Episode 18 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 18

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a home in Stoke-on-Trent with a tiny kitchen, and a block of bedsits in London. They also revisit a 400-year-old listed house in Wiltshire.


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Transcript


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-Hello.

-As a nation, we are obsessed with property.

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-And no-one more so than Lucy and I.

-Absolutely.

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It's a topic that keeps dinner party guests talking into the small hours. And everybody has an opinion.

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And it's our opinion that the best place to buy your property is under the hammer.

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The auction catalogue can give you clues about a property,

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but it's not until you look inside that you know whether it's going to be a goldmine or a money pit.

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It's up to you to dig beneath the surface of your investment.

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So let's see what's coming up on today's show.

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In Stoke-on-Trent, the bad news is the kitchen's pretty tiny.

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The good news, though, is that is a stud partition wall.

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'This block of bedsits in London needs to go back to basics.'

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Rip all this out and just give it back a bit of soul.

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'And remember this 400-year-old listed house in Wiltshire?

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'We returned to see the hidden gems uncovered after its remarkable restoration.'

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'All these properties were sold at auction and we see who bought them and what they paid

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'when they went under the hammer.'

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I'm in Stoke-on-Trent today on the border of Fenton and Longton.

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It's mainly residential here with terraced houses that used to be home to workers at the famous potteries.

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An interesting one as not only does the property have two addresses,

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you seem to get a lot of property for your money.

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You've got a commercial unit. You've got two flats.

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You've got a workshop and outdoor space, all for a guide price of just 45,000 quid plus.

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Better take a look inside.

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Well, you can see from the signage outside that this used to be a furniture shop.

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There isn't much space to store furniture, but this would work quite well as a commercial unit

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because there's a double aspect with the main road there and other windows there,

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so there's lots of display area. So we like that. One thing we're not so keen on is that. Look at that.

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That's a manhole cover. Imagine the smells that'll come out of that if this is active as a sewer.

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You can get special covers to go on there which would seal it which you'd definitely have to do.

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You could put in a loo, so that the people who worked here wouldn't have to go next door to use the toilet.

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So if you're thinking about using this as a commercial unit, great.

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To convert it into anything else, you'll need planning permission. Let's see the rest of the property.

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Above the corner shop is one of the two flats offered as part of this auction lot.

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Upstairs, good-sized flat. But it isn't making the most of the space with the layout.

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You've got this corridor over there.

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Decent-sized bedroom. And you've got the bathroom and the loo. But it's not quite working for me.

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This room, though, is quite a good size, if you ignore some of the strange fitted furniture.

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But this is where it starts to go horribly wrong. This is the kitchen and it is a complete disaster.

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It's narrow. It's falling to pieces!

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The good news, though, is that is a stud partition wall.

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So it wouldn't take much to take that out, make this an open kitchen-living area, and job done.

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Like the shelves, there are some aspects to this flat that are odd.

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The main bedroom has no natural light.

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And there's a blocked-up doorway in the partition wall to the bathroom.

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Definitely a re-think needed here, I'd say.

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The second flat is on two levels at the back of the property. So what condition will this one be in?

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In contrast, the layout of this flat I really like.

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You've got the bedroom upstairs. You've got the living room here.

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And hallelujah, a decent kitchen. It's not huge but I like the layout.

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And these particular units will be fairly serviceable. You've got a loo and a bathroom at the back.

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And you've got your own private access, an exterior door, which is exactly what you need.

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Creating separate entrances to both flats makes this lot a potentially rewarding prospect.

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By blocking up a few doorways, you could give each flat its own entrance, separate from the shop.

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And there's more.

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Well, what a fantastic bonus this is! Out in the rear yard, you've got this additional building.

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It's obviously some kind of a workshop. But it's on two storeys.

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And I don't think it'd be too hard to get planning permission to convert that into a maisonette.

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And even better, out the back here, look, lots of building materials.

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Now, if you were to try and get things like this, you'd have to go to an architectural salvage yard.

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This is great news if you need another brick in the wall.

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# All in all it's just another brick in the wall... #

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Well, I really like this property.

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So much potential which could hopefully be realised without spending too much.

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But converting the workshop into a liveable building would take a bit more time and money.

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At the moment you can't even get up to the first floor without a ladder.

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What will a local estate agent think of it?

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For the flat and the shop, the main area of improvement is cosmetic.

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There seems to be a problem with the roof in the upper bedroom.

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And the rear outbuilding needs complete renovation.

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At a guide price of 45,000, how much could this be worth once renovated?

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I'd estimate the resale value of the property, once it's been converted, in the region of £90,000 to £95,000.

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If this project was done well and each area decorated individually,

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I think they could fetch more. And there's the rental option.

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Separate flats, each earning perhaps £300 to £350 per month.

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And depending on what you did with the building at the rear, whether it's living accommodation or retail,

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again, similar sort of values.

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Well, oatcakes are a traditional food in this part of north Staffordshire.

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And in terms of this property, there are so many options, I think you can have your oatcake and eat it.

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Let's see what happened at the auction.

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A two-storey retail unit.

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40, I'm bid. Thank you. At £40,000.

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Can we say 45? 45. Thank you. At 45. 50.

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55. 60.

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Oh, a new bidder. £60,500.

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61? 61.

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61 and a half. 62.

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62 and a half. 63.

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And a half. 64.

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65. Do you want to go 66, sir? 66.

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67. 68. 69.

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70. 71.

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72.

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73.

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Bid seated at 73. I'm selling.

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£73,000 then for the first time.

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At £73,000 for the second time.

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At £73,000, third and final time.

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You bought it. Well done.

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'The guide price was 45,000, but husband and wife Paul and Wendy paid 73,000.

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'They're full-time developers and landlords, so they're no strangers to auctions

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'and have other properties in the Stoke area.'

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-Paul, Wendy, good to meet you both. Tell me why you wanted to buy it.

-It's got a lot of potential.

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You've got a shop front and it's set up for two flats at the minute.

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-Plus you've got the outside building at the back.

-Yes. It struck me - the place has so many options.

-Yeah.

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-What's your experience in this?

-We've been developing property full-time for six years.

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-Oh, wow!

-Part-time for 16.

-What kind of stuff?

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Mainly commercial. But when the commercial property market dried up, we started buying residential.

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'As they already have 33 industrial units and 11 residential properties,

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'they must know what to look for in a building.'

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Good value for money. Um...

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Something you can sort of turn round and make it a little bit different.

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-So what was it about this place that you liked, Wendy?

-Well, the size and the little building at the back.

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That's going to be a little one-bedroom maisonette...

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-Right.

-Hopefully. Yeah. It's got a lot of character.

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-Plus, Paul looked at it 25 years ago.

-What?

-Yes.

-He looked at this 25 years ago.

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-12 grand.

-He couldn't afford it, so we came back cos it was back on the market.

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'Paul eventually got what he wanted. He just had to wait 25 years and pay an extra 61,000.

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'It can't just have been nostalgia that made him want it.'

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-Good income potential.

-Very good. Off the whole site, we reckon we'd get over 13,000 a year.

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-Really? Talk me through the numbers.

-We weren't really interested in the front shop.

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-So whatever we can get for that, it's just a bit of a bonus.

-You're going to keep that as a shop unit?

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-Yeah.

-OK.

-And let that, we thought about 30 quid a week. Yeah? And then you've got the two flats.

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The downstairs one is a bit small. It's got a very small bedroom. So maybe about 300 a month?

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The upstairs one, it's a bit bigger, about 325. The back one, when that's all done, about 350 a month.

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-Right.

-So in total just over 13 grand a year.

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'That's good. Before they can make that sort of money, there's a bit of work to do.

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'Upstairs, they will remove the wall between the kitchen and the lounge to create a kitchen-living room.

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'And re-arrange the bathroom so the bedroom wall can be opened up to allow some light in.

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'In the downstairs flat, the ceiling needs insulating and fireproofing.

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'They will brick up an entrance door to separate the flats and tidy the place up.

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'The shop is also going to have the ceiling done.

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'Because that drain only has a fresh water pipe running through it, a loo will be built in the back.

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'And all the wiring will be renewed. And that still leaves the workshop.'

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Downstairs, as you go in, we'll put a new set of stairs in.

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Kitchen area... So downstairs you've got a lounge-diner again.

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Then upstairs you've got obviously a toilet and your bathroom's separate.

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-There'll be fitted wardrobes because obviously you'll be limited on space.

-It's all going to be fitted.

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-We have done one of those before and it was smaller.

-It turned out OK?

-It was beautiful.

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'I can't wait to see what they do with that workshop area. I bet they've sorted the budget.'

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We were just going to convert the two flats. The outbuilding was initially going to be just repaired

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and just rent it out as a lock-up.

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So we thought then the entire area for 7,000. But since we're going to do what we're going to do outside,

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we reckon about 17 in total.

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OK. And a kind of timescale?

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-Eight weeks.

-Eight weeks to do all that?

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-Yeah.

-It'll be done.

-You sound pretty certain about that.

-It'll be done.

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Well, I don't know about oatcakes, but Wendy and Paul are certainly two smart cookies.

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And they've got exactly the right idea to sort this place out, to turn it into a money-making machine.

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Still, there is a lot of work to be done to sort it out.

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And can Paul really get it completed in just eight weeks?

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You can find out later in the show.

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I'm in an area of south-east London known as Hither Green.

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Snugly tucked between vibrant Lewisham and trendy Blackheath,

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Hither Green often attracts a more mature resident whose partying days are over. Why?

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Well, much of the area was developed by one Archibald Corbett, a Scot with a hard line in temperance,

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who decided that no pubs be built in the neighbourhood, thus saving the Victorians from temptation.

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Now, over a century on, his legacy lives.

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The area is up and coming, but perhaps a tad sleepy.

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# There's a place I call Sleepy Hollow

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# Where I go when you're not around... #

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But fear not. You don't need to go far for a more exciting pace of life.

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Lewisham has bars aplenty. And from Hither Green train station, you can get into London in 15 minutes.

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Hither Green is split into two halves by the railway line.

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And property to the north, nearer Blackheath, is 15% more expensive

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than the south side, bordering Catford.

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Now, the property I'm here to see today is on the south side, but only just.

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And as I was hoping, it's on a lovely Victorian street. It's a three-bedroomed mid-terrace.

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It's got a guide price of only 170,000 to 180,000. It's here. Let's have a look around.

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I'm aware this property has been let as bedsits. And it was owned by a housing trust for 15 years.

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But as soon as you walk in, that's exactly what it feels like.

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More like an office than a home.

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Through here into the reception room, it's a nice size but utterly characterless.

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You've got woodchip wallpaper, cheap carpets.

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The fireplace has been boarded up. I wonder if it's still inside or it's been sold on?

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Got lovely high ceilings. Original sashes and that is great to see.

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But it just feels to me this house has been smothered by practicality.

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Firstly, I would rip all this out and just give it back a bit of soul.

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# I'm a soul man

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# I'm a soul man... #

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In the hall, there are some features that have survived - beautiful spindles and some lovely cornicing.

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The second reception room has been stripped back to its bare bones.

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There's also a lurid but useful downstairs loo. And then there's the kitchen.

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The kitchen is at the rear of the property. It's HUGE!

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It's larger than the back garden. But it just feels like a shell.

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Maybe that's not such a bad thing. You've got central heating. It's all been well maintained.

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You've got here what they call in the trade a blank canvas.

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# You can do anything you want to do

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# It's not wrong What I sing is true

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# You can do anything you want to do

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# Do what you want to... #

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Upstairs, there are three good-sized bedrooms and bathroom which doesn't look bad.

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There's a separate loo. But you could knock down the wall and make a useful family bathroom.

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With a lick of paint, it's certainly a canvas that could be turned into a masterpiece,

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all for a guide price of 170,000 to 180,000.

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I've been working out how much you could end up spending here

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to bring this house back to its former glory. Straight away, I'd get rid of these horrible fire doors.

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Reclaimed Victorian panel doors will set you back at least 100 quid each.

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And with ten doors in this house, that's a tidy grand.

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You'd certainly want at least one, nice big fireplace in keeping with the period of the house.

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That could cost you around £800 cheapest. I'd also look to get some nice cornicing re-instated.

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And plaster moulding, you're looking at over £7 per metre for that.

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So there's several thousand quid gone and I've not even started on the kitchen and the bathroom.

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You can do all of this on a budget by being clever and shopping around.

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But once you get started, it can be very hard to stop.

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# Can't stop Addicted to the shindig

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# Chop top, he says "I'm gonna win big"

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# Choose not a life of imitation

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# Distant cousin to the reservation... #

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Budgets like this have a habit of sucking you in, plus the contents of your wallet at the same time.

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To see if it's worth that, I asked a local estate agent to have a look.

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There's some work that needs doing in the property.

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The bathrooms could be... It'd be nice to put a new bathroom in, to decorate the property throughout.

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Original doors, if you're able to source those. Maybe consider sanding and varnishing the floors

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to bring it back to its original period style.

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If renting it out, you needn't go to town on the period features or install a new kitchen and bathroom.

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A bit of general tidying would probably do.

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To rent this property as one dwelling, it should value at £1,100 to £1,200 per month.

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The guide price at auction was between 170,000 to 180,000.

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If the property were renovated, how much could it be worth?

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I think the value of this property could be worth round about 275,000 to 280,000.

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That's good. Depending on the cost of restoring this place, there's potential for profit.

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This house in Hither Green doesn't exactly shout, "Come hither!"

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But it doesn't need much work to bring it up to a liveable standard and for those with deeper pockets,

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it's a chance to restore a beautiful Victorian home. Get it for near the guide price and it's a great buy.

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Let's see who thought so at the auction.

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Mid-terrace house. Bidding on the phone. Somebody start me at £150,000?

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150, may I say? Thank you. 150 I'm bid.

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180 I'm bid now. Gentleman there with the black coat.

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87. 88. 89.

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89. 90.

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96. 97? 97. 98?

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97 on my right, first time.

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-Second time. It's going to go.

-Keep going.

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Hello, Douglas. You've been very quiet. 198. 99. 200?

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199 there on the right. First time at 199. 200 could be his limit.

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200. 201? 201. Still there.

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Nice and strong. 202. Two and three. Three and four.

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Four and five. Five and six.

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Six and seven. Seven and eight.

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Eight and nine. First time at 209...

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Second time at 209. Come on, just one more. 210. Thank you. 11, sir?

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11. 12. Just one more?

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211 against the lady here in the green. Yours once again, sir. Hanging in there.

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211 for the first time.

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Second time. Third and last time. At £211,000. Last chance.

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I think we're there. 211, your bid, sir. Well done. 211. Thank you.

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'With the help of his dad, the winning bidder was Tom.

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'He got the house for 211,000, 31 grand above the upper guide price.

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'Tom works for a PR company and he's also an actor.

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'He almost lost the property when he got stage fright at the auction!'

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My dad said to me, "Don't bid straight away. Let people get going."

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Then he said, "Going once, twice." I realised I hadn't bid anything.

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The first time I was like, "Yes." I had no idea what I was doing.

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-When you first clapped eyes on this house, what did you think?

-I was buying a flat and that fell through.

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And my mum... Because I always wanted a Victorian house, but I didn't think I could afford it.

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My mum emailed me the website link for the auction and I drove up and looked outside.

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I fell in love with it. I thought there was no way I could afford it.

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But the guide price was in my region, but I couldn't go too much further. I just couldn't believe it.

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Is the way the property market is at the moment allowed you to get more for your money?

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Yes. I got this house for the same price as the flat I was looking at, a one-bedroom flat, six months ago.

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'That's not bad. The financial downturn has done Tom a favour.

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'He's got a three-bedroom house instead of a one-bedroom flat. What more could he want?'

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I would've loved it if there'd been more original features.

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But now I see it as a challenge to try and put them back in.

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-So what sort of features are you looking at to put back?

-Skirting boards. Coving. Fireplaces.

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I'll need to get somebody to look in and see if I can put fireplaces in.

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Probably change the kitchen later on as it's fine. And get all the floorboards up, bring it all back.

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So how do you think you'll feel living in this house as it is? It's in a pretty raw state at the moment.

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I am really excited, to be honest. I don't really care about the state because it's my house.

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I feel like it's my house so I don't care.

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Also this year is the first year that I'm doing Christmas for my family, so they're all staying with me.

0:22:070:22:14

I've got Grandma, Mum and Dad and maybe my brother.

0:22:140:22:18

-They're coming to you?

-I've got four weeks to get it ready for them.

0:22:180:22:23

My grandma can't stay in here. I'll have to do something snazzy with one room.

0:22:230:22:28

'Four weeks to get a room fit enough for Grandma will take some doing!

0:22:280:22:33

'With all this work to do, I hope he's a dab hand at DIY.'

0:22:330:22:36

I think my dad's expecting a lot of phone calls. Mum gets the phone calls if I cook.

0:22:360:22:43

-I think with Dad, it's going to be, "How do I sand the whatever?"

-"And can you lend me...?"

0:22:430:22:49

In fact, he's bringing his tools today as I haven't got anything.

0:22:490:22:54

-So I rang my dad and he's brought hammers and...

-So you don't have a hammer, a screwdriver?

0:22:540:23:00

I have a screwdriver and um... What else do I have? I have a screwdriver...

0:23:000:23:05

And sanding paper for a sander that I borrowed off my dad, but I gave the sander back.

0:23:050:23:11

# If I had a hammer

0:23:110:23:13

# I'd hammer in the morning

0:23:130:23:16

# I'd hammer in the evening

0:23:160:23:19

# All over this land... #

0:23:190:23:22

'A screwdriver and some sandpaper is a start but I think he'll need to buy a few more tools.

0:23:220:23:28

'Let's hope the budget can take a hammering.'

0:23:280:23:32

I've got enough to do the living room, this room and a bathroom.

0:23:320:23:36

And I'll sand the floors myself by hand, so... Well, with a machine, not by hand.

0:23:360:23:41

-Yes, that would hurt!

-With a machine.

0:23:410:23:44

And then all the other stuff like tiling floors, tiling the kitchen and stuff,

0:23:440:23:50

that's a longer-term job, but I'd imagine 20 grand overall.

0:23:500:23:53

I'm delighted for Tom. He really loves this house. And I'm just so pleased he's going to do it justice.

0:23:530:23:59

So will we find a changed man when we return? Will Tom be a DIY disaster or a renovating revelation?

0:23:590:24:07

Find out later on in the show.

0:24:070:24:09

'Coming up - when we last saw this listed house in Wiltshire, it needed some TLC.

0:24:100:24:16

'Later on, you can see how it's been restored.

0:24:160:24:20

'In London, the new owner of this place grapples with a new enemy - woodchip.'

0:24:210:24:26

I've employing somebody to do the living room and dining room as I can't face it any more.

0:24:260:24:31

'Have those Stoke properties lived up to their buyers' high hopes?'

0:24:320:24:37

-A good income potential.

-Very good.

0:24:370:24:40

# Just the two of us We can make it if we try

0:24:420:24:47

# Just the two of us...

0:24:470:24:49

# Just the two of us... #

0:24:490:24:51

Paul and Wendy bought a lot, and I mean a lot, a shop, two flats and a workshop in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent.

0:24:510:24:58

They paid £73,000. But could they have paid less?

0:24:580:25:03

Paul looked at this property 25 years ago when he was looking at buying. And he couldn't afford it.

0:25:040:25:11

Well, they've got it now. And it looks like they've been busy.

0:25:110:25:16

-# Ain't no stopping us now

-That's right

0:25:160:25:19

# We're on the move

0:25:190:25:21

# We've got the groove... #

0:25:210:25:23

The shop and flats have undergone a complete makeover.

0:25:230:25:27

# We've got the groove

0:25:270:25:29

# Ooh ooh ooh ooh

0:25:290:25:31

# Ain't no stopping us now We're on the move

0:25:310:25:37

# On the move Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

0:25:370:25:41

# Ain't no stopping us now We've got the groove

0:25:410:25:45

# Yeah Yeah, yeah, yeah... #

0:25:460:25:50

And the outbuilding is absolutely unrecognisable.

0:25:500:25:54

# And if you're trying to make it, they only push you aside

0:25:540:25:58

# They really don't have nowhere to go... #

0:25:580:26:02

Well, this is the studio apartment.

0:26:080:26:10

The shoe box, as we call it. I'm quite pleased with it. Nice job.

0:26:100:26:15

Basically in here, we got the chimney breast out to give us more room.

0:26:150:26:21

And more and more space.

0:26:210:26:23

We had the stairs made, again to give us more space.

0:26:230:26:27

And then basically upstairs we've got the en-suite,

0:26:270:26:31

which initially we were going to put the full width of the building.

0:26:310:26:35

But we've managed to make it a bit smaller, so we get a storage area.

0:26:350:26:40

And then back down here... The kitchen's worked out well. Again, fairly compact.

0:26:400:26:45

You've got room for a small fridge-freezer in there and a washing machine.

0:26:450:26:51

It's quite modern. There's quite a good feel to it. It's turned out really well. I'm very proud of it.

0:26:510:26:57

This transformation has continued throughout the property.

0:27:000:27:05

One of the rooms we're really pleased with is this one.

0:27:100:27:13

When we purchased the property, there was lots of wood cladding, very dark, built-in cupboards.

0:27:130:27:19

We've taken all those out and injected a bit of colour.

0:27:190:27:23

And then on this side of the room, originally, there was a studded wall about here.

0:27:230:27:29

And the other side was a galley kitchen, very tight and very dark.

0:27:290:27:33

So we've taken the wall down to open the room up and fitted a new kitchen.

0:27:330:27:39

The partition wall between one of the bedrooms and a bathroom has been removed,

0:27:390:27:46

giving the bedroom a window and natural light. The downside is that the shower is also in the bedroom.

0:27:460:27:53

Sunshine and showers - a meteorologist would love it.

0:27:530:27:57

The room next door is now a small toilet area.

0:27:570:28:00

# Ain't no stopping us now

0:28:000:28:04

# We're gonna tell you, we're gonna show you

0:28:040:28:09

# Ain't no stopping us now... #

0:28:090:28:12

And the second flat has been finished in a similar style.

0:28:120:28:16

In the yard area, we built an outside toilet for the shop, there's no room in the shop,

0:28:190:28:24

out of all the reclaimed bricks and everything.

0:28:240:28:28

The yard worked out very well.

0:28:280:28:30

We've split it up into sections for each property, so they've all got storage for the bins.

0:28:300:28:36

# Just the two of us We can make it if we try

0:28:360:28:40

# Just the two of us...

0:28:400:28:43

# Just the two of us... #

0:28:430:28:46

This was a major project which not everyone could have handled.

0:28:470:28:52

It's looking good. The rooms are much lighter.

0:28:520:28:55

But I imagine they went over their original budget of 7,000 to 10,000?

0:28:550:29:00

We have gone a little over budget. It's coming in between 25,000 and 26,000 on the renovation.

0:29:000:29:06

The budget went out the window, really, with the shoe box at the back. A lot more expenditure there.

0:29:060:29:13

A lot more structural work than we expected.

0:29:130:29:16

When we first took the roof off, a lot of the timbers had gone.

0:29:160:29:21

The brickwork had all perished as the roof had been open for years.

0:29:210:29:25

So the walls had to come down so far and be re-built. Basically you could just lift the bricks off the top.

0:29:250:29:31

-There was nothing holding them together.

-I think once you start, you do get a little bit carried away.

0:29:310:29:38

But it's a good investment. That's how we look at it. We do things right.

0:29:380:29:43

-Yeah.

-And then hopefully you haven't got to go back and do anything else.

-Keeps all the maintenance down.

0:29:430:29:49

The couple have already rented out the shop to a theatrical costumier's for £120 per calendar month.

0:29:490:29:57

To check that they're on track with the other three apartments,

0:29:570:30:01

I asked two local estate agents to come and have a look.

0:30:010:30:05

They've done a really good job. I can't believe how different it is.

0:30:090:30:15

They've done quite a good job.

0:30:150:30:17

They've not skimped on the renovation costs

0:30:170:30:20

and they've used the space sensibly.

0:30:200:30:22

They've all got separate entrances. I can't believe the outbuilding is the same building.

0:30:220:30:29

He's done a really nice job on that.

0:30:290:30:31

The only negative is that there's a shower in the bedroom and it doesn't seem very private.

0:30:310:30:37

I'm not sure about having the shower in the bedroom. Bit unusual.

0:30:370:30:41

But there weren't many other places that that could go.

0:30:410:30:45

Other than problems with the shower, it all sounds very positive.

0:30:450:30:49

So will they be showered with money?

0:30:490:30:51

I would estimate the rental figures on these two flats at £300 per calendar month.

0:30:510:30:57

And on the studio flat, with its extra parking, about 325?

0:30:570:31:02

The two flats in the main building, we would rent it at around 325.

0:31:020:31:07

And we'd rent the studio flat at 295 a month.

0:31:070:31:10

Paul and Wendy bought the property for 73,000 and spent about £26,000 on the work.

0:31:100:31:18

Will they be happy with the rental figures?

0:31:180:31:21

First, the studio flat for £295 to £325 per month.

0:31:210:31:26

-Oh, I'm a bit disappointed in that one.

-We'll get more than that.

0:31:260:31:31

What about the other two flats at between £300 and £325 per month?

0:31:310:31:37

I thought the upstairs flat we might have got a little bit more for because of the higher spec.

0:31:370:31:43

-But we'll see what kind of interest we get.

-Yes.

0:31:430:31:47

So the estate agents estimate a very impressive yield of 12% to 13%, including the rental from the shop.

0:31:470:31:53

That makes it a fantastic investment even at those rates.

0:31:530:31:59

They could make a pre-tax profit of £100,000 to £155,000 if they sold the properties

0:31:590:32:05

either as a whole or individually.

0:32:050:32:08

-We'll keep it as a rental property.

-Yeah.

0:32:080:32:11

Whatever they do here, they've done a great job. And remember, they did it in only nine weeks.

0:32:110:32:18

Now, it was over two years ago that I first went to the quiet Wiltshire village of Calne,

0:32:210:32:27

where I found an opportunity to step even further back in time.

0:32:270:32:31

Up for auction is one of those properties

0:32:310:32:35

that when you see it in the auction catalogue, you go, "Yes!"

0:32:350:32:39

It's a two-bedroomed, end-terrace cottage. It's Grade 2 listed.

0:32:390:32:43

And it gets better because it's got a guide price of just £95,000.

0:32:430:32:47

Well, I know something that you don't. And that's the fact that this cottage has recently been bought

0:32:470:32:54

and was immediately thrown back into the auction.

0:32:540:32:58

That sets alarm bells ringing. What could possibly be wrong with it?

0:32:580:33:03

Doing your research is vital when considering auction properties.

0:33:030:33:08

And that means more than just reading the legal pack.

0:33:080:33:12

Issues like the property's previous sales history can be a barometer to gauge exactly what you're getting.

0:33:120:33:20

There is always a certain sense of anticipation when you open the door of a property like this.

0:33:200:33:26

What are you going to find inside? Well, actually, quite a pleasant surprise. It's got character.

0:33:260:33:32

Oh, but dear! Oh, but dear oh dear!

0:33:320:33:35

It's also got rising damp.

0:33:350:33:38

Now, properties like this... You can feel it on there.

0:33:380:33:41

It's not going to be easy to sort that out unless you get involved in some major renovation work.

0:33:410:33:48

It's probably rising from the floor, which... Yes, it's a solid floor.

0:33:480:33:52

But you could decide, "I'm going to live with that for the character of the place, so who cares?"

0:33:520:33:59

But some nice touches. Look at that.

0:33:590:34:01

Original wood built into the walls.

0:34:010:34:05

Not original gas fire built into the other side. So we'd want to get something more characterful there.

0:34:050:34:11

Not a bad-sized room. I love the flagstone floor. I don't like the fact that it's got two doors,

0:34:110:34:18

which in a small room isn't good at all. Stairs up to the bedrooms and then through to the kitchen.

0:34:180:34:25

Oh, dear!

0:34:270:34:29

Oh, dear.

0:34:290:34:31

Oh, dear. Not a lot of head room in here then.

0:34:310:34:35

What a surprise!

0:34:350:34:38

This is the kitchen. It is absolutely tiny. Not only tiny, but you know, I mean, I'm six foot,

0:34:380:34:44

and I can't even get in here.

0:34:440:34:46

So a big problem.

0:34:460:34:48

Practical things just like these units here. Look. There's a normal base unit. There's a top unit.

0:34:480:34:54

Not much working space there, really, is there?

0:34:540:34:58

So, in terms of doing something with this space, firstly, you'll need a bespoke kitchen built for you.

0:34:580:35:04

Forget all these standard units.

0:35:040:35:06

And secondly, if you're going to try and increase its head height,

0:35:060:35:10

the only thing I can see is to dig down. And that will cause all sorts of problems.

0:35:100:35:16

It's a listed building, you'll have to get involved in tanking it, talk to the neighbours to check it's OK.

0:35:160:35:22

Not good. So not an easy problem to solve.

0:35:220:35:25

These are the sort of problems that would scare off some developers.

0:35:290:35:33

They prefer an easy and speedy profit. And you won't get that with this little cottage.

0:35:330:35:39

It's going to be difficult to renovate.

0:35:390:35:42

Well, the adventure continues as you go upstairs. But um... Oh, dear. That's not good.

0:35:450:35:52

Clearly some kind of rot and also woodworm,

0:35:530:35:56

although the woodworm have actually left.

0:35:560:36:00

The thing is with a property like this, any problems like that are just not that easy to fix

0:36:000:36:06

as this wood needs to be done and put back together by a specialist.

0:36:060:36:10

So in a normal house, that would be bad. In this place, it's probably even worse. But what a surprise!

0:36:100:36:16

Up through to the main bedroom.

0:36:160:36:19

And compared to the kitchen, look at the ceiling height here. Again, all these old beams built into the wall.

0:36:190:36:25

It's got a lovely, lovely feel to it. But practically, not so sure.

0:36:250:36:29

Got a bathroom there. Second bedroom there. But the only way to access them is through those stairs.

0:36:290:36:36

So, really, not ideal. And I don't know how you get round that.

0:36:360:36:41

I've had a good look round and there's really nothing wrong with this property.

0:36:410:36:47

The roof's good. Well, it's not falling down. There's some damp and it does have a few cracks.

0:36:470:36:53

But then so would you after 400 years.

0:36:530:36:57

Well, you either hate these kind of quirky properties or you love them.

0:36:570:37:02

You're either willing to put up with the kind of work that's going to be involved in doing this place up

0:37:020:37:08

or you're not. It's got problems. The tiny kitchen with that low roof.

0:37:080:37:12

And just the amount of work you'll have to do, given that this is a Grade 2 listed building as well.

0:37:120:37:18

But have I found anything that's particularly scary about this place? No. Do I love it? Yes.

0:37:180:37:24

Who else fell in love with it when it went to auction? Let's find out.

0:37:240:37:29

Right, OK. Next one, please, is lot number 11.

0:37:290:37:31

Start me at £100,000? Someone save my breath. I'm selling lot 11.

0:37:310:37:35

There we are. 100 put me in? 100 I've got. OK, round the corner I'll go. At £100,000. 102?

0:37:350:37:41

At 102. 104. At £104,000, back right. At 104. 106 in the middle? Yes, 106.

0:37:410:37:47

8 now say? At £106,000.

0:37:470:37:50

108. Now 10 if you will? At £108,000. Pretty little cottage.

0:37:500:37:54

110 I've got. OK. 112. 114 to you, sir? 114.

0:37:540:37:58

OK. At £114,000. The bid is there. Against you at the back. 115. 116 to you, sir. 116.

0:37:580:38:04

116 on the wall for the first time.

0:38:040:38:08

Anybody else for 117? 116 then for the second time. Are you all done?

0:38:080:38:13

Third and last time. You're finished.

0:38:130:38:15

It's yours, sir. And your number is 98.

0:38:150:38:18

'The new owner is professional carpenter, Glyn. He bought the little cottage because of its age

0:38:180:38:25

'and also its name, The Pippin. But this is no pipsqueak of a project.

0:38:250:38:29

'I couldn't wait to find out what Glyn had in mind.'

0:38:290:38:33

I just... I've got a feel for old buildings.

0:38:330:38:36

During my working life, it's the old buildings that I've enjoyed working on.

0:38:360:38:42

-As an apprentice, I worked at Ashton Court in Bristol, a big stately home.

-Yes.

-That's a fascinating job.

0:38:420:38:49

'The interior is where a lot of thought is needed.

0:38:490:38:53

'For upstairs, Glyn wants to source some ancient oak to replace the bathroom's stud partition

0:38:530:38:59

'that was put up in the 1970s and build a new wall using the same methods as the rest of the cottage.

0:38:590:39:05

'He'll separate the two bedrooms without blocking off the stairway.

0:39:050:39:09

'He thinks he could split the stairs, so that each bedroom can be accessed separately.

0:39:090:39:14

'It all sounds very clever. So what about downstairs?'

0:39:140:39:18

With the kitchen, obviously,

0:39:180:39:21

I shall hand-build that. You know, get the units in proportion to the size of the room.

0:39:210:39:27

Try and make it all workable.

0:39:270:39:30

# I will try to fix you... #

0:39:300:39:34

'Glyn knows exactly what's involved with repairing this little cottage.

0:39:350:39:39

'But he has no idea of how much it will cost.

0:39:390:39:44

'But by doing the work himself, he hopes to keep the expense down.

0:39:440:39:48

'He has over 30 years' experience as a skilled carpenter, so there's not much he hasn't seen before.

0:39:480:39:54

'It's an enormous project, but one that Glyn is in no rush to complete.'

0:39:540:39:59

So what's the longer-term plan for you and this place then?

0:40:000:40:05

-I intend to live here.

-For the foreseeable future?

-For the foreseeable future, yeah.

0:40:050:40:11

As far as the work goes, it'll be like doing a custom car, a classic car.

0:40:110:40:17

It'll be putting the time in for no returns. Art for art's sake, really.

0:40:170:40:23

-That's a lovely analogy. Yeah, it's like a classic car.

-A labour of love definitely.

0:40:230:40:28

'Well, that was the spring of 2007 and when we returned three months later,

0:40:280:40:34

'Glyn's labour of love had only just started.

0:40:340:40:37

'But now, two years on, due to his patience and skilful endeavour, the job is finished.

0:40:370:40:42

'See how Glyn returned this 400-year-old cottage to its former glory later in the show.'

0:40:420:40:49

# I will try to fix you... #

0:40:490:40:52

Time to return to our properties and uncover the truth.

0:40:580:41:02

-Are they a triumph of engineering or a house of cards?

-Let's find out.

0:41:020:41:06

Actor, PR man and dog lover Tom

0:41:070:41:10

bought this three-bedroom, mid-terraced house in London for 211,000.

0:41:100:41:15

It needed a lot of work to bring it back to its former glory.

0:41:150:41:19

Tom wanted to do much of it himself but his toolkit wasn't up to much.

0:41:190:41:25

I have sanding paper for a sander I borrowed. But I gave the sander back, so I've just got the paper.

0:41:250:41:32

Well, despite that, it looks like Tom's been getting to grips with it.

0:41:340:41:38

# Work, work You know you gotta work, work

0:41:380:41:42

# I got the goods and I want you

0:41:430:41:45

# Put your boots on, baby Get to

0:41:450:41:48

# Work, work You know you gotta work, work...

0:41:480:41:52

# I tend to get what I want So are you starting to see... #

0:41:530:41:56

It must have been tough turning this bedsit into a home

0:41:560:42:01

with just a screwdriver and a piece of sandpaper. How did he do it?

0:42:010:42:05

When my dad comes, he brings his toolkit and I nick one more thing.

0:42:050:42:10

So when he takes his toolkit home, I've kept one more item. I've probably got about six things now.

0:42:100:42:16

But it's amazing what you can do without any tools. So the cupboard in the dining room that I removed,

0:42:160:42:23

I took it down with a claw hammer. So I banged the doors off and knocked it out. You don't need tools, really.

0:42:230:42:30

Probably not the best way of doing things, but the work is coming along.

0:42:300:42:35

I have plastered every room, the landing, top of the stairs, front bedroom, middle bedroom.

0:42:350:42:41

I'm plastering the living room and the dining room.

0:42:410:42:45

I've done the floorboards, I removed the pins, the carpet, lino, wood.

0:42:450:42:49

Wait a minute. Slow down. Carpet, lino, wood, I understand. But what are those pins you mentioned?

0:42:490:42:55

Staple. Um... The bane of my life.

0:42:570:43:01

And goes in with the rest.

0:43:010:43:03

I have pulled out now around 5,000 or 6,000 of these pins because there's 55 per plank.

0:43:030:43:11

There's about 25 planks per room. I've done the hallway, landing, bedroom, living room, dining room.

0:43:110:43:18

And I'm starting on the back bedroom. So by the time I've finished, it'll be around 7,000 of these.

0:43:180:43:24

The pins held the original carpet down. So has he done anything else?

0:43:240:43:29

I've knocked the bathroom wall through in the toilet through to the main bathroom.

0:43:290:43:35

I plastered all the ceilings as well and totally redid the back garden. And I'll be doing the front as well.

0:43:350:43:42

For a man with no tools, Tom's certainly been busy. And those pins aren't the only things he's tackled.

0:43:420:43:48

Woodchip is the worst creation on the planet.

0:43:480:43:52

And anyone that looks at a house that has woodchip, avoid it like the plague.

0:43:520:43:58

It took me just over a fortnight to strip the woodchip out of the main bedroom at the front.

0:43:580:44:04

And because it's an old house and the walls are a little bit crumbly,

0:44:040:44:08

as you took the woodchip off, it took half the wall with it, so I had a constant battle with woodchip.

0:44:080:44:15

It took two weeks to do that bedroom. Hallway and landing, three, maybe four weeks.

0:44:150:44:20

And I'm employing somebody to do the living room and the dining room.

0:44:200:44:24

It's been worth all that to return this house to the bare basics.

0:44:240:44:29

It gives Tom a chance to install some original features if he can track them down.

0:44:290:44:34

In terms of putting features back and things, internet, reclamation yards.

0:44:340:44:40

Which I thought would be cheap, but they're expensive. So it's a case of finding the thing that you like,

0:44:400:44:46

saving up for it and getting it. So the fireplace - saved up for that.

0:44:460:44:50

Researched on the internet, went and found it. It was kind of a reclamation fireplace centre.

0:44:500:44:57

It's worth shopping around for those period features as prices vary wildly.

0:44:570:45:02

My original budget was probably 15 to 20 in my head. I think it's going to work out a lot more in the end.

0:45:020:45:08

But then I've probably spent about 7,000 so far.

0:45:080:45:14

So I've kind of done the basics for seven. But the kitchen will obviously take sort of five or six.

0:45:140:45:20

The bathroom's going to take two. I reckon it's going to be at least 30 grand.

0:45:200:45:26

The house originally cost Tom 211,000.

0:45:260:45:29

And he's spent 7,000 so far. He's saving money by doing most of the work himself and borrowing tools.

0:45:290:45:36

To see if he's going in the right direction,

0:45:360:45:39

I asked two local estate agents for their opinions.

0:45:390:45:43

Well, it looks like the vendor's kept the original features.

0:45:430:45:48

He's made the place much more open.

0:45:480:45:51

He seems to have done a nice job.

0:45:510:45:54

I think the changes that have been made so far are really positive.

0:45:540:45:58

Making the bathroom bigger will make the property much more modern

0:45:580:46:02

and appeal to a wider spectrum of buyers.

0:46:020:46:05

If Tom carries on the way he's going with the renovation,

0:46:060:46:10

will an attractive period building bring in an attractive rent?

0:46:100:46:15

I think this property should rent for around £1,200 per calendar month.

0:46:150:46:20

The rental for this property would be in the region of 1,200 per month.

0:46:200:46:24

That's pretty good.

0:46:240:46:26

That's pretty good.

0:46:260:46:28

I'm glad he's pleased. He's doing a grand job. Hopefully that will be reflected in the market value.

0:46:280:46:34

I think he's going along the right lines in terms of ways of decorating and improving the property.

0:46:340:46:40

I think we're working around about 325,000.

0:46:400:46:44

If this property was renovated to a high specification, they could achieve somewhere in the early 300s.

0:46:440:46:50

I'd recommend an asking price of 310,000.

0:46:500:46:53

310 and 325? That's brilliant.

0:46:530:46:57

I'm well chuffed with that.

0:46:570:47:00

That's awesome!

0:47:000:47:02

Awesome indeed. If Tom spends all his £15,000 budget,

0:47:030:47:07

the overall outlay will be around £226,000.

0:47:070:47:11

That's potential pre-tax profit of 76,000 to 91,000, minus usual expenses.

0:47:110:47:18

Not bad for a property auction novice.

0:47:180:47:21

So, what advice can Tom pass on to those who hope to follow his lead?

0:47:210:47:27

Get a right set of pliers cos it makes all the difference to get nails out the floor.

0:47:270:47:32

-If you use normal pliers, they don't work. But if you use the curved end ones, they work.

-What a gem!

0:47:320:47:39

It was back in the spring of 2007 when I first visited a 400-year-old cottage called The Pippin

0:47:460:47:53

in the village of Calne in Wiltshire.

0:47:530:47:55

Although some might say it was looking pretty good for its age,

0:47:550:48:00

time had taken its toll and it was in need of a lot of tender loving care from a skilled craftsman.

0:48:000:48:06

Step forward professional carpenter Glyn. He paid £116,000 to turn it into his new home

0:48:060:48:13

and was under no illusions about what he'd taken on.

0:48:130:48:18

-I'll put in a lot of hours.

-A labour of love.

-A labour of love definitely.

0:48:190:48:24

When we first returned three months later, Glyn had made a start

0:48:240:48:29

and was discovering all sorts of things about the cottage's history.

0:48:290:48:34

While I was doing the fireplace, I was pulling out...

0:48:350:48:39

These were very sooty. These pieces haven't really been cleaned up yet.

0:48:390:48:44

But I've got a letter, a letter to Mother from the son.

0:48:440:48:49

Um... And they're all dated 1878, 1879.

0:48:490:48:55

I've got a North Somerset and Wilts Guardian.

0:48:550:48:58

A hymn sheet and various other pieces of paper.

0:48:580:49:02

Clearly the cottage had a fascinating past. But what about its future?

0:49:020:49:08

Well, two years on and we're back.

0:49:080:49:11

And just look at it now.

0:49:120:49:15

Glyn has resurrected the old inglenook fireplace and uncovered

0:49:240:49:29

and, where necessary, replaced the oak beams.

0:49:290:49:33

The walls have been traditionally plastered with lime and horsehair

0:49:350:49:40

and painted using lime or clay paints. So this doesn't just look authentic, it is authentic.

0:49:400:49:46

And remember the tiny kitchen? Glyn hasn't only made the most of the space,

0:49:530:49:59

he's utilised all the bits and pieces he could find.

0:49:590:50:03

The kitchen, I replaced the broken flags on the floor.

0:50:030:50:08

And I replaced a couple of joists.

0:50:080:50:11

They're all oak joists now to the original sizes

0:50:110:50:15

because a couple of them were broken and collapsing.

0:50:150:50:18

And it's just a question of design, really.

0:50:180:50:22

I'm making the best use of the space.

0:50:220:50:26

I've got a drop-leaf, gate-leg table there or half of it.

0:50:260:50:31

The other half didn't get wasted.

0:50:310:50:35

I built the bathroom cabinet, the towel rail, the toilet roll holder and the light pull with that.

0:50:350:50:43

# Let's go round again

0:50:440:50:47

# Maybe we'll turn back the hands of time

0:50:470:50:52

# Let's go round again One more time... #

0:50:520:50:56

Recycling, re-using or re-working is the name of the game for Glyn.

0:50:560:51:02

The kitchen cupboards and worktops were old units he found locally and adapted to fit the space.

0:51:020:51:08

This approach continues throughout the cottage.

0:51:080:51:12

Well, the upstairs, um... I mean, this bedroom in particular,

0:51:180:51:22

I haven't done an awful lot, really, well, apart from re-plastering and painting.

0:51:220:51:29

This is the original banister, original stairs.

0:51:290:51:33

I stripped back and cleaned out the timber work.

0:51:330:51:38

This electric cupboard there was made from an old chest of drawers that was left here.

0:51:380:51:44

I hand-made the window shutters, again out of reclaimed material.

0:51:440:51:48

It's easier for me to make shutters than it is curtains.

0:51:480:51:53

This clever combination of adapting old wooden furniture

0:51:530:51:58

and restoring what was already here works brilliantly.

0:51:580:52:01

It keeps true to how the old cottage would have evolved naturally over the years.

0:52:010:52:07

Do you remember that drop-leaf table in the kitchen that Glyn cut in half?

0:52:110:52:17

Well, this bathroom - originally, it was part of the bedroom.

0:52:170:52:21

And this was the bedroom fireplace

0:52:210:52:24

that had been knocked about and blocked up.

0:52:240:52:28

I've designed and made a bath panel with access to the taps

0:52:280:52:33

and access for storage at the other end.

0:52:330:52:37

Um... Again this is recycled. This is the other half of the kitchen table.

0:52:370:52:42

The towel rail, light pull and toilet roll holder are part of that table.

0:52:420:52:47

So Glyn has brought his carpentry skills to the fore.

0:52:470:52:51

Everywhere you look, there's something he's created especially for the cottage.

0:52:510:52:56

He's made it his home, but at the same time has been sympathetic to this Grade 2 listed property.

0:52:560:53:03

It now looks much more as you'd expect for a 400-year-old cottage called The Pippin.

0:53:030:53:09

So what's it been like doing all that work?

0:53:130:53:18

Well, we agreed at the outset that it was a labour of love.

0:53:180:53:22

And it's been that, you know. An awful lot of labour.

0:53:220:53:26

But I've enjoyed it. It's been good.

0:53:260:53:28

As it is Grade 2 listed, there were certain things Glyn couldn't change.

0:53:280:53:33

Bizarrely, one of them was the 1970s' windows.

0:53:330:53:36

But for the interior, that was no great hardship for Glyn.

0:53:360:53:39

He was determined to restore it in a traditional manner, but the colour of the house was slightly different.

0:53:390:53:46

The outside of the house, it's been a problem,

0:53:460:53:51

because...well, the paint hadn't gone quite the same colour as I wanted it to.

0:53:510:53:57

The colour I had in mind was more conservative.

0:53:570:54:01

But now I see the orange compared to what I wanted and I've learned to live with that.

0:54:010:54:07

As with the uncertainty over the colour of the exterior,

0:54:080:54:13

he's also unsure what his final budget will turn out to be.

0:54:130:54:18

He thinks he's spent around £10,000 but isn't sure.

0:54:180:54:22

So does a traditional cottage cut it in the modern property market?

0:54:220:54:26

What do two local estate agents think?

0:54:260:54:29

Glyn bought The Pippin for £116,000 at auction.

0:54:340:54:38

With a budget of around £10,000 plus costs, he's probably spent around 130,000.

0:54:380:54:45

So has this labour of love blossomed into a good investment?

0:54:450:54:49

I think this property has been restored very well.

0:54:490:54:53

He's maintained all the inherent charm and expanded on that, really.

0:54:530:54:57

The cottage has been done up with a lot of care

0:54:570:55:01

and it shows right the way through.

0:55:010:55:03

He's used the plaster, which is a lime-based plaster, which gives a nice feel to it.

0:55:030:55:09

It's very cosy. And yes, I think it will be a pleasure to be in here.

0:55:090:55:14

Having bought the cottage for 116,000 and with an estimated outlay of no more than 10,000,

0:55:150:55:22

has Glyn spent around £130,000 wisely?

0:55:220:55:26

I would market this property in the region of 145 to just under 150.

0:55:260:55:32

We would be asking for this property a figure of 145,000 with a view to achieve in excess of 140,000.

0:55:320:55:39

That could see a profit of £10,000 to £15,000 for Glyn. What does he think about that?

0:55:390:55:45

That's about what I was expecting.

0:55:450:55:47

Well, a small profit but a fantastic home.

0:55:480:55:53

Glyn has put in an awful lot of work to restore the cottage. Has it turned out the way he hoped?

0:55:530:55:59

Yes, it's been good fun.

0:55:590:56:01

It's the second oldest dwelling in Calne and the most famous of modern times now as well

0:56:010:56:07

thanks to your programme, so...

0:56:070:56:10

Oh, the power of television!

0:56:100:56:13

# Fame, fame, fame, fame, fame

0:56:130:56:16

# Fame... #

0:56:160:56:18

But famous or not, there's no disguising the fact that Glyn has done a fantastic job here.

0:56:180:56:24

The cottage should be set for another 400 years at least.

0:56:240:56:28

Who knows? Perhaps we'll be back in another few centuries to see how it fares.

0:56:280:56:35

-That's it for today's show.

-Join us next time for more thrills and spills on Homes Under The Hammer.

0:56:370:56:43

-See you then.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:430:56:45

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Stoke-on-Trent with a tiny kitchen, and a block of bedsits in London. They also revisit a 400-year-old listed house in Wiltshire. All of these properties have been sold at auction; Martin and Lucy find out who bought them, and what they paid when they went under the hammer.