Northern Ireland estate agent and partner find dream home in sun on hit TV show
A Co Down estate agent and his partner will appear in the popular TV series A Place in the Sun, searching for a house in Spain.
Michael Dunn and Seamus Trainor, both 52 and from Strangford, are seen hunting for their dream holiday home in the Channel Four show tomorrow.
With a budget of between £125,000 and £175,000 - depending on how much work was needed - the team brought the men to the village of Competa in southern Spain. Show researchers found five properties, which the couple are shown around by presenter, Jonnie Irwin.
Although they didn't buy any of them, Michael, who runs Michael Dunn Property Consultancy, said the show helped them to find their ideal home, which they are now renovating.
He said: "We found the show very useful as we wouldn't have known about Competa without it and we just loved the village.
"We ended up purchasing at the lower end of our budget and taking on a project - a complete refurbishment and extension.
"The end result will be a house with character and a pool and should be worth in excess of £200,000."
Michael is a fan of the show and applied to take part earlier this year "on a whim" without discussing it with Seamus.
He was surprised to hear back almost immediately and when the team invited the couple to do a screen test, it was time for him to break the news to his partner.
Michael added: "I was watching it late one night when they appealed afterwards for people to take part and I just applied on a whim without thinking.
"Seamus and I had talked about buying an investment property in Belfast and then decided if we bought one in Spain, it would be fun to go out ourselves, as well as rent it out as a holiday let.
"I hadn't told Seamus about applying for the show and after a bit of persuasion, he agreed. We did the screen test by Skype in February and they flew us out to Spain at the beginning of March.
"They have a team of researchers, who worked with us to find out what we wanted and what they showed us was exactly what we told them we were looking for. They were all very different homes and while we didn't buy any of them, it gave us a real insight into the market in that area and we then knew exactly what we wanted.
"I have a background in property, but I don't know the market out there and this was a great way to navigate it."
The couple bought a home in the village which needs a complete refurbishment. The work is due to finish by the end of the year. The traditional three-bedroom Spanish villa will have a plunge pool and a roof terrace when the work is complete.
Catch Michael and Seamus in A Place in the Sun on Channel Four this Friday at 4pm