Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Walking on Sunshine!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Walking on Sunshine!

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sarah Ivison Evening Gazette

Christmas and New year in Florida are very strange for the Baker family.

"There is no snow," says Dave, 52, who grew up in Grove Hill, Middlesbrough, "and the sun shines virtually every day."

Dave, his wife Jody and children John, 21, and Philippa, 15, left the UK in October 2002 after selling their Teesside home and its contents and leaving their old lives behind.

Dave and Jody, who was born in Kansas to English parents who had moved to the States for six years, had been thinking of moving house and downsizing so they could buy a second home in Florida where they had relatives.

"In May 2002 we spoke to a guy who was setting up a sales/property management company to market investment property in Florida," he says.

"Eventually the conversation got around to his idea to have a British representative in Florida.

"I then mentioned that Jody had the good luck to have been born in the USA and had dual nationality.

"The rest is history. One Friday in June, 2002, we were offered the job and we received an offer on the house that very same weekend."

The family lived in rented accommodation before buying a house in December the same year.

"It has five bedrooms, four bathrooms a garden and a swimming pool," says Dave.

"It's located in a very quiet cul-de-sac and we have settled in quickly.

"Our worldly goods arrived in 53 packing crates on Christmas Eve 2002."

Now Dave and Jody work for a realtors - American estate agents - company called Dolby Properties and are licensed to sell property in Florida.

"It is our job to increase the Brit population," said Dave.

John and Philippa are also enjoying their new lives.

Philippa is still at High School and goes to school each day on the famous yellow school buses but her real love is paintballing.

Now quite a big sport in the US, she has been playing competitively for about 18 months and this month is competing in a national paintball tournament in Chicago. …

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