Property series. David and Susan have 230,000 pounds to spend on a home in south-west Wales. Will Jonnie Irwin and Jane Farnham tempt them with a finished house or a fixer-upper?
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Today, choosing the right property is harder than ever.
So how can you navigate the house-hunt hullabaloo?
Why pay for a property done to someone else's taste
when you can bag yourself a bargain wreck
and potentially add value as you create your own home?
I want to hunt down the best wrecks on the market
and show our couples that renovation is the way forward.
But who wants to live in a building site?
Not me. I'm on a mission to prove you don't have to
blow your budget to get everything you want in your new home.
Because I reckon pristine pads are the way to go.
So, can I tantalise today's buyers with one of my readies?
Or will can I steal them away from Jane's clutches with one of my wrecks?
Let's find out.
Today, we're searching along the south-west tip of Wales,
from Haverfordwest to Carmarthen, and south to the sea.
Prices here are low.
Houses cost about £50,000 below the national average, which is great news
for today's house hunters, David and Susan, who have £237,000 to spend on their new home.
David has recently retired from his job as a motor-vehicle design engineer,
and the couple are now planning the rest of their lives together.
They were teenage sweethearts a few years back,
and were even once engaged.
After a long break, 27 years in fact,
they rekindled their relationship and fell in love all over again.
Don't get emotional, Farnham. We've got work to do.
David and Susan's Essex bungalow is on the market, and they're looking to up sticks
and get more space in the countryside.
Susan loves the beach, and has always loved the South Wales coast,
and David says he's happy to give Susan what she wants.
He sounds perfect, but before we can start looking for a new dream home,
we need to find their criteria.
-And see who's up for a wreck...
-..and who wants a ready.
So, time to meet David and Susan. Marvellous.
-And I'm Dave.
The type of property that we're after is preferably a three-bedroom house.
I would really like one that's quirky.
I mean, something like a church, or in Wales, a chapel, something like that.
With a graveyard wouldn't be a problem for me.
It must have a downstairs toilet.
A fair-size bedroom to put all my clothes,
as I've got rather a lot of clothes, as David will tell you!
-Sounds familiar doesn't it?!
I can't get in and out of a bath, so I would need a shower.
We've got four cats as well as our two dogs, so we've got a small zoo!
They need their own little area, then?
I would prefer a wreck-type property.
A property that needs renovation, needs a lot of work doing, where I can get in with my sledgehammer.
Typical man! He wants to go in, throw his manliness around the house!
Having done this kitchen before, I feel I could do the same again.
I walked in here with a sledgehammer and ripped the thing out.
In fairness, he's done a good job there with that kitchen.
-He seems handy.
-You know, it's always the bloke, isn't it?
"I've done it before." We're probably going to hear now, "He did it, it was a nightmare,
-"we lived on a building site."
-How long did it take?
A mess, covered in dust.
It didn't matter how much you covered the furniture up, shut the doors.
-You've got your work cut out!
-It was a bit of a nightmare.
That's why I say I don't want another house that is a wreck,
because I think, could I go through that again?!
I will win this until you change my mind!
-He said it!
-That's my boy!
-You always get your own way.
-That's because you know I'm always right!
Look, we're up against it. I know we always say that,
but a three-bedroom detached house with land in beautiful Pembrokeshire.
-I think we can find them something.
-Find them a church with a graveyard?!
-I don't think so.
I personally don't think Susan will entertain a wreck.
I think she might turn around and come round to that.
At the end of the day, her requirements are simple.
A shower, a walk-in shower,
and a toilet downstairs, and those can be added to any property.
-We've got to find somewhere for those dogs to go.
They're too nice! You can't say that!
So, Susan wants a ready, but my man David is up for a wreck.
Their current Essex house is on the market, so they're hoping to get a quick sale
and head on out to beautiful South Wales as soon as possible.
So, David and Susan want...
..and most of all, it has to be fairly rural.
And all of this with a maximum budget of £237,000.
We've got our work cut out for us,
especially as Susan loves all things gothic and Victorian.
Oh, and with a graveyard, if possible.
Susan decides she wants to move.
Susan decides South Wales. Susan decides. Dave doesn't.
-I think I've got this in the bag.
-You could be right, Jane,
but I'm banking on David's desire to swing a sledgehammer.
Susan wears the trousers, but she doesn't look like she has any intention of a wreck.
I really need Dave to fight his corner for me today.
So, I'm kicking off the search in Pembroke.
A pretty town with a medieval castle,
so gothic lover Susan should feel at home.
Plus, property prices here have dropped nearly 10% in the last year,
and a detached house averages around 225,000,
so I'm hoping value for money here should win over David.
Here we are on the outskirts of Pembroke,
and we've come to see said property opposite.
-It's the Old Post Office.
First thing you might notice is the road.
-I don't think you could fail to miss that.
-Could be a problem.
-I love stone-built properties.
-Well, shall we go and have a look then?
Lead the way. Mind the road.
So, my first ready is a large three-bedroom semi-detached cottage.
No graveyard, but it's bursting with
those all-important period features that Susan loves.
It's got panoramic views and a decent-sized garden for their cats and dogs.
The Old Post Office is on the market for £189,950,
almost 50 grand under budget for David and Susan.
-So, a rather large study at the front of the house.
-Oh, this is nice.
-And this is the living room.
-Oh, this is nice, yeah.
-I like that wall.
-Lots of character in this house. You said you liked character.
-Don't like modern.
I like old houses, plenty of character, quirky.
-Little bit on the small side so far...
-I like that.
-It's all nice and cosy.
One thing I have picked up here, there seems to be a difference in opinion on room sizes.
Where's the compromise going to be?
Something a little bit bigger than this, probably.
If there were three reception rooms...
We might be able to sort that out. Let's look at the back,
which I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with.
-This is what I really wanted to show you out here.
-This is something special.
It's a conservatory, and the views, what you wanted.
-That is absolutely superb.
-This is why you move to Wales!
I mean, if you like it on a day like this what's it going to be like when the sun's shining?
-Yeah, good point. Well, look, these are great reactions.
-It is. I'm really positive,
and I'm glad you can see the potential.
What I want you to do is have a look in the kitchen,
the shower room and also upstairs, and we'll wait down here
-and find out more after you've had a good tour.
-Fill your boots. Enjoy.
Well, hats off to you, Jane.
-Sounds like they love it here.
-It's nice, in't it? Nice room.
-It's a double room.
Yep, if David and Susan are looking to walk straight in
and start their new life in Wales, this property has the lot.
A walk-in shower, which was on their wish list, and the current owners have pets,
-so they can cope with animals near a main road.
-Oh, this is nice.
-Oh, I like the colour.
-This is the master bedroom, and you've got the view.
-Oh, that's lovely.
Wake up every morning to that. It's really nice.
Jonnie, it looks like they absolutely love my first ready of the day.
-A little bit. David's not wanting to smash any walls down yet.
I reckon I might struggle today, but it's still early.
-Dave's forgotten about the house!
-Forgotten about the road as well.
I thought that was going to be a sticking point, but it seems it's not an issue at all.
This house faces that way, and it just goes to show,
if you've got a real positive like not only the land,
-but that view, they'll forget about a compromise.
You could sit out there all day and just look, couldn't you?
-Have me barbecue.
Don't forget your barbecue, and a glass of wine! Fall down this garden, literally!
Not sure I'd better give them another view like this,
but I think I'll centre on character.
Yeah, the character's good, but also I just feel really positive,
because this is a really good start to our day.
Just cos you've got one scratched up, "I feel really positive!" Good for you!
Right, time to wipe that smug grin off Jane's face.
To find these guys a wreck with money to spare, we're off into
the Welsh countryside, away from those expensive coastal locations.
Llanboidy is a small farming hamlet 15 miles west of Carmarthen.
It's very rural and very off the beaten track,
but I'm pinning my hopes on David's hunger for a project.
As I said, David wants a project, and boy, have I found one!
This old schoolmaster's house has just come on the market at £190,000,
47 grand under budget.
Now then, welcome to Llanboidy.
-I hope I've pronounced that right!
-You have, perfectly.
-What about this?
-Yeah, it's lovely.
-This is as much traffic as you'll get. Cope with that?
And you've got the bonus of having a local pub within stumbling distance
and a local shop and post office.
Plus, you've seen around. Look at these views.
You've got so much dog walking right on your doorstep here.
This three-bed house has a lower ground floor that's set up
as a one-bed flat, so lots of renovation potential
and extra space for David to get excited about.
It's also got great character features to tickle Susan's gothic bones.
Now, that big entrance hall could be made to be really grand, couldn't it?
-Very welcoming. So, first impressions, please. Dave?
-Size. Nice size.
-'Tis, isn't it?
-Yes, twice the size of what we've got now.
-I like that range. I think that is lovely.
-That's staying, then?
-That's definitely staying, yes.
Good. The job here is getting it just brought into this century, if you like.
-Making it comfortable for you guys. But you could live in this place.
I'd want to do it restore it back to its Victorian thing, yeah.
-You have to be sympathetic to that.
-Like, a Victorian bathroom put in.
Get back to the floorboards and have the rugs on the floor
and things like that.
Thinking already, thinking ahead!
I'll tell you what, at the moment I know that you wanted a wreck...
..but it seems to be that I'm pleasing Sue here, maybe even more.
What's happened there?!
I think I love it cos it's Victorian
and it's still got some of its original features,
and then if it hasn't got them, you can put them back,
and you can restore it as it was.
You can put the chandeliers, the heavy drape curtains, and all that sort of thing.
-This is your sort of house, isn't it?
People who know me would say, "Oh, that is Sue's house,"
as soon as they saw it, just from the outside.
In your face, Farnham! I see your panoramic views
and I raise you some Victoriana, plus a quiet road outside.
-Susan loves my wreck.
-No-one likes a show-off, Jonnie, but well done.
The house immediately needs a new kitchen and bathroom,
which should come in at around £13,000,
which will give David's DIY-ing alter ego lots of stuff to get to grips with.
-A nice, big bedroom.
-A nice-size bedroom.
-Plenty of wardrobe space.
-Plenty of work!
-Sounds like you've moved yourself in already!
I'm laying out the bedroom, where the wardrobes are going, where you've got to build wardrobes!
-This is a very hard decision, isn't it?
-Yeah, I know there's a lot of work,
but you can see it in your mind what it would look like
once it's all done, and you restore it back to as it was, its grandeur.
As soon as we walked up that road and I saw this from a distance,
I knew you'd fall in love with this, cos this has got Sue written all over it.
-It's your sort of place.
-Yeah, you could call it Sue's Village!
-That went well.
-Yeah, pretty chuffed.
-I would be!
Thank you, Victorian architecture!
I think I want to stick with more of the same, really.
Big is beautiful by the sounds of it, so I'll try and get
as big as possible, maybe try and squeeze a detached out of the budget.
Yeah, why not? I personally need to focus on location.
That's the key, somewhere not on a great big, busy road.
I reckon a big tip here, find a pub!
Actually, that's a really good thought!
What a quandary!
How to please a couple that are, well, frankly so easy to please!
I'm calling about the four-bed detached on at 235.
They could well end up loving all of our properties, but I'm not convinced we have a winner yet,
so it's time to split up and search more ground.
Hats off to them. They're moving to an area they're not all that familiar with,
and the first two properties we've shown them, they've loved.
They haven't discounted anything, but therein lies the problem. We still are none the wiser,
and we almost are starting this search again from scratch this afternoon.
This is going to be interesting.
Now, I'm thinking about dog walking for this couple,
and Susan wants to be by the sea, so I'm heading south again to Llansteffan,
close to some gorgeous sandy beaches.
Ideal for getting some exercise, fresh air and walking those dogs.
I think I've found everything they want.
The trouble is, it's nearly 250 grand.
That's 13,000 over David and Susan's budget!
There's not much room to negotiate, as the vendors have already
knocked back a few low offers.
So, I've brought you down towards the coast.
We're just outside Llansteffan, about three quarters of a mile away.
You've got your own babbling brook. Can I ask what your first impressions are?
This is right up my street, this sort of place.
Location, or the property?
-Well, David's happy again, but Susan seems suspiciously quiet.
-Sue, you loved the last place.
-What are you feeling here?
-I do like it, but...
-Is your heart still with the other?
Yeah! But this is a lovely property, though. It is really nice.
Well, don't discount it just yet, Sue, cos it's got a lot to offer, this house,
and I think you're really going to like it, so keep your eyes open.
I was hoping this property might be exactly what they're looking for.
It's rural but not isolated, has three bedrooms,
a beautiful garden, and best of all, David doesn't need to lift a finger.
-It's a really beautiful property.
-Oh, this is more like it.
This is really, really nice, and you can move straight into this place.
That's down to Sue. I think there's some work to do to convince her to take her heart
out of the village.
It was just cos it was Victorian, and I just love Victorian.
-You've still got high ceilings in here.
-It's still got character.
Being in this area, seeing the amount of work
I had to do at the Victorian wreck, moving into this one,
where I'd want to start enjoying myself now I'm retired...
Whereas the Victorian wreck, I'd be six, eight, ten months. This is all done for me.
Sorry, Jonnie, but I think you're losing David to
the charms of my ready.
But then Susan still loves my renovation project.
-This is confusing.
-He's talking a lot of sense, isn't he?
-He is talking sense.
-He's talking your sense!
He's taking the words right out of your mouth!
Being realistic, this would be the better option,
even though my heart is with the Victorian,
but I've got to get me head to rule and not me heart.
Of course. You go and explore. See if you can get a feel for the place.
That's what's important, you have to have that feeing.
-See if you get the feeling for this place like I've got!
On paper, this property ticks a lot of David and Susan's boxes.
Oh, yeah, that's nice.
There's a downstairs shower and toilet,
it's beautifully decorated, and it's close to that beach.
But it's at the very top of their budget, Jane.
Frankly, I think Susan's heart is still on my last project.
So, I'm slightly confused.
We started out the search with Dave wanting a wreck, and now he wants a ready.
Sue, on the other hand, wanted a ready, and now she wants a wreck.
They both need to put their heads together
and really come to a decision, decide what they both want to do,
because at the moment I'm struggling.
That's a lovely garden. It's a lovely house.
Everything you wanted, all done for you. Move in, drop your suitcases, beach within a mile or so.
I wanted the wreck, but then having seen the Victorian wreck
and then seeing this, that's all ready, I'm thinking,
do I want to take on all that work on me own?
You wouldn't have to do anything to this, but I thought you wanted a place a little bit bigger.
-Size isn't everything.
-Oh, now David's changing his mind about size!
-Apparently it's not everything. I must tell Jonnie.
-Hiya, how are you?
-I'm confused. I need help.
Oh, no! What's happened?
It seems we've got a complete role reversal going on here.
They haven't got a clue what they want now.
Dave walked in, absolutely loved it.
If he'd had his bags packed in the car, I think
-he would have moved straight in.
Sue, completely different lady to what we saw at your wreck.
Just not quite feeling it. So you're going to have to pull out all the stops for your last one.
If it's a role reversal, do I get to wear a dress?
-You can wear a dress whenever you want!
-Great, I'm on my way!
-I'll see you in a bit! Bye.
Yeah, I think you'd look good in a dress!
Jane may have split the camp with her last ready,
but I'm determined to get David and Susan to agree on my last wreck.
Good luck, Jonnie. I think we've done a complete 180.
I'm confused. Does Susan still want a wreck, or did David just say he liked my ready?
Don't worry, Jane. I've got an ace up my sleeve in a pretty holiday village called Laugharne,
14 miles south of Carmarthen.
Properties here went down in value over the last year, so I reckon
they'll get more for their budget, especially if they buy a wreck.
So, Dave and Sue, welcome to lovely Laugharne.
-Now, you know Laugharne, don't you?
-Yes. Dylan Thomas' boatyard.
-I know you've done a bit of research on the internet, haven't you, looking at houses.
-Does this ring any bells?
-Yes, this one does.
-Have you looked inside it?
-Do you want to look inside it?
-Are you sure?
-Excellent. Let's have a butcher's.
This cottage is on the market for £195,000,
over £40,000 under David and Susan's budget,
which gives them plenty of spare cash for any Victorian renovation work.
It's been rented out for ten years, and it's been on and off the market for a while.
It's in the heart of the village, and best of all, it's walking distance to the beach.
This is the main room of the house.
-Come right in and tell me what you think.
-Nice size. Very nice size.
Needs some work doing, but that's not a problem.
-You either look disgusted or surprised...
Put a new kitchen in it, it'll be lovely.
Sounds like you've almost come on board here, Sue. Yeah? Welcome!
It's a happy boat, isn't it? Brilliant. Love it.
No, Susan, don't get on board HMS Irwin!
I can feel my ready power being taken from me again, but well done, Jonnie.
-Now, look at the size of this room here.
-Oh, my God. It's huge.
-That's more like it.
-Lovely big room.
She's working out how many wardrobes we can get in here!
Take that sink out, wardrobes, wardrobes...
I could have wardrobes right along that wall!
It's all up there now, yeah? Brilliant!
-Dave, what we've got is...
And we've got wardrobes there. You got that? Good! Excellent!
-Don't know where I'll sleep!
But look, this is great.
What you're doing is visualising a space, which is
what I implore anybody to do when they look at a wreck.
Ignore what's here and start putting your furniture in there,
and use your imagination.
Have a good look around. This property needs a full refurb.
We got a local builder in to give us a quote, and it came in at £19,500
for a new kitchen, en-suite bathroom and general redecoration.
David could do much of the work himself
and save himself money, or does he fancy hanging up his DIY tools?
A nice size. I'd keep this as one room.
I wouldn't put this back into two rooms again.
Our day of hunting is drawing to an end.
It's time to find out if any of our properties have tickled their fancy.
-Up here, Jane.
-Ah, there you are.
-Check me out.
I am Jimmy Saville!
-This is where his furniture's stored!
-JIMMY SAVILLE VOICE:
-What have we here?!
Yeah, well, I'm a bit confused,
so I'm hoping you've kind of sorted us out with this last property.
They quite like it.
-They really do quite like it, and if you look out there...
Looks like they're discussing it.
So, Jonnie, confusion reigns
as the day draws to an end.
And what a day it's been.
We started with your ready, the Old Post Office.
David and Susan loved it, but weren't sure about the location
and that busy main road.
Your first wreck was the schoolmaster's house
with loads of renovation potential,
which Susan got really excited about.
Then I took them to a lovely detached cottage by the sea,
which David loved, but Susan not so much.
And lastly, I found a project that was way under budget,
leaving David and Susan enough spare cash for a new kitchen and bathroom.
They thought it was nice, but then they liked all of them!
If only everyone was so easy to please!
But will they actually go for anything?
They've got the rest of their lives together. So where do they want to be to spend it?
So, how's it gone? Tell me everything.
It's been confusing. Very confusing.
Our job is to confuse you, but in a good way.
We're confused in a good way. We've seen four good properties,
-one we have more or less discounted.
-The £240,000 one. It's me that's discounted it.
From the outside when I walked up, I thought it was absolutely everything that I wanted.
I think that the price is a little bit high.
-First wreck. Mine. What do you think?
I don't need to ask you, Sue, whether you liked it!
-You like a bit of Victoriana, don't you?
-At the start, Jane's first ready.
-That was a beautiful home.
-We all agreed on that.
-Them views were absolutely stunning.
-What about this one?
-Love this one.
-Is this more location, though?
This is all about Sue. You wanted to be near the sea.
Three cracking houses. So, why don't you have a think about it tonight?
-We're going to keep our phones on.
We'll be here in the morning, should you need us. You can let us know
which one you want to go and revisit.
The end of a very satisfying, if slightly confusing, house hunt.
There have been role reversals aplenty here,
and I don't think either of us can tell which way their final decision will go.
We just need David and Susan to call and put one of us out of our misery.
-Hi, Jonnie. Hi, Jane.
So, how did it go last night? Did you have a good think?
Yes, we burnt the midnight oil till well beyond midnight, and we're now down to one.
-Ooh, which one? Do tell.
-And the winner is...
-The Old Post Office.
-How much wine did you drink?!
Probably not as much as youse two!
Well done, guy. You've come to your own decision on that, and that's great.
-Couldn't have done it without your help.
-They sound really keen, though.
-But it was a lovely house.
-Well, cool. I'm a little bit disappointed.
Ah, don't take it too hard, Jonnie. It was a very close call.
The next morning, I sent David and Susan back for a fresh look at the winning property.
Ready number one, the Old Post Office in Pembroke.
We've done the right thing, David, coming back and looking at this place again.
-We'll go out and have a look out the garden shall we?
-Now the sun's shining.
The gorgeous panoramic views won it for you in the end, Jane.
-Well, it looks like you're right again, Sue.
-You can see the sea there.
-There's your sea view.
Plus, David and Susan thought the Old Post Office seemed
bigger on the inside than it did on the outside.
-I knew you was right.
-I'm always right, David!
-I should have learnt by now!
David and Susan loved the Old Post Office so much that
they put in an offer of 187,500, and it was accepted.
Sadly, the sale on their current Essex home is stuck in a very long chain,
so the Old Post Office vendors found new buyers.
David and Susan have dropped their asking price to try for a faster sale,
and they're still looking for their dream home in South Wales.
It just goes to show, if you're involved in a chain, someone in a better position can come along
and nick it in the last moments.
Frustrating for David and Susan, but their search continues, so best of luck with that,
and we can rest assured knowing that we did show them some fantastic properties.
I did show them some, you're absolutely right!
Please join us again as we battle it out to prove that renovation projects...
..or readies are the key to finding your new home.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Handyman David and his childhood sweetheart Susan have 230,000 pounds to spend on a home in south-west Wales, but will property experts Jonnie Irwin and Jane Farnham tempt them with a finished house or a fixer-upper?