Herefordshire To Buy or Not to Buy


Herefordshire

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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Transcript


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Hello, good morning and welcome. Today, we're in Herefordshire,

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where rolling countryside meets...

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rolling countryside.

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And once more, we want to turn property dreams into reality.

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Ladies and gents, sit back and relax, enjoy the scenery,

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because this is...

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To Buy Or Not To Buy.

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Nikki, I absolutely adore this part of the world.

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Do you fancy doing something special to commemorate our time here?

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-Do you fancy house-hunting for a couple you've never even met?

-I do.

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Do you fancy finding them three properties that they might be able to look at?

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Yes, I do. I'm going to go one stage further.

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I'm talking another viewing. A second chance to look round. A revisit, if you will.

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-You mean to try?

-Yeah, a little bit more.

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-Before they buy!

-Yes, I do.

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'Meet today's buyers, John and Anne Pritchard.

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'Anne is a school support officer and John is a retired engineer.'

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'Since all of their kids have flown the nest, they've been rattling around

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'their massive black-and-white Gloucestershire cottage where they've lived for 30 years.'

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-'30 years? And now they want to downsize?'

-'I know, Nikki. No pressure, then.'

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John and Anne, congratulations for getting onto To Buy Or Not To Buy. Many people try.

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Why? Why do you need us?

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We've got a challenge ahead, because we've been in this beautiful house for 30 years

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and it's lovely and big and spacious and light in a lovely rural village,

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but we really need to downsize now, cos the children have left home, flown the nest,

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and we just want to downsize, have something warmer, cosier, easier to maintain.

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-How could you have anything warmer and cosier than this?

-I know.

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-It's stunning!

-The rooms are so big. It's stunning, but the rooms are big. It is a wrench.

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Can I ask, are we under pressure to move? How many houses have you looked at so far?

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We are under pressure. We've got a buyer for this

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and they want us out in about 10 or 12 weeks.

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How many properties have you looked at already?

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-About 28.

-About 28?

-And over how long, six months or so?

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-A week.

-A week.

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-Have you seen anything that you liked?

-We did shortlist four,

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but we can't decide.

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I really want house A on plot B with house C's fittings.

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The more houses you look at, you then will want house F with house C.

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Possibly, you've got to compromise.

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When you say you want to downsize, you want smaller rooms... How many bedrooms in this house?

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There's four upstairs and then downstairs there's a sort of study-bedroom.

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-But I understand that you might want the same number of bedrooms.

-Possibly four bedrooms.

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I would manage with three double rooms.

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-I don't want to sound patronising, but have you looked up the definition of downsizing?

-I know.

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-To go down in size.

-It's all relative, isn't it?

-It's a big house.

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So maybe we're downing in girth on the rooms, but you essentially want the same amount of bedrooms.

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Are you looking for something with beams and the quality that this old part of the house has got,

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-or do you want more modern?

-We thought we'd go modern.

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Then I don't have to worry about the maintenance, woodworm.

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What about the garden? Do you want a big garden?

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Not really, no. We'd like a private garden.

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-Not overlooked.

-Not overlooked.

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Why do you not... I always have to wrap my head around why people don't want to be overlooked.

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Erm, we don't want people staring at us when we're out there sunbathing.

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-We're not nudists.

-I go out there in my shreddies sometimes.

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THEY LAUGH He'll go out in his underpants.

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Right. I'd say privacy is a requirement.

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I would say the neighbours would be livid that they won't get a chance to see John

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-wandering round in his underpants.

-What do you want most of all out of a new property?

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Probably a doghouse.

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-Is that for you?

-Like I've got out there, a workshop.

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It doesn't have to be large, like I've got at the moment,

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but, yes, I need somewhere where I can be on my own and do my own thing.

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Tinkering. A man's own private kingdom is his shed. What areas do we need to be in?

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-Are you fairly free and easy?

-I work in Gloucester,

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so we'd like to be 10, 20 miles from Gloucester.

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Big question of the day, and of any day,

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it sounds a great plan, how much money have you got for it?

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-Probably about £250,000 to £350,000.

-Okey-cokey.

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-We could possibly go a bit more.

-Oh, you can go higher?

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-I want to negotiate them down, but we could go higher.

-And you're ready to go, pretty much,

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-cos you've got 12 weeks to find this place.

-Yes.

-A great haggling position.

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-We are, we're in a good position.

-Well, cross your fingers for us.

-Yeah, wish us luck.

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-And we'll see you later.

-Lovely. Thank you very much.

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28 properties later...

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Almost a horror film. Well, it is a horror film in their world.

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In one week, they've seen those. We've got to show them three properties in one day and nail it.

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Don't worry, Nikki. The mysterious property-hunting team are omnipresent.

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-We'll never see them on screen but they will help us. I want to achieve one more thing.

-What?

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I want to make John and Anne's inner-naturist outer with that secluded garden,

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-so I'm going to go find an estate agent.

-I'm going to find the locals.

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Think Herefordshire. Think all things good.

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You mean like cider and beef?

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Yes, I do. But there's so much more than that.

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Charming towns, quaint villages and glorious countryside.

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Yes, there's certainly wonderful scenery around here.

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The River Wye weaves its way through the county

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and, in parts, even forms the border of Wales.

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Its unpolluted waters offer some of the best salmon fishing in the UK.

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I can't see any here. Maybe they're taking a rest from swimming upstream.

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Despite the feeling of isolation, Herefordshire has fantastic access

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to the Southwest and Wales via the M5 and M50.

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So it's really easy to see why this is a highly desirable area to call home.

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Let's see what Anne and John's £350,000 would get you elsewhere in the UK

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if it was a serious downsize that you were after.

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If you wanted to live somewhere quintessentially English in an iconic building,

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this one-bed apartment on Bath's Royal Crescent could be yours

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for £325,000.

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Or if the lure of the big smoke was too much

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and you could squeeze into a studio flat with a pull-down bed,

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this beauty close to Regent's Park could be yours.

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The price, £350,000.

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How about this fantastic mews property in a converted coach house in East 17?

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You could be heading up the apples and pears here for £330,000.

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'But, back in Herefordshire, it's about time our downsizing mission got underway.'

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Am I going to have an easy task finding a picturesque village?

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I think, if you can't find a picturesque village in Herefordshire,

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-then I don't know if you're up to the job.

-Thanks very much.

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-Hello, how are you? How you going?

-Very well, thank you.

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Now, I am looking for a couple who are looking to downsize.

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They have had enough of their 16th-century fantastic house.

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-They want no maintenance. They do not want a black-and-white house with render on the front of it.

-OK.

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You're spoilt for choice in Herefordshire, really.

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Every couple of miles, you find another really great village with a nice local pub.

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They're open to where they need to be, but a 20-mile radius of Gloucester.

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They have £350,000 to spend.

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Will I get views everywhere I go?

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Can I look left, right, ahead and backwards and always have a view?

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You'll always get views in Herefordshire, it just depends how big a view you want.

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-They have looked round an incredible amount of properties in the last week. 28 properties.

-OK.

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So there might be a few that they've seen in the area. So what have you got?

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A couple to start with. Victorian property. Nice, private gardens.

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-Got the four bedrooms.

-I'll put that on the maybe pile.

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Why is this area so beautiful and desirable?

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What is it that people come here looking for?

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Well, you wouldn't get a greener place anywhere on the earth.

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We have fantastic countryside, a lot of history.

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Something a little bit more black-and-white.

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You see, I like that, you like that,

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he's lived in that for 35 years, that kind of property.

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So, if you want something with character, something individualistic,

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something beautiful, you've come to the right place.

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It's centred in a village, newly renovated all the way through, bungalow, nice, formal gardens.

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-Can I arrange some viewings with you?

-Not a problem.

-There's the hand. Thank you very much.

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-Nikki, how were the lovely folk of the area?

-Absolutely lovely.

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Such a pride in the countryside and in their buildings.

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I met an incredibly handsome man called Justin, the estate agent, and he's helped me out immeasurably.

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Property one I've gone for is the closest of the three to Gloucester, which is Anne's commute. Very nice.

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Might have blurred the definition of downsizing slightly, cos it might be a bit...

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Also, it might not be the most low maintenance of properties.

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Upkeep. John might have a little bit too much work to do.

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But it isn't overlooked and the inner naturist could...

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In other words, you've completely ignored their instructions, whereas I have found a modern bungalow.

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It's going to be low maintenance, it's spacious.

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I have strayed a little bit further from Gloucester,

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but I think it's going to be fantastic.

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The wild card is in a similar area to Nikki's.

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It is right on the edge of the commute to Gloucester for Anne.

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A compromise here is, they've got great views,

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but the problem is, some of the neighbours have got slightly better views of their back garden.

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So it is slightly overlooked. But it's very nice, very gorgeous,

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very low-maintenance, very low-maintenance, so I don't know which on they'll go for.

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-I think they'll go for mine, cos I followed every single instruction to a tee.

-Where shall we start?

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-Yours.

-Property one.

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Here we go, then, possibly my favourite property of all time, packed with period features,

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a garden to die for and vegetable patch worthy of Jamie Oliver. This one's a hit.

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Very good, Ed, but I don't think you've got the hang of this downsizing lark.

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John and Anne, walk, if you dare, toward property number one.

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This is the one the property-hunting team and I have plumped for.

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We are crossing our fingers that this could be the house of your dreams.

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I've been slightly naughty in this house and in the back garden.

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I'm not going to say what I've done specifically,

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but it might be related to the downsizing aspect.

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So remember that. But what do you think?

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-First impressions?

-I think it looks very pretty, very nice.

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It does look good, yeah. I do like the wrought iron work.

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Church-style windows.

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It's very nice. You are ten minutes from Gloucester, so that's...

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-That's brilliant.

-Not very far for you, is it?

-No.

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What about the location? Do you like being out this far in the sticks?

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Definitely, yeah. It's brilliant. Perfect.

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And going back to the earlier conversation about wandering around in your underpants,

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-or maybe without your underpants...

-Not without.

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..in your garden that isn't overlooked, you have that option.

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-And you've got a pond!

-Really?

-Fish.

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And that's all the information you're going to know before you go in.

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Remember, I've been naughty. Where have I been naughty and have I been too naughty?

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-Enter my naughty house.

-Enjoy.

-See you in a bit.

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This is exciting, isn't it?

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I have been naughty, ladies and gents, with this house.

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Not with the house alone, but with the garden, as well.

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I'll just hang my coat up a second after that rain.

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-Gosh.

-Oh, that's quite nice.

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-A sort of cottagey feel, isn't it?

-Mm.

-Which is what we're used to, which is good.

-Indeed.

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Cottagey feel? Maybe I haven't been as naughty as I thought.

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-No, it is a cottage.

-Yeah, but cottagey usually means small.

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-Yeah, do you think that's workable?

-Yeah, I'd have thought so.

-Yeah.

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I like the arch windows.

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-They make a churchy feel, don't they?

-Mm.

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Secondary double glazing down here, isn't it?

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-They are wooden windows and they didn't really want to have that sort of upkeep.

-John hasn't mentioned it.

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Down the step.

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Will our dining table fit here, do you think?

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It seats ten. I've tried it out earlier on. So they could get all the family round there. Perfect.

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-I like the floor.

-Yes, nice tiled floor.

-Tiled straight through.

-Lovely.

-Good idea.

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-All-in-one feel.

-Mm.

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This looks like a library, doesn't it? Office.

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Hm. Nice feel to it, isn't it?

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Yeah, yeah. It's very good.

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If we used this as a study, this is fine, isn't it?

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OK, this is the step down into what could be your fourth bedroom

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-or it could be the study, which it currently is.

-Yeah.

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-It would be a small fourth bedroom, but when you've got grandchildren staying...

-They'd love it.

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-Lounge.

-Lounge, yes.

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They've got nice latched doors, look, like we've got.

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-Mm. And a wood burner.

-Yes, that's right, you want a fire, don't you?

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-Mm-hm.

-Yes.

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I wonder what the view's like if I sit down. What do you think?

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-It's a nice view of the garden and the trees.

-Yeah.

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OK, now, I'm slightly disappointed that John hasn't looked out of those windows

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and overlooked his massive shed.

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I wonder how old the property is.

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It's got to be late 1800s, I would think.

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Now John's in his area of expertise. Late 1800s he's putting that part of the house at.

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Would you classify that, in John terms, as specifics or more romantic language about the house?

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-I think romantic language.

-I think he likes it.

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More beams.

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Budgerigars.

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Do you think that bird is saying, "I can't believe you're in our house!"

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-Yes.

-"Who are you? Where have the owners gone?"

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It's another dining room, so that was the kitchen/breakfast room.

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-Living room. This is obviously a formal dining room.

-It's a bit far from the kitchen.

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-Yeah, but we'd use it at Christmas.

-Yeah.

-And maybe on a Sunday.

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They're thinking of Christmas, how to utilise the space at certain times of the year.

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And it's not that far, is it? It's only a matter of metres. It's not miles.

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I like the newel posts.

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This must be the bathroom.

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-Again, that's nice, isn't it?

-Yes, very pleasant.

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-So we've got a nice, old-fashioned looking, white basin.

-Mm.

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No bidet, but I'm sure we could sort that out.

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-Ooh, they like a bidet. How very European.

-Unbelievable.

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-Oh, this is nice.

-A shower room, is it?

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Look at the outlook on the garden, as well, through the window.

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-Isn't that beautiful?

-It is.

-Lovely outlook.

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Yes, they've seen the outside. Look at the shed.

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A massive shed! There! Why don't they look at it?

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Maybe he doesn't believe that could even be his. It is!

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-Gosh, this is a big room, isn't it?

-Wow.

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-Yeah.

-Very spacious, isn't it?

-I should say.

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-I think it's as big as our bedroom, isn't it?

-About the same size.

-I think it is.

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They're downsizing, Nikki, but I've been very naughty.

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I've given them luxury. Those bedrooms are pretty darn big.

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-One is.

-Well, the other one's pretty big.

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-The other one's a good size, but it's not big.

-It's pretty big.

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-What are you comparing it to?

-Something small.

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SHE LAUGHS

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-Do you think those are fitted wardrobes? I think they might be.

-Looks like it.

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-Mm.

-I quite like fitted wardrobes.

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-Always the question, isn't it?

-For a woman.

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"Do you think they're fitted wardrobes?" The beauty of a fitted wardrobe, you get to keep them.

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-They come as your fixtures and fittings.

-Yeah.

-Unless they're mean and take them away.

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Which way am I going? I'm lost already.

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-Through there.

-Oh, it must be this way, yeah.

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-It's confusing when you're not used to the house.

-Mm.

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-It's a very interesting layout.

-Yeah.

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This is a good double size, look, John.

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-Isn't it?

-Oh, wow, yes.

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We want the double rooms, don't we, for when the children come to stay. We want plenty of room, don't we?

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-This looks like another floor up here, look.

-Yeah.

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-Across a creaking floor.

-Is this the attic room?

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We're on the third floor, aren't we?

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Gosh. Look at this. That's unusual, isn't it?

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We're right in the roof now.

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We want a minimum of three bedrooms.

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See, I think that you could put two beds up there if you needed to.

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Because they've got grandkids coming round,

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stick a curtain in there, just temporary, so they've got a bit of privacy,

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they'll be fine. The kids would love it.

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Gosh. A bit of exposed brickwork there.

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-It's very light and warm, actually.

-Mm.

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-A lovely feel to it up here.

-There is.

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John and Anne, I was concerned that I might have been a little bit naughty,

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I might have given you too much of a house, too big gardens and rooms. Have I?

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No, I don't think so.

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-No, the rooms...

-The rooms are the right sort of size.

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It works because it has all the rooms we require, they're on a smaller scale,

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so it's definitely got potential.

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OK, workshop, John, your domain. You have got, in your front garden,

0:17:520:17:56

that gigantic shed, you've got the summer house and a gazebo. Which one would you pick?

0:17:560:18:01

-The large shed, of course.

-Is that good for you?

-Yes.

0:18:010:18:04

-It looks excellent.

-And what do you think about the garden?

0:18:040:18:08

The garden's great. It's got the lovely wooden borders round the vegetable patch.

0:18:080:18:12

Does it feel too big? Have I given you too much of a garden?

0:18:120:18:16

In a way, it doesn't feel too big. It's so well laid out, I think we could probably manage it.

0:18:160:18:21

-Retirement project.

-The current owner says, in springtime, hack the thing back,

0:18:210:18:25

takes about a week, but that's all you've got to do. It looks after itself.

0:18:250:18:29

-So it's not so bad.

-That does sound good.

0:18:290:18:31

Any negatives?

0:18:310:18:34

To me, it might be slightly on the old side.

0:18:340:18:37

Is it too old and is there going to be work to do, but that could be sorted out in a survey.

0:18:370:18:43

-200 years younger than your other one.

-That's right, it's only a baby, really.

0:18:430:18:47

-We know what work went into the other one.

-Does that scare you, John?

-Just a bit.

0:18:470:18:52

Knowing how much we had to put into the last house, and looking at this one,

0:18:520:18:56

yes, it's liveable as of now,

0:18:560:18:59

but I think that the work in the future could be quite hefty.

0:18:590:19:02

So is that the only negative, the fact that it's still period and old

0:19:020:19:06

and could need more maintenance than you're willing to put in?

0:19:060:19:09

-Yeah, that's...

-The only thing.

-The only thing.

0:19:090:19:12

-Let's not focus on negatives, cos everything is remediable if you love it and the price is right.

-True.

0:19:120:19:18

-So, you have a maximum budget of...

-350.

-350.

0:19:180:19:24

-Who do you want to go first? Nikki, you pick.

-John.

0:19:240:19:28

I would've thought it was probably somewhere in the region of our maximum.

0:19:280:19:32

In the region? Be specific, if you could.

0:19:320:19:35

Erm...

0:19:350:19:38

345.

0:19:380:19:39

-OK. Cagey.

-I think I'd go 349,950.

0:19:390:19:45

OK, 349,950 and 345.

0:19:450:19:49

The actual price of this cracker of a property, and it's lovely,

0:19:490:19:53

with a garden you could do whatever you want in...

0:19:530:19:56

-It's exactly right, Anne.

-Well done you!

0:19:570:20:00

-It's 349,950. Exactly.

-I've won the first round.

-There we go!

0:20:000:20:04

And considering the position you're in, house sold, got to get out in 12 weeks, there are deals to be done.

0:20:040:20:09

You are a great buyer. So money could be taken off this

0:20:090:20:13

to paint those windows that might need a bit of attention.

0:20:130:20:17

So there is money to do that.

0:20:170:20:20

-The question is, do you want to go to Nikki's property?

-Er, yes!

0:20:200:20:24

-I definitely want to.

-Really?

-Yes!

-You've whetted my appetite.

0:20:240:20:27

-Come on, then.

-I've seen it.

-Shush, Ed! Just come on!

0:20:270:20:30

And onto my choice. This they are going to love.

0:20:330:20:37

A rural location with unspoilt views to the rear

0:20:370:20:41

and everything they asked for all under one roof.

0:20:410:20:43

It looks really great. That said, could you just remind me how far away from Gloucester we are?

0:20:430:20:50

So, John, Anne, we are in the village of Ullingswick,

0:20:500:20:54

which is Herefordshire.

0:20:540:20:56

I've strayed ever-so slightly. We're about 25 miles from Gloucester.

0:20:560:21:01

-Are you familiar with this area at all?

-Not really, no.

0:21:010:21:05

-Did you like the feel as we were driving up here?

-Definitely.

-Yes.

0:21:050:21:09

And I bring you to my property, which is a bungalow.

0:21:090:21:13

Now, I wasn't sure whether a bungalow was something that you might be looking at,

0:21:130:21:17

-let alone such a modern property. What's your first impression?

-Looks very good.

0:21:170:21:22

-I like it, definitely.

-So do I.

-What do you like?

0:21:220:21:26

Lack of painting on the outside. Double glazing.

0:21:260:21:29

-Double glazing.

-It's important for you, double glazing.

0:21:290:21:33

-It looks very nice.

-I think you'll be pleasantly surprised

0:21:330:21:36

by how spacious this property is.

0:21:360:21:39

And also, you've got views.

0:21:390:21:41

-Great.

-Go and have a look.

-Even better.

0:21:410:21:43

-Enjoy.

-Thank you.

0:21:430:21:47

You seem very confident.

0:21:470:21:48

-We didn't even tell them there are four bedrooms and two kitchens.

-Unbelievable.

-Exactly.

0:21:480:21:53

Nice, spacious hall, isn't it?

0:21:550:21:57

-So far, so good, eh?

-Yeah. Nice big hall.

-Yeah. I like a spacious hall.

0:22:010:22:06

Just what she always wanted. A spacious hall? She never told us that! I'd have given her that!

0:22:060:22:11

And double doors, look. Glass doors.

0:22:110:22:15

-What you always wanted.

-That's another thing I like, isn't it?

0:22:150:22:18

This is twice now. Two things they've made up here.

0:22:180:22:21

Double doors? They never mentioned that!

0:22:210:22:24

-But sometimes they don't mention everything.

-I don't care!

0:22:240:22:28

I would've found them that if I'd have known! I want to please people! But now I'm angry!

0:22:280:22:32

-Well, you weren't lucky, were you?

-Well...

0:22:320:22:35

And this is plenty of room, isn't it?

0:22:350:22:37

-Yep.

-A very comfortable space.

-Very good, actually.

0:22:370:22:41

-Not too large. We can sit round and be all cosy so we can chat.

-Nice fireplace.

0:22:410:22:45

-Yep. That was a big plus for you, wasn't it, a fireplace.

-Yep.

0:22:450:22:49

The fireplace is one of the few things that the current owners put into the house.

0:22:490:22:54

-Really?

-Mm. That and the extension. They did the conservatory.

-They've done it beautifully.

0:22:540:23:00

-I like that.

-This is a conservatory, is it? Looks like it, doesn't it?

-I like the floor.

0:23:000:23:06

-Yes, nice tiles, aren't they?

-Yeah, they're very good.

0:23:060:23:10

This is an enormous conservatory, isn't it?

0:23:100:23:13

-Yes, it is rather huge.

-Gosh. Lovely country view.

0:23:130:23:17

-And not too big a garden.

-No. Looks very manageable, doesn't it?

0:23:170:23:21

They like the aspect. That is not in debate in any way, shape or form.

0:23:210:23:25

What have we here? Gosh, look at this beautiful bedroom. It's an enormous size.

0:23:290:23:33

-So that's the biggest bedroom.

-Mm-hm.

0:23:330:23:36

And I would assume that's their bedroom.

0:23:360:23:38

Well, they could choose, really. As you say, the four bedrooms are all crackers.

0:23:380:23:43

Built-in wardrobes. That keeps it all streamline, doesn't it?

0:23:430:23:47

That's another feature I wanted. And then it's easier to clean and dust and everything.

0:23:470:23:52

Beautiful view out of here, out of the window

0:23:520:23:56

and into the garden and over the fields beyond.

0:23:560:23:59

-A great view to wake up to in the morning.

-It's a stunning view. You are admitting it.

-All right.

0:23:590:24:04

-Ah, this is rather nice.

-Would you say palatial?

0:24:040:24:08

-Yes.

-I'd say palatial.

-What are they talking about?

0:24:080:24:12

-That looks like a Jacuzzi bath, doesn't it?

-It would seem so.

-My gosh.

0:24:120:24:17

-Again, a beautiful double size, isn't it?

-Certainly is.

0:24:180:24:23

-Cornflower blue.

-Yeah. Reflects well off the ceiling.

-And this must be an en suite.

0:24:230:24:28

-That's good, isn't it?

-Really very well appointed, isn't it?

0:24:310:24:34

He's not seen the fact that he hasn't got a shed yet.

0:24:340:24:37

-He also hasn't seen the fact that he has a double garage.

-Don't call the dogs off yet.

0:24:370:24:42

-Wow.

-Oh!

-Look at this!

0:24:440:24:47

Gosh! So, this is like a living room, isn't it, really?

0:24:480:24:52

-Like an everyday living room where you can sit, eat, cook.

-Kitchen-diner.

0:24:520:24:57

That whole kitchen area they are seeing as their sort of den,

0:24:570:25:02

their warm centre of family life.

0:25:020:25:05

-Plenty of power points.

-You could live in here. You wouldn't need any other rooms apart from the bedroom.

0:25:060:25:12

It's very spacious.

0:25:130:25:16

Quite amazing.

0:25:160:25:17

-Gosh.

-Wow, a larder! At last!

0:25:190:25:22

I thought our house was the last one in the country with a walk-in pantry.

0:25:220:25:26

-I know, you don't often see larders these days, do you?

-No.

0:25:260:25:30

Who would've thought, of all the rooms in all the world,

0:25:300:25:32

the larder in Ullingswick in Herefordshire

0:25:320:25:36

-would be the deal breaker?

-Me.

0:25:360:25:38

Gosh, look at this, John.

0:25:380:25:41

-This is your domain, look.

-Yeah.

-This can be your workshop.

0:25:410:25:45

I think it's actually the garage, but...

0:25:450:25:48

-It'd be OK for your workshop, wouldn't it?

-Yeah.

0:25:480:25:52

-I think John is a changed man.

-He is, sadly.

0:25:520:25:55

"Larder" than life, I would even say.

0:25:550:25:57

-I preferred pre-larder John and pre-larder Anne if I'm honest.

-Curmudgeon.

0:25:570:26:02

I'm hoping that what we heard outside

0:26:040:26:08

reflects the real excitement that you feel about my property.

0:26:080:26:13

-Yes, definitely.

-Really?

-Yep. It's the only place we've seen, and this is the 30th,

0:26:130:26:18

the only place we've seen with the wow factor.

0:26:180:26:21

Everything that you wanted here.

0:26:210:26:24

-What excited you the most? I think perhaps...

-Pantry.

0:26:240:26:28

What is your pantry obsession, John?

0:26:280:26:31

-Is it an emotional connection to a childhood memory? Because it is for me.

-To a degree.

0:26:310:26:37

In my last house, I had a small pantry, and in the current house, I've got a big pantry.

0:26:370:26:41

Anne, for you, when you see John excited about a property,

0:26:410:26:44

does that stir everything in you? Do you feel like, "OK, we're going to do this together"?

0:26:440:26:50

As soon as I came in, well, outside actually,

0:26:500:26:53

but when we came in, it was even better.

0:26:530:26:55

It's light, it's airy, it's spacious, it's got all the rooms, plus more, that we need.

0:26:550:27:01

-Any down points at all?

-Well, it looks good from outside,

0:27:010:27:05

-but the facade hides what you've actually got in here.

-It does.

0:27:050:27:09

That's very nice and modest, isn't it?

0:27:090:27:12

Erm, the question is, how much does it cost?

0:27:120:27:15

You love the property. Who would like to go first?

0:27:150:27:18

We're playing with a maximum budget of £350,000. Anne, you're in the lead. Bang on the nose last time.

0:27:180:27:23

-Who wants to go first?

-You can.

-Is it my turn? OK.

0:27:230:27:27

-I think it's over-budget.

-Mm-hm.

0:27:270:27:29

I'm going to go for 358,500.

0:27:290:27:33

OK, quite a silly guess, but I like it nevertheless. John.

0:27:330:27:36

I'm sure it's over-budget, and I think it's probably £355,000. Could be more.

0:27:360:27:43

I have to say, Anne, you are the closest, but you're wrong, because it's a bit more expensive than that.

0:27:430:27:49

We're looking at £9,950 over-budget, so £359,950.

0:27:490:27:56

Is that something that you automatically think, "We'll negotiate down"

0:27:560:28:00

or "We'll find something to make it work"? How does that sit with you?

0:28:000:28:04

I think we'd negotiate it down.

0:28:040:28:06

Definitely, in this particular financial environment,

0:28:060:28:10

I think we'd stand every chance of getting it down.

0:28:100:28:13

-The fact that you're sold, you're ready to go...

-Not quite cash-in-hand but not far off.

0:28:130:28:17

Don't start haggling for this house just yet, because we still have everyone's favourite part.

0:28:170:28:22

-What is that, Anne?

-The wild card.

-Everyone loves it. It's this way. Shall we go?

0:28:220:28:26

-Please do.

-Lead on, Macduff.

0:28:260:28:28

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, today's wild card.

0:28:310:28:35

I love it, and I hope Anne and John will, too.

0:28:350:28:38

Modern, easy to maintain, a downsizing dream.

0:28:380:28:43

Question is, why is it wild? Just wait and see.

0:28:430:28:46

So, John and Anne, our wild card.

0:28:460:28:49

We've come a little bit further. We've strayed slightly in terms of distance from Gloucester,

0:28:490:28:54

but we're on a quiet little cul-de-sac. The house is well appointed.

0:28:540:28:59

It's modern, but it looks old. What's your first impression?

0:28:590:29:04

Very good, actually. It doesn't appear to have any wooden windows.

0:29:040:29:08

It looks very nice, actually. I like the local stone use. That's very attractive.

0:29:080:29:14

-Anne, what about you?

-I like it, too.

0:29:140:29:17

I quite like the fact that it's got neighbours.

0:29:170:29:21

I didn't want to be isolated.

0:29:210:29:23

OK. Internally, it's perfect. You don't need to do anything to it.

0:29:230:29:27

It's one of the cleanest houses we've ever been into. So it's ready to go. I would say zero maintenance.

0:29:270:29:32

-There is the property. Are you ready to go in?

-We are.

0:29:320:29:35

Three, two, one, be excited about the wild card.

0:29:350:29:39

Oh, gosh. This looks nice, doesn't it?

0:29:420:29:45

Greeting it with a gosh? A surprise that it's nice? Of course it is, it's the wild card.

0:29:450:29:49

-Very grand.

-Gosh. I wonder what... Is this a music room

0:29:490:29:54

or do you think it could be the dining room with a baby grand in it?

0:29:540:29:57

-This is obviously the lounge.

-Real fireplace.

-Yes, which you always like.

0:29:570:30:02

-Nice stone surround, isn't it, on the fireplace?

-Yes.

0:30:020:30:08

-It's nice, isn't it?

-Yes, it seems to match in with the rest of the stone.

-Yes.

0:30:080:30:12

OK, John's back on the details. He's not got that larder effect.

0:30:120:30:15

I think the larder emotion he had earlier has now died down. He's back on the stone. But he likes it.

0:30:150:30:20

-Shall we try it for size?

-Mm.

0:30:200:30:23

A nice outlook with the window and nice fields. That's probably why it's called Meadow View.

0:30:260:30:31

-Ah. So this is obviously the kitchen.

-That's quite spacious, isn't it?

0:30:320:30:37

Kitchen-diner. Yes, this is nice, isn't it?

0:30:370:30:41

Immaculate.

0:30:410:30:43

See, the kitchen, it's just functional. It's got everything you could possibly need,

0:30:430:30:48

there's nothing lacking, but it's not that family hub, is it?

0:30:480:30:51

It could be with a couple of throw cushions and a nice table. Could be.

0:30:510:30:56

-Who does the interior styling in your house?

-I don't know.

0:30:560:30:59

-Again, quite small, isn't it?

-But we want smaller rooms, anyway.

0:31:010:31:05

We do, but do you think this is a bit too small?

0:31:050:31:08

We'd have to get rid of most of our furniture, wouldn't we?

0:31:080:31:12

-And just have the basics.

-Yeah.

-A settee in the lounge,

0:31:120:31:17

dining table in here. Would we fit ten?

0:31:170:31:20

-We'd be a bit hard-pushed, wouldn't we?

-Yes.

0:31:200:31:24

-Yeah. I'm not quite sure whether it's downsizing a bit too much.

-Could be.

0:31:240:31:28

Two things are happening here, I think.

0:31:280:31:31

Number one, this property is perfect.

0:31:310:31:33

It's everything they've described, the most realistic downsizing

0:31:330:31:37

and they're thinking, "It doesn't fit our furniture."

0:31:370:31:40

Your furniture is based around a much bigger property.

0:31:400:31:42

-So I don't think they're taking the downsizing... It's not as easy as you think, is it?

-No, you're right.

0:31:420:31:48

-I've just thought of something, John.

-What?

0:31:480:31:50

-That room that I thought was the dining room...

-The little one with the baby grand?

-Yeah.

0:31:500:31:55

-That could be our study.

-That's a good idea, yes.

0:31:550:31:58

-Which would work quite well, wouldn't it?

-Yep.

0:31:580:32:01

No utility room, but I'm sure we'd manage.

0:32:010:32:05

That's downsizing. Something's got to give. They didn't get a utility room.

0:32:050:32:08

But they've got a gigantic garage next door that is being used as a gym.

0:32:080:32:13

So this one's got the outlook over the front with the other houses.

0:32:130:32:17

-But they're pretty houses, with the stone.

-Yes.

0:32:170:32:19

-Oh, look.

-Oh, a study.

-I suppose we could have it as a bedroom, couldn't we?

0:32:220:32:28

Oh, look, this is the bathroom. Small but beautiful.

0:32:290:32:33

Yeah, it hasn't got the bidet for me, but...

0:32:330:32:37

-Yep. You just checking what it's made of?

-I am, yes, it's plastic.

0:32:370:32:41

-It's acrylic.

-I'm sure it's a very good quality one.

-Oh, it is. It looks nice.

0:32:410:32:46

Small and beautiful, I think.

0:32:460:32:48

Anne's upstairs now. How long do you think before the fitted wardrobes are mentioned?

0:32:480:32:53

Another fitted wardrobe, which is good, isn't it?

0:32:530:32:56

Cos at least that's useful, being as the rooms are small.

0:32:560:32:59

If you can just get the bed in and maybe a bedside table.

0:32:590:33:03

If it was for a guest, that's all we'd need, really.

0:33:030:33:06

She sounds a little bit flat. I think, after your one, where they did nearly move in,

0:33:060:33:11

it was always going to be tricky for the wild card.

0:33:110:33:13

Oh, well, this is more wow than the others, isn't it?

0:33:170:33:20

-This is actually bigger. And that must be an emperor-size bed.

-I would've thought so.

0:33:200:33:27

Ours is a king bed, so we know it'll go in.

0:33:270:33:29

-Ohh!

-Emperor-size bed!

-I've never heard that.

-I never have!

0:33:290:33:32

Ah, so this is the en suite, which is nice, isn't it, with the blue tiles and the shower.

0:33:320:33:37

-Yep, that would suit well, wouldn't it?

-It is nice, yes.

0:33:370:33:40

Very well appointed.

0:33:400:33:43

Anne and John, we're disappointed. Property 31 we thought could be it

0:33:450:33:49

because, from the chat this morning, this is everything. This is the right amount of bedrooms,

0:33:490:33:54

it's the right amount of living space, it's downsized.

0:33:540:33:58

But I think it's too much of a downsize.

0:33:580:34:01

Yeah, particularly that dining room. It was a little bit too small. But you have ticked all the boxes for us.

0:34:010:34:07

We were slightly concerned, as well, that you were going to be overlooked on both sides.

0:34:070:34:13

But it is in a line, and I would've thought that this incredible view would compensate.

0:34:130:34:18

-It does, I think.

-Does it?

-Mm.

0:34:180:34:21

It is a lovely view. And also, John, don't worry, in the garage, there is currently a gymnasium.

0:34:210:34:26

I'm not saying you have to go to the gym at the moment. Tool shed.

0:34:260:34:30

Perfect space for your tool shed. You can tinker, mend the kids' toys.

0:34:300:34:34

So you've got all the space here. You have everything.

0:34:340:34:37

Now you know that, does it warm you a little bit more?

0:34:370:34:40

I might make me lean a little more towards it,

0:34:400:34:43

but I agree with Anne that it is a bit tight.

0:34:430:34:45

Most exciting bit, then. Guess the price.

0:34:450:34:48

-Anne, you've won already.

-You've ruined it for us all.

0:34:480:34:52

-Tension-wise, you've ruined it.

-I'm just clever.

0:34:520:34:55

-Why don't we let you, then, John...

-I think that's a good idea.

0:34:550:34:59

Thinking about it and the fact that it's Herefordshire rather than Gloucestershire or Worcestershire,

0:34:590:35:05

I think the prices will be down from what they are locally to us.

0:35:050:35:09

I think probably £315,000.

0:35:090:35:12

-315.

-Well, I'm going to stick my neck out and go lower.

-Mm-hm.

0:35:120:35:17

-I'm going to say 299,950.

-OK.

0:35:170:35:20

It's a nice guess of a price. Your maximum budget was £350,000.

0:35:200:35:25

You had a spread between £250,000 and £350,000 you wanted to spend.

0:35:250:35:28

We have spent less than your guess, but you are again correct, Anne.

0:35:280:35:32

-Yay!

-Hat trick.

-I think we know who's been doing all the house researching.

0:35:320:35:36

-Yep, me.

-Right.

-The actual price of this is £295,000 on the nose.

0:35:360:35:43

-Gosh.

-So we spent a lot less, you could get that for even less because you're ready to go.

0:35:430:35:48

-It's tempting.

-It is. It's everything you want. You'd save a fortune on this property.

0:35:480:35:53

And, at that point, you have to wander off and make the biggest decision of your adult lives

0:35:530:35:58

-about which one you wish to test drive.

-Do you think we'll be able to agree?

0:35:580:36:02

-I think so.

-Well, good luck with that massive decision, and we'll see you later on.

0:36:020:36:06

-Lovely. Thank you very much.

-Good luck.

0:36:060:36:09

So, while they take this big decision, here's a reminder for you at home.

0:36:090:36:13

So, we started our search with this cracking property.

0:36:150:36:18

I thought I'd been a little bit naughty, but it turned out I'd got the downsize proportions just right.

0:36:180:36:24

Buy it? Why wouldn't they, when it's going for £349,950?

0:36:240:36:29

And with my property, I thought I'd taken them a bit too far from Gloucester,

0:36:310:36:35

but the country views, great living space and ease of maintenance

0:36:350:36:39

appeared to really get them going, all for £359,950.

0:36:390:36:44

And the wild card. They said downsize, so we offered them a downsize.

0:36:450:36:50

They said not overlooked, so we offered them, er, well, anyway...

0:36:500:36:54

Nonetheless, a great property, with maintenance levels at a minimum.

0:36:540:36:58

Downsizing reality, all for £295,00.

0:36:580:37:03

Anne and John, I cannot tell you how delighted I am

0:37:080:37:12

that you have chosen MY property!

0:37:120:37:16

I'm genuinely delighted. But just tell us why. What sealed the deal for you?

0:37:160:37:21

Well, for me, as soon as we went in the door, it had that lovely, spacious hall,

0:37:210:37:25

the beautiful double doors into the lounge, again, a spacious feel,

0:37:250:37:29

-beautiful conservatory, lovely and light and airy.

-What about you, John? What made you really feel for this?

0:37:290:37:35

It ticked all the boxes.

0:37:350:37:37

But, yes, I was wowed by the kitchen and the pantry.

0:37:370:37:41

We had the mysterious To Buy Or Not To Buy surveyor come round

0:37:410:37:44

and he's told us some interesting information. Now, it is double glazed, UPVC.

0:37:440:37:49

Some of the units have gone slightly.

0:37:490:37:52

Easily replaced, but also, quite a good bargaining tool. You're in a good bargaining position, anyway.

0:37:520:37:57

So that is there. Also, your fascias here. They're made of wood.

0:37:570:38:01

-So you've got to paint them every once in a while.

-Or change them.

0:38:010:38:06

You could make them plastic. It's just incredibly low maintenance.

0:38:060:38:10

There's very little work to do here. So you don't need to worry about that.

0:38:100:38:15

He also had some good news and that was that you wanted a wood-burning fireplace and fire.

0:38:150:38:20

That fireplace can be easily converted.

0:38:200:38:24

-It's not an issue whatsoever. Does that please you?

-Yes, it does.

0:38:240:38:27

It means there's no major issues. That would fill me with a sense of confidence.

0:38:270:38:32

-Yes.

-There we go.

0:38:320:38:34

-And with that sense of confidence...

-My ideas are confirmed.

-Brilliant.

0:38:340:38:38

With that sense of confidence, Nikki, release them into your property.

0:38:380:38:42

-Would you like to go and try before you buy?

-Yes, please!

0:38:420:38:45

-Enjoy!

-We're excited.

-Be good in there.

0:38:450:38:47

I think John's had enough of house-hunting

0:38:500:38:52

and he's keen to check out the tinkering possibilities of his potential workshop.

0:38:520:38:57

-Is it going to be suitable for you?

-I would've thought so.

0:38:570:39:01

Workbench, shelves. It's ideal. And plenty of room for the car.

0:39:030:39:08

He seems pretty happy, but what about that all-important commute for Anne?

0:39:080:39:12

Down through Hartpury to get to Gloucester.

0:39:120:39:15

Yes. I think the best way is obviously the A417.

0:39:150:39:20

So I think I have just made Gloucester move closer, don't you?

0:39:200:39:26

-Yeah, I think you probably have.

-I think I've worked out that I can do it.

0:39:260:39:29

Now it's time to see just how close they are to the open countryside.

0:39:290:39:34

Wait for it! Couldn't be any closer!

0:39:340:39:38

-It's lovely country, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:39:400:39:43

So, John, Anne, you have now had your test drive.

0:39:440:39:48

You've experienced things in this house that might be what your life could be in the future,

0:39:480:39:53

you've seen the local area, how was it for you both?

0:39:530:39:56

I thought it was very good. Just look over my shoulder at the view.

0:39:560:40:00

-Stunning.

-It is, yeah. And the house itself is quite remarkable.

0:40:000:40:05

-Anne, what about you?

-I think so. I've found myself visualising myself in it.

0:40:050:40:10

It just improves. From the moment we came in through the door, it improved.

0:40:100:40:14

One of the concerns was that this was... A 20-mile radius is what you said.

0:40:140:40:19

-This is 25 miles.

-Might even be a bit more.

-Maybe a bit further from Gloucester. Can you make it work?

0:40:190:40:25

-Well, I have decided, I love the property so much, I've just moved Gloucester closer.

-Really?

0:40:250:40:30

I've looked at the map, I've worked out two routes I could go that would avoid the rush-hour traffic

0:40:300:40:36

and I've even worked out the time, which I believe is manageable.

0:40:360:40:40

And I'm determined to do it.

0:40:400:40:42

-So no obstacles?

-Great news. Downsize, that was the buzz word.

0:40:420:40:46

How does this size up on the downsizing?

0:40:460:40:50

This one actually is probably more spacious than I would've said I wanted,

0:40:500:40:54

but when you're in it, I've decided this is the space for me. I could enjoy being here.

0:40:540:41:00

You saw 28 properties. We then found three for you.

0:41:000:41:05

-And out of that three, you have really liked this one.

-Yes.

0:41:050:41:09

-It's the only one with the wow factor.

-But you'd also shortlisted four from those 28.

0:41:090:41:14

How do they stack up?

0:41:140:41:16

Well, they... We could not separate any one out of those four.

0:41:160:41:20

They were all much of a muchness as regards what was good, what was bad.

0:41:200:41:26

Nothing stuck out at all.

0:41:260:41:28

We were thinking with our minds and ticking those boxes,

0:41:280:41:33

-but this one, I think, has touched our hearts.

-It's got the lot.

0:41:330:41:36

-Aww! It's touched their hearts!

-It's the power of the test drive, Nikki.

0:41:360:41:40

-If only estate agents could cotton onto this and do it every time, they might sell more houses.

-True.

0:41:400:41:45

-We're right at the point where... Well, you've got to ask it, cos it's your property.

-Thank you.

0:41:450:41:50

-Come on.

-To buy or not to buy?

0:41:500:41:54

-You go first.

-High probability.

0:41:540:41:57

"High probability"? That's such a masculine attitude!

0:41:570:42:01

Let's take that as John's answer.

0:42:010:42:04

-Anne, to buy or not to buy?

-Yes, I would definitely consider it.

0:42:040:42:08

-Oh, come on!

-Definitely.

-To buy?

0:42:080:42:10

-Yes.

-Good.

-Wow! That is a result! Fantastic!

-This is brilliant!

0:42:100:42:14

-What... And you've got to get out of your house, as well.

-We have.

0:42:140:42:18

-This is quite a mission, cos you've got 12 weeks pretty much.

-Yes.

0:42:180:42:22

I suggest you get to the estate agents and start making it happen. And when you do,

0:42:220:42:26

if you do, hopefully you will, call us up and we can see how happy you are here.

0:42:260:42:30

-Come to the house-warming.

-That would be lovely! Thank you very much!

0:42:300:42:34

Come and enjoy the en suite. THEY LAUGH

0:42:340:42:37

Thank you very much! I will use the toilet when I come here! See you later on.

0:42:370:42:42

-Thank you, guys.

-Thank you very much.

0:42:420:42:44

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0:43:000:43:03

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0:43:030:43:06

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