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Today, we're house-hunting in one of my favourite areas
and these dramatic castle ruins are perhaps one of the finest examples
of how our lordly, medieval ancestors
decided that castle-living was a bit rough around the edges,
and that, in fact, they might be more comfortable...in a manor house.
'On today's show,
'we're helping a family get back to their rural Welsh roots.
'And we've got some unbelievable properties coming up.'
'But can they hold their nerve?'
We do like to test you on this show...
-..and take you outside your comfort zone.
'Because we might be hitting the jackpot.'
This could be our perfect home.
Well, today I'm in Wales, Powys, to be precise.
Once upon a time, this was one of the most hotly contested
border regions in British history.
Now, just 200 yards outside of this Tretower Court, is Tretower Castle.
The castle goes to the heart of the conflict that really
peppered the border over the centuries.
As things settled down a bit, peace came and things changed.
'Lying on the English border,
'Powys sits in the heart of Celtic Cymru.
'It's Wales' largest county
'covering a quarter of the country.
'In the south, the Brecon Beacons National Park
'dominates the countryside.
'Covering over 500 square miles,
'the scenery ranges from dramatic, windswept mountains
'to extensive wooded valleys.
'Llangorse Lake in the north of the park
'is the highest natural lake in South Wales
'and local legend has it that a lost city
'lay submerged beneath its waters.
'Powys is an extremely rural place
'and as one of the least populated counties in England and Wales,
'it's the perfect spot for those in search
'of a more tranquil way of life.'
The motto here is, I think, rather lovely -
Powys Paradwys Cymru or in English - Powys the paradise of Wales,
and it's rather apt
because a recent study by a couple of leading universities
when assessing things like social cohesion and general wellbeing
concluded that Powys is the happiest place to live in the UK.
So, as you can see, the locals are laughing.
So, if you fancy a pad in this Welsh paradise,
here are a few tantalising examples of what's on the market right now.
'If you're property shopping with £975,000,
'this outstanding four-bedroom former vicarage
'in Builth Wells,
'enjoys breathtaking views
'over some of the finest countryside Powys has to offer.
'It has a large country kitchen
'and four reception rooms all exuding grandeur and elegance.
'could seal the deal
'on this attractive five-bed property in Llangammarch Wells,
'featuring a homely farmhouse kitchen and reception rooms
'dominated by Inglenook fireplaces.
'It's set in five acres
'with wonderful, far-reaching views.
'And finally, for £250,000,
'this detached three-bed cottage near Brecon
'comes with a large kitchen
'and a living room that's bursting
'with original features and charm.'
So, there you go, a brief glimpse of the sort of properties
that this county has to offer.
The kind of buildings that have certainly inspired today's buyers
to make the green, green grass of Wales their new home.
'This week's house quest is very much a family affair.
'John and Rachel are at the helm
'and together with their four children, they live
'in this modern five-bedroom house in Poole, Dorset.
'But, they'd like to trade in their suburban house
'for something more rustic in the glorious Welsh countryside.'
My business has just relocated to that part of the world
and for that reason I'm now spending an excessive amount of time away.
We've got this lovely modern house and everything
but it just feels a little bit too superficial for us.
We're not townies, we want to get out in the fresh air
and just have a home that is a lot lower maintenance
than the one that we have now, where it doesn't matter
if you come in in your dirty wellies or anything.
'But Wales is a big place,
'so where exactly do they want to muddy their boots?'
We'd like to move back to the Brecon Beacons area.
What the criteria is,
is that we've identified some schooling for the children,
and we need to be in with a circumference of 10, 15 miles
of those schools.
I think so.
'And what type of house are they hoping for
'in the beautiful Breacons?'
What we want is traditional values. Traditional stone, traditional living.
The property would need a minimum of four bedrooms,
with the potential to create a fifth one,
-and preferably a sixth one so we could have a spare.
We want a very large country-style kitchen or again the potential to put that in.
An additional space for the children so we have a lounge and they a lounge.
Preferably at separate ends of the house.
I think landwise we'd be looking for a minimum of three acres,
but we're not averse to taking on something with 30-plus acres.
Just as well, because the children Beth, Connor, Jack and Danny
have set their hearts on keeping lots and lots and lots of animals.
And Rachel's got more ideas up her sleeve.
I don't envisage myself going back to work,
so I want our new place to offer me
the potential to earn some income from home, whether that be
a holiday let or running a business from home,
like a little shop or something.
But before starting the search, we need to find out how much money there is to play with,
so we've asked a local agent to value their house.
This property is a beautifully presented, high specification,
five-bedroom detached house,
situated in a highly sought-after road in Broadstone,
and I would recommend placing the property on the market at an asking price at £750,000.
With all that in mind, how much do they have to spend on their move to Wales?
Ideally, the budget for this move would be £700,000.
With John's work based in Abercynon, and preferred schooling in Brecon,
our search will stretch across the Brecon Beacons National Park, towards the south of the county.
I'll be taking them on a tour of some fantastic country houses,
each offering a variety of opportunities, but, as ever,
I'll be keeping my lips sealed as to the attached price tags.
And of course the finale will be the mystery property,
where their hopes for the future could be a reality sooner than they think.
-Nice to see you.
Welcome to Wales, but this is home for you, isn't it.
Yeah, absolutely. Born just down the road there in Ebbw Vale.
So over the top of those peaks you can see behind us.
One of the key factors in making this decision are children and schools.
Tell me a bit more about them.
We have three teenage children, and a two-and-a-half-year-old as well,
so we need a good comprehensive school.
Let's be clear on what you're trying to achieve with this new spread.
I would like an income potential.
I've looked at going back to work and it's not going to happen with four kids, I don't think,
not if we want to give them the best, most stable life.
-So something you can do from home. B&B or holiday lets?
Holiday lets, I'd look at, or I wouldn't even be against the idea of some small-scale farming.
So £700,000 is the figure we've got to play with, to try and achieve all this.
-Less if you can.
-Less if we can. All right. I'm fairly optimistic actually.
Let's go and find some houses. Come on.
Armed with a very good budget of up to £700,000,
John and Rachel are after a traditional property,
with lots of historic features, set in a minimum of three acres,
with outbuildings offering business possibilities.
Inside, as well as a large country kitchen, they want at least
four bedrooms and two reception rooms, but potential to create more.
The location should be rural, but not too remote
as they need good road access to schools.
In fact, proximity to schools is paramount,
and we'll have to consider primary education,
right through to secondary.
Loaded with a considerable wish list for their Powys relocation,
it's time to get started.
The first stop takes us to Llyswen in South Powys,
just a short distance from the Brecon Beacons National Park, about eight miles north of Brecon.
It's a very pretty tranquil village on the banks of the River Wye,
with a couple of pubs, places to eat and drink and a primary school.
Our first house is located about two miles outside of the village,
and benefits from a rural setting, surrounded by beautiful
countryside, but with great road links right on the doorstep.
-Have a look at that.
When the current owners bought this it was completely derelict and half the size.
-Can you see those two windows on the upper storey?
That's basically what it was, and what they've done is added effectively another house to it.
The same again to it. And they've done it immaculately.
The only issue of course is the road.
Yeah, we did notice that on the way in.
It's a lovely spot and we'll definitely keep an open mind.
It's worth you seeing this one, because if you can overcome that,
which I think the property does in all sorts of ways, you'll be OK.
-Wait till you see inside.
This is a traditional stone farmhouse, and has been beautifully renovated
to create a contemporary country home.
-Come in, Rachel.
-Oh, very nice.
Come on in, John. What do you think?
-Yeah, it's very nice. I'm very impressed.
As you can see, all done to a fantastic standard.
The current owner is a joiner,
and he's done a lot of this himself, and it just shows, you know.
I think the attention to detail is terrific.
It's just beautifully done. I love what they've done with the oven.
It gets better. I've just seen the cooker.
Now then, yeah, again, lovely. Oil fired, you know, range there.
-Lots to entertain you with, I think, and your quests.
Come and have a look through here, because it does go on. This is the extension.
-Now then, how about this for your living space?
-That wood's gorgeous.
-It's pretty bold, isn't it.
-I'm pretty impressed.
It's so nice how you've got that either side of the lounge.
I've never really seen this before, but we've got two identical conservatories on either side.
I'm just thinking about you guys with teenagers and young children, and you.
Their space, our space.
Precisely. But you can also shut them off.
This is quite nice, we've got these lovely panels that run throughout.
-And the windows as well.
-Isn't that lovely.
So they've really thought about how you would use this space.
-Beautiful. It really is well done, isn't it?
The accommodation on the first floor could also work well for their large family,
though, with four bedrooms in total, some of the children might have to share.
But the rooms are all a good size, including a double guest bedroom
and two further doubles, which could suit the children down to ground.
This floor is also home to the family bathroom,
complete with separate bath and shower cubicle.
John and Rachel have been impressed with what they've seen so far
but wait until they see what we've got in store for their room.
So, this is the master bedroom.
-Happy with this, wouldn't you?
-Yeah, you're right.
Who wouldn't be? Look at it. It's absolutely gorgeous.
It's also got this mezzanine area up here, which is quite interesting.
More of an architectural feature than anything else, I suppose.
It does offer you some storage space.
The way to get to it is, is this.
These are the stairs that get you up there.
-How clever's that?
-How clever's that, with storage built in?
So you get the best of both worlds -
the vaulted ceiling, which gives you all the height and space you'd ever want,
plus extra storage and a really lovely feature, too.
Certainly ticks all the boxes for me, Jules,
and I've just seen the en suite too.
Yes, I love it. The thing it is mirrors the angle of the bed.
-I love the fact the bed is offset, which is nice, but yes.
Have a look. Go and check it out. I like the fact it doesn't have a door.
-Yeah. You don't need one, do you?
-A nice little free-standing roll-top bath, Rachel.
-I would be lost in there for hours on end with my books.
-It's something special. Fair play.
'This most definitely is something special.
'Not only would the family be well catered for inside the house,
'but outside could be perfect for all their animals, large or small.
'There are stables. Barns. Sheds. Pens.
'Pasture, paddocks and a duck pond.
'All in all, the land here totals a whopping eight acres.
'There's also a sports field with rugby posts.
'A large vegetable garden. A decked area with a hot tub.
'And the garage is currently being used as a gym and music room,
'but could be ideal as another guest room, or an office for Rachel's business ideas.'
So, what do you think?
-It's gorgeous, isn't it?
-Love it. It certainly ticks all the boxes.
It looks for... For what we were after, it's well within the remit.
I'm pretty confident that the package is all here,
the question of course is going to be how much it's going to set you back.
Any ideas, Rachel?
I think it's going to be the top end of our budget, because of everything it's got
but I'm going to go for 675.
I'd say we're going to be close to, if not just over, budget.
-I would say just slightly over the 700 mark.
You're spot on!
I thought I was going to be rubbish at this.
-No, well done, Rachel. This is on the market for £675,000.
-So how do you feel about it?
-For that sort of price it's a fantastic package.
There is more to explore. Have a look at the barn and I'll catch up with you later.
-Off you go.
'An excellent start.'
Under budget by £25,000,
our first offering is a beautifully renovated 19th-century stone farmhouse and small holding.
The house comes with four bedrooms, an enormous country kitchen,
and flexible reception space, including two conservatories.
Outside, the grounds extend to eight acres,
but with a range of outbuildings
offering plenty of potential for their menagerie
and business aspirations.
The question is, will they be able to get over that road?
-It's a good space, isn't it?
-Boys toys, I reckon.
I can just see my motorbikes here, cars there, gym upstairs.
I think this property surprised us.
When we first walked up here, obviously you've got the problem with the road.
It was an instant negative in relation to the property,
but as soon as we walked through the gate, it was a right little gem behind the gate.
I feel like we would be getting an awful lot for our money.
There is a lot of acreage. I'm really happy with the space on the ground floor.
I think it just covers all aspects on the whole. I think it's definitely a contender.
-Right, that's it. Property number one, done and dusted.
I think it's a really good one for to us start with,
and I think gives you lots potential to take home, in terms of what your new house may be.
Definitely had lots of what we're looking for.
-Keep this one on the list. It's definitely a good one.
-But there are of course a couple more to come, including the mystery house.
John and Rachel have chosen Powys so the whole family can take advantage
of all that the Brecon Beacons National Park has to offer.
The park's name derives from the ancient practice of lighting signal fires on mountains
to warn of enemy attack. But back in the 11th century,
the invading Norman army successfully conquered what is now Brecon town.
During the week, we sent John and Rachel to meet up with local expert Peter Jenkins,
to find out more about Brecon's history since the Norman invasion.
The original Norman priory became a parish church in the 16th century,
but in 1923 it was given cathedral status, which Brecon's locals are particularly proud of.
Is it unusual that Brecon's just a cathedral town and not a city?
It is unusual. In Henry VII's times, it was quite common if you lived in a place where there was a cathedral,
that was a city, but in the 20th century, the rules changed,
the fact there was a cathedral wasn't an issue. We remain a town.
Brecon is the largest town in the National Park,
nestled in the shadow of the magnificent Brecon Beacons.
Extensive ice sheets from the most recent ice age carved the mountainous landscape
into the shapes we see today.
John and Rachel are meeting up with geologist John Davies,
who's taking them to Craig Cerrig-gleisiad nature reserve,
which provides a visual testament to the huge glaciers that once existed here.
The last ice development in this area was about 10,000 years ago.
After that, as the ice melted, of course, the ground was full of water, and was unstable
and the slightest shock, slight earthquake, small difference in climate or something,
and everything would start to slide.
We're looking at a big landslide in the back here.
You can see, if you look carefully at the cliff,
there are steep bits which are actually crags,
and then there are shallower bits with vegetation growing on them.
And now what you see of course are trees growing on the ledges,
and eventually the cliff itself will become obscured by trees.
This reserve is just a taste of the park's diverse environment.
John and Rachel are hoping for more time to explore the park
when they find their own base down here.
So, it's back to the hunt.
Our first house was a tempting proposition
but there's lots more to see. We're heading south to Llangynidr,
deep in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, close to where John grew up.
The area is famed for beautiful countryside
and Llangynidr is a picturesque, peaceful village on the banks
of the River Usk with a village shop, post office and pub.
Our second house is in a quiet location on the edge of the village,
away from major roads. It's also within 40 minutes of John's work
and near to their favoured schools.
So the property meets a lot of their criteria.
However, it's packaged in a more modern exterior.
-This is enormous.
-I agree with you. It's enormous.
What we've got, it's 1960s or thereabouts.
-There's a lot going for this one...
-..because it's so big.
-And, of course, we've got some very nice grounds
for you to explore, as well. So, what do you think?
Initially, it's not what I'm after, initially.
I knew you'd say that. I'm not giving you the hard sell here,
but I really think this is one you should view,
because I think it does offer all the space that you're looking for.
Yeah? John? John's very quiet on this one.
I think I'm intrigued to have a look at what's inside, that's for sure.
We like to test you on this show,
-take you outside of your comfort zone.
-I'm there, I'm there!
You're there. OK, fine. Let's see if we can make you feel
a bit more comfortable.
They may have reservations about the style outside,
but I think they'll be impressed by the space inside.
It covers almost 3,500 square feet, ideal for their large family.
Right, huge hallway.
You're allowed nice, nice is good. And come into here.
I think this is extraordinary.
-Yes. It's better from the inside.
This is the main family room.
It goes the full width of the property, front garden, back garden.
There are all kinds of little nooks and crannies
that lead off the various rooms in this house.
You've got a sunroom through there, another separate study,
workshop area through there again, could be a gym if you want it to be.
That in turn leads onto the double garage.
It's a really meandering kind of footprint if you like. Yes? OK.
I feel like I'm struggling here. It's an uphill battle, isn't it?
Come and have a look at the kitchen.
Now, if I'm honest, I think the kitchen is probably
the part of the house that's going to challenge the most.
I think the core of our drive, really,
when looking at a country farmhouse property was the kitchen area
being the integral entertainment room to the house.
-I'm not sure this offers that. It would need some serious tweaking.
On the positive side, you've got that fantastic view.
One could imagine something on the outside,
a sunroom/conservatory kind of arrangement,
which would make this a bigger space.
You could make it what you wanted, couldn't you?
It is a good-sized room. Like you say,
if you were to go out a bit as well, you could have your range
and your nice hand-made kitchen and things like that, couldn't you?
Down on the ground floor, cleverly hidden under the staircase,
is a study. There's also a large utility with separate vanity room
with WC and, right at the end of the hallway is the guest suite.
So I'm wondering whether, you know,
this is one for your eldest daughter.
-Do you know what? She'd love it.
And when all her mates come round, you can lock them in here with their own telly.
She's got a bedroom next door, for sleepovers, all that sort of stuff.
-That's really good, huh?
-Yeah, I like this.
-It does get better, you're right.
I've think it safe to say
that this place is really growing on our buyers.
They're pleasantly surprised at what's been presented downstairs,
so I hope they'll be pleased with what's on offer on the first floor.
At the top of the stairs is a huge spacious landing,
from which flow the remaining four bedrooms.
They're all generously sized and immaculately presented.
And one features dual-aspect windows with enough space for a sofa.
There's also the family bathroom up here, but we're going to take a look at the main bedroom.
-So this is your own master suite, effectively.
You've got a sort of dressing area here, and built-in storage.
En suite in there, bath, loo, and all the rest of it.
-And then this is the bedroom bit.
-Ooh, very nice.
-Little balcony with those views, look.
In fairness, it's not the biggest bedroom of the lot.
But then you've got all that and the ensuite and so forth.
-It's just for the bed, isn't it?
-Just for the bed, so I mean,
if this would work, I think this is absolutely where you'd be.
-Yeah. I'm definitely warming towards the potential.
The potential gets even hotter outside
and the master suite overlooks just some of the incredible land
that accompanies this property.
The plot is about two acres, half of which is given over
to a fenced paddock with stable block
and the other half covers more formal lawned gardens.
Now this, I think, is really sweet.
-It's like a little secret garden, isn't it?
It is something of a walled garden, albeit with lovely beech hedges.
The rest of your paddock runs through the back, just beyond that.
So that's yours as well.
Let's get down to the tricky bit, let's talk about the money.
-Who's going to guess first on this one? You went first last time.
-Go on, John.
-I'll go first this time. I would say 735.
I'm going to go for 700.
700. You're going to love this.
Cos you're wrong. Ha-ha!
-I love a bit of competition.
-I love it already.
And you're not far off. Actually, you're just over.
-725,000 would secure this for you.
-Or offers in the region of.
What do you think about that?
When we originally came in here,
I think it was evident that instantly it was not what
we were looking for but I think as we've progressed through it,
and the house has told its story, I think, yeah,
we've grown to secretly admire it.
It has been a bit of a slow burn, but a real grower.
Room by room, it has absolutely everything.
Go and have a look around, see what this two acres really does deliver,
go and have another good look around the property.
There's an awful lot to take in and we've just scratched the surface.
-I'll catch up with you later.
-Off you go.
Despite initial reservations, this place has, in effect, sold itself
and so it should because it's a terrific property.
Slightly over budget at £725,000,
this substantial detached family home comes with five bedrooms
including a master en suite and flexible ground floor accommodation.
The grounds are set in two acres with a paddock and stables,
but will they forego their love of historic period features
for this glorious location within the Brecon Beacons National Park?
When we first walked down the drive, I really wanted to turn and run
because it was everything I said I didn't want.
As I wandered around, it just became more and more appealing.
It has absolutely everything. It just looks like a 1960s house,
that's the worst thing. Although I'm having an argument with myself,
-because it could be changed.
-The house has told its story,
and the further we got engrossed in the house and involved
in the house, we realised that the house was a beautiful property.
I suppose the old adage is don't judge a book by its cover.
-Seen it all?
-There's a lot to take in.
It's a really interesting property this. And again,
the more we're here, the more I like it, I have to say.
-It's lovely. It really is lovely.
-Good. If only you'd said that
when we first walked in! Come on.
With the sun setting across the magnificent Welsh countryside,
the first day of our house hunt draws to a close.
On a budget of £700,000, John and Rachel want to give
their four children the idyllic country lifestyle
that they had growing up. So they're leaving town life
in Dorset to get back to basics on a smallholding in Powys.
So far, we've shown them two fantastic Welsh retreats.
Yeah, I'm pretty impressed.
But could what's coming up in the mystery house
completely eclipse the rest?
Yeah, this is exceeding my expectations a thousand times.
The second day of our house quest is upon us
which means it's mystery house time and to get there,
we're venturing far out West, out of Powys
and outside of John and Rachel's preferred search area.
We're crossing the county border, heading for Carmarthenshire,
where our destination is Crugybar.
The farming community of Crugybar is a truly rural escape,
but it's just a 15-minute drive from the village of Llanwrda,
which has a pub, a garage, a shop and post office.
Our mystery package is within easy reach of some good state-run
and independent schools, though the location may be pushing
the limit for John's commute. However, I think this property,
surrounded by lush Welsh landscape, is well worth it.
So what we've got for you are effectively two barn conversions...
-..which comprise eight bedrooms.
-That would be nice.
-All right? Plenty of room.
Four of them are part of the main house, shall we say,
which is effectively that bit,
and then, can you see these two glazed cart doors?
-They represent two holiday cottages.
-Each with two bedrooms in.
-Do you see where we're coming from here,
-with the whole business?
-An income opportunity.
You have an income opportunity, a very good one.
Come on, let's have a look inside.
The mystery house is a high-quality conversion of two traditional barns,
full of charm and character with a history
believed to date back to the 1600s. We're approaching the property
from the back, heading for one of the reception rooms.
We've got this for you, this is one of the reception rooms
that the main house, your house, would offer you.
As well as this main living area, there's a mezzanine study up there,
which is rather sweet, with a window overlooking the drive,
-so you can see who's coming and going.
It makes me want to cry because it's just so lovely.
Well this is just a small part of it. I'm mean,
you wanted period and character, John, here it is.
-I love the thought of the mezzanine level.
-It seems to be ticking all the boxes immediately.
-You love it, don't you?
As you can see, the current owners have gone about
this six-year restoration and conversion with a fine-tooth comb,
a real labour of love.
And they have really brought this building back to life
in an exceptional way. 'Either side of the living room
'are two bedrooms with exposed stonework, wooden floors
'and stylish en suite bathrooms.
'In fact, there isn't a family bathroom in this property at all
'because each of the eight bedrooms comes with its very own ensuite,
'which would be very handy for a household of six people.'
The one thing it doesn't have is a huge farmhouse kitchen.
But what it does have is this.
That's very nice. It's very nice.
Made up for by that lovely garden room next door.
-Part of it, isn't it, really.
-That works with that, doesn't it? It's all-encompassing.
-So would you put up with this?
-I think so.
-I think we could just about, you know, get by with it(!)
Get by. You'd struggle on. Just for the sake of it(!)
Good, I'm glad, because I think it's really nice.
And it certainly fits in. We've already seen one reception room.
The other one is through here.
Ahh... I'm going to cry again.
-So you've got a choice.
-Oh, what's that?
Well, this is interesting. This is a little kitchenette unit.
When they started out doing holiday lets, they used this as one,
and for various family reasons, they've sort of kept it there.
Whether you use this as your main family room or next door,
-I don't know.
-This is exceeding my expectations a thousand times.
'Upstairs from the second reception are the remaining two bedrooms
'that come with the main house.'
With these two rooms, they are pretty similar.
They sort of mirror each other. Any one of them could be your master.
-Take your pick, really.
-Lovely. Really nicely done.
-I love the open feel of it.
'The other bedroom next door again comes with an open-plan en suite
'and there's also a cosy study area up here, too.
'Adjoining the main residence is the second large barn,
'containing the two five-star holiday cottages,
'where the immaculate interior continues.
'They each have an open-plan kitchen-cum-living area
'and two en suite bedrooms apiece.
'The owners currently let out the holiday cottages
'for 45 weeks of the year, yielding a very handsome
'yearly return of approximately £25,000 gross.
'The land itself has a range of outbuildings and covers a massive 10 acres.
'It's divided into lawned gardens and three paddocks
'that are home to donkeys and gorgeous alpacas
'which could be another breed to add to the kids' animal wish list.'
I really think this could be our perfect home.
-John, what are you thinking?
-It's very attractive.
Now that you've been told it's going to be your perfect home?
I think... Why are we asking me? She's obviously made her mind up!
Let's have a think about the money because it's the final time
we've got to go through this rigorous process of guessing
how much this place is worth. This is clearly an exceptional property
in a very, very nice area.
-Go on, Rachel.
-I'm going to say 800.
-That would be fair enough, really.
This is an exceptional property with 10 acres.
-I would say just a little bit over 800.
-A little bit over 800.
Well, 12 months ago it was considerably over £800,000,
this was on the market for 950.
The good news is that if you really want it,
-if you were to write a cheque for £695,000...
-You could have it.
-Yep. Right place, right time, mate.
-It is very special. I really want it.
-I'm actually flabbergasted.
-You're speechless, aren't you?
Go and have a good look, go and work out how you will
accommodate your new life in this extraordinary building.
-We already have, but we'll go anyway.
-Go and enjoy yourselves.
Wander around it, soak it all up.
-And I will drag you away from here later on.
-Excellent. Thank you.
Enjoy. Brilliant. The mystery house has done it once again.
A fantastic price representing incredible value for money.
I have to say, I see lots of properties on this show
but this one really is quite exceptional.
Just under budget at £695,000,
The mystery package combines a stunning and characterful home
with a ready-made holiday-let business
and a smallholding in grounds that cover some 10 acres
of glorious Carmarthenshire countryside.
The exquisite renovations include eight ensuite bedrooms,
five reception rooms and a country kitchen.
And outside, the extensive outbuildings
make the potential here endless.
Total surprise, really. I was not anticipating this.
All the potential is there, the flexibility is there.
And whilst I would always like to personalise a property,
Rachel wouldn't change a thing.
I absolutely love this. I'm really excited about this.
If we were to come in here, the first thing you'd do would be to get
a website up and running, wouldn't it, and maybe contact
the mountain-biking centres locally and things like that.
You could do it all year around then. I very nearly cried.
It is just absolutely beautiful, everything I ever wanted in a house.
I couldn't have picked a better one myself.
-Right, guys, moved in yet?
-Several times over!
It's a terrific property. I knew you'd love it.
But we have given you three in all to have a look at.
They're all very good on their own merits.
Let's go away and have a think about all of them
-before you make your final decision.
-But I'm glad you liked it.
It's what mystery houses are all about.
The Brecon Beacons make perfect holiday let territory,
as the landscape here really lends itself to outdoor leisure pursuits,
attracting nearly 4,000,000 visitors a year.
Earlier in the week, I went to get a taste of what's on offer
and met up with Chris White, who's been teaching paragliding
in the Black Mountains for over a decade.
It's one of these things that I often see, you look up and think,
oh, you lucky devil, that must be such a wonderful experience.
Flying is man's oldest dream. We're the first generation that can just go out and do it at will.
-We're so lucky.
-Is it a very popular sport or is it still quite niche?
Not really. There's about between 4,000 and 5,000 pilots in the UK.
It's a lot more popular abroad. There are about 30,000 pilots
in France, hang gliders and paragliders.
But you've been doing it for 13 years so.
Me, a novice, how long would it take me to learn how to fly,
get my own rig and be able to come and do it on my own?
Generally, it takes about 10 days or so to work your way through
the school and achieve the qualifications that you need
to just go out and fly solo, unsupervised.
And the rough cost of a basic rig for an entry-level beginner like me?
To buy all the kit, so glider, harness, reserve,
you're looking at about, if you bought everything new, about £3,500.
-You say reserve, so you've got a reserve parachute as well?
Brilliant, I'm so glad you said that, ha-ha!
The earliest form of paragliding was during the First World War
when Navy vessels towed men in parachutes to get a view
of possible enemy craft, but it wasn't until the 1960s
that the sport was really developed.
I'm taking to the skies in tandem with Chris. We're wearing helmets
and harnesses attached to the fabric wing that will hold us in the air.
All kitted up and ready for launch,
we just need a gust of wind to fill the wing and we're away.
Paragliding is best suited to fair weather, and once launched,
pilots look for warm pockets of rising air which they ride upwards.
It's possible to cover enormous distances
and the world record is just over 300 miles.
Wow. Absolutely fantastic.
This unique experience offers a bird's eye view
of Wales in all its glory. And, for me, this truly is a fantastic
and exhilarating way of taking in those amazing views.
With our house hunt at an end,
it's time to find out what decisions our buyers have made.
-How are you?
-Good. Have you been thinking?
-Yeah, long and hard.
Lots of things to consider.
Quite an interesting experience, I hope, for you.
-How have you found it, John?
-Interesting, to say the least.
It all started with a very interesting renovation
-and conversion. You loved the kitchen.
They'd worked really, really well with all the wood.
It was a very homely feel, the heart of the home, what we were after.
It was just that the house didn't offer the space that we needed,
unless you'd undertaken some quite substantial extra work.
But it was fine on the ground floor, wasn't it?
We had that great big family living room plus the two conservatories
and so forth. And the annexe, but it was this fifth bedroom
that we were seeking that didn't quite deliver.
It offered that with the annex. If we look at the logistical aspects
of trying to incorporate that into the main house,
it was one step too far, I think, for us, on that front.
So in order to try and incorporate you all under one roof,
we took you to a very different style of building,
1960s, that huge sprawling pile.
It did grow on both of you, quite rapidly.
Yes, yes, it did. It was the space,
really, what if offered internally, all under one roof.
There was flexibility, scope to put our mark on the property.
But we are after a bit of a change of lifestyle,
and I feel that that property was just offering us
the same kind of house that we have now,
-with a little bit of extra land.
Well, then we let you sleep on it and we woke you up
for our final day's househunting
and we took you to the mystery house.
You wanted charm, character, the rural dream, an income.
What didn't the mystery house have, then?
Nothing. It was absolutely perfect.
We couldn't have hand-picked it better ourselves.
I was absolutely moved to tears. I've never, ever had that reaction
in a house before. I walked in
and I just wanted to cry. It was beautiful.
Well, no surprise, I suspect, which one is your favourite.
The big question is, what happens next? Can you buy it?
-I mean, the price was extraordinary.
-Without a doubt.
I think it goes to show what you can get when you step
outside the National Park. But even so, it's well within our budget
and we'll be looking to pay a second visit to the property.
I'm delighted that we've got there. It's been a real treat
and I hope to hear some good news very shortly that you're moving in.
-That would be perfect, wouldn't it?
Brilliant, guys. Well, congratulations and, as ever,
-let us know how you get on.
-Will do. Thank you.
-Best of luck.
Well, a week of glorious weather, a fantastic budget
and some very beautiful houses have delivered the perfect happy ending.
John and Rachel came out here perfectly prepared
to compromise on what their dream home may eventually be
but the good news is, well,
the Welsh property market has offered up the perfect solution,
a property that really does fit them and their family like a glove.
And they, as I, am absolutely delighted.
John and Rachel went back to the mystery house for a second viewing
but they need to secure a buyer for their home before
they can put in an offer, so fingers crossed
they can sell up quickly and make the mystery property their very own.
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