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Welcome to To Buy Or Not To Buy. We're in North London,
which is a hotbed for celebrities,
from the likes of Kate Moss to Gwyneth Paltrow.
And I believe our very own Ed Hall lives just over there.
Sorry about the delay. I was upstairs.
What a fantastic house this is! A million pounds they wanted.
I got it for half a million because I'm such a good negotiator.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
-It's a shed, Ed.
But it's detached, we're in Zone 1 and we're near the Tube.
I'll just say goodbye to the wife.
VOICE ECHOES See you later!
I said, see you later!
-Yeah, yeah. Come on, then.
Ed, I hope we can find today's buyers something better than that shed!
Charming(!) Rani, I call that home.
Our house-hunters today are Lise and Darien.
Lise, the one in the leotard, is a dance education manager.
Darien, at the keyboard, is an IT journalist.
They live together in a rented two-bed flat in Finsbury Park.
Having been in education longer than most to finish their PhDs,
they've lagged behind their peers who are already on the property ladder.
But now is the right time to plunge into the blink-and-you'll-miss-it London housing market,
and they're desperate to get into somewhere fast.
You two have been together for quite a while.
Why the big jump into buying your first property together?
It's not really a big jump. We've been living together in rented property for years.
In truth, we're happy in the house we're in right now,
but it's rented, and if, five or ten years down the line,
we want to live somewhere bigger or nicer - and I think we probably will -
then we need to start investing in a mortgage, building up a nest egg, moving on up.
Do you want old, new? Do you want dado rails, picture rails?
What do you want?
I think that isn't so important. Modern is fine. Victorian is fine.
-So the character isn't a problem. You don't mind the style.
-We're open about that.
We're more concerned about having a little bit of space,
because we both sometimes work from home.
What are we looking for? How many bedrooms? How many rooms?
Do you need separate offices to work in?
We'd love to find a three-bedroom property so we could have separate offices.
But realistically, because we're very keen to stay in Central London,
or at least within Zone 2 on the Tube map, let's say,
at our price points, we're happy, if there's a nice two-bedroom property, to stick with that.
-OK, that'd be good for you.
-You've got a lot of objects. Computers seem to be an obsession of yours.
-It's my work and my hobby.
-But do you need...? I've heard you've got ten.
-We do have ten, but let's be honest, I think most people...
Most people, if they're harsh with themselves, can get by with no more than four or five computers.
-Do you need space, with your dancing? Lots of dancing shoes, or instruments?
Not so much shoes, but for myself to move would be good.
Generally I can push things out of the way in the front room.
-I'm one of those things, normally.
-I push him out of the way so I can roll around a bit.
-So a good-sized living room?
-That would be good.
I'm looking at you as trouble, Darien, because you're in a band as well - or between bands.
-Have you got musical equipment?
-The equipment itself doesn't take a lot of space.
-How many guitars and keyboards have you got? 25, probably.
-No, I've only got three guitars.
And Lise's bass. And the keyboard.
-How many rooms did you want?
-Two, they said they'd be happy with.
You need a minimum of two bedrooms and a good-sized living room.
-What about the kitchen?
-It doesn't have to be huge or particularly well-stocked.
What is the major concern in this move? What is the major thing?
I would really not want to move somewhere where it suddenly took me twice as long to get to work
-or where it was a slog to get home of an evening.
Boil it down. Where do we need to be looking?
We're living in Finsbury Park now and we're on two Tube lines,
and I love being so well connected and so central.
If you go up the Northern line to Kentish Town, Tufnell Park, Archway,
those areas have the same good qualities, so that's where we've been focusing.
-I like to cycle to work. I don't do it enough.
-So space for your bike?
-Somewhere to keep a bike is good.
-How far from a Tube do you need to be?
-A nice walk. We could go to eight or even ten, but...
Ten is the push. And just so we know for speeds, do you walk at that kind of speed?
-Lise said he walks fast.
-Yeah, I walk quite quickly.
-Can you just do us the arm speed?
-About that speed.
-Yeah, I'm one of those head-down, determined walkers.
-What about you, Lise?
-Like me, you dawdle to the Tube station in the morning.
If it's ten minutes for Darien, it'll be 12 or 13 if you walk like that.
-I'm not objecting, though.
-You don't really mind.
Shall we go for the price? How much have you got to spend?
Will you go any higher? Will you hope to haggle?
-Because you're renting, you're in a great position, ready to go.
-310 is the real number.
-I like it! I think that's it, isn't it?
-I don't know how easy it'll be, cos I live around here.
-Do we have to get a Tube?
-Look at the time!
-We'll see you later.
-OK. Take care.
-Now, Lise I like. I love, even.
-Yeah, lovely girl.
And Darien I love, but he's also a nightmare. That's a fact.
He's not a nightmare, Ed. He's given us £310,000 to house him and Lise in a two-bedroom flat.
He also wants ten computers to live there with him, three guitars, a keyboard and a bike.
And he wants to get the Tube to work.
And it has to be within ten minutes walking at this speed.
So I'll go at this speed to the estate agent's.
And I will meander, like Lise, to meet the folks of London.
So today's search takes us to the vibrant and bustling areas of Finsbury Park,
and the slightly quieter and more leafy Tufnell Park.
A couple of miles north of the City of London, these areas have one major thing in common, the Tube.
The Northern and Victoria lines both have direct services to the City and the West End.
Flying in the face of the rest of the country, in these ever-popular areas of North London
the property downturn has faded into the ether, with prices already up this year.
It's slightly more affordable here than in the nearby heavyweights of Islington and Camden Town.
But even so, every inch of space seems to be at a premium.
The average price of a two-bed flat in Kentish Town and Tufnell Park is £400,000,
and a little cheaper, at about 325 grand, in Finsbury Park.
That's 100 grand above the national average,
which is around £225,000.
But before we see what Lise and Darien's budget will get them for £310,000 in London,
let's see what you can get elsewhere in the country.
If it's period style with modern convenience you're after,
look no further than this detached coach house in the Newton Mearns area of Glasgow.
Totally restored, it's got four bedrooms, a 20-foot reception room
and its own private drive.
Or how about this four-bed semi in the highly regarded Mapperley Park suburb of Nottingham?
This property boasts a contemporary kitchen with granite work surfaces
and a stunning living room.
And finally, this beauty of a thatched cottage in Little Billing, Northampton,
is full of period charm, with three double bedrooms, large conservatory and two inglenook fireplaces.
It's on the market for...
We should have got Darien up here.
I should have gone his pace and seen how fast I could walk to the Tube - like this. Go!
-Hello. My name's Ed.
-Hi. How can I help?
I have got a couple who are looking for a flat around here.
Yeah, everyone's late in London.
If you wanted a two-bedroom flat with a garden, what price range are we talking?
They start from about... as little as 330, 340, 350,
-and they go up to 500,000-600,000.
-So it can be expensive here.
-Have you seen the houses round there?
-I can't afford them, can I?
Well, I don't think so, but I don't know. You should be like me and be on the council.
It's booming at the moment. Near enough everything that comes on the market we sell straightaway.
Don't have time to chat. Everyone is busy in London.
Got to move fast, got to move fast!
We had 20 viewings on a Saturday - that was the second day of viewings.
-We had five offers on Monday.
-It actually sold for more than the asking price.
The people who are going to move here are dancers. Can you dance?
-Lise, learn from the best. This is what you have to do when you move here.
-You've got to learn from it.
-Are you going to do it with me?
This all sounds very positive, but it's even more positive for me because I live in North London.
North London is desirable, where everyone wants to be.
That's where celebrities like myself live. So I'm clever that I bought a house here.
-Yeah, definitely. Brilliant.
-He knows. He's an estate agent.
Lise's a dancing teacher. I'm going to show her some dancing tips.
-Did you say "trips"?
-No, I said "tips". Ignore that. I'm a very good dancer.
Forget about your dancing, Ed. Have you been doing any property hunting, cos I have?
I certainly have. Would you like to show us yours first?
OK, I've found one. This place, let me tell you,
Darien could definitely do this walk under ten minutes.
He is fast, and this property is close to a Tube, and that's what they really, really want.
It is what they really, really want.
It's quite spacious - I say "quite"...
-I'm not sure it's got enough space, but I think they could make it work.
-But emphasis on "quite".
Mine is spacious - very spacious.
Looking at Rani's just then, I'd say mine is probably a lot bigger, or definitely a lot bigger.
It's in Tufnell Park, another posh area.
Up-and-coming, leafy, lovely, ten minutes from a Tube.
I think Darien and Lise will like that.
It's a ground-floor flat, so her dancing won't annoy the people below.
-She wouldn't dance like that!
-I think they will dance into the wild card.
This place is stunning. However, Ed, I can't remember, where is it?
It's in a bit of here and a bit of there and a bit of somewhere else.
But the reason why it probably is wild is... Here's a clue.
Right? I'm Darien,
and it might be a little bit further to a certain thing from where that is.
-That could be the problem.
-Why don't we do that to property number one? My treat.
Ed, I know my offering today will really give Darien and Lise something to cha-cha-cheer about.
It's light, it's airy and the location's on the money.
But is it big enough, Rani? Don't forget - ten computers, three guitars and a bike.
We'll see, Ed. We'll see.
Darien and Lise, welcome to property number one, the one I'll be championing today.
We're in Finsbury Park. Do you know this area at all?
Yeah. I'm really impressed, because where we live now is just over the road,
and we've been looking for months, and you walk in and find something right here.
-I'm very impressed.
-It's the BBC.
-It's the property hunting team. They're very good at their job.
-You know how long it takes to walk to the Tube from here?
-It's eight minutes at my pace.
-I was thinking about 10-15.
-That's Lise pace.
But I'm quite a slow walker.
-Is that fair, Lise? Ten minutes for you?
-Ten for me, I reckon.
-It's the first-floor flat. What do you think?
-You can't see a lot from here, but it has nice big windows.
It's that kind of bay, lots of light, so that's obviously a plus.
-The only think I would say is...
What you can't see is, when you walk from where we are now, across the main road there,
you cross an invisible line and you leave Islington and enter Haringey,
and we've always been very happy with Islington Council,
so this is a bit of a step into the unknown.
I'm sure they're lovely.
That's not necessarily going to assure you,
but I think they will be lovely.
-You don't have to move into it, because my one is next.
-Are you ready to enter the house?
-I think we are.
-Three, two, one.
-Why didn't I look into councils?
-I know. I tried to smooth it over.
-You just made it worse!
-I was just talking. I know nothing about Haringey Council.
What do you think?
Well, the hall's nice.
I think that's important because it's how you present yourself to your friends.
-Probably not space for a bike, but we'll let that slide.
-We'll work around that.
It's a communal hall, so you wouldn't necessarily be allowed to store your bike there.
But I think you factored that in in other places.
-The ceilings are high.
-The ceilings are high, yes.
-You can get a rack where you can shove it up high.
-All right. So we have an open-plan kitchen.
-Oh, wow! I see.
So this is obviously the big... the recep, as they say.
-Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a star.
-I love him!
I would like to have Darien on every week.
-It is a recep, isn't it?
-It's a recep!
Yeah... I like it.
The first couple of things, where would you put the TV?
I know it's a bit ungrateful when you have all these lovely windows.
-We do watch quite a lot of TV, don't we?
It's one of the flat ones you can wipe clean, so I don't mind that too much.
The thing I always forget is, when you're looking at a house that's £280,000, £300,000 or more,
-what sort of hob it is is a drop in the ocean.
-It wouldn't be that hard to change.
-They are thinking about it.
-They really are.
It is a lot of money and you don't get that much,
but once you're used to London sizes and London prices, this is pretty good for what they're after.
Obviously it looks like there's no room for a... There's no dishwasher in here.
-Oh. Very good point.
-I don't know if there'd be plumbing for one.
Then again, if this is the living area as well, you probably wouldn't want the noise.
Very true. Washing machine. How will we clean the clothes?
She needn't worry. There's a launderette at the end of the road.
No, no, no. Wait till you see the rest of the house, Lise.
-Interesting lighting. It's got those funny little downlighters.
-I'm not super-keen on those but...
There's six of them in here,
so you'll get blown bulbs six times as often - just a rough estimate.
And you have to get up on a ladder to change them. But it does give a nice even light.
Lise, she a dancer.
If you take some of those downlighters out, dim the room down,
that's a spotlight, that's a central focal point.
Come Christmas, with all the family around, Lise could do her own performance of Swan Lake.
-Or The Nutcracker.
Oh, OK. It's a bit smaller than I expected.
-This is obviously the second room.
-Yeah, not too much of this one.
The second room we've got at the moment is really big,
but it's acting as a dining room as well.
So, given the table and the space in the front room, maybe this could be an OK study.
What are you thinking? Maybe desk over there, computer...?
That's a nice view.
Considering it's quite central, there's a fair amount of green.
There's plenty of light.
-The second bedroom's not going down very well.
-No. It is quite a small room.
-Nice and light in the hall again.
-Really big mirror.
Do you think they'll say, "On reflection, this property's very nice"?
Yes, I like the mirror. It does make the place look a lot bigger than it really is.
-Yes! It's good feng shui, this is.
-But he didn't go for the joke.
It's a bit windy. A maze of twisty tunnels, all alike.
It is actually a bit labyrinthine.
-Ah, this I do like.
We've seen so many poky little bathrooms.
-And I love...
-Big window, yes.
-Really big window.
Air, so the place doesn't get all manky.
-A shower over the bath.
-Nice bath actually, as well.
A big one, because we've seen lots of places with a little bath.
Yeah. How big do they think a person is?
I couldn't fit in half the baths we've seen, but that's a good one.
This isn't a bad size, this bathroom.
They've been looking for a while and seem quite pleased with it.
He was full of praise for the mysterious property hunting team,
saying, "I didn't even know this was here."
As we say this, the sound of prosperity is being nailed behind us.
That is a "for sale" sign going up.
This must be the main bedroom.
Oh! Hello. There's the washing machine.
I thought there was something we hadn't seen yet.
It's good that it's not in the front room.
It's maybe not so good that it's next to the bed.
We're not going to wash things overnight.
-Do you not do that?
Again, I like the windows.
Two windows, extra light but from different directions.
And again with the mirror.
They've cleverly put a big mirror up there to make it feel even bigger.
There! You can see what I said about downlighters.
One's gone there, another gone there. It's a bit of a shame.
What is his issue with downlighters?
Do you know how much a downlighter costs? The price of a bulb.
Do you know how much a bulb costs? Pence. It's no reason not to buy a house.
-Look at your cupboards.
-I want to look in the cupboard. I can't - there's a thing here.
-Oh! It's quite a big cupboard.
-I'll just close that there.
If the cupboard is big enough to hide in, that's probably a good sign.
The only other thing about this room is
it's easy to walk around the walls,
but there's the bed,
and once you're in it there's not a lot of space for anything else in here.
It's too small, Rani. It's too small.
We'd put them all in here, maybe.
Our chest of drawers is too wide. That won't fit in there.
Unless we put it that way round, which is silly.
Do you know why he thinks it's too small? He's just revealed it.
He's basing a purchase on his furniture. How dare he?
If we've got the desk in the little room,
but we can't have a wardrobe in there like we have now,
there isn't a lot of space for extra storage in here without blocking the window.
-I think it might be a bit too small overall.
-I think you're right.
Right, you two. What did you think of this property?
I think I've got a bit of an idea, to be honest.
We have so much stuff that I think this place is not ideal for us.
-The location... Don't get me wrong.
-You were pleased by that, eight minutes to the Tube.
Yeah, that was a brilliant find.
But when we got inside, it's just not quite the right shape.
What do you think about the whole living room with the kitchen area?
Could you live with something like this?
We've seen quite a lot of places with the open-plan kitchen.
This particular one quite intrudes on the living space.
But there's nothing to move and you could dance quite freely.
Actually, this would make quite a good studio space, yeah.
It would have a nice resonance with the wood.
You'd probably drive your neighbours insane.
It's a good location, it's nice and bright.
-However, you've got more stuff.
Would you like to guess the price? That could change your opinion, possibly.
310,000 was the real amount of money you wanted to spend.
It could go a bit beyond or under.
What is this on the market for, Lise?
-I think under 300. I think 295.
-Oh, he's dropping down.
OK. Well, this price may change your mind.
You want to move somewhere else because you can afford to buy loads more stuff.
This is on the market at £280,000, so Darien was the closest.
Well done, you!
Are you competitive?
Do you want to wait to guess the price today?
He competes against himself.
I don't consider myself the winner. I was five off.
-You were the closest.
-You are the winner, but we have property two next.
My sumptuous samba of a property is sure to get our buyers' hearts racing.
They'll love the space, and there's a surprise ending to boot.
-Looks expensive, Ed.
-Details, Rani, details.
Darien and Lise, Lise and Darien,
walk toward this beauty here,
possibly one of the greatest ground-floor flats in Tufnell Park,
nay, the whole of London.
Now let's just have a quiet moment.
Can you hear anything?
-Not really, can you?
Just over there is your A1, heading to wherever you might want to go.
But just that way is Tufnell Park Tube station -
the way you walk, ten minutes or less, I'd say, from where we are.
What do you think about the concept, Lise?
The concept of a ground-floor flat in Tufnell Park
is not off-putting to me. Could be good.
-All right. I'll take "not off-putting".
-I think that's not bad at all!
Are you ready to enter into one of the greatest ground-floor flats in the world?
-Absolutely, I think. I can't wait.
-Three, two, one. Enter that flat!
Go on, dance your way in.
-Ed, are you sure we can be in here?
-Of course we can. It's fine.
I've sorted it out with the potential owners.
Oh! OK. There's an extra external area behind the first door.
-You could keep your bike there.
-As long as no one vaults over the wall.
Oh, wow! It's all bright, and nice clean wood.
-And it smells of wood, doesn't it?
-Not at all unpleasant.
First impressions are good.
Oh. OK. Yes.
This is a nice kitchen.
-Room here for a table.
-Lots of work surfaces.
-Yeah, masses of work surface.
-Is that a fridge?
-This one's a fridge.
-So there's no freezer in here right now.
-But there's room for one.
-There is. And lots of cupboards.
-This is all rather nice.
What they're talking about is a kitchen - not a kitchen-diner or a kitchen-diner/lounge,
-which is what you gave them.
-I gave them the gallery kitchen thing and it didn't work for them.
I just thought it was good, so Lise could cook and dance at the same time.
-In this one...
I'm impressed that this can be in the same price bracket - I hope - as the last one we saw.
-Good size as well.
-It is, isn't it?
The first thing I do notice, it's surprisingly dingy, actually.
Do you think it's just the curtains?
Yeah, the curtains are obviously just draped halfway over the windows at the moment.
Net curtains - for privacy, yea, for light, nay.
You just get that frosting.
-Frosting - for privacy, yea...
-And for light.
-For light, nay?
-No, light's good as well.
They've got neutral decor in here at the moment. I might quite like to add some colour.
-I knew you'd say that. I like it plain and simple.
-Yeah, you would.
One thing I do like is there's lots of big, empty walls.
I like to hang a picture or two.
If he's so into his computers,
why doesn't he just get the top-of-the-range computer? He'd only need one?
He works at a computer magazine. He'd get bullied by all the other computer people.
"You've only got one? Ooh, I've got 16."
I'm almost scared to go round here.
It's got everything right so far. What will inevitably go wrong?
He's like a perfect game-show host, old Darien.
He's really built up the jeopardy there. It's only a two-bed flat.
But he's so in love with it, he doesn't want anything to let him down.
And I don't think it will.
OK. Bathroom is good as well. This is a very nice bathroom.
Really nice. Window, very important.
Very clean, very modern.
Yeah, nice, good-sized bath again.
Yep. Nice new shower.
Struggling to find anything wrong with this one. Not that I want to.
And there it is. That's the thing that's wrong with the house.
There's the teeny tiny little second bedroom.
Actually, it's not that bad.
Hang on. Teeny tiny, and then not too bad?
Probably only slightly smaller than the second room in the other house we saw earlier on.
And we're thinking about using the kitchen as a kitchen-diner.
That's true, with less need to store things.
If this is the worst thing about this house,
then it's still, I think, a pretty damn good house.
-So here we go, the final challenge.
-I like the light in here, very airy feeling.
-Yeah, it's not bad, is it?
It's not big by any means.
It's a bit strange to have just a little garden area
which looks straight through plain glass onto the bed.
It still feels not very private.
-There are curtains, you know.
Darien - you've made him feel really awkward
that there's some stranger's garden looking into his bedroom.
He's like, "I'll be in bed, with people in the garden having breakfast."
Zip it. Zip it.
So the overall question is, given the arrangement of rooms in this house,
that there's a lot more space in the kitchen, a bit less in the second room,
we'd have to work out how or whether we could fit in all our stuff.
But it doesn't seem impossible. There's a lot to like about this house.
An awful lot to like about this house.
Now, Darien and Lise,
the big question is, as we stand here in this area of garden, who does this belong to?
I was going to ask you exactly the same question.
We thought we'd seen all the house had to offer,
then you usher us out here and there's greenery. You don't see that in London often.
And the greenery is yours. THEY GASP
That was a concern of yours. You said, "We'll be in here with a garden. Whose garden is it?"
-It's your garden.
-Does that excite you?
-It does a little, yeah.
So you get that.
Barbecue summer - if it ever happens - you could have out here.
You've got your own garden. You've got that. Do you like it?
-I think there is a lot to like about this one.
-I'll go further. Yes, I like it.
What do you like about it, Lise?
I think there's a lot of room inside for all our clutter.
That is one of the key things we're looking for.
The big-size kitchen that could also be a dining room is a real advantage.
A big-size living room to put all our stuff in would be really good.
Because they are defined rooms, they free up the other rooms.
It is only two bedrooms and you did hope for three,
but it makes the most out of the bedrooms you've got.
The location is fantastic. Time for you to guess the price.
Who was closest last time? Darien, it was yourself.
-Your maximum budget, remind me, is...?
-310, we said.
-Not going to go any higher than that?
-I don't think we can.
OK, so who's going to guess first?
-I think it's more.
-I think it's on for more.
-I think it's 320.
-I think it's on at 330.
-That's what I'd put it on for.
I don't know what it's on for.
-Well... it isn't on at either of those prices.
And the news isn't great initially on this.
Darien, you are closest. You've won it already, which is bad news for you, Lise.
Here comes the other bad news - but listen for good news at the end. The actual price is £350,000.
We've had a nibble and a nod and a whisper.
There's a deal to be done,
and that deal puts it very much tantalisingly within your grasp.
-As intriguing as the wild card? Would you still like to see it?
-I think we should.
-It's getting better and better.
-I think it's this way.
And last but not least, everyone's favourite - the wild card.
This two-bed flat has all the beauty and romance of the ballet.
I think this could be a winner, Ed.
But will the location be a bridge - or, in this case, a station too far for Darien?
Here we are, finally, at the wild card for Darien and Lise.
Now, I've got to say, there's many reasons why this one is wild.
One being we can't actually tell you where exactly it is.
We're arguing over this.
-Some say Stroud Green.
-I thought it could be Hornsey.
However, I do believe you guys don't live too far from here.
You can probably just about see it down there.
-Can you tell us what area we're in?
-They just call it the Tollingtons after the name of the road.
-I like that. The Tollingtons.
-Very posh. Like the Hamptons to the people of New York.
The only downside, another reason why it's a wild card,
it's outside of your strict regime of ten minutes from the Tube.
I didn't want to say, but I know this area is quite a way down the road from the Tube.
-How long are we talking?
-I'd estimate 12 or 13 minutes.
Is there any chance you could pick your pace up?
You've seen how fast I walk! I'm not a sprinter.
But we'll go in with an open mind,
and if the house is as good as you say it is, maybe we'll give it a try.
-Are you ready to enter the property?
-I think so.
-It is a wild card.
Enjoy it. It's yours for the next televisual five minutes.
-Very attractive front door.
-This is really nice, actually.
I know it's all superficial stuff,
but the carpet's nice, lovely banisters.
-Really good carpet. I like that.
-Doesn't look wild at all. It looks very respectable.
-Darien's never seen the programme.
-I can't believe there is someone who hasn't.
Anyway, Lise has. Darien obviously assumes the wild card may have live animals in it or a wildness to it.
That isn't why it's wild.
-Look in here.
-This is very grand, isn't it?
-But what do we do with a fireplace? Does that work, do you think?
It looks like it might. It looks like it's been used.
This frieze on the ceiling is amazing.
It feels a bit too posh to be a first-time buyer's home.
Darien, you're a PC expert, Lise is a dancer.
-They're allowed it.
-They're cultured. They deserve a posh property.
And if you've got 300 grand to spend and you can buy this, buy it.
-It's very easy to see how our stuff would go in here.
And there's options as to where we could put the telly,
because there's three or four walls.
I know. Wow.
-Let's not get too mad. We haven't seen the rest of it yet.
Oh, he doubts the rest will be as beautiful.
Ooh! Beautiful kitchen.
This is very nice. I quite like the way that, although it's a small room,
they've put work surfaces on both sides.
-Yeah, so there's intelligent use of the space.
-Yeah, it is.
It's like a house built by a clever person.
Anyone who can build a house is a clever person in my book. It's not exactly easy.
I do have one question, which is about the washing machine.
Well, yeah. Is one hiding in there?
-It's a dishwasher!
-I am literally overjoyed.
-You do know you can buy dishwashers, right?
-Yeah, but this has already got one.
It's got a value to it.
-Look what I found in the cupboard!
-A washing machine.
Right, we're buying this. I don't need to see the rest.
-And the cooker!
-Let's not get too carried away.
OK, so this is a tiny kitchen. However...
It's a fully tricked-out kitchen. This has been "pimped", as the youth would say.
And look at these windows.
-We're north-facing here, I think.
-I think so.
So you get a good light coming through without being dazzled.
Again, the television being the centrepiece of our world,
it's probably quite good in terms of not having glare.
-It's the centre of their world.
Aha! This, I believe, is the bathroom.
Oh, look! It's really nice and light and clean.
It's funny, you say it's nice and light,
but I'm sure you spotted, the second we walked in, it doesn't have a window.
It is the one drawback. You do get that with a lot of bathrooms.
-I'd prefer to have a window but...
-I'm aware of this.
-I know. Even so.
Ed, they've noticed there is no window.
-It's a drawback.
-All right. Bedroom two, maybe?
-I presume this is bedroom two.
If it's bedroom one I'll be a bit disappointed.
-But, for bedroom two, a perfectly good size.
-Yes, it definitely is.
-I can picture everything in here.
-There's a nice alcove we could put shelves in.
Or we could put the wardrobe in and set it back
-so it wouldn't be too intrusive.
-That would work really well.
Turns out that was the master bedroom after all.
All right. That noted, I don't think it's a major problem
because this is still a good size and shape, I think.
It is. To be honest, as soon as I saw it, I was a bit disappointed
because my expectations were so high.
He liked that room, but he was hoping this room would be bigger.
There's the doors over there to go out onto the balcony, which is exciting.
But it does mean that you can't stick a wardrobe in front of that.
-So the usable space will be less.
-True. We'd have to think about it.
-I hate thinking about things.
-Here they are, here they are.
Lovely iron - I think, probably - balcony.
It is lovely. To be honest, I don't really care what a balcony's like.
-Just the fact that it exists...
-I have this romantic idea
that we're going to sit out here on the deck in the setting sun and drink G & Ts.
It'll only be possible about 20 times a year, but I like the idea.
They don't feel they're allowed to talk to us during this part. Let's just listen.
You could plant a tub, a few pots. It'd look lovely.
Plants. Didn't think of that.
I think I've seen this balcony now. We can go in and get warm again.
-He could keep his bike here.
I don't know what to say about this place. It's been constant surprises.
It was so much nicer than I was expecting when we came in.
I really like the front room. I really like the kitchen.
I think the back bedroom is... maybe not a problem.
-We'd have to see.
-Yeah, we'd have to think about that.
The other thing is the location. You know how I feel about long walks to the Tube.
I don't know exactly how far it is. I know we're further up the road now than we are.
That's something I'd really, before I signed on the dotted line... I just don't know.
-You need to do a speed run.
-Yes, I probably do.
So, guys, how was the wild card for you?
Impressive, actually, I have to say.
It wasn't very wild at all. It was actually very respectable.
-What were you expecting?
-We don't normally have animals or an element that is physically wild.
-You lied to me!
It was possibly wild because we don't know where it is and it's a bit further away to walk.
One of things you mentioned was that the rooms were a bit small.
-He was going mental over this.
-No, they're not SMALL small.
The front room was so impressive, it raised our expectations.
And because the entrance looked so lovely, so expensive,
you kind of feel like you're in a big, luxurious house.
-What about this place out here?
-I don't know about that, but I can see it being useful.
-I was trying to impress you, Lise!
It is good to have an outside area. We could make good use of it.
Who wants to go first? £310,000 is our maximum budget, what we really want to spend today.
I'll go to you, Darien, first.
If I were selling this, I'd ask for 330.
OK. Right. Good logic.
Based on the same logic...
I'm going to say 340.
Lise, I don't know whether to congratulate you or commiserate,
because, Darien, you are actually the closest, at 330.
This property is on the market at £335,000.
-It was actually a draw!
-Now I feel bad on Lise.
It's a draw.
-But Darien won anyway. So...
-I feel bad now for Lise.
-Thank you, Rani.
You've kind of won one.
Well done, you.
Of course, it is over your budget.
But haggling, working with your 10% rule and everything else,
we could possibly haggle this back to the 310 that we'd like it to be.
You now have to make the biggest decision of your lives.
We can't help you. We used to in the old days, but now we can't.
Go off, have a cappuccino, do whatever it takes, but come to a conclusion.
-We will see you later.
Whilst they do that, here's a quick recap for you at home.
My pick today was the classic Victorian two-bed conversion.
Size was an issue, but will Darien and Lise be tempted
by the price tag of 280 grand?
That's 30 grand less than their budget.
My property is certainly in with a strong chance.
How can Darien and Lise turn down their very own private garden?
The price was a bit of a sticking point at £350,000
but there's always the haggle zone.
And property three, the wild card.
This was right up Darien and Lise's street.
-Hold on. Wasn't it ON their street?
-Yes, it was.
But it had stunning period features and a roof terrace.
It's on the market at £335,000,
just within range of their budget.
But is it within range of the Tube?
I am never ever surprised. The wild card never fails, does it?
-So you love this place and want to test-drive it?
-It's the one we'd like to look at again.
Our mysterious To Buy Or Not To Buy surveyor has come to sniff at the property.
I must stress it is not legally binding,
but if you were to purchase this, it's a good heads-up as to what you're getting into.
The first point is what, Rani?
You went in and went "Wow" because it's been completely renovated.
New wiring, new boiler, the lot.
However, he said when something is completely renovated,
you must get the completion certificate.
Hopefully that has been done, but double-check.
Make sure you get those certificates in your hand.
The other thing, rather intriguingly,
our fancy outside garden, a garden terrace or whatever it is,
it is on top of someone else's roof.
If something were to go wrong with their roof, in order to fix it,
your garden terrace would probably disappear.
You would want to know who is responsible for what,
really look at what you get with your flat. If there's any cost,
if you'd have to pay for their roof or they'd have to pay for your garden.
You need to look into those things. Other than that, it is very nice.
-Has that put you off?
-No, that's not bad at all.
-Ready to start the test drive?
-I think so.
-Yeah. Let's go for it.
Three, two, one. Release yourselves into that house.
Right, here we go. Darien's off - and what a pace!
Is he walking extra-fast because he likes the wild card?
I don't think so. I think that's just a stroll for Darien.
It's slow... slow...
Meanwhile, Lise is making herself very much at home here,
testing those wooden floors with a bit of dance teaching.
Very impressive. I think they call this particular move "the roll".
Are you keeping an eye on the time? Darien's not back yet.
No, there he is, arriving at the Tube station. It's not looking good, Rani.
He can only be a couple of minutes over the max, surely.
Time for the million-dollar question.
-Just helping ourselves to drinks.
-Hope you don't mind.
-Water and lemon. Keep us nice and fresh.
Now then. My goodness gracious me.
You chose the wild card - a lovely wild card - and you've test-driven it.
-A small dance school was taking place in here.
-Well, I try my best.
How was it for space?
You're the issue with the laptops and a lot of other space needs.
But with the dancing, how was the floor? Was it shiny enough to spin?
Actually, it is a very good floor.
Darien, what about the walk to the Tube?
I have to admit, I timed it and, even at my pace, we're talking a good 12 minutes.
Do you think you were having a bad day, going a bit slow?
No. I wish I had been.
But I really wanted to like this place so I was putting on the pace.
-The extra spurt?
-Exactly. I was inspired.
-But it's only two minutes.
Two minutes over my maximum, though. Come on.
-What's two minutes?
-It may not have swayed Darien
because there is the big question to ask.
We do have the big question now of the programme.
We know it's just 12 minutes, but it's only two minutes.
But we're going to ask the question anyway. Are you ready?
To buy or not to buy? Would you like a drink first?
-Are you ready to give us the answer?
-It's a toughie. What do you think?
I have a bit of difficulty envisaging exactly where in the house
we're going to put all our bits and bobs.
Even though it's a good dance studio?
Darien, I'll go to you, looking for a positive.
The real concern that I have is, when we said our max was 310,
I didn't expect you to hammer it quite so hard.
-I'm afraid I can't mortgage everything I've got on a house that isn't quite right.
-Fair enough. We just didn't get it.
-You did very well. We were very impressed.
But remember, if the credit crunch is coming to an end and we're coming out of recession,
you need to buy soon, because the position you're in now of being chain-free
may not be as enviable in the future.
Ooh! That was really angry!
You could print that on a T-shirt! I don't know who you'd sell it to.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
It's a race against time for Ed Hall and Rani Price as they take on the fast-paced property market in Finsbury Park, London, where houses are being sold within hours of going up for sale.