Property auction series. Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a building with an attic conversion in Cornwall, a home in Margate and a house in Telford.
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There is nothing like the thrill of the auction room.
With all those fast-paced bids and pounding hearts,
the atmosphere can be electric.
So join us now on a roller-coaster ride
as we follow three properties that went under the hammer.
Whether it's flats in Faversham, a semi in Surrey
or a bolt hole in Bolton,
the auctions could have what you're looking for.
Absolutely and today we'll meet more people
who hope to have found their perfect properties.
Let's see what tickled their fancy.
There's an attic conversion in Cornwall
worth getting excited about.
I reckon that is going to be the crown of this property.
I do like to be beside the sea
but I'm not sure about this property in Margate.
Even I think this is way out of most people's league.
This house in Telford is not sporting the latest interior design style.
That is not some funky kind of wallpaper, that's damp.
All these properties have been sold at auction
and we find out who bought them and how much they paid
when they went under the hammer.
I'm in Saltash on border of Devon and Cornwall
and that is the Tamar Bridge, which links the two counties.
I'm here to see a property which has that as a view.
At a guide price of £125,000, let's take a look.
# Building a bridge to your heart... #
Completed in 1961,
the Tamar road bridge has since been strengthened and widened
to accommodate the steady stream of traffic
passing between Devon and Cornwall.
It sits alongside Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge,
which was built in 1859
and is considered one of his greatest railway achievements.
# Building a bridge to your heart. #
The house was first bought in 1870
by the family that subsequently owned it
for nearly 100 years until 1964.
Well, this is it. Let's take a look inside.
# Love me tender Love me sweet... #
That's an incredible length of time to own a property
and it looks like it's been loved since then, too.
The outside seems in good condition, with new windows and doors.
Although the cladding might not be to everyone's taste,
it does make for easy maintenance.
And let's not forget its proximity to the bridge, the estuary
and those truly stunning views.
# Love me true All my dreams fulfil. #
OK. Nice to have that little entrance porch, there,
then down a fairly long corridor.
Unusual layout this.
You've got a bathroom there and the sitting room there.
That's not weird but that is slightly odd,
although I suppose it's centrally located.
Stairs up to the bedrooms, then through into the kitchen.
Not a bad sized space
but how about this for a bit of kitchen design?
I do not like the way you have to squeeze through that.
It nearly, nearly works.
Well, no, actually it doesn't. It's dreadful.
I speak as I find and this really does have to change.
The whole lot needs to be removed and replanned.
Having said that, it's a great space to work with
and the fireplace makes a wonderful focal point.
But that bathroom, it's not really ideal, is it?
I wonder if it could be moved upstairs?
So upstairs, two really good-sized bedrooms
but it's not the bedrooms that get me excited - more of that in a second.
Here they are, absolutely huge
and the good news, views onto the estuary, there.
I mean, this is actually a bit too big to be a bedroom.
I think at some stage it's probably been a lounge.
Space here, potentially, to put a bathroom?
I think so but let me show you what I've just seen.
Up there is a loft to die for.
It hasn't been converted but other houses in the street have put a dormer in
or a Velux or something like that.
Judging by the head height in there,
I reckon that is going to be the crown of this property.
And it will have views fit for a king.
With all that extra space, you could definitely bring the bathroom upstairs.
At the back, there's a little garden, a huge garage and a greenhouse
but if you knocked down those two structures,
you'd have a garden of much better proportions.
Time to hear what a local estate agent makes of the house.
First impressions after seeing the house today,
it's a very popular area, potential for conversion,
but, you know, needs some work inside
but could certainly be a very nice property here.
Let's talk figures. How much could someone make if they were to renovate
and rent this out?
I think we could achieve somewhere between £595 and £625 per calendar month.
What about resale?
A few of the properties along the terrace here
have converted into the loft to create four bedrooms.
If you were to sell it as four bedrooms,
you could look at anything up to £250,000.
Currently as a two bed, probably around 200,000.
That's a pretty good margin,
especially when the average cost of a loft conversion is around £30,000.
How would those additional bedrooms affect the rental income?
A four-bedroom, end of terrace property
would achieve somewhere between £650 and £700 per calendar month.
So a house which has potential to redevelop, reconfigure
and, well, potentially make lots of money from.
But I don't think that's why somebody will buy it.
I think it's because of that view.
Let's find out what happened at the auction.
Guided at 125. It's not going to start at less than 100.
Thank you. 100. We're away. And five.
134 I've got. 134?
135. 135. Would a half help? 135 and a half.
Last chance. Here we go. At 135. The lady here has it.
Ooh-oh! Right at the back.
136. Was that a rude word, madam?
I think it was.
136 and a half. 137.
137 and a half.
138. 138 and a half.
Anyone else want to pick on this poor lady?
My last look round at 138 and a half. All done?
Selling, then, at 138 and a half.
After that tough auction room battle,
the final successful bid of £138,500 was made by Janey.
I met her at the property to find out about her plans for the place.
-Janey, lovely to meet you.
-Why did you want to buy this place?
-Erm, I've always lived in Saltash
and wanted to live down the waterfront, never been able to afford to
and it's close to my local pub,
so, you know, it came up for auction and I went for it.
-It's close to your local pub?
My local's just two minutes round the corner
but I actually live at the top of the town,
which is a £4 taxi ride, so it'll save me a fair bit, hopefully.
-So you bought...
-Over a few years.
-So you bought the house to save you the taxi ride home.
How fantastic is that?
This is an area that Janey knows particularly well.
I've been familiar with it all my life.
Erm, yes, it's just like something you always,
as you're going up and down, you think, I'd like to live there.
Going to the auction that day made it all possible.
But it wasn't just the location that made youth worker Janey want to live here.
-Are you a biker?
-So what sort of bike do you ride?
-A Triumph Bonneville.
-Oh, a proper bike.
-A real one, yes.
The house comes with a workshop, so will that be useful for your bikes?
That is definitely for the bikes.
If it didn't have that, I wouldn't have bought the house.
So you bought it because it's got somewhere to store your bikes?
Yeah, I've always wanted to live down here
but if there was no access for me to put the bikes
and have a workshop, there wouldn't have been any point.
So workshop aside, why did you like the house?
It just had such a warm, friendly vibe about it.
There was no negativity and it was light
and it was just like, "Ah, yeah, this is my house."
This house isn't Janey's first acquisition.
She bought her first property for £5,000 when she was just 17.
She later sold it on at a profit and something tells me there's more.
I've got the house that I live in now, that I bought 10 years ago,
-and then I bought a field.
-Because it was there and the view is amazing,
right over the Tamar valley - amazing view.
-What do you do with the field?
-I had a party up there last year,
-about, I don't know, 130, 140 people.
So tents and music, bonfire, bagpipes.
Not this year because of the house.
-So it's a party field?
-Basically. A chill-out field, for the moment.
But Janey won't have time for her chill-out field
while renovations are happening.
She wants to make downstairs open plan
and fit a new kitchen.
That bathroom will be moved upstairs
and she may even create an extra bedroom in the loft space.
All sounds like a lot of work
and she's given herself just four months to do it
and she needs to sell her current house first.
-What's the budget?
-The budget is,
right, wincey, wincey, about £30,000.
It's a bit, "Ooh." So we'll see.
If there's anything left after 30,000, we'll have another party.
And if the money's run out,
then I'll have to live in it as it is and do it as I go.
-You can go and live in your field.
-I could go in a caravan, yeah.
I can do.
Luckily for Janey, a friend has offered her a place to stay
whilst the property is being renovated
but once the work is completed, will she be tempted to rent this out
and buy another?
I feel like it's my home now. It's really weird.
But I bought it to live in because I want to live here.
I don't want to rent it out or sell it at all, no.
It's going to be my home.
# It's my life, it's now or never... #
Of course, the other big bonus of this place
is that Janey can walk to her local pub.
# It's my life. #
So there's a great reason to buy a house if I ever heard one.
When the bell rings at Janey's local,
she doesn't need to call a taxi, she can just walk home.
But has the bell tolled for the downstairs loo
and when will she be calling time on the renovation?
You can find out later in the show.
# Down to Margate
# Don't forget your buckets and spades and cossies and all
# Down to Margate
# We'll have a pill of jellied eels at the cockle stall. #
Welcome to Margate, a resort town on the Kent coast
once the holiday destination of choice
for Londoners looking to swap the city for the seaside.
Margate's picture postcard beauty is now a little faded
but the town is undergoing a regeneration programme
which includes the construction of a contemporary arts centre,
the Turner Gallery.
# You can keep the Costa Brava I'm telling you, mate, I'd rather
# Have a day down Margate With all me family. #
I'm in the Old Town of Margate today,
very close to the seafront and the high street
and I'm here to see this three-storey building.
Apparently, there used to be a shop on the ground floor,
which you can see on some of the other properties over there.
But this was converted into flats in the late 1980s.
It went to auction with a guide of just £60-70,000,
so let's be nosy and have a look around.
Around here, you might expect a single-bedroom flat to sell for that
but this property boasts not one but three flats.
It certainly sounds tempting
but is there a good reason for such a low guide price?
I've walked straight in to the middle flat in this building
and I've got to say, to the untrained eye,
it would look devastatingly awful.
I've got to admit, even I think this is way out of most people's league.
In fact, this sort of auction property
would put most people off.
What I can tell is that somebody's already been here
and started the work.
They've already gutted it, stripped it out.
Quite a lot of the work was already started.
A lot of the piping has been laid.
So whoever takes this on will need to finish the job
but when you look closely, you can see damp has gone in,
this wall over here is slightly bowing.
I think there's been a problem with a leaky gutter,
so lots of water will have been running down this building -
a lot for somebody to take on board.
I've got to say, there's nothing really rosy about this building
that I can tell you about at this stage.
# But you'd better stand clear
# When the walls come tumbling, tumbling
# Crumbling tumbling down. #
The middle flat consists of a sitting room with a kitchen to the rear.
Well, they call it a kitchen but there are no fixtures and fittings.
There are another two rooms which could be a bedroom and a bathroom.
In this condition, I'd say this flat is unmortgageable.
# The walls come tumbling down... #
Let's take a look at the top floor.
Up here, another flat in the same sort of state.
There's four rooms on the same level.
Now I know this was converted some time ago and it may not be compliant with current building regulations
regarding sound and fire proofing between the flats,
so that is something you may need to address when renovating these.
The four rooms, which presumably were once a sitting room, kitchen,
bedroom and bathroom, are in a similar condition to the flat below.
# The walls come tumbling, tumbling
# Down... #
Finally, it's back downstairs to the third flat,
which is accessed from the back.
There are rooms on the basement level and stairs to another two rooms on the ground floor.
This flat has also been stripped back to its bare bones
but it does have the advantage of a little outside space.
But the garden, like the flats, is a mess
and I've spotted a potential problem.
One thing I've noticed is part of flat one and two
goes over this private road or driveway.
Now there is shared access between several properties,
including this one.
But if you don't own the land under part of your property,
then it's what's called a flying freehold,
which can cause problems obtaining a mortgage in the future.
So buyers beware.
The guide price for this three-storey period property,
which has previously been converted into three flats,
So what's the best option? Renovate and rent out or do up and sell on?
Time to ask a local estate agent for advice.
I believe the property would be best kept as three individual flats,
certainly for the rental potential and also resale in the future.
Keeping it as three flats and renting them out could be the right choice
but would they be snapped up and for how much?
There is a very good demand in the area for one-bedroom properties.
I would suggest that they would go onto the market
at a rental figure of £350 to 375 per calendar month.
If you decided to do up and sell on,
what could the resale price of each of the three flats be?
We do have concern that there are a lot of flats in the area.
However, because it's in the Old Town, there's a lot of regeneration going on
and a huge amount of investors are coming in from London,
people looking for holiday homes, I do believe that this will appeal to both markets.
I would recommend a sale price for each flat of approximately £55,000.
So lots of work needed with this property
but a guide price of £60-70,000 for three flats?
Did that attract the bidders or did it put them off?
Who made the final bid? Let's find out when we head to auction.
It's three flats, total refurbishment,
guided at £60-70,000.
£60,000 to start me. Three flats. 20,000 a flat.
£60,000 is bid.
At £60,000 I'm bid. 62, if it helps.
62 I'm bid and 65? 65 is bid and 67?
70 I have. A gentleman bidding, sitting on the floor.
72 I'm bid. 74 is bid. 76.
You're out in blue. £74,000 I'm bid. 76 do I see?
76? 76. At 77?
At £77,000? Gentleman's bid sitting, at 76.
77 on a fresh place.
And 78? 78. And 80?
At 82? 82. And 84?
84. And 86.
86,000 I have on my left-hand side. At 88? 88 is bid.
90 I have. And 92?
92 is bid. And 95?
95. 98. Is that a bid?
No? At £95,000, then. For the first time being sold at £95,000.
The second time at 95,000. The gentleman's bid on my left.
Are you all out on the right?
For the third and final time at £95,000. Are you all done?
GAVEL BANGS Sold at 95,000. And your bidder's number is, please?
Regular viewers may recognise the successful bidder.
Kent-based builder Neil has been on Homes Under The Hammer before.
Last time, he bought a dilapidated four-storey Regency house
After many years of neglect, he took on the challenge of restoring it.
Neil uncovered many hidden period features
and using his craftsmanship sensitively,
restored the property to its former glory,
giving this grand Georgian home a new lease of life.
So these rather run-down flats are a bit of a contrast
to say the least!
I met Neil and his wife Freda at their new investment
to find out why they'd chosen them as their next project.
Neil, it's been a long time since I've seen you.
-It's not been that long.
-You've snuck back in with another property.
-And Freda, I didn't get to meet you last time.
-No, too busy last time.
-So here we are again, Neil.
-Yeah, starting all over again.
Can I just say, out of all the properties I've seen on Homes Under The Hammer,
I think this one is up there with... scaring me a little bit.
I can't imagine where you're going to begin
and why you wanted to buy this.
Well, when I came to look at it first off,
all the windows was boarded up and we only had a torch to look round.
But I liked the area. I thought it could be quite a good area.
It's in the Old Town, not exactly a booming place,
but I liked where it was,
so we thought, well, we'll set a figure on it
and got it for 5,000 less than we was going to pay for it.
-So good news for you.
-And then when I came in,
it wasn't as bad as I was imagining.
-So you think this isn't as bad as what you thought it was?
-Freda, why didn't you try and stop him?
-I never saw it until after he'd bought it.
So what do you think of it?
It'll be fine, it'll be fine.
It looks bad because everything's been pulled out
but structurally, it's quite sound.
Some of the timbers look like they're rotting.
We've had water in but again, it's nothing major.
I haven't got to start taking the roof off and things like that.
It's all quite simple, straightforward jobs.
-So you're quite happy?
-I'm happier than I was after I'd bought it.
I thought, "What have I done?"
But when we got in and looked round, I was impressed.
Nothing to seems to faze Neil and Freda
but then Neil does have plenty of experience under his belt,
as he's worked as a builder all his life.
He began property developing 8 to 10 years ago
and has no plans to slow down.
So no signs of retirement for you yet, then?
-Not just yet, no.
-Not just yet.
-You're happy being busy every day?
-More than happy now.
I can't wait to get started.
Freda, shouldn't he be at home with you,
enjoying your lives together as a couple?
Ooh, definitely not.
I'm quite happy doing what I'm doing, thank you.
With the flying freehold investigated by his solicitor,
Neil is raring to put his plans into action.
So how are you going to convert these into the three flats?
-Are you going to leave them as they are?
-Very much so.
There's not much we can change, anyway.
We'll put in new bathrooms, because there's nothing there.
New kitchens, new central heating, replastering them,
sound proofing them as much as we can.
We won't change them.
It's a complete refurb but basically left as they are.
-Are you going to check on the work, Freda?
-Definitely. I have to bring the cakes over.
They rely on me to bring the cakes and the coffee.
-And do you?
Neil and Freda have three children and 12 grandchildren,
so they view this property as an investment for them.
Let's talk about money. What's your budget for the work?
Well, I think we're going to spend £8,000 on each flat
and a couple of thousand pound on the staircase and the back garden.
So we're looking at about £26,000 altogether.
-And your timescale?
-We've worked that out as well.
-We think about ten weeks.
-I love you, Neil.
You're going to do that for that money in that short amount time?
-Well, I wouldn't say bish, bash, bosh, but that sort of thing.
-You've said it.
-This is an investment for you and your family.
Guys, good luck.
I know if there's anybody around here that can do it, it's you.
-I hope so.
-Thank you very much.
-Enjoy your cakes.
And we'll be back to learn all about what happened.
-OK, good. Thanks very much.
-Lovely to meet you. Thank you.
Neil and Freda are old hands at buying homes under the hammer
and they're experienced property developers,
so renovating an old building like this doesn't worry them.
The question is will Neil ever slow down and retire?
You can find out how these two get on later on in the show.
Coming up, I'm in Telford, where the wallpaper leaves a lot to be desired.
Every single wall has got this stuff on it.
Did Neil and Freda face any surprises in Margate?
We knew we'd had a problem with the roof
but we didn't realise the extent we would have to go at this stage.
But first, we return to Cornwall to find out what Janey has learnt.
Never, ever, ever do it again.
Ever, ever, ever, ever.
# Born to be wild... #
It's back to Cornwall now, where I met biker Janey.
She purchased this house on the Saltash waterfront
Janey had always wanted to live beside the estuary
but she hasn't moved to the waterfront just for the invigorating sea air.
-So why did you want to buy this place?
-It's close to my local pub.
It came for auction and I went for it.
The property had a kitchen, lounge and bathroom downstairs.
Upstairs, there were two bedrooms,
and, most excitingly, attic space, crying out for conversion.
So 13 months later, we're back. Let's have a look inside.
# Wow, wow, wow, wow!
# You got it You're wow, wow, wow, wow. #
Well, it's certainly got the wow factor.
Janey has removed the wall between the lounge and kitchen,
flooding the room with light from the front windows
and the newly installed French doors at the back.
I just wanted a nice, big sociable room
where you can have a meal, everyone can chat
and everyone's just together, which is brilliant.
The downstairs bathroom has gone
and the stairs have been moved forward,
creating space for a shower room on the first floor.
# Wow, wow, wow, wow
The huge master bedroom with the incredible views
has now become Janey's lounge.
And using space taken from that lounge,
stairs have been put in, leading to the attic conversion.
Well, the attic is my bedroom and my bathroom.
The attic conversion feels airy and welcoming.
It should be especially cosy on winter nights
when Atlantic storms batter the Cornish coast.
The renovation has undoubtedly been a major undertaking for Janey.
What was the most daunting aspect for this Easy Rider?
# Wow! #
When I first got the keys and I took a bit of wallpaper off,
I found the whole place was lined with asbestos.
That was a bit like, "Oh, my God. No!"
So I ran around the house for a while going, "Why me?"
I panicked at first but I spoke to our council,
they just said as long as I take it up to the proper place
with it all bagged up properly, they'd take it from there
and they'd put it into a great big airtight container, so...
how easy was that?
Finding asbestos in a property can be a worry,
but in fact, there's no need to panic.
Janey was right to contact her local authority.
It's important to get their advice
when it comes to removing and disposing of asbestos safely,
which should really only be carried out by a specialist.
Janey employed a team of local builders to carry out the rest of the work
and friends and family helped with the decoration.
I've done all the tiling.
I put them up on the wall one evening
after having maybe two or three glasses of wine
and they were dreadful, so I ripped them all off.
I ordered some more and they haven't arrived, so it'll have to wait until they do.
Apart from the tiling, how long has the work taken?
Originally, it was going to take about six months.
I had sold my house, then that sale fell through.
So it was one thing and then another.
It's a year and a month down the line and this is as far as I've got.
Not quite finished yet but it will be, directly, as they say.
Janey's initial budget was £30,000 but this has shot up to £54,000.
My original plan was not to have a loft conversion and the bathroom.
So the budget, yeah, blown out the water, really, but worth it.
So I don't think I've overspent
but I have got no money left, basically!
As for that all-important bike workshop,
Janey has sensibly put that on the back burner.
The bikes are not here at the moment. Well, one is.
Rosie, she's stuffed at the back of the workshop, sulking.
The others, I've rented a council garage
and they'll be up there for a while yet.
I've got to get that workshop sorted out and then I can get them in,
rather than get them in and work around them.
They're all right where they are.
Janey has spent just over £192,000 buying and creating her dream home.
We invited two local property experts along to give us their opinions.
I feel the best selling feature of the property
is the way the lounge is laid out
and then having the views from the lounge to the river.
So when you're sat there, you can enjoy the views
across the river and up to the moors.
It's not often that a roof conversion really flows well
from the first floor.
There's usually a stutter somewhere.
But this one you walk onto the landing, around onto the stairs
and up you go to a really well-worked space.
What would the market value of this place be?
I feel the resale value of the property in its current condition
in the current market would be in the region of £215,000.
If the first floor living room
was turned into the bedroom and en-suite shower room
that it's kind of aching to be,
I think the house could well be worth £230-240,000.
So despite Janey's overspend, these valuations could give her
a pre-tax profit of at least £22,500.
# Wow, wow, wow, wow! #
The agents also believe the house could generate a rental income
of between £600 and £700 per calendar month.
Janey has no plans to sell or rent out her new home.
The renovation has been a long, hard road.
What lessons has she learnt?
Never, ever, ever do it again.
Ever, ever, ever, ever.
And she won't have to, as Janey is finally able to relax
and enjoy that gorgeous view.
# But don't you know, honey child, I was born to be wild
# And I could never settle down with you. #
I'm in Manor Road in Telford, Shropshire.
Unfortunately, though, I'm not here to see a manor house.
To be honest, it's more of a minor house.
It's not big, it's not grand
but what's very interesting is that guide price of just £35,000.
With that price tag, you should be a little bit suspicious
That's chirpy cheap cheap for a two-bed property.
Let's see what the reasons might be.
Ooh. Straight away.
That is not some funky kind of wallpaper, that's actually damp.
Mm. That's not brilliant.
But not a bad-sized living room, here, but more indication...
Every single wall has got this stuff on it.
Bit of a clue, there. I shall investigate that later.
But through here into the kitchen.
It's a bad-sized space. It feels like a solid house.
But, you know, it smells damp,
there's real big signs of some water problem.
There's stuff all over the floor here. So not... Everywhere.
Not a bad-sized kitchen.
But more importantly, I need to find out where this water's coming from.
Water is dripping all over the house
and there's mildew and damp on every wall on this level.
Let's investigate upstairs.
Well, it could be coming from the bathroom
but that looks like it's been fairly recently done,
so my guess is no.
That's actually quite nice.
Big double bedroom at the front,
rear double bedroom here and there you go.
No prizes for guessing it's coming from either a hole in the roof
or, my guess is, some of the water pipes or the water tank in the loft
has been leaking.
It's a nightmare. When houses are left like this, they're uninhabited,
especially over the winter, you get a pipe bursting,
it pours down through the house and this black stuff is what happens.
The key is if you're leaving a house, do turn the stopcock off
and if you're buying a house in this kind of state,
make sure that the floorboards and the joists haven't been damaged
but what it really needs is just to dry out.
# Love don't live here any more
# Just emptiness and memories of what we had before. #
Love may not live here any more but the mould is certainly thriving.
There's more bad news outside, I'm afraid,
because the property is actually of non-standard construction,
which means it's unmortgageable, right?
Well, there are various types of non-standard construction and some are better than others.
Around here, two primary types.
One is concrete with steel in it and the other is concrete alone.
The concrete alone is generally a better bet
and that's what this house is, so all might not be lost.
But it needs to be checked out before you invest your money.
So it's not as bad as it may seem
and that £35,000 guide price is starting to look even more attractive.
Round the back, there's a good-sized garden
or should I say jungle?
But that wouldn't take too much time to sort out.
What will a local estate agent make of this non-standard construction?
I invited one along to find out.
'It's not too bad. It looks worse than it is, I think.
'It's got the water damage but that's easily corrected.
'It's not a bad size and it's a good project.'
A big garden, a young family with small children, it's perfect
because it's enclosed.
What rental figure could this property earn?
The rental market's really good.
It would achieve £525 per calendar month once the work's done.
And the sale value once renovated?
Selling the property on should achieve £85,000 to £90,000.
Well, yes, it does need a bit of work to sort it out
but what you've got here potentially is a fantastic little property.
A rental earner? Oh, yes.
And for 35 grand, let's see who went for it at the auction.
Lot number three.
We move to Shropshire, to Telford, the Dawley district.
A two-bedroomed, end town house. What is it? 35 to start?
30, then. Start me at 30.
Lot number three. 30, I'm going to say.
30 I'm bid. Thank you. At £30,000.
35 can I say now?
35, thank you. At £35,000.
40 is it now? At £35,000.
I'll take 40.
£40,000, the lady's bid, seated. At £40,000.
I'll take one if it helps.
Bid's at... It does. 41.
48, 49, 50.
He's shaking his head. It's with you, madam, at £50,000.
51 anywhere else?
At 50. I'm selling it, then, at 50.
At 50, then, for the first time.
New bidder. 51.
60. Shaking his head. Still with you, madam, at £60,000.
At £60,000, then, I'm selling it.
At 60, then, for the first time.
At 60 for the second time.
Third and final time.
Are you sure?
At 62, then, lady's bid.
First time at 62, second time at 62,
third and final time...
It's your lot, madam. Well done.
The new owners with their successful bid of £62,000
are property developing pros Mark and Mike.
It was Mark's mum who did the bidding
but it will be him and business partner Mike
who'll be getting their hands dirty.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this little place?
Erm, very cheap.
-That's the whole thing, really.
It was the cheapest one, I think, in the auction at the time.
-There's often a reason for that, though, isn't there?
Yeah. As you can see, it's...
-It's got a bit of mould.
-But it's not too bad.
It's structurally sound enough.
Out of all the properties we've looked at,
it dropped at the right price.
And I guess the initial appearance would put some people off.
-That's why we quite like them.
We quite like the fact that they do look rough.
If they're too desirable, you go to the auction, people pay silly money.
So the ones that don't look quite so nice,
-we tend to have a bigger chance of having a go at it.
And as long as the margins are there, you know, they tend to drop, don't they?
Yeah, it's all about the margin in the end.
As long as there's a good bit of profit to be made,
it doesn't matter what it is and where it is.
# Money, money, money, money
# Money... #
Keeping an eye on the bottom line has ensured Mark's family business
has thrived during the economic downturn.
# Money. #
I initially started the business in '92,
buying quite a lot of properties.
-It probably got to sort of 35 houses maybe three years ago.
-Then Mike came in.
-I came in, then.
And since that point, we've got to about 60.
I've been encouraging you to buy more, really.
-You've got now about how many?
-This is the 63rd.
And do you have a strategy for what you buy?
It's really trying to find houses in areas that will rent
and as cheap as you can buy them, as well.
The cheaper they are, the higher the rental return.
You're pretty sure you've got tenants lined up already.
-Yeah. I've already got someone who wants this.
-For how much a month?
-This one, 525.
-It's not bad.
-So reasonable return for the investment.
-Do you still look at properties before you buy them?
-I'm so happy to hear that.
-You can't buy without looking.
Some people do and I get very cross with them.
It's not my money but, you know.
It's a massive risk to take, a massive, massive risk.
Risky business is not Mark and Mike's style.
The way this place was built may make it unmortgageable
but they have experience of this type of property.
-This is non-standard construction. Did you know that?
These ones are literally just solid concrete walls
with lots of pebbles in -
lots of pebbles and concrete and a solid wall.
-And that's regarded as being OK?
The odd company doesn't like it but the majority of companies will lend.
They're sturdy houses, just cold.
# Money, money, money, money. #
Time is money for Mark and Mike and they're keen to get started.
So tell me what you're going to do it to sort it out?
We'll put 4,000 into it.
-Yeah. Yeah, four grand.
-Five at top whack. Top whack.
-Top. Maximum, yes.
Wow. You think you can do this place up for five grand?
What are you going to do for that?
Bit of filler in the small hole upstairs.
And this kitchen, it's much better than you think it is.
-These units are pretty good, really, aren't they?
They don't look nice but with new handles, you'll be surprised.
-Yeah. I'll go with that.
The mildew makes it look a lot worse than it is
but really, a lick of paint and it'll look much better for it.
So what kind of timescale for sorting this place out?
-Mm, six weeks, I think.
-I think we should be able to do that.
We're going to have to let it dry for two or three weeks
before we can do too much because the water's everywhere.
So that's going to take some time to go out.
-Well, good luck with it.
-Nice to meet you both.
And I wish you all the best.
Well, Mark and Mike adopting a strategy of going for the most unattractive properties.
Still, with 63 in their portfolio, they must be doing something right.
Can they sort this place out for five grand?
Seems a tall order to me but you can find out how they get on later.
Well, when we left, our auction aficionados had their fingers crossed
and high hopes of success.
Ah, but have the purchasers been having sleepless nights?
Let's go back and find out.
Remember this three-storey property in the seaside town of Margate?
It had previously been converted into three flats.
There was a one-bedroom basement and ground floor flat,
plus two single-bedroom flats on the first and second floors.
Problems with the leaking roof meant damp had penetrated the walls
and rotted the timbers.
Most people would turn and run
but builder Neil and his wife Freda are not most people.
They paid £95,000 for the place
and budgeted 26 grand for renovations.
They planned to have the flats ready to rent out in just ten weeks.
Oh, I love you, Neil. You're going to do that for that money
in that short amount of time?
-Well, I wouldn't say bish, bash, bosh but...
-You said it.
Bish, bash, bosh? I think not.
MUSIC: "Magnificent" by U2
Three months later, we're back and what a transformation!
# Magnificent... #
Obviously it's a major refurbishment.
We've replastered right from top to bottom.
We've replumbed it, we've rewired.
Obviously new flooring, new skirting, sound proofing.
The only thing we haven't changed is the windows.
The ground floor and basement flat has become a two-bedroom property.
The lounge and kitchen are on the ground floor
and by removing a wall and allowing more light into the kitchen,
Neil has created a spacious, open-plan living area.
A shower room on the ground floor has also been added,
which has made space for two bedrooms downstairs.
# Magnificent... #
On the first floor there is now a contemporary open-plan living space.
A light and airy lounge leads onto the kitchen.
And in the shower room, Neil has worked his magic again.
# Magnificent... #
Neil and Freda have transformed this property
from derelict and dingy to cool and comfortable.
We thoroughly enjoyed doing it
and I'm enjoying the end product, as well.
I can't really say there was any hard part of it.
I think the hard bit all gets took away when you see how you've changed it.
-You know, like most things,
you've got to put something into it
and then you think, "Wow, we've done it again."
The top floor flat suffered the most from the leaking roof
but it's yet another triumph for Neil.
The quality of his craftsmanship shines through.
We knew we had a problem with the roof
because when we came here, the water was running down the walls.
So we've done the mansard roof.
We've renewed all the lead box gutters, downpipes, etc.
A lot of the water was through neglect of the drainpipes,
they were all blocked up, plants growing out of them.
The building was empty for two years before
and no-one worried about it and the rain got in
and that's what done most of the damage.
What about the back garden?
Neil decided to make a communal area,
rather than offering a private garden with the ground floor flat.
We're approaching the council at this minute, we've got it in now,
to try and put three storage units in the garden.
If they turn us down, we'll just continue the slabs and that's it,
but that's what we're hoping to do.
And did he managed all this in only ten weeks?
Well, when we took it on, we said about a ten week contract,
which I suppose, if you look at it realistically, it took ten weeks
but we was finished as such in nine weeks
but then there were the little bits, a bit of painting and stuff like that,
which dragged it out to the ten weeks.
So, yeah, we're very pleased with the outcome
and we're very pleased on our time.
What about that budget of £26,000?
We've gone over budget, I would think, by about £7,000,
which I suppose is not that bad.
Well, basically, it was the roof. The lead is so expensive.
I would say the roof took half of that, at least half.
We find that if you put the extra little bits in and do the extra work,
like the sound proofing, which we didn't have to do but we chose to do,
but it saves you any problems at a later date.
Once a property's rented out,
you don't want the tenants ringing up and saying the roof's leaking
or we can hear the people upstairs.
So we do make sure that all them things are done properly, as well.
Hence why we've gone so much over budget, I suppose.
Neil and Freda are a formidable couple
and a tight-knit team, whatever they might say.
He's not used to being this close, that's the trouble.
-Don't start that.
We asked two local estate agents for their opinions.
I think the quality of the work is very good,
an credit to the owner of the property, a real transformation.
With the back area,
it would have been nice as a garden to go with the ground floor flat,
to have some outside space for that property.
Neil has spent a total of 128,000,
purchasing and renovating the property.
The estate agents predict a combined resale value
for all three flats
of between £183,000 and £190,000.
That would mean he would make a pre-tax profit
of between 55 and 62 grand.
But Neil has always planned to rent each flat out.
The market rent for the top floor flat is
about £325-350 per calendar month.
The middle flat is also a one bedroom but a better size.
I think we'll be looking at about 375 per calendar month
and the two bedroom flat about £450 per calendar month.
The top flat I would recommend £425 per calendar month.
For the middle flat, I would recommend £450 per calendar month
and for the ground floor two-bedroom,
I would recommend £500 per calendar month.
That would mean an impressive yield of between 10 and 13%.
I was looking at, overall, £400 per month each one,
so by the time you take the benefit of the bottom one offset against the top floor,
it's about right to what we was thinking.
So what's next?
# Magnificent. #
We're back in Shropshire, where this two-bed house was sold for £62,000.
The property was covered in mould and mildew.
A burst water pipe in the attic had caused the ceiling to collapse.
The house smelt bad and looked worse.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
They buy the houses others are too scared to touch.
We quite like the fact that they do look rough.
If they're too desirable, people pay silly money.
As long as there's a profit, it doesn't matter what it is and where it is.
So seven weeks later, how have they got on
with their whirlwind makeover?
The previously shabby interior certainly scrubs up well.
The lounge was dank, dirty and dripping wet.
Now it's clean, fresh and, most importantly, dry.
The main things we've done are to take the hedge down at the front,
redecorate and replaster inside.
It's always the way with any property -
a coat of paint on the walls, a fresh carpet
and it does make a world of difference.
Onwards and upwards.
Mark and Mike have fixed the collapsed ceiling
and the bedrooms now feel bright, spacious and fresh.
All traces of the damp have disappeared.
The main cause of the damp was really due to a tap being left on where the washing machine was.
The holes in the ceiling were a different flood
but the damp was about six or seven buckets of water
leaking into the house every day with all the windows and doors shut,
so an incredible amount of mould and mildew.
The kitchen has been transformed.
Where possible, existing items were retained and refurbished.
The duo always keep an eye on the bottom line
but they certainly know when to spend to make an impression.
The kitchen wasn't as bad as it looked.
The worktops that were in place were still functional
but we decided to replace them to make it look more modern.
But the kitchen units themselves are the same ones that were here.
We just changed the handles on them, new worktops, sink,
retiled and new kick boards because they were damaged by the damp.
But that's it, really.
It looks a lot better for not too much work.
And the overgrown garden?
Mark and Mike went for easy maintenance.
So did they stick to their budget of between £4,000 and £5,000?
Total cost, I would say, we spent around £6,000,
which is maybe 1,500 more than we anticipated.
So they spent £6,000 and went just one week over the six-week schedule.
It's been a rush to get it done in the time we wanted
but it's gone to plan.
There were a couple of times along the way
there was a worry that we weren't going to do it in time
and there'd be some late nights
but it sort of rectified itself in the end.
Some things were tricky and other things went quickly.
We asked two local estate agents to take a look at the property.
First impressions are that it's in very good condition.
It's nice and clean and would appeal to either small families
or to first-time buyers.
They've done a good job.
They've not gone overboard but it's very clean and tidy
and they've spent the money where it matters.
Mark and Mike spent £62,000 purchasing the property
and a further six on renovations, totalling £68,000.
What could the house sell for now?
If I was to put this on the open market today,
I would expect to achieve round about £80,000.
I would expect this property to achieve £90,000.
Those valuations could give them a pre-tax profit
of between £12,000 and £22,000,
minus the usual selling expenses.
Hopefully, we're going to get closer to 90
but that is quite a big difference on the price.
-I would have hoped high 80s.
-Mid to high 80s.
The boys have no plans to sell at present
as they already have a tenant lined up.
If this was put on the rental market, I would expect to achieve around £500 per calendar month.
I would expect it to reach £525 per calendar month.
Do the estate agents' suggestions tally
with Mark and Mike's rental income?
-It's about bang on, isn't it?
I've got someone agreeing to rent it for 525,
-so they're pretty much right, there.
-Yeah. Quite happy with that.
No wonder they're happy.
That's a healthy yield of over 9%
and another impressive outcome for Mark and Mike.
What's the secret of their success?
Really do the sums on every single property.
If it adds up, then we'll look at it.
We look at every property and whichever one drops at the right price,
we'll have a go at that one.
But it's usually the uglier properties
and the less desirable that we end up with.
The guys have really turned this place round,
from dilapidated dwelling to des res.
-Join us next time...
-For more thrills and spills from the auction.
-We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a building with an attic conversion in Cornwall, a home in Margate and a house in Telford.
All of these properties have been sold at auction, and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.