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Welcome to Escape To The Country.
Today we are in a part of the UK that has been a popular retreat for centuries,
not least with the Romans who really have left their mark here.
Let's face it, if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.
Today we're helping a young family escape to one of the UK's priciest counties.
-But will they be living in the pink?
-I'll paint it before I let my son come in here.
We'll be checking out some amazing country homes.
That is beautiful. You've thrown my beams in as well.
And unexpectedly, today's mystery house becomes a battle of wills.
-Does she ever say she's wrong?
-She's pretty stubborn.
I'm never wrong.
Today I'm in Hampshire, slap bang in the middle of the once great Roman
amphitheatre just outside the old Roman town of Silchester.
On a quiet day like this it is hard to imagine this place roaring
to the sound of 7,000 spectators cheering on their favourite gladiator,
but today, of course, it is a lot more tranquil,
the ideal place to start any escape to the country.
Let the games begin.
Hampshire was in fact one of the first UK regions to fall to the invading Roman forces in 43 AD.
Take one look at the stunning countryside and it is not hard
to figure out why they chose to set up home here.
This quintessential English county
on the south coast is bordered by Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire,
Surrey and West Sussex and its proximity to London
makes is a prime destination for City commuters.
Large swathes of this rural landscape remain untouched,
thanks in part to the New Forest and England's newest national park, the South Downs,
making this county's unspoilt charm a permanent fixture.
The 34 mile coastline is home to plenty of
pretty harbour towns and villages making it a mecca for yachties too.
Is Hampshire a nice place to live?
According to a recent study taking into account such important criteria as light pollution,
access to local services, good pubs and general quality of life,
it came a very respectable second just behind Devon
but all that doesn't come cheap.
Properties here can set you back as much as 33%
above the national average but
if you want picture perfect postcard landscape, just a hop from London,
Hampshire is a pretty good bet.
Don't take my word for it, here's a selection of what's on the market so you can judge for yourself.
For £1.15 million you could snap up this five-bedroomed barn conversion
Beneath the vaulted beamed ceilings you will find both character and ample living space and there is no
scrimping on an alfresco lifestyle either with nearly an acre of land.
Or for nearly half the price,
£625,000 will buy this large 1850s period home in Bartley Heath.
It comes with four bedrooms, two reception rooms and an oak kitchen.
With an acre of land, all in all you might be spending more time outside.
However if it is a cottage you are after, this charming four bedroomed
semi-detached in the village of Binstead could be just the ticket.
It offers up cosy country living
and the £395,000 price tag shouldn't put you in the red.
As you can see, there is plenty in the Hampshire property market that
may tempt you which is exactly why today's buyers want to move here.
Gus, a business manager and Tash, a marketing manager share their four
bedroom modern house in Caversham near Reading with their son George.
It is his arrival 18 months ago that has prompted their escape from the suburbs.
We'd love to move to the country because we've been living in town now
for six years or so and the opportunity to live somewhere a little bit more rural and let
George grow up in that rural location would definitely be something we see as the next step forward for us.
This house has been really lovely but the garden is totally impractical now for a toddler.
It is nice but it is slopey and not ideal for him to be running around on.
As far as location is, it is quite a long commute into work and takes us approximately an hour to get work.
With both their offices near Farnborough in North Hampshire,
they have already spent six months
house hunting but to date have come up empty handed.
We have found nice houses but perhaps on a busy road, they are not in the right location.
We have found nice locations but not the right houses and it hasn't come together for us yet.
What does their perfect home look like?
Ideally we love character properties, we love cottages but we
wouldn't rule out new houses as well if we found a really nice one.
-And it was individual.
Character cottages to modern homes is a very broad spectrum
so what kind of detail will help us narrow the search?
We would like our next house to have four bedrooms, an en suite,
family bathroom, nice big kitchen/diner,
nice living space downstairs
and a nice big flat garden, ideally overlooking fields so George can enjoy that.
Angus and I often work from home and before George was born we used his room as our study
and now that he has got that as his bedroom, we use this area in the back room which isn't ideal.
We would like a dedicated room that we could use as a study when we move house.
This is my boys' room which is my opportunity to escape and watch big games of sport.
It would be great if I could have something like this as
a separate room rather than sharing it with the office in the new house.
Though not essential, it would be great to have.
Ellie is my horse who I have known for years and years.
My dream is to have her at the bottom of the garden at some point.
I would love a place with paddocks and stables.
I'm more realistic and I don't know if that is achievable with our budget at the moment.
To work out exactly how much they will have to spend on their new home,
we've invited a local agent round to value their current house.
It is a modern four-bedroomed detached family house, nice quiet cul de sac, close
to schools and shops and I would value this property at £395,000.
Well that won't get us far in Hampshire so what
kind of figure do they have in mind for their new home?
Our budget for this move is going to be £600,000.
Now, clearly one of the key drivers for this move is young George.
They want to give him a nice country start to his young life
but they are going to have to find him a nice country house in which to do it.
Specifically we are after four bedrooms, a nice big kitchen
and a flat garden so George has plenty of room to play in and of course to grow up in.
Their budget, on the face of it, is pretty good, £600,000.
But I have to say Hampshire is one of the most expensive counties in southern England.
Getting all they want for the money is going to be tricky.
As you can see the wheat in Hampshire is about to ripen.
Will we have found them their dream house by the time it is harvested? I wonder.
As Gus and Tash work in the Farnborough area,
and both their families are near Woking,
they are keen to have easy access to the M3
so we'll be focusing the property search in North Hampshire
in the villages and hamlets surrounding Basingstoke.
In today's show we'll be viewing three of the best family homes on the market
but as always, we won't reveal the price tags until the end of the tours.
The last of the three, the mystery house,
won't be what they are expecting but will it make the grade?
Well, chaps, how are you? Nice to see you Natasha.
And you, Gus. Now then, your budget,
-£600,000 in a very expensive part of the world.
It is quite challenging. You have been looking for some time so you kind of know what we are up against.
-Who is really behind this move?
-The problem is she has tastes beyond our budget.
-Is that true?
-I'm a bit of a dreamer, I know that.
-I think a bit of a dream is OK.
It is just how you manage the business of waking up, really.
-He's already awake.
-I am awake.
-He tells me it isn't realistic.
-You're my realist?
-Yes. On this mission and the dreamer's here.
-I like dreamers.
Let's see what we can and find you and of course we've got the mystery house to come, so who knows?
So for £600,000,
Gus and Tash are after a sizable detached family home.
A character cottage is the ideal, but they will consider modern too.
Their must-haves include four bedrooms,
a separate study, a big kitchen diner
and for George, a playroom and a nice flat garden are vital.
Finding all this in a popular village location
will be a big challenge in Hampshire
and when you throw in Tash's dream of paddocks, our job just got even tougher.
Luckily, in Gus, we have a realist.
Let's have a think about your budget.
We've said £600,000, but how far can you push above that?
I think we could push up by ten
and at a real push, maybe 20,000.
Maybe look at houses up to 650?
On the market at 650 that might take an offer.
OK, so you are optimistic about the effects of the current economic situation to try and bag a bargain?
-I'd say that.
A bargain at £650,000, I'd like to go shopping with you two.
To kick off our property retail therapy,
we are heading to the lovely little village of Bentworth.
21 miles from Farnborough it is a reasonable 40-minute drive
to work for Tash and Gus and the grandparents in Woking are still within striking distance.
If I was a betting man, I'd wager that villages don't
come much prettier than this with its 12th century church,
thatched cottages and typical village green.
There is also the all important pub and a primary school for George.
I know Tash and Gus's ideal is a country cottage,
but they're equally open to modern properties
so we are taking them on their word and showing them something strictly 20th century.
-What do you think of that then?
-I really like that side of it,
-it's really nice, I like the shape of that.
-The big gable?
Is that what it is, gable?
It is pretty. Definitely modern.
Probably less character but I like this driveway and the entrance.
There is a little road there but it is not a main road.
-Because we're set back.
It's raining, shall we get inside?
Built in the mid 1960s this house definitely doesn't come
with character features but what it does deliver is masses of space and a beautifully finished decor.
We are starting off in the kitchen diner because I think it is a bit of a stunner.
As you can see, a little utility.
Wow, that is a gorgeous kitchen.
-Huge, isn't it?
-That is lovely.
-That is what we want in a kitchen. That is lovely.
It is not a farmhouse but it has a farmhouse feel to it.
Really nice, I love the units.
Three areas - kitchen, dining and living all in one room.
It's nice, very nice.
You don't actually have a dedicated separate dining room.
That is why this space is so important.
-It is great.
-We'll spend more time as a family
so when you are cooking, you are still around with George and the rest of us.
If it is just you with the grown-ups having a glass of wine, making dinner, it is a nice place.
It is nice for entertaining. I like this a lot.
Right, let's continue through here.
On our way through, look at this, this is the dedicated study area.
-Purpose-built for the job but I think that would make a really good playroom.
-That is a nice size.
George could enjoy that.
Right next door to the kitchen so you can keep an eye on him and hear him.
Do you remember when we were outside there was the car port
and a separate garage, the separate garage could be, with a bit of work, a separate office.
-Or a boys' play room.
-Or a boys' play room.
That would work. George is playing in here, you are playing out there.
-Come on in here.
-That's lovely isn't it?
It's really bright.
That is nice, very nice. I like the staircase as well.
That is the main route up.
The front door is there so you can see how the whole thing is normally configured.
The fireplace is working.
It is lovely, isn't it?
It is really nice and spacious, it has a good feel to it.
Windows coming from both sides.
-So far so good?
-Yes, very good.
Let's go upstairs, come and look at this.
'Great stuff. I can safely say downstairs has got the thumbs up.'
'Let's see if we can keep up the good work upstairs.'
What about this for young George?
Pink for George, he'd love it!
I will definitely paint it before I let my son in here!
He can have his girlfriends to stay here.
He is not even two yet.
-Give him a chance.
-It is perfect.
I like the sound of that and there's plenty more space up here
with an en suite double bedroom, ideal for visiting grandparents.
A single bedroom and the family bathroom.
Come in here. You do get quite a big room.
It is a good size.
I am admiring the view somewhat.
You are not overlooked, which is great.
It's really, really nice.
How are we doing out of ten, then?
It is pretty good actually.
I think I am seven ish.
-Seven or eight.
-Seven or eight?
-Possibly an eight. I haven't seen outside yet though.
Let's go out there and finish off and then we'll discuss how much it is going to cost.
There is no denying this house has masses of interior space
but the outside could be a bit of a compromise.
There's plenty of it at a third of an acre,
but it surrounds the house with a small entertaining patio
at the back. Most of the lawn is at the front and side.
So, can they make it work for them?
What there is does sort of wrap itself around the building.
Those are the double doors from the kitchen.
So there's a little kitchen area.
-If George is out playing and you just want to keep an eye on him...
-You can just open the doors.
That's the versatility of it. You've got access on three sides to the outside space.
-Not huge but...
The garden isn't such a big hit.
I wonder if the price will be? So what's it worth? Angus?
I'm going to go for 560.
I would say about 565. I don't know what they cost around here.
Well, you are looking at a pretty meaty figure of 635.
-We're quite a long way off.
-Expensive around here, then!
Well, this is what we're up against in the search.
The house is nice. It's just the garden.
-Go on. I'll catch up with you later.
So this is over budget at £635,000 but it's a lot of house.
It's been on the market for a few months, so there should be a little room for negotiation.
It's a beautifully finished family home with a huge kitchen diner,
large living room, four bedrooms and space for a study.
At one third of an acre, the garden is sizeable.
But will Gus and Tash be able to compromise on the garden layout for a very spacious house?
You could easily make this into something.
I think because it's got the window in the door here,
you could make this into a room, couldn't you?
Yeah, I think you could make it into an office or a boys' playroom.
We like the house. This room especially is absolutely brilliant.
A really big, spacious family room.
Upstairs is good as well with four decent-sized bedrooms.
The real problem is outside.
This is such a nice space for entertaining for us in the evening,
but if it was in addition to a nice flat garden for George.
It really is a small, small back garden.
I thought I'd just check this out for George. It's quite nice really.
-He'd like this!
-He'd love it, wouldn't he? OK.
So, seen enough then?
-Lots to think about.
-Yes, I think so.
-A little disappointed with the garden, but I like the house.
Well, keep thinking that thought.
Just one of the many fascinating places Gus and Tash will have on their doorstep
when they move to North Hampshire, is Silchester, the UK's largest and longest-running archaeological dig.
As an archaeologist myself, I couldn't miss out on the opportunity to explore this ancient Roman town.
So I'm meeting up with the project director, Professor Mike Fulford.
Now, the most obvious thing about Silchester are the great walls that define it.
How big an area do they enclose?
When you look around, those walls enclose more than 100 acres.
The amphitheatre is outside the walls.
So, I don't know, 200 more acres of settlement here in the first, second century.
The town was built on a grid system and divided into blocks known as insulae.
Each insula consisted of a wide variety of domestic dwellings, from a couple of large two-storey
stone town houses, to a dozen or so more modest timber homes.
And with shops, blacksmiths and cesspits, they weren't short on local amenities either.
Although the site was discovered and part excavated in the 19th century,
this particular dig, run by the University of Reading, started in 1997.
It's a training ground for would-be Indiana Joneses.
Now I have found my old trowel - you're going to laugh at this. Look - there you are.
Rubbish! But it was once upon a time a very proud new implement.
Michael said I could have a go.
So, where do you want me to help?
Well, if you're coming in next to us...
'Well, it looks like all I'm uncovering today is gravel.
'Although luckily, 13 years of digging has unearthed some fascinating artefacts.'
This is a very special find. You can see
two dogs here.
But in fact it's a folding knife or a razor.
So there's the blade, and it's folded in to look like a penknife.
And that's Roman?
That's Roman. Probably carved in the second century AD.
Have you got any more everyday things that you found here?
Here we've got a brooch.
A classic Roman find, really.
In beautiful condition.
-Made of bronze?
-Yeah, bronze, but with this tanning which gives a sort of silvery appearance.
That's deliberately added to the copper alloy.
At the height of its popularity, Silchester was a city with upwards
of 7,000 inhabitants, and it thrived until the sixth century AD.
So why did it disappear? Where did all the people go?
Well, here's a thought - maybe they decided to escape to the country too!
As the sun sets over Hampshire, the first day of our property tour is over.
We have a big challenge on our hands in pricey Hampshire.
For £600,000, Gus and Tash want a large detached family home.
-That's what we want in the kitchen.
With an equally large garden.
So will we ever find the perfect combination?
-It's a nice house.
-There's loads of space downstairs.
It's huge downstairs, which is brilliant. I like it.
And the mystery house is something they would never consider.
-But could it be their dream home?
-It's a beautiful kitchen.
That is stunning.
-Oh, you're in pain to say this, aren't you?
It's the start of our final day's house hunt here in Hampshire.
And I think that reality is finally beginning to dawn on Natasha.
We know she's something of a dreamer.
But, of course, for her, the dream goes on - finding
that gorgeous country property complete with land and stables.
But as we are learning, that is going to be a very difficult thing to find.
However, there may be a solution. Two more houses to come today, including,
of course, the mystery house So who knows, you might be in luck.
We kick off today's property search in Baughurst. It's a tad further
away from Farnborough at 26 miles, but still a commutable distance.
This village offers up the quiet Hampshire life.
There are two churches and two pubs, but the nearest primary school
is a five-minute drive away in Burnham Copse.
There's a real mix of period and modern properties here.
And with our next viewing, we're trying to combine the two.
-Wow! Like the drive!
-Yeah, really good.
-What do you think?
-Yeah, very nice.
I mean, it's not olde worlde. It's probably '60s or so at its core.
But it's been much extended since then.
So you do get a lot of house.
It's very nice. Lovely setting.
-You like the fields beyond, don't you?
It's lovely. I love the front garden.
-It's beautiful. Really nice.
All right. Let's see what you think.
On the inside...
well, it's kind of not what you think really.
Great reactions. And I'm confident the interiors won't disappoint, but it will be quite a surprise.
-Wow, that's nice, isn't it?
-Grab the door, Gus.
-Big spacious hallway.
-It's not what you expect from outside, because it's a modern build.
But what the owners have, I think, very successfully done, is fill it with loads of character and texture.
This floor, reclaimed, I think from an old school.
-It's a lovely entrance hall.
Right, let's start with the dining room.
-There we are.
-Oh, it's lovely.
-That's a really good-sized dining room.
-And they've got a really big table in here.
Right then. Come with me...
Now then, principal reception room, I suppose, one would say.
What do you think?
Love the fireplace. That's gorgeous.
-That's all working.
-It's quite unusual, the surround.
Well, it's one of the features of this house.
It's a modern build effectively.
What they've done, and it's quite difficult to get right, is inject
lots of texture - I was going to say character, but it's texture really - to give it a nice warm feel.
So it doesn't have that clinical, new look. I think they've got the balance spot on.
And that surround is just one of those kind of details that
makes every room unique.
'Next door is a small but perfectly formed study.
'But let's see what they make of the kitchen.'
-I like the range, that's nice.
Country kitchen in a nice country setting, but in a modern house.
It's nice. It's quite narrow and long but it works well.
Yeah, it still feels quite spacious.
Let's continue through here.
That's your breakfast area.
And again, that little sub-division works quite nicely.
Nice to have family meals in there.
But this space is really useful too.
It's really lovely. So bright.
That's a silly thing to say when it's glass, but it is so bright.
And it really does extend the footprint of the building quite considerably if you think about it.
So, the ground floor is obviously a big hit.
But can we get top marks upstairs too, I wonder.
Right, let's start in here, then.
I like the beams.
-I thought you would.
-It's a really good size for a guest room, yeah.
Along the hallway, is the family bathroom.
Two single rooms and a very sizable master bedroom.
-That's a nice room.
-Yeah, that's good.
-So, this is you.
-Yeah, more beams again.
Very similar to the guest room, but defines the shape of the...
of the roof itself. But have a look there.
That's your en suite shower.
That's nice. That's good.
-Drawers built into the wall.
-Yeah, that's good.
Good. So, how are we doing on this one?
-Good views, again.
-Overall, how are we feeling?
-It's a nice house.
-There's loads of space downstairs, it's huge downstairs which is brilliant.
I like it. I love the look of the garden.
We haven't been out there, but as we arrived, it looks really good.
Right, let's go and see it. Come on.
Well, if anything can persuade them this house is a contender, it's the garden.
At three-quarters of an acre, it's the biggest we're viewing,
and even better, there could be an option for Tash's horse.
So, there we are.
It's really nice. Lovely.
-I love the setting.
-In terms of ...
-What you see is what you get, right?
But there may be possibilities.
-This is rentable.
-Yes. This is a conversation you will have to have with the landowner.
-But, you know...
I can't give you a price on this, but...
-It's lovely to have that option.
-Things to think about.
-That would be quite special.
-But the main thing is the property.
-Let's have a think about the difficult bit, shall we? You go first. The money.
I think it's probably about 635.
I think it is a little bit over budget but I don't think it's that quite far over budget.
I'm going to say 615.
Well, what can I say?
It does begin with a 6.
-It has been reduced to that.
-It's good, though. There's a lot to like.
-A lot to like, brilliant.
-There's loads of space in there as well.
OK. Well, go and see if you can find any more to like.
-I'll catch up with you later.
There we are. Yes, indeed, it does rather push of the top end of our budget, it has to be said.
But that is what we are up against.
Time and again, Hampshire is a very popular place to be.
No surprise, then, that things aren't cheap.
The £650,000 price tag should be negotiable as this property has been on the market for over six months.
It's a really spacious home with lots of character.
It comes with two reception rooms, a country kitchen,
a spacious conservatory, a study and four bedrooms.
The real bonus, though, is the three-quarters of an acre garden
with potential to rent the paddock next door.
The question is, will they think it's worth the stretch in budget.
These rooms are nice, but they are quite small.
But you do lose loads of the room just in those wall spaces.
There's so much space here that's lost
and if you lost some of that, they'd be good-sized bedrooms. I think it's a great house.
There's so much space downstairs and loads of space outside, which is absolutely brilliant.
The only downside is the two smaller bedrooms are quite small.
It would be interesting to see whether we could make them a bit bigger by losing that chimney.
I love the fact there's a chance to rent the field out the back. That's really nice to have.
Just to be able to look up and see the horses through there is absolutely gorgeous.
That's a really nice bonus.
It's just a beautiful thing to look over.
Good. I'm glad this place is of interest because it should be.
It's in the right spot. It's a nice house.
Perfect location. Lovely setting.
-OK, I'm going to drag you away.
As Tash is a passionate horse rider and Gus, as a golfer,
has an impeccable swing, we thought we'd put their separate skills to the test with a polo lesson.
Instructor of eight years, Aurora Eastwood, is showing them the ropes.
You need to adopt a wide-legged, bent-knees stance and just position yourself.
Position the ball about eight inches to the side.
And hit the ball forwards. Easy as that.
-It might be a piece of cake for the professionals, but how will our novices fair?
-And just gently swing.
Don't force it.
Excellent. Straight out of the arena.
Hold up, Gus! You're one not on the 18th hole now.
Head over the ball. That's it. Head down. There we go. Perfect.
Well, it looks like Gus has got the upper hand for now.
But it's time to saddle up and adding a horse into the mix can make all the difference.
You have to learn to steer, for a start.
Make a gentle fist and then it's just like a joystick.
Go, stop, left, right. Manoeuvre.
Although a sport linked to royalty and the upper classes, in recent years it's become more accessible
to the masses thanks in part to the price of lessons dropping by as much as 80%.
So, how many lessons do think you'd need?
-I think you could take part in instructional chukkas after three or four hours.
Then, as long as you kept it up and kept having lessons, you could
take part in club chukkas depending on how much time you put in, really.
It's better to do it on polo ponies rather than trying to retrain...?
Trying to teach your own horse and learn to play polo at the same time makes it very difficult.
These horses are amazing.
Yeah, they're really experienced and they know the game better than we do. Good!
At most clubs, tutorials start from around £30 an hour.
And the good news? There's been a threefold increase in polo clubs opening across the country.
Showing off now, Angus.
He is going to be unbearable now that he was good at it so this could have been a mistake, but...
I'll be back with mine next time!
-I think you should both come back and foster the competitive spirit.
When it comes to the mystery house, I would absolutely love
to give Natasha the acres she wants with the stables and a pretty country house to match.
But, sadly, that isn't going to happen.
What we will be viewing is a semi-detached and it's on the road.
To see how that goes down, we need to head to Oakhanger.
It's a short commute to work in Farnborough
which lies just 16 miles away and it's as rural as villages come.
Gus and Tash can immerse themselves in the community either at the pub
or village hall and I'm sure George will enjoy the animal life,
from horses to alpacas.
When it comes to having countryside on your doorstep, the mystery house
has it all, as it's right on the edge of Shortheath Common.
But, it is semi-detached and, as such, they would never normally have considered it.
OK, this is it. That...
-This is the mystery house?
-..is a mystery house.
-That is different.
I like the house. Not sure about the road.
We're in the middle of Oakhanger. So, village green just there.
So, quite nice village location, but what separates this
from the other properties we've seen is that it isn't separated.
It's a semi-detached.
Which I know you were saying, "We don't want semi-detached", but...
What you see on the outside is not what you get on the inside.
Let's go and see.
This Victorian semi is deceptive to say the least.
It's been renovated and extended in the last few years to offer really spacious accommodation.
I'm hoping when they see the interior, all thoughts of that road will be forgotten.
-Enter the mystery house.
-It's got a very fresh, modern feel to it.
-I like the hallway.
-You need convincing.
-I can just hear that road.
You need convincing. Come into the kitchen.
-That is a lovely kitchen.
-Yeah, you see?
-That is a lovely kitchen.
-I knew you'd like this. Look at it. It's gorgeous.
-It's a beautiful kitchen.
-That is stunning.
-Your pained to say this, aren't you?
-On the way in, did you say, "I'm not going to like this because of the road"?
Yes, I did.
And are you getting a bit grumpy because you might like it?
It's a nice kitchen.
It's a gorgeous kitchen. Go through there.
It goes on. Go check it out.
-It is lovely, isn't it?
-It's really nice.
It's a lovely space.
-Really bright and airy.
-It's been done really, really well. You see.
-It's really well done, isn't it?
-Can you hear the road?
-It is a lovely kitchen.
-He's smiling, I love it.
I hope this house can win them over and I really want Tash to banish that road from her mind
because this house offers them so much more space than any of the properties we've viewed.
Across the hall is a 20 ft formal sitting room
but there are plenty of options here for grown-ups and toddlers too.
This is the new extension.
-Part of it.
-It keeps going.
Look at this place.
This is something of a snug, they've got it as an office,
double doors out, it would make a great playroom.
I didn't expect this. I didn't expect this at all.
Aah! You won't expect this either. Come through here. This, I love.
-This is the family room now.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
It's a beautiful room.
It's nice. It is great.
How are we doing? Are you warming up?
Is it a battle of wills here?
-Does she ever say she's wrong?
-She's pretty stubborn.
-I'm never wrong.
How are you feeling about it, Gus?
I really like the way the house works, the way is laid out and all the spaces.
Can we put up with the road?
-I don't know.
I'm beginning to get the feeling our dreamer is never going to wake up to the idea of compromise.
-Now, bedrooms-wise, you've got five to choose from.
This is guest room, I would suggest to you.
It's a pretty room. A really good size.
-Loads of storage.
-I do like the windows.
-They're actually really nice windows.
Softening. Good, warming up.
Excellent! Out you go! Softening!
Softening! What does that mean?
I don't think the rest of this floor will fail to impress either.
Just next door is the family bathroom and there are three good-sized singles.
This is the master.
-Wow! That is beautiful.
-He's thrown my beams in as well.
-Yeah, how about that?
-Gorgeous! It's lovely. A lovely room.
-A real feature room.
Yeah, have a look in there.
Go and check that out. That's your en suite.
-They've done a brilliant job of this master suite, haven't they?
-Yeah. Out you come.
-Yeah, that's lovely.
-Coming around, softening, warming up.
All of those phrases, I think, are probably appropriate.
Yes. It's beautifully done.
-They've done an amazing job.
Well, the inside of our mystery house seems to be working its charm.
Let's see if we can seal a deal outside.
All in all, there's just under a quarter of an acre, including
a veggie patch and an outside office or boy's room for Gus.
Sadly, no space for Tash's horse, Ellie, so will it come close to the dream?
So, what do we think of the garden?
Yes, it's a nice garden. Really nice.
A lot bigger when you get out here than from the front of the house.
How much do you think it's worth?
I think the house itself would be worth a lot more if not for the road
and the fact it's a semi, so I would go in at about 595, bearing those in mind.
I think 630.
630... Well, you said at the beginning of this little search that
you were the realist and once again you've proved yourself right, Gus.
Offers in the region of £650,000.
Go on, go and check it out.
Listen to the road, explore all the rooms on their own
and get a real sense of this place because it really is quite special.
-I'll catch you later.
Well, that was the mystery house.
No house is ever perfect because they always have something you have to compromise on.
In this case, of course, it's the road but you do get
a gorgeous village location and a gorgeous house.
For a guide price of £650,000, this is a lot of property to the pound.
It has been on the market for six months, so a little negotiation should be possible.
It's a beautifully-finished, semi-detached family home
with five bedrooms, two reception rooms plus a conservatory, a study and a good-sized garden.
But will they be able to compromise on its proximity to the road?
-You certainly get a lot of space for your money for a semi-detached, don't you?
-Yeah, that's very true.
Well, it's a huge property.
Probably half as much again as big as the other houses we've seen and that is amazing.
Five bedrooms and all the others have been four.
All the others have had small bedrooms as well and all five of these are really big.
Again, I could picture myself having loads of fun with George kicking a ball around, using the garden room.
The house itself is brilliant, so...
Not disappointed in the house, just the location.
When I turned up at the mystery property, I had to admit I was disappointed because of the road.
I thought the house was beautiful, a really pretty house, but I couldn't ignore the road.
When we came in, I thought, it's beautifully done, huge rooms and couldn't fault the inside.
I could live here. It's beautiful, beautiful.
We always said we would never look at a semi-detached
and I was surprised how it didn't bother me, that wasn't the issue.
The issue was the road.
But... The road!
But the house itself is beautiful.
It's a really nice summer house, isn't it? A perfect boys' room.
You could, or I could use it as a perfect little getaway.
-Is there a debate?
I always like it when there is a bit of an argument, not a full-blown argument.
Now then, that's it, guys.
House tours are now over. You have seen all that we
had to offer you.
-So, plenty to think about.
Shall we get you away, sat down and give you space to mull it over and we'll have a chat about it.
Our property tour of Hampshire is nearly at an end.
We've seen some wonderful houses and some wonderful gardens, but have we
managed to combine the two and come up with Gus and Tash's dream home?
Time to find out.
-Hello, you two.
-How are we doing?
-Not too bad.
-Journey's end, I suppose. Look what I found you.
If only! If only! It all began with something altogether quite different with a little front garden.
That house was lovely, beautiful inside. Quite surprised me how much we like that inside.
-Would you have looked at that on paper?
-No, in all honesty, I don't think we would have done.
The more we went round it, the more it grew on us, I think.
Then we gave you the chance to sleep on what you've seen thus far and we began our final day's
house hunt with what I thought was a very interesting property, lovely garden, very quiet spot.
-What happened there?
-I think that property was beautiful.
The plot was amazing, exactly what I wanted.
The views over the meadows, the big gardens, absolutely gorgeous.
The only question we've probably got is about the two bedrooms upstairs
were a bit small and whether there's something we could do to make them any bigger?
Finally, it was time to reveal the mystery house which was absolutely not on your list.
-By a road, semi-detached...but what a house!
-You threw it in there!
That took me by surprise.
My initial reaction was disappointment but the house itself was absolutely beautiful.
You couldn't fault the inside of the house at all.
It was just whether we could live with that road.
We would never have looked at a semi-detached and we didn't even notice it when we were there.
What happens next, I wonder?
My sense with all of this is that we have shown you some lovely
properties but they are still not the dream.
-But it has been great for me to realise that perhaps the dream is not realistic just yet.
-I know, I can't believe I'm saying this!
-If nothing else, we've pleased you!
-It's been a good thing to do.
She is now more realistic.
OK, so it has been a learning curve of realism.
-Yeah, I think so.
-I'm delighted you've come on the show.
-I'm delighted we've given you some focus on what it is you're going to look for. Best of luck.
I do hope you find it eventually.
-When you do, let us know.
-Here's to you!
Hampshire is a pretty tough place to operate in. It's very expensive because it's very popular
and also very beautiful. By their own admission, we started out with
a realist on one hand and a dreamer on the other but, of course, the dream has yet to become a reality.
But the good news is, they are going to keep looking - just as I knew they would to.
So, fingers crossed in the future they will find their ideal escape to the country.
I'll see you next time.
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