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.
Price, location, style -
but exactly how do you buy?
Now, one way is through an estate agent,
another way, you could make an offer direct.
Or you could head to your local property auction.
Now, there are property auctions held all over the country,
so there's bound to be one near you.
So, why not try buying your next home under the hammer?
We've scoured the UK to find interesting properties to feature today.
But what will our buyers do? Give them a quick lick of paint,
or go for a total refurbishment?
Coming up, a plot of land in Nottingham with that rare asset -
And a guide price of 37,000 quid - looking good so far.
In Southampton, there's a semi
that's not all it's cracked up to be.
And look at that, look. The bay is dropping away on either side.
And there's a mobile home in a retirement park in Lincolnshire.
But the big question is, is it upwardly mobile?
All these properties have been sold at auction.
We'll find out who bought them,
and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
Today, I'm just outside Nottingham at Sutton In Ashfield,
famous for, well, the largest sundial in Europe.
Time to check out the local property market.
I'm in Sotheby Avenue, just down the road from Sutton Parkway train station,
where trains will have you in the centre of Nottingham in under 30 minutes.
It's a popular residential area,
especially for people looking to upgrade to a bigger house.
And something is up for auction quite rare.
It's a plot of land with planning permission for the building
of a three-bedroom detached house.
And a guide price of 37,000 quid - looking good so far.
Finding a plot with planning permission in a sought-after residential area such as this
is like striking property gold. Let's hope it's not fool's gold.
The plot was created from the garden of the house next door,
but it's a good size and reasonably flat,
which is important for building.
It's also on a corner, which is nice because you're not overlooked.
The road's not that busy, and if you plant some shrubs round the side and a fence up,
it's going to be a really private plot.
The great thing is that the site hasn't become a fly-tipping zone,
so there's not a lot of clearing up to do.
Also, there's no obvious problem with connecting to the utility services.
So far, so straightforward.
Now, one of the key things is that it comes with planning permission,
that's going to save you a lot of hassle. The only downside is you've got to like the plans.
Well, let's see what's been approved.
Here we are, this is the plot.
Here's the house as designed.
It's probably been done to fit in with what's already here,
so that 1930s kind of feel to it.
Makes reasonable use of the plot itself,
sitting kind of sideways along the line
of the existing properties.
Good-sized garden's been left,
let's take a look at the internal layout and see if there's any great surprises.
No, I don't think there are. Basically, starting with the downstairs.
Hallway area here, quite a nice size,
I like that, but it could be at other rooms' expense.
Got a kitchen there, and basically just one other room
which is a living room/dining room.
Upstairs to three bedrooms,
with this lateral kind of layout,
and then the bathroom upstairs. So, all in all,
no great surprises, and it probably makes the best use of space.
I reckon it's a nice and easy plan
to fit on this nice and easy plot.
The cherry on the cake is that someone has already done the legwork for you and got it passed.
The only quibble I have with the design is the location of the parking.
It's actually, at the moment, just a parking space, or two, at this end of the plot.
There's no indication of a garage.
You've got to look at the costs, it may well be that it's not cost-effective to build one,
but it would certainly be nice and help with saleability.
The issue you might have is that that house has a couple of windows facing the garage,
and they might complain.
It's a small comment about what seems a pretty solid investment opportunity.
But with the economy in its current state,
my main concern is whether it's the right time to be building at all.
The plot had a guide price of 37,000.
I asked a local estate agent what she thought of the potential here.
Houses are sought-after in this area,
so plots of land are quite rare,
so it is a good investment because they are few and far between.
So there's no doubt about the location, but there is something missing that could add value.
My first thought was there's no utility room, no en suite,
because generally modern houses, new builds, do consist of them now.
So it will bring the price down slightly.
The estate agent thinks selling the plot on with planning permission
could achieve a possible £45,000.
But if the build goes ahead, would the sale and rental figures stack up?
In this market, I think this property will probably be worth around £165,000 to £175,000.
There is a very good rental market for this sort of property in this area,
and the least you'd get in the rental market would be around £600 per calendar month.
Well, this would be a relatively straightforward plot of land to build on,
in an area where plots like this don't come up that often.
However, in these difficult economic times, are you sure you're going to be able to sell whatever you build,
and if not, are you happy to rent it out?
It's a tough one. Let's find out who decided to go for it at the auction.
Lot 34, the building plot on the corner of Southeby Avenue
in Sutton In Ashfield.
Start me at 30,000 if you like.
£30,000. £30,000 here, thank you.
At £30,000. 31, I have. At 31,
32, the starter's bid. At 32,
33 is bid. At 33,
34, thank you. At 34,
34, 35? 34 and a half. 35,000.
35 and a half,
36? 36 is bid, and a half.
37, and a half.
38? 38. 38-five. 39? No?
38 and a half behind you, then. At 38,500 for the first time,
38,500 for the second time. Selling at £38,500.
The successful bidders were Peter and Judy, a married couple from Derby.
They've got a number of buy-to-let properties in a portfolio they've built up over the years.
This is their first new build project.
I met them at the plot to find out more.
-Peter, Judy, lovely to meet you both.
Why did you want to buy the plot?
Well, I took early retirement last year, in March,
which is quite young to do that, and I just wanted something to boost the pension a bit,
you know, to keep the income up.
Building a house, rather than buying one and doing it up,
that's an extreme way to go, isn't it?
We looked at all the options, we did look at refurbishing,
but at the auction, they seemed to go for more
than we thought we could make a profit from.
This was another one, we looked at three,
and one of the plots we'd looked at had gone prior to auction,
a house we were interested in went for more than we were prepared to bid,
and this one came along, which we'd looked at as well,
and we got it at a price we're happy with.
Right. What was it that appeals to you, Judy?
Well, we just wanted a plot that was fairly simple, that we could just start from scratch
and build a house on it.
So, this was just the first project we've done like this, and we thought, "start small",
the price was right, and it just seemed a good way to go.
And also, to keep him in employment for a bit really!
Keep him out from under my feet!
It's funny that when men retire, it seems that wives often want to get them out of the house.
Two of the top ways seem to be golf and developing property.
So, it's something you'll be in full-time, is it?
Erm, I'll be checking on it every week. I'm going to employ a builder.
That's hardly full-time, is it?!
Checking on it every week!
I thought you were going to say, "I'll be here from nine till five every day"!
-He likes golf!
-He'll pop in on a Tuesday afternoon at 3 o'clock,
"everything alright, guys?"
That'll be about it, then back to the golf course.
Well, he may have a low golf handicap,
but will this project be affected by a lack of leadership?
Peter and Judy think this is going to be a simple development,
but no new build is completely straightforward.
They believe the plan needs only minor alterations,
and hope that the house will be boosting their pension plan in six to eight months.
They've already got several quotes for the building work,
and aim to start the foundations in a few weeks.
More importantly, they're confident they've got their sums right and there's money to be made.
We've paid just under 40,000 for the land, plus a few other fees.
And I've had quotes from builders, for the whole house and landscaping
of between 75,000 and 85,000.
If I purchase the materials myself I can get the VAT back,
which is going to be about £5,000.
-Wow. That's because it's a new build?
-Because it's a new build, yes.
And then that should put the total cost between 110,000 and 120,000 altogether.
So do you have any idea in your own mind what this would sell for?
We've seen others... There aren't many for sale on this estate,
but there's a three-bedroomed detached not far away
which is on the market for just under 150,000.
This being new, you'd hope it might fetch a little bit of a premium over an existing house.
As long as it's more than 140,000, I'm happy, that would give us about 20,000 profit,
which is enough to supplement the pension as it is at the moment and keep us going.
But if not, we could rent. We could keep it for a while and rent it,
and just wait until the market's right.
It pays to have a flexible approach in today's property market,
so it's good to see that Peter and Judy are aware of what could lie ahead.
Well, Peter and Judy have got themselves a nice retirement project here,
and, one of the upsides of the current market
is they have managed to get some good quotes for the building work.
However, I AM concerned about how little time Peter thinks he's going to have to spend
overseeing the project.
Leave it to look after itself, and I think there could be trouble ahead.
You can find out how they get on, later in the show.
Our next property is in Bitterne Park, three miles from Southampton city centre.
It's a desirable area, with good schools,
a triangle of shops just by a bridge,
and the bonus of the lovely waterside location.
So, just a street away from the river is the property I'm here to see today.
It's a 1930s three-bedroom semi, with a guide of 110,000 to 115,000.
Here it is. Now, that is good to see, you've got a garage and off-street parking for another car.
So, a good, practical start. But will the inside instantly impress?
Let's find out.
It may be practical, but,
let's face it, it's not all that pretty.
There are some cracks that need attention,
and it has that all-too-familiar air of neglect about it.
I've got to be honest, it's not love at first sight for me, that's for sure.
You've got a very grubby and dated hallway with dubious decor,
but the front reception room is a fantastic size.
You've got a lovely bay window.
Now, there is a gas fire. That tells me there's no central heating.
Round here, at the back of the house...
Brilliant! Look at this! This is what I was waiting for,
a really attractive and nearly perfect 1930s little fireplace.
You know, I love these green tiles down here.
You always hope for something like this in a house.
But what you have to think about is,
where you have original features, you may also have the original wiring.
And that is not quite so exciting to find, I can assure you!
You're almost certain to find that whatever lurks beneath the plaster and the floorboards
means a lot of work.
When it comes to modern features,
all this house seems to have is double glazing.
Let's hope the kitchen has something more to offer.
I really like 1930s properties, they're very functional
and well built.
But this style of semi-detached, well, it was always built with a tiny kitchen.
A 1930s family didn't see the kitchen as the heart of the home as we do now,
but as somewhere to just simply prepare food.
Now, although we haven't got one here,
you often see serving hatches into the dining room,
for the housewife to pass dinner through to the hungry hordes.
Now, these spaces, I think, really do need to be connected,
and I would certainly knock through into the dining room to create a much bigger and more usable space.
You often see that type of work done on semis,
and it can really bring life to these back rooms.
And while you've got the sledgehammer out,
why not make that window in the dining room into a set of double doors,
leading out on to the garden?
Now you're talking!
Upstairs, it's again the original layout,
which always seems to work well. You've got one generous double there,
and a single bedroom to the rear, with an extremely dated pink bathroom.
I don't think that's an original feature!
Well, it's no surprise
that all this does just need ripping out and starting again.
Now, the front bedroom, well, I think it's a good size,
It'll be even better when those wardrobes are ripped out.
I mean, there is tons of space back there.
Now, the first thing I've seen that really does worry me, come down here,
These windows, just take a look at that. Look!
The bay is dropping away on either side.
Now, that really does need immediate attention.
It could just be a badly fitted window,
but you need to be sure that it's nothing else.
This is bad news. With the plaster cracking as the bay sinks,
this could be a case of either hastily fitted double glazing,
or, more worryingly, there could be serious structural issues.
Either way, it's pretty alarming,
so you'd better get it checked out.
This property is a bit of a mixed bag.
There's a lot of work, but for that 110,000 to 115,000 guide price,
I'd say you get a lot of space for your money here.
Time to find out what a local estate agent
thinks of the potential of this three-bed house in Southampton.
First impressions of this property are that
it does need a complete programme of refurbishment,
albeit the windows have been replaced. It's a good house,
once it has been refurbished.
The garden is a little small if you wanted to be overly critical,
but the off-road parking is definitely an advantage.
So, some serious updating needs to be done here.
How much would a complete refurbishment cost?
To bring it up to a good standard, you'd look to spend
between £20,000 and £25,000 on it.
On top of that 110,000 to 115,000 guide price,
that could mean a possible outlay of £140,000.
So, what could it sell for?
Once renovated, I would say this property would be worth around £180,000 to £185,000.
What about the rental option?
If you're looking to rent it,
you'd receive about £750 to £800 per calendar month.
This house is a good family home, it's solid,
and once you've got that kitchen layout sorted,
well, it's practical.
But it has been neglected by the modern world,
and there is a considerable amount of work to do to bring it up to scratch.
Still, at that guide price, there's money in it.
Let's see who got lucky at the auction.
Lot number one in your catalogue,
somebody prepared to bid me just £100,000?
Somebody prepared to get me under way, we have a bid in the front of 100.
Looking for 101, lady on the corner.
102, and 103.
104, we have.
105 on my right.
106. It's 107 to you, madam.
107 we have, need a new bid.
110? You're there. 110.
111's there. 112?
No? Wish to come in at 112?
New bidder here at 112.
114 to the gentleman. 115 to the lady.
We have? No? 116,000 to you, sir.
I shall be selling.
116...and the lady's come back in at 117.
118 back to you, sir. Bid's against you, madam.
No, it's 118,000 with you, sir.
1...new bid, sir. 119.
120, directly in front of me. 121?
121 here, on my right. 122, sir. 123?
No? Give you a half, 122 and a half might do it? No.
I have £122,000 in front of me going once,
I have £122,000 twice,
I have £122,000 for the third and the final time,
Your property, sir, well done.
Those happy bidders are Ged and Dawn,
who've bought this as their first proper home together.
Ged manages holiday cottages, as well as teaching part-time,
and Dawn's a carer in the evenings.
Ged's son lives just down the road, and the couple have been living with Dawn's parents while house hunting.
So, they must be relieved.
Guys, congratulations. So, have you bought the house of your dreams?
What did you think of it the first time you viewed it?
Oh, I really liked it.
We had just been viewing another property similar to this,
apart from, in the 1960s, someone had taken out all the chimney breasts
and knocked all the walls through to try and make it more modern,
and it was completely soulless, had no character,
and then to come and look round here, within about half an hour,
was just fantastic,
and we were running around and saying "yay, it's got fireplaces!",
and just being very childish, and quite silly.
But, no, it was great.
So were you both on the lookout for a house to buy at auction?
Money, more than anything. Even with the way the property market had dropped,
we couldn't really afford the prices people were quoting.
We were both happy to put the extra work in, we were looking for somewhere with some character,
and this one's hardly been touched since 1933.
Well, they wanted somewhere with character, and they've certainly got it.
But with this house comes a lot of essential work to modernise it.
It's more than an average DIY-er would take on.
So, what skills can the couple bring to the renovation?
Most of it is just...hard work.
It's not particularly badly off structurally,
and we like it the way it is, so we won't be making too many changes to it.
Now, Dawn, you say not structurally, you've got a bit of an issue with the front window,
you really do need to get that checked. What do you guys know about it?
Erm, well, we believe that this happened upstairs
when the double glazing was fitted in the bay, and when it was put in down here...
The weight isn't distributed correctly to keep the bay tied to the house,
and it's just pulling away.
It seems they've done their research,
though I can't help feeling that this is going to be a tricky and expensive job.
However, they seem enthusiastic about taking on the property.
For heating, they plan to use two log burners,
but that isn't straightforward either.
We don't think we can afford to install them both straight away,
so we'll probably install one to get us through the winter,
and the other one in the run-up to next Christmas.
One log burner throughout the whole winter, for the whole house?
We'll be all right, we'll wear coats.
You're going to have to wear lots of jumpers, and vests.
So, what is your budget? If you had to write it down,
how much have you got left to spend on this place?
Er, we've got just under four grand.
Just under £4,000?
Yes, which we can't spend all at once.
Can't spend it all at once?
Four grand spread over how many months?
Well, you see, some of that money is for our wedding.
What?! So you're getting married as well?
-Yes, we are. We're due to get married in four weeks' time.
Four weeks' time?
-Oh, I can't take all this on! Oh, God!
-I'm guessing that you've probably got about £1,000 to spend on this place.
-Yes, about that.
A thousand pounds. Well, young love can get you through a lot,
but it won't sort out dodgy wiring,
that pink bathroom,
or any other unseen problems lurking.
Still, Ged and Dawn aren't your typical couple,
as shown by their choice of wedding venue,
HMS Warrior in Portsmouth harbour!
And the theme?
Erm, Victorian steam punk.
Excuse me? Vic... What is Victorian steam punk?
That's a very good question!
Did you make that up?!
No, no, it does exist.
Sort of, the clothing and the manners of Victorian or Edwardian Britain,
but, with, sort of, modern elements and futuristic elements.
So, things like coal-powered spaceships, and, er...
Ray guns with unfeasible names.
So have you two got your outfits sorted?
-Yes, my mother's made them.
So you're not in the traditional white gown?
-A sort of ivory-gold, Chinese style with phoenixes and dragons.
And what are you wearing, dear?
No, that's the wedding dress,
and I'm in a bottle green, sort of Napoleonic coat.
Well, you two really are right for each other, you SHOULD be getting married!
Yes, we probably are best paired off, and taken out of general circulation.
Well, no wonder there's no money left!
They've got coal-fired rockets and fantasy wedding dresses to order!
Ged and Dawn have got a lot on their plate,
and the house could eat up huge amounts of money if they let it.
And that bay window - well, that could really throw their plans into disarray.
But, what they lack in cash, they've got in determination and love.
And, I'll tell you what, it's not just the house I'm excited about,
how about that wedding! You can find out how it all goes later on in the show.
Still to come,
this house in Lincolnshire comes with very strict rules.
No pets, no children...
I mean, the list just goes on and on.
In Southampton, did Ged and Dawn's budget get them through the winter?
By wearing lots of jumpers... lots of layers and lots of coats.
But first, in Nottingham, did Peter and Judy
manage to turn this wasteland into a three-bed des-res?
Earlier, in Sutton In Ashfield near Nottingham,
we met Peter and Judy, who bought this piece of wasteland for £38,500.
But this was no ordinary plot of land, because it came with planning permission
to build a detached three-bedroomed house.
Peter and Judy have a portfolio of buy-to-let properties,
and are used to doing renovation projects.
But this was going to be their first ever build.
Armed with an £80,000 budget and a six to eight month timescale,
I reckon this was going to be a steep learning curve for them.
I just hope it wasn't too steep.
Well, seven months later, and it may be a dull day,
but there's a shiny new development on the row.
It's even got its own yellow brick road.
Inside, there's an impressive living room,
stretching from the back to the front,
with a stylish coal-effect fire to add some warmth.
Just up the stairs we've got quite a nice wide landing,
and three bedrooms on the right, all looking out to the front.
Bedroom one, two, and three.
At the end of the hallway, a family bathroom.
I think it's very good for a family, all the bedrooms together.
The main room's next to the bathroom.
We've put the same carpeting throughout,
so somebody can do what they want with their own colour scheme and furniture.
Well, we just decided to go for the basic magnolia walls and beige carpet,
it sounds really boring, but that's the best thing to do when you're trying to sell a house.
It gives anybody a blank canvas to do what they want to do,
and they can imagine their own furniture in.
Back downstairs, and a modern, functional kitchen completes our tour of the house.
Peter and Judy have stayed pretty faithful to the original planned layout,
with only some minor alterations.
There was a proposed side bay window for the living room,
but that was shelved as it was considered too near the road.
But the best change was at the back.
Well, what we've done here is we've added this patio door,
out into this patio area. That wasn't in the original design,
so we made a separate application to include that.
We thought it was important that a family can look out onto the back garden,
and keep an eye on the children in the back garden here.
And the garden area, obviously you've got quite a big lawned area,
all fenced in so it's secure for children and pets.
And through the other side is parking for two cars, off-road.
We thought about putting in a garage,
but I talked to a few agents,
and they said it would help to sell the property,
but it wouldn't add much value, not as much as it would cost to build.
I think a garage would have been a plus point when it came to selling the house.
Patio doors were definitely the missing element in linking the garden and house together,
so their addition now creates a good flow from inside to outside.
But unfortunately, not everything flowing from the house was so straightforward.
The main problem we've had during the construction, really,
was the connection of the foul water and surface water drains.
The foul water drain runs down the road outside,
and it's four metres deep.
So it was very deep, and it's on the other side of the road.
The quotes I was getting for the connection were several thousand pounds,
which actually shocked me.
In fact, the final cost of connecting the waste water system
Obviously, it's not money down the drain, but it must have hit the final spend.
In terms of the cost,
I think I said at the outset something like 75,000 to 85,000,
and in the end it cost 88,000.
I think a lot of that was due to this cost of the drainage, which was higher than anticipated.
As the plot cost Peter and Judy 38,500 plus some additional expenses,
their total spend rounds up to just under 130,000.
That's about 10,000 more than they anticipated.
But that hasn't blunted their enthusiasm for the project,
or kept Peter from practising his swing!
I still manage to fit in about three rounds of golf a week,
because you can plan around it,
but I was still coming here two or three times a week,
and towards the end I've been coming out most days to get it finished.
At the beginning you can't imagine what it's going to end up like, really,
and now it's all finished, even last week it didn't look anything like this,
so I'm so pleased.
I think that, for their first build, Peter and Judy have got a spot-on product.
There are some minor quibbles, on top of that lack of a garage
there's also no en suite upstairs for the main bedroom,
something people do expect in new builds.
But in general it's a good-sized modern house,
and a welcome addition in a much sought-after residential area.
I'm just pleased with the quality of the whole house, and the surroundings.
I think it's come out as well as I'd hoped.
I wanted to do a first-class job,
and I think, for a small three-bedroomed house,
it's probably as good a quality as you'll find.
Now the house is finished, Peter and Judy want to get rid of it.
So, time for two local estate agents to inspect it,
and tell us what sort of return the couple could expect on their £130,000 development.
I love how bright and airy it is, there's plenty of natural light which is always good,
especially on a dull day like this.
The kitchen is brilliant, the flooring is exceptional,
and I do think the finish is very high-standard.
It seems much bigger than I thought it would be,
because the plot seemed a lot smaller.
I like the finish on the property,
although small, it's in a very nice residential area.
Both estate agents feel the property market is on the upturn,
so, what could the couple achieve on a re-sale?
I'd value this house today at 169,950,
and hope to achieve offers in the region of £165,000.
I would value this property at between £165,000 and £175,000.
I think that sounds a little high for this area,
and also we want to sell it quickly,
so we're planning to put it on the market asking 160,000,
and hope to get a quick sale.
That could give them a possible pre-tax profit of nearly £30,000.
But, if after three months, no-one takes the bait,
then what could the rental return be?
I think, if they got to the right family market,
they'd look to rent at about £600 per calendar month.
It would get a rental income of around £550 to £600 per calendar month.
Yeah, I think the 550 to 600's about the area we expected.
Maybe asking 600 and getting 575, and if we get to the point where we want to rent it,
I think we'd be happy with that kind of rental.
Peter and Judy have had a pretty painless experience with this build, apart from the drains.
However, they plan to stick to a renovation project next,
although new builds aren't out of the frame.
Peter sees them as a learning curve for a more personal project.
To do this has been part of realising an ambition, which was to build a house,
it wasn't for us to live in, but I've gone through the process and learned a lot in doing that,
which will help me a lot the next time, and if we ever do one for ourselves,
I'll be in a better place to do it.
Well, in the heart of the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside
is the village of Torksey, and these, the Fosdyke Navigations.
Now, these were built by the Romans, and they have the honour of being
one of the oldest canals in the country. It's 11 miles long.
That's very interesting, because the property I'm here to see also caters for a more mature marketplace.
I'm not saying canals are just for the older generation,
absolutely not. But there is a certain appeal to the slower pace of life.
It's just that this canal in particular backs on to a quiet, leafy spot
which looks like a really well-maintained holiday camp.
It's a place where the ducks are used to being fed by passers-by.
I think I've got a fan club!
So, what exactly am I here to see?
Well, you can get the Hi-De-Hi theme tune out of your head straight away,
these aren't holiday homes, they're in fact permanent houses for senior members of society.
It's a luxury complex - there's over 300 of these, and one of them
was up for auction. It had a guide price of 40,000 quid,
two bedrooms, let's take a look inside.
These static mobile homes are all-timber structures,
designed to last around 60 years.
The 339 homes are well spaced out, on individual plots,
so they have their own patches of garden.
It's all set in extremely well-maintained grounds,
and if you've never been inside one,
well, you might be quite surprised by what you find.
Not a bad sized space, and good ceiling height too,
although these beams, or fake beams, make it feel a little bit more claustrophobic than it actually is,
as does the dark carpet, so definitely change those around.
But it's not a bad sized space. This is your living area,
you've got an electric fire there, you have got gas central heating,
propane gas though it may be, so that's quite good.
Through to the kitchen,
it's fitted, you've got space for your units,
it's a fully serviceable kitchen, it obviously needs to be replaced as it's very dated.
But, of course, do remember, at the end of the day,
don't spend too much money doing this place up, because,
when it comes down to it, it is still a caravan.
Albeit a very well-appointed one, designed for all-year living.
Overall, it's a well laid-out space.
There's a shower room in the middle,
a second bedroom easily big enough for a double once you clear out those units,
and at the back, a good-sized double.
At the rear there's an outhouse that could be used for a utility room.
So, at around that £40,000 guide price, it's a snip
compared with anything in the nearby village.
But there are a few things that might not float your boat.
Well, with this place it's not so much what you could do,
but what you would be allowed to do.
There are a whole raft of rules and regulations governing living here.
You certainly couldn't extend, each of these has its own plot and that is that.
You can't change the exterior.
You can't rent the place out,
you have to use a rotary clothesline,
I mean, the list just goes on and on.
And, if the owners don't think you're fitting in with their rules and regulations,
they won't allow you to live here.
So, unless you are of a certain age, wanting a very quiet life and are pet-less,
this really isn't the mobile for you.
These rules are to maintain a good living environment for the residents,
but it does limit the market severely,
and with that no sub-letting rule, this is not an investment
a developer could simply add to his portfolio.
In fact, it's not a business proposition at all.
I can see, however, why this property would appeal.
It's less to do with the home than the location,
it is absolutely gorgeous. You've got ten acres of park,
You've got three fishing lakes,
you've got the canal, I mean, it's gorgeous,
so why wouldn't you want to maybe sell up, move somewhere like this where it's safe and secure,
and live out your retirement here? That's the dream, isn't it?
It may not be everyone's cup of tea,
but for some, this place represents the chance to enjoy a great quality of life, at, most importantly,
an affordable price.
This unusual property was guided at £40,000.
I asked a local estate agent
what he thought of its potential.
Compared to other developments nearby,
we've got excellent facilities, the designs are quite unique,
and built to a good standard.
Built to a good standard, but it is tired and dated.
A renovation would cost between £5,000 and £10,000,
so what does it need, and how much would a sale achieve?
The property does need some internal refurbishment,
particularly an update of kitchen, bathroom suites and decoration.
With the right money spent on it, I believe this property could be worth in the region of £50,000.
Well, this isn't going to suit everyone, but then the chance to live in a location like this
doesn't come up every five minutes.
So, for somebody it will be the perfect choice.
Let's finds out who that was at the auction.
Lot number 20, which is 23 Poplar Drive,
The Elms, Torksey.
And who'd like to bid me £20,000 for this mobile home? £20,000 for it, please.
10 you say? OK, we start at £10,000.
At 10,000. 12. At 12.
16, it's right at the back of the room.
18. At 18. At 18,000,
I'll take another £1,000 if it helps.
19,000. At 19,000.
20. At £20,000.
That's £20,000 I have.
At 20. 21.
At £21,000. At £21,000.
Once, that's £21,000. Twice.
The third and last time, selling at £21,000.
The gentleman seated...
The successful bidders were Stuart and Tracy, who don't look quite old enough to be moving in.
In fact, they're brother and sister. I met them at the property to find out more.
-Tracy, Stuart, lovely to meet you both.
-Why do you want to buy this?
Well, we actually own The Elms,
which is a retirement park homes park.
So when we knew that this property was coming up for auction,
we wanted to make sure that we secured the property in order to maintain the integrity of the park,
and, obviously, people that move here have to be retired or semi-retired,
we have a no pets rule, children aren't resident here,
and so we thought we'd go along and see if we could make sure it was us that bought the property.
Oh, wow. Were you surprised in some ways that it ended up at auction?
Yeah, I mean, it's the first it's ever happened.
Normally, people can either sell it themselves,
put it in the hands of an estate agent or will it to their family,
and it was really totally the wrong type of sale,
because if a young couple had bought it in their early 20s with children,
they'd have had the legal right to own the home,
but not the right to live in it,
because they didn't conform to the park rules,
so it could have got really awkward, and a bit tricky.
-Messy, very messy!
Stuart and Tracy had tried to buy it before, but the sellers felt they would get a better price at auction.
As the house went for 21,000, it seems they were right.
That was more than they anticipated,
but keeping it was vital, even if it meant going into the competitive environment of the auction room.
I've never been to an auction before, so that was a bit of fun.
-I think you've attended auctions before but never bid?
-Yeah, I've been before.
The price tumbled down, it went 40, 30, 20, 10,
and I was thinking, "this is going to be all right", and then it was like,
11, 12, 13, and it shot up, and it just seemed to be I was the last person that went "21",
and it was bought. It was over in seconds.
Yeah, it does, it goes really quickly.
We was trying to find out who else was bidding, because I couldn't see anyone else.
We were trying to see what age group they were as well, are they retired, semi-retired? Can we judge?
But now they have their hands on it,
Stuart and Tracy can focus on renovating this tired member of the site's properties.
The house is only 20 years into its 60-year lifespan, so there are still some legs left in it.
The aim is to convert it into a show home, to attract more potential customers.
-What are you going to do to it?
-Yeah, I think it needs everything,
we'll do the central heating,
the windows and doors...
just absolutely start it again from scratch. The thing is,
normally people refurbish a property and once they've sold it they can walk away,
and if they've only sort of titivated it,
and somebody finds out after, then they've gone and the new owner finds out later,
whereas we sell a property to somebody,
and our office is only 100 yards up the road,
so they'll come knocking on the door, and think,
"you put a cheap boiler in",
so, we absolutely scrap everything so that we can sell it and know 100% that, when we've sold it to them,
nothing's going to go wrong, nothing's going to fall off.
So, it is a really major job.
How much money will you spend?
Erm, we'll probably spend in the region of about 35,000, which...
-Yeah, but the thing is...
-On a caravan!
Oh! How dare you!
I think I touched a bit of a raw nerve there!
But then the site is more than just a business
to Stuart, Tracy, and the family.
This successful enterprise was built up from nothing by their father 40 years ago.
Was it pretty hard for him at the start?
Very difficult, yes.
We moved up here as a family, not much money,
and Dad was digging holes and working on the site,
and then he would go and do, well...which pit was he...?
He went to Bevercotes Colliery...
So he was a miner?
Well, he became a miner out of necessity, just to keep things going
because it was a real struggle in the early days,
and he did that for about five to six years, which he keeps reminding us about on a regular basis.
But he was working down the mines at night and here during the day?
Yeah, he'd go and do his shift down there and then come home,
and he said some days he'd eat his tea stood up,
he didn't dare sit down because he was so tired,
and then he'd work on the park,
have about four hours' sleep, then get up and do it all over again.
He did that for years, to give it that push it needed.
And everybody told him,
when we moved up here that it would never work, you know,
"you're in the middle of nowhere, you're dreaming",
but that, probably, was more of a challenge to Dad.
He stuck his heels in, he said no, and he's turned it into one of the best parks in the country.
He's done all the hard work.
Yeah, he's worked very hard.
It took a long, long time to get him to retire.
He's only just really switched off now, he still likes to know what we're doing.
A very interesting story, but I'm very happy it's turned out the way it has for you.
-Good luck with it.
So, this tired little place is destined to be a show home.
Nice end to the story, and of course Stuart and Tracy protecting the park and their own position.
However, it does seem like they're going to spend a heck of a lot sorting it out,
and in today's current market, is that wise?
You can find out later in the show.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and property transformations usually take a while, too.
So, how did our buyers get on? Let's go back and find out.
Back to Bitterne in Southampton now,
to find out how Ged and Dawn got on with that three-bedroom house they bought at auction
This was to be their first home together.
It was the character that had them hooked, and that was just as well.
With their forthcoming nuptials eating up their savings,
and that serious crack in the bay window to contend with,
they only had £1,000 to spend on the house.
It was going to be a testing time,
but six months later, it looks as if Ged and Dawn have made it this far.
The garage has had a new coat of paint,
but, more importantly, that bay window problem seems to have been sorted.
Plus some new guttering has been installed.
Inside, the living room has been decorated,
and now looks a warm and cosy family room.
But there's still evidence of the work done to fix that bay window.
We've had the windows down, the upstairs part of the bay,
the middle section, we've taken all the bricks out.
We've taken the bottom windows out and put them back up again,
but this time with the steel supports in the corners.
Same windows, but with the steel supports in,
and then put it all back up again. So, because they tried to cut corners and save themselves £120,
it's cost us £1,500 to put it right.
Getting rid of that major crack also seems to have emptied their entire £1,000 budget, plus a bit more.
So, there was no money left for any big changes.
Yet the ground floor shows that Ged and Dawn have brought their own individual,
eclectic style to the interior,
and some detective work bagged them a few bargains.
The kitchen's an original 1960s kitchen,
we bought it cheaply through an internet site,
about £150 including the cooker. We love the hob,
it's half gas, half electric,
so when the door's open the gas won't blow out because we can move simmering things on to the electric.
Eventually, the plan is to build out sideways,
there's some wasted space there which isn't really getting used.
The garden's small so we didn't want to go back,
but we didn't want to make a kitchen-diner,
because we really like the proportions of the dining room.
But even fitting that kitchen wasn't problem-free.
We moved in, needed a kitchen quickly, started to take up the old lino...
The plan was just to put down the new lino, put the kitchen in and we'd get it done in a weekend.
And the floor was rotten, so we had to buy timber and replace the joists
and the floorboards for about two thirds of the kitchen.
The bit I'm standing on now doesn't collapse, but would've done before.
We'd got rot coming in from the coal shed next door,
and the damp seal had gone, and we've replaced that.
But all fairly straightforward stuff.
So that was another unexpected hit on their already endangered finances.
Where will it end? Well, there, fortunately,
because all the decoration's been done,
with budget wallpaper and end-of-the-line paint.
The house is homelier, and has a warmer atmosphere now.
However, that's not how it was during the winter,
as this log burner was their only heat source.
So, how did they keep warm?
By wearing lots of jumpers! Lots of layers and lots of coats.
And hopefully this winter we'll... (LAUGHS)
we'll live here rather than exist here.
But, with a few more burners, I don't think they'll need any thermal underwear on this winter.
For Ged and Dawn, it's been a tough few months getting the house in order.
Their renovation budget finally totalled £2,500 - more than they could afford,
but it was essential work.
Yet, through the dark times, they did have their wedding day to look back on.
We had a fantastic wedding.
It went wonderfully well, so many of our friends and family turned up
wearing the themed clothing, which I wasn't expecting.
We were very... I was very happy with the clothes that your mum made,
they made the occasion that much more special, and it couldn't have gone better.
It's been six months since they bought the house.
We've invited along two estate agents
to see if the market has given them a helping hand
with their £124,500 investment.
The things I like about this property is that it's a good, family home,
good sized rooms,
but it retains some original features such as fireplaces and picture rails.
My first impressions on this property is, obviously, it's in need of modernisation,
but overall I would imagine it will be a good project for someone.
It's a great location, a good school catchment area,
and, overall, it's a good family property.
The property, I think, needs a new kitchen,
but I think it would be worthwhile extending the kitchen at the same time.
A new bathroom would obviously finish it rather nicely for the family market.
The agents reckon that in its current state,
the house could have a rental value of up to £675 per calendar month.
Ged and Dawn have no plans to rent it out,
but what if they decide to sell?
In the current condition, I would value it at £129,000,
to achieve £125,000.
In its current condition, I would put this property on the market
for £135,000 to £140,000.
I'm certainly happy with the 135 to 140 valuation,
I think it's more realistic as well looking at the value of properties up and down the road.
With their total spend of £124,500, that would give them a possible pre-tax profit
of about 10,000 to 15,000.
The estate agents estimate that renovating the property could cost
between 10,000 to 15,000, so what could they sell it for once that's done?
Once this property's been fully refurbished, I would value this property at £175,000.
We would be putting this house on the market for £175,000.
So if renovating the house took their spend to just under 140,000,
then if they ever decide to sell, they could make a possible pre-tax profit of just over £35,000.
Both Ged and Dawn have had a tough time getting this place into shape.
They've still got some way to go,
but they're here for the long haul,
and hopefully this house will eventually be their dream come true.
Is it our dream home? I don't know.
We'll see in a few years' time, but right now, it's the right home.
In the village of Torksey near Lincoln,
we met Stuart and Tracy.
Along with the rest of their family, they own this award-winning retirement park.
When one of the mobile homes went to auction,
they bought it for 21,000 to turn it into a new show home.
So, something like this wouldn't need a big budget, right?
We'll probably spend in the region of about 35,000, which I...
-Yeah, but the thing is...
-On a caravan?!
Oh! How dare you!
I mentioned the dreaded word there, but I think I got away with it.
But, seriously, this static mobile home did need some updating.
I just can't believe it's 35 grand's worth of renovation!
Well, it's been four months, and, from the outside, it looks a lot cleaner and fresher.
The garden gravel is now gone, to be replaced by an attractive lawn and paving.
The tired, dated living room has given way to more contemporary furnishings,
with lighter tones creating a spacious feel.
So, when we first started looking at styling and furnishing this home,
we knew that there were practical issues that we had to consider,
such as, the wall covering has to be the textured wallpaper,
to deal with the seams with the timber structure of the property.
But once we've dealt with one or two issues like that,
we can then start to look at the nice bits,
the wall lights and fixtures and fittings, and, obviously,
the furniture that we place in the home.
We wanted to keep it classic modern,
so, modern, but not over the top for our customer base,
which is the 50+ age group.
And, we think the styling we've chosen for the home,
the fact that we've finished and dressed it,
and finished it off as if you were living in it, almost,
that we've achieved what we were setting out to do.
The age of their prospective customers ranges from 50 to 80,
so Stuart and Tracy seem to have struck the right decorative style here.
The bedrooms are also decorated in relaxing, neutral tones.
As there is limited space, there are fitted units rather than freestanding cupboards.
The old shower room has been totally renovated,
with the welcome addition of a bath.
So, all in all a good interior renovation.
But, don't forget the exterior.
One of the problems that we had was having to re-skin the outside of the home.
We thought we'd get away with just a lick of paint,
and it turned it up to a complete re-skin, which cost a fortune -
But that wasn't the only problem, we had to get the colour right.
We had to try and darken it by 20 years, by just putting lots of coats of paint on,
to try and get the colour to match the other properties surrouding.
Maybe it just wants to stand out,
though that difference must have browned Tracy and Stuart off.
But I reckon everything else about this renovation has passed with flying colours.
So, did the overhaul really cost 35,000?!
It isn't just a lick of paint, it has been a complete overhaul of the entire property,
so, to be honest, bar the frame, chassis and roof,
we've practically replaced the entire property.
So that's why we've managed to clock up £35,000.
Add that to their purchase price of 21,000,
and their total spend will be 56,000 quid.
They're not likely to see any return soon, because the plan
is to have this show home on display for the next 18 months.
We've probably had a little bit bigger budget this time,
because we wanted it to be something a bit more special to catch people's eye,
or catch the customers' eyes.
Stuart and Tracy value the updated home at £90,000,
but any profit margin they had will be eaten into by paying for insurance,
rates, and maintaining the garden.
For now, it's a loss leader, which will hopefully bring in new customers.
We had an open weekend last weekend,
and the feedback was really positive, everybody said it was really surprising.
I think sometimes people that are new to this concept come,
and are expecting something quite different,
and they're very surprised when they come and they see that it's just like an ordinary house,
fresh, modern, comfortable, stable...
Yeah, usually people are pleasantly surprised, which is great.
The next people hopefully to be surprised
are two local estate agents.
Do they think Stuart and Tracy's efforts are worth their £56,000 investment?
I think that the finish of this particular property is that good, that it's one of the better ones
that I've seen, and also my impression of the park in general
is very good, it's very tidy,
immaculate, in fact.
The owners have made great use of the space,
integrating wardrobes and fittings where possible.
A new kitchen and bathroom mean it will appeal to any buyer walking through the door.
Remember, their total spend on this mobile home is 56,000,
and they value it at £90,000 now.
So, while the agents don't normally come across this type of property,
what do they think it could sell for?
We have very few properties of this type on the market at any one time,
making it slightly more difficult to value,
but I would expect that in the current market,
the property would be worth in the region of £70,000.
I'd put this property on, probably, 65, somewhere there.
They're way off the mark, it's not their fault,
it's a specialist trade and we normally vend the properties,
so we're the only ones that really know.
If Stuart and Tracy are right,
then from that £90,000 sale they could make a possible pre-tax profit
of £34,000, minus the maintenance costs of the site and the home.
I reckon this renovation should do the trick,
and attract more customers to the park.
That will keep it going for years to come,
something their father would certainly appreciate.
He genuinely is very proud of us,
he's proud we're in the business, and he's pleased with what we're doing,
and that we're carrying on what he started,
so I think he would just say, as well as, "work hard",
"well done, and get on with it".
Well, that's our trio of tantalising tales from the auction room for you for today's show.
We'll have plenty more for you next time.
-We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Sam Parish Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
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.