Property series. Simon O'Brien and Jonny Benarr raise the stakes for a couple seeking a new home in Pershore.
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-Oh, I do love a bit of local produce!
-What are you doing?
-We've got... We're here to make a show.
Look, I've had a tip-off that today this pair are going to make a peach of a programme
-in the Vale of Evesham, otherwise known as the fruit-and-veg basket of England.
-Oh, right, OK.
Cherries! I do like a cherry. Have a cherry! There you go.
-Are we quite done? Can we not get going?
-No, I'm still looking for the symbol of the town we're in...
-the Pershore plum!
-When did you become an expert on local produce?
Because, Jonny, one of today's buyers is locally grown,
and they are both keen on growing their own fruit and veg.
Where better to do that than in the glorious Vale of Evesham?
OK, that all makes sense now! Check this out.
A recent survey has suggested that
in a few years' time nearly a third of all households are going to be growing their own fruit and veg.
-Wow! That's a lot of raised beds!
-And a lot of saved money - up to £500 a year, Mr O'Brien!
-But surely this isn't the only reason we're here?
-You're not listening, are you?
-Roots, Jonny, family roots! Shall we meet today's buyers?
And here they are, Ian and Sharon Follet.
Now, these two like to live life to the full and regularly make wagers with each other.
The most significant wager was lost by Ian and resulted in the couple marrying on Christmas Day 2005.
This happy union proved to be invaluable when Sharon had a routine back operation three years ago
and awoke paralysed. They have four children between them, and with their support
Sharon has regained the ability to walk.
Their desire now is to move from their current home in Port Isaac, Cornwall,
to be near to their loved ones in Pershore where Ian is originally from.
-Lovely place, Port Isaac.
-Yeah. Very hilly.
-So you're looking to try and find a...
-More level playing field, shall we say?
-What we thought was, the location here in Pershore,
everything's accessible, the High Street's not far away,
and Sharon can have a bit more independence, she can drive her little buggy there.
-It's a gorgeous town as well, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
-I guess we're looking for somewhere central, then?
-Yes, somewhere central...
-I need shops!
-That's going to be easy access...
-I need shops! Trust me.
I don't mind if we're not too close to the shops!
-No, I think right next to the shops!
-That would be lovely!
The other problem Sharon's got, a major disability, is she's a shopaholic.
-That's brilliant. I like that!
The only thing to watch out for, I suppose, is the flooding potential of the area...er...
-It has had problems, hasn't it?
-Big, big problems.
-OK, worth bearing in mind.
Ian, you're handy, so it doesn't matter if we get a place that needs a bit of work,
but when all that's said and done, paint the picture of what you would really love.
Just a nice-sized kitchen and bathroom, which I never really thought about.
-But once you're getting in and out...
-It's important. What about bedrooms?
-Because you've got a bit of a horde, haven't you...collectively?
Well, we're lucky there in a way that we're only bringing one with us,
cos our girls are here anyway, so they've got their own places. But we would like three bedrooms.
OK, OK. Anything else, then?
-Garden? Go on, talk to us.
-We like to grow veg.
And the other thing we would look at is preferably detached if possible, cos I like to make a lot of noise.
-What kind of noise?
-I like music, so...
Do you want a bit of a boy's playroom? Do you want a sort of a workshop area? That kind of thing?
A decent garage or an outbuilding I can put my lathe in and have a bit of a play as I get older.
-That would be nice.
-So...talk to us money, come on.
Top line, we're thinking 300,000.
If it was a bit of a renovation project, obviously, tease down a bit to allow us a little bit of leeway,
but that's a pretty strict budget.
-Well, OK, I'm fairly confident with that.
-Are you? Ready?
-Pershore, here we come!
-See you in a bit.
Jonny, I am worried about this. They want a big vegetable patch. There was "a lot meant" by that!
They're looking for not on a flood plain. That could be an uphill struggle!
And also they want a property that's kind of modern and full of character! Huh?
-Don't you worry about it.
Ian is a builder. We can quite literally find him anything under £300,000 and he will sort it for us,
-You sound very "Pershore" about this! Let's get going.
Pershore is neatly nestled in the fruitful Vale of Evesham.
This pretty market town is renowned for its plums.
Varieties such as Victoria, Monarch and the Pershore yellow egg plum are always sought after.
The people of Pershore loves plums so much
that every August the town throws a festival in honour of this juicy fruit.
It's also renowned for its magnificent abbey and Georgian buildings.
The architecture here is so important that parts of the town are listed
as an outstanding conservation area by the Council of British Archaeology.
OK, time to find out what plum family homes are on offer in the rest of the UK.
Starting with this beautiful four-bedroomed terraced townhouse in Penzance, Cornwall,
offering fabulous family living for...
But if you don't fancy being that close to your neighbours,
how about this modern four-bed detached house in Stamford, Leicestershire for...
And for all you city slickers out there what about this modern two double-bedroomed apartment
in Crouch End, London, for a stylish...
So whilst Jonny pounds the streets, I'm going to talk flood plains.
According to the Environment Agency, over 2.5 million properties in England and Wales
are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea.
And, considering the devastation some areas have suffered in recent decades,
it's no wonder it's an issue we are all becoming increasingly aware of.
So here are our top tips...
The Environment Agency have drawn up maps of the areas most at risk.
If you do your digging, you will find mortgage companies willing to lend
and insurance companies that will cover properties that have suffered flooding.
Be aware that up and down the country there are flood alleviation projects happening
to help reduce the risk.
The scheme in Pershore may not be as impressive as the Thames Barrier,
but for the nearby residents the peace of mind it will bring will be invaluable.
Well, Jonny, I'm overflowing with information about living on a flood plain,
and I also have a fabulous house. It's a banker. How have you got on?
OK, I think I've done pretty well. I'm taking a risk, I'm not going to lie to you.
I've gone for a semi-detached house. I know they asked for detached because of old Ian's drumming,
but there is a solution for that. A lovely double garage, nonetheless. I'm going to give you a quick look.
It's really very, very nicely done indeed. It's spacious, gorgeous garden, everything they're after...
-Property 2! What I've done is I've gone for something they asked for...
a detached house. It's beautiful. There is one issue which I'm not going to discuss yet.
I will discuss it with Sharon and Ian. It's fabulous, though. Nothing for our builder to do here.
-The wild card, please.
-Well, the wild card today is wild because they've asked for a house,
-so therefore we've gone and given them a bungalow.
-But that's not why we chose this as a wild card.
-It's because it's in the best-named place in the whole country possibly.
-If you're a six-year-old!
Right, let's get cracking with the grown-up tour at my choice, property 1.
Well, I don't think I could have found a house much closer to town.
You can almost see the shops from the end of the drive,
and it's got all the living space they need.
Well, then, here we are. My choice, property 1. It's about location this property.
I know it's not detached, but it offers so much as a semi-detached house -
size, space, garage, parking - that I just had to show you it.
And town-centre location. It means in this bustling community here
that you've got all the access you need to get to the major shops,
-so before I talk on too long... what do you think?
-I like it.
-I like the parking space.
-That's quite handy for a start. And I notice the garage!
-This style of property?
-I do, yeah.
-Yeah? They love it so far.
-Well, it's post Second World War, it's got a nice gable end,
it's been beautifully rendered, you've got a modern garage, you've got block paving
-and there's so much more inside!
-And I can't see any work to do here.
Wait till you get inside! No, I'm only joking. It really is lovely.
-Hurry yourself along. All four feet if you wouldn't mind, Sharon!
-That's fine. Thank you.
-See you later.
-That's a nice entrance.
-And we're into...
Oh! The lounge.
-I like that.
-Oh, natural fire.
-That's gorgeous, isn't it?
-I like that.
-I like the fact that can get loads of furniture in.
-Yeah. It's wonderful, that.
-Oh, that's nice.
-Nice dining area. Serving hatch! Saves carrying the food all the way round.
-I like that.
-It's a big house, isn't it?
Nice open-plan aspect which is very nice. Makes it very spacious.
There's nothing much to do. You could actually move in straightaway.
He almost sounds disappointed. "There's nothing much to do."
-We can find him something. If not, I'm sure Sharon could.
-That is definitely...a bonus. We didn't ask for that.
-We didn't ask for that. That is a bonus!
-Oh, wow! Look at this. You'll like this.
-Yeah, I really like that. I don't know why I'm saying wow, you do all the cooking.
-I know, I know.
-This is your area!
-I know. Everything's to hand, isn't it?
-Isn't it marvellous?
-It is really...
-And no work to do either.
I'm not staying here or you'll get me cooking!
-Aha! You see? You were being sexist, weren't you?
Wow! Ian can cook in here. That's what Sharon was thinking about.
-You thought that room was for Sharon, it's for Ian.
-Stick Ryan in this one.
-Be ideal for Ryan.
I don't know if he'd like the pink. We'd probably have to change the colour.
-This would be all right for the grandchildren.
-We'll see how many bedrooms there are. Let's see.
-The bathroom. Oh, that's nicely decorated.
-I thought that was tiles. I like that.
-It's very nice.
-Nice colour, it's neutral.
It is neutral. It's all nicely decorated. We could move in straightaway.
It's not something you'd have to worry about.
-That's a better colour for Ryan.
-Yeah! Yes, I think he'd rather have that colour than the pink!
-It's a bigger room.
-Much nicer size.
-Much bigger room.
-There's enough room for his stuff.
-What's the view to the garden like?
-It's very nice, isn't it?
Please, hurry up with the tour! It's chucking it down out here!
-Oh, lovely! Oh, wow!
-This is the bedroom.
-Look, they have definitely picked something really nice.
-This is gorgeous.
-Lovely. I love the view,
-I love the decoration.
-Love the wardrobes! Really love the wardrobes! Look at that!
Except I'd have to look at myself in the mirror.
And it's probably not a good thing to do! Good incentive to lose some weight!
I am also a fan of those floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
-I know you are. So you can look at yourself.
-No, for refracting light into the room.
-No, no, no!
That's what I meant. Don't... Ignore it.
-Yeah, I really like that. I think the boys have done us really proud.
They've done us proud. The next big question is they're going to ask us the price, aren't they?
-Oh, let us join you out of that weather!
Can you try and do your house tours a little bit quicker in future?
-There's two more to go.
-It was very dry in here.
-I'm sure it was, yes.
-We were OK.
No problem at all.
-You actually commented on this room.
-We didn't expect this.
-There you go!
-It is a real bonus, isn't it?
-Yeah, this is nice.
-Didn't know anything about this.
-It's not as big as we would like, but it's manageable, isn't it?
Another thing as well. There are quite a lot of allotments
in the area, as you would expect. There's a lot of gardeners around.
Your budget was 300,000 absolutely maximum.
-You first, please, Sharon.
-Near the top end, so I'm going to go...
-That's pretty close. I was going to go just a little bit nearer the target.
-I was going to go 295.
-Ready for this? Asking price for this property as of today...
-Now, that is an incredible price, isn't it?
-That's shocked me, that really has shocked me.
-£80,000 beneath your budget.
-I mean, just think what you could do with that surplus budget.
You're in Pershore, Jonny's found you a plum property.
-Can I beat it? There's only one way to find out, isn't there?
-You've got a big job!
-Let's get to it!
Now, I actually listened to Sharon and Ian and found them a lovely detached house,
fabulously modernised and four bedrooms. My property-hunting skills have surely peaked here!
OK, property 2 today. The rain has stopped, the sun is breaking through the clouds.
-What are you thinking? First impressions.
-It is very nice.
-Ian, you're very quiet down the end there.
I just felt cos there's a slope, I'm just concerned whether Sharon can cope with it,
-but, for me, I love it.
-Yeah? Even though it's got a paved drive?
-Gaping glass window where...?
-No garage, that's the problem, yeah.
-You better get yourselves inside. Enjoy the tour, if you can get up the hill.
-Oh, straight into the lounge! Didn't expect that.
-It is nice, though.
-I like the fireplace.
-Oh, yeah. Wow! That is really, really nice.
-I like that. I wasn't expecting that at all.
-I wasn't expecting that straightaway.
-Yeah, I like this.
And it goes on through, you know. That's really nice. Let's go and have a look through there.
-Yeah, it does look.
-Oh! There's a surprise.
-Oh, yeah, look at that.
-Really nice. Lovely.
-That's something to think about.
-It is lovely, isn't it?
-I like that.
It really is great. It's spacious, it's open, it's naturally light, it's really inviting,
-it's probably the feature of the house.
-It's exactly how you turn a 20th-century house
into a 21st-century living space.
-Oh, I love this.
-Oh, this is nice, isn't it?
-At the breakfast bar which is going to be really...
-So while I'm cooking here and you're relaxing there, watching TV, we can still talk.
-And shout the orders!
I like that! So Ian will be there, toiling away, and the orders barked at him from Sharon...
-Having said that, he's not doing any building work so he's got plenty of time for cooking.
-This is true.
-Well, that's a nice, little room. It's boy colour as well already.
-It is small, but it all fits in well.
-Yeah, everything fits in here.
-That's nice, all tiled up there.
-Nice shower, built-in.
-A shower, yeah.
-I like the natural wood again.
Yeah, there's lot of natural wood again. Needs no painting. Another job not for me! Love it!
Forgive me for saying, Jonny, but there's just something brighter about property 2.
What, the big burning ball of gas in the sky? Yeah, no doubt!
Oh, wow! I think I've had too many wows in this one!
That's good. That's much bigger than I thought it was going to be.
This is huge. I'm going to be nosy. What have we got in here?
-An en-suite as well!
-Wow, that is lovely.
-I think Simon's excelled himself.
-He'll be sort of cheering out there.
-Found the en-suite, then?
Oh, I've locked the door!
-Oh, that is so nice!
-Isn't that beautiful?
-Are you going to go down there and call to me?
-I'd love that.
-You want me to go down there and sing?
Simon, Simon, wherefore art you, Simon? Deny thy father and refuse thy name!
-Oh, there you are!
-I'm here! I want to know where they are!
-Wherefore art thou, Sharon and Ian?
-Where did you come from?
The pink room!
-It's a big room, though.
-It's still quite a size, isn't it?
That's three bedrooms so far and there's still another door to go.
Oh, it's done as a study. That's nice.
-You could have a small bedroom, but we don't need it.
-So this for a study would be...
It's ideal for what they're using it for now with the computer and the mini office.
This is one of those properties, it's going to go full circle - they're going to like it so much,
they'll end up hating it.
It's like you. You like me so much, you pretend to hate me but really... superlikes me.
-No, no, no. It started as hate and just went all the way round back to hate.
I guess when we first approached this house, you thought,
-"It's on a hill, why are we here?" But having looked round, I think you know why we're here.
-I can see why you picked it.
-The house is super.
-It's a beautiful house, yeah.
And I accept that it does have for you certain issues which would need fixing.
It's a bit of juggling act to know. We were saying before
when we looked out the windows. The views are gorgeous, the house is gorgeous...
Unfortunately, it's on a hill. Unfortunately, the garden's in tiers.
Right, guess the price time, then.
-300 grand's your max. This is a big detached beast with beautiful views.
I'm going to stick with the same price I went the last one, 295.
-OK, I'll stick with my 289...950.
-That's exactly what you said, 289,950!
It's 2-0 to you!
-Wow! You've lost!
-Ian, you're only playing for pride from now on!
It's on the market for 279 on the money.
-That is good.
-Four bedrooms, detached...
-The house is ideal.
All right, listen, two very different houses now we've shown you. Plenty to think about, yeah?
-Oh, no, it isn't!
-My brain's gone into overload.
-It's not too much, is it, Jonny?
-No, because there's one more to go. You ready for it?
-It's the wild card. It's this way.
-Down those steps there. Come on, my darling.
Now, nobody mentioned a bungalow, we hear you say, but this stylish bungalow has such a great layout
on a huge plot, we're hoping they'll be pleasantly surprised.
OK, here we are at the wild card, the third and final property of today.
Now, I want to get your feedback on this one quite early,
because this is a bit of a radical move compared to the other two we've shown you,
but not too dissimilar to what you currently live in. What do you think? First impressions?
-Really, really nice.
-It's huge. I just can't wait to see the back cos it's massive.
Never mind that! Let's talk location first. Cos we're in the lovely village of...
-..Wyre Piddle. I'm sorry.
-It just makes me laugh. What a great name.
Wyre Piddle. Beautiful little village, but a bit of a distance from Pershore.
However I have done some research. I hope the local isn't going to get me here
but there are bus services into Pershore on a regular basis, every hour.
The other reason we chose this place is it does represent fantastic value for money.
Being a bungalow, single-storey property
and having all your accommodation on one floor means the plots are bigger.
-So allotment potential, growing fruit and veg potential...
-..Is viable here.
-Sounds good. Can't wait to see the back.
-You haven't seen the inside yet.
-Get yourselves in there. Enjoy it. We'll be listening in.
-See you later on.
Oh! I don't want to give them another wow!
-You said no more wows, but I'm afraid you've got to give it one by the looks of it.
Look at the size of it, the space!
How many boxes have you ticked so far in this one? Oh, that's amazing!
-I love the size.
-So you might be changing your mind on the bungalow?
Well, that's an interesting question Ian asks.
Because there is this misconception about bungalows
that they're a bit olde worlde and fuddy-duddy which is unfair,
-because they can be very modern and very contemporary like this.
-I thought you were talking about me!
No, I said modern and contemporary!
This is just...
-I don't know what to say!
-I can't...I can't even do my wows!
-It's fantastic, isn't it?
I am just stunned.
-We're not going to get one. Shall we do it for her?
-Go on, then.
Oh, I love this!
-The fact I've got somewhere to sit while you're cooking.
-Yeah, yeah. I could sit here for breakfast.
I can visualise it now with the bacon and eggs I've just cooked for myself!
And you with your corn flakes.
There we go, these are good buying sounds.
If they can visualise themselves actually doing mundane activities
-like preparing bacon and eggs...
-I'm getting hungry now!
-Oh! I've got to give them another wow!
-I can feel another wow coming on! Look at this!
-Oh, I love this!
-This is just exceptionally...
-I've found my place!
-I can chill out in here!
-No, oh, no! Yours is the kitchen, this is mine!
-You know why things grow so well round here, don't you, Jonny?
-The dynamic weather?
-I think it is!
Is this the master, then?
You wouldn't know, would you?
-But it is a lovely size.
-It's a good size, isn't it?
Loads of space.
-It's another double.
-You've still got a double here, yeah.
-This is still really nice.
-It's still a good size.
Oh, this must be the master bedroom.
Somebody's stolen the bed at the moment, but loads of space. Loads of space.
And I think there's an en-suite.
-Oh, yeah, en-suite as you say. Shower...
-That's ideal, isn't it?
-I love that.
-Yeah. That's just what every master bedroom needs, isn't it?
-You see? I told you this would be the best wild card!
The one you wanted...
Oh, yeah. Brilliant. Don't listen to him. I chose this one. This is nothing to do with him.
We have a bathroom! This is nicely decorated, isn't it? And a Jacuzzi bath!
And a shower as well.
So there'll be no fighting for showers and baths, will there?
-I love this.
-It's perfect, isn't it?
-It all comes down to...
-It's all down what it's going to cost now.
That's the next thing, guess the price.
Well, a tip of the hat to daytime TV's finest house hunters!
-The wild card's excellent, isn't it?
-Super. We didn't want a bungalow,
-but it's got an upstairs/downstairs.
-It has, yeah.
Because you go in and it's two separate parts of the property.
Completely agree. Because sometimes you walk in a bungalow
and there's the living room and there's the first bedroom, which can be disconcerting,
-but not the case here.
-They're totally separate. Left for living, right for sleeping.
-How is this garden for you?
-Oh, well, look - space.
-It's going well, but that might all change, mightn't it?
-OK, guess-the-price time.
-It's 2-0 to you.
-Your budget £300,000. Go on.
-I think you've gone over budget.
So I am going to say...
-I'm going to go smack on the money. 300,000.
-OK. Well, you've got some pride. Well done. Come on.
-There you go. But there's a little bit of change, only a little bit.
-On the nose.
-I saved face.
-He did well.
-I saved face.
-What do you think, Sharon?
-I love it. I really love it.
-You really do love it, don't you?
-Yeah, I do.
-We actually might need a handkerchief in a moment.
That's so lovely.
-We're going to go through the motions, we better had, hadn't we?
-Yeah, we've got to.
We're made to. We have to do this.
-You've now seen three very different properties...
two in Pershore, one out here in Wyre Piddle... I won't giggle, I won't giggle!
So take yourselves off and decide which one you would like to spend a bit more time in.
-We'll see you in a moment.
Well, there we go, three very different properties indeed.
So while they're off making that decision, here is a reminder for you at home.
So will they go for my property? Surely the most convenient choice for Sharon
to fulfil her shopaholic tendencies.
Or will they choose my modern detached house?
A bit further away from the shops to give Ian's credit card a break!
The price won't, though!
All joking aside, Sharon did seem most enamoured with the wild card,
which was furthest from the shops.
So... which one will they "plum-p" for?
Well, let's be honest! It's no surprise - they've chosen the wild card.
And it's not long before the family arrive. Who do we have here, then?
Well, this would be one of her daughters with her children and Mum.
Excellent! And it's straight into Sharon's favourite room.
Who knows? If all goes to plan, they could be growing their own strawberries in this very house!
Right, who wants strawberries?
Well, they seem to be going down a treat but what do people think of the bungalow?
It's absolutely gorgeous! It's lovely!
Now they're all fuelled up, it's time for a kickabout!
-Once more the adage is proved, everyone loves the wild card!
-And how can you not?
-So, come on, you've spent a bit more time here.
-Yeah? You've had family round. What are you thinking? You enjoying it still?
-Still enjoying it!
You've really, really put the cat amongst the pigeons.
We've just... We've lost the plot completely.
-You've thrown everything into the mix and we don't know where to go!
-OK... Oh, oh... Sorry... Very importantly, what did the grandchildren think?
-They loved it.
-They loved the garden.
-That's all you want, isn't it? A lovely private space like that.
The kids can come in, open the back door,
not kick them out literally, obviously...
-and know they're safe and secure. And you haven't got to worry about it.
-It's all fully enclosed.
-OK, right, is this a to buy or not to buy?
-Well, we're going to go away, have a deeper think,
-get the buggy, see whether we can use the shortcut with the buggy...
Then we'll be in a position to make a decision, I think. At the moment it's a maybe.
-It's a maybe on that one.
-It's a maybe.
-It's a really good maybe!
Assuming... Because I know that you love this place... Assuming that you can off-road to Pershore and back
-in the buggy, what would it be then?
-Oh, a yeah.
-It would be, wouldn't it? I thought so.
That's fair enough. You do have real practical considerations that you have to take into account.
-Well, all in all, we've had a fabulous day. Hope you've enjoyed it too.
-Yes, we have.
-Indeed. Thank you very much for all your advice.
-You've been great!
Get yourselves back in there, have another look round this place, take advantage while you're here,
-maybe that will make your mind up. All right, guys?
Enjoy that gorgeous fruit in there. It's lovely.
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