It's a game of two halves for Jonny Benarr and Simon O'Brien as they search for dream home for two football-loving rivals from Manchester.
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SINGS "MATCH OF THE DAY" THEME
Good morning. In case you're confused, this is To Buy Or Not To Buy and not Match Of The Day.
Yeah, but, Jonny, we're getting close to kick-off time for two first-time buyers who are UNITED
in their search for a home in the city of Manchester.
-Know what, Simon?
-I'm all ears, gaffer.
I think today's programme is going to be a game of two halves.
-Tell me more, boss.
-Both our buyers are fans of the beautiful game.
And as we know, the beautiful game is a team game.
That it is. Y'know, I always dreamed of being a footballer.
Just wasn't meant to be, Jonny.
Sadly not, but I find it equally fulfilling showing to buyers
three properties and letting them try one before they buy.
And the most important thing, don't forget, Jonny, this game is not about individuals.
No matter how well we perform, it's the result that matters.
Right, then, O'Brien, it's time to kick off this match by meeting today's buyers, 27-year-old Laura
and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Gareth.
They are living proof that long-distance relationships do work.
Despite having lived literally thousands of miles apart,
Gareth earning his dollars in New York and Laura her euros in Sweden,
their love still managed to blossom.
But now they're back in Manchester, living with their parents,
and they've decided to buy their first property together in Sale.
Today's couple may seem like a match made in heaven,
but I see potential cracks in their relationship.
-It's that age-old problem that divides this city.
Well, Gareth is a Manchester City supporter and Laura is a Manchester United supporter.
-Oh, trouble at t'mill!
-So, come on, you two, one Blue, one Red.
Can you really live together?
-I reckon so.
I like the "Just about". That's most of the year, but what about derby days? Come on, be honest.
We don't talk to each other
after the result.
-But we are united in our property search?
-We are, yeah.
-What kind of property are we looking for, Laura?
We quite like the idea of a terraced house.
We want something with a bit of character,
a couple of bedrooms minimum, maybe three if we're lucky.
We really want
a separate kitchen/diner. We don't really want one together.
We don't really like the more modern houses,
we want something with a bit of character, because the newer houses sometimes seem to be a bit smaller.
We want a decent amount of space, but for what we get for our money,
we just want to get the best deal, really.
And, Gareth, with Laura being a Manchester United supporter,
she never stops talking, but do you agree with all that?
Yeah. I think the main points are...
right, and I think we've got to be realistic, because we've both been quite privileged that we've been
brought up in nice areas with big, nice houses, and now we're looking at moving away from that, and
we have to be realistic that we're probably not going to be finding a house like that for a few years.
We're looking for something with a bit of character, we can make a bit of money on...
There you go! I was about to ask what your motivation is, Gareth, and there it is - money.
So you want somewhere that you can get in, maybe do a bit of work to?
-You're quite happy to get your hands dirty.
-Yeah, yeah. Yeah, we don't mind doing a bit of that.
-Are you sure?
Who's going to colour-code the house? That's the question.
I think we don't want a huge job.
We don't want to have to gut somewhere, but we're happy
-to do a few changes and put our own print on it.
-Finally, just location.
-You've talked about the areas, but where are we concentrating our search?
-We both live in...
south and west Manchester at the mo, and we both work in Manchester,
so somewhere close to the Metrolinks and the connections into Manchester,
because we've got a transport system that can get us to Manchester so quickly.
How much are you two prepared to spend on this blue-red City-United home?
Erm, this is a bone of contention, because we've got slightly different
ideas, but we've sort of come to a conclusion of about 180, 190.
190 it is. I like that, yeah. Shall we get going?
-Let's do this.
-I'm not coming back for the second half. Good luck with the rest of the match.
-See you later.
-See you later.
-Good team talk, Jonny, my son, good team talk.
-Yep, first-time buyers, not committing to anything too soon.
They may not agree on who they support, but they agree on what kind of houses they like.
-I'm pretty excited about this.
-Now it's time to let the feet do the talking!
-I know where you're going.
Yeah. Let's play a one-two-three with the houses.
Anyway, today we're in Sale, five miles south-west of Manchester,
a town in its own right, but it's close enough to be considered part of the city.
Its residents typically live in detached and semidetached houses,
and there are plenty of Victorian and Edwardian properties.
Alongside Sale's more traditional virtues, the
town centre's seen some significant developments in the past few years, with a cultural corner emerging.
The area has also seen a number of new apartment blocks,
for a more affordable, trendy lifestyle to that of neighbouring Altrincham.
Crucially for today's buyers, Sale is on the tram line,
with a regular service to Manchester and Altrincham.
Before we head off to begin our property search,
let's see what their 190K budget can get them elsewhere in the UK.
For starters, this two-bedroom apartment just down the road
from the Ibrox stadium, home to Glasgow Rangers.
You can sit here in the morning and take in the views of the waterfront, all for 169,500.
If Laura and Gareth decide to switch teams and support Wolves, then this extended,
three-double-bedroom detached house in Wolverhampton is on the market for 187,500.
Now look at this for a stadium - home to my team, Simon, the mighty Arsenal, and this
ground-floor, double-bedroom apartment in Highbury would
be ideal for a first-time buyer and is on the market for 179,995.
If, like Gareth and Laura, you are a first-time buyer and you're looking to dive into the property market,
here are a few facts you ought to know.
As a first-time buyer, you are the heartbeat of the property market.
And as the market's taken a bit of a dip recently...
..the Government, estate agents and homebuilders are doing their utmost...
..to get you to buy.
First-time buyers are not part of endless chains so are very attractive to sellers.
So if you're ready to buy a property and can raise a mortgage...
..you'll be in a strong position to take advantage of lower house prices.
The main difficulty now is, unlike recent times...
..it is nigh-on impossible to get 100 per cent mortgage.
Now you will need a deposit of at least ten per cent...
..but going as high as 25 per cent deposit, just to get a decent mortgage.
Tough times for mortgages, but let's hope we can give Laura and Gareth some cheer with today's properties.
My choice, property one.
Well, if it were a football team, I'll put it this way - it would be top of the Premier League.
It would be still fighting in all cups with a chance of European glory.
This is a dynamic property. It's going to take home the silverware.
-There it is, property one.
-A very confident Simon O'Brien there.
I'm going to be a little bit more reserved in my estimations.
I'm going to say this place is probably in the play-offs of the Championship.
There's a quick look at it. Absolutely bang-on.
-So fingers crossed.
-OK, so a chance of promotion.
OK, the wild card. Now then, Jonny, like all good football managers, I don't think we should announce
-our starting line-up before the game kicks off.
-OK, good thinking.
-Going to keep that a secret?
-Let's get going. My choice, property one.
And I have scored in the opening minutes here today with my choice, this superb
three-bedroom terrace in a very sought-after location in Sale.
This property is fitted out to the highest standard. You could move in straightaway and not lift a finger.
I think it's 1-0 to me!
Here it is, property one.
It is a mid-terrace period property, which you asked for.
First impressions, please, because I think get in the net!
Yeah, it's really nice. It's a lovely location. It's quiet.
First impressions good. Gareth?
-Yeah, very good.
-It's also a lovely quiet street, though, isn't it?
We are two minutes from the metro, two minutes from Sale town centre,
-so all your shopping's just round the corner, and you get to the match easy as you like.
-All right, then.
-Get in there. But by the way, you haven't got 45 minutes.
I don't think you tried hard enough to squeeze every football pun possible into that little section.
Well, it's not about me, it's about the team.
As long as we got the result, that's the main thing.
-Yeah, it's lovely, isn't it? Yeah.
-I like the decoration, as well. It's nice colours.
-It's huge, isn't it?
Yeah. I love the windows.
There's a lot of light coming in.
-I love the red, obviously.
-Less so me.
-I love the fireplace, as well.
-Yeah, you don't need a lot doing to that, do you?
-It's good space.
-Yeah. Maybe have a little coffee table there.
-Yeah, it's lovely.
-I love the finishings here, as well.
-These doors are great.
-I love the decor.
This table's quality. It's nice and big, this room.
-That's probably where they've taken a fireplace out.
I love the way that they've decorated it. It's gorgeous.
Yeah. Plenty of space either side of the alcove.
-Plenty of light coming in, still.
Two defined rooms - dining room for entertaining,
lounge for relaxing, and obviously into this lovely refitted kitchen.
-Wow! It's massive!
-I like the floor.
-Really like the floor.
Patio doors out. That's something that we liked, isn't it?
-To be able to go out into the garden...
The garden looks nice.
Double-glazed windows. Oh, it's lovely.
-So far, this is everything they've asked for.
You've given them the period features, the separate reception rooms,
not too much work, adequate-sized garden...
-It's nice and spacious up here, isn't it?
-It's a good hallway again.
It's got to go wrong somewhere, surely.
Absolutely not. We've already got a hat-trick in the first half here.
-Here's the bathroom.
Big enough. I love the tiles.
Again, looks like it's been relatively recently done.
-I've just scored with the bathroom again. It was a tap-in.
Study, perhaps. Oh, study/third bedroom. With a cat!
Quite a nice view out of the window.
Yeah. You can see the other gardens.
-Definitely a single room, yeah.
They've got the money, they've looked at quite a few houses.
Why haven't they committed to a purchase yet?
Because, oddly, with the market being what it is,
-people have more time, and so it's harder to make a decision.
That's nice and big, isn't it?
-Mm! Lots of light in.
-Love the fireplace.
-Good Lord! It's huge.
-Hey, it's excellent.
-How big must this be?!
The fireplace, again, is lovely.
The features and the wooden-like furniture is really tastefully done.
-So much space in here, and the windows...
-It's really light and airy, as well.
-I love it.
Seems to have gone quite well.
The question is, is it going to be a red devil or is going to leave them singing the Blues?
OK, you two, you've worked up a bit of a sweat.
You did a lot of work, bobbing and weaving out of those rooms. What did you think?
It's a lovely house.
Good location, quite quiet, spacious, three bedrooms.
-We liked the period features.
-Is it somewhere you
could see yourself living, having taken into consideration the room sizes, the finish of the place?
Yeah, I think so. It's everything that we sort of asked for.
-I think definitely you could just move into it and just put your stamp on it. So yeah.
-It's "guess the price" time. Now, Simon's kicked things off pretty well.
-That was a football pun.
Your maximum budget's around about £190,000.
How much do you think for this beautiful property?
I'm going to say 190.
United say 190.
-What will City say?
It's early doors in the derby.
But it's 1-0 to United.
It's actually above your budget.
-It's 200 on the nose.
-But I absolutely guarantee there is room for negotiation.
-Not a bad start, eh?
Yeah, good start, yeah.
Right, second half. My choice, property two.
-This way. Follow me.
Now, Simon, prepare for your property to be relegated
once our buyers have clapped eyes on this house.
Yes, this newly refurbished semi in Sale is Premier League.
Like yours, it has three bedrooms, but unlike yours, there's off-road parking and there's even enough room
for a kickabout in the private back garden. On me 'ead, son!
Right then, Gareth and Laura, here... 1-0, 1-0, 1-0!
1-0, 1-0, 1-0...
-What are you doing? It's bound to be 1-0 - we've only seen one house!
-Oh, that is true, yeah.
Right, Gareth and Laura, here we are at my choice, property number two.
Now, trying to keep the football theme going, we've brought you to a
little area just outside of Sale called Ashton-upon-Mersey.
-He's having a great day, though, bless him.
Let him enjoy himself. Now, I think the property overall is a slightly better house than Simon's.
He did kick it off very nicely, but semi-detached, which is a bonus, of course, and also, as you can see,
two off-road parking spaces for your vehicles.
Negative on the location, though, as it is that bit further away from the Metrolinks, yeah?
It's about a 20-, 25-minute walk, although that's only a five- or ten-minute drive in the car.
What do you think? First impressions?
Yeah, it looks, er, a good size.
-Off-road parking's good, because we've got a car.
It certainly seems a bigger and better garden.
-It does have a bigger and better garden!
Shh, you're giving too much away. Get in there and enjoy it!
-Go on, in you go! Go on. See you later. You ready, Jonny?
-I like the wooden floors. The other place was completely carpeted, wasn't it?
-These are nice, aren't they?
-It's quite neutral.
-They didn't sound particularly excited, did they?
-I hate to tell you this, Jonny. As the second half has begun, the crowd are muted.
-This is the lounge.
Good size again.
I like the bay windows, because it gives you a good illusion of space.
-Yeah, it does.
Yeah. More space than the previous house's lounge, so you can fit a lot more in.
-Oh, that's nice, kitchen/diner kind of...
It's good to be able to get in from the kitchen to sit down.
-The kitchen's a bit narrower, but it's longer.
I like that skylight. Plenty of light coming in.
-What we have is a skylight flooding light into the kitchen.
Massive difference, if you're putting an extension on, to put a roof light in.
-And with the patio doors going out onto the garden...
This is a big space, as well.
I think you could probably do more with the table if you
kind of took it that way.
Nice to have that view as you're dining, with the patio doors.
-There you go, Laura said at the top of the show she didn't like those open-plan kitchen diners.
You've got that nice sense of openness for an entertaining point
of view and those dinner parties they talked about. It is perfect.
Here we go, move into the business end of the tour, the first floor, what do you reckon?
Time is running out. Pressure's on. Let's see if she can pull it back from the brink.
Looks like the front bedroom. Still a good size.
Definitely comfortable enough for a single bedroom.
We could use this as a study.
Bathroom. A nice size. It's bigger than the last one isn't it?
Separate shower's really good.
Yes, it is a bigger bathroom.
Because of the style of property, you have the space upstairs.
-A good size.
I like these.
Good wardrobe space.
They are in bedroom number two.
It has fitted wardrobes in it, which is a bonus.
Because they both live with their individual parents, I'm assuming
they don't own that much furniture themselves.
OK, this is the master bedroom. A good size again, isn't it?
It's not as big as the master bedroom in the terrace.
-That was monstrous.
-It is still a good size.
Shall we go and find out how much it might be worth?
We had better had do.
Good game guys, excellent second half.
Some refreshments well needed.
Before I get your feedback, let's talk about something
you mentioned earlier and that was you want a property they you can make some money off.
Something that will definitely improve the value is extending the downstairs, this ground floor.
You have already got the extension in place here coming off the back of the kitchen.
Because we have a much larger garden than Simon's property, we've
actually got space to play with out here and what I would look to do it is extend this kitchen across
the back of the dining room, maybe utilise some of that side space but definitely increase your down space.
Living area, get a downstairs toilet in there, preferably a utility room
and that will add real value to the property. It is 1 - 0 to United.
Do you want to go first then?
I've never known such a pressure on guess the price.
Come on, let's make the blue go first.
I'm going to go with 175.
175, right, OK.
I'm going to go with 170.
OK, City are back in it then, it is one-all.
This place is on the market for 179,950.
Comfortably under where you are prepared to push your maximum to.
You are first time buyers, there is always money to be taken off that, isn't there?
After normal time, it is one all between City and United which means
as we move into extra time, the pressure will really tell as we head for the wild card.
It is this way, come on folks.
So we are into extra time for today's wild card and it is a real team effort.
We've gone just outside Sale and into neighbouring Altrincham for this modern three-bedroom semi.
So before the final whistle goes, let's see whether this property goes to the top of the league.
Right, completing a hat-trick of properties today, we give you the wild card. Why is it the wild card?
It's fairly obvious, isn't it?
It is a new signing, a fairly new signing, it isn't a period property. First impressions please.
Looks like a decent size.
I think it could be sneakily big and that might be why it's a wild card.
Looks like it might be big out the back as well with the garden.
Would you have viewed this house if you had seen the particulars?
That's what we like to hear.
Get in there and enjoy. In you go.
All to play for now.
-Shall we find the commentary position?
-Let's do this.
Straight up the stairs.
Quite neutral, we could have a feature wall or something like that with a blast of colour in there.
Neutral colours which I think is important for these two because one is a red, one is a blue.
Any neutral territory we can find for these two is going to be a good thing.
Through into what I imagine is the kitchen.
-For our two football supporters, the kitchen has got to be the best room in the house.
-Why is that?
-That is where you keep the cups.
-Really modern. It is lovely.
I like this feature.
Sit here and have breakfast.
Lovely kitchen. Really really nice, that is.
It is almost decadent because you have that very dark high-gloss black work surface and splashback.
In the other properties we've seen, you walk through and expect a diner here but they have
done the kitchen and put the diner through there.
It must have been quite a small house before they did that extension.
The thing with these modern properties is one of the reasons they might
-not have considered them, they can come up quite small compared to the older Victorian style.
Having this conservatory addition downstairs increases that living space.
The conservatory is fab.
-Nice and big, isn't it?
-It is good to have the dining table in here, I quite like it. You are
looking out onto the garden.
There is the separate lawn and patio tables.
Conservatories have evolved over time.
They used to be mainstays of wicker furniture and palm trees
but now they are really versatile rooms.
This was used as a dining room and a sitting room.
I've got a wicker chair and a palm tree in mine.
Have a look upstairs. I like this rail. It is modern.
-I'm not feeling the love.
-Are you not?
-I thought they were starting to warm to the concept of modern property.
-We completely disagree, then.
Very modern though. It has the shower.
You wouldn't need to do anything to this. The bath is actually quite big.
It is really modern with the taps and the faucets.
I love the tiling.
The other thing to bear in mind is this is probably the smallest bathroom out of all three.
It goes to show if you have got taste, if you can get
style in there, you can make the most of those small rooms.
Definitely fit a single bed in.
A single bed there, I don't think you would fit a double in there.
Not sure about the green walls but that is something you could redecorate.
Thinking about changing the colour in that bedroom. What d'you think? Red or blue?
-It's got to be red.
Quite good for a study though.
Too small for a bedroom.
Considering they only needed two bedrooms, the size of the third one doesn't really matter too much
because they will need to use it as a study anyway.
The master bedroom. Narrow, isn't it. There is not a load of space at the end of the bed.
You have to climb over the bed to get to the other side.
The wardrobes are nice with the mirrors, I quite like that.
This property match is not going well.
I think if we leave now, we could beat the traffic.
-Yes but it is a derby match. It is 1-1. Have got to stick around to see who wins.
-I forgot about that.
It was an experiment.
Taking you out of your comfort zone, bringing you to this modern property.
It didn't really work, did it?
-There were elements that you did like weren't there?
We just didn't feel the love.
Gareth, be brutal with me.
I think we would rather live in a terrace.
-We like the terrace feel.
-Just what you know and talking of terraces.
Guess the price is always a bit of fun.
Today, the pressure.
Come on, I am with you, the Blues, it is one-all.
Your budget is 190,000 max. Who is going to go first?
Who is taking the first penalty?
Hang on, just before you start.
Jonny, this could turn nasty.
-Keep them well apart for this one.
I'll tell you what. Commiserations.
Yes, the Blues have taken it.
It is grace in victory.
The price is £169,000. It is well beneath your budget.
Does their interest you at all, knowing you can get a modern property that cheap compared to...
-She is gutted.
It is all about winning with these two.
-You two had better go off and decide which one you want test drive.
-Off you go, see you in a bit.
-Are you sure they should go together?
While they do that, here's a quick action replay for you at home.
Kicking off the first half and getting off to an early lead was my choice.
This period terraced property in the centre of Sale is on the market for £200,000.
Simon, you may have thought it was all over
but I fought back with this second-half semi-detached stunner on the market for 179,950.
Into extra time, we showed Laura and Gareth this
beautifully decorated three-bed semi in Altrincham.
Although I think they might have given this one a red card.
It is on the market at £169,000.
1-0, 1-0, 1-0!
It is property number one.
Don't go on about it.
What a result, Jonny, what a result.
In the box, get in the box, what is in the box?
I'm not sure but it has found a gap in the wall.
We might have guessed.
Looks like they've decided to have another play-off.
These two just don't give it up, do they
Victory is mine.
And victory is mine, Jonny. Did I mention they went for my choice?
I think you may have mentioned that.
Anyway, never mind all this football. Time for some serious test-driving to be done.
Laura and Gareth are checking out the Metro for the journey to work.
I think work can wait, but there is one thing I can't wait for.
-What's that? More singing?
-No, their post-match interview.
Welcome back to the Manchester job,
where it's has been an absolute whitewash for the Blues.
Not only was Gareth victorious 2-1 in guess-the-price,
Simon O'Brien did marvellously on his choice of property, hammering Jonny.
-We'll talk to the losers in a moment. First of all, Gareth, how does it feel?
I was confident that we had the skills to be victorious and we have proved it.
And we also demonstrated it was a team effort.
Absolutely. Team dominance over the Reds.
Could you pick out any individual that really played the part for you?
You did well in your selection.
The 2-1 victory was...
All right, all right, enough of the Blues love-in.
You can cuddle afterwards. We've got a big question to ask.
You spent some extra time in the house.
How was it coming back? Does it still feel like somewhere you could live in?
Yes, it was good to come back the second time.
It gives you time to have a wander, go into the garden, and consider options
and weighing it up against the other properties that we have seen.
-It has been useful.
-It is the period features, isn't it?
Yes, the terrace. We have now come to the conclusion
that terrace is the way forward and we are stuck to that decision.
You look very happy.
It is the property that is making you happy, though.
OK, Jonny, I know you are feeling a bit glum,
-but do you want to try and raise your game for one last question?
-I can do this.
Thank you very much for everything. Big question, guys. To buy or not to buy?
Potentially to buy.
-What a result.
What a result.
That is the latest breaking news, here from Manchester. Back to you in the studio.
Thank you, Simon, and now we are joined by the losing manager of the Reds, Jonny.
What let you down today?
Do you think it was location or perhaps it was the style of house?
-They wanted a period property...
-The thing is...
-Or perhaps it was the lack of local amenities?
-What could it be?
Give me that. If you are interested on coming on the show
and want us to help you find your dream home, do get in touch with us.
-I'm going to do it, Jonny.
-Don't do it.
-I'm not looking.
-I've got to.
They think it's all over. It is NOW.
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