Property series. Ed Hall and Jonny Benarr are property samurais as they karate kick their way though three fantastic properties in Lichfield.
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So, we meet again, young Jonny.
That we do, Ed, but this time I will be the victor.
-I will claim the "to buy".
-In your dreams, young sidekick.
I am a property samurai
and I will be crowned the To Buy Or Not To Buy master.
You've broken the code by which us estate agents swear by.
And for that, you will pay.
-Well, in that case...
We should get on with today's action-packed show.
These black belt properties won't find themselves.
Who better to do it than two property ninjas Jonny and myself?
Let's see who's stepping into the fray...
'The Staffordshire village of Handsacre
'is where Paul and Maria reside.
'With a tight green belt, martial artist Paul uses home like a dojo.
'This professional tyre fitter, after stubbing his toe too many times, has a longing for more space.
'After scouring the property pages and internet,
'radiographer Maria has seen through all that estate agent jargon
'and feels like they could utilise our help to facilitate a leg-up onto that property ladder.'
Thank you very much for inviting us into your lovely house.
It's quite snug, and that's part of the reason you're looking to move.
-We've just outgrown it, haven't we?
Is this because you've outgrown it with stuff you've acquired?
I noticed you've got a running machine in your conservatory.
-Is this indicative of all the other rooms?
-I think so.
-You accumulate and eventually you've got to get a bigger house.
-There's nowhere to put it all.
-There's only so many cubbyholes.
-You can squeeze things into.
In terms of things that you do, you've got your...
Which you've neatly stored, your belts.
What other things have we got to fit into this house?
-I'm starting reiki.
-OK. You just need a rake for that!
-That's kind of healing powers.
-With your hands?
-Without actually touching.
Yeah. In layman's terms, that's it.
So we've got reiki. Do you need a room for that?
-Are you going to reiki from home or out and about?
-So, like a table.
-A massage table?
-A massage table. That's it.
What are we helping you find today?
Basically, we're looking for, without being too greedy,
more space, a detached house.
-Driveway for your van.
-Detached is our main one.
-Detached, three bedrooms, ideally.
-Why, why, why detached?
We're in a mid-terrace now. Until you live in a mid-terrace...
You've got people there and there. You don't want anyone.
In a modern house, the walls are thinner.
-Where do you want to be?
-We like this area, don't we?
It's close to Lichfield. It's close to work, close to the A38.
We like Armitage and Handsacre.
-Shall we have the budget?
-Come on, then.
You shouldn't be nervous! Wish us luck.
-We will see you later on.
-See ya in a bit.
I might be setting myself up for a fall but this should be fairly easy.
They don't seem too fussy.
Easy? Think back to the amount of money and their major requirement.
-There's a premium with detached houses.
I'm going to endeavour to find something intriguing about the area.
I'm putting all my faith in the local estate agents
to find us three perfect houses for today's buyers.
'Scintillating south Staffordshire within glorious Middle England
'is home to breathtaking countryside,
'the unique three spires of Lichfield Cathedral
'and the recently discovered Staffordshire Hoard.
'Nearby, beaming our illustrious show into some of your living rooms
'is the Sutton Coldfield TV transmitter mast, which began broadcasting the BBC in 1949.
'This mast covers the third highest population in the UK.
'That's a lot of TV gold relying on this 271-metre tower
'to reach around five million inhabitants across the area.
'If you're after a home for these inhabitants,
'the average price for a detached property in Staffs is £280,000,
'so we may have our work cut out.
'What could Paul and Maria's 175,000 buy near other transmitters?
'Covering four million people, the Emley Moor mast in West Yorkshire.
'Nearby, this renovated three-bed family home is a bargain at...
'Leapfrogging Sutton's mast is Winter Hill, serving seven million people.
'You'll find this lovely modern detached home in Chorley. The cost:
'And top of the props, sending our faces to more than 11 million people
'is a mast in Crystal Palace.
'This one-bedroom apartment in a Victorian townhouse
'would set you back...'
-I'm with Karina, a local property expert. Thank you.
Armitage is home to world renowned toilet manufacturer Armitage Shanks.
The factory was founded here in 1817 and that beauty over there
has been pumping out porcelain masterpieces ever since.
Next time you sit or stand at one, don't think of me, think of that.
Of course, other toilets are available.
Without the first-time buyers moving up, no-one can get going.
Exactly. That's where it all starts.
As soon as that goes forward, the rest of the market picks up.
Lichfield is a small city that is fiercely proud of its heritage -
so fiercely proud that the local council have organised tours.
Gruesome And Ghostly Lichfield,
Bloodthirsty Lichfield - genuinely for children - and my favourite,
Pubs, Priests and Prost... ladies of the night.
In fact, I might go on that tour now.
It is going off the boil a little for investors.
They're sort of holding back, but they are still about.
Things are still selling, just not as much as a few years ago.
The Staffordshire crest is emblazoned with a Staffordshire knot.
The Staffordshire knot came into being in a strange way.
Three people committed a crime.
They couldn't work out who to hang first, so the hangman devised the Staffordshire knot
so they could hang all three at the same time.
Why they decided to put this knot on their coat of arms is another story.
In the quest for a detached property
-I have done brilliantly. Jonny, yourself?
-Not too bad.
Met Karina, who has helped us fantastically.
Property one is quite a safe bet,
it's essentially a detached version of what they've got. I like it.
I've gone for a bigger version of Jonny's - a bigger, better version.
It is lovely. It's kind of got it all.
The wildcard is a metaphorical mountain for Ed and I to overcome.
-But it's lovely.
-It IS lovely.
-They wanted it to be detached. Is it?
-They wanted a two-storey house. Is it?
They wanted everything it's got. They just don't realise it.
It might throw them when they see it but they'd be fools to disregard it.
-Where shall we start the journey?
-Jonny's choice, property one.
'For my property, we're off to Armitage. It's detached.
'It has three bedrooms, a private garden and a conservatory.
'Fingers crossed it's what Paul and Maria are looking for.'
The great British weather has turned on us once again.
Jujitsu not only makes you hard but weatherproof, despite the rain.
You are going to dress for summertime, no matter what.
There's no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothes.
-Here we are. We're just round the corner from your own place.
Immediately, I'm hoping you're noticing the abundance of parking.
-Yeah. Looking good.
-Is this it, then? From the outside, is this what we're after?
-This is perfect.
-All we need is the price and we'll move in!
-I told you!
-So, you just need to know the price?
-We'll have it.
-The viewers have got to experience you looking round.
-Go through the oohs and aahs.
-Go in there, do the house tour.
-Lovely. Thank you.
This is nice. Through to the lounge.
This is lovely.
I like the fire. The fire's nice.
They've already committed to buying it without seeing it.
As long as it looks OK inside, done deal.
Is that a dining room? Yeah. That's something we haven't got.
-What's one of those? Lovely.
-I like this, yeah.
They're convinced their house is one of the smallest houses on Earth. It isn't THAT small.
You couldn't charge money for it as a museum piece.
And a conservatory. Bonus!
It's not as big as our one, but very nice.
Into the kitchen. Oh, it's a nice size, isn't it?
Yeah. Spacious. I'm not too sure on the white.
It makes it look bigger.
Luckily for Paul, he's inside. Ed and I are in the garden getting wet.
It is getting a bit wet now.
Ooh, it's got a landing! We're not used to a landing!
CHUCKLES Little things please me.
The joy in Maria's voice tangible when describing that landing.
-This must be...one of the smaller rooms.
That's a nice little size for all your junk.
Oh. Bedroom number two.
-Oh, this is a nice size.
The view's nice, as well.
-No train track there.
-You're not overlooked.
-Listen to that.
They're upstairs, where the only Achilles' heel is.
Viewers, you'll know which one it is when we get there.
Bathroom. Nice tiles.
Nice and clean. Ooh, a stand-up shower. Bonus.
-No bath, though. Just shower.
Mind you, that's good, isn't it? We don't use the bath anyway. Nice.
Oh! It goes into a bedroom.
Just like an en suite.
THEY LAUGH Lovely.
This is a nice size.
-And it's got double windows.
A lot of light coming in, yeah.
Lovely sized master bedroom. Two windows. Fitted wardrobes. En suite, Jack and Jill.
-Jonny's done well. Shall we go and see what the price is?
-See how much it's going to cost us.
Your first tour is now complete.
Outside, you said you were going to buy the place.
-Have you seen anything in here that would take you away from that train of thought?
-Just dependant on the price.
-All on the price?
In here, you couldn't work out if it was any bigger,
-the same size or smaller than the house you have.
-That's one issue.
It's like Jonny said earlier, because detached is our priority
-we might have to compromise.
-You'd make that compromise. OK.
-If the price is right, we end the programme here!
-You cool with that?
-I'm cool with that.
It would be a shame not to see mine or the wildcard.
Now, £175,000 maximum budget.
You're nervous cos I feel you feel this might be too expensive.
How much is this on the market for? You first, Maria.
I think 174,500. Right at the top.
I think it's going to be...
-smack on the budget. 175.
Upped by £500. It's a great strategy. Congratulations.
Although I'm going to disappoint you slightly. It is over budget.
Not by too much. 179,950.
-Happy with that price?
-Yeah. We're happy.
-It's not too much over budget.
-Yeah. We can sort something out.
-Shall we see two other houses you might buy?
-Onwards to my choice. This way.
'The day is young, Jonny, and my awesome property is about to thrill.
'Also in Armitage, this three-bed detached family home
'rocks an extended kitchen-breakfast room
'and all-round space galore.'
Walk towards this beauty, which is still in Armitage,
slightly further away from a train.
-I've got one question. Do you want to buy it?
Outside the last one, you were fairly convinced.
-This one, n'est-ce pas, a little bit bigger?
-Yeah. Very nice.
-That wasn't what I was expecting.
We've sacrificed the garage.
It is one of the best garage conversions I've seen.
You've got the apex there.
They've utilised that and it's a very good conversion.
What do you think about it? Garden at front. What do you think?
Very aesthetically pleasing. Really pretty.
-Are you ready?
-So, on paper, will you buy it?
-I'll buy it.
Good. Three, two, one. Internal viewing highly recommended. Go!
Straight into the dining room.
Oh. That's a bit strange.
-So this is how they've converted the garage.
Let's have a look. Oh, that's nice, up there.
-Yeah. Nice beams.
They're walking straight into the action.
I say why waste an area on a hall space when you can have that?
-They're in it.
-A lot of people prefer that open-plan feel.
-This is nice and big, isn't it?
Yes. I'm not too sure of the doors again, but that's...
-We can change them.
-That's cosmetic, isn't it?
It seems bigger than the other kitchen.
Yeah, much nicer size.
Ooh, wow. Oh, this is nice.
That's a nice space!
You can see it's a lot bigger than ours.
They've sectioned this area off
and got the office computer as well.
Maria is used to looking at a layout of a human. She looks at X-rays.
She's looking at the layout using her expert eye. I think it pleases her.
A lot of landing here.
This is the first room.
-It's a good size.
-Fits a single bed. It's all right for a spare room.
Second bedroom. Oh, this is a nice size.
Oh, yeah. It is, isn't it? It's a big window as well.
Nice big window.
-They're overlooked a little bit more than the last house.
-Bathroom. Oh! Floor's nice.
-It's like a laminate floor.
-Not as nice as the last bathroom.
-I don't know. It's bigger.
This is nice. A nice size.
-We'd get our bed in here, wouldn't we?
-Big windows again.
Just the one window.
Overlooking the front? Yeah. Lovely.
-What's that room there?
-Ooh! They've got a little en suite.
-That's a little surprise.
-With a shower. That's nice.
Ed's done well, hasn't he?
Considering you said you would buy it from the outside,
I expected a bit more enthusiasm. It's bigger.
Much bigger. There were parts when you were, "This is it!"
Overall, I felt that it didn't...
I'm doing that for some reason. ..didn't grab you.
-I think it's bigger and that's good.
-But, it's just a bit...disjointed? Maybe?
-It does need updating.
-You could live within it.
Imagine it done up. A much bigger house, your fireplace, that lovely bit there. It is very nice.
It's 1-0, Paul. You very sneakily put an extra £500 on Maria's guess.
-So you're going first this time.
-What do you think?
I'm thinking 180.
Obviously, with the size, you think it's worth a bit more money. 180.
-Hm. I'm going to go with 169,950.
-Yeah. I'm very optimistic.
Someone is out by 50 quid. Who is it?
-It is Paul.
You have lost Guess The Price. You can only get a sorry second.
-So, the same price as Jonny's house, 179,950.
We've got one more to go to. You might want to buy that one as well.
This is the wildcard! This way.
'Last, but never least, today's wildcard.
'It's not detached, but its location is swell and its grounds are lush.
'What it lacks in separation, it makes up with in decor and space,
'making this a beautifully finished family home.'
OK, welcome to the wildcard.
-What did you stipulate you wanted in your property?
-A detached house.
So we brought you to a semi-detached bungalow!
-There is method to our madness.
-Genuinely, there is. Don't fear it.
As far as footprint's concerned,
with a detached house, you're paying a premium to be detached.
This has the biggest footprint. First impressions?
It deviates wildly from what you were hoping for. What do you reckon?
Yeah. You were doing so well.
-You first, Paul.
-You were doing so well.
-Give us a chance.
-Yeah. I'll be open-minded.
-Shouldn't have asked Paul. Maria?
-We've never thought about a bungalow, have we?
It's not just your stereotypical older people, bungalows.
-Youth are in them as well.
You've wanted to buy every house so far. Do you want to buy this one?
-I think you'll be bowled over once you get inside!
-Inside, it is very different.
Three, two, one, be that bungalow. Go!
Ooh. It's different, isn't it? I've never looked around a bungalow.
It's like a little office, isn't it?
-A very strange room, isn't it?
-This is nice.
-I like the bathroom.
-This is lovely.
-Really nice. A free-standing bath.
-Nice tub, yeah.
-Oh, it's lovely.
Is a really nice bathroom enough to outweigh their desire for a detached property?
None of the bathrooms have been outstanding until this one, which is lovely.
This must be the second bedroom.
It's a nice size, isn't it?
Strange having it on the first floor, though, looking outside.
I don't know whether I like that. Bedroom on the first floor.
-This is the main bedroom.
-Really, really big.
-Again it's at the front though, isn't it?
Nice room, but I can't get used to bedrooms being on the ground floor.
-I don't think it's what we want.
-In Hollywood, this is how they live!
-We've seen The Hills.
-This is how they live!
-This is a nice size living room.
-Not so sure about...
-No. I like it, I do.
-It's a good size, though.
Yeah. Again, it's a nice size. Really big.
The kitchen, now.
-The kitchen's big, isn't it?
-Oh, wow! Yeah.
Really nice kitchen.
-It's the nicest kitchen we've seen.
-Yeah. It is.
Nicest kitchen they've seen. Nicest bathroom. What sell houses?
-Kitchens and bathrooms.
And a conservatory. That's a bonus, isn't it?
Yeah. That's nice.
It's a good size, but it's just not what we're looking for, is it?
We came, we saw, we don't feel like we conquered the wildcard today.
Why, though? This place is big and nice.
We just don't like the bedrooms on the front, downstairs. Not our cup of tea, is it?
It's big, but I don't think we're used to it all being on one floor.
As they say in the housing game, kitchens and bathrooms sell houses.
-You liked the kitchen and bathroom more than both houses.
-Shall we play Guess The Price?
We had £175,000 maximum budget.
-What is the price?
-172 and a half.
-Maria, the pressure's on you.
-I'd say 169,950.
-There you go!
Pride is back on the plate. Congratulations.
It's considerably less than that. It's on the market for 157,950,
so a real bargain.
Do you think that might help the decision along?
-You have now got to make the biggest decision of your adult lives.
Good luck, and we will see you at your chosen vehicle. See you later.
This is where the jeopardy kicks in.
-It's down to your house or my house.
-Who will it be?
-Normally, it's the wildcard.
-This is exciting for us.
-OK, what should we do now?
-Give them a recap?
-Have a recap.
Spin through this one but look at our two closely.
'My property went down a proverbial storm.
'Granted, it was comparable in size to their own home,
'but the detached plot was a major selling point.
'And the test drive race isn't over. On the market for:
'But with my choice, size was not a problem.
'It dwarfed their mid-terrace home
'and sported a superb garage conversion to boot.
'Finally, our wildcard.
'Immaculate inside and boasting the best bathroom and kitchen...
'I don't think Paul and Maria could get past single storey living.
Hm, which has reigned supreme?
'As I said 20 minutes ago, I am the To Buy Or Not To Buy master.
'Touche, Ed. The size of your choice seems to have won the day.
'Paul and Maria have jumped right in to their in-depth second viewing.
'Maria measures up for either running machine or reiki table.
'Worry not, you could fit both.
'And Paul, Ed has made sure that there's plenty of driveway for your trusty van.
'But let's be honest. Paul is all about the jujitsu.
'He can't wait to don his gi and get stuck into a kata, while Maria takes it in her stride.'
There was genuine, genuine jeopardy amongst Jonny and myself,
as to which property you'd pick and you have gone for this one, which is my house.
-Why did you go for this?
-There's just more potential.
-I like you. I love you, Paul.
You've had the test drive.
You've measured and read and done very little.
-You've humiliated yourself in many ways.
The jujitsu community won't see it as humiliating yourself!
How does it feel to do kung fu in the back garden
-and for you to sit and laugh whilst watching?
-You enjoyed it.
-Yeah. I've enjoyed it.
-Shall we do it?
You go for it.
The house you already said you were going to buy, to buy or not to buy? That is the question.
-Would you like any caveats?
-If we could negotiate the price.
-OK, you are allowed to haggle.
-Other than that, happy days.
-Have you enjoyed yourselves?
-It's been brilliant.
-When you buy the house, invite us round for a cup of tea.
-And don't kung fu kick us.
-See you later on.
-Thank you. Bye.
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