Series that gives buyers the chance to test-drive a property before they buy it. Ed Hall and Nikki Bedi head to Herefordshire to help a couple with a downsizing mission.
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Hello, good morning and welcome. Today, we're in Herefordshire,
where rolling countryside meets...
And once more, we want to turn property dreams into reality.
Ladies and gents, sit back and relax, enjoy the scenery,
because this is...
To Buy Or Not To Buy.
Nikki, I absolutely adore this part of the world.
Do you fancy doing something special to commemorate our time here?
-Do you fancy house-hunting for a couple you've never even met?
Do you fancy finding them three properties that they might be able to look at?
Yes, I do. I'm going to go one stage further.
I'm talking another viewing. A second chance to look round. A revisit, if you will.
-You mean to try?
-Yeah, a little bit more.
-Before they buy!
-Yes, I do.
'Meet today's buyers, John and Anne Pritchard.
'Anne is a school support officer and John is a retired engineer.'
'Since all of their kids have flown the nest, they've been rattling around
'their massive black-and-white Gloucestershire cottage where they've lived for 30 years.'
-'30 years? And now they want to downsize?'
-'I know, Nikki. No pressure, then.'
John and Anne, congratulations for getting onto To Buy Or Not To Buy. Many people try.
Why? Why do you need us?
We've got a challenge ahead, because we've been in this beautiful house for 30 years
and it's lovely and big and spacious and light in a lovely rural village,
but we really need to downsize now, cos the children have left home, flown the nest,
and we just want to downsize, have something warmer, cosier, easier to maintain.
-How could you have anything warmer and cosier than this?
-The rooms are so big. It's stunning, but the rooms are big. It is a wrench.
Can I ask, are we under pressure to move? How many houses have you looked at so far?
We are under pressure. We've got a buyer for this
and they want us out in about 10 or 12 weeks.
How many properties have you looked at already?
-And over how long, six months or so?
-Have you seen anything that you liked?
-We did shortlist four,
but we can't decide.
I really want house A on plot B with house C's fittings.
The more houses you look at, you then will want house F with house C.
Possibly, you've got to compromise.
When you say you want to downsize, you want smaller rooms... How many bedrooms in this house?
There's four upstairs and then downstairs there's a sort of study-bedroom.
-But I understand that you might want the same number of bedrooms.
-Possibly four bedrooms.
I would manage with three double rooms.
-I don't want to sound patronising, but have you looked up the definition of downsizing?
-To go down in size.
-It's all relative, isn't it?
-It's a big house.
So maybe we're downing in girth on the rooms, but you essentially want the same amount of bedrooms.
Are you looking for something with beams and the quality that this old part of the house has got,
-or do you want more modern?
-We thought we'd go modern.
Then I don't have to worry about the maintenance, woodworm.
What about the garden? Do you want a big garden?
Not really, no. We'd like a private garden.
Why do you not... I always have to wrap my head around why people don't want to be overlooked.
Erm, we don't want people staring at us when we're out there sunbathing.
-We're not nudists.
-I go out there in my shreddies sometimes.
THEY LAUGH He'll go out in his underpants.
Right. I'd say privacy is a requirement.
I would say the neighbours would be livid that they won't get a chance to see John
-wandering round in his underpants.
-What do you want most of all out of a new property?
Probably a doghouse.
-Is that for you?
-Like I've got out there, a workshop.
It doesn't have to be large, like I've got at the moment,
but, yes, I need somewhere where I can be on my own and do my own thing.
Tinkering. A man's own private kingdom is his shed. What areas do we need to be in?
-Are you fairly free and easy?
-I work in Gloucester,
so we'd like to be 10, 20 miles from Gloucester.
Big question of the day, and of any day,
it sounds a great plan, how much money have you got for it?
-Probably about £250,000 to £350,000.
-We could possibly go a bit more.
-Oh, you can go higher?
-I want to negotiate them down, but we could go higher.
-And you're ready to go, pretty much,
-cos you've got 12 weeks to find this place.
-A great haggling position.
-We are, we're in a good position.
-Well, cross your fingers for us.
-Yeah, wish us luck.
-And we'll see you later.
-Lovely. Thank you very much.
28 properties later...
Almost a horror film. Well, it is a horror film in their world.
In one week, they've seen those. We've got to show them three properties in one day and nail it.
Don't worry, Nikki. The mysterious property-hunting team are omnipresent.
-We'll never see them on screen but they will help us. I want to achieve one more thing.
I want to make John and Anne's inner-naturist outer with that secluded garden,
-so I'm going to go find an estate agent.
-I'm going to find the locals.
Think Herefordshire. Think all things good.
You mean like cider and beef?
Yes, I do. But there's so much more than that.
Charming towns, quaint villages and glorious countryside.
Yes, there's certainly wonderful scenery around here.
The River Wye weaves its way through the county
and, in parts, even forms the border of Wales.
Its unpolluted waters offer some of the best salmon fishing in the UK.
I can't see any here. Maybe they're taking a rest from swimming upstream.
Despite the feeling of isolation, Herefordshire has fantastic access
to the Southwest and Wales via the M5 and M50.
So it's really easy to see why this is a highly desirable area to call home.
Let's see what Anne and John's £350,000 would get you elsewhere in the UK
if it was a serious downsize that you were after.
If you wanted to live somewhere quintessentially English in an iconic building,
this one-bed apartment on Bath's Royal Crescent could be yours
Or if the lure of the big smoke was too much
and you could squeeze into a studio flat with a pull-down bed,
this beauty close to Regent's Park could be yours.
The price, £350,000.
How about this fantastic mews property in a converted coach house in East 17?
You could be heading up the apples and pears here for £330,000.
'But, back in Herefordshire, it's about time our downsizing mission got underway.'
Am I going to have an easy task finding a picturesque village?
I think, if you can't find a picturesque village in Herefordshire,
-then I don't know if you're up to the job.
-Thanks very much.
-Hello, how are you? How you going?
-Very well, thank you.
Now, I am looking for a couple who are looking to downsize.
They have had enough of their 16th-century fantastic house.
-They want no maintenance. They do not want a black-and-white house with render on the front of it.
You're spoilt for choice in Herefordshire, really.
Every couple of miles, you find another really great village with a nice local pub.
They're open to where they need to be, but a 20-mile radius of Gloucester.
They have £350,000 to spend.
Will I get views everywhere I go?
Can I look left, right, ahead and backwards and always have a view?
You'll always get views in Herefordshire, it just depends how big a view you want.
-They have looked round an incredible amount of properties in the last week. 28 properties.
So there might be a few that they've seen in the area. So what have you got?
A couple to start with. Victorian property. Nice, private gardens.
-Got the four bedrooms.
-I'll put that on the maybe pile.
Why is this area so beautiful and desirable?
What is it that people come here looking for?
Well, you wouldn't get a greener place anywhere on the earth.
We have fantastic countryside, a lot of history.
Something a little bit more black-and-white.
You see, I like that, you like that,
he's lived in that for 35 years, that kind of property.
So, if you want something with character, something individualistic,
something beautiful, you've come to the right place.
It's centred in a village, newly renovated all the way through, bungalow, nice, formal gardens.
-Can I arrange some viewings with you?
-Not a problem.
-There's the hand. Thank you very much.
-Nikki, how were the lovely folk of the area?
Such a pride in the countryside and in their buildings.
I met an incredibly handsome man called Justin, the estate agent, and he's helped me out immeasurably.
Property one I've gone for is the closest of the three to Gloucester, which is Anne's commute. Very nice.
Might have blurred the definition of downsizing slightly, cos it might be a bit...
Also, it might not be the most low maintenance of properties.
Upkeep. John might have a little bit too much work to do.
But it isn't overlooked and the inner naturist could...
In other words, you've completely ignored their instructions, whereas I have found a modern bungalow.
It's going to be low maintenance, it's spacious.
I have strayed a little bit further from Gloucester,
but I think it's going to be fantastic.
The wild card is in a similar area to Nikki's.
It is right on the edge of the commute to Gloucester for Anne.
A compromise here is, they've got great views,
but the problem is, some of the neighbours have got slightly better views of their back garden.
So it is slightly overlooked. But it's very nice, very gorgeous,
very low-maintenance, very low-maintenance, so I don't know which on they'll go for.
-I think they'll go for mine, cos I followed every single instruction to a tee.
-Where shall we start?
Here we go, then, possibly my favourite property of all time, packed with period features,
a garden to die for and vegetable patch worthy of Jamie Oliver. This one's a hit.
Very good, Ed, but I don't think you've got the hang of this downsizing lark.
John and Anne, walk, if you dare, toward property number one.
This is the one the property-hunting team and I have plumped for.
We are crossing our fingers that this could be the house of your dreams.
I've been slightly naughty in this house and in the back garden.
I'm not going to say what I've done specifically,
but it might be related to the downsizing aspect.
So remember that. But what do you think?
-I think it looks very pretty, very nice.
It does look good, yeah. I do like the wrought iron work.
It's very nice. You are ten minutes from Gloucester, so that's...
-Not very far for you, is it?
What about the location? Do you like being out this far in the sticks?
Definitely, yeah. It's brilliant. Perfect.
And going back to the earlier conversation about wandering around in your underpants,
-or maybe without your underpants...
..in your garden that isn't overlooked, you have that option.
-And you've got a pond!
And that's all the information you're going to know before you go in.
Remember, I've been naughty. Where have I been naughty and have I been too naughty?
-Enter my naughty house.
-See you in a bit.
This is exciting, isn't it?
I have been naughty, ladies and gents, with this house.
Not with the house alone, but with the garden, as well.
I'll just hang my coat up a second after that rain.
-Oh, that's quite nice.
-A sort of cottagey feel, isn't it?
-Which is what we're used to, which is good.
Cottagey feel? Maybe I haven't been as naughty as I thought.
-No, it is a cottage.
-Yeah, but cottagey usually means small.
-Yeah, do you think that's workable?
-Yeah, I'd have thought so.
I like the arch windows.
-They make a churchy feel, don't they?
Secondary double glazing down here, isn't it?
-They are wooden windows and they didn't really want to have that sort of upkeep.
-John hasn't mentioned it.
Down the step.
Will our dining table fit here, do you think?
It seats ten. I've tried it out earlier on. So they could get all the family round there. Perfect.
-I like the floor.
-Yes, nice tiled floor.
-Tiled straight through.
This looks like a library, doesn't it? Office.
Hm. Nice feel to it, isn't it?
Yeah, yeah. It's very good.
If we used this as a study, this is fine, isn't it?
OK, this is the step down into what could be your fourth bedroom
-or it could be the study, which it currently is.
-It would be a small fourth bedroom, but when you've got grandchildren staying...
-They'd love it.
They've got nice latched doors, look, like we've got.
-Mm. And a wood burner.
-Yes, that's right, you want a fire, don't you?
I wonder what the view's like if I sit down. What do you think?
-It's a nice view of the garden and the trees.
OK, now, I'm slightly disappointed that John hasn't looked out of those windows
and overlooked his massive shed.
I wonder how old the property is.
It's got to be late 1800s, I would think.
Now John's in his area of expertise. Late 1800s he's putting that part of the house at.
Would you classify that, in John terms, as specifics or more romantic language about the house?
-I think romantic language.
-I think he likes it.
Do you think that bird is saying, "I can't believe you're in our house!"
-"Who are you? Where have the owners gone?"
It's another dining room, so that was the kitchen/breakfast room.
-Living room. This is obviously a formal dining room.
-It's a bit far from the kitchen.
-Yeah, but we'd use it at Christmas.
-And maybe on a Sunday.
They're thinking of Christmas, how to utilise the space at certain times of the year.
And it's not that far, is it? It's only a matter of metres. It's not miles.
I like the newel posts.
This must be the bathroom.
-Again, that's nice, isn't it?
-Yes, very pleasant.
-So we've got a nice, old-fashioned looking, white basin.
No bidet, but I'm sure we could sort that out.
-Ooh, they like a bidet. How very European.
-Oh, this is nice.
-A shower room, is it?
Look at the outlook on the garden, as well, through the window.
-Isn't that beautiful?
Yes, they've seen the outside. Look at the shed.
A massive shed! There! Why don't they look at it?
Maybe he doesn't believe that could even be his. It is!
-Gosh, this is a big room, isn't it?
-Very spacious, isn't it?
-I should say.
-I think it's as big as our bedroom, isn't it?
-About the same size.
-I think it is.
They're downsizing, Nikki, but I've been very naughty.
I've given them luxury. Those bedrooms are pretty darn big.
-Well, the other one's pretty big.
-The other one's a good size, but it's not big.
-It's pretty big.
-What are you comparing it to?
-Do you think those are fitted wardrobes? I think they might be.
-Looks like it.
-I quite like fitted wardrobes.
-Always the question, isn't it?
-For a woman.
"Do you think they're fitted wardrobes?" The beauty of a fitted wardrobe, you get to keep them.
-They come as your fixtures and fittings.
-Unless they're mean and take them away.
Which way am I going? I'm lost already.
-Oh, it must be this way, yeah.
-It's confusing when you're not used to the house.
-It's a very interesting layout.
This is a good double size, look, John.
-Oh, wow, yes.
We want the double rooms, don't we, for when the children come to stay. We want plenty of room, don't we?
-This looks like another floor up here, look.
-Across a creaking floor.
-Is this the attic room?
We're on the third floor, aren't we?
Gosh. Look at this. That's unusual, isn't it?
We're right in the roof now.
We want a minimum of three bedrooms.
See, I think that you could put two beds up there if you needed to.
Because they've got grandkids coming round,
stick a curtain in there, just temporary, so they've got a bit of privacy,
they'll be fine. The kids would love it.
Gosh. A bit of exposed brickwork there.
-It's very light and warm, actually.
-A lovely feel to it up here.
John and Anne, I was concerned that I might have been a little bit naughty,
I might have given you too much of a house, too big gardens and rooms. Have I?
No, I don't think so.
-No, the rooms...
-The rooms are the right sort of size.
It works because it has all the rooms we require, they're on a smaller scale,
so it's definitely got potential.
OK, workshop, John, your domain. You have got, in your front garden,
that gigantic shed, you've got the summer house and a gazebo. Which one would you pick?
-The large shed, of course.
-Is that good for you?
-It looks excellent.
-And what do you think about the garden?
The garden's great. It's got the lovely wooden borders round the vegetable patch.
Does it feel too big? Have I given you too much of a garden?
In a way, it doesn't feel too big. It's so well laid out, I think we could probably manage it.
-The current owner says, in springtime, hack the thing back,
takes about a week, but that's all you've got to do. It looks after itself.
-So it's not so bad.
-That does sound good.
To me, it might be slightly on the old side.
Is it too old and is there going to be work to do, but that could be sorted out in a survey.
-200 years younger than your other one.
-That's right, it's only a baby, really.
-We know what work went into the other one.
-Does that scare you, John?
-Just a bit.
Knowing how much we had to put into the last house, and looking at this one,
yes, it's liveable as of now,
but I think that the work in the future could be quite hefty.
So is that the only negative, the fact that it's still period and old
and could need more maintenance than you're willing to put in?
-The only thing.
-The only thing.
-Let's not focus on negatives, cos everything is remediable if you love it and the price is right.
-So, you have a maximum budget of...
-Who do you want to go first? Nikki, you pick.
I would've thought it was probably somewhere in the region of our maximum.
In the region? Be specific, if you could.
-I think I'd go 349,950.
OK, 349,950 and 345.
The actual price of this cracker of a property, and it's lovely,
with a garden you could do whatever you want in...
-It's exactly right, Anne.
-Well done you!
-It's 349,950. Exactly.
-I've won the first round.
-There we go!
And considering the position you're in, house sold, got to get out in 12 weeks, there are deals to be done.
You are a great buyer. So money could be taken off this
to paint those windows that might need a bit of attention.
So there is money to do that.
-The question is, do you want to go to Nikki's property?
-I definitely want to.
-You've whetted my appetite.
-Come on, then.
-I've seen it.
-Shush, Ed! Just come on!
And onto my choice. This they are going to love.
A rural location with unspoilt views to the rear
and everything they asked for all under one roof.
It looks really great. That said, could you just remind me how far away from Gloucester we are?
So, John, Anne, we are in the village of Ullingswick,
which is Herefordshire.
I've strayed ever-so slightly. We're about 25 miles from Gloucester.
-Are you familiar with this area at all?
-Not really, no.
-Did you like the feel as we were driving up here?
And I bring you to my property, which is a bungalow.
Now, I wasn't sure whether a bungalow was something that you might be looking at,
-let alone such a modern property. What's your first impression?
-Looks very good.
-I like it, definitely.
-So do I.
-What do you like?
Lack of painting on the outside. Double glazing.
-It's important for you, double glazing.
-It looks very nice.
-I think you'll be pleasantly surprised
by how spacious this property is.
And also, you've got views.
-Go and have a look.
You seem very confident.
-We didn't even tell them there are four bedrooms and two kitchens.
Nice, spacious hall, isn't it?
-So far, so good, eh?
-Yeah. Nice big hall.
-Yeah. I like a spacious hall.
Just what she always wanted. A spacious hall? She never told us that! I'd have given her that!
And double doors, look. Glass doors.
-What you always wanted.
-That's another thing I like, isn't it?
This is twice now. Two things they've made up here.
Double doors? They never mentioned that!
-But sometimes they don't mention everything.
-I don't care!
I would've found them that if I'd have known! I want to please people! But now I'm angry!
-Well, you weren't lucky, were you?
And this is plenty of room, isn't it?
-A very comfortable space.
-Very good, actually.
-Not too large. We can sit round and be all cosy so we can chat.
-Yep. That was a big plus for you, wasn't it, a fireplace.
The fireplace is one of the few things that the current owners put into the house.
-Mm. That and the extension. They did the conservatory.
-They've done it beautifully.
-I like that.
-This is a conservatory, is it? Looks like it, doesn't it?
-I like the floor.
-Yes, nice tiles, aren't they?
-Yeah, they're very good.
This is an enormous conservatory, isn't it?
-Yes, it is rather huge.
-Gosh. Lovely country view.
-And not too big a garden.
-No. Looks very manageable, doesn't it?
They like the aspect. That is not in debate in any way, shape or form.
What have we here? Gosh, look at this beautiful bedroom. It's an enormous size.
-So that's the biggest bedroom.
And I would assume that's their bedroom.
Well, they could choose, really. As you say, the four bedrooms are all crackers.
Built-in wardrobes. That keeps it all streamline, doesn't it?
That's another feature I wanted. And then it's easier to clean and dust and everything.
Beautiful view out of here, out of the window
and into the garden and over the fields beyond.
-A great view to wake up to in the morning.
-It's a stunning view. You are admitting it.
-Ah, this is rather nice.
-Would you say palatial?
-I'd say palatial.
-What are they talking about?
-That looks like a Jacuzzi bath, doesn't it?
-It would seem so.
-Again, a beautiful double size, isn't it?
-Yeah. Reflects well off the ceiling.
-And this must be an en suite.
-That's good, isn't it?
-Really very well appointed, isn't it?
He's not seen the fact that he hasn't got a shed yet.
-He also hasn't seen the fact that he has a double garage.
-Don't call the dogs off yet.
-Look at this!
Gosh! So, this is like a living room, isn't it, really?
-Like an everyday living room where you can sit, eat, cook.
That whole kitchen area they are seeing as their sort of den,
their warm centre of family life.
-Plenty of power points.
-You could live in here. You wouldn't need any other rooms apart from the bedroom.
It's very spacious.
-Wow, a larder! At last!
I thought our house was the last one in the country with a walk-in pantry.
-I know, you don't often see larders these days, do you?
Who would've thought, of all the rooms in all the world,
the larder in Ullingswick in Herefordshire
-would be the deal breaker?
Gosh, look at this, John.
-This is your domain, look.
-This can be your workshop.
I think it's actually the garage, but...
-It'd be OK for your workshop, wouldn't it?
-I think John is a changed man.
-He is, sadly.
"Larder" than life, I would even say.
-I preferred pre-larder John and pre-larder Anne if I'm honest.
I'm hoping that what we heard outside
reflects the real excitement that you feel about my property.
-Yep. It's the only place we've seen, and this is the 30th,
the only place we've seen with the wow factor.
Everything that you wanted here.
-What excited you the most? I think perhaps...
What is your pantry obsession, John?
-Is it an emotional connection to a childhood memory? Because it is for me.
-To a degree.
In my last house, I had a small pantry, and in the current house, I've got a big pantry.
Anne, for you, when you see John excited about a property,
does that stir everything in you? Do you feel like, "OK, we're going to do this together"?
As soon as I came in, well, outside actually,
but when we came in, it was even better.
It's light, it's airy, it's spacious, it's got all the rooms, plus more, that we need.
-Any down points at all?
-Well, it looks good from outside,
-but the facade hides what you've actually got in here.
That's very nice and modest, isn't it?
Erm, the question is, how much does it cost?
You love the property. Who would like to go first?
We're playing with a maximum budget of £350,000. Anne, you're in the lead. Bang on the nose last time.
-Who wants to go first?
-Is it my turn? OK.
-I think it's over-budget.
I'm going to go for 358,500.
OK, quite a silly guess, but I like it nevertheless. John.
I'm sure it's over-budget, and I think it's probably £355,000. Could be more.
I have to say, Anne, you are the closest, but you're wrong, because it's a bit more expensive than that.
We're looking at £9,950 over-budget, so £359,950.
Is that something that you automatically think, "We'll negotiate down"
or "We'll find something to make it work"? How does that sit with you?
I think we'd negotiate it down.
Definitely, in this particular financial environment,
I think we'd stand every chance of getting it down.
-The fact that you're sold, you're ready to go...
-Not quite cash-in-hand but not far off.
Don't start haggling for this house just yet, because we still have everyone's favourite part.
-What is that, Anne?
-The wild card.
-Everyone loves it. It's this way. Shall we go?
-Lead on, Macduff.
Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, today's wild card.
I love it, and I hope Anne and John will, too.
Modern, easy to maintain, a downsizing dream.
Question is, why is it wild? Just wait and see.
So, John and Anne, our wild card.
We've come a little bit further. We've strayed slightly in terms of distance from Gloucester,
but we're on a quiet little cul-de-sac. The house is well appointed.
It's modern, but it looks old. What's your first impression?
Very good, actually. It doesn't appear to have any wooden windows.
It looks very nice, actually. I like the local stone use. That's very attractive.
-Anne, what about you?
-I like it, too.
I quite like the fact that it's got neighbours.
I didn't want to be isolated.
OK. Internally, it's perfect. You don't need to do anything to it.
It's one of the cleanest houses we've ever been into. So it's ready to go. I would say zero maintenance.
-There is the property. Are you ready to go in?
Three, two, one, be excited about the wild card.
Oh, gosh. This looks nice, doesn't it?
Greeting it with a gosh? A surprise that it's nice? Of course it is, it's the wild card.
-Gosh. I wonder what... Is this a music room
or do you think it could be the dining room with a baby grand in it?
-This is obviously the lounge.
-Yes, which you always like.
-Nice stone surround, isn't it, on the fireplace?
-It's nice, isn't it?
-Yes, it seems to match in with the rest of the stone.
OK, John's back on the details. He's not got that larder effect.
I think the larder emotion he had earlier has now died down. He's back on the stone. But he likes it.
-Shall we try it for size?
A nice outlook with the window and nice fields. That's probably why it's called Meadow View.
-Ah. So this is obviously the kitchen.
-That's quite spacious, isn't it?
Kitchen-diner. Yes, this is nice, isn't it?
See, the kitchen, it's just functional. It's got everything you could possibly need,
there's nothing lacking, but it's not that family hub, is it?
It could be with a couple of throw cushions and a nice table. Could be.
-Who does the interior styling in your house?
-I don't know.
-Again, quite small, isn't it?
-But we want smaller rooms, anyway.
We do, but do you think this is a bit too small?
We'd have to get rid of most of our furniture, wouldn't we?
-And just have the basics.
-A settee in the lounge,
dining table in here. Would we fit ten?
-We'd be a bit hard-pushed, wouldn't we?
-Yeah. I'm not quite sure whether it's downsizing a bit too much.
Two things are happening here, I think.
Number one, this property is perfect.
It's everything they've described, the most realistic downsizing
and they're thinking, "It doesn't fit our furniture."
Your furniture is based around a much bigger property.
-So I don't think they're taking the downsizing... It's not as easy as you think, is it?
-No, you're right.
-I've just thought of something, John.
-That room that I thought was the dining room...
-The little one with the baby grand?
-That could be our study.
-That's a good idea, yes.
-Which would work quite well, wouldn't it?
No utility room, but I'm sure we'd manage.
That's downsizing. Something's got to give. They didn't get a utility room.
But they've got a gigantic garage next door that is being used as a gym.
So this one's got the outlook over the front with the other houses.
-But they're pretty houses, with the stone.
-Oh, a study.
-I suppose we could have it as a bedroom, couldn't we?
Oh, look, this is the bathroom. Small but beautiful.
Yeah, it hasn't got the bidet for me, but...
-Yep. You just checking what it's made of?
-I am, yes, it's plastic.
-I'm sure it's a very good quality one.
-Oh, it is. It looks nice.
Small and beautiful, I think.
Anne's upstairs now. How long do you think before the fitted wardrobes are mentioned?
Another fitted wardrobe, which is good, isn't it?
Cos at least that's useful, being as the rooms are small.
If you can just get the bed in and maybe a bedside table.
If it was for a guest, that's all we'd need, really.
She sounds a little bit flat. I think, after your one, where they did nearly move in,
it was always going to be tricky for the wild card.
Oh, well, this is more wow than the others, isn't it?
-This is actually bigger. And that must be an emperor-size bed.
-I would've thought so.
Ours is a king bed, so we know it'll go in.
-I've never heard that.
-I never have!
Ah, so this is the en suite, which is nice, isn't it, with the blue tiles and the shower.
-Yep, that would suit well, wouldn't it?
-It is nice, yes.
Very well appointed.
Anne and John, we're disappointed. Property 31 we thought could be it
because, from the chat this morning, this is everything. This is the right amount of bedrooms,
it's the right amount of living space, it's downsized.
But I think it's too much of a downsize.
Yeah, particularly that dining room. It was a little bit too small. But you have ticked all the boxes for us.
We were slightly concerned, as well, that you were going to be overlooked on both sides.
But it is in a line, and I would've thought that this incredible view would compensate.
-It does, I think.
It is a lovely view. And also, John, don't worry, in the garage, there is currently a gymnasium.
I'm not saying you have to go to the gym at the moment. Tool shed.
Perfect space for your tool shed. You can tinker, mend the kids' toys.
So you've got all the space here. You have everything.
Now you know that, does it warm you a little bit more?
I might make me lean a little more towards it,
but I agree with Anne that it is a bit tight.
Most exciting bit, then. Guess the price.
-Anne, you've won already.
-You've ruined it for us all.
-Tension-wise, you've ruined it.
-I'm just clever.
-Why don't we let you, then, John...
-I think that's a good idea.
Thinking about it and the fact that it's Herefordshire rather than Gloucestershire or Worcestershire,
I think the prices will be down from what they are locally to us.
I think probably £315,000.
-Well, I'm going to stick my neck out and go lower.
-I'm going to say 299,950.
It's a nice guess of a price. Your maximum budget was £350,000.
You had a spread between £250,000 and £350,000 you wanted to spend.
We have spent less than your guess, but you are again correct, Anne.
-I think we know who's been doing all the house researching.
-The actual price of this is £295,000 on the nose.
-So we spent a lot less, you could get that for even less because you're ready to go.
-It is. It's everything you want. You'd save a fortune on this property.
And, at that point, you have to wander off and make the biggest decision of your adult lives
-about which one you wish to test drive.
-Do you think we'll be able to agree?
-I think so.
-Well, good luck with that massive decision, and we'll see you later on.
-Lovely. Thank you very much.
So, while they take this big decision, here's a reminder for you at home.
So, we started our search with this cracking property.
I thought I'd been a little bit naughty, but it turned out I'd got the downsize proportions just right.
Buy it? Why wouldn't they, when it's going for £349,950?
And with my property, I thought I'd taken them a bit too far from Gloucester,
but the country views, great living space and ease of maintenance
appeared to really get them going, all for £359,950.
And the wild card. They said downsize, so we offered them a downsize.
They said not overlooked, so we offered them, er, well, anyway...
Nonetheless, a great property, with maintenance levels at a minimum.
Downsizing reality, all for £295,00.
Anne and John, I cannot tell you how delighted I am
that you have chosen MY property!
I'm genuinely delighted. But just tell us why. What sealed the deal for you?
Well, for me, as soon as we went in the door, it had that lovely, spacious hall,
the beautiful double doors into the lounge, again, a spacious feel,
-beautiful conservatory, lovely and light and airy.
-What about you, John? What made you really feel for this?
It ticked all the boxes.
But, yes, I was wowed by the kitchen and the pantry.
We had the mysterious To Buy Or Not To Buy surveyor come round
and he's told us some interesting information. Now, it is double glazed, UPVC.
Some of the units have gone slightly.
Easily replaced, but also, quite a good bargaining tool. You're in a good bargaining position, anyway.
So that is there. Also, your fascias here. They're made of wood.
-So you've got to paint them every once in a while.
-Or change them.
You could make them plastic. It's just incredibly low maintenance.
There's very little work to do here. So you don't need to worry about that.
He also had some good news and that was that you wanted a wood-burning fireplace and fire.
That fireplace can be easily converted.
-It's not an issue whatsoever. Does that please you?
-Yes, it does.
It means there's no major issues. That would fill me with a sense of confidence.
-There we go.
-And with that sense of confidence...
-My ideas are confirmed.
With that sense of confidence, Nikki, release them into your property.
-Would you like to go and try before you buy?
-Be good in there.
I think John's had enough of house-hunting
and he's keen to check out the tinkering possibilities of his potential workshop.
-Is it going to be suitable for you?
-I would've thought so.
Workbench, shelves. It's ideal. And plenty of room for the car.
He seems pretty happy, but what about that all-important commute for Anne?
Down through Hartpury to get to Gloucester.
Yes. I think the best way is obviously the A417.
So I think I have just made Gloucester move closer, don't you?
-Yeah, I think you probably have.
-I think I've worked out that I can do it.
Now it's time to see just how close they are to the open countryside.
Wait for it! Couldn't be any closer!
-It's lovely country, isn't it?
So, John, Anne, you have now had your test drive.
You've experienced things in this house that might be what your life could be in the future,
you've seen the local area, how was it for you both?
I thought it was very good. Just look over my shoulder at the view.
-It is, yeah. And the house itself is quite remarkable.
-Anne, what about you?
-I think so. I've found myself visualising myself in it.
It just improves. From the moment we came in through the door, it improved.
One of the concerns was that this was... A 20-mile radius is what you said.
-This is 25 miles.
-Might even be a bit more.
-Maybe a bit further from Gloucester. Can you make it work?
-Well, I have decided, I love the property so much, I've just moved Gloucester closer.
I've looked at the map, I've worked out two routes I could go that would avoid the rush-hour traffic
and I've even worked out the time, which I believe is manageable.
And I'm determined to do it.
-So no obstacles?
-Great news. Downsize, that was the buzz word.
How does this size up on the downsizing?
This one actually is probably more spacious than I would've said I wanted,
but when you're in it, I've decided this is the space for me. I could enjoy being here.
You saw 28 properties. We then found three for you.
-And out of that three, you have really liked this one.
-It's the only one with the wow factor.
-But you'd also shortlisted four from those 28.
How do they stack up?
Well, they... We could not separate any one out of those four.
They were all much of a muchness as regards what was good, what was bad.
Nothing stuck out at all.
We were thinking with our minds and ticking those boxes,
-but this one, I think, has touched our hearts.
-It's got the lot.
-Aww! It's touched their hearts!
-It's the power of the test drive, Nikki.
-If only estate agents could cotton onto this and do it every time, they might sell more houses.
-We're right at the point where... Well, you've got to ask it, cos it's your property.
-To buy or not to buy?
-You go first.
"High probability"? That's such a masculine attitude!
Let's take that as John's answer.
-Anne, to buy or not to buy?
-Yes, I would definitely consider it.
-Oh, come on!
-Wow! That is a result! Fantastic!
-This is brilliant!
-What... And you've got to get out of your house, as well.
-This is quite a mission, cos you've got 12 weeks pretty much.
I suggest you get to the estate agents and start making it happen. And when you do,
if you do, hopefully you will, call us up and we can see how happy you are here.
-Come to the house-warming.
-That would be lovely! Thank you very much!
Come and enjoy the en suite. THEY LAUGH
Thank you very much! I will use the toilet when I come here! See you later on.
-Thank you, guys.
-Thank you very much.
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