Episode 39 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 39

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

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or your dream home, the auction room could have something for you.

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Yes, even in these challenging times,

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there are still bargains to be had IF you avoid the pitfalls.

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So follow us, and we'll show you the ropes.

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A nod of the head, a sly wink or a wave of the catalogue.

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It doesn't matter how you bid, as long as you get the auctioneer's attention.

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Well, today, we meet some people who did just that.

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Which properties caught their eye? Let's take a look.

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It's a wet day in Yorkshire, but it's also wet inside this one-bedroomed house.

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Look at that. That's actually water coming in.

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By the looks of those steps up to this two-bedroomed first-floor flat in Kent...

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..It would need a potential owner with a bit of energy.

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I'm moving on up!

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This semi in Birmingham doesn't look great, but...

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..As a canvas on which you could paint the property of your desires,

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it's a good starting point.

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All these properties have been sold at auction,

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and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.

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Sold to you, sir, well done.

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This is Todmorden on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.

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It's a former mill town - one of the reasons for that is that it rains quite a lot here.

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In fact, it rains cats and dogs.

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Talking of dogs, look at this fantastic bit of topiary.

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What do you reckon that is? It's a Scottie dog.

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'A super-sized dog for such a small town, admittedly,'

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as only around 12,000 people actually live in Todmorden.

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But it's an ideal commuter town with easy access to Burnley, Rochdale and Manchester.

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So what was on offer at the auction?

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Well, it was a one-bedroomed mid-terrace.

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It had a guide price of £40,000 to £45,000.

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It looks pretty cute from the outside.

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This property dates back 100 to 150 years

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and is typical of the area's high-density terraced housing.

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But at least with this one, you have your own little green space out front

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and, as it's high up on the edge of town,

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the house has excellent views over the Calder Valley.

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So what have we got?

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Well, basically, just one main room downstairs. Not a bad size, though.

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Nice high ceilings as well, which means it doesn't feel

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too claustrophobic, and a big fireplace, which will be absolutely lovely.

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Slightly disappointing, though, the kitchen,

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because it's absolutely tiny and not a lot of space to play with.

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I mean, I would think about putting some kind of a breakfast bar in here, open it up.

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That, I think, would definitely be a major improvement.

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Apart from that, I don't know, a slap of paint on the walls, sort out the floor.

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It's not bad.

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So up here, you've got a bathroom and loo there and then the one bedroom.

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Not a bad size, and the best thing - absolutely glorious view out of the window.

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I'd buy the house for that. That's wonderful.

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A real fire in here, which is always a nice thing to have in a bedroom.

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But that doesn't look good.

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It's actually...

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Look at that.

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That's actually water coming in.

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That needs some investigating.

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# Dip, drip, drip... #

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For that, I need to go up one more floor, into the loft space.

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# ..Goes the water... #

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OK, now that's interesting. That looks like a new beam to me,

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and...a few access issues here!

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It also looks like new underfelt, so my guess is this is a completely new roof.

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But there you go. That's the problem. It looks like the flashing

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around the chimney breast there hasn't been done properly,

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because you can see water still coming through.

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Now, what you want to do in this instance is see if you can track down

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the people who did the roof, cos presumably they had some kind of guarantee, and maybe it went

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with the property, not with the person who actually paid for the work.

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That would be my first port of call. Find out who did it,

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see if you can track them down and get them to come and repair it, because it is not actually going

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to be a big job, but if it's left, it's going to cause a lot of damage.

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# Drip drip drip Goes the water... #

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From the top of the house to the bottom now.

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I've descended to the bowels of this place and its surprise basement.

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Oh, look at this!

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A little cellar. How unusual.

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I love this. This old stone slab in here.

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A bit of an added bonus. I guess...what can you do with it? Wine cellar, perhaps?

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Stick a flat-screen TV at the end over there and turn it into a sort of media room.

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Either way, a nice little bonus, really.

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There are a few things lacking in this property.

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There's no central heating or any insulation.

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The electrics are antique, and it's only partly double-glazed.

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I invited a local estate agent to give me his thoughts on this place.

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First impressions coming to the property,

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it's in a superb location on the outskirts of town.

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Lovely elevated position, but it does need some attention.

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The property was built as a one-bedroom back-to-back terraced property.

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A lot of people in the area have converted the lofts

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into one or two bedrooms, and that's the ideal thing to do with it.

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So if all that work is done and the loft is converted into a second bedroom,

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what kind of rental income could this property pull in?

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For a one-bedroom property, about £300 per calendar month.

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For a two-bedroomed, about £350, maybe £375, if it's in very good condition.

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If put back on the market after that level of refurbishment, what could it fetch?

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Fully refurbished with two bedrooms, it would be in the region of £70,000.

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What if it was left as a one-bedroomed house?

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A one-bedroomed would restrict its market, and you're probably looking more £65,000 to early 60s.

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Those figures are very reasonable.

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But I believe this property does have its own invaluable charm,

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and that might just have captured someone's heart.

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Well, it may be small, but it's perfectly formed, and I really like this little place,

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not least because of that fantastic view.

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A bit of work to do to sort out the roof,

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but, actually, for that £40,000 to £45,000 guide price, a great one to go for.

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Let's see who spotted it at the auction.

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30,000 - that sounds reasonable enough.

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30,000 straight in, we've got it.

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32. 32,000 we're looking for.

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32. I've got 32, 34 then.

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34 I've got. 36,000. And I've got it.

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38,000. I've got it. 40,000.

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Against you, madam. 40,000.

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41,000 then now.

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I've got 40,000, a lady sat on my right-hand side.

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At £40,000. Have we any advance on £40,000?

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I'm going to sell it at 40.

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Sorry, last minute, 41,000.

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42 then. 42. 43.

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I've got 42...

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and-a-half. 42-and-a-half. Are you going to give me 43?

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43 we've got, then. 43-and-a-half.

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44...and-a-half.

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I've got 44-and-a-half, I've got. 44-and-a-half now.

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45,000 then. 45-and-a-half.

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I've got it.

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46,000 I need.

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And I've got it. And a half?

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I've got 46,000 and I'm going to sell at 46,000. 46-and-a-half.

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You're out. It's with you, then, sir.

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For the first time then at 46,500.

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Second time. If we're all done?

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Third and final time, then.

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Sold to you, sir, well done.

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With that bid of 46,500,

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Kendal is the new owner this one-bedroomed terraced house.

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Unable to afford anywhere in his native London,

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he moved north nine months ago to make a new life for himself here.

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He hopes this will be the home of his dreams.

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-Kendal, very nice to meet you. Congratulations.

-Thank you.

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So why did you want to buy this place?

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Because I had a long time of not owning a property

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and wondering to myself would I ever be able to get to own a property.

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And one day the opportunity came up, so I thought, "Well,

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"I'll see how much I can get together," and went along to the auction.

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Stuck my hand up a few times, found myself with a house.

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Kendal wanted to relocate here, as not only could he not afford the London prices,

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but he also wanted to do his work as a group therapist in more relaxing outdoor surroundings.

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# Moving Just keep moving... #

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I was working previous to here with people who were getting over

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addiction problems for a number of years

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and I would say to them on a regular basis, if you really want to make

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a change, you have to go and make that change.

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-So you were giving this advice to other people?

-Yeah.

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I just heard myself giving advice and then starting to wonder, how much am I taking of my own advice?

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It's kind of important to me to walk that walk as well as just talk it.

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I was pretty anxious. I found London a very sticky place.

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Really hard to leave. I love London, you know, I'm born and bred there

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and know it really well, but I kind of realised that nothing would change unless I made the change.

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So buying this house isn't simply a physical move for Kendal - it really is a life-changing one.

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There'll be plenty to keep his mind and body busy up here with all the work that's needed.

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So tell me what you're going to do to the house.

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I'm not certain, actually.

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What I do know is I'm going to have to strip everything back and I'm going to have to start again

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and then re-plaster, re-wire,

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electrics, plumbing.

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I want to put some kind of wood-burner in the fireplace.

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I would like to put a Velux window in the roof.

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Beyond that, it's going to be a question of looking at floor types,

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stairs, bathroom...kitchen.

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I'd like to try and do the bathroom and kitchen myself as much as possible.

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I really want to keep my costs down.

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My main costs are going to be the walls and redoing them,

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but fundamentally they're stone and they're solid, and I've been told that it's a good shell.

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For me, fundamentally, I want to get it to a level where I can I have live in it,

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so get some warmth in it, get the walls done,

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and then it will be about, you know, doing the additions, really.

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So how long do you think it will be before you're actually in here?

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I'm looking at three, three-and-a-half months before I'm living here...I'd like to be.

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How much do you think it's going to cost to get the place sorted out?

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Well, I'm pretty naive about all of this, actually.

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I've been told it will be somewhere...

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somebody said you really don't need to spend more than 7,000 on it.

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Somebody else said 20,000.

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So I'm kind of wondering in between.

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Really, it's going to come down to a point of how much have I got spare each month?

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How much can I spend on it, really?

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I'm hoping in the region of 10, I think.

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Well, I hope it all turns out great for you. Congratulations.

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-Thank you.

-I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you.

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So Kendal finally taking his own advice, but how is he going to get on?

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It's a big move from London to the beauty of the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.

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You can find out later in the show.

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Today I'm in Kent, in the bustling town of Orpington.

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It is just 30 minutes train journey from London,

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and for first-time buyers, it's a popular alternative to nearby Bromley.

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Well, I'm here on the border of St Mary Cray and Orpington

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and I'm told there's some local debate as to which town this street belongs to.

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Now, I'm here to see this first-floor flat.

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It requires some refurbishment and it had a guide price of just £90,000 plus.

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Judging by those steps, it will need a potential owner with a bit of energy.

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I'm moving on up!

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# Cos I'm moving on up

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# You're moving on out

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# Moving on up

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# Nothing can stop me

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# Moving on up Moving on up. #

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Well, that's it - my exercise done for the day!

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I don't think those stairs will put too many people off, because they're not actually that steep.

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Now, looking at the flat, first impressions, it's not in bad order, although it is a little bit dated.

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You've got a kitchen there. You could completely do with new cupboards.

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You've got a really nice-sized bedroom through there.

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The bathroom, I think you'd need to renovate that or even strip it out and start again.

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The second bedroom's through there, a good size. And this is the lounge.

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Now, there are some rather interesting decorative touches, don't you think?

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Like these little borders here.

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You have got lots of fussy cornicing up there.

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I think once you've stripped this place back and got it in neutral order,

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it could look quite good, because, overall, it's a nice big space.

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You could put a sofa here, a sofa there.

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The telly could go in the corner. You've got a lovely big window, letting lots of natural light in.

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Do you know what? For a starter home, I think this is a really good flat.

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Overall, the flat is in good condition.

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Taking each room separately, the carpets and wallpaper

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in the bedrooms are dated and need removing, but the rooms themselves are a good size.

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The kitchen certainly needs attention.

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The layout should be altered and the units replaced.

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And the bathroom is crying out to be modernised.

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However, despite all these requirements, the flat comes with two huge benefits.

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All the windows have been replaced with new double-glazed units,

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and there's a fitted and functioning central heating system,

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so this could instantly become a warm and cosy home for someone.

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As a developer, I'm thinking what I could do to boost the value of this flat.

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As I mentioned earlier, the decor could be updated.

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I would fit a new kitchen and bathroom, although do be careful

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about spending too much if your intention is to sell on quickly.

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If you were planning to live here yourself,

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then budget is not going to be as much of a priority.

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However, you still need this flat to be desirable, should you wish to sell it on at a later stage.

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Now, I would also recommend plastering these walls as well,

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or skimming them at least, to cover up this Artex.

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And of course, while you're at it, I'd get rid of those picture borders next door,

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because they're not to everybody's taste.

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But something all prospective purchasers would be interested in

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is that this property does have a garden, though it is rather overgrown.

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What a treat to have a garden attached to a first-floor flat.

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You know, it's such a bonus to have some outside space when your accommodation is all on one floor.

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I might also recommend getting the lawnmower out!

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Although it's not terribly private out here,

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you could get some shrubs in and create your own urban oasis.

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With a competitive guide price of 90,000,

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this maisonette should have had a lot of attention at the auction.

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I asked a local estate agent to give me some idea of its potential value.

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It's a good size for first-time buyers,

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it's close to the station, and you've also got bus routes nearby.

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This obviously needs a bit of TLC, but the double glazing's here, the central heating's in.

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You've really just got to renew the kitchen and bathroom, redecorate and you're done.

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-# Seems so easy

-It's so easy, it's so easy... #

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That all seems like a pretty easy process.

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So if the new owner was to follow that advice, what kind of rental could they expect?

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Once renovated, this property will fetch in the region of £725 per calendar month.

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That's the figure that we do achieve for the other properties in the road.

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There seems to be a ready market for rental in this area,

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so that's good, and the rate isn't that bad either.

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Bearing in mind the guide price of £90,000,

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what could it be worth if it was sold?

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The property, once it's refurbished, will, I think,

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with the market as it is now, which is rising,

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be worth in the region of 150,000 to 155,000.

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Given its good condition, the costs of renovating here

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shouldn't be excessive, so there could be a healthy profit.

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Considering you can get to London in 30 minutes if you go from nearby St Mary Cray Station,

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then this property puts itself in the enviable position

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of appealing to commuters, investors and owner-occupiers.

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I don't think there's too much work to do here, and the guide price

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of 90 grand will have made this flat very attractive indeed.

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So let's find out how much competition there was for this place when it went to auction.

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Lot 67, guided at £90,000 plus. £90,000 to start me.

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90 I have. And 92 do I see?

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£90,000 in the room.

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At 90. 92 I have. 95.

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100 I have.

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£100,000 on my left-hand side.

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110 is bid and 112.

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112 I have. 115 is bid. 118.

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118 is bid. And 120. 120 is bid.

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125 is bid. In a fresh place, 126.

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At £126,000, in the room, lady's bid...127 do I see?

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127 in a fresh place. 128 I'm bid. 129.

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You're out by the exit sign.

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At £128,000 I'm bid.

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At 129, do I see?

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Is that a bid, sir?

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129 is bid. 130. 130 I have. 132, no. 130 I have.

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The lady's bid. I'm selling for the first time at 130,000.

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Lady's bid at 130 for the second time.

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130 for the third and final time.

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Are you all done? Sold at 130. Thank you very much.

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Husband and wife Fred and Jackie bought the flat for £130,000.

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Although they paid 40,000 over the guide price, I think it's still a bit of a bargain.

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They run a family timber business nearby and they bought this place to help out their son, Stephen.

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I'll be speaking to him a bit later, but first I had to find out more about their reasons for buying.

0:19:360:19:43

What's the story?

0:19:430:19:45

Well, my son's moved into a flat just up the road with a friend,

0:19:450:19:50

and as I was driving past, I saw this one come up for auction...

0:19:500:19:53

I thought, we'll give it a go and see what happens.

0:19:530:19:56

A sniff of a bargain, was it that?

0:19:560:19:58

-I guess it was.

-I think so, yes.

0:19:580:20:00

Was it the guide price that lured you in? £90,000, that's relatively cheap.

0:20:000:20:04

That's cheap for this area.

0:20:040:20:06

I think we were realistic that was a starting price. We knew that.

0:20:060:20:10

We knew we'd have to pay more for it.

0:20:100:20:12

When you first saw this flat prior to the auction, what did you think? You walked in and thought...?

0:20:120:20:17

Well, my thoughts were you could live in it straightaway at a push.

0:20:170:20:23

We're going to do the kitchen and the bathroom because I think that's a must and then go from there.

0:20:230:20:30

We were pleased with it. We couldn't see much wrong with it.

0:20:300:20:33

It was local to us.

0:20:330:20:35

He would be able to sort of get into work easy, because we're only 10, 15 minutes away from his office,

0:20:350:20:41

so he will be able to do that

0:20:410:20:43

so, yeah, it just fitted with all the little boxes that we had ticked, yeah.

0:20:430:20:48

Fred and Jackie have a pretty laid back attitude to this flat.

0:20:540:20:58

They recognise that it doesn't need a lot done it, but they have allowed themselves a leisurely six months

0:20:580:21:05

for whatever they do do.

0:21:050:21:07

Jackie, what sort of budget are you looking at to do the bits and pieces that you need to do here?

0:21:070:21:11

We thought about £5,000

0:21:110:21:13

regarding the kitchen and the bathroom and the decor.

0:21:130:21:18

And there is no major... The wiring has been done

0:21:180:21:21

and the central heating is fine and the windows are OK,

0:21:210:21:25

so it is just those two, so we're hoping it will manage everything.

0:21:250:21:29

It will hopefully be simple.

0:21:290:21:31

Let's hope that's the case and that nothing troubles this easygoing couple.

0:21:310:21:36

But what about the man who is the focus of all this?

0:21:360:21:39

I caught up with Stephen when he came round to cast an eye over his new home.

0:21:390:21:44

Stephen, how does it feel to have your own pad?

0:21:440:21:46

It's absolutely wonderful. I'm immensely pleased getting that first rung on the property ladder.

0:21:460:21:51

-It feels very, very exciting.

-So what's your situation at the moment?

0:21:510:21:55

Why can't you move in and renovate straightaway?

0:21:550:21:57

Well, I moved in with my friend James and we sort of moved in not too long

0:21:570:22:01

before we got the flat, so I said to him I'll move in for a year

0:22:010:22:05

and help share the financial cost, so we've got a bit of a wait to go and

0:22:050:22:09

in the meantime I can get the place up and running and looking good and stuff like that.

0:22:090:22:14

Are you itching to get in here really?

0:22:140:22:16

Yeah, I'm itching to get in here because it'll just be me and I think I'll enjoy that.

0:22:160:22:20

Are you ready for your own space now?

0:22:200:22:23

Definitely. Definitely.

0:22:230:22:24

It's been lovely meeting you and good luck with the renovations.

0:22:240:22:28

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

0:22:280:22:30

Jackie and Fred are certainly generous parents.

0:22:300:22:34

Stephen is going to have a great home here with his first step up on the property ladder.

0:22:340:22:38

Six months though to do this flat up,

0:22:380:22:40

it should be more like six weeks.

0:22:400:22:43

Let's see if they're still as relaxed when we come back later on in the programme.

0:22:430:22:47

Coming up - things aren't as bad as they look at this place in Birmingham.

0:22:490:22:53

What you've got here is a potentially really good, solid little house.

0:22:530:22:58

Has the renovation of this two bedroom flat in Kent gone in the right direction?

0:22:580:23:04

I'm really pleased with it, it's nice and modern and clean and quite sharp.

0:23:040:23:08

But first, has this house in Yorkshire turned into a home?

0:23:100:23:14

It's really, a nice feel of a place to live in.

0:23:140:23:18

We're back in Yorkshire and that view belongs to this one bedroom terraced house.

0:23:210:23:28

Kendal bought it at auction for £46,500 after uprooting himself from his native London.

0:23:280:23:34

I was pretty anxious. I found London a very sticky place, really hard to leave.

0:23:340:23:40

I love London. I'm born and bred there and know it really well,

0:23:400:23:44

but I kind of realised that nothing would change unless I made the change.

0:23:440:23:48

So has the journey from London to Yorkshire been the change Kendal was looking for?

0:23:560:24:01

We caught up with him ten months later to find out.

0:24:010:24:05

One thing for sure, the house has definitely gone through a transformation.

0:24:060:24:10

In the living space downstairs, Kendal has stripped back

0:24:120:24:16

all the walls and re-plastered and redecorated.

0:24:160:24:19

Upstairs, the bedroom is a much more pleasant place to sleep.

0:24:200:24:25

It really does feel like this is now the relaxed home Kendal was after.

0:24:250:24:29

The toilet has been gutted and re-plumbed with a modern suite installed.

0:24:290:24:34

But one of the biggest changes has been in that gloomy attic.

0:24:340:24:39

Kendal has now created a fresh, bright space here

0:24:390:24:43

with a new sky light which is perfect to enjoy that view.

0:24:430:24:47

Well, all of this has been re-plastered and repainted,

0:24:470:24:53

of course and I've created...

0:24:530:24:55

Taken down the doors which were here and put up new ones

0:24:550:25:00

to allow this whole room to actually be used for a room rather than a bed, which it was before.

0:25:000:25:05

Put this Velux in as well.

0:25:050:25:07

It gives a great view from up here and allows all the light in.

0:25:070:25:10

Before, it didn't have any light at all.

0:25:100:25:13

It's really nice now to be able to, on a sunny day like today, to be able to sort of get

0:25:130:25:19

the light and the air, whereas before it was literally a torch

0:25:190:25:23

trying to find where you were.

0:25:230:25:25

So I really feel as though this room is created into a proper room now.

0:25:250:25:30

And it's just what that attic needed.

0:25:300:25:33

It looked more like a dungeon before,

0:25:330:25:35

but now it's light and spacious.

0:25:350:25:38

That dark kitchen has also been lightened up

0:25:470:25:49

because the wall has gone making it now a part of the open-plan living room.

0:25:490:25:54

Well, there was a wall here

0:25:540:25:58

and I took that down to open out the kitchen into the front room.

0:25:580:26:03

It's a very small area, the kitchen anyway,

0:26:030:26:06

but it's letting the light shine through as much as possible

0:26:060:26:09

and I wanted to have both windows

0:26:090:26:12

creating as much light in here as possible.

0:26:120:26:15

I think I've done that.

0:26:150:26:16

So the house is brighter, but is it any drier?

0:26:160:26:20

Remember that leak in the ceiling? Well, thankfully, that's been fixed.

0:26:200:26:25

I've warmed to the house, first of all

0:26:250:26:27

and then I've covered over the plaster once I saw that the damp was slightly retreating

0:26:270:26:33

and since then I haven't had problems through the plaster.

0:26:330:26:37

I'm slightly waiting to see.

0:26:370:26:40

I checked the roof and the walls, the outer walls

0:26:400:26:45

so I've kind of checked that it's sealed and I was waiting for this winter.

0:26:450:26:50

It hasn't been as wet as it could have been, but so far it's holding up.

0:26:500:26:53

So that bedroom won't be turning into a swimming pool after all.

0:26:530:26:57

Thank goodness for that!

0:26:570:26:59

Kendal still has work to do around the house, but he's in no rush.

0:27:000:27:04

Doing some of the jobs himself means he can do it at a relaxed pace, which suits him just fine.

0:27:040:27:10

But for the trickier bits, like putting in that new wood burning stove,

0:27:120:27:15

Kendal wisely called in the professionals.

0:27:150:27:18

Well, I've had to get proper professionals in to do

0:27:190:27:23

the professional kind of things generally, electricians, plumbers

0:27:230:27:28

some carpentry, and the rest I've generally done myself.

0:27:280:27:34

Remember, it's always best to use the professionals

0:27:340:27:37

if there's any part of a renovation you're not qualified to do.

0:27:370:27:41

With most of the work now completed, how is the budget going?

0:27:520:27:56

I think that probably about £12,000 has been spent.

0:27:560:28:04

Yeah. I was hoping it would be about 10.

0:28:040:28:06

I've probably got a few hundred for the kitchen

0:28:060:28:12

and then that will really be the costs of it,

0:28:120:28:15

and you know, I'm pretty satisfied with that.

0:28:150:28:17

So budget wise, Kendal wasn't far off the mark.

0:28:200:28:23

What do two local estate agents make of the place?

0:28:230:28:26

I'm very impressed with it. It's a very characterful property

0:28:290:28:32

and he's put a real cottage feel into this house

0:28:320:28:35

which is normally a back-to-back terrace house.

0:28:350:28:38

The property has been improved considerably since I last came.

0:28:380:28:41

It needed refurbishing from top to bottom.

0:28:410:28:44

A lot of the plaster work has been repaired or replaced.

0:28:440:28:47

This wall here, fantastic stone work.

0:28:470:28:50

It really has come on a treat.

0:28:500:28:51

I think all the things that Kendal has done to the property are excellent.

0:28:510:28:56

I like the wood burning stove.

0:28:560:28:58

It's a great focal point in the lounge when you come in,

0:28:580:29:01

the tiles with the underfloor heating

0:29:010:29:03

and the real cottagey feel to this property is excellent.

0:29:030:29:06

What do the experts think of Kendal's change to the downstairs?

0:29:080:29:11

Opening up the kitchen into that living room?

0:29:110:29:15

Modern fashion at the moment is to have open-planned living, cooking,

0:29:150:29:19

just open-planned living space.

0:29:190:29:21

It should work very, very well, just wants finishing off.

0:29:210:29:24

I think open-plan living is the way that a lot of builders and developers are going

0:29:240:29:28

and for a property such as this if he'd left it as two separate rooms,

0:29:280:29:32

it may have made it feel to be quite cramped and dark

0:29:320:29:35

so in opening up the kitchen and the living space, I think it's a good move.

0:29:350:29:40

Once the work has been finished, what could the value of the house be?

0:29:410:29:46

Remember, he bought it for £46,500.

0:29:460:29:48

So to make Kendal a mint, it would now need to be worth over £59,000 at least.

0:29:480:29:54

If it was going on the market today, I'd expect an asking price in the region of £75,000 to £80,000.

0:29:540:30:00

This property would be marketed between £80,000 and £85,000.

0:30:000:30:04

I think they've undervalued it.

0:30:040:30:06

I only say that really cos of how much...how nice it is to live in.

0:30:080:30:13

You know, I think... if I compare it to a few other places which I know around here

0:30:130:30:18

and which are kind of similar... And it could be because I built it around me, as it were,

0:30:180:30:25

but it's really... a really nice feel of a place to live in, certainly for me.

0:30:250:30:29

It sounds like the move from London to Todmorden has been well worth it and not just financially.

0:30:290:30:37

# You made me so

0:30:380:30:41

# Very happy

0:30:410:30:44

# I'm so glad you

0:30:440:30:46

# Came into my life. #

0:30:460:30:50

I'm pretty contented here, actually. It's interesting. It's a good size for me.

0:30:500:30:54

I like the size of the town and I like the fact that I've got a view

0:30:540:30:56

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

0:30:560:31:02

how I want it, and it feels how I want it to feel,

0:31:020:31:05

and, you know, who wouldn't be contented if you did that, really?

0:31:050:31:08

I've come to Great Barr, a suburb of Birmingham.

0:31:120:31:16

It sits close to the M6 and M5, making it well-situated for travel to West Bromwich,

0:31:160:31:21

Walsall or Birmingham city centre itself, which is just 15 minutes away.

0:31:210:31:26

There are plenty of shops in the area, and if you fancy a gamble away from the world of property,

0:31:260:31:31

there's a greyhound stadium nearby too.

0:31:310:31:33

Well, I'm in Great Barr to see a traditional three-bedroomed semi-detached house.

0:31:360:31:41

The street it's on looks OK, but sadly the house itself...

0:31:410:31:44

urgh, well, something tells me this is going to be more than a lick of paint job to sort it out.

0:31:440:31:51

Still, it had a guide price of just £70,000 to £75,000.

0:31:510:31:54

So it's got to be worth a look.

0:31:540:31:56

The boarded-up windows don't exactly ooze kerb appeal...

0:32:000:32:03

..but you can't judge a book by its cover.

0:32:050:32:07

After all, there may be delights inside.

0:32:070:32:10

Thing about boarded-up houses is you never know quite... what you're going to find

0:32:120:32:17

when you come through the front door - completely derelict.

0:32:170:32:21

Completely horrible, mould, damp, yuck.

0:32:210:32:24

Not in this case, actually.

0:32:240:32:27

Probably boarded up just to stop vandalism,

0:32:270:32:30

cos actually the property itself doesn't look too bad.

0:32:300:32:32

It's a bit tired and dated. A fairly standard layout.

0:32:320:32:34

Stairs up to the bedrooms there.

0:32:340:32:37

You've got a front sitting room and through to the rear sitting room,

0:32:370:32:41

it's not bad at all - I've seen a lot worse, that's for sure.

0:32:410:32:43

An obvious place there, I'd say, for putting some big double doors and then steps down into the garden,

0:32:430:32:49

and straightaway I'm thinking the kitchen is too small, so knock this wall down, take it out.

0:32:490:32:54

I mean look at this. I'm already thinking about ways you could improve this place.

0:32:540:32:57

I like it. I mean, as a canvas on which you could paint the property of your desires,

0:32:570:33:04

it's a good starting point.

0:33:040:33:06

# Painter man Painter man... #

0:33:060:33:10

Open-plan kitchen/dining areas are very popular,

0:33:120:33:16

so by knocking these two rooms together,

0:33:160:33:19

there'd be an excellent space for entertaining.

0:33:190:33:21

I wonder what treasures there are upstairs.

0:33:210:33:25

Upstairs, a fairly classic layout continues. Three bedrooms.

0:33:250:33:29

A small box room there. Two doubles.

0:33:290:33:31

You've got a bathroom that's not huge, in need of refurbishment as well.

0:33:310:33:35

It's all stuff that just needs a bit of time and effort

0:33:350:33:37

and won't cost you a fortune and you can make such a difference do this house.

0:33:370:33:41

And here upstairs, it's quite interesting, it isn't boarded up,

0:33:410:33:43

which is great news, cos it means you can get to see the rear garden,

0:33:430:33:46

and that looks like a descent size too,

0:33:460:33:49

so, all in all, what you've got here is a potentially really good, solid, little house.

0:33:490:33:54

The garden at the back provides a welcome bit of green space,

0:33:570:34:00

although it appears pretty neglected at the moment.

0:34:000:34:03

Looking back at the house, you can see it's a substantial building,

0:34:030:34:07

but there are signs of movement in the rear bay window that need investigating.

0:34:070:34:12

The three bedrooms are well-proportioned, but in a poor state,

0:34:140:34:18

since the building has been unoccupied for some time.

0:34:180:34:22

This house was put into the auction by the local council,

0:34:220:34:25

who sold it under strict refurbishment conditions.

0:34:250:34:29

To get an idea of who the potential could be here,

0:34:310:34:33

I invited a local estate agent

0:34:330:34:35

to look it over and give me his opinion.

0:34:350:34:38

From the point of view of the property, I would say that

0:34:400:34:45

it's a decent size.

0:34:450:34:47

It's got, you know, three bedrooms upstairs with a bathroom.

0:34:470:34:51

Downstairs here, you've got two reception rooms and a small kitchen.

0:34:510:34:55

This particular property is part of the council's empty home policy.

0:34:550:35:01

With these properties, they must be modernised within a period

0:35:010:35:05

of 12 months, and to this end, the council sell the properties leasehold

0:35:050:35:12

with a peppercorn ground rent and a clause in the lease indicating

0:35:120:35:16

that it all had to be modernised to a reasonable standard.

0:35:160:35:20

Once refurbished to a good level, this boarded-up property could be

0:35:200:35:23

brought back into use,

0:35:230:35:25

and the peppercorn ground rent of £10 to £12 a year would hardly break the bank.

0:35:250:35:31

What could the rental value of this place be?

0:35:330:35:37

Rental on the property,

0:35:370:35:39

I would imagine would be in the region of 550, 595 per calendar month.

0:35:390:35:44

The property had a guide price of 70 to 75,000, but after being renovated and modernised,

0:35:440:35:51

how much could it fetch on the open market?

0:35:510:35:55

Once renovated,

0:35:550:35:56

the property would be worth in the region of £125,000 to £130,000.

0:35:560:36:03

Well, this is a classic auction property.

0:36:050:36:08

The exterior appearance may well put people off,

0:36:080:36:11

but, you know, get through that front door,

0:36:110:36:13

and it's not a bad house, which could make a lovely family home.

0:36:130:36:15

Yes, it needs a new bathroom, new kitchen, new wiring, central heating,

0:36:150:36:19

but, you know what, with that £70,000 to £75,000 guide price, I still think there's money in it.

0:36:190:36:24

So let's see who went for it when it went under the hammer.

0:36:240:36:27

At this auction, the vendor,

0:36:270:36:29

i.e. the council, insisted the deposit was paid with cleared funds,

0:36:290:36:33

so potential purchasers had to organise a banker's draft

0:36:330:36:36

or building society cheque before bidding.

0:36:360:36:39

Where shall we start?

0:36:390:36:41

50. Do you have a draft, sir? At 50. At 50 I'm bid.

0:36:410:36:45

At 60. You got a draft, sir? At 60. 70, sir?

0:36:450:36:49

65?

0:36:490:36:50

65. 70, 70. And 71...71.

0:36:500:36:54

72, 73, is it? 74. Is it 5? 75.

0:36:540:37:00

Is it 6? 76. 77? I have £76,000.

0:37:000:37:04

Where are we? 82. At 82.

0:37:040:37:07

83?

0:37:070:37:09

At £82,000, then, on the front. Are we all done?

0:37:090:37:13

At £82,000, once, twice...

0:37:130:37:17

New bid at 83. Do you have a bankers draft, sir?

0:37:170:37:21

At 83. Is it 84?

0:37:210:37:23

Do you have a draft, sir? At 84. Is it 85?

0:37:230:37:28

At 85,000, sitting down.

0:37:280:37:30

Is it 86, sir? No?

0:37:300:37:32

At £85,000, then, sitting down. Are we all done?

0:37:320:37:37

Once, twice, third and last time...

0:37:370:37:39

86. 86, sir?

0:37:390:37:42

Yeah? 86. At 87, sir?

0:37:420:37:46

87.

0:37:470:37:49

87. 88? No. At £87,000. One, two, three.

0:37:490:37:55

Sold. Congratulations, sir.

0:37:550:37:56

Well done and the best of luck with that property.

0:37:560:37:59

With his bid of £12,000 over the upper guide price of 75,000,

0:38:020:38:07

the new owner is Daniel, who works for the local council.

0:38:070:38:11

This will be the first project in the development venture

0:38:110:38:13

he's begun with a business partner.

0:38:130:38:16

Their plan is buy up to three properties a year, refurbish and sell on.

0:38:160:38:20

So what attracted them to this one?

0:38:200:38:23

-Daniel, congratulations.

-Thank you very much.

0:38:230:38:25

You've got the house here. Tell me why you wanted to buy it.

0:38:250:38:28

I very much like the area. Myself and my colleague have viewed a few properties in the area

0:38:280:38:33

that are already completed and we know the market value is quite good.

0:38:330:38:37

It's a good area for first-time buyers.

0:38:370:38:38

And it's predominantly a privately owned area, so we don't have any real issues on that front.

0:38:380:38:43

So you say your colleague - have you got a business relationship?

0:38:430:38:45

-I've got a business partner who's helped fund it, and he's got a construction company...

-Ooh!

0:38:450:38:49

..so he's got the people to come in and do the work, which helps,

0:38:490:38:53

so we're not paying exorbitant prices for tradesmen and so on.

0:38:530:38:56

Great. It all adds to it. Tell me more about you. What do you do?

0:38:560:39:01

-I work for the local authority, Birmingham City Council...

-Oh, great!

-Technical Services Officer.

0:39:010:39:07

So my main role is looking after concrete blocks of flats,

0:39:070:39:11

non-traditional housing, timber-frame, steel-frame, concrete, and so all the things

0:39:110:39:16

that most surveyors wouldn't touch, myself and my colleagues get involved in multi-million-pound schemes.

0:39:160:39:22

So this is fairly small fry, in comparison to the day-to-day, and pretty straightforward, hopefully.

0:39:220:39:26

So how does your partnership work with your business partner?

0:39:260:39:30

I'm very much the visionary behind the two, if you like, so I've got the end know-how,

0:39:300:39:36

and my business partner is going to sort out the materials and the labour aspect of it and make sure

0:39:360:39:42

that we're paying the right prices and that we're getting the materials on time

0:39:420:39:45

and not holding the job up, so we can turn it around in the three months and hopefully sell it on.

0:39:450:39:50

Daniel's insider knowledge will be crucial, as there are two key stipulations

0:39:500:39:55

the new owner of this house has to fulfil.

0:39:550:39:58

One is to ensure all the work is completed within 12 months.

0:39:580:40:02

The other is that it has to comply with the council's decent homes standard.

0:40:020:40:06

That means it has to be energy-efficient, use sustainable materials and be secure.

0:40:060:40:12

Tell me what you're going to do to it.

0:40:120:40:14

The plans are such as the wall we've got behind us into the kitchen, to knock that through,

0:40:140:40:19

block off the kitchen door. The little bay window behind you,

0:40:190:40:22

-we're going to take out and put French doors in.

-Perfect.

0:40:220:40:25

Open it up, kitchen/diner, strip back the doors, kitchen,

0:40:250:40:29

bathroom, heating, re-wire, windows, roof line,

0:40:290:40:34

-and basically get it back to a nice, clean, tidy, dry residence.

-Right.

0:40:340:40:39

-Up to decent specification.

-OK. Any idea how much that's going to cost?

0:40:390:40:44

Budgeting between 12,500 and 15,000, but likely to veer more towards the 15, to be realistic.

0:40:440:40:50

That should give us a reasonable return of 15,000 or 20,000 before tax and fees.

0:40:500:40:57

For three months' work, as we hope, that will be quite a nice return.

0:40:570:40:59

Great, and this area specifically, with the street itself, is nice.

0:40:590:41:04

-This is definitely the worst house on the street at the moment.

-Yes, without a doubt.

0:41:040:41:07

They're all privately owned, I believe. They all seem to be nicely kept.

0:41:070:41:11

Tidy gardens. Well-looked-after houses.

0:41:110:41:14

So have you done this kind of thing before?

0:41:140:41:16

First time I've done one to sell on.

0:41:160:41:19

I've bought properties myself to live in and done them up from scratch.

0:41:190:41:23

I've had worse condition than this, but always with a view to living in it.

0:41:230:41:28

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.

0:41:280:41:34

-Is that going to be hard?

-I think it could be.

0:41:340:41:37

We'll be looking at light fittings and kitchens with a view

0:41:370:41:40

to what we like, and it should be obviously what's going to be saleable at the end.

0:41:400:41:45

So what involvement on a day-to-day basis are you going to have?

0:41:450:41:48

Most of the initial involvement is going to be the design aspect of it,

0:41:480:41:52

sorting out what kitchen we're going to put in, what walls we're going to take out,

0:41:520:41:56

the styles of windows etc. And then a background project management, and my colleague will run

0:41:560:42:02

the day-to-day lads on the site, so the plasterers, plumbers, people like that.

0:42:020:42:06

Once you've done this, then, what's next for you?

0:42:060:42:09

-Back to the auction room, hopefully.

-Is it?

-As long as we don't get too far down the road

0:42:090:42:14

with this one, money-wise, the intention is to do two or three a year

0:42:140:42:17

as a sideline project and build a nice little portfolio of properties for sale.

0:42:170:42:22

-Congratulations and good luck with it, and we look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you very much.

0:42:220:42:26

Well, Daniel and his business partner have certainly got the expertise to make a success of this.

0:42:290:42:35

The biggest issue is whether or not Daniel can not get too personally involved

0:42:350:42:40

in how the restoration is done and overspend on that budget.

0:42:400:42:43

Find out how they get on turning this place around later in the show.

0:42:430:42:48

Well, our would-be property animals were certainly eager beavers when we left them.

0:42:510:42:55

So they grab the bull by the horns?

0:42:550:42:57

Let's go back and find out.

0:42:570:42:59

Time to return to Orpington in Kent.

0:42:590:43:02

Earlier in the programme, Fred and Jackie paid £130,000 for this first-floor flat.

0:43:020:43:08

Their son, Stephen, was going to live in it once the renovation had been completed.

0:43:080:43:13

The family run a timber business, and Stephen now works for that as well.

0:43:130:43:16

So getting any wood needed won't be a problem here.

0:43:160:43:20

Well, it's taken six months, but the flat is now finished.

0:43:200:43:25

Stephen and his girlfriend moved in a month ago.

0:43:250:43:26

We met Stephen and his mum and dad back at the property.

0:43:260:43:30

Inside, the two-bedroomed flat has been decorated throughout.

0:43:300:43:34

The smaller bedroom is now used as an office-cum-sewing room.

0:43:340:43:38

In the main bedroom, there's now a mirrored wardrobe and a red feature wall.

0:43:380:43:43

They went for a monochrome bathroom, which looks stylish.

0:43:430:43:48

In the living room, the bay window has provided lashings of light.

0:43:500:43:55

This really is a very well-presented property.

0:43:550:43:58

They were in no hurry and had estimated six months, which proved exactly right.

0:43:580:44:03

Did they hit any problems en route?

0:44:030:44:06

There's always sort of little difficulties that you come across.

0:44:060:44:09

And you expect those, but no major problems at all. Everything went OK.

0:44:090:44:14

I think we were a little bit slow to start.

0:44:140:44:16

We sort of dragged our feet at beginning and, as time went on,

0:44:160:44:19

we sort of got the spark and then just really pushed ahead with it.

0:44:190:44:22

We pretty much gutted it back to the original brickwork and built it up from there.

0:44:220:44:26

Painted all the walls and got rid of all the Artex.

0:44:260:44:30

Everything's had a lick of paint, so it's looking pretty sharp now.

0:44:300:44:33

Sensibly, they employed skilled tradesmen for the bathroom

0:44:330:44:35

and the kitchen installation, so the finish is top-notch.

0:44:350:44:40

But the family have all mucked in as well.

0:44:400:44:43

We've done quite a bit. We were here most days, poking our nose in, making sure everything was done correctly.

0:44:430:44:48

If there was workmen here, doing the kitchen or the bathroom,

0:44:480:44:52

cos they've always got questions to ask.

0:44:520:44:54

Every room we've tackled, painting as you can probably see,

0:44:540:44:57

yeah, just about everything, including the garden.

0:44:570:45:01

The large garden is a real bonus for this flat.

0:45:020:45:05

They've divided it in half down the middle with the ground-floor flat, but it was very overgrown.

0:45:050:45:10

Yeah, we've done quite a bit of work in the garden - you know, changed all the fencing,

0:45:130:45:18

put a new shed up, put the gate up for security and privacy.

0:45:180:45:23

The patio around here, it was under grass and dirt, so it's quite nice to get a new patio.

0:45:230:45:29

Hopefully in the summer, I'll be able to break up the garden a bit by putting a patio in the centre.

0:45:290:45:33

Some real improvements.

0:45:330:45:35

Back inside, work on the flat that Jackie and Fred

0:45:350:45:37

paid 130,000 for on auction day has played to their strengths.

0:45:370:45:42

I was involved with the electrics.

0:45:440:45:46

It was a profession of mine.

0:45:460:45:49

You were involved with Stephen with the design and colours and the blinds and the windows.

0:45:490:45:54

Yes, Stephen picked the colours. We got him doing a lot of the heavy work.

0:45:540:45:58

Loading the rubbish, and he did a lot of the painting.

0:45:580:46:02

I painted most of the walls.

0:46:020:46:04

I painted the bathroom. Gutted the kitchen and the bathroom with all the tiles and things like that.

0:46:040:46:09

Now the flat is finished and Stephen has moved in, do Fred and Jackie have a favourite room?

0:46:090:46:14

-I guess the bedroom, really. I mean, I put the wardrobes in.

-Yes.

0:46:140:46:18

That changed the bedroom quite a bit.

0:46:180:46:21

My favourite bit is the kitchen, cos that's really come out well.

0:46:210:46:25

Very pleased with it. It looks fantastic.

0:46:250:46:28

There has been quite a lot done in the kitchen. We de-tiled everything.

0:46:280:46:31

Everything is pretty much new in here.

0:46:310:46:34

We had to get rid of the old fridge.

0:46:340:46:36

A new cooker, a new grill. A beautiful new worktop.

0:46:360:46:38

It's all painted.

0:46:380:46:40

Everything is pretty brand-new, and I'm really pleased with it.

0:46:400:46:43

It's nice and modern and clean and quite sharp.

0:46:430:46:45

Now, for the all-important budget report.

0:46:530:46:55

Remember, they paid £130,000 on auction day and they've done

0:46:550:46:59

a really good makeover here, so how much did it cost?

0:46:590:47:03

We probably spent £5,000 to £8,000. That's pretty reasonable. We're quite pleased with that.

0:47:030:47:09

We said about five, but it's gone to eight because certain things we've chosen have pushed that a wee bit.

0:47:090:47:17

-Yes.

-But that was down to us.

0:47:170:47:19

It wasn't because of problems that made it more expensive,

0:47:190:47:22

-it was because what we did.

-It was what we chose to put in.

0:47:220:47:25

Time to find out what two local estate agents

0:47:280:47:32

think of this first-floor flat.

0:47:320:47:36

Very impressed with everything they've done.

0:47:360:47:39

The kitchen and bathroom have been fitted to such a high standard.

0:47:390:47:42

It really makes the property stand out against its competitors on the market.

0:47:420:47:47

I think kitchens and bathrooms are highly-saleable parts

0:47:470:47:50

of any property and these are particularly nice.

0:47:500:47:52

I like the wooden work surfaces in here and the bathroom, the tiling is exceptionally nice as well.

0:47:520:47:58

The garden is finished very well.

0:47:580:48:00

It's been fenced down all the boundaries.

0:48:000:48:04

I think the contrasting colours in the rooms

0:48:040:48:06

is actually a very nice touch rather than just having the same colour on every wall.

0:48:060:48:11

Stephen has now moved in with his girlfriend and made this flat their home.

0:48:110:48:15

How much rent could he have generated if he been looking for tenants?

0:48:150:48:20

I think it would achieve somewhere

0:48:200:48:22

between £650 and £700 per calendar month.

0:48:220:48:25

The rental demand for properties like this is good

0:48:250:48:29

and we'd expect normally to get 700, 725 a month,

0:48:290:48:33

but because of the standard of this, we'd probably aim to get between £750 and £800.

0:48:330:48:38

Potentially a good return, reflecting the excellent finish here.

0:48:380:48:44

Yeah, very nice. Very nice. We didn't expect...

0:48:440:48:47

-Very good.

-It's good.

-He might move out and rent it now!

0:48:470:48:52

The budget did stretch from 5,000 to 8,000,

0:48:520:48:56

taking the total cost to £138,000.

0:48:560:48:58

So, will the valuation of the flat be in line with expectations?

0:48:580:49:04

I think for this property to go on the market,

0:49:040:49:07

we should be looking initially at an asking price

0:49:070:49:10

between 160 and 165,000.

0:49:100:49:12

The price I'd value the property would be somewhere in the region of £170,000 to £175,000.

0:49:120:49:18

Assuming they got 160,000,

0:49:190:49:22

that would represent £22,000 gross profit, minus the usual expenses.

0:49:220:49:27

It could be higher if they achieved the top figure.

0:49:270:49:30

-That's impressive again.

-That is.

0:49:300:49:33

-I didn't think it would be as much as that.

-That's awesome.

0:49:330:49:36

I didn't expect it to go that high.

0:49:360:49:38

I was quite shocked. So very pleased, yeah.

0:49:380:49:40

Fred and Jackie have successfully got Steve on the first rung of the property ladder.

0:49:400:49:45

They have another daughter who's at university.

0:49:450:49:47

So would they go down the same route again?

0:49:470:49:51

-Yes, I think we'd do it again.

-Certainly, the right property,

0:49:510:49:56

the timing, yeah, if everything was together as this one was, yeah, we'd do it again.

0:49:560:50:00

This three-bedroomed house near Birmingham

0:50:070:50:09

was bought at auction for £87,000 by Daniel and a business partner.

0:50:090:50:15

It was sold by the local council subject to the requirement that

0:50:150:50:18

it was repaired, refurbished and brought back into residential use within a 12-month period.

0:50:180:50:24

Daniel works for the council, risk-assessing large high-rise buildings.

0:50:240:50:29

So how did he think this one compared with his day-to-day job?

0:50:290:50:33

Myself and my colleagues get involved in multi-million pound schemes, so this is fairly small-fry

0:50:330:50:37

in comparison to the day-to-day, and straightforward, hopefully.

0:50:370:50:41

# He's a smooth operator

0:50:410:50:45

# A smooth operator... #

0:50:450:50:50

Three months later, the house has been completely transformed.

0:50:500:50:54

Rooms and windows have been opened up and it looks ready to live in.

0:50:540:50:58

So was it straightforward?

0:51:040:51:06

I feel it's gone extremely well.

0:51:060:51:08

It's gone easier than I anticipated, to be honest.

0:51:080:51:11

We haven't had any real nasty surprises, which I'm glad about.

0:51:110:51:14

They did discover the gas had been disconnected from the mains,

0:51:140:51:18

but thankfully it was reconnected for only £300.

0:51:180:51:22

Something that went very well was the kitchen-dining room.

0:51:220:51:26

This is the one room where we've made probably the biggest change for the better.

0:51:260:51:31

As you'll have seen before, we had a dividing wall between the dining room

0:51:310:51:36

and the kitchen which we've taken out, to open up the space and make it brighter more family-orientated.

0:51:360:51:42

We've bricked up the back door, which is where this window is now and there was a window behind the boiler

0:51:420:51:48

and there was a very small and old kitchen, so that has been completely refurbished and we've opened it up,

0:51:480:51:54

and we've taken the bay window off the back here which had subsidence

0:51:540:51:59

and put the patio doors in again to introduce the light and make it more user-friendly.

0:51:590:52:05

I think we've ended up with a very nice open-plan seating and eating area.

0:52:050:52:10

The tired-looking front room has been redecorated.

0:52:120:52:15

The old windows have been replaced with UPVC double-glazed units.

0:52:150:52:19

The house has also had central heating installed and a complete re-wire.

0:52:210:52:26

But upstairs, not everything is new.

0:52:260:52:31

I'm very pleased with the way this room has come out.

0:52:310:52:34

When we took the property, we found that this old cast-iron bath was hiding behind

0:52:340:52:38

years of plywood panelling, so I took the opportunity of cleaning it up,

0:52:380:52:43

repainting it and resurfacing it.

0:52:430:52:45

We've changed the layout of the bathroom to maximise the space

0:52:450:52:48

and we've got the shower with the cast-iron bath and hopefully that helps sell it,

0:52:480:52:53

over and above perhaps one of the properties in neighbouring streets

0:52:530:52:56

with the more traditional plastic bathroom suite.

0:52:560:52:59

As well as having the windows replaced, the three bedrooms have

0:52:590:53:03

been decorated in light, neutral colours, ready for the new occupant to stamp their own character on.

0:53:030:53:08

The project was originally expected to take three months.

0:53:080:53:12

With the transformation this house has gone through, it could easily have taken that.

0:53:120:53:16

It's gone ahead of schedule, which I'm pleased with.

0:53:160:53:19

We could have been finished a couple of weeks earlier.

0:53:190:53:22

We've had a few minor hiccups with decoration and plastering issues which we overcame at the end,

0:53:220:53:27

but I think it was a case of getting the right people in

0:53:270:53:29

and managing who was in the property so they weren't tripping over each other.

0:53:290:53:34

It hasn't taken as long as first thought.

0:53:350:53:39

Has it cost less than the original budget of 12,500, plus their £2,500 contingency?

0:53:390:53:45

I was expecting 15,000 realistically and we're just over the 15,

0:53:450:53:50

between 15 and 15-and-a-half, so I'm pleased. Overall we're in on budget.

0:53:500:53:54

It's just now a case of funding the outright purchase of the freehold.

0:53:540:53:59

When the council sold this house at auction, it was

0:53:590:54:02

on the condition the work was done to the correct standard within 12 months.

0:54:020:54:06

If not, they would have been able to reclaim the property.

0:54:060:54:10

But there will be no problem meeting that requirement here.

0:54:100:54:13

We asked two local estate agents to take a look.

0:54:130:54:16

Very nice. The guys made a good job of the property.

0:54:170:54:23

The one feature I particularly like is the kitchen downstairs.

0:54:230:54:27

It was very small.

0:54:270:54:30

He's now taken a wall out, opened it out,

0:54:300:54:33

put new units in, and it's really made a difference to the look downstairs.

0:54:330:54:38

Upstairs, he's revamped the bathroom.

0:54:380:54:41

Interesting to see that he's kept the old roll-top bath with the feet.

0:54:410:54:46

I've had a look around the house. I think it's very nicely done.

0:54:460:54:52

It's a good family home in a popular location.

0:54:520:54:55

If you're going for a rental market, neutral is ideal because,

0:54:550:55:03

between tenants, it's easier to keep clean and easier to maintain.

0:55:030:55:07

If somebody is looking to purchase the property then it's a plain palette,

0:55:070:55:13

a plain canvas for them to add their own decor and their own tastes.

0:55:130:55:18

They bought the property for 87,000 and the budget to bring it up to standard was just over 15,000,

0:55:180:55:25

making a total spend of around £102,000.

0:55:250:55:29

How much do similar properties fetch on the market in this area?

0:55:310:55:35

Given the current market conditions and the condition that the property

0:55:350:55:40

is now in, I'd estimate in the region of £130,000.

0:55:400:55:44

If they were to place the property for sale now, you'd be looking in the region of £125,000.

0:55:440:55:51

We have actually got it marketed for £129,950, with a view

0:55:510:55:56

to taking £127,000, £128,000, those valuations fit very well with what we've got in mind

0:55:560:56:02

and hopefully we sit bang in the middle.

0:56:020:56:05

The plan always was to sell the property when it was finished,

0:56:050:56:09

but if they can't sell it, what could it be worth on the rental market?

0:56:090:56:13

If they opted to rent this, I'd imagine a rent in the region of

0:56:130:56:17

£550 to £575 per calendar month would probably be appropriate.

0:56:170:56:23

This is an ideal property for rental and you're looking at a valuation

0:56:230:56:29

in the region of £575 per calendar month.

0:56:290:56:33

It's a good return on the investment if you were looking for a longer-term investment.

0:56:330:56:39

We set out to do the property for sale and that's still the route we'd like to take

0:56:390:56:44

to free up the money that we've invested in it,

0:56:440:56:46

so that we can move on to another project.

0:56:460:56:49

But it's nice to know that that kind of level of rental income is available.

0:56:490:56:53

From perfect homes to shrewd investments.

0:56:550:56:57

Join us next time for more Homes Under the Hammer.

0:56:570:57:00

-We'll see you then.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:57:000:57:02

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:170:57:20

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:200:57:23

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.