IF the change of seasons has already had you reaching for the thermostat, a North Devon couple is offering the perfect antidote to the winter blues. Lisa Bengey and Darren Baglow left Barnstaple to set up home in Spain in 2001, but after eight sun-drenche
IF the change of seasons has already had you reaching for the thermostat, a North Devon couple is offering the perfect antidote to the winter blues.
Lisa Bengey and Darren Baglow left Barnstaple to set up home in Spain in 2001, but after eight sun-drenched years living and working in Andalucia, the lure of missed family and friends led to their reluctant return to the UK last December.
Ten months later, the couple have decided to try and swap their Spanish villa for a home in North Devon.
Nestled in an olive orchard and surrounded by stunning mountain vistas, the property is up for sale but has failed to find a buyer due to a current slump in the Spanish property market.
"We still have a small mortgage on the villa and found that paying that and renting back in North Devon was becoming too expensive," said Lisa, 35.
"We thought if no one wants to buy it, perhaps they'd like to exchange it."
The couple is offering the villa for a minimum six-month exchange but are flexible and would consider longer swaps or even a permanent swap.
"All we are looking for is a two-or-three bedroomed house with a bit of outside space for our two dogs," said Darren, 40. "It can be anywhere in North Devon - town or rural - we don't really mind."
The house in Spain features two large double bedrooms, a lounge/diner, bathroom, kitchen, and office and study area. Outside, two courtyard patios, and a six-man hot tub are flanked by almond tree-lined hills.
The property also includes an attached studio-style guest apartment complete with bathroom, kitchenette and its own roof terrace. It also comes with Wi-Fi and landline connections as well as satellite television.
"It's a 40-minute drive from Malaga airport, 30 minutes from the coast and about an hour-and-a-quarter from the nearest ski resort," added Darren, who runs his own oven-cleaning business in North Devon.
"The nearest bar and restaurant is just a short walk away and the closest town of Riogordo is a 10-minute drive and has plenty of bars, restaurants and local amenities."
While the idea of property exchange is not new, swaps for longer periods of time are not so common.
"Hopefully the idea of swapping might appeal to someone who fancies living in Spain for a while, or even to someone looking to spend some time over there while looking for their own property to buy," added Lisa
Anyone interested can telephone Lisa on 07967 582860.
North Devon Gazette Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.