“We got an amazing property for €109k (and one in Menorca!)”
Erica and Ian from Leeds got together relatively recently but have been friends for 40 years. Following the deaths of their respective partners within a year of each other they are now a couple and have seven children between them. After falling in love with Fuerteventura on holidays, they flew out with Lee in November 2022 to look at apartments for their £170k budget. The episode ended without a sale…
At first Erica and Ian rued the fact that they didn’t put an offer in more quickly on the property five. After the filming ended they had changed their mind and put in an offer, but it turned out the partner of the estate agent had beat them to it.
But now such regrets are gone. “We went back in February and spent a month on the island in Morro del Jable, our favourite area, and realised that there was hardly anything for rent, or sale – it was at the peak of the energy bills crisis and so many people had decided to save money and spend that time on the island,” says Erica, 64, who runs an addiction charity, Getting Clean.
“But two days before we were due to fly back home we got a call. A studio apartment that was a bank repossession had just been released for sale – and there was someone else viewing it at 9am the next morning.
“We went and saw it, it is 300m from the beach, the sea view is amazing and the price was €109k. Ian said we had to get it. Nineteen days later it was ours, and it could have been even quicker if we wanted – all the paperwork was done by the bank and everything, even the crockery, was left there.”
The running cost, including water and electricity, is a modest £100 a month and the couple rent out the property when they are not using it. They intend to spend February to April there every year. “We had a German tenant – it’s quite a German area of the island – who took it for December and January to it worked out really well,” says Erica, who says it rents on Booking.com from €90 per night.
They think it was a great buy. “There’s another on the same complex for sale at €178k.” It all worked out in the end, she adds, revealing something of the back story of how they ended up on the TV programme. “I used to watch the show and during Covid we had a holiday to Fuerteventura in February 2021 cancelled so I thought why not apply to go on the programme? First of all we couldn’t fly out as the insurance was too expensive for Ian – during the pandemic - being over 70. We slightly gave up and ended up buying a two-bedroom apartment in Cala en Porter, Menorca.
“But after Covid we got a call and then we flew out with the show. Menorca is our summer place, Fuerteventura our winter one. It’s been quite emotional but we’ve loved the whole experience and have kept in touch with the TV crew.”