IT was never a question of IF Richard Woodland would escape the London rat race, it was WHEN.
The Property Overseas Group owner, who was raised in suburban south London, pursued his dream to move to Spain almost 15 years ago.
The half-Spanish IT manager traded his job in the big smoke to work for Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agency at the time, which was establishing a Marbella base.
“My mother is from Madrid so I had always holidayed in Spain, mostly on the coast, and I was interested in property so the job at Countrywide was the perfect timing and the perfect fit,” the 50-year-old father-of-three told the Olive Press.
“I lived in Marbella for a few years but I was attracted to the inland lifestyle so I bought some land and built my own finca in Coin.”
The softly-spoken agent continued: “The finca I was building was initially intended as a weekend retreat but it wasn’t long before I had moved in permanently and then started building a new project in Monda.”
By this point Richard had left H2O Countrywide and set up his own agency, Property Overseas Group, which now operates from its inland office in Coin, opposite La Trocha commercial centre.
Due to the length of time he has lived in the area, he has built up the best contacts for local architects, lawyers, gardeners and builders and can provide the complete property service.
Almost as importantly, he is completely bilingual – perfect for negotiating that bureaucratic red tape and those changeable Spanish laws.
“I realised I can be really helpful to buyers,” he explains, adding that most of his clients are looking for property with beautiful views and a private plot of land.
He believes in the current climate this can be achieved easily inland for around €250,000.
“You can certainly get much more for your money inland,” insists Richard, who lives with his partner and son in Coin. He has two daughters back in the UK.
Such a big fan of the region, he now has several properties of his own that he rents out – including one in Estepona, which can be rented cheaply while house hunting and you can be refunded the rental if you buy.
While he knows the property market on the coast, he is a particular specialist for the Guadalhorce valley, including the towns of Coin, Monda, Guaro, Tolox and Alhaurin el Grande.