Episode 21 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 21

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Buying property at auction has become increasingly popular as it can

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be a good way to get bargains and exchange contracts quickly.

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But it can be risky, especially in the current climate.

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So we're here to show you how other buyers got on and guide you through the process.

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Buying and doing up property can be very rewarding, but also fraught with problems.

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Some people take to it like a duck to water,

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others, well, like a cat to water.

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Well, which will our buyers be today,

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will they be quacking mad or purring with pleasure?

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You might feel rather confined in this ground floor flat in Wiltshire.

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Let me out!

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Remember this derelict woodland lodge in Kent?

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In 2006, you could barely see the house for the trees.

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Find out how it's been beautifully reinvented.

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It seems this plot of land in Yorkshire is proving fruitful.

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One of the perks of the job,

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delicious raspberries!

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All these properties have been sold at auction.

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We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.

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Today, I'm in Swindon, Wiltshire.

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Midway between Bristol and Reading, it's just within commuting distance of London.

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I'm here to see a property that the auction catalogue describes as,

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"A two bedroom ground floor flat in the heart of old town in need of modernisation and updating."

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It does say something which is very interesting, but I'll not tell you about that quite yet.

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Patience, our little property seeking cherubs, patience.

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I bet you can't wait, but hold your horses, this house is on Western Street, so, is it good, bad or ugly?

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I've seen my share of all three, this one falls into the "good" category.

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However, I imagine you'd have to spend more than a fistful of dollars to improve its kerb appeal.

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Here it is, 65,000 quid.

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Let's see what's in store behind the door.

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Well, straight into your lounge.

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Never ideal, as you get noise and cold coming through the front door there, but it's not a bad size.

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Laminate flooring, it doesn't look like it's been well laid, but it's OK.

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The box room there so it's all not too bad so far.

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Then you come into this area of the flat,

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it's a dark, dingy corridor, getting even darker and dinger that way.

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Bathroom and loo, no windows there, which isn't ideal.

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You can live with that. What I cannot live with is this room here.

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It's the main bedroom, it's even darker, even dingier, it's like a cell in here!

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The reason is just this tiny window.

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Let me out!

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I knew it would only be a matter of time before things started going

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wrong for this property on Western Street.

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Tiny windows, no skirting boards, dodgy electrics and the windows are mouldy.

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This place looks as though it should be on a wild western street,

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but, partner, the viewing doesn't stop there, no siree!

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Another dark, dingy corridor, this one's narrow to boot, but it leads to the kitchen.

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I mean, really not ideal at all.

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The kitchen is not a bad size but clearly the units will have to be replaced.

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I did mention an interesting thing about the property that just could redeem itself.

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It's here, it's a cellar. It's a big cellar as well.

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In the Victorian times this would have been used for storing coal, doing laundry, whatever.

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Nowadays that can be a very important addition to the flat.

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It gives you extra space, which the flat needs.

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It will need a specialist in to sort it out, it will need tanking

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and discussions with the neighbours in case there are party walls that you need their permission to touch,

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but all in all, that is the saving grace for the flat.

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I'm not sure the same can be said about this outside area, though.

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So, to check out those saving graces, I've invited a local estate agent around to have a look.

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It is very tired.

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It does offer an awful lot of potential

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and believe it will make someone a fantastic home.

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A fantastic home, but is that downstairs cellar a seller?

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The cellar, because there is no natural light it can't, in my opinion,

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be used as a an additional bedroom, but would make a great second reception room.

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Converting the cellar into a bed or reception room creates extra accommodation, which would be useful.

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The flat has a guide price of £65,000, so, would it be worth doing it up?

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When renovated, in my opinion, I believe this

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property should be on the market for in the region of £100,000.

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Not bad, that's £35,000 above the guide price.

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When you've finished you could always rent it out.

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Per calendar month, we would expect to achieve in the region of £550.

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That's good.

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That's bad.

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And, well, that's ugly.

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Well, if the dark bedroom and the narrow corridor doesn't put you off,

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that kitchen and the excuse for a garden just might.

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Still, it is in a desirable area, so I'm sure somebody fancied it when it went under the hammer.

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50 I've got, thank you very much, sir. £50,000 we're going to.

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So, £50,000, 52. 54 to you, sir, 54.

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56, 58.

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£58,000, the gentleman sat down. £58,000. 60, I'll take.

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59 if you like? Otherwise the £58,000.

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59, 59, 60, sir? 60.

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61 round the corner, 61. 62, sir?

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62, 63. 64.

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At 64, OK it's back to you sat down at £64,000.

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Against you at the back, 500 if you like.

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500, sir?

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No, at £64,000 for the first time...

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At £64,000 for the second time... At £64,000 for the third and last time.

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Dan and Katrina bought it with help from Dan's dad.

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The couple, who hope to become property developers, paid £64,000.

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£1,000 under the guide price.

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We looked around at a few places.

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We were looking for a change in lifestyle.

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We saw this one, went to the auction and went for a bit below

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our target price and thought, "great opportunity."

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You say change in lifestyle, tell me more?

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We both work for a big corporate company.

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We got the offer of redundancy.

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Redundant?

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-Yes.

-How old are you?

-I'm 28.

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I'm 28 as well.

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-A bit of a shock, was it?

-We both had the option. We thought about it.

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We thought we'd like to go travelling, take a bit of time off.

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So we pounced on the opportunity, went travelling and got back and thought, "Well..."

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Don't want to go back to the desk jobs.

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We thought something like this would be a bit more exciting.

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Wow! So a real change of lifestyle?

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Yep, completely, no more nine to five.

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# Working nine to five What a way to make a living... #

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There's a lot of work to do on this property.

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So their old nine to five jobs may seem like a breeze after the hours they'll need to put in here.

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Luckily, they spent time travelling so should be well rested now.

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So, where did you go travelling?

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-South-east Asia, China, Australia.

-Everywhere!

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-For how long?

-For five months.

-It was really fantastic.

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Incredible scenery, just such a variety of people and cultures.

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-We would definitely go back if we got the chance.

-Yes.

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-If it all goes well maybe you will?

-Yeah, that's right.

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It sounds as though they had a good time.

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Before they go globe trotting again, they will have to get to grips with property development.

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So, why this flat specifically, obviously there are other properties around here?

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Partly the price. Partly cos it has a lot of stuff we could do ourselves

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and the opportunity to make a bit of money from it.

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It has the basement, which is a bit of an opportunity, and a great location.

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Location is key to a good property purchase,

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but I hope Dan and Katrina are prepared for the amount of hard graft

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they are going to have to do here.

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# Ready, set, go!

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# Break up the pace and step on it

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# Rip up the place if you want it

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# Work, work You know you got to work, work. #

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The most important thing is to give it a lick of paint, sort the floors out.

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Give that good first impression so people walk through the door and get a great first impression.

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We're also deciding what to do with the basement.

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We thought maybe there's potential to create some space that maybe would add some value. So...

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It's a very large space.

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You know, we think that space is very important, particularly at this price range in the market.

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So if we can turn that basement into usable space it would,

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hopefully, increase the property value by quite a lot.

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Converting basements and cellars is a bit of a specialist area, isn't it, tanking and...

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-Yeah, it's something we wouldn't be able to do ourselves, we would need to get somebody in.

-Absolutely.

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Have you looked through the costing of that, it's not necessarily cheap?

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Will it add enough value to the property?

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We understand that'll be expensive, we're getting a builder in to give us an estimate.

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Right. Then make a decision on that?

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Weigh up the pros and the cons of converting it.

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Apart from that, what are you going to do, upstairs, for instance?

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We are going to put a new kitchen in. The old one is quite dated.

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We will put a newish kitchen in.

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We'll do all the painting and decorating, potentially put

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some new floors in cos these aren't the greatest floors.

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I think we'll do all of the simple stuff ourselves.

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We both own two houses in Newbury and we've done quite a lot of painting and decorating in those.

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So all of that stuff we're completely comfortable with.

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Dan might do some of the stuff in the cellar, but I'm not so keen on that.

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I've installed a kitchen and a bathroom in my flat, so I may or may not have a go at that.

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-But leave the specialist to the experts?

-Yes.

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Have you got anybody lined up to do the work?

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We've got some people coming in next week, builders, a plumber, electrician, got the works.

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Everyone is coming next week. You're going to get lots of quotes?

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-Absolutely.

-Yeah. At least three?

-At least three.

-Yeah.

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Although the couple do have some experience, they're wise to leave

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the specialist work to the specialists, it could be dangerous.

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They're going to tidy up the garden and bring it back to life with a few flowers.

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As they paid £1,000 under the guide price of £65,000, is the budget blooming too?

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We would like to spend ten to £15,000 all in.

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We'll see what happens when we start getting some estimates in.

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Is that including the cellar or not?

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That would include us cleaning it out, maybe making it look better,

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tanking it and getting it sorted out, that would be an additional cost on top of that.

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-A decision you'll make at the next stage?

-Yeah, when we get more information on the costs.

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So, you've been made redundant, how are you financing this venture?

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Primarily through a redundancy package and we're investing with my dad as well.

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So you've put a lot of your savings into this?

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-Indeed. A big risk.

-Are you nervous?

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-Yeah.

-It's a big life decision.

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I think it's natural to be nervous, so, yeah.

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But potentially a good life decision?

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We hope so. Absolutely.

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# Good life, good life, good life Good life, good life, good life. #

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With a three-month timescale they won't have much opportunity to enjoy the good life,

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but this is their first development venture, so they're keen to make it a success.

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If this goes well they're going to invest the money in another property.

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They hope that in the future their portfolio will be big enough to allow them to go travelling again.

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We wish Dan and Katrina all the best with their new venture,

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but I am a little bit concerned as to whether or not they can really turn

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the intrinsic problems with this flat around.

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One bit of advice, though, for the flat in Western Street, watch out for cowboy builders.

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Join me later in the show to see how they get on.

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We now return to an auction lot we first showed you in June, 2006.

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It was in the beautiful Kent town of Faversham

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next to a rather colourful motel.

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Wow, now this is a lovely location, look at the beautiful views

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and you are only five minutes away from Faversham town centre.

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As well as the motel, you have a gym here and a nursery.

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I think the property I'm about to see is somewhere down there.

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So, let's see what's in the woods today.

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# If you go down in the woods today You're sure of a big surprise. #

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Well, teddy bears may be a bit thin on the ground,

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but this is definitely an example of somewhere you can't see the wood for the trees.

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There's half an acre here, so you will have to be a keen gardener.

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This is an amazing woodland setting.

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Although, I have to say, it's a bit overgrown

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and you would definitely need to do a lot of landscaping,

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although I would like to keep some of these trees for the screening.

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Now, the house, well, it's pink,

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probably needs quite a lot of work

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and there's a bush growing on the roof.

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I'm going to go inside.

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The house had a guide price of between £200,000 and £220,000.

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It had lain vacant for many years and the woodland had been slowly

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reclaiming it, making it a very eco-friendly house indeed.

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Now, that's a big, old front door.

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But the inside of this property is just like the outside, a bit of a shambles.

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It really does smell damp and dank.

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It's quite dark in here.

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I think that's because of all of the bushes and trees are so overgrown outside. But it's not a bad space.

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You've got gas central heating in here, but you would just need to totally and utterly start again.

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Now this is a very long corridor with lots of little rooms going off it.

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It's really dark in there, I would call it a small single.

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It looks as if the Triffids are coming in through the window.

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Just down the corridor is the second bedroom.

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Like the rest of the rooms, it's rather boxy and needs a rethink.

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Now look at this, we've got brown carpet climbing the walls.

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I love it, but the size of this room, it's like a mini village hall.

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With a rather dilapidated conservatory-cum-terrace area added on the back,

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you can at least see the fantastic views that this site has to offer.

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Perhaps that's how you should think of this lot, as a piece of land with potential to build?

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I think this house needs to be demolished, but you must be careful how much you spend at auction.

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Essentially, you'll be buying a building plot.

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Let's see who bought it when it went over under the hammer.

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113 now is Syndale Park Lodge.

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Start me at 190, let's see where you want to start.

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190 I've got on my right hand side.

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190, I'm on the way.

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200, it's against you.

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200 it's with you.

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210, it's against you now. 210 it's against you.

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210 and 20. 220?

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And 30? 230?

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And 40 make it, 240. 250 make it?

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250, it's still worth it, keep with it. 250 I have, 260 now.

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260 and two. 262? It looks like a shake of the head.

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If we're all done at £260,000 we're going to sell it for the first time...

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£260,000 for the second...

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Are you sure you're out? £260,000 for the third and final time.

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It's yours, sir, for 260. Well done.

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And your card number, please?

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For £260,000, the new owners are David and his partner, Sally.

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David ran a fashion company in London for 20 years.

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Sally works as a university teacher.

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Although David has done some property developing before,

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he wasn't quite ready for what greeted him when he first saw Syndale Park Lodge.

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When we first saw it, the first impression was, "My goodness, what a mess,"

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but when we really looked into it we saw the roof looked good, the walls were solid.

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When we came through the property and saw the view at the other side, then we got really excited about it.

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-Sally, what was your gut feeling?

-I liked it, because when you walk into it it's like walking into a forest.

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That part of the garden, it's so overgrown and then you suddenly find a little cottage tucked away.

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So it felt quite magical, but of course coming in, it was such a mess inside, so dingy, but as David said,

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as soon as you get outside there's that gorgeous view.

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So I had mixed impressions, really.

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Now they've got it, complete with all its mixed blessings, what are they going to do with it?

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Plan A is to maybe take the roof off, keep the walls,

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take everything out and strip the whole thing and build across it.

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Still retain some of the walls.

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If that does not work then plan B is to gut it, keep the roof on and do a few extensions to it as it is

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and make it more of a small, pretty project.

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What they really want to do is Plan C, a new-build kit home made of timber.

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They could build it 60% bigger than the current footprint if they wanted.

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Inspiration for the design and the construction of the new house comes from David's travels abroad.

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From Canada we got a few ideas.

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From that, I think importing various properties that I've

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seen over there could be the way to do it, especially in cedar.

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One of the companies in Canada I approached,

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they've already done some pricing for us for delivering it,

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it comes in four containers, delivered on site with two employees to help put it up.

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What type of costings are you looking to erect a house like this?

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We're working on a budget of no more than £150,000, which sounds

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very, very low, but it looks like if we go that route it can be possible.

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That's for a complete house?

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It's a complete house but not the foundations, and not the surfaces,

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we have to do that, put the plumbing in, the wiring and so on

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and obviously the footings.

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Subject to planning permission, the proposed house will have five bedrooms and four bathrooms.

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There will be two wings, one of which is earmarked for David's father to live in.

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Sally, how will the interior of the property be, will it reflect the outside?

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The idea is that it's going to be big, but it's going to be open and light.

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We're hoping we can have some mezzanine floors so we've got more than one level.

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At the moment it's just a box, really.

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The idea is to make it more interesting and exciting and it'll be very much an open plan place.

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Very much open plan living.

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Lots of glass so you can really take in all the views?

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At the front, yes, definitely, so we can really enjoy the view.

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What a project it's been.

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After my first visit in 2006, David and Sally did get permission for their Canadian new-build.

0:20:160:20:23

The project ended up a mixture of conservation,

0:20:230:20:26

demolition and restoration all rolled into one.

0:20:260:20:30

When we first returned, ten months later,

0:20:300:20:33

a white cedar log home had been constructed, but was just an empty shell.

0:20:330:20:38

Join us later in the programme to see how the completed house looks two ½ years on.

0:20:380:20:44

It's amazing.

0:20:440:20:45

Coming up, this plot of land in Yorkshire seems to have the perfect address for appearing on our show.

0:20:460:20:52

Valuation Lane, fantastic!

0:20:520:20:56

When we last visited this woodland spot in Kent, the owners had started building their wooden lodge.

0:20:570:21:03

Two years on, we see the fabulous end result.

0:21:030:21:05

It's looked like a building site for a long time.

0:21:050:21:07

First, have this Wiltshire couple got their property sussed?

0:21:070:21:12

It's got the basement, which is a bit of an opportunity and just a great location.

0:21:120:21:16

Dan and Katrina bought this two bedroom flat in Western Street, Swindon, at auction for 64 grand.

0:21:210:21:28

They had both been working at the same company when they were offered redundancy.

0:21:280:21:33

We pounced on the opportunity.

0:21:330:21:35

Went travelling, got back and felt...

0:21:350:21:37

We don't really want to go back to the desk job, so thought something like this would a bit more exciting.

0:21:370:21:44

Let's go travelling ourselves and take a trip

0:21:440:21:47

round the house to see if giving up the nine-to-five was a good decision.

0:21:470:21:51

The small window is still there, but it's amazing how some skirting boards and new paint

0:22:050:22:11

really freshens and brightens this room up.

0:22:110:22:14

The rest of the house is looking good as well.

0:22:170:22:19

The last month's been very different, but we've enjoyed being our own bosses.

0:22:260:22:30

Yeah, doing what we want when we want.

0:22:300:22:33

We've tried to treat it like a normal job so we come in at nine and we leave at six

0:22:330:22:37

so we wouldn't get too tired of it.

0:22:370:22:38

We were a little more flexible about giving ourselves a day off here and there,

0:22:380:22:42

but in the last few weeks we've realised we need to get it finished

0:22:420:22:45

and we've been a bit stricter and put in slightly longer days.

0:22:450:22:47

-A seven-day week.

-Yeah.

0:22:470:22:50

Nobody said property developing was easy.

0:22:520:22:55

The hours can be long, the work strenuous and sometimes you have to go to places you may not want to.

0:22:550:23:01

So, this is the basement. You would hardly recognise it from how it looked before.

0:23:050:23:09

This was just full of junk. It was rotting,

0:23:090:23:13

a little bit mouldy so we had a big job in on hands to lift it all out.

0:23:130:23:16

That was the first job, it took two van loads of stuff to get it all out.

0:23:160:23:20

Then we decided we wanted a bit more ceiling height. We decided to take the bricks up.

0:23:200:23:24

We're not sure if that was a good decision, it took two tonnes of bricks up and down those stairs.

0:23:240:23:29

But, yeah, we got the builder in, he sorted the damp proofing out,

0:23:290:23:34

put these walls up, put the plaster on the ceiling and the walls.

0:23:340:23:38

He left it for us and we did the rest of the declaration.

0:23:380:23:40

Painted it, put these wall lights in, the laminate floor and skirting.

0:23:400:23:44

We're pretty pleased with it now. We think it looks pretty good.

0:23:440:23:48

A nice space, it could be used as a little den or TV room, something like that.

0:23:480:23:51

They had this basement done by professionals.

0:23:510:23:54

It's really not worth taking this on yourself, if you don't know what you're doing.

0:23:540:23:58

There is so much that can go wrong.

0:23:580:24:00

# Get down, deeper on down

0:24:000:24:02

# Down, down, deeper on down

0:24:020:24:05

# Down, down, deeper on down

0:24:050:24:07

# Get down, deeper on down... #

0:24:070:24:09

-Well, that's the down done, let's take a look upstairs.

-This is the new kitchen.

0:24:110:24:17

We completely ripped the old one out because it was in such bad condition and so old.

0:24:170:24:21

This kitchen was actually here. The previous owner had bought it but not put it in.

0:24:210:24:25

So we put that straight in and it's made the room look so much bigger and nicer.

0:24:250:24:29

We also put new tiles, new floor, new worktop, new curtains, painted the whole thing.

0:24:290:24:35

Now it just looks really nice, I think.

0:24:350:24:37

What a stroke of luck. The new kitchen came with the property and just had to be installed.

0:24:370:24:43

The bathroom didn't need upgrading at all. So,

0:24:470:24:49

along with the basement renovation, that was the three main jobs covered.

0:24:490:24:53

Let's continue our tour of the rest of the house.

0:24:530:24:58

Some of the work was done by contractors, so how did that work out for these novice property developers?

0:25:120:25:18

It worked out fine for us.

0:25:180:25:20

I don't know if that's just luck or maybe we're good at it, but

0:25:200:25:23

it worked out well.

0:25:230:25:26

It's nice being in control of your own money and making decisions.

0:25:260:25:30

I've got a problem of wanting to buy nicer things that cost more money.

0:25:300:25:33

Dan's reined me in and made me realise it's not my house,

0:25:330:25:36

so we can only spend money on things that add value.

0:25:360:25:39

It's easy to get carried away and forget

0:25:410:25:44

you're not doing your own home, but one for rental or resale.

0:25:440:25:49

We've spent approximately £12,000, including all our anticipated selling fees and mortgage fees.

0:25:490:25:55

The basement cost us £3,800, which was a lot less than we thought at first. So that was a good bonus.

0:25:550:26:01

There's still a bit to do, but their original budget was

0:26:010:26:04

between ten and 15,000, excluding the basement.

0:26:040:26:08

To get it all done for £12,000 is really impressive.

0:26:080:26:13

To check how they've done, we invited two local estate agents to have a look.

0:26:130:26:18

The first impression when you walk in, a good sized lounge, nice, bright and airy.

0:26:180:26:22

As you come through the hallway it's slightly dark but into a fairly new, nice kitchen.

0:26:220:26:28

Overall, a good size, area wise very popular around here, so not too bad at all.

0:26:280:26:34

Nice property. I like the tall ceilings.

0:26:340:26:37

I like the downstairs basement room.

0:26:370:26:40

It could be a good cinema room or a good hobby room or even a good place for somebody if they work

0:26:400:26:46

from home, they can do music, photography, or something like that.

0:26:460:26:49

I'm glad he likes the basement. Dan and Katrina paid £64,000 for this

0:26:490:26:54

property at auction and have spent £12,000 so far doing it up.

0:26:540:26:59

So, after putting in those seven days a week, what's it worth now?

0:26:590:27:03

I think somebody would be prepared to pay £100,000 for this property.

0:27:030:27:07

For resale purposes I would put a valuation of around £120,000.

0:27:070:27:11

£120,000?

0:27:110:27:13

Wow, that is really good, that's much higher than we thought.

0:27:130:27:17

That's fantastic.

0:27:170:27:19

That makes us really happy!

0:27:190:27:20

I'm not surprised they're happy.

0:27:200:27:23

Their outlay up to now has been £76,000.

0:27:230:27:27

They could make a pre-tax profit of between 24 and 44,000 quid.

0:27:270:27:32

They'd clean up if they sold it, but they could also rent it out.

0:27:320:27:37

I'd say rental figure you're looking between £525 and £550 a month.

0:27:370:27:42

I would set this to £500 per calendar month

0:27:420:27:46

for a two-bed in this area.

0:27:460:27:48

-That is good.

-That sounds about right.

-Yeah.

0:27:480:27:51

-That's good news, yeah.

-A bit higher than we expected, maybe.

0:27:510:27:56

Dan and Katrina took the risk of entering the property development world after being made redundant.

0:27:560:28:02

I think they've made a very healthy start.

0:28:020:28:04

# Let the good times roll...

0:28:040:28:07

Now that we've had the valuations, it has definitely been worthwhile.

0:28:070:28:10

-Yeah.

-It's gone to plan.

-I think it has gone to plan.

0:28:100:28:12

There has been no major issues that we didn't know about or any problems that

0:28:120:28:16

-we didn't know.

-We've learnt a tremendous amount.

-And I think it's gone really well.

0:28:160:28:20

Now we know the final figure, we can be really happy.

0:28:200:28:24

-Assuming it sells for that much.

-Yeah.

0:28:240:28:27

Boroughbridge is beside the A1(M) in North Yorkshire on the banks of the river Ure.

0:28:300:28:36

Equidistant between Edinburgh and London in the days of stagecoaches,

0:28:360:28:41

it was an important staging post.

0:28:410:28:44

The Crown alone had stabling for 100 horses.

0:28:440:28:47

In its heyday, Boroughbridge had 22 inns which served travellers who passed through by road or river.

0:28:470:28:54

The town is no longer as busy, but as it's just 30 minutes from Leeds, York and Harrogate,

0:28:540:28:58

it's popular for commuters and I'm here to see a plot of land.

0:28:580:29:03

Well, the plot is off one of the most unusual and aptly named lanes

0:29:050:29:11

I've come across in the history of Homes Under The Hammer.

0:29:110:29:14

Valuation Lane, fantastic.

0:29:140:29:16

It's hard to put a value on the lot I've come to see.

0:29:190:29:23

Yes, it's land and they don't make it any more, so, it's priceless, right?

0:29:230:29:27

Well, no, everything comes at a price and the guide for this was about £60,000.

0:29:270:29:33

So, off the lane, literally 30 seconds' walk from the centre of Boroughbridge is the plot of land.

0:29:330:29:39

It's a good size.

0:29:390:29:41

More importantly, it's got planning permission for the erection of a two to three bedroom bungalow.

0:29:410:29:46

That is very important.

0:29:460:29:48

The plot is relatively narrow and quite long, actually about 20 metres wide by 50 metres long.

0:29:510:29:56

That does throw up a few issues when it comes to placement of any building on the site,

0:29:560:30:01

but I don't think it's making the most of the space. A bungalow?

0:30:010:30:05

I'd be looking at terraces or at least semi-detached.

0:30:050:30:09

That way you are going to maximise potential and profit on the plot.

0:30:090:30:14

This is a conservation area, so, will the

0:30:140:30:18

planning authority permit a change from a bungalow to something bigger?

0:30:180:30:22

It's worth looking around to see if any precedent has been set.

0:30:220:30:27

Just down the road there's a plot with two houses being built on it.

0:30:270:30:31

Getting permission to do the same here could make this lot quite fruitful.

0:30:310:30:35

One of the perks of the job.

0:30:370:30:40

Delicious raspberries!

0:30:400:30:42

If you did buy this lot, what has the area got to offer?

0:30:420:30:47

I asked a local estate agent to find out more.

0:30:470:30:51

Boroughbridge is a popular market town.

0:30:510:30:53

It's got all the amenities you could wish for, supermarkets,

0:30:530:30:56

good local shops and close to the A1, so good transport.

0:30:560:31:00

If the new owners thought it was a bit of a waste to have

0:31:000:31:03

just one bungalow here, would it be possible to change the plans?

0:31:030:31:07

Planning permission has been difficult to obtain on the site.

0:31:070:31:11

I think the planners would be very cautious about any approach to alter the existing consent.

0:31:110:31:16

That's a bit of a thorn in the side of would-be developers with different

0:31:160:31:20

ideas for this land, but never say never, it's always worth asking.

0:31:200:31:25

If the plans can't be changed, how much could the end product be worth,

0:31:250:31:30

bearing in mind the guide price of 60,000 and around the same again to build.

0:31:300:31:35

The development is going to be for a three-bedroom chalet bungalow.

0:31:350:31:39

I think once it's completed it will attain somewhere around £200,000.

0:31:390:31:44

It should let for somewhere around £700 per calendar month.

0:31:440:31:47

Well a year or so ago this plot would have cost at least £80,000.

0:31:490:31:53

Reflecting the current market conditions, the guide price was set at £60,000. Did it still stack up?

0:31:530:31:59

Let's find out who bought it at the auction.

0:31:590:32:02

So, a building plot

0:32:090:32:11

in Boroughbridge with the benefit of planning permission,

0:32:110:32:15

plans and planning permission will be included.

0:32:150:32:18

Who'll give me £40,000 for it?

0:32:180:32:20

Can we say £40,000 for the building plot? £40,000, are we bidding?

0:32:200:32:25

At 40, I don't think I can sell it to you, but it's nice to have the bid. At £40,000 only bid.

0:32:250:32:30

At 40 and two anywhere?

0:32:300:32:32

At £40,000, are we all done?

0:32:320:32:34

Nobody here to bid. At £40,000 and two. 42, 42 now.

0:32:340:32:39

At 44, 44 now bid.

0:32:390:32:41

At 44 and six is it now?

0:32:410:32:43

At 44,000 it's for nothing.

0:32:430:32:45

At 44,000, are you sure?

0:32:450:32:47

At £44,000... Are we going to miss it? Five.

0:32:470:32:50

45, 45 and six may you now?

0:32:500:32:53

46, some competition for you.

0:32:530:32:55

46,000 bid. At 46,000 are we all done?

0:32:550:32:59

At 46, I'll take seven. 47.

0:32:590:33:02

47, 48 will you now?

0:33:020:33:03

At 48,000, are you bidding? 48.

0:33:030:33:05

At £48,000, will you show some intent, sir?

0:33:050:33:08

At £48,000...

0:33:080:33:11

50 now. At £50,000 bid, at £50,000, building plot with planning permission for a detached bungalow.

0:33:110:33:19

At £50,000 for the first time, then...

0:33:190:33:22

At £50,000 for the second, if there's no more.

0:33:220:33:25

Your bid, sir, you're happy with it, at 50.

0:33:250:33:28

Second and last time...

0:33:280:33:31

The property is sold at 50,000.

0:33:310:33:33

It was Shane who picked up the land for £50,000, £10,000 below the guide price.

0:33:330:33:40

I went to meet him at the plot on Valuation Lane.

0:33:400:33:44

Why did you want to buy the plot?

0:33:440:33:45

I looked at the local paper.

0:33:450:33:49

I saw it advertised. At the moment, in the current economic conditions, it looked a good buy.

0:33:490:33:56

Tell me a bit about you, is this something that you've done before?

0:33:560:34:00

Well, I run a building company, so.

0:34:000:34:02

So, yes!

0:34:020:34:04

How did you start out?

0:34:040:34:06

I started off as a general labourer.

0:34:060:34:09

One of my first jobs was building a bungalow, when

0:34:090:34:13

I was 16 when I first left school, for a jobbing builder, funnily, his nickname was Bungalow Bill.

0:34:130:34:20

So it's quite apt that we've got this plot to build a bungalow on.

0:34:200:34:25

Presumably this plot of land a year ago would have been a lot more than you paid for it.

0:34:260:34:31

-Definitely. I believe that they were asking well over £100,000 for the plot.

-Right.

0:34:310:34:38

The guide price at the auction was £60,000.

0:34:380:34:42

-Yes.

-Even at that price, that was a good price in the current market.

0:34:420:34:45

-Luckily, I got it a bit cheaper.

-I know.

0:34:450:34:48

It was a good price.

0:34:480:34:50

Remember, the completed new build could be worth less than it would have been a year or two ago.

0:34:500:34:56

With Shane's experience in the building trade, has he thought about putting more than one house here?

0:34:560:35:02

I do believe that the people I purchased it off who gained the planning permission

0:35:020:35:10

did try to get multiple dwellings on the site, but there was objections.

0:35:100:35:16

The local authority...

0:35:160:35:18

They've had to pay back what they were trying to get on it and ended up with the single bungalow.

0:35:180:35:25

Shane's hoping to get the planning permission changed so he can build a

0:35:250:35:29

bedroom in the loft space and put a small sunroom onto the kitchen.

0:35:290:35:34

This will increase the footprint by about 100 square feet.

0:35:340:35:38

How much do you think it'll be worth when it's finished?

0:35:380:35:41

It's difficult to say on the market conditions, but I would say at least up to £210,000.

0:35:410:35:48

210? So it's worth doing for you?

0:35:480:35:51

Those are good margins. Usually you're looking at a third.

0:35:510:35:55

Usually you buy a plot of land for a third of the value of the finished product.

0:35:550:36:01

Build for a third and make a third.

0:36:010:36:03

If all goes well, Shane would stand to make more than a third again in profit.

0:36:030:36:08

So he could be sitting pretty.

0:36:080:36:11

Did he learn these valuable tricks of the trade from his first employer,

0:36:110:36:15

Bungalow Bill, or has he always been this canny?

0:36:150:36:19

Like most builders, I was quite good with me hands at an early age and took on the usual woodwork and

0:36:190:36:25

technical drawing at secondary school.

0:36:250:36:28

My grandfather ran his own business in the village where we lived.

0:36:280:36:33

He needed some painting work doing on the exterior of the shop.

0:36:330:36:37

Instead of getting a local contractor in, I gave him a price to do the work

0:36:370:36:43

and that was my first sort of contract.

0:36:430:36:46

-Great. From your granddad?

-At 13, yeah.

0:36:460:36:48

How much was your contract for, do you remember?

0:36:480:36:50

I think it was something like £100.

0:36:500:36:52

He paid me a cheque, I didn't have a bank account at the time.

0:36:520:36:57

I had to get it counter-signed and cashed with the local butcher!

0:36:570:37:01

So, the spirit of Bungalow Bill lives on, but will Shane feel the pain of the current

0:37:030:37:08

housing market when he comes to build here? I guess he's bought it at a good price,

0:37:080:37:12

which is the main thing, but with things as they are, you never know.

0:37:120:37:17

The only way to find out is to join us later in the programme.

0:37:170:37:20

So, did thing goes swimmingly?

0:37:230:37:25

Did our buyers go in with their eyes open or tight shut?

0:37:250:37:29

There's no escape, we're coming back now, ready or not.

0:37:290:37:33

Back to Faversham in Kent and the property we first saw in 2006.

0:37:340:37:40

David and Sally had bought this bungalow for £260,000 and planned to build their dream home here.

0:37:400:37:46

The big question was whether they would salvage it or knock it down and start again?

0:37:460:37:51

When we first returned after ten months, there was a surprise waiting for us down in the woods.

0:37:530:37:58

# If you go down in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise...

0:37:580:38:04

A stunning new house - and David and Sally had got married.

0:38:040:38:09

Well, since you were last here a lot's changed. The original building

0:38:090:38:13

has disappeared, more or less, although it's still here in spirit.

0:38:130:38:17

Some of it will be incorporated into the new house.

0:38:170:38:21

The new house has

0:38:210:38:23

sprung up very, very quickly.

0:38:230:38:25

After the auction, it took seven months to alter the planning permission

0:38:250:38:30

so they could build an annex. It took only four months to get to this stage.

0:38:300:38:36

Work then started to build the cedar wood house that had been shipped in

0:38:410:38:45

four stages from Canada, complete with builders to assemble it.

0:38:450:38:50

So, what's happening here, there's a wall going to go across here, the doorway, that goes into

0:38:520:39:01

the bedroom, another wall going along here and here

0:39:010:39:06

would be the open-plan kitchen with the satellite area there.

0:39:060:39:13

Here would be the open-plan dining area, coming to this part and then the living area over there.

0:39:130:39:21

It sounded fabulous.

0:39:210:39:23

The shell had gone up and David, along with some builder friends,

0:39:230:39:26

was going to do a lot of the interior work.

0:39:260:39:29

Once finished, this would be a marvellous five-bedroom, four-bathroom dream home

0:39:290:39:34

and Sally couldn't wait to get started on the inside.

0:39:340:39:38

I'm beginning to be able to imagine it being home.

0:39:380:39:41

It's looked like a building site for a long time.

0:39:410:39:43

There were moments when it seemed impossible that we'd ever be ready to move, but now it's

0:39:430:39:49

coming together and I'm really looking forward to living in it.

0:39:490:39:54

Now, two-and-a-half years later, the place is finally finished.

0:39:540:39:59

We've been invited back to see their beautiful new home.

0:39:590:40:03

From the outside the cedar house blends in so well with the

0:40:030:40:06

countryside, that it looks as though it's been here for years.

0:40:060:40:10

And inside, the annex that required that extra planning permission is huge.

0:40:130:40:19

It has its own separate kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom, all finished to a very high standard.

0:40:220:40:29

In the main part of the house, a light open-plan

0:40:290:40:32

living area has been created, which is divided into two levels.

0:40:320:40:38

The house has a wonderful smell from the Canadian cedar that was used in its construction.

0:40:410:40:48

The kitchen is located a few steps up on a higher level.

0:40:500:40:54

Plus there's this relaxation area with a real fire overlooking the lower level.

0:40:570:41:03

The house has a total of five bedrooms.

0:41:030:41:06

Two are self contained for guests with en-suites.

0:41:060:41:09

Everywhere the fixtures and the finish are superb, including that beautiful marble in the bathrooms.

0:41:090:41:16

David and Sally have been living in the house for two years, slowly doing all the necessary work.

0:41:160:41:23

When you were here last time this was just a shell.

0:41:230:41:28

We were describing what we were going to do here.

0:41:280:41:32

Basically we said we'd put a wall here, which is now here

0:41:320:41:34

and the kitchen is all done. We're really pleased with it.

0:41:340:41:38

On that side over there, we're going to put the dining table, but we got this lovely big dining table which

0:41:380:41:45

happens to be huge, it didn't quite fit, so we changed it and put it further down, as you can see.

0:41:450:41:51

We made this area very cosy by putting a nice wood burner and a few comfortable sofas

0:41:510:41:59

so we can relax whilst doing the cooking and entertaining.

0:41:590:42:04

All the wood in the house really makes it feel cosy here.

0:42:050:42:08

It's a great place for friends and family to meet.

0:42:080:42:11

To match the Canadian cedar they laid solid

0:42:110:42:14

Canadian oak flooring throughout, but it's not all been hard graft.

0:42:140:42:19

We had a huge party here before we put the oak flooring down and so on, but once that was out of the way

0:42:190:42:26

it's been full on to get it finished.

0:42:260:42:28

The moving-in party was great fun because it's a lovely house to have a party in.

0:42:280:42:32

Just celebrating, really, that we got to the point we could live in it.

0:42:320:42:37

We started living in it, really we slept here the night

0:42:370:42:39

of the party, that was the first night that we slept in the house.

0:42:390:42:44

It was camping, basically, for the first few months.

0:42:440:42:48

It didn't matter, the thing is it gradually got better and better all the time.

0:42:480:42:53

It was a lovely experience.

0:42:530:42:56

Sally and David only recently got married.

0:42:560:42:59

The extra two bedrooms they've created on the first floor

0:42:590:43:02

are ideal when their children or friends come to visit.

0:43:020:43:05

For all David and Sally's guests this home in the country provides

0:43:110:43:15

a perfect place to chill out and relax.

0:43:150:43:17

It does feel really calm here

0:43:170:43:19

which could be down to the environmentally friendly Canadian white cedar that's all around.

0:43:190:43:24

The accommodation doesn't end there, because above the detached garage

0:43:280:43:33

there was enough space to add a studio flat as well.

0:43:330:43:37

They have created a fantastic new property, replacing that tired old bungalow that once stood here.

0:43:420:43:47

The spectacular view remains the same and the couple are keen to make the most of it.

0:43:470:43:53

When we were building the property all this was an open veranda.

0:43:560:44:00

Basically this part here up to here

0:44:000:44:05

was just the outside, so we're coming outside quite often, but because of the wind, because

0:44:050:44:11

it's south-west facing, you can see the view and so on, we decided what

0:44:110:44:15

would be a good idea is to put glass in as we have done here, with double-glazed glassing and

0:44:150:44:21

just an added little bonus to the concept of living, we spend most of our time out here.

0:44:210:44:26

It's very simple, it's simplistic.

0:44:260:44:28

It seems quite a magic place.

0:44:280:44:30

They originally paid £260,000 at auction for the bungalow, which they

0:44:300:44:35

then demolished and replaced with this wonderful new house.

0:44:350:44:39

They'd hoped that their final costs would be

0:44:390:44:42

about £525,000 for the build and to complete the interior design.

0:44:420:44:47

Well, the place is now finished, so, what about that budget, did they manage to stay on track?

0:44:470:44:55

We certainly went over budget, but we did make a conscious decision to do that because we realised that it

0:44:550:45:00

was the right thing to do with the house, it was no point cutting corners or skimping on things.

0:45:000:45:07

The whole place needed to be upmarket.

0:45:070:45:10

And it is, with marble in the bathrooms and oak flooring throughout.

0:45:100:45:15

-Any idea how much it has cost?

-I suppose

0:45:150:45:19

the actual house itself,

0:45:190:45:22

somewhere around about £200,000 for the shell and the top, but then

0:45:220:45:28

you have to do the foundations, put the electrics in, the plumbing, so you can double that

0:45:280:45:34

and even go higher, but it is considerably more than 525, I can tell you that.

0:45:340:45:40

Time to see what two local estate agents make of the house and its fabulous far-reaching views.

0:45:440:45:50

They last saw it when it had just been built.

0:45:500:45:53

So they're in for a very pleasant surprise.

0:45:530:45:56

Well, what can I say?

0:46:010:46:03

It's just, wow! It's a fantastic house, absolutely stunning.

0:46:030:46:07

I can't believe the change that's gone on since I last saw the property.

0:46:070:46:11

I couldn't have imagined when we first came along here, when it was the derelict bungalow,

0:46:110:46:16

that something as substantial and fantastic as this could have been built.

0:46:160:46:20

The property's been finished to a very high standard,

0:46:200:46:23

using all good-quality materials and the finish is exceptional.

0:46:230:46:28

I think it's the attention to detail that really stands out for me.

0:46:280:46:31

It's an imposing property anyway, but the thought put into it for the bathrooms and the light fittings,

0:46:310:46:38

the amount of light that comes into the property is sensational.

0:46:380:46:41

Well, these two experts seem sold on this family home, but will that be reflected in their valuations?

0:46:410:46:48

Remember, Dave and Sally paid £260,000 on auction day and all we know is

0:46:480:46:54

that their budget is well above 525,000,

0:46:540:46:58

taking their total spend to considerably more than £785,000.

0:46:580:47:03

If I was marketing the property at the moment, I would anticipate a figure in the region of £900,000.

0:47:030:47:10

If you put it on the market at £975,000, you should be achieving around the 950.

0:47:100:47:18

-Fantastic.

-Wow!

0:47:180:47:20

That's pretty good.

0:47:200:47:22

-Great news.

-Hmm, very good news.

0:47:220:47:26

Interestingly, two years ago, when the two estate agents first

0:47:270:47:31

saw the shell of the building, they both agreed on a figure of 750,000.

0:47:310:47:36

Now they've agreed on a much higher figure, so, how does that make David feel?

0:47:360:47:42

Well, I feel amazing.

0:47:420:47:44

There is a recession on where we are at the moment, so

0:47:440:47:48

to go up that much finished, it just shows what we've managed to achieve.

0:47:480:47:53

It's great. The value of the property must reflect on

0:47:530:47:58

a lot of the work we've put into it, the marbled bathrooms and bespoke kitchen, etc.

0:47:580:48:04

We were a bit nervous at the beginning, but putting all this in, especially the oak flooring,

0:48:040:48:09

which was above our budget, but obviously it made sense and we're very happy with it.

0:48:090:48:17

So, a dream new home for these newlyweds.

0:48:170:48:20

I sometimes wake up and think does this place really exist?

0:48:200:48:24

Are we really living in it? So it still has a magical feel to it.

0:48:240:48:28

We're still madly in love with each other, after all!

0:48:300:48:32

Yes, even after all this!

0:48:320:48:35

This mature garden plot in Valuation Lane, Boroughbridge was bought at auction for £50,000.

0:48:470:48:54

The plot's in a conservation area and came with planning consent and architect's drawings.

0:48:540:49:00

The new owner, Shane, hoped to be able to modify the planning consent slightly.

0:49:060:49:12

The footprint for the building is roughly about 850 square feet of bungalow.

0:49:120:49:20

We're going to try and amend that, slightly.

0:49:200:49:24

So, did Shane manage to get the plans changed?

0:49:240:49:27

Yes, he did. Now he's got a bungalow that's out of this world.

0:49:270:49:32

The graffitied walls have gone, a brand-new garage put in its place.

0:49:340:49:38

There's an impressive 30-foot kitchen as well as a spacious front room.

0:49:410:49:46

There are also three bedrooms, one en suite.

0:49:520:49:55

Did altering the plans hold him up at all?

0:49:550:49:58

I wanted to increase the size of the property. So what we did is dug out,

0:49:580:50:03

basically, two sets of footings, one for the original scheme and one for the scheme that I required.

0:50:030:50:10

I knew with the timings, by the time I got the concrete

0:50:100:50:12

poured and started building up to damp-proof level, hopefully we'd

0:50:120:50:16

have a decision from the planner and I knew which size building we'd be taking out of the ground.

0:50:160:50:23

Luckily enough, it was down to the wire, but that's what happened and we was passed the larger scheme.

0:50:230:50:30

So we just discontinued the footings from the original scheme

0:50:300:50:35

and concreted over them.

0:50:350:50:37

Part of the planning process stipulates, because it's in a conservation area, obviously

0:50:370:50:41

the materials have got to blend in with the area and...

0:50:410:50:45

the historical element of the town, etc.

0:50:470:50:50

So, that in mind, also minded of what I wanted the property to look like, I went out and

0:50:500:50:57

found the materials that I think would suit best to the area.

0:50:570:51:03

Brick, tile, etc, but also with stone sills and timber windows.

0:51:030:51:09

So it's a traditional effect

0:51:090:51:12

but finished to a modern standard.

0:51:120:51:14

This modern but traditional effect has been carried on throughout the property.

0:51:140:51:19

There are high skirting boards...

0:51:190:51:22

..dado rails...

0:51:240:51:26

..and the architraving.

0:51:280:51:30

Clever use of oak in the doors and some of the floors

0:51:360:51:40

has given the whole house a lovely warm feel about it.

0:51:400:51:44

Well the kitchen's the room where we benefited most from the planning permission that we received.

0:51:540:52:01

Obviously with the garden room added on to the kitchen,

0:52:030:52:08

we were able to give over a nice large kitchen/diner

0:52:080:52:13

which works very well and it's very fashionable at the moment.

0:52:130:52:17

The kitchen, we used a nice cream type unit,

0:52:170:52:22

neutral colours, in framed units

0:52:220:52:27

with an old dresser so it gives a two-tone effect and the oak

0:52:270:52:31

compliments the oak flooring and the oak internal doors that we used.

0:52:310:52:36

I'm looking at the space now, it's really worked out well for

0:52:360:52:39

the property and completed the whole project.

0:52:390:52:43

Finished it off nicely.

0:52:430:52:44

It's not just the kitchen that's been finished off beautifully.

0:52:480:52:51

The three bedrooms and two bathrooms have also been done to the same high specification.

0:52:510:52:57

And when you go outside, the high standards continue in the very private garden.

0:53:130:53:19

As you can see, we decided to fully landscape the rear of the property.

0:53:210:53:26

Decking, just to the rear of the garden room.

0:53:260:53:30

To suit the orientation of the garden, the south-facing aspect and the walled garden aspect,

0:53:300:53:38

we decided to landscape and put the flowers in and the turfing, so that

0:53:380:53:43

people could fully appreciate the final property.

0:53:430:53:47

The garden's looking great, as is the bungalow.

0:53:510:53:55

Just to make any buyer feel safe, there are electric gates and other security measures.

0:53:550:54:01

But this couldn't have been cheap.

0:54:010:54:03

Well, obviously, the budget's increased because of the increase of the property size and also

0:54:030:54:10

because of the upspeccing of it and completely finishing everything.

0:54:100:54:13

I would estimate it to be somewhere in the region of 130 to 150 on the spend.

0:54:130:54:20

The property is going to be put on the market.

0:54:200:54:24

We'll seek out somebody to buy it.

0:54:240:54:28

Added to the original £50,000 Shane spent at auction, he's now spent between 180 and £200,000.

0:54:280:54:38

So, to check that the value of this plot on Valuation Lane is going in

0:54:380:54:42

the right direction, we invited along two local property experts.

0:54:420:54:47

I saw the plot before the property was built.

0:54:530:54:55

The plot itself was quite tight.

0:54:550:54:57

So I'm amazed to see what he's managed to get on.

0:54:570:54:59

The property has been constructed to a high standard.

0:54:590:55:03

I'm very impressed the way it's fitted out.

0:55:030:55:05

The first impression is one of quality.

0:55:050:55:09

The builder has given great attention to detail

0:55:090:55:12

which is fairly unusual in modern building terms today,

0:55:120:55:15

from the lovely deep skirting boards, the

0:55:150:55:18

kitchen and bathroom fittings, the landscaping of the garden is things you don't normally see.

0:55:180:55:24

It's a finished product.

0:55:240:55:26

That is going to be a number of key selling points that will appeal to the target market.

0:55:260:55:31

The outside space is delightful.

0:55:310:55:33

He's walled the garden, it's catching the sun.

0:55:330:55:35

It's beautifully laid out and easy maintenance.

0:55:350:55:39

Good property, good garden with easy maintenance so a promising valuation?

0:55:390:55:44

If I had to put this property on the market, I'd be looking for a figure of around £300,000.

0:55:440:55:50

My opinion, I will price the property on the market, at an asking price of £345,000.

0:55:500:55:54

I suggest that the £345,000 valuation is more in line with the true value of the property.

0:55:540:56:01

The lower valuation of £300,000 is a conservative valuation

0:56:010:56:06

and I've actually received an offer far in excess of the lower valuation.

0:56:060:56:13

Shane took a risk buying this plot, but he's likely to make a pre-tax

0:56:130:56:17

profit of between 100 and £165,000, minus normal reductions.

0:56:170:56:23

It's in line with what you'd expect for a high-risk development.

0:56:230:56:28

Risk equals reward.

0:56:290:56:32

Not everyone who takes risks gets reward, but it's certainly worked for Shane and he's done really well here.

0:56:320:56:39

Well, that's all for now, but we'll have plenty more for you next time.

0:56:400:56:44

-See you soon for more Homes Under the Hammer.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:440:56:48

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:080:57:11

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a confined ground-floor flat in Wiltshire, a cottage in Kent and a plot of land in Yorkshire. All of these properties have been sold at auction - who bought them and what was paid when they went under the hammer?


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