The four-bedroom Victorian lodge house located on Milton Road beside Portobello cemetery was named by Phil as the show’s ‘quirkiest challenge to date’ when he had the job of finding alternative properties to tempt the homeowners while Kirstie worked on renovating the property.
Homeowners, property manager Bill and police community advisor Gary, who have been together for 34 years, have lived in the graveyard property in Portobello for 15 years with their dog Tinker.
However, Gary was keen to move out of the property he described as ‘higgedly piggedly’ saying the kitchen and garden are ‘too small’ adding: “It’s like painting the Forth Road Bridge-it’s always needing work to it.”
Yet Bill fell in love with the property for its ‘unique characteristics’ and, as a keen collector of 80s music memorabilia, he used it as his own ‘Aladdin’s cave.’
To try and tempt the disagreeing homeowners out of their graveyard abode, Phil, with a budget of over £500,000, spent the programme showing them three properties elsewhere to speak to Gary’s need for ‘open-plan living’ with ‘great views.’
Meanwhile, with a budget of £50-60,000 Kirstie set to work on renovating the property, drawing up plans to completely re-purpose a living space in the kitchen and dining area and make the existing kitchen into a pantry, with a ‘passion room’ dedicated to Bill’s collecting tendencies.
Kirstie commented that Phil had a ‘much easier job’ and commented that Gary was ‘a saint’ for putting up with Bill’s love for the property.
The first property Phil showed was a late 19th century property 11 miles south of Edinburgh in the village of Howgate with country views and offers of over £545,000. However, the couple weren’t convinced, with Gary saying “it feels like a modern flat.”
The next property was a modern one in Seton Mains in East Lothian on the market for £440,000, yet both remained uninspired with Bill commenting that it was “devoid of character.”
However, the final property, located in Horncliffe, England, just outside Berwick-upon-Tweed, blew the homeowners away as it was a ‘stunning’ renovated church which left Gary ‘gobsmacked.’
Phil said: “I felt for you guys moving from a cemetery into a church was a sort of natural progression.”
The 1850s village church conversion with a guide price of £595,000 boasts a breath-taking double height atrium on the ground floor as well as a spacious dining area Gary craved.
By the end of the programme after Gary and Bill repurposed their graveyard home with kitchen turning into a dining space, home space turning into a kitchen and messy memorabilia room turning into a tidy guest bedroom, they nonetheless decided ‘to list’ their Portobello property as seeing the English church conversion ‘inspired them’.
Bill said: “We are not going to put it up straight away- we are going to enjoy what we’ve put in but with the intention of getting something out of the site.
“It’s just quite exciting to see what we can do next.”