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-Welcome to To Buy Or Not To Buy...
-The house-hunting show that is forever on the road.
Or a country lane, in this case, to find a place for today's buyers.
And how do we do that, I hear you ask. It's quite simple, really.
-We show them three houses...
-One of which they get to try
before they buy.
Today we're in Oxfordshire, the county named after the town
where oxen were herded across a river.
Shouldn't that be Oxherdshire, then?
No. The river was forded to enable them to cross.
Don't you know any Anglo Saxon? I suppose you also don't know
that this is the birthplace of Winston Churchill,
-one of Britain's best-loved...
-Yes, it comes back now.
We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets.
We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.
-What a great orator!
I think we should concentrate on our very own battle.
Agreed. Let's get on with this.
Today's buyers are Kevin and Claire Simmons.
Claire works as an accounts assistant,
and Kevin is currently in between jobs.
At the moment they live in Oxford in a three-bed terrace
with their dogs Bella and Bonnie and cats Ollie and Jello.
They also have two grown-up children, Sally Ann and Matthew.
Sally Ann has flown the nest, but Matthew is still clinging on.
So, you already live in the city of dreaming spires.
Why would you want to move away?
Er, we're looking to move out of the city, really, slightly,
to get a bit more space. We've been in our current house now
-for 22 years...
-Quite a time!
So we think it's time to move, to be honest.
Is it not going to be a wrench, though - 22 years in the same house?
Going to be different, innit? I think so.
Claire, you're very quiet.
It's just the change. I want something different.
I'm fed up of living all closed in, boxed in.
Is it just space you're after? What sort of lifestyle do you hope to achieve?
A bit sort of self-sufficient, really, you know -
nice veg patch, get some chickens, maybe a goat.
Yeah. You never know.
So we're looking for somewhere with not a massive amount of land,
-but a smallholding would be lovely.
Are you prepared for that work? The ideal is one thing.
-Getting stuck in is quite another.
-Well, we think so. We think so.
-Describe this perfect house to us.
-Will you go for that, Claire?
-Garden. Massive garden.
-200, 300 foot.
Right. Plenty of chickens in that, then.
What is your kind of style? Are we looking for something olde worlde,
-I think what we're looking for really
is something that's got a little bit of character to it,
or something a bit different.
What we don't want is a little redbrick building,
terrace building, um, with a big garden.
Yes, I mean, it might be nice, but at the end of the day,
it's not really what we're looking for. Two bedrooms will be adequate,
but something, really, that we can extend on if necessary.
And you're working, Claire. Whereabouts do you work?
-By the train station in the middle of Oxford.
-So you will continue to commute, then?
So, how far are you prepared to commute?
20, 20 miles, I suppose.
Are there any areas outside Oxford that you're not keen on,
-any direction you don't want to go in?
Swindon, Clarendon, that sort of way.
Anything else? What about the living area?
As long as we've got decent-sized kitchen, decent-sized living room,
but something we can play with if necessary.
We're not adverse to, you know, knocking down a wall
or playing with it a little bit, really.
So it would be hard to frighten us, I think.
-OK. What about...
-As long as it's got a roof.
-I think we can probably push to that, can't we?
-I don't know what the budget is yet.
-Let's come to that.
How much money can we spend for you, please?
Up to 350.
-350. Is that the max?
Give or take a few bob.
-That seems fair enough.
-We've got the whole of Oxfordshire to cover, except the west.
-Shall we get going?
-I think we should.
OK, Jonnie. What you thinking?
I think we've got a bit of a "Tom and Barbara from the Good Life" scenario.
-You're not wrong!
-I do have a concern, though,
and that's that they seem to want an awful lot for their budget.
You're right. 350 grand sounds an awful lot,
but it doesn't go a long way in Oxfordshire.
No. So what I want to do really is, perhaps, see an estate agent,
ascertain how realistic their budget is or isn't.
OK. For me, it's not the property that's the worry.
It's all this self-sufficiency stuff. I'm going to find out
what I can dig up about growing your own stuff.
Oxfordshire is a county of contrasts.
It's the most rural in the Southeast,
and almost 40 percent of it, including the Chilterns Hills and Cotswolds,
is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
It's also an area of outstanding historical interest.
The Rollright Stones in the north are said to have been erected
over 4,500 years ago. Looks like they could do with some modernisation!
Not quite as old, but just as fascinating, is the Uffington White Horse,
a stylised prehistoric figure carved into the hillside
in the south of the county.
What can you get in parts of the country close to similar carvings?
Near Thirsk, there's this four-bedroom terraced house,
complete with a cellar and a small paddock area,
on the market for £325,000.
In Wiltshire, near Westbury, this three-bedroom chalet-style house
includes a spacious lounge and kitchen/diner
all situated in one-fifth of an acre,
priced at £315,000.
Very nice indeed! And finally, in Dorset,
not far from the naked man at Cerne Abbas,
this thatched cottage has a fitted kitchen,
a reception room and a separate dining room.
And the views - well, they come for free, of course.
All this for just £340,000.
'To lend Kevin and Claire a hand in their quest for self-sufficiency,
'I'm off to pick up a few tips from Irwin Morgan-Jones,
'who runs an Oxfordshire allotment.
'And I'm going to meet a local estate agent
'to see if they can afford to live their dream in this lovely part of the world.'
First of all, how popular is it now to grow your own stuff?
Oh, it's very popular. In the last, say, ten years,
the number of people who want an allotment has increased tremendously.
In fact we've got, at the moment, a waiting list.
I'm looking for at least two bedrooms,
maybe a bit of character - they live in a modern building at the moment,
the facilities of a village, as well, but most importantly,
they want some land.
Say I was interested in taking on something this size,
if I could get on your waiting list,
how much would this be costing per year?
-Now, that's a bargain, isn't it?
-That's a bargain.
-I have a property here
which is bang on budget, by the looks of things - 350,000.
-Character. Has got two beds. Beautiful inside and out.
-The owner's done lots of work to it.
Seems to tick all the boxes as far as the property's concerned.
Got a reasonable garden at the back. Don't know if it's the kind of thing
that you'd have people raising chickens and keeping pigs at.
To have a plot of land big enough to...not, maybe, be self-sufficient,
but to make it worth your while and to keep some chickens,
how big an area are we talking about?
Well, you can look at the size of one allotment.
Let's compare it to a tennis court.
You could grow all the veg you want throughout the year,
and really, you only want a small patch for your chickens.
-So, this is on budget but without the land.
So your alternatives really - what, moving further out?
You're either looking to move to some of the less expensive villages,
so perhaps looking further up the M40 corridor,
further to the north of Oxford...
At the moment we've got plans for 15 new allotments
on the slope in the back over there.
So, with a bit of luck, we should be able to accommodate all those
-who want an allotment.
-Right. Irwin, I'm inspired.
And I absolutely know that Claire and Kevin will be, as well.
I'll let you get back to it before the weeds start getting hold again!
-Cheers! Thanks very much!
Ah, there you are, Jonnie Irwin. Enjoying the view?
-I am, very much so.
-It's absolutely gorgeous.
-Anyway, to business! How have you got on?
Not bad. The estate agent told me that this area
is very much in demand. He says two bedrooms in a lovely village,
perhaps within commuter distance to Oxford and London,
with their price - might be struggling,
-but I'm cautiously optimistic.
-Good, good, good.
I am more than optimistic about growing veg round here.
I know everything there is to know about veg plots now.
I'm starting to lose the plot. Let's get back to the plot -
our building plot! What have you got for us?
Well, plot number one has been built on quite a number of years ago.
It's this belter of a property in a beautiful little village,
and not only does it have character, it also has a nice little garden,
not big enough for growing veg, but I do have an option up my sleeve.
Yes. I might be able to help you with that.
But we mightn't need to, because the winner today, I assure you,
is property number two. It comes with a massive amount of land,
is a gorgeous Victorian property. It's beautiful,
and still within that commuter belt they want to be in.
There it is. Beat that. The Wild Card?
Sounds too good to be true, but the Wild Card has it all,
and in spades. This has all the size you'll ever need,
plus - I reckon Kevin's a bit of a DIY nut.
I reckon he'll get a spade and a hammer to this,
-he'll knock it to pieces and love it.
-It's got a lovely garden, as well,
and something else besides. But we won't tell you what that is.
-Shall we start the tours?
-My property number one.
My choice of property is in the beautiful village of Wheatley.
It's hundreds of years old and full of character.
Character it may have, but does it have three bedrooms
and a garden for chickens and vegetables?
It has potential, and that's all I'm willing to say at this moment.
So it hasn't. Have the chickens come home to roost so soon, Jonnie?
So, for my first property, I've brought you to a real, living, breathing village.
You've got everything you'd want in a village - a lovely post office,
a curry house, a butcher, you've got a deli,
a pub, a launderette - you've got everything I think you'll need
for day-to-day life, and the property we're going to have a look at
has a real feel to it. What are you thinking?
-There's arms folded there.
-I've seen it, Jonnie.
I'm folding my arms now! Oh, dear! And...how long ago?
-Um...probably about -
-Six, eight weeks.
-Six or eight weeks ago.
-I've got a question.
Before we go any further, who was the most sceptical about this place?
-Yeah, possibly me.
-No messing about there. You!
-What attracted you to this house?
-What brought you here as a viewing?
-It actually being a nice little cottage.
-..was quite nice,
and that was it initially, really, so that's what made us view it.
I'm going to walk around this place with you now,
and try and show you the positive attributes
of this potential new home for you guys. Simon...
You can sell this place to him. Claire, you and I will have a giggle
listening in on the desperate attempt to sell this to Kevin.
Come on. Let's go.
Right, then, Kevin. A trip down Memory Lane.
-As I remember it.
-I thought it was quite nice.
It's a very nice house, to be honest.
You didn't tell us whether or not you liked open-plan kitchen-diners.
-Is this your thing?
-If it wasn't, if we had a wall up here,
-I would be taking it down.
-He's only just walked in.
-He wants to take a wall down. Is that what he's like?
-Yeah. Moved my kitchen three times.
-You've got dogs, haven't you?
-Yeah. We've got two dogs.
-Somewhere to have the dog bowls.
-Yeah. Absolutely, yeah.
That's it. A nice downstairs toilet with washing facilities,
so if the dogs came in dirty, or we came in dirty,
somewhere to rinse them off, isn't it?
-This room speaks for itself, doesn't it?
-It's a nice room.
"Nice" is what you say to a Christmas present you don't want from your nan.
I thought this was really, really impressive.
Look at the history! Look at the history!
Yeah. I love the stonework, yeah. It's really good.
The rooms we've seen so far, pretty much everything's been done.
Is that attractive to you, or do you want to get your sleeves rolled up?
Um... I can take it or leave it, I think, really.
I mean, I would like to do a little bit.
Do a bit of the work? He changed their kitchen three times!
-Oh, he's changed the kitchen,
changed the bathroom, turned a bedroom into a bathroom...
I'm feeling quite positive about the downstairs,
so hopefully this will continue... up in the bedroom stock.
-What are we thinking?
-Nice size. Nice high ceilings.
-You've uncrossed your arms, Kevin.
Does this mean you're now falling in love with this place?
-Always shows negativity, that one, doesn't it?
-A little bit.
I've always been warned about that one.
But, no - the bedroom's nice. Our bed would fit.
-It's a nice-size room.
-When you came here before,
did the agent discuss the previously held planning consent?
-Um... I don't believe so, no.
That doesn't ring any bells, actually.
Previously, around ten years ago, I'm informed there was planning consent
to punch through that window, put an arch across there,
and build on top of the garage,
-which would then give you a third bedroom.
-Which also gives you something to do in the future.
-What do you think about the size of this?
-It's a good size.
-For such a small property, or smallish property...
..it's a good-size bathroom. Nice light, as well.
There's not much you need to do here.
You see Claire relaxing, having a bit of soak of an evening?
THEY LAUGH Is Claire a bath lady?
-A shower lady, is she?
-I'm a bath man.
I can die in the bath for about half an hour or so.
So you want a couple of big bolts on the door,
shut the whole family away, and just have a bit of Kevin time.
Absolutely. I don't do the rubber ducks or the candles...
HE LAUGHS Neither do I!
Let's have a look through there.
The rubber ducks and the candles?
-Nothing to do with me.
It is all coming back to you now, this house?
Yes, it is. Yeah. I remember this room, as well.
Now, which room would you have for you and Claire,
-and which one would be your son's?
-I think this would be my son's.
-Yeah? Why's that?
-It's at the front of the building,
so any sort of road noise from the evening,
and I think that one's just a nicer bedroom, and it's south facing,
-so a nice bit of sun in the mornings and stuff.
Would you agree with Jonnie and Kevin there,
-that your bedroom would be at the rear of the house?
-Stick Matthew in the front.
-He'll sleep through anything, won't he?
-Oh, yeah. Definitely.
What would Claire think of this on a second viewing?
-You think she'd like it more or less?
-Hopefully less, but probably more.
-Let's go and find out, shall we?
-She's in the garden.
I hope you've been behaving yourself here with Claire.
We were listening intently. We couldn't get a word in edgeways!
Well, he seemed quite positive in there!
So, now we're outside, is this where the negative comments start?
I think so, yeah. I mean, the size of the garden itself,
to be honest - as you can see... It's basically what we've got at the moment...
-You got a summerhouse?
-I've got a shed which I built myself.
-Looks very similar to that, but probably about half the size...
-OK. So this is too small for your chickens?
I've been doing a bit of investigating,
and literally five minutes away from here there are allotments.
They are available for the princely sum of £15 a year.
They're just about to develop a new batch,
so even though there's a waiting list at the moment,
a whole new bunch are about to become available,
so if you got this place and got your name on the list,
you'd have your allotment just around the corner,
so the dream could still be here. Are we winning you over?
Well, it's an idea, but I wouldn't like to leave my chickens
or even my little goat on the allotment.
I can just feel, though... Jonnie, we were listening in.
You did your best with this place, and I was doing my best out here.
I can still hear we're not winning you over on this place,
and it's guess-the-price time. You should do very well on this one,
the pair of you. Let's see how good your memories are.
Your budget is £350,000.
How much do you think Jonnie's property is worth?
-Who's going to go first?
-I'll let you go first, Claire. Go on.
-Ooh! Is it? Do you think?
-Kevin, what do you think?
-Well, I'm not 100 percent sure it was,
to be honest. I'm going to say 360.
Well, someone's memory is better than someone else's,
because, Claire, you're one-nil up. It is £350,000. Well done!
I knew. I knew.
You can tell who's in charge of the money in their house.
Anyway, at this point what we're going to try and do
is show you a property that you haven't already viewed.
That would be Property 2. That would be my choice, and this way.
Come on! Let's go!
Yes, fortunately today we didn't put all our eggs in one basket.
My property is also full of character,
-and has just a little more.
-Just a little more?
I'm telling porkies. It has loads more.
Tell me, what does it have loads more of?
I'm not going to tell you. You'll just have to wait. Can you bear the suspense?
Right, then, you lovely pair! Property 2 today is my choice.
Now, then, it's this turn-of-the-century -
turn of last century, of course - late-Victorian property.
You wanted a small house with a large garden in the countryside.
That's what it is. But first question -
-have you viewed this before?
-Brilliant! So, a good start.
-Second question - first impressions?
-Nice. Like it.
-You what? I can't hear you!
-What you saying there, Jonnie?
-Apart from the obvious, er, Simon.
Oh, that road back there? OK, that's a fair point.
There is a fairly busy road. But I would like you to come back -
I would give this advice to anyone who's viewing a property on a road like that -
come back and view again in the evening.
But first, we want to know what you think of the inside of this place.
-Get yourselves in and enjoy it. In you go!
There we go.
This is a prize, isn't it? It's very nice out here.
I just never know when to trust you. Just listen in.
-I can't quite hear it. The road...
-See? Just shut up and listen.
-It's a bit noisy.
-Good space. Good space for the dogs.
-After a walk in the rain.
-Shall we go through here?
All right. OK.
Downstairs shower. Bath, as well.
-That's good. Decent size.
-Is it the only one, though?
I'm glad you like that. Yes. Because...
Just might be something lacking upstairs.
Oh, dining room... Oh, kitchen. Nice-size kitchen.
Right. Place for a table as well, look.
-Yeah, I like that.
-Not so bad.
-It's quite nice.
Living room. Nice quarry floors again.
Oh, yeah. Similar to what we had in the kitchen at one time.
-It is nice.
-Hope that's a working fireplace.
That'd be nice.
-Yeah, I'm sure it is.
-That's a working flue, all right.
-That was almost a positive comment from Kevin.
Bit small, though. I'm not sure whether...
you know, big three-seater, two-seater...
-That's quite big, so it might fit.
It's a bit small.
Cottage-like in proportions. They did clearly say
that size in the house wasn't important.
It's what's outside that counts.
This must be the front door, then.
-Can't use it. It's got a fridge in it.
Bit steep, but we'll be all right.
Yeah, they are, but no young 'uns to worry about,
-and you're not that old yet.
-Love you, too.
-Main bedroom, do you reckon?
-Yeah. Might be.
-Yeah, I think so.
-It's a nice size.
-No en suite or anything.
Not that we've asked for an en suite, but...
We wouldn't have to worry about wardrobe space.
-There's plenty there.
-Yeah. That goes back a fair way there.
I mean, it's a useable size, but it's quite small, isn't it?
All right for Matthew, if he came out this way with us.
I think, if Kevin gets his way, a room for Matthew will only be a temporary measure.
-This is going to be a spare room.
This is a second bedroom. Oh, this is the master.
Oh, yeah. Looks like.
There's not a great deal in the sizes of the rooms.
-Our bed would actually fit in here, wouldn't it?
-Can you hear the road?
-FAINT MURMURING OF TRAFFIC
Little bit, but the window's open. What's in this? Let's have a look.
Oh, it's a cupboard. Nice deep storage.
I thought we was going to have an en suite there, but...
-We could put a shower in. You know what you're like.
Possibly. It's still a little bit wee, isn't it?
A bit... A bit small.
-Kevin, now, in fairness,
you did say inside the property wasn't particularly important
-as long as it had some land outside.
-It has loads of land!
Just you wait. He will brighten in a moment.
-Looks like there's a good garage.
-Yeah. That's not so bad, is it?
We'll see what this is. Got bars on the window.
Intriguing! Well, if there's bars on the window,
Matthew can stay in here. Let's have a look.
-Nice stable door, as well, look.
-Yeah. That's good.
-Oh, well, yeah.
Something for the dogs, I think.
That is the fanciest dog kennel you will ever find in your life.
-It's got a single bed in there.
-To keep the greyhound comfortable.
Intriguing! What's down the bottom here?
Go on! You open that gate! In you go!
-Very intriguing. Lots of little spaces.
-See if they can guess what it's for.
-Sounds like pigeons to me.
-Yeah, pigeons. Look.
-Lots of pigeons.
-Bet he races them.
What about...chicken racing?
Now, you're being flippant. But think about it.
You're on to something there. If you've got a place to keep pigeons,
how hard would it be to convert that into a chicken coop?
-What have we got in here, then? Let's have a look.
-That's amazing, innit?
-I don't know what... Yeah.
It looks like this has been used as a... I don't know.
-A bungalow or...
-Well, I wouldn't go as far as a holiday cottage,
but it's certainly useable.
Matthew - it's got a bit of electricity down here.
Have his own computer room down here, away from his parents.
Have a bit of independence. This could be the first little bit of independence,
the mezzanine level, before he goes out into the world.
-I see! Like a halfway house to the great outside.
This could be...you know, bedroom, little living room.
-Depends if there's water.
-For Matthew, or even, er...
-Sally Ann, when she comes home.
That'd be good. Chuck her down here on her own.
Yeah, well, out of sight, out of mind, eh?
Yeah. It's... It's ideal, isn't it?
Kevin's sounding positive. Claire's sounding positive.
Jonnie's sounding positive. Do you know what?
-I'm starting to enjoy this tour.
-I'm pleased for you!
FAINT SOUND OF TRAFFIC I said...I said I'm pleased for you!
Well, I am very glad to say that that seemed to get better and better
as you walked round the place. This was a lovely surprise, wasn't it?
There you go. You wanted a small house with a fair piece of land.
-That's what it is.
-It is. It is.
Can't fault the garden at all, Simon.
-There's still that "but" in there.
-I can hear it now!
Well, the "but" is the road, isn't it?
This may change your opinion about the place,
because I was concerned you'd find the living area too small, as well.
I know you weren't fussed about how much space you had inside the house.
Yeah. I think being able to move the bathroom upstairs or something -
Well, we do happen to know there are blueprint plans
lying around inside the house there, dating back to 2003,
which would have allowed the house to be extended
double its footprint. So the bathroom would go upstairs,
lots more living space downstairs. The plans may still be live,
but they might not be. Anyway, cutting to the chase,
that basically means that at some point, on principle,
there's no reason why you couldn't extend.
If it's been agreed once, it might be again.
So with all this, and great access from that road...
Thank you, Jonnie, for your positive spin.
..how much do you think this house is?
-Now, you lost the first one.
-So you can go first if you like.
-I'll go for 360.
-OK. Claire, one-nil up.
-About 365, then.
-OK. About 365.
Um, well, I kind of have to admit here,
and I think Jonnie will agree, that on your budget,
we've struggled really to tick all the boxes.
This place is on the market for offers in excess of 399,950.
I know 350 grand is a lot of money, but in this part of the world,
commuter belt to London, bit of land, buildings,
at least two bedrooms, character property...
Are you prepared to maybe compromise on any of these criteria?
Good! That's gone well, hasn't it? That being the case,
let's hoping we're not compromising, then, with the Wild Card.
-That's the only thing that can save us.
-That's this way.
Today's Wild Card is truly wild. It's that wild -
well, I don't know where to begin. Help me out, Simon.
You could start by saying it's not in Oxfordshire.
OK. I'll start by saying it's not in Oxfordshire.
-And it's not in Buckinghamshire.
-OK. It's not in Buckinghamshire.
It's in Hertfordshire. It does slightly exceed the 20-mile radius
-But it is in an area Kevin and Claire have considered.
And that's not all that makes it wild, is it, Simon?
Nope. But more about that in a mo.
Now, the Wild Card, it pushes people's parameters,
and most of all their imagination.
Now, this is not within your 20-mile radius. We're about 30 miles from Oxford.
What do you think about that?
It's a little bit far, so it's going to have to be something special.
Hang on a minute! He's not doing the commuting. Claire!
-How is it for you?
I'd have to see what it was like, with traffic and stuff.
Yeah. In fact, we've checked this out,
and it's between 50 minutes and an hour to Oxford.
We've brought you across not one county border but two
into Hertfordshire, to the lovely village of Long Marston. That's the location.
-The property. What are you thinking?
It looks really nice from the outside.
It used to be a dairy. My suspicion is,
it was probably later split up into three homes,
but it's been now made into one home,
with some DIY potential.
-As we've been listening in
on the other two properties, we know you want to knock walls out,
knock these places to bits. This place gives you every opportunity
to do that. Bear that in mind - it is a bit of a project -
as you get in that front door. All right? Get in there and enjoy.
We'll be listening in.
Yeah. Quite a large entrance, isn't it?
Needs a bit of updating, I think, doesn't it?
-Big enough. Put our three-seater in there.
It's the biggest out of all three properties. It's massive.
It's lovely. It's a really useful space.
It's the one space, if I bought this place, I wouldn't alter.
-Yeah. Needs a bit of updating,
I think, doesn't it? It's all double-glazed, as well, isn't it,
so not so bad.
Not bad ceiling height, really, for the age of the property.
It'll be nice to know what's on that side of the wall, really.
Doesn't seem to be any front to the property.
So, we go down to...
All right. OK.
-The kitchen or utility.
-I'm hoping it's the utility, not the kitchen.
If it's the kitchen, then, we need some work, don't we?
I was worried that this was the main kitchen of the house.
It's OK. It's not.
-Ah! Here we go.
The kitchen. This is a bit better, innit?
You won't have to do much in here.
-Yeah. It's quality units, innit?
-Yeah. I like that.
So we've got the kitchen, dining area maybe,
even a nice stove. I wonder if the... Yeah. Stove's all right.
Hopefully that's staying.
All the fixtures and fittings within this house are staying,
because it's a deceased estate.
-Spiral staircase. That's a bit different.
Let's see what else is down here first, shall we?
Oh, right. Yeah. Must be the garage.
Bit narrow for the car, really, though, isn't it? But heigh-ho.
They're not too bad. They look a bit rickety, don't they?
-Bit noisy, but...
-They're good, actually.
I think they're bolt-together jobs, so, yeah.
So, this could be used as a...
Oh, right. Sort of bedroom on its own, with an en suite.
-So, I wonder if this is the master -
Master, or something for Matthew.
Avocado suite aside, this really works for their son Matthew,
or even guests that are staying, to go away from the main part of the house
and have their own space, without encroaching on Mum and Dad or whoever's putting you up.
-Assuming the main room's up here, then, so...
Got a small room here. Oh, no! Not as bad.
It's all right for me.
So we've got a bit of cupboard space, but...
not quite sure... Yeah.
Yeah, but what does it overlook?
Just a flat roof.
Yeah. You wouldn't get a double bed in here,
so let's hope there's a bigger room than this one.
That feels partition, so we might be able to knock it into one, maybe.
Don't knock that wall down, Kevin. Leave that wall where it is,
otherwise you'll have an open-plan bedroom/bathroom.
Let's see what's in here. Ah. Bathroom, so...
No. Probably better not knock through.
-But nice bathroom, though.
No work needed there, really, is there?
And bedroom number...
well, bedroom number three, isn't it, so one, two, three.
But which is the main bedroom, really?
I would say the one on the other end with the en suite.
-Stick Matthew at this end.
It's not a bad size. You'd get a double bed in.
I just... I don't know. Feeling a bit disjointed, maybe.
I think he's right, though. It is disjointed.
If there is ever an occasion when you want to get an architect involved,
it would be the redesign of this property.
This could be a gorgeous property if proper thought was given to how it all fitted together.
-Let's have a look outside, then.
-Out to the garden.
What do you reckon? Could you do something with that?
I don't... Yeah, I think so. There's not a lot of work, really.
-It's habitable straight away.
-I like that!
-But there was enough work to keep you interested
-with a sledgehammer later on?
-Oh, certainly. Yeah, that's right.
But nothing drastic needs doing straight away.
-You could move straight in.
-It's fairly tidy.
Everybody's got their own tastes and stuff,
but a couple of things. Join the kitchen and the living room,
little bit more of a thoroughfare through there.
-There's options in there...
..but let's look at this.
I was wondering where you were going to come with this one.
Lovely enclosed garden, very private.
One of our requests were larger garden.
Do you think we'd show you three properties...
Do you think we haven't learned from the first properties?
-I hope you've learned.
-This is a Wild Card.
-Surprise us, then, Jonnie.
-Follow me and I WILL surprise you.
There we go.
-This is quite nice round there, this little development.
Now, I know you're after some land.
And, lo and behold, the Wild Card provides it.
-Is this enough for you?
-It certainly is.
Yeah. Yeah. Even got the goats next door.
The goats are next door, and there's a cow looking on, as well.
This really is the kind of idyll you're looking for, isn't it?
-Is that enough land?
-What size is it?
I mean, it looks enough, but how much land is there?
According to the estate agent's details,
there's 0.65 of an acre. Does that look like 0.65 of an acre to you?
It certainly does, actually, yeah. And probably then some.
Actually, it's... The actual paddock here
-isn't quite 0.65 of an acre.
-It's a little bit smaller than that.
Because... it's not just this field you get.
-Come on. We haven't finished this stroll yet. Hope you've got your hiking boots on.
-OK, let's go.
There we go!
-Country code, Jonnie - close the gate, please.
-Nice, isn't it?
Take a seat.
-What a view, huh?
-Look at that.
not only do you get the paddock, you also get this little copse -
and what price for that?
-Isn't it just, eh?
-I mean, thoughts of the house seem miles away now,
but the house tour itself seemed to go pretty well, didn't it?
-Very intriguing, I think.
-Yeah. It's definitely...
the Wild Card, really, isn't it?
It's further than what we asked for,
but it's got everything we're looking for.
That's a bit of a dilemma for us really, at the moment.
And so far, within your price range,
you haven't had everything you've looked for.
-Are you saying this is in our price range?
-He's not giving anything away.
On that note, we'll go into guess-the-price, shall we?
-Now, then, it's two-nil to Claire.
-I'm not doing very well here, am I?
Come on. You need to salvage some pride. Your budget is £350,000.
-How much for this lovely place?
-I think you can go first, babe,
because it seems I'm the underdog here.
He's not being gallant. He just wants to get a clue from you.
-375. Right. OK.
I'll go... I'll be cheeky and go...
..380, I think. Yeah.
I think it's above. Yeah. 380.
OK. Well, you've clawed it back, mate.
-There you go.
-That's the only good news.
It's on the market at offers around 399,950.
It initially came on the market some ten months ago
at 450 grand.
It's been sold subject to contract twice,
and now they've reduced it in the hope of getting a sale.
-Getting a sale.
-They're a committed seller.
-But it is pushing you. What do you think?
Certainly worth looking at.
Don't forget we've also shown you two other very different properties,
closer to Oxford, one with not as much land,
one next to a road, which concerned you.
-So there's pros and cons with all properties, isn't there?
So what we're going to do now is leave you here in peace,
enjoying that beautiful view,
whilst you make up your mind which one you'd like to spend more time in. We'll see you in a bit.
See you later!
So, while they contemplate which property they'd like to test-drive,
here's a recap for you at home of our three options today.
Will it be Property 1?
My pick is a two-bedroom period cottage in Wheatley near Oxford.
It's the most affordable for Kevin and Claire, at 350 grand.
Or will it be my choice, also a two-bedroom cottage?
It's got a huge garden, a garage, and pigeon lofts
ready for conversion into chicken coops.
Or will they go for the Wild Card in Hertfordshire?
Not only do you get a three-bedroom house,
you also get a paddock and your very own enchanted wood. Price 399,950.
-So, miracles never cease to amaze.
-I beg your pardon?
-We're back at property number two.
And obviously a very good choice. Why have you brought us back here?
The garden is set up the way we would probably set it up.
A little change here and there, a little tweak,
but overall, everything's basically here
for what we want. A few little bits and bobs.
Yeah, and it's safe for the dogs, you know?
They can run out, and we wouldn't have to do a lot
-to let them out, so...
-We were a bit surprised -
obviously I was pleasantly surprised -
because we thought you were quite taken with the Wild Card.
-Was that just the distance?
-I think so, yeah.
For me, travelling 50 minutes every morning in rush hour,
-sometimes it might even take me an hour and a half.
-The Wild Card is there to challenge you.
-It doesn't always pay off.
But our eagle-eyed surveyor has given this place the onceover
for you, as we always do. It's not a legally binding survey,
as we always say, and if you proceed with this property, or any other,
go through all the full surveys and searches.
But he's come up with a few interesting points.
If you look closely, you'll see the cracks in the corner of the building here.
You see the new pointing zig-zagging around?
This can come from the foundations. They might be undermined.
It's high clay content in the area. As the moisture leaves the clay,
it shrinks, and can undermine the foundations.
The cause of that may be that fast-growing conifer behind us.
If it's not the cause, it can certainly exacerbate it.
Good news for you is, first job for you -
it's chainsaw time. THEY LAUGH
-Something to knock down.
-That tree really has to go.
It's just too close to the house.
The only other thing he noted, out the back, the boiler flue,
it's very close to one of the fascias,
so much so that it's bubbling the paint.
So too close, really. That needs looking at.
They're the big issues with this place.
Apart from that - well, I don't need to say it,
cos I chose this place, along with the property team.
-It's a lovely property. It's gorgeous.
I think it's time to find out if this could be the property for you
and your family. So it's time to test-drive.
-Away you go. Enjoy yourselves.
-In you go.
Shall we go and find another lovely view to look at?
You're surrounded by them, aren't you? This way.
-Is that Mum and Dad?
-And they've brought the dogs with them.
Let them loose in here, and Mr Fox won't be seen anywhere.
If the neighbours trim them down, that would get rid of the moss.
But then you got the noise from the road, maybe.
Dog-friendly garden, isn't it?
Now, Simon, we've a little surprise in store for them.
-What? I thought the dog was called -
-No, no. That IS a dog.
-David is a bee expert.
-Oh, an apiarist!
-No, I think he's a bee expert.
-Oh. Well, whatever.
-I'm buzzing now.
-Well, we like to give on this show,
and what better present than some free advice on the birds and the bees?
They come out of the hive and they'll be off over the hedge.
How easy would it be with the pigeon coops,
to convert those into places for chickens?
This is a mansion for chickens. It's made for the purpose.
But is this place made for them?
Listen, that looked fascinating,
the stuff with the beehive and everything.
-It was really interesting.
Really surprising what you can get out of bees.
We were talking about the property, but we're now thinking goats,
chickens, and the question would have to be, at this point,
to bee or not to bee? To bee or not to bee...
I can only apologise about him.
That's been buzzing round his head for ages. So I'll ask you -
to buy or not to buy?
I'm sorry to say I think it's...
not to buy.
So it's just not to bee.
Painful! OK, let's move away from Pun Town.
The house is fine. The garden's great.
-But the road is a problem.
-We've heard a lot from Kevin
about why not. What's your own personal thoughts on this place?
I think the road is the main issue.
Right. What have you learned from this process?
I think, budget-wise, we need to look at our budget,
but we're realising we don't need as much land as we think we do,
-so a garden of this size is probably adequate.
But saying that, if we get something with two or three acres,
-Have a lovely time up in Norfolk!
-Shall we, um, buzz off?
-You have to be...
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