Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a four-bedroom house in Cornwall, a two-storey mid-terrace property in Aberfan, Wales and a flat in East Ayrshire.
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You may have bought antiques at an auction, even a car, but your home?
Lots of people do, some as a way of making money, others take a ruin and turn it into their dream home.
So join us now as we follow people as they buy their home under the hammer.
Buying property can be a protracted and problematic experience.
At least when the hammer falls, the property is yours, provided you've got the money!
But that could be the least of your problems as many auction properties need a lot of work and attention.
'This converted pub in Ayrshire has too many pint-sized features for my taste.'
And it's really cramped.
'In Mid Glamorgan, a block of three flats with big surprises in store.'
You don't even get kitchens this size in a lot of houses I see!
'And this nine-year-old, four-bedroomed detached house in Cornwall
'is in near-mint condition.' You could move in here as it is.
All these properties have been sold at auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid!'
'Today I'm in Scotland, specifically East Ayrshire and a village called Ochiltree.
'What a lovely location it is, too. Rolling hills, lush green pasture and a useful local shop as well.
'It all seems picture perfect, but there's a catch.'
The property I'm here to see is by the side of a very busy road,
so that's not a particularly good start. This is it. Formerly a public house, The Hide Inn.
It closed ten years ago when the last pint was pulled and it was converted into flats.
I'm here to see one of those at a guide price of £39,000.
Sounds cheap. Let's take a look.
'It's a good rural location within commutable distance of Ayr, just 12 miles away,
'and less than an hour's drive from Glasgow, but traffic surely affects the low guide price.
'There's a way in off the street, but I'm heading round the back to a private entrance
'where there's also good car parking space.'
So, realistically, you're probably going to use this entrance more than the front one.
You'll be parked out the back there. But it's straight into the kitchen and...a bit of a disappointment.
It's... Well, it's a long galley kitchen, not a lot of space and it's pretty tired and dated.
I don't really know how you could design this any different. That's bad, but as you go to the main part,
you've got this horrible little sort of archway there. Really dark, really dingy.
Then you come into this main part and it's really cramped.
I can only just squeeze through. But it is two bedrooms, which is good - one there, one there.
Living room sort of here. I'd actually make that the living room and make the bedroom at the back.
Bathroom... Well, that's it. It is only a two-bedroom little flat and remember the guide price.
Maybe you can make it a bit more open-plan. I don't know.
For one person it would be fine.
'If you don't mind squeezing down a narrow corridor, this flat is actually quite spacious.
'Of the two bedrooms, one is very well proportioned
'while the other suffers from an awkward layout with its built-in storage.
'The bathroom, although not huge, is serviceable, but in serious need of modernisation.
'The lounge is slightly on the small side,
'so the new owner will have to be very careful choosing furniture, but it's a cosy space all the same.
'Remember, the guide price was £39,000.
'I invited along a local estate agent to hear his impressions.'
I think it's a lovely little flat. It's got a lot of character to it.
It was a former coaching inn.
There's been some work done in terms of replastering, painting of walls et cetera,
but the main thing most people do when they come into a flat like this is probably replace the bathroom,
have a look at the kitchen. The units aren't terrible, but some things - a new cooker - are required.
'What sort of rental income could it earn?'
It could have a rental value in the range of maybe £350-£400.
'That's £4,000-£5,000 a year. Once done up, what could it sell for?'
I think once renovated, offers over £45,000.
'In Scotland, the offers over system means putting in your best offer for a property.
'In Ayrshire a couple of years ago, this meant adding 10% to the price,
'but in the current climate it's anything from 0%-5%.
'So depending on how much was spent on renovation, there might be some profit to be made here.'
On the face of it, that £39,000 guide price is pretty good, but that road with the heavy lorries
is a real downside. But you have got parking and the flat itself, not much work required.
So, all in all, I'm sure it got a lot of interest under the hammer.
Let's look for an opening bid at £25,000.
£25,000 on the phone, straight in. £25,000.
Looking for 26.
£26,000 in the room. £26,000.
27,000 on the phone.
Yeah? £30,000 it is. £30,000. 31?
32 it is. 32.
I'll go 500 if it helps you.
32 and a half. £32,500.
£33,000. Looking for 500 more.
33 and a half. 33 and a half.
£33,500. £34,000 is what I'm looking for.
£34,000 it is. £34,000.
Looking for £35,000 now.
35,000? One more. Yeah, 35,000. Why not?
It's in the room at £35,000.
Don't make me go 250, please.
No? You're out. That extra one did it.
£35,000. The hammer's up. Going to sell at £35,000.
Last chance. Telephone bidder? Definitely out. £35,000 - sold. Congratulations.
'The successful buyer was Anne, who has two daughters - Brogan, who is seven months pregnant,
'and Abby. Anne works in marketing and PR for a government employment agency.
'She and her husband bought the Ochiltree flat for £35,000
'so their eldest daughter Abby could move out of the family home.
'Before speaking to Abby and her mum, I had a chat with Brogan.'
-Brogan, what do you think about it?
-Yeah, it's quite nice. I think she'll like it.
The first time I saw it, I was like, "It's really low in here!" because I'm so tall,
but I think it could be quite nice. It needs a bit of work.
-There's pressure on Mum and Dad to help you like they've helped Abby.
They can help with the sleepless nights. I'll appreciate that.
Abby, Anne, lovely to meet you. Congratulations. Tell me why you wanted this.
Well, we came to see it together and the first thing was the village. We like the village.
The price was another thing. That was probably the main thing.
Looking to purchase properties in Ayrshire, especially in Ayr, Prestwick and Troon for Abby
is very, very pricey.
-So basically you've bought it for... you.
-What did you think when you walked through the door?
-Em, I like it.
-It just needs all fixed.
-Everyone's got their own style and taste.
We liked that it had two bedrooms. Abby's got enough clothes for about three families.
So she needed a spare room to put all her clothes in.
What are you going to do to it?
Em, basically, we'll just rip the kitchen out, rip the bathroom out.
The flooring - just completely rip it out and start again.
-I think I'll get reclaimed floorboards for the hall and the living room
and then just carpets for the rest. And maybe do a feature wall in the living room, black and white.
-Yeah. In the living room.
How much have you got set aside?
-About £5,000, hopefully!
-That's our budget. It'll be interesting.
-My husband says, "It'll be more like £15,000!"
-And are you paying for it?
-So you'll keep a keen eye on it.
So what was the process to decide now was the time for your own place?
Abby's been really keen to move out for a while.
She's 21 and I think the time's right to do that if she can afford it.
I don't want her to move somewhere and end up really struggling. That was important to us as well.
'But it's not just about Abby. Anne and her husband are in the process of selling their existing house.
'They took several years to convert a shed that housed cattle into a five-bedroom luxury home,
'while they lived in a caravan.'
A caravan for 2.5 years?! With two children?
-Two children, a dog, a cat and four goldfish.
-How was that?!
It was horrendous! It was an old caravan with a gas fire, no double glazing. Not what you see now.
-A bit cold for the goldfish.
-Yes, what happened one winter was that I got up in the morning
and the tank was frozen. They were all at a little tiny bit of water,
all sitting like this!
'I do hope Abby fares better here than those poor goldfish did!
'She'll be getting family and friends to do most of the work and pulling in professionals if needed.
'But she has a strict six-week timescale because there's no room for her at her parents' new home.'
At the end of the day, if it's not finished, we'll find a wee space for her somewhere.
I don't know where yet! We don't have anywhere!
Well, there you go. That's an incentive if I ever heard one.
-What do your friends think about it?
-They think it's great. They all want to come and see it.
-They probably think they can stay.
-And the reality is?
-Well, we look forward to seeing what happens with the house and in general.
So Abby's got her own home for the first time and it sounds like it's just in the nick of time.
But six weeks - that's an incredibly tight timescale before her and the goldfish are frozen out.
Find out how they get on later in the show.
I'm in Aberfan in South Wales, a place that will forever be linked with the horrific disaster of 1966
when a coal waste landslide killed 144 people.
The event will never be forgotten, bit for now I'm here to see Aberfan as it is today -
a village in the valleys with stunning views and perhaps some interesting properties.
'It's certainly hard to separate Aberfan from its tragic past,
'but that doesn't mean it's not a great place to live now.'
The lot I'm here to see sounds like a bit of a pick and mix property.
It's a two-storey mid-terrace with a commercial unit on the ground floor and three studio flats.
Somebody's been a bit creative! It had a guide of just £59,000.
That does sound pretty reasonable. Let's get inside and see if it feels like such a good deal from in there.
'The commercial unit had been let to the local police, but with the boys in blue now gone, it's vacant.
'The office space is locked up and I can't get in, but there's plenty to explore.
'Down a dingy alleyway and I'm in a dingier courtyard
'where I find the entrance to property number one.'
You know, this is not a bad space for a studio flat.
In here would be your living and sleeping quarters. It's not terribly light with only this glass,
but you've got high ceilings, nice floors and, I tell you what, it's not in bad condition.
I do know that eight years ago this was rewired and replumbed so it's already been refurbished.
So in quite good nick. Now look at this kitchen! Wow!
You don't even get kitchens this size in a lot of the houses I see. A really good space in here.
There's a table and chairs, you can sit and eat and what would really cheer me up is washing up
and looking at Nellie the Elephant.
'Yes, in fact, Nellie might need to pack her trunk and get painted over
'because she may not be to everyone's taste, but this little courtyard is a great asset.
'Back in the flat, the bathroom off the kitchen is also in need of a visit from some cleaning materials!
'Upstairs are flats number two and three, with number two mirroring the downstairs almost exactly.
'It's a touch smaller maybe, but still has a good size kitchen and bathroom.
'Mm, a lovely shade of lilac this time.
'One more to go now. Flat number three.'
Now this studio flat has got its own little entrance hall - fantastic for storing your coats and shoes.
And it definitely feels bigger than the others.
It's got a nice high ceiling, lots of natural light coming in
and it's quite spacious. You've got a double bed, a couple of sofas. It's got a good feel to it.
A nice square kitchen. You could put a table and chairs in the corner to eat in here.
You've got the bathroom out there. The only thing is... I can smell number 22 on the menu.
Chicken chow mein and chips. You've got a Chinese restaurant next door,
so if you're into your fast food, that could be a plus. If not, this probably isn't the flat for you.
# There's a guy works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis... #
'For those not interested in self-catering, this could be the ultimate convenience,
'but I reckon it would put off more people than tempt them. What doesn't put me off are the figures.'
OK, let's do the sums. We know the commercial unit has been let for just over £4,000 a year.
Each of these studios could achieve around £200 per month, so that's £7,200.
A total income of £11,200 a year. OK.
Say you buy for the guide of £59,000.
You spend a generous 11 grand to make your total outlay £70,000.
Divide the rental income by that total spend and multiply by 100,
you will achieve your yield.
Are you keeping up? Bearing in mind, anything over 5%-6% is what we are really after for a good investment,
hold on, that can't be right.
11,200 divided by 70, multiplied by 100...
Do you know, that is a 16% return? Do you know what? That is staggering!
'It does assume you'd have them all rented out 365 days of the year,
'but it's still an impressive yield.
'If you were a buy-to-let investor, you'd be off your noodle to turn this down.
'But just to be sure, bearing that guide price of £59,000 in mind,
'I asked a local estate agent for his thoughts.'
These flats would be great rental properties because it would be below the average in the area
and there's commutable access to Cardiff and easy access to Merthyr town centre.
'So location is the key to this purchase. What could the rental value be after refurbishment?'
The rental value for each flat, you'd be looking at approximately £250-£300 a month.
'And resale value?'
For each of the studio flats, you'd be looking at £30,000-£35,000.
It's often the unassuming properties that make a big impression and this lot is a case in point.
It doesn't look like much, the studios won't rock anybody's world,
but with all these units to rent out, your return could be outstanding.
Let's see who spotted it at auction.
We move on to lot number 26. What am I bid for this one?
60? Let's get started. 50 is it? Thank you, sir.
52 I'm bid. Thank you.
54 is bid. 56 if you like, sir. 56.
58 is bid. 60, can I? At 60.
At £60,000 there.
All right, I'll take... 2, then. 62.
3 if you like, sir. At 63 I'm bid. At 63.
All right, I'll take a half. 63 and a half. 64.
All right, I'll take your other half. 64 and a half. 5 on the right.
At 65. And another half. Is there only little bids?
At 65,000 there. Have you all done?
At £65,000. Don't shake your head for another half. At £65,000. It's yours, sir.
'With a successful bid of £65,000, the property went to Steve, originally from Leicestershire.
'Steve and his wife Maggie moved to Aberfan eight years ago.
'He's semi-retired, but Maggie still works back in Leicester. He's extending the farm they live on,
'so this will be another project.'
-Steve, congratulations. You've got three flats and a commercial unit! Well done!
-Thank you very much.
-What did you want to buy those for?
-Basically, as a pension investment.
I thought there would be a good return in the long run.
I was looking for something that was all in one unit.
You've got all your pension money in one pot, all there together.
-So have you invested all your pension money?
I'm no mathematician, but I worked out that you have almost got a 16% yield with this property,
which is an incredible return!
Yeah, it is. It was something I thought about when I bought it.
If you paid more money, your yield was going to go down, but it went into double figures,
-hence I carried on bidding for it.
-'Come on, Steve! Get excited!
'But I think he is aware of how well he's done. I wanted to know a bit more about Steve
'and his lack of a Welsh accent.'
We bought a place about eight years ago and moved from Leicestershire and we love it.
We've got a little farm on the west coast and we just love it.
It's not a massive place, but enough to keep us going.
I retire officially in a couple of years, but I've skived for 12 months.
-Tell me what your budget is.
-I've not got a real strict budget. It's mainly the redecoration anyway.
We want to put it right and for people to move in as you would.
The whole building was renovated with a government grant apparently, from what I can gather.
A couple of thousand, three thousand.
'It seems to be win win for Steve. He has a potentially high rental yield,
'the usual pitfalls of renovation have been sorted previously
'and the cooking smells from next door don't seem to bother him.'
There's not much you can do. Most people like a chip shop. We've got that AND a Chinese.
If young people rent the flat, they'll never need to cook!
-So that is a big positive for you!
-Yeah. When I get my friends in to help me do it up,
one never stops eating fish and chips, so I won't need to pay him.
'All this means good news for the chippie, but how long can Steve keep going?'
I could work 24 hours a day. I prefer that to sitting on a beach. I've tried that and got bored.
-What?! You got bored of a beach?
-I've not got the figure for a beach.
'OK, so Steve's not the parasol and pina colada type.
'Still, he's obviously not worried about getting his hands dirty
'and by dragging in friends to help he's going to keep the costs down.'
-Good luck with this whole venture.
-And I hope you never have a lie in!
-I never lie in.
-And you never lay on a beach again!
-We go on holiday, but not too long!
-Steve, good luck! It's been a pleasure.
Well, life's a beach for Steve right here in Aberfan.
He's got a fantastic investment and if he gets his idle friends in, I'm sure he'll save on labour, too.
But the big question is will Steve ever stop? I don't think he will.
Find out how he gets on later in the programme.
'Coming up: in Cornwall, two lounges, four bedrooms, bathroom, toilet and a conservatory.'
We have a lot of house!
'We return to Mid Glamorgan where some local wildlife is under threat.'
Not everybody wants to see an elephant or a giraffe on a wall.
'But first, with everything in chaos in Ayrshire shouldn't details wait?'
Abby came in with a lamp and a vase.
'After three and a half months, we're back in the lovely surroundings of East Ayrshire
'to visit Ochiltree. We're here to see this converted pub that was bought at auction
'for £35,000 to become a first home for 21-year-old Abby.
'She was working to a strict six-week schedule because her parents had sold the family house.
'They were moving into a smaller property with only two bedrooms,
'the other one being for her younger sister, Brogan.'
At the end of the day, if it's not finished, we'll find a wee space for her somewhere.
We don't have anywhere!
'Well, it's clear there has been a total transformation of this flat.
'All the previously dowdy rooms have had a glamorous makeover,
'turning this into a distinctive and stylish place to live,
'but, as Abby's mum can testify, there have been problems.
'First off, finding the money even to do the redecoration.'
We had an absolute financial nightmare. Abby was going to get extra money through the mortgage
and she was to get £4,500. She would apply for that once she'd paid her first mortgage payment.
So that happened, she went into the bank and, basically, because she had a car loan, they couldn't do that.
So that was that. And then we were selling our house and thought, "Fine. We'll have some money then."
And then our house didn't get sold and it was delayed a month and even then it didn't get sold.
'These delays meant that poor Abby was on the verge of being homeless.'
I think it ended up maybe 8-10 weeks, in the end up.
-And you had to go and stay...
-With my boyfriend's mum. There was no room in the house.
'Abby's parents' house was eventually sold and her sister Brogan now has a baby daughter.
'They all live together in Mum and Dad's new two-bedroom bungalow,
'leaving Abby to enjoy the flat she's always wanted.'
It was absolutely chaos. We took Abby's furniture with us.
The baby came along as well so we had all her things.
It's amazing. You actually forget how much you need.
So we're squeezed into this bungalow, but hopefully that will all get sorted out.
# Pretty baby
# Pretty baby... #
'This, at least, has worked to Abby's advantage, allowing her to create her personal dressing room.
'Everywhere she's made her own unique contribution to the look of the place.'
I picked what I wanted, but my dad and my sister's boyfriend did most of the work.
-That was about it.
-Abby's a bit like me.
She likes the finishing thing.
We'd half the walls, no flooring and the walls were falling apart,
Abby would come in with a lamp and a vase and just sit it.
'But it's in the living room that Abby's design ideas have fully flowered.'
Em, the living room, I just tried to keep it creams and blacks
and just a wee bit of red. To brighten it up.
'The biggest problem they encountered was damp caused by a leaking shower.
'This stretched all along the hallway to the bedroom. The bathroom has now been completely redone.'
We put a new shower unit in, took the bath out,
put new flooring in because we had a leak from the old shower unit. We had to replace all the flooring.
Got new fittings in it and just painted the full thing. I'm really pleased with it.
'Given the delays and the damp, how badly has the budget suffered?'
The budget we had at first was £5,000, but I think we ended up... five and a half.
-Just now. We've still got the heating to put in and the back door.
-And the garden to finish.
-A few bits and pieces. We think about another maybe £2,000.
But at the moment it's £5,500.
'To get an idea about whether they can recoup their investment, we invited two local estate agents.'
It's a remarkable transformation of what was a relatively nice flat.
It clearly needed a lot of tender loving care and it has now been transformed into a fabulous flat.
It's my first time seeing the property and it's pretty much, "Wow!"
Beautifully designed, very contemporary decor, ideal for young people.
'This is all very positive. What do they think this flat could get if rented out?'
On the rental market I would place this property for lease at £350-£400 per calendar month.
I would put this on the rental market for £450 per calendar month.
Great! That's amazing. I didn't think it would be as much.
Definitely not in Ochiltree. It's quite far away.
'The property was bought for £35,000 and will have about £7,500 spent on it
'to complete the redecoration. That's a total of £42,500 invested here.
'If it was put up for sale now, what could it sell for?'
I would put this on the market for resale value at £45,000-£50,000.
I would put this on the resale market for £45,000.
Hopefully maybe get a bit more than that. I was hoping maybe 50, but we'll need to wait and see.
'All in all, despite a few hiccups, this has gone relatively well.
'Abby's in a property that could earn a yield in the region of 10%-12.5%.
'So what's her verdict?'
I'm really pleased with the flat and the finished result. It's nearly there. Just a couple of things.
The garden will make a big difference and my couch.
I can't wait to get everything just finished and that'll be me.
I'm in St Dennis, in the historical mining area of Cornwall.
You've got Newquay to the north, St Austell to the south,
easy access to the A30 and onwards into the county. A great place to be.
'The village of St Dennis is surrounded by beautiful countryside,
'but it's not too far from modern urban amenities.
'With this rural haven you've got the best of both worlds.'
Well, all sorts of properties go under the hammer and in this instance it's a fairly new one.
Built nine years ago, it's a detached four-bed house.
It had a guide price of £100,000. That sounds interesting
and definitely worthy of investigation.
A fairly modern house. Hopefully, not too much needs to be done to it, but you never know.
Doesn't wallpaper date quickly? This definitely needs replacing.
Front living room there. Downstairs loo. You've got a big living room there.
Stairs up to the bedrooms, then through to the kitchen. As you'd expect, in pretty good condition.
The units are very serviceable. Not a bad-sized space.
Pretty much you could move in to this space as it is.
# I wouldn't change I wouldn't change
# I wouldn't change I wouldn't change a thing... #
'Also on the ground floor, there's a decent-sized garage,
'but this has a strange partition wall that I suspect was put up to make a utility room,
'but it doesn't leave much room for a car.
'Out back, there's this extension, which provides a glorious sun trap.
'All in all, there are a lot of bonus features here and, at a £100,000 guide price,
'a lot of property for the money.'
Because it's fairly new, it's very easy to find out how much this house cost
and that was £90,000 back in the year 2000.
Interesting, isn't it? Nine years on and it was up for a guide price of just £100,000.
I think that's a little too low. What we have is a lot of house.
Upstairs, for instance, four good-sized bedrooms, nice-sized bathroom with shower as well.
This house has everything going for it as a family home or a great investment opportunity.
'There is still potential to develop this house further.
'The bedrooms are easily spacious enough to accommodate en suites, ideal for a family house,
'as that takes a lot of pressure off the bathroom.'
You certainly can't knock the location - on a nice, quiet road.
And you've got open fields there. Lovely.
You've got this paved driveway with space for three or four cars
and you've got a garage, so good news all round.
'St Dennis is in the heart of Cornwall, so I expect this place would be desirable to many.
'What does the auctioneer who sold it make of it?'
It's very much of its era
in the layout of the accommodation, but because it's so big, particularly upstairs,
there's en suites just screaming out to be put in in various corners of various bedrooms.
The pros are that it is vast and a wonderful family home. The only real downside is very little garden.
Your only choice would be to knock down the conservatory to make your garden bigger. A difficult one.
'In its current state, what could it rent out for?'
The property is a pretty good renter, actually, because of the simple size of the accommodation.
You might even get a company let. Either way, you're looking at possibly £650 per calendar month,
maybe £675 if you were lucky.
'So even if this was given a minimal spit and polish to make it ready for tenants,
'it could bring in a healthy rental income.
'Once renovated, what could it sell for?'
If the decor was updated and the en suites put in upstairs,
the value of the property could tiptoe towards £200,000, but probably not quite.
'If the new owner spends a bit of money and adds more modern facilities, they could be rewarded
'with a very reasonable return, so it certainly looks like there may be money to be made here.'
Well, this is a perfect house for someone who doesn't want to have to d a lot of work.
A bit of sorting out, painting, new carpets and it's a wonderful home or a potential let.
I think the guide price was slightly undervalued at £100,000,
but let's see what it finally went for under the hammer.
The guide price was modest,
so who's going to say 125 in? Who'll start me at 120?
120? Thank you, sir. 120 I've got. We're away.
124 I've got. 126.
128. You can have a think. 128 is front row for the moment.
128. At 128.
130 says the gentleman. 132.
At 134. 5. 136, 136.
Shakes his head. At 136, you're in. At 136.
Half. Got to do it. 137. Oh, and a half? Good heavens. 137 and a half.
138. 138 and a half.
Where it began. 140. 145.
145 and a half.
146, he says. 146 and a half.
146 and a half. 146 and a half once. Twice.
Here it goes. 146,500. Sure and done? Front row's got it.
A new bidder. Completely new face.
147 and a half. 147 and a half.
Oh! Young chap at the back has come in at 150. At 150.
At 150. 151 and a half. 151 and a half once.
Twice. Third and last time at 151 and a half.
Selling, then, at 151,500.
Well done, sir.
'Well, Nigel was the eventual buyer.
'After all that tension, he paid £151,500
'to secure the house. He's a bus driver who lives in nearby Penryn.
'Although he hadn't actually seen inside the property, he bought it as a home for himself and his son
'and to share at weekends with his partner Debbie and her daughter.'
Nigel, Debbie, lovely to meet you. Congratulations. What a battle!
It was! I was shaking like a leaf! I was so excited, but so nervous at the same time,
but I'm delighted.
But you started the bidding and it just went on and on and on. What were you thinking?
When it got to £130,000, I thought, "I've got it!" And then it went to 131 and continued
-up to 151,500!
-But I got it in the end and I was determined.
-They all gave you a round of applause. That doesn't happen very often.
Everybody was watching me. I didn't look inside before I bought it.
-So I was a little panicky. I did look through the windows!
But that was as much as I'd seen. It needed a lot less work than I was expecting.
Now I've looked inside, I feel much more relieved and much happier.
'Nigel's requirements were very simple - to buy a house at a reasonable price and make it a home
'for his family. With this property he's got it all.
'He also gained an added extra, which made one family member very happy.'
I like the conservatory. It's for my son's pool table.
-Oh! Perfect as a pool room.
-It's a great pool room! Expensive, but a great one.
It needs work, but nothing major as far as I'm concerned.
So tell me what you'll do to it.
First of all it needs to be decorated completely.
'There are a few niggling details that also need attention. There's a spot of damp in a bedroom.
'The stairs have subsided slightly and the kitchen needs sprucing up,
'but fundamentally the property is sound.' What will you do, Debbie?
-I'm the one with the paintbrush.
-She's good with the paintbrush.
-So what are your plans?
-Lots of paint!
-Lots of paint and paper.
-She's being dictated to for various colours,
but we'll see what happens.
-What's the order so far?
-Mainly from my daughter.
What colour the room's going to be that she'll be using at weekends.
-What kind of budget have you got?
-I reckon I should be able to keep it within about £3,000.
-I'm hoping to.
-No major structural work.
-No. I haven't turned the boiler on yet.
That's one of my biggest worries, but I've got to get someone to service it first.
Most of what needs doing, I can do.
'Nigel's budget and schedule are both quite tight.
'He has £2,000-£3,000 to spend over three months, while working full-time as a bus driver.
'His plan is to live there while doing the work.'
So what's the plan, bigger picture? How long will you live here?
-Probably about 12 months.
-As short as that?
Maybe a little longer. We'll see. I'll see how I feel about it.
At the moment, I like the house so much, I'm happy living here. We'll see.
-I'm delighted for you. Good luck and I look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thank you very much.
Well, this will make a great family home for Nigel and Debbie and their respective families.
I'm particularly jealous of Josh and his snooker room.
Living in it while you do it up is never easy and all restoration throws up unexpected problems.
Hopefully, there aren't too many. You can find out later.
-Martin and I have high hopes for our purchasers.
-Did they do what they intended
-or were there unforeseen problems?
-Let's find out.
'We're back in Aberfan after three and a half months
'to see what's happening at this three-flat property with ground-level commercial space.
'Steve had spent his pension money to snap up this bargain at £65,000
'and was undeterred by the fast food takeaways next door.'
Most people like a chip shop and they've got the Chinese as well.
-That's a big positive for you!
'Luckily for Steve, all the flats were renovated some years ago with the aid of a government grant.
'They'd been rewired, replumbed and had central heating installed. Even the windows were double glazed.
'So this was all work that he didn't need to do.
'His task was simply to check everything over and refresh the interior
'to get the three flats into a good enough state to let out.'
All three kitchens were done around the same.
All been painted, decorated, checked. All new floor coverings.
And a real good clean and a lot of elbow grease. That's all we needed to do.
'In fact, Steve's strategy has been to take a no nonsense approach.
'In order to maximise his investment he has stuck to the old adage of keeping it simple.'
Structurally, it was fine. Not a problem. But you could see that from the outside anyway.
It was really a case, as I say, of redecoration.
Just a bit of TLC, really. It had just got a little bit tired, a few broken drawers, bits and bobs,
and basically just time to put into it.
-'But time's been one of Steve's biggest enemies.'
-The main issues have all been weather-related.
It doubled the timescale. Originally, we wanted it done in 4-6 weeks, just before Christmas.
It ended up six weeks after that.
'Despite the delays, there's still one job Steve hasn't even started!'
# The animals went in two by two The elephant and the kangaroo
# And they all went into the ark to get out of the rain. #
The outside, all the murals, obviously would have been covered by now
if it wasn't for the bad weather in January.
We've just got to wait till the spring to cover them up.
It's not everyone who wants to look and see an elephant or a giraffe.
'Maybe so, but it hasn't deterred some people.
'Steve already has his first tenant lined up.'
This particular flat is the one we've let out.
I've got a tenant moving in in the next few days.
We're very pleased with this one. This was the biggest of the three.
As you can see, it's been all newly decorated, painted and also completely recovered
with floor covering. Very pleased.
'With all the delays and overruns caused by bad weather,
'how has the budget fared since his original estimate of £2,000-£3,000?'
The budget is virtually bang on. We're nearer £3,000 than £2,500,
but we'll be no more than £3,000.
'Steve will be charging his new tenant £295 per month.
'To see whether this is a good return, we asked two estate agents
'to give us their view on the property's money-making potential.'
My first impression is as they are they're perfect for the rental market.
I think these flats would appeal to young people just leaving home,
simple because you don't have to put much furniture in them. It wouldn't cost an awful lot to move in.
They're definitely more suited to the rental market than to sales.
I'm not sure how the market would be accustomed to studio flats when they're used to terraced houses,
but for rental it's ideal. The standard is pretty basic, to be honest,
but that's very suitable for the market around here.
If purchasers were to buy them, they'd put their own stamp on them.
'Remember, Steve's first tenant will pay £295 per calendar month.
'What do the professionals think of that?'
If I put these on the market, I'd probably put them on at around £275 per calendar month.
In my opinion, each unit would achieve £295 per calendar month.
£295 is what we value them at, so that's what we've gone for.
'The estimated yield on these flats was around 16% and that's well on target, so what could each fetch
'if he sold them? Remember, he spent £65,000 buying the property and just £3,000 doing it up,
'making a total outlay of £68,000, plus usual expenses.'
Em, I will hazard a guess on the resale market
and I think each unit would probably sell for about £35,000.
I'd value each individual flat at £35,000-£40,000 each.
Yeah, I'd be pleased with that. If I sold them for that, very good.
'The lease on the commercial unit still has a month to run,
'so we couldn't see inside,
'but Steve has decided to apply for a change of use permit to maximise the residential possibilities.'
Converting the downstairs from commercial to residential is probably quite a good idea.
Commercial around here, there isn't a great demand,
but there is a demand for residential lettings, so probably a good idea.
I think turning the commercial unit into a residential unit is a very good idea.
The rental market around here asks for properties like that.
The whole building, including the commercial property converted into a residential flat,
we'd be looking at £150,000.
'Wow. Steve's spend of £68,000 and the flat valuations alone could give him a pre-tax profit
'of up to £52,000. And that 150 grand estimate means
'converting the commercial unit to residential is icing on the cake.
If I got £150,000, I'd be more than happy, more than pleased.
Very, very pleased. In fact, I'd swim the Channel, backwards, both ways, under water,
without coming up for breath.
'We're back in Cornwall now to catch up with Nigel.
'He had bought this nine-year-old, four-bedroom property for £151,500.'
-I didn't look inside before I bought it.
-I was a little panicky. I did look through the windows!
'Despite not getting to see inside before the auction, it turned out to be in very good condition.
'Nigel has, in fact, had very little to do to make this a home for himself and his son.
'For the most part, just a fresh coat of paint and a few basic make and mend repairs
'were all that was necessary to make the place as good as new.'
To start with, I needed to sort out the floorboards.
They had edged up when they got wet at one point,
so I used a belt sander and brought it down to a level field.
Then I laid the lino, as you can see.
I've changed the worktops just to spruce it up,
put the new tap, but I still need to do a little bit to this place.
Maybe change the doors and put a new sink in.
Other than that, I'm fairly happy.
'It's often said that the heart of any home is the kitchen.
'In his own way, Nigel has certainly tapped into that sentiment.'
# Let me sleep all night in your soul kitchen... #
'Even though the house is only nine years old, upstairs much of the original decor had dated rapidly.
'What would Nigel say was the biggest change he's made?'
Simply taking off the wallpaper and the colours would be the biggest change,
but, yeah, there's still work to do,
but that's because it's not my main... This is just my home.
Those jobs will have to wait.
I'd like to put an en suite bathroom in the main bedroom
and change the flooring for pine-coloured laminate.
I feel that would be beneficial.
And, on cue, the conservatory has now become a games room.
'Now that partner Debbie has moved away from the area, the two boys are free to sink a few.
'Balls, that is.'
I like the village. Everyone I've met has been friendly.
The disadvantage is my long commute
and that would be the main reason that I will sell the house some time in the near future.
I've got a lot of friends in the Falmouth area
and I miss that area, so I'd like to get somewhere nearer to Falmouth.
My son Joshua likes the house, he likes the room,
and so far he's enjoyed it.
# It's all a teenage wasteland... #
'As there were so few major changes to be made, Nigel's budget hasn't really strayed much
'past his original estimate of around £2,000 plus,
'but his ambitious plans for an en suite would change that.'
I spent about £2,000,
but I want to put the en suite and I can't see that being less than another £2,000,
if I do most of the work myself.
Some of it has to be farmed out because of the electrics, modern building regulations,
but I will do as much as I can.
And laminate flooring, which is as cheap as chips.
'The garage originally had a half-hearted partition.
'This is now gone and the space is used to store Nigel's collection of motorbikes.
'Unfortunately, it's his schedule that has roared away because he's been doing most of the work himself
'while also holding down his job as a bus driver and looking after his son.'
I reckon probably another three months before the rest of the work is done, that I'd like to do.
Part of that is financial. I've been doing the work as and when I get the funds.
But I'm feeling confident that I can shake it up in a few months' time.
'Nigel bought the house for £151,500
'and has spent about £2,000 decorating it. That's a total of £153,500.
'To get updated valuations since all his hard work,
'we invited along two local property experts.'
The main change the chap's made is it's a lot brighter. It was all a bit in on you previously.
Now it's a nice light, airy home.
The owner has improved it since he's owned it.
The rooms are a good size and the decoration is now looking acceptable for the market.
It's a great big house with huge accommodation, and a tiny garden.
It would have crossed my mind to perhaps knock the conservatory over or shrink it.
You're spoiled for groundfloor space. Just to get a bit of green outside.
There's a reasonably high demand for properties of this scale hereabouts.
You could look to be getting perhaps as much as £700 per calendar month from the right tenant.
For rental purposes, I would imagine a figure in the region of £695 per calendar month would be sensible.
That's more or less what I would have expected. There are houses up the road that are smaller
and they're making £550. So that sounds fair to me.
'Although not part of his original plan, renting out the property could bring him a very decent income,
'but if the house was to go on the market as it is just now, what could Nigel expect to get?'
In the current market conditions, which are showing signs of pick up,
I would imagine a figure in the region of £170,000 would be fair as an asking price.
You could look towards perhaps asking just under £200,000 for it,
and perhaps whatever you get over 185 would be icing on the cake.
The 170, that's good. That's quite a profit considering the amount of work I've put in.
The only thing is now I feel it would be a good idea for the en suite.
There's enough profit for it to be worthwhile and it will make the house much more sellable.
'Nigel's options are now clear -
'to fit an en suite, sell the house and move to Falmouth.
'Beyond that, what are his plans for the future?'
The next step, really, would be to look for a property that needs more work, but at a lower price
because I like the idea of really trying to extend myself.
But at the lower price, if I need professional help, I would have the money to pay for such work.
That's it for now. Hopefully, we've armed you with the facts you need to buy property at auction.
-Join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you then.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2010
Email [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a four-bedroom detached house in Cornwall, a two-storey mid-terrace property in Aberfan, Wales and a two-bedroom ground floor flat in a village in East Ayrshire, Ochiltree.
All of these properties have been sold at auction, but who bought them and what was paid for them when they went under the hammer?