The Fens To Buy or Not to Buy


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The Fens

Jonnie Irwin and Simon O'Brien take a trip to the Fens in search of a bungalow with canal views.


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Transcript


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-Hello and welcome to To Buy Or Not To Buy.

-We're casting our property nets far and wide to find a home

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-in the fantastically flat Fens.

-You've just given me an idea.

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Ah, this is the life, eh, Jonnie?

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Peace and solitude. You can't beat a bit of fishing.

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-Caught anything yet?

-Not yet, but the big one is on the way.

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More like a tadpole. We do have work to do.

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Hang on. I've got a bite! Ho ho!

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And we've also reeled in today Richard and Dot Jones, a retired couple from Pembrokeshire.

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They've been married for a year now and decided it's time to leave rural Wales for a new life in the Fens.

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They like to keep on the move in this fancy motor home, reaching the Outer Hebrides and Morocco.

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But before they head off again, they have a property wish list as long as my fishing rod.

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We deal with some fussy people, but I have to say this 18-point list leaves nothing to the imagination

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-that you've prepared for us.

-Some points have two points!

-Yes.

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-There's a sub-point as well!

-Now it seems to me at the heart of this house hunt is that.

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-That has been to Morocco?

-Yes. Norway.

-North Cap. France.

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With wheels underneath a moving house, why choose just one place?

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-I can't drive it when I'm sleeping, so I have to park it somewhere.

-OK! This is a perfect place to sleep?

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-Just wonderful.

-The Fens is famed for its waterways. Is that the appeal?

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-Very much so.

-We like to think we can have a mooring so on a really nice day we could get on the boat,

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go up the river for a couple of hours, gin and tonic and while away the world.

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So is it the long-term plan to maybe get yourselves a watercraft?

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-Yes.

-A narrow boat.

-Oh, lovely.

-On a waterway where narrow boats can run.

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If we open up what seems to be along the lines of Mark's gospel,

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-you don't want to live on a housing estate.

-No.

-What do you want?

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-What is your perfect scenario?

-When we say housing estate...

-That's it there.

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..we don't want executive-type housing, all exactly the same.

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-What would be your preferred style?

-A nice detached bungalow on a riverbank

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with plenty of land around it, a little paddock or woodland, river frontage with a mooring...

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-With wildlife.

-Wildlife.

-I think we can guarantee that here.

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-Wildlife?

-Yes.

-If not, Simon can move next door.

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Thank you very much(!) How much do you know about this area? How much have you looked?

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We've been coming up here on holiday for several years

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and we've always liked the area. We did some research on the internet.

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-We've got a fair idea of what's around.

-You have been extensively looking.

-Yes.

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The internet is a great first step, but there's nothing like walking in the door to get a feel for it.

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-You cannot tell from estate agents' photos.

-We might show you something you have seen on the internet.

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You might well do, but we haven't been inside.

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Let's go back to the list. It says car parking for three cars

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and the beast. So we're looking at...

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Because bungalows are all on one level, that's a large footprint for the bungalow.

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-You are asking for quite a lot.

-We are.

-Yes.

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-Any of that you might compromise on? Size? Car parking?

-It depends.

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-It depends what you show us.

-We could get away with three bedrooms if there's a study downstairs.

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-OK.

-It could be a house or a bungalow.

-That list adds up to perfection.

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Budget. Let's talk about that. How much are you giving our mystery property hunting team to spend?

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-We'd be very happy to come in under £300,000.

-I bet you would!

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No, no, let's be realistic.

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If you fulfilled everything on that list, we could find 350-ish.

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What's your max? Let's push that.

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-About 360.

-Fantastic! Well done. I think we just went up 70 grand there!

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Now, OK, so 360 is the absolute top end and we would have to be ticking points 1 to 1.

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-Yes.

-Yes.

-If you're prepared to drive all the way to Morocco in this,

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-we would be prepared to find you a nice bungalow in the Fens.

-Yes.

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-See you later.

-Cheers.

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This is like War And Peace. "Detached bungalow, four bedrooms,

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"car parking for three cars plus space for a motor home."

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To name but a few of the points! I tell you what we'll do - I'll take points 1-9

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-and you take points 10-18.

-Oh, great. So I'm responsible for point number 13:

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-"Riverside living with mooring."

-All right, I'll swap you 13 for number 5: "No main road noise."

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-I don't think either of us has it easy.

-No. That is the main point.

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Why not try to get as many of these as possible? Whoever gets that wins.

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-I'll get help from the locals.

-And I'll get it from the estate agents.

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The Fens countryside is famed for its flatness.

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The big sky landscape stretches across four counties -

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Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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Farming is the main livelihood and the area is a major agricultural region.

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The Fens are criss-crossed by a myriad of waterways

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so narrow-boating could be perfect for Richard and Dot to explore.

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If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can wander round the market towns of Wisbech and March.

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Property is a mixture of modern and historic, plus a number of waterside homes.

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After doing so well fishing, what price are waterside properties in the UK?

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Well, if you fancy padding about or even paddling about, why not head off to Chertsey

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and this unique two-storey houseboat. It includes a fabulous triple-aspect reception room

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opening onto a large sundeck with some stunning views.

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All this and more for just...

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Very nice, indeed.

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Or you could weigh anchor and head southwest to the county of Cornwall

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to this fabulous four-bedroom house overlooking the River Fowey.

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It has many original Victorian features, including fireplaces, picture rails and panel doors.

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-The price? A sun-kissed £450,000.

-Very nice, Simon.

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Or travel north to Scotland where you could own this four-bedroom villa in Argyll

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with stunning views over the Kyles of Bute.

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It has a fitted kitchen, a newly-refurbished wet room and gorgeous, mature gardens.

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On for offers over...

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'But back to our property hunt and I'm heading to the estate agents'.

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'And I'm off to ask the locals what it's like to live in a flat... part of the country.'

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What's good about the Fens? The people. They're fantastic.

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-The countryside is not beautiful, but it's dramatic.

-It is!

-It's amazing. I tell you what,

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even in the depths of winter the skyscape is just phenomenal.

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-It just blows your mind.

-That is the point.

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-This is our equivalent of Montana.

-Yeah, like the prairies. The Fen-land prairies.

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You've got new development, older properties, Georgian properties.

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You've got a good selection so anybody coming here, if they wanted new, can have that.

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If they wanted an older character property, they can have that.

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-What's it like to live on the Fens?

-I like it. I've always lived here. It's a really nice, friendly place.

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People talk to you when you're out.

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-How much extra are people paying for waterside property?

-There is a premium. It depends on location.

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By the river, if it's got a mooring, then you do pay a premium.

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-Probably 15-20% premium.

-Really? As much as that?

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If you come here, you've got the waterways, the boats,

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-and if you hire one of them out for a week...

-You could disappear!

-You could.

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I'm supposed to be talking about property, but I've forgotten that.

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-Here, I've got a bite.

-Oh, have you? Get back to it!

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I've had a fabulous day, fishing around for properties

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-and talking to the lovely people.

-I met a lovely estate agent called Hannah.

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She told me there's all sorts of property available here.

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There will also be, perhaps. anything they're looking for.

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Property Number One is... a bungalow! It does have all the car parking they need,

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-the exact number of bedrooms and it has a mooring.

-Oh, it has, has it?

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-Feeling pretty pleased with yourself?

-Fairly content.

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Property Two also has its own private mooring,

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giving access to the Fens and the Broads.

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From their back garden.

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-When is a bungalow not a bungalow?

-When it's a house, by the looks of it!

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Yes, Property Two IS a house. It's detached, but Rich and Dot did say they would prefer a bungalow,

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but would consider a house. I think this is right for them.

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It's perfect. On the edge of March. Everything they need. Now the Wild Card.

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I was daunted by the list, as was the property hunting team,

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but they might have come up trumps. Look at this little beauty.

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It has what is termed an eyelash, peeking over the roofline.

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It's gorgeous, it really is. Why it's the Wild Card, we'll not tell you just yet.

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It differs in one way, but when it comes to grandeur,

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if you want to know what you can get for your money, this will tell you everything.

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-Shall we start?

-Property Number One.

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My property is a modern three-bed bungalow in Surfleet near Spalding.

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It's in great condition with plenty of space inside and out

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and the River Glen at its door.

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-How many boxes have you ticked?

-I think I've ticked them all.

-Motor home?

-All will be revealed.

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One of your requirements was you didn't want to live on a housing estate with houses all the same.

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You didn't want homogeny. So look around.

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-Very nice.

-This is lovely. There's room for the motor home.

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-Room for the cars.

-Room for many cars.

-Many cars.

-A lovely garden.

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-Never mind the parking, what about the house?!

-It looks like a very nice house.

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-And we're hoping...

-What about the river?

-Well...wait and see.

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Maybe you know about bits and bobs like rivers and bedrooms because you did a search on the internet.

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-Does this ring any bells?

-It does. We have seen it on the internet.

-Well, had you discounted it?

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-It was on our shortlist.

-Oh, good!

-Excellent.

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-Thank you for bringing us.

-My pleasure. I'm hoping we've got ticks next to a lot of these points.

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-So what's the feeling at the moment?

-Good.

-Very, very good.

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-Positive!

-Positive!

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Well, keep those positive thoughts. There's lots to look around.

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It's spread out. It's a big old house and it's got a few surprises inside.

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-Yeah, OK.

-Have a great time.

-Enjoy. We'll see you in a moment.

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-Wow, this is huge.

-A good size hall.

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Gosh!

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-You could almost park the motor home in the hall!

-Yeah, pick a room.

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-Look at this. It is huge.

-A good-sized room, isn't it?

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Very nicely done. Very neutral, very nice.

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-What we didn't discuss is taste of decor, but they like this.

-It seems to be going down very well.

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Somebody's got very nice taste. What a lovely room.

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I'm not keen on a yellow ceiling, but...

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-No, but you can change that.

-I can get you paint and a roller.

-It's beautifully done.

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-Neutral carpets.

-Fireplace.

-Very nice.

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I like that.

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-And this is this sun lounge.

-Oh, gosh! Look at this one.

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Oh, I love the tiles. This is superb.

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These are all very positive.

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We get the measure of any house hunter when they go in. Are they going to be positive for all three?

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-I'm a bit upset by this place.

-Why?

-Cos it's very, very good.

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I'm looking forward to you getting your list out and all 18 points.

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-I've never seen a ceiling quite like that before.

-I like it, though.

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-It really looks good.

-Layout depends on what you put in it, I suppose.

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Yes, it's a versatile room. I think I might even be inclined to use this as a main lounge.

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You could see the river. That's really nice, isn't it?

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TV in that corner and look out over the river.

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I could do a lot with this hall.

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-Well, yes.

-And this would be the dining room. It's a nice size, too.

-Yes, it is.

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-Would it make a better study?

-It depends on the kitchen.

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-I wonder if it would stand patio doors.

-It would, very much indeed.

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You want as much glass in the back of this building as possible for these beautiful waterside views.

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Wow! Now I do like this white.

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-Yes, I like this.

-It lightens it up and makes it nice and clean and bright.

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-I do like it.

-I'm not struck on the opposing worktops with the sink so far from the cooker.

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You don't do the cooking.

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Fair comment. Why should I worry?

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-One area I would think of updating is the kitchen.

-Really?

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-A more modern kitchen?

-More contemporary.

-Patio doors straight out into the garden.

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-That's what the dining room needs.

-Patio doors? Yeah, you're right.

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-But I could put the dinner on and sit with a gin and tonic.

-You could.

-Doors open, sun shining.

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They've tiled all the way through.

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Right through to the utility.

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-Oh, a nice blue bathroom!

-What a colour!

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If you're not sure about the loo, wait till you see the bathroom!

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This would be...

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-Bedroom on the left?

-Yeah, I'm just wondering which bedroom it is.

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-There's a double bed in here.

-It's a small bedroom.

-Double bed in here.

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Yeah. Looks out into the garden.

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Another double bed in here.

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This is another spare bedroom. Might even make a painting studio.

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-Oh, yeah.

-I don't know.

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The living space works so well, the bedrooms are a disappointment.

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They shouldn't be. They're all a good size.

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-We could do things with this.

-It's a nice bungalow.

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-This is...

-Yeah.

-..nice.

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-I'd rather have an enclosed shower.

-Yeah, I agree.

-It's nitpicking on a property like this.

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It's a nice home.

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-Oh, gosh, this is a good size.

-This must be bedroom one.

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-It does look out over the drive and not the river.

-But that doesn't matter.

-It does matter.

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I'd like to look out over the river.

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It would be lovely to wake up in the morning and see this gorgeous view,

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but to make the most of it it's with your living area.

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The living area has to be towards the back. To open this up and take in these beautiful views -

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-not to do that would be a waste.

-Yeah, a tragedy.

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Ooh, look at this! Wow, this is... And a shower enclosure.

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-There we are.

-That is an interesting coloured suite, isn't it?

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We could both get in there, no trouble.

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-That sunken bath is a feature.

-A bidet!

-A bidet.

-Haven't seen one of those since we left Spain.

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-I'm not sure I could live with this colour.

-Oh, I don't dislike this colour, actually.

-No.

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This is a much better room than the main bathroom.

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-The wacky en suite has brightened them up again.

-Shall we go and find Jonnie and look at the garden?

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Yes, good idea.

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-Now, look - the garden.

-It's much bigger than I thought.

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-And, lo and behold, the mooring!

-Look at that, Rich!

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This is a good-sized garden and I like the mooring.

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Don't get carried away by the boat. You'll have to buy your own.

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-The boat doesn't come with the house.

-Is that all right?

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-What do we think now? Pretty nice garden.

-A good size.

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And you've got a bit of garden where you can grow your veggies.

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Oh, right! I didn't know that.

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And if you wanted to go to the coast, this river goes right out to the Wash.

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And they're talking about putting some tributaries on to this to open the whole network.

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What's he confusing you with?

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-He's talking geography.

-What do you think?

-I think it's a fabulous place.

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It's got a great garden. We were looking for a place that's better than the one we've got. This is.

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Oh, well! It's guess-the-price time. I'm not sure whether this is a bit of a formality today.

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You have peeked on the internet. But we'll put you on the spot.

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Jonnie managed to force your budget up to £360,000, tops.

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Right? So...

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Rich, you might have been on the internet, so, Dot, I'll ask you first.

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I think I've got an idea of what it was. I would think it's round about 329.

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OK. Rich?

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Well, the last time I looked it was £339,950.

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Not quite so fast, actually! Slight indiscretion there.

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It's £339,995. So you're out, I'm afraid.

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-£45 out?

-£45 out, mate. Sorry.

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-That makes it unaffordable.

-That's a swim for you.

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So it's a little bit more than you can remember yourselves.

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-We would agree to go up to that, anyway. For something like this.

-Hang on a minute!

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-Hang on a minute. We've got two more houses.

-You have! You're right!

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And Property Two is this way.

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Property Two is my choice and it's big.

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It's near March and sits right on the old River Nene. Four bedrooms, plenty of space downstairs

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and for those water lovers, lots and lots of bathrooms!

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It does need some modernisation, but I think it ticks boxes 1-14.

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Right, Property One is out of the way. It went very well.

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For Property Two, we've taken a slow stroll to March. Lovely town.

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I wanted to put you in the community, rather than being slightly isolated.

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So that's why we have chosen this property. There it is. First impressions, please.

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-It's a house.

-Dot, excellent observation. It IS a house.

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I know you said a bungalow,

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-but your list...

-We'd prefer a bungalow.

-Well, that list, I tore it up and threw it away.

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-What else are we thinking?

-Quiet spot.

-It looks a nice house.

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I think what we've got here is a really nice community feel.

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-You didn't want to be isolated.

-No, it's got a lovely feel.

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Look down there - all the little cottages.

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-It's got a lovely feel.

-Walking down is like Hansel and Gretel.

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-Well, that's nice, isn't it?

-Hansel and Gretel! I hope you find it made of sweet things.

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-Get in there and enjoy it.

-Thank you.

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Here we are.

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-This is the hallway.

-Nice big hall.

-Yeah, good size.

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This is the living room? Yeah.

0:21:340:21:38

-Big window.

-It's a reasonable size.

-Yeah, it's a good size.

0:21:380:21:43

-Got a nice picture window.

-Yeah.

-Shame there's no view.

-Well, it's got a garden.

0:21:430:21:49

-Decor's very neutral, but I think I'd have to change it.

-I think so.

0:21:490:21:54

-Yeah, because...

-It's nothing special. Just an average lounge.

0:21:540:21:58

Now here's a dining room. A good-sized dining room!

0:21:580:22:03

-Gosh. You could have a party.

-As dining room's go, it's a good size.

-A very good size.

0:22:030:22:09

A lot of glass!

0:22:090:22:11

-You know that glass in there? Would you keep it?

-Why not?

0:22:110:22:16

A lot of people think anything from the '60s or '70s you rip out.

0:22:160:22:20

We go through into...the kitchen.

0:22:200:22:23

-Again it's a good size.

-Nice kitchen, nicely fitted.

0:22:230:22:28

And it's not dark wood. It's light.

0:22:280:22:31

You could have a little table in the corner, so it's a kitchen breakfast room if you wish.

0:22:310:22:37

-You know I said I ripped up Richard's list?

-Good idea.

-I didn't throw it away.

0:22:370:22:44

-OK.

-I think we should piece it back together.

0:22:440:22:48

-Oh, Rich! Oh!

-Yes, dear?

0:22:490:22:52

Look at that lovely garden. You could use this as an office, or a bedroom.

0:22:520:22:57

Yes, if we get too old and frail for the stairs, put a bed in here.

0:22:570:23:02

"Bungalow or chalet bungalow, but houses or...are fine." I've missed a bit there.

0:23:020:23:08

"..as long as they have extra room downstairs for a bedroom."

0:23:080:23:13

One thing this house has in spades is loads of room.

0:23:130:23:17

And I think the ancillary areas could contain a stairlift.

0:23:170:23:22

Right, let's go round and see where the... This is one of the bedrooms.

0:23:220:23:27

-Oh, my word! What a size!

-Gosh, what a room.

0:23:280:23:33

-Big rooms, aren't they? You can see the river from there.

-Yes.

0:23:330:23:37

Not my choice of colour again, but a can of paint changes that.

0:23:370:23:42

-Shall we go and have a look...

-See what else we can find.

-Yes.

0:23:420:23:47

-Another bedroom.

-Interesting wallpaper(!)

-That's true.

0:23:470:23:51

-A jolly good size for a spare room or an office.

-You could get two single beds in here or a double.

0:23:510:23:58

-Good views over the back garden.

-Which is pleasant.

-Yeah.

0:23:580:24:02

Have to find out if that's a shared

0:24:020:24:05

parking space out there or not. We'll come to that in due course.

0:24:050:24:10

Yes, you do have a parking space. Plenty of room for your mobile home.

0:24:100:24:14

-Let's see what's round here, shall we?

-Is it the bath?

-Oh, and it's a green one!

0:24:140:24:20

-And a shower.

-Avocado!

-Avocado is coming back in.

0:24:200:24:25

-Avocado and prawns was the starter in the period this house was built.

-Coloured suites will be fashionable.

0:24:250:24:32

-Right. Oh, there is a bathroom!

-Oh, gosh, Sun King.

0:24:320:24:36

I haven't seen a Sun King bathroom for ages! Sun King or Dusky Pink?

0:24:360:24:42

-One would act, in effect, as an en suite, but it's separate.

-Right.

-Not the end of the world.

0:24:420:24:48

No, it's not that far away. Maybe I'd change it to white.

0:24:480:24:53

-OK.

-See what else we've got here.

-Yeah, absolutely.

0:24:530:24:58

Here's another bedroom. They are big bedrooms.

0:24:580:25:02

-You could get a double in here at a push.

-You see these new houses with such tiny bedrooms.

0:25:020:25:08

This is really good.

0:25:080:25:10

Oh, my goodness, yet another... Another great big room!

0:25:100:25:15

-Isn't it just?

-Like ballrooms, aren't they?

0:25:150:25:19

-It's really...

-Beautifully clean.

-And I think from here... Yes, you can.

0:25:190:25:25

-You can see the river.

-You can see the river.

0:25:250:25:29

You see? In the bungalow, they lamented that they couldn't get up and see the river.

0:25:290:25:35

-Not a problem here.

-Good point.

0:25:350:25:38

-Oh, that's nice. That's nice.

-My goodness! Another en suite!

0:25:380:25:43

This must be bedroom one after all, not the one we looked in first.

0:25:430:25:48

-I'm amazed at how much space is here.

-You could shower in a different room every day!

0:25:480:25:55

Shall we go and see Simon? And tell him how well he's done.

0:25:550:25:59

I think you will both agree that there's plenty of room inside the house.

0:26:020:26:07

Yes, very spacious. Very clean and very tidy.

0:26:070:26:11

But come stroll with me down through this secret garden.

0:26:110:26:15

-Just across that little lane there this is also your garden. So you've got this space here.

-Yes.

0:26:150:26:21

You've got the front garden proper and the rear garden. If things were jigged around a bit,

0:26:210:26:28

there would be plenty of room to park the motor home.

0:26:280:26:31

The place when it was first being built was going to be two semi-detached houses.

0:26:310:26:37

-I looked at that and wondered.

-Halfway through, they decided on one big detached house.

0:26:370:26:44

That's why you've got two bathrooms next door to each other. But imagine if you knocked them both through.

0:26:440:26:51

-Absolutely.

-So there's potential there. And you know what? I haven't finished yet.

0:26:510:26:58

Come with me. One more thing.

0:26:580:27:00

Jonnie's lovely house, his bungalow, had its own private mooring.

0:27:000:27:05

-So, not to be outdone, I give you the same.

-Lovely.

0:27:050:27:09

-This is excellent.

-Beautiful.

-One slight difference - this is the River Nene.

0:27:090:27:15

And so, from here, you can navigate to Cambridge, Peterborough, the world.

0:27:150:27:20

This links up with all the other waterways, canals and rivers.

0:27:200:27:24

So there you go. Not bad, eh?

0:27:240:27:27

It seems like you really came round to this. You seemed a little bit hesitant when we got to the house,

0:27:270:27:34

-but you've come round to it.

-Yeah. I couldn't see a parking space.

0:27:340:27:39

-He wouldn't let you down.

-I ticked all the boxes on the list, which I've torn up.

0:27:390:27:46

-But I've still got the pieces.

-I thought that was our secret!

0:27:460:27:50

-Have you seen this place before on the interweb?

-No.

-Yes.

0:27:500:27:54

-No, yes?

-Yes, I have.

-You have? It's been on the market for a couple of months.

0:27:540:28:00

-Right.

-How much do you think it is?

0:28:000:28:04

-I would think...289?

-289?

0:28:040:28:09

-OK, then, Rich.

-Erm...

0:28:090:28:12

I would have thought about 279, 285, something like that.

0:28:140:28:18

-You would?

-I would.

-You're wishful thinking, aren't you?

-Yes.

-A touch, but not far out.

0:28:180:28:25

-It's actually on the market for £310,000.

-Oh, is it really?

0:28:250:28:29

I'm not surprised, actually. There's a lot of garden, a lot of house and its mooring.

0:28:290:28:35

There's nothing wrong with the house and the garden is fine. It's the location I'm not struck on.

0:28:350:28:43

Look, I know how we can cheer this man up here.

0:28:430:28:47

-Do you know how? Everybody's favourite part of the show - Le Wild Card!

-It's that way.

0:28:470:28:53

-Lead the way, Simon.

-No, you go that way.

-He'll catch us up.

0:28:530:28:59

And I did indeed catch them up for our Wild Card today.

0:29:010:29:05

-It's a converted dormer bungalow near the village of Upwell.

-It was an 18th-century lodge.

0:29:050:29:12

The roof has now been converted and modernised with a unique facade.

0:29:120:29:17

It's not just the front that stands out. The space inside is spectacular and the garden simply stunning.

0:29:170:29:23

-And we've not forgotten the water. There it is.

-Perfect.

0:29:230:29:27

A beautiful village called Upwell. What's going through your mind?

0:29:270:29:32

-Upwell is one of our favourite villages.

-Yeah.

-Is it?

-Beautiful.

0:29:320:29:37

Location is most people's priority when they look at a house,

0:29:370:29:41

but if that is a big tick I'm hoping the bricks and mortar will be in line with that.

0:29:410:29:47

-Interesting property.

-Different.

-It's an odd-looking shape, but not unpleasant.

0:29:470:29:53

Aesthetically pleasing.

0:29:530:29:56

Now why is it the Wild Card? The reason why we love this place you will discover when you get inside.

0:29:560:30:03

It is gorgeous. Well, we think so. We'd like you to think the same. We want tell you the rest yet.

0:30:030:30:10

-Enjoy it and discover it. Off you go.

-Thank you very much.

0:30:100:30:15

-Oh!

-That's a very nice front door.

0:30:170:30:19

Goodness me. This is...different!

0:30:210:30:25

-Really different. Good.

-Upwell Palace!

0:30:250:30:31

-It is, isn't it?

-Isn't it just?

0:30:310:30:33

They obviously use it as a dining room, so you could use it as that.

0:30:330:30:38

-It opens out and that hallway is spectacular.

-Knocked me off my feet.

0:30:380:30:43

-It's really different. I really like it.

-Yeah.

0:30:430:30:47

Oh, look. A ground floor bedroom. That's good.

0:30:470:30:52

-Let's see what's in here.

-Ah.

-A nice red carpet.

0:30:520:30:56

This is a nice-sized bathroom. It's a nice shower.

0:30:560:31:01

-It is.

-I like the tiles.

-We could get the whole family in there.

-I do like the tiles and the sink.

0:31:010:31:08

-It's in keeping.

-And a proper cistern.

0:31:080:31:12

-A proper...

-Flush.

-Instead of push-button things that don't work.

0:31:120:31:17

I'm all for attention to detail, but I think the main feature is the space that this room affords,

0:31:170:31:23

not the flushing style.

0:31:230:31:26

-Another bedroom!

-Another?

-And again it's fitted wardrobes.

0:31:260:31:30

-We'll have to sell ours.

-This is nice.

-Lovely.

0:31:300:31:34

-A lovely big room.

-It is nice.

0:31:340:31:37

This is so exceptional, this house, I really am taking to it.

0:31:370:31:42

-Mm. It's cottagey on a grand scale.

-Shall we see what else there is?

0:31:420:31:47

-We shall.

-Yeah?

0:31:470:31:49

I guess this... This is the lounge.

0:31:490:31:52

Oh, now look at that fireplace.

0:31:520:31:56

-Wow. That is some fireplace.

-Isn't it?

-Lovely-sized lounge.

0:31:560:32:00

It is.

0:32:020:32:04

You've got your patio doors there which go onto the garden.

0:32:040:32:08

You've got your two windows here which face the back. Wow.

0:32:080:32:13

This is some garden.

0:32:130:32:15

-Oh, the garden looks interesting.

-That looks lovely.

0:32:150:32:19

We wanted them to feel the grandeur, the opulence. And they are buying into it.

0:32:190:32:25

-Wow.

-Oh, a kitchen diner.

-That is a super kitchen.

-It is, isn't it?

0:32:250:32:31

I do like this light sort of colour. It's really nice.

0:32:310:32:35

-Isn't it lovely done? I like the terracotta tiles with the contrast.

-Yes.

0:32:360:32:42

-They've put terracotta on the carpet down there...

-Yeah.

-..to blend with these tiles.

0:32:420:32:49

-It doesn't work for me.

-Well, no, that's...

-I'd rather pick up on the cream.

-You could change that.

0:32:490:32:55

-Oh, yeah, it's only a can of paint.

-It's super.

0:32:550:33:00

We might have trouble prising Dot out of this house.

0:33:000:33:04

-It's whether Rich comes with us on this adventure.

-Yeah!

0:33:040:33:08

And, oh, yes... Look at this lovely sun room.

0:33:080:33:13

Yeah. I'm not a great lover of this wood effect,

0:33:140:33:19

-but this works well.

-This is lovely. And you've got a radiator out here.

0:33:190:33:24

-Yes.

-This is...

0:33:240:33:27

This is ideal, isn't it? The wood effect out here does work.

0:33:270:33:33

-Got an outbuilding of some sort.

-Yeah, looks like it. That could be a potting shed.

-Yeah.

0:33:330:33:39

-Oh, can you see what I see?

-No, because you're in front of me!

0:33:390:33:44

There's a study right ahead of us.

0:33:440:33:47

-It's more than just a landing. It's a room.

-It's a room.

-A room in itself.

-Oh, yes.

0:33:480:33:53

-What a wonderful space again... isn't it?

-Isn't it just?

0:33:530:33:58

-You can sit up here.

-This is the eyebrow. See the curve?

0:33:580:34:02

-Yes, it is, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:34:020:34:05

Wonderful views across the field.

0:34:050:34:08

-Let's see what we have in here.

-Another huge room!

-Another bedroom.

0:34:080:34:12

-Yeah, I guess it is.

-You'd call this the Yellow Room.

0:34:120:34:17

-There must be another eye window at the back.

-But would you rather have the bedroom downstairs?

-Yeah.

0:34:170:34:23

-So this becomes a glory hole.

-I don't mind that Dot prefers the downstairs bedrooms.

0:34:230:34:29

For me, they wanted essentially a bungalow and I think this makes fantastic guest space.

0:34:290:34:35

Send them up there, use the double bedroom for sleeping and the other one is their walk-in wardrobe.

0:34:350:34:42

A little bit of space there, I would think.

0:34:420:34:46

-And it goes through... Oh, this is the en suite!

-It's an on "suet"!

-Yes!

0:34:460:34:52

-This is quite different as well, isn't it? This is a real house of intrigue, isn't it?

-It is.

0:34:520:34:59

-Yes.

-I could come up here and have a bath and you wouldn't even know where I was.

0:34:590:35:05

I'm not a great lover of painted wood panels, but in this house it works.

0:35:050:35:10

-It fits the house.

-And it's tasteful colours. Colours that suit us.

0:35:100:35:15

Yeah, absolutely. This is ideal.

0:35:150:35:18

Well, I think this is... Jonnie and Simon have found something extremely different.

0:35:180:35:25

-Haven't they?

-It ticks a lot of boxes.

-It does.

-They've given us something to think about.

0:35:250:35:31

-We hope you'll agree that is a beautiful, grand house.

-We agree.

0:35:340:35:38

And we also hope you'd agree that out here we have a mature, private, very good-sized garden.

0:35:380:35:46

-Yeah, it is great. Wonderful.

-Why it's the Wild Card is obvious.

0:35:460:35:51

You wanted to be next to a waterway. Well...this is all you get - this lovely pond

0:35:510:35:56

-with the water feature.

-A private waterway.

-I did say we wanted a view OR an outlook.

0:35:560:36:03

-This has a terrific outlook.

-It does.

-The whole house seems to point out to this garden.

-It does.

0:36:030:36:10

And you've got a beautiful walled garden and a vegetable patch. It's even got a fig tree.

0:36:100:36:16

And for the motor home, there is the double garage for two cars with parking in front of it.

0:36:160:36:23

-That's where you'd approach the house.

-It would be that entrance.

0:36:230:36:27

Something you could experiment with there, whether there's enough space for you there. You can look into it.

0:36:270:36:34

Now guessing the price. I know you've looked at so much property on the internet,

0:36:340:36:40

-but are we one each?

-One-all at the moment.

0:36:400:36:44

Your top budget is £360,000, the very top limit.

0:36:440:36:48

Rich, I'm guessing because you've done an awful lot of research,

0:36:480:36:54

you will have a fairly good idea. Dot, are you so sure?

0:36:540:36:58

-I'm not, not at all.

-Good!

0:36:580:37:00

-I'll put you on the spot. You're going first. How much?

-Oh, gosh.

0:37:000:37:07

-I would... I would say 340.

-OK. Rich?

0:37:070:37:11

-Can you remember?

-I can.

-Then you should do very well here.

0:37:110:37:16

-Go on, then.

-Well, I would like to let the lady win...

0:37:160:37:21

-But you won't!

-That would mean me pricing it at 250.

-Oh, right.

0:37:210:37:26

It's 295, I think.

0:37:260:37:29

Well, 295, yeah. Potentially, you're on the money, but it is offers over.

0:37:290:37:35

As I am a gentleman, I think I'll award a dead heat.

0:37:350:37:40

-I'll go with that.

-Good lad!

0:37:400:37:42

We've now shown you three very different properties. You've got to decide which one to spend time in.

0:37:420:37:48

-Why don't you take yourselves off and make that decision?

-Thank you.

0:37:480:37:52

-Could go either way.

-I can't make my mind up.

0:37:520:37:56

Here's a reminder for you of the voyage that was today's three properties.

0:37:560:38:01

Property One is my stunning three-bed bungalow with the lovely mooring at the end of the garden.

0:38:010:38:08

And it's in budget!

0:38:080:38:10

Or will they go for my rather more spacious house? Four bedrooms and three bathrooms

0:38:100:38:15

and it, too, has a lovely mooring. Only the price is smaller.

0:38:150:38:20

Impressive, Simon. Then the Wild Card - a three-bedroom lodge with an eyebrow window.

0:38:220:38:29

It's the cheapest of them all and is an example of what you can get without a waterside premium.

0:38:290:38:35

Offers over £295,000, this one.

0:38:350:38:39

-Well, well, well. The Wild Card wins again?

-Looks like it, Jonnie.

-We can't blame you.

0:38:430:38:49

What a splendid property this is, despite not having a mooring.

0:38:490:38:54

Our eagle-eyed surveyor has given it the once-over.

0:38:540:38:59

It's not legally binding and, if you go ahead, make sure you get all your surveys done.

0:38:590:39:06

-We will.

-But he's come up with interesting stuff.

0:39:060:39:10

He's a very, very picky fellow. Right?

0:39:100:39:13

One point he mentioned was some crack on the corner there.

0:39:130:39:18

That may be from the load of the hip joint on the roof,

0:39:180:39:22

but, more than likely, the movement has done all the moving it will do.

0:39:220:39:27

-But as an added precaution, he recommends taking out that small tree.

-Yes.

0:39:270:39:33

It's then very important to backfill that hole and not to undermine it.

0:39:330:39:37

-Fair enough.

-Another couple of bits... He's been really nitpicky because it's in great condition.

0:39:370:39:44

He thinks the fuse box could do with replacing. It hasn't got a breaker, needs modernising.

0:39:440:39:50

Little bits and pieces like that. Then there's a cracked tile here, little tiny bits.

0:39:500:39:58

But, all in all, in very, very good condition. That's it, really.

0:39:580:40:02

So why don't you get in there and enjoy the place some more? Enjoy it! It's yours!

0:40:020:40:08

-Well...

-Spot of fishing?

0:40:100:40:12

-What is it with you and fishing?

-I'll catch something this time!

0:40:120:40:17

-Richard was very keen to park the motor home to see how it fits. Here he comes.

-There you go.

0:40:200:40:26

Gently does it, gently does it.

0:40:260:40:29

Back a bit. Bit more. Keep going, keep going.

0:40:290:40:33

There you go, you see!

0:40:330:40:35

Perfect fit.

0:40:350:40:37

Now what's Dot doing? She's checking out the garden and doing her impression of Monet.

0:40:370:40:43

-But will this property be on the Monet? Get it?

-You just can't help yourself.

0:40:430:40:50

That does deserve a slap on the wrist. Not the painting hand!

0:40:500:40:54

Time to check out the rooms. It looks like Dot's in the mood for more painting.

0:40:550:41:01

I think they're trying to match the room to Richard's jumper.

0:41:010:41:06

-It's that one.

-You think?

-I'd go for a whiter shade of pale.

0:41:060:41:11

Your jokes give me the Moody Blues, Simon.

0:41:110:41:14

Let's find out what THEY think.

0:41:140:41:17

OK, you lovely couple. You've now spent a bit more time here. How did it feel?

0:41:170:41:24

It felt very, very good. It's an exceptional house, beautiful grounds,

0:41:240:41:30

very, very sheltered and the inside is quite stunning.

0:41:300:41:34

I know you've fallen in love with it. That's my instinct.

0:41:340:41:38

But, Richard, you had reservations. You got the motor home parked.

0:41:380:41:43

-But I wouldn't get any cars in!

-There's a car next to it now! You KNOW that's true.

0:41:430:41:49

-Plenty of room.

-I can overcome that.

0:41:490:41:52

Right, we've had some ups and down. Jonnie, ask the big question.

0:41:520:41:57

After this monumentous journey and, hopefully, successful test drive,

0:41:570:42:01

do you now want to buy or not to buy?

0:42:010:42:05

I think it's a good possibility that after a few more enquiries we might buy it.

0:42:050:42:11

-Rich?

-Well, She Who Must Be Obeyed has spoken.

0:42:110:42:15

-Now we cut to the quick.

-I think that's fair comment, mate. Very, very diplomatically put.

0:42:150:42:22

But it sounds very positive, just dotting Is and crossing Ts?

0:42:220:42:27

-I think it is.

-Could well be.

-It's been an absolute pleasure.

0:42:270:42:32

-We hope wherever you end up becomes your home for many years.

-I hope so.

-Thanks for your help.

0:42:320:42:38

-See you later.

-Cheers.

0:42:380:42:40