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Welcome to To Buy Or Not To Buy. Would you believe it? Today, we're hunting for houses.
In, I think we'll all agree, one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
The kissable Lake District.
I wandered lonely as a cloud,
that floats on high, o'er vales and hills.
It was this stunning scenery that inspired Wordsworth
to write the famous poem that Ed is now so...passionately reciting.
And it's this landscape that has inspired today's house hunters
to up sticks from the Midlands all the way up here to Cumbria.
Yes. We'll show them three fantastic houses.
One of which we'll let them try...
Before they buy.
Julie and Tony Taylor live in the West Midlands, but after a lengthy love affair with the Lake District,
they've decided to follow their dream and move there.
They're looking for peace and quiet and a better quality of life
for themselves and also Julie's parents, Derek and Mavis, who will be moving up and moving in with them.
Also along for the ride is Oscar and Louis, their spaniels,
who love the Lakes as much as the rest of the family.
Looks like theirs will be a full house.
Ed, we seem to be very heavy on people looking for property today.
-Yes. We really do.
-You're actually looking to move in together?
You're moving in with your in-laws?
-So, who came up with the plan?
I don't think it was any one of us, really. We just come up here a lot.
We've been coming up here for the last few years, and we've just always said how beautiful it is.
Eventually it got to, "Wouldn't it be nice to live here? Let's do it!"
So, let's describe the dream property. Is it old or is it new?
-It's certainly not new.
OK, so we're going character, maybe?
-How many bedrooms?
Three to four, but, you know, if we can't push for four at the moment, then we're happy to extend.
Tony is a carpenter and our son-in-law is a builder.
-The one thing that we do want is two sitting rooms, so we've got our own living space.
-Now, the kitchen.
Mother and daughter, who's going to be doing all the cooking?
We both do quite a lot of cooking.
But I've made a deal with my mum - I'll iron, she can bake.
-You boys are all right then!
-That's why we want to move up here.
So, what about gardens and space?
Do you require a lot from the outside of the property?
I think that's one of the main criteria, really. The outdoor space.
Are you going to be continuing to work up here? Commuting?
Commuting to Birmingham. To start with.
-Tony, with going back and forth to work, I guess you'd need to have access, M6, probably?
So, you're talking junction 40, really.
-Now, for those of us, junction 40...?
OK, and how far out of Penrith can we go?
Considering I've got to do 180 miles, 10 or 20 miles doesn't make a lot of difference really.
What budget have we got today?
We've got 220, spreading to 230, but if there's a lot of work
-then we'd hope it would be below that, really.
-Will you wish us luck?
We wish you all the luck.
-I think we'll need it.
-We'll see you later on.
-Bye for now.
Well, Ed. I believe we have a mountain of Scafell Pike proportions to climb.
It's very true. If we don't achieve it, they'll cry a lake of Windermere sized tears.
-We'd better get at it.
-I should go and meet some estate agents and find out stuff about housing stuff.
I'm going to go and talk to people about other things.
Today's house hunters aren't alone in loving the Lake District.
Its breathtaking scenery attracts 15 million tourists a year, and has been doing so since Victorian times.
It's the most mountainous region of England, and home to its tallest peak, Scafell Pike.
And its largest lake, Windermere.
The area attracts many walkers, and is renowned for the sport of fell running.
I can't believe Steve Ovett is still going after all these years!
He doesn't look a day over 30 does he, Jonny?
Let's see what today's budget of £230,000 can buy you elsewhere.
How about this traditional stone-built cottage near Loch Ness?
There's no monsters, but it's been renovated, and refurbished throughout, and has a large garden.
In Devon, you could buy this Grade 2 listed thatched cottage situated within Dartmoor National Park.
It has many original features, including an inglenook fireplace.
And take a look at this two-bedroom detached house
with beautiful views of the Welsh countryside and Bala Lake.
It too has heaps of traditional features, including that all-important inglenook fireplace.
For now, back to our property hunt in the beautiful Lake District.
Have you ever thought about the idea of moving in with your parents?
-Well, actually, my children have thought about me moving in with them!
-What do you think about that?
We're looking for two to three bedrooms, two reception rooms, character, quite a big garden.
-220, maximum 230 grand.
-Right. I'll be honest, that's a push.
Do you think the idea of different generations moving together is a good idea or a bad idea?
Is it fraught with danger, or is it a good plan in the credit crunch?
We're just doing it, actually. We've just bought a house.
What about the price difference between inside the National Park and outside the National Park?
There's a big difference.
You know, you'd pay anything from 20 to 70, maybe even 100%
for the difference, depending on where the view is.
Moving in with another woman, if it wasn't your blood relation, I think it would be difficult.
Why is that? Just because you might not know their habits or...?
-I think just two women in a house!
-Two women in a house is trouble?
I'd back that up, yes.
Now, when people say that they're prepared to do building work, we don't just take that lightly.
I certainly haven't with property number one.
My goodness gracious me, this is a building project.
There's enough gardens for the hanging basket factory
and the house is enough of a project for Tony for the next decade.
This place was built around 1825.
I know they want character. It was built, however, for animals.
-Thankfully, in the '90s, it was converted for human habitation.
And, it gives them all the rooms they wanted
but there's something downstairs that will rock Tony's world.
Now, the wild card, the wild card.
I can't give away the main reason why it's the wild card here.
It'll become stunningly obvious when we get there. Here is a clue.
The place is called Station House. Just a small clue.
Where shall we start the action?
I think, as viewing was recommended, maybe property number one.
The one in Laithes.
My choice, property one, is a well-loved family home that once upon a time was the village pub.
It's cosy and snug inside and has lots of potential for extending.
Tony and Julie, Julie and Tony. Welcome to a cunning place called Laithes.
-First impressions, what do you think?
-I think it looks good, yes.
-It's definitely the type of thing we'd be interested in.
Yes, I'm quite impressed.
What do you think about the location?
It looks a nice village. Definitely the sort of thing that we'd be looking for.
Great stuff. Garden space, that was very important as well?
We've got all of this and all of that as well.
-What do you reckon?.
-That's what we're after.
Derek will be judging your performance on walking round it with the headphones on.
Why don't you have a walk around and go and think about whether it suits you, and your mum?
See you later.
-Derek, I think, is so excited.
-We'll probably find him sitting down somewhere.
-Just kind of relaxing.
-All right, Derek?
-Oh yes, I'm just checking on my pools, see if I can afford to buy this property.
I thought you were calling an estate agent?
Nice country kitchen. It's got a nice feel about it. Warm and cosy.
Now, this is it. Like daughter, like father. Like father, like daughter.
You've both got that warm sensation.
A bit smaller than probably what we'd be looking for, but...
We could do a lot with this. Push this out. It would be lovely.
That could be extended in time. But it'd be all right for immediate...
It's something you've got to think about.
OK. This is quite a nice room, isn't it? Cosy, cottagey.
We don't know whether there's more than one sitting room.
But, again, there's the room to extend, isn't there?
-It's got quite a lot of potential, this house.
-He loves it.
It's nice and warm.
Bedroom! That's a surprise. I wasn't expecting that.
-Another sitting room..
-Yes, well. Exactly.
This would be your mum and dad's room.
Don't tell them. That would be nice.
Upstairs. Let's have a look.
-He's a lovely lad, that Tony.
-He's a good lad to us.
-Not too big, but it looks as though it goes back a bit.
-Be a guest room.
Right, let's have a look down here. I think this is the bathroom.
-Small bathroom, isn't it?
But slightly larger than the one we've got at the moment.
It does need some work doing, but it's got the potential, hasn't it?
A shower room and toilet.
That's the beauty of knowing a builder, looking round a house - they aren't fazed by anything.
It's not a bad sized bedroom, is it?
It is a nice cottage, isn't it? It's a lovely cottage.
At the moment, it's not really big enough for what we want.
-But the potential's there.
-There's enough room for us to start.
-You quite like this property.
-Julie, what do you think about this?
-I quite like the property.
It's just not actually big enough at the moment.
So, how much do you think it's on the market for? Who wants to go first?
Well, I'll go first and I'll base mine on location.
Which is beautiful.
-I'd go at around 198.
Because of the work, I'm going to go a bit lower. 180?
-Go on then, how much is it?
you're both a little way out.
It's offers in the region of, but the person in the nearest region is you, Tony.
The actual price is £220,000.
Offers in the region of, you know.
Haggle them down 10 grand or whatever.
Time for my property, property number two.
Property number two stands at the foot of the lower Pennines in the traditional village of Croglin
and, like today's first property, has also changed its use.
It has loads of charm and original features. Plus, there's a little surprise in store for Tony.
OK, then. Property number two.
My choice. We're a couple of miles further away from Penrith.
But that mileage could be critical, because then we look at a semi-detached barn conversion.
It looks really impressive. Is it all one, or is it...?
Basically, you'd have two thirds of this barn, OK?
So, see where that wall is there? The end of that archway?
That's your border, and everything to the left is yours.
I'm just not sure about the shared garden.
-With the dogs, that's...
-You could, potentially, put a fence up here.
Tony, you're almost speechless.
-What are your thoughts?
-I like it.
-He likes it. You're literally lost for words, aren't you?
Look, quite positive at the moment?
We always go for Tony, don't we? We've phased you out, Julie!
Well, Julie, there's a lot to see. It looks pretty big as it is.
But there's a hidden bit of space. Access to that is just the other side, a ground floor element.
OK? So, there's even more to this property than meets the eye.
So, deep breaths.
-Enjoy yourselves, go ahead.
Do you think Derek's gone all showbiz on us now he's doing the old headphone sequence?
-I hope not, but it does happen when people come on TV, doesn't it?
Hello? Could you send Beyonce to my trailer, please? Straight away.
-We're supposed to be doing a job here. Have you gone all showbiz?
-True, yes. I'm right up there.
This is very nice. Isn't it?
I don't know what to say. It's stunning.
-Derek, for the record, your thoughts on this property?
-OK. That's all I wanted to know.
-It's a lovely hallway, Tony. Look at this.
-This is lovely.
I do like the woodwork. And I love the brickwork.
That's a nice room.
It's a lovely room.
-This is nice.
-You like the window?
You could walk in, take your coat and shoes off, sit down and shout, "Mavis, bring me a cup of tea."
-Whether she does that or not is another thing. But that's what it would be.
-You can but ask.
This is nice, Tony. A nice size.
-Plenty of cupboards, isn't there?
-The kitchen is bang on.
-So far, not much for you to do.
-Is he usually so complimentary?
Have a look upstairs, it's a lovely hallway.
The layout inside, the kitchen, the bedrooms, I think it's really got everything.
-Nice bedroom. Not a bad size.
-I love the beams, absolutely gorgeous.
Nice sized bathroom.
-With that Velux there.
-It's acceptable, isn't it?
-It's more than acceptable, it's lovely.
Acceptable? That's the first negative we've had.
-And even then, it didn't seem that bad.
-It's more positive than neutral.
Nice sized room. I do like the style of the bedrooms.
So far, which is going to be ours?
-This is the bigger one.
-I think Mum might argue with you about that.
-No, this is our bedroom.
-This is your worst nightmare.
-Tony's moving into your room.
-Not having that, are you?
-Oh, no. I've got to sort that out.
Single room but you could have bunk beds in here, single bunk beds.
-That could be your little sitting room up there.
-I don't want bunk beds. Not climbing up them!
What can this be?
Tony! I wasn't expecting this.
-But this could be made into another lounge.
-No, it couldn't.
We should do the guess the price. Do you want to satisfy his nibs?
-Can I get you anything while we're gone?
-Yes, a crocodile sandwich and make it snappy.
First of all, we've spoken to Derek, he's getting very demanding.
He's changed, he's showbiz now.
But I think he feels showbiz because he loves this barn conversion.
By the sounds of it, so do you.
-OK, this will be a vital guessing of the price.
At the moment, Tony, you're in the lead.
If you win this, as a competition it's over.
-So, Julie. First or second?
-I'll go first, I don't mind.
Maximum budget, £230,000.
I'm going to say 250.
-Quarter of a million pounds.
-A lot of money.
-I'm going for 270.
Well, this should be great news for both of you. It is over budget, but it's on for 235 grand.
Wow! Well done. That's brilliant, so, I've won.
You've won twice, really, haven't you?
-Cheap house, less than you thought because you thought it was worth £270,000.
-Would you like to go to the wild card?
-I would love to. But I am not sure you can beat this.
Well, that's why it's a wild card.
The only way we can find the wild card is follow the stream of girls,
because that's where Derek will be. This way.
Our wild card today has undergone a bit of a transformation.
It once played a vital part in the life of the busy village of Shap,
but we're hoping that doesn't derail today's housebuyers.
Tony and Julie, everyone loves the wild card and the wild card today is wild for many, many reasons.
Firstly, look at it. Isn't it beautiful?
Victorian splendour, isn't it? Why do you think it might be the wild card?
-The railway line.
-To get what you want around here is quite tricky.
To achieve this size of property, there has to be a compromise.
That is your compromise.
But, they go past very quickly.
And inside the house, you really, really would struggle to hear it.
-Initially, does it bother you?
-Not unless they stop here.
-It used to stop here.
-That does not bother me at all.
You said you wanted a bit of history and character.
-This is the old Station House.
Yeah. So there's plenty of character you'll see when you walk around but,
if you're prepared to put up with the train line, you have these amazing views.
The added bonus - I know you said you wanted to have facilities and a community nearby,
Shap itself has that, the shops, the pubs, the Post Offices.
It has everything you need. You don't have to commute to a bigger town.
Knowing all the wildness of the wild card, are you still prepare to enter into it?
-Well, erupt into there in the most positive way you know how.
When we find Derek, if he wants to come here on his own steam,
he wouldn't get first class carriage. He'd come here by the Orient Express.
You're right, I think this is him now. No, that's a coal lorry.
Ooh, look at this Tony.
-Move on, lads. I've got a round of golf with Brucie in half an hour.
It obviously needs a bit of work doing, but it doesn't look like anything drastic.
You know more about that than me.
I like the wooden staircase.
Look at the size of this room!
This is beautiful.
-Does need a lot of work doing.
-No, it doesn't.
In days gone by, Derek, we wouldn't have been allowed in there, that was the ladies' waiting room.
You could do them up, couldn't you?
Look at these windows.
Look at the door! Crikey.
-I think we have heard the most out of Julie from all three properties.
-She's still going on.
Another nice-sized room.
-This could potentially be another sitting room, then.
Nice view of the railway line, again.
All the same floorboards coming through. Look at that for a hearth.
-Actually, I like that.
-This is gorgeous.
It is. It's got so much potential.
The rooms are big enough for everybody. But at the moment, it needs a lot of work doing to it.
Oh, this is nice.
-Yeah, your Aga.
-This is lovely.
-Could you see Mavis cooking up a bread and butter pudding in that kitchen?
Wood everywhere. Bathroom.
-Not a very big bathroom, but not too bad.
-The bath's coming out anyway.
Little window there, look at the views.
I don't know what's happened there, but I'm sure you can do something about that.
If this bedroom doesn't knock the love out of them, they will buy this property, I think.
-What's all this, just needs plastering?
Here's a test for you.
-I wonder if a train's gone by. We haven't heard anything.
I barely noticed it. Unless I was looking at that train track...
I don't think they've heard it.
This is a good-sized bedroom, Tony.
Maybe if Mum and Dad had this room, you could do an ensuite.
Look at these.
Another good-sized bedroom.
So far, what you thinking?
I'm in love with it.
You know them better than us, do they like this the best?
I think they do.
So, this has gone incredibly well.
-You were the most animated, Julie, that we've heard you in all three properties.
-Do you like this?
-Yes, I do.
-Do you love this?
Because Derek was a little bit more muted.
He thinks there might be more work, but, Tony, you know about these things.
No, there's not as much as appears.
-Nothing fazes this man, you notice that?
You're a good house hunter to have.
You've been around the house, you like it.
I venture you love it. The question is how much does it cost?
Exactly, that's the question.
It's one-all. I think you should go first.
Well, I've thought and I'm going to go 218.
I'm going to say 205.
The person that is closest and the person therefore winning guess the price is...
The other good news, the actual price of the property is
offers in the region of £200,000, and "offers in the region of" can mean above or very much below.
So, there you go. Good price, n'est pas?
Can I have a second guess?
No, you can't. You've seen all three properties.
You've seen the properties and you now have to make the biggest decision of your adult lives
about which one you want to test drive. Remember, it's Mavis and Derek's decision as well.
-Good luck, we'll see you later.
And whilst they do that, here's a reminder for you at home,
not of Derek's meteoric rise to fame, no, no, just the three properties.
Will they go for property number one, the cosy family home in the sleepy village of Laithes?
It's in need of a little TLC but, like tracksuit bottoms, it's got lots of potential for expansion.
No, Ed, I think they are going for my smashing barn conversion at the foot of the Pennines.
It rendered Tony speechless and had Julie allocating bedrooms.
Or will they test-drive the wild card, the converted station on the west coast main line?
Julie and Tony both loved this, but will they love the trains?
Look, Ed, they're making tracks for the wild card.
I knew it, Tony and Julie loved that house.
-What was it like doing the headphones and commentary with the presenters?
-Yeah, I enjoyed it.
What's this move to Hollywood then? Which you haven't told us about, by the way.
Yeah, they kept on about this. I think they were joking, really.
Hollywood might have to wait, Derek.
And while they head off, Tony's already upstairs, sizing up some major DIY work.
I bet he'll have that fixed in no time.
And even the dogs are checking out their quarters.
Many a big decision is decided over a cup of tea, is this the moment that could change their lives?
Now suddenly there seems to be an extra house hunter here or two. Dogs.
Where's Mavis? She should be looking after those.
Yes, but she's a bit camera-shy, so she's in the kitchen.
But she could get to meet us, the stars of daytime television. She could have our autographs...
-Obviously not impressed.
But the question is, you've all looked round the house,
what do we think about it now that you've given it a test drive?
-Tony, you were in love with this before the test drive.
-I'm still in love. It's everything that I want.
-I think we still need to ask the question, don't we?
-We've got to.
Do we ask this to our four, or do we ask just you, Julie and Tony?
We're going to ask Julie. Julie, are you ready for it?
Here it comes. To buy or not to buy?
-And just for the clarification,
to buy or not to buy, and it's you and Tony, maybe with...
We have things to talk about, but if it was just Tony and I,
we could possibly do a bed and breakfast or something.
Radical things have happened.
We're almost not thinking about living together, aren't we? What's happened?
I think that Julie and I will go on this on a solo project.
You love this place, don't you?
Yes, Derek and Mave think it's a bit too large interior.
Derek, what's going through your mind here?
Well, I just feel at this moment, we're a bit too old now for this big move.
We've got to think more about it.
We're going to disappear off, and let us know when you have opened up and we can come and stay in it.
-You certainly can.
-Give us a special rate, won't you?
-We will think about it.
-Thank you, bye!
-Today, we have indeed divided and conquered.
we have taken two generations who, at the start of the programme, would like to move in together
and by the end of the programme, they don't want to live together. But they are still very happy.
At the end of the day, it is a success.
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