Worcester To Buy or Not to Buy


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Worcester

Property series. Jonnie Irwin and Simon O'Brien rise to the challenge in Worcester as they try to prevent a couple from heading off to Africa.


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Welcome to To Buy Or Not To buy!

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We're, apparently, heading for Worcester.

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We're here to help a couple who are having an uphill struggle with the property market.

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-Are we nearly there yet?

-Not far now, Jonnie.

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I swear he's got the map upside down.

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Yes, ladies and gentlemen.

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Like my erstwhile colleague, today's house hunters are ramblers.

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They're keen to get on the property ladder before prices hike upwards.

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I'd no idea you were into all this. You've got all the gear.

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It's been said I could ramble for England!

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I believe it's been said. Which way to Worcester?

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Triangulating off the church over there, that hill there,

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and this post here...

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Got to be this way.

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Not that post there then, no? All the gear. No idea.

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'After our help today are house hunters Irene and Malcolm.

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'I hope you're better at reading the property market than maps!

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'Now retired, this adventurous couple are now heavily involved in voluntary work overseas.

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'They spent six months in Tanzania, setting up a hospital.

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'Although they plan to continue their work in Africa, they want a base here in the UK.

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'Having sold their house, they're ready to go.'

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Look at that, Jonnie. Take it in.

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Soak up the beauty of this country.

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-What it is to own a house here. Pity you don't!

-Not yet!

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-Tell us more.

-Well, we sold our house three years ago.

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We've been working abroad and come back with nowhere to live!

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So you're looking to find yourself a base in the UK.

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Any plans to jet off again?

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We plan to go to Uganda at the end of the year.

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-What are you doing there?

-We're with the Church Mission Society.

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There is need for accountants, so we're going to a diocese who run a number of projects,

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including an orphanage for children whose parents died from Aids.

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-That doesn't sound like a two-week jaunt.

-No. Not quite.

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No. We're going for two years.

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Right, OK.

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-Shall we come back?

-We'll see you in two years' time.

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Are we looking for something that is going to be built in two years?

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No. We don't like new-build properties.

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-What DO you like?

-We're looking for an older style property.

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Something that's been there a bit of time, with style and a period feel.

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OK, so you're talking 1930s backwards?

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-Yes.

-You like period features. Size of property?

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Not too big but we would like two reception rooms.

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Malcolm's taste in music, and the volume he likes, is very different from mine.

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-So I'd like a little place...

-Malcolm...

-Yeah. That's it.

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-It is, isn't it?

-It could be.

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-I assume we're not looking for a terraced house.

-Preferably not.

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-No neighbours adjoining your wall.

-Unless they're deaf.

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-Bedrooms?

-Preferably three.

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-Do you want to be urban or rural?

-Urban.

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I thought they said "airborne"!

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-Urban but...

-Up there!

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Urban but tucked away, ideally. Really easy to walk to shops.

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But somewhere you don't feel as if you're in the main town.

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-Show me the money.

-£350,000 is what we've got.

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-Ooh. That's pretty good.

-You're in a fantastic position.

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-Yes.

-You don't have to sell. You're ready to go.

-It's in the bank.

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-On that note...

-Physically, and mentally, it's downhill from here.

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-LAUGHTER

-Jonnie, that's Worcester there.

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-Best head that way, then.

-Bye!

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Today should be a piece of cake!

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350 grand to find a three-bed house. Over 100 grand a bedroom.

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What a beautiful part of the world! Only one problem.

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How do we find the houses? Don't worry! Ha ha ha!

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I've got the trusty map.

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I'll lead.

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'Today's search brings us to Worcester in the southwest Midlands,

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'situated on the River Severn, some 30 miles south of Birmingham.

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'Worcestershire will forever be remembered best for the phenomenon

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'that is its sauce, still produced in the original factory from 1897.

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'The city has had a facelift with a multi-million pound development

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'of Diglis Island and the marina.

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'The town retains period architecture,

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'one reason our couple were drawn to the city.

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'Not to mention the Malvern Hills, with spectacular walks.

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'What's on the market for Malcolm and Irene's budget of 350 grand

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'in other popular rambling locations around the UK?

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'How about this four-bed period farmhouse in Yelverton, Devon?

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'The property retains many original features.

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'Or this five-bed weaver's cottage

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'in Hayfield at the foot of Kinder Scout on the Pennine Way.

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'This lovely two-bed cottage in Keswick

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'is surrounded by some of England's most magnificent countryside.

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'Back to Worcester for a look at an important historical period that shapes many homes we live in today.'

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Have you ever wondered, as I have, why there are so many of these -

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the Victorian house?

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The era lasted just 64 years,

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the reign of Queen Victoria, from 1837 to 1901.

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During that time, England's population almost doubled

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from just over 16 million to just over 30 million.

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One of the main reasons was the Industrial Revolution.

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With it came a migration of people from the countryside to the towns,

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resulting in millions of these homes being built all across the UK.

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Status was everything and your house was a physical demonstration of your place in society.

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A bay window was a must-have feature.

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Until they became commonplace in 1875, THE feature that would impress your guests was one of these.

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With homes being built for everybody,

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from factory owner to factory worker, we're left with

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a heritage of properties of all shapes and sizes and all budgets.

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After our lesson in Victoriana, time for a lecture in properties.

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-Jonnie, how have you got on?

-Well, property number one.

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They said they wanted period. That means maybe 1930s and before.

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It's late Georgian. Loads of period features. Double bay windows.

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All the bedrooms they asked for. I think they'll like it.

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Property two today.

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We've been talking Victoriana, high ceilings, sash windows. You know what I've gone for?

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However, this property is a complete mixture of the old and the new.

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Malcolm and Irene could move in without lifting a finger.

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Important, as they spend so much time away from home.

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-I think it's fabulous and Malcolm and Irene will agree. Property two!

-What do we call property three?

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-The wildcard.

-And everybody loves it! Look at it!

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1920s, 1930s. They like that period. They want three bedrooms.

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It's got a manageable garden.

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It's also got something about it that's like a yeast extract spread.

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You either love it or loathe it. Oh, yes! It's a bungalow.

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That could be why it's the wildcard. Shall we start the property tours?

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-Property number one? My one?

-Yes, why not?

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'Well, my property today is a real find.

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'This cottage is a Georgian gem.

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'Although it's in town, it has a country feel of peace and quiet.

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'Stop rambling then.'

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Malcolm and Irene, my property is a very late Georgian number.

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-What do we think?

-Very attractive. Nice quirky shape.

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Quiet area.

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We're a mile from the city centre. What do you think of the position?

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I like the way it's tucked away so you feel as if you're on your own.

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-Very peaceful, isn't it?

-Yes.

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-What do you think of the property?

-Very unusual. I like the look.

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It's got a nice little kinky roof.

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An apple tree in the garden, which is my favourite.

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-Is it?

-I didn't mention that.

-Jonnie!

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It's gone well from the outside.

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-That's only half the story.

-It is.

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We will be listening in. In you go.

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-Nice big hall.

-Nice tiled floor.

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-What are you doing?

-Ah, you've got a lovely south-facing courtyard.

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South's that way.

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This must be the lounge. Gosh. Look at the fireplace!

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-A nice bay window.

-Unfortunately, just with a wall in front of it.

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Not much of a view. At least double glazing's been done.

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The second reception.

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It certainly feels nice and solid.

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It will be. It's that age, isn't it?

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Bit of a galley type kitchen, which isn't my favourite.

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One thing this house ain't is open-plan.

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Because it's kind of developed over the years. Bits have been added on, and it's organic. I like that.

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Ah! Now, this is nice.

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-Ah, the office.

-You could have a bed-settee in here.

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We'll see what they've got upstairs.

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This end of the house, they're a lot more upbeat. They like it.

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Perhaps they were holding judgment. I think you're on to a winner.

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Is this the first bedroom?

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Not a bad size. The view. At least you haven't got the wall here.

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-This looks like another bedroom.

-Oh, it's got the fireplace.

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That's nice.

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-A better view.

-The bungalows aren't so overwhelming.

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They're not quite on top of you.

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What? The bungalows aren't on top of you?

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You're inside a three-storey house. How can a bungalow be on top of you?

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Uh-huh. This is the bathroom.

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-Yeah. Ah. Corner bath.

-Good size.

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-You'll enjoy that.

-No. You can't really lay down.

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It's got a very big shower.

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-Interesting room.

-Ah! Loft conversion.

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-The original beams.

-They're nice.

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I wonder if this is an en suite or another room.

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They've got it as another bedroom.

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They've done pretty well for the first one, I think.

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That did not sound like you were falling in love with this home.

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-It's a very nice house. It's got a lot of character.

-I never heard the word "wow".

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For me, it didn't have that wow factor.

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-Off-putting was the wall you could see from the lounge.

-Life is about compromise.

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-Once you find out how much this is on the market for, that can change your mind.

-Yeah.

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It's Guess The Price time. Your maximum budget £350,000.

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Difficult to say cos it has got a lot of character. I'd plump for about 330.

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I think it's a bit more.

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I was going to say 345,000.

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Well, it's £335,000.

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-Oh!

-Ah!

-First one to Irene. Well done.

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-Well done.

-Jonnie's got us off the mark.

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Can I beat that? Let's get the map out!

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Property two is...this way.

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-After you.

-No, actually. It's this way.

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'If they like period, they'll love this detached Victorian five-bed.

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'This is absolutely stunning.'

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OK, you lovely pair. Property two today is my choice.

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-Now, you don't need a map to know...

-TRAFFIC

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-..we've got a busy road.

-We were going to ask what you were saying.

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Put that to the back of our minds for a moment.

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Focus on this property. Talk to me about architectural beauty.

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It's a very nice property. It looks well-maintained.

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It's got a nice extension.

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-It looks very nice.

-It looks larger than the last property.

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A mile that way, Worcester.

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That way, beautiful countryside. What more could you want?

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-I'll tell you. You will find it inside. Enjoy it.

-All right.

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Here we are.

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-Very nice hallway.

-It has to be nice to get over that road for me.

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For me! Oh, good size room.

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Do you think we could get a big enough table there?

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Yeah. Enough room to get everyone round the table for Christmas.

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-Ah.

-This is the lounge. Not as big as I was expecting.

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At least it's got a focal point.

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-Is it too modern for you?

-No. It's OK, so far.

-"OK, so far."

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-This whole house has been refurbed.

-Top to bottom.

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Pretty top-end as well.

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-A-ha. Kitchen.

-Right.

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Oh, gosh! Big kitchen.

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It's got the sink I like!

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That's a big plus. Doesn't quite negate the room!

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Another eating area. We don't have to use the dining room for meals.

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The dining room could become a second reception.

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-A good size bedroom.

-Yeah.

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They put the modern lights in the ceiling.

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-It was the same in the kitchen.

-In the kitchen, I like it. Bedroom?

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I'm not so sure.

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I've never seen so many lights. I got a suntan when I walked round!

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And an en suite. En suite wet room.

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Yeah. It's a very good size.

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I think they DO like this house.

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I think they want to see the whole place.

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Maybe they want to see all three houses before they say which one they want.

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Which is the point of the programme.

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This must be... It's as big as the other bedroom.

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Nice fireplace again.

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The bathroom!

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This is a good size! Nicely tiled.

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-I think you can lie down in that.

-That is a good bath!

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Best part of the house so far.

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-Come on!

-Best part of the house!

-You can lie down in this bath.

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A smaller bedroom.

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Still not a bad size, though. Another en suite, of a sort.

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-Three bathrooms.

-Yes. I'm thinking there's too much bathroom cleaning.

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Too much bathroom cleaning?!

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You've given them an amazing house but, no, too much cleaning.

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-You can't second-guess that, can you?

-I just...

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Another good size. They could certainly all be double bedrooms.

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The shame is they're all very similar, the same flooring.

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We've got to do some work to make them a bit distinctive.

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-OK, shall we go and see what Simon has to say for himself?

-Yeah. OK.

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We listened intently as you walked round this place. All clear as mud.

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-Talk to us.

-Um, yeah. It's a nice place.

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For me, it's just a bit... too modernised.

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It didn't have nooks and crannies, little odd features.

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We're looking for something that we can look forward to coming back to. This probably isn't the place.

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Maybe the price will change your mind. I'm doubtful, but...!

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-Irene, you are leading.

-I certainly am.

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-You offered Irene to go first. You were worried. So you're first.

-I'm even more worried now!

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-Central location. I would think 330,000.

-OK.

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I would go nearer 345.

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-Doubly bad news for you, Malcolm. It's now 2-0.

-A-ha!

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The further bad news is this place is on the market for £375,000.

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Yeah. OK.

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Getting back to the map, trust me this time.

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The wildcard is definitely this way.

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Have we got a wildcard for you today?

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-It's a bungalow!

-That doesn't sound very period, Simon.

-This one is.

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Complete with the original features Malcolm and Irene are after

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and a central but quiet location.

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-It's been said everybody does love the wildcard.

-I love the wildcard.

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-I love the wildcard.

-I sometimes love the wildcard.

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We're in luck! The reason it's wild?

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It's a bungalow!

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1920s, 1930s is your cut-off point. Like Simon, it's difficult to age.

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It could be 140, it could be a mere 20 years old.

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Closer to 140 than 20!

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-I'd say 1920s, 1930s.

-Yeah.

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-What do you think?

-Yes. It's cute.

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It's got a bit of difference about it.

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We're a mile from the city centre again, the other side.

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A really nice verdant quiet street.

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The other reason it's wild is because it might need updating.

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I think you've got the imagination to do that.

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-Why don't you go and try doing it?

-We will.

-In you go!

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The hall. Look, this is lovely.

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Yes. Nice. Original wood, I would think.

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-Is this the kitchen?

-Oh, yes.

-Windows to the front and the side.

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-These tiles are not quite me!

-1970s, but it has been looked after.

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Oh, Malcolm!

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It's got wood panelling!

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-Touch my oak panelling!

-We have oak panelling.

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Oh! You can feel they're at home.

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You can put all your wooden figures along the top.

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Then there's this little nook at the end, almost.

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This is it, though.

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The oak panelling has won you over?

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This living room, they love.

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-Yeah.

-They really like it. Oak panelling, fireplace.

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Patio doors, which is good.

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There must have been original French windows.

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The garden looks... It's a bit larger than we'd go for.

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-But it looks easy to maintain.

-Yeah. It's lawn and shrubs.

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We could get you out there doing the lawn! I could sit in here!

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-Reading the newspaper!

-Yes.

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There's a room here on the left.

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Being a bungalow, you can decide whether it's a bedroom or reception.

0:20:340:20:39

Looks like it could be a dining room. They've got a folded table.

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So, across to the bathroom.

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-Ha-ha! It's not a white suite!

-I told you.

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-White suites are going to go out of fashion.

-You've always said that.

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It's not a white suite. It is a period feature.

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Which period? Well, let's say... '70s?

0:21:010:21:04

Not a bad size.

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Beam again, which is interesting.

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They've got this set up as yet another reception.

0:21:100:21:15

-They use it as a television room.

-Yeah.

0:21:150:21:18

-What is it? It's obvious, isn't it?

-What?

-Music room.

0:21:180:21:23

Let's see what this bungalow's got on top. It's a nice staircase.

0:21:230:21:28

I like the way it echoes the oak panelling in the lounge.

0:21:280:21:33

Oh. Quite small.

0:21:330:21:35

Big enough for a single. Or even bunk beds for the grandchildren.

0:21:350:21:40

This one's a bit bigger.

0:21:400:21:42

It's two twins, or a double room.

0:21:420:21:45

You'd have to have a master bedroom downstairs.

0:21:450:21:48

I suppose you could have this as a master.

0:21:480:21:51

-Would you have the master bedroom upstairs?

-I like to go upstairs to bed.

0:21:510:21:56

-A small toilet and sink.

-It's nice having a toilet upstairs.

0:21:560:22:02

-As well as downstairs.

-Well, essential.

0:22:020:22:06

-That seemed to go down pretty well.

-I don't know which way to go now.

0:22:060:22:11

You didn't know with your map. Follow me.

0:22:110:22:15

That seemed to go a lot better than we've heard before.

0:22:180:22:23

Yes, it did. It was much more MY cup of tea, certainly.

0:22:230:22:27

The lovely oak panelling in the lounge.

0:22:270:22:30

-Quirky. Obviously, things we could do to it, in time.

-Yes.

0:22:300:22:34

-It seems to have gone fairly well.

-Yes. But that could all change.

0:22:340:22:40

-Mmm.

-Because it's Guess The Price time. Now, then.

0:22:400:22:44

Malcolm, you are playing for pride. Your budget, £350,000.

0:22:440:22:50

-Go on, Malc.

-It could be the walk of shame.

0:22:500:22:53

I'll say 335,000.

0:22:530:22:56

I think it's going to be higher. I think it's going to be 349,50.

0:22:560:23:01

-What a guess!

-Oh, no!

0:23:010:23:04

-There's no nice way of putting this. Malcolm, you are a loser!

-Aw!

0:23:040:23:09

This house is on the market at £350,000.

0:23:090:23:12

There you go!

0:23:120:23:14

Irene was £50 out! That's no good.

0:23:140:23:17

-We'd haggle with that, you see.

-This may be an opportunity for you.

0:23:170:23:22

They've had offers in excess of 300.

0:23:220:23:26

-Right.

-So the reckoning is it'll settle between 300 to 350.

0:23:260:23:30

I win! LAUGHTER

0:23:300:23:33

-Bit more food for thought there.

-Yes, indeed.

0:23:330:23:36

We've now shown you three houses.

0:23:360:23:39

You've got to decide which one you'd like to spend more time in.

0:23:390:23:43

I wonder where that would be(!) Take yourselves off and have a think.

0:23:430:23:49

-I'm prepared to put money on this one, Simon.

-Are you?

0:23:490:23:54

-While they're making that tricky decision, let's map out the three choices.

-You rambling on?

-Yes.

0:23:540:24:00

'Will Malcolm and Irene go for my choice?

0:24:010:24:04

'They loved the Georgian cottage look.

0:24:040:24:07

'The wall just outside the front was an issue, though.

0:24:070:24:11

'I thought I gave them everything

0:24:150:24:19

'with my beautiful detached Victorian place.

0:24:190:24:22

'They were impressed with the period features.

0:24:220:24:26

'Will the wildcard come up trumps?

0:24:300:24:32

'It turned out Malcolm and Irene were partial to a bungalow.

0:24:320:24:37

'The oak panelling was a winner.

0:24:370:24:39

'Will they see past the '70s kitchen?'

0:24:390:24:41

'Quelle surprise! They've gone for the wildcard.'

0:24:480:24:52

-SINGING

-They're not, are they?

0:24:520:24:55

# Hold my hand and we're halfway there... #

0:24:550:25:00

'Jonnie, let go of my hand.

0:25:000:25:02

'Sorry.'

0:25:020:25:03

# ..I'll take you there

0:25:030:25:06

BOTH: # Somehow

0:25:060:25:09

# Some day

0:25:090:25:12

# Somewhere. #

0:25:120:25:15

'I hope the neighbours like a show tune!

0:25:150:25:18

'Irene looks comfy in the lounge, but where's Malcolm?'

0:25:180:25:23

MUSIC: "We Will Rock You" by Queen

0:25:230:25:25

'I see why they need two reception rooms!'

0:25:250:25:28

SILENCE

0:25:280:25:31

'Malcolm's got the enthusiasm,

0:25:310:25:34

'but Roger Taylor needn't worry about being replaced just yet.'

0:25:340:25:39

-Malcolm, you are a rock 'n' roll dark horse.

-Hidden talent.

0:25:420:25:47

-But is this a harmonious house?

-I think it's pretty harmonious.

0:25:470:25:51

When Malcolm was in one room, I couldn't hear him. That's great!

0:25:510:25:56

-It can't get better.

-You don't know Worcester particularly well.

0:25:560:26:01

-No. Not yet.

-Are you happy with this part?

0:26:010:26:04

We looked round. It's a beautiful city.

0:26:040:26:07

-This area looks very nice.

-A very sought-after area.

0:26:070:26:10

So location sounds right.

0:26:100:26:13

-BIRDSONG

-Even the birds are singing for us. The house sounds good.

0:26:130:26:17

-The question, Simon O'Brien, I'd like you to deliver.

-To buy or not to buy?

0:26:170:26:23

-Is it a maybe?

-A definite maybe.

0:26:230:26:26

We need a bit more time to think about it.

0:26:260:26:29

They've been homeless for two years. No need to rush!

0:26:290:26:32

Wherever you spend your time in future, this country or another, we hope everything works out well.

0:26:320:26:39

-Thank you very much.

-Jonnie, I've got a plan.

0:26:390:26:42

-No.

-One more round-Worcestershire walk. I just need the map.

0:26:420:26:47

-I don't want to.

-Let's hit the footpaths!

0:26:470:26:50

-See you later.

-See you later.

0:26:500:26:53

-Can I at least have the map?

-No.

0:26:530:26:56

Dear, dear, dear.

0:26:560:26:57

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:27:130:27:15