Samantha and Lorenzo Marini are living with Lorenzo's mother while they search for a home of their own in Florence, Italy. They want an apartment in the city so they can be surrounded by its beauty and culture. They also want an older home with some original detail--and in Florence older means centuries old! We follow the Marinis as they tour the winding streets of this ancient city on their scooter, and see three amazing homes. Each one provides a rare look at the Florentine way of life!
For the past four years Matthew Reynolds has been living in a two-bedroom flat in Stratford, a working-class neighborhood on the east side of London. Although his flat is just a 10-minute Tube ride to work, he is eager to escape the concrete jungle of Stratford for greener pastures. He's focused his search on Balham a suburban area close to his girlfriend, Sarah, and his drinking mates. The streets are lined with hip cafes and trendy bars, but it also has the open space, trees and grass this two-time marathoner likes. The only problem is, after searching for three months, he still hasn't found a place. Meanwhile he's living with Sarah.
Estate agents Barry Lynch and Georgina Potter are on the case, but since estate agents in London only represent sellers, buyers have to go from one agent to another. Once they've seen all the listings an agent has, they move onto another. So Sarah has agreed to help Matthew with his home hunt. Can they find a Balham bachelor pad for Reynolds before he overstays his welcome?
While she grew up in Portland, Ore., and he's Swiss, Sandra Menashe and her husband, Marc Pavillard, have a love of all things French. So they have decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and pack up and move to Paris. Instead of renting for a while to see how they like it, they are ready to buy. Plenty of challenges await them, though. Because agents only represent sellers, it's hard for buyers to get the lay of the land in Paris. In addition, qualifying for a bank loan is a quirky and very personal process in which buyers must prove they are healthy and will live long enough to pay off their balances. Parisian apartments have their own set of idiosyncrasies, too--the kitchens and bathrooms are very small, and closet space is nearly always limited.
Although they've been married for more than a year, Lisa Lorenzetti and Danny Pilon are still acting like newlyweds. It's easy to be romantic when you live in Montreal, Quebec, often referred to as the most romantic city in North America. It's also the most European, with the second-largest French-speaking population in the world. With a baby boy on the way, they in a hurry to find their first home before he arrives. They don't want to stray far from their multi-ethnic neighborhood called Notre Dame de Grace--just west of downtown--but once they see a home with all the amenities in the suburb of West Island, they begin to reconsider.
Julia Fossi and Shaun Blake are always up for an adventure. Four years ago, they embarked on a huge one when they moved their three children from London to Barcelona, Spain. Nestled on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona has become Spain's most avant-garde, cosmopolitan city, while preserving its centuries-old Gothic roots. After enjoying all the city has to offer for the last four years, this couple is ready to give up their rental, buy a house and plant some roots. The energetic family is determined to find an apartment in the center of the city, "where everything's happening when you step out the door." Fossi will have to navigate the competitive Barcelona real estate market on her own because Blake, a master mariner, has been sent off to sea.
When Andrew Strode-Gibbons sold his successful mortgage banking business, he was able to purchase an enormous country estate on the southern coast of England, where he spends time with his four teenage children and girlfriend, Lavinia. But Andrew recently took a new job in an up-and-coming sports-media business and began commuting two hours each way to London and back. Sick of the drive and sleeping in hotels some weeknights, he is ready to look for a London flat to stay in during the week. He is an experienced homebuyer and wants a mixture of modern conveniences and traditional features, all of the highest quality. Can his friend and agent, Gareth Jones, help him find a flat with the amenities he has come to expect?
Born and raised in the south of France, Yann Lafon was used to the quiet country life. So when he landed a job as a flight attendant in Paris, he made the small town of Gournay-Sur-Marne, eight miles away, his home base. But with all of his friends in Paris and very little to do in Gournay, he has decided to make a move to the big city. Once his search gets under way, he is surprised by the diverse options available--from a centuries-old apartment on an island in the Seine, to the latest trend in housing--an upscale hotel suite! Which one will he choose?
After graduating from college in Belgium, Jose Aguirre returned to his home country of Spain. Once there, he bypassed his childhood town of Bilbao and headed straight for Madrid. He fell in love with Malasana, a hip neighborhood near the heart of the club scene, where he had been staying with a friend temporarily. Now he has decided to look for a one-bedroom flat of his own. His parents have agreed to help with this finances, and realtor Alvaro Cervera will help with the search.
Carla DiFilippo shares a house with three other women in North Toronto. It's an older home, with its quirks like squeaky floors and a leaky roof, but the biggest issues for DiFilippo are the lack of space and privacy. Now that this spunky physical education teacher has her first real job out of college, she'd like to start her professional life in a place of her own. She is thinking a condo would be best, since she's not big on yardwork or housekeeping. She wants to stay in the same area, which is close to her friends and her job. Her dad, Adam, and realtor Alex Moloney have agreed to help her with the search.
When cookbook writer Mimi Bean went to Costa Rica in search of a vacation property, she found a piece of property, but the vacation never materialized. When her realtor learned that she used to run a restaurant, and took her to see a pub/restaurant that was for sale in Escazu, a suburb of the Costa Rican capital of San Jose. She saw the profit potential and bought it on the spot, though she barely knew a word of Spanish. Now, a year later, she's found another business venture and is selling the restaurant and moving to the coastal village of Tamarindo, which has recently become a popular surfing destination. Realtor Karen Ebanks will help Bean with her search.
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