Jonnie Irwin is in Cornwall helping two retirees find a seaside retreat. Armed with a budget of £400,000, they are after a traditional Cornish stone-built house.
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There are around a quarter of a million surfers
here in the UK, many of them coming to the surf capital right here to catch that perfect wave.
Find out where I am in just a moment.
Today we're helping a couple swap their cul de sac for a retirement pad by the sea.
-There'll be plenty of surprises.
-Wow, that is really unexpected. Ooh.
Oh, wow. This is really good.
But will any of our properties
-live up to the dream?
-I could move into that house tomorrow, it's everything I have ever wanted.
-I love it, I absolutely LOVE the house.
I'm on the North Cornish coast on one of the many renowned surfing beaches here.
Now, this sport brings in an incredible £42 million a year
and is a most welcome boost to the local economy.
Situated in the far southwestern corner of the UK, Cornwall, as former Poet Laureate
Sir John Betjeman once wrote, feels more like another country
than another county.
With the second warmest climate in the UK after Middlesex,
and with 300 miles of stunning coastline, you can see his point.
There are two coasts for a start, the Atlantic in the north with its
huge expanses of golden sand, a mecca for surfers, or the more
gentle English Channel coast, home to hidden coves and tranquil creeks popular with the sailing fraternity.
With 4.5 million visitors rocking up here annually,
tourism is big business, but there's more to Cornwall than sandcastles and clotted cream.
In fact, farming is equally important with dairy farming alone worth £100 million per year.
And although the fishing industry has taken a massive hit in recent years, it's still a traditional
and vital part of life on this beautiful peninsula.
Despite all of this, Cornwall is one of the least wealthy counties in the UK.
Recent figures show that for the first time in a decade
it's moved off the lowest rung of the UK's wealth table and is now ahead of West Wales
and the Valleys.
Its population is growing too, thanks largely to incomers,
which, for the Cornish, is a double-edged sword.
A report published earlier this year stated that around 43%
of prime Cornish property was sold
as a second home or a holiday let over the past four years.
This pulls up the price
of the medium and low-cost housing, putting
an enormous pressure on locals to keep these rural communities alive.
However, if you're thinking of relocating here permanently
and supporting local life, there are properties to suit all budgets.
Here's some currently on the market. If modern is your thing,
how about this minimalist glass house in the waterside village of Feock.
It has three sleek reception rooms, a large kitchen/diner, five spacious
bedrooms, and plenty of outdoor space to enjoy the Cornish sun.
You could be living the high life for £1.25 million.
Or how about a converted granary in Saltash for half the dough, £625,000?
It'll buy you a stylish kitchen, four bedrooms,
and two reception rooms so you won't be downsizing on space.
If it's character you're after, then this 15th century stone cottage
in Higher Metherell is definitely worth a look.
Traditional features come in the shape of original arrow slits, stone fireplaces, and beams,
and it's not too cosy with four bedrooms and a pine country kitchen.
It's on the market for a snip under £410,000.
With Cornish properties like those you've just seen,
let's hope the houses that we've found for this week's buyers really take the PASTY.
Meet Chris and Chrissy, they've been married for two years and it's very much a case of second-time lucky.
We were actually engaged when we were 19, and for various reasons
we went our separate ways, I went all round the world, then sadly my wife died
and I was looking up old friends and who should I find on the internet,
but Chrissy's brother,
and the rest is history. We got back together again, it was like we were 19 again,
and since then we've been living happily ever after.
Three years ago, Chrissy moved from her native Manchester
into Chris's four-bedroom detached home on a cul de sac near Northampton,
so why the decision to move again?
Well, I retired about 18 months ago, Chris retires in June.
We both like the West Country,
Chris comes from there, plus we have a lot of Chris's family who live down there,
so it means we would be closer to them, and we want some peace and quiet in our retirement years.
So it's the opportunity now to buy
our first house together and probably our last house together hopefully.
Hopefully this would be the last move ever.
No pressure then, but did they have a location in mind
for this retirement move and return to Chris's Cornish roots?
So ideally a village location preferably on the south coast.
We prefer the south coast to the West Country and north coast,
but we'd like to be near the water because actually I want a boat.
We've got a fairy-tale romance on our hands, but what's the fairy-tale property?
We're looking for something traditional.
I don't want modern, but we wouldn't rule it out if there was something about it that gave it character.
If I was asked what my ideal house was,
I can see a double-fronted house with white window frames,
stone-built with granite cornice and granite lintels, with a sloping lawn
with flowers and shrubs either side going down to a piece of water with my jetty and my boat tied up.
Out at the back, the vegetable garden and the barn, and that would be ideal.
When we win the lottery, we'll buy one.
OK, so that's the ultimate fantasy, but without a big win, what are the must-haves for the new property?
We're looking for a minimum of three bedrooms,
preferably an en suite to the master because we've got one here and we've got used to it.
Downstairs cloakroom is always handy,
large kitchen/diner, nice square lounge,
and a fairly large garden because we would like to grow our own vegetables.
Although engineer Chris has his eye on more than just marrows.
'This is my big boy's toy, it's a kit car I built myself.
'It took me about 120 hours, it's my pride and joy, and I have to have somewhere to store it.
'It can't stand outside because obviously it's got no roof on it.
'When we move, if I can I also want to build a boat,'
so ideally I want somewhere I could store my big boy's toy and build a boat alongside it.
So it has to be a double garage or even a big barn.
Big ambitions, but do they have the budget to match?
We'll have about £400,000 to spend on a new house.
Now, £400,000 doesn't stretch particularly far in this area of Cornwall, fuelled in part
by second home owners and people relocating here, but with a bit of luck and quite a bit
of compromise from Chris and Chrissy,
we should be able to find them their dream first home together.
As Chris has family
in Plymouth and Truro, they'd like us to focus the search on the south coast between the two.
We've lined up some cracking Cornish properties to view,
but as always, I won't reveal the price tags until the end of the tours.
And finally there's a mystery house which will challenge their wish list,
but could it end up being the perfect retirement pad?
-Good morning, Chris and Chrissy.
Welcome, or should I say welcome back for you, Chris, to Cornwall.
-How long has it been since you lived here?
I left Cornwall when I was about 18, so that's probably a good couple of years ago.
Now, let's talk about community.
Now, there's been a lot of issues surrounding
say second home owners and sometimes dwindling communities in Cornwall, what's your thoughts on this?
I think it's really sad, but we're coming down here because we want to be part of the community
and help invigorate it if we can.
Now, the budget is what, what can we finally agree on?
£400,000. I mean we'd look at something slightly above to make an offer, but we don't
want to spend more than that on bricks and mortar because one
of the other things we want to do when we've retired is travel.
-We've got some fantastic properties.
Let's start with property number one.
So for £400,000, Chris and Chrissy have their hearts set
on a three-bedroom detached character property either in
or close to a year-round Cornish village.
Their must-haves include a large kitchen/diner,
a good-sized reception room, and around a quarter-of-an-acre garden plot.
It's already an ambitious wish list for their budget,
but this property package also needs to be near the coast,
and Chris would also like a double garage or big barn
for his kit car and boat building.
I've a feeling keeping this dream afloat could be tricky.
So property number one, are we excited, are we nervous?
-We have a completely open mind.
-Right, you've got an open mind.
You must appreciate £400,000 isn't a massive amount of money in Cornwall.
No. We realise that our specification
is in some ways unrealistic, so we are adaptable and flexible.
-So would you say your specification is a wish list as opposed to requirement list?
OK. I wish you'd told me that last night - I would've slept better.
For our first port of call today we're heading to historic Charlestown right on the coast.
This beautiful harbour village was originally built as a Georgian new town by local landowner
Charles Rashleigh between 1790 and 1810 to export copper and china clay.
Throughout the 19th century it was packed with ships,
harbourside sheds, and warehouses. Today it provides a safe haven for
a few historic tall ships, a handful of fishermen, and visiting pleasure boats.
It could be the ideal spot for Chris's boat launch as our first property is just two miles inland.
OK, then, Chris and Chrissy, first property right here.
Yes, it's got the stone and the windows.
Granite cornice, stone-built, wooden window frames are nice, yes. Slate roof.
This is all sounding very positive.
-It looks lovely.
-Well, let's take a look inside, shall we?
High praise indeed, which is pretty fitting
for this property as in a former life, it was a Methodist chapel.
Converted nine years ago, inside it's big on character and space so I'm hoping it will be a big hit.
In you come.
Oh, yes, I like it.
That is stunning, isn't it?
Full cathedral ceilings, fantastic.
I'll give you a bit of geography there is a downstairs loo there.
You've got another sitting room or study there, it's all been kitted out
to be a home cinema if you so desired, or maybe a music room.
Let's go into the living room.
So this is quite a wide room.
-This is lovely, isn't it?
-That's a nice room.
-Light, three windows.
-It feels good, plenty of light.
In addition to the furniture we've got, which would fit in here easily, I also want a big sofa.
I thought I might struggle to find somewhere that would take a big sofa as well.
-This would take it easily.
We were going to replace our dining table so a nice oak dining table there would go very nicely.
Well, don't just make your decisions based on this one room straight away
-because the kitchen I think also gives you options. Follow me.
'Oh, yes, plenty of room for congregations in this house.'
-The kitchen is another big room.
-I love it.
Oh, I can see is cooking in here, and not getting in each other's way.
As if you needed more space, all the white goods are out of the way because you've got
-a really good-size utility through that door as well.
-Oh, right. Great.
-You like the downstairs?
-I love it, yes.
-Yes, it's good.
-Let's go and have a look at the bedrooms.
-I'm really, really pleased with that.
'Upstairs is equally roomy, in fact we are delivering over
'and above requirements with five bedrooms in all.
'Let's start with the master suite.'
-Oh, big room.
-It's not short of space this place, is it?
This to me felt like a country cottage
because of this nice low ceiling with these beams.
-Yet you don't get any of the compromises on space.
It's just lovely. I just love the space everywhere.
-Everywhere is just
how I like to live, space.
-Loads of space.
You've also got some accommodation that you don't see when you walk into this room.
You've got a really good-size walk-in wardrobe through that door there, and behind that door
you have an en suite and I think it's quite special so have a look at it yourselves.
Oh, yes. What a great-sized bathroom.
Yes. Oh, that's nice, his and hers washbasins. Lovely.
For an en suite, this is like the main bathroom.
'Off the landing,
'the family bathroom is equally impressive, and there are four guest bedrooms so ample room
'for all the visitors that will no doubt come calling once Chris and Chrissy are ensconced.
'The biggest spare room also has an en suite.'
The fact that it's got more bedrooms than we asked for
is an extra bonus because we can have lots of friends down at the same time.
-It's a party house, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
And it's great for a party house because the downstairs rooms are so big.
Well, I'm not going to start popping the champagne corks just yet as we still have the garden to check out.
It's by no means the quarter-of-an-acre plot
that they want, but they have said they're open to compromise,
so we're testing the water with this one.
So look, here's your garden and it's not massive, is it?
No. It's not as large a garden as we wanted.
-I could move into that house tomorrow, it's everything I've ever wanted.
I love it, I absolutely LOVE the house,
but with my sensible head on I have to think about the day-to-day living
and the lifestyle that we're wanting down here
and whether this garden would be a compromise too far or whether we could actually cope with it.
-And the other problem of course from Chris's point of view is the garage.
-The garage, yes.
You get off-street car parking at the front of the property, but, yes, of course there's no garage.
Charlestown is just down the road, now they've got a boatyard there and you can rent a unit there,
you could store your car there, but most importantly you could build a boat there.
There's even a community of boat builders
so you'd probably get some hints and tips from people making boats.
So I was hoping I could turn that particular problem into a positive.
How much do you think it's on the market for, Chris?
-I would put it high 390s.
It is close to other properties so I think I'd come down a bit to...
-All right, well, it's on the market for £399,000 dead,
so when you go inside the house, have a little talk amongst yourselves, OK?
-I'll catch you in a bit.
At just a snip under £400,000, it's easy to extol the virtues of this 19th century chapel.
There's plenty of traditional Cornish character, it's incredibly spacious
with two reception rooms, a huge open plan kitchen/diner,
and five bedrooms, two of which are en suite.
It doesn't deliver the quarter-of-an-acre garden
nor the boathouse,
but on their budget something will have to budge.
This is incredibly close to the coast,
so can they give up on a big garden for the near-perfect house?
The building itself and outside is picture book,
it's almost exactly what I had imagined in my mind, but I think that a garden is a must
because I don't think we'd live
with a little garden like this, and I think we want more privacy than this affords us.
Nice room, I think I'd keep it as a study.
It's a nice quiet room and I think I'd like
one of the bedrooms upstairs to be the study. Or we could have a study each.
A study each, his and hers studies.
The house itself exceeds our wish list in every way, and we always said we were adaptable.
I think we have to think very, very carefully because the house is SO good,
whether or not we can live here with the garden and the restrictions on garage.
-Wonderful house. Stunning.
-Lovely house inside.
Inside, yes. Well, we've got another one to see
-this afternoon, let's have a look.
Cornwall's remote location
on the far southwest peninsula has in modern times helped it escape
mass development, keeping its rural character and rugged beauty intact.
In fact today there are 12 separate designated
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, most of which are along the coast.
One of these is the Fowey Valley on the southeast coast.
Keen to get reacquainted with an old stomping ground, Chris took Chrissy to the small, but busy working port
of Fowey where local guide Lynne Gould offered to show them around.
Hello, Lynne. Nice to see you.
Growing up around a natural harbour, seafaring has long been part of the town's make-up, and it
played an heroic role in the Second World War as a launch site for the D-Day landings.
OK, this is the plaque that was unveiled
for the 50th commemorations running up to
D-Day, and it was unveiled by the port operations officer.
He was port operations officer here during the war in the run up to D-Day
and he came back to unveil this 50 years later.
Wow. What's the port famous for now?
It's only used as an exporting port and it exports china clay, or kaolin
and we are a deepwater port.
We're the deepest water port between Falmouth and Southampton, so it is an important port.
Today the harbour also provides a safe haven for pleasure boats
and 7,000 yachties dropping anchor here each year.
And catering for their every need are a whole raft of boutique shops
and bistros, but it's been a holiday hotspot for many years.
Here we are, I've brought you down here
so that we could actually have a look at Ferryside, it's the cream building with the blue shutters.
This was a working boatyard and this is the house
that Daphne du Maurier's father bought and turned it into their holiday home.
-Did she write here?
-Yes, it's where she wrote her first novel.
And the first novel was about Polruan over there and Fowey behind us,
and she mixed it all up to make this wonderful novel called The Loving Spirit.
In fact it was read by the youngest major in the British Army and the story goes that he sailed down here
and sails past her house and he invited her aboard his yacht for tea,
and a little while later they were married in the church at Lanteglos
-Which is just up Pont Creek just behind us here.
What a lovely story, how romantic.
There you go, a romance to match their own.
I can see how easy it is to while away the hours in Fowey,
but it's time now to moor literary interest and set sail on the property search once again.
We're heading east for our next property to the coastal village of Downderry.
Although home to a half-mile shingle and sand beach,
this isn't just a tourist destination it's very much and lived-in village.
The year-round community is served by a couple of churches, a post office, a pub, and a coffee shop.
Our property is just a five-minute walk from the beach and this
is a very different proposition altogether.
Now the second property, we are a lot more modern as you can see.
What do you think, Chris?
It's a big house. At first glance it's not what I was expecting or looking for.
It's similar to the kind of house we live in now but it's not overlooked,
which is good, that's part of the problem, for me, anyway.
It's fabulous being so close to the sea. That's wonderful.
OK, I'm open-minded so far.
Well, I'm going to hold Chris to that. I don't think
they can live with a small garden so this time we're compromising on character, and they'll need to use
their imaginations as this house is barely furnished.
So, the living room...
Nice size, square, which is what I wanted.
Plenty of light.
Now it's an overused term but it is a blank canvas, isn't it?
This house is what, four years old,
magnolia was a staple colour of any new build.
-That's doesn't bother us, we can change that easy.
It's all very open plan, let's have a look at this kitchen area.
You do have specific areas but you go with the flow, don't you?
-Yes, big area, big room.
I'd probably put an island in here.
-Oh, right, OK.
-Or a table.
Whilst it's open plan, you do have separate areas, don't you?
This room back here
could be a specific dining area if you have an island there especially, couldn't it?
-Yes. That would work perfectly,
-Through their you've got even more because you got a utility
through that door and then internal access to the garage.
-So, happy so far?
-Happy so far, yes, because it is a blank canvas you can make it into your own.
There are lots of changes we could make internally to make it ours.
Yes, I can see us here.
Good. That's a little bit of a relief, I've got to say.
There's one more room downstairs, a very bright study-come-snug,
but it's time to check out the equally expansive upstairs.
There are five bedrooms in all so plenty of space for staying guests
but were starting in the master bedroom.
It's quite bright in here, isn't it?
-Oh, nice light room.
-Lots of light.
-Yes, like it.
-You'd get the afternoon and the evening light,
you'd get the daylight through that one and the evening light through that one.
-Bed goes there.
-You'd go to bed in the afternoon when he's retired?
-I do already.
Here it is en suite, but en suite with a slight twist.
So not a bad size for an en suite.
-It's a good size en suite.
-Good size, full bath, which is nice.
-Like it, yes. Nice and clean looking.
-And behind us?
Behind us, this door, walk-in wardrobe, this door..
is another bedroom.
Oh, wow. Hey this is really good this extra wardrobe space.
-And you need it!
If you got five bedrooms, we don't need five bedrooms so this would be fine.
So that leaves three good bedrooms for visitors,
two doubles and a single, which all share the family bathroom.
I think the interior has gone down quite well and hopefully the outside
space with that all-important garage will seal the deal.
So at last we're getting ourselves a garden.
-Albeit terraced but very usable.
Now you've got a place where you can grow your vegetables,
you've got places where you can sit out and enjoy the weather.
But anyway there's a lot we can do with the garden,
I mean it has got a garden and yes, it's terraced but in Cornwall that's what you get.
What about the side of the house? Now you might need to speak to the local planning department
but what do you think about maybe putting a lean-to for building your boat?
I think that's what I'd do,
whether I built the boat here or whether I stored it here
I would put a lean-to on the side.
Could you see yourselves living somewhere like this?
When it comes to the trade-offs, this is getting closer.
All right, now we've seen all, how much do you think it's on the market for? Who wants to go first?
-I'll go first.
I'd say, it's five bedrooms, it's spitting distance from the sea,
I'd say this is on the market at 425.
I'd go lower, I'd go more 405.
-OK, this is good.
-It's on the market for £399,950.
-Oh, right, OK.
Neither of you were a million miles away.
Go and have a look around and think of what you might use each room for
-and see how you might move into the house, and see if this could be the compromise for you.
-I'll catch you in a bit.
So, under budget at just short of £400,000,
this is a lot of house for the money.
Just four years old, it comes with large contemporary living spaces
including a huge kitchen/diner and has five bedrooms.
The garden surrounds the house, it has the all-important garage,
and subject to planning consent it could build a boat shed.
You can't beat the location just five minutes from the beach.
I know it's not the dream, but could this practical option work for them?
You asked for a garage and here it is.
Yes, it's a good size actually because its full length.
The sports car would come up to about here,
my workbench would easily fit across the back, in fact it has a workbench already there.
I love the open-plan arrangement of the rooms.
I love the fact that it's got a fifth bedroom that I can use as a dressing area.
It ticks all the boxes except traditional.
When I first saw it, I thought this isn't exactly what we had in mind
but I see what Johnny says, it has some advantages, easy to maintain,
it has garden, et cetera. It ticks lots of the boxes.
Well, how is that for a day's house hunting?
-Very, very interesting.
-Two very different properties.
-Very different, yes.
-Lots to think about.
-Yes, at lot to think about.
-We've earned a drink, haven't we?
So that's it for day one of the property search.
We've struggled to deliver the dream but hopefully as the sun goes down
we've given them some food for thought.
Chris and Chrissy have set us quite a challenge.
Whilst £400,000 is a substantial budget, it doesn't stretch far
in pricey Cornwall, and they have a big wish list.
So could today's mystery house be the answer to the problem?
I think it's absolutely wonderful.
-I do, I love it.
But will Chris be making some concessions?
I haven't seen anywhere yet to put my toy.
I'm tempted to say that yesterday's properties
were a case of heart versus head
but that's not being entirely generous on the modern house
that I showed Chris and Chrissy in Downderry.
Certainly they're after something with character
but that will come at a price or a huge compromise on their part.
Maybe today's house, which of course is the mystery property, will help them decide.
We're heading to the small village of Sheviok,
a 10-minute walk to the coast.
It's a snapshot of country lanes and stone cottages.
However, if Chris and Chrissy want to pick up a paper or down a pint,
they'll need to head to nearby Crafthole, a short walk away.
So the setting should be spot on but what about the mystery house itself?
Well, it's always meant to challenge our buyers' preconceptions,
and whilst this Grade II listed period home
has all the character I know they like, it's not a detached property.
Now before we get carried away, it's not all of what you can see.
-No, I didn't think it would be.
-It's part of what you can see.
What you can see is what was once a huge rectory
and ancillary buildings.
What we're going to be looking at is part of the converted coach house.
-So what do you think of the position?
I think it's absolutely wonderful.
-I do, I love this. It's what we want in terms of location.
The setting is fabulous.
This is all quite positive.
I suppose the first compromise that we are met with here is the fact that it is attached
to that part of the rectory and part of the piggery next door, what do you think about that at the moment?
Let's have a look.
It depends how the rooms are arranged but we are prepared to compromise, we've realised that.
Good. Let's have a look at this layout then, shall we?
In the 1930s the coach house spent time as an art gallery before
being converted to a home some years ago, but it still oozes creativity.
In you come.
Quite an interesting layout.
It is, isn't it? Yes, I like it.
I like the staircase, I like the cathedral ceiling, very nice.
Let's keep having a look around here.
The main feature of this room is that staircase, isn't it?
-It's a 1930s addition to a mid-19th century building, do you like it?
I like that, I think it's a nice feature and I think it complements the low-beamed ceiling.
-It makes a nice room.
-It doesn't jar at all, does it?
No, it actually makes this into a usable space because it partitions the room.
-Do you like it, Chrissy?
-I think it's a really interesting space.
Good, all right. Let's look at the main part of the building shall we?
Now open-plan living...
That's really nice, light, airy and I love the idea of the open plan for entertaining.
The trouble with a lot of character properties is they can be dark
with small windows but we've got a nice big window, plenty of light,
and it's a nice square space, which is usable space.
Now this is very open plan.
At the moment you are cooking almost in the living room
and living almost in the kitchen,
but you have the definitive areas here, don't you?
-Yes, that's fine.
-Good, I'm glad.
Not just through that door you've got two bedrooms and a shower room with loo.
-I like this, it's unusual.
-'Well, that's good news.
'Chrissy is obviously charmed by the unconventional layout of this house, and once again we're delivering over
'and above expectations with four bedrooms.
'The last two are upstairs, there's a double guestroom and the master bedroom with a very funky en suite,
'plus there's also a surprise up here.'
What do you make of this room, then, and what would you use it for?
Wow, that is really unexpected.
It's a lovely room.
It's an anything-you-want room.
It's a studio, it's a hobby room, a sitting room.
It's got plenty of light, you've got double windows there.
-Those windows lead out onto a balcony there, do you want to have a look?
-Oh, yes, please.
Now how about this?
This is really nice.
Absolutely beautiful, what a gorgeous garden.
Chris, you seem a little bit more reserved.
I haven't seen anywhere yet to put my toy.
Right, there's nowhere for you to store your toy.
Just down the road there are outbuildings again that you'd be able to rent,
but there is no garage on site.
So, I'm sorry about that.
Mmm, keep us thinking.
I want to maybe address this, I'd like to draw a line underneath it
but I knew there was something on your mind really so I didn't want to keep leading you on in the hope that
just beyond that hill there is a massive garage, because there ain't.
I can see Chris is clearly disappointed but we were always going to struggle to find him
the double garage with the character property set in a quarter of an acre near the coast on their budget.
Something has to give.
We are seeing this garden
on the best of days.
We're seeing it in full bloom, what do you think?
I love the garden, I love the house.
I think its quirkiness is fantastic,
I can see us living in a house like that,
but I still have a problem with the fact that it's attached on two sides.
-What do you think, Chris?
I want somewhere to set up my workbench and keep my toy,
but otherwise it ticks all kinds of boxes.
I love the garden, I love the property inside. It's a nice property, I could live in that.
How much do you think this house is on the market for, Chrissy?
I think it's probably at the top end of our budget so I think I'm going to go to £400,000.
I'd go lower, I'd go 380.
Well, you were closest, this house is on the market for
-offers around £365,000.
Which would leave you certainly room in the budget to rent somewhere
for your boat and your car.
It's a bargain that, I think.
Go back into the house, have a good look around because the more you see of this house,
it might help you make decisions on the two houses we saw yesterday. OK?
-I'll catch you in a bit.
So at £365,000 this Grade II listed converted coach house
is 35,000 under budget, freeing up spare cash
for renting nearby outbuildings, which cost around £100 per year.
It's a wonderfully quirky character property
with four bedrooms, two reception rooms
and an open plan kitchen/living room.
The garden isn't a quarter of an acre
but it is a lovely little oasis.
The question is
can they live without the garage on site and in an attached property?
Well, I like this room and I love the fact that it's open plan.
And I like the fact they've got the preparation area over there,
that you can be cooking on the stove talking to friends.
This is a lovely property. It's very quirky, got some nice features.
It's very different.
I absolutely love it. Internally, it's got everything and more.
I think Chris loves the house, too, but overcoming the garage is a real problem for him.
So that's all of the houses now looked that.
Let's find you somewhere quiet to reflect and then we'll have a chat after that.
Pounded by the Atlantic, it's little wonder that the long sandy bays of the North Cornish coastline became
the spiritual home of surfing when it first reached the UK back in the mid-60s.
For decades it was a sport associated with hippy dropouts,
however, today around 250,000 Brits try to conquer the waves.
The undisputed regent of this offshore action is Newquay Bay
and its numerous beaches like Fistral Beach.
So with the sun shining, during the week I headed to Watergate Bay,
home to the English National Surfing Championships for the last eight years.
Local surf instructor Will Bennett was on hand to try and make a champ out of me.
What's made it so popular as a sport, do you think?
I think surfing is one of the purest sports are because it's just you,
the surfboard, and the ocean, there's not too much else going on.
It's very accessible. Once you have a wetsuit and a surfboard then it's a free sport to do.
Anyone can do it as long as you can swim and you've got
a certain level of fitness, then anyone can give surfing a go.
There must be some procedures that you've got to adhere to? What do you have to do first?
If surfing is something that you want to get into,
then the best starting point is to have a lesson with qualified instructors who are beach lifeguards,
so they are going to look after you.
At last count, there were 19 certified surf schools in the Newquay area,
so you couldn't find a better place to learn.
Watergate Bay with its variety of different-sized peaks
breaking left to right makes it an excellent venue for both beginners and the seriously skilled.
Sadly, I'm the former, so it's time for a lesson.
First thing you're going to do is place your hands on top of the board adjacent to your shoulders,
so just straight down, then you're going to come up onto your arms
and just count to two, one, two, and then we're going to pop up.
So we're trying to swing our body and then just before you stand up,
make sure that you're more side-on as opposed to facing forwards.
Turn your hips so they're side-on and your front arm is going to be pointing forwards,
back arm into your body, and you can just slowly stand up but keeping our knees nice and bent.
Most of our weight over our front foot and your body side-on.
Not facing forwards too much, you find this is wobbly. We are actually side on to the board.
Well, there is nothing for it, it's time for me to take my board and carve up some waves.
Oh, yes, it's a piece of cake. I've definitely got the hang of this now.
I think it's more beginners' luck
but it still gets the thumbs up from Will.
All three of the properties that we've shown Chris and Chrissy
have had elements of what they're after for their big move down here
but in turn, all have come with a compromise.
So on reflection, which of these three houses have they decided floats their boat? Let's find out.
-Looks like you've been sat here a short while having a chat.
Yes, we've been sitting and having a think.
Let's start with the first property, great reactions when we walked in.
-It was a beautiful property.
And sympathetically restored.
I loved the space, I love the light, it was splendid.
But it came with compromises, didn't it, Chris?
Yes, the garden was tiny.
It had a nice little entertainment area but it was overlooked.
There was no garage or outbuilding, and no space for that either.
-No. Such a shame, wasn't it?
-Oh, it was.
The first property, the character box was well and truly ticked.
-Oh, dead right.
So then I thought, well we're not getting the practicality perhaps so we showed you the modern property.
-Once inside, we seemed to quite like that, did we?
I did, I loved the through-flow of the rooms, I loved the size of the rooms.
It ticked all the boxes because it had the garage, it had the garden, but the one box it didn't tick that
I hadn't thought that hard about was the emotional box.
It didn't feel right.
Well, after the first two properties it became apparent to me that there would have to be a compromise,
so I thought maybe the mystery house would flush out a compromise
and help you decide on the first two houses,
or it might offer the solution in itself.
-What you think about it now you've come away from the mystery house?
-It came so close.
It came so, so close.
I absolutely loved the house
but two big buts - a garage and it was attached.
And it wasn't just attached on one side, it was attached on two sides.
So what can we get out of these three houses?
We've realised that it's difficult to get a decent-sized garden
on the kind of property that we are looking for.
We probably also won't get all the character that we want,
we will have to compromise on the character at some point.
But it will have to feel emotionally right.
So what's next?
We will sell where we are as fast as we can and we'll move down here and
rent if we have to, but leave ourselves free to take a place if it comes on the market quickly.
I think renting down here is a fantastic idea.
It will give you the chance to wait until the right property pops up onto the market
and then you can go for it with nothing to sell, puts you in a great position doesn't it?
Yes, it does very much.
I hope you find the right rental property and I wish you the very best of luck.
Thank you so much for all your help and finding our properties,
and helping us with the learning curve.
It's been really good.
Good, I'm glad.
-Let's enjoy this lovely setting shall we? Maybe another drink or two.
Well, we were always going to be up against it, I think,
bearing in mind Chris and Chrissy's fairly extensive requirement list
and, well for Cornwall, fairly limited budget.
But we did come so close.
I'm glad Chris and Chrissy still want to move down here and they're going to rent.
I think that will give them the perfect opportunity
to find the right property as and when it comes on the market.
We'll see you next time.
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Jonnie Irwin is in Cornwall helping two retirees find a seaside retreat.
Armed with a budget of £400,000, they are after a traditional three-bedroom Cornish stone-built house with space outside to build a boat and store some classic cars and all close to the coast. But second-home ownership has pushed prices up in Cornwall, so compromises might have to be made.