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Welcome to Homes Under The Hammer.
Both of us have been dealing in property for many years.
We've witnessed the fluctuations in the market.
But through it all we've been convinced of one thing,
you can get really interesting property at auctions.
We've always been fascinated buying under the hammer.
The speed, the excitement and the fact that you do actually end up with a property.
Oh, it's all really exciting!
Let's see what got our buyers hot under the collar on today's show.
In Wiltshire, there's a detached house which needs a good scrub.
Look at the state of that! I don't think I'd like to fry my eggs on there, put it that way.
A regenerated area of Salford could generate cash for this three-bedder.
Lick of paint, some wallpaper, new carpets and you could rent this place out like that!
In Kent, we revisit a property I first saw in October 2008.
I could spend hours wandering around here.
It's just so special.
All these properties have been sold at auction
and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
You've bought it, sir.
This is the village of Staverton in Wiltshire.
It lies three miles north of Trowbridge and is close to Bath.
I'm here to see this chalet-style, three-bedroom property.
It went to auction with a guide of £200,000. First impressions...
there's plenty of parking to the front, as you can see, but this property looks pretty run down.
The guttering's hanging off, there's no down pipes
and that will cause all sorts of damp problems if it's not sorted.
So let's hope the inside is in a better state than the outside.
There's also a worrying crack in the front wall, so I would advise
getting a survey done here.
Actually, it's not bad inside.
Yes, it's incredibly dated, but what I love about these style of properties is the space.
Look at this! You've got a really big hallway.
This is probably original parquet floor here, so it could look quite nice once it's been sanded.
And the kitchen, again, you've got a really good size, a cracking view of that huge front garden.
But this kitchen, you know, it needs ripping out.
It was probably fantastic in its time, but it's just incredibly old-fashioned now. And the cooker...
Look at the state of that!
Don't think I'd like to fry my eggs on there.
But this kitchen has just got too many doors.
A big sliding door there, one to the larder, one to the sun room.
They just take up too much wall space.
I think this house needs a bit of a re-juggle.
The dining area is quite dark, due to all the pine cladding
and this leads into a sun room.
There's a rather odd store off the hall, which I suppose could become a study.
This handy downstairs loo is a bonus, but there's an awful lot of work to be done here.
The windows are single-glazed, metal Crittall-style,
so double glazing would be advisable.
But it's not just the windows.
More modernisation is needed elsewhere, too.
This is the main reception room.
You may have noticed, there are no radiators in this house at all, just these old vents.
This is a hot-air heating system
and it means the main boiler
heats the air then pumps it
around the house to keep it nice and warm.
Old systems like these, they can be dusty and dry the air out,
so not great for allergy sufferers.
Any big part of the budget for this house I think should be spent
on either replacing this system with gas central heating or updating it.
Being a chalet bungalow, the accommodation continues on the first floor.
There are two double bedrooms, both with built-in wardrobes,
and a smaller third bedroom, which is a single.
And there's a bathroom with a corner bath.
This property sits in almost a quarter of an acre site, which I think is fantastic.
So there is plenty of potential to extend out here.
You might not even need planning permission to do so because regulations changed back in 2008
and now you can extend a dwelling by four metres to the rear, that's if it's single storey,
or three metres if it's double storey, and that's without waiting for consent.
It definitely saves time and certainly cuts back on all that red tape.
Of course, the most obvious place to extend would be at the front
because that's where most of the acreage lies,
but that's a little more tricky and time-consuming,
because any extension, other than a simple porch, still requires planning permission.
I asked a local estate agent to come and look around the place
and give his thoughts on this spacious bungalow.
Is it a good buy?
I like the property and it has a lot of potential,
certainly for a buyer that wants to come and put their own mark on it.
We're looking at a complete schedule of works,
new kitchen, new bathroom, decoration, probably a new central heating system.
Possibly go into the roof a little bit more.
Would this chalet bungalow that went to auction
at a guide price of £200,000 appeal to buy-to-let investors?
What sort of rental could be achieved here?
Properties like this are in demand in the rental market and if it was in good decorative order,
I think something like this would get £750-£800 per calendar month.
What's the potential resale value after it's had a thorough makeover?
Once renovated, I think a house like this would
probably achieve on the open market £250,000-£270,000.
Let's face it, this place needs gutting and a total overhaul and,
with the state it's in, it's easy to forget the major plus point -
we're in a desirable location on the edge of a pleasant village
and, as always, it's location that sells a property.
So remember the rules, buy in a popular spot and you'll always be able to sell.
Let's find out who bid and bought this one when we head to auction.
OK, lot number four then. Where are you going to start me?
200, or somewhere near? 180 then if you like.
You start me and we'll get on. At £180,000 to put you in.
160? OK, we'll start the show at £160,000 and selling lot four.
£160,000 are bid. We're going five.
It's at 165. 170 may I say?
At £165,000. 170. At 170.
We'll go in twos now if you like. At £170,000. Two anyone? At 172.
Four may I say? At 172,000. Against you on the far right at 172,000.
Four anyone? At 172,000.
174, OK. 176. 178 to you. At 178.
179, OK. 179. 180. 180 I've got, OK.
It's on the left-hand side, on the wall at £180,000. Shall I take one?
At £180,000 on the left then.
It's going to be sold and no mistake at £180,000 then for the first time.
Anybody else for one? £180,000 then for the second time.
At 180, third and last time.
Have you done? The number is 21, OK. Just your age.
So the Staverton bungalow was finally sold for £180,000, but not to the man bidding.
It went to his friend, local businessman Andrew, who runs an employment agency.
I met up with Andrew back at his new property to hear about his plans
and the reason for keeping such a low profile at the auction.
So, Andrew, I didn't spot you at the auction.
You were tucked away, weren't you?
I had a friend of mine bid for me.
I felt it was better if I didn't do any bidding.
So why did you decide to go undercover?
Because we own all the land around here
and I felt I was the only one who would actually really want this property.
If you are possibly the only person who wants it, maybe it would have gone for more than I wanted.
So you own all of the land surrounding here?
On two sides, yeah. We own the house that side and up to the boundary down there.
Obviously, that's why you wanted this house!
Absolutely, it's a chunk out of the corner.
It's not the final piece of the puzzle, but it certainly makes it a more acceptable development shape.
-So you bought this because you wanted the land that it sits on?
We were never going to get a chance to maximise the value of the land we've got around it.
Without this, it would have been a lot less valuable.
So what is your grand plan for this whole development?
I would think eventually we'll end up knocking this down
and building maybe a terrace of houses.
Converting the big house to the left of this into three or four town houses
and continuing the development on through. So this will probably be knocked down eventually.
Obviously, in the first instance, we will let it out.
So a short and a long-term plan for the bungalow that Andrew paid £180,000 for.
Initially, he will look for tenants and his ambitious redevelopment
will depend on getting planning permission.
There's a lot of development going on in the area
and he's spotted an opportunity on his own doorstep.
But right on the bungalow's doorstep, he'll find one of this site's main advantages.
-What I think is incredible is the huge frontage you have to this house.
I mean, that is amazing, isn't it? You come down that big, long driveway.
Yeah, it's the same frontage next door, so if it was a terrace,
they would have a decent front garden.
And possibly a decent back garden with somewhere to park and pull off the road.
It could work well with the Highways Agency and the planners. We just have to see.
Now I have to say, the house next door is a beautiful house.
-What are you currently doing with that at the moment?
-It's a house of multiple occupation.
We have an employment agency and when we started recruiting in Poland,
the workers that came over had to have somewhere to live.
So we bought that house and they live there.
So it's a licensed house of multiple occupation.
Andrew's short-term plan for the bungalow is not to use it as a house of multiple occupation,
but more as a conventional letting property.
But before it will appeal to any tenants, he's going to have to do some work on it.
-So, in the short-term, you're planning on just letting this out?
If we can get it fit for people to live in, we will let it out, yeah.
-Did you view this house prior to the auction?
-No! No, no.
-You'd never seen inside?
As a part of the puzzle, it didn't matter what it looked like.
I knew people were living in it, so it couldn't actually be that bad.
But you're going to have to spend a bit of money on this to get it fit for people to live in.
It's got a way to go before it's acceptable, really.
Yeah, we always knew that, but we paid the right price for it
at auction, I think, so it is built into the budget, you know.
£10,000, £15,000, we'd have this in a perfectly habitable state.
So how soon would you like to start work on this house so you can rent it out?
We'll start soon. We'll have people in here stripping all the wallpaper and working quickly.
They'll be skips here by the beginning of next week.
So it sounds like it's full steam ahead here,
but the bungalow has got a stay of execution before it's demolished.
Of course, that will only happen if Andrew's successful with his planning application
and redeveloping the site is a big project.
Do you feel that you have the skills and the knowledge
to go ahead and build houses on this site?
I have the skills and the knowledge to ask other people.
That's about it. That's where my skills and my knowledge run to.
We'll get planning permission. You have to leave something in it
for someone else, obviously, but we want to get as maximum a development in here as we can.
We'll get the planning permission, then someone with the funds and the skills will carry on.
-You certainly have got a long road ahead.
-Yeah, bumpy one, too, I should think.
-But an exciting one.
-Good luck with this.
-It's been great meeting you today.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-Thank you very much.
Andrew definitely had his eye on the bigger picture here.
He didn't care about the state of the house, didn't even view it.
What he wanted was the plot.
Will he really be able to get this place done up and rented out at minimal cost
and will he be successful with his planning application to build houses on this site?
Or maybe he'll get tangled up in a red-tape planning nightmare.
Well, you can find out exactly what happens later on in the programme.
For the next property that went under the hammer,
I've come to a north-western city that's seen some changes.
Well, Salford is not so much on the up.
You could argue it's a long way there.
It's been transformed by mass regeneration.
Media jobs are coming up here.
You're only five minutes from the centre of Manchester, so it really is the place to be.
Big question is, is it the place to buy?
It has certainly smartened up over the years
and with a massive £650 million in the pot for further regeneration,
this could be an area for some attractive investments.
This is Gerald Road, nicely lined with Victorian properties.
Nothing too unusual so far.
However, wait until I tell you that the property I'm here to see
sold in 2002 for £10,000.
Yes, just £10,000.
A year later, it sold for £25,000.
And here we are, seven years on,
and it went up to the auction with a guide price of 50,000 quid.
From 10,000 to 50,000?
Salford's meteoric rise in a nutshell.
So what is the house like?
Well, let's find out. Straightaway, that's interesting.
That wall there in the hallway here
looks like it's leaning this way a bit. That's a bit frightening.
-And in fact there's some cracking up there.
Certainly, that needs investigating, but basically that's the entrance hall there.
You've got your first living area here. Looks like it's been converted into one of the bedrooms.
It's full of...looks to me like student furniture
and in fact I think this would probably be a student-type let.
Through to the rear sitting room.
It's not actually a bad-size space, but it's just full of furniture.
You can't actually see how big it is, but actually I like this.
Then through this way to the kitchen.
That's where you find more evidence of neglect.
It's all very shabby.
It's also grubby, dingy and needs ripping out.
That's disappointing, because outside, the house looks to be in good condition.
The brickwork's sound and the windows have been replaced and look OK.
Well, at least at the front.
I'm afraid the rear of this terraced property isn't so good.
The roof definitely needs some attention.
Well, that's the ground floor and the exterior.
What's it like upstairs?
So upstairs and you've got the bathroom and loo here.
That's nice to have. Often in these kind of properties that would be
out at the rear of the kitchen, so it's good that that's there.
Then, basically, all you've got is your two bedrooms.
But they're a good size, especially this one,
which is basically the full width of the house. Nothing to dislike.
Not in bad nick. Apart from that wall downstairs, nothing too serious as far as I can see.
Lick of paint, some wallpaper,
new carpets and you could rent this place out like that!
Magic, but there's the worry that when you peel off this industrial-strength wallpaper,
the plaster will come with it.
But apart from that, the house is just dated, not dangerous.
I suspect that in the past it's been let to students,
with the two bedrooms up here,
and the lounge downstairs used as a third bedroom.
And as the university's just ten minutes' walk away, that's the choice I'd make here again.
But beware, it's not the instant money-maker it used to be.
A few years ago, this property would have been an absolute dead cert for renting out to students,
but as time goes on, student tastes get more and more sophisticated.
They want special rooms where they can have leisure facilities. They want washing facilities.
They want clean, new accommodation like this.
When I was at university, if it didn't have a hole in the roof, we considered it a bonus.
But no, this is the market you're up against now and you've got to bear that in mind
and if you want to rent to students, you've got to match these standards.
If you can't, then maybe you need to think about a plan B.
It might have an industrial look on the outside of the building,
but in fact it's the modern face of student living -
broadband, games room, modern kitchen, secure parking.
Student landlords, take note.
To find out what this house will need to compete in that market,
I've invited the local estate agent.
What does he suggest a buy-to-let investor should tackle first?
'Students are looking for modern properties and therefore if you were
'looking to modernise this property,'
I'd put in a new kitchen and bathroom
to bring it up to speed with the purpose-built neighbouring properties
which will be to a far higher specification,
which means you may have to invest slightly more in this property then potentially was first realised.
The house went to auction guided at 50,000.
Once renovated, how much income could the house produce, whether let to students or not?
If you let this property as a single dwelling, you would aim for 500-550 maximum per calendar month.
If you were to let to students, dividing it into three bedrooms,
you'd be aiming for £50 per calendar week per room.
With three bedrooms, that would generate £600 per calendar month.
Meanwhile, bearing in mind that guide price of 50,000, how much could it be worth once renovated?
If you were to sell the property in its current condition, you'd be looking at around £70,000.
If you were to do the refurbishment throughout,
you may aim towards 80,000-85,000.
This Salford semi has shown resilience in the last seven years.
Its value has gone from 10,000 to £50,000, despite the credit crunch.
So is the future for this property as rosy as its recent past?
I think it could be. Let's see who went for it at the auction.
This is a vacant two-bedroom terrace property.
Guide price 50,000.
Who's going to open up with 50?
50 anywhere? 50,000 bid.
Thank you then. 50 I have.
Do I see 51? 51,000. 52. 53. 54.
55. 56. 57. 58. 59.
60. 61? No. At £60,000.
60 and a half? 60 and a half. 61?
61. 61 and a half? 62?
62 and a half. 63?
No. At 62,500 then.
Are we all done? At 62,500 then for the first time.
63. 63 and a half is against.
63 and a half. 64?
63,750? Why not?
64. At 64,000 then.
Any advance on 64,000?
Gentleman's bid at the right. 64,000 for the first time.
At £64,000 for the second and final time. Are we all done at £64,000?
Well, you couldn't tell, but the winning bid of £64,000 was made by Gary.
He's from Manchester and was looking for an investment in sunny Salford.
I met up with him back at the property to find out what he has planned for it.
-Gary, good to meet you.
Congratulations. We didn't see you at the auction.
No, I was hiding at the very back, behind a pillar, I believe.
Oh, OK. Any particular reason for that?
Well, to keep me eye on what's going on and get a last-minute bid in.
It's a bit of a ploy there I think. MARTIN LAUGHS
But as it was, you were bidding earlier on.
Yeah, on a property across the road
and I set a target, but it was either/or,
and the one across the road went for a bit more than I expected to pay,
-so I thought I'd give this one a whirl. I was lucky and got it.
So why did you want to buy THIS place?
Well, first and foremost, it's right in the heart of the university complex,
so it would be ideal for letting to students.
That's the idea. I bought it as an investment property.
-Is this something you've done before?
-Yeah, I'm a part-time developer.
I've always had an aspiration, for many years, to get into property.
I started about two or three years ago and building up slowly but surely.
And now I'm at the stage where I've got several under my belt and the plan's going well at the moment.
-And it's a good time to buy, obviously.
-Yeah, sure. What do you do when you're not...?
-I'm an engineer, an electrical engineer.
-I used to work for the Electricity Board.
I set up my own company five years ago,
so I've flipped my time between property development and engineering.
With his background in the construction industry,
electrical engineer Gary was well placed to put some spark back in this place.
He currently has a portfolio of six properties, which he hopes to expand over the next few years.
With this, his latest purchase, he's sensibly already had a survey.
That revealed that it needs a damp-proof course
and that the roof should be checked.
However, on the positive side,
that bowed wall in the hall is just the result of some dodgy plastering,
so that's relatively easy to fix. Unlike his other properties,
Gary's intention for this house is to let to students.
It'll be his first time, so this electrical engineer
might be in for a bit of a shock.
Students these days demand quite high standards, don't they?
And they want the Internet, all that stuff built in, and you've got some competition nearby.
How do you think you'll fare with that kind of competition around?
It's a good question. I'm pretty flexible. If they want to bring their own stuff in, fine.
If they want me to furnish it, fine.
Obviously, there's always a budget with these things
and I'm not going to give them, you know, wide-screen TVs in every room and Sky TV.
Within reason, I'm quite happy to accommodate their needs, shall we say,
and provide a broadband connection.
So what's the plan for the house?
Well, first I want to remove the majority of the furniture,
carpets, get everything cleared out and start from the top, working my way down -
remove wallpaper, strip it back to bare walls, plaster where it's needed.
Bath looks in good condition. Toilet seems fine.
So in the bathroom, literally, just a lick of paint, new flooring,
replace the tiles and that's done, really.
The kitchen has had a new boiler, which will save a bit of expense.
That's one of the first things I look at.
The doors seem in reasonable condition.
I think, again, a good cleaning and maybe clean the work surfaces down.
Remove the wallpaper, a lick of paint, and that's the plan for both to try and keep the cost down.
-So what's the budget going to be?
-I've deliberated over this.
I've got myself a budget of around £3,000.
-It's really tight.
-I always work on a tight budget.
Sometimes I'm over, sometimes I'm under.
That includes, obviously, the damp-proof course, which will cost me about 250.
The only real contractor I can envisage is the damp proof and the flooring contractor
to put the flooring down and the carpets,
-but anything else, I'll have a go myself.
I've given myself a programme of six weeks.
I'll be spending the evenings here and weekends, so every spare minute,
I'll be down here and cracking on with it and getting it done.
-Congratulations and we look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, I think Gary has got himself
a great property here, but this is his first venture into student letting
and will that £3,000 refurbishment be enough to entice students into this property?
You can find out later in the show.
Coming up, we return to the manor house
I first got excited about in 2008.
It's got seven bedrooms, three storeys, just oozing with character.
In Salford, did Gary's quick and easy renovation
go as smoothly as planned?
When I took the wallpaper off, it took half the wall with it.
But first, in Wiltshire,
did Andrew get the best out of this house?
We've done things on a very...cost-effective basis.
Time now to head back to Staverton
in Wiltshire, where earlier in the programme Andrew paid
£180,000 for this chalet bungalow.
He already owns a large eight-bedroom property next door
and a plot of land behind it,
so buying the bungalow was the last piece in his jigsaw.
He hoped to get outline planning permission to demolish the bungalow
and then use that land, along with his existing plot,
build a new development and convert the neighbouring house he already owns.
That would obviously take time to come to fruition,
so he planned to do up the bungalow and rent it out whilst he waited.
Well, it's almost six months later now
and his team have given the bungalow a remarkably good refurbishment,
considering it's destined to be demolished.
In this room, we put new carpet down, as we have in every other room.
We had the gas fire serviced and certificated.
The heating is still the same as it was. Hot-air heating. Perfectly fine.
It was serviced and ready to go.
He's let the house out to tenants already.
The sprucing up of the bungalow started in the kitchen.
In here, we put a new floor down, replaced the cooker, obviously.
That was a mess.
We've painted it, cleaned it thoroughly,
and I'm very pleased with it. I think it looks good.
Andrew's had help from some of the workers who rent his neighbouring property.
The team have gone through the house from top to bottom, redecorating and refreshing the whole place.
Yes, the bathroom remains and it's pretty much as it was,
but considering it's on borrowed time,
it's all that's required for now.
And the work hasn't stopped inside.
We've changed a lot of the external woodwork. A lot of that was rotten. We've replaced that.
We've done things on a very...cost-effective basis.
We had a couple of lads come in from the house next door to paint it.
We've put new carpets down.
Been very little done.
So a quick makeover has breathed life into the old bungalow.
How much has Andrew had to spend on it?
Probably no more than 4,000 or 5,000.
Most of it was labour, simply being paint and painting,
a cooker and carpets, plus the external woodwork.
Initially, he'd hoped to build four terraced houses
on the land behind the bungalow,
but the council indicated that two four-bedroom houses would be more acceptable,
so Andrew's architect has drawn up a new application for planning permission.
We have these plans that they seem to like.
Where there was a big house and a bungalow,
we now want to put four detached houses alongside the main house,
which will be split into three.
So the proposal is to demolish the bungalow
and build one four-bedroom house in the front garden
and a second in the back garden, with access from a neighbouring road.
A further two four-bedroom houses will be built behind that.
Access is very good on this site,
because there's two access points to the front of the main house,
there's one to the rear and there's one to this property.
So there's four access points.
The large detached house that Andrew's workers currently rent
will be divided into three new apartments.
How much does he anticipate it will cost, if he manages to get the planning permission?
The costs of 30,000 are what I have in mind and that should be a minute planning detail,
all the architect's fees. We've had to cut the trees down.
We might have to cut the sequoias down and replace them.
I would think that will be our costs.
He bought the bungalow for 180,000 and there's a fantastic development
opportunity here, so Andrew must be pleased.
Yeah, I am thrilled. I am thrilled to get this.
I think we paid the right price and I think the value of the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.
Time to see if two local estate agents share his optimism.
The house is well located.
It's had a cosmetic makeover.
It's rather basic in terms of fittings to the kitchen and
bathrooms and I believe any family coming in would want to make further
improvements to enhance the home.
He's obviously cleaned it up outside. He's taken down the leylandii.
A bit of a spruce up. Taken some moss
off the tiles on the roof and made it, what we would class, as rentable.
The plans I've seen for the site look very good indeed.
I think it's quite a good development.
There's obviously been a lot taking place in the local area
and individual properties on this site would fare well.
Planners locally are quite strict.
There will be stipulations and a lot of boxes he'll have to tick,
but I think if he executes it properly, he should be able to
produce quite a good build which will have a high development value.
Don't forget, it depends on getting planning permission.
But, short-term, Andrew's letting the house out.
So how much rent should it be earning?
As the property stands, I think you'd be looking somewhere in the £700 per calendar month mark.
A rental would be £750 per calendar month, to probably about £800 per calendar month.
I'm quite relaxed about that, yeah.
Actually, that's more than I'd have thought.
What's the bungalow worth now?
Remember, Andrew paid £180,000 for it and has spent about another five.
If he chose to sell the property as is with the work that he's done,
I think he'd be looking somewhere in the region of 190, £180,000-190,000.
I'd value the property in the current market at £185,000-£190,000.
So no profit in this condition.
However, that's academic, because if Andrew gets planning permission, he'll demolish the
bungalow, turn the house he already owns next door into three apartments and then sell it all off as one lot.
How much could that be worth?
With regard to selling this site as is with planning, one would like to
think that he'd get somewhere in the region of a million pounds.
This is a very interesting development site.
I would place the valuation around one million pounds.
I'm quite relaxed about a million pounds for the site.
However, there is the house as well and that has to come into the
figuring, so I would want between 1.3 and 1.5 million
for the whole site with the existing house.
The first hurdle is to get the planning permission and, even then,
Andrew doesn't have to sell straightaway.
Maybe the bungalow has more life left in it than we first thought.
I'm now going to revisit a property in Shadoxhurst,
ten minutes' drive from Ashford in Kent, although it feels a world away.
# ..Sweet country boy love... #
Set in idyllic countryside,
I'm here to see a property that I'm just so excited about.
In fact, it used to be the local manor house, dating back from the 14th century.
It's got seven bedrooms, three storeys, just oozing
with character and just look at that Kent peg-tiled roof.
It's got those beautiful leaded light windows.
Now, it was guided at £420,000-450,000.
I am loving it. I'm going to get inside.
This property is Grade II listed and has seen many changes throughout the years.
Not only has it been a family home, but at one point it was even a pub.
Well, this room would originally have been the great hall, opening up into the big roof space.
Imagine how grand that would have been. Certainly seen better days.
Look at this old panelling here!
It's got an inglenook over here.
You've got these beautiful, old original beams.
It's no surprise, bearing in mind the age of the house and
all these amazing features, that this property is listed.
In fact, all properties built before 1700 are automatically listed
and this basically means that this building is protected by law and you have to get permission to make
any changes, outside and in, which affect the character of the house.
So no ripping out any of the original features and no willy-nilly knocking down walls.
So the renovation is going to have to be carefully planned and the house does need a lot of work.
For a start, in the living room, the floorboards will have to be replaced.
And that kitchen could do with more than just a good sweep.
The house is full of character though and down every corridor
there's another room with inspiring possibilities.
And upstairs is a maze of great-sized rooms.
This really is all so higgledy-piggledy upstairs.
Lots of doors and corridors, sloping floors.
Now, this here is the huge tie beam.
It would have been exposed over the great hall.
It would have arced its way over. Over here, you've got the brace, which is enormous.
This would have been carved out of a massive
piece of timber and there's actually a matching one on the other side.
I could spend hours wandering around here.
It's just so special.
I love this house.
It has character and history and it sits on this amazing plot near a lovely village.
But it is a huge project and a listed building, so renovating this won't be straightforward.
So who had the courage to take Green Farm on?
Let's find out at the auction.
Lot ten. Start me where you will.
Can I say 420 to start me off?
At 420, I've got. 425 now if you like.
425. Thank you, sir. 425.
430. And 5. 435. 435.
And 40. 440. And 5. 445. And 50.
At £445,000 I've got. 450, I'm looking for.
450. Thank you. And 5. 455.
455. And 60.
455, I have on my left-hand side.
He's been with it for a long time.
I will sell for the first time at £455,000. Second time at £455,000.
455,000, the third and final time.
Can't need more opportunity than that. All done.
You've bought it, sir. Big smile on your face, I hope.
-And the number, please.
-And the successful bid of 455,000 came
from Mary Ann, but it was actually her husband who did the bidding.
Mary Ann is a London-based property developer, but this house isn't going to be just another project.
She plans to make it her new home.
-Mary Ann, I've just got to say congratulations.
Now, how did you fall upon this little gem?
Well, I've been having my eye on it for about a couple of years.
We heard a rumour that it might be coming on the market and I've been watching it all the time.
So why did you want to buy this?
My parents live just up the road and they have had the place
since I was nine and I spent most of my childhood in the area.
And I got married just up the road about three-and-a-half years ago, literally diagonally opposite.
For years you must have walked past this house, looking at it fondly?
I have always loved the house, always loved it.
So as Mary Ann and her husband got married just across the road,
by the sounds of it, this property has found its perfect match.
# When I fall in love
# It will be forever... #
So now you've managed to buy this at auction, how do you feel?
Very excited and actually the whole feeling is that you can't
believe that something you've really wanted actually happens.
What are going to do to it? How are you going to change it?
Well, it's quite interesting cos it's a hard one to come up with,
because you don't want to change it.
You want to make the most of the features and bring that out.
And at the same time, because it's Grade II listed, there's only a certain amount we can do.
So, first, we got an architect involved.
We'll go through some of the options of what we'll be allowed to do.
For me, it's about keeping it very simple and quite minimalist but
bringing out all the features from the actual building.
There could be a never-ending amount of renovation done here,
so how much has Mary Ann set aside as her budget?
I think you'd have to say anything from 100,000 up to 200,000, at least.
-Depending on how far you want to take this.
Yeah, absolutely. It's really hard to say.
So how does buying this and developing this differ from your day job.
Well, my day job, I would give myself three months and I'd be,
on day one, getting the keys and the builders would be in there.
And by three months later, it would be rented.
With this, it's totally different.
You know, if I try and push things to make them happen quickly, I think I'm going to sort of regret that.
I think I need to give it time and do it more gradually.
It's going to be more challenging, cos I've got to slow down a little bit.
But when we first returned, the restoration was still a long way from the finish line.
I bought the place about 12 months ago
and we were hoping to be in by now. I think we've probably got
another four or five months until the property's ready.
Well, it took a bit longer, but we'll show you the stunning result later in the programme.
Now renovating a property can be a very time-consuming process.
Especially if things don't go according to plan.
So did our buyers' plans even get off the drawing board?
We now return to Salford, near Manchester.
Earlier in the programme, part-time property developer Gary, who runs his own
electrical engineering business, paid £64,000 for this mid-terrace.
It was to add to the other six properties in his portfolio.
His plan was to give the place a quick makeover and let it out to students.
Now, just over two months later, we met up again with Gary back at
the house, to find out what he's achieved.
Well, the changes are largely cosmetic.
The living room's lost all the furniture.
That orange colour scheme had to go and the laminate flooring is
much more practical for lots of student traffic. Upstairs, the
two bedrooms are newly carpeted.
Although the bathroom suite remains, the new shower curtain and matching colour scheme are an improvement.
How does this refurbishment compare with other properties Gary's worked on?
I've been pretty lucky.
Some projects can be a lot more difficult than others, but this one,
the biggest thing I had to do was a bit of plastering
in the front bedroom. When I took the old wallpaper off, it took half the wall with it.
Ouch! Remember, Gary originally planned to strip all the wallpaper, but after that experience in the
front bedroom, he decided to leave well alone and just paint the walls.
What we've done in here, we've emulsioned the walls,
glossed the skirting boards and obviously put flooring down.
As you can see, a total difference from what it was originally.
You know, simple colour scheme and flooring sort of finishes it off.
After he paid £64,000 at auction, you may remember that Gary then had a survey done on the house.
It identified a damp issue and possible need for a damp course.
So has this been resolved?
We put a damp meter on ourselves and we couldn't detect any damp.
We think it might just have been condensation.
We had an inspection. We don't think a damp-proof course is required.
So that would have been one of the most difficult things we needed to do.
At the back of the house in the kitchen, Gary's wish to keep the sink and the worktop had to change.
We've replaced the worktops. The old worktops were pretty rotten really.
A lot of water had got into them.
We replaced the worktops, put a new sink in, new taps and replaced the tiles.
All that remains to be done in here now is a couple coats of paint, get the boiler serviced
and that's it. Give the floor a good clean.
The only thing with the flooring is, if it doesn't come up pretty good, then we'll have to
scree the floor and maybe put some vinyl down, just to finish it off.
As Gary's a qualified electrical engineer with years of experience in
the construction industry, he turned his hand to most of the work here.
I did all the decorating and plumbing,
but to speed the process up, I got a chap in who does a bit of joinery work
for me and he did the flooring downstairs.
The carpets were fitted professionally.
For a couple of months, Gary spent all his spare time here.
He knows the quicker the house is finished, the quicker it can start generating income.
How much has he had to spend here?
Originally, it was £3,000 and the last count we were at £1,850.
That includes the carpets and the flooring, etc, all the paint and materials.
On top of that, you've got your legal fees. There's a bit of snagging to do.
There's a strip of wallpaper missing in the front bay window downstairs.
We've ordered that from the manufacturer.
Fit the radiator in the front bedroom. We're pretty much done. Not much else to do.
I'm a bit concerned that Gary's first buy to let
is aimed at the student market, but he's not installed all the fancy features they now seem to expect.
There's a lot of competition.
So where's the internet access that's now a standard requirement of most students?
We've got the facility for broadband connected.
We've just got to get it reconnected at the local server.
Time to see how two local estate agents will rate the property.
I think the changes which have been made
The basic essentials which you would need
to transform it from what it was into what it presently is.
What he has done is good, but it is just the bare essentials.
It is very basic, but it's very nice and open.
It's ideal for a student let. It's very close to the university
and it's been furnished for students, which is great.
For the student market it should be sufficient for their needs.
It's got two double bedrooms.
It has a shower over the bath.
It should tick all of the boxes.
If Gary ends up letting out the whole house
and not on a room-by-room basis to students,
how much rent could it earn?
If you were to market the property in its entirety and not per room,
then you would be looking to market at £550 per calendar month, maximum 575 per calendar month.
Private market, if you're looking to let it out to a family, around about £500-£550 per calendar month.
That's pretty much in line with my expectations.
I was expecting slightly more, but I'd be more than happy with 575 a month
in terms of rental income. Definitely, it would be a good yield.
If he got £575 a month, that would generate £6,900 a year,
so his investment would make a 10% annual return.
How much could the property make in rental income if Gary let three rooms to students?
Based on the house being rented as a three-bedroom property,
you'd achieve £50 per week, per room.
For a student let, you'd be looking around about £55 per week, per room.
That's exactly in line with what I thought.
I did a bit of market research before I purchased the property,
with regard to student lets, and that's pretty much in line with what I thought. Pleased with that.
That's a yield of over 11.5%, so no wonder Gary's happy.
What's the resale value of the house now?
More than the £67,000 that he's spent?
I'd value this property between £75,000-£80,000.
If he was going to finish it and sell it, I'd be saying around about between £80,000 and £85,000.
I like the second one, 80-85. That would give me a reasonable return.
I mean, the plan is not to sell it for quite a long time.
This will form part of the future portfolio.
Whether he decides to rent it out as a whole house
or as individual rooms or sell it, Gary looks to be in the money here.
I've got another property to look at.
Very similar, mid-terrace, it's coming up for auction as well,
so hopefully I might be at auction again some time.
We'll keep an eye out for you, Gary.
This grand manor house in Kent
was bought for £455,000 at auction by Mary Ann.
She lives in London now,
but actually grew up just down the road.
I spent most of my childhood in the area and I got married up the road
about three and a half years ago, opposite.
She is now a property developer and is going to need all her expertise
to turn this old farm into her new dream home.
When we first returned the property
was a long way from being habitable,
but a massive effort had gone into a very sensitive renovation,
mainly on the beautiful woodwork throughout.
We realised that the woodwork on the doors, that was amazing.
We could keep those, we could work with them.
And as we cleared up the other elements of the woodwork...
You can see the dais beams, and uncovering those
and the beautiful detail in those, that was really exciting.
As the house is Grade II listed, Mary Ann had to liaise closely with the local conservation office.
They had to approve every single detail of the renovation.
We're using a lot of the traditional lime mortar,
lath and plaster materials where we're actually repairing works.
And when we have been able to get new, we've gone for local oak as much as possible.
Mary Ann had also been busy adding en-suite bathrooms to some of the bedrooms,
so there was no need to run down all those stairs in the middle of the night.
The renovation's been done by a local builder Charlie.
He and his team made a discovery, a 40ft well.
Mary Ann hoped to tap into the natural resource
to provide water for the whole house, including the new bathroom suite.
Another revelation was some very rare wood panelling, dating back to the 15th century.
It was originally the end wall of the manor's great hall.
Mary Ann had never intended to rush this project.
It was a real labour of love, but there was some light at the end of the tunnel.
I bought the place about 12 months ago, and we were hoping to be in by now.
I think we've probably got another four or five months until the property's ready.
This'll probably be the period when things move quickly.
I love to be around at the moment because, you know,
a day will go by, I'll come back in and a bathroom's done.
It's just all starting to come together.
Eight months since we last saw Mary Ann.
We're back to see the finished product and it has certainly all come together.
The back now has a new patio area and a lovely lawn is taking shape.
Mary Ann and husband, Martin, moved in few months ago,
so let's see how the interior looks now.
Inside, the house has been beautifully done,
with many of the original timbers restored,
including that 15th-century feather panelling.
There are also plenty of modern facilities incorporated into the property.
You've just got to know where to look.
And they've made a great feature of the well.
And while there are not many timbers in the kitchen, it's been equipped to a very high standard.
The overall impression the house conveys is of the rich, warm textures of the wood.
Mary Ann and Martin have thoroughly enjoyed watching their house develop.
Nearly every week you'd come down there was something different.
It was just very exciting because we'd had to wait so long for the planning permissions.
Suddenly, we had the go ahead and everyone was pushing to make it happen yesterday.
It was just amazing how quickly it all came together.
And the wait's been worth it.
Oh, we love it.
It just feels... It feels homely.
It's large, but it just, you know, it works as a house.
And what a house!
We've got seven bedrooms. Our bedroom has an en suite shower room
and we have two bathrooms - one very, very glamorous bathroom
and then we have a shower room downstairs.
And then we've also got loos and toilets in a couple of the rooms.
So, basically, we've got six toilets and four bathing facilities.
A very impressive finish all round, but with such an historic,
Grade II Listed property, some compromises had to be made.
They had to ensure the plumbing for those bathrooms was concealed,
so some of the washrooms had to be squeezed into small spaces.
You can't just run pipes down the outside of this house!
It's been a real team effort, with skilled craftsmen working to restore the former glory here.
It's the little touches that stand out, like this stained glass for the coat of arms.
We've had brilliant tradespeople and builders, obviously, headed up by Charlie.
We've become close friends with Charlie. We've even named our puppy after him.
He put together a good crew of people,
some of whom we've been working with directly,
most of them local, which was important to us.
For Mary Ann and Martin, it was important
to keep the character of the original building very much alive.
By not hanging heavy curtains or large blinds over the beautiful windows, they've let the simple,
natural colours enhance a richly textured atmosphere.
But, as it's Grade II Listed, the windows are only single glazed,
so keeping the house warm required ingenious solutions.
We've done a lot of insulating.
We've put in a ground-source heat pump.
We've done under-floor heating everywhere. We've modernised it from that point
of view to make it very comfortable.
We're expecting it to be very warm and quite economical.
It's a large house to heat, so I'm sure any savings will be appreciated.
You may remember, they paid 455,000 for the house at auction.
Having taken on such a mammoth restoration, the team have had to liaise closely with the conservation
officer to ensure the strict, correct procedures were followed to the letter.
In this particular room, we have big supporting oak.
That had to be pretty good quality oak.
It's a question of making sure that things aren't contradicting.
At the same time, with the panelling here, we weren't permitted to sort of
actually make it all match, so you can see clearly, this is the old bit and this is the new bit.
So it's making sure you don't confuse the periods of time.
As the refurbishment progressed, Mary Ann made a decision to use only the best-quality materials.
She had anticipated spending up to 300,000, so does she know how much it's actually cost?
Did she go over her budget?
I think you could say budget, there was no budget, because...
it became a different project.
It became a love and a passion, and it puts it into a totally different concept, so we did spend
a lot more money than I would ever spend on anything probably again.
Time to hear what two local estate agents make of the property.
There's been an awful lot of Kentish farmhouses which have been renovated
and improved since the boom of the market in the late '90s onwards.
Some have been badly, some have been done well and some, a handful -
this included - have been done immaculately.
The finish is absolutely first class, in my opinion.
They spent a lot of money on the property,
kept original features here as well, which makes it good.
The well was unusual. Overall, very impressed.
What I particularly like is that the character has been retained.
We've got a lot of timbers here, we're got high-quality floorings,
we've got tiles, we've got stained glass.
The attention to detail is brilliant and it's a really good finish.
I like the fact that they've utilised the space
with seven double bedrooms and kept a lot of original features.
The oak flooring's lovely. The beams are absolutely wonderful.
So how much is the place now worth?
Remember, they paid 455,000 at auction
and their costs have been somewhere north of 300,000.
If I were to put this property up for sale, I would certainly
hope to achieve somewhere in the order of about £1.2 million.
If I was to put the property up for sale in today's market,
I would look at an asking price of £1.2 million.
Wow! Even if the budget has stretched to 500,000,
that still means about £250,000 gross profit here.
Yeah, I think that's a fair price for the state it's in right at this moment.
-That's about what we expected.
-With that valuation, are they tempted to sell?
-Would they ever leave this house?
Mary Ann has been hands on with this project right from the beginning.
She has seen the house stripped right back to its bare bricks and then expertly rebuilt.
Now it's complete, that must have been a great advantage.
It makes a huge difference, because you become really attached to it, really attached.
Going through the journey
and gradually sort of growing into it as we went through the journey
has just made us want to be here the whole time.
Well, that's it for this show. Join us next time for more tales from the frontline of property developing.
-So make sure you join us then for more Homes Under The Hammer.
-Bye for now.
-See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a detached house in Wiltshire, a three-bed house in Salford and a property in Kent.
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.