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Today, I'm in the county where modern motor racing was born.
This track was the setting for the very first ever British Grand Prix.
It's also the spot where those magnificent men built their flying machines,
so on your marks, set and ready for a very speedy Escape To The Country.
In today's show, we've lined up a selection of properties for a family from Wimbledon in London,
but will we find them a house in the country that they can call home?
I'd spend a lot of time in here.
We've got a fantastic line-up, but will they agree on what they want?
This could have the potential of being a play room.
And, of course, there's my favourite - the Mystery House,
which always sets the cat amongst the pigeons!
Today I'm in Surrey, at the world's first ever purpose-built racetrack
and it was here, in 1926, that the story of the British Grand Prix began.
It's also the site where British aviation first spread its wings.
A competition was held to fly the circuit and was inspiration
for Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines.
Now all this talk about transportation is rather apt, because Surrey's best-known
attribute is its close proximity to London and the commuter culture borne of the last 60 years.
Sitting within a stone's throw of South West London and nesting between West Sussex and Hampshire,
Surrey's proximity to the Big Smoke hasn't detracted from its get-away-from-it-all appeal.
This may well be commuter belt territory, but that doesn't mean it's all suburbia.
70% of Surrey is designated Green Belt and surprisingly,
it's the UK's most wooded county, with over 22% of it forested.
Add to this the hundreds of acres of heath, parkland and farmland stretching from the Surrey hills
in the south to the North Downs and it's clear why living here has such appeal.
At the heart of the county is the town of Guildford.
Striding the River Wey, it has a thriving and busy shopping district,
with pretty much everything you need on your doorstep.
Surrey's housing stock is a varied mix of old and new,
from classic timber-framed buildings to remote farmhouses.
The combination of beautiful countryside, excellent schools
and close proximity to London means that Surrey doesn't come cheap.
In fact, it's the third most expensive place in the UK to buy, after Buckinghamshire and Windsor.
The average detached property here would cost you around £485,000.
That's nearly double the national average,
but that doesn't seem to deter buyers wanting to escape from the city
and when properties do come on the market, some of them are absolutely stunning!
A cool £1.4m will buy you this six bedroom, 16th century farmhouse near Send.
It's jam-packed with period features and if you want to house
a horse or two, it's got its own stables and paddocks.
Or how about spending £650,000 in Brockham for this
picture-perfect three bedroom Grade II Listed cottage.
It's full of character and has some great views, too.
Or if you want a little spare change,
for £350,000 you could snap up this two-bedroom Gothic-style converted stable block, near Cooksbury Common.
It also comes with a garage and a workshop.
There are some fabulous properties in this county, but if you're thinking of moving to Surrey,
not only are you going to have to have very deep pockets, you're also going to need to be flexible, too.
Because of the downturn in the market,
there's less stock out there, which means competition is rife.
On average, there are nine buyers for every property up for sale, so the answer could be to compromise.
Now, our buyers, they're a discerning couple and they know exactly what they want,
but here at Escape To The Country, well, we love a challenge, so let's meet the buyers.
Today's property hunters are from Wimbledon in London.
Chris is a management consultant and Jules, a lawyer.
They and two-year-old son, Harry, have outgrown their four-bedroom Victorian terrace
and are desperate for something bigger in the country.
We want to move to the country now because we've lived here for a good five years.
In those years we've started a family. We've got a two-year-old and another one on the way.
We need more space for us all and we want easier access to the countryside, as well.
I think what we're really trying to do when we move to the country is get back to doing what we used to
do a lot more of, which is more of the cross-country walking and hiking and mountain-biking in particular.
Location is absolutely key to our search here, as Chris and Jules still work in London
and with their growing family, it's crucial they're close to schools and commuter links, too.
We're looking to try and find a balance
between the proximity to the countryside,
but also the practicality of a small urban area,
where we've got the good commuter links and we've got the basic amenities
and the access to the local schools, etc.
So what are their requirements for their new home?
In the next property, something we would like
is at least a back door, if not a utility, because with the house we're currently in,
we're coming in the front door with our muddy walking boots,
our running shoes and carrying our bikes through the house,
so we'd like to keep that separate.
Chris has a passion for motor racing and spends many a weekend
at the wheels of his pride and joy... a Caterham seven.
So these are a couple of my son Harry's cars which he really loves,
and he loves them so much that at night he stores them in a tin
in his cot, which is great for him, but unfortunately for me, my garage is about a 20-minute walk away,
so what I'd really like in the next property is a detached garage so that I can be close to my car at night.
Although they've outgrown their current house,
there are some features they want to replicate.
This is our kitchen/diner. It's our favourite room in the house,
where we spend all our time cooking, playing with Harry.
We created it ourselves from three very small, dark rooms,
so we're pleased with what we've done with it.
What we're hoping for in the next property is something that's very similar,
because we love the spaciousness and the lightness to the rooms, so really key for the next place.
We know what they want and we know where they need to be, so in order to find out how much
their own house is worth, we brought in a local estate agent.
It's a fantastic house. What they've done is superb,
with the extension and the works carried out. Very desirable for a young family.
In my opinion, I would put the property on the market at £599,500.
So, how much does that leave them to spend on their next property?
The budget for our new property that we're going to be looking at is £600,000.
Chris and Jules dream of what almost every other young couple
in London want, which is going to make our house-hunt even harder.
Essentially, they want a four bedroom detached property, a large kitchen/diner, utility and, ideally,
a double garage and remember, all of this has to be within a 40-minute commute to Central London.
Wish me luck!
We'll be starting our search today
around some of the villages close to Guildford,
important for Jules and Chris as,
along with wanting the countryside, they also need great rail links.
I'll be taking them on a tour of some fantastic houses,
but as ever, I won't be revealing the price tags straight away.
The finale is the Mystery House, which always shakes things up!
-Hi, Chris and Jules.
-Hi, good morning.
Lovely to meet you and we've picked a glorious day to explore a little bit of Surrey!
So, is this your first step into a new life in the country?
First step property-hunting, yes, yep, looking forward to it.
Your current budget is £600,000. Is there any movement on that?
I think we'll be good to look at properties a little bit more up to £700,000, because I think
in this current market, I think there are some good deals to be had, so...
You're a good negotiator?
Maybe unproven in the property arena, but I would give it a go!
I know that location is really important to you?
It's absolutely key for this move.
We've got to maintain good commuter links into London.
get into the catchment of good local schools
and obviously the property plot itself is really important.
Are you willing to compromise on any of those if we find you the right property?
The fact that so many people want to make exactly the type
of move we want to make, there's going to be compromises.
Jules, I've got to ask you, soon to have another little one, I see?
Yes, just a few weeks away.
Are we hoping to move before or after the baby?
I don't know, it's tricky. Definitely not in the middle!
We're not going to hang around, at all!
I've got some fabulous properties for you to see and,
of course, we've got the mystery property, as well,
we can't forget that!
Our chariot awaits - shall we start exploring Surrey?
-Let's do that!
Jules and Chris have a budget of up to £600,000,
but are happy for us to show them properties up to the £700,000 mark.
That's because they think, that in this climate,
there's a good chance vendors will accept offers.
They want a four-bedroom detached house,
with a large kitchen/diner and a garage for Chris's classic car.
The house has to be near good train links and close to a good school.
Getting all of this in Surrey, and for their budget, is going to be really tricky.
So, with the family, with Harry and obviously the little one on the way,
schools must be a big, big consideration for you?
Yeah, they are. That's a really key driver for this move as well is to
get into the catchment of some good local primary and secondary schools.
Well, Surrey actually has three of the best primary schools out of the Top 20 here, so...
That's good to know!
Yeah, we've just got to find them!
Yes...and a house next door!
'Well, I can't promise to be right next door, but we certainly are bearing schools,
'along with a huge list of other wants, in mind on our search.'
Our first property is located in West Horsley,
about five miles east of Guildford.
This lovely rural village, surrounded by Green Belt,
is only 38 minutes away from Waterloo Station.
It's an ideal location if you have a young family.
It has three well-performing state primaries
and there's lots of other amenities on your doorstep, too.
The first one for you to have a look at, it's a 1920s semi, so what are your first impressions of the house?
I'm definitely open-minded.
I think, ideally, we wouldn't have come for a semi, but we know that the area we're looking at,
the price-range, it's a type of compromise we'll likely have to make.
'I'm glad to hear that!
'Compromise will have to be high on their agenda, as even with their generous budget, realistically
'in this sought-after location, a semi is all they're going to get.'
Come on in! So here we have the hallway.
Light, definitely light.
Yeah, spacious. Very good and it's great
that you can see through to the back garden.
You've spotted it already! Well, that's still to come!
-I'm going to take you through to the first reception room.
You've got birch flooring throughout here and it goes into pine,
so this, at the moment, is being used as a music room.
-I don't think you'll ever have seen speakers like it!
But lots of storage, very light, you've got the bay window, but this room potentially could be
used as a playroom, as a dining room and it's pretty big.
-Or as a music room!
-Would you like that?
So, good dimensions for this room?
-It's a good size, yeah!
A little bit bigger than I think our sitting room now, which is good.
Especially if you're suggesting this is like a second reception room.
It is, and it's actually the smaller of the two reception rooms.
-So that gives you an idea...
-..of the potential of this house.
Chris, if you lead the way, next door is the bigger reception room.
-So, do you see what I mean about the sizes?
-Yeah, it's bigger.
Like a double reception room, in a way.
-It's a good size.
-Width and length.
-Yep, it's a nice room again.
Nice and light and neutral.
And a really good view aspect out to the garden, which looks quite long out there.
I really like having French doors out into the garden.
You get a lot of that with this house.
You do really feel that that garden is a working part of the house.
-Now it's time to show you the kitchen.
'The one room Jules loves about her old house is her kitchen
'and I think she's going to adore this one!'
-Now this, I think, is a wonderful room.
-Yeah, it's lovely!
How do you feel as you walk in?
I'd spend a lot of time in here.
-No! Looking at the garden and reading my magazines!
Yeah, that's what I thought! But this looks really smart, really light, spacious.
I just love what they've done with the woodwork and allowing all
that light coming through the roof and the top part. It's fantastic, really good!
Now if you just want to take a look in there, I know this was an
important part of your brief. Through that door is a utility room...
-..stroke muddy boots room, stroke bikes, whatever you want to put in there.
-Bring the buggy in through there.
'So, it's obvious they love the kitchen and the utility room
'has gone down well, too, but there's more to come downstairs.'
-You've got a downstairs cloakroom and shower room.
-But here, believe it or not, this was the garage...
-Oh, I see!
-Although it doesn't feel like a garage.
-A nice clean garage!
Very clean, but what do you actually think about the space,
because again this could have the potential of being a playroom?
-Cos there has to be a home for your car!
-Oh, right, right.
OK, talking car, then, and being practical, because you might be able to have a playroom at the front if
you managed to get rid of the music room, the dimensions of this room, would it fit your car in here?
It would, yes. It's a nice space for it.
Way too smart for a garage!
-Yeah, I know!
-It could be quite unusual!
It is nicely done!
The car will have its own little bedroom, so..!
-Could this be a car showroom rather than a garage.
But I'm pleased we now know where your car is going to sleep.
Let's carry on looking round the house.
'It all seems to be going well on the ground floor. Let's hope their enthusiasm continues upstairs.'
This is the master bedroom.
-You've got stripped floorboards.
-It's a nice room, definitely a nice room.
It is quite dark in here, because of the wardrobes,
but the present owner is very keen for you to have a look inside,
-because if you like storage, you'll love these. Have a quick look.
-That's organised storage!
-It's neat and tidy.
A little bit more so than you and I!
The great thing, if you love the cupboards for the storage aspect,
you could actually change the doors and it will give the room
a completely different feel, but what I really want to show you is the en-suite.
Super! That's a lovely size!
Nice and light and spacious.
-That's really good.
-The en-suite bathroom would work for you?
-The en-suite is a really nice bonus for us.
'I knew that the master bedroom with this en-suite would hit the spot.
'The other bedrooms on this floor aren't quite so spacious,
'which could be a problem for their growing family.
'There's a small double and a single, plus a first floor bathroom,
'but then there is the bonus of a loft conversion, which could give them the extra space they need.'
Now I know you've converted your loft at home.
-Like many of the properties in this area, where space is a real commodity, they've done the same.
-Lots of options as to what this could be used for.
On the details, it's a four-bedroom house.
-With this being one of them?
The stairs do take up quite a lot of the space in the middle of the room...
The house does have a lot of space, depending on how you want to use it.
-Let's go back down and see how much space there is
-outside for you and whether that is going to work.
'I think they're starting to realise that, in Surrey, their budget
'isn't going to match their very detailed wish list.'
Here's your garden.
-Is this the type of garden that you had in mind when you said you wanted a garden?
-Yeah, it's lovely.
-It's a good size.
-Can you pick that up, can you hear the school?
-We know there's a school close by. I know that is important.
Let's wander down the garden, because it's time now to think about money.
-This property, the space, the long garden, its location to train stations and schools,
so with all this in mind, how much do you think a house like this is on the market for?
Who's going to go first?
It's a tricky one in this market. but I'll go for near 700.
But it doesn't have a garage and two of those bedrooms are quite small.
-630... Just under 700.
This house has just recently gone on the market,
it's been on for about two months and the asking price is £595,000.
-Right. I'm surprised. I thought it would be over 600, definitely.
-Thinking about that price, do you want to go and have another look?
-I'll leave you to it and catch up with you in a minute.
At just £50 shy of £600,000, this four-bedroom 1920s house
has the big kitchen/diner Jules wants and a study,
plus lots of living space downstairs and the 120-foot garden
is great for the kids, but being less than a 40-minute
commute into London, it comes at a price.
The first thing I noticed is it is semi-detached, which I'm open to,
that's OK, but I did notice that there wasn't a garage, which might be a problem, but overall,
nice, light, bright downstairs, nice kitchen/diner, that's been done very well. Can you imagine us in here?
Yeah, definitely. It's a nice, easy to use family kitchen/diner, definitely. Very nice.
My impressions of the house are generally favourable, particularly with regards to the downstairs.
It gets less favourable as we go upstairs.
The two children's rooms are definitely on the small side,
particularly one of them is very small, unfortunately.
We'd need, I mean the very least you'd need is a single bed and a wardrobe.
The garden is definitely a plus point and the general living space downstairs is a plus point, so
definitely not ruling it out, but a few things to think about before I'd be convinced about this one.
Had a good second look around?
-Let's get going.
Although Surrey is right on Jules and Chris' doorstep,
they still haven't properly explored the area.
So a good place to start is Godalming.
It's a lovely old market town with a rich trading history.
And in 1881 it was made famous by becoming the first town in the world
to have electric public street lighting.
The town has a busy high street littered with ancient historical buildings,
great eateries and plenty of shops to choose from.
And a trip to nearby Clandon Park the 18th century stately home
build by Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni is a must.
The highlight is this magnificent two-story marble entrance hall.
-It's a big space, yeah.
It really is an architectural triumph and considered one of
the most important 18th century rooms in England -
as are the magnificent plasterwork ceilings.
It was even the location for the recent film The Duchess.
I hope they're not getting ideas of grandeur!
Amazing house but I hope they find us somewhere bigger for what we're looking for.
Yeah, I was quite happy with the size.
There's plenty more on offer in this area too,
including Painshill Park set within 160 acres.
This is one of the finest 18th century landscape parks in Europe.
a great potential day out with the family.
Great to see these interesting things that Surry has to offer.
-It's been fantastic.
-Yeah, be good to bring Harry back
-to see some of them as well.
-Definitely, he'd have a lot of fun.
The next house I want to show Chris and Jules is located outside Cobham,
the only property I'll be showing them within the M25.
The house is in between Cobham and Oxshot where there are a few shops and a pub.
This really is a popular area for young families
with a wealth of great primary schools.
And although it's only a 40 minute commute into London,
it still feels like you're out in the country.
How would you both feel if I told you this walkway could be part of your daily commute?
-That'd be good.
-A nice start to the day.
Very nice start to the day.
On one side we have Cobham, but on the other side is Oxshot.
That station is literally a ten minute walk.
So this could be where you start your commute into London.
-It'd be lovely.
-Now I'm going to show you the house which is just around the corner.
So this is your property.
-Built in the 1970s,
-it's been extended to one side by the current owners.
And the potential to extend again but I'll explain a little about that later.
-It's a tidy-looking house.
-It's a bit too tidy!
-A bit too tidy.
-Which bit's missing?
-That bit and that bit!
That is the extension. Your eagle eyes have spotted it straight away.
And the owners have had planning permission three times to do an extension above the double garage.
It has lapsed but the fact they've had it three times means I'm sure you'd be able to get it again.
But Chris, I thought you were going to mention the double garage.
-There is which is...
-Bonus. Potentially a plus point.
-Ready to go and have a little look inside?
-I think so.
So come on in.
-Here we have the hallway.
Let me take you through into the kitchen.
-What are you thinking, Jules?
Bijou? I like that.
The owners have extended. They use that as their dining area and it adds more natural light.
What do you think of the room's size for you, for your growing family?
-It's a fair size.
-A bit on the small side.
-But a bit on the small side.
Yeah, it clearly has everything you need, it's well put together,
But it's not wowing me.
It's pretty standard. It does the job.
But I don't walk in and go, "Wow, that's an amazing kitchen!"
Let me take you through to the rest of the house and there might be a solution.
'I'm surprised. I think this state-of-the-art kitchen has been finished to a very high standard.
'The next room is just as stunning.'
-This is the main sitting room.
A fair size.
-What do you think about this as your sitting/drawing room?
-It's very tidy.
It's got a little bit of character. It's a nice size.
But just through here is a second reception room...
-..which again is a good size.
I like the oak flooring through the downstairs. Nice and light and practical.
It's a nice room. It's more peaceful and quiet.
It could be a sitting room, it could be an office.
You've got a lovely view of the garden.
But the other thing I was thinking of was, as this is the original extension,
you could knock through and make this into a dining room,
and change that into a playroom/kitchen.
-That would be a much better solution for us.
This house has lots of scope for Chris and Jules to really put their mark on it.
And upstairs I have another plan.
It's a four-bedroom property but if you look through that window
-that's where you can extend.
Big bedroom, en-suite. Hobby room, play area.
The cost for an extension - just the build cost -
-would be around 30-£40,000.
It gives you something to think about.
Through here is the first bedroom.
One of the smaller ones.
So, would this be big enough for a little one?
Perfect size for a baby's room, yes.
Um, I think over time it will get a bit small.
But, like you say, over time you could expand the house a bit.
Boys' den, girls' play area. Got to keep it neutral, haven't we?
And this is the master bedroom.
Not a lot of comment from either of you!
Would this be a little bit too small for you?
I think so.
As the master, it feels like we need a bit more space.
This is the sort of size I'd like to get in two of our three other bedrooms.
'OK, so the master bedroom isn't huge but have said
'they'd be open to compromise, it seems they're struggling to see
'how they can make this house work for them.
'This nicely decorated double bedroom could be a great guest room.
'There's also a single which should be big enough for Harry.
'The family bathroom may be on the small side
'but it's perfectly functional.
'Time to head out and see what they make of the garden.'
-So, here's the garden.
Big patio, nice dining area.
Probably quite a manageable garden, I'd think.
I think it would be manageable for me.
I like the way it's nicely contained.
High trees and hedges around for privacy which is good.
Let's wander down.
We know you're close to the station.
But just behind those trees is the railway line.
That is close but presumably that gets reflected in the price
which maybe brings something in this area into our price bracket.
Bearing that in mind, how much do you think this property is currently on the market for?
I would say it's on at 675.
-I think £650,000.
OK, I know you had a little flexibility in your budget.
This would stretch is somewhat.
The asking price is £699,950.
Top of the budget. Would want to build.
-Seems a lot.
It is in a very very good area.
Why don't you go and have one last look around.
-I'll catch up with you in a minute.
Proximity to London and some excellent primary schools
means this house ticks two very big boxes for them
but that comes with an equally big price tag.
At just under £700,000
this house is right at the very top of what they could stretch to.
It has four bedrooms, a good kitchen/diner,
plus two large reception rooms. and that double garage for Chris.
This house is an immaculate house which is very appealing.
It ticks many of the boxes in terms of what we're after -
four bedrooms, double garage, a nice garden.
It's very nicely done, nicely laid out.
But looking beyond that I'm not convinced it's got the living space we need.
What's really not working for me in this house is the size of the bedrooms.
I think the thing that's not quite doing it for me is the character.
And possibly the ability to put our true mark on it.
-So, have you seen enough?
The day is getting on and you need to take the weight off your feet.
Thanks, Nicki. How about you, Jules?!
She needs to sit down.
'But it's not time to call it a day, yet!
'I have a treat in store for them.
'Chris is a keen motor-sport enthusiast and enjoys nothing more than a spin in his sports car,
'so the birthplace of British motor sport seems the ideal place to get him onto the tracks.'
Guys, great to meet you, because I know you're very heavily involved with the museum here at Brooklands.
Has racing always been your passion?
Yeah, cars, definitely, right from this high.
Chris, how old were you when you got into motor racing?
I think I was a very small boy when I started enjoying cars,
but into motor racing, I was 30 or so.
So, fantastic cars, guys. Do you get out onto the roads around Surrey?
Are there some decent roads to drive the cars on?
Yeah, it's pretty good, all round here
and we do quite a few little rallies and treasure hunts and things,
-runs down to Goodwood, revivals and that sort of event.
-Do you fancy going out in one of the cars?
-I think so!
-I can't wait!
-I can't, either! I'm going to start in the Tiger.
-I'm going to the Austin Healey. Jules?
-I'll go for the MG.
-Let's get going.
'When Brooklands Motor Course opened in the summer of 1907,
'it was the world's first purpose-built motor racing course.
'Ever since, the British has had a love affair with motor racing and it's now one of the top
'five most-watched sporting events in the world - and it's easy to see why!'
This has to be the most exhilarating drive ever!
'Back in those days, the fastest cars travelled at speeds of over 140 mph...
'a bit faster than us today!'
That was tremendous - the first time I've been in a classic car.
-I think I'm hooked! You loved it, did you?
-How was the bump?
-Bump's still there, thank goodness.
-Not too bumpy?
-What about you, Chris?
-It was great.
To be here, part of British history and some great British sports cars.
-Guys, thank you so much for today. We're really grateful.
We've had the most amazing time.
-We've enjoyed it, haven't we?
-So have we.
If you need another passenger, I'm more than happy!
'As the day draws to a close,
'Chris and Jules take some time out to reflect on the properties they've seen so far.'
It's been an interesting day today.
The first property, the semi-detached in West Horsley. What was your view on that one?
I really liked that property's location.
The close proximity to the schools is really appealing.
-It has a really nice garden.
-A lovely garden.
It seemed bigger than it was because it was interesting.
Nice living arrangement downstairs.
You felt like you were getting quite a lot of options.
-But upstairs, maybe not quite there with the bedroom size.
-But it's something we could work with.
I think overall it's definitely worth keeping in mind.
How about the second property - the detached in Cobham?
It has four bedrooms, it was very nicely done.
We wouldn't have to do any work on that property.
For me, it lacked a bit of character that I'm looking for.
Yeah, I really like the rooms looking onto the garden.
But the kitchen/diner... And the size of the bedrooms.
It's something we're going to have to compromise on.
Tomorrow, two more properties. Are you excited about what they might be?
-Including the Mystery Property.
-Yes, I know.
Mind open and see what comes up!
'Chris and Jules from Wimbledon want to swap their four-bedroom terrace
'for a large family home in Surrey and have £600,000-£700,000 to spend.
'So far, they've viewed two house and we have more to entice them.'
Can you imagine yourself here at the weekends, relaxing?
Can't you tell? Yep!
'And today's Mystery House doesn't really go according to plan.'
-It does look interesting.
-You want character?
-It's got it!
I thought yesterday started off quite well.
But by the afternoon reality had begun to kick in for Jules and Chris.
The truth is they don't have enough money for what they want to buy.
They're going to have to make some pretty tough decisions.
They started off saying location was the priority.
Today, I'm going to show them a truly rural property
that hopefully will make them consider putting both wellies firmly in the countryside.
And there's plenty of countryside at our next property,
located in the beautiful village of Shackleford,
four miles from Godalming.
Furthest away from London, this traditional village, with Post Office, local shop
and the essential pub, is blessed with very good primary schools
and, topping it all, St Mary's Church,
designed by Sir George Gilbert-Scott, who also designed London's St Pancras Station.
So the house itself is actually semi-detached.
It doesn't look like a semi. I'm surprised.
-Yeah, cos my first impression was that it was the whole house.
-Have I disappointed you?
I thought that was the front door, but clearly that's the other house.
-That is the other house, because the front door for you would be at the side here.
-But now let's take a look inside the house.
'Again, Chris and Jules are wanting more for their money, making our job here very difficult.
'I want to get straight in to show them the best room in the house.
'The decor in the downstairs living space has been kept neutral and the pale complementary colours
'really work well together to enhance the whole space.'
Now, I adore this room, but it's really what you think.
It's beautiful, really beautiful!
It is very nicely done, very nicely decorated and very light.
-Isn't it? It's a dream!
-I wouldn't have to lift a finger!
No, not in here.
Great. Let's carry on looking.
-So, this is the second reception room.
Currently being used as a formal dining room, but that might not suit your needs.
Could have the potential perhaps of a playroom, an office?
-And you haven't seen the rest of the house, yet.
But you can see the sort of dimensions of the rooms and what you've got to play with.
Really nice dimensions, nice high ceilings,
big rooms. Really nice.
'So far, so good.
'Could this tastefully-decorated stylish house
'with its muted colour schemes and original features be beginning to sway them?'
Now you want a kitchen/diner.
How is this for a kitchen/diner?
It's lovely! I can't see a table. Is there a table round the corner?
Aah! I'm going to take you down, but yes, I'll let you know that
straightaway, because that's the extension on the back of the house,
-but as a kitchen goes...
-It is. Very smart.
Beautifully done again, like the rest of the house, and something we particularly like is the
French doors from the kitchen/diner onto the garden which they've got, so yeah, it's fabulous.
-Because of the size of the kitchen, you've actually got sort of a living space here.
Which works really, really well, and then you do have room for a table.
It seats four, but you could get a much larger table in there and it's got under-floor heating.
-It does feel warm.
-Feels like that.
So, this would work for you?
You can imagine yourself here at the weekends, relaxing?
Can't you tell! Yep!
'It looks like we may well be onto a winner here.
'Off the kitchen there's the utility room Jules wants.
'I'm crossing my fingers they'll love upstairs, too.
'Let's go to the master bedroom.'
So, come on through, guys.
Looking out straight into the country, you've got all the meadows and the fields.
That's a really nice view.
Yeah, that's very good.
And a good size room, I think.
-I think so.
-It all works for you in this room?
-It is all positive and it continues to be positive, because just through here...
..there's an en-suite, so have a little look.
-So, not the biggest of bathrooms, but works perfectly.
So, this is quite a good working bedroom for you?
-It's got a nice feel. It feels quite cosy, it's not incredibly large, but it's the right size.
'Despite this house having a reasonably-sized master and en-suite,
'and a great finish throughout, it seems Chris and Jules are still not as compromising as they need to be.'
This is actually the smallest of the doubles, but it's still a fair size.
I guess we'd put a single in it, because it will be a child's room.
Single and a desk, like they've got here, so that would work.
-That's a nice space.
So it's great that the bedrooms are working for us, but we've still got more to see.
'There's lots of space here to accommodate their growing family and even some guests.
'On this floor there's a third bedroom and a family bathroom
'and there's a fourth bedroom up in the loft conversion.
'Let's hope the garden comes up trumps, too.'
So, here's the garden.
-120-foot. You've got cornfields right at the back, so nothing is obscuring that view.
That's good, it's a good size and it's interesting.
-You've got your garage just there, for the beloved car.
-But just standing here, you so feel like you're in the country.
But at what price is this peace and quiet, that's the question?
-Let's take a wander up the garden, where you can have a think for price.
'I wonder if they'll be able to take all the great features and the
'amazing potential of this house into consideration when guessing.'
-Who am I going to start with? Chris.
I'm gonna start with you. How much is this property on the market for?
I think I'm going to go with £550,000.
I'm playing poker here, not giving anything away, because you're looking at me intensely!
-I'm going to think it's quite a bit higher than Chris's, so I'll go for 650... £650,000.
Substantially higher than yours?
This house...you're really going to be interested in this bit!
-This house is on the market for £695,000.
Why don't you go and have another look.
It is at the very, very top of your budget, but as you said, it has been beautifully done.
Should you move in, you wouldn't need to do anything else, so lots of things to bear in mind,
-but go and enjoy that house for the final time and I'll catch up with you in a minute.
So, the prime location of this lovely rural semi means that it is
over-budget, but they were keen to see higher-priced properties.
They know it's a buyers' market and that vendors may well accept offers,
so £695,000 would get them four bedrooms,
a beautiful interior-designed living space,
stunning views and good nearby schools.
First impressions of the house were that it looks like
a fabulous large house, but then I guess there was slight confusion and disappointment realising actually
it was only half of the house - semi-detached.
This house is absolutely beautiful.
Nothing needs doing to it, but I have a big but.
I think for me, I could consider buying this house with my heart, but not with my head.
-Some good-sized bedrooms, apart from the loft.
-A little bit.
For you! It's all right for me!
Smaller than, I think, maybe we'd hoped for.
It's not practical enough for a family. It's not close enough to the schools that I'm interested in.
There isn't like a big living area, although the kitchen/diner again is nice.
Really nice kitchen.
It is, they've done it very well.
-Yeah, fantastic space.
It isn't as big as our current kitchen/diner, though.
Right, guys, are you ready to hit the road?
'One of the key things Jules and Chris want to do when they move down
'to Surrey is walking and picnicking, so with that in mind,
they've stopped off at Hambledon, where you can go walking with a rather unusual companion!
'It's the only place of its kind in Surrey and Julie and Colin Stonely have been running it for
'the past five years and have seen a huge rise in the popularity of these child-friendly creatures.'
These llamas are amazing!
What do you guys do here?
Well, we do llama trekking in the Surrey Hills here, in the countryside, and we take
lots of people out on picnic treks, so you go out and have a walk and
see this stunning scenery.
'Llama trekking is no longer the preserve of herdsmen in the Andes.
'They're the perfect companion for an English country walk.
'Unlike their cousin, the camel, their backbone is not built for
'riding, though, so it's you who has to take them for a stroll.
'Llamas are ideal ramblers, as they don't have hooves like horses or cattle, so it takes them far longer
'to wear down a path, causing much less damage to the environment.'
What is it we can see in the view from here?
We're actually in the Surrey Hills, as you know, and from here you can see right across to the Hogs Back.
Part of the path we've been walking on forms part of the Green Sandway
and people come from all over the world almost to walk this path. It's really beautiful.
It's been fantastic. We've had a really good time.
-Great to meet the llamas, to see the view, so thank you very much for that.
-Thanks very much.
So is there anything you really, really don't
want to see because we're nearly at the mystery property?
-A Jacuzzi or a sauna!
No, we don't need those things - right now!
-Something that doesn't have any character, something just over one storey.
But otherwise, I think we're pretty open to this mystery property.
The mystery property is in Ottershaw,
which is just under 30 miles from London.
Woking Train Station is just four miles away.
You can be in London Waterloo in 23 minutes and trains run every five minutes.
That combined with the great OFTED-rated schools and nurseries
make this village incredibly popular.
The house itself is a converted Victorian chapel, which has been
turned into a family home, but what will they make of it?
-You want character?!
-Yes, it's got character!
-It's actually semi-detached, which seems to be a theme for us, doesn't it?
-Ready to go in and have a little look?
-That's what the mystery property is all about - an open mind, thinking out of the box.
'Church conversions are renowned for being tricky and
'this property is a bit of a gamble, but I want to open Chris and Jules's eyes as to what they can do with
'this interesting space and with its great schools nearby, there is a good reason for bringing them here.'
So, how is this for an entrance?
It's impressive! Very impressive!
-Beautiful, isn't it!
-Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I mean there's porches and there's porches!
-Yes! This is quite something!
-Let's go through.
This is the main reception area.
-You've got the beautiful glass windows with that coming down.
That's fantastic, having all this space up there.
It really creates a sense of scale and space in here.
'After the last house, Chris had said he wanted a large open-plan
'living space and this house offers great potential for that.
'The ground floor, with its two striking polished granite and marble columns,
'has partition walls, which could be knocked through.'
So, as you can see from there, if you took out that wall, you could
have the whole of this lower ground part as a open living space.
Opening it up would be a good thing to do.
'This really is a very unique property.
'It might not be for everyone, but there are lots of striking original features,
'from the lovely limestone and slate floors, to the gorgeous Gothic-shaped leaded windows.
'Next door, in the large extension, is this beautifully restored enormous dining room,
'which makes the most of the original features.
'It joins on to the exterior wall of the chapel,
'retaining its lovely exposed stone and beautiful church windows.
'It leads onto the kitchen, which has rustic hand-made cupboards.'
-So this part of the property was only extended about four or five years ago.
And it's a very rustic kitchen.
-It's very country. So would this type of kitchen work for you?
It's a nice size.
Um...dining table in it.
Um, it's not what I'm looking for in a kitchen or kitchen/diner.
It is lovely,
but it's not for me.
'So this uniquely-converted chapel was a bit of a red herring to see whether characterful and quirky
'might marry with the family living space they want, but it looks like it's not quite working for them.
'Upstairs there are three bedrooms which are equally quirky and have been unusually renovated.'
So, this is the first of them.
-And there's quite a clever use of space, because they've used that as their dressing area.
-Do you want to go and have a little look?
You're going to do just fine. Chris?
-I might need to...
-I'm a little bit worried about you!
They've made the most of the space, putting in these cupboards.
-This is nicely done.
-I'm not sure how practical it is to do the limbo back and forth every morning!
That's interesting. I would definitely hit my head!
-You're gonna win the limbo-dancing competition just to get through!
-Have you seen me do that?
But it's a great use of space. You don't want to get rid of
-this feature and you can't get rid of this feature.
-They're trying to think of quirky ways to work around it.
-It's definitely different!
-Yeah, the house is different.
-But it's a nice, spacious bedroom, with plenty of light.
It might only have three bedrooms, but there is some good news.
It has three bathrooms, this is the first.
Very nicely done.
-I love it! Interesting!
-Shall we keep continuing the interesting tour of the house?
-Let's do that!
'The second bedroom although a bit on the small side, is nice and bright.
'Again, original features like the brick arch take centre-stage.
'This bedroom also has its own en-suite.
'The third bedroom is on the next level.'
So, up these stairs leads us with a cupboard here
into the third bedroom, again with its own bathroom.
-As you can see, they've utilised every little bit of space in this property, but if you moved
the bed say to the middle of the room and extended the steps over, you'd have a lot more space here.
-Again, there's potential.
But again it just might be a bit too much that you would have to do to make it right.
It's a very individual property, so let's go and discuss
how much a property like this is currently on the market for.
And here's the secluded courtyard, but if you look how much stuff they've got in here,
all the pots and plants, it is actually quite a big space, unusual with a chapel.
You don't normally get a garden at the side, but how much do you think this is on the market for?
I think it will be
below £500,000, maybe £470,000.
-A difficult one to price, but I'm gonna go with £465,000.
OK. Well, this property is on the market for £599,000.
-So are you surprised at that price?
Very surprised at the price.
It's a good £100,000 more than I would have thought, taking all the factors in.
Yeah. Well, it is unique, it is quirky and individual, so why don't
-you go and have one final look, and I'll catch up with you in a minute.
So, Jules and Chris really surprised at that price of this property, but it is in a good location.
It might not be right for them, but I'm sure there's someone out there
who would love to live in a converted chapel like this.
It may not be for them, but at £599,000
the Mystery House is just within Chris and Jules's budget.
It has three bedrooms, loads of original features and a garage,
plus, being so close to the M3 and Woking, fantastic transport links.
My first impressions of the property were that it definitely
fitted the "mystery" bill in that it was very different.
I think in terms of fitting my requirement for a bit of character,
I think the dial might be turned up just a little bit too much, but I think it's definitely
let us know that we should be looking at properties that are a little different.
It's a really interesting property.
It's got some great features.
It just doesn't have
the young family configuration that I need.
OK, well you've seen all the properties now, so you've got lots to think about,
-so let's find somewhere where you can really think it all through and we can have a chat.
'Chris and Jules's property tour of Surrey is over.
'It's been quite some journey and now it's time for them to consider the options.'
Well, it's nearly final decision time for Chris and Jules and we may
have cracked it with that very first property.
It was semi-detached and they had concerns about that, but on reflection after
everything that they saw, that could be the perfect house for them, but let's see what they've got to say.
Jules and Chris, it's certainly been a very interesting few days.
The very first property that we saw, can you remember your first impressions on that house?
A really nice feel at the front,
nice big hedges, so lots of privacy, so actually the fact that it was
semi-detached is not a problem.
What about the inside of the property itself?
I liked it. Nice sort of living space downstairs.
It's very open and quite spacious, especially from the hallway so you could see through to the back
and the kitchen which looked really nice.
It was a positive start once you stepped through.
The West Horsley property really is perfectly located for schools,
really pleased with that element of it.
We went to Cobham - that fantastic walkway to the station.
I took you there first because if you can walk to the station, that's a priority.
What a great way to start the day.
But the property was a new-build, built in the '70s.
But was it the right new-build for you?
It was a really lovely house and very appealing that it didn't need anything doing to it.
But it just didn't do anything for me.
I came out of it thinking the same thing.
It was a nice layout, it had the bedrooms and a nice garden
but maybe it's the style and at the time I thought lacking character that I can really enjoy.
Even though there were many positives to the property.
But I think just not quite enough.,
Now we saw a property in Shackleford.
Would it be fair to say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover?
Definitely with that property.
Obviously, we were very reserved when we first saw it,
but went through the door and thought, "This is beautiful".
Yeah. I was impressed with the work that had been done.
It's very smart and maybe a challenge I had was I thought
it was a bit too smart and could I see that as the family home?
Now, I'm smiling because I'm going to bring up the mystery property.
-I don't think there was much doubt on the opinions on the mystery property.
But, did it open your eyes as to the possibility that you could look at a property
like that and slightly change your lifestyle to make it work?
-In some ways.
I think it's almost a kind of risky property, I think.
It's one of those things that
it's either a real hit or it's a real miss and it's good that we
had the opportunity to see something different.
Out of all the properties, is there any particular one that really took your fancy?
Probably the West Horsley property.
The 1920s semi. What about you, Jules?
The interior of the Shackleford property, but the location of the West Horsley property.
What's the next step for you?
The next step for us is to sell our current house,
which has just gone on the market, and when we've got a firm offer on
that, then we'll know exactly what our budget is and we'll move pretty quickly from there.
Well, we wish you all the very best.
-With the potential move and enjoying your new life in the
-country in Surrey and also for the new arrival as well.
-Let us know how you get on.
-Thanks for all your help and advice.
It's been a very interesting few days, looking round this beautiful, but rather expensive, county.
For Chris and Jules they started off hoping not to compromise, but, having seen what was on offer
to them, they now realise they're going to have to and whether they get to move before or after the baby
is born remains to be seen, but one thing we do know, is they're going to be moving to Surrey very soon.
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