South Devon Escape to the Country


South Devon

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Mathematically speaking, this wonderfully eccentric building behind me is a hexadecagon.

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Find out how many sides it has and where I am in just a moment on Escape To The Country.

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Today we're helping a couple find their dream coastal home.

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-That's something I've always wanted, a balcony.

-Really?

-Yes.

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We'll be tempting them with some choice seaside properties, but will they be united in their vision?

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One of my dreams has been to live right on the beach.

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Yes, that's right.

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-Could it be one of your dreams too?

-Probably not.

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So, could this be the house search that has me calling out an SOS?

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I've been feeling quite stressed with this job, to be honest.

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-Just relax.

-Difficult clients.

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-Picky. They don't know what they want.

-What, this week?

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Yeah. Sometimes...

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I'm in Devon, just outside the seaside town of Exmouth.

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This 16-sided building is called A La Ronde.

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It was built at the end of the 18th century by two spinster cousins, Mary and Jane Parmenter,

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partly to house all the lovely treasures they brought back from their European grand tour,

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but also, by cleverly placing windows 360 degrees, to harvest all this beautiful Devon sunshine.

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Situated in south-west England, Devon is one of the UK's most popular tourist destinations.

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Over 5.4 million visitors head here each year compared

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with 4.5 million to neighbouring Cornwall and 3.5 to Dorset.

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And there's plenty to keep it at the top of the popularity stakes.

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Nature lovers can lose themselves in the wild landscapes of two national parks, Exmoor and Dartmoor.

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For sun worshippers, sea dogs and watersport enthusiasts,

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there are 200 miles of spectacular coastline to enjoy. And when you consider nearly every coastal resort

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has a harbour or marina, it's understandably a mecca for yachties.

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Away from the surf, Devon's green and undulating landscape is peace and tranquillity personified,

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with countless chocolate-box villages brimming with thatched cottages.

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This county inspired 19th-century philanthropist and poet Sir Harold Bolton to write,

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"Old England's counties by the sea from east to west are seven

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"But the gem in that fair galaxy, 'tis Devon, glorious Devon."

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According to statistics, Devon gets 7½ hours

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of sunshine every summer's day, but clearly not on this summer's day!

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But that figure might be the reason why property prices here

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are 18% above the national average.

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Still, there are some real beauties on offer.

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Take a look.

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If you have £895,000 to spend, you could be galloping off with this equestrian property near Totnes.

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With five bedrooms, three reception rooms,

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three bathrooms and a swimming pool, you get a lot for your money.

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And there's no scrimping on the land either, 29 acres in all.

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At the slightly more modest price of 600,000, how about this four-bedroom

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former bungalow in the village of Woodside?

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The space has been recently remodelled

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and refurbished throughout and it now exudes understated elegance.

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However, if it's a character property you're after, look no further than

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this four-bedroom traditional Devon longhouse on the edge of Dartmoor.

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£495,000 will purchase three reception rooms,

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a cosy country kitchen and a spacious garden with outdoor pool.

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So why not take the plunge?

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The clotted cream from the top of Devon's property market there,

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but will it be enough to tempt today's buyers? Let's meet the Brockenshaws.

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Married for 18 years, keen marathon runners Michael and Shirley are

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hoping to make a quick dash from their home in Bristol for a brand new outlook.

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We want to move to the country because we want to be nearer the coast.

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I have a great love of sailing, but as well as that, I think the slower pace of life is

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what we're looking for as we sort of wind down into retirement.

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Although Michael and Shirley won't be giving up their jobs

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as a freelance engineer and a life coach straight away, they have good reason to take things easy.

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Mike had a heart attack a couple of years ago and that made us think seriously about, let's slow down.

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So having decided to apply the brakes on their busy lifestyle, have they agreed on a new location?

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We'd like to move to South Devon.

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We had a look all over Devon and we liked that area.

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We didn't want anywhere too remote.

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Perhaps a nice community. And that seems to fit the bill.

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However, having spent nearly 10 years renovating and decorating

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their five-bedroom home, leaving it behind isn't going to be easy.

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If you could arrange to pick this house up and actually take it down to Devon,

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somewhere near the coast, with the neighbours, we'd be very happy.

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Sadly, we can't quite manage that, so what kind of property will make the grade?

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-We'd definitely like something that's finished.

-Yes.

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Three, four bedrooms preferably.

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With a couple of en suites for guests.

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And with two grandchildren and another on the way in a few months,

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family visitors will be plentiful.

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I quite like Victorian houses.

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Yes, but at the same time I think neither of us would object to modern.

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If it's the right house in the right place, then that's no problem.

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No, no, we're very flexible.

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Flexible is good.

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But finding the dream home usually comes down to details.

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This is my favourite room in the house, kitchen diner.

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It's a real family room. We all congregate in here.

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And I also love the granite.

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Absolutely love that. If there's something similar when we move, that would be absolutely superb.

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And it's not just the kitchen sink they want to take with them.

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The sort of garden that we're looking for when we move is something which, like this one, is low-maintenance.

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Because we're not really gardeners at all.

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It would be lovely to sit in the garden without all this traffic noise that we've got here.

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And the wish list doesn't end there.

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I would like a separate room for counselling,

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because at the moment people come in here for counselling and it's difficult with all the family.

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Basically, I've lived without a garage for more than 10 years now

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and it's one thing which always drops off the bottom of a compromise list.

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So this time I'm going to have one.

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I fancy a conservatory as well. Always wanted one of those.

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But that would be a plus.

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In preparation to move fast, Mike and Shirley have already put their

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house on the market at £465,000, but what's their spend for South Devon?

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Our budget for this move is up to £500,000.

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Mike and Shirley have given me a pretty open brief about what they want down in Devon.

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Clearly they're not really retiring. They're far too active for that.

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Apart from three bedrooms, I haven't got a lot to go on.

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Still, I'd better get my running shoes on if I'm going to keep up with their needs.

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As Michael and Shirley want easy access to the sea,

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we'll be casting our property search net across the entire south coast,

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from Exmouth and its surrounds

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all the way down to the countryside around Dartmouth.

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We've lined up some choice coastal homes to view, but as always I won't reveal

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the price tags until the end of the tours.

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We'll wrap things up with a mystery house,

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but will any of our properties have our would-be buyers dropping anchor?

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Welcome to Devon.

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-Hello.

-Not quite sunny Devon, but we live in hope.

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-You've lived here before, right?

-I lived in Exeter for a while, in my twenties.

-A long time ago.

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-And you've never left Bristol.

-No, this is a big adventure for me.

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-A big adventure. Are you going to be all right?

-Yes.

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What's the ground for the big move?

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We want a quieter pace of life, really.

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We want to be able to develop our hobbies.

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But otherwise you've got quite an open brief.

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Yes, we're very flexible, aren't we?

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Which makes it much more difficult for me. It's much easier if you say exactly what you want.

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-Quite right too!

-I like the fact that you're challenging me. Let's go.

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For their £500,000, Michael and Shirley are clear,

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however, they want a detached, three-bedroom, light and airy house.

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Must-haves include a big kitchen-diner.

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Shirley needs a separate room or annexe for her counselling sessions,

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whilst Michael has his heart set on a garage.

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And as neither are green-fingered,

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a low-maintenance garden is a priority.

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Although the brief is fairly open, we are house-hunting in a very pricey part of the country.

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And the closer we get to the coast, the more expensive the properties.

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So we could still have a challenge on our hands to meet the criteria.

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One of the reasons you're coming down here is to sail, for you, Michael.

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Is that really a huge passion of yours, or something that you've...?

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Yes, it is. At the moment I've got to basically travel two hours to get any sailing in.

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So what I'm really looking for is something where I can just

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pop out the front door after breakfast, disappear for the day.

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Even if it's only just going and sitting on a boat, you know, it's so relaxing.

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Sounds like you're pretty busy yourself, Shirley, so you won't mind him being out.

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I won't mind at all, no. It'll be quite relaxing for me too!

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Our first destination should be the ideal setting for some nautical R&R,

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as we're heading to the popular coastal town of Brixham.

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Although even on a dreary day, Brixham looks like your typically

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pretty colour-washed south-coast resort, it's actually one of the busiest fishing ports in the UK

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with a staggering £80 million of fish traded annually.

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So unlike many tourist hot spots, Brixham's streets aren't deserted come low season.

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Instead, there's a thriving community all year round and Michael

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should be glad to hear that a recent regeneration scheme has afforded the village with a new marina.

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Our first property is a couple of minutes out of Brixham.

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It's a modernised 1930s bungalow and enjoys an enviable elevated position above the coast.

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-This is the one.

-Oh!

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So this property has been extended three times. It was extended up,

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-and then across, and then the present owners have extended again.

-Very smart, it looks well kept.

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-I've already spotted the fact that it looks like a very nice double garage down there.

-Yes.

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In many ways it's exactly what you're looking for,

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but I'd be interested to get your impressions as we go inside.

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I know they've spent years decorating their Bristol home

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to quite a contemporary spec and they may want to make a few cosmetic changes here.

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However, it's a blank canvas and size-wise should be spot-on.

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In we go, into the sitting room.

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Yes, clean and bright.

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-Lovely big window.

-Everything about this house is really about sitting in it looking out.

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-Amazing views down the coast to the sea.

-Looking good so far.

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A good start, but I know the kitchen could be a dealbreaker in this property search,

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so Shirley's reaction to this one will be a useful yardstick.

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-Is it what you're looking for?

-It's a good size. Room for sitting, I like that.

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-Nice views.

-Nice stove. I don't know how you'd get on with that.

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Range. What do you usually cook on?

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-Well...

-Fairly conventional.

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I burn things whatever I cook on.

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Well, you can burn things in style here.

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In our house, the kitchen is the hub of the house.

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One thing that I'm thinking is that if we had the whole family here, we could find it a little bit cramped.

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It's not a kitchen diner in the sense that there's not space to sprawl. It's more a breakfast area.

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-Yes.

-OK.

-Very smart.

-So this gets a tick.

-Very smart.

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Let's look at the rest. Before that, I wanted to show you...

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You were worried about family spreading out.

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You've got a sort of dining sitting room, an extra one here.

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I like this, yes. Very cosy.

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Because this could actually be like an office, couldn't it?

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Or just...

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chilling out.

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There are other options for your office.

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This, I suggest, would be your R&R room.

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Over here, you've got this sort of dining room.

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They've got it as a dining room. You could do what you liked.

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And it's all so light,

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-that's what I like about it.

-Well, that's what you asked for.

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-Yes.

-You ask for it...

-So you get it, yes.

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And then, on top of that, two more rooms.

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At the end of the corridor is an office which I'm hoping will be

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the perfect solution for Shirley to give more counselling sessions.

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Ta-dum!

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-Oh, ideal. Perfect.

-You were mentioning an office.

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-Yes, I could shut the door and be enclosed.

-Would this be good enough for your counselling?

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It's just the right size in fact.

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Well, I'm glad this room is up to snuff.

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Because, just in case you were feeling left out, Michael, there is another one.

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We're spoiling you in this house because there's another big, big room.

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Loads of storage by the looks of it, too.

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Yes, massive deep cupboards, and a shower room.

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This is effectively like a guest wing. You start to see the sea.

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-Can you see?

-Yes, I can see the sea.

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The hazy blue. That is the sea. Would you keep this as a bedroom?

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It depends how many bedrooms are upstairs.

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-Three.

-Three?

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In that case this would make a perfect guest suite, wouldn't it? I think we'd keep it as that.

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That way you can have maybe all the kiddies running around upstairs and have the serious guests...

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Auntie down here. She'd like that.

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Well, that's one relative sorted and there are a couple more

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guest bedrooms upstairs which share the family bathroom.

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But the piece de resistance of this property is the master bedroom.

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Oh, just look at this.

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This is magnificent. Oh, this

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is jolly good. Fantastic.

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-Totally unexpected.

-Have you seen that, a balcony?

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-Something I've always wanted, a balcony.

-Really?

-Yes.

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-What's nice is you've got a walk-in wardrobe there, so you can put your running clothes in there.

-Sweet.

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-And a very nice en suite.

-It's done very well.

-And then this wonderful decking area.

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For me, this is what makes this whole property.

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-The views.

-Absolutely superb.

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Wonderful views.

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In terms of sailing clubs for you, you've got Brixham, which you can see there.

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Also Kingswear and Dartmouth all very close, about a five-minute drive.

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-Wonderful.

-From up here you can see the extent of your garden, but let's go into it.

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Now, I know Shirley and Michael have confessed to being horticulturally challenged, but I don't think

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this garden will pose too many problems for them, and I'm sure the grandkids would love it.

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The whole plot is about half an acre.

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It's different portions of garden. You've got this raised bit here, a little water feature over there.

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There's another plot of land just beyond the drive.

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And a nice patio area here.

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So lots of kind of different bits.

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How much time do you spend in the garden?

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I think if it was a garden like this, more time.

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This is beautifully done. I can just see myself with a garden like this.

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Although we're not very good at gardening, something that's already

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so lovely as this, we could continue and keep it this way.

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Looking around, it seems to be shrubs rather than flowers.

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This is the first property we've seen down here.

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It is the Riviera, as they call it, so it'll be interesting to see what you think it's worth.

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I would value this house at 495.

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That's exactly the figure I was going to put on it.

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I have to be different, don't I?

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-So I'm going to say 490.

-490.

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Well, there you go. If you'd gone a shade above

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you would have been right.

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It's on at 499.

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Oh, quite close.

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So why don't you have a wander around? I know it's difficult with me breathing down your neck to make

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any kind of judgments, but have a wander around on your own and then we can press on.

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Yes, OK.

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See, I'm not entirely sure they're being honest.

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Because I think that's too many "lovely"s and "wonderful"s.

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For me, I like a bit of, "Well, I'm not so sure about this."

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I need to maybe tease out what they don't like as well as what they do like and then we can proceed nicely.

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At just a snip under £500,000, this property is bang on budget, and there's a lot of it.

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Three reception rooms, a large galley kitchen,

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an office for Shirley's therapy sessions,

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a double garage for Michael, four big bedrooms and it's all set in

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the low-maintenance half-acre plot.

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With three marinas all within a ten-minute drive it should be

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the perfect location for skipper Michael, so could they be sailing away with our very first offering?

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Oh, look at this, Mike.

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My domain, keep out.

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When I saw the house I was very impressed. It's clean and tidy.

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It's perfect, you could move straight in, just what we wanted.

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The only thing I'm a little bit concerned about is not its immediate location

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but it's the surrounding, whether we could get to shops without having to drive.

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Because that's always something that I enjoy doing Sunday mornings, the walk to get the papers.

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-Right, let's go. Have you got all your bits and bobs?

-I have, yes.

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You can close the door, Michael.

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Keen to explore as much of the coast as they can

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before making the all-important decision to buy,

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earlier in the week, Michael and Shirley headed for the shores of

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the coastal resort of Teignmouth, where local historian Viv Wilson

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was on hand to fill them in

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on the back story of this still-working harbour town.

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-You must be Viv. Pleased to meet you.

-Hello, Shirley.

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Do you want to come and have a look at the harbour?

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Situated on the north bank of the mouth of the Teign estuary,

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the town got its start as a Medieval fishing port.

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By the 17th century, the main industries were Newfoundland cod fishing and smuggling.

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But the town's wealth attracted unwanted attention.

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One July morning, 4:00 it was, in 1690,

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1,000 French sailors invaded Teignmouth.

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They rampaged through the town, set fire to the houses,

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they went into churches, ripped up the bibles,

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they slaughtered the animals, and left the place in flames...

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-Goodness.

-Absolutely unopposed,

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cos all the locals had taken to the hills for safety!

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Teignmouth was the very last place in England to suffer a foreign invasion, in fact.

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But the town's fortunes were to change 100 years later,

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when invaders of a very different kind started

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descending in their droves - holidaymakers.

0:19:180:19:21

And the arrival of Brunel's South Coast Railway in 1846

0:19:210:19:25

sealed the town's reputation as a Victorian vacation hotspot.

0:19:250:19:31

I promised you to see the pier.

0:19:310:19:33

It was built in 1865 and some of the very early visitors landed at the end.

0:19:330:19:37

It was also important for the sea-bathing, cos we had a lot of people come for that.

0:19:370:19:42

It was ladies that side, gentlemen this side.

0:19:420:19:46

So segregated sea-bathing!

0:19:460:19:48

The sea front is still lined with fine examples of Victorian villas and terraces.

0:19:480:19:53

But it's lucky they've survived at all -

0:19:530:19:57

as an important boat-building harbour for the Royal Navy

0:19:570:19:59

in WWII, Teignmouth again received unwanted attention

0:19:590:20:02

from across the Channel - this time from the Germans.

0:20:020:20:05

So, gunning emplacements were positioned

0:20:050:20:07

on hilltops opposite the harbour to protect it.

0:20:070:20:11

Teignmouth suffered 22 air raids, you know.

0:20:110:20:15

22 air raids, 79 high-explosive bombs dropped on it

0:20:150:20:20

and curiously, 79 people were killed.

0:20:200:20:24

Poor old Teignmouth had seven bells knocked out of it.

0:20:240:20:27

It struggled to get its way back up to the present time

0:20:270:20:30

and has rebuilt quite well, in the main.

0:20:300:20:32

And as a popular base for yachties,

0:20:320:20:34

I'm sure it won't be long before they return.

0:20:340:20:38

On with the property shopping.

0:20:380:20:41

Our next offering will be a real opportunity for our couple

0:20:410:20:44

to live life in the slow lane.

0:20:440:20:45

We're heading 6.5 miles inland from the coast to the rural parish

0:20:450:20:50

of Blackawton.

0:20:500:20:51

With little more than a church and a couple of pubs, it's definitely peaceful!

0:20:510:20:56

Our property is situated a short distance away in the hamlet of Coombe Barton,

0:20:560:21:00

which consists of a small group of farm dwellings, including a few

0:21:000:21:04

converted barns, which is a big clue as to what we're viewing next.

0:21:040:21:08

Certainly different from the last one.

0:21:110:21:14

-I thought it was good to show you something different.

-Yes, we're open to suggestions.

0:21:140:21:18

It's a barn conversion. How do you feel about that?

0:21:180:21:21

As long as it's finished, um...worth considering.

0:21:210:21:24

We want an easy life, Alistair.

0:21:240:21:27

-Easy life! It is quite rural.

-Yes, maybe bit too much.

0:21:270:21:32

But we'll keep an open mind.

0:21:320:21:35

We'll have a look inside.

0:21:350:21:37

Indulge me!

0:21:370:21:38

Well, that's not the most enthusiastic of starts!

0:21:380:21:41

Let's hope the barn gets a warmer reception inside.

0:21:410:21:44

It's an upside-down house, with the living accommodation upstairs -

0:21:440:21:47

and that's where we're going to start.

0:21:470:21:50

At over 50 feet in length, it's a rather impressive space.

0:21:500:21:56

Here we are.

0:21:560:21:57

Here we are, indeed.

0:21:570:21:58

What do you think of this?

0:22:000:22:02

Interesting!

0:22:020:22:03

It is, isn't it? You've got to admit it's interesting.

0:22:030:22:05

-A certainly wide-open space.

-Yes.

0:22:050:22:07

Well, you wanted white and bright

0:22:070:22:09

and spacious, so...this is the ultimate, in many ways.

0:22:090:22:12

Think of that dusting, up there.

0:22:120:22:15

-And the beams.

-Gosh, you really don't like it,

0:22:150:22:18

if that's the first thing you can think of.

0:22:180:22:22

You don't like all this lovely wide-open space?

0:22:220:22:26

Oh, I like open space, but...

0:22:260:22:28

What is it you don't like?

0:22:280:22:30

You don't have to like everything I show you.

0:22:300:22:32

You know houses get a feel...? They have a personality and a feel?

0:22:320:22:35

This doesn't do it for me, at all.

0:22:350:22:38

Right. So open-plan's not really for you?

0:22:380:22:41

Some open plans, yes.

0:22:410:22:43

-But it's...

-Not this one!

0:22:430:22:46

It's got potential, which covers a multitude, doesn't it?

0:22:460:22:51

Ah, the elusive "right feeling".

0:22:520:22:54

It's always the trickiest thing to nail.

0:22:540:22:56

Well, we've seen most of the kitchen, but now we're in it.

0:22:560:23:02

What's your verdict?

0:23:020:23:03

It's not doing it for me at all. I think it's these beams.

0:23:030:23:06

I feel I want to duck all the time.

0:23:060:23:08

One of the things we've deliberately gone away from at home,

0:23:080:23:11

-because we had one before, was a farmhouse kitchen.

-Ah.

0:23:110:23:15

So, we're off farmhouse kitchens at the moment.

0:23:150:23:18

Most people are desperate to have a farmhouse kitchen and you don't!

0:23:180:23:22

We're the opposite!

0:23:220:23:23

Basically, the result of that is that when I look at something like this,

0:23:230:23:27

I'm thinking, how much would this cost to actually replace? We're starting to clock up.

0:23:270:23:32

-Kerching, kerching.

-Yes.

0:23:320:23:34

-Let's look at the sitting room.

-OK.

-That might change your mind!

0:23:340:23:39

It looks like we can rule out typically rural properties, then,

0:23:390:23:42

if beams and country kitchens are off the table.

0:23:420:23:45

It's a refreshing change, but it's a shame, as on paper,

0:23:450:23:48

this barn conversion offers them all the space they've asked for and more.

0:23:480:23:53

Maybe this room will just do it. Suddenly you'll fall in love.

0:23:530:23:56

-Or maybe not!

-Maybe not?

0:23:560:23:59

It's more of the same, really.

0:23:590:24:01

But this is the living end of the house.

0:24:010:24:04

-Yes.

-Still just see cobwebs, do you?

0:24:040:24:07

More beams. More dusting.

0:24:070:24:09

Well, we're obviously not cleaning up on this level,

0:24:090:24:12

but I'm not throwing in the towel just yet.

0:24:120:24:15

There's still the downstairs to check out and you never know,

0:24:150:24:18

they could change their minds when they see what's on offer.

0:24:180:24:21

As well as three good-size bedrooms, and the family bathroom,

0:24:210:24:25

there's a huge added extra.

0:24:250:24:26

-Look.

-Look!

-Gosh.

0:24:290:24:31

It's a self-contained flat.

0:24:310:24:34

-Oh!

-A home within a home.

-A home within a home.

0:24:340:24:37

Three bedrooms, kitchen, dining room -

0:24:370:24:40

and I was thinking in light of what you've said about the rest

0:24:400:24:44

of the house, that this could be your kind of office wing for counselling.

0:24:440:24:48

It could be, yes - it could be very cosy with the log burner.

0:24:480:24:52

Yes.

0:24:520:24:54

But I think something this size would actually be too big,

0:24:540:24:57

-wouldn't it? For what you want to do.

-Yes, maybe.

0:24:570:25:00

Just doesn't feel right for us.

0:25:000:25:03

I can see lots of people would love it here.

0:25:030:25:06

But it probably needs too much to do with it.

0:25:070:25:10

I think so, yes.

0:25:100:25:12

I guess I was trying to show you something completely different and see what you thought.

0:25:120:25:16

It's been very instructive, because I've learnt a lot!

0:25:160:25:19

-Often you learn a lot by showing something you don't like.

-Yes.

0:25:190:25:22

It'd be boring if you liked everything. But let's step outside and talk about the money.

0:25:220:25:27

Shirley is obviously a very instinctive housebuyer

0:25:270:25:30

and although by rights, this property should work in terms

0:25:300:25:33

of size and space, neither of them are feeling it.

0:25:330:25:37

So I doubt the double garage or the ample paddock is going to make a blind bit of difference.

0:25:370:25:43

-What do you think this is on the market for?

-I'm going to say...550.

0:25:430:25:48

-550?

-Yes.

-Gosh! I'll say 450.

-In between the two of you.

0:25:480:25:52

-It's on at 495.

-Yes.

-So...

0:25:520:25:55

But not a 49 you're going to be spending.

0:25:550:25:58

Not our 495, unfortunately.

0:25:580:26:01

It's a shame Shirley and Michael aren't getting the right vibe

0:26:010:26:05

from this barn, cos there's a lot of property for the £495,000.

0:26:050:26:10

The floorspace includes a huge open-plan kitchen-cum-diner

0:26:100:26:14

and living room, three bedrooms

0:26:140:26:17

a self-contained annexe with a further three bedrooms,

0:26:170:26:21

a very low-maintenance garden

0:26:210:26:23

and a paddock.

0:26:230:26:25

Despite having a small village close by,

0:26:250:26:27

it's clear the more rural setting of the barn isn't a huge hit, either.

0:26:270:26:32

I like the idea of having two sections to this house,

0:26:320:26:35

that was great, cos we could always get an income from holiday let.

0:26:350:26:39

I could use counselling rooms that were completely separate. Probably be quiet as well.

0:26:390:26:43

So I like that aspect.

0:26:430:26:44

I think this has brought home to us exactly what we're NOT looking for and what we are.

0:26:440:26:49

-Yes.

-Nothing too rural.

0:26:490:26:52

And certainly not too much work.

0:26:520:26:53

Although we're flexible and open to looking at different things,

0:26:530:26:57

and viewing them, this has got too many negatives against it, for us.

0:26:570:27:01

What we're looking for is something which is rural outlook,

0:27:010:27:05

but on the edge of something so that there is a community around you.

0:27:050:27:10

Ah. Did you change your mind?

0:27:110:27:14

No, sorry.

0:27:140:27:16

Well, can't win them all.

0:27:160:27:18

Our super sporty couple are always on the lookout for a new activity to take up,

0:27:210:27:27

so with the 2012 Olympics fast approaching I thought I'd introduce them to one of the sports

0:27:270:27:32

that will no doubt be featuring heavily on our TV screens - beach volleyball.

0:27:320:27:36

Clare, Ali and Sylvia belong to the Exmouth Beach Volleyball club.

0:27:590:28:03

They're part of a local league, play at least once a week and welcome new members with open arms.

0:28:030:28:10

But I'm going to take a break before I do myself a serious injury to find out more

0:28:100:28:14

about this Olympic sport from team captain Ali West.

0:28:140:28:18

It's got an interesting history. I was surprised how long it's been around.

0:28:200:28:24

Yeah, it's been going since 1915.

0:28:240:28:27

I think it was first invented by some surfers at Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.

0:28:270:28:32

-1915! That's in the middle of the First World War.

-Exactly, yeah.

0:28:320:28:36

How did it arise?

0:28:360:28:38

I think they wanted to do something when there was no surf,

0:28:380:28:42

so they thought, "Let's mess around playing with a ball."

0:28:420:28:47

-And then the Californians took over, and then it's become an Olympic sport.

-Since when?

0:28:470:28:52

When did it start?

0:28:520:28:54

The first showing was in Barcelona.

0:28:540:28:57

They didn't play for medals.

0:28:570:28:59

But then the first official one was at Atlanta Olympics.

0:28:590:29:02

-We've got it coming up in 2012?

-Yeah.

-Where are they going to play in England?

0:29:020:29:06

London, of all places, Horse Guards Parade.

0:29:060:29:09

No way. Shirley and Mike are moving down here.

0:29:090:29:12

They're very active retirees.

0:29:120:29:15

Is it something that anybody can take part in?

0:29:150:29:17

Absolutely. Anyone, any age.

0:29:170:29:19

That's the beauty of it. Anyone can come along and just join in.

0:29:190:29:23

You don't have to be particularly sporty. Just throw yourself around.

0:29:230:29:29

And on that note, I think we'll rejoin the action.

0:29:290:29:32

We're not playing beach volleyball rules because, as opposed to indoor volleyball

0:29:320:29:36

which is played in teams, beach volleyball is played in pairs.

0:29:360:29:40

Our team needs all the help it can get.

0:29:400:29:42

I'm exhausted!

0:29:450:29:47

Time for a cup of tea.

0:29:470:29:49

As the sun sets over the south Devon countryside,

0:29:540:29:57

Shirley and Michael get a chance to mull over the properties they've seen today.

0:29:570:30:02

What did you think about the extended bungalow we saw?

0:30:020:30:05

I thought it was really well presented, I liked the garden. That was great.

0:30:050:30:10

What I liked particularly was we could move in tomorrow without any problem at all.

0:30:100:30:16

-Yes.

-Plus the fact it had that beautiful double garage, which would win it over for me!

0:30:160:30:23

-Maybe it was a bit too far from local communities?

-Yes, I think I'd agree with you there.

0:30:230:30:31

What did you think of the barn conversion?

0:30:310:30:34

I don't think it's for us, do you?

0:30:340:30:36

I don't think so. It's too much work, um...

0:30:360:30:39

It needs too much work to bring it up to the sort of thing that we're looking for.

0:30:390:30:44

-But it did tell us what we didn't want.

-Yes, it was useful.

0:30:440:30:48

So it should help us actually find when we're looking at stuff tomorrow.

0:30:480:30:53

-So here's to tomorrow!

-Yes! Cheers.

0:30:530:30:57

Shirley and Michael are in search of a slower pace of life on the south Devon coast.

0:31:080:31:13

They liked a 1930s house we viewed,

0:31:130:31:16

although I don't think we've really blown their socks off yet.

0:31:160:31:20

But could all that be about to change?

0:31:200:31:23

-I want to move in!

-Ahhh..!

-But I haven't seen the rest!

0:31:230:31:26

Or will it be the mystery house that has keen yachtsman Michael battening down the hatches?

0:31:260:31:33

You're not getting interested in this place, are you?

0:31:330:31:36

He's been interested since he walked through the door.

0:31:360:31:39

Day two, the sun is shining here in Devon and Michael and Shirley's brief, although wide-open,

0:31:410:31:47

has proved quite tricky. So today we're going to concentrate on the essentials -

0:31:470:31:53

coast, no renovation, good community.

0:31:530:31:56

With that in mind, we're kicking off today's search in the charming coastal town of Budleigh Salterton.

0:31:580:32:03

This part of east Devon is an area of outstanding natural beauty and the red sandstone cliffs

0:32:030:32:08

that bookend the two-and-a-half mile pebble beach mark the very beginning of the world-famous Jurassic coast.

0:32:080:32:16

Away from the water, the High Street has wholly resisted the influx of chain stores

0:32:180:32:24

and local independent retailers serve the 5,000-strong population.

0:32:240:32:28

The heady combination of sea air, old-fashioned charm and handsome period properties makes it

0:32:290:32:35

a popular destination, particularly for retirees, who account for more than one-third of total residents.

0:32:350:32:41

So Michael and Shirley will be in good company when they do give up their jobs.

0:32:410:32:46

The house we're viewing is a half-a-mile walk from the High Street in a truly secluded position.

0:32:480:32:53

Before I show you anything else, Michael, I want you to meet your new double garage.

0:32:550:33:01

-Priorities. Absolutely.

-I've got it into my head now

0:33:010:33:03

what is important about this house-buying business.

0:33:030:33:06

Clearly it's the garage.

0:33:060:33:09

That's a beautiful old-school 1920s garage.

0:33:090:33:11

-Looks good.

-It's got character.

0:33:110:33:14

It's all right, Shirley, you don't have to live in there. There is a house!

0:33:140:33:18

Come onto the lawn to see the full glory of this property.

0:33:180:33:24

-Wonderful.

-Beautiful.

0:33:240:33:27

It's a 1920s house. Extended up and out in various parts of its history.

0:33:270:33:34

-Good.

-First impression, it's so peaceful here.

-It looks fantastic.

0:33:340:33:38

I want to get inside now.

0:33:380:33:40

-You're itching to get in?

-Yes.

0:33:400:33:42

Well, you can't go in!

0:33:420:33:43

'That's what you call a perfect start to a house tour.

0:33:460:33:49

'And I have a feeling Shirley will be equally enchanted by the interior.

0:33:490:33:53

'The owners have refurbished the place in the last few years, and it's beautifully decked out.'

0:33:530:33:59

Come into the sitting room.

0:33:590:34:01

That view as well.

0:34:010:34:03

-Isn't that magnificent?

-Gorgeous.

-It's interesting, your eyes went immediately to the view.

0:34:030:34:09

-Yes. A pretty room.

-Beautiful.

0:34:090:34:12

-Beautiful original 1920s fireplace.

-Even though it's a big,

0:34:120:34:16

light room, it still feels cosy, which is nice.

0:34:160:34:21

It's wonderful. Yes.

0:34:210:34:23

What do you like about it?

0:34:230:34:25

I like the airiness, the view and the window, and it's got a good feel in here.

0:34:250:34:30

It feels like home.

0:34:300:34:34

'I'd say that's the sound of a box being ticked.

0:34:340:34:38

'And just next door is something Shirley has been hankering after for some time.'

0:34:380:34:42

-I like this.

-You like this?

-Yes. I've always wanted a conservatory, always.

0:34:430:34:47

They put this on about five years ago because they wanted to have space to dine.

0:34:470:34:53

So it acts as a sort of dining room.

0:34:530:34:55

But what's great about it is that all these windows open and obviously the door out onto the terrace.

0:34:550:35:00

-What a wonderful way to sit. Gosh, you wouldn't want to work.

-It's beautiful.

0:35:000:35:05

Effectively, it functions as the dining room to the kitchen because it flows straight in here.

0:35:050:35:10

-I like this as well. I want to move in!

-Ah!

0:35:100:35:14

But I haven't seen the rest.

0:35:140:35:16

'That is music to my ears, but Shirley should see all of the house before booking the removal men!'

0:35:160:35:22

This is a great little room.

0:35:220:35:25

This is pretty too.

0:35:250:35:27

-A balcony.

-You like balconies.

0:35:270:35:31

-You've got to bear in mind this house started off as a bungalow.

-Really?

-Really.

0:35:310:35:35

So bedrooms are going to be an issue for you.

0:35:350:35:38

We have one bedroom downstairs, this is technically another bedroom,

0:35:380:35:42

-and upstairs we've just got the master bedroom.

-I see, yes.

0:35:420:35:46

So they're using this as a second lounge because it's just the two of them living here,

0:35:460:35:50

but you would need to configure whether you'd have this as a bedroom,

0:35:500:35:54

or whether you'd keep it as an office, or maybe as a visitors' room.

0:35:540:35:59

-You could have one of those sofa beds that comes down so it could be dual purpose.

-Absolutely.

0:35:590:36:04

'It's difficult to know without seeing everything there is here,

0:36:040:36:08

'so let's continue with the tour.'

0:36:080:36:10

Up the stairs to your one and only but beautifully appointed master bedroom.

0:36:100:36:16

It is. Beautifully done.

0:36:160:36:18

-There's a little en suite across the landing.

-For us this is ideal.

0:36:180:36:22

I notice there's all little nooks and crannies in that which is fantastic.

0:36:220:36:27

-Good use of space here.

-So that's everything inside.

-Yes.

0:36:270:36:30

Is that going to be enough space for you?

0:36:300:36:33

It's so lovely, I think...

0:36:330:36:35

We'd find somewhere to fit things in.

0:36:350:36:38

-Forget about the seven bedrooms I needed, this is beautiful.

-Yes, very impressed.

0:36:380:36:43

There are options outside as well.

0:36:430:36:45

'It looks like the wish-list has been torn up and thrown away

0:36:450:36:50

'but I seem to remember a separate consulting room being of paramount importance.

0:36:500:36:54

'There's good news with this property - Shirley may not have to compromise at all.'

0:36:540:36:59

-Oh!

-Lots of nooks and crannies including this.

0:37:010:37:05

I thought, Dr Shirley, this would be a good consulting room.

0:37:050:37:09

It would. Clients would be relaxed straightaway coming in here.

0:37:090:37:15

That's what I'm thinking. Take a seat. See if it works.

0:37:150:37:18

-How does it feel?

-It works.

0:37:180:37:21

I've been feeling quite stressed with this job to be honest.

0:37:210:37:24

-Tell me your troubles.

-I've had difficult clients, picky, they don't know what they want.

-This week?

0:37:240:37:29

Yes, sometimes they want...

0:37:290:37:32

-This would work, wouldn't it? It's a nice space.

-It's the right size and the ambience is good.

0:37:330:37:40

-You've got the advantage that they don't have to come through the house as well.

-Oh, yes.

0:37:400:37:45

-You can put heaters in here in the wintertime.

-That would be ideal, wouldn't it?

0:37:450:37:49

'Thumbs up. But what will they make of the garden?

0:37:490:37:52

'At one third of an acre, it's quite sizable.'

0:37:520:37:55

It's a beautiful property but it's a particularly beautiful garden.

0:37:560:38:00

-I was worried it might be a bit big.

-Not at all.

0:38:000:38:03

I like big gardens, if they are already in place.

0:38:030:38:06

You're sold on this property. I can see.

0:38:060:38:08

"It's a graveyard here." "No, it's fine!"

0:38:080:38:11

As far as I'm concerned, I don't mind cutting grass, I find that very relaxing.

0:38:110:38:16

-As far as I can see it's all low maintenance.

-Slightly rose-tinted goggles there.

0:38:160:38:20

It's a very low-maintenance garden, you'd have to do nothing to keep it as perfect as it is.

0:38:200:38:26

Marvellous.

0:38:260:38:28

What about the price of the property?

0:38:280:38:31

I think £499,500.

0:38:310:38:35

-So right at the top of your budget?

-I'm thinking it's over the 500 mark, I'm going to say 520.

0:38:350:38:43

Well, you're very realistic because it's actually offers around 525.

0:38:450:38:52

In the present climate, the buyer is keen, I just think in terms of location

0:38:520:38:57

and what it offers in terms of ready-made, move in, beautiful family house, it's hard to beat.

0:38:570:39:05

Yes, it is. It's beautiful.

0:39:050:39:08

It's not going to be a challenge for you to walk round this one, is it?

0:39:080:39:12

-No.

-No. Can't wait.

-I'm very impressed, 10 out of 10!

0:39:120:39:16

-Pat me on the head.

-10 out of 10! Well done!

0:39:160:39:19

My heart's pounding and proud, made Shirley happy, that makes me happy,

0:39:210:39:25

and I think this property would make just about anybody happy.

0:39:250:39:29

The offers around £525,000 price-tag is down to the hugely-desirable Budleigh Salterton postcode.

0:39:310:39:39

The agent has assured me that the vendors are open to negotiation.

0:39:390:39:42

It's a spacious chalet bungalow with an open-plan kitchen/conservatory/diner.

0:39:420:39:47

Shirley seems happy with the summerhouse as a consultation room.

0:39:510:39:55

Michael gets a double garage,

0:39:550:39:57

and the landscaped garden is apparently low-maintenance enough!

0:39:570:40:02

This property is almost perfect.

0:40:020:40:05

I adore that beautiful garden and I really love the house.

0:40:050:40:09

Beautiful room, isn't it?

0:40:090:40:11

Fantastic.

0:40:110:40:13

-Very well done.

-I love these insets in here.

0:40:130:40:18

It's a beautiful spot, very, very peaceful, lovely house and the sort of thing we are looking for, yes.

0:40:180:40:25

You've got us thinking now.

0:40:250:40:28

A possibility here, I could see myself making a home here and enjoying it.

0:40:280:40:34

You took ages in this one, is that because you like it?

0:40:340:40:37

I love it.

0:40:370:40:39

Very good. Big smiles, we like that. On we go.

0:40:390:40:42

We've already introduced Michael and Shirley to beach volleyball,

0:40:450:40:48

but another sport that's big in Devon

0:40:480:40:51

and makes the most of the beaches and rolling hills is kite-buggying.

0:40:510:40:56

Always up for a new challenge, our sporting duo are meeting

0:40:560:41:00

instructor Richard Thompson for a quick lesson.

0:41:000:41:04

It's an extreme sport, so safety is paramount.

0:41:040:41:09

Helmets are a must and it's important to learn the ropes

0:41:090:41:13

with feet on the ground before even attempting to get in a buggy.

0:41:130:41:17

-Hands in mine.

-Right.

-Let me come behind you.

0:41:170:41:21

Just feel what I'm doing. It's one hand in, one hand out.

0:41:210:41:24

Can you feel the rhythm we're getting?

0:41:240:41:26

OK, the kite is yours. OK, well done.

0:41:260:41:30

Now, what you were doing was you had it up here and you were using it as a steering wheel.

0:41:300:41:37

So it's more like a bicycle. One hand in, other hand in.

0:41:370:41:42

-Right.

-One hand in, other hand in.

0:41:420:41:44

I'll try and do better this time! Oooh!

0:41:440:41:48

Believe it or not, the origins of kite buggying can be traced back to the 1820s,

0:41:480:41:53

when Bristol schoolteacher George Pocock invented the "charvolant,

0:41:530:41:58

the kite-drawn carriage he hoped would replace the need for horsepower.

0:41:580:42:03

Sadly, his ideas didn't take off - well, not for another 190 years

0:42:030:42:07

when thrill-seekers and manufacturers decided to marry foil kites

0:42:070:42:11

with three-wheeled buggies for some serious outdoor fun.

0:42:110:42:14

LAUGHTER

0:42:160:42:17

Well, let's see if Michael will fare any better.

0:42:170:42:20

Pulling on your right. That's it.

0:42:200:42:24

Today the British Para-kiting Association has over 4,000 members

0:42:240:42:28

and there are 100 tutors nationwide.

0:42:280:42:31

From racing to freestyling, where stunts and tricks are performed, competitions are now held annually

0:42:310:42:37

at kite festivals throughout the country.

0:42:370:42:40

I haven't even taught him! I'm going to go home!

0:42:400:42:43

And it looks like Michael's a natural, so it's time to get the buggy.

0:42:450:42:50

The kitebuggying current speed record is 72mph,

0:42:500:42:54

but I think Michael and Shirley will have to put in some practice before mounting any serious challenge!

0:42:540:43:01

With a brief as wide as Michael and Shirley's it's quite difficult to think of a mystery house

0:43:050:43:09

as they're open to most things, however, with our mystery house

0:43:090:43:13

I really do think we've pulled things into shipshape focus.

0:43:130:43:17

-So the mystery house, coming up next, what you think we might be seeing?

-I don't know.

0:43:190:43:25

I'm hoping it's going to be something completely different and perhaps something that we haven't thought of.

0:43:250:43:31

It probably will be.

0:43:310:43:33

It could definitely be that! Any ideas what I might be showing you?

0:43:330:43:37

If it's a floating boat, you'll love it and I won't.

0:43:370:43:41

'Well, Shirley isn't too far off the mark.

0:43:430:43:46

'The mystery house isn't a boat but it does have nautical connections

0:43:460:43:50

'and we're heading to Exmouth.

0:43:500:43:52

'Now, this typical Georgian and Victorian seaside resort

0:43:520:43:55

'is a busy coastal town.

0:43:550:43:58

'But escaping the hordes is easy when you have two miles of golden sand on the doorstep.

0:43:580:44:04

'And for those who want to get even further away

0:44:040:44:06

'it's home to one of south Devon's most popular yachting marinas.

0:44:060:44:10

'Here, for many, sailing is a way of life and we don't have to voyage far for the mystery house

0:44:100:44:15

'as it's situated right on the water's edge in a prestigious marina development.

0:44:150:44:21

'For seafaring Mike it should be the dream, the question is, will Shirley share his sentiment?'

0:44:210:44:27

-Here it is, the mystery house.

-Here it is.

-The whole three storeys.

0:44:300:44:35

-The whole of it?

-Oh, yeah.

-Gosh.

0:44:350:44:38

-Garage?

-Yes, this is your garage, I almost forgot. So you're happy.

0:44:380:44:43

-What are your first impressions?

-It's blue.

0:44:430:44:47

I'm not sure what else to say.

0:44:470:44:50

-It's blue, yes.

-Well, I'm looking and thinking, "No problem with what I see."

0:44:500:44:54

I'm in anticipation of what I might see inside.

0:44:540:44:59

You wanted something you could move straight into

0:44:590:45:02

and one of you wanted something that would be good for your leisure activities,

0:45:020:45:06

one of you will be happy.

0:45:060:45:07

Straight through.

0:45:110:45:12

Hold your breath...

0:45:120:45:15

-Ta-da!

-Oh, yes.

-Yippee-doo!

-Oh, yes.

0:45:150:45:19

I don't want you to look at the house

0:45:190:45:23

because I want you to go straight out here, out to this.

0:45:230:45:27

Oh, yes, this is what it's all about.

0:45:270:45:31

-This is Mike's scene.

-Now you're talking!

0:45:310:45:34

-Lovely.

-Look, boats, listen.

0:45:340:45:37

Boats everywhere.

0:45:370:45:39

-The gulls, the clink clink clink.

-It's beautiful.

0:45:390:45:42

-Come on, Mike, spill the beans, what do you think?

-It's lovely, fantastic outlook.

0:45:420:45:47

Even the noise of the halyards against the mast is just what sailing's about.

0:45:470:45:54

I don't even know what a halyard is.

0:45:540:45:56

You'll get to know it after about 10 seconds of living here.

0:45:560:46:00

The highlight - what do you think this building is?

0:46:000:46:02

-It looks very much like a sailing club to me.

-It is.

0:46:020:46:06

-So Shirley...

-Yes, Alistair, what have you got for me, then?

-This is slightly slanted towards Mike.

0:46:060:46:12

-Yes, it is.

-Although it is beautiful, don't you think?

-Yes, it is. It's very pretty out here.

0:46:120:46:17

-You can run all along the Exe.

-I could paint.

-You could paint beautiful paintings.

0:46:170:46:21

Yes, well, hey ho, you know.

0:46:210:46:25

-Well, enough of this, we'll come back to the view many times but let's look inside the property.

-OK.

0:46:250:46:30

Working on the basis that the two of you have completely fallen in love with the view, Shirley,

0:46:320:46:38

let's talk through the inside of the house.

0:46:380:46:41

This is the kitchen. Very clearly a galley kitchen.

0:46:410:46:45

Very blue again.

0:46:450:46:46

Let's talk realistically about this property.

0:46:460:46:49

If Mike was on his own, it would be a good bachelor pad, this would suit him down to the ground.

0:46:490:46:55

So if ever we part company, you can come back again!

0:46:550:46:59

So for you it's absolutely out of the question?

0:46:590:47:02

For me?

0:47:020:47:04

-It's not me at all.

-Not you at all.

0:47:040:47:06

No.

0:47:060:47:08

-Not even a bit?

-Maybe, it might grow on me as I go around.

0:47:080:47:12

-I'll keep my options open.

-It's got a lot going for it.

0:47:120:47:15

You wouldn't mind it, would you? This is you, with boats.

0:47:150:47:18

It meets a lot of my criteria. I have to say that.

0:47:180:47:22

-Your skipper's hat on, you'd be away.

-Absolutely.

0:47:220:47:26

Well, it's got four bedrooms...

0:47:260:47:27

-Really?

-..one of which could be your treatment room.

0:47:270:47:32

I'm not sure you're going to be very happy about it.

0:47:320:47:35

It's small, functional, simple.

0:47:360:47:39

It's on the ground floor, by the front door,

0:47:390:47:41

-so I was thinking maybe...

-Quick getaway, maybe.

-Maybe a consultancy room?

0:47:410:47:46

Maybe not.

0:47:460:47:47

Come on, be fair, it would work, wouldn't it?

0:47:470:47:51

-Would it?

-Yes.

0:47:510:47:52

-Give it a chance!

-Yes, Mike, come on, mate, let's gang up!

0:47:520:47:57

'The location is obviously working its magic on Michael

0:47:570:48:00

'but I think convincing Shirley could be an uphill struggle.'

0:48:000:48:04

Come into the living room.

0:48:040:48:06

Nautical themed again, nice and blue.

0:48:060:48:09

Very blue.

0:48:090:48:11

Sit down. I'm going to sit you here, Shirley, until you fall in love with this view.

0:48:110:48:16

-I think it is a lovely view.

-It would improve because twice a day this would be all water...

0:48:160:48:21

-Absolutely.

-..when the tide is in.

0:48:210:48:24

I'd never hear the last of it, would I?

0:48:240:48:27

You'd be telling me the tide times. You do that now! You'd be even worse when we're here.

0:48:270:48:32

-Well, you'd know them.

-Just by immersion, you'd learn them.

0:48:320:48:36

I feel we're ganging up on you. I'm going to stop that.

0:48:360:48:39

-You're on his side.

-But there is this...endless things to look at.

0:48:390:48:43

You don't need a television because you always have someone messing around on a boat or a kite-surfer...

0:48:430:48:49

'On this floor is the second bedroom and the bathroom.

0:48:490:48:52

'The final two bedrooms occupy the third level, including the master, with en suite.'

0:48:520:48:58

And what a view to wake up to.

0:48:580:49:01

Lovely view.

0:49:010:49:04

-It is.

-I believe you.

-This is what would make you get out of bed in the morning.

0:49:040:49:09

Just to get up and look at that view.

0:49:090:49:12

I'm thinking, because the river runs north-south, that must be west...

0:49:120:49:18

-Fantastic sunsets.

-Beautiful.

0:49:180:49:20

The sun sets over Starcross

0:49:200:49:22

so pretty much on all the three floors you'd get bathed in golden light.

0:49:220:49:27

You're not getting interested in this place, are you?

0:49:290:49:32

He's been interested since he walked through the door!

0:49:320:49:35

One of my dreams has been to live right on the beach.

0:49:370:49:41

That's right, yes.

0:49:410:49:42

-Could it be one of your dreams, too?

-Probably not. The view I like, yes.

0:49:420:49:46

Across the landing is another nice bedroom, maybe for the grandchildren.

0:49:460:49:50

I thought of the grandchildren because there are two single beds in it.

0:49:520:49:56

But this could also maybe be your treatment room. It's a bit higher up.

0:49:560:50:00

Yellow. You've got nice views of the marina.

0:50:000:50:04

-Soothing. It's proven that it's soothing for counselling people.

-Excellent. It would be ideal.

0:50:040:50:10

-It's perfect.

-The marina would be very useful because that's where you'd keep the cruising boats.

0:50:100:50:16

Hang on, you're starting to sound a bit too eager!

0:50:160:50:18

I just want to know, where do I sign?

0:50:180:50:22

Before you start budgeting for a new cruiser, let's go outside and talk about the price.

0:50:220:50:27

Ah, the sound of the halyards, the flapping of the sails,

0:50:320:50:37

the cries of the gulls, the lapping of the water...

0:50:370:50:40

It's so peaceful.

0:50:400:50:42

-Do you love the house?

-I love it, I love it!

0:50:420:50:45

It's not hypnotising you?

0:50:450:50:46

-Not really, no.

-What about you, Mike? You're in love with it, aren't you?

0:50:460:50:50

I think it's a lovely position but at the end of the day,

0:50:500:50:55

I have to bow to senior management.

0:50:550:50:58

How much do you think it costs?

0:50:580:50:59

310?

0:50:590:51:01

310?

0:51:010:51:04

I'm going to go a little bit higher and say 370.

0:51:040:51:07

370.

0:51:070:51:09

I'm going to give you a piece of information that might help you make your mind up one way or the other.

0:51:090:51:14

-You think so?

-This property is on the market for...£545,000.

0:51:140:51:21

That must be one of the few occasions when the price of a house stops an argument rather than starts one.

0:51:210:51:27

-That's true.

-A shame, though.

-The picture of relief on your face!

0:51:270:51:31

-"Such a shame."

-Such a shame.

0:51:310:51:32

Yes, properties by the coast are spectacularly expensive.

0:51:320:51:38

-Amazing.

-This is probably the last chance you'll get to look at those views

0:51:380:51:42

-so why don't you go round, have a look and I'll meet you out the front?

-OK.

0:51:420:51:47

Poor Mike - he looked genuinely heartbroken, whereas Shirley, absolutely gleeful.

0:51:470:51:53

Well, it's the mystery house. You really can't guarantee what's going to happen.

0:51:530:51:59

With an asking price of £545,000, this marina townhouse is considerably over-budget

0:51:590:52:05

but having been on the market for some months, there should be some bargaining room.

0:52:050:52:12

You couldn't get much closer to the water.

0:52:120:52:14

But it doesn't look like our skipper and cabin girl

0:52:230:52:26

will be making it their port of call.

0:52:260:52:28

The views are gorgeous, aren't they?

0:52:300:52:32

I must admit they are.

0:52:320:52:33

You're right there.

0:52:330:52:35

I think Mike thought it was Christmas when we came here.

0:52:350:52:38

He's talked about something like this in the past.

0:52:380:52:41

I've enjoyed it, coming here. It's been great fun. But really, realistically, it's not for me.

0:52:410:52:49

The position of the mystery house is absolutely perfect -

0:52:490:52:52

On the beach, overlooking the water, boats all around you. I couldn't ask for anything better.

0:52:520:52:57

Reluctantly, I have to concede on this one.

0:52:570:53:01

-Ah! Mike, did you get one last look?

-One last look.

-It's etched into your memory.

0:53:020:53:07

-Yes, yes.

-Shirley will never let you see it again.

0:53:070:53:11

-No. Never.

-Come on, we'll go and find some place to recuperate.

0:53:110:53:14

I was hoping the maritime magic of the mystery house

0:53:200:53:23

was going to leave Mike completely besotted with the sea

0:53:230:53:26

but that didn't work out and that's probably a good thing in Shirley's case.

0:53:260:53:30

So let's find out what they finally think about all the houses I've shown them.

0:53:300:53:34

I only thought it was fitting that we finish our adventures here in Devon down by the seaside.

0:53:380:53:44

Have you enjoyed it?

0:53:440:53:46

Thoroughly enjoyed it. I've had a wonderful time.

0:53:460:53:49

If you can cast our mind back to the very first property we showed you, you were quite taken by this.

0:53:490:53:54

I liked the entrance. Lovely driveway.

0:53:540:53:57

Really neat and well-done and that master bedroom, with the balcony.

0:53:570:54:03

That was really good.

0:54:030:54:05

And of course, the big thing with it was it was moveable-into tomorrow,

0:54:050:54:10

which is one of the things that we've pulled out of this, one of the things we're looking for. So it was good.

0:54:100:54:17

It's also taught me a lot about what you don't like.

0:54:170:54:20

-When I took you out into the countryside and showed you the barn...

-The barn! Yes.

0:54:200:54:25

-I remember it well!

-Tell me about the barn now.

-Too much to do.

0:54:250:54:29

Lot of work there.

0:54:290:54:31

-We don't want that, do we?

-No, no.

0:54:310:54:33

A wonderful project for someone, but not a project for us.

0:54:330:54:37

And I also really learnt there how intuitive you are about house-buying.

0:54:370:54:41

It really was, "This, no. That, yes."

0:54:410:54:44

Because when we took you to see the house in Budleigh Salterton...

0:54:440:54:47

I just wanted to stay there. I loved it.

0:54:470:54:52

That beautiful conservatory,

0:54:520:54:55

which was something we'd been thinking about for a long time,

0:54:550:54:58

and to move into something like that would be really great.

0:54:580:55:02

It was so jolly relaxing there, too.

0:55:020:55:05

We could sit and chill out.

0:55:050:55:07

And then the mystery house...

0:55:070:55:09

-I know that secretly you really...

-I fell in love with.

0:55:110:55:14

That was really one for you, Mike.

0:55:150:55:18

Did that bring anything into focus?

0:55:180:55:20

Yes, once we found out the price,

0:55:200:55:23

it made me realise there that living right on the edge of the sea

0:55:230:55:28

does come at a price.

0:55:280:55:30

I think the house itself wasn't for us.

0:55:300:55:33

Looking overall, because it was a very big, wide brief you gave me,

0:55:330:55:38

and I was wondering whether the course of the programme has helped you focus in on what's important,

0:55:380:55:44

and was there one of those houses that you'd like to proceed on?

0:55:440:55:48

Budleigh Salterton. Although...it hasn't been on the market very long, I understand.

0:55:480:55:54

And there's a lot of interest. And we haven't actually finalised the selling of our house yet.

0:55:540:55:59

It's been fantastic. I've enjoyed showing you around these properties.

0:55:590:56:03

You have a great sense of humour, and I hope you put down anchors here soon,

0:56:030:56:07

because the county is crying out for you.

0:56:070:56:10

-Thank you, Alistair. We've had a wonderful week, really enjoyed it.

-It's been really great.

0:56:100:56:15

-My pleasure, Cap'n.

-Aye, aye.

0:56:150:56:17

I do think this show has brought things into nautical, crisp focus.

0:56:210:56:25

Too close to the sea is too expensive.

0:56:250:56:27

They want something they can move straight into and they would like a balcony.

0:56:270:56:31

If you've been inspired to make a move, rural or nautical,

0:56:310:56:35

make sure you join us next time for more Escape To The Country.

0:56:350:56:39

If you want to escape to the country in Scotland, Wales,

0:56:390:56:42

Northern Ireland or England and would like our help, please apply online at:

0:56:420:56:48

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:56:560:56:58

E-mail [email protected]

0:56:580:57:01

Alistair Appleton is in Devon with a couple who are looking for a light and airy three-bedroom house with a large kitchen/diner, an annexe, a garage and a low-maintenance garden. They want to be close to the sea too - but can all this be achieved on their £500,000 budget in pricey Devon?


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