Lincolnshire Escape to the Country


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Lincolnshire

The race is on for Jules Hudson as he helps two retired police officers, with a budget of £500,000, who want to swap their caravan for a rural residence before the winter sets in.


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Transcript


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Welcome to today's show. The extraordinary building behind me

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is one of the most important examples of late Elizabethan architecture

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anywhere in the country.

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It was home to one of the most influential advisers in the court of Elizabeth I.

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Who was he? And where are we?

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In today's show I'll be helping a couple who want to up sticks

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from their caravan and find a permanent home in the country,

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although a sledgehammer might be required.

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We could take that wall out if that is the kitchen.

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-You're thinking of knocking down another wall?

-Possibly.

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Our mystery house challenges them to get a new perspective.

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Today we're in Lincolnshire and this is Burghley House.

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It was built by Sir William Cecil, Lord Treasurer to Elizabeth I,

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later Lord Burghley.

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The extraordinary thing is that although it was completed in 1587,

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it's been a family home ever since

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and it really is one of the great architectural gems in the county's crown.

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Spanning over 2,000 square miles, Lincolnshire sits on the edge

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of England's east coast facing out towards the North Sea.

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It's from this sea that water flows inland to its main estuary known as The Wash,

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where the low-lying fenlands are notoriously flat.

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The region's plentiful rich soil is one of the county's chief assets.

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In fact, farming contributes £1 billion to the local economy

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with Lincolnshire ranking as the largest producer of potatoes,

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wheat and cereal in the UK.

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As one of the major food bowls of England, the county retains

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its rural and rather undeveloped feel,

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making it a prime location for those in search of a peaceful retreat.

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Retired police officers Trevor and Vicky really do need our help.

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They sold their character property in Grimsby last year

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and to tide them over while they find their perfect country home

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they've been living in their one-bedroom caravan in Newark, Nottinghamshire

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accompanied by their two dogs.

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But they're desperate to find a more permanent roof to live under.

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Now is the right time for us to move and has been for a while

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due to our change of circumstances as we are now retired,

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we have got different lifestyle requirements to we had previously.

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They have nailed down their search area to locations

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between Lincoln, Grantham and Newark.

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But there's divided opinion on quite how rural they want to be.

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We both agree we'd like to be on the edge of a village

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where there's some community activity going on

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but I tend to look at places that are more isolated than Trevor would.

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I tend to look at places that are probably bigger than he would look for

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and would probably need some work doing on them.

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Although Vicky's renovation ambitions are greater than Trevor's,

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they are both agreed on the overall wish list for their new home.

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What we're looking for in our new house is a minimum of three bedrooms,

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a decent-sized lounge, decent-sized kitchen

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and somewhere where we can eat. Outside...

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I think outside we want a good-sized garden, up to an acre.

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Ideally I would like a storage facility for the caravan and a double garage.

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The special features I'm looking for, a wood burner would be nice

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and beams and some character in the property.

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With money in the bank from the sale of their home,

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Trevor and Vicky have a healthy budget for their move.

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If the house is absolutely what we are looking for,

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then we have got a total budget of £500,000.

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On a glorious summer's day such as this,

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the prospect of living in a caravan might not strike you as being so bad.

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But fast forward into the depths of a long, dark British winter

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and you may well change your tune.

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Certainly, Trevor and Vicky want to be out of their caravan by then

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and, frankly, who can blame them?

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But I think a few things are conspiring on our side.

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They've got £500,000 which up here, is going to go quite a long way.

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They're cash buyers so let's see if we can't find them

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their new dream home before the winter comes.

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Trevor and Vicky are keen to focus their house search

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within a triangle of towns

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which include Lincoln, Newark and Grantham.

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We've found three prime properties to show them

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but I won't be revealing the price of each until they've guessed first.

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Our final choice is our mystery house

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which, as always, will throw an unexpected curve ball

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into the housing mix.

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'Now then, Trevor, Vicky, the road is open in front of you.'

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-Yes.

-You are hot to trot, as it were, and quite literally

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because you are no longer living at home as it were, but you've got your caravan.

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-Yes.

-The caravan is the home at the moment.

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I don't think we've ever had anybody who's been living in a caravan

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who's so keen to find a property so quickly.

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We don't mind the caravan in the summer

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but we would like to find a house before the bad weather starts.

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-Your budget is half a million.

-Yes.

-OK.

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-That's absolutely your maximum?

-Yes.

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But you are effectively cash buyers now.

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This is it, the money's in the bank and we're raring to go.

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We've got some great properties for you to look at.

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-Let's see if we can spend some money.

-Fantastic.

-Follow me.

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With their budget of £500,000, Trevor and Vicky are looking for a detached character property

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that offers them a spacious living room, preferably with a feature fireplace,

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a good-sized kitchen/diner, three bedrooms

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and Vicky would like an acre of land.

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On top of that, they'd like it all wrapped up

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in an edge-of-village location so they have a local community on their doorstep.

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'In terms of getting the value for money get the sense, Vicky,'

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you are up for a bit more of a project than Trevor is.

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Yes. My passion is renovating properties.

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But Trev's lived through some of my renovation projects before

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and refuses to do it again.

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We're getting our house search underway in the historic hamlet of Temple Bruer,

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named because of the 12th century stone tower that's thought to have been built by the Knights Templar.

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The closest hub for amenities is four miles away in the village

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of Leadenham, where there's plenty of scope to socialise with the community.

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Back in Temple Bruer,

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and set in open countryside is our first property

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'which I hope will get Vicky's vote in terms of its size,

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'character appeal and land.'

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OK, here we are.

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-Wow.

-Property number one.

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-Mm.

-That was a quick wow!

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Nice to get off and a good footing, I think. Trevor, are we wowing you?

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-Yes. It looks good.

-It is interesting, isn't it?

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Can you see, it is in two sort of halves.

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A couple of farm worker's cottages that were knocked into one

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and the whole thing much extended in about 2006.

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Let's have a look inside.

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'I've high hopes for this stone property which, since recent renovations,

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'provides extremely generous living areas inside.'

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Right, let's see what you think. Come on in.

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Could this be the one, I wonder?

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-It could be.

-Come on in.

-Wow.

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-How about that?

-There's a kitchen!

-Yes.

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-Very nice indeed.

-Isn't it? A nice utility room through there, stable door as well.

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-Great for the dogs.

-Was going to say, it's our kind of style this.

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A farmhouse type look.

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And room for a sofa which is good as well.

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That's where the dogs sleep.

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'The space offered here is echoed across the hallway

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'in the separate dining room, with its lovely feature fireplace.

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'The size of the main living room is a real showstopper.'

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We've got effectively three rooms down here on the ground floor

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but they are all really generous.

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Wood burner, a multi-fuel burner, actually, I should say.

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That's going to keep you nice and cosy.

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Because it's been recently done it is going to be well insulated,

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it's going to be an easy place to run.

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What's more, their dogs will have fun running in and out

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of the French doors which lead onto a large decked patio area.

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With the useful cloakroom back near the entrance

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that's the ground floor covered so we'll head upstairs,

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which gives them four bedrooms in total.

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OK, as I say, we've got four to choose from and we'll start with this one.

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-It could be quite a nice master bedroom...

-Yes.

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..or a very nice guest room, entirely up to you.

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'The other two bedrooms consist of an equally large double

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with an en suite that the current owners are in the throes of completing

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although the family bathroom has been nicely fitted out

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with a separate shower cubicle.

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The third bedroom is currently decked out with bunk beds

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but we'll take a look at the biggest option for them.

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There we go - it's a huge room.

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It's a size of a generous downstairs reception room.

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But it is the master for the obvious reasons.

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It's a massive room.

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I'm not sure I like it this big, actually.

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'The master bedroom also has an en suite which is due to be completed soon

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'but, dare I say it, Vicky seems daunted

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'by the sheer size of the room, which is understandable,

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'having lived in the confines of a caravan for several months.'

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Come outside, come and have a look at this.

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'Although this property gives them acres of house,

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'Trevor will have to forego his request for a garage.

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'Nevertheless, they would have just under 2.4 acres of land

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'made up of a formal lawned area at the front

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'and a huge adjoining paddock.'

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-In terms of vegetables and stuff...

-It's an allotment.

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THEY LAUGH

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A huge allotment.

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There's plenty of room for what we want to do.

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We'd probably have to get some sheep.

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Let's have a think about the price.

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You've looked at many properties in this area -

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what do you think this is on the market for?

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It's quite a difficult one.

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Top end of the budget.

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-I think, probably, 485.

-485.

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-I would say about 450.

-450?

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Yes. If only it were.

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But it is under budget, that's the good news.

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You were closest, Trevor. This is on the market for £495,000.

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-Right at the top.

-Right at the top but then it's all done.

-Yes.

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-I think it's a good one to start with.

-Very much so.

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-Go and have a look around.

-OK.

-Go and have a further explore of it.

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I'll catch up with you later. Off you go.

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'Under budget at £495,000, our detached stone house

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'answers most of the demands of their brief,

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'giving them a huge character property that includes

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'two large reception rooms, an enormous farmhouse kitchen,

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'four bedrooms, two with an en suite,

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'and although the 2.4 acre plot doesn't give Trevor his garage

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'Vicky gets more than twice the amount of land than she asked for.'

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I really like the house. I think it's got good character.

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The kitchen is a superb space and the living room is a nice big living room.

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I like the log burner and the bedrooms are a good size.

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Trevor would think there's too much land but I think that's a bonus.

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I don't know that we need a house this big

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or with a garden this big,

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or quite this isolated.

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I think I would prefer to be on the edge of a village

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and have more community contact.

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We continue our house hunt on the southern fringes of their search area

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in the village of Pickworth, which has around 200 residents

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living in its scattering of pretty stone properties.

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Just down the road, Folkingham's historic centre

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dates back to the 18th century, when it was a renowned stopping point

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on the Lincoln to London stagecoach route.

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Our second house is located, as they requested,

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on the edge of the village and hails from the same Georgian era.

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'It's quite difficult from here to see the whole property.'

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There's a corner of it

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but effectively what we've got you is a gorgeous farmhouse

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that's been quite improved over the years and it's gone through quite a recent transformation as well.

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The other obvious thing to point out here is the double garage.

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I noticed that coming down.

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-Right, let's go inside and see what you make of this one.

-OK. Thanks.

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First impressions of our farmhouse are favourable

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'and I'm sure they'll find the rustic character

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'of the interior promising.'

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Right, nice kind of vestibule, hallway there.

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Let's start in here.

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-Yeah?

-Yeah.

-Yes.

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Look at the smile!

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Yeah, I think this is more...

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..you.

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Yes, I think so. You could take that wall out if that is the kitchen.

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You could just go for it, yes. You could just open the whole thing up

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which would get rid of that archway and give you a massive kitchen/diner.

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-Happy?

-Yes.

-Come on, follow me.

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Let's see what you would do in terms of redeveloping it.

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Yes, you are right. Taking that wall out of make a great difference.

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It's a small kitchen and that's a shame. I think you could incorporate them together really well.

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We've got a very generous utility room through there,

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stable door out and so forth, so again in terms of the dogs...

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-That's essential for us.

-Right, follow me through here.

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'Let's see if the proportions of the living room measure up.'

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Now, come into here.

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A bit like our first property,

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they've gone for the open plan living space by taking out a wall.

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Through here we've got what was a bedroom some years ago.

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It's now is quite a nice little sitting-room area

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-and there's a downstairs shower room through there as well.

-Good.

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'We seem to be on the right lines with the scale

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'of the ground floor living areas so let's head up the spiral staircase

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'with the brick barrelled wall an eye-catching feature.

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'There are three bedrooms, one which is a good-sized double,

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'the other a single with a family bathroom next door.

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'But we'll explore the main bedroom at the front of the house.'

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Now, this is not the biggest room

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but it is the master for, I think, some quite nice reasons.

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It's got this lovely curved wall which is the back of the staircase.

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I think the bedroom is big enough.

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Yes, this would be more than ample for our needs.

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It does lead on into this, kind of, walk in wardrobe

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kind of, sitting room type arrangement.

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I'll have to think about this one, I think.

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Very unusual.

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-Are you thinking about knocking down another wall?

-Possibly.

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'This room flows on to an awe-inspiring study area

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'whose vaulted ceiling and exposed beams

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'really enhance that sense of space.

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'But now it's time to make our exit via the second staircase

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'and head outside, which should please Vicky

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'as she gets around two acres of land, including a paddock

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'with a neighbouring apple tree orchard.

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'The front of the house looks out over very attractive lawns,

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'which is where we're heading.'

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This is this lovely formal garden. Look at it, lovely.

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There's the property.

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Let's have a think about the price because that's going to have an effect on things.

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So, Trevor.

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I would think probably 445.

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I think top end of the budget. 495.

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You are closest. It is actually on the market for 525.

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-Wow.

-But, and this is an important but,

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having spoken to the owner, they would take five.

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They wouldn't take any less than five but they would take five.

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Go and have another look around, think about how many walls you're going to knock down.

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-Definitely.

-Get his muscles going.

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'On the market at £525,000,

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'but open to offers which would bring it within their budget,

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'our farmhouses is worth serious consideration

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'as it provides them with two reception rooms,

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'a kitchen/diner that Vicky could open out,

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'three bedrooms upstairs and that grand study.

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'Outside gives Trevor his double garage plus Vicky gets two acres of land.'

0:17:100:17:15

I think when we first came down the drive to this property,

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it had a real wow factor to it

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because of the grounds, the horses and the way it sits on the plot is fantastic.

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I think that with the work we would look to do in the kitchen

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we could take it a really nice living kitchen.

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I found the upstairs particularly confusing with the room layout

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as to what rooms were actually intended to be.

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I was a bit surprised with the house when we got to look round it.

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It seems a lot bigger on the outside than I actually found it to be on the inside.

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As evening falls over the Lincolnshire skyline,

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the first day of our house search draws to a close.

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So far, Vicky and Trevor have been respectfully polite

0:18:160:18:19

about our first two properties, but I wouldn't say the response has been electric.

0:18:190:18:24

Yes, they've been interested butt I want to see them come to life,

0:18:240:18:28

really set alight by the prospect of moving into a property.

0:18:280:18:31

I think we need a bit of a secret weapon.

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Something like a mystery house.

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Our mystery house takes us to the village of Fulbeck

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which, along with its 13th-century church,

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also has the draw of a local pub and arts and crafts centre.

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At the end of a small country lane, this property swaps Trevor's request

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for a garage with a building that could have money earning potential.

0:18:550:18:59

'What we have got you'

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is something nice and old.

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We think it's Georgian and it also comes with this annexe

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which could be quite a useful form of income for you

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if you decided to go down the route of any kind of long-term holiday let

0:19:120:19:17

-to top up your retirement funds, should you wish to.

-It's a thought.

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Come on then, let's have a look inside.

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'We will return to that idea for the annexe later

0:19:250:19:28

'but now it's time to explore this former threshing barn

0:19:280:19:31

'which was converted about 25 years ago.'

0:19:310:19:33

OK, Vicky, come in, Trevor.

0:19:370:19:41

-That's a nice kitchen.

-Yeah?

0:19:410:19:43

-Mm. Nice shape.

-Isn't it? Very cosy.

-Yes.

0:19:430:19:48

It has got a lovely farmhouse, cottagey feel which is what we want.

0:19:480:19:51

It has got a nice feel about it, it's difficult to explain it.

0:19:510:19:54

-You're getting closer, Jules, you're getting closer.

-OK.

0:19:540:19:57

Let's see if we can edge forward to a successful result.

0:19:570:20:00

Come and follow me through here.

0:20:000:20:02

'Tucked away off the kitchen is a handy utility room

0:20:020:20:06

'and the reclaimed panelling in the main living room

0:20:060:20:09

'builds on the character feel.'

0:20:090:20:11

-Yes or no?

-Yes.

-Yes.

0:20:110:20:15

-It's different.

-I love the window, that's the first thing that strikes you when you walk in here.

0:20:150:20:20

-The view is superb, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:20:200:20:22

-I

-like the brickwork as well at the back of the fireplace.

0:20:220:20:25

Yes, lovely texture to it. Yeah.

0:20:250:20:28

-Hurrah. Shall we continue?

-Yes, please.

0:20:280:20:30

Follow me through here.

0:20:300:20:32

'At the other end of the sitting room is a superb entertaining space.'

0:20:340:20:38

Now then, in terms of dining rooms.

0:20:380:20:41

-That is fabulous.

-Isn't it?

0:20:420:20:45

Yes, suddenly the ceilings are a lot higher.

0:20:450:20:48

-Oh, it's gorgeous.

-Super room.

0:20:480:20:50

-It's also got something of a music room through here.

-More rooms?

0:20:500:20:54

Have a look at this. In you come, guys.

0:20:540:20:56

-Wow, more rooms!

-More rooms.

0:20:560:20:59

-It does go on a bit.

-It keeps going on.

-Happy?

0:20:590:21:02

Good, let's have a look upstairs. Follow me.

0:21:020:21:05

'Back on the other side of the dining room, there's a generous study

0:21:060:21:11

'flowing through to an additional office area.

0:21:110:21:13

'Beyond that there's an annexe made up of the kitchenette,

0:21:150:21:18

'a shower room and a nice-sized double bedroom.

0:21:180:21:21

'So, subject to the right residential planning consent,

0:21:210:21:24

'the holiday let could become a reality.'

0:21:240:21:27

'With our tour of downstairs complete, we'll venture upstairs

0:21:270:21:31

'to see what they make of the four bedrooms. First stop, the master.'

0:21:310:21:36

This, I think, would be for you two.

0:21:360:21:38

-Yes?

-Yes.

-Yes, this would be ideal.

0:21:400:21:42

This would suit us and our furniture.

0:21:420:21:45

-Nice oak furniture in here.

-Yeah.

-Very nice.

-Yeah.

0:21:450:21:48

'The master en suite leads through to a self-contained dressing area.

0:21:500:21:54

'Further down the main landing, the second bedroom is a pleasant double

0:21:540:21:57

'with an exposed wooden floor.

0:21:570:21:59

'At the far end are two well-decorated singles,

0:21:590:22:03

'both with ladder access to some thoughtfully converted loft space.'

0:22:030:22:07

'But time to head outside and survey the garden,

0:22:080:22:10

'complete with a terrace, which is beautifully framed by the house

0:22:100:22:13

'and offers more than initially meets the eye.'

0:22:130:22:16

There we go.

0:22:160:22:18

I love this little courtyard that that extension has created.

0:22:180:22:21

This lovely garden. Loads of herbs and herb beds and so forth. This...

0:22:220:22:26

-Very beautiful.

-It's lovely.

0:22:280:22:30

It is so tranquil, the setting. Really nice.

0:22:300:22:34

All in all, in terms of space there's about two acres.

0:22:350:22:40

Really?

0:22:420:22:43

-There's more than just this bit. The rest of it is over there.

-OK.

0:22:430:22:47

-We are spoiling you, aren't we?

-Yes. Definitely.

0:22:470:22:51

'The garden seems to be coming up roses

0:22:520:22:54

'but I think the land that's set away from the main house might clinch it.'

0:22:540:22:58

This is your little bit extra.

0:22:580:23:00

-Which bit?

-Both bits.

0:23:010:23:04

All in, two acres.

0:23:040:23:07

-I think you're taken with the mystery house.

-Very much so.

0:23:070:23:11

OK, let's see if you're going to be taken with its price.

0:23:110:23:15

-I think it's going to be, I don't know, 540.

-540?

0:23:150:23:20

I can't see it being any less than 525.

0:23:210:23:24

-But you're hoping.

-But I'm hoping.

0:23:240:23:27

You're hoping that it's 525.

0:23:270:23:30

-It's currently on the market for £585,000.

-Wow.

0:23:310:23:37

But it could be yours for £525,000.

0:23:380:23:44

-Right.

-Right.

0:23:440:23:47

Also, don't forget, you've got the possibility

0:23:470:23:49

of supplementing the extra cost with the holiday let.

0:23:490:23:54

-See if you can make it work.

-OK, we'll do that. Thanks, Jules.

0:23:540:23:58

'Granted, our mystery house is over budget at £585,000

0:23:580:24:04

'but we couldn't resist showing it to them

0:24:040:24:06

'because they are cash buyers and can move quickly.

0:24:060:24:10

'What's more, the owners are interested in accepting

0:24:100:24:12

'an offer much closer to Trevor and Vicky's upper limit.

0:24:120:24:16

'It provides them with three gorgeous reception rooms

0:24:160:24:19

'full of character features, a kitchen/diner which got the thumbs up,

0:24:190:24:22

'four bedrooms with a master en suite.

0:24:220:24:25

'The icing on the cake for Vicky was the two acres of land

0:24:250:24:30

'which has fabulous views of open countryside

0:24:300:24:33

'and there's potential in converting the self-contained annexe into a money-earning holiday let.'

0:24:330:24:39

I really like the house as you approach it.

0:24:390:24:41

There's a real wow factor when you first see it.

0:24:410:24:45

Then, to me, just got better when we got inside.

0:24:450:24:48

I loved the kitchen, the size of it, the presentation of it.

0:24:480:24:51

Likewise with the dining room and the lounge.

0:24:510:24:55

Then again upstairs, the bedrooms delivered as we would want.

0:24:550:25:00

The garden and the grounds outside are absolutely superb.

0:25:000:25:02

I really like this house, it's somewhere you want to

0:25:020:25:05

take your shoes off and stay.

0:25:050:25:07

The only issue for me is that it is fairly well over our budget.

0:25:070:25:12

But there is the annexe.

0:25:120:25:14

We could make some of that money back.

0:25:140:25:16

Just by making a few alterations in the annexe could bring in some good revenue.

0:25:160:25:20

Definitely one to think about it. Really excited.

0:25:200:25:23

Now, as buyers go, Trevor and Vicky are in a fantastic position

0:25:280:25:33

because they can move straight away.

0:25:330:25:35

Whilst they're not rushing the process, they are keen to get a move on.

0:25:350:25:39

Have we managed to relieve them of half a million pounds of their hard-earned money

0:25:390:25:43

and find them their dream home of the future?

0:25:430:25:46

As ever, there's only way to find out. That's to go and ask them.

0:25:460:25:50

So, guys, here we are at the end of our little tour around Lincolnshire,

0:25:550:25:59

an area you know very well.

0:25:590:26:01

Let's remind ourselves of what we have showed you.

0:26:010:26:04

Our first property, much extended in lovely Ancaster stone.

0:26:040:26:08

The extension was really well done.

0:26:080:26:10

I like the way the arched windows were repeated along the property.

0:26:100:26:14

That was really good.

0:26:140:26:15

Nice accommodation downstairs.

0:26:150:26:18

-It started to go wrong for me on the first floor.

-Did it? Why?

0:26:180:26:23

That master bedroom, was like a tennis court. It's huge.

0:26:230:26:26

That was part of the problem, the size of it

0:26:260:26:28

and what you could do with it to make it feel cosy.

0:26:280:26:33

Interesting.

0:26:330:26:34

Our second property, I had great hopes for.

0:26:340:26:37

I think I might have been misguided somewhat. What happened?

0:26:370:26:41

I thought the approach to the house, down the long driveway

0:26:410:26:44

with the horses to the left of it and the formal gardens to the right, was superb.

0:26:440:26:49

But the house didn't warm me.

0:26:490:26:50

I have to say it with was with some trepidation

0:26:500:26:53

that I took you to our final property, the mystery house.

0:26:530:26:57

Lovely converted barn with a very viable annexe attached to it.

0:26:570:27:02

I thought you really both lit up in that one.

0:27:020:27:05

That was the one that most excited me.

0:27:050:27:09

I liked the approach.

0:27:100:27:12

I liked the first impact of the property when you saw it.

0:27:120:27:15

It was nicely presented and it had that comfy, cosy family feel to it.

0:27:150:27:21

In fairness it was over budget.

0:27:210:27:23

But, do you think it would work if you could turn that whole

0:27:260:27:30

annexe wing into a viable and profitable holiday let?

0:27:300:27:34

It's probably time to work out the finances for that one.

0:27:340:27:37

That leads me onto my next question, where do we go from here?

0:27:370:27:40

-I suspect there's going to be a lot of number crunching going on.

-Yes.

0:27:400:27:44

I think that's the next thing. Out with the calculator.

0:27:440:27:46

House number three, the mystery house, was definitely the one I fell for.

0:27:460:27:50

Brilliant, guys. It's been a real pleasure. We wish you the best of luck.

0:27:500:27:53

-I enjoyed it, thanks.

-Really enjoyed it.

0:27:530:27:55

Well, that's it. Today's show is over.

0:27:590:28:02

The last I saw of Trevor and Vicky, they were heading to the bar

0:28:020:28:05

armed with a notepad and a calculator.

0:28:050:28:08

They've got an awful lot of thinking and planning still to do

0:28:080:28:11

but they've got to get a move on because the summer is running out.

0:28:110:28:14

I'm pretty sure they don't want to spend this winter in their caravan, lovely as it is.

0:28:140:28:19

I'll see you next time.

0:28:190:28:21

If you would like to escape to the country in Scotland, Wales,

0:28:210:28:24

Northern Ireland or England

0:28:240:28:26

and would like our help, them please apply online at -

0:28:260:28:34

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:420:28:44

Series in which prospective buyers are helped to find their dream home in the country. The race is on for Jules Hudson as he helps two retired police officers with a budget of 500,000 pounds, who want to swap their caravan for a rural residence before the winter sets in.