Ramoth Family Wanted Down Under Revisited


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Ramoth Family

Ten years ago Lee Ramoth was prepared to pack up for a life down under, but his wife Lauren had her feet planted firmly in the UK. Where did they end up?


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Ten years ago,

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Lee Ramoth was prepared to pack up for a life down under,

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but wife Lauren had her feet planted firmly in the UK.

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I just thought, "Well, why do we want to leave this and move to the

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"other side of the world when what we've got going on here is great?"

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Fast forward to 2016...

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I am desperate to go.

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For me, it's just not really an option at the moment.

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..the shoe was on the other foot.

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But during the trial week, who was persuading who?

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So if I'm not convinced, how can I then try and convince you?

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So where are the Ramoth family living now?

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In the UK or Australia?

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With an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius,

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and more than 10,000 beaches to enjoy the sunshine,

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it's not hard to understand why Australia's a magnet

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for Brits seeking a new life down under.

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But life on the other side of the world

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doesn't always live up to the dream,

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and latest figures show almost half of those

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making the move return to the UK.

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Ten years ago, Lee Ramoth tried to convince wife Lauren

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their life would be better on the other side of the world.

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Then the tables turned,

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and Lauren tried to persuade Lee to give up a successful business

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and close family ties in the UK to pursue the future

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he once dreamt about in Australia.

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But was this just a case of the grass is always greener?

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We decided to send them down under for a trial week

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to see if it was just that.

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The journey to Perth

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took the Ramoths nearly 9,000 miles from home,

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and after almost 20 hours in the air, they felt the distance.

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The flight was really quite long.

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It took a whole day and night.

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Having finally reached Australia, Lauren had mixed emotions.

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I'm really, really, stupidly excited that we are actually here,

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but I feel that there's also quite a fair bit of pressure on me

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because I've built it up into something really special,

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and if it doesn't materialise into that, then...

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And Lee was filled with anticipation.

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It's really got to show everything that I'm going to be able to afford

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to give my kids and my family the lifestyle that they so deserve.

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The following seven days will determine

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which side of the world the family's future lay.

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The Ramoths were dad Lee, mum Lauren,

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at the time eight-year-old Noah and Lulu, who was five.

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They hailed from Leeds in Yorkshire.

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Lee first dreamt of moving down under ten years ago.

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Back then, though,

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Lauren was disinclined to ditch her comfortable life in the UK.

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We had a nice house, a nice car each, both had a steady income,

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so I just thought, "Well, why do we want to leave this and move to the

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"other side of the world when what we've got going on here is great?"

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Lee's dream was put on hold.

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Two years on, however, recession hit.

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Just months into a new carpet-fitting job,

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Lee was made redundant and had no choice but to set up on his own.

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Going self-employed was a massive risk.

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I wasn't sure how I was going to get work

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and I didn't know what I was doing from one day to the next.

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With a young family now in tow,

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the couple saw little prospect for a future in the UK.

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Thoughts turned once more to Australia -

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this time, with Lauren on board.

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When you have kids, your mind-set changes.

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The more that I researched into it,

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the more I liked the idea of emigrating.

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With a view to securing a job down under,

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Lauren returned to university to study midwifery,

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but with just one wage coming in and Lee's business struggling

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to get off the ground, things hit rock bottom.

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It really was hard, and we really were hand to mouth.

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I think when it really did it for me was having a week

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where I only had £30.

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The next two years were tough,

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but while Lauren was busy upping her skills,

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Lee had a breakthrough in the flooring business with his.

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I've hit a bit of a niche in the market which has made me

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get really busy here. I don't have to go out and look for work.

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The work's there all the time.

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With business booming and Lauren then working full-time as a midwife,

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cash flow concerns were a thing of the past, but there were sacrifices.

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So when I'm at home, he's not, and vice versa.

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We seem to have fallen into this pattern

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where we're like passing ships.

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Lee's long hours and Lauren's shift patterns

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left little time for the children.

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I feel sorry for them. It's either always the mum or the dad.

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It's not really fair, it's not family time.

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Their relationship was feeling the strain, too.

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I can't even remember the last time that we went out

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and did something, and that's really quite sad.

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So Lauren decided enough was enough.

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I don't think that's something that I could cope with long-term,

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and it isn't something that I want to continue on with.

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Determined to improve the situation,

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she pushed to get the Aussie dream back on track.

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I am desperate to go.

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I think that it would be the best opportunity for us as a family.

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But having sown the seeds ten years ago, Lee was now refusing to yield.

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It's taken a lot of hard work to get to where I am,

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and now for Lauren to want me to get rid of all that

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and start again, is it a gamble?

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Yeah, it's a massive gamble.

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And it wasn't just work stopping Lee.

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His parents moved back at the time from Cyprus

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to be with their grandchildren.

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There's only me with kids, and to take their grandkids

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away from them...

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..is... It's just... It's not something I'm wanting to do.

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If we live in Australia, I'm going to miss my granny and grandpa

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and grandma and grandad.

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But Lauren was determined things had to change,

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so Lee agreed to give Australia a go, albeit reluctantly.

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I feel extremely pressured that I'm the one ultimately

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holding our lives and futures in my hands, really.

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I'm the one that's been pushing it like crazy for it to happen,

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and if things don't pan out the way that I hope,

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then that could just potentially upset everything.

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The Ramoths spent their trial week in Perth,

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capital of Western Australia.

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Home for the week was the coastal suburb of Mindarie,

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just 30 minutes north of the city centre.

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It was getting dark as the family arrived,

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but did the week get off to the bright start Lauren was hoping for?

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Oh, wow. This looks nice, doesn't it?

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Wow!

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-Wow!

-Very nice.

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It's lovely and modern, it really light and bright,

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there's loads of space, absolutely loads of space.

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It's more than big enough for us.

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Things were off to a positive start, and Lauren was banking

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on the trial week reviving Lee's old vision of a life down under.

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Obviously, we have got some common ground,

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so there must be something there for us to kind of reignite,

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to try and help push it forward.

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It was my dream ten years ago right up till...

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you know, maybe two years ago.

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If it just doesn't quite cut it, though,

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I'm afraid the dream could be over.

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Back in the UK in 2016, the Ramoth family lived

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in a three-bedroomed semidetached house outside Leeds.

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I love this house.

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I think it's been really good to us.

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It's taken us a long time to get it to how we wanted it to look.

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The couple had a budget of £250,000

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and mixed opinions on what they wanted.

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You know, main concern is a good area for schools for the kids.

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I'd compromise on the size of property

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-and everything else just to have the right...

-Would you?

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..area.

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Really?

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I'm not sure how I feel about that.

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This house is not the biggest, but I wouldn't want anything any smaller.

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No, no, no, no.

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That was Lee told!

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So what was on Lauren's wish list?

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Four good-sized bedrooms, I'd love another bathroom.

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I am just absolutely sick of fighting for the bathroom.

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And for Lee?

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Cos I do the cooking in the house, I would like a big island so I can

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still look out onto the family and things while I'm doing the cooking.

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I think I'm ready to move into something

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that I wouldn't have to do anything with.

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To find out what kind of house they could have in Australia,

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we showed the family three properties -

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two on budget and a third which could be their dream home.

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Only after they saw each one did they find out its value.

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House-hunting began in Clarkson, just five minutes from the ocean

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and a half-hour commute to central Perth.

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This modern four-bedroom home

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should have had the space the Ramoths were looking for.

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That looks nice, doesn't it?

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A good start, but inside was a different story.

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I'm not a big fan of walking straight in from the outside

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straight into somewhere to sit.

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I would have hoped for it to be a little bit different.

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I think our house is better than this house.

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Not quite the reaction Lauren was hoping for, but did things improve?

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-This is a nice space, isn't it?

-I like this kitchen.

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-Look at the lights on the kitchen!

-Ooh, they're a bit posh.

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Got a good dining space.

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That was more like it, but on closer inspection...

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I'm not sure about these tiles.

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I think kind of terracotta-y colour is not my thing.

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It looks a bit cheesy.

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-It's a bit dark.

-I'm not feeling the vibe at the moment.

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-I don't think it's right for us.

-No, I'm not feeling it.

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As Lulu and Noah headed off with a childminder

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to do much more interesting stuff, Mum and Dad continued the tour.

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-All right, yeah. Bedroom one.

-Oh, this isn't too bad a size, actually.

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Bit lighter in here. Could you imagine our stuff in here?

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No, I think you get a feel for a place.

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It either works or it doesn't, and I just don't think it'd work for us.

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In spite of having the required four bedrooms,

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this house just wasn't hitting the spot with the couple.

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But did the outdoors lift their spirits?

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-It's a nice outside space, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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I mean, to be fair, the garden is actually a really good size.

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-Not sure about the big metal box, though.

-Yeah. It is quite private.

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Yeah. It's definitely not overlooked.

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The garden may have had more appeal, but was it enough?

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If I'm expecting you to make a move to Australia,

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what happens if this is all we can afford?

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I'm actually really worried at the moment.

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I wouldn't want to leave home for this.

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So you're saying this is a deal-breaker, you wouldn't move?

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I wouldn't move, no. No.

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This property fell far short of Lauren's dream home,

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but was it over their £250,000 budget?

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I think it's going to be pretty much at the top of our budget.

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I think you're looking around £245,000.

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I think it's going to be worth about £213,000.

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I think I'd be devastated

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if I found this was all that we could get for our money.

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239,000.

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It was £11,000 under budget,

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but a lot more than Lauren was hoping it would be.

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-I feel a bit disappointed.

-I'm pretty close, I'm pretty close.

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Yeah, you were right.

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I think the only bonus is that we're not quite

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at the top of our budget, so I'm just hoping and praying

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and keeping everything crossed that that was enough to make

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a significant difference as to what we could get.

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It wasn't a great start.

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Property two was in Quinns Rocks,

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a popular residential suburb 23 miles north of Perth.

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Did this modern new-build help get Lauren's dream back on track?

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-Ooh, it's got a lovely big drive.

-It has, yeah.

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Look at the front garden as well.

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-Right, kids, shall we get out and have a look?

-Yes.

-Yeah.

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Right.

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Wow, look at this space.

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Ah, this is more like it.

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It feels more light and airy, doesn't it?

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And it's got more of a modern feel to it.

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It's much lighter than the other property.

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It looks better than the outside of it.

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And with that, Lulu and Noah decided they'd had enough

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of real estate for one day.

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Mum and Dad explored further.

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The kitchen diner had plenty of room for the family.

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It's definitely got the potential,

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whereas I don't think the first property had that.

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-But again, you see, it does depend on budget, doesn't it?

-Yes.

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It's definitely a positive step in the right direction, I think.

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But it wasn't long before things went downhill.

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Oh, this is small, this is really small.

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I feel a bit deflated again.

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I take it this must be the en suite!

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Do you want me to look round first and then I'll let you?

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Oh, my gosh. That is teeny!

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-I'll just squeeze round here.

-Oh, no, that's ridiculous.

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No, that-that is ridiculous.

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Once again, though, the outside area impressed.

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Yeah, this is a lovely size.

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I've got absolutely no complaints with this at all.

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It gave Lee food for thought.

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Is there any room to make it any bigger?

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I don't know, but then that's not going to be cheap, is it?

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From the outside, it looks ideal.

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-It's just the inside.

-Yeah.

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But it is what it is. I think now I'm just worried about the price.

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The couples had misgivings about this house,

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but was it somewhere they could afford, anyway,

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with their £250,000 budget?

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Let's just get this over with.

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-Let see how much it is. Put me out of my misery.

-Right. Will do.

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£250,000!

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It was bang on budget.

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Oh, I'm actually quite relieved.

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-You're quite relieved?

-Yeah.

-It's kind of what I thought.

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Yeah, it's not really...

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-It's not game over just yet?

-It's not game over.

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For the final stop of the day,

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we found what we thought could be the Ramoths' dream home.

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Like the first place, it was also in Clarkson.

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Did this four-bedroom,

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two-bathroom house finally deliver the wow factor that was needed?

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-Nice so far.

-Feeling happy?

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Feeling happy? Yeah, looks lovely.

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Straight away, things were looking up.

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-Got a proper hallway!

-Yeah.

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-This is more like it.

-This is lovely.

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This is just everything that I was expecting.

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Oh, wow.

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-Yeah, this is huge.

-My gosh. This is lovely.

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And it's really open.

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Ah, no, this is perfect.

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The kitchen had the contemporary feel Lauren was looking for.

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Yeah, this is definitely what I'd envisaged.

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The layout was perfect for chef Lee.

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You've got definite kitchen, dining, living,

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but it's all open still.

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There is no comparison between this and the other two houses.

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This is in a completely different league.

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Yeah, it's just ready straight away to move into.

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Yeah, and that's exactly what we wanted.

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Lauren was blown away by this house,

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and it looked like a turning point for Lee.

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If we could afford a property like this, definitely,

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I think you've got me on board.

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Things continued on a positive note in the main bedroom.

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Oh, my gosh, wow.

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Now this is definitely a good master bedroom.

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Oh, look, there's the ensuite.

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Oh, my gosh, there's a walk-in wardrobe!

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Oh, lovely.

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And with three other good-sized bedrooms,

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the couple were very impressed.

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Honestly, it's just getting better and better

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-the more that we look at it.

-It's just ticking the box is, isn't it?

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I'm ready to move in. Shall we?

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-Hold your horses!

-Oh, yeah, we need to see if we can afford it yet.

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With an outside to match the interiors,

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the couple were on cloud nine.

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But, with their £250,000 budget, could they afford it?

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I honestly think that this is going to be well over our budget.

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Yeah, I'm kind of hoping that you're wrong.

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I'm going to pluck a figure out and say 280.

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I think that it is going to be somewhere around the 300,000.

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So shall we get this over with and see how much it costs?

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I feel a bit sick.

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OK.

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-Oh, wow.

-Oh, my God.

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£314,000.

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That was £64,000 over budget.

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That is considerably over our budget.

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-That's way over budget.

-Yes.

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I mean, I know that we can't afford that,

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so I'm struggling to be convinced that we've got an affordable option

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with housing, so I think if anything,

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that's going to make my task of trying to convince you even harder,

0:18:050:18:09

cos if I'm not convinced, how can I then try and convince you?

0:18:090:18:13

It was a day of mixed results.

0:18:140:18:16

House number one was below budget,

0:18:160:18:18

but it lacked the charm to convince Lee to make a move.

0:18:180:18:22

Although affordable, property number two left little room for manoeuvre.

0:18:220:18:26

The final house, though, was a complete show stopper,

0:18:260:18:30

but with a price tag to match.

0:18:300:18:32

So when it came to homes in Australia,

0:18:320:18:34

how did the couple cast their votes?

0:18:340:18:37

Based on the properties that we've seen today, our vote goes to...

0:18:370:18:41

-..UK.

-UK.

0:18:490:18:51

Although the final property was a really nice one,

0:18:510:18:55

it was just way too much over budget.

0:18:550:18:58

I wouldn't want to move to Australia based on properties one and two,

0:18:580:19:03

and I loved property three,

0:19:030:19:04

but like you say, it's well out of our price range.

0:19:040:19:07

We need to see what the rest of the week brings.

0:19:070:19:10

-This is just the first hurdle to overcome.

-Every cloud, yeah.

-Yeah.

0:19:100:19:15

It was a very shaky start,

0:19:190:19:21

and Lauren knew, to afford a home down under,

0:19:210:19:24

they would both need good jobs.

0:19:240:19:26

Back in the UK, Lee ran his own bespoke flooring business.

0:19:270:19:31

I go in-house and design the floors with the customer.

0:19:310:19:35

It's kind of put me in a different league, which has worked,

0:19:350:19:40

and it's paid dividends back already.

0:19:400:19:43

Lauren was the main visa applicants.

0:19:430:19:45

Having retrained as a midwife, she was hooked on her job.

0:19:450:19:49

I think with midwifery, and nursing,

0:19:490:19:52

they are the type of jobs that you have to have a passion for.

0:19:520:19:55

Lauren was confident about finding work down under,

0:19:550:19:59

but worried for Lee.

0:19:590:20:00

With Lee's particular occupation, it really is unknown territory.

0:20:000:20:05

For me to have to take this and start all over again in Australia,

0:20:050:20:10

it's not something that I want to even contemplate at the moment.

0:20:100:20:14

If he doesn't find suitable work,

0:20:140:20:18

then he will absolutely not be on board for wanting to make the move.

0:20:180:20:22

To check out job opportunities for the couple,

0:20:250:20:27

first up, we arrange for Lauren to visit Joondalup Health Campus,

0:20:270:20:31

where she was met by expat midwife Michelle.

0:20:310:20:35

At the time, Lauren was with the NHS,

0:20:350:20:38

but a move could see her transferring

0:20:380:20:40

to the private sector down under.

0:20:400:20:42

I moved over from the public system into here. I've had no regrets.

0:20:420:20:46

Any problems at all, you go straight to the consultants.

0:20:460:20:50

We don't have any junior doctors here.

0:20:500:20:51

So it does seem to be quite different from the UK, then?

0:20:510:20:54

It is, but not in a negative way.

0:20:540:20:58

It sounded encouraging.

0:20:580:21:01

Meanwhile, across town, Lee met up with expat Kevin,

0:21:010:21:03

-who owned a flooring business in Perth.

-Hi, how are you? Kevin.

0:21:030:21:06

Lee was anxious to know

0:21:060:21:08

if there was a demand for his kind of skills down under.

0:21:080:21:11

We've been doing floors here for nearly 11 years.

0:21:110:21:14

There's so many new houses getting built all the time.

0:21:140:21:17

It gets that busy that most companies

0:21:170:21:19

can't handle the work that they've got.

0:21:190:21:21

No shortage of work, then.

0:21:210:21:22

How would it work for somebody like me,

0:21:220:21:24

coming out on my wife's visa, to just branch out on my own?

0:21:240:21:27

Most of the businesses in Perth that do floors

0:21:270:21:31

actually subcontract work out.

0:21:310:21:33

That was exactly how Lee worked back home.

0:21:330:21:35

If you've just arrived from the UK, and you don't know the market

0:21:350:21:40

or you don't know enough people, there is people like myself,

0:21:400:21:43

there would be the option available to you to take full-time employment.

0:21:430:21:46

That was Lee reassured.

0:21:460:21:48

Back at the hospital,

0:21:480:21:49

Michelle filled Lauren in on what kind of hours she might expect.

0:21:490:21:53

Earlies are 7:00 till 2:30.

0:21:530:21:55

Late shifts are 2:00 till 9:30

0:21:550:21:57

and a night shift is 9:00 till 7:30 the next morning.

0:21:570:22:00

That's four-and-a-half hours less

0:22:000:22:02

than the shift pattern Lauren worked in the UK.

0:22:020:22:05

It does sound that that work/life balance here in Australia

0:22:050:22:08

is definitely more achievable.

0:22:080:22:11

And Lee's working hours?

0:22:110:22:12

I tend to work six days a week and anywhere from 10 to 14 hours a day.

0:22:120:22:19

What are your kind of working hours?

0:22:190:22:21

-An average eight-hour day, three o'clock.

-Eight hours?

-Yeah.

0:22:210:22:24

-Right. Good?

-If it's a Friday, probably finish at 12.

0:22:250:22:30

But it's, er... Truthfully. Truthfully.

0:22:300:22:34

Lee couldn't quite believe what he was hearing.

0:22:340:22:37

That's why we're here.

0:22:370:22:38

You don't want to be working 12 hours a day, six days a week

0:22:380:22:41

if you can avoid it.

0:22:410:22:43

-Especially if you've got a young family.

-Yeah.

0:22:430:22:45

But what about the salaries?

0:22:450:22:47

You'd come in as a level one nurse/midwife.

0:22:470:22:50

And that equates to around 68,000 a year

0:22:500:22:54

before any accruements or any extra shift penalties.

0:22:540:22:58

At £36,000, that was almost £10,000 more than Lauren earned in the UK,

0:22:580:23:04

but what about Lee?

0:23:040:23:06

A five-day week where you're working every day,

0:23:060:23:09

you've got a job every day,

0:23:090:23:11

you'll be looking at about 100,000 annually

0:23:110:23:13

so maybe in pounds, I think it's about £50,000 or something.

0:23:130:23:17

-Close to that.

-Yeah, brilliant.

0:23:170:23:19

That was an increase of approximately £15,000 a year.

0:23:190:23:24

News he couldn't wait to share with Lauren.

0:23:240:23:26

Come on, put me out of my misery.

0:23:260:23:28

What happened with you? I've been thinking about you all day.

0:23:280:23:31

Right, with the skills that I've got, I would definitely find work.

0:23:310:23:35

The money side of it, kind of looking at about 100,000.

0:23:350:23:39

-A year?

-A year.

-That's amazing.

0:23:390:23:42

I think it's made me feel a whole lot better that everything

0:23:420:23:45

could fall into place for us.

0:23:450:23:49

No prizes for guessing how this vote went.

0:23:490:23:52

Based on what we've heard today about the jobs, our vote goes to...

0:23:520:23:56

-BOTH:

-..Australia.

0:24:000:24:02

Everything that I've heard today has just ticked every box.

0:24:020:24:06

It is a bit of a no-brainer.

0:24:060:24:07

We can have a family life and still have a good living as well.

0:24:070:24:11

A united vote for Australia breathed new life into Lauren's dream.

0:24:180:24:23

But would a day tasting the lifestyle down under

0:24:230:24:25

end with the same result?

0:24:250:24:27

The family spent their day at an open farm.

0:24:270:24:31

I guess that this is how baby goats cry.

0:24:310:24:33

SHE WHIMPERS

0:24:330:24:35

Do you think so? Yeah.

0:24:350:24:38

After a quick tour, it was time to get hands on.

0:24:380:24:42

Put it on your hand like this.

0:24:420:24:45

Here you go.

0:24:450:24:47

Awe, lots of little ones as well.

0:24:470:24:50

That bunny is just railroading everybody out of the way.

0:24:500:24:53

Days like this were few and far between back home.

0:24:530:24:56

I don't get to see half of this type of thing.

0:24:560:25:00

It's normally Lauren taking the kids.

0:25:000:25:03

It's just perfect for me to spend a bit of time with them.

0:25:030:25:07

Next up were the guzzling goats.

0:25:070:25:09

Look at all the milky froth around their chops.

0:25:090:25:12

Feels like driving a car off a cliff!

0:25:120:25:14

The goats were being very greedy.

0:25:160:25:18

I liked it a bit but they kept on nearly head-butting me.

0:25:180:25:21

-Was it a good day out, Lulu?

-Yeah.

0:25:210:25:24

I think days like today when Lee can see how lovely it can be

0:25:240:25:27

when the whole family is together

0:25:270:25:29

and we can enjoy spending time as a family and enjoying the kids,

0:25:290:25:33

it does help bring us a step closer to obviously helping to convince Lee

0:25:330:25:37

that the move to Australia would only be a positive thing.

0:25:370:25:40

So when it came to lifestyle, was it home or away?

0:25:400:25:45

-Australia.

-Australia.

-Australia.

0:25:490:25:52

Noah, why did you vote for the UK?

0:25:520:25:55

Australia.

0:25:550:25:57

THEY LAUGH

0:25:570:25:58

Everything's just been great today,

0:25:580:26:01

spending time with the kids, just going out as a family.

0:26:010:26:04

These are the sort of things we don't get to do in the UK.

0:26:040:26:07

With a clean sweep for the Aussie lifestyle,

0:26:150:26:18

Lauren's dream was well on course.

0:26:180:26:20

But for life down under to become a reality, the figures had to add up.

0:26:200:26:26

We had prepared a comparison of expenses to help them

0:26:260:26:29

work out the difference between cost of living in Perth and the UK.

0:26:290:26:33

First up, was the weekly food shop.

0:26:330:26:36

-Chicken breast fillets.

-That's 50.

-£10 in the UK.

0:26:360:26:41

£9.50 in Australia.

0:26:410:26:45

-So that's £7.56 per week...

-..more expensive.

-..more expensive.

0:26:450:26:51

So over all, monthly,

0:26:510:26:54

we're out of pocket by £32.76.

0:26:540:26:58

That's not too bad.

0:26:580:27:00

The monthly food bill was over but manageable.

0:27:000:27:03

But what about the other costs of living down under?

0:27:030:27:06

The couple based their calculations on the dream property they saw.

0:27:060:27:10

Back in the UK, they had a small mortgage.

0:27:100:27:13

In Australia, it would have almost tripled.

0:27:130:27:16

So it goes from £380 a month to £974.

0:27:160:27:20

That's a massive amount.

0:27:200:27:21

So, adding everything up, were they better or worse off in Australia?

0:27:210:27:26

That gives us £760.44...

0:27:260:27:31

-..more expensive...

-..more expensive.

-..in Australia.

0:27:320:27:35

The figures were daunting,

0:27:350:27:37

but both Lee and Lauren could earn more down under.

0:27:370:27:41

Still we're better off...

0:27:410:27:42

..by £291.63 per month, based on property three.

0:27:440:27:51

That's approximately £3,500 better off per year down under.

0:27:510:27:56

So how does that make you feel?

0:27:560:27:58

It just means that we can afford to live here in the dream home.

0:27:580:28:03

A really nice house.

0:28:030:28:05

Dream home and dream lifestyle, but was it a dream result?

0:28:050:28:10

Based on today's financial information, our vote goes to...

0:28:100:28:14

-..Australia.

-..Australia.

0:28:190:28:21

I think, overall, it's going to be Australia all the way.

0:28:230:28:28

Mm. I think you're right. It's a win-win.

0:28:280:28:32

Lauren was almost home and dry with her mission to move,

0:28:360:28:39

but there was one final hurdle to overcome.

0:28:390:28:42

Lee made it clear he would struggle with breaking strong ties at home.

0:28:420:28:47

While Lulu and Noah spent time with a childminder,

0:28:470:28:50

the couple sat down to watch a DVD of messages from home.

0:28:500:28:54

-Hi, Lee and Lauren.

-Hi, Lee. Hi, Lauren.

0:28:540:28:59

-Hi.

-Hi.

0:28:590:29:01

Hi, guys. I hope you're having a good time down there.

0:29:010:29:03

Lee's a really patient guy.

0:29:030:29:06

He's always been very, very thoughtful.

0:29:080:29:10

Lauren is, um...

0:29:100:29:13

I would say she would describe herself as high maintenance.

0:29:130:29:16

True story.

0:29:160:29:17

Lauren and Lee are a really good couple,

0:29:190:29:21

they're really supportive of each other.

0:29:210:29:23

It will be strange especially

0:29:230:29:25

because Lee has always put my carpets down for me. I'll miss that.

0:29:250:29:29

All our family, he has.

0:29:290:29:31

That'll be a big wrench from me now

0:29:310:29:33

having to go somewhere and pay full price for carpets.

0:29:330:29:36

Oh, Joan!

0:29:400:29:41

I do love to be with the kids.

0:29:410:29:45

They are very, very precious to me,

0:29:450:29:48

always have been and always will be.

0:29:480:29:50

They'll be missed,

0:29:500:29:52

especially birthdays and Christmas times and things like that,

0:29:520:29:57

it will be hard not having them around the house.

0:29:570:29:59

They have been good friends over the last 10, 15 years, particularly.

0:29:590:30:04

I would wish them well and hope that they're very happy there.

0:30:040:30:07

It won't be the same round here without you, definitely not.

0:30:070:30:10

We all know that.

0:30:100:30:12

We just want you to know we'll miss you lots,

0:30:120:30:15

miss the kids more than anything growing up,

0:30:150:30:19

we wish you all the luck in the world

0:30:190:30:21

and have a fantastic life if you do decide to go.

0:30:210:30:24

I hope the decision you make is the right one,

0:30:240:30:27

but I'm sure everyone be happy for you, whichever decision you make.

0:30:270:30:31

I'll always miss them. I just...

0:30:310:30:33

You know, it's upsetting, really.

0:30:340:30:37

Um...

0:30:370:30:39

Oh, God that was really hard.

0:30:480:30:50

I didn't think your mum and dad were going to get that upset.

0:30:500:30:52

No, well, I kind of expected it from my dad but not from my mum.

0:30:520:30:57

I think it just hits home what you are going to be leaving.

0:30:570:31:02

Emotionally, there's a lot.

0:31:020:31:04

Messages from friends and family

0:31:080:31:10

provided Lauren and Lee with a heartfelt reminder

0:31:100:31:13

of what they'd be giving up if they made the move.

0:31:130:31:16

It's hard to know which way to go.

0:31:170:31:19

I think the biggest wrench is the emotional one.

0:31:190:31:23

I think that's something that he really would struggle with.

0:31:230:31:27

Even now, still every five minutes,

0:31:270:31:30

I still keep sort of changing my mind.

0:31:300:31:34

I'm just hoping that he's completely on board

0:31:340:31:37

and that he is coming round to my way of thinking

0:31:370:31:40

that it's the best possible move for us and the children.

0:31:400:31:43

It was time to decide where the Ramoths

0:31:430:31:46

would spend the rest of their lives.

0:31:460:31:48

-ALL:

-Australia.

0:31:540:31:56

-Did we all vote for Australia?

-We all voted Australia.

0:31:580:32:01

ALL CHEER

0:32:010:32:03

Doing things like this on the beach, spending time with the family,

0:32:030:32:07

if we could have days like this on a regular basis then, yeah, why not?

0:32:070:32:12

Let's do it.

0:32:120:32:13

I'm just really, really happy that everybody else in the family

0:32:130:32:16

has now seen what I've seen for a long time

0:32:160:32:18

and you've finally got on board with this decision.

0:32:180:32:20

Their time in Perth had been enough to rekindle Lee's ten-year-old dream

0:32:300:32:34

for a life in Australia and secure, for Lauren, the future she wanted.

0:32:340:32:40

But 12 months down the road, has their enthusiasm

0:32:400:32:43

for a life-changing move turned into a reality?

0:32:430:32:47

It's 2017 and the Ramoths are living in Perth.

0:32:470:32:52

And they got their just eight months after their trial week.

0:32:520:32:56

When we were here for that week,

0:32:560:32:59

I was amazed at how much I felt like this could be home,

0:32:590:33:06

pretty quickly.

0:33:060:33:08

When he voted for Australia,

0:33:080:33:09

it really was the beginning of the adventure

0:33:090:33:11

and it definitely marked a new chapter in our lives.

0:33:110:33:15

And then, I think, not only me

0:33:150:33:18

but we were both really excited about what the future could hold.

0:33:180:33:22

After their trial week, they spent time looking at the suburbs

0:33:220:33:25

of Perth in order to choose the best area for them to live in,

0:33:250:33:28

then returned to the UK to prepare for the final big move.

0:33:280:33:33

We acted so quickly once we got back

0:33:330:33:36

because we'd spent such a long time talking about it,

0:33:360:33:40

dropping the idea, picking it back up, dropping it,

0:33:400:33:44

and revisiting it time and time again

0:33:440:33:46

that we once we flipped those cards

0:33:460:33:48

and we decided that we did want to move to Australia,

0:33:480:33:51

it was a case of, "Well, we've spent such a long time

0:33:510:33:54

"deliberating this decision, now that we've decided,

0:33:540:33:57

"let's not waste any more time, let's just set the ball rolling."

0:33:570:34:01

Get home, get house up for sale and let's get out of here.

0:34:010:34:04

But whilst they were anxious to get the ball rolling,

0:34:040:34:07

they hadn't anticipated how fast it could go.

0:34:070:34:10

We found ourselves in this position

0:34:100:34:12

where, within a couple of weeks of it being up for sale,

0:34:120:34:15

we had first-time buyers with a mortgage in place

0:34:150:34:18

that offered us pretty much the asking price

0:34:180:34:23

and because they were in rented accommodation,

0:34:230:34:26

they were pushing for a quick sale,

0:34:260:34:28

so that only took six weeks and the house was sold.

0:34:280:34:32

The day that we were moving out,

0:34:320:34:35

was also the day that the shipping company were coming

0:34:350:34:39

to pack all our furniture up.

0:34:390:34:40

That morning, we'd got notification from the visa bureau

0:34:420:34:48

that our visas were granted which, again, was so fast.

0:34:480:34:53

Lee's mum and dad very kindly offered us Lee's old bedroom back

0:34:530:35:00

to stay for a few months until we left for Australia.

0:35:000:35:04

And, as nice as they were, it's really hard leaving your own space

0:35:040:35:11

that you've had for such a long time

0:35:110:35:14

to then go and live in somebody else's space.

0:35:140:35:17

So let's just say it was quite character building.

0:35:170:35:20

It was whilst they were staying with Lee's parents

0:35:210:35:24

that reality began to hit home.

0:35:240:35:27

Did we have time to think about it much?

0:35:270:35:29

Not really, not until...

0:35:310:35:33

..the house was sold and we'd moved into my mum and dad's, then...

0:35:340:35:40

..there were a couple of times

0:35:420:35:45

that we were sat up in my old bedroom...

0:35:450:35:50

..saying to each other, "Have we done the right thing?"

0:35:520:35:57

We used to sit and have the conversations in your old bedroom,

0:35:570:36:00

in your mum and dad's house, and we were saying,

0:36:000:36:02

"Let's move to the other side of the world, we've got no jobs,

0:36:020:36:05

"nowhere to live, we're on limited funds, this is a great idea."

0:36:050:36:09

Yeah, it's a great idea. With kids.

0:36:090:36:12

-Yeah, and a dog.

-And a dog.

0:36:120:36:14

When it came to the morning of their departure, however,

0:36:180:36:21

things were much more subdued.

0:36:210:36:24

On the actual day when we did say goodbye,

0:36:240:36:27

it was really, really hard

0:36:270:36:29

to the point where everybody was in floods of tears.

0:36:290:36:34

-It was awful.

-Mm.

0:36:340:36:37

We actually had other families from the street come out to wave us off

0:36:370:36:44

and they were crying and all our families were crying.

0:36:440:36:48

-And it was just... It was really bad, wasn't it?

-Mm.

0:36:480:36:52

Yeah, it was...

0:36:520:36:54

It was very emotional.

0:36:550:36:57

I suppose when you're saying goodbye to people,

0:37:010:37:07

you know, it isn't just for a few weeks,

0:37:070:37:11

-it is going to be for a long period of time.

-Mm.

0:37:110:37:15

Then there's been other people...

0:37:170:37:19

..that I've said goodbyes to and I probably won't ever see them again.

0:37:210:37:27

The emotional upheaval of such a move is immense.

0:37:280:37:32

But there was no turning back at this late stage,

0:37:320:37:35

and the Ramoths were bound for Australia.

0:37:350:37:37

-The flight was just awful.

-The flight was awful.

-Awful.

0:37:390:37:43

It took 27 hours.

0:37:440:37:46

27 hours.

0:37:480:37:50

I remember Noah saying,

0:37:500:37:51

"This is the worst week of my life.

0:37:510:37:53

"Why did we moved to Australia?"

0:37:530:37:56

I'm like, "Sorry, Noah."

0:37:560:37:57

Yeah, I like it. The only thing I don't like about it -

0:37:570:38:00

mosquitoes, scorpions, like, really venomous spiders.

0:38:000:38:06

Luckily, we don't have the adder from the UK here.

0:38:060:38:09

I was really worried about how they would cope

0:38:100:38:14

and how they would adapt,

0:38:140:38:16

but I think that you forget how resilient kids are.

0:38:160:38:20

They just slotted right in.

0:38:200:38:22

And I think I probably took on the worry for everybody,

0:38:220:38:26

-but they were fine.

-They were fine, yeah.

0:38:260:38:29

I have friends which are Bobby, Ollie

0:38:290:38:34

and a few others which are Mark, Mason, Christian.

0:38:340:38:41

My friends are Sofia, Kaya, Kayla, Ella and Lacey.

0:38:420:38:48

And there are few more called Chase...

0:38:480:38:52

I like Australia because in England it was really cold

0:38:520:38:57

but in Australia it's kind of warm here.

0:38:570:39:01

And a lot more, just a lot more.

0:39:010:39:04

The priority was to find a home,

0:39:040:39:06

but that in itself proved troublesome.

0:39:060:39:09

We were in this holiday rental for couple of weeks.

0:39:090:39:12

The biggest issue was finding a rental

0:39:120:39:16

because we'd been checking which properties were available

0:39:160:39:20

prior to coming over and I don't know what happened

0:39:200:39:23

but, as soon as we landed, they just all went.

0:39:230:39:27

They all got leased literally overnight.

0:39:270:39:29

The only ones that were left

0:39:290:39:31

were the ones that nobody wanted to live in

0:39:310:39:34

and that's why they were still left.

0:39:340:39:36

So it went down to the wire, didn't it?

0:39:360:39:38

We couldn't extend the holiday let any more

0:39:380:39:41

because they had people coming in after us.

0:39:410:39:43

And then, by some pure stroke of luck,

0:39:430:39:48

we were approved on this house and we signed and we got the keys.

0:39:480:39:53

The following day, we moved in.

0:39:530:39:55

The container with all our belongings arrived

0:39:550:39:59

and then, the day after that, our dog arrived.

0:39:590:40:02

So it was just...

0:40:020:40:04

We managed to squeeze in so much in such a short space of time.

0:40:040:40:08

But time was against them when it came to finding work.

0:40:080:40:12

I'd been in touch with a few shops over here in Perth...

0:40:120:40:19

..to set up some interviews,

0:40:200:40:26

maybe try and line a couple of jobs up

0:40:260:40:29

just so they can see what I can do.

0:40:290:40:32

One particular person that Lee had been speaking to online

0:40:320:40:36

prior to coming over, he managed to help him get his foot in the door

0:40:360:40:41

and get his face shown, really.

0:40:410:40:46

So I'm working on quite a nice big five-star hotel,

0:40:460:40:53

this building just here.

0:40:530:40:55

When starting in a country like this, starting a new job,

0:40:550:41:01

you've got to get yourself established,

0:41:010:41:04

and in order to do that I've had to work some longer hours,

0:41:040:41:08

but I think as we settle down into a routine here,

0:41:080:41:14

we will be having those early finishes

0:41:140:41:17

and I can spend some time with the kids and the wife.

0:41:170:41:21

And, yeah, we'll get some quality time back again.

0:41:210:41:24

Lee's long hours, however, prevented Lauren from accepting

0:41:240:41:27

a permanent job offer in a hospital due to childcare issues.

0:41:270:41:31

So, for more flexibility,

0:41:320:41:34

she signed on with an agency, with unexpected results.

0:41:340:41:37

The agency work, it's been a blessing in disguise

0:41:380:41:42

because I really, really enjoy it and it means

0:41:420:41:44

I get to work at different hospitals, different ward settings.

0:41:440:41:48

So there's a lot of variety and two shifts are generally never the same.

0:41:480:41:53

And I don't have to get involved in the ward politics,

0:41:530:41:58

the issues of the ward,

0:41:580:41:59

I can just turn up, do my job, do it well and then leave.

0:41:590:42:03

And that's really good.

0:42:030:42:05

And there's a silver lining for Lee as well.

0:42:050:42:08

The benefit of doing all the hours

0:42:090:42:12

and, you know, persevering, getting on with the job...

0:42:120:42:17

..is the wages.

0:42:180:42:20

I would say it's double what I was on in the UK

0:42:200:42:24

and from what I can gather that we've got here to do,

0:42:240:42:31

it's only going to get better than that.

0:42:310:42:33

And what about the future?

0:42:330:42:34

We're at a stage where we seem to be coming out of the fog

0:42:340:42:40

and the uncertainty and things are taking a more settled balance.

0:42:400:42:44

That, in turn, it gives us reassurance

0:42:450:42:47

that everything will be OK,

0:42:470:42:48

because if we've had to deal with all of this

0:42:480:42:51

in such a short space of time,

0:42:510:42:53

then I think we'll be all right.

0:42:530:42:56

I think that we'll just continue on as we are doing

0:42:560:43:00

and, in time, things will only get better.

0:43:000:43:03

The Ramoths' move down under occurred at breakneck pace,

0:43:090:43:13

leaving them almost breathless.

0:43:130:43:16

And, in spite of the few speed bumps they experienced on the way,

0:43:160:43:19

they have truly made Australia their home.

0:43:190:43:23

We wish them all the very best for the future.

0:43:230:43:26

Ten years ago Lee Ramoth tried to convince wife Lauren their life would be better on the other side of the world. But fast forward to 2016 and the shoe was on the other foot. The tables had turned and it was Lauren trying to persuade Lee to give up his very successful business and close family ties in the UK to pursue a future he once dreamed about in Australia.

We met the Ramoths in 2006 - dad Lee, mum Lauren, Noah, who was eight at the time, and Lulu, who was then five. They were living in Leeds in Yorkshire, but Lee had itchy feet. He wanted to move to Australia for a better lifestyle for him and his family. But Lauren loved where she was and wanted to stay put. The dream ended in stalemate.

Two years on and the recession hit. Just months into a new carpet-fitting job, Lee was made redundant. He had no choice but to set up on his own. And with two young children the couple saw few prospects for a future for the family in the UK. Thoughts turned again to Australia, and this time Lauren was on board. With the thought of securing skills wanted by Australia she returned to university to study midwifery.

Money was tight and life was tough, but then Lee had a breakthrough with his flooring business. He had found a niche market and his work opportunities rocketed. But success came at a price. With Lauren doing her studies, Lee worked all the hours. They were ships in the night and the relationship was being put under huge stress and strain.

Lauren decided enough was enough. Determined to improve the situation she pushed to get the Aussie dream up and running again. This time though it was Lee refusing to budge. It was, with his business doing so well, simply too a big a gamble. And it wasn't just his work stopping him from going. His parents had moved back from Cyprus to be near their grandchildren. A move was going to break up his close and recently reunited family.

But Lauren was determined things had to change and wanted to show him she was right, that moving down under would be better for them all. Lee reluctantly agreed to give it a go.

But during the trial week in Perth, just who was persuading who? And one year on where are the Ramoths living now?