For many Londoners, Sarah Beeny’s new property show will look like a work of pure fantasy.
It’s enough of a dream to stop renting and cough up a huge deposit for a tiny flat and get on the property ladder in the first place.
The concept of owning real estate and not owing anything on it all is practically pie-in-the-sky, but Beeny is here to meet those who have somehow managed it.
The property presenter is hosting new Channel 4 show, titled How to Live Mortgage Free.
“What if there was another option? One where you could pay off your mortgage in a fraction of the time, or even avoid it completely?” she asks.
“In this series, I’ll be meeting some of the 3 million Brits who are already living the mortgage-free dream, and share tips and tricks on how you too can own your perfect home without debt – sooner than you think.”
Of course, it involves a bit of creativity – you’re not going to find some kind of magic deal in your local Foxtons – and having a decent chunk of cash to invest in the first place.
There’s Annie from Lincolnshire, who took an unused industrial site and turned it into a deceptively huge modern house.
With a Grand Designs feel, the project involved jumping through plenty of hoops and building the place from scratch – but she has ended up mortgage-free with a unique eco-friendly home.
As for those in the capital, there’s a more familiar-looking solution: the house-boat. At some point every Londoner passes a canal – usually after a night at the pub – and thinks ‘I should live on a barge’.
29 year-old Kimberley is actually doing it, having bought the “shell” of an old Dutch barge for £18,000. As well as downsizing considerably, she’ll have to make it inhabitable and move the vessel every two weeks.
You’ll either watch and think the people featured are brilliantly enterprising and courageous – or view the show as a damning comment on young Brits’ dwindling home-owning prospects.
Channel 4, 8pm