Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a beautiful property in Cornwall, a large one-bedroom flat in Kensal Green, and an odd-shaped house in Huddersfield.
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Hello! During these turbulent times
you might be tempted to shy away from the property market.
But many people do still choose to take a risk in the auction rooms
where there ARE bargains to be had, if you're careful.
So, join us for the Homes Under The Hammer rollercoaster of property highs and lows.
The atmosphere in the auction room can be electric.
There can be a real buzz and sometimes it can be infectious.
Yes, you can grab yourself a bargain by raising an arm, nodding your head or even winking at the auctioneer.
So, let's see what today's bidders bought.
In Cornwall there's a beautiful property
with a not so beautiful interior feature.
We love that, but what is that? It's a soil pipe down by the side of it.
In Kensal Green, North West London,
there's a large one bedroom flat with potential to add real value.
Now, there's your opportunity.
And, near Huddersfield, a problem to stretch even the best developers' minds.
How on Earth can you make a house shaped like this work?
All these properties have gone to auction
and we'll be finding out who bought them,
-and what they paid when they went under the hammer.
Well, Cornwall isn't just famous for its scenery,
it's well known for its old tin mines.
In fact, you can see one of the old tin mine engine houses behind me.
I'm on the road between St Ives and Penzance
in a little place called Nancledra,
but I am not digging for tin,
I'm looking for property development opportunities.
And golden ones at that.
Judging by that entrance I may have found something a little bit special.
Well, it's a pretty impressive entrance,
but then you kind of expect that because this property
had a guide price of £600,000.
It sounds like a lot, until you read the auction catalogue and see what it's actually got.
We are talking about porch ways, rooms, conservatories, living rooms, five bedrooms.
It's in two acres of land.
But, more importantly, it is in the most incredible location.
Round the front there are views across stunning Cornish countryside
and, in the distance, the sea.
And that's not the only commanding sight
as the house is made of local stone, it looks impressive, too.
Oh, that's a bit of a disappointment.
For such a big house you'd expect a slightly grander entrance hall than this. It's very boxed in.
Lots of rooms and corridors leading off it.
Not very good at all. However, it gets slightly better in here.
That's more like it, a huge great inglenook fireplace.
I love that, but what is that? It's a soil pipe down by the side of it.
What on Earth is going on there?
But, anyway, continuing through what I think is the older part of the house
into another room which has sort of been tacked on the back.
Clearly, this is a project that is sort of halfway through being completed
and we've got all sorts of issues.
The floors are at different levels and stud partition walls just here there, and everywhere.
It's not a good start.
Let's see if it gets any better.
Oh, that's more like it! Wow!
Look at this room.
It seems that is the old part of the house
and this is an entire new extension which has been added on.
Look at the amount of wood work that has gone into this.
It does look a bit like it's sort of being made up
as people have been going along,
there are some very strange angles going on in the ceiling there, but what a fantastic space!
A huge great open plan, kitchen here. You've got bedrooms going back that way.
I imagine this is bedrooms with ensuite facilities
with a view, of course, out of that window there.
Absolutely fantastic! Let's take a look downstairs.
And, as if the open spaces above weren't big enough,
downstairs there are two more huge rooms.
If you take a look at the back of the building from outside
you can see the size and ambition of this half build.
But back upstairs at the old house
the open plan scheme sadly doesn't continue.
There's a maze of corridors,
partitioned walls and half finished rooms.
This place is a rabbit warren.
You need a satellite navigation system just to find your way around!
And you don't just need GPS inside.
If the house wasn't big enough, you've got these two acres of land.
You've got the fish pond and you've got this greenhouse.
I mean, this is the size of somebody's house alone!
But it's also an incredible amount of work.
With old outbuildings and a tired garden,
it's going to take more than a lawnmower to sort all this.
Meanwhile, back in the half build,
there are no electrics or plumbing, not to mention windows or doors.
And with structural issues, such as uneven floor heights,
this is not a job for the fainthearted,
but if size matters then this is the place for you.
The guide price was £600,000,
so what does the auctioneer who sold it think?
It is a fantastic house, like a Grand Design sort of place,
where someone is going to make a dream of a dwelling.
And a fantastic garden,
the best greenhouse I've seen outside of a National Trust place.
It's a wonderful spot to create just the best house ever.
But it's going to cost a pretty penny
because currently the five bedroom layout and the linking of the old and new doesn't really work.
Getting professional advice would certainly help.
It might cost a bit, but the returns are justified.
If someone pays between £600,000 or £700,000 for the house,
they can't really go wrong because even if the market slows down a little,
this sort of place is insulated from the market does elsewhere.
It's not immune, but it is integrated because you ain't going to find one of these every day.
If you did this high spec
you're looking at, well, how far over a million can you take it
by the quality and the thought of what you do.
In my auctioneering career,
this is quite simply the best house I've ever sold,
in just a to-die-for spot.
I wish I was on the right money
because I would have been bidding on it myself.
So, what do you think about this place, then?
Wow. An incredible project for somebody to take on,
but you would end up with the most extraordinary house at the end of it.
For a £600,000 guide price, who was tempted when it went to the auction?
Hugh House, what a dwelling that is.
It's £650,000 of anybody's money.
Who's going to say 600 to me?
At 600. Have you come to bid or...
600, thank you. 600 I do.
At 600. At 600. At 600. At 610.
At 610. At 620.
620. 620. 620.
625, OK. 625. 625.
628. At 628.
At 628. What a chance this is.
At 628, first time. Looking around.
630. I've got 630. I'm like a tennis umpire.
630 is on my left, right opposite you.
At 630 on my left. At 630 on my left.
Once. 630 twice.
At 630,000. Are you sure and done?
It is your last chance because he goes on my left hand side, that simple, at £630,000.
Sir, on my left.
Well, for such a large property that was a short bidding war.
Maybe the prospect of all that work put people off,
but it didn't discourage the winning bidders, Chris and Shirley.
They got it for just £30,000 over the guide price, which I reckon is a bit of a bargain.
They live locally and have long been interested in this place.
We only live in St Ives, probably about two or three miles away,
and we've been past it over a number of years,
and seen it and seen it being gradually worked upon,
but it never really materialised into anything.
So, when we heard it came up for auction we thought we'd come and have a look.
Stunning views. Lovely views.
-And it's going to be a great house.
-Yeah, it's going to be amazing.
What do you know of the history of the place?
It was originally part of a mine here.
It was probably used as a count house.
In those days it would have been the main office building.
So, what was it that you particularly loved, Shirley?
The space, the views, the openness.
Where we live now, I like where we live in St Ives,
but it's not got the open views that this has got.
I think it's stunning.
I think it will be the house, obviously, the size of it...
I always said I wanted to live in another big house, so...
-So, is that the plan, then? You bought it for you to live in?
-All being well, yeah.
If we manage to accomplish what I'm hoping we're going to accomplish, yeah, I think we'd live in it.
Yeah, I think it'd be a great home.
A bit large for two people, but it's still a great home.
Well, I was going to say is it just you two because you could never see each other!
-It would be like phoning each other from other parts of the house.
-We could have a wing each.
Well, despite the wings, Chris and Shirley know that this is no turkey
and they're excited at the prospect of completing the build and moving in,
but they do realise what a huge challenge they've taken on, even with all Chris' experience.
He has a varied business portfolio running his own companies
and has overseen the build of a large holiday village.
He knows the value of choosing the right team and who better to trust as your architect than your own son?
-So, Calum, you're Chris and Shirley's son.
-One of them, anyway. What did you think when you first saw it?
I fell in love with the place straight away.
Walking round and then...
It took a bit of work on my dad to actually get the place.
Did you have to do a bit of cajoling, did you?
Just a bit, yeah. Just a bit. He likes his...
He likes to keep the money close to him
and it was quite an expensive property to actually buy,
so it took a long, long time of him working figures and sitting down,
and going through things over and over again
until we actually came up with the idea of actually taking it on.
All that number crunching has set the budget at £200,000.
It sounds a lot, but with a conservatory to be
added on the front of the old house, Calum also has plans to alter the internal layout dramatically.
-So, you're thinking about taking this ceiling out?
To create a big vaulted sort of...
Well, we still need access across it, so we're still going to have part of the ceiling,
but we want to try and make a galleried space,
so we'll have a really nice staircase running up the back,
but you'll be able to see the staircase all the way up and from the top.
Just make it a lot more open to try and, well, modernise the old part of the building,
which is reasonably difficult because it is, obviously,
a couple of hundred years old and we've got something that's brand new at the end.
So, it's trying to get a compromise between the old and the new.
I don't think that's the only thing that's going to be compromised.
I reckon the budget might not measure up.
# Pressure pushing down on me
# Pushing down on you... #
Are you excited at the prospect of this?
Well, I am actually on site right the way through the process.
I have been on site for a couple of weeks now,
so it's going to be interesting
seeing it go right the way through the process on a daily basis.
But, yeah, very, very excited.
And you're a family member, so, you'll get to enjoy the place when it's done.
Hopefully, if they let me in! If they give me a key.
That will certainly be better than his current sleeping quarters on site.
The family have given themselves six months to complete the project.
That also includes extensive landscaping
that will one day give this fantastic house the sort of surroundings
it will no doubt deserve.
Well, we're partway through an incredible story here, aren't we?
I am delighted that Shirley and Chris managed to find their dream property.
There's lots of work to be done,
but with the help of Calum
I'm sure that they'll be fine, and I'm sure he's very keen to get out of his caravan.
You can find out how they get on with this amazing project later in the show.
Our next property's in Kensal Green,
North West London, famous for its atmospheric Victorian cemetery.
In more recent times, the area's become very popular as it's near fashionable Notting Hill
and has great transport links into the West End.
Slap bang between Kensal Green and Kensal Rise station
is Langler Road and the property that I'm here to see today.
Now, so far so good, and it gets better
when I tell you it's a one bedroom flat
with the ludicrously low guide price of 130,000 to 140,000.
Ludicrously low for London, when other flats in this road were going for double
that before the market dipped, but this needs some attention.
The original sashes have gone
and there's a worrying crack by the gutter.
There's even an all too familiar ditched sofa.
This property has been owned by a housing association for a number of years,
so I'm expecting it to be dated and just functional,
but actually I'm pleased to see that there are still some really nice features here.
Now, take a look at these spindles.
You can see years of white gloss just slapped on.
They do need stripping back and then they would look stunning.
Now, along here you've got a messy but good sized bedroom,
and through here a rather grand reception room to the front.
Now, I'm not sure if it's being used as some kind of business.
Look, you've got desks and wires down here, the legs are all piled up in the corner.
It's all a bit strange. Now, as a living room, though,
it's a great size, it's double glazed
with a lovely aspect over the street.
Not a bad start for this flat.
Back down the hall and the bedroom also looks like it has doubled up
as an office space at one time.
Along the landing, you'll find a small storage room come cupboard.
That'll be handy. Next to that there's a large bathroom and,
finally, at the rear, a kitchen that could do with sprucing up.
But right now I feel a developing opportunity coming on.
Now, the kitchen is grubby, but it's big!
That's great, but it's a one bedroom flat.
Unless you're a budding MasterChef how much time are you really going to be spending in here?
Now, the key to this space is the opportunity it presents to make this room a second bedroom.
Now, you've got a small little wasted room here
right next to this large bathroom
and these areas are crying out to be reorganised.
You'd have a smaller kitchen, but two bedrooms
and I think that would seriously increase the value and saleability.
Now, there's your opportunity.
By halving the bathroom you could create a galley kitchen on one side
and then use that boxroom as part of a new bathroom.
This way you could turn the flat into a great two bedroom property
and still keep that huge living room up front.
As a developer, it's crucial to be able to use your imagination
in situations like this, but also to do your background research.
If I have said it once, I have said at 100 times,
do your research, check your facts
and it's always a good idea to read the legal pack pre auction.
Now, the lease here is fine.
That was new last year at 125 years,
but the service charge is pricey at £80 per month.
Now, it's not like we're in a modern block of flats with gardens
or a lift to maintain, so I'd want to know where that money was going.
And there's a clause in the contract that states the buyer
must pay the vendor 2% of the purchase price to cover their costs.
So, read the legal pack and be prepared
as extra sums like this can make a good buy feel more like a burden.
Despite that, I think that with the guide price
of between £130,000 to £140,000,
the potential of adding value to this flat
presents a great opportunity.
I asked along a local estate agent to hear his thoughts.
The area is actually within striking distance of Notting Hill,
and that's taking in Portobello,
and because people want to live within the area,
this is a less expensive area.
So, its location is a positive,
but does the flat have any investment potential?
I can see that it lends itself to actually a two bed
and it would be ideal for rental, or perhaps a sale at a later date.
What could the flat achieve in rental?
I would expect that as a one bed you would achieve
circa the 250 per week, and for a two bed
I would expect to achieve 300 per week.
That could be up to £1,200 per calendar month. What about selling it?
As one bed I would expect it to achieve circa the 250,000 mark,
and as a two bed I would expect again circa the 300,000 mark.
As a developer, I'm always looking out for buys like this,
an improving area and the chance to add another bedroom
without compromising the space.
Add to that the incredibly low guide price and I'm sure this flat
FLEW out of the window at auction. Let's see.
Lot 166 is 18b Langler Road, Kensal Green, NW10. Start me at 120, please?
120 I'm bid, the lady in the green jacket.
122 and a half. 22 and a half. 25.
25. 27 and a half. 127 and a half.
130. 30. 32 and a half.
32 and a half. 35. 35. 37 and a half.
37 and a half. 140. 142 and a half.
142 and a half. 145. 145.
147 and a half. 147 and a half. 150.
150. 152 and a half. 152 and a half. 155. 157 and a half. 157 and a half.
160. 160. 162 and a half.
165. 165. Ssssh.
167 and a half. Now 170. The lady's bid here at 170.
I will allow you back in.
172 and a half? 172 and a half. 175.
Gentleman, there. 175. 177 and a half.
180. 80 now. 182 and a half.
182 and a half. 185. 185.
187 and a half. 187 and a half. 90. 190. Now two and a half.
192 and a half. 95.
97 and a half. 97 and a half. 200.
Yeah. 202 and a half. The lady in the green.
Two and a half. 205.
203 and a half. Make it 205, madam.
Thank you. 206? And seven?
No? At 207 I'm bid.
Any more? The lady in the green.
First time at 207.
Second time at 207. Last time at 207,000, in the green.
Are we done? Sold. Thank you, madam.
The winning bidder was former solicitor Mary who was at the auction with daughter Elizabeth.
Husband and dad, Seamus, couldn't be there on the day.
He was busy back home in Ireland dealing with another project.
They bought this flat as a buy to let to add to their portfolio.
I met the family there to find out more.
Guys, congratulations! This is great news.
-And you paid £207,000 at auction, but the guide was only 130 to 140.
-I know, a lot more.
-Were you happy with the price you paid?
-It was a bit more than we had agreed to go on
because we decided to go to about 200,000 and, you know,
like things, you really wanted the flat so we went that bit higher.
Mary was born and bred in Kensal Green and even though the family now live in Ireland
she still feels it's a good place to expand their property investments.
So, guys, why have you decided to invest here in London
when you live in Ireland? I mean, that must be quite difficult.
You know, I lived in London for 25 years
and we come to London often, every month, so,
you know, we're aware of what's going on and we had a pub in London.
And it's just like getting the bus nowadays
getting the plane from where we live. We are over in a few hours.
A rather expensive bus fare, Seamus, but I see what he means.
The couple have a number of contacts here in London who can project manage and do any work.
Mary will be back in Ireland keeping track of it all,
but there's also a third member of this team whose input is just as valuable.
Mary, I noticed that you were at the auction with somebody else.
I was with my daughter, Elizabeth.
I have dragged her around a few properties,
a few not so nice properties.
I remember one we went to see was very smelly,
she didn't like it at all, but she's getting used to coming round with me.
She's the honest person. She'll tell you exactly what she feels.
I think I need to have a chat with straight talking Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, what I want to know is when you go on viewings with
your mum, walking around all the properties, aren't the houses a bit dirty sometimes and a bit smelly?
Well, I go in and if it doesn't smell nice I just walk out again.
Estate agents better get out those air fresheners when Elizabeth is viewing!
# All I need is the air that I breathe and to love you... #
This flat will need something to give it the sweet smell of success.
Mary and Seamus have set themselves a £25,000 budget
and two months to do a rescue job.
What exactly are their plans?
We've got a similar flat up the road
and we put the kitchen and the bathroom
into the centre of the flat and keep the backroom for the extra bedroom,
and it will be a double bedroom now.
With experience gained from the other flat,
Seamus is confident that adding a second bedroom here
would definitely add value.
Mary has spotted the 2% charge to the vendor,
which at their purchase price of 207,000 came to four grand.
What they didn't spot was the crack outside,
but neither of them is too worried
as they've been buying property in the area for years.
Let's hope they're right about that.
I think Seamus and Mary have got themselves a great buy,
but the budget is already growing.
They've got to be a bit careful about overspending in this market,
but at least Elizabeth will be on hand to give them an honest opinion!
You can find out how they get on later in the show.
Coming up, in Huddersfield a one bedroomed house that won't let you cut corners.
It's going to take a bit of imagination to try and figure out how best to use this space.
In Kensal Green, was project managing from Ireland as easy as jumping on a bus?
I had planned to come over at least once, but I didn't manage it.
But first, did Chris, Shirley and Calum rescue the cottage and half built extension in Cornwall?
Earlier we met businessman Chris and his wife, Shirley.
They bought this fantastic cottage
set amidst beautiful scenery near Penzance in Cornwall for £630,000.
It required some work,
but the huge rear extension needed an army to get it completed.
Fortunately, their son Calum, an architect, was on hand to help out.
So, 13 months later we returned to see if what was on the plan
was now on the land.
Well, everything looks good on a beautiful day
and from the outside this house is now incredibly impressive,
but at the back... Wow!
Now the work is complete and the house looks truly wonderful.
The interior is now a light, airy space
and the centrepiece is a fantastic kitchen area.
-Chris, Shirley and Calum have obviously worked extremely hard to get this as they want it.
I mean, we've fallen for it now.
I mean, who couldn't? As it progressed,
I mean, it just got better and better.
Every little bit that was done and it just seemed to improve it.
It's a stunning house.
I mean, it's turned out probably better than they actual visualised,
but it's still pretty special.
You couldn't not live in it now, could we?
I'm so looking forward to...to moving in.
What really sealed it for Shirley was when they decided that
the entire top floor of the old house was to be the master suite.
Right, upstairs is now going to be our own...
The whole of the upstairs is going to be our own private domain, if you like.
This room, that originally was going to be another en-suite bedroom,
I have my adopted as my sitting room, so I am going to have
all my personal bits and pieces in here, which is going to be mine.
I am even having another plug socket fitted onto this windowsill for my coffee machine.
So the balcony out there is personal just for us.
We've got doors from my sitting room and this is going to be the master bedroom
and, again, doors out onto that balcony, which is just going to be for us.
So I think I'm going to be spending rather a lot of time up here.
I don't blame you, Shirley! And at the other end of the house,
Chris will have its own spacious and well-appointed area to retreat to.
Right, OK. This is kind of my room in the house.
It has been designed as kind of a bloke's room, if you like.
In the area we are stood now is going to be a full-size snooker table.
It's an antique one that we are having restored as we speak.
That will fit in this area.
Just behind me here, we've got a bar area up against the wall and I've got
a local guy who's going to make me something out of granite to do that.
When we come to this part of the room,
it's all prewired now for sound and everything.
All the cables out of the roof, it's for a home cinema
and we'll be using the whole of the rear wall as the screen.
And I guess this is going to be the room that at least I will spend most of my time in.
So with Chris munching his popcorn at one end
and Shirley relaxing in her boudoir at the other, how will they communicate?
Luckily, Shirley's got a good strong voice and we can hear her throughout the building!
-So, I don't think there's going to be too much of a problem there.
-Thanks for that(!)
But, joking apart, with four bedrooms, a new extension at the back of the previous house
to accommodate the kitchen and the problems of blending the old and the new house,
the sheer scale of this development can't have been without problems.
Chris was on site every day project managing, while son Calum helped them realise their vision.
But sometimes, they didn't see eye to eye.
Interesting! It was good to be able to disappear.
There was a few heated arguments.
It's different because you can have these discussions
where you put your foot down a lot more than you can do with a client that you're not related to,
because you turn round and say, look, at the end of the day,
this especially every detail we want to be perfect,
I believe this is what you need to do,
and when they turn round and say, "No!" you go, "No, you're wrong."
And the few times I did turn round and say, "No, you're wrong,"
I'd walk away and they'd come back, "We have thought about it and, yeah, you're probably right on that."
He's got more vision I think than what we have.
He could always see things, couldn't he? He can see the finished thing.
When there's just a blank piece of paper, he can see what it's going to be.
We don't seem to have that ability, but he can. And it's...
Yeah, this is the result. It's fantastic.
I think we've turned out with an absolutely super building.
There's no part of it that I'm not happy or proud to have been a part of.
There's certainly a great deal to be proud of here, but it's not just the house that's had big changes.
Outside Chris bought half an acre of land,
so that, once the outbuildings were removed, they had views right across to the horizon.
# Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above
# Don't fence me in.... #
For the family, this job has been labour of love.
Getting their new home just right stretched their original schedule from six to 13 months.
Delays and high standards certainly don't come cheap.
I think we had originally budgeted somewhere around about 200,000.
By the time we built the garage and everything, we probably doubled,
but there again, the house is worth it.
-We may have come in nearer budget had we not personalised it so much.
We could have finished three or four months ago and we would have had considerably less money outlaid,
but as soon as you start personalising the house and
changing it to exactly how you want it to be, the cost starts going.
Bath tubs upped the price!
Oh, yeah, I suppose if you've got odd things like the bathroom fittings.
In the whole scheme of things, it's not too bad,
but when you start paying thousands for a bathtub, it starts getting a bit silly, doesn't it, you know?
But then, this is our house.
Chris and Shirley originally bought the house for £630,000.
With the redevelopment costing almost 400,000,
that would take their spend to just over a million quid.
So, will it impress two local property experts as much as it does me?
To come here 15 months after the auction is just
the most eye-opening moment I've had with property for a long, long time.
It was always going to be quite a special house, but it's an absolute stunner.
The finish is absolutely stunning.
I can imagine the amount of effort and time that's gone in
and it's a credit to all the workmen and the owners.
I like the fact that it's light and airy.
The views are obviously unbelievable and talk about panoramic! It's amazing.
I think the amount of light that they've brought in now,
especially with the light tiling and white paintwork and exposed beams, fantastic.
And I think, when it's furnished especially, it will be amongst the best houses in the area.
A house of this calibre would surely attract some top dollar interest,
so if they decide to sell, who would be in the market for this incredible piece of Cornwall?
I would market this to the London and European markets through our predominant two large websites.
They seem to still have, despite the current economic climate,
a disposable income for luxury homes, especially in this area.
This will be... It really will be a wonderful house that will be worth over a million.
How far over a million depends a little bit on good fortune when they take it to the market.
Well, I think the most important thing is to affix a guide price that attracts interest
and I would suggest a guide of probably £1.25 million.
-It doesn't really matter too much to us, as it happens.
It's a house we're gonna live in. Had we been looking to turn a profit,
it would have been a little bit difficult to make, well, a reasonable return at that.
Chris and Shirley took on the cottage and extension
and with their son, Calum, have transformed it into their dream home.
A home as beautiful and spectacular as the countryside it's set in.
Even on a dull, windy day, you know, the wind can be
blowing and howling round the house, but it's still such a lovely space.
The view that we've got here today, what's not to smile about?
This is Yorkshire, where you can find some of the most striking scenery in the UK.
I'm in Huddersfield, where there are over 1,600 listed buildings, so let's see what we have here today.
So, this is Milnsbridge, three miles outside
Huddersfield town centre and up for auction was a one-bedroomed house.
It had a guide price of 50,000 quid.
It has got to be worth a look.
OK, straight into the lounge and, wow, look at that!
I mean, a flagstone floor!
How unusual! Well, I'm a big fan of original features, you know,
but in this instance, I'd suggest you get rid of that.
It's damp, it's cold, it doesn't work in a lounge, but you know what?
It's worth money. If you can get the flagstones up without damaging them,
that's probably worth to somebody about £600, £700,
so replace it with a concrete floor with a damp-proof membrane,
get rid of damp problems, and get 600 quid, which is a great start!
The room is not a bad size. Lots of light from the windows.
Stairs up to the bedrooms, more stairs down to the cellar.
But the floor, that's the surprise.
What's also a surprise is the shape of the kitchen because you come in here and the rear part of the house,
it's almost like it's been sliced off at an angle.
There's a small lane on the other side and, because this is the end terrace,
they've just made the house fit in with the lane.
What it does leave you with is an extremely unfortunate shape for your kitchen.
Somebody's tried to put units in and make it fit. It's not a good job.
The units don't even open. They have been put on wrong.
But even with a bit of skill, it's going to take
a bit of imagination to figure out how best to use this space.
'Yeah, I reckon this is a problem for lateral thinkers to crack, because it's gonna be tough.
'The saving grace is that the cellar could be a handy storage area,
'because, let's face it, there's not a lot of space up here.'
Well, not surprisingly, the weird shape continues upstairs, as you might expect.
It doesn't affect the main bedroom, I'm delighted to say.
That's a nice-sized space, but it starts to get really weird when you come here.
The second bedroom, well, it's mainly taken up with the pathway
through from the other bedroom to the bathroom, which is sort of stuck in this corner.
Really not good. It's been used at some stage as a children's room or whatever, but totally unacceptable.
I don't know what you could do to change the layout of this place.
Here, you've got a bathroom, that's not in a bad state.
But, really, you have got bigger things to worry about.
How on earth can you make a house shaped like this work?
'This is, strictly speaking, a one-bedroomed house.
'That makeshift second bedroom is not ideal. If someone wants
'to make this a proper two bedroom, they need planning permission.
'Its position as an end of terrace dictates its odd internal layout.
'Whilst some buyers might find the interior charming, others will be put off.
'With a guide price of 50,000, it's difficult to see how anyone
'could add value here.
'I asked a local property expert what he thought of the place.'
First impressions of the property - unusual.
Quite an unusual shape. It's got limited potential,
but with modernisation, I think you can make a nice house.
'The house does need renovation.
'What would he advise the new owners to do?'
'I think it needs a complete makeover, to be honest.
Internally, new bathroom, kitchen, central heating system, redecoration, everything.
That sort of refurbishment would add quite a bit to the £50,000 guide price,
so is the location right for investing in?
Milnsbridge is about 2½ miles out of Huddersfield. Its own little community, really.
Lots of local amenities, good bus routes, good for first-time buyers and investors.
On that subject, how much could someone make here?
I would put this house on the market for £70,000.
I would expect to rent this out for approximately £400 per month.
There are lots of things I'd change with this house, but unfortunately,
most revolve around the shape, which you can't do anything about.
Still, I guess that's why it had a guide price of just 50,000 quid.
Who fancied it when it went to the auction?
Lot 163 is number three Crow Lane, Milnsbridge in Huddersfield.
Start me where you will. 50,000, the guide price. 50?
42 is bid here. Thank you.
At £42,000. 43 I'll take.
43, thank you. 43. 44.
45. And six. 47 is bid.
£47,000. 48 is it?
At 47,000 on the left, out at the back. I'll take the half, yes.
47 and a half. 48.
And a half?
48 on the left. 48 and a half?
The bid is 48. One more, quickly?
At 48,000 once, twice, the third opportunity. We're selling at 48,000.
Sold, 48, number 82. Thank you.
The winning bidder who got the lot for £2,000 below the guide price is a local man David.
I met him to find out his plans.
-Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, too.
-You've got a very strange- shaped house!
What are you going to do with it?
Oh, we'll rent it out. There's quite a demand for this sort of property, cheap houses
and when I finish with it, it will be all clean and it will be a reasonable amount of rent.
We've got a lot of houses in the area, apartments and things,
and they're extortionate rents and they just don't rent out.
This will fill the niche in the market, like, you know?
-OK. So what was it appealed about this particular one?
-The price was very attractive
and I thought I would have a little punt at it.
I took the wife away down to London, see the lights, and did the deal as well, like, you know?
Mix business and pleasure.
-But the bright lights of the big city didn't blind David to the glaring problems here.
-Tell me what you're going to do with this house.
-We're going to take up the front floor because it's cold.
It feels cold. And central heating, we'll have some central heating
because like I say, with it being the end house I imagine it's got a cool feel to it.
There's a few damp problems and things.
I haven't really addressed it yet because once we get going, we'll know
-where we're going when we start batting with it, you see?
-What about the kitchen?
Well, what it is, actually that kitchen isn't that old.
I spoke to the person who used to own it and apparently it's only about three years old.
And... It doesn't look the best, I know, but we'll have a look.
-It's a weird shape, the kitchen.
-There's nothing I can do about that. It's just one of those things.
But hence that's the price it was, because of the shape of it.
Its irregular shape meant he managed to get this place for an irregular price,
but it could have turned out very differently.
-Did you know about this house?
-Yeah. I've been trying to buy it for about 12 months.
-On and off, like, yeah.
I put my offers in with the agents and one to another, and they must have lost my number or something!
And it was a lot more money than what I paid for it on the day, like, you know?
-12 months ago, what were you willing to pay for it?
-I was willing to pay 62.
As David bought this for £48,000, that means he saved himself a whopping £14,000.
So, will he therefore spend more on the renovation?
I would like to get the whole deal, bought, finished and everything, no more than £55,000.
-OK. Is that including your costs?
-Everything. My buying costs, legal costs, everything.
So, I think I am on budget now, I've got five grand left to spend on it.
-But I'll be doing most of the work myself. And a lad that works for me, like.
David's planning to do it all in three months,
but I reckon that five grand budget might be stretched if he has any big plans for that upstairs layout.
So, what about the little room that you have to go through to get to the loo?
-You can't really call it a bedroom.
-It's a passageway.
I bought the house with the intention of renting it out to one person
and if I start... It will make a two bedroom.
It is... But if I go to that expense I will not get any more rent for it
because the one person, they'll lose it as their computer room or something.
-So, you're going to leave it as it is?
-I am going to leave it.
-Well, get rid of the teddy bears!
What do you think about the area as a place to invest in?
I think it's a good area.
There is a bit of us snobbery about Milnsbridge, but it's right.
Let them be snobbery about it.
They're good houses at reasonable money.
I have some houses in the next village up, Slaithwaite, and I had people say,
I would like that house at Slaithwaite, and I'll say, I've got one in Milnsbridge,
and they'll stick their nose up. Well, let them worry about it.
As David already has some properties in the Milnsbridge area rented out, he knows the area and market.
Although not a full-time developer, he's confident he can get this house
to earn its keep despite the drawbacks with the layout.
So, tell me a bit more about you.
Well, I live local, about a quarter of a mile up the road, and basically that's what we do.
I have a few houses that we renovate and all that sort of thing
and I do work for other landlords and things and,
like, basically the main core of the business is roofing and guttering, but we do like to stay on the ground
now and again and everything's a challenge, like, you know?
So, what happens next?
Well, we'll get this house sorted out and get somebody in and then just see what this credit crunch job does
and then I think prices will be a bit more reasonable then we'll be on then for another one then, like, you know?
I am looking more forward to that than doing this house.
The deal is actually getting the houses, that's the deal.
Because that's where you make the money, isn't it? Actually buying the houses at the right money.
The actual doing up bit, it's all that dust and that's not fun, is it, really?
So, David finally gets the property he's been after for some time and he seems fairly clued up
what he's going to do with the place,
but I'm still not convinced he can make this very strange-shaped house work.
You can find out how he gets on later in the show.
So, did our buyers have their eyes open when they made their bids?
Were they blind to the hidden pitfalls?
Or did they see the true potential of the projects?
Let's find out.
It's been two months since Mary, Seamus and daughter Elizabeth
bought this large one-bedroom flat in Kensal Green, north west London.
They paid 207,000, about 67,000 over the guide price.
The plan was to convert it into a two-bedroomed flat and they were going to
project manage the renovation from their home in Ireland.
But, with their experience, I don't think they needed any of
that famous luck of the Irish to get this job complete.
The renovation is now done and the lounge is a fresh, airy space.
The bedroom has now been transformed
and the kitchen...
Well, now the flat is a two-bed with the old bathroom replaced by a new kitchen.
At the rear of the flat we've now got a new bedroom, which is our new double second bedroom.
What we've actually done is we've moved the wall that was in
the original bathroom and also moved the wall in the original box room
and we have just basically moved the middle room just about a couple of feet, shunted it over, and just
changed the doorway which makes the back room slightly smaller, but it's a perfectly sized double bedroom.
Our new kitchen is now in the middle and we now have
a bathroom on the other side and it has worked very well.
Mary and Seamus have certainly got the best out of the back room arrangements here.
That second bedroom will definitely appeal to future tenants.
As the family project managed from Ireland,
this was their very first visit to inspect the finished result.
When I first walked in I thought, no, I did like it. I mean, I have had the colour scheme and the
flooring, I have seen that before, so I know what it's going to look like.
I was pleased with the actual kitchen.
I do think the bathroom is slightly quite small, but it's functional, it serves its purpose.
It was kind of was what I expected, basically. It was very nice.
We sort of did similar properties before and kept the same theme and I was very happy with it.
So, that's the adults happy, but there's still daughter Elizabeth.
She may be the smallest member of the team, but could well have the biggest opinion.
For a flat, I think it's big and the kitchen is really nice
and the bedrooms are nice and everything's really nice.
Well, it got past that quality control test, then!
With Mary and Seamus managing the project from Ireland,
they had to rely on their builders to follow and understand their needs.
I had planned to come over at least once, but didn't manage it, so it's always a bit of a worry.
I mean, I would ring him on a regular basis or email him just to find out how things were going,
but he always gave me the confidence to say, no, everything is fine, it's all going to plan, so we just had to
wait and see, really, and we were relatively pleased when we came over.
Emails are useful for keeping in touch, but surfing the net
is also a great way of finding those all-important savings.
Oh, the biggest bargain I had was the fireplace.
The builder had been getting quotes at about £1,400, £1,500 and I then went on an auction site and looked
and one weekend I was just searching and I got this fireplace for £350 and I was absolutely delighted with it.
The new fireplace certainly adds character to the living room.
Now it's complete, Mary and Seamus plan to rent the flat out.
Did they manage to stick to their £25,000 budget?
Overall, I think it's about £32,000, the actual building works were in the flat.
I sat down to actually work it out what the total cost, with the price,
buyer's premium, everything, and it just comes in at just under £250,000.
Mary and Seamus know their market, but have they got the best value out of this renovation?
We asked two local estate agents what they thought of it.
I was absolutely amazed and coming back today,
having a look at the flat, it's a complete, complete transformation.
First impressions are very good.
Very bright, very neutral and the work looks to have
been done to a good standard and, yes, I think it looks very good.
The space has been done well and you've still got two double
bedrooms, you've got a kitchen which is a good size and you've still got a good sized bathroom.
They have actually created a second bedroom.
I think the way it's been done is absolutely superb.
The simple reason being is they've got two double bedrooms.
Whether it be for sale or for let,
people want two double bedrooms.
After their £250,000 spend, what could Mary and Seamus expect their rental income to be?
If I was to put this property on the market for rent per week, I would be asking £330.
If I was going to rent this property out, I would expect to achieve £325 per week.
I think that's a very good rental, isn't it?
I was thinking about £300
as a rental
from our experience, but maybe because it's newly renovated
it might have a premium because of that, but I think if we get £325 I'll be delighted, wouldn't you?
Absolutely, yeah. Fantastic.
That would give them a yield of about 7%, but should they decide to sell, what could they achieve?
If I was going to put this property up for resale, I would expect it to achieve £300,000.
If I was going to put the property on the market,
I'd put it on at £320,000 and I'd be expecting to achieve a figure, you know, just around the 300 mark.
I think £300,000 is a fair valuation because the research
we did on the internet came up and the area is about £300,000 to £330,000 or whatever in the area.
So, I think that's a fairly good valuation.
That would make them a possible £50,000 pre-tax profit, but maybe we
should leave the final word to the person with the biggest say.
It's a nice flat, bright and I think it will make a lot of money.
Earlier, local man David bought this one-bedroomed house in Milnsbridge near Huddersfield for £48,000.
The price was good, but the triangular-shaped rear meant options were limited.
Nothing I can do about that. It's just one of those things, isn't it?
But hence that's the price it was, because of the shape of it.
David was determined the limits of the house weren't going to restrict his investment,
so seven months later we returned to see if he'd managed the impossible and somehow added value.
Well, the living area now looks entirely new and fresh.
And that kitchen?
Well, David has managed to create a good kitchen space without doing any major structural work.
A creative solution to the limited options here.
This is one of the rooms I'm most chuffed with.
I wanted to achieve a dining kitchen, but obviously with the shape of the property it was not achievable.
To get all the appliances down this side would not fit them all in, so we've had to lend itself to this.
But, hopefully, the tenant that takes the property will be chuffed with it, hopefully, as much as I am.
David certainly has something to be proud of here,
but it's upstairs that should really have him puffing out his chest.
I didn't think it could be done, but he's succeeded in utilising
the space up here to create a modern bathroom and that value adding second bedroom.
I realised that I had to create a two-bedroomed property to get the greater return on it
so what we've done is we've stolen two foot off the master bedroom, brought the partitions over
by two foot to create a reasonable sized second bedroom, and also create a minimum bathroom suite and,
hopefully, owing to the shape of this property, in my opinion, that's the best I could get out of it.
David seems to have rescued the house from the curse of its poor layout.
Moving the bathroom and creating that second bedroom
will certainly widen the appeal, if not the size, of the place, but the problems didn't stop there.
I found... What it was with this property, everything was like half OK.
The wiring was half OK, so I was hoping that the electrician would be able to alter it to suit,
but he said, no, we've got to have it up to regs,
so then one thing leads to another so we've had to rewire it, replaster it,
renew this floor, renew the lounge floor, the kitchen floor.
There was a bit of woodworm in the back bedroom,
we had to renew that and treat the joists, that damaged the ceiling so we had to replaster it all
and we've had to check over the roof and new gutters.
And a bit of new joinery because by the time we'd mucked about with the old doors
you've got to spruce it up and make it a bit modern, so we put some pine doors on it,
to make it more modern sort of thing, and redecorate it through.
David has done a really great resuscitation job.
He's also fixed the living room joists, allowing the ceiling height of the cellar to be raised.
Unfortunately, all that unplanned work must have increased the original five grand budget.
One thing leads into another.
And if you're going to spend £1,000 and it's wasted, why not spend £2,000 to get some return?
I realised £5,000 wasn't even going to scratch it.
One thing led to another and the wife saying, we can't put it out like that!
So, we've got carried away and, with all fairness, there have been some good deals round.
We've got a good bathroom suite there,
ex-display, an ex-display kitchen and so it was silly not to put these in.
I reckon it will have cost me a total of, with the bank charges and
everything, it will cost me approximately £12,000.
David bought the house for £48,000, so that will have pushed his total spend to 60.
As for his planned turnaround of three months, well, David's
other properties needed urgent maintenance work, so this one was put on the back burner.
Eventually, he completed the renovation in six months.
So, despite the overrun and overspend, will two
local property experts think that David's efforts have paid off?
When I was here last it was a dilapidated
property, run down, needed an awful lot of work doing on it.
Now there's a complete transformation.
First impressions of the property are OK. It's in a reasonable order.
Not bad overall.
Positives are larger than average sized kitchen, which is done to a good standard.
I'd say one of the negatives, though, would be the bathroom carpet.
We wouldn't recommend putting carpet in bathrooms, especially in a rental property.
Wet carpets could indeed be a problem, but has the new layout unlocked hidden value here?
I think that's really key. The market's very tough at the moment.
the extra bedroom will make all the difference, whether it be first time buyer, renter or investor.
As David plans to rent this house out, what section of the market would it appeal to?
First time buyers that aren't jumping into the sales market at the moment
are looking for affordable rental property and this definitely fits the bill.
So, what are the possible returns here?
What could David achieve in rental?
For rental purposes, I would value the property at £400 to £425 per calendar month.
It would probably achieve somewhere between £425, £440 a month.
I don't think they're very achievable, really.
I find... I've got quite a few properties up the Colne Valley
and I find once you get over 400 a calendar month, it loses the legs.
If I rent this out, in my opinion, at £360, hopefully the tenants are going to be happy, they're going
to be right with me, they're going to pay me my rent and everybody's happy.
David spent £60,000, so what could he expect if he decides to sell?
On the open market I would value it for selling at £65,000 to £70,000.
I would probably be placing a house like this on the market in the region of £70,000 to £75,000.
So, should David change his mind, that would give him a potential pre-tax profit of £15,000.
With this successful conversion and several other properties on the go, does David have more plans to buy,
or does that depend on the shape he's in?
I think I'm still young enough, like, you know?
And I have customers that are still buying and they're 70-odd years plus and they still get a buzz out of it.
So, hopefully, when I get to 70-odd I'll still get the buzz out of it.
Well, that's it! Join us next time for more action from the auction on Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you next time.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a beautiful property in Cornwall with a not-so-beautiful interior, a large one bedroom flat in Kensal Green, and an odd-shaped house in Huddersfield.
All these properties went to auction and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.