Browse content similar to Episode 56. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
If you're a familiar auction-goer,
you'll be used to the sound of the gavel coming down on a sale.
If that's what gets your blood pumping, you're in for a treat.
So we've got three different properties on today's show
so hold onto your hats for Homes Under the Hammer!
Once you've bought a property, the challenge is how to add value to it.
Project managing renovations isn't always as easy as it looks.
Let's take a look at all three properties on today's show.
In East Lothian, I truly believe I've found a great development opportunity.
Now I'm getting excited!
At a Wiltshire property, I'm on the hunt for any signs of character!
So far I'm looking around, and there isn't any!
And if you bought this house in Derbyshire without viewing it, you could be in for a nasty shock!
Wow! Look at that wiring!
All these properties were sold at auction.
We find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.
I'm about ten miles east of Edinburgh in Tranent, which used to be an important mining town.
Its original ancient name was Travernment, trav meaning village
and ment meaning valley. So it's the village in the valley.
But has the property market round here also bottomed out?
I'm here to look at a lot guided at just 55,000.
So, what does £55,000 buy you in property terms?
A garage? A plot of land?
A dilapidated house, perhaps.
Well, here in Tranent, about nine miles outside Edinburgh,
it could buy you this - an old chapel.
# Going to the chapel and we're
# Gonna get married... #
Built in 1870, this old Methodist chapel was a place of worship
for over 100 years.
Recently, it's been used as an antiques showroom, amongst other things.
So, what's next for it, I wonder?
So, is it going to be a Hallelujah moment as you walk through the door,
or an, "Oh, cor blimey!" one?
Well, kind of half and half.
Quite an interesting entrance.
An ante room there and another there with a bit of kitchen stuff going on.
Then through to what is hopefully the main part of the building.
That's more like it!
A really good-sized space. High ceilings,
beautiful old floorboards.
Now I'm getting excited!
This is fantastic.
Not only is there a large open hall this side,
next to it there's an equally large space
where the congregation sat for the service
complete with pews and pulpit.
The single-storey stone building was sub-divided in 1958
to create the church hall.
But it's a chapel that may not be here for very much longer.
Because planning permission has been passed to demolish it.
The planning is for four flats with parking.
Well, I can see the financial side of it, I guess,
but it makes you feel sad
that a place like this looks like it's going to go.
It's not so much what's inside that I'm attracted to,
it's the fabric and design of the place.
It's the windows, the high ceiling, the brick and the history that will be bulldozed away.
So is this really the end for the chapel?
What does the auctioneer who sold it think?
The planning consent that the building has is for redevelopment
of the property to form four flats.
Two bedrooms each.
There is a condition within the consent for the developers to use the stone, or re-use the stone,
of the building and surrounding walls.
At least a small part of the building would be retained
even if it's just the stone.
But is this really the best option for the chapel?
I think it'll be a bit of a shame
because there's still life in this building
and certainly in the current post credit-crunch environment,
there's a good opportunity for the building to be brought back into use.
I don't necessarily think redevelopment for residential
is the way forward for this particular property.
It may not be the local community's favoured outcome,
but what about financially?
We've had a look at rental levels,
and having sold quite a few flats in Tranent over the last few months,
we're aware that the one-bed flat
is probably commanding a rental of about £340 a month,
and two-bed, perhaps £400 per calendar month.
If we were looking to sell flats at that level,
it'll be somewhere between 100 and 120, depending on what they comprised.
Four flats would bring in a return of £400,000
from a building that was guided at just 55,000.
Even with development costs,
there's likely to be a healthy profit margin going down that route.
There is the emotional side of knocking down a beautiful building.
Still, it will be up to whoever bought it when it went under the hammer.
Lot 29. Bridge Street, Tranent.
The Tranent Primitive Methodist chapel, built in 1970.
It's a very handsome building.
What are we going to say for that?
Somebody start me off at £60,000?
Gentleman down here at £60,000. I'm going to sell at £60,000.
£60,000. Gentleman down here. 61.
61. 62. 63.
63? 63. 64. 65.
65. 66. 67.
67. 68. 69.
I think you might have done him now. At £70,000. Going once.
Twice. Third and final time. We're all done.
£70,000. Gentleman started me, finished me. You deserve it, sir. Thank you.
So, for £70,000, the man who's bought himself a chapel is Alex.
He saw this as a heaven-sent opportunity to pursue a long-held dream.
-You've got yourself a church.
-I have that!
-Why did you want to buy it?
Originally I wanted to buy it because I've always had a dream of owning a boxing club.
-A boxing club?!
-Yeah, a boxing club.
Amateur boxing, as I used to box myself.
I've always been looking for premises that I could buy
and own my own boxing club.
Bring lads in off the street and make them into champions.
-Wow. You must be delighted to have found it.
-To be honest,
I've been watching it for three years.
I live along the road, two doors away.
-The man had his antiques in here and I approached him and he wouldn't tell me who owned it.
I remember saying to an old man, Hamish, that used to run Haddington Boxing Club up the road,
"I'll have that church as a boxing club one day."
And he said, "No chance." Then I met him at a boxing show just after I'd purchased it
-and he said, "I can't believe you did it."
-That's great news.
Not only will the chapel building remain, but it will become a community space again,
a place for hopes and dreams.
-So why boxing? Talk me through that.
-I started boxing at 11 years old.
-I boxed till I was 15. Unfortunately, I developed tuberculosis.
So I had to stop boxing.
So I threw myself into business.
I own a carpet and furniture shop now.
I've owned various businesses and done little developments.
I went back to the boxing at 20 because now I had my business off the ground
I wanted another stab at the boxing side of things.
I also noticed the difference it makes to young lads' lives.
When I was in trouble when I was young, my dad would say, "Oh, no!"
He didn't want to know. He'd get embarrassed.
But when I was at the boxing, they were proud and they were there.
It's not, "He's not mine." It's, "That lad there, he's my son!"
So that's my real reason for getting into this.
Alex might see this as the perfect place to fight the good fight,
but he'll need to get change of use first.
Then he can start altering the altar!
-Let's talk about the building. How are you going to turn this into a boxing academy?
First of all, the big wall along the middle comes away.
We'll put the male dressing room through at the back there
and we'll put the female dressing room through here where the toilets are and the kitchen.
So it's going to be boys and girls?
It's mixed. There's no problem about mixing it at all.
Most boxing clubs nowadays are mixed.
The boxing ring will go here on the left-hand side.
There will be mirrors all the way round because all boxers like to see themselves.
When they're shadow boxing, the big thing is mirrors.
When you're teaching a kid to box, the best way to teach him is to let him see what he's doing.
We'll have the punching bags and things over there.
Then we'll have a CD area in the other corner.
What about cost for getting it sorted?
Right off the top of my head,
to get this up and running it's going to cost me 27 grand.
So that £27,000 is on top of the 70,000 you paid to buy it.
-You've almost put £100,000 in this.
-Financially, does it bring anything back?
-Not right away.
It's only really always been the love of my life
and a hobby I always wanted to do when I retire.
It's not an investment that I've made thinking, "I've thrown that money down the side."
Because if it was to fail, I've still got the building.
I've developed properties before.
I can still develop it into four two-bedroomed flats.
I'm in the furniture and carpet business. It could be a furniture and carpet unit.
So Alex comes to this with his eyes wide open.
He's got a number of strategies to make sure he comes out on top.
But first and foremost, he wants the boxing gym to succeed.
-What would be your dream for it?
-My dream straight away is I'm a realist.
I never say I'm going to do this or that. Everything I say, I do.
I said I was going to run five marathons for children with leukaemia and I have done.
I raised £20,000 for children with leukaemia.
I've got two friends that have already been world champions, who are going to be part of this.
In 20 years, I'd like a world champion. In two years I'd like a British champion,
-and next year I want a Scottish champion.
-It's fantastic what you're doing. Can't wait to see it.
-Great to meet you.
# ..stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade
# And he carries the reminders
# Of every glove that laid him down
# Or cut him till he cried out
# In his anger and his shame
# I am leaving, I am leaving
# But the fighter still remains... #
Undoubtedly, Alex has some challenges ahead to ring the changes here.
But with his passion and enthusiasm,
I've no doubt he can turn his long-held dream into reality.
Well, what a great thing Alex is creating for the local children.
When you think about it, this place will be absolutely ideal for that.
Join us for round two and find out how he gets on later in the show.
This is Bromham, near Chippenham in Wiltshire,
known for its market gardening.
There's a really local feel and some stunning old properties
and it even holds a carnival each year that lasts for two weeks!
These are definitely people who know how to party!
So, after all that talk of fun, I'm afraid it's time to be on best behaviour
as the property I'm here to see is in a former school.
It was built in 1910 and later converted into several cottages.
It's got two bedrooms and a guide of only 70,000.
Let's get inside and see if it's worth a gold star!
We're not talking about a large comprehensive school, just a local village one.
Along with the pupils, the playground has gone and since been developed.
Judging by the front door and porch, I don't think I'll find a row of desks and blackboards here.
I know this is a mid-'80s conversion,
and sadly, it feels like it.
It's not a decade known for its great design, I have to say.
Sadly, it's got quite low ceilings,
and lots of woodchip wallpaper on the ceiling as well.
A kitchen over here.
A downstairs bathroom, which could be a bit of a negative.
Big storage heaters over here, so there's no central heating.
I was quite excited, thinking, "The old schoolhouse. Loads of character."
So far, I'm looking around and there isn't any!
I guess as a school, this wasn't much more than a hall with a few rooms off it.
So to make it into a home, it was further sub-divided.
So there could be opportunities to tinker with the layout.
But first, let's see exactly what you'd be taking on.
Upstairs, you've got two bedrooms. Ah, and two staircases!
That is quite unusual, although it does feel quite quirky up here.
You have this beautiful original beam,
this lovely big window letting in loads of light
but once you've got over that, I think, as a parent,
it might be a problem having the rooms split up on either side.
Mum and Dad on one side, kids on another.
You might spend half the night running up and down these stairs.
In fact, it could get a little tiresome.
# Tryin' to make some sense of it all
# But I can see it makes no sense at all
# Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor
# I don't think that I can take any more
# Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
# Here I am, stuck in the middle with you. #
This set-up is far from ideal.
But frankly with the costs involved in altering it, I think you're stuck with it.
So, with just two bedrooms upstairs, one tiny,
who would this be suitable for?
Well, it's not a family home, and that will limit its resale value.
But as a rental, however, it really works.
The downstairs bathroom isn't so much of an issue.
The small garden is suddenly manageable. And it does have parking.
In fact, you could be looking at as much as £500 a month,
which, if you bought for the guide, spent around £10,000 on the refurb plus fees,
that's over a six per cent yield.
Which just proves it's worth paying attention in maths class, after all!
-And I'm never going back to my old school...
So the figures really do add up.
Even if the geography of the house is far from perfect
and with the old beams there's a bit of history thrown in,
is this a top class investment? I'm not sure.
What does a local estate agent think?
The property needs quite a lot of modernising.
It was refurbed in the '80s when it was converted to accommodation.
It's got a very '80s feel to it.
It needs general modernisation in terms of electrics.
The heating will probably need an update.
The windows have seen better days.
The bedrooms are interesting, with two separate staircases.
It makes it different. It wouldn't suit everybody.
But for the right person it's a bit different and unusual.
Quirky and different is great. But they don't always equate to good resale values
and make it harder to assess an exact price.
The property today as it stands, I would suggest is worth in the region of about £90,000.
If you were to spend the necessary monies on it,
I would think you could get a reasonable return, worth something in the region of 125.
With that potential £500 a month rental,
as an investment, this appears to stand up under examination.
This could be a lovely little school conversion
in a really fab location.
Right now, it could do better,
but given a bit of extra help, it may be top of the class!
Let's see who did their homework and bid at the auction.
Start me at 85. Somebody save my breath.
80, if you like.
At £80,000. 81 I've got behind me. At 81.
86? 85 and a half?
85 and a half. 86.
And a half.
Yeah. 87? 87.
And a half?
It's weakening, I think.
87 and a half? OK. 87 and a half.
Bid on the right-hand side. 87 and a half. 88. New blood.
88. And a half?
And a half.
And a half.
90 for luck? Round the corner half? No? OK. The lady's bid over there.
It's your bid at £90,000. I'll take a half from anyone.
90 and a half. New blood. 90 and a half? No? One.
500? And one?
No? At 90 and a half, then. Fresh blood right at the end.
£90,500 for the first time.
£90,500 for the second time. Either of you, yes or no?
Otherwise 90,500, third and last time. All done at 90 and a half.
Your number, sir, is? 48, is it?
That last minute bid of £90,500
came from local man, Nigel.
I met him back at the old school
to check on whether he had done his homework.
-How much research had you done on the property?
I'd been to have a brief look round it once.
It was more the location. I was looking for somewhere in this particular village.
-How well do you know this village?
-Pretty well. I've kept horses here for three or four years.
I currently live in the next village up the road.
-Tell me what you do.
-I'm a farrier.
This house will be the first place Nigel's owned.
It's ideal with his farrier's yard just up the road,
along with stabling for his main passion, horses.
Horses have been a big part of my life, my whole life.
I buy and sell a few horses as well and compete them.
-How well have you done over the years?
-Pretty well. I've jumped on the national circuit.
Do you ride horses every day?
Yes. I ride three every morning before I go to work.
-How old were you when you got your first horse?
-My grandfather bought it for me the day I was born!
My goodness! Oh, that's amazing!
Up until now, horses have dominated Nigel's time and energy.
But he's got his own place now and needs to focus on this schoolwork.
What subject was he going to concentrate on first?
-There's a couple of walls I might knock out.
In the kitchen here, we're probably going to knock this wall out
and put a breakfast bar across.
-The bathroom, happy with that being downstairs?
-We think we'll leave it downstairs
but turn it into a wet room.
-Take the bath out.
-That's quite a costly thing to do.
It won't be cheap. Hopefully we can do most of the work ourselves.
I have a friend in the village who's a carpenter and joiner.
He said he'll do the windows for me.
That's the lovely thing about village life. Everyone helps everybody out.
I'm sure most of the villagers know who you are.
-Yes, I spend a lot of time in the village.
-Are you called Nigel the Farrier?
-Or Nigel the horse-riding guy.
-That and a few other things!
Well, he might be known as Nigel the Farrier,
but he hopes his dad Andy can be persuaded to become Handy Andy
or Andy the Builder.
What involvement has your dad got in the building trade?
He's just very handy himself
and he's got three or four brothers in the building or decorating trade.
They'll come and give us advice
and make sure we don't make the place fall down!
What budget do you have to do this work?
We're looking probably about £6,000.
How long will it take to get this place looking as you want it?
Hopefully, we'll have it done in six to eight weeks.
-So pretty quick, then?
If I need Dad's help, it has to be quick as he's going to Australia for a month!
-You need to crack on and get it done.
-Before he goes.
OK. So the clock is ticking.
Study time is over.
Time to put Nigel and his Dad's knowledge to the test.
The question is, will they make the grade?
Farrier Nigel has cleared the first jump by buying this place.
So now it's just a matter of hammering it into shape.
I'll be interested in seeing the changes he makes to the downstairs.
Will he race ahead with the work or will he fall at the first hurdle?
Join us later in the programme and you can find out.
Coming up: some parts of this house in Derbyshire
aren't exactly bang up to date.
I don't really think it's that well made!
It's back to school in Wiltshire. But will Nigel's renovation pass the test?
I never expected to get a property of this type for the money it's ended up costing me.
But first, did Alex win the fight to transform his chapel?
It never was about money. It's about a passion.
Back in Tranent near Edinburgh,
an old Methodist chapel seemed ripe for development.
With planning permission in place for four flats,
its days appeared to be numbered.
But then it found a saviour in the form of local businessman Alex,
who paid £70,000 to fulfil a personal ambition.
Why did you want to buy it?
Originally, I wanted to buy it because I have a dream of owning a boxing club.
-A boxing club?!
-Yeah, a boxing club.
Amateur boxing. I used to box myself.
So, just four months later,
had Alex won the fight to turn the chapel from pews and pulpits
to pugilistic pursuits?
Well, the cross has gone and the signs are good
with the makeover of the kitchen and toilet area.
As soon as I saw it, I knew what I wanted it for.
It said "boxing gym" all over it, to me.
And that is exactly what it is now.
A fully kitted out amateur boxing gym, ready for action.
The first thing we did was the day after you left.
We pulled down the big wall that divided it down the middle here,
so that we could fit the large ring in. Cos it's an 18-foot ring, and it's quite big.
What I admire about Alex's approach is that he's been sympathetic to the original chapel fixtures
making them a feature rather than covering or removing them.
This is our weights area.
Originally we made it into the shop area, but it was far too big for that.
There was a wall running from here to this end here
that went from top to bottom.
It made it a waste of space in there.
So I came in one Sunday and knocked it down myself.
Along with weights and rings,
what all boxing gyms need are lots and lots of mirrors.
They create the effect of making the chapel look twice its size
and also reflect the amount of work carried out here.
The renovation was all done by myself, friends, family
and friends' companies,
from electrical to plumbing, everything.
Damp-proof, plastering, there was nothing done with an outside firm.
Family involvement isn't going to stop now the boxing gym is completed.
That was just round one!
The gym will be run by the family. My son will be involved and my daughter.
They already are involved.
I'll train nearly every night
and help out with the kids as much as possible.
My granddad is here quite a lot as well. It's quite family orientated.
My mum helps out as well. She helps out on the cash desk
and I've done it a few times.
I'm sure this is going to be a family thing.
Alex is going to continue to need that family support
from daughter Gemma and son Zander.
After all, he's still got his carpet and furniture store to run.
To begin with, I was in here seven days a week without a doubt.
He finishes his day job and comes here.
It takes him back to his youth, when he boxed when he was younger.
It's not like a chore or a work thing for me.
It's more of a passion and a hobby. It doesn't feel like work.
Since starting, they've already got 30 youths and 30 seniors signed up.
Future plans is to produce champions
and to be able to help some young people off the streets
and point them in the right direction if we can.
I think he wants it to be his legacy when he's gone. We'll take over.
From a financial point of view,
Alex intends to set it up as a non-profit-making organisation.
He'll look for grants and donations
so that he can continue to offer a facility for everybody.
But just to get to this stage,
he's committed a fair amount of his own money to the project.
I've spent in the region of £30,000 on the whole project. Most of that
has been on equipment.
I would say the split would be about 10,000 on the renovation work
and 20,000 on equipment.
With the chapel costing £70,000 to buy in the first place
and that £10,000 spend on converting it,
Alex has sunk over £80,000 into the building alone.
But although he didn't bank on this being a money-making venture,
how would it fare in the current market? What do local property experts think?
The transformation is amazing.
The building is absolutely unrecognisable
compared with when I came to see it prior to the auction.
Having it as a gym, everyone nowadays is a fitness fanatic.
Having it as a gym, especially a boxing style gym,
will encourage locals to come here.
What I like is they're using the space to its maximum potential.
It's good, bright, light space. The mirrors make it look a lot bigger than it is.
They've really done an effective job of brightening it up.
I like the building. It's obviously been here for a few years now.
It's modern inside, but he's managed to retain the outside with its original features.
Generally, they seem pleased with the way the building is now being used.
But when it comes to the £80,000-plus spent here,
have Alex's finances taken a hit?
I would value this property at no more than £100,000.
I estimate this property to be worth offers in the region of £85,000.
That's quite surprising, because I'm not in it for the money.
It never was about money. It's about a passion.
Yes, it's the facilities rather than the finances that matter to Alex.
As you have probably seen today,
you can't put a figure on the changes you can make to some people's lives with this gym.
I would definitely do it all over again. It's been great. I really enjoyed it.
With Alex's infectious enthusiasm, and the high-quality facilities,
I'm sure it won't be too long before some of his proteges start to shine.
I'm in Derbyshire, in Kirk Hallam,
which sounds like it should be the name of a Hollywood movie star!
So will today's property turn out to be a BAFTA winner
or up for a Raspberry at the Razzies?
Well, here it is. It's a two-bathroomed semi-detached
with a guide price of 78,000 quid.
Bit of a showstopper, isn't it?
This four-bed property has been modified for wheelchair use.
Note the wider front door and ramp up to the house.
Generally, from outside it looks in good nick, apart from that cladding
which is definitely not to my taste.
What's in store behind the door?
An interesting little entrance hall here, with the stairs going up there.
Not too bad, I suppose. A lounge there, looks like a reasonable size.
Then through into the kitchen,
where it all starts to go a bit wrong.
It's clearly in need of some units, but not only that,
wow, look at that wiring!
Not quite sure it meets current regulations(!)
I'm not even going to touch it.
But an interesting space.
You've also got this little annexe area there which could be a utility area or something.
But then the reason why this can be a four-bedroomed property.
This one here is the one they call the fourth bedroom.
It is actually a downstairs loo that's been adapted for a disabled person.
So clearly, unless you want to keep it as a facility for a disabled person,
there's a lot of work to sort this out.
But at first glance, big ground floor.
These areas could be made into a separate annexe.
If you divided up the existing kitchen or put a smaller one in,
everything's here for a separate unit.
Alternatively, you could integrate it back into the house and make the downstairs bathroom a wet room.
It's not far off that already.
Upstairs there are three reasonably-sized rooms.
Yes, they're in need of some modernisation
and I'd certainly change the colour scheme,
but it's not really too bad up here.
Relatively smooth walls and all nice and bright.
If you changed that bathroom suite, you'd have the makings of a great house.
So a bit of work needed to sort out up there
but good-sized rooms for sure.
Downstairs, the lounge/living area.
Again, a really nice open plan area.
Fireplace could do with opening up to make a nice central point.
Coming through to the rear of the property, in this room,
again more evidence of the house's use as a place for a disabled person in the past.
Again, through into what you hope is going to be quite exciting.
It's a conservatory, but...
You know, I don't think it's that well made.
It's a bit disappointing because the basic thing you'd want is doors in there
to open out into the garden.
That's what you'd want. But before I did that,
I'd check the structure of this. Doesn't look brilliant!
This is crying out for French doors into that fair-sized garden.
Like the rest of the house, it does need TLC,
but it's a garden with loads of potential that needs to be realised.
So I think there's a lot going for this place.
What does the auctioneer who sold it think?
It's an interesting property.
Obviously started out just as a three-bed semi-detached.
It's been extended because somebody has needed to adapt it
for disabled person's use.
So the extension at the back I guess was created as another bedroom
with an en-suite facility with wheelchair access. Obviously,
the ramp outside gives you access to the rear of the building.
If you've got somebody who specifically wants the extra facility,
for whatever reason,
clearly it adds value.
For somebody who doesn't want it, they won't pay you anything more for it.
There is a concern that the current layout might put potential buyers off.
But at that guide price of 78,000,
could it still work as an investment?
If you look at it as a four-bedroomed house
with two bathroom facilities,
I would say, renovated, it probably has a value of between 110 and £115,000.
What about rental values?
I would say that once brought up to a good standard,
this would probably have a rental value of between 500 and £525 per calendar month.
In the current market, I think the numbers perhaps favour rental.
But both options could be viable.
So, obviously, a house that's been set up for someone with special needs.
And you may want to keep it like that.
Alternatively, that rear room could easily be a dining room or that fourth bedroom.
A house with opportunity and potential, then.
Let's see who got it when it went under the hammer!
Lot number 45. A four-bedroomed
semi-detached house with two bathrooms.
Also having gas central heating and uPVC double glazing.
80? 75? Where you like. 75,000 is bid here.
£75,000. 76 somewhere else? Four-bedroomed semi.
76. 77 down the centre.
78. 79. 80,000.
83,000. Try one more?
At £83,000. 84 somewhere else?
84,000 in the centre. 85 quickly?
Is that it? £85,000, then. Going once.
Twice. And a half.
85 and a half.
Against you. Once, twice,
third time. Sold at 86,500. Thank you.
When the hammer fell at 86,500,
the new owners of the Kirk Hallam house became married couple Sally and Frank.
I met them back at the property to find out their plans.
-Sally, Frank, great to meet you. Congratulations.
Tell me why you wanted to buy the house.
The reason we bought it
is because in the long term, we're going to develop a few houses
so we can actually move to Derbyshire.
-OK. Where are you now?
-We're in Bedfordshire.
So the plan, then, is to what? Build a small portfolio of properties?
Yeah, we just want to do this one, possibly sell it on.
Then just build it up slowly, really, and go from there.
We want to do it properly, full time, yeah.
Long term, they can see themselves relocating to Derbyshire.
But for now they're in Bedfordshire. That's hardly local to Derbyshire.
In fact, it's about 83 miles, which is quite a round trip.
But that's a mere hop compared with other places they've bought.
What experience have you got so far?
In property development, we've only done one, which was in Slovenia!
Right. What did you do with that?
Well, it was a really tatty old place. It was part of an old inn.
The property has been separated into four different houses.
So we had to get it developed.
Luckily we found someone who was a heating engineer
and he project managed from afar.
What have you learned from that that you can bring to this?
-Never buy a house with a cellar.
Bit sweeping, but fine!
We had a terrible flood there, the worst flood in 150 years. A natural disaster.
What damage did that do?
Mainly just the cellar. It wasn't the ground floor.
But it caused complications with neighbours.
That's put you off cellars.
-There's no cellar here.
But having dug themselves out of the problems with the place in Slovenia,
their search has had them hunting all over the UK.
-We had a day trip to Grimsby when we lived in Brighton, once!
-To look at houses.
-We can't walk down the street without looking in an estate agent's window.
Our daughter hates it!
Fascinated. Our daughter does hate it.
-From Brighton to Grimsby?
-Just to have a look.
-Six, seven hours?
-Yes, I think so.
Fish and chips and then back home.
I hope they were good fish and chips!
These two are clearly obsessed with property, and having seen a few in their time,
I think they'll have a good idea of what they want to do here.
We want to knock through the kitchen on the far side
to make it an open area through into the lounge, dining room, all the way through.
And we'll put a patio door in, straight out into the garden. New bathroom upstairs.
General decoration throughout.
-What kind of budget?
-We're thinking 10,000.
Well, £10,000 seems quite low to me. A swanky kitchen or bathroom could cost almost that.
And with the distance they are from the property,
it won't be easy to sort out all the tasks.
-Who's going to do all the work?
Right. Are you handy, then?
I'm a decorator by trade.
-So I can do decorating!
-And I can. That's very handy.
And I'm a caretaker at a large school in Bedfordshire.
So I do bits and pieces.
I can lay my hand to most things.
But I do have three sons who I hope will come up and lend a hand.
Sam was with us at the auction.
-At the moment, he's doing his electrician's course.
The younger son is doing a plumbing course at the moment.
-You're building your own...
-And the other one?
-The oldest one, Tom, has just been made redundant.
-So he's doing carpentry and joinery.
-So it'll be OK.
And as Sally's a former nurse,
should there be any accidents, help is at hand.
She's also going to be the interior designer here.
So if they could get one son to marry an estate agent,
another a lawyer and a third a lettings agent,
they'd be well on their way to being the perfect property developing family.
Well, an interesting project for Frank and Sally to take on.
The house itself is going to do fine for them,
but I'm a bit concerned because any project you do in weekends, spare time,
and when you live a fair old way away,
puts extra pressure on.
And that budget of £10,000,
will they come in in or around it?
Find out later in the show.
The months have gone by and we can't wait to see how our buyers have got on.
But will we find a finished masterpiece or a blank canvas?
Let's find out.
It was in the pretty village of Bromham in Wiltshire
that school was definitely out
but unfortunately, 1980s conversions were in.
And I'm not talking inches to centimetres, but small, dated kitchens
and tired old bathrooms.
Now, for some of us, returning to school is the stuff of nightmares,
but not for local farrier, Nigel.
He was delighted to make this old school his first property purchase
With his farrier business just up the road,
this was the ideal house for him.
He felt sure he could beat it back into shape
and breathe new life into it.
So, five months on,
we're back to mark his homework!
Well, the outside, at least, has not changed significantly.
Wow. There's been an impressive transformation.
It's been decorated and there are new wooden floors
but most strikingly, Nigel has opened up the kitchen.
As you probably remember, when we first got the property,
the kitchen was a separate room to the rest of the property,
with a doorway to this side of it and a wall across here.
We took the wall down which involved putting a lintel in at the top,
a concrete lintel to support the ceiling.
It makes the kitchen a lot lighter and airier
and if I've got people in, it's more sociable.
I'm not locked away in a different room if I'm doing anything in the kitchen.
I think it's made a big improvement to the general ambience of the property.
So the kitchen's come on in leaps and bounds.
But what about the bathroom?
He had ambitious plans for that, too.
Originally we thought about making it a wet room, the entire room.
But when we looked into it, it was too difficult cos we'd have had to replace the whole water system.
The pressure on the hot water wasn't enough
to put the right fittings into it if we'd gone that way.
I was never very keen on the wet room idea.
Give me a bath and a bathroom any day.
Upstairs, the double staircase remains
but has been smartened up with a new colour scheme.
And with fresh paintwork and new carpets,
the two bedrooms feel so much brighter and lighter.
Nigel has opted for a more radical approach in what was the unkempt garden.
Outside of the property, as you may remember, it was just a gravel area
with a few weeds, mud, not much else.
I didn't want the hassle of having to maintain a garden area
and for the size of it, we decided just to go with decking for the entire area.
It's easy, maintenance free, easy to keep clean and tidy,
ideal for socialising in the summer.
Nigel has refurbished this house so that it works for him
and his lifestyle.
He had a similar approach to his working style.
Luckily, although I do work full time, I work for myself.
So I could work in around times when I had to be here
if there were people here doing things and I needed to be about.
I'd come in on my way back from work for a couple of hours evenings.
And get on and do some jobs weekends. My dad was here
virtually full time for four weeks.
And then friends and family helped out as well.
So after a day shoeing horses, Nigel can put his own feet up and relax in his new home.
But getting it just right for him came at a price.
We started off aiming to keep to a budget of around £6,000.
And I think we kept to that to within a thousand.
He paid £90,500 for the property
and spent another £7,000 on it, which, with costs and fees
will bring his total to around 100,000.
So it's time to bring in the school inspectors - no, not from Ofsted -
but two local estate agents.
Is this a case of "Well done!" or "Could do better"?
Having seen the property before, it looks a good deal different
from the property we sold to them.
It's a lot more contemporary. Before, it felt like a 1980s conversion.
Now it's more modern, it's been tastefully done, the work that's been carried out.
It's a lovely property. They've done a good job, especially with the decor.
It will appeal to a very wide market initially.
Yeah, top marks.
Well, that sounds like an A-plus mark to me.
But will that translate into profit
with Nigel investing 100,000 to make this top class?
If I were to put it up for sale, it's a completely individual house.
It has a limited market. But for the right person,
I feel they'd be willing to pay in the region of £140,000.
If I was to put this on the market today,
with current market conditions, I'd expect somewhere in the region of 160 to £165,000.
Great! That's a potential 40 to 60,000 profit.
So if this was a property development project,
Nigel would definitely be a star pupil.
What does he think of his school report?
They sound fantastic to me.
More than I was expecting.
I'm very pleased with it.
If I do decide to sell it, it's nice to know I can make some money on it.
For the time being at least, this house is not for sale.
It's Nigel's home, and his first step on the property ladder.
I'm ecstatic with the results.
I never expected to get a property of this type for the money it's costed me.
So it's all worked out well.
Well, he can definitely chalk this project up as a successful investment.
For him, at least, going back to school really has paid dividends.
In the Ilkeston area of Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire,
sat a solid four-bed semi.
Although this house needed some renovation,
it had been adapted for wheelchair use, so it came with an extension and a downstairs bathroom.
This meant it was a decent size and offered some options
either as a rental or re-sale property.
Husband and wife team Frank and Sally
felt it was just right to be their first UK development project.
They paid £86,500 for it at auction
and were prepared to go quite a few extra miles
to make this successful.
The reason we bought it is because in the long term
we're going to develop a few houses so we can actually move to Derbyshire.
-OK. Where are you now?
-We're in Bedfordshire.
But with 160-mile round trips and only weekends to do the work,
this wasn't going to be easy.
Six months on, how has their first Derbyshire property refurbishment fared?
From the front at least, it's looking much more presentable.
While inside, a more drastic approach was necessary.
Actually, we've more or less ripped everything out.
And in ripping out stuff,
they've integrated the area previously arranged for wheelchair use.
They kept the downstairs shower room and bedroom
as either an extra bedroom with en-suite
or as a possible reception room with study space.
We've done the bathroom.
And what an improvement.
The dated suite has been replaced
by something more modern and fresh.
The kitchen we've had done complete.
Boy, did the kitchen need changing.
From wires hanging down from the ceiling and not many units,
there's now a finished kitchen complete with integrated appliances.
We've had most of it plastered.
Replastering is such a good idea.
It gives a clean, smooth finish throughout
and makes the rooms look as good as new.
And we've put new carpet in throughout.
So the inside of the house is totally finished
and ready to go.
And the garden's been done totally.
The garden has seen a big change.
There used to be on this spot a workshop type garage
which had to be taken down.
But initially what we did
was we had it completely fenced
all the way around.
And they removed all the shrubbery in the process
because they had to due to the fact there was so much concrete in the way.
We decided to have some turf put down because we thought it would look better than the original.
It really was in a state.
I think the whole garden now looks really good. We're very pleased with it.
What works well here is that they've created a low maintenance space.
Yet with different levels, they've made it interesting and different.
But perhaps their biggest success is the kitchen.
As you can see, this is the major change, really. We've knocked a wall down,
creating an open space.
We felt that it gave it a bit of a flow, really,
and much more light.
We've stripped the kitchen right back, plastered throughout.
Obviously new flooring and plastered the ceiling.
Integrated appliances everywhere.
Just to give it a feeling of freshness, really, and good flow.
I think they've done a great job here.
But with those 160-mile round trips from Derbyshire to Bedfordshire
they didn't make it easy on themselves!
It took about an hour and a half, each Saturday morning.
We left early and slept here.
And went back Sunday afternoon.
It was difficult. It was.
You finish work and think, "Oh, the weekend." But then you have to get up at six
and drive 83 miles up the road.
And carry on and work even harder when you get here at the weekend.
It was rather tiring.
They'd planned to get their three sons, who are all learning the building trade, involved.
However, they were too busy training
so it was all down to a few local tradesmen
but mainly Frank and Sally. How did that go?
I quite enjoyed it. There's no-one telling you what to do.
And it's quite good.
You come up, turn the radio on, disappear into your own world.
You did the project managing. You did a good job.
I was trying to throw everything together, really, in an order so that it all happens.
Which again is difficult when you're only here just at weekends.
The pressure is on, when it's your own, to make it look really, really good.
Frank's a decorator by trade, as well as a school caretaker.
He's had to call on all his skills to carry out the renovation,
while his wife Sally's training as a nurse may account for the care and attention to detail
she's applied to the finish here.
Between them, they successfully did a lot of the work,
but new kitchens, bathrooms and landscape gardens don't come cheap.
We've come in at 18,000.
We think the reason for that is mainly the garden.
In fact it took a heavier chunk of the budget, really.
They paid £86,500 for the house
and spent £18,000 on it.
So, taking into account other costs and fees,
Sally and Frank will have spent nearly 110,000 here.
At present, they're undecided whether to rent out the property or sell it.
Perhaps two local estate agents can help make up their minds.
I like the house. It's great.
It's done to a nice standard. Nice that they've had it replastered.
Makes it look fresh and new. It looks nice.
My first impression is it's been done to a very high standard.
Very well presented. You could just move straight in.
The only drawback I can see is there isn't any off-road parking.
But there's room to create it.
It's done to a very high standard. The kitchen and bathroom are modern.
The garden is well presented.
So, favourable feedback. But how will that translate into money
bearing in mind they've invested nearly 110,000 on this four-bed house.
If I were to put this on the market,
I'd market it at 115,000 and expect to get fairly close to that price.
I would value this property at £120,000.
-That's more or less what we were expecting.
At present, re-sale wouldn't produce much above the break even point.
So would it fare better on the rental market?
If we put this property on the market for rental,
I'm sure we could achieve £525 per calendar month.
I would value this property at £500 per calendar month.
We had in mind 550, actually.
Well, in fact, since we filmed,
the couple have decided to sell.
They've now accepted an offer of £115,000.
That makes this a pretty promising start to their proposed property portfolio.
It's been worthwhile as a first one, as a first venture.
We're not disappointed. It's more or less what we imagined.
We've probably spent more time than we should have done. And we spent more money.
It's been the worst winter in three decades. Otherwise, it's gone according to plan!
That's the way it goes, particularly in the property game.
It's those unforeseen details which can catch you out.
But the couple now seem to be back on track with their master plan.
Our long-term plan is to move up here and continue developing on a full-time basis.
And then be able to spend a bit more quality time in our home in Slovenia.
So, for Frank and Sally,
it's hopefully, "Slovenia, here we come!"
But that's via Derbyshire, Bedfordshire and probably all points in between, of course!
That's it for today's show. Join us next time for more tantalising tales from the auction rooms!
-See you then!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd