Episode 12 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 12

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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Transcript


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You may have bought antiques at an auction, even a car, but your home?

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Lots of people do, some as a way of making money, others take a ruin and turn it into their dream home.

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So join us now as we follow people as they buy their home under the hammer.

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Buying property can be a protracted and problematic experience.

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At least when the hammer falls, the property is yours, provided you've got the money!

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But that could be the least of your problems as many auction properties need a lot of work and attention.

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'This converted pub in Ayrshire has too many pint-sized features for my taste.'

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And it's really cramped.

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'In Mid Glamorgan, a block of three flats with big surprises in store.'

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You don't even get kitchens this size in a lot of houses I see!

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'And this nine-year-old, four-bedroomed detached house in Cornwall

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'is in near-mint condition.' You could move in here as it is.

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All these properties have been sold at auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid!'

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'Today I'm in Scotland, specifically East Ayrshire and a village called Ochiltree.

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'What a lovely location it is, too. Rolling hills, lush green pasture and a useful local shop as well.

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'It all seems picture perfect, but there's a catch.'

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The property I'm here to see is by the side of a very busy road,

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so that's not a particularly good start. This is it. Formerly a public house, The Hide Inn.

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It closed ten years ago when the last pint was pulled and it was converted into flats.

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I'm here to see one of those at a guide price of £39,000.

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Sounds cheap. Let's take a look.

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'It's a good rural location within commutable distance of Ayr, just 12 miles away,

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'and less than an hour's drive from Glasgow, but traffic surely affects the low guide price.

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'There's a way in off the street, but I'm heading round the back to a private entrance

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'where there's also good car parking space.'

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So, realistically, you're probably going to use this entrance more than the front one.

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You'll be parked out the back there. But it's straight into the kitchen and...a bit of a disappointment.

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It's... Well, it's a long galley kitchen, not a lot of space and it's pretty tired and dated.

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I don't really know how you could design this any different. That's bad, but as you go to the main part,

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you've got this horrible little sort of archway there. Really dark, really dingy.

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Then you come into this main part and it's really cramped.

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I can only just squeeze through. But it is two bedrooms, which is good - one there, one there.

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Living room sort of here. I'd actually make that the living room and make the bedroom at the back.

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Bathroom... Well, that's it. It is only a two-bedroom little flat and remember the guide price.

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Maybe you can make it a bit more open-plan. I don't know.

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For one person it would be fine.

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'If you don't mind squeezing down a narrow corridor, this flat is actually quite spacious.

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'Of the two bedrooms, one is very well proportioned

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'while the other suffers from an awkward layout with its built-in storage.

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'The bathroom, although not huge, is serviceable, but in serious need of modernisation.

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'The lounge is slightly on the small side,

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'so the new owner will have to be very careful choosing furniture, but it's a cosy space all the same.

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'Remember, the guide price was £39,000.

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'I invited along a local estate agent to hear his impressions.'

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I think it's a lovely little flat. It's got a lot of character to it.

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It was a former coaching inn.

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There's been some work done in terms of replastering, painting of walls et cetera,

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but the main thing most people do when they come into a flat like this is probably replace the bathroom,

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have a look at the kitchen. The units aren't terrible, but some things - a new cooker - are required.

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'What sort of rental income could it earn?'

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It could have a rental value in the range of maybe £350-£400.

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'That's £4,000-£5,000 a year. Once done up, what could it sell for?'

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I think once renovated, offers over £45,000.

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'In Scotland, the offers over system means putting in your best offer for a property.

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'In Ayrshire a couple of years ago, this meant adding 10% to the price,

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'but in the current climate it's anything from 0%-5%.

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'So depending on how much was spent on renovation, there might be some profit to be made here.'

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On the face of it, that £39,000 guide price is pretty good, but that road with the heavy lorries

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is a real downside. But you have got parking and the flat itself, not much work required.

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So, all in all, I'm sure it got a lot of interest under the hammer.

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Let's look for an opening bid at £25,000.

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£25,000 on the phone, straight in. £25,000.

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Looking for 26.

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£26,000 in the room. £26,000.

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27,000 on the phone.

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28? £28,000.

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29?

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£29,000. £30,000?

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Yeah? £30,000 it is. £30,000. 31?

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31,000. 32?

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32 it is. 32.

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I'll go 500 if it helps you.

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32 and a half. £32,500.

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33?

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£33,000.

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£33,000. Looking for 500 more.

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33 and a half. 33 and a half.

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£33,500. £34,000 is what I'm looking for.

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£34,000 it is. £34,000.

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£34,000.

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And 500.

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Looking for £35,000 now.

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35,000? One more. Yeah, 35,000. Why not?

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£35,000. £35,000.

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It's in the room at £35,000.

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500 more?

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Don't make me go 250, please.

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No? You're out. That extra one did it.

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£35,000. The hammer's up. Going to sell at £35,000.

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Last chance. Telephone bidder? Definitely out. £35,000 - sold. Congratulations.

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'The successful buyer was Anne, who has two daughters - Brogan, who is seven months pregnant,

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'and Abby. Anne works in marketing and PR for a government employment agency.

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'She and her husband bought the Ochiltree flat for £35,000

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'so their eldest daughter Abby could move out of the family home.

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'Before speaking to Abby and her mum, I had a chat with Brogan.'

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-Brogan, what do you think about it?

-Yeah, it's quite nice. I think she'll like it.

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The first time I saw it, I was like, "It's really low in here!" because I'm so tall,

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but I think it could be quite nice. It needs a bit of work.

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-There's pressure on Mum and Dad to help you like they've helped Abby.

-Yeah, definitely!

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They can help with the sleepless nights. I'll appreciate that.

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Abby, Anne, lovely to meet you. Congratulations. Tell me why you wanted this.

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Well, we came to see it together and the first thing was the village. We like the village.

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The price was another thing. That was probably the main thing.

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Looking to purchase properties in Ayrshire, especially in Ayr, Prestwick and Troon for Abby

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is very, very pricey.

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-So basically you've bought it for... you.

-Yeah.

-Great. Fantastic.

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-What did you think when you walked through the door?

-Em, I like it.

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-It just needs all fixed.

-Everyone's got their own style and taste.

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We liked that it had two bedrooms. Abby's got enough clothes for about three families.

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So she needed a spare room to put all her clothes in.

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What are you going to do to it?

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Em, basically, we'll just rip the kitchen out, rip the bathroom out.

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The flooring - just completely rip it out and start again.

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-Right.

-I think I'll get reclaimed floorboards for the hall and the living room

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and then just carpets for the rest. And maybe do a feature wall in the living room, black and white.

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-And red.

-And red.

-Yeah. In the living room.

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How much have you got set aside?

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-About £5,000, hopefully!

-That's our budget. It'll be interesting.

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-My husband says, "It'll be more like £15,000!"

-And are you paying for it?

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-Yeah.

-Right.

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-So you'll keep a keen eye on it.

-Yeah, definitely.

-Yeah.

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So what was the process to decide now was the time for your own place?

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Abby's been really keen to move out for a while.

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She's 21 and I think the time's right to do that if she can afford it.

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I don't want her to move somewhere and end up really struggling. That was important to us as well.

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'But it's not just about Abby. Anne and her husband are in the process of selling their existing house.

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'They took several years to convert a shed that housed cattle into a five-bedroom luxury home,

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'while they lived in a caravan.'

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A caravan for 2.5 years?! With two children?

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-Two children, a dog, a cat and four goldfish.

-How was that?!

-Horrendous!

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It was horrendous! It was an old caravan with a gas fire, no double glazing. Not what you see now.

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-A bit cold for the goldfish.

-Yes, what happened one winter was that I got up in the morning

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and the tank was frozen. They were all at a little tiny bit of water,

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all sitting like this!

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'I do hope Abby fares better here than those poor goldfish did!

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'She'll be getting family and friends to do most of the work and pulling in professionals if needed.

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'But she has a strict six-week timescale because there's no room for her at her parents' new home.'

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At the end of the day, if it's not finished, we'll find a wee space for her somewhere.

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I don't know where yet! We don't have anywhere!

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Well, there you go. That's an incentive if I ever heard one.

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-What do your friends think about it?

-They think it's great. They all want to come and see it.

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-They probably think they can stay.

-And the reality is?

-No.

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-Well, we look forward to seeing what happens with the house and in general.

-I know.

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-Good luck.

-Thank you.

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So Abby's got her own home for the first time and it sounds like it's just in the nick of time.

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But six weeks - that's an incredibly tight timescale before her and the goldfish are frozen out.

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Find out how they get on later in the show.

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I'm in Aberfan in South Wales, a place that will forever be linked with the horrific disaster of 1966

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when a coal waste landslide killed 144 people.

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The event will never be forgotten, bit for now I'm here to see Aberfan as it is today -

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a village in the valleys with stunning views and perhaps some interesting properties.

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'It's certainly hard to separate Aberfan from its tragic past,

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'but that doesn't mean it's not a great place to live now.'

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The lot I'm here to see sounds like a bit of a pick and mix property.

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It's a two-storey mid-terrace with a commercial unit on the ground floor and three studio flats.

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Somebody's been a bit creative! It had a guide of just £59,000.

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That does sound pretty reasonable. Let's get inside and see if it feels like such a good deal from in there.

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'The commercial unit had been let to the local police, but with the boys in blue now gone, it's vacant.

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'The office space is locked up and I can't get in, but there's plenty to explore.

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'Down a dingy alleyway and I'm in a dingier courtyard

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'where I find the entrance to property number one.'

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You know, this is not a bad space for a studio flat.

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In here would be your living and sleeping quarters. It's not terribly light with only this glass,

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but you've got high ceilings, nice floors and, I tell you what, it's not in bad condition.

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I do know that eight years ago this was rewired and replumbed so it's already been refurbished.

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So in quite good nick. Now look at this kitchen! Wow!

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You don't even get kitchens this size in a lot of the houses I see. A really good space in here.

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There's a table and chairs, you can sit and eat and what would really cheer me up is washing up

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and looking at Nellie the Elephant.

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'Yes, in fact, Nellie might need to pack her trunk and get painted over

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'because she may not be to everyone's taste, but this little courtyard is a great asset.

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'Back in the flat, the bathroom off the kitchen is also in need of a visit from some cleaning materials!

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'Upstairs are flats number two and three, with number two mirroring the downstairs almost exactly.

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'It's a touch smaller maybe, but still has a good size kitchen and bathroom.

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'Mm, a lovely shade of lilac this time.

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'One more to go now. Flat number three.'

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Now this studio flat has got its own little entrance hall - fantastic for storing your coats and shoes.

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And it definitely feels bigger than the others.

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It's got a nice high ceiling, lots of natural light coming in

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and it's quite spacious. You've got a double bed, a couple of sofas. It's got a good feel to it.

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A nice square kitchen. You could put a table and chairs in the corner to eat in here.

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You've got the bathroom out there. The only thing is... I can smell number 22 on the menu.

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Chicken chow mein and chips. You've got a Chinese restaurant next door,

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so if you're into your fast food, that could be a plus. If not, this probably isn't the flat for you.

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# There's a guy works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis... #

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'For those not interested in self-catering, this could be the ultimate convenience,

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'but I reckon it would put off more people than tempt them. What doesn't put me off are the figures.'

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OK, let's do the sums. We know the commercial unit has been let for just over £4,000 a year.

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Each of these studios could achieve around £200 per month, so that's £7,200.

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A total income of £11,200 a year. OK.

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Say you buy for the guide of £59,000.

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You spend a generous 11 grand to make your total outlay £70,000.

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Divide the rental income by that total spend and multiply by 100,

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you will achieve your yield.

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Are you keeping up? Bearing in mind, anything over 5%-6% is what we are really after for a good investment,

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hold on, that can't be right.

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11,200 divided by 70, multiplied by 100...

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Do you know, that is a 16% return? Do you know what? That is staggering!

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'It does assume you'd have them all rented out 365 days of the year,

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'but it's still an impressive yield.

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'If you were a buy-to-let investor, you'd be off your noodle to turn this down.

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'But just to be sure, bearing that guide price of £59,000 in mind,

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'I asked a local estate agent for his thoughts.'

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These flats would be great rental properties because it would be below the average in the area

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and there's commutable access to Cardiff and easy access to Merthyr town centre.

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'So location is the key to this purchase. What could the rental value be after refurbishment?'

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The rental value for each flat, you'd be looking at approximately £250-£300 a month.

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'And resale value?'

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For each of the studio flats, you'd be looking at £30,000-£35,000.

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It's often the unassuming properties that make a big impression and this lot is a case in point.

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It doesn't look like much, the studios won't rock anybody's world,

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but with all these units to rent out, your return could be outstanding.

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Let's see who spotted it at auction.

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We move on to lot number 26. What am I bid for this one?

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60? Let's get started. 50 is it? Thank you, sir.

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52 I'm bid. Thank you.

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54 is bid. 56 if you like, sir. 56.

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58 is bid. 60, can I? At 60.

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At £60,000 there.

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All right, I'll take... 2, then. 62.

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3 if you like, sir. At 63 I'm bid. At 63.

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All right, I'll take a half. 63 and a half. 64.

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All right, I'll take your other half. 64 and a half. 5 on the right.

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At 65. And another half. Is there only little bids?

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At 65,000 there. Have you all done?

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At £65,000. Don't shake your head for another half. At £65,000. It's yours, sir.

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'With a successful bid of £65,000, the property went to Steve, originally from Leicestershire.

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'Steve and his wife Maggie moved to Aberfan eight years ago.

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'He's semi-retired, but Maggie still works back in Leicester. He's extending the farm they live on,

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'so this will be another project.'

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-Steve, congratulations. You've got three flats and a commercial unit! Well done!

-Thank you very much.

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-What did you want to buy those for?

-Basically, as a pension investment.

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I thought there would be a good return in the long run.

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I was looking for something that was all in one unit.

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You've got all your pension money in one pot, all there together.

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-So have you invested all your pension money?

-Basically.

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I'm no mathematician, but I worked out that you have almost got a 16% yield with this property,

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which is an incredible return!

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Yeah, it is. It was something I thought about when I bought it.

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If you paid more money, your yield was going to go down, but it went into double figures,

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-hence I carried on bidding for it.

-'Come on, Steve! Get excited!

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'But I think he is aware of how well he's done. I wanted to know a bit more about Steve

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'and his lack of a Welsh accent.'

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We bought a place about eight years ago and moved from Leicestershire and we love it.

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We've got a little farm on the west coast and we just love it.

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It's not a massive place, but enough to keep us going.

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I retire officially in a couple of years, but I've skived for 12 months.

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-Tell me what your budget is.

-I've not got a real strict budget. It's mainly the redecoration anyway.

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We want to put it right and for people to move in as you would.

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The whole building was renovated with a government grant apparently, from what I can gather.

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A couple of thousand, three thousand.

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'It seems to be win win for Steve. He has a potentially high rental yield,

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'the usual pitfalls of renovation have been sorted previously

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'and the cooking smells from next door don't seem to bother him.'

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There's not much you can do. Most people like a chip shop. We've got that AND a Chinese.

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If young people rent the flat, they'll never need to cook!

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-So that is a big positive for you!

-Yeah. When I get my friends in to help me do it up,

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one never stops eating fish and chips, so I won't need to pay him.

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'All this means good news for the chippie, but how long can Steve keep going?'

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I could work 24 hours a day. I prefer that to sitting on a beach. I've tried that and got bored.

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-What?! You got bored of a beach?

-I've not got the figure for a beach.

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'OK, so Steve's not the parasol and pina colada type.

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'Still, he's obviously not worried about getting his hands dirty

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'and by dragging in friends to help he's going to keep the costs down.'

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-Good luck with this whole venture.

-Thank you.

-And I hope you never have a lie in!

-I never lie in.

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-And you never lay on a beach again!

-We go on holiday, but not too long!

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-Steve, good luck! It's been a pleasure.

-Thank you.

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Well, life's a beach for Steve right here in Aberfan.

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He's got a fantastic investment and if he gets his idle friends in, I'm sure he'll save on labour, too.

0:23:320:23:38

But the big question is will Steve ever stop? I don't think he will.

0:23:380:23:43

Find out how he gets on later in the programme.

0:23:430:23:47

'Coming up: in Cornwall, two lounges, four bedrooms, bathroom, toilet and a conservatory.'

0:23:480:23:56

We have a lot of house!

0:23:560:23:58

'We return to Mid Glamorgan where some local wildlife is under threat.'

0:23:580:24:04

Not everybody wants to see an elephant or a giraffe on a wall.

0:24:040:24:10

'But first, with everything in chaos in Ayrshire shouldn't details wait?'

0:24:100:24:16

Abby came in with a lamp and a vase.

0:24:160:24:18

'After three and a half months, we're back in the lovely surroundings of East Ayrshire

0:24:200:24:26

'to visit Ochiltree. We're here to see this converted pub that was bought at auction

0:24:260:24:32

'for £35,000 to become a first home for 21-year-old Abby.

0:24:320:24:36

'She was working to a strict six-week schedule because her parents had sold the family house.

0:24:380:24:44

'They were moving into a smaller property with only two bedrooms,

0:24:440:24:48

'the other one being for her younger sister, Brogan.'

0:24:480:24:52

At the end of the day, if it's not finished, we'll find a wee space for her somewhere.

0:24:520:24:59

We don't have anywhere!

0:24:590:25:00

'Well, it's clear there has been a total transformation of this flat.

0:25:040:25:08

'All the previously dowdy rooms have had a glamorous makeover,

0:25:080:25:13

'turning this into a distinctive and stylish place to live,

0:25:130:25:18

'but, as Abby's mum can testify, there have been problems.

0:25:180:25:22

'First off, finding the money even to do the redecoration.'

0:25:220:25:27

We had an absolute financial nightmare. Abby was going to get extra money through the mortgage

0:25:270:25:33

and she was to get £4,500. She would apply for that once she'd paid her first mortgage payment.

0:25:330:25:39

So that happened, she went into the bank and, basically, because she had a car loan, they couldn't do that.

0:25:390:25:45

So that was that. And then we were selling our house and thought, "Fine. We'll have some money then."

0:25:450:25:52

And then our house didn't get sold and it was delayed a month and even then it didn't get sold.

0:25:520:26:00

'These delays meant that poor Abby was on the verge of being homeless.'

0:26:000:26:05

I think it ended up maybe 8-10 weeks, in the end up.

0:26:050:26:10

-And you had to go and stay...

-With my boyfriend's mum. There was no room in the house.

0:26:100:26:16

'Abby's parents' house was eventually sold and her sister Brogan now has a baby daughter.

0:26:180:26:24

'They all live together in Mum and Dad's new two-bedroom bungalow,

0:26:240:26:28

'leaving Abby to enjoy the flat she's always wanted.'

0:26:280:26:33

It was absolutely chaos. We took Abby's furniture with us.

0:26:340:26:39

The baby came along as well so we had all her things.

0:26:390:26:43

It's amazing. You actually forget how much you need.

0:26:430:26:47

So we're squeezed into this bungalow, but hopefully that will all get sorted out.

0:26:470:26:53

# Pretty baby

0:26:530:26:55

# Pretty baby... #

0:26:550:26:58

'This, at least, has worked to Abby's advantage, allowing her to create her personal dressing room.

0:26:580:27:06

'Everywhere she's made her own unique contribution to the look of the place.'

0:27:060:27:12

I picked what I wanted, but my dad and my sister's boyfriend did most of the work.

0:27:120:27:18

-I painted.

-Hardly!

-That was about it.

-Abby's a bit like me.

0:27:180:27:22

She likes the finishing thing.

0:27:220:27:25

We'd half the walls, no flooring and the walls were falling apart,

0:27:250:27:30

Abby would come in with a lamp and a vase and just sit it.

0:27:300:27:34

'But it's in the living room that Abby's design ideas have fully flowered.'

0:27:340:27:40

Em, the living room, I just tried to keep it creams and blacks

0:27:400:27:44

and just a wee bit of red. To brighten it up.

0:27:440:27:48

'The biggest problem they encountered was damp caused by a leaking shower.

0:27:490:27:55

'This stretched all along the hallway to the bedroom. The bathroom has now been completely redone.'

0:27:550:28:02

We put a new shower unit in, took the bath out,

0:28:020:28:06

put new flooring in because we had a leak from the old shower unit. We had to replace all the flooring.

0:28:060:28:13

Got new fittings in it and just painted the full thing. I'm really pleased with it.

0:28:130:28:19

'Given the delays and the damp, how badly has the budget suffered?'

0:28:200:28:25

The budget we had at first was £5,000, but I think we ended up... five and a half.

0:28:250:28:31

-Yeah.

-Just now. We've still got the heating to put in and the back door.

0:28:310:28:37

-And the garden to finish.

-A few bits and pieces. We think about another maybe £2,000.

0:28:370:28:43

But at the moment it's £5,500.

0:28:430:28:46

'To get an idea about whether they can recoup their investment, we invited two local estate agents.'

0:28:490:28:56

It's a remarkable transformation of what was a relatively nice flat.

0:28:560:29:02

It clearly needed a lot of tender loving care and it has now been transformed into a fabulous flat.

0:29:020:29:09

It's my first time seeing the property and it's pretty much, "Wow!"

0:29:100:29:15

Beautifully designed, very contemporary decor, ideal for young people.

0:29:150:29:20

'This is all very positive. What do they think this flat could get if rented out?'

0:29:200:29:27

On the rental market I would place this property for lease at £350-£400 per calendar month.

0:29:270:29:35

I would put this on the rental market for £450 per calendar month.

0:29:350:29:39

Great! That's amazing. I didn't think it would be as much.

0:29:390:29:44

Definitely not in Ochiltree. It's quite far away.

0:29:440:29:48

'The property was bought for £35,000 and will have about £7,500 spent on it

0:29:480:29:54

'to complete the redecoration. That's a total of £42,500 invested here.

0:29:540:30:00

'If it was put up for sale now, what could it sell for?'

0:30:000:30:04

I would put this on the market for resale value at £45,000-£50,000.

0:30:040:30:09

I would put this on the resale market for £45,000.

0:30:090:30:13

Hopefully maybe get a bit more than that. I was hoping maybe 50, but we'll need to wait and see.

0:30:130:30:21

'All in all, despite a few hiccups, this has gone relatively well.

0:30:210:30:26

'Abby's in a property that could earn a yield in the region of 10%-12.5%.

0:30:260:30:32

'So what's her verdict?'

0:30:320:30:34

I'm really pleased with the flat and the finished result. It's nearly there. Just a couple of things.

0:30:340:30:41

The garden will make a big difference and my couch.

0:30:410:30:45

I can't wait to get everything just finished and that'll be me.

0:30:450:30:49

I'm in St Dennis, in the historical mining area of Cornwall.

0:30:540:30:59

You've got Newquay to the north, St Austell to the south,

0:30:590:31:03

easy access to the A30 and onwards into the county. A great place to be.

0:31:030:31:08

'The village of St Dennis is surrounded by beautiful countryside,

0:31:080:31:13

'but it's not too far from modern urban amenities.

0:31:130:31:16

'With this rural haven you've got the best of both worlds.'

0:31:160:31:21

Well, all sorts of properties go under the hammer and in this instance it's a fairly new one.

0:31:230:31:29

Built nine years ago, it's a detached four-bed house.

0:31:290:31:33

It had a guide price of £100,000. That sounds interesting

0:31:330:31:38

and definitely worthy of investigation.

0:31:380:31:42

A fairly modern house. Hopefully, not too much needs to be done to it, but you never know.

0:31:440:31:50

Doesn't wallpaper date quickly? This definitely needs replacing.

0:31:500:31:55

Front living room there. Downstairs loo. You've got a big living room there.

0:31:550:32:01

Stairs up to the bedrooms, then through to the kitchen. As you'd expect, in pretty good condition.

0:32:010:32:07

The units are very serviceable. Not a bad-sized space.

0:32:070:32:11

Pretty much you could move in to this space as it is.

0:32:110:32:15

# I wouldn't change I wouldn't change

0:32:170:32:21

# I wouldn't change I wouldn't change a thing... #

0:32:210:32:26

'Also on the ground floor, there's a decent-sized garage,

0:32:260:32:30

'but this has a strange partition wall that I suspect was put up to make a utility room,

0:32:300:32:36

'but it doesn't leave much room for a car.

0:32:360:32:40

'Out back, there's this extension, which provides a glorious sun trap.

0:32:400:32:45

'All in all, there are a lot of bonus features here and, at a £100,000 guide price,

0:32:480:32:54

'a lot of property for the money.'

0:32:540:32:57

Because it's fairly new, it's very easy to find out how much this house cost

0:32:570:33:03

and that was £90,000 back in the year 2000.

0:33:030:33:07

Interesting, isn't it? Nine years on and it was up for a guide price of just £100,000.

0:33:070:33:13

I think that's a little too low. What we have is a lot of house.

0:33:130:33:17

Upstairs, for instance, four good-sized bedrooms, nice-sized bathroom with shower as well.

0:33:170:33:23

This house has everything going for it as a family home or a great investment opportunity.

0:33:230:33:30

'There is still potential to develop this house further.

0:33:310:33:36

'The bedrooms are easily spacious enough to accommodate en suites, ideal for a family house,

0:33:360:33:42

'as that takes a lot of pressure off the bathroom.'

0:33:420:33:46

You certainly can't knock the location - on a nice, quiet road.

0:33:460:33:51

And you've got open fields there. Lovely.

0:33:510:33:54

You've got this paved driveway with space for three or four cars

0:33:540:33:58

and you've got a garage, so good news all round.

0:33:580:34:03

'St Dennis is in the heart of Cornwall, so I expect this place would be desirable to many.

0:34:040:34:11

'What does the auctioneer who sold it make of it?'

0:34:110:34:15

It's very much of its era

0:34:150:34:18

in the layout of the accommodation, but because it's so big, particularly upstairs,

0:34:180:34:24

there's en suites just screaming out to be put in in various corners of various bedrooms.

0:34:240:34:30

The pros are that it is vast and a wonderful family home. The only real downside is very little garden.

0:34:300:34:36

Your only choice would be to knock down the conservatory to make your garden bigger. A difficult one.

0:34:360:34:42

'In its current state, what could it rent out for?'

0:34:430:34:47

The property is a pretty good renter, actually, because of the simple size of the accommodation.

0:34:470:34:53

You might even get a company let. Either way, you're looking at possibly £650 per calendar month,

0:34:530:35:00

maybe £675 if you were lucky.

0:35:000:35:02

'So even if this was given a minimal spit and polish to make it ready for tenants,

0:35:030:35:09

'it could bring in a healthy rental income.

0:35:090:35:13

'Once renovated, what could it sell for?'

0:35:130:35:18

If the decor was updated and the en suites put in upstairs,

0:35:180:35:22

the value of the property could tiptoe towards £200,000, but probably not quite.

0:35:220:35:28

'If the new owner spends a bit of money and adds more modern facilities, they could be rewarded

0:35:280:35:34

'with a very reasonable return, so it certainly looks like there may be money to be made here.'

0:35:340:35:40

Well, this is a perfect house for someone who doesn't want to have to d a lot of work.

0:35:440:35:50

A bit of sorting out, painting, new carpets and it's a wonderful home or a potential let.

0:35:500:35:56

I think the guide price was slightly undervalued at £100,000,

0:35:560:36:00

but let's see what it finally went for under the hammer.

0:36:000:36:05

The guide price was modest,

0:36:110:36:14

so who's going to say 125 in? Who'll start me at 120?

0:36:140:36:18

120? Thank you, sir. 120 I've got. We're away.

0:36:180:36:23

122. 124.

0:36:230:36:25

124 I've got. 126.

0:36:250:36:28

128.

0:36:280:36:29

128. You can have a think. 128 is front row for the moment.

0:36:290:36:33

128. At 128.

0:36:330:36:36

130 says the gentleman. 132.

0:36:360:36:39

133. 134.

0:36:400:36:43

At 134. 5. 136, 136.

0:36:430:36:47

Shakes his head. At 136, you're in. At 136.

0:36:470:36:51

Half. Got to do it. 137. Oh, and a half? Good heavens. 137 and a half.

0:36:510:36:58

138. 138 and a half.

0:36:580:37:02

140? 140.

0:37:020:37:04

Where it began. 140. 145.

0:37:040:37:07

145 and a half.

0:37:070:37:10

146, he says. 146 and a half.

0:37:100:37:12

146 and a half. 146 and a half once. Twice.

0:37:120:37:17

Here it goes. 146,500. Sure and done? Front row's got it.

0:37:170:37:22

A new bidder. Completely new face.

0:37:220:37:25

147.

0:37:250:37:27

147 and a half. 147 and a half.

0:37:270:37:30

Oh! Young chap at the back has come in at 150. At 150.

0:37:300:37:35

At 150. 151 and a half. 151 and a half once.

0:37:350:37:40

Twice. Third and last time at 151 and a half.

0:37:400:37:45

Selling, then, at 151,500.

0:37:450:37:49

Well done, sir.

0:37:490:37:51

'Well, Nigel was the eventual buyer.

0:37:530:37:56

'After all that tension, he paid £151,500

0:37:560:38:01

'to secure the house. He's a bus driver who lives in nearby Penryn.

0:38:010:38:06

'Although he hadn't actually seen inside the property, he bought it as a home for himself and his son

0:38:060:38:12

'and to share at weekends with his partner Debbie and her daughter.'

0:38:120:38:17

Nigel, Debbie, lovely to meet you. Congratulations. What a battle!

0:38:170:38:22

It was! I was shaking like a leaf! I was so excited, but so nervous at the same time,

0:38:220:38:28

but I'm delighted.

0:38:280:38:30

But you started the bidding and it just went on and on and on. What were you thinking?

0:38:300:38:36

When it got to £130,000, I thought, "I've got it!" And then it went to 131 and continued

0:38:360:38:41

-up to 151,500!

-Yeah.

-But I got it in the end and I was determined.

0:38:410:38:46

-They all gave you a round of applause. That doesn't happen very often.

-It doesn't.

0:38:460:38:52

Everybody was watching me. I didn't look inside before I bought it.

0:38:520:38:57

-Really?

-So I was a little panicky. I did look through the windows!

0:38:570:39:01

But that was as much as I'd seen. It needed a lot less work than I was expecting.

0:39:010:39:07

Now I've looked inside, I feel much more relieved and much happier.

0:39:070:39:12

'Nigel's requirements were very simple - to buy a house at a reasonable price and make it a home

0:39:120:39:18

'for his family. With this property he's got it all.

0:39:180:39:22

'He also gained an added extra, which made one family member very happy.'

0:39:220:39:28

I like the conservatory. It's for my son's pool table.

0:39:280:39:31

-Oh! Perfect as a pool room.

-It's a great pool room! Expensive, but a great one.

0:39:310:39:37

It needs work, but nothing major as far as I'm concerned.

0:39:370:39:41

So tell me what you'll do to it.

0:39:410:39:44

First of all it needs to be decorated completely.

0:39:440:39:47

'There are a few niggling details that also need attention. There's a spot of damp in a bedroom.

0:39:470:39:54

'The stairs have subsided slightly and the kitchen needs sprucing up,

0:39:540:39:59

'but fundamentally the property is sound.' What will you do, Debbie?

0:39:590:40:04

-I'm the one with the paintbrush.

-She's good with the paintbrush.

0:40:040:40:09

-So what are your plans?

-Lots of paint!

0:40:090:40:12

-Lots of paint and paper.

-She's being dictated to for various colours,

0:40:120:40:17

but we'll see what happens.

0:40:170:40:20

-What's the order so far?

-Mainly from my daughter.

0:40:200:40:24

What colour the room's going to be that she'll be using at weekends.

0:40:240:40:30

-What kind of budget have you got?

-I reckon I should be able to keep it within about £3,000.

0:40:300:40:36

-Oh, wow.

-I'm hoping to.

-No major structural work.

-No. I haven't turned the boiler on yet.

0:40:360:40:43

That's one of my biggest worries, but I've got to get someone to service it first.

0:40:430:40:49

Most of what needs doing, I can do.

0:40:490:40:52

'Nigel's budget and schedule are both quite tight.

0:40:520:40:55

'He has £2,000-£3,000 to spend over three months, while working full-time as a bus driver.

0:40:550:41:01

'His plan is to live there while doing the work.'

0:41:010:41:05

So what's the plan, bigger picture? How long will you live here?

0:41:050:41:09

-Probably about 12 months.

-As short as that?

0:41:090:41:13

Maybe a little longer. We'll see. I'll see how I feel about it.

0:41:130:41:18

At the moment, I like the house so much, I'm happy living here. We'll see.

0:41:180:41:23

-I'm delighted for you. Good luck and I look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you very much.

0:41:230:41:29

Well, this will make a great family home for Nigel and Debbie and their respective families.

0:41:310:41:37

I'm particularly jealous of Josh and his snooker room.

0:41:370:41:41

Living in it while you do it up is never easy and all restoration throws up unexpected problems.

0:41:410:41:48

Hopefully, there aren't too many. You can find out later.

0:41:480:41:52

-Martin and I have high hopes for our purchasers.

-Did they do what they intended

0:41:550:42:01

-or were there unforeseen problems?

-Let's find out.

0:42:010:42:04

'We're back in Aberfan after three and a half months

0:42:040:42:09

'to see what's happening at this three-flat property with ground-level commercial space.

0:42:090:42:15

'Steve had spent his pension money to snap up this bargain at £65,000

0:42:150:42:20

'and was undeterred by the fast food takeaways next door.'

0:42:200:42:25

Most people like a chip shop and they've got the Chinese as well.

0:42:250:42:30

-That's a big positive for you!

-Yeah!

0:42:300:42:32

'Luckily for Steve, all the flats were renovated some years ago with the aid of a government grant.

0:42:420:42:48

'They'd been rewired, replumbed and had central heating installed. Even the windows were double glazed.

0:42:480:42:54

'So this was all work that he didn't need to do.

0:42:540:42:58

'His task was simply to check everything over and refresh the interior

0:43:010:43:07

'to get the three flats into a good enough state to let out.'

0:43:070:43:12

All three kitchens were done around the same.

0:43:120:43:16

All been painted, decorated, checked. All new floor coverings.

0:43:160:43:21

And a real good clean and a lot of elbow grease. That's all we needed to do.

0:43:210:43:27

'In fact, Steve's strategy has been to take a no nonsense approach.

0:43:270:43:32

'In order to maximise his investment he has stuck to the old adage of keeping it simple.'

0:43:320:43:39

Structurally, it was fine. Not a problem. But you could see that from the outside anyway.

0:43:390:43:47

It was really a case, as I say, of redecoration.

0:43:470:43:51

Just a bit of TLC, really. It had just got a little bit tired, a few broken drawers, bits and bobs,

0:43:510:43:57

and basically just time to put into it.

0:43:570:44:01

-'But time's been one of Steve's biggest enemies.'

-The main issues have all been weather-related.

0:44:010:44:08

It doubled the timescale. Originally, we wanted it done in 4-6 weeks, just before Christmas.

0:44:080:44:13

It ended up six weeks after that.

0:44:130:44:16

'Despite the delays, there's still one job Steve hasn't even started!'

0:44:160:44:21

# The animals went in two by two The elephant and the kangaroo

0:44:210:44:25

# And they all went into the ark to get out of the rain. #

0:44:250:44:30

The outside, all the murals, obviously would have been covered by now

0:44:300:44:36

if it wasn't for the bad weather in January.

0:44:360:44:39

We've just got to wait till the spring to cover them up.

0:44:390:44:44

It's not everyone who wants to look and see an elephant or a giraffe.

0:44:440:44:48

'Maybe so, but it hasn't deterred some people.

0:44:480:44:53

'Steve already has his first tenant lined up.'

0:44:530:44:57

This particular flat is the one we've let out.

0:44:570:45:01

I've got a tenant moving in in the next few days.

0:45:010:45:05

We're very pleased with this one. This was the biggest of the three.

0:45:050:45:10

As you can see, it's been all newly decorated, painted and also completely recovered

0:45:100:45:16

with floor covering. Very pleased.

0:45:160:45:19

'With all the delays and overruns caused by bad weather,

0:45:190:45:23

'how has the budget fared since his original estimate of £2,000-£3,000?'

0:45:230:45:29

The budget is virtually bang on. We're nearer £3,000 than £2,500,

0:45:290:45:34

but we'll be no more than £3,000.

0:45:340:45:37

'Steve will be charging his new tenant £295 per month.

0:45:370:45:41

'To see whether this is a good return, we asked two estate agents

0:45:410:45:46

'to give us their view on the property's money-making potential.'

0:45:460:45:51

My first impression is as they are they're perfect for the rental market.

0:45:510:45:57

I think these flats would appeal to young people just leaving home,

0:45:570:46:01

simple because you don't have to put much furniture in them. It wouldn't cost an awful lot to move in.

0:46:010:46:07

They're definitely more suited to the rental market than to sales.

0:46:070:46:12

I'm not sure how the market would be accustomed to studio flats when they're used to terraced houses,

0:46:120:46:18

but for rental it's ideal. The standard is pretty basic, to be honest,

0:46:180:46:24

but that's very suitable for the market around here.

0:46:240:46:28

If purchasers were to buy them, they'd put their own stamp on them.

0:46:280:46:32

'Remember, Steve's first tenant will pay £295 per calendar month.

0:46:320:46:37

'What do the professionals think of that?'

0:46:370:46:41

If I put these on the market, I'd probably put them on at around £275 per calendar month.

0:46:410:46:47

In my opinion, each unit would achieve £295 per calendar month.

0:46:470:46:52

£295 is what we value them at, so that's what we've gone for.

0:46:520:46:56

'The estimated yield on these flats was around 16% and that's well on target, so what could each fetch

0:46:560:47:04

'if he sold them? Remember, he spent £65,000 buying the property and just £3,000 doing it up,

0:47:040:47:11

'making a total outlay of £68,000, plus usual expenses.'

0:47:110:47:16

Em, I will hazard a guess on the resale market

0:47:160:47:21

and I think each unit would probably sell for about £35,000.

0:47:210:47:24

I'd value each individual flat at £35,000-£40,000 each.

0:47:240:47:29

Yeah, I'd be pleased with that. If I sold them for that, very good.

0:47:290:47:34

'The lease on the commercial unit still has a month to run,

0:47:340:47:38

'so we couldn't see inside,

0:47:380:47:41

'but Steve has decided to apply for a change of use permit to maximise the residential possibilities.'

0:47:410:47:48

Converting the downstairs from commercial to residential is probably quite a good idea.

0:47:510:47:57

Commercial around here, there isn't a great demand,

0:47:570:48:01

but there is a demand for residential lettings, so probably a good idea.

0:48:010:48:07

I think turning the commercial unit into a residential unit is a very good idea.

0:48:070:48:12

The rental market around here asks for properties like that.

0:48:120:48:16

The whole building, including the commercial property converted into a residential flat,

0:48:160:48:22

we'd be looking at £150,000.

0:48:220:48:25

'Wow. Steve's spend of £68,000 and the flat valuations alone could give him a pre-tax profit

0:48:250:48:31

'of up to £52,000. And that 150 grand estimate means

0:48:310:48:36

'converting the commercial unit to residential is icing on the cake.

0:48:360:48:40

If I got £150,000, I'd be more than happy, more than pleased.

0:48:400:48:45

Very, very pleased. In fact, I'd swim the Channel, backwards, both ways, under water,

0:48:450:48:50

without coming up for breath.

0:48:500:48:53

'We're back in Cornwall now to catch up with Nigel.

0:48:590:49:03

'He had bought this nine-year-old, four-bedroom property for £151,500.'

0:49:030:49:09

-I didn't look inside before I bought it.

-Really?

-I was a little panicky. I did look through the windows!

0:49:100:49:18

'Despite not getting to see inside before the auction, it turned out to be in very good condition.

0:49:200:49:26

'Nigel has, in fact, had very little to do to make this a home for himself and his son.

0:49:260:49:32

'For the most part, just a fresh coat of paint and a few basic make and mend repairs

0:49:390:49:45

'were all that was necessary to make the place as good as new.'

0:49:450:49:49

To start with, I needed to sort out the floorboards.

0:49:520:49:56

They had edged up when they got wet at one point,

0:49:560:50:00

so I used a belt sander and brought it down to a level field.

0:50:000:50:05

Then I laid the lino, as you can see.

0:50:050:50:09

I've changed the worktops just to spruce it up,

0:50:090:50:12

put the new tap, but I still need to do a little bit to this place.

0:50:120:50:17

Maybe change the doors and put a new sink in.

0:50:170:50:22

Other than that, I'm fairly happy.

0:50:220:50:25

'It's often said that the heart of any home is the kitchen.

0:50:270:50:31

'In his own way, Nigel has certainly tapped into that sentiment.'

0:50:310:50:37

# Let me sleep all night in your soul kitchen... #

0:50:380:50:43

'Even though the house is only nine years old, upstairs much of the original decor had dated rapidly.

0:50:430:50:50

'What would Nigel say was the biggest change he's made?'

0:50:500:50:55

Simply taking off the wallpaper and the colours would be the biggest change,

0:50:560:51:02

but, yeah, there's still work to do,

0:51:020:51:04

but that's because it's not my main... This is just my home.

0:51:040:51:09

Those jobs will have to wait.

0:51:090:51:11

I'd like to put an en suite bathroom in the main bedroom

0:51:110:51:16

and change the flooring for pine-coloured laminate.

0:51:160:51:21

I feel that would be beneficial.

0:51:220:51:24

And, on cue, the conservatory has now become a games room.

0:51:310:51:35

'Now that partner Debbie has moved away from the area, the two boys are free to sink a few.

0:51:350:51:41

'Balls, that is.'

0:51:410:51:44

I like the village. Everyone I've met has been friendly.

0:51:440:51:49

The disadvantage is my long commute

0:51:490:51:51

and that would be the main reason that I will sell the house some time in the near future.

0:51:510:51:58

I've got a lot of friends in the Falmouth area

0:51:580:52:02

and I miss that area, so I'd like to get somewhere nearer to Falmouth.

0:52:020:52:07

My son Joshua likes the house, he likes the room,

0:52:090:52:13

and so far he's enjoyed it.

0:52:140:52:16

# It's all a teenage wasteland... #

0:52:160:52:22

'As there were so few major changes to be made, Nigel's budget hasn't really strayed much

0:52:290:52:36

'past his original estimate of around £2,000 plus,

0:52:360:52:40

'but his ambitious plans for an en suite would change that.'

0:52:400:52:45

I spent about £2,000,

0:52:450:52:47

but I want to put the en suite and I can't see that being less than another £2,000,

0:52:470:52:54

if I do most of the work myself.

0:52:540:52:57

Some of it has to be farmed out because of the electrics, modern building regulations,

0:52:570:53:03

but I will do as much as I can.

0:53:030:53:06

And laminate flooring, which is as cheap as chips.

0:53:060:53:10

'The garage originally had a half-hearted partition.

0:53:100:53:14

'This is now gone and the space is used to store Nigel's collection of motorbikes.

0:53:140:53:21

'Unfortunately, it's his schedule that has roared away because he's been doing most of the work himself

0:53:210:53:27

'while also holding down his job as a bus driver and looking after his son.'

0:53:270:53:32

I reckon probably another three months before the rest of the work is done, that I'd like to do.

0:53:340:53:41

Part of that is financial. I've been doing the work as and when I get the funds.

0:53:410:53:47

But I'm feeling confident that I can shake it up in a few months' time.

0:53:490:53:53

'Nigel bought the house for £151,500

0:53:550:53:59

'and has spent about £2,000 decorating it. That's a total of £153,500.

0:53:590:54:06

'To get updated valuations since all his hard work,

0:54:060:54:10

'we invited along two local property experts.'

0:54:100:54:15

The main change the chap's made is it's a lot brighter. It was all a bit in on you previously.

0:54:160:54:22

Now it's a nice light, airy home.

0:54:220:54:25

The owner has improved it since he's owned it.

0:54:250:54:29

The rooms are a good size and the decoration is now looking acceptable for the market.

0:54:290:54:35

It's a great big house with huge accommodation, and a tiny garden.

0:54:350:54:41

It would have crossed my mind to perhaps knock the conservatory over or shrink it.

0:54:430:54:49

You're spoiled for groundfloor space. Just to get a bit of green outside.

0:54:490:54:53

There's a reasonably high demand for properties of this scale hereabouts.

0:54:530:54:58

You could look to be getting perhaps as much as £700 per calendar month from the right tenant.

0:54:580:55:04

For rental purposes, I would imagine a figure in the region of £695 per calendar month would be sensible.

0:55:040:55:11

That's more or less what I would have expected. There are houses up the road that are smaller

0:55:110:55:17

and they're making £550. So that sounds fair to me.

0:55:170:55:21

'Although not part of his original plan, renting out the property could bring him a very decent income,

0:55:210:55:28

'but if the house was to go on the market as it is just now, what could Nigel expect to get?'

0:55:280:55:35

In the current market conditions, which are showing signs of pick up,

0:55:350:55:40

I would imagine a figure in the region of £170,000 would be fair as an asking price.

0:55:400:55:46

You could look towards perhaps asking just under £200,000 for it,

0:55:460:55:51

and perhaps whatever you get over 185 would be icing on the cake.

0:55:520:55:57

The 170, that's good. That's quite a profit considering the amount of work I've put in.

0:55:570:56:03

The only thing is now I feel it would be a good idea for the en suite.

0:56:030:56:08

There's enough profit for it to be worthwhile and it will make the house much more sellable.

0:56:080:56:14

'Nigel's options are now clear -

0:56:150:56:18

'to fit an en suite, sell the house and move to Falmouth.

0:56:180:56:22

'Beyond that, what are his plans for the future?'

0:56:220:56:27

The next step, really, would be to look for a property that needs more work, but at a lower price

0:56:270:56:33

because I like the idea of really trying to extend myself.

0:56:330:56:38

But at the lower price, if I need professional help, I would have the money to pay for such work.

0:56:390:56:46

That's it for now. Hopefully, we've armed you with the facts you need to buy property at auction.

0:56:480:56:54

-Join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.

-See you then.

-Bye!

0:56:540:56:58

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2010

0:57:090:57:14

Email [email protected]

0:57:150:57:18

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?


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