Episode 5 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 5

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Transcript


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These are difficult times in property, so it's not surprising

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people are sitting tight to ride out the storm.

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That's right, the days of an easy profit appear to be on hold.

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-Today's purchaser needs their sums worked out and spreadsheets at the ready.

-But you know what?

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If you do your research, there are still bargains to be had when you buy your home under the hammer.

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On Homes Under The Hammer, it's not just the properties that make the show.

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No, it's the people behind the bids that are just as interesting.

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Without the developers, we couldn't uncover the true potential

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or even the horrors that lurk inside some of the houses.

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Let's find out what's on today's show.

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Just what period IS this house?

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Georgian houses are all about elegance and symmetry.

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This house is neither.

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In this Kent flat, I check out the mod cons. Look at this -

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ironing board! Of course!

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Somewhere to iron your shirts.

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And, two years after it was sold at auction,

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we return to this plot of land in Cheshire to see if it went to plan.

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

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-when they went under the hammer.

-Sold, 271. Well bought.

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This is the St Leonards area of Exeter,

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often described as a village within a city.

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It is absolutely beautiful. You've got some glorious houses,

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perfect examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture.

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And it is without doubt one of the most desirable postcodes

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in the city.

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If this property is as desirable as the postcode, we're in for real treat.

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So, what am I here to see? Well, it's a four-storey, three-bedroomed gentleman's residence.

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That's it - looks pretty reasonable.

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It's semi-detached with a guide price of £345,000,

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which sounds like a lot of money, unless you realise that a house

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in this street recently sold for over £800,000.

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So maybe it's a bit of a deal.

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However, all is not as it seems.

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It looks Georgian on the outside. I could be wrong,

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but something's not right.

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# I could be wrong

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# I could be right... #

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You see, the thing is, after you've seen as many houses as I have, you get a feeling.

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And you walk into this one and something isn't quite adding up.

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Through the front door, a narrow cramped entranceway, into the front sitting room.

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Obviously, a fairly hideous fireplace.

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The front window, yeah, sash, that's nicely in keeping.

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But I'm noticing some clues here.

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Look at the floorboards.

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There's no way that they are Georgian.

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Look at this window. It could have had rot or whatever, but the size of it is all wrong.

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They didn't build windows this size in Georgian times.

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Georgian houses are all about elegance and symmetry.

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This house is neither...

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so far.

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It doesn't get any better when you come into here.

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Again, it's just the wrong kind of feeling. It's all cramped,

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it's the wrong proportions, you come through into the kitchen and it gets worse.

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There's nothing good about this part of the house at all.

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It's a hotchpotch.

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More stairs going down to, obviously, an exterior area there.

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But you know what?

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There's no way this is an original Georgian or Victorian house.

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A Georgian-looking house on the outside that doesn't look Georgian inside. It's a mystery.

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There is actually very little period character in evidence.

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# It's a mystery

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# Oh, it's a mystery... #

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At the rear of the property,

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not only do you find a small walled garden, but this.

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It's actually a basement area, directly underneath the kitchen.

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But it's not connected to the rest of the house in any way.

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This really is a complete waste of space.

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If you could integrate it with the house somehow, I think that would create that extra room

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that the house could really do with.

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But then...that's a bit strange.

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There's a hole behind there!

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Clearly, there's some kind of hidden area there.

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So possibly even more space, and I'm thinking...

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a staircase from there up into the main part of the house.

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Well, we've been to the bottom, so let's go to the top.

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On the first floor there are two bedrooms and a bathroom, all in need of modernisation.

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Hang on, that's not the top. There's another one above that.

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# It's a mystery

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# Oh, it's a mystery.... #

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Here on the top floor is currently the third bedroom of the house.

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But really, once again, totally out of character with how it should be.

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Very, very bad conversion job.

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You've just got these tiny little doorways and it feels cramped.

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It's absolutely horrible. And it doesn't get any better through here because this is, I think,

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some kind of attic space that someone's had a go at opening up.

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They've put a roof light in there and, well, not a lot else.

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But there's space. You've got the stairs already, that room, do something here to convert this,

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that would give you a fourth bedroom. Perfect.

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But how perfect?

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I asked the auctioneer who sold it what he thinks.

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You've got slightly cottagey accommodation.

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It's OK, it's all there, but it's a little bit small.

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So it's got to be four beds,

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a garden, kitchen room.

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You've got off-street parking, you've got the address.

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It's a winner.

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Not perfect, but with a bit of work, it's a winner in a lovely area.

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This road, Wanford Road,

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is right up there with the Park Lane, Mayfair, of Exeter.

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You've got some beautiful houses.

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You've got the crescent down to the left of us here.

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It's just the place to be in the city if you want to be slightly posh.

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Being posh sounds good to me, but probably comes at a price.

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It could push the 500,000.

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Will it make much over five? With stamp duty kicking in at another percent at 500,

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you've actually got to make something worth 540, 550, 560,

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for it to come through the 500 barrier.

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But if the new owner targets him or herself at around half a million, they won't be far wrong.

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Half a million!

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With Exeter and the airport nearby, it may be worth renting it out.

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Renting's a piece of cake round here.

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But, you'll only get around £1,000 a month.

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So the yield on capital return will be fairly minor.

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# Money, money, money! #

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So with a bit of work, the house could be worth half a million pounds.

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But it's in a conservation area, which means any external changes

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need to be approved by the local authority.

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Well, this house may not be original and it does need one heck of a lot of work doing to it

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to get it into some kind of shape.

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However, what you're buying into in this house is the area and I know somebody will go for that,

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especially as its the first lot in the auction.

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This four-storey semi-detached property had a guide price of £345,000.

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Who will kick me off with, I don't know, 325?

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It's going to be 300, isn't it?

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300, thank you. 300 we have.

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305.

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310.

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315.

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320. He who hesitates! 320.

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325.

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330.

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335. 40. 340.

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345.

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347. 347.

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348.

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348 is the lady.

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At 348 for lot one.

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At 348 first time.

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348 second time.

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350. 352. They are picking on the lady!

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352. Madam, don't be put off. 354.

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356.

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358.

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358. 358.

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360. At 360.

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We're going to put the lady through it again? OK, at 360 first time.

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At 360 second time.

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At 360. Third and last time.

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The lady sat has it. Sure and done at 3-6-0.

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Madam, congratulations. Well done.

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Eleanor made the final bid of 360,000,

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which was 15,000 above the guide price.

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She's been living in rented accommodation since returning

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from New Zealand, where she ran her own garden centre for two years.

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She now manages it over the internet and only goes back there a couple of times a year.

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-This is a nice house, isn't it?

-Yes, it will be very nice.

-Why did you want to buy it?

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I wanted to buy it because I was looking for a base to have in Exeter when my daughter finishes school.

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She's got a couple more years to go.

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And I wanted something manageable that I could lock up and leave.

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And I wanted to do up my own house, cos I don't like buying houses

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that are allegedly done up, but then you find lots of problems.

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And I know this area quite well and I knew this was the only area,

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if I bought something in Exeter, that I would be in.

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The plan here, really, is to gut the whole thing.

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It needs starting again, really. Knocking down a few walls.

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Just making the absolute maximum space usable, really.

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And making it into a very modern interior and a modern back to the property.

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I've just discovered today that it's probably post-war, which I hadn't even realised.

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I knew that it had been messed around, but now I can understand, it makes sense.

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That it is a modern house, but it's in a conservation area.

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So it will have to be quite carefully done,

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keep the Georgian look at the front the house and probably going very modern at the back.

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Knocking down walls to make space could be a good idea,

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especially in that basement.

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We're going to have to get some big hammers out to see what's behind those walls.

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I've been to the house next door and they've opened everything out. So I'm hoping I can do the same.

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Cos if you end up with that very small room, then it would spoil some of my plans.

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'So my hunch that this house didn't seem really Georgian was right.

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'It was actually built in the late Forties or early Fifties, probably to replace one bombed in the war.

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'Eleanor's architect and friend Harriet is in charge of redesigning this modern home.'

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So you've got the job of converting this place back into something glorious?

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Yes, that's the idea!

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-What do think the biggest challenges are?

-To get a greater sense of space on each floor.

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At the moment, the ground floor is divided into two rooms and she wants to knock that through.

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By moving the staircase over and consolidating it all the way up,

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we'll get a better sense of entrance and space by doing that.

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Eleanor would like to put the kitchen in the basement

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and then bring a conservatory/extension

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out here on ground level.

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Eleanor's idea is to make it modern and quite slick at the back,

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and have a modern feel to it. So that's quite exciting.

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Exciting it might be, but changing the exterior

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of a building in a conservation area can slow down the planning process.

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And for Eleanor, the clock is ticking.

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I'd like it done as soon as possible cos I'm renting and then I'll be paying a mortgage and renting.

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Have you given yourself a provisional budget?

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Not at this stage, because we haven't even done the planning or got anything.

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It depends on whether I'm going to put on the conservatory. Too early to say, really.

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I haven't been back in England enough to know what things cost.

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I'll probably be quite frightened when it comes to it!

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I'm still in Kiwi prices, where it's much cheaper to do things.

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So I can't...

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-really put my finger on a budget yet.

-Great. Well, good luck with it all.

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-Thank you very much.

-I hope it turns out...

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-I think you can turn it into something quite sensational.

-It'll definitely be an improvement!

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Well, I reckon Eleanor is the perfect person to be

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taking on this project because she's doing up this house to be her home.

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And it is going to take a lot of effort.

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But she's willing to put it in.

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A few question marks. What's lurking down in the cellar behind that wall?

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We'll find out later in the show.

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I'm in Kent, but this is less garden of England than Greater London.

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Here in Coney Hill, West Wickham, we're still within the M25

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in the London borough of Bromley.

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Confusing? Yes, but throw away your maps.

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The important thing is, it's only a 35-minute train journey into London city centre.

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The separation of work and home life was the initial appeal of the suburbs.

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The dream was to escape the daily hustle and bustle of the city for a better quality of life,

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to own your own home and breathe clean air.

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To an extent, this still holds true today, and around one mile

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from two train stations is the property I'm here to see.

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It's a two-bedroomed 1930s flat and it's got a guide price of £130,000.

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These blocks are substantial and, I think, quite attractive.

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But where would you park a car?

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If you're lucky enough to find a space in this turning circle, you'd have to be sure you

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wouldn't need to get out in a hurry, since you could well be blocked in.

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Let's hope the flat is a little more practical.

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You know, it's a real bonus to have your own front door.

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It's got a great feeling about it already, this flat.

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I can see it's a little bit dated, it will need some work doing.

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But I love the idea that you've got this nice central landing area with all the rooms leading off it.

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Let's go and explore.

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As you can see, this is not a shiny modern designer kitchen.

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It's a little bit stuck in its time as you can see. But check this out.

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This is fantastic, it really does hark back from the olden days.

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You've got a big old unit here with cupboards to store your crockery,

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somewhere here to keep your bread, chop some bits and pieces.

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Very practical. I know I keep going on about that!

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But look at this -

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ironing board! Of course!

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Somewhere to iron your shirts.

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I'm not sure it's fully functional and working,

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but there you have it anyway. Sadly though, for today's standards,

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I think that's got to go. It would give you so much more room.

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And once you have done this kitchen up and put some lovely new units in, it will look fantastic.

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80 years ago, you couldn't knock this for practicality and style.

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But today it's more of a peek into history than an ideal kitchen.

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The two bedrooms, one at the front and one at the back, are well designed.

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They're not huge, but decently sized with built-in cupboards and double-glazing.

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So another tick there. The bathroom's a blast from the past.

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A past we'd rather forget. I think you could salvage the bath and sink, but the tiles certainly have to go.

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One room left.

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Well, this is a wonderful open space here and you can see this was once two rooms.

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It's been opened up and makes much more sense.

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But I do love this little flat's character features like these solid panelled doors. They're gorgeous!

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They still have the old-fashioned door plates on.

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You've got the original picture rails there, you can see there's a hook been left.

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And of course you have the fireplace.

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It's an old original surround, very Deco in its style. Gorgeous.

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But what really adds to this room are these modern 1930s windows.

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They're inspired by cruise liners.

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They were called suntrap windows and they were designed to let in as much light as possible.

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You can see they've been replaced by UPVC at some stage, which is much more energy efficient.

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But the nice curvy shape remains and they really are true

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to their name, with light just spilling into the room.

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Not quite a sea view, but not bad!

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If you're after a flat with a couple of cute cabins, this could be just the ticket.

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But it's not all plain sailing. You may have spotted that there's no central heating.

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There are just those small wall heaters, which may be enough, as there's double glazing,

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but I think those high ceilings mean it might be worth installing the real thing.

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But the flat is determined to pull one more rabbit out of the hat.

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You might have expected the top floor to sacrifice its garden.

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Not so! In fact you've got your own private plot.

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Again, it's wonderfully practical, it does need work, but it would be

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perfect in summer after that long commute back from a hot sticky city.

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I know it's not quite as manicured as the Joneses' next door,

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but in my opinion, it adds loads to this little lot.

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I spoke to a local estate agent to find out what she thinks.

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It's a very quiet area. A lot of 1930s properties.

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They're attractive from the outside and it's a well maintained close.

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There are issues with parking here.

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The road is very narrow.

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You do have amenities on the main road for parking, but I imagine that may put off some people.

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The garden with the property is fantastic. It's private, it's a nice bit of space.

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The gardens around it are very well maintained, which

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gives people a very good impression of the close when they come to view.

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The garden is overgrown so I would strongly suggest that that be tidied up.

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So an untidy garden and tricky parking,

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-but those aren't deal breakers.

-It's quite a spacious property.

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Both bedrooms are good-sized double bedrooms.

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It does obviously need some work doing to it.

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But I think if someone were to come in and modernise the property,

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it would definitely be very saleable or rentable on the open market.

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There aren't a lot of flats in Coney Hill in general.

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It is the majority houses, three-bed semis, that sort of thing.

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And I would suggest a rental price, in good condition, of between £850 - £900 per calendar month.

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At the moment, if you were to put the property on the market,

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I would look to achieve a minimum of 150,000 as it is.

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If the property was done up to a good standard,

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I would suggest putting the property on the market at £195,000.

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And I would hope to get very close to that.

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This flat needs a bit of attention, but it's got style and space inside and out.

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It also pairs suburban living with excellent transport links and it offers great rental potential.

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Now who am I to argue with a property that ticks all the boxes?

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Let's see who agreed at the auction.

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Can I kick off...

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..with 100,000? 105?

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110. 115.

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120.

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125.

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130.

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New spot, 130 at the back. 130.

0:19:440:19:48

135.

0:19:480:19:49

Anyone else?

0:19:490:19:52

140. New spot.

0:19:520:19:54

145. 150.

0:19:540:19:56

146.

0:19:580:19:59

145 with you, sir, on the right.

0:20:000:20:01

146 anywhere?

0:20:030:20:05

If not, with you at £145,000.

0:20:060:20:09

First time. Second time.

0:20:090:20:11

Third and last time. Are you all done?

0:20:110:20:15

Sold, 145.

0:20:150:20:17

Local man Geoff made the winning bid of 145,000.

0:20:170:20:21

15,000 above the guide price.

0:20:210:20:24

He's bought and modernised property before and I think he's got a viable investment here.

0:20:240:20:29

What was it about this little West Wickham flat that you liked enough to want to buy it at auction?

0:20:290:20:34

I don't know, cos I never came here before the auction.

0:20:340:20:38

I didn't see the place at all. I bought it unseen.

0:20:380:20:42

-So you just bought it from the picture in the catalogue?

-Yes. Basically, yes.

-What?!

0:20:420:20:46

It was a good price. I wouldn't have paid too much more, but it seemed a good price for what it was.

0:20:460:20:51

-So you were prepared to pay £145,000 on a punt?

-Yes.

0:20:510:20:56

Did you not have any thoughts about perhaps doing a little drive by?

0:20:560:20:59

Or did you not get the auction catalogue prior to the auction even?

0:20:590:21:03

I did intend to drive by, but time just seemed to run out.

0:21:030:21:06

I didn't get time to come down and have a look, although I'm fairly local to here.

0:21:060:21:10

I just thought, "Oh, well, you know, go and do it. Always best."

0:21:100:21:14

When you got the keys and you put them in the front door for the first time, you opened the door,

0:21:140:21:20

what did you think and feel when you saw it?

0:21:200:21:22

What a lot of junk mail they send round here!

0:21:220:21:25

-Loads of mail on the floor!

-Plenty.

0:21:250:21:27

-What did you think of the property?

-Pretty good. It's sound enough.

0:21:270:21:31

I'm quite pleased with it. It wants a bit of cosmetic...treatment...

0:21:310:21:38

-..but I think it's pretty good.

-You've been very lucky. Indeed.

0:21:380:21:41

I mean, you must have sort of gone, "Phew, that's a bit of luck."

0:21:410:21:45

I was pleased. The last one I bought 15 years ago, I had to knock it down and rebuild on the site.

0:21:450:21:49

So that was probably quite a salutary lesson, not to do it again.

0:21:490:21:54

But I did do it again and I think I've come out better this time than I did then!

0:21:540:21:58

This is not a masterclass in how to buy property, ladies and gentlemen!

0:21:580:22:03

Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best does not a good developer make.

0:22:030:22:07

Geoff's been lucky. Even if a property looks

0:22:070:22:09

sound in a picture, you can never be sure, and it won't show the location.

0:22:090:22:14

This block could have been run-down and next to the local tip!

0:22:140:22:18

OK, lesson over.

0:22:180:22:20

He's given himself two months to do the work, but what about his budget?

0:22:200:22:24

I'd like to spend 10, but I think that's possibly a little optimistic.

0:22:240:22:29

Although new bathroom, new kitchen...

0:22:290:22:33

..not a rewire, but new face plates.

0:22:330:22:35

And decoration all the way through. So hopefully 10,

0:22:350:22:38

but more likely a bit more than that.

0:22:380:22:40

What is it that you like about this property as it stands at the moment?

0:22:400:22:44

Well, I like it. It's a good area, and it's a solid property.

0:22:440:22:47

It's as saleable one as well at the moment because it's just two bedrooms.

0:22:470:22:52

It's the right end of the market to sell at the moment

0:22:520:22:56

if I decide to sell and not rent.

0:22:560:22:58

I haven't made my mind up yet.

0:22:580:23:01

I think it's a fantastic little renter, this, because you're near to two train stations.

0:23:010:23:06

People are looking for two-bedroom flats like this, it's ideal. It's got a bit of a garden.

0:23:060:23:10

That's another plus. Somewhere to burn a few bangers, yeah!

0:23:100:23:15

The historic kitchen won't be burning any more bangers though, as Geoff plans to modernise it.

0:23:150:23:20

He also intends to take down the cupboard wall, which will open up the space and make it more chef friendly.

0:23:200:23:27

-So is that the only structural work you're going to do here?

-Yes.

0:23:270:23:31

Although having said that, I might...

0:23:310:23:33

block one of these doorways up.

0:23:330:23:35

Three doorways into this room seems excessive.

0:23:350:23:38

You've got to think about which door, because if you're going to use this as a dining room, this door

0:23:380:23:43

-needs to be kept open because it's flowing into the kitchen.

-Yes.

0:23:430:23:47

I think you'd have to block up this door.

0:23:470:23:50

But I see a nice big sofa going there. I see that as a sort of comfy living, lounge area.

0:23:500:23:55

You're going to have to do a few drawing designs to see how it's going to work best.

0:23:550:23:59

Guys are not very good at this sometimes. I've learnt that it's best to get a woman involved!

0:23:590:24:03

You've got a lot better ideas on these things than most men, certainly than me anyway.

0:24:030:24:09

-Absolutely, we'll have a chat later!

-Please do, yes!

0:24:090:24:13

I do wish people would learn from their mistakes!

0:24:130:24:17

Even after his last auction disaster, Geoff didn't view this flat! He has got a good one, though.

0:24:170:24:23

And this dated home could make him a pretty penny.

0:24:230:24:26

Find out how he gets on later in the programme.

0:24:260:24:29

Coming up, what a difference a year makes.

0:24:300:24:34

See what's hatched on this plot of land in Cheshire since we last visited.

0:24:340:24:38

It seems some things were best left alone in this Kent flat.

0:24:410:24:44

£3,000 for the gas board

0:24:440:24:48

seemed a bit excessive just to move a meter.

0:24:480:24:50

But first, has this house sprung any more surprises?

0:24:530:24:56

I just discovered today that it's probably post-war, which I hadn't even realised.

0:24:560:25:00

At auction, in 2007,

0:25:030:25:06

Eleanor bought this four-storey semi-detached house for £360,000.

0:25:060:25:12

It was in the very sought-after area of St Leonards in Exeter.

0:25:120:25:17

The plan here really is to gut the whole thing.

0:25:170:25:21

It needs starting again, really.

0:25:210:25:23

It turned out that it was rebuilt after the war because of bomb damage.

0:25:330:25:37

Eleanor's clearly been busy transforming the place into a stylish and comfortable home.

0:25:370:25:42

But two years ago, she was hit by a bombshell herself.

0:25:420:25:45

I think I'd owned the house for about a month and a half and the architect was doing plans

0:25:490:25:53

and I was in Bordeaux with somebody. I got this call and she said, "You won't believe it, Eleanor."

0:25:530:25:57

I said, "What's the matter?" She said, "Your house is listed." I said, "Don't think so."

0:25:570:26:02

Checking whether a house is listed on not is something that should be done before you buy.

0:26:020:26:07

There were some papers that weren't produced till the day of the auction.

0:26:070:26:11

I was lot number one, so all I was concerned with was sitting in the right place

0:26:110:26:15

and getting ready to stick my hand up.

0:26:150:26:17

And I took these papers, but I didn't read them, because my solicitor had done

0:26:170:26:21

my work and I thought it would be something about drainage and things that are just not interesting.

0:26:210:26:26

And then it transpired that it was listed.

0:26:260:26:29

So not reading the paperwork gave Eleanor a lot of problems.

0:26:290:26:33

She spent about a year dealing with architects and planners before any work could start.

0:26:330:26:37

Basically we've done the whole ground floor, which used to be in two small, dark rooms.

0:26:370:26:44

I wanted to open it up and I've got this sort of Mediterranean feeling in my blood, I think.

0:26:440:26:49

So all my friends who walk in say, oh, love your beach house!

0:26:490:26:52

So I put in these shutters, plantation shutters,

0:26:520:26:56

just to give what's not a very attractive house a bit...

0:26:560:26:59

..of a feel to it, really.

0:27:010:27:04

Something else that certainly looks good now is the attic.

0:27:050:27:09

This has been totally transformed.

0:27:170:27:19

-It's now ideal for Eleanor's son, Harry, when he's home from Sydney, and daughter Olivia.

-I love it.

0:27:190:27:25

I feel spoiled. I feel guilty that I haven't let Mum have it!

0:27:250:27:29

But it's really good cos I'm going to get a desk up here and I'll be able to work.

0:27:290:27:33

A good place to come home to when I'm back from uni.

0:27:330:27:36

From one bathroom to another,

0:27:360:27:38

and this really needed some work to bring it up to scratch.

0:27:380:27:41

Feels so good...

0:27:410:27:43

And there's more to be proud of downstairs.

0:27:480:27:51

This kitchen I did very simply and fairly reasonably, because I wasn't sure when I started the house

0:27:530:27:59

whether I was going to have the kitchen downstairs or what the layout of the house was going to be.

0:27:590:28:05

So I started off on a real budget kitchen, just got some really ordinary white units.

0:28:050:28:11

Then as I was here longer I thought, "I've got to have something nice."

0:28:110:28:15

So I spent money on lovely, beautiful tiles, which are made in Exeter, actually.

0:28:150:28:20

And plenty of money on the flooring and things like that.

0:28:200:28:22

And then bought some expensive handles for the units.

0:28:220:28:25

So it looked a lot better than I was expecting, actually.

0:28:250:28:28

And it's turned out to be quite nice. It's very light.

0:28:280:28:31

And although it's very small, now that we've opened up the two rooms, it's very manageable.

0:28:310:28:37

And we sort of live in here, really.

0:28:370:28:40

I'm going to put a little table and a banquette to sit on.

0:28:400:28:43

And it's worked very well.

0:28:430:28:45

A rolled steel joist or RSJ had to be installed when the dividing wall was knocked down.

0:28:450:28:52

Once the work's had a building regulations inspection, the kitchen can be finished.

0:28:520:28:56

It's really nice having the through aspect and you can look out both ends. Yeah, it's a good space.

0:28:560:29:03

One area that hasn't been dealt with yet is the basement.

0:29:030:29:06

-So the mystery of the void has yet to be solved.

-# It's a mystery... #

0:29:060:29:11

-Another mystery was the budget.

-It's virtually impossible to set a budget when you're doing a house.

0:29:130:29:17

You've got to have an upper limit. Originally, when I was going to have the whole thing done and

0:29:170:29:23

the extension done, I was thinking it could have cost about 120,000.

0:29:230:29:29

And I had a quote a lot higher than that, in fact.

0:29:290:29:32

Then obviously I couldn't do the planning I wanted so I've just done what I've described so far.

0:29:320:29:38

And I suppose that's cost about 35,000.

0:29:380:29:44

Money well spent, I'd say. But let's check with two local property experts.

0:29:440:29:49

My first impressions of the house, they've made a pretty good solid start to the work.

0:29:510:29:56

A few finishing-off touches, but they've made good use of the space.

0:29:560:30:00

The open-plan living space on the ground floor is just wonderful.

0:30:000:30:04

Very contemporary. And it's exactly on trend for a property of this type.

0:30:040:30:09

They like it so far. Anything that really impresses?

0:30:090:30:12

The attic room is a marvellous space, whether it's for a noisy youth or the parents of the house,

0:30:120:30:19

it's a wonderful use of space.

0:30:190:30:21

When you first walk into the attic room, it really has the wow factor, it punches you in the face.

0:30:210:30:26

It's light, it's modern and airy.

0:30:260:30:28

I love this room.

0:30:280:30:30

So they certainly agree that's a success.

0:30:300:30:32

Two years ago, Eleanor paid £360,000 for this property. Has the current market affected that?

0:30:320:30:38

It's worth today probably in the region of £360,000-£380,000.

0:30:380:30:44

You convert the lower ground floor into a space

0:30:440:30:47

for the house and you are looking at probably even over £400,000.

0:30:470:30:52

If I was to place the property on the market in its current condition

0:30:520:30:54

I would expect it to achieve offers in the region of 395,000.

0:30:540:30:59

With a converted basement, the figure could rise in the region of 450.

0:30:590:31:05

Yeah, I think they're probably both fairly accurate, although I think

0:31:050:31:10

the second one was probably more interesting! Yes, wait and see!

0:31:100:31:16

Eleanor paid 360,000 for the house,

0:31:160:31:18

and 35,000 for the work so far.

0:31:180:31:22

It's now worth between £360,000 and £395,000.

0:31:220:31:26

So due to the slump in property values, she hasn't made a profit.

0:31:260:31:31

But she's on her way to having a lovely home.

0:31:310:31:34

Once finished, the rental value of the property is in the region of £700 per calendar month.

0:31:340:31:39

If I was to rent this property I'd expect it to achieve £895 per calendar month.

0:31:390:31:45

Well, for 700, I'd probably rent it myself, cos I think that's incredibly cheap!

0:31:450:31:49

But the other one is getting closer to the mark.

0:31:490:31:51

Eleanor was unlucky, really.

0:31:510:31:54

She didn't read the legal pack before the auction and then the property market plummeted

0:31:540:31:58

and the planning department wouldn't let her do all she wanted.

0:31:580:32:01

So was it worth all the trouble?

0:32:010:32:04

It was definitely worth it because we're in a really lovely location and it's a comfortable house.

0:32:040:32:09

It's not going to cost very much to heat as I couldn't put my extension on. So yes, it's been worth it.

0:32:090:32:13

It's been a long hard slog, but I think Eleanor will thoroughly enjoy her superb new home.

0:32:130:32:19

In 2007, with a buoyant property scene, there were tremendous opportunities to turn a profit.

0:32:250:32:31

One of the most exciting ways was to develop land.

0:32:310:32:36

This is Willaston near Nantwich

0:32:360:32:38

in Cheshire, definitely a desirable place to live.

0:32:380:32:43

A pretty little village. So when you hear about plots

0:32:430:32:45

of land that are up for auction, there's money to be made.

0:32:450:32:50

'There certainly is.

0:32:500:32:52

'With excellent transport links and countryside atmosphere, prices remain high in this area.

0:32:520:32:56

'To access the land, you need first to cross a driveway shared with the neighbours.'

0:32:560:33:01

Plots of land always amaze me because intrinsically, they're just a bit of grass.

0:33:010:33:06

And yet they have such value if they're in the right place.

0:33:060:33:09

So what am I here to see?

0:33:090:33:11

Well, a bit of land that might not actually be that much bigger than your garden.

0:33:110:33:16

That's it there, up to where the orange fence is at the bottom.

0:33:160:33:19

Not that big at all. But the key is that it's flat and got fantastic access through this way.

0:33:190:33:25

Hence, the guide price was 150,000 quid.

0:33:250:33:30

Makes you think, doesn't it?

0:33:300:33:32

If you are now running to the window

0:33:320:33:33

to see if your garden could be sold as a building plot, make sure you check the size and the access.

0:33:330:33:38

Then perhaps employ an architect to draw up some plans, and who knows?

0:33:380:33:44

A pot of gold might just be at the end of your garden.

0:33:440:33:48

Well, a bit of history about the plot.

0:33:490:33:51

Originally built here was the coach house belonging to that house there.

0:33:510:33:55

That has now been demolished to create this really nice flat bit of land.

0:33:550:34:00

You're probably still thinking, but come on, it's not worth 150,000 quid, for goodness' sake!

0:34:000:34:05

Well, the reason that it is is because it's got that all-important thing - planning permission.

0:34:050:34:09

In this case, planning permission for the construction of a detached four-bedroom, massive house.

0:34:090:34:14

2,300 square feet, for goodness' sake.

0:34:140:34:17

Three bathrooms.

0:34:170:34:19

So a builder comes along, he builds that in this neck of the woods, he's going to make a lot of money.

0:34:190:34:24

The plans are pretty comprehensive for this four-bedroomed house.

0:34:240:34:29

They include three bathrooms, a double garage, a utility area,

0:34:290:34:33

large kitchen and very generous living spaces.

0:34:330:34:37

Well, it makes you think, doesn't it? Maybe you've got a plot of land

0:34:390:34:41

where you live that you could sell off and make some money like this.

0:34:410:34:46

It sounds like a lot of money, but houses round here similar to the one

0:34:460:34:49

there's planning permission for are going to sell for £450,000-£475,000.

0:34:490:34:55

So there's money to be made on this one.

0:34:550:34:57

Let's see who spotted the opportunity at the auction.

0:34:570:35:01

Let's get on. 150,000 to start me off.

0:35:020:35:06

120. £120,000 I've got. At 120,000.

0:35:060:35:11

I'll take £5,000 bids.

0:35:110:35:15

125, sir, thank you.

0:35:150:35:17

At 125,000. 30.

0:35:170:35:22

130.

0:35:220:35:24

135.

0:35:240:35:26

140. 145. 50.

0:35:260:35:28

150. And five, sir? 155.

0:35:280:35:34

60. At 160. And five.

0:35:340:35:37

70. At 170. And five.

0:35:370:35:40

175. 180. Yes? 180, thank you.

0:35:400:35:45

At 180.

0:35:450:35:47

Two-and-a-half now. 182½...

0:35:470:35:50

185.

0:35:500:35:54

At 185, the gentleman in the jacket. The gentleman in the jumper's out.

0:35:540:35:58

At 185, I'm selling it then.

0:35:580:36:00

At 185,000 once. Twice.

0:36:000:36:03

For the third and final time at 185,000 with you, sir, in the jacket.

0:36:030:36:08

There can be no mistake about it.

0:36:080:36:10

At £185,000 for the third and final time. Yours, sir.

0:36:100:36:14

So for £185,000, Cheshire-based John is the new owner of that building plot with its planning permission

0:36:180:36:26

for a four-bedroomed house.

0:36:260:36:28

We met up there to talk about why it appealed to him.

0:36:280:36:32

John, congratulations. You've bought a very expensive bit of grass!

0:36:320:36:37

Why did you want to buy it?

0:36:370:36:39

Originally I was looking for a place to build for my son.

0:36:390:36:43

I spoke to my wife about it and it was too far away, so I decided

0:36:430:36:48

to build something and make some money on it, hopefully.

0:36:480:36:51

-Is this what you do, are you a builder?

-I've been a builder all my life.

0:36:510:36:55

-Mainly on the civil side of things.

-What do you mean by that?

0:36:550:36:59

Motorways, deep drainage, I used to specialise in a lot of that stuff.

0:36:590:37:04

You know, working for the big companies. But I decided to just make a change, really.

0:37:040:37:09

Last year I did my sister's extension, I liked it, everybody else went round,

0:37:090:37:13

said it was a great job and I just took it from there then, basically.

0:37:130:37:18

John's background in civil engineering means he understands

0:37:180:37:21

the complexities in installing services and drainage.

0:37:210:37:25

This is invaluable for all the groundwork necessary for a new build.

0:37:250:37:29

So talk me through the plan, then.

0:37:320:37:34

-Is it to keep the plans exactly as they are?

-Yes. I'm not going to vary from them at all.

0:37:340:37:38

If you start varying from them, it's going to knock the time back,

0:37:380:37:42

so you might as well just carry on with what you've got.

0:37:420:37:46

-The design itself is quite pretty, isn't it?

-It's quite nice, yes.

0:37:460:37:49

Looks nice in the plan, anyway.

0:37:490:37:51

Nice area like this, with the views at the back.

0:37:510:37:54

Should be really nice for somebody who's going to buy it. I hope!

0:37:540:37:58

Well, I think this really is as much of a sure thing as is possible in the property market.

0:37:580:38:03

John certainly has the skills to carry out the build successfully.

0:38:030:38:07

So are you overseeing the project? Have you got a team of builders? Have you got sub-contractors?

0:38:100:38:15

-No, I'm overseeing and building it myself.

-Literally hands-on?

0:38:150:38:17

-Yes. All the time, yes.

-And how much work will you actually do?

0:38:170:38:20

I'll do all the foundation work up to slab level.

0:38:200:38:24

Do all the drainage, the driveway, the whole lot. Landscaping.

0:38:240:38:28

-And then just get some brickies in.

-Do you mean you on your own?

0:38:280:38:31

Me and a few lads I've got with me, you know.

0:38:310:38:35

I've got four lads with me now at the moment.

0:38:350:38:37

-How many more like this have you done?

-I'm doing one at the moment.

0:38:370:38:41

Another one in Flixton.

0:38:410:38:44

I bought a single dwelling there with planning permission to knock down and put two semi-detached houses on it.

0:38:440:38:51

It's nearly built now, they are.

0:38:510:38:53

Despite doing this type of work for just 18 months, John's already shown

0:38:530:38:57

he knows what he's doing where building is concerned.

0:38:570:39:00

However, he appears to be a little more rookie at auctions.

0:39:000:39:04

-So what was the auction like?

-I thought this place would go for a lot more than what it went for.

0:39:040:39:08

But it didn't. Anyway, I went down without a chequebook,

0:39:080:39:13

passport, my licence!

0:39:130:39:17

I said to him, I thought you got three days to give the money in.

0:39:170:39:21

That's why I was going to come in on the Monday or the Saturday

0:39:210:39:24

with utility bills and passport, licence and the cheque for the 10%.

0:39:240:39:29

So what did you do?

0:39:290:39:32

I got my sister to go and get it all!

0:39:320:39:35

She came up with it then about half an hour after the event!

0:39:350:39:39

John clearly wasn't a Boy Scout!

0:39:390:39:42

Being prepared is the first thing you need to be at auction

0:39:420:39:45

as you never know quite what's going to happen.

0:39:450:39:48

So what was it about this particular plot that attracted you to it?

0:39:480:39:53

I did a bit of market research, just what the houses were going for around here.

0:39:530:39:58

I thought if it goes for about 200, you could make a nice butty, as they say!

0:39:580:40:03

Talk me through the numbers then, how much do you think it's going to cost you to build it?

0:40:030:40:09

Well, I've worked it out, I've had to do it for the banks. So I worked out about 200 building costs.

0:40:090:40:13

So 185 for the plot plus your 200 build.

0:40:130:40:16

Say 400, yeah.

0:40:160:40:19

And how much do you reckon it's going to sell for?

0:40:190:40:21

Well, the banks have valued it at 475.

0:40:210:40:23

And looking at the local area, that's about the right price for something like this, you know.

0:40:230:40:27

-So there's potentially about 75 grand in it for you?

-Yes.

0:40:270:40:31

Plus the work as well.

0:40:310:40:33

Cos I'm building it and getting paid, so, you know.

0:40:330:40:38

-That's good.

-Yeah.

0:40:380:40:41

Well, that was back in 2007.

0:40:410:40:44

At the time it seemed John would win every way, with wages from the build

0:40:440:40:49

and what seemed likely to be a decent return on selling the house.

0:40:490:40:53

But then of course property prices dropped.

0:40:530:40:56

When we returned one year later, not a brick had been laid and it was still a building site.

0:40:560:41:00

But stay with us to see the very impressive house that stands there now.

0:41:000:41:07

Well, time is money and some of that time has passed for our second property.

0:41:100:41:15

So how did the work go there? Has it resulted in success or failure?

0:41:150:41:19

We can't put off finding out any longer.

0:41:190:41:22

Geoff bought this two-bedroom flat

0:41:220:41:25

in West Wickham, Kent, for £145,000, £15,000 over the guide price.

0:41:250:41:31

It had some lovely original features but did look as though it was stuck in a time-warp.

0:41:310:41:35

Had he liked the look of it before he bought it?

0:41:350:41:39

I never came here before the auction.

0:41:390:41:42

I didn't see the place at all.

0:41:420:41:45

I bought it unseen.

0:41:450:41:46

When he did see the property, it was like travelling back in time.

0:41:460:41:50

So he had to bring it back to the future!

0:41:500:41:53

And he's certainly done that.

0:41:550:41:58

Well, it was a bit dated, to say the least.

0:42:230:42:26

It was a time capsule, really.

0:42:260:42:28

An old pull-down ironing-board, a breeze block cupboard.

0:42:280:42:31

An old meat safe and everything. I think it's probably a little bit different now!

0:42:310:42:39

That's an understatement! It's a lot better now and it's not just the kitchen that's improved.

0:42:450:42:51

The bathroom's quite a bit different to when we came here.

0:42:510:42:54

There was an old wall-mounted cistern.

0:42:540:42:57

A very old loo. A rotten old basin.

0:42:570:43:02

So yeah, it's all been done, but there's still a bit more to do to it, a bit more to finish off.

0:43:020:43:06

But it's 95% complete now.

0:43:060:43:09

Geoff has brought the kitchen and bathroom into this century

0:43:090:43:14

and after a lick of paint it's going to look great.

0:43:140:43:19

Has he installed any more modern gadgets?

0:43:190:43:22

We put central heating in, it didn't have central heating before.

0:43:220:43:26

It just had a gas fire and a storage radiator.

0:43:260:43:29

-So that's all new.

-That should keep it warm.

0:43:290:43:33

And to keep it safe the flat has been rewired and replumbed.

0:43:330:43:37

But Geoff has tried to retain some of the 1930s character.

0:43:370:43:42

Keeping the period features as well, the ones that were here.

0:43:420:43:44

Just the picture rail, really, and the fireplace.

0:43:440:43:46

I think that's quite good.

0:43:460:43:48

People can take them out if they want to, but I'd rather leave them and leave that up to them.

0:43:480:43:53

Personally I do like homes to have a bit of character.

0:43:530:43:56

Geoff originally gave himself two months to complete this flat.

0:43:560:44:00

But there still seems a bit to do.

0:44:000:44:02

The timescale was probably a little bit optimistic.

0:44:020:44:06

Trying to tie the trades in together was the problem.

0:44:060:44:10

But once they were here, the job went quite quickly.

0:44:100:44:14

It was just getting them all on site in the right order.

0:44:140:44:16

Co-ordinating tradesmen can be a problem and expensive if you get it wrong.

0:44:160:44:21

So it's worth doing some pre-planning.

0:44:210:44:23

It's good to hear that once they were on site, everything went smoothly.

0:44:230:44:27

-Didn't it?

-The gas meter was a problem.

0:44:270:44:31

I wanted it moved outside but the quote of £3,000 from the Gas Board

0:44:310:44:37

seemed a bit excessive just to move a meter. I'd like to know how they managed to figure that one out.

0:44:370:44:43

I decided to leave it where it was after that.

0:44:430:44:45

Three grand to move a meter?!

0:44:450:44:47

I know people who have smaller budgets for a whole renovation!

0:44:500:44:54

My original budget was between 10 and 15.

0:44:540:44:56

I think I probably ended up doing 15, 16 perhaps.

0:44:560:45:02

So that's not too far out.

0:45:020:45:05

Not bad at all. Only £1,000 over the original budget is good going.

0:45:050:45:09

Geoff's obviously got a head for business.

0:45:090:45:12

Well, I used to be a butcher a long time ago. Well, not that long ago I suppose, really.

0:45:120:45:18

But I've always done this, anyway, even when I had my shops.

0:45:180:45:22

The shops I bought often needed modernising, fitting out

0:45:220:45:26

or closed.

0:45:260:45:28

So even though I was in that trade, I still did this sort of thing on the side.

0:45:280:45:32

Or as part of the butchery business as well.

0:45:320:45:35

No wonder he made an impressive job of this joint!

0:45:350:45:38

The flat also has a small garden - an advantage if you're aiming for the family market.

0:45:380:45:44

Just to make sure Geoff's not making a pig's ear of this flat,

0:45:440:45:47

-I asked two local estate agents to come and have a look.

-It was like stepping into a time-warp.

0:45:470:45:52

Original kitchens and bathrooms, the heating system was non-existent.

0:45:520:45:58

It really needed an awful lot doing to it.

0:45:580:46:01

They've really made massive inroads to improving the kitchen.

0:46:010:46:05

It's fantastic. Really feels a lot bigger. A lovely bathroom suite in there and from what I see so far,

0:46:050:46:11

the way they're going to be decorating it, it's a blank canvas

0:46:110:46:15

for anyone to come in and put their own stamp on it.

0:46:150:46:18

And the little bit of garden outside as well is a big bonus to anyone living in a flat.

0:46:180:46:24

I like this property. Good-sized rooms, two double bedrooms,

0:46:240:46:27

a modern kitchen, modern bathroom suite. And its own private garden.

0:46:270:46:31

The estate agents seemed to like what Geoff's done.

0:46:310:46:35

He paid 145,000 for the flat at auction and spent about £16,000 on bringing it up to date.

0:46:350:46:41

So he'd definitely want valuations above 161,000.

0:46:410:46:47

The market has moved quite considerably in the last three months and

0:46:470:46:52

I would say you could possibly push the asking price up to about 215.

0:46:520:46:57

With hopes to achieve a minimum of 200,000.

0:46:570:47:00

The demand for stock in this area has really gone up quite considerably.

0:47:000:47:04

And that lack of stock has really driven prices up.

0:47:040:47:07

I would be looking to put this property on the market for £195,000.

0:47:070:47:11

To achieve very close to that.

0:47:110:47:13

Crikey! That's a potential pre-tax profit of between 34,000 and 54,000.

0:47:130:47:18

Minus the usual deductions.

0:47:180:47:21

Geoff must be pleased.

0:47:210:47:23

215!

0:47:230:47:25

I hope that's not optimistic.

0:47:250:47:27

Yeah, that's very good news and more than I thought.

0:47:270:47:31

195 is what I was hoping for, but 215 would be a major plus, yes. Lovely, thank you.

0:47:310:47:37

Don't thank me, Geoff, you did all the work!

0:47:370:47:40

Would it be worth renting out?

0:47:400:47:41

It would be about £850-£900 per calendar month.

0:47:410:47:46

In terms of rental you'd be looking to achieve between £800-£850 per month.

0:47:460:47:52

I thought about 800-850, yes.

0:47:520:47:54

So that's good. That's more or less what I thought.

0:47:540:47:57

And if the 215 figure is right then that would be very good, yes.

0:47:570:48:01

-Very pleased.

-Great to see someone happy with their work.

0:48:010:48:05

Especially when they've taken a bit of a chance.

0:48:050:48:08

Well, I bought it without seeing it, which is probably not the ideal thing.

0:48:080:48:12

But yes, I would do it again and it has turned out pretty well, I hope.

0:48:120:48:15

Geoff's brought a flat that was in a time-warp into this century

0:48:150:48:20

and he's made a potential pre-tax profit of 54,000 minus normal deductions.

0:48:200:48:25

So I'd say it turned out pretty well.

0:48:250:48:29

# Let's do the time warp again! #

0:48:290:48:34

Back in 2007, ex-civil engineer turned builder John

0:48:390:48:42

bought a building plot

0:48:420:48:45

in the quiet Cheshire location of Willaston for £185,000.

0:48:450:48:51

With planning permission already in place, it all seemed quite straightforward.

0:48:510:48:56

-The design itself is quite pretty, isn't it?

-It's quite nice, yeah.

0:48:560:49:01

Looks nice on the plan, anyway.

0:49:010:49:03

Nice area like this with the views at the back.

0:49:030:49:05

Should be really nice for somebody who's going to buy it, I hope!

0:49:050:49:08

The original plan was to crack on immediately.

0:49:100:49:13

But when we returned a year later in 2008,

0:49:130:49:16

it hadn't worked out like that.

0:49:160:49:19

What do they say about the best laid plans of mice and men?

0:49:190:49:23

Since we were last here I picked up another job so I had to do that and

0:49:230:49:28

I really started on this site then about two-and-a-half weeks ago.

0:49:280:49:31

As you can see. But it's out of the ground now.

0:49:310:49:35

In the spring of 2009, we returned to see if it's any more than a pile of bricks now.

0:49:380:49:43

And as the A-Team might say, I love it when a plan comes together!

0:49:430:49:48

John's named the new five-bedroomed house the Coach House

0:49:500:49:54

after the building that originally stood here.

0:49:540:49:57

So the plans really have turned into reality.

0:49:580:50:02

Now the house stands proudly where once there was just a piece of scrubland.

0:50:020:50:07

Inside what is now a five-bedroomed house, there's a large modern kitchen.

0:50:110:50:16

Then there are two reception rooms, both with patio doors leading out to the garden.

0:50:270:50:33

And there's a downstairs cloakroom and some office space.

0:50:330:50:38

-While upstairs...

-This is one of the en-suites.

0:50:380:50:42

Quite happy with the finishes. Nice big shower.

0:50:420:50:44

Big double sinks there.

0:50:440:50:46

Nice round window.

0:50:460:50:48

This services bedroom two.

0:50:480:50:51

And it also services...

0:50:510:50:52

..bedroom three.

0:50:540:50:56

Which, I know it as a Jack and Jill bathroom suite, which is a nice little touch.

0:50:560:51:01

So the two smaller bedrooms share a high-spec shower room.

0:51:010:51:05

While the master bedroom has its own en-suite.

0:51:090:51:13

Although the fourth good-sized bedroom IS just a bedroom, it has easy access to a beautiful

0:51:150:51:21

bathroom just down the hall, and it doesn't stop there.

0:51:210:51:25

Originally it was a four-bedroom, but we managed to get a fifth bedroom in

0:51:260:51:31

by increasing the pitch of the roof.

0:51:310:51:34

Walk-in wardrobe, shower room, and I think it's turned out quite well.

0:51:340:51:38

This addition to the original plans to get a fifth bedroom and the extra rooms has been really worthwhile.

0:51:380:51:44

But John decided not to take up all his options.

0:51:440:51:48

There was an option to buy extra land. But I thought I'd build the house first and see what the garden

0:51:480:51:53

was like at the end of it. But I think it looks fine now. I don't think it needs any extra garden.

0:51:530:51:58

But I think that option is still there if anybody wants to extend.

0:51:580:52:03

With five bedrooms, three ensuites and two bathrooms, this is pretty impressive.

0:52:030:52:09

How does it compare with sorting out drainage issues on the sort of projects John did before?

0:52:090:52:16

It's quite easy to do, I think. What I'm normally used to, anyway,

0:52:160:52:19

pressure, as regards programmes, people going, "You need to get this done, you need to do that."

0:52:190:52:25

-I don't have that stress or worry!

-But he's still the boss

0:52:250:52:29

and project manager, so it's down to him to keep things going smoothly and make sure it's kept on track.

0:52:290:52:36

Well, I have just little programmes in my head, I'll take two weeks to do that.

0:52:380:52:42

Or one week. Or two days. And I hate it when it overruns then, you know!

0:52:420:52:47

I just expect sometimes maybe too much from the lads to just stay on a bit and finish it.

0:52:470:52:52

"Do you need that cup of tea?!"

0:52:520:52:54

John might be very conscious of time going by,

0:52:550:52:59

but now he's finished he can relax and perhaps soak in the bath

0:52:590:53:05

while watching his favourite shows on the television!

0:53:050:53:08

The budget was 200, and I've actually kept within that.

0:53:080:53:13

The only thing that isn't in that is the deposit I put down, so in effect, it's near enough

0:53:130:53:19

20,000 over-budget then.

0:53:190:53:21

John's sunk nearly 220,000 into this new-build.

0:53:230:53:26

With the land purchased at 185,000,

0:53:260:53:29

his total expenditure with costs will be around 410,000.

0:53:290:53:35

So has the current state of the property market killed hopes of seeing a return?

0:53:350:53:40

What do two local estate agents think?

0:53:400:53:43

I think the third visit here, the transformation is superb.

0:53:430:53:48

I think he's done an amazing job and we have an excellent product available to market today.

0:53:480:53:53

When I came last it was just the beginning, really.

0:53:530:53:56

Just the block work was started and it was a building site.

0:53:560:54:00

And I've come here today and it's a complete transformation.

0:54:000:54:04

I think the house looks a quality built house

0:54:040:54:09

of lovely, mellow brick which blends in with the neighbouring properties.

0:54:090:54:13

I believe there's certain bits to the specification, like

0:54:130:54:16

a television in the bathroom, it is quite a unique feature.

0:54:160:54:20

And the wine cooler in the kitchen. Quirky things.

0:54:200:54:23

But in this market, it's key to making something stand out.

0:54:230:54:27

I feel the garden for this property is too small for the size of accommodation.

0:54:270:54:32

So I feel it could be hard to sell on the present market.

0:54:320:54:36

So I would advise him to rent the property.

0:54:360:54:39

I believe the garden to be a really good size, actually.

0:54:390:54:42

It was a concern in the building stages.

0:54:420:54:44

He did discuss

0:54:440:54:46

buying some extra land.

0:54:460:54:48

But it has actually worked out really well for the house itself.

0:54:480:54:52

The estate agents may not agree about the garden,

0:54:520:54:56

but do they agree on whether John's invested his 410,000 wisely?

0:54:560:55:00

The asking price, I would recommend between £375,000 and £385,000.

0:55:000:55:06

I believe the property could be marketed to somewhere in the region of the early 400,000 mark.

0:55:060:55:11

Between £400,000 to £425,000.

0:55:110:55:14

So again, a division of opinion.

0:55:140:55:17

One valuation sees a potential profit and the other a loss.

0:55:170:55:20

What does John think about those estimates?

0:55:220:55:24

I'd like a little bit more, but

0:55:240:55:27

if it was less than 425, which it's on the market for now, I'd look at letting it.

0:55:270:55:32

So renting it may be the way forward.

0:55:320:55:35

What kind of returns could he expect from that?

0:55:350:55:38

I believe the rental figures would be in the region of £1,000-£1,200 per month.

0:55:380:55:44

We would be able to achieve a figure in the region of £1,000 per calendar month.

0:55:440:55:48

In fact, John HAS decided to let the house out and is now getting £1,100 per calendar month.

0:55:480:55:54

Although this hasn't been a big money spinner for him, it has kept him and his building team employed

0:55:540:56:00

during a difficult time in the construction industry.

0:56:000:56:03

So would he do it again?

0:56:030:56:05

I'd like to do one myself, for myself, but I'd do it a lot higher spec, I'd really go to town on it!

0:56:050:56:12

Well, if this is anything to go by, a higher spec than this would really be worth seeing.

0:56:120:56:18

# Nothing but the best you can get

0:56:180:56:21

# Nothing but the best you can get. #

0:56:210:56:26

Well, we hope today's stories have inspired and entertained you.

0:56:330:56:36

And maybe even tempted you into the auction room yourself.

0:56:360:56:40

-So join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:400:56:44

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:56:510:56:56

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a period house in Cheshire and a house in Kent, and revisit a plot of land in Cheshire two years after it went to auction. All of these properties have been sold - Martin and Lucy find out who bought them, and what they paid when they went under the hammer.


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