After relocating from the bustling city of Milan, 32-year-old Maria Caruso has made Cardiff her home after meeting her boyfriend, Meurig Golding, 24, in her new job.
After renting together for six months in Cardiff Bay, the couple have just bought their first home in the same development after falling in love with the area while renting.
For Maria, the lively Bay area gives her a taste of home, and it’s close to work for both of them.
Here is the couple’s home buying story.
Admiral: What were your living arrangements before you bought together?
Maria: I moved to the UK from Milan; I bought a flat in London first before selling up and moving to Cardiff when I started working for Admiral in October 2014.
Meurig: I was living with my parents and then Maria and I rented for six months before buying.
Admiral: What attracted you to this property?
Meurig: We liked the area and we couldn’t find flats as nice as ours at the same price. It’s very open, very spacious and has two balconies.
Admiral: Any horror stories from house viewings?
Maria: The one estate agent we had was dressed like someone from American Hustle! He had a big American car and was trying to sell us a flat that was in a terrible condition as some sort of penthouse!
Meurig: And one flat we saw had a lovely cat living there; we wished the cat would’ve come with the flat!
Admiral: How long did it take for the sale to go through?
Meurig: Two months; we put the offer in at the end of April and we just moved in. We still have boxes everywhere!
Admiral: What’s your favourite thing about the apartment?
Maria: Just how spacious and light it is. The en-suite is big and so is the kitchen – our old kitchen was tiny!
Admiral: Any tips for people buying a home?
Meurig: Sort out the internet early! We still haven’t got any internet so we can’t buy any furniture as it’s quite difficult trying to look at things on your phone. Also, try and move everything in one day and number your boxes – we have a chest of drawers with the drawers missing at the moment; I know they’re there somewhere...
Maria: The reason I’m so happy with this purchase is because when I opened the door it felt like home; if you don’t get that feeling when you walk in then don’t buy it. You’ll spend so much money; you’ll want to have that feeling.
We also asked Maria and Meurig a few quick fire questions.
Admiral: What did you do on your first night in your new home?
Maria: We had boxes everywhere so we decided not to touch anything except the bedroom; we got that ready and looking nice so at least one room was done.
Admiral: Who would be your ideal neighbours?
Meurig & Maria: The set of the Rovers Return from Coronation Street and everyone in it!
Admiral: How many properties did you view?
Meurig: Four, all in the same development.
Admiral: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Meurig & Maria: Somewhere hot, near the beach – Australia!