Oakham To Buy or Not to Buy


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Oakham

Simon O'Brien and Jonnie Irwin visit Rutland, England's smallest county, on a property quest for a young mum.


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-Welcome to Rutland, the smallest county in England.

-Today, the UK's biggest property show is in town.

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Get ready to ride in on the crest of a wave.

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Whilst we impart an entire reservoir of property know-how.

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-Is big best, Jonnie?

-Well, yeah, but equally, small can be beautiful.

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Happily, we have the best of both worlds today -

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-small county, big show.

-Agreed.

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And the tried and tested formula of three properties.

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One of which you try before you buy.

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Now we just need to find someone that's looking to buy a house.

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-'Will this pair do?

-I don't see why not. This is Kate and Rory. This couple are love's young dream.

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'They have been seeing each other for just six months.

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'Kate lives in Oakham with her two children, James and Lenny, from a previous relationship.

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'She works from home as an auditor, is studying for an MA

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'and she also practises reiki, likes pottery and painting.

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'Rory has just enjoyed 12 months of leisure time.

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'After taking redundancy from the IT game, he has plans to buy his very own shop.

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'And we're going to be shopping around for their next home together. Shall we go and meet them?'

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Kate, I understand that today, Simon and I are after providing you with a fresh start.

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-Is that right?

-Yes.

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-Are we moving far afield?

-No, fairly locally.

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My children go to the local school. I'd like to stay that way.

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-Rory, you're along for moral support?

-I am, yes.

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Decision-making.

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Ah! You've given something away there.

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Is Kate an indecisive kind of person or can't she make her mind up about that?

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-It's just a case of not seeing anything that's perfect yet.

-So you have been looking?

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I have been. I'm probably not looking at the right thing.

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I'm looking at houses I like that aren't suitable family houses.

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What have been the houses that you like, but aren't suitable?

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I really like older properties and they tend to have very small courtyard gardens

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and quite small bedrooms.

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If, say, we found a property which we thought was good for the family,

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but not the lovely, chocolate-box, period property you're after,

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-are you becoming more open-minded because you've not found what you wanted?

-I think so.

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LAUGHTER

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Right, I think we should just go home now, mate.

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Rory, I'll put you on the spot as Kate won't make her mind up.

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Location - where would she like to be, do you think?

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Certainly still in Oakham. She wants everything sort of on her doorstep,

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not far to the children's school, not far to the childminder.

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-It's a lovely town.

-It is. I really like it here.

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What might you compromise on and what are your must-haves?

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I would say two-bedroom. I think we differ on this one.

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As long as they're big enough to take bunk beds. But you think I'm better off sticking with three.

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-It's got to be three.

-I am with Rory on this one.

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And I work from home, so I need some office space.

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Any other rooms that spring to mind?

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No. Part of my problem is I don't have a fixed idea about what I want.

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If I did, searching would be easier. I just don't really know.

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-I take it a garden is essential for the boys?

-It is, yeah.

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Right. And how far away from the schools are you prepared to go? What's the radius?

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I've been thinking about six miles.

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In the morning when it's rush hour, I'd be able to get the kids to school without too much problem.

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You seem fairly open-minded and fairly easy to please. You don't have lots of criteria, do you?

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I just get a feel for somewhere when I look round it. That's the frustrating bit.

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Maybe we're looking for the X-factor that we can't predict. You walk through the door and get this feel.

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-That's going to be difficult to find.

-It is. It depends how much money we've got.

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Let's talk turkey. How much?

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-240.

-Right.

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-This is where you come in, Simon.

-This is where I go, "Could we push you any more than that?"

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-I don't want to go more than that.

-For someone who's indecisive...

-I'm very decisive about that.

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-I'm going to make a decision right now.

-That's going outside?

-It is. See you later.

-See you later.

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Now, I can see that Kate is a fairly indecisive person.

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-I'm not so sure now.

-But I think we can help her. They definitely want three bedrooms.

-Maybe. Maybe not.

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We also know that they like modern facilities of a property, but also maybe a touch of traditional.

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-Do you think so? I'm not so sure.

-You're not getting indecisive now?

-I don't know.

-Give me strength!

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'OK, so, Oakham, the county town of Rutland.

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'Rutland is small, but it hasn't stopped it having a momentous past.

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'Like when it lost its county status and became part of Leicestershire?

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'Yes, but happier days were ahead when, in 1997, Rutland's county status was restored.

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'It's small, but perfectly formed.

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'Rutland Water is the largest man-made reservoir in Europe.

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'Tim Appleton has worked here since its creation in the '70s.'

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Tim, first question, do you remember this landscape before the water was here?

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Yeah, absolutely, it was green. It was full of beautiful old houses.

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Wonderful valleys - two valleys linked together.

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And now it's transformed to this massive great area of water.

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-How many households were here?

-It wasn't as bad as everyone seems to think.

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-You think of lovely old villages submerged, bells ringing...

-People running to the high ground!

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That wasn't the case. It was about 14, 15 houses.

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What sort of activities can you get up to around the area now?

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It's brilliant. It's transformed the whole environment.

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There's obvious things like sailing and fishing that go on on most reservoirs.

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There's fantastic cycling. It's one of the greenest counties I know.

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You can cycle round the whole 27 miles. And, of course, bird-watching.

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The Wildlife Trust here has built up a fantastic nature reserve of international importance.

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-I guess Rutland Water now makes this a very desirable area to live?

-Yes, the price of houses has just soared.

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Anything that overlooks the water is an arm and a leg job for a start.

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But generally speaking, it has had a massive impact on the local economy.

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Over 1,000 people around the area are connected in some way to tourism.

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-'So Rutland could cost a pretty penny, Simon.

-That it might, Jonnie.

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-'I wonder though?

-What?

-What can you get for £240,000 in the rest of the country?

-Let's find out.

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'If living in the Border Country is your thing, this place might also be your thing.

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'Lower Westwood is a chunk of Westwood House.

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'This chunk has three beds, two receptions,

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'all on the ground floor of this high-spec conversion.

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'Just a matter of 445 miles to get yourself from the Borders to Plympton near Plymouth

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'to find this four-bed, detached family home.

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'What about glorious views of Herefordshire?

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'They can be found in this three-bed period house in Malvern,

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'close to local shops and all the glory of the Malvern Hills.'

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If you fancy a change in your working environment, then why not think about working from home?

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In 2008, 3% of the UK's workforce worked from home

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with 7% doing so at least once a week.

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But there are a few things to bear in mind before starting your own home business.

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The same health and safety legislation applies whether it's a home office...

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..or an actual office.

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-PHONE RINGS

-Hello. Can I help you?

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If you work from home or use part of it for commercial purposes, you may have to tell your mortgage provider.

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And your insurance company as it may affect your premium.

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On the upside, you may be able to charge some of your utility bills back against your business tax.

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You may also be charged business rates, so check with the Valuation Office Agency.

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The To Buy Or Not To Buy office has been on the hunt with Jonnie and I for the perfect property for Kate.

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-How have we got on?

-Pretty well.

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This is modern, but I reckon it's got all the bedrooms they wanted,

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it's got the outside space, close to the school.

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It's just a stone's throw away from where they live.

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-You're thinking practically.

-I am.

-I have gone pure romance. How about that for a period property?

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16th century, no less. It is right on the edge of Kate's search area, but I still think she will love it.

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-That's property two. Now, the wild card.

-Look at that - she's wild!

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-This may look a bit small from the front, but this property just keeps on giving.

-That's the wild card.

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-Shall we make another decision?

-I'm not sure.

-Shall we start the property tours?

-Could do.

-Where?

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-Number 1.

-Yeah, your choice.

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'Near Oakham town centre is this beauty.

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'There's a quiet cul-de-sac for the kids and a play park over the road.

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'It also has everything Kate wants from a property - four beds, detached, en-suite and a garage.'

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So, Kate and Rory, property one. I hope you're very excited.

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-What do you think?

-Looks good.

-I like it.

-Do you know this area?

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-Yeah. We walk up this way to school every week.

-Jonnie's given you a modern property.

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-How do you feel with that, Kate?

-I'm not sure at the moment.

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I agree with you. I'm not sure about this at all.

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Listen, ignore this indecision.

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You've got loads of bedrooms in here, you've got nice spaces for the boys.

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I think this is a very practical option and practicality should be at the heart of your property search.

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-So keep this practical thought in mind and have a look.

-All right.

-In you go.

-Help her out.

-Will do.

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-I'm being positive now. How are you feeling?

-I don't know. What shall we do now?

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-We'll listen to them like this house.

-Like it.

-Come on.

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-So far, so good.

-Yeah, I like the hallway.

-Yeah, nice, big hallway.

-It is.

-Dining room.

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And I do like the way this door opens into the hall,

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-so when you're in the dining room...

-It doesn't seem too small.

-..you don't feel claustrophobic.

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-Even though it's smallish, it's opened up, isn't it?

-That's true.

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I think my only slight concern would be the distance from the kitchen with the kids.

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It would be useful if we could put a table in the kitchen, then this room could be a playroom or an office.

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-They don't necessarily need a playroom.

-Yes, they do cos it all comes downstairs.

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You need a room where you can say to the kids, "That's your room, this is our room.

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"We're not having toys all over the living area."

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-This is a good-sized room.

-It is.

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And it opens out to the garden as well.

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-That's nice for the kids, isn't it? I like that.

-Very nice.

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-A bit too much gardening for me.

-I'm not sure I could do that justice.

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-It is a lovely garden.

-The boys would "manicure" that garden. They'd turn it into a massive play area.

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-Good.

-They have got a table in here.

-Perfect.

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In that case, I wouldn't have that room as a dining room. I think I'd change it.

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I'm not a big fan of fitted kitchens,

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although everywhere that I look has a fitted kitchen. I might be inclined to change the sink.

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-Yeah.

-Have my butler sink back in.

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This kitchen is a fantastic dining kitchen for a young family.

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You have the boys at the table doing their homework while you cook their evening meal.

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-You're right, this is the living space. This is where you spend 90% of your time.

-Yeah.

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I like the stairs at the top here, the way they come into the middle of the landing.

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-Yeah. And everything shoots off from the centre, doesn't it?

-Yeah, it's quite light.

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Yeah...

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It gives presence to the upstairs, rather than shooting straight into a bedroom.

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The bathroom...

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-Oh, good, it's got a shower as well.

-Yes.

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And a positive aspect of this is it's the bathroom that's over the garage.

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When you have the bedrooms over the garage, they tend to be quite cold.

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-That's true.

-Above the empty space.

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A lot of old barns kept the cows on the ground floor and the living accommodation on the first floor,

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so the heat from the cows would heat the first floor. It still happens in the Tyrol region of Austria.

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-OK, this is a good size...

-Yeah, they've got a double in, haven't they?

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They've got a double in. It's hopefully not the master bedroom or main bedroom.

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-Built-in cupboards. It'd be a good child's bedroom.

-There'd be a fight amongst the boys.

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-Will there be a fight, Jonnie?

-Not necessarily. It depends how they configure the first floor.

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This has got four bedrooms, so, actually, I could keep this as the office,

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-which means the downstairs dining room could be a playroom.

-Perfect.

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-And a view of the rolling hills. It would be a lovely place to do some work.

-Yeah.

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Is this the main bedroom?

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No, I don't think so. Another good-sized room, though.

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-The boys wouldn't be fighting over who gets the bigger bedroom.

-No, cos they're quite similar sizes.

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-Very similar.

-In both rooms, if you got a single along the side here, it leaves quite a lot of play space.

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Hmm. Yeah.

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-Yeah, good size.

-Yeah, excellent.

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Let's have a look at the last room then.

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This is nice, the master bedroom.

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Nice views.

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-Yeah.

-Yeah?

-I think I like the master bedroom at the back of the house, if I had a choice.

-Yeah.

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It's a bit more private, but yeah, a nice view.

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The master bedroom I'm hoping goes from being practical to being a real positive.

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-A-ha, en-suite!

-Yes.

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-Excellent.

-Big shower, brilliant.

-Oh, yes, I do like this.

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They were certainly correct in saying this is a very practical house.

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-Yes.

-I think this is exactly what you're looking for, practicality-wise.

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I'm surprised, a big four-bedroom down here, overlooking the park.

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I don't think it can be in my price range.

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So, for the first property, how did I do?

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-It was OK.

-Oh!

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Sounds like my school report. "Could do better", was it?

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-It was quite practical.

-As you said.

-That is my middle name!

-It just didn't excite me particularly.

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I was hoping the en-suite upstairs might have turned your head a bit?

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No, obviously not!

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-Jonnie, I'm going to jump to your defence here.

-Thank you, Simon.

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-This is everything you need. This is a detached property.

-Yeah.

-On your budget, that's a find.

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The boys get their own double bedroom. Office upstairs...

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-Have I succeeded?

-You have done that, yes, and I'm surprised

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that my budget would allow for a new build, quite a big house, four-bedroom,

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but I don't know, I can't explain why.

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-Rory, what did you think about this place?

-It is very, very practical.

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It ticks all the boxes, everything that she asked for, except there's no soul to the property.

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There's no character. When you walk in, there's just no... You don't feel anything.

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We're giving you a hard time about being indecisive, but maybe you just haven't got that right feel.

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I tell you what might win you over. We've got to be very decisive now.

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It's "guess the price" time. Who's going to go first?

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Your budget is £240,000 maximum. You were very specific about that.

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-Yeah.

-Are you going to jump in at the deep end, Kate?

-I think it's going to be more.

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-Go on.

-249,950.

-OK.

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I'm going to go for 259,950.

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That sounds like you were both impressed with the property and what it gave you.

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-You are spot-on, right on the money.

-Oh!

-249,950. Well done.

-That's amazing. Fantastic.

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So what are your feelings now?

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-SHE SIGHS

-Well, you're smiling.

-That's because I got the answer right!

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LAUGHTER

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I tell you what - you're not the only person that likes it.

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It's come to the market just below the stamp-duty threshold.

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A four-bedroomed house below the stamp threshold is attractive to a lot of families.

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There's already someone else quite interested in it, so you've not got much time, which leads us on to...

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I haven't made up my mind about anything today, but now it's time for my property, which is this way.

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No, it's this way. Come on.

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In Greetham, a few miles from Oakham, is this stone-built cottage.

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Kate mentioned character and this place has it in abundance, along with all the other essentials -

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four beds, en-suite, two receptions. Kate will be bowled over when she has a gander in here.

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OK, folks, property two today is my choice.

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I've been at sixes and sevens today, except when it came to picking this one. First impressions, please?

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-I think it's a really attractive house.

-Lots of character.

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-You did say perhaps the problem with Jonnie's you had was it lacked a bit of soul.

-Yeah.

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I guarantee this place is full of it. 16th century, this dates back from.

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-Lovely.

-On the downside of that,

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we did struggle on your budget, we'll be quite frank, to find the detached, characterful property.

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-This one's terraced. What do you think of that?

-I don't know yet.

-Come on.

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-Speak your mind.

-It depends how nice it is on the inside.

-I'll also point out one other thing.

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If you're worried about noise from the neighbours, the walls in this place are built from the local stone

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and they are 30 centimetres, that's 12 inches in old money, thick.

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-The current vendors say they don't hear each other.

-What do you think about the location?

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You're prepared to go out six or so miles. We're still within that radius. It's quite a nice village.

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-Do you know Greetham at all?

-Vaguely. I drive through it and I really like it.

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-But

-I

-really like it. I don't know how suitable it is for the kids.

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It's got a real community spirit.

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It's got its own post office, shop, three pubs. There's lots going on.

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It's not one of those dormitory villages where people come home and close the curtains.

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-So I think there'll be plenty for the kids to do here.

-OK.

-You clearly like the look of this.

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-Go inside. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so eat up.

-OK.

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I'm impressed, mate. You've become very decisive with this one.

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-Do you know what we're going to do now?

-What?

-Listen to the headphones. Come on!

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-This is more like it.

-Wow, I like this!

-Really good.

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Yeah, I like the feel of it.

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-Nice, wide hallway.

-It is, yeah. I like the beam.

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-Oh, that's lovely!

-Oh, wow!

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Fantastic.

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This is the best room in the house. It's a real "wow" room, isn't it?

0:20:070:20:11

-It's a bit different, not just a square room. Working fireplace?

-Yeah.

0:20:110:20:17

It's a bit '80s maybe?

0:20:170:20:20

-I might be inclined to change the surround.

-Yeah.

0:20:200:20:25

I like these little nooks and crannies in here.

0:20:250:20:28

A couple of other things to point out -

0:20:280:20:31

at the back, there are two little alcoves, one on the rear wall.

0:20:310:20:35

That's the old rear window because when this place was built, that was the back wall.

0:20:350:20:41

-Like two up, two down?

-Tiny little cottage. And there's an alcove next to the fireplace - bread oven.

0:20:410:20:47

Oh, good job I'm not too tall.

0:20:490:20:51

-Again there's similar sort of little built-in...

-Quirky little alcoves.

-Shelves, yeah.

0:20:510:20:57

-Oh, right, is that...?

-Ah!

0:21:000:21:02

-Oh, yes.

-That is lovely.

-It is, isn't it?

0:21:020:21:05

I like the flooring.

0:21:050:21:08

Again I like the little shelf in the wall.

0:21:080:21:11

-And a great fireplace.

-We could probably put a fireplace back in there, couldn't we?

-Yeah.

0:21:110:21:17

I like these little shelves, but I think you might be able to take this middle section out

0:21:170:21:23

-and have little shelves that go all the way through.

-You could...

0:21:230:21:27

This is all stud wall, so you could take the whole of that wall out

0:21:270:21:31

-and have an open kitchen-diner...

-Beautiful.

-..which would be a lot better and brighter.

-It would.

-Yes.

0:21:310:21:37

I would normally have concerns about people coming to a period property and knocking walls down,

0:21:370:21:43

but this is the one part that anyone could knock through. It's only a stud partition.

0:21:430:21:49

Absolutely.

0:21:490:21:50

-The utility bit. They've got everything in here.

-Shall we move on?

-Yeah.

0:21:510:21:58

Aha! Box room.

0:22:040:22:06

Yeah.

0:22:060:22:08

It's quite a small room. It's got quite a big window, but...

0:22:080:22:13

-It's ideal for an office.

-Yeah.

0:22:130:22:16

-Exactly what it's being used for.

-As an office, it's fine, but I think it's a third bedroom.

0:22:160:22:23

Oh, do you think that, Kate?

0:22:230:22:26

-That's much better in size.

-Yes.

0:22:310:22:34

-High ceilings, aren't they, in these old houses?

-Yeah.

0:22:340:22:38

-High ceilings for a cottage of this age. You don't normally see this.

-We're up into the roof space.

0:22:380:22:44

-It's got a nice feel to it.

-It has. I like it.

-I do.

0:22:440:22:48

-Next one.

-..Another double bedroom.

0:22:480:22:52

-A quite similar size to the other one.

-Yeah.

0:22:520:22:57

This is good, though. Those two rooms are practically identical.

0:22:570:23:01

-For the two boys...

-So they won't argue.

0:23:010:23:04

-Room sizes.

-Who gets what.

-Yes.

0:23:040:23:08

I think Kate's been pretty lucky so far. She's getting houses that give her boys separate rooms.

0:23:080:23:14

That's pretty good in her budget.

0:23:140:23:17

-Oh, there's secrets.

-Is there?

-Oh, wow.

-What? Oh, gosh.

0:23:170:23:22

-Wow!

-Oh, wow. Gosh.

0:23:220:23:25

-So is this the master bedroom?

-Well, I'm not sure.

0:23:250:23:29

-It's handy.

-It is very handy.

-Unless it's the only bathroom.

0:23:290:23:35

-No, surely.

-You never know.

-That's true.

0:23:350:23:38

-Imagine being a young boy and having your own en suite. Luxury.

-It's not going to happen.

-No way, Jose.

0:23:380:23:45

-Another secret room now?

-Just an airing cupboard.

-OK.

0:23:460:23:50

Good stuff.

0:23:520:23:54

-Ah, so this is the bathroom.

-This is the...

-So it has got a proper main bathroom.

0:23:560:24:02

It's really nice. Doesn't have a mounted shower.

0:24:020:24:06

-It doesn't.

-But there is a shower cubicle in the other bedroom.

-Yes.

0:24:060:24:10

I would use the space from the airing cupboard, bring it into the bathroom, free-standing shower.

0:24:100:24:17

-That would be very nice.

-Oh, yes, I like this.

0:24:170:24:21

-I like this, too.

-Nice big room.

0:24:210:24:23

Bright, airy, back of the house.

0:24:230:24:26

-I like the master bedroom at the back.

-No road noise or anything.

0:24:260:24:31

And two windows keeps it really light.

0:24:310:24:35

That's a beautiful view out the window. I really like that.

0:24:350:24:39

-You get a lot of space.

-You do get a lot.

0:24:390:24:44

It's quite a big bedroom and there's four bedrooms.

0:24:440:24:47

-I could have my office up here. And the lounge is quite big.

-Good size. Straight out to the back garden.

0:24:470:24:53

-I like this one.

-I like the layout.

0:24:530:24:56

I'm feeling quite pleased with myself. That seemed to go very well.

0:24:590:25:03

-It did. I really like it.

-There's just a really nice feeling to it.

0:25:030:25:08

-There is. It's calm and peaceful and has got a really nice feel.

-Rory, would you agree?

0:25:080:25:14

You've hit it spot on. Practical, has character, space. Perfect.

0:25:140:25:19

I was explaining to Jonnie that his mistake was listening to what you wanted and needed.

0:25:190:25:25

-I just picked a house I liked.

-Similar taste in houses and coats!

0:25:250:25:30

Exactly. There you go.

0:25:300:25:32

But from the front door you were making all the right noises.

0:25:320:25:36

-Everything you said positive about the house was everything you could see.

-Definitely.

0:25:360:25:42

Right. That's the inside. And out back here, one of your requirements was a nice garden.

0:25:420:25:49

-We've got this lovely garden here. What do we think?

-There's a gate. What's it for?

-Good question.

0:25:490:25:56

That is to give you access across next door's garden to the rear of your property.

0:25:560:26:01

It's a one-way thing. They don't have access into your garden.

0:26:010:26:07

OK, it's price time. You guessed very well for the modern property, mine, that we showed you.

0:26:070:26:14

-Who would like to guess the price first?

-My turn.

0:26:140:26:18

Just under budget. Maybe £50 under budget.

0:26:180:26:22

-£239,995.

-OK.

0:26:220:26:25

-950.

-Done.

-What's 45 quid among friends?

0:26:250:26:30

-OK, so £239,950 for Rory. Kate?

-I think it's going to be more.

0:26:300:26:35

I think it's going to be more like £255,950.

0:26:350:26:39

Mm, you do? I've got to make a decision with my maths.

0:26:390:26:43

You are very good at this, you two. And it's one-all.

0:26:430:26:47

-Wow!

-Because you were £50 out.

0:26:470:26:50

-It's actually bang on the money, nice round numbers, £240,000.

-Wow.

0:26:500:26:56

-There you go.

-That surprises me.

-Good. We're glad about that, too.

0:26:560:27:01

-It's a good surprise.

-It is.

-Do you want another good surprise?

-Yeah, go on.

-Jonnie?

0:27:010:27:07

-Is it time for the Wild Card?

-It is! Let's this way!

0:27:070:27:12

-Now then, it's Wild Card time and it's a belter.

-The house is in the rural village of Wing.

0:27:140:27:21

-I've got a feeling Kate will really like it.

-I think she will.

0:27:210:27:25

-It ticks all Kate's boxes, but with a twist.

-I wouldn't expect anything else from a Wild Card.

0:27:250:27:31

So, in precis, two beds, two receptions, charm a-plenty and an amazing garden set-up.

0:27:310:27:38

So everybody's favourite part of the show is the Wild Card.

0:27:380:27:42

Now, is it wild? Is it good?

0:27:420:27:45

It doesn't look very wild. It's not detached, but that's OK.

0:27:450:27:50

I love the road. I love it up here.

0:27:500:27:53

-Explain. We're in the village of Wing.

-One of my favourite villages. We spent last weekend up here.

0:27:530:28:01

Oh, right. We're very close to Rutland Water. Is that good?

0:28:010:28:05

Really good. We go to the sailing club.

0:28:050:28:08

-Rory, what are you thinking?

-I'm thinking it looks quite small.

-Practical. That's why you're here.

0:28:080:28:15

OK, you will discover whether it is or not as you wander round. It's the Wild Card - it has surprises.

0:28:150:28:22

The term that Jonnie and I came up with, separately, was that this place is sweet. It really is.

0:28:220:28:29

It's got the character you asked for. This is built somewhere around 1860, 1865.

0:28:290:28:35

So you've got the period features. Let's hope you've got some bigger dimensions.

0:28:350:28:41

Off you go. See you in a bit.

0:28:410:28:44

Oh!

0:28:490:28:51

-Well, this is quirky.

-Different!

0:28:510:28:56

Yeah, it is. The kitchen feels like a sort of outdoor area.

0:28:560:29:01

-It's like a conservatory.

-We used the word sweet. They said quirky. Quirky's probably more apt.

0:29:010:29:09

Yeah, it is quirky.

0:29:090:29:11

You wouldn't get another table in. It's where the sink is.

0:29:110:29:15

Yeah.

0:29:150:29:17

I like the flooring. Oh, a little office area here.

0:29:180:29:22

That's handy. Not sure I'd get all my work things in there.

0:29:220:29:27

-It's nice and light. I like it.

-Different. It's not a standard fitted kitchen.

-Absolutely.

0:29:270:29:34

Right.

0:29:340:29:35

I guess this would have been the dining room. That's nice.

0:29:350:29:40

I like the woodburner.

0:29:400:29:42

-I don't know. I think it's a bit small.

-It is quite small. And just really unusual.

0:29:420:29:48

-It has character, though.

-It has.

0:29:480:29:50

-Likeable.

-And it's just really different.

0:29:500:29:54

-The set-up is really unusual.

-This house doesn't have that newly-refurbished feel to it.

0:29:540:30:00

It has the earthy, stylish, dare I say it, shabby chic feel.

0:30:000:30:05

-Bohemian would have been a better term.

-Indeed.

0:30:050:30:09

-Oh, that's really sweet. I really like that chimney.

-Yeah.

0:30:110:30:16

-Front door comes straight into the lounge.

-Yes.

-They don't use it.

0:30:170:30:22

-Is that front door an issue?

-I don't know. It doesn't bother me in terms of the kids going round the back.

0:30:220:30:30

But it might bother me when people come to the house and knock on it. If I'm sitting here...

0:30:300:30:36

-I think with the two young boys in here, it could get a bit...

-Yeah. Stifling!

0:30:370:30:43

Claustrophobic.

0:30:430:30:45

Nice to not be overlooked at all, though. I like the view.

0:30:450:30:50

Yeah.

0:30:500:30:51

I think you can hear that they both appreciate the style of this place,

0:30:510:30:56

but I'm not hearing that brightness.

0:30:560:30:59

-Beautiful.

-That is very nice.

-I really like that.

0:31:080:31:12

-Well, they've got a bunk in here, so it's...

-Yeah.

0:31:120:31:17

You're not impressed.

0:31:180:31:20

What's in this cupboard?

0:31:200:31:23

-Storage.

-Right. Toy cupboard. that's quite useful.

0:31:230:31:27

-Again, I like the flooring.

-Yeah, I do. I like the floor.

0:31:270:31:31

Yeah.

0:31:310:31:33

You could easily get, as they have done, the same arrangement.

0:31:330:31:37

From this point, my powers of deduction say this is only two-bed.

0:31:370:31:44

Now this is a nice room. I like this.

0:31:480:31:53

The master bedroom is lovely, but Rory's gone very, very quiet.

0:31:530:31:57

Beautiful view out of the window.

0:32:000:32:04

-Not overlooked at all. Isn't that nice?

-It is very nice.

0:32:040:32:08

Ah, now, this will be the bathroom off this main bedroom.

0:32:080:32:12

-So if the boys need the toilet in the night, they'd come through...

-If there is one downside,

0:32:120:32:18

-whoever's in the other bedroom has to come through there.

-I totally agree. First thing I thought of.

0:32:180:32:26

Actually, nice bathroom. I like the separate shower.

0:32:260:32:30

It bothers me that it's off the main bedroom.

0:32:300:32:34

-It's quirky. It's...

-I like where it is. Really, really nice outside.

0:32:340:32:39

And I like the village, but it's just too small.

0:32:390:32:44

Shall we see what the boys say?

0:32:440:32:47

-OK, Jonnie, here they come.

-This is a strange set-up.

-It is.

0:32:470:32:52

This must be next door's garden. And this is next door, isn't it?

0:32:520:32:57

-Yeah.

-So you have to come into next door's garden to come into your own.

-It's just shared access.

0:32:570:33:03

-Keep coming down the path.

-Keep going?

-Stay positive.

0:33:030:33:07

Hopefully, it will get better. Keep walking.

0:33:070:33:11

-Oh!

-Ah!

0:33:130:33:15

-Office, look.

-Yeah.

0:33:150:33:18

-Aha!

-They're using this as an office.

-Yeah.

0:33:210:33:25

It'd be very peaceful. Free from distraction.

0:33:250:33:29

Also got power in here. I'd get my desk and everything in.

0:33:290:33:34

-Oh, well. Extra space, isn't it?

-It is.

0:33:340:33:37

-There's more yet.

-Another one!

0:33:370:33:41

Oh, wow. This is a big space.

0:33:420:33:46

-This is bigger than the lounge!

-It is, isn't it?

0:33:460:33:50

I might be inclined to make this the office. There's more space. I could have my books in here.

0:33:510:33:58

-It feels warm in here, so it's obviously...

-Well insulated.

-Yeah.

0:33:580:34:03

-Shall we move on? I spotted some slides and things at the side here.

-A bit more garden? Let's look.

0:34:030:34:10

Oh, my God! Another shed!

0:34:160:34:19

Fantastic!

0:34:190:34:21

What's in there? It looks like a house! Oh, wow! And goats!

0:34:210:34:26

-And goats!

-Hello!

0:34:260:34:28

-It's like a house in itself!

-Isn't it?

-That's incredible.

0:34:330:34:37

A little kitchen.

0:34:370:34:40

-Oh, my goodness. It's got a cooker and everything. And a sink.

-Once again, not a fitted kitchen.

0:34:400:34:46

-No!

-Wow.

0:34:460:34:48

That's incredible.

0:34:480:34:50

-I wasn't expecting this at all.

-No.

-A really nice room. And stairs! Oh, my goodness, me.

0:34:520:34:58

Is that safe? I'm not going up there!

0:34:580:35:02

-Am I?

-Yeah, go on.

0:35:020:35:04

After you.

0:35:040:35:06

-What's up there?

-Well, there is a bed.

0:35:090:35:12

-A little bedroom.

-Yeah.

-And a toilet. A little bathroom.

0:35:120:35:18

Wow.

0:35:180:35:19

Now the property itself, you were spot on when you said it looked a bit small.

0:35:220:35:28

-But once you get outside, it did give you a bit more.

-A lot more.

0:35:280:35:34

-Enough more?

-Don't ask them that yet!

0:35:340:35:37

-Don't spoil it!

-When you think of it, that is almost another living space.

0:35:370:35:44

It's lovely, but I don't know how I would use the space.

0:35:440:35:49

-With the boys being so young, I wouldn't leave them on their own.

-Plenty to think about?

-Oh, yes.

0:35:490:35:55

And now it's guess the price.

0:35:550:35:58

-It's one-all, at the moment.

-This is really hard. I really just don't know.

0:35:580:36:04

Kate, you were spot-on with the first property. Rory, you were spot-on with the second.

0:36:040:36:10

-Third property - who goes first? Ladies first.

-I'm going to go with what I thought first. That's 215.

0:36:100:36:17

OK. Rory?

0:36:180:36:20

-I think this is considerably lower than that.

-Do you?

0:36:200:36:24

-Just based on the house itself without thinking of everything else, I'm going to say 185.

-185.

0:36:240:36:31

It's 199,950.

0:36:310:36:33

-So you're both on the button, but we have to go with the 185.

-185 is closer by £50!

0:36:330:36:40

It's 50 quid closer! I'm sorry.

0:36:400:36:42

-Two-one to Rory. What's your reaction to that?

-Eh...yeah.

0:36:420:36:48

I'm quite surprised it's as low.

0:36:480:36:50

-It's a beautiful location.

-It is.

-And so close to Rutland Water. It really adds a premium.

0:36:500:36:57

And there's so few other properties around. It's so quiet.

0:36:570:37:01

-Anyway, we've now shown you three very different properties. Which one will you test drive?

-I don't know.

0:37:010:37:08

-Well, you've got to go and decide. Put your heads together. She needs practical help, Rory.

-OK, yes.

0:37:080:37:14

-Thank you.

-Good luck!

0:37:140:37:16

And whilst they're off doing that...

0:37:160:37:19

Here's a reminder for you folks back at home of today's indecisive/decisive house tour.

0:37:190:37:25

Is Property One in the hot seat? Well, if she wants plenty of living space and a great place for kids,

0:37:260:37:34

it should be a safe bet on my pick.

0:37:340:37:36

All this modern living for...

0:37:360:37:39

Or if her love of character properties sways her, there's this stone-built cottage.

0:37:390:37:46

Only a madman would turn it down.

0:37:460:37:48

Plus a nifty 240 grand price tag makes it a sane choice.

0:37:480:37:53

But you would have to be bonkers not to fall for the Wild Card.

0:37:530:37:57

It has quirk, charm, that lived-in feeling and three timber cabins.

0:37:570:38:02

All that for...

0:38:020:38:04

So here we are, Property Number Two. Not so much, "Well done, Simon,"

0:38:090:38:13

-but you've chosen his favourite property.

-What was it about this?

0:38:130:38:17

It had a really nice feel to it. I really liked all the room sizes.

0:38:170:38:22

I thought it was going to be quite small, but there's living space.

0:38:220:38:27

There's equal size for the young boys in the bedrooms. Fantastic.

0:38:270:38:31

-There you go.

-Good news.

-Well, is it good news?

0:38:310:38:35

Our eagle-eyed surveyor has given this place the once over.

0:38:350:38:39

Bear in mind that it's four centuries old. He came up with a few interesting points.

0:38:390:38:45

It's not a legally binding survey, so get all your surveys and searches done. You know that.

0:38:450:38:52

This window has been widened, but at the time or at some time afterwards,

0:38:520:38:58

there's been some movement. The top two windows look as if they're dipping slightly.

0:38:580:39:05

Our surveyor's recommendation is to get a structural surveyor in, but while he's here...

0:39:050:39:10

Get him to go inside as well and look at the beam in the lounge.

0:39:100:39:15

A beautiful old beam, but it's been spliced.

0:39:150:39:19

It's got that supporting bar, the iron supporting bar.

0:39:190:39:24

What would actually support the weight much better is to have two fishplates either side.

0:39:240:39:30

That way, you support the structure above much better than having something underneath the bow.

0:39:300:39:36

So just something for him to check out and give recommendations.

0:39:360:39:40

But it's been here 400 years.

0:39:400:39:43

-Go on! Get in and enjoy it.

-We will.

-What shall we do?

-Perhaps just enjoy this beautiful area

0:39:430:39:49

and maybe go for a romantic stroll. Or just a walk. Come on.

0:39:490:39:54

As they've wisely chosen my place, I'll start. What have these two got planned for this property?

0:39:580:40:05

-Well, as we previously discussed, this wall's got to go.

-Got to go.

-It has got to go.

0:40:050:40:12

-And it's going to open this all up completely. Lots lighter.

-You could put a big table in here.

0:40:120:40:19

-And have comfy seats round the edge.

-Yeah.

-A couple of armchairs.

0:40:190:40:24

No messing about there, then! When Kate's made up her mind, she really knows what she wants.

0:40:240:40:31

There might be some disagreements between the boys about the bedrooms with one having an en suite.

0:40:310:40:37

I'm just wondering if we could close the door off to the en suite

0:40:370:40:42

and put a door in this corridor. Then the boys have that bathroom.

0:40:420:40:47

Then I could put a little door at the top of these stairs and have that as my space up there.

0:40:470:40:53

-Fantastic idea.

-It IS a fantastic idea and one that even I didn't think of!

0:40:530:41:00

Good to see it's not all work. A bit of R and R never hurt anyone.

0:41:000:41:05

Looks like hard work to me!

0:41:050:41:08

Yay!

0:41:080:41:10

-Roar! You're a tiger, Rory!

-Tiger?! I'm getting out of here.

0:41:100:41:15

The test drive is a rare privilege, really.

0:41:160:41:19

It is. We've had time to have a look at the walls and try to work out what we would change.

0:41:190:41:26

I'm dying to find out, but I think Simon should ask the big question.

0:41:260:41:30

Oh, can I? Go on, then. To buy or not to buy?

0:41:300:41:34

To buy.

0:41:340:41:36

Fantastic news! Brilliant!

0:41:360:41:39

-It's been a pleasure showing you round...

-Hold on a minute. Was that actually a decision?

0:41:390:41:45

-Yeah.

-YOU look surprised.

-I'm very surprised.

0:41:450:41:48

-"I'm not sure... No, got it!"

-Absolutely fabulous.

0:41:500:41:54

We hope by showing you three very different houses it did help you come to a very decisive decision.

0:41:540:42:01

It was a really good way of doing it. It separated out what I've been mixing up.

0:42:010:42:07

I don't like modern properties and I've realised that today.

0:42:070:42:12

-I much prefer this age of property. To find one with this much space is unusual.

-With Rory's help.

0:42:120:42:19

-Of course.

-The practicality that you've brought to the table has been absolutely flawless.

0:42:190:42:25

-You've helped a decision to be made. Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:42:250:42:29

-Shall I make a decision now?

-I think you're up to it.

0:42:290:42:33

-We're going. See you later and good luck.

-Thank you.

-Bye!

0:42:330:42:38

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