Dorset Escape to the Country


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Dorset

Property series. Nicki Chapman tries to help a couple find a house big enough to accommodate three teenage boys and three rottweilers in rural Dorset.


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What is a seaside holiday without a beach hut, I say.

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Today, I'm in the south coastal county that started

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the great British love affair with these little iconic beauties

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that pepper the British coastline. So where am I? Let's find out.

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Today, we'll be helping this couple swap their urban lifestyle in Poole

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for a more rural existence in the Dorset countryside.

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-We'll be impressing them with period cottages.

-I'm speechless in a way.

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And trying to tempt them with acreage.

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That is your land. There's three acres.

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But will our mystery house prove too good to resist?

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-Wow factor!

-It does.

-Absolutely.

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From traditional day huts to radical reinvention,

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Dorset's south coast is blessed

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with more than its fair share of beach huts

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which is appropriate as Bournemouth is their birthplace.

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Edwardians built them either side of the pier in the early 20th century.

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Once a mere humble shed, they now can command huge prices.

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They are the perfect place for admiring this magnificent coastline.

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But it's not just great views and golden sand

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that gives Dorset the wow factor.

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Sandwiched down on the south-west coast of England

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between the counties of Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire,

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perennially popular Dorset

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currently ranks third in England for overnight stays,

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with an impressive 2.3 million visitors last year.

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The sweeping stretches of protected Jurassic coastline

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were England's first natural World Heritage Site

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and create a draw for tourists

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who marvel at the natural rock formations

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and look for the ancient fossils which put this coastline on the map.

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And if it's countryside you're after, Dorset does not disappoint.

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With no cities or motorways at all and few large towns,

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it's resolutely rural and the landscape is spectacular.

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In fact, 44% of the county is officially designated

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an Area of Outstanding Beauty.

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Small market towns and villages dot the landscape,

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epitomising the English country idyll

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with their neat rows of cottages.

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All this beauty, it comes at a price.

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Dorset is in the top 10 most expensive places to live

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and we're not just talking beach huts.

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The average detached property here

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costs up to 25% more than the national average

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and 8% more than neighbouring Devon.

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But, if you're thinking of moving here, you'll be spoilt for choice.

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Take a look at these.

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For £1.5 million you could appoint yourself

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head of the old school in Manswood.

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A six-bedroom conversion sitting in 1.8 acres of land.

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With a three-bedroom separate cottage thrown in for good measure,

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it certainly makes the mark.

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£520,000 buys you this cottage on the outskirts of Sutton Points.

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With four bedrooms, two reception rooms

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and a traditional country kitchen

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there's more than enough room inside.

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But it's the outside that's the real appeal in this place

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where you can enjoy the truly spectacular views from the terrace.

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It's period features aplenty

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in this Grade II listed thatched cottage.

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Situated on the outskirts of Highcliffe,

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the fitted country kitchen complements the cosy sitting room.

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This cute three-bedroom whitewashed chocolate box

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with its pretty garden is for sale at £335,000.

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Dorset has got lots of hot properties to choose from.

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Let's hope today's house-hunters warm to the ones we've got lined up.

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Time to meet them.

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Phil and Angie have been married for three years.

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Phil runs a house cleaning company and Angie's a saleswoman and artist.

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They share their five-bedroom Victorian town house

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in the centre of Poole

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with Angie's three teenage sons from a previous relationship,

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and their three Rottweilers.

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But the time has come to swap urban Dorset for rural Dorset.

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We've lived in a town all our lives

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and it would just be nice to have the chance to move out.

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We want to become self-sufficient - live off the land, if you like.

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And to walk the dogs.

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We're always going out into the country to walk the dogs by car

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-so it would be nice to just walk the dogs in the country.

-Where we live.

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Sounds like the good life.

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Do they have a specific location in mind for their country dream?

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We're looking at moving towards Wareham and surrounding areas.

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I currently work in the Sandbanks area of Poole.

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Anything around a 45 minute drive away from that area would be ideal.

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And just how low rural do our seaside urbanites want to go?

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I think Phil would be quite happy to live in a big field.

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A house surrounded by fields.

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Me, personally, I would like to have maybe a country pub,

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a village atmosphere, a little store or something.

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So a slight difference of opinion on location,

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but what about the house itself?

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I think we'd like the size...we don't want to downsize as such.

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We would still be looking for a large property,

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four or five bedrooms.

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I think it's the living area downstairs.

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We've got such a large living area that we socialise a lot in

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and we don't appreciate how large it is, I suppose,

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until we start to look around.

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We would still like a large space downstairs with a few extra bedrooms.

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When we have our socials people are going to probably stay.

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But it's not just Phil, Angie and the boys we need to consider.

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With Phil's mum and dad wanting to downsize,

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they've decided to sell their house, pull their finances together

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and make the move to the country too.

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We're looking for a property with an annexe or self-contained annexe

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or a building they can make into a living accommodation for them.

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Sounds like we're going to have to find two houses.

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Do they have anything else in mind?

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My passion is art. Anything to do with art.

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Restoring furniture - I love old furniture.

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Really, I want a big...well, a workshop or my own little space,

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that I can do my stuff and nobody comes and disturbs me.

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And what about the dogs?

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One of the most important things

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about moving to a new property is the amount of land.

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It's important the dogs, have an open space to roam around freely.

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But before our family can move en masse to the country,

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they need to know how much money they will have to spend

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so we've invited a local estate agent to value their home.

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We have a five-bedroom, semi-detached,

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Victorian character residence

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offering spacious, well-planned accommodation,

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situated close to Poole and its amenities.

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Taking this into account,

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I would recommend an asking price for this property of £329,950.

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What's the final spend for their big move?

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If we do find somewhere that's outstanding and amazing

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and ticks all the right boxes,

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then we could stretch to £650,000.

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Angie and Phil aren't looking to relocate too far from Poole

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but they want a complete change in lifestyle.

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Armed with a budget of up to £650,000,

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they want a four-bedroom house with a bit of land

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so Phil can grow his vegetables and Ange's dogs can run around.

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They also need a separate annexe for Phil's parents

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and maybe some studio space so that Angie can get creative.

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So there's a lot to fit in.

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The big question is, is it all achievable on their budget?

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As Phil needs to commute to the Sandbanks area of Poole

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on a daily basis, they don't want to be more than a 45 minute drive away

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and have asked us to look in the countryside inland from Wareham.

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We've lined up an array of properties for them to view.

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As always, I won't be revealing the price tags straight away.

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And, finally, we'll take them to the mystery house which, today,

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could get some trouble brewing.

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Angie and Phil, welcome to Dorset.

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I was going to say sunny Dorset but, not today, unfortunately.

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I think you should be welcoming me to your county.

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-We should indeed. Welcome to Dorset.

-Thank you very much.

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You live in Poole, within the county,

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but you want to move further afield into the country

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because you want a complete lifestyle change.

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Definitely. We've lived in the town all our lives

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and felt it would be nice to move out somewhere more rural

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and give country life a go.

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OK. Phil, your parents are going to be making the move with you

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and they're putting money into this move as well, I believe.

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Definitely. We've put our resources together

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and decided to sell both our properties in Poole

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and find somewhere with a self-contained annexe

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where my parents can live.

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You've got a budget of £650,000 for your property

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and also for the annexe for your parents as well.

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You probably know this already but Dorset is a very expensive county.

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Bearing everything in mind, everything you need,

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the land, the house, the annexe, and also the commutable distance,

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are you quite flexible on that?

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I think flexibility has got to come into it,

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as long as it's not a great jump.

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-We are very open-minded to see what there is out there.

-Definitely.

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

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We've also got the mystery property as well.

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-Are you ready to get started?

-Definitely.

-Let's hit the road.

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For £650,000, Angie and Phil are looking for a large family home.

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They need at least four bedrooms,

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a big living space with room for entertaining,

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an art studio for Angie,

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a self-contained annexe for Phil's parents

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and loads of land

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to walk those three big dogs.

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We'll certainly do our best but, with that many variables,

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I can already sense a compromise on its way.

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So how ready are they to leave a busy town behind

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and become bona fide country folk?

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When you make this move which, hopefully,

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we're going to be helping you with,

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what do you plan to do?

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Eat from the land, really.

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Erm...have chickens, ducks.

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Stand at a five-bar gate chewing a bit of corn...

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..shouting, "Get off my land!"

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If they move into the village of Hinton St Mary,

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I'm sure Phil won't have to spend too much time

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shooting trespassers off his land.

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Conveniently located only 29 miles up the A350

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from Phil's work in Sandbanks

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and with a population of just over 200,

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it's not overrun with potential trespassers.

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The village is mainly made up

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of pretty 17th and 18th century cottages

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built around the local Church of St Peter

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and it's one of those cottages

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which we've chosen as their first potential rural residence.

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As you can see, from where we're standing, it's pretty substantial.

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But if you look to your right, that barn comes with the property.

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Really? That is really interesting.

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We are in a conservation area.

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It's Grade II listed so you have to bear that in mind

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when you're looking at outbuildings but it has bags of potential.

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Thinking of the annexe, that possibly could be the answer.

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-Yeah.

-Ideal.

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Let's explore the house first and then we'll come on to the barn.

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Lovely.

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Dating back to 1806, this cottage is one of the oldest in the village.

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Made of stone quarried just three miles down the road,

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this place is about as local as it gets.

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It's also served the village in its time as a local shop

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and as a bakery, but will it fit the bill for them?

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Into the courtyard.

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Wow! Look at this.

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And then straight into the house.

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Oh, my goodness!

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Thank you.

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Goodness.

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-"Goodness" in a good way?

-Yes, beautiful.

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I'm speechless in a way.

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I'm like...wow!

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-It's gorgeous.

-Are you getting a good feeling?

-Yes. Lovely.

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-A good start to the tour?

-Definitely.

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Great. Let's keep going. Good!

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Come through to the drawing room.

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-It's actually laid out in two parts, if you like.

-Uh-huh.

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-This is the library.

-Right.

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Used at the moment but, perhaps, could be a dining area.

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This sort of style is very much what I like. Old style furniture.

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So, yeah, I'm thinking all that old furniture

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I've got at home that needs doing up is going to look lovely in here.

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-There was a reason you've been collecting it.

-Yeah.

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Good. Let's keep going.

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-This is quite cosy.

-Yes, it's like a little snug.

-A little snug, yeah.

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-It's gorgeous.

-A lovely fireplace as well.

-You like that, do you?

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-Who's going to be chopping the logs?

-Ange.

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Like this!

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You can actually take the front off and put a grate on it

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and, obviously, it's going to need a guard,

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but then you can open it up to make it a bit more dramatic.

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I like this.

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You've said it all, Ange.

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I'll have to find something for Phil within this property.

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-Something that really catches your eye as well.

-No, I am impressed.

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-Ange is speaking for both of us.

-Good.

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What she says...I am impressed.

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Well, looks like this place is a hit for both so far.

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If the rest of the tour goes this well, I could be on to a winner.

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Here's your kitchen. We've just gone past the downstairs cloakroom.

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It's also a very, very small utility room

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which has got a washing machine.

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Nearly everything else is here in the kitchen.

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It's a nice size, actually, isn't it?

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We'd probably modernised the kitchen, wouldn't we?

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Put a nice country kitchen in with a wrought iron sink.

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Just off the kitchen, the room that was once the village shop

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now serves as an elegant dining room.

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Great for Angie and Phil's social gatherings.

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But with three teenage boys moving into the cottage with them,

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it's bedrooms that are at the top of their shopping list.

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Let's go upstairs to see if there's room to cram them all in.

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This side of the house you've got a very large bathroom

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that goes with this bedroom, which is probably a good standard size.

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-Gosh, yeah. It's so bright, isn't it?

-It is, yeah. Loads of light.

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How is this for size because you've got quite a few boys, haven't you?

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-It's a lovely size.

-It's deceiving.

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I wouldn't have thought the bedrooms were this big.

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All the boys have got double beds, so, ideal.

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-They're not up for downsizing, then, are they?

-No. Not at all.

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Downsizing isn't something the boys will need to worry about.

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This floor has two more double-bedrooms

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connected by a shared bathroom.

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On the top floor is another bathroom and a good-sized double bedroom.

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A tranquil retreat for Angie and Phil, perhaps?

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Well, that's them and the boys taken care of.

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Now it's time to have a look at what we can do for Phil's parents

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so we're heading next door to the barn.

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Come on through.

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Could this be the project that you're looking for?

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-Wow!

-I think there's potential to turn it into an annexe.

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It would take a lot of work but there's potential there.

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Definitely.

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Looking at the cobwebs, you're seeing it in its rawest state.

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But you've got the eaves above us

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-so you've got two floors to work with.

-Ideal.

-Excellent!

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Time now to go and see your beloved garden and think about the price.

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Oh, yeah. Hmm.

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Surrounded by old stone walls with fragrant jasmine and roses,

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this garden immediately makes you feel a million miles away

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from the dreaded rat race.

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It's an ideal place to relax with the dogs

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and maybe munch on an apple or pear from one of the fruit trees.

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-Here's your garden.

-It's just a typical country garden.

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-Definitely.

-It's absolutely gorgeous.

-Well maintained as well.

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The garden has actually been split into two.

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This is the more formal garden

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but it's been laid to lawn at the back,

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so perhaps the dogs could have that bit.

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They would love it. Absolutely love it.

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Phil, vegetables growing. I can see you being a bit of a farmer here.

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Oo ar!

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The current owners bought a strip of land at the side of the property.

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-That could be ideal for your vegetable patch.

-Definitely.

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Now it's crunch time.

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How much do you think this property is currently on the market for?

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£600,000, easy.

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I would have thought the top end of our budget maybe.

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Go on. Let me put you on the spot. How much?

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£615,000. Around the £615,000 mark.

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OK. It has been on the market for a year.

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The current owner is very, very keen to sell.

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The original asking price was £699,000.

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He has dropped it.

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This is his lowest he's going to go.

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It's currently on the market for £529,000.

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You're joking? £529,000.

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The extra money could do a lot of work on the annexe

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and on the main house itself.

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Wow!

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-I am surprised.

-That is brilliant.

-Good.

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Well, it does give you lots of options with that extra money.

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Do you fancy having another look around the cottage and the garden?

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Yes, please.

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-I'll catch up with you in a little while.

-Thank you.

-Enjoy.

0:18:110:18:14

I think we've hit the nail firmly on the head with this property.

0:18:140:18:18

At £529,000,

0:18:180:18:20

this surprisingly roomy cottage fits this family like a glove.

0:18:200:18:24

It delivers four bedrooms in the main house,

0:18:240:18:26

a large garden for the dogs

0:18:260:18:29

and enough money left over to convert the barn into an annexe

0:18:290:18:31

to accommodate Phil's parents.

0:18:310:18:33

There isn't an art studio for Angie

0:18:330:18:35

and sleep-over guests will have to kip on the sofa.

0:18:350:18:38

But is that a sacrifice worth making?

0:18:380:18:41

-Look at this.

-This room is so airy, isn't it?

0:18:410:18:44

The bathroom, it's just ideal for the boys, isn't it?

0:18:440:18:48

Bedroom, bathroom. Their own sort of area, isn't it?

0:18:480:18:51

That natural light coming through from both windows.

0:18:510:18:54

I absolutely love this house.

0:18:540:18:56

I love the higgledy-piggledy sort of layout, up and down.

0:18:560:18:59

That is just what I had imagined.

0:18:590:19:01

There's just so much potential in there. I could do loads here.

0:19:010:19:05

Look, it's all wooden flooring. Ideal. Absolutely beautiful.

0:19:050:19:09

Seating area. I love that.

0:19:090:19:11

-I like the fireplace. Bags of potential.

-Absolutely.

0:19:110:19:16

-Are you happy?

-I am indeed.

0:19:160:19:18

Initially, I was sceptical, because of the size of the land

0:19:180:19:22

but the actual property itself,

0:19:220:19:24

I am very impressed with the size of the rooms, the layout

0:19:240:19:28

and the annexe as well,

0:19:280:19:30

that could be turned into a self-contained annexe

0:19:300:19:32

for my parents.

0:19:320:19:33

It could potentially become a nice family home.

0:19:330:19:36

-Have you seen enough?

-I think so, yes.

-Happy, smiley faces.

-Definitely.

0:19:360:19:42

And that's just the start because we've got more to show you.

0:19:420:19:45

-So let's keep going.

-Thank you.

0:19:450:19:47

Angie and Phil have already been taking a few trips out of Poole

0:19:550:19:58

into the surrounding countryside,

0:19:580:20:00

especially to Wareham, where they've been doing

0:20:000:20:02

the occasional shopping trip and meeting friends for lunch.

0:20:020:20:06

Earlier in the week we gave them the opportunity

0:20:060:20:09

to take a walk around with local historian, Robert McLish,

0:20:090:20:12

and delve a little deeper into the town's past,

0:20:120:20:15

visiting one of Wareham's most famous admirers

0:20:150:20:18

at St Martin's On The Walls.

0:20:180:20:20

Here we are in St Martin's, St Martin's On The Walls,

0:20:200:20:24

built in the late Saxon time.

0:20:240:20:26

It's probably the most complete Saxon church in the whole of Dorset

0:20:260:20:30

with the frescoes, drawings on the walls, paintings and so on.

0:20:300:20:33

And, of course, Lawrence of Arabia.

0:20:330:20:36

What's the relevance of Lawrence of Arabia's effigy being here?

0:20:360:20:40

T.E. Lawrence, when he'd finished with the Lawrence of Arabia bit,

0:20:400:20:43

he was stationed at Bovington, Bovington Camp near here,

0:20:430:20:46

as an airman, under the name of Ross.

0:20:460:20:49

He loved Wareham. He used to come and eat in the restaurant here,

0:20:490:20:52

he loved coming here.

0:20:520:20:53

This church was closed for all the 18th and 19th centuries

0:20:530:20:57

and he wanted it open, this old Saxon church.

0:20:570:20:59

He was one of a number who fought

0:20:590:21:02

to have the church opened and it was.

0:21:020:21:04

So Sir Eric Kennington, the sculptor, made this.

0:21:040:21:07

It was going to go to Westminster Abbey

0:21:070:21:09

but we're glad to perpetuate his name in this place.

0:21:090:21:12

In fact, the walls referred to in the name St Martin On The Walls

0:21:120:21:16

were built by the Saxons to protect the town

0:21:160:21:19

from the attentions of the Norsemen.

0:21:190:21:20

Cleverly disguised as grassy hillocks,

0:21:200:21:23

these days you might not realise

0:21:230:21:25

that they're the most complete earthen walls in the country.

0:21:250:21:28

But we're looking for rather more modern walls,

0:21:280:21:32

maybe with a roof attached and a garden

0:21:320:21:35

so it's on with the property search.

0:21:350:21:37

Our next house is in Gillingham, the most northerly town in Dorset.

0:21:400:21:44

At 32 miles from Sandbanks

0:21:440:21:46

it's right on the edge of Phil's desired travel time for work

0:21:460:21:50

but I'm hoping they'll think it's worth it.

0:21:500:21:52

Gillingham is a popular commuter town given its proximity to the A303

0:21:520:21:57

and it's considerably larger than Hinton St Mary

0:21:570:22:00

with a population of well over 10,000,

0:22:000:22:02

served by more than 70 local shops.

0:22:020:22:05

The property we're taking Angie and Phil to see

0:22:050:22:07

is well away from the town,

0:22:070:22:08

off a country lane, less than two miles south of Gillingham centre.

0:22:080:22:12

Here is your next property.

0:22:140:22:17

-And this is your barn conversion.

-OK. Interesting.

0:22:170:22:22

Very interesting.

0:22:220:22:24

Believe it or not, this is a 19th century building, originally.

0:22:240:22:27

Oh, really?

0:22:270:22:28

-But I think you have got to judge it as a new-build.

-Yeah.

0:22:280:22:33

Because there aren't any of those period features inside.

0:22:330:22:36

It does feel as if it's brand new.

0:22:360:22:38

But what this property does have is an annexe.

0:22:380:22:41

-OK. Right.

-Which has already been converted.

0:22:410:22:45

Originally it was a garage.

0:22:450:22:47

-Lovely.

-Interesting.

0:22:470:22:49

So it could be the whole package.

0:22:490:22:52

We'll look at the annexe last but let's go into the main house first.

0:22:520:22:56

Sitting in a large garden with an annexe, outbuildings

0:22:570:23:00

and plenty of room for the kids and dogs,

0:23:000:23:03

this place ticks lots of boxes.

0:23:030:23:05

But will it have enough character to inspire art lover Angie?

0:23:050:23:09

Here we are, as ever in the country,

0:23:090:23:11

you see that people very rarely use their front door.

0:23:110:23:14

They always use the side entrance,

0:23:140:23:16

so that's the way we've brought you in.

0:23:160:23:18

-Here is your living room, your sitting room.

-Uh-huh.

-Very modern.

0:23:180:23:23

-Quite a blank canvas?

-Minimalistic, yeah.

0:23:230:23:27

Again, it's got a nice airy feel. Quite open plan so it's quite nice.

0:23:270:23:31

Although it's quite minimal, this actually works for you?

0:23:310:23:35

-It's lovely, but I'm not too sure.

-Well, let's keep exploring.

0:23:350:23:39

I'll take you through to the kitchen and the dining room.

0:23:390:23:43

Again, open plan. Very modern, done to a high spec.

0:23:490:23:54

It's lovely...a lovely kitchen. Nice and open plan.

0:23:550:23:58

But, again, it's not got my little bit of cottagey thing that I like.

0:23:580:24:05

-Too modern?

-Yeah.

0:24:050:24:09

I'm trying to get completely out to the countryside. But this is lovely.

0:24:090:24:13

It's beautifully done. A lovely kitchen...but modern.

0:24:130:24:16

This kitchen has been done up to a very high standard

0:24:160:24:20

but, unfortunately, it's not pushing the right buttons

0:24:200:24:23

with Angie and Phil.

0:24:230:24:25

Also on this floor is a large bedroom with an en suite.

0:24:250:24:27

Let's see if that gets a better reaction.

0:24:270:24:29

-This would be the master bedroom.

-A nice size. A good size, yeah.

0:24:290:24:34

It's by far the biggest bedroom. It also has an en suite.

0:24:340:24:38

-That's a bonus.

-Mmm.

-Go on, Angie, what's going through your mind?

0:24:380:24:43

It's lovely but it's really not what I am looking for.

0:24:430:24:48

Even, whatever I could do to it, I've got to look upon,

0:24:480:24:52

wherever we go in this move is going to be our last move.

0:24:520:24:57

I've got to...we've got to be 110% sure it's what we want.

0:24:570:25:01

That's what we aim for anyway.

0:25:010:25:03

Oh, dear. It looks like we may have misjudged this one.

0:25:030:25:07

The modern feel of the house isn't going down as well as I'd hoped.

0:25:070:25:10

Will seeing the upstairs bedrooms make a difference?

0:25:100:25:13

Mind the child gate.

0:25:130:25:16

So, you've got a large double in there.

0:25:160:25:20

You've got a single here. Loads of storage space.

0:25:200:25:24

Family bathroom.

0:25:240:25:26

And another single through here

0:25:260:25:28

which I think has the best view in house.

0:25:280:25:31

-It certainly is a nice view.

-It is indeed. Beautiful view.

0:25:310:25:34

Lovely.

0:25:340:25:36

-Uh-huh.

-No, it's very nice.

0:25:370:25:39

It is a lovely property.

0:25:390:25:41

I think this sort of property

0:25:410:25:43

-would suit a young family starting out.

-Absolutely.

0:25:430:25:48

We've still got the annexe to take a look at and those outbuildings.

0:25:480:25:52

And good old Dorset, the sun has come out,

0:25:520:25:55

so let's take a look at the gardens as well. Phil, after you.

0:25:550:25:57

As Phil's parents are selling up

0:25:580:26:00

and chipping in with Phil and Angie to buy a property together,

0:26:000:26:04

a self-contained annexe for them to live in is one of the top priorities

0:26:040:26:08

and this house has an absolute cracker.

0:26:080:26:10

As you can see, this is a self-contained flat.

0:26:130:26:18

You've got the open kitchen here, living area, plenty of storage.

0:26:180:26:23

A downstairs bathroom, because there's no upstairs,

0:26:230:26:26

and a double bedroom which leads out on to the driveway.

0:26:260:26:30

It's an ideal annexe, really.

0:26:300:26:32

The type of annexe we look for, I think, that they would probably like.

0:26:320:26:37

The annexe is ideal.

0:26:370:26:40

It's what we've been looking for as an annexe goes

0:26:400:26:43

but, I think...yeah, nice size.

0:26:430:26:45

A good reaction to the annexe, then. Things are looking up!

0:26:450:26:50

And I still have my trump cards to play outside in the garden.

0:26:500:26:54

So you've seen the barn, you've seen the annexe.

0:26:550:26:59

Behind the annexe is a stable block, enough for two horses,

0:26:590:27:02

but I know you don't ride so we were thinking possibly a studio for you.

0:27:020:27:06

-Good thinking, yeah. Very good.

-This house has so much potential.

0:27:060:27:09

But you've seen the gardens.

0:27:090:27:11

It doesn't quite have the land, the allotments,

0:27:110:27:15

-you were looking for.

-No, sure.

0:27:150:27:17

In an ideal world, how much land would you like?

0:27:170:27:21

-I suppose a minimum of a couple of acres, maybe.

-How about three?

0:27:210:27:26

Take a look over there. There's a seven-bar gate. That's your land.

0:27:280:27:33

There's three acres, just across the country lane.

0:27:330:27:37

I kid you not, I joked to Ange,

0:27:370:27:39

I said what a joke it would be

0:27:390:27:40

if they said there was land across there.

0:27:400:27:43

That land comes with the property.

0:27:430:27:46

With that in mind,

0:27:460:27:47

how much do you think it's currently on the market for?

0:27:470:27:50

I would say, because we've got everything that we've asked for,

0:27:500:27:55

it's got to be at the top. £650,000.

0:27:550:27:58

Yeah, I would say close to and in and around £625,000, maybe.

0:27:580:28:04

The property has been on the market for 18 months.

0:28:040:28:07

The owners have dropped the price by £100,000.

0:28:070:28:10

The current asking price is £495,000.

0:28:100:28:15

Oh, you're joking me!

0:28:160:28:18

OK.

0:28:190:28:21

You can see now why we found this property for you.

0:28:210:28:24

It does fit all your criteria. It's way under budget.

0:28:240:28:28

You wouldn't need to spend any money, unless you spend

0:28:280:28:31

what remaining money there was just to make it your own.

0:28:310:28:34

But don't answer that, Angie. Why don't you both take another look,

0:28:340:28:38

-think about it, and I'll meet you in a minute?

-OK. Thanks.

0:28:380:28:42

I think I've thrown them a curve ball there.

0:28:420:28:45

They both overestimated the price.

0:28:450:28:47

At £495,000,

0:28:470:28:49

this property has absolutely everything they asked for.

0:28:490:28:53

Four bedrooms, a self-contained annexe for Phil's parents,

0:28:530:28:57

loads of land for the dogs to run around, and even stables,

0:28:570:29:00

which could be converted into an art studio for Angie.

0:29:000:29:03

But does this house have enough of the rustic charm

0:29:030:29:07

they're looking for?

0:29:070:29:08

The annexe is ideal for your mum and dad. I think they'd love it.

0:29:080:29:12

Definitely. Good size, plenty of natural light,

0:29:120:29:15

Mum could make it her own.

0:29:150:29:17

-The house...

-I don't think the house...

-It's not us.

0:29:170:29:21

It's not what we're looking for so far as the property is concerned.

0:29:210:29:25

Saying that, the annexe was an ideal size as far as annexes go.

0:29:250:29:29

The outbuildings were ideal.

0:29:290:29:31

The gardens situated around the house were ideal,

0:29:310:29:35

as is the amount of land.

0:29:350:29:37

There's a fair bit of land here, really.

0:29:370:29:40

-Three acres.

-The dogs would love it.

0:29:400:29:43

A big vegetable plot.

0:29:430:29:45

-A cornfield(!)

-Yeah.

0:29:460:29:48

A beautiful house. It's a lovely house.

0:29:480:29:51

But, for me, it's just too modern.

0:29:510:29:53

It's an ideal annexe, ideal land,

0:29:530:29:57

but, for me, sadly, it's not my taste.

0:29:570:30:02

Has that got you thinking?

0:30:040:30:07

I think we're still in shock.

0:30:070:30:09

Come on, let's keep going.

0:30:090:30:10

At 88 miles, the Dorset coastline

0:30:160:30:19

is by no means the longest in the country

0:30:190:30:22

but it's certainly a gem in this county's crown.

0:30:220:30:25

From two million year old rock formations and fossils

0:30:250:30:28

to endless stretches of golden sand,

0:30:280:30:30

it was also the birthplace of the ever so British beach hut.

0:30:300:30:34

Britain is once again in love with its beach huts.

0:30:340:30:37

It is an affair that may have had its ups and downs,

0:30:370:30:40

but the last few years have seen the beach hut

0:30:400:30:42

firmly re-establishing itself at the top of the core barometer.

0:30:420:30:46

The Dorset coastline is covered in them and some of the prices

0:30:460:30:50

and most desirable ones can be found on Mudeford Sandspit,

0:30:500:30:54

just east of Bournemouth.

0:30:540:30:56

I've come to meet Andrew Bath,

0:30:560:30:58

who has had one of the Mudeford huts in the family for half a century

0:30:580:31:01

and who has kindly invited me to come and have a look around.

0:31:010:31:04

The Spit is easiest to get to by sea,

0:31:040:31:07

so Andrew is taking me on the short cruise

0:31:070:31:10

across Christchurch Harbour in his boat.

0:31:100:31:12

Beach huts have their origins way back in the 18th Century

0:31:120:31:16

and they continued to grow in popularity

0:31:160:31:18

until they were made a slightly redundant

0:31:180:31:20

when foreign package holidays took off in the 70s.

0:31:200:31:24

But in these days of crunch top credit,

0:31:240:31:27

the plucky British beach hut is making a comeback.

0:31:270:31:30

Across the country, new blocks of designer huts are being built

0:31:300:31:34

to keep up with demand

0:31:340:31:35

and the old ones are being upgraded and spruced up

0:31:350:31:38

to meet the discerning needs of the noughties holiday maker.

0:31:380:31:41

So which one is yours?

0:31:410:31:43

-This one here.

-Can we take a peek? I would love to.

-Please do.

0:31:430:31:49

The hut we are visiting

0:31:490:31:50

was bought for £400 by Andrew's father in the early 60s

0:31:500:31:54

and he's been spending his holidays here ever since.

0:31:540:31:57

My goodness!

0:31:570:31:59

This is not a beach hut, this is luxury!

0:31:590:32:01

It's a beach hut to us.

0:32:010:32:04

The beach huts here in Mudeford

0:32:040:32:05

are a bit smarter than your average ones.

0:32:050:32:08

You can't live in them permanently but with electricity, gas

0:32:080:32:11

and running water, they are more like a second home

0:32:110:32:15

than a shack to hide in when you're changing out of your wet trunks.

0:32:150:32:18

So you can sleep here?

0:32:180:32:20

In some beach huts, you're not allowed to stay overnight.

0:32:200:32:23

There's only one other place,

0:32:230:32:24

I think it's in Suffolk, where you can stay overnight.

0:32:240:32:27

We can't stay overnight all year.

0:32:270:32:28

From November to February, we can't stay here.

0:32:280:32:30

Not that we'd want to because it would be very cold.

0:32:300:32:33

But it's a fairly special arrangement, yes.

0:32:330:32:35

-Do they ever come on the market?

-They do come on the market.

0:32:350:32:38

There's normally one or two on the market all the time.

0:32:380:32:41

But when I say on the market, they tend to change hands with people

0:32:410:32:44

that either have rented here and expressed an interest in buying.

0:32:440:32:47

They're not advertised widely

0:32:470:32:49

outside this community because they don't need to be.

0:32:490:32:51

A hut of this quality doesn't come cheap.

0:32:510:32:54

If you want to get your hands on one, expect to pay up to £145,000.

0:32:540:32:59

But this proud hut owner won't be cashing in.

0:32:590:33:02

You could offer me whatever you liked, it isn't for sale.

0:33:020:33:05

It stays here for the family.

0:33:050:33:06

They might not be getting their hands on this hut,

0:33:060:33:10

but if Angie and Phil want to spend a weekend here,

0:33:100:33:13

they can rent a similar one for between £100 and £150 per weekend.

0:33:130:33:17

With the son beginning to set on their first day of house hunting,

0:33:190:33:22

it's time to take stock of the houses they have seen so far.

0:33:220:33:26

-I enjoyed it. We didn't have a clue where we were going.

-No.

0:33:260:33:30

I still didn't have a clue where I was! I was looking at the cottage.

0:33:300:33:33

I fell in love with the cottage, totally. It had so much potential.

0:33:330:33:38

-Definitely.

-I loved the garden. The garden was just idyllic.

0:33:380:33:42

My only scepticism about the first property is,

0:33:420:33:47

we ideally wanted land,

0:33:470:33:50

and I'm not sure how big that annex really needed to be.

0:33:500:33:54

But that is my only criticism.

0:33:540:33:56

Apart from that, it was really, really nice.

0:33:560:33:59

The second property, again, lovely setting.

0:33:590:34:02

-It had the land, that you really liked, but...

-The outbuildings.

0:34:020:34:08

But overall, I know it's a converted barn, but to me,

0:34:080:34:11

it just seemed like a modern new-build.

0:34:110:34:13

-Lovely. A lovely property.

-Yeah. But not for us.

-It didn't do it for me.

0:34:130:34:18

-But it's been an adventure.

-It has.

-It's been interesting.

-It has been.

0:34:180:34:22

-I look forward to what we've got to come.

-Definitely.

0:34:220:34:25

Angie and Phil are looking to move from Poole

0:34:310:34:35

out into the surrounding countryside.

0:34:350:34:37

With a maximum budget of £650,000, they have set us a tricky task

0:34:370:34:41

of finding an ample house

0:34:410:34:43

with room for them and three teenage boys,

0:34:430:34:46

an annex for Phil's parents, and some land.

0:34:460:34:49

They've seen a couple of properties so far,

0:34:500:34:53

but not yet the mystery house

0:34:530:34:54

and we might just have saved the best until last.

0:34:540:34:57

Wow! It's lovely.

0:34:570:34:59

-Say that a bit louder!

-LAUGHTER

0:34:590:35:02

-It's lovely.

-Music to my ears.

0:35:020:35:05

We couldn't have got off to a better start yesterday with Angie and Phil.

0:35:080:35:13

Angie fell completely in love with the very first property,

0:35:130:35:17

before she had even set foot inside the front door.

0:35:170:35:20

Now, whether this is a true love affair or just an early crush

0:35:200:35:24

remains to be seen.

0:35:240:35:25

Today, we're going to show them some properties

0:35:250:35:28

that hopefully will get both their pulses racing.

0:35:280:35:30

Our next offering is right out in the sticks

0:35:320:35:34

in the tiny hamlet of King's Stag,

0:35:340:35:37

around 35 miles from Phil's work in Sandbanks.

0:35:370:35:41

For anything other than a few snacks from the local garage,

0:35:410:35:44

they'll have to pop up the road

0:35:440:35:45

to the local town of Sturminster Newton,

0:35:450:35:48

which was once home to poet and author, Thomas Hardy.

0:35:480:35:51

But we are countryside bound and what it lacks in local amenities,

0:35:510:35:56

King's Stag more than makes up for with plenty of rural walks

0:35:560:35:59

that Angie and Phil can enjoy with their dogs.

0:35:590:36:02

Finding a character property

0:36:040:36:05

that ticks all the boxes on their wish-list is proving tough.

0:36:050:36:08

On paper, this 1980s house

0:36:080:36:10

has everything they want and I think Phil will love it,

0:36:100:36:14

but will it have that elusive right feeling Angie is after?

0:36:140:36:19

This is the property.

0:36:190:36:21

-Wow!

-Lovely.

0:36:210:36:25

It's a new build but it does have an annex at the side

0:36:250:36:30

that was extended in 2005.

0:36:300:36:32

-OK.

-Ideal.

0:36:320:36:35

First impressions, Angie?

0:36:350:36:37

-It's new.

-Yeah.

-I like old.

-OK. Phil?

0:36:370:36:41

I like it. The initial look is, yeah, I'm happy with this.

0:36:410:36:45

-Shall we get started?

-Yes.

0:36:450:36:46

OK, let's see if I can convince you on a new build.

0:36:460:36:50

Having only been around since the '80s,

0:36:520:36:54

this fine family house is definitely not a quaint country cottage.

0:36:540:36:58

but will its many other qualities be enough to impress Angie and Phil?

0:36:580:37:03

Come on through. The traditional entrance for a new property.

0:37:040:37:08

You have got the cloakroom here.

0:37:080:37:11

Let's take you straight in to the drawing room.

0:37:110:37:14

OK.

0:37:160:37:17

It's smaller than I had imagined, actually.

0:37:180:37:21

Yeah. Compact. More compact than I would...

0:37:210:37:24

It's lovely. It's a lovely room but again, it's not me.

0:37:240:37:29

This is just the first room so let's keep going

0:37:290:37:32

-because there are other merits to this property.

-OK.

0:37:320:37:34

Phil, if you go straight through,

0:37:340:37:36

I'm going to take you into the kitchen.

0:37:360:37:38

Wow! A bigger room.

0:37:410:37:42

So you've got your kitchen diner.

0:37:440:37:46

I know the drawing room you think is a bit small for your needs,

0:37:460:37:50

but I think this is a great family space.

0:37:500:37:53

I do think it is lovely and airy. Very nice.

0:37:530:37:56

Again, a seated area. Somewhere to eat with the family. It's nice.

0:37:560:38:01

-We do like that, don't we?

-Yes.

0:38:010:38:03

A kitchen with a nice, large seating area.

0:38:030:38:05

-That would fit our table in, wouldn't it?

-Yes. Very much so.

0:38:050:38:08

-So you like this part of the house.

-Definitely.

0:38:080:38:12

This section actually leads us into the annex

0:38:120:38:15

so let me take you through and explain how it works.

0:38:150:38:19

-This, originally, was the garage.

-OK.

0:38:190:38:22

It has been extended.

0:38:220:38:24

But this is it so little quarter, if you like.

0:38:240:38:29

But it does share the kitchen.

0:38:290:38:30

However through that door is the garage.

0:38:300:38:32

This house isn't listed or in a conservation area,

0:38:320:38:36

so with the right planning permission,

0:38:360:38:38

-you can actually extend this into a kitchen diner as well.

-Yeah.

0:38:380:38:43

Close this door off, and you have got you annex.

0:38:430:38:47

-Self contained.

-Yes. Pretty good.

0:38:470:38:49

Shall I show you the garage?

0:38:490:38:50

Then you can think of how it might work for you.

0:38:500:38:53

Take a look in here. Go through. It is pretty big.

0:38:530:38:57

Yes. There's potential here, isn't there, to turn this into something.

0:39:000:39:04

I'm glad Phil is seeing the possibilities

0:39:040:39:07

and on the upper level of the annex,

0:39:070:39:09

they won't have to lift a finger.

0:39:090:39:12

You have a good size shower room up here.

0:39:120:39:15

-And quite a good, large double bedroom.

-Oh yes.

0:39:160:39:19

-This is ideal, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:39:190:39:22

-Definitely.

-I do like it.

0:39:220:39:25

I like the skylights, definitely,

0:39:250:39:27

because it brings a lot of light and opens it all out.

0:39:270:39:30

-It is very nice.

-I think my parents would like this as an annex.

0:39:300:39:33

-Do you?

-Definitely.

0:39:330:39:34

Making the transition from the house, downsizing to an annex,

0:39:340:39:39

I think it's a natural progression and they would like it.

0:39:390:39:42

So this is where they would be.

0:39:420:39:43

Let's show you where you would be sleeping.

0:39:430:39:45

We have to go back into the original part of the house.

0:39:450:39:48

Through the kitchen is a utility room

0:39:490:39:52

with washing machine and dryer,

0:39:520:39:53

and a large, bright study which could easily be converted

0:39:530:39:57

into a spare room for guests to stay in.

0:39:570:39:59

But the rest of the family will be sleeping upstairs.

0:39:590:40:02

So you have a big, spacious landing.

0:40:020:40:05

Thinking of the boys, a large double bedroom there.

0:40:050:40:08

I'll let you explore in a minute.

0:40:080:40:10

Average size double in there.

0:40:100:40:12

So that's two out of the three boys happy.

0:40:120:40:16

A fight at the end of the corridor because that's a single.

0:40:160:40:19

They'd have to fight amongst themselves. Family bathroom.

0:40:190:40:23

-And this is the master.

-OK.

-What do you think?

0:40:230:40:28

It's nice and airy and pretty and new and nice.

0:40:300:40:35

-Is a big enough?

-This is a nice size bedroom.

0:40:350:40:39

I think we would have a bit of a problem with a single room.

0:40:390:40:43

It's going to be a bit of a fight over that, obviously.

0:40:430:40:47

Apart from that, it is an ideal family home.

0:40:470:40:50

-I think it is a lovely family home.

-It is in nice family home.

0:40:500:40:54

-Definitely.

-And it's spacious.

0:40:540:40:56

-You don't feel enclosed in at all upstairs.

-Not at all.

0:40:560:40:59

You've got your en-suite there. Stick your head round.

0:40:590:41:02

-Lovely.

-Shall we brave the weather and step outside?

-Yes.

0:41:020:41:05

Let's go for it.

0:41:050:41:07

I get the distinct feeling

0:41:080:41:10

that Angie isn't getting the right vibe here,

0:41:100:41:13

whilst Phil is more open-minded.

0:41:130:41:15

Perhaps she'll come round when I show her

0:41:150:41:17

how much outside space they get with this house.

0:41:170:41:20

I think we might need a brolly.

0:41:200:41:22

Oh, actually, the weather is being kind to us.

0:41:220:41:26

As you come out, you've got very limited garden here,

0:41:260:41:29

but you have a nice garden to the side of the property.

0:41:290:41:32

-It's beautiful.

-Lovely size.

0:41:320:41:34

If you come over this fence here, actually it's a bridge,

0:41:340:41:38

there's a ditch, through here into the paddock.

0:41:380:41:43

You actually have a stable block there.

0:41:430:41:46

And then if you look around you,

0:41:460:41:49

if you follow the line all the way around,

0:41:490:41:51

all this land, all this paddock comes with this property.

0:41:510:41:55

Darn!

0:41:570:41:59

So the pretty garden, the annex with the potential to extend,

0:42:000:42:05

the four bedrooms and all this land.

0:42:050:42:10

Yeah, I am impressed with this.

0:42:100:42:12

How much do you think the asking price is for this property?

0:42:120:42:15

£525,000.

0:42:150:42:18

Angie, how about you?

0:42:180:42:20

I would say, as I always do, around six.

0:42:210:42:24

It has just come on the market, it has been on since May,

0:42:240:42:27

and the current asking price is £575,000.

0:42:270:42:31

-Oh, really?

-It's well within budget, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:42:310:42:34

-Well within your budget.

-Definitely.

0:42:340:42:37

And it wouldn't cost you very much to do the annex.

0:42:370:42:40

I mean, there is nothing. Everything on the list is here.

0:42:400:42:43

Definitely food for thought.

0:42:430:42:45

Why don't you have another wander around?

0:42:450:42:48

-I'll catch up with you in a while.

-OK.

-Thank you.

0:42:480:42:51

At £575,000, this five-bedroom detached family house

0:42:510:42:55

is well within their budget,

0:42:550:42:57

leaving plenty of cash to convert the garage into a kitchen

0:42:570:43:00

and make the annex self-sufficient.

0:43:000:43:03

The house sits in 3.25 acres of land with gardens and a paddock.

0:43:030:43:07

So plenty of space for the dogs and there's also a stable

0:43:070:43:10

which could be converted into an art studio for Angie.

0:43:100:43:14

So what are rethinking?

0:43:140:43:16

-Lovely kitchen.

-It is. It is a lovely kitchen.

0:43:160:43:19

And of course, I love those kind of sinks.

0:43:190:43:22

But I just haven't got the right vibe. The land is ideal.

0:43:220:43:26

The garden is beautiful and the annex is great.

0:43:260:43:30

You have a lot of the things we wanted on our list

0:43:300:43:33

but the house hasn't got that right oldy worldy feeling for me.

0:43:330:43:38

-Potential there for a studio?

-Absolutely. Beautiful.

0:43:380:43:42

-What more could you ask really?

-Lovely size.

-It is.

0:43:420:43:45

-And with the views.

-All that inspiration.

-Exactly.

0:43:450:43:48

-All those views.

-Totally.

0:43:480:43:51

The garden is a lovely arrangement. Set out lovely.

0:43:510:43:54

You cross that lovely wooden bridge and all of a sudden,

0:43:540:43:57

you're in 3.2 acres of land.

0:43:570:43:58

That was a big positive for me.

0:43:580:44:00

I wonder if this house with all its land has changed your mind?

0:44:020:44:05

You have certainly given us food for thought.

0:44:050:44:08

You are not giving anything away. Let's press on.

0:44:080:44:11

It is time for the mystery property.

0:44:150:44:18

Phil and Angie know pretty much straight away

0:44:180:44:20

as soon as they see a house

0:44:200:44:22

whether they're going to like it or not.

0:44:220:44:24

I hope with this one, they keep an open mind.

0:44:240:44:27

Our mystery property

0:44:300:44:31

is in the excellently named village of Fontmell Magna.

0:44:310:44:35

It lies just east of the A350, around 25 miles north of Sandbanks.

0:44:350:44:40

Fontmell Magna is a picturesque village of mills and cottages,

0:44:400:44:45

set in the Blackmore Vale,

0:44:450:44:46

and serviced by a church and a handy local post office and shop.

0:44:460:44:50

It takes its name from Fontmell Brook,

0:44:500:44:52

which flows through the village on its way to the River Stour.

0:44:520:44:55

It's the availability of this water source

0:44:550:44:57

which led to the construction of our mystery property.

0:44:570:45:00

We have been busily ticking Angie and Phil's boxes so far.

0:45:000:45:04

Let's see what happens when we compromise

0:45:040:45:06

and leave a few things out.

0:45:060:45:09

So here we are in Fontmell Magna. A beautiful village.

0:45:110:45:14

I don't think we are seeing it at its best today.

0:45:140:45:17

But the reason we're here is for the most amazing mystery home

0:45:170:45:22

and it's just there front of you.

0:45:220:45:25

What are first thoughts when you look at it?

0:45:250:45:29

-I'm intrigued.

-Definitely.

-Very much so.

-I want to get inside.

0:45:290:45:32

Good. Come on then, let's get out of this rain.

0:45:320:45:35

Built in 1875, this property might look rather wee from the front,

0:45:360:45:40

but what you can't see is the former brewery attached to it at the back,

0:45:400:45:45

which is far from pint-sized.

0:45:450:45:46

What a day! Dorset, but not at not its finest!

0:45:510:45:54

-Wow! Goodness me!

-This is lovely.

0:45:540:45:58

This is like a tardis.

0:45:580:46:00

If you could think of loft living in Dorset,

0:46:000:46:04

I think this house might just have it for you.

0:46:040:46:07

-Wow! It's lovely.

-Say that a bit louder.

0:46:080:46:11

LAUGHTER It's lovely.

0:46:110:46:14

-Music to my ears. So are you ready to explore?

-Yes. Let's go.

0:46:140:46:18

You're going to enjoy this.

0:46:180:46:20

So through there, you've got your snug and the utility room.

0:46:200:46:24

You've got this fantastic feature here, this archway.

0:46:240:46:27

This is amazing.

0:46:270:46:29

-And this is more the living area, if you like.

-Amazing!

0:46:290:46:34

Natural light coming through again so that's a good feature.

0:46:340:46:37

I love it. It's open plan.

0:46:370:46:40

This is a lovely space, but just take a look at this.

0:46:400:46:42

Wow!

0:46:440:46:45

There are kitchen diners and there are kitchen diners!

0:46:450:46:50

Wow! Very nice.

0:46:510:46:54

So, so far, from looking at property outside and then walking in...

0:46:540:46:59

-Complete contrast.

-It's a tardis.

-It is completely different.

0:46:590:47:03

-Not what we expected.

-OK. Shall we keep exploring?

0:47:030:47:08

-Yes.

-Upstairs we go.

0:47:080:47:10

Finally, I think she's got that magic feeling she was after.

0:47:100:47:13

All this history and character seems to be working

0:47:130:47:16

and it's about to get even better.

0:47:160:47:18

This is a house you could easily get lost in

0:47:210:47:23

and it's not often you can say that.

0:47:230:47:25

As you can see, you have got all the original beams.

0:47:250:47:29

You have got the exposed brickwork there

0:47:290:47:31

and up those stairs is a very large double bedroom.

0:47:310:47:36

And you feel you are in the attic of the house

0:47:360:47:38

but you are only halfway up the property.

0:47:380:47:40

We must go and explore that a bit later on

0:47:400:47:42

because I want to go and show you what is down here.

0:47:420:47:44

So you have got the biggest airing cupboard ever through there,

0:47:480:47:51

which is actually massive and you could make it into a bathroom

0:47:510:47:54

because this property has got five bedrooms.

0:47:540:47:58

-Wow!

-Two bathrooms.

0:47:580:47:59

So there is the potential there, which leads quite nicely into this.

0:47:590:48:04

-Look at the size! It is gorgeous.

-It is massive.

-It is so unusual.

0:48:040:48:07

-It's quirky.

-That's the word.

-It's got character.

-Character, yeah.

0:48:070:48:12

That is what I like in a property. Definitely.

0:48:120:48:15

There's lots more for Angie to like on this floor

0:48:150:48:19

as the corridors meander around two more bedrooms and a study.

0:48:190:48:22

But it is upstairs on the top floor

0:48:220:48:25

that the house's biggest wow waits in store.

0:48:250:48:28

So here we are at the very top of the house.

0:48:300:48:33

-My goodness!

-Wow!

-Wow!

0:48:330:48:36

What a tardis!

0:48:370:48:39

This is absolutely amazing.

0:48:390:48:41

-Fantastic.

-Isn't it?

-It certainly is.

0:48:410:48:43

It just seems to get bigger and bigger.

0:48:430:48:47

Goodness! Open plan.

0:48:470:48:50

-It's got a wow factor.

-It does.

-Absolutely.

0:48:520:48:55

-This is where the hops used to be dried.

-Really?

0:48:550:48:59

They have converted it and used it as a living space

0:48:590:49:02

-and I think it is amazing.

-It is gorgeous.

0:49:020:49:05

You've got a fabulous en-suite.

0:49:050:49:09

I am amazed. I am speechless. No, I am speechless.

0:49:100:49:15

And now it's time to brave the rain and show you outside.

0:49:150:49:19

We'd better get our umbrellas.

0:49:190:49:21

The house is definitely pushing all the right buttons with Angie

0:49:220:49:26

and Phil seems pretty impressed as well.

0:49:260:49:29

But will he be as impressed when I show him the outside space?

0:49:290:49:32

Those three dogs need a lot of exercise.

0:49:320:49:35

There is no let-up.

0:49:370:49:40

But it's not going to put us off

0:49:400:49:42

because I have to show you the garden.

0:49:420:49:44

It's very rarely that you have a garden

0:49:440:49:47

with a stream running through it.

0:49:470:49:49

It actually goes under the property.

0:49:490:49:51

-Angie, that is crying out as a studio for you.

-Absolutely.

0:49:520:49:58

And here is your garden.

0:49:580:50:00

-Lovely.

-It's lovely.

0:50:020:50:04

Completely enclosed, so the dogs wouldn't get out.

0:50:040:50:07

It actually is a fair size because it goes to the side of the property.

0:50:070:50:11

-It's very nice.

-So you've seen all there is to see. It's money time.

0:50:110:50:15

How much do you think the mystery property is on the market for?

0:50:150:50:20

I would value this property at around £529,950.

0:50:200:50:23

-OK. Angie?

-£565,000?

0:50:230:50:27

It's just gone on the market for £500,000.

0:50:270:50:31

-Really?

-Really?

0:50:310:50:32

That's fantastic. But...

0:50:340:50:36

-But we haven't got an annex.

-I was waiting for you to mention that.

0:50:380:50:41

Every time we went up a floor, I thought, they're going to ask.

0:50:410:50:44

-I kept waiting, thinking.

-It doesn't.

0:50:440:50:46

And there aren't any other surprises with this property.

0:50:460:50:49

It's surprise enough.

0:50:490:50:51

But with that money left over in your budget,

0:50:510:50:53

half-a-million for the house gives you £150,000 to play with.

0:50:530:50:57

Have you considered getting a separate cottage for your parents?

0:50:570:51:01

-Yes.

-Ideal.

-Because there is enough money in the purse.

0:51:030:51:06

We have got something for you to look at, just to get you thinking.

0:51:060:51:10

-Shall we go and take a look?

-Definitely.

-Wow! Yes.

0:51:100:51:13

£179,000 could buy this charming one-bedroom cottage

0:51:140:51:19

for Phil's parents.

0:51:190:51:21

But how will they feel about splitting up the family?

0:51:210:51:23

-Wow! Look at this!

-Fantastic!

0:51:250:51:28

-This is gorgeous. Ideal.

-Fantastic!

-Absolutely.

0:51:280:51:31

-What's in there? The kitchen?

-Look at this.

-Lovely.

-I love the floor.

0:51:310:51:35

-Very well done.

-It's beautiful. I love it.

0:51:350:51:38

-I can see Mum in here.

-And me. Lovely.

0:51:380:51:41

Let's see what they've got upstairs.

0:51:410:51:43

I love the staircase.

0:51:430:51:45

-That's beautiful.

-Very nice.

0:51:450:51:48

It is a lovely size bedroom, look.

0:51:480:51:51

-A quaint little window.

-Ideal.

0:51:510:51:54

Ideal indeed.

0:51:540:51:57

At £500,000, this converted brewery has five bedrooms,

0:51:570:52:01

extensive living space, an outside studio for Angie

0:52:010:52:05

and a good-sized garden.

0:52:050:52:06

It also comes way under budget leaving them £150,000

0:52:060:52:10

to find a separate cottage for Phil's parents.

0:52:100:52:13

Unfortunately, it does not have the land they were dreaming of.

0:52:130:52:17

The mystery house, to me, was a fantastic property but for me,

0:52:170:52:22

it lacked the land I required.

0:52:220:52:24

It's a lovely house but unfortunately,

0:52:240:52:26

it's not a contender for me.

0:52:260:52:28

I found the mystery house amazing. Absolutely amazing.

0:52:280:52:33

I was...

0:52:330:52:34

..breathless, speechless.

0:52:350:52:38

It had such character and I absolutely loved it.

0:52:380:52:41

Obviously, the part about the annex, an interesting idea,

0:52:410:52:45

but realistically, the whole point of moving together

0:52:450:52:49

would be so that we were together.

0:52:490:52:51

So that' s it. They have seen all the properties we had to offer

0:52:570:53:01

and it's time for a well deserved rest

0:53:010:53:03

and a chat to find out which of the houses most tickled their fancy.

0:53:030:53:07

We' re going to start off with the cottage.

0:53:090:53:11

Angie is fighting the grin straight away!

0:53:110:53:15

-What were your first impressions?

-I absolutely loved it.

0:53:150:53:18

It was just my dream little cottage.

0:53:180:53:21

The garden was gorgeous

0:53:210:53:23

and I just thought there was so much I could do with it.

0:53:230:53:25

And just the layout of it. It was big.

0:53:250:53:29

I think the history as well, as you walked into every room,

0:53:290:53:32

it just oozed history.

0:53:320:53:34

Yes. A lovely feel.

0:53:340:53:36

And it had an outbuilding which was very close to the main cottage.

0:53:360:53:41

Could you see the potential of converting that for your parents?

0:53:410:53:45

I was slightly apprehensive at first because of the size of it,

0:53:450:53:50

but with Angie's vision,

0:53:500:53:52

she could see it developing into a nice size annex.

0:53:520:53:55

Yeah, I think it would have been unusual.

0:53:550:53:57

I think we could have turned that into a nice annex for them.

0:53:570:54:00

We saw the converted barn which actually looked like a new house.

0:54:000:54:04

Tell me a little bit about that property.

0:54:040:54:07

The property itself never jumped out at me.

0:54:070:54:10

It was a shame because you had the annex, it had the land,

0:54:100:54:15

it had the outbuildings, but it just didn't have that oomph for us.

0:54:150:54:20

We went to the village of King's Stag

0:54:200:54:24

and saw the new house built in the '80s

0:54:240:54:26

with the annex on the side with the extension.

0:54:260:54:29

What did you initially think about that property?

0:54:290:54:31

I liked it initially.

0:54:310:54:34

Stood outside looking at it, I thought, yeah, that's nice.

0:54:340:54:37

Slightly despondent once I entered.

0:54:370:54:40

It seemed to become quite enclosed for me.

0:54:400:54:42

I thought it would not be ideal

0:54:420:54:44

for our family, the size of family we have.

0:54:440:54:47

It was just a shame because the land was beautiful

0:54:470:54:50

and there was an ideal little studio I could have had where the stable was

0:54:500:54:53

but it was just the outlay of the house.

0:54:530:54:57

It wasn't us at all, character wise.

0:54:570:54:59

We had a mystery house, which I always love.

0:54:590:55:03

It's my favourite part.

0:55:030:55:04

Tell me what you thought as you walked through the door?

0:55:040:55:08

That was amazing. That was wow factor.

0:55:080:55:11

We walked into that door and it was just like the tardis.

0:55:110:55:15

Yes, very impressive.

0:55:150:55:17

We would so have loved that type of house if it was just us.

0:55:170:55:22

But at that price of £500,000,

0:55:220:55:24

it gives you an extra £150,000 to play with.

0:55:240:55:28

We looked at a cottage which could be suitable for your parents.

0:55:280:55:33

Tell me what you thought when you walked through that door?

0:55:330:55:36

-I was pleasantly surprised going into that cottage.

-It was beautiful.

0:55:360:55:40

It was a lovely little traditional cottage.

0:55:400:55:43

I quite fancied it myself actually!

0:55:430:55:45

Having seen these properties, what's going to be your next move?

0:55:460:55:50

I think this has been an amazing journey but it's made us decide now.

0:55:500:55:55

We know what we are looking for. We want a traditional cottage style.

0:55:550:55:59

For me, that cottage was gorgeous.

0:55:590:56:02

I loved the feel of it.

0:56:020:56:04

I definitely would like to have a look at it again.

0:56:040:56:07

For me, the search will continue.

0:56:070:56:09

We'll have further looks.

0:56:090:56:10

It's been brilliant. We've had a brilliant time.

0:56:100:56:13

Well, it has been a great few days. Thank you both so much.

0:56:130:56:18

And if you do find your dream property,

0:56:180:56:21

-you will let us know, won't you?

-Definitely.

0:56:210:56:25

The last few days have reaffirmed in Phil and Angie's minds

0:56:250:56:29

that although they currently live here in Dorset,

0:56:290:56:31

this is still the county they want to spend the rest of their lives in.

0:56:310:56:35

Regarding property, I think we got pretty close.

0:56:350:56:39

But with such a big wish-list, we didn't quite make it.

0:56:390:56:42

But it's only a matter of time

0:56:420:56:45

before they make that move to the country.

0:56:450:56:47

Join us again next time.

0:56:470:56:50

If you want to escape to the country

0:56:500:56:52

in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England,

0:56:520:56:56

and would like our help, please apply online at:

0:56:560:56:59

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:110:57:13

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:130:57:16

With a budget of £650,000, Nicki Chapman helps a couple who are ready to swap urban Dorset for rural Dorset. They are looking for a house big enough to accommodate three teenage boys and three rottweilers. Four bedrooms and plenty of land are a must, plus space for entertaining; an art studio and a self-contained annexe are also on their wish list.