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Hello and welcome. Today we are in Stafford.
And by some cruel bizarre twist of fate Stafford is actually the county town of Staffordshire.
And when you take a look around this beautiful town it's quite easy to see why when it comes to this
particular property show it's a popular destination.
It certainly is. It's our 10th visit to Stafford and it's easy to see why.
It is infinitely kissable, gloriously gorgeous
and because the sun's out what better time to start the programme?
Ladies and gentlemen, relax because this
is To Buy Or Not To Buy.
-You know what, Ed?
-I love this part of the country.
Rather like a stick of rock,
if you cut me and half it reads "I heart Stafford."
-Also, Staffordshire is known as the Creative County.
I didn't know that. Then perhaps we should embrace this creativity and
bring the creativity to the property search, thus creating a masterpiece.
I like it. I do feel though one vital ingredient is missing from our creative cornucopia.
-Do you know what that is?
It gives me great pleasure to introduce
today's wonderful couple who are hoping to find their dream home.
A big welcome to Katie and Matt.
They became friends after working together in a local pub and from there love blossomed.
If you think Katie looks a bit nervous you'd be right.
She's anxiously awaiting her university results and her first job is riding on it.
Matt is already doing the work thing.
He's an engineer at a biomass technology firm, whatever that may be.
They're a sociable pair who like nothing more than a game of darts,
so I guess the question today is can we hit their property bull's eye?
Katie and Matt, welcome to the show.
-Thanks very much.
-Are you nervous to be here?
-Good because today is your day.
Now, can I just ask how old are you both?
-And I'm 26.
This is an amazing house you've achieved.
-How did you manage to do that?
-It's my parents' house.
-So this potentially is a first time move.
You are currently living here and I believe a student?
Well, not any more. I got my results today, so...
Now how many people know your results?
-My mum and my dad, Matt and my sister pretty much.
-Are they good?
They're good. I've got a job.
-I needed a 2:2 to get the job and I got the 2:2!
So you are looking to live where?
And where is your job?
-And why do you want to live in Stafford?
We've got family and friends.
My sister's got two young kids so we don't really want to move away.
Imagine we are Phil and Fern and you are some local Stafford celebrities, we're playing all
star celebrity Mr & Mrs, what do you want in the ideal house? Are you singing from the same hymn sheet?
You know, we're pretty agreed.
We're after two to three bedrooms, the older houses and ideally
off-road parking, or at least parking close by.
Internal space, are you kitchen diner fans?
-We're not fussed, are we?
No. I like kitchens to be kitchens.
Will you be doing the building work?
No, I want to move into a house that's all ready done.
-I'm more keen on a bit of project.
Oh, here we see the first...
The first slight difference of opinion, then.
Have you done any houses up before for friends or...
-No, not much at all.
-OK. So, at the moment we've got ideally what?
Two to three bedrooms, you want a kitchen and a separate dining room.
It sounds like it could be an old house, but, Ed, it sounds like a big house.
A huge house.
I guess the question is how much money?
I think we could possibly go for 150, but then the house has to be done.
-Right, so no wrecks for 150.
-I mean, it might help if you can proceed.
What's your status at the moment?
I think we're ready to go ahead now.
The money's in place, so...
Really? Well, proceedable buyers, as they say, are very much in demand at the moment.
OK, wish us luck.
-Do you think we can do it?
-I think we're there.
-Good. See you later.
Right then, see you. Bye.
Well, great news about the exam results!
If you are a relative of Katie's
she got a Desmond, as they call it, students, a Desmond Tutu.
That's great news. The thing is, house, right?
Do we go for two bedrooms or three?
Well, it's not only just two or three, it's also do we go and please Matt and give him a wreck...
-Oh, yeah, yeah.
-Or risk upsetting Katie?
I am going to maybe hand my responsibility to an agent. What do you reckon?
I'll meet the beautiful people of Stafford.
They are beautiful, as well. I'll see you later.
-Jonnie, do you remember early '90s rave act Altern-8?
-I do, Ed.
They did some catchy numbers.
Do you also remember early 90s rave act Bizarre Inc?
Ah, yes, Ed, great stuff that.
I remember throwing some shapes back in the day.
I bet you don't know where these banging acts came from?
-It's not Stafford is it, Ed?
-It certainly is!
So not only is Stafford ideally situated for the Midlands, the North West and The Potteries,
it's also home to some of the finest early '90s talent to come out of Great Britain.
That's right. Amazing, isn't it?
I'll tell you what's also amazing is that for Katie and Matt's budget
there's a lot on offer in other areas of the UK.
If you were to head to Lincoln this country cottage could be yours.
With a beautiful garden it's a real bargain at 149,950.
Or this two bedroom end of terrace house in Worcester.
The interior beautifully mixes period character and modern features
and it's ready to go at offers over £145,000.
And if you fancy blending modern style with Edwardian character
you could get this cracking two bed apartment with views over Nottingham.
Why wouldn't you want it at the price of 150 grand?
Right then, time to get this house hunt underway.
Now, a little birdie tells me that Stafford is a creative town.
It's the creative town of the county.
What's the most creative thing you've done?
-That I've done?
I suppose written... Written history.
-Hello, how are you.
-My name's Ed, pleased to meet you.
I would like you to pump me for information.
-I have £150,000 maximum to spend.
-OK. First of all, areas, what type of areas are you looking for?
-I need to be near the train station.
-And how many bedrooms are you looking for?
Well, two or three bedrooms.
-What's the most creative thing do you think you might have done?
-That we've done?
-Oh, I had my son!
That is creation, isn't it?
It's a traditional property, only five minutes' drive from the station.
It's almost centre of town.
You could walk into town from here for Stafford's amenities.
I don't know, I'm not that much of a creative person.
I think the most creative thing I did was paint a picture of a chaffinch when I was 11.
Katie and Matt, there is a diversion, a split. One wants one, one wants the other thing.
Katie I've played for with this character property.
It is lovely, it's got two bedrooms but they don't have to do any work
and I don't think Matt wants to do anything.
Don't take this badly, Matt, when you watch this back!
It is a little bit of a peach. Having said that, I think Katie will
also be tempted with this little offering. Again, nothing to do.
I think contemporary design inside here will tempt her.
The wild card is going to float Matt's boat even more.
It is in need of a thorough kind of interior renovation, decoration wise.
They could also knock a few things out.
I think Matt will like this. I'm concerned about Katie.
Those are the houses. Where shall we start the journey?
-With property number one?
So, here we go then, we start with my choice.
It's the first property of the day, but will it turn out to be the last
property for these first time buyers, if you know what I mean?
I can't say I do, Ed.
Katie and Matt, I have many favourite parts of Stafford.
They're all beautiful.
But this I would say, if I did have to push for one, is my favourite area.
-Do you know the spot?
-We know it quite well.
My sister owns a house down at the bottom of the road.
If it's good enough for the sister...
-It's good enough for me.
-Any other kind of links to the area?
I've also got my mother living round the corner
and my father living up the road, so it's a very good location.
-Obviously that's the sister you'll be doing the babysitting for.
If that becomes a little bit hard work, invite the parents round.
-See where I'm going with that?
It's a good plan. OK, looking at the property it is a cracker.
What do you think of my choice?
First impressions is it looks well kept on the outside.
-It's about the sort of size we were looking for.
Yeah, it looks good. I like the area, I like the look of the house.
-Are you ready?
-Are you going to be on your best behaviours?
-Not too keen on the colour.
-It's a very strange first impression of a property.
-Stating a colour.
-This will be the dining room.
-Yeah. Nice feature wall.
-Well, looked after. A lot of space in here.
-Yeah, you can fit a big table.
Look at the lounge.
It's quite compact.
Compact, well, you know, they asked for character.
-Traditional terraced houses, they're not huge.
-It's got plenty of space.
-Still, a lot of light coming in through that bay window.
It's not quite what I was expecting.
So why isn't this what Matt's expecting?
His mum lives here, his dad lives here,
all the houses are similar, so it should be exactly what he's expecting.
The ceiling, though... Have to change that!
-Now we're talking!
-Now... And who's bringing this up, right?
Katie, the girl that doesn't want any DIY done!
And doesn't believe that Matt can do any DIY is saying, well, maybe we could knock some stuff down!
Kitchen's a bit small.
-A bit small.
-Space through there.
-That's quite big storage.
Well, look, they said they wanted a kitchen and a separate dining room.
They've got that here and, let's face it, this is a Victorian terraced house.
-They're not going to have a massive kitchen here.
-Go into the bathroom first?
Nice view from the windows.
-Out to the field.
-You've got a separate shower, that's always good.
It's quite large in here, as well. It's not tiny like a lot of the terraced houses are.
Again, in really good condition.
-You wouldn't have to do much with this at all.
This must be the back bedroom.
It's very light.
It's quite sizeable.
It needs redecorating.
-It's hard to imagine without any furniture in it.
As she said, it's a back bedroom, but that's a pretty big second bedroom for a terraced house.
-I mean, that's as big as you'll see.
-Ah, this must be the master bedroom.
It feels a lot larger, doesn't it?
Yeah. This definitely could fit a king size, do you reckon?
Space... Yeah, I'd say so up against that wall or across there.
-So, what do you think?
-Yeah, I'm quite happy with the house.
-I think it's met a lot of what we requested.
-I'm a bit unsure.
So, how did he do, then?
-Good house, yeah.
-Lovely. We've had a good look round,
we've had a bit of a change of opinions between ourselves.
Yeah, I would say a bit of a change of opinion.
-The first person to mention any kind of DIY project was who? It wasn't you, Matt, was it?
It was supposed to be Captain DIY!
-It was you.
What, why, how, who, where, what?
What's going on?
I think if it makes it a little bit bigger and you've
to do a bit of work, I think I'm coming round to that idea rather than just coming straight in to a house.
-OK, you've got a budget of what, 140 to pushing 150?
How much is this house on the market for?
Having a look around and considering it's so done up I'm going for 130.
I think I'd go for 140 just because of the area.
-It's a good area, so...
-Well, yes, of course.
Your sister, relatives are all around here.
The actual winner is Matt. You're out by 50 quid.
Pretty good. It is 129,950 is the price.
You could, you know, spend money on this and turn it into a project,
but I sense you want to find a bigger place.
-I think so, yeah.
-Well, it's my turn next.
-Is that what I need to do, find just a bigger house?
Ideally, I think.
-OK, let's have a look.
On to property two, my choice. I'd say it's less of a period home but more a home full of modern elegance.
I think Katie and Matt will love it and will put their
property differences behind them once and for all.
Jonnie, what part of not modern didn't you understand?
He who dares, Ed, he who dares.
So, guys, for property two I think I'm giving you quite a different option here, aren't I?
What do you think, do you like it, do you like the area?
Yeah, I really like the area. It's nice and quiet.
It was a nice private close and it seems very quiet around, so...
And she ain't old, but she's older than you.
Do you like her?
Well, yeah, it's not... Well, it's not what we class really as a new...
Well, that was a concern because you do go for old. I played the old card.
This I thought would be classified as modern by you pair, but, that's good news.
I think if you like the style Jonnie is winning already.
-Well, I'm quite geed up by your response.
Let's see what you think of it when you get inside.
-Fill your boots.
The hallway's nice.
Into the lounge.
-I quite like this.
-It's quite open, isn't it?
I like the colour. You wouldn't need to decorate!
No, there's not really any work that needs doing in here either.
The fireplace is really nice.
So these are all positives.
Obviously, we know Katie's the more vocal but she likes the fireplace, she likes the colour.
From the other side there's not a lot of work to do so far.
No, and that was the conclusion they'd come to
at my beautiful property. They wanted a bigger property.
I just don't think this is big enough.
Not much work needs to be done in here.
-I think we can go straight on with this. It's...
It's all fairly modern.
Another house for me, then.
They like the modern feel to it, they like the open plan.
They have lied to us consistently.
I was testing them a little bit and I think this gamble's paid off.
Ah, this is the kitchen.
What's your first impressions?
I quite like it. It's still small, but I think it's reasonable.
There's lots of cupboard space, so...
It's not massive, but I don't think it needs to be.
No, it only needs to house one person.
I don't mean that in a sexist way, it's... Katie's the cook.
-By their own admission...
-Katie's the cook.
And through into the bathroom.
It's quite a small bathroom.
A lot smaller than the first one.
A lot smaller, but it's still manageable.
It's nice, it's well kept.
They did stipulate upstairs bathroom.
But they'll probably say, "I wouldn't mind a downstairs bathroom."
Ah, this is what they use as a master bedroom.
-Must be. It's...
-It's probably the most spacious one considering the floor layout.
-Yeah, it's a really good sized room.
I don't think we'd have to change much.
Maybe you'd want to change the black wallpaper, but I quite like it.
I think the decor of this is very sensual, I would say.
-Very conducive to married life and... I don't want to...
-To recently married life.
I don't want to paint too much of an image there, but I think the viewers know...
-It's a bit small, but it's not as small as I expected, if that makes sense.
It's another decent size bedroom.
-It looks like it was a children's room, obviously.
It's smaller than the first house...
-The back bedroom in the first house.
But, again, it's not a bad size.
So, what do you think of a newer house?
It's changed my mind around, I think.
So, we started pretty well outside.
How did we get on inside?
I think it's been a pretty good choice so far.
We've had a look round, we're quite happy with what we've seen.
Quite shocked with the modern-ness and that we actually quite like it.
We thought we'd...
You've been complete contradictions!
In my one you wanted to do the work when you didn't want to before,
and now you didn't want to look at modern but now you do.
-Explain yourselves, how has this happened?
-You've shown two really good houses!
-£150,000 maximum budget. Matt, how much?
I think it's just below the last one, so I'm going 133.
Katie, how much?
Well, you are the winner, very well done. It is 134,950 so...
-Only out by 50 quid!
-50 quid out, both of you each way.
1-1. Now you know the price, what do you think?
It's a good contender. Kind of...
-Still torn I think between the pair of them, so...
-We like both of them.
-You can't test drive all of them! And there's one more to look at.
-Do you want to go to the other one, because you've got too much of a dilemma already!
-It is everyone's favourite part of the show.
-Wild card time. After you.
The wild card is entering the fray,
ladies and gents, and, as ever, it's a belter.
Matt is absolutely going to love this place.
-And what of Katie?
-Well, she'll love it, too, when Matt's finished doing it up, that is!
So far, Ed and I've shown you houses that are ready to move into straight away.
Now, this wild card, there's a bit of work to be done to it,
but hopefully that's a positive.
It looks larger, certainly, than the first two properties we've seen.
Again, with a nice driveway on the front.
-Could this be your dream property?
-We'd have to look inside.
And when you see inside you're going to see everything beginning with P.
-Potential, that being. All right, are you ready?
Metaphorically knock those walls out, but not literally, you don't own it yet.
Do you know what, Ed? I cannot wait to hear Matt wax lyrical about this place.
It's not a given that he will actually wax lyrical
because we know that he's not necessarily fond of a project now.
It's quite spacious.
It's a nice open space to come into.
It's a bit dated.
They're talking about the space, about the fact it's not too bad,
because this is a project.
Everyone loves the wild card, you can't ever discount that fact.
It is everyone's favourite part of the programme.
They're excited to be on their favourite show with their favourite couple on the show in the wild card.
It goes through straight into the kitchen.
-Yeah, it's going...
It's going to need a bit of modernising, we'd have to strip this out.
-Yes, start again.
-Put new units in.
Right, this has been the level of inspiration Matt needed.
The decor has, you know, disturbed him so much
that he thinks, "Right, OK, but I can still work with the space."
So, it's another
lounge/dining room thing again.
A lot of space.
Again, in need of a bit of alteration, decor-wise.
They like the open plan. I know they started saying they wanted separation,
but they like it.
So, if we bought this one how would you start it?
-Where would you start to change things?
-I think we'd have
to try starting at one room at a time and...
The windows would need to be taken out, I think that's
a good start to get in.
She's asking Matt's advice. This never happened at the other properties.
And through to the conservatory.
Nice and bright in here.
It's nice to see the big windows into the garden.
The garden is quite long and it looks like it's got a dip of a hidden bit.
It seems... It seems quite spacious, doesn't it?
And I take it this is the bathroom.
Not the colour I would have picked, actually.
-It's quite small again.
-I think again it is quite a small bathroom.
It's horrible, that's what you're after!
Having seen my bathroom,
if we go back in time she just went, "Yeah, nice bathroom",
and then walked out.
She's now realised that my bathroom is the dream bathroom.
No, it's quite a big bedroom.
It's very spacious.
It's going to need stripping down again.
This is another bedroom.
I don't know which one you'd use as a master bedroom.
There's not much different in size.
Well, that doesn't matter, they can choose then.
Many go for the master bedroom at the front of the house, but that's where all the traffic is.
And you've got a beautiful view.
So, this is the final room.
It's a good size for a third bedroom.
For a third, yeah. For a third bedroom.
This looks bigger than the bathroom, though.
You'd be tempted to put the bathroom here and make that tiny room the office.
It's a possibility.
-Again, a lot of work.
-It's got to be a good price.
Well, perhaps it is a good price.
-Well, perhaps it is. Shall we find out?
-Yes, I think we should.
-So, the wild card. Was it all you'd hoped and dreamed of?
-I think it's more what you hoped and dreamed of.
It's exactly what I asked for...
-On the set out. It's a big project, a lot of work
needs doing, a fair bit of money that will need to be spent, I think,
to get it up to what we're after.
It's also what you thought you wanted after you went to property 1,
you wanted a bigger project, now I'm sensing you've changed your mind again.
I think it's just too big.
It's just too much to do for us for a first-time house.
It's not your style, is it?
And I reckon you could do it in and around 20 grand.
OK. So that makes guess the price quite important because
if the price is right then maybe this comes back into the race again.
£150,000 is the maximum threshold.
-What's your guess?
-I'd hope, to give us the money to spend on it,
it would be somewhere around 130.
I'd hope a bit less. 120?
Big hope. Well, I reckon you could be quite happy then.
I mean, you should be an estate agent. It's 129,950.
50 quid out twice!
-And you've won. Bad luck, Katie.
OK. You now go away and make the biggest decision of your adult lives.
Go into Stafford, maybe have a coffee, whatever you need to do,
relax, shake it loose and come up with a conclusion.
-All right, we'll see you later.
-See you later.
Well, while they go and have that chat
for you folks at home here's a reminder of the rollercoaster
that was today's house hunt.
We kicked off with this delightful Victorian terrace,
a turnkey property just up the road from Katie's family.
A recent instruction, if you will. It's packed full of charm.
Why wouldn't you snap this one up at 129,950?
My choice today offered three bedrooms and was decorated to a great standard.
It ticked an awful lot of Matt and Katie's boxes.
I really think I opened their eyes to modern houses and it's easy to see why.
This property might be right up their street,
on at 134,950.
And the wild card.
It had bags of room.
A great garden.
And the P word. Well, the P for potential was everywhere.
But will the thought of a project this size have them running for the hills of Stafford?
Let's hope not. A great proposition,
on at the lovely price of 129,950.
Today's test drive must have been a tough decision for Katie and Matt,
so what have they decided?
Well, I'm in clover, Jonnie, as they've gone for my choice, property one.
Well, you may have hit the bull's eye, but it looks like Katie and Matt still need some practice.
Well, that's enough of that, the family are here.
And the babysitting duties are about to start.
-Yeah, for Matt!
-I can't say he looks entirely at ease there.
Relax, Matt, you'll be fine, nothing better than having your hands full!
It's a big size, yeah.
Looks like the ladies are impressed with the house.
-Hello. Everything seems to be OK in here.
And the future son-in-law, Matt, seems like a natural.
Well, some of the family look like they're jumping for joy,
but will our couple soon be joining them?
Matt and Katie, we are in the test drive vehicle. How has that gone?
-It's gone well.
-Really well, yeah.
Now, obviously darts, you were relegated to the back garden.
Does it have a good darts vibe?
-You could play out their easy enough.
I don't think I'd want to play with my wall.
Oh, with MY walls, Matt. Oh, there's a sense of ownership already here.
And what about the relatives and the little ones, how did they feel?
-They loved it. Yeah.
-We couldn't kick the nephew out.
Why this place? I mean, we showed you three cracking houses.
Towards the end of this house tour you were talking about maybe wanting more of a project,
yet this place is ready to move into, isn't it?
It is. I think it ticked all our boxes this place does because
you can extend, you can go into the loft, so then Matt gets his project.
It's in a great location, walkable to town so I can go to the train station
and we can move in tomorrow, pretty much.
So, well, here we are.
-We're at the biggest question, the most important question. Jonnie, can you...?
To buy or not to buy?
I think we'd buy.
-A genuine... A genuine to buy?
-Well, I'm... I'm flabbergasted. Ed?
-I... I am stunned.
-Did you... Did you think we'd be able to achieve this?
No. I mean, that's honest.
It's brutally honest and harsh, but thank you very much.
And this is your first house!
We're going to say goodbye now, good luck, congratulations.
Think about your offer as well. You're in a great position, first-time buyers.
-See you later.
Well, well done, Ed.
Thank you very much. I want to say well done to you. You kind of helped.
Although essentially it was just me
and the mystery property hunting team for that one.
-Not a team effort?
And you'll be pleased to hear that less than a week after we filmed
Katie and Matt had an offer accepted on their dream home.
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