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There's nothing like the thrill of the auction room.
With all those fast-paced bids and pounding hearts,
the atmosphere really is electric.
So come with us now on a high-adrenaline ride
as we follow three more auction properties.
Whether it's a flat in Faversham, a semi in Surrey
or a bolt-hole in Bolton, you could find what you're looking for in the auction rooms.
So today we meet some more people hoping to find their perfect property.
I board a boat for a Hammer first,
a day trip to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute
to visit a flat there.
First of all though, I've got to catch the ferry.
I return to the one-bed property in London I first saw in 2007.
The first thing that strikes me about this place
is the sense of space.
And in Norwich, there's a ground-floor flat with a great garden.
You've got something that isn't just a little flat.
It could be a nice little family home.
All these properties were sold at auction.
We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them
-when they went under the hammer.
-It's yours, sir.
Well, it's a Homes Under The Hammer first. I'm in Scotland
and I'm about to head across to the Isle of Bute,
where there's a property that sounds like it could make the perfect holiday retreat.
But first I've got to catch the ferry.
I'm sailing from Wemyss Bay and the crossing takes 35 minutes.
The Isle of Bute lies in the Firth of Clyde,
just off the west coast of Scotland.
During the Victorian era, the island was popular with day trippers
and as a weekend destination.
The main town of Rothesay would be bustling with holidaymakers,
who would sail from Glasgow, just a couple of hours away.
This was called going "doon the watter".
Well, the sun may not be shining today,
but I'm not going to let that cast a cloud on my sunny disposition.
So, two minutes, literally, from the ferry terminal,
right in the heart of Rothesay, is the property I'm here to see.
It's a two-bedroom flat at a guide price of £35,000.
Let's take a look.
# Come up and see me
# Make me smile... #
The stairwell is dark, cold and uninviting.
Let's hope the flat itself will be more welcoming.
Well, thankfully, at first glance, it looks like it is.
In fact, I have to say, the flat looks really big.
Quite a surprise. You've got two big bedrooms there and there,
living room area there
but more than that, what strikes you is the height of the ceilings.
It gives it a real feeling of space, which is absolutely wonderful.
And talking of space, another nice thing to have,
lots of space to put things.
I mean, cupboards like this, absolutely essential,
especially if you're using this as a holiday place.
Great. Good start.
'This lounge is huge, with the great sea view from large bay windows,
'it has a lovely airy feel
'and there are some wonderful period details.
'After just a little restoration, it could be returned to its former glory.
'I really do like this property in a big way.'
So I was slightly expecting to find a disappointing kitchen
but once again, the flat hasn't let me down.
A really nice-sized space.
Yes, the units are very tired and dated, they want to be replaced,
but this is a really nice area.
A kitchen table in here would make this the hub of the flat.
So really, all in all, for entertaining, for living in it,
or if you're going to use this as a holiday home,
the whole thing just absolutely works for me.
The flat has two double bedrooms.
There's double glazing throughout,
meaning you can enjoy the view without suffering the chill winds.
Only the bathroom left to see now.
# Pink, it's the colour of passion... #
Mm, what can I say? But the rosy decor is easily sorted
and I'm certainly tickled pink about this flat,
especially at that auction guide price of £35,000.
So what's the best option? Rent it out or sell on?
I asked a local estate agent for his opinion.
This is a great flat. It's huge, as far as flats on the island go.
There's a lot of space in here.
More than anything else, I think,
it could benefit from internal decoration.
There's nothing structural to do, just a touch-up,
just to make it more their style and comfortable for them to enjoy.
How much could this place sell for, once done up?
I think once this is all done and has been renovated,
we would expect to see this sell for between £80-85,000.
And rental income?
Residential rents, the standard rental for a two-bedroom flat on the island
is about £90-95 a week,
so we're looking between £390 to £410 per calendar month.
How about renting to holidaymakers?
As a holiday home, there are other areas on the island which are better suited
because they have a much better view.
There's only one room that has the view.
However, I would expect that you would probably reach
between £350 and £400 per week in the summer time.
Well, it may not be in the best location
or have the absolute best sea views
but that guide price was very attractive.
So let's see who fancied a slice of island life
when it went under the hammer.
Lot 319, a traditional two-bedroom flat in Rothesay,
Isle of Bute, Argyll and Bute, PA20.
I've got a proxy bid, ladies and gentlemen. I'll bid on their behalf.
And I will start the bidding with an opening bid at £30,000.
So £30,000 we've got. Looking for £31,000.
In front of me at £31,000.
32 with the proxy bidder.
33? 33 it is.
34 with the proxy bidder. 35?
£37,000. 38, now. 38 with the proxy bidder. At 38.
39? £39,000. I can go to £40,000 with the proxy bidder.
I'll go 500 if it helps you.
£40,500. 41, it's with the proxy bidder.
41,500, it's in the room. 42 with the proxy bidder.
Yeah? 42,500. 43 with the proxy bidder.
43,500. You'll be delighted to know the proxy bidder is out.
It's your bid. At £43,500.
£43,500. I'm going to sell at this level, ladies and gentlemen.
The proxy bidder's out. It's your bid at 43,500.
Anyone else coming in, be very, very quick.
Sold at 43,500. Congratulations, well done.
That surprised yet jubilant winner is Cara.
Cara's a hospital worker and her husband Steve's a web developer.
They live and work in Glasgow
and bought this property for themselves and their three daughters.
There was no holding the family back from exploring their new property
when I met them at the flat.
Cara, Steve, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations.
-Cara, you looked absolutely shocked, there.
-I thought we weren't going to get the flat.
-I thought we would be outbid but we got it.
-You got it.
# I'm so excited And I just can't hide it
# I'm about to lose control And I think I like it. #
So why did you want to buy it?
We want it as a wee holiday home for ourselves and the family.
-We've got three girls.
-Three girls. It's a fast pace of life.
Islay's six and May is three, almost four, and Fern's 18 months.
We've holidayed down here for years, love the place.
Great for the family, so we've been looking for a house for ages
-and we were fortunate enough to get this one.
-It's a lovely little flat, isn't it?
What is it about the island that you love so much?
I think, for me, it's getting back to basics.
You can take the kids to the beach, build sandcastles,
everything's close by
and it's just like being a world away from the mainland
but you're really close to Glasgow. It's great.
Now, it's a bit of a miserable day and it's quite cold.
-What's it like in the summer here?
There's a lovely promenade down the front and gardens
and they've got a fountain down at the front as well.
There's also a lovely bay here, called Ettrick Bay,
that's got a lovely beach and a cafe down there and that's nice.
-There's also a really large old house called Mount Stuart.
It's got beautiful gardens and it is beautiful.
It would take more than a little wind and rain to dampen this family's enthusiasm for the island
and their new holiday home.
'Why this particular flat?
'We've been looking for quite a few years.'
I think it's the high ceilings, the location.
We're close to the front, close to the ferry, as well,
and it's just an ideal place.
-And the price.
-And the price.
-The price was definitely right.
So tell me what you do when you're not buying holiday homes.
Well, I work in Glasgow, web development,
Cara works in a busy hospital, so, yeah.
I scan the pregnant mums in the Princess Royal Infirmary in Glasgow.
-Oh, great. Ultrasound scans and things.
-I've been doing that for ten years.
-Did you scan yourself when you had your children?
# Holiday, oh, holiday And the best one of the year... #
But before the children get to play with their buckets and spades,
Steve has to get to work with his toolbox.
So tell me, what are you going to do to it?
I think the first thing is probably to replace the kitchen.
We'll see if we can do that and then just have a look around.
I think we might have to look at carpets, redecoration.
-New front door, as well.
-New front door possibly, that sort of thing.
-It's not in too bad a nick.
-We've got a very pink bathroom.
-Which the girls like.
-They want you to keep that, do they?
I've got a battle on my hands with that one.
There's a lot of pink in our house already.
I'm saying, "We'll paint it white," but it might stay pink.
Having three girls probably means - and four women in the family -
-I think so, definitely.
So what kind of budget have you set aside to do it?
-Three to four.
If we go over, that's OK. It depends much we can get a kitchen for.
-And what kind of timescale?
-About three months.
-Two to three months.
We stay in Glasgow and we've got some holidays coming up, so we might be able to do some work.
Three months should probably do us right to get it finished off.
-And are you going to do the work?
-Some of it.
Probably the painting we'll do
but in terms of fitted kitchens and things like that,
then local tradesmen.
Now, obviously this could be quite valuable as a holiday let.
-Have you thought about doing that?
Probably in the first instance we'll rent it to people that we know
and then maybe as the girls get older and they want to do things, like go a bit further afield,
we'd consider renting it out during the summer commercially.
Cara and Steve are already making plans
for the first of many holidays in their exciting new purchase.
So how much of your holidays are you going to spend here?
-All of them.
-All of them.
-All our holidays, yeah. Can't wait to start using it.
I really look forward to seeing how you turn this into your holiday home.
-I know. Thanks very much.
Well, what a great story.
Cara, Steve and their family getting a perfect holiday home for them.
So the big question is will the pink bathroom remain?
You know what? I think it will.
Find out how they get on later in the show.
We now go back to a property we first saw in January 2007.
Next to the more expensive areas of Clapham and Battersea in southwest London
is the up and coming Earlsfield.
In 2007, the average price for a one-bed flat here
had shot up from 230 to 280,000 in just one year,
which made this one very intriguing.
So with those figures in mind, the £135,000 guide price
for this one-bed flat was quite exciting
and the first thing that strikes me about this place
is the sense of space.
I mean, look - really high ceilings everywhere.
You've got this beautiful cornicing in really good condition.
OK, it's a bit tired in here, it needs decorating,
but that's quite easily resolved.
I'd get rid of this gas fire and put something more traditional there.
And this is something for the security conscious.
These windows have got to go.
You could pull those slats of glass out straightaway.
I could see some nice, original sash windows in there.
But I really like it. It's got a good feeling about it.
This long corridor leads down to the kitchen and the bedroom
but it is a bit dark.
Behind are the other stairs to the upstairs flat.
My immediate thought would be to open up the space in the understairs cupboard.
I do like the rooms in this property.
They're square and solid.
I've noticed, though, there's an old electric heater down here,
so you'd need to install central heating to the whole flat.
Now, the kitchen, it's a good space but very dated.
You'd need to get rid of all these units
and install something more modern.
Over there, Crittall windows. They've got to go.
Now, talking about windows, when you look out there, that's not the view of your garden.
It belongs to the next-door neighbour,
so a bit of that is in order, I think.
What I don't like is that you have to walk through your kitchen
to get to your toilet and your bathroom.
I think a change of layout could work here.
There's so much space to play with.
In fact, this is one of the biggest one-bedroom flats
I've seen in a long time.
'That's the living room and the kitchen
'and the bedroom is also a good size.
'And unlike with the kitchen, you get what you see out of this window.
'There's a courtyard with a fairly good strip of garden
'but the window frame certainly needs replacing.
'This flat has great potential.
'You could extend out to the side
'and there's all that wasted space under the stairs.'
The guide price of £135,000
looks sure to get the auction room buzzing
but who can last the course?
Let's see what happened on the day.
Lot 22. 200 anywhere?
If not, it's up to you where you want to start.
How much? 150 down here.
155 with you in the aisle. 160.
210. If not, 212. New spot.
Someone else comes in now. 215.
One more go?
242, standing at the back.
243, a new spot. 243.
244? 244. 245?
Lost you. 245?
245 and a half, yeah? 245 and a half. 246.
246 and a half.
247. 247 and a half.
248. 248 and a half?
Another five? If not, 248 first time, second time,
third and last time. If you're all done...
The winning bid of 248,000 was made by Eamonn and Simon,
who've got lots of development experience.
They used to be managers for one of the largest landlords in the country,
with over 12,000 units.
But in 2005, they decided to go it alone.
So far, they've developed seven properties.
They've sold some of them and have tenants in the rest.
They paid a whopping £113,000 over the guide price
for this flat in Earlsfield.
Clearly, they must think it has potential for them.
Guys, congratulations. You clinched the deal.
-Happy with the price?
Slightly more than we'd set for our maximum but...
What are you guys going to do with it?
Well, we're going to refurbish it as a one-bed as our fallback,
with either a look to rental or resale
but our main plan is to extend at the side,
because we've got the side garden and the back garden.
If we can extend to the side and do a bit of rejigging,
we can get a two-bed with a large open-plan living area, which is what we want.
In order for the boys to build an extension
and turn this into a two-bedroom flat,
they're going to have to apply for planning permission.
But could they get two bedrooms into the existing footprint?
Possibly. Possibly. It's big enough that you could do it.
A lot of properties round here are turned into two beds
But we're hoping to maximise it with planning, obviously.
You're hardly going to have any garden at all, any outside space.
Do you think that's something that might let the property down?
-I don't think so.
-Courtyard gardens, I think, you know.
Enough room for a barbecue, they'd see that as a bonus.
Simon and Eamonn are exploring every possibility
for their £248,000 investment.
Understandably, they're keen to maximise the potential
of this large ground floor flat.
So, tell me, what's it going to look like inside?
Who's got the eye when it comes to this?
-That's really nice of him. Isn't that nice of him?
Erm, we tend to have quite a sort of standard finish on speci's,
keeping it very neutral, clean, white all the way through, actually.
Wood floors, we're thinking, the open plan lounge and living area,
spotlights, the usual,
everything that market round here basically demands.
Whilst they're waiting for planning permission for the side extension,
the boys already have a couple of builders lined up to do some work.
But who's going to be overseeing the project?
Probably because it's fairly local to where we're based,
we'll both be here fairly regularly.
We like to pop into our sites two, three times a week,
something like that.
I do the basic stuff, the sourcing and ordering of materials.
I probably deal with that side more.
When it gets more technical in terms of extensions and everything else,
Eamonn gets more involved in that side.
So you've each got your strengths, really, haven't you?
-I think so. Yeah. We complement each other.
Yeah. The other person is dealing with certain aspects of it
because it would be too much to deal with,
considering we've got more than this on the go at any one time - three or four, perhaps.
And so it is a two-man job.
One and a half.
Well, they're certainly not half-hearted
but the lads are in two minds over the cost of the refurbishment.
If it was a one-bed without any structural alterations...
The max we would be looking at about 18, 20, possibly.
-All right, 15.
Ooh, you're not agreeing, boys. I love it. No - 15! Less!
We've started already.
So budget for a two-bedroom property?
With the extension, we're working off 30,000,
then, obviously, a bit of a rejig inside
and then a full modernisation.
Simon and Eamonn were brave to go it alone.
Though they may have needed to negotiate some tight turns along the road to success,
they did seem to be on the right track.
But when we first returned five months later,
the property was still undergoing major changes.
The existing flat had been gutted and some internal walls taken down,
with replastering and rewiring still going on.
But unfortunately, there was no sign of the extension,
which Eamonn and Simon were counting on.
We were concerned about whether we could get planning.
We knew we could get planning
but it's whether we could get the size of the extension,
whether we had to make it smaller that would change the layout.
Well, planning was approved but join us later
to see how much they had to compromise on the extension plans
and what they did manage to achieve in the end.
Coming up, in Norwich, there's a ground floor, two-bed flat
that has plenty to offer buyers.
The place doesn't have a bad feel. It's light and airy.
Back in 2007, Eamonn was still positive
about the renovation in Earlsfield.
In another week or two, the existing flat will look very good.
But first, is this family still excited about their holiday home
They're always dead excited and looking forward to coming.
Time now to sail back to the beautiful Isle of Bute.
Glasgow-based couple Cara and her husband Steve
had paid £43,500 for this two-bed flat overlooking the harbour.
It was going to be the perfect new holiday home for themselves
and their three girls.
We've holidayed down here for years, love the place.
Great for the kids, so we've been looking for a house for ages
and we got this one.
It's now four months later and we've caught the ferry again
to see what they've done with the flat.
When you head through the front door, the hallway strikes the first note,
with new carpets and a welcoming colour scheme.
That large living room with its beautiful bay window
has been decorated, furnished, and even gained a character fireplace.
The stylish makeover continues in Cara and Steve's bedroom.
Having given the flat a full refurbishment,
did they discover any nasty surprises when they set about the work?
The flat was in pretty good condition.
It was needing freshened up. A lot of painting.
We started off with the kitchen and the back of the flat
and we decided to make that into a bedroom and make the small bedroom into the kitchen.
A role reversal if I ever heard one!
Moving that kitchen sounds a big job
but as Steve explains, moving the services wasn't all that tricky.
If you remember, last time, this was a bedroom.
We've moved all the services through,
which was quite easy because they're on the same wall.
We've put a brand-new boiler in and we've put the units in.
It was good to do this because we've got a bigger room next door,
more space in the bedroom next door
and the girls are further away
and it's quieter for them at night when me and Cara are here, so it's worked very well.
Well, undoubtedly a much better use of the space here.
But what impact did the layout change have on their budget?
Remember, they'd originally set aside between £3-4,000
but that was just to decorate the place, leaving the rooms where they were.
Moving the kitchen's probably added on £1,000 to our budget.
We had to get a new boiler anyway, so that's added on the cost
but round about £1,000.
Even though their budget stretched to just over £5,000,
I reckon they made the right decision.
Their three daughters now have a lovely large bedroom to enjoy.
But with three little girls in the house, is everything still rosy in the bathroom?
The bathroom has stayed pink, as you can see.
Steven didn't get his way and change the colour,
so he just has to put up with it and live with it.
We did a bit of retiling and a bit of new flooring
and then that was us all done.
Well, hard luck, Steve, the girls won but I always suspected they would.
So who's been doing the work?
Generally decorating, we've been able to do that ourselves.
We've also been keen to use local contractors and tradesmen
so that we're putting something back into the island,
so they've done some of the work, as much as possible.
We've actually put in a couple of old fireplaces that we had.
We had them in the shed and we decided to put them in.
A good call. The two fireplaces add extra character to the flat
and they compliment the windows and woodwork really well.
They've obviously done a lot of work here
but have they had their first holiday in the flat yet?
We've had one very relaxing week, which was great.
The kids really enjoyed it. There's loads to do.
There's a good variety of things to do for the kids.
They're always excited on the ferry.
They're always dead excited and looking forward to coming here.
All the kind of basic stuff you had as a kid, you know.
Building sandcastles, picking up shells from the beach.
They seem to really enjoy that.
Cara and Steve have bought the flat as a long-term holiday retreat
for themselves, their family and friends to enjoy.
But would they contemplate renting it out commercially as a holiday let?
Possibly. It's a consideration.
It just depends if...
We've too much attachment at the moment, I think.
It might be something to think about in two or three years' time.
Time to find out what two local property experts make of the flat,
with its harbour views and modified internal layout.
Coming back today, first impressions are amazing.
They've done a really good job.
It's a homely flat, yet it's very spacious. They've done a great job.
I do like the fact they've put a feature fireplace in the lounge.
They've made a good job of the kitchen.
Moving around from the bedroom to the kitchen in here,
the fact you can get a dining table in is a plus point.
'Moving the kitchen was a really good idea.'
'I hadn't thought about it
'and I'd expected them to keep it there.'
The lounge is nice with the bay window overlooking the harbour.
You can see the sea, which folk are looking for when they come to Bute,
whether it's a holiday let or a permanent home.
Yes, it is a lovely location with great views
but how much rental income could the flat generate
if the couple did think of renting it out long term?
As a residential let, we would expect this to achieve between £90 and £95 a week,
so between £390 to £400 per calendar month.
I would expect it to achieve in the region of £325 to £350 per calendar month.
What about letting to holidaymakers,
just in the height of the summer?
As a holiday let,
we would expect it to achieve £400 a week, peak season.
So although this wasn't bought as a buy to let investment,
there is clearly some potential income here,
long term or as a holiday let.
-That's really good, isn't it?
It's worth a thought. I didn't really give it any thought before.
We said it was probably going to be for family and friends
but that might tempt me to rent it out.
But what's the flat now worth? They paid £43,500 at the auction
and they've spent just over £5,000 on the work,
making a total of around £49,000.
If it was to go on the market, we'd expect this achieve around £80,000.
If I was to put the property on the market,
I would say it could fetch in the region of £80-85,000.
Goodness. That would represent around £30,000 gross profit
before the usual selling expenses. Not bad, eh?
Compared to what we bought it for and how much we spent doing it up, that is brilliant.
It's great news that their dream holiday home has risen in value,
making a real win-win situation.
So what now?
'We just going to spend as much time as we can down here because we love it.
'I just feel we've made a wee home from home.
'We've got to know people here already
'and we're going to really enjoy it for the next few years.
'I feel quite lucky to have it.'
For over 900 years,
this Norman cathedral has dominated the Norwich skyline.
The city is justly proud of its past, but also its present.
Norwich offers a rare blend of historic interest
and modern sophistication.
Well, the property I'm here to see is just north of the city centre.
It's a two bedroom, ground-floor flat at a guide price of £65,000.
It's nice it's got this lawn out the front.
Let's take a look inside.
'The flat is part of a purpose-built block
'and the grass and communal areas are well maintained.'
So what do you get for your money?
Well, through the front door. Kitchen there.
Some interesting free-range appliances going on.
That's going to need sorting out, get some nice units in there
and that would make a difference.
The place doesn't have a bad feel to it.
It's nice and light and airy.
Loo and bathroom there. That needs to be improved as well.
But kitchens and bathrooms, a good place to spend your money.
I'm getting a nice feel from this place.
This is your main living area. It's a good size.
There's a gas fire, lots of light from the double-glazed windows -
all in all, a very good start.
Someone has obviously started to renovate this place
but for whatever reason, not finished the job.
The good news is that whoever takes over won't have to start from scratch.
The bad news? Well, none so far. It's a great little flat.
So, rear of the property, two bedrooms,
smaller double there and a nice-sized double here.
You've got some built-in cupboards
and then a nice additional feature, a conservatory.
Unusual to see it attached to the bedroom
but I don't know how else you'd have it.
It opens the house into the garden and it's a nice thing to have.
This is a reasonably straightforward renovation,
an ideal first investment for any would-be developer.
It's all pretty standard so far,
then at the rear of the property there's a really nice-sized garden.
Ground floor flats often come with some sort of garden space
but not normally as big as this.
So now it isn't just a little flat,
it could potentially be a nice little family home.
# I dream of you amid the flowers
# For a couple of hours
# Such a beautiful day. #
This flat has really impressed me. It's small but perfectly formed.
The guide price was £65,000 and I reckon it's a solid investment.
I invited a local estate agent along to give us his view.
The current condition of the property is fairly basic.
It's got some good starting points.
You've got double glazing and gas central heating,
although overall, it does need modernisation.
What could this flat command if sold on?
Once renovated to a good standard,
the resale value would be in the region of £85-90,000.
And if it were let out?
If the property was rented out,
I would expect the rental value per calendar month to be £475.
So a nice enough little flat, with the benefit of that lovely garden.
A real simple do-er upper-er or renter-outer-er,
if there is such a word. Let's see who went for it at the auction.
Two-bedroom, purpose built ground-floor flat.
Again, a pretty low guide at 65. Start me there?
65 for it? 60, if you wish.
60, give me a start for it. 55, if you wish.
55 I'm bid. 55. 57 and a half there. 60 for you, sir?
74. I'll take one if you want. 75, if you wish?
75. 6 for you, sir?
At 76. I'll take 500 if you want.
76 and a half.
You're shaking your head too early.
At 76 and a half. Another 500 might get it for you.
At 76 and a half, then.
At £76,500. I'll take 250 if you want.
At 76,750. 77,000 for you, sir?
No. Shaking your head.
At 77,000. At 77,000.
At £77,000, then.
Another 250 if you want.
77 and a half, then. At 77 and a half. Are you all done in the room?
It's out on my right. At 77 and a half. I'm going to sell it.
First time, second time,
third and final time at 77 and a half. Yours.
So who was the mystery bidder hiding behind the pillar at the auction?
Well, the new owner who bought the flat for £77,500
was retired funeral director Keith.
When he's not on the golf course, he's a part-time property developer.
I met up with him at his new purchase.
-Nice to meet you.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
-Erm... money's not making money any more.
So you think property.
-So it's like money that was in savings, it's not getting you much interest.
I've got other properties but I thought I'll put some more money into property
-and see where we go from there.
It's a long-term investment but a better investment
at this moment in time.
-So what are you going to do with it?
-Completely renovate it.
New kitchen, new bathroom.
As you can see, it would be nice to put coving round it,
decorate it completely and that'll be a twofold thing.
That'll be done so it could be for sale or to rent, you see?
So if I do decide to sell it, it'll be of the quality to sell,
-rather than just...
You know? So... Then that way, I've got the opportunity
of going either way at the end of it.
I'll make the final decision then.
Keith paid £12,500 over the guide price.
If he wants to make the most of his investment,
he's wise to keep his options open.
-So what's your background?
I've been retired now for 11 years.
-What did you do before?
Keith sold his funeral director's business 12 years ago.
Although he's enjoying his retirement,
he admits he misses helping people in their time of need.
Couldn't get a better job for job satisfaction.
People telephone you or they come into the office
and you see them all the way through.
You help them, you're on the end of the phone all the while
and that gives you so much satisfaction.
At the end they say, "Thank you very much for what you've done,"
and that's genuine, that is really genuine.
And it's hard to describe to people what that feeling is like, you know?
And that's the only business I've ever had
where I've had total satisfaction from it.
Hmm. So you're really helping people at a time of extreme distress.
Absolutely. Oh, yeah, absolutely.
I imagined being a funeral director would be quite a depressing job
but you're saying it's the opposite.
That's a perception that people think you're like... you know
and you walk up the road and this sort of thing
but at the end of the day, you know, inwardly,
you know, you're smiling inwardly.
-Because you're helping.
While Keith may miss being a funeral director,
he has thrown himself into property development
with the same enthusiasm.
What kind of budget have you got to do the work?
Around about 5, perhaps £6,000.
I don't want to be spending more than that. No more than that.
Obviously, the biggest thing has got to be the kitchen and the bathroom.
I've got some figures, what I'm going to spend,
and at the moment, I'm just under what I've got to do.
-And who's going to do the work?
-I'll do most of the work myself,
all except for the electrician and the gas engineer,
because obviously, they've got to be certified people to do that.
Well, I can do it but I wouldn't do it, you know,
because I wouldn't be allowed to if I'm going to sell it or rent it.
It's got to be certified.
-What's the timescale for sorting it out?
-Well, I hope to be done...
about four weeks, five weeks at the most.
-I'll get stuck in and get it done.
You know, so...
-Great, well congratulations.
-Good luck with it.
-Look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thanks very much.
So from being a funeral director to bringing properties back to life,
Keith has taken on his latest project with this flat.
I'm sure he'll do a great job.
Will he end up selling it or renting it?
You can find out later in the show.
Well, when we left our auction aficionados
they had their fingers crossed and high hopes for success.
But have the purchases been giving them sleepless nights?
Let's find out.
Earlier in the programme, we met developers Eamonn and Simon.
Back in January 2007, they bought this one-bedroom ground-floor flat
in Earlsfield, southwest London, for £248,000.
That was 113 grand over the guide price
but they hoped to extend it into a two-bed and sell it for a big profit.
That all depended on getting the planning permission
and rearranging the existing layout.
Although they had a rough timescale of six months,
when we went back five months later,
it was obvious there was still a lot of work to be done.
Erm... It's coming together.
It's always the way.
You want things to be more progressed than they are at the moment
but I think with another week or two,
the existing flat will look very good.
The existing flat had been completely ripped out
and some of the internal walls removed.
Rewiring is in progress but there's no sign of an extension,
which Simon and Eamonn were counting on.
We were concerned about whether we could get planning.
We knew we could get planning,
it's whether we could get the size of the extension.
If we had to do something smaller, that would change the layout.
It took them a total of three months to get planning permission
to extend this property,
which was the only way they could make the place work.
With the extension, this would be a great two-bedroom flat.
That was three years ago,
so we were keen to find out how the development had turned out.
The extension is now in place.
It's impressive on the outside but just look inside!
The old courtyard has now become a fantastic contemporary living space,
with an open-plan kitchen.
And there's still space for a small decked area at the back.
Well, this is where the extension starts from.
This originally was the outside wall of the house
and this was a bedroom with a metal window here.
So we took the whole wall away, put a steel framework in
and built this extension, which is the boundary of the property.
This originally was the garden
and there was a fence and a gate at the back here.
So we've built this all the way to the back of the property
and this was the original bathroom here,
with the back door.
So we've taken that away and we've put in an open-plan kitchen
with a set of nice big doors going out to the garden.
The original plan was to have a vaulted ceiling here,
so it was going to go right up with some Velux windows across here.
But because of the changes to the plan,
we had to go for a flat roof,
which meant the ceiling has come right down.
We were concerned that it would make this room quite enclosed
but with the additional windows here and the doors at the back,
we think that it really works.
The extension is really worth it. It's what makes the flat.
It's everything that we thought of.
We're really pleased with it and the kitchen, the floor and everything.
It's a great-looking space but it doesn't end there.
The old kitchen is now a cosy bedroom,
while the front room has been turned into another bedroom.
So the target of a two-bed flat has been achieved.
But Eamonn has also worked wonders with a cleverly laid out bathroom.
This bathroom was originally the understairs cupboard.
We've put a new wall here, which was in the bedroom,
and made it slightly larger, put in a walk-in shower,
tucked the toilet round the corner and tiled the whole thing.
This bathroom, I think, really works. The tiles, we're really pleased with.
It could've been quite a dark space
but with the lighting, the tiling and lots of chrome, it really works.
That completes the tour but getting here from January 2007
has been a long haul.
The slow progress was due in no small part
to the housing crash in 2007.
When the recession happened, we were just starting this project
and it was around about the planning,
so we felt a bit hands tied behind our back
because we could see prices tumbling
and we still hadn't had planning through.
When that happened, we decided to mothball the property
and work on other projects until we felt that the market was coming back.
The project was mothballed for 19 months,
until the team felt it was time to start again.
That was in March 2009, and by that point,
the walls of the extension were already up
and only the roof needed to be added.
It was another six months before the place was ready to start making money.
I'm actually related to one of the tenants, she's my sister-in-law
and she was vacating her previous property
when we finally got this one in a habitable condition.
And it just made sense for her to move in.
I thought, "This is nice. We've found somewhere that we can stay."
And it was the nicest place that we had seen.
One of the most notable things is that everything was brand new.
You very rarely have that, so that was really nice.
And there was no furniture at all,
so we could really think, "What do we want it to look like?"
The tenants have been in the flat about ten months now
and are paying £1,000 per month.
That's an extremely competitive rate for the area they're in
but everyone is pleased with the arrangement.
Is this success of this project down to Eamonn alone?
Simon has played a role in bringing it all together
and he's doing his own projects now.
We are looking to do further projects like this in the future.
At the moment, he's doing his own projects.
But he was very helpful in finally bringing this altogether.
The team bought the property for 248,000
and it took them two and a half years to finish off the project.
In all that time, did Eamonn ever doubt they were doing the right thing?
I certainly do have faith in property.
It's always something that I've done
and I think if you've been through downturns and problems before,
then you're more adaptable to getting through them.
How did their original budget hold up?
We were originally looking to spend about 30,000 on the project.
I think we've ended up spending between 42 and 45,000.
An element of that is the time delay and the changing of the plans.
Added to their purchase price of 248,000,
that would give the team an approximate spend of up to 293 grand.
Bearing in mind their outlay,
we asked two local estate agents to give us their thoughts
on Eamonn and Simon's renovation.
My first impression of the apartment is that it's a superb property.
It's fantastic light, very contemporary, very modern,
and will be an excellent purchase for a first-time buyer.
My impression walking into the property, it's clean and light,
it's a very well done, professional job - very impressed.
'The open-plan living-kitchen area is something that's very hit and miss with buyers.'
Here, it works very well, he's done a very good job
and I can see a lot of people being interested in it.
'I think the extension's absolutely crucial to the property
'because it's enabled them to have more living space.'
With the extension, they have two proper double bedrooms,
and fantastic living space,
so creating the extension was absolutely crucial.
At the moment, the property would be better for letting,
for the initial period, and in the long term, hanging onto to it
and reselling in a couple of years' time.
'So with the current rental income of £1,000 per month,
'is the team getting the most out of this flat?'
If I was to put this property on the market for rent,
I would expect it to achieve £1,200 to £1,300 per calendar month.
I think because of the two double bedrooms and the quality of the finish,
you could ask as much as 1,400 and maybe get £1,300 a month for it.
Rental figures of 12, 13 or even, 14 hundred pounds a month
would be fantastic.
It would be the top end of what we had expected
but if we could achieve it, it would be brilliant.
So what does that mean for the tenants?
They're getting a good deal.
I reckon he's right, there.
But if Eamonn and Simon decide to sell, what could the flat fetch?
Remember, they have a total investment of up to £293,000 here.
If I was to put this property on the market,
I would expect it to achieve in the region of £360,000.
I think if we put the property up for sale,
we'd be asking £380,000.
360, 380. That's pretty much what we thought it would be worth at the moment in the current market.
It's a very good price, considering what we paid for it.
That could give the duo a possible pre-tax profit of £87,000.
So despite the slow progress and the ups and downs,
this flat has turned out to be a great renovation.
I reckon it was a good investment for this team's portfolio, as well,
and one on which Eamonn's keen to build.
When we started this project, we were looking to move on to bigger projects,
similar sort of conversions,
and although because of the market we've not been able to achieve that,
it's the sort of thing we're looking to do now
and I'd love to get my teeth stuck into it.
Time to return to the beautiful city of Norwich,
where earlier, we met Keith.
He's a retired funeral director
who bought this one-bed flat for £77,500.
Keith loves playing golf
and also finds time to develop properties as a hobby.
I've got other properties
but I thought I'll put some more money into property
-and see where we'll go from there.
It's a long-term investment but a better investment
at this moment in time.
He couldn't have chosen a more solid property to invest in.
The flat was in pretty good condition
and just needed a new kitchen and bathroom.
Keith reckoned on a four to five week turnaround
and a five to six grand budget to do the job.
Well, seven weeks have now passed and we've returned to Norwich
to see how Keith's renovation has come along.
Straight away, it's easy to see the difference.
The living room has had a makeover
and its lighter, fresher colours make the flat more relaxing.
The old gas fire has gone, to be replaced by a new electric one.
And down the hall, a new bathroom suite has been installed.
But what about the other most important room in a property?
Well, everything in the kitchen was just taken out and thrown away
because everything was in a bit of a mess
and it had just generally deteriorated, I suppose, with age.
So we took everything out, threw it away,
started everything complete.
As you can see, all new cabinets, new cooker and hob.
Everything in here you see is new.
There's one thing left to do and that's to just finish off the tiling
and to box these pipes in here.
But apart from that, the kitchen's completely finished.
As for the rest of the place,
both bedrooms have had a straightforward redecoration and new carpets.
On the surface, it would be seem that Keith has had an easy ride
with this flat.
The main thing that's happened is
that I found out that the wiring needed doing.
The ring mains were perfectly all right
but all the lights didn't have earths,
so that was an added expense which we didn't realise at the time.
But the major thing was the bathroom and the kitchen,
which now have been done.
The only thing I'm a little bit disappointed with is this room.
When I looked at the colour charts, the yellow wasn't quite so bright.
But now that's been put up,
I'm not so sure whether I shall repaint this room or not
because it's just a bit too bright.
# They call me mellow yellow Quite rightly... #
Looks like Keith might be picking up a paintbrush in the near future.
Looking out of the back window,
we can see that there have been some major changes to the garden.
The huge hedge has been cut back
but unfortunately, those lovely trees have gone.
We were going to just trim the tree but the tree had some disease,
so it had to come out
and there was another tree on the other side as well,
only a smallish one, so that had to come out
and it's put a tremendous amount of light back in the garden.
Apart from getting an electrician in for the wiring
and a gas fitter to remove the fire,
Keith's done all the work himself.
That definitely helped keep the costs down.
So did he keep within his five to six grand budget?
I've actually spent £5,889.
I can't remember the pence at this moment in time.
So I'm still within budget
but of course, £500 overspent on the wiring, you see,
so you know what I mean?
But apart from that, we would have been well within budget.
Add to that to his purchase price of £77,500,
and Keith's total spend so far is £83,500.
Although the work isn't finished yet, there isn't much left to push up the costs
and it seems Keith has already got the flat to start paying its way.
Originally I was undecided
but now I've made up my mind and I'm going to rent it.
I've got a tenant. 525 a month.
So like all rental properties, really, you've got to be into it for the long term.
So this'll be here for as long as I ever want it to be, anyway.
That'll be for my grandchildren.
It sounds like Keith's in this for the long haul.
He's managed to fit the renovation into his five-week schedule
so that it can start earning.
But was he able to stay off the golf course?
Normally I'm just, "I'll just go and do that today
"and then perhaps tomorrow I'll play golf," or whatever
but this time, I actually got stuck into it
and I've just kept work, work work, work, work
and I'm quite pleased I've done it in a way
because I've done it quicker.
Bearing in mind his total spend of £83,500,
we asked two local estate agents to give their opinion
on whether Keith's efforts score a hole in one or are under par.
My first impressions are that the vendor's done a really good job with the improvements.
'The kitchen that's been installed is of a good quality,
'nice and clean and tidy,
'which will appeal to new first-time buyers.'
I think it's obviously been refurbished
over the last little while.
There's still some various bits and pieces to finish off.
I think it's been done reasonably well.
I think the bathroom, having been fully tiled and being renewed,
I think is pretty good.
'I particularly like the garden.'
Most properties in this price range don't have gardens, so it's a good selling point.
The estate agents think that if the flat was sold, it could fetch £90,000.
With Keith's total spend of 83 and a half grand,
that would make him a pre-tax profit of £6,500.
But Keith favours the rental option,
so would that mean a better return on his investment?
I would expect it to achieve between £475 and £495 per calendar month.
I would expect to achieve a rental of £500 per month on this property.
I've already rented it anyway
for a little bit more than what they've said,
so, you know, that's their opinion and that's my opinion, so...
And I think I'm on the right side.
With Keith getting £525 per calendar month,
that would give him a healthy annual yield of 7.5%.
So will that make property developing his number one hobby?
I prefer golf.
Well, I don't mind a bit of property development.
I suppose property development is just a sideline
because money's not making money in the bank any more,
so you just think, "I might as well put it into property,"
and I can play golf any time.
Well, that's it for now. Join us next time for more auction action.
-We'll see you then.
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