Property series. Nick and Louise want to move out of their rented house into a family home. Will they be tempted by one of Jonnie's rundown 'wrecks' or Jane's perfect 'readies'?
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In today's property market, choosing the right home is harder than ever.
How can you make life easier and get what you want?
Should you renovate a wreck?
Or find a ready-made home?
As a surveyor, I know that renovation projects can lead to big rewards,
so I'm on a mission to hunt down the best wrecks on the market
and convince our couples that renovation is best.
But I think if you're savvy, you can find properties ready to move straight into
and they don't need to cost the earth.
So I'm going to show our house hunters that pristine pads are where it's at.
So will our couple be tempted by one of my readies?
Or can I persuade them to roll up their sleeves
and tackle one of my wrecks?
Today, we're searching around stunning South Wales.
It's a beautiful area stretching from the Brecon Beacons
to the golden sands of the south coast.
Our house hunters are mum and dad, Nick and Louise,
who want to make a leap up the property ladder for the whole family.
So we also need to please son Alfie, daughter Ellie
and of course toddler Ruby.
Nick and Louise sold their house in Neath, got temporary digs for the family
and want to move to a dream home right now.
Adventure man Nick has ridden motorbikes all over the world
and taught Alfie and Ellie a few tricks, too.
He's even taught Hollywood movie stars Ewan McGregor
and Charlie Boorman how to ride.
Nick now runs a local motorbike business, where he works full time.
Louise used to work there, too,
but is now a busy mother of three with house and kitchen to rule over.
Before we can start looking for a new dream home,
we need to find out what their criteria is.
And see who's up for a wreck.
And who wants a ready.
Let's find out all about them.
Hi, my name's Nick.
Hi, my name's Louise.
We're living in temporary accommodation,
which isn't so bad because we've got quite a big living room
but we're all in the same bedroom at the moment.
Five of us in the bedroom isn't quite working.
-Like Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
I don't mind the challenge
and I would actually go for the wreck,
just to put my finishing touches on it
and just make it the house that I really want.
I want to move into something completely done.
I'm not green-fingered or I'm not a DIY person,
so I'm probably more going along the lines of having somewhere ready to go.
That's my type of man.
You can tell he's not into DIY - he says he's not green-fingered.
You don't grow walls!
I want this property to be a kind of a statement place for us.
We're hoping it's going to be our last property that we're going to have to move into and buy.
My requirements for a property would be a spacious hallway.
Kind of five bedrooms plus, so we can have people round and stay over.
A big, er...kitchen-diner
because I want that to be the heart of the home.
I'm all about land.
I want somewhere with a nice bit of land so I can ride my bike on, ideally.
Big bedrooms, um, two reception rooms.
When it comes to the home side, Louise is in charge,
when it comes to work, I'm in charge,
so I can almost see Louise winning this one.
Ooh, I don't know whether to just hang my hat now and just walk away.
No, I think, I...I wouldn't want to call it.
I'm actually quite worried.
It's a first, I know, because Louise, for sure, knows what she wants
and she wants something that she can make her own
and therefore whatever I show her isn't going to make the grade.
I wouldn't give up so easily. She's hinted the fact that...
-she wants something that she can put finishing touches on.
Show them the right property and it could be anyone's game.
Jonnie, we've got a role reversal on our hands here.
She wants a wreck and he wants a ready.
So, Nick and Louise want an enormous five-bedroomed house.
with a huge garage and lots of space for visitors.
They also want some outbuildings in their massive dream garden,
all for a maximum budget of £430,000.
They've got champagne taste and, frankly, shandy pockets.
Especially if they want that from a ready.
It's a massive challenge, Jane.
Large, five-bedroomed properties are hard to find,
especially in towns around here.
As much as I hate to admit it, I think Jonnie may have an advantage here.
I'm so used to having the female onside wanting a ready,
but today Louise wants a wreck...
What am I going to do? This one...is a big challenge.
Our tricky house hunt begins in Cwmgwrach,
11 miles outside the centre of Neath,
so Nick's work would be a 25-minute commute away.
Now I've heard Cwmgwrach means "Valley Of The Witches" in Welsh,
so, Jane, you could be lucky here.
Ha, I don't need magic on my side to win this one, Jonnie.
Property prices have dropped in the last year
and the average detached house is £180,000.
But we're not looking for average today.
Yes, they want a lot for their money.
Well, prepare to be amazed
because I'm starting today's search with a giant.
On at 425 grand, this six-bedroomed detached house
has those all-important big rooms and lots of land around it
and it just sneaks into their 430-grand budget.
This looks nice, Jane.
Yes, we start the search for the ready.
Is that enough of a statement for you?
It definitely is, I would say.
It's a large, large house.
I'm looking at the view, to start with. I admit, that view's cracking.
There is a slight sticking point. Basically, can you see the pegs?
-Well, the vendor has applied for planning permission
for six houses to be built.
It's not to say it's going to be granted.
All I'm asking you is to keep an open mind, as the house is fantastic.
'Ouch. Looks like we might be losing them already, Jane.'
It's all right, Jonnie, the inside's got what Nick and Louise are looking for...
Now, this is definitely a statement home. It is all about space.
Look at that.
-That looks cracking straight away, doesn't it?
-For me, it's this window here, I mean, that's giving in so much light, isn't it?
It floods in, doesn't it?
-It's like being in Dallas!
I can see the kids looking over there now...come on!
Somebody'll be sliding down there, I can see that.
Let's go through to the kitchen.
This huge house is under budget
and it gives Nick and Louise almost everything they want.
It's got a master bedroom, with dressing room and en-suite.
There are five more double bedrooms, four reception rooms,
clean lines, spotless interiors and a view to die for.
Every single room in this house is big.
We've had a good look around and I'm walking around,
just can't believe the dimensions of these rooms.
-I probably would have liked this a bit bigger.
OK, well look, you've got a utility there...
-..which is the size of most kitchens, it's even got kitchen equipment.
Get your white goods out, get rid of that island
and then you've got a much bigger kitchen.
It's definitely that kind of open-plan feeling that, you know,
we kind of do, I do want, but it sounds like you've got that scope.
-You might have the scope but that'll cost you money.
Listen, one person we haven't heard much from...
It's my kitchen, yeah.
-Is the kitchen your domain, Louise?
OK then, then shout out.
I thought in the next property I'd have a dishwasher
but with a view like that, I'd be quite happy to stand at the sink.
I think it works really well. It's a big space.
I think it's just the fact that you've seen lots of big rooms
and, er...maybe were expecting more.
This was built in 2004, by the way.
It's actually come down in price...
-We haven't spoken about that.
It's on the market right now for 425,
-but it has been on the market for two years.
-Two years. OK.
I'd suggest it's been on the market for that long because of the planning consent.
It should be a worry for you guys but, if you can see past that,
then you might get your hands on a massive property that you don't have to do any work to.
It's all going to be about size today.
These guys want loads of room and lots of luxury.
It's going to be seriously tough
and I'm not totally sure this pair know what they want...
Time to up our game.
That went down better than the house!
I know, I thought this would be their statement home
but all they can talk about is the kitchen and the size of it.
I...I know it's a big house
and I thought your big hurdle would be that planning consent.
-It's probably put people off before
but if they're thinking that kitchen's a bit small,
then they might think all the kitchens we show them are a bit small.
Now, if big is beautiful for Nick and Louise,
then I think I need to move to an area that gives them even more for their money.
We're in Glynneath
but the question is, can you find a wreck large enough for this pair?
Well, let's find out.
I've found a real opportunity, which should be exactly what Louise has asked for.
Not one house, but three old miners' cottages knocked together,
so it's REALLY big.
The interiors are divided and need work to knock together,
but there's space to play, with loads of land around the house.
The price recently came down under the Stamp Duty threshold to 249,950,
so it's 200,000 under their budget,
which means plenty of money to spare to create their dream home.
It certainly looks like you found the size and space we're looking for.
Let's hope it measures up to Nick and Louise's dream.
Now, we couldn't decide which side of the house to show you,
because the other side looks amazing as well.
Beautifully white plastered, needs a bit of TLC. What about this?
It's got that kind of cottagey feel to it, actually.
And it's very secluded when you walk down those stairs.
No question about it.
So you've got another garden of equal size the other side,
really beautifully-manicured garden and then behind the house there is some land.
Now that's owned by a Miners' Trust.
We've been informed that they'll let it to you on a peppercorn rental,
if you wanted some extra land,
so you could be surrounded by your own land here, if you so desired.
What do you think so far?
I like it, actually.
I've never really looked at, um... cottages or anything before
but I quite like that... It's given me a homey kind of feel.
-And I like...
-You wanted the wreck, Louise.
-Something to put your stamp on.
You like clean lines, so what are you thinking?
I don't mind an old look from the outside
-but it has to be modern on the inside.
-With this place...
I've been told by the agent it's not listed.
So inside we're giving you free will to do what you want.
-Let's look inside now.
This converted 18th-Century block is now a four-bedroomed detached house
with a large garden.
These walls can all be knocked through to create some huge rooms.
This is more you, you'd have to visualise this
because this, you know, this does scare me to hell there's no...
It is scary but I think you could...
you could just make it something totally different, couldn't you?
-Well, I think...
-Rip it all out and start again.
Sounds like Louise is starting to think about it
but in Jane's last ready, the kitchen where it all started to go wrong.
So I'm thinking about Jane's first offering to you.
It was a big kitchen...
but you thought it wasn't big enough,
so here I'm giving you options.
We're not listed, we can do pretty much what we want to do here,
subject to building regulations.
Now, at the moment you've got two options
of having two really good-sized rooms.
Behind that wall there...
is a slightly more modern extension and that is a boiler room,
so you can push this wall out that way to have a bigger kitchen, or...
have this as a temporary kitchen
whilst you're going back into the workshop
and you push the wall through the workshop
through to another reception room and have a huge kitchen-diner there.
Does that scare you off?
Or are you looking at this and getting really excited?
It scares me, there's no question about it,
because I kinda look at it...
old house, loads of work, we don't know what we're doing.
Don't get me wrong, I like the little area surrounded bit but um, for me, it's just not...
..it's just not, I think it's not in the right area,
-it's too far away from my workplace.
Right area, now this doesn't sound like your dream home,
so we need to know, if we're not getting it right, please tell us.
Yeah, I like...
this little hidden feel you're getting from the outside, that's...
I'm liking that, but the minute I step back out there,
it's not quite for me. No.
So now we're in the wrong place and again it's too small.
So how big is big enough for this pair?
Nick and Louise want the near impossible -
masses of space and loads of luxury.
Something has got to give.
-We haven't got it right, have we?
-No. Haven't done a good job
so we need to get on and find somewhere else.
Even if I find the right area, I still think I'm pushing string uphill, trying to find them a wreck.
Phew, you know, a wreck of this standard, yeah.
I think you're right. But...
we can try, we've got to show them options.
-Come on then.
-All is not lost, Jonnie.
All has not started yet, has it?
Well, at half time, it's nil-nil for both of us.
We're in trouble. To find anything big enough,
we need to split up to cover more ground.
May the best man...
..or woman win this epic battle.
Concentrated on the wrong location this morning.
Time to move on, start again, um...
and find them a house in which they can enjoy the fruits of their labour.
Something with the wow factor.
Will it be a wreck or ready? I have no idea.
And I don't think they know either.
There's one place you can find loads of space and loads of luxury
and that's right out in the country.
I need a great, big, beautiful farmhouse
that's going to give Nick and Louise that fantastic space they're looking for.
So, I'm taking them to Salem,
which, although rural, is just north of Swansea
and 23 minutes' drive away from Nick's work and their kids' school in Neath.
Careful, Jane, I made that mistake with location last time.
Don't fret, Jonnie, I think my next ready will have them forgetting the commute.
This four-bedroomed property is on the market at 450 grand.
There's also planning permission for an extension, so more space to be had
and potentially this could be a six-bedroomed house.
Hang on, I thought you said it was ready.
Are you stepping on my toes again?
It's ready to move into now but they could extend in the future.
Nick and Louise, I've brought you to Felindre, to this detached home.
It's a 17th-Century home, actually, um...
and does it have the wow factor for you?
-It definitely has the driving in and the space out the front.
I love the...I'm loving the outside.
Yeah, the outside looks good to me,
I'm liking the size of the property from the outside.
The thing I love about this property
and why I had to bring you, is the view.
On a good day - it's a bit hazy today - you can see all the way to the sea.
You might have noticed the work going on in the garden.
The vendor at the moment has got planning permission
to build a really large detached garage and above that...
But it is right over your budget, this property, at the moment,
but it has been on the market for quite some time, about a year.
It's on at 450.
And is the 450 with the work done or without the work done?
Yeah, the 450 includes the building of that garage and gym,
so obviously there's negotiation on the price.
Another thing I have to tell you is, just up the hill here,
there's 3.5 acres of land that's yours.
-And that's part of the 450?
I can show you in more detail from the balcony that you requested.
-Let's do that.
-Let's go and have a look.
This house is a whopper, plus it feels like the statement property
that I think Nick and Louise are looking for.
It's got the land, the large family rooms, the gorgeous features...
What's not to like?
This is a really large living room. Lots of seating area.
This is a nice, a nice family space, a nice living room.
-Great. That bit round there as well.
-Really nice. That's a feature, which is good.
Now tell me, is this space,
this downstairs space working for you and your family?
For a living space, this is good for them.
The only thing is you know the bit, front of the kitchen, I can see us wanting to do more with that,
because what I really want is a bigger kind of kitchen
where you can, kind of, have a little sofa
and lounge in the kitchen area. That doesn't do it in there at the moment
but the bit next door to the kitchen,
-we might be able to make something like that.
Ouch. Jane, our kitchens are just never big enough,
and it looks like there's a problem upstairs, too.
-It's a shame because...
..the bedrooms are looking a bit small up here,
compared to downstairs.
Spoiling it a bit for me.
I mean, you couldn't do anything in here really, could you?
So, what do you make of the upstairs?
It's not quite...
..doing it for me, upstairs.
It's feeling a little bit too small.
It's a shame. Downstairs, with some moving around, you could do something with,
-but up here... This room's great.
But those rooms, definitely far too small.
Oh, dear, this is going the way of my last wreck.
The kitchen's still too small, the bedrooms are too small and the decor hasn't bowled them over.
And Louise's face says it all.
Well, here's hoping and praying, that Jonnie comes up with a stonker.
I'm sure he will, he's going to find something,
even though it's the side...
The part of the programme that I didn't want,
which is the wreck part,
but um, let's see, let's see what he might have up his sleeves.
I've played my last hand today and still not found the right house.
They want a big one. It's all on you now, Jonnie.
I think Jane and I have been focusing on the wrong kind of property,
we've been looking for that statement house, without thinking about the location.
I've given it some thought and for a family like Nick and Louise and their children,
they want somewhere for the children to go to
without having to be Mum And Dad's Taxi Service.
So, I've just rang an agent in Neath and they've got a wreck that could be right up their street.
I'm quite confident now.
I'm thinking location and size are the key here,
so I'm going for broke with a new plan.
I'm in Neath, where Nick, Louise and the children currently live,
so it's fair to say I think they like it.
Now, brace yourself, Jane, for a real doer upper.
I'm not holding my breath.
So you can see and hear we've got a bit more hustle and bustle,
which is part of my cunning plan.
This is the house we're going to have a look at.
Can't see a lot, can you?
It's got a whopping great garden, where you can see a whole lot more.
So follow me and I'll show you.
This 1920s detached house is actually two semis
knocked into one massive five-bedroom home.
It's on the market for £285,000,
well under Nick and Louise's budget of 430,
so plenty of change for renovation.
This is why we're here.
That is what we're going to have a look around in in just a moment.
-It looks big from here. No question about that.
It used to be two houses. Built around 1920.
What are you thinking?
It's deceiving because you think it's...it's overgrown
and you can't see the full size and potential of it,
when you get here, it's like, "Whoa. That's big".
So, let's have a look inside.
-You on board?
-Let's do it.
-Good, come on.
Well, so far so good.
It's in the perfect location, has quirky features
and has the potential to create that all-important massive kitchen.
It certainly needs some work but they've got 145 grand to do it.
You might think this is ready to move into, especially you, Nick. You'll love this.
All this and there's a massive room the other side -
could be one huge kitchen, maybe with the staircase in the middle.
Oh, nice, nice feature, yeah.
-Look at the parquet flooring!
-It is, yeah.
Very nice, I like.
Yeah, they love parquet flooring and here comes the real wow.
-Oh, my Lord.
That's a cracking space, this, eh?
-That's a cracking space, this, eh?
-'I did hear that right, didn't I?
'We've finally found a space that impresses Nick
'but what about Louise?'
Look, that is a grand piano and it's dwarfed in this room.
Is that staying, is it?
I don't know, I'll find out for you.
At long last.
We've been up and down, country to coast, looking to impress Louise
and all it took was a grand piano.
-It's a beautiful size room this, eh?
-Imagine Christmases here.
And, maybe opening up one of those windows
to take in that beautiful back garden.
-Maybe a conservatory?
I think the thing with us, we just need to know...
what you think we can do with this,
because I look at it and I'm scared, no question about it.
But if you tell us that we can do all this stuff with it...
-then I'm well excited.
-It's so close to where we did want.
Well, this is the beauty of a wreck.
The huge garden can be cleared and landscaped for the kids.
Interior walls can be blown away for bigger rooms,
plus the house has been on the market for over two years,
so there could be some more leverage on the price.
If that's not enough, the vendor will throw in the grand piano too.
So how can Louise resist?
Are you not scared?
Yeah, it is frightening, isn't it?
I mean it's the unknown but...
it's still so exciting at the same time, isn't it?
You know, you've got loads of ideas going round in your head,
what you can do in each room. No, I like it.
-Hey. You don't have to serenade me.
-The best thing I've ever played.
This is good, isn't it? So what do they think?
I think they really liked it. I know Nick needs to be converted...
but he loved the space, he loved the garden.
I think he quite likes the area.
I'm quietly confident that I've done all I can
on behalf of all the wrecks of the world.
We started off at my fabulous, giant ready
but Nick and Louise thought the large kitchen was too small.
Then my ramshackle block of miners' cottages
but it was in the wrong location and the, er, kitchen...
Yeah. That was too small.
So I headed way out of town
to show them a stunning ready and guess what?
The bedrooms AND the kitchen were too small.
Well, size certainly has mattered like never before today.
I finished with a massive renovation,
which had the tiniest kitchen ever and guess what?
Ha! They loved it.
Will the charms of the parquet floor
and free grand piano be enough?
So, you're still smiling?
We are, most definitely, eh?
We've had a bit more of a look around this place
and it's, er, it's a daunting idea, scary idea isn't it? But I...
But it's exciting as well.
-I mean, upstairs every room you go into you can see potential for it. So it's...
Are we agreed that the first three properties, both my readies - ooh -
and Jonnie's first wreck, they're no-goers?
For me, I'd say you saved the best till last.
Get in, Jonnie.
Hey, hey, hey. What about Nick?
No, I'm probably exactly the same
but I suppose the only downside with wrecks...
Where I want to walk away from here and say,
"Let's put in an offer, I want that house."
There's too much to find out.
I would say, from a wreck point of view, nothing good is ever easy
and what I think I need to do for you guys is arrange for a meeting,
not with just one builder, maybe with a couple, or even a few,
to bring round here, someone to hold your hand through the whole process
and get two or three quotes, detailed quotes...
with your vision in mind
and then when you've got all that information in front of you,
then, hopefully, you'll be in the position to put a bid in.
I'm truly relieved, I really am,
because you are living in the one-bedroomed flat.
-Yes, we are.
-You do need to move
and I hope this could be a fab family home for you.
-We hope so as well.
-Fingers crossed and we'll let you guys know...
-..how we get on.
My final project has blown them away.
Even Nick got excited about renovation.
Next day, we arranged for them to revisit with their kids
and look at some old renovation plans, which a previous builder left behind.
You know, in an ideal world you'd want a nice hallway coming in
but you want quite a kind of dramatic hallway, don't you?
-A bit of a statement.
-So as you walk in you go, "Wow".
So it's a thumbs up for the plans,
but are Alfie and Ellie as positive as Nick and Louise?
It looks like a proper mess.
It's, like, obviously where it's been abandoned
and obviously hasn't been looked after
but I reckon after it all being stripped down and redone,
I think it will look very nice.
I feel it's very old fashioned and it smells damp and very dirty.
Oops. Kids say the funniest things. Maybe Mum and Dad are a bit keener.
It's good to be able to come back again today but I've still,
for me, I've still got that... excitement feeling
and I'm still wanting the house, the project.
I'm probably more excited today than I was yesterday.
I just think for one...
If I pop my head through the loft area up there
and the space upstairs is just incredible.
Um, so already I'm starting to think of what we can maybe do with that space as well.
If we can get that dream of that ideal home on here
I think it'll be fantastic.
But...we...I'm still scared we're a long way from that at the moment.
After a few days to think, Nick and Louise had a change of heart
and decided that my project was just too much work for them
but the good news is they realised a ready home was their best option
and have since put in an offer on a new build,
so in the end, I suppose it was a victory for Jane.
So join us again when we'll be battling it out,
proving that buying a renovation project...
..or a ready is definitely the key to finding your dream home.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Email [email protected]
Motorbike mad Nick and stay-at-home mum Louise are desperate to move out of their rented house into a family home, so property experts Jane Farnham and Jonnie Irwin show them a selection of finished homes and fixer-uppers. With 450,000 pounds to spend in South Glamorgan, will they be tempted by one of Jonnie's rundown 'wrecks' or Jane's perfect 'readies'?