I knew it had the potential to look fantastic
LANCASHIRE born couple Vincent and Marian O’Connor decided to put down roots in Meltham when they fell in love with its idyllic countryside.
More than 20 years later they are looking to make a move again, but this time they have set their sights on somewhere further afield than another county.
The couple, both 59, have bought a villa on the stunning island of Kefalonia, in Greece. Craving a change of lifestyle, they have decided to take early retirement and move abroad – but to realise their Greek dream they first need to sell their Meltham home.
Set in the grounds of the Durker Roods Hotel, the couple’s home is in a picture perfect location. It also boasts some magnificent views. “The views are very lovely,” said Vincent. “You look out through the windows and see the Moors, and you can see the hotel which is quite impressive and steeped in history.
“It really is a superb location, and I love the surrounding countryside for walks – we also see a lot of wildlife. Our garden is also lovely to look at as it is very well-stocked, but private at the same time.”
The couple’s four-bedroom detached property was brand new when they bought it in the 80s, but in recent years they have invested a lot of time and money into bringing it up to date for modern living.
“We’ve had it for more than 20 years, but it’s only been in the last three years that we have done a lot of work to it and brought it up to date,” said Vincent.
“We’ve completely redecorated, added solid oak flooring, put in a new kitchen and bathroom, and had a new conservatory built.
“We’ve used neutral, light colours, and gone for a very modern and minimalistic look.
“One of my favourite spaces is the conservatory, because it lets in lots of natural light and my wife and I like to sit and read in there.”
The couple, who work for Batleys Cash and Carry, decided to make the move to Kefalonia while holidaying on the island last year.
Vincent said: “It’s a beautiful place and it offers a completely different way of life, but we’ve only decided to make the move there in the last 12 months.
“We visited this bar where an old man worked, and he also owned the house next door. He died 18 months ago, and the house was put up for sale by his son.
“I fell in love with the house and wanted to buy it, but I had to persuade my wife to sell up our home in Meltham.”
The couple’s Greek home is in need of modernisation, and they have already set to work renovating it to their taste. Only a five minute walk from the sea, the property has breathtaking views.
“I want a better life for me and my wife, and I believe that Kefalonia offers that,” added Vincent. “The quality of life over there is better – the cost of living is not as high, people eat better and they get less aches and pains.”
They will share their home with their son Andrew and his girlfriend Carol Fozzard. Andrew has just embarked on a new career building properties on the island, while his girlfriend hopes to start her own business there – possibly in the bar next door to the O’Connors’ new house, which they hope to buy and convert into a shop for her.
The couple are looking forward to their new life in Kefalonia, but Vincent said they will greatly miss the Yorkshire way of life.
“It’s a gorgeous island with some beautiful scenery, although West Yorkshire can take some beating!
“I’m a Lancashire lad, and I couldn’t think of a better place to live than Bolton, but then I came to West Yorkshire and I thought this is 20 times better. My wife and I are now confirmed lovers of the countryside and believe that there are not much better areas to raise a young family.
“We’ve loved living here and it will be a big tug on our heartstrings to leave the house and the people we have built friendships with.
“It’s been a lovely house and I hope that someone will have the same amount of happiness and luck in it that we have had for all these years.”
The couple’s home at Bishops Way in Meltham costs £262,000. To arrange a viewing contact Lancasters Property Services on 01484 532476.