Benalmadena, Spain Get Away for Winter


Benalmadena, Spain

Couples and friends search for perfect rental properties abroad. Ann and Stephen want to leave the winter in Glasgow behind and rent in the Costa Del Sol.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

-Paradise!

-Absolutely.

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What if you could live abroad in winter for the same cost...

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..as living in the UK?

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This is priced at 595 per month.

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Is that all?

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By renting a piece of paradise...

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Unbelievable. Wow! This is amazing.

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..you could swap sleet and snow... for sun and sand.

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-Right. Let's go and have a look at some properties.

-Well, absolutely.

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Get Away For Winter teams up sun-seekers with a

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local property expert...

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-Can you see yourself in here?

-I can, yeah.

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..to find their perfect rental retreat.

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It's like you're on holiday all the time.

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Together, they'll leave no stone unturned...

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This is unbelievable, isn't it?

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..in order to find and fund their dream winter getaway.

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This is what I was dreaming of and didn't even think existed.

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If you're being honest, the UK's climate can be tough to bear,

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and two sun-seekers looking to get away for the winter

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are husband and wife, Stephen and Anne.

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Married for 32 years.

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-Yeah.

-Is that right?

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-Uh-huh.

-Oh, that's a good start.

-We met when we were 17 and 18.

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-Yeah, well done you!

-Yeah.

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They're hoping to leave behind the wet and cold of Eaglesham

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on the outskirts of Glasgow.

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Anne, you want a cup of tea?

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-Yeah.

-Coffee?

-Can I get coffee, Stephen, please?

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Accountant Anne and labourer Stephen have loved raising their daughter,

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Melissa, in the village.

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But with an average winter temperature of just five degrees,

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and with only seven hours of daylight,

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it's a hard life if you work outdoors.

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See getting up in the morning in December, January,

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looking out the window and there's frost, snow

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and I'm going to work in that...

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He's got to continue in it as well.

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I'm fed up with this, basically.

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I just... I don't want to spend another winter here.

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It will also offer Anne a much-needed change in lifestyle.

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I've now got my health issues.

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I've got osteoarthritis and I feel the difference

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in these cold, damp days.

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With Melissa now having flown the nest

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and running her own hair salon, Anne and Stephen feel the time is right

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to leave the cold of Scotland behind.

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They've been talking about something like this, like,

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for years and years, so, I just think it's about time

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that they did it.

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It's only a flight away.

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And if all goes well, this could become the permanent move abroad

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that they've been talking about for years.

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It's not as if we're just going to sit and relax and do nothing,

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because we can't afford financially to do that anyway.

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We're not thinking of retiring,

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we're thinking of changing our lifestyle,

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but still be able to do some work.

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An income is still important for Anne and Stephen,

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and making this venture work financially is their top priority.

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While abroad, Stephen plans to pick up work as a golf caddy

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or indeed in a local bar.

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And as she's self-employed, Anne can do her book-keeping from anywhere.

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She's also recently embarked on a new career in hypnotherapy

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and life coaching, most of which she can do online.

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So, if I get good internet connection wherever I go,

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I'll be fine, yeah.

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Longer term, they plan to sell their house in Eaglesham

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and will either use that money to downsize in the UK

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or to set themselves up abroad.

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If they wanted to go down the rental route in the meantime,

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local estate agents estimate they could generate

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around £800 a month for their semidetached home.

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If we do it, we'll make it a success, cos everything we've done

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together as the couple and as a family has been successful.

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-Yeah.

-So, everything we do do...

-We work hard at it...

-We do it.

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-..we make things work.

-Yeah.

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And that's the attitude that we've got to take, I think.

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Anne and Stephen estimate they they'll save around £100 a month

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on utilities and petrol costs while they're away.

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Which, along with their respective incomes,

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means they're setting their winter sunshine budget

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at £1,000 per month.

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Now, this will cover all their costs, including food,

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transport and entertainment.

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They're allocating 400-600 of this for accommodation and bills,

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so they have their finances sorted, and the destination

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they have in mind has been very dear to them since they first visited

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on honeymoon.

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Well, it was a surprise to me where the honeymoon destination was,

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way back in 1985, and it was Benalmadena in the Costa del Sol.

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We'd both never been there before.

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When we got there, it was just gorgeous.

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It's busy, it's quiet, it's got a bit of both, you know,

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and there's some nice golf courses round about.

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Anne and Stephen are seeking the winter sunshine

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on Spain's southern coastline, in Benalmadena.

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Sandwiched between Marbella to the west and Malaga to the east,

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Benalmadena has grown to become one of the Costa del Sol's

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prime holiday spots.

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It's a place which enjoys a sub tropical climate,

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with hot summers and warm winters averaging 17 degrees Celsius

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over the winter months.

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Benalmadena stretches from its old town,

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on the slopes of sierra de Mijas,

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down to the more built-up tourist areas on the coast.

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In the centre and at the marina is where most of the action is,

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with clubs, bars, restaurants and shops

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catering to the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors.

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And a man who knows Benalmadena very well

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is property agent Mike Navas,

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who along with his wife, Sharon, runs a business

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in sales and rentals.

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We came out here in 1994

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and did what I really always wanted to do here,

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which was to get into real estate.

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Mike will be showing Anne and Stephen four rental properties

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and introducing them to just what the area has to offer.

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What's on offer at the moment, obviously,

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is very much hinged on the budget.

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What can be a couple of hundred euros for a studio down on the coast

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all the way up to a couple of thousand a week

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for an independent villa with its own pool.

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Anne and Stephen are eagerly standing by

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for a video call from Mike.

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Only one of them, of course, will be joining him

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on the rental search in Spain,

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so this is their opportunity to let him know what they're

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both looking for exactly from a winter rental.

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-Hi! How are you?

-Hi, there.

-Hi, how are you?

-I'm fine, thanks.

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-How are you?

-I'm fine.

-Fine, thank you.

-My name is Mike Navas.

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-I'm Anne.

-Hiya, and I'm Stephen. Pleased to meet you.

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Very pleased to meet both of you.

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So, what kind of accommodation are Anne and Stephen hoping to find?

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Ideally, we were hoping for two bedrooms.

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We're looking for something that's got good internet access as well.

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We're not bothering about a swimming pool

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because we will be out and about, like doing our own walking

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-and we'll be walking around the beach quite a lot as well.

-Yeah.

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The couple are hoping to take someone very special away

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with them, who may have a bearing on the search.

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-We've got a dog.

-Just a small dog.

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Right, so, if there's properties there that's pet friendly.

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A lot of owners, unfortunately, a lot of them do not allow pets.

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-OK.

-If it's a small dog, well, then we've got much better chances.

-Yeah.

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So Rory, the family's Yorkshire terrier, is small

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and he's also to join Anne and Stephen on their winter adventure.

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Who's the lucky one that's coming over to view some properties?

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The one that's got the permanent smile on her face!

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-The one that's smiling!

-Yeah.

-Yay!

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Well, I look forward to meeting you in person, Anne.

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The couple's budget for accommodation is hopefully between

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£400 to £600 a month, but will this be enough

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for such a popular destination?

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That is a bit on the low side, to be honest, really.

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Is there any movement on that budget?

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For instance, we can show you some things that are a little bit more

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-than that.

-When Anne comes over to see you and maybe we see something

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-that is a wee bit dearer, this is when...

-We can decide then.

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-We can decide then.

-We're going to get to work now,

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so very, very pleased to meet you and let's hope we can find

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-the right place for you when you come out.

-Thanks very much.

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-It was lovely to meet you.

-Thank you.

-And I'll see you soon.

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-Take care.

-Bye!

-Bye.

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He seems confident and that's what I like about him.

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He's not going, "Oh, you can't get that. Oh, no."

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-Giving us negative vibes.

-He was honest with us.

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-Yeah.

-He was upfront. He said that might be...

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You might not be able to get that on your budget.

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But it's like, well, just if you want to see for us,

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see if you can get that. So, we'll see.

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Although they're open to being flexible,

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Anne and Stephen would like to pay under £600 a month

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for their winter sunshine accommodation.

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They're hoping that Mike will show them a two-bedroom property

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with good, reliable internet connection, which is pet friendly.

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So while Stephen remains behind with Rory,

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it'll be up to Anne to make sure they find just what

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they're looking for in Benalmadena.

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Leaving poor Stephen behind in chilly Scotland,

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Anne has flown three and a half hours from Glasgow

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to the Costa del Sol.

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This is living my dream now.

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Just instantly felt as if it was like home from home.

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It just felt right and it still feels right.

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Property agent Mike is on his way to meet Anne for the very first time.

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As Mike doesn't drive, Javier will be their chauffeur.

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When I spoke to Anne and Stephen, they gave us quite a tough task.

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It was quite a low budget for really what they were looking for.

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Now it comes to the crunch time, where hopefully

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we're going to show her around and hopefully she's going to like

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the properties that we show her.

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We're both relying on Mike.

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We've told him what we are looking for,

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so I've got every confidence in him that he'll pull something out

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the bag for us.

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-Hello.

-Hello.

-You must be Anne.

-Yes.

-I wouldn't have recognised you.

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-Hello, how are you?

-Lovely to meet you in person.

-Yes, you too.

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Ready and set to go, ready to look at the first property?

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-Yes, can't wait.

-Can't wait? Lovely. Here's your chariot.

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Thank you.

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-Hi.

-Hello.

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It's a lovely sunny day.

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-Off we go.

-OK. Thank you.

-All systems go.

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At each property, Anne will video call Stephen back in Scotland

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to make sure that they both get what they want for the £600 budget.

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The budget really is in the one-bedroom class

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rather than the two-bedroom.

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That's absolutely fine.

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We wouldn't mind staying in a one-bedroom, as long as

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-there was the sofa bed...

-Yes.

-..because that way it would

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just be short stays, people would just be coming for short stays.

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Exactly, exactly. Yes.

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Anne and Stephen know parts of Benalmadena very well.

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Their preferred area is around a mile west of the marina

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because it's just that little bit quieter and still has everything

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close by.

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And property one is just 15 minutes walk to their dream location

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and less than five minutes to the seafront.

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The first place that we're going to see here is a complex,

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which really covers you for everything.

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The first property is on the third floor

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of this centrally located complex.

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The block itself has around 1,000 apartments.

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It has a 24-hour reception

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and boasts five swimming pools, no less,

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as well as extensive mature gardens,

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perfect for walking their beautiful small dog.

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Well, here we are. This is the first one.

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-This is the Benalmadena beach apartment.

-OK.

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This one-bedroom apartment, although compact, is well-equipped

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and has everything Anne and Stephen would need for a longer stay.

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It's a small little micro-kitchen, as they call them here in Spain.

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This is Stephen's domain.

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-Oh, is it really?

-Yes.

-I'm talking to the wrong man.

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Literally!

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The living room is equipped with a sofa bed for guests

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and a television with four British channels.

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-It does have air conditioning...

-Yes, saw that.

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-..and heating.

-That's good.

-It is sometimes needed in winter time.

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The bathroom has recently been updated,

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and the bedroom is a double.

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Although this apartment shares the communal outside spaces

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around the building, it does have its own private balcony

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with spectacular sea views.

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I like it. It's minimalistic, which I like.

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-Yes.

-And obviously Stephen needs to see it.

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-I've got to have his opinion as well.

-Of course, of course.

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Anne clearly likes this apartment, and the good news is

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that the monthly rental falls within their budget at £490 a month.

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On top of that, Anne and Stephen will have to factor in

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about £50 a month for bills and Wi-Fi,

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but the good news is that their dog, Rory, is very welcome here.

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There's no problem with the dog, but if we get complaints

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about the noise and so forth, well, then they have a right,

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as in any apartment you stay in, that if you break

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the community rules, they have the right to... You're out!

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Back home in Eaglesham, Stephen is very eager to find out

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how Anne has been getting on.

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Hi, there, how are you?

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-I'm fine, how are you?

-Good, yeah, all good here, yes.

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What's the weather like?

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The weather is lovely.

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Oh, brilliant.

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So, I'm in this apartment.

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So, desperate to see it, are you?

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Dying to see it.

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So, we've got the living room area type here.

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Yeah, that's fine. That looks nice, Anne.

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And then into your kitchen, Stephen.

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It just looks a bit small, that's all.

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It's not the largest apartment in the world,

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but it is sufficient and it's ideal, really, for a couple.

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Yeah, but bearing in mind it's just for the two of us

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and that tiny terrier.

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So is dogs allowed?

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Dogs are allowed, yeah, dogs are allowed here.

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The bedroom's quite big.

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-It looks big, yeah.

-And you've got the double wardrobe here.

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It's very spacious, the wardrobe.

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It's not as if we're going to have hundreds of clothes,

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-do you know what I mean?

-They're doing the right thing

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and that is coming over first before they're going to take their let

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to make sure that it is the right property and ticks the right boxes.

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Anne has saved the best until last - those magnificent sea views.

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Can you picture yourself sitting here and looking out

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into that view every single day?

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Oh, yeah, that's nice.

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So, that's it. What did you think?

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It looks nice, Anne.

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Stephen likes the apartment, but money is crucial,

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and the rent for this property is £490 a month.

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Personally, I think that's dear...

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..for a one-bedroomed apartment.

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It's got, like, lovely gardens.

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It's got swimming pools and it's got, like, a gym.

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You know I'll be in the gym.

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-OK, pet.

-All right, see you later.

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-Love you. Take care.

-Love you, too. Bye.

-Bye-bye.

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Value for money...

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..I think it's a bit dear. If that is the sort of budget out there,

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that's what it is, you know?

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Well, how did that go?

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The budget for a one-bedroom...

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-Yes.

-..thought it was a wee bit pricey for just the one-bedroom.

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The budget is really a one-bedroom budget rather than a two.

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-Yeah.

-But hopefully, once we show you some more apartments,

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you can make a choice and find the ideal home from home.

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Yeah, great. Shall we, then?

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-Let's go.

-Thank you.

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Available to rent for £490 per month excluding bills,

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this one-bedroom apartment has a clean, modern finish

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and the possibility of the internet connection that Anne needs for work.

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It's pet friendly,

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but despite being under their £600 budget,

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Stephen in particular doesn't feel

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it offers value for money.

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With Anne undertaking the tough task of touring the Costa del Sol,

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back in Scotland, Stephen and Yorkshire terrier Rory

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have been left with a task of their own.

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-Right, Rory, in you come.

-Oh, come on, pal.

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You've got to go this way.

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They're taking a trip to the local vet to find out more

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about the logistics and costs of getting Rory to Spain and back.

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-OK, here you go, pal.

-Right, Rory.

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Right. What can we do for Rory today, then?

0:17:020:17:04

Well, would you believe, Bill, we're thinking of going to Spain...

0:17:040:17:07

-That'll be nice.

-..over the winter.

0:17:070:17:09

And, basically, we want to take the dog.

0:17:090:17:12

OK, are his normal vaccinations up-to-date?

0:17:120:17:14

-As far as I know.

-Right, that's fine.

0:17:140:17:16

So you'll need a pet passport to go.

0:17:160:17:18

-Right.

-He needs to be micro-chipped, which he probably already is.

0:17:180:17:21

-He'll need to be vaccinated against rabies.

-OK.

0:17:210:17:25

And then three weeks from the date of that vaccination,

0:17:250:17:27

his passport becomes active.

0:17:270:17:28

What's the costs? You know, so we can...

0:17:280:17:31

Again, everything's to do with budgets.

0:17:310:17:33

It'll be about £200 all in.

0:17:330:17:35

All in? That's good, that's good.

0:17:350:17:37

Coming back, you need to treat for tapeworms between one and five days

0:17:370:17:41

before you come back and that has to be signed on your passport.

0:17:410:17:45

Right, so I would have to find a vet in Spain?

0:17:450:17:47

-Yeah, to do that for you.

-Right, OK.

0:17:470:17:50

Actually, I've done it myself for my dog

0:17:500:17:52

and acquiring a pet passport is actually a simple process.

0:17:520:17:55

But with the cost of £200 for the passport,

0:17:550:17:57

plus as as much as £500 for specialist pet transportation

0:17:570:18:01

on an aircraft, Anne and Stephen will have to decide

0:18:010:18:04

if they really want to pay for Rory to join them over the winter months.

0:18:040:18:08

Having already seen the first property,

0:18:140:18:16

Mike and Anne are back in the car being chauffeur driven

0:18:160:18:20

to their second viewing.

0:18:200:18:22

You mentioned when we first spoke that there was a possibility

0:18:220:18:26

the budget could be upped, so I'd like to show you this property

0:18:260:18:30

because I think you're going to really like it.

0:18:300:18:33

Staying within the Benalmadena area,

0:18:330:18:36

Mike is taking Anne west for property two, to Torrequebrada.

0:18:360:18:40

It is a little bit away from the hubbub,

0:18:400:18:42

the typical Bonanza Square type of thing,

0:18:420:18:45

but there are a couple of local bars

0:18:450:18:47

and there is one of those bars I've already checked.

0:18:470:18:49

It's a sports bar, so it's going to be fine for Stephen.

0:18:490:18:52

I'll never see him!

0:18:520:18:53

Is that a good thing?

0:18:550:18:56

Torrequebrada is slightly off the beaten tourist track.

0:18:580:19:02

It's an area where you'll find typical Andalusian town houses.

0:19:020:19:06

And as value for money was an issue with the last property,

0:19:070:19:10

Mike wants to introduce Anne and Stephen to a location

0:19:100:19:13

where spending a little bit more money goes a long way.

0:19:130:19:16

This is Hacienda del Golf, and it's what they call a pueblo Andaluz,

0:19:200:19:25

which is all whitewashed little houses all around a central feature,

0:19:250:19:30

which, in this case, happens to be the swimming pool

0:19:300:19:33

and the barbecue area down in the community.

0:19:330:19:35

Now, you can see all these little houses, all very quiet,

0:19:350:19:38

-all very tranquil. Very much a residential area.

-Yeah.

0:19:380:19:42

And this is the house.

0:19:420:19:44

The property Mike has brought Anne to see is

0:19:440:19:47

a three-bedroom town house...

0:19:470:19:48

Come on in.

0:19:480:19:50

..complete with two bathrooms.

0:19:500:19:52

This is the hallway

0:19:520:19:53

and then we walk straight through into the lounge and

0:19:530:19:56

-the kitchen.

-This is gorgeous.

0:19:560:19:58

-You like it?

-Yeah, it's beautiful. Yeah.

0:19:580:20:01

The kitchen is well-equipped and, although it's open-plan,

0:20:010:20:04

there is a breakfast bar separating the space.

0:20:040:20:06

Stephen can do all his cooking here...

0:20:070:20:09

-Yeah.

-..whilst you're watching the telly, if you move the telly

0:20:090:20:12

out a bit.

0:20:120:20:14

The living area is comfortable and very suitable for Anne's work.

0:20:140:20:17

This house is completely Wi-fied, so the Wi-Fi is included.

0:20:180:20:22

OK, so that box ticked straightaway.

0:20:220:20:24

-Yes, yes, definitely.

-You don't have to worry about that one.

0:20:240:20:27

Upstairs, there are two bathrooms.

0:20:270:20:28

There's one here, that's a shower room, as you can see,

0:20:280:20:31

and through here is the second bathroom.

0:20:310:20:35

So whether you want a bath or whether you want a shower,

0:20:350:20:38

here you have the choice.

0:20:380:20:39

This property has three bedrooms - a twin room...

0:20:410:20:43

..a spare double bedroom...

0:20:450:20:46

..and a really good-sized master bedroom,

0:20:490:20:51

which has its own small terrace seating area.

0:20:510:20:53

This wasn't the type of property that we were looking for

0:20:560:21:00

-when we were doing a search.

-Right.

0:21:000:21:02

But it's beautiful.

0:21:020:21:03

We haven't even seen the best bit yet,

0:21:030:21:05

and that is the terrace.

0:21:050:21:07

Back downstairs, double patio doors lead from the living room

0:21:070:21:11

out onto a paved terrace,

0:21:110:21:13

which is furnished with everything you would need

0:21:130:21:15

to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle.

0:21:150:21:17

-It's stunning.

-You like this?

-It's stunning, yes.

0:21:170:21:20

Well, obviously, this is a perfect little area for Rory.

0:21:200:21:22

Yeah, I forgot about him for a minute!

0:21:220:21:24

Never mind about Rory.

0:21:260:21:27

OK, so the all-important question, how much is this gorgeous place?

0:21:290:21:34

This gorgeous place is £670 a month...

0:21:340:21:38

..plus electric.

0:21:390:21:40

You're looking at, I should imagine, an extra £50 a month,

0:21:400:21:44

being realistic.

0:21:440:21:45

This three-bedroom town house certainly ticks

0:21:470:21:50

all of Anne and Stephen's boxes in terms of space and facilities.

0:21:500:21:54

The location is close to the golf course, ideal, of course,

0:21:540:21:57

for Stephen's search for work, but with budget being a big concern,

0:21:570:22:01

will he feel it's worth going over their planned budget

0:22:010:22:04

of £600 a month?

0:22:040:22:06

-Hi!

-Hiya. How are you?

-All right, how are you?

0:22:090:22:13

-I'm fine.

-Let me take you around this property, sir.

0:22:130:22:15

Okey dokey.

0:22:150:22:17

Anne begins by showing Stephen the entrance to the property.

0:22:170:22:20

Look at this, as well.

0:22:200:22:22

-Hola!

-Hola!

0:22:220:22:24

Stepping over the threshold,

0:22:260:22:27

Anne is taking Stephen into the main living area.

0:22:270:22:30

Right away, you can tell it's not a flat.

0:22:300:22:32

-Yeah.

-You know, it just looks like a normal house.

0:22:320:22:36

I think she really liked the property.

0:22:360:22:38

This really is a home from home

0:22:380:22:40

and that extra space will make the difference.

0:22:400:22:44

Having shown Stephen the facilities downstairs,

0:22:440:22:47

it's now up to the second floor of the property.

0:22:470:22:49

Into a bathroom, which has got the toilet again.

0:22:490:22:53

They like their toilets, don't they? How many toilets are in this place?

0:22:530:22:56

Actually, there are three toilets, Stephen, in this property,

0:22:560:22:59

which is the same number as there are bedrooms.

0:22:590:23:01

That's me and Rory's room.

0:23:010:23:03

No, you've both got a bedroom each. We've all got a bedroom each!

0:23:040:23:07

When she was explaining all the things that they wanted,

0:23:080:23:12

I think this would really fit the bill totally

0:23:120:23:15

with their idea of moving out here.

0:23:150:23:19

Stephen has seen inside, but how will he feel

0:23:190:23:21

when he sees the golf course?

0:23:210:23:23

-What do you think that is?

-That's the park.

0:23:230:23:25

It's not a park.

0:23:250:23:27

It's a golf course.

0:23:270:23:29

Ha! A golf course?

0:23:290:23:32

This is Torrequebrada golf course.

0:23:320:23:35

I'll go and ask for a job in the golf course caddying.

0:23:350:23:38

You sure could. Yay!

0:23:380:23:42

It's an unsurprising thumbs up for this property,

0:23:420:23:44

but is Stephen willing to pay £670 a month to live here?

0:23:440:23:49

That's beautiful, that place, Anne, but that's over our budget.

0:23:500:23:54

-It's nice to see it.

-It's nice to see that for that extra

0:23:540:23:57

maybe £200, £150, what difference you can get.

0:23:570:24:02

Right, well, we've got a lot to talk about then.

0:24:020:24:04

-Okey dokey.

-OK, right.

-You take care.

-See you later.

-Bye, pet.

0:24:040:24:07

-Bye.

-Bye.

-Bye-bye.

0:24:070:24:09

What did he think of that, then?

0:24:110:24:13

He absolutely loved it.

0:24:130:24:14

Loved the location, loved how quiet it was, as well.

0:24:140:24:18

-Yes.

-And with it being home from home.

0:24:180:24:20

It's not for us at the moment,

0:24:200:24:22

but he did say that he thought it was tremendous value for money.

0:24:220:24:26

Well, you're getting three times the size,

0:24:260:24:28

but you're certainly not paying three times the price.

0:24:280:24:31

It's something to think about, like, in the future, as well.

0:24:310:24:34

-OK.

-Definitely something to think about.

0:24:340:24:37

Unfortunately, at this time, for the three months that we're planning

0:24:370:24:40

to go out to pay rent, it's just outwith our budget.

0:24:400:24:45

But I would say, definitely in the future, that's...

0:24:450:24:48

A property like that is where I'd like to stay.

0:24:480:24:51

Although Anne and Stephen recognise this town house is value for money,

0:24:550:24:58

£670 a month plus bills would be a real stretch for their budget.

0:24:580:25:03

It did tick many of their boxes,

0:25:030:25:05

including having plenty of space and being in a great location,

0:25:050:25:09

and it's given Anne and Stephen fantastic insight

0:25:090:25:13

into what the area offers if they do decide to make the move to Spain

0:25:130:25:16

a more permanent one.

0:25:160:25:18

Anne and Stephen's property search is centred around Benalmadena,

0:25:200:25:25

one of the most popular destinations on Spain's Costa del Sol.

0:25:250:25:28

In the height of the summer, Benalmadena bustles with visitors.

0:25:300:25:34

In the low season, pace of life slows right down

0:25:340:25:37

and visitor numbers drop by about 40%,

0:25:370:25:39

so there are great deals to be had on winter accommodation.

0:25:390:25:43

Anne and Stephen can rent the first property they saw

0:25:450:25:47

for £490 a month during winter.

0:25:470:25:50

In summer, the price is over four times that amount.

0:25:500:25:54

Even at the higher end of the market, there are deals to be done.

0:25:540:25:57

Take this four-bedroomed villa.

0:26:000:26:02

It's £1,900 a week in July and August,

0:26:030:26:07

but drops by a whopping £890 a week between November and February.

0:26:070:26:12

Or this villa in the Torrequebrada area.

0:26:150:26:18

It's got five double bedrooms, five bathrooms,

0:26:180:26:21

and some spectacular ocean views.

0:26:210:26:24

In the summer, it's £8,000 a week,

0:26:250:26:28

but in the winter, the weekly rate is reduced by £2,000.

0:26:280:26:31

With sunshine all year round and just a three-hour flight

0:26:330:26:36

from the UK, it's very easy to see why the Costa del Sol

0:26:360:26:40

is so popular in winter.

0:26:400:26:41

As well as the benefits of cheaper rentals,

0:26:480:26:51

spending longer time abroad in winter provides opportunities

0:26:510:26:54

to experience a place not just as a holiday-maker,

0:26:540:26:58

but more as a local.

0:26:580:26:59

Anne's about to take part in her very first

0:27:020:27:04

winter beach yoga class...

0:27:040:27:06

..led by local yoga teacher, Nico.

0:27:070:27:11

On the beach, there is a couple of pointers you need to know.

0:27:110:27:13

Yes, exactly, very good.

0:27:130:27:15

You need to be able to be stable on your feet.

0:27:150:27:17

Anne's aim when she's here is to have a better work/life balance.

0:27:190:27:22

She wants to spend more time doing physical activities outdoors

0:27:220:27:26

and also tap into the community, who may become her potential clients.

0:27:260:27:30

I'm doing hypnotherapy at the moment back in the UK.

0:27:330:27:36

I'm also doing it by Skype, and life coaching, as well,

0:27:360:27:39

so it's all to do with the mind.

0:27:390:27:40

-Yes.

-I'm hoping that there's going to be a market here, as well.

0:27:400:27:44

I'm finding more and more in the UK that there is.

0:27:440:27:46

There is a lot of foreigners as well as locals who are into mindfulness.

0:27:460:27:50

Right now, yoga is starting to bloom in Spain.

0:27:500:27:53

-Yeah, take off.

-The Spaniards are really getting an interest in it.

0:27:530:27:57

-Yeah.

-So for the future, I think it's going to be quite good.

0:27:570:28:00

UK citizens do not need special visas to work in Spain

0:28:010:28:04

at the moment, and any income earned abroad will be treated

0:28:040:28:07

in the same way by the UK tax office as if it were earned at home.

0:28:070:28:12

I knew that I was coming here.

0:28:120:28:13

I knew that I was... This was my focus.

0:28:130:28:15

-OK.

-I knew I was coming to the sun and I was going to be relaxing,

0:28:150:28:18

and now it's time for myself and if I can...

0:28:180:28:22

..get myself, like, from the inside feeling a lot better,

0:28:230:28:27

then everything else will fall into place.

0:28:270:28:29

I'll make it fall into place, but it will fall into place.

0:28:290:28:32

Anne has rekindled a love of all things spiritual

0:28:330:28:36

and has found a perfect location to nurture her passion.

0:28:360:28:38

Fortunately for her, she won't have to wait too long until

0:28:400:28:43

yoga on the beach becomes a regular pastime.

0:28:430:28:46

Back in the car, Anne and Mike are still on the hunt

0:28:530:28:55

for a perfect rental home.

0:28:550:28:57

She's on her way to property number three, just a short drive away.

0:28:570:29:01

Literally two minutes and you're on the beach.

0:29:020:29:04

Go and do your yoga there in the mornings, no problem at all.

0:29:040:29:07

None whatsoever.

0:29:070:29:09

This is an area Anne and Stephen know well.

0:29:090:29:11

With the centre of town and the marina within walking distance,

0:29:110:29:15

and shops and a beach on their doorstep, you know,

0:29:150:29:17

it's the couple's dream location.

0:29:170:29:19

The apartment is one of around 200 privately owned flats

0:29:220:29:25

in this converted hotel, with access to a communal pool.

0:29:250:29:30

I'm hoping you and Stephen are going to like it very much.

0:29:300:29:33

We haven't got far to go now.

0:29:330:29:35

-You can see for yourself.

-Looking forward to it. Thanks.

0:29:350:29:38

Well, here we are, Anne. Please come in.

0:29:420:29:44

With a very clever use of space, the owners of this property

0:29:450:29:48

have squeezed in everything you would need.

0:29:480:29:51

And the curious thing is here, it's on two levels,

0:29:510:29:54

what we'd call a duplex.

0:29:540:29:57

In the bathroom, all fixtures and fittings are brand-new.

0:29:580:30:02

And, as you can see here, they've got rid of the old bath...

0:30:020:30:05

-Yeah.

-..and they put a very nice walk-in shower.

0:30:050:30:09

It's a nice calming colour, as well.

0:30:090:30:11

-Yes.

-I like that.

0:30:110:30:13

The final indoor space is the bedroom.

0:30:140:30:16

But, once more, everything fits in perfectly.

0:30:160:30:20

Do you think Stephen is going to like this?

0:30:200:30:22

Is this Stephen's style, as well?

0:30:220:30:23

I think that he would like this, yes.

0:30:230:30:25

I'm excited for him to see this.

0:30:250:30:27

And finally...

0:30:290:30:30

Here's the balcony.

0:30:310:30:32

And look at that view.

0:30:330:30:35

Being on the seventh floor, the view is spectacular.

0:30:360:30:39

And the price for this property is £535 a month, including the bills.

0:30:390:30:46

You don't have to worry about your electric bill, your water bill,

0:30:460:30:50

that's all included. And, of course, the Wi-Fi, as well.

0:30:500:30:52

-It's free.

-I like it.

0:30:520:30:55

-I do like it. It's a joint decision...

-Of course.

0:30:550:30:58

..so I've got to make the call.

0:30:580:31:01

Not only like but she loves this apartment, and back home,

0:31:010:31:04

Stephen's awaiting her call, but will he love it as much?

0:31:040:31:07

-Hi, pal, how are you?

-All right. How are you?

0:31:110:31:14

I'm fine. It's been a nice day here today.

0:31:140:31:16

Really? Really? Well, it's raining here again -

0:31:160:31:19

-not!

-I know, I know!

0:31:190:31:22

With Stephen enjoying the warm front back home,

0:31:220:31:25

Anne starts the tour in the living area.

0:31:250:31:28

Very basic, but really new.

0:31:280:31:30

-It's modern.

-It's nice and bright, Anne.

0:31:300:31:32

Yeah, it is.

0:31:320:31:34

Look at the Buddha as well.

0:31:340:31:35

I'm not interested in Buddhas and pictures on the walls.

0:31:350:31:38

-I am.

-I thought that went very, very well, to be honest with you.

0:31:380:31:42

She loved the fact that everything was new and reformed.

0:31:420:31:46

In fact, it looks like it hasn't even been used, some of the things.

0:31:460:31:49

Look at the view that you're getting from here.

0:31:490:31:51

That's a really good location, that one.

0:31:510:31:53

Yeah, I like the location of this.

0:31:530:31:56

You're a bit higher up as well, so you can see more of the sea.

0:31:560:31:59

This might be what she's looking for, a home from home.

0:31:590:32:04

Up the steps to the back of the apartment is the bedroom.

0:32:040:32:07

Is the bed comfy?

0:32:070:32:08

-It's all right, yeah.

-OK.

0:32:100:32:12

So the bed's all right, but how will Stephen feel

0:32:120:32:15

when he knows that this property is £535 a month including bills?

0:32:150:32:20

It looks really nice, Anne.

0:32:200:32:22

OK, right, well, moving onto the next one, then.

0:32:220:32:25

-Okey dokey.

-See you later.

0:32:250:32:27

-Love you. Take care.

-Yeah, you too. Bye.

0:32:270:32:30

So Stephen's keen on this property as well.

0:32:300:32:33

Time to tell Mike the good news.

0:32:330:32:35

Well, Anne, what did Stephen think of that?

0:32:350:32:37

He liked it. I knew that he would. I knew that he would like it.

0:32:370:32:40

-Yes.

-So that could be the one?

0:32:400:32:43

Could be. The good thing about it is, it's like everything

0:32:430:32:45

is combined in the price.

0:32:450:32:47

-Well, shall we go?

-Yes, yep.

0:32:470:32:49

So, property three, an apartment in a complex,

0:32:530:32:56

has proven a big hit with both Anne and Stephen.

0:32:560:32:59

It's available to rent for £535 a month.

0:33:000:33:04

Anne and Stephen like the idea that this price includes all the bills.

0:33:050:33:09

It offers one bedroom and a sofa bed,

0:33:090:33:12

it's pet friendly and it's in their dream location.

0:33:120:33:15

The question is, can Mike top this with the final property?

0:33:150:33:18

With Mike's help, Anne and Stephen are exploring Benalmadena,

0:33:240:33:27

the areas of the town which might be right for them and the types and

0:33:270:33:31

sizes of properties that they can rent in winter for their budget.

0:33:310:33:35

They'll benefit from off-season rental prices,

0:33:350:33:37

which are around 16% cheaper than renting a similar property

0:33:370:33:42

in Glasgow, without the sunshine and the oranges.

0:33:420:33:46

Daily living costs on the Costa del Sol will also make

0:33:460:33:49

their winter sunshine budget stretch further,

0:33:490:33:52

with utilities here being almost 45% less than in the UK.

0:33:520:33:57

Even treating themselves to a three course meal out would, on average,

0:33:570:34:01

cost less than £30.

0:34:010:34:03

Anne and Stephen can only enjoy those savings

0:34:060:34:08

if they find the right property.

0:34:080:34:10

So it's back on the search for the final viewing.

0:34:100:34:14

So where are we off to now?

0:34:140:34:16

Well, now we're off to see a two-bedroom apartment.

0:34:160:34:20

-Very much in a residential area.

-Yeah.

0:34:200:34:23

I'd say 90% of the people actually live there all year round.

0:34:230:34:27

Oh, OK.

0:34:270:34:29

Mike is taking Anne to the predominantly residential area,

0:34:290:34:32

but still within walking distance of the main centre and the marina.

0:34:320:34:37

There are also plenty of bars and restaurants near

0:34:370:34:39

to this traditional apartment block.

0:34:390:34:41

And as it's out of the main tourist hotspot,

0:34:430:34:46

Anne and Stephen might find their budget buys them

0:34:460:34:48

a little bit more space.

0:34:480:34:50

Although we're very close to everything,

0:34:510:34:53

all you can hear are the birds.

0:34:530:34:54

Yeah, nice.

0:34:540:34:56

This gated complex features a swimming pool and large gardens,

0:34:580:35:02

perfect for Rory to stretch his little legs.

0:35:020:35:04

Right, come on in, Anne.

0:35:070:35:09

I think the first thing that's going to hit you here

0:35:110:35:13

is the amount of space you get.

0:35:130:35:16

Yeah. Yes, definitely.

0:35:160:35:18

This really, really is a home...

0:35:180:35:20

..hence a residential block.

0:35:220:35:23

You can understand why people live here all year round.

0:35:230:35:26

This two-bedroomed apartment has a lot of space...

0:35:270:35:30

..and it also has a very homely feeling.

0:35:310:35:33

It's tasteful, it's tasteful.

0:35:350:35:37

-It's traditional.

-Yes, yeah.

0:35:370:35:40

Double sliding doors from the lounge provide access

0:35:400:35:43

to a large glass enclosed balcony.

0:35:430:35:45

-This is a good size.

-And the views really are spectacular.

0:35:460:35:49

-Yes.

-You can see the marina over there.

0:35:490:35:53

-Oh, yeah.

-Between the blocks there, you can see Malaga.

0:35:530:35:56

I like this, yeah.

0:35:560:35:58

I like the size of it.

0:35:580:36:00

Talking about size, rather than a compact cooking area,

0:36:010:36:04

this property has a fully-equipped kitchen.

0:36:040:36:07

This is where Stephen can really get down to it

0:36:070:36:10

-if he wants to do some cooking.

-Entertaining.

0:36:100:36:12

-Here, you can cook a three course meal, no problems at all.

-Yeah.

0:36:120:36:16

The property has a large shower room,

0:36:160:36:19

decorated in a very traditional Spanish style.

0:36:190:36:23

I like traditional, yeah, I like all the traditional look.

0:36:230:36:27

The two bedrooms consist of a twin room

0:36:270:36:30

and a large master bedroom, which, like the living room,

0:36:300:36:33

also has access to a large balcony.

0:36:330:36:36

This property certainly ticks lots of boxes,

0:36:360:36:39

but is it possible to have all this space and stay within budget?

0:36:390:36:43

Million-dollar question, how much is this place?

0:36:450:36:49

This apartment is £540 a month.

0:36:490:36:53

OK.

0:36:530:36:55

As Anne will be working to help fund their winter in Spain,

0:36:550:36:59

Wi-Fi is essential.

0:36:590:37:00

It's possible to have Wi-Fi installed here,

0:37:000:37:03

but it would cost you around £35 a month extra.

0:37:030:37:05

Anne loves the style and the space this property offers,

0:37:070:37:10

but will Stephen agree?

0:37:100:37:12

-Hi, there. How are you?

-I'm fine, pet. How are you?

0:37:140:37:17

Yeah, I'm all right. Do you want to see this place?

0:37:170:37:19

-I'm looking forward to it.

-Are you ready?

-Go for it.

0:37:190:37:22

The tour starts in the living room.

0:37:240:37:26

It's like a traditional Spanish property.

0:37:260:37:28

That looks quite big.

0:37:280:37:30

Yeah, it is, yeah.

0:37:300:37:32

Good start.

0:37:320:37:33

And then it goes out to a terrace.

0:37:330:37:35

The balcony, I don't like it all enclosed.

0:37:350:37:38

-Do you not like that?

-No.

0:37:380:37:40

And then to the kitchen.

0:37:400:37:41

Look at the size of this.

0:37:410:37:43

It's not as modern as the last one, I would say.

0:37:430:37:46

The second bedroom.

0:37:460:37:48

-Mel could come over and stay in there.

-Ideal, yeah.

0:37:480:37:50

That would be great, and there's loads of room.

0:37:500:37:53

So into the main bedroom.

0:37:530:37:55

That looks nice. Is that bed comfy?

0:37:550:37:57

Just check this for you. Yes, nice firm bed.

0:37:570:38:00

OK, that's fine.

0:38:000:38:01

I didn't realise it was going to be so...

0:38:010:38:04

The price was going to be so important, and it has been,

0:38:040:38:09

from that point of view, very difficult to find something

0:38:090:38:11

within their predetermined budget.

0:38:110:38:14

Oh, dear. Stephen's not quite as keen as Anne on the apartment,

0:38:140:38:18

but will the price persuade him one way or the other?

0:38:180:38:21

It is £540.

0:38:210:38:24

I don't know about that.

0:38:240:38:26

I'm not too impressed by this one, Anne, I'm going to be honest.

0:38:260:38:28

Right, OK, no, that's fine. I need your honest opinion.

0:38:280:38:31

That's fine with me as well.

0:38:310:38:33

-OK, darling.

-Speak to you later.

0:38:330:38:35

-Bye!

-Take care, I love you. Bye.

0:38:350:38:36

-Love you too, bye.

-Bye-bye.

0:38:360:38:38

Anne, how did that go? What did Stephen think?

0:38:400:38:43

That was all right.

0:38:430:38:44

Yes, he agreed that it was spacious, but I think that he likes

0:38:440:38:49

the modern more, as opposed to the traditional.

0:38:490:38:52

-Also, again, the budget as well.

-Yes.

0:38:520:38:55

We both agree that we would much rather have something,

0:38:550:38:59

if we can find something, that's got like...

0:38:590:39:01

We know exactly what we're paying every month

0:39:010:39:03

and it's the same every month.

0:39:030:39:04

-Right.

-Maybe one bedroom.

0:39:040:39:06

Because it's just a temporary measure just now.

0:39:060:39:10

The place was nicely decorated.

0:39:100:39:11

A wee bit dated.

0:39:110:39:13

But something, my gut feeling, for some reason,

0:39:130:39:17

I can't put my finger on it, I didn't really like it.

0:39:170:39:20

At £540 a month for accommodation only,

0:39:220:39:26

this property is just within their budget.

0:39:260:39:29

It gives them two bedrooms.

0:39:290:39:30

They both love the amount of space on offer and Anne really likes

0:39:300:39:34

the traditional style.

0:39:340:39:36

But with no Wi-Fi, they're concerned about

0:39:360:39:38

the additional monthly costs.

0:39:380:39:40

Mike has shown Anne and Stephen four very different properties,

0:39:470:39:51

all with the potential to be a home from home for the winter.

0:39:510:39:54

Anne will soon be back in chilly Scotland to discuss the options

0:39:550:39:58

with Stephen and to decide which, if any, of the properties

0:39:580:40:01

they might choose.

0:40:010:40:03

-Hello, Stephen.

-Hi, Mike, how are you doing?

0:40:040:40:06

-Good to see you again.

-Cheers.

-This is a first for me, you know,

0:40:060:40:09

showing a partner around on the phone.

0:40:090:40:12

Do you feel that you can get a good impression?

0:40:120:40:14

Yeah, it works really well.

0:40:140:40:15

I'm really impressed with the tour of all the properties.

0:40:150:40:20

-It was great.

-You can tell by his face that he's happy.

0:40:200:40:22

Yes, he's happy, he's smiling.

0:40:220:40:25

If this experience has convinced Anne and Stephen of anything,

0:40:250:40:28

it's that Benalmadena is the place for their winter.

0:40:280:40:32

Am I definitely going to meet you, Stephen?

0:40:320:40:34

Are we definitely going to do this?

0:40:340:40:35

We will be doing it. We've just got to find the right place

0:40:350:40:38

-and you'll be there.

-Lovely.

0:40:380:40:40

Look forward to meeting you in person.

0:40:400:40:42

OK, take care.

0:40:420:40:44

-Bye-bye.

-OK, bye!

-Bye!

0:40:440:40:47

Bye!

0:40:470:40:48

Cheers!

0:40:500:40:51

Anne and Stephen were looking for a major change in life,

0:40:520:40:55

and decided that Benalmadena is the only location for them.

0:40:550:40:59

It's busy, it's quiet, it's got a bit of both.

0:40:590:41:02

With Stephen remaining in Scotland, Anne jetted off to view

0:41:020:41:05

four properties with Mike.

0:41:050:41:06

Hi. How are you?

0:41:080:41:09

-Well, lovely to meet you in person.

-Yes, you too.

0:41:090:41:12

The first property in a large complex was centrally located,

0:41:120:41:16

but Stephen, in particular, had reservations.

0:41:160:41:19

Personally, I think that's dear for a one-bedroomed apartment.

0:41:190:41:23

For property two, Mike wanted to show them what

0:41:230:41:26

they could get if they were willing to stretch their budget.

0:41:260:41:29

This wasn't the type of property that we were looking for

0:41:290:41:32

-when we were doing a search.

-Right.

0:41:320:41:34

But it's beautiful.

0:41:340:41:36

Realising that budget really was Anne and Stephen's biggest concern,

0:41:360:41:41

Mike's third property offered them the location they wanted

0:41:410:41:44

and an all-inclusive price.

0:41:440:41:46

Is this Stephen's style, as well?

0:41:460:41:47

I think that he would like this, yeah.

0:41:470:41:49

I'm excited for him to see this.

0:41:490:41:52

For the final property, Mike showed Anne a more traditional apartment,

0:41:520:41:55

with a space she just loved.

0:41:550:41:58

The first thing that's going to hit you here

0:41:580:42:00

-is the amount of space you get.

-Yeah.

0:42:000:42:03

But, again, Stephen had reservations.

0:42:030:42:05

That balcony, I don't like it all enclosed.

0:42:050:42:08

-Do you not like that?

-No.

0:42:080:42:09

Having seen four very different properties,

0:42:110:42:13

the question is - have Anne and Stephen taken the plunge,

0:42:130:42:16

left the harsh Scottish winter behind

0:42:160:42:18

and made it to the Costa del Sol?

0:42:180:42:20

-Hi, there!

-Hiya.

0:42:270:42:28

We're here.

0:42:280:42:30

We made it. We're in Benalmadena, on the Costa Del Sol,

0:42:300:42:34

and we are living the winter dream.

0:42:340:42:37

In the end, Anne and Stephen booked the third property they saw,

0:42:370:42:40

the one-bedroom apartment with a fixed monthly rental.

0:42:400:42:43

When we came in here, it was like - this is it, this is the one.

0:42:430:42:47

The colours and everything, it was just us.

0:42:470:42:51

It was our place.

0:42:510:42:53

What it cost to get here, it costs the same to get a taxi

0:42:530:42:57

from our house in Eaglesham into Glasgow.

0:42:570:42:59

Yeah, and to the city centre.

0:42:590:43:01

So it's just a no-brainer, basically!

0:43:010:43:04

Unfortunately, Anne and Stephen had to leave their Yorkshire terrier,

0:43:040:43:08

Rory, in Scotland along with their daughter, Melissa,

0:43:080:43:11

because it would have cost almost £700 to get him to Spain.

0:43:110:43:15

But, despite this, they feel that getting away to Benalmadena

0:43:150:43:19

is the best decision they ever could have made.

0:43:190:43:23

-That's us, living the dream in winter.

-We are.

0:43:230:43:26

I know. I know, we are.

0:43:260:43:28

-I can't believe it.

-I know.

0:43:280:43:30

-Bye!

-Bye!

0:43:300:43:31

Ann and Stephen want to leave the winter in Glasgow behind and rent a piece of paradise in the Costa Del Sol. Local property agent Mike is on hand to help them find what they're looking for in Spain, but will they take the plunge and make the move south for winter? Gloria Hunniford narrates.


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