Episode 82 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 82

Series about properties that have gone to auction. Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a cottage in Cornwall, a two-bedroomed flat in Hampshire and a property in Kent.


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An Englishman's home is his castle.

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Yes, whether it's a small flat or a large house,

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most people take pride in where they live.

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But the starting point is to find the right property

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and one way to do that is to buy your home under the hammer.

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Well, renovating a property is certainly a challenge,

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especially if it's something you haven't done before.

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It can also bring you financial reward if you keep on top of things.

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So what challenges faced today's buyers?

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This cottage in Cornwall is so good it's jumping out at me.

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There didn't appear to be much at this two-bedroom flat in Hampshire,

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but looks can be deceiving.

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I knew it was going to be spacious up here.

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And that old auction tip about buying the worst property

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on the best street really comes into its own in Kent.

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Anyway, retain an open mind, I say.

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All these properties went to auction. We'll find out

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who bought them and what they paid for them

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when they went under the hammer.

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Welcome to beautiful Cornwall

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and revel in all that's lovely in this world.

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Spectacular countryside to calm the senses,

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wildlife to enrich the landscape and some very attractive property.

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And while the latter may not be free,

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it's a lot more affordable than you might think.

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So you could imagine property round here is extremely desirable

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and this is the sort of thing that everyone wants to buy.

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It's a two-bedroom stone cottage,

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at a guide price of 75,000 quid, which seems incredibly cheap.

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Let's take a look inside.

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Cute and cottagey are two words that would have many people racing

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to the auction rooms that offer them, but at just £75,000

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there must be something I'm not seeing here.

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First thing I notice, reasonable height ceilings, which is good,

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but also it looks, to me, like a work in progress.

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New plasterboard on the ceiling, bits of flooring here.

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The old fuse box back there looks like it's been recently replaced,

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so somebody's obviously started this project and,

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for whatever reason, stopped.

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Kitchen there, this is your main room. Nice wood burning stove,

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but something immediately, horribly wrong.

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There's a staircase right in the middle.

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You have got that room over there, like a lounge area,

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another area here which, if knocked through, would be wonderful.

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Bit of a big job, but I think it's worth it.

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You've got to get this staircase, you've got to put it...

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probably over here, to create a really nice open plan area,

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because then some of the features can start to be shown off.

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Things like... Look at the reveals on the windows here, really thick.

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This is a stone-built cottage, it's lovely. Make the most of it.

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Big job, but not insurmountable.

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'The cottage isn't listed,

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'which means you can make this layout really work for you.

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'If it was up to me, moving the stairs would be just the start.'

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Well, not surprisingly, the kitchen in a bit of a state.

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It's not a bad-sized space,

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but again it's almost like

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I'd want to get rid of all the walls in the bottom part of this house.

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This wall here is huge - it really takes up so much space -

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and it gets worse when you go that way

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cos you've got a separate entrance to the property

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and a downstairs loo.

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It's higgledy-piggledy,

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like this barn that's just been added to over the years.

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And in terms of general state of repair, well, I think it's...

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I'm beginning to see why this cottage is guided at just £75,000.

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Upstairs is pretty well laid out with two good-sized bedrooms

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and the bathroom, but if you're considering moving that staircase

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you'd have to rethink the layout up here.

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What does a local estate agent think needs doing

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to get this property right?

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I believe the expression is TLC.

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It does need quite a bit of bringing up to date, obviously decor,

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wiring, plumbing, bathroom, kitchen,

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but it's stuff that can be done at a reasonable cost because

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it appears to be quite sound and with perhaps six months' good work

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I think the owners would be very pleased -

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if they wanted to sell it on they'd be quite happy.

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If this cottage was bought for around that guide price of 75,000

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and just renovated as it is, what could it be worth once finished?

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When it's renovated, it's going to take them a little bit of time,

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but I do feel that you'd get £145,000 even in today's market for it.

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I think you can see the potential that this little cottage has,

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but it really needs someone just to come along,

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rip it out and start again because it really is, at the moment,

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a bit of a hodgepodge. However, having said that,

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I don't think the guide price would have been anything like 75,000 quid

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if it had been all together.

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Let's see who fancied the challenge when it went under the hammer.

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Lot one is the Corner House, South Road, Stithians.

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The guide is 75,

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who's going to kick us off at the guide?

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Nice and simple, 75 straight in.

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Who will say 75? 75 I've got on my right.

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At 75. That's early doors. 75. At 75.

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At 75,000 on my right hand side. 78.

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78? 77. OK, at 77. Let's try to get on the evens if we can. 80?

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Can I go to 80 with somebody? 80, we've got it, we're away. At 80.

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At 80. 82.

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84.

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86. 88.

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90. I'm going to concentrate on the left for a minute. 92, sir?

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92. 94.

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96 I've got stood behind you. At 96.

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98. 98. One.

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102. There's one stood against you.

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I'll come back. You have a think. One I've got. One I've got. At 100.

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At 100. 102. 104.

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106, straight back.

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108? 108.

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108. Back to these two. 108 and a half.

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109.

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109 and a half.

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110, the young lady there.

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110. 110 and a half. 111.

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111 and a half. 112.

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112. 112 and a half. 112 and a half.

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You've seen yourself there, haven't you?

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There, tomorrow you'll be thinking, would 500 have done it? 113?

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113. 113 and a half. 113 and a half.

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113 and a half first time.

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113 and a half second time.

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114. 114 I've got. 114.

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At 114. Half. 114 and a half.

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115. At 115. At 115. And a half?

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And 16.

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At 116. At 116. At 116 on my left.

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At 116. First time then, the young lady here at 116.

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The second time. At 116 you're in?

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I won't take advantage.

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Saturday night, maybe! But 116, last chance then. It's on my left.

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Here we go at 116 and out.

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116, miss, madam, thank you.

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'The buyers on the day were Leanne and Mike.

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'Together with their baby, Farah,

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'I met them at the cottage to find out their plans.'

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-Lovely to meet you both. Congratulations.

-Thank you.

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You've got yourself a nice little cottage. Why did you want to buy it?

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As you say, it's a lovely little cottage, really nice area

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and very much enticed by the guide price of £75,000,

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which got us through the door to have a look at the cottage.

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You walked in and thought, "Yeah, we could do something with this"?

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Yeah, we were thinking of living here, but on reflection

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it's a little too small for us, so we'll probably put it back

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-on the open market again or rent it out.

-What we saw is the huge amount

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of potential here, so that's what really enticed us to buy it, I think.

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'Mike and Leanne currently live in navy quarters,

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'but with a recent addition to the family

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'they're keen to move somewhere bigger.

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'However, now they have decided not to live here,

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'they see this as an opportunity to make extra income.'

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What do you do in the navy?

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Well, Mike's actually a civilian now, he left in December.

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-Yeah.

-Because of baby's arrival, and I'm a warfare officer.

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I sub specialise in hydrography, meteorology and oceanography.

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-Wow!

-I'll be basically forecasting the weather for the aircraft.

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-OK.

-And until I can find something else, this will be my full time job.

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-So you've left the navy completely now?

-Absolutely, yeah.

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The thought of going away and leaving Farah...

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You go away for six, seven months at a time, you come home

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to a different child and that's not something I really wanted.

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So you're going to be supervising the projects and being a house dad?

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Doing a lot of work as well because Leanne's still on maternity leave.

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-OK.

-Just before I left the navy I did a plastering course.

-Oh!

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As you can see, there's quite a bit of plastering to be done.

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-Yeah!

-And there's also a lot of rendering to be done on the outside

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-because pebble dash is... We don't like it.

-Not our choice.

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So I'll be rendering over that and giving it a smooth finish,

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make it look a lot nicer and give it...

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There's also quite a damp problem in the property as well,

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so all this plaster is going to need to be chipped back and tanked.

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I'll be doing all the tanking, so just basically all the plaster

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in here on the bottom level is all just going to come off the wall.

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So tell me all about your experience so far.

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Property-wise, we've got, what is it? Nine, ten rental properties

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that we've just accumulated, often bought at auction, refurbished them

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and then rented them out. Just basically love property,

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usually old properties, Victorian, taking them and making them

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-beautiful again.

-We've got quite a bit of experience with renovation.

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This is our biggest project so far because we're moving the stairs.

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We tend to do low-level refurbishment.

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We're doing a lot of "we-ing", whereas we tend to call my father,

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and it just tends to be a, "Dad, we've got a property,

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"can you come and do it up for us?" So it sounded good, didn't it,

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-with all the "we-ing", but not quite so realistic!

-No.

-We're learning.

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Fantastic your dad is there to do that.

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What does he do when he's not helping you?

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Well, he's actually in Yorkshire, which is 300 miles up the road!

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-Wow!

-But, yeah, he's semi-retired. My mum's got multiple sclerosis,

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so they have a lot of time off, so she'll come up, look after baby.

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Not much time off, because generally helping us do the projects.

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-Wow! What a great resource to have!

-It's absolutely fantastic.

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-There's nothing he can't do.

-Absolutely.

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Having our own baby, we're hoping that she'll stop the phone calls

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and the dependence on mum and dad by the age of 31, but we live in hope!

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In fact, it seems that Farah is picking up a few skills of her own

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-by watching mum and dad.

-I think it'll be the third site

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she's been on since she was born. We actually bought one property

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when she was two days old, so it's been quite busy.

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She's learning how to paint skirting boards at the moment,

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just the perfect height! With crayons, though.

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-Yes! Absolutely.

-We don't really strap on a paintbrush!

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Moving on to gloss paint later.

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This couple, with the help of Leanne's dad, of course,

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seem to have a great deal of experience,

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but that didn't stop them

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from nearly making a huge mistake when it came to the auction.

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-Yes.

-Saturday Night Fever!

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I'm notoriously not brilliant at timekeeping,

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outside of my job where, of course, I have to be on time, but...

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-And you were guilty on this occasion, too...

-I hold my hands up.

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In that I was in bed reading the legal pack half an hour

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before the auction started and it was a 20-minute drive away

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-and we didn't know where it was and it was the first lot.

-Right.

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-It was all a bit tight.

-So at what point did you walk into the room?

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Just before the auction began,

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it was a couple of minutes late starting, fortunately.

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-You were reading the legal pack half an hour before.

-Yes.

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-First time or just a refresher?

-My solicitor had perused it for me,

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but I was reading it for the first time and was engrossed.

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Then I looked up and saw the time

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and it was half an hour before the auction began

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so a little bit flustered by the time I got there!

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Bit of a mad dash to Redruth.

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Nothing like leaving it to the last minute,

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but it all worked out in the end.

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Although they don't plan to make this their new family home,

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that's not stopping them planning a thorough renovation.

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We'll be looking in the region of 12,000 to 15,000 for the project.

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When we first looked at the place

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we didn't think of moving the stairs, but now we've looked

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at the property and at the layout of the floor and it's got to be done.

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So we've pushed our budget by a few more thousand,

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but it just really will enhance the property so much more.

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And keeping as many features? These big reveals on the windows

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-and the thick walls, all gorgeous, isn't it?

-Absolutely.

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We want to stick to the cottage style as far as we can,

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so what we do will hopefully be very much in keeping with the cottage

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-and we'll keep all those features.

-And how long to get it sorted?

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Three to four months, give or take. Yeah, that's the plan.

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It also depends how long Dad stays on site and is willing

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to come down and do up properties or else we're going to have to learn

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-to do it ourselves, God forbid!

-An important part of your...

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-Strategy, isn't he?

-Vital.

-There's just nothing he can't do.

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-Good luck with it. Congratulations.

-Thank you very much.

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-I'll look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Yes!

-So do we!

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So Mike and Leanne joining forces with Leanne's dad

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to take on another development project,

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but there is a lot of work to do to sort this place out

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and, as well as looking after the baby,

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Mike is going to have a lot on his hands.

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It's a challenge. Will there be choppy waters ahead?

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You can find out later in the show.

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This is the market town of Fareham in Hampshire.

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The town was well known for producing bricks, tiles

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and chimney pots. In fact, the Royal Albert Hall in London

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is made from Fareham red bricks.

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Now its position between Portsmouth and Southampton

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makes it a great base for commuters.

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I'm here to see a first floor maisonette

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which is about a mile from Fareham town centre.

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Now, it doesn't have the most attractive frontage,

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as it's set above this taxi firm.

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That also might also have some noise implications late at night

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with all these shops along here,

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but it's got two bedrooms and it had a guide price of just 60,000.

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The flat's 1970s architecture might not appeal,

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but let's give it a chance and look inside.

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Even though this is described as a first floor maisonette

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there is actually some extra square footage downstairs,

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but you have to access it through this strange uppity-down landing,

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which leads to this huge utility area.

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This is the same size as a kitchen in most houses

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and you've got an enormous cupboard in there.

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This really is just bonus space because the main flat is upstairs.

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There's plenty of space down here with a porch, a downstairs toilet

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and your own large garden. There's even a garage at the bottom of it

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so there's off-street parking, too.

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The only downside is that you're overlooked

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by a window in the taxi firm, but it's a small price to pay

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if the rest of the flat has as much as this to offer.

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You know what? I knew it was going to be spacious up here!

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You've got two really good-sized double bedrooms there

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and, of course, through here a fantastic lounge.

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I think this would have been an outside wall originally

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and this here was an extension,

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although it does feel a little bit springy, I have to say, underfoot.

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I might get that looked at.

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But you could house a family in this flat.

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It's really big, you've got this lovely floor to ceiling glass.

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On a summer's day

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you're going to get lots of lovely natural light coming through there.

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I've got to say, the space here really is selling this flat to me.

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There's definitely work to do here. The carpets and decor need updating.

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There are polystyrene tiles on some of the ceilings

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which should be removed for fire safety reasons.

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Some of the electrics are surface-mounted,

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so ideally you'd want to chase them into the walls.

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But after a bit of modernisation

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I could really start to warm to this place.

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One small quibble, though. This kitchen is actually smaller

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than the utility room downstairs, and the bathroom - it's small,

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there's no natural light, there's a lemon suite and it's quite dark.

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It looks like the window was blocked up

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when the property was first extended,

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but the good news is that this flat is sold with freehold title,

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so subject to planning, you could do what you like.

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Although you're responsible for the repair and maintenance

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of the whole building, you do get the ground rent

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from the taxi company downstairs.

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What does a local estate agent think of the place and its neighbours?

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The implications of the property being above the parade of shops

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are mainly to do with the mortgage lenders.

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They're slightly restricted on the lending they'll do at the moment

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and there are fewer lenders in the marketplace

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that will lend on property above commercial premises.

0:17:320:17:35

To a cash buyer looking for a rental investment

0:17:350:17:39

that £60,000 guide price could be attractive.

0:17:390:17:42

It is a good rental area here.

0:17:420:17:45

Probably the rental side of things would be round about £600 a month,

0:17:450:17:50

but obviously it would need the work done

0:17:500:17:52

before the property could be rented out.

0:17:520:17:55

If you bought this place at the £60,000 guide price and spent, say,

0:17:550:17:59

10,000 to 20,000 on a complete renovation, you could be looking

0:17:590:18:04

at around a 9% rental return.

0:18:040:18:06

But could you make any money if you decided to sell?

0:18:060:18:10

Once the renovations have been completed on the property

0:18:100:18:13

I would suggest a marketing price of round about 100,000 in the current climate.

0:18:130:18:17

It's not the prettiest of maisonettes and some buyers

0:18:180:18:21

may be put off because it's above a taxi firm,

0:18:210:18:23

but you do have a fair amount of square footage for your money here

0:18:230:18:27

and the bonus of the freehold title. So who fell for this Fareham flat?

0:18:270:18:33

Let's find out at the auction.

0:18:330:18:34

Lot number six in your catalogue,

0:18:370:18:39

number 51 Fairford Avenue, Fareham, Hampshire.

0:18:390:18:42

I'm going to start the bidding on this one, ladies and gentlemen,

0:18:420:18:45

at just £50,000. 50 I have, straight away at the back.

0:18:450:18:50

51 I have. And two, sir?

0:18:500:18:51

52. And three?

0:18:510:18:54

54's bid. 55 here. 56. And seven.

0:18:540:18:59

58. No? Shake of the head. 57 here.

0:18:590:19:02

I'm looking for 58. 58,000, new bidder.

0:19:020:19:05

59. 60? 60's bid. 61?

0:19:050:19:09

And two? 62,000.

0:19:090:19:12

63 here in the front. 64,000's bid.

0:19:120:19:15

65 I have. No? A shake of the head. It's 65,000 here.

0:19:150:19:20

Looking for 66 elsewhere in the room.

0:19:200:19:24

New bid at £66,000. 67 I have.

0:19:240:19:29

68. 69. 70?

0:19:290:19:33

70,000's bid. 71 seated.

0:19:330:19:36

72 on the right hand side. 73 I have here.

0:19:360:19:41

74,000 directly in front of me.

0:19:410:19:44

75? No? Give you a half?

0:19:440:19:46

74 and a half. 75,000 I have to come back.

0:19:460:19:50

Shaking his head.

0:19:500:19:52

£75,000 with you, sir. I'll take 500 from anywhere else in the room.

0:19:520:19:56

£75,000, then, I have for the first time. 75,000 for the second.

0:19:560:20:02

75,000 the third and the final time.

0:20:020:20:06

Your property, sir. Your number, please? Congratulations.

0:20:060:20:09

For £75,000 the new owner of that two-bedroom flat is Ian.

0:20:090:20:14

He lives just a few yards down the road

0:20:140:20:17

so is very familiar with the area. As a building services engineer

0:20:170:20:23

he should know a thing or two about how to renovate it, as well.

0:20:230:20:27

But one thing he's never done before is visit a property auction.

0:20:270:20:31

Ian, congratulations. I must say you looked very smart

0:20:310:20:35

-in your suit and tie on auction day.

-I'm not experienced at going

0:20:350:20:38

to auctions, but I thought if I went looking like I meant business

0:20:380:20:43

and bidded without hesitation that it may work to my advantage.

0:20:430:20:47

-What was your top limit?

-My top limit was 80,000.

0:20:470:20:50

-If it got to 80 I was going to stop.

-So 5K under, that's pretty good.

0:20:500:20:54

-5K under is pretty good.

-I've got to say,

0:20:540:20:56

it isn't everybody's choice to buy a flat over a taxi rank.

0:20:560:21:00

-That obviously hasn't worried you.

-No, it doesn't. I talked about that

0:21:000:21:04

and it's not actually a taxi rank as such, it's just an office

0:21:040:21:09

where they do their telephone bookings from

0:21:090:21:12

and we did determine

0:21:120:21:13

that there wasn't hundreds of cabs coming in and out,

0:21:130:21:16

at all hours of the day and night.

0:21:160:21:18

You know this area better than anybody. Is it noisy at night?

0:21:180:21:21

-Will that be a problem?

-I don't think so.

0:21:210:21:23

It's quite a busy road during the day, but it quietens down at night

0:21:230:21:27

and we face on to it ourselves and we don't have a problem.

0:21:270:21:31

Knowing the area put Ian in a much stronger position

0:21:310:21:34

when it came to the auction.

0:21:340:21:36

For the time being at least, he's planning to rent this flat out,

0:21:360:21:40

so what will he do to bring it up to scratch?

0:21:400:21:44

All the fixtures and fittings in the whole building are coming out,

0:21:440:21:47

possibly even the central heating which I believe works,

0:21:470:21:51

but could be a bit dated. New kitchen and new bathroom.

0:21:510:21:54

I've noticed that the loft access hatch is in the bathroom,

0:21:540:21:57

as was ours at home, and we'll put a sun pipe, hopefully, in the roof

0:21:570:22:01

to bring some natural light into the bathroom

0:22:010:22:04

and then relocate the hatch into the landing.

0:22:040:22:07

What sort of budget have you got to spend on this place?

0:22:070:22:11

In the region of 15,000 to 20,000.

0:22:110:22:13

That's quite a healthy budget for the work.

0:22:130:22:16

Yeah. It's not going to be designer. It's just going to be a clean,

0:22:160:22:20

tidy, bright, pleasant, carpeted flat for someone to come and live in.

0:22:200:22:26

He's hoping to take no more than two or three months to do all the work,

0:22:260:22:30

but what then? Is mild-mannered Ian cut out for the role of landlord?

0:22:300:22:35

Yeah, I have one other property,

0:22:350:22:39

which is a three-bedroom terraced house in Fareham town.

0:22:390:22:43

I bought that about four years ago and had a horrendous experience.

0:22:430:22:47

The problems I had were two-edged. I had problems with the tenant who,

0:22:470:22:51

unfortunately, lost his job and couldn't pay the rent,

0:22:510:22:54

and also I had horrendous problems with the letting agent

0:22:540:22:58

who I employed to deal with the letting, not being experienced in it.

0:22:580:23:02

So now I do all that myself and do the contract

0:23:020:23:06

and deal with all the paperwork.

0:23:060:23:08

-There's no stopping you now.

-Well, I don't know.

0:23:080:23:11

Maybe just the finances! Maybe in the next five years

0:23:110:23:14

another place or something. I'm not really intending to be

0:23:140:23:17

a property entrepreneur, developer, whatever you call it.

0:23:170:23:21

-Somewhere to invest your money and get a great return.

-Yes. Better than the bank.

0:23:210:23:25

This really is it for you?

0:23:250:23:27

I believe so, especially if I'm considering it over ten years.

0:23:270:23:30

Ian, good luck, lovely to meet you.

0:23:300:23:32

-Thank you very much.

-Well done. Thank you.

0:23:320:23:35

Ian's certainly bought in an area that he was familiar with because

0:23:350:23:39

he practically lives opposite!

0:23:390:23:41

I think he's made a pretty good investment as long as he keeps this

0:23:410:23:45

for a good while because in the current climate letting this will

0:23:450:23:48

give him a higher return than if his money was just stuck in a bank,

0:23:480:23:53

but if Ian ever has to sell this property I think he may struggle

0:23:530:23:57

to get a buyer and that's just because it's above a row of shops.

0:23:570:24:01

Let's see how he gets on later in the programme.

0:24:010:24:04

Coming up, I was thinking that this house in Kent

0:24:060:24:09

looked a lot worse than it is.

0:24:090:24:11

Oh, but I've just seen that!

0:24:110:24:14

Back in Hampshire, Ian has discovered

0:24:150:24:17

he's got more work to do than he'd planned.

0:24:170:24:19

I took the decision at that point that I wasn't going to skimp on it,

0:24:190:24:23

I just wanted to get a good result at the end.

0:24:230:24:25

But first it's back to the Corner House

0:24:260:24:28

where there have been a few changes.

0:24:280:24:30

We also just popped the stairs into the corner.

0:24:300:24:33

That small point. Yes, we did, didn't we?

0:24:330:24:35

Time now to return to Cornwall

0:24:370:24:40

where naval officer Leanne and husband Mike paid £116,000

0:24:400:24:44

for this two-bedroom cottage

0:24:440:24:47

near the village of Stithians. Initially they had thought about

0:24:470:24:51

making it their home but as it was a bit too small

0:24:510:24:54

they decided to stay in their naval quarters for now.

0:24:540:24:57

But this little property was certainly all at sea,

0:24:570:25:00

so have they got cracking and got it on an even keel?

0:25:000:25:03

In terms of what we've done to the property,

0:25:050:25:08

it's pretty much been a total renovation.

0:25:080:25:11

The outside is different - we got rid of the pebble dash

0:25:110:25:13

and Mike's rendered the outside,

0:25:130:25:15

we've painted it, replaced the not very nice Elizabethan leaded windows

0:25:150:25:19

with the Georgian version, which are more true

0:25:190:25:22

to what would originally have been in the property.

0:25:220:25:25

We've totally redecorated it,

0:25:250:25:27

so we've got a new kitchen, taken out the bathroom

0:25:270:25:29

and replaced that, redecorated throughout.

0:25:290:25:32

-Have I forgotten...?

-We also just popped the stairs into the corner.

0:25:320:25:36

That small point, yes. Yes, we did, didn't we?

0:25:360:25:39

As I mentioned before, moving those stairs would be the key

0:25:390:25:42

to making this cottage first rate.

0:25:420:25:44

They've done just that and, oh, so much more!

0:25:440:25:48

# These are a few of my favourite things. #

0:25:480:25:53

But the downstairs living space is by far my favourite part

0:25:530:25:57

of this beautifully renovated cottage.

0:25:570:25:59

Our first priority was to move these stairs from the centre of the room,

0:25:590:26:03

which divided it into two unusable spaces, right into the corner,

0:26:030:26:07

but to do that we had to take the wall down and replace it

0:26:070:26:10

with a supporting beam, so there we've just got the wooden beam,

0:26:100:26:13

which actually used to be part of Falmouth pier.

0:26:130:26:16

Once in place - my father-in-law and I managed to get it in

0:26:160:26:19

just with the pair of us, using ladders and trestles and tables

0:26:190:26:23

and goodness knows what - we managed to put the stairs into the corner

0:26:230:26:27

and then it was just a case of repairing the damage, as it were.

0:26:270:26:30

Just replastering the ceilings. Now the light just can flood through

0:26:300:26:34

all these windows and it just makes it such a beautiful and usable space

0:26:340:26:39

where you can have your nice big corner group and a dining room table

0:26:390:26:42

and it just makes it a much better space to use

0:26:420:26:46

for a family or a couple or whoever.

0:26:460:26:48

By moving those stairs, upstairs has been shuffled around a bit,

0:26:510:26:56

but they've lost not much floor space. Both bedrooms remain

0:26:560:26:59

good-sized doubles and the bathroom has been completely redone.

0:26:590:27:03

But Leanne and Mike decided not to extend the kitchen.

0:27:030:27:06

Instead, they renovated what was already there.

0:27:060:27:09

Completely stripped out the old kitchen and put terracotta tiles

0:27:090:27:13

on the floor which have quite a nice rusticy feel.

0:27:130:27:16

Gone for nice light units, again, light walls.

0:27:160:27:19

Solid beech worktops which, again, just nice quality material

0:27:190:27:23

and nice rusticy feel to it, the same with the oak handles.

0:27:230:27:26

Really tried to go for a compromise between a modern kitchen

0:27:260:27:29

and something that fits with the cottage.

0:27:290:27:32

Overall, it was a huge amount of work, finished in just three months.

0:27:320:27:37

With Leanne back at work after maternity leave

0:27:370:27:40

and Mike caring for Farah, it's been difficult finding time

0:27:400:27:44

to fit it all in, but, thankfully, they had Leanne's superdad to help.

0:27:440:27:48

He was only here for about... six weeks? Four weeks?

0:27:480:27:51

The frustrating thing about this property is that the vast majority

0:27:510:27:55

of the work was done in, I think, the six weeks my father was here.

0:27:550:27:58

After I went back to work full time we've had to snatch time.

0:27:580:28:02

I do about a 55-hour week on average, so I've either been at work

0:28:020:28:06

or Mike's been at work, but we've had a lot, lot less time,

0:28:060:28:09

so the vast majority of the work was done by you and my father,

0:28:090:28:12

in six weeks and from there things have got a little bit slower.

0:28:120:28:15

At one stage we worked out

0:28:150:28:17

that out of 30 days we worked 28 and a half of those days.

0:28:170:28:21

-On average, they were about 14-hour days?

-Seemed like it anyway, yeah!

0:28:210:28:25

I don't know what you were doing for the other 10 hours,

0:28:250:28:28

it's quite slack!

0:28:280:28:30

Initially the couple had considered living here, but it's not big enough

0:28:300:28:34

for them, so what have they got planned for the Corner House?

0:28:340:28:38

We were thinking of living in it, but we'll be having another child,

0:28:400:28:44

so I think we'll look for something a little bit bigger. It's a shame.

0:28:440:28:48

I know you've enjoyed working here because the neighbours are lovely

0:28:480:28:52

and it's been a real pleasure to be here, but I think we'll have

0:28:520:28:56

to sell it and hopefully it will make a lovely home for someone,

0:28:560:28:59

just not for us this time.

0:28:590:29:01

After all the work they did, along with Leanne's dad,

0:29:010:29:05

I think that it will be a perfect home for someone,

0:29:050:29:08

but how much has it cost them to renovate the cottage

0:29:080:29:11

on top of the £116,000 purchase price?

0:29:110:29:14

In terms of the budget we're quite happy with how things have gone.

0:29:160:29:20

We were looking at around the £12,000 to £15,000 mark

0:29:200:29:23

and we've come in just about under the 12,000 mark, which is great.

0:29:230:29:27

Just sourced lots of things cheaply using internet auction sites,

0:29:270:29:30

so even though we've used the solid wood worktops, the oak flooring,

0:29:300:29:33

the limestone tiles, we've managed to get them at a really good price.

0:29:330:29:37

We did look at block paving the yard but I think it's not money

0:29:370:29:41

that we'd get back from the sale so we've kept that out,

0:29:410:29:44

but I think we've done quite well to come in at about £12,000.

0:29:440:29:48

Me too! That brings the project in at about 128,000.

0:29:480:29:52

As they now plan to sell it

0:29:520:29:53

and continue searching for a new home of their own,

0:29:530:29:56

they'll be hoping two local estate agents

0:29:560:29:59

are also impressed with their work.

0:29:590:30:01

It's a very fresh, contemporary property - a character cottage.

0:30:120:30:16

It's retained a lot of charm. A good two-bedroom property.

0:30:160:30:22

Moving the stairs has made a lot of difference.

0:30:220:30:24

It's opened out this room so much, whereas before

0:30:240:30:27

there was this area and an area here divided by the staircase.

0:30:270:30:30

He's done a tremendous job by moving it. Well worthwhile.

0:30:300:30:33

Good comments, but after spending a total of 128,000

0:30:330:30:38

buying and renovating the place, will this naval couple's boat come in

0:30:380:30:42

when the cottage sets sail on the open market?

0:30:420:30:45

I think if I was marketing

0:30:470:30:49

this property now we'd be looking £175,000, £180,000,

0:30:490:30:52

something like that, because of the standard that they've done.

0:30:520:30:55

I think we would market this property

0:30:550:30:58

at between £175,000 and £185,000.

0:30:580:31:00

At those figures, it's been a success,

0:31:030:31:05

-if we can sell it for 175, even a bit more.

-It's been hard work,

0:31:050:31:09

but I think we've enjoyed it most of the time, so pretty good.

0:31:090:31:13

With a predicted profit of around £50,000 from the venture

0:31:130:31:17

I think they've sailed through with flying colours.

0:31:170:31:20

They've successfully transformed this cottage from rack and ruin

0:31:200:31:25

to shipshape in no time. How do they feel now it's finished?

0:31:250:31:28

-Really happy. Really enjoyed it.

-I think we can be proud of it.

0:31:280:31:31

It's been a huge transformation from what it was to what it is now,

0:31:310:31:35

-so really quite pleased.

-So bring on the next one!

0:31:350:31:37

I'm in Orpington in Kent,

0:31:410:31:44

famous for buff, black and speckled.

0:31:440:31:49

Not painting techniques - chickens, which were first bred locally

0:31:490:31:53

by William Cook in the 1890s.

0:31:530:31:57

This is in the borough of Bromley which is a fantastic place

0:31:570:32:01

for commuting into London, quick rail services

0:32:010:32:04

into the centre of town and you've got the Eurostar, as well.

0:32:040:32:07

The big question is, will the property I'm here to see

0:32:070:32:10

be "eggcellent" or just plain rotten?

0:32:100:32:13

Up for auction was this.

0:32:150:32:17

It's a 1930s bungalow.

0:32:170:32:19

It had a guide price of 120,000 to 130,000 quid.

0:32:190:32:23

Now the street is lovely, but the bungalow itself

0:32:230:32:28

doesn't look too good from the outside.

0:32:280:32:30

It doesn't look like it gets much better inside, to be honest.

0:32:380:32:41

Anyway, retain an open mind, I say. What have we got?

0:32:410:32:44

Central area here, quite small and cramped,

0:32:440:32:47

and then all the rooms spread off it.

0:32:470:32:49

You've got the bathroom and loo there.

0:32:490:32:51

It doesn't look like it's been refurbished since the bungalow was built.

0:32:510:32:54

First bedroom there, kind of small, but perfectly formed, I suppose.

0:32:540:32:58

Living room there with a nice bay window, that's good to see.

0:32:580:33:02

It's got a gas fire in it. I suppose that could be a bedroom as well

0:33:020:33:05

because you've got this here which is the rear living room.

0:33:050:33:08

Single door there. I'd like to see that opened up with double doors

0:33:080:33:11

out on to the garden for sure. I want to check out the gas fires.

0:33:110:33:15

I don't know, I suppose for a small bungalow it's not doing too bad.

0:33:150:33:18

Oh, but I've just seen that!

0:33:180:33:22

Because this is your kitchen and that sink unit is your work surface.

0:33:240:33:28

There's a few cupboards, a bit of wasted space here and there,

0:33:280:33:32

but overall a total refurbishment required.

0:33:320:33:35

Take out this wall, at least increase the space somehow

0:33:350:33:38

because at the moment if you come in here you just feel so cooped up.

0:33:380:33:43

Well, they say you have to break eggs to make an omelette,

0:33:430:33:46

but whoever buys this bungalow is going to have to shell out

0:33:460:33:51

a bit of cash to make it "eggciting" again.

0:33:510:33:53

For that guide price of £120,000 to £130,000

0:33:530:33:57

the key to maximising your investment is at the back.

0:33:570:34:00

I think the great potential of this bungalow is to be found

0:34:030:34:06

out the back here, in the back garden. Actually, it's given away

0:34:060:34:10

by the neighbouring property, because on that side

0:34:100:34:12

they've put on a huge extension and on that side a small conservatory.

0:34:120:34:16

You want to do that with this bungalow. How much will it cost?

0:34:160:34:19

Something like that, probably 50,000,

0:34:190:34:21

something like that, maybe 5,000 to 10,000, so somewhere between there

0:34:210:34:25

you've got a choice, but either way that is the way

0:34:250:34:28

to maximise this property and make it into a much nicer place to live.

0:34:280:34:32

Well, that's my opinion, but in the interest of fair play I've invited

0:34:320:34:37

along a local estate agent to see if he agrees with my analysis.

0:34:370:34:42

In terms of potential, there's two clear areas where the property

0:34:430:34:47

could be extended. A lot of bungalows in the area have been extended

0:34:470:34:51

out the back and a lot have been extended upwards into the roofline

0:34:510:34:54

to create chalet bungalows.

0:34:540:34:57

The key issue here is to get the existing structure sorted out

0:34:570:35:01

in terms of wiring, plumbing,

0:35:010:35:02

replastering and decorating and then if budget suffices

0:35:020:35:06

then look at an extension.

0:35:060:35:07

To find out the maximum you should spend on doing those renovations

0:35:070:35:12

deduct the £120,000 or £130,000 guide price

0:35:120:35:15

from whatever this property's worth once finished.

0:35:150:35:18

Once the property has been refurbished and renovated,

0:35:180:35:22

not extended, then I would expect it to sell on in the open market

0:35:220:35:27

somewhere in the order of £215,000.

0:35:270:35:29

Orpington is famous for its chickens and the bungalow garden

0:35:290:35:33

is certainly big enough to keep a few, but the big question is

0:35:330:35:37

will this be a nice little nest egg or not all it's cracked up to be?

0:35:370:35:42

Let's find out who shelled out for it at the auction.

0:35:420:35:47

Now we go to lot number 13, which is Six Somerden Road, Orpington.

0:35:500:35:54

A semidetached bungalow in need of improvement, but well worthy of it.

0:35:540:35:59

Start me where you will.

0:35:590:36:02

Can I see £120,000 for it, in Orpington, a bungalow?

0:36:020:36:05

100, I'm on the way. Thank you, sir. £100,000 I've got.

0:36:060:36:10

And 10 now do I see? 110 sitting down in the aisle. 115 if you like.

0:36:100:36:15

115 in a fresh place at the back.

0:36:150:36:17

115 I've got. 120 if you like.

0:36:170:36:19

120. And two if you like? 122? 122?

0:36:190:36:24

At £120,000 I have sitting down.

0:36:240:36:26

122 I'm looking for. Are we all done at £120,000? 122.

0:36:260:36:31

125. 127?

0:36:310:36:34

127. 130. And two. 132.

0:36:340:36:38

And five. And seven. 137. And 40.

0:36:380:36:42

And two. 142. And five.

0:36:420:36:45

145. At 142 I have.

0:36:450:36:48

145 you're coming in. At 145.

0:36:480:36:50

And seven. 147 on the back wall. 150.

0:36:500:36:53

150 in a fresh place. And two.

0:36:530:36:55

152. And five. 155? 155. And seven.

0:36:550:37:02

And 60. 160.

0:37:020:37:05

160. 162. And five. 165.

0:37:050:37:10

And seven. 167.

0:37:100:37:12

165 sitting right in the back row. At 165. Seven on the back wall

0:37:120:37:17

and you're out of it at the moment, as you are in the front.

0:37:170:37:20

At £165,000 I will sell, then, for the first time.

0:37:200:37:23

165 sitting down for the second time.

0:37:230:37:27

165,000 for the third and final time if you're all done? Yours at 165,000.

0:37:270:37:32

And the number please, sir?

0:37:320:37:34

With that bid of 165,000

0:37:340:37:36

the new owners are husband and wife duo Alan and Violet.

0:37:360:37:40

This is the first time they've bought a property at auction.

0:37:400:37:44

I met them back at the bungalow to hear about their purchase.

0:37:440:37:48

-Congratulations.

-Thank you.

0:37:480:37:50

Tell me why you wanted to buy the bungalow?

0:37:500:37:53

We were looking for a property to buy because our business has

0:37:530:37:57

-quietened down in the recession.

-And what's your business?

0:37:570:38:01

We've been a builder for 28 years and mainly working for housing trusts

0:38:010:38:07

and because of the recession their funding has got cut back

0:38:070:38:10

-so we're not as busy as we were.

-Right.

-I'm actually retired now,

0:38:100:38:15

semi-retired, I help out, but the family's involved in the business,

0:38:150:38:19

-so I reinvested some money into the business to buy a property...

-Right.

0:38:190:38:24

-Largely by watching your programme.

-Oh, really? Oh, excellent!

0:38:240:38:27

-I'm glad we helped out there.

-Yeah.

-Fantastic.

0:38:270:38:30

And we're trying to buy... Sorry, we're trying to buy our work

0:38:300:38:34

rather than rely on somebody else sending it to us and doing a quotation.

0:38:340:38:38

How come you haven't done this before?

0:38:380:38:40

Never had to. We've worked continually for housing trusts

0:38:400:38:44

for 28 years and we've been very busy.

0:38:440:38:46

We've never had to look for work.

0:38:460:38:47

There's always been more than enough.

0:38:470:38:50

Tell me about you two. How long have you been together?

0:38:500:38:53

-We got married when we were what, 20 each?

-Yeah.

-Both 20.

-Yeah.

0:38:530:38:58

And we met when we were on holiday and we've been in love ever since,

0:38:580:39:03

-really, haven't we, you know?

-Yes.

0:39:030:39:05

Aww! That's nice to hear. It's nice to hear you saying it.

0:39:050:39:09

Well, she's my right arm, really.

0:39:090:39:12

I couldn't do without her at all.

0:39:120:39:14

# Ah, ah, working together

0:39:140:39:17

# Ah, ah, living together... #

0:39:170:39:20

Although Alan has been a builder all his life,

0:39:200:39:23

this is his first investment property. It will provide some work

0:39:230:39:27

not only for him, but also his family, which is a big one!

0:39:270:39:31

Alan and Violet have four children and six grandchildren

0:39:310:39:36

and they all live within a 30-minute radius.

0:39:360:39:39

My wife said to me that she wouldn't marry me

0:39:390:39:42

unless I agreed to have four children,

0:39:420:39:44

so I didn't have any option, really!

0:39:440:39:46

So you've been together almost 40 years?

0:39:460:39:48

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

-It must be that.

0:39:480:39:50

Well, I'm coming up to 68.

0:39:500:39:53

-No, don't say it!

-68!

-Yeah.

0:39:530:39:54

-So you've been together nearly 50 years.

-Yes, yes.

0:39:540:39:57

-It's more than 40 years. Yeah.

-What do you put that down to,

0:39:570:40:00

that you've been together for that length of time?

0:40:000:40:03

-Just love each other.

-Sharing, I suppose, one another.

0:40:030:40:06

-Yeah, we do everything together, really, don't we?

-Yeah.

0:40:070:40:10

They're a pretty close-knit family and when Alan says

0:40:130:40:17

they'll do everything together he means it.

0:40:170:40:20

They will all be involved with this renovation from start to finish.

0:40:200:40:25

Pete will do the carpentry and joinery. Stephen will do,

0:40:250:40:29

he's a Corgi registered plumber, do central heating.

0:40:290:40:33

My daughter will do decorations. There's some brickwork that

0:40:330:40:38

needs doing and a bit of plastering which I'll do.

0:40:380:40:41

-Stephen's also a qualified electrician, so...

-Right.

0:40:410:40:44

So it really is going to be a family affair?

0:40:440:40:46

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

-I used to do the brickwork and plastering.

0:40:460:40:49

I suppose I'll probably have to do a bit here, you know, to help out.

0:40:490:40:53

Have to or want to?

0:40:530:40:54

I don't mind. I mean, I'm quite fit, you know, I've got a bit of a tummy,

0:40:540:40:58

but I'm quite fit and, you know, I like to do a bit of work.

0:40:580:41:03

-I always did, you know?

-Any idea how much it's going to cost?

0:41:030:41:06

Yeah, I did cost it out.

0:41:060:41:08

Including fees for buying and selling and insurance and things like that,

0:41:080:41:13

it will come to about 27 grand, I think, 27,000.

0:41:130:41:17

Quite a big budget, then?

0:41:170:41:19

Well, we want to do a good job on it, you know?

0:41:190:41:24

Often I can't always follow the figures that is given

0:41:240:41:27

on your programme when people say they can do it for 5,000 or 6,000.

0:41:270:41:30

I think they ignore their own wages.

0:41:300:41:32

I think they just include the material.

0:41:320:41:35

-Very true.

-But, I mean, I've been doing estimating for 28 years,

0:41:350:41:41

so I know what it costs to do jobs for housing trusts,

0:41:410:41:45

very similar sort of work.

0:41:450:41:46

Interestingly, Alan isn't doing this to make a profit,

0:41:460:41:50

but rather to find work for his family. However, if he keeps

0:41:500:41:54

that budget in check and the house does make money

0:41:540:41:57

he'll be able to go and buy another one to renovate.

0:41:570:41:59

Tell me exactly what you're going to do to the property.

0:41:590:42:03

First, we'll strip the walls and get rid of the wallpaper,

0:42:030:42:06

see if there's any replastering to be done. The kitchen,

0:42:060:42:09

you probably noticed, does really need completely replastering.

0:42:090:42:12

We're going to put central heating in because it isn't in at the moment.

0:42:120:42:17

-And then double doors out on to the garden from the lounge?

-Yeah,

0:42:170:42:21

we were thinking about cutting the shoulders down on the brickwork

0:42:210:42:24

-and rendering and putting in patio doors.

-Or French ones.

0:42:240:42:28

-Or French ones, if you get your way, so maybe!

-I like French doors, too.

0:42:280:42:33

-You think French doors might be better?

-Yeah. I'm on your side.

0:42:330:42:36

OK! I think you've won that one.

0:42:360:42:39

Violet obviously has some ideas of her own, but hopefully together

0:42:400:42:45

they'll be able to make sure

0:42:450:42:47

this first investment project of their own is a success.

0:42:470:42:51

Well, what a lovely story. And Alan and Violet turning

0:42:520:42:56

the restoration of this little bungalow into a real family affair.

0:42:560:43:01

I am a bit concerned that there's virtually no incentive

0:43:010:43:04

to keep tight reins on that budget, so goodness knows what will happen.

0:43:040:43:08

You can find out later in the show.

0:43:080:43:11

Well, as you know, the best-laid plans can go horribly wrong.

0:43:130:43:17

So have today's schemes and plans gone well, or have they gone awry?

0:43:170:43:21

Let's find out.

0:43:210:43:23

Earlier in the show I visited this two-bed flat in Fareham, Hampshire.

0:43:250:43:29

There was lots of space available inside and it even had

0:43:290:43:32

its own garden and off-street parking, so it had a lot going for it.

0:43:320:43:36

But the pokey kitchen and bathroom did worry me a little,

0:43:380:43:41

as did its location above a taxi office.

0:43:410:43:45

Building services engineer Ian wasn't concerned, though.

0:43:470:43:50

He lives just down the road and felt that a 15,000 to 20,000 investment

0:43:500:43:54

on top of his 75-grand purchase price would be enough to convince

0:43:540:43:58

prospective tenants that the positives in this flat

0:43:580:44:01

far outweigh any negatives.

0:44:010:44:04

Just ten weeks on and Ian seems to have got further than I'd expected.

0:44:040:44:10

There are new windows, new doors and new plasterwork throughout.

0:44:110:44:16

So was this all part of the plan?

0:44:160:44:19

Obviously, we started by stripping everything out and we realised

0:44:190:44:24

that the plasterwork was fairly dry and crumbly.

0:44:240:44:27

I took the decision at that point that I wasn't going to skimp on it,

0:44:270:44:31

I just wanted to get a good result at the end and have

0:44:310:44:34

something that someone would be pleased to live in.

0:44:340:44:37

I think that's what Ian's achieved.

0:44:370:44:39

He had the flat completely rewired and after some consideration

0:44:390:44:43

also decided to replace all the plumbing, too.

0:44:430:44:47

I was hoping we could reuse quite a lot of, but in the event,

0:44:480:44:52

when we looked at it we decided to again replace the lot,

0:44:520:44:56

bring it all up to date and make it more energy efficient and hopefully

0:44:560:45:01

give it another 30 years of life. The bathroom was horrible.

0:45:010:45:05

We've put in a modern white finish

0:45:050:45:08

and we've put a sun pipe in the roof

0:45:080:45:12

which gives a huge amount of natural daylight during the day

0:45:120:45:16

and you don't need lights or anything in there other than at night,

0:45:160:45:19

so it's turned a horrible room into a very pleasant bathroom,

0:45:190:45:22

albeit small, but functional.

0:45:220:45:25

Not only that, but renewing the central heating system

0:45:250:45:28

also had advantages when it came to remodelling the kitchen.

0:45:280:45:32

In the kitchen we've regained a nice chunk of space in this corner

0:45:320:45:36

where the hot-water storage used to be in a big built-in cupboard.

0:45:360:45:39

The cooker used to be behind the door.

0:45:390:45:42

We've put a radiator there, probably some shelves will go above,

0:45:420:45:46

and then made a layout which is a bit more ergonomic than it used to be.

0:45:460:45:51

Oh, we've put a new window in as well, and a new wall there

0:45:510:45:53

because it was falling down. Other than that, that's it, really.

0:45:530:45:57

Modestly put, Ian! Now, what was that about a wall falling down?

0:45:570:46:01

We found the wall between the bathroom and the kitchen

0:46:010:46:05

was very unstable. It was made of blocks planted on the wooden floor,

0:46:050:46:09

so we took that out and rebuilt it with a studwork wall.

0:46:090:46:12

However, it wasn't all repair and renovate with this flat.

0:46:130:46:17

Ian also made some interesting discoveries.

0:46:170:46:20

This room at this end where I'm standing, most of it was boarded off

0:46:200:46:24

with hardboard and shelves and behind me there was just a flat wall.

0:46:240:46:29

When we took the hardboard away we found a fireplace

0:46:290:46:33

and an alcove at the back of the stairs which we thought we'd keep.

0:46:330:46:37

The fireplace is original 1930s, not in particularly good condition,

0:46:370:46:41

but it just seemed a shame to rip it out and it just looks

0:46:410:46:46

quite a pleasant feature.

0:46:460:46:48

And the same is true in the second bedroom where the fireplace

0:46:490:46:52

adds some much needed character.

0:46:520:46:55

Acting on advice from a local tree surgeon, Ian has removed

0:46:550:46:58

the trees as the first step in landscaping the garden.

0:46:580:47:01

That's another feature sure to attract tenants.

0:47:010:47:05

Although it seems he isn't going to rent it out just yet.

0:47:050:47:09

The plan for the flat is it's going to be let and as it happens

0:47:090:47:13

it's going to be let to my son at the moment because he's imminently

0:47:130:47:17

going to be a father and his girlfriend, obviously,

0:47:170:47:19

and they could be here for a year or five years, who knows?

0:47:190:47:24

But that was possibly another reason to maybe spend a bit more

0:47:240:47:29

and do a better job than one might have done if it was just

0:47:290:47:33

a straight buy-to-let to make as much income as possible.

0:47:330:47:37

The property has certainly benefited from the extra effort,

0:47:370:47:40

but at a cost of 32,000 Ian has almost doubled his original budget.

0:47:400:47:47

With that 75,000 purchase price his total investment

0:47:470:47:52

is now £107,000. Was it all worth it?

0:47:520:47:56

My first impressions are

0:48:070:48:09

there's been a lot of money spent and it's done to a high standard.

0:48:090:48:13

Decorated throughout, which makes it feel much lighter,

0:48:130:48:15

it felt quite dark last time, and a lot more spacious.

0:48:150:48:19

The kitchen's very nice, very compact, but again modern throughout

0:48:190:48:24

and it's got the integrated appliances, which is great.

0:48:240:48:28

So all-round approval from the estate agents for the work

0:48:280:48:32

that Ian's done here,

0:48:320:48:33

but what should he be charging his son in rental when he moves in?

0:48:330:48:37

For rental I would expect this property to achieve between

0:48:370:48:40

£600 and £625 per calendar month.

0:48:400:48:42

We would put it on, and like to achieve,

0:48:420:48:46

between £595 to £625 per calendar month.

0:48:460:48:49

620 was the figure I had in mind, so they're spot on. We agree!

0:48:490:48:53

£620 per calendar month would mean a yield of about 7%

0:48:530:48:59

on his £107,000 investment.

0:48:590:49:01

How much has he added to the resale value?

0:49:020:49:06

We'd put this on the market at 115,000.

0:49:060:49:09

I would value this property at £125,000.

0:49:090:49:12

Well, I agree with the 125,000, obviously, which I would,

0:49:120:49:17

but I think 115's too low.

0:49:170:49:19

Even at 115,000, Ian could still make a pre-tax profit of £8,000,

0:49:190:49:25

but he intends to rent it out in the long term.

0:49:250:49:29

It sounds as though he's got it ready for the first tenants

0:49:290:49:33

in the nick of time!

0:49:330:49:35

The baby's due within two weeks, I think, and they can move in,

0:49:350:49:38

it doesn't stop us carrying on the work in the garden,

0:49:380:49:42

which won't take too long, so they're all looking...

0:49:420:49:45

Everyone's looking forward to it.

0:49:450:49:46

When builder Alan and his wife, Violet, invested £165,000

0:49:500:49:55

buying this battered two-bedroom bungalow in Orpington, Kent,

0:49:550:50:00

it wasn't as a new home, nor was it simply a profit-making exercise.

0:50:000:50:05

Instead, Alan bought it as he, and the other members of his family-run building business,

0:50:050:50:11

had run out of work.

0:50:110:50:12

So, rather than sit on their hands

0:50:120:50:14

they planned to renovate this property and then decide what to do with it.

0:50:140:50:18

Well, three months on we've returned to see they've been very busy.

0:50:180:50:23

Stephen's done the plumbing and Peter's just finished the kitchen, hasn't he? But mainly been painting.

0:50:230:50:29

And you've done quite a bit, haven't you, yourself?

0:50:290:50:33

-More than I expected to do, yeah.

-Yes, he has.

0:50:330:50:36

It seems that Alan perhaps took on more than he wanted,

0:50:360:50:39

but together with his daughter and two sons, they've completely transformed this property.

0:50:390:50:45

As you can see, this is a new kitchen.

0:51:000:51:02

Originally, there was a door leading out there which we closed up so that we could have a wraparound kitchen.

0:51:020:51:08

There was a window in that corner which we bricked up.

0:51:080:51:11

We lost a bit of light, so we put a slightly bigger window in there,

0:51:110:51:16

which is a new PVC glazed window.

0:51:160:51:19

We renewed the ceiling

0:51:190:51:20

and we replastered the rest of the walls because they were damp.

0:51:200:51:26

The entire place has been rewired, replumbed and replastered.

0:51:260:51:30

As well as the new kitchen,

0:51:300:51:32

the bathroom now looks a lot more inviting, too.

0:51:320:51:35

Inside, all that's left to finish are the carpets.

0:51:350:51:39

I'm pleased to see that Violet got her French doors,

0:51:390:51:42

but the biggest change is outside.

0:51:420:51:45

The first time that I visited the property I noticed that the sun was beaming down

0:51:450:51:50

and I thought to myself, "This would be ideal for a conservatory," which we've now built.

0:51:500:51:55

I also noticed that the ground was quite deep there,

0:51:550:51:58

there was about 18 inches with steps running up to the rear door

0:51:580:52:02

and if we happened to sell to a pensioner that they wouldn't want that.

0:52:020:52:07

They wouldn't want to go downstairs and upstairs, so we raised the level,

0:52:070:52:12

so that now, as you can see,

0:52:120:52:14

there's maybe a six or an eight inch step in the conservatory.

0:52:140:52:18

While Alan may have been a bit more hands on than he would have liked,

0:52:180:52:22

it was because his sons were working on a new contract for the family business,

0:52:220:52:27

but as son Steve points out,

0:52:270:52:29

when they were here working for themselves it took a bit of getting used to.

0:52:290:52:34

It's been different from what we normally do because we normally

0:52:350:52:39

have a spec to work on, we're told exactly what we have to do,

0:52:390:52:43

whereas here we've had to make decisions that architects often make, you know?

0:52:430:52:48

So that has been a new experience.

0:52:480:52:51

It's just been real fun, you know? It's been good, I've enjoyed it.

0:52:510:52:55

With all that experience, this is the first time they've renovated

0:52:580:53:02

a property as an investment for themselves,

0:53:020:53:04

so with no other boss but himself, did Alan keep the budget under control?

0:53:040:53:09

If you remember, the original budget was 27,000

0:53:110:53:15

and I would say now it's just about 30,000, so we spent about 3,000 more.

0:53:150:53:22

Add that to the purchase price of 165,000

0:53:220:53:26

and it brings their total to just under £200,000.

0:53:260:53:30

There's no doubt they've succeeded in providing work for themselves

0:53:300:53:35

as well as doing a successful renovation,

0:53:350:53:37

but have they decided what to do with the bungalow now it's finished?

0:53:370:53:41

I think it depends whether we make a profit or a loss, to be quite honest.

0:53:410:53:46

I mean, we're starting to pick up a bit more housing trust work

0:53:460:53:51

which is what we know, which we've done reasonably well out of

0:53:510:53:55

over the years, but this is a complete venture, really.

0:53:550:53:59

But I've quite enjoyed doing it and, you know, if we get our money back

0:53:590:54:04

and a small return, then, yes, we would probably try another one.

0:54:040:54:08

After investing a total of around £195,000 buying and renovating this place,

0:54:080:54:13

it's down to two local estate agents to help Alan and Violet decide

0:54:130:54:18

what to do with it now it's nearly finished.

0:54:180:54:21

But, before they do that, they're coming down to see for themselves.

0:54:210:54:25

First impressions, very impressive considering they only just bought it a couple of months ago.

0:54:360:54:42

They've done a very good job

0:54:420:54:43

and I think it's a very appealing property.

0:54:430:54:46

The conservatory addition at the back gives extra space

0:54:460:54:48

because these bungalows can be a little bit small

0:54:480:54:51

and it's ideal for somebody who's looking for something with no chain and they can move straight in.

0:54:510:54:56

I think the level of finish is very high

0:54:560:54:58

considering they've only just bought the property back in July.

0:54:580:55:01

Throughout, it's been done to a very high standard

0:55:010:55:04

with double-glazed windows throughout.

0:55:040:55:06

Both estate agents agreed that the bungalow would achieve

0:55:060:55:11

around £800 to £850 per calendar month if they were to rent it out,

0:55:110:55:16

but if they decided to sell, how much would they get

0:55:160:55:19

after spending a total of 195,000 to date?

0:55:190:55:22

I'd put this property on the market at a figure between 215,000 and 220,000.

0:55:220:55:28

If I was to put this property on the market today

0:55:280:55:31

I'd sell it in the region of £210,000 to £220,000.

0:55:310:55:35

Yeah, we were hoping for about 215 to 220, so, yeah, that's fine.

0:55:390:55:45

Yeah, that's about what we were thinking, yeah, which I indicated, yeah.

0:55:450:55:49

Yeah, so that sounds like in the ballpark we were sort of thinking ourselves, so, yeah, yeah.

0:55:490:55:53

More importantly, that gives them a potential profit

0:55:530:55:56

which they could always use to buy and renovate another.

0:55:560:56:00

So, are they heading back to an auction for a further family project?

0:56:000:56:05

Well, we've got an auction magazine come through, haven't we?

0:56:050:56:08

Yeah, we shall thumb through that and see where we go from there.

0:56:080:56:12

Yeah. But, yeah, I think we would probably want to sell first.

0:56:120:56:16

I mean, they've got work,

0:56:160:56:18

they've got other work they can get on with at the moment,

0:56:180:56:21

so what you're giving us is opinions,

0:56:210:56:23

but it's not money in our pockets, is it?

0:56:230:56:26

So, you know, the proof of the pudding is when we actually sell it

0:56:260:56:29

and the money is back in then we can go ahead.

0:56:290:56:32

While Alan may officially be retired,

0:56:320:56:35

I think that with Violet by his side and their family behind them

0:56:350:56:39

this won't be the last successful property they renovate together.

0:56:390:56:44

We hope we've given you some good ideas and tips, should you venture into the auction room.

0:56:460:56:51

And we hope you'll join us next time to hear more stories

0:56:510:56:54

from people who did buy their homes under the hammer.

0:56:540:56:56

-See you then.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:560:56:58

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:040:57:07

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:070:57:10

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a cottage in Cornwall, a two-bedroomed flat in Hampshire and a property in Kent.

Having all gone to auction, Martin and Lucy find out who bought the properties and what they paid when they went under the hammer.