Mijas, Spain Get Away for Winter


Mijas, Spain

Couples and friends search for perfect rental properties abroad. Roger and Margaret want to leave the winter in Liverpool behind and rent in southern Spain.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

-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?

-..by renting a piece of paradise?

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-Unbelievable! Wow, this is amazing.

-You could swap sleet and snow

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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, yeah.

-..to find their perfect rental retreat.

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

-LAUGHTER

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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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Let's face it, winter in Liverpool is not for the faint-hearted.

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The average temperature is five degrees

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and those strong winds coming off the Irish Sea can make it feel much,

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much colder.

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This is one reason why Liverpudlian Margaret and her husband Roger are

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planning to get away.

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We're both now retired

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and now we've decided we might as well spend our winters in the sun,

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-rather than the cold and wet in England.

-Yeah.

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Get away from all the dreary weather that the UK gives us.

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Come the long, dark days,

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the winter chills ache Margaret and Roger's bones,

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so they keep busy in the warmth of their own home.

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Margaret likes to make beaded jewellery,

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while Roger really enjoys cooking up some continental cuisine.

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You're starting to get the aromas now.

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Alongside the physical discomfort,

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Roger finds it mentally difficult as well.

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And the last thing, passata.

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There's that SAD thing, isn't there, you know,

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for seasonal affective disorder.

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It just gets you down. You get up in the morning, you look out the window

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and you go, "Oh, it's another grey day."

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I find the sun helps me greatly.

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Their desire to stay fit and healthy in body and mind is pushing these

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sun-seekers to spend their winters abroad.

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We don't want to spend our time sat on the settee.

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-No.

-We do like to get out and about. I don't fancy doing things like

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skydiving or climbing cliffs or anything ridiculous like that,

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-but the odd sort of gentle sport...

-Fancy paddle boarding, don't you?

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I fancy having a go at paddle boarding.

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I fancy that. I like the look of it.

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-I thought, "I'll have a go at that."

-And I'll take the photographs.

-LAUGHTER

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Et voila!

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Margaret was a civil servant and Roger a security guard.

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They've recently downsized after paying off the mortgage on their

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former home of 30 years.

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Using the money from the sale,

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they were able to buy their new house outright and have set aside

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the rest of it to fund their winter getaways.

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-He's head cook, I'm bottle washer.

-LAUGHTER

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-I put things away.

-And, of course, you've always got...

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The chef's perk is any wine left over.

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Oh, I do like a man who cooks!

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When they're abroad, they have a plan to cover their household bills.

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Heating and the utility bills, for instance, here,

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we've got a son who lives with us.

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The plan is that he just takes over those costs when we go abroad for

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three or four months, whatever it is.

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And there's no other outgoings other than the utilities here.

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He takes over that and we're completely bill-free.

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Being bill-free will save the couple £200 a month.

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They'll use this as living expenses abroad.

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When their son has flown the coop,

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Roger and Margaret could decide to do things differently

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in order to make their winter getaways cost neutral.

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Local estate agents estimate that their three-bedroomed house could be

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rented out for around £700 a month

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in this particular area of Liverpool.

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The couple have set their winter sunshine budget at £900 a month

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to cover all their expenses while they're away.

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And 700 of that is allocated for accommodation,

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but that also has to include all utility bills.

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And where do our couple want to go to beat those winter blues?

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We've decided to spend winters in Spain rather than Liverpool.

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Margaret and Roger hope to be saying bye-bye to the miserable Mersey

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winters and hello to the sun and heat.

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UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS

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Last year, the couple spent their holidays in the Mijas area of the

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Costa Del Sol, which is in southern Spain,

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and this is where they want to spend their winter months.

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The area is famed for its long, long sandy beaches and traditional towns.

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The region has a thriving market economy where foodie Roger can shop

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for all that fresh fruit and veg

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and Margaret, of course, can enjoy the craft stalls.

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The winter season lasts from October to April

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and during this period, it can be possible to pay the same amount in

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rent per month as you would per week in the high season.

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Helping Margaret and Roger in their search is local property expert

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Toni Crook.

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Can you tell me, what's your preferred budget?

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Originally from Essex, Toni first moved to southern Spain 15 years

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ago and she's been running her

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property business there for the last four years.

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The thing I enjoy most about my job is actually meeting people.

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I've always been a people person and to meet somebody at the

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beginning of a property search and then to find something for them that

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they absolutely love, it's great. I really enjoy that.

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However, her years of experience tell Toni this search will be no

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-easy task.

-The rental market over here is crazy at the moment.

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We've got so many clients but such a small amount of stock.

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People come over here expecting not to have to compromise on finding a

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property. They think they're going to find exactly what they want,

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but really there is an awful lot of compromise.

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First up, Toni has to find out what's on Roger and Margaret's

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wish list for their perfect winter getaway pad...

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..and, of course, which one of them will be joining her in Mijas for the

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property search. SKYPE RINGTONE

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-Roger?

-Hello, yeah, I'm Roger.

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-Nice to meet you. Hello, Margaret, I'm Toni.

-Hello, Toni.

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-What's the weather like there today?

-Oh, it's chucking it down.

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-Raining.

-LAUGHTER

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What about the property? What are you actually looking for in a property?

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-What do you want?

-An apartment. Two-bedroom, ideally.

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-A little balcony would be nice.

-Just a terrace would be fine?

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-Terrace, yeah.

-But you'd like views?

-Yeah.

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But not too high up a hill, for instance, cos...

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it's all right walking down them, but it's hard getting back up them.

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And we don't really want to have a studio or an open-plan where you're

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sitting in the living room, looking at your kitchen.

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So you don't...you're not that keen on open-plan?

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-No.

-What kind of budget are you allocating for this?

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Well, we're looking in the region of between 500-700 a month.

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OK. So, which one of you is going to be coming over to do the search?

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-That'll be me, Toni.

-OK. That's great.

-Yeah.

-Yes, I've given him a

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-list, so he knows what I like and what I don't like.

-LAUGHTER

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-Well, I'll make sure I keep hold of that list.

-LAUGHTER

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-You take care. Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye, Toni.

-Bye.

-Bye.

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Roger may be the man on the ground for the search,

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but this will be a joint decision.

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I've got my wife's permission to make any decision I like.

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LAUGHTER

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Roger and Margaret have £700 set

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aside for accommodation and utilities.

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Ideally, they would like an apartment with two bedrooms,

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a separate kitchen and living room

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and a balcony, of course, for the view.

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UP-TEMPO MUSIC PLAYS

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In Mijas, winter has arrived,

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and with it a slower pace of life from the hustle and bustle of the

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summer season.

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Already the winter blues that Roger suffers from have been replaced with

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a sunnier outlook.

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I awoke this morning and the first thing I noticed was the sunrise just

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over the sea.

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And this beautiful, gorgeous sunshine woke me up this morning

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and I'm thinking, "Back in Liverpool, my wife's waking up to

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"rain, cold, damp."

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This is what living in Spain is all about in the winter.

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Absolutely fantastic.

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I'm really looking forward to looking round some properties and

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getting the feel of the place

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and whether I'd be comfortable living there.

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Toni is on her way to pick up Roger.

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The search for Roger and Margaret has actually been quite difficult.

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At the moment, there's not an awful lot around.

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We are really low on stock.

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Lots of clients, but not lots of properties.

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Roger's got a big task ahead of him, but I think he'll be up for it

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and he'll enjoy it as well.

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-Hello, Roger.

-Nice to meet you.

-And you.

-And you.

-Nice Spanish greeting.

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-Let's go and find some properties.

-Right, let's go.

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Toni has found four rental properties that she hopes meet Roger

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and Margaret's criteria.

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UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS

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How is Margaret coping at home on her own?

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Oh, she's... I did have a quick text to her this morning.

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-I've sent her a picture off the balcony.

-You didn't!

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-That's cruel. That is so cruel.

-LAUGHTER

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At each property, Roger will video call Margaret back in Blighty to

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get her opinion.

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So how are you feeling about the search?

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Well, I want to find something that feels like a home,

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-rather than just a holiday let.

-That's right, yeah.

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Roger's after a home-away-from-home feel,

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so has this first property got it? LIVELY MUSIC PLAYS

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She's taking Roger to Calle Mijas,

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a small suburb of the coastal town El Faro.

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El Faro is a very peaceful place to live -

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away from the tourist hotspots,

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people are attracted here by its quiet and very friendly atmosphere.

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Toni is going to show Roger a flat in a residential complex with

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manicured garden grounds and a residents-only swimming pool.

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Will this second-floor apartment

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have that home-away-from-home vibe that Roger would like?

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-You can feel the quiet.

-It's very peaceful.

-Peaceful, yeah.

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-Very tranquila, tranquila.

-Yeah, tranquila.

-Here we are.

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This modern apartment is fully furnished and includes television

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and Wi-Fi access. The living room has a dining area with table and

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chairs and an L-shaped sofa for some of that tranquila lounging.

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-Can you see yourself relaxing there, Roger?

-Yeah, I think so.

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-Yeah...

-There you go.

-..why not?

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And sitting here, watching TV?

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-Is it comfortable?

-It's all right, yeah.

-It is actually surprisingly

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-comfortable...

-Actually, yeah, yeah.

-..isn't it? Yeah.

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The fully kitted-out kitchen is located next to the front door.

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Margaret doesn't want an open-plan living area.

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Has Toni managed to find a middle ground with this

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kind of, but not quite, open-plan kitchen?

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-My domain.

-Roger, what do you think?

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Can you see yourself in here preparing some food for Margaret?

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Yeah, I don't see why not. I mean, there's enough...there's space here.

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There's working space. Bright and airy. It's fine. It's lovely.

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The couple would have liked two bedrooms, but this apartment, I'm

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afraid, only has one.

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However, it is a good size and it's got plenty of storage.

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Here, the bathroom.

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The bathroom. Oh, yes.

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-It is quite small, isn't it?

-Compact. Compact.

-Yeah.

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He's a straight talker is our Roger.

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So far, so OK.

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But there's still one thing left to see.

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-Just look at this.

-Oh, that is a view, isn't it?

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-It is a view, indeed, isn't it?

-It's beautiful.

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What's Margaret going to think of this?

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-Oh, she'll love this.

-Yeah?

-She would love this view.

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-This is fantastic. It's sold on the view, put it that way.

-LAUGHTER

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Will this apartment and those stunning views fit Roger and

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Margaret's maximum accommodation budget of £700 a month -

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of course, including bills?

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The price of this property is £600,

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and that does include all of your bills.

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-So that's gas, electricity... Well, not gas, but electric, water...

-Electricity, yes.

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-So there's no extras.

-That's an excellent price.

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Tony's watchword in this rental search is compromise.

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The view is a big plus point

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and with a price tag well within the couple's budget,

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are Roger and Margaret willing to compromise on the bedrooms and the

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not-quite-open-plan kitchen?

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Back in Liverpool, Margaret is eagerly waiting for Roger to call

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and give her a guided tour by videophone.

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Roger won't mind things as much as I will. You know, he'll put up with

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something and I think, "I'm not having that."

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But he'll put up with it. So I've said to Toni, you know,

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what I want and what I don't want.

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So I'm hoping Roger will remember.

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-Hi!

-See the sunshine behind me?

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-Yes.

-Beautiful view.

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Hang on a sec. I'll start from the left, moving across.

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-As you can see, the sea.

-I can see the sea.

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Good. Margaret's smiling already.

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So we're about a 10-15 minute walk,

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-but unfortunately, it is uphill.

-Oh, no.

-Hmm. That smile has gone.

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-I don't like hills.

-You know, this is the compromise we have to have.

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Well, unfortunately, to get a beautiful view, it's up high.

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I'm hoping Margaret's going to react positively to the apartment,

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although it is a little bit higher up than they'd hoped for.

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But they have got these super views

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and that really is the price that you pay.

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This is the living room.

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Well, it's small but perfectly-formed.

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And this is the kitchenette.

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As you can see, you've got the serving hatchway there.

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I don't like the kitchen.

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I think it's very small. Is there a dishwasher?

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No, there's no dishwasher, unfortunately.

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Well, you're the main cook and I'm the dishwasher,

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-so I was hoping that I might not have to do it manually.

-THEY CHUCKLE

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Is it the only bedroom?

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Yeah, there is only one bedroom in this flat, unfortunately.

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It's a flat with a few compromises,

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but Margaret is keeping an open mind.

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It's very nice.

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It's small, but it's a very nice little flat.

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Yeah, OK. Lovely.

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-Cheerio, then, darling.

-OK, see you later. Bye.

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-How did it go?

-It went good, actually. I was very surprised.

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There was a couple of points there I thought she might have pulled up on, but she was quite happy.

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Mentioned about the view as well, being slightly higher than we would like.

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-But did she love the view?

-She loved the view.

-LAUGHTER

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Oh, well, that's good. That's really good. So this is a very real possibility?

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-It may well be, yes.

-Fantastic.

-It may well be. It's a positive from both of us at the moment.

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-Oh, that's great.

-Yeah.

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The all-inclusive rental price of £600,

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and of course that marvellous view,

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plus Margaret and Roger's willingness to compromise,

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make this apartment a contender.

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While Roger is soaking up the sun,

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poor Margaret is avoiding being soaked by the rain.

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The weather has been quite miserable.

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Heavy showers, wind, rain.

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Hailstones at one point.

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Roger was telling me he's sat out on the balcony in his hotel,

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overlooking the sea view with his glass of wine and it was very

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pleasant, watching the sunset,

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and I'm sat in here going, "Oh, more rain!"

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The couple have just had enough of being cooped up indoors during the

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cold season in the north-west of England.

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During the summer months, Roger loves to fish.

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In Mijas, he's looking forward to

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spending the winter months rod in hand.

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The sun should alleviate the balance of seasonal affective disorder,

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known as SAD.

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And, of course, that's what Roger experiences.

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One in three Britons suffer from this form of depression.

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It typically gets worse as the days get shorter.

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Symptoms can include anxiety,

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insomnia and a weakened immune system.

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It can be so disabling that sufferers find it hard to function

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without treatment, which can include

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exposure to natural sunlight and antidepressants.

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If Roger and Margaret are going to enjoy a new fun and sun-filled

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lifestyle, they need to find somewhere to stay.

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What do you think's going to be different, then, living out here,

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apart from obviously the weather?

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You know, like, a slightly healthier lifestyle, to be truthful.

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You're snuggled up in your houses with your

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winter woollies on and all this sort of business,

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whereas in...you can still stroll around in a T-shirt and a pair of

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shorts during the day here.

0:17:520:17:54

Toni is taking Roger to see a property on the outskirts of the

0:17:570:18:01

coastal town of La Cala de Mijas.

0:18:010:18:04

Roger and Margaret stayed in the heart of La Cala, as it is known

0:18:040:18:09

locally, when they were on holiday. Until the 1960s,

0:18:090:18:12

it was a tiny little fishing village,

0:18:120:18:15

but it quickly expanded when the tourist boom began

0:18:150:18:18

to take advantage of its exquisite beach.

0:18:180:18:20

There are cafes and bars aplenty

0:18:220:18:25

and a twice-weekly market selling items

0:18:250:18:27

such as artisan breads and olive oil.

0:18:270:18:30

The beachfront offers a wide range of activities

0:18:320:18:35

and it's a great place to fish.

0:18:350:18:38

La Cala de Mijas is a blend of modern tourist amenities and a

0:18:380:18:42

traditional Spanish way of life.

0:18:420:18:44

The area that we're going to now, Roger,

0:18:480:18:50

I know is one that you and Margaret particularly like.

0:18:500:18:53

-Oh, good.

-It's just on the outskirts of the town.

0:18:530:18:55

-Oh, lovely.

-It's very close to the market,

0:18:550:18:57

-which I think you know is on twice a week.

-Wednesday and a Saturday, yeah.

0:18:570:19:02

-I think you probably know this area better than I do.

-LAUGHTER

0:19:020:19:05

The apartment is in a private gated community,

0:19:070:19:11

catering primarily to tourists.

0:19:110:19:13

I must say, Toni has turned up trumps with a spacious living

0:19:180:19:21

room, which is separate from the kitchen, just as Margaret wanted.

0:19:210:19:24

As the chief cook in this relationship,

0:19:260:19:29

Roger can spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen

0:19:290:19:32

and this one has all the mod cons that he could possibly want.

0:19:320:19:35

-So here we have...

-Kitchen.

-..a kitchen.

-Yeah, this is what I'm talking about.

0:19:350:19:40

-This is fantastic.

-You like this, do you?

-Yeah.

-Oh, I am pleased.

0:19:400:19:43

-This is what you're talking about.

-Yeah.

0:19:430:19:46

-Could you see yourself here?

-Oh, yeah.

0:19:460:19:48

Separate kitchen, stacks of space to work on, more than happy.

0:19:480:19:52

-This is ideal.

-OK.

-This is what we're looking for.

-Smashing.

0:19:520:19:55

-Exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for.

-That's what I want to hear.

0:19:550:19:59

Next door to the kitchen is a guest bedroom.

0:19:590:20:02

-Two bedrooms, yeah.

-Yeah.

-It's good, yeah.

-I thought that would please you.

0:20:020:20:07

The second bedroom is an en-suite,

0:20:110:20:13

and the master bathroom is stylishly finished.

0:20:130:20:17

-That's a nice long bath.

-Yeah?

-It's a good size.

0:20:170:20:20

-Margaret will like that, will she?

-Yeah.

-She likes a bath?

-She likes a long bath, yeah.

0:20:200:20:24

So Toni's got a new requirement for her check list -

0:20:240:20:27

Margaret likes a bath.

0:20:270:20:30

Last up is the master bedroom,

0:20:300:20:33

which comes with a television connected to UK satellite channels.

0:20:330:20:36

The inside of the apartment has everything that Roger and Margaret

0:20:380:20:41

asked for, but...

0:20:410:20:43

what about the outside?

0:20:430:20:45

-Nice table and chairs.

-Yeah, nice space.

-Lots of space.

0:20:450:20:49

-Margaret's going to be OK with this, is she?

-Yeah, she'll be happy with this.

0:20:490:20:52

-The only thing she'll miss is a view.

-Yes.

-You know? She likes a room with a view.

0:20:520:20:57

Yeah. Unfortunately, that's...

0:20:570:21:00

-It's ground floor.

-Here comes that word again,

0:21:000:21:02

because the couple will have to compromise on views for this

0:21:020:21:05

apartment, and also on price.

0:21:050:21:08

At £740 a month, including all bills,

0:21:080:21:11

it's £40 over their accommodation budget.

0:21:110:21:16

-Hello.

-Hello.

0:21:160:21:18

OK, well, I'm going to show you the apartment that we're in.

0:21:180:21:21

I'm going to start you off in the kitchen.

0:21:210:21:23

-Right.

-OK, I'll flip you round.

-Oh, thanks.

-LAUGHTER

0:21:230:21:27

The beauty of this kitchen is it's completely separate from

0:21:290:21:32

everything else within the apartment

0:21:320:21:35

and it's got a sliding door as well.

0:21:350:21:37

So in the evening time, that's it, it's done.

0:21:370:21:40

I like that kitchen. It's nice and bright.

0:21:400:21:43

-A nice full-size bath for you.

-Oooh! That's a treat.

0:21:430:21:47

And as we come in to the living room area...

0:21:490:21:51

Yeah, it's nice and bright, isn't it? Neutral colours.

0:21:510:21:53

A lot lighter. I do like that.

0:21:530:21:55

As you can see, 3-piece suite, entertainment centre.

0:21:560:21:59

I could see myself sat on that chair, looking at the television.

0:21:590:22:02

-Can you?

-Yeah.

-LAUGHTER

0:22:020:22:05

Lovely. Margaret is already imagining herself at home here.

0:22:050:22:08

So, a great start.

0:22:080:22:10

-Here we are, moving into the bedroom.

-I think it's ideal. I mean, it looks nice.

0:22:100:22:13

Nice and bright. Access to the patio from the bedroom.

0:22:130:22:16

Access to the patio from the bedroom. Yeah, that's a good idea, isn't it?

0:22:160:22:21

This property for Roger and Margaret should be spot-on.

0:22:210:22:23

The downside, I think, that perhaps Margaret may feel a little bit

0:22:230:22:27

dubious about, is that it is on the ground floor and it doesn't have any views.

0:22:270:22:31

So that might be something that they'll compromise on.

0:22:310:22:35

Here we are, on to the patio area.

0:22:350:22:38

-Like a little garden.

-Yeah, a little garden, yeah.

0:22:380:22:41

-Not so much of a view, though, from...

-No, that... This is your view.

0:22:410:22:46

You've got two trees and the side of a building.

0:22:460:22:48

The trees are better than looking at the side of a building.

0:22:480:22:51

Yeah. So, overall, what do you think?

0:22:510:22:53

I think it's very nice. I think it looks very bright,

0:22:530:22:56

I think the location is ideal.

0:22:560:22:58

So this is the sort of place that you want to look for?

0:22:580:23:01

-So we'll keep it in the mix?

-Yeah, yeah, I think that's definitely in the mix, yeah.

0:23:010:23:06

How did we get on, then?

0:23:060:23:08

-All right, actually, yeah.

-Yeah?

-A little tour around there.

0:23:080:23:11

I quite like the apartment. It's just the right sort of size that we're looking for.

0:23:110:23:15

-Right.

-And I spoke to Margaret and she likes the look of it, too.

0:23:150:23:18

-Good, good.

-You know, so...

0:23:180:23:20

And the location, I bet she really loves.

0:23:200:23:22

The location is fantastic for us.

0:23:220:23:24

-But overall you think this...

-Overall it was...

-A real contender?

-A real contender, yeah.

0:23:240:23:28

Yay! OK.

0:23:280:23:30

The rental price for this apartment is £740 a month inclusive

0:23:300:23:35

of bills. It's got the space

0:23:350:23:37

that Roger and Margaret want in a location that they really like,

0:23:370:23:41

but at £40 over their budget,

0:23:410:23:43

is it worth the extra spend?

0:23:430:23:45

Mijas attracts visitors from far and wide, right across the globe,

0:23:530:23:57

with its long beaches and quaint traditional towns.

0:23:570:24:01

In the summer months, the average price of a three-star self-catering

0:24:010:24:05

apartment is £850 per week.

0:24:050:24:10

In the winter, it's half of that.

0:24:100:24:12

Even at the high end of the market, there are savings to be made,

0:24:140:24:19

like this seven-bed contemporary villa.

0:24:190:24:23

It's a sun worshipper's paradise.

0:24:230:24:25

With open-plan design and floor-to-ceiling windows,

0:24:280:24:32

this sun palace is engulfed in natural light.

0:24:320:24:36

It's just gorgeous

0:24:360:24:39

and it's available to rent for almost £13,000 a week in summer,

0:24:390:24:43

but it's reduced to just under £5,000 in winter.

0:24:430:24:48

Or there's this seven-bed villa.

0:24:480:24:50

More traditional in style, it's lavishly furnished.

0:24:530:24:56

This property is available to rent for £3,000 a week in winter.

0:24:590:25:02

In summer, it's nearer seven - more than double.

0:25:030:25:06

Whatever your budget,

0:25:110:25:12

there are sunshine bargains to be had by getting away for the winter.

0:25:120:25:16

For property number three,

0:25:250:25:27

Toni is taking Roger away from the coast and up into the hills,

0:25:270:25:31

to the beautiful whitewashed town of Mijas Pueblo.

0:25:310:25:35

Located about ten miles from La Cala,

0:25:380:25:40

it nestles in the mountainside, 400 metres above sea level.

0:25:400:25:44

There is, however, easy access by road with regular public transport.

0:25:450:25:52

There's been a settlement here for over 500 years.

0:25:520:25:57

The town's narrow, winding streets -

0:25:570:25:59

filled with shops selling local art, craft and handmade pottery -

0:25:590:26:04

give way to open-end plazas, which host weekly markets

0:26:040:26:08

and are ringed by restaurants and cafes with spectacular views.

0:26:080:26:12

Roger and Margaret visited the town during their holiday last year

0:26:150:26:18

and they found it just stunning.

0:26:180:26:20

This is the road leading up to the Mijas Pueblo.

0:26:220:26:25

Oh, the Pueblo, you've been up here before, have you, Roger?

0:26:250:26:28

-Yeah, I've been...

-OK, so you know...

0:26:280:26:30

The last time we were out here, we popped up on the bus.

0:26:300:26:33

The thing that this area does have for you is it's got everything on

0:26:350:26:39

its doorstep. You've got shops, bars, restaurants...

0:26:390:26:42

Yeah.

0:26:420:26:44

And being away from the coast means you get more room for your rent.

0:26:460:26:49

This apartment is located in the centre of the town,

0:26:540:26:57

but is still inundated with natural light from the large patio doors,

0:26:570:27:02

which will hopefully be a plus point for Roger.

0:27:020:27:05

Here we are.

0:27:050:27:07

Ah! There's lots of light coming in, natural light.

0:27:070:27:09

This is good.

0:27:090:27:11

The apartment is light and bright,

0:27:110:27:14

but will the kitchen meet our head chef's requirements?

0:27:140:27:18

Right, here we are. So you've got the kitchen.

0:27:180:27:20

You've got a good range of cupboards.

0:27:200:27:22

-Yeah. Yeah, I could...

-A decent-sized cooker.

-Yeah.

-And look what's there next to it!

0:27:220:27:26

-A dishwasher!

-Dishwasher. Margaret... Margaret, we've found you a dishwasher.

0:27:260:27:30

-It's a good set-up, to be honest. It really is.

-In actual fact, it is...

-It's well fitted in.

-It is,

0:27:300:27:34

-it is...

-Yeah, it's got everything you need.

0:27:340:27:37

Yes indeed, the dishwasher will certainly please Margaret.

0:27:370:27:40

She also wanted views.

0:27:400:27:42

Well, Toni's brought them to the right place here.

0:27:420:27:45

The balcony leads to the building's pool area,

0:27:450:27:48

which has plenty of space to recline, relax, soak up all that

0:27:480:27:52

sun and enjoy la extraordinario vista.

0:27:520:27:57

-So, here we are.

-All right.

-The bedroom, master bedroom.

0:27:570:28:00

Nice, clean and bright bedroom.

0:28:000:28:02

-I take it it's the master because there's an en-suite.

-There's an en-suite

-bathroom. Yeah. Yeah? Good.

0:28:020:28:07

The master bedroom with an en-suite

0:28:070:28:10

bathroom has Roger's seal of approval

0:28:100:28:12

and there's plenty of storage space within the fitted wardrobes.

0:28:120:28:16

Toni has turned up trumps with the second bedroom and additional shower

0:28:200:28:23

room, making this property ideal for friends and relatives who may want

0:28:230:28:28

to come over for a visit.

0:28:280:28:30

The apartment is in a beautiful location

0:28:320:28:35

and with a rental price of just over £500 a month,

0:28:350:28:38

it's well within budget.

0:28:380:28:40

Ah, but will Margaret be able to see past an open-plan kitchen?

0:28:420:28:46

-Hi there. Hello, Marg.

-Hi.

-Buen dias.

0:28:480:28:52

-Ooh!

-LAUGHTER

0:28:520:28:54

This is the living room.

0:28:540:28:57

It's nice and bright. A lot of rooms off one central room.

0:28:570:29:00

-Yeah. What do you think of that?

-Well, I think it's a bit small, actually.

0:29:000:29:04

OK, we're walking into the master bedroom.

0:29:040:29:06

-Wardrobe.

-Built-in wardrobe.

0:29:060:29:09

-Built-in wardrobes, that's a plus, yeah. Good.

-This is bedroom two.

0:29:090:29:13

Oh, two bedrooms, yeah. Good. Fine for a guest room.

0:29:130:29:18

Well, so far, there have been more pros than cons.

0:29:180:29:21

This property has two bedrooms, two bathrooms.

0:29:230:29:26

It has superb views and it's well within their budget.

0:29:260:29:29

However, I have taken a little bit of a risk, because it's open-plan.

0:29:290:29:34

What's the kitchen like? Is it part of the living room or is it separate?

0:29:340:29:38

Yeah, unfortunately. I'll turn you back round and I'll show you.

0:29:380:29:42

But it has everything, you know, you need. It's got the fridge-freezer, it's got your washing machine...

0:29:420:29:46

-It looks very small.

-..and it's got...

0:29:460:29:49

..a dishwasher!

0:29:490:29:51

Yay! Well, that's a plus!

0:29:510:29:53

And it's cooker hood etc, but a hob.

0:29:530:29:56

-I'm not so keen on the layout, to be honest.

-No.

0:29:560:29:59

I don't think there's enough work space for you to do your creations.

0:29:590:30:02

-No.

-LAUGHTER

0:30:020:30:03

-Everything's off the living room, isn't it? Just one room with all the...

-It is. It's basically

0:30:030:30:07

just one box with little boxes around the outside of it.

0:30:070:30:10

-Yeah, yeah.

-All right, I'll talk to you a bit later anyway.

0:30:100:30:13

-I'll say cheerio for now.

-OK, then. Bye for now.

-Bye, then. Bye.

0:30:130:30:17

Well, after seeing that property, I'm quite disappointed.

0:30:170:30:20

It was very small,

0:30:200:30:21

which you could maybe put up with for a week or two on holiday,

0:30:210:30:24

but not to live for two months.

0:30:240:30:27

This apartment has a rental price well within Roger and Margaret's

0:30:270:30:31

budget, at just over £500.

0:30:310:30:34

It's in a spectacular location and fits most of their requirements.

0:30:340:30:39

But, I am afraid, for Margaret,

0:30:390:30:41

the layout is a great big cross in the cons column.

0:30:410:30:45

Roger and Margaret are determined to make their winter getaway an annual

0:30:510:30:54

occurrence. This year the retirees are funding their season in the sun

0:30:540:30:59

from their savings.

0:30:590:31:00

Now, that means keeping a tight control on expenditure.

0:31:020:31:05

We're quite good at budgeting things normally,

0:31:070:31:10

even for the bills. Like the television, we don't leave on stand-by. Little things. I turn

0:31:100:31:14

lights off, I follow Roger around the house, turning lights off.

0:31:140:31:17

I tell him, "It's not Blackpool," and I go around the house.

0:31:170:31:20

So we look at it as, when we're living away, we'll have the same outgoings each week, for

0:31:200:31:24

food and things like that, as we would at home.

0:31:240:31:27

Roger does a lot of the cooking,

0:31:270:31:28

so it's going to be easier to do a lot of cooking in Spain rather than

0:31:280:31:31

eating out every night. Two weeks' holiday, you eat out.

0:31:310:31:34

If we're living there for a few months, we will be eating in a lot.

0:31:340:31:37

Roger is a very keen cook.

0:31:410:31:43

He loves Mediterranean cuisine and is looking forward to doing as the

0:31:430:31:47

locals do - shopping at the fruit and veg market for food that, even

0:31:470:31:51

in the winter months, is fresh from the farm.

0:31:510:31:55

Fresh.

0:31:550:31:57

A typical Spanish diet is high in healthy natural oils,

0:31:590:32:02

fresh fruit and vegetables and, of course, fish.

0:32:020:32:05

Eating like a local will contribute to the healthier lifestyle that

0:32:050:32:08

Roger would really love.

0:32:080:32:10

Mm. Beautiful garlicky taste. Beautiful.

0:32:140:32:17

HE SPEAKS IN SPANISH

0:32:170:32:20

Gracias, senor. This is his farm.

0:32:200:32:23

He grows all his own produce here, all on his own farm.

0:32:230:32:25

Something, you don't get a lot of in England.

0:32:250:32:28

This is what it's all about over here.

0:32:280:32:31

And remember, eating like a local is healthier for the bank balance as

0:32:310:32:35

well. Buying fresh fruit and veg from the markets will save them an

0:32:350:32:39

average of 50% in comparison to the supermarket prices in Liverpool.

0:32:390:32:45

The one thing that is surprising on these stalls is the price of the

0:32:450:32:48

vegetables and the fruit. Fresh produce, not shipped over in

0:32:480:32:51

containers to the UK, and it's half the price,

0:32:510:32:54

a third of the price in some cases. It really is good value.

0:32:540:32:58

-Very, very good, my friend.

-Fresh today?

-Fresh today.

-Yes.

0:32:590:33:03

-Local, local. From Malaga.

-That is beautiful. Sweet...

0:33:030:33:07

Juicy and sweet. Beautiful.

0:33:090:33:11

Anything else, my man? OK?

0:33:110:33:14

Living out here in the wintertime,

0:33:140:33:16

Margaret and I will be able to eat a lot fresher food.

0:33:160:33:18

Normally in the wintertime you're eating stews and stuck indoors with

0:33:180:33:22

the bad weather.

0:33:220:33:25

Good food from the market, good living.

0:33:250:33:28

That's what we're looking for.

0:33:280:33:30

To find the la vida bella, as the Spanish would say,

0:33:350:33:38

Toni is taking Roger back to the beachfront location

0:33:380:33:42

of La Cala de Mijas.

0:33:420:33:44

Having stayed in La Cala on holiday,

0:33:460:33:49

it's familiar to Roger and Margaret and offers them everything they're

0:33:490:33:52

after in a location.

0:33:520:33:54

What do you like about this area?

0:33:560:33:58

We like the town because it seems like a villagey type of atmosphere.

0:33:580:34:02

-Yeah.

-But there is lots and lots of things you can do here.

0:34:020:34:06

I mean, we're driving past a bar

0:34:060:34:08

-here that does a quiz on a Tuesday night.

-Oh!

-And then there's other

0:34:080:34:10

bars that do quizzes, like, on a Thursday night,

0:34:100:34:13

-which is something we like to do, you know, occasionally.

-You're great quizzers, are you?

-Yeah, we are.

0:34:130:34:17

-Oh, I see. I didn't realise you were quizzers.

-Yeah, we like a quiz.

0:34:170:34:21

There's only one question Toni wants to be answered -

0:34:210:34:25

"Is this the property for you?"

0:34:250:34:27

It's located in a small residential enclave, popular with locals and

0:34:300:34:34

foreigners because of its charming,

0:34:340:34:36

traditional-style properties and it's only a short stroll

0:34:360:34:39

from the town centre.

0:34:390:34:42

-This is lovely.

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

-Do you like it?

0:34:420:34:45

Yeah, it's that sort of Spanishy feel. Yeah, I like this.

0:34:450:34:49

-I like this.

-Shall we move on in?

-Yeah, yeah, go on.

-Come on, then.

0:34:490:34:53

The apartment is entered through a private terrace.

0:34:530:34:57

It's south-facing, so it'll soak up the sun from dawn until dusk.

0:34:570:35:01

-So, first impressions?

-I like this, I like this terrace.

0:35:010:35:04

-It's beautiful, isn't it?

-Yeah.

-Barbecue.

-Yeah, love it.

0:35:040:35:08

I like a barbecue.

0:35:080:35:09

Here we are, into the kitchen.

0:35:120:35:15

Nice range of cupboards. It's small, but, you know...

0:35:150:35:18

-Compact.

-It's compact. You've got a hob, sink, microwave... No oven.

0:35:180:35:23

Ah. OK.

0:35:230:35:25

No oven. Is that going to be a deal-breaker for you?

0:35:250:35:28

-Not a deal-breaker, but it's certainly a minus.

-Do you think

0:35:280:35:31

-you'll be planning to...

-I'd have to use the barbecue, yeah.

0:35:310:35:33

Yeah. Do you think you'll be able to work your way around it?

0:35:330:35:37

-I think I can.

-Right.

-It's not a deal-breaker, it's just a minus.

0:35:370:35:41

This apartment has the largest living area of the four properties

0:35:410:35:44

Toni has shown Roger.

0:35:440:35:46

With windows in two walls, it's flooded with natural light.

0:35:460:35:50

-Just look at that.

-That's the view, isn't it?

0:35:520:35:55

-That's why I brought you to this house.

-Yeah, that's the view, isn't it?

0:35:550:35:59

Here we have the back terrace.

0:35:590:36:02

Oh, yeah. Oh, I like this.

0:36:020:36:06

The apartment has an abundance of outside space -

0:36:060:36:09

a private terrace at the front,

0:36:090:36:11

a balcony at the back

0:36:110:36:14

and each property in the block has access to the communal garden area

0:36:140:36:17

and pool.

0:36:170:36:19

The master bedroom is a really good size

0:36:190:36:21

with built-in wardrobes and a dressing table.

0:36:210:36:24

So there's plenty of storage space.

0:36:240:36:26

There are also fitted wardrobes in the second bedroom,

0:36:290:36:32

which is as light and bright as the rest of the property.

0:36:320:36:36

There's always a snag, though, isn't there?

0:36:360:36:38

There's only a single shower room and Margaret does enjoy a bath.

0:36:380:36:42

Here you go. Oh, lovely.

0:36:450:36:48

Does the open-plan aspect bother you?

0:36:480:36:51

Well, actually, it's not quite as open-plan as you initially look at,

0:36:510:36:56

because you have got the separation there. It's an archway doorway.

0:36:560:37:00

But, yeah, on the whole, I find it fantastic.

0:37:000:37:03

This property is £600 a month...

0:37:030:37:07

-That's all in?

-..including all of your bills.

0:37:070:37:09

That's what we're looking at now.

0:37:090:37:11

Yeah, we've got a real strong contender here.

0:37:110:37:14

I think we have. I'd like to get Margaret's views on this,

0:37:140:37:16

that's for sure.

0:37:160:37:18

Roger is getting really good vibes from this property.

0:37:180:37:21

The question is, will Margaret feel the same?

0:37:210:37:23

I'll show you the front of the property first.

0:37:250:37:27

-Right.

-We've got a barbecue.

0:37:270:37:30

-Oh, outside barbie.

-Outside barbie.

-So far, so good.

0:37:300:37:34

Let's get inside.

0:37:340:37:36

-Here's the kitchen.

-Yeah.

-There's your microwave.

0:37:360:37:40

There's your hob. And there's your sink.

0:37:400:37:43

-No oven?

-No oven. I think you spotted it straightaway.

-Yeah.

0:37:430:37:48

-There's the lounge.

-Yeah.

0:37:480:37:50

But if you look out the window here, from where the dining table is...

0:37:500:37:53

-Oh, sea view! Oooh!

-Sea view.

-Yay!

0:37:530:37:59

I'll walk you now into the bathroom.

0:37:590:38:01

-Unfortunately...

-No bath.

0:38:010:38:03

You guessed it, there's no bath.

0:38:030:38:05

This is the only bathroom in the place. Is it a breaker for you?

0:38:050:38:08

No, it's not a deal-breaker if I like the location and the rest of the apartment.

0:38:080:38:11

This property, for Roger and Margaret,

0:38:110:38:13

a couple of little downsides -

0:38:130:38:15

there's no oven in the kitchen and the bathroom doesn't have a bath.

0:38:150:38:20

If they can overlook those two small things, then this will be the property for them.

0:38:200:38:24

-I'm so sure.

-Pool! Oh!

0:38:240:38:27

Swimming pool, used for residents only.

0:38:270:38:29

-There's the sea view again.

-Sea view from the balcony.

-From the balcony.

-Yeah.

0:38:290:38:34

-OK, so, what do you think? It's the ideal location.

-Well, there are compromises to be made...

0:38:340:38:38

-Of course.

-..but I think, in all the properties...

-There are compromises.

-Compromises.

0:38:380:38:42

I think the compromises here are the kitchen and the bathroom.

0:38:420:38:47

You're happy with the bathroom?

0:38:470:38:48

And I'd be happy with the kitchen, I can work on that.

0:38:480:38:52

-Hello.

-Hello. How are you?

0:38:520:38:54

Good, you? How did it go with Margaret?

0:38:540:38:56

-Positive.

-Really?

-Yeah, she really liked it.

-And?

0:38:560:39:00

-Um, there's a few issues.

-Yeah.

0:39:000:39:03

It's not perfect, but we can talk through those.

0:39:030:39:05

-But, on the whole, it was a good view.

-Was it?

-Yes.

-Good.

0:39:050:39:08

-So is this a contender?

-It certainly is.

-Oooh!

0:39:080:39:12

At £600 a month,

0:39:140:39:16

this apartment is smack-bang in the middle of Roger and Margaret's

0:39:160:39:19

accommodation budget.

0:39:190:39:22

They are willing to compromise on their interior wish list because the

0:39:220:39:26

location and outside space are exactly right.

0:39:260:39:28

Toni has opened Roger and Margaret's eyes to what is truly important to

0:39:390:39:43

them when renting in Mijas for the winter months.

0:39:430:39:46

-Hello, how are you?

-I'm fine. Cold.

-We were wishing you were here, though.

0:39:480:39:52

-We have been.

-Yeah.

-Not as much as I'm wishing it.

-Oh, I bet, I bet.

-LAUGHTER

0:39:520:39:58

Have you decided which one is your favourite? Do you have a favourite?

0:39:580:40:01

-I have one that's favourite for the interior and one that's favourite for location.

-And, Roger, do you

0:40:010:40:07

-have a favourite at all?

-For me, then, it would be between two properties, I think.

-Yeah.

0:40:070:40:11

I think, really, what's going to have to happen now is that you guys are going to have to sit

0:40:110:40:16

down together and discuss what is really the most important to you.

0:40:160:40:19

So you've got some, you've got some big decisions to make.

0:40:190:40:22

-Just have to wait until he gets home.

-I'll see you very soon, dear.

0:40:220:40:25

Bye-bye. You take care.

0:40:250:40:29

Roger is hoping that he and Margaret will soon be saying farewell

0:40:290:40:33

to cold Liverpool...

0:40:330:40:35

..and hola to sunny Spain.

0:40:360:40:38

Retirees Roger and Margaret dreamed of escaping the harsh Merseyside

0:40:410:40:45

winters for those sunnier climes.

0:40:450:40:47

We've decided we might as well spend our winters in the sun rather than

0:40:480:40:51

-in the cold, damp weather in England.

-Yeah.

0:40:510:40:54

Roger jetted to the Costa Del Sol,

0:40:540:40:57

where property expert Toni had four rental apartments for the couple to

0:40:570:41:01

-view.

-How is Margaret coping at home on her own?

0:41:010:41:04

-I sent her a picture from the balcony.

-You didn't. That's cruel!

0:41:040:41:07

-LAUGHTER

-That is so cruel.

0:41:070:41:10

Property number one had just the type of view the couple were after.

0:41:100:41:14

-That's a view, isn't it? It's beautiful.

-It's a view indeed, isn't it?

-It's beautiful.

0:41:140:41:19

But Margaret was unsure about its hillside location.

0:41:190:41:23

Oh, no. Don't like hills.

0:41:230:41:25

In property number two, Roger, who is a keen cook,

0:41:250:41:28

loved the spacious kitchen.

0:41:280:41:30

Oh, yeah, this is what I'm talking about. This is fantastic.

0:41:300:41:33

-You like this, do you?

-Yeah.

0:41:330:41:35

And Margaret was also impressed.

0:41:350:41:37

I think it's very nice. I think it looks very bright.

0:41:370:41:41

The third apartment was in the stunning village of Mijas Pueblo,

0:41:410:41:45

but the inside didn't fit the bill.

0:41:450:41:48

-What do you think of that?

-Well, I think it's a bit small, actually.

0:41:480:41:52

Toni's final roll of the rental dice had the views the couple wanted...

0:41:520:41:56

-Oh, sea view! Oooh!

-Sea view.

-Yay!

0:41:560:42:00

..and was in La Cala de Mijas -

0:42:000:42:02

the town they knew well from a summer holiday.

0:42:020:42:06

So the big question is, which property, if any,

0:42:060:42:09

have Margaret and Roger picked as their winter getaway,

0:42:090:42:13

or are they still stuck in Liverpool?

0:42:130:42:16

-Hello.

-Hola.

0:42:190:42:21

We've managed to get away from the winter and it's great.

0:42:210:42:23

We've got two months and we're looking forward to it.

0:42:230:42:25

We're going to pack lots into those two months.

0:42:250:42:28

Roger and Margaret took the plunge and made it to Mijas.

0:42:280:42:31

They kept searching for their perfect rental property and have

0:42:310:42:35

secured a two-month lease on a two-bedroom apartment, just outside

0:42:350:42:38

La Cala, for £740 a month.

0:42:380:42:43

I managed to find this apartment online.

0:42:430:42:45

I liked it mainly because it's on the ground floor, two-bedroom,

0:42:450:42:49

two bathroom apartment. Kitchen- diner and then quite a large

0:42:490:42:53

wraparound patio outside. And there's a window from the living

0:42:530:42:57

room and each bedroom out onto the patio.

0:42:570:43:00

We're here for two months and we've got a lot of things planned already.

0:43:000:43:03

Things we want to see around the coast and further inland

0:43:030:43:06

in Spain. Plus, we've got four different sets of people coming out

0:43:060:43:09

to see us and we'll take day trips with them as well.

0:43:090:43:12

It's all good, looking forward to it.

0:43:120:43:14

-Bye now.

-Bye.

-Cheers.

0:43:140:43:18

Roger and Margaret want to leave the winter in Liverpool behind and rent a piece of paradise in southern Spain. Local property agent Toni is on hand to help them find what they're looking for abroad, but will they take the plunge and make the move south for winter? Gloria Hunniford narrates.


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