Episode 11 Wreck or Ready?


Episode 11

Property series. Geoff and Claire have 650,000 pounds to spend on a home in Sussex. Will Jonnie Irwin and Jane Farnham tempt them with a finished house or a fixer-upper?


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Transcript


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'These days, navigating a difficult market is harder than ever before.

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'Do you plump for the easy option

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'and go for a property with no work needed?

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'Or do you take a chance on a wreck

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'with potential to become your perfect pad?'

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I'm here to prove that a renovation project is the best way

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of getting your dream home.

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I think today's property market is full of great homes

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that are ready to move into.

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It's our job to help house-hunters make up their minds.

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Can I dare today's buyers to take on one of my wrecks?

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Or will they play it safe with one of my readies?

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'Today, we're searching in East Sussex, 1066 country

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'around the ancient town of Battle,

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'where William the Conqueror defeated King Harold

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'and built this beautiful abbey to commemorate his victory.

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'House prices here are on the up, rising by over 10% on last year...

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'We're here to find a family home

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'for marketing director Geoff and his wife, Claire,

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'who works part time as cabin crew for a long-haul airline.

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'With three-year-old twins Ella and Tristan,

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'they want to get off to a flying start,

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'after the family moved here two years ago.

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'They celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary on the ski slopes

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'and are desperate to go off piste and find a home

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'to spend the next ten years and beyond.

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'They need help widening their search beyond where they live,

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'and decided to call in the experts.

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-'Who wants the "doer-upper"?

-Who wants the "that'll do nicely"?'

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I'm Claire. I work as cabin crew for a long-haul airline.

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I'm Geoff. I'm a marketing director for a holiday park operator.

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We find that we're taking the children out a lot of the time

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because the garden's not ideal.

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It's on three different levels.

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I would love a good size garden

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with a flat level area of lawn where we can kick a ball about.

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I think what's going to impress them is land.

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I'd like it to be big enough to justify a ride-on mower.

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-What is that about?

-It's in our blood. I want a ride-on mower.

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I live in a flat in London.

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-I wouldn't consider an ugly property.

-Bungalows turn me off.

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-It would have to be detached.

-Four bedrooms. The bigger the better.

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My main priority is that it's by a good school.

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-They want the lot!

-They do.

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They want the lot in quite an expensive part of the world.

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They mention what always holds up property prices - good schools.

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That's going to stretch the budget when you're looking at land as well.

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There's going to be compromises today.

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I'd consider a wreck for a number of reasons. Firstly, the potential gain, in terms of value.

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I would like something that's quite easy to move in.

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I try really hard to make our life stress-free.

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To spend all your time at work, then coming home and living in a mess,

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that would put pressure on me, I think.

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Very sensible! It's always the lady who brings it back to reality.

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Claire will probably win because she's more sensible than I am.

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I think you'll win,

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if Jonnie can find something within budget

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that would let me stay in this house

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while work was done in the wreck. Good luck!

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-She looks like a hard task master.

-Certainly does.

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'So, to sum up, Geoff wants a wreck and Claire wants a ready.

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'They're both looking for...

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'..While Claire wants something with a lot of kerb appeal.

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'All that with a budget of £650,000.'

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Finding a ready that's going to beat what they've got? That's what's going to be the toughie here.

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'But I can completely understand why Claire wants out of rented

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'and into a home of her own.

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'A wreck with enough potential will come at a cost.'

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We've got a great budget but MASSIVE aspirations for a new home.

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And Claire doesn't want any piece of a wreck.

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'I can't help but think I'm at a disadvantage.

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'Wrecks with enough kerb appeal are hard to come by, but I can only show them what's on the market.

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'So for my first property I'm heading out to Pett,

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'four miles east of Hastings.

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'This place has a charming, sleepy feel to it.

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'Unfortunately, there is no school in the village,

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'but it does have great access to this wonderful beach.

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'That sounds great, Jonnie, but what about the house itself?

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'All right! It's a modern five-bed house, on the market for £585,000.

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'That, Jane, is 65 grand under budget.

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'I know it's no oil painting,

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'but that can be improved on and it will definitely need work

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-'to bring it up to Claire's standards.

-Wait a minute, Irwin!

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-'This house isn't a wreck.

-OK, she won't be knocking walls around.

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'It's still a big modernisation job.

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'There are five bedrooms here,

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'plus two bathrooms and an en suite that needs finishing off.

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'Well, almost needs starting, but the main reason I'm excited

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'is the land, two acres of it.

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-'And a riding school with stabling for that ride-on mower.

-Sad.

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'Very sad.'

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Imagine your new house has its own long sweeping drive,

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some gates here to keep the children in, stop them wandering off.

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Then you could pull your cars into this wonderful courtyard space.

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It's...it's not the prettiest of homes but, er...

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The point of a wreck is to try and use your imagination.

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For example, I'm thinking

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a bit more wood on the front, wooden doors on the garage.

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To make it look a bit softer, maybe even a bit more contemporary with a traditional feel.

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It's got potential. Do something with the drive.

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There's a nice centrepiece that we could work with.

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'Not a bad start, Jonnie, but you need bigger reactions than that.'

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-Wow!

-It is big, isn't it?

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-Look at the size of this room!

-That is a genuine inglenook fireplace.

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You could get either side of that.

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The whole thing about this house is

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-I'm not asking you to knock down any walls.

-OK.

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This is a refurbishment project. So what do you think so far?

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-It's a brilliant size.

-Good proportions. They work for me.

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'How's that for a better reaction?

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'Even Claire seems excited about the potential inside.

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'Wait until they see the potential outside!'

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We're moving quite a bit away from the house.

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Don't worry, because we're still on your land.

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We could still be on your land right down in that bottom paddock.

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Cos that's your boundary!

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-Wow!

-Really?

-Is that enough for a ride-on mower?

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Somewhere for the kids to play, explore and learn about nature.

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-Which they don't get at the moment.

-We could have family rounders!

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I was quite happy with you being here, Geoff.

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But it's Claire who needs to be convinced.

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What's going through your mind?

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Seeing the land there has made me a bit emotional.

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I take the children out so they can run around and play.

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I wouldn't have to leave the house to entertain them!

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Can I rein you in a little bit?

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Just bring you back down to Earth with a bump!

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-There is a lot of work to do.

-Yeah.

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Have you thought about the practicalities of doing that with a young family?

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Because there's nothing structural that needs doing to the house,

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we could get a lot of decorating done whilst we're in the rental.

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Bearing in mind your budget of 650. This is on the market at £585,000.

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-Speaking to the agent, he reckons they should be looking to settle at around 550.

-No?

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100 grand of decorating? I think you could get that done.

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I could have a nice kitchen!

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Claire's never had a brand new kitchen!

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'Ah, the brand new kitchen! The female equivalent of the ride-on mower!

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'Works every time.

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'Don't underestimate us. It'll take more than a central island to win Claire over!'

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There's not a huge amount of work to do.

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We're talking new kitchen, new bathroom, new windows.

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But if we gave ourselves three months where we are now.

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That's the bulk of it done.

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Finishing touches after that, if that would fit within the budget.

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I'm not scared by it. It's just if you add everything up.

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'Geoff is definitely interested, but Claire still needs persuading.

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'My female intuition tells me Claire's not digging it.

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'Time to show her something she can get really excited about.

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'Namely, my first gorgeous ready.

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'For that, we're going to the tiny village of Fairlight,

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'nestled in the trees, less than a mile from the sea.

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'It's got a church and a pub

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'and a post office that acts as a village store.

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'It's ten minutes by car to Geoff's work in Hastings

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'and six minutes to the local primary school.

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'The property itself is a split-level house...

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'..It's got five spacious bedrooms, a beautiful wrap-around balcony,

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'a pool, a private two-acre garden and knock-out views!

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'But they don't like their split-level garden.

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'What makes you think they'll go for a split-level house?

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'Claire likes kerb appeal! I don't think this was what she was after.

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'Let's see, shall we?'

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-How's this for a grand entrance?

-Wow!

-Rather marvellous gates.

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-What are your first thoughts?

-Fantastic! I love the drive.

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I love the gates. I love the trees.

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-Claire?

-House?

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-Is it a house? Or is it a bungalow?

-I'm hoping it's split-level.

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I imagine there's another story.

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'Bingo! Geoff's got it! No. It's not a bungalow, Claire.

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'It's a hidden gem. You'll see.'

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-You've got a great sized living room with fantastic views.

-Yeah.

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-Is this working for you, really?

-First impression is fantastic.

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I can't wait to get outside.

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-'Geoff's loving it.

-But Claire's gone ominously silent.

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'I just need to get her out onto the balcony to check out the pool

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'and all the space the twins are going to have to play in.'

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We had just over two acres in your wreck.

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-This is just shy of two acres.

-Really?

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This view's beautiful. It feels like I'm on holiday.

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But I'm not sure about the house.

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I'm gutted cos I LOVE it!

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What's not working for you, Claire?

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Probably my first impressions at the front.

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Why don't you head in here? This is the views you'll wake up to.

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This is your master suite with the dressing room and en suite!

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Maybe that'll work for you.

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'You're not giving up without a fight.

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'I know what I'm doing. The master suite is my knock-out punch.'

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How can one room change my mind?

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-You're feeling it now, aren't you?

-Yeah. I love the view.

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-This is perfect.

-I've got a good feeling now.

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Look at the size of that shower.

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-It feels like a lovely holiday home. Nice feel.

-I think you're right.

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'You're pulling out all the stops, Jane. Can you persuade Claire?

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'Relax, Jonnie. I think she's already been persuaded.'

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It's got everything they asked for.

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It's just on a split level. It doesn't work for everybody.

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I'm going to have to show them something a bit more traditional

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from the outset, and also layout.

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Maybe something closer to Hastings, where the kids have something to do.

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And maybe give them something where there's so much room in the budget

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that Claire won't have to lift a finger.

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-She's going to be on board by the end of the day! Let's go.

-Yeah.

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-'Right, it's every woman...

-Or every man.

-..for themselves.

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'Claire likes things to be just so. I don't blame her.

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'I won't rest until I've found a home that's just right.

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'I'm finding something that appeals to Claire's desire for aesthetics

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'and Geoff's hunger for a project.

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'If Claire liked the holiday feel in Jane's ready,

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'she'll love the location of my second wreck.

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'Hastings is a bustling seaside town with no shortage of opportunities

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'to dig out the buckets and spades.

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-'Showing them a sand castle, then?

-Not quite.

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'It could be a jewel in the crown.

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'Geoff and Claire want style and space.'

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It's also just down the road from where they already live.

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I reckon they might like it.

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'They'll love the price, too.

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'This detached 1930s house, five minutes from the town centre,

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'is 255 grand under budget!

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'It's far from being a total wreck, having been partially renovated.

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'Geoff and Claire can take the reins

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'and transform it into the perfect home without too much hassle.

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'It has four good sized bedrooms, a big family bathroom

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'and the potential to extend upstairs.

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'The main garden space on offer is to the front of the house.

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'More front than Hastings promenade!

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'We'll see who has the last laugh when they see it!'

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Now, for my wreck offering. Come right onto this garden bit.

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This is her. What do you think?

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I don't think it looks like a wreck.

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The garden's at the front, which isn't ideal.

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-LAUGHING:

-Is that it?

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-Well let me...

-It lacks kerb appeal.

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OK. I'm thinking car parking here.

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You've got gates here, so nobody can see in.

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You've got your garden at the front.

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I have an issue with the garden being at the front. Sitting out here, barbecuing...

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The barbecue would be there. Oh! I don't know!

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'Doesn't sound like Claire wants an audience while she's flipping burgers!

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'Not the sizzle of reaction I was hoping for. I'm flippin' worried.'

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-It's big.

-It's, er...bigger than I thought.

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Can you see past the neutral-to-sell decor?

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-It's still a bit foggy.

-I can.

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I just don't know if I can be bothered to.

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I think if it was, from the outside, beautiful on an amazing road,

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my mind would start working, thinking this is a lovely space.

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-You're not seeing it?

-Not yet.

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'Hear that? That's the sound of hope.

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'But that's NOT a happy face. Who's having the last laugh now?'

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LAUGHTER

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Come in the garden. I'll show you what I had in mind.

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In my opinion, the kitchen isn't big enough for the rest of the house.

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My thoughts were, because we had a lot left in the budget,

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to bring it out this way.

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Some form of glass extension, then you've got a long dining-kitchen.

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The kids are out here playing...

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But there's no point going down this road

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if you're not saying, "We like the area. We like parts of the house."

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The house next door, you'd almost offer to paint it for them,

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just to make your outlook nicer.

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You know what? It's not for you. Let's cut it here.

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I have been known to change my mind.

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If I was a betting man, I'd keep my wallet in my pocket.

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'This viewing has literally gone down the pan.

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'Perhaps they'd feel better if they knew how flush they'd be on completion of the work.

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'To finish what's been started and extend out back would cost...

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'Plus eight grand to convert the loft space into a fifth bedroom.

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'I'm fighting a losing battle here.

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-'Harold would have something to say.

-One in the eye for me!'

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-There's not a single redeeming feature.

-There's not a single shower!

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I can't even imagine it.

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-I really can't.

-No. It's not for me.

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'Never mind, Jonnie. Allow me to put this house hunt back on track.

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'Your first wreck may not have hit the nail on the head,

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-'but they did like the location.

-Glad I can be of SOME use.

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'It's clear that Geoff and Claire judge with their eyes, and not their wallets.'

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I want to show them something they'll fall in love with, something with great kerb appeal.

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Maybe a house with a more traditional layout might help.

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'I've gone all out in pretty Pett to find that perfect village home

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'minutes away from good schools and Geoff's work.

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'It has a large level garden for the kids,

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'and stunning sea and country views.

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'It's been extended with the addition of a two-bed annexe.

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'The space is so versatile, they won't need to lift a finger.

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-'Bet it comes at a price!

-It's on the market at 625,000.

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'Still nicely within their budget of 650. Eat your words, Jonnie!'

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I think I may well have saved the best till last.

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Claire, let me recap.

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You wanted a great area with a good school,

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which is what you're getting here.

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But you also requested from the get-go, you wanted kerb appeal,

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something that looked pretty.

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-Are you feeling it?

-This is it.

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-Yeah?

-Yeah.

-This is it?!

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I need to get through the door, but I almost don't!

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-I love it from the outside.

-It says "family", doesn't it?

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Look! You're getting even closer!

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'Repeat after me, Jonnie. "This is it."'

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A quick tour.

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Kitchen-diner, dining room, conservatory onto the garden.

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-Is this a big enough living room for you?

-Yes.

-Yes. Absolutely.

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I almost like it so much I'm not looking properly.

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It's got a LOVELY feel.

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It connects with you on so many levels.

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It's a big downstairs, but you're getting more, a separate annexe.

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It's two-up, two-down.

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With the kitchen and everything. A separate home.

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Is this somewhere you feel

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you could lay down your roots and stop for ever?

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So far, it feels like my dream, DREAM home.

0:20:030:20:07

-Really?

-Yeah.

0:20:070:20:09

-And you, too?

-To get that reaction from Claire is fantastic.

0:20:090:20:13

It's what we were looking for. She's started me off now!

0:20:130:20:18

When you've been looking for a couple of years and you walk into a place that feels right.

0:20:180:20:24

And that you don't... BOTH LAUGH

0:20:240:20:29

-We can't afford this, can we?

-Well, I've got to be honest with you.

0:20:290:20:34

It is coming in...

0:20:340:20:36

-quite close to your budget at 625!

-No?

-Really?

0:20:360:20:39

-'I'm welling up!

-I imagine admitting a disastrous defeat IS upsetting.

0:20:390:20:44

'Grab a tissue, cos I think the best is yet to come.'

0:20:440:20:48

-You want to see the rest?

-Yeah.

0:20:480:20:50

We're going to head into the garden cos it has a view to die for.

0:20:500:20:55

OK. There's more.

0:20:550:20:57

-Wow!

-Oh, God!

0:20:580:21:00

-You can see the sea!

-We can!

0:21:000:21:04

Can you imagine sitting out here in the morning, having breakfast,

0:21:040:21:08

with views like that?

0:21:080:21:11

-I just love it.

-And very private.

0:21:110:21:14

'My work here is almost done.

0:21:140:21:17

'If they see the potential of the annexe, I might have cracked it.'

0:21:170:21:22

-Ooh!

-Wow!

-Oh, my goodness!

0:21:220:21:25

-It's a miniature perfect home!

-It's like a little home!

0:21:250:21:30

It's so lovely. Friends that came, it'd be like a little holiday place.

0:21:300:21:34

-Upstairs.

-Shall we?

0:21:340:21:36

'And finally, it's upstairs to the bedrooms.'

0:21:360:21:40

Ever think you'd be lucky enough to have a house like this? Seriously?

0:21:400:21:45

Er...no.

0:21:450:21:47

'There's no reason why they couldn't live in a house like this,

0:21:470:21:51

'but it wasn't easy getting here.

0:21:510:21:54

'No, we've been searching to show them the best properties available

0:21:540:21:59

'so they can finally get out of rented and into a family home

0:21:590:22:02

'close to Geoff's work, good schools

0:22:020:22:05

'and with a big enough garden for the twins.

0:22:050:22:08

'They loved the land with my first wreck,

0:22:080:22:12

'but Claire wasn't inspired by the prospect of a complete overhaul.

0:22:120:22:16

'Things didn't get off to the right start at my first ready.

0:22:160:22:20

'It did have a pool, though, and fantastic views

0:22:200:22:24

'from a gorgeous master suite.

0:22:240:22:26

'My final wreck was a write-off.

0:22:260:22:30

'Claire couldn't get a garden at the front out of the back of her mind.

0:22:300:22:34

'No wonder they got so emotional in my final ready.

0:22:340:22:38

'It was a fantastic looking house

0:22:380:22:40

'in a great area, with the bonus of an annexe

0:22:400:22:44

'for visiting family and friends.

0:22:440:22:46

'Two against one. Will they go for my first wreck?

0:22:460:22:49

'Or one of my readies?'

0:22:490:22:51

-Jane?

-I'm here!

0:22:510:22:53

This is nice, isn't it?

0:22:530:22:55

It slightly beats my last place.

0:22:550:22:58

I had views of, er...a hedge.

0:22:580:23:01

-WHISPERS:

-She was almost in tears.

0:23:010:23:04

-I hear we've had waterworks.

-Almost!

-This sounds ominous.

0:23:040:23:08

-Was it you, Geoff?

-Yes, it was.

-He almost came to tears as well.

0:23:080:23:12

Let's give you the chance to dry your eyes.

0:23:120:23:16

-First house, what do you think?

-The two acres appealed to me.

0:23:160:23:20

Sounds like you're thinking fairly positively...

0:23:200:23:23

Speaking positively! Absolutely not, now I've seen this place!

0:23:230:23:28

It would start as a project and still be a project in ten years!

0:23:280:23:31

I decided to take you to something with a little bit more kerb appeal

0:23:310:23:36

and also with the same amount of land.

0:23:360:23:39

Your heart wasn't in that when you started.

0:23:390:23:42

The gates were fantastic. It seemed very grand.

0:23:420:23:46

Perhaps more like a bungalow, at first.

0:23:460:23:49

Then I had a complete turnaround when I saw the garden.

0:23:490:23:53

And the master suite, with those doors just opening up

0:23:530:23:57

to that wonderful view.

0:23:570:23:59

You were on side, even though it was a ready.

0:23:590:24:02

-If you've come round to it, it sounds like a distinct possibility.

-Absolutely.

0:24:020:24:08

We left there, clearly, I went wrong!

0:24:080:24:11

Just so we know, when did you write that place off?

0:24:110:24:15

-When we arrived.

-Walking up the garden.

0:24:150:24:18

I brought you, then, here. What are your thoughts now?

0:24:180:24:21

I still absolutely love the place.

0:24:210:24:24

But you're not sure now, now he's seen upstairs.

0:24:240:24:28

-I just felt a bit claustrophobic.

-JANE GASPS

0:24:280:24:32

-Is it a balance between heart versus head, then?

-Absolutely.

0:24:320:24:36

Maybe you should sleep on it and get back to us about which one you want to view again.

0:24:360:24:42

'It's not going to be easy for them. It's all about my two readies.

0:24:420:24:47

'One doesn't have the wow factor but has the space their family needs.

0:24:470:24:51

'The other won them over on style, but is short on space.

0:24:510:24:55

'After a night to sleep on it, they call me and Jane.'

0:24:550:24:58

Right, here we go.

0:24:580:25:01

We both fell in love with house number four, particularly Claire.

0:25:010:25:06

But we just felt the dimensions inside weren't suitable for us.

0:25:060:25:11

We'd like to go back and see house number two, the one with the pool.

0:25:110:25:15

Ah!

0:25:150:25:17

-You got your own way, Geoff?

-Well, yes.

0:25:170:25:20

It was a case of head over heart.

0:25:200:25:23

-Let me know how you get on.

-Thank you.

-We will.

0:25:230:25:26

'I'm thrilled to bits. Geoff loved this ready house.

0:25:260:25:29

'It's now all down to whether Claire can see past that bungalow feeling.'

0:25:290:25:35

This is when I changed my mind, when I saw that view.

0:25:350:25:39

-Yeah.

-It's just beautiful.

-Gorgeous.

0:25:390:25:43

-'All looking quite positive, Jane.

-But what's the final verdict?'

0:25:430:25:48

Now I've actually been to the bottom of the garden,

0:25:480:25:52

I like it even more.

0:25:520:25:54

If I'm really honest, I still don't quite feel it in the house.

0:25:540:25:58

But as soon as I step out here...

0:25:580:26:01

I just can imagine Ella and Tristan playing here and that...

0:26:010:26:05

I was about to say the same thing.

0:26:050:26:07

For them to grow up with this,

0:26:070:26:10

-I think they'd just be more rounded children.

-Mm.

0:26:100:26:15

I think it's a home to be proud of,

0:26:150:26:18

but from the front, certainly, it hasn't got the...

0:26:180:26:22

-Kerb appeal.

-Yeah. The wow factor. I didn't sleep well last night.

0:26:220:26:27

We need to have a really good think about it.

0:26:270:26:29

'Claire never seemed totally convinced by my first ready.

0:26:290:26:34

'Even trying desperately to make it fit,

0:26:340:26:37

'they decided to go for a ready home they found later in Battle,

0:26:370:26:42

'right at the top of their budget.'

0:26:420:26:45

-A win for the readies. Well done, Jane.

-Thank you.

0:26:470:26:50

It shows both sides need to make compromises to find a happy home.

0:26:500:26:55

-So join us next time when we show people around wrecks...

-or readies.

0:26:550:27:00

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:27:190:27:21

E-mail [email protected]

0:27:210:27:25

Marketing director Geoff and wife Claire are looking for a family home. After two years in rented accommodation they have called in the experts, Jonnie Irwin and Jane Farnham. With 650,000 pounds to spend in Sussex, will they choose a finished house or a fixer-upper?


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