Dorset Escape to the Country


Dorset

Jules Hudson visits Dorset to help a homesick couple swap their French chateau for a 1.6 million pound house in the English countryside with five en-suite bedrooms.


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Transcript


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Welcome to Escape To The Country.

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I'm in a part of the land that is a World Heritage Site and is also home to a flock of over 1,000 mute swans,

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ideal neighbours for any country life.

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'Today, we help a homesick couple swap their French chateau

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'for the creature comforts of the English countryside.

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'We'll tour some stunning period houses in breathtaking locations.'

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What do you think of that?

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I like the whole thing but sorry, my mind's still on the view!

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'One house takes the concept of sharing to a new level.'

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-That, I've never seen before.

-I've never seen it before either.

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-Quite kinky, I think.

-What do you think, Fred?

-Not for me.

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'And there's a mystery house, a real historical treasure,

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'but which one will seal the deal?'

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Today, I'm in Dorset, in the heart of the Jurassic Coast.

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I've come down to the swannery at Abbotsbury. Swans have been living here as long as anyone can remember.

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600 years ago, Benedictine monks used to farm them for the table, a sort of medieval posh nosh.

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The good news is times have changed.

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Swans are heavily protected and the work at the swannery is vital.

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Here they are weighing and tagging them, trying to understand how these creatures live their lives.

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Who can blame them wanting to do it here in Dorset?

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The southwest county of Dorset has been left largely untouched

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from the majestic beauty of the Jurassic Coast

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to the rural valleys made famous by writer Thomas Hardy.

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Typical of the Dorset countryside is the Blackmore Vale,

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a wide valley of clay farmland and tucked away villages.

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As far as historic houses go, Sherborne Castle is perhaps one of the most impressive,

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built by the courtier and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594.

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And Dorset is noted for its mild climate,

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so you can see why today's property hunters have chosen this county

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as the place to find their next dream home.

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If you fancied escaping to the country back in the medieval period,

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you wouldn't have bought your house, you'd have built it, something like this cottage.

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But these days property comes at a price

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and in Dorset your average detached will set you back about £344,000.

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That's a staggering 30% above the national average.

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So let's hope today's buyers have got nice, deep pockets.

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Today's property seekers, Rosemary and Fred, live in their chateau in Fougerolles in the south of France.

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Fred has led a busy working life as a company chairman

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and even though he's retired, he and Rosemary have been hard at work

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restoring a once run-down chateau to its former glory.

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With seven bedrooms, seven en-suites, two swimming pools and 25 acres, it's kept them busy,

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but culturally, it's been difficult.

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Well, we came to France about two and a half years ago.

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And we thought the language would be a challenge,

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but it's proved to be much more of a challenge than what we thought.

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We thought we wanted peace and quiet, but it's been too quiet as we've not been able to communicate much.

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There's another quirk of French life that Rosemary and Fred just can't get used to.

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And the fact that the shops don't open through the day from 12 o'clock to half past two

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and they shut at seven o'clock in the evening.

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Yes, if you run out of anything.

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Yes, supermarkets that stay open through the night...

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Not that we're shopaholics or anything!

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So life across the Channel is not for Fred or Rosemary,

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but I think they're never happier than when they're on the move.

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When it comes to property, we have always been in agreement. 16 times we've purchased houses.

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We've managed to live together for 40 years

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and we have never had a disagreement over houses up to this date.

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16 moves is quite a feat and has been largely down to Fred's career.

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But having retired, they have the luxury of settling down.

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So what are they looking for?

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Well, we would need to have five bedrooms and preferably with five en-suites,

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three reception rooms, a large kitchen.

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-Maybe a swimming pool.

-That's the icing on the cake.

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As far as outside space goes, Fred is after something more manageable.

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With this property, we have got 25 acres of land.

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That's a lot of land to manage and look after and maintain.

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Preferably, the next property would have between three and five acres.

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Rosemary and Fred are already dreaming of a Dorset cream tea

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and are itching to get started on the move,

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so we've invited round a local estate agent to value the chateau.

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It's a fabulous property, renovated to an exceptionally high standard.

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I think it will sell very well.

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I would recommend putting this on the market for 2.53 million sterling.

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With 16 properties under their belt,

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how much do they have to spend on property number 17?

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If we find a house, a property that meets all our requirements and really excites us,

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we would be prepared to pay £1.6 million.

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There is certainly no doubt we've got one of the biggest budgets we've ever had on Escape To The Country,

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but what exactly do they want for it?

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It goes without saying, a nice, big, spacious country house, five bedrooms, preferably en-suite,

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and three acres of land to keep Fred happy.

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Well, they've certainly got the money and I do believe Dorset has got the houses.

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Rosemary and Fred are looking for

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a traditionally English rural location,

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so we're focusing our search in north Dorset,

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close to the Georgian town of Blandford Forum

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and within 30 minutes of the coast.

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Over the next two days, I'll be showing Fred and Rosemary a selection of stunning properties,

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but I'll only reveal the price after each viewing.

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The final property will be the mystery house,

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a real show-stopper and in a league of its own.

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-Well, Fred, Rosemary, welcome here to Dorset.

-Thank you.

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Now, you have got a fantastic budget, well over £1 million.

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-Exactly how much are we talking about?

-Up to 1.6.

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Up to 1.6, which means clearly we have got some fantastic properties to show you.

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-Something special.

-They're all special, as you would expect for that sort of money.

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But I have a concern. My concern is this - you are serial house-movers, aren't you?

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-How many times have you moved in your lives?

-This will be number 17.

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-The longest we've lived anywhere is about nine years, isn't it?

-As long as that?

-I think so.

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Now, is this gonna be the final move, do you think?

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-No.

-Every move is the final move.

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I love your candour and I love your good humour.

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Great budget, great location. I love Dorset. There's an awful lot to see.

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Who knows? Maybe we'll find you the place you'll stay in forever.

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-Wouldn't that be good?

-We'll stay for a while.

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Come on.

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'I've got a feeling we're going to have our work cut out.

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'Finding something as stunning as their French chateau is gonna be a tall order.

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'Rosemary and Fred have a very healthy budget of £1.6 million,

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'but they are expecting to get their money's worth.'

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What's the most important thing you think that you've missed living outside of the UK

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that you're hoping to find when you come back?

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For me, I think it's being able just to decide, "Let's go to the cinema."

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Or "Let's go to the theatre."

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Down to the language problem again.

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-You're really saying you miss the English language.

-Yeah.

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'Our first property is on the outskirts of the town of Gillingham,

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'30 minutes north of Blandford Forum.

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'The town has a long history that dates back to Saxon times

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'and there are plenty of opportunities to meet the locals

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'as the town has lots of amenities, including a pub, post office and ironmongers.

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'The property is two miles from the centre and sits back off its own private gravel driveway.'

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Out you come.

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Now then, Rosemary...

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What do we all think of that?

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What do I think of it? It looks like a good, big, substantial house.

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It's very typical of a late Victorian farmhouse for this part of the world.

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It has had a lot of work done to it recently. Some of it is still in progress.

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-But first, let's go in and see what you think of it.

-OK.

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Right, guys...

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-That's a nice floor.

-Nice, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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-Original, Victorian.

-Yeah, it looks good.

-Let's start in here.

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This really does give you a sense of the proportions that you get in these properties.

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I like the high ceiling and I like the bay window.

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-And also the doors opening out.

-To the garden, yes.

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I suppose in some ways there is something quite neutral about this property.

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Because it has just, a lot of it, been done.

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-Yes.

-So it's not cluttered with so much stuff.

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-But the decor doesn't bother me. We can always do that.

-Yeah.

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-It's the fabric of the building.

-The fabric of the building.

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-And it's space.

-Yes.

-That's gonna have a huge bearing.

-Proportions and how solid it all is.

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Let's continue. This is just but one part.

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'Across the entrance hall is an identical sized reception, again with a large bay window.

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'Along the hallway is a small study for Fred.

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'Next to this is a cosy snug with a wood-burner, perfect for Rosemary's dogs.

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'And the final reception is the formal dining room.'

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-This is a good size.

-Yeah.

-It's a surprise, yes.

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It hasn't got a bay, but it has still got those lovely windows and the shutters.

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-It's perfectly adequate as a dining room.

-Yeah, it's a good size dining room.

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And it will take a sideboard here.

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The other great thing is it's right next door to the kitchen. Come and have a look at this.

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-Oh, this is nice.

-Yeah?

-Good size kitchen.

-That is nice.

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I thought you'd like it. Under-floor heating underneath this Travertine floor.

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-It's rather sweet. Come and have a wander through.

-And it's quite bright.

-Very bright.

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Loads of windows and doors. The main cooking end of things is here.

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You've got that huge, great big, double gas range cooker, central island...

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Through here we've also got a utility room

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for all your white goods and bits and pieces.

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-Dogs, etcetera, in there potentially?

-Yes.

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-And a great big walk-in pantry.

-That's good. I like that.

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-But I think this is terrific.

-It's a very nice kitchen.

-Everything is hand-built as you would expect.

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-Downstairs, reasonably happy with?

-Yes, yes.

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It has got more interesting as we have moved through.

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-There is method in the madness.

-You know what you're doing.

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'They're not giving much away, but after a lukewarm start, I think the kitchen has impressed them.

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'And hopefully they'll be equally impressed with the ideas I have upstairs.'

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This is one of the six bedrooms that this property provides you with.

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Loads of light. But here's the thing.

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-This is en-suite...

-Yes.

-And it's through there.

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I'm imagining that this collection of rooms we're about to explore

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could be the master wing of this property.

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-I'd imagine you using this as a dressing room because the bathroom is through here.

-Right.

-Have a look.

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-Now, this is the bathroom that joins...

-This is a good size.

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-..what would be the dressing room to the master bedroom which we'll see in a minute.

-Right, I see.

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-It's very much a his'n'hers arrangement.

-I thought I was seeing double!

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-Two showers!

-That, I have never seen before.

-I've never seen it before either.

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Quite kinky, I think.

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-What do you think, Fred?

-Not for me.

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I thought your eyes would light up then!

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Come and have a look at the master bedroom through here.

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So this is technically the bedroom, I'm thinking, of the master suite.

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-Come in, Fred. Come right round.

-Good, it's big.

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-Very big bed. Takes up a lot of space.

-Yeah.

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-But there's a lot of space left over.

-Absolutely.

-Loads of light coming in and nice and quiet.

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-Would this work as a master?

-It would.

-Oh, yeah.

-Yes.

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Right, there's plenty more. Come and have a look.

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So we've got a third double in there. That's not en-suite. OK?

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The bathrooms have had a lot of attention in this house. This is the family bathroom.

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-This is nice.

-Go and have a look at that.

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-Yes...

-Oh, I'm disappointed. It's just a single shower(!)

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That's lovely, the roll-top bath,

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-very much in keeping with the sense of period that this house has.

-Yes.

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-It's a very comfortable, good size, isn't it?

-Good.

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All right, come on. Let's keep going.

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'Along the hallway, there are another three bedrooms,

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'making six in total, all good sized rooms with polished wooden floors and two have en-suites.

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'Inside, this house certainly has all the bedrooms Rosemary is after,

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'and outside, there is a manageable amount of land for Fred.'

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Right, out you come. I'm a huge fan of courtyards and I think this one is really pretty.

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And of course, on one side you've got this range of what would have been the stable block.

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-A building to convert.

-Absolutely ripe for conversion.

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-I know you are gonna be itching to do that if you bought this property.

-You'd have to.

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-You would have to do something with it.

-Yeah.

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And it's very, very private. It's nicely out the wind too. Let's go and have a look at the rest of it.

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'The courtyard would be the perfect sheltered area for a swimming pool

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'and there are just over seven acres of land to play with.'

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All of this, Fred, is just crying out to be turned into a garden.

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Oh, there's more than a garden! That's a field!

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-There's a paddock there too.

-You name it!

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So let's have a think then about...its value.

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It's the first one that you've seen. How much do you think it's worth?

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-Do you want me to go first?

-There's a question. On you go.

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I think it's probably 1.25.

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-Rosemary?

-I'd say 1.3.

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How about 1.5? That's the current asking price.

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OK. 1.25 would be nicer!

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LAUGHTER

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I knew he was gonna say that.

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Have a wander round. It's the first one we've seen.

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-And have a think about that obvious list of things you would want to do to it.

-OK.

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Have another look around and I'll catch up with you later.

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So what's the verdict?

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First impressions, good family house. Good size.

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I really like the kitchen. I think the kitchen is excellent.

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I think it's a well-presented house.

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This is a nice, bright room.

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-I do like the bay windows and the shutters.

-You've got two windows, so you've got plenty of light.

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It's a good, sound building. It has all the bedrooms that we require.

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It has a good number of reception rooms. Bit of work to be done, but I don't see it as a major obstacle.

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And obviously, it's something we'll have to consider after we've seen the other properties.

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-Well, chaps, all done?

-All done.

-Have you seen enough?

-Yes, thank you.

-Yes, for now.

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-Are you gonna part with £1.5 million, I wonder?

-Need to think.

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Well, there's plenty more to see and a lot more to think about. Come on, follow me.

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Fred and Rosemary's decision to go house-hunting in Dorset is slightly unusual

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as they've never actually set foot in the county before,

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so earlier, they headed to Blandford Forum to enjoy one of their favourite pastimes.

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-What time is it, Rosemary?

-It's two o'clock.

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-And the shops are open at lunchtime. Wonderful, this is England.

-Oh, good. Let's go shopping.

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Blandford Forum was rebuilt in 1731 after a great fire destroyed much of the centre.

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As a result, it is one of the best preserved Georgian towns in England.

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And there are plenty of individual shops to keep Fred and Rosemary busy,

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from butchers to antique emporiums.

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It's got all the little keys and nooks and crannies.

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I wonder if it hasn't got a secret...a secret drawer?

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The wood feels lovely, doesn't it? It's really nice.

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It's got that squeaking, polished feel.

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Antiques aren't the only curiosities on display.

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The Cavalcade of Costume Museum is a fascinating collection spanning 250 years of fashion,

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inspired by the late Mrs Betty Penny.

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And the museum has a traditional tearoom, serving Dorset cream teas and home-made cakes,

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something that Rosemary and Fred have been dreaming of.

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-What are we going to do next?

-I think eat more scones.

-Oh, good idea.

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Our next property is just north of the town of Shaftesbury,

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one of the oldest and, at 750 feet above sea level,

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one of the highest towns in England.

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The cobbled street of Gold Hill will no doubt be familiar.

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It was made famous by the Ridley Scott advert for a well-known loaf of bread.

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Many of the older buildings are built from local limestone,

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salvaged from the demolished Shaftesbury Abbey.

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The property we are going to see sits in an elevated position

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across the Blackmore Vale.

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Let's see what Fred and Rosemary make of it.

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Well, I thought we'd start, unusually, in the garden of this particular property

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because I know you wanted somewhere with a view, Fred.

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This is a view.

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This is some view.

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The Vale of Blackmore stretching as far as you can see.

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-It's amazing, it's lovely.

-Fantastic. It really is good.

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But, of course, it also comes with a house from which to enjoy it.

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What do you think of that?

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I like the whole thing but my mind's still on the view! THEY LAUGH

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Well, concentrate if you can, Rosemary, on that.

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What we've got here is not the oldest house in the world,

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built about 1930 or so. This one, however,

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has been completely renovated in the last five years.

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Let's have a look inside.

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Now, come on in here.

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What do you think?

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I think this is very nice and bright. I do like the archways.

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-I have a thing about archways.

-Well, there's a few in here.

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There's a nice little study in there for you, sir,

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which you can explore a little bit later.

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Bags of room in there, enjoying the view as well.

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Come here and look at this.

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Now, this is what I think is what this property is all about.

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Yes, that's special.

0:21:230:21:24

Isn't it? It's a picture.

0:21:240:21:26

-Just a picture.

-It's not bad, is it?

0:21:260:21:30

It's a lovely, bright room.

0:21:300:21:32

I mean, this space is wasted. It could be a dining area...

0:21:320:21:36

-Why spoil it?

-You'll spoil it, no.

0:21:360:21:39

-I think it would spoil it.

-What would you...?

0:21:390:21:41

I like it as it is, as one big room.

0:21:410:21:44

Beautiful, it's nice.

0:21:440:21:46

Yeah, I think it's very, very nice.

0:21:460:21:48

OK, let's continue. Let's go and have a look at the kitchen.

0:21:480:21:51

Follow me up the hallway here.

0:21:540:21:55

What we've got is lovely underfloor heating,

0:21:550:21:59

-underneath this floor.

-Yes, you can feel it, it's lovely.

0:21:590:22:02

Running through into here.

0:22:020:22:04

Nice kitchen.

0:22:040:22:06

-Good size. Manageable.

-Very manageable, all new, as you can see.

0:22:060:22:12

You can have a kitchen that's so large you're exhausted walking round it all day.

0:22:120:22:16

-This would be manageable.

-This is... You'd have the space, but the working area is right.

0:22:160:22:23

Off the kitchen is a cosy sitting room, making only two reception rooms,

0:22:230:22:28

which may be a sticking point.

0:22:280:22:30

But there is more space in the basement, which has been converted into a personal gym

0:22:300:22:34

and a well-stocked wine cellar.

0:22:340:22:36

I love this arrangement, I think it's terrific.

0:22:360:22:40

Purpose-built wine cellar.

0:22:400:22:42

Whether you drink it or not, your friends will love you if you stock it like this.

0:22:440:22:50

It's beautifully presented, as wine cellars go.

0:22:500:22:53

-Certainly.

-That's pretty much it for the downstairs of the property.

0:22:530:22:57

Let's have a look upstairs.

0:22:570:22:59

They're definitely keeping their cards close to their chest,

0:22:590:23:04

but I think they are impressed by the immaculate finish of this house.

0:23:040:23:08

This landing is terrific. It's really light, really wide.

0:23:080:23:13

Yes, it's nice and bright.

0:23:130:23:15

Let's start in here.

0:23:150:23:16

-Bright, yes.

-I do like bright.

0:23:160:23:18

Family bathroom, Rosemary, what about that?

0:23:180:23:21

That's very nice, isn't it? I've never seen one quite like that before.

0:23:210:23:26

These are nice, these are original doors to the build of the property, 1930s, these brass fittings.

0:23:260:23:33

So, there are a few bits that survive from when it all was put together.

0:23:330:23:38

The whole lot renovated, as you can see.

0:23:380:23:42

It's a nice job.

0:23:420:23:43

We've also got you, of course, a number of bedrooms. Five doubles.

0:23:430:23:48

Oh, good. That's about right.

0:23:480:23:51

Some are en-suite. Let's go and look at those.

0:23:510:23:54

All of the bedrooms are bright, generous-sized doubles,

0:23:570:24:00

neutrally decorated so Rosemary can put her own stamp on them.

0:24:000:24:05

This is your master.

0:24:050:24:06

And it's a very nice master.

0:24:090:24:10

Yes, good one.

0:24:100:24:11

Yes, it's lovely.

0:24:110:24:14

You've got a range of choices up here with all the bedrooms.

0:24:140:24:17

You've also got an en-suite in here. Look at that.

0:24:170:24:20

Go on, check it out, while we're here.

0:24:200:24:23

It's a wet room, really.

0:24:230:24:25

Yes, I like that idea. It's nice.

0:24:250:24:28

Let's go outside and have a look at the gardens,

0:24:280:24:31

-you've got plenty to keep you busy out there.

-OK.

0:24:310:24:33

So much for retirement.

0:24:330:24:35

Follow me.

0:24:350:24:37

Now, outside, you have this huge gravelled area,

0:24:370:24:42

you've got that great big double garage there, Fred,

0:24:420:24:45

to put all your bits and pieces in.

0:24:450:24:47

Land-wise...

0:24:470:24:50

-all in all, it's about 15 acres.

-Oh, gosh!

0:24:500:24:53

-That's quite a bit.

-You've got a huge field and the rest of it

0:24:530:24:59

is a mixture of mature garden, as you can see,

0:24:590:25:01

orchards running down there, through to the paddock.

0:25:010:25:04

'But that's not all. The other little bonus you get

0:25:040:25:07

is the self-contained three bedroom gatehouse at the top of the drive.

0:25:070:25:11

With that in mind, will they get the price right?

0:25:110:25:14

I'll say 1.45.

0:25:140:25:17

1.45. OK. Rosemary?

0:25:170:25:21

I'll say 1.5.

0:25:210:25:23

You always had expensive tastes, didn't you?

0:25:250:25:27

You married the right one there!

0:25:270:25:29

So you're saying, top end, 1.5 million.

0:25:290:25:33

OK. It's on the market for...

0:25:330:25:35

1.75.

0:25:350:25:37

You see?

0:25:370:25:39

That is a shock. I thought I might be a little low, but not 300,000 low.

0:25:390:25:45

Yeah, well, we are in a bit of a hot spot, this area of Gillingham,

0:25:450:25:49

Shaftesbury and so forth. It's a very popular place to be.

0:25:490:25:52

Of course, there's an awful lot with this property and they've done a lot to it.

0:25:520:25:56

So you'll know from your work on the chateau, they want to get their investment back.

0:25:560:26:00

-But...

-The work they have done very well.

0:26:000:26:04

Very well finished.

0:26:040:26:06

Very nice.

0:26:060:26:07

But I still didn't think it was 300,000!

0:26:090:26:12

Well, go and have a look around, a good old think about it.

0:26:120:26:15

-Everything's negotiable, Fred.

-Maybe so.

0:26:150:26:18

Off you go. I'll catch up with you later.

0:26:180:26:21

Both properties have recently been refurbished, so no work

0:26:360:26:40

for Fred inside, but outside he'll be kept busy

0:26:400:26:43

with 15 acres of land.

0:26:430:26:45

It's more outside space than he wanted,

0:26:450:26:48

but what's a little extra garden between friends?

0:26:480:26:51

I think this house is very nice.

0:26:510:26:54

It's very well presented.

0:26:540:26:58

It has a lot of things going for it,

0:26:580:27:02

especially the view. The view is just stunning.

0:27:020:27:05

I don't think we could find nicer in Dorset.

0:27:050:27:09

The only thing that I'm a bit concerned about is the extra room,

0:27:090:27:12

reception room. We're really one down, perhaps, here.

0:27:120:27:17

I wonder if it didn't have the bookcase,

0:27:170:27:21

and didn't have the desk, is it big enough for a snug?

0:27:210:27:25

-And what are you going to do with the other snug?

-Dining room.

0:27:250:27:28

I think the renovation is absolutely superb and the decor is very nice.

0:27:280:27:33

Very tastefully done.

0:27:330:27:35

All in all, a very good property.

0:27:350:27:38

Boo!

0:27:400:27:41

Well, there you go.

0:27:410:27:43

Lots to think about. I know we haven't had time to look around that specifically,

0:27:430:27:48

but clearly if this house is going to be of interest,

0:27:480:27:50

and if it is a contender on the list,

0:27:500:27:52

you can explore that later.

0:27:520:27:54

It shows how much extra you get with this property,

0:27:540:27:57

-albeit slightly over-budget.

-OK.

0:27:570:28:00

-So, shall we continue?

-OK.

-Come on.

0:28:000:28:02

Until recently, Fred has led a busy working life, but now he's retired,

0:28:170:28:20

he's hoping to spend more time in the garden.

0:28:200:28:23

I've brought them here to meet gardening expert Steve Griffiths.

0:28:230:28:27

The gardens boast a collection of rare and exotic plants from all over the world,

0:28:270:28:33

from the Himalayas to the Mediterranean.

0:28:330:28:35

This is what we call the Victorian Garden.

0:28:350:28:37

Here we've revived the Victorian practice of using sub-tropical plants and big foliage effects.

0:28:370:28:44

It really does look its best towards the late summer with the bananas and the hardy perennials.

0:28:440:28:51

Let's talk more about your gardening ambitions, Fred.

0:28:510:28:54

Would you take on something like this where you've got this mix of exotic?

0:28:540:28:58

If I thought I could grow all these plants, I would certainly do it,

0:28:580:29:02

but I have trouble even growing pampas grass.

0:29:020:29:04

What's the secret, Steve? Why can't Fred grow his pampas grass?

0:29:040:29:09

I don't know. We can't kill it here!

0:29:090:29:11

I've been trying to kill it!

0:29:110:29:12

Perhaps you need me!

0:29:120:29:14

Well, if you still struggle, you know where to come to revise.

0:29:160:29:19

These are fantastic. Tell me what these huge plants are.

0:29:190:29:23

That's a relative of the banana, it's Ensete ventricosum.

0:29:230:29:28

It's the Abyssinian banana with lovely red leaves.

0:29:280:29:31

-Do you have any real bananas?

-Of course. We have other species

0:29:310:29:35

and there are bananas on a plant at the moment if you'd like to see?

0:29:350:29:39

-Yeah. Come on! Bananas in the UK. After you.

-Are you hungry?

0:29:390:29:43

I could be!

0:29:430:29:46

The reason Steve can grow bananas here is thanks to a unique microclimate.

0:29:460:29:51

It's a combination of Dorset's higher-than-average sunshine hours,

0:29:510:29:55

the warming effect of the sea,

0:29:550:29:57

and the clever planting of oak trees, which helps to keep the heat in.

0:29:570:30:00

It's like Jurassic Park in here, isn't it? Look at that!

0:30:000:30:04

-There's your bananas.

-Who'd have thought you'd see bananas in the UK?

0:30:040:30:09

It's amazing, isn't it?

0:30:090:30:10

Right, so, you've seen bananas, if you want to get your hands dirty,

0:30:100:30:14

I've got some planting for you round the corner.

0:30:140:30:16

-There you go, Fred!

-Let's see what kind of gardener you really are!

0:30:160:30:20

-OK.

-Come on.

0:30:200:30:22

There you go, that's what you need.

0:30:300:30:31

That's a big spoon, isn't it?

0:30:310:30:33

What are we planting, Steve?

0:30:350:30:37

Today, we're planting these lovely oak trees. They're evergreen

0:30:370:30:41

-and they come from Mexico.

-Oh, right.

0:30:410:30:43

They're quite tender, but this is a lovely spot here, they've got sunshine,

0:30:430:30:47

a nice slope, so they should do quite well.

0:30:470:30:50

There we go.

0:30:500:30:52

There we go. Look at that.

0:30:550:30:56

I'm an expert already, you see.

0:30:560:31:00

Like launching a ship, Rosemary.

0:31:010:31:03

Fantastic.

0:31:030:31:05

'As long as this tree survives longer than his pampas grass,

0:31:050:31:08

'we'll be all right.'

0:31:080:31:10

Just working it in with my heel

0:31:100:31:11

to make sure there's not too many air pockets.

0:31:110:31:14

It will be firm around the roots.

0:31:140:31:17

It won't dry out that way.

0:31:170:31:18

-Very good.

-There we are, Fred.

0:31:200:31:22

-How about that?

-Have your spoon back.

0:31:220:31:24

So a part of Dorset forever yours.

0:31:240:31:28

You can come back and see how it gets on.

0:31:280:31:30

Come back in 20 years and carve my name on it.

0:31:300:31:32

There you go.

0:31:320:31:33

-Steve, thank you very much for having us.

-Thank you.

0:31:330:31:36

It's a terrific garden.

0:31:360:31:37

We wish you all the very best of luck and hope the frost keeps off.

0:31:370:31:41

Thank you.

0:31:410:31:42

With the day drawing to a close, Rosemary and Fred head back to the hotel

0:31:450:31:49

to take time to reflect on today's properties.

0:31:490:31:51

What did you think of the house hunting today?

0:31:550:31:57

Oh, I think it was exciting, it was different, it was enjoyable.

0:31:570:32:02

And what did you think of the Victorian farmhouse?

0:32:020:32:05

Well, the Victorian farmhouse... had all the rooms we would require.

0:32:050:32:11

I like the high ceilings.

0:32:110:32:14

And the en-suites were good.

0:32:140:32:16

-And the kitchen was a super size.

-The kitchen was excellent.

0:32:160:32:20

In contrast, what do you think of the house on the hill?

0:32:200:32:24

The house on the hill, you're not going to better the view, I don't think.

0:32:240:32:29

The view sells it.

0:32:290:32:32

But I'm not sure that the garden and the land is more than what we actually want.

0:32:330:32:38

However, I'm looking forward to seeing what tomorrow produces.

0:32:380:32:42

Yes. Cheers to a successful day.

0:32:420:32:46

OK.

0:32:460:32:47

After two and a half years of living in the south of France,

0:32:590:33:04

Rosemary and Fred are ready to pack up and head home.

0:33:040:33:07

They're looking for a property in Dorset and have a budget of £1.6 million.

0:33:070:33:12

So far, they've seen two impressive country piles,

0:33:120:33:15

but coming up, Fred and Rosemary plan to go their separate ways.

0:33:150:33:18

A house for you and a house for me.

0:33:180:33:21

Oh, right. That's the best idea today.

0:33:210:33:24

Have we found them a match for their French chateau?

0:33:240:33:27

That's a proper house. You've saved the best till last.

0:33:270:33:31

Welcome to my final day's house hunt here with Fred and with Rosemary.

0:33:340:33:39

We've got a terrific budget and a county that really does deliver some fantastic houses.

0:33:390:33:45

Armed with such resources, property hunting down here is like being a child in a toy shop.

0:33:450:33:51

And today, well, it just gets better.

0:33:510:33:54

'Our next property is in the village of Durweston,

0:33:560:34:00

'two miles west of Blandford Forum on the edge of the Blackmore Vale.

0:34:000:34:04

'Durweston sits in the Stour Valley and is fairly quiet, but is just two minutes from Stourpaine,

0:34:040:34:10

'which has a post office, a general store and a pub.

0:34:100:34:14

'I'm very excited about this next property. I think it's a real gem.'

0:34:140:34:18

Now then, what do you think of that?

0:34:180:34:21

Ah, this appeals.

0:34:210:34:23

This looks good.

0:34:230:34:26

This to me is the classic English, archetypal country house.

0:34:260:34:30

-It's Grade 2 listed.

-All right.

-Georgian, 18th century.

0:34:300:34:35

An enormous house.

0:34:350:34:39

Absolutely enormous, but packed with character. Just you wait and see.

0:34:390:34:44

-Just you wait and see.

-OK, you've got me excited now.

0:34:440:34:47

-Fred, what do you think?

-Looks good.

0:34:470:34:50

Come on, let's have a look.

0:34:500:34:52

Right, chaps. Come on in.

0:34:570:35:00

-Don't be shy. Come on.

-This looks good.

0:35:010:35:04

I wouldn't normally dwell in a hallway, to be honest, on a house tour,

0:35:040:35:09

but there's a wonderful presence to this property as soon as you walk in.

0:35:090:35:15

-What do you think, Fred?

-It's very different to what we've seen so far.

0:35:150:35:19

-Does this Georgian period appeal?

-Yes, it does to me. Very much.

0:35:190:35:23

-Fred?

-And I do what I'm told!

0:35:230:35:25

-Just let me see it. It'll grow on me.

-OK.

0:35:250:35:29

I hope it will. Come and have a look through here.

0:35:290:35:32

Now, this is one of three reception rooms that you've got.

0:35:370:35:41

This is probably the biggest, I would say. But what do you think?

0:35:410:35:46

-It's a good room.

-It's very good. The proportions are very good.

0:35:460:35:50

Lovely, great big fireplace. Double doors out to part of the garden.

0:35:500:35:55

Yeah, I think it's a very cosy room, this. It is but one.

0:35:550:35:59

There is plenty more. Come with me.

0:35:590:36:01

Now, the stone floor continues right through into the kitchen. What do you think of this?

0:36:030:36:09

You see, I do like stone floors.

0:36:090:36:12

I do like that old feel.

0:36:120:36:14

There are some original features in here. Those great big cupboards, that's all as it would have been.

0:36:140:36:21

-You've got a new Aga, of course.

-Proper Aga, yeah.

-Proper job there.

0:36:210:36:26

-In terms of size, reasonably big enough for you?

-Yes.

-Plenty of room in here.

0:36:260:36:31

-Very much kitchen-cum-diner.

-Yeah.

0:36:310:36:34

But you've also got a separate dining room next door. Come and have a look at this.

0:36:340:36:39

-How about entertaining in here?

-Yes, very nice.

-Yes, a good size.

0:36:440:36:48

Yes, it is a good size. There's a sideboard and all the chairs there.

0:36:480:36:53

-And that's a long table.

-It is.

-I love this room.

0:36:530:36:57

And it's huge. It doesn't have to be a dining room, depending on...

0:36:570:37:01

-It's ideal.

-It lends itself very well to it.

0:37:010:37:05

'Across from the dining room is a downstairs toilet-cum-reading room

0:37:050:37:09

'with enough literature to keep you busy.

0:37:090:37:12

'And there's a second sitting room, smaller and cosier than the first with a real fire.

0:37:120:37:17

'Up the main staircase to the first floor and an impressive feature landing.'

0:37:170:37:24

This is quite special, I think. How many landings have a fireplace on them?

0:37:240:37:29

-This is true.

-Yeah, a good landing.

0:37:290:37:32

Nice and bright, airy.

0:37:320:37:34

-I've always wanted a gallery landing.

-Well, there you go.

0:37:340:37:38

-How many bedrooms did you want ideally?

-Five.

0:37:380:37:42

-OK. This has nine.

-Oh, right, OK!

0:37:420:37:45

Sons and daughters better start and produce, I think.

0:37:450:37:49

Don't put the pressure on them just yet! Let's start our little tour through here.

0:37:490:37:55

Right, this is currently the master bedroom. You've got nine to choose from, so take your pick!

0:37:550:38:01

-But this is currently set up as the master.

-It's certainly big enough.

-Yes.

0:38:010:38:06

-Ample space in here.

-Ample space.

0:38:060:38:09

Bags and bags of room. In there we've got an en-suite. Have a look.

0:38:090:38:14

They've gone a bit French, haven't they, with the hand-painted doors and that?

0:38:140:38:20

-In terms of size, I think it's plenty big enough.

-I think it's a good size.

-Yeah. Good.

0:38:200:38:24

There's plenty more to see. Come and have a look through here.

0:38:240:38:28

There are so many rooms to show you here, it is hard to know where to start and where to finish.

0:38:300:38:37

Have a look at this one.

0:38:370:38:39

Quite cute.

0:38:390:38:41

Oh, isn't that lovely?

0:38:410:38:43

It's very nice that they've left all the fireplaces. So many people block them up or get rid of them.

0:38:430:38:49

Good, right, come on. There's loads to see. Out we go.

0:38:490:38:53

'With a further four bedrooms on this floor, Rosemary and Fred will be spoilt for choice.

0:38:530:38:58

'Only one has an en-suite, but I'm sure Fred will relish the opportunity of remedying that.

0:38:580:39:04

'And for the final three bedrooms, we're heading to the attic.'

0:39:040:39:09

So here in the eaves we've got the last of the nine bedrooms.

0:39:090:39:14

Three up here - one across the landing. This is the central one.

0:39:140:39:18

And in here, the very final one.

0:39:180:39:21

They're both very similar, a good size double. You can't say there's not enough space in this house.

0:39:240:39:31

There's loads of space. And there's even more space outside.

0:39:310:39:35

-Are you coming to live with us(?)

-I could do! Would you have me?

0:39:350:39:39

-Would you have me after all of this?

-Definitely not!

0:39:390:39:43

There's loads to see outside. If you won't let me live in here, I might go and live out there! Come on.

0:39:430:39:50

You also get this barn, Fred. That's all included. Used as a bit of a party area by the current owners.

0:39:530:40:00

-And this one on the left as well?

-Yeah.

0:40:000:40:03

-And you also get this quite private little courtyard.

-Oh, yes, that's a surprise.

0:40:030:40:09

-You see the old stables arranged around it?

-Good stable block, yes.

0:40:090:40:13

You also get that building over there, built to mirror this range.

0:40:130:40:17

-That was built in 1998 for the housekeeper.

-Very good. Very good.

0:40:170:40:23

-We've got a house for you and a house for me.

-Oh, right.

0:40:230:40:27

That's the best idea today!

0:40:270:40:28

There's plenty more. Come and follow me.

0:40:280:40:31

And what about this, Fred?

0:40:320:40:34

-There you go.

-At last you've found me a swimming pool.

0:40:340:40:38

-You've done it.

-I knew you would get there eventually.

-What about that?

0:40:380:40:42

-That's good.

-You've got a pool house to go with it.

-It looks a good size.

0:40:420:40:46

-Any idea what size it is?

-It's that big.

0:40:460:40:50

'I said that this property is massive and it really is

0:40:510:40:55

'as there are plenty of lawn gardens, a greenhouse to indulge Fred's gardening ambitions

0:40:550:41:01

'and a tennis court and paddock, so how much is it on the market for?'

0:41:010:41:05

Oh, there's the burning question.

0:41:050:41:08

I'm lost on this one.

0:41:080:41:10

All right, I'll have a shot, I'll have a shot.

0:41:100:41:13

-It's 1.55.

-I think it's more.

0:41:140:41:18

-Well, you go ahead.

-I say 1.7.

-1.7.

0:41:190:41:22

Well, it was on the market for 1.85.

0:41:220:41:27

There you go, did it again.

0:41:270:41:29

However... It's been reduced to 1.55.

0:41:290:41:33

You were absolutely right, Fred. What do you think about that figure?

0:41:330:41:37

It would require some thinking about and a bit of work to be done.

0:41:370:41:41

-It's still within budget.

-Yes.

-But I know you'd want to spend some money on it.

-Well, he would.

0:41:410:41:47

-Have a look around and start making that list, Fred. I'll catch up with you later.

-The list's already there.

0:41:470:41:54

-I dread to think how long it is.

-It's not how long it is, it's how much it is!

0:41:540:41:59

Go on then, off you go. See how much it might cost you.

0:41:590:42:02

This Georgian farmhouse is on the market for £1.55 million.

0:42:020:42:07

You get a lot for your money, so could this be the one?

0:42:200:42:23

This is one of my favourite rooms.

0:42:230:42:26

Yes, very comfortable, very cosy. Nice fireplace. Plenty of light coming in.

0:42:260:42:32

Good dimensions and it's the double aspect again, isn't it?

0:42:320:42:37

You know, as they say, the first few minutes are what sells the property to you.

0:42:370:42:42

So I did, I got that warm feeling.

0:42:420:42:44

There are things certainly that need to be done.

0:42:440:42:48

And Fred being Fred, I know we'd have to address the ceilings

0:42:480:42:52

because there are a few cracks about.

0:42:520:42:55

But I don't know many people that would buy a property that was spot-on, everything.

0:42:550:43:01

We would always have to do something.

0:43:010:43:03

I like the grounds. The swimming pool is a plus. The tennis court is a plus-plus.

0:43:030:43:09

So all in all, I think the house really has a lot to offer us.

0:43:090:43:13

-Right, guys, out you come.

-OK.

0:43:150:43:18

I think that was definitely worth having a look at.

0:43:180:43:21

-Yes, I think so.

-It was interesting.

-I'm glad you think so. I think it's terrific.

0:43:210:43:26

-But there's plenty more to see, so I'm gonna whisk you away.

-Good.

0:43:260:43:31

At last, I can reveal the mystery house to Fred and to Rosemary.

0:43:370:43:41

This picture postcard white cottage behind me offers some clue as to what it is.

0:43:410:43:47

It's typically Dorset and it is thatched, but, believe you me, it's a lot bigger.

0:43:470:43:52

What do you think would make the perfect mystery house?

0:43:560:44:00

Well, I was on the internet and I did see a beautiful property.

0:44:000:44:05

The only thing was it was £5 million!

0:44:050:44:08

But if you could have scaled that all down, I don't need a helicopter pad, that would have been perfect.

0:44:080:44:14

'Rosemary will be relieved that the mystery house is well under £5 million,

0:44:140:44:19

'but it's still got plenty going for it.

0:44:190:44:22

'It's in Hammoon, eight miles from Blandford Forum.

0:44:220:44:25

'Set against a quiet rural backdrop,

0:44:250:44:28

'Hammoon does have a parish church dating from the 13th century,

0:44:280:44:32

'but for shopping, it's a short drive to Sturminster Newton,

0:44:320:44:36

'a pretty town beside the River Stour.

0:44:360:44:39

'The streets are lined with thatched cottages and there's a good selection of shops and pubs.'

0:44:390:44:45

Now then, that's what I want you to feast your eyes on.

0:44:460:44:50

That's a proper house. You've saved the best till last.

0:44:510:44:55

A 15th century manor house, Fred.

0:44:550:44:58

-Grade 2 star listed, so just one off Grade 1. Handsome enough for you?

-Can't wait now.

0:44:580:45:04

'This house is brimming with old-world charm,

0:45:040:45:07

'but, as we'll discover, it does need some attention.'

0:45:070:45:11

-Right, come on in.

-A nice big hallway.

-Lovely hallway. We'll explore that later.

0:45:110:45:16

But come on in here. What do you think of all this?

0:45:160:45:20

-This is nice.

-It's a good sized room, isn't it?

0:45:200:45:24

-Indeed, very good.

-A huge room.

-And I like this.

0:45:240:45:28

It's very, very interesting. All sorts of features around this house. Great big lumps of oak everywhere.

0:45:280:45:35

-But quite surprising, the height of the ceilings.

-Yes.

-Good.

-Right, come with me through here.

0:45:350:45:41

-That's nice and bright, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:45:410:45:45

You've got this mullion bay window and this nice, big fireplace.

0:45:450:45:49

Great big lintel on top of it.

0:45:490:45:52

What would you be moved to tackle with this?

0:45:520:45:55

I don't think you would touch this room at all.

0:45:550:45:59

-You'd leave it painted...?

-Yeah.

-Well...

-I might change the colour.

0:45:590:46:03

-It might be very, very dark.

-I wouldn't darken it.

-From the oak panelling.

0:46:030:46:08

'I thought Fred would be itching to do some renovations,

0:46:080:46:11

'but so far, he is being very relaxed, which is good news.

0:46:110:46:15

'Aside from the two main reception rooms, there's a small snug with a stone fireplace and carved surround.

0:46:150:46:21

'And then there's the kitchen.'

0:46:230:46:25

-Oh, my goodness!

-That's a bit of a surprise.

-They've suddenly come up to date.

-That's not bad, is it?

0:46:250:46:31

It's totally unexpected. I don't really know what I did expect.

0:46:310:46:36

I didn't expect a modern Aga and all sorts of things in here.

0:46:360:46:41

-I think it works. It's certainly big enough.

-It is. The kitchen's big enough.

0:46:410:46:46

And you've still got all these lovely features,

0:46:460:46:49

these lovely stone mullion windows, leaded lights and so forth.

0:46:490:46:53

-So far, so good?

-Yes, yes.

0:46:530:46:56

Let's go upstairs because I think that's where it probably needs a bit of attention.

0:46:560:47:01

-But there are seven bedrooms to play with.

-Oh, I didn't expect that!

-Yeah, seven.

0:47:010:47:06

'Upstairs, there's a good sized family bathroom and the first two bedrooms are generous doubles,

0:47:060:47:13

'one of which has an en-suite.

0:47:130:47:16

'Then there are a further three bedrooms all of a similar size which just leaves two left to see.'

0:47:160:47:22

Creaky floorboards.

0:47:220:47:24

-Well, as long as I don't go through it.

-That's the ghost coming in again.

0:47:240:47:29

I'm sure there are one or two ghosts around here. You never know!

0:47:290:47:33

-How are you feeling about this property?

-I think it's a really wonderful property.

0:47:330:47:38

But is it engaging you to think about, "Oh, yeah, we'd want to take that on and do it"?

0:47:380:47:45

-Yeah, we're maybe ten years too late!

-Don't say that. You're never too young, Fred!

0:47:450:47:50

It's not the "too young" he's worried about, it's the "too old".

0:47:510:47:55

It might take me ten years to do it all.

0:47:550:47:59

OK, it's not over yet. Let's have a look at the rest of it.

0:47:590:48:02

'I think there's plenty of life left in Fred yet and maybe he could be persuaded to take on this project,

0:48:020:48:08

'especially when he sees the next room.'

0:48:080:48:11

-More squeaky boards.

-Oh, my goodness!

0:48:110:48:14

But this is extraordinary. These painted boards with these stars on,

0:48:140:48:18

it's thought these go back to the origins of the building.

0:48:180:48:22

They are a really historic part of it.

0:48:220:48:26

-To be honest, they probably do need some measure of conservation at some point for the future.

-Yes.

0:48:260:48:32

-But nonetheless, well worth seeing.

-It's amazing.

-You're sleeping under the stars!

0:48:320:48:37

-It caught my eye as soon as I came in.

-The stars are shining down on you, yes.

-Not bad.

0:48:370:48:43

There's a lot to show you outside.

0:48:430:48:45

-It was a working farm and that'll give you some clue as to what you might find out there.

-Lead on, sir.

0:48:450:48:51

Let's have a look.

0:48:510:48:53

'At the back of the house, there is a large courtyard surrounded by brick outbuildings,

0:48:530:48:58

'including a coach-house.

0:48:580:49:00

'Unusually, the main garden is a short walk from here, but there is lots to keep Fred out of mischief.'

0:49:000:49:07

Now in here is a little secret.

0:49:080:49:10

-How do you fancy a walled garden, Fred?

-Yeah, it's very nice. It looks pretty.

0:49:130:49:19

-Isn't it?

-Yeah, it's a very charming place.

-Very charming.

-Lovely.

0:49:190:49:23

-Very, very private.

-Just a little quiet haven.

-Totally private.

0:49:230:49:28

It's the garden for the house because you don't have sweeping lawns and all the rest of it.

0:49:280:49:34

But you do get 11 acres.

0:49:360:49:38

Oh, gosh, right.

0:49:380:49:40

You get two very big paddocks, all the farm buildings, the walled garden and you get the house.

0:49:400:49:46

Good.

0:49:470:49:49

-Are you still excited?

-Oh, absolutely.

0:49:490:49:52

Let's go back and have another look at the property from the outside.

0:49:520:49:56

In this sunshine, it's gonna look gorgeous and you can tell me how much you want to pay for it.

0:49:560:50:02

So we're back where we started outside the front of this beautiful building,

0:50:040:50:09

begging the question, how much do you think it's worth?

0:50:090:50:14

I think finished it's probably worth 2.5 and it's possibly 750 to do it.

0:50:140:50:20

-So, 1.75.

-Rosemary, what do you think?

0:50:200:50:24

I think because of the history, etcetera, attached to it, perhaps 1.8?

0:50:240:50:29

1.8? OK.

0:50:290:50:32

It's on the market for 1.3 million.

0:50:320:50:35

There you go. That's a surprise.

0:50:350:50:37

-It is the cheapest of the properties that we have shown you.

-Surprising.

0:50:370:50:42

-Go and do some maths. Have a wander round and I'll catch you later.

-I'll count on my fingers.

0:50:420:50:48

-And your toes, I expect! I'll catch you later.

-Thank you.

0:50:480:50:52

This historic thatched manor house is on the market for £1.3 million.

0:50:520:50:57

The house does require some sympathetic updating, but has plenty of charm and character.

0:51:030:51:09

So are Rosemary and Fred ready to be lord and lady of the manor?

0:51:150:51:19

I do like this room. It's very nice, isn't it?

0:51:190:51:23

-Great proportions.

-Good fireplace.

-I do love that inglenook.

0:51:230:51:26

When we first arrived, I just looked at the house and I thought it was absolutely superb.

0:51:260:51:32

I was excited about getting inside to see what it would reveal.

0:51:320:51:36

I like the front room. I really like the mullion windows.

0:51:360:51:41

I like the main rooms, the drawing room, the dining room. I really like the walled garden.

0:51:410:51:47

The only thing, as I look at it, there's a lot of work to be done,

0:51:480:51:53

a lot of money to be spent.

0:51:530:51:55

And am I too old to take it on?

0:51:550:51:58

All right, then. The day is coming to a close.

0:52:040:52:08

That was it, guys, that was it, the final house of the tours.

0:52:080:52:12

-Lots to think about?

-Lots to think about.

0:52:120:52:15

-Fancy a drink?

-I'd love one!

0:52:150:52:18

Come on, then.

0:52:180:52:20

'Rosemary and Fred are discerning house buyers, but we've given them plenty of options.

0:52:290:52:36

'So now for the tricky part - trying to reach a decision.'

0:52:360:52:40

As you can probably see behind me, the light is going

0:52:420:52:46

and our journey is almost over with Fred and with Rosemary,

0:52:460:52:50

but not before we have found out if they have decided whether or not any of the properties could be for them.

0:52:500:52:56

They are all worth an awful lot of money. The question is, are they gonna part with any?

0:52:560:53:00

Well, Fred, Rosemary, this is the end of our journey through Dorset

0:53:060:53:10

and some of the properties it has to offer.

0:53:100:53:12

Let's see how successful it may have been. It started with the Victorian farmhouse.

0:53:120:53:18

-What did you think of that?

-I liked the house.

0:53:180:53:21

I think we could improve the house by putting on a garden room.

0:53:210:53:25

At the walled courtyard, there is certainly room there for a swimming pool.

0:53:250:53:30

So there's a lot of things we could actually do

0:53:300:53:34

to improve the look and the value of the house.

0:53:340:53:37

-What about the kitchen? It was quite special.

-The kitchen was great.

0:53:370:53:41

-Yeah, a good kitchen.

-It had all the space you would need.

0:53:410:53:45

Absolutely. The kitchen was good.

0:53:450:53:48

Then we took you to something different, the white house on the hill.

0:53:480:53:51

what did you make of that? The view was amazing.

0:53:510:53:54

The view was stunning.

0:53:540:53:56

But once we thought about it,

0:53:560:53:59

and thought about the garden,

0:53:590:54:01

to be realistic,

0:54:010:54:04

we're not getting any younger and I think it was...

0:54:040:54:08

Fred thinks differently!

0:54:080:54:10

It was an all-work garden.

0:54:100:54:11

There certainly wouldn't have been anything relaxing about that garden.

0:54:110:54:16

-Nothing relaxing?

-No.

0:54:160:54:18

-I think it's too much work for us.

-OK.

0:54:180:54:20

Then another day dawned and we took you to something with much more manageable amounts of land,

0:54:200:54:26

that Georgian farmhouse. What did you think of that as we arrived?

0:54:260:54:31

I liked that one. I liked that one a lot. I liked the appearance of it.

0:54:310:54:35

And I felt that the grounds were manageable.

0:54:350:54:40

-It had everything that we wanted.

-And a pool.

-It had a pool, a tennis court. Everything was there.

0:54:400:54:47

But there were a few cracks and things inside

0:54:470:54:51

that I don't think the boss liked.

0:54:510:54:53

No, I think that house had an awful lot more work to be done.

0:54:530:54:59

And if we're talking about budget, I think we were going to go way over the budget

0:54:590:55:05

if we continued with that house.

0:55:050:55:07

OK. Then we took you to something very different, the mystery house.

0:55:070:55:12

The old manor house. What did you make of that one?

0:55:120:55:15

Certainly it was very interesting, but I wouldn't know where to start as regards renovations or anything.

0:55:150:55:22

But I think there would be a heck of a lot.

0:55:220:55:26

Although it was the cheapest house, when you add on the price of the renovations, you're way over budget.

0:55:260:55:33

It would work out the most expensive house of the four.

0:55:330:55:37

I'm gonna ask you for a decision. What happens now?

0:55:370:55:41

I like the Georgian one.

0:55:410:55:44

Fred likes the other.

0:55:440:55:47

So I think we'll have to go back and have another look at both properties and then compromise in some way.

0:55:470:55:54

I'm sure whichever one you do decide upon, if you do,

0:55:540:55:57

it will be a terrific house, once it's finished.

0:55:570:56:01

-I look forward to coming back and seeing you in there with everything done.

-You would be very welcome.

0:56:010:56:07

-It'd be a great pleasure.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:56:070:56:10

Well, Fred and Rosemary are now well on their way back to their gorgeous chateau in the south of France.

0:56:160:56:23

It's given me more time to consider what this house search was about.

0:56:230:56:27

When it started, it seemed like the sky was the limit and we had a fantastic budget and great houses.

0:56:270:56:33

But Fred's determination to throw several hundred thousand pounds at any one of the properties

0:56:330:56:39

made me wonder perhaps this was less about finding a home and more about finding a labour of love.

0:56:390:56:45

But sometimes that's what property is all about. I'll see you next time.

0:56:450:56:50

If you'd like to escape to the country and would like our help,

0:56:500:56:53

then why not apply online at:

0:56:530:56:55

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:160:57:19

Email [email protected]

0:57:190:57:22

Jules Hudson visits Dorset to help a homesick couple swap their French chateau for a 1.6 million pound country house in the English countryside. They are after a period property with five bedrooms, all with en-suites, at least three reception rooms, a large kitchen diner with a cooking range and three acres of land. Jules shows them a selection of impressive houses but will any tempt them to buy?


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