Episode 71 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 71

Martin, Lucy and Dion follow redevelopment progress on a large listed Georgian house in Faversham and on two very different flats in Lytham St Annes and north London.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the show.

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Now, the world of property provides an ever-changing

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and challenging environment which really fascinates me and Dion.

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Yes, but there's one key principle - get it for the best price possible.

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But that's not always as easy as it seems.

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No, but one way you could stack the odds in your favour

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is by going to your local auction house.

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Buying at auction is a very popular way to approach things.

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Every month, millions and millions of pounds is spent at auction.

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So, with all that auction action going on,

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what inspired the buyers on today's show?

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We are off to the seaside and in Lytham St Annes near Blackpool,

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so the question has to be...

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Have we got a view?

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Lucy loved this Georgian property in Faversham, Kent,

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and will echo that sentiment.

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Echoey, echoey!

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And I see an ex-local authority flat in North London and, as always,

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first impressions hinge on the entrance.

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Oh! What a lovely front door.

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All these properties have been sold at auction,

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and we'll find out who bought them

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and what they paid when they went under the hammer.

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Well done, sir.

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Six miles from the bright lights of Blackpool in Lancashire

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is Lytham St Annes, a traditional coastal town.

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It's been described as one of the gems of the Northwest.

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# Life's a beach... #

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And I've found a property just a hop, skip and a jump

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from the beach, with a park right on its doorstep,

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so you have to say the location is spot-on.

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So, just across the road from that beautiful park,

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and hopefully with views over it, is the property I'm here to see.

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It's a first-floor flat,

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it's got three bedrooms and a guide price of £75,000 to £85,000.

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Let's take a look.

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If the location isn't enough to impress you,

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then the building should.

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Built from locally produced engineering bricks,

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this Victorian building oozes character.

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Along with the well-maintained communal garden,

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it also has private parking.

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Just look at that beautiful staircase

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that I've just come up to get to this flat.

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Very, very nice.

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And into this very spacious hallway.

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There's lots of light in it.

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Got a door just here which I can see, actually,

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as I approach it, that it's sealed up.

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Into the lounge, and what a lounge it is.

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Let me just check something first. Have we got a view over the park?

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And, yes, we have.

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Albeit from the side of the building,

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but it's a view all the same.

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What a really nice-sized lounge.

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Central heating's already in.

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Wow. What a very positive start.

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Yes, light, airy, beautiful bay windows with views

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and a £75,000 to £85,000 guide price.

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But not only that, there are loads of original features,

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from skirting to architraves, and I love those panels on the wall.

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I suspect there may be a few more gems

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hidden behind that fireplace or under the carpet.

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So what else has this flat got to offer?

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So, around the corner, we have got this bedroom.

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And that sealed doorway that was there comes into this bedroom,

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but it's hidden behind these wardrobes

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and it's sealed up because you've got this door here.

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A very nice-sized bedroom, nice high ceilings.

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The decor could do with changing, but I'm happy so far.

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A little bit further down the hallway

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we have got the kitchen and the bathroom.

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Now, that kitchen just feels too small

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for the size of this property,

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and I definitely want something a little bit bigger than that

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and a bit grander.

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And the two further bedrooms are down here.

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Now, it might be that you sacrifice one of these bedrooms

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to create that bigger kitchen.

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That's a possibility.

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I'd think about creating a kitchen/diner in that bedroom

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that has the blocked-up door from the lounge.

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You could make the bathroom bigger

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by knocking through that tiny kitchen

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and maybe have a utility room.

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Of course, you probably need permission

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from the management company looking after the block,

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which brings me to another important issue.

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The management company, or the residents of this building,

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have put restrictions on this place being rented out,

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so if you do buy this place,

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you're either going to have to live in it or sell it.

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So, no buy to let here.

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Hopefully whoever fancied this flat

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will be happy to compromise on this issue.

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# You've got to give a little

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# Take a little

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# Pay the price, make a sacrifice... #

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If you were looking to sell this flat on,

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it might just come down to the maths.

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Would it be worth sacrificing that biggest bedroom?

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Let's find out what a local estate agent thinks.

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I would say that to lose one of the bedrooms

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and make it from a three- to a two-bed flat,

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it may not affect the value,

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cos obviously having a three-bed flat

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isn't really that common anyway.

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OK, so, that could be the way forward,

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but what about the no-letting clause on the flat?

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Would that be detrimental to its appeal?

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Having the restrictions doesn't really affect the value.

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It may restrict the number of people that look to purchase it,

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but it won't affect the value.

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If anything, it may attract somebody to buy it to live in and think,

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"Well, that's good.

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"I'm not going to have anybody renting it next to me."

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That's good news,

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but with resale the only option from an investor's standpoint,

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could that route result in a profit for this flat

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that was guided at 75,000 to 85,000 grand?

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If the property was renovated from a three-bed to a two-bed,

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sacrificed the bedroom to make a larger kitchen

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and more living space, then I would market the property at £140,000.

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If the property was renovated

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and just left in the complete same layout it is now,

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I'd probably expect the value to be around £125,000, £130,000.

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I do like this place and I can kind of understand

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why the residents have got restrictions on it being rented out.

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They are managing this property themselves,

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and it looks like a well-maintained block to live in.

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So were there bidders who were desperate to live here

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or did the restriction put off would-be landlords?

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Let's see what happened when it went under the hammer.

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OK, there's a telephone bid on lot number 47.

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We're going posh.

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Three-bedroom, first-floor apartment. 80 to start.

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70. I need a bid.

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70 here. At 70, I'm bidding twos.

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72 seated there. 74.

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Where's the original bidder? 74. 74. 76 here.

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Can you?

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76 I've got. 78. 80 on the aisle.

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82. 84. 86.

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88. 90. 92.

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No. With you at 90 to the rear.

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Been with me all the way. At £90,000.

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I'll take one. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95.

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A shake of the head. At 94, back with you, sir.

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At £94,000.

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At 94 first time and second time. At £94,000, I'm selling this.

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Be sure. At £94,000, all done. Selling away.

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Well done, sir. 386.

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After a bit of a battle,

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the hammer fell at 94 grand and the successful bidder was Mark.

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He lives in 45 minutes away in Manchester,

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so I was intrigued to find out

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what brought him to this coastal town.

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-Mark, nice to meet you.

-Nice to meet you.

-Congratulations.

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-Thank you very much.

-Apart from this amazing location,

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what was it about this place that you loved?

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St Annes is a place I've visited quite a few times over the years.

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I've got grandparents who live less than a mile away,

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-so, yeah, I've been coming here for 28 years.

-OK.

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Obviously, I know the area well and it's lovely here.

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And were you looking for something like this, a flat,

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or were you looking for a house?

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This is my first solo renovation,

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so it kind of ticked the boxes of it being a flat

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in a building that's well-maintained

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and there shouldn't be too many major problems with it.

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-What's your background?

-In the past, I've helped my parents.

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They've got three at the moment that they rent out.

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They bought them in disrepair and had to renovate them

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and get them up to scratch and rent them out,

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so I helped out with three of them.

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So what was your job beforehand?

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Beforehand, I was doing media forensics.

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-Were you really?

-Yes.

-That's just gone straight over my head.

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-THEY LAUGH

-It does with a lot of people.

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So what is media forensics?

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It's forensics to do with audio and visual,

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so it's a lot to do with CCTV, audio enhancements

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-and crime scene reconstructions.

-Really?

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Yeah. It's a very niche market.

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Yeah, it is a niche market. I've never heard of it before.

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No, not many people have.

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But, yeah, I left that behind

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and went travelling in New Zealand for two years.

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Started doing property management over there

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and then obviously, with the background in renovations,

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decided to come back and give it a really good go at renovation.

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-That's amazing. In New Zealand?

-New Zealand, yes.

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-It's a long way to go.

-It's not a hop, is it?

-No, it's not. No.

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So how long were you there for? When did you come back?

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I was there for two years.

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It was initially a short-term holiday.

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I went there, loved it and ended up staying for two years.

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So, yeah, I've only been back two months now.

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-All change now.

-All change, yeah.

-A new direction into property.

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Yeah, so it's nice to have a new direction and move forward a bit.

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So, having gone around the world,

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he now finds himself exploring options nearer to home,

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but what direction does he hope to take the flat in?

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Tell us what you're going to do.

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It just needs complete stripping out at the moment.

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Obviously, new kitchen, new bathroom, carpets.

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I think there's two windows which are double glazed,

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but the rest are all single and cracked,

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so it needs a complete overhaul, really.

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I don't think at the moment

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they're making the most use of the space,

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with the kitchen being as small as it is,

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so there's scope to change things round, change the layout.

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Tell us what you're going to do, then.

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How are you going to make use of the space and change things around?

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At the moment, it's a three-bedroom,

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but two of the rooms are quite small.

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I don't think it needs to be a three-bedroom,

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so there is scope to change it around.

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This is the master bedroom,

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so maybe change this into the kitchen.

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Knock the bathroom and kitchen into one, maybe.

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-Make that into a bedroom...

-OK.

-..and just change it around a bit.

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And are you going to get involved in that kind of work?

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Do you get people in to do it for you?

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I've got quite a few friends and family in the trade,

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but a lot of the work I'm going to do myself

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-and try and keep the cost down.

-Are you really?

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-You're going to get your hands dirty?

-I hope so, yeah.

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So how much have you got in your budget to turn this around?

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To do it properly, I'm hoping between 15,000 and 20,000.

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Along with that 15 to 20 grand budget,

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he hopes to complete the flat in three to four months,

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and having done all his homework,

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he did know he wasn't going to be able to rent the flat out.

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But did that to change his thinking on it at all?

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It was bought as a renovation project to sell,

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but obviously after looking round and doing work on it myself,

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it might end up that it might be my place to stay and live,

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so we'll just see how it goes.

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That doesn't surprise me cos when you come in here

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-it is quite homely, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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-You feel homely as soon as you come in.

-It is, yeah.

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Would you change the way you were doing this place

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if it was for yourself?

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I think it's always best to do it the way you want it anyway.

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That's part of the fun of doing it, that you do it how you like it.

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Listen, I wish you all the best on your first project.

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You've chosen somewhere really nice. Good luck to you.

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-Thank you very much.

-Take care. Cheers.

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I think Mark would be wise to sacrifice a bedroom

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for a bigger kitchen and living area.

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I really like this place

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and if Mark doesn't move in, I might.

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You can find out how he gets on and who's living here

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later in the show.

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It was in March, 2014

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when we were in the market town of Faversham,

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just under an hour's train journey from London,

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where Lucy saw an amazing listed Georgian property.

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OK, this is what you call a hallway.

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Wow! Look at that beautiful arch.

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Although it does feel very clinical.

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It's got that commercial feel to it.

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There's lots of strip lighting everywhere,

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and that's because it was previously used as a youth centre.

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Now, this place is just vast and echoey.

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-ECHOING:

-Echoey!

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Echo!

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Brilliant.

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# Didn't you say we would stay

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# Till we heard the last echo, echo, echo... #

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What does bear repeating is that this was a former youth centre,

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so you'd have to apply for change of use

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if you had any other plans for it.

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But it also has a much more modern extension at the back

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that, for Lucy, was a bit old-school.

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And this is where, well, it just feels to me as though

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I've been transported back to my old secondary school.

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It's like a corridor feel to it,

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and this is where the original part of the house

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and the new part meet.

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So we've got a couple of loos over here,

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some other redundant spaces,

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and what do you think this room is going to be?

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Ta-da! A sports hall, of course.

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It's massive.

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-ECHOING:

-If you thought that room was echoey, listen to this!

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But I'm sorry, I need to just quickly do something.

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Bear with me.

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No, Lucy, don't do it!

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D'oh!

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Well, Lucy didn't drop the ball

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when she looked around the rest of the original building.

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Now, that is what you call an arch window.

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Look at that. It's magnificent.

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Sadly, you have to look out onto that sports hall

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with the asbestos roof, but you can't have everything.

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So up these steps and you've got an amazing landing space,

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again exactly what you would expect in a house like this.

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And all the rooms leading off,

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just got amazing proportions, lovely ceiling height.

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They've all got the original sash windows.

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And then through here into the room at the front of the building,

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and there's just so much light coming in.

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Quite interesting, because you can see somebody has started

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to rip down the fake walls.

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Look.

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There's walls that have been put on but they've been taken off,

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and over here you can see the original cornicing.

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And my, that is absolutely stunning.

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Can you imagine what this place will look like

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once all these fake walls have been ripped off

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and the original features put back in?

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The longer I'm walking around this house

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and I'm falling in love with it even more.

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# I can't help

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# Falling in love with you... #

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Lucy wasn't the only one who was head-over-heels

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for this property, as it had plenty of suitors at the auction.

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Loads of accommodation, arranged mainly in two buildings.

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Lots of possibilities for future uses,

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subject to planning on this one.

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Where do you want to start me? Guide is 220.

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£220,000. Where'd you want to start? Start me at 200, then.

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I don't really mind. £200,000 straight in.

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It was the last lot of the day and it may have been slow to start,

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but determined bidders soon pushed the bidding

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well beyond the guide price of 220,000.

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We re-join at 400,000.

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400,000. Keep with it. 400, it's with you.

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405 now. With you at 405 now.

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405. 410.

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At £410,000, it's back with you, then, for the first time.

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At £410,000 for the second time.

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This is your last chance, maybe. 410.

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It's with you, third and final time if you are sure you're all done.

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At £410,000.

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Well done, sir. It's yours at 410. Well done.

0:17:110:17:14

The winning bidder paying 410,000 for this

0:17:140:17:18

was film director and artist Paul.

0:17:180:17:21

# I got 35 millimetre dreams

0:17:210:17:24

# 35 millimetre dreams... #

0:17:260:17:30

And he was ready for his close-up with Lucy.

0:17:300:17:34

Paul, I've gone weak at the knees with this house.

0:17:340:17:36

I absolutely love it.

0:17:360:17:39

Why did you buy this?

0:17:390:17:40

How did you find this and what have you bought it for?

0:17:400:17:44

Well, weak at the knees is a very good reaction.

0:17:440:17:47

Ladies don't go weak at the knees

0:17:470:17:49

very often with me nowadays... SHE LAUGHS

0:17:490:17:51

But I bought it from the catalogue.

0:17:510:17:55

I obviously viewed it before I bid, but I thought, "This can be a home.

0:17:550:18:00

"This is a Georgian house."

0:18:000:18:02

Oh, I'm so glad you've said that.

0:18:020:18:04

Because straight away, walking around here,

0:18:040:18:06

I would love to see this as a home, because it's just so handsome,

0:18:060:18:10

it's just got wonderful windows.

0:18:100:18:12

The configuration of the rooms is pretty much as it was 200,

0:18:120:18:16

250 years ago.

0:18:160:18:17

The rooms are the Georgian proportion,

0:18:170:18:19

so all you need to do is strip it out, go back to the basics.

0:18:190:18:22

Are you going to replace things like the sash windows?

0:18:220:18:24

This is Grade II listed, which means that all the exterior

0:18:240:18:28

is subject to council approval and control.

0:18:280:18:31

And I wouldn't want to replace the sash windows.

0:18:310:18:34

I mean, I'd like to insulate them with a double-glazing behind,

0:18:340:18:38

but judiciously, so that it doesn't interfere

0:18:380:18:41

with the look from the outside.

0:18:410:18:42

At the moment, it's like a cake with a beautiful outside

0:18:420:18:47

and a deteriorating interior.

0:18:470:18:51

Paul wanted to have his cake and eat it

0:18:510:18:53

because he also planned on turning the old gym

0:18:530:18:55

into his own private artist studio.

0:18:550:18:59

I do three things.

0:18:590:19:01

I'm a photographer, a film-maker and an artist.

0:19:010:19:04

And that studio will be used for all those functions.

0:19:040:19:07

1,500 square feet, a wonderful space.

0:19:070:19:11

This blockbuster had a healthy budget of up to £150,000.

0:19:110:19:17

Well, I'm really intrigued to find out about your film-making.

0:19:170:19:20

Yes, yes.

0:19:200:19:21

I've worked with Paul Scofield, Dirk Bogarde.

0:19:210:19:24

Lots of, you know, quite well-known actors.

0:19:240:19:26

I directed Tom Baker's exit from Doctor Who.

0:19:260:19:31

# So, all I need

0:19:320:19:35

# Is a time machine

0:19:350:19:39

# A one-way track

0:19:390:19:43

# Cos I'm taking it back, taking it back... #

0:19:430:19:46

We time-travelled four months into the future

0:19:460:19:49

to see how Paul was getting on.

0:19:490:19:51

He was just a little over halfway into this interesting project,

0:19:510:19:55

and he'd made some good progress.

0:19:550:19:56

The first job was transforming the former gymnasium

0:19:560:20:00

into his artist's studio, which was very pleased with.

0:20:000:20:03

I couldn't really ask for anything better.

0:20:060:20:08

We've left just one hoop on the wall to show what it was.

0:20:080:20:13

I put on a mezzanine floor

0:20:130:20:15

to work and to bring the level of my artistic endeavours

0:20:150:20:20

up to where the light is best.

0:20:200:20:23

And that's also good for storage and desks and computers

0:20:230:20:26

and things like that,

0:20:260:20:27

and it gives a fantastic view down into the studio space.

0:20:270:20:31

But inside the much older Georgian house,

0:20:310:20:34

the changes were glimpses of what the house could be

0:20:340:20:37

when fully restored.

0:20:370:20:39

Work like this takes time,

0:20:390:20:41

and, of course, a considerable amount of money.

0:20:410:20:43

When I said 150,000, I was hoping it would be less,

0:20:430:20:48

and I think it will be.

0:20:480:20:50

I'm probably spending about 10,000 a month

0:20:500:20:52

and I've spent something between £40,000 and £45,000 so far.

0:20:520:20:57

But I think if you look and see what's been achieved with that,

0:20:570:21:00

it's not bad.

0:21:000:21:01

We're into month four.

0:21:010:21:03

I reckoned it would be a nine-month, at least.

0:21:030:21:07

Everybody who comes in now feels that...

0:21:070:21:10

..we're doing quite well.

0:21:110:21:13

With 15 years of property developing experience behind him,

0:21:130:21:18

Paul had every reason to feel confident

0:21:180:21:20

and he wasn't intimidated by the scale of the task at all.

0:21:200:21:24

To make sure that the changes that I impose upon the house

0:21:240:21:28

are in the character of the original architecture,

0:21:280:21:31

I want to make sure that it's got those touches

0:21:310:21:35

that make it personal to me, so it'll never really be finished.

0:21:350:21:39

One wants to keep the best of the past.

0:21:390:21:43

Find out later if Paul has finally managed

0:21:430:21:46

to take this house back to its elegant heyday

0:21:460:21:49

by restoring this Georgian masterpiece

0:21:490:21:51

two and a half years on.

0:21:510:21:53

# Taking it back, taking it back. #

0:21:530:21:57

Coming up, I try to get my head around a flat in North London

0:21:580:22:02

with unexpected features.

0:22:020:22:04

That's also a bit weird.

0:22:040:22:05

It's got sort of bits of kitchen unit in it.

0:22:050:22:07

And we finally find out if Paul

0:22:090:22:11

has completed the work on his Grade II listed Georgian home.

0:22:110:22:15

With a house like this, it's never quite 100%.

0:22:150:22:17

DION: Time now to head back to the sandy beaches of Lytham St Annes.

0:22:210:22:25

Just a short walk away from the seafront,

0:22:250:22:28

I saw a three-bed flat

0:22:280:22:29

in a very impressive Victorian building.

0:22:290:22:32

It had grand rooms and period features in abundance.

0:22:320:22:36

Just what you might expect,

0:22:360:22:38

although not all the rooms were impressive.

0:22:380:22:41

Now, that kitchen just feels too small

0:22:410:22:43

for the size of this property.

0:22:430:22:45

And the two further bedrooms are down here.

0:22:450:22:48

Now, it might be that you sacrifice one of these bedrooms

0:22:480:22:52

to create that bigger kitchen.

0:22:520:22:54

So far, so good,

0:22:540:22:56

but there was one important issue with this property,

0:22:560:22:58

and it was a serious one if you were planning to let this flat out.

0:22:580:23:02

The management company, or the residents of this building,

0:23:030:23:07

have put restrictions on this place being rented out,

0:23:070:23:11

so if you do buy this place,

0:23:110:23:13

you're either going to have to live in it or sell it.

0:23:130:23:16

This restriction didn't put

0:23:170:23:19

first-time property developer Mark off.

0:23:190:23:22

He played 94 grand for this.

0:23:220:23:25

He had experience helping his parents

0:23:250:23:27

renovate their rental properties

0:23:270:23:29

and had worked in property management for two years

0:23:290:23:31

whilst living on the other side of the world in New Zealand.

0:23:310:23:35

He'd only been back two months

0:23:350:23:37

and his plans for this flat might've been turned upside down.

0:23:370:23:41

It was bought as a renovation project to sell,

0:23:410:23:44

but, obviously, after looking around

0:23:440:23:46

and, you know, doing work on it myself,

0:23:460:23:47

it might end up being my place to stay and live,

0:23:470:23:50

so we'll just see how it goes.

0:23:500:23:53

Would you change the way you're doing it

0:23:530:23:54

if it was for yourself?

0:23:540:23:55

I think it's best to do it the way you want it anyway,

0:23:550:23:58

and that's part of the fun of doing it,

0:23:580:24:00

that you do it how you like it.

0:24:000:24:02

Mark wanted to do a lot of the work himself

0:24:020:24:05

and significantly change the layout

0:24:050:24:07

in three to four months, which was a big ask,

0:24:070:24:11

so I'm not surprised we are heading back three months later than planned

0:24:110:24:14

to see how he got on.

0:24:140:24:15

The small bedroom is now a very sleek bathroom,

0:24:180:24:22

so what happened to the old one?

0:24:220:24:23

Now this is better.

0:24:260:24:28

The small bathroom and kitchen have been knocked into one

0:24:280:24:31

so there's a good-sized bedroom here.

0:24:310:24:34

The other bedroom is where it was at the back.

0:24:340:24:38

Of course, now we seem to be missing a kitchen.

0:24:380:24:41

As planned, Mark has turned the large bedroom

0:24:470:24:50

into a proper kitchen that this flat deserves.

0:24:500:24:53

As with the rest of the flat, he's gone for a modern look,

0:24:530:24:56

as new plumbing and electrics were required here.

0:24:560:25:00

It's a shame he had to lose a lot of the period features

0:25:010:25:05

but sometimes, it can't be helped.

0:25:050:25:06

Mark has also lost a bedroom,

0:25:080:25:11

but with the increased living space on offer,

0:25:110:25:13

I think it was a wise choice.

0:25:130:25:15

For his first solo project,

0:25:170:25:18

Mark has done a great job and can be proud of the graft he's put in.

0:25:180:25:23

Most of the work I've done myself.

0:25:230:25:25

Obviously, certain things like the electrics and the plumbing,

0:25:250:25:29

I've had to get experts in.

0:25:290:25:30

I've learnt a lot, and having tradesmen in to do jobs with me,

0:25:300:25:34

I've shadowed them and seen what they do

0:25:340:25:36

and obviously learnt a lot from that as well.

0:25:360:25:39

I'm most pleased with the kitchen, I think -

0:25:390:25:41

just for the time and effort that's gone into, you know,

0:25:410:25:44

from the initial planning stages to getting the layout right.

0:25:440:25:47

There was times, you know, in the middle of it,

0:25:470:25:49

where I just thought it was a million miles away,

0:25:490:25:51

but it's great now just to see it nearly finished.

0:25:510:25:54

He may have added some new skills whilst renovating this flat,

0:25:550:25:59

but do the figures for the work still add up?

0:25:590:26:02

Mark hoped all the work would cost between 15 and 20 grand.

0:26:020:26:07

I think the initial budget was just a basic refit,

0:26:070:26:09

but, obviously, the spec's gone a lot higher now.

0:26:090:26:12

So, in the end, I've spent about 24,000.

0:26:120:26:15

Well, by upping the spec and getting things just the way he likes it,

0:26:150:26:19

I take it Mark is ready to move in.

0:26:190:26:22

Um, I was. It's just...

0:26:220:26:24

It's nice round here, but it's so quiet,

0:26:240:26:26

so I think now I'm just going to be selling the property

0:26:260:26:28

and moving on to the next one.

0:26:280:26:29

# Shh

0:26:290:26:32

# It's oh so quiet

0:26:320:26:36

# Shh

0:26:360:26:37

# Shh... #

0:26:370:26:39

Oh, well, then.

0:26:390:26:40

Mark is still in his 20s, so I can understand why a vibrant city

0:26:400:26:44

like Manchester might be more his style.

0:26:440:26:47

Someone else can enjoy living in this lovely flat

0:26:470:26:50

in Lytham St Annes, which is...

0:26:500:26:52

# So peaceful until... #

0:26:520:26:55

Time to shatter the peace and quiet

0:26:580:27:00

by asking two local estate agents along

0:27:000:27:02

to hear their thoughts on the changes Mark has made

0:27:020:27:05

on this flat.

0:27:050:27:06

First, let's hear from the agent who saw it last time.

0:27:070:27:11

The main selling points to the property

0:27:110:27:13

are its proximity to St Annes,

0:27:130:27:15

the park, and the excellent finish of the kitchen.

0:27:150:27:17

It really is phenomenal.

0:27:170:27:19

There's no real negatives to the property.

0:27:190:27:22

Obviously, it was a three-bedroom before.

0:27:220:27:23

That would've suited some people,

0:27:230:27:25

but the excellent finish throughout will make a difference.

0:27:250:27:27

I think the layout works really well.

0:27:270:27:29

The getting rid of the three bedrooms and having two

0:27:290:27:32

and a lovely big dining kitchen

0:27:320:27:34

is really what the buyers will be looking for

0:27:340:27:36

for this type of property.

0:27:360:27:37

As we know, Mark isn't planning on living here,

0:27:370:27:40

but because the management company of the building

0:27:400:27:42

have put a restriction on the flat, he can't rent it out.

0:27:420:27:46

Bearing in mind Mark has spent a total of 118 grand on this,

0:27:460:27:51

what kind of figure could it be worth?

0:27:510:27:53

In the sales market,

0:27:530:27:54

this property will fetch somewhere in the region

0:27:540:27:56

of £140,000 to £145,000.

0:27:560:27:59

In the sales market,

0:27:590:28:00

I would feel the property should be able to achieve

0:28:000:28:02

in the region of £145,000.

0:28:020:28:05

The sale valuation is around what I was expecting.

0:28:050:28:08

I was working towards about £145,000 at the start of the project.

0:28:080:28:12

Obviously, with going over on the budget,

0:28:120:28:14

it's pleasing to know that it's at the higher end

0:28:140:28:17

of what I was expecting.

0:28:170:28:19

Even though Mark went with high-spec and over budget,

0:28:190:28:23

he could still come away with a pre-tax profit of £27,000

0:28:230:28:28

if he gets that top valuation.

0:28:280:28:30

Well, Mark won't be staying here,

0:28:300:28:32

but will he be staying with property development as a career?

0:28:320:28:36

Overall, the experience has been very good.

0:28:360:28:39

I've learnt lots and obviously,

0:28:390:28:40

I can take that forward into the next project.

0:28:400:28:43

I'm in New Southgate,

0:28:460:28:48

a residential suburb of North London.

0:28:480:28:51

It has both a railway and tube station,

0:28:510:28:53

from where it takes 25 minutes to reach the city,

0:28:530:28:56

so it's well located and you can certainly get more property

0:28:560:28:59

for your money than in certain Central London spots.

0:28:590:29:03

This is especially the case

0:29:030:29:05

with ex-local authority properties,

0:29:050:29:07

and that's what I'm here to see.

0:29:070:29:10

In this case, the guide price is 210,000 quid.

0:29:100:29:13

Let's have a look.

0:29:130:29:14

I like the fact these blocks are only three storeys high,

0:29:180:29:22

although the one I'm here to see is on the ground level,

0:29:220:29:24

which isn't usually as popular as the favoured middle floor.

0:29:240:29:28

The communal areas are functional and clean,

0:29:280:29:31

so nothing major to worry about so far.

0:29:310:29:34

Oh! What a lovely front door.

0:29:370:29:40

Well, you know, first impressions really matter.

0:29:400:29:42

I know it's silly - it's just a door -

0:29:420:29:44

but, actually, it really sets the scene.

0:29:440:29:46

I don't know if the rest of the flat's going to match up to that

0:29:460:29:49

but we always talk about first impressions when you see a property,

0:29:490:29:52

and a prospective purchaser would see that and go,

0:29:520:29:55

"Ooh! Nice door." Well, maybe.

0:29:550:29:57

Anyway, a bathroom there. Looks like it needs refurbishing.

0:29:570:30:00

It needs the door treatment, actually.

0:30:000:30:02

A living room there.

0:30:020:30:04

That's a bit weird. It's got some kitchen units in it.

0:30:040:30:08

So, OK, we've got a kitchen-living area there.

0:30:080:30:11

And then, a bedroom.

0:30:110:30:12

That's also a bit weird.

0:30:130:30:15

It's got sort of bits of kitchen unit in it.

0:30:150:30:17

My guess is that was originally the kitchen

0:30:170:30:21

and it's been basically taken to bits...

0:30:210:30:25

Boiler's still there, but the rest of it taken out.

0:30:250:30:27

..to create a third bedroom.

0:30:270:30:28

Now, in London, that probably makes sense,

0:30:280:30:31

cos a three-bedroom flat's obviously going to be worth more

0:30:310:30:34

than a two-bed.

0:30:340:30:35

On the other hand, is that good for that living area?

0:30:350:30:40

I'm not so sure.

0:30:400:30:42

You'd need to seek some professional advice on that one for sure.

0:30:420:30:47

Hmm.

0:30:470:30:48

# There's no use in trying when the pieces don't fit any more

0:30:480:30:54

# The pieces don't fit here any more... #

0:30:550:30:58

You can't just go bunging kitchens into any old place.

0:30:580:31:01

First, you'd probably need the freeholder's permission.

0:31:010:31:04

Then building regulations approval is needed to cover drainage,

0:31:040:31:08

ventilation and escape in case of fire, amongst other things.

0:31:080:31:12

The real conundrum here is that by adding a third bedroom

0:31:120:31:15

you would lose the good proportion

0:31:150:31:17

and practical layout which are normally associated

0:31:170:31:19

with ex-council properties.

0:31:190:31:21

That being said, I can see the attraction financially.

0:31:210:31:25

I'm definitely in two minds on this one.

0:31:250:31:28

So, down the end of the corridor here,

0:31:280:31:29

you've got bedrooms one or two, or potentially three.

0:31:290:31:33

They're not a bad size.

0:31:330:31:34

They've got these fairly old-fashioned built-in units

0:31:340:31:38

which you'd probably want to take out cos they definitely

0:31:380:31:40

shrink the size of the room.

0:31:400:31:43

It looks like you've got relatively new sockets and light switches,

0:31:430:31:48

but don't be fooled.

0:31:480:31:49

This is a really important point.

0:31:490:31:51

It's very easy just to stick a new switch on like that

0:31:510:31:54

and you think, "Oh, new electrics,"

0:31:540:31:55

but, of course, what's behind there is what's important -

0:31:550:31:58

the wires that run up and down and, of course, the consumer unit.

0:31:580:32:01

So don't assume just cos it looks new

0:32:010:32:03

that in fact the wiring is new as well.

0:32:030:32:05

But one other thing to point out while we're in here,

0:32:050:32:07

down here looks to be a bit of damp of some sort.

0:32:070:32:12

That could be just condensation, it could be a bit of rising damp.

0:32:120:32:16

You just want to check that out.

0:32:160:32:17

It could be just the house - flat, rather -

0:32:170:32:19

has been left unoccupied for a while.

0:32:190:32:21

It doesn't look too serious,

0:32:210:32:23

but it needs to be investigated before it gets any worse.

0:32:230:32:25

All in all, yeah, it's all right.

0:32:250:32:28

That wasn't really praising, was it?

0:32:280:32:31

It's fine.

0:32:310:32:32

# Ain't that fine

0:32:320:32:33

# Ain't that fine... #

0:32:350:32:37

OK, I'm not exactly bursting at the seams with adulation here,

0:32:370:32:41

but aside from the rather suspicious looking kitchen units

0:32:410:32:44

in the living room, this flat is pretty much as you would expect.

0:32:440:32:47

Can we say the same for the outside?

0:32:470:32:49

Well, as with any flat,

0:32:530:32:55

outside space is an absolute premium,

0:32:550:32:57

and in this case you do have

0:32:570:32:59

-what's described as a shared garden.

-HE CHUCKLES

0:32:590:33:02

There's somewhere where you can hang your washing, which is good,

0:33:020:33:05

and then to cap it all you have your very own little storage shed.

0:33:050:33:09

Extra storage in a London flat is a definite bonus.

0:33:100:33:13

You could certainly fit a bike or two in here no problem.

0:33:130:33:16

Time now to get the thoughts of a local estate agent

0:33:190:33:22

on this flat, guided at £210,000.

0:33:220:33:25

First impressions of the flat are good.

0:33:290:33:31

The decor is good.

0:33:310:33:33

It seems all structurally fine,

0:33:330:33:36

but obviously somebody would have a survey, I suspect.

0:33:360:33:38

But generally speaking, it's quite a clean, bright,

0:33:380:33:42

pleasant flat.

0:33:420:33:43

Well, we're in agreement on that,

0:33:430:33:45

but let's get the professional's opinion

0:33:450:33:47

on that two- or three-bedroom conundrum.

0:33:470:33:50

Conversion-wise,

0:33:500:33:51

I think it would be better to leave it as a three-bed.

0:33:510:33:54

You might be able to sell it for a little bit more money,

0:33:540:33:56

and it may be a better situation

0:33:560:33:59

for an investor to purchase something that's a three-bed flat.

0:33:590:34:02

So what difference would the numbers make,

0:34:030:34:05

bearing in mind that guide price of 210,000?

0:34:050:34:09

As a three-bed,

0:34:110:34:13

I would say it could sell for in the region of £365,000,

0:34:130:34:19

and as a two-bed, I would say that this would sell

0:34:190:34:22

For somewhere in the region of £350,000.

0:34:220:34:25

Well, it's a nice enough flat in a good location.

0:34:260:34:28

Clearly the biggest question on this one

0:34:280:34:31

is whether or not you leave it as a three-bed, sort of,

0:34:310:34:34

or you reinstate the kitchen where it originally was.

0:34:340:34:37

I guess that will be down to the buyer.

0:34:370:34:39

Let's find out who that was when it went under the hammer.

0:34:390:34:42

Ground-floor flat in need of modernisation.

0:34:420:34:45

Who'd like to get me started on this?

0:34:450:34:47

You're bidding? How much? 240, OK.

0:34:470:34:49

We'll go upwards from there. 242, thank you.

0:34:490:34:51

244. 246.

0:34:510:34:54

248. 250.

0:34:540:34:57

After a hesitant start, the lot gained interest,

0:34:570:35:00

and we return to bidding at £270,000.

0:35:000:35:03

270. 272.

0:35:030:35:06

274. 276.

0:35:060:35:09

No? It's with the lady and gentleman here in the middle on my right.

0:35:090:35:12

Anybody else for lot 132?

0:35:120:35:14

Bids... 276, yeah?

0:35:140:35:16

276. 278. 280.

0:35:160:35:20

282. 284.

0:35:200:35:22

Back to you in the middle here on my right.

0:35:220:35:26

282 for the first, 282 for the second,

0:35:260:35:30

282 for the third and final time.

0:35:300:35:32

All done?

0:35:320:35:34

Sold, 282. Well bought.

0:35:340:35:36

The successful bid of 282,000 for this ex-local authority flat

0:35:380:35:43

was made by property developer Tina.

0:35:430:35:45

On this occasion, Tina had bought this property

0:35:450:35:47

with her business partners,

0:35:470:35:49

so I'm keen to hear what they have planned for it.

0:35:490:35:52

-Tina, lovely to meet you.

-Lovely to meet you, Martin.

0:35:540:35:56

Congratulations.

0:35:560:35:57

-Thank you very much.

-Tell me why you wanted to buy this flat.

0:35:570:36:00

Basically, this flat actually fits our budget,

0:36:000:36:03

and I saw the location is up-and-coming.

0:36:030:36:06

It is close to another project I'm working on,

0:36:060:36:10

and in terms of timescales, fitting into our time as well,

0:36:100:36:14

there's only three to four, maybe four to five weeks' work here.

0:36:140:36:17

-So is this something you do?

-Yes, yes.

0:36:170:36:20

I trained as a medic.

0:36:200:36:22

-A medic?

-Yeah, about 15 years ago,

0:36:220:36:26

and then I moved onto doing neuroscience research.

0:36:260:36:29

-Neuroscience research?

-Yes, yes.

0:36:290:36:32

I was a scientist for ten years,

0:36:320:36:35

but I always wanted to be an architect,

0:36:350:36:37

even when I was a little girl.

0:36:370:36:39

So it's kind of just a career change,

0:36:390:36:42

that I want to do something I really want to explore, a new area.

0:36:420:36:47

Wow. I don't know how many neuroscientists

0:36:470:36:49

turn into property developers.

0:36:490:36:51

I've never spoken to one on the show before, so that's a first.

0:36:510:36:54

-OK.

-It just goes to show. Wow.

0:36:540:36:56

What was it about this flat you liked?

0:36:560:36:58

There's not too much work involved.

0:36:580:37:01

It's actually in quite good condition

0:37:010:37:03

apart from moving the kitchen back to where the kitchen is,

0:37:030:37:07

so it's quite straightforward.

0:37:070:37:10

With a view to what? Renting it out or selling it on?

0:37:100:37:12

So we want to turn this one over quickly,

0:37:120:37:15

put it on the market and sell it on,

0:37:150:37:18

and then we will start looking for the next project.

0:37:180:37:21

You mentioned there moving the kitchen back to where it was.

0:37:210:37:25

Obviously, at some stage, somebody has moved the kitchen into here,

0:37:250:37:28

-presumably to create a third bedroom.

-Yeah.

0:37:280:37:30

-And you're taking away that third bedroom.

-Yeah.

0:37:300:37:34

In the world of moving it on quickly to maximise profit,

0:37:340:37:36

is that the right thing to do or not?

0:37:360:37:38

Well, I think personally that will be the right thing to do

0:37:380:37:42

because you can see this living area is not that big

0:37:420:37:45

and the kitchen is not connected even.

0:37:450:37:48

-Oh, wow.

-They've just literally dumped it here,

0:37:480:37:50

created a third bedroom.

0:37:500:37:53

-Ah.

-And within the area, I don't think this works,

0:37:530:37:57

so there's two nice-sized bedrooms down the corridor there,

0:37:570:38:01

and whoever buys this can do with a nice kitchen,

0:38:010:38:05

a proper kitchen/diner, use the other bedroom.

0:38:050:38:08

Right, OK.

0:38:080:38:10

And have you checked what difference that will make

0:38:100:38:12

to the price at the end of the day?

0:38:120:38:14

I went to two agents.

0:38:140:38:18

Estate agents came through and straight away they said

0:38:180:38:22

this one has to be moved back.

0:38:220:38:23

-Oh, did they?

-Yes, they did, so this is not big enough.

0:38:230:38:27

It just goes to show that, when it comes to property developing,

0:38:270:38:31

professional opinions can differ.

0:38:310:38:32

Tina's research has led her to conclude

0:38:320:38:34

that it's better to put the kitchen back.

0:38:340:38:37

Given there are not going to be any major refitting costs,

0:38:370:38:41

she's certainly giving that opinion serious consideration,

0:38:410:38:44

but I'm wondering if it's the right decision.

0:38:440:38:47

So you paid £282,000 for this at auction.

0:38:470:38:50

How much are you hoping to spend on the refurbishment?

0:38:500:38:53

We have a budget of around 12,000...

0:38:530:38:56

-Right. OK.

-..with a 3,000 contingency.

0:38:560:39:00

We're kind of thinking about four to five weeks.

0:39:000:39:04

-And who's going to do the work?

-My builders.

0:39:040:39:07

-OK.

-Yes.

-Are you going to get your hands dirty?

0:39:070:39:11

Not very much, apart from choosing the colours,

0:39:110:39:16

maybe doing a bit of cleaning before professional photo shooting.

0:39:160:39:20

-Ah, well done.

-And that's pretty much...

0:39:200:39:23

And is this something you see being your career from now on?

0:39:230:39:27

I think so. I really enjoy the progress,

0:39:270:39:30

and you can see how you turn a property

0:39:300:39:33

from not being loved for a long time

0:39:330:39:37

into somebody's lovely home, so I enjoy the progress.

0:39:370:39:41

Listen, congratulations. Good luck with it.

0:39:410:39:43

I look forward to seeing how you get on.

0:39:430:39:45

Thank you very much.

0:39:450:39:46

In London, in this property market,

0:39:470:39:49

I'm so nervous about losing a bedroom in this flat.

0:39:490:39:53

I'd really want to canvass even more opinion than Tina has

0:39:530:39:57

to find out exactly how much difference it made

0:39:570:40:00

before I actually move that kitchen back into the bedroom.

0:40:000:40:05

It really is an interesting one.

0:40:050:40:07

What will she decide? You can find out later in the show?

0:40:070:40:11

Well, earlier, we saw how one of our properties had turned out,

0:40:150:40:18

but what about the other two?

0:40:180:40:20

Yes, all sorts of problems can crop up.

0:40:200:40:22

What have our buyers on today's show had to deal with?

0:40:220:40:24

Why don't we find out?

0:40:240:40:26

We now return to Faversham,

0:40:260:40:28

and that fantastic Grade II listed Georgian property Lucy saw earlier.

0:40:280:40:33

Despite some beautiful original features,

0:40:330:40:36

it would be fair to RECORD that the building

0:40:360:40:39

has had a utilitarian feel,

0:40:390:40:41

because it was used as a youth centre previously,

0:40:410:40:44

and the biggest clue for this was at the back.

0:40:440:40:47

Ta-da! A sports hall, of course! It's massive!

0:40:470:40:51

Someone who thought this was a slam dunk

0:40:530:40:55

was artist and film-maker Paul.

0:40:550:40:57

He paid £410,000 for it,

0:40:570:41:00

and certainly had a vision for this amazing lot.

0:41:000:41:03

I thought, "This can be a home. This is a Georgian house."

0:41:030:41:08

Oh, I'm so glad you've said that,

0:41:080:41:09

because straight away, walking around here,

0:41:090:41:12

I would love to see this as a home.

0:41:120:41:15

When we returned four months later to see the progress of the work,

0:41:150:41:18

we saw that Paul had turned the old gym

0:41:180:41:20

into his artist's studio.

0:41:200:41:22

But the work on the main house itself was still taking shape.

0:41:220:41:25

I want to make sure that it's got those touches

0:41:280:41:31

that make it personal to me, so it'll never really be finished.

0:41:310:41:35

One wants to keep the best of the past.

0:41:350:41:39

Although artist Paul had said the house would never be finished,

0:41:390:41:43

we are back a little over two years later

0:41:430:41:45

to see if this masterpiece is ready to be exhibited.

0:41:450:41:49

Wow!

0:42:050:42:07

The area that links the house to the gym is fantastic!

0:42:070:42:12

But what about the Georgian house? Dare we look? Is it finished?

0:42:130:42:17

Yes, it is finished, and it looks fabulous.

0:42:240:42:27

You may have lost a bedroom,

0:42:380:42:40

but you've gained a stunning bathroom.

0:42:400:42:44

There are still three very large and characterful bedrooms up here,

0:42:510:42:55

including one with a master en suite.

0:42:550:42:58

And what is Paul's favourite part of this lovely Georgian house?

0:43:030:43:07

Well, the answer might surprise you.

0:43:070:43:10

My favourite part of the house is the washroom.

0:43:110:43:15

The washroom is wonderful.

0:43:150:43:17

I don't know why, but when I go into it,

0:43:170:43:19

I feel totally at home.

0:43:190:43:21

I go in and prime canvases in there, I hang up my clothes in there.

0:43:210:43:27

It's the size of a small cupboard,

0:43:270:43:30

but I think I'm probably as happy in the washroom

0:43:300:43:33

as I am anywhere in the house.

0:43:330:43:35

Er, it's a perfectly nice room, Paul, but really, the washroom?

0:43:350:43:39

-The WASHROOM?!

-HE LAUGHS

0:43:390:43:41

And I suppose ultimately I'd prefer to be out here than in the washroom,

0:43:410:43:45

but you wanted an honest answer, so I gave it to you.

0:43:450:43:48

Well, I'd find it hard to pick a favourite room here.

0:43:480:43:51

They've all been decorated and furnished

0:43:510:43:53

with impeccable taste and a sympathetic eye.

0:43:530:43:57

Paul has been meticulous

0:43:570:43:59

in preserving the integrity of the house.

0:43:590:44:01

Fireplaces have been cleaned up, sash windows restored

0:44:050:44:10

and floors replaced with reclaimed timber.

0:44:100:44:14

There's also a studio flat just at the end of the linking room,

0:44:140:44:17

which means an assistant or intern can stay here

0:44:170:44:21

whilst working with Paul.

0:44:210:44:22

I can see why he would need some help,

0:44:220:44:25

even just to look after all the paintings

0:44:250:44:27

that he's accumulated in the last two years

0:44:270:44:29

since we were here.

0:44:290:44:31

You know, I've got probably 100 paintings,

0:44:320:44:35

you know, dotted around here.

0:44:350:44:37

Well, you need a place this big to actually be able to, you know,

0:44:370:44:41

take some down and put others up.

0:44:410:44:43

I used to keep them in a garage in Dulwich.

0:44:430:44:45

Nobody ever saw them.

0:44:450:44:47

They sort of went mildewed,

0:44:470:44:48

and you'd pull them out and they were all stuck together.

0:44:480:44:51

Well, here, they're looked after.

0:44:510:44:54

So, I think that's how I see this house,

0:44:540:44:59

as a repository of a lifetime of collecting and of making things.

0:44:590:45:05

It sounds to me like, two years and six months later,

0:45:050:45:10

this house is finally complete.

0:45:100:45:12

Well, with a house like this, it's never quite 100%.

0:45:120:45:16

I would say we're 95%, 96% there,

0:45:160:45:19

and probably that 5% will continue to run as long as I'm in the house,

0:45:190:45:23

because it's like the Albert Bridge, you know -

0:45:230:45:25

you paint one end and then you get to the other end

0:45:250:45:28

and you have to go back to the beginning.

0:45:280:45:30

And what is really very, very rewarding,

0:45:300:45:33

because it's on a corner, and a lot of people pass by here,

0:45:330:45:37

I sit with my panama hat,

0:45:370:45:39

the elderly gent with, not a watering can,

0:45:390:45:42

but a rather modern hose, watering everything.

0:45:420:45:46

People do stop and say how much they've enjoyed watching it

0:45:460:45:54

be salvaged, saved, and now be restored

0:45:540:45:58

to something like it might have looked in 1790.

0:45:580:46:03

It's certainly a grand old house

0:46:040:46:07

with a grand price tag for all the work.

0:46:070:46:10

Originally, Paul thought he'd spend no more than £150,000

0:46:100:46:14

doing the work, but he's now spent £230,000.

0:46:140:46:18

Do you know what, though?

0:46:180:46:19

I think you can see every bit of it, and it's been well worth it.

0:46:190:46:23

I could spend another 100,000 on the house easily,

0:46:240:46:28

but it's now highly habitable, and beautiful to be in.

0:46:280:46:34

Part of the problem this afternoon is going to be when

0:46:340:46:37

you get your two agents in, cos one of them, the local one,

0:46:370:46:40

is going to put a low figure on it,

0:46:400:46:43

and the London agent's going to put a high figure on it.

0:46:430:46:45

And if the high figure was actually obtainable,

0:46:450:46:49

there's a temptation to sell,

0:46:490:46:51

because you're sitting on quite a lot of equity,

0:46:510:46:53

and I'm a single person, you know, living alone here.

0:46:530:46:55

So there's going to be a tension within that.

0:46:550:46:59

Well, now seems like a good time to test

0:47:010:47:04

and see if Paul's theory is correct.

0:47:040:47:06

We asked two agents along

0:47:060:47:08

to give us their thoughts on the property.

0:47:080:47:10

First, the locally based agent.

0:47:100:47:12

It's absolutely stunning.

0:47:130:47:15

I mean, the house has transformed dramatically

0:47:150:47:18

since I saw it last time.

0:47:180:47:19

Beautifully presented, period features restored.

0:47:190:47:22

It's absolutely gorgeous.

0:47:220:47:24

My first impressions of the property are wonderful.

0:47:240:47:26

I think the owner's done a really, really good job.

0:47:260:47:29

I particularly like the attention to detail when it comes to the colours.

0:47:290:47:32

It's a Georgian property,

0:47:320:47:34

and I think the owner's made a real effort

0:47:340:47:36

to try to bring the colour scheme of that period into the property.

0:47:360:47:41

The only slight negative I think that we have here

0:47:410:47:43

is the lack of outside space.

0:47:430:47:45

There isn't a garden.

0:47:450:47:46

There is outside space, and there's plenty of private areas you can sit,

0:47:460:47:49

enjoy a glass of wine, sit and chat.

0:47:490:47:52

Unfortunately, in terms of garden for children,

0:47:520:47:55

it's a little bit restricted.

0:47:550:47:57

With only one negative point from the agent,

0:47:570:47:59

will Paul's theory on their valuations prove right?

0:47:590:48:03

And will Paul be tempted to recoup some of his £640,000 investment?

0:48:030:48:07

Let's begin with that locally based agent.

0:48:070:48:11

I would pitch this property between £950,000 and £1 million.

0:48:110:48:16

I would recommend for sales a guide price of in the region

0:48:160:48:19

of £1.25 million.

0:48:190:48:21

Well, it turned out Paul was right, and for good reason.

0:48:210:48:25

He knows the sheer size and grandeur of this house

0:48:250:48:28

could cost three times as much in certain parts of the city.

0:48:280:48:32

So, with the property only an hour's train journey

0:48:320:48:35

to Central London, if marketed there,

0:48:350:48:37

it's sure to have a wider market appeal

0:48:370:48:40

and fetch a higher price than the local market alone.

0:48:400:48:43

But what does Paul think of those valuations?

0:48:430:48:46

I'm pleased that the local agent is valuing up to a million,

0:48:460:48:51

because that's an expensive house here.

0:48:510:48:54

And at 1.25, this would be the most expensive house

0:48:540:48:58

in the immediate town, which is thrilling news.

0:48:580:49:01

That top valuation, if he could get it,

0:49:020:49:04

would mean a potential pre-tax profit of £610,000.

0:49:040:49:08

So quite a lot of tension, then, for Paul.

0:49:080:49:11

However, he's not made up his mind yet, and who can blame him?

0:49:110:49:15

After all the hard work and creating a terrific studio to work in,

0:49:150:49:19

it would be a hard one to give up on.

0:49:190:49:21

What are his feelings about the last two and half years?

0:49:230:49:27

Well, traumatic, of course. You know, don't do it!

0:49:270:49:31

HE LAUGHS Stay away from the auction!

0:49:310:49:34

All those things.

0:49:340:49:36

But then, you know,

0:49:360:49:38

we're attracted to that dangerous edge, aren't we?

0:49:380:49:42

You know, to doing something that's a little bit different,

0:49:420:49:45

just because we're here, most of us believe, only once,

0:49:450:49:49

and so take advantage of it, and have some fun and, you know,

0:49:490:49:55

put the boat out a bit.

0:49:550:49:56

Back now to the London suburb of New Southgate,

0:50:050:50:08

and that ex-local authority ground-floor flat.

0:50:080:50:11

Normally, ex-local authority flats have good layouts.

0:50:110:50:14

This one, not so much.

0:50:140:50:17

A living room there. That's a bit weird.

0:50:170:50:21

It's got some kitchen units in it.

0:50:210:50:23

So, OK, we've got a kitchen-living area there.

0:50:230:50:25

And then a bedroom.

0:50:250:50:27

That's also a bit weird.

0:50:280:50:29

Well, actually, not all that weird.

0:50:290:50:32

Someone had been trying to maximise the number of bedrooms here,

0:50:320:50:35

and it kind of makes sense,

0:50:350:50:37

given that a third bedroom in London gives higher yields.

0:50:370:50:40

But admittedly, it didn't make for a great living space.

0:50:400:50:43

But former neuroscientist and now property developer Tina

0:50:430:50:48

bought it at auction for £282,000,

0:50:480:50:51

and was definitely utilising brainpower.

0:50:510:50:54

You mentioned there moving the kitchen back to where it was.

0:50:540:50:58

Obviously, at some stage,

0:50:580:50:59

somebody's moved the kitchen into here,

0:50:590:51:02

presumably to create a third bedroom.

0:51:020:51:04

-Yeah.

-And you're taking away that third bedroom.

0:51:040:51:06

As a living area, it's not that big,

0:51:060:51:08

and the kitchen, this one, is not connected, even.

0:51:080:51:11

-Oh, wow!

-So, they've just literally dumped it here,

0:51:110:51:14

created a third bedroom.

0:51:140:51:16

-Ah.

-And within the area, I don't think this works.

0:51:160:51:20

Tina had a budget of £15,000

0:51:200:51:22

and a five-week timescale for her builders

0:51:220:51:25

to get the work done and have the flat ready

0:51:250:51:27

for the resale market, so it's time to put the former scientist's work

0:51:270:51:31

under the microscope - nearly four months later.

0:51:310:51:34

The experimental unfitted kitchen is gone,

0:51:340:51:37

so this flat has returned to its two-bedroom beginnings.

0:51:370:51:40

But there is something else here you might find illuminating.

0:51:400:51:44

# Want you to see everything

0:51:440:51:46

# Want you to see all of the lights

0:51:460:51:48

# Fast cars, shooting stars

0:51:500:51:52

# All of the lights, all of the lights... #

0:51:520:51:55

Tina had pushed the boat out with a bespoke lighting scheme.

0:51:550:51:59

Now let's put the spotlight on the new kitchen,

0:51:590:52:01

which does look stunning.

0:52:010:52:03

And lighting wise, it hasn't been left in the dark either.

0:52:030:52:06

It's quite the transformation, and Tina should be very proud.

0:52:060:52:10

We had totally refurbished this flat throughout,

0:52:150:52:21

but we carried out a little bit more work than we originally planned.

0:52:210:52:25

As you can see, the older ceilings are new

0:52:250:52:28

and we created rafter ceilings.

0:52:280:52:31

And we had a new kitchen done to a really good standard

0:52:310:52:34

and as well the bathroom is all brand-new.

0:52:340:52:38

New flooring, new wall, some of the plastering,

0:52:380:52:43

that's pretty much what we have done.

0:52:430:52:46

Inside out, all new.

0:52:460:52:47

And the modernisation continues in the two remaining bedrooms,

0:52:500:52:54

which are much bigger having had the fitted wardrobes removed.

0:52:540:52:57

But did Tina and her team ever consider keeping that third bedroom?

0:53:030:53:07

It's not a massive flat.

0:53:070:53:09

It does need a proper kitchen

0:53:090:53:11

to accommodate the needs of people living here,

0:53:110:53:14

so it's a good move to put it back to where it should be originally.

0:53:140:53:19

We're losing one bedroom, but, in fact,

0:53:190:53:23

we're not because it shouldn't be there in the first place.

0:53:230:53:26

The kitchen is just lovely,

0:53:300:53:32

and I think Tina has made the right call.

0:53:320:53:34

This flat is certainly the cat's whiskers,

0:53:340:53:37

but the rewiring proved a bit of a challenge.

0:53:370:53:40

The ceiling's all concrete,

0:53:410:53:43

so one of the choices is you chisel down the concrete

0:53:430:53:46

to get the new wires extended,

0:53:460:53:49

but that is not the best because we can't afford the ceiling

0:53:490:53:53

to get any damage to the upstairs floor.

0:53:530:53:56

So what we did is we dropped the ceiling slightly,

0:53:560:53:59

but only at the edge.

0:53:590:54:01

It's got rafter ceilings

0:54:010:54:02

and that can accommodate the spotlight as well,

0:54:020:54:05

the LED strip.

0:54:050:54:06

We could have simply just doubled the ceiling up,

0:54:060:54:09

but because we encountered actual work anyway,

0:54:090:54:13

so we thought, me and my company, as a team,

0:54:130:54:16

thought we'd make a good feature out of it.

0:54:160:54:20

It's a credit to Tina and her team

0:54:200:54:22

that they were able to take a problem and solve it creatively,

0:54:220:54:26

but how did these unforeseen issues impact on their budget?

0:54:260:54:30

So the budget has almost doubled from the £12,000

0:54:300:54:37

we originally planned.

0:54:370:54:39

Now it's reaching 24,000,

0:54:390:54:42

and the main reason for that is we had to make a new ceiling

0:54:420:54:46

and make it quite a feature.

0:54:460:54:48

That's increased the labour of my tradesmen and also material-wise.

0:54:480:54:53

The kitchen has replaced original budget free-standing appliances

0:54:530:54:58

to fitted appliances,

0:54:580:55:00

so it is a much higher standard than we originally planned.

0:55:000:55:05

Tina has spent twice her budget,

0:55:060:55:08

but what happened to her five-week timescale?

0:55:080:55:12

It ended up taking us, from originally planned,

0:55:120:55:16

five weeks to ten weeks, because, A,

0:55:160:55:19

we had a bit of delay getting the consent and permission

0:55:190:55:23

from the freeholder.

0:55:230:55:25

B, we had to make a new rafter ceiling.

0:55:250:55:29

And also we have increased our standard, finishing's very high,

0:55:290:55:34

so the details do need extra time

0:55:340:55:37

to get the tradesmen complete to a spotless standard.

0:55:370:55:41

So it seems double has meant trouble here.

0:55:410:55:44

But with a total investment of 306,000,

0:55:440:55:48

is there a profit to be made?

0:55:480:55:50

Time to hear from the professionals.

0:55:530:55:56

We've invited along two local estate agents

0:55:560:55:59

to get their opinion of this property.

0:55:590:56:01

First impressions of the property is it's very spacious, good size.

0:56:040:56:07

Two good-size bedrooms,

0:56:070:56:08

lovely fully refurbished kitchen and bathroom,

0:56:080:56:11

everything throughout.

0:56:110:56:12

The standard of the finish for this property is exceptionally high.

0:56:120:56:16

It's probably one of, or THE best flat I've seen

0:56:160:56:19

in and around this area in terms of finish.

0:56:190:56:22

So the agents are impressed.

0:56:220:56:24

But did Tina make the right call

0:56:240:56:26

about returning this flat to two bedrooms.

0:56:260:56:29

Converting this property back into a two-bedroom

0:56:290:56:31

was definitely the right thing to do.

0:56:310:56:33

It gives you two really good-sized bedrooms,

0:56:330:56:35

which people want in this area, and a lovely fully refurbished kitchen.

0:56:350:56:38

You're going to eat into your yield

0:56:380:56:40

a little bit in terms of the rental value,

0:56:400:56:42

but overall in the long-term and grand scheme of things,

0:56:420:56:45

I think it was the right thing to do.

0:56:450:56:47

So it may affect the rental value

0:56:470:56:49

but, as Tina plans to sell this property on,

0:56:490:56:52

what could it be worth?

0:56:520:56:53

I would recommend an asking price of £375,000,

0:56:550:56:58

and I would expect to achieve offers in excess of £350,000.

0:56:580:57:02

In my opinion, this property on the sales market

0:57:020:57:05

will achieve a price in the region of £350,000.

0:57:050:57:08

Based on that estimate, Tina could achieve a pre-tax profit of £44,000

0:57:090:57:15

and the top rental value of £1,500 per calendar month

0:57:150:57:19

could mean a yield of almost 6%.

0:57:190:57:21

What does Tina think of those valuations?

0:57:210:57:24

We're happy with a 350 mark,

0:57:250:57:29

but we would like to achieve it higher

0:57:290:57:32

because we think the time and the thought put into this flat

0:57:320:57:36

we hope somebody will appreciate to a higher value.

0:57:360:57:40

The flat looks great,

0:57:400:57:42

so has she got any illuminating words

0:57:420:57:44

for aspiring property developers?

0:57:440:57:46

It's going to be a challenge every step,

0:57:480:57:51

but it's great fun and whoever wants to join the crowd

0:57:510:57:56

of buying and investment in the future, please do.

0:57:560:57:59

When it comes to property developing,

0:58:020:58:04

no matter how experienced you are,

0:58:040:58:05

there's always something new you can learn.

0:58:050:58:08

Yes, and we'll have plenty more stories for you next time,

0:58:080:58:10

so make sure you join us here on Homes Under The Hammer.

0:58:100:58:13

-Bye.

-Goodbye.

0:58:130:58:14

A large listed Georgian house in Faversham in Kent is given the wow factor, and developers in Lytham St Annes in Lancashire and New Southgate in London also deliver top-notch finishes on their very different flats. Martin, Lucy and Dion follow all the progress.