Suffolk Escape to the Country


Suffolk

Home relocation series. Alistair Appleton visits Suffolk to help a couple dreaming of returning to the rural life. They need a house with an outbuilding and a large garden.


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Transcript


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Today I'm in a county that would look very, very different if it wasn't for this stuff - wool.

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For example, this church behind me wouldn't exist.

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Find out where I am later on, on Escape To The Country.

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I think I've dropped a stitch.

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Oh, dear! Come here. That's it, pull that through.

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In today's show we'll be helping a couple escape

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their traffic-clogged urban environment

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for a new home in the country.

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But finding space for their large bed immediately becomes a problem.

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Rethink the bed? Oh, no.

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You can't buy a property around a bed, surely?

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I don't know. I dress round my shoes!

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We take them on a grand tour of the best properties the area has to offer.

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-Oh, that's more like it.

-Yes, this is a better option, I think.

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And as ever, there's the mystery house.

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But will any of our properties excite them enough to set the wheels of the removal van in motion?

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I'm in Suffolk which, back in the golden age of the 15th century, boomed with the wool trade.

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And it saw the rise of lots of these fantastic wool churches.

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Like the one here in Lavenham.

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Now, the wool trade then slightly went down the pan.

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But, wool-related hobbies are still much in evidence.

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Apart from it's historic wool industry, Suffolk has much more to offer.

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It's one of Britain's largest counties,

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with just under 500 square miles to its name.

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With few hills, much of the land is flat and low laying,

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lending itself well to arable farming.

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It enjoys 40 miles of Heritage coastline,

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with sand and shingle beaches that draw in the tourists every year.

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Inland, the county is characterised by its trademark pink houses

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that give this corner of the country its unique look.

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Suffolk is a perfect county to retreat to,

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if you want to get a country lifestyle, but not be too remote.

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Because it's filled with these beautifully preserved villages,

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packed with gorgeous vernacular architecture,

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and yet there's still very good train links into London.

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So it's a surprise that house prices are quite reasonable here -

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2.5% under the national average.

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Which means that an average detached house clocks in at £258,000,

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which is good news for today's buyers.

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And they are Jan and Eileen, who live in

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this three bedroom bungalow in Rayleigh in Essex with their lovely dog, Harvey.

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They were both brought up in rural communities.

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Jan in Kenya and Eileen in Ireland.

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So they're both used to wide, open spaces.

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When they bought this property seven years ago they thought it was in the perfect location.

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But now they're at the end of their tether.

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Since we've lived in this area it's actually become overdeveloped.

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It's lost a bit of its sort of village quality.

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And small town quality.

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So we'd like to go to the countryside to get a bit of that back, really.

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We're much more comfortable in that, sort of, arena.

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That's right. I like my goats.

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He wants goats.

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It's not just the lure of peace and quiet that's prompting this move though.

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Jan and Eileen run an insurance business from a converted summer house in their garden.

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But while the business has expanded, their office space unfortunately hasn't.

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And now they're desperately in need of more room.

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And with a new house on the cards,

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they've sorted out their priorities, inside and out.

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This is my kitchen at the moment, which I obviously really like.

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I would like a slightly bigger dining area,

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so that people can sit and talk to me while I'm cooking,

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which is a really great hobby of mine.

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I would, if possible, like to have a utility room.

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That would be really great, as well. But no smaller than this.

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This is our upstairs master bedroom.

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Unfortunately, Eileen has an ongoing medical condition called ankylosing spondylitis

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which is making it increasingly difficult for her to manage the stairs.

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Ideally in our new property

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we'd like to have a downstairs bedroom, preferably en suite.

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Even if this involved an extra reception room that could be converted.

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I'm proud that in the last few years I've been growing vegetables.

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As you can see they're all in pots.

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But if we get somewhere with a vegetable plot,

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that would be really fantastic and we can grow even more.

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And finally, they'd also like parking for two or more cars for when they have visitors.

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Jan and Eileen plan to stay in this next house for many years.

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So they've had their thinking caps on as to their wish list.

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I'd really love an open fire, or a log burner, or something.

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Something really nice and big.

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What sort of things would you like?

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I'd love a view of the water.

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That would be fabulous, wouldn't it?

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If somebody could conjure up a little jetty so I could moor a boat.

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-That may be asking a bit too much. But it'd be great.

-But it'd be great.

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So what does all this boil down to?

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The main thing is character.

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We'd like minimum three bedrooms. One hopefully with an en suite.

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Love a utility room and a larger lounge.

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With a big garden and outbuildings, or a very large garage or shed.

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We can't wait to get property hunting, but first we've asked a local estate agent

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to put a value on the property they bought seven years ago.

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A three bedroom detached chalet, on a corner plot, lots of character.

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Close to Rayleigh station and all the amenities.

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I value it at £250,000.

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Frankly, I'm quite disappointed in it.

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-I think, even in the current market, I think it was quite low.

-Yeah.

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Given that bad news, how much money is available for this move?

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If it had everything that we wanted, and it ticked all of our boxes,

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it would be 450,000.

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Jan and Eileen's wish list is not so unusual. They want space -

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space to socialise, space for a veggie patch, space for cars.

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The only fly in the ointment could be Jan's desire to be by the sea.

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Because I've heard that for properties by the coast in Suffolk,

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you have to add another £30,000 to your budget.

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With family and friends in Essex, Jan and Eileen are keen

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to keep relatively close to their current home.

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We're directing the search

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towards the middle and south of Suffolk.

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I'll be taking them on a tour of superb properties.

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As ever, I'll keep the price tags under wraps until they've given the property the once over.

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Our journey will end at the mystery house,

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specially selected to offer something just a little bit different.

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Eileen and Jan's property hunt is well under way but if you're inspired to live in Suffolk,

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whatever your budget, take a look at these.

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At the top end of the market sits this former rectory in Coombes,

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on the market for 2.25 million.

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With six bedrooms and almost as many reception rooms,

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it's a grand residence.

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And if you like a spot of gardening, you won't be disappointed with the 20 acres that this house sits on,

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with their fantastic views.

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If your pocket's not so deep but you still fancy a rectory,

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how about this slightly smaller version, on the market in Stanton for £750,000.

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It has a superb entrance hall and although it has retained its period features,

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there's a contemporary feel throughout.

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Alternatively, with half-a-million to spend, this four-bedroom Victorian house in Somerleyton

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is waiting to be snapped up. There's a large family-style diner,

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a bathroom with a rolltop bath,

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and the ever-popular wood burner will keep you toasty warm in winter.

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Welcome to Suffolk, you guys. Now one of you went to school here.

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-Who was that?

-That was me.

-It was you.

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-Many years ago.

-Many years ago.

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-Have you got over the trauma?

-Just about.

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-This whole move here is like therapy?

-That's right.

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Very good. You don't have such bad memories?

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No, not at all. I've stayed in a couple of the towns in Suffolk.

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We've travelled through quite often. It's absolutely beautiful.

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It is a beautiful county. Sometimes overlooked. There's some lovely property.

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-I think so. We're looking forward to it.

-I hope so.

-How much do you have to spend?

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We've put a cap of about 450 on it.

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-But it would have to tick all our boxes before we would spend that, really.

-Probably.

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OK, that's tops. Excellent. We've got lots of houses to show you,

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including the mystery house, which is a bit of a twist.

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-Shall we get going?

-After you.

-Lovely. Looking forward to it.

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So, Jan and Eileen have a budget of £450,000 for the perfect property.

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They're looking for three bedrooms, preferably with one en suite.

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One of the bedrooms must be downstairs,

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or there needs to be an extra reception room to convert into one.

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They'd like an outbuilding for their business.

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And also a large garden for a vegetable patch.

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But to be honest, I think, for their budget,

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Jan will have to forego his waterfront dreams.

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A lot of people travel round the world and come back fondly to Suffolk.

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What is it that attracts you to Suffolk particularly?

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It has all the countryside that we're after.

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But it's close enough to our current proximity so that,

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with family ties, we can get there quick enough, if it's needed.

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So are you really hankering to have some wide open spaces and...

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Big time.

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-Very much.

-It's just so relaxing. You don't have to...

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It feels relaxing without you doing anything.

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The first house on our tour is on the outskirts of Halesworth,

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36 miles from Stowmarket.

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With a plentiful selection of independent shops,

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and not forgetting the popular weekly market,

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this place will offer Jan and Eileen the convenience of a town

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but without major congestion.

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Our first house is a barn conversion about a mile outside the town centre.

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And with just a couple of other neighbours, it's a peaceful environment.

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-This is the house I want to show.

-Looks lovely.

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What do you think of the area? It's pretty quiet, isn't it?

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-It's beautiful, yeah.

-Just what we're looking for.

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No pesky traffic here.

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-No, no. It's gorgeous here.

-So as you can see it was a farm house.

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And these are the outbuildings.

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And this barn was converted about 12, 13 years ago.

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I like the windows. I like the light that seems to be going into it.

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-Yeah.

-Looks lovely.

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Anything with timber on it goes for me.

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Yeah, he's very fond of wood.

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-Well, let's look inside.

-Lovely. Thank you.

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Come on in.

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You've got a downstairs loo, down here. Good nice porch.

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It's lovely. I like this.

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-You've got a dog, haven't you?

-Yes.

-Yes.

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So, it would be good to able to clean him down, before you come in.

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Oh, this is lovely and light.

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This is the main living area. As you see, it's very open plan.

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-How do you feel about open plan?

-I like open plan.

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Yes, I like it, yeah. Very nice.

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Come forward a bit. And you can see the full glory.

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You see, you've got a lovely gallery.

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You can see all the beautiful green oak.

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Nice hard wood conservatory. Can you imagine living here? Is this what you're looking for?

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I love the space. I love the roominess. I really do. It's great.

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-The view's are fantastic.

-They are wonderful. We'll look at the garden later.

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This space is multipurpose. As you can see, it links straight through to the kitchen.

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Of course, yes.

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-It's lovely.

-Oh, it's stunned you into silence.

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It's, it's really...it's lovely.

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-I would have liked it a little bit bigger, if I'm honest.

-Bigger?

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-Hmm.

-Right.

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In what sense, bigger?

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-Bigger, so that you have more people bustling around.

-Right.

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A nice utility room with washing machines and white goods.

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-Oh, lovely.

-And larder.

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And then this is the sort of cooking area.

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And this is your seating area.

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-Social area, yeah.

-It's quite big.

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Yes. Maybe the ceiling's a little bit low.

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-The ceiling's very low.

-Is that what it is? It feels...

-Right, yes.

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The ceilings in both this room and the sitting room have been lowered to give you space upstairs.

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Let's look at the other room with low ceilings, the sitting room.

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-Step inside.

-Oh, this is lovely.

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-Yeah, it's great.

-Really like this.

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This is the sort of retiring room.

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And the fire. Is that a log fire?

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A log burner, yes. Gives off a load of heat.

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Lots of lovely windows. That's really nice. Very nice.

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Again, lower ceilings. But I think here it's less...

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Yes, it's not necessary for you to have high ceilings.

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Everything works in this room. I think it's absolutely stunning.

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-I love the doors.

-Strip them down they'll be even better.

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I think Jan and Eileen like the feel of this property.

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It's a wonderful space and I do have an option for the downstairs bedroom, but I'll reveal that later.

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Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, but what will they make of them?

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Oh, this is beautiful, isn't it?

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-This is the master bedroom.

-OK.

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-It's not massive but it does have a very nice en suite.

-Right.

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-Right.

-Through there. And here just gigantic, pretty much walk-in wardrobe.

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-Oh, lovely.

-That's fantastic. Yeah, you'd like that.

-Yes. Lovely.

-We have one problem.

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-What's that?

-The size of the bed.

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-Do you have a massive bed?

-Yes.

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-Oh, really. Maybe you need to either, rethink the bed... Oh, no!

-Rethink the...

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You can't buy a property around a bed, surely?

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I don't know. I dress around my shoes!

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THEY LAUGH

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Well, I can't argue with that.

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Next door is a small double bedroom.

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And next to that, the family bathroom,

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which is fresh and bright and has plenty of character with those beautiful beams.

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This bedroom is essentially the fourth bedroom,

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-but they're using it as a study.

-That's very nice.

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But it's Jack and Jill, with this bedroom, where you might just get a king-size bed.

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Oh, that's more like it.

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Yes, this is a better option, I think.

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-That certainly is more like it.

-I mean, you lose the en suite.

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That's OK. It would make a nice guest room with the en suite.

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If my mum came it's easier for her. She doesn't have to move far to get to it.

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-Yeah. The en suite isn't a huge issue for us, is it?

-No.

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-There's always a quick exit through here.

-Oh, I love it.

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The galleried landing doubles as a seating-cum-reading area

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with a great view of the living space below.

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But we're heading out to explore the garage attached to the house.

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-Got a big double garage.

-Wow.

-My thought was,

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-you're obviously looking for office space.

-We are, yeah.

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-Whether this would be anywhere near big enough.

-Oh, yes.

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-It would.

-Good. It'd be nice if you glassed it. You'd have lots of lovely light.

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-It would be beautiful.

-It'd be lovely. This is lovely.

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It would be more than enough room.

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Your other alternative is that you turn this into the bedroom.

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Make this into a kind of bedroom space.

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-Down the line we could.

-That's an idea. Hadn't thought of that. Yes.

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-The sit-on lawn mower comes with the property.

-Oh, does it?

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-I've always wanted a sit-on lawn mower.

-Yes? Good.

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So you have to buy the house. Step out. If you just want to close the door behind you.

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-Oh, this is lovely.

-It's a really good size plot.

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You've got a big stretch of lawn. Hence the sit on lawn mower.

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-You've got a space over there for a veggie patch.

-Lovely.

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Over there, though it looks like the brow of a hill, it's actually just arable fields.

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It's great. It's got huge potential. Yeah.

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Although you've got next door close to you, on the other side you're not at all overlooked...

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-No.

-No, that's right.

-..which is rather nice.

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Let's turn round and look at the house from this side. It's a lovely property.

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Some barn conversions aren't terribly successful

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but they've done a really nice job with this.

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-The present owners have kept it in tip-top condition.

-Beautiful.

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How much do you think it's worth?

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-425.

-Oh, I'd have said 420.

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So we're around the same mark.

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Right, it's actually on the market at 450.

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-OK.

-But it's been on the market for two months.

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And, of course, this is very much a buyer's market at the moment. So, you'd be wise to put in an offer.

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Why don't you have a stroll around the property, and I'll meet you out the front?

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-Great.

-Thank you.

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Wow. It's great. They seem to like everything,

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which is quite unusual for a first property.

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Usually there's a lot more downsides, but it is a great house.

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I'm very pleased that that garage would be big enough for their office.

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That makes a real difference.

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At £450,000 this characterful barn conversion is bang on budget,

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It has an open plan living area, four bedrooms, with one en-suite,

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a garage that could be converted into office space, or a downstairs bedroom,

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and it sits on half an acre

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that offers plenty of opportunity for Eileen's vegetable plot.

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I think we'd use this all the time,

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apart from perhaps late in the evening or if we had visitors.

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-Interesting. Because I think I'd hole up next door.

-Oh, really?

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I do. I love it next door.

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It's a stunningly beautiful property. Think it's been very well done.

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When I first came into the kitchen, I was a bit caught back,

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because it appeared small.

0:17:030:17:05

I know logistically it wasn't small.

0:17:050:17:08

And it's growing on me, I have to say.

0:17:080:17:10

The major con is the bedroom issue.

0:17:100:17:13

We would need the garage as an office, really.

0:17:130:17:16

To convert it into a bedroom, it's not as easy as it might sound.

0:17:160:17:20

Absolutely love it.

0:17:200:17:22

-All done?

-Lovely. Thank you.

0:17:220:17:23

-Absolutely.

-My pleasure. Well, Suffolk awaits.

0:17:230:17:26

-So, shall we press on?

-Lovely.

0:17:260:17:28

Jan and Eileen may not be moving far from their home in Essex,

0:17:380:17:42

but nevertheless, they haven't covered much ground in Suffolk,

0:17:420:17:44

so they're making a start with Needham Market, which sits at the heart of their search area.

0:17:440:17:50

This small town grew up around the wool combing industry

0:17:500:17:52

until the plague in 1663, which swept through the town, killing two thirds

0:17:520:17:57

of the population. It took over 200 years for the town to recover.

0:17:570:18:03

Today, it's home to 4,500 people and a beautiful 15th century church.

0:18:030:18:08

Needham Lake just outside the town is a relaxing place for a stroll.

0:18:080:18:13

It is completely man-made after a gravel pit was flooded in the 1970s

0:18:130:18:18

and today the site now includes a nature reserve, wetland area, and woodland.

0:18:180:18:24

-Just beautiful, isn't it?

-Gorgeous. Absolutely lovely.

0:18:290:18:34

-This would be an ideal place to come back to, wouldn't it?

-Lovely.

0:18:340:18:38

And there's just time to stop for tea and cake and take stock of Suffolk so far.

0:18:380:18:42

-We've chosen the right area.

-We've made a good move with Suffolk.

0:18:430:18:47

-It looks great.

-Lovely. I think the people are lovely.

0:18:470:18:51

Everywhere we've been, everyone's said hello, haven't they?

0:18:510:18:54

It's just what we're after, so far.

0:18:540:18:57

Suffolk seems to fit like a glove. Let's just hope Jan and Eileen make the right property choice.

0:18:570:19:03

Our next house sits in Brockley, four miles from Bury St Edmunds.

0:19:080:19:15

The nearest big village is just a mile or so away and filled with immaculately painted houses,

0:19:150:19:20

in the pinks and yellows that are typical of the region.

0:19:200:19:24

Today, the colour is probably the result of modern paint but in years gone by

0:19:240:19:28

it was the traditional materials such as lime or clay that gave the buildings their distinctive colour.

0:19:280:19:33

The property I'm about to show Jan and Eileen is believed to date back to the 16th century

0:19:330:19:38

and if it's character they're after, it comes by the bucketload in this house.

0:19:380:19:42

The sun shines on the righteous property seeker.

0:19:430:19:47

-It certainly does.

-Beautiful, isn't it?

0:19:470:19:49

-Bit of a change of gear.

-Yes.

0:19:490:19:51

Oh, look, a lovely apple tree.

0:19:510:19:53

Whoa, fantastic.

0:19:530:19:56

Here, you are a bit more secluded, not attached. You do have neighbours

0:19:560:20:01

-at a decent distance.

-Lovely.

0:20:010:20:02

What do you think from the outside?

0:20:020:20:05

-I think it looks really pretty.

-It ticks a lot of boxes.

0:20:050:20:08

You're smiling much more.

0:20:080:20:09

Let's take a stroll over the bridge. Very nice grounds.

0:20:090:20:12

-A little stream here.

-Oh, wow.

-Oh, yes.

0:20:120:20:17

-Isn't it nice?

-Beautiful.

0:20:170:20:18

-Yes, very nice.

-Smashing.

-It was originally two workers' cottages.

0:20:180:20:22

Then the present owners completely renovated the inside to make it one property.

0:20:220:20:26

-Lovely.

-Any first impressions?

0:20:260:20:30

It feels really nice and homely.

0:20:300:20:31

-If it's as good in as it is out, it will be great.

-Good vibes coming from the outside. Let's go inside.

0:20:310:20:37

More gardens. Lots of garden out the front. There's also the back which we'll see later.

0:20:450:20:50

In you go, for the first time.

0:20:500:20:53

-OK.

-Oh, look. Stone floors.

0:20:530:20:56

-Yep.

-Nice flagstones. You've got a downstairs loo there.

0:20:560:21:01

But kitchen first.

0:21:010:21:03

Here we are.

0:21:030:21:06

-Not massive.

-No, it's not big.

0:21:060:21:08

Wood's lovely though.

0:21:080:21:10

Yes, all bespoke units. They've all been put in by the present owners.

0:21:100:21:14

-Lovely sort of range cooker.

-That is beautiful.

0:21:140:21:17

It's slightly deceptive, because you've got a very nice pantry.

0:21:170:21:21

-Oh, yes.

-With a bit of washing space. Then, here, this is interesting.

0:21:210:21:26

This links the two buildings - there's a little secret get-through,

0:21:260:21:29

when the two were separate.

0:21:290:21:32

I have to admit it's not massive but this may be the point where you reconfigure your dreams,

0:21:320:21:36

in terms of having a massive kitchen-diner,

0:21:360:21:39

-because the dining room, I think, really makes up for it.

-OK.

0:21:390:21:42

Oh, now, this is lovely.

0:21:490:21:51

I see what you mean. Beautiful.

0:21:510:21:54

It's bright, you've got windows at the sides.

0:21:540:21:58

And a fireplace there, it's beautiful.

0:21:580:22:01

That's actually the bread oven at the back of the cottage,

0:22:010:22:05

which would have been outside,

0:22:050:22:07

and they've reclaimed a beam and kind of extended out.

0:22:070:22:10

-It's lovely.

-Clever stuff.

0:22:100:22:12

Could you use this? Could you make it work in terms of living, eating?

0:22:120:22:16

-Oh, yes, yes.

-Oh, this, yes. Certainly.

-No, that's fine.

0:22:160:22:20

Let's take a look. Now we're going into the second cottage.

0:22:200:22:25

Wow, this is nice.

0:22:260:22:27

-Here, you've got the full width of the building.

-Very nice.

-You certainly have, haven't you?

0:22:270:22:33

-Beautiful, isn't it?

-It's been done marvellously. It's fabulous.

0:22:330:22:36

-Come through down here...

-I love the fireplace, look at that.

-Blimey!

0:22:360:22:42

You could roast a hog on that!

0:22:420:22:44

-The local blacksmith made that hood.

-Really?

-Mm-hmm.

0:22:440:22:49

You've actually got three rooms - this extra new room,

0:22:490:22:52

-the old room here and the sort of study snug at the front there.

-OK.

0:22:520:22:56

The reason we wanted you to see this property in particular is not just this lovely old lounge,

0:22:560:23:02

but this room.

0:23:020:23:04

-A downstairs bedroom.

-A downstairs bedroom.

0:23:070:23:10

-And, if you mind your back, an en suite!

-Oh, and an en suite.

0:23:100:23:15

This used to be the workshop and this would have been an outside washroom,

0:23:150:23:21

-with the original brick floor.

-Oh, yes.

0:23:210:23:23

-Lovely little en suite.

-Yes.

0:23:230:23:26

-What are you thinking?

-I'm thinking it wouldn't make a master bedroom,

0:23:260:23:32

it's a bit small, but it would be great for Mum.

0:23:320:23:36

'Oh, dear. That's not worked out as well as I expected.

0:23:360:23:40

'Nevertheless, there are three more bedrooms upstairs and a pretty special landing too.'

0:23:400:23:45

-Isn't that great?

-Oh, that's lovely.

0:23:480:23:50

-Very striking.

-Blimey.

0:23:500:23:53

So many of these early rafters get tidied up, but I think it's really lovely.

0:23:530:23:58

All the bedrooms up here are doubled and of course have those superb exposed timbers.

0:23:580:24:03

The bathroom is no exception and comes complete with a Victorian rolltop bath,

0:24:030:24:08

and finally, there's the bedroom for them.

0:24:080:24:11

-This is what they're using as the master bedroom.

-It's a bit small, isn't it?

0:24:110:24:17

-We'd need to change it.

-A giant bed might be a bit overwhelming...

-It would have a bit of a problem, yes.

0:24:170:24:24

Do you think the upstairs space is adequate, or not?

0:24:240:24:27

I think the rooms are fine for guest rooms. I think we were perhaps looking,

0:24:270:24:32

whether it's unrealistic, I don't know, for a bigger master bedroom.

0:24:320:24:36

I don't know if it's realistic to turn two into one.

0:24:360:24:39

It is a possiblity. We're looking to have a home rather than a house with market value,

0:24:390:24:45

-so...

-I'm not expecting it to be spot on from the first day.

0:24:450:24:50

No, you can't. You do have to make compromises.

0:24:500:24:53

That's right.

0:24:530:24:56

I still think downstairs makes up for the upstairs,

0:24:560:24:59

but there you go!

0:24:590:25:00

-Shall we look outside?

-Lovely, thank you.

0:25:000:25:03

I think it's clear Jan really likes this place,

0:25:030:25:06

but I'm starting to see the upstairs might be a bit small for them.

0:25:060:25:10

Time now to take a peek at the garen, which offers a few possibilities.

0:25:100:25:14

-As well as a big garden, you get a pond.

-That's lovely.

0:25:140:25:18

-Not every house has a pond.

-Wow.

0:25:180:25:20

-Ducking pond, I would think.

-Would your little dog like that?

0:25:200:25:23

Do you think? I'd be frightened he'd jump in.

0:25:230:25:26

No, he doesn't like water, he's disinterested.

0:25:260:25:28

There's a little family of moorhens he might be more interested in.

0:25:280:25:32

He'll bark at them from the side.

0:25:320:25:33

You also have, at the back, a little plot of land,

0:25:330:25:36

-which could be good for a vegetable garden, I thought.

-Wow, yeah!

0:25:360:25:39

What this doesn't have is that nice, ready-made outside office.

0:25:390:25:45

-There are a couple of options. The garage at the front.

-Yep.

0:25:450:25:48

Which is substantial, but probably too small...

0:25:480:25:50

-Too small.

-At the moment, yes.

-Then there's all these outbuildings,

0:25:500:25:53

which you could knock down and maybe build something else.

0:25:530:25:56

-It rather depends on what's left over from the budget.

-Of course.

0:25:560:25:59

Which also depends on how much this costs, so, what do you think the price is?

0:25:590:26:03

I would have said, realistically, about 350.

0:26:030:26:08

-I would have thought about 375.

-Would you?

0:26:090:26:12

Asking.

0:26:130:26:15

Well, again, you're slightly under, both of you.

0:26:150:26:18

It's actually just £5 short of 400.

0:26:180:26:20

-OK.

-Right.

0:26:200:26:22

-Deep in thought, now. You were very enthusiastic...

-I still love it.

0:26:220:26:26

-Yeah?

-I do, I love it.

0:26:260:26:28

-Have a wonder around, and again, we'll meet out the front.

-Thank you.

-Great.

0:26:280:26:33

Well, interesting, I think we have a bit of a...

0:26:330:26:36

because Jan really seems to love it and I think Eileen is much more sensible.

0:26:360:26:42

And you can see that it is lovely, and has a lovely feel,

0:26:420:26:46

but it is lacking some of the things they're looking for,

0:26:460:26:49

and it was interesting that they both guestimated quite a way under.

0:26:490:26:54

So they thought it was going to be more of a bargain than it is.

0:26:540:26:56

At £5 short of £400,000, this 16th-century cottage

0:26:560:27:02

offers them all the character they're looking for.

0:27:020:27:04

A large lounge with inglenook fireplace,

0:27:040:27:06

four bedrooms including one downstairs with an en suite,

0:27:060:27:10

a utility room and a garden large enough for a vegetable patch,

0:27:100:27:14

and to erect an outbuilding for their office space.

0:27:140:27:17

This would be ideal for the office but that's not quite big enough, is it?

0:27:170:27:21

No, you'd have to extend the footing and get rid of that.

0:27:210:27:23

Build a new one on, and it's not wired or plumbed, so it's not cheap to do.

0:27:230:27:30

-I was going to say, that's money.

-Yes.

0:27:300:27:32

It's a lovely house. It has a lovely feel.

0:27:320:27:35

The front of the house is beautiful.

0:27:350:27:37

If we were dreaming of a house, that would be the look that we were looking for.

0:27:370:27:41

It has tremendous character. The pond is lovely,

0:27:420:27:44

and, from the front, it's gorgeous. Picture postcard.

0:27:440:27:48

I was surprised at the price. I thought it would be lower.

0:27:480:27:51

Erm... If it had been lower, I would have been more positive,

0:27:510:27:55

cos it would have given us the funds to do the changes that we would have wanted to do.

0:27:550:28:00

-Seen enough?

-Yeah.

-Lovely, thank you.

0:28:000:28:02

Let's get going.

0:28:020:28:04

Jan has always fancied trying his hand at making stained glass.

0:28:110:28:15

So, we're visiting Assington Mill, where they run short courses.

0:28:150:28:19

'John has been perfecting the art for over 30 years,

0:28:190:28:23

'so we're in good hands.'

0:28:230:28:25

So, stained glass windows.

0:28:250:28:26

I imagine it's mostly to do with churches. Is that wrong?

0:28:260:28:29

Well, you can be mainly church orientated, or...

0:28:290:28:33

I specialise in listed buildings and more decorative windows.

0:28:330:28:38

-Right. And have you got anything we can look at?

-Yes.

0:28:380:28:42

That's based on a Celtic knot design.

0:28:420:28:45

That's beautiful.

0:28:450:28:47

And this one is a decorative panel, based on the arts and crafts period.

0:28:470:28:52

'I'm not sure we're up for anything quite so intricate today,

0:28:520:28:56

'but I can't wait to get stuck in.'

0:28:560:28:58

You do sometimes get splinters.

0:28:580:29:00

'With the safety gear on, it's time to cut the glass.

0:29:000:29:04

'This Tungsten wheel glass cutter scores the glass,

0:29:040:29:08

'but it's a fine art to get it just right, instead of breaking the glass.

0:29:080:29:12

'Then it's a matter of cutting the lead frames that hold all the pieces together.

0:29:150:29:19

'The glass is held snug by farriers' nails, until the lead frames are all in place.

0:29:220:29:27

'And finally a quick soldering job, to bind the lead frames.'

0:29:330:29:38

That's it. Just a small amount.

0:29:390:29:42

-That's it. Perfect.

-Yay! Is that all of them?

0:29:420:29:45

Yup, all done. And there we have it.

0:29:450:29:48

The finished item.

0:29:480:29:49

Beautiful, isn't it?

0:29:490:29:52

Look at that.

0:29:520:29:54

It's fantastic.

0:29:540:29:56

-Now, obviously this is going to go in your front door.

-Oh, wow!

0:29:560:30:00

Your new front door panel. Thanks so much, John.

0:30:000:30:02

-Thank you.

-Thank you, John.

-Thank you.

0:30:020:30:06

It's the end of day one of property searching for Jan and Eileen,

0:30:170:30:22

and time to collect their thoughts.

0:30:220:30:25

What did you think about the barn?

0:30:260:30:28

The location was stunning.

0:30:280:30:29

I loved the location as well.

0:30:290:30:31

The garage would make an ideal office.

0:30:310:30:33

-With not a lot of work to it.

-Oh, nothing at all.

0:30:330:30:36

The views from the back, I mean, they were just stunning.

0:30:360:30:40

-Beautiful.

-Absolutely.

0:30:400:30:42

The sitting room was, I think, the best room we've seen.

0:30:420:30:44

It was just a little bit pricey, wasn't it?

0:30:440:30:47

It was a bit pricey, and that was about the only thing with it.

0:30:470:30:51

I honestly can't find much negative to say about it.

0:30:510:30:54

-What about the white cottage?

-The white cottage, when I first saw it,

0:30:540:30:58

I thought I'd just seen the house of my dreams,

0:30:580:31:01

and then, on reflection, it actually has, for us, a number of problems,

0:31:010:31:06

it would be very complicated to set up a proper office,

0:31:060:31:09

the garage is too small, it would need to be rebuilt.

0:31:090:31:13

I was disappointed by the small kitchen, which was compensated

0:31:130:31:17

by the large dining room. It was obviously a really loved home

0:31:170:31:21

and that fireplace I just thought was stunning.

0:31:210:31:24

-It was definitely a home.

-Yeah, it was definitely homely.

0:31:240:31:27

The barn... Cheaper!

0:31:270:31:29

So far, yeah, barn - cheaper, let's hope they'll find us some houses

0:31:290:31:33

that will match our expectations tomorrow.

0:31:330:31:36

Absolutely.

0:31:360:31:37

Jan and Eileen, from Rayleigh in Essex, are looking for a new home in Suffolk.

0:31:460:31:50

They have a budget of up to £450,000.

0:31:500:31:53

But, for that kind of cash,

0:31:530:31:55

the house must meet all their requirements,

0:31:550:31:57

including having an outbuilding, so they can continue running their business from home.

0:31:570:32:02

So far, they've viewed two houses, packed with character,

0:32:020:32:06

but it seems neither are spot-on. Coming up, a room that blows Eileen away...

0:32:060:32:10

Oh, this is gorgeous.

0:32:100:32:12

Oh, yes.

0:32:120:32:14

And a mystery house, where I have a few thoughts of my own.

0:32:140:32:17

I can see your cunning plan.

0:32:170:32:18

Can you guess what I'm getting at?

0:32:180:32:21

Day two of our property search for Jan and Eileen.

0:32:250:32:27

They're such a lovely couple, I'm determined to find what they need.

0:32:270:32:31

Yesterday, we were very close,

0:32:310:32:33

but I think things like flow are very important.

0:32:330:32:36

Particularly for Eileen. So today's houses, I think,

0:32:360:32:39

might just do it.

0:32:390:32:41

We're ready and raring to go this morning.

0:32:410:32:43

Our first house is in Stradishall, 11 miles from Bury St Edmonds.

0:32:430:32:48

The small village has a mix of housing styles,

0:32:480:32:50

from beautifully thatched cottages to the brightly-painted period houses, typical of Suffolk.

0:32:500:32:56

The house I'm about to show Jan and Eileen

0:32:560:32:59

lies on the outskirts of the village. It's a beautiful property.

0:32:590:33:03

I just hope they're not put off by the busy road.

0:33:030:33:07

-The house is lovely. Busy road, though.

-Oh, I say.

0:33:070:33:09

-House is lovely, but busy road.

-Yes!

0:33:090:33:11

This is unfortunately the big drawback of this property.

0:33:110:33:16

It's on the A143 to Bury.

0:33:160:33:17

But I couldn't resist showing this property to you,

0:33:170:33:20

because in many ways, it seems to give you everything you want.

0:33:200:33:24

It looks like it from the outside.

0:33:240:33:26

It's a farm worker's cottage. Originally, it was thatched.

0:33:260:33:31

It's in this very striking pink colour, Suffolk pink,

0:33:310:33:34

which came from the time when there was a restriction on what colours you could paint your house.

0:33:340:33:39

You had to use white wash, but for variation,

0:33:390:33:42

they used to mix pig's blood in.

0:33:420:33:43

This is not made with pig's blood, but obviously it's still this striking Suffolk pink,

0:33:430:33:47

-which you see all over the county.

-I think it's beautiful.

0:33:470:33:50

It looks in beautiful nick.

0:33:500:33:52

It is, in many ways, the perfect property. But it is on a busy road.

0:33:520:33:56

Come on in.

0:34:030:34:05

Lovely.

0:34:050:34:07

It's a lovely quarry tiled hallway.

0:34:070:34:10

-This is very practical. I like that.

-This is the sitting room.

0:34:100:34:14

Oh, that's lovely. I love the fireplace.

0:34:180:34:20

I love the windows. There's lots of light in here.

0:34:200:34:23

-Beautiful.

-Yeah, really comfortable. Really nice homely feel, isn't it?

0:34:230:34:27

-Reasonable height on the ceilings.

-It's not a listed building,

0:34:270:34:30

so you've got double-glazed windows which is good for the noise and to keep the heat in.

0:34:300:34:36

-Like it?

-I do, very much. Yes.

-What is it you like?

0:34:360:34:38

Just about everything, actually.

0:34:380:34:40

It's a combination of open but cosy, isn't it?

0:34:400:34:43

And you could always shuffle the furniture up.

0:34:430:34:45

-Well, it flows on from here into the dining room.

-OK.

0:34:450:34:48

Now, here the ceiling gets quite low.

0:34:480:34:50

Oh, this is lovely.

0:34:500:34:52

-It is beautiful, though. Yeah.

-Again, they've kept the light, with the windows. I like that.

0:34:520:34:57

It's a good size for a country cottage.

0:34:570:34:59

This would have been the whole downstairs of the original cottage.

0:34:590:35:03

-Everything else is actually the extension.

-I see.

-Oh, it's a brilliant size.

0:35:030:35:07

But the crux of the matter, for you, is the kitchen.

0:35:070:35:10

Lead on.

0:35:100:35:13

-It's good news for me because it's higher ceilinged.

-This is really nice.

0:35:130:35:17

-Oh, it's bigger than I thought it would be.

-Yes.

-Yes, much.

0:35:170:35:20

But it's a great size kitchen.

0:35:200:35:22

It's a lovely size, and I love the nook and cranny they've kept there.

0:35:220:35:26

And the flooring's very practical.

0:35:260:35:28

-It is.

-Lovely quarry tile. Is this sort of more what you were thinking?

0:35:280:35:32

Yes. You can actually, sort of, get in there and do a bit of cooking.

0:35:320:35:36

You've still got people sitting there, chatting to you, which is what I like.

0:35:360:35:40

You still hear a little bit of the traffic.

0:35:400:35:42

-We're here at the road end of the house.

-Yeah.

0:35:420:35:46

-That's a shame, isn't it?

-It really is a shame.

0:35:460:35:48

-Everything so far has been lovely.

-Told you. The innards are all very good.

0:35:480:35:52

Stunning inside. Yeah.

0:35:520:35:54

-There's one more thing on the ground floor which I think is interesting.

-Ah.

0:35:540:35:58

-Oh, yes.

-Oh, this is gorgeous.

0:36:060:36:08

-It's good, huh?

-Yeah, yeah.

0:36:080:36:10

-That is good.

-Were you expecting that?

0:36:100:36:13

-No, no, I really wasn't.

-That is excellent.

0:36:130:36:16

It's a great space, isn't it?

0:36:160:36:18

And I was thinking this would perhaps make a nice downstairs bedroom.

0:36:180:36:23

-It certainly would, actually.

-It could, indeed.

-Yes.

0:36:230:36:27

-If you wanted, you could even box that in and make that an en-suite.

-An en-suite.

0:36:270:36:31

I was just looking at that.

0:36:310:36:32

Oh, and the lovely French doors out to the garden.

0:36:340:36:37

-Clearly this is at the back of the house so you don't have the traffic noise.

-No.

0:36:370:36:42

No, this is really lovely.

0:36:420:36:44

The space is very practical,

0:36:440:36:46

and that's very apparent upstairs.

0:36:460:36:48

Ah, excellent.

0:36:480:36:50

They're not going to be short of bedrooms in this house.

0:36:510:36:54

Upstairs there are five more, including the master.

0:36:540:36:58

The first three are reasonable size doubles which can accommodate their guests.

0:36:580:37:03

Then the family bathroom, which has a separate shower.

0:37:030:37:06

But I want to see their reaction to the last bedroom arrangement.

0:37:060:37:10

And here it is...

0:37:100:37:11

This is just the little boy's room - it's billed as the fifth bedroom,

0:37:150:37:18

but it's really just a through room.

0:37:180:37:21

This is the master.

0:37:210:37:23

Now, this is beautiful.

0:37:230:37:26

-Big enough for the bed.

-Oh, definitely.

0:37:260:37:28

-Big enough for the bed.

-Yeah.

0:37:280:37:30

But the thing that really makes this...

0:37:300:37:32

I can just see the bath poking out.

0:37:320:37:35

This is one of the nicest en-suites I've seen.

0:37:350:37:38

Oh, it's beautiful!

0:37:380:37:41

Because not only have you got a beautiful roll top bath, and lovely wooden floors,

0:37:410:37:45

but huge walk-in dressing room wardrobe.

0:37:450:37:48

-Oh, my goodness!

-Floors are stunning.

-Aren't they great?

0:37:480:37:52

Oh, I love it. Absolutely beautiful.

0:37:520:37:54

-This is something quite, quite special.

-Yes.

0:37:540:37:57

-It's a big selling point, isn't it?

-It really is. It's gorgeous.

-Good, good, good!

0:37:570:38:02

Wonderful.

0:38:020:38:03

Now, the last remaining piece of the jigsaw

0:38:030:38:06

is your office space and the garden.

0:38:060:38:09

And they have that too.

0:38:090:38:11

I'm so pleased they really like this house.

0:38:110:38:14

Just wait till they see what's outside.

0:38:140:38:16

Nice vine here, for your grapes.

0:38:180:38:20

-It's beautiful.

-And this is the double garage.

0:38:200:38:23

There's a very big garage downstairs.

0:38:230:38:25

-Don't want to show you that, because that's good space, but I want to show you upstairs.

-OK.

0:38:250:38:30

-Come in.

-Oh, wow!

-So, it's a fully fitted annexe.

0:38:340:38:37

-Oh, blimey!

-Kitchen,

0:38:370:38:40

and then through here, carpeted, heated, beautifully light, double-glazed.

0:38:400:38:46

Oh, make a lovely office, wouldn't it?

0:38:460:38:49

-Perfect office.

-It's amazing!

-They've put in these stud walls, and made a little bedroom,

0:38:490:38:54

-but there's a bathroom.

-Wow.

0:38:540:38:56

So, if you take these walls down, you'd have a really nice office.

0:38:560:39:01

-This is brilliant.

-Yeah. Fantastic.

-We were very excited to find this.

0:39:010:39:04

This seemed to be everything you were looking for, minus the road.

0:39:040:39:08

-It totally is, actually. Yeah.

-It's absolutely stunning.

0:39:080:39:11

-It is brilliant. Marvellous.

-Let's go out into the sunshine and have a quick look at the garden.

0:39:110:39:16

It's not the biggest garden I've showed you.

0:39:210:39:23

It's relatively small, although it does wrap round the whole property.

0:39:230:39:28

They've got a rather nice aviary, with some exotic birds,

0:39:280:39:31

-but you won't be woken up by those. They'll be taken!

-Oh!

0:39:310:39:34

-What do you think about the size of it?

-I think it's lovely.

0:39:340:39:37

It's very beautiful. It's plenty big enough.

0:39:370:39:39

Oh, plenty big enough.

0:39:390:39:41

-So, how much do you think it's on the market for?

-It's got to be the 450.

0:39:410:39:45

475?

0:39:450:39:48

Well, you'll be glad to know that it's just under, actually.

0:39:480:39:52

-It's 445.

-Oh, wow.

0:39:520:39:54

So, it's under your top end of your budget,

0:39:540:39:56

but it all comes down to the road,

0:39:560:39:58

-and whether you can live with that.

-There is nothing else wrong

0:39:580:40:02

with this house, other than the road. Everything else is absolutely perfect. It really is perfect.

0:40:020:40:07

There's always a fly in the property ointment.

0:40:070:40:09

But you can't always get everything, can you?

0:40:090:40:12

It's just whether or not you can put up with that traffic.

0:40:120:40:15

Why don't you go in the house and see how bad it is?

0:40:150:40:17

-Then, as usual, we'll meet out the front.

-Thank you.

0:40:170:40:21

We really did good with this property.

0:40:220:40:25

I mean, look at that, an office right next to the house.

0:40:250:40:28

They can move straight in, with all their business.

0:40:280:40:31

But that road is quite loud. I don't know if I could live with that.

0:40:310:40:34

But as Eileen said, got to make some compromises somewhere.

0:40:340:40:40

At £445,000, this cottage would offer them everything they're looking for.

0:40:410:40:46

There's a large kitchen diner, three reception rooms -

0:40:460:40:49

one of which could be converted into a downstairs bedroom -

0:40:490:40:53

four to five bedrooms upstairs, with a master en-suite,

0:40:530:40:57

and an outbuilding which is ready to go as an office.

0:40:570:41:00

It's perfect in every way, but will the traffic noise let it down?

0:41:000:41:03

This is the most amazing property.

0:41:030:41:05

It is absolutely wonderful.

0:41:050:41:07

You could move in here tomorrow.

0:41:070:41:09

For our needs we wouldn't need to do anything to it at all.

0:41:090:41:12

It's superlative. It's brilliant.

0:41:120:41:14

I absolutely love the property.

0:41:140:41:16

There isn't a thing wrong with it.

0:41:160:41:18

It's got all of the space that we need.

0:41:180:41:21

It's got all the different places that we need, plus more.

0:41:210:41:24

Totally ideal, except the road.

0:41:240:41:27

With regards to the traffic noise, if Eileen felt that she couldn't live with it,

0:41:270:41:31

then it would be a non-starter.

0:41:310:41:34

But I can be a bit persuasive.

0:41:340:41:36

Maybe there is something that we can do to combat the noise.

0:41:360:41:40

As ever, Jan will come up with a plan.

0:41:400:41:42

And we'll see where we go from there.

0:41:420:41:44

The good thing is, it's not far to the main road.

0:41:450:41:48

Eileen has an interest in arts and crafts

0:41:590:42:02

and is hoping, when they move, to find more time to dabble.

0:42:020:42:05

So, they're visiting the Museum Of East Anglian Life

0:42:050:42:09

where we've arranged for Jo

0:42:090:42:11

to show them the traditional Suffolk craft of rag rug making.

0:42:110:42:16

First of all, you take an old piece of sacking, and a piece of material,

0:42:160:42:20

and a hook like this.

0:42:200:42:22

You take your hook, and you push it through.

0:42:220:42:25

Push your little lever down.

0:42:250:42:27

Open up the hook. Take your piece of material, pull it through.

0:42:270:42:32

Go back again.

0:42:320:42:34

Put it back in the hook.

0:42:340:42:36

And then pull it though, and there you have it.

0:42:360:42:39

-The beginning of your rug.

-It's as easy as that.

0:42:390:42:42

So, now it's Eileen and Jan's turn.

0:42:420:42:45

Rag rugs can be dated back to Viking days, and possibly before.

0:42:450:42:49

They saw no sense in wasting clothes when the floors were stone cold.

0:42:490:42:53

-Suddenly torn strips of clothing were found handy for making rugs.

-Very good!

0:42:530:42:59

With a bit of practice, I'm sure it won't be long before

0:43:000:43:03

Eileen's well on her way to making long-lasting rugs like these ones.

0:43:030:43:07

A windmill! ..Is not what we found as the mystery house.

0:43:170:43:21

Because, of course, windmills are tiny.

0:43:210:43:23

And what we're looking for is space. They really want space.

0:43:230:43:26

And so this mystery house that I'm going to show them now has space coming out of its ears.

0:43:260:43:32

The last property is the mystery house. Which, as the name suggests, is mysterious.

0:43:350:43:39

What do you think the mystery might be?

0:43:390:43:42

-I have no idea.

-I don't know. It's nothing like the other properties.

0:43:420:43:46

-So, I guess it might be semi-urban, or something?

-Could be.

0:43:460:43:50

Or something really fanciful, like...

0:43:500:43:53

I mean, do they have windmills in Suffolk?

0:43:530:43:56

Not very big, windmills, are they?

0:43:560:43:58

It doesn't really answer your space issue.

0:43:580:44:00

Unconverted barn?

0:44:000:44:03

How interested are you in a bit of a project?

0:44:030:44:07

Provided we can work while we're doing it.

0:44:070:44:10

Yes, exactly.

0:44:100:44:12

That would be fine.

0:44:120:44:13

Must remember to strike out those mud huts I was going to show you.

0:44:130:44:17

Our mystery house is in Saxtead, 16 miles from Stowmarket.

0:44:200:44:24

The place is best known for its windmill, which has gained ancient monument status.

0:44:250:44:30

But locally there's not much else.

0:44:300:44:33

Earl Soham, a short distance away, however, is a busy small village.

0:44:330:44:37

Sitting in the heart of agricultural land, there's no shortage of locally grown fruit and veg,

0:44:370:44:42

and a good selection of locally reared meat.

0:44:420:44:45

There's a pub for the odd drink,

0:44:450:44:47

and, conveniently, a vet for their dog, Harvey.

0:44:470:44:50

The house stands well back from the road so there's no traffic noise.

0:44:500:44:54

I know it's unorthodox, but this is the mystery house, so bear with me.

0:44:540:44:58

-We're not going to look at the house first. We're going to look at all this lovely space.

-Wow!

0:44:580:45:03

Because all of this could be yours.

0:45:030:45:05

-Don't!

-It's about two-and-a-half acres of land.

0:45:050:45:09

But this whole paddock is yours. And the manege.

0:45:090:45:12

This is a horsey property. And I know you're not particularly horsey.

0:45:120:45:16

-But where there are horses, there are...?

-Stables.

0:45:160:45:19

-Stables.

-Yes, indeed.

0:45:190:45:22

Now, am I right, you're not... you don't ride horses, no?

0:45:220:45:25

-I like horses, actually, yes.

-We have done.

-Yes, we do a bit.

0:45:250:45:28

-But goats are cheaper.

-You want to raise goats?

-Yup.

-Goats are perfect.

0:45:280:45:32

Jan has always wanted a goat.

0:45:320:45:34

There isn't an outside office here. But there is space for one.

0:45:340:45:38

You've got footings. At the moment, you've got a temporary solution

0:45:380:45:41

in the sense that you've got stables...

0:45:410:45:44

-which have got electricity and water.

-Oh, excellent.

0:45:440:45:48

-Well, that sort of project is a no problem.

-No. That's ideal.

0:45:480:45:52

That got the reaction I was looking for! Now it's down to the house.

0:45:520:45:55

This is all your front garden, too. You're not short-changed on gardens.

0:45:570:46:02

-Wow!

-It's lovely, isn't it?

0:46:020:46:04

There is a road here. But this is not even a B road.

0:46:040:46:07

There is traffic going past. But nothing like...

0:46:070:46:09

-The last property.

-And this is the property.

0:46:090:46:12

Which, yet again, is an old agricultural worker's cottage.

0:46:120:46:16

What do you think about the aspect and land thing?

0:46:160:46:19

-Oh, beautiful.

-Fantastic.

0:46:190:46:21

Wasn't expecting quite so much land.

0:46:210:46:23

-But, no... I mean, wow.

-Yeah, no. Lovely.

-Brilliant.

0:46:230:46:26

-Shall we take a look inside?

-Great.

0:46:260:46:29

-Come on in.

-Oh, this floor is lovely, isn't it?

0:46:350:46:37

-It's been done up to such a nice standard.

-Yeah, beautiful.

0:46:370:46:41

-Oh, wow.

-Nice living room.

0:46:430:46:46

This is the living room. Quite low ceilings, I just about clear it.

0:46:460:46:49

But you can see that here these beams, or these downward struts,

0:46:490:46:53

would have been this back of the cottages.

0:46:530:46:55

-Yeah.

-Everything beyond that is an extension.

0:46:550:46:58

Love all the windows around.

0:46:580:47:00

Yeah. And as you come through here, the ceilings lift.

0:47:000:47:03

You've got a very nice big study through there.

0:47:030:47:06

Which could, possibly, be that downstairs bedroom.

0:47:060:47:09

We don't have a lot of playing room with the downstairs, as it stands.

0:47:090:47:14

But might be an option.

0:47:140:47:17

-This is lovely.

-It's a bit more petite than the properties I've been showing you.

0:47:170:47:22

-It is.

-But it's cosy.

-Yes.

-It is. It's cosy, it's snug.

0:47:220:47:26

-Beautiful views out to the garden.

-Absolutely.

0:47:260:47:28

And then we go across, back into what would have been the other cottage, for the rest of the house.

0:47:280:47:34

-Oh, yeah.

-Oh, this is beautiful.

0:47:360:47:38

You see, here, we have the original part of the cottage.

0:47:380:47:41

But, again, done up in a modern way, with this lovely flooring.

0:47:410:47:45

-I love the floor. And a fireplace.

-It's a beautiful fireplace, again.

0:47:450:47:49

Log burner. And then we go through into the kitchen.

0:47:490:47:53

-It's, again, not massive.

-It's nice though, isn't it?

0:47:530:47:58

-Oh, I love that.

-It's not minute though, is it?

0:47:580:48:00

No, no. And it's closely connected to the dining room?

0:48:000:48:03

-Yeah, it is.

-It's got some beautiful features, I think.

0:48:030:48:06

There's the lovely granite work top throughout.

0:48:060:48:09

-Bespoke wooden units.

-That's lovely. That's beautiful.

0:48:090:48:13

The kitchen meets with Eileen's approval.

0:48:130:48:16

And off here is a good-sized utility room, with a door to the garden.

0:48:160:48:20

But I can't help but wonder what they'll make of the next room.

0:48:200:48:24

It's a downstairs bathroom.

0:48:290:48:32

-Yes.

-Very nice.

-Very nice.

0:48:340:48:37

However...it's the only bathroom.

0:48:370:48:40

-Ah.

-Very ah.

0:48:400:48:42

I did wonder.

0:48:420:48:44

It's slightly old-fashioned having a bathroom next to the kitchen, but...

0:48:440:48:49

-It is.

-I'm not sure how convenient either.

0:48:490:48:51

Yeah, you might have to reintroduce the chamber pot.

0:48:510:48:54

-Yeah!

-But there are some possibilities upstairs. Let's look.

0:48:540:48:58

-OK.

-'As suspected, they're not enamoured with that situation.

0:48:580:49:02

'But I might be able to put that right upstairs.

0:49:020:49:05

'The first room up here could easily fit a double bed.

0:49:050:49:08

'And then there are two connecting rooms, which I have plans for.'

0:49:080:49:12

This...is the master.

0:49:120:49:15

Gosh.

0:49:160:49:18

-Oh, that's lovely.

-That's a feature and a half, isn't it?

0:49:180:49:22

Like the floors.

0:49:220:49:25

It's very striking. Amazing old original floorboards.

0:49:250:49:28

So rare to see, they're usually torn out.

0:49:280:49:30

And very high ceilings. They've used the whole pitch of the roof.

0:49:300:49:34

-Yeah. The aircraft carrier will just about fit.

-The bed will fit in!

0:49:340:49:38

Then you come through here. It's billed as a second bedroom,

0:49:380:49:41

but is my grand plan for up here.

0:49:410:49:43

It's a big room. But it's not suitable as a bedroom.

0:49:430:49:46

Because obviously you've got to go through your bedroom to get to it.

0:49:460:49:50

-I can see your cunning plan.

-Can you guess what I'm getting at?

0:49:500:49:55

-This would be a great en suite.

-It would.

0:49:550:49:57

You're right above the bathroom, down below.

0:49:570:50:00

You can just drop the stuff straight through. Yeah, no, totally.

0:50:000:50:03

-That would work.

-Do you feel happier?

0:50:030:50:05

-A lot happier.

-Well, let's go outside and talk about prices.

0:50:050:50:10

After you.

0:50:100:50:11

Ah, the lovely big apple tree.

0:50:160:50:19

-Beautiful.

-So, they haven't done an awful lot, bit of landscaping here.

0:50:190:50:23

But it's essentially as is.

0:50:230:50:26

-That wouldn't bother us, would it?

-No. Scope for development.

0:50:260:50:30

-The house, I know, has a few constraints.

-Yes.

0:50:300:50:32

But you can see here, from the back, what you could do to extend out.

0:50:320:50:36

-You'd just go up the whole floor.

-And come across. You could, indeed.

0:50:360:50:40

So, how much do you think it costs?

0:50:400:50:42

I would say 380.

0:50:440:50:46

-400.

-God!

0:50:470:50:50

Well, it's on at 425.

0:50:500:50:51

-Oh, really?

-You've always been on the optimistic side with your guesses.

0:50:510:50:58

But, because of the land, I guess, and the way it's been finished up.

0:50:580:51:02

Take a walk and I'll see you out the front.

0:51:020:51:05

-Great.

-At £425,000, this house is well within Jan and Eileen's budget.

0:51:070:51:12

It has the character features they're looking for, three bedrooms,

0:51:120:51:16

stables that could be converted into an office,

0:51:160:51:19

and 2.3 acres of land, including a paddock.

0:51:190:51:23

I think that this room is the star room in the house.

0:51:230:51:26

I agree. It's got such character, and it's large enough.

0:51:260:51:29

Although it's got quirky bits, it's still large enough. It's beautiful.

0:51:290:51:34

Really is. I loved the grounds and the stables, when I saw them. I thought it was great.

0:51:340:51:39

Could certainly convert the stables into a decent office.

0:51:390:51:42

The house is beautiful from the outside. The land is fantastic, a real bonus.

0:51:420:51:47

-I wasn't expecting that.

-I guess the price it's up for

0:51:470:51:49

reflects the amount of land that goes with the property.

0:51:490:51:53

But again, as what we're looking for is a house to live in, rather than huge tracts of land,

0:51:530:51:59

-for us, it's far too dear.

-Oh, there you are.

0:51:590:52:02

So, let's move on. The weather's closing in.

0:52:020:52:05

Time for some decisions.

0:52:050:52:07

Finding a cosy home with suitable office space isn't so easy.

0:52:180:52:23

Jan and Eileen have now viewed all our properties,

0:52:230:52:26

and it's time to weigh up the pros and cons.

0:52:260:52:28

Oh, this is a close call, this one.

0:52:280:52:30

Because a lot of the houses we've shown Eileen and Jan

0:52:300:52:33

have been almost perfect, but then there's been one flaw.

0:52:330:52:36

With the pink house, it was the road.

0:52:360:52:38

The mystery house, it was the bathroom.

0:52:380:52:40

So I think that my money will go on the first, the barn conversion.

0:52:400:52:45

But I've been wrong a lot on this show!

0:52:450:52:48

I've had a great time.

0:52:510:52:52

You've been wonderful, you're so responsive.

0:52:520:52:55

-We really enjoyed it.

-Very interesting, too.

0:52:550:52:58

The first property I showed you was the modern barn conversion.

0:52:580:53:02

What do you think of it now?

0:53:020:53:03

-It was beautiful.

-Yes, I'm more impressed with it in retrospect than I was at the time.

0:53:030:53:08

The house itself was lovely, and you couldn't have got a better location.

0:53:080:53:12

And the set-off sitting room was the best room we've seen anywhere.

0:53:120:53:15

Yeah, absolutely beautiful.

0:53:150:53:17

There was definitely a warm, homely feel. It could be cosy.

0:53:170:53:23

But great when we have family or friends round.

0:53:230:53:26

And we'd soon make the pristine kitchen not so pristine!

0:53:260:53:29

Exactly. You'd soon knock it into homely shape, I'm sure.

0:53:290:53:32

Then we saw the white house, the house in the middle of the country, but a little more surrounded.

0:53:320:53:38

The front facade and the area surrounding it, it looked ideal.

0:53:380:53:43

It was a pretty country cottage, wasn't it?

0:53:430:53:47

-And then we went inside.

-As we went inside, your enthusiasm dipped.

0:53:470:53:51

They'd lovingly changed it and you could see where it was developing to, but the flow wasn't there for me.

0:53:510:53:58

We heard ourselves doing the, "We could knock that down, we could change that,"

0:53:580:54:04

we didn't want too much of that.

0:54:040:54:06

We then looked at the pink house.

0:54:060:54:08

Looking back, what do you think about that?

0:54:080:54:10

I think we've both actually fallen in love with the house, all the outbuildings, and the land.

0:54:100:54:15

There isn't any other downside, other than that road.

0:54:150:54:19

It is the most stunning property. It is beautiful.

0:54:190:54:22

It was lovely.

0:54:220:54:23

But felt, again, felt so homely.

0:54:230:54:26

You felt as if, you know, you could very easily live there.

0:54:260:54:29

-Other than the road there was not a jot wrong with it.

-Nothing.

0:54:290:54:33

I mean, the facilities for the office was just...

0:54:330:54:35

more than we'd ever hoped for.

0:54:350:54:37

That was amazing. I mean, it ticked every box.

0:54:370:54:40

-Apart from the road.

-It was funny, as we walked round, you were going,

0:54:400:54:43

"It's such a shame about the road!"

0:54:430:54:46

-I know.

-Is it something you think you could get used to or not?

0:54:460:54:49

Jan's working on it.

0:54:490:54:51

And he can be very persuasive.

0:54:510:54:53

The mystery house didn't quite take off.

0:54:530:54:56

20 years ago, I would have gobbled it up.

0:54:560:54:59

And I'd have had horses and fences and all sorts of stuff.

0:54:590:55:02

But 20 years ago, I think.

0:55:020:55:06

I mean, having that paddock, it was just like, wow.

0:55:060:55:09

But it was sheer luxury. It wasn't anything that you could usefully use.

0:55:090:55:14

-Very disappointed at the bathroom downstairs.

-Disappointed? You were traumatised!

0:55:140:55:19

You went suddenly into your shell. You were horrified.

0:55:190:55:22

Did one stand out, of the properties?

0:55:220:55:24

Definitely the pink house.

0:55:240:55:26

It was... I was dreaming about it last night. I really was.

0:55:260:55:30

It's just so stunning.

0:55:300:55:33

I could definitely, I think,

0:55:330:55:35

compromise on the noise.

0:55:350:55:38

-What happens next?

-We need to go away, don't we?

0:55:380:55:40

And work a couple of things out.

0:55:400:55:42

Yes. Best plan of attack, so to speak.

0:55:420:55:45

We're trying to organise it so we don't have to sell our property before moving into the new one.

0:55:450:55:50

Wow. That will be an incredibly good bargaining point.

0:55:500:55:55

I don't know. I'll let her mull upon the road for a while.

0:55:550:55:59

And then we'll see.

0:55:590:56:00

And he can be very persuasive.

0:56:000:56:02

I'm sure. Well, it's been an absolute delight showing you round.

0:56:020:56:06

I know that you're not moving massively far,

0:56:060:56:09

but it'll make a huge difference to your standard of living.

0:56:090:56:12

Oh, I think it will. Definitely.

0:56:120:56:14

So, all the best. And may you soon be in Suffolk.

0:56:140:56:16

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

0:56:160:56:19

It's fantastic news that Eileen and Jan will buy without a chain

0:56:220:56:26

because that gives them enormous clout in the current market.

0:56:260:56:29

And if Jan wants to convince Eileen of the benefits of that pink house,

0:56:290:56:33

then he should invest in some earplugs for her.

0:56:330:56:36

Join us next time for more Escape To The Country.

0:56:360:56:40

And if you'd like to Escape To The Country yourself, and need our help,

0:56:400:56:43

please contact us through our website...

0:56:430:56:46

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:56:580:57:01

Home relocation series. Alistair Appleton is in Suffolk to help a couple dreaming of a return to the rural life of their childhood. They need a house with an outbuilding they can use for their growing insurance business and a large garden for a vegetable patch.


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