Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander inspect a house in Margate and a property in Bournemouth, and revisit a house in Nottinghamshire.
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You don't need experience to buy at a property auction.
But you do need to do your research and get your finances sorted.
And then all you need is courage
to stick up your hand and bid and buy your home under the hammer.
You'll find all sorts of properties in the auction catalogues,
from commercial units, to mansions, to cosy cottages.
So let's see what features on today's programme.
In Margate, in Kent,
surely the days are numbered for the decor in this house?
It's got to come off soon.
For me, it's sun, sea and shocks in Bournemouth, Dorset.
Oh, my goodness!
And we first saw this house in Nottinghamshire in 2007.
Three years on, it finally represents the good life.
All these properties have been sold at auction
and we'll find who bought them and what they paid for them
when they went under the hammer.
I'm in Cliftonville
which used to be the fashionable hotel area of Margate
when British seaside holidays were the only holidays to go on.
Well, times have of course changed and many of these hotels
are now flats and bedsits.
But they've stood the test of time and they're still hugely desirable.
While there has been a downturn in the fortunes of some seaside towns,
if you're looking for a turn of the century property
with Victorian charm,
then look no further than the south-east coast.
Well, the property I'm here to see is in Norfolk Road.
It's a five-bedroom, end-of-terrace Victorian property.
At a guide price of 95-105,000 quid and you know what,
from the outside, it looks pretty grand and impressive.
And I love these bay windows, some original features there.
Let's take a look around.
The house is typical of the area,
grand and spacious but a little run-down.
It was built in the early 1900s and, according to the catalogue,
"offers extensive accommodation over two floors."
I like the sound of that.
So the big question is will any original features remain?
Well, that's a nice start. Here in the porch, bit of lead glasswork.
Lovely. Through into the entrance and wow.
Big, high ceilings. And yes, there's some original coving. Hallelujah.
What have we got, though? Front living room there.
Not so much of an original fireplace. We don't like that.
But, you know, nice bay window.
Lots of light. What on earth is that?
This pipe work, is fairly new.
But who in their right minds would put it in like that?
It's really shoddy, isn't it? I hate it when you see things like that.
It's in the way of these light switches. Oh!
Very annoying indeed. Rear living room there.
Again, the original fireplace looks like it's gone.
Down this corridor, then, to the rear of the property and,
you have to say, is big. This is the kitchen.
Not original units, obviously, but it's a good-sized space.
You could really do things with this with a bit of imagination.
Lots of light coming through the windows again.
So, yeah, a big sort of family kitchen area.
And it gets better as you go through here into like a rear utility area.
There's a loo at the back of it.
It's a very practical house straightaway.
It's a really good start.
There may be a lot of work needed to get this place up and running,
but those large rooms
and great period features have certainly got
what potential developers look for.
And I haven't even been upstairs yet.
You know, I love these kind of houses.
They're a bit higgledy-piggledy, all over the place,
but that's what gives them character.
This kind of, like, this middle floor.
Bedroom at the back. More horrendous pipe work on display, I'm afraid.
Smaller bedroom there. Bathroom and separate loo.
Do you know what I mean? A bit of a knick-knacky place.
It's great. Up a few more stairs on to this next landing.
Look at the height of the ceilings.
I love the fact that you've got lots of light coming in.
That was a very Victorian style feature.
Something that's not so good, stairs up to the attic.
Clearly, they don't meet building regulations.
However, as long as you don't call that a room to be used
and you just have it as an attic,
I reckon they're better than one of those retractable loft ladders.
Not least because of the fact you're going to have a real job
getting a ladder that reaches down 10 feet.
So, more bedrooms there. And then through into this room here.
Now, what on earth has gone on with the walls which have been,
well, covered in this artexy stuff.
Thankfully... It doesn't look like it's too hard to get off.
There's one thing for sure. It's got to come off soon.
Just like the ground floor,
the decor up here definitely needs overhauling.
In fact, I'd say the kitchen is just about the only salvageable room.
I reckon whoever takes this on
will have to be prepared for some serious plumbing work.
Now, the rooms are all a good size and there's
indications that in the past it's been split up into bedsits.
That I think is a very good use for this property
if you're looking to maximise your income.
But if you are going to run it as an HMO, a house in
multiple occupation, you are going to have to pass current regulations.
You could have a bit of a battle on your hands
because that mezzanine floor could be construed
as a separate floor in its own right,
in which case you'd have to be a licensed HMO.
Something to look into.
But in terms of a money-making venture?
One that's definitely considering.
So, lots to think about on the inside and it looks like
the back garden will need some care and attention as well.
But a great bonus is some rear parking via the side access road.
So, a lot of pros and cons with this property.
But I think for that £95-£105,000 guide price,
it could represent a good investment.
But what does a local estate agent feel about it?
My first impressions of this property is it needs a bit of work.
It would be well worth the effort.
It's nice to see a large property
of this era still intact with some of the features.
But I think it's going to cost quite a lot of money to put right.
Bearing in mind that top guide price of 105,000, if you spent, say,
£40,000 to put it right, you'd be looking at £145,000 spend here.
So, could the returns justify the outlay?
In a good buoyant market,
this would have been achieving approximately £200,000.
If this were to be rented, in the present market I would expect
it to achieve approximately £800 per calendar month.
Well, you get a lot of property for that
£95-£105,000 guide price and I think a lot of options with this one.
It's a great investment opportunity.
Let's see who agreed with me when it went under the hammer.
Lot number 50.
Where are you going to start on this? 95-105?
Is there a bid of a 100 to start me? £100,000.
Where do you want to start me?
Start me at 90, then. At 90,000. 90 I'm on.
90 I've got. Now 95. At 95. At 95.
At 100. At 100. And five. 105.
105. 105 sitting down. And 10.
Shaking his head.
110 from anybody else? I'll take 108 if it helps you.
108 standing at the back.
108 standing at the back.
110 I'm looking for. 110 sitting.
112, it's against you at the back.
You saw his catalogue go up. 112 I've got. And 14?
114. 114, he says, "Yes."
116, it's against you.
115 I've got. 116. Keep with it. You won't get another chance.
These don't come around very often.
At £115,000 and bid at the back then, for the first time.
At £115,000 for the second.
Third and final time, if you're sure you're all done.
It's going to be sold. It's yours, sir, for 115,000 at the back.
For 115,000 quid, the new owner of the Margate property is Terry.
He got it for £10,000 over the top guide price.
I met him and his son, Gavin,
back at the house to find out their plans.
Terry, Gavin, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations.
A lot of house for the money.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
-It was the worst house in the road.
And it's big. It's got all the coving, everything's still here.
And it was cheap.
Why did the fact that it was the worst house appeal?
I like to get involved in taking houses apart
and putting them back together. Love Victorian houses.
-What is it about the Victorian era that you particularly like?
-I know they're very well made.
Construction's good. The windows are usually solid.
And I love the sash windows here as well. So that was a bonus for me.
Enthusiastic or what?
Terry's got that look in his eye that tells me he's not just in it
for the money, but that this is going to be a labour of love.
Will his son, Gavin, feel the same?
What's your involvement in all of this?
I'll be ripping everything out and then pretty much getting
the labourers and plasterers and electricians in to do all the work.
And then just bring it back to its original glory.
-Yes, a lot of work. A hell of a lot of work.
A lot of work, yes, but with no structural problems,
it's going to be a straightforward internal renovation.
They aim to gut the interior and start afresh.
They do plan some major changes, though.
The steep staircase is going.
The bathroom and toilet will be combined into one.
And the two back bedrooms
will be joined into one larger room with an en suite.
That would turn this five-bedroomed house into a four-bed.
You've looked into what the demand in this specific area is
in terms of people would want
bigger rooms, rather than more rooms.
-That's a really important thing to do, isn't it?
The four-bed is obviously perfect for a nice family to move into.
So, there are two quite large areas up in the loft which, obviously,
with the right work, people can open up and use
whenever they want in the future to add to, if they wish.
We're not going to do that. We're just going
to clean it up, basically, and let somebody else do that later on.
So, Terry, how did this collaboration
on what you're doing now begin?
What's your background? How did you two start working together?
I've got a lot of time off on holiday because I'm a schoolteacher.
-And it gives me time to, you know, do houses up.
Gavin is very good. He keeps an eye on the money for me.
I'm the one who spends the money but he keeps tabs on me.
It should be the other way around shouldn't it?
If I see something, I'd like to buy it. He stops me usually.
-Your son is stopping your dad. Really?
-Yeah, I know.
There's a bit of role reversal going on here as son, Gavin,
will project manage but his father, Terry,
is happy to let him get on with it.
With Gavin controlling those purse strings,
the duo have a budget of £17,500.
It doesn't seem much for the task ahead, but as Gavin runs a business
fitting kitchens, he'll have the right connections
to get the job done.
What will Terry be doing?
I'll be allowed to do the staircase. That's my forte, the staircase.
What specifically about the staircase?
It's the shape of the spindles and everything.
Just love doing staircases.
It's very therapeutic, painting those.
I'm happy for him to paint those.
Do you scrape off all the old paint, and stuff?
No, just rub down, make good, and then primer, undercoat, and topcoat.
They come up beautifully.
Well, it looks like Terry's got his stairway to heaven here.
But it's a time sapping job if ever there was one.
Five other people will help Gavin and Terry here.
They hope to complete it in eight to ten weeks.
A tough deadline, if you ask me.
Are you confident you're going to be able to complete it
within the timescales?
Absolutely. I've got all the workmen there to do the work with me.
I'll be on site most of the time.
Obviously, in about a week and a half's time,
I'm off to Poland to get married so...
Yeah. I'm off to Poland to get married.
-I'll be here to crack the whip. Yes.
-It'll be absolutely fine.
I trust him. He'll do a good job.
Well, I'm sure you'll agree that Gavin and Terry
got a lot of property for their money.
An interesting reversal of roles
with Gavin controlling the purse strings.
But, of course, he's off on his wedding.
Will his team really do the kind of job he hopes?
You can find out later in the show.
This is the beautiful seaside resort of Bournemouth in Dorset.
Not long ago in a survey,
it was found to be the happiest place in Britain.
So I'm just hoping the property I'm here to see,
a quarter of a mile from the town centre,
a walking distance to the beach, will make me happy.
Now, a lot of larger period buildings
along this street have been converted into flats,
just like this one.
It's on this private driveway, set in these wonderful communal grounds.
It's a ground-floor one-bedroom flat.
It had a guide price of just £55,000.
Quite an exciting start, I think.
The house, probably Victorian, was converted into six flats in 1938.
And stepping through that communal entrance,
it looks like there's a treat ahead.
Oh, my goodness.
This is a bit of a tangerine dream.
Not so much of a dream, as a nightmare.
Orange, orange everywhere.
Look, different shades.
But all is forgiven.
Just look at this amazing room.
It's huge! You've got these sash windows, beautiful cornicing,
lovely ceiling height, you've got all this light coming in.
If the rest of the flat is like this, fantastic!
Uh, unfortunately, it's not.
In fact, I wish I'd bought my sunglasses
because everywhere I look it's orange overload.
Although in moderation it's a gorgeous colour,
it makes the internal hallway dark and uninviting.
Whoever decorated this must have realised
oranges aren't the only fruit.
What a shame. There's a double bedroom with small bathroom
off and then into this kitchen.
The trouble is it's a disproportionate layout.
You had the enormous living room and at the back of the property this
comparatively small kitchen which is disappointing.
I think they should re-jig the layout to balance it out
and maybe even fit in a second bedroom.
That's an instant way of adding value.
One way would be to make that huge living room a kitchen lounge area
freeing up the back garden.
Despite the decor disaster, there are possibilities.
Of course, as this is a leasehold flat, permission would be needed
from the freeholder for any structural changes.
So the flat seems great, doesn't it?
But of course there's a catch.
This property only has a short lease with approximately 50 years left,
which means it's not mortgageable.
Once bought, you can't apply to extend the lease
until you've owned the property for at least two years.
If you wanted to buy this and turn it quickly for a fast buck,
you can forget it.
The short lease reduces its value and desirability too much.
This is best kept as a long-term investment.
The cost of renewing the lease is usually tied up to the improvement
in value of the property once the lease is extended.
So the shorter the lease, the greater the cost to renew.
What's more, if the solicitor and freeholder drag their heels,
the whole process could take up to 12 months.
So that attractive guide price of 55,000 did come with its drawbacks.
But there's no denying the potential of this one-bedroom flat.
I asked a local estate agent what he thought.
The negatives is we can see it needs a lot of work doing.
It needs some money spending on it.
Positively, it's a good size, it's got character and original features.
Properties like this are few and far between in Bournemouth.
It's in a desirable area and it's a good size.
So how do the figures stack up?
Assuming the property would be renovated,
rental would be fairly easy.
For a one-bed you'd be looking to achieve £600 a month,
for a two-bed up to £725 per calendar month.
Assuming the lease can be extended, what could this place be worth?
Once renovated, if this was a two-bedroom property,
we'd market this to achieve £135,000.
If it's a one-bedroom property,
we'd market this to achieve approximately £115,000.
Basically, this is a large desirable flat with a small undesirable lease.
If you can get the lease sorted and change the layout and ideally
make it into a two-bedroom property,
you've got a great long-term investment.
So, who had their eyes set squarely on the future?
Let's find out when we go to auction.
Somebody start the bidding for just £50,000. 50 I have straight away.
50, I have. 55. Nice and prompt. 60?
65, seated. 70 we have in front. 75, we have. Round 80?
80,000. 85? 85,000, we have.
90? 90, I now have. 91? 91,000 here?
Nope, shake of the head. It's with you, sir, at 91,000.
Take 500 anywhere else in the room?
91,500 on my right-hand side.
I lip-read that!
I can't say what he said.
91 and a half is there. Back with you at 92?
91 and a half over on the right.
92 anywhere else in the room?
91 and a half on the right for the first. 91 and a half for the second.
92. They've come back. 92,000.
92 and a half on the right.
Wave me away in disgust.
92 and a half on the right for the first,
92 and a half on the right for the second,
92 and a half for the third and final time.
Congratulations. Your number, please?
So, for £92,500 those successful last-minute gatecrashers were local
Bournemouth man Sergio and his partner Kelly.
I met them back at their new purchase to hear about their plans.
Guys, congratulations. This is a wonderful flat. I love it.
What was it you really liked?
It's got a lot of character. It's not your standard boxy-type property.
We were looking for something we could get stuck into.
Kelly wanted a project and it had character.
-He's blaming you.
-I've got one!
You're going to be busy, hon.
I didn't want to get involved at all, really.
Kelly is going to be down here.
It's not the first time I've seen her dusting
with a paintbrush in her hands.
It'll be quite nice seeing her come home worn out at night...
Looking like a white pit bull.
I'm glad to hear the tangerine terror is to be terminated.
Kelly will be here full time project managing the renovation.
It's a joint venture with Sergio,
who happens to work in residential lettings and property management.
That should prove handy when dealing with the tricky problem
of negotiating that short lease.
We're in the process of having a chat with the landowner
to see whether we can extend that.
If they don't want do that, we'll wait two years.
So you did by this with an element of risk attached, didn't you?
You don't know how much you might have to stump up for the lease.
We have a rough idea. We have asked.
They have a couple of years before facing that pay-out
but with a two-year wait before they can extend the lease
and realise some profit on the flat,
it's bound for the rental market.
They've already got some tenants in mind.
I'm thinking about putting my mum and dad in.
They've recently moved from Blackpool
down to Bournemouth and they're living with my sister at the moment.
It would be nice for them.
-Have they seen it?
-What did they say?
-"Oooh, it's a bit orange!"
What you think about the layout?
Because it's rather strange, isn't it?
Yeah. This lounge is way too big
when you look at the rest of the flat.
I'm hoping to move the kitchen,
lounge, dine, everything in this room. Live in this room, really.
Turning this huge room into a kitchen lounge
would free up the old kitchen to create a second bedroom.
That would maximise the space,
giving Sergio and Kelly
that important value-adding second bedroom.
Don't forget, they would need the freeholder's permission
not to mention a healthy budget.
-What's your budget?
-Are you going to agree on this, or not?
No, we've had a discussion.
We put some money by, so we initially have stuck £20,000 away
but I don't think it will get there.
We have said to ourselves there's going to be a couple of pounds over.
Hopefully just a couple of pounds.
And you've got to make sure you stick to the budget.
Are you going to be on hand to help her?
I think I'll get told off, probably.
I think I'll leave her to it and wait for the bad news.
Come on, give the girl some encouragement!
Seriously though, a project like this could easily
eat up that £20,000 budget.
Kelly plans to do the renovation in four months.
I reckon for this pair, the future's bright.
But hopefully not this bright!
Sergio and Kelly have bagged themselves
a great Bournemouth bargain here.
This was still a risky purchase.
They'll have to hang on to this property for a couple of years
in order to extend the lease,
otherwise they will never realise this flat's full value.
Extending the lease can be
an expensive and time-consuming business.
On top of that, there's no guarantee
they'll be able to make these internal changes that they want,
so will they be able to turn it into a lovely two-bed flat,
or will they be stuck with a lousy lay-out?
You can find out later in the programme.
Coming up, in Nottinghamshire we catch up
with this amazing farmhouse we first saw in 2007.
It was far from finished then, but now it's past the winning post.
Back in Bournemouth,
is Sergio getting twitchy over this flat refurbishment?
I'm not really that concerned. He says, hopefully.
But first, it's all about teamwork in Kent.
We agree to disagree on a few things.
Back to Cliftonville, Margate, in Kent
where earlier we met father and son team Terry and Gavin.
They had bought this run-down, five-bedroomed house for 115 grand.
They plan to restore it to its full glory but neither of them
were experienced developers.
There was a role reversal going on as well.
Gavin was project managing for the first time while his father
Terry was going to be in the background
just so he could indulge in one of his passions.
I just love doing staircases.
That's my forte, staircases.
The shape of the spindles and everything. It's very therapeutic.
I'm happy for him to paint those!
I'm with you, Gavin. The duo were generally exciting about bringing this tired interior back to life.
Four months later we got the call to see how they'd got on.
And the result?
Well, from the outside it looks pretty impressive.
Fresh and inviting.
The living room now feels like an oasis of calm.
While the middle room has been transformed by the addition of
French doors, perfect for letting in all that natural light.
At the top of the stairs, the steep static stairway has now gone
leaving an open landing that bathes this space in light.
And there have been other major changes elsewhere.
There was a door here leading into a small toilet.
We've boxed that in and moved across to the main bathroom
and created a larger space by forfeiting the box bedroom that was there.
The box bedroom was so small we decided to remove that and create a larger bedroom in here
and an en suite, which is a good trade-off to create a beautiful house for a family to move into.
Losing that small box room has given the house just four bedrooms instead of five.
But they're all good sizes and, as expected, airy and beautifully done.
When it comes to finishing, Terry is especially proud of his showpiece.
This is my favourite part of the house, the staircase.
As you can see, the newel post at the end was scraped down with the hot airgun.
This took me about four days to do, just this one newel post.
Then the handrail which was again all stripped off,
right down to the bare wood, sanded down, again about an hour and a half just to sand the rail.
Then, the spindles came out, they were dipped, they came back, three coats of paint.
It all went back in.
The spindles at the top didn't come out.
They were kept in because they were in such bad condition but they were all plastered up
and made to look as if they were brand new like the others.
It's clear to see why Terry is pleased with his efforts.
But judging by the rest of the house, I reckon they should both be puffing their chests out.
Despite the amount of work done,
it's been a pretty pain-free process - well, almost, as Gavin explains.
The big job was the ceilings.
They were so rotten that at one point one of the doors was shut and the ceiling fell down.
So we had a lot of work to cut around the coving to keep that and plasterboard and have it plastered.
A lot of work.
Terry and Gavin had all the ceilings and walls taken him right back to
the plaster, while all the original woodwork was stripped and repainted.
In fact, except for the original features, the house has been totally
renovated from top to bottom with new salvaged fireplaces to give it some classic style.
I think it's a beautiful house now.
It's really come back to what it was originally, and I think even better, because it's got new walls,
ceilings, windows. Everything is new.
The kitchen and back room are still unfinished but you can be sure
they'll blend in seamlessly with the rest of the house.
For Gavin, project managing for the first time was fairly straightforward.
He credits the team they put together for making it a great renovation.
But did they get it all done for less than the original budget?
Budget was 17 to 20,000.
It's gone a big above that, it's about 22-23,000,
with maybe another 1,000 to finish everything off.
Now it's only got the kitchen and bathrooms to finish and it'll be complete.
On top of the purchase price of 115,000, that would take their total spend to £139,000.
They aim to recoup the lot by selling the house.
While they overran the schedule by three weeks to a total of 12 weeks,
that's to be expected on a job this size.
And with the role reversal of father and son, a difference of opinion isn't unusual.
There were obviously a lot of ups and a lot of downs where we may not have seen eye to eye,
but we talked it through and everything came right in the end. We made some good decisions.
-We agreed to disagree on quite a few things.
-A few things. But...
But I think the final article here is absolutely fantastic.
He's done an excellent job. Now we've got
a beautiful house.
Well, I reckon they're certainly right on that score.
But will their efforts get the local property market talking?
We asked along two local estate agents
to hear what they thought of Terry and Gavin's renovation.
First impressions, now that I've come back, very good.
What does it for me is that they've managed to retain
a lot of the original features,
which is something that buyers will be keen to see are still in place.
It's very light, very airy and I think they've done a very good quality job.
I think the attention to detail is very good.
They've retained the original features with a contemporary feel,
keeping it quite neutral so that people can come in and make their own mark.
It seems that Terry and Gavin's hard work has paid off.
But will the returns match the reviews?
Remember, the boys have a possible total outlay of £139,000 here
so, if they were to sell, what could they expect to achieve?
Once finished I would suggest marketing the property at £175,000.
Once this has all been completed and cleaned right through, I would
want to see this on the market between £175,000 and £185,000.
I'm a bit disappointed.
I think it's worth about 200,000
in its current state.
And what's actually been put into it.
But if Terry and Gavin decide to change their minds, both estate agents feel this is a perfect rental
property that could realise a healthy 7% yield.
But they're happy with what they've achieved and Gavin's keen to take on another project.
I'll definitely look to buy another property.
Maybe, obviously, hopefully with Dad, something of this size again.
I love to tackle huge jobs and I feel it's a challenge and obviously
the outcome just speaks for itself, really.
It's Gavin's first project
as project manager, and I'm really proud of him.
He's done an excellent job.
In December of 2006, despite the crisp, cold day,
I came across an auction lot that warmed the cockles of my heart.
I'm in Bramcote just outside Nottingham.
It's a winter's morning, there's a light dusting of snow on the ground,
I'm in a quiet country lane
and I'm so excited about the property that's up for auction that I'm going to show you.
It's a four-bedroomed former farmhouse.
It comes with two acres of land and it sounds incredible.
It's got an annex at the back... It's not in the best of states, but talk about potential.
Gems like this don't come up that often.
From the outside it looks structurally sound and the tiles seem fairly new.
Considering it went to auction
at a guide price of £200,000, it's pretty attractive on the wallet as well.
Can't wait to check out the inside.
So what have we got?
Well, a project it seems someone's started but not finished.
Things like insulation on the walls, there's a new beam going across there.
But through the front door into a nice large room.
Good to see there's an open fire.
And an unusual thing for this kind of property, from my experience -
a cellar down there, which is nice to see.
Main room there then through into the rear of the property.
Again, someone's obviously cleared all of this out to create this nice big space in here.
You can imagine a big family kitchen in here, farmhouse kitchen.
I've got a feeling there's more to be found behind there.
And then another room, probably a dining room, over this way.
Upstairs it seems like a bit more of the work has been completed
than downstairs and actually I really like the layout up here.
A small kind of landing area with four large bedrooms coming off it
and what looks to be a potential family bathroom, which has been partially completed.
One of the really nice things
is a lot of the materials you're going to need to complete the project are already on site.
Things like floorboards, the electrics have been partially completed,
as has some of the central heating.
So that's good news but just a word of caution, you don't know how well the work has been done -
if the person who installed, say, the electrics was qualified to do that.
So before you just accept that it's OK, maybe get a good builder or an architect in just to check it out.
But a good start.
But I'm still puzzled why, after doing so much work, the previous owner of the farmhouse
decided to put it up at auction at a guide price of just £200,000.
Maybe the answer lies at the back of the house.
Well, the property comes with a pretty sizable garden.
It's in a right old state at the moment, more than a few hours with a strimmer required.
But once you've done that it would be fantastic.
Come out to the rear of the property, and you start to get a real feeling for the size of it.
That's the main house there. This is an annex,
and then this great big hole was actually dug for the foundations for an extension,
which there's planning permission for.
But you've got to ask yourself, the amount of money it's going to cost to build that,
are you really going to get that back on a property this size?
I'm not so sure that it's actually worth doing.
One condition of the planning approval for the extension is that it must remain as a single house.
Maybe that's the reason the owners decided to sell.
Although some work has started in the annex, it's a long way short of the finish in the farmhouse.
But if you knock the two buildings together you'd create one very large
house without having all that extra building expense.
Not a project for the faint-hearted, but a superb opportunity to create the most wonderful home.
Who's going to buy it? Well, maybe a developer,
but I really hope it goes to somebody who actually turns this place into a family home.
How wonderful that would be.
Only one way to find out, let's go to the auction.
Lot number 45.
A large former farmhouse
with planning permission for a two storey rear extension.
Would you like to start me at 230?
235? 35 is bid.
55. 260. 265. £265,000.
Both out standing at the back.
270. And 71.
74, 75, 76. 277. £277,000. It's against you.
You're not going to be buying it? All right.
twice, third and last chance.
-Sold at 277. Thank you.
-The successful bid of £277,000 was made by Chris.
He was bidding on behalf of his son James and his wife Lindsey. They've only been married for six months,
but both fell in love with the farmhouse and tried unsuccessfully to buy it a few months ago.
Now, thanks to Dad's bid, it's theirs.
I met up with them to find out their plans.
-James and Lindsey, lovely to meet you both.
You didn't look very excited there, did you(?)
-We were quite happy, weren't we? Yes.
Tell me, why did you buy this place?
I think we'd always wanted to buy somewhere with land and buy something with a bit of character
and just somewhere you could do up, and finding somewhere around here for this sort of price is very rare.
Neither of you are property developers or have property developing experience?
Not at all, no.
No skills to do this up at all.
Right. So starting with a nice simple project, then(?)
Straight in at the deep end.
James is a national account manager for a rucksack company and Lindsey is an accountant.
To get the cash they need for this project, they're going to sell
their current home plus another property that they rent out and hope to raise £100,000.
Although plans have been granted for an extension, they're not planning to build at present.
They're just going to restore the annex and the farmhouse.
But it's not just the buildings that caught Lindsey's eye.
What is it that you particular love, Lindsey?
The land, really. I want to build some stables out the back so that I can have some horses,
chickens, that kind of thing.
-The Good Life?
-Tom and Barbara.
Well, they've got plenty of garden here for planting or exercising in,
plus the two acres that they're own across the lane.
Top of Lindsey's list is stabling for her horses, but James isn't galloping ahead quite as fast.
The first thing we need to do is get all the services attached.
Currently, there's no drainage, no running water, no gas and no electric.
So that's obviously the first thing to get cracked,
which we're hoping to do as soon as we get in, really.
After that we need to make it liveable so we can live here.
So I think it will be bathroom, kitchen, and just make it liveable, really.
They plan to finish the refurbishment that's already started at the front of the property.
Upstairs, the bedrooms and bathrooms will be tackled and downstairs
they're going to knock through and incorporate the existing annex.
Right, so, we're going to have this as our kitchen area.
We are going to knock through the wall here
to make it as open plan as possible coming through from the dining room.
Eventually we are going to knock this wall out, have in the back a cloakroom,
a little tack room, then we're going to take these stairs out completely.
Upstairs is only going to be accessed through the upstairs bedrooms.
That's going to be the master bedroom with an en suite.
James and Lindsey have taken on one massive project here.
They're inexperienced, so the advice and help they will get from friends and family
will be critical in getting the job done.
Prioritising the work is crucial.
You mentioned about stables and stuff, where does that come in the priority list?
Presumably in your wish list it's fairly high?
Yeah. I think that the most important thing is getting it habitable, getting us in.
After that I would like to get the stables up fairly soon.
Get using the land, get the land all fenced in. Quite quickly, I think.
-There you go.
-Yes, I've been told.
That was over three years ago.
When we first went back some areas had galloped ahead.
Lindsey's priorities come first and the horses are in.
While others had been left a long way behind.
They were far from leading the good life but we've gone back
again since then and you can see the amazing results later in the show.
Well, time is your enemy when property developing.
Every day over budget is going to cost you money.
So did our owner's timescales go adrift or did they stay on track and on budget?
Let's find out.
In the Dorset town of Bournemouth, you might see lots of yellows and orange -
but you'd normally expect to see those on ice lollies, not in one-bedroom ground-floor flats.
But despite the colour, local couple Sergio and Kelly
weren't put off and bought this flat at auction for £92,500.
We were looking for something that we could really get stuck into
and Kelly wanted a project and it just had the character.
He's blaming you. There you go, you're going to be busy, hon.
Absolutely. It was time to roll up their sleeves and get painting.
So, eight months later, how has Sergio and, more importantly, Kelly's project been going?
Well, for a start it's a lot less orange, but more than colour changes have taken place here.
The bathroom was actually in the master bedroom
with a lowered ceiling on to the window and it just looked a mess.
It was all a bit higgledy-piggledy. We moved the bathroom out of there,
made the single toilet in the extension bigger to create a bathroom
and by moving the kitchen into the lounge, we created a second bedroom.
That second bedroom also has its own patio doors out onto the communal garden.
And as for the kitchen diner, wow, what a kitchen diner.
OK. With the kitchen we went for something modern,
wooden worktops, I think it fits nicely with the lounge.
Undermounted sink so we didn't have to look at a drainer.
All integrated appliances, fridge-freezer,
all fits in nicely and I'm really pleased with the kitchen.
And so she should be.
The dark wooden floor really complements the work surfaces.
And by matching the units to the wall colours in the kitchen fits seamlessly into the space.
Mind you, Kelly didn't always get the colours quite right.
I love the colour in the lounge and I got one of those cards with
the four different shades and I thought I'd go for a paler shade for the rest of the flat
and had 20 litres mixed after looking at a test pot and then it was just pink.
I couldn't bear it in the hall so I've changed to that back to white
and then just kept it in the two bedrooms.
It's a subtle pretty pink, hardly the vivid colour from before, so no real disaster.
But sometimes things don't always go to plan.
The plan was that my parents would move into the flat short-term.
But because it was only short term, they have decided a couple of weeks
ago that they would move into their own place.
So like the paint shades, a minor hiccup.
No a great problem, but the big issue wasn't paint colours
or Kelly's parents becoming tenants or not, it was whether Sergio would pleased with all Kelly's efforts.
I really wanted to leave Kelly to do everything because I'm out doing work during the day.
Serge has pretty much left me to it.
Obviously he works full-time, so he's busy himself.
I think I've lived through all the stress with her, but it's something she wanted to do.
He didn't really want any aggravation.
Got a little bit towards the end but not too much.
All the moaning and whingeing and all the rest of it that I've done,
it's been worthwhile and I'm really proud of her. A good result.
Sergio works as a lettings agent and he's given it the thumbs up, so that's encouraging.
It's not always just the quality of an end product that's important.
It's also the financial bottom line.
Serge is quite laid-back. He did start twitching a bit when I asked him for an extra £10,000!
But no, everything's fine.
Yes we have spent more money here but hopefully there's still
a margin in it that will keep us both happy.
The total budget now, originally we said £20,000, but we're actually up to £34,500 now.
I know these things happen and there's nothing you can do about it. I'm not really that concerned.
So... He says, hopefully!
No, hopefully it'll be OK.
Does he have cause for worry?
Along with the £92,500 to buy the flat,
and Kelly's £34,000 spend, it's on a very short lease
that would make it difficult to sell.
To renew the lease will cost in the region of 20 - 30,000,
so if they did that, their total investment would be around £150,000.
I think it's a very nicely designed apartment.
And the space, it's spacious and they have made the best use of the space available.
The change of layout has improved the property.
By adding a second bedroom you've obviously offered more accommodation
and subsequently will increase the value.
An extension to the lease, I'm sure, could be negotiated and I think
that would be essential if you were selling.
Without the lease extension, resell isn't really an option for a couple of years.
If they got it, would it make Sergio and Kelly's outlay of around £150,000 worthwhile?
With an extended lease, I consider this property would sell
between £185,000 - £195,000.
With an extended lease, I feel this property would be marketed between £170,000 - £180,000.
I think the £195,000 mark would be something that we'd be more interested in,
being the higher one, obviously!
That's encouraging. It clearly is worth getting the lease extended.
But, for now, the flat will go on the rental market.
I consider this property to be worth approximately £800 per calendar month.
Rental value per calendar month, I would say would be between £750 - £800.
Pretty spot on.
I'm in the rental business and I valued it myself at 795.
To achieve 795, we don't want to take any chips on that.
795 a month is a good rental income for a flat.
Is there anyone likely to pay that?
I'd like to rent it!
Hopefully. If she kicks me out.
I'd like to move in!
Ah! There you go then, Sergio.
Tenants all sorted!
Back in 2007, we first saw this amazing farmhouse
and land in Nottinghamshire.
This was a strange lot because work on the house and annex,
which went with it, had already been started
yet abandoned halfway through, so it was more like a building site.
That didn't put off newly-wed couple James and Lindsey, who planned to combine the two properties...
I think it's about here if we knock through into the annex section.
..to make a dream home for them and their animals.
You mentioned about stables and stuff like that, where does that come on the priority list?
Presumably in your wish-list, it's fairly high.
Yes, I think that the most important thing is getting it habitable, getting us in.
But then after that, I would like to get the stables up quite quickly, I think.
-There you go.
-Yes, I've been told.
When we returned the first time, over a year later,
it was the horses who seemed to have galloped ahead in importance.
While they had great new accommodation and a place to roam,
James and Lindsey were still some way off getting their new home.
The stable block is one area where Lindsey got her own way.
In my idea we would get the house done and be living in here first.
But as with Lindsey, the priorities come first and the horses are in.
Progress on the house was also slowed by the lack of services.
Gas, water, electrics and the like.
So it was far from habitable.
Now, three years later, we're back
and hey, it's not just the horses who can enjoy accommodation!
At last the race has ended and they've passed the winning post.
With a generous sized lounge
that mixes farmhouse traditional with contemporary style.
As does the rather magnificent kitchen.
And with a dining and work areas, the house now has a great flow and feeling of space.
It's quite a contrast to where they've been living recently.
We've been missing in a static caravan for 16 months and, oh...
-No. It's driving us mad.
There's no space and so to move in here with all this space, it was absolutely fantastic, wasn't it?
We never want to see a caravan again.
Not only has it got much more room than a caravan,
it's also got stairs, and what stairs they are!
OK, so this is our staircase that we designed ourselves.
We had this big window put in because we wanted to let in
lots of light to both the downstairs and the upstairs.
We designed this staircase around it, really.
We had a joiner make all this bespoke oak for us and we've
had this glass installed, which really finishes it off. so we're very pleased with it.
Those custom build stairs lead up to the 4th bedroom.
This is the master bedroom.
We've got double entrance doors which are the same hand-made oak that we've got throughout the rest of the house.
When we bought the house, this room had no ceiling and no floors, so that gave us
the idea of raising the roof height above the purlins to give the idea of more space and light.
Here we've got our en suite and this is the sliding door that disappears into the wall.
We're really pleased with it, really glad that we persevered.
Along with the master bedroom there are three other bedrooms, all a good size.
One of them has the luxury of an en suite.
Whereas the other two are catered for with a fabulous modern bathroom.
There's been an impressive amount of work done here in the last few years.
Towards the end, I was very hands-on. To start with, we had this main contractor
who did a lot of the work.
In the end, due to finance and timings, we had to take a lot of that ourselves.
So it from the finish point of view, it was, a lot of it was me really.
So it was really hands-on and I've got calluses where I've never had them before.
And, yes, I don't want to be doing that again in a hurry.
They also got a lot of help from friends and family.
And, after three years of hard struggle, at last it's finished.
It must have been a fantastic feeling to stay here for the first time.
You actually had the first night in here without me, didn't you?
Yes, I offered to host my friend's hen weekend
because we thought it was going to be finished months before but it wasn't.
We had a final push so me and about 20 girls had the first night in the house.
-You were sent off to her boyfriend's, weren't you?
-I was kicked out for the night.
So they were all staying in my house before I was.
So it seems it's not just horses but also hens that come before James!
I guess he knows where he stands in the pecking order.
Since the addition of feathered hens, ducks,
three dogs and now three horses, one in foal, they're starting to live the good life they'd hoped for.
But the total cost of all this can't have been chicken feed.
I think in the end we've ended up spending around £200,000.
That did include the stables which wasn't in our original £100,000 budget,
which was probably getting on for £50,000.
But yes, we've seriously overspent but we don't intend to move,
so as long as we like it, it was worth it.
They bought the house and land for a pretty reasonable £277,000.
But their £200,000 spend on it means a total outlay of around £477,000.
Is that value-for-money in the current market?
What do two local estate agents think?
I really love this house. The owner's done a fantastic job
in making an older house really contemporary inside.
It's finished to a superb standard with the oak floors, kitchen,
bathroom, they look excellent.
I think the garden's great. It's mainly lawned, it's lovely for a family and it's very, very private.
The stable block definitely adds value, for those with equestrian interests
it would be the difference between them buying the property and not.
When we first returned to the property 18 months ago it was valued between £695,000 - £720,000.
But that was pre-credit crunch. What about today?
I think we'll market the property at about £575,000 to achieve something in the region of £550,000.
It's a difficult property to put a price on. I would expect to achieve around £550,000.
With their £477,000 spend, £550,000 would still see some profit.
But the property slump has knocked over £150,000 off its current value.
How do they feel about that?
Yes, I think in the current climate we knew that the valuation would probably go down.
-And as we're not selling it doesn't really...
-Doesn't really matter at all.
That is the key. It's their home.
Although they'd hoped it was a good investment, it wasn't all about profit.
Would they ever take on such a large project again?
I think we might take another project on in the future,
once we've had a few years to relax and enjoy this one.
Perhaps more than a few years.
In the distant future, maybe. Maybe.
# Give me just a little more time
# Baby, please, baby... #
I think that after the tough three years James and Lindsey have had,
they should take a well-earned break and enjoy their fabulous new home.
For the time being, there's absolutely no need to look for pastures new.
Well, that's all we have time for on today's Homes Under The Hammer.
But do join us next time for more news from the trenches of the property battlefield.
-We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander inspect a house in Margate and a property in Bournemouth, and revisit a house in Nottinghamshire. All of these properties have been sold at auction and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.