“I think this move has added 20 years onto my life.”
Donna and best friend Savannah met as holiday reps and are looking to move to Spain to start a new chapter together. Choosing Almeria – ‘due to price’ – they headed out for the first time for the show with Sara Damergi in November 2022. Property five was a two-bedroom apartments with the beach right outside and they got it for £67,241. It was emotional.
Today (20 November) is exactly a year to the day that they made their offer. “The producer on the programme came to the estate agent with us and was great in helping us put down the deposit,” says Donna, 54, a fitness teacher from Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, who purchased the apartment jointly with Savannah.
“It completed on 20th March. We’d booked flights over in April so we spent a week there and I went back in May with my mum and my daughter, and then Savannah and I went in June and then again August with a friend – it really has been used!”
The flat came furnished, which was ideal, so they didn’t have to go on a shopping spree. What’s more the development’s community fees are only €44 a month, which is not too hefty.
However their first year of ownership has not quite been without any mishaps. They sensed the boiler might be on its last legs and then it burst. Says Donna: ‘We came back from a night out at 2am and found a flooded kitchen. We were scooping water out of the window with bowls. Then we had no water for two days so we showered on the beach. But I found a great local engineer to sort it out, and when the fridge broke down a bit after that, I gave him a call and again he helped replace it for me.”
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But those minor issues aside, she says it’s been great. “We love Roquetas del Mar, which we can reach by bus from Almeria airport, for €5. It’s got a long, sandy fabulous beach and loads of shops – Mango, Bershka, Primark – but also the traditional side.
“I had never been to the area before, but as I was searching online for properties over the years, dreaming of buying somewhere, I could see the prices increasing and focused on Costa Almeria. But this is what I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.
“I am selling up the marital home [in Herts] and saving up so I have the financial resources to get a visa and move over. It might take four years – but at 58 then I’ll be ready! Savannah is looking to do the same. It’s definitely been the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s been such a lift that I think it’s added 20 years onto my life.”