Laughlintown family explores island life on ‘Beachfront Bargain Hunt’ – TribLIVE

Escaping to an island retreat is a fantasy many entertain.

Laughlintown residents Matt and Leigh Ann McCulty recently turned the fantasy into reality, with a little help from HGTVs Beachfront Bargain Hunt.

While working with a Realtor to find a home on Grand Cayman, they were asked to participate in the show.

They filmed in July, buying a condo that they will lease when not staying there. Their episode will air at 11 p.m. Feb. 18 and again at 2 a.m. Feb. 19.

The couple own and operate Ligoniers Diamond Theatre. Matt McCulty, 46, an audiologist, operates Advanced Hearing Centers in Mt. Pleasant, Greensburg and Ligonier.

Originally from Morgantown, W.Va., they had hoped to honeymoon in the Cayman Islands 21 years ago.

We couldnt afford it, Leigh Ann McCulty, 47, says. Years later they began visiting the island, falling in love with its beauty.

Since April, Matt McCulty has flown to the Cayman Islands once a month to spend a week working with an ear, nose and throat doctor.

Rather than continuing to spend money on hotels and restaurants during his stays, the couple began looking for a home.

Filming a fun experience

A British Overseas Territory, the Cayman Islands encompass three islands in the western Caribbean Sea. The largest, Grand Cayman, attracts sun lovers to its beach resorts and is known for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Two of the couples children, Arison, 12, and Mariana, 7, traveled with them in July. Son Lanigan, 15, joined them after football camp.

We did filming for four days, from morning to sunset, Leigh Ann says. We, of course, had to tell them what we were looking for. We definitely wanted something on the beach. The production team was amazing, she says.

I was nervous because everything is very expensive there. The main street, Seven Mile Beach, one-bedroom homes there are over $1 million, Leigh Ann says.

In one clip, the couple admire the view from one oceanfront home.

Beats pine needles and snow. Just think, you would never have to cut grass, she tells her husband.

The couple was shown three properties, all around the $500,000 price range. A bidding war led them to go over that price a bit in acquiring their two-bedroom condominium.

One larger home didnt make the cut. It was spectacular. But it was across the street from the beach. The beach was our priority, Leigh Ann says.

They hope their pride in their home states makes the filming cut.

During filming, we talked about many wonderful aspects of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and what we enjoy doing in both places, Leigh Ann says.

Since buying the condo, they have painted and redecorated. They enjoyed trips to their new home over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they recently made their first booking.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [emailprotected] or via Twitter .

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Laughlintown family explores island life on 'Beachfront Bargain Hunt' - TribLIVE

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