Cornwall Escape to the Country


Cornwall

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

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here in the UK, many of them coming to the surf capital right here to catch that perfect wave.

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Find out where I am in just a moment.

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Today we're helping a couple swap their cul de sac for a retirement pad by the sea.

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-There'll be plenty of surprises.

-Wow, that is really unexpected. Ooh.

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Oh, wow. This is really good.

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But will any of our properties

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-live up to the dream?

-I could move into that house tomorrow, it's everything I have ever wanted.

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-Really?

-I love it, I absolutely LOVE the house.

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I'm on the North Cornish coast on one of the many renowned surfing beaches here.

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Now, this sport brings in an incredible £42 million a year

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and is a most welcome boost to the local economy.

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Situated in the far southwestern corner of the UK, Cornwall, as former Poet Laureate

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Sir John Betjeman once wrote, feels more like another country

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than another county.

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With the second warmest climate in the UK after Middlesex,

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and with 300 miles of stunning coastline, you can see his point.

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There are two coasts for a start, the Atlantic in the north with its

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huge expanses of golden sand, a mecca for surfers, or the more

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gentle English Channel coast, home to hidden coves and tranquil creeks popular with the sailing fraternity.

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With 4.5 million visitors rocking up here annually,

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tourism is big business, but there's more to Cornwall than sandcastles and clotted cream.

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In fact, farming is equally important with dairy farming alone worth £100 million per year.

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And although the fishing industry has taken a massive hit in recent years, it's still a traditional

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and vital part of life on this beautiful peninsula.

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Despite all of this, Cornwall is one of the least wealthy counties in the UK.

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Recent figures show that for the first time in a decade

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it's moved off the lowest rung of the UK's wealth table and is now ahead of West Wales

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and the Valleys.

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Its population is growing too, thanks largely to incomers,

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which, for the Cornish, is a double-edged sword.

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A report published earlier this year stated that around 43%

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of prime Cornish property was sold

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as a second home or a holiday let over the past four years.

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This pulls up the price

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of the medium and low-cost housing, putting

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an enormous pressure on locals to keep these rural communities alive.

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However, if you're thinking of relocating here permanently

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and supporting local life, there are properties to suit all budgets.

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Here's some currently on the market. If modern is your thing,

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how about this minimalist glass house in the waterside village of Feock.

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It has three sleek reception rooms, a large kitchen/diner, five spacious

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bedrooms, and plenty of outdoor space to enjoy the Cornish sun.

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You could be living the high life for £1.25 million.

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Or how about a converted granary in Saltash for half the dough, £625,000?

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It'll buy you a stylish kitchen, four bedrooms,

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and two reception rooms so you won't be downsizing on space.

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If it's character you're after, then this 15th century stone cottage

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in Higher Metherell is definitely worth a look.

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Traditional features come in the shape of original arrow slits, stone fireplaces, and beams,

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and it's not too cosy with four bedrooms and a pine country kitchen.

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It's on the market for a snip under £410,000.

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With Cornish properties like those you've just seen,

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let's hope the houses that we've found for this week's buyers really take the PASTY.

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Meet Chris and Chrissy, they've been married for two years and it's very much a case of second-time lucky.

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We were actually engaged when we were 19, and for various reasons

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we went our separate ways, I went all round the world, then sadly my wife died

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and I was looking up old friends and who should I find on the internet,

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but Chrissy's brother,

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and the rest is history. We got back together again, it was like we were 19 again,

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and since then we've been living happily ever after.

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Three years ago, Chrissy moved from her native Manchester

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into Chris's four-bedroom detached home on a cul de sac near Northampton,

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so why the decision to move again?

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Well, I retired about 18 months ago, Chris retires in June.

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We both like the West Country,

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Chris comes from there, plus we have a lot of Chris's family who live down there,

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so it means we would be closer to them, and we want some peace and quiet in our retirement years.

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So it's the opportunity now to buy

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our first house together and probably our last house together hopefully.

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Hopefully this would be the last move ever.

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No pressure then, but did they have a location in mind

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for this retirement move and return to Chris's Cornish roots?

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So ideally a village location preferably on the south coast.

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We prefer the south coast to the West Country and north coast,

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but we'd like to be near the water because actually I want a boat.

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We've got a fairy-tale romance on our hands, but what's the fairy-tale property?

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We're looking for something traditional.

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I don't want modern, but we wouldn't rule it out if there was something about it that gave it character.

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If I was asked what my ideal house was,

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I can see a double-fronted house with white window frames,

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stone-built with granite cornice and granite lintels, with a sloping lawn

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with flowers and shrubs either side going down to a piece of water with my jetty and my boat tied up.

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Out at the back, the vegetable garden and the barn, and that would be ideal.

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When we win the lottery, we'll buy one.

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OK, so that's the ultimate fantasy, but without a big win, what are the must-haves for the new property?

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We're looking for a minimum of three bedrooms,

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preferably an en suite to the master because we've got one here and we've got used to it.

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Downstairs cloakroom is always handy,

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large kitchen/diner, nice square lounge,

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and a fairly large garden because we would like to grow our own vegetables.

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Although engineer Chris has his eye on more than just marrows.

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'This is my big boy's toy, it's a kit car I built myself.

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'It took me about 120 hours, it's my pride and joy, and I have to have somewhere to store it.

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'It can't stand outside because obviously it's got no roof on it.

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'When we move, if I can I also want to build a boat,'

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so ideally I want somewhere I could store my big boy's toy and build a boat alongside it.

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So it has to be a double garage or even a big barn.

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Big ambitions, but do they have the budget to match?

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We'll have about £400,000 to spend on a new house.

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Now, £400,000 doesn't stretch particularly far in this area of Cornwall, fuelled in part

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by second home owners and people relocating here, but with a bit of luck and quite a bit

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of compromise from Chris and Chrissy,

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we should be able to find them their dream first home together.

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As Chris has family

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in Plymouth and Truro, they'd like us to focus the search on the south coast between the two.

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We've lined up some cracking Cornish properties to view,

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but as always, I won't reveal the price tags until the end of the tours.

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And finally there's a mystery house which will challenge their wish list,

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but could it end up being the perfect retirement pad?

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-Good morning, Chris and Chrissy.

-Hiya.

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Welcome, or should I say welcome back for you, Chris, to Cornwall.

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-Yes.

-How long has it been since you lived here?

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I left Cornwall when I was about 18, so that's probably a good couple of years ago.

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Now, let's talk about community.

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Now, there's been a lot of issues surrounding

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say second home owners and sometimes dwindling communities in Cornwall, what's your thoughts on this?

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I think it's really sad, but we're coming down here because we want to be part of the community

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and help invigorate it if we can.

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Now, the budget is what, what can we finally agree on?

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£400,000. I mean we'd look at something slightly above to make an offer, but we don't

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want to spend more than that on bricks and mortar because one

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of the other things we want to do when we've retired is travel.

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-We've got some fantastic properties.

-Good.

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Let's start with property number one.

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So for £400,000, Chris and Chrissy have their hearts set

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on a three-bedroom detached character property either in

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or close to a year-round Cornish village.

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Their must-haves include a large kitchen/diner,

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a good-sized reception room, and around a quarter-of-an-acre garden plot.

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It's already an ambitious wish list for their budget,

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but this property package also needs to be near the coast,

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and Chris would also like a double garage or big barn

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for his kit car and boat building.

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I've a feeling keeping this dream afloat could be tricky.

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So property number one, are we excited, are we nervous?

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-I'm excited.

-Good.

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-We have a completely open mind.

-Right, you've got an open mind.

-Yes.

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You must appreciate £400,000 isn't a massive amount of money in Cornwall.

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No. We realise that our specification

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is in some ways unrealistic, so we are adaptable and flexible.

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-So would you say your specification is a wish list as opposed to requirement list?

-Yes.

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OK. I wish you'd told me that last night - I would've slept better.

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THEY LAUGH

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For our first port of call today we're heading to historic Charlestown right on the coast.

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This beautiful harbour village was originally built as a Georgian new town by local landowner

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Charles Rashleigh between 1790 and 1810 to export copper and china clay.

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Throughout the 19th century it was packed with ships,

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harbourside sheds, and warehouses. Today it provides a safe haven for

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a few historic tall ships, a handful of fishermen, and visiting pleasure boats.

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It could be the ideal spot for Chris's boat launch as our first property is just two miles inland.

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OK, then, Chris and Chrissy, first property right here.

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THEY LAUGH

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Yes, it's got the stone and the windows.

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Granite cornice, stone-built, wooden window frames are nice, yes. Slate roof.

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This is all sounding very positive.

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-It looks lovely.

-Well, let's take a look inside, shall we?

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High praise indeed, which is pretty fitting

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for this property as in a former life, it was a Methodist chapel.

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Converted nine years ago, inside it's big on character and space so I'm hoping it will be a big hit.

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In you come.

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Oh, yes, I like it.

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That is stunning, isn't it?

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Full cathedral ceilings, fantastic.

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I'll give you a bit of geography there is a downstairs loo there.

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You've got another sitting room or study there, it's all been kitted out

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to be a home cinema if you so desired, or maybe a music room.

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Let's go into the living room.

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So this is quite a wide room.

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-This is lovely, isn't it?

-That's a nice room.

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-Light, three windows.

-It feels good, plenty of light.

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In addition to the furniture we've got, which would fit in here easily, I also want a big sofa.

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I thought I might struggle to find somewhere that would take a big sofa as well.

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-This would take it easily.

-Absolutely.

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We were going to replace our dining table so a nice oak dining table there would go very nicely.

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Well, don't just make your decisions based on this one room straight away

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-because the kitchen I think also gives you options. Follow me.

-OK.

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'Oh, yes, plenty of room for congregations in this house.'

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-The kitchen is another big room.

-Wow. Big.

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Ooh!

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-Huge, yes.

-I love it.

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Oh, I can see is cooking in here, and not getting in each other's way.

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As if you needed more space, all the white goods are out of the way because you've got

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-a really good-size utility through that door as well.

-Oh, right. Great.

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-You like the downstairs?

-I love it, yes.

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-It's great.

-Yes, it's good.

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-Let's go and have a look at the bedrooms.

-I'm really, really pleased with that.

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'Upstairs is equally roomy, in fact we are delivering over

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'and above requirements with five bedrooms in all.

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'Let's start with the master suite.'

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Creaky floorboards.

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-Oh, big room.

-It's not short of space this place, is it?

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This to me felt like a country cottage

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because of this nice low ceiling with these beams.

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-Yes.

-Yet you don't get any of the compromises on space.

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It's just lovely. I just love the space everywhere.

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-Yes.

-Everywhere is just

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how I like to live, space.

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-Really?

-Loads of space.

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You've also got some accommodation that you don't see when you walk into this room.

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You've got a really good-size walk-in wardrobe through that door there, and behind that door

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you have an en suite and I think it's quite special so have a look at it yourselves.

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Oh, yes. What a great-sized bathroom.

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Yes. Oh, that's nice, his and hers washbasins. Lovely.

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For an en suite, this is like the main bathroom.

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'Off the landing,

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'the family bathroom is equally impressive, and there are four guest bedrooms so ample room

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'for all the visitors that will no doubt come calling once Chris and Chrissy are ensconced.

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'The biggest spare room also has an en suite.'

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The fact that it's got more bedrooms than we asked for

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is an extra bonus because we can have lots of friends down at the same time.

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-It's a party house, isn't it?

-Yes, it is.

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And it's great for a party house because the downstairs rooms are so big.

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Well, I'm not going to start popping the champagne corks just yet as we still have the garden to check out.

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It's by no means the quarter-of-an-acre plot

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that they want, but they have said they're open to compromise,

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so we're testing the water with this one.

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So look, here's your garden and it's not massive, is it?

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No. It's not as large a garden as we wanted.

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-I could move into that house tomorrow, it's everything I've ever wanted.

-Really?

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I love it, I absolutely LOVE the house,

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but with my sensible head on I have to think about the day-to-day living

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and the lifestyle that we're wanting down here

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and whether this garden would be a compromise too far or whether we could actually cope with it.

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-And the other problem of course from Chris's point of view is the garage.

-The garage, yes.

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You get off-street car parking at the front of the property, but, yes, of course there's no garage.

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Charlestown is just down the road, now they've got a boatyard there and you can rent a unit there,

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you could store your car there, but most importantly you could build a boat there.

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There's even a community of boat builders

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so you'd probably get some hints and tips from people making boats.

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So I was hoping I could turn that particular problem into a positive.

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How much do you think it's on the market for, Chris?

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-I would put it high 390s.

-Chrissy?

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It is close to other properties so I think I'd come down a bit to...

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-380.

-All right, well, it's on the market for £399,000 dead,

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so when you go inside the house, have a little talk amongst yourselves, OK?

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-OK.

-I'll catch you in a bit.

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At just a snip under £400,000, it's easy to extol the virtues of this 19th century chapel.

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There's plenty of traditional Cornish character, it's incredibly spacious

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with two reception rooms, a huge open plan kitchen/diner,

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and five bedrooms, two of which are en suite.

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It doesn't deliver the quarter-of-an-acre garden

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nor the boathouse,

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but on their budget something will have to budge.

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This is incredibly close to the coast,

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so can they give up on a big garden for the near-perfect house?

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The building itself and outside is picture book,

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it's almost exactly what I had imagined in my mind, but I think that a garden is a must

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because I don't think we'd live

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with a little garden like this, and I think we want more privacy than this affords us.

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Nice room, I think I'd keep it as a study.

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It's a nice quiet room and I think I'd like

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one of the bedrooms upstairs to be the study. Or we could have a study each.

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A study each, his and hers studies.

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The house itself exceeds our wish list in every way, and we always said we were adaptable.

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I think we have to think very, very carefully because the house is SO good,

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whether or not we can live here with the garden and the restrictions on garage.

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-Seen enough?

-Yes.

-Wonderful house. Stunning.

-Lovely house inside.

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Inside, yes. Well, we've got another one to see

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-this afternoon, let's have a look.

-OK.

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Cornwall's remote location

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on the far southwest peninsula has in modern times helped it escape

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mass development, keeping its rural character and rugged beauty intact.

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In fact today there are 12 separate designated

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Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, most of which are along the coast.

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One of these is the Fowey Valley on the southeast coast.

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Keen to get reacquainted with an old stomping ground, Chris took Chrissy to the small, but busy working port

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of Fowey where local guide Lynne Gould offered to show them around.

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Hello, Lynne. Nice to see you.

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Hello.

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Growing up around a natural harbour, seafaring has long been part of the town's make-up, and it

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played an heroic role in the Second World War as a launch site for the D-Day landings.

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OK, this is the plaque that was unveiled

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for the 50th commemorations running up to

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D-Day, and it was unveiled by the port operations officer.

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He was port operations officer here during the war in the run up to D-Day

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and he came back to unveil this 50 years later.

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Wow. What's the port famous for now?

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It's only used as an exporting port and it exports china clay, or kaolin

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and we are a deepwater port.

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We're the deepest water port between Falmouth and Southampton, so it is an important port.

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Today the harbour also provides a safe haven for pleasure boats

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and 7,000 yachties dropping anchor here each year.

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And catering for their every need are a whole raft of boutique shops

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and bistros, but it's been a holiday hotspot for many years.

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Here we are, I've brought you down here

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so that we could actually have a look at Ferryside, it's the cream building with the blue shutters.

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This was a working boatyard and this is the house

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that Daphne du Maurier's father bought and turned it into their holiday home.

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-Did she write here?

-Yes, it's where she wrote her first novel.

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And the first novel was about Polruan over there and Fowey behind us,

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and she mixed it all up to make this wonderful novel called The Loving Spirit.

0:20:260:20:30

In fact it was read by the youngest major in the British Army and the story goes that he sailed down here

0:20:300:20:36

and sails past her house and he invited her aboard his yacht for tea,

0:20:360:20:44

and a little while later they were married in the church at Lanteglos

0:20:440:20:48

-Ah.

-Which is just up Pont Creek just behind us here.

0:20:480:20:51

What a lovely story, how romantic.

0:20:510:20:53

There you go, a romance to match their own.

0:20:530:20:58

I can see how easy it is to while away the hours in Fowey,

0:20:580:21:01

but it's time now to moor literary interest and set sail on the property search once again.

0:21:010:21:07

We're heading east for our next property to the coastal village of Downderry.

0:21:130:21:19

Although home to a half-mile shingle and sand beach,

0:21:190:21:22

this isn't just a tourist destination it's very much and lived-in village.

0:21:220:21:26

The year-round community is served by a couple of churches, a post office, a pub, and a coffee shop.

0:21:260:21:32

Our property is just a five-minute walk from the beach and this

0:21:320:21:36

is a very different proposition altogether.

0:21:360:21:39

Now the second property, we are a lot more modern as you can see.

0:21:390:21:43

What do you think, Chris?

0:21:430:21:45

It's a big house. At first glance it's not what I was expecting or looking for.

0:21:450:21:51

It's similar to the kind of house we live in now but it's not overlooked,

0:21:510:21:57

which is good, that's part of the problem, for me, anyway.

0:21:570:22:01

It's fabulous being so close to the sea. That's wonderful.

0:22:010:22:05

OK, I'm open-minded so far.

0:22:050:22:09

Well, I'm going to hold Chris to that. I don't think

0:22:090:22:12

they can live with a small garden so this time we're compromising on character, and they'll need to use

0:22:120:22:18

their imaginations as this house is barely furnished.

0:22:180:22:22

So, the living room...

0:22:220:22:24

Nice size, square, which is what I wanted.

0:22:240:22:27

Plenty of light.

0:22:270:22:28

Now it's an overused term but it is a blank canvas, isn't it?

0:22:280:22:34

This house is what, four years old,

0:22:340:22:36

magnolia was a staple colour of any new build.

0:22:360:22:40

-That's doesn't bother us, we can change that easy.

-Yes, good.

0:22:400:22:43

It's all very open plan, let's have a look at this kitchen area.

0:22:430:22:47

You do have specific areas but you go with the flow, don't you?

0:22:470:22:51

-Yes, big area, big room.

-Great.

0:22:510:22:53

I'd probably put an island in here.

0:22:530:22:55

-Oh, right, OK.

-Or a table.

0:22:550:22:57

Whilst it's open plan, you do have separate areas, don't you?

0:22:570:23:01

This room back here

0:23:010:23:03

could be a specific dining area if you have an island there especially, couldn't it?

0:23:030:23:08

-Yes. That would work perfectly,

-Through their you've got even more because you got a utility

0:23:080:23:13

through that door and then internal access to the garage.

0:23:130:23:17

-So, happy so far?

-Happy so far, yes, because it is a blank canvas you can make it into your own.

0:23:170:23:23

There are lots of changes we could make internally to make it ours.

0:23:230:23:29

Yes, I can see us here.

0:23:290:23:31

Good. That's a little bit of a relief, I've got to say.

0:23:310:23:35

There's one more room downstairs, a very bright study-come-snug,

0:23:350:23:40

but it's time to check out the equally expansive upstairs.

0:23:400:23:43

There are five bedrooms in all so plenty of space for staying guests

0:23:430:23:47

but were starting in the master bedroom.

0:23:470:23:50

It's quite bright in here, isn't it?

0:23:500:23:52

-Oh, nice light room.

-Lots of light.

0:23:520:23:54

-Yes, like it.

-You'd get the afternoon and the evening light,

0:23:540:23:58

you'd get the daylight through that one and the evening light through that one.

0:23:580:24:02

-Bed goes there.

-You'd go to bed in the afternoon when he's retired?

0:24:020:24:08

-I do already.

-THEY LAUGH

0:24:080:24:12

Here it is en suite, but en suite with a slight twist.

0:24:120:24:17

So not a bad size for an en suite.

0:24:170:24:20

-It's a good size en suite.

-Good size, full bath, which is nice.

0:24:200:24:24

-Like it, yes. Nice and clean looking.

-And behind us?

0:24:240:24:26

Behind us, this door, walk-in wardrobe, this door..

0:24:260:24:31

is another bedroom.

0:24:310:24:33

Oh, wow. Hey this is really good this extra wardrobe space.

0:24:330:24:39

-Oh, right!

-And you need it!

0:24:390:24:42

If you got five bedrooms, we don't need five bedrooms so this would be fine.

0:24:420:24:47

So that leaves three good bedrooms for visitors,

0:24:470:24:50

two doubles and a single, which all share the family bathroom.

0:24:500:24:54

I think the interior has gone down quite well and hopefully the outside

0:24:540:24:58

space with that all-important garage will seal the deal.

0:24:580:25:02

So at last we're getting ourselves a garden.

0:25:040:25:07

-Yes.

-Albeit terraced but very usable.

0:25:070:25:11

Now you've got a place where you can grow your vegetables,

0:25:110:25:15

you've got places where you can sit out and enjoy the weather.

0:25:150:25:18

But anyway there's a lot we can do with the garden,

0:25:180:25:21

I mean it has got a garden and yes, it's terraced but in Cornwall that's what you get.

0:25:210:25:26

What about the side of the house? Now you might need to speak to the local planning department

0:25:260:25:31

but what do you think about maybe putting a lean-to for building your boat?

0:25:310:25:35

I think that's what I'd do,

0:25:350:25:36

whether I built the boat here or whether I stored it here

0:25:360:25:41

I would put a lean-to on the side.

0:25:410:25:45

Could you see yourselves living somewhere like this?

0:25:450:25:47

When it comes to the trade-offs, this is getting closer.

0:25:470:25:50

All right, now we've seen all, how much do you think it's on the market for? Who wants to go first?

0:25:500:25:55

-I'll go first.

-OK.

0:25:550:25:57

I'd say, it's five bedrooms, it's spitting distance from the sea,

0:25:570:26:01

I'd say this is on the market at 425.

0:26:010:26:04

I'd go lower, I'd go more 405.

0:26:040:26:08

-OK, this is good.

-Oh, right.

0:26:080:26:11

-It's on the market for £399,950.

-Oh, right, OK.

-Right.

0:26:120:26:18

Neither of you were a million miles away.

0:26:180:26:20

Go and have a look around and think of what you might use each room for

0:26:200:26:24

-and see how you might move into the house, and see if this could be the compromise for you.

-OK.

0:26:240:26:30

-I'll catch you in a bit.

-OK, thanks.

0:26:300:26:32

So, under budget at just short of £400,000,

0:26:320:26:36

this is a lot of house for the money.

0:26:360:26:38

Just four years old, it comes with large contemporary living spaces

0:26:380:26:42

including a huge kitchen/diner and has five bedrooms.

0:26:420:26:46

The garden surrounds the house, it has the all-important garage,

0:26:460:26:49

and subject to planning consent it could build a boat shed.

0:26:490:26:53

You can't beat the location just five minutes from the beach.

0:26:530:26:56

I know it's not the dream, but could this practical option work for them?

0:26:560:27:00

You asked for a garage and here it is.

0:27:000:27:02

Yes, it's a good size actually because its full length.

0:27:020:27:06

The sports car would come up to about here,

0:27:060:27:09

my workbench would easily fit across the back, in fact it has a workbench already there.

0:27:090:27:15

I love the open-plan arrangement of the rooms.

0:27:150:27:18

I love the fact that it's got a fifth bedroom that I can use as a dressing area.

0:27:180:27:24

It ticks all the boxes except traditional.

0:27:240:27:27

When I first saw it, I thought this isn't exactly what we had in mind

0:27:270:27:33

but I see what Johnny says, it has some advantages, easy to maintain,

0:27:330:27:39

it has garden, et cetera. It ticks lots of the boxes.

0:27:390:27:44

Well, how is that for a day's house hunting?

0:27:460:27:50

-Very, very interesting.

-Two very different properties.

-Very different, yes.

0:27:500:27:55

-Lots to think about.

-Yes, at lot to think about.

0:27:550:27:57

-We've earned a drink, haven't we?

-Absolutely.

0:27:570:28:00

So that's it for day one of the property search.

0:28:020:28:05

We've struggled to deliver the dream but hopefully as the sun goes down

0:28:050:28:09

we've given them some food for thought.

0:28:090:28:12

Chris and Chrissy have set us quite a challenge.

0:28:150:28:19

Whilst £400,000 is a substantial budget, it doesn't stretch far

0:28:190:28:23

in pricey Cornwall, and they have a big wish list.

0:28:230:28:27

So could today's mystery house be the answer to the problem?

0:28:270:28:30

I think it's absolutely wonderful.

0:28:300:28:32

-Do you?

-I do, I love it.

0:28:320:28:34

But will Chris be making some concessions?

0:28:340:28:37

I haven't seen anywhere yet to put my toy.

0:28:370:28:39

I'm tempted to say that yesterday's properties

0:28:430:28:45

were a case of heart versus head

0:28:450:28:47

but that's not being entirely generous on the modern house

0:28:470:28:50

that I showed Chris and Chrissy in Downderry.

0:28:500:28:52

Certainly they're after something with character

0:28:520:28:55

but that will come at a price or a huge compromise on their part.

0:28:550:28:59

Maybe today's house, which of course is the mystery property, will help them decide.

0:28:590:29:03

We're heading to the small village of Sheviok,

0:29:090:29:12

a 10-minute walk to the coast.

0:29:120:29:13

It's a snapshot of country lanes and stone cottages.

0:29:130:29:18

However, if Chris and Chrissy want to pick up a paper or down a pint,

0:29:180:29:21

they'll need to head to nearby Crafthole, a short walk away.

0:29:210:29:25

So the setting should be spot on but what about the mystery house itself?

0:29:250:29:29

Well, it's always meant to challenge our buyers' preconceptions,

0:29:290:29:33

and whilst this Grade II listed period home

0:29:330:29:36

has all the character I know they like, it's not a detached property.

0:29:360:29:40

Now before we get carried away, it's not all of what you can see.

0:29:400:29:43

-No, I didn't think it would be.

-It's part of what you can see.

0:29:430:29:47

What you can see is what was once a huge rectory

0:29:470:29:50

and ancillary buildings.

0:29:500:29:53

What we're going to be looking at is part of the converted coach house.

0:29:530:29:58

-Oh, right.

-So what do you think of the position?

0:29:580:30:01

I think it's absolutely wonderful.

0:30:010:30:03

-Do you?

-I do, I love this. It's what we want in terms of location.

0:30:030:30:09

The setting is fabulous.

0:30:090:30:11

This is all quite positive.

0:30:110:30:13

I suppose the first compromise that we are met with here is the fact that it is attached

0:30:130:30:17

to that part of the rectory and part of the piggery next door, what do you think about that at the moment?

0:30:170:30:23

Let's have a look.

0:30:230:30:25

It depends how the rooms are arranged but we are prepared to compromise, we've realised that.

0:30:250:30:30

Good. Let's have a look at this layout then, shall we?

0:30:300:30:33

In the 1930s the coach house spent time as an art gallery before

0:30:330:30:37

being converted to a home some years ago, but it still oozes creativity.

0:30:370:30:42

In you come.

0:30:440:30:45

Quite an interesting layout.

0:30:450:30:48

It is, isn't it? Yes, I like it.

0:30:480:30:51

I like the staircase, I like the cathedral ceiling, very nice.

0:30:510:30:54

Let's keep having a look around here.

0:30:540:30:56

The main feature of this room is that staircase, isn't it?

0:30:560:31:01

-Yes.

-It's a 1930s addition to a mid-19th century building, do you like it?

0:31:010:31:07

I like that, I think it's a nice feature and I think it complements the low-beamed ceiling.

0:31:070:31:14

-It makes a nice room.

-It doesn't jar at all, does it?

0:31:140:31:18

No, it actually makes this into a usable space because it partitions the room.

0:31:180:31:21

-Do you like it, Chrissy?

-I think it's a really interesting space.

0:31:210:31:25

Good, all right. Let's look at the main part of the building shall we?

0:31:250:31:28

Now open-plan living...

0:31:310:31:34

That's really nice, light, airy and I love the idea of the open plan for entertaining.

0:31:340:31:39

The trouble with a lot of character properties is they can be dark

0:31:390:31:43

with small windows but we've got a nice big window, plenty of light,

0:31:430:31:47

and it's a nice square space, which is usable space.

0:31:470:31:50

Now this is very open plan.

0:31:500:31:53

At the moment you are cooking almost in the living room

0:31:530:31:56

and living almost in the kitchen,

0:31:560:31:57

but you have the definitive areas here, don't you?

0:31:570:32:01

-Yes, that's fine.

-Good, I'm glad.

0:32:010:32:03

Not just through that door you've got two bedrooms and a shower room with loo.

0:32:030:32:10

-I like this, it's unusual.

-'Well, that's good news.

0:32:100:32:14

'Chrissy is obviously charmed by the unconventional layout of this house, and once again we're delivering over

0:32:140:32:21

'and above expectations with four bedrooms.

0:32:210:32:23

'The last two are upstairs, there's a double guestroom and the master bedroom with a very funky en suite,

0:32:230:32:29

'plus there's also a surprise up here.'

0:32:290:32:32

What do you make of this room, then, and what would you use it for?

0:32:320:32:36

Wow, that is really unexpected.

0:32:360:32:41

It's a lovely room.

0:32:410:32:44

It's an anything-you-want room.

0:32:440:32:47

It's a studio, it's a hobby room, a sitting room.

0:32:470:32:50

It's got plenty of light, you've got double windows there.

0:32:500:32:53

-Those windows lead out onto a balcony there, do you want to have a look?

-Oh, yes, please.

0:32:530:32:59

Now how about this?

0:33:030:33:06

This is really nice.

0:33:060:33:09

Absolutely beautiful, what a gorgeous garden.

0:33:090:33:11

Chris, you seem a little bit more reserved.

0:33:110:33:16

I haven't seen anywhere yet to put my toy.

0:33:160:33:19

Right, there's nowhere for you to store your toy.

0:33:190:33:22

Just down the road there are outbuildings again that you'd be able to rent,

0:33:220:33:29

but there is no garage on site.

0:33:290:33:31

So, I'm sorry about that.

0:33:310:33:33

OK.

0:33:330:33:36

Mmm, keep us thinking.

0:33:380:33:40

I want to maybe address this, I'd like to draw a line underneath it

0:33:410:33:44

but I knew there was something on your mind really so I didn't want to keep leading you on in the hope that

0:33:440:33:50

just beyond that hill there is a massive garage, because there ain't.

0:33:500:33:55

I can see Chris is clearly disappointed but we were always going to struggle to find him

0:33:550:34:00

the double garage with the character property set in a quarter of an acre near the coast on their budget.

0:34:000:34:06

Something has to give.

0:34:060:34:09

We are seeing this garden

0:34:090:34:12

on the best of days.

0:34:120:34:16

We're seeing it in full bloom, what do you think?

0:34:160:34:19

I love the garden, I love the house.

0:34:190:34:22

I think its quirkiness is fantastic,

0:34:220:34:26

I can see us living in a house like that,

0:34:260:34:29

but I still have a problem with the fact that it's attached on two sides.

0:34:290:34:34

-What do you think, Chris?

-For me,

0:34:340:34:36

I want somewhere to set up my workbench and keep my toy,

0:34:360:34:42

but otherwise it ticks all kinds of boxes.

0:34:420:34:45

I love the garden, I love the property inside. It's a nice property, I could live in that.

0:34:450:34:49

How much do you think this house is on the market for, Chrissy?

0:34:490:34:54

I think it's probably at the top end of our budget so I think I'm going to go to £400,000.

0:34:540:35:00

OK. Chris?

0:35:000:35:01

I'd go lower, I'd go 380.

0:35:010:35:04

Well, you were closest, this house is on the market for

0:35:040:35:09

-offers around £365,000.

-Oh, really?

-Wow.

0:35:090:35:13

Which would leave you certainly room in the budget to rent somewhere

0:35:130:35:19

for your boat and your car.

0:35:190:35:21

It's a bargain that, I think.

0:35:210:35:23

Go back into the house, have a good look around because the more you see of this house,

0:35:230:35:28

it might help you make decisions on the two houses we saw yesterday. OK?

0:35:280:35:33

-Sure.

-I'll catch you in a bit.

-OK.

0:35:330:35:35

So at £365,000 this Grade II listed converted coach house

0:35:350:35:40

is 35,000 under budget, freeing up spare cash

0:35:400:35:44

for renting nearby outbuildings, which cost around £100 per year.

0:35:440:35:49

It's a wonderfully quirky character property

0:35:490:35:51

with four bedrooms, two reception rooms

0:35:510:35:54

and an open plan kitchen/living room.

0:35:540:35:56

The garden isn't a quarter of an acre

0:35:560:35:58

but it is a lovely little oasis.

0:35:580:36:00

The question is

0:36:000:36:02

can they live without the garage on site and in an attached property?

0:36:020:36:07

Well, I like this room and I love the fact that it's open plan.

0:36:070:36:10

And I like the fact they've got the preparation area over there,

0:36:100:36:14

that you can be cooking on the stove talking to friends.

0:36:140:36:18

This is a lovely property. It's very quirky, got some nice features.

0:36:180:36:23

It's very different.

0:36:230:36:26

I absolutely love it. Internally, it's got everything and more.

0:36:260:36:31

I think Chris loves the house, too, but overcoming the garage is a real problem for him.

0:36:310:36:36

So that's all of the houses now looked that.

0:36:380:36:41

Let's find you somewhere quiet to reflect and then we'll have a chat after that.

0:36:410:36:46

OK.

0:36:460:36:49

Pounded by the Atlantic, it's little wonder that the long sandy bays of the North Cornish coastline became

0:36:550:37:02

the spiritual home of surfing when it first reached the UK back in the mid-60s.

0:37:020:37:07

For decades it was a sport associated with hippy dropouts,

0:37:070:37:11

however, today around 250,000 Brits try to conquer the waves.

0:37:110:37:15

The undisputed regent of this offshore action is Newquay Bay

0:37:150:37:17

and its numerous beaches like Fistral Beach.

0:37:170:37:20

So with the sun shining, during the week I headed to Watergate Bay,

0:37:200:37:26

home to the English National Surfing Championships for the last eight years.

0:37:260:37:30

Local surf instructor Will Bennett was on hand to try and make a champ out of me.

0:37:300:37:35

What's made it so popular as a sport, do you think?

0:37:350:37:38

I think surfing is one of the purest sports are because it's just you,

0:37:380:37:42

the surfboard, and the ocean, there's not too much else going on.

0:37:420:37:46

It's very accessible. Once you have a wetsuit and a surfboard then it's a free sport to do.

0:37:460:37:52

Anyone can do it as long as you can swim and you've got

0:37:520:37:54

a certain level of fitness, then anyone can give surfing a go.

0:37:540:37:58

There must be some procedures that you've got to adhere to? What do you have to do first?

0:37:580:38:03

If surfing is something that you want to get into,

0:38:030:38:06

then the best starting point is to have a lesson with qualified instructors who are beach lifeguards,

0:38:060:38:12

so they are going to look after you.

0:38:120:38:13

At last count, there were 19 certified surf schools in the Newquay area,

0:38:130:38:17

so you couldn't find a better place to learn.

0:38:170:38:19

Watergate Bay with its variety of different-sized peaks

0:38:190:38:23

breaking left to right makes it an excellent venue for both beginners and the seriously skilled.

0:38:230:38:28

Sadly, I'm the former, so it's time for a lesson.

0:38:280:38:31

First thing you're going to do is place your hands on top of the board adjacent to your shoulders,

0:38:310:38:37

so just straight down, then you're going to come up onto your arms

0:38:370:38:41

and just count to two, one, two, and then we're going to pop up.

0:38:410:38:45

So we're trying to swing our body and then just before you stand up,

0:38:450:38:49

make sure that you're more side-on as opposed to facing forwards.

0:38:490:38:54

Turn your hips so they're side-on and your front arm is going to be pointing forwards,

0:38:540:38:58

back arm into your body, and you can just slowly stand up but keeping our knees nice and bent.

0:38:580:39:04

Most of our weight over our front foot and your body side-on.

0:39:040:39:08

Not facing forwards too much, you find this is wobbly. We are actually side on to the board.

0:39:080:39:14

Well, there is nothing for it, it's time for me to take my board and carve up some waves.

0:39:140:39:18

Oh, yes, it's a piece of cake. I've definitely got the hang of this now.

0:39:200:39:24

I think it's more beginners' luck

0:39:260:39:28

but it still gets the thumbs up from Will.

0:39:280:39:30

All three of the properties that we've shown Chris and Chrissy

0:39:400:39:44

have had elements of what they're after for their big move down here

0:39:440:39:48

but in turn, all have come with a compromise.

0:39:480:39:51

So on reflection, which of these three houses have they decided floats their boat? Let's find out.

0:39:510:39:57

-Looks like you've been sat here a short while having a chat.

-Yes.

0:40:000:40:04

Yes, we've been sitting and having a think.

0:40:040:40:06

Let's start with the first property, great reactions when we walked in.

0:40:060:40:10

-Tremendous.

-It was a beautiful property.

0:40:100:40:12

And sympathetically restored.

0:40:120:40:15

I loved the space, I love the light, it was splendid.

0:40:150:40:18

But it came with compromises, didn't it, Chris?

0:40:180:40:21

Yes, the garden was tiny.

0:40:210:40:24

It had a nice little entertainment area but it was overlooked.

0:40:240:40:29

There was no garage or outbuilding, and no space for that either.

0:40:290:40:34

-No. Such a shame, wasn't it?

-Oh, it was.

0:40:340:40:37

The first property, the character box was well and truly ticked.

0:40:370:40:42

-Oh, yes.

-Oh, dead right.

0:40:420:40:43

So then I thought, well we're not getting the practicality perhaps so we showed you the modern property.

0:40:430:40:48

-Yes.

-Once inside, we seemed to quite like that, did we?

0:40:480:40:54

I did, I loved the through-flow of the rooms, I loved the size of the rooms.

0:40:540:40:58

It ticked all the boxes because it had the garage, it had the garden, but the one box it didn't tick that

0:40:580:41:04

I hadn't thought that hard about was the emotional box.

0:41:040:41:08

It didn't feel right.

0:41:080:41:11

Well, after the first two properties it became apparent to me that there would have to be a compromise,

0:41:110:41:17

so I thought maybe the mystery house would flush out a compromise

0:41:170:41:21

and help you decide on the first two houses,

0:41:210:41:23

or it might offer the solution in itself.

0:41:230:41:25

-What you think about it now you've come away from the mystery house?

-It came so close.

0:41:250:41:30

It came so, so close.

0:41:300:41:32

I absolutely loved the house

0:41:320:41:36

but two big buts - a garage and it was attached.

0:41:360:41:41

And it wasn't just attached on one side, it was attached on two sides.

0:41:410:41:45

So what can we get out of these three houses?

0:41:450:41:48

We've realised that it's difficult to get a decent-sized garden

0:41:480:41:52

on the kind of property that we are looking for.

0:41:520:41:55

We probably also won't get all the character that we want,

0:41:550:42:00

we will have to compromise on the character at some point.

0:42:000:42:03

But it will have to feel emotionally right.

0:42:030:42:05

So what's next?

0:42:050:42:07

We will sell where we are as fast as we can and we'll move down here and

0:42:070:42:14

rent if we have to, but leave ourselves free to take a place if it comes on the market quickly.

0:42:140:42:21

I think renting down here is a fantastic idea.

0:42:210:42:24

It will give you the chance to wait until the right property pops up onto the market

0:42:240:42:29

and then you can go for it with nothing to sell, puts you in a great position doesn't it?

0:42:290:42:33

Yes, it does very much.

0:42:330:42:35

I hope you find the right rental property and I wish you the very best of luck.

0:42:350:42:39

Thank you so much for all your help and finding our properties,

0:42:390:42:43

and helping us with the learning curve.

0:42:430:42:45

It's been really good.

0:42:450:42:46

Good, I'm glad.

0:42:460:42:47

-Let's enjoy this lovely setting shall we? Maybe another drink or two.

-Cheers.

-Cheers.

0:42:470:42:52

Well, we were always going to be up against it, I think,

0:42:560:43:00

bearing in mind Chris and Chrissy's fairly extensive requirement list

0:43:000:43:04

and, well for Cornwall, fairly limited budget.

0:43:040:43:07

But we did come so close.

0:43:070:43:08

I'm glad Chris and Chrissy still want to move down here and they're going to rent.

0:43:080:43:12

I think that will give them the perfect opportunity

0:43:120:43:15

to find the right property as and when it comes on the market.

0:43:150:43:18

We'll see you next time.

0:43:180:43:20

If you'd like to escape to the country in Wales, Scotland,

0:43:200:43:24

Northern Ireland, or England and need our help,

0:43:240:43:26

please apply online at:

0:43:260:43:32

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:390:43:42

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:420:43:46

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.


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