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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The financial landscape may have changed, but people are still buying property and there are bargains.
You may be after your dream home
or an investment for your retirement years.
Whatever. There are some very interesting opportunities when you buy your home under the hammer.
You have to know what you're doing when you buy at auction. There are lots of pitfalls.
But you could find a real gem to live or make lots of money.
Let's see if today's buyers struck gold or just lots of dust.
In Cornwall, this beautiful cottage has a cracking kitchen.
I say cracking because it literally is.
If you like the bright lights and big city, this house in Bermondsey could be just for you.
You're a cab journey away from all that London has to offer.
And this plot of land down a muddy track in Leeds is a bit overgrown.
Apart from that, it's a good plot.
All these properties have been sold at auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid
when they went under the hammer.
I'm in Cornwall. Stop, stop, stop! I said I'm in Cornwall.
MUSIC: "The Floral Dance"
Ah, that's better!
This is Perranarworthal, between Truro and Falmouth. Once known for tin mines and an iron foundry,
this is now mainly farmland.
Cornwall is a tourist destination and has about five million people visiting every year.
So what was up for auction? Well, it's this.
A two-bedroomed, white, stone-built mid-terrace.
At a guide price of 155,000 quid, the big question is do still waters run deep?
Are there hidden depths? Let's find out.
So through the door and into a corridor that leads to a rear living room area
and onwards to the kitchen. Front sitting room area here.
Not a bad size, a bit of light. What it lacks is a bit of heart,
a focal point. You can create that by reinstating a fireplace that was here.
There's an air brick there. You could open that up and create what's needed,
but all in all, bearing in mind it's a two-bedroom cottage, it's not a bad start.
'The corridor leads down to the back reception room and off that there's the kitchen,
'which we'll discuss later. And also the stairs up to the two bedrooms.
'The front bedroom's a good size and the back one's not bad either for a cottage of this age.
'The bathroom or should I say shower room needs a bit of modernisation, like the rest,
'but the biggest concern is back downstairs.'
At the rear of the property, a cracking kitchen.
I say cracking... because it literally is.
This is built into an extension on the rear of the property and it's coming away from the house.
That is very serious. It's basically sinking and the kitchen itself is not ideal either.
It's not a very good space or position and that sinking definitely means
you have to do something very serious here. Knock it down.
Replace it with something that's got a good foundation or move the kitchen into the body of the house
and have this open. to make the most of the view.
# Slippin' and a-slidin' Been told a long time ago
# Slippin' and a-slidin' Been told a long time ago... #
'When you go outside, the views are also cracking.'
The garden is split into two parts. That bit there is relatively flat
and accessed across this bit of land which you have a right of way across
and then another bit at the rear stretches very steeply down there to the Deveron Creek at the bottom.
Wouldn't it be lovely to have a boat moored there?
It's actually tidal. So the tide coming in and out twice a day from your land - how marvellous.
'I'm sure that with a little effort that river could be landscaped into the garden better.
'It seems a waste not to make more of it. The back's lovely and quiet,
'but the front might be in the country, but it's still on a busy road with cars whizzing past.
'The property looks promising if you have some money to spend.
'What does the auctioneer think?'
It has a lot of potential
for building out towards the river. I can see a terrace.
Rebuild the kitchen,
a terrace on top would be fantastic.
The thing I dislike about the house is only that the kitchen extension doesn't do it justice.
With a bit of care and thought, that could have been a major feature, and will be one day.
'I have to agree. The kitchen really is the low point.
'The guide price at auction was £155,000. How much could it be worth once done up?'
If fully refurbished, the property would have a value
£225,000. Maybe a fraction more.
'If the new owner decided to renovate and then rent it out, what income could it generate?'
If brought up to a proper letting standard, you could be looking at £600-£625 per calendar month.
'Maybe renting out the house isn't the best option.'
Well, I love waterside properties, so this one ticks that box.
It is small and it needs quite a lot of work, not least in terms of this kitchen,
which will have to come down, but even at that £155,000 guide price
I think there's still a little bit of money to be made on this one. Let's see who fancied it.
Two Oak Villas, Perranarworthal.
That's local for... Perranarworthal.
155. I don't know. That is the view from the garden.
How about 150 to start me? I'll do 135.
I won't go any lower and we'll move on to Lot 18 if you want.
Yeah? 135. At 135.
138. 140. Thank you, 140.
142. 144. 146.
Maybe now? 149.
At 14... 150. 150. She who hesitates at 150.
A fresh face on the left. At 150 once.
You are missing Two Oak Villas. At 150 twice. At 150 and done.
Sir, yours. Congratulations to the gentleman on my left there.
'It was Roger who made the successful bid of £150,000 - £5,000 under the guide price.
'He's originally from the Wirral and moved to Cornwall 15 years ago.
'I met up with him to hear about his plans for the place and whether he'd enjoyed the auction.'
I've been to auctions before and bought cars and furniture,
but never a house, so I was concerned about it, I have to say, having not done that before.
But I was pleased with the price I got it for. I'd actually already offered the guide price
-prior to auction.
-So I got it for £5,000 less than I had already offered.
'Roger was lucky that the auction went his way, but he hasn't always had luck on his side.'
Four and a half years ago I had an accident on my boat.
I was dragged through the propeller, breaking my leg quite severely, so since then I've had problems.
Hopefully getting to the end of that, but because of that I need people to help.
I'm not going to be getting on the roof. Any jobs that take me off ground floor level, I need help.
'It's great to see someone so positive after such a bad accident,
'but why did Roger buy the house in the first place?'
Initially, it was development potential, but then I came to see it twice and realised that, actually,
-I'd like to live here.
What was it that you liked?
If you look at it as it is now, clearly it's been lived in for a long time in its current state.
It's a blank canvas, effectively. It needs completely renovated, so you can put your own taste into it.
-It enabled me to start afresh.
-So what's your experience with this?
I've moved house many times within the family, if you like.
I've moved once every 2 or 3 years in my life, anyway.
That's always been a development. Then in the last 10, 12 years,
I've also bought pubs, a restaurant and some other properties.
'The kitchen's got much in common with Roger - they both seem to have moved a lot.'
It looks as if it's been put on in the '60s. I think it's brick
and it's not been tied in to the main building properly.
Obviously, after a period of 40 years, it's started to move.
There's about a 12mm gap at the top.
So that will be removed altogether. Take that extension down and redevelop that part of it.
'That's quite a big job and Roger's said he won't be able to do anything above the ground floor.'
I will be very hands on, but I also have a number of people because of developing before,
there's a team of people I can bring into play.
So the objective will be to try to achieve the development in about six weeks, maybe eight weeks.
'Roger paid £150,000 for this house at auction,
'but he'll need to wave goodbye to quite a bit more before the work is finished.'
Roughly how much will you spend?
About £30,000-£40,000. Somewhere between those two figures, which will be labour and materials.
£35,000, I'd be reasonably happy.
'Roger's moving five miles away from Falmouth on the south coast.
'Won't he miss the sea views across the bay?'
It backs onto a stream, so not quite the sea, but at least there's water.
-You can go fishing maybe.
-You go canoeing?
-I will do when the tide's in.
Then there's about a metre of water, so I would be able to canoe or use a small boat.
Roger's certainly got the experience to make a success of this project and it's great it'll be his home.
Still, timescales are tight so will the tide be against him on completing this one
in its allotted timescale? You can find out later in the show.
Today I'm in southeast London in Bermondsey, the home of Garibaldi biscuits, one of my favourites.
It all started in 1866 when James Peek and George Hender Frean opened a biscuit factory here.
They introduced the celebrated snack in the 19th century
and it's still going strong the world over.
# Sweet dreams are made of these
# Who am I to disagree... #
The house I'm going to see hasn't been here for 150 years -
the whole estate looks pretty new - but will the house take the biscuit?
I'm here to see a two-bedroom mid-terrace that had a guide of £110,000.
Two years ago, a house on this very road sold for £278,000.
So I'm excited to see what's behind that door.
'It might not be one of the most inviting doors I've come across,
'but it's protecting the property from vandals. That's crucial when it's lying empty.'
You know, I never get tired of looking round all these properties. I just love it.
You never know what you'll find.
In here, it's got a solid feel to it. The kitchen needs a clear out for a start.
And you may even be able to salvage those units after a rub down.
Through into the lounge. A nice, open-plan space. Room for a big table and chairs.
And it would easily suit a family. A couple of sofas in here,
doors leading to the garden... Unfortunately, I can't get out there today,
but it's clean and tidy, nice laminate floor. Once you've given it a sweep, it's a good family home.
What I love the most is that you literally have London Bridge on your doorstep
and you're a cab journey from what London has to offer.
The bright lights of the city are visible from Bermondsey. With the Tube just a short walk,
this place is perfectly located.
'Upstairs, there are three reasonably-sized bedrooms, and the bathroom's in good order.
'If you were looking to rent this out, not much needs doing.
'Ah. Well, the garden at the back looks in a real state, with lots of clutter to clear,
'but it's still an asset. A tempting view from the kitchen window can add thousands to the price.
'And here's something else.'
Double glazing and insulation would both add value.
We're more aware now of how expensive these supplies are.
Nearly a quarter of British homes do not have any loft insulation,
mainly because they're worried about the cost of installing it.
If you're buying or selling a home, you now need an energy performance certificate by law.
EPCs will be required whenever a building is built, sold or rented.
The certificate provides A-G ratings for the building, with A being the most energy efficient
and G being the least, with the average up to now being D.
So how do you think your house would fare?
Of course, insulating this house is just one improvement.
A loft conversion could increase its worth by 20%.
And if planning permission were obtained, an extensions isn't out of the question.
That could add another 10% to the property's value.
But maybe it's a case of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
It doesn't need a whole lot doing. Once these shutters are taken off
and the patio door installed and the windows clips back in,
the kitchen just needs tidying up. So a lick of paint and a clean and somebody could move straight in.
Sounds like a quick turnaround. Ideal for rental.
In rental value, it's approximately £1,000 per calendar month.
In terms of resale, if the property was just tidied up with what it has at the moment,
you're looking at around £230,000-£240,000.
Both the resale and rental figures are strong and there's not much remedial work needed in here.
I think this is a fantastic buy. Let's see who else thought so at auction.
Let's say £100,000. £100,000.
170. 180. 190.
200. 210. 220.
Just one more go. You're both nodding. 222?
221 with you, madam. 221.
First time. Second time. Third and last time. Are you all done? Sold.
221. Well done.
'And the successful bid came from Neranja.
'To buy this, she has formed a financial partnership with her mother, Inorma.
'They paid £221,000 - double the guide price - for this mid-terrace in Bermondsey.
'I wanted to find out whether Neranja had suffered a bad case of auction fever.'
-Ladies, congratulations. Neranja, I saw you at the auction.
-But you weren't there.
-I couldn't get a day off.
-How much did you think you wanted to spend?
Then I got to the auction and thought, 200, 210.
Then I'm thinking, "I'll go to 230, 240."
-So you went from 180 to 240 in a matter of minutes.
And then I'm thinking, "Once it goes over 240, I'll start panicking, but I'll be all right to 240."
Yes, I had no idea, quite honestly.
-What happened when the hammer went down?
-I started shaking! I couldn't move for shaking.
I phoned my brother up and said, "Break it to Mum that I went over the limit."
Neranja has already played the developing game well,
selling her house at the height of the market. She used the profit to start a property portfolio.
-Is property something you've always been into?
I've always loved property. Mum's holding the reins on me.
-You can't buy everything!
So what about you, Inorma?
I'm supporting Neranja. Whatever she wants, if I can.
No! That makes me sound like a spoiled brat!
I didn't have any idea of anything.
'It's fair to say that Neranja's been the driving force
'and her foot has been on the accelerator as she snapped up three properties in four months.'
-How have you managed to do that financially? Mortgages?
It was lucky that we had the deposit to do it and Mum helped me out with the deposits as well.
-We've gone 50/50 on everything.
-One house has already been rented.
-You're very proud of your daughter.
-Of course I am.
'And so she should be. Buying three properties in four months is no mean feat.
'Her portfolio seems to be growing pretty quickly.'
OK, what is the game plan with this house? It's in good condition.
It is. We saw a lot of properties that needed a lot of attention. This doesn't need that much work.
Ideally, to rent it out as soon as possible,
then in the next 2-3 years, when property prices are back up, sell it.
What's the budget you've got?
-It's not a lot, is it?
£2,000-£3,000? I think you could do it. New kitchen and bathroom?
I don't know. We're in discussion. Because we'll rent it first,
-I don't want to do it really nicely and then rent it and...
-And you have another three properties to see to.
-Mum keeps bringing you back down to Earth!
She needs to or I'd be up there!
'Inorma could face a challenge keeping her daughter's feet on the ground,
'but they've a realistic timescale.'
-How long will it take you?
-Two months, possibly.
-So far, you have played the market tremendously.
-The reason you got your money in the first place was selling your first house at the market peak.
-If you can play that game again, you'll do incredibly well.
It would be fantastic. I hope we will be that lucky. You can't guarantee it.
-You have to get your crystal ball out!
-I know, so I think sensibly, if you look at it logically,
we bought when prices were low,
paid quite a decent price for it, so hopefully...
And if we're not financially burdened that we don't have to sell it and we choose when to sell it,
hopefully it will be the right time.
Neranja is an example of somebody taking advantage of this unstable market.
Three properties in four months! That is some going!
But I like her long-term strategy, too. A basic refurbishment for now,
rent it out, then wait for the market to pick up before resale.
It's worked for me in the past and seems to be working for her.
Find out if she sticks to her plan later in the show.
Coming up: what can you get in Leeds for £50,000?
In this case, it's a plot of land. It's behind this hedge.
The new owner of this house in London has really taken to property development.
I really do love property and seeing what's what.
But first is there hidden treasure in this Cornish cottage?
I found an old ladder-type staircase behind the door.
Back to Perranarworthal, a small village between Falmouth and Truro in Cornwall.
We're here to see a two-bedroomed house bought at auction for £150,000.
There does seem to be a problem with the kitchen, but that's not escaped the notice of Roger.
It looks like it was put on in the '60s. I think it's brick. It's not been tied in properly.
# Cracking up I'm getting ready to go Had enough... #
'Not only was the old kitchen on the move, it was also very small.
'That has now been knocked down and replaced with a timber construction on new foundations.
'And wow - look at it now!
'The dining room is now in the new extension
'and has great views over the river.
'Roger seems to have cracked the problem with the old kitchen. And just look at the new one.'
Well, it was three rooms originally, with the hallway through.
The first thing I did was open it all up. We took the hallway away.
We knocked the three rooms through.
The kitchen was originally the far room. It had a fabulous view so I've changed it round.
Now the kitchen's in the middle and I have a living room and a dining room.
The floor I had to replace in here. I'd to put a new concrete floor down.
'And lovely slate tiles.
'Roger's managed to modernise this old cottage. He's also reinstated some character
'with features like this log burner and these old style radiators.
'The former back reception room makes a great kitchen. So has he carried this theme on upstairs?'
The bathroom's very small. It was only 1.5 metres by 1 metre. It had a shower, a loo and a basin.
I've extended the wall, moved it back half a metre, three quarters of a metre
and this wall also we brought out about a metre. The bathroom is now a usable space.
-We have a bath as well as a shower.
-'And while restructuring the upstairs, Roger made a discovery.'
I had to move this wall back.
In order to do so, we removed all of the internal walls
and found an old staircase, a ladder-type staircase, behind the door.
So we've had to try to put a new staircase in, but increased the size of it.
'That IS a surprise - stripping wallpaper and finding a staircase!
'And look at what he's done with the loft space at the top of that concealed staircase.
'He has done a wonderful job rebuilding the stairs and creating a perfect attic bedroom
'for when his grandchildren come to stay.
'The two bedrooms on the first floor are looking great as well.
'The single bedroom is a bit smaller than it used to be because Roger extended the bathroom.
'The cottage is full of charm and character, but what is he most pleased with?'
The most pleasing is the back because of the view. There's a river and it overlooks the river.
And it's 200 metres to a pub!
'Thankfully, that hasn't impacted on the standard of his work.
'Roger's been just as busy outside, too. He's taken down the brick wall
'to give unbroken access to the creek at the bottom of his garden.
'For those days he wants to mess about in the water, he's built a landing for his canoe
'and there's decking at the top so he can sit out with a drink and enjoy the views.
'He's also creating an allotment to grow some fresh vegetables.
'The plan was to finish in 6-8 weeks. Did that handy pub affect his timescale?'
The renovation took about 6 weeks. Other than myself, there were 6 people involved.
All the primary trades - an electrician, a plumber - but I also had physical help
and then the decorating. My original budget was £30,000-£40,000.
I will have spent, to complete, £42,000.
So about £7,000 over. That did include all of the appliances.
And because I reinstated the loft room, which wasn't budgeted for, that was about £5,000 of it.
Had I stuck to my original plans, I would have been on budget.
So, effectively on budget and on time, but is he on track?
We asked two local property experts to take a look.
I think the changes here
are absolutely fantastic.
I thought I'd gone into a different house. It really is spectacular.
The kitchen is an eye opener as well,
but that back room where you just look out over the balcony and the river is just to die for.
The gentleman's done an absolutely fantastic job.
I can't fault the house in any way.
Limitations - bedroom two is a little bit clipped.
You'll need a smaller bed in there.
The attic bedroom, what a find! Makes a lovely twin room.
Again, limited on headroom, but that's the only faults I can find. He's done a fantastic job.
That extra bedroom in the loft cost Roger £5,000.
Has it increased the value?
The extra bedroom in the attic has probably added...
..£15,000, maybe £20,000 to the value of the house.
The extra bedroom is going to raise the value by about, in this location, probably 20,000.
Roger bought the property for £150,000 and has done £42,000-worth of work on it.
How much could it sell for?
If you put the house on the open market today, you could put it on towards 250
and hope somebody wasn't too put off by the unusual second and third bedrooms in shape and form.
But to the wider market, it's probably worth £230,000.
It would sell extremely easily for at least 225,
possibly a bit more if the owners got a bit of time to market the property.
250 to 260 is what it's worth.
How much could he expect in rental?
There's two rental markets for the house.
The first would be your normal month-to-month assured shorthold tenancy
and he could probably get a figure close on £700 per calendar month on that basis.
The other avenue would be holiday lettings.
He could probably look at £800 or so per week during the summer.
This would rent extremely well during the summer months and into the winter months as well
for about 800-850 per week in the peak of the season, a bit less in the winter.
On the assured shorthold tenancy, you'd obviously need a six-month agreement on that
and you'd be getting close to £700 per calendar month.
£700 a month to £800 is what I would have thought. That's about right.
It looks as though Roger is just content to live here.
And who can blame him?
Today's property search finds me in Chapel Allerton,
a pretty little suburb about two miles from Leeds city centre.
It's a place that's popular with families and young professionals
and its proximity to the city centre keeps property prices high.
Well-kept properties and manicured front lawns make an excellent first impression.
So, what does 50 grand buy you in Chapel Allerton?
A house, a flat?
Well, in this case, it's a plot of land and it's behind this hedge.
The land was originally the garden of the big house,
but since the house was converted into flats, the land was put on the market.
It's all a bit overgrown now, but I think it's still worth exploring.
So this is the plot. As you can see, a good size.
Outline planning permission has been granted for a three-bedroom, detached property.
I reckon you could get more on here.
A three-bedroom detached would sit nicely on the plot, but to maximise the amount of money you could make,
I would have gone for something else, but the planners were looking at the fact you're overlooked,
access, how many cars. Access on to that busy road will be a major issue.
But apart from that, it's a good plot.
Just to make sure I'm not being over-optimistic here,
I asked a local estate agent for her opinion.
Chapel Allerton is a small suburb of the Leeds area,
close to all the local amenities.
You've got the ring road that will take you to Bradford.
You've got Leeds city centre approximately two miles away.
The piece of land that I've been looking round is a nice, sizeable piece of land
to develop a three-bedroom, detached property.
So how much does an upmarket, three-bedroom, detached property go for in this area?
Anything between 250,000 to 280,000.
To rent out, you're looking at £1,500 to £2,000 per month.
So who was tempted by this plot of land in a nice area with outline planning permission?
Let's find out at the auction.
So it's Lot Number 36.
Bank View is located off Stainbeck Lane...
in the very popular district of Chapel Allerton.
So where do you want to start the bidding for me? Start me at 50,000?
Single building plot in Chapel Allerton. £50,000, surely?
Thank you, sir. Opening bid at £48,000.
48 I have. 49?
At £48,000. 49? Go a half?
48 and a half. New bidder. 49?
49 is back in.
49 and a half?
49 and a half is bid. 50, sir?
At 49,500 running. 50,000 anywhere?
Coming back in...? At 49,500 then.
All finished at 49,500?
All finished then, 49,500 it is.
£50,000, anybody else want to come back in?
Are you all done? Last chance.
Any further bid? No? At 49 and a half, we have.
£50,000 we're looking for.
Any further bid...? No, OK.
Lot 37, Northfield Mill, Church Street, Ossett...
'After all the suspense, the land didn't meet its reserve price, so didn't sell under the hammer.
'But the plot thickens. I can reveal that Vivian is the proud new owner
'of this overgrown patch of land.
'She was at the auction intending to buy an old schoolhouse up for sale, so what on earth happened?'
We went to the auction knowing that the guide price was half a million pounds,
but when we got to the auction, they'd upped that to 950,000.
-And it went up to 790.
-So, a bit out of your price range?
-And it wasn't sold.
This piece of land came up about three lots before.
It didn't sell.
But the auctioneer said, "If somebody offers me a little bit more, we might sell."
So after the auction, I came up here with my husband,
looked at it, went home and did a quick internet search on what properties round about are going for,
and made an offer of 50,000 for it, which they accepted.
'It's a lady's prerogative to change her mind.
'Vivian went to the auction prepared to spend half a million pounds on a ready-made house,
'but ended up with a plot of land for £50,000.
'That is quite a dramatic change, but Vivian did some research online before making an offer for the land
'and it doesn't sound as though she's new to this game.'
I've done some property developing. I have lots of houses and apartments which I rent.
I bought a nursing home last year which I converted into ten apartments.
-And we are building two loft apartments in that same building at the moment.
There'll be 12 apartments in that one building.
'The builder doing the loft apartments is also going to be working on this new build.
'In fact, he's so keen, he's already started clearing the land.
'Vivian's also got the help of her husband George who has just retired.
'The land has outline planning permission for a three-bedroom, detached house.
'The council has already approved the development in principle,
'but more detailed plans need to be agreed before any building work can commence,
'so how does all that fit with Vivian's ambitions for this plot?'
The existing plans are for quite a large detached house. It's ten metres deep and nine metres wide.
I think if I was to build a house on the same footprint,
I could make that a four-bedroom, detached house,
which would make me more money, whether I was to sell it or rent it.
I'll see whether it's worthwhile applying for planning permission for two semis.
If I think there's a chance, I will do that, and if I don't get it, I'll appeal.
If I think there's no chance, I'll put in for a three-bedroom, detached house,
but try and make it into a four-bedroom, detached house.
What was it about the plot that you thought, "Yeah, that would..."?
It's a good-sized plot.
I think this would take three townhouses, but it will certainly take two semis.
The only drawback I can see is the access from the front
and I think Leeds City Council would want you to be able to turn a car round in the drive
in order to get in and out.
'Vivian clearly wants to maximise her returns here.
'She doesn't seem fazed by the planning process, having been through it on previous projects.
'The budget on this could vary, depending on which plans actually get the council's approval.'
I think I could build a substantial, four-bedroom, detached house with an integral garage here
for less than £100,000.
And the alternatives for what else you might build, costing-wise?
Two three-bedroom semis won't cost an awful lot more,
but there'll be a lot more profit in two three-bedroom semis here.
So what about timescales?
Well, I would hope to be here in six or nine months' time.
-Built and everything if we got planning permission first time, but I don't think that will happen.
I think it will be a year probably before we're back here again.
'Vivian's wise to allow time for the planning process
'and she's got plenty to keep her busy in the meantime.
'She's a property developer, a landlord and a magistrate in Leeds every Friday.
'What does she do to relax?'
-Not an awful lot. I'd like to do more flying.
-I've got a private pilot's licence. So has my husband.
-But there's been little time for that in the last 18 months since I've been doing the big house.
-I had a trial flight for my 40th birthday.
-Many years ago, unfortunately.
My husband and son came along and my husband thought he'd have a go too.
And after that trial flight, we both decided we'd get our private pilot's licences.
Our son went on and got his.
We bought an aircraft when we got our pilot's licences and all did further training on that.
-And our son is a training captain, so he trains other pilots.
-From that 40th birthday present, he is now a commercial pilot?
'So, add "proud mum" and "high-flyer" to Vivian's other achievements.
'What's her next port of call?'
If you'd asked me that a year or two ago, I would have said
I'm going to sell my houses and flats over the next few years,
but at the moment, I'm hanging on, waiting for prices to go back up.
A bit of a change of direction for Vivian, not what she expected to buy at the auction.
But will she be flying high with this project
or will the state of the property market mean she is in for a crash landing? Find out later in the show.
Well, the months have rolled by. It's time to find out how our property developers have got on.
-Hmm. Did they unearth lots of treasure or a load of old dross?
-Let's find out.
Neranja and her mum Inorma bought this two-bedroom terraced house in Bermondsey
for £221,000, double the guide price.
Neranja is the first to admit that she got too carried away by her first auction experience.
Sold, 221, well done.
I said 180, 190, then I sort of got to the auction and I thought, "Right, 200, 210."
-Then while I'm standing there, I'm thinking, "No, I think I'll go to 230 or 240."
Mum Inorma was definitely the ground force in this partnership.
They agreed to spend no more than £3,000 on the refurbishment and have it ready to rent out in two months.
Thankfully, it was in pretty good condition, but definitely needed a clean-up.
# I'm the cleaning woman
# I'm here to clean up your mess
# I'm the clean-up woman
# Here to clean up your mess... #
Never underestimate the power of a mop and duster.
Neranja wanted to install a new kitchen and bathroom suite,
but thrifty Inorma convinced her otherwise.
We didn't actually end up replacing the kitchen as we thought we'd have to.
We've put in a new boiler, new cupboard doors and things like that, new work surfaces, tiles,
and basically, got it to a better standard than it was.
# I'm the clean-up woman
# Here to clean up your mess... #
In the bathroom, we've kept the suite. It was fine white.
We've kept the old tiles. They were OK.
We've re-grouted and just given it a tidy-up and a paint job, really.
The other rooms have been given a fresh, new look, thanks to a coat of paint.
Sounds simple enough, but perhaps not when you're new to the property game.
Yes, I have learnt painting skills and doing a lot more things.
I have seen Neranja doing grouting and, uh...
Oh, a lot of things! Plastering some of the properties, so I have learned a lot from Neranja.
Neranja certainly seems to know what she's doing
and she didn't overlook the potential of the garden either.
Two skips later and the house now comes with great outdoor space.
# Wide, open spaces... #
With the help of her mum and fiance, the house is looking great.
They were hoping to do it up in two months,
but two and a half months later, there is still work to do.
It's taken a bit longer than I expected.
We took it a bit easy for a few weeks when we first got the property, so slightly longer than estimated,
but maybe another two weeks and we should have it completed.
So, slightly over their original timescale, but despite getting a new boiler,
they've kept well within their £3,000 budget as they've only spent around £2,000.
Inorma seems to have done an excellent job keeping Neranja on track.
Yes, I did manage to keep under control Neranja.
Especially, she was busy doing the property, she didn't have much time to look for any other properties.
She's kept control of me here and there, but I've still had my way here and there as well,
so it's been a bit of give and take.
Neranja and Inorma always planned to rent out the house once it was completed,
so luxury made way for practicality.
But Neranja doesn't think this will put off potential tenants.
I'm quite confident we'll find someone quite quickly due to the location of the property
and it's quite a nice size property to maintain and live in, I feel.
Slightly biased maybe. Let's see what two professionals think.
First impressions are it's a good, practical, two-bedroom house,
ideal for first-time buyers looking in the area.
I think the changes made to the property are very, very good.
They're simple changes, but exactly the right amount of things to do.
They've freshened it up with paint. They've changed the doors and drawer fronts. It looks very good.
Encouraging to hear, but is now the right time to buy a property like this one?
There is a demand for properties like this in the current market.
People have started looking again. There's a lot more urgency. Banks are making borrowing a lot easier.
So first-time buyers have got a good opportunity to make a purchase here.
Equally, there are plenty of people looking to let in the area as well.
Neranja and Inorma bought the house for 221,000.
They spent £2,000 doing it up,
so any valuation over £223,000 is promising.
In today's market, I believe the property would re-sell for between £240,000 to £250,000.
This property could re-sell for between £275,000 to £280,000.
-We didn't expect that much, did we?
The plan was to park this property in the portfolio with the two others Neranja had bought
and rent it out for the next two to three years.
You could rent the property for about £1,050 per month.
The property would rent for between £1,050 and £1,100 per calendar month.
That's a rental income of around 12,000 to 13,000 a year,
meaning a yield of between 5 and 6%.
What do they make of that?
-That's quite reasonable.
-Yeah, brilliant. Really, really pleased.
So, be it re-sale or rental, it seems that this mother-daughter combo is a winning one.
Yes, I believe we do make a good team.
We work well together, have very similar ideas
and when I run off the rails, my mum sort of reins me in,
so yes, we do make a good team.
# Together forever and never to part
# Together forever we two... #
I'm very proud of my daughter. Very.
I think because Neranja loved the properties, it rubbed off on me as well.
Like mother, like daughter. It seems as though Inorma has caught the property bug.
But is Neranja cured?
Right now, I'd say I need a break, but I really do love property
and sort of looking at them and seeing what's what and getting involved, yes.
I've got a funny feeling Neranja's break from property buying won't last long
and she'll be back in those auction rooms. And we wish her all the very best with that.
This land at Chapel Allerton, two miles from Leeds city centre,
went to auction, but wasn't sold.
It was later picked up for £50,000 by Vivian.
The land came with outline planning permission for a three-bedroom, detached house.
She was hoping to get this changed.
I'll see if it's worth applying for planning permission for two semis.
If I think there's a chance, I will do that, and if I don't get it, I'll appeal.
15 months later, it all looks very pretty,
but shouldn't there be a house of some description somewhere in that snow?
# Let it snow
# Let it snow
# Let it snow... #
It looks as though the plans didn't go to plan.
Originally, we couldn't find the plans.
The planning office hadn't got any trace of what had happened here,
so that took a few weeks to sort out and then we did get the plans.
And we found out the planning history of what had gone on here.
And that goes back 20 years, the planning history.
Two semis were refused planning permission 20 years ago.
Lots of things can change in 20 years
and just because the planning permission for two semis was turned down then
doesn't mean it will be now.
I put in plans for two semis which was rejected.
I put a second lot of plans in for two semis and again that was rejected.
Planning permission was refused on over-development of the site.
Because there's just a small access road here,
they didn't want more than one property on this piece of land.
Vivian's dreams of building two semi-detached houses here
have been twice turned down by the planners, but there was still hope.
The land was sold with outline planning permission for one three-bedroom, detached house.
Detailed plans of the house would still need planning approval.
Was Vivian tempted? After all, she and her husband George were ready
to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in.
I said to the architect, "Start doing the plans
"for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom with a garage
"on more or less the same footprint."
He spoke to the planners and we were told that if we put those plans forward, they would be passed.
That evening at home, I thought, "I might just try selling it."
So I went on the internet and put one advert on a free internet site.
And I got four replies within about ten days.
The second person I brought to look at the land said she would like to buy it.
And I sold it to her, basically, for £25,000 more.
So, after all her to-ing and fro-ing with the planners, Vivian decided to pull out of the project
and put the land back on the market.
That offer of £25,000 more than she had originally paid for it seemed too good to refuse.
However, a condition of the sale was that it wouldn't complete
until the new owner had gained planning permission, but why the change of heart?
Probably had the market not gone into such decline, I would have stuck out.
I would have appealed the decision for two semi-detached houses
and if I'd lost that appeal, I would have built a detached house
and I think if we go back five years ago,
you would know that you could spend £150,000 on a build
and get 250,000 for it.
But you just don't know now, so...
Vivian is a shrewd businesswoman.
After paying around £3,000 in fees, she'll potentially make a pre-tax profit of around £22,000.
But has this experience put her off property developing?
No, because basically I've probably spent a day, eight hours perhaps,
between going to the auction, going to the solicitors to sign the papers
and showing the land to four people.
Vivian bought this land for £50,000
and has accepted an offer of £75,000
with the sale dependent on the prospective new owner gaining planning permission.
The new owner paid for Vivian's architect to complete the detailed drawings
for a three-bedroom, detached house
which have been submitted to the planners.
So has she negotiated a good deal?
What do two local estate agents think?
Now that I've seen the land and the site and the proposed plans,
it would be something unusual.
I would build the house because it would be unusual for the area,
therefore maximising the profit.
I think that any planning consent for a detached property on this site
is not the right way to go.
In my view, to optimise the site,
one of the planning consents for two two-bedroom semi-detached
or two three-bedroom semi-detached would be optimum.
And Vivian agreed, but as she found out,
she couldn't get permission to build two semi-detached properties here.
The land, with planning permission for a three-bed, detached house,
would be worth in the region of between £75,000 and £80,000.
The site with planning consent for a large, three-bedroom house
is probably worth something in the region of £30,000 to £35,000.
You've got to be joking! 30 to 35 to build a three-bedroom, detached house?
Vivian has already got a very good offer for 75,000.
If the plans for a three-bedroom, detached house were passed and the house built,
how much do the experts think it would be worth?
A detached, large, three-bedroom house would probably sell
for a figure in the region of £240,000.
However, to build that house would cost something in the region of £210,000.
You'd be looking somewhere in the region of between 200,000 and 210,000.
Um... Well, I would say, in my opinion,
a house here could be worth anything between 220 and 320.
If the three-bedroom house was built, would there be any mileage in renting it out?
I would estimate something in the region of £800 to £850 a month would be an appropriate figure.
Very popular area for rental. If you were to rent the house out as a three-bed new build, furnished,
you'd be looking somewhere in the region of anything between 900 and 1,100 a month.
Yes, I would expect to get between 900 and 1,100 in rent.
Well, since filming, the plans have been approved
and the sale has gone through,
so Vivian bought a plot of land for £50,000
and sold it on for £75,000 without actually doing anything to it,
showing that sometimes not developing can still make you money.
Plenty to think about there. Did those stories inspire you and whet your appetite?
-We'll have lots more next time on Homes Under The Hammer. Goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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.