Alistair Appleton is in Warwickshire helping two newlyweds find a country home. It needs to be bigger than a Cotswold stone cottage but smaller than a farmhouse.
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This amazing set of mediaeval buildings have, since Elizabethan times, been known as the Hospital,
even though there has never been a medical establishment here.
Find out which county hosts such an architectural conundrum in a moment.
'On today's show, we'll be helping two newlyweds escape London's suburbs
'for a tranquil married life in the country.
'We've got some stunning properties, though size could be an issue.'
I've run out of small words.
'It looks like the dimension of others will get top marks.'
-Tick, tick, tick, tick.
-That many ticks? Blimey!
Today, I'm in historic Warwickshire. This is Lord Leycester's Hospital.
It started as a medieval guildhall then, in 1571,
the first Earl of Leycester turned it into an almshouse for retired servicemen.
In Elizabethan days, "hospital" had a much wider sense of being any charitable organisation,
and the name and function has stuck.
Today, eight servicemen and their wives live in historic splendour.
'Landlocked in the heart of the country,
'Warwickshire boasts historic and idyllic locations
'which have become the international trademark of merrie England.
'During the 18th and 19th centuries, the national canal system
'put the area at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution.
'The county is rich in historic architecture,
'including the mediaeval castle at Warwick, built by the Normans,
'and the Elizabethan houses in Stratford-Upon-Avon
'where William Shakespeare was born.
'The enticing range of diverse and distinctive properties
'makes Warwickshire highly desirable.
'Pick from terraced Regency splendour to thatched cottages,
'all encapsulating English culture and traditional charm.'
Property prices are about 6% above the national average,
although there are regional differences.
Up in the north, which is closer to Birmingham and Coventry,
great for commuters but slightly cheaper than the south
towards the golden Cotswolds.
Those are the prices that push up the average across the county.
A spectrum of prices and a spectrum of properties.
'For a premium budget of £995,000,
'this five-bedroom barn conversion
'sits in the countryside around Coventry.
'It has a fine blend of character with contemporary touches
'and a detached leisure complex.
'Or, priced at just under £650,000,
'this four-bed home in Over Whitacre has well-proportioned rooms.
'The land totals five-acres and is surrounded by a beautiful garden.
'This three-bed barn conversion near Lea Marston is just shy of £400,000.
'It has a grand master suite
'and the three reception rooms including a bright conservatory.'
Will Warwickshire property whet the appetite of our buyers today?
Let's find out what their tastes are like.
'Newlyweds James and Lynn live in this five-bed house in Croydon, south London.
'James runs his own recruitment consultancy.
'Lynn is a manager in the NHS.
'A new job offer for Lynn in the Midlands,
'provided the perfect catalyst to trade in their urban lives
'for a new life in the country.'
We got married in December.
We're thinking about the potential for a family,
so we would like to move closer to our family and James's family.
I grew up in the country, so being able to go back to that,
spending the weekends doing things that we enjoy.
'They chose Warwickshire to be closer to James's family
'and to get within a 45-minute commute to Lynn's job in Solihull.
'What setting are they hoping for?'
In terms of location, we are extremely open.
We can have rural, semi-rural, edge of a village.
As long as it's the right property, the location will take care of itself.
'So they're flexible as to location.
'Do they have their hearts set on a specific type of house?'
A detached house.
Minimum three bedrooms would give us potential if we did have family.
We've got open-plan living at the moment. That suits us well.
That would be quite nice as well.
A bit more land that we could entertain in
and develop over time into a nice garden.
A bit of character, that you would be happy to invite family to stay.
I've got an office here. I'd like an area for that as well.
Or an outbuilding where I could put the office and separate work and home.
'And how will they be spending their spare time?'
The area we're thinking of moving to has a really good canal network.
So being able to try some different things, narrowboating.
I've always fancied trying that, so that would be nice.
'Their house is on the market for £575,000.
'There's a strong chance of an imminent sale.'
'How much will they have to spend on their relocation?'
The budget for the next move is £550,000.
Refreshingly for this show, James and Lynn are quite flexible.
They're excited about moving to the country.
They're not fussed whether it's in a village or in the countryside.
All they want is space for a new family, perhaps, and some countryside to enjoy.
The only thing is that it needs to be 45 minutes from Solihull,
but that sounds do-able to me.
'We may not be restricted by a lengthy wish list
'but we have to consider Lynn's commute
'and James's need for business trips to London.
'Our quest will take us to villages
'around Stratford-Upon-Avon and Rugby,
'within a stone's throw of the M1 and the M40.
'We've got some stunning properties but, as ever,
'I won't reveal the price until the end of each house tour.
'The finale is the mystery house,
'which will definitely test their neighbourly goodwill.'
-Welcome to Warwickshire.
-Didn't you grow up here?
-I certainly did.
-Do you have any memories?
-A few. Not many.
But I'm told many stories, so...
-He's going to have flashbacks.
-Yeah. Maybe get the accent back as well.
-Unfortunately, got to learn the roads again.
-So you've got your job up here?
-Yeah. Start in three weeks' time.
-So you're looking for somewhere in the interim?
-Yeah. We're going to rent until we find something.
-Unless we find you the dream house!
-It might take a little while to move in.
There are some beautiful properties and lovely countryside.
-Shall we go and look?
'James and Lynn have now accepted an offer on their house
'so the race is on to find a new home.
'And for a top budget of £550,000 they're after...
'..outside, they'd like an area for entertaining...
'..They ideally want a bit of character,
'although they haven't specified exactly what that means.'
It strikes me as a little odd that you don't have more fixed ideas. Why do you think that is?
We've lived in a few different properties
throughout our time together.
We've gone from a sort of modern house. We had a Victorian house.
I think we've been used to those different types of properties.
-So that's why we're quite open and don't really have a set plan.
-Good. That means we can surprise you.
'With open minds all round, let's get this house search started.
'We're heading to the south of the county to the village of Ilmington,
'inside their 45-minute catchment to Solihull
'and eight miles from a train station
'with a fast service to London.
'Ilmington is a peaceful village in the northern Cotswolds.
'It's the highest village in Warwickshire,
'surrounded by countryside and benefits from a couple of pubs
'and a local shop.'
We are right at the end of this road.
There is no through-traffic.
Just a path up the hill. This is the house I want to show you.
-It IS lovely. Looks quite small.
-Looks small from the outside?
-It's a little Cotswold cottage.
The weather helps. It feels like I'm on holiday.
You can't get better than that.
-It'll feel like you're on holiday all the time.
'This charming detached cottage is made of Cotswold stone
'quarried from surrounding fields.
'The original house dates to the 18th century
'but it's been extended three times over the last 50 years.'
Close the door behind you.
Into the oldest part of the house. Brace yourself for the beams.
-Wow. Low. And I'm not the tallest chap.
Just about shaved my head.
So they are undeniably low.
Lovely fireplace, though.
And it is actually a proper inglenook.
Strangely enough, it is growing on me but I think it's because...
I've got anticipation for the rest of the house.
I'm hoping that the ceilings do rise or the floor lowers.
-They do in the modern part.
-Maybe we could lower the floor.
Come on into the kitchen.
-Nice. A touch smaller than I was hoping for.
-I thought you would say that.
-The finish is lovely.
-Yeah. I really like the... Is it oak?
This is Tewkesbury oak.
It's locally sourced.
Marble tops, lovely Belfast sink.
You've got the utility, storage and white goods through there
and a downstairs loo.
-A lot to take in when you walk in.
-Yeah, of course.
If it had another foot either side it would be nigh on perfect.
And the ceilings have come up a bit.
'Next to the kitchen is the dining room,
'with a staircase to the smallest of the three bedrooms.
'It's currently set up as a music room but it could be an office.'
-What do you think to this? Again, quite petite.
I've run out of small words.
Yes. As an office it's...functional.
I just feel like I need something a little bit more...not inspiring.
Just a little bit more...airy, where you can spend 12 hours a day.
'In the entrance hall, there's an alternative office
'next to another staircase to the remaining two bedrooms.'
Upstairs, it's much higher ceilings.
-It is, yeah. This is a nice size room, actually.
-I like it.
'The other bedroom is another bright double with built-in wardrobes.
'Next door is a family bathroom with a cast iron roll top bath.
'That's the house tour complete, so it's time to see the garden.
'Immediately to the rear is a paved area ideally suited to entertaining.
'The pretty garden is laid out on terraces.
'Lots of flower beds, a rockery and an ornamental pond.'
-It's very private.
-Yeah. It's very nice.
I think it's probably different from what I imagined.
It's a big garden. It's got lots of space.
-But there's not...
-There's not a massive area in one section.
This is very pretty, but looks a lot of hard work.
Let's talk hard money.
What do you think this charming Cotswolds cottage,
even if it's a bit small for you, costs?
I'm going to go 425.
-I think it's more 525.
-So you say 425. You say 525.
425, that's what you think it's worth?
-It's what I would pay for it.
-That's something different!
It's on the market for 535.
It's been on a couple of weeks
-and it's had in excess of 40 viewings.
It's a very popular proposition in a very popular village.
Why don't you have a walk around?
-At least use it to think about what you definitely don't want.
-You came with a very open brief and it's good to narrow it down.
-Definitely learned a lot.
Fascinating. What you think you'd pay for something
and what you think you'd have to pay are quite different things.
What do they want to live in an old Cotswold village for?
They want to live a bit further north, perhaps? A bigger house, a bit more lively.
It's all grist to the mill.
'Under budget, our first property is a beautiful detached cottage
'full of character features...
'..and a country kitchen.
'There's a well-maintained cottage garden...
'..To many, this would make an ideal family home.
'Will this chocolate box cottage be too sweet for James and Lynn?'
The setting is amazing.
The outside space is...lovely but that's where it stops for me.
I do really like this kitchen.
I just don't think it does enough, in terms of what we want to do.
It's a really lovely house. It's just a little bit too small.
It's incredibly quiet here.
Certainly quieter than Croydon!
-Pull the door behind you.
Let's explore more of Warwickshire.
'As well as world-renowned treasures
'such as the magnificent Norman castle at Warwick,
'it's worth wandering off the beaten track to discover
'other historic gems this region has to offer.
'In the late 1100s, the Manor at Temple Balsall
'was given to the order of the Knights Templar
'as a reward for their bravery in the Crusades.
'For two centuries, the order ran a very productive estate.
'One of the most significant surviving buildings is the Old Hall,
'Warwickshire's senior court for the Knights Templar.
'We sent Lynn and James to meet with Chris Mundell for a guided tour.'
Here we are in the Old Hall,
the former headquarters of the Knights Templar in Warwickshire.
-It's a mediaeval building.
-It doesn't look very mediaeval.
-The original building is still here.
It was encased in brick in the 18th century to help preserve it.
Even though the Templars were a monastic order,
they amassed great wealth.
They were the wealthiest organisation in mediaeval Britain. Even Kings borrowed from them.
They are accredited with starting the banking system.
-In fact, they invented cheques.
'With very few records, the order is shrouded in mystery.
'It's believed the church here
'was one of the last buildings they constructed in England.
'Their wealth made them vulnerable, attracting enemies,
'and the Pope abolished the order in 1312.
'When they left the Balsall estate,
'an inventory cast light on the Templars' diet.
'The list included 80 doves,
'suggesting a dovecote existed on the estate.
'There's no dovecote here now,
'but Warwickshire has a rare mediaeval example at Kinwarton
'with metre-thick circular walls, hundreds of nesting holes
'and a rotating ladder.
'Expert Stephen Spinks explains.'
It's a 14th-century dovecote.
A 14th-century version of our bling.
This is what you would have in your garden.
Pigeons were really important. Used for meat, for feathers.
It's the babies they're interested in, like a quail on the table.
-Why is the door so small?
-Small pigeons and small people.
It's called an ogee archway, which is really, really rare.
The door is so pigeons can't get out
but if you go in,
your whole body takes up the door, so the pigeons don't fly out.
How many birds does it hold?
You're looking at 580 or more.
Which is quite a lot of pigeons.
All of those are having babies. There's a lot of pigeons.
'Hoping to have inspired James and Lynn
'to build their nest in these parts, we continue our house-hunting.
'We had mixed reactions to our first property.
'Fortunately, there's plenty more to see so we're heading north.
'Our destination is Barby.
'Even though it has a Warwickshire postcode,
'it's just across the border in Northamptonshire.
'The village has a shop, a post office and a pub.
'Set back just off the road, our second house takes pride of place.'
Feast your eyes on this property!
-Wow! It's very nice.
This is about 1800. There was a very old farmhouse.
There are remnants but this is a late Georgian addition.
Very big sash windows and a lovely little portico.
-Really nice front garden. Really pretty.
-Do you want to go in as well?
-Dying to go in.
-Demanding so much(!)
'First impressions are drawing our buyers in.
'This is a handsome Grade II listed house set over three floors.
'Despite its Georgian and even earlier origins,
'the property has been refurbished with a Victorian style.'
I want to show you all the rooms but this is your classic Georgian,
two rooms at the front - one for receiving one for reclining.
-That's what hit me straight away.
-This is definitely more my comfort zone.
'The second reception is another well-proportioned room
'and vividly decorated in Victoriana style.
'Next door is a large utility room and beyond that,
'going into the original farmhouse, sits the kitchen-diner.'
This is a lovely kitchen space.
These units are from a Victorian shop counter.
It goes through into the dining space.
-The present owners basically live here.
-I could see that.
-What do you think?
-Tick, tick, tick, tick.
-That many ticks? Blimey!
Two ticks from you. What would you change?
I'm a bit cautious because I think it needs a bit of work.
That's going to cost quite a lot of money.
But it's a move for the future, isn't it?
It doesn't have to be done tomorrow. Probably won't be done next week.
-But could be OUR labour of love.
'Behind a door in the kitchen is a staircase which we'll come to later.
'For now, we're heading up the main flight of stairs,
'where we'll find three of the five bedrooms.'
These rooms on the first floor, I think are lovely. Lots of light.
Two good sized formal rooms at the front.
-I really like it.
-Really nice size and, as you say, really bright.
-All the original features.
-A lovely look out to the garden.
'This bedroom has Jack and Jill access to the huge family bathroom
'with his 'n' her sinks, a large shower and a roll top bath.
'Across the hallway is a bright, opulently decorated double bedroom.
'On the second floor are another two bedrooms, both double rooms.
'But we're staying on the first floor
'and heading to the unusual guest suite, where I've got a proposition that James might like.'
This is the most idiosyncratic bit,
the guest wing above the kitchen.
-So we have a free-standing bath and another shower.
-Then a little bedroom, four-poster bed...
-Which is very pretty.
But what I was thinking, this would be a perfect office.
-I could see that.
-Get rid of all this. Open this all up.
Paint the ceilings.
Come up from the kitchen with a cup of coffee, work all day.
-That's a good idea.
-Sounds really good. Got windows on both sides.
Light all day. Big ceilings. Enough space to walk all round.
As a bedroom, it doesn't tick the boxes, but as an office it does.
'It's safe to say that James and Lynn are feeling the potential,
'although its current style may not be an exact match for their taste.
'To the rear of the house is a large enclosed cobbled courtyard
'but the main garden lies at the front,
'laid to lawn with a range of mature trees and shrubs.'
-Bit of a journey.
The key factor is ker-ching. All your tick boxes have turned into cash boxes.
How much do you think the house costs?
It needs a lot of money spent on it. It could be done over many years.
-I would say 515, with my fingers crossed.
-515? What about you, Lynn?
I would probably say...
either on our budget or just over, so I'd go 560.
It's on the market a shade under your budget at 549,950.
It's been on for six months so the owners are open to offers.
-It could be that gives you £50,000 to do some decorating.
-Walk around. See how the spirit moves you.
'For a fiver short of their top budget...
'..and has been renovated with traditional Victorian features...
'..Do they see the potential beyond its individual decorative style?'
In terms of a project, it might be a touch too far.
By the time we put our stamp on it, it could be very expensive.
I suppose my major concerns about the property
are how we would get this to be our home.
I can't quite picture how much work that will be.
-That took a while.
-Yeah. Lots to see.
Lots to discuss?
-Lots to discuss.
-Any Chinese burns?
Very good. Let's have a little break from property and relax.
'With the sun setting,
'the first phase of our property hunt draws to a close.
'On a budget of £550,000,
'James and Lynn dream of leaving London to get closer to their family
'and the countryside of Warwickshire.
'They've seen two beautiful properties,
'but have struggled to find the blend of character and proportion.
'Will we get the right mix in the mystery property?'
You're practically gushing.
'Then I'll be putting my feet up, but it won't be relaxing.'
I see light at the end of the tunnel.
I was thinking about your disappointment and wondered whether
it was in any way tied with your lack of clarity about what you want.
-Well, I think that's probably right.
-I think you're spot-on.
I think we were too broad
and too naive about what we liked and didn't like.
We thought we were quite open, whereas we're maybe not.
'So, with a brief that's still unclear, it's mystery house time.
'We're staying in countryside around Rugby, travelling to Dunchurch.
'The village was a popular coaching post.
'Many famous people have stayed here,
'including the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot whilst awaiting news
'of Guy Fawkes' attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
'The village has amenities including pubs, restaurants and stores,
'and the stocks should dissuade any explosive behaviour.
'So far, our buyers haven't warmed to a cosy traditional cottage,
'and have been reluctant to take on any refurbishment.
'We're going to give them character and space in pristine condition.
'But that has to come with a twist.'
This is what used to be the stable blocks of the Duke of Buccleuch's
So, it's converted, obviously, into four houses.
-It is an attached house.
So you share all of this courtyard with four families.
A quarter each.
-OK. I'm interested.
-It's got a lot of character.
The inside of the house is period but modern.
-We thought it might fit the bill.
-Shall we go in?
'The mystery house is a mews conversion of a coaching inn
'which dates back to the mid 18th century.
'If they're prepared to live in an attached property,
'this could be just what James and Lynn are looking for.'
Here we are, inside.
I said straight lines and straight walls.
-All modern. All done. All finished.
-All modern. All done. All finished.
-Log burner here.
-Newly rebuilt fireplace. They've been here 16 years.
They've finished everything to a high standard.
It was a stable when they moved in.
-New electricity, new heating...
-I'm relaxing. I feel there's a catch.
-Well, hopefully not.
This is the central space. The house radiates off it.
There's a lot of history cos this was a horsey building.
So the kitchen was the tack room.
Not much trace of this tack room. It's all been turned into kitchen.
-It's really nice.
I'll go back to my ticks. The table would fit in lovely.
-You realise that is a sign of moving in.
-I know that.
That's why I was hesitant saying it. I don't like to think too positive.
A nice little detail here.
You've got all your white goods, a mini laundry.
The finish is really, really strong.
The finish grows on you, you notice new things all the time...
-James, you're practically gushing.
-It's a new you.
I feel like I'm gushing.
-So this gets a thumbs up?
-Let's look at the other reception rooms.
This room has a great story.
-And very high ceilings.
-VERY high ceilings. Lovely.
This was the carriage room. There was just a massive archway door.
The carriages would come in here, which is why it's so high.
The present owners completely remodelled it.
They built this wall, put in these high quality French windows.
And put in these Georgian sash windows.
And they built this chimney breast.
That's a gas effect fire and a Portland stone surround.
That's a lovely fireplace.
-If we put one in.
-we would have chosen.
-That's what we like to hear.
-As I said, tick, tick, tick.
'I think we finally hit the jackpot, with very positive reactions.
'The ground floor has a second, more cosy reception room,
'off which is an elegant study.
'Time to see if the sleeping quarters hit the mark as well.'
Upstairs, it's compact. It's snug up here, I won't lie.
This is the master bedroom.
Yeah. I still like it.
You say "compact"
-but it's still got character.
I always think you just sleep in the bedroom.
It has four bedrooms, but one of them, poke your head round,
-is a guest room which would make a nice en suite.
-Really good idea.
'There are two more bedrooms. One is presented as a twin room.
'The other is another double. There's also a sunny bathroom.
'Let's get outside where I've got one last thing in store for James.'
So this is your little garden. This is the feature I want to show you.
-It's not massive, but they did build this office.
-And a pretty garden as well.
-Yeah. This is all wired.
It's got thick cables that come in from broadband, the telephone.
Good. Lovely. Yeah, I'm...happy.
-Lovely. Thank you.
-Not at all.
This is easy. This is easy.
You get a view of the garden. It's not a massive garden.
But it's very well-kept and simple to maintain.
-I think it's more than capable.
-What is nice is you have this lovely sunny patio.
-Lost for words.
-That's the first time.
-Really pretty. Lovely.
What do you think it's worth?
I'd say it's slightly over budget. And I'd say 575.
I'd probably still go a little bit lower.
I'd probably say...540.
-It's on the market just under your budget.
Just a shade under 550.
-So, you wouldn't have to spend a penny on it to move in.
It's whether you're happy with the attachedness of it.
-It's something we need to talk about but I think, in reality, it ticks all the boxes.
-Why don't you go in and talk?
-Sounds good to me.
Result! Mystery house always does it.
Pulls everything together, brings it into focus. Ching!
'At just below budget...
'..full of period charm but renovated to a high spec...
'..Outside, there's a communal courtyard
'as well as a private garden....
'..In terms of accommodation, it more than meets all their criteria,
'if they can compromise on their detached house.'
I really like this house.
It's got some fantastic spaces.
I LOVE the main sitting room. The garden's lovely as well.
I could see myself living in that downstairs space.
I think the property's really good. The overall set-up of it
is probably ideal for us at this precise moment.
I'm thinking you're going to have to interview your neighbours.
-They're very sociable, but you want to know them.
-It might be a nice ready-made community for you.
-Meet new people.
Let's press on.
'The creation of a canal network in the Midlands
'meant that the area played a vital role in the 18th and 19th century
'Industrial Revolution, transporting vast quantities of goods
'throughout the country.
'North of Warwickshire lies the Dudley Canal, which features
'an impressive network of tunnels over 2,000 metres long.
'Created in the late 1700s by the Earl of Dudley
'to access his limestone quarries,
'this stretch revolutionised transportation to the south.
'I met up with canal historian Graham Fisher at the tunnel.'
This is the tunnel we're going into?
Yes, the first section of Lord Ward's tunnel built in 1778.
-Tell me all about that.
-Lord Ward was John, the second Viscount of Dudley and Ward, the Earl of Dudley.
He took the title in 1774.
He was little short of a genius, with his plans
to build canals that came through here.
He'd take a chunk off the journey to London.
-How much time did you save?
-Maybe a couple of days.
At one point, this section of tunnel
was carrying in excess of 41,000 boats a year.
Before the days of the canals, you were restricted to pack horses.
A canal that could carry 30 ton at a time was a revolution.
Here we've got towpaths, so the horses pulled the boats here.
-What happens in the tunnel?
-The only option for the boater
was to push the boat through by walking along the walls - legging.
Hard back-breaking dangerous work.
-You've got that in store for me.
-You can try that, under safe conditions!
'There's still evidence of the limestone quarries that existed.
'Large underground caverns were built, some opened to the surface.
'It's hard to imagine that these lush green grottos
'were working mines.
'Modern narrowboats have a clear advantage over the originals.
'They are engine powered but, in the old days, boaters had to rely
'solely on their own legwork.'
We can safely remove our hats for this part of the exercise.
We have to work head-to-head, shoulder-to-shoulder.
Put your feet over the side, leaning over as far as possible.
Keep them above the side of the boat so they don't get crushed.
-And away we go. Walk along that wall!
'In a powered vessel, it takes 45 minutes to travel through.
'But when boaters were using leg muscle, it took over four hours
'to walk the boats through, largely in pitch black conditions.'
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Yes! Yes! And it's gold!
Well done, Alistair.
You can now officially claim your "I have legged through Dudley Canal tunnel" certificate!
I am a legger!
'My very short taste of legging was exhausting,
'despite pushing an empty boat.
'I can only imagine what it must have been with a load of 30 tons.
'I'm not entirely sure my legs could have managed it.
'Now that the house quest has come to an end,
'it's time to find out what decisions our buyers have made
'and what lessons they've learned.'
-You're being Mum.
-Have some tea.
Not yet! Further down the line. I didn't mean to rush you, James.
-Now, how's it been?
-It's been quite interesting for us because things have changed.
-Yeah. I think the phrase is a roller coaster.
-A bit of a journey.
-If you like roller coasters.
-You came off feeling sick or exhilarated?
-Exhilarated, I think.
The first house was the Cotswold cottage. What did that teach you?
It taught us that we have to think
more about the house than the location.
The location was absolutely stunning.
If your living space isn't right then, for us, that was no good.
It's a lovely house. It just wasn't big enough.
I'd love to stay for maybe a week but not the rest of my life.
The second house,
the proportions seemed to be what you're looking for.
When we started off in that house, I think we were quite positive.
The two reception rooms were quite large. The kitchen was lovely.
I don't think we had enough vision to know
-how to make that house our own, we just couldn't get it.
-And for the price.
-It then shut our vision.
Yet the mystery house,
although it didn't tick boxes that you originally put in stone,
seemed to wow you.
Yeah. It's a lovely property.
Maybe it's because when we went into that third house
we were having to think about compromises.
So, although it didn't tick all the boxes, we understand
we've got to make some compromises to get the living space we want.
The garden was beautiful, with the office. I would love to work there.
I know you're very keen to move into a place straightaway.
Will you be revisiting that place? Would you put an offer in?
I think we would probably consider going back and having a look.
And putting some thought to the upstairs of it.
Whether it could work for us.
Could we see ourselves staying there long-term?
It's been great showing you round. It's been a learning curve.
-I hope that Warwickshire opens its gates to you and triumphs when you arrive.
It's been a real journey and an eye-opener.
-You're a very patient man.
-You're very patient, too.
I showed you the wrong properties and tested your patience! I'm glad it all came together.
Sometimes, it's not about giving the buyers what they want,
but finding out WHAT the buyers want.
That's what we've done with James and Lynn.
We focused their minds on what they do and don't want in their home.
Whether they buy the mystery house is a mystery, but we love mystery.
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Alistair Appleton is in Warwickshire, helping a couple of newly-weds find a country home with a budget of £550,000.
But with a Cotswold stone cottage being found to be too petite and a 19th-century farmhouse too big a project, it proves hard to find the right combination.