Episode 47 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 47

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a pleasantly surprising terrace in Cheshire, a large flat in London with great views, and a house in Torquay.


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Transcript


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-Bricks and mortar have always been seen as a solid investment.

-But don't let them collapse around you,

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-taking your bank balance with them.

-Do the research, check your finances and you can still find some deals.

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Many buyers have their own tactics when they go to the auction.

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Some prefer to sit at the front, others hide at the back

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-and others like to be a bit discreet and bid over the phone.

-A wink or a wave, the result is the same.

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Here's what attracted today's buyers.

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The more you explore at this terrace in Cheshire, the more surprises!

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Outside doesn't look too much. Inside, it's great.

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There's a flat in London with great views, big rooms and more.

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What I like about this flat is that there's scope to improve.

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And behind the grey exterior of this Torquay property is a colourful survivor of the psychedelic '60s!

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Remodel this kitchen? No!

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All of these properties went to auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid.

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I've come to Carbrook Village near Stalybridge in Greater Manchester.

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It's a stunning location where life drops down a gear.

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It even ahs its own bowling green and a babbling brook.

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So what was up for auction? Well, it's a terraced house two miles from Stalybridge,

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1.5 miles from Peak District National Park. Sounding good.

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Sadly, from the outside, a bit of a disappointment.

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It's the last one in the terrace and was guided at £65,000-£70,000.

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Next door is a working men's club and all the houses are in a conservation area.

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But why is this one boarded up? The roof and walls look sound. Time to check out the inside.

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You never know quite what to expect,

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but actually... I love the floor. Absolutely fantastic.

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Shame that somebody's had a go at taking this out.

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I love there being a porch there. It stops the draught from the lounge.

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Good-sized space. Put a fire in and restore the floor if you can.

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It goes on.

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OK, stairs up there and then... nice.

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I mean, really nice. A huge kitchen. It's almost a kitchen dining room.

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It would make a lovely family room. It's a bit of a TARDIS. Outside,

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doesn't look too much, inside...it's great!

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'It really is! The proportions are generous. So far, so good.

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'This is shaping up to be a lovely family home.'

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Here are some real surprises. A good-sized double bedroom and another one here.

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And the bathroom and loo are upstairs. Absolutely fantastic.

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Look at these doors. Brilliant. Listen to me - look at these doors.

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Absolutely beautiful. When that's stripped back, that is going to be spectacular. Trust me, OK?

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The room itself, well, reasonable condition apart from over this side.

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Look at this. I don't know what is going on here.

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That is quite serious. A couple of other nice touches.

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The window - this pane is broken, so all this leadwork is gone,

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but, overall, leave some of the features if you can and it's a great size.

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'It's also great that the bathroom is already on this floor, plus two bedrooms that are good doubles,

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'but if this deceptively-large property is to become a family home,

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'some outside space would be a bonus. How do I get out the back?'

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I'd like to show you outside, but someone's done a pretty good job of securing the back door.

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It's like a display panel for security products.

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Wow.

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'When you've attacked this lot with a bolt cutter, or find the keys for each lock,

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'you're not exactly rewarded, but you do get this communal area.

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'I'm keen to find out

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'what a local estate agent thinks of this house that had a guide price of £65,000-£70,000.

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'What does he think is the first job here to bring it up to scratch?'

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It needs quite a bit of work.

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We've seen worse, but it does need an overhaul, central heating,

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new bathroom and new kitchen, probably a rewire.

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Whoever buys it has to consider it is a conservation area.

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Things like windows... I'm pretty sure they can put UPVC in,

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but they'd have to check it was OK.

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'It's a bit deceptive from outside. It doesn't look much at all,

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'but when you get inside there is quite a pleasant surprise.

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'At that £65,000-£70,000 guide price, is there a profit to be made from this two-bed house?'

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I think if it was renovated to a good standard, we'd be looking in this market to £110,000-£115,000.

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Slightly less than they did achieve, but it reflects the market.

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OK, prices have fallen, but one thing that hasn't changed is the beautiful location,

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right by the Peak District.

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What you're buying into here is the area. How lovely is this?

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And the house itself? First looks can be deceiving.

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It's great. Big rooms. Yes, it needs a bit of work,

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but it's at a great price. Let's see who bought it.

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Lot number 108 is in Carbrook near Stalybridge.

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Terraced house, vacant possession.

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Where shall we begin? 40? I'll take 35, then.

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No? I'll take 30.

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30 anywhere? Thank you, sir. Looking for 35,000.

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35 there. Thank you. 40, sir? 40.

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41? 42?

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43. 44?

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44. Do I see 45, then?

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45 there. 50, sir?

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No? New bidder.

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Is that 50, sir? 51, can I say? 51 I have.

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52. 53. 54.

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55. 56.

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57.

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Is that 57? 57 I have. 58?

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59. 60.

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61? 61,000? And I have it. 62?

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63. 64.

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65? No? 64 with you, then, sir.

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64 and a half any help? Yes, it is. 65, sir?

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65 and a half? No? It's with you, sir, at £65,000 for the first time.

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Second time. Third and final time.

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After that rather frantic auction, Mark was the winning bidder.

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He paid the bottom of the guide price - £65,000.

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I arranged to meet up with him to find out what he planned to do with his purchase.

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-Mark, congratulations.

-Thank you.

-I like this little house.

-Thank you.

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-Obviously, you do.

-Yep.

-What struck you about it?

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The main thing was the area. A little stream, a conservation area, a lot of effort put in.

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And bigger than you think inside. Not a bad little house.

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Tell me a bit more about you.

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I work in acute medical wards, which tends to be people who are quite poorly when they come in.

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We stabilise them and hopefully send them home.

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-So you're a male nurse.

-Yes.

-Great.

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-Which hospital?

-Stepping Hill.

-That's in Manchester?

-Stockport.

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-How did you get into property?

-Well, I've been watching the show.

-Great!

-You've inspired me.

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It's something I've wanted to do and you have to take the plunge.

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-SO is this the first time?

-First time I've bid at an auction.

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I've actually bought one before, but I made an offer prior and that was accepted.

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First time I've had the thrill of it and the fear.

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-You got it at the bottom end.

-Yeah, I was lucky with that.

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-They rejected a higher offer prior to auction.

-From who?

-Me.

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-Really?

-Yeah. Wouldn't take it.

-What did you offer?

-70.

-So you saved yourself five grand.

-Yeah.

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'That was a very useful and substantial saving for Mark

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'as he had to pay a further £3,500 on top of his purchase price to cover the seller's legal fees.

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'Luckily, he had spotted that clause in the legal pack.

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'An additional cost like that can eat into your budget.'

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-Did you see it before you bought it?

-Just the outside. I know it's a no-no.

-Tsk, tsk!

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But even with everything missing, it would be worth it, even with stairs missing.

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-You must have been quite pleased when you saw it.

-It's not bad.

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The rooms are a really nice size.

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-It's tiny looking from outside, but it's great.

-I was surprised.

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The gentleman next door invited me in so I got an idea of the sizes.

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That's a good idea. It's not always possible to view a property.

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It may be unsafe, so if you can't physically get in, inspect it from the outside and chat to a neighbour.

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What's the big plan? What are you going to do?

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Most likely is to rent it out. I don't want it on the market for ages, losing potential money.

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That's the most likely thing. Someone is interested in it.

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-Great.

-I'll see what the interest is. For a decent offer, I'll sell.

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Talk me through it.

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Well, new kitchen in here, up to a good standard, tiled floor.

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Central heating everywhere. Just make good everywhere. Nice, new bathroom.

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Possibly oak flooring out there. Or I may leave them flags down if I get them to a good standard.

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They're beautiful. You've got issues potentially with damp, but...

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-That's it.

-But they would be spectacular.

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Yeah.

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'But the flagstones are just another addition to the To Do list that includes windows and doors.'

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-Where do you live?

-Miles away in Salford.

-Ooh. That's the other side of Manchester.

-It is, yeah.

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Personally, I won't do too much. I'm useless at DIY.

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But I've got some good people that have worked with me over the years.

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I can leave them to it and trust them.

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-Any idea how much you need to spend?

-About £20,000 altogether.

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-That's quite healthy.

-Yeah.

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-Timescale?

-I'm hoping to maybe do it within 10 weeks, something like that.

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-Ever think this will replace your career as a nurse?

-No, I love medicine, so I'll stay in that.

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-Good luck with it. I hope it turns out great.

-Lovely.

-Nice to meet you.

-Cheers.

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'You can't see the potential of this house from the outside, but has Mark made a visionary purchase?'

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I think Mark has bought really well with this place

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and he's going to inject it with that tender, loving care it definitely needs

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and nurse it back into life. Still, he lives a fair distance away and has to manage the project

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at the same time as doing his job. That can wreak havoc with your timescales and time is money.

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Find out how he gets on later in the show.

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I'm in London, just walking distance from the City,

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the South Bank and the shops and theatres in the West End.

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This is Borough in south-east London, home to London's oldest food market

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and also the chosen location for Bridget Jones's Diary.

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I wonder if Colin Firth and Hugh Grant are still somewhere around? Well, a girl can only hope.

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Anyway, I'm here to see a two-bedroom flat in this block.

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It's accessed off the street through this big archway here.

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'It went to auction guided at £220,000-£240,000.

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'It's in a building that was built in 1886.'

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So off the main drag and you're in this courtyard.

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A little kid's play area, some parking, and this lovely big old Victorian building.

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It's all looking rather good, but the flat is on the third floor.

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And there's no lift. I'll see you up there.

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'All these stairs might put some buyers off, but at least you're away from the traffic.

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'I wouldn't fancy lugging my shopping up here, though.'

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Well...after all those flights of stairs, I need my breath back.

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I don't get bored with nosing in old properties like this. I love it.

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Walking in, you've got two really good-sized bedrooms here with lovely old sash windows.

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You've got a nice reception room.

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It looks as though somebody has started stripping the wallpaper off. You could have a feature fireplace.

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But really it's just a blank canvas to work with, although I would invest in some window covering -

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some blinds or some curtains - because you look straight across into the other people's flats.

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'The double-glazed window does let a lot of light in to this room

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'and the sash window in the second bedroom is also double-glazed.

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'The kitchen is pleasant and bright, but needs some work.'

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This is an enormous kitchen! Easily a kitchen diner.

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But it's got this weird suspended ceiling! What was that used for?!

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I'd rip that out straight away.

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It's a room that could look great with some clever kitchen design.

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There's enough space for wall units, but I'd take this stud wall out

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and use this hallway space to make it more open plan.

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'The bathroom's dated and needs refurbishment, but it's a reasonable size with scope to increase it.'

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This cupboard really excites me. It's right next to the bathroom.

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I'm visualising a huge separate shower or wet room.

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The only drawback is this gas meter will have to move.

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That's expensive and you do need permission.

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This hot water tank can be replaced with a combi boiler.

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What I like about this flat is there's scope to improve and add value.

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'And it has an extra bonus.'

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There's one more flight of stairs above the flat and it leads you up to this!

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It's like the chimney sweep scene from Mary Poppins! I'm on the roof!

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It's somewhere you can come out, get fresh air, hang your washing and just look at that view -

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right across London.

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'I do like this two-bedroom flat, but how will an estate agent react

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'when he sees inside?'

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It's a really good little flat.

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The rooms are all fairly well-proportioned.

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A good-sized kitchen and potentially great bathroom.

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There's lots of pros with the flat and although it's a walk up

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it's got great light.

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'To maximise the potential, where should you start?'

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I think really it's just a case of concentrating on the main rooms, the big selling points -

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the kitchen and the bathroom. Just put really good fittings in.

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With the bedrooms and reception room, maybe have a nice fireplace as a focal point.

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Just nice wooden floors, clean neutral colours, that's it.

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Contemporary, but nice.

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'There's lots of room for improvement, but you'd need to budget for unexpected problems.

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'This block was built in 1886. Once refurbished, are the prospects good for a buy-to-let investor?'

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Absolutely great area for rental. Long-term investment is really good.

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Very central, close to transport. You've got two equally-sized bedrooms and a reasonable living space.

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In terms of rental income, you'd probably be looking at £1,300-£1,400 per calendar month.

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'So renting is a possibility, but once renovated how much could the flat sell for?'

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I'd value this property between £320,000 and £330,000.

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'Well, note to self: there could be a profit here!'

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I think this flat, with a bit of a spruce up, a new kitchen and bathroom and some decoration,

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would suit Bridget Jones rather well, but was it a thirtysomething singleton who bought this flat?

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Find out as we head to auction.

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Lot 299 is 30 Douglas Buildings, Mint Street.

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Leasehold, self-contained third-floor flat.

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180? Sounds cheap. 180, thank you. 185, may I say?

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185. 190? 90.

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195? 195.

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200? 200. 205?

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205. 210? 210.

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215? No. 210 I have. 215 anywhere else?

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215. 220? No.

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Third call, sir.

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217 and a half anywhere else? 217 and a half. 220?

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220. 222 and a half? 22 and a half with you. 25?

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25. 27 and a half? 27 and a half.

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30. 32 and a half? 32 and a half. 35, thank you.

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37 and a half. 40?

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Strange place to stop. 240 anywhere else?

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No? For the first time with you, sir, at £237,500.

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And the second time. Third and final time. All done?

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Sold to you, sir. Very, very happy customer!

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And the very happy investor who paid £237,500 for this two-bedroom flat

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is Graham.

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After living in rented accommodation with his girlfriend Catherine for years, it's their first home.

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I met up with him to find out more.

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This kitchen is so large, it could be a kitchen diner.

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What made you want to buy this flat?

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Basically, we've been looking for about a year and a half in the area.

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We live in Waterloo, not far from here. And we couldn't afford it.

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So we came to have a look at a flat downstairs in the basement and it was out of our price range.

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Then we came up to look at this and we weren't daunted by the work.

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We just thought, "Go to the auction."

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-What do you like about Borough?

-I love it. I'm an actor by trade, so there's all local theatres,

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there's Borough market. It's getting quite trendy.

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Because we lived in Waterloo, we've seen the development of the area.

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For right here and now it's really vibrant and really funky. I love it.

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-Tell me about your acting career. You must be busy.

-Well...

-Or not!

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This is where I say, "Actually..." No, I'm not.

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-It's been really quiet?

-Really.

-Good! You've a lot of work to do. That's a good thing.

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-I'll have time off to do it.

-How skilled are you going to be renovating this flat?

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-You've got quite a bit to do.

-Yeah, loads.

-Can you do it? Honestly?

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No. My girlfriend's like that. I say, "I'll do the tiling. I did the tiling in our kitchen."

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She's like, "We'll just pay for it." "No, I can do it!"

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I don't think I'm allowed to do anything. Strip and rip. Yeah.

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That's good. Stick to stripping and ripping and get professionals in.

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What you don't want to do is end up getting someone in to do it again.

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'A resting actor with loads of time on his hands because he's not treading the boards at the moment?

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'Maybe he can sand these floorboards instead? I reckon they would polish up beautifully.'

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-You have got a lot of decisions to make.

-Millions.

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I think, "How can I add value? What can I do to improve it? To get more light?"

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-Have you had those thoughts?

-Yeah. We want to do what you just said - add light, quite minimalistic.

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We're looking at creams and light browns and sandy colours. In here will be white and glassy.

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And in the bedrooms, we're umming and ahhing about stripping the floors or having nice, thick carpets.

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-It sounds extremely stylish.

-In my mind, it looks amazing!

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'Well, visualisation is a classic technique for actors, but I can foresee that money is needed

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'to refurbish this £237,500 investment.'

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-What sort of budget have you got in mind for the renovations?

-15.

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That's the ideal, taking advantage of mate's rates, sales, and so forth.

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-Some purchasing has been done.

-Really?

-We have.

-Like what?

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Bathroom sinks and cabinets and yeah...

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That's all taken care of. And with the kitchen, we're just ready to put the money down.

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-How many months will it take you?

-Well, I don't know.

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Realistically, three months. Maybe that's not realistic. In my mind, three months.

0:23:200:23:26

So three months and £15,000. You'll have to shop around, but I think you can do it on that.

0:23:260:23:32

I think we can, can't we?

0:23:320:23:35

-I'm really excited about seeing the finished product.

-Me, too.

-It's been great meeting you.

0:23:350:23:41

-Thanks very much.

-Well done.

0:23:410:23:44

'It's been Graham and Catherine's dream to live in this part of London for years.

0:23:460:23:52

'Now I bet they feel on top of the world.'

0:23:520:23:56

That's what I love about auctions - dreams can come true.

0:23:560:24:00

Borough was an area they loved, but they never thought they could afford. They've taken a chance

0:24:000:24:07

and ended up buying their first flat. We'll be back later

0:24:070:24:11

to see if they can turn this old and tired property into a perfect home.

0:24:110:24:16

Coming up: in Torquay, a property as colourful as a saucy seaside postcard.

0:24:170:24:23

Wow! That is blue!

0:24:240:24:26

In London, this actor was knocked out by the auction performance.

0:24:270:24:32

I've boxed, I act, but I would say that has to be the biggest buzz.

0:24:320:24:37

First, this Cheshire house needed nurse Mark to add some panes, not take them away.

0:24:380:24:43

It's hard in some ways, but I'd definitely do it again.

0:24:430:24:49

Here in the beautiful Cheshire village of Carbrook,

0:24:500:24:55

Mark, a full-time nurse and part-time property developer had paid £65,000

0:24:550:25:01

for this terraced house.

0:25:010:25:04

He planned to add it to his buy-to-let portfolio,

0:25:040:25:08

but what did his builders discover inside and outside this house?

0:25:080:25:13

11 weeks later, Mark invited us back for a check up on the progress of his patient.

0:25:130:25:19

From outside, the peaky-looking place now looks in rude health,

0:25:200:25:25

with new windows and a door.

0:25:250:25:28

Light floods into the living room.

0:25:290:25:32

The fireplace has been exposed and white gloss and neutral colours look great.

0:25:320:25:40

At the back, a stunning kitchen diner has been installed.

0:25:400:25:45

Upstairs, the two bedrooms are light and airy

0:25:460:25:50

and the quality of the finish is very striking.

0:25:500:25:54

But for this NHS nurse, the new appearance isn't just skin deep.

0:25:540:25:58

Yeah, the whole house needed a full re-plaster.

0:25:580:26:02

Also needed full rewiring, needed to get a gas supply fitted, which took a while, unfortunately.

0:26:020:26:09

Also had new floors put down, ripped the flags up in here,

0:26:090:26:13

-insulated the floor, boarded it and carpeted throughout.

-The flooring problems didn't end in there.

0:26:130:26:19

Well, before there was no real floor in here.

0:26:190:26:23

There were bits of vinyl everywhere. We've completely redone the floor.

0:26:230:26:28

New tiles, new work units, new boiler,

0:26:280:26:34

extractor fan hob oven, the doorway was also moved. That was in the corner.

0:26:340:26:40

Moving it there allowed me to put a fridge freezer space here.

0:26:400:26:44

Everything looks great, considering how it was beforehand.

0:26:440:26:49

'Like Mark, I had certainly spotted the potential here,

0:26:490:26:53

'but I'm sure a lot of buyers took one look at the boarded-up windows and backyard and took flight.'

0:26:530:27:00

The exterior, the bricks could do with a little polish up. I knew I'd regret it if I didn't do it.

0:27:010:27:07

So we painted them with acid, blasted them, repointed all the brickwork,

0:27:070:27:11

painted the sills. There was a crack to the rear of the property. It was just movement a long time ago.

0:27:110:27:17

All the windows at the back have been reinforced,

0:27:170:27:22

so if anything does move again, it won't really be going anywhere. Those were his words.

0:27:220:27:28

'You'll remember Mark is a full-time nurse who works shifts and does a bit of developing on his days off.

0:27:280:27:35

'He's the first to admit he knew nothing about DIY, so did he pick up any tips on this project?'

0:27:350:27:42

I haven't learnt anything. My skills are still horrendous.

0:27:420:27:46

But I do know how to get people together and oversee a project.

0:27:460:27:50

'Judging from the bathroom, Mark has some great tradesmen.'

0:27:500:27:54

There was no real bathroom, so I thought to rip it all out and make it as good as I could.

0:27:540:28:02

New sink, good finishes with the taps and really good tiles throughout. New bath, shower.

0:28:020:28:10

And shower curtain rail. Really pleased with this room. I wanted it as nice as possible,

0:28:100:28:16

given it's a small space. Bathrooms tend to make a difference when somebody looks at a house.

0:28:160:28:23

He's done a really good job.

0:28:230:28:25

But did he manage to stick to his £20,000 budget?

0:28:250:28:29

I did actually go over. It was partly a conscious choice,

0:28:290:28:33

partly things that popped up that I didn't expect to do,

0:28:330:28:37

so I've gone over really by about 4,500.

0:28:370:28:40

£24,500 then.

0:28:410:28:44

But Mark's achieved a quality finish which he knows attracts potential renters.

0:28:440:28:50

I was quite lucky with finding the tenant.

0:28:500:28:54

The lady next door happened to know somebody who was looking for a house, so it's worked out really well.

0:28:540:29:00

How much income does he hope to generate?

0:29:000:29:03

The rent that I've asked for is £500 per calendar month.

0:29:030:29:08

I could get more, but I'd rather everybody be happy and get a good tenant who'll stay for a long time.

0:29:080:29:14

How do two local estate agents rate the value now it's complete?

0:29:160:29:20

I'm very impressed with what's been done.

0:29:200:29:24

It's a very high standard.

0:29:240:29:26

Lovely kitchen, new windows, new bathroom. Very nice.

0:29:260:29:30

There's nothing I don't like about the property. It's very well fitted.

0:29:300:29:34

The fitments are to a good standard,

0:29:340:29:36

whether it be for a sales or rental market.

0:29:360:29:39

Overall, I'd give it the thumbs-up.

0:29:390:29:42

The standard of the finish is excellent. It's clean, tidy and ready to sell or rent out. Perfect.

0:29:420:29:48

It is important to renovate to a high standard.

0:29:480:29:52

There is an influx of properties available, not many buyers, so you must make the best of what you have.

0:29:520:29:58

Mark has a tenant lined up and plans to keep the property for some time.

0:29:580:30:03

Let's find out how much it's worth.

0:30:030:30:06

Remember, he paid £65,000 at the auction and spent £24,500 renovating it.

0:30:060:30:11

If the property was sold today, I'd expect to be achieving in the region of £100,000 to £110,000.

0:30:110:30:17

I would market this property for £110,000.

0:30:170:30:20

110 is slightly under, but it's about what I expected, so still a good profit in there. Happy with that.

0:30:200:30:27

£20,000 gross profit to be precise.

0:30:270:30:30

So, is he tempted to cash in?

0:30:300:30:33

I wouldn't like to sell the property at the moment, given that I've got a good tenant

0:30:330:30:39

and I'm still making money on the rental each month.

0:30:390:30:42

A tenant in place, but is Mark getting the right income?

0:30:420:30:47

This property would rent for approximately £425 per month.

0:30:470:30:51

I would expect, if you were renting this property out, to be achieving £500 to £575 per calendar month.

0:30:510:30:57

It's quite a difference, the rental values.

0:30:570:31:00

I'm quite happy with the £500 per month. Mine is about in the middle, so I'm doing something right.

0:31:000:31:07

Remember, Mark found his tenant through a neighbour, so he doesn't have any letting agent's fee to pay.

0:31:070:31:13

I've really enjoyed doing this. It's fun to come down and see things changing each couple of days.

0:31:130:31:19

It's hard in some ways, but I'd definitely do it again.

0:31:190:31:23

Full credit to Mark. He's managed this refurbishment on days off from his tiring nursing job

0:31:230:31:29

and has given this property the kiss of life.

0:31:290:31:32

I've come to beautiful Torquay in Devon,

0:31:350:31:39

but my promenade is not so much seaside as semi-ville

0:31:390:31:43

as I'm moving inland to a popular local suburb called St Marychurch.

0:31:430:31:47

There's no doubt this is a beautiful part of the country to live in,

0:31:490:31:53

but when it comes to having somewhere to park your car outside your house,

0:31:530:31:58

a lot of properties in these parts fail dismally, so when this property has a garage,

0:31:580:32:03

you think, "Fantastic, thumbs up!"

0:32:030:32:06

£130,000 to £150,000 is the guide price. Three-bedroom semi-detached. Definitely worth a look!

0:32:060:32:13

The grey exterior is appropriate, considering that ominous sky.

0:32:150:32:19

But let's hope it's not a bad sign for this property

0:32:190:32:23

and that my optimism about it isn't going to be rained upon.

0:32:230:32:27

Okey-kokey, what have we got?

0:32:280:32:31

Oh, lovely(!) Yes, a half-timbered entrance hall,

0:32:310:32:35

much favoured in properties of this era - sort of.

0:32:350:32:38

Well, it is interesting. The layout is very classic.

0:32:380:32:42

Front sitting room there, rear sitting room there, steps up to the bedrooms, then it gets a bit weird.

0:32:420:32:49

There's this kind of corridor which leads down to a utility room and then through to a...kitchen.

0:32:490:32:56

Kitchen!

0:32:560:32:58

You're gonna love this.

0:32:580:33:01

If ever Mary Quant was gonna design a kitchen,

0:33:010:33:06

this is what she would come up with.

0:33:060:33:09

It's 1960s...splendour!

0:33:090:33:13

Look at this!

0:33:140:33:17

How about that for a hob? It's bright orange!

0:33:170:33:20

Absolutely brilliant. Have you ever seen a bright orange cooker?

0:33:200:33:24

Me neither. The question is, is it still in fashion? I think it's probably back in fashion!

0:33:240:33:30

And the piece de la resistance - a pull-out table!

0:33:300:33:34

What more could you want? Remodel this kitchen? Not on your nelly!

0:33:340:33:38

It should be in the Victoria and Albert Museum

0:33:380:33:42

in homage to a time when fashion was more important than flavour in a kitchen.

0:33:420:33:46

As for the rest of the downstairs, there are no more surprises -

0:33:460:33:51

just a utility area and downstairs loo.

0:33:510:33:54

Then there's a door accessing a run-down garden that definitely needs a bit of softening up.

0:33:540:34:00

It's all slabs and no grass, but that can be changed.

0:34:000:34:03

Up here, three good-sized bedrooms - one there, another one there and a bathroom.

0:34:030:34:09

If you enjoyed the kitchen, you'll love this. Wow, that is blue!

0:34:090:34:13

But unlike the kitchen, I think I'd probably change that.

0:34:130:34:18

There's something much more serious. This is glass on here. How dangerous is that?

0:34:180:34:24

Just imagine, if you were to slip, you could cut yourself really badly, or worse. It needs to go.

0:34:240:34:31

Through to the other bedroom, nasty problem with damp there, but something much more serious.

0:34:310:34:37

What is going on with this crack in the ceiling? You'd want to have that checked by a structural surveyor.

0:34:370:34:44

But it all pales into insignificance compared to the glass on the stairs which has to go.

0:34:440:34:50

It's not just the ceiling that's cracked in this bedroom.

0:34:500:34:54

I've spotted a whopper in the wall by the window.

0:34:540:34:57

But the house is well-proportioned with three good-sized bedrooms upstairs.

0:34:570:35:03

How will a local estate agent rate the prospects here?

0:35:030:35:07

It was guided between 130,000 and 150,000

0:35:080:35:11

and came with colours and fittings spanning the decades.

0:35:110:35:15

The tangerine colour in the kitchen, I'm not sure it's my cup of tea,

0:35:180:35:23

but he'd want to rip that out straight away.

0:35:230:35:26

As for the blue in the bathroom, that's liveable, but still, not the best.

0:35:260:35:31

But look past the vivid colours and the basics are here.

0:35:310:35:35

There's the added bonus of double glazing and central heating already installed.

0:35:350:35:41

I think it should be made into a smashing house, rather than converted into flats.

0:35:410:35:47

I'd probably keep it as a family home. It's a straightforward renovation project.

0:35:480:35:53

The cracks could tell some horrible tales, but pretty straightforward and that's what I would do -

0:35:530:35:59

just renovate and sell to the family.

0:35:590:36:02

By keeping this as a family home, the renovation budget will be much lower

0:36:020:36:07

than turning it into flats.

0:36:070:36:10

Once refurbished, how much could the place be worth?

0:36:100:36:14

With the limited garden space, it would be hard to get over £170,000.

0:36:140:36:18

There could be profit here, but the budget will need watching.

0:36:180:36:22

All in all, a great little house which you could do big things with.

0:36:220:36:26

A few safety issues to sort out, but most of all, that kitchen.

0:36:260:36:30

Who is going to be captivated by it at the auction?

0:36:300:36:34

Lot 69, we're still in Torquay, but we're in St Marychurch.

0:36:340:36:39

This is a two-storey, three-bedroomed, semi-detached house.

0:36:390:36:43

Needs modernisation, but it's tucked away. It's £120,000.

0:36:430:36:47

110?

0:36:470:36:49

100 and I'll kick it off?

0:36:490:36:52

At 100. 102?

0:36:520:36:55

102.

0:36:550:36:57

104. Thank you, 104. 104.

0:36:570:36:59

106.

0:36:590:37:02

110? Is that what you're meaning or stop?

0:37:020:37:06

110.

0:37:060:37:08

110. 112. 114?

0:37:080:37:12

114. 114.

0:37:120:37:15

116.

0:37:150:37:17

116.

0:37:170:37:20

That's a lot of house to miss. 118. 118.

0:37:200:37:24

Do you want to say 120 to try and blow him out? Yes, 120.

0:37:240:37:27

At 120. At 120.

0:37:270:37:30

At 120. I'll take a half if it'll be helpful.

0:37:300:37:35

At 120 once...

0:37:350:37:37

At 120 twice...

0:37:370:37:40

I tried to dig in your pocket, but you won't let me. All done at 120...

0:37:400:37:45

Sold. Well done.

0:37:450:37:47

'The successful bidder, who paid 120,000, is David.

0:37:470:37:51

'He's really pleased that he managed to purchase a perfect family home for £10,000 under the guide price.

0:37:510:37:58

'He's brought along his wife Lucy and a recent addition to their family to meet me at the property.'

0:37:580:38:04

-Lucy, David, lovely to meet you both.

-Hi.

-Who's this?

0:38:040:38:08

-This is Ruby.

-How old is she?

-Our little bundle of joy is three months old.

0:38:080:38:13

-Fantastic. So this is her first house, is it?

-It is.

0:38:130:38:18

-Why did you want to buy the house?

-This is a project for us.

0:38:180:38:22

We'll do it up and hopefully... Obviously, it's hard times with market conditions,

0:38:220:38:27

but the aim is to sell it on and make some money.

0:38:270:38:30

-Is this something you've done before, Lucy?

-We began up in Nottingham.

0:38:300:38:35

We renovated our house there and David really enjoyed that, so we thought we'd do it for a living.

0:38:350:38:41

We moved down to Torquay and converted a three-storey house into three flats.

0:38:410:38:46

-That was project number one.

-Wow!

-This is number two.

0:38:460:38:50

# We'll start over again

0:38:500:38:53

# Get a house in Devon... #

0:38:530:38:57

'Converting a three-storey property into three separate flats is certainly a baptism of fire.

0:38:570:39:03

'But these two seemed to take it in their stride.

0:39:030:39:06

'They now live in one of the flats, rent out the other and have sold the third.

0:39:060:39:11

'It was very successful and inspired electrical engineer David to try property developing.'

0:39:110:39:17

I trained as an electrical engineer and did a few conversion courses to make use of my background

0:39:170:39:23

in terms of rewiring and electrician type side of things, but yeah, it's a complete change.

0:39:230:39:29

-Is that something you're qualified to do now? You can do the electrics?

-Yeah.

-That's a real bonus.

0:39:290:39:35

-A great bonus.

-With the change in regulations, you have to get somebody in to do it.

0:39:350:39:40

Yeah. I'll probably wind up doing quite a lot of the work myself on this one cos times are tight.

0:39:400:39:46

I will be trying to control the budget.

0:39:460:39:49

-What will your involvement be, Lucy?

-Mainly supervisory, I think.

0:39:490:39:54

-You've got a baby to look after.

-Exactly.

0:39:540:39:57

But I'll be carrying out regular inspections to make sure they're doing a good job.

0:39:570:40:03

'So David's bringing his electrical qualifications and building experience from previous projects,

0:40:030:40:09

'plus Lucy is keeping an eye on the details, so the budget should be kept under control.

0:40:090:40:15

'The house has double glazing and central heating, but some areas do need a considerable outlay.'

0:40:150:40:22

# We're gonna rock down to Electric Avenue... #

0:40:220:40:25

The roof is leaking. That's let water in which has caused some damage.

0:40:250:40:30

And the bays have moved, so that's caused some cracking as well.

0:40:300:40:34

But that's relatively minor repairs. The house is fundamentally sound.

0:40:340:40:39

It doesn't sound very minor. "The bays have moved!" Where have they moved to?

0:40:390:40:45

-They're on separate foundations.

-Oh.

-This is the advice we've been given, as they say.

0:40:450:40:51

So the main house is in good nick, but the bays need to be repaired.

0:40:510:40:56

-How much have you set aside?

-The budget at the moment is around 15,000.

0:40:560:41:01

15. So quite tight if you're gonna have to do a lot of work on the roof?

0:41:010:41:06

Yeah, it will be tight, so I'll have to keep a tight control over spending in the budget.

0:41:060:41:13

And yeah, see how we get on.

0:41:130:41:15

'The timeline is not unreasonable as they've allowed four to six months,

0:41:150:41:21

'but keeping a lid on such a tight budget will depend on what they do to the rest of the house.'

0:41:210:41:27

The layout, we're gonna knock that wall through there to make a kitchen-diner.

0:41:270:41:32

New kitchen, new bathroom, decorate throughout.

0:41:320:41:36

-New what?

-New kitchen, new bathroom.

-New what?

-I'm afraid the orange kitchen will be going.

-No, no.

0:41:360:41:42

-And the blue bathroom.

-Yes, the bathroom can go.

0:41:420:41:46

That kitchen is fantastic!

0:41:460:41:48

-Oh, well...

-You want to keep the kitchen, don't you?

-No way.

0:41:480:41:53

Ruby, what do you think? Stay sleeping if you think we should keep the kitchen.

0:41:530:41:58

Result!

0:41:590:42:02

-The kitchen is going?

-I'm afraid so.

0:42:020:42:04

'I can't say I'm surprised, but I am disappointed.

0:42:040:42:08

'David and Lucy are concentrating only on what is absolutely necessary, so what's their plan?'

0:42:080:42:14

Once it's done up, we'll get it valued

0:42:140:42:17

and if the valuation comes in at a good level

0:42:170:42:21

and if there's still a housing market at that point...

0:42:210:42:25

-Of course there will be.

-..we'll see if we can find a buyer for it.

0:42:250:42:29

But if not, we'll let it out and there is a Plan C, failing all that.

0:42:290:42:33

We could wind up living in it ourselves.

0:42:330:42:36

-Congratulations.

-Thank you.

-And congratulations on this little bundle of joy.

0:42:360:42:43

-I hope it all turns out great.

-Thank you.

-Thanks, Martin.

0:42:430:42:47

Well, these are turbulent times in the property market,

0:42:470:42:51

but David and Lucy have done the right thing by buying this property at the right price,

0:42:510:42:57

so they've stacked things in their favour in terms of turning a profit.

0:42:570:43:01

Will they do so? All I'm concerned about is the fact they're taking out that kitchen. How could they?

0:43:010:43:07

Anyway, you can find out how they get on later in the show.

0:43:070:43:11

We're dying to see how our buyers have got on.

0:43:140:43:18

Let's go back and find out.

0:43:180:43:20

Earlier in the programme, Graham, an actor,

0:43:200:43:24

paid £237,500 for this two-bedroom flat in London.

0:43:240:43:29

It was near the famous Borough Market, an area featured in the film Bridget Jones' Diary.

0:43:290:43:35

It was to be home for Graham and his girlfriend Catherine, a theatre director.

0:43:350:43:41

They were delighted to finally move to a part of town they thought was out of their reach.

0:43:410:43:47

Now seven months later and their flat with fabulous rooftop views of London is finished.

0:43:480:43:54

The configuration has changed a little.

0:43:570:44:01

The living room has become a bedroom with a study area in the corner.

0:44:010:44:06

The second, smaller bedroom remains as a bedroom

0:44:060:44:10

and has been sumptuously decorated with a striking colour scheme.

0:44:100:44:14

But the original larger bedroom is now a living room with a big TV and very large corner suite.

0:44:140:44:21

As for the kitchen, now that's what I call a refurbishment!

0:44:210:44:25

Fully fitted with all appliances.

0:44:250:44:28

Catherine's away directing a theatre project, so it's down to Graham to explain how they tackled this job.

0:44:280:44:36

We got the builders in, the plumbers in, the electricians.

0:44:360:44:40

We ripped all the electrics and the plumbing out and started again.

0:44:400:44:44

We dropped all the ceilings, plastered every single wall, fitted the kitchen and the bathroom.

0:44:440:44:50

Although the bath remains under the window, the layout in the room has changed slightly.

0:44:500:44:56

They removed the dividing wall between the kitchen and hall, so the rooms gained valuable extra space.

0:44:560:45:02

We're really pleased the way this has turned out. It's turned into a fantastic light room -

0:45:020:45:08

getting rid of that wall, for us, making it all white, moving the radiators,

0:45:080:45:14

moving the sink around, getting the woods to complement each other.

0:45:140:45:18

All in all, I think we did it for about four grand, so we're really happy with this room.

0:45:180:45:24

It's definitely the most sociable room in the house.

0:45:240:45:27

Yes, it's lovely, but it soon became clear to Graham that converting a flat on the third floor with no lift

0:45:270:45:34

was going to be pricey, so right on cue, this actor volunteered to do the legwork.

0:45:340:45:39

The labouring was going to be expensive

0:45:420:45:46

because it takes so much time to take it up and down.

0:45:460:45:50

Fortunately, we knew the builders, the plumber and the electrician,

0:45:500:45:54

but when we told them what we'd like and they told us how much it was,

0:45:540:45:59

at that stage, it was already going over budget,

0:45:590:46:03

so for me to do the labouring, we then could take that out of the fee.

0:46:030:46:08

They'd leave it, I'd come back every evening, clean up, and every weekend, I'd get rid of all the rubbish.

0:46:080:46:14

Graham's more used to projecting his voice on stage than rubbish into a skip,

0:46:140:46:19

but it saved money and allowed extra features to be added.

0:46:190:46:23

We're really pleased with the way this room has turned out - fantastic use of light again.

0:46:250:46:31

We had a slight complication with the gas meter in there. Moving it was going to cost us far too much money.

0:46:310:46:37

So this room pretty much designed itself.

0:46:370:46:40

We got the wet room, we wanted that. We've got a bath still, so we're pleased the way it's turned out.

0:46:400:46:46

The only slight downside is we spent the best part of 1,500 quid on the sink

0:46:460:46:52

which was a large chunk of our budget, but we love it, so what does it matter?

0:46:520:46:57

I've got to hand it to Graham and Catherine. This is an impressive refurbishment.

0:46:570:47:03

But how much have they had to spend? Remember, Graham had budgeted between £15,000 and £20,000.

0:47:030:47:10

Including furnishings, that all came in at about 27.

0:47:100:47:14

I think the building work came in at 19 and our furnishings on top of that.

0:47:140:47:20

£27,000 on top of the £237,500 they paid at auction

0:47:200:47:25

makes almost £265,000,

0:47:250:47:30

so is the plan still to live here or would they consider selling?

0:47:300:47:35

When we moved in, I think that we could have flipped it, I was told, for 300.

0:47:350:47:40

I think realistically now, we're probably looking, after spending almost 30 grand, at about 300.

0:47:400:47:46

We live here, we love it and we don't need to sell it.

0:47:460:47:51

If we were offered money to go and do it again, we'd do it, but we're happy chilling out for the moment.

0:47:510:47:58

Time to see if the valuation of this flat,

0:47:580:48:02

like these two local estate agents, will have gone through the roof.

0:48:020:48:06

It's a good use of space, very nice kitchen, bathroom.

0:48:090:48:14

Bright, very good finish. It's a period building in a sense.

0:48:140:48:19

It's really nice. It's a really interesting finish. Good quality.

0:48:190:48:24

And made use of all the space really well.

0:48:240:48:28

In SE1, there's an inherent shortage of stock,

0:48:280:48:32

so renting or selling, there is a demand.

0:48:320:48:35

People may want a slightly larger reception room,

0:48:350:48:39

but with the size of the kitchen, it more than compensates for that.

0:48:390:48:43

It's a lovely, comfortable room to sit in.

0:48:430:48:46

Positive views, but have there been any of those green shoots of recovery in the property market?

0:48:460:48:53

Graham reckons he could get £300,000 for the flat. Is he right?

0:48:530:48:58

A good two-bed in this area, I mean, this property is really nicely done.

0:48:590:49:04

I would suggest you'd be looking at around £300,000.

0:49:040:49:08

You'd look at putting it on the market at 325, looking for anything in excess of 300.

0:49:080:49:13

So, spot-on, Graham's figure, and £25,000 more! How about that?

0:49:130:49:19

What, one came in at 3 and one came in at 325? Great.

0:49:210:49:25

Brilliant. We didn't lose. We're not skint. Yeah, so that's good news.

0:49:250:49:31

It's always reassuring to know that hard work has paid off,

0:49:310:49:35

but for this couple, the reward isn't just financial.

0:49:350:49:39

They've got a flat in a part of London they've wanted to move to, but thought was out of reach.

0:49:390:49:45

Long-term, how do they see things shaping up?

0:49:450:49:49

As well you know, the market is not in a great state right now, so we're living here.

0:49:490:49:54

And we're more than happy to stay here.

0:49:540:49:57

If somebody offers the right money, we'll consider selling it

0:49:570:50:01

and moving on and doing another project, then get the castle with the moat and the crocodile(!)

0:50:010:50:08

Remember, Graham is a resting actor and that all sounds like a great film waiting to be written.

0:50:080:50:15

I hope he gets the starring role!

0:50:150:50:17

Earlier in the programme, property developer David and his wife Lucy

0:50:210:50:25

bought this semi in Torquay for 120,000.

0:50:250:50:28

The kitchen was stuck in the Swinging Sixties,

0:50:280:50:32

but the house had spacious rooms, although not without problems.

0:50:320:50:37

There were cracks in the ceilings and around the windows.

0:50:380:50:43

They planned to refurbish the property and then sell.

0:50:430:50:47

Now, seven and a half months later, the grey house has a new cream colour scheme on the outside.

0:50:470:50:54

And that leaking roof has been completely re-tiled.

0:50:550:50:59

Inside, in the front living room, maroon has been added to the neutral cream and beige

0:50:590:51:05

and a very, very shiny floor.

0:51:050:51:08

As promised, the rear of the house has been transformed into a marvellous, huge kitchen-diner.

0:51:080:51:14

But I'm sorry, '60s fans, that orange kitchen is now history.

0:51:140:51:19

And so too is that dangerous glass at the top of the stairs, thank goodness!

0:51:210:51:27

The front bay-windowed bedroom now looks to be crack-free with an almost cottagey feel.

0:51:270:51:33

It's all lovely, but there's had to be a change of plan.

0:51:330:51:37

This place originally was intended for either sale or possible rental,

0:51:370:51:43

but my wife is pregnant with our number two,

0:51:430:51:46

so we've decided to keep this one for ourselves and move in.

0:51:460:51:50

It all changed around March time

0:51:500:51:52

when it became clear that I was expecting a second baby.

0:51:520:51:57

That threw everything. Where we are at the moment is completely impractical for two children.

0:51:570:52:03

It was either buying somewhere else for ourselves or... but this house is nearly ready,

0:52:030:52:09

so it seemed perfect for us to move in here.

0:52:090:52:12

This is the new kitchen-diner which is hopefully a very sociable family space.

0:52:120:52:18

The dividing wall used to run along here.

0:52:180:52:23

The doorway was there where the central heating programmer is.

0:52:230:52:27

So, yeah, we've lost that orange feature kitchen

0:52:270:52:32

and replaced it with something more modern and contemporary.

0:52:320:52:35

But they added a touch of orange to the new kitchen as homage to that previous '60s look.

0:52:350:52:42

The refurbishment has continued behind the stairs in the utility room.

0:52:420:52:48

Upstairs, even the smallest of the three bedrooms is a good size

0:52:500:52:54

and the cracked ceilings were replaced easily.

0:52:540:52:58

But what about those big, gaping cracks around the bay windows? They looked more serious.

0:52:580:53:04

The repairing of the bays, it did look quite bad

0:53:040:53:08

and might have put a few people off possibly.

0:53:080:53:11

But when it came to it, it was relatively simple and quite cheap to fix.

0:53:110:53:16

It was just tying brickwork back in where it hadn't been tied in before

0:53:160:53:21

or tying joists back in where they hadn't been tied in.

0:53:210:53:24

David is a qualified electrician, but has in fact done the majority of all the refurbishment here.

0:53:240:53:31

I did most of the work. I've had help from friends and family, particularly over recent days.

0:53:310:53:37

I've had a plasterer in, a tiler in

0:53:370:53:39

and I've had a building specialist on hand to give me a bit of advice when I've needed it and a bit of help.

0:53:390:53:47

Long hours, hard graft - I bet Lucy's impressed.

0:53:470:53:50

Yeah, really proud of what David's done. He's worked really hard.

0:53:500:53:55

He's done so much of the work himself.

0:53:550:53:58

Keeping labour costs down is a real bonus for any refurbishment,

0:53:580:54:03

but you must be qualified to do it like David.

0:54:030:54:06

Did they keep to their £15,000 budget?

0:54:060:54:09

We've spent a little bit more because we decided to keep it for ourselves.

0:54:090:54:14

There's also been a few other changes like we've kept the garage,

0:54:140:54:18

so that took some money to actually make that structurally sound again.

0:54:180:54:23

We've spent about... On the kitchen, we've spent, I think that came in at about 2,500.

0:54:230:54:29

And that money's not just been spent inside the house.

0:54:290:54:34

There was a big greenhouse here three foot down, all at different levels.

0:54:340:54:39

There was a few big bushes with bricks around that just got in the way.

0:54:390:54:44

And there was no open space out here at all.

0:54:440:54:48

So we've levelled it, made it one flat space

0:54:480:54:51

and put lawn down and made it a nice, family-friendly space.

0:54:510:54:55

Now it's time to get opinions from two local property experts

0:54:550:55:00

on this first-class refurbishment.

0:55:000:55:03

The couple that bought this property have really turned it round and created an enviable family home.

0:55:030:55:09

They've opened up that kitchen into a complete kitchen-breakfast room

0:55:090:55:13

which gives it a wow factor. It's a cracking job!

0:55:130:55:16

The decision to enlarge the kitchen by knocking the wall down

0:55:160:55:20

between the kitchen and the then dining room was a good one.

0:55:200:55:25

Most people now want a kitchen-breakfast room. It's the main focal point of anybody's house.

0:55:250:55:31

I didn't remember there being a garden last time. It was not laid out in the best way.

0:55:310:55:37

But now it's a wonderful garden.

0:55:370:55:39

It's got somewhere to sit, it's got grass.

0:55:390:55:43

They bought the house, planning to refurbish and sell, but it's now become their home.

0:55:430:55:49

They paid £120,000 at auction and the budget has gone slightly over 15,000.

0:55:490:55:54

What's it worth now? Could they clean up?

0:55:540:55:57

I would place the property on the market somewhere in the region of £159,950

0:55:590:56:05

with a view to achieving around 155,000.

0:56:050:56:08

If I were to put this property on the market now,

0:56:080:56:12

I would ambitiously ask £165,000, but a realistic figure would be 160.

0:56:120:56:17

That represents at least £15,000 gross profit

0:56:170:56:22

before the usual expenses.

0:56:220:56:24

-I'm pleased with that.

-Yeah, that's pretty good, I think.

0:56:240:56:28

That's good. That's really good news.

0:56:280:56:31

It has been a pretty successful project,

0:56:310:56:34

thanks in no small part to David's extremely hard work.

0:56:340:56:38

I think when we come to sell it, we shouldn't have too many problems,

0:56:380:56:43

but in the meantime, it'll be a lovely family home.

0:56:430:56:47

-That's all we've got time for.

-We hope today's properties entertained, inspired and surprised you.

0:56:500:56:56

-So join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.

-See you then.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:560:57:01

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2009

0:57:170:57:22

Email [email protected]

0:57:220:57:25

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a pleasantly surprising terrace in Cheshire, a large flat in London with great views, and a house in Torquay.

All of these properties went to auction and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.