New Forest Escape to the Country


New Forest

Series in which prospective buyers are helped to find their dream home in the country. Jules Hudson helps a couple with a budget of £650,000 in the New Forest.


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Transcript


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Welcome to Escape To The Country. Today I'm in one of Britain's oldest forests, established way back

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by the Normans, and much of it is governed today by laws laid down by William the Conqueror himself.

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But the best way to get a real taste of it isn't from down here.

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It's from up there.

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In today's show, I'll be helping a couple escape the urban sprawl

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and grow their business in the country.

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But will they get stuck in a time warp?

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-Let's get creative.

-We need to!

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Or can we cook up some 21st-century solutions?

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-Wow!

-Wow!

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Yeah?

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-Fantastic.

-And there's the mystery house which offers a step back in time with a few extra surprises.

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Well, today I'm in Hampshire, here in the New Forest at the New Forest Outdoor Centre,

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and it really is a fantastic way to get a bird's-eye view of what this place has to offer.

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Even if you are hanging on for dear life.

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Now, the forest was created as the then New Forest back

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in 1079 by royal charter by William the Conqueror.

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Now, back in the day, they cleared out all the locals, knocked down

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36 churches to provide the king with somewhere to relax and to hunt in.

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Well, the good news is that today

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everybody's moved back, the hunting has gone, but it's still a fantastic playground.

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The New Forest occupies 200 square miles of the county of Hampshire,

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right on the southern tip of England.

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These days, this ancient woodland is most famous for its wild ponies

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which roam free over its extensive forest, heath and grassland.

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But they're not the only creatures that enjoy the right of way here.

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The New Forest is one of the few places in the UK where the cow, not the car, is king of the road.

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Even so, man has managed to make his mark.

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The forest is the most inhabited of all the national parks, with 34,000 people making their home here.

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Although building in the New Forest has been restricted since King William II's time,

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planning permission is still possible. However, houses

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that do come on the market tend to be snapped up very quickly.

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But with national park status and a combined block on building

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and development, we do end up with something of a double-edged picture here.

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On the one hand, you're unlikely to have a supermarket or a petrol station built on your doorstep.

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But on the other, it does mean that pricing of local housing stock is going to remain high.

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Difficult if you're a buyer, but perhaps in the long run,

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if you're looking to invest, maybe it's not such a bad thing after all.

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So, if all that hasn't put you off and you still think that the New Forest is for you, here's a taste

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of what's on the market right now.

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For £1.5 million, this three-bedroom farmhouse in the village of Tiptoe is a perfect horse-lover's retreat.

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You could curl up in front of the sitting room's log-burner

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or play a game of billiards or hopscotch in the games room.

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Its 10 acres include stabling and paddocks, with open riding in the New Forest on your doorstep.

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£565,000 will get you this three-bedroom Grade 2 listed cottage in Rockbourne,

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with beams throughout its characterful reception rooms and upstairs bedrooms.

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Outside, there's a stable-yard for the ponies and over seven acres of paddocks and pastureland.

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This two-bedroomed Arts and Crafts cottage in Hillhead is on the market at £395,000.

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Inside needs a bit of modernising, but all the period features are there,

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with high ceilings, cornices and original panelling.

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Outside, there's an attractive south-facing garden.

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So, as you can see, some lovely properties in a lovely area

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with some fantastic neighbours, which is precisely why today's buyers want to move here.

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They are Nick and Tracy from Bournemouth, who currently live

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in a three-bedroom 1930s house with their son and twin daughters.

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They also run a thriving Spanish food import business from here, which they want to expand.

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But that means they need more space.

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So now it's time to say "hasta la vista" to town living and "si, senor" to the countryside.

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We'd like to move to the country because we'd like to open a farm shop.

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We're Spanish-food importers.

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We supply restaurants, delicatessens and we retail ourselves.

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So want to very much work from home.

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So, whether it's in an outbuilding or within the house, we need an office,

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some storage and, ideally, somewhere to put a farm shop.

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But it's not just a business premises that they're looking for.

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It's got to operate as a family home

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as well as what we're doing with the business.

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So it's really about giving us the space for the whole family to do what they need to do.

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After nine happy years in this house, they're now ready to move on.

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So what are they looking for in their new home?

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This move to the country is all about family and the business.

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If he could find a property that had the farm shop, that would be great.

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-Or we could actually build one ourselves.

-I'm passionate about food.

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Food's our business and this kitchen just doesn't allow me to do what I need to do.

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And I want a kitchen with a big range, one we can develop

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our Spanish foods and bring in our Spanish friends to enjoy them with us.

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Nick has his food and wine.

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I have my music. What would be great moving to the country

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is to have a music room for my son and I and I can play as loud as I want.

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-So what sort of location would suit them?

-We want to be close to or in a village.

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We have to have a community close-by that we can get involved with.

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Schools are really important.

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I think we'd like to be in a village, if we could, that's got a local pub, that would be great.

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Before we can seriously start our house hunt, we need to see how much they've got to spend.

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So, we've arranged for an estate agent to come and give them an evaluation.

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This is an exceptionally well-presented four-bedroom family home,

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situated within one of the most prestigious roads within the Talbot Woods area of Bournemouth.

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The price guide on this property should be in the region of £750,000.

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We're very happy with the valuation.

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-It's really what we expected it to be.

-So how much are they prepared to spend?

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Our budget for this move is £650,000.

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Despite keeping 100,000 back towards the business, both Nick and Tracy still have a healthy budget.

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But who's going to have the final say?

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I think I'd be right in saying I'll probably make the decision on the house.

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I think if it's on the financial side, it's probably my husband.

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I'd agree with that. There is no way we'd buy a house if Tracy didn't like it.

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Now, I think I am going to have to break it to them gently that the whole idea of a farm shop

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attached to a domestic property isn't really going to happen.

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£650,000 sounds like an awful lot of money, but to be honest, here in the New Forest,

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it isn't going to go that far.

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And we've still got to accommodate quite a big family. They also want some office space.

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I think that is doable. But we've also got to fit in a drum kit.

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Let's just hope it doesn't upset the residents.

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As Nick and Tracy's move to the New Forest has to accommodate their business and a family home,

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they don't want to be too isolated.

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Being in a village or near a town would be ideal.

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I'll be showing them a great choice of properties,

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but I won't reveal the prices until after they've had a good guess.

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Last but not least is the mystery house, which could put the cat amongst the pigeons.

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Hi, guys. All set?

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-Certainly are.

-Welcome to the New Forest. I say welcome. we're sort of on your patch in a way, aren't we?

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-Bournemouth, very close.

-So you must know this area fairly well?

-We do.

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-But you still want get out of the smoke and into the countryside?

-Certainly.

-Now, your budget. 650.

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Not a bad figure, to be honest, but in trying to incorporate everything that you're after,

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this is the kind of challenge that we are used to.

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But the big issue, I think,

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is the farm shop.

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Yeah, we thought that might be a challenge for you, in the New Forest especially.

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Especially in the New Forest. Yeah. What if we didn't find a shop?

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We can live with that.

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The key thing is that we find a lovely home, I think,

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for you and your family.

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We can always look for a shop in one of the villages later on. So that would work very well.

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OK. We have got a number of quite interesting properties for you to look at today.

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So it has just stopped raining. It might hold off.

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-Let's go and see what we can find you.

-Fantastic.

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So, for £650,000, Nick and Tracy want a house full of character

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and three reception rooms.

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They want at least four bedrooms and a large working kitchen.

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Finding a property with a farm shop is unlikely, but they're set on having an office

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from which to run the business.

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Our first property is in the village

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of Hale, set in the north-western corner of the New Forest National Park.

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Hale's thatched cottages and more modern houses sit happily around the village green and playing fields.

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There's a well-regarded primary school, perfect for their twin girls,

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as well as a village hall where the family can get to know the neighbours.

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The house I'm taking them to see is this extended chalet bungalow on the outskirts of the village.

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Right. Let's start with this one.

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There. That's what I want you to have a look at.

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Yeah, it looks good. Looks good.

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Quite different.

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The windows, the upstairs. Bungalow originally.

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Exactly.

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Much extended.

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So lots of space, well laid-out.

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It's great. Love it so far. Really nice.

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Is this the sort of thing you'd a mind in terms of lush country life?

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-Yes. Definitely.

-Well, let's see what you make of the inside.

-Great.

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OK. In we come. Through something of a sort of boot room.

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OK.

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Let's start in here. Because you've got to pay for this great adventure.

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Yeah. This is a good office.

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I think as offices go, this is quite good actually.

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-This is good.

-Fantastic. Excellent.

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So, you've had a hard morning on the phones, taking lots of orders, cashing lot of cheques.

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-Hopefully!

-Now, let's go and make a cup of tea.

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Follow me through to the kitchen.

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Right. What about this?

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My goodness. This is a nice large kitchen.

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Is this the sort of space that would work for you?

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It would work. As long as you can get your cooker in.

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Ah. Yes, we haven't seen that far yet.

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Right, well, have a look. You tell me. Will it fit in there?

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-Yeah.

-I think we could do something with that space.

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What kind of cooker have you got?

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-I've got a very big range.

-OK. Well, you said you'd fit in there.

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You'd fit in there. That's a good space.

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And the diner element has a nice one, too.

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-With the kids as well, it's really good.

-Very good.

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Good. OK. Well, let's see if we can find you some reception rooms. Come and have a look through here.

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Now, leading off of the kitchen, this little sort of vestibule, if you like.

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It's something of a kind of snug, I suppose.

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Nice bay window overlooking the front garden.

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It could be a kids' area. That's possible.

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Somewhere for them to watch telly.

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Maybe more their kind of space. It should mean that you guys

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would be in here - a really interesting family area.

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-This is good.

-Nice open fireplace here.

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And I do love this. I think the window-seat really works.

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-It makes the best of the garden.

-Feels very spacious.

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-So you would all fit in here. That's the key thing.

-We would.

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Right. Good. Great. And next door, there's a dining room with direct

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access to the kitchen which would be ideal for their dinner-parties.

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Still on the ground floor, there's also a good-sized family bathroom

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and three bedrooms, including a generous double, a single

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and one which could be perfect for them.

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So. How about this as your master bedroom?

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What a lovely size.

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-It's huge, isn't it? You look quite surprised, Tracy.

-I am.

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-I wasn't expecting quite so big.

-It's great. It's lovely.

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Again, the bay windows are a real feature of this property.

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I think that's what makes it really nice.

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Well, have a look in there because you've got a very nice en suite, too. Check it out. Off you go.

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At least it's not avocado.

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-It's nice.

-Lovely tiles.

-Yeah. Very Spanish, aren't they?

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Very Spanish. Thought that might appeal.

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Good size for an en suite with shower. Very good.

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Good. Right. Let's see what else we can find you.

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Well, let's start exploring the upstairs conversion here.

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This is 2002. You have got two further bedrooms up here.

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I think the question is whether you configure these for your son or for the girls.

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I think we'd have this room.

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Or for you. It's a great big double. It's got some really, really lovely features in it.

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Go and have a look through there. Go on. There's some double doors, Tracy.

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Go and open those up.

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Wow! This is really good.

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Look at that. It's fabulous.

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What a good view of the garden.

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Can you imagine coming out of your slumber with a cup of coffee in the morning?

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-Definitely.

-Definitely. Very nice.

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So you think this would become your master?

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-I think it would.

-Yeah, I don't think we'd argue about that one, would we?

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-So who would get the one downstairs?

-We'd have to think about that one.

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It looks like they're really starting to see themselves in this house.

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On the same level, there's another bathroom and a further single bedroom tucked under the eaves.

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But now it's time to go back out and give them a closer look at that wonderful garden.

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I love this place.

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It's like a rain forest.

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It's great.

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How about this, then?

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Lovely.

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The rest of it goes on through here.

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Come and have a look at this.

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So, all in all, about a third of an acre.

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But it feels a lot bigger.

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-A lot bigger.

-It does.

-Very beautiful garden.

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So, very pretty house in the heart of the New Forest.

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How much is it worth, then?

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590.

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590, OK?

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I'm going to go 610 because of the area.

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Well, you were a little bit more realistic there, Tracy.

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To be perfectly honest. This is on the market at 625,000 quid.

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-That's good.

-Not too shocked?

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-No, not too shocked.

-Well, there's plenty of it go and explore.

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Go and soak up the atmosphere and I'll catch up with you a little bit later.

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Thank you.

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So, well under budget at 625,000, this former bungalow is in fact a rather large house.

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Although it doesn't have that pipe-dream farm shop, it is in a desirable village location

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and it has many of the features on Nick and Tracy's wish-list.

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Including three spacious living areas,

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four bedrooms and three bathrooms, a large kitchen/diner and a huge office to run their business from.

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But what do they think about it all?

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-I love this room.

-It's a good room.

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Nice open fireplace.

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This window in particular, looking over that fabulous garden.

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It's got a nice feeling of space. I think this house could work with us.

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We'd obviously have to spend some money on it, but it does have some nice features.

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I think the kitchen's a good size, but whether it's big enough.

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Whether you'd get your big range in.

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Yeah, because I really want a large range cooker and it's a good size, but I know it'll frustrate me.

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I think, on the whole, the property has everything we're looking for.

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The office in particular is a really good space.

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And I guess a little bit of issue with the layout of some bedrooms upstairs and downstairs,

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but that needs a little more thinking about.

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Overall, though, what a great start.

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Look!

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It's started raining.

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What have you done, you two? Have you seen enough?

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Great first property. Good start, then.

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-Plenty more to come.

-OK.

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The lively market town of Lyndhurst is at the heart of the New Forest.

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Nick and Tracy are no strangers to the town,

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but they're here to find out a bit about its heritage,

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so they've come to meet local expert Peter Roberts.

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First stop is the awe-inspiring St Michael and All Angels church,

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which stands imposingly over the town centre.

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Although it was built in the Victorian Gothic style,

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its multicoloured bricks show it belonged to the then

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cutting-edge design movement known as Arts and Crafts.

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Right, we're in the height of Lyndhurst, if you like.

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I say height because we've got a spire attached to this church, which is 160 feet high.

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Gothic in style but actually built in the 1860s by the Arts and Crafts movement,

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and it was funded entirely from people within the parish,

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which says something about their affluence in the 1850s and '60s.

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-So quite a place, all in all.

-Very beautiful.

-Yes, it is.

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Inside, there are some beautiful examples of craftsmanship

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by celebrated artists of the time.

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With a biblical fresco by Lord Leighton,

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and stained-glass windows created by the Arts and Crafts artists,

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Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.

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Outside, there are also literary legacies from the Victorian era.

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The churchyard marks the resting place of Alice Liddell,

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who inspired Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland.

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Just next door is the Verderers' Hall,

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seat of the Verderers' Court, which has presided over the area

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and its people for the past 1,000 years,

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dealing with all matters of forest law.

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The Verderers' Court goes back to Norman times,

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with the introduction of forest law.

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Forest law was invented by William the Conqueror

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to protect his hunting - to look after the deer.

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The idea was that there was a need to look after the deer,

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ensure they weren't taken by the locals

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and ensure their habitat had somewhere safe for them to go to.

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The Verderers are still a powerful force in the New Forest

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and have the final say on all kinds of forest business,

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like animal welfare and planned developments.

0:18:330:18:36

It's no wonder Nick and Tracy want to move here

0:18:360:18:39

and enjoy the riches of the New Forest's town and country life.

0:18:390:18:43

Our next property is in the village of Pilley,

0:18:450:18:47

of one of the most sought-after areas in the New Forest.

0:18:470:18:51

Pilley has a village store and a post office, useful for

0:18:510:18:54

Tracy and Nick's online business food deliveries.

0:18:540:18:57

A resident herd of cows make themselves at home amongst

0:18:570:19:00

the Victorian red-brick cottages and barn conversions.

0:19:000:19:03

The house I'm taking our couple to see is a little less easy to date.

0:19:030:19:06

-Right.

-Wow.

-Come on up to the gate.

0:19:060:19:09

-What do you think of that?

-That looks good.

-Fantastic.

-It's a very big, substantial house, this.

0:19:120:19:18

-What kind of date do you think it was built?

-Ooh.

-Early 20th century.

0:19:180:19:23

-You would think so. But, actually, this is 1970.

-My goodness.

0:19:230:19:28

-Probably not a lot has changed since 1970.

-OK.

0:19:280:19:31

The other thing to point out is that in terms of schools,

0:19:310:19:34

this is a really good area.

0:19:340:19:37

-The bus stop for the local schools is at the end of the lane.

-Fantastic.

0:19:370:19:41

-Right.

-Let's take a step back in time, shall we? To the 1970s.

0:19:410:19:44

It's like Life On Mars.

0:19:440:19:46

Right then, in you come, Nick.

0:19:540:19:57

As I say, we are in something of a time warp here,

0:19:570:19:59

as you can probably tell.

0:19:590:20:01

-Yes!

-Behind you, a little downstairs cloakroom on the way in.

0:20:010:20:05

Quite a small study there.

0:20:050:20:07

-I'm not sure that's enough for what you need to work in.

-No.

0:20:070:20:11

In your previous property searches, you've looked at at least one property that needed renovation.

0:20:110:20:16

-Yep.

-And you weren't put off.

-Not put off by that.

0:20:160:20:19

-Something that really needs it.

-You know where you are. Warts and all.

0:20:190:20:23

-Absolutely.

-I'm glad you said that! Come with me.

0:20:230:20:27

-I did say this place had a lot of space.

-This is a nice room.

-Wow.

0:20:290:20:32

-What a nice room.

-I like this.

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

-It's a good room.

0:20:320:20:35

-I think this is actually quite generous.

-It's a nice room.

0:20:350:20:38

-Love the windows.

-Yep.

0:20:380:20:40

I'm describing it as a bit of a project, and it is in some respects.

0:20:400:20:44

It's not as major as it might be, but it does give you the scope to really go to town with this.

0:20:440:20:50

OK. Let's continue through here.

0:20:500:20:54

-Let's get creative.

-We need to!

0:20:560:20:59

THEY LAUGH

0:20:590:21:01

As you can see, it's going to be much too small. But through here...

0:21:010:21:07

-The kitchen.

-..is the kitchen.

0:21:070:21:09

If this wall were to disappear, you'd end up with a very, very big kitchen.

0:21:090:21:16

-Is that the sort of project you would consider?

-We would.

-Absolutely.

0:21:160:21:20

Let's have a look in the kitchen itself. It'll start to make more sense. This way.

0:21:200:21:24

-OK, Nick.

-This has great potential.

-I think it has.

0:21:270:21:32

-I think definitely take that wall out.

-And what about your big range?

0:21:320:21:36

-Where would we put that?

-Well, I think we're probably somewhere...

0:21:360:21:40

-There, I'd say.

-..along that wall.

-Yep, that would work.

0:21:400:21:45

We have enough space.

0:21:450:21:46

I'm glad this gamble's paid off.

0:21:480:21:49

They seem to be taking the whole renovation idea in their stride.

0:21:490:21:52

Next door to the kitchen, there's a handy little utility room,

0:21:520:21:56

but we're going to go upstairs to check out the four bedrooms.

0:21:560:22:00

Look at that - mirrors on the ceiling!

0:22:000:22:03

-Let's start in here. This is one of the biggest bedrooms.

-It's a good size.

-Great size.

0:22:050:22:10

-Absolutely enormous, isn't it? This really could be two.

-Certainly.

0:22:100:22:14

-Could be.

-One would have dual aspect, one would have single.

0:22:140:22:18

-How about that for the girls?

-That would work really well.

-That would really work.

0:22:180:22:22

Despite the slightly dated feel, all the rooms are of a good size,

0:22:220:22:26

including the family bathroom and the fourth bedroom.

0:22:260:22:29

-Don't look down!

-Ooh!

-Look up!

0:22:310:22:34

It's the size of the room which I think really is special.

0:22:340:22:37

-Yeah, it's a good size.

-Great size.

-Plus you get your own en suite.

-OK.

0:22:370:22:42

-Oh, right. Wow. That's a good size.

-Fantastic.

0:22:420:22:47

-There is, curiously, one omission.

-Yes. There's no toilet.

-No toilet.

0:22:470:22:53

There is one next door, off the landing, which is also a wet room.

0:22:530:22:57

-So the plumbing is up here.

-So you could put one in.

-You could quite easily renew that.

0:22:570:23:02

-How are we doing on this one?

-Quite well. I like the area.

-Not bad.

0:23:020:23:07

-I like the house. I think it's got some potential.

-Growing on you, Tracy?

-Yes.

0:23:070:23:11

-Upstairs is ticking more boxes than downstairs.

-Interesting.

0:23:110:23:14

It's normally the other way around. There we are.

0:23:140:23:17

-Could be a first! Let's go and look at the garden.

-OK.

0:23:170:23:21

In terms of the garden, what you see is what you've got.

0:23:290:23:32

You've got that area up there and this area here,

0:23:320:23:36

going down to this sort of point.

0:23:360:23:38

And you've got the great big garage which I want you to explore later.

0:23:380:23:43

-So, what do you think?

-It's good, yeah.

-I think it's...

0:23:430:23:48

I'm really surprised how much accommodation there is inside.

0:23:480:23:51

Especially upstairs. Lovely house.

0:23:510:23:54

The nice thing is, you've got plenty of room here for the twins to run around and kick a football about.

0:23:540:23:59

-Yeah.

-Cause trouble.

-Absolutely.

-And a gate, which keeps them off the road.

0:23:590:24:03

-Yes, that's nice.

-It's pretty secure.

0:24:030:24:05

We can hear the road, it's not a main, main road but that means your clients can come and see you.

0:24:050:24:10

-It does.

-Absolutely. We don't want to be SO remote they can't get to us.

-Exactly!

0:24:100:24:14

OK, let's have a think about the money.

0:24:140:24:18

-Mm. This is a hard one.

-OK.

-It's a hard one.

0:24:180:24:24

It needs quite a lot of money spent on it to modernise it.

0:24:240:24:27

But it is quite substantial and in an area quite sought-after.

0:24:270:24:31

-Yes, we're very close to Lymington. It's a real hot spot.

-Mm.

0:24:310:24:35

-Go on, then, Nick.

-610.

-610. Yeah. Tracy?

0:24:350:24:40

I'm going to go nearer 640.

0:24:400:24:42

640. Interesting.

0:24:420:24:45

It's on the market

0:24:450:24:48

-for 620.

-BOTH: OK.

0:24:480:24:52

-It's a good price.

-That's a good price.

0:24:520:24:54

I think that gives us some room to manoeuvre a little

0:24:540:24:57

and to do a lot of work inside.

0:24:570:25:00

Good! Go manoeuvre a little more around this property.

0:25:000:25:03

Check out the garage, tell me what you think of that as office space.

0:25:030:25:06

-I'll catch up with you later.

-Fantastic.

-Great.

-Thank you.

0:25:060:25:09

For £620,000, with money left over for renovation work, they get...

0:25:110:25:16

-This is a good size.

-This would make a... I'm thinking of two things here.

0:25:310:25:36

-Music room. Sound-proof it.

-Office or music room.

0:25:360:25:41

Lovely house. Wonderful location. Downstairs, not so sure about. Upstairs is great.

0:25:410:25:48

Three bathrooms, which ticks all the boxes.

0:25:480:25:52

Lots of scope to split one bedroom into two, so, yeah, really nice.

0:25:520:25:55

Obviously needs a lot of work to bring it up to modern standards

0:25:550:26:00

-but I'm sure that can be worked on.

-Price, I think, is probably a bit higher than we'd like

0:26:000:26:06

because of the money you'd have to spend on the bathrooms and the kitchen.

0:26:060:26:11

But then the location - I think you're paying for the location.

0:26:110:26:14

I think it's a very interesting house and one we should definitely consider.

0:26:140:26:18

If that was a glazed front, that'd make a fantastic office space.

0:26:180:26:22

-An office, I hear what you're saying.

-Flowers in front.

0:26:220:26:25

-Absolutely fantastic.

-Sounds like a plan with some vision!

0:26:250:26:28

-I think it is!

-Definitely.

-So it could be a contender?

-Yes.

0:26:280:26:31

-Yep.

-Brilliant. Come on. Let's see what else we can find you.

0:26:310:26:34

-But one on the list - it's all good.

-Thank you.

0:26:340:26:37

Tracy and Nick are not alone in their love of the New Forest.

0:26:420:26:44

Around 13 million people a year come and enjoy this protected area.

0:26:440:26:49

Besides the ponies and cattle that graze here, it's a truly special habitat,

0:26:490:26:54

home to a host of different birds, deer and snakes.

0:26:540:26:58

So it's crucial that the people looking after the forest know what they're doing.

0:26:580:27:02

The men in charge of that are known as Agisters.

0:27:020:27:05

They're employed by the Verderers and form a vital part of the ancient governing system of the forest.

0:27:050:27:11

Brian Ingram is a retired Head Agister and he's going to show me what the job is all about.

0:27:110:27:15

-Hi, Brian. How are you?

-All right, thank you.

0:27:150:27:19

Nice place to be, I should think, in the heart of the New Forest.

0:27:190:27:21

-Yeah, really nice place.

-Born and bred?

-Yeah.

0:27:210:27:25

Man and boy. It must be a real thrill, living and working amongst all the wildlife that's here?

0:27:250:27:31

Well, it is because, you know,

0:27:310:27:33

where else can you find a place like the New Forest, really?

0:27:330:27:37

You ride your horse out, you can see all the wildlife go on, you can see the deer, you can see the foxes.

0:27:370:27:43

Well, we haven't got any ponies with us today that we can ride, but we have got your pick-up.

0:27:430:27:48

-Shall we go for a ride?

-We'll go and have a look round.

0:27:480:27:50

Brilliant.

0:27:500:27:52

Regular inspections on horseback or by car mean that the Agisters know every inch of their patch of forest.

0:28:000:28:05

Of the 7,000 animals that roam over the New Forest, 4,000 of these are the famous ponies.

0:28:050:28:10

Although they're wild by nature, they're all owned by commoners.

0:28:100:28:14

That's people who have the right to graze their animals on open land.

0:28:140:28:18

A good Agister will know exactly which ponies belong to a particular commoner.

0:28:180:28:22

There's no formal training needed to be an Agister, it's the local inside

0:28:220:28:27

knowledge of the land and the animals on it that counts.

0:28:270:28:31

There. Look at that. I love it. The foal, the mare.

0:28:320:28:35

-They just look very, very happy here.

-Yeah, they do.

0:28:350:28:39

And what happens to them all? New Forest is famous for its ponies.

0:28:390:28:43

-What becomes of them?

-We sell them through for breeding, for riding.

0:28:430:28:48

Well, I have to say, it's absolutely lovely having the chance to see them in their truly natural environment.

0:28:480:28:53

Now, if there is one thought that you could leave me with, for anybody coming here to the New Forest,

0:28:530:28:58

as somebody who's had to look after it and manage it, what would it be?

0:28:580:29:01

One of our biggest problems is people that feed the animals.

0:29:010:29:04

It is something that we have tried to stop for a number of years because people get injured.

0:29:040:29:10

They get kicked and then, you know, it's a problem that that animal's got to be moved.

0:29:100:29:16

But it hasn't been the animal's fault. It's been the people that have come here and feed them.

0:29:160:29:19

I think the key thing to remember is that it isn't a tourist attraction,

0:29:190:29:24

-it's a genuine working landscape.

-This is a working forest and this is what we'd like it to continue as.

0:29:240:29:30

If you come to the New Forest, enjoy it, celebrate it, make the best of it, just don't feed the animals.

0:29:300:29:35

With our day's house hunting over,

0:29:410:29:44

Nick and Tracy take a chance to mull over the properties they've seen so far.

0:29:440:29:48

-What did you think of the bungalow?

-It's a good conversion. The office.

0:29:480:29:54

-Brilliant.

-Perfect for what we need.

-The kitchen?

-Mm.

0:29:540:29:57

It didn't really have that much space, did it?

0:29:570:30:01

It had space, but not the way we want space. Living rooms, great.

0:30:010:30:06

-Nice open fireplace. Garden was fantastic.

-Thought that was great.

0:30:060:30:10

-But is it big enough for us? Not sure.

-How about the 1970s house?

0:30:100:30:16

I love the look of the outside. The location is perfect.

0:30:160:30:20

Really good, but it needs a lot of money spending on it to update it.

0:30:200:30:25

The kitchen and the dining room have to become one room.

0:30:250:30:29

-I guess the biggest surprise in the house is upstairs.

-Yeah.

0:30:290:30:34

Those rooms were amazingly big. Especially the thought of knocking

0:30:340:30:37

-one into two for the girls would be perfect.

-Good idea.

0:30:370:30:41

Your drums could go into the garage, perhaps,

0:30:410:30:44

if we could extend beyond the garage for the office outside.

0:30:440:30:48

-There's a few options. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

-Who knows?

0:30:480:30:52

Nick and Tracy from Bournemouth dream of swapping their house

0:30:590:31:02

in town for a character family home in the New Forest.

0:31:020:31:06

With a budget of £650,000, they also want an office space

0:31:060:31:10

and ideally a shop from where they can run their Spanish food business.

0:31:100:31:15

So far, they've seen two properties but coming up, I get an idea of what Nick's cooking up in the kitchen.

0:31:150:31:21

I want to cook suckling pigs.

0:31:210:31:23

You know, I need an oven that's big enough to get them in.

0:31:230:31:26

-Is he serious?

-He is!

0:31:260:31:28

And there's the mystery house with a potential business bolthole just around the corner.

0:31:280:31:33

Well, we've got just one more day here in the New Forest to find Tracy and Nick the house of their dreams.

0:31:360:31:41

Now, it wouldn't be Escape To The Country if our buyers didn't want

0:31:410:31:45

a nice big kitchen, but these two are real foodies.

0:31:450:31:49

I think they want an exceptional kitchen and they also have a thing about properties that are thatched.

0:31:490:31:55

So just as well we've got two more to come, including, of course, the mystery house.

0:31:550:31:58

Our next property is in the dramatically named village

0:32:000:32:02

of Nomansland, slap bang on the Hampshire and Wiltshire border.

0:32:020:32:06

It was named in the 17th century when no-one could decide whether or not it fell within the New Forest.

0:32:060:32:12

As well as a popular primary school for their girls, Nomansland is foodie heaven for our gastronomes.

0:32:120:32:19

Boasting a fine pub and a French restaurant in the village.

0:32:190:32:21

But what will they make of the property itself?

0:32:210:32:23

Right. Out you come.

0:32:260:32:28

Now, it's not every day we get to go to Nomansland on this show.

0:32:300:32:34

Although we are often in the middle of nowhere, to be fair!

0:32:340:32:36

But, you know this part of the world quite well.

0:32:360:32:39

We've been here before.

0:32:390:32:41

-So, in terms of location?

-Fantastic.

0:32:410:32:43

Excellent. Good. Well, that's what I want you to look at.

0:32:430:32:46

Wow! Love it.

0:32:470:32:49

Now, it's described as a cottage. But it has had an awful lot of work done to it over the years

0:32:490:32:55

and it has just been newly refurbished.

0:32:550:32:57

Let's see what you make of it. Come and have a look.

0:32:570:33:00

And through the gateway into Wiltshire we go.

0:33:020:33:06

In you come. Grab the door, Nick.

0:33:060:33:09

Now then, Tracy.

0:33:120:33:14

This looks really good. I love it. It's the floor.

0:33:140:33:18

It's clean, it's fresh.

0:33:180:33:20

It looks really open.

0:33:200:33:23

My goodness, it's like a tunnel going down into somewhere else.

0:33:230:33:27

-It's fantastic.

-You wanted a kitchen, my friend.

0:33:270:33:30

-I did.

-Oh yes. Come with me. This you will like,

0:33:300:33:35

Mr Nick. Utility room in there.

0:33:350:33:38

-All very handy. But this I think you'll enjoy.

-Wow!

0:33:380:33:44

Wow!

0:33:440:33:46

Fantastic.

0:33:460:33:47

-Love it.

-What a space. What a room. Wonderful.

0:33:470:33:51

It's quite interesting. I mean, there's quite a high-spec here. Have a look at this.

0:33:510:33:55

If you're into your cooking, you've got a whole range of ovens here. And everything's nicely built in.

0:33:550:34:00

-It's a cook's kitchen, this.

-It is, which is why I thought you would like this.

0:34:000:34:05

And it's also a kitchen where you've got everybody around you, which is what I love as well.

0:34:050:34:11

Well, you know, you've got bags of space for them.

0:34:110:34:13

Open-plan is clearly what this is all about.

0:34:130:34:15

Whether you keep it as open-plan as it is, I don't know.

0:34:150:34:19

You could divide this with a glass partition if you wanted to.

0:34:190:34:22

I don't think so. I love it open-plan.

0:34:220:34:26

I mean, in fairness, this is really one of your principal reception rooms.

0:34:260:34:29

-Yes.

-But what you do get is quite special.

-Definitely.

0:34:290:34:34

So far, so good. You haven't smiled so much all week. This is great.

0:34:340:34:40

This house may only have one reception room, but I've got a few surprises up my sleeve.

0:34:400:34:44

Downstairs, there's one of this property's five bedrooms, which

0:34:440:34:47

could be a perfect music room for Tracy and there's a small cellar.

0:34:470:34:50

Back up to the entrance hall, there's a good-sized double with a large en-suite.

0:34:530:34:57

But now to the top floor, complete with a spacious family bathroom and the three remaining bedrooms.

0:34:570:35:04

Now, of the three bedrooms up here, there are two which are pretty much identical.

0:35:060:35:10

This one and the one next door. So you tell me.

0:35:100:35:13

Girls. Fantastic. No arguing.

0:35:130:35:17

-Straightforward.

-Identical!

0:35:170:35:21

I would think this would be perfect.

0:35:210:35:23

I can see the little dressing tables here.

0:35:230:35:26

All right, well, let's see

0:35:260:35:28

if we can find you a master bedroom. Follow me through here.

0:35:280:35:34

-So, here you are. This can be your own little playroom.

-OK.

0:35:340:35:38

What a lovely room.

0:35:380:35:40

The little old Victorian fireplace is quite sweet.

0:35:400:35:44

And there's a mixture of stripped doors and new doors.

0:35:440:35:49

That one there going into your little shower room. Have a look in there.

0:35:490:35:51

It's quite a big shower, though.

0:35:510:35:54

-Practical. Perfect.

-And, of course next door you've got the bathroom in any case.

0:35:540:36:02

-Look, there are your neighbours. Ponies.

-My goodness! Look at that.

0:36:020:36:06

That's why you've got a gate!

0:36:060:36:08

Well, um, I think this is going quite well,

0:36:080:36:12

in terms of its finish, and so forth, so let's go and look

0:36:120:36:15

at the garden because there are some interesting options there. It really does set this place off a treat.

0:36:150:36:20

I know you have been itching to come out and explore this bit.

0:36:260:36:30

It's somewhat sort of Mediterranean, I think, in a way.

0:36:300:36:33

We could be on a ship.

0:36:330:36:35

Yeah, a game of shuffleboard, or quoits, or something?

0:36:350:36:38

The only thing we haven't got you is a pool. I think it's rather nice.

0:36:380:36:43

-Well, I can see us eating out here.

-Definitely.

-Many evenings during the summer.

0:36:430:36:47

Good. And of course you've got that bit down there.

0:36:470:36:51

Some grass, and a good size, by the look of it.

0:36:510:36:53

-Something for you to mow, Nick.

-I do the mowing!

0:36:530:36:56

The terrace has gone down a treat. I want to impress them with the bigger picture.

0:36:560:37:00

There we are.

0:37:000:37:03

Quite handsome, I think, actually, perched up there.

0:37:030:37:06

Looks lovely up there.

0:37:060:37:08

You get a real sense of how much extra the extension that includes

0:37:080:37:11

-the kitchen, it's a vast area, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:37:110:37:15

The garden is pretty much

0:37:150:37:17

what you see.

0:37:170:37:19

-Office space, I'm thinking, Nick...

-Ah. We were thinking about offices. Where we might put those.

0:37:190:37:26

Well, maybe there, what do you think?

0:37:260:37:27

Purpose built, for the job, fantastic.

0:37:270:37:29

You know, something that will really complement the garden.

0:37:290:37:32

You're going to have to run it through the relevant authorities.

0:37:320:37:34

But you wouldn't be overlooked, there.

0:37:340:37:37

-I wouldn't have thought. It's tucked away.

-That would work very well.

0:37:370:37:39

Well, are you going to move here?

0:37:390:37:41

I wonder. Let's have a think about how much it's going to set you back.

0:37:410:37:45

-Go on, Tracy.

-Well, location's fantastic.

0:37:450:37:49

The reception rooms, there's not as many as I'd like and the bedrooms might be an issue.

0:37:490:37:56

But the finish is fantastic, so I'm going to say it's near the top end of our budget.

0:37:560:38:01

-Probably 650.

-Yep.

0:38:010:38:03

I think you jumped a little bit over.

0:38:030:38:06

-660.

-660?

0:38:060:38:09

Well done, you.

0:38:090:38:11

Yeah, for the sake of a few quid, it's just under £650,000.

0:38:110:38:16

All right?

0:38:160:38:18

That's pretty good. Because we haven't got too much to spend other than the office.

0:38:180:38:23

-It's only the office space. The rest of it's done.

-Fantastic.

0:38:230:38:25

Go and have a look round and I'll catch up with you later.

0:38:250:38:29

Well, the stunning kitchen layout and garden office idea have wiped

0:38:310:38:34

the three reception rooms from their wish-list.

0:38:340:38:37

For just under £650,000, it offers a state-of-the-art open-plan kitchen for Nick.

0:38:370:38:43

Five bedrooms with two en suite.

0:38:430:38:46

A south-facing terrace overlooking the garden.

0:38:460:38:48

And it's just a stroll across the road to the New Forest.

0:38:480:38:51

-Absolutely love the house.

-I think this house is fantastic.

0:38:510:38:56

-What do you reckon to the kitchen?

-I love the kitchen. It's modern, but I love it.

0:38:560:39:00

Very, very well designed.

0:39:000:39:02

Big fridge, no range cooker, though.

0:39:020:39:07

Ah! You're going to make me compromise on that one, I think. Maybe.

0:39:070:39:11

-But the equipment's beautiful.

-I love this island.

0:39:110:39:13

I could see the children having breakfast here in the morning.

0:39:130:39:16

I can see ME having my breakfast here in the morning!

0:39:160:39:19

-Yes!

-Well, I think there's so much potential.

0:39:190:39:21

What would be great is if you could put a conservatory off from the top

0:39:210:39:25

level there at the back here with a spiral staircase coming down.

0:39:250:39:30

That would give us another reception room.

0:39:300:39:33

Flat in the chalet office down there.

0:39:330:39:35

That would just make it a workable...

0:39:350:39:39

Garden's a really nice size.

0:39:390:39:41

Should be good. The location of this house is fantastic.

0:39:410:39:45

Ponies coming up to the door.

0:39:450:39:47

It's beautiful.

0:39:470:39:49

There's a fantastic pub up the road, so just what we want.

0:39:490:39:51

Right, guys, out you come.

0:39:510:39:54

Come back to Hampshire.

0:39:540:39:56

But a nice foray into Wiltshire, I think.

0:39:560:39:58

-Yes. Great foray into Wiltshire. Brilliant.

-Plenty more to see.

0:39:580:40:01

Go on. Off you go. Let's move on.

0:40:010:40:05

Nick and Tracy aren't only food distributors,

0:40:090:40:12

they are food connoisseurs.

0:40:120:40:14

So they couldn't resist a visit to a nearby farm which claims

0:40:140:40:18

to be the only British producer of a version of one of Italy's finest cheeses - buffalo mozzarella.

0:40:180:40:23

They're meeting former racing driver-turned-organic farmer

0:40:230:40:26

Jody Scheckter, who's going to show them how it's done.

0:40:260:40:29

I'll show you to the dairy where we make the mozzarella.

0:40:290:40:32

-There's a guy that's going to make some by hand.

-That would be fantastic. Thank you.

0:40:320:40:36

Jody's herd of East Indian water buffalo have been on the farm

0:40:360:40:39

for about five years

0:40:390:40:41

and they certainly look very at home in the heart of Hampshire.

0:40:410:40:45

Although they only produce half the milk of a dairy cow,

0:40:450:40:48

it's much richer in calcium and protein,

0:40:480:40:50

which gives the mozzarella its distinctive flavour.

0:40:500:40:54

Welcome. This is Tom. He's going to give us a demonstration on how you do it by hand.

0:40:540:40:59

The traditional method is to soak the cheese curds

0:40:590:41:02

in almost-boiling water to soften them and then stretch them out

0:41:020:41:06

over a wooden board, which creates the stringy,

0:41:060:41:08

layered consistency that characterises the very best mozzarella.

0:41:080:41:12

In a good mozzarella, you'll see the layers when you open it up. It's quite firm.

0:41:120:41:16

When's going soft, it's starting to go past its good date.

0:41:160:41:19

The advantage we've got is it's fresh.

0:41:190:41:23

You can't get mozzarella like this unless you go to the south of Italy.

0:41:230:41:27

Traditional Italian mozzarella, di Bufala Campana, is a protected brand

0:41:270:41:30

from the Campana region, much like champagne is in France.

0:41:300:41:36

This is as we'll deliver it. Take one out and open it up like this.

0:41:360:41:43

-Ah, mozzarella.

-It's a little cold now.

0:41:450:41:49

You want to eat it always at room temperature.

0:41:490:41:52

-You want to take a bite?

-I'd love to.

-That's the way you eat it.

0:41:520:41:55

Fantastic! Beautiful!

0:41:590:42:01

-Shall I just go for the same one?

-Yeah, go for it.

0:42:020:42:05

You know how we tell we're doing good?

0:42:060:42:09

You show it to an Italian from the south of Italy

0:42:090:42:11

and you see the face go like that.

0:42:110:42:13

I know it's not Spanish,

0:42:130:42:15

but maybe it'll be out with the manchego cheese and in with

0:42:150:42:19

the mozzarella if our couple make their move to the New Forest.

0:42:190:42:22

At long last it's time to reveal the mystery house to Nick and Tracy.

0:42:220:42:26

Back in its heyday, the New Forest would have been full

0:42:260:42:29

of thatched buildings and indeed, a good many are still left.

0:42:290:42:33

It's something Tracy has said she might be interested in,

0:42:330:42:36

and if thatched is what she wants, then thatched is what she'll get.

0:42:360:42:40

Our final property is nearly upon us. And that is which one?

0:42:430:42:47

-The mystery house.

-The mystery house.

0:42:470:42:49

What do you think we've got in mind?

0:42:490:42:51

I don't know. Probably something you haven't shown us yet.

0:42:510:42:56

-Isn't Jules famous for converted chapels?

-Ha-ha-ha!

0:42:560:43:01

The aspect of the shop combined with the property is something that we have had difficulty in achieving.

0:43:010:43:07

Are you missing that element?

0:43:070:43:09

I think it's become so clear that it's virtually impossible to have a shop

0:43:090:43:15

with a property in the Forest, that

0:43:150:43:18

we are happy to find a shop may be in a village somewhere,

0:43:180:43:22

-so that would be the compromise that would work very well.

-Brilliant.

0:43:220:43:28

I was hoping they would say that.

0:43:280:43:30

Before we go to the mystery house, we are going to stop off in the village of Burley, where

0:43:300:43:35

there's an interesting premises which might help them launch their Spanish food retail business.

0:43:350:43:40

This little gift shop, the lease is up for renewal.

0:43:400:43:43

There's a premium to pay, which effectively gives you access to the lease.

0:43:430:43:47

OK. That's about 15 grand.

0:43:470:43:50

There on in, combined rent and rates is about 12,000 a year.

0:43:500:43:54

To give you a presence on the high street.

0:43:560:43:59

-Certainly something to think about.

-Good.

0:43:590:44:01

Because the other point is that the mystery house is less than a mile from here. Ha-ha!

0:44:010:44:05

You see! It's beginning to make sense! Come on. Let's have a look.

0:44:050:44:07

Let's find your house.

0:44:070:44:09

Burley's a great village, and, along with a reputable primary school for their girls, it gets

0:44:110:44:16

plenty of passing trade, so Nick and Tracy should be heartened by the other thriving independent shops.

0:44:160:44:22

But there's still a distinctly rural feel with

0:44:220:44:25

cows roaming free on forest land and manor houses and little thatched cottages tucked away.

0:44:250:44:31

Ha-ha! The mystery house.

0:44:310:44:33

Come on in. Now then.

0:44:330:44:35

-Ooh! Tracy.

-Cute.

0:44:350:44:38

-Looks lovely.

-Quite different.

0:44:380:44:41

Very different to what we've seen. So far.

0:44:410:44:43

Admittedly, we are on the road.

0:44:430:44:46

That's the only downside. I think.

0:44:460:44:49

Because it's a wonderful period property, this.

0:44:490:44:53

-It looks massive.

-It does look big.

0:44:530:44:55

Come and have a look inside. Let's see what you think.

0:44:550:44:57

Let's start in here.

0:45:020:45:03

Come in, Tracy. Come in, Nick.

0:45:030:45:06

-My goodness.

-This is sweet. Yeah? Isn't it? It's quite elegant.

0:45:060:45:09

-It's a nice room, isn't it?

-Cosy little room.

0:45:090:45:11

Is this the sort of period charm you were thinking of?

0:45:110:45:15

It's got a lot of character.

0:45:150:45:16

Good. Right. Excellent.

0:45:160:45:18

Come on through here.

0:45:180:45:20

-There we are. Is that what you pictured?

-Great fireplace.

0:45:220:45:26

-Beautiful.

-Yes?

0:45:260:45:28

I like that.

0:45:280:45:29

Can you chop wood?

0:45:290:45:31

I'd have to be chopping wood,

0:45:310:45:33

-for sure.

-Come and have a look through here. It's sort of divided by the furniture.

0:45:330:45:37

But you could potentially have another little dining area here, if you wanted to.

0:45:370:45:42

You've certainly got bags of room.

0:45:420:45:44

It's lovely. It's got a nice feel about it. I love the beams.

0:45:440:45:47

There's not too many beams.

0:45:470:45:49

It's just cosy.

0:45:490:45:50

I can see us in here.

0:45:500:45:53

This room has definitely grabbed Tracy, but will the kitchen be suitable for Nick?

0:45:530:45:57

-Cosy!

-Yeah, really cosy, isn't it?

0:46:000:46:04

-This is sweet.

-Now, Nick, you pride yourself on being the chef in this relationship.

-I do.

0:46:040:46:09

Would you be happy doing your thing in here?

0:46:090:46:12

I'm struggling a little bit on the size at the moment.

0:46:120:46:16

It would need a complete redesign. So I would need a moment, I think, to think how it would be done.

0:46:160:46:21

Tell me, how much room do you need?

0:46:210:46:24

What actually are you going to do in this kitchen?

0:46:240:46:26

Ooh, I want to cook suckling pigs.

0:46:260:46:29

I need an oven that is big enough to get them in.

0:46:290:46:32

-Is he serious?

-He is!

0:46:320:46:35

You could still fit a range in there.

0:46:350:46:37

I still think you could.

0:46:370:46:39

You got a lot more space through you, too. The utility area.

0:46:390:46:43

The downstairs loos. So, loads of space. Should you need it.

0:46:430:46:46

I think you rather like it as it is.

0:46:460:46:47

Yeah, I do. It's cute.

0:46:470:46:49

Suckling pigs!

0:46:490:46:52

Let's go upstairs.

0:46:520:46:54

Well, I hadn't thought that Nick would be roasting whole animals.

0:46:540:46:59

You see? Old houses, old stairs.

0:46:590:47:03

Upstairs there are four bedrooms with a good-sized double, currently used as an office.

0:47:030:47:07

And down the landing, a single room.

0:47:070:47:09

But we're going to explore options for Nick and Tracy.

0:47:090:47:12

Watch your head. It's great, this, isn't it? You're loving it, aren't you, Tracy?

0:47:120:47:15

Yes. This is a great room.

0:47:150:47:18

Come on in. How about all this?

0:47:180:47:20

Yes. Fantastic.

0:47:200:47:22

Look how those beams go. Brilliant.

0:47:220:47:25

This room also has a very useful en suite in there.

0:47:250:47:29

-Look at that.

-Oh, that's nice.

0:47:290:47:31

-Kind of a large en-suite as well.

-Yes. Really large.

0:47:310:47:33

Now, this could be the master.

0:47:330:47:36

Because there is a choice. Let me show you the master, then you can decide.

0:47:360:47:40

Now then. In here, that is technically the family bathroom.

0:47:440:47:47

-That's nice. Without a bath.

-Just with a big shower.

0:47:470:47:51

-A large shower.

-But it is next door to this room which is currently

0:47:510:47:56

on the spec as the master.

0:47:560:47:58

But it's not en suite.

0:47:580:48:01

Hence, why I am suggesting that the other one, if you wanted an en suite, would be the master.

0:48:010:48:07

Fantastic. Really pretty.

0:48:070:48:09

Very, very pretty.

0:48:090:48:12

So how are we doing on this property so far then?

0:48:120:48:15

-It's a question whether it's big enough.

-Mm-hm.

0:48:150:48:18

Drums, office...

0:48:180:48:20

Haven't worked that one out yet.

0:48:200:48:22

-I have.

-Ah.

-Mmm.

0:48:220:48:24

Drums and office, purpose-built solutions in the garden.

0:48:240:48:28

Come this way to office and drums, this is all good.

0:48:280:48:33

Well, this house does give them the three reception rooms they want, just not under the same roof.

0:48:330:48:38

OK, grab the door, Nick.

0:48:380:48:41

There's a lot of garden to explore here.

0:48:410:48:43

-Come through here, this is what I want to feast your eyes on.

-Ah, yes.

0:48:430:48:48

Now I see where you're coming from.

0:48:480:48:50

-My goodness.

-Yes.

0:48:500:48:53

-You see, I think at this point, you want this place.

-I do!

0:48:530:48:57

We've got to find a very good reason to persuade him to want it too.

0:48:570:49:01

I've got a feeling that this might just do it.

0:49:010:49:05

-Yes, definitely.

-Come and have a look inside.

0:49:050:49:07

-There we are! How about that?

-My goodness.

-That's good.

0:49:100:49:13

-What a great space.

-It's a great space, isn't it?

0:49:130:49:15

Perfect. Jules, I think we're getting there.

0:49:150:49:17

Hurrah!

0:49:170:49:19

-It's absolutely wonderful.

-Excellent!

0:49:190:49:22

Let's find you a drum kit.

0:49:220:49:23

Now then, don't say you've been left out of the thinking here, Tracy.

0:49:270:49:34

-My own hideaway.

-Yes.

0:49:340:49:35

I think it's got music room written all over it and there's more.

0:49:350:49:40

So if all that isn't enough, you also get this as well, which I think is really, really charming.

0:49:400:49:47

It's very private, it's very secluded.

0:49:470:49:49

-Good for the girls to run around in.

-The girls would love it, wouldn't they?

-Yeah.

0:49:490:49:52

-They would. Absolutely love it.

-OK.

0:49:520:49:54

So it's the final time that I'm going to press you to guess the price...

0:49:540:50:01

-before it rains!

-Before it rains.

0:50:010:50:03

So, very quickly, Nick.

0:50:030:50:07

-620.

-620.

0:50:070:50:09

I'm going to say 645.

0:50:090:50:11

645 would be a very good price.

0:50:110:50:14

620 would be a very fair price.

0:50:140:50:18

-595 is a brilliant price.

-Oh!

0:50:180:50:22

-That's good.

-That is interesting.

0:50:220:50:24

That is really interesting.

0:50:240:50:26

You like challenging us, Jules.

0:50:260:50:29

Well, that's the general idea, hopefully in a good way, though.

0:50:290:50:33

-Right, you've got some arm-twisting to do.

-Yes, I have.

0:50:330:50:36

OK, off you go, twist away and I'll catch you later.

0:50:360:50:39

-OK.

-Enjoy.

0:50:390:50:42

Well, that was our final offering.

0:50:420:50:44

The mystery house, £595,000 of character, charm and fun.

0:50:440:50:50

It is very comfortably under budget but it is also a fantastic fit

0:50:500:50:55

for this extraordinary family. Is it for them?

0:50:550:50:58

It jolly well should be.

0:50:580:51:01

Our mystery house has been a real success.

0:51:010:51:04

For £595,000 - £55,000 under budget -

0:51:040:51:07

it gives them all the period character they could wish for, a large family sitting room,

0:51:070:51:12

four bedrooms with a master en suite, separate buildings to use

0:51:120:51:16

as an office, and a music room for Tracy.

0:51:160:51:19

And the option of using some leftover cash to lease a shop,

0:51:190:51:23

less than a mile up the road, on Burley High Street.

0:51:230:51:26

Tracy loves it, but will the kitchen be an insurmountable problem for Nick?

0:51:260:51:30

This has been quite a challenging property for me

0:51:300:51:34

but I'm warming to it quite a lot.

0:51:340:51:37

This house is fantastic, this room especially.

0:51:370:51:40

I think this would be my favourite room, the fireplace is gorgeous.

0:51:400:51:44

The beams, everything I would want in a house, whether it's what Nick wants, I really don't know.

0:51:440:51:52

-So what about the kitchen?

-I love it.

0:51:520:51:55

You're not sure about the size.

0:51:550:51:57

I'm a little bit worried about the size.

0:51:570:51:59

-You could put your range there though.

-I think we would maybe need to take a wall out.

0:51:590:52:05

We could always enquire.

0:52:050:52:07

It's got lots of character. I love it.

0:52:070:52:09

Lots of character.

0:52:090:52:11

I think it would work.

0:52:110:52:13

Oh, well, we need to work on this.

0:52:130:52:16

OK. The road, a little bit noisy but the walls are thick.

0:52:160:52:21

-It's not perhaps so bad.

-Another positive is the office outside and somewhere for me to play my drums.

0:52:210:52:28

It's got all the reception space that we really want.

0:52:280:52:30

Right, guys, I'm afraid that's it. Are you feeling suitably challenged?

0:52:300:52:36

-Totally challenged, Jules.

-Good! That's the general idea, if you're challenged it's a good thing.

0:52:360:52:40

OK, let's get you somewhere where you can mull it all over and we'll see if you've reached a decision.

0:52:400:52:45

-After you.

-Thank you.

0:52:450:52:47

Well this house hunt has been a real journey for Nick and Tracy but we've reached our destination.

0:52:540:52:59

Well, at long last, decision time is upon us.

0:53:020:53:05

Now, to be honest, it can be a fairly fraught process for my buyers, often they are left feeling

0:53:050:53:11

a little bit confused, but Nick certainly is feeling challenged and maybe Tracy too.

0:53:110:53:16

So maybe this'll help.

0:53:160:53:18

-There we are, chaps.

-This looks good, Jules.

0:53:180:53:21

-Just what the doctor ordered.

-Absolutely.

0:53:210:53:25

Brilliant! Right, well, cheers!

0:53:250:53:27

Cheers.

0:53:270:53:29

Well, let's revisit the little tour that we've taken, shall we? Tell me about the bungalow.

0:53:290:53:35

It was a bungalow with a difference.

0:53:350:53:37

-Absolutely!

-And it was a very good conversion.

0:53:370:53:40

-That got us challenged.

-What did you think of it, Tracy?

0:53:400:53:43

I thought the bungalow was really nice, the garden was fantastic,

0:53:430:53:46

the lounge was great, the fireplace was great.

0:53:460:53:49

I've got a slight problem with the bedroom layout.

0:53:490:53:52

I'm not sure with the girls whether it's quite right for us.

0:53:520:53:55

-OK. Let's have a think about the red brick 1970s build.

-Great area.

0:53:550:54:01

Loved where it was. Inside...beams and more beams.

0:54:010:54:05

But as we were going through that, I thought you were coming round to the idea that this was

0:54:050:54:10

something you might want to tackle and take on, but you, Tracy,

0:54:100:54:13

-were a bit more reticent.

-I think, on reflection,

0:54:130:54:17

the position of the house, with roads on either side...

0:54:170:54:21

The plot wasn't huge,

0:54:210:54:23

-not sure we really want to start converting garages.

-Wow factor, not quite there.

0:54:230:54:28

OK, well, it wasn't over just yet, we had one more day to come.

0:54:280:54:33

It started with that very charming white cottage.

0:54:330:54:36

-It looks beautiful.

-I mean, you do walk out of your front door literally onto the New Forest.

0:54:360:54:41

-Mm-hm.

-Beautiful, we loved the area, I know we do.

-Yeah, the area's great.

0:54:410:54:44

-The kitchen was a "wow."

-My goodness that was a beautiful kitchen.

0:54:440:54:47

Modern kitchen mind, but really "wow."

0:54:470:54:50

Open plan, love it.

0:54:500:54:52

-Loved it.

-I think if we could add a conservatory onto the end of the

0:54:520:54:55

house and create a further reception room, that would be fantastic.

0:54:550:55:00

And you'd definitely need the office outside.

0:55:000:55:03

OK, last but not least, it was time to take you to the mystery house, to a thatch, Tracy.

0:55:030:55:10

Yes, you completely blew me away with that one.

0:55:100:55:13

The lounge was fantastic, the little snug room,

0:55:130:55:18

the kitchen was a little bit small but I felt it was workable.

0:55:180:55:22

-Loads of charm and character...

-He wanted to roast pigs in the kitchen!

-Yes! For sure.

0:55:220:55:26

You could even get the range in there, I think.

0:55:260:55:30

Then to go outside and find that wonderful outbuilding,

0:55:300:55:33

for the office and an outbuilding for my music room-cum-drums, you know, it was just...

0:55:330:55:37

Well, it ticked all the boxes.

0:55:370:55:39

OK, so what happens next?

0:55:390:55:42

We're going to revisit two properties.

0:55:420:55:45

We're going to Nomansland, and we're going to Burley.

0:55:450:55:48

I think we've got to spend a little time in both places...

0:55:480:55:52

I think we want to drive around Burley and just get a feel for the area.

0:55:520:55:56

It's a bit of a tourist spot.

0:55:560:55:58

I think Nomansland only works if we can get the permissions, so we need to work on that.

0:55:580:56:04

Brilliant. Thank you very much for coming on Escape To The Country, it's been great showing you around.

0:56:040:56:09

-I do hope it has been useful.

-It has.

0:56:090:56:10

It's been more than useful and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we didn't buy one of those two houses.

0:56:100:56:16

Brilliant, I can't wait for the phone call. Guys, congratulations.

0:56:160:56:20

-Cheers.

-Cheers. Thank you, Jules.

0:56:200:56:22

You know, when we started this house search, whilst we knew

0:56:270:56:30

their requirements, I wasn't sure what style of property we eventually find for Nick and Tracy.

0:56:300:56:38

As it is we've given them a very clear choice between a very slick

0:56:380:56:41

renovation and a beautiful and very old thatched cottage.

0:56:410:56:46

My hunch is, when the debate is finally over, and an ultimate

0:56:460:56:49

decision is finally reached, they could end up in "Nomansland".

0:56:490:56:54

I'll see you next time.

0:56:540:56:56

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