Property auction series. Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a one-bedroom house in Yorkshire, a two-bedroom flat in Kent and a semi-detached house in Birmingham.
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Hello! Whether you're looking for a lucrative development
or your dream home, the auction room could have something for you.
Yes, even in these challenging times,
there are still bargains to be had IF you avoid the pitfalls.
So follow us, and we'll show you the ropes.
A nod of the head, a sly wink or a wave of the catalogue.
It doesn't matter how you bid, as long as you get the auctioneer's attention.
Well, today, we meet some people who did just that.
Which properties caught their eye? Let's take a look.
It's a wet day in Yorkshire, but it's also wet inside this one-bedroomed house.
Look at that. That's actually water coming in.
By the looks of those steps up to this two-bedroomed first-floor flat in Kent...
..It would need a potential owner with a bit of energy.
I'm moving on up!
This semi in Birmingham doesn't look great, but...
..As a canvas on which you could paint the property of your desires,
it's a good starting point.
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.
Sold to you, sir, well done.
This is Todmorden on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.
It's a former mill town - one of the reasons for that is that it rains quite a lot here.
In fact, it rains cats and dogs.
Talking of dogs, look at this fantastic bit of topiary.
What do you reckon that is? It's a Scottie dog.
'A super-sized dog for such a small town, admittedly,'
as only around 12,000 people actually live in Todmorden.
But it's an ideal commuter town with easy access to Burnley, Rochdale and Manchester.
So what was on offer at the auction?
Well, it was a one-bedroomed mid-terrace.
It had a guide price of £40,000 to £45,000.
It looks pretty cute from the outside.
This property dates back 100 to 150 years
and is typical of the area's high-density terraced housing.
But at least with this one, you have your own little green space out front
and, as it's high up on the edge of town,
the house has excellent views over the Calder Valley.
So what have we got?
Well, basically, just one main room downstairs. Not a bad size, though.
Nice high ceilings as well, which means it doesn't feel
too claustrophobic, and a big fireplace, which will be absolutely lovely.
Slightly disappointing, though, the kitchen,
because it's absolutely tiny and not a lot of space to play with.
I mean, I would think about putting some kind of a breakfast bar in here, open it up.
That, I think, would definitely be a major improvement.
Apart from that, I don't know, a slap of paint on the walls, sort out the floor.
It's not bad.
So up here, you've got a bathroom and loo there and then the one bedroom.
Not a bad size, and the best thing - absolutely glorious view out of the window.
I'd buy the house for that. That's wonderful.
A real fire in here, which is always a nice thing to have in a bedroom.
But that doesn't look good.
Look at that.
That's actually water coming in.
That needs some investigating.
# Dip, drip, drip... #
For that, I need to go up one more floor, into the loft space.
# ..Goes the water... #
OK, now that's interesting. That looks like a new beam to me,
and...a few access issues here!
It also looks like new underfelt, so my guess is this is a completely new roof.
But there you go. That's the problem. It looks like the flashing
around the chimney breast there hasn't been done properly,
because you can see water still coming through.
Now, what you want to do in this instance is see if you can track down
the people who did the roof, cos presumably they had some kind of guarantee, and maybe it went
with the property, not with the person who actually paid for the work.
That would be my first port of call. Find out who did it,
see if you can track them down and get them to come and repair it, because it is not actually going
to be a big job, but if it's left, it's going to cause a lot of damage.
# Drip drip drip Goes the water... #
From the top of the house to the bottom now.
I've descended to the bowels of this place and its surprise basement.
Oh, look at this!
A little cellar. How unusual.
I love this. This old stone slab in here.
A bit of an added bonus. I guess...what can you do with it? Wine cellar, perhaps?
Stick a flat-screen TV at the end over there and turn it into a sort of media room.
Either way, a nice little bonus, really.
There are a few things lacking in this property.
There's no central heating or any insulation.
The electrics are antique, and it's only partly double-glazed.
I invited a local estate agent to give me his thoughts on this place.
First impressions coming to the property,
it's in a superb location on the outskirts of town.
Lovely elevated position, but it does need some attention.
The property was built as a one-bedroom back-to-back terraced property.
A lot of people in the area have converted the lofts
into one or two bedrooms, and that's the ideal thing to do with it.
So if all that work is done and the loft is converted into a second bedroom,
what kind of rental income could this property pull in?
For a one-bedroom property, about £300 per calendar month.
For a two-bedroomed, about £350, maybe £375, if it's in very good condition.
If put back on the market after that level of refurbishment, what could it fetch?
Fully refurbished with two bedrooms, it would be in the region of £70,000.
What if it was left as a one-bedroomed house?
A one-bedroomed would restrict its market, and you're probably looking more £65,000 to early 60s.
Those figures are very reasonable.
But I believe this property does have its own invaluable charm,
and that might just have captured someone's heart.
Well, it may be small, but it's perfectly formed, and I really like this little place,
not least because of that fantastic view.
A bit of work to do to sort out the roof,
but, actually, for that £40,000 to £45,000 guide price, a great one to go for.
Let's see who spotted it at the auction.
30,000 - that sounds reasonable enough.
30,000 straight in, we've got it.
32. 32,000 we're looking for.
32. I've got 32, 34 then.
34 I've got. 36,000. And I've got it.
38,000. I've got it. 40,000.
Against you, madam. 40,000.
41,000 then now.
I've got 40,000, a lady sat on my right-hand side.
At £40,000. Have we any advance on £40,000?
I'm going to sell it at 40.
Sorry, last minute, 41,000.
42 then. 42. 43.
I've got 42...
and-a-half. 42-and-a-half. Are you going to give me 43?
43 we've got, then. 43-and-a-half.
I've got 44-and-a-half, I've got. 44-and-a-half now.
45,000 then. 45-and-a-half.
I've got it.
46,000 I need.
And I've got it. And a half?
I've got 46,000 and I'm going to sell at 46,000. 46-and-a-half.
You're out. It's with you, then, sir.
For the first time then at 46,500.
Second time. If we're all done?
Third and final time, then.
Sold to you, sir, well done.
With that bid of 46,500,
Kendal is the new owner this one-bedroomed terraced house.
Unable to afford anywhere in his native London,
he moved north nine months ago to make a new life for himself here.
He hopes this will be the home of his dreams.
-Kendal, very nice to meet you. Congratulations.
So why did you want to buy this place?
Because I had a long time of not owning a property
and wondering to myself would I ever be able to get to own a property.
And one day the opportunity came up, so I thought, "Well,
"I'll see how much I can get together," and went along to the auction.
Stuck my hand up a few times, found myself with a house.
Kendal wanted to relocate here, as not only could he not afford the London prices,
but he also wanted to do his work as a group therapist in more relaxing outdoor surroundings.
# Moving Just keep moving... #
I was working previous to here with people who were getting over
addiction problems for a number of years
and I would say to them on a regular basis, if you really want to make
a change, you have to go and make that change.
-So you were giving this advice to other people?
I just heard myself giving advice and then starting to wonder, how much am I taking of my own advice?
It's kind of important to me to walk that walk as well as just talk it.
I was pretty anxious. I found London a very sticky place.
Really hard to leave. I love London, you know, I'm born and bred there
and know it really well, but I kind of realised that nothing would change unless I made the change.
So buying this house isn't simply a physical move for Kendal - it really is a life-changing one.
There'll be plenty to keep his mind and body busy up here with all the work that's needed.
So tell me what you're going to do to the house.
I'm not certain, actually.
What I do know is I'm going to have to strip everything back and I'm going to have to start again
and then re-plaster, re-wire,
I want to put some kind of wood-burner in the fireplace.
I would like to put a Velux window in the roof.
Beyond that, it's going to be a question of looking at floor types,
I'd like to try and do the bathroom and kitchen myself as much as possible.
I really want to keep my costs down.
My main costs are going to be the walls and redoing them,
but fundamentally they're stone and they're solid, and I've been told that it's a good shell.
For me, fundamentally, I want to get it to a level where I can I have live in it,
so get some warmth in it, get the walls done,
and then it will be about, you know, doing the additions, really.
So how long do you think it will be before you're actually in here?
I'm looking at three, three-and-a-half months before I'm living here...I'd like to be.
How much do you think it's going to cost to get the place sorted out?
Well, I'm pretty naive about all of this, actually.
I've been told it will be somewhere...
somebody said you really don't need to spend more than 7,000 on it.
Somebody else said 20,000.
So I'm kind of wondering in between.
Really, it's going to come down to a point of how much have I got spare each month?
How much can I spend on it, really?
I'm hoping in the region of 10, I think.
Well, I hope it all turns out great for you. Congratulations.
-I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on.
So Kendal finally taking his own advice, but how is he going to get on?
It's a big move from London to the beauty of the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.
You can find out later in the show.
Today I'm in Kent, in the bustling town of Orpington.
It is just 30 minutes train journey from London,
and for first-time buyers, it's a popular alternative to nearby Bromley.
Well, I'm here on the border of St Mary Cray and Orpington
and I'm told there's some local debate as to which town this street belongs to.
Now, I'm here to see this first-floor flat.
It requires some refurbishment and it had a guide price of just £90,000 plus.
Judging by those steps, it will need a potential owner with a bit of energy.
I'm moving on up!
# Cos I'm moving on up
# You're moving on out
# Moving on up
# Nothing can stop me
# Moving on up Moving on up. #
Well, that's it - my exercise done for the day!
I don't think those stairs will put too many people off, because they're not actually that steep.
Now, looking at the flat, first impressions, it's not in bad order, although it is a little bit dated.
You've got a kitchen there. You could completely do with new cupboards.
You've got a really nice-sized bedroom through there.
The bathroom, I think you'd need to renovate that or even strip it out and start again.
The second bedroom's through there, a good size. And this is the lounge.
Now, there are some rather interesting decorative touches, don't you think?
Like these little borders here.
You have got lots of fussy cornicing up there.
I think once you've stripped this place back and got it in neutral order,
it could look quite good, because, overall, it's a nice big space.
You could put a sofa here, a sofa there.
The telly could go in the corner. You've got a lovely big window, letting lots of natural light in.
Do you know what? For a starter home, I think this is a really good flat.
Overall, the flat is in good condition.
Taking each room separately, the carpets and wallpaper
in the bedrooms are dated and need removing, but the rooms themselves are a good size.
The kitchen certainly needs attention.
The layout should be altered and the units replaced.
And the bathroom is crying out to be modernised.
However, despite all these requirements, the flat comes with two huge benefits.
All the windows have been replaced with new double-glazed units,
and there's a fitted and functioning central heating system,
so this could instantly become a warm and cosy home for someone.
As a developer, I'm thinking what I could do to boost the value of this flat.
As I mentioned earlier, the decor could be updated.
I would fit a new kitchen and bathroom, although do be careful
about spending too much if your intention is to sell on quickly.
If you were planning to live here yourself,
then budget is not going to be as much of a priority.
However, you still need this flat to be desirable, should you wish to sell it on at a later stage.
Now, I would also recommend plastering these walls as well,
or skimming them at least, to cover up this Artex.
And of course, while you're at it, I'd get rid of those picture borders next door,
because they're not to everybody's taste.
But something all prospective purchasers would be interested in
is that this property does have a garden, though it is rather overgrown.
What a treat to have a garden attached to a first-floor flat.
You know, it's such a bonus to have some outside space when your accommodation is all on one floor.
I might also recommend getting the lawnmower out!
Although it's not terribly private out here,
you could get some shrubs in and create your own urban oasis.
With a competitive guide price of 90,000,
this maisonette should have had a lot of attention at the auction.
I asked a local estate agent to give me some idea of its potential value.
It's a good size for first-time buyers,
it's close to the station, and you've also got bus routes nearby.
This obviously needs a bit of TLC, but the double glazing's here, the central heating's in.
You've really just got to renew the kitchen and bathroom, redecorate and you're done.
-# Seems so easy
-It's so easy, it's so easy... #
That all seems like a pretty easy process.
So if the new owner was to follow that advice, what kind of rental could they expect?
Once renovated, this property will fetch in the region of £725 per calendar month.
That's the figure that we do achieve for the other properties in the road.
There seems to be a ready market for rental in this area,
so that's good, and the rate isn't that bad either.
Bearing in mind the guide price of £90,000,
what could it be worth if it was sold?
The property, once it's refurbished, will, I think,
with the market as it is now, which is rising,
be worth in the region of 150,000 to 155,000.
Given its good condition, the costs of renovating here
shouldn't be excessive, so there could be a healthy profit.
Considering you can get to London in 30 minutes if you go from nearby St Mary Cray Station,
then this property puts itself in the enviable position
of appealing to commuters, investors and owner-occupiers.
I don't think there's too much work to do here, and the guide price
of 90 grand will have made this flat very attractive indeed.
So let's find out how much competition there was for this place when it went to auction.
Lot 67, guided at £90,000 plus. £90,000 to start me.
90 I have. And 92 do I see?
£90,000 in the room.
At 90. 92 I have. 95.
100 I have.
£100,000 on my left-hand side.
110 is bid and 112.
112 I have. 115 is bid. 118.
118 is bid. And 120. 120 is bid.
125 is bid. In a fresh place, 126.
At £126,000, in the room, lady's bid...127 do I see?
127 in a fresh place. 128 I'm bid. 129.
You're out by the exit sign.
At £128,000 I'm bid.
At 129, do I see?
Is that a bid, sir?
129 is bid. 130. 130 I have. 132, no. 130 I have.
The lady's bid. I'm selling for the first time at 130,000.
Lady's bid at 130 for the second time.
130 for the third and final time.
Are you all done? Sold at 130. Thank you very much.
Husband and wife Fred and Jackie bought the flat for £130,000.
Although they paid 40,000 over the guide price, I think it's still a bit of a bargain.
They run a family timber business nearby and they bought this place to help out their son, Stephen.
I'll be speaking to him a bit later, but first I had to find out more about their reasons for buying.
What's the story?
Well, my son's moved into a flat just up the road with a friend,
and as I was driving past, I saw this one come up for auction...
I thought, we'll give it a go and see what happens.
A sniff of a bargain, was it that?
-I guess it was.
-I think so, yes.
Was it the guide price that lured you in? £90,000, that's relatively cheap.
That's cheap for this area.
I think we were realistic that was a starting price. We knew that.
We knew we'd have to pay more for it.
When you first saw this flat prior to the auction, what did you think? You walked in and thought...?
Well, my thoughts were you could live in it straightaway at a push.
We're going to do the kitchen and the bathroom because I think that's a must and then go from there.
We were pleased with it. We couldn't see much wrong with it.
It was local to us.
He would be able to sort of get into work easy, because we're only 10, 15 minutes away from his office,
so he will be able to do that
so, yeah, it just fitted with all the little boxes that we had ticked, yeah.
Fred and Jackie have a pretty laid back attitude to this flat.
They recognise that it doesn't need a lot done it, but they have allowed themselves a leisurely six months
for whatever they do do.
Jackie, what sort of budget are you looking at to do the bits and pieces that you need to do here?
We thought about £5,000
regarding the kitchen and the bathroom and the decor.
And there is no major... The wiring has been done
and the central heating is fine and the windows are OK,
so it is just those two, so we're hoping it will manage everything.
It will hopefully be simple.
Let's hope that's the case and that nothing troubles this easygoing couple.
But what about the man who is the focus of all this?
I caught up with Stephen when he came round to cast an eye over his new home.
Stephen, how does it feel to have your own pad?
It's absolutely wonderful. I'm immensely pleased getting that first rung on the property ladder.
-It feels very, very exciting.
-So what's your situation at the moment?
Why can't you move in and renovate straightaway?
Well, I moved in with my friend James and we sort of moved in not too long
before we got the flat, so I said to him I'll move in for a year
and help share the financial cost, so we've got a bit of a wait to go and
in the meantime I can get the place up and running and looking good and stuff like that.
Are you itching to get in here really?
Yeah, I'm itching to get in here because it'll just be me and I think I'll enjoy that.
Are you ready for your own space now?
It's been lovely meeting you and good luck with the renovations.
-Thank you very much.
Jackie and Fred are certainly generous parents.
Stephen is going to have a great home here with his first step up on the property ladder.
Six months though to do this flat up,
it should be more like six weeks.
Let's see if they're still as relaxed when we come back later on in the programme.
Coming up - things aren't as bad as they look at this place in Birmingham.
What you've got here is a potentially really good, solid little house.
Has the renovation of this two bedroom flat in Kent gone in the right direction?
I'm really pleased with it, it's nice and modern and clean and quite sharp.
But first, has this house in Yorkshire turned into a home?
It's really, a nice feel of a place to live in.
We're back in Yorkshire and that view belongs to this one bedroom terraced house.
Kendal bought it at auction for £46,500 after uprooting himself from his native London.
I was pretty anxious. I found London a very sticky place, really hard to leave.
I love London. I'm born and bred there and know it really well,
but I kind of realised that nothing would change unless I made the change.
So has the journey from London to Yorkshire been the change Kendal was looking for?
We caught up with him ten months later to find out.
One thing for sure, the house has definitely gone through a transformation.
In the living space downstairs, Kendal has stripped back
all the walls and re-plastered and redecorated.
Upstairs, the bedroom is a much more pleasant place to sleep.
It really does feel like this is now the relaxed home Kendal was after.
The toilet has been gutted and re-plumbed with a modern suite installed.
But one of the biggest changes has been in that gloomy attic.
Kendal has now created a fresh, bright space here
with a new sky light which is perfect to enjoy that view.
Well, all of this has been re-plastered and repainted,
of course and I've created...
Taken down the doors which were here and put up new ones
to allow this whole room to actually be used for a room rather than a bed, which it was before.
Put this Velux in as well.
It gives a great view from up here and allows all the light in.
Before, it didn't have any light at all.
It's really nice now to be able to, on a sunny day like today, to be able to sort of get
the light and the air, whereas before it was literally a torch
trying to find where you were.
So I really feel as though this room is created into a proper room now.
And it's just what that attic needed.
It looked more like a dungeon before,
but now it's light and spacious.
That dark kitchen has also been lightened up
because the wall has gone making it now a part of the open-plan living room.
Well, there was a wall here
and I took that down to open out the kitchen into the front room.
It's a very small area, the kitchen anyway,
but it's letting the light shine through as much as possible
and I wanted to have both windows
creating as much light in here as possible.
I think I've done that.
So the house is brighter, but is it any drier?
Remember that leak in the ceiling? Well, thankfully, that's been fixed.
I've warmed to the house, first of all
and then I've covered over the plaster once I saw that the damp was slightly retreating
and since then I haven't had problems through the plaster.
I'm slightly waiting to see.
I checked the roof and the walls, the outer walls
so I've kind of checked that it's sealed and I was waiting for this winter.
It hasn't been as wet as it could have been, but so far it's holding up.
So that bedroom won't be turning into a swimming pool after all.
Thank goodness for that!
Kendal still has work to do around the house, but he's in no rush.
Doing some of the jobs himself means he can do it at a relaxed pace, which suits him just fine.
But for the trickier bits, like putting in that new wood burning stove,
Kendal wisely called in the professionals.
Well, I've had to get proper professionals in to do
the professional kind of things generally, electricians, plumbers
some carpentry, and the rest I've generally done myself.
Remember, it's always best to use the professionals
if there's any part of a renovation you're not qualified to do.
With most of the work now completed, how is the budget going?
I think that probably about £12,000 has been spent.
Yeah. I was hoping it would be about 10.
I've probably got a few hundred for the kitchen
and then that will really be the costs of it,
and you know, I'm pretty satisfied with that.
So budget wise, Kendal wasn't far off the mark.
What do two local estate agents make of the place?
I'm very impressed with it. It's a very characterful property
and he's put a real cottage feel into this house
which is normally a back-to-back terrace house.
The property has been improved considerably since I last came.
It needed refurbishing from top to bottom.
A lot of the plaster work has been repaired or replaced.
This wall here, fantastic stone work.
It really has come on a treat.
I think all the things that Kendal has done to the property are excellent.
I like the wood burning stove.
It's a great focal point in the lounge when you come in,
the tiles with the underfloor heating
and the real cottagey feel to this property is excellent.
What do the experts think of Kendal's change to the downstairs?
Opening up the kitchen into that living room?
Modern fashion at the moment is to have open-planned living, cooking,
just open-planned living space.
It should work very, very well, just wants finishing off.
I think open-plan living is the way that a lot of builders and developers are going
and for a property such as this if he'd left it as two separate rooms,
it may have made it feel to be quite cramped and dark
so in opening up the kitchen and the living space, I think it's a good move.
Once the work has been finished, what could the value of the house be?
Remember, he bought it for £46,500.
So to make Kendal a mint, it would now need to be worth over £59,000 at least.
If it was going on the market today, I'd expect an asking price in the region of £75,000 to £80,000.
This property would be marketed between £80,000 and £85,000.
I think they've undervalued it.
I only say that really cos of how much...how nice it is to live in.
You know, I think... if I compare it to a few other places which I know around here
and which are kind of similar... And it could be because I built it around me, as it were,
but it's really... a really nice feel of a place to live in, certainly for me.
It sounds like the move from London to Todmorden has been well worth it and not just financially.
# You made me so
# Very happy
# I'm so glad you
# Came into my life. #
I'm pretty contented here, actually. It's interesting. It's a good size for me.
I like the size of the town and I like the fact that I've got a view
and I like the fact that I'm in a quiet place and I like the fact I've built my own house and done it
how I want it, and it feels how I want it to feel,
and, you know, who wouldn't be contented if you did that, really?
I've come to Great Barr, a suburb of Birmingham.
It sits close to the M6 and M5, making it well-situated for travel to West Bromwich,
Walsall or Birmingham city centre itself, which is just 15 minutes away.
There are plenty of shops in the area, and if you fancy a gamble away from the world of property,
there's a greyhound stadium nearby too.
Well, I'm in Great Barr to see a traditional three-bedroomed semi-detached house.
The street it's on looks OK, but sadly the house itself...
urgh, well, something tells me this is going to be more than a lick of paint job to sort it out.
Still, it had a guide price of just £70,000 to £75,000.
So it's got to be worth a look.
The boarded-up windows don't exactly ooze kerb appeal...
..but you can't judge a book by its cover.
After all, there may be delights inside.
Thing about boarded-up houses is you never know quite... what you're going to find
when you come through the front door - completely derelict.
Completely horrible, mould, damp, yuck.
Not in this case, actually.
Probably boarded up just to stop vandalism,
cos actually the property itself doesn't look too bad.
It's a bit tired and dated. A fairly standard layout.
Stairs up to the bedrooms there.
You've got a front sitting room and through to the rear sitting room,
it's not bad at all - I've seen a lot worse, that's for sure.
An obvious place there, I'd say, for putting some big double doors and then steps down into the garden,
and straightaway I'm thinking the kitchen is too small, so knock this wall down, take it out.
I mean look at this. I'm already thinking about ways you could improve this place.
I like it. I mean, as a canvas on which you could paint the property of your desires,
it's a good starting point.
# Painter man Painter man... #
Open-plan kitchen/dining areas are very popular,
so by knocking these two rooms together,
there'd be an excellent space for entertaining.
I wonder what treasures there are upstairs.
Upstairs, a fairly classic layout continues. Three bedrooms.
A small box room there. Two doubles.
You've got a bathroom that's not huge, in need of refurbishment as well.
It's all stuff that just needs a bit of time and effort
and won't cost you a fortune and you can make such a difference do this house.
And here upstairs, it's quite interesting, it isn't boarded up,
which is great news, cos it means you can get to see the rear garden,
and that looks like a descent size too,
so, all in all, what you've got here is a potentially really good, solid, little house.
The garden at the back provides a welcome bit of green space,
although it appears pretty neglected at the moment.
Looking back at the house, you can see it's a substantial building,
but there are signs of movement in the rear bay window that need investigating.
The three bedrooms are well-proportioned, but in a poor state,
since the building has been unoccupied for some time.
This house was put into the auction by the local council,
who sold it under strict refurbishment conditions.
To get an idea of who the potential could be here,
I invited a local estate agent
to look it over and give me his opinion.
From the point of view of the property, I would say that
it's a decent size.
It's got, you know, three bedrooms upstairs with a bathroom.
Downstairs here, you've got two reception rooms and a small kitchen.
This particular property is part of the council's empty home policy.
With these properties, they must be modernised within a period
of 12 months, and to this end, the council sell the properties leasehold
with a peppercorn ground rent and a clause in the lease indicating
that it all had to be modernised to a reasonable standard.
Once refurbished to a good level, this boarded-up property could be
brought back into use,
and the peppercorn ground rent of £10 to £12 a year would hardly break the bank.
What could the rental value of this place be?
Rental on the property,
I would imagine would be in the region of 550, 595 per calendar month.
The property had a guide price of 70 to 75,000, but after being renovated and modernised,
how much could it fetch on the open market?
the property would be worth in the region of £125,000 to £130,000.
Well, this is a classic auction property.
The exterior appearance may well put people off,
but, you know, get through that front door,
and it's not a bad house, which could make a lovely family home.
Yes, it needs a new bathroom, new kitchen, new wiring, central heating,
but, you know what, with that £70,000 to £75,000 guide price, I still think there's money in it.
So let's see who went for it when it went under the hammer.
At this auction, the vendor,
i.e. the council, insisted the deposit was paid with cleared funds,
so potential purchasers had to organise a banker's draft
or building society cheque before bidding.
Where shall we start?
50. Do you have a draft, sir? At 50. At 50 I'm bid.
At 60. You got a draft, sir? At 60. 70, sir?
65. 70, 70. And 71...71.
72, 73, is it? 74. Is it 5? 75.
Is it 6? 76. 77? I have £76,000.
Where are we? 82. At 82.
At £82,000, then, on the front. Are we all done?
At £82,000, once, twice...
New bid at 83. Do you have a bankers draft, sir?
At 83. Is it 84?
Do you have a draft, sir? At 84. Is it 85?
At 85,000, sitting down.
Is it 86, sir? No?
At £85,000, then, sitting down. Are we all done?
Once, twice, third and last time...
86. 86, sir?
Yeah? 86. At 87, sir?
87. 88? No. At £87,000. One, two, three.
Sold. Congratulations, sir.
Well done and the best of luck with that property.
With his bid of £12,000 over the upper guide price of 75,000,
the new owner is Daniel, who works for the local council.
This will be the first project in the development venture
he's begun with a business partner.
Their plan is buy up to three properties a year, refurbish and sell on.
So what attracted them to this one?
-Thank you very much.
You've got the house here. Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
I very much like the area. Myself and my colleague have viewed a few properties in the area
that are already completed and we know the market value is quite good.
It's a good area for first-time buyers.
And it's predominantly a privately owned area, so we don't have any real issues on that front.
So you say your colleague - have you got a business relationship?
-I've got a business partner who's helped fund it, and he's got a construction company...
..so he's got the people to come in and do the work, which helps,
so we're not paying exorbitant prices for tradesmen and so on.
Great. It all adds to it. Tell me more about you. What do you do?
-I work for the local authority, Birmingham City Council...
-Technical Services Officer.
So my main role is looking after concrete blocks of flats,
non-traditional housing, timber-frame, steel-frame, concrete, and so all the things
that most surveyors wouldn't touch, myself and my colleagues get involved in multi-million-pound schemes.
So this is fairly small fry, in comparison to the day-to-day, and pretty straightforward, hopefully.
So how does your partnership work with your business partner?
I'm very much the visionary behind the two, if you like, so I've got the end know-how,
and my business partner is going to sort out the materials and the labour aspect of it and make sure
that we're paying the right prices and that we're getting the materials on time
and not holding the job up, so we can turn it around in the three months and hopefully sell it on.
Daniel's insider knowledge will be crucial, as there are two key stipulations
the new owner of this house has to fulfil.
One is to ensure all the work is completed within 12 months.
The other is that it has to comply with the council's decent homes standard.
That means it has to be energy-efficient, use sustainable materials and be secure.
Tell me what you're going to do to it.
The plans are such as the wall we've got behind us into the kitchen, to knock that through,
block off the kitchen door. The little bay window behind you,
-we're going to take out and put French doors in.
Open it up, kitchen/diner, strip back the doors, kitchen,
bathroom, heating, re-wire, windows, roof line,
-and basically get it back to a nice, clean, tidy, dry residence.
-Up to decent specification.
-OK. Any idea how much that's going to cost?
Budgeting between 12,500 and 15,000, but likely to veer more towards the 15, to be realistic.
That should give us a reasonable return of 15,000 or 20,000 before tax and fees.
For three months' work, as we hope, that will be quite a nice return.
Great, and this area specifically, with the street itself, is nice.
-This is definitely the worst house on the street at the moment.
-Yes, without a doubt.
They're all privately owned, I believe. They all seem to be nicely kept.
Tidy gardens. Well-looked-after houses.
So have you done this kind of thing before?
First time I've done one to sell on.
I've bought properties myself to live in and done them up from scratch.
I've had worse condition than this, but always with a view to living in it.
So this is the first time I've got to rein back what we do and not put too much of a personal stamp on it.
-Is that going to be hard?
-I think it could be.
We'll be looking at light fittings and kitchens with a view
to what we like, and it should be obviously what's going to be saleable at the end.
So what involvement on a day-to-day basis are you going to have?
Most of the initial involvement is going to be the design aspect of it,
sorting out what kitchen we're going to put in, what walls we're going to take out,
the styles of windows etc. And then a background project management, and my colleague will run
the day-to-day lads on the site, so the plasterers, plumbers, people like that.
Once you've done this, then, what's next for you?
-Back to the auction room, hopefully.
-As long as we don't get too far down the road
with this one, money-wise, the intention is to do two or three a year
as a sideline project and build a nice little portfolio of properties for sale.
-Congratulations and good luck with it, and we look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thank you very much.
Well, Daniel and his business partner have certainly got the expertise to make a success of this.
The biggest issue is whether or not Daniel can not get too personally involved
in how the restoration is done and overspend on that budget.
Find out how they get on turning this place around later in the show.
Well, our would-be property animals were certainly eager beavers when we left them.
So they grab the bull by the horns?
Let's go back and find out.
Time to return to Orpington in Kent.
Earlier in the programme, Fred and Jackie paid £130,000 for this first-floor flat.
Their son, Stephen, was going to live in it once the renovation had been completed.
The family run a timber business, and Stephen now works for that as well.
So getting any wood needed won't be a problem here.
Well, it's taken six months, but the flat is now finished.
Stephen and his girlfriend moved in a month ago.
We met Stephen and his mum and dad back at the property.
Inside, the two-bedroomed flat has been decorated throughout.
The smaller bedroom is now used as an office-cum-sewing room.
In the main bedroom, there's now a mirrored wardrobe and a red feature wall.
They went for a monochrome bathroom, which looks stylish.
In the living room, the bay window has provided lashings of light.
This really is a very well-presented property.
They were in no hurry and had estimated six months, which proved exactly right.
Did they hit any problems en route?
There's always sort of little difficulties that you come across.
And you expect those, but no major problems at all. Everything went OK.
I think we were a little bit slow to start.
We sort of dragged our feet at beginning and, as time went on,
we sort of got the spark and then just really pushed ahead with it.
We pretty much gutted it back to the original brickwork and built it up from there.
Painted all the walls and got rid of all the Artex.
Everything's had a lick of paint, so it's looking pretty sharp now.
Sensibly, they employed skilled tradesmen for the bathroom
and the kitchen installation, so the finish is top-notch.
But the family have all mucked in as well.
We've done quite a bit. We were here most days, poking our nose in, making sure everything was done correctly.
If there was workmen here, doing the kitchen or the bathroom,
cos they've always got questions to ask.
Every room we've tackled, painting as you can probably see,
yeah, just about everything, including the garden.
The large garden is a real bonus for this flat.
They've divided it in half down the middle with the ground-floor flat, but it was very overgrown.
Yeah, we've done quite a bit of work in the garden - you know, changed all the fencing,
put a new shed up, put the gate up for security and privacy.
The patio around here, it was under grass and dirt, so it's quite nice to get a new patio.
Hopefully in the summer, I'll be able to break up the garden a bit by putting a patio in the centre.
Some real improvements.
Back inside, work on the flat that Jackie and Fred
paid 130,000 for on auction day has played to their strengths.
I was involved with the electrics.
It was a profession of mine.
You were involved with Stephen with the design and colours and the blinds and the windows.
Yes, Stephen picked the colours. We got him doing a lot of the heavy work.
Loading the rubbish, and he did a lot of the painting.
I painted most of the walls.
I painted the bathroom. Gutted the kitchen and the bathroom with all the tiles and things like that.
Now the flat is finished and Stephen has moved in, do Fred and Jackie have a favourite room?
-I guess the bedroom, really. I mean, I put the wardrobes in.
That changed the bedroom quite a bit.
My favourite bit is the kitchen, cos that's really come out well.
Very pleased with it. It looks fantastic.
There has been quite a lot done in the kitchen. We de-tiled everything.
Everything is pretty much new in here.
We had to get rid of the old fridge.
A new cooker, a new grill. A beautiful new worktop.
It's all painted.
Everything is pretty brand-new, and I'm really pleased with it.
It's nice and modern and clean and quite sharp.
Now, for the all-important budget report.
Remember, they paid £130,000 on auction day and they've done
a really good makeover here, so how much did it cost?
We probably spent £5,000 to £8,000. That's pretty reasonable. We're quite pleased with that.
We said about five, but it's gone to eight because certain things we've chosen have pushed that a wee bit.
-But that was down to us.
It wasn't because of problems that made it more expensive,
-it was because what we did.
-It was what we chose to put in.
Time to find out what two local estate agents
think of this first-floor flat.
Very impressed with everything they've done.
The kitchen and bathroom have been fitted to such a high standard.
It really makes the property stand out against its competitors on the market.
I think kitchens and bathrooms are highly-saleable parts
of any property and these are particularly nice.
I like the wooden work surfaces in here and the bathroom, the tiling is exceptionally nice as well.
The garden is finished very well.
It's been fenced down all the boundaries.
I think the contrasting colours in the rooms
is actually a very nice touch rather than just having the same colour on every wall.
Stephen has now moved in with his girlfriend and made this flat their home.
How much rent could he have generated if he been looking for tenants?
I think it would achieve somewhere
between £650 and £700 per calendar month.
The rental demand for properties like this is good
and we'd expect normally to get 700, 725 a month,
but because of the standard of this, we'd probably aim to get between £750 and £800.
Potentially a good return, reflecting the excellent finish here.
Yeah, very nice. Very nice. We didn't expect...
-He might move out and rent it now!
The budget did stretch from 5,000 to 8,000,
taking the total cost to £138,000.
So, will the valuation of the flat be in line with expectations?
I think for this property to go on the market,
we should be looking initially at an asking price
between 160 and 165,000.
The price I'd value the property would be somewhere in the region of £170,000 to £175,000.
Assuming they got 160,000,
that would represent £22,000 gross profit, minus the usual expenses.
It could be higher if they achieved the top figure.
-That's impressive again.
-I didn't think it would be as much as that.
I didn't expect it to go that high.
I was quite shocked. So very pleased, yeah.
Fred and Jackie have successfully got Steve on the first rung of the property ladder.
They have another daughter who's at university.
So would they go down the same route again?
-Yes, I think we'd do it again.
-Certainly, the right property,
the timing, yeah, if everything was together as this one was, yeah, we'd do it again.
This three-bedroomed house near Birmingham
was bought at auction for £87,000 by Daniel and a business partner.
It was sold by the local council subject to the requirement that
it was repaired, refurbished and brought back into residential use within a 12-month period.
Daniel works for the council, risk-assessing large high-rise buildings.
So how did he think this one compared with his day-to-day job?
Myself and my colleagues get involved in multi-million pound schemes, so this is fairly small-fry
in comparison to the day-to-day, and straightforward, hopefully.
# He's a smooth operator
# A smooth operator... #
Three months later, the house has been completely transformed.
Rooms and windows have been opened up and it looks ready to live in.
So was it straightforward?
I feel it's gone extremely well.
It's gone easier than I anticipated, to be honest.
We haven't had any real nasty surprises, which I'm glad about.
They did discover the gas had been disconnected from the mains,
but thankfully it was reconnected for only £300.
Something that went very well was the kitchen-dining room.
This is the one room where we've made probably the biggest change for the better.
As you'll have seen before, we had a dividing wall between the dining room
and the kitchen which we've taken out, to open up the space and make it brighter more family-orientated.
We've bricked up the back door, which is where this window is now and there was a window behind the boiler
and there was a very small and old kitchen, so that has been completely refurbished and we've opened it up,
and we've taken the bay window off the back here which had subsidence
and put the patio doors in again to introduce the light and make it more user-friendly.
I think we've ended up with a very nice open-plan seating and eating area.
The tired-looking front room has been redecorated.
The old windows have been replaced with UPVC double-glazed units.
The house has also had central heating installed and a complete re-wire.
But upstairs, not everything is new.
I'm very pleased with the way this room has come out.
When we took the property, we found that this old cast-iron bath was hiding behind
years of plywood panelling, so I took the opportunity of cleaning it up,
repainting it and resurfacing it.
We've changed the layout of the bathroom to maximise the space
and we've got the shower with the cast-iron bath and hopefully that helps sell it,
over and above perhaps one of the properties in neighbouring streets
with the more traditional plastic bathroom suite.
As well as having the windows replaced, the three bedrooms have
been decorated in light, neutral colours, ready for the new occupant to stamp their own character on.
The project was originally expected to take three months.
With the transformation this house has gone through, it could easily have taken that.
It's gone ahead of schedule, which I'm pleased with.
We could have been finished a couple of weeks earlier.
We've had a few minor hiccups with decoration and plastering issues which we overcame at the end,
but I think it was a case of getting the right people in
and managing who was in the property so they weren't tripping over each other.
It hasn't taken as long as first thought.
Has it cost less than the original budget of 12,500, plus their £2,500 contingency?
I was expecting 15,000 realistically and we're just over the 15,
between 15 and 15-and-a-half, so I'm pleased. Overall we're in on budget.
It's just now a case of funding the outright purchase of the freehold.
When the council sold this house at auction, it was
on the condition the work was done to the correct standard within 12 months.
If not, they would have been able to reclaim the property.
But there will be no problem meeting that requirement here.
We asked two local estate agents to take a look.
Very nice. The guys made a good job of the property.
The one feature I particularly like is the kitchen downstairs.
It was very small.
He's now taken a wall out, opened it out,
put new units in, and it's really made a difference to the look downstairs.
Upstairs, he's revamped the bathroom.
Interesting to see that he's kept the old roll-top bath with the feet.
I've had a look around the house. I think it's very nicely done.
It's a good family home in a popular location.
If you're going for a rental market, neutral is ideal because,
between tenants, it's easier to keep clean and easier to maintain.
If somebody is looking to purchase the property then it's a plain palette,
a plain canvas for them to add their own decor and their own tastes.
They bought the property for 87,000 and the budget to bring it up to standard was just over 15,000,
making a total spend of around £102,000.
How much do similar properties fetch on the market in this area?
Given the current market conditions and the condition that the property
is now in, I'd estimate in the region of £130,000.
If they were to place the property for sale now, you'd be looking in the region of £125,000.
We have actually got it marketed for £129,950, with a view
to taking £127,000, £128,000, those valuations fit very well with what we've got in mind
and hopefully we sit bang in the middle.
The plan always was to sell the property when it was finished,
but if they can't sell it, what could it be worth on the rental market?
If they opted to rent this, I'd imagine a rent in the region of
£550 to £575 per calendar month would probably be appropriate.
This is an ideal property for rental and you're looking at a valuation
in the region of £575 per calendar month.
It's a good return on the investment if you were looking for a longer-term investment.
We set out to do the property for sale and that's still the route we'd like to take
to free up the money that we've invested in it,
so that we can move on to another project.
But it's nice to know that that kind of level of rental income is available.
From perfect homes to shrewd investments.
Join us next time for more Homes Under the Hammer.
-We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a one-bedroom house in Yorkshire, a two-bedroom flat in Kent and a semi-detached house in Birmingham.
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.