Property auction series. Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a semi-detached house in Devon, a house in Southampton and a property in Kent.
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-Welcome to Homes Under The Hammer.
-For many buying at auction
gives the chance to buy properties in need of some work.
Many like to put their own stamp and style on their property and, hopefully, make a bit of a profit.
And there's a good opportunity you could do that when you buy your home under the hammer!
Martin and I love the buzz of the auction room.
You can really sense the hope and frustration in the air.
But you never know what's going to happen until the very last second.
So let's see what tempted the buyers on today's show.
Don't be put off by the state of this semi in Devon.
It's a mess but I think you could really work with this house to create something very special.
When we first showed you this Southampton house, the refurbishment had been delayed.
Well, it's taken 18 months but now you can see the stunning finished result.
And there are three flats in this Kent property with lots of rooms, so it's easy to get confused.
Where the heck's the bedroom?
All of these properties went to auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid
when they went under the hammer.
I'm in Brixham in South Devon, known as the English Riviera...
Brixham, Paignton, Torquay... I mean, it is a stunning spot!
Even in the rain!
# It's raining again... #
It certainly is pouring down today, but the house I'm here to see is in the village of Galmpton.
It has all the amenities you'd need day to day. Nearby Torquay and Brixham provide the beaches
for that year-round holiday feeling, even when it's a bit wetter than you might like.
Well, when you've finished with your bucket and spade and it's time to head back to reality,
the property I'm here to see sounds pretty promising. 1935 it was built, it's got four bedrooms,
semidetached, had a guide price of £140,000,
it's on a bus route, close to shops, a restaurant...I mean, whoo! Let's take a look inside.
Well, the rain may still be falling but I don't think this place will be a washout.
Nice big entrance hall, we like that, and then through into the lounge.
Big bay window, lots of light flooding in, so that's a good start,
but from that point on it starts to get a little bit weird, partly due to the number of doors.
There's one door there which I just came through, this completely superfluous door here,
another door there into the kitchen. Maybe the person who owned it was into knock-knock jokes!
You've then got this middle area with this fairly odd fireplace...
Carry on through...and it is a big house, you have to say, you come to this area on the end.
It's a very useful space actually.
This, I think, could be made fantastic. It's sort of like a family area,
not least because it joins the kitchen.
It's a mess, but I think you could really work with this house to create something very special.
The ground floor would look amazing if it were almost completely open-plan.
Of course that would mean enlisting the help of a structural engineer
to ensure that none of the walls are supporting ones.
So...upstairs. Love the fact you've got this huge great window on the landing there, loads of light,
even a view of the hills, which is good to see. And then up here... I mean, it's a big house!
We've got four double bedrooms, absolutely brilliant!
The only thing that lets it down in terms of a family house is the bathroom,
because you've got a separate loo and a bathroom, so that's not ideal.
In terms of expansion, then, what would you do?
Well, I know there's a market in this area for five-bedroomed houses,
so you might think it's worthwhile to go up into the loft.
That would add, well, around, £15,000 to the value, and I don't reckon it would cost more to do it,
so that's worth considering! Another you shouldn't do is throw away the bathroom.
That walk-in bath actually has a value in the second-hand market,
so make sure you take it out carefully when you replace the suite.
Space certainly isn't an issue here. It's not in a bad state,
with just some cracks and woodwork that need attention upstairs.
But the question is what's outside beneath those rain clouds?
So a good-sized garden which just adds to the appeal of this as a family house.
Something which isn't so good is the garage, which, I suppose, is functional but not all pretty...
very like this extension which has been put on.
I didn't actually notice this when I was inside, but look at it! It's absolutely monstrous.
You'd want to try and enclose this because as it is it looks like a real eyesore,
and like it might fall down at any point.
There's no getting away from it, there's an awful lot to do here,
but at what was a guide price of £140,000, I think it has great potential.
Let's see if a local estate agent agrees.
I feel the property needs quite a lot...
doing to it.
We need to look at definitely a lot of decor, new bathroom, kitchen,
possibly a bit of a jig around, and maybe sort of rewiring.
You're looking at most probably
spending about sort of £30,000 to get it up to scratch, depending on what you wanted to do it.
Not a small budget, but it would be enough to transform the place, so what are the prospects here?
In this property you could also go up into the loft. There's plenty of space to do that,
there are others along the road that have done that and there's plenty of space on the landing here
to be able to go up and not make any of the other rooms smaller.
As I thought, going up into the loft would be a good solution to add value to this house.
But it would also add quite a chunk to any renovation budget. What about the rental possibilities?
I feel this property is more ideal for resale, but if you were to look into renting this property,
you're looking at about £750 a month.
That's a fair income for this area and worth considering for investment purposes.
What about putting it up for resale?
I feel this property would be worth, once renovated, around £240,000.
Well, Galmpton is a lovely spot. It looks like a fantastic place to live,
and what you've got here is a fantastic family house for 140 grand as guide price,
with the option of doing a bit of work to improve it, maybe going up into the loft with another room...
It's a great one to go for. Let's see who fancied it at the auction.
Who's going to say just nice and simply 140, shown in the guide?
140, we do. At 140.
160, do I? 160.
175 and a half.
175...and a half.
176 and a half.
It's a big house, a lot of accommodation. It's going to go away from you for the sake of £500.
You sure and done? Going to be sold at... One more.
177 and a half. 177 and a half.
At 178, young man's in.
178 once, twice, third and last time...here we go...at 178 and out.
Young man, well done. Hard luck, madam. Thanks for pushing it up.
So for £178,000, 38,000 over the guide price,
Mark and his wife Loretta bought this house for themselves,
their two-year-old son and their impending arrival.
# Ooh, baby love, my baby love... #
They both work for Loretta's family plumbing and distribution business, which will be handy for contacts!
They intend to make this their first family home.
Mark, Loretta, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations. Tell me why you wanted to buy the house.
We weren't openly looking actually but my parents live in this village so we drive past here a lot,
and basically saw it and nosiness got the better of us and we thought, "Well, let's go and have a look."
Nice village, good primary school. We have a little boy who's 2 and a half, nearly three.
-So we thought, "Well, we'll just go and have a look."
And we came in and we thought, "Wow! It's big and it's got potential..."
-So this is your first home, your first family home?
-Yeah, it's amazing.
-What a great house to have as your first family house.
Until now the family have been living in rented accommodation,
but with three soon becoming four, they felt it was time to invest in a home.
-When's the baby due?
-End of October, early November.
-We're hoping to be in.
So that's only three months or so away?
Pretty tight on timescales but we have a very handy brother-in-law, which should help us out.
-No pressure on him!
-He's a builder.
-He's a builder?
-He's a builder, and we brought him along actually...
and he's, like, "Yeah, that's doable and potential..." That was it really.
We thought, "Right, if he's on board and he thinks it's a good idea, we can afford it, we'll have a go."
Great to have brought somebody who actually knows what they're doing around as well,
so that you know it isn't falling to pieces.
So how much did he indicate you might need to spend to get it sorted out?
Well, early days, before he'd done a little more exploration,
he said something around sort of late 20s...thousands...
but I think after, you know, a few more things that we want to add to the property,
then we're probably looking at closer to 40, I'd have thought, something around that sort of budget.
You end up with a stonking house for that, don't you?
Mark and Loretta have grand plans to remove virtually all the walls on the ground floor,
making it completely open-plan. They want a new kitchen and bathroom, new flooring and extra radiators.
Even with £40,000 it's a big ask to get it all done in three months.
What do you realistically think you can achieve in that time?
I think the structural downstairs and the kitchen things will be in, the bathroom will be in.
How much we will have managed to do decoratively, we don't know,
but I'm really positive...I'm going to remain really positive that we'll get all of the big stuff done.
Loretta's not going to be content with magnolia walls.
She has creative ideas for the decor as well.
We've had the notebook... I'm sorry, I had to get it in!
-What's the notebook?
-With all of the moods...
-A mood book? That's a great thing to have!
Thinking about how I want to use the space and what's important to me...
and with small children and things like that, it's been...
-And because it's the whole house, it's a lot to think about.
-Did you get cuttings from magazines?
-I loved it, it's been great!
-Bits of fabric... A mood book's a great idea.
-You need to show us your mood book when we come back.
-we'd love to. We'll see how close I get to my vision.
# If you want it You've got to believe... #
The couple obviously have the vision to see what a great family home this could be,
and it's an exciting first step on to that property ladder.
Well, how wonderful that Mark and Loretta have got this place and are going to turn it into a family home,
because a most wonderful family home it will most certainly make.
And how great that they've got Loretta's brother-in-law to help them out.
But, of course, we are on a deadline. We've got a baby on the way.
So will how they get on with budgets, builders and babies? You can find out later in the show.
We're now returning to a property we first showed you in November 2008.
It was close to the River Itchen in Southampton in the suburb of Bitterne on Athelstone Road.
Well, just off this busy main road is today's lot.
It's a three-bedroomed semidetached house
and the guide price is 130,000. Let's see if it's worth the money.
The name of the road Athelstone derives from an old English word, meaning "noble stone",
but from the front here there's not much that lives up to that. There's moss on the roof tiles,
and signs of wear and tear. So it's not off to a spectacular start.
Well, my first impression of this house once you walk in is that it's really tired and dated.
And you can see the previous owner has left a lot of possessions lying around,
so it's quite hard to see some of the rooms. But what I do like about 1920s houses
is that you get big, big spaces!
You've got two lovely reception rooms here, but I can detect Artex everywhere,
on all the ceilings, so that's something I think I'd have to address.
But at the back of the house, you've got a really nice long galley kitchen,
a bit dated, you will have to update this.
You've got enough room at the end to put a table and chairs, but what I really like about this room...
is that cracking little view over River Itchen. That's the real selling point here, those views.
People are prepared to pay a premium to look out over the river,
but something buyers do not like paying for is problems, and there's a fair share of those here.
There's the crack in the ceiling for starters and also signs of damp throughout.
Well, upstairs we've got this really nice light landing area, all down to this lovely big sunny window here.
The boxroom, again with the fantastic view, and two really good-sized doubles.
The bathroom suite...avocado... it's got to go! Replace it with something white.
And in this room, you've got a really nice-sized double bedroom.
It'll be lovely to see these stripes stripped
and this room painted in something more contemporary and modern.
These stripes aren't the only thing to go. The heating here is by old storage heaters and gas fires,
so you'd have to consider installing new central heating.
But the bones of this place are solid.
Get past that dated decor and you've got the makings of a well-configured family house.
And we haven't gone outside yet.
So here's the back garden.
You may think it's really interesting with all these little paths and winding walkways,
but let's not forget this is a family house
and this garden could be very difficult for kids to play in.
To get this levelled out would be a very expensive job, but in my opinion worth thinking about.
What really sets this garden off, though, is that view.
But just to let you know, folks, it's a winter view only.
In the summer, the leaves will be back and the view will be gone.
This must be one of the few properties I've visited on Homes Under The Hammer
that could have me longing for the cooler days of winter! But back to the house...
The back looks very much like the front. Everything needs some work,
and though that rendering isn't easy on the eye, it is at least low maintenance.
This little 1920s house is in good order. It does require work and it needs a new kitchen and bathroom,
but it's in a desirable area with great views from the garden.
And the guide is realistically set at 130,000. Let's see who went for this property as we go to auction.
Number 21 in your catalogue.
Somebody prepared to start
at just 110,000? You do, sir? 110 we have.
112 here in the front. 112,000.
114's bid in the back. 116.
116 here in the front.
118 we have got.
120 in the front here.
122? I'll do a 1 now if that's going to help you.
121 we have got.
Fresh bid at 122.
Bid's against you now, 125 is what I need.
No, back in at 125.
126. Thank you, sir.
No? You're out. £126,000, then, with you, sir.
Now we're talking 127.
Gentleman's back at 128.
Gentleman's back in at 130. He looks committed.
No? You're out. You sure? They're out, sir. It's with you at 130, then.
I have 130,000 on Athelstone Road for the first...
I have 130,000 for the second...
I have £130,000 for the third and final time... Your property. Well done.
Your number, please, sir?
After that battle in the auction room, it was retired couple Roger and Linsday who emerged victorious.
They got this property for spot on the guide price of £130,000.
-Roger and Lindsay, congratulations.
-You pulled it off.
-Yes, we did.
-You got it for the guide price.
How much would you have gone up to? I love asking people that!
You may not believe this but I was stopping on 130. I wasn't going further.
-So you got it bang on the guide price.
-On the nail.
-Roger, why was this the right house for you?
Because our son lives about three streets away and is just about to have some work done on his house,
which means he's going to have a lot of demolition done,
so we thought it would be a good idea if they move into here while the builders are in.
Building works can be very messy affairs, so Roger and Lindsay are definitely providing their son
and his family with a great alternative.
But there's another personal reason for buying this house.
So were you looking for property for them or it just happened to fall into place?
Just happened to fall into place, really, cos I really wanted to have a go at doing a property myself.
I'd done my own house up a few years ago,
and I thought, "Well, when I retire it'll keep me out of mischief!"
-Now, Lindsay, do you agree with that?
Is this something Roger's wanted to do for quite a while?
He has. And since he's retired last year, he's always said he'd like to do something property...
and DIY he's very good at, so this is ideal. It'll keep him out of mischief.
-You're raring to go, aren't you?
-Absolutely. Toolbox is ready!
# I've spent a lifetime Waiting for the right time... #
Well, it's time for all the talking to stop and for Roger to prove himself.
This house certainly provides plenty to test his DIY skills.
# ..It's now or never... #
The couple plan to install a new central-heating system, replace the double glazing
and put in an updated kitchen and bathroom.
As for those cracks, a survey has revealed no subsidence here,
so no structural changes are planned, but there's still a fair amount to do,
and the couple have given themselves a comfortable 30-grand renovation budget.
-How are you going to get involved in this, Lindsay?
-I shall be helping, probably labouring a little bit
and doing the gardening and just supervising now and again, probably.
-You've made that clear from the off?
-I've made that clear, yes!
Though looking at the state of this garden, I think Lindsay may have drawn the short straw here!
Their son's family plan to move in,
but it's got some way to go before being child-friendly
and the slope rather restricts their options.
But as for the rest of the house, well, Roger and Lindsay hope to have it ready in three months,
though I reckon they might get a bit distracted by looking out the back window.
What about that view? What about that winter view?
-Fantastic. Well, I'm a sailor myself.
So looking out and seeing that view which wasn't there when we came to look at it a couple of months ago...
-I think that's really an added little bonus to this house.
When we looked out this morning with the blue sky and the yachts moored out there, it's really lovely.
And you know it's not going to be built on behind. That's one good thing.
Stay with us to find out why things were on hold the first time we went back.
In December I'd a total knee replacement, so...
I've been a few months getting back to strength.
But you'll see the fantastic completed property later on in the programme.
Coming up...if you leave this Kent property as separate flats, you could be in the money!
This house suddenly turns into a big income-generating machine.
We go back to Southampton to show you the finished house overlooking the river.
But first, in Devon, they were sure they'd thought of everything.
It would all work in a nice, orderly fashion.
Obviously that didn't happen.
Earlier when we were in the Devon village of Galmpton, I met Mark and his wife Loretta.
They'd just paid £178,000 for this semi-detached property
which was going to be their new home. It had a first-floor extension that you couldn't miss,
but the house had got the thumbs-up from their brother-in-law who's a builder.
When we left them they were about to embark on an ambitious building project.
They were expecting their second child so had set themselves a three-month deadline.
Well, now, over eight months later we met up again with Mark, Loretta and their two children,
-Hayden and his new sister Aliza.
-# Baby love... #
The refurbishment of the house is complete. Downstairs two rooms were already knocked into one,
but now the wall to the kitchen is gone as well, and a huge open-plan living space has been born.
But Mark and Loretta knew timing was critical if they were to create such an ambitious new house
involving so much work.
We bought the house about eight months ago.
We needed about eight weeks in which to do the main construction work downstairs, putting in the steels
and replastering and rebuilding walls, and then our daughter was born six months ago,
and we moved in the week after she was born.
We had expected we'd move in and then the baby would come,
and it would all work in a nice, orderly fashion. Obviously that didn't happen.
Isn't that always the way with these things?
It was a tight timescale with having had baby Aliza, and we were very lucky.
We called in friends and family. We've had a tremendous amount of help.
It was tight, it was military almost, but, yeah, we did it.
Getting the nursery finished upstairs was vital, as well as Hayden's bedroom.
But downstairs modifying the kitchen was a challenge.
There was once a door here and then a long wall running up here, closing off the kitchen quite a bit.
We did actually have an external door over there, but it's all changed,
and we've opened it up to have that open living space for all the family, really.
It was nice putting the big steels in. That was a big day when we came on to site and saw that happening.
One of the big attractions here was the very generous accommodation.
The look Loretta created from the pages of her mood book is fantastic! So who did the work?
Most of the work was done initially by my brother-in-law and his team of builders.
When his work finished, Mark and our team of family and friends, who we will be forever grateful to,
came in in their masses and worked until midnight,
they would come after work and at the weekends, so they were fantastic.
There were some unexpected problems, though.
The old plaster was falling off, so 90% of the house has been replastered.
The electrics and boiler have been changed, but outside the garage remains at least for the time being.
It's been great for storing all the building materials.
The new cladding around the main bedroom is a real improvement.
With two young children, Mark and Loretta's bedroom has become a great place to escape to
for some well-earned relaxation.
Well, this room needed not an awful lot doing to it, so we decorated and had new windows put in.
We had to have a new roof put on, and then we also actually added an en-suite which was a very clever idea
from our builder, who's my brother-in-law, just to steal a bit of space from the bathroom,
and tag a little shower room on. So it's a godsend, it's lovely,
and it's a child-free space for Mark and I just to go and have a nice powerful shower,
and it's really added actually to the house. It's given us that extra... not a full bathroom, but it's great.
Friends and family have all pitched in to help and a lot of the work has been done at mates' rates, I'm sure,
but how much has it all cost on top of the £178,000 they paid at auction?
Well, we did quite well. We were hoping to spend around 30 to 35, but in actual fact we went up to 40.
Time to see if two local estate agents are impressed
by the open-plan design downstairs and quality finish throughout.
It's absolutely lovely. Couldn't ask for anything better.
They've done so much. Everything sort of inside has completely changed.
It's a great property as you walk through the door.
This living room here is a fabulous open space.
I quite like the downstairs, it all flows really nice.
Also upstairs in the master bedroom
they've done that really well by putting in an en-suite which wasn't there before.
They've done a great job inside, but unfortunately your first appearance from the outside is the driveway.
That would be the icing on the cake to finish that off.
If the couple did change their minds and decide to move,
what sort of income could they generate if they were to look for tenants?
If you were to rent this property, I think you would get £900 or £950 per calendar month.
Well, I would think rental market at the moment, you'd be looking at £800 to £850 per calendar month.
Well, we've got no plans for rental, so that really wouldn't be a temptation.
-It's interesting to know but this is our family house.
How much is the house now worth? Remember they paid £178,000 at auction,
and spent £40,000 on the refurbishment, making a total of £218,000.
I would suggest putting it on the market at an asking price in the region of £265,000.
If you were to put this property on the market, you would get £270,000.
They could look at possibly finishing off the garden, the garage, and possibly going up also into the loft.
They'd be looking at achieving then around £290,000.
So potentially about £50,000 gross profit before the usual selling expenses.
That figure could rise to around £70,000 if the extra work was done with a loft conversion.
-What do they think of that?
-That's good news.
-That's really good. Better than we thought, I think.
-Makes all the hard work very worthwhile.
We really want to enjoy this place now that we've obviously made our mark on it, settle down for a while,
cos it's been a busy six months with baby and the new house.
We're just happy to be in and enjoy, we're close to the beach,
we're close to the river...it's an ideal place to live for a family.
This is historic Rochester in Kent, home to over 750 listed buildings, including the Cathedral
and the historic Castle. The whole area was a great favourite of the novelist Charles Dickens
who based many of his stories here. Well, you know what? The property I'm here to see...
I've got great expectations!
Rochester and other Medway towns have recently benefited from big investment
that's planned to continue. And property in this part of Rochester has always been highly sought after.
Well, the property that came up for auction is just a few minutes' walk from the town centre.
And it's this, a Victorian mid-terrace property, three storeys at a guide price of £140-150,000.
It's currently separated out into three individual flats and it's in need of serious modernisation.
Let's take a look.
You never know quite what to expect when catalogues say "modernisation",
but in fact this doesn't look too bad. Yes, it's woodchip city, but it's all right.
This is the first flat. Not too bad size. This is the sort of front sitting room area there.
You've got that bay window and some open fires which it would be nice to see fully operational.
Obviously you'd want to have those swept. This is a kind of a rear sitting room area here...
and then where the heck's the bedroom? Must be through the kitchen. That can't be right.
So through to the kitchen, and, well, the bedroom's not in here,
though what is here is a pretty tired and dated old bathroom,
and you need to get rid of that for starters!
# Rip it up and start again
# I said rip it up and start again... #
Ooh! Well, I guess that must be the bedroom... which I suppose is fair enough...
It is only a one-bedroomed flat. It's the fireplace that throws me.
Oh, well, that said, not a bad size. Let's carry on.
The ground-floor flat also comes with a garden and this strikingly colourful cellar.
Flat B on the first floor is smaller than the flat below and in a worse state of repair.
I'd replace both the bathroom and the kitchen and get rid of that woodchip.
However, the saving grace, is that great bay-fronted window, flooding the room with light.
So up on to the top floor and the third of the three flats. Now this one is decidedly tiny,
basically one big room here, and then a kitchen and a loo off it.
So...what do you do with this property, then? Here's the dilemma.
Do you convert it back into a house? I mean, it would make a wonderful family home, for sure,
or just stick with three flats when it's already got the permission to be that?
And I reckon that's what you should do. Cos even something as small as this is going to get you, what,
£80, £90 a week? So keep it as three flats,
this house suddenly turns into a big income-generating machine.
# Money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money...
# From that money machine... #
Let's hear what a local estate agent thinks about the place.
In this particular area, the majority of houses are big houses,
and there are one or two that have been converted into flats,
but the majority are still family homes.
So we know what needs to be done in terms of renovation, but would it be best to keep it as flats?
With this property, as it's already converted, I would tend to leave it.
I think to put it back into a family home would cost an awful lot of money
and I think an income that you can get on this would be far better.
Speaking of incomes...
For the top flat being smaller, then I think we're looking at £500 per calendar month.
This one on the middle floor, being slightly bigger, then about £550 to £600 per calendar month,
and the bottom one, the bigger one, 600-650 per calendar month.
Going by these figures, the combined rental for the three flats could be a substantial income
of around £20,000 a year. Not to be sniffed at!
Well, I do love these kind of properties
and it would make a fantastic family home,
but I think logically and financially the best thing to do is to stick with what it is,
three flats, do them up, bit of refurbishment, get them back on the market, get people in there,
it turns itself into a money-making machine. Let's see who fancied that when it went to the auction.
Where do you want to start? Guide 140-150.
Start me 150? I'm obliged. Right in the middle of the aisle. 150, I'm away.
Now, 155. At 155.
155...and 60. 160 and 5.
165. 165 and 70?
And 5. 175. 175 and 80.
180 and 5.
185 I'm looking for. 185 I've got. 190. 190 and 5?
200. 200 and 5.
And 7. 207. And 10.
210. And 12.
Absolutely worth it. 212 I've got. I'll take 214 from you.
214 and 16?
There it's with you at 216. 218, 218 and 20. 220?
220, it's with you again. 222. Up to 222.
And 4. Now it's with you, 226.
For the first time at 226... If anybody else is coming in, now's your chance.
£226,000 for the second time.
226, third and final time. All done, that's yours at 226.
This potentially lucrative property was secured by Colin for £226,000,
a whopping £76,000 over the guide price.
And taking no notice of that guide price wasn't the only golden rule he broke when he bought it at auction.
-Colin, great to meet you.
-Congratulations. Tell me why you wanted to buy the house.
Well, Roebuck Road's a good location within Rochester. I mean, just at the end of the road
you've got a road takes you straight into Rochester High Street behind the Castle.
So really it was a location issue. I didn't actually look inside the house before the auction,
-so it was a surprise to me coming through the front door as it was to you today.
-You didn't look at it?
I did everything that you probably say don't do! Which is didn't look at it, didn't check the legals,
didn't do anything. Just turned up at the auction and bought it because of the location. That's the truth.
-It's a lot of money to gamble in that way, don't you think?
It is, but again I've done a little bit of buy-to-let before.
If you look at the location, you look at the three flats,
yeah, it could have been pretty awful on the way in, but perhaps I like a little gamble now and again.
At what point did you decide you were going to buy it, then?
On the way into auction, I think... this was the favourite property I had.
There was about four or five at the auction I was looking at, and this was my favourite, so...
I think when...we went a little bit over what I'd set as my limit, I'd say...
-So you went over your limit as well?
-On the tick box, you've got all crosses so far!
-We went over.
Yeah, exactly. By some £26,000, yeah.
-Well, I think we got into a competition.
You know what happens at auction. Did all the things wrong again.
# You've got to know when to hold 'em
# Know when to fold 'em
# Know when to walk away Know when to run... #
What did you think when you first walked through the door, having spent your money?
I was pleasantly surprised in the ground floor. I like the ground floor a lot.
I think the ground floor flat with the garden, someone's cared for this at some stage.
The garden's been actually looked after. You can see it could be very nice place to live.
Mid-floor could be nice but has had some kind of damage.
The top floor, the benefits of the great view of the Castle and the Cathedral but it's quite small,
so, yeah, I wasn't disappointed.
It was as I probably expected it to be in terms of quality, so I'm not too disappointed.
Colin owned his own recycling business which he sold a couple of years ago,
but this isn't the first property he's bought and renovated.
# There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done... #
I've done a couple of buy-to-lets previously and got out of it sort of mid-2000s, 2005, 2006,
-sold up, and then decided to come back in now, yeah.
-That's not bad timing, was it? You got out before...
-We did very well, did very well.
Bought in the late '90s, so we did very well on a couple of properties.
And that was just really the sort of semi-pension scheme and decided to get out when it was peaky.
It's all about timing and he seems to have got that spot on.
# Know when to walk away Know when to run... #
Talk me through exactly what you're going to do to the flats, then.
OK, flat by flat. Flat A, the ground-floor flat that we're in now.
I mean, this is a refurb in terms of decoration, really.
The fireplaces will probably get opened up, but not used.
They'll be sealed but opened to make them look reasonable. Then it's purely electrics.
New bathroom. New bathroom goes in tomorrow, so there'll be a new suite. New flooring throughout.
-Kitchen, no. I think we can make it good.
-I think the kitchen's reasonable.
So on this floor no kitchen. On floor B, on the mid floor, that's going to end up with a new kitchen.
It's going to end up with some bathroom changes, a shower put in certainly. New doors as well,
I think, throughout. And up to the top floor. Top floor is a bit tight on space as you've seen, but...
I've looked at it with a few people.
I don't think there's much we can do except perhaps make it a bit more user-friendly.
The shower room's going to get changed, the kitchen's going to get changed a little,
to try and get in the kind of equipment we need in there. But that's it, really,
-and then it's going to be decorated throughout.
-Have you been through the numbers? What do you think?
I mean, we've spent 226 on the purchase.
The refurb could cost us of course between a pound and 30-something thousand pounds,
depending how far we go, but let's put a figure on it of 24, to take it to 250,
cos it gives you nice round numbers...
I think the rental value to me will be between 15 and 18 thousand a year on the three flats,
-so the percentage isn't bad when you consider the bank rates today are so poor.
At the moment there's a demand in this area.
As it was told to me by a letting agent, you can let them in this area all day long, so cross our fingers.
Colin's looking at an annual yield of between 6% and 8% if he gets those sort of rental incomes
and sticks to his renovation budget and timescale. So this gamble may just pay off.
So Colin breaking all the rules when it comes to buying properties -
not seeing it before, not reading the legal, paying too much, getting carried away at the auction.
Well, he may have got away with it, but really, really, really it is not something you should do.
Because he could have got himself into a lot of problems, he really could.
As it turns out, he's probably going to do exactly the right thing -
keep it as three flats and turn it into a money-making machine.
How will he get on? You can find out later in the show.
Well, finding good tradespeople to do the work can often be the key to getting things done well and on time
but some people decide to do it themselves to maximise profit.
So have our buyers been getting stuck in or just stuck? Let's find out.
Earlier in the programme we met retired couple Roger and Lindsay
this rundown three-bedroomed semi in Bitterne, Southampton, for £130,000.
They were planning to renovate and use it as a temporary home for their son and family.
And for Roger it was a chance to pursue his dream of refurbishing a property and, he hoped, selling it.
But when we first returned seven months later,
outside, the house still looked in a deep sleep.
No work had started and inside there was no evidence of any refurbishment or of their son moving in.
Roger explained the unexpected delay.
In December I'd a total knee replacement, so...
I've been a few months getting back to strength.
My son has used the house to store furniture and goods
while he's had his house renovated and...building work.
As he was able to work around the builders, Roger and Lindsay's son had decided not to move in,
taking the pressure off Roger getting the renovation done.
While that gave him time for his knee to heal, it also provided an opportunity
to think about the layout.
Right, well, out here, once I've got the new roof on, and the double glazing,
we're going to knock the extension down here
and build a new extension right across the back and open up with a nice big kitchen-living room really,
so it'll all conform quite nicely and the whole thing should look really good.
Even though seven months had passed since buying the house,
the pressure was off as their son's family didn't need to move in.
Roger was content to wait for property prices to rise following the credit crunch.
Now, after another four months, Roger and his team of builders
have completed the refurbishment. The property has been transformed
and the kerb appeal is 10 out of 10. Roger and his wife Lindsay
came to show us around. New windows and a door have been installed and a new porch,
plus the roof's been replaced.
Inside, the front living room that had stored their son's furniture, is now a stripe-free zone.
It's been painted magnolia and they've added a fine new fire.
Remember, the house was a fairly standard layout with a dining room and a kitchen.
Now, after some serious modifications, there's a fantastic and huge kitchen-diner,
using the two original rooms, plus the new extension that Roger's built.
Right, well, we're coming into the new room now. This was the old kitchen before.
It had an entrance through a door in that wall which we've completed, filled that in,
knocked the wall down between the kitchen and the dining room here,
and then we had this whole wall knocked out, which was the back of the house previously...
the new extension is there with the skylights.
The kitchen just completed last week and now we're practically there so a few little bits just to finish off.
Although their son had managed to stay in his house during his building work,
Roger didn't start the refurbishment immediately.
He was waiting for the builders he'd used before to become available,
but when they did things really got underway.
To start with, my nephew did all the double glazing for me, and I think I followed that
by having a completely new synthetic roof on, kept all the slates which we then used to build the extension
and front porch.
All the walls were redone, all the ceilings redone, central heating...
Absolutely all the services have all been renewed right the way through, so in fact there's really nothing
that has been left all.
He's even managed to create a loo in the cupboard under the stairs.
Roger's wife Lindsay loves the layout.
You feel good about it, you know, seeing the house as it is,
because we did wonder if ever we would get there sometimes, but it's there.
Roger got planning permission for the extension
and the garage, but decided to leave the garage for the new owner to build if required.
As for the garden with its views across the river, Roger did his level best to save money.
I really didn't initially know what I was going to do with it,
but then once we started knocking walls down and digging out the foundations,
it suddenly twigged that I could use all of that material, instead of paying for it to be taken away,
to fill in the slope and level off the garden.
The project has been Roger's baby, something he's wanted to do for years, so what was Lindsay's role?
I haven't helped much here...because it's been mostly knocking walls down, putting walls up,
and I'd have got in the way, so I've left it to the chaps.
Upstairs the layout of the rooms hasn't changed, but that's about the only detail that remains the same.
Well, upstairs all the three bedrooms and the bathroom ceilings have all been replastered.
Of course the three bedrooms benefit from new windows and the rewiring that's been done throughout.
So in this room we've got rid of the stripy wallpaper,
and all the rooms we have magnolia, so all nice and clean and fresh.
As the extension was only on the ground floor, there wasn't room to modify upstairs at all,
but what about the bathroom?
This is the small family bathroom. It doesn't look anything like it did when I first came in here.
Put a nice new shower suite in. Strangely enough, the tiles... they looked very shoddy
but by the time I polished them up with some sugar soap, it looks really shiny,
really nice, and it's turned out really good.
So let's hear about the finances. How much did Roger's refurbishment cost
on top of the £130,000 he paid at the auction?
The original budget was 30,000 and I really didn't want to spend any more than that,
I thought that would be our maximum but, as things do happen, it went up to £50,000,
but more than happy for that.
It seems Roger's had a whale of a time working on this project.
He's been here most days helping the builders to fulfil his dream.
I got very used to the view over the river...just sat, having my lunch, looking out,
and it's been really lovely.
Something he's always wanted to do when he retired, so hopefully he's fulfilled his ambition now
and will have a rest.
Well, I'm not so sure about that!
I should need the summer, I think, for my golf and my sailing, and perhaps take a holiday...
and maybe in the autumn have a look at maybe doing the same again.
It's a lovely house. I just hope it sells quickly.
Well, time to get some expert marketing advice
from two local estate agents.
The thing I most like
about the property is the extension,
and what he's done to the back room, i.e. kitchen-family room.
I think the finish is pretty good. I like the extension to the rear
and the open-plan dining room-kitchen, that sort of thing.
Massive kitchen area which is great.
The garden's obviously changed quite a bit from our last visit.
It had quite a bit of a drop going down, it's been levelled out,
and, as you know, you can benefit from the views of Southampton Waters.
Before this house was pretty dated, it was a pretty tired house...
now it's got the feel of a new house.
Lots of boxes ticked, but how much is the house now worth?
Remember, the couple paid £130,000 at the auction and have spent £50,000 on the work,
making £180,000 in total.
I value the property at £195,000.
I recommend you put this on the market at around £210,000.
On those evaluations that's at least £15,000 gross profit before the usual deductions.
I should feel confident that we've covered everything if we got somewhere in the region of £200,000,
but anything over that would be a bonus,
-so, yeah...so 195 to 210, yeah. So round about 200 sounds really good.
A long project but very satisfying, and I've done a lot more to it than what I'd originally thought,
-but fulfilled what I wanted to do.
I think we've probably transformed it from the worst house in the street to...
-One of the best, anyway.
And I think the views in the garden are to die for,
and by the time we've got a nice lawn on it before we leave, then it'll be nice for a family home.
We return now to Rochester in Kent.
Colin bought this Victorian house which had been converted into three one-bedroom flats
at auction for £226,000. Colin had sold his recycling business
and thought he'd give property development a go, but he broke a few golden rules.
I did everything that you probably say don't do! I didn't look at it, didn't check the legals,
didn't do anything. Just turned up and bought it because of the location.
But it turned out the property was in a conservation area,
so remember - always read the paperwork.
Now, three-and-a-half months later, Colin's builders have finished. So what's been achieved?
The ground-floor single-bedroom flat has been redecorated and had the floors recovered throughout.
The kitchen units were OK, so they've been kept,
but thankfully the avocado bathroom suite has gone to be replaced with a white suite and a new shower.
Even the cellar's had a lick of paint.
Upstairs the one-bedroom first-floor flat has been completely redecorated
and an original fireplace was uncovered.
Although the bathroom has got a new suite, Colin decided against keeping the bath in favour of a shower,
but the main layout change has been how you access the kitchen and the bathroom beyond it.
Before we did the work, you entered the kitchen in this space here,
came through a smaller gap here, there were some units on this side, and there was a door over there
which leads to a bathroom with a bath and a toilet here.
And we've struggled with how to make this a more useable space,
but we've ended up by changing the wall configurations,
so we now have the doorway here and we go through to a more useable kitchen in this space,
and I think this works out an awful lot better.
You still enter the kitchen from the living room in the same place,
but by moving the door to the bathroom, the kitchen now has three uninterrupted walls for the units,
which is much better.
The top-floor studio flat with its lounge-cum-bedroom has also been decorated throughout.
It's much brighter up here now, and, although the kitchen units remain, the shower has been replaced.
The whole property now has a modern feel to it,
though Colin has also managed to bring back some of the original character.
The fireplace was sealed up originally,
so when we took over the flat all the fireplaces had been sealed, boards nailed against the wall...
We uncovered three fireplaces
and found that they were original Victorian cast-iron fires still in place,
and in this particular fire, the grate had just been hidden up the chimney
with a whole load of soot and things like that
that all came falling out at the same time,
so we've put it back as a feature which I think makes the room.
Colin used contractors to do all the work here which can't have been cheap.
His original budget was £35,000 maximum. Has using professionals meant going over that?
We ended up spending just over £24,000 which is within budget, which I'm pleased about.
I'd set a total budget, because you weren't sure when you buy something at auction...
perhaps the level of problem you might find in a house that's a Victorian house...
Structurally this house is sound. There's been no real problems. It's been a cosmetic journey, really,
just to make the place look and feel nicer for the tenants that are going to come through it.
It's taken nearly 12 weeks to complete the job, a month longer than expected,
but Colin's ended up with three very good flats, so what's the plan for them?
Well, at this moment, I think I intend to let the three flats,
and, again, taking a long-term view, we'll look at it and say,
"Well, we want a revenue stream for the next ten years." Beyond ten years, who knows?
But I think I'm quite comfortable to sit with the house, look after it for ten years and then see.
If there were ever an opportunity to return it to being a family home in the future, if the market allowed,
then I'd look at that as well.
It's good to see that he's keeping his options open for the future.
We invited two local estate agents to take a look
and tell us how they think Colin's done.
Clean, it's tidy.
It's going to make it, if he decides to rent them out,
a nice rentable property for young couples or single people.
I think it's had a very clean, tidy makeover.
The only drawbacks would be the lack of space
for fitting an oven and hob in the first-floor apartment.
If he was going to sell it, then I would say he should have upgraded a bit more,
perhaps rather than storage heaters, putting gas central heating
to each have their own systems,
decorate the walls and make it a little bit more warm and perhaps better carpets.
I would suggest if he was going to sell to sell the whole lot as one block to an investor.
It's not what Colin intended but, out of interest, what would he get for that?
Remember the property originally cost £226,000 at auction,
a massive £76,000 over the upper guide price.
Colin spent just over £24,000 renovating it, making a total spend of £250,000,
plus legal fees and expenses.
I think if he put the whole lot on the market and an investor would take it on,
he'd be looking round about £300,000, maybe a bit more with all the interest he would achieve.
To sell this property to an investor we'd be looking at achieving £325,000.
That's better than I would have thought, actually,
because clearly I purchased above the guide price that was at the auction by some way...
and it stands me in at about 250, so, I mean, that's a good upside.
His plan has always been to rent the flats out individually.
The ground-floor flat has the advantage of a garden, so how much would he get for that one?
The ground-floor flat, with the garden, I would anticipate we should achieve £650 per calendar month.
I would be looking at achieving 525 per calendar month.
What about the medium-sized flat on the first floor?
I would have said we'd be looking round about £600 per calendar month on that one.
I would achieve around about £500 per calendar month.
And, finally, the small studio flat?
The top flat, I think, we would be looking around £500 to £550 per calendar month.
I would try to achieve 450 per calendar month.
I think somewhere between the two agents' estimations is about where I'm figuring,
so those figures do sound fair to me, yeah.
Potentially that's a combined rental income of up to £1,800 a month.
That represents a healthy yield of around 7 to 8.5%.
Colin used to have his own recycling business,
so how has he found the challenge of recycling these three flats?
I've enjoyed working on it. My personal involvement hasn't been great.
I've not done an awful lot of work myself if...hardly any.
But it's a fun project to do. It's nice to see the property return to some good fashion.
Would I do it again? I'd do it again if the right location came up, yes.
Make sure you join us next time for more properties going under the hammer!
-We'll see you then. Goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a semi-detached house in Devon, a house in Southampton and a property in Kent.
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.