Episode 4 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 4

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a beautiful cottage in Cornwall, a well-located house in Bermondsey and a plot of land in Leeds.


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Transcript


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The financial landscape may have changed, but people are still buying property and there are bargains.

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You may be after your dream home

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or an investment for your retirement years.

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Whatever. There are some very interesting opportunities when you buy your home under the hammer.

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You have to know what you're doing when you buy at auction. There are lots of pitfalls.

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But you could find a real gem to live or make lots of money.

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Let's see if today's buyers struck gold or just lots of dust.

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In Cornwall, this beautiful cottage has a cracking kitchen.

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I say cracking because it literally is.

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If you like the bright lights and big city, this house in Bermondsey could be just for you.

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You're a cab journey away from all that London has to offer.

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And this plot of land down a muddy track in Leeds is a bit overgrown.

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Apart from that, it's a good plot.

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All these properties have been sold at auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid

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when they went under the hammer.

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I'm in Cornwall. Stop, stop, stop! I said I'm in Cornwall.

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MUSIC: "The Floral Dance"

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Ah, that's better!

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This is Perranarworthal, between Truro and Falmouth. Once known for tin mines and an iron foundry,

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this is now mainly farmland.

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Cornwall is a tourist destination and has about five million people visiting every year.

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So what was up for auction? Well, it's this.

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A two-bedroomed, white, stone-built mid-terrace.

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At a guide price of 155,000 quid, the big question is do still waters run deep?

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Are there hidden depths? Let's find out.

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So through the door and into a corridor that leads to a rear living room area

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and onwards to the kitchen. Front sitting room area here.

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Not a bad size, a bit of light. What it lacks is a bit of heart,

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a focal point. You can create that by reinstating a fireplace that was here.

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There's an air brick there. You could open that up and create what's needed,

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but all in all, bearing in mind it's a two-bedroom cottage, it's not a bad start.

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'The corridor leads down to the back reception room and off that there's the kitchen,

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'which we'll discuss later. And also the stairs up to the two bedrooms.

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'The front bedroom's a good size and the back one's not bad either for a cottage of this age.

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'The bathroom or should I say shower room needs a bit of modernisation, like the rest,

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'but the biggest concern is back downstairs.'

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At the rear of the property, a cracking kitchen.

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I say cracking... because it literally is.

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This is built into an extension on the rear of the property and it's coming away from the house.

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That is very serious. It's basically sinking and the kitchen itself is not ideal either.

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It's not a very good space or position and that sinking definitely means

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you have to do something very serious here. Knock it down.

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Replace it with something that's got a good foundation or move the kitchen into the body of the house

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and have this open. to make the most of the view.

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# Slippin' and a-slidin' Been told a long time ago

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# Slippin' and a-slidin' Been told a long time ago... #

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'When you go outside, the views are also cracking.'

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The garden is split into two parts. That bit there is relatively flat

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and accessed across this bit of land which you have a right of way across

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and then another bit at the rear stretches very steeply down there to the Deveron Creek at the bottom.

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Wouldn't it be lovely to have a boat moored there?

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It's actually tidal. So the tide coming in and out twice a day from your land - how marvellous.

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'I'm sure that with a little effort that river could be landscaped into the garden better.

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'It seems a waste not to make more of it. The back's lovely and quiet,

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'but the front might be in the country, but it's still on a busy road with cars whizzing past.

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'The property looks promising if you have some money to spend.

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'What does the auctioneer think?'

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It has a lot of potential

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for building out towards the river. I can see a terrace.

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Rebuild the kitchen,

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a terrace on top would be fantastic.

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The thing I dislike about the house is only that the kitchen extension doesn't do it justice.

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With a bit of care and thought, that could have been a major feature, and will be one day.

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'I have to agree. The kitchen really is the low point.

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'The guide price at auction was £155,000. How much could it be worth once done up?'

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If fully refurbished, the property would have a value

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around...

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£225,000. Maybe a fraction more.

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'If the new owner decided to renovate and then rent it out, what income could it generate?'

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If brought up to a proper letting standard, you could be looking at £600-£625 per calendar month.

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'Maybe renting out the house isn't the best option.'

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Well, I love waterside properties, so this one ticks that box.

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It is small and it needs quite a lot of work, not least in terms of this kitchen,

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which will have to come down, but even at that £155,000 guide price

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I think there's still a little bit of money to be made on this one. Let's see who fancied it.

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Two Oak Villas, Perranarworthal.

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That's local for... Perranarworthal.

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155. I don't know. That is the view from the garden.

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How about 150 to start me? I'll do 135.

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I won't go any lower and we'll move on to Lot 18 if you want.

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Yeah? 135. At 135.

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138. 140. Thank you, 140.

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142. 144. 146.

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148.

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Maybe now? 149.

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At 14... 150. 150. She who hesitates at 150.

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A fresh face on the left. At 150 once.

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You are missing Two Oak Villas. At 150 twice. At 150 and done.

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Sir, yours. Congratulations to the gentleman on my left there.

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'It was Roger who made the successful bid of £150,000 - £5,000 under the guide price.

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'He's originally from the Wirral and moved to Cornwall 15 years ago.

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'I met up with him to hear about his plans for the place and whether he'd enjoyed the auction.'

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I've been to auctions before and bought cars and furniture,

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but never a house, so I was concerned about it, I have to say, having not done that before.

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But I was pleased with the price I got it for. I'd actually already offered the guide price

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-prior to auction.

-Oh, really?

-So I got it for £5,000 less than I had already offered.

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'Roger was lucky that the auction went his way, but he hasn't always had luck on his side.'

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Four and a half years ago I had an accident on my boat.

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I was dragged through the propeller, breaking my leg quite severely, so since then I've had problems.

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Hopefully getting to the end of that, but because of that I need people to help.

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I'm not going to be getting on the roof. Any jobs that take me off ground floor level, I need help.

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'It's great to see someone so positive after such a bad accident,

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'but why did Roger buy the house in the first place?'

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Initially, it was development potential, but then I came to see it twice and realised that, actually,

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-I'd like to live here.

-Oh, wow.

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What was it that you liked?

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If you look at it as it is now, clearly it's been lived in for a long time in its current state.

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It's a blank canvas, effectively. It needs completely renovated, so you can put your own taste into it.

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-It enabled me to start afresh.

-So what's your experience with this?

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I've moved house many times within the family, if you like.

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I've moved once every 2 or 3 years in my life, anyway.

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That's always been a development. Then in the last 10, 12 years,

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I've also bought pubs, a restaurant and some other properties.

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'The kitchen's got much in common with Roger - they both seem to have moved a lot.'

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It looks as if it's been put on in the '60s. I think it's brick

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and it's not been tied in to the main building properly.

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Obviously, after a period of 40 years, it's started to move.

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There's about a 12mm gap at the top.

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So that will be removed altogether. Take that extension down and redevelop that part of it.

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'That's quite a big job and Roger's said he won't be able to do anything above the ground floor.'

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I will be very hands on, but I also have a number of people because of developing before,

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there's a team of people I can bring into play.

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So the objective will be to try to achieve the development in about six weeks, maybe eight weeks.

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'Roger paid £150,000 for this house at auction,

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'but he'll need to wave goodbye to quite a bit more before the work is finished.'

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Roughly how much will you spend?

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About £30,000-£40,000. Somewhere between those two figures, which will be labour and materials.

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£35,000, I'd be reasonably happy.

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'Roger's moving five miles away from Falmouth on the south coast.

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'Won't he miss the sea views across the bay?'

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It backs onto a stream, so not quite the sea, but at least there's water.

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-You can go fishing maybe.

-And canoeing.

-You go canoeing?

-I will do when the tide's in.

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Then there's about a metre of water, so I would be able to canoe or use a small boat.

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Roger's certainly got the experience to make a success of this project and it's great it'll be his home.

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Still, timescales are tight so will the tide be against him on completing this one

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in its allotted timescale? You can find out later in the show.

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Today I'm in southeast London in Bermondsey, the home of Garibaldi biscuits, one of my favourites.

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It all started in 1866 when James Peek and George Hender Frean opened a biscuit factory here.

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They introduced the celebrated snack in the 19th century

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and it's still going strong the world over.

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# Sweet dreams are made of these

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# Who am I to disagree... #

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The house I'm going to see hasn't been here for 150 years -

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the whole estate looks pretty new - but will the house take the biscuit?

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I'm here to see a two-bedroom mid-terrace that had a guide of £110,000.

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Two years ago, a house on this very road sold for £278,000.

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So I'm excited to see what's behind that door.

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'It might not be one of the most inviting doors I've come across,

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'but it's protecting the property from vandals. That's crucial when it's lying empty.'

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You know, I never get tired of looking round all these properties. I just love it.

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You never know what you'll find.

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In here, it's got a solid feel to it. The kitchen needs a clear out for a start.

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And you may even be able to salvage those units after a rub down.

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Through into the lounge. A nice, open-plan space. Room for a big table and chairs.

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And it would easily suit a family. A couple of sofas in here,

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doors leading to the garden... Unfortunately, I can't get out there today,

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but it's clean and tidy, nice laminate floor. Once you've given it a sweep, it's a good family home.

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What I love the most is that you literally have London Bridge on your doorstep

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and you're a cab journey from what London has to offer.

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The bright lights of the city are visible from Bermondsey. With the Tube just a short walk,

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this place is perfectly located.

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'Upstairs, there are three reasonably-sized bedrooms, and the bathroom's in good order.

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'If you were looking to rent this out, not much needs doing.

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'Ah. Well, the garden at the back looks in a real state, with lots of clutter to clear,

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'but it's still an asset. A tempting view from the kitchen window can add thousands to the price.

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'And here's something else.'

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Double glazing and insulation would both add value.

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We're more aware now of how expensive these supplies are.

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Nearly a quarter of British homes do not have any loft insulation,

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mainly because they're worried about the cost of installing it.

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If you're buying or selling a home, you now need an energy performance certificate by law.

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EPCs will be required whenever a building is built, sold or rented.

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The certificate provides A-G ratings for the building, with A being the most energy efficient

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and G being the least, with the average up to now being D.

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So how do you think your house would fare?

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Of course, insulating this house is just one improvement.

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A loft conversion could increase its worth by 20%.

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And if planning permission were obtained, an extensions isn't out of the question.

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That could add another 10% to the property's value.

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But maybe it's a case of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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It doesn't need a whole lot doing. Once these shutters are taken off

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and the patio door installed and the windows clips back in,

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the kitchen just needs tidying up. So a lick of paint and a clean and somebody could move straight in.

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Sounds like a quick turnaround. Ideal for rental.

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In rental value, it's approximately £1,000 per calendar month.

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In terms of resale, if the property was just tidied up with what it has at the moment,

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you're looking at around £230,000-£240,000.

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Both the resale and rental figures are strong and there's not much remedial work needed in here.

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I think this is a fantastic buy. Let's see who else thought so at auction.

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Let's say £100,000. £100,000.

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110. 120.

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130. 140.

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150. 160.

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170. 180. 190.

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200. 210. 220.

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221. 222?

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Just one more go. You're both nodding. 222?

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221 with you, madam. 221.

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First time. Second time. Third and last time. Are you all done? Sold.

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221. Well done.

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'And the successful bid came from Neranja.

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'To buy this, she has formed a financial partnership with her mother, Inorma.

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'They paid £221,000 - double the guide price - for this mid-terrace in Bermondsey.

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'I wanted to find out whether Neranja had suffered a bad case of auction fever.'

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-Ladies, congratulations. Neranja, I saw you at the auction.

-Yes.

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-But you weren't there.

-I couldn't get a day off.

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-How much did you think you wanted to spend?

-180, 190.

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Then I got to the auction and thought, 200, 210.

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Then I'm thinking, "I'll go to 230, 240."

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-No!

-Yes, honestly!

-So you went from 180 to 240 in a matter of minutes.

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And then I'm thinking, "Once it goes over 240, I'll start panicking, but I'll be all right to 240."

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Yes, I had no idea, quite honestly.

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-What happened when the hammer went down?

-I started shaking! I couldn't move for shaking.

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I phoned my brother up and said, "Break it to Mum that I went over the limit."

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Neranja has already played the developing game well,

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selling her house at the height of the market. She used the profit to start a property portfolio.

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-Is property something you've always been into?

-I have.

-Not me.

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I've always loved property. Mum's holding the reins on me.

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-"Slow down!"

-You can't buy everything!

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So what about you, Inorma?

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I'm supporting Neranja. Whatever she wants, if I can.

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No! That makes me sound like a spoiled brat!

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I didn't have any idea of anything.

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'It's fair to say that Neranja's been the driving force

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'and her foot has been on the accelerator as she snapped up three properties in four months.'

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-How have you managed to do that financially? Mortgages?

-Yes.

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It was lucky that we had the deposit to do it and Mum helped me out with the deposits as well.

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-We've gone 50/50 on everything.

-One house has already been rented.

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-You're very proud of your daughter.

-Of course I am.

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'And so she should be. Buying three properties in four months is no mean feat.

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'Her portfolio seems to be growing pretty quickly.'

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OK, what is the game plan with this house? It's in good condition.

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It is. We saw a lot of properties that needed a lot of attention. This doesn't need that much work.

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Ideally, to rent it out as soon as possible,

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then in the next 2-3 years, when property prices are back up, sell it.

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What's the budget you've got?

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-Well...

-It's not a lot, is it?

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£2,000-£3,000, perhaps.

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£2,000-£3,000? I think you could do it. New kitchen and bathroom?

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I don't know. We're in discussion. Because we'll rent it first,

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-I don't want to do it really nicely and then rent it and...

-And you have another three properties to see to.

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-Yes.

-Mum keeps bringing you back down to Earth!

-I do!

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She needs to or I'd be up there!

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'Inorma could face a challenge keeping her daughter's feet on the ground,

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'but they've a realistic timescale.'

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-How long will it take you?

-Two months, possibly.

-So far, you have played the market tremendously.

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-Yes...

-The reason you got your money in the first place was selling your first house at the market peak.

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-I know.

-If you can play that game again, you'll do incredibly well.

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It would be fantastic. I hope we will be that lucky. You can't guarantee it.

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-You have to get your crystal ball out!

-I know, so I think sensibly, if you look at it logically,

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we bought when prices were low,

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paid quite a decent price for it, so hopefully...

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And if we're not financially burdened that we don't have to sell it and we choose when to sell it,

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hopefully it will be the right time.

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Neranja is an example of somebody taking advantage of this unstable market.

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Three properties in four months! That is some going!

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But I like her long-term strategy, too. A basic refurbishment for now,

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rent it out, then wait for the market to pick up before resale.

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It's worked for me in the past and seems to be working for her.

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Find out if she sticks to her plan later in the show.

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Coming up: what can you get in Leeds for £50,000?

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In this case, it's a plot of land. It's behind this hedge.

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The new owner of this house in London has really taken to property development.

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I really do love property and seeing what's what.

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But first is there hidden treasure in this Cornish cottage?

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I found an old ladder-type staircase behind the door.

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Back to Perranarworthal, a small village between Falmouth and Truro in Cornwall.

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We're here to see a two-bedroomed house bought at auction for £150,000.

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There does seem to be a problem with the kitchen, but that's not escaped the notice of Roger.

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It looks like it was put on in the '60s. I think it's brick. It's not been tied in properly.

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# Cracking up I'm getting ready to go Had enough... #

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'Not only was the old kitchen on the move, it was also very small.

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'That has now been knocked down and replaced with a timber construction on new foundations.

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'And wow - look at it now!

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'The dining room is now in the new extension

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'and has great views over the river.

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'Roger seems to have cracked the problem with the old kitchen. And just look at the new one.'

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Well, it was three rooms originally, with the hallway through.

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The first thing I did was open it all up. We took the hallway away.

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We knocked the three rooms through.

0:24:450:24:48

The kitchen was originally the far room. It had a fabulous view so I've changed it round.

0:24:480:24:54

Now the kitchen's in the middle and I have a living room and a dining room.

0:24:540:25:00

The floor I had to replace in here. I'd to put a new concrete floor down.

0:25:000:25:04

'And lovely slate tiles.

0:25:040:25:07

'Roger's managed to modernise this old cottage. He's also reinstated some character

0:25:100:25:17

'with features like this log burner and these old style radiators.

0:25:170:25:22

'The former back reception room makes a great kitchen. So has he carried this theme on upstairs?'

0:25:220:25:29

The bathroom's very small. It was only 1.5 metres by 1 metre. It had a shower, a loo and a basin.

0:25:290:25:35

I've extended the wall, moved it back half a metre, three quarters of a metre

0:25:350:25:41

and this wall also we brought out about a metre. The bathroom is now a usable space.

0:25:410:25:47

-We have a bath as well as a shower.

-'And while restructuring the upstairs, Roger made a discovery.'

0:25:470:25:54

I had to move this wall back.

0:25:550:25:58

In order to do so, we removed all of the internal walls

0:25:580:26:02

and found an old staircase, a ladder-type staircase, behind the door.

0:26:020:26:08

So we've had to try to put a new staircase in, but increased the size of it.

0:26:080:26:14

'That IS a surprise - stripping wallpaper and finding a staircase!

0:26:140:26:18

'And look at what he's done with the loft space at the top of that concealed staircase.

0:26:180:26:24

'He has done a wonderful job rebuilding the stairs and creating a perfect attic bedroom

0:26:350:26:41

'for when his grandchildren come to stay.

0:26:410:26:45

'The two bedrooms on the first floor are looking great as well.

0:26:450:26:49

'The single bedroom is a bit smaller than it used to be because Roger extended the bathroom.

0:26:490:26:55

'The cottage is full of charm and character, but what is he most pleased with?'

0:26:550:27:01

The most pleasing is the back because of the view. There's a river and it overlooks the river.

0:27:010:27:08

And it's 200 metres to a pub!

0:27:080:27:11

'Thankfully, that hasn't impacted on the standard of his work.

0:27:110:27:16

'Roger's been just as busy outside, too. He's taken down the brick wall

0:27:160:27:20

'to give unbroken access to the creek at the bottom of his garden.

0:27:200:27:25

'For those days he wants to mess about in the water, he's built a landing for his canoe

0:27:250:27:31

'and there's decking at the top so he can sit out with a drink and enjoy the views.

0:27:310:27:37

'He's also creating an allotment to grow some fresh vegetables.

0:27:370:27:41

'The plan was to finish in 6-8 weeks. Did that handy pub affect his timescale?'

0:27:410:27:47

The renovation took about 6 weeks. Other than myself, there were 6 people involved.

0:27:470:27:53

All the primary trades - an electrician, a plumber - but I also had physical help

0:27:530:27:59

and then the decorating. My original budget was £30,000-£40,000.

0:27:590:28:04

I will have spent, to complete, £42,000.

0:28:040:28:07

So about £7,000 over. That did include all of the appliances.

0:28:070:28:12

And because I reinstated the loft room, which wasn't budgeted for, that was about £5,000 of it.

0:28:120:28:19

Had I stuck to my original plans, I would have been on budget.

0:28:190:28:25

So, effectively on budget and on time, but is he on track?

0:28:250:28:30

We asked two local property experts to take a look.

0:28:310:28:35

I think the changes here

0:28:360:28:38

are absolutely fantastic.

0:28:380:28:40

I thought I'd gone into a different house. It really is spectacular.

0:28:400:28:44

The kitchen is an eye opener as well,

0:28:440:28:47

but that back room where you just look out over the balcony and the river is just to die for.

0:28:470:28:54

The gentleman's done an absolutely fantastic job.

0:28:540:28:57

I can't fault the house in any way.

0:28:570:29:00

Limitations - bedroom two is a little bit clipped.

0:29:000:29:04

You'll need a smaller bed in there.

0:29:040:29:07

The attic bedroom, what a find! Makes a lovely twin room.

0:29:070:29:11

Again, limited on headroom, but that's the only faults I can find. He's done a fantastic job.

0:29:110:29:17

That extra bedroom in the loft cost Roger £5,000.

0:29:200:29:25

Has it increased the value?

0:29:250:29:28

The extra bedroom in the attic has probably added...

0:29:280:29:32

..£15,000, maybe £20,000 to the value of the house.

0:29:330:29:37

The extra bedroom is going to raise the value by about, in this location, probably 20,000.

0:29:370:29:43

Roger bought the property for £150,000 and has done £42,000-worth of work on it.

0:29:450:29:52

How much could it sell for?

0:29:520:29:54

If you put the house on the open market today, you could put it on towards 250

0:29:560:30:02

and hope somebody wasn't too put off by the unusual second and third bedrooms in shape and form.

0:30:020:30:09

But to the wider market, it's probably worth £230,000.

0:30:090:30:14

It would sell extremely easily for at least 225,

0:30:140:30:17

possibly a bit more if the owners got a bit of time to market the property.

0:30:170:30:22

250 to 260 is what it's worth.

0:30:220:30:25

How much could he expect in rental?

0:30:260:30:29

There's two rental markets for the house.

0:30:290:30:33

The first would be your normal month-to-month assured shorthold tenancy

0:30:330:30:38

and he could probably get a figure close on £700 per calendar month on that basis.

0:30:380:30:44

The other avenue would be holiday lettings.

0:30:440:30:47

He could probably look at £800 or so per week during the summer.

0:30:470:30:51

This would rent extremely well during the summer months and into the winter months as well

0:30:510:30:57

for about 800-850 per week in the peak of the season, a bit less in the winter.

0:30:570:31:02

On the assured shorthold tenancy, you'd obviously need a six-month agreement on that

0:31:020:31:08

and you'd be getting close to £700 per calendar month.

0:31:080:31:12

£700 a month to £800 is what I would have thought. That's about right.

0:31:120:31:16

It looks as though Roger is just content to live here.

0:31:160:31:20

And who can blame him?

0:31:210:31:23

Today's property search finds me in Chapel Allerton,

0:31:270:31:31

a pretty little suburb about two miles from Leeds city centre.

0:31:310:31:35

It's a place that's popular with families and young professionals

0:31:350:31:39

and its proximity to the city centre keeps property prices high.

0:31:390:31:44

Well-kept properties and manicured front lawns make an excellent first impression.

0:31:440:31:50

So, what does 50 grand buy you in Chapel Allerton?

0:31:520:31:55

A house, a flat?

0:31:550:31:57

Well, in this case, it's a plot of land and it's behind this hedge.

0:31:570:32:02

The land was originally the garden of the big house,

0:32:020:32:05

but since the house was converted into flats, the land was put on the market.

0:32:050:32:11

It's all a bit overgrown now, but I think it's still worth exploring.

0:32:120:32:17

So this is the plot. As you can see, a good size.

0:32:180:32:21

Outline planning permission has been granted for a three-bedroom, detached property.

0:32:210:32:26

I reckon you could get more on here.

0:32:260:32:29

A three-bedroom detached would sit nicely on the plot, but to maximise the amount of money you could make,

0:32:290:32:35

I would have gone for something else, but the planners were looking at the fact you're overlooked,

0:32:350:32:41

access, how many cars. Access on to that busy road will be a major issue.

0:32:410:32:46

But apart from that, it's a good plot.

0:32:460:32:49

Just to make sure I'm not being over-optimistic here,

0:32:500:32:54

I asked a local estate agent for her opinion.

0:32:540:32:57

Chapel Allerton is a small suburb of the Leeds area,

0:32:570:33:03

close to all the local amenities.

0:33:030:33:05

You've got the ring road that will take you to Bradford.

0:33:050:33:09

You've got Leeds city centre approximately two miles away.

0:33:090:33:13

The piece of land that I've been looking round is a nice, sizeable piece of land

0:33:130:33:19

to develop a three-bedroom, detached property.

0:33:190:33:22

So how much does an upmarket, three-bedroom, detached property go for in this area?

0:33:240:33:31

Anything between 250,000 to 280,000.

0:33:310:33:36

To rent out, you're looking at £1,500 to £2,000 per month.

0:33:360:33:42

So who was tempted by this plot of land in a nice area with outline planning permission?

0:33:420:33:47

Let's find out at the auction.

0:33:470:33:50

So it's Lot Number 36.

0:33:540:33:57

Bank View is located off Stainbeck Lane...

0:33:570:34:01

in the very popular district of Chapel Allerton.

0:34:010:34:05

So where do you want to start the bidding for me? Start me at 50,000?

0:34:050:34:09

Single building plot in Chapel Allerton. £50,000, surely?

0:34:100:34:15

£50,000 anywhere?

0:34:150:34:17

48?

0:34:190:34:21

48,000?

0:34:210:34:23

Thank you, sir. Opening bid at £48,000.

0:34:240:34:27

48 I have. 49?

0:34:270:34:29

49?

0:34:310:34:34

At £48,000. 49? Go a half?

0:34:340:34:36

48 and a half. New bidder. 49?

0:34:380:34:41

49 is back in.

0:34:410:34:43

49 and a half?

0:34:430:34:46

49 and a half is bid. 50, sir?

0:34:460:34:49

At 49,500 running. 50,000 anywhere?

0:34:490:34:53

Coming back in...? At 49,500 then.

0:34:530:34:57

All finished at 49,500?

0:34:570:35:01

50,000 anywhere?

0:35:010:35:04

All finished then, 49,500 it is.

0:35:040:35:08

£50,000, anybody else want to come back in?

0:35:080:35:12

Are you all done? Last chance.

0:35:130:35:16

Any further bid? No? At 49 and a half, we have.

0:35:160:35:19

£50,000 we're looking for.

0:35:190:35:22

Any further bid...? No, OK.

0:35:220:35:26

Lot 37, Northfield Mill, Church Street, Ossett...

0:35:260:35:30

'After all the suspense, the land didn't meet its reserve price, so didn't sell under the hammer.

0:35:300:35:36

'But the plot thickens. I can reveal that Vivian is the proud new owner

0:35:360:35:41

'of this overgrown patch of land.

0:35:410:35:43

'She was at the auction intending to buy an old schoolhouse up for sale, so what on earth happened?'

0:35:430:35:50

We went to the auction knowing that the guide price was half a million pounds,

0:35:500:35:55

but when we got to the auction, they'd upped that to 950,000.

0:35:550:35:59

-Ooh!

-And it went up to 790.

0:35:590:36:02

-So, a bit out of your price range?

-And it wasn't sold.

0:36:020:36:06

This piece of land came up about three lots before.

0:36:060:36:10

It didn't sell.

0:36:120:36:14

But the auctioneer said, "If somebody offers me a little bit more, we might sell."

0:36:140:36:20

So after the auction, I came up here with my husband,

0:36:200:36:24

looked at it, went home and did a quick internet search on what properties round about are going for,

0:36:240:36:30

and made an offer of 50,000 for it, which they accepted.

0:36:300:36:34

'It's a lady's prerogative to change her mind.

0:36:340:36:38

'Vivian went to the auction prepared to spend half a million pounds on a ready-made house,

0:36:380:36:44

'but ended up with a plot of land for £50,000.

0:36:440:36:48

'That is quite a dramatic change, but Vivian did some research online before making an offer for the land

0:36:480:36:54

'and it doesn't sound as though she's new to this game.'

0:36:540:36:58

I've done some property developing. I have lots of houses and apartments which I rent.

0:36:580:37:04

I bought a nursing home last year which I converted into ten apartments.

0:37:040:37:10

-Oh, wow!

-And we are building two loft apartments in that same building at the moment.

0:37:100:37:16

There'll be 12 apartments in that one building.

0:37:160:37:19

'The builder doing the loft apartments is also going to be working on this new build.

0:37:190:37:25

'In fact, he's so keen, he's already started clearing the land.

0:37:250:37:29

'Vivian's also got the help of her husband George who has just retired.

0:37:320:37:38

'The land has outline planning permission for a three-bedroom, detached house.

0:37:380:37:43

'The council has already approved the development in principle,

0:37:430:37:48

'but more detailed plans need to be agreed before any building work can commence,

0:37:480:37:53

'so how does all that fit with Vivian's ambitions for this plot?'

0:37:530:37:57

The existing plans are for quite a large detached house. It's ten metres deep and nine metres wide.

0:37:570:38:03

I think if I was to build a house on the same footprint,

0:38:040:38:08

I could make that a four-bedroom, detached house,

0:38:080:38:12

which would make me more money, whether I was to sell it or rent it.

0:38:120:38:16

I'll see whether it's worthwhile applying for planning permission for two semis.

0:38:160:38:21

If I think there's a chance, I will do that, and if I don't get it, I'll appeal.

0:38:210:38:26

If I think there's no chance, I'll put in for a three-bedroom, detached house,

0:38:260:38:31

but try and make it into a four-bedroom, detached house.

0:38:310:38:34

What was it about the plot that you thought, "Yeah, that would..."?

0:38:340:38:39

It's a good-sized plot.

0:38:390:38:42

I think this would take three townhouses, but it will certainly take two semis.

0:38:420:38:48

The only drawback I can see is the access from the front

0:38:480:38:53

and I think Leeds City Council would want you to be able to turn a car round in the drive

0:38:530:38:59

in order to get in and out.

0:38:590:39:01

'Vivian clearly wants to maximise her returns here.

0:39:010:39:05

'She doesn't seem fazed by the planning process, having been through it on previous projects.

0:39:050:39:11

'The budget on this could vary, depending on which plans actually get the council's approval.'

0:39:110:39:17

I think I could build a substantial, four-bedroom, detached house with an integral garage here

0:39:170:39:23

for less than £100,000.

0:39:230:39:26

And the alternatives for what else you might build, costing-wise?

0:39:260:39:30

Two three-bedroom semis won't cost an awful lot more,

0:39:300:39:34

but there'll be a lot more profit in two three-bedroom semis here.

0:39:340:39:39

So what about timescales?

0:39:390:39:42

Well, I would hope to be here in six or nine months' time.

0:39:420:39:47

-Built?

-Built and everything if we got planning permission first time, but I don't think that will happen.

0:39:470:39:53

I think it will be a year probably before we're back here again.

0:39:530:39:57

'Vivian's wise to allow time for the planning process

0:39:570:40:01

'and she's got plenty to keep her busy in the meantime.

0:40:010:40:05

'She's a property developer, a landlord and a magistrate in Leeds every Friday.

0:40:050:40:11

'What does she do to relax?'

0:40:110:40:15

-Not an awful lot. I'd like to do more flying.

-Flying?

-I've got a private pilot's licence. So has my husband.

0:40:150:40:21

-Oh, wow!

-But there's been little time for that in the last 18 months since I've been doing the big house.

0:40:210:40:27

-I had a trial flight for my 40th birthday.

-Did you?

-Many years ago, unfortunately.

0:40:270:40:33

My husband and son came along and my husband thought he'd have a go too.

0:40:330:40:38

And after that trial flight, we both decided we'd get our private pilot's licences.

0:40:380:40:45

Our son went on and got his.

0:40:450:40:47

We bought an aircraft when we got our pilot's licences and all did further training on that.

0:40:470:40:54

-And our son is a training captain, so he trains other pilots.

-Oh, wow!

0:40:540:40:58

-From that 40th birthday present, he is now a commercial pilot?

-He is.

0:40:580:41:02

'So, add "proud mum" and "high-flyer" to Vivian's other achievements.

0:41:020:41:08

'What's her next port of call?'

0:41:130:41:16

If you'd asked me that a year or two ago, I would have said

0:41:160:41:19

I'm going to sell my houses and flats over the next few years,

0:41:190:41:23

but at the moment, I'm hanging on, waiting for prices to go back up.

0:41:230:41:29

A bit of a change of direction for Vivian, not what she expected to buy at the auction.

0:41:290:41:34

But will she be flying high with this project

0:41:340:41:37

or will the state of the property market mean she is in for a crash landing? Find out later in the show.

0:41:370:41:44

Well, the months have rolled by. It's time to find out how our property developers have got on.

0:41:460:41:53

-Hmm. Did they unearth lots of treasure or a load of old dross?

-Let's find out.

0:41:530:41:58

Neranja and her mum Inorma bought this two-bedroom terraced house in Bermondsey

0:42:000:42:06

for £221,000, double the guide price.

0:42:060:42:10

Neranja is the first to admit that she got too carried away by her first auction experience.

0:42:100:42:16

Sold, 221, well done.

0:42:160:42:19

I said 180, 190, then I sort of got to the auction and I thought, "Right, 200, 210."

0:42:200:42:26

-Then while I'm standing there, I'm thinking, "No, I think I'll go to 230 or 240."

-No!

-Yes, honestly.

0:42:260:42:32

Mum Inorma was definitely the ground force in this partnership.

0:42:320:42:36

They agreed to spend no more than £3,000 on the refurbishment and have it ready to rent out in two months.

0:42:360:42:42

Thankfully, it was in pretty good condition, but definitely needed a clean-up.

0:42:420:42:47

# I'm the cleaning woman

0:42:480:42:51

# I'm here to clean up your mess

0:42:510:42:54

# I'm the clean-up woman

0:42:550:42:58

# Here to clean up your mess... #

0:42:580:43:00

Never underestimate the power of a mop and duster.

0:43:000:43:04

Neranja wanted to install a new kitchen and bathroom suite,

0:43:040:43:08

but thrifty Inorma convinced her otherwise.

0:43:080:43:12

We didn't actually end up replacing the kitchen as we thought we'd have to.

0:43:120:43:17

We've put in a new boiler, new cupboard doors and things like that, new work surfaces, tiles,

0:43:170:43:23

and basically, got it to a better standard than it was.

0:43:230:43:28

# I'm the clean-up woman

0:43:280:43:31

# Here to clean up your mess... #

0:43:310:43:34

In the bathroom, we've kept the suite. It was fine white.

0:43:350:43:40

We've kept the old tiles. They were OK.

0:43:400:43:43

We've re-grouted and just given it a tidy-up and a paint job, really.

0:43:430:43:49

The other rooms have been given a fresh, new look, thanks to a coat of paint.

0:43:490:43:54

Sounds simple enough, but perhaps not when you're new to the property game.

0:43:540:44:00

Yes, I have learnt painting skills and doing a lot more things.

0:44:010:44:06

I have seen Neranja doing grouting and, uh...

0:44:060:44:09

Oh, a lot of things! Plastering some of the properties, so I have learned a lot from Neranja.

0:44:090:44:17

Neranja certainly seems to know what she's doing

0:44:170:44:20

and she didn't overlook the potential of the garden either.

0:44:200:44:24

Two skips later and the house now comes with great outdoor space.

0:44:250:44:30

# Wide, open spaces... #

0:44:300:44:34

With the help of her mum and fiance, the house is looking great.

0:44:350:44:39

They were hoping to do it up in two months,

0:44:390:44:42

but two and a half months later, there is still work to do.

0:44:420:44:46

It's taken a bit longer than I expected.

0:44:480:44:51

We took it a bit easy for a few weeks when we first got the property, so slightly longer than estimated,

0:44:510:44:57

but maybe another two weeks and we should have it completed.

0:44:570:45:01

So, slightly over their original timescale, but despite getting a new boiler,

0:45:010:45:07

they've kept well within their £3,000 budget as they've only spent around £2,000.

0:45:070:45:12

Inorma seems to have done an excellent job keeping Neranja on track.

0:45:120:45:18

Yes, I did manage to keep under control Neranja.

0:45:180:45:22

Especially, she was busy doing the property, she didn't have much time to look for any other properties.

0:45:220:45:28

She's kept control of me here and there, but I've still had my way here and there as well,

0:45:280:45:33

so it's been a bit of give and take.

0:45:330:45:36

Neranja and Inorma always planned to rent out the house once it was completed,

0:45:360:45:42

so luxury made way for practicality.

0:45:420:45:44

But Neranja doesn't think this will put off potential tenants.

0:45:440:45:49

I'm quite confident we'll find someone quite quickly due to the location of the property

0:45:490:45:55

and it's quite a nice size property to maintain and live in, I feel.

0:45:550:45:59

Slightly biased maybe. Let's see what two professionals think.

0:45:590:46:05

First impressions are it's a good, practical, two-bedroom house,

0:46:070:46:11

ideal for first-time buyers looking in the area.

0:46:110:46:14

I think the changes made to the property are very, very good.

0:46:140:46:19

They're simple changes, but exactly the right amount of things to do.

0:46:190:46:23

They've freshened it up with paint. They've changed the doors and drawer fronts. It looks very good.

0:46:230:46:30

Encouraging to hear, but is now the right time to buy a property like this one?

0:46:300:46:35

There is a demand for properties like this in the current market.

0:46:350:46:39

People have started looking again. There's a lot more urgency. Banks are making borrowing a lot easier.

0:46:390:46:45

So first-time buyers have got a good opportunity to make a purchase here.

0:46:450:46:49

Equally, there are plenty of people looking to let in the area as well.

0:46:490:46:53

Neranja and Inorma bought the house for 221,000.

0:46:530:46:57

They spent £2,000 doing it up,

0:46:590:47:01

so any valuation over £223,000 is promising.

0:47:010:47:06

In today's market, I believe the property would re-sell for between £240,000 to £250,000.

0:47:080:47:14

This property could re-sell for between £275,000 to £280,000.

0:47:140:47:20

-Wow!

-We didn't expect that much, did we?

-No.

0:47:200:47:24

-That's staggering.

-Very pleased.

0:47:240:47:27

The plan was to park this property in the portfolio with the two others Neranja had bought

0:47:270:47:33

and rent it out for the next two to three years.

0:47:330:47:37

You could rent the property for about £1,050 per month.

0:47:380:47:41

The property would rent for between £1,050 and £1,100 per calendar month.

0:47:410:47:46

That's a rental income of around 12,000 to 13,000 a year,

0:47:460:47:51

meaning a yield of between 5 and 6%.

0:47:510:47:54

What do they make of that?

0:47:550:47:58

-That's quite reasonable.

-Yeah, brilliant. Really, really pleased.

0:47:580:48:03

So, be it re-sale or rental, it seems that this mother-daughter combo is a winning one.

0:48:030:48:09

Yes, I believe we do make a good team.

0:48:100:48:13

We work well together, have very similar ideas

0:48:130:48:17

and when I run off the rails, my mum sort of reins me in,

0:48:170:48:20

so yes, we do make a good team.

0:48:200:48:23

# Together forever and never to part

0:48:230:48:27

# Together forever we two... #

0:48:270:48:31

I'm very proud of my daughter. Very.

0:48:310:48:34

I think because Neranja loved the properties, it rubbed off on me as well.

0:48:340:48:40

Like mother, like daughter. It seems as though Inorma has caught the property bug.

0:48:400:48:45

But is Neranja cured?

0:48:450:48:47

Right now, I'd say I need a break, but I really do love property

0:48:470:48:51

and sort of looking at them and seeing what's what and getting involved, yes.

0:48:510:48:56

I've got a funny feeling Neranja's break from property buying won't last long

0:48:560:49:02

and she'll be back in those auction rooms. And we wish her all the very best with that.

0:49:020:49:07

This land at Chapel Allerton, two miles from Leeds city centre,

0:49:100:49:15

went to auction, but wasn't sold.

0:49:150:49:18

It was later picked up for £50,000 by Vivian.

0:49:180:49:22

The land came with outline planning permission for a three-bedroom, detached house.

0:49:220:49:28

She was hoping to get this changed.

0:49:280:49:31

I'll see if it's worth applying for planning permission for two semis.

0:49:310:49:35

If I think there's a chance, I will do that, and if I don't get it, I'll appeal.

0:49:350:49:40

15 months later, it all looks very pretty,

0:49:400:49:44

but shouldn't there be a house of some description somewhere in that snow?

0:49:440:49:49

# Let it snow

0:49:490:49:51

# Let it snow

0:49:510:49:53

# Let it snow... #

0:49:530:49:55

It looks as though the plans didn't go to plan.

0:49:550:49:58

Originally, we couldn't find the plans.

0:49:580:50:01

The planning office hadn't got any trace of what had happened here,

0:50:010:50:05

so that took a few weeks to sort out and then we did get the plans.

0:50:050:50:10

And we found out the planning history of what had gone on here.

0:50:100:50:15

And that goes back 20 years, the planning history.

0:50:150:50:18

Two semis were refused planning permission 20 years ago.

0:50:180:50:22

Lots of things can change in 20 years

0:50:230:50:27

and just because the planning permission for two semis was turned down then

0:50:270:50:32

doesn't mean it will be now.

0:50:320:50:34

I put in plans for two semis which was rejected.

0:50:340:50:39

I put a second lot of plans in for two semis and again that was rejected.

0:50:390:50:44

Planning permission was refused on over-development of the site.

0:50:440:50:48

Because there's just a small access road here,

0:50:480:50:52

they didn't want more than one property on this piece of land.

0:50:520:50:56

Vivian's dreams of building two semi-detached houses here

0:50:560:51:01

have been twice turned down by the planners, but there was still hope.

0:51:010:51:06

The land was sold with outline planning permission for one three-bedroom, detached house.

0:51:060:51:12

Detailed plans of the house would still need planning approval.

0:51:120:51:16

Was Vivian tempted? After all, she and her husband George were ready

0:51:160:51:20

to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in.

0:51:200:51:23

I said to the architect, "Start doing the plans

0:51:230:51:27

"for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom with a garage

0:51:270:51:31

"on more or less the same footprint."

0:51:310:51:34

He spoke to the planners and we were told that if we put those plans forward, they would be passed.

0:51:340:51:40

That evening at home, I thought, "I might just try selling it."

0:51:400:51:44

So I went on the internet and put one advert on a free internet site.

0:51:440:51:49

And I got four replies within about ten days.

0:51:490:51:53

The second person I brought to look at the land said she would like to buy it.

0:51:530:51:58

And I sold it to her, basically, for £25,000 more.

0:52:000:52:04

So, after all her to-ing and fro-ing with the planners, Vivian decided to pull out of the project

0:52:040:52:10

and put the land back on the market.

0:52:100:52:12

That offer of £25,000 more than she had originally paid for it seemed too good to refuse.

0:52:120:52:18

However, a condition of the sale was that it wouldn't complete

0:52:180:52:22

until the new owner had gained planning permission, but why the change of heart?

0:52:220:52:27

Probably had the market not gone into such decline, I would have stuck out.

0:52:270:52:32

I would have appealed the decision for two semi-detached houses

0:52:320:52:36

and if I'd lost that appeal, I would have built a detached house

0:52:360:52:40

and I think if we go back five years ago,

0:52:400:52:45

you would know that you could spend £150,000 on a build

0:52:450:52:50

and get 250,000 for it.

0:52:500:52:53

But you just don't know now, so...

0:52:530:52:56

Vivian is a shrewd businesswoman.

0:52:580:53:01

After paying around £3,000 in fees, she'll potentially make a pre-tax profit of around £22,000.

0:53:010:53:07

But has this experience put her off property developing?

0:53:070:53:11

No, because basically I've probably spent a day, eight hours perhaps,

0:53:120:53:18

between going to the auction, going to the solicitors to sign the papers

0:53:180:53:23

and showing the land to four people.

0:53:230:53:26

Vivian bought this land for £50,000

0:53:290:53:31

and has accepted an offer of £75,000

0:53:310:53:35

with the sale dependent on the prospective new owner gaining planning permission.

0:53:350:53:40

The new owner paid for Vivian's architect to complete the detailed drawings

0:53:400:53:46

for a three-bedroom, detached house

0:53:460:53:48

which have been submitted to the planners.

0:53:480:53:51

So has she negotiated a good deal?

0:53:510:53:54

What do two local estate agents think?

0:53:540:53:56

Now that I've seen the land and the site and the proposed plans,

0:53:560:54:01

it would be something unusual.

0:54:010:54:03

I would build the house because it would be unusual for the area,

0:54:030:54:07

therefore maximising the profit.

0:54:070:54:09

I think that any planning consent for a detached property on this site

0:54:090:54:16

is not the right way to go.

0:54:160:54:19

In my view, to optimise the site,

0:54:190:54:22

one of the planning consents for two two-bedroom semi-detached

0:54:220:54:28

or two three-bedroom semi-detached would be optimum.

0:54:280:54:32

And Vivian agreed, but as she found out,

0:54:320:54:36

she couldn't get permission to build two semi-detached properties here.

0:54:360:54:41

The land, with planning permission for a three-bed, detached house,

0:54:410:54:45

would be worth in the region of between £75,000 and £80,000.

0:54:450:54:50

The site with planning consent for a large, three-bedroom house

0:54:500:54:54

is probably worth something in the region of £30,000 to £35,000.

0:54:540:54:59

What?!

0:54:590:55:01

You've got to be joking! 30 to 35 to build a three-bedroom, detached house?

0:55:020:55:07

Vivian has already got a very good offer for 75,000.

0:55:070:55:13

If the plans for a three-bedroom, detached house were passed and the house built,

0:55:130:55:19

how much do the experts think it would be worth?

0:55:190:55:23

A detached, large, three-bedroom house would probably sell

0:55:250:55:29

for a figure in the region of £240,000.

0:55:290:55:33

However, to build that house would cost something in the region of £210,000.

0:55:330:55:39

You'd be looking somewhere in the region of between 200,000 and 210,000.

0:55:390:55:44

Um... Well, I would say, in my opinion,

0:55:440:55:48

a house here could be worth anything between 220 and 320.

0:55:480:55:54

If the three-bedroom house was built, would there be any mileage in renting it out?

0:55:540:55:59

I would estimate something in the region of £800 to £850 a month would be an appropriate figure.

0:56:020:56:09

Very popular area for rental. If you were to rent the house out as a three-bed new build, furnished,

0:56:090:56:15

you'd be looking somewhere in the region of anything between 900 and 1,100 a month.

0:56:150:56:21

Yes, I would expect to get between 900 and 1,100 in rent.

0:56:210:56:26

Well, since filming, the plans have been approved

0:56:260:56:30

and the sale has gone through,

0:56:300:56:33

so Vivian bought a plot of land for £50,000

0:56:330:56:37

and sold it on for £75,000 without actually doing anything to it,

0:56:370:56:43

showing that sometimes not developing can still make you money.

0:56:430:56:47

Plenty to think about there. Did those stories inspire you and whet your appetite?

0:56:500:56:55

-We'll have lots more next time on Homes Under The Hammer. Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:550:57:00

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:160:57:21

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a beautiful cottage in Cornwall, a well-located house in Bermondsey and a plot of land in Leeds.

All of these properties have been sold at auction; Martin and Lucy find out who bought them, and what they paid when they went under the hammer.


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