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There's nothing like the auction room when it comes to property.
With all those fast-paced bids and pounding hearts,
the atmosphere can be electric.
So join us now on the roller-coaster ride that is the auction room
as we follow three properties that went under the hammer!
Well, whether it's flats in Faversham, a semi in Surrey or a bolthole in Bolton,
it's possible the auctions will have just what you're looking for.
And today, we're meeting more people who hopefully will have found their perfect property.
Let's see what tickled their fancy.
You may need to find the end of the rainbow
before investing in this property in London.
Imagination required, and also, I have to say, a pot of money.
The last owner of this house in Kent only held on to it for a month
before putting it back into auction.
Alarm bells are ringing. Why did they not develop it themselves?
And in Cheshire, this detached three-bedroom farmhouse has extras
that could cultivate some profit!
The good news is, you didn't just get the farmhouse for your money.
All these properties have been sold at auction.
-We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
This is fashionable south-west London.
I'm here to see if one of the most expensive boroughs of the capital has any bargains to offer.
I am in the Sands End area of Fulham.
Now, with its industry and high-rise, this isn't really
as glitzy and glam as the northern part of the borough.
However, it's been promised an overland railway station, which will help regeneration.
Hasn't happened yet, but it is on the cards.
What I'm here to see, I'm in Stevendale Road, and this is it.
It's a shop unit with a maisonette, at a guide price of £275,000.
Let's take a look.
Well, if you like fish and chips and the odd flutter, this might be the place for you.
But from a retail point of view, it's not exactly a prime position.
With limited space at the rear of the property, converting this
into a residential family home doesn't make much sense either.
So what are the options here?
At the moment, you can't get into the shop unit
from the front, but the good news is there is this separate entrance into the maisonette.
Very important. As soon as you come through the front door,
this place is in a bit of a state.
Lots of holes all over the place, including this one here, which...
that looks like it goes through to the shop. How strange.
It's obviously been fairly unloved for quite a while,
and yet it looks like someone has been living here, so I guess,
possibly unwelcome guests.
Work to be done for sure!
Apart from the shop space, there's a storeroom-cum-utility area
that leads out on to the back yard on the ground floor.
Meanwhile, the self-contained maisonette consists of a kitchen,
bathroom and separate loo on the first floor.
Then there's a split level up to the two bedrooms on an upper floor.
So, through to the front room, and more evidence of people living here in fairly squalid conditions.
Obviously, very sad to see.
And you've got to see through this when you view properties like this before an auction.
Intrinsically, though, it's a good room.
High ceilings, lots of light coming in through the windows, once you get rid of those shutters.
Imagination required, and also, I have to say, a pot of money.
One of the first tasks would be to clear up the house in order to get a proper look at what's here.
That's because it's not the holes you can see that worry me.
It's the ones you can't which could be a cause for concern.
Well, apart from the slightly odd entrance, the shop unit here
is actually in better condition than the rest of the property.
The key here is that it's got A1 planning permission,
which basically means you could use the shop as a shop.
It could also be a hairdresser's, maybe a cafe,
as long as you didn't prepare and cook food on the promises.
So all in all, quite a lot of options, and it's nice to have
in addition to everything else the property's got(!)
It's not only on the inside where some consideration about changes is required.
There's plenty of food for thought on the outside, too.
Now time for a bit of good news.
What I haven't told you is this place had planning permission
for conversion to a single family dwelling.
Unfortunately, that planning permission has lapsed.
However, I don't think it's the right thing to do.
I would definitely convert this into flats.
Looking around, the good news is that a lot of the houses on the street
have actually done that, they've increased the height by going up a floor.
So in theory, you could get three flats in here.
Now we're talking about a lot of money!
An extra flat is worth thousands of pounds.
More revenue in both resale potential and rental income.
So it's certainly worth considering, especially if you bear in mind
that the guide price of £275,000 won't even get you one flat around here, let alone three!
But without planning permission, it's a gamble, so is it one worth taking?
What does a local estate agent think?
It would be probably better to turn this into flats
rather than one dwelling, as the family market would probably want
a large garden, also, where we are located,
there are probably better houses that are more conventional.
Not only will flats be more appropriate for the area,
but potentially more lucrative, particularly for rental.
If it was one dwelling for rental, you'd be looking somewhere in the region of £470 per week.
If you were to split it into flats, you'd be looking somewhere in the region of £220 per unit.
How do the options compare on resale?
You could create two very good two-bedroom flats, and they would be upwards of £420,000 each,
or you could create three one-bedroom flats and they would be in the region of £250,000 each.
Obviously, there are build costs, and planning to consider.
But get three flats here, and you could have a building worth over £750,000.
Well, there are almost too many options with this place, there's certainly money to be made,
but the market's struggling, and this place could definitely be a money pit if you're not careful.
Still, let's find out who decided to take on this conundrum at the auction.
Lot nine is 119 Stevendale Road, Fulham, SW6.
Someone give me 200 to begin with.
200. 210 anywhere?
210. 230. 240.
270 with you.
280. 290. 300.
316. Well done! 317. Hard luck, 318?
318? 317 with you, anyone else?
317 first time...second time - third and last time, all done.
Sold, 317. Canny bidder!
And for 317,000, the new owner became Raj.
He has developed six projects in the past, and was on the lookout for a new challenge.
He certainly found one here!
-Raj, good to meet you. Congratulations.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this.
I was looking for some developing opportunities.
I've done a few things in the past, so when I looked around from outside, I saw neighbours,
big extension in the loft. I'm going to apply for double storey extension
at the back, which will give extra bedroom
on the first floor, an extra bedroom on the ground floor.
-But I'm hoping to get a flat out in the loft.
-Wow, build an extra floor!
So if all goes well and if planning permission allows, I would like to have three flats and a shop.
-How many bedrooms?
-A two-bedroom flat on the ground floor,
one-bedroom flat/two-bedroom flat and a studio/one-bed flat on the top floor.
Raj is still weighing up his options, and of course,
the planners will have plenty to say about what he can and can't do.
But he seems to have done careful research,
and it looks like it's all been meticulously planned, hasn't it?
It's quite an unusual property, yet it sounds like
it perfectly fits what you were looking for in some ways?
I think so. I hadn't seen the property before the auction, so...
-You bought this place without seeing it?
-You spent over £250,000 on something without looking at it?
How can you justify that?!
I suppose if you can afford to lose 31k, you can take a big gamble.
-What's the 31k?
Can you afford to lose 31k?
Not really, but if this place was really burned down, and there was nothing in there,
then...possibly, I could!
I know it's a bad thing to say,
-but I only gamble what I can afford, which is, I suppose...
But it turned out to be a nice gamble, and I'm very pleased with the price I got it for.
OK, so perhaps it's not quite as meticulously planned as I thought,
but as he's done six other properties before, at least Raj is an experienced developer.
Tell me more about you, Raj.
-I'm a chef by profession.
I work in the City, but I do this...
-What kind of a chef?
-European, French, Italian.
It's quite a well-paid job and I do this on the side.
-And that's my passion, you know?
-How does it fit in with being a chef?
Well, chef has helped me with time, because it's taught me how to be
organised, and I have a lot of people I manage at work that taught me the management.
But major things come with the creation.
Being a chef, I need to create a lot of things, and the same rule applies here.
-It's a bit like a plate, the house is a bit like a plate.
Which means you put this potato here, and if you put it in the wrong place it doesn't look as nice.
So the house is a big plate, so you have to put the bathroom
in the right place or it won't work.
So you're going to start off with burger and chips
and then you're going to end up hopefully with a Michelin star?
You never know, it might be, yes!
We wait and see. It all depends on the plan and the finance, I need to sort out the financial side of it.
If all the plans go through, chef Raj has set aside
a budget of £80-100,000 to convert it into three flats.
But if that development is the main course, he's got a little starter in mind to kick things off.
What's the timescale for everything?
I think the plan is to do it quickly, do it up in a couple of weeks turnaround...
-No, no, I don't mean...
Stage one is spend a couple of weeks building work to let it out as it is.
-Let what out?
-The property out.
-What, two weeks you can get this place sorted out?
-How many people have you got working with you?
-And they work 24 hours a day?
-Six days a week, yes.
Yes, and I work day and night, so...
We don't need to do major work to it, just cosmetic, painting, remove all this wood.
What about kitchens and bathrooms?
I'm not going to put a fantastic kitchen to start off with,
it's going to be a temporary kitchen and bathroom, which is already existing, just needs things doing up.
But in a couple of weeks' time, I can get this place to rent out cheaply compared to what's going on
in the market. Let's say we're talking about £200, £300 less in a month.
Phase one is to get this habitable in a couple of weeks and rent it out cheaply.
Then, not only would it generate income, but should secure the building from squatters.
Then, once he's sorted out all the planning issues, he hopes to start phase two in five months' time.
So, with all these options, combined with Raj's skills and enthusiasm,
I think he has the ingredients to make this a successful project.
Well, Raj clearly knows his onions.
You could say he's a very smart cook...ie.
The question is, what kind of a meal is he going to create with this place?
Will it be a greasy spoon dinner or a gourmet banquet?
You can find out later in the show.
I'm in Kent, in one of the UK's most prosperous places to live.
Quality of life is said to be high in this town, council taxes and crime rates low,
it's surrounded by beautiful countryside, and boasts more hours of sunshine than anywhere in the UK.
That sounds like bliss!
Well, actually, I'm just in Ashford in Kent.
Let's see if all those statistics add up to a good place to invest.
Add to that Ashford's high-speed rail link which goes to London
in little over half an hour, and, bingo, you've got yourself a great little town.
So will the next auction property hit the jackpot?
Here on Pemberton Road, I'm here to see a two bedroom
end of terrace, it's got a guide price of £85-90,000.
That may sound like a good deal, but I've just found out
that only two months ago the same terrace sold for £76,500.
So why is it back up for sale?
Alarm bells are ringing. Why did they not develop it themselves?
I'm going to go inside and see if I can find out.
Maybe the previous owners saw a quick buck here and sold it on,
or perhaps it was due to personal circumstances.
But from the look of the exterior, I'm worried it's something else.
OK, so, not an exciting start, I've got to say.
Extremely dated in here, really naff old wallpaper, dated carpet, polystyrene tiles on the ceiling,
which I say all the time, they are a fire hazard, they need to come down.
We've got the first reception room here. Again, it's in need of a complete overhaul.
A '30s fireplace, and not a nice one.
You've got a lovely bay window area, but a lot of work needs to be done.
This is the second reception room at the back of the property.
It's not looking great, is it? You've got all this fake
wood cladding. Again, more polystyrene tiles, and, uh-oh, come and look at this. Look at that.
That is a whopping crack.
I would like to get that looked at.
It may be something structural, it may not be, but whatever, I would get that looked at.
Not a good start. The catalogue says, "In need of some renovation".
They weren't kidding.
I'm used to properties being in a state, and this is no worse than many others I've seen.
It just needs everything done to it.
But I'm not really loving the proportions, either. It's small.
You'd struggle to get a three-piece suite in that front room.
And the kitchen is tiny.
So far, I've not found many redeeming features.
Let's hope upstairs holds more promise.
At the top of the stairs is a rather large bathroom.
Originally, when this house was built, that would've been a bedroom.
It's interesting, though, because that's the most recently decorated room,
and it's still really old-fashioned.
We've got a bedroom through here.
Quite small, could be hiding a little interesting fireplace in there.
Towards the front of the property, you've got the main bedroom.
There's definitely a quirkiness to this house,
it has a certain amount of character, but it just needs so much doing.
There are no radiators anywhere, so you're going to need new electrics, new plumbing, a kitchen.
It just needs a lot of money spending on it,
and whoever buys this has got one big project on their hands.
I'm afraid quirky will only get you so far in my book,
and that's not far at all if I'm emptying my wallet at every turn.
Let's see if a local estate agent agrees with me.
It needs a good deal of work doing to it.
The property needs rewiring, central heating, new kitchen, new bathroom,
and total redecoration throughout.
The garden needs attention, front and back, to bring it up to present-day standards.
So if the property went for its top guide price of 90,000 and the new owner spent £15,000 renovating it,
that would be a total outlay of £105,000.
Might there be any money to be made here?
Probably see a realising price of £130-135,000.
Is renting a viable option?
It's a very good residential rental area, close to town.
I would say it would realise in the region of 625-650 per calendar month.
Well, you're never going to make a fortune on this place, but from what I can gather,
there was no major reason why this was put back into an auction,
other than a change in personal circumstances or, of course,
the opportunity to turn a fast profit.
But would any potential developer be able to do the same?
I'm not so sure. The house needs a fair old bit of work and, in this market, the margins are tight.
Find out who went for it at the auction.
It's a bay fronted end-of-terrace house for improvement and refurbishment.
80,000, then. Can't start for less than that, surely?
£80,000, 80,000 I have, thank you.
£80,000 is bid. At 82 for anyone else? 82 is bid, 84 is bid, at 86?
86 I'm bid. At 88? 88 I have. And 90?
90 is bid. 90,000 I'm bid.
Lady's bid, £90,000 I have. At 90,000, then, it's being sold...
91 is bid.
92? 93, sir? 93, lady's bid.
94? 94 is bid, and 95? 95 is bid.
96 is bid. And 97?
97 is bid. And 98? 98 is bid. And 99?
99 is bid. 100,000?
100,000 I have. No? 100,000, are you all done?
Sold at 100,000, thank you very much indeed.
The successful bid of £100,000, ten grand over the top guide price, came from Alison.
She was so keen to move to this area that she bought the house without even seeing it.
I was on hand to give her the very first tour around what she hopes will be her new home.
OK, Alison, this is the first time you've ever looked at the house you've just bought.
I'm going to guide you through.
Very pleased the stairs are here.
-That was my first concern, so that's good.
-State of it?
Er... The state of it, yes...
Hmm. Well, obviously the wallpaper needs renewing.
-Very old electrics. Yeah, but...
-It's quite tired, isn't it?
It's tired. It's got no junk in it, which is a good thing!
It's got no junk, until you get to this room.
-This is the second reception room.
Yes. Not going for this in a big way.
Are you looking at the crack that I'm looking at?
-I did see that, that did catch my eye, yes.
-How do you feel about that?
Probably... Bag of Polyfilla.
Polyfilla?! At least Alison hasn't lost her sense of humour, then.
But I hope she's joking, as she definitely needs to get a professional to look at that.
So you're not too disappointed? Are you not standing here now thinking, "Why didn't I view this property?"
No, no, I can't wait to get my hands going on it, yes.
It needs a lot of work.
I think it does, yes.
It's got a little cottagy feel to it, somehow.
So this hasn't put you off so far?
Not so far. Have you got something that is going to put me off?!
'I think the kitchen may do just that.'
So what are you seeing through there?
Mmm. Tiles coming off and, yeah, probably quite a lot more work than I had anticipated.
I left Alison alone to take in the enormity of the project she'd taken on.
Alison, thank you very much for letting me show you around your home today.
What I want to know is, why didn't you view it first?
Yes, that was a little bit of a hiccup.
I did, in fact, go to the auction
just to get a feel for whether the properties were meeting the guide prices.
So you went for research purposes only?
I did think, if this property was available at the guide price, I would take a chance on it.
Obviously I got a little bit carried away,
as it sold for 10,000 above the upper guide price limit,
so I think I was taken by auction fever.
Oh, dear. She's broken all the cardinal rules of buying at auction.
She didn't view inside, read the legal pack, or set herself a top price limit.
And she's only allowed herself a budget of 20,000 to turn it round.
I don't think £20,000 is going to completely do this place up, do you?
Well, I think it will have to.
Do you think you could renovate this on a budget of 20 grand?
Yes, I think you could make a good inroad into improving the property.
Well, 20,000 should take care of installing central heating,
sorting the electrics and hopefully giving the kitchen a much-needed facelift.
But I'm really not sure that's going to be enough for Alison.
Now you're inside, what do you think?
"Yeah, I love it, I'm glad I bought this!"
Come on, give me some positive energy!
-No, sorry, I'm not feeling any of that!
-Are you not?
I'm feeling that you're not loving it? Are you not loving your house?
Not particularly, no.
Let's hope she finds something good behind there.
Well, that is a far from happy auction goer.
I really do feel for Alison, but I can't stress enough how important it is to try before you buy.
I wonder if she will fall in love with this place.
Or is it headed straight back to auction?
You can find out what happens later on in the show.
Coming up, a barn conversion might be perfect to grow profits at this former dairy farm in Cheshire.
Get some plans in, get them passed, and you could be on to an absolute winner.
Was Alison overwhelmed by all the work she'd taken on in Kent?
It was a bit of a daunting task, but one that I was ready to get on with.
But first, a seven-day working week has been the order of the day in London.
I haven't had one day off since we started work.
Having a Fulham address tends to command quite a high premium on property prices, even for London.
But it's not all chic des reses.
It is possible to pick up a relative bargain if you're prepared to take a gamble.
And that's exactly what executive chef and part-time developer Raj did.
He paid £317,000 for an old furniture shop and self-contained flat,
but hadn't even been inside before he bought it at auction.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this?
If all goes well and planning permission allows, I would like to have three flats and a shop.
All his ideas were subject to planning permission,
so rather than leave the building unoccupied,
Raj set what he called stage one in motion.
He did a basic makeover in just two weeks so he could rent the rooms out
while he waited for that all-important planning consent.
Now, over a year later, we're back.
How did his 14-day makeover go?
I managed to do the work in nine days when I got fully completed.
Within nine days, I had all the rooms let out.
For pretty much an average of £300 per room, which is quite cheap in this area,
but was good enough for me.
Altogether I had five rooms let out for 1,500, that was covering my mortgage.
Wow. So, phase one wasn't bad for starters.
But now he's properly started phase two and I can't wait to see what he's served up.
Any sign that this was once a shop is now a distant memory,
with the shop front gone and new windows and a door put on the side.
All we have now is just the two side walls, party walls.
Apart from that, everything else has been changed,
completely chucked out and started again.
After removing most of the internal walls, it was then a matter of
reconfiguring and putting the place back together again. But into what?
Remember, his original plan was for three flats and a shop.
We eventually got planning permission for two flats.
Downstairs we've got a two bedroom, two bathroom, small garden flat
with open-plan living dining.
Raj abandoned plans for a shop, worried that it would affect the saleability of the flats.
When plans for three flats were rejected, he opted to press on
with two, with additions to the existing structures.
As planning was only approved in the last few months, the ground floor two bed flat is still taking shape.
But what will the rest of the building be like?
We've got one maisonette on the top floor, which is the first floor
and second floor, which is three bedroomed flat, one en-suite bathroom.
So although Raj only has two flats when he'd hoped for three,
they're both quite sizeable, particularly the maisonette
with three bedrooms, one of which is en-suite.
There's a new bathroom and a shower room.
Plus, he's gone into the loft to create a fantastic open-plan living area.
With the addition of a dormer extension at the back,
he's managed to create a kitchen most chefs would be proud of.
Here in the kitchen I've gone for bright colours as I like it,
and as my market I'm aiming for is young professionals, so it's nice and neat.
We've got gas hob here. It's fully fitted,
nice extractor fan, and then we've also got a built-in washing machine,
dishwasher and, behind you, it'll be a nice American-style fridge freezer.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Raj has created a fabulous kitchen space
and finished the maisonette to a high standard.
But he's done more than just kitchen design.
Recently I got some holiday so I took a few weeks off and I started work.
Also, my family, my wife is very supportive to me and she's quite happy, looks after the kids for me.
Although it's a bit of pressure, she manages quite well.
And I have a good reasonable hour job, so I usually come in the evening and work,
and all the weekends I'm here, so I haven't had one day off
since we started work, which is about three months now.
Hopefully it's going to be another month's work.
Crikey, that's a punishing schedule,
but at last Raj can see light at the end of the tunnel,
and all his hard work's starting to pay off.
Did he keep check on his £80,000 budget?
I'm probably spending another 6-8k extra, so that might stretch up to £86,000, £88,000.
So £86,000 on top of his £317,000 purchase price,
with architects fees, mortgage payments when the place was empty,
plus other costs, takes the total expenditure to around £450,000. A serious investment.
The plan is now to perhaps move in here and sell it,
rather than having an empty property.
I'd rather move in here and perhaps sell it maybe a few months or a year later.
So how long will chef Raj have to leave this one to stew
until his 450 grand investment makes the sort of return that's to his taste?
What did two local estate agents think of what he's dished up so far?
The ground-floor flat is brilliant. He's got a very big,
open reception room to the rear
with double doors onto an outside space, a patio garden.
Good-sized double bedrooms. He's managed to get an en suite in
and a family bathroom. He's done an excellent job.
The ground floor two-bedroomed flat is well designed
with nice bathrooms, a good kitchen,
a bit of outside space and it's exactly what people
are looking for in this area.
The upper maisonette he's worked very well.
He's created the top floor reception room which gives it extra light and a separate kitchen
which is brilliant. The bedrooms he's working very well.
He's brought in a lot of light, the right number of bedrooms. He's done a good job.
The three-bedroomed flat is over a few levels. It's nice and spacious.
Three double bedrooms are important, good kitchens, good bathrooms.
With nearly £450,000 invested here, Raj is keen to make the flats earn their keep as soon as possible.
Might rental be the answer?
The upper maisonette would achieve £435 per week
and the ground-floor apartment would achieve £375 - £395 per week.
The ground-floor flat should go for about £400 a week
and the upper flat, something in the region of £550 a week.
They're both more than I expected.
Those levels of rent could bring in a whopping £46,000 per annum.
Amazing! So what about resale values?
The ground floor maisonette, I'd look to achieve £450,000.
And for the upper property I'd look to achieve £475,000-£485,000.
The ground floor flat for sale we'd put on the market to achieve £425,000.
The upper flat, £525,000 on the market to achieve anywhere around £500,000.
Wow, that's actually far much more than what I expected.
I was hoping to get somewhere in the region of 350 for downstairs
and 400 for upstairs, so they're a lot higher. I'm really pleased with it.
No wonder he's smiling.
If even the conservative estimates are around £900,000 in total,
that would mean a sizeable profit.
If the estate agent has it valued properly, I'd be clearing £400,000.
That's a lot of profit to be made on one project.
I'm really amazed and shocked by it.
It may have taken over a year of hassle and hard work but Raj used the ingredients he had here well.
And with that fantastic potential £400,000 pre-tax profit,
he's definitely found the recipe for success.
I'm in the rural hamlet of Brereton just outside the ancient market town
of Sandbach in Cheshire, where up for auction was something which sounds and looks pretty good.
It's a farmhouse and the guide price is £300,000-£350,000 but the good news is
you don't just get the farmhouse for your money.
Let's take a look inside.
The three-bed farmhouse is situated on a very busy bypass but it's well set back from the road
and shielded slightly by a hedge, so not too bad.
What have we got?
A nice bit of stained glass, that's a good start.
I love that, a really lovely tiled floor.
It gives a nice feeling straight away.
A house with character we hope. A living room there.
An old fireplace, probably back in fashion.
Actually, not a bad start.
The rest of the ground floor is in pretty good nick, if a bit dated.
But there's a good-sized kitchen, albeit with no units, leading to a fair-sized larder.
I like the feel of this place.
It's definitely got character.
Upstairs a reasonable sized bathroom and loo, kind of tired and dated
and a lot of cupboard in there which I'd probably get rid of.
You can put a shower cubicle or something like that in there.
Three bedrooms, one at the back, a big one at the front and another big one over that side.
Then there's the box room.
I say box...
a kind of box for a hamster if nothing else.
See what I mean?
Still, all useful storage and kind of quirky.
I'd definitely be looking to keep the original features here,
along with a few modern additions like double-glazing to keep the heat in and that road noise out.
I'd update the electrics as well and once the house has been modernised, there's still scope for improvement.
Out here it starts to get really, really exciting because not only does the property come
with a whopping 1.9 acres of land, it's also got a load of outbuildings.
It used to be a dairy farm and as you can see the stalls, where the cows would've come in to be fed,
are still here. But clearly unless you're planning to have your own
dairy herd, what you want to be doing is knocking this thing down or building something in its place.
The good news is that this building has got its own access, which the planners will love.
I reckon get some plans in, get them passed and you could be on to an absolute winner.
Talk about milking it!
At what was a guide price of £300-£350,000 this might be a property developer's dream.
What does the local estate agent think?
What you've got is a paddock and an access to that off the road, which is quite useful
because if somebody wanted
to maybe convert the barn, they can use the paddock
as an access subject to planning and building regulation approval
but it should work quite well.
Once done up, what could this place sell for?
If you renovated this house with its barn and with its land, it's going
to be worth somewhere in the order of 500, 550 when you've finished it.
What about rental?
There is a rental potential.
In its present state it would be difficult to let.
I think done up suitably, looking good,
you're probably looking at getting something like £1,250 a month.
It's a good sized house on a really good-sized plot.
Personally, I wouldn't think about extending the house.
For me the real key to making money out of this one
is those outbuildings and what you could do with them.
It's a pot of gold, if you get it right.
Let's see who spotted the opportunity at the auction.
How much for it, ladies and gentlemen?
250 I've got.
260, 270, 280, 280,000. 290, 300.
At 300. 310. 320, I've got it.
At 320. At 320,000.
325 at the back. 330 here.
At 330. 335 at the back.
340, five at the back, 350,
350, it's here. 355, at 360, 365,
370, 375, 380, at 380 at the front.
385, 390, at 390. 400, at 400 here.
Two-and-a-half? Come on. 402 and a half.
Five? Sorry. 405. At 405.
Six? At 405,000, once, twice,
at 405,000 the third time... Yours, sir.
Local couple Stephen and Christina were the successful bidders for this lot, forking out £405,000.
I caught up with them at the farmhouse to find out what made them buy it.
Stephen, Christina, congratulations.
A big house with lots of ground.
Why did you want to buy it?
Because it's there.
It's a bit like a mountain to climb, I guess.
Did you know the house then?
-We live not far from it, don't we?
Only about a mile and a half, so we've always known the house.
You've got a house already, what does this have?
We've got a house, a farm down the road and we've got two children.
-They're 31, twins.
-Not still living at home?
Yeah, they won't move out, so we're going.
-Are you serious?
It's not just their children that Stephen and Christina will be leaving at their current farm.
-I'm a farmer.
-What do you farm?
-Free-range eggs, chickens.
-How many chickens have you got?
I need quite a lot to pay for this.
-So have you put all your eggs in one basket in this place?
Christina recently retired from working in a fashion store and was looking forward to lots of holidays.
But when Stephen saw this, he just had to have it.
So what was it about this place particularly that appealed?
Well, it's on its own. The buildings haven't been made into housing.
I like somewhere to do my welding at night, you know, a workshop which could be made into one.
And it's a nice house.
It just needs modernising inside.
-It's on a good bus route.
-A good bus route?
There's a bus stop outside.
When we get us bus passes, we could go that way if we don't want to drive.
In fact, egg-cellent. Sorry, so many puns, so little time.
Let's move swiftly onto their budget.
What sort of money have you put aside for doing the work?
One of the big things for me was the outbuildings
and the land, so what are you going to do with both of them?
Well, it could be made into a double garage for cars.
And the rest, a workshop or whatever I want. I collect a few old tractors.
-They could go in there.
They are potentially, those outbuildings, a fantastic development opportunity.
Yeah, but you spoil the place's privacy then, don't you?
Well, I could have somewhere for my old tractors.
Stephen and Christina have a six-month timescale to sort this
place out but it looks like those outbuildings will be staying put.
Still, a nice little nest egg for the children.
Sorry. OK, no more puns, I promise!
Do any of your friends or children think you're eccentric at all?
-Yeah, I hope so.
-I think they do.
I think it's been a bit of a shock in the village, you know, that we bought it and it was going there.
-There's been a lot of talk on that, hasn't there? Yeah, there has.
-What have they been saying?
Well, who was going there and I said we'd bought it for a love nest and different things!
Isn't that great? It just goes to prove it isn't always just about money.
Christina and Stephen are buying this place to turn it into their love nest.
But by not doing the outbuildings at the back up, the amount of money
they could potentially lose is certainly not "chicken feed" or a "poultry" amount.
And, of course, will the kids come home to roost here once it's all done up?
You can find out exactly what happens later in the show.
Well, when we left our auction aficionados, they had their fingers crossed and high hopes of success.
But have the purchasers been having sleepless nights?
Let's go back and find out.
Back in Ashford in Kent, auction fever had got the better of Alison.
She ended up buying her new home for £100,000 without ever having seen inside.
So not only was my first visit a chance to meet Alison,
but it was also an opportunity to introduce her to her new home.
OK, Alison, this is the first time you have ever looked at the house you've just bought.
Now, I'm going to guide you through.
OK, so this is the second reception room.
I mean, you know, what now?
So what are you seeing through there?
Tiles coming off and, yeah, probably quite a lot more work than I had anticipated.
Now you're inside, what do you think? "Yeah, I love it. I'm glad I bought this"?
Come on, give me some positive energy.
No, sorry, I'm not feeling any of that at all.
-Are you not?
-I'm feeling that you're not loving it. Are you not loving your house?
Yes, not particularly, no.
It seems she was kicking herself for not checking more thoroughly.
But six months later, has she been able to turn it from despair
and disappointment into a desirable new home?
Well, from the outside it's certainly looking of promising.
Initially, I was a little bit stunned, having gone to auction and purchased the property
and then realised exactly the extent of the works that needed to be done.
It was a bit of a daunting task but one that I was ready to get on with.
And, boy, has she got on with it.
Where once there were drab, dingy spaces, there are now warm and vibrant rooms...
..from the comfortable lounge...
...to the breakfast/dining area.
And a fabulous new kitchen.
Alison has certainly transformed this house and lifted the gloom.
So this space in here was rather dark and quite dismal.
It's got a sink here and a cabinet there.
And there was also the toilet at the back.
The wall's been knocked down, it's all been opened up a little bit and it's made it quite a lot brighter.
New kitchen cabinets that have been fitted, and the down lights give it a nice finish.
The success story continues upstairs with the two bedrooms brought bang up-to-date.
The bathroom has been cleverly changed using a mixture of old and new.
Now that the outside area is sorted too, Alison has made this a house to be really proud of.
Juggling work and the renovation project was quite difficult but fortunately I did have
a good team of builders on side and quite a lot of the organisation
was taken on from them, which also actually allowed me to go on holiday, which was quite nice.
Alison used to live in Dover yet works as a railway signaller in Ashford.
So her new home means less travelling now.
But even though the builders were given the green light to crack on,
this was a project that didn't always stay on track.
Progress was quite slow, slower than had been anticipated because there were more problems
than were initially perceived, particularly with the plastering work.
We thought we could get away with just skimming over what was already there.
As the work progressed that wasn't the case. It was more in-depth.
And the back of the house needed tying into the main building
because that, in effect, has been an extension to the rear of the property.
So the timescale was derailed because there was more involved than she initially expected.
And you know what they say, time is money.
I would say I've spent in the region of £20,000.
Between £20,000 and £25,000.
So with her £25,000 spend plus the original purchase price of £100,000
and the usual costs and fees, Alison's invested over 130,000 on this spur-of-the-moment purchase.
So was it a rash one or inspired?
Let's hear from a local estate agent.
I think it's lovely. It's a lovely property.
It's been refurbished to a very high standard
and it's located in a very sought-after location.
Should she have been more ambitious with the renovation?
This is a spacious two-bedroom property, and if you did try
to extend it into a three-bed, I think it might compromise on the size, so it's better to have
two large bedrooms and a large family bathroom, as is the case here, than smaller accommodation.
Although this is Alison's home at present, if she moved, she would aim to rent it out.
But would it pay its way?
We'd rent this property out for £675 per calendar month.
I'm quite surprised that a two-bedroom place would command such a high rental.
Yes, that rental return is encouraging
but the key thing is whether this has been a solid investment.
Remember, Alison spent over 130,000 here.
We'd market this property at £155,000.
155, my goodness!
Wow! That is a huge amount,
a lot more than I had anticipated.
So a potential £20,000 profit in the current market.
That's very encouraging.
Yeah, it's been a bit of a struggle, but I think it's going to be worthwhile.
And, yeah, I'd definitely do it again.
So despondency has turned into delight and Alison appears made up
with the result she has achieved here.
This four-bedroom farmhouse in Brereton, Cheshire was bought
at auction by egg producer Stephen and his wife Christina for £405,000.
They plan to make it their love nest and escape their grown-up kids.
We've got a house, well, it's a farm, down the road,
with two children. Well, they're 31, twins.
-Not still living at home?
-Yeah, they won't move out, so we're going.
The house itself was in pretty good nick.
All it really needed was a bit of modernisation.
The real potential lay in the outbuildings.
They could be converted into a home office or even,
given the right planning permission, a separate dwelling.
So six months later, have Stephen and Christina decided against using it as extra space for themselves
and to cash in by converting it?
Well, it seems that privacy and space are still more important to the couple than making money.
We've altered nothing in the building yet, but we shall do.
Nothing outside, just inside.
Just to make it into a workshop.
I do a bit of welding and I have some vintage tractors
that I play around with when I'm not working.
It's good to hear it's not all work and no play for Stephen.
But what about the house? Any changes there?
Now, that looks a little different.
The kitchen has been completely overhauled with modern appliances and fitted cupboards.
The dining room has been given a new lease of life and a fantastic tiled floor.
The larder, which was always a useful space, has been made
doubly so with the addition of a ground-floor shower room.
And the changes continue upstairs.
All the bedrooms have been re-plastered, painted and had new carpets fitted.
The tired-looking bathroom has been replaced by a sleek and stylish shower room.
In fact, the only room that hasn't changed is the box room.
But they were slightly limited on what they could do with one square metre.
We've had new windows, it's been re- plastered, rewired, decorated.
All the central heating's been done throughout.
Downstairs shower and toilet, which wasn't in.
Now, when I'm getting too old to go upstairs, I can have a shower downstairs.
That downstairs shower isn't the only little luxury Stephen has afforded himself.
New fireplace, grate and log-effect fire with the remote control which stokes it,
without us even getting off our chairs.
And this is where I'll spend my days when I'm getting older.
And Christina seems pleased as well.
We went looking at quite a lot of kitchens and there's quite a lot of cream colours
and wood, but I fancied something different, so I went for blue.
And the tiles match lovely and I'm really pleased with it.
The couple were hoping to get all the renovations completed within six months and all has gone to plan.
With just the finishing touches to be done,
they hope to move into their love nest for two in a fortnight.
That leaves their grown-up twin son and daughter at their current farm just a mile down the road.
Our daughter said she'd feel like an orphan.
And then she decided she can have plenty of parties.
Plenty of parties, like young ones do.
I don't think we'll be missed.
Stephen and Christina had a budget of £40,000 to bring the farmhouse into the 21st century.
To date, they have spent £32,000, so they're on time and under budget.
Perfect scenario but has all their time and money been well spent?
Well, I'm amazed. I think they've done incredibly well.
It's quite a surprise, really, when I look at it.
Everything's been refurbished. It looks wonderful.
I think it's very nice. I like what they've done with regard to the windows.
And they've kept it quite traditionally laid out.
The only thing I would have done is I would have put a bath in the bathroom.
Other than that, I think it works very well.
It's not just the house that's the big selling point here.
There are also those outbuildings.
If it could be developed as a separate property, there's obviously
potential to make a bit of money there.
If they converted it into a two-storey barn conversion
with at least three bedrooms, 375,000 to 400,000, depending on the specification that they fitted it.
It's got to be somewhere round about 375 - 400,000.
Whoa! So could that change the couple's minds about leaving the outbuildings untouched?
Only if we had to. But it wouldn't be very private.
Stephen and Christina paid £405,000 for the house and its surrounding 1.9 acres.
They spent £32,000 modernising the place, so if they sold, could they recoup that?
I would value this property for £475,000 - £500,000.
I think we'd be looking at somewhere round about £500,000.
So a potential profit of around £60,000 before tax and other costs are deducted.
That's an awful lot of chicken feed for farmer Stephen.
It's somewhere where I think it could be but we're not tempted.
I think it will go more than that in future.
But we've bought it to live at and we're going to live at it.
The farmhouse was never bought as an investment.
It was always destined to be a little haven for Stephen and Christina to retire to,
and that's exactly what they're going to do.
I think it will be very nice to be on us own.
We can watch what we want on television.
Yeah, it'll be very nice.
Back to where we were when it all started.
-Join us next time...
-for more thrills and spills from the auction room.
-See you then.
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