Fuengirola, Spain Get Away for Winter


Fuengirola, Spain

Couples and friends search for perfect rental properties abroad. Keith and Greer hope to find a perfect rental home on the Costa Del Sol for them and their dogs.


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Transcript


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-Paradise!

-Absolutely.

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What if you could live abroad in winter,

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for the same cost 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!

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Wow, this is amazing.

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You could swap sleet and snow for sun and sand.

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Right, so let's go and look at some properties.

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Well, absolutely.

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Get Away for Winter teams up sun seekers

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with a 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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Here in Campbeltown on the west Coast of Scotland,

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the winter means relentless rain and grim, grey skies.

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It may be on the Mull of Kintyre,

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but the winter weather leaves a lot to be desired.

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Two locals plotting to escape to sunnier climes

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are husband and wife of 52 years, Keith and Greer.

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I'm fairly easy-going, I don't mind where we stay,

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where we live or what we do.

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He says he's easy-going.

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I don't think that's quite true!

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He's very good at complaining.

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He's got a degree in that.

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Mr Angry from Campbeltown, yeah, Victor Meldrew.

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Yeah, Victor Meldrew is a very good description.

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They moved from England 24 years ago to run

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a cattery and boarding kennels.

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Although they've sold up and retired, their dogs,

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Kayleigh and Venture, are still very central to their lives.

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We have two rough collies which are Lassie-type dogs.

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They are very much part of the family.

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We go out quite a lot because of the dogs we've got,

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but you'd have to put a woolly hat on, waterproof trousers,

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waterproof shoes, a big thick coat.

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Wrapping up warm from the wild winter weather

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is not the only problem for these two.

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I suffer quite a bit with arthritis in my hands and knees, and

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although I play golf to try and keep active,

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in damp weather, there is no doubt it affects arthritis quite severely.

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Greer suffers from a painful foot condition called hammertoe, and is

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waiting for an operation which they hope will be

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before they jet off for the winter.

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I want to get away while I can, and be able to walk comfortably

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and enjoy the sunshine, which we don't get much here of.

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In order to reap the benefits of living in a warmer climate,

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Keith and Greer want to get away for around two months of this year,

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ideally with the dogs in tow.

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Now, if that's not possible,

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they need to work out who can take care of them in Scotland.

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But to make their winter dreams a financial reality,

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they do have some ideas.

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We have a self-contained unit downstairs.

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We have in the past rented downstairs

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to local nurses from the nursing home,

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and also overspills from hotels,

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and it's something we would consider.

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Keith and Greer live in a four bedroom detached house

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ten minutes' walk from the centre of the town.

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Now, if they do decide to rent out that

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one-bedroom self-contained flat,

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local estate agents estimate they could make up to £600 a month,

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or £50 a night if they use online accommodation services.

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If they aren't able to rent this space while they're away,

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Keith and Greer think they can save £470 a month

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on household bills and car costs.

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With those savings and the profits they have from selling their kennel

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business, they've set their winter sunshine budget

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at £1,100 per month, £700 of which would be allocated

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to renting their winter bolthole in the sun.

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So where do our couple want to warm their winter bones?

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The area we'd like to go to is the Costa Del Sol in southern Spain.

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We've been there before some years ago.

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That's an area we like, and we know it tends to be warm and sunny,

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which is what we're after, really, in the winter.

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So, it's goodbye to relentless rain,

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and hello sunny Spain.

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The Costa Del Sol region in southern Spain includes popular holiday

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destinations such as Malaga and Fuengirola,

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and it is the Fuengirola area where Keith and Greer would prefer

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to find their winter rental.

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They have good memories of holidays here 20 years ago,

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and Keith has been back more recently to play golf.

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With up to seven hours of sunshine a day, even in winter,

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it's not difficult to see why it's so appealing

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for our sun-starved Brits.

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To make the most of the sunshine, you have long, sandy beaches,

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outdoor restaurants and bars,

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and plenty of promenades to walk the dogs.

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It's an area full of history as well,

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with ancient castle ruins dotted along the coast.

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The rapid development of the area in the last few decades

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means there's plenty of choice when it comes to finding a place to stay.

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From December to February,

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property rentals here can be 40% to 50% lower

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than they are during the summer season,

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so it's a great time to get more for your money.

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To help Keith and Greer find their winter sunshine pad

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is local property agent, Ali Zartash Lloyd.

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Originally from Iran,

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Ali spent almost 30 years in the UK

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before moving to Spain with his wife to run a hotel.

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12 years ago they moved to the Costa Del Sol

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to start their property business.

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We have become committed to Spain.

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This is our home now and this is where we live, and we can't really

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envisage ourselves going anywhere else.

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Ali is not the only one who loves the lifestyle here.

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He knows that good properties are always in high demand,

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and go fast, and not just because people come from abroad.

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Property owners themselves come for winter so lots of properties,

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people own here for holidays.

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In fact, they don't come here June, July and August,

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they actually come in the winter.

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So it's actually you're fighting two things,

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one is owners wanting to use their own property in the winter,

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and also those people who come year after year to Spain,

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wintering in Spain, shall we say.

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Fellow dog lover Ali has his work cut out

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to find Keith and Greer a place

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for them and hopefully their two collies,

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but only one of them will be joining him

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in the Costa Del Sol for the property search.

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Keith and Greer are standing by in Scotland

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to make contact with Ali,

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and tell him exactly what they're looking for in a winter getaway.

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Hi, there, this is Ali.

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Hello, Ali, I'm Keith.

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And I'm Greer.

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Hi, it's nice to meet you both.

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What kind of areas were you looking at?

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We're fairly open to areas.

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It would be preferable to be within 20 minutes of the beach, really,

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and dependent on whether we bring our two dogs with us,

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we need somewhere that's enclosed, if we bring them.

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Ideally, we would like to bring them with us.

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One of the dogs wouldn't settle in kennels.

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She would pine for us.

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Only about between eight to 10% of properties

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allow you to have pets, so that really limits your choice, OK?

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-Yes.

-Is that is going to pose a serious problem for you,

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if there is no property that accepts dogs?

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It wouldn't be a deal-breaker but it is preferable to have the dogs.

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With or without their two collies,

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Keith and Greer are looking for at least a one-bedroom apartment

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to rent, but high rises are a definite no-no.

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We both suffer a bit from arthritis,

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so not too many stairs or anything like that.

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We've not made it easy for you!

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Sorry about that.

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Which one of you is coming over?

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-I am.

-And Greer, you're staying behind in snowy Scotland?

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Yes, there's no snow at the moment but we've had plenty of rain.

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Hopefully, we'll help you escape from that.

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-Thank you.

-We'll see you, Keith, when you're here,

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when we do the search.

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-Pleased to be meet you both and see you soon.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

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Despite only a small percentage of properties allowing dogs,

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it hasn't put Keith and Greer off finding a way to take them to Spain.

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I wouldn't want to put them in kennels

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for any great length of time.

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The problem, of course, is finding a means of travel that won't be too

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stressful for them. There's a difficult balancing act.

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Keith and Greer have an accommodation budget

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of £700 per month, but there is some flexibility

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for the right property.

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They're looking for an apartment with at least one bedroom,

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and they want to be no more than 20 minutes' drive from the beach,

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and close to restaurants and shops.

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Ideally, they'd like to bring their two dogs,

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so they're looking for pet friendly properties.

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In the Costa Del Sol,

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the summer tourists may be long gone,

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but the sunshine isn't going anywhere for winter.

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Keith has flown 1,800 miles south to Fuengirola,

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and is already soaking up the first rays of the day.

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It certainly does make a difference from home.

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It's a beautiful sunrise this morning,

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and it really is very, very pleasant.

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Also up early is Ali, on his way to meet Keith.

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Fuengirola area is our home place,

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because this is where we live,

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so we know the area really well.

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So really I've been looking from near Malaga,

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from Torremolinos which is near the airport,

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all the way down to Estepona,

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which is west of Marbella.

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So with lots of coast to cover,

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there is no time to waste.

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Looking forward to meeting Ali and looking

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at the properties that have been chosen for me.

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Hello, Ali.

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-Nice to meet you. Great to see you.

-Yes, lovely.

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-Are you enjoying the summer weather?

-It's beautiful.

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It's been some 20 years since Keith has been to Fuengirola itself,

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but only one thing has changed.

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It looks a little bit more built up, I think,

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but the sun's still shining.

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-The sun is the same and the sea's the same!

-Exactly.

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Ali has found four rental properties in the Fuengirola area that

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he hopes will meet Keith and Greer's requirements,

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and those of their two collies.

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-So, you set us a few challenges.

-Yes.

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Our biggest challenge really was finding somewhere

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that will take dogs.

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That is definitely a challenge for you.

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At each property,

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Keith will video call Greer back in Scotland,

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to make sure that they get what they both want for their £700 budget.

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Ali is heading out of Fuengirola for property number one.

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We're going to go to Torremolinos.

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The nice thing about this area is it's not just a holiday place,

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it's where people live, so it doesn't empty in the winter.

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You'll find your place there.

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I won't tell you too much about it,

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-because it's going to ruin the surprise.

-OK.

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Located 12 miles from Fuengirola,

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the ever-popular resort of Torremolinos sits on

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a four-mile long stretch of sandy beach,

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with temperatures reaching up to 17 degrees in the winter.

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It's no wonder Torremolinos attracts sun-seekers who also enjoy the

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quieter bars and restaurants at this time of the year.

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Originally a tiny fishing village before the growth in tourism

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began in the '50s, Torremolinos was the first of

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the Costa Del Sol resorts to be developed.

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Today there's plenty of charm still to be found if you take a

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stroll down the side streets.

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Keith and Greer were hoping their winter pad

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would be near the beach, and the first property

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just couldn't be closer, just 80 metres from the seafront.

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So that's the building here and that's...

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OK. Nice. Nicely maintained.

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It looks nicely decorated.

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This traditional Spanish style one-bedroom apartment

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has a cosy lounge with a dining area.

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The adjoining kitchen is big enough for two, and a bright bedroom

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has plenty of storage space for Keith and Greer to settle

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in for their stay.

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It's a nice compact little apartment, yes.

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Very pleasant. Very pleasant, yeah.

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-Doing well?

-You're doing well so far.

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Good, OK. Yes!

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On top of that, Keith and Greer would be able to bring their dogs,

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because the owners would allow pets for a refundable deposit of £450.

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There's even a little outside space as well.

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A little balcony here as well.

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-A Juliet balcony.

-A little Juliet balcony.

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-Very pleasant.

-The rental here is £680 per month.

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-Right.

-Including all the bills.

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All the bills? Oh, that's good.

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So, can you see yourself here for a few months?

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It looks a comfortable, small apartment and yeah, it looks OK.

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I'll have to see what my wife thinks.

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Back in Campbeltown, Greer and the dogs are holding the fort.

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It's time for Greer to get her first look

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at property one in Torremolinos.

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I'd like to see something perhaps a bit traditionally Spanish,

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rather than ultra-modern.

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Keith will be showing Greer around the apartment via a video call.

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Hi, Greer, how are you?

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Yes, fine, and you?

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Fine, thanks. I'm in Torremolinos at the moment.

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They allow dogs in this apartment.

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It looks quite nice so far, yes.

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If they want to be near the sea,

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this is one of the closest we have got.

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In this kind of location,

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the properties tend to be on the smaller size.

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What are the floors like, Keith?

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You know what Kayleigh's like with slippery, shiny floors.

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Yeah, well, they are all marble.

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Everything's marble.

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One of the collies, Kayleigh,

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has always found it hard to walk on slippery surfaces,

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so the marble floors here may be too much for her.

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I'm a bit concerned about the steps up to the building,

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for me and the dogs.

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It's a marble staircase.

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15, 20 steps, something like that.

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I'll just go out onto the balcony, it's only a small Juliet balcony,

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as you can probably see.

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There's no room to sit out on this balcony.

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I'm just thinking there's no

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communal garden or anything there.

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I'm just think of letting the dogs out.

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It's more outside space you're looking for, isn't it, really?

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-Yes.

-Just us, no problem.

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Two dogs?

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-Think about it.

-Yeah, I agree with that.

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OK, look after yourself and walk those dogs.

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-I will.

-And pick up after them.

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-You're getting out of it this week!

-Yeah.

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It's time for Ali to get the verdict on the first property.

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Well, the other half is a little concerned

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about the no outside space for the dogs,

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and also the marble stairs,

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because one of the dogs doesn't like parquet floors and things like that.

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This part of Spain is designed,

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all the houses are designed for being cool,

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and therefore marble flooring

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and that kind of flooring is the norm.

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But there is a solution to put a rug down.

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You don't have to make up your mind now, we've got other places to see.

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At £680 per month including bills,

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this apartment does give them the location

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close to the beach that they hoped for.

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They liked the traditional side of the decor,

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but the shiny floors and lack of outside space,

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could be a problem if the dogs come as well.

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To make this trip cost neutral,

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Keith and Greer are hoping to rent out

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their self-contained basement flat in Campbeltown.

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However, there isn't a massive rental demand in winter.

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They have rented the flat before to local nurses,

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so it's time to get the word out there to the local nursing home.

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Hello there, I'm just wondering if you have

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any nurses that need accommodation?

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And it's available at the moment if you need us.

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Thank you. Bye.

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What to do with their two dogs is also a very important decision,

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because they don't want to put them in the hold of a plane.

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One option is to drive to Spain and then take the ferry.

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Some companies insist that pets remain in the car

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during the journey, but Greer is looking to see

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if there are any other options.

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They've got 70 pet friendly cabins,

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so it's not looking that bleak, is it?

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Pet friendly cabins on a ferry to Spain would cost

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around £145 each way, and there's a limit to one big dog per cabin.

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Pet travel is very popular,

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and space is limited, so early booking is a must.

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Oh, lots of treats today.

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On top of this, they would need to factor in pet friendly accommodation

0:16:510:16:55

for the drive to Spain, and around £360 in petrol costs.

0:16:550:17:00

If they decide to leave the dogs at home with a pet sitter,

0:17:010:17:04

they'd be looking at around £40 a night plus food costs.

0:17:040:17:07

Meanwhile in Spain, the heat is on

0:17:090:17:11

to find their perfect winter getaway.

0:17:110:17:14

Keith and agent Ali are heading back to one of the most popular resorts

0:17:140:17:18

on the Costa Del Sol, the buzzing cosmopolitan town of Fuengirola.

0:17:180:17:24

Fuengirola is not just a holiday place,

0:17:240:17:26

it's where people live and work, so it is a living city.

0:17:260:17:29

Even though we are past the traditional holiday season,

0:17:290:17:33

there are people around and it's not a ghost town.

0:17:330:17:35

If you want to immerse yourself in Spanish culture, you can.

0:17:350:17:37

Three miles along the coast from Malaga airport,

0:17:380:17:41

Fuengirola is ideal for those jetting in from the UK

0:17:410:17:45

to find that winter sun.

0:17:450:17:46

One of Fuengirola's biggest draws is

0:17:470:17:50

the four-mile long seafront and sandy beach,

0:17:500:17:53

and because the seafront is very flat,

0:17:530:17:55

it's a popular spot for people of all ages,

0:17:550:17:57

keen to embrace the outdoor life.

0:17:570:18:00

No need for waterproof trousers here.

0:18:000:18:02

If fresh fish floats your boat,

0:18:040:18:06

you can enjoy locally caught sardines

0:18:060:18:08

grilled in boats on the beach,

0:18:080:18:10

and even in winter, you can still enjoy an ice cream or two.

0:18:100:18:14

Here we are. We're just coming up to the apartment.

0:18:160:18:19

Just a ten minute drive from the centre of Fuengirola,

0:18:210:18:24

property two is still close to the sea,

0:18:240:18:26

and bars and restaurants are all within walking distance.

0:18:260:18:30

So, here we are.

0:18:300:18:31

Fully furnished in a clean, modern style,

0:18:330:18:36

the open-plan lounge is the perfect place to unwind.

0:18:360:18:39

And there is a compact kitchen,

0:18:390:18:41

if they do want to rustle up a tapas dish or two at home.

0:18:410:18:44

Here you have the kitchen.

0:18:440:18:45

A small kitchen but you've got everything you need.

0:18:450:18:47

-It's a holiday kitchen.

-Yeah.

0:18:470:18:50

The second bedroom is a real bonus in this apartment,

0:18:500:18:53

ideal if Keith and Greer have guests to stay.

0:18:530:18:55

While the cosy master bedroom has sliding doors

0:18:550:18:58

to the terrace, for those early morning alfresco coffees.

0:18:580:19:01

The size of that is not too bad.

0:19:010:19:03

Certainly better with the balcony out there as well.

0:19:030:19:06

With the terrace stretching the whole length of the apartment,

0:19:060:19:09

Ali has certainly improved on the small Juliet balcony

0:19:090:19:12

that was a concern at the last property.

0:19:120:19:14

The balcony is certainly nice but the problem is,

0:19:140:19:17

as I can see now, there's a bus going past.

0:19:170:19:20

The central location of this apartment,

0:19:210:19:23

close to amenities was what Keith and Greer were after,

0:19:230:19:26

it's always a really good idea to view properties

0:19:260:19:29

before you sign up for a couple of months.

0:19:290:19:31

People say they want to be in the middle of things,

0:19:310:19:33

but then, actually when we put them in the middle of things,

0:19:330:19:36

you realise, it's too much in the middle of things.

0:19:360:19:38

So, it's actually below your budget.

0:19:380:19:40

It's 545 a month.

0:19:400:19:41

-Right.

-At the current exchange rate.

0:19:410:19:43

-OK.

-It's plus bills.

0:19:430:19:46

Now that's under their £700 budget,

0:19:460:19:48

but they will have to factor in bills of around £90 a month.

0:19:480:19:52

Keith clearly has reservations about this apartment,

0:19:520:19:55

because the dogs are not welcome here.

0:19:550:19:58

It would only be an option if they decide

0:19:580:20:00

to leave their pooches at home.

0:20:000:20:01

But how will Greer feel about this place?

0:20:010:20:04

Good morning, how are you?

0:20:050:20:06

-Fine, and you?

-Fine.

0:20:060:20:08

I'm at the eastern end of Fuengirola,

0:20:080:20:12

which is a nice beach resort.

0:20:120:20:15

I'm in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment,

0:20:150:20:18

but it's on the third floor, with a lift.

0:20:180:20:22

There's a dining area over here.

0:20:220:20:24

It's a nice enough apartment.

0:20:240:20:26

The kitchen is here.

0:20:260:20:28

Compact. Everything there we need, isn't there?

0:20:280:20:31

Compact is an understatement, yeah.

0:20:310:20:34

OK, so it's really tiny?

0:20:340:20:36

Very tiny, yeah.

0:20:360:20:38

The veranda goes the full length of the apartment,

0:20:380:20:42

with a main road going down right in front of you.

0:20:420:20:46

That's not going to be suitable at all, is it?

0:20:460:20:49

-No.

-A pity because it's a nice big balcony,

0:20:490:20:51

but obviously not the ideal situation.

0:20:510:20:54

Outside spaces demand premium,

0:20:540:20:56

so as soon as you've got a large terrace or a large roof terrace,

0:20:560:21:01

you find the prices will start to creep up.

0:21:010:21:03

Although we are at the very nice end of the area,

0:21:040:21:10

the actual apartment is not up my street at all.

0:21:100:21:13

-Yeah, OK.

-In fact, it's too close to the street.

0:21:130:21:16

Yes, exactly.

0:21:160:21:18

We'll see what else we come up with, OK?

0:21:180:21:20

-OK.

-Bye.

-Bye.

0:21:200:21:22

How good or bad did it go?

0:21:250:21:26

Bad, I'm afraid.

0:21:260:21:28

-Oh, OK.

-Greer wasn't enamoured with it at all, I don't think.

0:21:280:21:32

I know the balcony is fairly big but again,

0:21:320:21:35

she hated the sound of the road,

0:21:350:21:38

and the proximity of the road to it.

0:21:380:21:41

At least we know what you don't like!

0:21:410:21:43

You certainly know what I don't like from that one.

0:21:430:21:46

Good, we know what you don't like, that's good news.

0:21:460:21:49

This apartment might not be in the top of their list but,

0:21:490:21:53

at £545 a month, excluding bills, it is within their budget.

0:21:530:21:57

They did like the beach-side location

0:21:570:21:59

near to amenities, but the terrace

0:21:590:22:01

was just too close to the road for them and with no pets allowed,

0:22:010:22:05

it would limit their options.

0:22:050:22:07

But Ali still has two more properties to show them,

0:22:070:22:09

so the search to find a winter getaway continues.

0:22:090:22:12

The Costa Del Sol has long been a popular destination for Brits and

0:22:170:22:21

Northern Europeans alike, with an estimated 300,000

0:22:210:22:25

living here permanently.

0:22:250:22:27

An explosion of hotels and apartment blocks means there's

0:22:270:22:30

plenty of choice for finding the right accommodation.

0:22:300:22:34

Here in Fuengirola,

0:22:340:22:35

you can rent a brand-new studio apartment

0:22:350:22:37

close to the beach, for around

0:22:370:22:39

£270 a week in winter,

0:22:390:22:41

compared to 540 in the height of summer.

0:22:410:22:44

But if you want to experience a taste of luxury for less,

0:22:460:22:49

head out of town to this five-bedroom villa.

0:22:490:22:51

With its stunning sea views from the outdoor terrace,

0:22:510:22:54

relaxation is guaranteed.

0:22:540:22:56

It has plenty of areas to dine outside and in.

0:22:580:23:01

You won't struggle for space to entertain, that's for sure.

0:23:010:23:04

The chic open-plan living area is the perfect place

0:23:040:23:08

to unwind after sundown.

0:23:080:23:10

And at sunrise, you can even waken up to sea views from the bedroom.

0:23:100:23:14

It's available to rent in the summer

0:23:150:23:18

for £3,670 a week, but in the winter,

0:23:180:23:20

you could pick this up for £2,040 a week.

0:23:200:23:24

Or if you want the height of luxury,

0:23:250:23:28

head along the coast to the chic resort of Marbella.

0:23:280:23:31

Here you can live it up in this stylish six-bedroom villa.

0:23:310:23:33

Complete with a fully fitted outdoor kitchen and grill,

0:23:350:23:38

you can cook and dine alfresco, and to make life easy inside,

0:23:380:23:42

the sleek modern kitchen is kitted out with

0:23:420:23:45

all the high-end appliances.

0:23:450:23:46

All the bedrooms are en-suite,

0:23:480:23:50

and the super king-size master leads to a spacious balcony.

0:23:500:23:54

Available to rent in the high season for £12,950 a week,

0:23:540:23:59

it's reduced to £8,125 a week in the low season,

0:23:590:24:03

and for that, you even get your very own cinema room,

0:24:030:24:07

perfect if you get a cooler night.

0:24:070:24:10

It's early morning in Fuengirola and the cafe's already busy.

0:24:140:24:17

Keith is hoping to get a taste of the local life,

0:24:210:24:23

and has taken Ali's advice to immerse himself

0:24:230:24:26

in the Spanish culture.

0:24:260:24:27

-I'm Keith, could I make some churros?

-Of course.

0:24:280:24:31

Lovely, I look forward to it.

0:24:310:24:32

Churros are a traditional hot doughnut-like snack,

0:24:320:24:36

served sprinkled with sugar or dipped in chocolate.

0:24:360:24:39

Universally adored in Spain, churros unite people

0:24:410:24:44

from every walk in life.

0:24:440:24:47

In at the deep end, Keith will try to

0:24:470:24:49

make his own churro after a demo from the expert.

0:24:490:24:52

Piece of cake, piece of cake!

0:24:520:24:54

Keep spinning it round and round and round, yeah.

0:24:540:24:57

The dough is piped into very hot oil, and turned to make a wheel.

0:24:580:25:02

It's flipped over and then cooked until golden brown.

0:25:020:25:06

I think you've done this before, yeah?

0:25:060:25:09

Then pick it up like that and across, shake the fat off, yeah.

0:25:090:25:13

Easy! Now it's my turn.

0:25:150:25:17

This should be funny.

0:25:170:25:19

Here we go, here we go.

0:25:210:25:22

HE SPEAKS SPANISH

0:25:220:25:25

Oh! Oops.

0:25:250:25:29

-Ay, ay, ay.

-Ay, ay, ay!

0:25:310:25:34

Cross it over, yeah? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:25:370:25:39

Easy.

0:25:410:25:42

Oh!

0:25:440:25:45

-Yay!

-Yay!

0:25:470:25:50

Thank you, thank you.

0:25:500:25:51

Uno.

0:25:550:25:57

Uno.

0:25:570:25:58

Two-handed. The next lucky person, it's all yours.

0:26:000:26:04

It's the best he's ever tasted!

0:26:040:26:05

Expert.

0:26:070:26:08

Grazie.

0:26:130:26:14

Oh, dear, I'm covered in batter!

0:26:150:26:18

Our Keith has certainly got stuck in,

0:26:210:26:23

but how does his first handmade churros taste?

0:26:230:26:25

I think it might be slightly overcooked,

0:26:270:26:29

but we mustn't grumble. It's very pleasant.

0:26:290:26:33

And sitting in the sun eating it is very nice, yeah.

0:26:330:26:37

A good cook?

0:26:370:26:39

HE SPEAKS SPANISH

0:26:390:26:41

Do you want some?

0:26:440:26:45

With approval from a local, it's job done.

0:26:470:26:49

Keith may have hit the sweet spot with his churros,

0:26:520:26:56

but he's still on the hunt for a winter rental.

0:26:560:26:58

So he and Ali are on their way to property three,

0:26:590:27:02

and there's a treat in store for golf-loving Keith.

0:27:020:27:05

We're going to Mijas golf.

0:27:050:27:06

Sounds good.

0:27:060:27:09

This property is in the middle of the golf course.

0:27:090:27:12

Do you think Greer is going to mind you being so close to a golf course?

0:27:120:27:15

That's a definite possibility, I would think.

0:27:170:27:19

The golf resort is situated in the Valley of Mijas,

0:27:200:27:23

just four miles inland from Fuengirola.

0:27:230:27:26

The complex is two 18 hole golf courses,

0:27:260:27:28

which should keep Keith very happy.

0:27:280:27:31

But it's not just for golfers because there is a selection of bars

0:27:310:27:34

and restaurants within walking distance of the accommodation.

0:27:340:27:38

It's still only a 15-minute drive to the beach.

0:27:380:27:41

What's behind the property,

0:27:410:27:42

you only have to go around 500 metres,

0:27:420:27:44

and you're in the countryside, so it's great

0:27:440:27:46

for walking dogs and things like that.

0:27:460:27:48

That sounds good. This recently renovated two-bed apartment

0:27:480:27:52

commands a prime position in the complex.

0:27:520:27:54

-The swimming pool is just down there.

-Oh, right.

-One of four.

0:27:570:28:00

-One of four?

-Right, OK.

0:28:000:28:02

This is your apartment.

0:28:020:28:04

-It's a top floor.

-Top floor?

0:28:040:28:05

And no lifts, but trust me, it's worth going up there, OK?

0:28:050:28:09

There might be 31 terracotta steps to the apartment,

0:28:090:28:12

but the reward for reaching the top is great.

0:28:120:28:15

The complex is perfect, it really is nice.

0:28:160:28:19

Typical Spanish style and it really is impressive so far.

0:28:190:28:24

Inside, it gets even better,

0:28:240:28:25

with a fabulous open-plan living room that leads out

0:28:250:28:29

onto a balcony with stunning views.

0:28:290:28:31

I can tell you immediately my wife will love this.

0:28:310:28:34

-Great.

-Apart from the 31 steps, she will love this.

0:28:340:28:37

-Magnificent.

-Greer will also love the two bathrooms.

0:28:390:28:43

It's nice to have a easy walk-in shower and also a bath as well.

0:28:430:28:46

That's very good.

0:28:460:28:48

Juliet balcony again overlooking the summing pool and the golf course.

0:28:480:28:52

Yes, it's lovely views.

0:28:520:28:54

And it doesn't end there.

0:28:540:28:56

-Two bedrooms.

-Two bedrooms.

0:28:560:28:58

That is very impressive, very nice.

0:28:580:29:00

This is definitely Greer's style and my style.

0:29:000:29:03

You couldn't ask for much better than this, it really is smart.

0:29:030:29:06

-We're almost there.

-Almost there.

0:29:060:29:09

The magnificent outlook from the balcony could just seal the deal.

0:29:090:29:12

-Look at the view.

-Magnificent.

-The castle,

0:29:130:29:16

the golf course, and the swimming pool and on top of that,

0:29:160:29:20

-you have the roof terrace.

-A roof terrace as well?

0:29:200:29:23

With the exclusive use of this terrace,

0:29:230:29:25

it certainly is looking like the perfect winter getaway.

0:29:250:29:28

You can bring an extra bottle of wine up here and watch the sunset.

0:29:280:29:32

Watch the sun go down, beautiful.

0:29:320:29:34

Beautiful. Couldn't be better.

0:29:340:29:35

We have spoken about the dogs and they are OK with it,

0:29:350:29:38

they just want extra money for cleaning at the end.

0:29:380:29:40

Right, OK, yeah, yeah.

0:29:400:29:42

The only problem I have is how on earth is it going to be within the

0:29:420:29:46

budget that we've set to you?

0:29:460:29:48

The price for renting here is £727.

0:29:480:29:50

-Right.

-OK?

-For a month?

0:29:500:29:51

For a month, yeah. And that includes everything.

0:29:510:29:54

The apartment is nice, so for that extra bit of money,

0:29:540:29:58

I don't think it's a deal-breaker.

0:29:580:29:59

You've got one other bonus...

0:29:590:30:02

-I live just down there.

-So if it all goes belly up, you're to blame!

0:30:020:30:05

Yeah, you can come and see me, you don't even have to phone,

0:30:050:30:08

-you can shout!

-I can shout.

0:30:080:30:09

-Ali, come on!

-That's right, yeah.

0:30:090:30:11

Looks as if there's only one person left to convince.

0:30:110:30:14

I'm looking forward to showing you this one.

0:30:140:30:16

You might like it.

0:30:160:30:18

We'll see how we go.

0:30:180:30:19

That sounds more promising.

0:30:190:30:22

Unfortunately, there's 31 stairs up to the apartment.

0:30:220:30:26

They're not marble steps, they're terracotta steps.

0:30:260:30:29

It shouldn't be a problem for you.

0:30:290:30:31

I did suggest putting a bottle of red wine

0:30:310:30:33

at the top of the steps so you could run up there to it, you know.

0:30:330:30:36

It's not me I'm worried about, it's the dogs.

0:30:360:30:39

-Yes, yes.

-It's so rare we get something available here,

0:30:390:30:43

that I thought it was worth seeing it,

0:30:430:30:45

because the property is so beautiful and the views are so great.

0:30:450:30:48

I think we've got at least one maybe, or definitely maybe.

0:30:480:30:51

This is the main bedroom,

0:30:510:30:53

and a Juliet balcony overlooking one of four swimming pools.

0:30:530:31:00

Gosh!

0:31:000:31:01

Very good so far, I like it.

0:31:020:31:05

You might like the views from here.

0:31:050:31:07

It's lovely, Keith.

0:31:070:31:09

I can see myself sitting on that terrace with a glass of red wine.

0:31:090:31:13

Yeah, I'm sure you can!

0:31:130:31:16

Do you think it will work out all right for the dogs?

0:31:160:31:19

Well, I would think so, apart from all the steps,

0:31:190:31:22

but I think they should manage those, because they're not marble,

0:31:220:31:25

it's terracotta. The balcony's all enclosed with metal railings,

0:31:250:31:29

so I can't see that's a problem.

0:31:290:31:31

And just in case Greer needs any more persuasion...

0:31:310:31:34

Up to a roof terrace.

0:31:340:31:36

I think it's lovely, really lovely.

0:31:360:31:39

Would you be happy to go slightly over budget for this sort of thing?

0:31:390:31:43

Yes, if it's what we, you know, if it's going to suit us better,

0:31:430:31:46

which it does.

0:31:460:31:47

I'll be amazed if we can find anything better than this.

0:31:470:31:51

-OK.

-We'll see you later.

0:31:510:31:53

-Bye.

-Did she like it?

0:31:530:31:57

Yeah, she loved it. The only thing is the steps, of course.

0:31:570:32:00

You don't go and down them 20 times a day,

0:32:000:32:02

so I don't think that's a problem.

0:32:020:32:05

There seemed to be quite a lot of steps,

0:32:050:32:07

but at least they're terracotta,

0:32:070:32:10

and not anything slippery,

0:32:100:32:11

so they should be fine.

0:32:110:32:13

With or without the animals, this would be a first choice...

0:32:130:32:16

-Great.

-..from what I've seen so far.

0:32:160:32:18

Slightly over budget,

0:32:180:32:19

but I think when you think about what you're getting for that budget,

0:32:190:32:23

that it's worth those few extra pounds.

0:32:230:32:25

That's all really positive, that's great.

0:32:250:32:28

-Yep.

-A sigh of relief here from me.

0:32:280:32:29

We'll see what else you come up with in the meantime.

0:32:290:32:32

Yeah, I will see if I can beat this one and make it another one.

0:32:320:32:35

Let's see whether we can make it difficult

0:32:350:32:36

-for you to make a decision.

-Very much so.

-OK.

0:32:360:32:39

Ali certainly likes a challenge

0:32:390:32:41

to find Keith and Greer their perfect winter home.

0:32:410:32:44

Now, available to rent for £727 a month, including the bills,

0:32:440:32:49

there's a one-off cleaning charge of £150 if they bring the dogs.

0:32:490:32:53

They loved the style of the apartment

0:32:530:32:55

and the stunning views from the balcony,

0:32:550:32:58

but the 31 steps to the top are a potential problem.

0:32:580:33:01

If Keith and Greer do decide to

0:33:050:33:07

bring their two dogs to the Costa Del Sol,

0:33:070:33:09

they'll be in good company.

0:33:090:33:11

There are plenty of beach-front promenades to take a walk,

0:33:110:33:14

and in the winter, dogs can even get the sand between their paws,

0:33:140:33:17

as some of the beaches in the area are dog friendly in the low season.

0:33:170:33:22

Some ban dogs all year round,

0:33:220:33:24

so taking your dog on a beach where they're not permitted,

0:33:240:33:27

even if they are on a lead, may result in a heavy fine,

0:33:270:33:30

so advice is - check it out first.

0:33:300:33:33

Owners must remember to carry their pet's passport and documentation,

0:33:330:33:37

as the authorities may carry out random checks.

0:33:370:33:40

You should also clean up after them,

0:33:400:33:41

and some larger breeds may have to be muzzled,

0:33:410:33:44

particularly on public transport.

0:33:440:33:46

If you want to take your dog with you while you dine,

0:33:460:33:48

you will find that most restaurant staff

0:33:480:33:50

will be accommodating at outdoor cafes and bars,

0:33:500:33:54

but don't expect to be able to go indoors,

0:33:540:33:56

because this is not allowed.

0:33:560:33:57

The search for Keith and Greer's winter rental is going well.

0:33:590:34:02

Ali scored a hole in one at the last property on the golf course,

0:34:020:34:06

but has one final trick up his sleeve.

0:34:060:34:08

We're going to go somewhere a little bit different, a bit further out.

0:34:080:34:12

-We're going to Estepona.

-The popular resort of Estepona is famed for its

0:34:120:34:16

beaches, which stretch 13 miles along the coast.

0:34:160:34:20

Estepona lies 40 miles south-west of Fuengirola,

0:34:210:34:24

and due to its natural environment,

0:34:240:34:26

surrounded by the sea and mountains,

0:34:260:34:29

it has a microclimate with over 325 days of sunshine a year.

0:34:290:34:33

Estepona is one of the coastal towns that has maintained

0:34:350:34:39

its charm and character,

0:34:390:34:41

so it's a great place to find some peace away from the busier resorts.

0:34:410:34:45

In the old town, the steep, narrow streets

0:34:450:34:48

are pedestrianised, and the charming cafes and tapas bars

0:34:480:34:51

still serve traditional Spanish delicacies.

0:34:510:34:54

And if seafood is your thing, head down to the marina,

0:34:540:34:57

where you can watch the world sail by from the outdoor restaurants and

0:34:570:35:01

bars, but don't forget your fishing rod, if you want to catch your own!

0:35:010:35:06

The units we are going to see, it's only 80 metres from the beach.

0:35:060:35:10

-Oh, that's good.

-It's only 800 metres away from the marina,

0:35:100:35:14

so I'm quietly confident that you will like this.

0:35:140:35:18

-Good, OK.

-Well, let's see what happens.

-Yeah.

0:35:180:35:22

One thing for sure is that the central location

0:35:220:35:24

of the final property is exactly what they've asked for.

0:35:240:35:28

The sea and the beach is just across the road there.

0:35:280:35:30

Yeah, I can see that, yeah.

0:35:300:35:31

-And we've got the house just to our left here.

-OK.

0:35:310:35:34

Surrounded by beautiful gardens,

0:35:340:35:35

this one-bedroom apartment is dog friendly as well.

0:35:350:35:38

-So, here we go.

-So this is the property.

0:35:390:35:41

-This is the property here.

-OK.

0:35:410:35:44

This apartment has been recently renovated,

0:35:440:35:47

with just a few finishing touches to go.

0:35:470:35:50

-Everything's new.

-Everything is new, nothing's been used.

0:35:500:35:54

It's certainly adequate for the two of us, no doubt about that.

0:35:540:35:57

Even the bed is new,

0:35:570:35:58

and the bedroom being on the mezzanine level

0:35:580:36:01

makes great use of space.

0:36:010:36:02

Good design feature.

0:36:020:36:04

Yeah. So the banister will be...

0:36:040:36:05

Will be up here. And it will be glass.

0:36:050:36:07

That's all going to be glass, and across the mezzanine, yes?

0:36:070:36:11

And across there, again, to maximise the light.

0:36:110:36:13

Yeah. And I think when the banisters are up and everything,

0:36:130:36:16

it will look quite homely.

0:36:160:36:17

It's... Yeah, I'm reasonably impressed so far.

0:36:170:36:21

-Good, good.

-First impressions are good,

0:36:210:36:23

but will the stairs be a stumbling block?

0:36:230:36:25

Do you think the dogs will cope with this?

0:36:250:36:28

Well, they wouldn't come up here at all.

0:36:280:36:30

-No.

-But they'd be quite happy down there,

0:36:300:36:32

as long as they don't snore too much, we'll be fine!

0:36:320:36:35

There's plenty of room on the terrace

0:36:350:36:36

for the dogs to lie in the sun.

0:36:360:36:38

-A sun trap.

-A real sun trap.

-Yeah.

0:36:390:36:41

You've got the sea and you can see Gibraltar from here.

0:36:410:36:44

Oh, yeah, Gibraltar over there.

0:36:440:36:45

There's a nice bit of garden out the front here for the dogs, as well.

0:36:450:36:49

-Yeah.

-I'll be interested to know what the price is.

0:36:490:36:51

It's £636 per month.

0:36:510:36:54

-Right.

-Including the bills.

0:36:540:36:56

-Right.

-But for the dogs,

0:36:560:36:58

they want 150 euros addition for the cleaning at the end.

0:36:580:37:02

Right, well that's good.

0:37:020:37:04

We'll see whether Greer feels the same.

0:37:040:37:06

Everything is brand-new, nobody's ever been in here before, OK?

0:37:090:37:13

-OK.

-What do you think about the kitchen?

0:37:130:37:15

Yeah, it looks very nice.

0:37:150:37:17

The floor's all new, it's wooden flooring.

0:37:170:37:20

I don't think the dogs would slip on it, quite honestly.

0:37:200:37:23

Certainly Kayleigh wouldn't.

0:37:230:37:24

It's quite unusual, the setup there,

0:37:240:37:27

quite a nice idea, I think,

0:37:270:37:29

having that mezzanine area and not many steps up and down.

0:37:290:37:32

Not bothered about that.

0:37:320:37:34

It looks all right, it looks good.

0:37:340:37:36

There's always a challenge when we come somewhere that's not complete.

0:37:360:37:39

I was a bit concerned, but Keith seems to be able

0:37:390:37:42

to see the potential and saying, "Actually yeah,

0:37:420:37:44

"when it's finished, it's going to look really nice."

0:37:440:37:46

Nobody's slept on this bed, and it's a memory foam bed.

0:37:460:37:51

It'll even take your weight.

0:37:510:37:52

Cheeky so-and-so, you wait till you get home!

0:37:520:37:54

And we're out, I'm now out on the terrace.

0:37:570:37:59

-You would love it.

-I know.

0:37:590:38:01

Lying out here with a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

0:38:010:38:04

It's five or six steps into the building from the front door,

0:38:040:38:09

but I don't see that as a problem.

0:38:090:38:11

Do you think that one's a contender?

0:38:110:38:12

Out of other ones we've seen,

0:38:120:38:15

I think it could be a contender, certainly.

0:38:150:38:17

-So I'll say goodbye and hopefully see you very soon.

-Bye.

0:38:170:38:22

Greer liked the layout of the place completely.

0:38:240:38:28

It was suitable for the dogs.

0:38:280:38:30

So she appreciated everything here.

0:38:300:38:33

-Ticks all the boxes.

-Yes.

0:38:330:38:34

-Ideal.

-It's just going to discuss with the boss.

0:38:340:38:38

-Absolutely.

-What the wraparound is.

0:38:380:38:40

The boss is very much the boss.

0:38:400:38:42

-OK.

-Although she says I am, I have to listen to her a great deal.

0:38:420:38:46

Absolutely, so let's go and have a chat.

0:38:460:38:49

This apartment is available to rent for £636 a month,

0:38:500:38:54

including the bills.

0:38:540:38:56

There would be an additional one-off charge for cleaning,

0:38:560:38:59

if they bring the dogs.

0:38:590:39:00

It has the space they want and the recent renovation was a hit.

0:39:020:39:05

They love the sun terrace with surrounding gardens

0:39:050:39:08

for the dogs to walk in, and with no negatives,

0:39:080:39:10

could this be their new winter home?

0:39:100:39:12

Keith's time with Ali in the Fuengirola area

0:39:210:39:23

has certainly given both him and Greer a great idea of the life

0:39:230:39:27

they could be living if they decide to take the plunge

0:39:270:39:29

and get away for winter.

0:39:290:39:31

-Hi, Greer, how're you doing?

-Hello, Ali.

0:39:320:39:34

That's the end of the journey now, OK.

0:39:340:39:36

Keith will return home to Scotland tomorrow

0:39:360:39:38

to talk things through with Greer

0:39:380:39:40

and decide if any of the properties will suit,

0:39:400:39:42

and if there is a way to bring the dogs, too.

0:39:420:39:45

We've seen four properties now.

0:39:450:39:47

Two, to my mind, were very pleasant.

0:39:490:39:53

One less, and one a complete no-no.

0:39:530:39:56

And you share that sentiment as well?

0:39:560:39:58

I do indeed, yes.

0:39:580:40:00

-You are happy to be in either of them?

-Yes. Yes, absolutely.

0:40:000:40:02

So one or the other is the right solution for you guys?

0:40:020:40:06

Oh, absolutely. We'll chat about it when I get back to the UK,

0:40:060:40:10

if I can stand much more sun.

0:40:100:40:12

But I've appreciated everything you've done for us.

0:40:130:40:16

I would just like to thank you,

0:40:160:40:18

for showing us round these properties.

0:40:180:40:21

-Here is to you.

-Cheers, Greer.

0:40:210:40:23

Thank you.

0:40:230:40:24

Keith and Greer wanted to get away from

0:40:330:40:35

the cold wet weather in Campbeltown.

0:40:350:40:38

You have to put a woolly hat on, waterproof trousers,

0:40:380:40:41

waterproof shoes, a big thick coat.

0:40:410:40:44

With Greer staying behind in the rain, Keith jetted off to Spain.

0:40:450:40:49

I'm looking forward to seeing a variety of places.

0:40:500:40:53

At the first property in Torremolinos,

0:40:530:40:55

they were taken with the traditional Spanish style.

0:40:550:40:58

It's a nice, compact little apartment, yes, very, very pleasant.

0:40:580:41:03

But the lack of outside space was a problem.

0:41:030:41:05

There's no room to sit out on this balcony.

0:41:050:41:07

There's no, like, communal garden or anything there?

0:41:070:41:11

The modern two bed apartment close to the beach in Fuengirola

0:41:110:41:14

didn't float their boat at all.

0:41:140:41:16

Compact is an understatement.

0:41:160:41:18

-That's not going to be suitable at all, is it?

-No.

0:41:180:41:21

But Ali scored a hole in one at the third property

0:41:210:41:24

on the golf course, for both Keith and Greer.

0:41:240:41:26

-I can tell you immediately my wife will love this.

-Great!

0:41:260:41:29

Keith and Greer were also impressed with the newly renovated

0:41:290:41:33

apartment in Estepona.

0:41:330:41:34

I think it could be a contender, certainly.

0:41:340:41:37

The sun terrace and surrounding gardens were also a hit.

0:41:370:41:40

-You would love it.

-I know.

0:41:400:41:42

With each property, Keith and Greer have learned more about what's

0:41:420:41:45

involved in renting abroad.

0:41:450:41:47

The question is, though,

0:41:500:41:51

have they taken the plunge and escaped to Spain for the winter?

0:41:510:41:54

We're still here in Campbeltown.

0:41:560:41:57

We didn't get away from the winter.

0:41:570:41:59

Well, unfortunately,

0:41:590:42:00

Greer is still waiting for a date for her operation on her foot

0:42:000:42:04

and it's not going to be as soon as they hoped.

0:42:040:42:06

We've just been told that there could be a delay

0:42:060:42:09

of between 6-9 months for her operation,

0:42:090:42:12

so that's the big problem for not being able to get away this winter.

0:42:120:42:18

So it's likely to be next winter,

0:42:180:42:20

rather than this winter.

0:42:200:42:22

The delay could be a blessing in disguise,

0:42:220:42:24

because it will give them more time to decide

0:42:240:42:26

what they want to do with their two dogs,

0:42:260:42:29

when they eventually head to the sun.

0:42:290:42:31

The time spent in seeing all the properties

0:42:310:42:33

-has certainly whetted their appetite.

-Ali was great.

0:42:330:42:36

I mean, he showed us a variety of properties.

0:42:360:42:40

Their top two choices were the Mijas golf apartment,

0:42:400:42:43

with its stunning views from the balcony,

0:42:430:42:45

and the newly renovated property with sun terrace in Estepona.

0:42:450:42:50

We could see what we could get for our money, basically.

0:42:500:42:53

So from the point of view of going out there and looking at things,

0:42:530:42:56

it was really worthwhile.

0:42:560:42:58

So now it's only a matter of time before they get away for the winter.

0:42:580:43:02

It's goodbye from me and it's goodbye from her.

0:43:020:43:05

Goodbye!

0:43:050:43:06

Keith and Greer from the west coast of Scotland enlist the help of local property expert Ali in the Costa Del Sol to find a perfect rental home for them and their two dogs. But will they find what they are looking for and make the move south for winter? Gloria Hunniford narrates.


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