Ironbridge To Buy or Not to Buy


Ironbridge

Property series. Jonny Benarr and Simon O'Brien face one of their toughest challenges yet in Ironbridge.


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Transcript


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-You know what I love about this job?

-Getting to find people homes.

-That is very satisfying, but not that.

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It's getting to visit amazing historic sites like this.

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It's a lovely bridge.

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A lovely bridge?

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This bridge is the first iron bridge ever laid anywhere.

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It's a World Heritage Site

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and it's also the centre for today's house hunt.

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I mean, it's very nice but it's still only a bridge.

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Oh, just paddle.

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-Right, time for a history lesson.

-Really?

-Yes.

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Contrary to popular belief,

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this beautiful structure was not designed by Thomas Telford

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or Isambard Kingdom Brunel

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-but a local man, Thomas Farnolls Pritchard.

-TFP?

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Yeah, a largely unknown architect.

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It was made using iron and materials right here in the Severn valley.

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Think about it! This bridge is crucial to the Industrial Revolution

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and it wasn't built in Manchester, Liverpool, London, or the other powerhouses of change,

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but here, in a sleepy valley in Shropshire.

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You'll agree that was fascinating but we're here to look at houses.

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Ah, OK, but I want you to read and digest this

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-because I will be testing you on it.

-As if our buyers are going to be interested in any of this!

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-One of them is a history buff.

-Ah.

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Coming up on To Buy Or Not To Buy, there's no lengths we won't go for our house hunters.

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Well, I have to say, Jonny, you're right this is a very secluded place,

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-otherwise I probably would have had to put these on.

-Whoa, hey! Oh! Whoa! No.

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Things take a turn for the worse.

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Jonny, it's very rarely I do this.

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Oh, you're not going to listen?

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-Oh, that's better.

-You're angry.

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'But there's a surprise in store that might save the day.'

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-Can we look up?

-Yeah.

-Oh.

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-Ooh!

-Oooh!

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-Aaah, ooh.

-We like?

-Yes!

-We like.

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Steve, Helen, to buy or not to buy?

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Today's house hunter, Helen, has been a history teacher for ten years

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after changing from a career in business.

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She lives with today's other house hunter, Steve, who is also a teacher.

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The reason for the move is they want to cut their 40-minute commute to work

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but any new home will have to be approved by Helen's music-loving son Frankie.

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Frankie is not alone in his love of music as it's also a passion of Steve's

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so they'll need plenty of extra hobby space.

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The problem is they currently live in an elegant 200-year-old four-bed Shropshire terrace

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with all that they require.

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It's going to take a pretty special property to make them want to shape up and ship out.

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-I'm puzzled.

-Yeah.

-I'm bewildered.

-I know.

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You've got a beautiful house. I mean,

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a beautiful house in anyone's standards. Why do you want to move?

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-It's the wrong shape.

-Yes.

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The wrong shape. Having been an estate agent for a number of years

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I've never heard anyone say that.

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We like the size of the house, it's the size of the rooms that are the problem.

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There are a lot of rooms and they are quite small

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and we'd like fewer rooms but...

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A more contemporary open-plan-feeling place.

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Yeah, particularly a big sitting room.

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Is it a downsize or not?

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We thought it would be...

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but when we started thinking about the house, we realised we quite like the space.

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We are looking for a larger space for Steve to...

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A larger space for me.

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Yes, because you like to... This is playing the guitar. This is you.

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-That's right.

-You're not even looking. This is what I'm doing for you.

-He needs a man room.

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-A man room!

-Somewhere away from the main building if he's going to be making a racket?

-Preferably.

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-Yeah, for you.

-That'd be good. And the neighbours.

-Manchester, she's hoping.

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-Talking about the era of properties - this is about 200 years old?

-Yeah.

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Are you wanting to find another period property

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or are you thinking about perhaps a complete change and going modern?

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We like the idea of it being period, the beams and so on, it's got a lot of character

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and we also feel with a new build, it just wouldn't have the character.

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We are both fans of the older property. I think that's fair to say.

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Are you then prepared, if we did find an older property - Edwardian, Georgian, Victorian -

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-to bash some walls about, open up that space for yourselves?

-Yeah.

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Absolutely, yeah. I like to move walls.

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I went away for the weekend and she phoned me

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-to say she taken a sledgehammer and knocked the wall out.

-Ssh. Ssh!

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-There used to be one...

-Not here, not here.

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OK, just promise us one thing.

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We're going to show you three properties today.

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-Until you've bought them, would you not knock any walls out?

-I'll try.

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-You're only allowed to look round.

-If you break it, you buy it, that's the rules of the show.

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Let's talk about location. We are in Shifnal, a nice area.

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Are you looking to stay here, are you looking to relocate elsewhere?

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What we found is that whilst we like the town,

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we like the area and the convenience,

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we are finding the distance to work to be a bit of a challenge, especially in the winter time.

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Because the last six miles of our journey is very rural and very dangerous in the ice.

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-So we want to try and move east.

-OK.

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So without putting it exactly on the map, where is closer? Where do you want to be?

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Well, we've got quite a broad strip

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from Shrewsbury in the north to Bridgnorth in the south,

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-Much Wenlock in the middle.

-OK.

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-We are centring our search on Much Wenlock, outwards from there?

-Yes.

-OK, go on, Jonny.

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I'll ask the question, shall I?

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What is your budget? How much have you got to spend on this house?

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£400,000.

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That's a pretty healthy budget.

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Absolutely fabulous, Much Wenlock and the surrounding area.

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-This will be fun.

-See you later.

-See you.

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I have a feeling today's going to be a roaring...roaring success.

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I'd be lying if I didn't agree with you. Where were we?

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It will be an interesting show because our two teachers have got a gorgeous house already.

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-We need to find them a nice house...

-What you're saying is we're giving our teachers

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-a lesson in how to find property?

-Yes.

-Yeah, go and do your homework.

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It may not be far from the Welsh border but this part of Shropshire

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along the Severn Valley positively oozes olde English charm.

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Oh, yes, the magnificent iron bridge that crosses the River Severn

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has become quite the tourist attraction.

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The area is popular with visitors and locals

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and there are plenty of bars and restaurants to spend lazy afternoons by the river.

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But if you fancy something a bit more strenuous,

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the green corridors of the Silkin Way

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are the ideal pastime for walkers to enjoy this beautiful historical part of the world.

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However, if you fancied living near other sites of historical interest in the UK

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what could you get for £400,000? In Newport, Shropshire,

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you could get this unique three-storey development.

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This home is perfect, and all for...

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Heading to East Cottingwith on the outskirts of York is this detached four-bedroom cottage.

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Rustic charm inside and mature gardens outside. On the market for...

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And in Droitwich, Worcester, is this four-bedroom traditional detached house.

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With a lovely inglenook and plenty more character,

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it seems a bargain at...

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Very nice, but as I've got an appointment with an estate agent,

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Simon will have to find other people in Ironbridge to talk history to.

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If you could live in any era of history,

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when would it be? Come on, use your imaginations.

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1800s.

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Oh! Why, why, why?

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When the bridge was built.

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-£400,000 is the budget.

-OK.

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Ideally, a characterful property with spacious rooms. Help me.

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Well, that's going to be a little bit difficult for Much Wenlock, to be honest with you.

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Maybe the Neolithic.

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Would you? You don't look like a caveman! Why? Go on, why?

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Life was more vital then, you had a small...um...

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-Just a smaller group of extended family.

-Yeah.

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So do you think it is worth our buyers

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considering looking at other towns and villages in the surrounding area?

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I think so. Probably worth considering one or two neighbouring places,

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such as Broseley, for instance, and possibly Ironbridge.

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Ironbridge is a bit cheaper than Much Wenlock.

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I think probably...

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-we're headed towards the '60s.

-Oh, yeah?

-Yeah.

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It's the period that I missed out on that my elders and my parents caught.

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You're starting to get some of the technological advances after the Second World War.

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Just an exciting time. The '60s would be the time?

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I've spoken to the estate agent. I've found something ironic -

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there ain't much in Much Wenlock, not for their requirements anyway.

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-I agree! I decided it should be called Not Much Wenlock, if you know what I mean.

-Very good.

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I tell you what else I've discovered - I hope you're going to agree -

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they said they wanted a characterful property but with lots of space.

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That, as I predicted, has been a real challenge.

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-So I've kind of gone for the space.

-Me too, we're scrapping the character.

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You are a prophet. My choice - property number one. There it goes.

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The plot is fantastic. It's so big it's referred to as a smallholding.

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I don't think the interior is going to be everything they want,

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but as we know, Helen loves knocking down walls and redefining property layouts.

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-The location is what it's all about with my choice.

-OK.

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Looks nice. Property two - there are two reasons why it's similar to property one.

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I'll tell you why. Location-wise, I think we're not a million miles away,

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and also the look of the property. Looks quite similar, doesn't it?

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-I'll go with that.

-On the outside. However, on the inside,

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I think you'll find that Helen and Steve will find there's nothing to do here.

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It's absolutely immaculate.

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That's property two. How about the wild card, Jonny?

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The wild card. It may just look like an average, standard, modern detached house

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but nothing suggests what lies behind that front door.

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It is, let's just say, spectacular. So those are our three properties.

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-Do you think one of these properties is going to fit their requirements?

-Ooh, there's a bet.

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-I'll give you a better bet.

-OK.

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-I bet you can't get a cupcake in your mouth all in one go.

-Have you seen this thing?

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-Let's do this.

-Let's see.

-Right.

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-Piece of cake. Let's start the tour with his choice, property one.

-Mmm!

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MUFFLED: It may not be a period property

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-but I don't think...

-Jonny!

-Sorry.

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CLEAR VOICE: Cake. It may not be a period property, but I don't think Helen and Steve

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will have trouble swallowing the idea of living in this detached bungalow.

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-What makes you so confident?

-In a word - space. There's plenty on the inside, and even more on the outside.

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OK, Steve and Helen, I'm not going to pre-empt you here but I kind of am going to pre-empt you here.

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It's not a characterful house, is it, from the outside? BOTH: No.

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No! But trying to find a property

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that's got the big open spaces that you're after in an older property

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is not always that easy. So I've scrapped the character thing,

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but what I have provided you with is a phenomenal location for a property.

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We are in Broseley, 25 minutes away from your school, so we are closer.

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-OK.

-Those last six miles are still going to be an issue. I get that.

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Before I wax lyrical about it, what are your first impressions?

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-It's a million miles away from what we've got now.

-Yes.

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It's so different.

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Um...

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To be honest, I think if I'd seen it in a newspaper

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-I probably wouldn't have asked for the details.

-Yeah.

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A common mistake. It really is.

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We've found this over the years of doing To Buy -

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sometimes you discard stuff and you disregard stuff that might be perfect for you

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and I think that's what Jonny's trying to allude to here.

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I've got one question. Is that a hot tub?

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That is a hot tub! Have you got any trunks?

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-Maybe.

-We are going in!

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But none of this will even give you the slightest hint as to what lies inside.

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Without further ado, get yourselves in there and we'll see you in a bit.

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Oh.

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-That's an entrance hall.

-Good staircase!

-Quite big, isn't it?

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Jonny, I like this property already.

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-I just hope they do.

-Mmm.

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OK... Oh, yes, I forgot...

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-It's a bedroom downstairs.

-It's a bungalow.

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It's got stairs.

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-Yes, good point.

-OK.

-BOTH LAUGH

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-Well, it doesn't have to be, does it? So...

-As a guest room, it's a good size.

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-It's not big enough for your music room, is it, really?

-Yeah.

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-What, and your model making?

-Yeah, it would be, and you've got the light.

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Hey, we're in good company here. Steve hangs out with models.

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No, not that kind of model. No, he makes models.

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Ooh.

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OK.

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It's a fairly decent size, isn't it?

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-You've got less workspace than you've got at home.

-Yeah.

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We don't know yet whether there's a conservatory,

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-but obviously it's crying out for a conservatory to be built across the back.

-It is.

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There's enough level land.

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You'd make this, hopefully, into a much bigger kitchen/dining area or something like that.

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-Dining... Ooh.

-Oh, yeah.

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-Now, that's nice.

-Yes, actually, it is.

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Nice big sitting room. That's what we asked for.

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I'd probably put that wall back in, to be honest, and have this as a separate dining area.

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Hang on! They wanted open-plan living and now Helen wants to put walls back in? I'm confused.

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Or even knock this out and have this as a kitchen/diner, that would make sense.

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So put that wall back, take that wall out?

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I should have brought my sledgehammer, shouldn't I?

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I know! It's so she can knock them down again.

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Ah, right, OK. People have the strangest hobbies, don't they?

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Again, see, it really does need a garden room off this

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to make the most of it.

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I think that's a valid point from Helen.

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You've got this most amazing garden

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but you haven't really got a room that fully emphasises and accentuates the brilliance of it.

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-OK, you've got two French windows.

-Yeah.

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-Do you need two?

-Oh, well, yes, because I'm thinking

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I'd put a conservatory on anyway, so they'd be open most of the summer

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and it would just be an extension of this room.

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I'm hearing them redesigning the place, but I'm not hearing love.

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-There's love, it's coming, it's coming.

-Are you sure?

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Oh, wow, it's really nice out here, isn't it?

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What a lovely view.

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-That's the boundary that you can see there.

-Yeah.

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-Everything up to that line and that line.

-It's nice and private.

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Well, I have to say, you're right, this is a very secluded place,

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-otherwise I probably would have had to put these on.

-Hey, whoa!

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Oh, no, no, no! You said...

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OK. Bathroom.

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Nicely done.

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-I could live with this I think.

-But if it's the only bathroom...

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-I'd want an en-suite.

-You'd want an en suite.

-Yeah.

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Helen, relax. As if that's going to be the only bathroom

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in this big five-bedroom house. Just keep looking.

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-Another downstairs bedroom.

-The same size as the one at the front.

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No, it's a little bit bigger, I think.

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-It's fairly featureless, but as a spare room, then...

-Mmm-hmm.

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..fine, yeah.

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There's another bathroom here. Is this going to be the en-suite?

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-No.

-Or could it be the en suite?

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-I don't know.

-You'll know if it's the en-suite - it'll be in a bedroom.

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And another bedroom. So that's one, two, three bedrooms downstairs.

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Again...

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just a square.

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-All right. Shall we see what's upstairs?

-Yes.

-OK.

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Ooh, there's more than one room. That's good. Er...

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-In fact, there are three.

-Ah.

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Ah. Oh, good.

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-The master bedroom.

-That's what you were looking for.

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Yes. OK. It's a good size, isn't it?

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-Look at that little alcove over there.

-Yes.

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-Can you imagine sitting there...?

-Oh, dear, I've had another idea.

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That's dangerous. Can you imagine how Steve feels every time Helen says, "I've got an idea?" Terrified.

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That's got to go to the floor. It's got to have a balcony outside,

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you've got to be able to sit out there, have your breakfast.

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Er...

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-It's...OK.

-How far does it go?

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It's clean and functional and again....

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they've done everything very nicely, haven't they?

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I don't believe it.

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Been banging on about having an en-suite.

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Finally gets one, it's like, "Ah, it's...clean."

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-Ooh.

-Office space.

-Very small. Ah.

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Handy for you.

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-No. Model making.

-Model-making zone.

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And another room here.

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Bedroom number five.

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Yeah.

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Well, I think obviously we'd use one of the bedrooms for another use.

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-I think we've seen everything upstairs.

-Yeah, shall we go and find the boys

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-and see if there's anything else they haven't shown us?

-Let's go for it.

-Come on.

0:17:050:17:09

OK, I know this is kind of weird for you, it's a little bit strange for me too.

0:17:120:17:18

Let's be clear. What's the best thing about this property?

0:17:180:17:21

-The hot tub!

-Yeah.

0:17:210:17:22

Well, in a different location, possibly.

0:17:220:17:25

I think in the driveway is just a little bit...

0:17:250:17:27

Ignore him. What's the best thing about this property?

0:17:270:17:30

The size of the place. There's a massive amount of space.

0:17:300:17:33

Yeah. And the garden and the fact that you're not overlooked.

0:17:330:17:37

Exactly. It is that garden, it is that seclusion.

0:17:370:17:39

Because, obviously, you're sledgehammer-happy, wanting to knock things down already

0:17:390:17:44

but you can always make changes to a property as far as the design and layout are concerned

0:17:440:17:49

but to get a spot like this with this kind of garden is very rare.

0:17:490:17:52

-Absolutely.

-You were obviously able to identify a room for your model making.

-I did.

0:17:520:17:57

-The music room is probably best located in that detached garage over there, really.

-Yeah.

0:17:570:18:02

-It's guess-the-price time.

-Oh, dear.

-Who's going to go first?

0:18:020:18:06

Your budget is £400,000. Steve immediately points to you, Helen,

0:18:060:18:10

-so I'm going to make Steve go first.

-Ah!

0:18:100:18:12

Having absolutely no idea, I would say,

0:18:130:18:18

just because he probably has budgeted for some alterations...

0:18:180:18:22

er....350?

0:18:220:18:25

Oh, no, that's what I was going to say.

0:18:250:18:29

Again, I have no idea, and I think because I don't look at properties like this

0:18:290:18:33

I wouldn't really have a rule of thumb.

0:18:330:18:35

So I will go for 365.

0:18:350:18:38

OK, I'll offer you a wrinkly paw to shake your hand, very well done.

0:18:380:18:42

-Ooh, it's warm!

-ALL LAUGH

0:18:420:18:45

It is a big property, it's a huge house -

0:18:450:18:48

five bedrooms, an acre of land. It was originally on for £425,000.

0:18:480:18:52

-It's been reduced, it's now on for £395,000.

-Ooh.

0:18:520:18:55

It is under budget. What do you think of the price?

0:18:550:18:58

It's a bit higher than I would have liked

0:18:580:19:00

but I think we'll wait and see what else you've got up your sleeve.

0:19:000:19:05

Ah! We have got two other properties to go and see.

0:19:050:19:07

-I don't know if I can be bothered.

-Nah. Well, it's your choice.

0:19:070:19:10

-Shall we just stay here?

-I'll catch up, eh?

0:19:100:19:13

Come on, we'll go to property two. Hand me a towel... I need a... Oh, forget it.

0:19:130:19:17

OK, the hot tub was fun but when it comes to serious property hunting,

0:19:200:19:25

I'm sure this recently renovated three-bed 1930s house

0:19:250:19:29

right in the Ironbridge Gorge will tickle their fancy.

0:19:290:19:33

Did you say three beds? Because I gave them five and an acre of land.

0:19:330:19:37

Jonny, when are you going to learn size isn't everything?

0:19:370:19:40

Helen and Steve, I give you property two. My choice.

0:19:400:19:44

I'm not going to say anything else. I want your first impressions please, I want you to be frank.

0:19:440:19:50

Um... I'm wondering where the Georgian, Victorian big buildings you promised us...?

0:19:500:19:55

I didn't promise you anything. We promised to find you properties

0:19:550:19:59

which we thought would fit your budget and the location.

0:19:590:20:02

OK, we need a bigger budget.

0:20:020:20:04

Possibly. So that's you think. Steve, what are you thinking?

0:20:040:20:07

It's a big cliff behind it.

0:20:070:20:10

It's a wooded area behind it which leads directly onto the Silkin Way.

0:20:100:20:14

Do you like walking?

0:20:140:20:17

-Yes.

-Miles and miles of beautiful wooded walks, all the way to Telford and back.

0:20:170:20:22

-We wouldn't have time because this garden is huge.

-This garden is nowhere near as big as the last one.

0:20:220:20:27

-Motorised mower - you'd be over this in a second.

-That one went brilliantly, didn't it?

0:20:270:20:32

Let's talk about the location. I think this is fantastic.

0:20:320:20:35

It's down a secluded little lane.

0:20:350:20:36

-It's very private and you've got a gorgeous garden.

-And you've got access direct to the River Severn.

0:20:360:20:42

You too are clearly not that enamoured from the outside. That's plain to see.

0:20:420:20:46

-It looks very small, I must admit.

-Do you know what? That's a fair comment as well.

0:20:460:20:51

I like you being frank. Honestly. I truly do.

0:20:510:20:53

You're right, this would be a downsize,

0:20:530:20:57

but I think, on this occasion,

0:20:570:21:00

when you look round this property, you will be prepared to downsize.

0:21:000:21:04

Now you're intrigued, aren't you?

0:21:040:21:06

How can such an unassuming property blow us away?

0:21:060:21:10

-Yeah.

-There must be something about it.

-Yeah.

0:21:100:21:13

-There's only one way to find out.

-Yeah.

0:21:130:21:15

-Get in there and enjoy. We will be listening.

-OK. Thank you.

0:21:150:21:18

OK.

0:21:240:21:26

-Right...

-OK.

0:21:260:21:29

Listen, Jonny, as the negativity disappears.

0:21:290:21:33

I think...

0:21:330:21:36

we need a bigger budget.

0:21:360:21:39

It's no bigger than the one we've got.

0:21:390:21:42

But you do match the wallpaper.

0:21:420:21:44

Ta-da!

0:21:440:21:46

-And the curtains.

-That's good. Stay positive, that's what we need. Right.

0:21:460:21:50

That negativity doesn't seem to have waned just yet.

0:21:500:21:53

No, and I'm surprised because, I don't know about you,

0:21:530:21:57

-but I think that is a beautifully, beautifully appointed room.

-Yeah.

0:21:570:22:01

It's a nice setting,

0:22:010:22:03

it's a nice space for someone, I think, possibly...

0:22:030:22:08

going up the chain but...

0:22:090:22:12

Plasterboard.

0:22:120:22:14

Yeah, but it doesn't go anywhere, it goes into a hill.

0:22:140:22:17

There must have been a door here somewhere.

0:22:170:22:20

-Stop knocking the walls.

-There must have been a door because it's...

0:22:200:22:23

it's been split into two,

0:22:230:22:26

so there was another access originally into this room.

0:22:260:22:30

I don't care, I hate it.

0:22:300:22:32

-You know what we should get them to do.

-What?

0:22:320:22:34

-Walk round with their eyes closed because that's what they are doing anyway.

-Yeah.

0:22:340:22:38

Another sitting room. It's pretty similar to what we've got.

0:22:380:22:41

-It's very similar.

-Separate rooms and sizes.

0:22:410:22:45

Apart from the fact I prefer what we've got.

0:22:450:22:48

Again a nice little sitting area but it wouldn't do us any favours.

0:22:490:22:55

It obviously hasn't got the character that we've already got.

0:22:550:22:58

But it's been done up to look like it has.

0:22:580:23:01

-Trying to put the character in.

-Yeah.

0:23:010:23:04

Well, in our defence we did ask why you were moving because you have got a lovely house.

0:23:040:23:08

That is true. Do you think that could be the issue here?

0:23:080:23:11

A little twee conservatory, bless.

0:23:110:23:14

Oh, this is quite nice.

0:23:190:23:21

That is nice, actually.

0:23:210:23:23

Yes, that's a good space. It's done quite nicely, isn't it?

0:23:240:23:28

Good square space, it is done nicely.

0:23:280:23:31

Have you noticed this?

0:23:310:23:32

Yes, two sets of hobs, why?

0:23:340:23:38

It's probably best not to ask.

0:23:380:23:42

Presumably they like to ring the changes, electric one night, gas another night.

0:23:420:23:49

How can you walk into that kitchen and not be blown away by the overall

0:23:490:23:52

finish, presentation, the appliances, the materials.

0:23:520:23:55

It's got everything you'd want in a modern kitchen.

0:23:550:23:58

OK, where's next?

0:23:580:24:01

-That's just a little toilet there and that's it.

-Yeah!

0:24:010:24:05

-Oh, dear.

-It's not very big on the ground.

0:24:080:24:10

No. Maybe...

0:24:100:24:13

On the other hand that could be a plus point because if you bought it, you'd take everything out and

0:24:130:24:17

would have to redecorate completely, because it's not your taste at all.

0:24:170:24:22

Jonny, it's very rarely I do this.

0:24:220:24:25

Oh, you're not going to listen.

0:24:250:24:27

-Ah, that's better.

-You're angry.

0:24:270:24:29

-I'm OK now.

-Sure?

-Yeah. I'll just talk about the quality features in this property.

0:24:290:24:33

-So, that means I've got to suffer this on my own, have I?

-If you want.

0:24:330:24:36

Oh, this is a very small room.

0:24:360:24:41

-A very, very small room.

-This is yours,

0:24:410:24:44

do with it what you will.

0:24:440:24:47

-OK.

-Not much light though, is there?

0:24:470:24:50

-No.

-OK, right.

0:24:500:24:55

Oh, this is appears to have an en suite.

0:24:550:24:57

Yeah, but that suggests it's the master bedroom and it's very small.

0:24:570:25:03

-It's a small master bedroom.

-Oh, there's a walk in wardrobe.

0:25:030:25:06

That follows on from that other room, then.

0:25:060:25:10

The en suite, OK.

0:25:100:25:14

Erm, bijou, but OK.

0:25:140:25:18

Done quite recently, I would have thought.

0:25:180:25:21

Yep, I quite like the bathrooms.

0:25:240:25:27

-Yeah.

-They're obviously...very good at bathrooms.

-Perhaps they sell bathrooms. But...

0:25:270:25:33

-This is very nice. Look at it.

-Yeah.

0:25:330:25:35

That's similar to the kind of vision we had for the one in our existing house, isn't it?

0:25:350:25:41

Yeah, it's good, I like that.

0:25:410:25:44

Hurray, they've found a positive - it's only taken us ten minutes.

0:25:440:25:47

Again the window's really high, isn't it, what a shame.

0:25:510:25:54

-And...

-Two bedrooms like you said.

0:25:570:26:00

So, where are Lauren and Gareth going to stay?

0:26:000:26:03

Do you think we need to have a word with Simon?

0:26:030:26:05

-I think we do - a long word.

-After you.

0:26:050:26:10

I'm baffled by their response to this property,

0:26:100:26:13

it's one of the finest presented properties we've seen for a long time.

0:26:130:26:17

I jest you not, Jonny and I get very competitive about this and I know

0:26:170:26:21

-when you saw inside this property you were gutted.

-Yeah, genuinely.

0:26:210:26:25

-And now I am gutted.

-It makes no sense.

0:26:250:26:28

-Guys, guys, listen.

-I'm speechless.

0:26:320:26:35

Give it to me, give it to me, because you know what?

0:26:350:26:38

I'm going to stand my corner here with the help of...

0:26:380:26:41

You know that's the kind of coward he is but I'm going to stand my corner here.

0:26:410:26:46

I truly think that is a beautifully, beautifully appointed house in a fabulous location.

0:26:460:26:52

You obviously disagree.

0:26:520:26:54

Actually no, it is a lovely little house but could you imagine moving from our house to this house?

0:26:540:27:01

That's the thing and when we thought we were going to be getting our dream house, that's quite a shock.

0:27:010:27:08

Large sitting room - that was the main thing, where's the large sitting room?

0:27:080:27:12

-Property one looked good, didn't it?

-Oh, you're here now, are you?

0:27:120:27:16

-Anyway, I think it's kind of... Let's go through the obligatory steps.

-Is everything cool?

0:27:160:27:22

-Everything's fine over here, thanks for your back up there.

-Oh, no, I was doing housey stuff.

0:27:220:27:28

-Were you?! Can you help out with this bit at least, please?

-Yes.

0:27:280:27:31

Guess the price time. Maximum budget £400,000, Helen, you can go first this time.

0:27:310:27:38

£370,000.

0:27:380:27:40

-Steve.

-Looking at the amount of land, £365,000.

0:27:400:27:48

Just under. Well, I've got good news for you because he now can't win.

0:27:480:27:52

You've won again. This place is under budget, only by £5,000 though.

0:27:520:27:57

£395,000 the place is on the market.

0:27:570:28:00

No, good grief.

0:28:000:28:02

So, the question I've got. We've now seen two properties, £5,000 just under the maximum

0:28:020:28:07

you're prepared to commit to your next property.

0:28:070:28:09

What are you thinking now, what are you feeling?

0:28:090:28:11

We're thinking we're staying in Shifnal.

0:28:110:28:14

That could be an issue but, no, don't think that.

0:28:140:28:17

Oh, no, because we've got one last chance, everyone loves the wild card, or do they?

0:28:170:28:24

It's this way, come on.

0:28:240:28:26

Today's wild card might not look that wild

0:28:290:28:31

from the outside but appearances, in this case, can be deceptive.

0:28:310:28:34

Yes, because this 1960s detached house is actually where Hugh Hefner

0:28:340:28:39

might live if he ever decided to swap LA for Shropshire.

0:28:390:28:43

It's also ten minutes down the road from the school where both Helen and Steve work.

0:28:430:28:46

Wild and convenient, surely a winning combination?

0:28:460:28:52

OK, Steve and Helen here we are at the wild card.

0:28:520:28:54

-Now after the memorable property two.

-Let it go, let it go, move on!

0:28:540:28:57

-We are in the village of...

-Cressage.

0:28:570:28:59

And this is how far from your school?

0:28:590:29:01

-About six miles, five miles.

-I think it's closer than that, actually.

0:29:010:29:06

-It's over there.

-So, we're getting closer.

-Yeah.

0:29:060:29:08

Good, this is getting positive, isn't it?

0:29:080:29:11

That's one tick in the box. What about the house?

0:29:110:29:14

Again, probably wouldn't have come to view it myself.

0:29:150:29:21

-I might have done.

-Ah!

-Like the shape of that.

0:29:210:29:25

It is a very handsome-looking place.

0:29:260:29:28

And also let's talk about the road here, there's no point dodging it.

0:29:280:29:32

You're kind of on the road now so you're not unused to traffic going past.

0:29:320:29:37

No, we do tend to live more in the back of the house though,

0:29:370:29:40

the terraced part at the front isn't the older part.

0:29:400:29:43

Very interesting you say that because there's something incredibly impressive about this house.

0:29:430:29:48

-So, we're going to take the radical step of starting this property tour from the rear. Are you up for it?

-OK.

0:29:480:29:53

-Follow me.

-Come on, after you.

0:29:530:29:54

-Right come and stand next to me.

-There you go. We're in.

0:30:020:30:07

OK, look up.

0:30:070:30:09

-Can we look up?

-Yeah.

-Oh!

0:30:090:30:11

GASPS AND CHUCKLES

0:30:110:30:15

-Ooh!

-We like?

-We like.

-Yes, sun we need sun.

0:30:180:30:22

It's got an outbuilding.

0:30:220:30:24

Listen, look left.

0:30:240:30:27

-Oh! That's yours.

-It has a proper outbuilding which at the moment is a snooker room.

0:30:270:30:33

So, it's all kitted out and that gives you the dimensions of it. But what do we think of this?

0:30:330:30:40

-I wasn't expecting this.

-No!

0:30:400:30:44

I tell you something I know for a lot of people swimming pools

0:30:440:30:47

-can be quite scary things because they cost money to look after.

-She can't swim.

-I want one!

0:30:470:30:52

£600 to £800 a year to keep it heated so it can be used all year round.

0:30:520:30:55

-So, location-wise, kind of going the right direction.

-It is.

0:30:550:30:58

Well, there's the wow factor. So, bear that in mind.

0:30:580:31:02

We're no going to send you in for the conventional wander round this place.

0:31:020:31:06

It will need updating, there's no question about that.

0:31:060:31:10

But see if you can put your own stamp on it and know that

0:31:100:31:13

-once you've done that, this could be yours, all right?

-Mm-hm.

0:31:130:31:16

Go on, get in there, enjoy, back the way you came. You can look this time!

0:31:160:31:20

-Ah, proper utility room.

-Oh, good.

0:31:250:31:29

It's amazing when people really like a place just suddenly what starts appealing to them,

0:31:290:31:33

"Oh, it's got a self-contained utility room."

0:31:330:31:35

Smashing utility room. All because they know there's a pool here.

0:31:350:31:38

OK, nice layout...

0:31:400:31:46

-would need changing eventually.

-Yeah.

0:31:460:31:51

I think generally just cosmetic stuff, really.

0:31:510:31:53

We've cracked it. I think we've finally cracked Helen and Steve.

0:31:530:31:58

-Do you think? I will reserve my judgement?

-Yeah.

0:31:580:32:01

Again, got the dining area to the side there.

0:32:010:32:06

Oh, and another one here, good.

0:32:060:32:09

So we're now out the front.

0:32:110:32:13

Good size.

0:32:130:32:15

This would probably just be an evening special dining area and

0:32:150:32:19

you've got another dining area there.

0:32:190:32:22

The sitting room.

0:32:220:32:24

Mmm, it's a good size. Not massive.

0:32:270:32:32

Look at the sofa they've got in it.

0:32:320:32:33

-Yeah.

-It's fairly big.

0:32:330:32:36

Yeah, I suppose if you kept that kind of layout, it works like that.

0:32:360:32:41

Don't like the fire, hate the fire.

0:32:410:32:44

Helen, don't be scared. OK the fireplace does provide a focal

0:32:440:32:48

point but if you want more space in that lounge, it is a structural job but it can be done, get rid of it.

0:32:480:32:53

Again we'd only be in here in the evenings I would imagine, so the road probably...

0:32:550:33:01

-OK, can't hear anything - that truck just went by.

-Yes, good, isn't it?

0:33:010:33:06

-Jonny.

-Whoa, whoa! Is that? Steve, I love you, thank you. We're done.

0:33:060:33:13

It carries on, so this would be...

0:33:130:33:16

A little reading room.

0:33:160:33:18

Library - let's call it the library.

0:33:180:33:22

Library, OK.

0:33:220:33:23

Oh, it's a much better size than the one we saw in property two, isn't it? I like the ceiling.

0:33:260:33:31

OK, ground floor, outside has gone...

0:33:320:33:36

Very well, incredibly well when you cast your mind back to lovely property two.

0:33:360:33:41

Hopefully upstairs won't let us down.

0:33:410:33:43

The practicalities again bringing beds up and furniture quite easy.

0:33:430:33:48

-Very practical.

-Steve.

0:33:490:33:52

I loved you downstairs.

0:33:520:33:53

I love you upstairs, that is a very valid point, isn't it.

0:33:530:33:56

Yes, that's good.

0:33:580:34:01

Good size, isn't it?

0:34:010:34:02

-Yeah, OK.

-OK.

0:34:020:34:05

We'll have to change these doors.

0:34:050:34:07

Yes.

0:34:070:34:09

Right, what we've got here?

0:34:100:34:13

-Bedroom.

-Nice view over the back, would this be the master bedroom?

0:34:130:34:18

I don't know. Oh, my goodness, look.

0:34:180:34:21

-It's the Wrekin.

-That's lovely isn't it?

0:34:210:34:24

-Look at that view.

-Now, that's the Wrekin.

0:34:240:34:29

-Doesn't smell.

-No, the hill you can see from the back of the house, it's a local landmark - the Wrekin.

0:34:300:34:36

Spare room or...

0:34:390:34:41

Could be the office.

0:34:410:34:44

That's what they're using it as at the moment.

0:34:440:34:46

Another spare room.

0:34:490:34:50

Now then, this is over the front.

0:34:500:34:53

Sound proofing...

0:34:530:34:56

I don't think, this wouldn't be our bedroom so it doesn't really matter, does it?

0:34:560:35:01

Oh, now this must be the main bedroom and it's over the front.

0:35:010:35:07

Yes.

0:35:070:35:09

-Hasn't got secondary glazing on these windows, though.

-No.

0:35:090:35:13

-But it's a nice little room.

-It is. I like the...

0:35:130:35:16

-shape of that.

-Sweet.

0:35:160:35:18

Not just a good-sized bedroom, a great-sized double bedroom that one.

0:35:180:35:23

En suite. I tell you what we need, we need the wet room from property number two.

0:35:260:35:32

Well, you could put that in.

0:35:320:35:34

Again, it's lovely.

0:35:340:35:36

Exactly and to go back to your earlier point it's all completely liveable.

0:35:360:35:39

Yes, there are improvements you may want to modernise it but as it is,

0:35:390:35:43

-it's a four piece en suite.

-Fantastic.

0:35:430:35:46

But it's definitely got a lot of character, which you just wouldn't expect.

0:35:460:35:49

Because even the rooms which are quite square don't feel dull,

0:35:490:35:54

they seem to have something there that you could work with.

0:35:540:35:56

There's a nice feeling about the house.

0:35:560:35:58

You just have to imagine it with your own stamp on it.

0:35:580:36:02

Ahh! That's brightened things up, hasn't it?

0:36:050:36:08

-That's better.

-Because we did say before you went in, this place would need some work on it.

0:36:080:36:13

But the space, how did the space feel?

0:36:130:36:15

-Lovely.

-Yeah.

0:36:150:36:17

Nice shape, isn't it?

0:36:170:36:19

It flows, doesn't it? The ground floor flows and you've all the space you wanted upstairs.

0:36:190:36:23

-Absolutely.

-I'm thrilled that the house works for you space-wise because location,

0:36:230:36:27

this is the real benefit to you.

0:36:270:36:29

-It gives you that extra time at work which is what you're both really after.

-Sorry, pool.

0:36:290:36:34

Exactly, yeah, I told you this.

0:36:340:36:36

It's now a shorter commute and the time you save not commuting you're in the pool, aren't you?

0:36:360:36:41

-Or the snooker room.

-We'll have to bring the extra curricular things and do them in the garden somehow.

0:36:410:36:48

-So, it's guess the price time. Now you, Steve, are just playing for pride.

-I've already lost.

0:36:480:36:54

You don't want a whitewash, do you?

0:36:540:36:56

OK, your budget - £400,000. How much for this place?

0:36:560:37:00

Helen, you've been so good at this I'm going to put Steve on the spot.

0:37:000:37:03

Oh, dear...

0:37:030:37:05

-£370,000.

-OK.

-Blimey.

0:37:050:37:08

-No, I think the pool's going to add a lot.

-Yeah, that's true.

0:37:080:37:12

-Ah!

-LAUGHTER DROWNS WORDS

0:37:120:37:16

I think this is slightly over budget.

0:37:160:37:18

I reckon it's, I'll say £410,000.

0:37:180:37:25

I tell you what, you're very good at this game.

0:37:250:37:27

It's on the market for £415,000 but the vendor is reluctant to reduce the price because he thinks that has

0:37:270:37:33

-negative connotations, but he is very keen to sell and is very willing to consider serious offers.

-OK.

0:37:330:37:41

You said there, there is money to spend in there but you could certainly do the main jobs,

0:37:410:37:47

the kitchen and the bathroom, and then just change the rest of the place as time goes by.

0:37:470:37:52

-That's it - it's liveable.

-Definitely as it is.

0:37:520:37:56

-It's comfortable.

-We've now shown you three very different properties.

0:37:560:38:01

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

0:38:010:38:04

-Take yourselves off, make that decision and we'll see you soon.

-OK.

0:38:040:38:07

Mmm, there we go. I think we've pulled this out of the bag.

0:38:070:38:12

You think, yeah? While they're off making that tricky decision, here's a recap for you at home.

0:38:120:38:17

Will they go for property one?

0:38:170:38:20

I found Steve and Helen an extended bungalow with five beds,

0:38:200:38:24

a large living area, an acre of land, oh,

0:38:240:38:26

and a hot tub. All this could be theirs for...

0:38:260:38:30

Or will they plump for property two?

0:38:330:38:35

This stylishly renovated 1930s house.

0:38:350:38:38

They could live right on the historic Iron Gorge without going

0:38:380:38:41

over budget as this too is on the market for...

0:38:410:38:44

Finally, will they favour a walk on the wild side?

0:38:470:38:50

A short drive to work will leave more time for pool parties. Oh, yes!

0:38:500:38:54

This four-bed detached 1960s home is priced at...

0:38:540:38:59

Right then, you've decided to test drive the wild card.

0:39:050:39:08

Everyone loves the wild card. We did promise you that, didn't we?

0:39:080:39:11

What was it about this place?

0:39:110:39:14

-Mmm.

-Loved the utility room.

0:39:140:39:17

-We did.

-It's those big double bedrooms, wasn't it?

0:39:170:39:20

-That had a...

-The views.

0:39:200:39:22

Exactly. What are we missing?

0:39:220:39:24

-The pool.

-The pool, absolutely, and who could blame you.

0:39:240:39:28

Now, our eagle-eyed To Buy Or Not To Buy surveyor has given this place the once over.

0:39:280:39:32

It's not a legally binding survey as we always say and, as you know, if

0:39:320:39:36

you went forward with this place or any other, get your surveys and searches done.

0:39:360:39:40

He's focused on energy, do you want the good or bad news?

0:39:400:39:43

-The bad news.

-The bad news, OK. I'll be the deliverer of that.

0:39:430:39:45

Now, the heating for this property - both the house and the swimming pool is done on boilers that run on oil.

0:39:450:39:51

Oil is an ever increasing commodity as far as cost is concerned, so he did say to ensure

0:39:510:39:55

the boilers that you are using in those areas are both up to modern

0:39:550:39:58

specifications to ensure that you are getting the best value for money.

0:39:580:40:00

Check out your boilers. However, the good news is this place was very recently very well insulated.

0:40:000:40:07

All the cavity walls and the loft, so really the energy rating on it is absolutely fabulous.

0:40:070:40:12

I know you wanted that characterful house, the lovely old Georgian...

0:40:120:40:17

-They are draughty old places, aren't they?

-They are.

0:40:170:40:20

So this place is going to rate very well indeed. That's the good news.

0:40:200:40:24

-So, the pool might cost a bit to heat but the house won't.

-OK.

0:40:240:40:27

Now then, have you got your trunks with you?

0:40:270:40:30

-No.

-Haven't you, oh, in that case you can enjoy sitting by the pool.

0:40:300:40:33

-Get in there and enjoy the place, go on.

-See you later.

0:40:330:40:36

Well, Helen and Steve liked the wild card but will Helen's son Frankie approve?

0:40:440:40:49

Well, with a pool and a games room, I think he might.

0:40:490:40:52

Steve's not bad on that guitar, I don't know why Helen won't let him play in the house.

0:40:560:41:00

Maybe it's because she's got serious teacher work to get on with,

0:41:020:41:07

and by the looks of it, she's right at home doing it here.

0:41:070:41:10

Look at that glorious pool - is no-one going to get in it?

0:41:100:41:13

They probably think it's polite to wait until they actually own it.

0:41:130:41:16

Yeah, but that wouldn't stop us, would it?

0:41:160:41:18

Right, so you didn't go in the pool, did you?

0:41:180:41:22

-No.

-No.

-We looked at it.

0:41:220:41:24

Yeah, Kind of longingly! You spent a bit more time in this property now,

0:41:240:41:28

it's not just about the pool, how did the house feel?

0:41:280:41:31

-It has a really good feel to it.

-Yes, it does.

0:41:310:41:34

I like the fact that everything is big but compact and everything is sort of easily accessible.

0:41:340:41:41

Yeah, it flows very well, doesn't it?

0:41:410:41:43

-But you still have the individual areas.

-Exactly.

0:41:430:41:47

Of course Frankie's been along.

0:41:470:41:50

What was his impression? I know we're going to get back to the pool.

0:41:500:41:53

I think he couldn't wait for us to go away so he could 'look after' the place.

0:41:530:41:59

-Rightly so, like any good 20-year-old would do.

-Lawns to cut, trees to prune.

-No, no.

0:41:590:42:03

Oh, of course, look after the place.

0:42:030:42:06

OK then, on that note, Jonny would you like to ask the question.

0:42:060:42:09

Yeah, so bearing in mind where we're at with it all, Steve, Helen, To Buy Or Not To Buy?

0:42:090:42:16

I think we're def... we're very, very interested.

0:42:160:42:20

We've got to obviously do some sums.

0:42:200:42:22

It is going to be over our budget, with all the things that we'd like

0:42:220:42:27

to do with it but I think we could make a serious offer.

0:42:270:42:31

-So, come on if I pushed you. Go on, I dare you.

-To buy.

0:42:310:42:34

That's what we wanted to hear.

0:42:340:42:36

And that is brilliant because, OK, we kind of missed the mark,

0:42:360:42:40

possibly one, possibly a couple of properties...

0:42:400:42:43

Whoa, whoa! Don't drag me down, brother. They were all you! They were three very different properties,

0:42:430:42:48

and as you were fair to say, they just weren't quite right for your requirements.

0:42:480:42:52

-No.

-But this one is.

-This one is.

-Guys, it's been a pleasure. I hope you've enjoyed the day.

0:42:520:42:57

-We have it's been brilliant.

-Brilliant.

0:42:570:42:59

-We'll see you soon, cheers now.

-Cheers.

-Bye.

0:42:590:43:02

Well, there we go, it looked a little bit ropey early on but we pulled this back today.

0:43:020:43:06

You're quite right, another fantastic result for the To Buy team.

0:43:060:43:10

-So if you're looking for a new home with its own wet room.

-Hot tub.

0:43:100:43:13

-Or swimming pool.

-Do get in touch.

0:43:130:43:15

And we'll dive right in!

0:43:150:43:17

Waaaah!

0:43:170:43:19

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0:43:340:43:37

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0:43:370:43:41

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