TESTIMONIALS- Buyers from UK and Ireland
Tristan and Rebecca, Harrogate, N.Yorks
Thank you to you and Steve. You have done an amazing job and we are very grateful and very pleased with our second home. Steve did a wonderful job of finding just what we were looking for, and then when we had chosen the property that we wanted helped us through working up an offer through to closing on our very own villa in the sunshine state. Even though we had to return to the UK before we closed on the house, Steve continued to help us with all the arrangements right through to closing. Steve helped to make the process as smooth as possible and we are very grateful to him and Dolby Properties for the service provided. A number of times, Steve went above and beyond on a number of occasions and exceeded our expectations. We would happily recommend Dolby Properties to anyone thinking of buying a home in the Disney area.
Once again, thank you for your help, and for being so approachable with queries.
Peter, Margaret and Ryan Clark, UK
Hello Lesley, Really sorry have not got back to Dolby properties before now to thank yourself and especially Sam for your amazing efforts in making our lifelong dream come true .We have been so busy in the last few weeks but now everything is sorted and we have even made our own first booking for August 2012 (wow).We think we have an amazing condo on a great complex and look forward to travelling out in Feb next year for a week to meet everyone there.
We have been looking seriously now for the last two years because before that it was just a dream and as we have been travelling to Florida since 1992 for our holidays we decided this was a place we would like to own a property in. Now we do and its all thanks to Sam and Dolby Properties that we do .We spent a day with Sam in April when we were out in Florida and had great fun looking for a property with her .I consider her not only to be my realtor but also a friend and we both trust her expertise and judgement.I would not hesitate in asking Sam to find me another property if( as I hope ) I will purchase again as the buying process (even though we were across the pond was very straightforward ).I would recommend Sam and Dolby Properties to any one without hesitation. THANKS AGAIN. Love to all at Dolby
Tracy and Bill Bell, Maltby, ROTHERHAM, South Yorkshire
Dear Lesley and Steve, Just a few lines to say thank you for helping to make our dream a reality. As you will appreciate we were very nervous when we set out on this journey of discovery. We had contacted several realtors but found your website to be honest and straight forward. So we took a deep breath and contacted you. It was the best move we made. We never believed we would be lucky enough to find a company who cared about us and our needs but you came up trumps. All along the buying process you supported and advised us and 5 weeks after viewing a property we were the proud owners of our beautiful villa, sitting around the pool not believing our luck! (wow you move fast).
Lesley and Steve you are a great team professionally but also great people and we cannot thank you enough for making the experience enjoyable and successful. It is nice in this day and age to be treated not just as a client but as friends, to be made feel at ease with no pressure and full support. This you both do effortlessly and your commitment to getting the job in hand done with minimal fuss is remarkable. We will of course be recommending you to all our friends and colleagues in the future and will advise them wholeheartedly that they cannot do any better than Lesley and Steve at Dolby Properties. Once again thankyou so much for all your hard work and support. Look forward to seeing you soon.
Lesley & Mark Town, Halifax, W. Yorks
Lesley & Steve were introduced to us by referral. Even so, you still feel very unsure of whom you can trust. Buying a house is a big step, even bigger when you are investing into the "unknown". We have bought and sold houses for years in England, but this was a whole new venture. We spoke with other "so called" Real Estate Agents to the extent that we decided not to go ahead with buying a dream home at all. All they were concerned about was a sale and the money.Then Lesley & Steve came along and saved the day. They gained our confidence with their honesty and their knowledge, that was just the start............
When it comes to Real Estate, Lesley is only a couple of rungs from the top of the ladder, and it is a long and hard ladder to climb. Lesley & Steve helped us from the very start, from where we chose to buy our home, to how much we could comfortably afford, so we could enjoy our dream. All the pressures were taken from us, we knew what was going on all the time, because they constantly kept us informed. They put a lot of time and effort into helping you achieve your dream. We could go on for ever telling you what help we received and what help you too would receive. But what it boils down to is you get 110% and more from both Lesley & Steve, from the start to the finish. The professionalism is beyond all comprehension. If you want to find that dream home, use the PROFESSIONALS, Lesley & Steve at DOLBY PROPERTIES. Happy Hunting!
Karen Wild & Iain Dempster, Blackpool, Lancashire
Dear Lesley & Co.! Having closed on our Florida property purchase last week, I feel I absolutely MUST write to thank you at Dolby Properties for your utter professionalism , total honesty and unwavering attention and assistance, every step of the way!.....First and foremost our heartfelt thanks must go to the amazing Sam Brightman aka "wonder-woman", who was totally "there for us" from the very beginning - As newcomers to the US property market, one cannot place too high a premium on honest, sound advice.....from the start, the impression we got from your website was that Dolby properties were a no-nonsense straightforward and honest company, on whom we could rely 100% for attention and assistance..... How wrong we were!!.....Sam Brightman delivered 150% from day one!!!!
As soon as we met her at the airport, we took a complete and instant liking to this formidable but friendly whirlwind.......she had done more than her homework to secure us viewings on properties that matched our expressed criteria.......and gave us complete confidence that our short trip would prove fruitful. Sams organisational skills are truly second to none - she had everything arranged like a well-planned military manouevre - from arranging our bank account and tax reference application to arranging meetings with a management company to let the property for us. She was never less than completely honest in her opinions and advice - and won our complete trust. But equally importantly , Sam's enthusiasm, "fire" for her work and incredible humour, made our search so enjoyable, that it 's more than fair to say that after a few short days, we truly felt that we were leaving behind a special friend not just a realtor!!!...Hope you're not embarrased Sam, but thats how we felt!!!
I cannot recommend Sam and her colleagues at Dolby Properties highly enough to anyone thinking of investing in the Orlando region. By lunchtime on day one, we had found our dream villa. There was no "pressure- selling" whatsoever from Sam - just sound advice to consider all the options - she was honest enough to talk us out of considering a property that wouldn't have been right for our needs Bless you Sam!.....If we had estate agents like you in the UK, the profession wouldn't be in such disrepute!!!.....My personal advice to other would-be -UK purchasers is simple! - Don't bother wasting time with other realtors - you will be given all the wise, impartial and practical advice you will ever need at Dolby Properties - especially if you are fortunate enough to have Sam helping you!!!!!!
Mary & Ian Parker, Sheffield
We decided we would like to invest in a holiday home. We did a considerable amount of research and decided that Orlando was the place for us. We continued to do our research via the internet and subsequently corresponded with and met a couple who bought their highly sucessful rental property in Orlando through Dolby Properties. We were extremely impressed with the information they gave us and via the Dolby Property website contacted other buyers.
The response from all the buyers we contacted was that the service provided by Dolby was second to none. We decided to make contact with Lesley Dolby, she removed all pressure from our shoulders and helped us phenomenally. She kept constant contact with us, sending MLS homes for use to peruse and determine our likes and dislikes. She discussed price and location and helped us enormously prior to our visit. She also arranged finance and helped us to obtain a mortgage before we arrived in Orlando. When we met Lesley and Steve they had a list of properties in our price bracket to view. They transported us in luxury with no pressure sales to the selected properties. During our visit they pointed out what we needed to know re: location and condition of properties. Steve is excellent, whilst we were excited at the prospect of owning our own home, he methodically checked every single thing in every single house, so that we were always aware of the condition and any expenses which may be incurred. They found us our dream home, helped us negotiate the price (downwards), accompanied us regarding the finance and gave us an aftersales service which we have never known. Before we returned to the U.K. Steve had visited our new home seven times, he negotiated with the seller regarding minor problems.
He is still working with us, sharing his time and knowledge. Lesley keeps in touch on a regular basis, always answers emails quickly, answers all queries effectively, treats every issue professionally and never trivialises any of our questions (and some of them have been rather silly). With Dolby Properties you get a TEN STAR service, the home you are looking for, assistance with every problem, and an AFTERSALES SERVICE we have never encountered before. If you are considering using Dolby Properties you will not go wrong and my husband and I will give them our highest recommendation.
Joanne and Tony, Rotherham, S. Yorks
Lesley & Steve, we cannot express deeply enough how thankful we are to you both following our recent purchase. Your realistic and honest approach before our purchase enabled us to follow our dream in confidence. Your tireless hard work throughout did not go unnoticed even in a couple of 'strenuous' times your dedication saw us through to the end. You both far extend the realms of a 'realtor' and even now your continued support and guidance has never ceased.
Thanks for 'keeping it real' and for making our dreams become reality, I dont think we could have seen it through without your commendable professional service which has now become a friendship.
Gary & Irene Holmes, Bradford West Yorkshire
Just a few lines to say thank you for helping us make our dream a reality. We were very nervous about buying our dream home in Florida, then a work colleague gave us the website for Dolby Properties, so we took the plunge and contacted them (we were so glad we did) because once we spoke with Lesley, things felt clearer and she really put us at ease. They really are Professionals. We were in constant contact with Lesley and when we were due to fly out to Florida Lesley passed us on to one of her associates Paul Irwin (British Relator) who proved to be worth his weight in gold. Paul did everything for us from start to finish.
Things move so fast when buying a home in Florida (and I mean fast) but Paul was there for us keeping us informed every step of the way. Paul showed us a lot of beautiful homes and we thought we would never be able to make up our minds but you just know when you've found the right one. Paul would go out of his way for you, nothing was ever to much trouble and we were surprised at how quickly everything moved, but again that was down to Paul Irwin. Since purchasing our home he has not forgotten us and we still keep in touch, we could go on and on telling you what a great guy Paul is but if you are thinking about buying your dream home then you will see for yourself.
There are many Realtors in Florida, but Dolby Properties are by far the best in my book - they are just professionals at what they do. We will of course be recommending Dolby Properties to all our friends and colleagues in the future. Thank you once again for all your hard work and commitment.
Ian & Bev Gowen & Chris Globe, Horwich
Dear Lesley, following our recent purchase of a Floridian villa we would like to express our delight in the services your Company provided. We are sure that if it wasn't for the professionalism of your representative Mrs Sam Brightman & yourself the purchase would never have run so smoothly. From arranging to set up a US bank account, financial advice through to getting us copies a local maps.
Having given Dolby our requirements and expectation of the kind of property we had set our heart on, Sam quickly set to work; at times this must have been disheartening for Sam as the properties available somehow didn't meet our goals. With the property market moving so fast we quickly realised that Sam had our best interests at heart and advised us to rethink our purchasing strategy. On reflection, this was some of the best advice she gave us. A couple of days from our change in direction we received a telephone call from Sam extremely excited about a potential property she had seen that met over 90% of our dreams. We viewed several digital pictures which were received via the internet / email and made an instant decision to buy the villa relying on Sam's views, expertise and feedback received on the property. Once the agreement was set up to purchasing the villa we were given constant informative updates on the progress during the buying period, this at times proved to be a very testing time due to the Hurricane's in the area and felt that Dolby were excellent in finding alternative ways to continue their route of communications.
We have a friend who is considering making a similar purchase and have had no hesitation in recommending Dolby Properties services and hope they will also have a very smooth transaction as we did. Your services are commendable.
Linda & Tony Tinkler, Pontefract, W. Yorks.
Now that we are finally the proud owners of a Florida property, we wanted to pass on our thanks for the excellent service offered by you & your team. I can't remember now what made us pick your company over any other but I'm glad we did.
From the very first contact everyone has been so helpful & nothing is too much trouble. Both Sam & Dom are fantastic people & we enjoyed every moment of our house hunting expeditions. They were both so helpful & full of advice & ideas - not just on buying a property but everything else relating to it. Sam stepped in for Dom when she was called away suddenly & found us a fantastic house - the 2nd one we viewed & we were so happy at Sea World the next day totally unaware that things were going wrong. Sam was busy working away for us but unfortunately we lost this house. When we finally met Dom to say we were a bit down would be an understatement but she kept us going, which can't have been easy and found us an even better house. Dom has been there all the way through & along with Amy has been making sure everything went as smoothly as possible - things didn't always go to plan but that was due to third parties & not Dolby Properties.
Once again thank you for all your help, we couldn't have done it without you & we will recommend your company time & again.
Anne & Dave Rutland, Sheffield
Hello Lesley, Just thought we would drop you a short line to praise the work and assistance provided by your staff. During our recent property purchase in Davenport, Paul & Cindy Irwin, and Amy Honc were invaluable with their help and support.
Although the purchase did not pass without any hiccups, and the process of purchasing from thousands of miles away is not an easy one, your team, particularly Paul, made it as easy as they possibly could. It appeared to us that no job was too small, and no request too trivial to be followed up and sorted out as quickly as possible. Paul went out of his way to ensure that we were kept well up to date with developments, and sorted out all our requests as soon as was possible. (Must be something he learned during his time in America, as it is way above the level of service we are used to over here in the UK!) We even received valuable assistance with mortgages, insurance, banking etc and although we cannot say the process was stress free, we must say that it was made as easy as was humanly possible by your team.
We first became interested in your company, because of the honest and straightforward way you represent yourselves on your website. Then once we met Paul at "A Place In The Sun Live" in London this year, the decision was made, and follow up e-mails were sent. Two months later, and we find ourselves the proud owners of a beautiful 4 bedroom villa in the sun, and one more of our dreams becomes a reality. We will have absolutely no hesitation in recommending your company to all our friends and family, if any of them show an interest in purchasing a holiday home. Once again thank you, and please pass on our thanks to rest of your team.
Brian Mann, Bolton
If I was in any doubt, who to use to help me buy my dream home in America they were soon dispelled. Dolby are certainly the best. They certainly know their stuff. Nothing was too much trouble. They put so much time and effort into it I can not recommend them enough. Unlike certain businesses in England, it doesn't stop there. The after sales is unique, they walk you through every step to ensure things run smoothly. Even now, as I await for my home to be completed they are almost in daily contact. I have not only got a fantastic home but I have made a good friend in David Baker, who should be voted Realtor of the Year, boy did he have patience!
Well done Dolby, nobody can touch you or even come close to you. You're in a league of your own!
Janet Williams & Chris Dawson, Manchester
I arrived along with my brother Chris at Orlando International Airport in July 2004. After checking into our hotel we first met up with Dominique Campbell-Combe from Dolby properties. Our first impressions of 'Dom' immediately showed her to be very friendly and down to earth. Previous to our visit we had exchanged several e-mails, giving Dom all the necessary information regarding the type of property we liked and budget we had available to spend. As she was now prepared with detailed requirements from us, we were taken to properties which she knew we would be interested in. This obviously cuts down the time wasted looking at homes Dom now knew we would not be interested in.
We found a lovely property the next day. Unfortunately some time after our visit the sellers withdrew from the sale. We had to start all over again ! This however did not deter Dom from going to great lengths to find us another property. I would just like to say a big 'THANK YOU' to Dom for all the time, effort and energy she has spent in looking out for our dream investment/holiday home, all the e-mails, all the financial information and contacts she provided, all the legal information, immediately responding to any requests we had and most of all for the friendship we made with each other. Chris and I are very grateful for all you have done for us and our families. We would not hesitate in recommending this lovely lady to anyone interested in buying property in Orlando !
As of December 2004 we became the proud owners of a wonderful villa on Lake Davenport Estates. We have a successful rental income and a fabulous place to stay on our vacations. You are a star Dom !!!!!!!!!!!
The Bell Family, Durham
My family and I would like to thank you for your help in the purchase of our beautiful villa. Not only did you start your search for us months before we arrived to view properties but you started all over again when you recognised our thoughts on what type of property we were looking at changed. In a matter of days you had scheduled us new appointments and organised information on the rental management companies. Your efforts have touched us and your hospitality is endless. Even working around our children visiting theme parks. Thanks once again and look forward to meeting you and your family again when we are having our vacation in the property you helped us find.
Julie, Alan, Keith & Lynne, Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear
Alan, Keith, Lynne and myself would like to pass on our thanks for the all the work your company has done for us. Michelle has 'bent over backwards' to make our dream come true in purchasing our perfect villa.We were unable to visit Florida and have left buying the property 100% to Michelle, we first contacted your company a few months ago and since then have had very close contact with Michelle. In the first couple of months she contacted us regularly with hundreds of properties which were in our price bracket. We short listed the properties and sent NUMEROUS emails to Michelle wanting her to find out more information on dozens of villas. She replied to every email we sent extremely quickly and professionally and went out of her way to find as much extra detail possible.
We found our perfect property only a few weeks ago, put in an offer and the villa is now ours!!! We had no idea on the process of buying a property in U.S. and Michelle took us through each process from start to finish. She sent us contact lists of everyone involved i.e. property management company, home insurance etc. etc. etc. I don't think we have been the easiest of customers and Michelle has ALWAYS been extremely helpful and friendly and we would like to say a huge THANK YOU to her for making our dreams come true. Your help has been very much appreciated.
Val and Dave Edwards, Manchester
We are very pleased to recommend Dolby Properties to anyone wishing to purchase rental property in Florida. We recently bought a villa and the whole process went very smoothly, thanks to the efficiency and professionalism of Steve and Lesley. They helped us through all the steps, giving much needed advice and support, and when necessary stepping in on our behalf to keep things rolling. They were a great support and help during the purchase process, and have continued to look after our interests since. We can't recommend them highly enough.
Colin and Janice Lucas, Lower Darwen, Lancs
We were shown many villas at different prices and at no time did we feel under pressure to buy. They spent a great deal of time with us and answered all our questions and their help and guidance continued even when we arrived back in England. They made the whole process of purchasing a villa straightforward and enjoyable and we are pleased to say that we remain in touch with them as friends.
Steve and Sonia Phillips, Frodsham, Cheshire
Hi Steve and Lesley, We would just like to write to thank-you for all the work you did on our behalf, when buying our villa in Orlando.
We were very surprised how much there was to do. I know we did not even see our house before we bought it, but from the first time we met you both we knew you were very genuine people and we could trust your advice. We now not only own a fantastic villa, but we have gained two exceptional friends. Thank-you both once again
Tony and Janice Forrest, Redcar
We had been searching for properties in Orlando for two years before we came across Dolby Properties. We were passed on to one of their agents, Dave (who actually has relatives in our town) and from that day, we were so impressed and decided that this was the Realtor for us. Since we were buying this property without actually going over to Florida, we often sent several e-mails daily and made lots of phone calls. Dave's prompt and efficient way of handling everything gave us the confidence we needed to do proceed with fulfilling our ambition of 10 years.
We can't believe how easy it has been to purchase a home thousands of miles away, but we both realise that this is due to the advice and expertise Dave shared with us.
Tim and Sarah Sharp, Bedale, N. Yorks.
We recommend Dominique highly as a realtor. Having emailed and discussed our requirements and budget, she put us in touch with a company for flights and arranged the accommodation for our trip. Her selection of 15 properties and choice of areas was excellent and she tirelessly drove us round to look at them. Narrowing them down was easy with her advice and we found the right one on our second day. Her expertise and knowledge of the local area was vital in our decision and since then we have sought her advice on mortgages, property management, taxation etc.
We feel we have found a new friend and know we can contact her as and when necessary.
Jan and John Pye, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
A big thank you to Michelle at Dolby Properties for her excellent, honest advice, help and support in finding and purchasing our dream holiday home in Florida. Once we made the decision that a home in Florida was for us we made contact with Dolby Properties and Michelle was with us from then, right the way through the process and even now she is still there to help us. We would highly recommend Michelle and Dolby Properties to anyone interested in buying a property in Florida.
We were impressed right from the start with Michelle's efficiency and helpfulness. It started with answering our many questions around all kinds of things from opening a US bank account to understanding property and state taxes! She sent us lots of property searches based on our criteria, which Michelle seemed to understand better than we did ourselves! We selected several properties to view and Michelle arranged all the viewings based on the very little time we would have when we were there. Once in Orlando, Michelle met us and escorted us on the viewings and very quickly came to understand exactly what we liked and was able to arrange more viewings at really short notice for us. We knew the one we finally went for was for us the minute we walked through the door. Michelle's professionalism and efficiency again was fantastic in taking us through the buying process, working hours to suit us rather than "9 till 5". Michelle also put us in touch with people in other companies for other services we needed like opening a bank account and a property management company. By the time we left Orlando after just one week there, we had put in an offer on our property. Once back in the UK, the buying process went smoothly thanks to Michelle and nothing came as a surprise to us as Michelle had been clear about what to expect. We now view Michelle as a friend and look forward to seeing her again when we come and stay in our Florida home.
David & Mary Stainton, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland
We cannot praise Michelle enough for all the work she had completed on our behalf, since we were buying the property without actually coming over to Florida at that time. Michelle kept us informed of homes that were on the market, offered advice, even going out specially to take extra photographs of any property we were interested in. Michelle always answered any emails we sent quickly and nothing was too much bother for her, her promptness and efficiency gave us the confidence to proceed with a purchase. Even after the purchase Michelle kept in touch to make sure all was OK with the purchase, how we were settling in, and is more a friend now, and we remain in touch as friends.
The whole process was made very easy, straightforward, and enjoyable, this we are sure was only due to the advice, expertise and hand-holding provided by Michelle at Dolby Properties. The staff at Dolby Properties are always on hand, even after the purchase to provide help and advice as needed.
I have just purchased my 2nd home with Sam & Dolby Properties. The personal service, attention to detail and knowledge of the area and properties allowed me to purchase exactly what I wanted and below the budget I set, I could not be more happier!
Jean & Barry, Cheadle, Cheshire
Once again thank you for all your assistance and guidance - we couldn't have done it without you!! Sam has been an excellent guide through the maze of buying our home, from the moment we met she worked tirelessly to make sure that we chose the right home at the right price. She was always very professional in her commitment to making sure we completed the whole package of buying in the most efficient way.
Andy Hartley, Rochdale
Thank you to Dolby Properties and especially Sam Brightman for your help in the finding and purchase of our home in Florida. Having decided to buy a place in Florida we started the daunting task of finding someone to help with our purchase. Then we came across Dolby Properties and decided to take the plunge.
From the initial contact there was a feeling of dealing with people who were professional and honest. Sam worked extremely hard on our behalf during the 5 days we were there, finding numerous properties for our viewing, and maintained her sense of humour throughout! Nothing seemed too much trouble for her, even working late into the evening to arrange viewings for the following day. On finding a property Sam arranged all the appointments for setting up the bank account and mortgage. On returning home we were kept up to date at all times with both e-mail and phone calls. It was a great comfort to know that Sam was acting on our behalf, and for a property purchase the whole process was relatively stress free!
I cannot recommend Dolby Properties and Sam Brightman highly enough. If you want to purchase a place in the sun then contact the professionals - Dolby Properties and Sam Brightman. I feel we have made a real friend in Sam and cannot wait to get back to our Florida home to see you again. Thanks once again.
Anthony & Fiona Waite, Sowerby, W. Yorks
Dear Lesley, firstly can I just say what a pleasure it has been to work with your company and especially Sam Brightman. Buying a property in Florida was a daunting task at first and a massive investment for us, so finding someone who we could trust was going to be the biggest hurdle.Arrive Dolby Properties and Sam Brightman, from our first e-mail and talk on the phone myself and Fiona quickly realised we had found the one to help us and someone we felt ultimately we COULD TRUST !! Nothing is to much trouble she is truly amazing. Having arranged for us to look at numerous properties (over the new year as well) it turns out we looked at our dream property on day one ! So we decide to go for it and take the plunge Sam held our hand all the way, again nothing to much trouble ! She has sorted everything from us taking us to the bank, the mortgage broker, management co . the lot !
When we got home Sam has been in regular contact and kept us posted all the way although I do owe her an apology for sending her a fax at 4 in the morning and waking the whole family - so sorry Sam !! We have just got confirmation of closing and cannot believe how easy it has been we now own our dream place in the sun and all thanks to Dolby Properties and again not forgetting Sam B.
I would not hesitate to recommend Dolby Properties to anybody thinking of buying a property in Florida, so professional, friendly and honest everything you could possibly need to make that dream a reality. And to finish all thanks go to our new friend Sam Brightman, we look forward to meeting up for that celebration drink ! Many many thanks.
Gary and Tracey Rhodes, Leeds, West Yorkshire
We would never have imagined that our first trip to Florida in the New Year of 2007 would result in us owning our very own villa there just 3 months after! Our holiday to Florida was to be a once in a lifetime trip for us and the kids, but now we have been twice already this year! Our intention was to buy a property that we could benefit from ourselves, but could also rent out so that we could break even on costs etc. We bought our 3 bed 2 bath villa on Crescent Lakes in March 2007 and Michelle from Dolby was with us every step of the way. We trusted her from day one and she did everything that she said she would. All our many questions were answered and she made the buying process for us run smoothly and efficiently - within 5 weeks we had our very own villa!
As far as rentals are concerned, we have employed a Management Company to look after our villa and to take bookings. It appears to be working well at the moment (although it¿s early days). We are running the rentals as a type of business, and check our in-box morning and night for enquires and bookings. We have had a good response to our website, and have actually had several bookings from them. So far we have got 12 weeks of bookings this year (we have placed 7 weeks ourselves). We know that we won¿t cover all our costs in the first year, but hope that we will at least break even in future ones. We know that we will still have the villa which will appreciate in value as the years go by and that when we retire we can use it even more! Advertising is our biggest concern at the moment, and although we have our own website and have sent out business cards, advertised on villa rental sites and have sent out flyers etc., we are looking at other ways to get our villa on the map. There is a long journey ahead of us and we are confident that the positives will outweigh the negatives. For now, we know that we have made the right decision and cannot wait to go again with the kids!
For anyone thinking about buying a property in this beautiful area of the world, then we would strongly recommend that you contact the team at Dolby. They can not only assist you with purchasing your dream home, but also offer all sorts of other useful advice such as management companies, furniture shops, local contractors etc. We spoke to Michelle even after the sale went through, and we know that she will still be there for us to answer any other questions, or offer advice anytime we need it.
Patrick and Julie Askham, Sheffield
A friend recommended Dolby Properties to us when we looked at buying a property in Florida. Without a doubt this proved to be one of the best recommendations that we have ever had. The team @ Dolby Properties helped and advised us every step of the way. From start to finish we were guided through setting up bank accounts, tax system, international financing options etc. There constant dedication made what at first seemed a daunting task become an absolute pleasure. Clearly Dolby Properties have an excellent understanding of the market and excel in good customer service. Whether buying or selling in the future they will always be our first choice.
John Skidmore, Normanton, W. Yorks
Customer focused, professional, reliable, timely, good sound practical advice, positively challenging and supportive is my excellent experience of Dolby Properties. A no nonsense buyers agent who always represents your best interests. My first experience of buying a property in Florida was very successful with the sound straight forward advice from an easy to approach buyers agent in Dolby Properties. Look no further for confidence and the professional advice you need in supporting you with your property purchase.
Ian, Joh and Matthew McPherson, Gloucestershire
We chose to engage Dolby Properties services as they came recommended for UK buyers looking to purchase in the Disney catchment area. Lesley assigned Steve Schaffer to be our agent, and he work tirelessly finding us properties, emailing the listings to us, answering endless questions we had, and finally reaching a healthy short list. We spent a few solid days out with Steve looking around the short list, his knowledge and advice have been paramount in our decision making process. I would, without any reservation, recommend Dolby Properties and the services of Lesley and Steve Schaffer. A very professional and friendly run business who have helped make our Florida dream a reality.
Trev, Tina, Mike and Ross, Gloucestershire
After having many fantastic family holidays in Florida, we new one day our dream was to invest in a holiday home in the sunshine state, we were very nervous about the process & who to trust. As soon as we contacted Lesley & Steve of Dolby Properties, our confidence grew immediately. They are very helpful and straight talking and extremely knowledgeable. There was never any pressure to buy the first property we liked. In fact, Steve was very particular in selecting the right property with us. The guys from Dolby made the whole buying process very straightforward throughout. Needless to say they got us our Florida dream home and we can’t wait to get out there to enjoy it.
With Dolby's outstanding quality of service & friendly manner, I would not hesitate to use them again & would highly recommend them.
Paul & Jane Butler, Henley-on-Thames
Looking back on our decision to purchase a property in Florida, one of our best choices was to go with Dolby Properties. Although we managed to find out a lot of information on the internet before we arrived, you still need someone who knows the area and is willing to listen to your requirements and act on them. We found Steve to be reassuringly down to earth and honest, but still willing to look slightly out of the box in order that we saw as many property options as possible and not rush what is after all one of the most important purchases you will ever make.
Donald Ramsbottom, Hayling Island, Hampshire
Dear Lesley and Steve, I am just dropping you a quick line to say how delighted I am that I have now closed and Montana is mine. I should also like to express my heart felt thanks for all your efforts. I chose Dolby on the strength of the website. It was clear, unobtrusive and told me what I wanted to know without having to go through endless useless graphics. Having made the choice I was not disappointed with the service. I may have been a little eager in sending lists in 2 months before I was due over, but you you didn't chuckle or patronise me for my enthusiasm, for which I am grateful.
The US system is completely different from the system in the UK. Steve led me through the system answering a myriad of questions, initially by email then by phone. When I finally made it over, Steve had a good idea what I wanted and had a list of properties for me to see. He drove me round very patiently an answered many more questions, many of which were beyond the purview of the Realtor. He advised me on offers and the best strategy to follow to achieve what I wanted and it worked. Assistance with management, insurance, banking,roofers, just about everything I needed to know was forthcoming and again lists of recommendations were available. After the deal was done, offers accepted and contracts drawn, the very real and professional attention to detail continued, again in my view way beyond the "call of duty". In a couple of words Steve was the "consummate professional" and I am lucky to have had him as my Realtor.
Many thanks again, no doubt I will be in touch and rest assured if I will not hesitate to recommend Dolby Properties, to friends, relatives and clients.
Ian Farmer, Jersey, Channel Islands
An incredible service from start to finish, I could not recommend a better company to entrust the purchase of your dream home to. Nothing is too much trouble and they are always on hand to answer your questions no matter how trivial. All in all the purchase process was as painless as it could possibly be and the credit for that goes to Sam and the team at Dolby. Thanks guys.
Lee, Nikki, Ashley, Georgina & Ashley Tapper, Plymouth
My husband and I are writing this as a huge Thank you to the best estate agent ever! We had been looking in to buying a second home in Florida for a while but we are sure that without Sam's help it would have been a much longer and drawn out process! From the day we decided to go for it right up until the closing of the property Sam was there for us every step of the way offering constant help and advise!! We then visited Florida to view some houses and again Sam was there to advise and help us find our perfect home! By this time she knew just about exactly what we were after and had a massive hand in finding our dream home!!!
We have not only found the house of our dreams we have also made a very good friend! Thank you Sam for everything.
Tim Jordan, Kent
What can I say Steve and Lesley helped me to purchase my Villa in Hampton Lakes, Davenport and I could not ask for any other assistance from day one to finding the right Villa to recommending everything to make the progress so smooth. They were totally professional in every way and I would not hesitate in recommending them to anybody. Their knowledge of the market was brilliant second to none and they even recommended my Management Company. They even donated part of their commission to WWF which was a nice touch.
Nikki Symmons, Surrey
Working with Samantha Brightman from Dolby Properties has indeed been a positive, prompt and efficient experience. She is professional yet approachable and her local knowledge and her skills as a Realtor meant that I had fast access to a wider choice of properties. The practical information she imparted to me helped enormously when choosing the right property for my needs. She is genuinely helpful and supportive and wants only the best for her clients. I would not hesitate in recommending her to any potential buyers.
Jon Jokhan, London
As a first time British property investor in the United States, I was a bit nervous about the process & who to trust, especially having heard various horror stories about the American buying process. The minute I contacted Lesley & Steve of Dolby Properties, my confidence grew immediately. Here were a couple of guys who were straight talking & knew what they were talking about. Not only would they go the extra mile, by e-mailing me photos for several properties, but there was never any pressure or "hard sell" tactics employed. The whole buying process was structured, professional, with advise offered. Needless to say they got me the property I wanted.
With Dolby's outstanding quality of service & friendly manner, I would not hesitate to use them again & would highly recommend them.
David & Tina Brinkley, Essex
I would like to take this opportunity to let you know how grateful we are that Andrew referred us to your company, I don't think we could have had a better realtor / agent than Dave Robertson. He was and still is absolutely superb on all fronts, he has helped, guided and advised us brilliantly at every stage of our search and purchase he answered all of our questions in a way that we could understand - it seemed nothing was too much trouble for him - we really can't praise him enough you must be very pleased to have him working with you!
Keith Rowe, Brighton, East Sussex
For several years we had been thinking of buying a property abroad, mainly for investment but also for occasional holiday use. Despite looking at various locations, we were still nervous about making that final decision. Then - last year - my brother decided to buy an apartment in Orlando, Florida - at the Parc Corniche Condominium Hotel complex on South International Drive. He engaged Dolby Properties to help with the purchase and - based on his recommendation - I am pleased to say that we did the same when we eventually decided to "take the plunge".
Dominique Campbell-Combe (of Dolby Properties) has guided us through every step of our purchase, from inspecting and reporting back (with photographs) of potential properties - to opening a US bank account - to obtaining a mortgage - to giving advice on submitting offers - to......well, you name it.The whole process has been made as easy as buying at home - (perhaps easier) - and all without having to set foot outside the UK. In June 2005 we became the proud owners of our own Florida apartment - also at the Parc Corniche. As the complex adjoins a golf course and is near the theme parks, we receive letting revenue from both golfers and holidaymakers. Our mortgage and outgoings are more than covered - and our purchase has already increased in value by 25%. (Our only regret is that we didn't do this sooner). We would heartily recommend Dominique Campbell-Combe and Dolby Properties to anyone who is thinking of buying a property in Florida.
Martin & Sue Smith, Clevedon
Lesley Dolby & Steve Schaffer (Dolby Properties) made buying our villa a genuinely enjoyable process. They answered all our queries with a refreshing candour, gave us all the information UK-based buyers need, showed us any properties we were interested in without any 'high pressure' selling, led us through the buying process & have continued to offer a level of service unheard of in UK ! If you are considering buying a property in Florida, we can thoroughly recommend you contact them...
Grace & Phil Mason, Essex
To dear Lesley & Steve, we have to say a big 'THANK YOU' for helping us to find our dream home in the sun! Not only did you listen to what we wanted, but you took a lot of time and effort to find it for us. And your after sales service! It has to be experienced to be believed. We have always found that after sales lasts until you either pay the final bill, or leave the building ' which ever comes first! - but you guys certainly break the mould! From checking on our house for us, to speaking to companies on our behalf, we just can't believe it or thank you enough. But really, the main thing is that you're really nice people to work with. Hope you go from strength to strength.
Val Davies, Dorchester, Dorset
I can't begin to thank you enough, Lesley and Steve, for all the time, trouble and care you have lavished on me and my family to ensure that our purchase of a holiday home in Kissimmee was trouble free. We are bowled over by the ongoing care we have had from you since we purchased our villa and are more than happy to recommend you to anyone who asks as having the highest possible standards of service. How lucky we were to pick you as our Realtor.
Colin & Cherryl of Chadwell Heath
We were interested but cautious about buying property abroad, but fortunately we were introduced to Dolby Properties. Over a period of months we were given frank and honest information to the many questions we wanted answers to. We were interested but not sold on buying until taken on a guided tour of several properties by Lesley and Steve. They gave their time with no pressure to buy and did not need to, as the properties they showed us could sell themselves. By the end of the tour we decided we would buy and as our agent they were able to help us negotiate a good price. From that point they held our hand through the whole purchase process ensuring everything needed for a rental property was in place and agreed repairs completed.
Since purchasing our Florida home they have not forgotten us, but kept in touch to see if we are happy with our purchase and to give advice when needed. There are many Realtors in Florida but we doubt we could have been given a better or more honest service than provided by Dolby Properties.
Sam, none of this would have been possible without your hard work and dedication. I truly believe this home was just meant to be ours - there were so many unexpected coincidences following my decision to try to find a property to invest in - this one is only about two minutes away from the one we stayed in last summer! Thank you.
Kerry and Ken Osborne, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
The help and advice we had from Sam, when we bought property in Florida was second to none. I would recommend using Dolby Properties to anyone. Nothing is too much trouble and everything ran smoothly. Even after sales was great.
Gary & Denise Johnson, Luton, Bedfordshire
When we decided to buy a holiday home in Florida we originally approached agents here in the U.K , however after meeting several we didn't feel comfortable with any of them so we asked the advice of a friend who had already brought several homes in Florida, he introduced us to Sam Brightman of Dolby Properties. Sam was superb, we arrived on Saturday & met with her on the Sunday, and boy, did she have some homes to show us!!! We viewed homes all day Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, Sam was the perfect host even supplying drinks and toys to keep our two children occupied !! We found our home on the Thursday and completed all the relevant documents the same day, Sam explained everything to us along the way and made it very easy for us to understand all that was happening ( buying a home in the U.K is much harder ! )
When we arrived home Sam kept in constant touch , walking us through every step of the way, even now that we're the proud owners of our own holiday home, Sam still keeps in touch and we like to think that not only did we find our home but we also made a friend.
Stephanie Chiazza, Bedfordshire
Having decided to purchase a property as an investment back in 2004, we looked to making our investment in Florida.Purchasing a holiday/investment home was a major step for us and with some trepidation we instructed Dolby Properties o Orlando to act as our realtors and select a suitable property. Dominique Campbell-Combe had acted as realtor for a friend of mine who had recently purchased a property in Florida and she recommended Dominique. We knew the price range we could afford and that we wanted a property near Disney, but we were `in the dark' about the buying process,- what properties were available? Where was the best place to buy?; whether to buy a 4 bedroom property or 3 bedroom property; how long would the process take?: how would we organise a mortgage? How much tax would we have to pay? etc etc. All our questions were answered promptly at all times, if Dominique didn't have the answer for us immediately, she would always find out and get back to us. We were provided with the contacts for the mortgage advisor, and US bank accounts that we were had been advised to open, plus a company that could help us with the tax aspect.
We carried out our purchase from start to completion over the internet, we didn't even travel to the US to view the properties. I relied on Dominique's advice, along with that of my friend for the property that we finally chose and decided that location was paramount. Dominique was able to show us properties as soon as they were on the market and after viewing half a dozen or so, we chose our property - a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom property in the popular location of Indian Point, based on photos that Dominique had taken for us. The property market was certainly very competitive and we made sure we offered the right price and the deal was struck! It needed nothing doing to it immediately as it had recently been refurbished and therefore available to rent immediately on close of sale. The property was fully furnished, a great plus point of buying property in Florida, mostly you buy the properties complete with all furnishings, including appliances, even down to the knives and forks!
We began renting the property both through our agency and on the internet along with our own private advertising in and around the area that we live. Our rental agency managed to get guest reservations within the first few weeks of owning the property. With a balance of bookings, from our rental agency and those obtained via private advertising on the internet & through friends/relatives, we have had a successful first year and have managed to cover our costs and maintain the property at a consistent level. We have had some great feedback from guests who have stayed in our villa and this goes to prove that Dominique knew what she was talking about and our decision to purchase our property based on her advice was the right one.
We are certainly glad that we took the plunge and look forward to nurturing our property further for the foreseeable future.
Steve Hayhurst, Poole, Dorset
Hi Lesley and Steve, who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? If there isn't, then using your Service is about as close as it gets. I came to you via one of your previous clients and I can only echo what she and everyone else says about you. The time and effort that you spent on us, ensuring not just that we purchased a house, but that we purchased the right house, was nothing short of outstanding.
I have already passed your details on to a friend of mine, recommendation is the best form of advertising. Actually, speaking about a free lunch.. didn't I pay for the Subway Sandwiches? Money well spent!!!
Paul Suddes, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Hi Sam, I just wanted to say what a pleasure it's been working with you on getting our place in the sun. I must admit to being somewhat daunted by the prospect of doing something like this, particularly having to fly out there on my own. However I must say I found the whole process relatively easy and straightforward, you clearly have some good contacts there so that I could get my Bank Account, Mortgage and US tax affairs sorted out with relative ease.
As far as my trip out there was concerned I couldn't have been happier. I didn't have long and I was impressed that you came to meet me on a Sunday, we ended up looking at 12 properties I think! My head was spinning at the end of the day but I was genuinely impressed by the range of properties in my relatively low price bracket. I was initially worried about finding one that I liked but I came away from the day with a clear top 3 and I probably would have bought any of them. Happily I managed to get my first choice property. Although she hasn't been out to see it yet, my wife Carol is happy with the choice I have made too which is the most important thing! Despite me only having 5 days I was amazed we got to choose a property, see the mortgage consultant, bank manager and tax accountant and I even squeezed in a day at Islands of Adventure and a half day trip to Gatorland!
I also want to thank you for introducing me to bacon, egg and cheese bagels - yummy! Thanks again for everything.
Donna Wood, Oxfordshire
Dear Lesley, I would just like to say that Chris and I have been very pleased with the service which we have received, right from the beginning, from Dolby Properties. The web site is very inviting and easy to use. It provides a lot of very useful information for people such as us looking to buy a property in Florida for the first time. The service we received from Paul Irwin was second to none. We were both impressed with the way in which he listened to our requirements and suggested only those properties which were of interest to us.The fact that he comes from the same county as me in England helps, of course, but I would have no hesitation in recommending him, or Dolby Properties to anyone wishing to buy property in Florida. We are delighted with the condo which we have bought and very frustrated that we won't be seeing it until April. We took some video of it while we were there with Paul and we keep looking at that instead! Thank you again
Anne Stubbs, Haywards Heath
This testimonial was sent in to the UK agent who referred the buyer to us...... "We have just bought our first holiday home in Davenport , Florida through Dolby Properties. As you recommended them as trustworthy we put our dream in their hands and were amazed at the level of service offered. They held our hands through the entire process and delivered the dream home with no pain! I wish all house purchases in the UK were that simple."
Andy & Kath Hares, Gloucestershire
We were both so thankful to find Dolby Properties and especially Michelle Baydemir. At first we were drawn to use Dolby from their web site which we found very informative. Travelling from the UK we wanted to find someone who we felt we could trust. We had been in touch with Michelle for a few months sorting out our property requirements, she knew exactly what we were looking for and it only took two properties to find the one we wanted, Michelle had done her job very well. We loved her honesty and we immediately found her to be extremely informative and trustworthy. We also liked dealing with Michelle because being from the UK we did not fully understand the workings of buying a property in Florida and Michelle talked us through it all.
Once we had our offer accepted and came home Michelle was in constant touch replying to our emails very quickly and keeping us completely up to date. Our sale took somewhat longer to close and we thought a few times we might have lost it, I think we probably would have if it had not been for Michele's' constant hard work on our behalf. On closing we had a congratulations email from Michelle along with a closing note saying if we ever needed any further help please ask. Actually, while after closing we needed some advice and Michelle was there immediately for us. We now have a wonderful place in Florida and we both feel that Michelle has acted above and beyond the call of duty. We would highly recommend Michelle at Dolby Properties to anyone who cares to listen.
Julie Maskell & Simon Greenwood, Barnes, London
Thank goodness for Michelle at Dolby Properties! My husband and I had wanted to purchase a property in Orlando for many years and finally got around to booking the flights for April 2007 to go and find the house of our dreams. We had been taking family holidays in Orlando for many years and never really thought that it would be possible to buy a property out there. We had a reasonable amount of money to use for a deposit and set ourselves a budget (one that we did not keep to). Once you start to look at the properties on offer it is really difficult to keep to the budget that you set for yourselves. The larger houses have so much more to offer a family and most of all provide more privacy and space.
Michelle was so helpful, even before we left London to go and look at the properties. We did our own research and looked for properties online and we sent Michelle a list of houses we liked the look of and she added many more to the list that fitted our requirements. Michelle did a really good job and we found a property within a week. Michelle took us through every step of the purchase, introduced us to our management company, our accountant, the bank manager, the insurance broker and explained every process that we went through to completion. Michelle is an excellent agent and friend who we are still in contact with and will meet up with when we go to the house. We definitely recommend Dolby Properties and Michelle to anyone thinking of purchasing a house in Orlando. It is great to meet someone who is helpful, friendly and not just out to make a sale but who helps you to find your dream house. Many Thanks Michelle.
Tracey Watts, Bath
Sam, thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf, I've never known a house purchase go so smoothly.
Ian & Ann Trussler, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Just a quick note to express our thanks to you and your team for all the help and advise you gave us when we were looking for our dream home in Florida. We would also like to thank Sam for all the pre-sale notifications , and after sales advise, not to mention the fun we had looking at properties, you made a possible traumatic experience into a breeze, with no pressures placed upon us. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and we are extremely happy with our house purchase. Many Many Thanks.
Kate & Andy, Rawreth, Essex
We are so pleased with our home in Florida but couldn't have done it without the excellent advise given to us by Dominique. Not only did she help us find what we were looking for once we were in Florida, but she gave us all the information we needed before we set off. This enabled us to bring the necessary documents to set up our bank account etc.... with the minimum of fuss.
Obviously we talked to other companies with regard to buying a home in Florida, however none of them gave us the practical advise that was so needed to make things go smoothly in the initial stages. We had very strong ideas about where and what we wanted to buy, however Dominique showed us a good mix of properties without being pushy and allowed us to realise ourselves that we were being too limited in our outlook. We really appreciate the time and effort she put into the whole sale process. We entered into this process totally green and have been fortunate enough to have found a company that has given good, sound advise every step of the way. Everybody we have been referred to have been excellent to deal with and we will definitely be recommending your company to other people. Wishing you continued success in the future.
Pauline & Taff, Dorchester Dorset
Lesley, Steve, Amy and staff at Dolby Properties, you have been a Godsend in helping us to have our Holiday home in Florida, the work you guys do, cannot even be measured on the 'richter scale' you are truly very professional and good friends and we Thank You.
Tim Fleming, Essex
It became apparent to us in early 2004 that as we saw the British property market in the doldrums for the immediate future, then as we were interested in taking holidays in the States with our two daughters, (aged 11 and 7), that it might be better to invest in a potentially strong Florida property market where we could combine a little business with pleasure. The current trend of the strong pound against the weaker dollar also encouraged our decision. So it was in April, 2004 that we met Dominique from Dolby properties in Florida in order to pursue our ambition of purchasing a holiday villa. We chose Dolby Properties, and more particularly Dominique, as we were more comfortable dealing with an English Realtor who could communicate with us at our own 'English' pace. We quickly negotiated a deal on a 6 bed property in Kissimmee that backs on to lovely conservation woodland. On our return at Christmas 2004, we became interested in the Reunion Golf Resort and we managed to purchase a piece of land overlooking the signature golf courses that they are building there. This was more for investment potential as this exclusive resort has been seeing higher than normal inflation rates when compared to the average villa prices in the area and will continue to do so as the resort matures.
During the past 15 months, we have seen our first villa appreciate by approximately 35%p.a. and the Reunion lot has appreciated spectacularly by over 30% in less than 6 months! The villa we have managed to let out easily for about 30 weeks per year and we would anticipate that rate rising this year as we now have ironed out some of the 'wrinkles'. The villa letting has been so successful that we have recently completed on another 5 bed villa which we are starting to let out on a similar basis. As with the first villa, we would hope to cover most of our costs, including the mortgage, by letting out to holiday visitors from both North America and the U.K.
It must be said that to succeed in the Florida market, it's not a case of buying anything and sitting back to watch it happen. A certain amount of work is needed initially to start to bring in your own bookings and choose the right villa that will attract visitors. Allied with this of course, it is important to deal with a Realtor who is looking for the right sort of property to suit you and not a 'cog in a wheel' of a large company that is just looking for sales at any cost. The property investment is also a medium to long term return that does not give immediate return, but does provide a consistent return in this heavily tourist trafficked area.On our next trips to Florida, we are hoping to explore the viability of building a new home on our lot at Reunion in the not too distant future - mind you, we had better not spend too long looking at property this time otherwise the children will riot!
Jennie & Julian, Norwich
After holidaying in Florida several times we ( me , Jennie and my husband Julian ) decided we would invest in our first holiday property. A local estate agent with a company buying and selling abroad recommended Michelle and Dolby to us, saying she would be just what we needed, straight forward and direct with no sales patter, and professional at all times. She is just as she was described although I will include very warm and friendly. I described what we liked and Michelle found several properties for us to view. Michelle was fantastic ! She guided us though absolutely everything and was very very patient with my numerous questions !! We closed on our dream home ( which was a last minute find by Michelle ! ) this summer, and it is much more that we ever dreamed of owning. Michelle never pushed, she guided and shared her experiences with us.
We would have no hesitations in recommending Michelle to anyone interested in living the dream. Even though our buying process is over, Michelle sends us regular area updates and I know that if I ever have a question she is just an email or phone call away. Thank you Michelle. I feel we have made a friend.
John and Jayne, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
From start to finish of our "buying the American dream", nothing has been too much trouble for Sam. A heartfelt thanks from us to Sam for her professionalism, honesty and good humour which has made a potentially stressful situation a whole lot easier. Dolby Properties are obviously a team who work well together, with the clients' needs their number one priority.
Colin and Suzanne Reid, Essex
Following a family holiday to Orlando last Christmas ,we decided that there probably is not going to be a better time to buy a property in Florida. Having previously purchased property in Spain ,we have been through the process before and understand to some extent some of the issues to consider. On returning to the UK following our holiday we started to carry out research on different areas and also read as much as we could via the Internet. It was at this point that I was referred to Dolby Properties by Andrew Bartlett. Dave Baker was assigned to us and we asked Dave to let us have a list of properties at the location where we stayed during our holiday. Dave's level of service and attention to detail was fantastic and we quickly arrived at a shortlist of properties that Dave went along to inspect on our behalf and also establish more facts about HOA fees, rental potential etc. We were very impressed with how Dave dealt with us and at no time did we feel any pressure. All we got was the facts combined with good sensible advice. This concluded with us making an offer on a property which was a short sale, although Dave did explain the timescale, in terms of getting a response from the bank could be an issue.
Dave was very helpful with the contract and organising this on our behalf. To cut a long story short we eventually got fed up waiting for the bank to respond and started looking at other non short sale properties concluding in us making another offer which was quickly accepted by the seller and which has just closed. Dave went to see this property for us and took lots of photos and video so we could get a good idea and feel as to what it was like inside and also he provided a description of the location and immediate surroundings. Throughout the many emails and phone conversations ,we have always been very comfortable with Dave and how we have been treated. Dave has taken through every step and even now, after we have closed on the deal ,is still taking us through the various things we need to get organised - utilities , HOA, TV ,phone and Cable etc etc. It is this level of detail and knowledge which is impressive because when you buy property overseas ,you don't know what you don't know , if you understand what I mean.
So, in summary, Dave has been a major positive and invaluable in helping us secure this property and we would have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever recommending Dave and Dolby Properties to anybody who is looking to purchase a property in the Orlando area.
Dr Colin Feyerabend, Bromley, Kent
Buying a property is usually quite traumatic and despite being 3000 miles away I was amazed how smooth everything went with Dolby Properties. This has to be down to the unbelievable dedicated work that Sam Brightman did on our behalf, in effect being our eyes and ears. I am genuinely expressing my gratitude for the detailed and immediate response to all my questions during and after the transaction. I highly recommend Dolby and from my experiences if Sam is looking after you then you can definitely sleep easy at night. A highly motivated, resourceful, intelligent and pleasant person. Thanks for all your help Sam.
Terry & Val Long, Portsmouth
My wife and I have been holidaying in Florida for several years now as we absolutely love the warm climate. The American people are always so polite and the Kissimmee/Davenport area is the theme park capital of the world and everything is such good value for money. We had discussed the possibility of buying a villa as an investment for the future but did not really know how to go about it, so we bought a magazine called 'A PLACE IN THE SUN' which was associated with the channel 4 series of the same name and read about the Florida Property Market. There were several websites to contact and we chose Dolby Properties. After e-mailing them with loads of questions they e-mailed back with a form for us to fill out with our requirements and I mentioned that we were holidaying in the Orlando area and would like to view some properties for short term rental while we were there. We were met by Dominique who is an ABR Realtor which is the highest accreditation you can get for being a Buyers Agent and visited several villas in the area over a couple of days. We found one which we really liked and put an offer in and after a few days Dominique contacted us to say that the offer had been accepted and the villa was now ours. We had to get a mortgage and open a US Bank Account, all of which Dominique helped us with. The closing process as it is known, takes six weeks from the time of acceptance and this is all taken care of by Dominique in her usual efficient manner. The next stage was to find a property management company to look after the villa for us. Dom provided us with several companies and we eventually sighed up with Resort Quest who completely look after it for us and book rental guests in our villa as well. They provide us with a homeowners website where we can view our bookings and also look at our accounts for each month. We now own a beautiful 3 bedroom villa, fully furnished with a swimming pool.
Dominique, who is English herself and lives in the Orlando region was a godsend in this process and without her expert skill and experience in these matters I don't think we would have managed all this. We have now become firm friends with Dom and her husband and always meet up when we are staying in our villa for a holiday. We have now just closed on our second property in Florida and have not even seen it yet! They call this `sight unseen' which is where Dom sent us listings via the mls and we chose a villa we liked the look of. After receiving more detailed photos and a full description we made an offer and again it was accepted. What has pleased us even more is that that we later discovered we paid less for the property than what the lenders value came in at. We have complete trust in Dominique's ability in these matters and she kept us informed with things as they progressed and now we shall be flying out to see our new villa in the near future. We have managed to buy two villa's in Florida in less than a year and we are not rich by any means, but through Dom's advice and discussions, we have achieved our dreams. Thank you Dominique. Your services are very much appreciated.
Denise and Tony Hunter, Wimbourne, Dorset
Dear Dominique, we are writing to you to thank you for all your help in finding our property in Orlando. We are delighted with the villa, it is ideal for us. Your help in sending us property details for many months before we came out to Florida to view helped us to decide on the type of property we wanted and because you kept in regular touch with us we felt as if we already knew you, even though we had not met. When we arrived in Orlando and went to view the properties we felt as if we were meeting an old friend. Everything was so well organised, and so well explained and we were impressed that you knew the type of properties that would appeal to us and would be acceptable to our budget. Once we had decided to buy and had found our property you made all the necessary transactions very easy to carry out, e.g. the bank account, mortgage, survey etc.
All in all, the friendly and ongoing service you have given us has been exceptional and you even enabled us to have a holiday in addition to buying a property ' not bad for just 14 days. We appreciate you keeping in touch with us since the purchase and have found your help invaluable. We are looking forward to seeing you in April, when we will meet for a drink. With all the very best to you and many thanks for all you have done.
Andrew and Caroline, London
The recommendation of Dolby Properties from Andrew Bartlett proved to be first rate. We were initially contacted by Samantha Brightman from Dolby who became our Buyers Agent, and friend. She knows her stuff, which you think should be expected, but from speaking to many others it is not. She answers questions clearly and based her extensive knowledge of her market. After lots of emails we visited Florida from London to view a group of properties selected by Sam - the day was superb and we concluded with an offer on a place which was accepted. When I buy again in Florida I will only be making one phone call, to Samantha Brightman.
Steve Miller and Linda Dickinson - London
Like many first time buyers, we were anxious about all the possible pitfalls and administration involved in making a property purchase in the USA. There was no need for us to be worried, as Michelle at Dolby Properties took a great deal of time to show us a selection of properties, and to help us with everything else that we required in order to make to purchase of our Condo. When we returned to England, Michelle was in contact on almost a daily basis, ensuring that everything ran smoothly. Michelle was always at the end of the phone, and she made us feel that we were her only client! We are delighted with our new property in Florida, and we have no hesitation in recommending Michelle, and Dolby Properties to potential property purchasers.
Steve and Jan Davison, Carshalton, Surrey
UPDATED TESTIMONIAL - SEPT 2005 . We had our first experience of buying an investment property in Florida a year ago and we worked with Dominique then, to achieve our goal. The whole process was new to us and was made so much easier and less stressful than it might have been, thanks to Dominique. Nearly six months later, we decided to buy another and this time, couldn't justify a trip to Florida. It was a seller's market and things were moving quickly. Properties were being sold within a week of going on the market; we couldn't have kept up with it.
We already had a great working relationship with Dominique so we decided to buy "sight unseen". Thanks to the internet, digital photography and, of course, the telephone, we found a property. Dominique viewed properties for us, sent us photographs, reporting back with complete honesty about each one. She dealt with the purchase with the same patience and great communication as the first time and we closed on the property in May. We certainly have no regrets about buying another place (thanks to the market comparisons that Dominique has sent since we closed) and hope to see the property early next year, enjoying a holiday at the same time!
STEVE AND JAN'S ORIGINAL TESTIMONIAL. We should like to say how impressed we have been with the service and commitment from Dominique. She led us through a process that was completely new to us, with patience and professionalism. She helped us with the jargon, the differences between British and American processes (same language; different language!) and always replied to our questions promptly, honestly and clearly. When our offer was accepted she sounded as excited (and relieved!) as we were. When we closed, she kept us up to date all the way and called as soon as the deal was sealed. We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Dominique as a realtor to anyone buying a property in Florida.
Margaret and Michael O'Neill, Bishops Stortford, Herts
Sam, we are only too pleased to be able to recommend you and Dolby Properties to anyone wishing to buy a property in Florida. We cannot praise you and the company too highly. We appreciated most of all your honesty and not pressurising us into buying when we weren't ready. You also found us an excellent spread of properties which made our decision that much easier. It was very helpful being introduced to Kevin at Wachovia who has also been extremely efficient. In fact yourself and Dolby Properties made the whole process very smooth and enjoyable. We did in fact recommend you and Dolby to a young man travelling on our flight back to the UK. We also found Amy extremely helpful and efficient - please pass on our comments and thanks to her also. Perhaps we can meet her when we come out in October - it will be fantastic to actually stay in our own home!
Jacqueline Patmore, Luton, Bedfordshire
Thank you so much. I am so pleased with this great achievement! It was only six weeks but it felt like longer. You and the staff at Dolby Properties have really helped to make this whole process possible and I would like to thank you all. You have really helped to simplify this purchase and make it a reality for me. It has been an absolute pleasure meeting you. Thank you so much for your help, it is greatly appreciated. Take Care.
Gerty & Ray Moore, Fareham, Hants
Hi Michelle, Ray and myself would like to thank you very much for your services in helping us purchasing our house in Florida. We have been very pleased and satisfied with your help and services and above all, we could not have done it without your professional help. We had first class service from you and we very much appreciated your help.
Mike & Sue Gardner, Burgess Hill, W. Sussex
Having found Dolby Properties through a UK newspaper, we arranged to meet Lesley and Steve to view properties in Orlando. From that initial meeting it was evident that this was not just a high pitch sale, it was clear to us that both had a passion that would extend beyond the short term purchase of a property. Their expertise is clearly evident and it did not take long to view some excellent properties and for us to purchase at a later date one of the viewed properties. It is only after you have purchased the property that you realise the value of Dolby Properties in the form of Lesley and Steve. Being thousands of miles from your property it is very reassuring to know that you are only a phone call away from friendly helpful and always welcoming advice. We would therefore not hesitate in recommending Lesley and Steve of Dolby Properties.
Di and Mick Riddle, Coventry
We would like to thank you for your Company's involvement in our purchase and especially pass on our grateful thanks to Dave Robertson for his help and assistance in our venture. Right from our first contact with Dolby Properties we have been impressed with the professional way we have been dealt with. We did not want to be pressurised at all and Dolby did not do that. Your Company (and Dave) allowed us time to consider our options without any pressure sales..
Without Dave Robertson, we would not have known where to turn or what to do regarding a property purchase in the U.S. At all times he dealt with our questions in a patient and efficient manner, and everyone he recommended to assist us have been polite and helpful. At no time did he try to push us into buying a property, but guided and assisted us at every step. Please convey to him our sincere thanks.
Alan and Tracy Ellingham, Mansfield
The most important word to use to describe Dolby's is TRUST. Estate agents are well known throughout most countries as not being particularly trustworthy, and keen to make the sale. Indeed in Florida, it can appear more difficult to find the right agent, as estate agents are only paid if there is a sale, and paid on a commission basis. Dolby's do not push you for a sale, and will work with you to place a lower bid (if reasonable), even though that would reduce their commission. Indeed if it turns out that the sale is not right for you at this time, then Dolbys will also not push you. We touched base with several agents during our search, and know that Dolby's were ticking all the right boxes.
As well as the trust, one of the other brilliant aspects in working with Dolby's is the hard work they are willing to put in, over and above the norm. This is evident in all aspects in working with Dolby's, from the website (which contains so much useful information), from Lesley Dolby herself in setting very high standards and to the agents in the team. We had the pleasure of working with Sam Brightman as our agent. Other companies will only take you to areas that they are familiar with (eg. some stick just to Davenport, or some stick to Kissimmee). We had a long list that involved a wide area, and even though some of the properties were outside of the normal areas, Sam was more than happy to take us where we wanted. Additionally, where we wanted to have a second visit, going over old ground, she was able to juggle her diary to help us out.
Sam provided some brilliant first-hand practical advice, and provided lots of useful tips about the next stages of the process as well, renting the property out. Sam provided excellent balance in our visits as well, not only able to share the positives but able to outline the negatives as well. If a property wasn't up to scratch she would help us. The issue of trust cannot be underestimated when working with agents. We had a very wide ranging budget and ended up buying at the lower end. Sam gave us no pressure whatsoever in going to the higher budget, and this proves beyond doubt that Sam (and Dolby's) have the buyer's interest at heart, and NOT thinking about their commission which is a %age based on sale. When it came to the sale itself, Dolby's continued with their hard work and helped us every step of the way, helping us with issues well outside their scope. Indeed Dolby's provided some fantastic information after the sale, with a list of recommended websites, and contractors to use (eg. photographers), all of whom have also come up trumps as well !! We are so glad we found Dolby's, as it really is a daunting process trying to buy a property being thousands of miles away. Dolby's recognise the fear that clients have and work tirelessly to overcome the fears.
Nigel & Sharron Binns, Staffordshire
Dolby Properties was highly recommended to us - and we see why! From the outset Lesley and Steve provided (and continue to provide) first class help and guidance, along with plenty of much-needed humour. They made the American house-buying procedure straightforward, and held our hands through the inevitable hiccups that occur along the way when buying any property – especially one overseas. Many thanks to you both. If you’re looking to find a professional, caring, knowledgeable and honest realtor, you will not do better than Dolby Properties, Inc.
Adrian & Deborah Sharpe, Hinstock, Shropshire
Lesley, thank you for your mail. We have just stayed in our new property and are very pleased with our purchase. Dominique has been fabulous throughout the process. We did speak with another company prior to meeting with Dominique and felt pressured into buying a back to back new build property. The other company never asked us what exactly we wanted, just our budget. We did not speak with them again. Dominique's first question was to ask what we were looking for. We gave our criteria and every property we viewed matched this. We ended up buying the first house we were shown. The process to close ran really smoothly and Dominique was always there to answer any questions that we had.
The Kings, Leicester
Sam, Thanks very much for all of your help, and of course for the help of all the team at Dolby's. I realise that with how the market has been of late, finding good properties at a sensible price cannot be an easy task. I think a mark of how important you have been in this process, is the fact that the property I have eventually purchased never actually got to appear on the mls listings. Your contacts obviously came up trumps in finding this before it had actually hit the market. Even then the buying process can prove to be a little fraught. I have to say the offer by Steve to hire a plane to survey the area, is not one I would expect from the vast majority of companies, and indicates the personal involvement of everyone at Dolby's. This effort, I am sure made the actual process as easy as these things can be.
You have obviously put in a huge effort in finding me the right place, and the amount of photographs you have taken and sent over to me, must in itself turned you into a world class photographer! To have actually got through the process of finding, offering, and buying without actually being in Orlando as easily as I have, is a testament to your effort, skills, and knowledge. Rest assured when/if I am looking to make another purchase, you will be hearing from me. I will obviously have no hesitation giving your name to any friends that are looking to make a similar purchase. Once again, thanks for all of your help, and I will keep you in touch with how things are going.
David & Kathryn Thomas, Leicestershire
We would just like to thank Dolby Properties, in particular Sam Brightman, for all your help in our purchase of our Florida Property. When we arrived in Florida in March, a golf course property was high on our wish-list, despite being told by other realtors that resale golf properties were "hard to come by" and "a rarity". Naturally, we were fully prepared to compromise, but in the event, it was not necessary and we are now thwe proud owners of a beautiful pool home on Southern Dunes Golf Course.
We would like to offer our especial thanks to Sam who drove us to property after property, kept us supplied with lively entertainment and chocolate biscuits, and went that extra mile in giving up her Saturday evening to take us to view a house that was so new on the market, it had not even been listed on the MLS. Without her energy and "first off the mark" professional attitude, we would not have our Southern Dunes property that has the WOW factor spelled out in capital letters. We would definitely recommend Dolby Properties to anyone thinking of purchasing a property in Florida. Once again, thank you all very much.
Linda and Elroy, Wolverhampton
Both my husband & I thank you for your support during the buying process of our villa. Special thanks to Sam Brightman our contact with your company, who we know took on a lot of the stress (without telling us - but we realised her difficult times by reading between the lines by talking to other people we needed to be in touch with). If we know of other people wanting to follow our lead of buying property in the US we wouldn't hesitate to point them in your direction especially if Sam Brightman is to be involved. Once again many thanks........
Helen Tidcombe, Lincolnshire
I would like you to know that we owe a great deal to Paul in the way that he looked after my son, Matthew and I when we visited in August to look at houses. Even though Hurricane Charlie had arrived he kept in touch with me at the hotel, turned up when he said and was a pleasure to work with. On our return to the UK he has kept in touch constantly and given me valuable information right up to closing and beyond. I feel that today it is VERY hard to get good customer service but Paul certainly did that in a very professional and pleasant manner and it has been a pleasure to work with him. I have told him that I would have no hesitation in recommending him and Dolby Properties to anyone looking to buy in Florida! Thank you again.
Fran and Tracy Guerra, Astley, Leicestershire
Sam, it is hard to believe that we first met you at the animal kingdom 18 months ago. What luck? Thanks to that chance meeting and a second chat a year later we are now the proud owners of a property in Kissimmee. You have made the process simple and stress free for us. Your regular, lengthy and patient explanations have made everything so easy. Thank you so much for putting us in touch with all of the professionals we have needed to talk to so that the sale could complete. To us it feels that you really went the extra mile to make sure we were looked after. We will be visiting the house in August and would be honoured if you would let us take you and the family out for a meal. With heartfelt thanks.
Andy Bestwick, Hinckley, Leicestershire
Dear Michelle, I would just like to say thank you for all your personal help during the purchase of my house in Florida. Your attention to detail and prompt response to any query was very much appreciated. I'm sure you had lots of clients at the same time as me, but you made me feel as if I was the only one. I also welcomed the opinions and guidance you gave during the selection process and viewings and with your help, I now have a lovely home in Florida.
Clive, Laraine, and Katie Nunn, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
My family and I have been fortunate to have enjoyed holidays in Florida's warm climate year round sunshine, friendly locals, and facilities for every generation, and " that Mouse on your doorstep" providing a magnet for Britons seeking the ultimate holiday, for my family staying in a villa was the icing on the cake it gave us the freedom to do exactly what we wanted and every time we came home to the UK we would dream of owning a property ourselves but that only happened to other people doesn't it........then........
"Congratulations to you all on being the owners of a villa in Florida", this one sentence was the communication from Sam Brightman of Dolby Properties one of their realtors and was the culmination of a quest and dream that began in 2004 doing exactly what you are doing now gathering information, reading testimonials, and like yourselves probably unsure, where to start, who to contact, if you have been on the internet there are so many investment property and business brokers out there. So with so many companies to pick from why did we opt for Dolby properties, well their site was extremely informative, it doesn't pull punches, it doesn't offer free flights or gimmicks on how to get rich quick its extremely professional analysis gives a step by step overview to purchasing a property and then the process of how to be successful in short term rental, in addition Dolby were the only company that put photos of their team on the web which we felt was a personal touch, to actually see who you are dealing with may not be everyone's view but to us it was important.
The quest began then to purchase a dream property in Oct 2004 with a very tentative e-mail to Lesley Dolby basically enquiring that we were considering purchasing a property in or around the Disney catchment short term rental area but would the fact we couldn't get back over to the US until Oct 2005 make a difference, the next day came a reply that one of their realtors Sam Brightman was assigned to us and would make contact, which Sam did, immediately. The correspondence between Sam and my family were informal but special as she was trying to narrow down what type of property we were looking for and the important location "wow" factor we felt we were getting to know Sam and building a bond, any property purchase is important, on cost alone you have to have absolute trust due to the geographic distance in that you can't just pop into town to make an appointment, the rules and regulations and legality around buying a property in the US are different, bank accounts, mortgages, taxes, management companies etc, are all considerations, there is absolutely no doubt in our mind its not insurmountable to go it alone, but why would you when you have contact with the professionals.
Do you still want to go through with a purchase, well Sam very kindly continued to send over properties for sale, via e-mail even though we had stated we couldn't get over for approx a year again the process of looking what was on offer , and the location gave us a mental picture of what we were looking for, any questions of which there were many were always answered immediately the time difference taken into account. At no time did we deviate from dealing with Dolby we had complete faith in their integrity and were given an opportunity to meet the team when the "Place in the Sun" exhibition took place in April 2005 in London's Docklands anyone who went to the exhibition couldn't help being bowled over by the larger companies, offering flights and accommodation to view their properties for sale. A personal view of course but we avoided the something for nothing companies and maintained our relationship with Dolby.
I'm not going to comment on the purchasing process as this has been covered by other testimonials on the Dolby web site, I would however like to make comments on individuals within their organisation and their professional contacts. The Dolby Admin office Kathy , Amy, thank you so much for your professionalism, answering the many questions sometimes we forget in the euphoria of a property purchase the hard work behind the scenes that is often unseen.
To Sam Brightman, This lady began our quest and ended it, to be the other people who own a villa, we have a very special place for Sam, please read the other testimonials, she has a gift, and understanding of your requirements and willingness through Bl----hard work to get the dream property (Apologies to Sam) to any one reading this testimonial this lady was 9 months pregnant and still kept every appointment , every property viewing with us, continued to support us after her beautiful baby was born, and to any prospective client of Dolby the aftersales from all the team including Sam has continued ...........thank you to Dolby Properties.
John Fautley, Lincoln
Many of us dream of owning our own villa in Florida, but making it a reality is a major step and one that requires confidence, money and plenty of help, advice and expertise along the way. Once you have taken that big step and decided to purchase, the next very important stage is to find someone who can help you achieve that dream. Someone you can trust to work for you and your interests only'.not those of the seller. Someone to help you every step of the way. Dolby Properties is that someone. I first stumbled across Dolby Properties in the overseas property magazine 'Place in the Sun ' Everything America'. I researched them along with a number of other companies. What first impressed me about Dolby was their very informative website. It made a point about the fact that they worked solely for the buyer and helped you every step of the way and beyond. I read every single page of the website, trying to digest all the information. One very important page for me was the testimonial page, containing many recommendations from people who had actually purchased homes through Dolby. All of them said how helpful, friendly and professional the team was.
I planned a visit the 'Place in the Sun Live' exhibition at London's ExCel Arena, at which, Dolby Properties had a trade stand. Now, you won't find a big flash audio-visual stand over-run with young go-getting sales executives eager to bag their commission and trying to book you on the first available inspection trip to Florida. The Dolby stand was an understated affair and manned by the actual people you deal with during the whole buying process. I met Paul Irwin on the stand and had a chat with him, briefly discussing my requirements and what the next steps would be if I progressed with them. I also visited a number of the other stands, but meeting Paul only reinforced my initial thoughts that they were the best choice for me. I liked the laid back, no pressure approach. A few days later, I received an email from Paul which was nothing more than a thank you for visiting them at their stand and gently reminding me that he was available to answer any questions I had. Of course, after visiting the exhibition, it raised many questions, all of which Paul answered by return email within hours of my clicking the send button. I wanted a property purely for investment, one that was close to Disney and that would hopefully pay for itself. Paul was able to help me define what I actually needed to achieve that goal and not stretch myself too far. He sent me details of a range of properties currently available from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Dolby is not in alliance with any property developer and can sell any property that is on the market''..brand new or resale.
After a few more emails back and forth and narrowing down the type of property I wanted, I received a list of 53 properties that were available. After choosing around 12 of these, it gave Paul a better idea of the type of property I actually preferred. I decided to arrange an inspection trip to Orlando and by using the recommendations made by Dolby, I was able to secure a cheap flight and, should I actually purchase a property with them, secure a refund of my hotel accommodation at the Howard Johnson Plaza Resort. They were very quick to iron out a problem I had with the hotel booking. Dolby arranged for a mortgage consultant to contact me to arrange pre-qualification, thus speeding up the process once in the US. I contacted the currency brokers HIFX to set up an account for the transfer of funds to my US bank account. Luckily, having worked for a while in the US, I already had a bank account and Social Security number. I had enough funds in the bank to cover the inspection trip, including around $5700 required for initial fees and a deposit.
About a week before my trip, Paul sent me a MLS selection of 20 or so properties. I selected six or seven of these for him to arrange inspections. Now, the problem with this property market is that it is so fast moving. Properties are being bought and sold at such a pace that they are not on the market for long. Of the properties I selected, I think only two of those were still available on my visit. However, Paul knew exactly what I wanted and was able to arrange a shortlist of 13 properties to visit, including many new to the market. He picked me up at my hotel the morning after my arrival, a Sunday no less, and we spent the day visiting each and every one. Paul described the location of each property and it's potential. He didn't push me from room to room, whisking me through as quickly as possible. I simply wandered around at my own leisure, asking questions when I wanted to. That evening, I poured over the details of each property and stared at the small 2' screen of my digital camera, containing over 100 photos taken throughout the day. I whittled it down to 5 properties that I liked and we re-visited them the next day. This re-confirmed my initial instincts and I chose the property that was top of my list. Paul wasted no time in contacting the seller's agent to confirm that the property was still available and to put in an offer. The early afternoon was spent at the financial consultants who I had been in contact with prior to my visit. The paperwork was completed based on the offer being accepted, and indeed a phone call during the meeting confirmed that in principle, the seller would be happy to accept. Just like Paul, Alfonso'.the financial consultant, made the process very easy and answered any questions I had.
The following day, I was able to relax and spend the day in Daytona Beach. Then it was back to the property for the Home Inspection. This was a thorough two hour inspection intended to highlight any faults, problems and recommendations to ensure that I was aware of anything requiring repair prior to the sale. By now, the contracts had been drawn up, signed and the deposit paid. No backing out now. The remaining task for me was to meet with Property Management Companies who would be suitable for the type of property I was buying and the type of management I wanted. Again, Dolby was able to supply me with a list to choose from. Just to re-iterate, you are not pushed towards choosing any particular company for any of the services. They do, however, steer you towards two or three that would be suitable for YOU. There is simply not enough time to meet every management company operating in the Orlando area. I arranged to meet two companies and chose the one that I felt would be able to provide me with the services I wanted.
Back home, the work continued. There was a six week wait until final closing of the property. During this time, I started work on my advertising literature and tied down my potential income and outgoings a little more based on the new figures I had been given. A couple of weeks prior to closing, things started to hot up. Property Insurance needed to be purchased and I also opted for Home Warranty Insurance to cover repairs to the appliances etc. The closing of the property works to a tight schedule. I received the closing documents (a pack of over 120 sheets of paper, copies included) just a week before the closing date. I had to try and arrange a visit to a Notary Public, who would witness my signatures on a number of the documents, and return them within a day. Not an easy task. Please be aware that both Federal Express and UPS do not have the vast coverage of service in the U.K. that is available in the U.S. I could not get my paperwork ready in time for the one collection per day by UPS. So, the documents left my hands the following afternoon and arrived at the Title Company a day after the official closing date. Also, do not send a personal check to cover the final deposit. The closing of my property was delayed a further 4 days because of this. I had to arrange for a local branch of my American bank to provide a cashiers check to pass on to the title company as quickly as possible. Paul and Amy from the Dolby office were in constant contact with me and the title company to keep up to date with events and to try and push things along. At last, the property was mine. Dolby passed the keys and paperwork on to my property management company. Now all I have to do is get bookings.
The Dolby team are still in contact with me, making sure I am happy and willing to help in any way that they can to ensure I achieve my goals. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Dolby as the ideal choice for anyone wanting to invest in a property in the Orlando area.
Gordon & Gillian Nuttall, Glasgow, Scotland
My wife and I undertook independent consultation before appointing a realtor in the US, and Dolby Properties were recommended to us as a company which met our requirements of high integrity, honesty and focus on developing a long term relationship by understanding our requirements and circumstances, without any hard sell.
Our Realtor – Dave Robertson provided exceptional advice, guidance and assistance throughout the process. Dave’s high degree of professionalism ensured that we very quickly gained comfort that he was interested in giving us the best advice possible per our requirements and circumstances, and was focused on developing a long term relationship. Coming from the UK we were not familiar with the role of a realtor in the US, but can confirm having now been through the process, that to tackle a real estate purchase in the US without a knowledgeable advisor to guide you through the vast array of considerations and pitfalls would be high stress, high risk and ultimately a high cost mistake. Dave invested a significant amount of time with us before, during and after our visit, guiding us through this process and ensuring we felt well looked after, ethically and professionally advised and confident in his abilities at all stages. He is an excellent example of why a Professional Realtor is an absolute essential when purchasing property in the US.
Lesley’s background as an accountant and her involvement with the relevant Real Estate bodies in Orlando were evident at all stages throughout the buying process, ensuring we were aware of all risks, pitfalls, legal, contract and other considerations. This gave us a huge degree of comfort and in particular confidence during the contract finalization, which would have been intimidating to say the least without Dave and Lesley’s involvement. Lesley’s attention to detail, friendly approach and evident knowledge and credibility in the Florida real estate market were invaluable.
Lesley and Dave have been responsive and friendly throughout the entire process. I look forward to working with them again in the years to come, recommending them to any friends, family or colleagues who may be considering a home purchase in the Orlando area – and thanking them for their assistance with a glass of wine when we next visit our Florida home. Thanks again to you both for all your help!
The Fentons, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
We shall certainly keep in touch and would have no hesitation in recommending Dolby Properties to anyone needing timely and professional services with a personal touch. Steve was excellent throughout with good listening skills and provided timely guidance when asked without us ever feeling we were being steered. It has been a pleasure dealing with Steve throughout and he has contributed significantly in reducing the stress factor. . We both wish Dolby Properties the success they deserve.
Jason, Samantha & Trevor, Cardiff, Wales
Sadly, `integrity' and `straight-talking' are not words I would normally associate with the property business in the UK. It was therefore refreshing and totally unexpected when we had absolutely superb, relaxed and `no-pressure' service from Dolby Properties, and in particular from our realtor, Paul Irwin.We had anticipated being shown a stream of properties that were too expensive or totally unsuitable. Not from our friend Paul ' he had done his homework thoroughly! Straight down to it, the very first property we were shown was the one for us: a perfect match for our needs. It was also clear that our needs were being catered for as we were also shown a range of properties of a type that we had not even thought about ' but were attractive and worthy of consideration.
And the help given didn't stop there. Paul was a wizard in patiently explaining the different routines for buying property in the USA, and provided us a complete support package. Would we recommend Dolby Properties? We have done to our friends already!
Skinner Family, Ross-shire, Scotland
Ode to SAM at DOLBY PROPERTIES
We travelled to the sunshine state to escape the Scottish weather
Looking for a holiday home but no luck we did blether
We called up DOLBY PROPERTIES and to Lesley we did gass
She said someone would call us back and to SAM our number was passed.
Sure enough in no time at all you called us on the phone
We said you've got to help us, please can you find us a home?
It must have a pool, be able to rent, but most of all be cheap
So off you went to do your job you didn't even bleep!
You searched and searched for hours and hours then back to us you came
You'd found five properties to go and view so that began the game
The houses were great just what we wanted a good job you had done
We were really glad and we still are that to DOLBY PROPERTIES we had come.
After just one day of house hunting along with lots of fun
Our dream home was staring straight at us we knew our search was done.
So off we went to sign and seal the papers and the deal
We could not really believe it but you even provided us with a meal!
Back to Scotland we did fly with a big grin on our face
We couldn't believe in just one week we'd found our special place.
You kept us informed and kept in touch throughout the whole process
We never had to chase you or were ever left to guess
We think as a Realtor you are the very best
You're lots of fun with a great big grin you're miles better than the rest
So now our home belongs to us our search is over and done
But should we ever need another house
To' SAM WE WILL DEFINITELY COME!!
The Farquhars, Falkirk, Scotland
We purchased our villa in Indian Ridge, Kissimmee though Steve Schaffer of Dolby Properties. The service we received from Steve was of a standard rarely seen today. Before we went over he e-mailed lots of listings for us to look at and provided invaluable information. Once over there we looked at many houses. Steve took the time to show us around all these houses, did a lot of research around the ones we showed interest in and remained ever patient as we prevaricated over our choice.
As a realtor's commission is a percentage of the house sale price you would think that the realtor would strongly encourage the buyer towards the more expensive. Not Steve, he showed us properties right across the range we had specified. There was never any pressure to "buy that one" or "buy this one". Steve just gave the facts, plus his opinion and let us decide for ourselves. Steve advocated on our behalf on many occasions during both the house hunting phase and the purchase of the one we eventually bought. We would recommend Steve and Dolby Properties without hesitation to anyone considering buying property in the Orlando area.
Alan Wallace, Fife, Scotland
We'd thank Steve & Leslie and all the team at Dolby Properties, very much for all of your help. On recommendation from another Dolby Property buyer, (Keith), whom we initially met up to view properties with, we engaged with Steve 4 months ago and requested he find good properties at a sensible price and he came up trumps for us. After looking at various properties, he asked us to look at a property we initailly disregarded because it was just over our budget. We looked at the property and he'd saved the best for last, we paid just a little over budget after some negotiation, but delighted with the result.
The buying process did prove to be a little different to what happens in the U.K. but once we were guided through the process and understood it better, its a whole lot more transparant and easier than expected. Happy to do it again... Steve put in a huge effort in finding us the right place, we were a little awkward to work with but eventually he understood our needs and wants and was able to accommodate us! We will be looking to make another purchase, you will be hearing from me. I would have no problem in giving your name to any friends that are looking to make a similar purchase. Once again, thanks for all of your help.
Douglas Muir, Glasgow, Scotland
Lesley and Steve provided us with a level of service that is rare these days. From initial enquiry, made via their website, to their continuing support, their assistance has been second to none. Their pre-sale advice was invaluable and their post-sale support has been marvelous, and at no point was there ever any pressure to buy. I can honestly say that I have never come across two people more dedicated in ensuring that their client gets the best deal possible and walks away delighted with their purchase. Lesley and Steve ensured that the purchase of our villa went as smoothly as possible for us and I would strongly advise anyone considering purchasing a property in the Orlando area to look no further than Dolby Properties.
Franner & Nigel Otter, Glasgow, Scotland
We chose to work with Dolby Properties because we live in the UK and they have experience in helping British property buyers through the less-familiar US system. We cannot recommend them highly enough! They are a thoroughly professional and efficient team who handled every aspect with care and the personal touch. Our realtor was wonderful, finding so many interesting properties. They handled the negotiations and paperwork with ease so that we were never worried by any of that side, they were always available for advice.
We are now the proud owners of a fantastic property and thanks to everyone at Dolby Properties everything went off without a hitch. We would certainly use them again and recommend them highly.
Lawrence & Rowena Noon, Edinburgh, Scotland
We wanted to say a big thank you to Dolby Properties and especially Sam Brightman for all their help and guidance whilst buying our property in Florida. From the very first e-mail that we received it felt like we were being looked after by people who actually cared passionately about their job and were as keen as us to find the perfect villa for our needs. In particular Sam has been extremely helpful throughout the whole process and we cannot thank her enough, every e-mail and phone call was answered quickly and with all the relevant information. It felt like she worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and with the time difference this was greatly appreciated. It's a shame that Dolby Properties do not also have a management agency as we would be 100 % confident in placing our villa with you as well as you were such a pleasure to deal with.
Irene & Barry, Antrim, Northern Ireland
Dominique was brilliant, she looked after us from start to finish with great patience, and went out of her way to help us, both with finding what we were looking for, and helping us through the buying process. We will be staying in touch, and hopefully buying again through Dolby Properties.
Shirley Blackwood, Falkirk, Scotland
I just wanted to drop you a little note to thank you for putting us in touch with Michelle when we enquired last October about buying a property in Orlando. The service Michelle has provided us with over these last few months has been second to none. Your advert in the Place in the Sun magazine listing the reasons to buy through Dolby is very true. From day one Michelle went beyond our expectations, even providing in-car movies to keep our two kids happy as we drove around viewing properties! Michelle very quickly understood the types of properties we were looking for, which saved us a lot of legwork viewing places which were not suitable.
We have had a few blips along the way since we put in our offer for the property but every time Michelle has sorted out the problems with the minimum inconvenience to us. I was very nervous as this was a big step for us and Michelle was great at reassuring me that we made the right decision. I think that we have been unfortunate to have more problems than would be normal but Michelle has dealt with every one. I would also like to thank Martha for all her help when things went wrong. I don't know what we would have done without her too. I will happily recommend your company to any friends looking to make a purchase in the Sunshine State and wish you many more successful years!
Peter Dicker, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
My family and I have known Michelle since a lucky encounter last year whilst searching for property in Orlando. I use the expression lucky, as I believe it was indeed a stroke of extreme good luck that we chanced upon Dolby Properties and Michelle. I cannot imagine searching for, and finding, someone who ticks as many boxes, and with a smile on their face. Michelle has guided us through the minefield of what is after all an adventure in a new country. She has helped us through disappointments (not of her creation) and seen us to our objective of picking out an outstanding villa that we are extremely happy with. My family and myself consider Michelle both as a motivated, knowledgeable and motivated professional, but also now, a friend. I can honestly say that every meeting with Michelle is a pleasure. She is one of life's "good people" and I have no doubt is destined to be a huge success.
Chris & Carol Bowsher, Barry, Wales
Buying unseen is a risky business and has its worries. Not so with Dominique. Her professional judgement, advice and execution of job were 100%. Communications were frequent and informative and aftercare excellent. When a problem arose months after completion, Dominique got involved and cleared up the situation with total committment. We would not hesitate in recommending Dominique to future clients.
TESTIMONIALS FROM BUYERS FROM IRELAND:
The Millington Family from Portmarnock, Ireland
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve at Dolby Properties for making our property purchase enjoyable and hassle free. The morning after our arrival in Orlando Steve met us at our accommodation and had a plan in place for viewing the best properties which met our criteria. He was always professional and personable even when bombarded with questions! His knowledge of the property market in the Orlando area is amazing. We viewed several properties and upon deciding which to purchase Steve guided step by step through the process. After purchasing the property Steve has assisted us in preparing the property for the rental market, recommending management companies, security companies etc. Picking a realtor on the internet for a property purchase can be daunting but we would not hesitate in recommending Dolby Properties. Looking forward to spending time in Orlando! Thanks again to all at Dolby.
Tony & Margaret Gillespie, Donegal, Ireland
We are the proud owner of pool villa in Orlando Florida, all thanks to the professional help and advice of Samantha Brightman at Dolby Properties, a very warm, professional lady who knows the market extremely well. It was a very easy transaction with step by step guidance all the way from Donegal to Orlando. We highly recommend Samantha and her company, if you are considering buying in Florida. Many thanks Samantha and Dolby Properties.
Patrick Gleeson, Limerick, Ireland
Hi Lesley and thanks again for all the help I received there. From start to finish; from Paul and Steve and Amy there. I was continually relating to friends and colleagues here how well this all was being handled on my behalf and how reassuring the advice and guidance I was getting continued to be. It has all been a very satisfying experience so far. Dolby Properties really do deserve their reputation for professionalism and excellence. I am absolutely impressed and will be enthusiatically recommending your services to anyone I meet who is even remotely considering a Florida property.
Aubrey Leggett, Dublin, Ireland
I found Dolby Properties by surfing the net. I liked what I saw. No hard sell and highly professional background. Whilst I did send email enquiries to other agents, Dolby Properties came back fast with a personalised reply giving me the facts without pushing me towards any particular "high commission" development. I felt they were working for me! Sam Brightman became my contact within Dolby Properties. On my arrival in Kissimmee she was at my hotel early next morning. Having lined up several properties within my range we went step by step from there. Viewing, submitting of offers, arranging bank accounts, property managers and the legal work were all managed by Sam in the 5 days I was there. I just signed the papers! My trust has shown to be well founded and I am now the proud owner of 2 townhouses.
Gordon Hamilton-Jones, Bodyke, Co.Clare, Ireland
Being an Englishman living in the wilds of County Clare in the west of Ireland, it was extremely refreshing to obtain the services of Dolby Properties. Initially Lesley Dolby, who did not hesitate to answer all of my exploratory questions when I first considered the idea of investing in Orlando albeit she knew I was not at that time ready to do so, and then Michelle without whom I would never have been able to buy my pool home at a great price in Orlando.
I cannot say enough in a testimonial to describe how great it was working with Michelle, who never complained at all of the work I kept giving her, nor at the questions I constantly asked. I was lucky enough to meet Michelle for a day in Florida when she showed a number of homes to me all of which did fit my rough criteria, she also at this time explained the buying process and likely costs in great detail without the need for prompt. Because of this, I knew I could totally trust her when it came to her viewing property on my behalf and indeed, I eventually bought my property via Michelle without actually seeing it or the surrounding area first. I was right to do so! I recently purchased the property and have (4 weeks after completion) now been back to Florida to view my investment, and WOW it was all I could have expected. As far as I am concerned it is three cheers for Michelle and Lesley who by the way still keep in touch. If you need a great realtor or buyer representative in Orlando and you live out of state or country, GO DOLBY you will not regret it.