Property auction series. Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a former school caretaker's house in Kent, an end-of-terrace house in London and a house in Cornwall.
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-They say every house tells a story. We know that to be true.
There are certainly stories to be told and secrets to uncover when you buy your home under the hammer.
Now, at auction, properties are sold on a buyer-beware basis
so you need to make sure you check them out before you purchase.
Or you could be in for some nasty surprises.
Well, let's see how today's buyers got on with their purchases.
I do my homework on this former school caretaker's house in Kent.
The only downside is this - what on earth were they thinking?
Viewing this end of terrace in London is pretty unappetising.
Do you know what?
I am not going in there.
And on this stunning coastline, I see a real bargain.
But there is a problem because the house, like many in Cornwall, is made from mundic block.
All these properties have been sold at auction.
We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
It's yours, madam.
I'm in Crayford, near Dartford in Kent.
It lies south-east of London, just 15 miles or so from the city centre.
Well, the house I'm here to see is the former caretaker's house of the local school.
Well, from the outside, it looks pretty good.
It had a guide price of £180,000 to £190,000, which seems pretty good for a detached property like that.
The bad news straightaway, though, is, not surprisingly, it is right next door to the school.
Now, that might put some people off.
Let's hope the inside redeems itself.
It was built in the 1960s and is on a quiet street.
Although it is adjacent to this primary school, it has been separated on to its own plot.
It's been empty for about eight years.
The current school caretaker already had a house so the council put it up for auction.
For a guide price of £180 to £190,000, this is a three-bedroomed property,
and that garden space looks very generous.
So what have we got? Through the front door, reasonable-sized entrance, somewhere to at least
put your coats and stuff, and through into a really nice sized kitchen.
Yes, it is a mess, yes, the units need getting rid of.
But, you know, you could really work with this space so I really like that.
And the kind of theme of almost open-plan continues when you come into this room here.
The lounge - great big space, absolutely lovely.
Lots of light flooding in here and it gets even better.
They've already put sort of...well, not quite patio doors in here, but leading out onto the garden.
The own downside is this!
What on earth were they thinking?!
This is some horribly tacked-on lean-to horrible affair.
Having a space which integrates the garden with the house is really nice,
but clearly this has to come down and put something a little bit more in keeping in its place.
But, all in all, a great start.
Putting up a new conservatory here would really help connect the large living area to that spacious garden
and give the downstairs an open, modern feel.
So upstairs, no great shocks.
Oh, but one thing I just want to talk about.
This banister, look at that.
Nasty big gaps. If you had small people in this house, that would be very, very dangerous.
Definitely get that sorted out.
But no surprises here, really.
Two good-sized bedrooms, one slightly smaller one.
The only thing I would think about doing here apart from the banister,
there's a loo and a separate bathroom.
You might want to take out this wall here.
It's probably only a stud partition. Nothing too great there.
Get that out, make one big family bathroom.
Other than that, you know, it is what it is.
It's a decent enough little house.
So with a new bathroom, kitchen and conservatory and a general
spruce-up, I reckon you could add real value to this property.
Well, there is one major fly in the ointment and that is access to the
property which was previously through the grounds of the school.
Since this has been separated off and sold, you can't obviously have that.
The good news is that planning permission has been granted
to lower this bit of kerb here and take access to the property across the pavement.
In fact, it is stipulated in the sales particulars that whoever buys it actually has to do that.
This would be an extra cost to the buyer, but it is a big plus that planning has already been granted.
Let's hear the impressions of a local estate agent.
A good, sizable home. Good sized rooms, excellent plot of land.
The main selling points for me are the schools locally.
You've got great sized rooms
and the off-street parking that is going to be created.
At the same time, great garden. Good for the family.
I would estimate that you would have to spend approximately
£20,000 for the work that would need to be done in the home.
Possibly double glazing, central heating, new flooring, kitchen etc.
So bearing in mind that guide price of £180 to £190,000,
what could you get for this property once it's been done up?
I would suggest probably in the current market
you should be able to get around the £275,000 mark.
What about the rental potential?
You would probably anticipate probably £950 to maybe £1,050 per calendar month.
Possibly not the most characterful house, but you know what, it would
make a lovely family home, and I think great value for money.
The biggest issue, of course, is sorting out those access problems.
Let's see who fancied taking them on when it went to the auction.
And then we go to lot 23, which is the former caretaker's house.
Give me, what, £170,000 for it? 170?
£170,000, in the room.
I'm on the way. 170 I have.
175, 180. 180, madam?
180, 180, and five and 90.
190 I'm looking for. At 190,000.
190. 190, and 5. 195, 200, you don't have to worry about bussing them to school, do you? Not from here.
200, can I say?
200,000 and 5, 205, you certainly would be in the catchment area, wouldn't you?
210, 210. 212. 212.
At 214 I've got, 216, 218.
218, may I say?
There's two of you there. 218, 220.
At 222. 221, 222, 222.
At £221,000, to the original bidder in the aisle, for the first time at £221,000.
For the second time at £221,000.
Third and final time.
Are we all done at 221?
It's yours, madam, for 221.
For £221,000, the successful bidder was Sylvia, but the house isn't for her.
# See me and Julio down by the school yard... #
It's for her daughter, Lucy, who's a teacher.
They had their eye on the property for a number of years
and headed down to the auction when they heard it was up for sale.
It must certainly feel familiar being so close to that school.
Lucy, Sylvia, lovely to meet you both.
-That looked like an interesting auction. A lot of stuff going on.
Well, there was a lot going on there.
It got quite hectic at one point.
-So what was the budget?
-The budget was £200,000!
So it was well over.
So why are you buying it? Who are you buying it for?
And tell me more.
Basically, my husband and I have bought the house,
but Lucy and her partner are going to buy it from us once they've sold their property near us.
So you're acting as a bridging loan, sort of?
I'm acting as a bridging loan. A big bridging loan, yes. But I think it'll be worth it, myself.
-So you've already got a house with your partner?
-Yes. We have a shared ownership property.
But, of course, we want to move into this area, which we couldn't do without my mum's help, really.
Well, that's wonderful then.
# It's a family affair
# It's a family affair. #
Lucy will move in with her partner David and two daughters - Bethany, aged 14, and Shannon, who's two.
Lucy is moving back here because this is where she grew up.
I've got Mum five minutes away and my cousin opposite, my nan in this street, my brother
just behind and my sister just down the other end of the road here as well.
-A family affair.
Let's move on to the work then. What are you going to do to it?
What we'd like to do and what we can do may be two different things really.
-Because you burned the budget, basically.
We definitely need to get a new bathroom.
We need to remove that because that's just...
An eyesore and a hazard, especially with a two-year-old running around.
We'd like, ideally, to replace it with another conservatory
and of course, we'd like to re-do the kitchen as well.
So that's three major things in my eyes, and then decorating, which shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Having burned the budget, what have you got left to do the work?
Well, we thought maybe £15,000 to £20,000.
I think you were thinking maybe a bit more.
So what about timescales for doing all the bits and pieces?
We'd like to have it done by Christmas.
-So four months or so.
-Yeah. It might take longer because of finances.
I go back to work in just over a week's time so,
you know, that's going to sort of draw on the time that I'm going to be able to spend here decorating.
-And with a little one as well, it's a bit awkward.
But we will try. We'll do our best. We'll set ourselves a goal.
-Congratulations. Good luck and we look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thank you very much.
Well, this undoubtedly will make a lovely home for Lucy and her family.
However, by overspending on the purchase price,
the budgets are going to be tight and, even with the help from the extended family members,
are they going to manage to restore this place for a reasonable amount of money?
You can find out later in the show.
I'm in East 17, north-east London, in Walthamstow, to give it its proper name.
It's the place where four likely lads came from who stormed the pop
charts with hits like House Of Love and Stay Another Day.
Some of my favourites, actually!
But the big question is, will today's property be a chart topper
or will it not even make it into the top 50?
Come with me and find out.
# Everybody Everybody in the house of love... #
Not only did that famous boy band call themselves East 17, they even named their debut album Walthamstow
after their hometown, but whether the house up for auction is a house of love or not is another question.
However, it is conveniently situated a short walk from the busy Lea Bridge Road,
which stretches through the heart of north-east London and is the centre of a vibrant Asian community.
So time to see if there are any bargains to be had in this part of London. Well, this is lot number 64.
Now, it's a three-bedroom end of terrace. It's on a large plot.
It's got a guide price of £180,000.
It doesn't look like an obvious bargain from here, does it?
This 1920s end terrace has obviously been lying empty for a while
and is, to say the least, in a right old state.
At the back is a pretty big garden which needs clearing.
To the side is a generous plot, with what appears to be a wooden garage.
It's all dilapidated and overgrown and there are signs of more serious issues.
That's unbelievable. I need to get inside and investigate further.
As cracks go, that's a cracker!
There could be numerous reasons for why it's so bad.
Subsidence, structural faults or because there are some
large trees in that back garden - and those usually mean large roots.
Do you know what? This house is already looking in a bit of a sorry old state.
It's all overgrown, you have metal on the windows, cracked glass up there. Let's have a look inside.
Eugh! Do you know what?
I am not going in there.
There's rat droppings on the floor, broken glass... I think it is a bit of a health hazard.
In fact, I don't think anybody's been in there for a very long time.
It's just too unsavoury to have a proper look around.
But I can see from here that the house will need to be completely gutted.
Well, let's talk about what we've got here.
If you can see past this old wreck that it is at the moment, well, like
I said, it's a three-bedroom, end of terrace house on a sizable plot.
And what I do know is that planning permission has been submitted
to demolish this house to build two new three-bedroomed properties.
Notice I said "submitted" - not granted.
That permission is crucial before any building work can start here,
and it looks as though it could be a lot to take on.
Whether it's a rebuild or renovation job,
it will take a huge cash injection to get this place habitable again.
But as the house is on an end terrace site, there are various options for development.
A local estate agent gave us the lowdown.
You've got a plot that you could knock the property down,
rebuild something with the right kind of permission,
convert it into flats or just make it one big house.
Despite appearances, this place does have a lot of potential, but how much would each of the options cost?
Remember, the guide price at auction was £180,000-plus.
If you were wanting to build a two-bed and three-bed flat by knocking it down,
you're probably looking about the £180,000 mark you'd need.
To extend this property to make it into a four-bedroomed family home,
I think you would need probably around £60,000.
So whoever bought this property better have plenty more cash to play with, on top of the purchase price,
but with four-bed houses around here selling for around £300,000, there is definitely money to be made.
What about the rental market?
If this was extended to a four-bedroom family home,
you would be looking at £1,400 per calendar month.
New-build two and three-bedroom flats, a two-bedroom would probably
achieve about £750 a month and a three-bed flat, probably as high as £900.
With this house, you have a few options.
You could either knock it down and rebuild,
or you could add to what's already here by putting on a big extension.
But the obvious aim is to make the maximum money from the minimum outlay.
Is this a cracking opportunity for somebody?
Let's go to auction and find out.
Three-bed house, got the plot next door, start at 200, not going to go below. Do I have 200 anywhere?
£200,000 on my right. Anyone else?
210, with you. 215, 215. 220.
220, at the back.
Just a couple of bids and that's it.
215, on my right. 220, anywhere?
235. 240. 245. 245? 250?
250, with the lady. 251, sir.
252? If not, 251 down here.
Anyone else at £251,000?
First time. Second time.
Third and last time. Are you all done?
Sold, 251. Well bid, sir.
That top bid of £251,000 came from Moses,
originally from Nigeria, who's been living in the UK since 1982.
Moses has run his own property consultancy business
for over ten years, and was bidding on behalf of one his clients.
Moses will be managing this development too.
So I met him back at the house to hear about the plans.
Moses, congratulations. Thank you very much for coming along today.
-Thank you very much.
-This is quite an interesting story for me.
Because the guide price was £180,000.
-The bidding started at £200,000 in the auction room.
Surely that would have put you off and changed the story somewhat?
That would have put me off, but to have somebody behind me who
says, "Moses, you are to make sure you get something today."
-Who said that?
-Was your client with you on auction day?
He was all the way in Nigeria.
I am quite intrigued as to why you went over the stamp duty threshold of £250,000.
You've now had to pay an extra 3% on top of that because you broke the barrier by £1,000.
-Were you aware of that on the day?
-I was aware of it.
Because of the pressure...
I didn't go another £1,000 over, then I would lose out completely.
And that last bid of just £1,000 more meant that Moses
suddenly crossed from the 1% to the 3% stamp duty band.
So instead of paying £2,500 at the 1% level,
Moses' client had to fork out around £7,500 in stamp duty.
That extra 5K will eat into any profit.
What are you going to do to turn this house around?
What I intend doing
is to extend the house
on the side where the garage is right now.
Extend that side,
pull down the cracked partition there.
Extend it at the back as well, and then build a three-bedroom flat
downstairs and a three-bedroom large flat upstairs as well.
Converting the current property into two flats and extending it
would certainly cost less than demolishing and rebuilding.
What is his client's budget to create these two separate flats?
I am anticipating between £75-80,000.
Moses, how long is it going to take you to complete this project?
We are hoping to finish in three to four months' time.
Hmm. Seems rather optimistic to me.
There is a huge amount of tidying up to do before we can even start,
and don't forget that Moses will need planning permission for the flat conversion and the extension.
So, Moses, where are you at the moment in the planning stage?
We are hoping that within the next six to eight weeks we'll hear the result.
So you've got to sit tight for six to eight weeks
until you hear whether they're going to go with your plans?
What my architect said was that work can start straightaway.
-That's what he said to me.
-So you're confident that you can start work straightaway?
That's what my architect said, and I hold his word for it.
Moses is taking a calculated risk here and putting a lot of faith in his architect's word.
If planning permission is rejected after work has started,
it could bring the whole development to a halt, and any renovations might have to be undone.
# Cos I got to have faith
# I got to have faith, faith, faith! #
Moses is confident that the trees in the garden
are the root cause of that crack and that he will be able to sort it out.
Moses, thank you so much for coming along today. Good luck.
Thank you very much, thank you.
Moses obviously has a lot of faith, and he is going to need it.
He paid over the stamp duty, he hasn't got any planning
permission, his budget is tight, his timescale even tighter, and...
there's a whacking great big crack in the side!
I'm wondering, in four months, what will be standing here?
You can find out later on in the programme.
Coming up, location is king in Cornwall.
It really is an awe-inspiring spot.
In East London, we finally get a look
inside this derelict house and discover that Moses has totally changed his plans.
But first, how did things go at the former school caretaker's house?
Oh my word, it was a complete tip. It was terrible.
We're back in Crayford near Dartford, where teacher Sylvia
had bought this three-bed former school caretaker's house.
She ended up bidding £21,000 over her limit of £200,000, and the house isn't even for her.
It's for her daughter, maths teacher Lucy.
My husband and I have bought the house, but then Lucy and her partner are going to
buy it from us once they have sold their property near us.
So you're acting as a bridging loan, sort of?
I'm acting as a bridging loan. A big bridging loan.
Despite going well above their budget at auction,
the family thought they also needed another £15-20,000 to make the house ready to move into.
But as Lucy still had to sell her current home, there was time to play with.
Eight months later, it looks like that time was well spent.
Outside, there's a new drive and they've really
cleaned up the front of the house and done some maintenance work on the roof.
Inside, a new kitchen has been installed with modern lightening and fittings.
The old, rather dangerous conservatory has been removed and new French doors leading
straight out on to the garden are now in place.
The whole house feels so much brighter and fresher.
It was a complete tip. It was terrible.
The garden was completely overgrown with brambles, the house was dirty.
There was newspaper stapled to the floors, so we actually had to take the staples out of the floor as well.
Ouch! Brambles AND staples.
Well, they do say there is no gain without pain.
Upstairs, and two of the bedrooms have been specially decorated for Lucy's daughters.
All the rooms have brand-new panel doors and double glazing.
# Pretty in pink
# Isn't she pretty in pink...? #
The old bathroom and separate toilet have been knocked into one large room.
It's still not finished, but first impressions are good, with a new bathroom suite and tasteful tiling.
As well as the cosmetic decor, the family have replaced the
central heating, electrics, windows and exterior doors.
And they've tackled an even bigger task.
The driveway was the main thing that that had to be done, to actually get access to the property cos it was
just overgrown and it was a very small gap to get through. So that was the main thing.
They've done a great job of tidying it up.
Off-street parking like this is a real plus point for any property.
They've really tackled the place head on,
and moving back to Lucy's family neighbourhood has had advantages.
Family members have all chipped in and all helped.
The bathroom, that was ripped out.
The wall was knocked down, my brother knocked the wall down for us
and my brother-in-law created the new partition wall. So that was done.
My dad's been working very hard to try and get this bathroom finished,
but he works a tough time schedule so it's a bit difficult.
Meanwhile, her partner David was outside taking care of the garden.
The garden was in a complete mess.
It was overgrown everywhere.
There was tree stumps. There was a patio area here that we ripped up.
There was all concrete down there, concrete over here, and it was just, it was in a complete mess, really.
Ripped it all up and had a new lawn laid and dug up, and it looks lovely.
I'm very proud of everyone that's actually had a part of this,
the family members that have all helped.
I've had a wonderful time actually learning new skills myself.
I'd never wallpapered before now, and I wallpapered four rooms.
So with all hands on deck, did they manage to keep to their schedule?
We thought we were going to be in in about four months, we thought we'd
have it all finished, but that was way out.
We're now on about eight months, I think, and it's nearly there.
We've not got money to just get the builders in and do everything, so a lot of it we've had to do ourselves.
And it just does take time.
As well as helping Lucy with the original house purchase,
Mum was also pitching in on the renovation costs,
which they reckoned would be about £15-20,000.
So, how did they fair with that all-important budget?
I've probably helped them out with about £25,000, I expect, yeah.
Very close to that. It's a lot of money.
That's a total spend so far of £246,000, plus the usual fees and expenses.
What might the property be worth now?
We asked two local estate agents to put us in the picture.
First impressions, very impressed.
Very approachable home. Very clean to look at.
The kitchen, great highlights with the down-lighting, the LED lights.
It's in a good residential area. Popular location.
Convenient for the school.
And potential to extend.
How much could the house generate as a rental?
If we were to rent the property under the current market climate then I'd say we'd be
looking in the region of around about £1,000 per calendar month.
I could rent this property out at around £1,100 per calendar month.
If they were to sell the property at the current market, keeping in
mind their outlay of about £246,000 so far, how much would they expect?
If you market the property under the current market climate at the moment,
I would say the property should go on the market in the region of £280,000.
I would suggest marketing in a price range of £280-290,000.
A potential pre-tax profit of £44,000.
Not bad. You were saying that yesterday, weren't you?
We're quite pleased with that, the amount of effort that's gone into the place.
-That's what we expected.
I don't think they'll sell this house for a long while. It really has brought them together.
By all their hard work, they've created a fabulous family home, so congratulations to them all.
She went over-budget quite considerably,
but in her determination, we've ended up with a fantastic home and I can't thank her enough.
I'm in Cornwall, in Perranporth.
And how about that for a beach?
The waves of the Atlantic crashing on to the shores create one of the best surfing beaches in the UK.
You've got dramatic cliffs in the distance, you've got sand dunes
that are used for orienteering, it really is an awe-inspiring spot.
As it's so beautiful, unsurprisingly in summer it's also very busy.
People flock here for holidays and day trips to enjoy the beach
with its sand castle building opportunities,
the surfing and the attractions of the town centre.
I'm here to see a two-bedroom semi-detached property,
which had a guide price of £105,000 which, for something so close to that beautiful beach, sounds cheap.
Let's take a look inside.
So, nice you've got that little porch.
It keeps the noise of the road and the wind and whatever out.
The whole house in fact has been double glazed, which is really great and saves you quite a lot of money.
So through into the sort of dining room/living room area, it's been knocked through.
Nice feature fireplace. There's a good size space. I like that.
And then pretty standard layout through into the kitchen.
It's tired. It's dated. Perfectly serviceable though.
Not a bad-sized space. And something I really like, very practical,
there's a little extra loo around the corner there.
So, a good start.
It does look a bit shabby, but a few thousand quid would give this place a new lease of life.
I reckon that a new kitchen and downstairs loo plus stripping that lounge floor would all work wonders.
So, upstairs, not going to be expecting too much
of a dramatically weird layout, however that's quite nice to see.
You've got bathroom there with a bath in it and then this room here which is a shower room.
It hasn't been completed, but you know what, given this is surfing country, that would be ideal.
Come in with your wetsuit and get the sand off.
Landing here. Then two bedrooms. First one there.
A good-sized double. And this one here, a really nice-sized room. I love the stripped floorboards.
All in all, the upstairs layout works really well.
To recap, that's two good-sized bedrooms, a large lounge and diner,
kitchen, WC and bathroom.
All for a guide price of £105,000.
With a bit of TLC,
this could be a great family home or holiday let,
as it's just a short hop from the fabulous beach.
Well, anywhere that's this close to the beach is going to have a problem with parking,
especially in the tourist periods of the year.
So it's great news that this property comes with a parking space and a garage because it's double
yellow lines outside the front, and the last thing you want is to have to struggle to find
somewhere to park your car every time you come home.
This property just keeps getting better.
The good-sized garden is south facing and, with a bit of work,
could be the perfect spot for a glass of wine after a hard day at the beach.
So it's all going swimmingly well, but, as you might have imagined, there is a problem.
Because the house, like many in Cornwall, is made from mundic block.
Mundic block was made after World War II using waste materials from local mines.
Although it can't really be seen by looking at the exterior of the house,
I found some clues elsewhere.
The garden wall here is made of this, what looks like a normal kind of breeze block.
But if I get a normal breeze block and show you the difference...
Can you see the difference in the texture?
Basically, mundic blocks, over time, crumble.
There's various levels of crumbling and various levels of problems with houses,
but you need to have it checked out, and until you've got a report saying
that the mundic block is OK, you'll not be able to get finance on the property.
Well, there had to be a hitch, but this is still a great house
in an excellent location and shouldn't be written off just yet.
Let's hear more from the auctioneer who sold it.
The potential for the property is either as a full-time home
or someone who's going to buy it as a holiday letting venture
and perhaps rent it out some weeks and keep other weeks for themselves.
So how many thousands are we talking about here after renovation?
And will that mundic affect its value?
Once it's renovated and looking lovely, it will still have the mundic issue, and whilst on the
face of it the house ought to make a couple of hundred thousand pounds,
it's probably going to be nearer 150, 160.
What about its rental potential, either for residential or holiday lets?
If the property was rented out in a usual, short-hold tenancy market,
you're looking at £525 per calendar month, perhaps £550 per calendar month.
But you're in a holiday spot and, to a holiday market, you're
probably looking at between £300 and £400 per week at the height of season.
Well, a nice enough house and you certainly can't knock the location.
It would make a lovely family home or a holiday home for somebody, but the big issue, of course,
is that mundic block construction which would restrict raising finance on this place.
Still, at £105,000 as the guide price, I'm sure somebody fell for its Cornish charms.
Let's see who it was when it went to the auction.
We're in Perranporth now, semi-detached, two storey house.
So who will say to us, nice and simply, for lot 18, £120,000 in?
100. We're away.
Thank you. 102, 104, 106, 108.
Last time, then. At 108... 110, you saw it to your right.
At 110. We'll take 1,000 if it'll help, but 110 we have.
At 110 for the first time. At 110 for the second time.
At 110. Third and the last time.
Here we go, then, at 110.
Gentleman stood at the pillar there on the left-hand side.
With just one bid, Sharon and Pete snapped the place up for 110 grand.
Based in Staffordshire, Sharon is a sports development manager and Pete,
originally from Ireland, is a roofer and works in the building trade.
I met up with them at the house to find out why they had made the journey south to invest in Cornwall.
-Sharon, Pete, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations.
-You got yourself a lovely place in Cornwall:
-Why did you want to buy it?
-Well, we've always wanted to
move down to Cornwall eventually, and we holiday here.
I've always holidayed here as a child and brought Pete down here and he fell in love with it.
-So why this particular house then?
-We were looking around at properties
and they're quite expensive down here,
and this property was very reasonably priced, wasn't it?
Yeah. It's a bit of a challenge with what has to be done to it, but we'll whip it into shape, I think.
With Pete's contacts in the building trade, they'll save a packet by doing the renovation themselves.
This house offers tremendous scope for improvement and adding value.
So, what are their plans?
Well, we're thinking of a new kitchen.
Knock the wall out between the old bathroom - well, toilet - and put a proper floor and kitchen in.
New heating system,
decorating, back garden.
A whole list of things, really.
That's quite a list.
But what about the more serious issue of the mundic block?
Well, we know it's manageable, don't we?
Basically, mundic, if the block gets too damp, it disintegrates.
-And, no matter what the problem is, I reckon I can sort it out - I have the experience behind me.
Pete sounds confident that he can keep the mundic problem at bay.
We'll see how long it takes to get it into shape,
and then by the time we have it in shape, it'll be next season.
Well...Sharon's birthday coming up shortly.
Tell me more about that!
We always come down here for my birthday, which is in October.
And I always book somewhere and we have a long weekend.
And I said, "We'll have to book somewhere,"
and Pete said, "No, no, we've got the house."
I said, "Will it be finished by October?" And he said, "Oh, no problem."
How many weeks away is that precisely?
About nine, ten weeks.
-Three of them weeks I'm away!
-Yes, three of those he's away!
# Pressure, pushing down on me... #
Well, Pete's promise has certainly put pressure on him to get
everything done in time for Sharon's birthday in just nine weeks' time.
You can't keep a lady waiting, Pete!
-Listen, good luck. Congratulations. Well done.
-I look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, Sharon and Pete are making a bit of a dream come true,
buying this place, especially for Sharon returning to her childhood Cornwall.
If there are problems with the mundic block I'm sure Pete can sort them out.
The big issue is, will he get the renovations done in time for her birthday?
You can find out later in the show.
Transforming a property from a worn out shell can be very rewarding and profitable.
But did everything go well for our buyers today?
Let's take a look and find out.
We're back at this three bedroom end terrace in Walthamstow, East London.
Property agent Moses bought it at auction for £251,000 on behalf of an overseas client.
The house had been empty for some time and it was in such a state I didn't fancy venturing inside.
But Moses already had plans for the site.
What I intend doing, is to extend the house
on the side where the garage is right now.
Extend it at the back as well. And then build a three-bedroomed flat downstairs
and a three-bedroom large flat upstairs as well.
Seven months later, we've returned to see how things went.
It looks like work is still in progress.
Though not on two flats, but two separate houses.
Moses decided to renovate the existing 1930s house, extending it slightly into the back garden.
And on the adjacent plot where the garage was, he's building a new
end-of-terrace, two-bedroomed property.
So, Moses must have changed his mind at some point.
We were originally applying for two separate three-bedroom flats, but when we got to the council,
to the local authority, they told us that the process of approving flats
is so long that we could be there for months.
But it would be better for us to keep the existing freehold and then
build another freehold on this side, and that would be quicker for us.
We didn't get to see inside the house before work started,
but it's worth the wait.
All walls and ceilings have been replastered
and new plumbing, heating and double glazing installed.
But it's not all been simple.
Moses has moved walls around, too.
The house has got two receptions before,
so we thought if we open it up, it would make the whole place bigger.
So we've opened up the reception - I mean, the first and second receptions, now we have just
I think Moses has made a good decision.
This large reception area feels bright and modern.
The kitchen, which is yet to be installed, will be in the rear extension.
The three bedrooms and brand-new neutral bathroom are upstairs
and are well proportioned with plenty of natural light.
To the side, in place of the old garage and jungle-like garden,
Moses ha started to build what will be the second property.
A two-bed self-contained house.
This will be the brand-new end terrace,
so what are Moses' plans for the interior?
Two bedroom upstairs,
bathroom, toilet upstairs, kitchen downstairs.
Spare toilet downstairs as well.
And there will be a utility area downstairs as well.
Moses bid £251,000 for the property at auction on behalf of his client.
A further £85,000 has been invested in the renovation and new-build so far.
But Moses reckons it'll be closer to £100,000 by the time it's finished.
That's a total investment of around £351,000, plus usual fees and expenses.
But has any value been added here?
We asked two local estate agents to give us their opinions.
Well, it's moved along.
It's obviously a fair way from being finished.
The extension at the back is a great idea.
1930s, are always a bit tight.
That extra extension means there's a little bit more living accommodation.
I think it was an excellent investment, especially the new-build
where you could add a dormer and have a three-bedroomed property.
How much would they expect each house to earn on the rental market?
Three bedroom, if we had to put these up for rent would achieve probably about £1,200 per calendar month.
The two bedroom I would expect to achieve between £900 and £950.
The two bed property, per calendar month, would achieve around about the 1,000 figure.
While the three bedroom would achieve anything from 1,200 to 1,300.
That's a combined rental income of between 2,000 and 2,300 a month.
A yield of around 7%.
Sounds pretty good to me.
That's good. We're not renting, but that's a good price.
I mean, the house is not on the mortgage anyway.
It was a cash buy property, so if £2,000 plus should be coming in every month, that's going to be good money.
It certainly is. That could be an annual income of between £21,000 and £23,000.
But Moses wants to sell the properties for his client, so how much could be made here?
Remember, the total investment will be around 351,000, plus costs.
I mean, this is a standard 1930s, three bed, what is now a mid-terrace property.
Highly saleable, as long as it's finished to a descent standard.
I would say just under the 300,000, probably £295. Two bed I'd market around 265, 275.
The two bedroom property in this location would achieve something in the region of £245,000.
The three bed should be considerably more at £275,000 to £285,000.
That's a total resale value for both properties of between 520,000 and 575,000.
That means a potential pre-tax profit of up to a whopping £224,000.
The two prices are good for me.
Even if we have to take the lowest of them, which is good news.
Good news indeed.
But he'll have to ensure he finishes off both houses to a high standard to maximise the sale price.
Although the three-bed is almost complete, the new two-bed still has a way to go.
We wish you good luck with that, Moses.
Earlier we were in beautiful Perranporth, Cornwall, where roofer Pete and his partner Sharon
had bought this two-bed semi for 110,000.
There was a long list of jobs to be done.
Pete had given himself a nine-week deadline to be finished in time for Sharon's birthday.
It's a bit of a challenge, what has to be done to it, but we'll whip it into shape, I think.
Pete seemed pretty relaxed, and I reckoned his experience
in the building trade made him just the chap for the task ahead.
Now, not nine weeks, but eight-and-a-half months later, it looks like Pete's been busy,
despite two months delay due to hurting his back.
The lounge has a new floor and fireplace.
And, when you step into that kitchen, you can see where Pete spent most of his energy.
Well, as you can see, this is the kitchen area.
We done a big knock through. There were two small windows here,
and we took advantage of the view.
We put a breakfast bar in.
We did a bit of research,
we've got a cooker and a fridge-freezer on an internet site,
and it works pretty well, I think so.
Gone are the old nooks and crannies.
It's all been opened up and replaced with a fabulous spot to have breakfast.
Just look at that view!
Upstairs, Pete is still in the process of sprucing up the bedrooms.
He's redecorated in bold colours and replaced the doors.
Where that half-finished shower room was, he's put in a brand-new toilet next to the very smart new bathroom.
The fresh layout really takes advantage of the natural light this room enjoys.
This is the bathroom. A present from Sharon's mum and dad,
which was very much appreciated.
I enjoyed doing it, and I think it's turned out very well.
But before all this impressive work could be done, Pete had to deal with some unforeseen problems.
Every ceiling in the house was asbestos. Asbestos sheets,
so that was a bit of a shock.
So we obviously had to take everything out of there
and we replaced the plasterboards and got it replastered.
I done most of the work myself.
I took the asbestos out and boarded the ceilings.
I just had to get a plasterer in to replaster it, so it wasn't too bad.
Outside, in the back garden, Pete has put in new decking
and created a patio area, which makes the best of that steep garden slope.
At the bottom, he's re-roofed the old garage.
So, a huge amount of work. Well done, Pete.
But did he have any help?
At first, I came down with a sledgehammer,
and Sharon came down with a sweeping brush!
Sharon - yeah, she's been a great help.
She's done a lot of painting,
cleaning up the mess I'm making,
and done a lot of work in the garden.
So, despite all those helping hands, Pete didn't stay on schedule.
He had promised Sharon they'd be in for a romantic weekend
to celebrate her birthday just nine weeks after the auction.
# Happy birthday
# Happy birthday... #
That didn't happen. It's taken eight months so far
and, yeah, five or six weeks should do it.
# Happy, happy birth... #
Well, at least it'll be ready in time for the summer,
but remember, this house is built from mundic block,
which has a tendency to decay and cause structural weakness.
So how did Pete approach this problem?
When I started knocking walls I found maybe half a dozen soft blocks.
Replaced what I found, and if there is another problem,
I'll tackle that when I come to it.
But I'm not overly worried about it.
Treating the mundic and asbestos as well as spending extra on the kitchen
stretched Pete and Sharon's original budget of 15,000 to 20,000 to about £25,000.
So, added to the 110 they paid for the property, they've spent a total of £135,000.
I reckon they've really rejuvenated this semi,
but what do two local property experts think?
The fella's three-quarters of the way through
turning it into a very nice home.
He's relayed the floors.
The property has been re-skimmed, the kitchen and bathroom
have been refitted both to a very high standard.
How much could the couple expect if they rented it out?
If this property were rented, it would certainly make 650 to 675 per calendar month.
When the house is fully finished, the rental value
on a per-calendar-month basis would be close on £600.
I was thinking around £500, but 600, 675, very good.
But I won't be renting. I don't think so.
I would break my heart to rent it.
And with this stunning location so close to the beach and golf course,
this property has the potential to be a lucrative holiday let.
If you were letting this over the summer period then you could certainly be looking at £450 a week.
During the peak weeks
you could probably expect to get £600, maybe even £700 per week.
That doesn't surprise me, but interesting. Very interesting.
How much could expect if they sold it, bearing in mind
their total spend of £135,000 plus the usual fees and expenses?
Had the property been mundic-free,
it would be on the market at a figure - quite reasonably - just over £200,000.
Because it does have a mundic B classification, which affects the mortgageability,
its value is probably nearer £150,000 once all the odd jobs have been finished.
The property now has a value in the region of £145,000,
maybe edging up to £150,000 as the market continues to improve.
I thought it would be around, yeah, 140.
But I'm not too pushed about it because I didn't do it for resale value.
I done it as a home.
So...it's not that it doesn't interest me. It does interest me, but...
I won't be selling it anyhow.
Quite right, too.
I bet Pete and Sharon will have many fantastic summers down here in gorgeous Cornwall.
And once it's finished, in six weeks' time, it will be the hub of their fabulous new life.
Well, whether you're a seasoned professional or a property novice,
there are always lessons to be learned about buying property.
So, join us next time for some more auction action.
-See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a former school caretaker's house in Kent, an end-of-terrace house in London and a house in Cornwall.
All of these properties were sold at auction; Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.