A PLACE in the Sun presenter Laura Hamilton was left open-mouther as a couple pulled off a gamble to buy a villa in Cyprus.
The TV host was in Paphos with Diane and Gary, who were searching for a holiday home in the sunshine that they could enjoy all year round.
Diane and Gary were keen to find a wheelchair-friendly apartment so that Diane’s son Harry could visit – and preferably one with a pool.
The couple set their budget as under £130,000, but they were keen to let Laura know that they had a possible £10,000 worth of “wiggle room”.
After finding the perfect property, Laura was left stumped when the couple named the low price they were willing to pay for it, not using the extra cash.
The apartment, which was the first on their list, was in Lower Paphos, close to the beach, shops and restaurants in the lively town.
The ground floor space had access to a communal pool as well as a small courtyard space for siting out in the sunshine.
Renovated to have an open plan living and dining area, the home also had two large bedrooms and a family bathroom.
However – the property was on offer for £148,181, just over budget, with Laura explaining the owner was likely to accept £134,000 to £136,000.
The developer also suggested that at this price, they could convert the front steps into a ramp to allow access to the pool for son Harry.
“We didn’t expect it to be as modern and nice,” Diane told Laura as the couple were left speechless entering the apartment.
They described the property as “lovely”, but moved on regardless to see property number two, in the popular Kato Paphos district near the harbour.
The apartment had a terrace and courtyard garden, as well as a communal pool area, and was on the market for a minimal £117,727.
The couple were disappointed and felt it was too “compact” and noted that it was “quite narrow” for Harry to use his wheelchair.
Looking at the third apartment, in the same area, the building was right next to a communal pool, had a large terrace and was on the market for £131,818.
The bright and airy space, including a kitchen, living and dining area and bedrooms opening up onto the terrace seemed to thrill them.
“I like the layout, it works really well,” Diane said of the space – but Gary didn’t like the kitchen cupboards.
As for the fourth property, in Penyia which offered sea and mountain views, the couple felt it needed “modernising”, and on the market at £101,818 – it left money over to do so.
The couple were keen to see the final apartment, a two-bed bungalow in Kate Paphos – featuring a huge terrace and communal pool.
Inside was a living and dining room, kitchen, two large bedrooms and a shower room – but it was on the market for £144,545.
“The agent is willing to accept £140,000,” Laura told Diane and Gary and when they sat down at the end of the property search.
But Laura was left open mouthed when the couple said they wanted to put in an offer – but they felt it was too low for the owner to accept.
The guests revealed they wanted to pay £125,000 – a giant £15,000 less than the asking price.
“Why not try your luck?” Laura said to the pair of the huge gamble and she rang the agent to enquire for more details.
The offer was not accepted, and a counter offer of £127,000 was revealed – but Diane was keen to drive a hard bargain and offered £126,000.
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“Really?” Laura looked shocked at the hit back. “I’m surprised, I thought you would bite their arm off at that offer.”
However, much to her and the couple’s suprise, the seller accepted an offer of 126,000 for the property.
A Place in the Sun airs weekdays at 4pm on Channel 4.