Central Coventry To Buy or Not to Buy


Central Coventry

Property series. It's lights, camera, action as property gurus Ed Hall and Jonnie Irwin help a newly qualified drama teacher tread the boards of the housing market.


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Transcript


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And the nominees to present today's To Buy Or Not To Buy are...

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Simon O'Brien and Jonny Benaar.

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Nikki Bedi and Rani Price.

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Ed Hall and Jonnie Irwin.

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And this morning's house-hunting honour goes to...

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..Ed Hall and Jonnie Irwin!

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Thank you! You're too naughty!

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-You are so naughty!

-Who'd have thought it?

-Calm down!

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Seriously, seriously.

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JONNIE MOUTHS

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When I woke up this morning... This is too much.

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I would like to say when I was a little boy growing up,

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watching the great Spicer, Llewelyn-Bowen and Smillie,

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-I never thought that this...

-We.

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-We!

-Sorry.

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We never thought that this would happen. I'm humbled by this recognition.

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-It's too much.

-It's a great honour.

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It is a great honour to be asked to do today's To Buy Or Not To Buy.

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And, of course, a huge recognition must go to the remarkable property hunting team,

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without whom we wouldn't be standing here today. This is for you guys.

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On a personal note, I'd like to thank my taxi driver. Without him, I wouldn't be here today.

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I joke. I joke too much.

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But of course, this show of To Buy Or Not To Buy

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that we all know and love, it's in the nation's hearts,

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it would be nothing, nothing,

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without the house hunters that contribute to the success of this show.

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You know who you are.

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So stay tuned, strap yourselves in for some high-octane TV property gold.

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Thank you!

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Coming up on To Buy Or Not To Buy, we have properties to take your breath away.

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-Wow!

-Fall on the sofa!

-I wasn't going to say it but this has definitely got the wow factor!

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And has Saturday Night Fever come to the shores of the UK?

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-Check this out!

-Did John Travolta design this place?

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But will it be a...

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To buy or not to buy. That is the question for you, Kat.

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Taking top billing today is recently-qualified drama teacher Katherine Price,

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who has just started a new job at a school in Coventry.

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Ah, so that's why it feels like we've just won an Oscar

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as budding actress Kat loves everything about the dramatic arts

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and has starred in productions of all calibre.

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Yes, she loves nothing more than treading the boards and dancing the night away.

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Completing the cast today is Kat's boyfriend, Chris,

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a professional drummer who owns his own home in Leeds

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and has done many viewings with Kat.

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He certainly knows what she's after, so it's time to find out what that something might be.

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Chris and Kat, welcome to Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.

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Quite a suitable place to start today

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-because you've recently qualified as a drama teacher.

-Yes.

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-Looking forward to getting stuck in to work?

-Yes, excited.

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-Meeting the kids?

-Yeah, can't wait.

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-One of them could be on here.

-Exactly.

-Treading the boards.

-Let's hope.

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So, we're here to buy a property in Coventry. You don't live here?

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-No, I'm from Birmingham.

-Chris, you don't live here?

-No.

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-You're not going to live here?

-No, I'm just here for the eye candy.

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-You do look adorable.

-I thought he meant the cameraman!

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What is Kat like? Is she impulsive?

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-Be nice.

-She'll be very honest. She knows what she wants.

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You're a teacher. The first rule for teachers is to live nowhere near the school!

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-Fingers crossed, yes.

-That's the main criteria.

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-Yes.

-Because as much as you love them, you don't want them near you.

-Not on the doorstep, no.

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-So where is the school?

-The school is in the Wood End area of Coventry,

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-so north-east area.

-In the nicest possible way,

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how far away from the school do you want to be?

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Coventry's not huge, so it could be the other side of Coventry and I'd be quite happy.

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A balance between far enough away from school, but close enough for a lie-in!

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It's your first house. First home, let's say.

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-Yep.

-In your mind's eye, what would you be wanting to look at today?

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I quite like the idea of apartments

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for the security because I'm living by myself.

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Ideally two bedrooms to give me that extra bit of space

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and I like having friends over and it gives them the option to stay in the spare room.

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Apart from that, I'm not really too fussy, really.

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I don't want to do loads of work.

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What about houses that have been split into apartments? Older places.

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-I prefer the more contemporary style of living.

-You can't have contemporary with old.

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But you can have contemporary with contemporary.

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-And you're a contemporary kind of gal.

-Leaning more that way.

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But I'll see what you show me.

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This is essentially a holiday home for you?

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You come from Leeds and choose to holiday in Coventry, as many do.

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-It's a villa. That's what it is, my villa.

-Are you happy with the decision about your holiday home?

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We'll see what you find.

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-What about a car? Do you drive?

-Yes.

-So you want somewhere to park the motor?

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Ideally, parking space would be good rather than fighting for on-road parking.

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-Don't want a fight.

-No.

-No-one wants to fight. Ever.

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It seems very easy going. Is there anything that you need to have,

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anything to be factored in?

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-I don't think so.

-That's all right.

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It's quite laid back, you know?

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This is all right now. There might be leaks in the bucket coming out later on!

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It all seems very easy going. How much wonga have we got to spend here in Coventry?

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-Roughly 100,000.

-Roughly?!

-Roughly.

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Will we... I always like to get into the Oxford English Dictionary with the phrase "haggle zone".

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-Yes.

-If we see something above 100, can we haggle you back down?

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Possibly, because it's a buyer's market, isn't it?

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-I like a cheeky bargain.

-Everyone loves a bargain.

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Give us a haggle zone. How far up can we go?

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Maybe 105.

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-OK. We're off. We're going to do it. Can we do it? That's the question.

-Oh, yeah.

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-Got faith.

-Come on!

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Shall we break a leg?

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-Er...

-No. No.

-It's drama!

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See you later!

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That's straightforward. That went well, didn't it?

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Phenomenally well. Your performance on the stage was brilliant.

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-Really?

-Second only to mine. I thought I was great.

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-But yours was brilliant.

-I liked the way you projected your voice.

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I saw someone stir. You may have woken them up.

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I've been working on that. In keeping with the dramatic start to the show,

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I am going to seek out Coventry's lesser known dramatic past.

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Interesting. I'll wait for that. While you're doing that, I'm going to meet an estate agent.

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Coventry was the birthplace of motor manufacturing giants Rover,

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Triumph and Jaguar which, throughout the 20th century,

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became the cornerstone of the UK car industry

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and massively transformed the region forever.

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Coventry was also home to James Starley, the English inventor dubbed the father of the bicycle industry

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whose nephew JK Starley went on to become one of Rover's founding fathers.

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Furthermore, the city boasts considerable sporting talents

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including Coventry City football club, ice hockey team the Coventry Blades

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and the World F1 stockcar championships.

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That's Coventry for you, the 11th largest city in the UK.

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However, what could Kat's 100-grand budget get you elsewhere round these shores?

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In London, in Islington's Ice Wharf,

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this amazing one-berth narrowboat blends cosy with spacious.

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It's galley kitchen is worth walking the plank for.

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In Glasgow, this delightful modern end-terrace oozes contemporary space,

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sports an ample two bedrooms

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and even has an enclosed garden.

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Finally, up in Chris's beloved Leeds,

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this traditional terraced worker's cottage has great-sized rooms,

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a cellar and a rear yard ripe for those long summer evenings.

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But back in Coventry, it's high time for Jonnie's showdown with Clint,

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this town's premier property slinger.

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Clint, thanks very much for seeing me today.

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First of all, how are we getting on in Coventry in property terms? What's the market doing?

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At the moment, Coventry is a very good place to buy.

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We're seeing quite a few people coming on the market.

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One factor is down to the abolishment of HIPs when the coalition government came in.

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This means there are a lot more properties on the market now to choose from.

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If it's drama Kat's after, she could do little better than Coventry.

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Behind me is the Belgrade Theatre,

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Britain's first purpose-built civic theatre, built in 1958.

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In 1965, the first Theatre in Education company was formed here,

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a movement that has since spread worldwide.

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And Coventry remains at the forefront.

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The effect on prices that I've personally seen is that there are a lot of speculative sellers.

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People just giving it a go on the market.

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So people who are motivated to sell are pricing their houses right

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and the speculative sellers are slightly over on that price

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which helps the motivated sellers sell their property at the right price.

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From theatre to cinema.

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The scene from the movie The Italian Job where the Minis are driving through the sewers of Turin

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was actually filmed in Coventry.

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They were able to do this because the sewers were fitted at the time

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and they were the largest sewers in Britain.

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What sort of people are you selling houses and homes to?

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Are people coming from outside the area and moving to Coventry?

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There are a few people from outside the area. Coventry is a great place to get the train to London.

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It's cheaper to buy in Coventry. So we get a few people from out of the area.

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There's not that many first time buyers buying.

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What I find is there's a motivation behind buying. You get people upsizing,

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people moving jobs and people with a specific reason for moving property.

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This part of the West Midlands is home to two famous actors.

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We have got Sir Nigel Hawthorne.

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Oscar-nominated for his role in The Madness Of King George.

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And, born in 1964, sexy ladies' man, Clive Owen,

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star of Shoot 'Em Up and King Arthur.

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Who knows whether Kat will be nurturing the next generation

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of Coventry Hollywood royalty.

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In your opinion, in current market terms,

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where would you say the first-time buyer market is?

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What price does it start from and go to?

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We could start anything from 40 or 50,000. You can start on the shared ownership ladder.

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Or anything ranging up to 150,000 depending on if it's two first time buyers partnered up

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or if it's someone on their own.

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People on their own are looking at up to the £100,000 mark. What we call a buyers' market.

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-Sounds good to me. Anything we can look at in the office?

-I've got a fantastic apartment.

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Great. Let's have a look.

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-How did you get on?

-I've had a lovely time.

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I've informed the nation - not you - I'll tell you later, about the sewers of Coventry.

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They are an inspiring place to be.

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-Sent the right man for the job!

-Thank you!

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I had a showdown with a man called Clint. It could have got ugly, but it went very well.

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So well, in fact, I'm rather proud of Property One.

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-It does look lovely.

-This property,

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she asked for a two-bed apartment, but not one with canal-side views.

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But it's got it!

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-Look at that. Beautiful place.

-What area of Coventry are you in?

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-Longford.

-I am also in the area of Longford.

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Visually, this is nicer.

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Internally, this is nicer.

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It would require an internal inspection, as estate agents often say.

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They say, "It is a newly-built, luxuriously appointed, two-bed ground floor apartment

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"with park views to the rear. Offered chain free."

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That is good news for the person wishing to haggle.

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A deal to be done. They'll be going into your haggle zone.

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We picked the wild card because it's got four distinct areas -

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Arcadia, Privilege, Pascha and Marquee.

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Those are our properties. The wild card is spectacular.

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-I think we should start where?

-Start by finishing these coffees

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-and then the audience can meet us at Property One.

-Brilliant.

-Get it down you.

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For my property, Property One, I've found this superb ground floor apartment in nearby Longford.

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It has two bedrooms, a huge lounge and great views of the canal from the communal gardens.

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Kat and Chris, we are starting today very much on a high. Do you know this part of the world?

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Yes, I'm familiar with it.

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I know why you're familiar with it, but for viewers, tell them why you're familiar with this area.

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Because I have a friend who happens to live in this block of flats!

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-Does it get her seal of approval, living here?

-Yes. Very much so.

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Oh! So you're moving to a new area on your own.

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-It would be nice to have a familiar face nearby.

-Certainly.

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You asked for a two-bed flat. You didn't ask for canal views, yet I've delivered them!

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-You have, mate. They're lovely.

-Really nice, actually. I really like this area.

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-Chris, you're going to be spending time here.

-My villa.

-This is your Coventry pied-a-terre.

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It's like Venice, almost! It is like Venice.

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-Would you like to spend time here?

-It's very nice. A bit of a villa in summer.

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-Waterside views. Maybe a glass of Chardonnay.

-Out on the terrace!

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Tres bonne. The vital question, is this far enough away from the school?

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Very much so and because it's close to the motorway, it's easy to get to school. I like that.

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You do have the opportunity to park your car here.

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Your own car parking space.

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-Bonus.

-Yeah?

-Bonus.

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-Tres bien.

-It seems phenomenal. Are you excited and enthused

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-at the idea of looking round a ground floor flat in Coventry?

-Big time.

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-Bring it on! Get in there!

-Off you pop!

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-Spacious.

-It's nice and light and airy, isn't it?

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So, viewers, you're probably wondering where we've come from.

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We've come in an imaginary lift from the ground floor, my property,

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-to a first floor flat owned by Kat's friend.

-Yes.

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-She's called Vicky. This is her flat.

-That's a long way of saying we're in Vicky's flat.

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-This is a decent size as well, isn't it?

-Yeah. Weird shape, though.

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-The angle's weird.

-Yeah, but you could fit a double bed in there somewhere.

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-Weird angles? It's a weird angle he's coming from.

-He's very clever. Cunning.

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-The problem is not his because he's not moving here. He's in Leeds.

-He's a part-timer.

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Maybe have your drawers or something there.

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Or bed there and big plasma telly there.

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-Beautiful.

-Or on that wall. Yeah, I like it.

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-This is the other bedroom. Is this bigger?

-It's a bit smaller.

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Yeah.

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-The bedrooms aren't that big, are they?

-They're not huge.

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But you'd probably still get a double in.

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-You could put it against that wall.

-Or a walk-in wardrobe.

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Or, if that was going to be the main bedroom,

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get a futon and then have a desk as well.

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Obviously I need to do school work somewhere.

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Kat's on board with putting the furniture in here. "Where's this going to go?" She's talking futons.

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Bathroom.

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-That's quite a decent size, actually.

-Yeah.

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Yeah.

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-What's the suite like?

-It's nice.

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-Decent shower.

-Yeah.

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Jonnie's done all right here.

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Now, here's a thing.

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You've run out of something. Out of sugar. Cup of tea.

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Step out your French doors, shout up,

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Vicky, I've run out of something!

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They tie it to Vicky's hair, like Rapunzel,

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-and lower it down.

-Nice idea. Nice idea.

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-This is good.

-That's good. It's really big.

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-Look, a veranda, if you will.

-Little terrace.

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Nice having that space outside.

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-Get the barbecue out.

-Not today, but you could do.

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-I like it.

-It's really nice.

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That's good. Nice and spacious.

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We'll go through to the kitchen.

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-That's really nice as well.

-Really nice.

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I like that.

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I like that there's the separate kitchen.

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-Some of these flats, it's all in one.

-Too open.

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But this is really spacious, so I like that.

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-Jonnie's done quite well with this one.

-It's got a nice feel to it.

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-Location is really good.

-Good layout.

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-I think that went very, very well.

-It did.

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There are two ways out of this sequence. One, we walk that way.

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-Or we use the imaginary lift.

-Ground floor, please.

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We all had a lovely old time.

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You, by the sounds of it, love this flat.

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Yeah, I really, really like it.

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Just what I was after, maybe.

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This is only the first property we've been to!

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-Yeah.

-So far. So hold your horses!

-OK.

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This - overused term - blank canvas.

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What would you do?

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Upstairs, Vicky, I spied a feature wall.

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Yeah, I like that idea.

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You can see how big the flat is.

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-Where a sofa and a dining table will fit.

-Yeah.

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-It's a big flat.

-Really spacious living space. The lounge. I like that. It's important.

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-This is where you'll spend most of your time.

-Exactly.

-Right.

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-We love it.

-Uh-huh.

-You almost want to buy it now, which is off-putting for me

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because my property's next. But how much is it?

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-Who should guess first?

-Ladies first.

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-Oooh.

-I'm a gentleman.

-How gallant, Chris(!)

0:18:280:18:30

Well,

0:18:300:18:32

I roughly know what Vicky spent on hers, but that was a few years ago.

0:18:320:18:35

I'm going to go 99,950.

0:18:350:18:39

OK. OK. Chris?

0:18:390:18:42

I think it'll be top end. I reckon 103.

0:18:420:18:46

103?!

0:18:460:18:48

-That sounds top end to me!

-And 50!

0:18:480:18:50

You can add another 50p if you like.

0:18:500:18:53

-Because, unfortunately, you're spot on the money, Kat.

-Was I?

0:18:530:18:57

-Spot on.

-Let's not end the programme here.

0:18:570:19:00

It would be disappointing and we'd have to start other programmes sooner.

0:19:000:19:04

-No-one's set their recorders.

-Let's keep the disappointing theme

0:19:040:19:07

-and go to a property that doesn't have canal views.

-OK.

0:19:070:19:10

That is so cruel! Let's go.

0:19:100:19:13

Property Two is also a ground floor two-bed apartment.

0:19:160:19:20

It has excellent sized rooms throughout, a Juliet balcony overlooking the gardens

0:19:200:19:26

and is surrounded by quaint municipal parkland.

0:19:260:19:29

It's everything Kat's looking for.

0:19:290:19:31

Kat and Chris. Tantalise yourself no more.

0:19:310:19:34

We are at Property Two, which is my beauty.

0:19:340:19:37

It's lovely. The other good news is it's not raining.

0:19:370:19:40

But were it to rain, do you know anyone round here

0:19:400:19:43

-who could harbour us?

-Not in the near vicinity, no.

0:19:430:19:46

-So we're breaking new ground.

-We are. But, nevertheless,

0:19:460:19:50

let's focus on the massive positive which is that beauty there. A ground floor flat.

0:19:500:19:55

The ground floor flat has views over Longford Park, which is adorable.

0:19:550:20:00

I think it's nice. It's similar, with the quiet cul-de-sac.

0:20:000:20:04

-Where's the nice water feature I gave them?

-That is true.

0:20:040:20:07

But there's a park, so... Swings and roundabouts.

0:20:070:20:11

-Literally!

-Literally.

0:20:110:20:14

Chris, this could potentially be your holiday home when you come down from Leeds.

0:20:140:20:19

What do you think? The park, you could go on the swings.

0:20:190:20:22

It's very nice. It looks quite new.

0:20:220:20:24

-I imagine it to be quite tidy inside.

-Very tidy.

-Tidy!

0:20:240:20:28

-A nice park. Good approach.

-Are you ready and excited to go in?

-Certainly am.

-You should be.

0:20:280:20:33

This, I don't want to give too much away,

0:20:330:20:36

over delivers in the bathroom department. Go.

0:20:360:20:39

-Go!

-"Over delivers in the bathroom?"

-I wonder what that could mean?

0:20:390:20:44

Ooh!

0:20:460:20:47

-That's nice, isn't it?

-Very nice.

-I like it.

0:20:470:20:50

-Quite spacious again.

-Yeah.

0:20:500:20:52

Ooh!

0:20:520:20:53

-Very nice!

-This is really nice.

0:20:530:20:55

-Noises, we've had noises.

-Very nice noises.

-I say "we" - I mean "me".

0:20:550:20:59

Look at that posh chair!

0:20:590:21:01

I don't think it comes with the place.

0:21:010:21:03

-I like it.

-Look at that!

0:21:030:21:05

Yes, it's good when it's got furniture in, so you can actually see.

0:21:050:21:10

Posh chair? Is it that posh?

0:21:100:21:13

To Chris, who's a drummer, it's allowed to be posh. You know, he's a drummer, isn't he?

0:21:130:21:18

-He's from Leeds.

-They put them on stools for drums.

0:21:180:21:21

Just a low-level stool. That's how they do it. It is posh to him.

0:21:210:21:25

-It's a lot bigger than the last one.

-Much nicer.

-It's nice.

0:21:250:21:28

I can't get over how posh this bedroom is.

0:21:280:21:31

What's in here? ..Ah!

0:21:310:21:34

Check that out!

0:21:340:21:35

-En-suite!

-Lovely!

-En-suite?!

-I like that.

0:21:350:21:39

That is really nice.

0:21:390:21:40

Take it!

0:21:400:21:42

-Definitely more my kind of thing. It's very nice.

-Really, really nice.

0:21:420:21:47

We have got to the core of the woman and the core of the woman is an en-suite.

0:21:470:21:51

-Who doesn't like an en-suite?

-I love an en-suite.

-Maybe Chris doesn't like them?

0:21:510:21:56

-Can't believe that. En-suite?

-Promising start, Ed.

-En-suite?

-Promising start.

0:21:560:22:00

-This, I'm guessing, is the main bathroom.

-Bathroom number two.

0:22:000:22:05

-That's nice.

-And a bath.

-No shower in here, but there's a bath.

0:22:050:22:09

I like the decoration in here. The tiling. You wouldn't have to do anything.

0:22:090:22:14

-Maybe put a shower in. Cos you've got the guests.

-Yeah.

-Really nice.

0:22:140:22:19

-Big hall.

-Yes.

-Is this another bedroom?

-Bedroom number two.

0:22:190:22:25

-Good size.

-That is actually quite decent. I thought it wouldn't be.

0:22:250:22:29

-Get a little sofa bed. Desk.

-Desk.

0:22:290:22:31

Definitely.

0:22:310:22:33

-Excellent.

-Well done, Ed. Onto a winner!

0:22:330:22:35

Onto a winner? Is that a prediction without even seeing the wild card?

0:22:350:22:40

Mine went down well. This has gone down very, very well.

0:22:400:22:43

They're indecisive. They would have bought yours had they not seen this.

0:22:430:22:47

-Don't buy the first house.

-This is the beauty of this show.

-We show you three.

0:22:470:22:51

OK. Living room. See if it can beat Jonnie's.

0:22:510:22:55

It's a little bit smaller, but it's got the open-plan thing.

0:22:570:23:01

-Plenty big enough.

-I like it, actually.

0:23:010:23:03

We did say about the open-plan thing before, didn't we?

0:23:030:23:07

They didn't ask for open-plan, but it sounds like it's a bonus.

0:23:070:23:10

I know about the youth. The youth of Britain love open-plan living.

0:23:100:23:14

-What more do you want?

-And the view outside.

0:23:140:23:17

This place must be well over your budget.

0:23:170:23:20

-Yeah.

-It's really... It's beautiful.

-It's ready to move into.

0:23:200:23:26

To be honest, I wouldn't do a lot.

0:23:260:23:28

-Good location.

-They listened to what I said.

-Yes.

0:23:280:23:30

Contemporary, contemporary. I like it.

0:23:300:23:33

Well, on a scale of the thumbometer, I would say I'm there!

0:23:330:23:39

-I am there.

-Let's go and find out if you're right.

0:23:390:23:41

Chris and Kat, mother-of-pearl! Is this not a lovely property?

0:23:460:23:51

-It certainly is a lovely property.

-You like it a lot as well, Chris.

0:23:510:23:55

-I do. I love it, to be honest.

-Reason to move from Leeds, maybe?

-Not that much!

0:23:550:23:59

-Come on! You don't like that?

-It's not an invite, no.

0:23:590:24:03

Favourite part of the property?

0:24:040:24:06

-The en-suite.

-Got to be the en-suite. The kitchen's nice as well.

0:24:060:24:10

Jonnie was trying to turn this into a negative, a kitchen/lounge.

0:24:100:24:14

-Hmm.

-Does it bother you?

-I think it does you, doesn't it?

0:24:140:24:18

It doesn't bother me, no, but I just think it offers less space than the last property

0:24:180:24:24

and if you're cooking something a bit smelly, it's going to...

0:24:240:24:28

-Click your hood on and you're away.

-Yeah.

0:24:280:24:32

-And less space to have a table.

-This has an en-suite and nice open-plan living

0:24:320:24:38

against a slightly larger flat where you can have separate dining space.

0:24:380:24:42

-That's what you have to weigh up.

-Exactly.

-Now.

0:24:420:24:45

Shall we do it, because you were nervous, very nervous.

0:24:450:24:49

What is the score? It's one-nil.

0:24:490:24:51

I think you suspiciously got the price right

0:24:510:24:54

when one of your friends lived above!

0:24:540:24:56

-I genuinely didn't know but...

-You protest too much.

0:24:560:24:59

-Don't accuse our contestants of cheating!

-I'm not.

0:24:590:25:03

How much is this place on the market for, Chris?

0:25:030:25:06

I think absolute top end. 110, but a bit of wibble room cos they want to sell.

0:25:060:25:12

Here's hoping. Kat?

0:25:120:25:14

I'm going to say around 107, so I'm going to go 106,950.

0:25:140:25:21

-We're neck and neck. Chris, you are £50 away from the price.

-Ooh!

-You can't teach that.

0:25:210:25:27

You can't. That is one heck of a skill.

0:25:270:25:30

-The actual price, 109,950.

-OK.

0:25:300:25:33

Exciting, now we know the price?

0:25:330:25:35

Yeah.

0:25:350:25:37

Obviously we'd have to see if a deal could be done. Like I said, I like a cheeky bargain!

0:25:370:25:42

-I'm in a good position.

-So, you know what that means now.

0:25:420:25:45

-It's everyone's favourite part of the programme. Excited?

-I am.

-It's the wild card. Go that way.

0:25:450:25:51

Finally, a wild card today that should be more like a wow card.

0:25:570:26:00

Kat wanted new. This apartment is brand new.

0:26:000:26:03

Two bedrooms, as requested, and modern living at its finest.

0:26:030:26:07

So, Kat, on behalf of Jonnie and myself, you're most welcome.

0:26:070:26:10

Kat and Chris, welcome to Tile Hill

0:26:110:26:15

and welcome to Ed, mine and everybody else's favourite part of the show, the wild card.

0:26:150:26:21

First, Tile Hill. Great area for you, I think,

0:26:210:26:23

because you're leaving your beloved Birmingham behind, but this is the Birmingham side of Cov.

0:26:230:26:29

-Yet you can get to Cov easily.

-Chris, you're a keen man, a keen eye.

0:26:290:26:33

-I try to be.

-What is different about that area over there?

0:26:330:26:37

-It's a building site.

-It is a building site.

0:26:370:26:40

It is currently a building site and we are going to do something crafty.

0:26:400:26:46

-We're going to show you the show home.

-Excellent.

-Exciting indeed.

-It is.

0:26:460:26:50

They have done it out like a person who holidays in Ibiza, the flat.

0:26:500:26:55

-It is very jaunty.

-It's a show home.

-It's very jazzy.

-For parties.

0:26:550:26:59

-You might make your house look like it.

-Brilliant.

-Is there a disco ball?

0:26:590:27:03

The floor is disco-esque. I don't want to spoil it. I really don't.

0:27:030:27:07

-Information-wise that's good enough.

-There's much more to be given inside because there's options available.

0:27:070:27:14

I'm very excited.

0:27:140:27:16

-Are you ready?

-Ready.

-Let's go.

-Go toward that building site.

0:27:160:27:20

Ooh!

0:27:250:27:26

-Wow.

-Lovely.

-Very nice.

-Nice and spacious, isn't it?

0:27:260:27:30

Ladies and gentlemen, you haven't tuned in to To Buy Or Not To Buy, the horror version.

0:27:300:27:34

-We are indeed - where?

-On a building site in a new part of the development.

0:27:340:27:39

Ooh, this is done out really nicely, isn't it?

0:27:390:27:42

Plenty of space as well, although it would appear small.

0:27:440:27:47

Because you've still got the bigger tables either side.

0:27:470:27:50

-It is quite small. Is this the master? It might not be the biggest one.

-No. Storage space.

0:27:500:27:58

-It's almost a disco ball above the bed.

-Fantastic. Just what you want! No, I like it.

0:27:580:28:03

Are we in to Kat's potential first home?

0:28:030:28:07

Fingers crossed. That said, all of them have been great today. All of them.

0:28:070:28:12

They must not get attached to this property, as it's not the one they'd buy. It's the show home.

0:28:120:28:16

This is inspiration for them, hopefully.

0:28:160:28:19

-Bathroom. Green!

-I like that, though.

-Do you?

-I think that's cool.

0:28:200:28:26

One man's green is another man's blue!

0:28:260:28:28

-Sparkly floors. I'm loving that.

-It's very disco.

-I like it.

0:28:280:28:33

Would it be wrong for them, on this tour, to have a little disco dance

0:28:330:28:37

as it's so disco-based in there?

0:28:370:28:39

-If they were to test-drive this place, I'd want to see them dancing.

-I would.

0:28:390:28:43

-Ah, that looks a bit bigger.

-It does.

0:28:430:28:46

-Wow, check that out!

-I like it.

-I'm a bit of a magpie.

0:28:460:28:49

I'm drawn to sparkly things. This is doing it for me!

0:28:490:28:53

So, we know that, rather like Gollum,

0:28:530:28:56

Kat likes shiny things.

0:28:560:28:59

-Sparkly things.

-Like said magpie.

0:28:590:29:01

-And an en-suite. Check this out!

-Did John Travolta design this place?

0:29:010:29:06

Wow. There's your shower.

0:29:060:29:09

-That's nice.

-That is really, really nice.

0:29:090:29:12

Bit of en-suite. We like an en-suite.

0:29:120:29:14

I love all this. This is really to my taste. This is great.

0:29:140:29:18

So, an en-suite, similar to what you provided them with.

0:29:180:29:21

I did. I gave them a beautiful en-suite. It was nice.

0:29:210:29:25

They liked it, appreciated it, adored it.

0:29:250:29:27

Not as posh as this, and Chris gets his shower.

0:29:270:29:30

Wow!

0:29:300:29:32

-Corner sofa.

-I said I wasn't going to say that, but this has the wow factor!

0:29:320:29:36

Plenty of space for people to come round. Your plasma screen.

0:29:360:29:40

-I love it.

-Get two sofas in.

-This is the party pad!

0:29:400:29:44

The floor. Hard floors in your living room.

0:29:440:29:47

-Not a fan, but...

-Doesn't worry me, I have to say.

0:29:470:29:50

It's almost as if you and I have gone into this flat

0:29:500:29:54

and sprinkled stardust on it to make it attractive.

0:29:540:29:57

Wild card stardust.

0:29:570:29:58

I don't know what you think, but I think the space in here is better than Property Two.

0:29:580:30:04

-Yeah.

-Because the kitchen seems more spacious.

0:30:040:30:08

-Yes.

-But it is still a separate space.

0:30:080:30:12

Still space to have your table.

0:30:120:30:13

-Yeah.

-But I think this is going to be a lot more expensive than anything we've seen.

0:30:130:30:18

Yeah, but it's a show home. How much of it would you get to choose? That's the thing.

0:30:180:30:24

-What, if...

-How much of this is included and how much is added on.

0:30:240:30:28

Ah, Chris. He might just be a rhythm keeper in a band, but...

0:30:280:30:32

-He's a practical man.

-He knows what he's talking about. He wants to do a deal.

0:30:320:30:36

The ladies are out front, in the marketing office.

0:30:360:30:39

-We are now friends with them.

-Close friends.

-We might help them out on this one.

0:30:390:30:44

-Isn't this amazing? You've got lighting under the sofas!

-Fantastic.

0:30:460:30:50

-Once you've seen it, you wouldn't want a house any other way.

-I do love it.

0:30:500:30:55

Were there any negatives we didn't pick up on?

0:30:550:30:57

-I don't think so. Don't make any up!

-Being a show home,

0:30:590:31:02

you don't know what's included, at what level.

0:31:020:31:05

-You were clever to take that, Chris.

-I'm a wise man.

0:31:050:31:08

Very astute.

0:31:080:31:10

I've got something to show both of you. Ed, a sad time, I'm going to part company.

0:31:100:31:15

-OK.

-Make yourself at home. Catch you in a minute. Follow me.

0:31:150:31:18

-Bye, Ed.

-Bye.

0:31:180:31:20

On completion, all this will be cleaned up.

0:31:230:31:26

-Hopefully, a bit of art on the walls.

-OK.

0:31:260:31:29

-But this is the unfinished version, OK?

-Right.

0:31:290:31:33

-It's a bit echoey, cos there's no carpets. Come in.

-OK.

0:31:330:31:37

-Again, not finished.

-Yep.

0:31:420:31:44

But it's pretty much a carbon copy of where we've just been.

0:31:440:31:47

So, the choices here are with the kitchen.

0:31:470:31:52

They've got eight different kinds of kitchen you can choose from.

0:31:520:31:56

-You get the choice to upgrade to have nice worktops and nicer cookers.

-Yep.

0:31:560:32:00

This will all be finished. The only thing you have to put in yourself

0:32:000:32:04

is a floor covering, or you can get them to put it in.

0:32:040:32:07

-OK.

-What's your thoughts?

-I like that. I like that there's options

0:32:070:32:11

and choices to it.

0:32:110:32:13

Because you make it more your own taste and that sort of thing.

0:32:130:32:17

Now that it's empty, you've seen the show home. How would you like this to be laid out?

0:32:170:32:23

Um, I'd probably do a similar sort of thing.

0:32:230:32:26

We were saying the corner sofa's not a bad idea.

0:32:260:32:30

-Yeah.

-TV there.

0:32:300:32:32

-Yeah, TV definitely.

-Sofa, table.

0:32:320:32:35

The table is important to me for having friends round.

0:32:350:32:39

-Let's have a look at the bedroom.

-OK.

-Yeah.

0:32:390:32:41

-So you get a spare bedroom, which is a bonus, really.

-It is. I like it.

0:32:430:32:48

-Space to have friends come and stay.

-Put a desk.

-Exactly.

0:32:480:32:52

You don't own any furniture. You've got a bed?

0:32:520:32:54

-I've got a bed and a futon.

-What are you going to do? Where will you get it all from?

0:32:540:32:59

I don't know. Beg, steal, borrow!

0:32:590:33:02

Not a bad idea.

0:33:020:33:03

You could also go for a furnished package.

0:33:030:33:06

It costs a few thousand, depending on what specification you go for.

0:33:060:33:09

They're obviously buying a whole lot at wholesale, so you get quite a good price

0:33:090:33:14

for everything that will fit into this flat.

0:33:140:33:17

If you're struggling for ideas, they've had interior designers come round these places

0:33:170:33:22

and choose specifications and styles that go with this sort of space.

0:33:220:33:27

-Quite reasonable, is it?

-It's pretty reasonable, but my tip is

0:33:270:33:31

these are brand-new apartments.

0:33:310:33:33

-They want to sell.

-Yeah.

-I would do my best to get a discount on the furnished package

0:33:330:33:39

-or even get it included in the asking price.

-Yeah.

-OK.

0:33:390:33:43

Again, you get the two bedrooms.

0:33:460:33:47

-And you get the en-suite.

-Excellent.

-With the bathrooms, you get the choice of tiles.

0:33:470:33:53

-Right.

-So you can make...

0:33:530:33:55

Even though there's loads of apartments here, you get to put an individual touch on it

0:33:550:33:59

-before it's completed, which is a bonus.

-I like it. It's good. You can see what you can do with it.

0:33:590:34:04

It looks bigger when there's nothing in it!

0:34:040:34:07

Like Ed's head! OK, let's go and have a chat with Ed.

0:34:070:34:11

Then it's guess the price time, at one-all.

0:34:110:34:14

-Yeah?

-No pressure!

-Let's go.

0:34:140:34:16

Vis-a-vis the furniture packages and everything else,

0:34:160:34:20

-has Jonnie opened your eyes to the possibilities of choosing surfaces, et cetera?

-Definitely.

0:34:200:34:26

-It's very exciting.

-It is.

-A whole new world.

0:34:260:34:29

So we know we like it, we know about the furniture packages.

0:34:290:34:32

We're playing with a maximum budget of 100.

0:34:320:34:35

You're nervous because you think it might be slightly over budget.

0:34:350:34:39

Who goes first?

0:34:390:34:41

Go on, then.

0:34:410:34:43

I would say I think it's top end.

0:34:430:34:46

-So I'm going to say...109,950.

-OK. OK.

0:34:460:34:51

Chris?

0:34:510:34:53

I would have said

0:34:530:34:55

it would be really high, so I'm going to go for 109,949!

0:34:550:34:59

-He's gone one pound under! You usurper!

-If it's any lower,

0:35:010:35:05

-I win, and that's what counts.

-I think it's higher.

-It's 110 grand.

0:35:050:35:10

-If you'd only gone one pound over, you'd have won this.

-I know.

-Never mind.

0:35:100:35:15

Although we're ten grand over your budget,

0:35:150:35:17

because they've got so many of these apartments to sell, you stand a chance of negotiating down.

0:35:170:35:22

If you choose this one, that is.

0:35:220:35:24

It's the point when you have to go and make the biggest decision of your adult lives.

0:35:240:35:29

-Can you do it?

-We can. We can be strong.

-A few arguments. If we do this, we can do anything.

0:35:290:35:34

-Brilliant.

-Rock on.

-We'll see you later.

0:35:340:35:37

-Look at that. So brave!

-First time into this property market.

0:35:370:35:42

-But it's been a hell of a day!

-Goodness me.

0:35:420:35:44

Ups, downs, but we've looked at three flats.

0:35:440:35:47

Let's remind ourselves of what they looked like.

0:35:470:35:50

Property One was everything Kat was after and more.

0:35:510:35:55

I even threw in canal views!

0:35:550:35:57

It was big enough for her, but could she see through the blank canvas facade? I hope so,

0:35:570:36:02

as it was under her budget for only 99,950 quid.

0:36:020:36:06

Yes, but the sheer plushness and poshness of lovely Property Two

0:36:100:36:14

will certainly sway Kat towards my pad.

0:36:140:36:17

There was even an en-suite to entice,

0:36:170:36:19

not to mention Longford Park on the doorstep.

0:36:190:36:23

But Ed, face it, everyone loves the wild card

0:36:270:36:29

and today's new build was no exception.

0:36:290:36:32

The show home paved the way with its impeccably contemporary decor

0:36:320:36:36

and the unfinished apartment screamed of potential.

0:36:360:36:39

On for a haggle-zone-ready price of...

0:36:390:36:42

But which will take home the gold statuette?

0:36:430:36:47

So, here we are, in a very echoey wild card.

0:36:510:36:54

A surprise or no surprise? What made it better than the other two?

0:36:540:36:58

I suppose the layout of it.

0:36:580:37:00

The fact that it was everything that I'd asked for.

0:37:000:37:03

-And a little bit more!

-And it could become everything you want it to be.

-Yes.

0:37:030:37:08

This property is leasehold. It's a 125-year lease.

0:37:080:37:11

With most leasehold properties, you get a ground rent and a maintenance charge.

0:37:110:37:15

That adds up to around £1,090 each year, paid annually.

0:37:150:37:20

My thoughts here are that it's not yet built.

0:37:200:37:24

Some of those charges will include the cleaning of the common areas, or communal areas.

0:37:240:37:29

They're going to be full of dust, you can't enjoy the ground yet because it's a building site.

0:37:290:37:34

So if you pursue this, I'd negotiate and say I'm not going to pay that entire amount for a couple of years

0:37:340:37:40

-and save some money.

-Fair enough.

-Good move.

-Very good.

0:37:400:37:44

We've had our mysterious To Buy Or Not To Buy surveyor come over

0:37:440:37:47

and give it a thorough once over. It's not legally binding, I stress that,

0:37:470:37:52

but it's a good hit-up if you wish to pursue the purchase of this building site.

0:37:520:37:56

-Want to know what he said?

-I'd love to.

0:37:560:37:59

Our man has spotted it's a timber-framed beauty and it has a high level of insulation.

0:37:590:38:05

He's been able to spot that because it's literally a building site.

0:38:050:38:09

That leads him to believe that it will be very, very energy efficient.

0:38:090:38:13

-So that's great news.

-Saving money on your bills. Also NHBC, a buildings guarantee,

0:38:130:38:19

-for ten years.

-Yeah.

0:38:190:38:21

So any snagging problems, you get them to sort it out for gratis.

0:38:210:38:24

Zippety-doo-dah, zippety-day.

0:38:240:38:26

Are you excited? Are you pleased you've been so clever to pick this?

0:38:260:38:30

I am. I think it's a good choice.

0:38:300:38:32

-Are you ready to test-drive it?

-Certainly!

0:38:320:38:34

-Chris, you could leave Leeds for this, all right?

-Could do.

0:38:340:38:38

-Maybe you will!

-He's not convinced yet.

-Good luck and go. We'll see you in a bit.

0:38:380:38:42

-What are they going to do in this place?

-I don't know! Maybe finish it.

0:38:420:38:46

Whilst they do that, I've spied some furnished properties. Come with me.

0:38:460:38:50

Amazing. Come on. Ooh, look at this one!

0:38:500:38:53

And with no hesitation, Kat and Chris get into those finishing touches.

0:38:570:39:01

They're all quite similar, aren't they?

0:39:010:39:04

With their kaleidoscope of carpets, a plethora of kitchen doors

0:39:040:39:08

and more tiles than a Scrabble board, the choices are endless.

0:39:080:39:12

But once a drummer, always a drummer. Chris picks a spot for his kit

0:39:140:39:18

whilst Kat enjoys the hip and trendy furniture package of the show home.

0:39:180:39:23

No point waiting in the wings, Kat. This is the time to solve those first-time buyer queries.

0:39:250:39:31

The glamorous lady from the marketing suite is on hand with the answers.

0:39:310:39:36

-We could just have it as the empty shell?

-Just as the empty shell, yes.

0:39:360:39:41

And the empty shell is what's up for grabs here.

0:39:440:39:47

So Chris and Kat check out the lie of the land and try to visualise the wild card's potential.

0:39:470:39:53

Do you want to make one of these walls like a feature wall?

0:39:530:39:56

-Crazy wallpaper.

-Exactly. You could do that quite easily.

0:39:560:40:00

The other thing is whether the bed was gonna fit in here.

0:40:000:40:05

-Yep.

-So...

0:40:050:40:06

Yes, Kat, the only piece of furniture you own will fit like a glove

0:40:060:40:10

in this ample double bedroom.

0:40:100:40:12

It may not be Saturday night, but every night and day should be a movie night or day.

0:40:140:40:19

So please turn off your mobile phones and Kat, please save me some popcorn.

0:40:190:40:23

Kat and Chris, you had a good test drive.

0:40:320:40:34

Does this show home potentially feel like home to you?

0:40:340:40:39

-I think it could do, yeah.

-Really? Ooh.

0:40:390:40:42

-What do you think of the layout? Would you keep things as they are?

-It's a little jazzy for my tastes.

0:40:420:40:49

But some of the elements and ideas in it, I do like.

0:40:490:40:53

-The big DJ picture on the wall is a keeper?

-It's a fave.

-That's a deal breaker!

0:40:530:40:58

-It's a keeper.

-What about a picture of you playing the drums, Chris?

0:40:580:41:02

Don't give him ideas!

0:41:020:41:04

You've been up to a few things. Have any of these things helped you

0:41:040:41:08

to form an opinion about the purchase?

0:41:080:41:11

We know where the bed is going and that it will fit.

0:41:110:41:14

-Good. That's all you own, furniture-wise.

-Pretty much, yes.

0:41:140:41:18

-Is it a nice place to hang out and watch a film?

-Yes.

0:41:180:41:21

-Very relaxing. I could see the two of us on an evening.

-Nice corner sofa.

0:41:210:41:25

You got to do one of the exciting things that I've had a look at.

0:41:250:41:29

-Choosing the beigeness of your carpet!

-Oh, I know!

0:41:290:41:32

I looked at that for a long time. It's like a conundrum.

0:41:320:41:36

You look closer, and they're all the same colour.

0:41:360:41:38

-Which beigeness did you like?

-We went more for the chocolate beige.

0:41:380:41:43

That was my third favourite beige.

0:41:430:41:46

Out of ten beiges, that's quite something.

0:41:460:41:49

The other beige was nice. The coffee beige.

0:41:490:41:51

You've had a chance to look at all of that.

0:41:510:41:54

-You've met the ladies out the front as well.

-Very nice ladies, yes.

0:41:540:41:59

Did you try and haggle with them at that point?

0:41:590:42:02

Not at this point, but it will be done. It will be.

0:42:020:42:05

OK. Sounds like you've done a bit of research. Something to be done later.

0:42:050:42:09

Shall we do it? We're ready and tensed.

0:42:090:42:11

To buy or not to buy? That is the question for you, Kat.

0:42:110:42:14

-Possibly.

-Possibly?! We've not done 45 minutes for a "possibly"!

0:42:140:42:19

Explain yourself properly.

0:42:190:42:21

I would say we'll get my people to talk to their people to see if we can do a cheeky deal!

0:42:210:42:27

-Right.

-Then it would be to buy.

0:42:270:42:29

-We'll take that.

-We've done quite well, though.

0:42:290:42:31

Chris, will you move to Coventry?

0:42:310:42:33

Mm-hm.

0:42:330:42:35

We'll leave you to have an uncomfortable discussion about that.

0:42:350:42:39

Let us know what's going to happen.

0:42:390:42:41

-We'll see you soon.

-Thanks for your help, guys.

-Bye!

0:42:410:42:45

Alfred Hitchcock once said drama was life with the dull bits taken out.

0:42:450:42:49

A wise man once said, "The wild card. Everyone loves the wild card."

0:42:490:42:54

That was me! Didn't they love it today?

0:42:540:42:56

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