Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a two bedroomed bungalow in Manchester, a property in Kent and twin houses in Cornwall.
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Welcome to the show.
Buying property can be a long, drawn out process,
but not when you buy at auction.
And you should have the keys to the property you want in just 28 days.
It really can be that quick when you buy your home under the hammer.
Sometimes buying property at auction can be a bit of a gamble, but not if you do your research first.
So are the buyers on today's show on a winning streak?
Here's what they bought.
In Manchester, this two-bed bungalow has a unique selling-point.
This is what sets it apart from your average common or garden bungalow -
it's got another floor!
Will this property in Kent be a hard nut to crack or all sweetness and light?
Ha ha! Look at this. Marshmallow pink!
And the layout inside these terrible twin houses in Cornwall is seriously messing with my head.
Very, very odd.
All these properties have been sold at auction
and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
Sir. Well done.
This is it Tyldesley in Greater Manchester, four miles from Wigan, six miles from Bolton.
An active little place. It's got its own brass-band, rugby club, even a model aeroplane club.
I wonder if the property I'm here to see will be flying high?
Well, it is a two-bedroom bungalow. This is it.
At a guiding price of £90,000 to £100,000, let's take a look inside.
From the outside, it certainly gets off to a flying start.
There's a decent-sized garden and the bungalow looks to be in excellent condition.
It's obviously been very well looked after.
You enter through a door at the side.
Oh. Internal brickwork.
Always nice to see!
Through here, straight into the property and it looks to be in reasonable condition.
Bit of magnolia paintwork. Bedroom off there.
Corridor leading down to the kitchen and the bathroom, through into your main lounge.
This is where it gets interesting, this is what sets it apart
from your average common or garden bungalow - it's got another floor!
Whoa! This is actually pretty nice.
Not only have you got this room here, which is your second bedroom,
big window, lots of light, but it's actually en suite as well.
So all in all...
it gives you a lot of very valuable space.
Back downstairs and the house continues in the same remarkably good order.
It's well decorated and in the main bathroom the suite and the flooring are both in fine fettle.
The kitchen benefits from lots of light coming in at the back
and the window could perhaps be enlarged to make it even brighter.
The units all look relatively new.
And there's another room off the hall.
Depending on your requirements, this could be a bedroom or a dining room.
At the back of the bungalow, the land's been paved over or covered in shingle.
It all looks a bit of a mess.
It would be much nicer if there was some grass and flowers.
There's also this detached garage.
That's got me thinking about the possibility of extending out to the side,
with a garage at the front and a room at the back overlooking the garden next to the kitchen.
Time to find out what a local estate agent makes of the bungalow.
First of all I wanted to know more about the area.
Tyldesley is a former coal mining town and a market town.
It's situated about 15 miles from Manchester
and it's a mainly residential area.
Transport links to Tyldesley are quite good.
Very good road network. Bus service is pretty good.
It doesn't have its own rail station but there is a rail station nearby.
Having seen lots of similar properties locally,
what's his first impression of this bungalow
that went to auction guided at £90,000 to £100,000?
Generally speaking I think the property's in good condition.
Some repair work is needed, some improvement work, but I think it has good potential.
The repair works for this property I believe include work to the roof
and most notably in this area there are problems with dampness under the floors
so I'd recommend a damp and timber survey to establish any rot or decay.
At the moment, it's a two bed.
Apart from an extension, is there any other way that you can increase the accommodation here?
In order to accommodate a third bedroom, I'd recommend moving some ground walls internally.
We could reduce the size of the bathroom, which is probably too large for a house this size.
Increase the size of the kitchen to create a dining area and use the dining room as a third bedroom.
If the new owner added another bedroom, how much could the bungalow be worth after a total makeover?
If it was refurbished with all the improvement work carried out,
I believe that it could re-sell on the open market for approximately £125,000.
For rental purposes in its present configuration,
I would expect a rental in the region of £450 per calendar month.
But if it could be increased to three bedrooms, that would increase to £550 per calendar month.
Maybe not a case of the sky's the limit here, but there is potential nonetheless.
So a nice enough little bungalow that you could pretty much move into or rent out exactly as it is.
Potentially you could expand the upstairs, maybe put in a dormer window, subject to planning.
I think it's a good investment opportunity. Let's see who spotted it at the auction.
Lots 150. Vacant two-bedroom semi-detached bungalow.
Somebody start at 50? 50 there, I'll take it.
Can I see 60? 60 anywhere?
60 here. 70, madam?
80? 80, I have.
90, madam? No?
£80,000. Looking for 90.
82, I'll take. 84, sir?
84. I've got it. 86. No?
At £84,000 then? I'll take 85.
85, I have. 86, then. Can I say 86? Got it.
87. 87 here. 88.
89. 89, sir?
90 then? Another 1,000?
90, I have. 91?
90,500. 91 off you?
I have it. 91,500. We'll get there.
92, sir? Another five? 92,500.
93? Yes? 93,500.
No, at 94,500 with you, sir.
94,500? Another 250?
Got it. 95.
First time at £95,000. Second time at 95...
It's yours, sir.
That final bid for the Manchester bungalow was made by local businessman James.
He runs his own conservatory and window company.
I met up with him at the property to see what he had planned for it.
James, lovely to meet you. Congratulations. Why did you want to buy this place?
It's an investment.
I bought a few properties which I'm hoping will be an investment for my grandchildren in the future.
-You bought them specifically for your grandchildren?
-Great. Tell me about them.
-I've got three grandsons.
One's three-and-a-half, one's five and one's eight.
Jamie, Aiden and Thomas.
It's kind of a legacy I'm hoping to leave them with house prices reducing and interest rates being low.
It's a good time to set something up that will be a good legacy for them later on in life.
So I bought three this time at auction.
It was quite an adventure.
Fantastic. Do they know you've bought them a house?
When are you going to give it to them? Are you going to put it in a trust when they're 18 or 21?
I'm not sure how it'll work.
I mean, over time I might do the houses up, sell them and buy other houses.
It just depends how my life goes.
So why this house then?
Well, the three properties I've bought, this being one of them, is local to the area.
My business obviously is in the area.
I did expect to just buy probably two terraced houses
and maybe like a detached or a semi-detached as a bonus house.
But I ended up getting this semi-bungalow detached house
and the terraced house, so I did quite well out of that.
Got more than I expected.
How much did you spend on the day in total?
Just under £250,000.
So in total James has paid nearly £250,000
for three houses for his three grandsons.
£95,000 went on this bungalow.
# Granddad, granddad.
# You're lovely... #
Tell me what you're going to do to this place.
There's a number of things I'm looking at.
I don't like the idea of the stairs being in this room, it's a very big room and it's kind of wasted space.
There's a lovely hallway behind us that has a closet room that's just very big and wasted space.
So ideally I'd like to put a two-tier staircase going in there
up to the landing upstairs rather than going up here.
And put a dormer on the front of it, change that into two bedrooms upstairs with a bathroom.
Possibly put a conservatory on it.
Maybe going either from the dining room or from the kitchen.
Obviously with the dormer on, that will create three bedrooms,
whether I can get planning permission, there's things I've got to look in to.
But next door has got dormers so I can't see that being a problem.
And obviously change all the windows in the house and spruce it up.
Well, as he runs a windows and conservatory company, you'd expect that.
James has been in business for 28 years and works with a small specialist team.
His main fitter's been with him since the start and his son now works for the company, too.
James admits to be a workaholic, putting in 14 hours a day,
but does he really have to do much to this bungalow?
I mean you could theoretically, I hate to say it, just move in as it is or rent it out as it is.
Have you weighed it up? How much more are you going to get in rent?
As a businessman, this is probably what I should be doing, but I like things being done in a quality way.
I'd sooner spend a bit of money and work on it and have it...
I tend to look at properties as if I'm going to live in them and what's the best I can do with them.
Short term it's not going to make me a lot of money but long term it will,
which as I say my grandsons can benefit from.
Any idea how long it's going to take to do the work and how much it's going to cost?
No idea how much it's going to cost!
But I'm not really bothered, I have my own builders and joiners and obviously I'm a joiner myself
so I will do a lot of the work myself, I'll have my own lads come in and work on it.
I've not actually worked out what it'll cost, I'm not bothered, I'll do what needs to be done.
Congratulations, good luck and can I have a go in your Ferrari, please?
# Granddad. Granddad.
# You're lovely... #
Well, what a lovely thing James is doing for his grandchildren,
creating as he says a fantastic legacy. Budget?
What budget. Fantastic! The only thing is planning permission and whether or not he gets it.
You can find out later in the show.
Welcome to the Kent coast.
Today I'm in a place called Walmer in Deal,
just seven miles from Dover and a desirable place to live.
It was also popular with Henry VIII,
who in 1539 commissioned a whole series of coastal artillery forts, including Walmer Castle.
It took just 18 months to build three castles across the Downs.
Some people struggle to have an extension up in that time,
so whilst I'm sure his budget ran away with him,
building three castles in under two years is certainly impressive.
The coast is just as impressive, with a lovely pebbled beach
where you could while away the hours and I would if I could, but I can't.
I have places to go.
The auction lot I'm here to see is on Liverpool Road.
It's just one road away from the seafront and next to this beautiful park. So, impressive location.
What's the property like?
Mmm. Deeply unimpressive, I'm afraid.
# What's that in the shadows?
# What's that in the shadows? #
The bungalow's being kept in the shadows by overhanging trees,
but with some careful pruning, that can be sorted.
Let's hope that at that guide price of £180,000 to £190,000, it doesn't need much work inside either.
Ha, ha! Look at this. Marshmallow pink.
Gosh, what a paint job. Windows boarded up everywhere.
You've got some fire-damage down there.
We've got a very small reception room to the left here.
It's got that sort of bungalow feeling. Not really high ceilings.
You've got some polystyrene tiles up there which again are an absolute nightmare to get off.
And another pink room!
But I'm glad to say there's no woodchip wallpaper.
At least this will be fairly easy to paint over.
You've got a little bit of character in here.
Nice doors, again they're pink!
Really nice windows over there which once they've been refurbished will look quite pretty
and if you manage to get a new surround for this fireplace,
if you actually get rid of some of this dusty, dirty cobweb yukkiness, they are really nice tiles.
Once you've renovated this, this will look quite nice
so overall, I'd be quite excited to see what this house would look like once refurbished.
The living room with its small boarded up conservatory also has potential.
It doesn't look as if it needs a lot of work done to it.
The kitchen is a good size, but the units really need replacing.
There'll be a great view of the park when those boards are removed.
The bathroom is downstairs and needs a new suite and some fresh paint.
But at least it's not pink!
Upstairs, it looks as though the two bedrooms have been built into the loft...
..leaving lots of wasted space up here.
There's also a strange connecting cupboard.
A bit of a redesign required here, I'd say.
And now for something I haven't told you yet.
This property comes with planning permission and the plans are quite extensive.
These are the plans. You've got the existing and these are proposed.
Now you can see, this really does turn this from a chalet bungalow
into a substantial house with three good-sized bedrooms
and a bathroom upstairs, which is all good.
That would then mean this house would come all the way out here
and eat into this chunk of garden space.
You'd have to flatten the garage but that is nothing to lose sleep over.
What does concern me is how much this development
is going to cost because you can never ever lose sight of the end value.
Don't forget the guide on this was £180,000 to £190,000.
It's going to cost at least £100,000 to develop this
so a total spend of around £300,000, maybe even more.
Now I do know the ceiling price for a house of this size
in this location is around the £320,000 mark.
So for me the margin just isn't here
for all the work required to develop this house.
You may want to do the work anyway in the hope the market picks up, but that could be a dangerous game.
I asked a local estate agent
what he thought of the plans and this bungalow.
In my opinion, it does need quite an extensive refurbishment.
Done well and with the money spent, you could have a nice end result.
I've looked at the plans and there is room for an extension.
You could enhance it more, but it would mean reapplying for the plans
and possibly spending more money.
If the new owner decided not to add the planned extension to the bungalow and just tidied it up,
-would it be worth renting it out?
-Rental value on properties like this...
There's quite a demand in the rental market.
You'd probably get £850 to £1,000 per month.
The guide price was between 180 and 190,000.
But once renovated, what could the resale value be?
Without the extensions and with a high-end finish,
you could expect to market this with an asking price of £295,000.
With the proposed extension, you could probably sell on for the early 300,000s. Maybe 315, 320.
Not a lot different to what it could sell on with a good renovation.
It's definitely got character once you've blitzed this pink decor.
But an extension? I don't think so.
However, I would consider a nice conservatory.
That's a good way of adding the extra square footage that I think this bungalow needs.
Let's see who wanted this as we go to auction.
Lot 92, which is the detached bungalow. Absolutely super location.
£180,000 to get me on the way.
175. 175 I've got at the back.
175, 175, now 180.
178, I don't mind if you're shy.
178 I've got.
Now 180. At £180,000 are we all done?
182 in a fresh place. 182 and four.
184. 184 and six. 186 and eight?
188. 188 I'm looking for.
Are we all done at 186 then in the room? It's going to sell.
At 186 sitting down on the left-hand side for the first time.
At £186,000 for the second.
Third and final time. If you're done at £186,000. It's going to be sold.
Well done. Yours at 186. 8834.
The successful bid of 186,000 was made by Wendy and Graham.
They're not new to property development and have sold two houses which they renovated fully.
That's what they hope to do with this purchase.
I met up with Wendy, who arrived with her granddaughter Emmy.
-Nice to meet you.
Thank you for coming along today. I want to know the story and why you wanted to bid for this.
We actually put an offer in for it.
A sealed bid to two years ago.
-For how much?
We weren't accepted, somebody put in a higher offer.
They then subsequently put in planning permission
to practically double the size of the building.
Because of the way the prices have gone in the area,
they obviously decided they could not afford to go through with it
and it came up for auction again this year.
So you've ended up getting a property with planning permission
for a whole lot less
-than you initially probably would have bought it for.
So it appears the economic downturn has some upsides.
Will they take advantage of those plans?
We looked at the plans in detail
and we also spoke to the Auctioneers about it.
We did quite a bit of research before we went to the auction.
The costings came out at about 120,000.
It literally took up practically the whole plot.
You were knocking down the garage.
And the whole of the front garden,
which is actually quite pretty and secluded,
would have then been parking space for all the cars.
I think she's absolutely right.
It doesn't seem worthwhile spending all that money
to follow the old plans.
But the bungalow does need renovating
and Wendy has exciting plans of her own.
She's going to build a large conservatory across the back.
Talk me through these. You've got a nice-looking conservatory here.
Yes. I'm going to take the conservatory out.
There's an existing conservatory in the lounge which is too old now.
That's going to be knocked out and I'll knock out, there's two pantries here,
which again will be knocked out, and a porch.
And the lounge will go through to a second lounge,
and I think it's seven metres by four metres,
and across to this side the kitchen will go through
with sliding doors to a dining area.
That is going to look fantastic.
-It really going to open the back up, isn't it?
-It is. Yes.
-It's really sunny there.
-I love it.
Now what have we got here? Nice-looking kitchen I have to say.
-I've gone for cream.
You can't see that well in the pictures but it has got some slats.
Country farmhouse type of kitchen with a range.
And trying to keep it neutral depending on the kind of customer
that's buying, and trying to use the lodge,
the country cottage type of it feel to it.
The bathroom will also be tidied up but what about upstairs?
We are going to be putting a dormer window in
in one of the bedrooms upstairs
to add quite a bit of extra space, and take a chimney out.
Sounds good. How long will this renovation take?
Planning on three months and we've got everybody ready to go.
-So you've got all your builders ready?
-You've got all your furniture ready?
-Are you going to dress this place?
-Are you, what, sofa?
Sofas, beds, pictures, mirrors, the whole lot.
If all this is done
this bungalow should be much brighter and more spacious.
It cost 186,000 at auction so what's the intended budget here?
The development is 40,000, but we may now...
We've just had costings for the roof which is about £6,000,
so we may do the roof as well, which I think we probably will do.
So it will probably take it up to about 47,000.
That includes all our expenses.
You really have thought about this, haven't you?
You know exactly what you're doing. How many lists have you made?
I always make hundreds of lists.
Everything has to be priced, listed, it's done on a schedule.
My schedules are done. Everything.
-Wendy it's been lovely meeting you today.
-Good luck with this project. Well done.
Wendy and her partner Graham played a waiting game that paid off.
They saved themselves 65,000.
Wendy is obviously delighted.
A £47,000 budget should transform that bungalow
and with their combined skills,
well, I hope it's all-singing, all-dancing in three to four months.
The question is, will they sell it in the current market?
You can find out later on in the show.
Coming up, this Cornwall property is going all-out for my sympathy vote.
The whole house it feels damp, it feels unloved,
it feels like it needs a bit of sorting out.
In Kent it seems that atrocious weather
wasn't going to hamper Wendy's plans.
We had industrial heaters in here
and anything we could think of to keep the place warm.
But first, back in Manchester, there's no time for slacking.
I ended up doing it all myself.
Time now to return to Tyldesley,
in Greater Manchester. Earlier in the programme, local businessman,
James, had paid £95,000 for this two-bed semi-detached bungalow.
It was one of three he'd bought
as a long-term investment for his three grandchildren.
He was going to refurbish it totally and rent it out.
# Granddad, Granddad, we love you... #
Well, a year has passed and we met up again with James at the property
to see the superb finish he's achieved.
The first clue to that starts outside
where a new dormer window has been installed and the driveway relayed.
Once you get inside you instantly notice
the excellent decoration in the hallway
where the stairs have been moved.
The main front living room is a real suntrap
with plenty of light flooding in through the new bay windows.
It's in the kitchen at the back of the bungalow
where the refurbishment really starts to impress.
As James's own company specialises in conservatories and double glazing
it's no surprise where the initial work began.
One of the first things we did was put the conservatory on
and by making the bathroom smaller
that allowed us to make the kitchen bigger.
It's given us a nice large kitchen
that we fitted out properly and have the opening
going through into the conservatory
which can be used as a morning room, breakfast room or even dining room.
In order to make the most of the space in the bungalow,
James knew the first job was to relocate the stairs.
That required a change in almost every room
but there was a master plan.
Well as you can see down here, what we've done
is we've put the stairs in the hall
and taken them from the living room
which was obviously taking the space off the dining room.
We've achieved that
by making the bathroom that was downstairs here, much smaller.
It was way too big for a downstairs bathroom.
There was also a cloakroom which made this whole area corridor.
So by taking the cloakroom out we've opened up the whole hallway
with the gallery staircase now, which is absolutely beautiful,
when you come in.
The staircase is a real feature.
Upstairs in the bungalow
the construction problems were just as challenging.
As you'll recall when you first came this was a room upstairs
with an en suite bathroom.
Unfortunately the way they'd built it
they'd just put floor on top of the existing ceiling so it wasn't usable.
All the ceilings were collapsing.
So what we've done, we've redone the whole thing.
We've put new floorboards in, new ceilings.
Obviously we've built the dormers and made proper rooms
and more importantly a large bathroom that's quite elegant.
But for me it's the gallery staircase that just makes the house lovely.
It's the change to the stairs that has given him
the freedom to change the upper floor layout radically.
Apart from the dormer window the roof has also been retiled.
A lot of the work was done by fitters from James's company
but how hands-on has he been himself?
Well I was pretty much involved in everything.
From the designing point of view or from getting materials.
The biggest problem we had was the block paving.
I'd arranged to do that as an idea to keep the builders busy
but they had difficulty doing it and I ended up doing it all myself
which took about two weeks because every brick had to be cemented
then it had to be hand laid.
James paid £95,000 for the bungalow and had no budget in mind.
He'd pay whatever was necessary.
So does he now know how much he's spent?
I would say it's probably cost somewhere in the region of 30,000
for the work we've done at the moment.
Time to see how two local estate agents rate this refurbishment.
My initial thoughts on the property
are that it's been finished to a very high standard.
It's a credit to the current owners
and I particularly like the fixtures and fittings.
I think the property has been transformed.
I'm very impressed with the hall and landing.
It gives a light, spacious, airy feel to the property.
The quality of fittings to the kitchen and bathroom
are also very nice features.
The addition of the dormer is an added benefit to the property.
Gives it an extra dimension on other properties in the area.
I suppose the only comment I would make is that perhaps some buyers
would prefer still to have a garage.
Other than that I think he's done a very good job.
James does plan to rent it out for a few years
but how much could the bungalow achieve now
if it were put up for sale?
Remember, he paid £95,000 at the auction and has spent £30,000
making a total of 125,000.
If we were to place the property on the market in current conditions
I would anticipate he would achieve a sale
in the region of £145,000 to £150,000.
I would value this property at £145,000.
So, after a year, £20,000 gross profit
before the usual selling expenses.
Is that the level of return James had anticipated?
I'd say that's lower than I would have expected.
I would have thought more around 170.
But I've no intention of selling anyway.
How much rental income could the bungalow generate?
I would expect, in the current market,
a rental of between £500 and £600 per calendar month.
The rental market in this area is very strong.
I'm sure this property would rent very quickly.
A price of around £625 per month.
So, are those rental figures in line with the income James had forecast?
No. Again I would say that's low.
We've already got it up for lease for 790.
We would expect between 700 and 800.
This is a lovely bungalow and I suspect plenty of tenants
would be tempted to pay a premium to live here.
In fact, since we left, James has rented it out
for an impressive £750 a month.
But Meanwhile this bungalow and two other properties
are long-term investments for his grandchildren.
Is he tempted to go back to an auction for another purchase?
I've got two that I've done before this.
This one is now ready for lease and I've got another four that I've got to do at the moment.
So I'm going to be kept quite busy doing these houses up.
This is Bodmin in Cornwall which was the centre of the Cornish rebellions
in the 15th and 16th centuries.
It's a bit more peaceful these days and the only uprising I'm hoping
to see at this property is in its value.
Well here in Bodmin there was the opportunity to get not one
but two almost identical properties
for the extremely attractive guide price of 120,000 to 140,000 quid.
Which one shall we check out first? Eeney, meenie, miney, mo.
And so, property numero uno.
That's interesting. No electricity meter.
But that gives a clear indication that the likelihood is that
this property hasn't been used for a while.
Actually, you walk through the door and it's fairly apparent.
We've got wallpaper coming off the walls.
Just a feeling that this place
hasn't been used for goodness knows how many years.
But an interesting kind of space if you can just see through the mess.
Front living room here. Interesting flagstone flooring.
The whole house feels damp,
it feels unloved, it feels like it needs a bit of sorting out.
But a few nice little features. That's interesting.
A little tile.
Well there you go. You've heard me talk about Minton floors.
I've never actually seen that printed on the back of a tile before but look,
Minton's China works in Stoke on Trent.
That's where the Minton tiles came from.
Fab. Let's see what else there is.
The rest of the ground floor is just as bad.
It's more like a building site than a home.
Well it doesn't get any better as you head back into the house, in some ways it gets worse.
Maybe we can turn that to our advantage
because when you're looking around houses priced for an auction
and you come across places like this,
a lot of people would be put off because they won't be able to see the potential.
If you've got a bit of imagination, you can see what you could do with this,
maybe you could steal yourself a bargain.
Walls absolutely enormously thick.
Come through that room there,
kind of like a rear sitting room, into a kitchen.
Well it's a sort of kitchen, it's a right old disaster. I don't know what's going on with this roof.
I think you need to get a structural surveyor and an architect in here
before you do anything.
Actually, make that an architect, a plasterer, an electrician
AND a plumber.
Upstairs is not as bad. The floors are a little uneven
and it all needs decorating
but these two bedrooms are a decent size.
One redeeming feature is the garden.
It's nice and big if a little overgrown.
But of course this side of the cottage is only half the story.
Let's see if it gets any better next door.
Thankfully, things on this side are a lot more positive.
The decor is still dated but it looks like someone
has looked after this much better than its counterpart next door.
And that's not the only difference between the two cottages.
There's an extra bedroom in this one.
Well, upstairs the layout is extremely peculiar.
You've got three bedrooms but two of them sort of are en suite.
You've got this bathroom here.
You've got this bedroom here, and you've got another bedroom there,
which you have two entrances to,
so you have to pass through it to get to the others.
Then you've got this room here which also has access to this bathroom
through this kind of like strange area here. It's all very odd.
I do wonder why you would build a bedroom in the corner
with two doors to other bedrooms.
But at least on this side of the cottage there's that upstairs loo.
The walls that are here can always come down again
to make a bigger second bedroom.
I asked the auctioneer who sold this pair of properties
to fill me in on their history.
The story with the property
is there was a little lady who had a great big house
and she was a bit lonely and wanted some company
so she though, "Ah, company and a bit of rent,
"I'll convert the other half of my house,
"I'll live in one half and have a tenant in the other."
She did all that and then suddenly realised that actually she liked living alone
so she booted the tenant out,
locked this up and just left it,
and lived in the other half and has now had to move out.
I don't see any economic value in taking it back to one great big house
because it's more valuable as two.
Next door would be a big one bedder
because you're going to struggle to get a bathroom upstairs.
And this one would be quite a big two bedder.
The two houses together
would add up to about £210,000, £220,000,
something like that.
A house on its own would be 140,000 perhaps.
What are the best options here?
To sell or rent?
And as one or two properties?
The rental value as one great big house would be about
£500 per calendar month, maybe 550.
Whereas the rental value for the one and the two bedroom cottages
are going to be the better part of 500 themselves,
so it makes absolute sense to turn it into two.
So, both properties requiring quite a lot of work
to get them up to standard.
That one slightly more so than this one.
The good news is if you get a team of builders here
they could work on both properties so there are economies
from doing the restoration that way.
Who went for this interesting opportunity at the auction?
We are into Bodmin. So it's a pair of terraced cottages.
Garden out the back.
100 straight in. 100.
90, Thank you. 92, 92, 94.
94, 96. At 96.
That was short and sweet.
At 98. 99. At 99.
100 I'll do.
One is in the front row.
100 I got. At 1 1/2.
One half I've got.
At 101 once, at 101 twice,
at 101, are you sure? And I'm looking, it will be sold.
Here it is. At 101 all done and out.
The top bid came from local farmer, Colin.
That £101,000 was a massive £19,000 below the bottom guide price.
Colin's son, Mike, will work with his dad on the renovations
so I caught up with him to find out more.
Mike, nice to meet you. Congratulations.
Thank you very much.
Tell me what's going on there,
it wasn't you at the auction, was it?
No, it was in fact Dad at the auction. I was at home working.
He's the man with the money so he had to go and put his hand up and buy the property.
So what kind of experience do you or your dad have in property renovation?
Um... Well, no experience really
but you've got to start somewhere to get experience.
So hopefully we shall learn a lot from this place.
And I'm sure they will.
There is a heck of a lot to do here. Mike reckons he and his dad
can handle much of the labour themselves.
They've got electrician and plumber friends lined up to help as well.
That will be handy because they will have to rewire,
replaster and redecorate both houses.
What are their plans for upstairs?
What about this property then, you've got this really weird layout
upstairs, with the bedrooms and the way they are all linked together.
That's right, it's like a massive ring up there.
You can just imagine your mother chasing you around with a frying pan
and you running away all the time!
But then we shall probably block a few of them off
and just keep it doors, like, going into each individual bedroom
and probably leave it as that.
Running around with frying pans?
Sounds like Mike has been watching too many episodes of Tom and Jerry.
Having said that, the doors and floors up here
do resemble something in a cartoon.
We had a surveyors report done and they said the first floor floor
hasn't got enough structure on it
and that's why it's bowling and sloping
in every direction it possibly can.
We need to somehow get in here and make things a bit more adequate
to hold that first floor really.
Tell me how much you've set aside to do the work?
We worked on a budget of 35,000 and then we had
the surveyors report done before and he seemed to think 50,000.
So there's quite a margin in-between those two.
Hopefully, I would have thought around 40.
I hope Mike and his dad won't unearth any major problems
whilst they do the renovation, or that budget could easily shoot up.
How long do they reckon it will all take?
Well if you put a rough guess, which is hard to say,
I would have thought within four months
we should be cracking on with it, maybe five, something like that.
It's going to take a long time.
We are looking to rent after.
The sooner we can start getting money back on the properties, hopefully, again!
It's good that Mike's planning ahead but don't forget
there's a long way to go before this place will be ready to rent out.
It's a blooming big job in anybody's book this, isn't it?
You and your dad, no experience, lots of enthusiasm.
We both like a challenge, that's the main thing, we both like a challenge.
Do you think you've bitten off more than you can chew here?
If we do, I think we've got enough friends that we can get in and come in as well, but hopefully
you shall see when you come back, and see it's all torn down
and we just ran away from the place probably!
But I think we can do it.
I'm confident enough.
-Good luck with it all.
-Thank you very much.
-A few challenges ahead.
But I hope, I hope it turns out for you.
Thank you very much.
Well, good on Mike for encouraging his dad to take this project on.
But I really wonder if they really know
quite what they're letting themselves in for.
A lot of work to do, not much experience,
lots of enthusiasm though, and, of course, tons of hope.
You can find out how they get on later in the show.
Well, now, time has passed.
Let's return to find out what happened to those properties.
Are we confident they will look as good as new?
-Let's hope so.
# On the beach On the beach... #
That's where we are today. By the beach, by a castle.
Not a sandcastle, but a castle in Kent where this bungalow was bought
at auction for 186,000 by Graham and his very organised partner, Wendy.
I always make hundreds of lists.
Everything has to be priced, listed, it's done on a schedule.
All my schedules are done. Everything.
The bungalow has been improved throughout but without using
the planning permission that came with it.
They replaced the small conservatory on the back
with a slightly bigger version.
All three downstairs reception rooms were re-plastered and redecorated.
The open fires and chimneys were removed to make more room.
Wendy's partner Graham is working today
so it's been left to her to tell us what's been done.
We stripped out two cupboards.
We had two cupboards. One here and one here, pantries.
And a porch. We had to knock all that out and put a lintel in
to get the French window through.
We wanted to put in a country kitchen, we've put a range in.
I tried to give it a contemporary twist with the
worktop and the different handles just to make it a bit more modern.
By using the brickwork for the tiles,
cream brickwork, it just brings it up to a contemporary look.
Everything's fitted. We've managed to get the boiler in
and some unsightly gas cupboards and meters and things like that
so we managed to get everything into the layout.
Gives it a really big perspective now as you walk through.
You could dine in here if you wanted to.
But the idea is to dine out into the conservatory.
Solid oak flooring throughout on this ground floor.
That will follow through to the dining room.
And I think really it just makes a really bright room now
with loads of light coming in where it was really dingy.
They've done a beautiful job here.
The theme of knocking through into the conservatory has been
carried on into the lounge which has been transformed from a dingy room
into a lovely bright living space.
Has anything happened upstairs?
The two upstairs bedrooms I think have really transformed
because there was only two small really dingy windows in there
which were also boarded-up which made it worse.
In the back bedroom we've put in a dormer window and then we've also
put in a Velux, large Velux window on the side
so you've actually got triple aspect now on that back bedroom.
On the front where we took the chimney breast out
and there's a new roof on that area.
We couldn't put a dormer in the front because of planning.
So we've put a Velux in the side which again is really large
and just lets the light flood through.
That large skylight in the side has allowed the second bedroom
to be used as a usable living space rather than a converted attic.
Even though this is now looking really modern,
Graham and Wendy have tried to keep some of the 1930s features
like these tiles that were part of the original fire surround
and are now reused in the kitchen.
Another feature they kept is the front door.
The front door. It was really sad when we first got here
and we were hoping we could salvage it.
I was looking through the internet on salvage experts
to see how much a new door would be to get a 1930s door.
I found my front door in there for about £700.
I decided it was definitely worth restoring
and I spoke to the chippy and the painter and they said yes,
a labour of love, they'd get it painted back up for us.
Got it reglazed, double-glazed, and it's back to normal now.
The couple have used local contractors wherever needed.
There has been extra help from the family.
Emmy, my granddaughter, has been a great help to me.
She likes to help with the interior design
of all the properties that we do up.
She's been particularly involved with this one because my partner
has been working away quite a bit.
I helped herby just coming along
and coming to lend her a hand really.
The upstairs room and I did all the decorating,
like, I put all the teddy bears in place
and the beanbags, and it was really fun.
Sounds like we've got a budding property developer here.
I might buy houses and do them up
but I would also like to be an actress.
The original budget was about 47,000.
With all the work that's been done here, have they kept to that?
We decided once we'd had a really good look at the roof that it needed
to be re-tiled so that added about another 10,000 on to our budget.
We went for the largest conservatory with the permitted development rights
so that also added a little bit more on.
The new target was 60,000 which I've kept to strictly.
Doing the roof and upping the spec has meant they've gone over budget.
But did they keep to the original timescale of three to four months?
Despite having a really bad weather chucked at us,
we had rain, floods, you name it.
We still managed to keep to schedules.
We had industrial heaters in here and anything we could think of
to keep the place warm so that everybody could just keep on
carrying on work in a happy environment, really.
People happy in their work tend to do a better job
and they've certainly done that here.
We asked along two local estate agents to give us their opinion on how the bungalow looks now.
First impressions are good.
Bringing people through the door it's certainly got the wow factor.
I think clients will be impressed.
Yeah, it's a high end spec and that's something we like to have on our books.
The property has been done very attractively.
It's got light pastel colours which I think are attractive.
I think the kitchen has been done beautifully.
The conservatory I think was an inspired idea because
it really does create an extra area of living space.
Graham and Wendy bought the bungalow for 186,000
and have spent another £60,000 on it.
How much could it sell for?
I think with the market improving the way it has done
I would be looking to put this on the market for £350,000.
I would recommend a figure in the region of £365,000.
I'm really pleased with that.
It is about the figure I thought it would be.
We did check with local agents a couple of months ago
just to make sure we're on track with the budget and what we were spending.
What if they decided to go down the rental route?
Rental on this, it's a good finish so you'll get good clientele
in here which would hopefully secure it in a long-term contract.
I think you'd be looking at about £1,000 per calendar month.
I would recommend a figure of £900 per calendar month.
I think that would be about right.
There's quite a few business people.
There's businesses, local businesses here where people from London
would rent for that sort of amount, I think.
The bungalow looks fantastic now
so what does Wendy think of the job they've done?
Every time I walk in now I go, "Wow!" I'm really, really pleased with it.
Even without the financial gains
I think it's been really good fun to work on.
We're back in Cornwall.
Bodmin, to be precise, where this neighbouring pair of properties
sold at auction for £101,000.
They were bought by a local farmer, Colin,
as an investment for himself and his son Mike to renovate.
So what kind of experience do you or your dad have in property renovation?
No experience really but you've got to start somewhere to get experience.
So hopefully we shall learn a lot from this place.
So, how steep has that learning curve been?
We caught up with Mike back at the properties
to find out if they'd got the love they desperately needed.
# Love is for the two of us
# Love is for the two of us... #
Well, it's not quite as finished as you might hope after 17 months
but there was a lot of demolition work that had to be done first.
They had to rip almost everything out
because the place was riddled with woodworm.
When they rebuilt the walls they changed the layout
to make both houses two bedroom properties of equal size.
The old stairs have been ripped out,
moved and replaced, with new wooden staircases in both properties.
In the front rooms there are now modern fireplaces, and in both,
brand new matching kitchens.
And matching bathroom suites too.
With a lot of work still to do
I wondered why it's taken so long to get this place finished.
We are both on the farm full time
but we thought we'd have enough time to come in here as well
and do a fair bit of that.
We both thought we could come along and do anything,
but the farm just had too much to be done
and we just couldn't get here basically.
There were times when we could have come here but there were other things that took priority over this place.
The days were going on and the months then started going on and we thought,
"This isn't moving anywhere",
so we thought "Right, it's time to come in and get things moving and get the builders in."
so we rung around different builders
and they came in and said,"Right, this, this, this needs doing."
And so, eventually we'd done all the donkey work and done the easy stuff
and the hard stuff and the labouring stuff out the way,
so all they had to do was just come in here and build.
We done all the destruction and they'll do the construction.
And it wasn't just the inside that was getting some attention.
Remember the overgrown garden at the back?
That's been cleared ready for turf to be laid
or better still, some landscaping.
By the sounds of it,
the budget here has been doing some growing of its own.
Started off with a 35,000 budget, roughly,
and now we're roughly on the 60,000 sort of mark.
The budget's gone up
but I think we will still come out all right on it hopefully.
That's the main thing.
Let's hope they still see a good return on their investment.
To find out if that might be the case
we asked two local property experts to give us their opinions.
The finish at the moment is still quite early on.
The building process generally is quite well advanced but I'd say
just general finishing touches need to be done throughout the properties.
They're in a good general state of condition and obviously it's a complete renovation
so just a few bits and bobs to finish off
really, to get it ready for the market and make it saleable.
The kitchen units and the bathrooms and so on are quite pleasant.
They don't need to be world class in a petite cottage
but actually they look quite smart.
Once the work's finished the total spend here will be about £161,000.
That's 60 grand for the renovation
plus the £101,000 they paid at auction.
How much is each property now worth individually on the resale market?
Both properties I would currently value at £120,000.
Once they are both complete and ready to go on the market.
Both properties have got slight quirks,
marginally better than the other one
but on balance they're probably the same value
which would be about £125,000, all jobs done.
Obviously really chuffed with that.
That's really good news.
It means we've come out all right on it after all that.
Yeah, really pleased, really pleased with what happened there.
I bet he is because combined,
that's a total of £250,000 for the properties,
so a £90,000 pre-tax profit.
But Mike and his dad Colin planned to rent them out initially,
how much can they ask for them?
Per calendar month you'd probably get
the better part of £525, maybe even £550.
The current rental value for each of these properties would be
approximately £525 per calendar month in the current market.
That's top end rent of £550 per month provides a good yield
of around eight per cent. Is Mike happy with that?
We thought we'd be around the 550 sort of mark anyway
because just purely through the amount of people that come to us and asked if we're going to rent it.
Literally every day we've been here
we've had people knocking on the door,
saying, "When's it ready?" or, "How much do you want for it?"
Or, "Have you already rented it?" So the interest is high.
I'm sure we can get easy money on it.
So with all that interest they're sure to fill the houses very quickly
after the work is finished, which should be in about five weeks.
Would Mike take on such a large project again?
We got to think about our time and our money a bit more wiser
than what we thought.
Don't get us wrong, we came away really happy with how this
has happened, but we won't be taking on such a big project.
We'll be back next time with more auction properties
to whet your appetite.
We hope we've inspired you and maybe demystified the auction world,
here on Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you soon.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a two bedroomed bungalow in Manchester, a property in Kent and twin houses in Cornwall.
All of these properties went to auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.