Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property with some nasty secrets in London, a Southampton semi riddled with woodworm, and a house with potential in south Wales.
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You never know what you'll discover
in the pages of an auction catalogue.
Yeah, it could be a tiny terrace, a super semi or a majestic mansion.
One thing for sure, they're all available under the hammer!
Now, viewing the property before you bid on it is the developer's must.
It's the only way of really knowing what you're buying.
And you must make sure you get a survey done first because
you never know what's lurking behind that old plaster.
Here are the properties that we have for you today.
You might need a magic wand in this London property because it hides some shocking secrets.
If you weren't expecting it, it's a nasty thing to find.
There's a Southampton semi with big rooms,
but unwelcome visitors.
One thing I've noticed is that it's riddled with woodworm.
It is everywhere.
And you don't need chips with everything at this property in South Wales.
You could open it as something else,
maybe a sandwich bar or a card shop or a gift shop.
These properties went to auction, and we'll find out
who bought them, and what they paid when they went under the hammer.
Yours, sir, right at the back.
I'm in Fulham, west London. A very sought after area.
It's hard to imagine that 100 years ago
it was largely occupied by workers at factories
on the nearby River Thames,
because today, it's an established haunt of the smart and the well heeled.
This is Harwood Terrace, Fulham Broadway tube is 10 minutes' walk away,
the vibrant King's Road couldn't be much closer.
So this is very desirable London.
Up for auction was a four-bedroomed mid-terrace.
Now, if I told you that next door sold for over 700,000
a couple of years ago,
and that when things were looking good,
similar properties were selling for over 800,
then you might be very interested to hear that this had a guide price of 470.
Very interesting, and music to my years, in fact.
What isn't so melodic, though, is the fact that there's a busy road outside
and it seems to be a sort of unofficial cut through.
Traffic calming measures have done little to stop the constant flow,
certainly not the best way to calm my nerves.
The traffic from that road's a bit of an issue.
The house itself, well, you might be hoping for period features.
I happen to know this was formerly an HMO house of multiple occupation,
and it looks to me like a lot of the character has been stripped out.
What is interesting, when you come in here,
somebody has already started work renovating this place.
I guess in the property world, time is money, so fair enough.
It doesn't look too bad in general, nice magnolia walls and coming into
the kitchen, the units aren't super high quality, but they would do.
If you're embarking on a restoration,
in this kind of house in this area, maybe you'd put something nicer in.
But all in all, it's not bad.
You've just got to dodge the building supplies!
The front room is a reasonable size, as is the kitchen.
But none of the rooms are grand or impressive, just bland and functional.
Past a large downstairs shower room,
there's a further room at the back with a sink in it.
I imagine this was once a bedroom.
Upstairs, there's another bathroom which looks more promising.
But it's at the front of the house where the work has really started.
I'm all for open-plan, but this is taking it a bit far!
Well, someone has been having fun with a sledgehammer!
Just shows what you can do with determination in a short amount of time.
Let's talk about what this house is.
It's an HMO - a house of multiple occupation.
Five let-able rooms, four up here and one downstairs.
Now that is quite an effective and cash efficient way to go.
It's not licensable, cos it's only two floors, so it could generate quite an income.
Your other options, convert it into flats,
that's probably my number one option.
Or a single family home.
Mmm, it's about talking to the estate agents,
find out what there is a market for and make your decision based on that.
But before you go off and do that, I've made the discovery
in the walled back garden that rings alarm bells.
Behind this scaffolding tower, the wall is being worked on in two places.
Inside on the ground floor, in exactly the same spot,
the plaster's been ripped off to expose the brickwork.
And upstairs on the first floor, the bricks have also been exposed.
Now, this is a bit scary.
I don't mean to say that the ceiling is going to fall in on me.
But it's quite interesting to see the property bared like this.
As you can see, there is a really nasty crack here.
That's been caused by guttering on the outside leaking.
It's obviously had some real damaging effects over time.
I'm also told that the property was un-mortgageable in this state,
so whoever's bought it has had to do some fairly urgent remedial work.
Basically, what they've done, is they put these wall ties
into the wall, stretching across where the crack is, pointing that in.
If that's done properly then you will be able to get a mortgage.
But obviously, if you weren't expecting it,
it's a nasty thing to find!
That certainly explains why the new owner was keen to start work.
It shows that if you buy at auction
and you are worried about the property's condition,
then get a survey done.
That low guide price certainly reflects the problems here.
I've asked an estate agent to have a look.
A lot of issues worry me. What does he think of it?
My first impression was it's light, it's bright,
it's well proportioned,
it's got a really good garden.
I was very impressed with the property.
Providing the structural issues can be resolved,
should the new owner keep the house as a multiple occupancy?
At the moment, we're in a family area
and I believe that this property would be best as a family house
or as two two-bedroom flats.
What's the potential value for either of those options?
To renovate this back into a single dwelling,
you'd be looking in the region of £750,000.
If you were to convert it into two flats, the value would be similar.
You'd be looking in the region of
£350,000 per unit for each flat.
And the income any investor could generate?
If you were to rent it as two flats, I'd be looking at
£320 per week for each flat.
Well, the back walls have already had some attention,
and the stud ones are now history.
But how will this place end up?
Well, it's a house with lots of options in a very desirable area.
But as you can see, somebody's already started the work.
Let's see who the eager beaver was who bought it at auction.
So we move on to lot 38.
32 Harwood Terrace, Fulham, SW6.
Where do I kick off?
400. I'm not going to go below four. At 400.
Thank you, 400. 405 anywhere?
400 on my left. 405?
470. 475. 480?
476. Another 1,000. It's going.
It's a good buy. 475. Anyone else?
At 475 first time, second time.
Third and last time. Are you all done?
475. Well done.
The winning bidder, who paid £475,000,
just £5,000 over the guide price, was this man.
He's a property developer and landlord, but has
bought this as his first joint investment with a business partner.
He used to deal in wholesale womenswear and switched careers about 14 years ago.
I met him at the house to find out
if it's going to be an haute couture classic or more high street fashion.
-Lovely to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Congratulations. You're a bit eager!
You've started work already?
-When did you complete on the property?
So why the hurry?
We wanted to get a mortgage,
and they said there is a small crack has to be sorted out before releasing
the thing, so we had to sort out the problem.
They've insisted that you do the work upstairs?
Fortunately, the structural engineers says it's not major
and he would like to put a board there to sort it and replace some mix.
-Right, so that's the first job that you're doing?
Did you know about this before you bought it?
No. I didn't. It was a mistake.
Not a mistake, because we did not see the property and we did not
come to the auction to buy this property.
-We went to buy something else.
Then we thought that this location and the price was good.
So we decided to go for this property.
And then you discovered it had a crack, which made it un-mortgageable?
-That's right, yeah.
-At what point did you decide you wanted to buy it?
Believe me, when they showed me the photo in the auction room,
when I saw the thing, I thought, "That's beautiful."
-So you decided as the bidding started?
Did you see the legal pack?
-No. I didn't see the legal pack, no.
-You're a gambling man, are you?
I'm not a gambler at all! But on this occasion, yes, I did, actually!
I did that, and I would not recommend anybody.
I have purchased property from auctions, I have been in this game,
and even if it comes to the worst, we would have sorted the problem
before selling or putting it back on the market again.
That's exactly what you shouldn't do at an auction -
bid nearly half-a-million-quid on a property that you've not seen,
only to discover you're unlikely to get finance
without doing major expensive work.
Luckily, it seems this work should be enough to satisfy the mortgage company.
But if he'd had to underpin the house,
the cost would have been much greater.
Tell me what you're going to do to the property inside?
-We will make a through lounge, we're going to knock this down.
-A through lounge?
We are going to move the kitchen to the back room there.
It's going to be a kitchen diner.
And up the stairs, we have knocked the wall down
and it's going to be three double bedrooms upstairs.
-Is the idea to convert it back into one house?
Why have you chosen to do that, rather than do flats?
I had spoken to local estate agents
and we asked, what would be the best way to sell in this area?
They said, if you bring it back,
make a through lounge and move the kitchen, it will be really sellable.
How much do you think it will cost to do the work?
We have estimated between £25 - £28,000.
So for around half a million, a little bit over half a million,
you're going to sort this place out?
So his gamble could well have paid off.
An estate agent valued the property
at about 750,000, once restored as a family home.
So even at 650,000, he could make a potential
£100,000 gross profit.
Well, he took a huge gamble buying this place without seeing it first.
And for somebody without the cash, discovering that crack at the 11th
hour could have been a major financial disaster.
As it is, it looks like he's got away with it.
It will be interesting to see how he converts this back into one single dwelling.
You can find out how it looks later in the show.
I'm in the large city of Southampton in Hampshire.
It's one of the biggest commercial ports in Europe
and also provides a safe harbour for many cruise ships.
Indeed, the Titanic started its fateful voyage here.
So will the next property be a disaster waiting to happen, or plain sailing?
This is Albany Road in Fremantle, which is a suburb of Southampton.
It's about a mile from the city centre.
I'm here to see this fairly ordinary looking Victorian end of terrace.
But, this property already has planning permission
to convert into three self-contained flats.
That's quite exciting!
It had a guide price on auction day of £145 - £150,000.
when you bear in mind that this small two-bedroom house
has the potential to become three properties.
But there's obviously some major rebuilding work which needs to be done first.
Even though this house is being knocked around,
it's still worth taking a look at the original footprint.
We've got a reception room through there.
You can see the house is tired and dated,
old-fashioned wallpaper, polystyrene tiles everywhere.
A good-sized second reception room, lots of under stairs storage
and at the back of the property, the kitchen.
You can see it's tired and dated, and completely needs an overhaul.
Even if this house wasn't changing, it would need a complete programme of refurbishment.
Upstairs there are two bedrooms and you have to access the bathroom through one of them.
That's not ideal, but it's all set to change and this floor will become a two bedroom apartment.
I've got the plans here that have already been passed by the local council.
Basically, this whole house will be extended to the side here.
The building line will still be here where the original property is,
but the great thing is there will be parking at the rear,
and that is because there's road access there.
The plans themselves...
You've got two one-bedroom flats on the ground floor, you can see that.
Upstairs, there's a two-bedroom flat.
What I like about these is that each flat has their own independent entrance.
I think that's a bonus.
It all seems fairly straightforward, but there is one issue with this house,
or should I say lots of little, wriggly issues?
Whilst walking around this house,
one thing I've noticed is that it's riddled with woodworm.
It is everywhere. You can tell, just have a look at the holes here.
You can see the woodworm is still active, because when you tap this,
sawdust comes out.
You can remedy this easily with a chemical treatment which
you can spray or paint on,
but if it's really bad, which I think this is,
you can inject a paste into it.
But let's face it, this house is going to be ripped apart soon,
and all this wormy wood will be history.
I've invited a local estate agent to come and look at this house
that went to auction guided at 145 - 150,000.
It had planning permission to convert it into three self-contained flats.
From looking round the property, in its current condition it's in a pretty poor state.
I've looked at the plans,
the one-bedroomed flats aren't huge, they aren't massive square footage,
but what they do rely on is no internal corridors so they make very good use of space.
Permission has been granted to convert the property into flats,
but is there a demand for those in the area?
The market round here at the moment,
again, with the rest of the market, things are struggling to sell.
This is more of a long-term project, something you'd hold on to
and let the property out for it to produce this income for you.
It's a long-term investment.
Because of its location, it's popular for rental.
If you're looking to resell, it probably wouldn't work.
The flats would be too small and it wouldn't make a very good project.
It sounds like this is destined to be a rental machine,
generating money for the new owner.
What sort of income could it achieve?
For one-bedroomed flats such as these,
you're probably going to look to get around 450.
For the two-bedroomed flat,
you'll probably look to get about 550 per calendar month.
Once the three flat conversion is finished,
how much could the flats sell for?
If you had to sell the property, you'd probably sell it as it is in one lump sum.
But if they're broken into individual units,
you're looking at around 80,000 for the one-bedroomed flats
and around 125,000 for the two-bedroomed flat.
Of course, the profit any developer could realise would depend on the cost of converting it.
That's still unknown, but what is known
is that the permission exists to convert the house into three flats.
This house is basically going to be taken apart at the seams.
The side, the rear, the roof will all be rebuilt.
The fact it's already got full planning permission means the new owner can get to work straightaway.
As they say in this business, time is money.
But this is a major project, and not one for the inexperienced.
So, who bought it? Let's find out when we head to auction.
Moving to lot number six in your catalogue.
47 Albeny Road in Fremantle, Southampton.
Somebody get me underway at just 130,000.
I do have 130, thank you.
130,000 just to the rear of the signs.
131, 132. 132 is bid by the sign.
133 is bid. 134. Thank you.
135 bid, sat in the centre of the aisle. 136 I have.
Now I need 137 from you, sir. Are you shaking your head at me?
You are? OK. 137, a new bidder on the left-hand side.
138? 138 is bid.
Gentlemen seated at 139.
140? 140 I've got. 141? 141 I have got.
142 the gentleman goes to.
143? No? Half?
142 and a half?
142 and a half I have got.
I need somebody at 143.
Gentlemen is saying "yes" at 143.
Half again, sir? Might do the job. No?
Give you a quarter? 143,250.
I need 143 and a half. Gentlemen is shaking his head at me.
143,250 I have.
Are you done?
143,250 for the first time.
143,250 for the second.
Third and final time.
That winning bid of 143,250
was made by local Southampton-based developer Rana.
Originally, an electronics engineer, Rana's been buying property to let
for over 20 years and now works full-time as a developer.
I met him at his latest purchase to hear about the plans.
-Amazingly you paid under the guide price for this at auction.
-Had you set a limit?
Yes, I did.
I must admit I had a limit of 140 in my mind,
because that's what I offered prior to the auction.
They didn't accept, so when I was at the auction
I had a feeling that there was not that much interest
and it was going to go below the guide.
I offered it to what I paid.
Why did this property appeal to you?
I had a similar sort of property to this one a couple of roads down,
and we converted that into three units.
This one already had the planning, and that was a plus point.
Do you think this really suits flats?
Yeah, I've thought about it before buying
and I think the plot size is OK.
It meets all of the amenity space and that sort of thing.
But as a house it wouldn't return the money.
As flats, I think there's a return on it.
I've had properties here for the last 25 years,
so I do know the area quite well.
So it's right in saying you're a landlord?
Yes, yes. Landlord, and I develop properties as well.
-How long have you been developing property?
-About five or six years ago.
Before then I was working and I didn't have the time,
but in the last six years we've done about five, six projects.
Now that Rana's a full-time property developer,
he tends to work on his own, project managing developments.
He does this with a team of workmen, and his wife deals with the paperwork.
I always feel sad when I walk into a property like this,
it's got a history, it's had a great life
and you will be ripping the guts out of it.
So that will be no longer.
Yes, but the outer parts of the building
will retain the character of the property,
although the inside will be a modern type of building.
Having dealt with so many tenants, we know what they're looking for.
We try to build that into each of the flats,
storage, good-sized lounge, bedroom,
good bathroom fittings, that sort of thing.
I tend to go overboard with putting expensive fittings
and all that sort of thing, but on this one I'll try to keep tight as possible.
He won't stick rigidly to the plans that have already been passed,
he has some alterations in mind.
Here we are with some new, exciting plans.
What was it you didn't like about the old plans?
It was the layout.
When I looked more closely,
I thought I might be able to get some more
square footage out of it.
We changed the plans,
putting in for planning to get another bedroom in one of the flats.
I can see you have just got a small extension at the back,
-is that purely the extra bedroom?
So now you've gone for two two-bedrooms and one one-bedroom?
That'll look for a healthier rental return, won't it?
True, true, and I think the costings won't be that much more
to add on a small extension.
How long do you think a project like this will take you?
You've got a lot of knocking down walls,
a lot of moving, building out here, haven't you?
Yes, I have spoken to the team of guys I work with,
and we're looking at 4-4½ months.
What sort of budget will you have to play with to get this done?
At the moment, I'm having a budget of about 60,000.
If I can stick to it, I'll be very happy.
Rana's about to submit his revised plans
and is hoping to start some provisional work
whilst he waits to hear if they've been accepted.
Rana is an experienced developer
and he's bought in an area that he knows well, so that's all good.
But he's hoping to add square footage to the plans,
which means going through the whole planning process again.
That's a long eight-week wait and there's no guarantee he'll even get permission.
Join me later, to see if he gets the go-ahead.
Coming up, the property catch of the day could be in South Wales.
It comes equipped with everything you need for a fish-and-chip shop.
Back in Southampton,
there've been some ups and downs converting this property into flats.
Not seeing the problems ahead, that was a bit of a low point.
But first, they decided to plan ahead with the refurbishment at this house.
Whoever comes here, it'll not be a problem in the future.
Earlier in the programme, Karim and his business partner bought
this terraced property in fashionable Fulham, London, for £475,000.
Karim's a full-time property developer,
but he took a real gamble on this one.
He hadn't seen inside and soon discovered structural issues
would need to be fixed before he could get a mortgage.
The plan was to convert this former house of multiple occupancy back into one family home.
Now, three months later, the traffic out side is just as busy,
but will the house have raised the bar in the neighbourhood?
Well, the shutters that match next door's might help.
Inside, the wall between the front room and kitchen has been removed,
creating a large living room.
At the back, the shower room and bedroom
have become a lovely, light kitchen.
Some of that problem brickwork has been repaired
and replastered downstairs, and up in the bedroom, as well.
It looks like Karim might have got away with his gamble.
The brickwork outside has also been re-pointed,
and the walled garden is nearing completion.
As you could see, we have transformed the garden.
It needed a lot of repointing, which we've done here and at the back,
and also we've changed the floor, and improved the lighting.
That's what it needed.
I'm very, happy with the job which has been done.
Although the cost has just gone up more than what we anticipated,
but still, I'm very happy.
Karim had "guess-timated" the refurbishment would cost £25 - £28,000.
That's good news about the structural issues,
but with the extra work in the garden
and the high-spec kitchen and bathroom, has he kept to that budget?
I think more or less it has cost us about £38,000,
it was more than what we had estimated at the beginning.
Because of the location, we thought that if we spent a bit more money,
at the end of the day, we'll get that money back.
The property had been divided into five separate rental rooms
as a house of multiple occupancy, an HMO.
It's now restored to a family home with three bedrooms upstairs.
As you could see, there were two small bedrooms here, on the left and on the right.
What we've done is to knock down the partition
and make it into a large bedroom, which I think the house needed.
It's almost finished, with top quality fixtures and fittings,
and granite work surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.
Overall, the job, we tried to do a good job. Whoever comes here,
they would not have any problem with the building,
the plumbing, the heating, electrical, we tried to do an excellent job.
Very, very satisfied when I see something
nice and you see the transformation of what it was and what it is now.
The plan is to sell the property, but how much is there left to do, and when will it be finished?
We're just putting the work top down the stairs and up the stairs,
and then the only thing left would be a touch up and to lay down the carpet.
Hopefully, we'll be finished by the end of the week.
Let's see two how estate agents,
familiar with the Fulham market, will rate this one.
My first impressions of the house, it's really good.
An extremely good finish.
Clean, good bathrooms, good kitchens.
My first impressions - it's been finished to a very high standard.
It's very light and airy throughout.
Ideal, should sell very easily.
They've done a good job in the garden.
It's not a key feature of the location of the house,
but they've incorporated it, bringing it up to a high standard
and it'll take that first impression to a good level.
The negative side to the property is the road outside.
It's a bit of a cut through for traffic, accessing the King's Road.
Time to hear how much Karim's refurbishment could feasibly achieve, once completed.
Remember, he paid £475,000 at auction and has spent £38,000 on it.
So, about £513,000 in total.
If I was going to value this to go on the market for sale,
I would put it on the market for 645, to achieve somewhere in the region of 620, 630.
Looking at the price of the property,
I would hazard a guess that it should go to the market at 650,000,
and should achieve 650,000.
That represents over £110,000 gross profit, after just 11 weeks.
Karim must be pretty pleased.
Yes, I think more realistically, between 650, to 675.
We've had different agents give different prices.
In this respect, I think 650, to 675 is a more realistic price.
Karim is an experienced developer.
He took a gamble and it paid off for this former house of multiple occupancy.
If he decides not to sell,
what rental income could this three-bedroomed property generate?
For a rental value, I'd value this at £500 per calendar week, £2,200 per month.
I would expect it to achieve £2,200 per month.
2,200, - 2,500 is more realistic rent for a house of this state.
But, it could have all turned out so differently.
It was only luck that the cracked wall could be repaired, a lesson that has been taken on board.
Definitely, we'll do the same thing again.
But this time, definitely more vigilance when I go to auction.
I would not buy without seeing the property.
If it's the great outdoors you're looking for,
then Wales must be on any shortlist.
This is the beautiful valley of the River Neath in South Wales.
Close by is the town of Resolven,
where something decidedly fishy is going on.
It's certainly not in the air. You can't get fresher than around here.
And while the town of Resolven is a bit off the beaten track,
the town nestles in the countryside and has good links to the coast.
So, what was up for auction? Well, I said it was a little bit fishy...
There it is, it's the old fish and chip shop in Resolven.
It looks absolutely tiny.
It's definitely one of the smallest properties
we've had on the programme,
but I know there's no place like a home under the hammer,
so I'll treat it like anywhere else.
I'll tell you that I've noticed it's got a replacement window and door,
and that the roof looks in need of attention
and it's certainly got a lot of kerb appeal.
But when the chips are down, I'm yet to be convinced
that it's really worth the guide price of 39,000.
The real gem with this place is on the inside,
because it comes fully equipped,
with everything you could need to run it as a fish and chip shop.
You've got the fryers, the microwaves, even this extractor.
It would cost you about £6000 to buy this kind of stuff,
so that's really great news.
It certainly helps to justify the guide price.
Remember, we don't know if any of the stuff works.
Before a single switch is turned on, it all needs to be checked out.
Also, a good clean may be in order.
In fact, the inside isn't much better than the outside,
and it's gonna need a lot of elbow grease to make it shine.
# Ye shall have a fishy on a little dishy
# Ye shall have a salmon when the boat comes in. #
This is a little different from a normal house auction,
because you're buying a business.
That intrinsically has a different value, due to its turnover,
and what's known in commercial terms as goodwill.
But in this case, we've hit a bit of a snag.
There is a bit of a downside. There are no accounts showing
how well this fish and chip shop did when it was running as a business.
You could ask around, ask the locals, see if it was popular.
At the moment, you are slightly blind
in terms of how profitable it might be.
You could contemplate opening something else,
maybe a sandwich bar, or a card shop or gift shop.
Again, you don't know how well that would do, unless you research.
Either way, it does the a bit of thinking about
before you take it on.
One way not to get yourself caught hook, line and sinker,
could be to trawl a local estate agent's
knowledge about the shop,
especially as he's bought the odd bag or two of chips in the past.
I used to live in this village.
I lived here for about 20 years.
This originally used to be a bookies, a betting shop.
Obviously, more recently, it turned into a chip shop.
It was quite a busy little chip shop.
It's got local pubs and Resolven used to be
my stomping ground when I was young,
and this was where I used to come at the end of the night.
Fond memories, I'm sure.
It's a good sign that it was such a well-known
and popular local institution.
As it was a betting shop, I wonder what the odds are
that it could re-open as a chippy.
It's been closed for a while.
It's got a bit tired, but I think the potential is still there.
You only have to look at the outside, and look at where it is.
It's on the main road into the village,
it's within walking distance of two or three pubs,
is where the kids tend to hang out,
and I think there's definitely business to be had here.
But that doesn't mean it'll be plain sailing if you're thinking
about buying this with the intention of renting it out.
Knowing the village, I don't think there's enough revenue to own it,
rent it, and as the landlord make a profit
and the person running it make a profit as well.
So, you need to beware or you could end up
getting your financial fingers burned in the fat fryer,
if you're planning to rent this place out.
Bearing that in mind, was the guide price of £39,000 good value?
I'd put the value of this at around 15 or 20,000 at the outside.
Without looking at the equipment, I'd say you're looking at about
5 or 6000 to replace the equipment if it doesn't work.
If it does, great, but we just don't know.
Sounds like you could get home from the auction
with a really sizzling investment, or a soggy bag soaked in vinegar,
with your chips falling out the bottom.
What an interesting auction lot.
Potentially, a business venture.
You're certainly not buying this for the bricks and mortar.
Not knowing how it's done in the past, whoever buys it
really is going into the unknown.
They could well be jumping out of the frying pan, into the fryer.
Lot number 10 in your catalogue
it's the fish bar in the Square in Resolven.
Bid me on that, who has got 40,000 to start me?
40 will start me, 38 if you like.
Bid me surely, 30, is that?
I'll start on 30, thank you, sir. At 30,000 is all I'm bid,
do I have 32?
4, thank you. At 34,000, 5 then.
35, thank you. 35,000. At 35 here, 6?
6 I'm bid, 36,000 and another, 7, thank you.
At 37, fresh bidder at 8.
38. At 38. At 38 seated.
39? Thank you. 39,000. 40? Thank you.
40 I'm bid seated in the back.
At 40,000, now you're out behind, and I'm selling all the time.
At 40,000, brand-new come in again, yes or no?
Hammer's up, last chance. Change your mind? Quick if you want it.
At £40,000, have you all done?
Thank you, very much.
The successful bid of £40,000 was made by Richard.
He's a local chap, born and bred in the area.
He's been working on short-term contracts in the logistics industry
for years, but it's now been 12 months since his last project.
He thought it was time for a change,
though he sounds like a fish out of water.
I met him down at the water's edge to hear about his catch of the day.
So, Richard, very fitting that we should chat by a river,
seeing that you bought a fish and chip shop.
-Nice to meet you, anyway. Why did you want to buy it?
I suppose at the moment, investment's aren't doing very well.
I've got to an age where I'm practically
unemployable, I suppose.
I still feel I've work left in me.
It's something to keep me off the streets on the dark nights
during the winter, and something to do, basically.
Have you bought it to run it as a fish and chip shop?
Do you have any experience in that?
No. I attended a course the other day,
with the National Fish Fryers Federation.
We spent three days in Leeds, trying to learn how to run a chip shop.
-I guess there's more in it than meets the eye?
It'll take more than three days to learn it, I'm sure.
But it gives you a good flavour of what needs to be done.
As Richards says himself,
work wise, he's taken a bit of a battering in the last year.
While having the time off has been great, he's now at a loose end.
But I don't think this purchase was a flash in the pan decision.
Why a fish and chip shop?
Why not a sandwich bar or a gift card shop, or anything else?
There are a good margins in fish and chips.
You've got permission to trade as a fish and chip shop,
which isn't always easy to get.
It's a very quick turnover.
You've got raw-material, potatoes and fish in the morning,
and by the evening, you've converted into cash.
There's no credit, no bad debt,
it's lots of things going for it as a business model.
This property has a central location.
It's close to Richard's home, and it fulfils his ambition
to run his own business.
It just seemed too good to let off the hook.
And how much have you set aside to sort it out?
We've still got a reasonable budget, not a a massive budget,
but under 10,000 I'd have hoped we could have sorted it out.
Tell me the process from now until of the first
time somebody comes in and says, I'll have a cod and chips, please.
The place has got to be stripped out, to start with.
I think everything needs to be cleaned up.
We need to see what's working,
what's not working, environmental health need to come and have a look.
Initially, I don't see us making many changes to it,
other than a deep clean and just trying to get it running.
Once it's trading, hopefully as trade builds up,
we can invest more money in it.
Any plans for marketing, maybe leaflet dropping
through people's doors and things like that? May be an opening party?
No. I think what we'll do is we'll have a little trial
with some friends to make sure the fish and chips are up to standard
before we open to the public. That's the only thing will happen.
We don't want it to be a big flash in the pan today,
and then tomorrow, no-one comes.
We just want it to grow organically.
We're in a position to wait if we need to,
and hopefully, it'll be another service for the village.
Nice sentiment, but with a sandwich bar over the road
and another fish and chip shop at the bottom of the village,
there are already some big fish in the pond.
So there could be long hours ahead.
-You'll end up living and breathing this for a while, won't you?
-For a while, yes.
-And that's OK?
-Yes. It's got to be, hasn't it?
And it's a complete break from anything you've ever done before.
Maybe madness in some people's eyes, I suppose,
but we're gonna give it a go.
For the next six weeks, Richard's definitely going to be rolling up
his sleeves to give the old fish bar ready for its first customer.
I just hope it doesn't take too much of a battering along the way.
For Richard, I get the impression the fish and chip shop
is a bit of a sprat to catch a mackerel.
It's not just about the business,
it's about giving him something he can throw himself into, a project.
There's a lot of work involved,
both in sorting the fish and chip shop out, and in running it.
So, how is he going to get on?
You can find out - salt and vinegar supplied -
at the end of the show.
There are usually tears and stress where buying property is concerned.
Will today's properties turn out to be dreams or nightmares?
We can't put it off any longer. Let's find out.
Back to Southampton, where Rana, a full-time property developer,
paid £143,250 for this end of terrace.
It had planning permission to extend and convert into three flats.
Although the house was riddled with woodworm, Rana was
going to apply to modify the plans and add even more accommodation.
Eight months later, and from outside, the character of the house
looks the same, but the property is actually a lot wider.
Rana's revised plans got the go-ahead,
and the side extension of the original plan is being built.
It means that on the ground floor, the original living room has been
extended into the side extension, where a kitchen has been added.
Behind that, there's a bedroom and a bathroom for the one-bedroomed flat.
At the back, the scale of the revised extension is clear.
It meant the second flat on the ground floor
could have the two-bedrooms that Rana was after,
just like the original plans for the top floor,
where a second two-bedroom flat has been created.
But this has been no normal refurbishment.
It's practically been a new build.
Condition of the original property was very, very poor,
so I knew large chunks had to come down.
Rather than repair the rotten timbers, Rana did his sums
and decided it wouldn't be much more expensive
to remove much of the house and replace it with new.
So was it all demolished?
We didn't take 100% down. I mean, it was more like,
I would say, about 95%!
Well, apart from one party wall, the whole house has been rebuilt.
Everything has been redone -
new windows, wiring, plumbing, plastering.
Outside, there's been some careful recycling.
This is the original line of the original property,
and what we've done is extended it four feet up to that corner.
To keep the character of the property,
we've used the same bricks that came from the demolished
part of the building, hence the front of the property
looks as it was before, but in an extended form.
It really is a brilliant illusion.
Even the corner features were faithfully rebuilt
and that attention to detail continued at the back.
There, we've done the extension,
but we had quite a few problems when we were doing it.
The footings were a major problem.
We had to dig down nine or ten feet.
We put in 14 cubic metres of concrete.
It took us a lot of time, effort and money, but we're glad we've done it.
The end result has been good.
Absolutely. Rana has project-managed his team of builders,
creating three flats, but at what cost?
Remember, Rana paid £143,250 on auction day.
So how much was spent on this impressive conversion?
We had an original budget of about 70K that we were gonna spend on the
property and, doing the figures now, it's gone over about 12K.
Time to see how two estate agents
from Southampton rate Rana's hard work.
Obviously, first impressions of the property,
it's done to a high standard.
Large living room with two good-size bedrooms.
Overall, a generally good finish.
I think that the standard of the finish is very good.
It's not totally complete at the moment,
but from what I've seen, it's very good.
One of the negatives I find in this development
is the second bedroom downstairs.
It's a little bit small, not really a double room
and would probably only be used as a study area.
Obviously, the best apartment is the two-bedroom on the first floor.
Very good size, nice and spacious.
You mustn't grumble with the one-beds.
They're a good layout,
ideal for one person, that sort of thing.
The conversion looks to have pretty much
got the thumbs-up from the experts.
There's really only one flat to finish off.
So what's the plan now for Rana?
Is he going to rent or sell?
We are gonna retain this property and add it onto our portfolio.
All three flats have been already let, and hopefully we've
got the first lot of people moving in the middle of next week.
Let's find out how much each of the three flats
could generate in rental income.
For rental purposes, the two-bedroom flat on the first floor,
I'd probably recommend a figure at around 650 per calendar month.
Properties on the ground floor - the one-bedroom, probably looking
between £500 and £525 per calendar month.
I would probably say the two-bedroom upstairs would be round about 640.
The one-bedroom downstairs, around about 525 per calendar month.
The two-bedroom property, around about 550 per calendar month.
The upstairs ones were spot on, because we achieved that.
The downstairs, we've achieved a little bit more
than what they've said, so we're not fussed.
But how much is it worth?
The £82,000 budget on top of what he paid at auction makes 225,000.
The two-bedroom, I'd probably recommend
an asking price of around £125,000.
That's the first floor property.
The ground floor, 85 for the smallest one,
around 95 for the larger one.
I would value the first-floor flat at 119,950.
The large one-bedroom, I would value around about 85,000,
and the smaller two-bedroom, I'd value around 95,000.
So, potentially, £75,000 gross profit.
Is that in line with Rana's forecast?
We have our own figures that we're working around and,
even at those figures, I think we've still got a good margin in it.
What will he do after this one?
I think I still want to do possibly one or two more sites similar to this
sort of project and hopefully, in 10, 15 years, my son can take over
and take it to the next level.
We're back in Resolven, South Wales.
Local man Richard had paid £40,000 for this fish-and-chip shop.
It was a real sea change for him,
as he was a qualified logistics consultant.
But, after he'd been out of work for a year, he decided to try
and net some profit from running the local chippie.
Now, six months later, we've returned to see if
Richard's in deep water or if he's landed a catch of the day.
Well, on the inside, the chippy certainly looks
a whole lot cleaner and ready to rock.
But it's taken longer than expected to get this place shipshape
because, to start with, Richard was floundering about.
Since the last time you were here,
we didn't do anything for a month or two.
Then we focused on trying to get things done.
Took everything out of there first of all, then we cleaned everything.
We got the place rewired, new electrical boxes in,
and then we had a carpenter there who did all the cladding.
We did have an issue with the floor.
We got the public health people in before we started,
and they were quite happy with the floor,
but I wanted a floor that was easy to clean.
I'd got people in there to give me a quotation for a new floor and they
said, "Don't worry, we can screed over the top of the tiles
"and then lay the new floor."
They screeded over the top of the tiles
and then we couldn't open the door.
So we had to dig some of the tiles up.
It's just one of the lessons that you learn.
And another was to trawl through the history books,
looking for cleaning tips from the past.
As you can see, we've still got the original equipment here.
You can see the chip box and the fryers.
I spent hours cleaning these things with Brillo pads
and goodness knows what until I found, in the end,
that the best thing to do it was plain old washing soda,
a remedy people had used for years and years.
It does a good job and it's cheap.
It wasn't just the scale of the fish fryer that took Richard by surprise.
We looked around for some quotations for a stainless-steel top,
and they wanted £3,000, which I thought was
a ridiculous price when you consider the length of the counter,
so we looked for some new options.
What could we do to make the job cheaper?
I spoke to the carpenter we had here and we talked over some options.
One of the options was that he could make
a counter out of a double thickness of plywood.
We bought the stainless steel locally from a local steel supplier and got
it folded with one of their suppliers and we ended up with
a £3,000 counter plus this counter at the front
for just over £1,000, so we saved quite a bit of money on that.
Being on his mettle netted Richard £2,000,
so where has his budget landed?
Is he buoyant or in deep water?
I hadn't put a budget on it, but I hoped we wouldn't spend more
than about 5000, and I think we spent about 6000 in the end.
Remember, the chip shop went under the hammer at 40,000,
so Richard's total spend is 46,000.
We've been open for a few weeks. We didn't open with a big fuss.
We just opened the doors and let things grow organically.
Business has got better and better.
We haven't opened at daytime yet except on a Saturday.
It's just been evening opening.
Richard had been out of work for a year but, after buying the chippy,
he went on a fish fryers' course
and is now more than happy with his catch.
When you haven't worked for a while,
you don't get contact with as many people as you do in working life.
It's nice to be behind the counter, talking to people, having people
back and forth, and then there are the new skills to learn as well.
Some people want their chips hot and other people want them really hot
so they don't get cold by the time they get them home.
Whereas we were taught that white chips were the thing,
some of the locals don't like them white, they like them with colour.
So you try to please everyone, I suppose, in the end.
Two local property experts will certainly have
something to say about Richard's refurbishment.
Let's see what they think.
I think it's been a really good transformation.
When he bought the building, it was a bit run-down, a bit shabby.
He's done some really good work with it. It's clean, bright and fresh.
It's a nice place to go and buy chips, ultimately.
My first impressions of the property are obviously it's very small.
However, it's neat and tidy and quite clean.
Generally, it's a nice commercial unit.
The ultimate thing for a food place is that it's clean
and you know you're gonna be getting good quality product,
and I think that's what people will get when they go there.
It's unfortunate that the sandwich shop across the road has closed,
but I think that can only be good for the current owner of the chip shop.
Yes, but you don't know how long it'll be
before another business opens there, and possibly another rival.
There will be competition coming back in.
We've just sold the lease there as a sandwich and baguette bar,
so there will be competition in the area.
Maybe they could go into partnership.
Just think of the chip butties!
Richard paid £40,000 at auction and spent £6,000 on refurbishment.
How much is his fish-and-chip shop now worth?
The bricks and mortar value on this, I would consider,
in its current condition, is in the region of around 30,000.
We'd probably add a bit more in for goodwill and fixtures and fittings.
I think we'd give a global figure of around about 45,000.
I originally valued it at about 17,000 and I don't
think that's changed much, given the current marketplace.
But the value of this type of property
is in the business it creates, and ultimately,
as long as he's creating a business, making a living, he should be happy.
Of course, that all-important goodwill element will take time
to generate, but judging from Richard's initial sales,
he could soon be fishing out a healthy income here.
I'm not out to make a quick buck.
It wasn't a project that we would just do and walk away from.
It was a project to give us a long-term income, I hoped,
or an income for a few years anyway, and then we'll see where we go.
I just want people to say, "Well, you've done a decent job
"of what you've done and the chips are nice!"
And that must be true.
We couldn't get the crew out of the place!
Well, that's all we've got time for,
but there'll be more thrills and spills
from the auction room next time.
-Join us then for more Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you again.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property with some nasty secrets in London, a Southampton semi riddled with woodworm, and a house with potential in south Wales.
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.