Episode 47 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 47

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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Transcript


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-Welcome.

-They say every house tells a story. We know that to be true.

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There are certainly stories to be told and secrets to uncover when you buy your home under the hammer.

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Now, at auction, properties are sold on a buyer-beware basis

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so you need to make sure you check them out before you purchase.

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Or you could be in for some nasty surprises.

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Well, let's see how today's buyers got on with their purchases.

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I do my homework on this former school caretaker's house in Kent.

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The only downside is this - what on earth were they thinking?

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Viewing this end of terrace in London is pretty unappetising.

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Ugh!

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Do you know what?

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I am not going in there.

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And on this stunning coastline, I see a real bargain.

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But there is a problem because the house, like many in Cornwall, is made from mundic block.

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All these properties have been sold at auction.

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

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It's yours, madam.

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I'm in Crayford, near Dartford in Kent.

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It lies south-east of London, just 15 miles or so from the city centre.

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Well, the house I'm here to see is the former caretaker's house of the local school.

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Well, from the outside, it looks pretty good.

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It had a guide price of £180,000 to £190,000, which seems pretty good for a detached property like that.

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The bad news straightaway, though, is, not surprisingly, it is right next door to the school.

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Now, that might put some people off.

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Let's hope the inside redeems itself.

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It was built in the 1960s and is on a quiet street.

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Although it is adjacent to this primary school, it has been separated on to its own plot.

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It's been empty for about eight years.

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The current school caretaker already had a house so the council put it up for auction.

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For a guide price of £180 to £190,000, this is a three-bedroomed property,

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and that garden space looks very generous.

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So what have we got? Through the front door, reasonable-sized entrance, somewhere to at least

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put your coats and stuff, and through into a really nice sized kitchen.

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Yes, it is a mess, yes, the units need getting rid of.

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But, you know, you could really work with this space so I really like that.

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And the kind of theme of almost open-plan continues when you come into this room here.

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The lounge - great big space, absolutely lovely.

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Lots of light flooding in here and it gets even better.

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They've already put sort of...well, not quite patio doors in here, but leading out onto the garden.

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The own downside is this!

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What on earth were they thinking?!

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This is some horribly tacked-on lean-to horrible affair.

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Having a space which integrates the garden with the house is really nice,

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but clearly this has to come down and put something a little bit more in keeping in its place.

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But, all in all, a great start.

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Putting up a new conservatory here would really help connect the large living area to that spacious garden

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and give the downstairs an open, modern feel.

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So upstairs, no great shocks.

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Oh, but one thing I just want to talk about.

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This banister, look at that.

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Nasty big gaps. If you had small people in this house, that would be very, very dangerous.

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Definitely get that sorted out.

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But no surprises here, really.

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Two good-sized bedrooms, one slightly smaller one.

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The only thing I would think about doing here apart from the banister,

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there's a loo and a separate bathroom.

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You might want to take out this wall here.

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It's probably only a stud partition. Nothing too great there.

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Get that out, make one big family bathroom.

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Other than that, you know, it is what it is.

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It's a decent enough little house.

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So with a new bathroom, kitchen and conservatory and a general

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spruce-up, I reckon you could add real value to this property.

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Well, there is one major fly in the ointment and that is access to the

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property which was previously through the grounds of the school.

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Since this has been separated off and sold, you can't obviously have that.

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The good news is that planning permission has been granted

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to lower this bit of kerb here and take access to the property across the pavement.

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In fact, it is stipulated in the sales particulars that whoever buys it actually has to do that.

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This would be an extra cost to the buyer, but it is a big plus that planning has already been granted.

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Let's hear the impressions of a local estate agent.

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A good, sizable home. Good sized rooms, excellent plot of land.

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The main selling points for me are the schools locally.

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You've got great sized rooms

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and the off-street parking that is going to be created.

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At the same time, great garden. Good for the family.

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I would estimate that you would have to spend approximately

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£20,000 for the work that would need to be done in the home.

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Possibly double glazing, central heating, new flooring, kitchen etc.

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So bearing in mind that guide price of £180 to £190,000,

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what could you get for this property once it's been done up?

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I would suggest probably in the current market

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you should be able to get around the £275,000 mark.

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What about the rental potential?

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You would probably anticipate probably £950 to maybe £1,050 per calendar month.

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Possibly not the most characterful house, but you know what, it would

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make a lovely family home, and I think great value for money.

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The biggest issue, of course, is sorting out those access problems.

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Let's see who fancied taking them on when it went to the auction.

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And then we go to lot 23, which is the former caretaker's house.

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Give me, what, £170,000 for it? 170?

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£170,000, in the room.

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I'm on the way. 170 I have.

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175, 180. 180, madam?

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180, 180, and five and 90.

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190 I'm looking for. At 190,000.

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190. 190, and 5. 195, 200, you don't have to worry about bussing them to school, do you? Not from here.

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200, can I say?

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200,000 and 5, 205, you certainly would be in the catchment area, wouldn't you?

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210, 210. 212. 212.

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At 214 I've got, 216, 218.

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218, may I say?

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There's two of you there. 218, 220.

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At 222. 221, 222, 222.

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At £221,000, to the original bidder in the aisle, for the first time at £221,000.

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For the second time at £221,000.

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Third and final time.

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Are we all done at 221?

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It's yours, madam, for 221.

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For £221,000, the successful bidder was Sylvia, but the house isn't for her.

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# See me and Julio down by the school yard... #

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It's for her daughter, Lucy, who's a teacher.

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They had their eye on the property for a number of years

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and headed down to the auction when they heard it was up for sale.

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It must certainly feel familiar being so close to that school.

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Lucy, Sylvia, lovely to meet you both.

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-Hello, Martin.

-That looked like an interesting auction. A lot of stuff going on.

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Well, there was a lot going on there.

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It got quite hectic at one point.

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-So what was the budget?

-The budget was £200,000!

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So it was well over.

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So why are you buying it? Who are you buying it for?

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And tell me more.

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Basically, my husband and I have bought the house,

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but Lucy and her partner are going to buy it from us once they've sold their property near us.

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So you're acting as a bridging loan, sort of?

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I'm acting as a bridging loan. A big bridging loan, yes. But I think it'll be worth it, myself.

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-So you've already got a house with your partner?

-Yes. We have a shared ownership property.

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But, of course, we want to move into this area, which we couldn't do without my mum's help, really.

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Well, that's wonderful then.

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# It's a family affair

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# It's a family affair. #

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Lucy will move in with her partner David and two daughters - Bethany, aged 14, and Shannon, who's two.

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Lucy is moving back here because this is where she grew up.

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I've got Mum five minutes away and my cousin opposite, my nan in this street, my brother

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just behind and my sister just down the other end of the road here as well.

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-Right.

-A family affair.

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Let's move on to the work then. What are you going to do to it?

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What we'd like to do and what we can do may be two different things really.

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-Because you burned the budget, basically.

-Yes.

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We definitely need to get a new bathroom.

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We need to remove that because that's just...

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An eyesore.

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An eyesore and a hazard, especially with a two-year-old running around.

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We'd like, ideally, to replace it with another conservatory

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and of course, we'd like to re-do the kitchen as well.

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So that's three major things in my eyes, and then decorating, which shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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Having burned the budget, what have you got left to do the work?

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Well, we thought maybe £15,000 to £20,000.

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I think you were thinking maybe a bit more.

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So what about timescales for doing all the bits and pieces?

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We'd like to have it done by Christmas.

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-So four months or so.

-Yeah. It might take longer because of finances.

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I go back to work in just over a week's time so,

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you know, that's going to sort of draw on the time that I'm going to be able to spend here decorating.

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-Right.

-And with a little one as well, it's a bit awkward.

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But we will try. We'll do our best. We'll set ourselves a goal.

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-Congratulations. Good luck and we look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you very much.

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Thank you

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Well, this undoubtedly will make a lovely home for Lucy and her family.

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However, by overspending on the purchase price,

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the budgets are going to be tight and, even with the help from the extended family members,

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are they going to manage to restore this place for a reasonable amount of money?

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You can find out later in the show.

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I'm in East 17, north-east London, in Walthamstow, to give it its proper name.

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It's the place where four likely lads came from who stormed the pop

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charts with hits like House Of Love and Stay Another Day.

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Some of my favourites, actually!

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But the big question is, will today's property be a chart topper

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or will it not even make it into the top 50?

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Come with me and find out.

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# Everybody Everybody in the house of love... #

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Not only did that famous boy band call themselves East 17, they even named their debut album Walthamstow

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after their hometown, but whether the house up for auction is a house of love or not is another question.

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However, it is conveniently situated a short walk from the busy Lea Bridge Road,

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which stretches through the heart of north-east London and is the centre of a vibrant Asian community.

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So time to see if there are any bargains to be had in this part of London. Well, this is lot number 64.

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Now, it's a three-bedroom end of terrace. It's on a large plot.

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It's got a guide price of £180,000.

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It doesn't look like an obvious bargain from here, does it?

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This 1920s end terrace has obviously been lying empty for a while

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and is, to say the least, in a right old state.

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At the back is a pretty big garden which needs clearing.

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To the side is a generous plot, with what appears to be a wooden garage.

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It's all dilapidated and overgrown and there are signs of more serious issues.

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That's unbelievable. I need to get inside and investigate further.

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As cracks go, that's a cracker!

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There could be numerous reasons for why it's so bad.

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Subsidence, structural faults or because there are some

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large trees in that back garden - and those usually mean large roots.

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Do you know what? This house is already looking in a bit of a sorry old state.

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It's all overgrown, you have metal on the windows, cracked glass up there. Let's have a look inside.

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Eugh! Do you know what?

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I am not going in there.

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There's rat droppings on the floor, broken glass... I think it is a bit of a health hazard.

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In fact, I don't think anybody's been in there for a very long time.

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It's just too unsavoury to have a proper look around.

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But I can see from here that the house will need to be completely gutted.

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Well, let's talk about what we've got here.

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If you can see past this old wreck that it is at the moment, well, like

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I said, it's a three-bedroom, end of terrace house on a sizable plot.

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And what I do know is that planning permission has been submitted

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to demolish this house to build two new three-bedroomed properties.

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Notice I said "submitted" - not granted.

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That permission is crucial before any building work can start here,

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and it looks as though it could be a lot to take on.

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Whether it's a rebuild or renovation job,

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it will take a huge cash injection to get this place habitable again.

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But as the house is on an end terrace site, there are various options for development.

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A local estate agent gave us the lowdown.

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You've got a plot that you could knock the property down,

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rebuild something with the right kind of permission,

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convert it into flats or just make it one big house.

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Despite appearances, this place does have a lot of potential, but how much would each of the options cost?

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Remember, the guide price at auction was £180,000-plus.

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If you were wanting to build a two-bed and three-bed flat by knocking it down,

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you're probably looking about the £180,000 mark you'd need.

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To extend this property to make it into a four-bedroomed family home,

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I think you would need probably around £60,000.

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So whoever bought this property better have plenty more cash to play with, on top of the purchase price,

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but with four-bed houses around here selling for around £300,000, there is definitely money to be made.

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What about the rental market?

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If this was extended to a four-bedroom family home,

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you would be looking at £1,400 per calendar month.

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New-build two and three-bedroom flats, a two-bedroom would probably

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achieve about £750 a month and a three-bed flat, probably as high as £900.

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With this house, you have a few options.

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You could either knock it down and rebuild,

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or you could add to what's already here by putting on a big extension.

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But the obvious aim is to make the maximum money from the minimum outlay.

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Is this a cracking opportunity for somebody?

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Let's go to auction and find out.

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Three-bed house, got the plot next door, start at 200, not going to go below. Do I have 200 anywhere?

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£200,000 on my right. Anyone else?

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210, with you. 215, 215. 220.

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220, at the back.

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Just a couple of bids and that's it.

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215, on my right. 220, anywhere?

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220.

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225. 230.

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235.

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235. 240. 245. 245? 250?

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250, with the lady. 251, sir.

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252.

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252, madam?

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252? If not, 251 down here.

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Anyone else at £251,000?

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First time. Second time.

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Third and last time. Are you all done?

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Sold, 251. Well bid, sir.

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That top bid of £251,000 came from Moses,

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originally from Nigeria, who's been living in the UK since 1982.

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Moses has run his own property consultancy business

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for over ten years, and was bidding on behalf of one his clients.

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Moses will be managing this development too.

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So I met him back at the house to hear about the plans.

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Moses, congratulations. Thank you very much for coming along today.

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-Thank you very much.

-This is quite an interesting story for me.

-OK.

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Because the guide price was £180,000.

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-The bidding started at £200,000 in the auction room.

-Yeah.

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Surely that would have put you off and changed the story somewhat?

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That would have put me off, but to have somebody behind me who

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says, "Moses, you are to make sure you get something today."

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-Who said that?

-My client.

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-Was your client with you on auction day?

-He wasn't.

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He was all the way in Nigeria.

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I am quite intrigued as to why you went over the stamp duty threshold of £250,000.

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You've now had to pay an extra 3% on top of that because you broke the barrier by £1,000.

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-Were you aware of that on the day?

-I was aware of it.

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Because of the pressure...

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Because if

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I didn't go another £1,000 over, then I would lose out completely.

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And that last bid of just £1,000 more meant that Moses

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suddenly crossed from the 1% to the 3% stamp duty band.

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So instead of paying £2,500 at the 1% level,

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Moses' client had to fork out around £7,500 in stamp duty.

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That extra 5K will eat into any profit.

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What are you going to do to turn this house around?

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What I intend doing

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is to extend the house

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on the side where the garage is right now.

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Extend that side,

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pull down the cracked partition there.

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Extend it at the back as well, and then build a three-bedroom flat

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downstairs and a three-bedroom large flat upstairs as well.

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Converting the current property into two flats and extending it

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would certainly cost less than demolishing and rebuilding.

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What is his client's budget to create these two separate flats?

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I am anticipating between £75-80,000.

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Moses, how long is it going to take you to complete this project?

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We are hoping to finish in three to four months' time.

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Really?!

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Hmm. Seems rather optimistic to me.

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There is a huge amount of tidying up to do before we can even start,

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and don't forget that Moses will need planning permission for the flat conversion and the extension.

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So, Moses, where are you at the moment in the planning stage?

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We are hoping that within the next six to eight weeks we'll hear the result.

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So you've got to sit tight for six to eight weeks

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until you hear whether they're going to go with your plans?

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What my architect said was that work can start straightaway.

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-That's what he said to me.

-So you're confident that you can start work straightaway?

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That's what my architect said, and I hold his word for it.

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Moses is taking a calculated risk here and putting a lot of faith in his architect's word.

0:21:240:21:30

If planning permission is rejected after work has started,

0:21:300:21:33

it could bring the whole development to a halt, and any renovations might have to be undone.

0:21:330:21:38

# Cos I got to have faith

0:21:380:21:41

# I got to have faith, faith, faith! #

0:21:410:21:44

Moses is confident that the trees in the garden

0:21:440:21:46

are the root cause of that crack and that he will be able to sort it out.

0:21:460:21:53

Moses, thank you so much for coming along today. Good luck.

0:21:530:21:56

Thank you very much, thank you.

0:21:560:21:58

Moses obviously has a lot of faith, and he is going to need it.

0:21:580:22:04

He paid over the stamp duty, he hasn't got any planning

0:22:040:22:06

permission, his budget is tight, his timescale even tighter, and...

0:22:060:22:11

there's a whacking great big crack in the side!

0:22:110:22:13

I'm wondering, in four months, what will be standing here?

0:22:130:22:18

You can find out later on in the programme.

0:22:180:22:21

Coming up, location is king in Cornwall.

0:22:220:22:27

It really is an awe-inspiring spot.

0:22:270:22:32

In East London, we finally get a look

0:22:340:22:36

inside this derelict house and discover that Moses has totally changed his plans.

0:22:360:22:42

But first, how did things go at the former school caretaker's house?

0:22:440:22:48

Oh my word, it was a complete tip. It was terrible.

0:22:480:22:52

We're back in Crayford near Dartford, where teacher Sylvia

0:22:590:23:03

had bought this three-bed former school caretaker's house.

0:23:030:23:07

She ended up bidding £21,000 over her limit of £200,000, and the house isn't even for her.

0:23:100:23:17

It's for her daughter, maths teacher Lucy.

0:23:170:23:20

My husband and I have bought the house, but then Lucy and her partner are going to

0:23:200:23:24

buy it from us once they have sold their property near us.

0:23:240:23:27

So you're acting as a bridging loan, sort of?

0:23:270:23:30

I'm acting as a bridging loan. A big bridging loan.

0:23:300:23:32

Despite going well above their budget at auction,

0:23:360:23:38

the family thought they also needed another £15-20,000 to make the house ready to move into.

0:23:380:23:45

But as Lucy still had to sell her current home, there was time to play with.

0:23:450:23:51

Eight months later, it looks like that time was well spent.

0:23:540:23:59

Outside, there's a new drive and they've really

0:24:010:24:04

cleaned up the front of the house and done some maintenance work on the roof.

0:24:040:24:09

Inside, a new kitchen has been installed with modern lightening and fittings.

0:24:110:24:17

The old, rather dangerous conservatory has been removed and new French doors leading

0:24:230:24:28

straight out on to the garden are now in place.

0:24:280:24:31

The whole house feels so much brighter and fresher.

0:24:310:24:34

It was a complete tip. It was terrible.

0:24:380:24:40

The garden was completely overgrown with brambles, the house was dirty.

0:24:400:24:45

There was newspaper stapled to the floors, so we actually had to take the staples out of the floor as well.

0:24:450:24:53

Ouch! Brambles AND staples.

0:24:530:24:56

Well, they do say there is no gain without pain.

0:24:560:24:59

Upstairs, and two of the bedrooms have been specially decorated for Lucy's daughters.

0:25:040:25:08

All the rooms have brand-new panel doors and double glazing.

0:25:080:25:14

# Pretty in pink

0:25:140:25:18

# Isn't she pretty in pink...? #

0:25:180:25:25

The old bathroom and separate toilet have been knocked into one large room.

0:25:250:25:30

It's still not finished, but first impressions are good, with a new bathroom suite and tasteful tiling.

0:25:300:25:37

As well as the cosmetic decor, the family have replaced the

0:25:410:25:45

central heating, electrics, windows and exterior doors.

0:25:450:25:50

And they've tackled an even bigger task.

0:25:500:25:53

The driveway was the main thing that that had to be done, to actually get access to the property cos it was

0:25:560:26:01

just overgrown and it was a very small gap to get through. So that was the main thing.

0:26:010:26:07

They've done a great job of tidying it up.

0:26:090:26:13

Off-street parking like this is a real plus point for any property.

0:26:130:26:18

They've really tackled the place head on,

0:26:180:26:21

and moving back to Lucy's family neighbourhood has had advantages.

0:26:210:26:26

Family members have all chipped in and all helped.

0:26:270:26:30

The bathroom, that was ripped out.

0:26:300:26:33

The wall was knocked down, my brother knocked the wall down for us

0:26:330:26:36

and my brother-in-law created the new partition wall. So that was done.

0:26:360:26:40

My dad's been working very hard to try and get this bathroom finished,

0:26:400:26:44

but he works a tough time schedule so it's a bit difficult.

0:26:440:26:50

Meanwhile, her partner David was outside taking care of the garden.

0:26:500:26:55

The garden was in a complete mess.

0:26:560:26:58

It was overgrown everywhere.

0:26:580:27:00

There was tree stumps. There was a patio area here that we ripped up.

0:27:000:27:05

There was all concrete down there, concrete over here, and it was just, it was in a complete mess, really.

0:27:050:27:12

Ripped it all up and had a new lawn laid and dug up, and it looks lovely.

0:27:120:27:19

I'm very proud of everyone that's actually had a part of this,

0:27:190:27:24

the family members that have all helped.

0:27:240:27:27

I've had a wonderful time actually learning new skills myself.

0:27:270:27:31

I'd never wallpapered before now, and I wallpapered four rooms.

0:27:310:27:35

So with all hands on deck, did they manage to keep to their schedule?

0:27:350:27:41

We thought we were going to be in in about four months, we thought we'd

0:27:420:27:45

have it all finished, but that was way out.

0:27:450:27:49

We're now on about eight months, I think, and it's nearly there.

0:27:490:27:53

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.

0:27:530:27:58

And it just does take time.

0:27:580:28:00

As well as helping Lucy with the original house purchase,

0:28:030:28:06

Mum was also pitching in on the renovation costs,

0:28:060:28:10

which they reckoned would be about £15-20,000.

0:28:100:28:14

So, how did they fair with that all-important budget?

0:28:140:28:17

I've probably helped them out with about £25,000, I expect, yeah.

0:28:210:28:26

Very close to that. It's a lot of money.

0:28:260:28:29

That's a total spend so far of £246,000, plus the usual fees and expenses.

0:28:320:28:38

What might the property be worth now?

0:28:380:28:42

We asked two local estate agents to put us in the picture.

0:28:470:28:50

First impressions, very impressed.

0:28:510:28:54

Very approachable home. Very clean to look at.

0:28:540:28:56

The kitchen, great highlights with the down-lighting, the LED lights.

0:28:560:29:01

It's in a good residential area. Popular location.

0:29:010:29:05

Convenient for the school.

0:29:050:29:08

And potential to extend.

0:29:080:29:10

How much could the house generate as a rental?

0:29:120:29:16

If we were to rent the property under the current market climate then I'd say we'd be

0:29:160:29:19

looking in the region of around about £1,000 per calendar month.

0:29:190:29:23

I could rent this property out at around £1,100 per calendar month.

0:29:230:29:26

If they were to sell the property at the current market, keeping in

0:29:260:29:30

mind their outlay of about £246,000 so far, how much would they expect?

0:29:300:29:38

If you market the property under the current market climate at the moment,

0:29:380:29:42

I would say the property should go on the market in the region of £280,000.

0:29:420:29:45

I would suggest marketing in a price range of £280-290,000.

0:29:450:29:51

A potential pre-tax profit of £44,000.

0:29:510:29:56

Not bad. You were saying that yesterday, weren't you?

0:29:560:29:59

We're quite pleased with that, the amount of effort that's gone into the place.

0:29:590:30:04

That's right.

0:30:040:30:06

-That's what we expected.

-Yeah.

0:30:060:30:10

I don't think they'll sell this house for a long while. It really has brought them together.

0:30:130:30:19

By all their hard work, they've created a fabulous family home, so congratulations to them all.

0:30:190:30:26

She went over-budget quite considerably,

0:30:290:30:32

but in her determination, we've ended up with a fantastic home and I can't thank her enough.

0:30:320:30:37

I'm in Cornwall, in Perranporth.

0:30:440:30:48

And how about that for a beach?

0:30:480:30:50

The waves of the Atlantic crashing on to the shores create one of the best surfing beaches in the UK.

0:30:500:30:58

You've got dramatic cliffs in the distance, you've got sand dunes

0:30:580:31:01

that are used for orienteering, it really is an awe-inspiring spot.

0:31:010:31:06

As it's so beautiful, unsurprisingly in summer it's also very busy.

0:31:220:31:27

People flock here for holidays and day trips to enjoy the beach

0:31:270:31:30

with its sand castle building opportunities,

0:31:300:31:33

the surfing and the attractions of the town centre.

0:31:330:31:37

I'm here to see a two-bedroom semi-detached property,

0:31:410:31:44

which had a guide price of £105,000 which, for something so close to that beautiful beach, sounds cheap.

0:31:440:31:52

Let's take a look inside.

0:31:520:31:53

So, nice you've got that little porch.

0:31:580:32:00

It keeps the noise of the road and the wind and whatever out.

0:32:000:32:03

The whole house in fact has been double glazed, which is really great and saves you quite a lot of money.

0:32:030:32:09

So through into the sort of dining room/living room area, it's been knocked through.

0:32:090:32:13

Nice feature fireplace. There's a good size space. I like that.

0:32:130:32:16

And then pretty standard layout through into the kitchen.

0:32:160:32:20

It's tired. It's dated. Perfectly serviceable though.

0:32:200:32:25

Not a bad-sized space. And something I really like, very practical,

0:32:250:32:28

there's a little extra loo around the corner there.

0:32:280:32:30

So, a good start.

0:32:300:32:32

It does look a bit shabby, but a few thousand quid would give this place a new lease of life.

0:32:320:32:39

I reckon that a new kitchen and downstairs loo plus stripping that lounge floor would all work wonders.

0:32:390:32:45

So, upstairs, not going to be expecting too much

0:32:490:32:52

of a dramatically weird layout, however that's quite nice to see.

0:32:520:32:55

You've got bathroom there with a bath in it and then this room here which is a shower room.

0:32:550:32:59

It hasn't been completed, but you know what, given this is surfing country, that would be ideal.

0:32:590:33:06

Come in with your wetsuit and get the sand off.

0:33:060:33:08

Landing here. Then two bedrooms. First one there.

0:33:080:33:10

A good-sized double. And this one here, a really nice-sized room. I love the stripped floorboards.

0:33:100:33:15

All in all, the upstairs layout works really well.

0:33:150:33:18

To recap, that's two good-sized bedrooms, a large lounge and diner,

0:33:180:33:24

kitchen, WC and bathroom.

0:33:240:33:28

All for a guide price of £105,000.

0:33:280:33:31

With a bit of TLC,

0:33:310:33:34

this could be a great family home or holiday let,

0:33:340:33:39

as it's just a short hop from the fabulous beach.

0:33:390:33:42

Well, anywhere that's this close to the beach is going to have a problem with parking,

0:33:420:33:50

especially in the tourist periods of the year.

0:33:500:33:52

So it's great news that this property comes with a parking space and a garage because it's double

0:33:520:33:59

yellow lines outside the front, and the last thing you want is to have to struggle to find

0:33:590:34:04

somewhere to park your car every time you come home.

0:34:040:34:07

This property just keeps getting better.

0:34:070:34:10

The good-sized garden is south facing and, with a bit of work,

0:34:100:34:14

could be the perfect spot for a glass of wine after a hard day at the beach.

0:34:140:34:19

So it's all going swimmingly well, but, as you might have imagined, there is a problem.

0:34:190:34:24

Because the house, like many in Cornwall, is made from mundic block.

0:34:240:34:29

Mundic block was made after World War II using waste materials from local mines.

0:34:290:34:35

Although it can't really be seen by looking at the exterior of the house,

0:34:350:34:40

I found some clues elsewhere.

0:34:400:34:43

The garden wall here is made of this, what looks like a normal kind of breeze block.

0:34:430:34:47

But if I get a normal breeze block and show you the difference...

0:34:470:34:51

Can you see the difference in the texture?

0:34:530:34:55

Basically, mundic blocks, over time, crumble.

0:34:550:34:58

There's various levels of crumbling and various levels of problems with houses,

0:34:580:35:02

but you need to have it checked out, and until you've got a report saying

0:35:020:35:06

that the mundic block is OK, you'll not be able to get finance on the property.

0:35:060:35:09

Well, there had to be a hitch, but this is still a great house

0:35:090:35:14

in an excellent location and shouldn't be written off just yet.

0:35:140:35:18

Let's hear more from the auctioneer who sold it.

0:35:200:35:23

The potential for the property is either as a full-time home

0:35:250:35:29

or someone who's going to buy it as a holiday letting venture

0:35:290:35:32

and perhaps rent it out some weeks and keep other weeks for themselves.

0:35:320:35:37

So how many thousands are we talking about here after renovation?

0:35:370:35:42

And will that mundic affect its value?

0:35:420:35:46

Once it's renovated and looking lovely, it will still have the mundic issue, and whilst on the

0:35:460:35:51

face of it the house ought to make a couple of hundred thousand pounds,

0:35:510:35:55

it's probably going to be nearer 150, 160.

0:35:550:35:57

What about its rental potential, either for residential or holiday lets?

0:35:570:36:02

If the property was rented out in a usual, short-hold tenancy market,

0:36:020:36:08

you're looking at £525 per calendar month, perhaps £550 per calendar month.

0:36:080:36:14

But you're in a holiday spot and, to a holiday market, you're

0:36:140:36:18

probably looking at between £300 and £400 per week at the height of season.

0:36:180:36:23

Well, a nice enough house and you certainly can't knock the location.

0:36:240:36:28

It would make a lovely family home or a holiday home for somebody, but the big issue, of course,

0:36:280:36:32

is that mundic block construction which would restrict raising finance on this place.

0:36:320:36:38

Still, at £105,000 as the guide price, I'm sure somebody fell for its Cornish charms.

0:36:380:36:43

Let's see who it was when it went to the auction.

0:36:430:36:46

We're in Perranporth now, semi-detached, two storey house.

0:36:490:36:54

So who will say to us, nice and simply, for lot 18, £120,000 in?

0:36:540:37:00

110.

0:37:000:37:02

100. We're away.

0:37:020:37:04

Thank you. 102, 104, 106, 108.

0:37:040:37:11

At 108.

0:37:110:37:12

At 108,000.

0:37:120:37:15

Last time, then. At 108... 110, you saw it to your right.

0:37:150:37:21

110.

0:37:210:37:22

At 110. We'll take 1,000 if it'll help, but 110 we have.

0:37:220:37:27

At 110 for the first time. At 110 for the second time.

0:37:280:37:33

At 110. Third and the last time.

0:37:330:37:35

Here we go, then, at 110.

0:37:350:37:38

Gentleman stood at the pillar there on the left-hand side.

0:37:380:37:41

With just one bid, Sharon and Pete snapped the place up for 110 grand.

0:37:460:37:52

Based in Staffordshire, Sharon is a sports development manager and Pete,

0:37:520:37:56

originally from Ireland, is a roofer and works in the building trade.

0:37:560:38:00

I met up with them at the house to find out why they had made the journey south to invest in Cornwall.

0:38:030:38:10

-Sharon, Pete, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations.

-Thank you.

0:38:100:38:14

-You got yourself a lovely place in Cornwall:

-We have.

0:38:140:38:16

-Why did you want to buy it?

-Well, we've always wanted to

0:38:160:38:20

move down to Cornwall eventually, and we holiday here.

0:38:200:38:22

I've always holidayed here as a child and brought Pete down here and he fell in love with it.

0:38:220:38:26

-So why this particular house then?

-We were looking around at properties

0:38:260:38:30

and they're quite expensive down here,

0:38:300:38:33

and this property was very reasonably priced, wasn't it?

0:38:330:38:37

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.

0:38:370:38:42

With Pete's contacts in the building trade, they'll save a packet by doing the renovation themselves.

0:38:430:38:48

This house offers tremendous scope for improvement and adding value.

0:38:480:38:53

So, what are their plans?

0:38:530:38:55

Well, we're thinking of a new kitchen.

0:38:550:38:58

Knock the wall out between the old bathroom - well, toilet - and put a proper floor and kitchen in.

0:38:580:39:04

New heating system,

0:39:040:39:07

decorating, back garden.

0:39:070:39:09

A whole list of things, really.

0:39:090:39:11

That's quite a list.

0:39:110:39:13

But what about the more serious issue of the mundic block?

0:39:130:39:17

Well, we know it's manageable, don't we?

0:39:170:39:21

Basically, mundic, if the block gets too damp, it disintegrates.

0:39:210:39:25

-And, no matter what the problem is, I reckon I can sort it out - I have the experience behind me.

-Right.

0:39:250:39:33

Pete sounds confident that he can keep the mundic problem at bay.

0:39:330:39:38

We'll see how long it takes to get it into shape,

0:39:400:39:42

and then by the time we have it in shape, it'll be next season.

0:39:420:39:45

Well...Sharon's birthday coming up shortly.

0:39:450:39:48

Tell me more about that!

0:39:480:39:51

We always come down here for my birthday, which is in October.

0:39:510:39:54

And I always book somewhere and we have a long weekend.

0:39:540:39:58

And I said, "We'll have to book somewhere,"

0:39:580:40:00

and Pete said, "No, no, we've got the house."

0:40:000:40:02

I said, "Will it be finished by October?" And he said, "Oh, no problem."

0:40:020:40:05

How many weeks away is that precisely?

0:40:050:40:09

About nine, ten weeks.

0:40:090:40:11

-Three of them weeks I'm away!

-Yes, three of those he's away!

0:40:110:40:15

# Pressure, pushing down on me... #

0:40:150:40:19

Well, Pete's promise has certainly put pressure on him to get

0:40:230:40:26

everything done in time for Sharon's birthday in just nine weeks' time.

0:40:260:40:30

You can't keep a lady waiting, Pete!

0:40:300:40:32

-Listen, good luck. Congratulations. Well done.

-Thanks.

0:40:340:40:37

-I look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you.

0:40:370:40:43

Well, Sharon and Pete are making a bit of a dream come true,

0:40:430:40:46

buying this place, especially for Sharon returning to her childhood Cornwall.

0:40:460:40:50

If there are problems with the mundic block I'm sure Pete can sort them out.

0:40:500:40:54

The big issue is, will he get the renovations done in time for her birthday?

0:40:540:40:59

You can find out later in the show.

0:40:590:41:02

Transforming a property from a worn out shell can be very rewarding and profitable.

0:41:050:41:12

But did everything go well for our buyers today?

0:41:120:41:15

Let's take a look and find out.

0:41:150:41:17

We're back at this three bedroom end terrace in Walthamstow, East London.

0:41:200:41:24

Property agent Moses bought it at auction for £251,000 on behalf of an overseas client.

0:41:240:41:31

The house had been empty for some time and it was in such a state I didn't fancy venturing inside.

0:41:360:41:42

But Moses already had plans for the site.

0:41:420:41:45

What I intend doing, is to extend the house

0:41:460:41:49

on the side where the garage is right now.

0:41:490:41:52

Extend it at the back as well. And then build a three-bedroomed flat downstairs

0:41:520:41:57

and a three-bedroom large flat upstairs as well.

0:41:570:42:00

Seven months later, we've returned to see how things went.

0:42:060:42:10

It looks like work is still in progress.

0:42:100:42:13

Though not on two flats, but two separate houses.

0:42:130:42:17

Moses decided to renovate the existing 1930s house, extending it slightly into the back garden.

0:42:200:42:26

And on the adjacent plot where the garage was, he's building a new

0:42:280:42:32

end-of-terrace, two-bedroomed property.

0:42:320:42:35

So, Moses must have changed his mind at some point.

0:42:350:42:40

We were originally applying for two separate three-bedroom flats, but when we got to the council,

0:42:400:42:47

to the local authority, they told us that the process of approving flats

0:42:470:42:53

is so long that we could be there for months.

0:42:530:42:58

But it would be better for us to keep the existing freehold and then

0:42:580:43:03

build another freehold on this side, and that would be quicker for us.

0:43:030:43:07

We didn't get to see inside the house before work started,

0:43:080:43:11

but it's worth the wait.

0:43:110:43:15

All walls and ceilings have been replastered

0:43:160:43:20

and new plumbing, heating and double glazing installed.

0:43:200:43:24

But it's not all been simple.

0:43:260:43:29

Moses has moved walls around, too.

0:43:290:43:31

The house has got two receptions before,

0:43:340:43:38

so we thought if we open it up, it would make the whole place bigger.

0:43:380:43:42

So we've opened up the reception - I mean, the first and second receptions, now we have just

0:43:420:43:48

an open-plan.

0:43:480:43:51

I think Moses has made a good decision.

0:43:530:43:56

This large reception area feels bright and modern.

0:43:560:44:01

The kitchen, which is yet to be installed, will be in the rear extension.

0:44:010:44:06

The three bedrooms and brand-new neutral bathroom are upstairs

0:44:060:44:10

and are well proportioned with plenty of natural light.

0:44:100:44:14

To the side, in place of the old garage and jungle-like garden,

0:44:160:44:20

Moses ha started to build what will be the second property.

0:44:200:44:24

A two-bed self-contained house.

0:44:240:44:26

This will be the brand-new end terrace,

0:44:260:44:30

so what are Moses' plans for the interior?

0:44:300:44:34

Two bedroom upstairs,

0:44:340:44:36

bathroom, toilet upstairs, kitchen downstairs.

0:44:360:44:40

Spare toilet downstairs as well.

0:44:400:44:42

And there will be a utility area downstairs as well.

0:44:420:44:46

Moses bid £251,000 for the property at auction on behalf of his client.

0:44:490:44:54

A further £85,000 has been invested in the renovation and new-build so far.

0:44:580:45:03

But Moses reckons it'll be closer to £100,000 by the time it's finished.

0:45:050:45:10

That's a total investment of around £351,000, plus usual fees and expenses.

0:45:100:45:17

But has any value been added here?

0:45:190:45:22

We asked two local estate agents to give us their opinions.

0:45:250:45:28

Well, it's moved along.

0:45:310:45:32

It's obviously a fair way from being finished.

0:45:320:45:35

The extension at the back is a great idea.

0:45:350:45:38

1930s, are always a bit tight.

0:45:380:45:40

That extra extension means there's a little bit more living accommodation.

0:45:400:45:44

I think it was an excellent investment, especially the new-build

0:45:440:45:47

where you could add a dormer and have a three-bedroomed property.

0:45:470:45:50

How much would they expect each house to earn on the rental market?

0:45:520:45:57

Three bedroom, if we had to put these up for rent would achieve probably about £1,200 per calendar month.

0:45:590:46:04

The two bedroom I would expect to achieve between £900 and £950.

0:46:040:46:08

The two bed property, per calendar month, would achieve around about the 1,000 figure.

0:46:080:46:12

While the three bedroom would achieve anything from 1,200 to 1,300.

0:46:120:46:15

That's a combined rental income of between 2,000 and 2,300 a month.

0:46:170:46:24

A yield of around 7%.

0:46:240:46:25

Sounds pretty good to me.

0:46:250:46:27

That's good. We're not renting, but that's a good price.

0:46:290:46:33

I mean, the house is not on the mortgage anyway.

0:46:330:46:39

It was a cash buy property, so if £2,000 plus should be coming in every month, that's going to be good money.

0:46:390:46:46

It certainly is. That could be an annual income of between £21,000 and £23,000.

0:46:490:46:56

But Moses wants to sell the properties for his client, so how much could be made here?

0:46:560:47:01

Remember, the total investment will be around 351,000, plus costs.

0:47:020:47:08

I mean, this is a standard 1930s, three bed, what is now a mid-terrace property.

0:47:110:47:15

Highly saleable, as long as it's finished to a descent standard.

0:47:150:47:18

I would say just under the 300,000, probably £295. Two bed I'd market around 265, 275.

0:47:180:47:25

The two bedroom property in this location would achieve something in the region of £245,000.

0:47:250:47:30

The three bed should be considerably more at £275,000 to £285,000.

0:47:300:47:38

That's a total resale value for both properties of between 520,000 and 575,000.

0:47:380:47:44

That means a potential pre-tax profit of up to a whopping £224,000.

0:47:440:47:52

The two prices are good for me.

0:47:520:47:55

Even if we have to take the lowest of them, which is good news.

0:47:550:48:00

Good news indeed.

0:48:030:48:05

But he'll have to ensure he finishes off both houses to a high standard to maximise the sale price.

0:48:050:48:10

Although the three-bed is almost complete, the new two-bed still has a way to go.

0:48:100:48:15

We wish you good luck with that, Moses.

0:48:180:48:20

Earlier we were in beautiful Perranporth, Cornwall, where roofer Pete and his partner Sharon

0:48:300:48:35

had bought this two-bed semi for 110,000.

0:48:350:48:40

There was a long list of jobs to be done.

0:48:450:48:47

Pete had given himself a nine-week deadline to be finished in time for Sharon's birthday.

0:48:470:48:53

It's a bit of a challenge, what has to be done to it, but we'll whip it into shape, I think.

0:48:550:49:00

Right.

0:49:000:49:03

Pete seemed pretty relaxed, and I reckoned his experience

0:49:030:49:06

in the building trade made him just the chap for the task ahead.

0:49:060:49:11

Now, not nine weeks, but eight-and-a-half months later, it looks like Pete's been busy,

0:49:110:49:17

despite two months delay due to hurting his back.

0:49:170:49:21

The lounge has a new floor and fireplace.

0:49:210:49:24

And, when you step into that kitchen, you can see where Pete spent most of his energy.

0:49:270:49:32

Well, as you can see, this is the kitchen area.

0:49:330:49:36

We done a big knock through. There were two small windows here,

0:49:380:49:42

and we took advantage of the view.

0:49:420:49:44

We put a breakfast bar in.

0:49:440:49:46

We did a bit of research,

0:49:460:49:49

we've got a cooker and a fridge-freezer on an internet site,

0:49:490:49:54

and it works pretty well, I think so.

0:49:540:49:56

Gone are the old nooks and crannies.

0:50:010:50:03

It's all been opened up and replaced with a fabulous spot to have breakfast.

0:50:030:50:08

Just look at that view!

0:50:080:50:10

Upstairs, Pete is still in the process of sprucing up the bedrooms.

0:50:170:50:21

He's redecorated in bold colours and replaced the doors.

0:50:210:50:26

Where that half-finished shower room was, he's put in a brand-new toilet next to the very smart new bathroom.

0:50:260:50:33

The fresh layout really takes advantage of the natural light this room enjoys.

0:50:340:50:40

This is the bathroom. A present from Sharon's mum and dad,

0:50:400:50:47

which was very much appreciated.

0:50:470:50:49

I enjoyed doing it, and I think it's turned out very well.

0:50:490:50:54

But before all this impressive work could be done, Pete had to deal with some unforeseen problems.

0:50:550:51:01

Every ceiling in the house was asbestos. Asbestos sheets,

0:51:030:51:08

so that was a bit of a shock.

0:51:080:51:10

So we obviously had to take everything out of there

0:51:100:51:12

and we replaced the plasterboards and got it replastered.

0:51:120:51:16

I done most of the work myself.

0:51:160:51:18

I took the asbestos out and boarded the ceilings.

0:51:180:51:22

I just had to get a plasterer in to replaster it, so it wasn't too bad.

0:51:220:51:25

Outside, in the back garden, Pete has put in new decking

0:51:280:51:32

and created a patio area, which makes the best of that steep garden slope.

0:51:320:51:37

At the bottom, he's re-roofed the old garage.

0:51:430:51:46

So, a huge amount of work. Well done, Pete.

0:51:500:51:52

But did he have any help?

0:51:520:51:55

At first, I came down with a sledgehammer,

0:51:550:51:58

and Sharon came down with a sweeping brush!

0:51:580:52:00

Sharon - yeah, she's been a great help.

0:52:020:52:07

She's done a lot of painting,

0:52:070:52:09

cleaning up the mess I'm making,

0:52:100:52:13

and done a lot of work in the garden.

0:52:130:52:18

So, despite all those helping hands, Pete didn't stay on schedule.

0:52:180:52:23

He had promised Sharon they'd be in for a romantic weekend

0:52:230:52:26

to celebrate her birthday just nine weeks after the auction.

0:52:260:52:30

# Happy birthday

0:52:300:52:32

# Happy birthday... #

0:52:320:52:34

That didn't happen. It's taken eight months so far

0:52:380:52:42

and, yeah, five or six weeks should do it.

0:52:420:52:45

# Happy, happy birth... #

0:52:450:52:48

Well, at least it'll be ready in time for the summer,

0:52:510:52:54

but remember, this house is built from mundic block,

0:52:540:52:58

which has a tendency to decay and cause structural weakness.

0:52:580:53:02

So how did Pete approach this problem?

0:53:020:53:05

When I started knocking walls I found maybe half a dozen soft blocks.

0:53:080:53:12

Replaced what I found, and if there is another problem,

0:53:120:53:17

I'll tackle that when I come to it.

0:53:170:53:19

But I'm not overly worried about it.

0:53:190:53:22

Treating the mundic and asbestos as well as spending extra on the kitchen

0:53:300:53:34

stretched Pete and Sharon's original budget of 15,000 to 20,000 to about £25,000.

0:53:340:53:40

So, added to the 110 they paid for the property, they've spent a total of £135,000.

0:53:400:53:47

I reckon they've really rejuvenated this semi,

0:53:520:53:56

but what do two local property experts think?

0:53:560:53:59

The fella's three-quarters of the way through

0:54:000:54:02

turning it into a very nice home.

0:54:020:54:04

He's relayed the floors.

0:54:040:54:05

The property has been re-skimmed, the kitchen and bathroom

0:54:050:54:08

have been refitted both to a very high standard.

0:54:080:54:10

How much could the couple expect if they rented it out?

0:54:120:54:16

If this property were rented, it would certainly make 650 to 675 per calendar month.

0:54:180:54:22

When the house is fully finished, the rental value

0:54:220:54:26

on a per-calendar-month basis would be close on £600.

0:54:260:54:31

I was thinking around £500, but 600, 675, very good.

0:54:310:54:37

But I won't be renting. I don't think so.

0:54:380:54:40

I would break my heart to rent it.

0:54:400:54:42

And with this stunning location so close to the beach and golf course,

0:54:420:54:48

this property has the potential to be a lucrative holiday let.

0:54:480:54:51

If you were letting this over the summer period then you could certainly be looking at £450 a week.

0:54:510:54:57

During the peak weeks

0:54:570:55:00

you could probably expect to get £600, maybe even £700 per week.

0:55:000:55:07

That doesn't surprise me, but interesting. Very interesting.

0:55:070:55:13

How much could expect if they sold it, bearing in mind

0:55:160:55:19

their total spend of £135,000 plus the usual fees and expenses?

0:55:190:55:23

Had the property been mundic-free,

0:55:260:55:29

it would be on the market at a figure - quite reasonably - just over £200,000.

0:55:290:55:36

Because it does have a mundic B classification, which affects the mortgageability,

0:55:360:55:42

its value is probably nearer £150,000 once all the odd jobs have been finished.

0:55:420:55:49

The property now has a value in the region of £145,000,

0:55:490:55:53

maybe edging up to £150,000 as the market continues to improve.

0:55:530:55:57

I thought it would be around, yeah, 140.

0:55:570:56:00

But I'm not too pushed about it because I didn't do it for resale value.

0:56:000:56:07

I done it as a home.

0:56:070:56:08

So...it's not that it doesn't interest me. It does interest me, but...

0:56:080:56:13

I won't be selling it anyhow.

0:56:130:56:15

Quite right, too.

0:56:180:56:20

I bet Pete and Sharon will have many fantastic summers down here in gorgeous Cornwall.

0:56:240:56:31

And once it's finished, in six weeks' time, it will be the hub of their fabulous new life.

0:56:310:56:37

Well, whether you're a seasoned professional or a property novice,

0:56:450:56:48

there are always lessons to be learned about buying property.

0:56:480:56:52

So, join us next time for some more auction action.

0:56:520:56:55

-See you then.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:550:56:57

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:56:590:57:03

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:030:57:06

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.


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