Episode 63 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 63

Martin Roberts, Lucy Alexander and Dion Dublin criss-cross the country from Devon and London to Wales to follow the progress of property developers.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to the show. Now, investing in property is not

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something you should do on a whim.

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You really need to think things through.

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Yeah, there's lots at stake, so don't rush into anything.

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Yeah. You should always do your research, and if you're thorough,

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it can sometimes pay off.

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So why not buy your next home under the hammer?

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It doesn't matter how much research you've done -

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buying a property at auction isn't foolproof.

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It's true. There are no certain things in this business,

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but the more research you do,

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the more likely it is that things will turn out in your favour.

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So, have today's buyers made the right choices?

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Let's find out.

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It's a trip to the east Devon coast for me.

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It's a very desirable place to be, so spend your money here, and I think

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it'll be money well spent.

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Whereas in south Wales,

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I suggest splashing the cash and knocking a few walls down.

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Have one big open space - that's definitely the way to go for me.

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And spend your money on this south London house, and you get a little

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bit of history.

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I love it! Traditional French doors.

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These were here when the house was originally built.

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All these properties have been sold at auction, and we'll find out who

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bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.

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Sold.

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This is Budleigh Salterton in east Devon.

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Two miles of glorious pebbly beach,

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a lovely Victorian town centre and not so much commercialism.

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You know, come here on a hot summer's day,

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you wouldn't be fighting for space.

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It really is absolutely charming.

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There are 95 miles of Jurassic Coast to discover and a lovely seaside

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town, but for now, I have a house to find.

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Well, just ten minutes' walk from the beach and you're almost in the

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countryside. It's little lanes, lots of trees,

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a very desirable place to live.

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The property I'm here to see sounds like a very interesting development

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opportunity. I say "development opportunity" straight away because,

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as you can see from the outside, it is looking in a right old state,

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but 150,000 quid was the guide price.

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That's exciting.

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It does look kind of blue from the outside.

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MUSIC: Song Sung Blue by Neil Diamond

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But there is a decent-sized plot here.

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And if you ask me, it's ripe for some blue sky thinking and a plan to reconfigure

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the slightly ramshackle appearance of the place.

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So, through into the property, and immediately a very strange

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layout. You come into this little, sort of covered area here,

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almost like a lean-to.

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There's more outbuildings there.

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Then up some steps into the kitchen,

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it's very small and obviously hasn't been touched in many a year. And you

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carry on through into the lounge area.

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Another little anteroom off there.

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It looks like you've got central heating, which is good.

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What kind of state it's in, I don't know. So, that's it.

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No, it isn't. It continues...

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into this area here, almost like...

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I was going to say it's very long and thin, this end of the property.

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There's a loo there and just... stair...

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What is going on with this place?

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The ground floor just seems to go on

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and on and on.

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There is a lot of space here,

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but it's just a bit too higgledy-piggledy for modern living, and upstairs

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there is one bedroom.

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That's right, just one bedroom and a very generous bathroom.

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It does all feel a bit damp and tired, and without going on about it,

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I'm definitely thinking about redevelopment here.

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It doesn't matter which way you look at it, it doesn't get any better.

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This is crazy, isn't it?

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A one-bedroomed house here and it just doesn't work,

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but the good news is the scope for improvement is huge.

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The garden isn't massive, but there's enough space to do stuff and,

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more importantly, you've got these little outbuildings, so there's already

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a footprint of a property here that's much, much,

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much bigger than the bit of house itself. So what are we thinking?

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Well, knock that lot down and put some really extravagant extension on there.

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You could even come over this way and maybe knock down this ramshackle

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little garage thing so that you don't lose too much of the garden.

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You can extend this way, you can extend up...

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It all comes down to planning, of course.

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And the other big thing it comes down to is, is it financially worth it?

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It's going to cost you a bit, but round here,

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properties really do hold their value, get their money back.

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It's a very desirable place to be, so spend your money here and I think

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it'll be money well spent.

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For my money, a three,

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or even four, bedroomed home wouldn't look out of place here, and as for the

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layout, well, the sky's the limit.

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# Blue skies smiling at me

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# Nothing but blue skies

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# From now on... #

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We asked along a local estate agent to get his take on the property,

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which went to auction with a guide price of 150,000.

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The property is very dated and could do with a lot of money spending on

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it, and indeed some clever extension.

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And once done up, what does he think the property might rent out for?

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If the property's refurbished to a good standard, including three bedrooms,

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I anticipate that the rental value of the property would be around

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£900 per calendar month.

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And if the purchaser were to put the renovated property on the resale

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market?

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I believe the end value is likely to be around £400,000.

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Well, it's many people's dream to own a property within striking distance

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of this, and with this lot, you've got the opportunity as well to

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potentially design your own home.

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I'm sure it got them excited when it went under the hammer.

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The house turned out to be the last lot of the day,

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but a determined few stayed on for this one.

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Lot 234, guiding £150,000.

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£150,000 seated here.

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OK, we're off. At 150.

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155 anywhere else?

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155. 160.

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160. 170.

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We'll keep in five...

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And sure enough, before long, the bidding was over the £200,000 mark.

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220. 225.

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225. 230.

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230. 240.

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240. 245.

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OK, have a little think for a moment.

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£240,000 here.

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One, 241? Two? 242.

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Seated here. 242.

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With you for the first time, it's against you and yourselves over here,

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too. Second time at £242,000.

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Third and last time of calling, if there's any advance,

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£242,000 seated for the last lot of the day...

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It's with you.

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It was bidder 242, who paid £242,000 for the property.

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And that bidder was Sue, who attended the auction with her partner, Des.

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Des is a landscape designer and gardener and Sue knows her onions, too,

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as it were, having worked in property development for a number of years.

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I met with Sue back at the property to find out their plans.

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Sue, lovely to meet you.

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-Congratulations.

-Thank you very much.

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Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.

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The main reason was we couldn't find anything else that we actually liked

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which was a done house. And then one day, out of the blue,

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Keith from the agency phoned us and said,

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"I've got this house coming up in Budleigh Salterton.

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"Would you like to view?"

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And basically that was it.

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-Right.

-Erm, didn't expect to get it, actually.

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I was a bit philosophical.

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If I was meant to have it,

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I would have it and it would be the price that I was happy to pay.

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Right, and were you happy with what you paid for it in the end?

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Yes, extremely.

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Having looked at over 100 properties in the last 18 months,

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Des and Sue were over the moon when this one came to auction, and Sue

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always felt the house was destined to be theirs.

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That's what I believe, and there were so many sort of, you know,

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things happening and there was, like, a calling.

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-What kind of things were going on?

-It was the...

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way things went for the auction, you know, my registration number and...

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Which was the same as the price you paid.

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Yes, I know, which was...

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very, very, very spooky.

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-Yeah.

-So I just think it was meant to be.

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Shame you weren't number 150, isn't it, really?

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THEY LAUGH

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That would have been nice, but I couldn't see that happening,

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not for one moment, no.

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Even buying at £242,000,

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Sue and Des have scope to do something quite exciting here.

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So, what do they have in mind, exactly?

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What I've suggested to the architect is the fact that this house really

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has everything ripped out of it, and we actually use this ground floor as

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the new garages because the garage has got to come down, because it's

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just completely in the way.

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And then over the top, then we put a guest bedroom and an en-suite.

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-Wow!

-And then we do some form of connection between

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this old section and our new extension.

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Wow!

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-That's my idea.

-Yeah.

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The architect actually went, "Oh, I quite like that!"

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Yeah, well, it's radical.

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I just gave him a few sort of criteria.

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I said I didn't want to oversize the property for the amount of land, and

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I didn't want to overinvest, so, you know,

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I've got my figure that I want to work to.

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-Which is?

-I want to...

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kill it all for about 155.

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Wow! Big budget.

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I think it needs a big budget.

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-Yeah.

-We're not looking to make any money on it.

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I just want to have the home that we would like, you know,

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that we've had in the past,

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but we don't want the amount of garden and land that we've had in

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the past. We want an easier lifestyle.

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MUSIC: Take It Easy by Eagles

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And what better place than this lovely corner of Devon to take it easy?

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There is quite a bit to do before Sue and Des can kick back,

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but they are hoping to have everything finished in a year, and they're

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looking to futureproof the place, too.

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We do want to incorporate a downstairs bedroom with en suite, with a sort

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of a conservatory or garden room, basically because my mother,

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if she comes to stay, can't do stairs.

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-Right.

-So, you know, I mean, if we're still here,

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we might need that in ten years' time.

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Well, listen, congratulations.

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-Delighted for you. Good luck with it, and I look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you.

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Well, Sue had a calling to this property and hopefully her plans will do

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justice to the place,

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but there's still that all-important planning to get before they can turn

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it into the bright home that they hope for.

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How will they get on? You can find out later in the show.

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We're just 20 miles north of Cardiff now in the south Wales town of

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Blackwood. The property we're here to see is just three miles away from

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the centre of Blackwood and only three miles from Pengam train station, which

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takes you into the heart of Cardiff.

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And here we are. It's a semidetached house,

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it's got three bedrooms and a guide price of £40,000 plus.

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What a great start - off-street parking.

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Before you get your car in here, I suggest a lawnmower,

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but it's a bonus nonetheless.

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OK. We're straight into a small porch here, and you've got your

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stairs right in front of you going up to the bedrooms. And then into a good-size

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living/lounge area.

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Dual aspect, nice big windows at each end.

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You have got some polystyrene tiles, but I'd definitely want to get rid of those.

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They are a fire hazard.

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But I've got to say, it's a carpet that I do recognise from my youth

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back in Leicester.

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And in here, we have got dining room and the kitchen just at the back

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there. But what I have noticed is there's a fireplace just there and

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another one just here in the dining room, but they're not flush,

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they're sort of offset.

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So, this whole wall that's taking up all this space is chimney.

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I'd look to get rid of this,

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depending on what you want to do with the property.

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If you're looking to rent it or sell it,

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it'd possibly eat into your budget just that little bit too much.

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On the other hand, if you're looking to make this your home,

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getting rid of this wall would create so much more space.

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It will be a big job and will take a bit of time, though.

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As ever, think about what the property is for before you get the

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sledgehammer out, but it's definitely an option and not the only one I've

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spotted.

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This is an ex-local authority house and they're normally well proportioned

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with good-size rooms, but look at this kitchen.

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It's tiny!

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Now, what I suggest is you take this wall out, cos on the other side of

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this wall is the front door. So if you can imagine coming into the property

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and turning left, that would bring you into the kitchen.

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Save you going through the lounge,

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through the dining room and into the kitchen.

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I would also take down that wall there that's dividing kitchen and dining

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room and have one big open space.

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That's definitely the way to go for me.

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I know, I'm really going for it here, and you'll be wondering what's going

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to be left to hold this house up apart from RSJs, which are,

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as we all know, all together now - rolled steel joists.

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But modern living needs a decent-sized kitchen,

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even if open-plan isn't your thing.

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So, there's three decent bedrooms up here.

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You've got a separate toilet, separate bathroom, and in here,

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I'm guessing there's a water tank. Yes, it's the old water tank.

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Now, I'd look to get rid of that, put a brand-new combi boiler in,

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reposition it, possibly downstairs, out of the way, and try and create a

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big family bathroom. Take this wall out,

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you could even have a freestanding shower in the bathroom as well, or

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put a shower over the bath and have this as storage space, airing cupboard,

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whatever you want, but there's loads of scope to make a family bathroom there.

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So, three bedrooms up here,

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two of which are good-size doubles that just need a lick of paint,

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really.

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The third is more of a box room, but still counts as a bedroom.

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Out the back, you've got a nice-size family garden that needs a bit of a

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tidy up, and I think you'll have to get the mower out as well.

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What does the auctioneer who sold it think about this rather dated semi?

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Somebody needs to come in here and do a lot of work to it to get it up

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to a modern spec, but at least they can see what they have to do quite

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clearly. I think you could do some knocking around with it.

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I think, ideally, knock the kitchen through to the dining room to create

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a more open living space and then, really, it's a question of

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maybe renewing ceilings, decorating throughout and then see, really,

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as you go along, if there's any other bits and pieces that need doing.

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The auctioneer and I agree, then, but what would all that work cost?

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I think you could easily spend £20,000 on the house, and that's if you're

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doing some of the work yourself.

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If you gave a builder free rein to come in and do work for you,

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it could be even higher,

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maybe 25 or a bit more, so you'd need to watch your budget on this

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one, I think, if you're going to make any money on it.

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So, if that work was done,

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what kind of value does the auctioneer think this property could be worth?

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If this was going to be put on the open market once renovated,

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I would expect it to be worth about £85,000.

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And what about the rental?

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If it were put on the market for rental,

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it would be worth somewhere between £525 and £550 per calendar month.

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This is a good, solid ex-local authority house with the potential to add

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value, only if you get it for the right price.

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Let's find out what it did go for when it went under the hammer.

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Semidetached house, spacious garden there.

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UPVC double glazed, requires some upgrading.

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Wave your hand at me at 40. 35, then, if you like, just to get it started.

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Two bids, I'll take, seated, because I can see you clearly. 30...

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What did I say? 35, was it?

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35, thank you, sir. 36, wave at me, standing up.

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Thank you. 36. 37.

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38. 38, madam, there, thank you.

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39. And 40.

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40, then, right at the back. 41. 41.

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42. 42, thank you.

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42. 43 to you, sir, if you want.

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43, madam, thank you. 44.

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44, back there if you like.

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Plenty of interest in this one, then.

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We re-join the bidding at 61,000.

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61. 62. 62, well done.

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62. 63. 64.

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64. 64. 65. 66.

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At 65,000, are you going to lose it, or are you going to have one more go?

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66, well done. 67.

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68 now?

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68?

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At 67, are you sure?

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I'm going to have one more go at 67,000, you're going to lose it.

0:19:220:19:25

At 68, well done.

0:19:250:19:26

68. 69, so it's neck and neck now.

0:19:260:19:28

69? No. At 68, then, that extra bid was worth it.

0:19:280:19:32

At £68,000 for the first time.

0:19:320:19:35

Are you sure? One more if you want.

0:19:350:19:36

At 68,000 for the second time.

0:19:360:19:39

Third and last time at £68,000.

0:19:390:19:42

Well done, ladies.

0:19:420:19:43

So, the hammer fell at £68,000, and the successful bidder was Cerys.

0:19:430:19:48

# She's got it

0:19:480:19:50

# Ooh, baby, she's got it

0:19:500:19:52

# Ooh, baby, she's got it

0:19:520:19:54

# I can't do without her... #

0:19:540:19:56

She got it! And it's the first project between her,

0:19:560:19:59

her partner, Ben, and Ben's sisters, Carla and Christina.

0:19:590:20:04

It was Cerys and Christina who joined me back at the property to tell me

0:20:040:20:07

why the four of them bought this place in Blackwood.

0:20:070:20:10

-Cerys, nice to meet you.

-Nice to meet you.

-Christina.

0:20:120:20:15

-Nice to meet you.

-Congratulations to you.

0:20:150:20:17

-Thank you.

-What made you buy this house?

0:20:170:20:19

Well, my partner was interested in it,

0:20:190:20:21

the fact that it's a semidetached with a nice-sized garden.

0:20:210:20:25

The main town is a mile down the road and we're obviously right next

0:20:250:20:29

to a primary school as well, so quite a lot of benefits with the property.

0:20:290:20:33

And what was it that made you look for properties?

0:20:330:20:35

What are you hoping to do? Are you looking to start a portfolio,

0:20:350:20:38

-Christina?

-Yeah, well,

0:20:380:20:39

this is obviously our first one, so we're hoping to build on this.

0:20:390:20:42

It's going to be a learning experience, really, I think.

0:20:420:20:45

Anything frightening you? You're dipping your toe into the property world.

0:20:450:20:49

Yeah, it's a bit daunting, but we've had some experience.

0:20:490:20:52

The house I'm in at the minute, we've renovated that, so me and my partner sort of know

0:20:520:20:56

what we're going into, I suppose.

0:20:560:20:58

Yes, but doing up your own house is very different from doing up a house

0:20:580:21:02

for business, so I'm intrigued to know what their plans are for house number one.

0:21:020:21:07

Well, there's a new heating system needs to be put in.

0:21:070:21:10

We're looking at the electrics as well, a new bathroom and kitchen.

0:21:100:21:14

We're going to strip it right through and plaster right through and then

0:21:140:21:17

hopefully do the decorating ourselves.

0:21:170:21:19

-So, what are your skills, then? You're going to do a bit of painting?

-Yeah, painting.

0:21:190:21:24

I'm going to hopefully, obviously get a new carpet and just the general

0:21:240:21:27

-decorating then.

-And your fireplaces?

0:21:270:21:30

-They're all going to go.

-Everything's going. Doors?

0:21:300:21:32

-New doors.

-OK.

0:21:320:21:33

And in regards configuration of the house itself,

0:21:330:21:37

are you looking to change anything, knock any walls down?

0:21:370:21:40

-Yeah, we are, aren't we?

-At the minute,

0:21:400:21:42

the kitchen's really small, so we're hoping to change the dining room

0:21:420:21:46

into the kitchen and then use the smaller room as a utility room,

0:21:460:21:50

then, cos at the minute, it is very small.

0:21:500:21:52

We do propose with the bathroom as well,

0:21:520:21:54

knocking that wall through to have it as a main, but we're not sure yet.

0:21:540:21:58

We're going to wait on quotes and things.

0:21:580:21:59

OK, and what are your plans in regards what you're going to spend on it?

0:21:590:22:03

-10,000-15,000, we were thinking.

-Mm-hm.

0:22:030:22:06

OK, so you've spent 68 on it and you're going to spend 10-15,

0:22:060:22:10

which will give you... It'll be 83 total spend.

0:22:100:22:14

What are you hoping to get back in, then, when you sell it?

0:22:140:22:16

Well, really, we're hoping just to break even at this point.

0:22:160:22:20

It's our first project, but we've been looking at properties in the area.

0:22:200:22:23

Yeah, and they've gone for about 95, so we'd be hoping to get something

0:22:230:22:27

like that, but like we say...

0:22:270:22:28

Always. Always looking for a profit.

0:22:280:22:31

You've got to always look for a profit, that's the whole idea.

0:22:310:22:34

Come on, Christina, I want a bit more positivity off you!

0:22:340:22:37

-I'm not very positive, am I?

-You can do this!

0:22:370:22:39

# You've got to accentuate the positive

0:22:390:22:44

# Eliminate the negative

0:22:440:22:48

# Latch on to the affirmative

0:22:480:22:51

# Don't mess with Mr In-Between... #

0:22:510:22:54

Now I'm giving out positive vibes,

0:22:540:22:56

but there is a difference in the resale figure of the price they are

0:22:560:23:00

hoping for and the auctioneer's advice earlier.

0:23:000:23:03

Accentuating the positive, though, there are four of them,

0:23:030:23:07

it's a pretty solid house and they have tradespeople that can do the

0:23:070:23:11

work for them in that two-to-three month timescale.

0:23:110:23:13

Hopefully, they'll be OK.

0:23:130:23:15

Think positive, that's my motto.

0:23:150:23:17

OK, enough about the house and what you're going to do.

0:23:170:23:20

Tell us about yourselves. What are your day jobs?

0:23:200:23:22

Well, two days a week, I work for my parents.

0:23:220:23:23

They've got a timber haulage company,

0:23:230:23:25

which Cerys's partner works for and my sister, who is also involved in this.

0:23:250:23:29

And the rest of the week, then, I'm studying to be a nurse.

0:23:290:23:32

-Are you really?

-Yeah.

-Good luck with that, I wish you all the best.

0:23:320:23:35

-Thank you.

-And yourself, what do you do?

-I'm a teaching assistant at the minute,

0:23:350:23:38

but I'm also studying to be a beautician, so lots of studying going on.

0:23:380:23:42

-Yeah.

-Ambitious girls!

0:23:420:23:44

-We like to be busy, don't we?

-Yeah.

-Good on you. I wish you all the best,

0:23:440:23:47

I think you're doing the right thing, following the right steps.

0:23:470:23:50

-Good luck, Cerys. I wish you all the best.

-Thank you.

-Christina, good luck.

-Thanks.

-Take care.

0:23:500:23:54

This could be a good first house for the girls to start off with,

0:23:540:23:59

but with what they've paid for it,

0:23:590:24:00

I'm just a little bit worried about the scope for profit with this

0:24:000:24:04

particular project.

0:24:040:24:06

They'll definitely have to keep an eye on their budget,

0:24:060:24:09

but you can find out how this family project gets on later in the

0:24:090:24:12

programme.

0:24:120:24:13

Coming up, in south London, Lucy finds a house that's full of surprises.

0:24:150:24:20

Oh, this is not how I was expecting it on the inside!

0:24:210:24:24

And we return to south Wales to see what Cerys and Christina made of

0:24:260:24:29

their first property development.

0:24:290:24:31

It's been quite nice, really.

0:24:310:24:34

But first, we return to east Devon and the small coastal town of

0:24:370:24:42

Budleigh Salterton. It was here, just a few miles from the sea,

0:24:420:24:47

we found a house...

0:24:470:24:48

..with loads of rooms, but no natural flow and, incredibly,

0:24:500:24:55

just one bedroom.

0:24:550:24:56

There... The.. What is going on with this place?

0:24:570:25:01

# Don't make no sense... #

0:25:010:25:03

Yes, there was no sense in the layout in the house and it was also muddled

0:25:030:25:07

further by a collection of dilapidated outbuildings.

0:25:070:25:10

# I said it don't make no sense... #

0:25:100:25:13

But this was a large plot in a beautiful position and was crying out for

0:25:130:25:17

someone with a clear vision to bring all the elements together and turn

0:25:170:25:21

it into something really special.

0:25:210:25:23

Ready and waiting with those visionary ideas were Sue and her partner, Des...

0:25:240:25:29

-It's with you.

-..who bought it for £242,000 at auction.

0:25:290:25:34

What I've suggested to the architect is the fact that this house really

0:25:350:25:42

has everything ripped out of it and we actually use this ground floor as

0:25:420:25:47

the new garages, because the garage has got to come down, because it's

0:25:470:25:52

just completely in the way.

0:25:520:25:54

And then over the top, then we put a guest bedroom and an en-suite.

0:25:540:25:59

-Wow!

-And then we do some form of connection

0:25:590:26:04

between this old section and our new extension.

0:26:040:26:08

Wow!

0:26:080:26:10

-That's my idea.

-Yeah.

0:26:100:26:12

The architect actually went, "Oh, I quite like that!"

0:26:120:26:15

Yeah, well, it's radical.

0:26:150:26:18

As we know, "radical" doesn't readily come cheap and, sensibly, the couple

0:26:180:26:23

had a healthy budget of £155,000.

0:26:230:26:27

The timescale would depend on the planners.

0:26:270:26:29

The hope was that Sue and Des would have their ideal forever home in a

0:26:290:26:33

year. But as they say,

0:26:330:26:36

the best laid plans of mice and men, or in this case, bats, trees, wildlife,

0:26:360:26:42

structural surveys, planning and building consents,

0:26:420:26:44

it's now four and a half years later.

0:26:440:26:47

So, the main house is still standing,

0:26:510:26:53

as is the garage, so clearly a slight change of plan.

0:26:530:26:57

But the big change here is the removal of all the outbuildings and

0:27:010:27:04

the building of a new extension, which houses a bedroom with an en-suite.

0:27:040:27:09

There's a big lounge.

0:27:160:27:18

And a modern kitchen.

0:27:230:27:25

What a difference it makes!

0:27:310:27:33

But building it wasn't without its problems.

0:27:330:27:36

The biggest challenge was actually getting the house out of the ground.

0:27:370:27:41

We had to have 23 piles installed, and then we had to have the oversite

0:27:410:27:47

concrete poured.

0:27:470:27:49

And, actually, things progressed very quickly after that, didn't they?

0:27:490:27:52

-Yes, they did.

-With the extension out,

0:27:520:27:54

the old house was taken back to the shell and reconfigured to flow

0:27:540:27:58

seamlessly. It now has the...not planned garage,

0:27:580:28:02

but another large bedroom with en suite.

0:28:020:28:04

Upstairs, there is another bedroom, again with en suite.

0:28:070:28:11

And an office space.

0:28:140:28:16

It might be four and a half years since we've been back,

0:28:160:28:19

but it's been Des and Sue's home for quite a while now.

0:28:190:28:23

We actually moved in, um,

0:28:230:28:26

the 15th of August 2013.

0:28:260:28:30

However, it was not finished by any means.

0:28:300:28:34

This extension was built,

0:28:340:28:38

but we didn't have fitted wardrobes and there was a lot of things that

0:28:380:28:41

weren't complete.

0:28:410:28:43

-We camped on the floor at one time.

-Yeah, we did!

0:28:430:28:46

# Going to take it step by step

0:28:460:28:50

# Little by little, that's all

0:28:500:28:54

# And though it may be a long time

0:28:550:28:59

# If you and I'm strong, that's all... #

0:28:590:29:03

Sue has run a property development company in the past,

0:29:030:29:06

but they decided, because of the complexity of the work, to employ a project manager.

0:29:060:29:11

But Des is a retired landscape gardener so that area was down to him.

0:29:110:29:16

The first thing I wanted to do was create more space, so there was

0:29:160:29:19

a bank of soil there,

0:29:190:29:21

which came in very handy because I was able to use that in other parts

0:29:210:29:24

of the garden to fill in.

0:29:240:29:27

And having created more space,

0:29:270:29:29

it enabled me, then to put in borders and a lawn.

0:29:290:29:32

It was basically...

0:29:320:29:35

a suck-it-and-see kind of situation, you know,

0:29:350:29:37

and just see what's there and what can be done.

0:29:370:29:40

Together, they've done a remarkable job,

0:29:400:29:42

turning an odd mix of buildings into a luxury three-bed house with loads

0:29:420:29:47

of space,

0:29:470:29:49

a garage, workshop and beautiful gardens.

0:29:490:29:53

And although Sue had a healthy budget of 155,000,

0:29:530:29:57

I'm guessing from the end result, that might not have been enough.

0:29:570:30:01

All in all, I expect we've spent, including the purchase price,

0:30:010:30:06

about just over 500,000.

0:30:060:30:09

So, perhaps not surprisingly,

0:30:100:30:12

they were nearly £100,000 over their original budget.

0:30:120:30:16

But for an all-in price of just over 500,000,

0:30:160:30:19

they seem to have got themselves a fantastic property.

0:30:190:30:23

What will two local agents make of their labour of love?

0:30:230:30:26

First, the agent who saw it last time.

0:30:260:30:28

The property is absolutely stunning.

0:30:300:30:32

The transformation is quite unbelievable, really,

0:30:320:30:35

from what it was to what it is now.

0:30:350:30:38

In fact, if property refurbishment was an Olympic sport,

0:30:380:30:42

you'd have to give them a gold medal, wouldn't you?

0:30:420:30:44

First impressions are, it's a beautiful home, lovely location,

0:30:440:30:48

the attention to detail and finish is fantastic, and the way they've

0:30:480:30:52

linked the old part to the new part works really well, so faultless, really.

0:30:520:30:57

Yes, glowing comments there.

0:30:580:31:00

But will that be reflected in the sale price of the house Sue and Des

0:31:000:31:03

have invested over £500,000 into?

0:31:030:31:08

I would feel uncomfortable with putting this to the market at a price less

0:31:080:31:12

than £600,000.

0:31:120:31:14

I'd happily market this at a guide price of £600,000.

0:31:140:31:18

I think that's a very realistic figure.

0:31:180:31:20

Yep, in today's market.

0:31:200:31:22

Yep, we're happy with that.

0:31:220:31:23

So, a potential pre-tax profit of around 100 grand.

0:31:230:31:27

But this house isn't likely to be for sale any time soon.

0:31:270:31:30

Indeed, the design of the extension with the en-suite bedroom was to

0:31:300:31:35

futureproof the property for when they get older and may not want to

0:31:350:31:39

encounter the stairs every day.

0:31:390:31:41

So, are they pleased with the way it all turned out?

0:31:410:31:44

I feel very proud of what we've actually achieved here because it is...

0:31:460:31:52

It's come out basically how we wanted it.

0:31:540:31:57

-Yeah, it's everything we could have wished for.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:31:570:32:00

Lucy's auction lot this time is in Streatham Vale in the London borough

0:32:030:32:07

of Lambeth. It's certainly becoming more popular and pricy, as this area

0:32:070:32:12

boasts good amenities.

0:32:120:32:14

Just a few minutes' walk from Streatham Vale Park and ten minutes' walk to

0:32:160:32:20

the station, with just a 20-minute train journey into central London,

0:32:200:32:25

is the property I'm here to see.

0:32:250:32:27

Well, it's a 1930s-style three-bedroom terrace,

0:32:270:32:30

it's got a garden and it was up for auction for £300,000.

0:32:300:32:35

I'm going to go inside.

0:32:350:32:37

Let's hope this 1970s pebbledash frontage isn't a sign of things to come.

0:32:380:32:42

Oh, this is not how I was expecting it on the inside,

0:32:460:32:48

although I love the space.

0:32:480:32:51

That's a really nice staircase.

0:32:510:32:53

It's bigger than I thought.

0:32:530:32:54

I wasn't expecting the brown swirly-whirly roses everywhere,

0:32:540:32:57

but if you stripped all this back, you would have the original features.

0:32:570:33:01

And look at this, really nice reception room here, big.

0:33:010:33:05

You've got a second reception room, which has got a lot more character.

0:33:050:33:08

Wow, it's really quite nice in there.

0:33:080:33:10

And if you can get past all the wallpaper,

0:33:100:33:12

at the back, you've got the kitchen.

0:33:120:33:15

A little bit disappointing - small in size.

0:33:150:33:17

I think I would potentially knock through this wall.

0:33:170:33:20

I know I always say "knock through a wall",

0:33:200:33:22

but I think in this case the kitchen just isn't big enough.

0:33:220:33:24

Not sure about this. How impractical are these cupboards?

0:33:260:33:28

Look, you can barely get your little plates in there.

0:33:280:33:31

Even though you've got quite a practical space with this house,

0:33:310:33:34

they are not working for me.

0:33:340:33:36

Groovy old tiles everywhere.

0:33:360:33:38

The kitchen, well, yes,

0:33:380:33:39

you'd need to get rid of it all and put something modern and fresh here.

0:33:390:33:43

Get rid of the dated decor, you could really transform this place

0:33:440:33:48

without too much effort.

0:33:480:33:51

# You're really lovely

0:33:510:33:55

# Underneath it all

0:33:550:33:58

# You want to love me

0:33:580:34:02

# Underneath it all... #

0:34:020:34:05

Well, this house is intriguing me because it's got a wider staircase than

0:34:050:34:09

normal, and once you take all this off here,

0:34:090:34:12

you're going to have lovely spindles. And I wasn't expecting all this space

0:34:120:34:16

up here on the landing, and it's really growing on me because this is quite

0:34:160:34:21

generous. Good-size bathroom through here, got another bedroom,

0:34:210:34:25

a master suite through there,

0:34:250:34:27

a little bedroom to the back and something else,

0:34:270:34:30

you've got the potential...

0:34:300:34:31

Whoopsie! ..to go up there. Now, I've looked along the street.

0:34:310:34:35

Lots of people have done that, so you could have a loft extension,

0:34:350:34:38

another bedroom, turn this into a four-bed, two-bath property, perhaps.

0:34:380:34:42

You've got to think about the cost implications,

0:34:420:34:44

but I actually think something like that would add value to this house.

0:34:440:34:50

And to top things off,

0:34:500:34:51

there is something else this charming house offers that not every home on

0:34:510:34:54

the street can boast.

0:34:540:34:56

Great news! You get this lovely little garden with the house as well.

0:34:590:35:03

It really is just brimming with character.

0:35:030:35:05

Look at these, look!

0:35:050:35:07

I love it! Traditional French doors.

0:35:070:35:09

These were here when the house was originally built.

0:35:090:35:12

Really lovely, and this little lean-to under here.

0:35:120:35:15

All this space as well, so this house really could work for a family,

0:35:150:35:20

but the best bit for me?

0:35:200:35:21

You're in London. Can you hear anything?

0:35:210:35:24

BIRDS TWEET

0:35:240:35:25

Just birdsong.

0:35:250:35:27

And do you know why that is?

0:35:270:35:28

Because behind there is a nature reserve, so there are no buildings,

0:35:280:35:33

you're not overlooked, just lovely trees.

0:35:330:35:36

Lovely!

0:35:360:35:37

# Yeah, my bird performs

0:35:370:35:42

# There she goes... #

0:35:420:35:44

It really does offer nice views out the back,

0:35:440:35:47

but now it's time for a different point of view.

0:35:470:35:50

What does a local property expert think of the possibilities here?

0:35:510:35:56

You could definitely do a lot more to the house to increase the earning

0:35:560:35:59

potential. One of them would be to go up into the loft and create maybe

0:35:590:36:02

another bedroom or two,

0:36:020:36:04

maybe with an en-suite, or even to do a rear extension.

0:36:040:36:07

I think doing a rear extension or a loft conversion would definitely

0:36:070:36:10

increase the value of the property for sale,

0:36:100:36:12

maybe not influence the value so much for rental.

0:36:120:36:15

This property with an extension added on and modernised to a very good

0:36:150:36:18

standard could easily achieve around the £465-£475,000 mark.

0:36:180:36:23

If the loft conversion was done and an extra bedroom was added,

0:36:230:36:26

then potentially it could go even higher, maybe even up to about 490-500.

0:36:260:36:31

I think this is a fantastic house.

0:36:310:36:33

It's got gorgeous original features, like those French doors I keep banging on

0:36:330:36:37

about, but let's not forget this '70s pebbledash brown exterior.

0:36:370:36:42

It doesn't exactly match up to the interior.

0:36:420:36:45

But what it does offer is practicality and space.

0:36:450:36:48

It certainly needs money spending on it, but the big question is, how much?

0:36:480:36:53

Do you go in the loft? Do you extend out the back?

0:36:530:36:56

Let's see who saw its potential at auction when it went under the hammer.

0:36:560:37:00

Right, lot 31, three-bed mid-terraced house.

0:37:010:37:06

400? 300?

0:37:060:37:08

Well, you've got to try. 300, yeah? 300.

0:37:080:37:12

305. 310.

0:37:120:37:16

315. 320.

0:37:160:37:19

325. 330.

0:37:190:37:21

335.

0:37:210:37:23

From the start, these two bidders were proving inseparable.

0:37:230:37:27

We re-join the bidding at 386,000.

0:37:270:37:31

386.

0:37:310:37:33

387.

0:37:330:37:34

388.

0:37:340:37:37

389.

0:37:370:37:39

390. 391.

0:37:390:37:42

392.

0:37:420:37:43

391, down here.

0:37:450:37:47

391, first time.

0:37:470:37:50

Second time.

0:37:500:37:52

Third and last time if you're all done.

0:37:520:37:55

Sold, 391. Well done.

0:37:550:37:57

The successful bidder, paying 391,000, was Robert.

0:37:570:38:01

Robert has been on the show before,

0:38:010:38:03

but you'll need to have a good memory as it was way back in 2007.

0:38:030:38:08

# I remember you

0:38:090:38:11

# I remember you

0:38:110:38:13

# Feels like it was yesterday

0:38:130:38:16

# I remember you... #

0:38:160:38:19

Robert came along with one of his sons, James.

0:38:190:38:22

James is a letting agent.

0:38:220:38:23

How handy is that?

0:38:230:38:25

It sounds like property might be in the family.

0:38:250:38:28

It's time to find out what's been going on.

0:38:280:38:30

Guys, congratulations on the house.

0:38:300:38:32

I know you've been on Homes Under The Hammer before, about seven years ago.

0:38:320:38:35

-Yes.

-That's right.

-So there's been no holding you back as far as buying

0:38:350:38:39

-at auction goes, then?

-No.

0:38:390:38:41

Not for him, certainly.

0:38:410:38:43

So, what was it about this house that made you want to buy this on auction

0:38:430:38:47

-day?

-I've been watching this area.

0:38:470:38:49

I've got a house just a road away and I know it's a very busy area,

0:38:490:38:54

but it has jumped a lot in the last

0:38:540:38:57

-two years.

-So, have you bought this as an investment?

0:38:570:39:00

Yes, yes.

0:39:000:39:01

And did you get a chance to view this house for your dad?

0:39:010:39:04

I didn't even know he'd bought the house.

0:39:040:39:06

So, now you've seen it, both of you,

0:39:060:39:08

you've been able to walk around and you've had a good look,

0:39:080:39:10

what do you think now, and what are you going to be doing here?

0:39:100:39:13

I like it. I think it's a very solid house, decent-size rooms.

0:39:130:39:18

There's no big damp problems, there's no issues about cracked ceilings.

0:39:180:39:22

All sorts of good things.

0:39:220:39:24

So, what I'm looking at is really just doing a lot of tidying up.

0:39:240:39:28

-Keep the carpets, you know...

-HE LAUGHS

0:39:280:39:31

-Now, you are joking me.

-I am joking you.

-Keeping the little hatch?

-Keeping the hatch.

0:39:310:39:34

That little serving hatch, that's handy, isn't it?

0:39:340:39:36

-He probably will, unfortunately.

-I have a very simple maxim.

0:39:360:39:39

It's the Hippocratic oath - I'm going to do no harm to the property at all.

0:39:390:39:43

I'm just going to keep it safe and look after it

0:39:430:39:47

and I am going to keep these windows.

0:39:470:39:49

-I think they're lovely.

-Give me five!

0:39:490:39:52

I am so happy! I am really happy about that because I think once you've

0:39:520:39:55

-painted them, they will look beautiful.

-They're in lovely condition as well.

0:39:550:39:58

You need to just upgrade them a little bit,

0:39:580:40:01

but this will be the making of this room.

0:40:010:40:02

Yes, it will.

0:40:020:40:04

Hmm, while Robert and Lucy might be on the same page about the doors,

0:40:040:40:08

I'm not sure letting agent James is quite so enthusiastic.

0:40:080:40:12

Are you not keen on them, or you just think they don't fit the property?

0:40:130:40:16

I don't think that they don't fit the property,

0:40:160:40:18

I just think that they're not maybe as modern for the area.

0:40:180:40:21

People aren't necessarily looking for that, knock it out and go larger.

0:40:210:40:26

But then again, I don't work in the area, so he might well be right in keeping them.

0:40:260:40:29

Now, you have got so many options here.

0:40:290:40:31

You can extend out the back,

0:40:310:40:33

like a lot of the properties along here have done so.

0:40:330:40:35

You can also go up into the loft.

0:40:350:40:37

You can also knock through here.

0:40:370:40:39

I think there are lots of stages, aren't there,

0:40:390:40:41

where you do either a very basic turnaround - tidy everything up,

0:40:410:40:46

but keep it cheap.

0:40:460:40:48

And then there's the next stage where you knock through,

0:40:480:40:51

create a little bathroom down here or a toilet, and then the next stage

0:40:510:40:55

is go into the loft as well.

0:40:550:40:57

At the moment, I'm thinking about doing everything clean and tidy and

0:40:580:41:03

-good rental.

-So, what sort of budget have you got to spend?

0:41:030:41:07

Probably around 20, I would think.

0:41:070:41:10

And along with that £20,000 budget,

0:41:100:41:13

Robert hopes to get the work done in two to three months, and then it

0:41:130:41:16

should be ready for the rental market.

0:41:160:41:19

I know the last time we met you on the show, you were a teacher.

0:41:190:41:23

Are you still doing that?

0:41:230:41:25

No, I moved through.

0:41:250:41:27

Now I'm an education consultant, more training of teachers.

0:41:270:41:31

So, you're the teachers' teacher!

0:41:310:41:33

-Paid to have arguments with teachers!

-That's even better!

0:41:340:41:36

It's even better than a teacher!

0:41:360:41:38

It makes him meticulous.

0:41:380:41:40

Listen, guys, it's been lovely meeting you both. And congratulations,

0:41:400:41:43

and it'll be really interesting seeing this property.

0:41:430:41:45

-Well done.

-Many thanks.

-Lovely to meet you.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:41:450:41:48

Well, it looks like we won't be able to teach a thing or two to Robert

0:41:500:41:54

when it comes to property, as he's already in the know on

0:41:540:41:57

a few textbook property strategies.

0:41:570:42:00

Now, Robert has sussed that getting straight As in the decor front, well,

0:42:000:42:03

it doesn't necessarily add up when it comes to profit in property rentals.

0:42:030:42:08

Will that wall still remain?

0:42:080:42:09

That's what I want to know.

0:42:090:42:11

Find out how it gets on later in the lesson.

0:42:110:42:13

Oops, class. Oops, sorry, I mean show.

0:42:130:42:16

Earlier, we saw the end result for one property.

0:42:200:42:23

Hm, so unless the show has changed beyond all recollection without anyone

0:42:230:42:26

telling me? Nope? OK, in that case, there's two more left to see.

0:42:260:42:29

Yes, Martin's correct. Let's find out how they got on.

0:42:290:42:32

20 miles north of Cardiff is the south Wales town of Blackwood,

0:42:340:42:39

and it was here we encountered a three-bed semi that had plenty of land.

0:42:390:42:43

Something that is always good when looking for a property investment -

0:42:430:42:47

plenty of room for improvement.

0:42:470:42:50

Look at this kitchen. It's tiny.

0:42:500:42:53

What I suggest is you take down that wall there that's dividing kitchen

0:42:530:42:56

and dining room and have one big open space.

0:42:560:43:00

That's definitely the way to go for me.

0:43:000:43:03

With a sorry-looking bathroom and the house in poor decorative order,

0:43:030:43:07

there was definitely scope here to add value.

0:43:070:43:09

So it fitted the bill nicely for first-time property developers Cerys

0:43:110:43:15

and Christina who, together with Christina's brother Ben and sister Carla,

0:43:150:43:20

bought it at auction for £68,000.

0:43:200:43:23

# It is a new, new, new

0:43:230:43:26

# New start

0:43:260:43:31

# Now is the start... #

0:43:310:43:33

As first-timers, they were quite rightly being cautious about the outcome.

0:43:330:43:38

Well, really, we're hoping just to break even at this point.

0:43:400:43:43

It's our first project, but we've been looking at properties in the area.

0:43:430:43:46

Yeah, and they've gone for about 95, so we'd be hoping to get

0:43:460:43:50

-something like that.

-Always looking for a profit.

0:43:500:43:52

You've got to always look for a profit, that's the whole idea.

0:43:520:43:55

Come on, Christina, I want a bit more positivity!

0:43:550:43:58

-I'm not very positive, am I?

-You can do this.

0:43:580:44:00

# So keep your high hopes

0:44:000:44:03

# Keep your high hopes... #

0:44:030:44:06

Well, I had high hopes that trainee nurse Christina and trainee beautician

0:44:060:44:10

Cerys, along with input from Ben and Carla, they could do a top job here.

0:44:100:44:15

Having given themselves a 10-15 grand budget and a two to three month

0:44:150:44:19

timescale, the girls had to get to work.

0:44:190:44:21

And now, almost bang on three months, we are back.

0:44:240:44:26

Looking good, girls, looking good.

0:44:320:44:34

And inside...

0:44:380:44:40

Well, that lounge is now looking fresh and clean.

0:44:400:44:43

But what about that pokey kitchen?

0:44:450:44:47

Did they go for it?

0:44:470:44:48

Yes, they did, and good on you!

0:44:550:44:57

Well, this is obviously now the kitchen.

0:44:590:45:02

It was an existing wall originally,

0:45:020:45:04

the pantry was towards the back and then this was obviously the dining

0:45:040:45:07

room. We've added a breakfast bar,

0:45:070:45:10

the sink's now over there along with the boiler and, yeah,

0:45:100:45:14

we're really happy with how it's turned out cos it's a lovely size, so it's

0:45:140:45:17

really nice, yeah.

0:45:170:45:19

And upstairs, the three bedrooms aren't too shabby, either.

0:45:250:45:29

But what about the other big job in the house, the bathroom?

0:45:340:45:38

Well, this used to be two rooms, so we obviously knocked the wall right

0:45:420:45:46

through. We've added nice light colours in here.

0:45:460:45:50

We actually... This was originally the boiler room, so we knocked that through, just to create

0:45:520:45:57

more space.

0:45:570:45:59

I think it's safe to say with this property refurbishment,

0:45:590:46:02

they've arrived.

0:46:020:46:04

# Here come the girls

0:46:040:46:08

# Here come the girls... #

0:46:090:46:12

-We were pretty much here when we could be in the evenings.

-Yeah.

0:46:150:46:18

Yeah, we obviously, like, stripped all the walls.

0:46:180:46:21

We took the ceiling tiles down, which was a nightmare, wasn't it?

0:46:210:46:25

-That was hard work.

-THEY LAUGH

0:46:250:46:27

And then obviously when we'd done as much as we could,

0:46:270:46:30

we got the professionals in then to do the rest.

0:46:300:46:32

-And we were just overseeing them, really, that everything was going well.

-Mm-hm.

0:46:320:46:37

Christina's brother Ben and sister Carla also helped out,

0:46:370:46:41

but how did it work out with four people involved in the decision making?

0:46:410:46:45

And what was it like working together?

0:46:450:46:49

-Yeah, good. It's been really good.

-Yeah.

0:46:490:46:51

At times, you think it's going to be hard, but, you know, we got through it.

0:46:510:46:55

We sort of had our ideas and then we went with it.

0:46:550:46:58

Yeah, we didn't know how it worked, did we,

0:46:580:47:00

-but we sort of went for the majority and that was it, then.

-Yeah.

0:47:000:47:03

Well, the end result speaks volumes as to how successful it was, and

0:47:030:47:07

it was done bang on time.

0:47:070:47:09

But what about that 10-15 grand budget?

0:47:090:47:12

Yeah, we stayed well within the budget.

0:47:120:47:15

-We spent...

-10,500.

-10,500

0:47:150:47:19

So we were at the lower end of the budget more than the top end.

0:47:190:47:22

Hats off to you, girls,

0:47:220:47:24

that's good going to come in at the low end on your first project.

0:47:240:47:29

But a ten-and-a-half grand spend on top of their £68,000 purchase price

0:47:290:47:34

does take their total spend to 78 and a half grand.

0:47:340:47:38

Is that money well spent?

0:47:380:47:40

What do two local property experts think?

0:47:400:47:42

I think the changes to the property are really good.

0:47:420:47:44

The standard of finish is generally very high throughout.

0:47:440:47:47

I like the size of the kitchen.

0:47:470:47:49

Usually, you have a separate pantry at the front.

0:47:490:47:52

They've brought that into the kitchen, which will be attractive to buyers,

0:47:520:47:55

and they've added the breakfast bar as well.

0:47:550:47:57

Upstairs, there was a separate cloakroom and bathroom.

0:47:570:48:00

Again, they've knocked that through,

0:48:000:48:02

which is probably more in keeping with what modern families want.

0:48:020:48:04

The finish is nice and neutral and would suit pretty much any buyer.

0:48:040:48:08

I would have done a bit more work to the outside.

0:48:080:48:11

I think finishing the concrete path maybe with some slabs would have

0:48:110:48:15

been a nicer finish.

0:48:150:48:17

Yes, kerb appeal does play a part.

0:48:170:48:19

So perhaps something to think about in the future,

0:48:190:48:22

especially when you plan to sell the house on.

0:48:220:48:25

But could the rental figures change their minds?

0:48:250:48:27

If they were to rent this property out, they would get about £500,

0:48:270:48:31

maybe £520 per calendar month.

0:48:310:48:33

The property would let between £500-£550 per calendar month.

0:48:330:48:38

Erm, yeah, that's a really good figure, yeah.

0:48:380:48:42

That would be an 8% yield, but they're not interested in renting.

0:48:420:48:46

So, how does their 78½ grand investment fare in the resale market?

0:48:460:48:52

Remember, Christina thought, at worst, they would break even.

0:48:520:48:55

I would put this property on the market at around £100,000,

0:48:560:48:59

perhaps just below, 99,950.

0:48:590:49:02

I would market the property between £100,000-£110,000.

0:49:020:49:06

Yeah, that's a brilliant price. Yeah, that's...

0:49:060:49:08

I mean, it's obviously our first project, so we didn't really know what to expect.

0:49:080:49:11

It's just been a really good experience for us, but that's fantastic.

0:49:110:49:15

Yeah.

0:49:150:49:17

Yep, a potential pre-tax profit of £21,500-£31,500,

0:49:170:49:22

so your worries were unnecessary there, Christina.

0:49:220:49:25

They are certainly off to a great start, and they plan to do another

0:49:280:49:32

house soon, along with planning for something else as well.

0:49:320:49:35

Yeah, well, me and my partner got engaged.

0:49:370:49:40

We went on a family holiday to Dubai two weeks ago so, yeah,

0:49:400:49:44

he proposed there.

0:49:440:49:45

With Cerys's partner being Christina's brother Ben,

0:49:450:49:48

it seems they'll soon be sisters-in-law,

0:49:480:49:51

as well as successful business partners.

0:49:510:49:54

Time now to return to south London and the area of Streatham.

0:50:020:50:07

We're going to catch up with a three-bedroom terraced house that

0:50:070:50:11

Lucy looked at. This house looked like it hadn't been touched since the 1970s,

0:50:110:50:16

so there was plenty of scope for improvement inside the house.

0:50:160:50:20

But the best bit for me?

0:50:210:50:23

You're in London. Can you hear anything?

0:50:230:50:25

BIRDS TWEET

0:50:250:50:27

Just birdsong.

0:50:270:50:29

# It's so quiet

0:50:290:50:31

# Shh

0:50:310:50:33

# Shh

0:50:330:50:35

# It's oh so still... #

0:50:350:50:37

But if you listen carefully,

0:50:370:50:38

the one thing you might hear was the clamour to buy it.

0:50:380:50:41

The successful, bidder for £391,000,

0:50:420:50:46

was education consultant and part-time

0:50:460:50:49

property developer Robert, who along with son James,

0:50:490:50:52

explained how he was going to tackle this dated terraced house.

0:50:520:50:57

I think there are lots of stages, aren't there,

0:50:570:50:59

where you do either a very basic turnaround - tidy everything up,

0:50:590:51:03

but keep it cheap - and then there's a next stage where you knock through,

0:51:030:51:08

create a little bathroom down here or toilet, and then the next stage

0:51:080:51:13

is go into the loft as well.

0:51:130:51:15

So, a three-phased process looks like the order of the day, and for

0:51:150:51:20

the first phase of renovation,

0:51:200:51:21

he had a £20,000 budget and hoped to complete the work in two to three

0:51:210:51:26

months.

0:51:260:51:27

Well, nearly two years later,

0:51:290:51:31

we're back, so what on earth has been going on?

0:51:310:51:33

Well, at least from the outside, it looks in great shape,

0:51:410:51:44

but will inside be worth the wait?

0:51:440:51:47

The main changes have been cosmetic, what you actually see.

0:52:020:52:06

Which means, hurrah, he kept those doors!

0:52:060:52:10

But structurally, um,

0:52:100:52:13

knocked down the wall in the dining room to make it an open-plan

0:52:130:52:16

kitchen/diner.

0:52:160:52:17

Ah, so Robert hasn't held back.

0:52:210:52:23

He decided to really go for it, and that open plan kitchen looks so much

0:52:230:52:27

better. No more angle cupboards or kitchen hatch here.

0:52:270:52:32

He's even put in a small cloakroom under the stairs.

0:52:320:52:35

But what about upstairs?

0:52:370:52:38

Good, modern, refined, but is that it?

0:52:470:52:51

Nearly two years of work for a full refurbishment - I was hoping for more.

0:52:510:52:55

But then where else could he go?

0:52:550:52:58

# The only way is up

0:52:580:53:01

# Up, up

0:53:010:53:05

# The only way is up... #

0:53:050:53:08

This is the loft conversion and my idea of trying to make it a studio-type

0:53:110:53:17

place with room for a bed and not exactly a full kitchen,

0:53:170:53:22

but something, you know, somebody could live with.

0:53:220:53:26

I'm particularly pleased with choosing the doors.

0:53:260:53:29

With the wildlife out there, having the doors open

0:53:290:53:34

and nobody looking in,

0:53:340:53:36

I thought worked really well, so I'm very pleased with this.

0:53:360:53:39

And with its own bathroom, this loft space is its own self-contained unit,

0:53:390:53:44

which Robert is considering renting separately from the rest of the house.

0:53:440:53:49

With its elevated position,

0:53:490:53:50

it comes with great views across the revamped garden and to the nature

0:53:500:53:54

reserve beyond.

0:53:540:53:55

And it hasn't just been the house that has benefited substantially

0:53:580:54:02

from the refurbishment work.

0:54:020:54:03

I wanted, really, to have an opportunity for my son. Guy was leaving school

0:54:040:54:09

to work in the adult world and so I wanted to work with him here to do a

0:54:090:54:15

lot of stuff, so he's done most of the painting.

0:54:150:54:19

He just put so much into it and just got on with people, and I just saw

0:54:190:54:23

his social skills and the way he worked and the practical skills just develop.

0:54:230:54:28

It was just a great experience.

0:54:280:54:30

His son James also helped a little, but with a new job,

0:54:300:54:34

his input was more suggestions on how to get the best from the house.

0:54:340:54:38

Although Robert's son Guy may have found this an invaluable experience,

0:54:380:54:42

I'm sure there were substantial costs for Dad.

0:54:420:54:46

Initially, 20,000 was to have electrics and plumbing,

0:54:460:54:49

central heating and then decorate and then out. But, in fact,

0:54:490:54:53

the project changed, so I would imagine that, totally, everything

0:54:530:54:58

was maybe 65, possibly up to 70 if I do any bits and pieces.

0:54:580:55:04

Yes, and not surprising that the £20,000 budget was blown away.

0:55:040:55:08

But a £70,000 spend on top of his £391,000

0:55:080:55:13

purchase price takes Robert's total outlay to £461,000.

0:55:130:55:19

So, was this money well spent?

0:55:190:55:21

What do two local estate agents think?

0:55:210:55:25

I think the standard of finish is very good.

0:55:250:55:27

I like very much the fact that some of the

0:55:270:55:31

'30s features have been kept,

0:55:310:55:34

yet we have all the modern necessities, like modern kitchens,

0:55:340:55:37

bathrooms, so we have the best of both worlds here.

0:55:370:55:40

I think the selling features of the property are the garden,

0:55:400:55:43

the open-plan kitchen/living room,

0:55:430:55:45

the two bathrooms, which are done to a very high, modern standard, and

0:55:450:55:49

-a loft conversion.

-The loft conversion was a very good idea.

0:55:490:55:52

It gives that extra space either for Grandmother or a nanny or just a

0:55:520:55:57

friend who wants to stay for a certain amount of time, so an excellent idea.

0:55:570:56:02

Robert hasn't quite decided whether he might keep the house in the

0:56:020:56:06

family or rent out part or all of it.

0:56:060:56:09

But having invested £461,000,

0:56:090:56:12

he may have increased the size of the property,

0:56:120:56:15

but has he increased its value?

0:56:150:56:17

I think this property could sell for a price in the region between

0:56:170:56:22

£640,000 and £655,000.

0:56:220:56:26

I believe if this property was to be put on the market for sale,

0:56:260:56:29

it would sell for £640,000-£650,000.

0:56:290:56:33

That's a good value.

0:56:330:56:34

I've been watching prices and that's slightly better than I thought, so I

0:56:340:56:37

think, in the last six months, they have pushed quite a bit.

0:56:370:56:40

Yes, those values are pretty impressive, with a pre-tax profit of between

0:56:400:56:45

£179,000 and £194,000 potentially on the table.

0:56:450:56:51

But what about those all-important rental values?

0:56:510:56:54

As separate units,

0:56:540:56:55

I would expect, for the three-bedroom house, £2,000,

0:56:550:57:00

and the separate studio should achieve around

0:57:000:57:03

£400-£500 per calendar month.

0:57:030:57:05

I'd rent downstairs as a three-bedroom house for £1,600-£1,700 per

0:57:050:57:11

calendar month, and I'd rent upstairs as a studio flat for £850 per calendar month.

0:57:110:57:17

Those rental values could see a total income of around 2,500,

0:57:170:57:21

which would generate a yield of around 6.5%.

0:57:210:57:24

So is Rob happy with that?

0:57:240:57:26

I think those rental values are good.

0:57:280:57:32

The bad news is I've got a house in the next road and I'm not getting

0:57:320:57:35

-that.

-HE LAUGHS

0:57:350:57:36

Well, it may have taken a whole lot longer than originally planned,

0:57:360:57:40

but Robert and his son Guy seem to have got a whole lot more out of the

0:57:400:57:45

house. What advice would he give anyone?

0:57:450:57:48

Property is a good investment if you have a vision about where you're

0:57:490:57:52

going with it and you don't allow

0:57:520:57:55

emotionality along the way to overspend.

0:57:550:57:59

Well, that is the great thing about property developing -

0:58:020:58:05

you never stop learning, even if, like us, you've been doing it for years.

0:58:050:58:09

And hopefully we've been able to give you some advice along the way.

0:58:090:58:13

Yes, so join us here on Homes Under The Hammer next time.

0:58:130:58:15

-See you later.

-Goodbye!

-Goodbye.

0:58:150:58:17

Martin Roberts, Lucy Alexander and Dion Dublin criss-cross the country from Devon and London to Wales to follow the progress of developers hoping to transform their auction property buys. Martin meets a couple wanting to transform a run-down house into their forever home, Dion talks to two friends embarking on their first property adventure, and Lucy meets a seasoned property developer and his son who have a three-phase plan redevelopment plan.