Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company
Hans Drees, along with his wife Lynda Thomson are the proud owners of one of the most respected, successful real-estate agents in the Costa Blanca “Casitas Miraflor” based in the centre of the village of Els Poblets near to Denia.
Our story is much the same as many who come to live in this area where you are looking to improve your life but still need to work. You do tend to fall into a type of employment which revolves around the property or tourism industries. We actually met way back in 1987 while working for separate property companies in the Javea / Moraira area. Hans is of German origin, speaks four languages fluently and has lived and worked for most of his life in Spain, always in the property industry. Lynda was a newcomer to the region, spoke very little Spanish and had left a very good job in a UK bank. Again, like many expats Lynda chose to come to the region after falling in love with the area and lifestyle during holidays enjoyed in her parents’ holiday home in Denia.Obviously we got together, married and decided it was time to start out on our own. Many property companies had closed down due to the recession we experienced at that time, but we were very fortunate that the German market was booming and of course being German, Hans did well. We knew the risks involved both financially and personally when starting a new company in a foreign land but we were young, confident and desperate to create a normal high street estate agent. We believed that the time of pressure selling and inspection trips had come to an end and we were right. We created Casitas Miraflor in 1998 and haven’t looked back since. We have always employed people with various language skills, it’s so important to be able to work with lots of different nationalities in this very cosmopolitan region and we always refer to ourselves as “Team Miraflor.”
Our son Travis Mac Drees was born in March of 2000. At thirteen, Travis has attended a fabulous private Spanish school in Denia since he was two years old. He is perfectly tri-lingual as we always appreciated the importance of language skills and have only spoken to him in our own languages since he was born. However, Travis actually considers himself to be Spanish and is yet to appreciate how his language skills will help him in the future. As with lots of boys his life revolves around football and he plays for the team “Kelme” in Elche (bit of a trek from Denia but hey). However, should the football dream not become a reality we would love him to come on board with the company and perhaps move towards the construction sector given his desire to become an architect. It would be nice to keep the business in the family, only time will tell!
What has the property market been like this year?
We are very happy to report a huge improvement in this year’s property market despite the ongoing rumblings of a crisis. We have more than doubled our sales figure from this time last year and are experiencing a varied amount of European clients along with many Russians.
What do you expect to happen to the market in 2014? Are there any "hotspots" to look out for?
We fully expect that the property market in 2014 will continue to improve. The hotspots to look out for are when you see new property construction in the market. This of course gives work to a varied amount of labour workers and any other type of business that can be associated with property. Competion is great for property prices! We expect to see a stability in the markets prices next year, and the falling prices we have experienced over the last 3 years will end.
What are the major challenges faced by expats looking to buy?
One of the major challenges faced by expats who are looking to buy a Spanish property will be the reluctance of the banks to offer helpful finance. There are other options available and we are currently exploring various alternative methods of safe, financial assistance.
What advice would you give to expats going through the buying process?
Our advice to anyone wishing to buy a Spanish property would be to ensure you use a reputable Estate agent. Do your homework on all aspects of what is involved in purchasing a property abroad. You need to establish what your additional costs will be apart from the property price. We recommend to always use a legal representative such as a “Gestor” who can arrange both the personal and property documents required to complete the process like solicitor and property conveyancer (Gestor), Sonia Dietz at Tecnicos Asociados Consulting in Denia.
How can you be contacted for further information?
To contact the Miraflor team…
Office Tel: + 34 966469405
To contact Hans Drees directly: +34 639600442
Or drop in to see us at:
Avda Mestre Vicent 23, Els Poblets. We are in the centre of the village opposite to the tourist information office, next to the river.
Take a look at our website www.miraflor.info