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Buying at auction can be very simple and effective
and we're here to help demystify the process.
Yes, because when the hammer comes down, that could be just the beginning.
You've then got to get the property habitable.
So let's see what our brave bidders took on on today's show.
Bidding at auction may seem an odd way of buying something as important as property.
-But lots of people do it.
-Yes, it's quick and it's easy, so maybe it's for you.
So stay with us as we follow three properties that did sell under the hammer.
In Stoke-on-Trent, have I discovered a flat above the perfect commercial unit?
It's exactly what you would want it to be.
When we first saw this London cottage, converting the cellar was taking some time.
Now, four-and-a-half years later, you'll see the finished result.
And this three-bed house in Lincoln had a very odd layout which needed changing, one way or another.
You've got to do something, because as it stands, it's all a bit strange.
All of these properties went to auction and right now, we'll find out
-who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.
-You've bought it, son.
I'm in Longton in the southern district of Stoke-on-Trent,
known to the locals as the Neck End of the city.
It's one of the six pottery towns that makes up the city of Stoke-on-Trent.
A lot of evidence of the history around here remains, with the
striking silhouettes of chimneys still dominating the skyline.
Well, it's certainly a windy day here, but the
property I'm here to see shouldn't put the wind up any investor.
£15,000 was the guide price for this, a commercial unit
with living space above it. Let's take a look inside.
So what do you get for that kind of money?
You're going to be surprised, because actually you get quite a lot.
This is the commercial unit and it's exactly what you would want it to be.
Basically, it's just a big long rectangle. Perfect.
It means flexibility for whoever took this on, you know, shelving, whatever. Great use of space.
It's a good size as well, stairs there down into a basement, and stairs there to even more property.
'So, for that guide price of just £15,000, what was on offer on the first floor?'
So, up here at the front, a good-sized room,
and at the rear of the property, yet another good-sized room.
It looks to me at the moment like this wasn't used as living
accommodation, more sort of extra storage for the unit downstairs.
There's a kitchenette there, but good news, there is a loo there.
And I reckon by playing around with this,
you could create a really nice flat so you end up with a work-live unit.
And one extra thing I've just noticed, I reckon you could even go up into the loft.
'There's more space than you'd think with this lot, although it was guided at just 15 grand.
'If the downstairs is to be kept as a commercial unit, time and money
'will need to be spent to bring it up to scratch with current working condition regulations.
'There's also a basement
'which runs the whole length of the property,
'making it ideal storage space for a business or a shop.
'But there's clear evidence down here of work that would be necessary on the whole building.
'Both the electrics and heating will need replacing.
'From the front, it looks like the roof will need to be redone as well
'and although the back of the property has already been patched up, some scary gaps remain.
'I invited a local estate agent to come and tell me
'more about the area.'
The property prices in this area are quite low
compared to other parts of Stoke-on-Trent.
The reason that they are lower is that it is mixed in with a lot of
industrial property, and some of it has fallen into decline.
The good point of this area is that a lot of money is being spent on investment.
The bad point is it's taking a lot of time to come through.
'Well that could explain the guide price.
'But it's good to hear about the regeneration plans,
'so it's looking like this could be a solid long-term investment.'
What I like about this particular property is that somebody can stamp on it their own individual mark.
However, it is going to require quite a lot of refurbishment works.
A lot of it is hidden behind the panelling on the walls.
'Yes, it will take some effort but it would be great to see another building restored and taken care of.
'So, once all the necessary work has been done and the building brought
'back up to scratch, how much could it then be worth on the market?'
Once fully renovated, I would expect this particular property
to fetch in the region of £55,000 to £60,000 on the open market.
'That's a good price, even once you factor in the renovation costs.
'But what does this local expert think would be the best move for whoever bought this property?'
The best option for this property would be for an investor to buy it, to carry out the renovation works
and then to find a shopkeeper that is looking at starting up a business
and wants living accommodation above.
We would anticipate a rental value of somewhere in the region of £4,000 per annum for the whole unit.
'There are lots of issues inside.
'This could turn into a horror story, because round the back, the benefit
'of car parking could well be offset by the state of the property.
'But just remember that guide price.'
Now, I know property prices are a bit depressed at the moment,
but honestly, talk about value for money.
This place, at a guide price of 15,000 quid?
Come on, it's a no-brainer. Let's see who went for it at the auction.
Lot 22, a two-storey retail property.
Clear reserve. If you bid me 15, you can have it for 15,
unless somebody else bids higher.
15, can I say?
Back row, seated. Thank you, sir.
£15,000 on the back row.
16, can I say anywhere else?
Otherwise, I'm selling it at 15.
Are we all done?
I might even take a half if it helps.
And a half? 16.5, 17.
17.5, 18. Shaking his head.
Still with you on the back row, sir.
£18,000. Another half anywhere else?
At £18,000 then, are we all done?
Back in, 18.5.
19, sir? 19.
No? Shaking his head again. Still with you on the back row at 19,000.
First time at £19,000, second time...
Third and final time.
At £19,000, I'm selling it.
You've bought it, sir, well done.
'That successful bidder who paid just £4,000 above the guide price was local lettings agent Abraham.
'He's from Stoke-on-Trent and knows the area well.
'I caught up with him back at the shop to talk business.'
-Abraham, good to meet you.
-Hi, Martin, nice meeting you.
-Why did you want to buy this place?
-It was the right price.
-Right, is that it?
-Yes, that's about it basically.
-How did the auction go?
Well, I didn't really go to the auction thinking I'm going to be buying this place.
I hadn't seen the inside prior to today, only half an hour ago.
The auction went OK, yeah.
-I bought next door as well.
-I bought next door as well.
-I got them both at a reasonable price.
-How much did you pay for next door?
I was a bit cautious when I bought them because I'd not seen the inside, but yeah, I'm satisfied.
It seems to be OK.
'Blimey, buying blind is not something I'd recommend.
'But Abraham did it twice, as he bought this one for £19,000
'and next door for £15,000.
'So, for £34,000, he got two properties, but certainly from
'the back, these terrible twins don't look too great to me.
'I reckon Abraham's taken a chance.
'Mind you, he has got lots of experience.'
-I've been in the business since I was 18.
-The property business?
Yeah. I run two estate agents, letting agencies here.
We do a lot of business in Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester, Blackpool, North Wales.
And how many properties do you have in your portfolio?
Touching about 34, 35.
Oh, great, fantastic.
And those are all rented out?
They're all rented out, yes.
So why did you go for this one other than just the price?
The rental return.
Longton's going through a regeneration, so it'll eventually come back, hopefully.
There's always going to be a demand for small shopkeepers
and people that want to live around here, hence the flats upstairs.
You've go this unit down here but you've also got the flat.
-That's right, yes.
-So what are you going to do?
Are you going to view these as two individual properties and sort them out like that?
Definitely. They'll remain as they are, as two different units.
We'll renovate them, bring them up to current regulations, health and safety and so forth.
And basically, look for an ideal tenant.
So what's the plan for the property? What are you going to do with it?
Basically, the electrics, from what I can see, wouldn't be right at the moment.
So obviously, you'd have electric put in to current regulations, get the gas sorted out, renovate
upstairs, it needs a kitchen and bathroom, all the walls
-need skimming, plastering, see if the floor's right, and that's it, basically.
-But to keep it as what?
As a unit, the way it is, yes.
-With the view that upstairs is used as what?
-Probably leased out to the
same person, upstairs and downstairs, this unit, to the same person, and the same next door.
-And what kind of returns do you think you might get?
-I don't know. For this unit,
the whole unit, we're looking at between 500 and 700 a month.
For next door, probably 450 to 500.
So let's assume 500 a month, that 6,000 a year.
-You've paid £19,000 for it!
-It's not a bad buy.
'That would be a very healthy return on
'his investment, and an opportunity for more regeneration in the area.
'But there are renovation expenses on top of the £34,000 he paid at auction.
'It sounds like Abraham likes to do things properly,
'so how much will it cost to get these properties up to scratch?'
It's not as bad as I thought.
On the outside, the properties look a lot worse than on the inside.
But I think on both units we should get away with about 25,000, 30,000.
So you're pumping quite a lot of money in.
Oh yeah, it's going to take a lot of money to get them up to scratch.
Sounds like a lot. What are you going to do for 25 grand?
You've got your windows to sort out, kitchens and bathrooms to install,
electrical installation, you've got your gas,
-your walls to sort out, and it adds up.
And the roof, the roof's quite bad. So it needs a new roof.
Who's going to do the work? Are you going to get involved?
-No, no. Eh, no.
-No, no, no!
That's definitely no!
I've got a team of lads to do the work, basically.
Sometimes we sub-contract the work out.
-So we've got people out there who'll do the work.
-What kind of timescale is there?
If it goes our way, eight weeks, you know, may go into ten.
I think eight weeks should be about right.
-Do you have to apply for any planning?
-We checked with the solicitor.
There's residential use upstairs, which is going to stay the same.
Both units downstairs are commercial, so there shouldn't be an issue there.
Seeing it today for the first time, it's a pleasant surprise.
It's not as bad as I thought it would be. Fingers crossed it should be OK.
Good luck with it all, and lovely to meet you.
Cheers, Martin, thanks a lot.
'It might only have been £34,000, but there is just
'a little bit of work required on these two properties, inside and out, front and back.'
Well, it's almost as if Abraham has got two properties for the price of one.
He's certainly got the experience to make this project a success and sort
out the rentals once he's done them up.
But that budget seems really high to me, so I wonder what we'll get for our money.
You can find out later in the show.
'We're now going back to a property we first showed you in August 2005.
'Here in Greenwich, from this spectacular vantage point,
'the sights of London are laid before you.'
This area of South London is so popular with tourists, and you can see why.
You've got the Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, the Royal Naval College,
and all within walking distance of the beautiful Greenwich Park.
'For locals, the Royal Park had always been an attraction.
'In 2005, the area was already very much in demand for workers at Canary Wharf.
'Although the dome was yet to become a destination arena, there was no
'shortage of investors looking to renovate properties in Greenwich, an area steeped in history.'
With some of these houses in this street dating back to 1850, there's certainly going to
be some interesting history behind these net curtains, and in such a fantastic area.
I'm interested already. So what have we got here, then?
Well, there's two reception rooms, two bedrooms, and it's got a guide price of £270,000.
'The outside of this little cottage looks really inviting, with its picket fence and sash windows.
'But will it tempt the investors inside?
'On the ground floor, the front living room has a lovely old
'fireplace, which will certainly attract the restoration fans.
'Along the corridor is the kitchen, which is going to need ripping out,
'but it's a good size and that door in the corner leads to a very interesting find.
'There's a cellar. But I just hope any investor is prepared to factor
'in some money for damp, the usual problem with cellars.
'And off the kitchen, right at the back of the property,
'is the bathroom, and that's a case of start again, I'm afraid.
'Upstairs, are two bedrooms, both a good size, and I can't wait to have
'a look behind that boarded-up fireplace in the rear bedroom.
'If it's hiding anything like the one in the front bedroom,
'you could be on to a really good selection of fireplaces here, all worth restoration work.
'At the back of the property is a lovely and secluded walled garden,
'and perfectly situated right next door is the local pub, which is where I headed to
'find out a bit more about the history of this London cottage with its decidedly country feel.'
Greenwich is one of the few places
in which there is a village atmosphere.
We're so close to the centre here, and people do know each other around the place,
and it is a true village.
'These days, this area appeals to new faces from the city, but the locals have appreciated it for years.'
The house next door was occupied by a little lady called Lilian,
and she'd been there for 50 years.
And she's very sorely missed.
'So is David hoping the new neighbours will be as keen to sample his hospitality?'
I do hope so! Mind you, they could burrow underneath in the cellar, couldn't they?
That could be a retrograde step, but we hope so, yes.
Yes, this house needs redecorating and a possible extension or two, but with the average house in this
street selling at over £360,000, I think somebody could be getting a bargain with this.
'And the property went to auction with a guide price of 270,000.'
Down to Greenwich now,
I like this street, an established character street.
How much? 200? OK, you want to get in.
£200,000. 205, anywhere?
205, back of the room.
210, 215, 220.
225, 230, 235.
250. 250, 255.
I'll take your bid now, 260.
270, 275. I'll take 1,000. 271, 272,
275, 276, 277.
Behind you, 277?
If not, 276 down here.
First time, second time,
third and last time, if you're all done...
Sold, 276, well bought.
'The successful bidder, paying £276,000, was Michael.
'He's a local headmaster.'
# We don't need no education... #
'And he already lives on the same street.'
I saw that the property was on the market first of all with an estate agent.
I didn't pay too much attention to it, and then it went on auction, and the posters were up in the window
that it was going for auction, and I came to have a look at it.
What interested me about this house is that it really does have
the capacity to be a very nice house, much bigger than the one
I live in at the moment on the same street.
'Michael's considering relocating down the road from
'where he currently lives to this new place he's bought next to the pub.'
The planning has gone into the local authority, and the idea
is really to keep the Georgian style, certainly the exterior.
One of the exciting things to do here is to convert the basement into an all-through kitchen diner.
It will need a bit of underpinning, and that basically will lead out
through French windows into a courtyard garden.
'Well, that certainly is an ambitious project,
'and whenever you want to build right up to a neighbour's wall, you
'will need to get a qualified lawyer to draw up a party wall agreement, and that can prove quite expensive.'
We're going to be taking the central staircase out and putting the staircase on the flank wall, outside
the flank wall, because there's an alleyway which joins this house to the pub next door.
'As you can see, building work is all the rage here. The pub next door is having the roof fixed, so Michael
'collared the builder for his advice.'
Can we have a look at this over here?
-What do you think about the idea of French windows?
-That'd work, yeah.
I think it would be good, it would be a much larger house.
From a two-bedroom house, it will open it up. Do think it will work?
Yeah, it's not a problem.
'Michael paid 276,000 for this cottage,
'and he's delighted that builder Ron has agreed to take the work on.'
He's worked in this part of the world for a long time,
so knows these Georgian houses extremely well.
'There's no space to get a digger into the garden, but Ron knows what he's letting himself in for.'
Lots of hard work! Lots of earth coming out, lots of concrete going in,
so there's about 20 skips to come out of there, and probably about 15 ton of concrete to go back in.
The whole building will be replastered and rewired, replumbed, new central heating.
Basically all you end up left with is the four walls and the roof, everything else will be new.
'Michael paid £276,000 for this cottage, so how much is he budgeting for the building work?'
I think it'll cost about £75,000 to do everything here.
So it's an expensive conversion,
but I think probably, at the end of the day, a worthwhile one.
'Join us later in the programme when you'll see why headmaster Michael was close to getting a detention
'the first time we came back and there was nothing to show, but how finally,
'four-and-a-half years on, he got top marks for this refurbishment.'
'Coming up, fingers crossed the damp patch in this Lincoln house was just from a dripping tap.'
A bit more serious, it could possibly be the roof.
Either way, it needs to be checked out.
'We return to this Georgian cottage in Greenwich four-and-a-half years after we first saw it,
'where a magnificent cellar conversion is now finished.'
'But first, in Stoke, has Abraham kept to his original timescale?'
If it goes our way, 8 weeks.
It may go into 10.
'Earlier in the programme, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Abraham, a property developer
'with his own lettings company, had paid just £19,000 for this shop with a one-bedroom flat above.
'His children must've thought he was playing Monopoly, as he also paid
'£15,000 for the neighbouring property.
'But once you went round the back, you could see some major structural problems with these terrible twins.
'Abraham planned to refurbish both and rent out the two top-floor flats.
'Five-and-a-half months later, the outside appearance of both properties has definitely changed.
'The retail unit has been let out to a flooring company.
'Upstairs, the living room of the flat has been refurbished,
'as well as the kitchen...
'..and the bedroom.
'Next door, the ground floor office has just been tidied up.
'But again, up on the first floor, the flat has been refurbished
'and, like next door, both flats now have tenants.
'But, as Abraham explains, buying two properties doubled
'the hidden structural problems that he discovered.'
When we had a good look at the building,
we realised the gable end wasn't structurally safe, so that was unforeseen.
But we were quite lucky.
We were doing the roof anyway, so the scaffolding would've been used
to go up to do the roof, so whilst we were up there, we did what we needed to do.
'Apart from the gable end, both roofs had to be replaced, along with new chimney stacks and wiring.'
As you can see, we've had a new kitchen put in, a whole new bathroom,
decorated throughout, carpets throughout. That's about it.
'Abraham knew his lettings company had several potential tenants.
'He was keen to get the flats refurbished as quickly as possible so he could start to generate
'income from this property that he'd paid £19,000 for at auction.'
It's taken us just under three months to do the work, and we've spent
about 20,000 altogether on both properties.
'Remember, Abraham had allowed £25,000 to £30,000 to refurbish both places,
'and even after all that structural work, he's come in under budget.
'But most of the refurbishment on both properties has been done
'on the first floor, so how much did that cost?'
Just the flats cost us about 5,000 to get it all ready.
But somebody's living here now, so it's bringing some money back to us.
'Although both flats and the shop are rented out,
'access to the flat above the retail unit is through the shop,
'which could prove rather inconvenient as they're let to different people.
'But wasn't the plan to have the same tenant for both?'
That was initially the idea.
The company I've taken on downstairs, they have started
moving their stuff into the office. It's more used as a showroom.
Shouldn't be a problem.
'I don't know if it was luck or planning, but it's worked out well for Abraham.
'The property next door has yet to find a downstairs tenant, so that could still prove to be a problem.
'How much is he charging for the two flats?'
The property next door, that's producing an income of 380 per calendar month.
The rent upstairs is £400 per calendar month,
and the chap's been living up there for the last month or two.
'On first impression it might appear that Abraham hasn't gone over the top with the finish here, but he's
'an experienced property developer with over 34 properties all rented out in Manchester, Blackpool and
'Stoke-on-Trent, so he obviously knows what level to do a property to in order to keep his tenants happy.
'Time now to see how two local estate agents will rate
'these two properties that Abraham has now added to his portfolio.'
The commercial unit is relatively small, it's in a secondary location,
but it benefits from a large display window to the front.
The one-bed flat upstairs is quite small.
It's had a minor refit, and is in pretty poor condition.
Structural work was certainly necessary in order to get the finance on it.
If he was to sell it, he'd need to do structural work
for any reports required by the banks or mortgage lenders.
I think this was a good investment.
The owner, by putting a lease in place, has substantially increased the value.
The main negative for the property is that it cannot be split.
The flat isn't self contained and will have to be let to one person,
which will limit the market.
'That's not proved to be a problem for Abraham.
'It sounds like the person who's renting the shop
'is happy for the tenant of the flat to enter via the shop.
'The question is, will Abraham be happy with the current market
'value of the shop and flat that he paid £19,000 for on auction day?
'Remember, he spent another £20,000 refurbishing both properties.'
I'd put a combined value of the shop and flat at £60,000.
I'd put the combined value of the shop and first floor flat at between £45,000 to £50,000.
'Assuming half of the budget went on this property, that would represent
'a minimum pre-tax profit for the shop with flat above, of £29,000.
'Is Abraham happy with that?'
The values are good because obviously I paid a lot less than that for both of the units.
That's why we're in the game.
'Abraham's charging his tenant above the shop £400 per calendar month,
'so what's the typical rental income that other landlords around here are achieving?'
I think the commercial premises on its own would rent at £200 a month,
and the flat upstairs on its own at £200 a month.
A combined rental of £400.
I would rent the ground floor shop at £200 per calendar month
and the first floor flat at £300 per calendar month.
As a whole, making £500 per calendar month.
The rental values that the estate agents have said, er, again, we've
achieved slightly more than what they've said, and we're quite happy with the amount we've achieved.
'Perhaps there's a lesson here for faint-hearted investors.
'When you've got over 34 other properties to fall back on, sometimes you may take a gamble,
'cross your fingers and hope it pays off.
'But an important word of warning, never take the risk if you can't afford to carry the loss.'
It's been quite a good investment.
We've had better investments in the past, but all in all it's been relatively good.
Seven miles north of the beautiful city of Lincoln
is the village of Dunholme, surrounded by endless fields.
A lot of people think Lincolnshire is rather flat, and certainly if
you're in the south, in the Fens, you would be right.
But the north is slightly hillier.
Big question - in the middle, where I am,
is the property market flat as a pancake or rather more uplifting?
'The landscape does seem pretty level, but also rather lovely.
'Behind almost every hedge there's a well-kept garden.
'What a perfect rural setting.'
Right in the centre of the village is Ryland Road, and the property I'm here to see.
It's a three-bedroomed mid-terrace.
Had a guide price of 80,000 quid.
It certainly scores on the kerb appeal front. Lovely garden.
Let's see if the inside matches up.
'It looks like a beautifully framed snapshot of one of the many charming houses around here.
'But the property I'm here to see is not a historic character cottage.
'In fact, it was built in the 1950s.
'But it's much more appealing than I was expecting, and the front garden sets it well back from the road.'
Really nice looking property from the outside, I have to say.
So, what's it like? Well...
There's an extremely big, what do you call that? An entrance porch area?
Actually, I do think that's a very practical thing, somewhere to put your coats.
It's actually big enough to store a bike, so we quite like that.
Through into the lounge, nice bay windows, lots of light pouring in through those.
I guess they're not authentic to this property, but I do like the feel they give to the room.
Something which is obviously missing is central heating, cos there's no radiators, but you have got
an open fire there. Not a bad sized space.
It's a bit tired and dated, but it doesn't smell damp.
Not a bad start.
'The kitchen is also a decent size, but again the decor is really dated.
'This old storage heater and these units have certainly seen better days.
'Just past the kitchen, I found something which has got me rather puzzled.'
Now, this is very odd.
This is some kind of a corridor which links the front of the house with the rear garden.
Fair enough, I suppose, if you want your gardener to pass
through that passage through the house, for us to have a gardener! But this is also very, very strange.
It's this little room at the side here, and it's just not utilising the space at all well.
What would you do with it? I guess you could have this as a utility room, perhaps.
My preferred option would be to take out this wall,
expand into the kitchen to create a really nice family kitchen area.
But you've got to do something cos as it stands, it's a bit strange.
'It also means you get two front doors, as this one leads to the passageway.
'I suppose it does make a good place to take off the kids' muddy boots or dry off a wet dog.
'It's the only route to the back garden for this property, which was guided at £80,000.
'It's probably bigger than it appears.
'In fact, I like that almost overgrown feel which gives it more character than just a straight lawn.
'So, what's on offer upstairs?'
Upstairs here, it feels solid, and it's not a bad sized space either.
You've got two big double bedrooms, one there and one on the other side of the stairs, not in bad condition.
A bathroom... Looks like it could do with a bit of updating, the old avocado suite.
And a separate loo.
The jury's out on whether or not you knock that through to create one bathroom and toilet.
I actually like having a separate loo, I think it's very practical, especially in a family house.
We've got a second bedroom there, as I said. Here's something interesting.
You've got a big water tank taking up a lot of space in this massive cupboard.
If you put, say, a combi boiler in downstairs when you redo the central
heating anyway, you'd create a lot of extra space.
Through into the box bedroom, and the only problem I've seen so far.
Oh, dear. That doesn't feel damp, but there's obviously been some kind of a water leak.
In the loft there, there's probably a water tank.
That's the system in here at the moment. That might be leaking.
Or a bit more serious, it could be the roof.
Either way, it needs to be checked out.
'Those two front bedrooms really are a fantastic size, and once you've got rid of that 1970s suite
'and put in something more up-to-date, the bathroom will be transformed.
'I reckon this is a very appealing little house.
'It works extremely well as a family home,
'and, with that garden and this setting, it could be a lovely one.
'Does a local estate agent share my enthusiasm for this property that
'went to auction with a guide price of 80,000?'
The property offers good-sized bedrooms.
With the right refurbishment would make a good family home.
There's also a good-sized garden.
Replacing the roof or repairing it could be a costly expense.
It's certainly worthwhile getting a specialist to check into that.
With the property potentially being over 50 years old, I would strongly advise that is checked.
'What about that strange passageway?'
Many of these covered walkways have been converted into utility areas
or extensions to kitchens where applicable, but it is the only passageway connecting the front
to the rear of the property, being a mid-terraced house.
'The guide price of £80,000 certainly sounded good value,
'but to renovate the house fully would cost quite a bit.
'Assuming the new purchaser has the budget to do the work, how much could the property be worth
'fully refurbished and put back on the market?'
In current condition, the property's worth in the region of £90,000.
I do believe there is scope to improve the value of this home with the right
application and refurbishment, and it could be worth 120,000 when it's done.
The rental market is very strong in the area, and I believe the property would rent well, as there
are limited stock available for this type of property.
In my opinion, the property would rent for somewhere in the region of £550 a month.
Well, this little house probably worked quite well in the 1950s, but to bring it up to today's standards
it is going to need a bit of time and money spending on it, but I think it's worth it.
Intrinsically, it's a nice house, good area, and potentially value for money.
Let's see who fancied it at the auction.
Lot number one, in the village of Dunholme.
It's a three-bedroom terrace property,
in need of some cosmetic upgrading.
Guided at £80,000. Who'll bid to start me?
Would anyone like to start me at £80,000 for this property?
70,000, if you like.
70,000, sir, thank you very much.
£70,000 I'm bid. At £70,000, the bid is in the front, 72 on the right.
At 72, 74, 76.
At 76, 78, at 78.
£80,000. At £80,000, the bid is on my right.
82? At 82.
Anyone like to come in at £83,000?
83, thank you, sir.
Back in at £83,000.
At 83, will you go 4, sir?
At £84,000, anyone else coming in?
At £84,000 once,
£84,000 twice, third and the last time of asking.
Thank you very much.
'The successful bidder, who paid 84,000, was Marcus.
'It's his first property purchase, and he intends to make it his first home.
'I met up with him back there to hear about his plans.'
-Marcus, lovely to meet you. Congratulations.
Why did you want to buy this house?
I've lived in the village all my life.
I'm a first-time buyer, so the price was a good price.
-Quite a lot of house for the money, isn't it?
-Yeah, three bedrooms.
If I was to look at buying property of equal value in
Lincoln city centre, you're looking at a two bedroom
Victorian terrace property, so I've got quite a good deal, really, for the price.
Where are you living at the moment?
I currently live with my parents just up the lane, actually.
-So this will be your first place?
-My first place, yeah.
-How does that feel?
-Yeah, it's exciting.
But I'll be okay, yeah.
'Marcus works in IT at the local college.
'Since this is his first purchase, he's not got much experience of renovating properties.
'So I'm keen to find out how he hopes to bring this little place into the 21st century.'
Tell me, then, what are you going to do?
Just tidy the rooms up a bit, change the decor, wallpaper, put a modern bathroom suite in.
What about the kitchen? What are you going to do about that?
I'll hopefully be able to put a new kitchen unit in, hopefully.
You've got this strange passageway at the back and that little room.
What are you going to do about that?
The room at the back, I possibly might put my utilities in there, my washing machine, fridge-freezer, etc.
I was thinking of knocking the wall down, possibly extending the kitchen,
but I'm not too sure if that's a supporting wall.
It would make the kitchen bigger, but it's nice to have a separate utility, isn't it?
-Now, upstairs, there's
a bit of a problem on one of the walls with some damp, or past damp. Any ideas where that's coming from?
That was a leak in the header tank, a steel tank which had just corroded.
We've turned the water off now, so we'll put a new tank in and go from there, really.
'I'm a little worried that Marcus hasn't really got the experience
'or thought through the budget necessary here.
'He's hoping to put in central heating and a new bathroom,
'as well as decorate, all for around £5,000 to £6,000.
'He's going to rope in some friends to help out, and do a lot of the work himself.'
What's the time scale?
Probably about six months. Hopefully do as much as I can in that time and then see.
-Congratulations, and I look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thanks very much.
-Good luck in your new home.
'For his first property purchase, Marcus looks to have come up trumps with this house.
'What a great plot it sits on. It looks huge.'
Well, so often people can't afford to buy a house in the place where they grew up.
How great is it that Marcus can actually get his first home in his home village?
Anyway, I'm really interested to see how he gets on, particularly with that corridor.
Will it stay or will it go?
You can find out later in the show.
It's been a while now since we met our purchasers and heard about their
hopes and dreams for the properties they've bought.
How have they been getting on since we left them?
Time to go back and find out.
'Time now to return to Greenwich in South London,
'and this lovely cottage.
'It had lots to tempt buyers at auction, a quiet walled garden and a cellar.
'It was eventually bought for 276,000 by local headmaster Michael,
'who already lives in the same road.
'Michael planned to build a staircase as an extension in the alley next to the pub.
'But when we first returned three months later,
'the headmaster's homework hadn't been done.
'The cottage had been knocked about, all right.
'The side wall next to the pub had disappeared, but the council had
'rejected Michael's plans for a two-storey extension.
'But out the back, a single storey had been built, and the alley next
'to the pub was going to provide extra downstairs accommodation.'
If you remember, there were two rooms divided by a staircase, which led
upstairs to the two bedrooms, so this wall has come out,
and the wall of the new room will be the flank wall of the pub.
The chimney breast over here has been taken out completely and the staircase moved to the side wall.
'The kitchen / dining room which was planned for the cellar
'was going to stretch the whole length of the house.
'It sounded fabulous, but was then still an empty shell.
'It's been quite an extensive project.
'Once it's completed, it'll be a three-storey house with an additional bedroom.'
'As this part of Greenwich is in a conservation area, Michael knew that
'the finished appearance would be closely monitored by the planners.'
All the external features have got to be approved by them,
you can't have any old windows or doors put in.
It's got to be in keeping with the rest of the street.
'He certainly didn't want to upset the neighbours.
'After all, he was already living on the same street.'
I'm going to move in here.
It's a slightly bigger house, or it will be a bigger house,
than the one over the road, so I'm going to move in here when it's eventually completed.
'Completing the house took another 18 months. Michael then moved across the street to his new home.
'Now, four-and-a-half years after we first visited,
'we've come back to see how he and his wife have settled in.
'Such an impressive renovation can't have been cheap.
'Out here, it looks like money could still be going down the drain.
'We'll flush out the answer to that later.
'Meanwhile, inside, Michael's builder has transformed
'this tiny Georgian cottage into a stunning designer property.
'We'd already seen how downstairs was knocked through into one large space, but now the refurbishment's
'finished, it's turned into a gorgeous living area, beautifully done and featuring plenty of light.
'The new repositioned staircase leads up to the bedrooms and down to the
'former cellar, where a huge kitchen/diner has been created.
'Upstairs, the two bedrooms of this former worker's cottage are attractively decorated.
'There's great attention to detail here, and the whole place just feels so much bigger.
'What a difference the alleyway next to the pub has made.'
Well, what we've done is we've taken out the central staircase.
There was a staircase over here, which led up to two bedrooms upstairs. That has gone.
The wall which divided the front of the house
to the back of the house, that's gone, so there were two rooms where I'm standing, now it's one room.
And the staircase has been moved from the centre of the house to the side of the house.
And that leads to two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.
'Repositioning the staircase freed up valuable space from the first floor...
'..for the front and back bedrooms.
'And a new white bathroom has been installed as well.
'Although the extension into the alleyway is only on the ground
'floor, the added floor space it provided allowed a second downstairs bathroom to be built as well.
'And once the old extension has been demolished, a new third
'bedroom-cum-office was created in the new-build, as Michael explains.'
This is the back extension.
Originally, there was a very small bathroom and toilet at the end of the house, which was
knocked down and this back extension built, which is now serving as a third bedroom to the house.
We've made good use of the alleyway to build this back extension, and the patio garden.
Not very big, but a nice little patio garden.
And there are steps, quite steep steps, which lead to the basement kitchen/diner.
'I think I might've chosen to keep a bit more grass, like the original garden.
'It's a shame to lose that, especially as the stairs
'down to the cellar conversion are also surrounded by flagstones.
'Getting sufficient light into the dark cellar initially proved a
'problem when Michael's application for a light well was rejected.
'But after an appeal, permission was granted.'
This is the basement kitchen.
Originally, it was a very small cellar, you couldn't stand up in it, leading from the old staircase.
We've again gutted this area, dug down quite low, as you can see, so we can now stand up in it.
It had to be underpinned and tanked, because it's a basement, to avoid dampness.
Originally, the wall was here to the end of the kitchen, but when we got permission for the light well, we've
knocked that wall down and we've now got an extra five or six feet.
A window here.
And we've managed to use this space for putting a large settee and this is going to be eventually a little
study area. As you can see, it isn't finished yet, the electrics have yet to be finished.
We've got to do something with the
pipe out there.
'Re-routing that pipe could prove a problem,
'but the window and light well are a big plus, as the cellar now doesn't need to rely on artificial light.'
At the end of the day, although we've extended it and developed it, it's still an old Georgian cottage.
It isn't going to be a huge house.
The bedrooms upstairs are small and the storage space isn't as good as
I'd want it to be, but nevertheless for what it is, it's a lovely house.
I'm really happy here.
'How much has this ambitious building project cost Michael on top of the 276,000 he paid at the auction?
'You may remember he initially set a budget of 75,000.'
I bought the house at auction for £276,000.
I've spent about, on the building work, about £75,000.
'In fact, Michael has spent 63,000 on the original conversion, and a
'further 18 grand on the light well, making a total of £78,000.
'Michael and his wife have moved in and made the house their home.
'Is he keen to find out how much it's now worth?'
Yes, I'm interested, but I hope it's more than I paid for it.
I'd be disappointed if it wasn't.
'Well, it's time to see what two local estate agents
'will think of the finished cottage.
'I think they're in for a pleasant surprise.
'It's a heck of a lot better than it was on their last visit.'
It's been around four years since I last looked at the house.
There have been improvements since then.
I'm quite shocked and surprised at how much better
it is now that it was then.
A complete transformation. The last time we came it was a building site.
He's opened it up and done magic to the place.
I like the house very much.
It's finished to a very high standard throughout.
It's very favourable in relation to other houses in this street.
There are only a handful of semi-detached houses.
There are a lot of terraced houses and the semis are highly desirable.
It's a little bit wider than some of the houses in the street.
The extra width creates a second bathroom which a number of properties don't have.
With the extension, an extra third bedroom, which other houses don't have on the street.
The bedrooms aren't a bad size.
They're both doubles. They've got fitted wardrobes as well.
A three-piece bathroom suite in the middle. Again, it works well.
If the client wished to rent this property I'd expect
to achieve between £1,600 and £1,700 per calendar month.
If you were looking to rent the property out,
I'd suggest something in the region of £1,800 a month,
possibly stretching because of the location and proximity to the station,
to about £2,000 a month.
'Clearly there's a rental market around here and a good income to be had.
Yes, that sounds fine, that sounds good, not that I'm renting this place out.
'Michael and his wife have moved in, but I bet he'd love to hear what the house is now worth.'
I'd say if you had to go on to the market at the moment,
you're probably looking at an asking price of around 585,000 to £595,000.
In terms of marketing, I'd put this house on the market at £600,000.
'Blimey, that's £250,000 gross profit in the four years
'since Michael bought the house at auction.
'Considering there has been a credit crunch in that time, that's very impressive. Is he tempted to sell?'
No, this is the house I live in and its valuation is of no importance to me until I want to sell it.
I don't anticipate selling in the near future.
'Having created such an elegant home, who wouldn't want to stay in it and enjoy it for a few more years?
'Top of the class, Michael!'
'We're returning now to the Lincolnshire village of Dunholme, where earlier in the programme,
'Marcus had bought this three-bedroomed terrace property for 84,000.
'It was to be his first house as he was moving out of the family home.
'He was delighted to have found somewhere in the village he grew up in.
'Well, now, almost nine months later we're back to see how Marcus has settled in.
'On the outside it looks like he's been very busy, removing trees in the front and back gardens.
'Inside, the large living room now looks much more modern.
'But the kitchen has hardly been tackled at all.
'Upstairs, Marcus has now settled into his first home, but he's not done much refurbishment up here.
'Down in the living room, Marcus's dad, a cabinet maker,
'has lent a hand and that room has been transformed.'
When I first bought the property there was an electric fire here, a small brick fireplace.
When the property was built it was an old back boiler.
We took the old back boiler out and then we built this area up with new bricks to install a gas fire.
When we took the old fireplace away, the plaster that was on there was very loose so we decided
to remove the old plaster off completely, down to the bare brick.
A colleague from work plastered over the top.
My dad then installed the marble fireplace for me.
It took him a day, but he wanted to do it properly.
When the gas fire goes in, the gas pipes will come down this
chute here and when they're installed, we'll plaster over the top.
It'll hopefully be a neat job.
'As it's his first house, understandably Marcus had little experience of DIY.
'He soon discovered that renovating isn't always
'as easy as some makeover programmes would have you believe.'
When I first bought the house, I thought it was cosmetic work that needed to be done, but
now I begin to realise what I've got myself in for.
It's not something I've ever done before, so I'm learning as I go along.
It's a lot to learn.
'As Marcus works as an IT technician at the local college,
'he should be able to do quite a lot of research, and he's already roped in two friends to come and help.'
I've had some colleagues from work who do different trades.
One guy is a plumber and the other is a plasterer, so that saved me a bit of money.
'Money and time, because plumbing and plastering can be a nightmare the first few times you have a go.
'If Marcus can maintain this level of finish throughout the house, he'll certainly have a lovely home.
'But so far progress has been slow.
'Apart from the living room and cutting down the conifers, what else has been done?'
We replaced the heating tank with a new plastic tank.
In the bedroom that was directly below the tank, the plaster was
pretty badly damaged, so we just took that all off to make it
dry for the time being until we can get round to working in that room.
'Marcus is just tackling one room at a time,
'which has meant that the corridor from the front of the house to the back garden hasn't changed yet.
'But I still think it would be a good idea to move that wall and open up the kitchen.'
There are so many things I could do to the house but the trouble is knowing where to start.
I'm possibly thinking of
knocking the wall between the bathroom and the toilet, because at the moment they're separate.
That's my thought to do next, but whether I'll do it straight away I'm not sure at the moment.
'My concern would be if Marcus had to change the plumbing or electrics
'after all the rooms have been decorated. For example, does the house have central heating?'
The only heating I've got at the moment are the electric storage heaters.
In a year or two's time I might look at doing the central heating to make it a bit more cosy.
'When we first met up with Marcus, he had a budget of around £6,000 for the work he was planning.
'So far he's only scraped the surface of the renovation, but how much has he spent?
'Is he still on track with his original estimate?'
With the work in the lounge, including the
hot water tank upstairs, I think about £1,400 altogether.
My original budget was an estimate of around 6000, but as I've been
doing various things to the house and learning how much things cost in the real world and what I'd like to do in
the near future, it's probably double that now.
'Time to see what two local estate agents think of the progress
'Marcus has made on his first home.'
The living-room is a spacious room and the decoration is neutral,
it's in keeping with what most people
would choose in this day and age.
The standard of the finish that's been achieved in the front room,
if that's carried on through the house,
then it'll be a really good example of a beautiful cottage.
If he can convert the separate toilet and bathroom into one, creating more space,
and gaining a three-piece suite, that would be very preferable.
I think if I was the lucky owner of this property, I'd
want to open it up a bit more to suit more modern living.
'All improvements that Marcus has planned for the future, but for the time being those can wait.
'The big plus for him was buying a house in this village, but how much is it now worth in this state?
'Remember he paid £84,000 at auction and has spent £1,400 on it.'
I think if the property was brought to market as it stands, with the works that have already been
carried out, I'd be asking somewhere in the region of 95 to 100,000.
Once the modernisation has taken place,
I think you could ask somewhere in the region of 120 to 125,000.
With the work that's currently been done, in today's market,
I would estimate the value to be in the region of 90 to £95,000.
With the right application and Investment,
I'd expect the property to be worth in the region of 110 to 120,000.
'Before deducting the usual expenses, that's about £9,500 gross profit so far.
'Even if his final budget does double to £12,000,
'based on that £120,000 valuation,
'there could be a £24,000 gross profit.'
I thought the property might be worth about 110
when the work is completed, so that's very good.
The value of the property, as it stands at the moment,
I'm very pleased with, even though I've only done minimal work.
'And Marcus has no intention of looking for tenants.
'He doesn't want to rent the house out as this is now his home in the village where he grew up.'
I've been looking at buying property over the last two years,
but when this property came up to auction I was quite interested.
The fact that I could potentially buy a property in the village.
Houses in the village don't tend to come up, certainly not in the price range that I was looking at.
I'm very lucky to be able to get this.
Well, that's all we've got time for on today's programme,
but we'll have lots more for you next time on Homes Under The Hammer.
-Make sure you join us again soon.
-See you then.
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