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Bill's Story

A holiday home for Bill, his family and his friends!

 

Twenty years of holidaying in Italy is what persuaded Bill and Karen Barber from Kilmarnock in Ayrshire to buy in Calabria, Italy through Let’s Live Abroad! The couple had holidayed in Tuscany, but as Bill points out: “The sky-high prices there ruled out us owning a home”.

In Tuscany, an apartment could set you back £300,000 or as much as £450,000 for a villa. Bill organised his Inspection Tour to Calabria in the south of Italy with Let’s Live Abroad! in September and took his eldest son, Christopher. “Karen couldn’t make it on the Inspection Tour but she’s dying to see the area. We’re planning a holiday in Calabria soon, so she will see it then”. Bill and Christopher set off with Ryanair to Lamezia from Stansted. Four days later they found a plot for an apartment right by the sea on a development called Vilaggio Bergamotto.

Artist's impression of Vilaggio Bergamotto

It was going to be a low-level, three-storey block and their apartment would be on the second floor. The apartment had two spacious bedrooms, each with their own balconies and a large open-plan living area with two spacious terraces on either side.

Work begins on the new Calabrian homes

Residents would have the use of a large 200m swimming pool and a landscaped area. Not only that, the development was only 10 minutes walk from the beach! “What amazed us was the value for money! This was €91,500 (approximately £65,000). We would never have got anything as good for this kind of money in Scotland”.

The castle on the mountain

Bill, 49, sells food to fast food restaurants and Karen, 40, is a housewife. The couple have two grown-up children, Christopher, 24 and Alistair, 21 as well as Kelly, 15 and 10-year-old Calum. Talking about the location, Bill says: “We love the location. Not just because it is so close to the beach, but because it is such a stunning coastline. The water is so clear. It’s just like the Caribbean. We’re looking on it mainly as a holiday home for us, our friends and family with a view to retiring out there in the future”.

Only 10 minutes walk from a beach

The Barber’s new home is due for completion in September 2009. The couple have paid a 50 per cent deposit from their savings and plan to mortgage the rest. “We’ve really got something to look forward to,” says Bill who couldn’t wait to spread the news to his pal Graziano Valdrighi and his wife, Wilma who also live in Ayrshire. They, along with another of Bill’s pals, bought an apartment in the same block. Bill added: “I knew Graziano through work. I supply to his business. He’s originally from the north of Italy and was interested in buying in the south. We’ll definitely plan some breaks together with our families”.