Florida Get Away for Winter


Florida

Couples and friends search for perfect rental properties abroad. Chris and Victoria, along with young son Jacob, hope to swap the cold of Cornwall for sunny Florida.


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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 local property expert...

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-Can you see yourself in here?

-I can, yes.

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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 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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The carefree Cornish coast has one of the sunniest climates in the UK,

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although I'm afraid you wouldn't know it in winter.

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Thanks to the prevailing south-westerly winds gusting in

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from the Atlantic, Cornwall is a hotspot for extreme winter weather.

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So it's no wonder that Chris and Victoria

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want to take their two-year-old son, Jacob, and just get away.

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Aw! He's gripping my finger.

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HE LAUGHS

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So Vicky and I met in 2008.

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I was working on a superyacht,

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and Vicky got a job as one of the crew members, and that's how we met.

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Yeah, and this...ooh! Strawberry yoghurt!

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And then we had our little wonderful two-year-old,

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so that's left this seafarer as a landlubber now.

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Since having Jacob, I haven't gone back to work,

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but I'm really enjoying being a mum now.

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Would you like to go to the beach today?

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Beach today.

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Beach today! Yeah, that would be nice, wouldn't it?

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Victoria and Chris have been together for nine years

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and have a shared love of the sea, but with winter approaching,

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their opportunities to get out are few and far between.

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Our whole family, we are very outdoorsy.

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I think lots of people from Cornwall are,

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and Chris being Australian as well, next to the coast,

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we like to be outside as much as we can, really.

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I don't think we could really live without the seaside.

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That's why we hope that we can get away for the winter somewhere,

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find somewhere nice abroad.

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Chris works as a chief officer on luxury yachts,

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which takes him away from home for months at a time.

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He has already missed out on a lot of Jacob growing up and he is due to

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leave again next week.

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Oh, lovely!

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Next week, I'll be going back to work,

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and that's going to be a pretty tough day, to walk away from this for another couple of months.

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It's the massive downside, isn't it, that you're away so much and

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Jacob misses out on time with you as well.

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And as he gets older, you know, he's starting to notice me not there now.

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-He sort of realises - when he goes, it's not a fun day.

-No.

-No.

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Determined to see little Jacob as much as possible,

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Chris and Victoria have a plan to reunite the family

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by spending winter abroad.

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We're coming up to quite a heavy maintenance period in the boat's life,

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and we have to go to a shipyard,

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so we'll be there for about six weeks solidly,

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on land the whole time,

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so it's a great opportunity to get the family back together then.

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-Hello.

-Oh! Come on in.

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Victoria's mum, Susan, and her dog, Molly,

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help Victoria with Jacob when Chris is away,

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as he usually spends two to three months at sea at a time.

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Whoo! Get off!

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The family's winter escape is only made possible because Chris will be

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working and his income will support

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them financially while they're away.

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If they were planning on making these trips more regularly,

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Victoria and Chris might think about renting out their house,

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as the area of Penzance in Cornwall where they live

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is very, very popular for short-term holiday lets.

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Local estate agents estimate that their three-bedroom terraced house

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could fetch around £670 a month in rental income.

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However, the family will make savings of around £200 on heating

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and electricity by not being in the UK over winter.

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So together with Chris' income,

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they've set their winter sunshine budget at £3,500 a month.

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£2,600 of this will be allocated to

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renting their winter home in the sun.

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They have their finances sorted

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and they certainly know where they'll be going.

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The boat's going to be stationed in South Florida,

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in a town called West Palm Beach,

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which is just north of Fort Lauderdale in Miami.

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As the mist rolls in on the Cornish coast,

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Victoria and Chris have their sights set on the Sunshine State.

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With almost 250 sunny days a year,

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it's no wonder that Florida is one of America's most popular tourist destinations.

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Situated on the southern eastern

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edge of Florida is the county of Palm Beach.

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The tropical climate here means that in the hot and humid summer months,

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it's the hurricane season,

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leaving the winter a far more attractive time to visit.

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With average winter temperatures sitting around 19 degrees,

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it's a far cry from the chilly 6 degrees of Cornwall.

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Palm Beach has a lot to offer for the winter renter,

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from modern high-rise condos to quaint town houses.

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And someone who knows Palm Beach properties like the back of her palm

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is Dolores Roth.

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With 20 years' experience in the property game,

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Canadian-born Dolores left the cold of Canada 35 years ago and honestly

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-hasn't looked back.

-We have two seasons here.

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I call it summer and really summer!

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It's like paradise here.

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It's just like paradise.

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Dolores works for a large real estate company,

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and her passion is finding her clients a happy home.

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I love the idea of working with someone and helping them achieve their dreams.

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I think it's that feeling of accomplishment and helping those

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people that keeps you motivated and going onto the next one.

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So it's just keeping that rowboat -

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I feel like I'm a captain on a rowboat, keeping it all afloat.

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That's what I like.

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Well, Captain Dolores is standing by,

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and with any luck, her next property search will be plain sailing.

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Victoria and Chris are ready to video-call Dolores.

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Only one of them will be joining her on the search in Florida,

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so this is their chance to let Dolores know what the family are looking for in a winter rental.

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-Hello.

-Hello.

-Hi, how are you?

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-Hi, I'm Chris. How's it going?

-I'm good, I'm good.

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So it's Chris and Victoria, right?

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-Yeah, hi.

-And you already know my name - it's Dolores,

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and I'm going to be your agent over here.

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-Wonderful.

-Fantastic.

-And it is absolutely gorgeous outside.

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I wish you could see my window, but it's just gorgeous here.

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So the Sunshine State is living up to its name.

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So would two-bedroom work for you?

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Yeah, one- to two-bedroom.

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-Two would be preferable.

-OK.

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But Victoria and Chris would like more than just sunshine

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to make their winter getaway perfect.

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Chris, you're going to be working two months that you're here?

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-Yeah, that's right.

-One of the major factors for Dolores to consider is

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the proximity of the properties to the shipyard where Chris will be based.

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It doesn't necessarily have to be walking distance,

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but definitely a bicycle ride.

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So it will have to be within about five miles or so -

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-is that what we're thinking?

-Yeah.

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Victoria and Chris would also like to be in a family-friendly area,

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within walking distance to local amenities.

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For Vicky and Jacob to go to the shops,

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rather than having to get into the car and then go and deal with parking, etc.

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And finally, with two-year-old Jacob running about,

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they're looking for a property with plenty of space.

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With the time of year that we are looking for,

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late January through to early March, is that high season, low season?

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It's the very highest point of our season.

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-OK.

-Because it's winter everywhere else,

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so everyone flocks down here for those months.

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It's the most expensive time of the year to rent.

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THEY CHORTLE

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Chris and Victoria want to stay within their maximum rental budget

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of £2,600 per month.

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The question is, will that be enough when demand and prices

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are just so high?

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We have no idea, really, what we can get for that.

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It's going to be down to Victoria to get them the most for their money.

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I'll be coming with my mum and with baby Jacob in tow as well.

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-I won't be there, because I'll actually be crossing the Atlantic Ocean on my way to you.

-OK.

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Well, I think have everything I need.

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Perfect, thank you so much. Look forward to meeting you.

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-Yeah, thank you.

-Thank you. Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

-Bye.

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-Dolores has got her finger on the pulse.

-Yeah.

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So I think she'll come through with some nice properties.

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With the search limited to the area surrounding Chris' boat yard,

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Dolores may have her work cut out

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finding them everything they would like,

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especially as it will be at the height of the peak season.

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Victoria and Chris have allocated

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£2,600 of their winter sunshine budget for accommodation.

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Now, they would prefer a two-bedroom property with lots of living space.

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It has to be in an area close enough to Chris' work

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that he could ride his bike in every morning,

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and have amenities within walking distance for Victoria and Jacob.

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While Chris makes his way across the Atlantic,

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it's going to be up to Victoria to

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find their perfect winter home in the USA.

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As much of the United States prepare for the cold snap,

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in Palm Beach in Florida, things are just hotting up.

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Yeah!

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Victoria and Jacob have made their 4,500-mile journey from Britain,

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with Victoria's mum, Susan,

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and she'll be looking after Jacob while Victoria looks around some properties.

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Now that we're finally here,

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I'm really excited to get into the properties and see what's available

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for our budget, and see where we can spend a few months with Chris.

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Dolores is on her way to meet Victoria to get the ball rolling.

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I can't wait to meet them.

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I feel honoured that I'm going to help them stay together

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for those few months

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and enjoy their time in South Florida while he's working.

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-Hi, there! How are you?

-Good, how are you? Nice to see you.

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I'm good. How was your flight?

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It was good, yeah. Long, but we're happy to be here.

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Great. And how's Jacob?

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-He's good, yeah.

-And your mum's here also?

-Yeah, she is, yeah.

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-Are you ready to get going?

-Yeah, definitely.

-Let's do this.

-Let's go.

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Over the next few days,

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Dolores will show Victoria four properties in the Palm Beach area.

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At each one, Victoria will use the wonders of technology to video call

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Chris on the ship, to show HIM around.

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-So at the moment, Chris is halfway across the Atlantic.

-Oh, exciting!

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Um, yeah - the boat's right in the middle.

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It's just coming into peak season in Florida, so demand for properties is

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at its highest, with people coming from all over the world to soak up that glorious sunshine.

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Everyone comes from Canada, Europe - all the what we call snowbirds.

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I'm a permanent snowbird!

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I don't escape for a few months - I escaped 30 years ago, for good.

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THEY LAUGH

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We're going to go to the north corner apartment, which is a condo.

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-OK.

-And it's walking distance to the yard.

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OK. Chris will like that.

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The shipyard Chris will be based at sits on the inter-coastal waterway

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in West Palm Beach.

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The surrounding area offers stunning views of the thousands of ships

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passing through on their journey along the coast.

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Another 75 miles from here, we are in Miami Beach on South Beach.

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-Yeah.

-So we can go movie-star watch.

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Yeah.

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A mainly industrial and residential area,

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to reach the nearest supermarket

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or cafe would require a short car journey.

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That's a good 15-minute drive.

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The inter-coastal waterway

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is a really big draw for boating enthusiasts

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and might be just the location that Victoria and Chris are after.

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-So this one was recently renovated...

-OK, good.

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..so it's very modern and it's really spacious.

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-Let's go see it.

-Exciting, yeah.

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The spacious tenth-floor apartment will give Jacob enough floor space

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to run around to his little heart's content.

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I like it a lot, yeah. It's very new-feeling.

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With a brand-new open-plan kitchen and two large double bedrooms,

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complete with plenty of storage...

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It's a walk-in closet.

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-Oh, yeah.

-Look at the size of this closet.

-Wow! That's huge.

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..the apartment features a communal pool.

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It's got a games room and a private beach.

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Here is our patio.

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The living area opens out onto a large private balcony

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with views of...the area.

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How far away are we from the shipyards?

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-Walking distance.

-Oh, really?

-Might be a half a mile.

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And is there a lot to do in this area?

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-Well, the good news was how close it is.

-Yes.

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The downside of that is there's not very much to do around here.

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So shopping and everything that you'll want to do,

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you'll have to ride back closer into town.

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We haven't yet decided whether we're going to hire a car for the time

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we're here, so obviously that will

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have an effect on where we will choose.

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So how much are we looking at to rent here?

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They are asking £1,925.

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-OK.

-Right?

-That's great.

-I know - that's amazing.

-Yeah.

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At around £2,000 a month,

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the apartment comes well under Chris and Victoria's £2,600 budget,

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although they would have to factor in the cost of hiring a car,

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which, in this area, could be close to £660 a month.

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-You are not a fan of heights?

-No.

-No?

-Not at all!

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While Victoria takes in the view...

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..bobbing along in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,

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Chris has been in the boat now for nearly a month,

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and the simple sighting of another ship is enough

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to get him really excited.

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So this is exciting.

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This is the second boat that we've seen on this crossing, just over there -

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passing about one mile to our stern.

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So in nearly 3,500 miles, only two vessels.

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There we go. Nice and lonely out here.

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Beautiful day, though.

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Well, here we are. Vicky and Jacob flew from the UK

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yesterday to Florida.

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Actually overtook me, as we're halfway across the Atlantic,

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and it's all becoming a bit exciting now.

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I'm eagerly awaiting some action shots of a few houses.

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Hi, Chris.

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-Hi.

-SOUND BREAKS UP

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-Good, how are you?

-Hello?

-Hi, can you hear me?

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The number of wifi hotspots in the middle of the ocean,

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I'm afraid, is limited.

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Fingers crossed we can get through this one.

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So Victoria will try her best to get round as much of the apartment while they do have a signal.

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I'm in a property at the moment -

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it's a condo, just really close to the shipyards.

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-Shall I show you around?

-Yeah, let's have a quick look...

-OK.

-..while the going is good.

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Victoria's reaction - she seemed to have liked it.

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She liked the size, the space and that it was fairly modern.

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I think the dining room looks pretty nice. Nice and big and open.

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-The kitchen looks good.

-Yeah.

-Yeah, it's nice so far.

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I think she's not too happy about the location.

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She might feel stranded during the daytime while he was at work,

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and I think that's the only concern we'll have to address when we talk to them.

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Do you like the set-up there?

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There's not much to do around here.

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It's really close for you to work, but, um,

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it's...

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There's not a lot to do for Jacob and myself.

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Yeah, so you'll be proper going out to explore, not just a little pop-down-the-road type thing.

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-Yeah, we'd have to hire a car.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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I think we're very close on this one, but we'll have to compare it to the other ones.

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OK, bye-bye. Love you.

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-Bye, I'll talk to you soon. Love you.

-Bye.

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-Hi, Victoria.

-Hi.

-How did it go with Chris?

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It's a little bit further away than I'd like to be from all the shops

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and the cafes and parks for Jacob.

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But for Chris, I think he's really keen on it,

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so I need to explain just how stranded I'd feel.

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So are we ready to move onto the next one?

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-Yeah, definitely, let's go.

-OK, let's go.

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Living a stone's throw from Chris' work does have its and its disadvantages.

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Available to rent under-budget at £1,925 a month,

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the apartment gives them the space they need and is perfect for Chris to get to work in the morning.

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However, with not so much to do in the area, Victoria and Jacob might feel isolated.

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Dolores is going to have to widen her search -

0:18:410:18:44

which will suit Victoria,

0:18:440:18:45

but Chris' daily commute is only going to get longer.

0:18:450:18:48

Chris and Victoria will be amongst the almost 5 million Britons

0:18:550:18:59

who travel to the US every year.

0:18:590:19:01

Most, like Victoria, travel under the visa waiver scheme,

0:19:010:19:05

which involves filling out a simple form online

0:19:050:19:07

and allows a stay of up to 90 days.

0:19:070:19:10

Chris' employer organises special working visas for him,

0:19:120:19:15

as he travels all over the world.

0:19:150:19:18

How much time does he spend out of the month - or year, I don't know -

0:19:180:19:22

is he away from home?

0:19:220:19:24

At the moment, he's away and then has a couple of months off.

0:19:250:19:28

If we find the right place and we're all together, you know,

0:19:280:19:31

he can go to work and come home every night, and it will be really much more like a normal job.

0:19:310:19:35

-That would be nice. A normal family life.

-It's not "if" - we will find the right place.

0:19:350:19:39

Yeah, thank you.

0:19:390:19:40

Victoria and Chris have spent time together in Florida years ago,

0:19:400:19:44

when the boat they were working on was stationed here.

0:19:440:19:47

So the next location Dolores is taking Victoria to

0:19:470:19:50

might just be familiar.

0:19:500:19:52

So when we were on the video call, we talked about some areas you were

0:19:520:19:55

familiar with, and one of them was City Place.

0:19:550:19:57

-Yes.

-So that's our next stop.

0:19:570:19:59

-Oh, wow!

-So you'd be right in the middle of everything.

-Yeah.

0:19:590:20:02

City Place in West Palm Beach is around three miles south

0:20:040:20:07

of the shipyard where Chris will be based.

0:20:070:20:09

-It is a doable bike ride.

-OK.

0:20:110:20:14

An upscale lifestyle centre,

0:20:140:20:16

City Place is chiefly credited for West Palm's urban renaissance.

0:20:160:20:21

-It does give you access to all the shops.

-Mm-hm.

0:20:210:20:24

With an abundance of bars, shops and restaurants,

0:20:240:20:27

the area has everything that Victoria and Jacob would want,

0:20:270:20:30

but will the apartment live up to its surroundings?

0:20:300:20:33

-So this is City Place. You've been here before.

-Yes.

0:20:350:20:37

-The shops are just around he corner.

-That's the sign right there for you.

-Yeah!

0:20:370:20:40

You're only a block and a half away.

0:20:400:20:42

You don't need a car. And then here's the building.

0:20:420:20:44

-Oh, wow!

-We're right here.

-Right here - yeah!

0:20:440:20:47

-So are you ready to go inside?

-Yeah, definitely. Excited.

0:20:470:20:49

This spacious ground floor apartment has only recently been renovated,

0:20:520:20:56

with a brand-new kitchen and bathroom.

0:20:560:20:58

-Look at this!

-This is cool.

0:20:590:21:02

I really like it.

0:21:020:21:03

The modern, funky furnishings reflect the cool and contemporary style of city living.

0:21:030:21:08

-You could really enjoy yourself here.

-Yeah, I think so, too.

0:21:100:21:13

It's located within a securely gated complex,

0:21:130:21:16

offering lots of additional extras.

0:21:160:21:19

-It's got a pool.

-Oh, wow!

-It has a hot tub.

-Oh, really?

-It has lots of play areas.

0:21:190:21:24

Victoria wanted amenities nearby and my goodness, has she got them!

0:21:240:21:28

There is, however, one downside.

0:21:280:21:30

-So on our conversation, when we were talking over the internet last time...

-Yes.

0:21:310:21:36

..and we talked about what you're looking for, and I asked you if we could do a one-bedroom

0:21:360:21:41

and you said preferably two-bedroom,

0:21:410:21:43

but if you had to, you could do a one-bedroom...

0:21:430:21:45

-Yeah, I remember, yeah.

-So this is the one-bedroom.

0:21:450:21:48

-OK. Right.

-This is the one.

0:21:480:21:50

Victoria and Chris would have preferred a separate bedroom for

0:21:510:21:54

Jacob, although if the price is right,

0:21:540:21:56

they might be willing to compromise.

0:21:560:21:59

So let's talk about the price. It's £2,600.

0:21:590:22:03

Yeah. The compromise of being quite close to the yard and having things

0:22:030:22:07

around for myself to do and Jacob.

0:22:070:22:09

-Not having to sacrifice your daytimes.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:22:090:22:11

No, I like this a lot. I think Chris will, too.

0:22:110:22:14

£2,600 is bang on - the maximum that

0:22:140:22:17

Chris and Victoria are willing to spend a month.

0:22:170:22:20

It seems to give them what they want,

0:22:200:22:22

but will Chris feel they are getting the most for their money?

0:22:220:22:25

-Hi, Chris.

-Hi.

-I am in the property.

0:22:280:22:31

-Would you like to have a look around?

-Yes, please.

0:22:310:22:33

-So let me tell you, it's in City Place.

-That's pretty good.

-Yeah.

0:22:330:22:37

I'll just turn the camera around so you can see.

0:22:370:22:39

-What do you think?

-Yeah, I like it.

0:22:390:22:42

Yeah. It's really nicely decorated.

0:22:420:22:44

It feels really homely and it's colourful and it's high ceilings

0:22:440:22:47

and it's light in here.

0:22:470:22:49

I know in real estate we always talk about location, location, location,

0:22:500:22:53

but this place would be perfect for them.

0:22:530:22:56

She has access to all the restaurants, cafes...

0:22:560:22:59

City Place is right on our doorstep.

0:23:000:23:03

-There's everything just here. So I wouldn't need a car.

-Good.

0:23:030:23:07

I think my biggest concern or apprehension was about it being a one-bedroom.

0:23:070:23:11

So right now, she's discussing it with Chris.

0:23:110:23:13

So keep our fingers crossed, and I hope he likes it as well.

0:23:130:23:16

The thing with this property is it's a one-bed.

0:23:170:23:21

-Right.

-Yeah, so there's a downside.

-OK.

0:23:210:23:23

Yeah, I think we could fit a toddler bed there, or under the window over there. There's lots of room.

0:23:230:23:29

Yeah. How much is this one?

0:23:290:23:32

Ah, good point! It's £2,600.

0:23:320:23:35

So it's in budget.

0:23:350:23:37

-Yeah, it's the top end, though, so...

-Yeah.

0:23:370:23:40

-..so we're paying for the location, I guess.

-Yeah, exactly.

0:23:400:23:43

But I really, really like it.

0:23:430:23:45

All right, cool. Have a good day, and we'll chat later.

0:23:450:23:48

-Yeah. I'll give Jacob a big squeeze from you.

-Yeah, thanks.

-Bye.

0:23:480:23:52

-Hi, Dolores.

-Hi.

0:23:530:23:54

-OK, I'm excited. How did Chris like it?

-He really liked it, yeah.

0:23:540:23:59

He said it might be a bit pricey,

0:23:590:24:01

-but I think it's the upper end of the budget.

-OK.

0:24:010:24:04

-We'll see. We'll weigh it all up.

-Great.

0:24:040:24:07

It was a nice, compact, little place.

0:24:090:24:12

2,600 a month - it's a little bit on the expensive side,

0:24:120:24:17

but you've got to pay for that location.

0:24:170:24:19

It's in a nice, safe area,

0:24:190:24:21

so it's definitely going to be a strong contender.

0:24:210:24:24

-Let's go.

-OK.

-All right.

-Yeah.

0:24:240:24:27

Despite offering Chris and Victoria the perfect location,

0:24:270:24:31

property number two doesn't quite tick all the boxes.

0:24:310:24:34

Available to rent for £2,600 a month,

0:24:340:24:38

it's right at the top end of their budget.

0:24:380:24:40

Chris has his bike ride to work in the mornings

0:24:400:24:43

and Victoria has the ease of city living.

0:24:430:24:45

But that comes at a cost,

0:24:470:24:49

so they'd have to decide if maxing out their budget for a one-bedroom

0:24:490:24:53

to be in an area that suits them both is the right thing to do.

0:24:530:24:56

In winter, the influx of seasonal residents means that Florida's

0:25:040:25:08

population rises by over a million,

0:25:080:25:10

which increases even more when you include tourists.

0:25:100:25:13

So with the demand for rental accommodation at its highest,

0:25:140:25:17

the key to securing the perfect rental property across all budgets

0:25:170:25:21

is booking nice and early.

0:25:210:25:23

This three-bedroom Moroccan-style

0:25:250:25:27

bungalow offers a slice of island living

0:25:270:25:29

right in the back garden, with a private pool, dining area

0:25:290:25:33

and Native-American-inspired chikee huts.

0:25:330:25:37

It's available to rent for £3,000 a week in the winter.

0:25:370:25:40

Towards the top end of the market,

0:25:440:25:46

this three-storey six-bedroom town house is decadently decorated with

0:25:460:25:51

luxurious marble floors and a private pool area.

0:25:510:25:54

It's an absolutely ideal way to spend time in Florida in style,

0:25:540:25:59

and is available to rent for £8,000 a week.

0:25:590:26:01

During Victoria and Chris' time in Florida,

0:26:100:26:12

Chris will be working five days a week at the shipyard,

0:26:120:26:16

so Victoria's very keen to meet other families that she could

0:26:160:26:19

spend time with during the day.

0:26:190:26:21

Today, she is attending a baby group with her mum,

0:26:230:26:25

to try living like a local.

0:26:250:26:27

Story time.

0:26:330:26:35

Remember, leave your toys and your books, and come on out.

0:26:350:26:39

Leading the group is librarian Susan,

0:26:390:26:42

who sees a lot of new faces every single week.

0:26:420:26:44

A lot of people are new to the area. They are new to us as well.

0:26:440:26:48

They make friends. They get playgroups,

0:26:480:26:50

they learn about what's available in the community for young families,

0:26:500:26:54

but it's really a great opportunity for parents,

0:26:540:26:57

especially mothers who are maybe stay-at-home.

0:26:570:26:59

They bring their children to make new friends.

0:26:590:27:01

Good job!

0:27:030:27:04

He seems to be getting on well with everyone and making friends already.

0:27:080:27:11

Straight in there with the toys and sharing and making other baby friends,

0:27:110:27:16

so hopefully he'll be fine.

0:27:160:27:17

Due in part to the warm climate, the state of Florida is more

0:27:180:27:22

synonymous with retirement communities than young families.

0:27:220:27:25

That's really good, Jacob.

0:27:260:27:28

Really good, Jacob!

0:27:290:27:30

Now with people from all over the country moving south

0:27:300:27:33

to soak up the sun in their twilight years,

0:27:330:27:36

almost a quarter of Palm Beach's population are over 65.

0:27:360:27:40

So do you come here each week?

0:27:420:27:44

This is why it's useful for Victoria to attend these types of classes -

0:27:440:27:48

to hopefully make new friends for the time they'll be spending here.

0:27:480:27:51

And back on the search...

0:27:570:27:58

..with the city centre apartment giving Chris and Victoria

0:28:010:28:04

everything they wanted except a second bedroom...

0:28:040:28:06

..Dolores is going a bit further out,

0:28:080:28:10

where she's hoping the difference of a few miles will give them a bit

0:28:100:28:13

more space for their money.

0:28:130:28:15

So our next stop is a condo in Palm Beach Lakes area, OK?

0:28:150:28:20

And we're about four...about five miles from the city centre,

0:28:200:28:23

-about four miles from the yard.

-Well, that's not too far.

0:28:230:28:26

Under five miles from Chris' work,

0:28:280:28:30

Palm Beach Lakes are positioned further inland.

0:28:300:28:34

It's mostly shopping area and we're close by the highway.

0:28:340:28:37

The area has grown in popularity due to the addition of a brand-new

0:28:370:28:41

18-hole golf course.

0:28:410:28:43

It's just a very nice area.

0:28:430:28:45

So the condos that we are going to, it's a very established area.

0:28:470:28:51

It's been here for 20-30 years.

0:28:510:28:54

They've all been renovated.

0:28:540:28:55

Dolores is hoping that Victoria will be won over by the nearby amenities

0:28:560:29:01

and, indeed, the size of the property.

0:29:010:29:03

With its ground-floor positioning,

0:29:060:29:08

this huge two-bedroom condo feels more like a bungalow than an apartment.

0:29:080:29:12

-It's wide open.

-It is.

0:29:130:29:15

-It's big.

-Yeah, I like it.

0:29:150:29:19

It features a spacious, modern kitchen

0:29:190:29:21

and two large double bedrooms with an adjoining Jack and Jill bathroom.

0:29:210:29:25

-So it's fully furnished.

-Everything, yeah.

-Everything comes with it.

0:29:260:29:30

-Everything comes with it.

-Perfect.

0:29:300:29:31

The living area opens out into a separate sunroom -

0:29:310:29:34

ideal for relaxing in, whatever the weather.

0:29:340:29:38

So it's like an inside-outside room.

0:29:380:29:39

It would be really nice for Jacob to play out here.

0:29:390:29:42

-Yeah. So let's go all the way outside.

-OK.

0:29:420:29:44

..topped off with an extensive private garden

0:29:460:29:49

with views of the canal and golf course.

0:29:490:29:51

-This is lovely.

-It is.

-Yeah.

0:29:510:29:54

The outside space would give Victoria and Chris privacy,

0:29:540:29:57

although there may be some visitors.

0:29:570:29:59

-It is a canal...

-OK.

-..and we are in South Florida,

0:30:010:30:05

and so you can have a gator in there.

0:30:050:30:07

-Oh, wow!

-THEY LAUGH

0:30:070:30:10

-I don't want to scare you, but I do need to warn you.

-Thanks for warning me! Right.

0:30:130:30:16

-I want you to feel comfortable and calm.

-Yeah.

-But I do want you to keep an eye on Jacob.

-Yeah.

0:30:160:30:20

-Don't let him run out here by himself.

-Just to be aware.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:30:200:30:24

I think I'd be scared!

0:30:240:30:25

You know, it's estimated that there are over 1 million wild alligators

0:30:250:30:29

in the state of Florida. In nearly 70 years, though,

0:30:290:30:32

there have only been 23 unprovoked attacks.

0:30:320:30:35

Alligators aside, Victoria still has some questions about the area.

0:30:360:30:40

OK, so he four miles from the shipyards - a bike ride?

0:30:410:30:44

You wouldn't be able to ride a bike in that area.

0:30:440:30:48

You'd have to drive a car, because it goes over train tracks and some other things.

0:30:480:30:51

That's something Chris will have to have a think about,

0:30:510:30:54

because he was really set on riding his bike to work each day.

0:30:540:30:57

The more time Victoria spends in Florida,

0:30:580:31:01

the more apparent it is that having

0:31:010:31:03

a car is essential for getting around,

0:31:030:31:05

and with the apartment available to rent £300 under budget

0:31:050:31:09

at £2,360 a month, there is room to hire one.

0:31:090:31:13

Victoria seems willing to compromise,

0:31:150:31:17

but Chris might just feel differently

0:31:170:31:19

about giving up his daily bike rides.

0:31:190:31:22

And in the middle of the Atlantic,

0:31:250:31:27

the weather has taken a turn for the worse.

0:31:270:31:29

It hasn't been your typical day at sea today.

0:31:310:31:33

The weather has been quite bad.

0:31:330:31:35

We've got really dark clouds.

0:31:350:31:37

Hopefully, our wifi signal will hold for the call.

0:31:370:31:40

Fingers crossed that everything will be good this time.

0:31:400:31:43

-Hello.

-Hi, how are you today?

-Hi.

0:31:430:31:46

SOUND BREAKS UP

0:31:460:31:48

-Hi.

-Can you hear me, Chris?

0:31:480:31:50

-Are you there?

-You can't see me. You can hear me?

0:31:500:31:54

Unfortunately, as Chris feared,

0:31:540:31:56

the stormy weather is interfering with the signal.

0:31:560:31:59

OK, well, if you can't see me,

0:32:000:32:02

I'll make a video and send it to you later.

0:32:020:32:04

-OK, see you.

-OK, bye for now. See you.

0:32:040:32:08

So I'll just make a video and take some photos and send them to Chris

0:32:080:32:11

later on and have a chat about it when we have a better signal.

0:32:110:32:15

Hi, Chris, I'm going to show you around this condo.

0:32:150:32:17

It's on a golf course. I think you'll really like it, so let me show you.

0:32:170:32:20

I think she liked the Florida feel of it,

0:32:230:32:27

because it was bright and airy and it looked beachy.

0:32:270:32:30

There's a nice golf course which you can practise playing golf,

0:32:300:32:35

which you need!

0:32:350:32:37

The only downside on that one was that they would definitely need

0:32:370:32:41

a car for him to get back and forth to work.

0:32:410:32:43

-Hi, there.

-Hi.

-So, how did it go?

0:32:440:32:47

-It went with a little difficulty, actually.

-Oh.

0:32:470:32:49

-We had a few connection issues.

-Oh.

0:32:490:32:52

So I've made a video and sent Chris some photos,

0:32:520:32:55

and he did send me a message saying he likes what he can see so far.

0:32:550:32:58

The issue about having to have a car and not being able to cycle to work -

0:32:580:33:02

do you think that's going to be a big issue, or...?

0:33:020:33:05

He says we'll probably hire a car anyway,

0:33:050:33:07

-so it shouldn't be a deal-breaker.

-Great.

0:33:070:33:10

With the prospect of hiring a car,

0:33:120:33:14

property three could now be a contender.

0:33:140:33:16

It's available to rent for £2,360 a month,

0:33:190:33:23

and is close enough to the shops and Chris' work.

0:33:230:33:26

The only thing to worry about - and I would be worried -

0:33:260:33:29

would be the occasional visitor at their back door.

0:33:290:33:31

In winter, the population of Florida almost doubles.

0:33:360:33:40

It may mean high rental prices,

0:33:400:33:42

but UK visitors will still enjoy a

0:33:420:33:44

cheaper cost of living than they would at home.

0:33:440:33:46

If Chris and Victoria do decide to hire a car during their stay,

0:33:480:33:52

they'll find that fuel is almost half what it costs in Cornwall.

0:33:520:33:56

And with that incentive, Dolores is hoping that Chris

0:33:590:34:02

is still open to the idea of hiring a car, because the last property

0:34:020:34:05

she's going to show them is a bit further out,

0:34:050:34:08

where the rental options for their budget start to change.

0:34:080:34:11

The area that we're going to is the southern part of Palm Beach.

0:34:130:34:17

Situated nearly eight miles from the shipyard in an area known as

0:34:180:34:22

South of Southern Boulevard,

0:34:220:34:24

or SoSo, things start to look a little different.

0:34:240:34:27

With nearby shops and restaurants,

0:34:280:34:30

it offers big city benefits with small town ambience.

0:34:300:34:33

It has antiques and cafes.

0:34:330:34:36

A family-focused suburb,

0:34:360:34:38

properties here are amongst the oldest in the city,

0:34:380:34:41

giving the area a more lived-in look.

0:34:410:34:42

-It's just peaceful.

-Yeah.

-Really nice.

0:34:440:34:47

-And a nice safe place for...

-Yes.

0:34:470:34:49

It does offer Victoria and Chris a real home away from home.

0:34:490:34:53

The only downside - a 20-minute drive for Chris.

0:34:530:34:56

-This is the house in question that we're going to be looking at.

-Oh, right.

-So what do you think of it?

0:34:580:35:02

-I think it's really nice. It looks great.

-It really is nice.

-Lots of outside space here.

-Mm-hm.

0:35:020:35:06

Yeah, I like it. Does the boat come with it?

0:35:060:35:08

-Yeah, I don't know about that boat.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:35:080:35:11

But how about the little car next to it?!

0:35:110:35:13

-That would be great.

-OK, let's go on inside, then.

0:35:130:35:16

This charming two-bedroom detached bungalow is already set up for family living.

0:35:190:35:24

-Lovely.

-As you can see, it is a family home.

0:35:240:35:27

-Yeah.

-It's well lived in. It's comfortable.

-Yeah.

0:35:270:35:29

-It's just waiting for a nice new family to move in.

-Yeah.

0:35:290:35:32

It features a large master bedroom and spacious second bedroom,

0:35:320:35:36

perfect for little Jacob.

0:35:360:35:37

So this is the little master's bedroom.

0:35:370:35:39

-Isn't this nice?

-It's nicer than his room at home.

0:35:390:35:42

THEY LAUGH

0:35:420:35:43

A separate sunroom at the back leads out into a large private garden with

0:35:430:35:47

dining area - and no alligators!

0:35:470:35:50

-This is amazing.

-Isn't it nice?

-I love this room. Yeah.

0:35:500:35:53

While the current occupiers' possessions will be taken out,

0:35:530:35:56

the furniture will all remain,

0:35:560:35:58

meaning that it's set up for a very quick move.

0:35:580:36:01

-Can you see yourself in here?

-I can, yeah. No, definitely.

0:36:010:36:04

-Really like this.

-And it might be just what Victoria

0:36:040:36:07

has been looking for.

0:36:070:36:08

What sort of price are we looking at?

0:36:100:36:12

So it would be £2,460.

0:36:120:36:15

-OK, so that's in budget.

-It is.

-That's good.

-See?

0:36:150:36:18

-Yeah. I wasn't expecting that.

-There you go.

0:36:180:36:20

It will be convincing Chris that it's not too far away from the shipyards,

0:36:220:36:27

because while we're here, he will be the captain and in charge,

0:36:270:36:30

-so he has to be able to get to the boat pretty quickly if need be.

-Right.

0:36:300:36:34

So that's the one thing that we'll have to take into account.

0:36:340:36:38

At £2,460 a month,

0:36:390:36:42

the house is almost £200 under Victoria and Chris' budget.

0:36:420:36:46

Victoria really seems sold on the property, but with work commitments,

0:36:460:36:50

Chris might have to have the final say on whether it's going to be just too far away.

0:36:500:36:55

-Hi, Chris.

-Hi, how's it going?

-Good, how are you?

-I'm good, I'm good.

0:36:570:37:01

-Looks nice and sunny there.

-So I've just looked round a property.

0:37:010:37:04

-Do you want to have a look at it?

-Yeah, let's do it.

0:37:040:37:07

OK, let me show you.

0:37:070:37:08

The boat - yeah, that's not included, I don't think.

0:37:100:37:12

-It would be nice.

-HE LAUGHS

0:37:120:37:15

I'll take you up to the front of the house.

0:37:150:37:18

I think Victoria really likes this property,

0:37:180:37:21

particularly because of the family-type neighbourhood.

0:37:210:37:25

As you come round, you can see there's a walk-in closet through that bit there.

0:37:250:37:29

So that's my space there.

0:37:290:37:31

OK, am I living out of a suitcase, still?

0:37:310:37:34

Yeah, pretty much!

0:37:340:37:36

This is the sort of thing I hoped for.

0:37:360:37:40

I think the compromise is going to be the distance, for them.

0:37:400:37:43

But I think she likes this one, and I will see what happens.

0:37:430:37:46

-So how far is it away from the shipyard?

-It's eight miles.

0:37:480:37:51

So this is the one sort of downside,

0:37:510:37:53

that it's a little bit further away from the centre -

0:37:530:37:57

but that's why we've got all this space on offer.

0:37:570:37:59

So it's, you know - it's the pro and con situation.

0:37:590:38:03

We've got to weigh up whether we want more space a bit further away,

0:38:030:38:06

or less space, but in the centre.

0:38:060:38:10

Yeah, absolutely.

0:38:100:38:12

Eight miles is bordering on the a-bit-too-far scale,

0:38:120:38:16

but we'll weigh it up and make a decision.

0:38:160:38:19

OK, well I'm really glad that you like it too.

0:38:190:38:22

Yeah. I like the house as well and we'll think about it.

0:38:220:38:25

Yeah. All right. I'll chat to you later.

0:38:250:38:27

-All right, cheers, bye.

-See you, bye.

0:38:270:38:29

-Hi, again.

-Hi.

-So how did it go with Chris?

0:38:310:38:34

I think it went really well.

0:38:340:38:35

-Yeah, from what I can tell, he likes it a lot.

-Uh-huh.

0:38:350:38:38

-He is a bit reserved about how far it is away from the shipyard.

-OK.

0:38:380:38:43

So I think we'll have to see.

0:38:430:38:45

It was a really nice property.

0:38:460:38:48

It's very suitable. It ticks all the boxes that we need.

0:38:480:38:52

The only reservation I have about it is it might be just a little bit too

0:38:520:38:55

far away for me to go to work each day.

0:38:550:38:58

But other than that, I thought it was a really nice house.

0:38:580:39:02

Property four is available to rent

0:39:020:39:04

for £2,460 a month.

0:39:040:39:07

It has much more space than they thought they could get for their budget,

0:39:070:39:11

but only because it is a bit further out.

0:39:110:39:14

Victoria and Chris have seen

0:39:140:39:15

all the properties,

0:39:150:39:16

but now comes the hard decision of

0:39:160:39:18

which one, if any,

0:39:180:39:20

would be most suitable

0:39:200:39:21

for their dream winter away.

0:39:210:39:22

Thanks to Dolores,

0:39:300:39:31

Victoria and Chris have been able to peek inside the life

0:39:310:39:34

they could have in sunny Florida.

0:39:340:39:35

-Are you hiding?

-He's showing you his plane.

0:39:370:39:40

Oh, can I see your plane?

0:39:400:39:42

The family will soon be heading back to Cornwall,

0:39:420:39:45

to hopefully start packing for their winter move to Florida.

0:39:450:39:48

-Hi.

-Hi.

0:39:510:39:53

I'm just sitting here with Dolores.

0:39:530:39:55

Hi, there. Hi, again.

0:39:550:39:57

-Good to see you.

-You too.

0:39:570:39:59

Jacob's here as well. Say hi to Daddy.

0:39:590:40:01

Dolores has shown Victoria and Chris

0:40:030:40:06

everything that Palm Beach has to offer.

0:40:060:40:08

I was a little bit worried when Dolores told me

0:40:080:40:11

there are alligators there, so...

0:40:110:40:13

And she's laughing at me!

0:40:130:40:15

THEY LAUGH

0:40:150:40:17

From the excitement of city centre living to the suburban family dream,

0:40:170:40:21

no one property has actually ticked all the boxes.

0:40:210:40:24

You're concerned about the price.

0:40:260:40:27

-Exactly, yeah.

-If you drive, it's an option.

0:40:270:40:30

But whichever property they do choose,

0:40:310:40:33

they are now counting down the days

0:40:330:40:35

until they can all be together once more.

0:40:350:40:38

We'll give him a kiss. Ready?

0:40:380:40:40

Mmm...wah!

0:40:400:40:42

Aw, that was nice!

0:40:420:40:44

Having been away at sea for a lot of Jacob growing up,

0:40:510:40:54

Chris decided that his next trip would bring them back together.

0:40:540:40:57

The boat's going to be stationed in South Florida,

0:40:580:41:01

so it's a great opportunity to get the family back together then.

0:41:010:41:05

With Chris making his way across the Atlantic,

0:41:050:41:08

it was up to Victoria to find them their dream property.

0:41:080:41:11

-It's not "if". We WILL find the right place.

-Yes, thank you.

0:41:120:41:15

Dolores hoped that the first apartment would win them over,

0:41:150:41:19

because it's only a stone's throw from Chris' work...

0:41:190:41:22

-Walking distance.

-Oh, really?

-Might be a half a mile.

0:41:230:41:26

..but discovered just how important amenities were to Victoria.

0:41:260:41:30

There's not a lot to do for Jacob and myself.

0:41:310:41:33

The City Place condo gave them everything they could want on their

0:41:350:41:38

doorstep, but it did come at a price.

0:41:380:41:41

It's in budget.

0:41:410:41:43

Yeah, it's the top end, though.

0:41:430:41:45

Dolores took Victoria a bit further out, and learned that Chris may be

0:41:450:41:49

willing to compromise on his bike ride to work.

0:41:490:41:51

He says we'll probably hire a car anyway.

0:41:520:41:54

It shouldn't be a deal-breaker.

0:41:540:41:56

And then Dolores took Victoria even further afield,

0:41:560:41:59

where the budget stretched to a family home.

0:41:590:42:01

This is the sort of thing I had hoped for.

0:42:030:42:06

Chris and Victoria have seen a wide variety of properties in Florida.

0:42:090:42:12

But did any of them impress them enough to make it their new family home away from home?

0:42:150:42:19

-Hello.

-Hi.

-Hello!

0:42:220:42:24

Here we are in West Palm Beach in Southern Florida.

0:42:260:42:30

Well, thankfully, they made it,

0:42:300:42:32

and after spending two months at sea,

0:42:320:42:34

Chris was finally reunited with his family

0:42:340:42:37

in their brand-new City Place condo.

0:42:370:42:40

So here we are, all moved in.

0:42:400:42:42

-We're just getting ready to go out for the day.

-Shoes on.

0:42:420:42:46

I think the location was more important for us,

0:42:460:42:48

for Chris to be able to come straight home from work and be home within five to ten minutes.

0:42:480:42:52

So we still haven't got a toddler bed for Jacob yet, but that's what we're off to go and buy today.

0:42:520:42:59

In addition to their monthly rent,

0:42:590:43:01

Chris and Victoria have to pay taxes of £330 a month.

0:43:010:43:06

Now, these costs are often included as part of the rental price,

0:43:060:43:09

but sometimes are added on after.

0:43:090:43:11

It's a little bit extra, but you know what they say -

0:43:110:43:14

you cannot put a price on happiness.

0:43:140:43:17

Yeah, Jacob's obviously really happy that Daddy is here

0:43:170:43:20

and I really like having the help with dinner and bath time.

0:43:200:43:23

It's great to be together again.

0:43:230:43:25

JACOB SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY

0:43:250:43:28

-Really?

-CHRIS LAUGHS

0:43:280:43:31

Chris and Victoria from Cornwall enlist the help of local property expert Dolores in West Palm Beach to find a perfect rental home for them and young son Jacob in Florida. As Chris works away for weeks at a time this winter break is an opportunity for the family to spend valuable time together, but can they find a property within budget during Florida's highest - and most expensive - season? Gloria Hunniford narrates.


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