developed a popular blog on life in France. Prior to his move to France he had worked for many years as a commercial director for a large public company.

The passion for property arose during the finding and developing of eleven separate houses with Sarah over the last 35 years, being privileged to own many wonderful homes in various parts of the country ranging from a stone lodge for a National Trust hall built in 1642 in South Warwickshire to a contemporary house overlooking the Monnow Valley with 30 mile views towards Hay Bluff in Herefordshire.

Our local knowledge is invaluable to you. Living on the doorstep within the area of search, we know and understand the dynamics of the locality and so can advise on external factors that could have an influence on the choice and position of property such as busy roads or proposed developments etc.

Case study – Devon’s Property Finder

When I lived in Herefordshire I had a very busy and demanding job working as a commercial director for a large public company. Between us, Sarah and I had decided, finally, that we wanted to buy a house in France to retire to in around five years’ time and in the meantime we would use it for holidays and for friends to stay in, the ultimate dream for many people . Having made the decision I started searching for suitable properties on the internet. Some of these, from the agent’s details, looked perfect but not being able to actually go and view them without taking time off work and making a long costly trip was becoming frustrating.

What added to the problem was that having worked hard all week, I didn’t want to spend my precious weekend time on some fool’s errand in France looking at property that did not fit our clear specification or was not as described on the details due to the agent working for the seller and couching his descriptions with a script Enid Blyton would have been proud of.

On line one night making the usual searches I found a property finder in France called Cognac Property Services who operated in the area we wanted to move to. I had never heard of a property finder before but after the initial contact I signed his terms and conditions and sent him a 500 euro registration fee and said to Sarah “that will either be the best or worst thing I have ever done.” 

Armed with our instructions to initiate a search, regular Email exchanges on various properties found and their suitability (or not) became commonplace and enabled an agreed targeted short list to be drawn up over a period of a few months, and all of this was before we had set a foot in France house hunting. 

One memorable example of one of the benefits of us using a property finder was a particular house which had been recommended by an agent. We both fell in love with the details and it looked exactly what we were after. Our house finder visited the property only to tell us it was situated at the side of the RN10 dual carriageway which was definitely not in the brief. This not only would have been a big disappointment but a completely wasted trip. Luckily it was discounted prior to any viewings as a result of having someone on the ground on our side.

Finally, a property shortlist to view over a concentrated two days was agreed and finalised using Email and the flights organised.

The pre-arranged weekend trip was not only focussed and concise but unusually relaxing as all the hard work of making appointments and travelling around the area was in the property finder’s hands. This meant there was none of the usual time pressures which resulted in all of the viewings being a much more enjoyable event with more attention given to viewing and reviewing the houses on offer.

Naturally, the trip led to a successful purchase of a property viewed on the first day of the two day visit but as an added bonus travelling around between viewings enabled some discussion in the car which gave a brilliant overview of the area as well.

As the icing on the cake we had some support during the actual purchase itself, a kind of hand holding which helped the whole process run smoothly right up until we got the keys to our new dream home.

It was this positive encounter and experience that led to the establishment of Devon’s Property Finder and an opportunity to not only set up a business but to share our experience and enthusiasm with our own clients when we returned to the UK.

We look forward to being given the chance to offer you a similar experience soon…

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