IN 2001, a Glaswegian surveyor packed his bags and followed the love of his life to Spain.
Some 14 years later Campbell Ferguson runs a top network of chartered surveyors, is tackling ecological infringements and is the first port of call for UK courts settling property disputes in Spain.
(And in case you were wondering, his sweetheart Louise is now his wife.)
Now, with 47 years of chartered surveying experience under his belt, he is ready to take on an additional venture… as an Olive Press columnist!
Campbell got his first taste and love of Spain in 1989 when he became MD of a development company in Madrid.
After a three-year stint in the capital, he headed back to Scotland, thinking his Spanish dream was over.
However, a decade later he was back on the plane and has never looked back.
After working as an estate agent on the Costa del Sol for two years, Campbell set up chartered surveyor firm Survey Spain in 2003.
“The two years as an agent were invaluable,” he says. “It helped me know the land and people plus understand the market and law in Andalucia”.
He adds: “As independent chartered surveyors providing confidential, pre-acquisition Building Surveys, we are 100% focussed on assisting the buyer without conflict of interest and are regulated by the internationally recognised RICS.”
With 11 RICS qualified chartered surveyors working in mainland Spain and its islands, Gibraltar and the Algarve in Portugal, Survey Spain has established itself as one of Iberia’s top chartered surveyor networks.
Campbell, a RICS Registered Valuer and trained Expert Witness, explains that the company is regularly called upon to help out in UK court matters.
“Usually we are called in to determine the value of overseas property in divorce, inheritance and tax cases,” he explains. “However, we are also called in during criminal cases, when a criminal’s assets are seized. We are never told who owns the house, but it can be a daunting experience. Where a ‘walk-by’ valuation was instructed, I’ve parked round the corner and taken photos of all the houses in the area as I’d been told that the man had been “put away for a very long time”.
But as well as having a sharp business mind, Campbell, with his university Land Economics training, also has his eye on ecological matters, including a campaign to veto a compost factory in a residential area of Estepona.
With four lawyers on the case, denuncias submitted and hundreds of local residents signing a change.org petition, Campbell is confident plans for the site will be stopped. “It’s a good idea, but in completely the wrong place”
“What Estepona Town Hall and the Junta are planning is an aberration,” he says. “The town hall gets €30,000 for granting the concession but ruins the environment for all the urbanisations as close as 220 m around it with smells and polluted water. They also haven’t thought of the lost development value of the residential and hotel zoned land around it in both Estepona and Benahavis. Located there it will lose both town halls millions of euros in the long run.”
Campbell’s first column of, ‘All Property Matters’, will appear in the next issue of Olive Press.
• For more information visit www.surveyspain.com or call 952 923 520.