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In the maelstrom that is the property market...
..everyone needs a beacon to help them navigate treacherous waters.
And nothing screams housing beacon like the good ship that is...
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY!
-Got that out of your system, yeah?
-Thank you. Good morning!
-We're in the north-east of England.
There is something primal about this majestic corner of our great nation
which makes me want to get out and enjoy the wilderness.
I hear you. We really are the lucky ones.
Every day we get out into this gorgeous environment
and help property hunters find not just one but three fantastic houses.
And one of those will be test-driven by today's buyers
as we hear the sirens in the deep wail down the wind.
"Try before you buy!"
That was you doing that!
Coming up on To Buy Or Not To Buy...
I'm bestowed with some glowing praise.
The man's a genius!
-On that note...
take yourselves in and enjoy!
But sometimes Simon just can't handle the truth.
We got your point! OK, the rooms are bigger. They just don't like it as much!
And is there more to some properties than meets the eye?
-It's a revelation, isn't it? Compared with outside, you'd never guess in a million years.
But which will it be?
To buy or not to buy?
Enlisting our help today is Amy James,
who works as a product manager in Newcastle for a baking company.
Amy lives in Cramlington, Northumberland,
with husband Leon, son Oliver, and new arrival Blake.
It's the arrival of the latest addition to the family that has sparked a need for more space
and a house with more home to it.
Joining Amy on today's house hunt is her father, Stewart Haddock,
a marketing lecturer from Preston University.
But after Amy flew the family nest, future husband Leon moved in with Stewart,
so Dad lived with son-in-law before wife did. Get that?
Neither did I. Shall we get on with this?
But this does mean, Stewart, you should be qualified to know
-what Leon wants as well as what Amy wants.
-What do they want?
-A four-bedroomed house, not on a main road.
What we need is a big flat garden, because we've got two young boys who need somewhere to play.
You need a nice enclosed piece of garden.
-The difference that makes is unbelievable.
You can open the door and say, "Go, go."
-Yeah, it just needs to be safe, and all we want is flat.
And your position at the moment... your property is on the market?
-How's it going?
-Quite well. We've had some interest, so hopefully we'll get that sold.
That's it. Any day, you can sell. You need to be looking at properties to get an idea of what you want.
So when your buyers turn up, you're not holding up the chain.
-You know what you're going for.
-That's the thing.
It's been difficult to find what we're looking for,
-and for that reason...
-That's why you've employed us.
-That's why we're here!
-Don't you worry! It'll be OK.
-This is pressure.
-I'm scared now! Four bedrooms.
-How many have you got at the moment?
-So we are now upsizing.
-We need that bit more space.
We've got the two boys. My father comes to stay and we've got family living away.
We tend to need a guest bedroom. We need that extra space.
Paint a picture of how you envisage your house being.
We'd like a reasonable-size living area
and a dining room that could be either part of the kitchen
or we're happy for a separate dining and kitchen or a kitchen/diner
which would work well with having children, the mess they create.
-What style of property should we look for?
-Style as such doesn't really matter.
-That's the answer.
-Open-minded is the key to the whole thing.
-It's more to do with space than it is to do with style.
That's interesting. Four spacious bedrooms. It's very rare you'll get four big bedrooms.
Maybe three good ones and a box room.
Area-wise, where do you hope to be?
We want to be within commutable distance.
-I work in Jesmond, my husband works in Cramlington.
-Jesmond is very nice.
It needs to be north Newcastle, south Northumberland,
-so Cramlington, Whitley Bay, that sort of area.
-You're familiar with this area.
-I am, indeed.
-My other half is from this area. It's gorgeous coastline.
Lovely part of the world. Is catchment area for a school important?
-We're looking to the future here.
-Yes, that is very important.
We want good first schools, middle schools and secondary schools, because this is a permanent move.
So we need to look as far as secondary schools as well.
What about the boring details like off-road parking, garages, those things?
-Do you require them or are they surplus?
-We've both got cars.
Preferably a garage and a driveway, but off-road parking is definitely something.
-The ability to park two cars without any difficulty.
We want four bedrooms, centring on the Whitley Bay area,
-off-road parking and a fabulous guest room en-suite.
So what budget have we got to spend on this?
-Is that realistic?
-It should be.
-I think it's realistic.
-Shall we go and find out?
-Can we play on the beach, first?
-No, we can't!
You go for a stroll on the beach. We'll see you later. Come on!
They certainly know what they want.
The trick here is space and particularly the fourth bedroom.
Experience tells us that, with any property, there's always one smaller bedroom.
With that budget, it'll be even more difficult.
And it'll be difficult getting off these rocks before the tide comes in!
I think it's...that way.
OK. In that case, I'm going this way to meet the estate agent on the beach.
Northumberland sits as the proud crown of the north-east of England
and boasts 100 miles of golden sandy beaches,
rolling hills and endless realms of rugged moorland.
Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,
the sweeping landscapes span more than 1,900 square miles and are home to the one and only Hadrian's Wall,
which snakes its way for 73 miles across the north of England.
Ordered by Emperor Hadrian in AD 122, the wall was the largest Roman building project in Britain.
It became the most heavily fortified border of the Roman Empire,
built to protect Britannia from the northern tribes of the Highlands.
Just over Northumberland's southern border and into Tyne and Wear,
the seaside havens of Whitley Bay and Tynemouth have been a draw for more than a century
and blend historical English heritage with seaside attractions to perfection.
But away from this north-eastern paradise,
what can Amy's budget afford her elsewhere around historic Britannia?
At the other end of Hadrian's Wall in Carlisle, Cumbria,
this traditional semi-detached family home
has four bedrooms, separate lounge, dining room and a conservatory
to enjoy the ample garden.
Down near the historic Roman baths in Bath,
this unconventional three-bed semi has a kitchen/diner which Amy would love,
the required off-road parking and a safe, enclosed rear garden for Oliver and Blake to enjoy.
Finally, just outside the monolithic circles of Stonehenge in Wiltshire,
this spacious home has three bedrooms, a kitchen/diner and south-facing garden
for Amy and the family to enjoy.
I don't know where Simon is, but I've found Jonathan, our estate agent. How are you?
-Very well, thank you.
-You're the local expert. I'm not familiar with the north-east.
We're in Tynemouth. What's the area like for sales at the moment?
It's not too bad at all. It's a popular area. People want to come to the coast.
North of Whitley Bay is St Mary's Island
on which you find this magnificent lighthouse built in 1898
on the site of an old monastery
where, once upon a time, the monks lit a sanctuary light to guide passing ships to safety.
It was decommissioned in 1984 and is now a very popular tourist attraction.
So no-one lives here, which is a pity, cos I fancy living in a lighthouse.
Except where would you put your corner units?
We have £230,000 as a budget. Will that get me a four-bed house in a nice area around Whitley Bay?
Very much so. There's a lot of semi-detached properties, 1930s,
a few '60s, '70s builds.
And some terraces as well. A lot of properties would be suitable.
Situated in an almost impregnable position at the mouth of the River Tyne
and the unforgiving North Sea sits Tynemouth. I say almost impregnable
because a 7th-century monastery which once sat here
was sacked by Danish Viking raiders before being replaced in 1090 by this Benedictine priory.
It's seen better days, to be honest.
I guess if it came on the market now,
the particulars would say "Located in a marvellous position,
"affording fabulous sea views, this historic building, in need of modernisation
"is ripe for regeneration."
Yeah. Conservatory here, kitchen/diner, large through lounge. Interesting.
Is land a rare quality up here, as everywhere else,
or do you get spacious gardens with properties?
It obviously varies on the area, but a lot of semis have a decent-sized garden.
Terraces tend to really look more towards yards.
Commanding the attention of all shipping sailing in and out of the River Tyne
is this statue to Lord Collingwood, Nelson's second-in-command at the Battle of Trafalgar.
After Nelson's death, it was Admiral Collingwood
who secured the most famous victory in British naval history.
This monument to him was erected in 1845 and is guarded by four of the original cannons
from the Royal Sovereign, Lord Collingwood's ship at Trafalgar.
-Isn't this lovely. I could sit here all day.
-We've got a job to do, so crack on.
Oh, yes. OK, yes. I have done very well indeed.
Now, remember Stewart and Amy wanted substance over style.
I'm glad about that, because Property One may not be everyone's choice architecturally,
but as far as the space goes, four bedrooms, yes indeed.
Garage, yes indeed. Off-road parking, yes indeed.
Front and back gardens, it's a winner. Beat that. And it's not very far from the sea.
Well done. That is a real box-ticker.
I've gone for style and substance with Property Two.
According to the dimensions, we have some spacious rooms.
The downstairs living space is spot on, plus the usual trappings you'd expect.
Off-road parking, a garage. It's in fantastic condition.
OK. That's Property One and Two.
Now, then, the wild card. What shall we tell you?
We're not going to tell you. Let's liken the wild card
to the Northumberland coast
on a wild December morn as the North Sea bashes against the rocks.
Here we go, then.
My splendid property is in lovely Whitley Bay.
A welcoming 1960s four-bed family home
with a huge through lounge, ample kitchen and picturesque garden to boot.
A great property to kick off with and one I'm proud to champion.
Stewart and Amy, Property One is my choice. I take responsibility for this.
I want you to take a look at that house
and give me your honest opinion.
-Yeah, it looks a good size. It's quite an attractive house.
-No work to do!
That's the important thing. Absolute perfection.
I think some people would look at this architectural style and go, "Hmm. Does it work?"
But you've seen through that, as you said you would.
You said it was about substance over style.
I think you'll find this property looks substantial and actually is.
-Monkseaton metro station is minutes away
or, if you fancy the drive, the coast road into the heart of Newcastle is also minutes away.
-And there's lots of parking space.
-I like to give.
-Here, there, everywhere. Perfect.
-The man's a genius!
-On that note...
-On that note,
take yourselves in and enjoy! Go on. We'll leave it there. See you on the other side.
-This is good. This is a big size.
-Yes, isn't it?
-Genius, they called me, Jonny.
-They're of a good size.
-What's a good size?
-There we go. Oh, yes, this is a through lounge, is it? Whatever it's called.
-Through to the dining room.
-It's good. I like that window.
I really like the bay window. It's a really good size.
-This is a nice size.
-Plenty of room for our furniture.
-The views are pleasant.
You're not looking onto anything unsightly.
It goes through. That's quite nice.
-I quite like this, the doors between.
As much as open plan is nice, people do like the option to have that separation.
That's what you've got with those doors.
I wish we had that here.
The nice thing is the light that comes right through the house.
It'll always be a nice light house.
If you had a meal in here and had the doors open in the summer.
-That would be good.
-Very good, yeah.
Stewart and Amy are both saying nothing needs doing, Jonny.
Are they being overly polite or lazy?
I'm always concerned on a viewing when people wax lyrical about a property.
When you know yourself it's not perfect. It's a nice house, but there are changes to be made.
-Oh, this is...
-Yeah, I like this kitchen.
-This is very nice.
Yeah, this is a good size and the window's fantastic.
I like the tiling. It's very good.
One of the things I really like are the big windows.
When Leon's doing the washing up, he's got a good view into the garden.
Amy's right. Leon will have a fantastic view over the fence
-because the new school being built is an architectural delight.
-I like it so much, I'm going for another look.
-Shall I just...
It's very spacious. There's a lot of room on this landing.
And all very practical for stair-gates as well!
-The bathroom looks as though it's been recently done.
I think the whole thing's been done very tastefully.
It needs refurbishing.
-Look at this bedroom.
-Right. Is this the first bedroom?
-Or the second bedroom?
-I don't know.
With the fitted wardrobes.
-Extensive fitted wardrobes. Are you a fan of those?
-It depends on the age and style of the house.
-I'm going to sit on that fence in a moment!
Ah, another good-sized bedroom.
It's another room you don't need to do anything at all about.
The good thing is it's very quiet.
Exactly. End of a cul-de-sac, fields beyond,
lovely quiet spot.
But the kids are still in class. When they're out there...
Right. What have we got here?
A children's room, I think.
-Yeah, they've obviously painted...
-Just compact. Bijou, this room, perhaps.
Right. Let's see what else we've got.
-Yeah, the rest of the house.
-This must be the fourth bedroom.
-Yeah, this must be the extended part.
-Right. Not a bedroom.
-There's a mystery.
-They're not using it as a bedroom.
-Oh, look at this!
There's a pheasant walking across the field!
This is a great-sized room. Obviously this is the extended part.
The other rooms were square whereas this is longer.
-I think I would use this as a master bedroom.
-Yes, because of the veranda.
-Would you use that as the master? I think I would. I agree with Amy.
-The balcony at the back.
-It's a perfect feature.
Perhaps we need to go and find out if it's in budget!
-Go and speak to Simon.
-That's the problem.
Maybe he's not the genius we think he is!
I feel rather pleased with myself.
-That went well.
Is there any point in seeing anything else?
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
-Hold on. Given that this is the first house, we've got plenty more to see.
I'll leave you to it.
-We've got to give Jonny a chance here!
-Very decent of you(!)
-But you didn't seem to pick any faults in this property whatsoever.
It feels like a good-sized house which is important. It's about space.
I like light. It feels like it flows through the house.
Big windows, which I really do like.
You've had a chance to look at the garden. How did that fare?
I really like the garden. There's even space to bring it out the side where the fence is.
It's time to guess the price. You want to spend around 230K.
How much do you think Simon's pitched in with this one?
I think this might be slightly over budget, actually.
I'd say maybe 239 for this house.
-I don't think it's quite as much over budget as that.
-So I'd say 235.
-235 and 239.
You're right, I'm not on budget.
I'm 5,000 under budget!
-225 for this lovely property.
-See? In budget as well. Do I hear another "genius"?
What do you think of that? 225. You loved the house as it was.
There's nothing to spend on the house.
A lot of money on that plaque for Simon O'Brien!
This has gone brilliantly. There's two more to see.
-Mine is next. This way. Property Two.
My choice, Property Two, is a superb detached property in a quiet cul-de-sac.
It has the required four bedrooms and enclosed garden
but also has a large conservatory, a study and a master en-suite.
In contrast to old Simon's, it's a newer property full of box-ticking potential.
Amy and Stewart, here we are at my choice, Property Two.
A lovely family-friendly cul-de-sac and it is a detached house.
So follow Simon's thoughts from Property One, give me your initial impressions.
-What do you think?
-Well, younger man, younger house. Inevitable.
Yeah, nice and big. Good that it's detached.
Well set back. Quiet cul-de-sac. A good start, I'd say.
-Continuing on from Property One,
I would also say this house reminds me of Jonny.
Utterly detached and the road's going nowhere, like him.
I would say it's incredibly stylish and pretty darned attractive!
-Have you looked at any detached properties? Is this something you'd consider?
we've looked at more modern properties.
It'll be interesting to see how it's proportioned inside
because when they're newer, they tend to be smaller inside.
Right. Simon's property being that bit older, I will qualify that further.
-The plot's not going to be as big.
the dimensions inside are impressive. I think you'll be quite satisfied.
I hope you continue positively inside. See you later.
-This is a bit smaller than the hallway at the last house.
And first comment? The hallway's a bit small.
-Oh, right. Oh, I see.
-That's a surprise.
-What they've done is turned the back of the garage into a study.
They could use that study area like a little playroom.
At Christmas, turn it into a grotto!
You got all excited, then! You properly got excited!
Right. This is interesting.
Right. Ah, kitchen, of course.
-I suppose you would use this as a dining area.
-Do you think so?
So a lovely big kitchen family dining space in there as well. Excellent.
It would be very handy in the morning if you were busy
if you were with the children
and trying to get things done in a hurry.
You could be making something for breakfast with the children there.
-Yeah, the table there.
Yeah. I'm not... The windows look out to the front, which I'm not as keen on, in the kitchen.
I quite like kitchens that look onto the back.
-They didn't look in, but there's a downstairs toilet - handy for kids.
Right. What have we got here?
My word, this is a surprise. I didn't expect it to be this big!
-That's very nice. Look at it.
It goes the whole length, or is it the width, of the house.
-It must do. It's a surprise.
-I like the fireplace.
That's very smart.
-The bay window works very well.
-And onto the garden.
It's a real box bay window looking onto this lovely enclosed garden. Safe for children and pets alike.
Right. The conservatory.
This has got the roof on the conservatory that you like, when it rains!
-You can hear the rain.
-Right. You can here the rain.
I like that. When you're camping and you can hear the rain outside.
Sleeping bag in the conservatory. Just like going away, only never leaving home!
-Not very practical for stair gates.
-We'd have to figure that out, I suppose.
Let's have a look at this room.
This is a good-sized room. A nice square room.
It's quite easy to fit furniture. Children's furniture would be good in here.
-Quite small windows.
-They are. The windows in the kitchen were quite small as well.
-Yes, quite small.
But it's still fairly bright.
They're not being as positive as they were with yours, unfortunately. I'd hoped this was a winner.
But the master bedroom with en-suite, I'm hoping for something good. Come on.
Right. Bedroom number two.
-Oh, this is quite a lot bigger, isn't it?
-This is a good size.
-En-suite as well.
-This is the master bedroom.
-Good fitted wardrobes.
-I like those. They're very smart.
-This is the kind of room you wouldn't need to do anything to.
-No, it's very smart.
-Shall we look in the...
-Ah, look, there's an en-suite here.
Oh, I see.
-Just a washbasin?
-With a shower.
Let's look in here.
So, bedroom number three.
Ooh, we have an "A-ha". He's hunting high and low.
-This is another good-sized bedroom.
-Yeah, it is.
The rooms aren't as big in this house as they were in the last.
But only marginally.
Nothing needs doing in this house. It's more modern.
-There are more rooms.
-And yet nowhere near as positive as Property One.
My word, this is a bright room, isn't it?
-This would wake you up in the morning, wouldn't it?
-It would do.
-That's rather a bright orange.
-Yeah. It's quite a small bathroom, this.
It would be difficult with bathing two children.
This house has a bigger footprint than the last one.
Why aren't they feeling that?
I don't know. It makes no sense.
-Shall we look in here?
-Yeah, we'll look in here.
OK. So the rooms are quite similar sizes.
-The wardrobe takes up quite a bit of space, doesn't it?
And you can see back onto the garden again.
The rooms are bigger than I'd expect from a new build like this.
But they are smaller than the previous property.
-I'm going to get those details, show the details of that and Property One and then we'll see!
I feel a little humbled with this property.
I was excited outside. You were being positive.
And the general vibe I got was that you didn't seem to think much of it.
-That's quite disappointing.
For some reason, I wasn't quite as keen on this one.
It's great that it's detached. But the windows are much smaller.
-It feels more enclosed. Some of the rooms are a bit smaller.
it just so happens I've got the details with the room dimensions on it.
-Because it's not at all. In fact, a lot of the rooms, certainly downstairs,
-are a lot bigger than Property One.
-We've got your point! The rooms are bigger! They just don't like it as much!
From what you said earlier, you wanted four bedrooms, a nice garden, living space, decent-sized bedrooms.
-We ticked all those boxes.
-And nothing to do in this place.
This place is literally ready to move into. More so than Property One.
It's a good feature of this house. Nothing to be done.
Do you know what might change your mind?
What always talks? Money.
Hang on, let me dry my eyes.
Guess the price time.
It's one-nil to Dad.
Hang on. Your budget is £230,000.
How much for this house which is bigger than Property One but feels smaller to you?
Because this is a detached property, you'd expect to pay more than the last house.
So I'd probably say this was on budget at about 230.
-I'd go for 235.
That would put you back in contention. It's one-all.
You're very close. It's offers around £229,000.
So just under budget. A phenomenal price for a big house
-with extra living space, conservatory...
-OK, let it go! Come on! The wild card's this way!
Northumbria In Bloom loves the village of Earsdon so much
that it has bestowed its Best Village award onto this delightful hamlet
not once but seven times since the year 2000.
That's incredible. So where better to find our infamous wild card?
This beautifully presented Victorian mid-terrace makes up for its lack of outside grounds
with three floors of extensive living space boasting character and charm galore.
OK. Our final property, the wild card. Why is it the wild card?
Well, first of all, this is pretty wild, isn't it?
-Not often you see a street that's been grassed over.
Jonny and I both agreed, when we saw this house,
there's just something so lovely about it. This...
is a family house. First impressions?
-From the outside, it looks like it would be small.
So it doesn't look like the kind of house that certainly...
-Maybe it is. We're not telling you. But it's quite cute-looking on the outside.
The thing with terraces is they always belie what's inside them.
You can't judge a book by its cover.
Now, being the wild card and being a terraced property,
you will lose some of the things you were looking for,
such as off-road parking and big gardens. You don't get those with terraces.
But as far as space and as far as the overall ambience of the place is concerned,
-this, for me, is the best property of the three.
-You're giving it away! What are you doing?
He is biased!
-Cos he loves this property.
What we want to know is if you do.
-Get in there and enjoy it.
-The mystery unfolds.
-This is much bigger than even I would expect it to be.
It's the perfect family hallway for shopping, coats, children's paraphernalia.
-Oh, look at that fire.
-Is it a real fire?
Oh, of course it is.
We could easily fit our furniture in here.
In fact, we'd probably need to buy more!
To put anything in this house. So goodness knows what we'd need to do with the rest of the house.
-They're only in the first room and it's a super house.
-Already it's trumped Property Two.
That's what we felt. When you walk in, it feels so warm and welcoming.
Ah, they've got stair gates.
So they're used to the same...
They've obviously got children as well here.
Gosh, this is a really different kitchen.
-They've got one of the old-style clothes racks.
-Is that what it's called?
-A clothes maiden.
I like that this is big enough to have a kitchen table in, to be able to eat in here.
It's really practical for the children.
-My word, what on earth's in here?
-Ah, a playroom!
-This really is something we'd enjoy having.
Look at all these here! A selection of...
The wonderful thing about the size of this is that normally you'd reserve that as a reception room.
Because the lounge is so big and the kitchen so large, you can give that space to the kids.
I like all the wood there is about the house.
-And the landing.
Look at the light that's coming in.
You'd expect this to be dark, but it's not.
The landing is so naturally light because of the extension into the loft space.
The light is flooding the first floor.
Look at the size of this!
-This really is a TARDIS!
That's the great thing about these Victorian terraces.
You don't know what to expect when you go in.
This is incredible.
I really do think we'd have to start furniture shopping, though!
-In a big way!
-There's certainly no doubt that Leon could fit all his books in this house.
It's something they've done too.
-Thing is, this could lead to Leon buying more and more books!
-That's the problem!
Ah. Bathroom. Gives that away on the door.
Oh, yes. The sign is a bit of a giveaway!
-And a shower as well.
-Again, this is just...
-Plenty of space.
-Plenty of space. This is brilliant for bathing children in.
-Fabulous family bathroom.
It's very rare you see a bath, then a shower cubicle in the same room.
-The bath is a...
-A whirlpool bath.
The reason why the shower cubicle and the bath are so popular is all down to Simon O'Brien.
-As you'll know, he hates airing cupboards and wants them replaced with showers.
One thing I didn't realise was it's three storeys, from outside.
-I like this staircase. This wood.
-This wood's really nice.
The whole place, as they might say, is evocative of a bygone age.
-What a lovely turn of phrase.
-Wax lyrical, Stewart!
-Yet another room.
-It goes on and on, in the nicest way.
Gosh! Look at the size of this room!
-Just another giant room.
-It gets better.
Well, there's no doubt what the guest room for you will be!
-Any of the rooms so far.
-We've not seen them all yet.
-Can I have the pick?
These exposed doors again.
-They're really good.
-Do you like those?
-Yeah, I really do.
We all love Victorian doors stripped back to the wood. Yet the Victorians hated it!
-You would not see any wood in a Victorian house.
-They just thought it kind of cheapened it.
-Even the floors would be painted.
-They were for decorating everything.
-Everything had to be bright and colourful.
-And we just want to see the bare bones of properties.
-Certainly good for a child's room, isn't it?
-Let's go and see what's upstairs again!
-A journey of discovery.
Now, if you want to see how a loft conversion can be done well, watch.
Good exercise, this house, that's for certain!
-What on earth's up here?
-There's that skylight.
-The nicest bit about this loft conversion is that roof-light flooding down.
-That's very nice, isn't it?
-They're using this is a child's room
but when you come in here there's an en-suite.
-The guest bedroom.
-And it continues.
It's like a Jack and Jill, they call them, these en-suites.
-You know all the names.
-You can get in from both sides.
Amy's got the terminology. It is a Jack and Jill en-suite.
It is really, really cleverly designed.
We can get out in a different way than we came in.
In other words, where does that door go to?
I presume back around.
-Ah, you see.
-Now the games begin.
-Now the fun begins. Oliver runs round in a circle!
It's an amazing use of space, isn't it? Every part.
It's been done very well because it could be dark up here, but because of the windows
it's really, really light.
It feels very big... Well, it is big anyway.
But it feels big because of the light in here.
It's an absolute revelation, isn't it?
-From outside you'd never guess in a million years.
-You'd never imagine this.
-Collectively, this was quite a surprise.
-It appears you work well as a team.
-A triumph, I'd say.
-What was it you liked about it here?
-It was very spacious.
When you look at it from outside, you expect a small house.
So it amazes you as you go through the door.
-Stewart, it just fits together so well, doesn't it?
The way they've sympathetically restored it was marvellous.
With the lighting in the roof, it brought the whole thing to life.
-So you agree with us why we love the feel of this house.
-Let's talk about the compromise about this property.
-This outside space.
It isn't obviously as big. We were looking for a big garden.
-So there is a compromise there.
-But, having said that,
it's not every day you can say to your kids, "Go and play on the street."
But you can here. There's a massive lovely green area.
And they are just developing a park at the end of the road,
just down the road,
-that is going to be specifically a kiddies' play area.
That is the way forward for planning.
They're encouraging kids and adults to get out and be part of the community
-rather than everybody shutting the door and leading private lives.
-Yeah, it takes you out the front.
-Maybe other children play out there.
-But can you afford to be part of this community?
-That is the question.
It's one-all. You want to spend around £230,000.
The father/daughter challenge is going to be decided.
Amy, what do you think for this gorgeous Victorian property?
I'm thinking about 200,000.
-I think it's right at the top of the budget.
So I'd go for 230,000.
-Do you want to put them out of their misery?
Well, it's two-one to you.
-You're very good at this.
You're only £50 out.
-199,950. The compromise is the back garden and the fact it's terraced.
-You get a lot of house for the money.
Plenty to think about, eh?
-We've shown you three very different properties.
-You can decide which one you'd like to spend more time in.
-Put your heads together and we'll see you in a bit.
-Yes, it's a tough one. While they're doing that...
Here's a recap of all three properties.
My property went down a storm.
Amy and Stewart loved the space, the garden and the decor.
With a balcony from the master bedroom, how could they resist?
Whereas my larger and more modern detached choice
didn't exactly draw out Amy and Stewart's greatest superlatives,
I feel it would make an amazing family dwelling.
And finally, today's wild card was a peach.
A Victorian mid-terrace with more charm than Cinderella's other half.
With those high ceilings and impeccable loft conversion,
Amy and family could make themselves at home and leave room for a visiting Stewart.
-Ah, the wild card. Everyone loves the wild card.
-It's a fact.
-It is a fact.
What was it about this place that's brought us back?
It's definitely the space within it.
The minute you get in, it's just amazing.
-There's real character in it and it feels like a good family home.
-A loved home.
But has it been a loved building?
Our eagle-eyed surveyor has given this the once over.
He's come up with some interesting stuff. It's not a legally-binding survey. Jonny?
We've talked about the benefits of the loft conversion and we think they've done a great job,
as confirmed by the surveyor.
Often when people do conversions, they sail close to the wind in terms of doing the minimum amount of work
while ensuring it passes the regs.
Here, they've gone the other way
and gone above and beyond what is actually necessary as far as the conversion is concerned.
-As far as security, peace of mind, safety features like fire doors, smoke alarms.
Even escape windows which you don't need if you've got fire doors, but it's there.
-It's a phenomenal job.
-Yes, so when the kids are on the top floor, you can feel secure.
-This work has been done right.
Coming down 30 grand on the budget, it gives you something to play with.
-So there are some options.
-That leaves us with some potential to put our mark on it
and do things we'd like to do.
-You could tarmac all this out the front!
-Stop it! Will you leave it alone!
This is a real selling feature of the house, I think.
-There aren't many properties that would have this.
-It's special. It's a very special street.
-It's a special house, you're special people. Get in and have a special time!
-We will. Thank you.
-Shall we do some gardening?
-I'm particularly special as well.
Amy calls husband Leon and invites him over.
We've seen the wild card house now, and it's great.
Would it be possible to go and pick the boys up
and come over?
Yeah, it's a surprising house. It will surprise you when you come along.
Keen to have more exercise, Stewart heads for the stairs in search of his guest suite.
En route, the beautiful blooms of Earsdon may have distracted Leon.
Looking out of the village, you go down to your left.
And still Stewart climbs.
As Amy waits.
Until eventually, the eagles land.
While Stewart is literally left holding the baby...
Amy is quick to whisk Leon away for a tour of the house.
But with a child-friendly pad like this, it was inevitable the toys would get test-driven.
Enough of all this playing games. Has our wild card enchanted enough?
You've had more time to spend in the wild card. Leon and the boys came. How has it been?
I think my husband likes it. He likes the space
and the extra rooms there are in here and the ability...
Never mind him! What do the boys think?
Oh, they love it. They love it.
It helps the house has lots of toys in it at the moment, but yeah.
It was a very cunning plan of ours. We thought it through.
Was Leon surprised with the style of property you chose to test drive?
It deviates from what you originally intended.
When he first saw it from outside, again, the reaction that we'd had.
A bit unsure about what it was going to be like.
Then the minute he walked in, the size of it was what surprised him.
I'm thinking for Stewart, because the children are still quite young,
you could have that top floor to yourself! A bedsit, room and bathroom.
And all the exercise of the stairs for an old chap like me. Perfect.
It'll keep him out the way. Sounds brilliant!
Yes, that would be great for a guest area, especially with the en-suite.
Till the boys claim it when they're older. You won't get a look in!
All right. All very positive. You know where we're heading.
It's the big question. The raison d'etre of this programme. Jonny.
Indeed. So, Amy, to buy or not to buy?
I think there is a strong possibility that we may "to buy".
-"May to buy"?
That's brilliant news.
Also the village itself. We've been for a stroll round.
It's gorgeous. A lovely location. And commutable into town.
-Excellent. Our work here is done, my friend.
-We should commute ourselves.
-Thanks very much, folks.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd