Episode 5 Best of Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 5

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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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to the best of Homes Under The Hammer.

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And what a fantastic collection we have for you.

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Martin and I can hardly believe

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that we've been to well over 1,000 properties.

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But we still get excited about each and every one.

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But now is the chance for us to sit down and watch again some of our favourites.

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It's not a Grade 2 star Listed property comes up for auction,

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but this one in Wiltshire was, well, a star.

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And in South London, I also found a star -

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a flat in a building which fancied itself as Hampton Court Palace.

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These are two of our favourite properties from the early days.

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-Find out what happened to them when they went under the hammer.

-Sold!

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I'm in Steeple Ashton, a picture-postcard village in Wiltshire,

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with village greens, beautifully preserved cottages and a local pub.

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Surely it doesn't get any better than this.

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But let's just fantasise for a moment.

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What would your ideal property in this kind of village be like?

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Something with bags of character, maybe in its own grounds, maybe something that's had

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loads of history, something that had potential that you could really turn

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into something that would be almost unbelievably fantastic.

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Oh, yes. This is it, without a doubt.

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The Sanctuary is reputed to be the oldest building in the village,

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possibly dating back as far as the 14th century.

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It's a timber-framed, brick-infilled building with cruck trusses.

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Cruck houses were constructed with curved timbers to form

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an A-frame which supports the roof independently of the walls.

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Because of its unique construction, The Sanctuary was Grade 2 star listed in the 1980s.

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This means it's a particularly important building of exceptional interest or outstanding importance.

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Only 4% of listed properties in the UK are Grade 2 star, so this is a rare find.

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The house has five bedrooms and comes with six acres of land,

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including a pond and a double garage.

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This dream place in the country has a guide price of just 400,000.

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This place is nothing short of an architectural treasure, and the great thing is,

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it's pretty much in original condition. It hasn't been messed around with.

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Parts of it date back to the 14th century, and you really get a

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flavour of a whole waft of history that's floated through this place.

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It is a bit of a hotchpotch. You've got rooms leading off rooms.

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Through there, big reception room. Beams.

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More beams than you can shake a stick at. And look at these.

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Look at this fireplace. If this was the only architecturally fantastic

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feature, it would be good enough, but the house is full of them.

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You've got a kitchen off there, you've got a reception room there, and that's just the downstairs.

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Wait until you see upstairs!

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Of course, careful attention should be paid to the low ceiling

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height throughout the entire house, as all the rooms have these charming but potentially painful low beams.

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Up here, you've got five bedrooms and yet more fantastic features.

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Oak floorboards throughout,

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and what do you think about this?

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That's the loo. What do you think is through here?

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It's the bathroom. In fact, it's the only bathroom in the whole house, and you have

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to get through it through that major bit of wood there, and you couldn't get rid of that, that's for sure.

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But you get through, more labyrinths, more corridors, and you find what was once a study.

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This house is extraordinary.

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The other bedrooms are amazing, though they've not been lived in

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or looked after for the last six to 12 months.

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The last person to stay in this room was clearly in a hurry to leave.

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Maybe another night on this bed was just too much for him.

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It is so easy to get bowled over by the romance in this place, but you know what?

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Let's put our sensible hat on for a moment.

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You come round the back here, you start to get an inkling of the kind of state this place is in.

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And that state is very, very bad.

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Over the years, I don't think it's had much looking after.

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So, the roof is in a state, this side of the building almost looks like it's falling off.

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This could potentially be a massive, massive money pit.

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Still, it's gorgeous, isn't it?

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Apart from the structural work, there are many other considerations here.

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If you wanted to take this house back to how it originally looked,

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you might need to replace the tiles with a thatched roof.

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There's also the rewiring, the plumbing and so on.

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This is a gem that is surely going to be the star of the auction room,

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especially with its low guide price of £400,000.

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In fact, the property excited so much interest

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that on its first viewing 100 people turned up to have a look around.

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So, what kind of a value do you put on a place like this?

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Well, in lots of ways, it's priceless.

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Whoever buys it has definitely got to go in with their eyes open, because it is one heck of a project.

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But how often do you get the chance to buy a piece of history?

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-Let's go to the auction.

-Time for The Sanctuary, there we are.

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No disrespect to the others, we've kept the best till last.

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At 500. 500 at the back.

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At £500,000, then, for the first time at 5...

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505.

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10 to you, sir, just in time. 510?

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510. 515. At £515,000, the bid is there and it's in the market.

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OK, 520. 525.

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530. 535.

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540. 540?

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Yes or no? We can't dwell otherwise.

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At £535,000 the bid is over there.

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I'll take 540 from anybody else.

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Otherwise, 535 then for the first time... Gentleman in the middle.

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540. 545. 550, sir, if you like.

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At 545. Don't worry, you'll give up in a moment if you like.

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545. 550 if you like. 545,000, back where we started for the first time, and the bid is over there.

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£545,000 for the second time.

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And £545,000...

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Your last chance, sir. 50? No. 545, your bid, sir.

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Third and last time. Anybody else want to go? Otherwise, 545.

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Your number, sir, is 40.

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At £545,000, the successful bidder is semi-retired businessman John.

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He made his money from the entertainment business, buying up clubs, bingo halls and cinemas.

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He's recently sold off a lot of his clubs but still owns a bingo hall and cinema in Devizes.

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John knows all about old properties.

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He renovated his current home in Southampton, which was subsequently granted Grade 2 listed status.

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So, he understands exactly what's involved with this one.

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There's a lot of work to be done. We've got to get the right people in. It's going to take time.

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Probably 12 months, I don't know, even longer.

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But we've got to do it right and we've got to get it done

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so that it'll be something to stand out amongst everything else.

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That's my aim.

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Of course, we've got to keep it under control of the finance, but...

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It's going to cost me, I should think, as much to do it up as what I've paid for it.

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-Really?

-Mmm.

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So, what we paid for it, as you well know, we'll have to spend again to get this into some order.

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-You're budgeting over half a million quid to do it up?

-Yeah, I am.

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So, there'll be no messing around for John.

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His original plan was to renovate and sell it on, but having spent

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time here, John's beginning to fall in love with the place.

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So, what's his plan now?

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Well, we employ an architect to start with.

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We've got to get a good architect in the area that's used to these old buildings, that can identify it

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and pick out the bad pieces and have discussions with the planners

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and the conservation people and get the permissions required.

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Then after that, we get some tenders for building work, and then we do it in stages.

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As far as I'm concerned, we move as quickly as we can,

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but I'm told it's going to take three or four months for permission,

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at least, so we're anticipating probably 12 months minimum

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before any work really gets under way.

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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.

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Yeah. Well, please come back and see what I've done when I've done it.

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-Great. Congratulations.

-Thank you.

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After years of neglect, John plans to return this wonderful building to its former glory.

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We'll find out how he gets on later in the show.

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I'm in Sydenham, just 20 minutes away from Central London.

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In recent years, the huge properties around here

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have enticed the trendies from the likes of Clapham. They know a bargain when they see one.

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I love to look at architecture and old buildings,

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and this is no exception.

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If you just stop and look up,

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you can see some wonderful old period features.

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I mean, almost Gothic in style.

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That is truly beautiful.

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It would have once been a grand Victorian house, but not any more,

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because I'm here to see flat 57C.

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It's got a guide price of £145,000. I can't wait to get inside.

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In its day this would have been home to a very wealthy family,

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and looking at it, it seems the new owners will need a fair bit of cash themselves. It's filthy!

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Although this property stands out from the crowd, it's far from flawless.

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These sash windows here are going to need some serious attention.

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And this wall over here is riddled with damp.

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Now the buyer is going to have to factor in these extra costs when bidding at auction.

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But it's not just the damp.

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The doors will need to be replaced, as will the floors,

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and a new kitchen needs to be fitted.

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Changing a tap in this place is a drop in the ocean,

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but the rooms are huge, and many still have original features.

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Yes. Now this room is everything I love.

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You can imagine what it's going to look like when you've renovated it.

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High ceilings.

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Old cornicing. A wonderful, imposing bay window here,

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complete with its panelling. And look out here.

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Across this pretty garden, you've got Crystal Palace Park.

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Sadly, you can't enjoy the view from the bathroom.

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That might have helped to distract from the decor.

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Add a new bathroom to that list of things to do.

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Let's hope the prospective buyer can see past all the work and recognise this flat's true potential.

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You only have to look outside the front door for a taste of how it could look.

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Believe it or not, this is the communal hallway.

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You feel like you're standing in Hampton Court Palace.

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It's detail like this that makes this property so special.

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This flat sells itself,

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with its grand proportions and period features.

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I love the fact that it's so close to the wide open space of Crystal Palace Park.

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Now, only when I'm buying property, do I judge a book by its cover.

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This one's a real looker. Let's go to auction.

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Lot 47 is...

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..57C Crystal Palace Park Road, Sydenham.

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It's a raised ground-floor flat.

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Would you like to have a go at this one? Nice flat.

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£150,000.

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151. Take it here 151. 152.

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152, 153,

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154, 155,

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156, 157...

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Got 156. 157. Going to lose it. 156.

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157 at the back. 158, 159.

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160,

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161,

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162.

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He's more decisive than you. 163.

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Yes, no? 163. 162 in the aisle. 163 anywhere?

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162 in the aisle.

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First time. 163... 163, well done.

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164? 165, sir?

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Round off 165.

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164. First time, second time,

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third and last time... You all done?

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Sold 164.

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And the new owner is Yolanta, originally from Poland.

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She's made London her home for the past 15 years.

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As an artist, Yolanta is more than at home with a paintbrush in her hand,

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but for now, it's tape measure, pen and camera,

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as she works out her future.

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Yolanta, congratulations.

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You're a very lucky lady. A lot of people wanted to buy this flat,

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-me included.

-Oh, my God.

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I am very happy person that I got it.

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What did you think when you first saw that stained-glass window?

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I couldn't believe it, really.

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It's just a pity that I don't have to go through it in order to get to the flat,

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because the entrance to my flat is just opposite the main entrance.

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But it is very special.

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Yolanta's planning on doing everything she can to restore her flat to its former glory,

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with touches of the modern in the form of her own paintings.

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Nature inspires me, so it's very important for me

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that it's next to the park.

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I'm so pleased that you've got this property.

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-I'm so pleased it's not a developer, and that you're going to live here. And love it.

-And enjoy it.

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-You are, aren't you?

-Absolutely.

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Yolanta has budgeted 20,000 for the renovation.

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This will need to buy her new floors and doors, a bathroom and kitchen, and sort out the minor damp problem.

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Yolanta has some great plans, and with her artistic skills,

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I think this flat is going to be very different to the usual, plain developer's style.

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I can visualise nice chandeliers in every room. It'll be really nice.

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Did you get an immediate feeling when you walked in the door?

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Yes, absolutely, yes.

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I had very strong feeling that this was my kind of place.

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I can't wait to see how artist Yolanta has stamped her mark on this amazing flat.

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Some of our buyers will finish their projects in weeks,

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most take months, and others won't invite us back for years.

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But however long it takes, we're always fascinated by what's been going on.

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So what's happened with today's properties?

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Usually, three months is enough time to leave before seeing a change at most properties. But not all.

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Some, like this stunning Grade 2 star listed property in Wiltshire, are a bit special.

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So, it's been seven months since we met businessman John,

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who bought The Sanctuary for £545,000.

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Originally, John planned to renovate it and sell it on, but things have changed.

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John has fallen in love with the house and the village.

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The Sanctuary is a unique property in a unique village.

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Steeple Ashton is a very sociable village.

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The people are very friendly, they're very warm,

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and although I haven't moved into the village itself, into my house, I've been to several parties.

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Over the months, John has been very much welcomed by the local villagers, who are all delighted

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to see this building being restored.

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But what work has actually taken place?

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Wrapped up like an enormous present, we can't see much from out here.

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It's only once inside that you start to see the enormity of the project.

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John isn't cutting any corners with the renovation.

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He wanted the work done properly, with the right experts doing it.

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One of those was architect Adam. He's tasked with the enormous job of restoring the house

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to exactly as it was, and that meant uncovering some of its history.

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OK, this part of the building is probably the most interesting.

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It's late 15th century, it's of jettied construction.

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It was a very high status when it was originally constructed,

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compared to the rest of the building,

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because it was the first thing you would see as you approached the house.

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Over the centuries, as the cruck structure deteriorated,

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more and more timbers were added to strengthen it.

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What Adam and his team are now doing is removing all the extra timber

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and strengthening the original frame,

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because due to all the repairs, the building became less stable.

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The difficult part of renovating a building this old is working out

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what's original and what's been added over the years, and then figuring out how to put it right.

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Much of the stone unfortunately was decayed, but we've copied it using local stone carved by local masons.

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As every stage of the restoration requires planning permission,

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it would be at least 12 months before work is completed.

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But, as you can see, every little detail

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has been meticulously repaired or rebuilt exactly as it was.

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We've gone back for a long way and we've got all the history on the property.

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A complete history for several hundreds of years.

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The last people to own the house kept it in the family for 75 years.

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As restoration work continues, I'm sure that this beautiful house will give up a few more of its secrets.

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One thing it will certainly hold on to is its charm. It's such a fascinating building

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and an important insight into history.

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I'm delighted to see it getting the care it deserves.

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John originally paid £545,000 for The Sanctuary at auction

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and will spend close to that again renovating it.

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We've had a valuation, a private valuation from a national company.

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They've valued the property - when it's fully complete, it'll be valued at 1.5 million.

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But he has no plans to sell it at the moment.

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He's fallen in love with The Sanctuary and the village it's in.

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He takes enormous pride and pleasure in owning this magnificent building.

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Because the property has been deteriorating over many years,

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and no-one has ever attempted to take this on,

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and so it's an ordeal for me to take something of this nature on.

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And I think it really is once-in-a-lifetime.

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We're back to see a flat in this work of art in South London with its wonderful Gothic features,

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and that unforgettable entrance hall.

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Yolanta paid 164,000 for the property.

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She's an artist, so she had the vision to see the masterpiece

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beneath the muck.

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I can visualise nice chandeliers in every room.

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It will be really nice.

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And just three months on, Yolanta's vision has become a reality.

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She's transformed this blank canvas into a work of art.

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Nowadays, the flat is just dripping with sophistication.

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The damp patch in the bedroom was a result of leaking pipes

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under the wall, rather than an inherent damp problem.

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Nothing that a bit of ventilation and a lick of paint couldn't sort.

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Yolanta has certainly put her mark on this place.

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And she's uncovered a few treasures.

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She discovered this beautiful Victorian print

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whilst stripping the walls.

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I took some wallpaper, all the wallpaper off and this emerged.

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I was really pleased to see it.

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And I decided to preserve the best pieces.

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And just paint with the background colour into it.

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This is a little, you know, quotation from the past, you know?

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Yolanta has enhanced all the original features

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as well as laying oak flooring throughout and raising the ceilings

0:24:380:24:41

in the hall and bathroom.

0:24:410:24:43

She's also fitted a new kitchen and bathroom suite.

0:24:430:24:47

But it's not just inside that Yolanta has made changes.

0:24:470:24:51

She had permission to move her front door into the main entrance.

0:24:510:24:54

Which means she gets the full benefit

0:24:540:24:57

of the gorgeous stained glass windows.

0:24:570:24:59

But has she been wearing rose-tinted glasses when it comes to the budget?

0:25:070:25:12

Keeping to the budget was quite difficult for me.

0:25:120:25:15

And in the end I went over my budget by about 3,000.

0:25:150:25:19

But I think the flat is worth it.

0:25:190:25:23

Considering the location and the quality of the building,

0:25:230:25:26

it's a really amazing building.

0:25:260:25:28

So I'm sure, you know, if I sell it one day, I will get it back,

0:25:280:25:32

but for a while I will just enjoy it.

0:25:320:25:35

Let's hope the estate agents enjoy their first viewing,

0:25:360:25:40

and give Yolanta another reason to be happy with her investment.

0:25:400:25:45

I think if I was selling it, I would put it on the market

0:25:540:25:57

get a realistic price of 205.

0:25:570:25:59

Which means I may put it on higher than that to achieve it.

0:25:590:26:02

But 205 would be a realistic price.

0:26:020:26:04

Sales in the region of £225,000.

0:26:040:26:08

So, even taking into account Yolanta's overspend,

0:26:080:26:12

she could clear 30,000 profit. But she's not motivated by the money.

0:26:120:26:17

I would like to stay here for some time, yeah.

0:26:190:26:22

Maybe a long time.

0:26:220:26:23

I used to paint much more abstract,

0:26:270:26:29

but it's becoming more and more nature based.

0:26:290:26:33

And I think it's the influence

0:26:330:26:35

of changing the place and being in touch with this green every day.

0:26:350:26:40

So overwhelming.

0:26:400:26:43

So, I'm quite happy the way it's going now.

0:26:430:26:48

And so she should be. In the space of just three months,

0:26:480:26:52

Yolanta has created a true work of art.

0:26:520:26:54

And finally the building is as beautiful inside as it is out.

0:26:540:26:59

Well, that's two more favourites added to our great list.

0:27:080:27:11

So, join us next time for another pair of pearls

0:27:110:27:14

-from the auction room.

-We'll see you then.

-Bye-bye.

-Bye.

0:27:140:27:17

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:27:230:27:26

E-mail [email protected]

0:27:260:27:29

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.


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