Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Plymouth, a house in London and a semi in Staffordshire.
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In today's challenging market,
do you think you could hack it in the world of property?
If you get it right, it can be an exciting way to earn money.
But if you get it wrong, well, who knows?
One thing to stack things in your favour, though, is to buy your next property under the hammer.
There are tense moments in the auction room.
Who will make the first bid at the right time?
Properties can change people's fortunes for better or worse.
So, what inspired people on today's show?
Don't be put off by the time and money this property in Plymouth will need. It could be worth it.
I'm already seeing a big restoration job, but I'm also seeing a big house.
If you fancy trying your hand at an auction, this London house might not have a lot of character, but...
The thing for me that still gets me going about this place, is the location.
And this Staffordshire semi might look a bit of a joke, but it's brought a smile to my face.
Ha ha ha! Look at that! Fantastic.
All these properties were bought at auction and we find out
who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.
With mentions as far back as the Domesday Book, it's perhaps not surprising that
Plymouth is an eclectic mix of old, new and even slightly bizarre styles of architecture.
And the Mutley area of the city is a case in point.
You never know what's behind the front doors here.
A very intriguing property on the cards, I have to say.
It's this house here that was up for auction.
It's got letting rooms downstairs and a separate flat upstairs.
Sounds like it has potential.
Or would it just be too much of a jigsaw to try and put together?
It seems reasonable value at a guide price of £125,000.
But this house on a corner plot will definitely need a new roof.
On the plus side, this is a popular student area.
So, with a two-bed flat and other rentable rooms downstairs,
I think this has rental potential written all over it.
So, what's to behold across the threshold?
Well, that's a bit damp, straight away, on the ceiling there.
You don't normally see it in a porch entrance like that.
But straight in to the main part of the property, and as I said,
it's a kind of mish-mash, things going everywhere, kind of property straight away.
One room there, another room there, another room going off back there.
There's a loo. And actually, I don't think...
they're in that nice a condition.
I mean, look at this.
It's hard to imagine the last time this was used.
But if it is recently, that's not good.
It all needs to be stripped back and sorted out.
If you can see through the mess, it's actually quite a good-sized room.
But things like the ceiling, that's going to have to come down.
I imagine this whole thing has got damp in it.
I'm already seeing a big restoration job, but I'm also seeing a big house.
Despite the rather dilapidated state, there are some great character features.
Along with the two well proportioned bay-fronted rooms on this floor,
there's a rather oddly shaped bedroom, a pretty grotty bathroom,
and a basement kitchen, which is simply dire.
So, this downstairs area not only needs a lot of work to get it back in order,
but I think the layout also needs a complete rethink.
But before I consider possible changes down here, let's have a look at the flat upstairs.
Well, up here is a self-contained flat, and pretty spacious it is too.
What have we got? Bathroom, kitchen there.
Two bedrooms and a living room. And obviously, you've got this strange shape to the rooms,
partly because the house is actually on a corner.
But it's a big flat up here, it really is.
But you know what? I think to maximise the rental potential
of this place, I would want to see this converted into individual rooms.
A lot of them have already got their own locks on, anyway.
Not a lot of work to do that, however, once it becomes a house of multiple occupation, you do
have things like fire regulations, fire alarms, soundproofing, and all sorts of other things to consider.
So there's money involved to get it sorted out.
But once you've done that, it turns itself into a money-making machine.
So, with two bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen and bathroom,
you could just bring this flat up to current regulations and rent it out.
But as the rooms downstairs need work, and the layout to be rejigged,
I think turning this back into a single property, albeit with lots of individual rooms,
could be your best option.
With a little thought, you could get six, maybe seven, rentable rooms here.
Then it really could be a substantial money-making machine.
Alternatively, of course,
you could convert it into two two-bedroomed flats.
What does a local property expert think?
This properties is a classic auction property.
It's screaming out for possibly conversion into two flats.
Or is it going to be someone buying it as an investment
and letting it out room by room? So, I love this property.
The great attraction here is the options available.
But what makes most sense from a financial point of view?
If the property is renovated to become a family home, you could expect to put
it on the market for somewhere between £180,000 and £190,000.
If the property was converted into two, possibly two-bedroom apartments,
they could fetch each in the region of £110,000 to £115,000.
Two apartments may increase the sale value of the property slightly, but what about its rental potential?
If the property was converted into two flats,
they probably would rent out about £550 per calendar month each.
If the end user decides to create a multi-room let,
possibly seven letting rooms here, you could expect to achieve probably £80 to £90 per week, per room.
Seven rooms could bring in over £2,500 a month -
over double what two flats would achieve.
Well, you don't need to be a student to realise that this has a degree of potential.
I think the key is to convert all the rooms back into individual letting rooms
and rent them out to the droves of students that are around here.
Now, there's lots of work to do that, but I think it would be worth it.
Let's find out who went for it at the auction.
73 is three ground-floor letting rooms
and a self-contained, two-bedroom flat on the top floor.
£115 is where I'll kick off.
Getting the message at 115? Thank you. 115. 115. 115.
If you're happy, 115. 116. 118. 122.
131, OK. 131.
At 132. 33?
36. At 36.
36 and a half. 137.
137. 137. And a half.
138 and a half. 139.
And a half.
140 and a half.
At 140 and a half.
140 and a half once. Are you in?
140 and a half twice, here it is at 140 and a half. And going.
Dan made the successful bid of £140,500.
Dan's one half of a developing duo, and, along with his business partner
Mark, he met me at their Plymouth property.
Mark, Dan, congratulations. Good to meet you both.
Why did you want to buy the house?
-We wanted to enter student accommodation.
Now, at the moment, obviously, we've got individual rooms downstairs and a flat upstairs here.
What are you going to do to convert it into what you think will maximise its potential?
Strip it out, basically, get as many rooms as we can into it.
We're trying for seven, Dan?
-I think seven.
-Seven. Basically. And just take it from there, really.
So, seven bedrooms. And any sort of communal areas?
Yeah, we're looking to put a communal area at the back.
It'll be a kitchen-cum-lounge, and we'll take out the back of the building
and make an extension of about three metres going out at the back.
They can extend by three metres without needing planning permission, which would delay them.
That speed is vital as they hope to have it ready in just two months, in time for the next student intake.
They've given themselves a budget of 50,000 to make this a magnificent,
seven-bedroom house, fit for the most discerning student.
What are students looking for these days, from your experience?
-En suites etc.
-Yeah, it's a big thing.
-I don't remember having an en suite when I was a student.
-Times have moved on.
-It's almost hotel accommodation for students.
Crikey. I almost wish I was a student again.
Accommodation has certainly gone up a notch since my day, but then again so have the rents.
Dan and Mark aim for around £350 to £400 per month per room.
So how does it work between you? What's the partnership here?
I basically will be doing the majority of the building work. Dan does the administration side.
Loads of running around involved, loads.
So, yeah, it works well, really.
Have we seen you before the show?
-Yes, a couple of times before.
-As what? In what guise? Have you bought, or...?
I've done some work for developers in the past, seeing what they made of it, basically,
I thought it was time to do it for myself.
Time to move on.
-So I have, and that's it, really.
-And how does that feel?
Great, great. It's better doing it for yourself, definitely.
Got no customers to deal with, have you?
The job is good, it's the customers that are the problem.
-What's your experience before you did this?
-I've been in the property game for the last 15 years.
What prompted you to enter this world?
-I was skiing for a week...
Yeah, skiing for a week, and a friend was skiing for six months,
or the season, and I thought, "What do you do?"
He basically let out property and he lived off that income.
So I thought, "I'd like some of that."
So Dan is hoping this property can generate enough revenue to allow him to live the high life.
But first they've got a mountain of work to organise and do
before either of them can enjoy any rest and relaxation.
Well, Mark and Dan are doing exactly the right thing to maximise the financial potential of this place.
But it all rests, certainly for the first year, on getting those students in in the new year,
and that's a bit of a risk, as is keeping to budgets and timescales.
So how are they going to get on?
You can find out later on the show.
This is the Regent's Canal.
Head that way and you end up in Islington and the start of the canal at Little Venice.
Head this way and you get to Limehouse and the London Docklands.
This really is a quiet oasis right in the heart of London.
I'm here to see a property situated right next to this lovely canal just over there.
It's a three-bedroom, semi-detached property.
One drawback is that you have to get here on foot.
There's no vehicle access.
I can't wait to get inside and have a good old nose around.
You have to cross the canal footbridge and go on to the towpath before you reach the cottage.
The access across the front yard is shared with the adjoining cottage.
This property in London's Bow area went to auction guided at £300,000.
It looks well worth the walk to get to it.
Now, once I'm inside, straightaway you can see it's been magnolia'd.
It's all the same colour throughout.
Lots of woodchip wallpaper.
This, come here, is what really concerns me.
You've got a gas pipe sticking out here.
Could be quite dangerous. I think I'd box that in.
Then you could risk falling over it once coming down the stairs, so that's a bit of an issue.
I'd try to get that sorted out.
Really nice-sized reception room through there, again painted magnolia.
We've got the kitchen through there. Quite small, but tidy.
And in here, a second reception room towards the back of the property.
You've got a few little cupboards here and there, a feature fireplace, not to everybody's taste.
But it's not terribly exciting inside,
not packed with lots of lovely features.
The thing for me that still gets me going about this place is the location.
Upstairs there are three bedrooms, two doubles and a single.
This could make a great family home.
And who wouldn't be delighted to be so close to the beautiful Victoria Park?
This property already has double-glazed windows.
But if you did want to change them or alter the exterior in any way,
you must be warned because this is in a conservation area.
Even simple things like putting up a satellite dish or painting your
front door a different colour could all be restricted.
You have to run any changes by the local conservation officer first.
At the back there's an even more exciting prospect for development.
Here's the garden, or back yard, you might like to call it.
But what I love is that over this fence is Victoria Park.
But look at what's over this fence - a nice big piece of land, and as a
developer, I'm more excited about that than the house, to be honest.
Get your hands on it, build another property, or at the
very least create some off-street parking or even a bigger garden.
But before we get excited, that belongs to British Waterways,
and as far as I can find out there are no plans to sell it any time soon.
Still, one can live in hope.
You never know what might happen in the future.
And who knows, maybe if you pleaded long enough they might just sell it to you.
But even if not, this property has still got
tremendous development potential as it's in a very desirable area.
What does the local estate agent make of it?
I asked one along to tell me more.
It obviously needs some refurbishment works
in order for it to appeal to a family,
but I believe it's a good location,
but parking may be an issue for certain buyers.
I'd say the property needs a complete refurbishment.
I'd say it needs rewiring, new kitchen, a new bathroom,
maybe an extension to give that larger kitchen diner effect
which is appealing in today's market.
The good news is that there's an allowance for a three metre
extension to the property with no need for planning permission.
So how much should the new owners spend here, and how much could they make?
In order to maximise the potential from the property,
I think if you spent 75,000 and did a really superb job, you could well see 500,000 here.
So if bought for close to the guide price of £300,000, spending 75 grand
on a renovation could still result in a very healthy profit.
In this area, there's demand for rental property.
This particular property may put people off due to parking.
However, per calendar month I'd guess-timate between £1,500 and £1,800.
Now, the lack of vehicle access may put a few buyers off this property.
But for most, I think a waterside location like this...well, it would be a dream come true for me.
This cottage is a real find.
So who bid for this one? Let's find out at auction.
Right, Lot 44.
A great location, canalside position, semi-detached house.
Start realistic - 250?
Not going to go below 250.
Work upwards from there.
It's worth 250 all day long.
250. 255. 255. 260, sir.
With you, sir. 270. 275.
No? Too late. New spot. 320.
Not taking, 325, yes?
Have a think. Anyone else?
331. 332. 333. 334. 335.
336. 337. 338. 339. 340. 341.
Have a think. 346.
Back with you. 347?
If not, 346, first time,
second time, third and last time, if you're all done, sold. Nice buy.
That final bid of £346,000 was made by Aytan, originally from Israel.
Aytan has lived and worked in London for the last 30 years.
He qualified as an architect,
pursued a career in fashion photography,
and is now a documentary film maker.
He does a bit of property developing on the side.
I met up with him back at the house to find out his plans for this, his latest investment.
-Thank you very much.
-How exciting for you.
Thank you, it is.
Why did you want to buy this?
The location here was pretty unique.
I really like the fact that it was by the canal and by the park.
No neighbours, so it's a house in the middle of a park with no neighbours.
Remind me like the Queen's setting.
She doesn't have neighbours, so I thought, "That should be special."
-So you think you're like the Queen, do you?
MUSIC: "God Save The Queen"
Maybe that glorious view of the canal
has made Aytan miss the fact he does actually have some neighbours.
I suppose it feels so tranquil here that you'd hardly notice.
Aytan sounds in love with this house, so is he going to move in himself?
This is a serious question for me because it's very, very tempting to get hold of this.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I love this place.
I could see myself living here easily.
How would it affect my business life and my own money?
I have a bit of an outside investment in here, a small one, but still, it's something to consider.
So it's a difficult question. I can't say at this point.
Do you really see yourself living in a house like this?
Looking at you, you're a stylish guy.
You've probably got the artistic eye.
But this property isn't that stylish inside.
It's very bland, it's very magnolia and woodchip.
What would you do to really make this rock?
Yeah, it's pretty boring inside.
-It's going to be a total makeover here.
In fact Aytan has already had plans drawn up, so I asked him to show me his grand vision.
We have a plan. This is the ground floor.
Here we are, this is the front door.
It's very, very important in every property,
the moment you open the door, if it's not a wow, forget it.
What are you going to do to make that a wow?
To make this a wow, as soon as you open the door you'll see the back of the property.
You see throughout, across the whole property, then you get a sense of how big it is.
Then it'll be glass and hopefully will be spring, there will be lots of green leaves, it'll be beautiful.
So the light, this is northern light coming here, so the light will come from here,
-this large window will come here and that will light the whole space.
-I love it.
But what I want to know is, you've got sort of three levels here.
Then you go upstairs, and how many bedrooms have we got upstairs?
We'll have two bedrooms upstairs, and this is a very crucial issue.
We're debating what to do with the loft.
It's very difficult because there's not enough room
to put another flight of stairs up to the loft without limiting severely one of the bedrooms.
So this is something we're debating, whether we're going to do a little gallery in every bedroom.
We open the ceiling and have a little gallery, so it'll be kind of like a library or an office.
Are you going to be adding on any external building work at all?
I want to open this wall completely here so we'll be facing the garden.
It'll be made of glass,
so the idea that this area here will be a dining area,
and you can sit in the morning and you have your cup of tea and biscuits
and you can look into the park with the birds.
How can you look into the park? You've got a fence there.
You obviously need to keep that fence there for security, so you can't actually see into the park.
Knowing it's there, is that what you mean?
You can look up, you can see the trees, but this fence, I'm thinking of maybe changing it a bit.
Maybe a kind of a fence that has a blind that you can actually turn it and open, something like this.
-I'm thinking about this.
-I love that idea!
I'll have to speak to my carpenter. So you can press a button, it opens.
Oh, you've got such an artistic eye. I knew it when I met you!
This property's in a conservation area
so Aytan will have to make sure the work is in keeping with the surroundings
in order to get planning permission.
You really are taking this to the absolute max, aren't you?
That's the idea. Otherwise, what's the point?
I'm doing it mainly for the passion, mainly for fun, to see the transformation.
I'm not just doing it to bang it in and get out of the door.
How long do you think it's going to take you to complete the work here?
How many months?
I'd say at least three months.
So in three months' time there will be some pretty hefty changes?
Oh, yeah, this won't be recognisable in three months' time.
-I'm so excited!
I can't wait to see what he achieves in those three months.
With a budget of around £100,000, he'll have more than enough to let his creative juices flow.
I think Aytan has definitely fallen for that canalside cottage,
and I don't blame him.
But somehow I can't see him doing that up and then just selling it on.
He loves it too much. He's certainly got some fantastic plans for it.
But I think the local conservation officers may have a few issues with the changes he wants.
So will he be able to make it into his dream home and live here?
Or will he be tempted to cash in and take the money?
You can find out exactly what happens later on in the show.
Coming up, a property in Staffordshire that has been extended, which is good news and bad.
In terms of space it's quite nice, but I think there may be some inherent problems.
We return to the canalside cottage. But is the project in deep water?
I had a 10 to 20% contingency, and I've used it.
But first it's back to Plymouth where roles are clearly defined.
He's sort of very hands-on and I'm in the background.
Earlier we were in Mutley, Plymouth, where two friends, Dan and Mark,
had bought this dastardly dog of a property for £140,500.
Their intention was to convert it into a house of multiple occupancy and let the rooms out to students.
Seven months had passed when we met up again with Dan and Mark
to see how the refurbishment had progressed.
Outside, the property has been transformed.
It's been rendered and painted pastel yellow.
New windows have been installed, and the roof has been replaced.
Bearing in mind the condition of the house,
I suppose it's no surprise that in order to fix the structural problems,
the inside had to be totally stripped out.
But now seven bedrooms have been created.
There are two bedrooms on the ground floor,
three up on the first floor,
and a further two up in the loft conversion.
They all have en suite facilities.
A communal living area and kitchen have been created for the students at the back
thanks to the new extension, and as Dan explains, it required a refit from the top down.
We started this project by ripping everything out of this property.
The floors were rotten, all the joinery was rotten, the staircase was rotten.
The roof was rotten, so we took everything out.
We took the complete roof off. We started on a Friday evening, took the roof off,
worked all weekend, and by Monday dinner time we had the roof back on.
We basically worked our way down through the house, ripping everything out.
The entire property has been completely refurbished,
with new wiring, windows, plastering and a new boiler.
As it's a house of multiple occupancy with seven en suite bedrooms,
the regulations demand two separate cooking facilities.
So two sinks, two ovens and two fridges were installed,
although as is the case here, they CAN be in the same area.
We decided to put an extension on the property to make this room almost double the size.
We looked into it and we could do it under permitted development, so we cracked ahead and got it built.
The sun deck is a real bonus for students, a great place to enjoy a drink or revise for exams.
This is one of the rooms we've converted.
They were a very awkward shape, but as you can see, we've made it work.
We've filled in bits and pieces so we can get beds up against walls, etc.
They've all got en suites, obviously. They're clean, tidy, and it's the ideal size.
The loft conversion was quite a large job, and it required a lot of steel to be put into the roof
and all the way down the building to support it independently.
It was costly.
So how much has the refurbishment cost on top of the £140,500 they paid at auction?
We blew the budget because we went up into the roof.
We spent 50% more, up to about £75,000.
That's a lot of money, but the facilities on offer for the discerning student are impressive.
As well as being en suite, every room has internet access,
and the rent includes all the water, gas, and electricity.
Me and Mark work very well. He's sort of very hands-on and I'm sort of in the background
doing the purchasing of properties and that side of things.
So the hard graft has been down to Mark and the team he assembled.
Did he enjoy the project?
I've enjoyed the project immensely.
We had a good team of chaps here.
Looking forward to doing the next one, which is in the pipeline.
So yeah, it's been great.
The effort's certainly been worth it because they have already managed to let out the rooms.
Samuel, for one, is delighted with his digs.
Before I got here from America, I already called the university. They sent me pictures.
I was like, "Wow, really? This is a student house?"
I was like, "I'm taking it."
I think student houses are better nowadays.
They should keep doing it like that.
-And the highlight?
The couches are the best.
Time we did some homework with two local property experts
to hear their opinions of this seven-bedroom student house.
Very impressed with the standard of finish of the property,
and it's fantastic that there's an en suite in every room,
and there's certainly a demand for students in this area for this level of accommodation.
I like the self-contained facilities of each individual room,
so it'll work very well in the rental market.
The bedrooms are done to a very nice standard. It's fantastic that each room has an en suite.
Obviously students won't be arguing then over bathrooms in the morning!
I love the living space at the back of the property.
They've extended out and incorporated the space that was there before,
making a very pleasant and liveable area for the students to study.
How much rent should the students be paying?
For the area we're in, I'd expect the rooms to rent for students
at about £85, maybe £90 per calendar week.
The rooms in the property would achieve approximately £85 per week.
Well, we're getting £100 per week, including all bills.
So probably netting about that amount.
If they successfully let out all seven rooms at £100 a week,
that's £700 a week, which will produce £2,800 a month.
Although student lets are normally only for term time, which is about 44 weeks a year,
Dan and Mark's tenants are on an agreement for 50 weeks, so you can see the potential income here.
How much is the property worth now?
Dan and Mark have invested £75,000 on top of the £140,500 they paid at auction,
so they've spent almost £216,000.
If the property was placed up for market as it is, as a rent machine,
it could fetch somewhere in the region of £220,000 to £230,000.
I'd expect to put this poverty on the market for offers in the region of £225,000.
£225,000 means a gross profit of around £10,000, before the usual selling expenses.
But maybe selling isn't the shrewdest move.
The experts' advice is simple.
If this was my property and I was achieving maybe £85, maybe £90 per calendar week
and bringing in the better part of £30,000 per annum,
I'd certainly leave it as a rent machine and enjoy the income.
-I think we'll keep hold of it.
It's a pension, isn't it, at the end of the day?
Looking forward to the next one.
I'm in Staffordshire, on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent.
Actually, this is one of the highest points in the county.
As you can see, fantastic views, although it's a bit parky.
I'm in Alsagers Bank, six miles west of Stoke-on-Trent.
The village enjoys unrivalled views and sunsets over the Cheshire plain to the west.
And this is the property I'm here to see.
It's a three-bedroom Victorian house at a guide price of £60,000.
Let's hope inside it's as spectacular as the views are on the outside.
I tell you what, that's a nice start.
Original features there, lovely lead stained glass.
We like that. Big window, which is going to make the most of those views.
Needs to be updated, but at least there's an open fire.
Don't like the fact that it's straight in off the road.
That's not ideal. But it doesn't look in too bad condition.
Front sitting room there, and then through to the rear of the property.
my guess is that this used to be a kitchen because this,
I imagine, in the early days, would have been a two up, two down.
But you've got the stairs up to the three bedrooms there.
Not a bad sized little room as it is, a sort of rear sitting room, as I said.
But then it starts to get really strange when you come to the rear of the property,
because I haven't seen this before. It's an internal corridor.
I guess at one stage that would have been an open alleyway to the rear of the property.
As it is, it links into this area here.
Again, I reckon that was open at some stage.
This area, which is now the kitchen, would have been some sort of outbuilding.
At some stage it's been enclosed.
You've got different levels of floors, and the biggest concern for me,
an outbuilding like this probably never had a damp proof course,
so it could even be single skinned, which isn't good news.
In terms of space it's quite nice, but I think there might be some inherent problems.
Upstairs there's another potential issue - the bathroom is tiny, with only a bath and a basin.
The loo is downstairs, right at the back of the house.
In the middle of the night, that's a long way to go.
# And if you can't hold on on your very last try
# I'll be there in the morning to pull you through... #
Back upstairs, what about those three bedrooms?
It is a three-bedroom property, and when you look from the front,
you think, "It's not that big, how on earth have those three bedrooms been squeezed, fitted in?"
And actually, you know what, it's been done very well.
They're not huge, the bedrooms, but you have got the space and that's good to see.
And there are some original features to discover.
Look at that, fantastic!
An old fireplace, and it hasn't even got layers and layers of paint on.
That's great news.
Bit of Hammerite on there and that'll look absolutely beautiful.
And something else that's absolutely stunning, the view out the windows.
The master bedroom is a decent size, but the other two are quite boxy.
Clearly, the house hasn't seen any improvements for some time,
and a fair amount of work needs to be done.
Renovating the remaining original period features, replacing the doors
and windows, plus a new kitchen and a bathroom rethink would all bring this house up to standard.
But would any value be added?
I met a local estate agent to hear what he had to say.
The appeal of this location, there's wonderful views,
plenty of rolling countryside, and buyers do seem to like Alsagers Bank.
How much could the place get on the rental market?
After this property is renovated,
the rent on this property would be £450 to £475 per calendar month.
And what could it fetch if sold, bearing in mind the auction guide price was £60,000?
After this property has been renovated,
I would suggest an asking price of somewhere between £90,000 and £95,000.
So, although it'll take some vision to see past its tired interior and build on its strengths,
there could be profit to be made on this house.
And there's one more positive.
Finally, at the rear of the property, a real nice bonus.
You've got a garden. It's heavily terraced, but it's a nice bit of outside space.
So all in all, what you've got here is a quirky little property.
For 60 grand, good one to go for.
Let's see who spotted it when it went under the hammer.
So, what shall we say for lot number 11?
45 can I say then?
Lot number 11, 45?
45, I'm bid. Thank you. At £45,000.
50. At £50,000. £50,000.
55 it is. At £55,000. Six, is it? At...
New bidder. £56,000.
58? 59. At £59,000.
At £59,000, for lot number 11. 60 anywhere else?
At £59,000... I'll take a half if it helps.
£59,500 then for the first time.
At £59,500 for the second time...
Third and final time, at £59,500...
Sorry, that's just not quite enough. Again, if the bidders would like to come and talk to us on the left.
So the lot didn't meet its reserve price and was withdrawn.
However, a deal was made after the auction for £58,500.
The new owners, who had already tried to buy the house, are Harold and Dorrie.
They now have this one to add to their growing buy-to-let portfolio.
Harold's a GP and Dorrie a head teacher who's recently retired.
Their various buy-to-lets will help supplement their income.
Congratulations. Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
We both really liked the house when we saw it.
The fact that it had a lot of original Victorian features -
the stained-glass windows, I think, are lovely.
Not many houses have them still remaining - they rip them out.
And also the proportions of the house, the rooms, the fact it's got three bedrooms.
We were a bit worried about the toilet being downstairs but we think we can move that upstairs,
-which is going to be much better.
-So it didn't actually meet the reserve price, did it?
No, it didn't, and we bought it immediately post-auction.
-I believe there were a couple of offers after we purchased it.
But luckily, they were too late.
So you went up straightaway after the auction and put your bid in?
Yes, we like to sit near the no-sale lot bench,
so that we can put a bid in straightaway.
Now there's an interesting tip.
Tell me exactly what you're going to do to the place.
Well, we're going to put in a new kitchen. We're going to move the toilet upstairs.
The bathroom is quite small but we've done the measurements
and we think we can fit the toilet in and move the washbasin.
-And what about the bath?
-We're going to have a small bath,
one that's big enough to have a bath in but it's only going to be 120, isn't it?
Which is the smallest you can get. But with a good shower over it.
And we think that'll be good for families who can use it.
I mean, we did look at other options and I think in another area,
we might have actually had the other bedroom as the bathroom -
we might have moved the screen between the two rooms -
but I think in this area, we won't be able to justify that on the rent.
This bit at the back there - have you checked out its damp proofing?
Have you checked out if it's got a cavity wall and stuff?
I think there is some damp problems
and we've still not decided exactly what we're going to do,
but once we've stripped the paper down, we'll have a better idea about that.
We'll be putting down a damp membrane, because it's got quarry floor tiles throughout,
including the kitchen, so the damp membrane will prevent the damp from rising.
Their renovation plans are fairly involved,
but Harold and Dorrie don't plan to get their hands dirty.
Instead, they're going to hire the builder as a project manager.
This will free up their time, but how will it affect the renovation budget?
After all, they are reining in on the refurbishments here to maximise their rental return.
We've looked at it fairly carefully and we hope that it will come in at £23,000.
It would have been a lot less than that, had we been doing work ourselves.
But as I said, we're not going to do that.
What kind of premium are you having to pay to have somebody else manage it for you?
Well, I have to confess, I haven't looked at that very carefully.
But I wouldn't be surprised if I could have done it for little more than half of that.
-But to your mind, it's worth that extra money?
-I think it's worth it, yes.
Because we're, strictly speaking, not really developers - we're buy-to-letters -
and approaching retirement, as I said earlier, so we're not going to be working on it, are we?
You have to look at your own time and what that costs.
When somebody appears to do a property up quite cheaply,
they've put an enormous amount of time themselves and an awful lot of work and hassle,
and we prefer not to do that, really.
-What about timescales? Presumably it'll be done a bit quicker as well?
-Yes, it will.
We're hoping it'll be done in six to eight weeks.
-Right. Well, congratulations.
-And I look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
Well, I think Harold and Dorrie got this place for a really good price.
And a nice little property to add to their buy-to-let portfolio.
Taking the approach, as well, that their time is more precious than
the money it costs to have somebody else in to do the work, and why not?
So, how's their builder going to get on sorting this place out?
You can find out later in the show.
When it comes to making profit from property, timing is crucial.
But you do have to be flexible with your plans.
And don't let time pass you by.
Let's see how today's buyers got on.
Back now to Bow in east London.
Earlier in the programme, Aytan, a former fashion photographer,
now a documentary film-maker and property developer,
paid £346,000 for this three-bedroom canalside cottage.
He planned to redesign it totally.
We'll have two bedrooms upstairs and we are debating what to do with the loft.
There's not enough room to put another flight of stairs
without limiting severely one of the bedrooms.
But the cottage was in a conservation area so the outside
had to be in keeping with the neighbouring properties.
Almost four months later,
we're back to see what Aytan has managed to unlock at this canalside cottage.
Mm, interesting decking. Very nautical.
And the new fence screens off the land next door very well indeed.
Upstairs, the two front bedrooms have new flooring and soft, diffused light streams through the curtains.
Smart grey bathroom walls complement the new suite.
Downstairs, hardly any of the walls remain.
Aytan's created a sumptuous open-plan living area,
running the whole length of the cottage, with an extension at the back. Wow!
There used to be a door to enter a living room here,
which was divided into what was like a dining area here.
You can see the boundaries of the room with the pillars.
And here was an entrance to a small kitchen that was really just on this side,
and then here was a door leading into an external toilet.
I decided to knock down this wall
and extend the whole building facing north,
so you have all throughout the day very soft, gentle light
coming from this direction. In the evening,
you have direct sunlight from here and it's really nice to have dinner in the sun.
Aytan's contractors managed to stick pretty much to the three-month schedule.
The main delay has been waiting to see if his application to change the windows got approval.
When the deadline passed, Aytan hadn't received any correspondence
so he was delighted and called the builders.
I didn't get a rejection so we're going ahead with my plan -
take the windows out and put new windows in -
so we knocked the windows out.
It was a long day, hard work, but we managed to get the windows in.
I went back home late at night to find a letter from the council saying that they rejected my application.
So the next week we arrived, I said, "Guys, we have to put all the windows back in!"
Oh, dear - what a pain.
It's a good job that Aytan's team had removed the windows carefully so they could go back in.
At least new windows in the extension and the roof were allowed.
This was a tiny little hole.
As you can see it's still the same space but all we changed here,
we basically knocked the ceiling off so you get this extra height.
And we put in a skylight to get this natural light,
so it becomes bright. So if it's bright, it's bigger.
Daylight is definitely a feature throughout here, thanks to the light colour scheme.
These glass doors upstairs allow light to flow through even when the door is shut.
But how much has Aytan had to spend to achieve this look,
on top of the £346,000 he paid on auction day?
I intended to spend around £75,000 to £85,000.
But it cost more than that. I think I had a 10 to 20% contingency and I've used it.
Well, 20% of 85,000 is another 17 grand,
so we're talking £102,000 for the budget.
Quite a lot. Thank goodness he's happy.
I'm very pleased with this effect -
that suddenly, this space has been elongated.
It looks really, really far into this bamboo natural wall
that we've created at the back.
The clever trick here has been keeping the line of the floorboards inside
the same as for the decking outside.
It draws your eye right through, making the cottage seem as if it goes on and on.
Aytan has certainly created a wonderful home.
Remember, he'd contemplated moving in himself.
So what's the plan now that he's finished?
I think I'm going to put it on the market,
because I need to recover the funds and then think what to do next.
Time to get some expert marketing advice
from two local property professionals.
I particularly like the open-plan feel of the downstairs.
And I particularly like the garden, the decking.
I think the finish has been done to a high standard.
The kitchen especially presents itself very well.
And of course, the finished decked garden is also an asset.
I think the finish is done modern.
It's clean, it's airy. He obviously spent a lot of money doing it and put a lot of time and effort.
Remember, Aytan paid £346,000 at the auction
and has spent £102,000 on the work.
That's a total outlay of £448,000.
So how much could the place achieve on the open market?
The property should go on the market
between £575,000 and £600,000.
I'd put this on the market for £575,000.
That represents a very impressive £127,000 gross profit
before the usual selling expenses.
It's more or less what I thought.
It's difficult to value a property like this because there's no comparables.
It's very difficult to evaluate. If they say around 600, it's more than what we thought, I'm happy.
Aytan's creative eye has transformed this cottage.
Even with the original windows, this property's outlook seems bright.
It's been a very interesting project. I've never done anything like this before so it's been very challenging.
I learned a lot, I would do it again.
Earlier in the programme, we were in the Staffordshire village of Alsagers Bank,
enjoying these far-reaching views.
Harold and Dorrie had bought this mid-terrace for £58,500
to add to their growing property portfolio.
They live about five miles away.
Dorrie is a retired headmistress and Harold a GP who was about to retire.
But they had no intention of doing the work themselves.
They had a local builder they'd used before lined up to project manage the refurbishment.
A couple of months have passed and back at the property,
it looks like their builder has done just what the doctor ordered.
You still walk right into the living room,
but what a difference changing the fireplace and the carpet have made.
At the back, the dining room has benefited from similar treatment,
with gloss paint and neutral walls.
Upstairs, the three bedrooms appear significantly bigger since their makeover
and I'm delighted they've retained the original fireplaces.
The house has been rewired and the old lead piping replaced,
which has certainly put a spring back into the step of this Victorian property.
We wanted to retain a Victorian look, really.
A traditional house, which I think is very popular.
We tried to preserve original features as far as possible.
One thing we weren't able to do, of course, was move the corridor door to the front.
We hoped to have that as a front door to match the front windows
but unfortunately it wouldn't fit. We couldn't make it fit.
The corridor remains but the only loo was at the back, accessible only through the kitchen.
We're very pleased with how the kitchen has turned out.
There was a lot of work done in here because it was in such an awful state before.
It's been completely gutted and stripped.
There was a wall here separating what was the only toilet in the house
from the very poor kitchen so we had the wall taken out.
Originally we weren't going to do that but when we started,
we realised it would be much better to have a nice, long through-kitchen
so now there is room and space for, hopefully, a dishwasher and a washing machine,
if people want to put them in.
Taking into account that the kitchen is quite narrow,
we've managed to put these narrow cupboards in
so there's more storage than you'd expect to have in such a small kitchen.
Brand new windows, so lots of ventilation.
It's a lovely, bright, clean look. We're quite pleased with it.
Maximising the space of the kitchen is an obvious bonus,
but was it really sensible to move the loo?
I think it was definitely worth moving the toilet.
Nobody wants a downstairs toilet off the rear kitchen. It would be extremely hard to let, I'd think.
True, but a big plumbing task.
So, who was responsible for moving the loo upstairs into the bathroom?
We have a project manager, Mick, who did all that
and he seemed to make something quite difficult quite simple.
The toilet moved upstairs was no problem at all.
There was already a drain there, so it was quite straightforward.
But squeezing three things in where, originally, there were two inevitably meant a compromise.
As you probably recall, this is a very small room
and we did have a problem because there was no toilet so something had to go.
The bath is a lot smaller than it was but I think people renting this unit
would probably want a shower over the bath.
As with many old properties,
you never know quite what problems you'll find until the refurbishment starts.
The discovery here was damp in the dining room and in the rear upstairs bedroom,
where the flashing round the chimney had perished.
The slight damp issue in the back room on the back wall.
The rest of it wasn't too bad but we did have to damp-proof inject that particular wall,
which seems to have resolved the problem.
Professionals make it sound so simple,
and letting the experts tackle problems is Harold and Dorrie's strategy.
We've not been hands-on and we never intended to be, did we?
No, no. And Mick's done other things for us before. We know we just leave him to manage it.
But employing tradesmen to do everything can be expensive.
It all depends on how you look at it.
A lot of people obviously do all the work themselves.
And they regard the profits as profits and, of course,
a lot of that is actually hard labour that they've worked for.
We've not done that, so our margins would obviously be a lot less
if we were selling, which we're not.
We'll be renting.
Well, now's a good time to find out what two local estate agents
think of the house, its kitchen and relocated loo.
They made a very, very good job with the property.
It's good quality, it's light, airy.
Good kitchen, good bathroom. It's in terrific condition.
I think the kitchen's fantastic - it's got a really nice feel to it.
A lot of natural light coming into it and there's a lot of counter space,
which will also be useful in the future.
It's larger than your average terrace property. It makes a statement.
It's clean, it's modern - definite plus.
I think the bathroom's extremely functional. The only downside to it is the bath is rather small.
Yes, you could fit a full length bath in there but you wouldn't be able to put the loo in there.
They've made a good decision there to get the loo upstairs.
It's a definite, definite plus.
That's a positive endorsement if I ever heard one.
But how much has the refurbishment cost and did they stick to their budget?
We ended up at 24,500.
And we had planned... We thought it might be 23, we were hoping. But we're not too unhappy with that.
How much rental income could they potentially earn from this property?
The rental income is going to be £475 to £500 per calendar month.
I would expect it to achieve a rental value of £500 per calendar month.
I think that's very fair.
-Yes, we're pleased with that.
-We were thinking of asking 485.
The house certainly looks impressive but added to the purchase price of £58,500,
how much have they spent in total, including all their costs?
That includes our legal fees, auctioneer's fee,
-purchase cost - every expenditure that we've had.
What about the value of the property now?
From a resale point of view,
we'd expect this property to achieve figures of £95,000 to £100,000.
I'd recommend a resale price of £99,950.
Strictly speaking, we're not really interested in resale values,
-but it is interesting to know.
-Nice to know.
Once it's let out, then what?
Is it back to an auction?
We might get another one or two properties. We've got eight now.
-This is the only empty one.
-They're all let. Buying them hopefully in a place people want to live,
and the type of properties people can afford, seems to be working out.
It's been a delight trying to restore some of its former glory, really.
It's a beautiful little house and it would make a lovely home for somebody.
-And there'll be more great stories for you next time on Homes Under The Hammer.
-Make sure you join us then.
-See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Plymouth, a house in London and a semi in Staffordshire.
All of these properties were sold at auction; Martin and Lucy find out who bought them, and what they paid when they went under the hammer.