Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander look at more auction stories from previous years. Featuring a grade two star listed property from Wiltshire and a south London flat.
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Hello and welcome to the best of Homes Under The Hammer.
And what a fantastic collection we have for you.
Martin and I can hardly believe
that we've been to well over 1,000 properties.
But we still get excited about each and every one.
But now is the chance for us to sit down and watch again some of our favourites.
It's not a Grade 2 star Listed property comes up for auction,
but this one in Wiltshire was, well, a star.
And in South London, I also found a star -
a flat in a building which fancied itself as Hampton Court Palace.
These are two of our favourite properties from the early days.
-Find out what happened to them when they went under the hammer.
I'm in Steeple Ashton, a picture-postcard village in Wiltshire,
with village greens, beautifully preserved cottages and a local pub.
Surely it doesn't get any better than this.
But let's just fantasise for a moment.
What would your ideal property in this kind of village be like?
Something with bags of character, maybe in its own grounds, maybe something that's had
loads of history, something that had potential that you could really turn
into something that would be almost unbelievably fantastic.
Oh, yes. This is it, without a doubt.
The Sanctuary is reputed to be the oldest building in the village,
possibly dating back as far as the 14th century.
It's a timber-framed, brick-infilled building with cruck trusses.
Cruck houses were constructed with curved timbers to form
an A-frame which supports the roof independently of the walls.
Because of its unique construction, The Sanctuary was Grade 2 star listed in the 1980s.
This means it's a particularly important building of exceptional interest or outstanding importance.
Only 4% of listed properties in the UK are Grade 2 star, so this is a rare find.
The house has five bedrooms and comes with six acres of land,
including a pond and a double garage.
This dream place in the country has a guide price of just 400,000.
This place is nothing short of an architectural treasure, and the great thing is,
it's pretty much in original condition. It hasn't been messed around with.
Parts of it date back to the 14th century, and you really get a
flavour of a whole waft of history that's floated through this place.
It is a bit of a hotchpotch. You've got rooms leading off rooms.
Through there, big reception room. Beams.
More beams than you can shake a stick at. And look at these.
Look at this fireplace. If this was the only architecturally fantastic
feature, it would be good enough, but the house is full of them.
You've got a kitchen off there, you've got a reception room there, and that's just the downstairs.
Wait until you see upstairs!
Of course, careful attention should be paid to the low ceiling
height throughout the entire house, as all the rooms have these charming but potentially painful low beams.
Up here, you've got five bedrooms and yet more fantastic features.
Oak floorboards throughout,
and what do you think about this?
That's the loo. What do you think is through here?
It's the bathroom. In fact, it's the only bathroom in the whole house, and you have
to get through it through that major bit of wood there, and you couldn't get rid of that, that's for sure.
But you get through, more labyrinths, more corridors, and you find what was once a study.
This house is extraordinary.
The other bedrooms are amazing, though they've not been lived in
or looked after for the last six to 12 months.
The last person to stay in this room was clearly in a hurry to leave.
Maybe another night on this bed was just too much for him.
It is so easy to get bowled over by the romance in this place, but you know what?
Let's put our sensible hat on for a moment.
You come round the back here, you start to get an inkling of the kind of state this place is in.
And that state is very, very bad.
Over the years, I don't think it's had much looking after.
So, the roof is in a state, this side of the building almost looks like it's falling off.
This could potentially be a massive, massive money pit.
Still, it's gorgeous, isn't it?
Apart from the structural work, there are many other considerations here.
If you wanted to take this house back to how it originally looked,
you might need to replace the tiles with a thatched roof.
There's also the rewiring, the plumbing and so on.
This is a gem that is surely going to be the star of the auction room,
especially with its low guide price of £400,000.
In fact, the property excited so much interest
that on its first viewing 100 people turned up to have a look around.
So, what kind of a value do you put on a place like this?
Well, in lots of ways, it's priceless.
Whoever buys it has definitely got to go in with their eyes open, because it is one heck of a project.
But how often do you get the chance to buy a piece of history?
-Let's go to the auction.
-Time for The Sanctuary, there we are.
No disrespect to the others, we've kept the best till last.
At 500. 500 at the back.
At £500,000, then, for the first time at 5...
10 to you, sir, just in time. 510?
510. 515. At £515,000, the bid is there and it's in the market.
OK, 520. 525.
Yes or no? We can't dwell otherwise.
At £535,000 the bid is over there.
I'll take 540 from anybody else.
Otherwise, 535 then for the first time... Gentleman in the middle.
540. 545. 550, sir, if you like.
At 545. Don't worry, you'll give up in a moment if you like.
545. 550 if you like. 545,000, back where we started for the first time, and the bid is over there.
£545,000 for the second time.
Your last chance, sir. 50? No. 545, your bid, sir.
Third and last time. Anybody else want to go? Otherwise, 545.
Your number, sir, is 40.
At £545,000, the successful bidder is semi-retired businessman John.
He made his money from the entertainment business, buying up clubs, bingo halls and cinemas.
He's recently sold off a lot of his clubs but still owns a bingo hall and cinema in Devizes.
John knows all about old properties.
He renovated his current home in Southampton, which was subsequently granted Grade 2 listed status.
So, he understands exactly what's involved with this one.
There's a lot of work to be done. We've got to get the right people in. It's going to take time.
Probably 12 months, I don't know, even longer.
But we've got to do it right and we've got to get it done
so that it'll be something to stand out amongst everything else.
That's my aim.
Of course, we've got to keep it under control of the finance, but...
It's going to cost me, I should think, as much to do it up as what I've paid for it.
So, what we paid for it, as you well know, we'll have to spend again to get this into some order.
-You're budgeting over half a million quid to do it up?
-Yeah, I am.
So, there'll be no messing around for John.
His original plan was to renovate and sell it on, but having spent
time here, John's beginning to fall in love with the place.
So, what's his plan now?
Well, we employ an architect to start with.
We've got to get a good architect in the area that's used to these old buildings, that can identify it
and pick out the bad pieces and have discussions with the planners
and the conservation people and get the permissions required.
Then after that, we get some tenders for building work, and then we do it in stages.
As far as I'm concerned, we move as quickly as we can,
but I'm told it's going to take three or four months for permission,
at least, so we're anticipating probably 12 months minimum
before any work really gets under way.
We can't wait to come back and see what you do with this place, and I think it's lucky to have found you.
Yeah. Well, please come back and see what I've done when I've done it.
After years of neglect, John plans to return this wonderful building to its former glory.
We'll find out how he gets on later in the show.
I'm in Sydenham, just 20 minutes away from Central London.
In recent years, the huge properties around here
have enticed the trendies from the likes of Clapham. They know a bargain when they see one.
I love to look at architecture and old buildings,
and this is no exception.
If you just stop and look up,
you can see some wonderful old period features.
I mean, almost Gothic in style.
That is truly beautiful.
It would have once been a grand Victorian house, but not any more,
because I'm here to see flat 57C.
It's got a guide price of £145,000. I can't wait to get inside.
In its day this would have been home to a very wealthy family,
and looking at it, it seems the new owners will need a fair bit of cash themselves. It's filthy!
Although this property stands out from the crowd, it's far from flawless.
These sash windows here are going to need some serious attention.
And this wall over here is riddled with damp.
Now the buyer is going to have to factor in these extra costs when bidding at auction.
But it's not just the damp.
The doors will need to be replaced, as will the floors,
and a new kitchen needs to be fitted.
Changing a tap in this place is a drop in the ocean,
but the rooms are huge, and many still have original features.
Yes. Now this room is everything I love.
You can imagine what it's going to look like when you've renovated it.
Old cornicing. A wonderful, imposing bay window here,
complete with its panelling. And look out here.
Across this pretty garden, you've got Crystal Palace Park.
Sadly, you can't enjoy the view from the bathroom.
That might have helped to distract from the decor.
Add a new bathroom to that list of things to do.
Let's hope the prospective buyer can see past all the work and recognise this flat's true potential.
You only have to look outside the front door for a taste of how it could look.
Believe it or not, this is the communal hallway.
You feel like you're standing in Hampton Court Palace.
It's detail like this that makes this property so special.
This flat sells itself,
with its grand proportions and period features.
I love the fact that it's so close to the wide open space of Crystal Palace Park.
Now, only when I'm buying property, do I judge a book by its cover.
This one's a real looker. Let's go to auction.
Lot 47 is...
..57C Crystal Palace Park Road, Sydenham.
It's a raised ground-floor flat.
Would you like to have a go at this one? Nice flat.
151. Take it here 151. 152.
Got 156. 157. Going to lose it. 156.
157 at the back. 158, 159.
He's more decisive than you. 163.
Yes, no? 163. 162 in the aisle. 163 anywhere?
162 in the aisle.
First time. 163... 163, well done.
164? 165, sir?
Round off 165.
164. First time, second time,
third and last time... You all done?
And the new owner is Yolanta, originally from Poland.
She's made London her home for the past 15 years.
As an artist, Yolanta is more than at home with a paintbrush in her hand,
but for now, it's tape measure, pen and camera,
as she works out her future.
You're a very lucky lady. A lot of people wanted to buy this flat,
-Oh, my God.
I am very happy person that I got it.
What did you think when you first saw that stained-glass window?
I couldn't believe it, really.
It's just a pity that I don't have to go through it in order to get to the flat,
because the entrance to my flat is just opposite the main entrance.
But it is very special.
Yolanta's planning on doing everything she can to restore her flat to its former glory,
with touches of the modern in the form of her own paintings.
Nature inspires me, so it's very important for me
that it's next to the park.
I'm so pleased that you've got this property.
-I'm so pleased it's not a developer, and that you're going to live here. And love it.
-And enjoy it.
-You are, aren't you?
Yolanta has budgeted 20,000 for the renovation.
This will need to buy her new floors and doors, a bathroom and kitchen, and sort out the minor damp problem.
Yolanta has some great plans, and with her artistic skills,
I think this flat is going to be very different to the usual, plain developer's style.
I can visualise nice chandeliers in every room. It'll be really nice.
Did you get an immediate feeling when you walked in the door?
Yes, absolutely, yes.
I had very strong feeling that this was my kind of place.
I can't wait to see how artist Yolanta has stamped her mark on this amazing flat.
Some of our buyers will finish their projects in weeks,
most take months, and others won't invite us back for years.
But however long it takes, we're always fascinated by what's been going on.
So what's happened with today's properties?
Usually, three months is enough time to leave before seeing a change at most properties. But not all.
Some, like this stunning Grade 2 star listed property in Wiltshire, are a bit special.
So, it's been seven months since we met businessman John,
who bought The Sanctuary for £545,000.
Originally, John planned to renovate it and sell it on, but things have changed.
John has fallen in love with the house and the village.
The Sanctuary is a unique property in a unique village.
Steeple Ashton is a very sociable village.
The people are very friendly, they're very warm,
and although I haven't moved into the village itself, into my house, I've been to several parties.
Over the months, John has been very much welcomed by the local villagers, who are all delighted
to see this building being restored.
But what work has actually taken place?
Wrapped up like an enormous present, we can't see much from out here.
It's only once inside that you start to see the enormity of the project.
John isn't cutting any corners with the renovation.
He wanted the work done properly, with the right experts doing it.
One of those was architect Adam. He's tasked with the enormous job of restoring the house
to exactly as it was, and that meant uncovering some of its history.
OK, this part of the building is probably the most interesting.
It's late 15th century, it's of jettied construction.
It was a very high status when it was originally constructed,
compared to the rest of the building,
because it was the first thing you would see as you approached the house.
Over the centuries, as the cruck structure deteriorated,
more and more timbers were added to strengthen it.
What Adam and his team are now doing is removing all the extra timber
and strengthening the original frame,
because due to all the repairs, the building became less stable.
The difficult part of renovating a building this old is working out
what's original and what's been added over the years, and then figuring out how to put it right.
Much of the stone unfortunately was decayed, but we've copied it using local stone carved by local masons.
As every stage of the restoration requires planning permission,
it would be at least 12 months before work is completed.
But, as you can see, every little detail
has been meticulously repaired or rebuilt exactly as it was.
We've gone back for a long way and we've got all the history on the property.
A complete history for several hundreds of years.
The last people to own the house kept it in the family for 75 years.
As restoration work continues, I'm sure that this beautiful house will give up a few more of its secrets.
One thing it will certainly hold on to is its charm. It's such a fascinating building
and an important insight into history.
I'm delighted to see it getting the care it deserves.
John originally paid £545,000 for The Sanctuary at auction
and will spend close to that again renovating it.
We've had a valuation, a private valuation from a national company.
They've valued the property - when it's fully complete, it'll be valued at 1.5 million.
But he has no plans to sell it at the moment.
He's fallen in love with The Sanctuary and the village it's in.
He takes enormous pride and pleasure in owning this magnificent building.
Because the property has been deteriorating over many years,
and no-one has ever attempted to take this on,
and so it's an ordeal for me to take something of this nature on.
And I think it really is once-in-a-lifetime.
We're back to see a flat in this work of art in South London with its wonderful Gothic features,
and that unforgettable entrance hall.
Yolanta paid 164,000 for the property.
She's an artist, so she had the vision to see the masterpiece
beneath the muck.
I can visualise nice chandeliers in every room.
It will be really nice.
And just three months on, Yolanta's vision has become a reality.
She's transformed this blank canvas into a work of art.
Nowadays, the flat is just dripping with sophistication.
The damp patch in the bedroom was a result of leaking pipes
under the wall, rather than an inherent damp problem.
Nothing that a bit of ventilation and a lick of paint couldn't sort.
Yolanta has certainly put her mark on this place.
And she's uncovered a few treasures.
She discovered this beautiful Victorian print
whilst stripping the walls.
I took some wallpaper, all the wallpaper off and this emerged.
I was really pleased to see it.
And I decided to preserve the best pieces.
And just paint with the background colour into it.
This is a little, you know, quotation from the past, you know?
Yolanta has enhanced all the original features
as well as laying oak flooring throughout and raising the ceilings
in the hall and bathroom.
She's also fitted a new kitchen and bathroom suite.
But it's not just inside that Yolanta has made changes.
She had permission to move her front door into the main entrance.
Which means she gets the full benefit
of the gorgeous stained glass windows.
But has she been wearing rose-tinted glasses when it comes to the budget?
Keeping to the budget was quite difficult for me.
And in the end I went over my budget by about 3,000.
But I think the flat is worth it.
Considering the location and the quality of the building,
it's a really amazing building.
So I'm sure, you know, if I sell it one day, I will get it back,
but for a while I will just enjoy it.
Let's hope the estate agents enjoy their first viewing,
and give Yolanta another reason to be happy with her investment.
I think if I was selling it, I would put it on the market
get a realistic price of 205.
Which means I may put it on higher than that to achieve it.
But 205 would be a realistic price.
Sales in the region of £225,000.
So, even taking into account Yolanta's overspend,
she could clear 30,000 profit. But she's not motivated by the money.
I would like to stay here for some time, yeah.
Maybe a long time.
I used to paint much more abstract,
but it's becoming more and more nature based.
And I think it's the influence
of changing the place and being in touch with this green every day.
So, I'm quite happy the way it's going now.
And so she should be. In the space of just three months,
Yolanta has created a true work of art.
And finally the building is as beautiful inside as it is out.
Well, that's two more favourites added to our great list.
So, join us next time for another pair of pearls
-from the auction room.
-We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Martin and Lucy take another look at a couple of the most interesting auction stories from the previous years.
Featuring a grade two star listed property from Wiltshire and a south London flat situated in Hampton Court Palace. See what happens to them when they went under the hammer.