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Hello and welcome to To Buy Or Not To Buy.
Now, Nikki, we should swap our property-hunting suits for shorts, vests and running shoes
because we are in one of the sportiest cities in the United Kingdom.
We are indeed, Nottingham is home to some of the finest sporting venues in the country,
and hopefully today it will be home to our buyers, who, it just so happens, are sports fanatics.
Nottingham has more sporting facilities for its size than any other place in Europe,
which makes choosing your weekend leisure pursuits
almost as hard as finding a house.
Which is where we come in, because I have here a rugby ball,
a tennis ball.
You've got a football. Now, if you were thinking of taking up one of these sports,
you'd want to try it first, wouldn't you?
It is true, it's almost like the programme that we're making,
-except we've got a problem, Nikki.
-Well, today's house-hunters are into all three.
And what a catch!
Today's buyers are Rachel and Nigel Phillips,
who, with their children, Luke and Emily, currently live in Grimsby.
But Nigel's got a new job and works away during the week,
so they've decided to relocate to the East Midlands.
And being new to the area, they need our help.
But after ten years living in Grimsby, finding the perfect house is going to be a tall order.
How did you end up in this situation?
How have you settled on the areas that you are looking at?
Have you worked out where you want to be?
-And why are you living apart from your wife and family? What's gone wrong?
It's just the nature of my job and work, I've moved around.
The job I'm now at, for the last ten years, has involved travelling.
I've now found a job that I'm very happy with, enjoying that,
and so it's time to get the family back together
after ten years of Dad either travelling long ways or staying away overnight.
And what about you, Rachel?
Are you looking to be working here as well?
I really love my job, because I've been in it for 18 years.
So dental nursing is something...
Everywhere needs their teeth...
We need an area for definite for me to apply for a job.
So what sort of thing are you looking for? Give us some clues.
Older properties, we'd like something with character,
'50s with the bay-fronted type approach.
And how many bedrooms do you want?
Three is the minimum, really, that we're looking to get.
It's obviously going to be more expensive, moving this way, for us, from Grimsby.
So we're thinking three, what's the dream?
Well, where we are, we've got a loft conversion, quite a big one, so we've got four where we are.
-So four would be lovely.
-It's going to be hard to get a house for us.
Are you physically good at DIY and small building tasks?
Small building, yes, I turn my hand to everything.
We also have some good family friends that are able to help.
Would they come all the way up from where they live to your new home and help you out?
-Les is our family friend who does everything, he's great.
He's been a real family rock to us.
All right, so Les is the man, then.
Les is the man.
Do you play tennis together?
We had a session in France a couple of weeks ago.
Who was the winner at that one?
-Even with a bad knee.
We are at the point, and it's a terrible thing
-to ask people at this time of day, but we are going to do it.
-What's the budget?
Are you confident?
OK, we are going to show you three at the very least, and one of them you will have to buy.
-We'll see you later on.
-Wish us luck!
There we have it, Nigel knows exactly what he wants,
but I'm not so sure Rachel's got her head around this whole relocation yet.
She's nothing to fear, though, as there'll be plenty for the family to do in Nottingham.
They'll have access to some of Europe's finest sporting facilities.
Notts County and Nottingham Forest football clubs are in the heart of the city,
and their neighbour is Trent Bridge cricket club.
And if Luke or Emily fancies themselves as the next
Andy Murray or Maria Sharapova,
they could make use of Nottingham's international tennis centre.
I'm beginning to wonder if this family need a house at all,
given how much time they spend outdoors.
Let's see what up to £180,000 could get you elsewhere around the UK.
In Glenrothes, Scotland, you could get this whopping detached house
with four bedrooms and decor to make an interior designer jealous.
It's a bargain at £180,000.
And from the new to the old, this terraced town house in Warwick
has three bedrooms set over three floors
and more character than you could wish for.
The price - 180,000 grand.
If Nigel and Rachel's hearts lie in Grimsby, this is what we're up against.
They could have this beautiful four-bedroom detached house.
It has everything they could hope for, including private gardens and a garage.
And the price is £179,950.
-Nice to meet you, Nikki.
-Thank you for seeing me today.
Many famous sporting legends have been born in Nottingham.
From the swimming pool, we've got Rebecca Adlington, from the frozen version of the pool,
we've got Torvill and Dean,
and from the world of football, my favourite, Graham Taylor.
Are we really being ambitious in that budget to want,
wait for it, a three-bedroom semi-detached house in a good area with excellent schools
in the catchment area, gardens and sporting facilities nearby?
Properties in this area at £180,000 will probably be two-bedroom, not with off-road parking,
so wouldn't really fall into your budget there.
How is this for an eco-friendly city, ladies and gents?
Use of the bus per person is higher than any other city in the UK outside of London.
There's a lot of popular suburbs of West Bridgford and villages in this area
where you would probably get a house around about the 170,000 mark
that would be a three-bedroom with off-road parking.
Trent Bridge cricket ground is the third oldest Test cricket ground in the whole of the world.
Cricket was first played here in 1838, and the first Test match happened in 1899.
It was England versus Australia, and the result...was a draw.
-Thank you for your help.
-All the best with that.
-Thank you so much, Alex.
Now, in house-hunting terms, we have struggled for West Bridgford with £180,000.
For £180,000 in West Bridgford, you get pretty much...
A two-bedroom flat if you're lucky.
You might get a house, but again it won't have the three bedrooms they want.
But I have gone to Ruddington, which is the next village to West Bridgford.
Ruddington is a cracker, and this property, I think,
will give them everything they want.
OK, now, I have gone to the Beeston-Chilwell borders, and I've found
a three-bedroom semi-detached 1940s house,
and it's instantly attractive, according to estate-agent terms.
The wild card, everyone loves the wild card.
We are taking them away from West Bridgford totally.
We are going to Mapperley, which is lovely, the schools are nice,
-and it's where this golf course is based.
The wild card is a 1930s beauty.
It's very big, it's well proportioned.
-Will they like it, though? Where shall we start the journey?
-No! Mine! In Ruddington.
So it's clear we have our work cut out for us today,
but I have everything crossed we'll be able to do it.
We have to shoulder the burden of finding a family a new area and a new home to live in,
and let's be honest, I'm not sure Rachel's even overcome the hurdle of leaving Grimsby yet.
Rachel and Nigel, walk toward property number one.
Now, this is my choice.
We are in Ruddington, which isn't West Bridgford, but it's very near to West Bridgford.
-Have you looked at Ruddington on your searches?
-Not at all.
-Very nice. Now, this is nearer your work, I would say 15-20 minutes?
-Probably. Another road I drive past on the way to work.
-Well, there we go. Let's have a look at the house.
This is your beast here. What do you reckon, Rachel?
Well, I just said on the way, "I hope the house is not '50s."
Ah! Thank you, Nikki, for even mentioning... OK, well, do you think it's '50s?
-It looks a good size.
-Are you saying it's not your favourite style?
It's not my ideal style, no.
-So Victorian is probably your ideal, your dream.
But I think that's going to be very tricky in the budget, to get you what you need.
-Nigel, what's your thoughts?
-It looks a little bit tired, but it looks a nice property.
This is where Les comes to visit!
-Are you excited? Kind of? Maybe?
-Yeah, I'm excited.
All right, go in there and enjoy. Three, two, one.
Light hallway, innit?
The door coming through there.
Mm-hmm. Quite small.
I would say that they're in and they are consistent with the "Hmm" approach to the property.
-That's quite modern, isn't it?
-Nice fireplace and...
I thought it was quite small until I saw that.
Thank goodness that Rachel wasn't so quick to judge,
because she came in and she said, "It's a little bit small,"
I think you'd better go first with this one, have a look at that. I'd better duck.
Better with that door, I didn't realise that was there.
-It certainly opens it up and gives it a lot of area, look at that out there.
Nice sun lounge out here.
-A bit more space.
-Very reminiscent of what I grew up with.
-I'm intrigued to see what this is.
Oh, so the gate doesn't lead to the garden, then?
For every positive that's said by Nigel, Rachel's kicking back with a negative.
Now, this is a nice house, but she's a bit...
But sometimes couples love to play good cop, bad cop, don't they?
Look at that, a sort of galley kitchen there.
Yeah, I've never had a galley kitchen,
but I like the way all the rooms sort of...are closely connected.
Lead into one, don't they?
Rather like a lazy river in a theme park, where you can
-hop in your rubber ring and just be drifted round and round.
Similar size to home.
Quite a short bath, actually, I think I'll struggle to get my full body in there.
I think that's a two-thirds bath or something.
I'd just take out the bath and put a shower, but I know lots of people love a bath.
They have children, children love a bath. It is a small swimming pool, it's an adventure playground.
They get to become Jacques Cousteau for half an hour a day.
Now I know what you do every evening.
I'm just going to try this bath out for size.
-Take your clothes off, then.
I think he's happy to do it fully dressed, Rachel's getting...
Either way, just give the man his dignity and look away. Yeah, OK.
-What do you think?
-We're not going to get in together, babe.
Yeah, right, OK.
Well, they've given the bathroom a thorough test drive.
I'm surprised Nigel didn't use the toilet as well
whilst he was in there, just to see.
That's not a bad size.
Emily's sort of size room, really, although it's in a boy's colour at the moment.
OK, this is the sort of box bedroom.
I wouldn't say that's my...my choice of colour, really.
OK, this is the main bedroom.
-The rooms are a lot smaller to home, aren't they?
-They are, in comparison.
We'll have to think about not having everything,
-moving to a more expensive area, as well, won't we?
Right, then. Now, I would say...you didn't mind the house, but I didn't
feel there was emotion there, I didn't think you loved it. Am I wrong, or am I right?
I think you're right, yeah.
-Yeah, we're from an area where you get a lot for your money, especially in the type of house we're in.
The bathroom's a bit small, as you can tell.
Well, yes, we were slightly nervous.
-We thought you might take your clothes off.
-It got close, and we had to turn away.
-Shall we do it?
-Guess the price. Now, first of all, who'd like to go first?
I would say "ladies first".
Nigel, you've been offered the unenviable task of going first.
I'll go for 174,950.
-You don't get a lot for your money here.
So what are you saying? Top of your budget of 180, or are you going under? What number?
I think it's probably to our budget.
-OK, someone is correct.
Have you been cheating, Nigel?
-You are absolutely bang on, it is 174,950.
-The exact price.
So as a starting point, we've got this, which is quite a good one.
It's a house you could move into, it's a house that's enough space.
-Shall we bother going to Nikki's one?
-Well, let's go the radical route. Hack a hole in the hedge and go this way.
Oh, they've made me feel a failure there.
-Let's hope your property can lighten the mood, Nikki.
People often say property-hunting's an uphill struggle.
If so, then today we're embarking on Everest.
'Deep breath, here we go!'
So, Rachel, Nigel, I know that property two,
my property, looks a little like Ed's, but let me assure you...
-It's exactly the same!
-Do you not know your periods in real estate?
How long have you been doing this show?
Yours is '50s, this is more '40s.
Do you know where you are?
You are Beeston/Chilwell, so what's your first impression coming up here, then?
It's very quiet, nice little cul-de-sac.
I think the house looks quite well-proportioned, I think.
Are you a salesman?
All right, your turn, Rachel.
What do you reckon, Rachel? Looking at the outside, do you like it more or less than the first one?
Outside, more, because it hasn't got pebble dash.
Oh, OK, that's good, you've got a little small whiff of it, but not so much.
OK, now, Nigel, do you think in there you'll be tempted to use
the washing facilities in the same way you were tempted to at my one?
-Maybe the shower.
-Can you take your shorts off this time?
No! No, we are only broadcasting...
-I might show a leg.
-Exactly. And by the wild card, we'll have you n...
No. No. Enough of this nonsense, and let's send you in. Please keep your clothes on. Three, two, one, go.
Bigger hallway than the last one, anyway, isn't it?
Yeah. It is, yeah.
-That's not a very strong reaction when you walk into a house - "Neutral colours".
Well, but also, they did say it's bigger than the last one.
You think it's bigger?
Probably about the same size, I would say. If you look at our big settee there,
space again there probably for our settee, if you look that way...
Nice dining area.
Seems a lot smaller than the other one to me.
More nicely decorated.
But again, it's a nice open space, I think.
-It's a lovely house, but for us, it's too small.
-You think so?
I know instantly it is.
Definitely. I'd be claustrophobic.
I think that's a little bit strong, possibly.
But if that's the way Rachel's feeling...
But there's more emotion wrapped up in it than it actually being a claustrophobic room.
-What do you mean?
-She doesn't want to leave Grimsby.
It's similar to the other house. It is a galley-style kitchen,
but they've utilised both spaces.
There's no access out of it, though, is there, either?
-Except to come this way.
This is galley, but in an exciting galley-style way. This is a wider galley.
-Oh, dear me.
-There you go.
-Can you get in the bath?
-I don't think I need to try that one.
I think I can fit that - large, even for someone of my stature.
I can't hear the sound of any belts being...
-Take your shorts off!
A lot more of a family bathroom.
You can imagine squabbling with the kids to get them out.
No. Because the rest's too small.
Oh, they're so subdued!
I feel like they've been taken on a school trip that they didn't want to go on.
Like when they say, "Well, let's go and look at the box factory"?
And you all go, "Oh, do we have to?"
I don't know if this is the main bedroom.
I'd say this is probably the second bedroom.
But it's a very good size, when you look at that. I know you're not keen.
I can see that!
-Oh, I want to go in there and...
-Shake them up. Put some energy in them.
And say, "It's all right!"
Two big fitted wardrobes again, though, which is actually...
I can see the bed fitting there.
..pretty useful. But it is a small room, isn't it?
That wardrobe in the boxroom is almost the size of a boxroom.
Downstairs doesn't seem as big.
It seems to be a bit of a TARDIS effect, doesn't it?
-This seems bigger upstairs than the other one down there.
Could it be more tepid than your property? Yes!
-I think so.
Will the price change it? I doubt it.
Right, Rachel, Nigel,
I get the distinct feeling you are underwhelmed.
Everybody's looking at me.
-Well, I think Nigel kind of likes it a little bit more, and it's OK....
-Nigel likes a bargain.
..it's OK if you don't like it, but what is it about it that's not ringing your bells?
It's just too small. Maybe I need to come back with 350...
-Yeah, probably 350, 400.
-Well, no, I think...
-That's me all over.
It is time to play Guess The Price.
We are playing with a maximum budget of £180,000. What do you think it's on the market for?
-I'd pay 100.
-You'd pay 100. No!
You're being churlish now, young lady.
What is it on the market for, do you think?
I'm a Grimsby girl. Property's cheap in Grimsby.
-We're not in Grimsby now. What do you think it's on the market for?
-Less than the other. It must be.
Go on, what do you think?
I said maximum price last time, so I'll be kind, then. 160.
£160,000. OK. Nigel?
I would say probably on with 179,950.
OK. You win again. But you're out.
-The actual price is 175,000.
-So it is less.
I tell you what, though, it's not cheered us up, has it?
Shall we go to the wild card? It's traditionally everyone's favourite part of the programme.
-Rachel, let's puff ourselves up and be brave. It's this way.
OK, this is painful now.
If you think your property went badly, Ed, how do you think I feel?
We should keep the engine running at the wild card, in case we need to make a quick getaway.
Don't worry, Ed, we're in this one together.
But whose side do you think Nigel will be on?
Rachel and Nigel, everyone loves the wild card, and we've never crossed our fingers more,
because the last property was not to your taste.
But this one, we're detached,
we are 1930s build, which I have been led to believe was
when building materials and builders came together in perfect harmony.
And we're in a different place. We're in Mapperley, which is about three miles from West Bridgford.
We're probably on the top end of your 30-minute commute to work.
But you get a lot more for your money here, and I think - hopefully, fingers crossed...
Rachel, help us out.
-What do you think?
-It looks a lot nicer.
Good. Good. So is this the period we're playing for? Do we like this?
-It's not Victorian, but it's still got very high ceilings.
It's got more about it, definitely.
It feels spacious. I don't want to spoil it all, but it feels...
If we've learnt anything, Nikki and I are kind of confident about this.
-We were a lot confident earlier on, but not now.
-What do you think, Nige?
-I like it a lot. There's a lot of character here.
The fact that it's a detached property...
That's more than you hoped for, isn't it?
-Solidly built. Very interesting. Keen.
-Right, are you ready?
-Release yourselves into our wild card. Go.
Well, I don't want to say I'm confident, but...
I think I am, compared to our two properties.
-Are you sure?
-I'm very sure!
Bit of character in that door there.
-Like the picture rail.
-Yeah, very much.
A lot more like it.
Normally when they walk into a hallway, they're like this.
But the wild card, they're like...that!
-Think you might have a smile on this one, doll.
You definitely have.
Viewers, you can see this. Has she got a smile on her face?
A very slow nod from the viewers.
That's impressive, isn't it? Right, OK, I'll trust you.
Not a bad size. It's reminiscent to where we are before we've knocked through.
-Ours was like this.
-Mm, quite a small kitchen.
It is, but sort of functional, isn't it?
It is small, but it's nice.
I like that the sink looks out onto the garden.
I've always wanted that. I like this so far.
Did you hear that?
-Did you hear that?
-I think I heard...
-You heard that?
-You heard that?
Plenty of room for a big dining table...and entertaining.
They're nice and neatly out the way, aren't they?
Now, this is interesting. Rachel is taking the lead in the room now,
normally it's Nigel that speaks first and does most of the talking.
But Rachel is loving this.
This does give a lovely light and airy feel to it.
Climbing frame already, trampoline, playhouse, everything
we've already got, and still space to probably pass a rugby ball.
Grow some veg.
They can now see all their outside equipment for the children in here, because this has a similar amount.
-Ooh, that's more spacious than I thought it was going to be.
'The word "spacious" has just been used.
'For the first time in the show!'
-And smiles, I believe, are on their faces.
-But it's a good size.
-Yeah, it is.
-Good size. And again...
Bigger than any we've seen, and bigger than at home, as well.
You've got the height of the old houses, and it's given room for a big window.
They're working with the space, they're working with the building,
they're not seeing anything as insurmountable. This is them.
They're on Via Positiva.
-It's not as box as the other two, is it?
Doesn't seem it, but there's no bed at the moment.
See? Now, isn't that interesting?
She's saying it's not as box as the other two.
It's probably exactly the same size.
-But she's projecting her positivity towards it.
-Crikey, look at that for a radiator.
We've had a "I love it", we've had a "Hmm, this is quite nice,"
-but now we've got a...
From Nigel. If we get it from Rachel, I will kiss you.
-On the mouth.
You could see yourself coming in and it needs stuff doing,
but it wouldn't take forever, would it?
So, did you like it?
Very much so. I liked the other two properties,
but this certainly, I think, stands head and shoulders above them.
It's sort of got the qualities, the characteristics.
It's nice to see Rach smile and not try and have to give her some positives on the way round.
One of the hard things, which we've kind of glossed over,
is the fact that you're relocating, which is a hard thing to do anyway,
so you really want to like the house to make you feel right about doing it.
So, who goes first?
I think it's my turn again, isn't it, seeing as I'm 2-0 up?
Yes. You've won, basically.
-Did you hear that? I won.
Yeah, yeah. I can live with that.
Righty-ho, 184,950, so just a little bit beyond your maximum budget of £180,000.
Well, you're closest. You're not right.
The actual price is £175,000.
You're at the point where you have to
go away and make the biggest decision of your adult lives.
-Are you keen, capable and ready?
-Head off and we'll see you later on. Good luck.
-There we go!
I have a feeling, Ed, they're going to choose
-the wild card.
-Do you really? I wonder where you got that from.
For all of you watching at home, here's a quick reminder of what we've seen so far.
So, will it be my choice, a 1950s semi in Ruddington, the house with good flow, according to Rachel?
To Nigel, it will probably be remembered for being the house
where Rachel wanted him to get his kit off.
On the market for 174,950 quid.
Or will it be my choice, the 1940s semi in Chilwell?
This house was immaculate inside, and even though I didn't have Rachel on my side, Nigel seemed to like it.
Could be theirs - or just his - for 175,000.
And the wild card transported us back a decade, to the 1930s.
I get the feeling it's a one-horse race today,
as this property gave them even more than they were expecting.
Even the price was a nice surprise, at £175,000.
Man alive, I can't believe we've made it to the test drive in one piece, Nikki.
And they've chosen the wild card.
This outdoorsy couple head straight to the back garden.
Looks like Nigel's going head to head with Rachel in a game of badminton.
He's a braver man than I am.
-Yeah. I'm saving it up for the team.
'Hooray, there's the smile we've been waiting for!
'And what a lovely smile it is.
'I only wish we'd seen it a little bit sooner.
'I can feel the tension rising. Can't you, Ed?'
'I know, I'm on tenterhooks!'
So, how did it feel to be in the wild card and to get a sense
-of what it might be like to move in?
-Very nice, actually, yeah.
It seems to have all the attributes that we really like.
Like what? Give me an example.
The garden. We were out in the garden. Very sunny.
Y'know, the rooms, homely feel.
Rach even managed a go on the trampoline, so it was...
-You big child!
-OK, we're at the point now where
we need to know the answer. Are we ready?
Three, two, one. Here it comes.
To buy or not to buy?
Like to look into the schools...
-..be comfortable with that.
And the commute to work, just double-check on that, because it is the centre of Nottingham.
-But it's definitely, I would say, the character of the house.
Other than that, it would be one we'd be looking...
-And so, do you feel a little bit better about the whole idea of the move from Grimsby now,
knowing you've got a property that is probably a good enough size?
Yes. For the price, I'm quite pleased, actually.
So you're a bit closer and happier.
I thought it might be an impossibility for what I was looking for in a house.
So, we're going to wander off. And when you do buy, let us know.
-Thank you ever so much.
-See you later on. Thank you.
-Thank you, guys! Bye!
I'd say that was close.
It was very close. It was nearly a defeat.
But I think that's a victory. Or a victory-ish,
I reckon. If you're out there and you're struggling in a similar way
to Rachel and Nigel to find the property of your dreams
or struggling in any other ways house-based,
then please do not hesitate. They shouldn't hesitate, should they?
-No. Don't hesitate to get in touch.
-See you soon. Bye-bye.
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