St Albans To Buy or Not to Buy


St Albans

Property series. Ed Hall and Rani Price go the extra mile, helping a lady choose a new home for her family who are relocating from Botswana to St Albans.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Good morning, passengers. This is your captain speaking.

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You're aboard the 11:00am To Buy Or Not To Buy

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bound for St Albans. Enjoy your flight.

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-You really are getting into this.

-Rani, there should be no limits

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as to how far we will travel to make people happy.

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I know, but I think this is taking it a little bit too far.

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Rani, I'm taking it 5,491 miles too far, to be precise, today.

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OK, are we ready? Is everything in position?

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Have we got the little dangly bits out there?

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-The wings are all straight?

-All good, Captain.

-OK!

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Three, two, one... GO!

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Passengers, today we are embarking on a global property journey!

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One that starts in the southern hemisphere, in Africa...

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And ends up in the northern hemisphere of Hertfordshire -

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-I hope.

-Are you saying I can't fly this thing?

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-I'm saying I know you can't.

-You see those horses over there?

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-They're so lovely.

-They are. Look, no hands!

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THEY IMITATE PLANE-ENGINE NOISES

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On board today is our house-hunter Debbie Stanford.

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She's travelling halfway across the world from Africa

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to get our help to find a new home.

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And it looks like she's just touched down in good old Blighty.

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Waiting to meet her is her sexy brother Steven,

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who'll be helping with today's property hunt.

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And it's some hunt indeed. For the last 13 years,

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Debbie has been living with her husband David

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and kids Nathaniel, Sammy and Emilia in the town of Gaborone, Botswana.

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Yep, Botswana - a country full of big-game hunters and huge lions.

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But Debbie is leaving all that behind her

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so her kids can be schooled in Blighty,

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and she can be closer to her mum and brother.

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But we've got our work cut out,

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as we've only a small window of opportunity

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to find a house before she flies back out to Botswana

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to collect the rest of her family.

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Here she is. So whilst Debbie gets acclimatised,

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here's what's coming up in today's show.

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We find out about the slippery side of Botswana...

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I had a snake in the cot with my son when he was nine months old,

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a big spitting cobra. No joke.

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Debbie finds out what she's been missing as she hits the property trail...

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Oh, wow!

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Oh, this is beautiful!

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-You couldn't even put a bed in here, could you?

-This is a wardrobe.

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Finally, it's time to meet them.

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Welcome to the show. Firstly,

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you are probably the most attractive brother and sister...

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-THEY LAUGH

-I would love to meet your parents!

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-Look at the genes you've got!

-They are good looking.

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Both of you! And also, you've done us the courtesy

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of coming miles

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to get to this programme.

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So you've watched To Buy Or Not To Buy from Botswana?

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-Yes!

-How does it go down in a Botswanian environment, the show?

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One of the first reactions is, "How much?!"

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-THEY LAUGH

-It's quite easy to translate.

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-It's ten to one, basically.

-Wow!

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It costs that much. They'll say, "That's four million pula."

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So that's always the first reaction.

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So it's, "What? For that?!"

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Telling everyone I was coming to the UK to be on To Buy Or Not To Buy

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to buy a house, it was celebrity status, I think!

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Wow!

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-Absolutely!

-I'm really impressed!

-I am too. I am too.

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What is your life like out there?

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It's really different. It's hot. It's really hot for a lot of the year.

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-It doesn't rain 360-something days of the year?

-No. It doesn't rain.

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That took some getting used to.

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It's, um... It's a desert,

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so it only rains for a couple of months of the year if you're lucky.

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There is the most... 19 percent of the country is national parks,

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so we have got the best game, I believe.

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What's the strangest animal you've had in your back garden?

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-We had a kudu.

-We've had a kudu in our back garden.

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Yes. I had a snake in the cot with my son when he was nine months old.

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A big spitting cobra. No joke.

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The snake stood up and looked at me.

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And I thought, "Oh..." So I closed my eyes, as I wanted Nathan,

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and I closed my eyes, walked forward,

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and when I opened it, the snake had moved away,

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because they will. But it was in the cot with Nathan.

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For only a second, but it made a good story.

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THEY LAUGH

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-That is the best...

-It was wrapped round his torso...

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It was only in the cot for a matter of seconds,

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because it was trying to get away from me.

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Let's describe your property in Botswana,

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and see if we can replicate that in St Albans. Go.

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OK! We do have a large swimming pool,

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a large garden, about 2,500 square metres.

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-Right. Of course.

-And, um...

-Can you do that?

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..we have a four-bedroom house with a little cottage for our nanny,

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-and, um, we have a large lounge, kitchen, dining room...

-Right!

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-OK.

-Bar area...

-Pretty much like Roman Abramovich's house.

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THEY LAUGH And what are you looking for here?

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-I...

-Don't say "the same"! Don't say "the same"!

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-It'll be different.

-Don't disappoint.

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It will, but I know that.

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What I've just described, if I put it on the market, sold it,

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I would maybe make £150,000.

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-It's 1.5 million.

-That sounds better, doesn't it?

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-I'm a pula millionaire!

-THEY LAUGH

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Who Wants To Be A Pula Millionaire would be the worst programme ever over there.

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"Thanks a bunch!" So what do we want in St Albans?

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OK. I need three rooms, three bedrooms.

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I need a garden, because my children aren't used to being inside.

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-You know sort of the area, Steven?

-A little bit.

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What areas would be nice for your sister to be in?

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When I say I know the area, I know there are cul-de-sacs,

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-and that would be nice.

-OK. So you're a fat lot of use, then.

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Because they're not very streetwise, are they? There's not many roads.

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Well, there are lots of roads, but we live in quite a quiet area,

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so if there was a main road, Debbie wouldn't trust them not to walk out and...

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There's absolutely no way.

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Education. Have you thought about children's education?

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-Have you looked into schools round here?

-Absolutely no.

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-We have been told it's a good area.

-That was one of the reasons, too.

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-OK.

-Which is obviously very, very important.

-Yeah.

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I would like to try and hope I wouldn't make an emotional decision.

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It has to be an investment.

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OK. We might as well find out the budget, I reckon.

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-In pula or pounds?

-Shall we go in pula?

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-And then we'll go pounds.

-In pula, it's 4.5 million pula.

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-Whoa!

-Never done this much!

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And so it's ten times pula, so it's 450,000.

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450,000. It would have to be something really special to go over.

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You work out how to get your dog and your furniture over.

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We'll get out there and do it. Cross your fingers for us.

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-We'll see you later.

-Take care.

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-I'm very impressed, Ed.

-Why's that?

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In Botswana, they watch To Buy Or Not To Buy,

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and that has pulled Debbie all the way here so we can help her.

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We are her main means of finding a property,

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and she's only here for a very short time.

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She has to buy one of the three properties we find today.

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-I've never had that much pressure!

-She doesn't want to get emotional.

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-She wants to be practical.

-Are you sure?

-I don't know!

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-It's a big ask.

-I am going to talk to an estate agent.

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-What are you going to do?

-Talk to the people of St Albans!

-See you in a bit.

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Well, today's search brings us to the pretty city of St Albans

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in the county of Hertfordshire.

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It's situated 22 miles north of central London,

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and remains an ever-popular area with commuters,

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as it has great road and rail links into the capital.

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The prestigious St Albans private school lies west of the abbey,

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and it's the only school in the English-speaking world

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to have educated a pope - Adrian IV, to be precise.

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St Albans' history can be traced back to Roman times,

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and evidence of this can be seen dotted around the city even today.

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These Roman remains may be priceless,

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but what could Debbie's budget of 450,000 get you elsewhere?

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In Durham, where Debbie and Steven's mum lives,

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she could get this stunning four-bed detached property built in 1840.

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It's full of quintessential English features,

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but also caters to modern taste with plenty of space inside and out.

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It's on the market for £450,000.

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And in Bristol, home to Debbie's in-laws,

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you could get this four-bedroom detached 1930s house,

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with three bedrooms, large lounge - and it might not be a swimming pool,

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but there is a lovely pond.

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On the market for 450 grand.

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Or, if Debbie stayed in Botswana,

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she could get this fabulous five-bedroom home

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with three bathrooms, staff quarters, gym, swimming pool,

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and a triple garage, all nestled in a plot of 40,000 square metres.

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It begs the question why she wants to move! The price, 450 grand.

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I think Debbie's made a good choice with St Albans, you know.

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This place has been welcoming guests for over 2,000 years,

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going back to when the Romans conquered the place,

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making it the third-largest town of the time.

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The schools here are good?

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They're one of the biggest reasons people move here.

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One of St Albans' claims to fame is that it has more pubs

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per square mile than anywhere else in Britain.

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But no time for that for me! I've got work to do.

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450,000 - there's always a compromise somewhere

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-when we're looking for properties on the programme.

-Yeah.

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Of the list they want, where's the best place to compromise?

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Either it's going to have to be the accommodation in the garden,

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or it might be on a busier road. They have to compromise somewhere.

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You won't get your dream house here for 450.

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Welcome to the Wildcard. Only joking!

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This is the very beautiful St Albans cathedral.

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This used to be the principal abbey here in England,

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and the first draft of the Magna Carta was actually drawn up here.

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-The garden looks huge here.

-Some has been sold off for new development.

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It used to have a 200ft garden, and it probably would have been 550,000.

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-So they could've brought the elephants with them.

-Yes!

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Unbelievable.

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Rani and myself have been roaming around.

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Rani, I believe you've informed everyone.

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About St Albans? I have, but I've also learned stuff from them

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about the area, about the schools. Let's do my one first, then.

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-She said three bedrooms. Why stop at three...

-Go on.

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-..when you can have four?

-Nice!

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It's in Redbourn, just outside of St Albans.

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It's a quiet cul-de-sac, so safe for the children.

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Lovely garden. People always say, "I want an upstairs bathroom

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-"and a downstairs loo." Why?

-It's practical.

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-Why not have two bathrooms?

-Oh, one downstairs, one upstairs?

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-Not quite. I've kind of put them both next to each other.

-Interesting.

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Property 2, mine and the mysterious property-hunting team's one,

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is a beauty. When you've come from Botswana,

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you want a bit of Englishness. You don't want the same.

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You want to be in a rural, cottagey kind of property,

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kind of like this beauty here.

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It is in the amusingly titled village of Tyttenhanger,

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-um, which is very nice.

-HE CHUCKLES

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It is quintessentially English. It's lovely. It's cottagey.

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-Might be a little bit petite, but it is really nice.

-Right.

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OK. Of course, there is the Wildcard.

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Now, Ed, this one I think is very English for them.

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It's lovely. And it is wild for many, many reasons.

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One of them is that lovely Steven will have to maybe help out

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-and do a bit of DIY. They didn't say they wanted to do...

-No.

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..much DIY, but when you live in England, right,

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we're a DIY-obsessed nation. That's what we do on a weekend.

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We're trying to get them into the swing of things with that property.

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These are the houses. Where shall we start?

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Let's start in Redbourn, property number 1.

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Well, form follows function for my choice today, Ed.

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It's situated in the village of Redbourn

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at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. This four-bedroom semi

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is about ten minutes' drive from St Albans,

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and I think I've given them everything they've asked for.

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I think so. Remember, we can't fail her today.

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No pressure, then!

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Right, then, Steve and Debbie, welcome to Redbourn.

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We're in a borough of St Albans. This is where you want to be.

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Schools are excellent round here, and that's what you wanted.

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Also, Steve, you mentioned cul-de-sacs.

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-I noticed that. Very nice.

-This is one of them,

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so perfect for the kids to learn to cross the road.

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-You can watch them.

-They can really get up to speed.

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-It will be fine.

-Of course, this is the property.

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First impressions?

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This looks like a good-size house. I thought it would be very small,

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but that's a good size.

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Never lived in a house attached to another one.

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-Ah, OK.

-Ah!

-They call it "semi-detached" here.

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Only detached on one side.

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Yes, and just as long as, you know, you have to give the neighbours

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-lots of presents and nice things.

-That's exactly what we do here.

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We're forever giving neighbours presents.

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Please be nice and don't shout at my children when they're really loud!

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The garage is good. You could park one in

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and one behind. You've got a carport and a car park.

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Exactly! So that's all covered.

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-Are you ready to go in?

-Absolutely.

-Three, two, one. Enjoy it. Go on!

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-Thank you very much.

-Go on.

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-Oh!

-That's cool.

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-It is. Oh, a nice big window.

-That is quite big, yeah.

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OK. It's a cracking front window. It doesn't offer much privacy,

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but you're a cul-de-sac. It doesn't really matter, does it?

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It doesn't matter at all, and they've got that nice long window

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as soon as they come in, and they like that too.

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-I like the floors.

-Oh, nice!

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Oh, no, it's lovely. I like the garden already.

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I shouldn't be looking at the garden.

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-It's really nice.

-All right. Instantly she likes the garden.

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It is like the Serengeti out here, I believe. Wild tabby cats

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-and foxes.

-Pigeons.

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The occasional stray terrier would be seen roaming through here.

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-Right.

-It's a little bit...

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-Little bit...

-Smaller.

-Yes. Thanks, Steve.

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Would you want two tables - that one and that one?

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Well, we don't fit round that table, but the children would.

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-Children can eat in here.

-The children can eat in here,

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and the adults in there! That's a very good idea.

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OK, so it's a smallish kitchen.

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Yeah. And this is the cruel, harsh face

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of what 450 grand will get for you in St Albans.

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Nice big doors.

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They can open them wide - when it's warm enough.

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The children would get lost in there.

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-I wouldn't be able to see them.

-HE LAUGHS

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It's quite a good size. You could take those pots away

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and have more of a patio.

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It would seem you can't take the African out of the African,

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because they're obsessed by the outdoors.

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Steven has lived in this country for three years,

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and he's cruelly aware that it's freezing,

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-whereas Debbie's only been here for a week.

-And says it's freezing!

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Yet they still want to live in the back garden.

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-OK!

-This would be one of the kids' bedrooms.

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Definitely. Or an office.

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Study. And the window frames are actually really nice.

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Man alive, Debbie has really dropped.

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She's started to talk about the window frames being nice.

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OK. This is quite cosy again.

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Hopefully this isn't the only bathroom,

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because bath time would be chaos.

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Can you imagine three kids in here?

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What about three kids and two adults?

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No, I hope there's another bathroom.

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-Aha! Another bathroom.

-Well, a shower room.

-A shower room.

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The kids will be fascinated with that.

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In fact I think I might find children sitting in there.

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Again, lovely tiles, nice floor.

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Wouldn't have to do anything in here.

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-This is a bigger room.

-It is bigger.

-That's great.

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-David's study.

-No.

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-Children's bedroom.

-HE LAUGHS

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Got a nice view.

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It's a nice area, when you look at the other gardens, as well.

0:15:570:16:01

I don't think you're supposed to do that, though, are you?

0:16:010:16:04

-HE LAUGHS

-It's beautiful.

0:16:040:16:06

There you go! Listen to that little list.

0:16:060:16:09

-It's good. Is it the biggest room?

-No, it's not.

-Good!

0:16:090:16:12

Back in the game. Back in the game.

0:16:120:16:14

OK, that's quite small.

0:16:140:16:16

-Yeah.

-What is that?

-It's another quite small room.

0:16:160:16:20

I think that is a clever use of space for a wardrobe.

0:16:200:16:24

This would have to be... a guest room,

0:16:240:16:27

and tell friends not to bring many clothes,

0:16:270:16:30

-because there's nowhere to put them.

-And then that's obviously...

0:16:300:16:35

Oh, this is...

0:16:350:16:37

-Oh, look.

-That's nice.

-Furniture's beautiful.

0:16:380:16:42

The master bedroom has the worst view.

0:16:420:16:45

It does. It does.

0:16:460:16:48

But it is the biggest room. It is.

0:16:480:16:51

I might actually put the boys in here,

0:16:510:16:54

and us have the room over there. It's not that much different.

0:16:540:16:57

-Really? If you take that desk out...

-The desk's in there,

0:16:570:17:00

and it's got the same sized cupboard.

0:17:000:17:03

The children don't care about views, and I do.

0:17:030:17:07

Hello, hello! You've been talking about the garden,

0:17:100:17:13

so we thought you'd better have a look.

0:17:130:17:15

Will this be big enough for the kids to sleep, because they're not sleeping in there, are they?

0:17:150:17:20

You realise you probably only housed two of your children in there?

0:17:200:17:24

I think Debbie's a bit, um, despondent about the size.

0:17:240:17:27

I put the boys together and they've got a master bedroom,

0:17:270:17:30

-and poor Emmy would be in...

-We weren't sure where she was going.

0:17:300:17:35

One room had a couch in it. One was an office.

0:17:350:17:38

Maybe Emmy could stay at Uncle Steve's house!

0:17:380:17:41

-They'd be sent to my house.

-Just get rid of them one at a time.

0:17:410:17:44

This is your first look around a property in St Albans,

0:17:440:17:48

and it seems like it's maybe a little bit less than you imagined

0:17:480:17:53

in terms of...size-wise.

0:17:530:17:56

No matter how much I convinced myself to be prepared,

0:17:560:17:59

it is... I can't imagine us being downstairs, all of us.

0:17:590:18:04

I just feel that it would just... Coming home from work

0:18:040:18:07

and having five of us in that space, I'll be going to bed really early.

0:18:070:18:11

It'll be great bonding time! All there together, snuggling up,

0:18:110:18:14

-watching the telly, keeping warm!

-We've not played guess-the-price yet

0:18:140:18:18

and we don't know how much this costs.

0:18:180:18:21

We've got a maximum budget of £450,000.

0:18:210:18:23

Who wants to go first?

0:18:230:18:26

-I have no idea.

-Can we have the guess in pula, as well,

0:18:260:18:29

-just so it sounds like more?

-I think...

0:18:290:18:32

4.3 million pula.

0:18:320:18:35

-OK.

-Which is - what? £430,000?

0:18:350:18:39

I'm hoping it's closer to £410,000.

0:18:390:18:43

-That's just the 4.1...

-4.1 million.

0:18:430:18:46

Yes. Do you know what you could get for...

0:18:460:18:49

I'm not sure, but I know it would be huge.

0:18:490:18:51

Steve, you are actually the closest. You said 4.3 million pula.

0:18:510:18:57

-He's happy with that.

-I like that.

-The price of this property

0:18:570:19:00

is actually... Well, it's approximately 4.5 million pula,

0:19:000:19:06

which is £450,000,

0:19:060:19:09

-which is your budget on the nose.

-Goodness gracious me!

0:19:090:19:12

-Wow!

-Depressed?

-Not so happy now about losing and winning!

0:19:120:19:18

-Yeah. That's interesting!

-But this is the beginning of the journey.

0:19:180:19:22

-Yes.

-Let's go this way to Property 2. Come on.

0:19:220:19:25

For my property we've travelled to a village on the southern side of St Albans.

0:19:290:19:34

With some lovely period detail and generous room sizes,

0:19:340:19:37

I think this could be the perfect home for Debbie and her family.

0:19:370:19:40

-Good luck, Ed. I hope you're right.

-Of course I am! What's not to love?

0:19:400:19:44

Now, this is a beauty.

0:19:440:19:47

This is more Englishness. You've come from Botswana.

0:19:470:19:50

You want something with a period in it, and a bit of, um...

0:19:500:19:54

a feeling of the country that you're moving to.

0:19:540:19:56

We are in a very English-named place,

0:19:560:19:59

and in no way is this an amusing-named place.

0:19:590:20:03

-It is called Tyttenhanger.

-He likes that!

0:20:030:20:07

-That's tickled Steve!

-You don't have places like that in Botswana?

0:20:070:20:11

-No.

-So we are in Tyttenhanger.

0:20:110:20:13

Now, you have got the property here.

0:20:130:20:16

This is your front garden, but it's essentially your back garden,

0:20:160:20:19

even though it's at the front of the house.

0:20:190:20:22

But because you like gardens a lot, isn't it nice to walk through one

0:20:220:20:26

-to cheer you up on the way?

-Very nice.

-Also,

0:20:260:20:28

Tyttenhanger is in the catchment area

0:20:280:20:32

for the greatest secondary school in the area.

0:20:320:20:36

-So, secondary-school-wise...

-Oh!

-I'm excited now!

0:20:360:20:40

-First impressions of this property?

-I love it.

0:20:400:20:43

-Yeah?

-I really do! I really do. When we parked down there...

0:20:430:20:47

-There's a horse just over there.

-You've got a lot of fields nearby.

0:20:470:20:51

-Very excited.

-Very excited, and there's that nice drive down here,

0:20:510:20:55

and... No, it looks more like a house in England should look.

0:20:550:21:00

-OK. Are you ready to go into the Tyttenhanger house?

-Very excited.

0:21:000:21:04

-Three, two, one. Enter that Tyttenhanging house!

-There you go!

0:21:040:21:07

-Oh, this is an... This is nice.

-Nice fireplace.

0:21:110:21:14

Fireplace! Yay!

0:21:140:21:16

Oh, this is good. Like this. And very, very tall.

0:21:160:21:21

It's a belting living room, this. I think this is England personified

0:21:210:21:25

to a Botswanian person wishing to come over here.

0:21:250:21:29

You got your fireplace, which is great. "Wow, I'm living in England."

0:21:290:21:32

You've got a great room, which feels decadent and grand.

0:21:320:21:35

-"Wow, I'm living in England."

-And it looks out to a lovely garden,

0:21:350:21:39

and you always imagine the English to have a lovely garden.

0:21:390:21:43

-Oh, look!

-Yeah, that's much better.

0:21:430:21:46

Oh, no, this is lovely.

0:21:460:21:49

-Lovely!

-Can't get all round here, though, can you?

0:21:500:21:53

No, we can't, but maybe just a longer, thinner table,

0:21:530:21:56

and we probably would.

0:21:560:21:58

They like the kitchen. This is a good space for them.

0:21:580:22:01

I haven't heard them say it's too small.

0:22:010:22:03

No, because it isn't. They are using it as a dining room.

0:22:030:22:06

You have got a dining room here, but they use it as a playroom,

0:22:060:22:10

which I think is what Debbie would do.

0:22:100:22:12

Oh, this is good!

0:22:120:22:14

Oh, it's like a little nook, isn't it?

0:22:140:22:17

Oh...

0:22:170:22:19

-I have a playroom!

-Yeah. There you go.

0:22:190:22:22

-Oh, now, that's superb.

-That's nice.

0:22:220:22:26

I like it a lot.

0:22:270:22:28

-Right, shall we go upstairs?

-Check the old doorbell!

0:22:280:22:32

-Oh, do you think it works?

-DOORBELL RINGS

0:22:320:22:35

That's superb.

0:22:350:22:36

It's like a version of Upstairs, Downstairs. That is English.

0:22:360:22:40

Ding-a-ling-a-ding-ding-dong. That's "your meal's ready"

0:22:400:22:43

to her husband and the little kids, or Steven if he was staying there.

0:22:430:22:47

If it was me and they rang that doorbell,

0:22:470:22:50

I would be running in there with a cup of tea.

0:22:500:22:52

-That's what you should do for them.

-They're such lovely people.

0:22:520:22:56

This is really nice. It feels really solid.

0:22:560:22:59

It does!

0:22:590:23:01

OK. This... Well, this would be Emilia's room.

0:23:010:23:05

Yeah, judging by the pink and all the toys here.

0:23:050:23:09

This is very nice. Do you think the cat comes with the house?

0:23:090:23:14

Hello! This is lovely.

0:23:140:23:16

-It's a fair size, as well.

-It is.

-It's the same as...

0:23:160:23:20

It's not big enough for the boys to share,

0:23:200:23:23

but it's fine for Emilia.

0:23:230:23:24

The bathroom!

0:23:240:23:26

-Oh, that's nice. Shower and bath.

-It's a fair size.

-Yes.

0:23:280:23:32

Again, I'd have to...

0:23:320:23:34

sort...

0:23:340:23:36

-Oh! We can see the neighbours.

-This is good news for Steven.

0:23:370:23:41

The neighbours are visible. He will not be bored.

0:23:410:23:44

He likes the idea of that. Of course, in Botswana,

0:23:440:23:47

one would need a telescope to view your neighbours,

0:23:470:23:50

because the place is so big.

0:23:500:23:52

And here we go!

0:23:520:23:54

Right, into Jack's room.

0:23:540:23:56

Ah! This must be the room he was talking about as the...

0:23:560:24:01

I hope it's the one that he's calling the half-room.

0:24:010:24:03

-Probably not.

-Do you not think so? It's got wardrobes in it.

0:24:030:24:07

It's got wardrobes. It's got two wardrobes,

0:24:070:24:10

and it's got a...a nice view.

0:24:100:24:15

Everything's nice and light.

0:24:150:24:18

-Trying to fit two kids in here...

-Or possibly not.

0:24:180:24:21

There's another room there, look.

0:24:210:24:24

-OK, this...

-It's cosy!

0:24:240:24:27

-This is tiny.

-You couldn't even put a bed in here.

0:24:270:24:31

This is actually a wardrobe.

0:24:310:24:33

A nice wardrobe, but it is a fitted wardrobe.

0:24:330:24:36

-Is that a fireplace?

-Yeah.

-Isn't that a bit random?

0:24:360:24:39

No, because this wall must have been put in

0:24:390:24:41

-to try and make... This wall...

-Oh, they've extended that bedroom

0:24:410:24:45

-to make one big bedroom.

-Exactly.

0:24:450:24:47

OK. The last bedroom!

0:24:500:24:53

-Which is a big bedroom.

-It is a large bedroom.

0:24:550:24:58

That's very nice.

0:24:580:25:00

But I still... I don't know why they put the wall in.

0:25:000:25:04

-What's behind there?

-That's that little office.

-OK.

0:25:040:25:08

Maybe somebody worked at home and needed that office.

0:25:080:25:11

Beautiful view, beautiful window.

0:25:110:25:14

-It really does feel lovely.

-Homely.

-And homely.

0:25:140:25:18

Yeah, it does. It's very nice.

0:25:180:25:21

But there would definitely be some work to be done.

0:25:210:25:24

Hello, hello!

0:25:280:25:30

Right, then. Come forward!

0:25:300:25:32

Earlier on, I was saying that the downstairs was going to be good,

0:25:320:25:36

-and you like the downstairs a lot.

-Fantastic.

-Lots of noises from you -

0:25:360:25:40

"Ooh, ahh. Ooh!" Downstairs, is this kind of what we're looking for?

0:25:400:25:44

-Absolutely.

-That fire in there, you can use it, as well.

0:25:440:25:48

-It's a proper one.

-Really?

0:25:480:25:50

And the fireplace in there is just stunning. It's lovely, yes.

0:25:500:25:54

The higher up you go, your noises turned to, "hmm".

0:25:540:25:58

Bedroom-wise, it's not really a four-bedroom, is it?

0:25:580:26:01

It's a three-and-a-bit-bedroom house.

0:26:010:26:04

Is it enough? You've sort of nearly housed everyone,

0:26:040:26:08

-possibly, possibly?

-It would be a squeeze.

0:26:080:26:11

I don't think it's not do-able, and I think the area,

0:26:110:26:14

and having this massive room downstairs, you know...

0:26:140:26:18

-Are you anxious about what we're about to do next?

-Yes.

0:26:180:26:22

-Who won last time? It was Steve, wasn't it?

-By a lot.

0:26:220:26:25

I was, like, miles...

0:26:250:26:27

Your budget is £450,000, or, as we've been saying,

0:26:270:26:32

4.5 million pula, approximately.

0:26:320:26:36

-So who's going to go first this time?

-You go first.

0:26:360:26:40

Me? Well, I think it's...over the budget,

0:26:400:26:44

especially because it's so much more than we saw,

0:26:440:26:47

-so unfortunately I think it's...

-In pula!

0:26:470:26:50

4,650,000 pula.

0:26:500:26:53

-£465,000.

-OK. OK.

0:26:530:26:56

I think it's lower. I think it's 4.45 million pula.

0:26:560:27:01

OK. Or £445,000.

0:27:010:27:04

The actual price is...

0:27:040:27:07

-..£425,000.

-Get in!

0:27:110:27:15

-THEY LAUGH

-Again?!

0:27:150:27:17

-Are you just excited...

-I have no idea where to house children,

0:27:170:27:22

-but guessing house prices...

-Anything competitive,

0:27:220:27:26

-really, I just have to bow to you.

-You have ruined guess-the-price.

0:27:260:27:29

It's over. You've won the competition as it stands.

0:27:290:27:32

But also you've won because the property's £425,000,

0:27:320:27:36

£25,000 less than your budget.

0:27:360:27:38

That's brilliant, because it means the things we were talking about

0:27:380:27:41

-are possible to do, and stay in budget.

-Yeah.

0:27:410:27:45

-Good, good, good!

-That's excellent.

-That's very good.

0:27:450:27:48

We don't have to make any decisions yet, of course,

0:27:480:27:51

because there is another property. There's the Wildcard.

0:27:510:27:55

Coming this way? Come on!

0:27:550:27:57

Well, have we got a Wildcard for you today!

0:28:000:28:03

The view over the village green from this period property

0:28:030:28:06

could not be more quintessentially English if you tried.

0:28:060:28:10

But will Debbie have the vision to see past the interior decor?

0:28:100:28:13

This is London Colney. It's a conservation village.

0:28:130:28:16

As you can see, it's absolutely beautiful, idyllic,

0:28:160:28:19

and listen to them birds. It is perfect, would you say?

0:28:190:28:22

-It is lovely.

-Beautiful.

-You've got ducks,

0:28:220:28:25

swans, and look how near the pub it is!

0:28:250:28:28

Would you imagine yourself visiting that pub at all?

0:28:280:28:32

Occasionally. Special occasions only!

0:28:320:28:35

You said the little boys, not good at crossing the road.

0:28:350:28:38

Really quiet area. Would that be a...

0:28:380:28:40

-THEY LAUGH

-That would be great, great!

0:28:400:28:43

-They can learn to swim as well!

-Go on. What do you think?

0:28:430:28:48

I'm going to go out and say you're going to buy this house.

0:28:480:28:51

But I want to know what you think, because that's me just forcing you to do that.

0:28:510:28:55

-OK. I'm loving that view.

-Right.

0:28:550:28:58

And I'm loving the street and everything.

0:28:580:29:01

-It does look like it's going to need some work.

-Yes.

0:29:010:29:05

-And there is Steven for you.

-That's where I come in.

0:29:050:29:08

-Because I'm so good at DIY.

-I'm also married to a builder,

0:29:080:29:11

so that's not the end of the world.

0:29:110:29:13

-Are you prepared to go in there?

-Looking forward to it.

-Good!

0:29:130:29:18

You will buy this house. Do you think they'll buy this house?

0:29:180:29:21

-I think you will.

-Really?

-I really do.

0:29:210:29:23

-I will buy?

-Three, two, one. Go into that house.

0:29:230:29:26

Oh, lovely!

0:29:300:29:32

Oh, wow!

0:29:320:29:34

-Oh, this is beautiful!

-It's very nice.

0:29:340:29:37

Look at the fireplace! It goes through to the next-door room.

0:29:370:29:42

Oh, there's a staircase up. That's nice.

0:29:420:29:45

What is this room?

0:29:450:29:46

-Beauty of this property is...

-OK.

-..when you get round all of it,

0:29:460:29:50

that room could be anything, cos we discovered other bits out the back.

0:29:500:29:53

We did. There are loads of different rooms,

0:29:530:29:56

and you'll decide, "Shall this be my living room?"

0:29:560:29:58

-"Shall it be my dining room or the playroom?"

-It could be anything!

0:29:580:30:02

It could be anything. Anything!

0:30:020:30:04

-Oh, that's lovely.

-And that fire comes through there.

0:30:040:30:07

Yes. Oh, look at that - an original wall!

0:30:070:30:09

-That's a nice feature.

-That is very nice.

0:30:090:30:13

And you've got a little dining area, which could be extended

0:30:130:30:16

-this way.

-What is that room for?

-Or is the kitchen extended that way?

0:30:160:30:20

-The dining room.

-You'd walk into the dining room.

0:30:200:30:22

Yeah. Why not?

0:30:220:30:24

That means it's really easy to extend this kitchen this way.

0:30:240:30:28

-You want to extend it?

-Yeah.

0:30:290:30:32

So, like a kitchen-cum-family...room.

0:30:320:30:36

She's saying she wants to extend it already?

0:30:360:30:40

She doesn't need to. She's only been in one room. Give it a chance!

0:30:400:30:43

Steven, huge garden!

0:30:430:30:46

Oh, that's lovely.

0:30:470:30:49

That's a nice tree. There's a garage.

0:30:490:30:52

-Is that a garage?

-It could be two garages!

0:30:520:30:55

-Hey-hey-hey!

-Heinz may find a home!

-Heinz has got a home!

0:30:550:30:59

Oh, I'm excited. Come on. OK. Let's go see. Let's go see!

0:30:590:31:04

Earlier on they were saying they've got hippos that are close friends.

0:31:040:31:08

-They didn't say that.

-They wondered if we could factor in a river.

0:31:080:31:11

Well, the hippos can come as well! They did say that.

0:31:110:31:15

-Were you not there?

-They didn't.

-I did actually make that up.

0:31:150:31:18

This is little.

0:31:180:31:20

This is little, but...beautiful view.

0:31:200:31:24

-Keep an eye on the kids in the garden.

-Oh, look!

0:31:240:31:27

Look! Utility room!

0:31:270:31:29

-Utility room. Result.

-Result!

0:31:290:31:32

-Oh, no, this is a fantastic.

-This is very nice.

0:31:320:31:36

What's nice is, Debbie can see beyond,

0:31:360:31:38

because the property needs jujjing, and it's not fazed her at all.

0:31:380:31:43

Not in one way. She's in there, "Good, yeah. Oh, yes."

0:31:430:31:46

Open that door.

0:31:460:31:48

Oh, wow!

0:31:480:31:49

-I like this place.

-I'm liking this a lot.

0:31:490:31:53

Oh, absolute... Why don't we just make this the kitchen?

0:31:530:31:58

This could be a massive kitchen. It could be another family room,

0:31:580:32:04

the "get away from me, children, you're driving me mad" room.

0:32:040:32:07

-It could be anything.

-There you go. Steve likes it.

0:32:070:32:10

-And Debbie likes it!

-They both like it.

0:32:100:32:12

That's peculiar.

0:32:150:32:17

-OK! It's a rear...

-That suggests there might have been a flood.

0:32:180:32:23

THEY LAUGH

0:32:230:32:24

There's sandbags in the back door!

0:32:240:32:28

That's not something that happens a lot in Botswana.

0:32:280:32:31

Botswana doesn't have floods, so this is perfect for them.

0:32:320:32:36

They would pray for that amount of rain.

0:32:360:32:38

The envy of all their... "You'll never believe how much it rains. We've got sandbags!"

0:32:380:32:43

-Another downstairs...

-That's quite big,

0:32:430:32:46

if you've got a wardrobe in there.

0:32:460:32:48

Hey, the word big's not been used that much to describe anything on today's programme.

0:32:480:32:53

-Apart from Steven's muscles.

-Yeah. They are big, aren't they?

0:32:530:32:57

Isn't this amazing? We have just been all the way around the bottom,

0:32:570:33:01

and not hit one blank, unwelcoming wall. Every time you walk anywhere,

0:33:010:33:05

you walk into another room. It's just amazing!

0:33:050:33:08

OK! So...

0:33:080:33:11

-This would be the main...

-Guessing the master bedroom.

0:33:110:33:15

-Master bedroom, yes.

-Oh! There's a sink.

0:33:150:33:19

When I was a student, a sink was my en suite. That's all I'm saying.

0:33:190:33:23

It's a fair size. You've got wardrobes there.

0:33:230:33:26

-Great view.

-And you can check on David in the pub.

0:33:260:33:29

THEY LAUGH

0:33:290:33:31

I'll be able to whistle from here. "Come home, David!"

0:33:310:33:35

Debbie is perfect wife material. She's lovely.

0:33:350:33:37

Obviously, if Mrs Hall is watching, you are better.

0:33:370:33:40

Debbie is nice, though.

0:33:400:33:42

OK, this is interesting.

0:33:420:33:46

Obviously, you need to go through this bedroom into the next bedroom.

0:33:460:33:49

-Oh, look! This is lovely.

-For a kid, this would be...

0:33:510:33:54

-No, it's perfect.

-They'll appreciate this sort of feature, won't they?

0:33:540:33:58

-They will.

-Living in the roof.

0:33:580:34:00

And look at that view.

0:34:000:34:03

Oh, that's lovely!

0:34:060:34:08

Look, there's a park! I can see a slide.

0:34:080:34:11

-For you or the boys?

-THEY LAUGH

0:34:120:34:15

It depends what part of the evening we're talking about.

0:34:150:34:18

I think that's all the bedrooms,

0:34:180:34:21

but if there is another one, you have to be very short to get in it,

0:34:210:34:25

because... And it IS another bedroom, for someone very short!

0:34:250:34:30

This is definitely Emmy's room. Come and have a look.

0:34:300:34:34

It's so cute!

0:34:340:34:36

-HE LAUGHS

-It's so gorgeous!

0:34:360:34:38

-I have to sit. Look at this!

-That is brilliant.

0:34:380:34:41

It is just so... It's so brilliant.

0:34:410:34:43

She would just think that this was the best thing ever.

0:34:430:34:47

-She will love it.

-She will!

0:34:470:34:50

-This is a mini-me bathroom.

-SHE CHUCKLES

0:34:500:34:54

Yes. This is lovely, though.

0:34:540:34:56

I mean, it is a very interesting use of space.

0:34:560:35:00

Yes. So, what do you think?

0:35:000:35:03

How much work do you think needs to be done up here?

0:35:030:35:06

I think a lot less than downstairs.

0:35:060:35:10

She's asking Steven, who knows nothing about building, his opinion.

0:35:100:35:15

What he's going to come up with is instantly dismissible

0:35:150:35:18

because he's just making it up off the top of his head.

0:35:180:35:21

-So, you've had a good look around.

-Yes.

-Pleasantly surprised?

0:35:240:35:27

-Yes.

-Really like it. It's fantastic.

0:35:270:35:31

I think it's just got a huge amount of potential.

0:35:310:35:35

I think if David was here, he'd have got to the first room and said,

0:35:350:35:40

"No way, Debbie, before you fall in love with it," but...

0:35:400:35:43

Well, that's his lookout for not coming over.

0:35:430:35:45

He's not here, so... Yeah. No, I love it.

0:35:450:35:48

I think it's got so much character, It would be an amazing family home.

0:35:480:35:52

-It's perfect, would you say?

-I think it is...

0:35:520:35:55

-"Perfect" is a real stretch.

-THEY LAUGH

0:35:550:35:58

-But it could be.

-It could be perfect,

0:35:580:36:00

with a lot of work, and it would be very easy to put the love into the project,

0:36:000:36:05

because it's just got some really great features.

0:36:050:36:08

And I didn't think they would be important to me,

0:36:080:36:12

but seeing fireplaces that do two rooms, that's just... It's lovely.

0:36:120:36:16

It was quite brave of you to ask Steven,

0:36:160:36:19

"How much do you think, work-wise, this needs?"

0:36:190:36:22

You mentioned something about the skirting boards needed replacing!

0:36:220:36:26

-It sounded good.

-That's it, is it, for you?

0:36:260:36:29

-The skirting boards aren't on the ceiling, are they?

-No.

0:36:290:36:33

-Shall we do the interesting part?

-Don't nudge me. I've already lost!

0:36:330:36:38

-She has already lost.

-Already lost!

-THEY LAUGH

0:36:380:36:42

-I've lost!

-There is dignity in losing three in a row,

0:36:420:36:46

-cos that's consistent.

-Absolutely.

-Or maybe in choosing a victory.

0:36:460:36:50

We are playing with a maximum budget of £450,000.

0:36:500:36:53

How much is this beauty on the market for?

0:36:530:36:57

Who wants to go first? Steven is looking at you, Debbie.

0:36:570:37:00

-Do you want to go first?

-In pula?

-Go on.

0:37:000:37:03

In pula. Due to the fact that we are able to touch ducks

0:37:030:37:08

if they would stand still, I'm going to go for...

0:37:080:37:11

4.4 million.

0:37:110:37:13

4.4 million pula, which is 440,000. OK.

0:37:130:37:17

Steven?

0:37:170:37:19

I'm going to say...

0:37:190:37:21

4.45 million pula.

0:37:210:37:25

OK. £445,000.

0:37:250:37:28

Will he be smiling his beautiful smiley face?

0:37:280:37:31

-He's already won!

-He wants the hat trick.

0:37:310:37:35

It is important to me.

0:37:350:37:37

Well, Steven, you've got the hat trick.

0:37:370:37:39

Yes!

0:37:390:37:41

He's so happy. It doesn't matter how much it costs.

0:37:410:37:44

Doesn't matter his sister's losing out if she wants to buy this house.

0:37:440:37:49

Do you want to know how much this property is on the market for?

0:37:490:37:52

Shall we do a lap of honour?

0:37:520:37:53

Yes!

0:37:530:37:55

So, this property is on the market... It is actually over your budget.

0:37:550:37:59

It's 4.75 million pula.

0:37:590:38:04

-Wow!

-Which is 475,000.

0:38:040:38:07

Your maximum budget was 450. However...

0:38:070:38:11

However, this has been on for a while,

0:38:110:38:14

and obviously no-one's living in here.

0:38:140:38:16

It's deceased estate. They are keen to sell.

0:38:160:38:19

So we have been told that there could be considerable offers.

0:38:190:38:24

Anyway, that's for you to work out.

0:38:240:38:26

-You're going to make the biggest decision of your lives.

-Absolutely!

0:38:260:38:31

-Which we can't help you with.

-Do we look like we've had that lovely life

0:38:310:38:35

that this is it? The biggest one?

0:38:350:38:38

And Steven's going to help you make it!

0:38:380:38:41

Who would've thought that would be the way it would happen?

0:38:410:38:43

-Wander off that way. See you later.

-Good luck. And whilst they do that,

0:38:430:38:48

here's a quick recap for you at home.

0:38:480:38:50

So, will it be my choice, the 1960s semi-detached property

0:38:500:38:54

in the village of Redbourn? It's set in an idyllic cul-de-sac,

0:38:540:38:58

and has a beautiful mature garden.

0:38:580:39:00

But is the interior just too small for Debbie's clan?

0:39:000:39:03

On the market for 450 grand.

0:39:030:39:05

Or what about my choice,

0:39:050:39:08

the quintessential English Victorian property?

0:39:080:39:10

It's in the catchment area for the region's best school,

0:39:100:39:14

and let me say it one more time - it's in the village of Tyttenhanger!

0:39:140:39:17

Worth every penny of the £425,000 asking price.

0:39:170:39:21

And finally, the Wildcard.

0:39:210:39:23

It had enough bedrooms to accommodate the whole family,

0:39:230:39:26

enough reception rooms that they could have one each,

0:39:260:39:30

and a separate annexe for Steven and his camper van.

0:39:300:39:32

Could be theirs for 475.

0:39:320:39:35

Ah, so this is Heinz!

0:39:390:39:41

But which property are they test-driving? It's the Wildcard!

0:39:410:39:45

Debbie's getting down to business, looking at school prospectuses.

0:39:450:39:49

Now, I know Steven's a talented man,

0:39:500:39:53

but I reckon he's not the best person to give advice on DIY.

0:39:530:39:56

Oh, I don't know. He's perfected his builder's knock.

0:39:560:40:00

Oh, and don't forget, Debbie, the schools here must be good -

0:40:000:40:04

a pope was educated round these parts!

0:40:040:40:06

Hey, no time for a nap, Steven!

0:40:060:40:09

So, they've test-driven the house.

0:40:090:40:12

Time to check out the garages.

0:40:120:40:14

Hope Steven doesn't plan swapping Heinz for that mower!

0:40:140:40:17

-SHE LAUGHS

-And if it doesn't?

0:40:170:40:20

This could still be just absolutely great for the kids.

0:40:200:40:25

And David!

0:40:250:40:26

This could be their space, and I'll stay in the house.

0:40:260:40:30

It carries on up here! There's loads more room!

0:40:300:40:33

And, true to their African roots,

0:40:360:40:38

they're off to explore the great outdoors.

0:40:380:40:41

Ducks that we might be able to touch.

0:40:410:40:43

-It's just beautiful.

-It is.

0:40:430:40:46

I doubt you'd even move. You didn't even move!

0:40:490:40:52

Where do we begin? What do you think? What have enjoyed?

0:40:520:40:55

What are you scared of? Not in general, but in the house terms.

0:40:550:40:58

THEY LAUGH

0:40:580:41:00

What do you think, Debbie?

0:41:000:41:02

The location is absolutely amazing.

0:41:020:41:04

Great space. It really has a great feel,

0:41:040:41:08

but there is just so much work. Every room, when you look at it

0:41:080:41:11

a second time round, you can tell it needs...

0:41:110:41:14

Yes. I've had a good look.

0:41:140:41:16

-I've done some estimations.

-Have you really?

0:41:160:41:20

You've not put a hammer... You've not done any work in there yet?

0:41:200:41:24

-No, not yet.

-Yes. I think it's a really great family home.

0:41:240:41:27

It's been well thought out,

0:41:270:41:29

and the extension has just got so many possibilities,

0:41:290:41:32

-from guest room to...

-Ahhhh!

0:41:320:41:34

-Guest room.

-And a garage for Heinz.

0:41:340:41:38

-Exactly!

-Well, this at the moment is our backup option.

0:41:380:41:41

-Well, it is, you know!

-If we fail, the whole family are in here.

0:41:410:41:45

-I'll give you a favourable rent.

-THEY LAUGH

0:41:450:41:48

-That's kind of you!

-We should probably do it, shouldn't we?

0:41:480:41:52

Yeah. We're going to ask the big question now on this property.

0:41:520:41:55

To buy or not to buy?

0:41:550:41:57

I think if they accept our offer, we will buy it.

0:41:580:42:02

-You said! You said buy, and I agreed!

-We knew, didn't we? We knew!

0:42:020:42:06

If your husband was here now, what would he be thinking

0:42:060:42:09

-when you said "to buy"?

-He would've been in his car

0:42:090:42:12

-about ten miles away.

-THEY LAUGH

0:42:120:42:14

Genuinely, he would.

0:42:140:42:17

-He wouldn't be looking for something that needed this much work.

-Right.

0:42:170:42:21

Well, it's been lovely meeting you both.

0:42:210:42:23

-Likewise.

-And it's really exciting. Good luck with it!

0:42:230:42:26

And keep watching us from Botswana, and when you come over here,

0:42:260:42:29

watch us as well. We'll still be here. Until then,

0:42:290:42:32

-you've got to live in that, haven't you?

-Yes!

0:42:320:42:34

Well, you get into your temporary house.

0:42:340:42:37

-Hopefully one day you'll buy that. See you soon!

-Should we fly off?

0:42:370:42:41

-We will fly off!

-Take care. Bye-bye!

-Bye-bye.

-Bye!

0:42:410:42:44

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