This busy family of 6 loves their Tucson, Arizona lifestyle, but they yearn for a relaxing Fiji island getaway. Top of their list is a place with plenty of room for themselves and their guests, a large eat-in kitchen, ocean views and a big pool with plenty of outdoor living space. They'd like to stay under their $500,000 budget. The first place their agent Will takes them to see is a 1700 square foot house that's listed for $275,000. It only has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and no pool, but it's on almost an acre of land so there is room to expand. The home has breath-taking ocean views, but the kitchen is older and the fridge is tiny. The next house they look at is priced higher, at $325,000, but it's also larger, with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in 2500 square feet. The best feature of the house is the enormous great room that opens out onto the large deck. Jon loves the pool and outdoor living space but because it's on only ? an acre, Michelle is worried that they wouldn't be able to expand the house in the future. The last house they look at is listed for $450,000 and is made up of 3000 square feet divided among 4 villas. The main villa has a large open kitchen/living/dining space, with a long patio that has a water view. The other three villas are identical, and come with two queen-sized beds, a giant spa tub, and an open shower each. The large pool area comes with a swim-up bar, a separate kiddie pool, a massage table, over-sized patio furniture and a grill. Jon is concerned about the upkeep such a large property would need. After weighing the pros and cons of all 3 properties, Jon and Michelle have reached their decision.
Scott Medina is relocating from Miami to the Dominican Republic to kick-start his real estate business into high gear and to return to his Caribbean roots. He's looking to set up shop and find a condo in the high-end beach district of Punta Cana, known for its white sand beaches and luxury hotels. Scott's main priority is location- he'd love to be able to walk to the beach. He's also looking for a two-bedroom place so he can have a separate office and more storage, and he'd like a pool on the premises. He's hoping his real estate expertise will help him find all of these amenities in a 200 thousand dollar budget. Real estate agent and friend Frances Pimentel is going to help Scott on his search for the right place. The first condo that Frances shows Scott is a one-bedroom, one and a half bath condo right on a golf course. It's listed for 195 thousand dollars and is 1100 square feet. Scott is impressed with the high end details and the luxurious pool area, but he's concerned about the lack of office space and that it's a bit further from the beach than he would like. Next up is a two-bedroom, two-bath condo selling for 180 thousand dollars that's only five minutes from the beach. It's a bit larger than the first at 1200 square feet, and Scott loves the second bedroom and the rooftop terrace, but the fixtures are older and it might need some updating. The third place Scott sees is a two-bedroom, two-bath 1100 square foot condo priced at 150 thousand dollars. He loves the fact that it's brand new, but he's not thrilled with the ongoing construction close by. He's also impressed with the huge private deck, but the unit is a little bit further from the beach and it's a little bit smaller than the other two-bedroom condo. After seeing three terrific options, Scott needs to make his decision. Which condo will become his new Caribbean home?
Evan, who is from the Midwest, and Maria-Isabel who is from Nicaragua, own a restaurant together in historic Granada, Nicaragua. They are ready to buy a home but don't exactly agree on where. Evan wants to be as close to their restaurant in the city center as he can get, while Maria-Isabel is seeking a quieter, possibly more distant refuge. They both agree on size: 2 bedrooms plus an office, and on style: they like historic homes, and appreciate architectural authenticity. They also like to entertain and would like a hip space to do so. Real Estate Agent Sean Dennis shows them an historic home in the heart of town. Evan and Maria-Isabel love the home's authentic details and view of the cathedral, but Maria-Isabel is concerned about noise. Next Sean shows them a Colonial Reproduction a few minutes outside the center of town. Evan and Maria-Isabel are charmed by the fine finishes, courtyard pool, and rooftop deck, but they are disappointed in the home's lack of authenticity -- since it is a reproduction -- and worry about its ability to retain its value. Also, Maria-Isabel is still hoping for something more tranquil. Finally, Sean shows them a private island home on the lake. He explains that the lake is home to 365 ''isletas'' or private islands, and that this one could be their very own. The island home has a 2 bedroom home, and a 2 bedroom guest house, and beautiful natural landscaping. Evan and Maria-Isabel are wowed by the property, but concerned about the price, and the difficult commute (by boat). They weigh the pros and cons of each property, and ultimately choose the first house they saw - the authentic colonial in the heart of town. Their restaurant is just 2 blocks away, they love the proximity to friends and to all that the city has to offer, and Maria-Isabel finds that when the centuries old doors are shut, she cannot hear the noisy street outside. They love their new haven in the city.
Cousins Rydell and Craig (30's) have decided to purchase a vacation condo together and fiancee Candace and wife Jamie are thrilled about the idea. They're focusing their search on Ambergris Caye in Belize so they'll be able to escape Calgary's cold winters. Since it's a vacation condo, location and amenities are high on their list. They want to be close to the water, have the place already nicely furnished and have enough room to relax. Ideally they're looking for a two bedroom place and don't want to spend more than 300,000 US dollars. Real estate agent Steve Reid joins them on their search and first shows them a two bedroom, two bath condo in Bermuda Beach. It's listed for 275 thousand dollars and it's 1000 square feet. It's brand new, has an ocean view, and even a spa tub in the master bedroom, but it has a pretty small kitchen, balcony and eating area. The outside pool and BBQ area are great, but there's also some ongoing construction. The guys check in with the girls via computer at the end of their day and the girls aren't thrilled with the size of the place. The next place that Steve takes them to see is a two bedroom, two bath condo at Brightwaters Beach Resort listed for 279 thousand dollars. It's a bit larger at 1100 square feet and there are great ocean views, but the decor is outdated and it's far from town. This time the girls aren't so sure about such a remote place. So the next day the guys are back on the hunt. Steve takes them to Las Terrazas to see a condo listed for 279 thousand dollars that's a bit under 1000 square feet. The guys are impressed with the grounds and the spa-like atmosphere, but they aren't thrilled when Steve tells them that the condo only has one bedroom. But it's beautifully decorated, updated and steps from the beach. When Craig and Rydell call the girls via computer that evening, they just aren't so sure about the one bedroom. So which place will become these Canadians' piece of paradise?
Salinas, California high school math teacher, Michelle Moser, wants to buy a vacation home in the birthplace of grandmother: the southern region of Calabria, Italy. She's looking for a place with enough space for her and guests, ocean views, a terrace and a kitchen suitable for cooking up wonderful Italian pasta dishes. She hopes to find a place in a small town or village where she can walk to shops and restaurants. With a budget of about $100,000, she knows it will still be a challenge. The first place her agent, Tony Hackett, shows her is a partially renovated home in Santa Dominica Talao. Listed for $85,000, this place has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and is 1,183 square feet. While there aren't any ocean views, this home has beautiful views of the mountains. The renovated parts of the house are well done, but a kitchen still needs to be installed and two rooms are in need of a complete remodel. The next house they look at is a home in the town of Scalea. Listed at $102,000, this place has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and is 700 square feet. Michelle likes the brick floors, wood beamed ceilings and the ocean and mountain views. She's particularly fond of a former escape tunnel that leads to the beach. On the downside, it needs work. The location and layout of the kitchen and second bathroom are oddly placed, there is some water damage, there are some strangely designed stairs and some of the rooms need a bit of a facelift. The last place they look at is back in Santa Dominica Talao, where they check out a 700 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1 bath home for $79,000. Michelle likes this home's layout and thinks it has the best view of the ocean. But, she feels the decor isn't very interesting and would have to plan on remodeling down the road. She also has concerns about the water damage. After weighing the pros and cons of all 3 properties, Michelle reaches her decision.
Les and Anita (50's) are looking for a vacation home where they can escape Vancouver Island's cold winters and enjoy some tropical sunshine. They've fallen in love with Roatan, a small island off the coast of Honduras, so they've decided to purchase a home so they can spend several months there at a time rather than a week or two. Their daughter Kelsey and her fiance Dan are avid divers, so they're thrilled about the decision. Les and Anita are looking for a move-in ready 3 bedroom home that's large enough for the entire family and they really want a place that's close to the beach, has an ocean view and has room for a garden. Their budget is 300 thousand US dollars and they've enlisted Robert Sirois, a local realtor to assist them in their search. They've also created their own checklist to help rate each property and help them with their decision. The first place they see is a two bedroom, two bathroom 1800 square foot house in the Sunset Villa development listed for 289 thousand dollars. They really like the updated furnishings and the fact that it's only five minutes from the beach, but there is no ocean view. The next day Robert takes them to see a three bedroom, three bath 2100 square foot tri-level house in West End selling for 299 thousand dollars. They like the space and the nice views from each balcony, but the area in front of the house is being developed so there is no guarantee that they will keep their sea views. It also doesn't have a pool. The last place they see is an 1100 square foot 3 bedroom home in Turtle Crossing listed for 295 thousand dollars. It's close to the water, and has great views, but it's a bit small compared to the other properties and it needs some updating. Will Les and Anita's scoring system help them choose between these three tropical homes?
Athos and Mary raised four children in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Now there are five grandchildren in the mix, and beach vacations are what they all enjoy most. Now that Athos and Mary have retired from the restaurant business they're ready to buy a vacation condo so the family can hit the beach together whenever they want. They're focusing their search on the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic because they love the beautiful blue waters, crystal clear skies, and affordable prices. The first condo that real estate agent Rico Pester takes them to has 2 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths in 1720 square feet. It is in a development that is still under construction. Athos loves the breathtaking beachfront views, and Mary loves the in-unit laundry hook-ups. But the condo is priced at $417,000, which is $17,000 over their budget. The other disadvantage is that the development is a significant drive to town. The next place they see is a little closer in. It's a semi-attached villa that is reminiscent of the Greek architecture of Athos's youth. It has a private courtyard with pool and a spectacular rooftop deck. There are 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. Mary loves the extra space, but is disappointed to hear there is no in-unit laundry hook-up. She also finds the kitchen a bit small, but Athos likes the price: $314,000. The third place Rico takes them to is listed for the even more affordable price of $277,000. It has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths in 1500 square feet. It does not have water views, but it is on a golf course, and is just a short ride to the beach by golf cart. Choosing the right place for their family is not going to be easy, but it's definitely worth it to Athos and Mary who are ready to make this dream a reality for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren.
Dan and Andrea Layden (30's) are history buffs who live in Philadelphia with their two small children. Andrea can trace her family history back to 18th century Italy. Now she and Dan want to introduce their children to her old world roots by buying a vacation home in the Abruzzo region of Italy where both Andrea's mother and grandmother are from. They have a budget of 100,000 Euro (equal to $140,000). They want a charming Italian cottage that has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, some outdoor space, and a working kitchen. The first place Dan and Andrea and their kids go to see with their agent, Nicola Di Girolamo, is at the top of a very windy road in the Abruzzo region. The home has 2 beds and 1 bath in 1300 sq. ft., and it's listed for the equivalent of $116,000. The exterior of the home is built with stone from the region, but the owners have drilled parts of the wall which has created huge cracks inside the living room. The kitchen is outdated and has very old appliances but at least the bedrooms are a good size and have a nice view. They like that it comes with 1.24 acres of land, but they aren't crazy about the windy road and how much work the home needs. The second place Nikki takes them all to see is in a more accessible area, close to the lake in the town of Penne. It's a 2 bed, 1 bath, 860 square foot cottage listed for the equivalent of $163,000. They like the charming rounded windows and original fireplace, but the kitchen and bathroom are very outdated. They don't mind the small bedrooms that much, but they would like a better view of the half acre of land the house sits on. The third place Nikki takes them to see is near the town of Citta S'Angelo. It's a one-room 450 square foot cottage with a small kitchen and bathroom, that shares 3 acres of land with an old ruin. They like the idea that they could live in the small finished cottage while building a larger home on the site of the ruin. They also like the views and the amount of land, but Dan is worried it will cost too much as the home is already listed for the equivalent of $135,000. After thinking it over, Dan and Andrea finally make up their minds!
Kevin and Kim Dooley (40's) live with their 4 kids, Taylor, Tucker, Callahan and Annabel in the small town of Avon, Indiana. For the past 10 years the family has been involved with peace initiatives in the ancient city of Fes, Morocco. They're currently teaching Moroccan women how to make a living by using scraps of fabric to make purses. Since the family is visiting Morocco more and more frequently, Kevin and Kim want to buy a 2nd home there. They want a place with a rooftop terrace, a decent kitchen, 3 or 4 bedrooms and western style bathrooms. They have a budget of $250,000, and Kim is hoping to find something move-in ready while Kevin thinks it would be fun to buy a rundown place he can fix-up himself. Kevin is going alone to search for a home, so Kim can stay behind with the kids who are in the middle of the school year. The first place David Kellar, the Dooley's real estate agent, takes Kevin to see is a 2400 sqaure foot, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom Dar (house or palace) listed for $210,000. This restored traditonal-style home is covered in Zellige tile and intricate plaster work. Kevin likes the size and layout of the rooms, but there is no working kitchen or bathrooms and the rooftop deck doesn't have the best views. The second place David takes Kevin to see is a complete fixer listed for $40,000. It has room for 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in about 1700 square feet. Kevin loves the low price and the idea of restoring the entire home and customising it to his family's needs. At the same time, he's worried that it might be too big of a project and it might take too long to complete. David can't make it for the 3rd house tour so he sends along his cultural liasion, Abdullah, instead. Abdullah takes Kevin to see a completely restored, 1800 square foot, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house that's priced at $210,000. Kevin likes the finished kitchen and the view from the rooftop terrace, but the bathroom has unusually low ceilings and there's nothing for him to really fix up. After calling Kim back in the states, Kevin makes a decision. Which house will it be?
They say that opposites attract and for Jim and Loretta Swartz, married for 26 years, that's a fact. She's very low-key, and lets him handle all the family worries. But despite their differences in personality, they agree that the family deserves the vacation home they've been saving ten years to afford. They'd like to buy a place now for vacations, and ultimately retire there. Their house in the planned community of Columbia, Maryland is large and comfortable, but it's far from the soothing sounds of the ocean that Loretta loves so much. They're focusing their search on the small island of Roatan, off the coast of Honduras, because of its peaceful beaches, and unspoiled feel. They'd like three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and while Loretta would like to wake up to the surf in her back yard and sand in her toes, Jim thinks an ocean view property would be a better investment. Their budget is $800,000. The first place Realtor Mike Carter shows them has three bedrooms and two baths in 2,000 square feet. It's a new, oceanfront development with luxury finishes, and the condo is listed at $699,000. They love the oceanfront location, but feel like the condo lacks privacy from the neighbors. The second place they see is a single family home. It has ocean views, luxury finishes, and is listed for $775,000. It is much larger than the first, with four bedrooms, fouir baths, and 3,000 square feet. Jim and Loretta love the privacy and think the home is beautiful, but they're concerned about the long walk from the parking lot, especially since they plan to ultimately retire here. The third home is a 3,315 square foot, oceanfront condo with convenient parking. It has two bedrooms, three baths, and is listed for $769,000. Loretta loves this location the best, but it does not have the three bedrooms they were hoping for. Which one of these homes is the vacation destination they've been saving for and dreaming of for so many years?
Perry and Cheryl Meriot are Edmonton Alberta natives who are sick and tired of the brutal winters there. Perry's job as an Airline baggage handler means he works outside during even the worst weather. After a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, the couple decided to save up and buy a second home there. They want a 2 bedroom condo on a 2nd floor in a gated community that's close to the beach. But they have a very firm budget of $150,000 which means they may not be able to buy as close to the beach as they'd like. The first place their real estate agent Sabine Gruss takes them to see is a model unit in a large complex with a big pool. The complex is about 5 minutes walking from the beach. The unit has 1 bedroom and 1 and a half bathrooms in 1000 square feet. It's listed at $115,000 but upgrading to a second floor unit means the price would be closer to $120,000. They like the large patio and the updated kitchen but none of the furniture or appliances are included, so that would be an extra expense. They also want two bedrooms in case they have guests. The second place Sabine takes them to see is a condo in a smaller complex. It's about 10 minutes walking from the beach. The condo is on the second floor, and has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1100 square feet. It's listed at the top of their price range, at $150,000. They like the small balcony but not the view of the countryside or the small pool in the complex. But Cheryl loves the updated kitchen and bathrooms, and having 2 bedrooms is a big plus. The third place they look at is actually a single family home. It's priced at $148,000 and has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1500 square feet. The house itself is older and would need some work in the kitchen and bathrooms. And because it's larger they would have to buy more funriture to fill it up. But it's part of a community with an amazing pool and bar area that both cheryl and perry love. The only other drawback is that it is about a 10 minute drive from the beach. With three interesting options all within their price range, the Meriots' are going to have a tough time deciding which vacation home to buy!
Ken and Donna Richardson live in Conway South Carolina with their maltese dog, Oscar. Ken recently retired and wants to buy a 2nd home in his favorite fishing spot, Nosara Costa Rica. Even though Donna has never been there, she is feeling adventurous and is willing to join Ken in the search. They want a 3 bed, 3 bath home with an open floorplan, a pool and an ocean view. They also want to buy a place close to the beach. They have a budget of $700,000, and they've given themselves just 3 days to complete their search. Their real estate agent Bram Shook knows it might be difficult for them to find a place that's both close to the beach that also has ocean views, since in Nosara there is a wildlife refuge that separates all the homes from the beach. The first place he takes them to see is a 10 minute drive from the beach and has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths in 3000 square feet. It's listed for $525,000. The home has a nice pool and amazing ocean views, though Donna is worried about her grandson's safety since the patio has very little railing. They like all three bedrooms, but they aren't crazy about how far the home is from the beach. Later that same day Bram takes them to see a 3400 square foot, 4 bed, 3 bath home that's listed for $650,000. This home is a 10 minute walk to the beach, but it has a fantastic pool area with an outdoor bar and kitchen. They aren't crazy about the small guest rooms and the bright tropical paint colors but they do like the master bedroom and the ocean view from the rooftop deck.The next day Bram takes them to see a home that's a 2 minute walk from the beach. Listed for $450,000, the house has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1250 square feet. Ken and Donna like being closer to the beach but they aren't crazy about the inside of the home and the fact that there are no ocean views. They both think the furniture, countertops and appliances would need to be replaced, and the home is much smaller than the other two they saw. With one day left to make their decision, will Ken and Donna decide to buy or fly home empty handed?
Ever since Juan Moreno imigrated from Cuenca, Ecuador to the United States, he's dreamed of eventually owning a home there. He and his wife, Diane, recently retired to Orlando Florida and are now ready to make that dream a reality. They're going to buy a second home in Cuenca. They're bringing their daughter Anna along to help them on this search. With a budget of $120,000, they want to get a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home. They would like a traditional Spanish style home with a view, but still have the modern amenities they have now, such as an open floor plan, built for earthquakes. Their agent, Monica Rodas, takes them to a 4 bed, 1 1/2 bath, house in 2,798 square feet listed for $135,000. It's an older home with a hacienda style layout. While Diane and Juan like the large backyard and how the house reminds Juan of his childhood home, they're concerned that the house is not only above their budget but will need some serious updating. So, Monica takes them to a brand new townhouse listed at $105,000. This place has 4 beds, 3 1/2 baths and is 1,800 square feet. They love all of the modern amenities, such as the open upgraded kitchen, the size of the rooms and the third floor bonus room. But, they wish it had a nice yard like the first house and are concerned about the safety of the staircase to the bonus room. They also wish it had a little more character. Monica then takes them to a house listed for $85,000 in a developing neighborhood. This place has 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths and is 2,000 square feet. They like the easy to maintain yard, kitchen pantry and some of the wood details. But, the bedrooms are a bit small and they can hear the construction noise in the neighborhood. With three interesting options, which home will bring Juan's life full circle?
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