Episode 2 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 2

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Derby with some fire damage, a property in Cardiff in need of an update and a quarry in Wadebridge, Cornwall.


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Transcript


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Hello. Despite the property market downturn,

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auctions are still a popular place for buyers and sellers in the UK.

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That's right. Buyers track down vendors looking for quick sales.

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But given that the average auction lot takes just three minutes to sell, you've got to keep your nerve

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and your wits about you when you buy your home under the hammer.

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We all love a bargain, but none more so than those who buy at auction.

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And with a room full of prospective buyers it can get pretty tense in there.

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So let's check out the bargains that got snapped up on today's show.

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Things are really starting to heat up at this house in Derby.

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What is all this black? It looks like there's been some fire damage.

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I'll be travelling back in time to this property in Cardiff.

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A little bit stuck in the '60s, with the old wood-chip wallpaper and these funny old curtains.

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And I'll be in Wadebridge, Cornwall,

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trying to dig up some ideas for this old quarry.

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What could you do with this apart from having it maybe as a set for a James Bond movie?

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All these properties sold at auction.

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We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them.

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It's yours, sir. Thank you very much.

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The Amber Valley in Derbyshire.

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Gorgeous it is, too.

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I'm on the outskirts of Westhouses, that's where the property that went up for auction is located.

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An ex-miner's cottage, so that sounds very appealing.

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'In fact, the whole area around here is an ex-mining community.

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'A lot of the properties date from the 1800s, and are old miner's cottages.

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'So, with that history in mind, let's see what I can dig up today.'

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# Workin' in a coalmine Goin' down, down, down... #

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As miner's cottages go, this sounds pretty good.

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It's three-bedroomed, end of terrace.

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I like that, especially...

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when you've got views like that right by the side of it.

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But I haven't told you the best bit yet.

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The guide price was just 32,000 quid.

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'Yes, you heard me right.

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'A three-bedroomed house for a guide price of just 32 grand.

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'But that lovely red brick exterior hides a possible reason

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'why that's such a relatively low price.'

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# Fire

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# I'll take you to burn... #

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So, for that kind of money, your expectations are set fairly low.

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But - you will be surprised, cos straight in here, not a bad-sized sitting room.

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The first thing I see is, what's all this black?

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It looks like there's been some fire damage.

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That could be why it's got such a low price. Stairs going up there.

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Before I move on to that, fire damage can cause all sorts of issues, not least the electrics,

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the floor joists and all that stuff.

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So you want to have that checked out. But it's a good-sized room.

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Through into the rear kind of sitting room area...

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Kind of strange corridor leading out to the back door,

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and this wall, which to me seems a complete waste of a wall.

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Get rid of that, increase the size of this room. It's already quite big.

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It's got things like a real fire in here, which is nice to see.

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But with that wall gone, it would be a great room.

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The one letdown, as far as I can see straight away, is this.

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The kitchen, and then onwards to the bathroom and loo.

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As you can see, in a right old state.

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But spend a bit of money, think about reconfiguring a little bit,

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and you've got yourself a really great property - for that money!

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'Many people would be put off by the amount of dust, dirt and grime,

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'and especially that smoke damage in the front rooms.

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'But I reckon most of that is superficial, caused by those open fireplaces.'

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# Sometimes you just get caught where the smoke blows... #

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'Upstairs, I discovered a lot more to get my passion ignited.'

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Upstairs, a bit of a surprise.

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Three really good-sized bedrooms.

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One there, one there and then,

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the best of all, this one. Look at the height of the ceilings.

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And just the size of the room, really nice.

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Lots of light pouring in through the windows.

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It looks like it's in a real state, but you know what?

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Yeah - the paperwork is a bit shoddy,

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but it's not going to take much to sort that out. And at least it's not wood-chip!

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'This house has really got me excited.

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'Not only has it got plenty of room, lovely views

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'and bags of potential, it's also got a tempting guide price

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'of just £32,000.'

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'But I wondered what a local property expert would make of it,

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so I asked the auctioneer who sold it.'

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This property is quite unusual,

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not in terms of its layout but in terms of what's here now.

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It's grubby, it's dirty. It needs refitting.

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So, in a sense, it's good auction material.

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If you simply renovate what's here, it actually doesn't entail a lot of expenditure.

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It doesn't look good, but a lot of it is cosmetic.

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It's got potential to it. Clearly, money does need to be spent on it.

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You can make it into a perfectly desirable small house, and you can do that at reasonable cost.

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With that potential in mind - once work has been done here,

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what could it be worth on the resale market?

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I don't think on today's market, renovated, you would put this up for sale at a price exceeding £79,950.

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That's a decent profit -

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depending, of course, on how much was spent here.

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It looks like it already has some occupants in the roof.

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So, how much would the rest of this property make if rented out?

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When renovated, I think this will have a rental value of about £450 a calendar month.

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Well, if you don't see this as an appealing proposition, then I ain't taught you nuttin'.

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It's a great little house in a good location.

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Potential for rental - well, that's brilliant.

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A bit of sorting out to do, but overall, for that guide price, an absolute winner.

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Let's see who spotted it when it went to the auction.

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Lot number 51. Where do you want to be on this, ladies and gentlemen?

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36 is bid, by the bar.

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At 36,000. 37 at the back.

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37. 38.

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39. At 39.

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40,000 with me on a proxy bid. At 40,000.

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41 is bid. At 41, puts the proxy out at 41.

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At 41. 42, 44 down the centre.

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At 44, 45.

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45,000.

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45,500.

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46 is bid. 46,500, sir?

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46,500.

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47.

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47,500? At 47,000.

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47,500. 47,500. 48?

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No.

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47,500 here. 48, a fresh bidder.

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48,500? 49?

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49. 49,500.

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50,000.

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50,000.

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And a half again. 50,500.

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51? 51...?

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It's against you at 50,500. 51.

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51,500.

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52? 52.

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52,500.

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53?

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52,500. 53 elsewhere?

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At 52,500, then - going once...

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going twice... Third time?

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Sold at 52,500, thank you.

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'That final bid of £52,500 came from Lucy.

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'Lucy's a nutritionist for a pet food company, and she bought this house with her builder husband Matt

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'to extend their property portfolio.

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'They've lived in Derby for 11 years, and have a two-year-old daughter.

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'I caught up with Lucy to find out about her renovation plans.'

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-Lucy, lovely to meet you.

-Nice to meet you.

-Congratulations.

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Before we talk about the house, I've got to say, I understand that your maiden name was Alexander?

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-Absolutely.

-So you were Lucy Alexander?

-I did. I modelled myself right on your co-presenter.

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Fantastic.

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So, have you watched the show?

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-Oh, since about day one.

-Really? Fantastic.

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-So we inspired you in some way, did we?

-Absolutely, yes.

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How was the auction?

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Nerve-racking. Oh, nerve-racking. Nail-biting.

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I've bought horses at auction. That's easy, compared to buying a house.

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I think we thought we were going to get it round about the 50 mark, but it went up a bit longer.

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So, yeah. Very terrifying.

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What do you feel about what you paid?

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We're happy. We kind of thought it would go between 50 and 55,

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judging by the other properties in the area. So, yeah, we're pleased.

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52,500's not too bad.

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'It's 20 grand over the guide price, though.

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'But, in my opinion, still a great buy at that price.

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'However, remember it will need a lot spent on the renovation -

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'particularly to sort out that smoke damage.'

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What's been damaged, as far as you're aware? Are you concerned?

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We're not particularly concerned.

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The chap who we bought the house from had actually started to repair

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the house, so we know it's in quite good order.

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It's just unfortunate that the redecoration needs to occur in the front half of the house.

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-It had already started in the back.

-Right.

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So things like the electrics, were they sorted out?

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-Yeah, that's all been done.

-OK.

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We're fairly confident.

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But you never know what you're going to find until you start these things.

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We're not novices, we've done it before.

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-How many times have you done it before?

-Only once.

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Cos you're talking like you are

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Miss Property Developer, really!

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It's all a facade.

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Thought you were going to say, "Oh, this is our 50th."

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This is the second. But we're hoping it's a string of many.

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'This may be only Lucy and husband Matt's second property in their portfolio,

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'but they sound confident about the plans for the renovation work here.'

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Well, I think to start with we're going to get the new doors and windows ordered.

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We're going to get this wall out here. Get the gas connected.

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Then we're going to have a serious look and see what the roof's like, cos it's not in a great condition.

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And order a kitchen and bathroom and then just...go at it, I think.

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-That's the idea.

-So what kind of budget have you got set aside?

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Well, we reckon 10 to 15's quite safe.

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We're hoping 10, but obviously 15 gives you a bit of contingency.

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And a timescale for the work?

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We hope to have it rented out within,

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probably being realistic, about five to six months.

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'But that budget and timescale could have been massively affected

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'if the property had turned out to be even more damaged than it first looked.

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'It didn't help that they hadn't even seen inside the property before they bought it.'

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Well, we hadn't actually looked inside this house before we bought it.

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-Why?

-We did read the legal pack.

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-Well...

-But we hadn't looked in because it just happened to catch my eye at work

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and we didn't have time before the auction.

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So we'd looked at the outside, and we'd spoken to the neighbours.

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It was actually a pleasant surprise when we realised how big it was.

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-So, who's going to do the work?

-Well, not me, obviously! That's a husband's job.

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No, it'll be a team effort. But it'll be weekend working, really, because we both work full time.

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Right. But you're not going to get contractors in, it's you and your husband?

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-No, it's me and my husband and potentially some family members roped in as and when.

-Right.

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Well, listen, lovely to meet you, Lucy. Good luck with it.

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-We'll see how you get on.

-Thank you very much.

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So, Lucy's namesake, before she was married, well on her way

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to becoming a successful property developer just like OUR Lucy.

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A few hurdles in the way with this one, though.

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I'm particularly worried about that roof.

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Once you start digging into those tiles,

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all manner of problems might be unearthed.

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How is she going to get on? You can find out later in the show.

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This is the River Taff in Cardiff.

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OK, so it's not the most picturesque stretch of the river, but it's getting better.

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Besides, everybody loves a river view.

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And who can argue with only a five-minute walk to the city centre?

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'This area of Cardiff is known as Grangetown,

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'and it sits downstream from the Millennium Stadium.

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'It's had a bad image over the years,

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'but it now attracts young professionals,

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'as it's so close to town and the fast-redeveloping riverside.'

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# I love sitting down by the riverside

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# Watching the water go flowing by... #

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So, steps from the water is the property I'm here to see.

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No river views, but it sounds like quite a stunner.

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It's described in the catalogue as a spacious, stone-built house with character.

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And so it is.

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Wow! It's got six bedrooms and a guide of only 175,000 grand.

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I can't wait to explore.

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'It's a grand old wedding cake of a building,

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'iced with gothic Victorian details, with vast proportions.

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'Quite something from the outside, but will the inside be as sweet?'

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Now, I know that somebody lived in this house for 30 years,

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so I'm expecting dated.

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But, you know, sometimes with that you get a house that's untouched.

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And by the looks of things, it hasn't been touched.

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I mean, look at that beautiful cornicing up there.

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Oh, and look!

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Now that is amazing!

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You know, I'd say that there are Minton tiles all the way down this hallway.

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It's absolutely beautiful, although somebody has just sploshed a load of old white paint everywhere.

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Now, look at this. The banister, going upstairs.

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This newel post is taller than me.

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That's a really lovely thing to see.

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So far, some gorgeous features.

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Let's have a look around in the lounge.

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'OK, so the decor hasn't been updated here

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in a good 30-odd years, I'd say.

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'But the space in these reception rooms is huge,

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'and those grand bay windows really make the place bright.

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'But I would update this '60s fireplace in here.

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'And that goes for the one in the living room

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'on the other side of the house, too.

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'Through that serving hatch is a disappointing kitchen

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'in desperate need of a livening-up.

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'As is the ground floor bathroom just down the corridor.

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'I'm not sure if that suite is called pea green or avocado -

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'but either way, it's really got to go.'

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So let's have a look up here on the first floor.

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We've got a separate toilet and a bathroom on this sort of half-landing.

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And up these stairs, four really, really good-sized bedrooms.

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Now, you can see it's a little bit stuck in the '60s

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with the old wood-chip wallpaper and these funny old curtains.

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'Up here, there are even more of those '60s fireplaces.

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'But they aren't the only source of heat,

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'as there's central heating throughout.

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'So, one less job to tackle.

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'Upstairs on the third floor there are two generous double bedrooms.

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'However, the old gas lamps suggest there may be more work to do

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'under the plaster and wood-chip to update the pipes.

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'This could be an amazing family house,

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'but you'd need a family the size of the Von Trapps to fill it.

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'I'm not sure it would give as good a return if just kept as one unit.'

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You know, it's a massive house, in an area that families don't necessarily favour.

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So how about turning it into individual letting rooms?

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It would then become a house of multiple occupancy, or HMO,

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so you would have regulations to adhere to.

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But you already have two good-sized bathrooms,

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and I think the rental returns could make it really worth your while.

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'And if the buyer wanted an even larger project,

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'around the back there's a whole yard of extra room.'

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So, out the back you've not got so much a rear garden as a collection of garages -

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but also the beginnings of an idea.

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Just look at the size of next door's extension. It's huge!

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I think the real potential here lies in extending the space

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and splitting this house into separate flats.

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Now, property conversions can be expensive and they can be tricky to plan.

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But I reckon you could get as many as five units here with an extension that size.

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And, of course, the fact this is an end-of-terrace,

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with bags of options for separate access,

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means that this house has made your job much, much simpler. I like it.

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# That's how you like it, huh That's how you like it, huh... #

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'If you think I've written off this house as a single unit, well, you'd be right.

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'But what does a local property expert think?

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'I asked one along to hear what he thinks the options are here.'

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It's a grand old house, it's got lovely features. It's tired.

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Obviously in the past it's been occupied as one family unit.

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Any prospective buyer of this property has got two main options.

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Firstly, to consider the prospect of renovating it to a family home.

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But unfortunately, I don't think the resale value would be there.

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The greater prospect, and thus where the real capital return will arise, is if it's converted into flats.

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'In fact, he doesn't think that even after renovation

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'it would sell for much more than its guide price of 175,000.

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'So, what could it make if each room were rented out individually?'

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I'd predict that the rental market, let's say for room let, would be £250 per room, per calendar month.

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For flats, two beds would equate to about £550 per month.

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A one bed, at £450 per month.

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So, there's excellent potential rental income.

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Once a grand home for a family, this house no longer suits its surroundings.

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Its days as one dwelling must surely be over.

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Time to split it up, and move in those young professionals.

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Whoever does that could see a tidy profit.

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Let's see who spotted it at the auction.

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Lot number 11, what am I bid for this one? Can't I see £170,000?

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All right, there's 160. It's a start, sir, but it's not enough.

0:18:440:18:48

160. Is that 70? Thank you, madam.

0:18:480:18:51

At 170 I'm bid.

0:18:510:18:53

All right, 2. Thank you, fresh bidder, 172.

0:18:530:18:56

At 172...and 5, if you like now?

0:18:560:18:59

At £172,000... 5, can I?

0:18:590:19:03

Shout if I'm missing you.

0:19:030:19:05

5, thank you, sir. At 175.

0:19:050:19:08

At 175,000 there with the catalogue, right in the back.

0:19:080:19:12

At 175,000 is your bid.

0:19:120:19:15

Are you coming back in as well, sir?

0:19:150:19:17

I really thought there'd have been a lot of hands.

0:19:170:19:19

Can't I see another one?

0:19:190:19:21

The bid is in the back, at £175,000.

0:19:210:19:25

Have you done? Is it another one?

0:19:250:19:27

At £175,000...

0:19:270:19:31

It's yours, sir. Thank you very much.

0:19:310:19:33

'That successful bid of £175,000 was from Cardiff man Will.

0:19:330:19:38

'He works in the building trade,

0:19:390:19:40

'and already manages four other properties alongside his brother.

0:19:400:19:44

'In fact, we featured Will on the show before, when he bought his first property.

0:19:440:19:49

'We caught up with him back at this house to hear about the plans for his latest venture.'

0:19:490:19:55

# So have a nice day... #

0:19:560:19:59

Will, congratulations. It wasn't hard to spot you at the auction with your superhero T-shirt.

0:19:590:20:04

That's me, yeah.

0:20:040:20:05

-Are you pleased with your purchase?

-Very pleased. It's a nice big house.

0:20:050:20:09

-You jumped in with that price right at the end.

-It was only one bid.

0:20:090:20:12

That's all it took. And I was keen to get in at the 175, that was my idea.

0:20:120:20:17

After that you've got the stamp duty, the psychological threshold.

0:20:170:20:20

-How much more would you have gone?

-I had in my head a figure of 181.

0:20:200:20:24

-That was my top.

-Whoa.

-So there was a bit more movement in me,

0:20:240:20:27

but I was very pleased to have it at the 175.

0:20:270:20:30

Although the auctioneer was very keen to get some extra bids out,

0:20:300:20:34

he was cajoling the crowd a fair bit.

0:20:340:20:35

I was very pleased when no-one else put their hand up.

0:20:350:20:38

I know you're no newcomer to this, because Martin's met you before.

0:20:380:20:42

That's right, a couple of years ago.

0:20:420:20:44

-So you've obviously been very busy.

-I have indeed.

0:20:440:20:47

Since then, my brother and I now have four places that we rent out.

0:20:470:20:53

So, we filmed with Martin at the first one,

0:20:530:20:55

and since then we've had two more and now we have this one.

0:20:550:20:58

'And it's not just his property portfolio he's built up since the last time we saw him.'

0:20:580:21:04

Life's changed a fair bit since I last met the Homes Under The Hammer team. I have a family now.

0:21:040:21:09

-Hooray!

-The lady who was my girlfriend the last time is now my fiancee, I'm pleased to say.

0:21:090:21:15

And we have a little girl, an addition to the family.

0:21:150:21:17

-Congratulations.

-Skye Elizabeth is now 14 months old.

0:21:170:21:21

She's a handful. She's all over the place, running around

0:21:210:21:24

and starting to talk now. There's been a lot of change in life.

0:21:240:21:28

'Although Skye Elizabeth would have hours of fun playing in such a big house,

0:21:290:21:34

'Will doesn't intend to make this property their family home.'

0:21:340:21:37

So Will, what sort of ideas have you got for this property?

0:21:390:21:42

It lends itself well to being split into flats.

0:21:420:21:44

The central staircase up the middle with rooms coming off the side makes it ideal.

0:21:440:21:48

But that does take money, obviously.

0:21:480:21:50

A quicker solution would be to rent out rooms in the place, which I have done before.

0:21:500:21:55

That would bring in some money a bit quicker,

0:21:550:21:57

and perhaps we can think about possibly turning it into flats in the future.

0:21:570:22:01

Now, that's a house of multiple occupancy,

0:22:010:22:04

and you've got lots of regulations to adhere to.

0:22:040:22:06

Which sometimes can be quite difficult,

0:22:060:22:09

it can prove to be quite a tiresome job.

0:22:090:22:12

-I know there's lists and lists of regulations with certain councils.

-I've been in touch with the council.

0:22:120:22:17

They've given me a list of what they would require if was to be turned into an HMO.

0:22:170:22:22

I'm happy that I can achieve all of those standards, and make it

0:22:220:22:26

a nice place to live for a whole bunch of people.

0:22:260:22:28

'It sounds like Will really has done his homework -

0:22:290:22:32

'always vital when taking on a building like this to turn into an HMO.

0:22:320:22:36

'Will estimates the work will take between two and three months, and cost around £10,000 to £15,000.

0:22:360:22:42

'He will do most of the work, along with his own team of builders.

0:22:420:22:46

'He has a budget of around £15,000.

0:22:460:22:50

'Now, I was curious to find out how sympathetic the renovation was going to be

0:22:500:22:54

'to those lovely period features.'

0:22:540:22:56

Let's talk about the original features. You've got my favourite,

0:22:560:22:59

Minton tiles in the hallway. This beautiful cornicing...

0:22:590:23:02

-There's cornicing throughout.

-That stunning staircase.

0:23:020:23:05

-Please tell me you're keeping them.

-It's all going to go.

0:23:050:23:08

No, I'm joking. It's all going to stay.

0:23:080:23:11

Listen, you can by all means get rid of these old fireplaces,

0:23:110:23:14

but I want to see those beautiful hallway tiles intact.

0:23:140:23:17

The tiles will be staying.

0:23:170:23:18

Unfortunately, I did have a quick peek under the carpet and they do stop just around the stairs,

0:23:180:23:23

so I'm going to have some sort of transition. But I'll certainly keep what I can.

0:23:230:23:27

'Mmm - I think I made my feelings clear on that subject.

0:23:270:23:31

'But I can't wait to see what Will does with the renovation.'

0:23:310:23:34

It's so lovely to catch up with Will - his career is storming along

0:23:340:23:38

and the houses are getting bigger and bigger.

0:23:380:23:41

I think his ideas for the HMO are sound, but that budget is tight

0:23:410:23:45

and he needs to get those rooms filled quick-smart.

0:23:450:23:48

Find out how he gets on later on in the programme.

0:23:480:23:51

Coming up, I discover some potential at this old quarry in Cornwall.

0:23:530:23:58

It's already got planning permission approved - but not for a house.

0:23:580:24:02

Back at this house in Cardiff,

0:24:020:24:04

the renovation work wasn't as simple as it appeared.

0:24:040:24:08

All the roofs were leaking.

0:24:080:24:10

There was rot in some of the timbers, which have had to be replaced.

0:24:100:24:14

But first - in Derbyshire everybody's been lending a hand.

0:24:150:24:20

Amazing what a two-year-old can do with a paintbrush.

0:24:200:24:22

We're returning to Derbyshire, to this three-bedroomed ex-miner's cottage.

0:24:270:24:31

It sold at auction for £52,500,

0:24:310:24:35

and the winning bidders were husband and wife

0:24:350:24:37

and part-time property developing team Lucy and Matt.

0:24:370:24:41

It needed more than a quick vacuum and once-over with a duster,

0:24:410:24:45

but it sounded like Lucy had already been delegating responsibility.

0:24:450:24:48

-So who's going to do the work?

-Well, not me, obviously. That's a husband's job.

0:24:500:24:55

No, it'll be a team effort. But it'll be weekend working because we both work full-time.

0:24:550:24:59

Handily, Matt's day job is as a builder.

0:24:590:25:03

So, how did he get on with the work?

0:25:030:25:05

We caught up with the project seven months later.

0:25:050:25:07

Let's hope it isn't just the seasons that have changed.

0:25:070:25:11

Unfortunately, Matt couldn't make it for filming

0:25:110:25:15

so it was Lucy, a pet food nutritionist,

0:25:150:25:17

who was going to show us if they were barking up the wrong tree

0:25:170:25:21

or were they more like cats that got the cream.

0:25:210:25:24

So, since you were last here we've completely renovated it

0:25:360:25:39

top to bottom on the inside.

0:25:390:25:41

We've taken the wall out between the kitchen and the hall.

0:25:410:25:44

We've created a small utility room instead of the old kitchen.

0:25:470:25:51

We've put in a log burner, full new central heating system, rewired.

0:25:510:25:56

Carpets, the lot, really.

0:25:560:25:59

New windows as well.

0:25:590:26:00

On top of all that, they've ripped out that grimy old bathroom

0:26:000:26:05

and fitted a swish modern suite instead.

0:26:050:26:08

Baths will certainly will be more pleasant and relaxing now.

0:26:100:26:14

Lucy and Matt have a two-year-old daughter.

0:26:160:26:18

So, how has this project fitted in around family life

0:26:180:26:22

and, of course, their full-time work?

0:26:220:26:24

Juggling things to try and get work done at the weekends has been difficult.

0:26:240:26:28

But we've got a good support network of mother-in-laws

0:26:280:26:31

and things like that. So we've had childcare covered.

0:26:310:26:34

Lucy's been up helping as well.

0:26:340:26:35

It's amazing what a two-year-old can do with a paintbrush.

0:26:350:26:38

Matt has done all the work on the house himself -

0:26:380:26:41

with a little help from Lizzie, of course.

0:26:410:26:44

So, the budget for the renovation has stayed well within their target.

0:26:440:26:48

We said we reckoned between £10,000 - £15,000 spend.

0:26:480:26:52

So far we've spent 10, which we're quite pleased at.

0:26:520:26:55

But we've still got a little bit to do outside.

0:26:550:26:58

We need to do the car parking space, deck the back and guttering.

0:26:580:27:02

We've probably got maybe another £1,000 spend, maybe a little bit more.

0:27:020:27:07

But we're pleased with how the budget's gone.

0:27:070:27:09

All fine on the budget front, then.

0:27:090:27:11

But how much value have Lucy and Matt added to the property?

0:27:110:27:14

We asked along two local estate agents to tell us what they thought.

0:27:160:27:20

Our first impressions of the property,

0:27:200:27:23

they've made a good job of it. Nice, neutral colours.

0:27:230:27:25

Nice clean kitchen, all very good.

0:27:250:27:28

As a refurbishment to a 100-year-old-property,

0:27:280:27:30

this has brought it up to date nicely.

0:27:300:27:32

The downstairs layout is very good.

0:27:340:27:36

They've moved the kitchen into what was the dining room,

0:27:360:27:39

created an open space that they can also eat in, as well as prepare the food.

0:27:390:27:43

So it's made a much better, bigger kitchen.

0:27:430:27:46

You've still got a good-sized lounge, utility room and bathroom.

0:27:460:27:50

The bathroom fixtures are nice. The tiling works well.

0:27:500:27:52

The kitchen looks the part, so people coming in will appreciate it.

0:27:520:27:57

I like the fact it's located on the end.

0:27:570:27:59

You've got the open views out of the window, lovely rural views.

0:27:590:28:03

That would be my favourite point of the property.

0:28:030:28:05

So, once all the work's finished, what could they sell the place for?

0:28:050:28:10

Remember, Lucy and Matt reckon they'll spend around £11,000 on the renovation.

0:28:100:28:15

Added to their purchase price of £52,500,

0:28:150:28:18

that is a total of around £63,500 invested here.

0:28:180:28:23

Looking at sale, it's probably going to fetch somewhere between £75,000 and £80,000.

0:28:230:28:28

I would put it on the market at £75,000.

0:28:280:28:32

It seems a little bit low.

0:28:320:28:35

Obviously, with the property market the way it is,

0:28:350:28:37

it's not far off really what we'd expected.

0:28:370:28:40

That's one of the reasons why we'll rent it.

0:28:400:28:42

That's still a healthy pre-tax profit

0:28:420:28:44

of around £11,500 to £16,500 before deductions.

0:28:440:28:47

But Lucy and Matt decided to rent it out instead.

0:28:470:28:52

What could they earn from that?

0:28:520:28:54

On the rental market, I would offer it at £400 per calendar month.

0:28:540:28:58

For rental, £395 per month is what they're likely to receive.

0:28:580:29:03

I'm quite surprised at that.

0:29:030:29:05

We've had quite a few bits of interest already at £550.

0:29:050:29:09

Again, with the way the economic market is at the moment, we'll just wait and see.

0:29:090:29:13

A shrewd move in these uncertain times.

0:29:130:29:17

Once this has been rented, they'll be at auctions looking for their next project.

0:29:170:29:21

It sounds like Lucy has certainly got the property developing bug.

0:29:210:29:26

We're really pleased.

0:29:260:29:27

I think the transformation of the property is amazing.

0:29:270:29:31

We love it.

0:29:310:29:33

We hope that whoever moves in loves it too.

0:29:330:29:36

I'm in Wadebridge, five miles up the River Camel from fashionable Padstow.

0:29:490:29:56

It's a pretty little Cornish market town with,

0:29:560:29:59

we hope, some interesting property bargains.

0:29:590:30:03

Wadebridge is one of north Cornwall's main market towns

0:30:030:30:07

and is surrounded by gorgeous countryside.

0:30:070:30:10

There's lots of new property development

0:30:100:30:12

going on which is always a good sign.

0:30:120:30:14

So, although the old bridge crosses the River Camel,

0:30:140:30:19

I hope the property I've come to see won't give me the hump.

0:30:190:30:23

So, just two minutes' walk outside the town centre, will we find a bargain?

0:30:230:30:29

The price is certainly right.

0:30:290:30:30

The guide was £28,000.

0:30:300:30:34

But the project, and it's a project rather than a property, is rather unusual.

0:30:340:30:40

Wow!

0:30:460:30:48

Well, you weren't expecting that, were you?

0:30:570:31:00

Who'd have thought you'd find such a lost world behind those metal gates?

0:31:000:31:05

In case you hadn't guessed, it is an old quarry.

0:31:050:31:08

It's only small, but pretty dramatic.

0:31:080:31:12

What could you do with this, apart from having it as a set for a James Bond movie?

0:31:120:31:16

Well, you'll be interested to know that it's already got

0:31:160:31:19

planning permission approved - but not for a house.

0:31:190:31:23

The sun gets blocked out by those high cliff faces.

0:31:250:31:29

I wonder if there's any loose rubble up there.

0:31:290:31:32

I really don't think this is an ideal place for a house anyway.

0:31:320:31:36

I looked at the approved plans

0:31:380:31:41

to see what could be built here instead.

0:31:410:31:44

The plans that have been approved are for ten lock up garages.

0:31:440:31:49

Wait until you see the plans.

0:31:490:31:51

Here's the edge of the quarry here and here are the different garages.

0:31:510:31:55

You can see there's in total, six smaller ones and four larger ones.

0:31:550:31:59

Actually, very clever use of space.

0:31:590:32:02

A bit of work required cutting into the rock face here and also here.

0:32:020:32:05

But apart from that, really making the most of what space there is.

0:32:050:32:09

So, why garages? There's a real demand for them round here.

0:32:090:32:13

There's a new development up the road that could use them.

0:32:130:32:16

There's a commercial development across the way.

0:32:160:32:19

Garages will always be popular,

0:32:190:32:20

not only for people to store their cars, but as a place to put junk.

0:32:200:32:25

So, garages for storage or cars.

0:32:340:32:37

And maybe even workshops.

0:32:370:32:39

It's a great idea to be able to help this unused ground

0:32:390:32:43

turn over a new leaf and maybe even make some money in the long run.

0:32:430:32:46

But is there anything else you could do with this land that would be more fruitful?

0:32:460:32:51

So, what could you do with this place?

0:32:510:32:54

Well, maybe a house. I don't know.

0:32:540:32:57

Would it be to anyone's cup of tea living in a quarry?

0:32:570:32:59

Maybe not. How about building some kind of warehouse,

0:32:590:33:02

storage facility or something like that?

0:33:020:33:05

That is an option. But this idea of garages,

0:33:050:33:07

you know what, I think that is the right option.

0:33:070:33:10

A garages is going to cost you about £5,000 to build.

0:33:100:33:14

So you've got ten garages, that's £50,000.

0:33:140:33:16

Let's say you buy this plot for £30,000, that's £80,000.

0:33:160:33:19

I reckon around here you'll be able to rent out a garage for, what, £70 a month?

0:33:190:33:23

That's over £8,000 a year in rent.

0:33:230:33:27

That's over a 10% yield.

0:33:270:33:29

Go with garages!

0:33:290:33:31

The sums add up perfectly to me.

0:33:310:33:33

But what does a local estate agent think?

0:33:330:33:35

I asked one along to take a look.

0:33:350:33:39

To build a house would be pretty much unfeasible.

0:33:390:33:41

You're looking at banks of around 120 feet high surrounding it.

0:33:410:33:45

I can't see anybody really wanting to live underneath that.

0:33:450:33:48

To make money off this plot I would simply say to build each unit

0:33:480:33:53

and either sell them separately, not as one job lot.

0:33:530:33:56

Sell them separately in between £6,000 and £9,000

0:33:560:33:59

as a maximum price for the larger units.

0:33:590:34:02

Or, more advisably, to rent them out on a monthly basis.

0:34:020:34:05

How much could those units rent out for?

0:34:060:34:09

Remember, the plot has plans for two different-sized garages.

0:34:090:34:14

I would estimate the rental figure

0:34:140:34:16

to be within the region of about £50 to £70.

0:34:160:34:20

£50 for the smaller units, £70 for the larger ones per month.

0:34:200:34:23

At first glance, maybe not a project for everyone.

0:34:230:34:27

But, you know what, these garages

0:34:270:34:28

could surprisingly turn out it be a real money earner.

0:34:280:34:32

Big question is, who dug deep in their pockets for this old quarry?

0:34:320:34:35

Let's go to the auction.

0:34:350:34:37

So, who's going to kick us off?

0:34:390:34:42

Who's going to say 20?

0:34:420:34:43

We have 20. You're 22. You're 24.

0:34:430:34:46

24. 26. 28.

0:34:460:34:50

30,000? 30. 31, possibly? That really was your limit, OK.

0:34:500:34:55

At 30,000 on my left hand side once, then. Thank you, sir. 32.

0:34:550:34:59

33? 33. 33, I've got on my left.

0:34:590:35:04

I'll skip by you for a moment. 33.

0:35:040:35:06

34, sir? 34. 35.

0:35:060:35:09

There's a triangle of you. 36, if you like. I'll come back.

0:35:090:35:12

How about 36 there?

0:35:120:35:14

35 is on my left. 35.

0:35:140:35:16

At 35. Half. 35,500, I will in the middle.

0:35:160:35:19

At 35... 36. At 36.

0:35:190:35:24

36 on my left. 36.

0:35:240:35:26

One of two. There's 36.

0:35:260:35:28

At 36 on my left, first time.

0:35:280:35:31

At 36,500. 36,500. 36,500. 37, sir?

0:35:310:35:36

37. At 37. At 37.

0:35:360:35:39

At 37. At 37.

0:35:390:35:41

At 37. At 37.

0:35:410:35:44

Think of all the plans you had.

0:35:440:35:46

At 37 on my left once, then.

0:35:460:35:49

At 37 twice. At 37.

0:35:490:35:54

Half? He does, 37,500. 37,500.

0:35:540:35:59

38, sir? 38.

0:35:590:36:02

At 38. At 38.

0:36:020:36:05

At 38, left has it. At 38 on my left has it, first time.

0:36:050:36:08

Second time. Is there another half?

0:36:080:36:10

Otherwise 38 is going to go on my left hand side. All done?

0:36:100:36:13

Selling then at 38 and done.

0:36:130:36:17

38 and done. Thought I heard a voice, but there we go.

0:36:170:36:19

At 38 and done at that.

0:36:190:36:21

Sir, congratulations. Well done. Sorry gents, hard luck.

0:36:210:36:24

That top bid of 38,000 was made by Gerald.

0:36:240:36:29

He's a retired local farmer.

0:36:290:36:33

I caught up with him back at the quarry to hear about his plans for it.

0:36:330:36:37

Gerald, nice to meet you.

0:36:500:36:51

-And you, Martin.

-Congratulations, you bought a quarry.

0:36:510:36:54

Yes, it looks a bit like that.

0:36:540:36:56

Are you into geology, fossils and all that? Not at all.

0:36:560:36:59

I'm just a retired pig farmer that decided to take on another kind of challenge, really.

0:36:590:37:06

Wow, that's a bit of a shift of job.

0:37:060:37:09

Just a bit. Yep. Yep.

0:37:090:37:11

I thought, "Well, let's do something

0:37:110:37:13

"totally different to stop myself getting bored."

0:37:130:37:16

So, I bought a hole in the ground, really. Simple as that.

0:37:160:37:22

What was it that appealed about this hole in the ground?

0:37:220:37:24

I'd just sold a pig unit and I thought the cash in the bank is, like, 0% interest.

0:37:240:37:30

So I thought if I bought a quarry which has planning permission

0:37:300:37:34

for garages, then I could possibly let them out

0:37:340:37:38

and get ten garages in here.

0:37:380:37:40

If you buy a house, you either let the house or you don't.

0:37:400:37:43

With garages I can, you know, I spread my risk a bit more, really.

0:37:430:37:48

-I like your logic.

-Cornish logic.

-Is it?

0:37:480:37:52

That logic has come in handy for those approved plans, as well.

0:37:520:37:57

Gerald wants to reapply to the council to make the garages a little bigger.

0:37:570:38:02

This would mean more room and maybe make some more money, too.

0:38:020:38:06

But as it is surrounded by quarry walls,

0:38:060:38:09

I wondered how he was going to find that extra space.

0:38:090:38:12

Obviously, this is the gateway.

0:38:120:38:15

What I'm hoping to do is to just make these a bit wider,

0:38:150:38:19

cut back into the cliff a little more there.

0:38:190:38:22

Possibly these just a tiny bit wider that way.

0:38:220:38:25

And the same with these, really. Just to kind of...

0:38:250:38:28

-Inch them out a bit?

-Inch them out a bit

0:38:280:38:31

to give people just a bit more room each side of the car.

0:38:310:38:34

But we'd have to keep this turning area so people can drive in,

0:38:340:38:39

-back into the turning area.

-Sure.

0:38:390:38:42

It's good, though. It makes good use of the space.

0:38:420:38:45

Yeah, the architect's done well to fit it in.

0:38:450:38:47

Chipping into the quarry wall to get more space is a cracking plan.

0:38:470:38:53

But how much of a hit would the budget have to take?

0:38:530:38:56

So, what about the cost?

0:38:580:38:59

Yeah, we've kind of looked into that just roughly.

0:38:590:39:03

-The builder thought about £25,000 for the ten.

-Right.

-About £2,500 each.

0:39:030:39:07

So you're looking at about £60,000 by the time you've finished?

0:39:070:39:11

Then we've got to do the site work in the middle.

0:39:110:39:14

Another £20,000 on top.

0:39:140:39:17

So, how much for the whole thing, including buying it?

0:39:170:39:20

Yes, well, you add it up.

0:39:200:39:23

38, 48, 58, 63, 73, 83.

0:39:230:39:26

-£85,000, perhaps.

-Right.

0:39:260:39:28

Still, get them all rented out at £60 or £80 a month...

0:39:280:39:32

-Yeah, yeah.

-It's still a good return.

0:39:320:39:34

-Could come together.

-Who do you suppose will rent these garages?

0:39:340:39:38

Just up the road there's quite a big development of

0:39:380:39:41

retirement homes, a lot of cottages up the road with no garages.

0:39:410:39:47

Some of those might be looking for a garage or storage.

0:39:470:39:51

To me, if you're a retired couple in a flat,

0:39:510:39:54

the gentleman needs somewhere to go to get away from the wife, really.

0:39:540:39:58

You're laughing, but it's true.

0:39:590:40:00

You wouldn't want to be shut up with the old woman all day, would you?

0:40:000:40:04

He could come down here, he could have a tinker in his garage.

0:40:040:40:08

You're providing a social service.

0:40:080:40:11

-Precisely.

-Marriage help!

0:40:110:40:13

They'll pay me loads of money just to have a shed to go into.

0:40:130:40:16

How will you advertise that without the wife

0:40:160:40:19

going bonkers when she gets this through the letter box?

0:40:190:40:21

Or maybe she'd be happy?

0:40:210:40:23

Could be. Get rid of him.

0:40:230:40:25

That's a great plan.

0:40:250:40:26

Perhaps that Cornish logic is working overtime.

0:40:340:40:37

But Gerald does seem to have a good idea of what to do with

0:40:370:40:40

the plans and that's vital for his new property developing career.

0:40:400:40:44

But does he ever miss life on the farm?

0:40:440:40:47

No. My family, my son and daughter, weren't interested in the pigs.

0:40:470:40:52

So I said, right, sell that.

0:40:520:40:54

-So there's no SOW-er grapes?

-Oh!

0:40:540:40:57

-Sorry!

-What a tail!

0:40:570:41:00

I had to get one in there somehow.

0:41:000:41:02

Lovely to talk to you. Good luck.

0:41:020:41:04

-Thank you.

-I look forward to seeing how it turns out.

0:41:040:41:07

Yeah, we will.

0:41:070:41:08

So, a very interesting change of direction for Gerald.

0:41:100:41:14

But he's right to stick with the idea of putting garages on this plot.

0:41:140:41:18

Will it be a pig of a job or will it bring home the bacon?

0:41:180:41:24

You can find out later in the show.

0:41:240:41:26

Well, time has passed, several months in fact.

0:41:290:41:33

Have our new owners realised the hopes for their new homes?

0:41:330:41:37

Or have they had to step back and have a radical rethink?

0:41:370:41:40

It's time to go back and find out.

0:41:400:41:43

We're back in Cardiff, just a short walk down the river

0:41:460:41:49

from the Millennium Stadium at this grand old Victorian house.

0:41:490:41:55

It was in need of a brisk renovation to drag it out of the last century.

0:41:550:41:58

But, with eight great-sized rooms and a massive yard

0:41:580:42:01

out the back, this property had plenty of potential.

0:42:010:42:05

It was bought at auction for £175,000 by Will, a local property developer.

0:42:050:42:12

He was hoping to get a good return for his investment by turning it

0:42:120:42:14

into a house of multiple occupancy and renting out all eight rooms.

0:42:140:42:20

It can prove to be quite a tiresome job.

0:42:200:42:23

There's are lists of regulations with certain councils.

0:42:230:42:26

I've been in touch with the council, they've given me a list of

0:42:260:42:29

what they would require if it was to be turned into an HMO.

0:42:290:42:32

I'm happy that I can achieve all of those standards

0:42:320:42:35

and make it a nice place to live for a whole bunch of people.

0:42:350:42:38

And he's well on the way to achieving that.

0:42:380:42:42

Most of the rooms have been replastered and repainted.

0:42:420:42:46

Those old floorboards have been ripped up and replaced with new flooring.

0:42:460:42:52

Will has even installed replacement windows throughout.

0:42:520:42:57

And the whole house has been rewired.

0:42:590:43:04

There are still a few rooms that need to be finished.

0:43:040:43:08

Some look more like workshops than bedrooms at the moment.

0:43:080:43:11

It may seem like it's been a fairly straight-forward renovation,

0:43:120:43:15

a quick lick of paint here and some new carpets there,

0:43:150:43:18

but it's been a lot more complicated than that.

0:43:180:43:21

When you started going into the ceiling and roof spaces,

0:43:210:43:25

all the roofs were leaking.

0:43:250:43:27

There was rot in some of the timbers which have been replaced.

0:43:270:43:30

We had to strip it all out as there was no insulation.

0:43:300:43:33

It was freezing cold.

0:43:330:43:34

We've had to insulate it which was hard work.

0:43:340:43:37

We had to rip everything out, then re-plasterboard it and plaster it.

0:43:370:43:41

While doing that we discovered holes in the tiles,

0:43:410:43:44

problems with the felt which had to be fixed.

0:43:440:43:46

Then we've got the same problem in the bathroom.

0:43:460:43:49

When we took off the ceiling there we discovered there was water coming in.

0:43:490:43:53

But the ceiling's patched up now and the new suite is in, ready to be decorated.

0:43:530:43:58

That landing bathroom and toilet have also been transformed,

0:43:580:44:02

with a much more practical shower unit installed and stylish new fittings.

0:44:020:44:08

Although everything is plumbed in now,

0:44:080:44:10

there was yet another hidden problem in the pipeline for Will.

0:44:100:44:14

At the front of the house is a gaping hole

0:44:140:44:16

where the Water Board had to come and fit a new pipe.

0:44:160:44:19

The old one was lead and was pretty furred up.

0:44:190:44:22

We had to put a new water main in to keep the showers and hot water returning.

0:44:220:44:25

The mains pipe had to be replaced because it was lead.

0:44:250:44:29

And Will only had to pay for a new internal connecting pipe, which cost just 20 quid.

0:44:290:44:35

To meet the council's requirements for a house of multiple occupancy,

0:44:350:44:39

not only did Will have to make sure there were enough toilets,

0:44:390:44:43

basins and showers about the house,

0:44:430:44:45

he also had to install safety features such as smoke alarms and escape windows.

0:44:450:44:50

He even had to replaster all the ceilings.

0:44:500:44:53

Happily, he managed to preserve

0:44:530:44:55

as much of that lovely coving as he could.

0:44:550:44:57

There are a lot of period features in the house

0:44:570:45:00

that I was keen to keep and hang on to.

0:45:000:45:02

Things like beautiful coving going round the ceilings.

0:45:020:45:05

The beautiful coving becomes a problem

0:45:050:45:07

when you need to replaster board ceilings

0:45:070:45:09

and plaster over them to meet the HMO licensing regs.

0:45:090:45:12

So, I brought in good plasterers.

0:45:120:45:15

They know what to do.

0:45:150:45:17

They've fed the plaster in as best as they can

0:45:170:45:19

so we can keep the original coving, give it a good lick of paint.

0:45:190:45:22

It doesn't look too bad.

0:45:220:45:24

He's done a great job of retaining the original features.

0:45:240:45:28

Hang on, those lovely Minton tiles have been replaced by new tiling.

0:45:280:45:33

I'm not happy about that.

0:45:330:45:35

Once we peeled back the layers of carpet,

0:45:350:45:37

they were all cracked, all uneven, the damp was coming through.

0:45:370:45:41

I'm terribly sorry, they have had to go.

0:45:410:45:43

OK, then, I'll let you off this time.

0:45:430:45:47

Another big change has been in the kitchen which he's turned from

0:45:470:45:51

a dark and gloomy room into a modern space.

0:45:510:45:54

Welcome to my shiny new kitchen.

0:45:540:45:57

We've got to meet rules and regs in the kitchen area as well

0:45:570:46:00

to meet HMO licences purposes.

0:46:000:46:01

Certain amounts of worktop space needed.

0:46:010:46:04

Fridge freezer space. We're lucky on that front -

0:46:040:46:06

the previous owners left me one. We have a monster of an oven.

0:46:060:46:09

We have to have a certain amount of burners for a certain number of people.

0:46:090:46:13

We've even built a new wall. This was only single skin to begin with.

0:46:130:46:17

We had to do all sorts of things like that as well.

0:46:170:46:19

The one area that hasn't had any attention is out the back.

0:46:190:46:24

It's got worse. It's full of rubble from the building work.

0:46:240:46:27

But nothing a few trips to the dump won't sort out.

0:46:270:46:30

In fact, Will has got a fitting plan for the garage.

0:46:300:46:35

I've got a gymnasium in one of my houses that I used to live in.

0:46:370:46:40

I'm thinking of installing it in the garage.

0:46:400:46:42

Charging membership for the tenants

0:46:420:46:44

and perhaps they can use the gym in the garage.

0:46:440:46:46

So we've got a few ideas to bounce around.

0:46:460:46:49

A gym, what's next?

0:46:490:46:52

A sauna and a swimming pool?

0:46:520:46:55

Even with all the extra work he's had to do here,

0:46:550:46:58

he'll only be a few weeks over his three month schedule when he finishes.

0:46:580:47:02

What about the budget?

0:47:020:47:04

I had a stab at £10,000 to £15,000, just looking at it.

0:47:060:47:11

That has gone up in smoke a wee bit.

0:47:110:47:14

You can double the £10,000 and add on a couple on to that.

0:47:140:47:18

About £20,000 to £25,000 it will cost when it's all done.

0:47:180:47:22

Purely because you don't know what you've got

0:47:220:47:25

until you peel back the layers.

0:47:250:47:27

There's always problems that need fixing and that can be expensive.

0:47:270:47:31

If it does cost £25,000 for the work, on top of the £175,000 he paid

0:47:310:47:37

for it, his total spend here will be £200,000.

0:47:370:47:41

How good a return could he make here?

0:47:410:47:44

We asked a local estate agent along to give us his opinion.

0:47:460:47:49

What a transformation. It's fresh.

0:47:540:47:56

From the dull, damp airy rooms we had before, we have a freshness.

0:47:560:48:03

It's been re-rendered, rewired.

0:48:030:48:05

It feels much more homely, as it were.

0:48:050:48:09

The standard of the bathroom and kitchen fitments are very good.

0:48:090:48:12

Bearing in mind that they'll be geared to the young individual.

0:48:120:48:17

There will be wear and tear. But the quality is good, it should be durable.

0:48:170:48:20

The fact that the property has been divided into eight rooms,

0:48:200:48:24

from his point of view, provides a good rental income.

0:48:240:48:26

But I feel, long-term wise, perhaps in the next three to five years,

0:48:260:48:30

perhaps to consider a development at the back

0:48:300:48:32

and conversion into apartments.

0:48:320:48:34

But for the time being, Will is going to rent the rooms out individually.

0:48:340:48:39

How much could he charge for each?

0:48:390:48:42

In my opinion, if each room was let out per calendar month,

0:48:440:48:48

a rental of £300 to £350 could be achieved.

0:48:480:48:50

That's a bit more than I tend to charge.

0:48:500:48:54

I was thinking of charging £300 to £310.

0:48:540:48:58

To go up to £350, that would increase things.

0:48:580:49:00

Perhaps we'll have to look into it.

0:49:000:49:02

As it turns out, Will decided to stick to his £300 per room

0:49:020:49:07

to attract more potential tenants.

0:49:070:49:10

He's already managed to fill three of the eight rooms

0:49:100:49:13

and is hoping the rest will follow quickly.

0:49:130:49:15

For the moment, he's just glad to have more time to spend

0:49:150:49:19

with his daughter Skye and fiancee Scarlet.

0:49:190:49:22

I've done my best to have a work life balance, I have my little family now.

0:49:220:49:27

In a few weeks we will have slowed things down,

0:49:270:49:29

have a few days off and spend some quality time together.

0:49:290:49:32

Back in Cornwall, this old quarry was sold at auction for £38,000.

0:49:350:49:41

Gerald, a retired pig farmer, bought it with a view to investing

0:49:410:49:45

in property rather than leaving his money in the piggy bank.

0:49:450:49:49

That's a bit of a shift of job!

0:49:490:49:52

Just a bit. Yep. I thought, well, let's do something totally different

0:49:520:49:57

to stop myself getting bored.

0:49:570:49:59

So, I bought a hole in the ground really.

0:49:590:50:02

That hole in the ground had approved planning permission

0:50:020:50:06

for ten lock up garages,

0:50:060:50:08

which Gerald hoped would bring him a good rental return

0:50:080:50:11

once he'd built them, of course.

0:50:110:50:12

After nine months, it's been a great success.

0:50:130:50:18

Not only has he built all ten garages,

0:50:180:50:21

but Gerald has also opened up more opportunities for renting them

0:50:210:50:25

by making them higher spec.

0:50:250:50:27

I went back to the planners and said I'd like to

0:50:350:50:38

put up rather better than bog standard pre-cast concrete garages.

0:50:380:50:43

They said, "That's fine, but I'm afraid you have to pay another £1,005"

0:50:430:50:49

for us to consider it, which I've done.

0:50:490:50:51

Then they gave me the planning, so then we could get going on the site, really.

0:50:510:50:56

These high spec garages are made of breeze block,

0:50:570:51:01

not pre-fabricated concrete.

0:51:010:51:03

They are each slightly wider and deeper than the original plans.

0:51:030:51:08

The entrance gates and each individual garage door are electric.

0:51:080:51:14

In fact, there's even an electricity supply in each one.

0:51:140:51:18

There was also some extra work to do on the drainage outside

0:51:210:51:25

to meet the planner's requirements.

0:51:250:51:28

They wanted the water retained in the site somehow,

0:51:280:51:32

if possible, otherwise I had to go into the main drains

0:51:320:51:35

which would cost quite a bit of money.

0:51:350:51:37

So we raised the site 600ml and managed to bring

0:51:370:51:44

the rubble in and level the site up so that the drains,

0:51:440:51:48

you can see in the middle, the soak away is underneath the whole site.

0:51:480:51:53

So, the water disappears within itself, really.

0:51:530:51:56

So, any rain will be easily drained away.

0:52:000:52:02

But what if the rain fall is too heavy or, even worse, that riverbank bursts?

0:52:020:52:07

Gerald has the answer for that too.

0:52:070:52:11

This is Gerald's folly, really.

0:52:110:52:12

What happened was the council, to give the planning permission,

0:52:120:52:19

said that they wanted an escape ramp built to escape to nowhere!

0:52:190:52:26

But what is it, if the town floods,

0:52:270:52:31

people can come out of their garages

0:52:310:52:33

and walk up here to wait to be rescued.

0:52:330:52:35

So, everybody that comes here says, what is this?

0:52:350:52:40

And that's what it is. They wouldn't give us...

0:52:400:52:43

They won't sign the site off until this was up and built,

0:52:430:52:47

because everything they do in Wadebridge now,

0:52:470:52:50

they're worried about floods in perhaps 200 years time.

0:52:500:52:53

So, hopefully, my garages will still be here in 200 years time!

0:52:530:52:57

Well, better safe than sorry.

0:52:580:53:01

Even with that extra work, his build expenses have only overflowed by £1,000.

0:53:010:53:07

His build cost was £46,000.

0:53:070:53:10

So added to the £38,000 he paid at auction,

0:53:100:53:14

his total spend here has been about £84,000.

0:53:140:53:17

But how long has the project taken to complete?

0:53:170:53:21

The planning was about two and a half months.

0:53:210:53:24

Then, of course, like when I bought it,

0:53:240:53:28

by the time we got everything sorted out,

0:53:280:53:30

the building took about four and a half.

0:53:300:53:32

So, seven and a half months in total, really.

0:53:320:53:36

From start to finish.

0:53:360:53:38

Several local people said we can't believe how quick you've built them.

0:53:380:53:42

But it seemed quite a while to me when I was paying a builder, I can tell you!

0:53:420:53:46

The locals weren't just quick to spot the work going on.

0:53:460:53:49

They also inundated Gerald with inquiries,

0:53:490:53:52

some from up to 20 miles away.

0:53:520:53:55

So it didn't take long to start filling up those garages.

0:53:550:53:59

No. I was going to have a big splash,

0:53:590:54:01

I thought, in the local paper and advertise them.

0:54:010:54:04

But I put a board up on the front of the site just saying garages to rent.

0:54:040:54:08

And, amazingly, I soon had quite a list of people interested.

0:54:080:54:13

And at the moment I've got all ten let,

0:54:130:54:16

the last one is being taken tomorrow.

0:54:160:54:18

I've got a waiting list, still getting people ringing and inquiring.

0:54:180:54:22

Mostly, I don't think many will be used for cars as such.

0:54:220:54:29

I think, perhaps, less than half.

0:54:290:54:31

The others for storage.

0:54:310:54:33

I think there's a couple have got soft top cars which wanted to put them in.

0:54:330:54:38

Soft top car storage!

0:54:380:54:40

Well, with our weather in Britain,

0:54:400:54:42

I reckon that's a guaranteed year round income for Gerald!

0:54:420:54:46

With all the work complete and all the garages rented,

0:54:460:54:49

I asked along two property experts

0:54:490:54:51

to give their verdicts on Gerald's efforts.

0:54:510:54:55

The garages have been built to a good standard,

0:54:560:54:59

the electric gate is good.

0:54:590:55:00

It makes it more secure.

0:55:000:55:02

And the electric doors give it that little extra something.

0:55:020:55:06

I like what the gentleman has constructed here.

0:55:060:55:08

The development has come along well.

0:55:080:55:10

They are attractive garages, as attractive as a garage can be.

0:55:100:55:13

The specification of the garages is spot on, actually.

0:55:130:55:16

You can tell they're new. You can tell they're secure.

0:55:160:55:19

The fact that the garages do have power,

0:55:190:55:22

lighting, electric doors, it does seem like they've gone to town

0:55:220:55:26

on the actual construction and elements that they put into the property.

0:55:260:55:30

I would probably say it may be a bit overkill.

0:55:300:55:33

So what are the best options here,

0:55:330:55:35

is it better to rent the garages out or sell them?

0:55:350:55:39

The most profit, as a long-term investment, is going to be renting.

0:55:390:55:45

If you were to sell them, I would recommend selling them individually.

0:55:450:55:48

I would expect between £10,000 and £12,000 depending on the size of each garage.

0:55:480:55:52

For the foreseeable future, Gerald will be renting the garages out

0:55:520:55:57

for between £60 and £74 per calendar month,

0:55:570:56:00

depending on the size of the garage.

0:56:000:56:03

What do the experts make of those figures?

0:56:030:56:06

The rental figure I think could be achieved

0:56:060:56:09

per month per garage could be £60 to £70.

0:56:090:56:12

You're probably looking somewhere between

0:56:120:56:15

£60 and £75 per calendar month.

0:56:150:56:17

Multiply those valuations by the ten garages and you get an annual

0:56:170:56:21

rental income of between at least £6,000 and £7,500. Not bad at all.

0:56:210:56:27

It seems this project, his first as a property developer,

0:56:270:56:31

has worked out well.

0:56:310:56:32

-So, what's next for Gerald?

-A holiday next, perhaps!

0:56:320:56:36

But, no, I think if I could find a site,

0:56:360:56:39

you know, in the right place at the right price,

0:56:390:56:42

yeah, I would like to have another little go.

0:56:420:56:45

Maybe the start of something bigger.

0:56:450:56:48

I don't know.

0:56:480:56:49

So, there's a taster of what it's like to buy your home under the hammer.

0:56:540:56:58

And we'll be hot on the heels

0:56:580:57:00

of more brave auction buyers for you next time.

0:57:000:57:03

-We'll see you then. Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:57:030:57:04

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:170:57:20

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0:57:200:57:25

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Derby with some fire damage, a property in Cardiff in need of an update and a quarry in Wadebridge, Cornwall.

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.


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