Episode 72 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 72

Lucy Alexander, Dion Dublin and Martin Roberts check out the redevelopment plans of owners of properties in Catford in south east London, Wigton in Cumbria and Blackpool.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the show.

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Like many of you, we are obsessed with property.

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It's our job, but we would be anyway.

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It's a fascinating topic.

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It certainly is, but how do you know you're getting good value for money

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and where do you find the bargains?

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Well, one thing you could do is to head down

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to your local property auction.

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Now, there are literally thousands of property auctions going on

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up and down the country, so how do you choose?

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Well, whatever you choose, more importantly,

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it's about doing your research

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before you dip your toe in the water.

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I agree.

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Now, how did today's buyers go and what did they buy?

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Did they take our advice?

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Let's find out.

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In south-east London,

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Lucy visits a one-bedroom flat with a planning dilemma.

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Is it worth tweaking this flat to change the layout?

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I'm not sure.

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And in this two-bed house in Cumbria,

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my worry is, will the bedroom floor take my weight?

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Listen to that. WARDROBE RATTLES

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And at this four-bed house in Blackpool

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I'm concerned with what's going on above my head.

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Because that is actually the underside of the slates.

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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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Off to south-east London now and Catford.

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Catford has plenty of amenities,

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and being only eight miles from Central London,

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the train gets you to Charing Cross in 20 minutes.

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So, will the lot here have Lucy purring?

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When buying in London,

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one of the key criteria is the walking distance to the tube.

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The closer you are, the better it is.

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Normally, the golden distance

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is considered to be a ten-minute walk or less.

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Now, the property I'm here to see

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is just a little bit further away than that.

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It's a 15-minute walk from here to the station

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and the train is main line not underground,

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so it's not perfect, but not too bad either.

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And here is the property.

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It's a ground-floor one-bedroom flat

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in this mid-terrace house,

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and it had a guide price at auction of £170,000.

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So, inside this rather long hallway,

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and, well, it's certainly two-tone, isn't it?

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Like a mustard colour on the top,

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and then a tangerine-y, peachy colour on the bottom.

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Somebody's taken a long time to do that. Anyway, moving on.

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It all needs decorating and cleaning up.

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It's really old-fashioned. It's really tired.

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You've got this thick, flocky wallpaper

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that needs to come off.

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But you've got quite a nice lounge area.

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Woodchip wallpaper ceiling, that's going to have to come down.

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The old gas fire over there.

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But the good news is there is central heating

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so there are bits and pieces you can work with.

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You've got some double-glazed windows here.

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They're not the prettiest I've ever seen,

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but at least it does the job.

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So, not a bad space.

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There is one thing, though, I would definitely do.

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Change the carpet. Just take a look down there.

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That's got to be changed.

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# Roll up the carpet, push back the chairs

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# Get some music on the radio... #

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And the next room along is the only bedroom,

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but it's a good-sized double.

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However, like the rest of the house,

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this also needs a total refurb from floor to ceiling.

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And off this really long corridor

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down a few little steps into the kitchen

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at the back of the property.

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Now, it continues in the same vein.

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It's in a bit of a state. Oh, my gosh. Look at this cooker.

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What's been going on with that? And the tiles. Oh!

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Ooh! OK, so you can see it needs to be skipped, basically.

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Get rid of it, start again.

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But it's a great space. It's big. You could have a table in here.

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Bit worried about that chimney breast, though.

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I'm not quite sure what's supporting that,

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because half of it has been taken away.

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I think that is.

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So, you know, I'd get a structural engineer, perhaps,

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to check out something like that in the property.

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And another thing, as you know, I'm not really keen on,

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you've got the loo and you've got the bathroom

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right there straight off the kitchen.

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So, you've got a great space here.

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Is it worth tweaking this flat to change the layout?

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I'm not sure,

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but the good news is you've got instant access

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out into the garden, and I'm going to check it out.

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Now, one advantage of buying a ground-floor flat

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is that often, well, you get a garden with it,

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and here is the garden.

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Now, you can see it's been divided up

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and it comes with a ground-floor flat

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and that's great news, because you've got sole access to this.

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It may be small but in a crowded and busy city like London,

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any outside space really is a bonus.

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And as you can see, on a nice sunny day...

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Not like today. In fact, it's pouring.

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..this could be quite a nice place to sit.

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DOG BARKS IN BACKGROUND

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Sounds more like Dogford than Catford there, Lucy.

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# The dog days are over

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# The dog days are done

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# The horses are coming

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# So you better run... #

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Should the buyers be running from this property?

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Let's hear what a local agent thinks.

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It needs total refurbishment.

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It needs new floor coverings, new bathroom, new kitchen,

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new central heating, windows, the whole shebang.

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So, that will be new everything, I suppose. That's bad news.

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Now, what's the good news?

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This is a very spacious one-bedroom flat

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and with some rejigging,

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you could create a two-bedroom property

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out of the space here.

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There'll be a lot of work here. There'll be structural work.

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You would have to move walls, doors, windows.

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I think that the cost may be prohibitive.

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Well, a two-bed generally does increase the value,

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particularly in the London market, but how do the maths stack up?

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First, what could this flat, guided at £170,000,

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sell for when refurbished?

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As a one-bedroom flat, I'd expect to sell this property

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for a figure in the region of £315,000.

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OK, then, so if you were to get this for anything like the guide price

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there could be a lot of profit here.

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But would it be worth knocking down walls

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to make that second bedroom?

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How much would a two-bed be worth?

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If the conversion was carried out sympathetically

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and to a good standard,

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I would assume that we could achieve a figure close to £335,000.

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Well, with £20,000 of a difference

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the agent's calculation could well be right.

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It could cost that much in time and money

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to make structural changes and get the permissions.

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So, what about rental?

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We would get a rental of about £1,100

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as a one-bedroom unit and, if it was converted to two bedrooms,

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that figure would rise to £1,300 per calendar month.

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Well, this one-bed Catford flat

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needs a bit of work to bring it up to date,

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but it's got a garden, it's got a long lease,

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and they are two big ticks in the property box.

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So, who wanted to take this flat on?

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Let's head to auction and find out.

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Right, next lot is lot 13. A one-bed flat.

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Who'd like to kick off?

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Sort of 170, go upwards from there?

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170?

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170 in the front. 175?

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I can't sell it to him on his first bid.

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£170,000.

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Just behind you, 175.

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180 in the front.

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185, sir.

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190. 195. 200.

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After a slow start, things heated up,

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and we return to the bidding at 220,000.

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222, sitting down. 224 elsewhere?

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224 with you, thank you.

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224. 226?

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226. 228. 230.

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Please. I'm saying please.

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228 with you.

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Anyone else? 228, first time.

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Second time.

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Third and last time, if you're all done.

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Sold, 228, to husband, wife and baby. Well done.

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That successful bid of 228,000

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was made by husband-and-wife team Jose and Carolina.

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And if they look familiar,

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that's because Lucy met them on the show before

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when they bought their first property,

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also in Catford.

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Let's hear what they've been up to since,

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although I think the baby might be a clue.

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Carolina and Jose, it's so lovely to see you again.

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-Nice to meet you.

-How long has it been since we last met?

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-Four years.

-Four years.

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Four years since you bought your last auction property with me.

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So, what have you been up to, guys?

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We have been working with properties.

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This is our fourth.

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-Yeah.

-And learning a lot. We have two kids now.

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-Thomas and Juliana.

-You have two children now?

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-Yes.

-Fantastic. And how old are they?

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Thomas is one year and a half and Juliana four months.

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So, that's keeping you really busy?

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-Yes.

-And you're still working on the properties?

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Yes, Jose gets more involved because I have the kids.

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-Yes.

-But still working.

-And, Jose, you've still got the little dog?

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-Yes, Laurie.

-Yeah. Laurie.

-She's still with us.

-Fantastic.

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And haven't you got another business as well where you work closely with

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people coming over to this country?

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Yes, we still have the student agency,

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so we bring students from overseas to study.

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Yeah.

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And we offer them accommodation

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in different properties in Central London.

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So, tell me about this property, Jose.

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What was it that interested you?

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So, something I really liked about this property is that

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it's a good one-bed flat size.

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I really like the size of the flat.

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So, it's got potential to become something

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a bit more attractive, like a two-bed flat.

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Now, it's in a bit of a state as well.

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It needs a bit of work doing,

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but I know that doesn't put you off at all.

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What makes you think you can turn this

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into a two-bed flat and do a good job on it?

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We've done some research.

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I've been speaking to different estate agents

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and obviously if we want to create a two-bed flat

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we have to compromise some things,

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but they say so far people are getting used to having, for example,

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the kitchen into the living room area,

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so I think it's going to work.

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But the only thing that worries me,

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by doing that, you've got to start making structural changes,

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and that gets costly.

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And then you've got to weigh up how much is it worth doing it.

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To knock a wall down you've got to get

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the freeholder's permission as well.

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We already requested permission from the freeholder.

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-He said yes.

-Good.

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We got a party wall agreement from the neighbours

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-and they said yes, so it's fine.

-Good. That's a tick, tick.

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-Tick, tick.

-Phew, relief.

-We're still waiting...

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We already gave the information to the landlady for the flat above.

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-Yeah.

-And we're still waiting for her reply...

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-OK.

-..but I think it should be fine.

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Getting that permission stands them in good stead,

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because Jose and Carolina have huge structural changes

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planned for this flat.

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They want to knock down the structural wall

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in the front living area,

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then move the kitchen/living space to the front of the house.

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The bathroom at the back will become a second bedroom

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with two bathrooms and an access corridor

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taking the space of the kitchen.

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Wow.

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I mean, in London more bedrooms equals more money,

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but it does sound like a tight squeeze.

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So, guys, what is the budget?

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How much do you think you're going to spend?

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We're thinking to spend around 40,000.

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OK, so £40,000 is the quote you've had?

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Yes.

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I mean, we've got something like £32,000,

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but obviously we still have to include the kitchen...

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-Kitchen and bathroom.

-..the bathrooms.

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-A few things that is going to add up.

-OK.

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But so far, the quote is roughly £32,000, £33,000.

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OK, so, £32,000 for the quote for the work,

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and then you've got to add on to that...

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-Kitchen, bathroom.

-..the bathroom, the kitchen.

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So, guys, how long do you think this is going to take you?

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Carolina, I'm going to ask you first.

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I think around six months.

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-Six months?

-Yeah.

-OK. Jose, do you agree with that?

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Er, we... We...

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We have to try to get it much sooner,

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so I had in mind something around three to four months.

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OK, three to four months, but practically, realistically...

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To have everything ready, I think six months.

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And how are you going to find the time now with the kids?

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Let's see.

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Thomas is going to the nursery two days,

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so I can use those days to come and give a hand to Jose.

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That's good.

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And, Jose, you're going to be quite hands-on all the time?

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Yes, definitely.

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Guys, I'm really excited for you. Congratulations on this project.

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I can't wait to see the outcome. Well done.

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-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

-Lovely to see you again.

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-Nice to see you.

-Thank you.

-Nice to see you.

-Thank you.

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So, Jose and Carolina have been going great guns

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since I saw them a couple of years ago,

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and they're now embarking on property number four.

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But will their plans to rejig this layout work

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and will this one-bed flat become a two-bedder,

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or will it just be a little bit of a tight squeeze?

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You can find out how Jose and Carolina get on

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later in the programme.

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I'm in Cumbria and the small town of Wigton,

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situated between Carlisle and the Lake District.

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Wigton has served as a market town since the medieval times

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and that tradition continues today with this local livestock auction

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where it's more "hooves" rather than "homes" under the hammer.

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The property I'm here to see

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is just 100 yards away from the centre of Wigton,

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where you've got the local shops,

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and I'm pretty sure I've seen a local pub as well.

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And here's our property.

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It is a two-bed mid-terrace house with a guide price of £40,000.

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Let's have a look.

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Right, we are straight into the front room,

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which isn't ideal, but it seems to be a pretty quiet road.

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And you have got double-glazed windows as well,

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which does help.

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Really high ceilings

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and that ceiling rose there with loads of detail.

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Just across the hallway here.

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Now, careful. Careful down those stairs.

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Very steep stairs there, which I will show you.

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Stairs going up to the bedrooms. Have a look at the stairs.

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That is a big drop into the second reception room.

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Again, really high ceilings.

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Not quite sure what they're trying to achieve with that little gap,

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but it's a good-sized second reception room

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and just through there is the kitchen.

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Strange configuration, but I quite like it.

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# Cos everyone knows we're strange

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# So why do you feel ashamed? #

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This house is odd,

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and even the layout is a break from the norm.

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Sometimes that can be a good thing,

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although a property with all these steps wouldn't be for everyone.

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The theme continues upstairs,

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where you have a split-level landing

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and more stairs that lead down into a very large bathroom.

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So, you've got the bathroom just to the left of me

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round the corner and there is the first bedroom,

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which is over the front of the property.

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You have got a few different levels here,

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which does make it quite quirky.

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Into the second bedroom and it's...

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RATTLING Listen to that.

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WARDROBE RATTLES

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It's a little bit bouncy, this floor,

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as you can hear the glass in the wardrobe.

0:16:050:16:08

Hm. It's a nice-sized bedroom,

0:16:080:16:10

but I don't want to hang about in here too long.

0:16:100:16:13

It's good.

0:16:130:16:14

# You're keeping on your toes

0:16:140:16:16

# You're keeping on your toes... #

0:16:160:16:18

Although to also keep you on your toes,

0:16:180:16:21

there's something below this room.

0:16:210:16:23

Yes, it's our old pal, the flying freehold.

0:16:230:16:26

So, with properties like these where the house goes over the access,

0:16:260:16:30

there sometimes can be confusion - who has right of access,

0:16:300:16:34

where the boundaries lie and who's in charge of the maintenance.

0:16:340:16:37

What I would suggest is check the deeds.

0:16:370:16:40

Always, always read the legal pack,

0:16:400:16:43

because it could save you a bit of a headache,

0:16:430:16:45

and then everything's nice and clear and you know where you stand.

0:16:450:16:47

# There are times when I don't know where I stand

0:16:470:16:51

# Whoa... #

0:16:510:16:52

Of course, it's always wise to have your solicitor

0:16:520:16:54

check everything out for added peace of mind

0:16:540:16:58

as you don't want to have any concerns

0:16:580:16:59

about flying freeholds hanging over your head.

0:16:590:17:03

# Whoa

0:17:030:17:04

# Sometimes I lie awake at night and worry for a while

0:17:040:17:09

# Whoa, whoa... #

0:17:090:17:11

We've asked along a local estate agent

0:17:120:17:14

to see if he has any worries

0:17:140:17:16

about this property's unconventional layout.

0:17:160:17:20

The property is quite quirky.

0:17:200:17:22

Erm, some people may think that puts people off.

0:17:220:17:24

Other people think it's, you know, a selling feature.

0:17:240:17:27

Personally, I think it's a selling feature.

0:17:270:17:28

It's a lot of property for the money.

0:17:280:17:30

You've got a really good basement.

0:17:300:17:32

You've got outside what is effectively a garage

0:17:320:17:34

which you could use.

0:17:340:17:36

You couldn't get a car in,

0:17:360:17:37

but you can use it for storage and things.

0:17:370:17:39

It's got good-sized bedrooms, good-sized bathroom,

0:17:390:17:41

I think it ticks more boxes than it checks, definitely.

0:17:410:17:45

So, all in, this looks good,

0:17:450:17:47

but what could this property guided at 40 grand be worth

0:17:470:17:50

once it's been done up?

0:17:500:17:53

If I was putting this property on the market for resale

0:17:530:17:56

once a good-standard refurbishment's been done,

0:17:560:17:58

I think you could certainly market the property

0:17:580:18:00

somewhere in the region of £85,000

0:18:000:18:02

and expect to achieve around £80,000.

0:18:020:18:04

So, a bit of money to be made there,

0:18:050:18:07

but what about it as a long-term rental investment?

0:18:070:18:11

If the property was to come to the rental market,

0:18:110:18:13

I would certainly expect it to achieve somewhere

0:18:130:18:15

in the region of around £400-£425 per calendar month.

0:18:150:18:19

I do actually quite like this house.

0:18:200:18:22

It's a little bit quirky,

0:18:220:18:24

which means it will appeal to some but not others.

0:18:240:18:27

Let's see who it did appeal to when it went under the hammer.

0:18:270:18:31

Two-bedroom terraced house,

0:18:310:18:32

conveniently situated just off the town centre.

0:18:320:18:35

Good investment property.

0:18:350:18:36

Straight in at 40, anyone?

0:18:360:18:39

35? 35 here. At 35, on bid.

0:18:390:18:43

We're away in ones. 36. 37. Seven. 38. 39.

0:18:430:18:48

40. Looking at your feet.

0:18:480:18:50

Back with you, sir, on the aisle, at £39,000.

0:18:500:18:53

Are we done? £39,000, then, first time.

0:18:530:18:56

Take a half if it helps.

0:18:560:18:58

Half I've got. 40?

0:18:580:19:00

40.

0:19:000:19:01

Half. You started it.

0:19:010:19:03

At £40,000, then, here to sell.

0:19:030:19:06

First time. You're out. You're in. Second time.

0:19:060:19:09

Are we done? All done, then, selling.

0:19:090:19:12

40. Well done, sir.

0:19:120:19:14

The successful bidder, who paid 40 grand for this house, was Dave.

0:19:140:19:19

He's an electrical engineer,

0:19:200:19:22

so he's hoping he and his wife Marion

0:19:220:19:24

didn't get their wires crossed for reasons to buy this house.

0:19:240:19:28

-Dave, nice to meet you.

-You too.

-Congratulations, pal.

0:19:280:19:31

-Well, thank you very much.

-What made you buy this one?

0:19:310:19:34

Well, lots of reasons.

0:19:340:19:36

Close proximity to the Hare and Hounds.

0:19:360:19:37

Oh! That's a very good shout, by the way.

0:19:370:19:40

-Nearest pub?

-Nearest pub.

-Good man.

0:19:400:19:41

And other than that, you know, my wife and I came to look at it

0:19:410:19:44

and we just loved the place.

0:19:440:19:45

It's so, so quirky,

0:19:450:19:47

we just kind of fell in love with it straightaway.

0:19:470:19:49

So, when you viewed the property,

0:19:490:19:50

did you know what you wanted to do with it?

0:19:500:19:52

Yeah, we did. It was just...

0:19:520:19:54

We bought it for a pension fund, really,

0:19:540:19:57

and the whole intention all the time was to let it out.

0:19:570:20:01

We know who the tenants are going to be

0:20:010:20:03

and she's quite happy to be painting and doing her own thing, really,

0:20:030:20:07

so we're happy to let her.

0:20:070:20:08

-You're a step ahead of the game.

-Absolutely, yeah.

0:20:080:20:10

-So, you've already got a tenant waiting, which is fantastic.

-Yeah.

0:20:100:20:14

Incredibly, she sent my wife a text the day before I went to the auction

0:20:140:20:18

to buy this place saying, "Have you got a house?

0:20:180:20:20

-"I'm looking for one."

-Really?

-Yeah.

0:20:200:20:23

See, I like that, you see? It's there, isn't it? Ready to go.

0:20:230:20:25

-Yeah, absolutely.

-Forward planning.

0:20:250:20:27

It is, so hopefully she'll be in by the end of the month,

0:20:270:20:30

so that'd be great.

0:20:300:20:31

What's your first thoughts, first thing you're going to do?

0:20:310:20:33

The first thing that we'll be doing is getting the electrics sorted out,

0:20:330:20:36

because there are one or two sockets missing.

0:20:360:20:39

It looks like somebody's started the job and, you know,

0:20:390:20:43

got kind of halfway and then stopped for some reason.

0:20:430:20:46

I don't know what the reason is.

0:20:460:20:48

-They're up the pub.

-That's it, they've gone to the pub, obviously.

0:20:480:20:51

-And indeed, why wouldn't they?

-Exactly. Exactly.

0:20:510:20:54

So, once the electrics are sorted out

0:20:540:20:56

and I've got the gas certificated,

0:20:560:20:59

it'll just be a quick case of a bit of paint,

0:20:590:21:02

a few windows to sort out.

0:21:020:21:04

Pretty much most of the property is already double glazed,

0:21:040:21:07

so there isn't really very much to do in that respect.

0:21:070:21:09

Now, you've got a bit of a bouncy floor as well, haven't you?

0:21:090:21:12

-Yeah, in the bedroom above the lane.

-Yeah.

0:21:120:21:13

I'm going to have to investigate that,

0:21:130:21:15

so that might go...some budget,

0:21:150:21:17

but I can't imagine it would be very much.

0:21:170:21:19

Even if the entire floor's to replace, how bad can it be?

0:21:190:21:22

Tell me how much you've got to spend on the house

0:21:220:21:24

and what are you going to spend your budget on.

0:21:240:21:26

-The budget will be small.

-Mm.

0:21:260:21:27

Er, I can't really see it coming to any more than two grand,

0:21:270:21:31

even including windows and the likes.

0:21:310:21:33

And how long will it take to turn this place around

0:21:330:21:35

ready for the new tenant?

0:21:350:21:37

I suspect that the new tenant will be in

0:21:370:21:40

before the place is actually finished,

0:21:400:21:41

but because she's our friend, you know,

0:21:410:21:43

if it takes me a little while to get the windows sorted out,

0:21:430:21:47

she'll be happy with that.

0:21:470:21:48

That won't be a problem at all. So, I reckon, total job, two months.

0:21:480:21:52

And there's a shared access. Did you know all about that?

0:21:520:21:55

Yeah, I did read the legal pack,

0:21:550:21:57

and how the access works is technically the lane belongs to us

0:21:570:22:02

-and the guy next door has a right of access.

-OK.

0:22:020:22:06

Dave certainly sounds like he's got this property lark sussed.

0:22:070:22:10

He's done his homework, got a tenant.

0:22:100:22:13

He seems like a bit of a pro.

0:22:130:22:15

I'm certainly no property developer but, er,

0:22:150:22:17

my own house that I've lived in for 20-odd year now, I actually...

0:22:170:22:22

When I bought that, it was in such bad condition,

0:22:220:22:25

I actually took it down and put it back up again.

0:22:250:22:27

-You did that?

-Yeah.

0:22:270:22:29

You know, with help from professional builders

0:22:290:22:32

and plumbers etc.

0:22:320:22:34

But, yeah, I did that.

0:22:340:22:36

OK, so, will you be getting involved in this renovation?

0:22:360:22:38

-Will you get hands-on on this one?

-Yes.

0:22:380:22:41

"Yes"! I'm not sure. That wasn't convincing, Dave.

0:22:410:22:44

Yeah, it wasn't a very convincing yes.

0:22:440:22:46

You know, our pal Phil will have a look at the windows

0:22:460:22:49

and I'll get our Paul to have a look at the painting

0:22:490:22:52

and there'll be a few different people on the job,

0:22:520:22:55

just guys I know.

0:22:550:22:57

Dave seems like a guy who takes everything in his stride

0:22:570:23:00

so I don't think anything is going to faze him,

0:23:000:23:03

not even the contents of the outhouses.

0:23:030:23:06

They're full of junk.

0:23:060:23:07

Pretty much most of it belongs to the guy next door, actually.

0:23:070:23:10

He was absolutely spot-on, I'd have to say.

0:23:100:23:12

-I wish you all the best.

-Thank you.

-Good luck. I hope it works out.

0:23:120:23:14

Thank you.

0:23:140:23:15

It's a good job that Dave gets on with his new neighbours,

0:23:150:23:18

because they're sharing this access,

0:23:180:23:20

and at the moment they're sharing the outbuildings as well.

0:23:200:23:23

Come back later in the show, see if they're still getting on

0:23:230:23:26

and how he's getting on with his new development.

0:23:260:23:29

Still to come, at this Blackpool property

0:23:290:23:31

the wheels have well and truly come off this garage.

0:23:310:23:35

It's actually, as far as I can see, the back of a truck.

0:23:350:23:39

And in Wigton, Dave's renovation hits a bump in the road.

0:23:410:23:45

It was at that point that I decided

0:23:450:23:47

that the kitchen roof would have to go.

0:23:470:23:49

Back now to Catford in south-east London,

0:23:540:23:57

where Lucy looked around a one-bedroom flat

0:23:570:24:00

with a guide price of 170,000.

0:24:000:24:02

The positive points were it had a fairly spacious lounge,

0:24:020:24:06

the kitchen was really big by London standards,

0:24:060:24:09

and a real plus, it had a small garden.

0:24:090:24:12

But it really was in a bad state and needed gutting.

0:24:120:24:15

It's in a bit of a state. Oh, my gosh. Look at this cooker.

0:24:170:24:19

What's been going on with that? And the tiles. Oh!

0:24:190:24:22

Ooh! OK, so you can see it needs to be skipped, basically.

0:24:220:24:27

Get rid of it, start again.

0:24:270:24:29

There wasn't much to be salvaged here

0:24:300:24:32

but that didn't put off the bidders come auction day.

0:24:320:24:34

228.

0:24:340:24:36

The successful bidders were Jose and Carolina, who paid 228,000.

0:24:360:24:40

..wife and baby, well done.

0:24:400:24:42

This was their fourth development, and despite running their business

0:24:420:24:46

helping Colombian students come here to study

0:24:460:24:48

and having two children,

0:24:480:24:50

they had big plans for this rundown flat.

0:24:500:24:53

What makes you think you can turn this into a two-bed flat

0:24:530:24:56

and do a good job on it?

0:24:560:24:57

If we want to create a two-bed flat, we have to compromise some things,

0:24:570:25:01

but they say so far people are getting used to having,

0:25:010:25:03

for example, the kitchen into the living room area,

0:25:030:25:06

so I think it's going to work.

0:25:060:25:08

But the only thing that worries me, by doing that,

0:25:080:25:10

you've got to start making structural changes

0:25:100:25:13

and that gets costly.

0:25:130:25:15

Lucy was concerned that there didn't appear to be

0:25:150:25:17

much profit potential in taking on the extra work.

0:25:170:25:20

The couple hoped to have all the structural changes

0:25:200:25:23

done for 32,000,

0:25:230:25:25

but they would still have a kitchen and bathroom to fit out.

0:25:250:25:28

With Carolina thinking the job would take six months

0:25:280:25:31

and Jose claiming three to four, who would be right?

0:25:310:25:34

We split the difference and have come back after five months.

0:25:340:25:38

Well, it looks like Jose and Carolina

0:25:480:25:50

haven't been wasting their time.

0:25:500:25:52

That former dingy and dated living room

0:25:520:25:55

has been transformed into an ultramodern open-plan kitchen/diner.

0:25:550:26:00

The bedroom is looking really fresh

0:26:000:26:03

and it also has direct access to the garden.

0:26:030:26:05

The dramatic changes continue in the rear of the property.

0:26:070:26:10

That outdated kitchen and bathroom are completely gone,

0:26:100:26:14

and have been replaced by a master bedroom and en suite.

0:26:140:26:18

The couple have also managed to squeeze in a second toilet,

0:26:210:26:24

an easy thing to add when the internal layout

0:26:240:26:27

has changed completely.

0:26:270:26:29

We had to remove all the structural walls of the flat,

0:26:300:26:33

so basically the one that was in-between the living room

0:26:330:26:37

and the bedroom, that was structural,

0:26:370:26:39

so we had to create a column and we had to fit steel.

0:26:390:26:44

And exactly the same happened at the back,

0:26:440:26:46

so we had to put a lot of steel on it.

0:26:460:26:50

As their plans involved structural changes,

0:26:500:26:53

Jose and Carolina had to get permission from the leaseholder,

0:26:530:26:56

the owners from the flat above,

0:26:560:26:58

as well as the ground- and first-floor flats

0:26:580:27:00

to either side of the property.

0:27:000:27:02

But thanks to everyone's cooperation

0:27:020:27:04

they've managed to achieve a fantastic result.

0:27:040:27:06

What did they learn from the renovation of this flat?

0:27:060:27:09

We found that it's really important

0:27:100:27:12

in this small flat that we have to use every single space.

0:27:120:27:15

So, obviously, because the kitchen is at the front

0:27:150:27:18

and obviously we have to share with the living room,

0:27:180:27:21

we tried to move the sort of utility room over on the side.

0:27:210:27:24

So, that's like a small space where you've got your washing machine,

0:27:240:27:27

your dryer and for folding clothes, so I think it's perfect.

0:27:270:27:30

Moving the washing machine from the shared kitchen

0:27:300:27:32

was a good idea.

0:27:320:27:33

After all, you don't want to hear a whirring washing machine

0:27:330:27:36

when you're watching your favourite property show in the morning.

0:27:360:27:39

But, moving on, how do they feel it's gone?

0:27:390:27:42

We're really happy with the result,

0:27:420:27:44

because initially the flat was really, really dirty

0:27:440:27:46

and was in a really bad condition. Flooring, walls.

0:27:460:27:49

So, now, what we've done is we've used

0:27:490:27:52

engineered flooring throughout,

0:27:520:27:55

new plastering, white colours everywhere, and a new kitchen.

0:27:550:28:00

So, I think it looks definitely much better than it was before.

0:28:000:28:05

Their builders have done a really great job,

0:28:050:28:06

but what roles did Jose and Carolina take on themselves?

0:28:060:28:11

Basically, I was checking that permission was in place

0:28:110:28:14

and I was dealing with the freeholder.

0:28:140:28:16

So, basically structural things.

0:28:160:28:18

I have less time with the two kids,

0:28:180:28:21

but I was helping with decoration that I like

0:28:210:28:23

and at the beginning with the layout.

0:28:230:28:26

And I'm happy with what Jose has done.

0:28:260:28:29

It sounds like they've had their hands full with this property,

0:28:290:28:32

the student accommodation business and their two children.

0:28:320:28:35

So, how did Thomas and Juliana like it?

0:28:350:28:38

They've been involved since the moment we bought the flat

0:28:380:28:41

because we went with little Juliana when we went to the auction,

0:28:410:28:44

and Thomas, it's something that he really enjoys.

0:28:440:28:46

So, since we started the project I've been coming with Thomas.

0:28:460:28:49

He's in charge of the new grass in the garden.

0:28:490:28:52

He's the one who tests that the grass is solid for him to play.

0:28:520:28:56

-And watering.

-And watering.

0:28:560:28:57

He's really good at watering as well.

0:28:570:28:59

Well, it sounds like Thomas has enjoyed himself,

0:28:590:29:02

but how did Mum and Dad find working together?

0:29:020:29:04

Working together has been fine.

0:29:040:29:06

I mean, since we married, we've always been working together.

0:29:060:29:09

And now we've got two teams -

0:29:090:29:11

one is outside working and the other one is at home.

0:29:110:29:13

-It's been fine.

-I enjoy it.

0:29:130:29:16

The couple have spent £45,000 on the flat,

0:29:160:29:20

which is pretty good going

0:29:200:29:21

given they thought the work without the kitchen and bathroom

0:29:210:29:24

would be 32,000.

0:29:240:29:26

So, in total, they've spent £273,000 here.

0:29:260:29:30

Time to ask two local estate agents if Jose and Carolina

0:29:320:29:35

made all the right moves here.

0:29:350:29:37

Let's begin with the agent who saw it in its previous state.

0:29:370:29:41

The layout is slightly different to what I was actually expecting,

0:29:410:29:45

the fact they've actually put the kitchen in the front,

0:29:450:29:47

but it actually works quite well.

0:29:470:29:49

Having had a look round the flat, and I didn't see it before,

0:29:490:29:51

I'm very impressed by the finish.

0:29:510:29:53

It is very nicely done.

0:29:530:29:55

It has been opened up, as you can see.

0:29:550:29:57

The walls for the hallway have been removed.

0:29:570:29:59

I think they've done a really good job.

0:29:590:30:00

The fact they've changed it now to two bedrooms

0:30:000:30:03

will certainly add value,

0:30:030:30:04

and the fact it's now got two bathrooms as well.

0:30:040:30:07

I think they've managed to really squeeze a lot in

0:30:070:30:10

and I think they've done a really good job.

0:30:100:30:12

But will they be able to squeeze a profit

0:30:120:30:14

out of their £273,000 investment?

0:30:140:30:18

I think the sales valuation is approximately £330,000

0:30:180:30:23

and I think the rental market would be approximately £1,400

0:30:230:30:27

per calendar month.

0:30:270:30:28

If the flat were to go onto the market,

0:30:280:30:30

I believe it would sell for £350,000.

0:30:300:30:32

If it went to the rental market,

0:30:320:30:33

it would rent for £1,200 per calendar month.

0:30:330:30:36

If they were able to achieve that top rental figure of £1,400,

0:30:360:30:40

that would mean a yield of just over 6%.

0:30:400:30:42

And that top sales value could give them a profit of £77,000,

0:30:420:30:47

minus taxes and fees.

0:30:470:30:48

But what do Jose and Carolina think of those valuations?

0:30:480:30:52

This is a long-term investment, so we're not planning to sell,

0:30:550:30:58

but I think it's good.

0:30:580:31:00

We added value to the property.

0:31:000:31:02

So, their plan to rent the property out hasn't changed,

0:31:020:31:05

but what does the future hold for Jose, Carolina and family?

0:31:050:31:10

This is something that we really enjoy,

0:31:100:31:12

so we're planning to carry on in this business.

0:31:120:31:15

We find auctions really exciting and it's something that we...

0:31:150:31:18

I mean, we've been twice and we definitely enjoyed it a lot,

0:31:180:31:22

so definitely, that's a must.

0:31:220:31:24

# Hello, you fool, I love you... #

0:31:270:31:31

Now, you'll probably recognise this place even before I say the name.

0:31:320:31:36

Yes, I am in Blackpool,

0:31:360:31:38

one of England's busiest seaside destinations,

0:31:380:31:41

famous for its illuminations, North Pier and, of course,

0:31:410:31:45

the Blackpool Tower.

0:31:450:31:46

The town has had its ups and downs over the years,

0:31:460:31:50

but with recent investment in the area, the hope is that soon

0:31:500:31:53

it'll be back to its old self.

0:31:530:31:56

I wonder if the same can be said

0:31:560:31:57

about the property I'm here to see today.

0:31:570:31:59

# C'mon, join the joyride

0:31:590:32:04

# Join the joyride... #

0:32:040:32:06

We're not far from the town centre,

0:32:060:32:08

the seafront and all the delights that Blackpool has in store.

0:32:080:32:12

Here's the property I'm here to see.

0:32:120:32:13

It's a four-bed end terrace, guide price £56,000.

0:32:130:32:19

Mm-hm!

0:32:190:32:20

Well, in its day, which, my guess is, was about 1900

0:32:240:32:28

when these were built,

0:32:280:32:30

this would've been a really grand property,

0:32:300:32:32

owned by probably quite an affluent local businessperson.

0:32:320:32:35

And you get that impression when you walk through the front door,

0:32:350:32:37

cos of the little porch area there.

0:32:370:32:39

And then through into the sort of entrance here.

0:32:390:32:43

And apart from the fact that that stairway has been boxed in

0:32:430:32:46

in a really slightly questionable way,

0:32:460:32:49

you immediately get a really nice sense of space,

0:32:490:32:52

similarly with your front room there.

0:32:520:32:56

Big, big, big, grand space.

0:32:560:32:59

Obviously, signs of some problems on the front bay there.

0:32:590:33:03

And then through into... fairly classic,

0:33:030:33:05

the rear lounge, the rear sitting room.

0:33:050:33:08

I don't know what is going on with the floor.

0:33:080:33:12

It's sloped upwards,

0:33:120:33:13

which is not generally the way you want a floor to be.

0:33:130:33:16

Flat is generally regarded as the norm.

0:33:160:33:19

But, you know, big old fireplace here.

0:33:190:33:22

Again, lots of light coming in.

0:33:220:33:24

Benefit of course of being an end terrace, that -

0:33:240:33:26

lots of light coming in through the windows.

0:33:260:33:29

And that's it, so far,

0:33:290:33:31

so we've just got to find the kitchen.

0:33:310:33:33

# I took a little trip

0:33:350:33:37

# Down memory lane... #

0:33:370:33:40

Two rooms in and I'm being transported back in time.

0:33:420:33:45

There are lovely period details dotted around the place,

0:33:450:33:48

and it gives you a real sense of the people who lived here before.

0:33:480:33:52

But before I get too carried away,

0:33:520:33:54

it's worth bearing in mind that some original features

0:33:540:33:57

like the electrics will have to go,

0:33:570:33:59

which means, for the new owner, time and money.

0:33:590:34:03

And hiding away at the back of the house is the kitchen.

0:34:040:34:08

It almost feels like this is where the servants would be doing

0:34:100:34:12

the cooking kind of stuff,

0:34:120:34:14

and the family would live over there.

0:34:140:34:16

You know what? Modern life, you want to integrate this better,

0:34:160:34:19

so I'm just wondering if you could take out

0:34:190:34:21

some of these walls to create

0:34:210:34:23

a really spectacular kitchen/living area.

0:34:230:34:27

Imagine a breakfast bar in here, lovely units there.

0:34:270:34:30

Looks like you've got a downstairs loo there, which is a bonus.

0:34:300:34:32

Probably keep that.

0:34:320:34:34

But really transform this bit of property.

0:34:340:34:37

In fact, focus on this bit of the property

0:34:370:34:40

and you've got a really ace potential.

0:34:400:34:43

# Oh-ho-ho, it's magic

0:34:440:34:47

# You know

0:34:470:34:51

# Never believe it's not so... #

0:34:510:34:56

It's hard to believe looking at it now,

0:34:560:34:59

but with a bit of imagination and a lot of hard work,

0:34:590:35:02

this space could be transformed into something magical.

0:35:020:35:06

And the potential doesn't stop there.

0:35:060:35:09

On the first floor above the kitchen

0:35:090:35:10

sits a WC and a very roomy bathroom.

0:35:100:35:14

There are also three bedrooms,

0:35:140:35:16

two to the front and then there is the master bedroom.

0:35:160:35:19

MUSIC: No Surprises by Radiohead

0:35:220:35:25

Now, I am pretty sure Radiohead

0:35:250:35:27

have been played on this show before,

0:35:270:35:29

but I think this might be the first appearance ever by radio-BED.

0:35:290:35:34

We've seen three bedrooms,

0:35:380:35:39

but this property is marketed as a four-bedroom house,

0:35:390:35:43

so where's number four?

0:35:430:35:44

Well, to find that, you come up another set of stairs to this,

0:35:460:35:50

what was originally the attic of the property

0:35:500:35:52

that's obviously been converted.

0:35:520:35:53

And it does create a nice-sized space now.

0:35:530:35:56

I mean, clearly I'd get rid of this partition wall

0:35:560:35:58

and open it up even further,

0:35:580:36:00

but as long as it meets building regulations

0:36:000:36:02

in terms of fire escape ability,

0:36:020:36:05

in terms of strength of the joists and that kind of stuff,

0:36:050:36:07

then, you know, an extra bedroom, that fourth bedroom,

0:36:070:36:10

it certainly is and a particularly characterful one, too.

0:36:100:36:13

But when you come up here - here's the other thing -

0:36:130:36:15

you realise what you're going to have to do,

0:36:150:36:17

because that is actually the underside of the slates.

0:36:170:36:20

So, there's no insulation. There's not even any felt.

0:36:200:36:24

So, putting those two things back is something you're definitely

0:36:240:36:28

going to have to factor in to your renovation.

0:36:280:36:30

Well, substantial though the property is,

0:36:310:36:34

it is still a terrace,

0:36:340:36:36

but of course, it has the advantage of being an end terrace,

0:36:360:36:39

so you've got extra windows in this end gable here.

0:36:390:36:42

And so lots of light going into the property.

0:36:420:36:44

You've also got access to this little private alleyway at the back,

0:36:440:36:49

which is gated on both ends, which adds a bit of security.

0:36:490:36:51

And - good news - the property also comes with a garage.

0:36:510:36:57

Now, as garages go, this one is a bit of a first, because...

0:36:570:37:03

Not brick built? No. Not stone built? No.

0:37:030:37:06

Not made of lath-plaster door, bits of cement, whatever.

0:37:060:37:11

It's actually, as far as I can see, the back of a truck.

0:37:110:37:16

What's wrong with that? It works, doesn't it?

0:37:170:37:20

# On the road again

0:37:200:37:23

# Just can't wait to get on the road again... #

0:37:230:37:27

Let's get on with the real wheeling and dealing

0:37:270:37:30

and find out from a local property agent

0:37:300:37:32

what the prospects are for this bit of Blackpool,

0:37:320:37:34

guided at 56 grand.

0:37:340:37:36

A property of this calibre

0:37:380:37:40

would need completely redoing from top to bottom

0:37:400:37:44

with rewiring, new central heating,

0:37:440:37:47

new double glazing and literally a complete makeover

0:37:470:37:52

to get it up to where it needs to be.

0:37:520:37:54

And assuming the new owner did all those things,

0:37:560:37:58

the agent estimated a rental income of £625 per calendar month.

0:37:580:38:03

And what about a sales value?

0:38:030:38:06

This property could potentially achieve up to about £94,000.

0:38:060:38:11

Well, a bit of work to be done to sort this place out,

0:38:120:38:15

but it's a substantial house in a good location for sure.

0:38:150:38:19

Let's who agreed and bought it when it went under the hammer.

0:38:190:38:23

Lot 25.

0:38:250:38:27

It's a three-storeyed, four-bedroom,

0:38:270:38:31

bay-windowed end townhouse

0:38:310:38:33

that needs considerable improvement and modernisation.

0:38:330:38:37

Start me on this one at 60,000.

0:38:370:38:40

60,000. 58 for it.

0:38:400:38:43

58.

0:38:430:38:45

Who's got 56 on the guide price to start me?

0:38:450:38:48

It would appear to be good value at four bedrooms.

0:38:480:38:51

56, thank you.

0:38:510:38:52

At £56,000 I've got as a starting bid.

0:38:520:38:55

At 56. 57 somewhere? 57 is bid.

0:38:550:38:59

At 57. 58.

0:38:590:39:01

58. 59.

0:39:010:39:03

60,000. 61.

0:39:030:39:07

60,000, seated bid. 61.

0:39:070:39:09

It's in the market, ladies and gentlemen.

0:39:090:39:11

It's going to be sold. At £60,000.

0:39:110:39:14

61 somewhere else? Seems very good value for money.

0:39:140:39:17

As £60,000, going once, going twice, third time...

0:39:170:39:22

Sold at 60,000. Thank you.

0:39:220:39:25

That bid of 60,000 was enough to secure the property for Natasha,

0:39:250:39:30

seen here with dad Harish and brother Ahmed.

0:39:300:39:33

However, it was family friend Graham who accompanied Natasha

0:39:330:39:37

when we met up back at the house.

0:39:370:39:39

Natasha, Graham. Good to meet you both.

0:39:400:39:42

-Good to meet you too.

-How are you doing? Yeah.

0:39:420:39:44

Congratulations.

0:39:440:39:46

So, tell me, Natasha, why you wanted to buy this place.

0:39:460:39:49

Just a holiday home, actually.

0:39:490:39:50

We saw it come up and the promenade is not too far,

0:39:500:39:53

-so we thought, "Great place"...

-Wow.

0:39:530:39:54

-..with the weather hopefully being better, so, yeah.

-Oh, great.

0:39:540:39:57

So, where's home when you're not here?

0:39:570:39:59

-Leicester.

-Leicester?

-Leicester, yeah.

0:39:590:40:01

Well, you couldn't be much closer

0:40:010:40:03

to the attractions of Blackpool, could you?

0:40:030:40:05

No, the promenade, and the lights are not far either.

0:40:050:40:07

-And then there's the roller-coaster round there.

-Wow.

0:40:070:40:10

-The tower as well.

-So this is for the family, then?

0:40:100:40:12

-Yes.

-Tell me about your family.

0:40:120:40:13

Mum, Dad, and I've got a brother as well,

0:40:130:40:15

and a sister who's in London, though,

0:40:150:40:17

so, hopefully, she can come down as well sometime.

0:40:170:40:19

Right.

0:40:190:40:20

So, is it something you're going to rent out to other people

0:40:200:40:23

-or is it just going to be for you?

-Just for us. Just for us.

-Wow.

0:40:230:40:26

So, whenever we want to come, we can just pack our bags and come over.

0:40:260:40:29

Right. So, tell me about your relationship with Blackpool, then.

0:40:290:40:32

Um, I've only been here once,

0:40:320:40:34

I think, before. SHE LAUGHS

0:40:340:40:36

Not many before, but, yeah, hopefully, more times to come.

0:40:360:40:39

Right. What was it about this area that you sort of thought,

0:40:390:40:42

"Yes, this is a good place to get a holiday home"?

0:40:420:40:44

It's nice and quiet around here, especially the street.

0:40:440:40:47

So, it's nice neighbours as well, which we've met.

0:40:470:40:50

So, yeah, not far, like I said, from the promenade, so...

0:40:500:40:53

Good stuff. So, why this particular house, then?

0:40:530:40:56

I don't know. I think we just wanted a bit of a challenge as well,

0:40:560:40:59

so we can make it how we want,

0:40:590:41:01

put our stamp on it and we can do what we want, yeah.

0:41:010:41:04

# You got a friend in me.... #

0:41:040:41:07

And that brings us neatly to Graham's role in the project.

0:41:070:41:11

A structural engineer by profession, Graham will act as project manager

0:41:110:41:15

and has already taken the family's wish list

0:41:150:41:18

and turned it into a plan.

0:41:180:41:20

It's a case of bringing this house into the 21st century.

0:41:200:41:24

Open it up.

0:41:240:41:27

This wall, we can't take this wall away,

0:41:270:41:29

but we can move it back to the stairs.

0:41:290:41:32

That wall can go, open it up.

0:41:320:41:35

Nice big kitchen/diner, living space, brilliant.

0:41:350:41:39

The front room, really leave as it is.

0:41:390:41:42

Upstairs, the bathroom, which is really a bedroom,

0:41:420:41:47

we're going to move that and make a purpose-made bathroom

0:41:470:41:50

centre of the main bedroom with Jack and Jill doors.

0:41:500:41:53

That will give us a main bathroom

0:41:530:41:55

and en suite for two, so Jack and Jill en suite.

0:41:550:41:59

A Jack and Jill bathroom is a very good way

0:42:000:42:03

of getting two en suites for the price of one.

0:42:030:42:06

Just remember to fit a lock on both doors.

0:42:060:42:08

Natasha and Graham have agreed on the plans,

0:42:080:42:11

but it's a different matter when it comes to budget.

0:42:110:42:14

I think we're planning about £10,000 to £15,000 at the moment.

0:42:160:42:19

-Mm.

-Now, you just raised your eyebrows.

0:42:190:42:21

-HE LAUGHS

-No, I know it'll run over that.

0:42:210:42:25

I know for a fact.

0:42:250:42:27

It'll be nearer 18 to 20.

0:42:270:42:29

We can hope.

0:42:290:42:31

-We are obviously going to do it the best we can...

-Yeah.

0:42:310:42:35

..but they do want reasonably high spec as well.

0:42:350:42:38

Are you being paid or are you going to get

0:42:380:42:40

lots of free holidays out of this?

0:42:400:42:41

THEY LAUGH

0:42:410:42:44

Probably end up with a lot of free holidays out of it!

0:42:440:42:46

Great. So, what's the timescale?

0:42:460:42:49

Well, I'll probably say it

0:42:490:42:51

and he's going to raise his eyebrows again.

0:42:510:42:53

About three to four months, I'd say.

0:42:530:42:56

-Yeah.

-Happy with that.

-Happy with that.

-Yeah.

0:42:560:42:58

-That's a realistic figure.

-What about outside?

0:42:580:43:01

Cos, obviously, it's a bit of a mess.

0:43:010:43:03

-You've got this strange garage-y thing at the side.

-Yes.

0:43:030:43:05

-That's coming down.

-That's coming down?

-Yeah.

0:43:050:43:07

I believe we're going to be making a driveway.

0:43:070:43:09

-OK.

-So, off-road parking to the side.

-Right.

0:43:090:43:12

-Cos it's permit parking.

-It is permit parking at the moment, yes.

0:43:120:43:15

Obviously, you'd get the permit as well, but just off-road parking.

0:43:150:43:18

Nice, to your own, and you can see your car.

0:43:180:43:21

Yeah, great.

0:43:210:43:22

-Congratulations, and good luck with it.

-Thank you.

0:43:220:43:24

I look forward to seeing how you get on.

0:43:240:43:26

Thank you. Thank you.

0:43:260:43:28

Funny, isn't it?

0:43:300:43:31

Sometimes, you can't see the wood for the trees.

0:43:310:43:33

I would not have expected this to sell as a holiday home,

0:43:330:43:36

but what you've got here is one of the UK's

0:43:360:43:39

oldest and most traditional holiday resorts,

0:43:390:43:41

so why shouldn't it be a holiday home?

0:43:410:43:44

How will they get on sorting it out?

0:43:440:43:46

You can find out later in the show.

0:43:460:43:48

We've seen how one property turned out

0:43:510:43:53

and there's been lots of time for the other two to get cracking.

0:43:530:43:56

Yes, have they stuck to their timescales and budgets?

0:43:560:44:00

Let's go back and find out.

0:44:000:44:02

It's time to head back to Cumbria and the market town of Wigton,

0:44:020:44:07

where earlier I looked around this quirky two-bed terraced house

0:44:070:44:10

with a guide price of £40,000.

0:44:100:44:13

And stairs were certainly the order of the day in this place.

0:44:130:44:16

Careful. Careful down those stairs.

0:44:160:44:19

That is a big drop.

0:44:190:44:21

Stairs...

0:44:210:44:23

# Ain't no half-stepping, no, no, no... #

0:44:230:44:24

..stairs, and more stairs.

0:44:240:44:27

# Ain't no half-stepping, no, no, no

0:44:270:44:30

# Ain't no half-stepping, no, no, no... #

0:44:320:44:35

This house didn't have one room on the same level as another,

0:44:350:44:39

and that was exercising my mind

0:44:390:44:41

as much as my legs. WARDROBE RATTLES

0:44:410:44:44

And if this was a springboard to a property empire,

0:44:440:44:46

best get that floor fixed.

0:44:460:44:48

Some people would run a mile from a property like this,

0:44:480:44:52

even one in such good condition,

0:44:520:44:54

but not local resident Dave and his wife Marion,

0:44:540:44:57

who snapped it up for bang on the guide price of 40 grand.

0:44:570:45:01

We just love the place. It's so, so quirky.

0:45:010:45:04

And before he'd even raised his hand at auction,

0:45:040:45:07

he had a tenant lined up.

0:45:070:45:08

Incredibly, she sent my wife a text the day before

0:45:080:45:12

I went to the auction to buy this place,

0:45:120:45:14

saying, "Have you got a house? I'm looking for one."

0:45:140:45:16

Even more incredibly,

0:45:160:45:18

Dave's friendly tenant volunteered to decorate the place,

0:45:180:45:21

so all that was left for Dave to do

0:45:210:45:24

was to finish off the electrics and replace a few windows.

0:45:240:45:27

Maybe three weeks' work.

0:45:270:45:29

Well, that was almost six months ago,

0:45:290:45:31

so what's taken so long?

0:45:310:45:34

We're back to catch up with Dave and his quirky house full of stairs.

0:45:340:45:38

# We live and we learn to take one step at a time

0:45:390:45:44

# There's no need to rush

0:45:440:45:46

# It's like learning to fly or falling in love

0:45:460:45:52

# It's going to happen when it's supposed to happen

0:45:520:45:56

# And we find the reasons why one step at a time... #

0:45:560:46:02

Dave's tenant has moved in and made it homely,

0:46:020:46:05

but it's taken more than a lick of paint to get to here.

0:46:050:46:07

We're quite pleased with the kitchen.

0:46:070:46:09

My wife found it on the local free ads

0:46:090:46:12

and we got to know the lady who was doing a house up

0:46:120:46:16

in a nearby village.

0:46:160:46:17

All I had to do was go and take the kitchen out for her

0:46:170:46:20

and reinstall it here and there you have it.

0:46:200:46:23

A recycled kitchen.

0:46:230:46:25

And the hard work didn't end there.

0:46:250:46:28

We replaced three windows that were old wooden ones.

0:46:280:46:33

They weren't especially rotten, but I thought, you know,

0:46:330:46:35

we might as well make them match, and while we were doing that,

0:46:350:46:38

there were a couple of fogged-up double-glazed units

0:46:380:46:41

which we've replaced as well.

0:46:410:46:43

And actually, since I've done that,

0:46:430:46:44

another one's fogged up, but, you know,

0:46:440:46:47

I'll get that fixed sometime.

0:46:470:46:49

Yeah, but don't tie yourself down to a timescale, Dave.

0:46:500:46:53

You seemed pretty confident that two months

0:46:530:46:56

would see this project completed,

0:46:560:46:58

so why has it taken an extra four months?

0:46:580:47:00

The short-term plan was to get it safe, warm, dry.

0:47:000:47:06

We had to get the gas man in to sort the boiler out.

0:47:060:47:09

We had to get the electrics finished off,

0:47:090:47:11

cos somebody had started them, and get them certificated,

0:47:110:47:14

and I had one floor to replace,

0:47:140:47:16

which was woodwork damaged, upstairs.

0:47:160:47:19

And that was all done within 20 days of us buying it,

0:47:190:47:23

and that's when the tenant moved in.

0:47:230:47:26

After a heavy rainfall, the tenant rang us and said,

0:47:260:47:30

"I've got a puddle of water on the kitchen floor."

0:47:300:47:33

So, I came over, had a look,

0:47:330:47:35

and it was at that point that I decided that the kitchen roof

0:47:350:47:38

would have to go.

0:47:380:47:39

Given that the Carlisle floods recently occurred,

0:47:390:47:42

builders are in very short supply,

0:47:420:47:44

so it actually took me around about three months

0:47:440:47:46

to get the builders to get a start.

0:47:460:47:48

And, well, when you look outside,

0:47:480:47:51

you'll see that it's all finished now.

0:47:510:47:53

And it wasn't just the kitchen roof that had to go.

0:47:530:47:57

Dave quickly grew tired of the outbuildings in the back.

0:47:570:48:01

I didn't like them from the word go,

0:48:010:48:03

but because of the kitchen roof issue,

0:48:030:48:07

my hand was forced and they had to come down,

0:48:070:48:10

because I've changed the direction of the slope on the kitchen roof

0:48:100:48:14

and that entailed a wall of the outbuilding not being there,

0:48:140:48:18

so I thought, "Right."

0:48:180:48:19

There was a huge amount of work,

0:48:190:48:20

because there was a huge amount of stone.

0:48:200:48:22

The walls were 18-inch thick, you know, solid sandstone.

0:48:220:48:25

We must have taken ten or 12 tonne away,

0:48:250:48:28

but they've gone and I'm happy.

0:48:280:48:31

And is Dave happy about his budget?

0:48:320:48:35

My original budget and timescale was £2,000 and three weeks,

0:48:350:48:40

and that is exactly what happened.

0:48:400:48:41

The tenant was in in three weeks and there was no problem.

0:48:410:48:45

From there, we had the water leak issue.

0:48:450:48:48

I don't know how much it's going to cost

0:48:480:48:50

because the bills haven't come in yet, but I would guess

0:48:500:48:53

somewhere between 4,500 and 6,500.

0:48:530:48:56

The T-shirt, well, you know,

0:48:560:48:58

it does sum it up.

0:48:580:48:59

Especially the bottom line -

0:48:590:49:00

"My work here is done"!

0:49:000:49:02

But has his work added any value to the property?

0:49:040:49:07

We asked along two local estate agents for a viewing,

0:49:070:49:10

beginning with the agent who first visited the house.

0:49:100:49:13

Yeah, it's a super property.

0:49:130:49:14

It was in pretty good order when the chap bought it at auction.

0:49:140:49:17

They've replaced the roof on the kitchen, which is a good idea.

0:49:170:49:20

Other than that,

0:49:200:49:21

the property's been given a bit of a sympathetic makeover

0:49:210:49:24

and it's looking nice.

0:49:240:49:25

First impressions of the property are good.

0:49:250:49:27

All the little subtle changes have come together nicely

0:49:270:49:29

to create a lovely home.

0:49:290:49:31

The layout has the potential to put some people off

0:49:310:49:33

with the increased number of stairs,

0:49:330:49:35

but many of the features add to the charm of the property -

0:49:350:49:37

the sloping ceilings - and it all adds a bit of character.

0:49:370:49:41

When the bills finally get added up,

0:49:410:49:43

Dave thinks he might have spent 46,500 on the purchase

0:49:430:49:47

and renovation of this house, so if it was put up for sale,

0:49:470:49:51

what price do the agents reckon Dave could get?

0:49:510:49:54

If the property were to go on the sales market,

0:49:540:49:56

you'd be looking at a guide price something in the region of £75,000.

0:49:560:50:00

If the property came to the general sales market

0:50:000:50:02

in its current condition,

0:50:020:50:04

I would market the property at around £75,000.

0:50:040:50:07

If the owner had done a full, extensive refurb,

0:50:070:50:10

then the property probably would have come up at around £85,000.

0:50:100:50:13

There is a ten-grand incentive

0:50:130:50:16

for Dave to get some more work done here,

0:50:160:50:18

but in the meantime,

0:50:180:50:19

a sale of 75 grand would give him a profit of £28,500

0:50:190:50:25

before taxes and fees.

0:50:250:50:26

Well, I think that's a lot of money.

0:50:260:50:28

It's nice to know that it's worth more than what we've spent on it,

0:50:280:50:32

so, result.

0:50:320:50:34

Will the agents' rental values also give a good result?

0:50:340:50:36

If the property was to come to the rental market,

0:50:360:50:39

I think it should achieve somewhere in the region

0:50:390:50:41

of £425 per calendar month.

0:50:410:50:42

If the property were to go on the rental market,

0:50:420:50:45

we'd be looking at something like £400 per calendar month.

0:50:450:50:48

Well, you know,

0:50:480:50:49

I think that's pretty much exactly what we thought.

0:50:490:50:52

It is out for less than that, but it's out to one of our friends.

0:50:520:50:56

It's not a lot less than that,

0:50:560:50:58

but we're happy with what we are getting.

0:50:580:51:00

A rental of £400 per calendar month

0:51:000:51:03

would give Dave a return on investment of over 10%.

0:51:030:51:07

So has that whetted his appetite

0:51:070:51:09

to get involved in another property scheme?

0:51:090:51:13

I'm definitely not going to do anything

0:51:130:51:15

for at least another 12 months,

0:51:150:51:17

because I've got loads of stuff to do at home

0:51:170:51:19

that never got done this year

0:51:190:51:20

because I've been too busy working on this place.

0:51:200:51:22

But, yeah, I'll definitely do it again.

0:51:220:51:25

Time now to take a trip back to Blackpool,

0:51:290:51:31

where I had the pleasure of seeing a rather grand

0:51:310:51:33

four-bedroom Victorian end-terraced house.

0:51:330:51:37

In its day, this would've been quite the stunning property.

0:51:370:51:40

Sadly, it had seen better days,

0:51:400:51:43

but you could still get a feeling of what it would've been like

0:51:430:51:46

when it was first built.

0:51:460:51:48

It almost feels like this is where

0:51:480:51:50

the servants would be doing the cooking kind of stuff,

0:51:500:51:52

and the family would live over there.

0:51:520:51:54

You know what? Modern life, you want to integrate this better,

0:51:540:51:57

so I'm just wondering if you could take out

0:51:570:51:59

some of these walls to create a really spectacular

0:51:590:52:03

kitchen/living area.

0:52:030:52:06

Upstairs, the layout had been altered,

0:52:060:52:08

as the bedroom next to the upstairs toilet

0:52:080:52:11

was converted into a bathroom which was far too big.

0:52:110:52:14

But it did still offer four bedrooms,

0:52:140:52:16

as the loft had also been converted at some stage,

0:52:160:52:19

although not to current building regs, that's for sure.

0:52:190:52:23

Yes, that's the underside of the slate roof,

0:52:230:52:25

if you were wondering.

0:52:250:52:27

Not put off by the work needed here was Natasha,

0:52:270:52:30

who bought this for £60,000,

0:52:300:52:32

and partly that's because she had a family friend, Graham -

0:52:320:52:35

an experienced builder and structural engineer

0:52:350:52:38

along to help on this project.

0:52:380:52:40

The plan was for the house to be used as a holiday home

0:52:400:52:43

for her and her family, who live in Leicester.

0:52:430:52:45

Tell me about your family.

0:52:470:52:48

Mum, Dad, and I've got a brother as well,

0:52:480:52:50

and a sister who is in London, though, so,

0:52:500:52:52

-hopefully, she can come down as well sometime.

-Right.

0:52:520:52:55

Well, you couldn't be much closer

0:52:550:52:56

to the attractions of Blackpool, could you?

0:52:560:52:58

No, the promenade, and the lights are not far either.

0:52:580:53:01

-And then there's a roller-coaster round there.

-Wow.

-The tower as well.

0:53:010:53:04

15 months later,

0:53:040:53:06

it's time to find out if the family have been

0:53:060:53:08

enjoying Blackpool's attractions.

0:53:080:53:11

# It would be so nice

0:53:110:53:13

# If we took a holiday

0:53:130:53:15

# Took some time to celebrate

0:53:170:53:19

# Just one day out of life

0:53:210:53:23

# It would be

0:53:260:53:27

# It would be so nice... #

0:53:270:53:30

It is nice.

0:53:300:53:31

The wall's been removed and the doors added at the back,

0:53:310:53:34

which makes downstairs flow so much better.

0:53:340:53:37

Upstairs, the old bathroom is gone.

0:53:390:53:42

# We need a holiday... #

0:53:430:53:46

Which means there are now four bedrooms on this floor.

0:53:460:53:49

However, two bedrooms have lost space,

0:53:490:53:52

so that a new family bathroom can be put in between.

0:53:520:53:55

Upstairs, the attic had so much potential,

0:53:570:53:59

and it's now been realised.

0:53:590:54:01

# It would be so nice... #

0:54:010:54:03

It's fully insulated and has an en suite to boot.

0:54:030:54:07

Sadly, Graham was too busy on other projects

0:54:120:54:15

to help on this as planned,

0:54:150:54:17

and Natasha is looking after the business back in Leicester,

0:54:170:54:19

so dad Harish came along now the work is complete,

0:54:190:54:23

although the whole family will be coming up

0:54:230:54:24

from Leicester soon to enjoy it.

0:54:240:54:27

As it stands at the moment,

0:54:290:54:31

yes, it's still a family holiday home,

0:54:310:54:34

but we might decide to sell it as and when we can.

0:54:340:54:39

So, the family haven't even had one holiday here.

0:54:390:54:43

That's a shame.

0:54:430:54:45

Well, we've spent a year in Blackpool,

0:54:450:54:48

so that's been a great big holiday anyway,

0:54:480:54:51

so we move on to another project as soon as we can.

0:54:510:54:54

# Farewell to the fairground

0:54:550:54:59

# These rides aren't working any more... #

0:54:590:55:02

Working on the house may not be everyone's idea of a holiday,

0:55:030:55:06

although it just goes to show that property developing

0:55:060:55:09

can be a real roller-coaster, with plenty of ups and downs.

0:55:090:55:13

The biggest challenge was finding the right builder

0:55:130:55:18

to do the work for us.

0:55:180:55:19

Initially, we started with one builder,

0:55:190:55:21

and then he had to leave very shortly,

0:55:210:55:25

because he had to go down south.

0:55:250:55:27

So, we were struggling to find builders

0:55:270:55:30

and that's been the case throughout the project,

0:55:300:55:33

which took us longer than we expected.

0:55:330:55:37

We've learnt a lot out of this project,

0:55:370:55:40

and now we're aware of all the problems that can occur

0:55:400:55:45

while you're developing a house.

0:55:450:55:48

And the next one we'll try and finish in three months.

0:55:480:55:51

It's taken a year longer than they thought to get this done,

0:55:510:55:55

but it's unrecognisable from the run-down house it was before.

0:55:550:55:58

These changes, though, haven't come cheap.

0:55:580:56:02

We've spent just over £35,000 now, so it's double the...

0:56:020:56:09

our budget.

0:56:090:56:11

But we've done a lot of work to this house,

0:56:110:56:15

and that's what's made the difference in the budget.

0:56:150:56:21

That takes the total spend here to 95,000,

0:56:210:56:24

and now they are keen to sell.

0:56:240:56:26

We've asked along two local estate agents,

0:56:260:56:29

to get their opinion on the changes that have been made to this house.

0:56:290:56:32

I think the layout's very good.

0:56:320:56:34

Obviously, extra bedrooms means extra money.

0:56:340:56:36

Now, I think the bedroom on the top floor, with the en suite,

0:56:360:56:39

I think that's great.

0:56:390:56:40

It makes a perfect teenager's suite.

0:56:400:56:42

Also down here, yeah, it really does work well.

0:56:420:56:45

Ideal for a big family.

0:56:450:56:46

In my opinion, the main selling points for the property

0:56:460:56:49

would be the fact that there is an excellent family bathroom,

0:56:490:56:53

a nice open-plan living space,

0:56:530:56:54

and the fact it's got four bedrooms and a loft room

0:56:540:56:57

will really appeal to a family.

0:56:570:56:58

So, the agents like the house, but will it make a profit?

0:56:580:57:03

If the property was to go for sale on the open market,

0:57:030:57:06

I believe it will achieve somewhere in the region of £100,000.

0:57:060:57:09

For a house like this, this quality of finish,

0:57:090:57:11

this number of bedrooms,

0:57:110:57:13

this property's worth in the region of £120,000 to £125,000.

0:57:130:57:17

I think 125,000 is more realistic,

0:57:170:57:21

because that's what we thought we would get for it.

0:57:210:57:26

But that feels great, because this was our first project,

0:57:260:57:30

and to get that kind of figure, it's not bad at all.

0:57:300:57:34

And we will definitely do another one,

0:57:340:57:37

as soon as this one is sold.

0:57:370:57:40

We'll definitely go for another one. Definitely.

0:57:400:57:43

A top value of 125,000

0:57:430:57:45

would give a healthy pre-tax profit of 30,000,

0:57:450:57:49

which means the whole family would be keen to get started

0:57:490:57:52

on another property as soon as possible.

0:57:520:57:54

I've done this project mainly for the kids,

0:57:540:57:57

so they could get on the housing ladder.

0:57:570:58:00

They've done a lot in this house as well.

0:58:000:58:02

They helped us out a lot.

0:58:020:58:04

And I think they've learned a lot as well from this project,

0:58:040:58:07

and I think they want to do their own thing now.

0:58:070:58:10

They want to buy houses as well and do them up.

0:58:100:58:13

Property development can be a steep learning curve,

0:58:160:58:19

and there's a lot at stake.

0:58:190:58:20

Yeah, there can be highs, but there can be lows.

0:58:200:58:24

We'll have both highs and the lows

0:58:240:58:27

for you next time here on Homes Under The Hammer.

0:58:270:58:29

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:58:290:58:31

Martin, Lucy and Dion travel the country looking at properties bought at auction by investors hoping to make some money. Lucy is in Catford in south easy London to follow progress on a one-bedroom flat its new owners hope to turn into a two-bed. Dion is in Wigton in Cumbria looking at a house with a flying freehold, and Martin is in a large end-of-terrace house in Blackpool close to the tower and illuminations.