Property series. Simon O'Brien and Rani Price take to the skies to help a former member of the armed forces and his wife who are looking to downsize in Retford, Nottinghamshire.
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-I love a good market.
-The idea of finding a great bargain...
You've got to know what you're looking for though.
Yes, but like our programme here, you get to try before you buy.
HORN HONKS FAINTLY
In the market for anything particular, Simon?
I've always got my eyes peeled, Rani.
Is there a limit to one's spending?
Always set yourself a budget and try not to get carried away.
Yes, and even if it has been reduced,
it doesn't mean it's any less desirable.
I tend towards the Victorian or the Georgian, myself.
-Are you talking houses again?
-Well, that is why we're here.
-To buy or not to buy.
'Let's hope today's house hunters will be saying, "To buy!"'
'Meet George and Diane Alty, who live in Chippenham in Wiltshire.'
'They met in Newquay. Diane was working in a hotel for the summer,
'and George was stationed nearby.
'After a whirlwind romance, they married in 1980.'
'George served in the RAF for 15 years,
'so he and Diane have moved numerous times,
'and are now ready to downsize and move back up north
'to be near their loved ones.'
So tell us the story. Why are you moving?
Well, it's to be near family, really.
We've lived away from family ever since we've been married.
So we just want to get back into that family life.
Our daughter's left home and got married, so it's time to come back.
-Downsize... Are you prepared?
-We are prepared, yes.
Yes, it's time.
-There was confidence in that.
-I'm convinced. We're rattling around the house that we're in,
so I'm sure we can do it.
What are we looking at?
At the moment, do you want a living room, separate kitchen/diner
or is it eating the tea on the lap kind of business?
A kitchen/diner would be nice.
Would prefer not to have a lounge/diner.
I think I'd be happy to shed the house side
for a bit more exterior.
What style of property do you like? Are we modern, are we old?
-We fancy an older style, don't we?
Maybe '30s, 1930s type of house.
Yeah, something with a little bit of character.
George, you've mentioned size of garden. Are you a keen gardener?
I wouldn't say I'm mad gardening.
I'm actually thinking of space for vegetables, that sort of stuff.
-Grow your own.
-And to be able to entertain the family.
We want them all round.
-Do you have any hobbies?
-I do have hobbies, yes.
-One or two?
-One or two.
I tend to sort of get really into things
and then get really into something else,
-so I tend to collect things.
-Go on, explain!
I've got a scooter, but it's in pieces.
Bicycles, I like my cycling. Guitars...
-How many guitars do you have?
OK, when we're losing this bedroom and the space,
what about the hobbies? Are we going to get rid of that stuff?
He's going to have to downsize the hobbies as well.
I'm going to have to find room for the hobbies. The spare bedroom...
I see that being used, on a casual basis, as a bedroom,
and on a major basis as a room for guitars, perhaps.
Storing scooter parts, guitars...
Are you townies, or if we found somewhere in a lovely village or in the countryside?
-Somewhere in a lovely village would be great.
-Or on the edge of town.
-Yeah, something on the edge of town would be fine. I'm not a particularly in-town person.
-That's not me, and I don't think it's you.
-So villagey location if possible.
But that all depends on one question, doesn't it, Rani?
How much money have you been able to collect for us?
-We're aiming at around £160,000. Max, I think.
-I think so, yeah.
-Shall we go?
-Let's do it.
-We'll see you later.
-Take care. Bye!
-Right. 160 grand. I think we can do...
-No, don't say it!
I know what you're going to say. Do not mention that word.
-George is willing to get rid of stuff, that's the perfect...
Even just thinking about it starts me scratching. I'm stressed. Please!
-All we've got to do is shrink what they've got already.
All right, yeah. Yeah, let's call it a house shrink.
-I'm more comfortable with that. That's easier.
-Don't belittle their search.
We are in Retford, so I'm going to go and visit the market.
I guess that leaves me to see what's on the market.
Retford is a market town indeed,
having had a weekly market since 1275, and it's still thriving.
But it's not just the market that holds historic significance here.
The Old Great North Road was a former haunt of the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin.
In medieval times, Sherwood Forest covered land nearby
so Robin Hood and his Merry Men were never far away.
The most notable growth period of the town was during the late 18th century,
largely due to the construction of the Chesterfield Canal in 1788.
With the canal and the River Idol, Retford became an important trading centre for the area.
And some of the architecture of the town reflects this new-found Georgian wealth.
As for green spaces, there's the award-winning Kings' Park right in the heart of town,
and miles of rolling countryside within minutes from here.
But what will property cost in other market towns around the country?
This three-bed thatched end cottage in Alford
with an abundance of character features could be yours
for a neat...
For something newer, there's this brand-new four-bed detached house
in Bishops Auckland, also yours for a stylish...
And how about this immaculate three-bed semi in Market Weighton?
A quality finish, on the market for...
So, George and Diane, they want character, they want a bit of quirk,
they want 1930s. Where better to be inspired than an antiques market?
For £160,000 in Retford, you can get 1930s extended three-bed semis.
I know Simon doesn't want to mention the D-word, downsizing, but look at this.
This is total house shrink.
Retford is a very, very handsome town. It's got a nice feel to it. Is that fair to say?
It's got a nice feel about it. When I first came here, I felt very much at home straight away.
Yes, it's got the market square, it's got some nice shops.
It's got all the architecture that you'd expect of a Georgian market town, really.
Do you know what kind of style that is? Cos I'm looking for something 1930s-ish.
-That ain't it...
-I don't know.
-How about me?
This is a 1930s person. I could sell her... Free to a good home, if you like.
-OK, Rani. How have you got on?
-I tell you what, that market, I got myself some right bargains...
-Never mind that market. What about the local property market?
-Oh, yes, yes, yes.
I also found some really good areas where we should be looking.
-And this property, it says on the details, "not to be missed".
-And they are right.
Now, I don't really think I'm using the D-word here.
It's not much of a shrink, because I'm still giving them three bedrooms, a really big garden,
and some beautiful original features, which I think they're going to like.
-OK, you've done OK there.
-How about you?
-Well, I think we're kind of singing off the same hymn sheet here.
-Yeah, I think so.
But I am certainly not down about the size of this property.
It has everything that George and Diane could possibly want.
There it is! It's gorgeous, in a great location... How about that?
Of course, there's the wild card. This is our choice.
This doesn't look like a downsizing at all. George could probably get himself some new hobbies in this one.
There's definitely space for it. That's the wild card.
But shall we start at property one? "Not to be missed."
'For property one, I have chosen a house
'in this leafy, desirable location on the edge of town.
'It has everything George and Diane asked for. Job done!'
OK, George and Diane, this is property number one.
-This one is my choice. You said you wanted to be in the Retford area.
We're keeping you in this area. This is a beautiful road, a very desirable...
-You've picked a great road. This is lovely.
-Do you know this road?
We have been here before, right when we first started looking,
but there weren't many houses for sale and it's a really nice road.
-Yeah, it's the area that we like.
-Well, I'm very pleased.
-Don't look surprised!
Thank the mystery property hunting team. They found this place.
You said you wanted something quirky, a little bit of character.
-What are your first impressions? Go on, Diane.
-I love it.
It's exactly the sort of thing I've got in mind. With the bay windows, driveway,
space for the car, the street is lovely. I really like it.
Diane's beaming! Beaming!
-How about you, George?
-It's very, very nice.
-Well, listen... I've got nothing to add to this.
You love the house, you love the street, you love Rani...
-I'm going home. There's no point in me being here.
-See you later, Simon. OK, Simon goes home.
Why don't you take a look inside the property,
and, fingers crossed, you'll love it as much inside. Go on in.
-Simon! Simon, come back.
-I wouldn't leave you. Shall we listen in?
I know they're going to love it.
-Oh yeah, nice hallway.
-Yeah, I like the hallway.
Yeah. Excellent so far.
-Lounge... Nice fireplace.
-This is nice, isn't it?
-Yeah. I like that.
-Yeah. That's a nice feature.
-Nice window as well, letting plenty of light in.
-It looks like the original windows in there as well.
-That's lovely, the coloured glass.
I love that bow bay window with the original windows in it.
-Kitchen and dining room.
which is just what we wanted.
The kitchen comes out into here, so it's...
-Is it on two levels?
-Right, so you've got a little...
-Or is it all the same?
Yeah, this has been extended out.
-So it's a narrow galley sort of kitchen,
-but the extension gives it an extra side.
-Opens it out, yeah.
That's not actually an extension. It's the old coal shed,
an outside toilet,
and they've just knocked through and used it as a kitchen extension.
-Isn't that clever?
-Yeah, it is quite roomy, isn't it?
-Bathroom, first room. Oh, it's got a separate shower cubicle.
-Yeah, relatively modern.
-It's nicely done out, yeah.
This is a reasonable-size room, isn't it? Do you think this is the main bedroom?
-I think it could be.
-Would you have it on the back?
-It looks big enough though.
-Look at the fireplace.
-Look at the fireplace.
-Love that. I love that colour.
-The garden's a decent size.
-Oh yeah, it is, yeah. Decking down there.
I think the trampoline could probably go, and I think there's enough room for a veg patch,
but I guess we will... Maybe, maybe...
What's this one?
-See, this is a good-size room too.
-Lovely bay window.
-This is not a dissimilar size to the rear room, so you've got...
So you've got a choice there.
-That is lovely.
-Those tiles are even nicer than the tiles in the back.
-And what's this?
-Guitar room! I can see it now.
-Or an office.
-Or a guitar room.
-Or an office.
-Or a guitar room.
Rani's done well for us here. I think this is a good choice.
Got a massive garden... Absolutely nothing needs doing.
-This can't be on budget.
Come on, George and Diane.
-Welcome to the garden!
I was thinking the garden could be a place you could entertain the family.
-Excellent. It's got everything.
-It certainly has.
-Look how happy they are!
Honestly! I feel we could probably all just go home now, but anyway...
We're not going to do that, because it could all change, couldn't it?
Could change, yes.
Not much of a down... I can't say the word. Say it, Rani.
-Downsi... Yeah. But can you afford it?
-Your budget, £160,000.
-Who's going to go first?
-I'll go first.
I think this is slightly over.
And I think... Looking at the location,
I think this is about £169,950.
And I'm going to say £165,500.
You are bang on the money, George.
This property is on the market at £169,000.
-It's something to be proud of, winning "guess the price"...
-It's over budget!
-But it is over your budget.
-It is, yes.
-"Yes, but we're going to stretch to that anyway."
-She did great!
"I got it right! Ten grand over budget."
-So come on?
-Not bad, is it?
-It's not bad at all.
-It's worth thinking about.
-It's in the area.
-It's in the area. Maybe a little bit of movement on it?
-Maybe a little bit of movement.
How can I follow this? I'm going to try. I'm going to do my best.
It's property two. It's this way. Come on!
'I'm sure I have done well. Property two is in a similar setting,
'but has a little added extra which will appeal to George and Diane
'and their desire to entertain their family.'
OK, Diane and George. Come and see my offering, property number two.
I'm hoping you're really going to like this part of Retford.
The reason I say that is cos we're about 200 yards from the house that Rani chose.
-Very good property.
Not dissimilar to the last one, in many ways. Similar era.
Slightly more updated than the last one, from the looks of it.
-Well presented on the outside.
-Come on, you!
-Never mind that...
-We're not getting the same feel as we got when we were outside property number one?
Um... Well, I'll wait and see what it's like inside.
Just one word of warning before you do go in.
Whereas in Rani's house, it's fair to say it was literally ready to move into,
here you are going to have to use your imagination in certain areas. Go on!
-In you go. Enjoy!
Let's see what this one's got to offer.
-Nice hallway again.
-Oh, we've got another...
It's similar, isn't it? Similar to the last hallway.
Just you wait and see this lovely, quiet garden out here.
That'll win it over for me. No problem at...
-Do you ever get the feeling the day just isn't yours?
-Ah, similar-size lounge to the last one.
-Yeah, that's right.
-Nice bay window again, lovely and wide.
-Good decorative order as well.
-Another good-size room.
-Oh yeah, it is.
-We've got a conservatory as well outside,
which is an unexpected bonus.
I think Simon said something about having to look beyond this one.
I'm not sure what he's talking about, because it's not taking a great deal of looking beyond for me.
I was only talking cosmetically, and there's no furniture,
so you need to use your imagination.
-So this'd be lovely, sit out in here in the evenings.
-Into the kitchen.
Ah... A kitchen can often make or break a house when you look around it.
-Loads of cupboard space.
-I wouldn't change anything in here.
See? They wouldn't change anything in there, it's gone peaceful out here...
Oh! Can you feel that sometimes the wind changes
and things start going your way?
-It's in such good order.
-It is, yeah. It looks very recently done to me, I have to say.
It's very clean and... Ooh! Yes.
-This is very nice.
-Now, this is to my taste.
-I like this bathroom.
-Yeah, me too. It's good.
-It's very nice.
Now, the beauty of your property - great kitchen, great bathroom.
And, you know, that's a big cost.
-You are changing your tune.
-No, I'm not.
I've said that from the beginning. I just haven't said it to you.
-Ooh! Lots of built-in wardrobes.
-Yeah, that's what we can see. That's what they are.
-Let's have a quick look in the garden again.
-That's a nice view.
Stretched out over everybody's gardens, so it's not enclosed in.
-Ah, right, OK. So this is definitely your master bedroom, isn't it?
-Yeah, you've got space for wardrobes there.
-The decoration is very good throughout the whole house.
-OK, bedroom three.
-Oh, we've got another spare room.
-Simon's done us proud here, actually.
-I think he has.
-I'm a little bit surprised.
-I think it's got better and better as we've gone along.
-Aha, there we are!
See? It wasn't so bad, was it?
It wasn't. It got better and better as it went along.
-I could hear you really warmed to that place.
Yeah. Lovely bathroom, lovely kitchen,
the added bonus of the conservatory.
George, you were positive in the first place,
but you particularly noticed that there's very little to do here.
That's correct. I could move in there quite happily.
-We could move in there quite happily.
-THEY ALL LAUGH
It is a house you could just move into.
We've got another "guess the price". Maximum budget, £160,000.
You are one up at the moment. Who's going to go first?
-I'll let Diane go first this time.
-Very kind. Go on then, Diane.
I'm going to go with...
Yay. £162,500. How about you, George?
-I think you've been a bit naughty. I think this is higher.
I think this is more up around £175,000.
-Do you know what? It will go to a tie-break.
Di is closest, and you'll be very pleased to know
there'll be no jumping for joy that we're over budget this time.
Absolutely on budget, give or take 50 quid.
It's on for £159,950.
-Rubbing your hands together, getting excited!
-But you know we haven't finished yet.
-No, we've still got the wild card.
-And it just keeps getting better and better.
Come on, here we go!
'Today's wild card is bringing us closer to the town centre.'
'Not George and Diane's chosen location.'
-'But the outside space could be right up their street.'
This is the wild card, and we hope you are going to really love this one.
You said you didn't want to be in a town, you wanted to be quite rural,
so we thought, wild card - put them in the town.
But it is the other side of Retford.
-So first impressions?
-Well, it looks interesting.
-Is that interesting good or bad?
Diane, what do you think? You're very quiet.
Yeah, it doesn't quite appeal to me as much as the other two.
OK. This doesn't grab your attention from the outside,
-but we know it's going to grab your attention on the inside.
-Looking forward to it.
-I bet you are. Well, there's no need to wait any longer.
-Get in there and enjoy it!
Right... Let's see what this one's got to offer. Ooh!
-Nice, long hallway.
OK. Here we go, Rani, we're going to sell them this lifestyle.
RANI CHOKES WITH LAUGHTER
-That is a large room, isn't it?
-That is quite big, isn't it?
And really light. You've got the windows at both end.
-Wow. The garden's big.
-Yeah, you're right.
-Big patio area...
-Lovely entertaining area.
-It is, yeah.
Do you think they think that we have gone over budget again?
-Because we've done it before.
-No, no, no... You've done it before.
-We're a team, Simon.
No, no... Not when it comes to going over budget on property one, which was your choice.
-Yeah. Not massive.
-It's not massive, is it?
No, but they've got a little table in here.
I have to say, it's not really to my taste, the kitchen, but you know...
-It's big enough. You can move around in it.
-It is. You're right.
We're getting lots of positives, but I can almost here the "but", can you?
Nice and light again. Big landing.
-So this, I'm taking it then, is the small room.
Yeah. This must be smallest bedroom. Adequate size.
-A bedroom. This is a good size, isn't it?
-Yeah, it is.
-And the view over the back.
-I'm going to check out the view here, cos I think we have a view.
-Yeah! Wow, you can see for miles!
Look at the size of the garage as well.
And it's a detached garage, George, so that could be your guitar room.
-It could well be the guitar room.
-You could strum away to your heart's content, and no-one could hear you.
There you go. Diane's sorted out.
He can have that garage as his guitar room.
As his guitar/casual room, and this...
It's not so much a veg plot as a market garden down here.
Ah. Now, this is the master bedroom, isn't it?
Two of us. You could have the back bedroom if you wanted.
-That's true. This could be the guestroom.
-Absolutely right, yeah.
-This is an interesting access.
-Interesting door, yeah.
The size is OK. Bit of work needed in here, I think.
-But the outside space is spot-on, isn't it?
-Absolutely right, yeah.
Come on! Come and join us!
I'm a bit confused with this one.
I'm not sure whether you like it, hate it, love it... What is going on?
I'm confused. I love the outside space.
I love some aspects of the house, but not all of it.
So yeah, I'm a bit confused as well, I'm afraid.
And the garden is fantastic.
-The views, access to the countryside... And yet, you're close to town.
-You're two minutes away from the town centre.
-Does it put you off
that the rooms were bigger?
Did you actually think, "I'm going to have to keep all my stuff"?
-Was that a bad thing?
-He won't declutter if you get this place.
He's going to get more guitars.
But at least, he's got a detached garage, and he can go in there.
But is there enough money in your bank account?
That's a very good question.
It's "guess the price" time now.
I'm enjoying this. You two are so competitive! It's fantastic.
It's 1-1. This is the decider. Your budget, £160,000.
Who's going to go first? Di?
Right. I think it's slightly below.
And I'm going to go for £155,000.
-I think Diane's right, but I don't think it's too much under.
I'm going to go for £152,500.
£152,500 and £155,000.
The winner of "guess the price" is...
-The actual price of this property is £159,950.
Just slightly under your budget.
-We've got some thinking to do.
Yeah, that's what the wild card does to you.
We've shown you three very different properties.
You know what you've got to do.
Decide which one you'd like to spend more time in.
-And we'll see you back in a few moments.
-Go and take a stroll.
-And while they're off doing that...
-Here's a quick recap for you at home.
I think it was clear to everybody George and Diane loved this property.
But will the price put them off? I was a little naughty
and went slightly over budget at...
"Slightly over?" There'll be no overspending on my watch.
My choice also appealed to them,
but was pretty much on the nose as far as the budget goes.
What about the wild card? The outside space impressed George and Diane
and fitted their plans for alfresco entertaining. Also on budget at...
-Here we go again.
So, pricey property one was the chosen house, are we surprised?
I'm not. I think they fell in love with this place straight away
and couldn't get it out of their heads.
Judging by those bags of shopping, they must be planning to entertain.
Ah, yes. Cue the arrival of their daughter Emma and her husband
and Diane's sister, Linda.
They better get started if they're going to get through all that food.
Don't panic, Simon, here they go with the first course.
-Here you go, folks.
George and Diane certainly know how to entertain.
There's enough juice there for all of us!
Maybe we should head there quick and help them out! They'll never manage that feast on their own.
So what are you going to say when they ask the dreaded question, then?
-Well... I think you're going to have to wait and see.
So I hate to say this...
-You loved Rani's property from the first moment you saw it...
You've spent a bit more time here now. How does it feel?
-It feels very, very nice.
-And the family?
-They love it too.
Yes. They really like it.
-You are really up for this downsizing, aren't you?
I'm glad you said that, because we've got you a little house-warming present.
There you go.
-GEORGE AND DIANE LAUGH We just thought...
Whether or not you answer the question how we'd like you to answer it,
-we thought we'd give you a little gift anyway.
Whichever house you're downsizing, that's just to get you going.
OK, here's the question, then.
To buy or not to buy?
That is brilliant news, because you were really going for property three.
I was swayed by the exterior of property three, but I really...
Coming back here, I really love those character features, the feel of the place... It just feels right.
-It does, doesn't it?
-And even though I did choose a property that was slightly over your budget...
-Not a problem, you're happy to go with that and work on the haggle?
-Listen, your family is still round there, so go on and enjoy it some more.
It's not quite yours yet, but it will be soon. Go on! See you later.
-Take care, good luck!
-Thank you, George. Thank you, Diane.
-What an absolutely gorgeous couple.
-I feel so, so proud!
-And congratulations to you, Rani.
-Thank you very much.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd