Episode 68 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 68

Series about properties that went to auction. Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a building plot in Sutton, a semi in Southampton and a static mobile home in Lincolnshire.


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Hello, now, there are lots of things to consider when buying a property.

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Price, location, style -

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but exactly how do you buy?

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Now, one way is through an estate agent,

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another way, you could make an offer direct.

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Or you could head to your local property auction.

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Now, there are property auctions held all over the country,

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so there's bound to be one near you.

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So, why not try buying your next home under the hammer?

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We've scoured the UK to find interesting properties to feature today.

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But what will our buyers do? Give them a quick lick of paint,

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or go for a total refurbishment?

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Coming up, a plot of land in Nottingham with that rare asset -

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planning permission.

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And a guide price of 37,000 quid - looking good so far.

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In Southampton, there's a semi

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that's not all it's cracked up to be.

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And look at that, look. The bay is dropping away on either side.

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And there's a mobile home in a retirement park in Lincolnshire.

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But the big question is, is it upwardly mobile?

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All these properties have been sold at auction.

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We'll find out who bought them,

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and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.

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Today, I'm just outside Nottingham at Sutton In Ashfield,

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famous for, well, the largest sundial in Europe.

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Time to check out the local property market.

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I'm in Sotheby Avenue, just down the road from Sutton Parkway train station,

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where trains will have you in the centre of Nottingham in under 30 minutes.

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It's a popular residential area,

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especially for people looking to upgrade to a bigger house.

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And something is up for auction quite rare.

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It's a plot of land with planning permission for the building

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of a three-bedroom detached house.

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And a guide price of 37,000 quid - looking good so far.

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Finding a plot with planning permission in a sought-after residential area such as this

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is like striking property gold. Let's hope it's not fool's gold.

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The plot was created from the garden of the house next door,

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but it's a good size and reasonably flat,

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which is important for building.

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It's also on a corner, which is nice because you're not overlooked.

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The road's not that busy, and if you plant some shrubs round the side and a fence up,

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it's going to be a really private plot.

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The great thing is that the site hasn't become a fly-tipping zone,

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so there's not a lot of clearing up to do.

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Also, there's no obvious problem with connecting to the utility services.

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So far, so straightforward.

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Now, one of the key things is that it comes with planning permission,

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that's going to save you a lot of hassle. The only downside is you've got to like the plans.

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Well, let's see what's been approved.

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Here we are, this is the plot.

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Here's the house as designed.

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It's probably been done to fit in with what's already here,

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so that 1930s kind of feel to it.

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Makes reasonable use of the plot itself,

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sitting kind of sideways along the line

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of the existing properties.

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Good-sized garden's been left,

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let's take a look at the internal layout and see if there's any great surprises.

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No, I don't think there are. Basically, starting with the downstairs.

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Hallway area here, quite a nice size,

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I like that, but it could be at other rooms' expense.

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Got a kitchen there, and basically just one other room

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which is a living room/dining room.

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Upstairs to three bedrooms,

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with this lateral kind of layout,

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and then the bathroom upstairs. So, all in all,

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no great surprises, and it probably makes the best use of space.

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I reckon it's a nice and easy plan

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to fit on this nice and easy plot.

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The cherry on the cake is that someone has already done the legwork for you and got it passed.

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The only quibble I have with the design is the location of the parking.

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It's actually, at the moment, just a parking space, or two, at this end of the plot.

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There's no indication of a garage.

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You've got to look at the costs, it may well be that it's not cost-effective to build one,

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but it would certainly be nice and help with saleability.

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The issue you might have is that that house has a couple of windows facing the garage,

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and they might complain.

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It's a small comment about what seems a pretty solid investment opportunity.

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But with the economy in its current state,

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my main concern is whether it's the right time to be building at all.

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The plot had a guide price of 37,000.

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I asked a local estate agent what she thought of the potential here.

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Houses are sought-after in this area,

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so plots of land are quite rare,

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so it is a good investment because they are few and far between.

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So there's no doubt about the location, but there is something missing that could add value.

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My first thought was there's no utility room, no en suite,

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because generally modern houses, new builds, do consist of them now.

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So it will bring the price down slightly.

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The estate agent thinks selling the plot on with planning permission

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could achieve a possible £45,000.

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But if the build goes ahead, would the sale and rental figures stack up?

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In this market, I think this property will probably be worth around £165,000 to £175,000.

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There is a very good rental market for this sort of property in this area,

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and the least you'd get in the rental market would be around £600 per calendar month.

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Well, this would be a relatively straightforward plot of land to build on,

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in an area where plots like this don't come up that often.

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However, in these difficult economic times, are you sure you're going to be able to sell whatever you build,

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and if not, are you happy to rent it out?

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It's a tough one. Let's find out who decided to go for it at the auction.

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Lot 34, the building plot on the corner of Southeby Avenue

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in Sutton In Ashfield.

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Start me at 30,000 if you like.

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£30,000. £30,000 here, thank you.

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At £30,000.

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At £30,000. 31, I have. At 31,

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32, the starter's bid. At 32,

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33 is bid. At 33,

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34? 34?

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34, thank you. At 34,

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34, 35? 34 and a half. 35,000.

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35 and a half,

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36? 36 is bid, and a half.

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37?

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37, and a half.

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38? 38. 38-five. 39? No?

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38 and a half behind you, then. At 38,500 for the first time,

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38,500 for the second time. Selling at £38,500.

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Yours, sir.

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The successful bidders were Peter and Judy, a married couple from Derby.

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They've got a number of buy-to-let properties in a portfolio they've built up over the years.

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This is their first new build project.

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I met them at the plot to find out more.

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-Peter, Judy, lovely to meet you both.

-Good morning.

-Thank you.

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Why did you want to buy the plot?

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Well, I took early retirement last year, in March,

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which is quite young to do that, and I just wanted something to boost the pension a bit,

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you know, to keep the income up.

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Building a house, rather than buying one and doing it up,

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that's an extreme way to go, isn't it?

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We looked at all the options, we did look at refurbishing,

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but at the auction, they seemed to go for more

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than we thought we could make a profit from.

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This was another one, we looked at three,

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and one of the plots we'd looked at had gone prior to auction,

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a house we were interested in went for more than we were prepared to bid,

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and this one came along, which we'd looked at as well,

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and we got it at a price we're happy with.

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Right. What was it that appeals to you, Judy?

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Well, we just wanted a plot that was fairly simple, that we could just start from scratch

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and build a house on it.

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So, this was just the first project we've done like this, and we thought, "start small",

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the price was right, and it just seemed a good way to go.

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And also, to keep him in employment for a bit really!

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Keep him out from under my feet!

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It's funny that when men retire, it seems that wives often want to get them out of the house.

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Two of the top ways seem to be golf and developing property.

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So, it's something you'll be in full-time, is it?

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Erm, I'll be checking on it every week. I'm going to employ a builder.

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That's hardly full-time, is it?!

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Checking on it every week!

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I thought you were going to say, "I'll be here from nine till five every day"!

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-He likes golf!

-He'll pop in on a Tuesday afternoon at 3 o'clock,

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"everything alright, guys?"

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That'll be about it, then back to the golf course.

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Well, he may have a low golf handicap,

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but will this project be affected by a lack of leadership?

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Peter and Judy think this is going to be a simple development,

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but no new build is completely straightforward.

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They believe the plan needs only minor alterations,

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and hope that the house will be boosting their pension plan in six to eight months.

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They've already got several quotes for the building work,

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and aim to start the foundations in a few weeks.

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More importantly, they're confident they've got their sums right and there's money to be made.

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We've paid just under 40,000 for the land, plus a few other fees.

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And I've had quotes from builders, for the whole house and landscaping

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of between 75,000 and 85,000.

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If I purchase the materials myself I can get the VAT back,

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which is going to be about £5,000.

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-Wow. That's because it's a new build?

-Because it's a new build, yes.

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And then that should put the total cost between 110,000 and 120,000 altogether.

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So do you have any idea in your own mind what this would sell for?

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We've seen others... There aren't many for sale on this estate,

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but there's a three-bedroomed detached not far away

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which is on the market for just under 150,000.

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This being new, you'd hope it might fetch a little bit of a premium over an existing house.

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As long as it's more than 140,000, I'm happy, that would give us about 20,000 profit,

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which is enough to supplement the pension as it is at the moment and keep us going.

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But if not, we could rent. We could keep it for a while and rent it,

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and just wait until the market's right.

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It pays to have a flexible approach in today's property market,

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so it's good to see that Peter and Judy are aware of what could lie ahead.

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Well, Peter and Judy have got themselves a nice retirement project here,

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and, one of the upsides of the current market

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is they have managed to get some good quotes for the building work.

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However, I AM concerned about how little time Peter thinks he's going to have to spend

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overseeing the project.

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Leave it to look after itself, and I think there could be trouble ahead.

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

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Our next property is in Bitterne Park, three miles from Southampton city centre.

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It's a desirable area, with good schools,

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a triangle of shops just by a bridge,

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and the bonus of the lovely waterside location.

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So, just a street away from the river is the property I'm here to see today.

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It's a 1930s three-bedroom semi, with a guide of 110,000 to 115,000.

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Here it is. Now, that is good to see, you've got a garage and off-street parking for another car.

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So, a good, practical start. But will the inside instantly impress?

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Let's find out.

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It may be practical, but,

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let's face it, it's not all that pretty.

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There are some cracks that need attention,

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and it has that all-too-familiar air of neglect about it.

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I've got to be honest, it's not love at first sight for me, that's for sure.

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You've got a very grubby and dated hallway with dubious decor,

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but the front reception room is a fantastic size.

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You've got a lovely bay window.

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Now, there is a gas fire. That tells me there's no central heating.

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Round here, at the back of the house...

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Brilliant! Look at this! This is what I was waiting for,

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a really attractive and nearly perfect 1930s little fireplace.

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You know, I love these green tiles down here.

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You always hope for something like this in a house.

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But what you have to think about is,

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where you have original features, you may also have the original wiring.

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And that is not quite so exciting to find, I can assure you!

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You're almost certain to find that whatever lurks beneath the plaster and the floorboards

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means a lot of work.

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When it comes to modern features,

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all this house seems to have is double glazing.

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Let's hope the kitchen has something more to offer.

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I really like 1930s properties, they're very functional

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and well built.

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But this style of semi-detached, well, it was always built with a tiny kitchen.

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A 1930s family didn't see the kitchen as the heart of the home as we do now,

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but as somewhere to just simply prepare food.

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Now, although we haven't got one here,

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you often see serving hatches into the dining room,

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for the housewife to pass dinner through to the hungry hordes.

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Now, these spaces, I think, really do need to be connected,

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and I would certainly knock through into the dining room to create a much bigger and more usable space.

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You often see that type of work done on semis,

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and it can really bring life to these back rooms.

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And while you've got the sledgehammer out,

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why not make that window in the dining room into a set of double doors,

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leading out on to the garden?

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Now you're talking!

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Upstairs, it's again the original layout,

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which always seems to work well. You've got one generous double there,

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and a single bedroom to the rear, with an extremely dated pink bathroom.

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I don't think that's an original feature!

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Well, it's no surprise

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that all this does just need ripping out and starting again.

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Now, the front bedroom, well, I think it's a good size,

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It'll be even better when those wardrobes are ripped out.

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I mean, there is tons of space back there.

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Now, the first thing I've seen that really does worry me, come down here,

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These windows, just take a look at that. Look!

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The bay is dropping away on either side.

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Now, that really does need immediate attention.

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It could just be a badly fitted window,

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but you need to be sure that it's nothing else.

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This is bad news. With the plaster cracking as the bay sinks,

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this could be a case of either hastily fitted double glazing,

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or, more worryingly, there could be serious structural issues.

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Either way, it's pretty alarming,

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so you'd better get it checked out.

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This property is a bit of a mixed bag.

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There's a lot of work, but for that 110,000 to 115,000 guide price,

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I'd say you get a lot of space for your money here.

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Time to find out what a local estate agent

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thinks of the potential of this three-bed house in Southampton.

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First impressions of this property are that

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it does need a complete programme of refurbishment,

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albeit the windows have been replaced. It's a good house,

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once it has been refurbished.

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The garden is a little small if you wanted to be overly critical,

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but the off-road parking is definitely an advantage.

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So, some serious updating needs to be done here.

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How much would a complete refurbishment cost?

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To bring it up to a good standard, you'd look to spend

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between £20,000 and £25,000 on it.

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On top of that 110,000 to 115,000 guide price,

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that could mean a possible outlay of £140,000.

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So, what could it sell for?

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Once renovated, I would say this property would be worth around £180,000 to £185,000.

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What about the rental option?

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If you're looking to rent it,

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you'd receive about £750 to £800 per calendar month.

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This house is a good family home, it's solid,

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and once you've got that kitchen layout sorted,

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well, it's practical.

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But it has been neglected by the modern world,

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and there is a considerable amount of work to do to bring it up to scratch.

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Still, at that guide price, there's money in it.

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Let's see who got lucky at the auction.

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Lot number one in your catalogue,

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somebody prepared to bid me just £100,000?

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Somebody prepared to get me under way, we have a bid in the front of 100.

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Looking for 101, lady on the corner.

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102, and 103.

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104, we have.

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105 on my right.

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106. It's 107 to you, madam.

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107 we have, need a new bid.

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108 there.

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109.

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110? You're there. 110.

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111's there. 112?

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No? Wish to come in at 112?

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New bidder here at 112.

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113, madam?

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114 to the gentleman. 115 to the lady.

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116, sir.

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We have? No? 116,000 to you, sir.

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I shall be selling.

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116...and the lady's come back in at 117.

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118 back to you, sir. Bid's against you, madam.

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No, it's 118,000 with you, sir.

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1...new bid, sir. 119.

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120, directly in front of me. 121?

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121 here, on my right. 122, sir. 123?

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No? Give you a half, 122 and a half might do it? No.

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I have £122,000 in front of me going once,

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I have £122,000 twice,

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I have £122,000 for the third and the final time,

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Your property, sir, well done.

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Those happy bidders are Ged and Dawn,

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who've bought this as their first proper home together.

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Ged manages holiday cottages, as well as teaching part-time,

0:18:180:18:21

and Dawn's a carer in the evenings.

0:18:210:18:23

Ged's son lives just down the road, and the couple have been living with Dawn's parents while house hunting.

0:18:230:18:30

So, they must be relieved.

0:18:300:18:32

Guys, congratulations. So, have you bought the house of your dreams?

0:18:320:18:36

Nearly! Almost.

0:18:360:18:40

What did you think of it the first time you viewed it?

0:18:400:18:43

Oh, I really liked it.

0:18:430:18:44

We had just been viewing another property similar to this,

0:18:440:18:49

apart from, in the 1960s, someone had taken out all the chimney breasts

0:18:490:18:54

and knocked all the walls through to try and make it more modern,

0:18:540:18:57

and it was completely soulless, had no character,

0:18:570:18:59

and then to come and look round here, within about half an hour,

0:18:590:19:03

was just fantastic,

0:19:030:19:05

and we were running around and saying "yay, it's got fireplaces!",

0:19:050:19:09

and just being very childish, and quite silly.

0:19:090:19:12

But, no, it was great.

0:19:120:19:14

So were you both on the lookout for a house to buy at auction?

0:19:140:19:17

Yes.

0:19:170:19:19

And why?

0:19:190:19:20

Money, more than anything. Even with the way the property market had dropped,

0:19:200:19:25

we couldn't really afford the prices people were quoting.

0:19:250:19:28

We were both happy to put the extra work in, we were looking for somewhere with some character,

0:19:280:19:32

and this one's hardly been touched since 1933.

0:19:320:19:35

Well, they wanted somewhere with character, and they've certainly got it.

0:19:350:19:39

But with this house comes a lot of essential work to modernise it.

0:19:390:19:44

It's more than an average DIY-er would take on.

0:19:440:19:47

So, what skills can the couple bring to the renovation?

0:19:470:19:51

Most of it is just...hard work.

0:19:510:19:54

It's not particularly badly off structurally,

0:19:540:19:57

and we like it the way it is, so we won't be making too many changes to it.

0:19:570:20:01

Now, Dawn, you say not structurally, you've got a bit of an issue with the front window,

0:20:010:20:05

you really do need to get that checked. What do you guys know about it?

0:20:050:20:09

Erm, well, we believe that this happened upstairs

0:20:090:20:13

when the double glazing was fitted in the bay, and when it was put in down here...

0:20:130:20:20

The weight isn't distributed correctly to keep the bay tied to the house,

0:20:200:20:24

and it's just pulling away.

0:20:240:20:25

It seems they've done their research,

0:20:250:20:27

though I can't help feeling that this is going to be a tricky and expensive job.

0:20:270:20:32

However, they seem enthusiastic about taking on the property.

0:20:320:20:36

For heating, they plan to use two log burners,

0:20:360:20:39

but that isn't straightforward either.

0:20:390:20:42

We don't think we can afford to install them both straight away,

0:20:420:20:46

so we'll probably install one to get us through the winter,

0:20:460:20:49

and the other one in the run-up to next Christmas.

0:20:490:20:51

One log burner throughout the whole winter, for the whole house?

0:20:510:20:54

We'll be all right, we'll wear coats.

0:20:540:20:55

You're going to have to wear lots of jumpers, and vests.

0:20:550:20:58

So, what is your budget? If you had to write it down,

0:20:580:21:01

how much have you got left to spend on this place?

0:21:010:21:03

Er, we've got just under four grand.

0:21:030:21:05

Just under £4,000?

0:21:050:21:07

Yes, which we can't spend all at once.

0:21:070:21:09

Can't spend it all at once?

0:21:090:21:10

Four grand spread over how many months?

0:21:100:21:13

Well, you see, some of that money is for our wedding.

0:21:130:21:16

What?! So you're getting married as well?

0:21:160:21:18

-Yes.

-Yes, we are. We're due to get married in four weeks' time.

0:21:180:21:22

Four weeks' time?

0:21:220:21:23

-Mmm.

-Mmm.

-Oh, I can't take all this on! Oh, God!

0:21:230:21:27

-I'm guessing that you've probably got about £1,000 to spend on this place.

-Yes, about that.

0:21:270:21:32

A thousand pounds. Well, young love can get you through a lot,

0:21:320:21:36

but it won't sort out dodgy wiring,

0:21:360:21:39

that pink bathroom,

0:21:390:21:41

or any other unseen problems lurking.

0:21:410:21:45

Still, Ged and Dawn aren't your typical couple,

0:21:450:21:47

as shown by their choice of wedding venue,

0:21:470:21:49

HMS Warrior in Portsmouth harbour!

0:21:490:21:52

And the theme?

0:21:520:21:54

Erm, Victorian steam punk.

0:21:540:21:56

Excuse me? Vic... What is Victorian steam punk?

0:21:560:22:00

That's a very good question!

0:22:000:22:02

Did you make that up?!

0:22:020:22:04

No, no, it does exist.

0:22:040:22:07

Sort of, the clothing and the manners of Victorian or Edwardian Britain,

0:22:070:22:15

but, with, sort of, modern elements and futuristic elements.

0:22:150:22:19

So, things like coal-powered spaceships, and, er...

0:22:190:22:24

Ray guns with unfeasible names.

0:22:240:22:27

So have you two got your outfits sorted?

0:22:270:22:28

-Nearly.

-Yes, my mother's made them.

0:22:280:22:31

So you're not in the traditional white gown?

0:22:310:22:33

-No.

-A sort of ivory-gold, Chinese style with phoenixes and dragons.

0:22:330:22:39

And what are you wearing, dear?

0:22:390:22:40

No, that's the wedding dress,

0:22:400:22:42

and I'm in a bottle green, sort of Napoleonic coat.

0:22:420:22:45

Well, you two really are right for each other, you SHOULD be getting married!

0:22:450:22:49

Yes, we probably are best paired off, and taken out of general circulation.

0:22:490:22:54

Well, no wonder there's no money left!

0:22:540:22:57

They've got coal-fired rockets and fantasy wedding dresses to order!

0:22:570:23:00

Ged and Dawn have got a lot on their plate,

0:23:050:23:08

and the house could eat up huge amounts of money if they let it.

0:23:080:23:12

And that bay window - well, that could really throw their plans into disarray.

0:23:120:23:17

But, what they lack in cash, they've got in determination and love.

0:23:170:23:20

And, I'll tell you what, it's not just the house I'm excited about,

0:23:200:23:24

how about that wedding! You can find out how it all goes later on in the show.

0:23:240:23:29

Still to come,

0:23:300:23:31

this house in Lincolnshire comes with very strict rules.

0:23:310:23:34

No pets, no children...

0:23:340:23:36

I mean, the list just goes on and on.

0:23:360:23:39

In Southampton, did Ged and Dawn's budget get them through the winter?

0:23:400:23:46

By wearing lots of jumpers... lots of layers and lots of coats.

0:23:460:23:51

But first, in Nottingham, did Peter and Judy

0:23:520:23:55

manage to turn this wasteland into a three-bed des-res?

0:23:550:23:59

Earlier, in Sutton In Ashfield near Nottingham,

0:24:030:24:07

we met Peter and Judy, who bought this piece of wasteland for £38,500.

0:24:070:24:11

But this was no ordinary plot of land, because it came with planning permission

0:24:110:24:16

to build a detached three-bedroomed house.

0:24:160:24:19

Peter and Judy have a portfolio of buy-to-let properties,

0:24:190:24:23

and are used to doing renovation projects.

0:24:230:24:26

But this was going to be their first ever build.

0:24:260:24:29

Armed with an £80,000 budget and a six to eight month timescale,

0:24:290:24:33

I reckon this was going to be a steep learning curve for them.

0:24:330:24:37

I just hope it wasn't too steep.

0:24:370:24:39

Well, seven months later, and it may be a dull day,

0:24:440:24:47

but there's a shiny new development on the row.

0:24:470:24:50

It's even got its own yellow brick road.

0:24:500:24:54

Inside, there's an impressive living room,

0:24:560:24:59

stretching from the back to the front,

0:24:590:25:03

with a stylish coal-effect fire to add some warmth.

0:25:030:25:06

And upstairs?

0:25:080:25:10

Just up the stairs we've got quite a nice wide landing,

0:25:100:25:13

and three bedrooms on the right, all looking out to the front.

0:25:130:25:16

Bedroom one, two, and three.

0:25:160:25:19

At the end of the hallway, a family bathroom.

0:25:210:25:25

I think it's very good for a family, all the bedrooms together.

0:25:270:25:31

The main room's next to the bathroom.

0:25:310:25:32

We've put the same carpeting throughout,

0:25:320:25:34

so somebody can do what they want with their own colour scheme and furniture.

0:25:340:25:38

Well, we just decided to go for the basic magnolia walls and beige carpet,

0:25:380:25:42

it sounds really boring, but that's the best thing to do when you're trying to sell a house.

0:25:420:25:47

It gives anybody a blank canvas to do what they want to do,

0:25:470:25:50

and they can imagine their own furniture in.

0:25:500:25:52

Back downstairs, and a modern, functional kitchen completes our tour of the house.

0:25:520:25:58

Peter and Judy have stayed pretty faithful to the original planned layout,

0:25:590:26:04

with only some minor alterations.

0:26:040:26:07

There was a proposed side bay window for the living room,

0:26:070:26:10

but that was shelved as it was considered too near the road.

0:26:100:26:13

But the best change was at the back.

0:26:130:26:16

Well, what we've done here is we've added this patio door,

0:26:180:26:22

out into this patio area. That wasn't in the original design,

0:26:220:26:25

so we made a separate application to include that.

0:26:250:26:27

We thought it was important that a family can look out onto the back garden,

0:26:270:26:31

and keep an eye on the children in the back garden here.

0:26:310:26:34

And the garden area, obviously you've got quite a big lawned area,

0:26:340:26:38

all fenced in so it's secure for children and pets.

0:26:380:26:41

And through the other side is parking for two cars, off-road.

0:26:410:26:45

We thought about putting in a garage,

0:26:450:26:48

but I talked to a few agents,

0:26:480:26:49

and they said it would help to sell the property,

0:26:490:26:52

but it wouldn't add much value, not as much as it would cost to build.

0:26:520:26:55

I think a garage would have been a plus point when it came to selling the house.

0:26:550:27:00

Patio doors were definitely the missing element in linking the garden and house together,

0:27:000:27:05

so their addition now creates a good flow from inside to outside.

0:27:050:27:09

But unfortunately, not everything flowing from the house was so straightforward.

0:27:090:27:14

The main problem we've had during the construction, really,

0:27:140:27:18

was the connection of the foul water and surface water drains.

0:27:180:27:22

The foul water drain runs down the road outside,

0:27:220:27:24

and it's four metres deep.

0:27:240:27:26

So it was very deep, and it's on the other side of the road.

0:27:260:27:29

The quotes I was getting for the connection were several thousand pounds,

0:27:290:27:33

which actually shocked me.

0:27:330:27:34

In fact, the final cost of connecting the waste water system

0:27:440:27:48

was £7,500.

0:27:480:27:51

Obviously, it's not money down the drain, but it must have hit the final spend.

0:27:510:27:55

In terms of the cost,

0:27:550:27:57

I think I said at the outset something like 75,000 to 85,000,

0:27:570:28:01

and in the end it cost 88,000.

0:28:010:28:03

I think a lot of that was due to this cost of the drainage, which was higher than anticipated.

0:28:030:28:08

As the plot cost Peter and Judy 38,500 plus some additional expenses,

0:28:080:28:13

their total spend rounds up to just under 130,000.

0:28:130:28:17

That's about 10,000 more than they anticipated.

0:28:170:28:20

But that hasn't blunted their enthusiasm for the project,

0:28:200:28:23

or kept Peter from practising his swing!

0:28:230:28:27

I still manage to fit in about three rounds of golf a week,

0:28:270:28:30

because you can plan around it,

0:28:300:28:32

but I was still coming here two or three times a week,

0:28:320:28:34

and towards the end I've been coming out most days to get it finished.

0:28:340:28:37

At the beginning you can't imagine what it's going to end up like, really,

0:28:370:28:41

and now it's all finished, even last week it didn't look anything like this,

0:28:410:28:45

so I'm so pleased.

0:28:450:28:47

I think that, for their first build, Peter and Judy have got a spot-on product.

0:28:470:28:52

There are some minor quibbles, on top of that lack of a garage

0:28:520:28:56

there's also no en suite upstairs for the main bedroom,

0:28:560:28:59

something people do expect in new builds.

0:28:590:29:01

But in general it's a good-sized modern house,

0:29:010:29:04

and a welcome addition in a much sought-after residential area.

0:29:040:29:08

I'm just pleased with the quality of the whole house, and the surroundings.

0:29:080:29:13

I think it's come out as well as I'd hoped.

0:29:130:29:15

I wanted to do a first-class job,

0:29:150:29:17

and I think, for a small three-bedroomed house,

0:29:170:29:19

it's probably as good a quality as you'll find.

0:29:190:29:21

Now the house is finished, Peter and Judy want to get rid of it.

0:29:240:29:28

So, time for two local estate agents to inspect it,

0:29:280:29:30

and tell us what sort of return the couple could expect on their £130,000 development.

0:29:300:29:36

I love how bright and airy it is, there's plenty of natural light which is always good,

0:29:360:29:40

especially on a dull day like this.

0:29:400:29:43

The kitchen is brilliant, the flooring is exceptional,

0:29:430:29:46

and I do think the finish is very high-standard.

0:29:460:29:49

It seems much bigger than I thought it would be,

0:29:490:29:51

because the plot seemed a lot smaller.

0:29:510:29:53

I like the finish on the property,

0:29:530:29:55

although small, it's in a very nice residential area.

0:29:550:29:58

Both estate agents feel the property market is on the upturn,

0:29:580:30:03

so, what could the couple achieve on a re-sale?

0:30:030:30:06

I'd value this house today at 169,950,

0:30:060:30:10

and hope to achieve offers in the region of £165,000.

0:30:100:30:14

I would value this property at between £165,000 and £175,000.

0:30:140:30:19

I think that sounds a little high for this area,

0:30:190:30:22

and also we want to sell it quickly,

0:30:220:30:25

so we're planning to put it on the market asking 160,000,

0:30:250:30:28

and hope to get a quick sale.

0:30:280:30:30

That could give them a possible pre-tax profit of nearly £30,000.

0:30:300:30:35

But, if after three months, no-one takes the bait,

0:30:350:30:38

then what could the rental return be?

0:30:380:30:40

I think, if they got to the right family market,

0:30:400:30:43

they'd look to rent at about £600 per calendar month.

0:30:430:30:46

It would get a rental income of around £550 to £600 per calendar month.

0:30:460:30:51

Yeah, I think the 550 to 600's about the area we expected.

0:30:510:30:54

Maybe asking 600 and getting 575, and if we get to the point where we want to rent it,

0:30:540:30:59

I think we'd be happy with that kind of rental.

0:30:590:31:01

Peter and Judy have had a pretty painless experience with this build, apart from the drains.

0:31:050:31:10

However, they plan to stick to a renovation project next,

0:31:100:31:15

although new builds aren't out of the frame.

0:31:150:31:17

Peter sees them as a learning curve for a more personal project.

0:31:170:31:21

To do this has been part of realising an ambition, which was to build a house,

0:31:210:31:25

it wasn't for us to live in, but I've gone through the process and learned a lot in doing that,

0:31:250:31:30

which will help me a lot the next time, and if we ever do one for ourselves,

0:31:300:31:33

I'll be in a better place to do it.

0:31:330:31:36

Well, in the heart of the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside

0:31:510:31:56

is the village of Torksey, and these, the Fosdyke Navigations.

0:31:560:32:00

Now, these were built by the Romans, and they have the honour of being

0:32:000:32:04

one of the oldest canals in the country. It's 11 miles long.

0:32:040:32:07

That's very interesting, because the property I'm here to see also caters for a more mature marketplace.

0:32:070:32:12

I'm not saying canals are just for the older generation,

0:32:140:32:17

absolutely not. But there is a certain appeal to the slower pace of life.

0:32:170:32:22

It's just that this canal in particular backs on to a quiet, leafy spot

0:32:220:32:26

which looks like a really well-maintained holiday camp.

0:32:260:32:30

It's a place where the ducks are used to being fed by passers-by.

0:32:300:32:33

I think I've got a fan club!

0:32:330:32:35

So, what exactly am I here to see?

0:32:350:32:38

Well, you can get the Hi-De-Hi theme tune out of your head straight away,

0:32:400:32:44

these aren't holiday homes, they're in fact permanent houses for senior members of society.

0:32:440:32:50

It's a luxury complex - there's over 300 of these, and one of them

0:32:500:32:53

was up for auction. It had a guide price of 40,000 quid,

0:32:530:32:56

two bedrooms, let's take a look inside.

0:32:560:32:58

These static mobile homes are all-timber structures,

0:33:000:33:03

designed to last around 60 years.

0:33:030:33:06

The 339 homes are well spaced out, on individual plots,

0:33:060:33:10

so they have their own patches of garden.

0:33:100:33:13

It's all set in extremely well-maintained grounds,

0:33:130:33:17

and if you've never been inside one,

0:33:170:33:18

well, you might be quite surprised by what you find.

0:33:180:33:21

Not a bad sized space, and good ceiling height too,

0:33:210:33:24

although these beams, or fake beams, make it feel a little bit more claustrophobic than it actually is,

0:33:240:33:29

as does the dark carpet, so definitely change those around.

0:33:290:33:32

But it's not a bad sized space. This is your living area,

0:33:320:33:35

you've got an electric fire there, you have got gas central heating,

0:33:350:33:39

propane gas though it may be, so that's quite good.

0:33:390:33:42

Through to the kitchen,

0:33:420:33:43

it's fitted, you've got space for your units,

0:33:430:33:47

it's a fully serviceable kitchen, it obviously needs to be replaced as it's very dated.

0:33:470:33:51

But, of course, do remember, at the end of the day,

0:33:510:33:55

don't spend too much money doing this place up, because,

0:33:550:33:58

when it comes down to it, it is still a caravan.

0:33:580:34:01

Albeit a very well-appointed one, designed for all-year living.

0:34:010:34:06

Overall, it's a well laid-out space.

0:34:060:34:09

There's a shower room in the middle,

0:34:090:34:12

a second bedroom easily big enough for a double once you clear out those units,

0:34:120:34:16

and at the back, a good-sized double.

0:34:160:34:19

At the rear there's an outhouse that could be used for a utility room.

0:34:190:34:23

So, at around that £40,000 guide price, it's a snip

0:34:230:34:28

compared with anything in the nearby village.

0:34:280:34:30

But there are a few things that might not float your boat.

0:34:300:34:34

Well, with this place it's not so much what you could do,

0:34:360:34:39

but what you would be allowed to do.

0:34:390:34:40

There are a whole raft of rules and regulations governing living here.

0:34:400:34:45

You certainly couldn't extend, each of these has its own plot and that is that.

0:34:450:34:49

You can't change the exterior.

0:34:490:34:51

You can't rent the place out,

0:34:510:34:53

you have to use a rotary clothesline,

0:34:530:34:55

I mean, the list just goes on and on.

0:34:550:34:58

And, if the owners don't think you're fitting in with their rules and regulations,

0:34:580:35:02

they won't allow you to live here.

0:35:020:35:04

So, unless you are of a certain age, wanting a very quiet life and are pet-less,

0:35:040:35:10

this really isn't the mobile for you.

0:35:100:35:13

These rules are to maintain a good living environment for the residents,

0:35:130:35:18

but it does limit the market severely,

0:35:180:35:21

and with that no sub-letting rule, this is not an investment

0:35:210:35:24

a developer could simply add to his portfolio.

0:35:240:35:27

In fact, it's not a business proposition at all.

0:35:270:35:30

I can see, however, why this property would appeal.

0:35:320:35:35

It's less to do with the home than the location,

0:35:350:35:39

it is absolutely gorgeous. You've got ten acres of park,

0:35:390:35:41

You've got three fishing lakes,

0:35:410:35:43

you've got the canal, I mean, it's gorgeous,

0:35:430:35:46

so why wouldn't you want to maybe sell up, move somewhere like this where it's safe and secure,

0:35:460:35:51

and live out your retirement here? That's the dream, isn't it?

0:35:510:35:55

It may not be everyone's cup of tea,

0:35:550:35:57

but for some, this place represents the chance to enjoy a great quality of life, at, most importantly,

0:35:570:36:03

an affordable price.

0:36:030:36:05

This unusual property was guided at £40,000.

0:36:070:36:11

I asked a local estate agent

0:36:110:36:13

what he thought of its potential.

0:36:130:36:15

Compared to other developments nearby,

0:36:150:36:17

we've got excellent facilities, the designs are quite unique,

0:36:170:36:21

and built to a good standard.

0:36:210:36:23

Built to a good standard, but it is tired and dated.

0:36:230:36:26

A renovation would cost between £5,000 and £10,000,

0:36:260:36:30

so what does it need, and how much would a sale achieve?

0:36:300:36:33

The property does need some internal refurbishment,

0:36:330:36:37

particularly an update of kitchen, bathroom suites and decoration.

0:36:370:36:40

With the right money spent on it, I believe this property could be worth in the region of £50,000.

0:36:400:36:45

Well, this isn't going to suit everyone, but then the chance to live in a location like this

0:36:490:36:54

doesn't come up every five minutes.

0:36:540:36:56

So, for somebody it will be the perfect choice.

0:36:560:36:59

Let's finds out who that was at the auction.

0:36:590:37:01

Lot number 20, which is 23 Poplar Drive,

0:37:060:37:11

The Elms, Torksey.

0:37:110:37:13

And who'd like to bid me £20,000 for this mobile home? £20,000 for it, please.

0:37:130:37:19

10 you say? OK, we start at £10,000.

0:37:190:37:23

At 10,000. 12. At 12.

0:37:230:37:25

14. 14.

0:37:250:37:27

16, it's right at the back of the room.

0:37:270:37:29

At 16,000.

0:37:290:37:30

18. At 18. At 18,000,

0:37:300:37:33

I'll take another £1,000 if it helps.

0:37:330:37:36

19,000. At 19,000.

0:37:360:37:38

20. At £20,000.

0:37:380:37:40

That's £20,000 I have.

0:37:400:37:43

At 20. 21.

0:37:430:37:45

At £21,000. At £21,000.

0:37:450:37:49

Once, that's £21,000. Twice.

0:37:490:37:52

The third and last time, selling at £21,000.

0:37:520:37:57

The gentleman seated...

0:37:570:37:58

The successful bidders were Stuart and Tracy, who don't look quite old enough to be moving in.

0:38:020:38:08

In fact, they're brother and sister. I met them at the property to find out more.

0:38:080:38:14

-Tracy, Stuart, lovely to meet you both.

-Hello.

-Why do you want to buy this?

0:38:140:38:18

Well, we actually own The Elms,

0:38:180:38:21

which is a retirement park homes park.

0:38:210:38:23

So when we knew that this property was coming up for auction,

0:38:230:38:26

we wanted to make sure that we secured the property in order to maintain the integrity of the park,

0:38:260:38:31

and, obviously, people that move here have to be retired or semi-retired,

0:38:310:38:36

we have a no pets rule, children aren't resident here,

0:38:360:38:39

and so we thought we'd go along and see if we could make sure it was us that bought the property.

0:38:390:38:43

Oh, wow. Were you surprised in some ways that it ended up at auction?

0:38:430:38:47

Yeah, I mean, it's the first it's ever happened.

0:38:470:38:49

Normally, people can either sell it themselves,

0:38:490:38:52

put it in the hands of an estate agent or will it to their family,

0:38:520:38:55

and it was really totally the wrong type of sale,

0:38:550:38:57

because if a young couple had bought it in their early 20s with children,

0:38:570:39:02

they'd have had the legal right to own the home,

0:39:020:39:04

but not the right to live in it,

0:39:040:39:06

because they didn't conform to the park rules,

0:39:060:39:08

so it could have got really awkward, and a bit tricky.

0:39:080:39:12

-Messy, very messy!

-Potentially.

0:39:120:39:14

Stuart and Tracy had tried to buy it before, but the sellers felt they would get a better price at auction.

0:39:140:39:21

As the house went for 21,000, it seems they were right.

0:39:210:39:24

That was more than they anticipated,

0:39:240:39:27

but keeping it was vital, even if it meant going into the competitive environment of the auction room.

0:39:270:39:34

I've never been to an auction before, so that was a bit of fun.

0:39:340:39:37

-I think you've attended auctions before but never bid?

-Yeah, I've been before.

0:39:370:39:41

The price tumbled down, it went 40, 30, 20, 10,

0:39:410:39:46

and I was thinking, "this is going to be all right", and then it was like,

0:39:460:39:49

11, 12, 13, and it shot up, and it just seemed to be I was the last person that went "21",

0:39:490:39:55

and it was bought. It was over in seconds.

0:39:550:39:58

Yeah, it does, it goes really quickly.

0:39:580:40:00

We was trying to find out who else was bidding, because I couldn't see anyone else.

0:40:000:40:05

We were trying to see what age group they were as well, are they retired, semi-retired? Can we judge?

0:40:050:40:10

But now they have their hands on it,

0:40:100:40:12

Stuart and Tracy can focus on renovating this tired member of the site's properties.

0:40:120:40:17

The house is only 20 years into its 60-year lifespan, so there are still some legs left in it.

0:40:170:40:24

The aim is to convert it into a show home, to attract more potential customers.

0:40:240:40:28

-What are you going to do to it?

-Everything.

-Yeah, I think it needs everything,

0:40:280:40:33

we'll do the central heating,

0:40:330:40:35

the windows and doors...

0:40:350:40:36

-Really?

-Yeah,

0:40:360:40:38

just absolutely start it again from scratch. The thing is,

0:40:380:40:42

normally people refurbish a property and once they've sold it they can walk away,

0:40:420:40:46

and if they've only sort of titivated it,

0:40:460:40:48

and somebody finds out after, then they've gone and the new owner finds out later,

0:40:480:40:52

whereas we sell a property to somebody,

0:40:520:40:54

and our office is only 100 yards up the road,

0:40:540:40:56

so they'll come knocking on the door, and think,

0:40:560:40:59

"you put a cheap boiler in",

0:40:590:41:01

so, we absolutely scrap everything so that we can sell it and know 100% that, when we've sold it to them,

0:41:010:41:07

nothing's going to go wrong, nothing's going to fall off.

0:41:070:41:10

So, it is a really major job.

0:41:100:41:13

How much money will you spend?

0:41:130:41:15

Erm, we'll probably spend in the region of about 35,000, which...

0:41:150:41:18

35,000?!

0:41:180:41:20

-Yeah, but the thing is...

-On a caravan!

0:41:200:41:22

Oh! How dare you!

0:41:220:41:25

I think I touched a bit of a raw nerve there!

0:41:260:41:28

But then the site is more than just a business

0:41:280:41:31

to Stuart, Tracy, and the family.

0:41:310:41:32

This successful enterprise was built up from nothing by their father 40 years ago.

0:41:320:41:39

Was it pretty hard for him at the start?

0:41:390:41:41

Very difficult, yes.

0:41:410:41:42

We moved up here as a family, not much money,

0:41:420:41:45

and Dad was digging holes and working on the site,

0:41:450:41:48

and then he would go and do, well...which pit was he...?

0:41:480:41:52

He went to Bevercotes Colliery...

0:41:520:41:54

So he was a miner?

0:41:540:41:56

Well, he became a miner out of necessity, just to keep things going

0:41:560:41:59

because it was a real struggle in the early days,

0:41:590:42:02

and he did that for about five to six years, which he keeps reminding us about on a regular basis.

0:42:020:42:07

But he was working down the mines at night and here during the day?

0:42:070:42:10

Yeah, he'd go and do his shift down there and then come home,

0:42:100:42:15

and he said some days he'd eat his tea stood up,

0:42:150:42:17

he didn't dare sit down because he was so tired,

0:42:170:42:19

and then he'd work on the park,

0:42:190:42:21

have about four hours' sleep, then get up and do it all over again.

0:42:210:42:24

He did that for years, to give it that push it needed.

0:42:240:42:27

And everybody told him,

0:42:270:42:28

when we moved up here that it would never work, you know,

0:42:280:42:32

"you're in the middle of nowhere, you're dreaming",

0:42:320:42:35

but that, probably, was more of a challenge to Dad.

0:42:350:42:38

He stuck his heels in, he said no, and he's turned it into one of the best parks in the country.

0:42:380:42:43

He's done all the hard work.

0:42:430:42:44

Yeah, he's worked very hard.

0:42:440:42:46

It took a long, long time to get him to retire.

0:42:460:42:48

He's only just really switched off now, he still likes to know what we're doing.

0:42:480:42:53

A very interesting story, but I'm very happy it's turned out the way it has for you.

0:42:530:42:57

-Good luck with it.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:42:570:42:59

So, this tired little place is destined to be a show home.

0:43:050:43:10

Nice end to the story, and of course Stuart and Tracy protecting the park and their own position.

0:43:100:43:15

However, it does seem like they're going to spend a heck of a lot sorting it out,

0:43:150:43:19

and in today's current market, is that wise?

0:43:190:43:22

You can find out later in the show.

0:43:220:43:24

Rome wasn't built in a day, and property transformations usually take a while, too.

0:43:270:43:33

So, how did our buyers get on? Let's go back and find out.

0:43:330:43:37

Back to Bitterne in Southampton now,

0:43:390:43:41

to find out how Ged and Dawn got on with that three-bedroom house they bought at auction

0:43:410:43:47

for £122,000.

0:43:470:43:48

This was to be their first home together.

0:43:480:43:51

It was the character that had them hooked, and that was just as well.

0:43:510:43:56

With their forthcoming nuptials eating up their savings,

0:43:560:43:58

and that serious crack in the bay window to contend with,

0:43:580:44:01

they only had £1,000 to spend on the house.

0:44:010:44:05

It was going to be a testing time,

0:44:050:44:09

but six months later, it looks as if Ged and Dawn have made it this far.

0:44:090:44:13

The garage has had a new coat of paint,

0:44:130:44:15

but, more importantly, that bay window problem seems to have been sorted.

0:44:150:44:20

Plus some new guttering has been installed.

0:44:210:44:24

Inside, the living room has been decorated,

0:44:240:44:28

and now looks a warm and cosy family room.

0:44:280:44:31

But there's still evidence of the work done to fix that bay window.

0:44:340:44:38

We've had the windows down, the upstairs part of the bay,

0:44:380:44:42

the middle section, we've taken all the bricks out.

0:44:420:44:45

We've taken the bottom windows out and put them back up again,

0:44:450:44:48

but this time with the steel supports in the corners.

0:44:480:44:50

Same windows, but with the steel supports in,

0:44:500:44:52

and then put it all back up again. So, because they tried to cut corners and save themselves £120,

0:44:520:44:58

it's cost us £1,500 to put it right.

0:44:580:45:01

Getting rid of that major crack also seems to have emptied their entire £1,000 budget, plus a bit more.

0:45:010:45:08

So, there was no money left for any big changes.

0:45:080:45:12

Yet the ground floor shows that Ged and Dawn have brought their own individual,

0:45:120:45:16

eclectic style to the interior,

0:45:160:45:18

and some detective work bagged them a few bargains.

0:45:180:45:22

The kitchen's an original 1960s kitchen,

0:45:220:45:24

we bought it cheaply through an internet site,

0:45:240:45:27

about £150 including the cooker. We love the hob,

0:45:270:45:30

it's half gas, half electric,

0:45:300:45:32

so when the door's open the gas won't blow out because we can move simmering things on to the electric.

0:45:320:45:38

Eventually, the plan is to build out sideways,

0:45:380:45:42

there's some wasted space there which isn't really getting used.

0:45:420:45:45

The garden's small so we didn't want to go back,

0:45:450:45:48

but we didn't want to make a kitchen-diner,

0:45:480:45:51

because we really like the proportions of the dining room.

0:45:510:45:54

But even fitting that kitchen wasn't problem-free.

0:45:540:45:58

We moved in, needed a kitchen quickly, started to take up the old lino...

0:45:580:46:02

The plan was just to put down the new lino, put the kitchen in and we'd get it done in a weekend.

0:46:020:46:07

And the floor was rotten, so we had to buy timber and replace the joists

0:46:070:46:12

and the floorboards for about two thirds of the kitchen.

0:46:120:46:16

The bit I'm standing on now doesn't collapse, but would've done before.

0:46:160:46:19

We'd got rot coming in from the coal shed next door,

0:46:190:46:22

and the damp seal had gone, and we've replaced that.

0:46:220:46:25

But all fairly straightforward stuff.

0:46:250:46:27

So that was another unexpected hit on their already endangered finances.

0:46:290:46:33

Where will it end? Well, there, fortunately,

0:46:330:46:36

because all the decoration's been done,

0:46:360:46:38

with budget wallpaper and end-of-the-line paint.

0:46:380:46:41

The house is homelier, and has a warmer atmosphere now.

0:46:410:46:45

However, that's not how it was during the winter,

0:46:450:46:48

as this log burner was their only heat source.

0:46:480:46:50

So, how did they keep warm?

0:46:500:46:53

By wearing lots of jumpers! Lots of layers and lots of coats.

0:46:530:46:58

And hopefully this winter we'll... (LAUGHS)

0:46:580:47:02

we'll live here rather than exist here.

0:47:020:47:04

But, with a few more burners, I don't think they'll need any thermal underwear on this winter.

0:47:040:47:11

For Ged and Dawn, it's been a tough few months getting the house in order.

0:47:110:47:15

Their renovation budget finally totalled £2,500 - more than they could afford,

0:47:150:47:21

but it was essential work.

0:47:210:47:23

Yet, through the dark times, they did have their wedding day to look back on.

0:47:230:47:29

We had a fantastic wedding.

0:47:290:47:30

It went wonderfully well, so many of our friends and family turned up

0:47:300:47:34

wearing the themed clothing, which I wasn't expecting.

0:47:340:47:37

We were very... I was very happy with the clothes that your mum made,

0:47:370:47:41

they made the occasion that much more special, and it couldn't have gone better.

0:47:410:47:46

It's been six months since they bought the house.

0:47:510:47:53

We've invited along two estate agents

0:47:530:47:56

to see if the market has given them a helping hand

0:47:560:47:59

with their £124,500 investment.

0:47:590:48:02

The things I like about this property is that it's a good, family home,

0:48:040:48:08

good sized rooms,

0:48:080:48:09

but it retains some original features such as fireplaces and picture rails.

0:48:090:48:13

My first impressions on this property is, obviously, it's in need of modernisation,

0:48:130:48:18

but overall I would imagine it will be a good project for someone.

0:48:180:48:21

It's a great location, a good school catchment area,

0:48:210:48:24

and, overall, it's a good family property.

0:48:240:48:27

The property, I think, needs a new kitchen,

0:48:270:48:30

but I think it would be worthwhile extending the kitchen at the same time.

0:48:300:48:35

A new bathroom would obviously finish it rather nicely for the family market.

0:48:350:48:39

The agents reckon that in its current state,

0:48:390:48:43

the house could have a rental value of up to £675 per calendar month.

0:48:430:48:47

Ged and Dawn have no plans to rent it out,

0:48:470:48:51

but what if they decide to sell?

0:48:510:48:52

In the current condition, I would value it at £129,000,

0:48:520:48:55

to achieve £125,000.

0:48:550:48:58

In its current condition, I would put this property on the market

0:48:580:49:01

for £135,000 to £140,000.

0:49:010:49:04

I'm certainly happy with the 135 to 140 valuation,

0:49:040:49:07

I think it's more realistic as well looking at the value of properties up and down the road.

0:49:070:49:11

With their total spend of £124,500, that would give them a possible pre-tax profit

0:49:110:49:18

of about 10,000 to 15,000.

0:49:180:49:21

The estate agents estimate that renovating the property could cost

0:49:210:49:25

between 10,000 to 15,000, so what could they sell it for once that's done?

0:49:250:49:30

Once this property's been fully refurbished, I would value this property at £175,000.

0:49:300:49:35

We would be putting this house on the market for £175,000.

0:49:350:49:39

So if renovating the house took their spend to just under 140,000,

0:49:390:49:46

then if they ever decide to sell, they could make a possible pre-tax profit of just over £35,000.

0:49:460:49:53

Both Ged and Dawn have had a tough time getting this place into shape.

0:49:590:50:03

They've still got some way to go,

0:50:030:50:05

but they're here for the long haul,

0:50:050:50:07

and hopefully this house will eventually be their dream come true.

0:50:070:50:11

Is it our dream home? I don't know.

0:50:140:50:17

We'll see in a few years' time, but right now, it's the right home.

0:50:170:50:22

In the village of Torksey near Lincoln,

0:50:250:50:29

we met Stuart and Tracy.

0:50:290:50:31

Along with the rest of their family, they own this award-winning retirement park.

0:50:310:50:35

When one of the mobile homes went to auction,

0:50:350:50:39

they bought it for 21,000 to turn it into a new show home.

0:50:390:50:42

So, something like this wouldn't need a big budget, right?

0:50:420:50:46

We'll probably spend in the region of about 35,000, which I...

0:50:460:50:49

-35,000!

-Yeah, but the thing is...

-On a caravan?!

0:50:490:50:53

Oh! How dare you!

0:50:530:50:56

I mentioned the dreaded word there, but I think I got away with it.

0:50:560:51:00

But, seriously, this static mobile home did need some updating.

0:51:000:51:04

I just can't believe it's 35 grand's worth of renovation!

0:51:040:51:09

Well, it's been four months, and, from the outside, it looks a lot cleaner and fresher.

0:51:110:51:16

The garden gravel is now gone, to be replaced by an attractive lawn and paving.

0:51:160:51:21

The tired, dated living room has given way to more contemporary furnishings,

0:51:230:51:28

with lighter tones creating a spacious feel.

0:51:280:51:32

So, when we first started looking at styling and furnishing this home,

0:51:320:51:37

we knew that there were practical issues that we had to consider,

0:51:370:51:40

such as, the wall covering has to be the textured wallpaper,

0:51:400:51:44

to deal with the seams with the timber structure of the property.

0:51:440:51:48

But once we've dealt with one or two issues like that,

0:51:480:51:51

we can then start to look at the nice bits,

0:51:510:51:53

the wall lights and fixtures and fittings, and, obviously,

0:51:530:51:57

the furniture that we place in the home.

0:51:570:51:59

We wanted to keep it classic modern,

0:51:590:52:02

so, modern, but not over the top for our customer base,

0:52:020:52:05

which is the 50+ age group.

0:52:050:52:07

And, we think the styling we've chosen for the home,

0:52:070:52:10

the fact that we've finished and dressed it,

0:52:100:52:12

and finished it off as if you were living in it, almost,

0:52:120:52:16

that we've achieved what we were setting out to do.

0:52:160:52:19

The age of their prospective customers ranges from 50 to 80,

0:52:190:52:23

so Stuart and Tracy seem to have struck the right decorative style here.

0:52:230:52:27

The bedrooms are also decorated in relaxing, neutral tones.

0:52:300:52:35

As there is limited space, there are fitted units rather than freestanding cupboards.

0:52:350:52:40

The old shower room has been totally renovated,

0:52:430:52:46

with the welcome addition of a bath.

0:52:460:52:49

So, all in all a good interior renovation.

0:52:520:52:55

But, don't forget the exterior.

0:52:550:52:58

One of the problems that we had was having to re-skin the outside of the home.

0:52:590:53:03

We thought we'd get away with just a lick of paint,

0:53:030:53:07

and it turned it up to a complete re-skin, which cost a fortune -

0:53:070:53:10

about £4,000.

0:53:100:53:11

But that wasn't the only problem, we had to get the colour right.

0:53:110:53:14

We had to try and darken it by 20 years, by just putting lots of coats of paint on,

0:53:140:53:19

to try and get the colour to match the other properties surrouding.

0:53:190:53:22

Maybe it just wants to stand out,

0:53:220:53:24

though that difference must have browned Tracy and Stuart off.

0:53:240:53:28

But I reckon everything else about this renovation has passed with flying colours.

0:53:280:53:32

So, did the overhaul really cost 35,000?!

0:53:320:53:36

It isn't just a lick of paint, it has been a complete overhaul of the entire property,

0:53:360:53:42

so, to be honest, bar the frame, chassis and roof,

0:53:420:53:44

we've practically replaced the entire property.

0:53:440:53:46

So that's why we've managed to clock up £35,000.

0:53:460:53:51

Add that to their purchase price of 21,000,

0:53:510:53:55

and their total spend will be 56,000 quid.

0:53:550:53:58

They're not likely to see any return soon, because the plan

0:53:580:54:01

is to have this show home on display for the next 18 months.

0:54:010:54:06

We've probably had a little bit bigger budget this time,

0:54:060:54:09

because we wanted it to be something a bit more special to catch people's eye,

0:54:090:54:13

or catch the customers' eyes.

0:54:130:54:14

Stuart and Tracy value the updated home at £90,000,

0:54:140:54:19

but any profit margin they had will be eaten into by paying for insurance,

0:54:190:54:24

rates, and maintaining the garden.

0:54:240:54:26

For now, it's a loss leader, which will hopefully bring in new customers.

0:54:260:54:31

We had an open weekend last weekend,

0:54:310:54:32

and the feedback was really positive, everybody said it was really surprising.

0:54:320:54:37

I think sometimes people that are new to this concept come,

0:54:370:54:39

and are expecting something quite different,

0:54:390:54:42

and they're very surprised when they come and they see that it's just like an ordinary house,

0:54:420:54:46

fresh, modern, comfortable, stable...

0:54:460:54:50

Yeah, usually people are pleasantly surprised, which is great.

0:54:500:54:53

The next people hopefully to be surprised

0:54:550:54:57

are two local estate agents.

0:54:570:55:00

Do they think Stuart and Tracy's efforts are worth their £56,000 investment?

0:55:000:55:05

I think that the finish of this particular property is that good, that it's one of the better ones

0:55:050:55:12

that I've seen, and also my impression of the park in general

0:55:120:55:15

is very good, it's very tidy,

0:55:150:55:17

immaculate, in fact.

0:55:170:55:18

The owners have made great use of the space,

0:55:180:55:20

integrating wardrobes and fittings where possible.

0:55:200:55:23

A new kitchen and bathroom mean it will appeal to any buyer walking through the door.

0:55:230:55:28

Remember, their total spend on this mobile home is 56,000,

0:55:280:55:32

and they value it at £90,000 now.

0:55:320:55:35

So, while the agents don't normally come across this type of property,

0:55:350:55:39

what do they think it could sell for?

0:55:390:55:41

We have very few properties of this type on the market at any one time,

0:55:410:55:46

making it slightly more difficult to value,

0:55:460:55:48

but I would expect that in the current market,

0:55:480:55:51

the property would be worth in the region of £70,000.

0:55:510:55:53

I'd put this property on, probably, 65, somewhere there.

0:55:530:55:57

They're way off the mark, it's not their fault,

0:55:570:56:00

it's a specialist trade and we normally vend the properties,

0:56:000:56:03

so we're the only ones that really know.

0:56:030:56:05

If Stuart and Tracy are right,

0:56:050:56:09

then from that £90,000 sale they could make a possible pre-tax profit

0:56:090:56:13

of £34,000, minus the maintenance costs of the site and the home.

0:56:130:56:18

I reckon this renovation should do the trick,

0:56:180:56:21

and attract more customers to the park.

0:56:210:56:23

That will keep it going for years to come,

0:56:230:56:25

something their father would certainly appreciate.

0:56:250:56:28

He genuinely is very proud of us,

0:56:280:56:31

he's proud we're in the business, and he's pleased with what we're doing,

0:56:310:56:34

and that we're carrying on what he started,

0:56:340:56:36

so I think he would just say, as well as, "work hard",

0:56:360:56:41

"well done, and get on with it".

0:56:410:56:43

Well, that's our trio of tantalising tales from the auction room for you for today's show.

0:56:460:56:52

We'll have plenty more for you next time.

0:56:520:56:54

-We'll see you then.

-Goodbye.

-Bye.

0:56:540:56:56

Subtitles by Sam Parish Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:120:57:16

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:160:57:19

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a building plot in Sutton-in-Ashfield, a semi-detached house in Southampton and a static mobile home in a retirement community in Lincolnshire.

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.