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Despite the doom and gloom, investing in property
is still a good thing to do.
But make sure you do your homework.
Buying under the hammer can be a really good bet.
If you're looking for variety and good value, the auctions could be for you.
Here are our properties that lured our buyers on today's show.
'This old store in Dorset is certainly a blank canvas.'
We've got one big room with a mezzanine floor above it.
'In Hampshire, this three-bedroom detached house has made me nostalgic.'
It so reminds me of my old house. It's bizarre.
'And a commercial property in Kent with a good frontage, a kitchen
'and a flat upstairs.'
It's ticking a few boxes.
'All have been sold at auction.
'We'll find out who bought them when they went under the hammer.'
This is the pretty market town of Beaminster, north of Bridport in Dorset.
It's a cute place, partly because it missed out on a railway station,
so it's pretty much remained as it was.
Lots of individual little shops. It's lovely.
As a result, properties round here are very sought-after.
'It's no surprise that the town centre's a conservation area,
'as there are 200 listed buildings.
'It's a perfect corner of England that is important to preserve.'
This is Shadrack Street, just off the high street in Beaminster,
which is a good thing as the main road is quite busy.
A great start cos the property is built out of this gorgeous stone,
particular to this part of Dorset.
What was on offer? It's this former store with planning permission
for conversion to a two-bedroom dwelling.
Guide price 115,000 quid.
So, it's a former store room so we shouldn't expect too much.
We've got this one big room with this mezzanine floor above it.
It's extremely sloping.
Digging-out to do there, especially as the garden comes quite high up.
Which throws up issues with damp.
So you have to consider things like the damp, digging out the floors,
putting in services - sewerage, that kind of thing.
It's not for the faint-hearted but you've got a reasonable canvas
on which to paint an interesting project.
'Taking on this conversion might be a tough prospect,
'but rewards could be worthwhile.
'The end wall is breeze blocks, which suggests it was larger,
'but the stone walls are well preserved
'so it'll be possible to keep some character.
'It'll be interesting to see if a two-bed dwelling can be fitted.
'It might be a bit of a squeeze.'
At the rear, you get a feeling of what you're getting into.
The property's sandwiched between properties.
From over there to that skylight.
The planning permission includes raising the roof by a metre,
which is very important.
Especially for getting that second storey.
It's interesting that was passed because this is a Grade II listed property.
I wouldn't be that excited
if it wasn't for the fact that it comes with this gorgeous garden,
with views to the church and the open fields beyond.
'This really has the quaintness of an English country garden.
'It's the jewel in this property's crown, and unusual to find
'in a town-centre location.
'In my opinion, it's what makes this former store worthy of a top-class conversion.
'But maybe I'm looking at it with rose-tinted glasses?
'The guide price was £115,000. I asked a local estate agent
'to find out what she thought of the place.'
We always get a lot of interest
in our old character properties in Beaminster.
Whether in beautiful condition,
or whether they've got potential, they always create a lot of demand.
'So far, so good, but there's one big drawback to the potential of this property.'
You've got limited parking,
the price you pay for being in a character part of town.
We've got on-street parking, public car parks within reach,
it's just not as convenient as having a drive or garage.
'It might put investors off, despite the charm of the town centre.
'If a top-rate conversion was done, what could it expect to fetch?'
A two-bedroom cottage for sale in this area, a stone Grade II listed pretty cottage,
you're looking at around £250,000.
And we usually think in terms of around the £700 mark, per month.
A great opportunity for somebody.
Not without issues - parking, the conservation area, a listed building.
But just look around. I'm sure someone was captivated by the potential when it went to auction.
Our guide is £115,000. Would someone put us straight in at 115,000?
Thank you. 115,000.
115 to the front row, or second row. At 115.
115. I'll go two and then up to 20, if I may.
125. At 125.
127. 128. 128.
On the right, then. All done?
'The successful bidders were former quantity surveyor Steve
'and Carol, who used to work in the complaints department at the BBC.
'They run a B&B in France,
'but plan to renovate this store as their base in the UK,
'away from that lovely weather.
'I met them to find out more.'
-Lovely to meet you. Congratulations.
-Before we go further, who's this?
He's a fox terrier.
He's been with us in France for...
He's 13. Eight years.
-France? Tell me more.
-We live in France.
We moved there permanently ten years ago.
We moved to what was then our holiday home.
We just got fed up with everything so we decided to see how we got on.
-We're still there ten years later.
-We're about 40 minutes from the main wine areas.
-Are you wine lovers?
-Yes. MARTIN LAUGHS
Although, since my stroke last year, I've cut down a little bit,
just to be safe.
-You had a stroke last year?
-I did. Last May.
It was quite a bad stroke, but I'm lucky
because I came out of it.
Thanks to Carol, because she was there every day.
Once I'd got my voice back, I was on the road to recovery.
'It's wonderful to see Steve doing so well.
'After his stroke, Steve and Carol realised
'they needed to spend more time in the UK, so went in search of a pied a terre.'
We were looking for a place that was in the middle of a small town.
We happen to know Beaminster because we were married here.
Our parents lived here for quite a while.
-Yes. In the church down there.
-The one you can see from the garden?
We thought we'd buy a small cottage, something already done up!
Something we could go into without much trouble. Then we bought this!
'Not quite a small cottage you can walk into,
'but the potential has caught their imagination.
'They are very excited about the blank canvas.'
The planning permission is for a two-bedroom dwelling,
but there's only the two of us.
We thought we'd have one bedroom and leave the rest for living in.
The idea is to have, on the ground floor, garage and kitchen-diner.
Then, upstairs, we plan to put the living room and bedroom, bathroom.
There's a quirk of this plot that the garden is higher at the back,
a metre higher than the house.
So when you've got the living room upstairs,
it'll be really nice to go from the living room direct into the garden.
We don't know whether we can do that.
'They plan to use glass to create a better transition from the living room to the garden.
'It would be a radical makeover
'but they do realise there are planning hoops to jump through.
'They appreciate they're in a conservation area and have a listed building.'
We're hoping that, if we can make this listed facade correct,
there might be a little room to manoeuvre on the other side.
'Luckily, there also seems to be room for manoeuvre on the budget.
'Steve and Carol are not committing to one, but they estimate the work could cost £60,000 or more.
'The timescale is a case of when it's ready, it's ready.
'So, while they're serving croissants to guests in France,
'how will they track developments in Blighty?'
We did it the other way round.
When we renovated our place in France, we were living in the UK.
We had a staged plan,
and so we would go over at specific points
to check work that had been done,
to check over the next stage of the project.
And that's the rough idea for this.
It's one of these things where you have to have a good architect,
a good builder,
and hopefully a good client - like we are!
-I wish you good health.
-Continue improving. I look forward to seeing how you get on.
Isn't it interesting the way things turn out?
Steve and Carol ending up a stone's throw from the church where they were married!
I believe that this project will help Steve in his recovery from his stroke. We wish him all the best.
Find out how they get on later in the show.
This stretch of water is Portsmouth harbour,
a naval base since the Middle Ages, which has become a busy ferry port.
I'm on the northwest tip of the harbour,
between Fareham and Gosport.
The area is popular with commuters, with excellent road and rail links,
so it's suburbia - or should that be sea-burbia?
A few minutes from the water and you could be in any 1930s suburb of any town.
It's got a mix of housing but the lot I'm here to see might be the best of the bunch.
It's detached, three bedrooms, and had a guide of £165,000 to £170,000.
'It looks like a good solid 1930s property, with large bay windows.
'Separating it from quite a busy road is a long strip of garden.
'The house next door sold two years ago for £238,000, so it seems a good start.
'Let's hope that inside is as positive as outside.'
I'm sure I have said this loads, but I grew up in a house just like this.
It was almost decorated in the same fashion!
Needless to say, it needs a modern overhaul. It's terribly dated.
But you've got some great space. Look at this.
You could easily fit a downstairs toilet here.
It would be great to add that.
I'm not sure what this is, probably covering up a door to the kitchen.
A really nice sitting room,
a lovely bay window, which is what these houses are famous for.
A good space in here. A little fireplace there.
Overall, it feels clean and very tidy, so a positive start.
'You can't ask for much more than that.
'The kitchen is tucked away.
'It looks like the dining room wall has been knocked through
'to open things up, so that's another positive note.'
You've got the loo at the back, but if you put one under the stairs,
you could turn that into a nice utility space.
I love this open-plan kitchen.
It so reminds me of my old house. It's bizarre! It's a great space.
You've got room to sit down, a big family table.
I would like to see some folding doors or patio doors
leading out to the garden.
It would transform this place. In my opinion, it's this area that needs most attention.
'Let's talk about that garden.
'It's a whopper with a double-door garage.
'Take a peek round the back and there's more.
'It's bound to be a winner with the families this house appeals to.
'And we haven't even been upstairs.'
Call me psychic, but I know we'll have three bedrooms up here,
one very small, and a decent size bathroom and, ta-da!
These were built to a standard design, although they vary in size.
They do make for a practical family home and are generally well built.
Although that is damp on the chimney breast.
It could just be some flashing on the roof but it needs to be fixed.
Apart from that, no surprises, so good.
'I'm rather pleased this property's predictable.
'It's easy to see what needs to be done - scrap the blue bathroom,
'tear down this wallpaper and drag the place into the 21st century.
'You may have guessed, I like this house.
'Yes, it's dated. But dull? No.
'It had an auction guide price of 165,000 to 170,000.
'I was keen to see if my enthusiasm was shared by a local estate agent.'
This is a fantastic home.
It's perfect for the family buyer. 1930s, so a little bit of character.
It adds a bit more in comparison to other properties in this area.
It just needs a little bit of updating,
a new kitchen and bathroom, and potentially a conservatory.
Apart from that, I think it's a fairly small job updating.
'That's good. It should be useable pretty quickly.
'The estate agent reckons that turning it around to sell would be the best way to make money.
'So, guided at 165,000 to 170,000,
'what resale figures are we talking about?'
In the current market, as it is now,
anything between 195,000 to 200,000.
Modernised, properties like this are rare to the market,
so anywhere up to 235,000.
'What might the rental return be?'
If this property was fully updated it would achieve approximately £950 a month.
When you're looking for an investment, what are you after?
A highly desirable location, room to improve
and a guide price low enough to leave room to manoeuvre.
This has the lot. I wonder whether there was a battle at auction.
Somebody get me under way.
160. Do we have an opening bid of 160? Thank you, madam.
160 we have. I have my opening bid.
160. Do I have 162? Thank you, sir.
164, madam? 164, I have.
166? 166 is bid.
168? 168, madam. Thank you.
Sir? 170? 170's bid. Your bid, sir. Thank you. 172, madam?
172, I have. 174?
174's bid. 176?
176 against you, seated. 178?
178, we now have. 180? 180 seated here. 182?
Shaking your head at me. Give you a one? You're back in. 181.
182? No? 181,000. Are you all done?
New bid. 182,000, madam. 182 I have here.
Looking for 182 and a half. 182,000 I have once.
182,000 I have twice.
going for the third and final time...
Your property, madam. 182. Thank you.
'The last-minute newcomer was Christine, who swept up the lot
'with her one and only bid of 182,000.
'She took early retirement from her work in care homes
'and has turned her hand to investing in buy-to-let properties.
'I met up with her to find out the plans for this place.'
Christine, I can't believe the auction! One bid and it's yours.
-What is it about this property that you love.
-I like that it's detached.
I like the fact that it's got off-road parking, a double garage,
it's close to where I live cos I will be on site every day.
-Are you planning on doing some of the work yourself?
-Lots of the work.
-Tell me your background, then.
I was in the care home business for 25 years.
In the course of that, I was always having to do DIY, mend this,
sink blocked there, somebody's pulled the radiator off.
Decorating a room once somebody moves out.
When I gave that up,
which was in 2006, I sat at home and watched Homes Under The Hammer!
And thought, "I can do that!"
'Christine's proved it because she now owns and manages
'three buy-to-lets - I love it when we inspire people!
'Christine's in the great position of doing this as a hobby.
'Does she have all the kit?'
I have my own tool room at home. Everything's hung up on the wall.
And I know exactly where to put my hands on things.
Fantastic! So you will be getting stuck in?
-What are you going to start doing?
-The steamer. Oh, yes.
That is one thing this house definitely needs.
A steamer! You've got this wallpaper everywhere!
-It's got to come off.
-Yeah. Ceilings in some of the rooms.
Until that's off, we can't really see what the plaster's like.
-Any structural changes here?
-No. Not structural.
I want to put doors out of the dining room onto a patio.
I want to relocate the downstairs cloakroom to under there.
-And then I want to change that into a utility room.
'Good to know we're thinking along the same lines.
'Helping Christine will be her brother, a builder,
'who will subcontract professionals.
'They have a ten to 12-week turnaround
'and a 15 to 20 grand budget.
'That's provided nothing goes wrong, which leads me on to...'
The damp on the chimney breast. Could be the flashing.
That's what I believe it to be, the flashing.
But we will see!
-Are you worried about that?
-Have you had professionals in?
-But you are going to?
-Yes. I'm sure that is remedied quite easily.
-Are you excited?
-I can't wait for you to go and to get my overalls on!
-Have you got your kit in your car?
-Yes. It's there waiting.
'Christine must be one of the most enthusiastic people I've met.
'I don't want to hold her up, but need to know what drives her.'
It's something that I like to do.
If one day I think, "I don't want to do it today," I don't have to.
-But you are supposed to be a retired lady.
-I'm supposed to be. Absolutely.
-You're certainly not scared of the challenge.
-Good heavens, no!
Do you find working on your own can be quite lonely?
No, I love it. I can be, um...
I can allow my thoughts to just run wild and I love it. LOVE IT!
I love this house, and Christine, she loves her work.
I think she's got great plans.
I hope that damp doesn't do too much damage to her budget.
Will we find this place transformed?
Find out what happens later in the show.
'Coming up, there could be a catch with this commercial property.'
It's got rising damp halfway up the wall.
'We return to this detached house to hear about a DIY nightmare.'
Not only did the wallpaper come off but the plaster came off as well.
'But first, the pressure was on for this French connection.'
It's been tricky, not made easier by the fact that we live in France.
'We've returned to Dorset,
'where Steve and Carol bought this former store
'for £128,000 at auction.
'It had planning permission to convert into a two-bedroom dwelling.
'They live in France but wanted a pied a terre in the UK
'after Steve suffered a stroke.
'For them, the location was perfect.'
We were married here. My parents lived here for quite a while.
-Yes. In the church down there.
-The one you can see from the garden?
'The couple planned to convert the store into a single bedroom dwelling
'by raising the roof a metre and creating two storeys.
'Downstairs would be a garage and kitchen-diner.
'Upstairs would be the bedroom, bathroom and living room,
'with views over the beautiful garden.
'We returned almost two years later to see how the development went.
'Quite a lot has changed.
'Steve and Carol have also bought the cottage next door for 115,000,
'and incorporated it into their plans,
'knocking the two buildings into one.
'And, after almost two years of planning and work,
'they have overseen the conversion of a storehouse and an old cottage
'into a breathtaking contemporary home.
'The store had been an empty shell but now, on the ground floor,
'Steve and Carol have created a store room and a garage,
'..and a living room.'
Originally, this was a concrete floor.
So when you first came, this was completely open.
This is now our ground floor living room.
There was no window here
and the rear elevation here has completely changed,
with a full height oak screen at the back here.
We've got a door here.
The only thing really that's original is the stone here.
'Upstairs, there are two bedrooms, each en suite.
'And an additional living space.'
Originally, this room didn't exist because there was no first floor.
We put the first floor in and raised the roof. This is the old truss.
It was nice to keep something of the old building.
That shows how much we went up.
I love this room.
It's light. You get a wonderful view onto the garden.
You just feel it's away from the world although you're in the town.
'Carol and Steve completely transformed this old property,
'but it was quite complicated to coordinate.'
It's been tricky, not made easier by the fact we live in France.
We relied an awful lot on the architect,
who supervised the work as well as doing the drawings.
These days, with the internet, you can send photographs.
That worked well.
You can't do it quite the same as if you are there all the time.
We couldn't have lived in it, anyway, so we had to leave them to get on with it.
Perhaps they preferred it that way!
'The whole process was beneficial for Steve's rehabilitation
'after his stroke.'
One particular part of this
is things like using the telephone.
Two years ago, I found that very difficult.
Not in front of somebody.
Talking becomes quite difficult on the phone.
So you have to really, really concentrate on what you're doing.
That's one part, a small part, of the recovery process.
'Steve's recovery is great news and goes to show that having a stroke
'didn't stop him living his life to the full.
'The beautiful world Steve and Carol created must have come at a cost.
'Just how much, they're keeping close to their chest.'
We always knew it was going to cost quite a bit of money to do the work.
At the same time, we thought, well, this is a project for us.
-We tried to keep the budget quite tight and we're happy with the outcome.
'They bought the property for 128,000 and the cottage for £115,
'and spent their estimated budget of £60,000 on the development.
'That makes a total spend of around £303,000.
'We asked along two estate agents
'to hear their views on the changes.'
'The changes in this barn are phenomenal.
'Originally, it was one very small, derelict barn.
'Now it's been incorporated with an adjoining cottage.
'So it's changed totally.'
I like the accommodation. It's really quirky.
I think buyers in general like that sort of thing.
Having an extra reception upstairs, somebody could make that into a third bedroom, if they wanted to.
The layout's great. The rooms are really spacious.
I like the way features have been kept, the old beams.
It adds a nice feel to the property.
The garage is a great use of space.
Parking is a problem, being so close to the centre of the town.
Parking is definitely an advantage, and the garage, great storage.
'Steve and Carol don't intend to let the property out,
'but, as they spend a lot of time in France,
'renting this as a holiday let could be an option for the future.'
Holiday cottage wise,
you're looking in excess of £1,000 a month in the holiday seasons.
It'd be a very popular holiday let.
You'd be looking £900 to £1,100 per calendar month at peak season.
It's quite a good figure.
It gives you an option if we decided to go that way.
-It's quite interesting.
'How much could the property be worth if they were to sell it?'
I think...market value, currently,
you'd be looking 270,000 to 310,000.
If they were to take it to the market, we're probably looking
at something in the order of £400,000 to £425,000.
I think that we'd be quite happy, obviously, at the higher valuation.
We didn't do it to make money but, you know, we're happy.
'Obviously, for Carol and Steve, this was not about making money,
'but to create a base in the UK and also help in Steve's recovery.'
'I'm in the small town of Snodland in Kent on the River Medway,
'a few miles from Rochester.
'Until the 19th century, it was purely agricultural,
'then that changed when cement, brick and papermaking industries
'The 12,000 people who live here still call it "the village".'
Snodland, a good place to invest in property?
The area is undergoing a ten-year regeneration programme, including 1,000 new houses.
30 miles from London, eight miles from Maidstone.
What was up for auction? It's this commercial premises at a guide price of £95,000 to £100,000.
Let's take a look.
'This commercial premises was formerly an estate agent's office.
'From outside, it appears in pretty good nick.'
What's on offer? Commercial premises. Big frontage!
It's what you need if you use it as a commercial premises.
It doesn't smell damp. It looks to be in reasonable condition.
It's not a bad size space and I like the little areas to put things.
When you're running a business, you need storage areas.
You need back office areas. That's here, which is good news.
You've got this main area, little area, then a kitchen area there.
All in all, it's ticking a few boxes.
'With a bit of sprucing up, this could be ready to go for whatever business venture.
'Below, there is a bonus of a decent sized cellar for storage.
'That regeneration scheme could mean a lot more passing trade.
'Let's hope there are no surprises on the first floor,
'which is accessed through the commercial unit.'
Upstairs, more really useful space.
You've got a loo at the back. Smaller room there.
Then a larger room at the front.
This has been configured to be additional office space.
Couple of issues.
That's quite damp.
What I reckon is happening, water's going onto the flat roof.
It's going against the wall.
You've got rising damp halfway up the wall.
Get that roof replaced and check the flashings.
As I said, it's an office at the moment, an additional office.
How about converting this into a flat?
I don't think you'd have to do very much configuration.
Very interesting idea.
'What makes it more interesting
'is that next door have already created a separate entrance
'for their upstairs space,
'with those steel stairs and access down the alley.
'So it's a viable option.'
I know you're thinking, "It's a flat above a shop, Martin!
"It's a complete nightmare to get finance and planning permission."
Well, in some cases, possibly so.
In this instance, it's already had planning permission passed in December 2003.
That's lapsed but the fact there was permission passed sets a precedent.
You can probably get it reinstated, which is good news.
'There could be a lot of extra expense.
'Central heating would have to be installed,
'plus a new bathroom suite.
'But the returns could justify the means.
'With the property guided at £95,000 to £100,000,
'it's time to hear the thoughts of a local estate agent.'
It's an interesting property. It is a period property.
It's got some original details and a cellar.
Do you change it to residential? Do you keep it commercial?
Do you change upstairs to a flat? Let it? Sell it?
A lot of things can be done with this property.
'So there are options, but how easy would it be to get change of use?'
I think there would be a possibility to making the upstairs a flat.
It would be difficult to sell as only some lenders will lend
on properties over a commercial property area, as it were.
But I think you would get permission to change it to a flat to let out.
'So, barring problems with the change of use,
'how do the figures for a flat stack up?'
If you wanted to sell a one or a two-bedroom flat above a shop,
you'd probably get in the region of 75,000 to 80,000.
If this was a one-bedroom flat, you could probably achieve
£350 to £400 a month for it.
'And for the commercial property downstairs?'
The going rate, I would say, would be about £4,000 per annum to rent
a commercial property.
Selling it, I think it would be in the region of 40,000 to 50,000.
Lots of options with this one, and money to be made
if you get planning permission to convert the offices into a flat.
Who fancied taking a chance when it went under the hammer?
Lot 44. Let's say 100,000 for it. 100,000 somewhere? £100,000?
Give me 90. Let's get it on the way. £90,000 bid I have. I'm obliged.
And three now, do I see?
93, I'm bid. 95? It's against you.
95, I am bid. 97, do I say?
It's against you. 97. Fill it up to 100?
100. And two?
102. And five? 105.
105. And seven? 107, I'm looking for. At £105,000...
107. I'm obliged.
Make it ten, sir? Make it ten.
And 12? 12? 112? Is that a definite no?
Is that a yes? It's a yes to a definite no.
£110,000, I've got. 112 anywhere else?
Are we all done at £110,000?
First time at £110,000.
Second time at £110,000. Third and final time, if you're all done...
It's yours at 110,000.
'That winning bidder was Kabel who, with his wife, Rani,
'got the property for £110,000.
'That was £10,000 over the top guide price.
'Rani works part time as a cashier, and Kabel has retired from his newspaper shop, which he rents out.
'This is their first go at developing.'
-Good to meet you both. Congratulations.
-Good to meet you.
Why did you choose this one?
It just had a feeling.
It looked clean, solid and it ain't too far from where we live so we took a chance.
-What was it, Rani, that you liked?
-Something for making money, really.
-What prompted you to do this now?
-I've got nothing to do all day.
I've been to lots of auctions.
She said, "Why don't you buy something?" I said, "I will do, once something hits me."
We looked at a few properties and this is the best one in the area.
'Kabel and Rani are not typical developers.
'Most people buy for investment.
'Buying because you're bored is rather unusual.
'This is Kabel and Rani's first development project
'but they've already got their eye on the way forward.'
We're going to convert upstairs into a one-bedroom flat.
Put a staircase outside.
Do all the necessary work, according to plans.
-You're going to try and get the plans in place...
-The architect's put plans in two weeks ago.
He's doing the building regs. We should get it in eight weeks.
You're going to stick with what...
We'll stick to plan. If we have to change something, we have to change something.
Will the plan then be to rent out the flat or to sell it?
I'll see what it's worth. If I can sell it, I'll sell it.
If not, let it out.
'With the uncertain state of the housing market, it's good to see
'that Kabel and Rani have flexible plans.
'But wouldn't dealing with a house or flat be more straightforward?'
I'm buying commercial for reason, you get to rent.
If I buy a house for the same price, you're not going to get the rent.
If I can let the flat out and let the shop out,
I should get double the rent.
How much is it going to cost you?
-We've got a figure in mind around about five grand.
Around about that. Give or take a bit more.
Whatever it takes to do.
'The majority of that £5,000 will go on converting and refurbishing the flat upstairs.
'Kabel doesn't plan to do much with the commercial unit, except install a new kitchen.
'He'll save on labour costs by doing the work himself with friends.
'There's Rani, too, of course!'
-Rani, what are you going to do?
-A bit of painting, a bit of tidying up. That's all, really.
I can't do much because I had operation. I can't lift heavy stuff so I'll leave it to him.
'I don't blame you! They've got a schedule of three months.
'With his mates, Kabel plans to erect that new staircase,
'remove the existing staircase and install a new kitchen.
'Let's not forget that new bathroom suite.
'For a job like this, even on mate's rates,
'that budget looks like it will be stretched.'
-All that for five grand?
-It could be more.
-Five to eight.
My friends think it could be around about that.
We can't see much more than that.
-The staircase is going to take a big chunk out of it, £800.
-Congratulations. I look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thank you very much. Can't wait.
A lot of Rani and Kabel's plans depend on getting that change of use reinstated.
A £5,000 budget to do the conversion of the flat?
It's going to be tight! Find out how they get on later in the show.
Time has flown. How have our buyers got on with their properties?
Let's go back and check out what's happened.
'Back to Gosport in Hampshire, where property developer Christine
'bought this three-bed detached house for 182,000.
'Its condition was perfect for Christine, a former care home owner.
'She planned to do most of the work, and didn't want to waste any time.'
-Are you excited?
-I can't wait for you to go and to get my overalls on!
-Have you got your kit in your car?
-Yes. It's all there waiting.
'We didn't even get offered a cup of tea!
'All that enthusiasm made us keen to return three months later
'to find out if Christine had taken care of this home.'
It was very old-fashioned.
There was a breakfast bar here,
a stand-alone oven there
and just a basic cupboard with one above over there.
The whole lot was ripped out.
This area here was widened a little bit.
So there was another beam put in there for the strength.
Neutral coloured kitchen with integrated appliances,
and now we have a breakfast bar as well.
I also, for an extra touch, put plinth lights around the bottom.
And I'm thrilled with the results.
'It's a very stylish kitchen.
'Christine also turned the loo into a utility area,
'installing the new closet under the stairs.
'The house demonstrates a high standard of finish,
'with a contemporary bathroom suite upstairs.
'The predominantly neutral decor
'with accent walls helps to make the house saleable.
'But getting here wasn't straightforward.'
I went out to my van and got the steamer.
I was excited and wanted to get the wallpaper off.
It didn't happen the way I'd planned.
Not only did the wallpaper come off,
but the plaster came off as well.
Once the top plaster had come off, the bottom was in such a state
that it came off and we were back to brickwork.
So we had three skipfuls of brick and rubble. It was quite horrendous.
'Not a great start.
'That led to the unplanned total rewiring of the house.
'Fortunately, the potential damp problem
'had already been fixed by the previous owner.
'With that dealt with, it's easier to focus on the good points.
'The new back doors lead to one of the biggest pluses.'
I've loved the transformation of the garden,
the transformation of the garage.
When you go right to the back of the garden, it used to be a wilderness.
I've now done that into what I think is a barbecue area.
The greenhouse I've used.
I've brought on seeds. They're all now in the garden.
There's now tomatoes growing and runner beans.
Back to the good life!
'There's enough room behind the garage to run a smallholding,
'so the good life could be possible, but it's certainly not been simple.'
I have been here, it feels like 24/7.
I have devoted a lot of time.
I've done the decorating, the paint work, the garden.
I went home every night shattered, filthy, longing to get into a hot bath, but I've loved every minute!
'I reckon all that hard graft has paid off.
'With the help of her brother, Andy, Christine has a finished product,
'bang-on the schedule of 12 weeks.
'So what about her 15 to 20 grand budget?'
Oh, dear! LAUGHS
I've come in at 22.
But it's because I put the integrated appliances in
and because of the replastering, but I'm still happy.
'Added to the £182,000 purchase price, the £22,000 renovation budget
'means Christine's total spend is about £204,000.
'So, will the house prove a good investment?
'We asked two local estate agents what they thought.'
'I think they've done a good job.
'They've made it nice and clean, contemporary.
'The floral prints work very well.'
They've opened up the space between the kitchen and dining room.
The bedrooms will work well with the new bathroom.
The big tiles are very popular. Good choice. They've done OK.
'She's done a nice job inside and outside. The garden looks superb.'
The kitchen and bathroom fittings are neutral, which people like.
'Plenty of garden space, both front and back.
'Plenty of room for children.
'You can put an extension on the back.'
There's a garage and a vegetable plot, which is very popular.
'Will the resale price be equally attractive?
'Christine plans to sell.
'With the total spend at £204,000,
'will the valuations mean she'll be sitting pretty?'
I would expect it to achieve in the region of 220,000 to 225,000.
I would put the property on the market for £230,000 to £235,000.
LAUGHS I love the 235!
But I'd be happy with either.
Yeah. That's OK.
'That top figure could mean a pre-tax profit of £31,000.
'Pretty good going for 12 weeks' work.
'If she decides not to sell,
'there could be a rental income of £900 per calendar month.
'After the excitement of this renovation,
'does Christine plan to take some gardening leave?'
A rest then, hopefully, when I've sold this, on to the next project.
'Earlier, we were in Snodland, in Kent, where Kabel and Rani
'bought this commercial property for 110,000.
'Kabel splashed out on this because he wanted something to do
'and always fancied developing.
'They plan to convert the first floor into a one-bed flat
'and keep the ground floor as commercial premises.
'Well, that was six months ago.
'The office space is pretty unchanged.
'So, what's happened upstairs?'
I'll tell you what we haven't done! That's simpler!
We done everything.
'The most striking change is the use of the staircase landing.
'It now has a contemporary galley style kitchen.
'The old loo area has a new bathroom suite.
'And the bedrooms have been redecorated.
'If you're wondering how to get in, go out the back,
'and you'll see a new staircase, giving the flat private access.
'So far, so very good.'
It took us a bit longer than we thought it was going to
and it's cost us more, so it's just a learning curve, this first one.
Cos we didn't plan it, it went on and on.
It took longer than we thought, that was the hardest part.
'Some of that time had been eaten up applying for planning permission
'to change upstairs to residential.
'The flat also needed replastering, rewiring, plumbing and new windows.
'What really set Kabel back was something he hadn't expected.'
Planning permission wasn't too bad. Took six weeks.
It's the building regs which were more than we thought they'd be.
The building inspector's been very good.
We didn't know the building regs before we bought it.
'Keeping the office space meant providing a disabled toilet,
'one of the necessary building regulations he hadn't bargained for.
'Making sure everything passed extended the schedule from four to six months.
'The budget was hit
'because Kabel made a "back of an envelope" estimate of just £5,000.'
It's gone more above.
It's gone to about, all told, I think we'll be about 25.
It's 24 at the moment. I've got £1,000 to spend on it.
Bits and pieces.
'On top of the £110,000 he paid, Kabel's total spend will now be about £135,000.
'It's lucky that a lot of work was done by friends and Rani,
'or the final bill could have been higher
'and any profits flushed away.
'Remember, Kabel has spent £135,000.
'So, we asked two local estate agents
'if they thought he'd got the best out of his investment.'
The quality of work looks good, particularly in the flat.
They're more advanced there. They've really made the best of the space.
You go through the kitchen to the lounge
or lounge-bedroom, that was very imaginative.
The flat is lovely. There's two wonderful original fireplaces.
One in the bedroom, one in the lounge.
The way they're decorating is really good. Really nice.
'So, the flat gets the thumbs-up.
'With the commercial space below, who would this property appeal to?'
It might be somebody who wants the retail
and living accommodation above, that is possible.
Or someone might just want the shop and not need accommodation.
They may then let out the flat to cover their costs of starting a business.
Should they wish to sell, it would have to be as a whole.
The retail outlet with the self-contained flat
would reach a figure of £150,000.
The resale value for the property would be in the region of £150,000.
'With Kabel's total spend estimated at £135,000,
'that could mean a pre-tax profit of 15,000.
'That's disappointing for him. So, how about the rental figures?'
Should you rent out the property,
the retail outlet should achieve around £6,000 per annum,
and the self-contained flat should reach £550 per calendar month.
I think the rental on the flat would be in the region of £450 a month.
The rental on the retail premises, approximately £6,000 a year.
'That rental income
'could give Kabel a healthy annual yield of just over 9%.
'Is that better news?'
'Kabel's first dip into developing hasn't gone as well as he'd hoped,
'but it hasn't put him off and has shown him
'the importance of research and planning.
'So, where does he go from here?'
Put this on the market. If I can't sell it, I'll have to rent it out.
A house, a flat or a bit of land, we'll have lots more things for you next time on Homes Under The Hammer.
-Make sure you join us then.
-Goodbye for now.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd