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An Englishman's home is his castle.
And whether it's a grand house or a small flat,
most people take pride in where they live.
But the starting point is to find the right home,
and one way to do that is under the hammer.
Well, it can be a daunting task, renovating a property, especially if you've not done it before.
It can also reap you financial reward if you keep on top of things.
So what challenges awaited the buyers on today's show?
'In Stoke-on-Trent, there's a cracking two-bedroom house.'
You see that great big gap there?
Better not push that too hard.
'In London, this one-bedroom second-floor flat takes my breath away.'
-Now I'm in the flat.
'And this house in Coupar Angus, Perthshire, doesn't look great from outside,
'and inside, you're going to have to...'
Use your imagination.
'These properties are being sold at auction, and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid
-'when they went under the hammer.'
'This is Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, just north of Newcastle-under-Lyme
'and a stone's throw from the borders of fashionable Cheshire.
'The town developed around the coalmining industry,
'but these days, it's commuters who've settled in and hiked up the prices.
'I wonder if I can dig deep and unearth a bargain today.'
If somebody described something as mature, what would you expect?
A person who was very responsible? A fine wine, perhaps? Maybe a Cheddar cheese.
Not normally a term that's applied to property,
but it was in this case, in the auction catalogue.
What I'm here to see is this two-bedroom mid-terrace.
Has a guide price of £47,000.
So, in this case, what does mature mean?
# This old house is getting shaky
# This old house is getting old
# This old house lets in the rain
# This old house lets in the cold
So, what's in store? Wow.
Well, a bit of a state, actually, this property.
Straight away, I can see solid floors
and I doubt there's a damp-proof course.
All the walls are going to need replastering. But, on the positive side, a nice size living room
and then through into a rear living room here.
The first thing I'd think about doing is taking out that wall to create an open-plan area. A few nice touches.
Original tiles on the floor.
They've obviously had their day,
but it just shows, this property clearly has not been touched
for a very, very long time, which equals lots of money to spend doing it up.
# I feel so untouched right now
# Need you so much
# Somehow I can't forget you
'It looks as though most things will need to be touched up in this cottage.
'New wiring, new plaster, new floors and ceilings.
'But before we get too carried away, let's take a look at the back.'
So, fairly classic layout for this kind of property
with your bathroom and toilet there at the very rear of the property, in total need of refurbishment
and access through the kitchen, which isn't ideal.
But it's nothing in comparison to the kitchen, which is in a right state and has an interesting feature.
Yep, currently doesn't have a ceiling. Still, who likes the idea of al fresco cooking?
'It's not just the ceiling that should be replaced.
'The whole kitchen needs stripping back and rebuilding.
'Outside, you can see the roof needs some attention
'and the windows have cracks around the frames.
'In fact, it seems that cracks are quite a feature of this cottage.'
So, two bedrooms up here, not a bad size.
Hang on a minute. Forget about the size,
something much more serious going on in the corner here.
Can you see that great big gap there?
Better not push that too hard.
Uh-oh. Over on the other side here, another crack.
It's so big, I can actually get my fingers in. What's happening is the whole front of this property
is starting to tilt. I say starting. Who knows? You need to check this out
and find out if that's historical or if it's been like that more recently.
Whatever, it needs to be checked out by somebody who knows what they're doing.
'Anyone can tell you that it's a serious problem.
'But just how bad requires a structural engineer.
'And what it might cost to fix is anyone's guess at the moment.
'The whole place is a bit of a decomposing time capsule
'with problem after problem concealed beneath layers of wallpaper.
'It's the same story in the second bedroom.
'The more this house has been stripped back,
'the more issues have come to the fore.
'Mind you, it's quite an interesting history lesson
'about how decorating trends have changed over the years.'
It always pays to do your research before you buy a property
and Sherlock Roberts has been doing a bit of snooping around
and I've found out that this house actually sold for £44,000 seven months ago.
That's £3,000 less than the guide price.
You've got to ask yourself, why is somebody turning it around so quick?
I mean, maybe those cracks proved to be more of a problem than they anticipated.
Really, you've got to ask yourself, am I taking on more than I can chew?
At the end of the day, it's elementary, my dear viewer.
'To check out my theories, I asked a local estate agent to come
'and do a bit of detective work.'
Having looked round, I think it needs to be taken back to basics.
Replastering, rewiring, new windows.
'What would she advise the new owners to do here?
'This is going to be a long-term development, I would imagine.
I think if they were to spend the money on it now,
they probably wouldn't get the return on the market.
If it was a rental property, a long-term investment, I think it could be quite good.
'What's the rental market like and how much could they get?'
The rental market in Kidsgrove, particularly, for this sort of property is very buoyant.
I think you could achieve £450 per calendar month.
'The auction guide price was £47,000, but the cottage obviously needs money spent on it.
'What could it be worth on the open market once done up?'
The property as it stands today, I would value it around £55,000.
Once the money has been spent on the property, I would say £20,000 to £25,000,
looking to achieve maybe £90,000 to £95,000.
Well, in this case, this mature property is currently on its last legs
and certainly in need of a full health check-up.
Let's find out who bought it when it went under the hammer.
Nice looking terraced house, this. 40 to start?
Thank you, sir. 40,000 opening bid.
45 can I say now? I'll take one if it helps. 41 can I say?
42, sir? 42.
No? 56,000 standing left, then.
At £56,000. 57 anywhere else?
I'll take a half. 56 and a half. 57.
Another half? No? Sure?
At 57,000, standing left. Are we all done?
At 57, then, for the first time.
At 57 for the second time.
Third and final time at £57,000.
It's your lot, sir. Well done.
'The winning bid of £57,000, £10,000 above the guide price,
'was made by Carl, a safety officer for a manufacturing firm.
'He hopes to supplement his pension by renting the cottage out
'after spending four to eight months renovating it. I met up with him to discuss his plans.'
-Carl, good to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy the house.
-Er, it's extremely local to me
and I've been looking at the properties for quite some time
and trying to make a purchase. The market's still relatively low locally.
I think it would be a good investment property.
You say you're very local. How local?
It's about 20 or 30 feet away.
-So you live across the road.
Well, a really good bit of advice is to buy in an area that you know and you can be close to.
-You couldn't get much closer than that!
So you obviously know about these properties, then.
They're very well sought-after. When they're priced realistically, they sell really quick
and they rent really quick, as well.
'There's nothing like local knowledge
'and local boy Carl has certainly got that.
'Did he know something that others didn't when he paid £10,000 over the guide price?'
I paid more than I wanted to, really, but I went right up to my limit and managed to get it.
-Obviously, it needs quite a lot of work.
-It needs extensive work, yeah.
-It's a wreck.
-Well, at least you're realistic about it.
I knew the property needed basically gutting from top to bottom, so I knew what I was buying.
-Have you got any experience in this kind of thing?
Very little experience. Initially, I was going to
put it out to builders, but due to the price I paid, I may have to try
and negotiate my father to help me and do some of the easier tasks myself.
'Although not a builder by trade, Carl's father has a lot of renovation experience,
'so Carl might need to persuade him to come out of retirement to work on this place.
'Taking on an easy task is one thing, but he didn't get a structural survey before buying this property,
'which, judging by those cracks, may have been a mistake.'
The left-hand crack is old movement
and the right-hand crack is slightly newer movement.
I have bid on previous properties in the past
and a number of these properties on this row have got exactly the same cracking.
So we're going to put in some supports and some epoxies and consolidate the cracks.
-Right. So just tie them all in together so it doesn't get any worse.
'Carl seems to be across that problem,
'but there's still a lot of work to be done here
'and he's already spent more buying it than he intended.
'How much more does he think it will cost to get it into a letable state?'
My guestimate for renovation would be about 18K.
I suspect builders will be coming in at about 20K, 22K.
'What's his next step when all the work's finished?'
Just get a lodger in as soon as possible
and start to recover a little bit of money.
-And then would you do it again?
-I'll let you know when it's been done.
-It's all dependent on how it goes.
-Congratulations. Good luck.
-Thanks very much.
-Look forward to seeing how you get on.
'Carl has the advantage of living just across the road,
'but there's a lot of work to do and he could fall foul in not getting a survey.
'But surely he hasn't put all his eggs in one basket?'
Well, I hope that safety-conscious Carl has got a safety margin in his budget,
because I think there could be some unforeseen expenses once he starts renovating this place.
Still, it couldn't be more convenient and when it's finished, I'm sure it will be a good investment property.
You can find out how he gets on later in the show.
'This is Bow in the East End of London,
'near Stratford, the Docklands with its useful light railway, and the city.'
'Despite being on the edge of the official Olympic area,
'Bow should still benefit from all the investment in the 2012 games.'
This is Campbell Road. It's just a five minute walk from Bow Road Tube and the Bow Church DLR,
which is fantastic because it gets you straight into London in a matter of minutes.
I'm here to see this second-floor flat. It's right up there on the top floor
in this quite attractive, gorgeous mid-terrace building.
Now, the only thing you've got to think about is parking here
because the only way you can park is if you apply for a parking permit,
so that is something the new owner of this property has really got to think about.
The guide price - just £165,000.
'£165,000 is pretty reasonable for a flat in this part of London,
'especially considering this ex-local authority property
'still has 125 years left on its lease.
'The period building it's in is very attractive, too.
'But I've got to get up there first.
'And then, when I finally get into the flat...'
Oh, no! More stairs!
Now, I thought I was relatively fit, but look.
-Now I'm in the flat. Let's have a little look around.
You've got a bathroom down there, not really suitable.
But you have got this little bit of space here. You could utilise this.
I'm so out of breath! And put a nice little desk here, so you could have this as a sort of study area.
Window up there to let some natural light in, which is nice.
And I suppose this is the main bedroom.
First things first, get this woodchip wallpaper off,
paint it a different colour. And the thing that bothers me here
is this big old set of wardrobes. You'll need to dismantle them and get them out,
and the only way to get anything out in this flat is go all the way down those stairs.
# Down, down, deeper and down
'So far, we've got a lot of stairs,
'a big bathroom that needs updating
'and a large bedroom that could do with redecorating.
'At least it's only cosmetic work that's necessary.
'But I think the real key to developing a flat is always to try and maximise the square footage.'
With this flat, I'm looking for a bit of extra space.
And I've found it. Look at this. Little corridor, not used for anything,
so you could actually add it onto the kitchen space, which needs completely gutting
and a brand new kitchen needs to be installed in there.
So we walk straight through into the living area. You've got a really good space in here.
It needs decorating. The wallpaper needs peeling off. But you know what I would like to do?
Take this wall out and change this all around and have a nice kitchen-diner open-plan area.
But like most things, I don't think it'll be as straightforward
as just getting the sledgehammer out and knocking it down.
'You'd have to make sure it's not a structural load-bearing wall and OK the work with your freeholder.
'But there's yet another reason why you can't just knock this flat about when and however you like.'
And that's because this building is Grade II listed,
which means every change you make inside as well as out
needs to be cleared with a conservation officer.
So, if you have lovely sash windows, like this, yes, they look beautiful,
but they can be draughty and rattly and noisy,
especially on a main road like you have here.
But, because of the listing, they have to stay.
So the only option is to refurbish what's here,
and that can cost you around £200 per window.
But, in my opinion, it's well worth the money,
because in this flat, it's the only character feature left.
'That Grade II listing wasn't mentioned in the auction catalogue.
'Another reason why you really should read the legal pack.
'I asked a local estate agent for his thoughts on whether this property would sell on easily.'
The location, being very close to the stations, is very, very good.
As it's a period building in a terrace of very lovely houses,
the outside is desirable.
It doesn't look like it's got structural problems, but a survey will show this.
Does it need any work? Obviously, it does.
But if the work is done very nicely, it will sell.
'The flat had a guide price of £165,000
'and seems to tick all the boxes as far as the estate agent is concerned.
'So how much does he think it would sell for once renovated?'
I would value this property, once renovated, in between £210,000 and £220,000.
'And what about a rental figure?'
The rental you could get for this property is approximately £950 per month.
There is quite a bit of work to do here,
but really this flat is a pretty straightforward refurbishment project.
Although I wouldn't fancy lugging all the materials up and down those stairs.
But it is well located for transport
and it should make a good buy-to-let investment and be easy to sell on.
So who bid for this Bow flat? Let's find out when we head to auction.
One-bed second-floor flat between Canary Wharf and the City.
It's a handy location. Where do you wish to start?
150. I'm not going to go below 150. 150 in the room.
175 with you.
183 at the back. 184.
185 at the back. 186.
187? 186 sitting down. 187 anywhere?
186, first time, second... 187. 188.
191. If not, 190 to you, first time, second time,
third and last time. If you're all done...
'The winning bid of £190,000 was made by apprentice plumber Neil
'on behalf of his bosses, Colm and Robert.
'Colm couldn't make it today, so I met his business partner, Robert, and their apprentice, Neil.'
Why did these guys send you off to do all the bidding, then?
Because they run the plumbing, heating and electrical firm,
they're in their company vans driving round,
fixing or installing or whatever,
so because I'm the lowest-ranking engineer, they just sent me to the auction for the day.
'Colm's not only busy driving around in his van, he's also rather preoccupied at home at the moment
'because he's about to become a dad.
'But why have business partners Robert and Colm decided to go into property development?'
Definitely Colm's idea. He wants to do something else, not only plumbing,
and see can he make some profit on this or not?
Hold on a minute. Colm's going to be very busy being a dad these days,
so a lot of this might fall to you. Are you prepared for hard work?
Yes, I've been involved in refurbishments before
and I think I can cope with this flat, as well.
You paid £190,000 for this.
Do you think you got that at a good price or a little bit toppy there?
I think 190 was the maximum we would pay.
But if we do this to the top standard,
I think I can expect £235,000 from this, maybe £240,000.
So what do you think you can do to this flat to really make it look fantastic?
Very high quality kitchen, new bathroom,
new floors, probably timber or panels in the living room,
carpet in the bedroom and staircase,
modern paints, modern colours.
'So, no walls coming down here by the looks of it.
'But will they be installing any fireplaces or cornicing to give the flat some character?
Er, I don't think so.
I think that it will be a modern place and there will be no place for cornicing.
So you're leaving it really contemporary, really modern.
How much are you going to spend? What's your budget for the work here?
I expect to spend £15,000. I don't think much more.
And are you going to be doing most of the work yourselves?
Yes. We have a team which will do the plastering and everything else.
'They've already paid £190,000 for the flat and plan to spend another £15,000 doing it up.
'But how much time will they spend on it?'
It's going to take about four to five weeks.
But, realistically, we might push it to six or seven weeks to complete the work.
So six or seven weeks and then out on the market.
-It'll be quite an exciting time for you guys, but also hard work
-because you have to run your business, as well.
-Yes, it will be busy.
Onwards and upwards for you guys. Lovely to meet you today and good luck with this project.
-Thank you very much indeed.
These boys are doing this flat up to sell on.
Now, I don't think it'll cause this experienced team any problems.
However, with the Olympics on the horizon, maybe they'd be better off to hang on to this one,
because I reckon property prices will be on the rise around here.
And as it stands, I don't think there'll be a huge amount of profit in this flat.
Find out what happens later on in the programme.
'Coming up, this house in Perthshire may need more than just a coat of paint.'
It's the damage that's been created to the structure that really concerns me.
'There can't be a lot of work required at this one-bedroom flat in London, can there?'
I put off most of my jobs to do the jobs in the flat.
'But first, has Carl cracked it in Kidsgrove?'
There's still about 40 jobs to do out of 160.
'Back in Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, safety officer Carl
'bought this two-bedroom house for £57,000.
'He lives across the road, so didn't have far to travel while he was renovating it.'
-Obviously, it needs quite a lot of work.
-It needs extensive work, yes. It's a wreck.
'Four months later and it's a long way from being finished.
'But so much better than it was.
'The exposed bricks really give this house character.
'The kitchen is still to be installed.
'And so is the bathroom.
'But at least I don't think you can call it a wreck any more.'
It's slightly better than a wreck at the moment.
It's still an on-going project.
There's still about 40 jobs to do out of 160.
But they're quite minor jobs, so we'll get there in the end.
'What little there was of a kitchen has been ripped out.
'As has this bathroom.'
Yeah, before, we had a very dark, tiny bathroom and hallway,
which was a bit of a waste of time, so we knocked the hallway down
to make the bathroom much larger.
We've dry-lined the room and put new ceilings in.
Made some structural work to the ceilings, improved the strength of it.
Put an attic hatch in, as well, for access.
The kitchen lived in this room before. We've moved that into the dining room,
so now we've got a small kitchen-diner, which has freed up this space as a utility room.
'To enable Carl to do this, he had to move the back door and window closer to the house
'so it goes into the utility room rather than the new bathroom.
'The kitchen hasn't yet been put in the former dining room,
'but the area has been made ready.
'As part of that, the floors have been dug up and damp-proofing installed before being replaced.
'What about upstairs where those huge cracks were evidence that the front of the building was moving?'
This was the room with the two structural cracks in there.
We didn't want to cause any further movement,
so we decided to fit stainless steel spirals
into the joints.
We used epoxy and then we put some special construction cement in to consolidate it
and also some brackets, as well, that we screwed to the wall,
so I'm confident there'll be no more movement.
'Thankfully, the second bedroom was in one piece
'and after being replastered, just needed redecorating.
'Carl's also replaced the hot water and central heating system
'with an energy-efficient combi boiler.
'The original floors have been restored and oiled
'to give them that authentic look.
'So, other than getting experts for the total rewiring and plumbing,
'has Carl been a one-man band?'
I managed to get my dad to help me, I pulled him out of retirement
with an increase in beer tokens, so he's been helping me a lot,
doing the majority of the work in the daytime,
and I've been helping at weekends and in the evening, as well.
It's really hard juggling a career and trying to do this in the background.
'It's never easy doing a full-time job and then coming home and doing, well, another full-time job.
'But how long has it taken up till now?'
About 16 weeks at the moment.
But bearing in mind, it was done through winter.
Over Christmas, we were working at round about minus-ten. That limits the types of jobs you can do.
'There are still a few jobs to do, including installing the kitchen and bathroom.
'Carl thinks that will take another two to three weeks.
'He originally guestimated that he would spend £18,000
'on top of the £57,000 he paid for the property. How's that target looking now?'
It's coming in just under £15,000 at the moment,
but we've already purchased the kitchen and the bathroom.
When that's been fitted and it's tiled, there's a bit more labour costs on there,
it'll probably be just over 15K.
'To check whether the money's been spent wisely,
'we invited two local estate agents around to take a look.'
About the property, I do like the exposed brick.
The original features have been kept.
However, it's been brought up to a modern standard,
new central heating's been installed.
What I like about the property is that the owner's kept
a lot of original features, which is key to the property.
I also like the finish of the property.
The decorating is to a very high standard and the fixtures and fittings will be top spec, too.
'Once finished, would it be best to rent it out or sell it on?'
The rental market's very buoyant in Kidsgrove at the moment.
We are few and far between with supply and demand,
but also for a terraced cottage in Kidsgrove,
close to the town centre, it would sell very well.
It would be a difficult property to sell in the current climate,
due to it being aimed at a first-time buyer.
Although, an older couple that are perhaps downsizing may be interested in the property.
In the current market, I would say rental would be the best option.
'So, how much could Carl expect to get if he decided to rent this property out?'
For a rental figure for the property, I would recommend £450 per calendar month.
I would recommend a rental price of £475 per calendar month.
Oh, right. 475 is quite interesting.
I'd anticipated about 450. So that's positive, yeah.
'Carl reckons his total spend here will be just over £73,000 plus the usual fees and expenses.
'Could there be any profit here if he decided to sell?'
The resale value for the property, once completed,
I would recommend £90,000 to £95,000.
I would recommend a valuation of £79,950.
Yeah, I think the lower estimate's about right at the moment,
cos the market is still quite low at the moment.
But it doesn't really bother me, the value, cos it is a long-term investment.
'Once this is finished, will Carl be rushing out to get another one or has he got other plans?'
I'm going to have a long, long rest and hopefully start to reap the benefits
and get some income from all the hard work and the investment I've put into it.
'As plans go, that's not bad.
'Today, I'm in beautiful Perthshire,
'gateway to the Scottish Highlands.
'I've come to a small market town called Coupar Angus on the River Isla.
'It's a pretty place that had a thriving textile industry in the 19th century,
'so wealthy industrialists moved here, built grand, ornate houses and settled in the town.
'Thankfully, the architecture still survives today, making it a very attractive place indeed.'
I'm here to see a property that had a guide price of £45,000 to £50,0000.
What does it look like?
'As first impressions go, this would be, well, erm, a bad one.
'I can't even access the property from the front.
'To get inside, I have to go round the back. Hopefully, things will improve there.
'It's not looking great, but let's not right it off yet.
'It may just need a bit of good old-fashioned elbow grease. Let's go in and take a look.'
So what's it like inside?
Ah. Well, as you can see, severely fire-damaged.
The electrics are all over the place. I'm not even going to touch that.
The ceiling's come down. There's soot all over the walls.
Intrinsically, this is a huge kitchen.
It's going to be one of those properties
where you need to, well, use your imagination.
# Just my imagination, just my imagination
# It was
'Yes, and it's a good job I've got an active imagination
'because I think we're going to need a bit more than that elbow grease I mentioned earlier.'
I mean, this is the sort of property you should really look around
with somebody who knows what they're doing if you don't know yourself.
It's not the superficial damage I'm worried about, the soot and dirt you can get rid of,
it's the damage that's been created to the structure that really concerns me.
And that damage is not only caused by the fire,
but maybe when the fire brigade came to put out the fire, flooding this place with water,
it's the water damage, as well. Hm.
Definitely not one for the unwary. Now, I'll take a look upstairs.
Er, judging by that, I don't think I will.
'I'd love to show you round upstairs, but those joists really don't look too safe to me.
'So you'll have to take my word for it that there are three bedrooms and a bathroom up there.
'On the plus side, this could be a great family garden
'and Coupar Angus is a desirable place to live.
'So although this house isn't looking quite so hot anymore, it does have potential.
'But just in case my imagination's running away,
'I invited a local estate agent to tell me more
'about the house and area.'
Small, rural town, population of about 2,000.
We're only about 13 miles from the bigger town of Perth,
where you can get rail links to Aberdeen,
Edinburgh, Glasgow, bigger cities.
Coupar Angus itself has all local amenities,
grocery stores, convenience stores,
primary school and the local high school's only about six miles away in Blairgowrie.
'The area sounds great, but what does she think about the house?'
It's obviously been badly fire-damaged, water-damaged.
It does require completely renovating, everything from new walls,
flooring, just everything, really.
'The property had a guide price of between £45,000 and £50,000.
'So, once everything's been done, how much could it sell for on the open market?'
When renovated, I would say you would be looking to achieve perhaps £95,000 to £100,000.
'What could the new owner expect to get if they rented it out after doing it up?'
You would be looking to achieve between £450 and £475 per calendar month.
Well, obviously, quite a lot of work to do to sort this place out,
but it intrinsically is a good little house and I think, once done up,
would be a fantastic rental opportunity or a lovely place to live.
Let's see who went for it when it went under the hammer.
Lot 24. What are we going to say for that? Somebody start me off at £40,000.
Getting a bit of movement in the room. I've got a 40 from a proxy bid.
At £40,000. Is there 42 anywhere in the room? 42.
Can I have a 44 from you? 44.
-46 on the proxy?
-46 on the proxy.
48 at the back there. 48.
52. 54. 56?
He's having a think about it. He's shaking his head.
So it's down at the front here at £54,000.
I'm going to sell at 54 if that's the best I can do. £54,000.
Oh, he's back in. You first, OK. 55.
56, new bidder. 57.
58 anywhere? Any other bidders?
Are we all done at £57,000?
twice, third and final time.
£57,000. Gentleman in the front row in the green shirt.
'The winning bid of £57,000 came from father-of-two Nick.
'He's been in the building trade since doing an apprenticeship as a decorator when he first left school.
'Nick and his wife are originally from Kent and moved up to Scotland about four years ago.
'I met with him to hear about their plans for this fire-damaged property.'
Nick, congratulations. Good to meet you.
-Bit of a mess.
-Well, yeah, it is a bit of a mess.
-So why did you want to buy it?
-Because the mess is all superficial,
I'm a decorator and I'm sure I can make it look nice.
You're a decorator. Fantastic! How are you going to set about sorting this place out?
Of course, we need some new plasterboard, a lot of clearing out
and a few coats of paint and I think it'll come up very nicely.
'Well, I do like an optimist.
'But what did he do to check out the property before he parted with his money?'
Not a lot, really. I viewed it before the auction, I had a good look round.
I think I can see all the problems I'm going to encounter
and I can tackle most of them myself.
Ones I can't would be replacing the windows and doors
and the electrics. For them, I'll just use local contractors.
-So it's not fazing you at all, then?
-No, not yet.
-Time will tell.
-It probably put a lot of people off.
I think so, yeah. When my wife saw it, I think she was a bit put off, too.
'I'm not surprised! With all the choice of properties you can buy at auctions,
'why on earth would you go for one that was almost destroyed by fire?
'Maybe it was bought in the heat of the moment.'
Well, it's what you see, isn't it?
There's nothing really hidden. It's a good size three-bedroom with an upstairs bathroom,
front and rear garden, off-road parking, nice area, local school,
near a nice little local town, within walking distance of everything.
To me, it just seemed to tick all the boxes.
Also, it's something that I can add value to by repairing all the damage.
-What plans have you got for the house?
-Right, the plan.
The first thing I want to do is make it secure, so I'm going to have the windows and doors changed.
There's some debate as to whether I'm going to change all the windows
or just the ones that have been damaged by the fire.
Some of them, just the glass is broken, but others are warped by the heat.
So I'm going to get some quotes from a local glazing firm
and then see what they come in at and make a decision from there.
And the other important thing is to get the power back on so we can carry out the work.
Again, I'm going to use a local contractor for that.
And after that, it's just work through it room by room, top down.
'That seems like a pretty sound plan.
'Once he's started, and assuming he doesn't encounter any structural problems,
'how long does he reckon it'll take?'
I'd like to think that I can start it within the next two months.
I'm working on a project now that I'm going to finish soon
and then it's all hands to the pump on this one. I've just sort of said a week a room.
Three bedrooms, so three upstairs, three down. Six weeks, eight weeks, something like that.
'Nick bought this house to rent out and has already paid £57,000 at auction for it.
'He hopes to do most of the work himself, but how much will he have to spend to bring it up to standard?'
The budget will be somewhere between what I paid for the property
and the finished value, with a small profit, hopefully, for me.
I think £20,000 should have it finished.
-Once you've done all that, any idea what it might be worth?
-I think it'll be worth close to £100,000.
Somewhere between £90,000 and £100,000.
I think it would rent somewhere between £450 and £500 per calendar month.
'Ah, well done, that's almost exactly the same as the experts told us.
'I know he's very confident, but does he know what he's letting himself in for?'
-What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge?
-You've stumped me there.
There's no big challenges here. This is all straightforward and easy.
-The biggest challenge is going to be finding a good tenant.
-Good luck with it all.
Congratulations. I look forward to seeing how you get on.
So, Nick is not fazed by a property that's in a state that I'm sure would've put a lot of people off.
But can he sort it out in just one week per room?
Seems like a bit of a tall order to me. You can find out how he gets on later in the show.
As you know, the best laid plans can go horribly wrong.
-So have today's schemes and plans gone well or have they gone awry?
-Let's find out.
'Time to return to Bow in East London where this Victorian one-bedroom flat
'was bought at auction for £190,000.
'Its new owners are Colm and his business partner Robert.
'As Colm was just about to become a new dad, most of the work on the project landed on Robert's plate.'
-Are you prepared for all the hard work?
I've been involved in refurbishments before
and I think I can cope with this flat, as well.
'Two months later, Colm and his partner Susan had a new baby girl,
'the now eight week old Ella.
'So we go from one new life to something that's been given a whole new lease of life.
'And what a difference!
'The whole place is brighter and much more appealing.
'Remember that front room with a separate kitchen? Well, the walls have been ripped out
'and opened up a whole new kitchen-dining room
'with brand new appliances and units.'
Quite a lot has changed in this room. If you remember, we had our partition wall here
and we removed the wall to create a larger living space
and put the kitchen against one wall with integrated appliances.
It's a good, functional room
and a nice, bright living space.
'Even the climb up those stairs to get into the flat has become more appealing,
'with a stylish glass banister.
'And the modern look continues in the striking new bathroom.'
Well, we moved the bath to a different place.
Before, it was under the window and the window was starting to rot.
I can say I'm proud of it. It is much better than old times.
And I think the new owner will have lots of fun here.
'The renovation work was all designed by Robert himself.
'It was built by him and his team, with Colm doing some labouring
between looking after his new baby and overseeing their other projects.
I put off most of my jobs to do the job in the flat.
I've been here eight hours every day.
When I was able to be here, of course.
Colm spent most of the time on the road finding the jobs and the customers.
So I tried to keep the plumbing business going
and Robert stayed on site.
Just trying to balance the two, really.
'Their original timescale for the work was six to seven weeks, but it's been nearer eight weeks
'and there are still little jobs left to do. So what's been the hold up?'
Just waiting for materials to arrive once they'd been ordered.
The kitchen took a while to be delivered.
The glass took longer than we expected.
That was the main reason for the overrun. Just waiting for materials.
'But if you're going to renovate to a high standard like Colm and Robert have done here,
'you have to accept that there may be delays along the way.
'But have they stuck to their original budget of £15,000?'
The project may have been 15 to 20.
However, with the fees incurred for buying and selling and agency costs,
you're looking at more like 25.
But I don't think the budget went too bad. 15, maybe five overspent.
Nothing too severe.
'After paying £190,000 for the property plus the £25,000 for the work,
'their total spend has been £215,000,
'including their fees and expenses.
'The boys had always planned to resell the house,
'so how much value have they added to it?
'We asked two local estate agents for their opinions.'
I think it's amazing. I love the oak flooring,
the designer fitted kitchen,
all the appliances are integrated and it has the wow factor.
I think the owners have done very well developing the apartment.
They certainly have modernised it
and retained a lot of the neutral features that they should've kept.
'But what about the open-plan kitchen-dining room?
Opening up the living room and the kitchen has certainly added quite a bit more room
and it makes the space a lot more airy.
It's not everybody's cup of tea. Some buyers are still hoping for a separate kitchen.
But, overall, I think they've done quite well by opening up.
It certainly looks much larger now.
I think the work they've done is ideal. It's high ceilings, new carpets, new heating,
designer kitchen, the bathroom is absolutely amazing.
Everything about it is superb. This property has the X factor.
'So how much could it be worth if it was put on the rental market?'
I think one would pay between £900 and £1,000 per month to rent this property.
I think the property would probably rent between £1,000 and £1,100 per calendar month.
I think that's what we expected, in the region of that, £900 to £1,100, something in that region.
'And although that top-end estimate of £1,100
'could make a good return yield of around six percent,
'the boys are set on selling the flat. So what could it resell for?
'Remember, it needs to be over £215,000 for them to see any profit.'
We would put the property on the market for £240,000.
I reckon, now, roughly between £245,000 and £250,000.
That's a very good valuation.
We have received and accepted and offer on the property
in the region of what's been estimated by the agents,
so we're pretty happy with those estimations.
'With a potential pre-tax profit of between £25,000 and £35,000
'based on the experts' estimates, no wonder they're happy.
'But now this project's almost finished and the boys have had time to reflect,
'it sounds like they'll be concentrating on their day jobs
'rather than making a career out of property developing.'
I don't think it'll be a career to us. I think we'll stick to the plumbing and electrics.
But it's something to do on the side. It's more of a hobby than a career.
'We're back in Coupar Angus, Perthshire,
'where professional decorator and father-of-two Nick and his wife Emma
'bought this fire-damaged three-bedroom terraced house for £57,000.
'When they got it, it was uninhabitable.
'Fire damage meant that you couldn't even get upstairs.
'You could say it was in a bit of a state.'
-Well, yeah, it is a bit of a mess.
-So why did you want to buy it?
The mess is all superficial, I'm a decorator, I'm sure I can make it look nice.
'Four months later, let's see if this house has risen...
# Just like a phoenix from the flames
'Well, that's quite a transformation. The kitchen's not yet finished
'but it's certainly getting there.
'So, when a house is in such poor condition, where do you start?'
Well, the first thing we had to do was to get rid of all the rubbish,
all the damaged plasterboard, and clean the attic out,
and we found an awful lot more rubbish underneath the floors which we cleared out, as well.
And once we got it all clean, we could start putting things back.
We started by having the house rewired,
repairing and renewing the plumbing where necessary
and replacing all the ceilings, and then from there,
we progressed with the decorating and the new doors
and facings and skirting boards.
'Last time we were here, we couldn't go upstairs because of concerns about the floors there.
'When Nick finally got up there, did he find it needed to be completed ripped out?
Upstairs was mainly damaged by smoke and water from the fire.
There was some concern that the floors were damaged
and on further investigation, the only area that was really affected was directly above the fire
in the back bedroom, which we repaired and, from then on,
all we had to do was to replace all the ceilings and redecorate.
I kept it all neutral, just magnolia and white, and it looks quite clean and fresh.
'The three bedrooms are looking great
'and any reminders of the fire damage have vanished.
'As with the rest of the house, the windows and doors have been replaced.
'The bathroom, even though it's not yet quite finished, looks to be of a good standard.
'Back downstairs, the end of the old kitchen has become a small entrance hall with a little cloakroom in it.'
Well, the kitchen, as you see, I've got to finish off.
It needs worktops, redecorating
and coving round the top.
The appliances, I'm not actually going to supply them as yet. We'll wait and see what happens.
If the tenant requires them, then I will consider it at the time.
'The house isn't quite finished yet, but the only major job remaining is the kitchen.
'The rest is purely cosmetic.
'Nick originally said it would take a week per room,
'which, counting the hall and landing as rooms, would be eight weeks.
'So has his rule of thumb been accurate?'
Oh, my week per room estimate? Hm.
Er, I don't know about that.
I mean, it's very difficult to gauge things when you start
because the plan's not totally formed.
We've done extra work, like adding in the downstairs loo and the lobby.
And I wasn't sure at the outset whether I would need a complete rewire.
But it turned out to be more cost-effective to do the rewire but it took longer.
So the week a room was slightly out. But not by much!
'Sounds like Nick's avoiding the question.
'If it hasn't taken eight weeks, then how long has it taken?'
It's actually taken me probably, erm, three months to get to here,
but when time allows.
I haven't been at it five days a week.
I've had an electrician and a joiner helping
and a couple of friends have come down and given me a hand with the clearing out of the rubbish.
But we've done pretty well. We're almost there.
'Pretty well? I think they've done a marvellous job.
'They've transformed a burned-out shell into a really lovely family home.
'Nick originally paid £57,000 for this property, so how much has it cost to get it to this condition?'
Well, I haven't actually totted up everything, but I started out with a set amount in the bank
of £20,000 and we're just about there.
So, give or take a few, it's around 20.
The total spend at the end will come in around about £80,000, give or take a little bit.
'Just to make sure what Nick's done isn't all smoke and mirrors,
'we've invited two local property experts around to have a look
'and tell us what they think of the job so far.'
My first impressions are that he's done a lovely job
in refurbishing this. Bearing in mind that it was extensively
smoke-damaged and fire-damaged before the property was sold,
it's come up really nicely and I think he's done an excellent job.
All traces of the smoke damage have gone, so it's a nice canvas for a family to move into.
The standard of finish looks very good.
They've clearly spent some money on the property
and I think it would get a good review from anybody coming to see the house.
The property has been finished to a good standard.
He's made good use of the space in the kitchen,
incorporated a porch and a ground-floor toilet
and it's just neutral decor throughout. He's made a pretty good job.
Handy from the town itself and it's only about 15 miles from Perth, so it's an easy commute.
There's facilities here, better ones in Perth and also in Dundee, so it's very well located.
'Praise indeed, then.
'Nick originally bought the property to let out
'and hopes the total spend when finished will be £80,000.
'So what could he expect to get in rental income?'
I believe this property could fetch between £450 and £475 per calendar month.
I would expect the rental for this property to be between £600 and £700 per calendar month.
Wow. That sounds pretty good. £600 to £700 would be a really good yield.
The other one, I think, possibly a little on the low side.
When I've looked locally at prices,
I would've been happy with £500 to £550,
but £600 to £700 would be far better, if that's possible.
'If he does get between £600 and £700 per calendar month,
'that's a yield of between 9 and 10.5 percent.
'As Nick says, that's very healthy.
'If he decides to sell, how much does this sort of property go for around here?
'Remember, Nick's planning a total spend of around £80,000,
'including the original purchase price of £57,000.'
If the property was to be placed on the market,
I would expect it to achieve between £90,000 and £100,000.
I believe this property could fetch between £95,000 and £100,000.
OK, yeah, that's a fair spread.
I think any profit in the current market is a good one.
'By the look of that smile, Nick's pleased with the way this project has turned out.
'And so he should be. He's done a really great job.'
'Has he got any words of wisdom for others who fancy doing up a house?'
Always err on the side of caution.
There's bound to be things that you hadn't seen, especially with a property like this.
This was quite bad,
from a point of view of putting it back into this condition,
and you've just got to be slightly wary.
If you've got no experience, then why not try and get some experience? Work with a builder.
We hope we've given you some ideas and tips should you decide to venture into the auction room.
But even if not, we hope you'll join us as we follow more people
who've bought their homes under the hammer.
-We'll see you next time.
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