By Lindsey Turnbull
American couple Leigh Ann and Matt McCulty are to appear on an episode of HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt next week (18th February at 11pm and then repeated on 19th February at 2am) searching for their perfect vacation home on Grand Cayman.
The couple, who are from Morgantown, West Virginia but currently live in Laughlintown Pennsylvania, say they were thrilled to finally be able to purchase a condo on Grand Cayman.
Matt, an audiologist, visits Cayman frequently, working with Dr Ecke at his Hearing and Balance department of ENT in Cayman. When he’s at home in the States he works at his own business, Advanced Hearing Center, of which he has three locations in Pennsylvania. His wife, Leigh Ann helps with advertising for the business and the couple also own and operate Diamond Theatre of Ligonier, for which Leigh Ann is heavily involved in every aspect of the productions that they put on, as are their children, Lanigan, 15, Arison, 12, and Mariana, 7.
The couple said they had wanted to live on Grand Cayman for over 20 years.
“My wife would've been happy living under a tree on the beach but I thought a condo might be better!” Matt confirmed. “Now that I am working on island, it was feasible and was a smarter move to have a place to call home when traveling back and forth.”
He said that they had been to several Caribbean destinations but fell in love with Grand Cayman and the people.
“You cannot find nicer, more welcoming people than the ones on Grand Cayman,” he stated.
The couple said when visiting Cayman, they most often stayed at the Comfort Suites, which they particularly love, especially the food. The time eventually came, however, when they wanted to put down more solid roots in Cayman, so they found a real estate agent and set to work.
“We were lucky enough to find an amazing realtor, Caroline Thorburn, who works for Sotheby's and has helped us look for quite a while,” Leigh Ann advised. “She showed us properties a year ago, but the time wasn't right for us. Luckily, she was patient, very patient. She wrote to me one day and asked if we wanted to be in TV! I laughed and then realised she was serious. From there we had to be interviewed over the phone by a production company and when we passed that interview, we had to do a video chat with us and the kids. Surprisingly, they liked us!”
The couple said they liked all the properties that they viewed, but their number one priority was the beach.
“I personally didn’t care how big the place would be or how fancy, as long as it was beachfront, that's all that mattered,” Leigh Ann said. “Then there's budget.... money always makes the final decision!”
The couple ended up buying a condo because they said they had wanted to forever. It also made sense having a base for Matt when he comes to work in Cayman and makes a great place for a vacation home for the family. The condo will be rented out when the family aren’t there, they advised.
Leigh Ann said they very much enjoyed appearing on the show.
“It was phenomenal!” she said. “So much fun! The production crew was amazing! They were fast, efficient, and incredibly nice. The kids enjoyed the experience as well. I think they liked swimming with the cameras on their mask the most, I'm scared to see what they filmed underwater! It was loads of fun working with our realtor, Caroline as well! She would attempt an American accent and I would butcher an English accent! There were many laughs on set!”