Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a three-bedroom semi in Cornwall, a one-bedroom flat in London and a house in Gwent, learning how much they sold for at auction.
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-Welcome to the show.
-Buying property and doing it up is a dream for some,
but for others it's a wonderful reality.
So are you a doer or a dreamer when it comes to Homes Under The Hammer?
Buying a property at auction can be very exciting,
but it can also be very stressful.
In a split second, a property could be yours.
So if you are planning on buying a property at auction,
do make sure you're prepared.
So what got our buyers interested on today's show?
I'm at this three-bedroom semi in Cornwall,
where everything appears fine from the outside,
but what on Earth is this?
This one-bedroom flat in London could do with some TLC.
It does feel quite small in here,
I've got say, it's not oozing with character.
And I'm a bit confused by the interior decoration
at this house in Gwent.
There's units and things that are quite pleasant,
but they haven't bothered with things like tiles, or actually decoration.
All these properties have been sold at auction.
We find out who bought them, and for how much,
when they went under the hammer.
I'm in the harbour village of Par on the beautiful Cornish coast.
There's plenty on offer here for tourists and home-buyers alike.
I'm here to see a property that's called Shangri-La,
which literally means an imaginary paradise here on Earth.
Let's hope this three-bedroom semi,
with a guide price of £95,000 lives up to expectations.
# Now that you've found your paradise
# This is your kingdom to command
# You can go outside and polish your car
# Or sit by the fire in your Shangri-La. #
The first positive thing to say, nice little porch there
to keep the cold out, into a little entrance area.
Nice size space, actually, somewhere to hang your coat.
This age house generally had these kind of open areas, which is good to see.
The kitchen there, and then,
through to your knocked through lounge sort of dining room area.
I like this, with these sliding doors.
It's a bit dated. You'd probably want to tidy that up a bit. But it's a good size space. Big windows.
Gas fire there, and through to the rear here,
where you've got this big dining room area, looking out to the back garden.
Very nice. But what on Earth is this?
That, to my mind, should be a door. It's actually just a pane of glass.
Practically, that's rubbish, because you want to get out into the garden,
but actually, from a safety point of view, I think that could be pretty dangerous.
People would bang into it, dogs, whatever, thinking it was going to be a door,
so that is something I'd look to replace. Bit of a shame.
Probably done because that's going to be a lot cheaper than a door,
but a bit of a false economy as far as I'm concerned.
It wouldn't cost too much to replace that, with the door opening out into the garden
so you could stroll out there on a summer's eve.
But there is access from the kitchen,
which is functional, but desperately needs modernising.
Upstairs, three good-sized bedrooms, actually. Fantastic wallpaper(!)
I think there's a little bit of re-decoration required.
But it's a good-sized space.
Primarily a fantastic family home.
But THAT looks like great fun.
Now, don't get your hopes up.
It doesn't take too much to get me excited.
I reckon this bathroom was probably the original one that was put in
when the house was built in the 1960s.
Your first inclination is probably to rip it out and put a white one in,
but don't be too hasty.
You know what? I reckon with the right fittings, the right tiles,
this could actually look really nice.
No, I'm not being silly, honestly.
Look at that. You don't see taps like that any more. Fantastic.
I love the period features in the bathroom, but elsewhere in the house,
there are some things I'd really like to consign to history.
The decor, for a start.
# And kiss your past goodbye
# Kiss your past goodbye, aah
# Kiss your past goodbye, yeah... #
Much like everything else in the house, the heating is old and dated,
a mix of electric and gas, which is uneconomical and not very efficient.
But all in all, for the £90,000 guide price, I reckon this was a great little buy.
What does a local expert make of it?
I asked the auctioneer who sold it to give me his opinion.
It's three bedrooms, long through reception room and kitchen,
garage on the side. It just ticks a lot of boxes.
The house is a classic example of the near-perfect ratio
between internal accommodation and outside space.
Good front garden, even better back garden,
garage, and the ability to create off-street parking as well.
It's nearly perfect.
The house is essentially a good, solid square box.
But it does need pretty well everything done cosmetically.
It's basically decoration and superficial fittings from top to toe.
How much might it cost to bring this house back to life?
Paint is probably going to be your biggest expenditure in the house.
But overall, you're looking at close on £10,000
if you're fairly handy yourself as the buyer.
Otherwise, you're looking perhaps towards £15,000
if you're employing all the trades.
So, once that work was done, what could it sell on for?
If the house is brought up to nice scratch,
it would fetch something in the region of £150,000.
What if the new owners were to rent it out?
When the house has been refurbished, a rental market would probably
not quite pay £600 per calendar month, but getting up towards it.
So, not much to do to turn this into a good little rental property or a family home.
Let's see who fancied their own bit of Cornish paradise
when it went under the hammer.
We are to Shangri-La.
It's 100. Thank you, sir.
100, we're away. 100, simple as that. Madame says two.
Where it began says two and a half?
102 and a half is sat where it began.
103. Madam, 103, and a half. 104.
And a half. 105 and a half.
106, and six and a half.
Seven. New face wants seven and a half. Seven and a half.
One eight. One eight and a half.
One nine and a half, do I?
One nine and a half. One ten.
One ten and a half.
One ten, 11. 11. And 12 I have.
Give me 12 and a half. 12 and a half. 13. Lady goes.
113 and a half. 114. 114.
114 and a half.
115. 116, is it, half? Yeah?
Looking for 116 somewhere. 116.
116 and a half. 117 is at the back. 117.
117 and a half.
New bidder, 117 and a half. 118.
118. 118 and a half. 118 and a half.
119 I've got stood. At 119.
At 119. So you fellas are all out.
At 119 once, 119 and a half.
119 and a half. 119 and a half. Madam.
120. 120. 120. 120.
120. At 120 once, then.
At 120, twice. Right at the back.
Sorry, 120 and a half just over here.
120 and a half. 120 and a half. Thank you, madam. 121.
121. 121 and a half.
122 and a half. 123. At 123.
123 and a half.
At 124. Young lady has it at 124.
At 124, looking for a half.
At 124 once, 124 twice,
124, make it big and bold, because otherwise, it's selling at £124,000,
and out. Madam, right at the back. Lady in red.
It was Rose who stayed the course and fought off the competition
to get the property for £124,000.
She was, in fact, bidding on behalf of her colleague,
Martin, who lives and works nearby.
He owns four other properties, but this was his first buy at an auction.
He works as an area manger for a dental practice,
so he must be used to filling holes and polishing up old surfaces.
That will be handy here.
# Come up and see me
# Make me smile... #
Martin, great to meet you. Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
I was looking for a general sort of DIY type project.
This lent itself to that because there was nothing major structural that needed doing.
I thought I could come in, give it a makeover, and then either sell it on or rent it out.
It's in good nick, isn't it?
Yeah, structurally it's looking pretty good for a Cornish house.
There's no damp, anything nasty like that, so I thought,
really it's a matter of strip off what's here, give it a fresh coat of paint, new floorings,
new doors for out, and just give it a lift and a makeover
to bring it into this century.
-Doing something like this alongside a day job does have its issues, doesn't it?
My girlfriend won't see much of me in the next couple of months.
Basically I will just focus on doing this evenings, weekends,
and when it's done she'll get to see me again.
Is she OK with that?
She doesn't have a lot of choice!
His girlfriend, Ashley, may need to get used to that more in the future,
as Martin has always wanted to build a full-time career for himself in property development.
He's using this house as a test
to see how the current market is faring.
Tell me exactly what you're going to do with it.
Basically just rip everything up, new flooring throughout, paint throughout.
Put a new kitchen in, new bathroom,
and do something with the heating because there's not proper heating.
Whether I let it out or sell it on, I think we need to put some heating in there,
so we'll have a look at the best way of doing that.
-OK, and budget?
Obviously, the main thing in this property will be labour,
which I'll do myself, and also my father's retired and he needs to keep himself busy,
so he'll be coming over here to do some work as well,
so really, by the time we've got kitchen, bathroom,
that'll be about a couple of grand, and then £1,000 for a bit of paint and floor covering, so about £3,000.
# You're unbelievable... #
Just £3,000? Well, he may be getting labour cheap,
but has he forgotten that he'll be putting in a brand new central heating system, amongst other things?
I'll be interested to see how he does all that on budget. But thankfully,
the renovation will include that bizarre window in the back room.
So, what about the door at the end of the dining room that isn't really a door?
What are you going to do about that?
I think that, possibly, I'll put in a new door there
so we can get outside from the living room as well as through the kitchen,
which will be useful for summer months.
So, what about timescales for all of this?
Well, erm, I'm not under any pressure to get it done,
however I want to get it done as soon as possible to either re-sell or let,
so I'm looking to get it done in about three months.
Then I will see a couple of agents,
see what their valuation is, see what the market's like.
If the market's not looking too buoyant,
then I'll let it out for a period of time until things do recover.
Congratulations. Well done.
-We look forward to seeing how you get on.
# Well you can cry me a river
# Oh, my darling, oh, my darling Cry me a river... #
I'm in Plumstead, southeast London.
It's not the most glamorous stretch of the Thames,
it's more industrial than chic.
With Canary Wharf and London City Airport nearby, developments in this area are cropping up all the time.
Where there are new builds,
there are bound to be investment opportunities.
Plumstead really developed in the Victorian times,
with masses of accommodation built for workers at the nearby Royal Arsenal.
Rows and rows of little terraces were thrown up to house the men and their families,
and it's one of those I'm here to see today.
Well, the ground floor, anyway.
It's a one-bedroom flat, it's got a guide price of £70,000.
Yes, you heard right, £70,000 for a one-bedroom flat in London.
This very flat, in fact,
sold for £120,000 in 2004, so that's quite a drop.
Of course, that was before the property market crashed.
But maybe we'll find other reasons when I get inside.
Quite disappointing, I have to say.
It's quite weird seeing the stairs to the flat up there
straight in front of you with no door,
and it's quite unusual for these sort of terraces to be divided into two separate properties.
Maybe there is a reason for that.
It does feel quite small in here.
I've got to say, it's not oozing with character, but it does have
a nice double glazed window to the front.
And you then negotiate your way through this rather cramped space,
and you've got a bathroom here, got quite a big storage cupboard through there,
another storage area here, so a bit of wasted space.
You could probably utilise this a lot better. And a kitchen here.
My feeling is it's all rather dark.
You've got one window to the front and two small windows to the side here,
but let's not forget that guide price.
When you're paying peanuts for a property you can't expect a palace,
and the general state of this place isn't actually bad at all.
It doesn't smell damp and it's not horribly dated,
although both the kitchen and the bathroom could do with a good old scrub.
Out the back door, through the small bedroom, is a rather nice surprise.
At least it could be.
# Oh, it's a jungle out there... #
So out the back you have a lovely private garden. Or do you?
In fact, it's not that simple.
This flat was sold as a garden flat,
and the only access is via the bedroom.
But there is nothing in the deeds that states this garden belongs to the property.
That is a problem, and whoever buys this property needs to get their solicitor on to it straight away,
since losing this garden could affect the value,
the saleability, and at the very least, cause no end of complications.
So it's not just the weeds and shrubs that need to be cleared up here, that legal matter does, too.
It's probably a mistake on the deeds, but when to comes to property and legal issues,
you can't assume anything. I'd be on to a solicitor pronto.
# Listen to your senses And what they have to say
# Listen to your senses And what they have to say. #
Everyone is always on the lookout for the next up and coming area,
and it's a phrase definitely over-used by estate agents
and those in the industry. So could we call Plumstead up and coming?
Well, it's certainly getting better, but it's still a long way from the land of boutiques and bistros.
So why buy here?
Well, most importantly, in London terms, it's affordable.
So if you want to be near the city, but you don't have the city salary,
Plumstead might be worth considering.
Well, that's what I think, so I asked along a local estate agent
to see if he agreed.
The area itself has got a lot of development opportunities.
There's a lot more applicants being drawn towards Plumstead.
The local facilities around here, including the transport,
are giving a lot more options to first time buyers who are looking to purchase,
and those looking to rent small properties up to the large Victorian houses.
So we're in agreement on the area. But what does he make of the inside of the flat?
Truthfully, it's a little bit on the small side.
I'm quite a big lad, so if I was looking to buy or rent
I'd be looking for something quite spacious.
I think with some development opportunities or some modernisation in the property,
it would be good for a future sell or for rental.
We don't usually see properties along Plumstead that are small split into one-bedroom flats,
so it's quite a shame that it's the size that it is.
I think the person that's done this has purely done it for investment purposes,
which is why it's such a small flat at the moment.
So has the split made it a good opportunity for the next owner?
Its guide price was £70,000.
What could it re-sell for?
With some modernisation and some alterations to the property,
in a good market, you probably could fetch around £115,000 - £120,000.
What about its rental value?
Once renovated, per calendar month, I feel the property would achieve £600 to an ideal tenant.
Most people would prefer to stick around that mark.
I think it's an achievable price, and it's in a good location.
I think this property could be a really lovely little investment.
It's not in bad condition, and it represents the chance to buy in a city
that so often prices out its residents.
I'd definitely be looking into the issue with the garden, and get that sorted,
well, it could be a fabulous one to go for at the auction.
So who went for it? Let's find out.
Lot 88, little one-bed flat.
You bidding? 61, thank you. 62.
Still cheap. 64, 65.
66, 67. 68.
71. 72. New place. 73.
It's cheap, 79. One more?
No? OK, it's with the gentlemen here,
£78,000, against the lady sitting down on my right.
78 for the first.
79, yeah? 79. £80,000. 81?
Leave you to it.
The lady down here bids £85,000 against the gentleman over there.
85 for the first, 85 for the second, 85 for the third and final time.
At £85,000, those successful bidders were Wayne and Colleen.
They're brother and sister, and originally from Islington in north London.
Colleen's day job is a scientist, while Wayne drives a taxi.
-I caught up with them back at the property to find out what
-to buy this flat.
# Mr Cab Driver won't stop to let me in... #
Wayne and Colleen, how about getting this flat for £80,000?
-Yeah, that was a good bargain.
So are you happy with the price you paid?
-Did you for one minute think you'd get it for that price?
We were prepared to pay slightly higher, but more or less, we got it for what we wanted.
Who was the person that thought this flat had the most potential, and who wanted to bid for it and why?
We do some teamwork. I sort of look for the flats and I control the finances.
And I run the budget. So we sort of work as a team.
That brother and sister teamwork has seen them build up a small portfolio of properties over the years.
They manage them on a part-time basis.
What made them want to buy in Plumstead?
We'd never been to Plumstead before, but basically, I was looking around London
and I looked to where the figures seemed to work,
and it seemed to for Plumstead, so we came down to investigate.
We looked in the auction, there was a property in Plumstead, and so we just went for it.
What's the potential you both saw in this flat? Tell me about the viewing here.
Actually, the day we did the viewing, we only had about 15 minutes,
so we were basically in here, looked around.
We thought it didn't need much painting.
But then we thought we might just re-jig the layout and make it more open-plan.
What we're thinking to do is remove that wall and make it more open-planned
to make this space bigger, and then bring the kitchen into the living room area,
so basically we're going to swap over the kitchen to where the bathroom is.
So that is, if people like open-plan living, you know,
you'll have a lounge with a kitchen at the end of it.
-And then move the bathroom to the other end.
That's nearer the bedroom. It makes more sense.
# I said something better change
# I said something better change... #
Their budget for the work is between £8,000 and £10,000,
and they hope to do it all within six weeks.
Did you find out anything about the garden?
We knew that there was a problem with the garden before we purchased the property,
so looking through legal, that's the first thing that I spotted, so we thought,
keep an open mind and we'll come down and look at it,
and when we looked at it, we realised there's no access to the garden from anywhere else.
We figured that either the legal work was drawn up incorrectly,
and so it's not on the lease,
or the freeholder wants to do a separate deal for the garden.
Since we didn't know which one was which,
we thought, "let's bid anyway, keeping in mind that you might need to buy the garden later."
We're not quite sure of the situation,
but you have access to the garden, which is the main thing we wanted to know.
When do you think you're going to find out, Wayne?
-He's working on that.
-Probably about a couple weeks' time.
Are you slightly nervous about that?
-Do you think maybe you shouldn't have bought,
because the freeholder may want a large sum of money for that garden?
-That's a risk...
-That's the risk you take with auction properties.
At the end of the day, if he wants a large sum of money, we have access to the garden,
so we can just do it as a rental, and they have access to the garden.
It would be much better if we own the garden as well.
I hope this works out for you, and I'll keep my fingers crossed for the garden.
Let's hope it goes your way. Well done for taking the risk anyway.
Wayne and Colleen have got some really interesting and creative plans for this little flat,
but I'm pretty concerned about this garden.
I hope Colleen's scientific approach will work its magic,
-and will cabbie Wayne have
-to keep the builders in line?
You can find out what happens later on in the programme.
Coming up, there's lots of potential at this house in Gwent.
And think about converting that into a fourth bedroom. Interesting idea.
Back in Plumstead, it sounds like good news.
It's been a fantastic project. I really enjoyed doing it.
-Me and my sister have got on really well, and I'm really pleased.
But first, has Martin decided to give up his day job?
I like the balance of having a full-time job and doing this as a hobby.
We're back in the coastal village of Par in Cornwall.
This three-bed house sold for £124,000,
and needed a lot of work to make it more palatable to modern tastes.
Luckily, it was bought by Martin,
who was going to dedicate all his free time to the renovation.
My girlfriend won't see much of me in the next couple of months.
Because basically I will just focus on doing this evenings, weekends.
When it's done, she'll get to see me again.
Is she OK with that?
She doesn't have a lot of choice!
# I've got work to do
# So much work, yeah, yeah
# I'm out there trying to make it... #
Five months later, we've caught up with part-time property developer Martin
to see if all his hard work paid off, and to find out
whether his girlfriend Ashley is still speaking to him.
# You might as well get used to me coming home a little late
# Cos I I've got work to do... #
Been quite a hectic four months, weekends, evenings and a couple of weeks' annual leave,
to really push things on.
Towards the end I put in some long days, long hours,
just to keep the momentum going so that I could get it done for a four-month deadline.
And it's certainly not been wasted time.
He's ripped everything out and started again.
New doors, carpets, and thankfully wallpaper too.
But most striking is the greatly improved kitchen.
OK. The kitchen was a blank canvas. Took out all the old units.
Tiled the floor from the front door all the way through to the back door
so it looks clean and hygienic all the while.
Put in a fitted cooker and hob.
Put in a new boiler. Obviously fitted the work surfaces and did some tiling.
Upstairs, I'm afraid to say, those terrific taps have gone,
but Martin's gone for a modern look throughout the house,
and this new bathroom suite looks clean and fresh.
In the bathroom, the yellow suite was removed, I put in a bath with a shower over with a shower screen,
tiled top to bottom. I think it gives it a really modern look.
And he's not just been busy inside, because he's also fitted a new garage door
to add some all-important kerb appeal.
And the garden's benefited from being cleared of clutter, too.
He's certainly been flat out here.
Basically done everything myself.
Plastering, plumbing, not a lot of electrical work was to be done,
so it's really used all of my skills from carpentry for hanging the doors,
to tiling, plumbing to get all the radiators in, etc,
so it really has been an all-round job.
# All by myself
# All by myself
# I didn't have nobody to help me I had to do it all by myself... #
Plastering, tiling, carpentry and plumbing,
not bad for someone whose day job is area manager for a dental practice.
But after giving it some thought, there was one thing he decided not to change,
that patio window at the back.
I looked at replacing it, however, due to the cost,
I decided it would stay there.
It was quite a modern, new unit.
Obviously anyone who buys the property can look at replacing that,
putting patio doors out and utilising that space,
or they may want to put a conservatory across the back of the house,
so I thought it was best to give potential purchasers that option.
Martin got help with the finishing touches to the house from his parents and his girlfriend.
How did their relationship cope under the strain of the work?
With regards to seeing my girlfriend,
she's done a lot of work for me here,
and what we tried to do was balance things where we'd work all day
and then go out in the evening and then come back here in the evening
so that we could crack on and get a good weekend's worth of work,
but still have some fun in between times.
Martin has been really committed,
and it's great to hear his girlfriend got involved too.
But have they managed to keep within that tight £3,000 budget,
or has that brand-new central heating system pushed it over?
I set aside £3,000. I've gone slightly over,
I think about £3,400.
The main thing that cost more than I'd expected was the heating system.
I bought brand-new radiators,
and I was hoping to maybe recycle some old bits and pieces that I had at home.
Other than that, most things came in as expected.
What do the experts make of Martin's handiwork?
We asked along a local estate agent
and the auctioneer who sold the property to give us their thoughts.
My first impressions are, "where's the yellow gone?"
cos the colour scheme was slightly...unique.
Now it's absolutely going to appeal to everybody.
I think it's very nice. The fellow who's done it up
has made a great job. He's put nice floor coverings down.
He's put the right colours on the walls. It does look very light and airy.
There's a nice contemporary kitchen and bathroom. I think it's excellent.
The bathroom looks very nicely fitted, and, very important,
it's a white suite, which is universally popular.
It's a real selling feature.
The kitchen was a bit of its age,
and now it's a lot brighter and cleaner, and the units are in the right place, and it's today.
A lot of gardens have got so much foliage in them
it's really not easy for many to see quite how big they actually are.
He's done the clever thing, optically, by taking it back nearer to the boundaries,
so you actually see, "Wow, that's quite a big space".
There's a nice level garden at the front, and the drive
does provide plenty of parking with the added bonus of a garage.
It's got a new door, so there's no work to be done there.
Martin's spent almost £3,500 on the renovation,
so, added to the purchase price of £124,000,
the total outlay here has been just under £128,000.
How much could the house re-sell for in the current market?
If the property was brought to the market today,
I'd expect it to achieve in excess of £150,000,
but I think that's the cake, and anything over would be icing.
As an asking price, I would recommend £159,950,
to achieve around £155,000.
OK, that's good. That's in line with what I was expecting.
Taking into account what I spent,
it would make a good return.
If it did sell for that higher figure of £155,000,
that would be an impressive pre-tax profit of around £27,000,
minus the usual selling expenses.
In fact, Martin has decided to put the property on the market for £160,000.
But should he ever change his mind and rent it out, how much could it achieve?
The rental value of this property would be £695 per calendar month.
I'd expect the house to achieve about £575 per calendar month rental.
OK, that's very good. In the event that it doesn't sell
in the next two, three months, I'll certainly consider letting it out.
Martin's hard work has paid off on this project,
but it hasn't tempted him to give up his day job at the dental practice
in favour of getting his teeth stuck into property developing full-time.
I like the balance of having a full-time job and doing this as a hobby.
I think if it became a business and a job it may lose its appeal,
so I'm quite happy to dabble,
to keep the day job and do this as a hobby because I enjoy it.
# Take it easy Take it easy. #
Well today I'm in Abertillery in south Wales.
Gwent, in fact. Nice enough little spot.
A former mining town until the mine closed several years ago.
Now, it's commuter belt to Cardiff,
the M4's not too far away, and there's a local train station.
Let's see what's on offer.
Well, the mines may have closed in these valleys,
but this commuter town is still lively,
and what better area to return to after a day's work in the city?
# There will be peace in the valley for me some day... #
I'm here to see a three-bedroomed terraced house.
At a guide price of £39,000, it's just half a mile from the town centre, which is pretty good.
It looks all right from the outside.
'So we're off to a good start, a great price and a lovely location.
'Hopefully they'll be no nasty surprises behind those welcoming bay windows.'
So, any great surprises? Well, actually, this room is for sure.
It's obviously been knocked through at some point
to create a really nice-sized, well, I guess living room/dining space,
immediately giving this property a good, open feel to what's in store over there.
Oh. Not quite as nice in here, although it's a bit odd,
because we've got units and things which are quite pleasant,
I like this double sink thing going on there,
but they haven't bothered with things like tiles or, actually, decoration.
Not a bad-sized space, though.
If you clean this up it would actually be quite nice.
So, to carry on, then, finally, classic sort of layout for this kind of property.
The loo and bathroom though there.
And it's much the same story in the bathroom.
The fixtures and fittings are not bad, but everything's poorly fitted.
The wiring appears suspect,
the plumbing's looking dodgy, and even the toilet isn't safe to use.
Let's hope we have more luck upstairs.
Here, there are three good-sized bedrooms.
The front one's the width of the house, so I reckon you could split it in two,
making another bedroom or even an en suite.
But I've also spotted a way of sneaking a further bedroom in here.
Glancing into the loft space, it looks like that has been partially converted,
so make sure there's planning permission,
and think about converting that into a fourth bedroom.
The house also comes with space out the back.
It's more of a yard than a garden, but it's got a handy access road running behind.
So all in all, this was a great little buy for its guide price of £39,000.
Obviously in need of renovation, but with a lot of potential.
What does a local property expert think? I asked one to take a look.
It's an interesting property because it's bay fronted
in a street of mainly terraced houses.
But it's a nice house, it's quite spacious,
got a forecourt which is great, very popular,
because lots of housing here is straight onto the pavement.
And it's got some scope as to how you could change it round.
The room here could be divided, make it a four-bed if you wanted.
You could bring the bathroom up and still split this
and have three bedrooms, so, yeah, it's got a lot of pluses.
So with some work done here, what could it make on the resale market?
If the house was renovated and the outside was smartened up,
we'd be looking at £65-75,000.
What if the buyer decided to rent it out?
If you were going to put this property onto the rental market,
you'd be looking at £375-400 per calendar month.
So a bit of work to be done to sort this place out,
especially the kitchen and bathroom,
but in general, a good-sized property that would make a lovely home or a great rental property.
Let's see who went for it when it went to the auction.
Right, on we go now to lot number 34, ladies and gentlemen.
Put a bid in at 36. 36, I'm bid, thank you, madam. At 36,000,
7,000, 8,000, 38.
39, can I? Nine is bid.
At 39,000, fill it up, 40 now.
The hammer's up then at 39.
40, thank you, at 40,000. At 40 I'm bid, and one if you like it.
At £40,000, the bid's on my right.
One, thank you, on my left.
At 41,000, I'm selling all the time.
Make no mistake, this is a cheap property at 41,000. The bid's down here.
You're out behind.
At £41,000, the hammer's up, he's going to get it, then,
quick if you want it, are you all done at £41,000?
It's yours, sir. Buyer's number, please.
The bidding for this lot was short and sweet, and it was Geoff
who bought it for £41,000.
He's no stranger to the area, having moved back to Wales from London
to start a property developing business here.
He and his wife, Janet, own a portfolio of 20 buy-to-let properties.
I caught up with him back at his 21st purchase
to find out why he'd gone for it.
-Geoff, lovely to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Thank you very much.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
We own one or two properties in the area,
and we were looking for some more.
We've got people waiting, tenants waiting to move into some properties.
-We've been looking for a while but because of the market,
we've been taking our time.
My wife saw this, we went to the auction, and here we are.
Right. What was it about this one you liked?
Not really, I didn't come here and see it, my wife, she saw it in the catalogue, guide price was right.
Did a little bit of research and thought there wouldn't be too many people interested
because it was a leasehold property, not freehold, so we thought that would put people off,
so hopefully keep the price low.
So we went to the auction and watched to see what happened,
and then put a bid in.
When Geoff got to the auction, there was some confusion as to whether the property was leasehold or freehold.
Fortunately he and Janet had done their homework when it came to that all-important legal pack.
# Just checking
# Just checking... #
We had a look at the legal pack, my wife does all the research,
so although we hadn't seen the property,
we weren't exactly buying it blind because we knew the situation.
So we just asked our solicitor to look into it,
find out what the cost of purchasing the lease was, and went from there, really.
Right. But certainly if you hadn't read the legal pack it could've caught you unawares?
Yes, well, obviously, and it had a short lease, just over 50 years,
so if you weren't aware of that and you were looking to remortgage the property, you'd have come unstuck.
Getting stuck isn't something Geoff likes to do.
After all, he and his wife moved from London six years ago
to find a better lifestyle back home back in Wales.
# We gotta get out of this place
# If it's the last thing we ever do... #
-I worked at a bank for 23 years in the City, as did my wife.
And then we decided we wanted a more relaxed lifestyle,
so we moved back to Wales, which is where I'm from originally.
Bought a little guesthouse, which was my wife's idea.
We ran that for a year, she didn't like that so we closed that and turned it into a family home,
and then started buying properties and renovating them.
All with a view to a more stress-free life?
Yeah, that's right. That was the original idea, anyway!
Hasn't always been like that, as I'm sure you know.
So tell me what you're going to do to sort this place out.
Plumbing and electrics first.
Get those sorted, make sure it's all safe and working.
And then it's a decision whether to plaster over the top of the artex or strip it all back.
Some of the ceilings will have to come down, there's a water leak in here somewhere.
I think the ceiling sagged,
I think there's water coming through the roof,
so make it watertight first. Plumbing, electrics, then go from there.
So how much will you spend on getting this place up to scratch?
Between £10-15,000, including purchasing the lease.
Geoff's solicitor found out that the freehold will cost £6,000,
so that means Geoff has £9,000 left for the overhaul here.
To help stay within that budget, he'll do a lot of the work himself.
In fact, on his return to Wales, he went back to college
to learn the renovation skills he thought he'd need for his new career in property developing.
# It's not hard to tell
# That I've learned my lesson well... #
Started off with bricklaying, moved on to plastering,
did carpentry, it was like a year's introductory course for each one.
Then an introductory course on plumbing, and then subsequently
I've done two years' plumbing to become a qualified plumber.
Wow. And have you enjoyed that side of things?
Yeah, I have. Well, initially because I didn't have a lot of knowledge,
I wanted to learn how to do it because it's difficult bringing people in
and trying to supervise them when you don't know what you're talking about,
so I thought if I had some knowledge, I could tell if they were doing it right or doing it wrong.
And I learned the hard way. So I've enjoyed it, yeah.
-Good luck with it.
-Looking forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, there you go,
another example of why you have to read the legal pack before you buy a property at auction.
This place could have caused somebody a lot of problems by the fact it wasn't freehold.
Anyway, Geoff certainly seems to know what he's doing,
he's got the plan worked out, and I'm sure he'll do a great job.
You can find out how he gets on later in the show.
Making the correct design decisions
can affect the profit you make on a property.
It is exciting turning ideas into reality,
but how did today's buyers get on? Let's find out.
I'm back down by the River Thames in Plumstead, southeast London.
This small one-bedroom flat sold at auction for just 85 grand.
It went to brother and sister Wayne and Colleen,
who work together managing their property portfolio.
# Ooh, brother, brother, brother...
It's not exactly the chic-est of riverside locations,
but that didn't put them off.
I was looking around London at where the figures seemed to work,
and it seemed to for Plumstead, so we thought, "Let's come down and investigate."
We looked in the auction, there was a property in Plumstead,
and so we just went for it. This is our first venture into Plumstead.
So has their adventurous spirit paid off?
We caught up with Colleen and Wayne four months later to find out.
Wayne's day job as a cab driver is certainly handy
for crossing London to visit their little flat.
Now, did I say little?
The major thing that's happened is that we've decided to open up the flat,
so we've taken down the wall in the living room
and made the kitchen more open-plan, kitchen, living/dining area.
We put a fireplace in. We've put in laminate flooring, we've remodelled
the flat by putting spotlights in, and we really worked hard here.
They certainly have,
because where that new kitchen is now, used to be the bathroom.
So where's the bathroom gone?
Well, that's easy - it's where the kitchen used to be!
The bathroom was the most complicated bit of the project,
because actually there was a boiler in this room, this was originally the kitchen,
and so we've moved the kitchen on the other side,
but we didn't want to have to relocate the boiler,
and so to cover that,
what we've done is actually built a false wall and brought it forward,
and we've hidden the boiler behind this mirrored cupboard.
And then because the bathroom was made smaller, we had to compromise by making the bath fittings smaller,
so we've actually got a smaller size bath,
and we also then decided to fit a corner sink because
we were limited with space,
and actually this is my favourite room in the entire flat.
On top of that, the old bedroom has been brightened up
with new flooring, a lick of paint and some updated lighting as well.
And they've been busy out back too.
So basically the garden was a bit of a jungle when we arrived,
so what we've done is we've cleared the garden,
and we've repainted all the walls, we've fixed the guttering, and when we acquired the property,
the garden wasn't actually included in the lease,
but we have our written permission to use the garden,
and I'm negotiating with the solicitors now about us acquiring the garden,
so we're just quite happy to have the extra outside space.
So how did the siblings get on during the build?
Has it all been happy families?
We've got a really good relationship, me and my sister.
We've worked through the project, I've been managing the building
and she's been really managing the finance, and we've really worked well, I'm pleased.
We have similar tastes, we like contemporary looks.
When we're doing a project like this, we usually use the same format
on all the flats that we do, so it's quite easy to work together.
# Happy, happy, happy Happy families... #
Sounds like Wayne and Colleen run a pretty tight ship on their properties,
but has their budget remained watertight?
The original budget was 10,000 and we spent 9,500,
so we're still within budget.
So added to Wayne and Colleen's purchase price of 85,000,
that £9,500 budget makes a total spend just short of 95 grand.
Have they invested that money wisely?
Let's hear what two local estate agents think.
First impressions are very nice, very small, but nice finish.
Good kitchen, good bathroom.
Nice, clean lines.
Nice, low-voltage spotlighting,
so it's a good property, just obviously small.
First impression is it's a small property.
Tidy, clean and bright.
The bathroom is a very nice bathroom,
they've done a good job on that, small space but they've done a good job on it,
so I'm quite pleased with the result of the bathroom.
Personally, I think because of the location, it could be a good buy for the first-time buyer.
It's a good location for the local amenities, close to the bus routes,
only about a mile from Woolwich town centre, so it's good for a first-time buyer
that perhaps can't afford to buy a massive property,
but to get on the first steps of the ladder.
Or if the owners decide to let it out,
it's an easy let, really, the market is very buoyant for rentals.
Wayne and Colleen hope to add this flat to their growing portfolio of buy-to-let properties.
What rental income could they earn?
We could let this for between £600-625 per calendar month.
I would rent this for £650 per calendar month.
-That's right on target. Again, what we predicted. Very happy with that.
But what if they changed their minds and decided to sell?
Remember, they've spent just short of 95,000 on the flat in total,
plus the usual fees and expenses, of course.
The most I'd put his property on the market for would be £110,000.
If you do not include the garden in the property, I would put it in the market in between £105-110,000.
That's fine, at the minute we're planning to rent,
so that won't affect us while we're sorting out the garden.
And if it turns out they do own that garden, the experts think
that could put the resale value up to £120,000.
That's really excellent, happy with that.
Yeah, that's exactly what we predicted, actually.
# Close your eyes
# Cross your fingers... #
Let's hope Wayne and Colleen get the result they're hoping for,
but even if they don't, it certainly won't put them off building up their property business in the future.
We wish them luck.
-It's been a fantastic project, I've really enjoyed doing it.
Me and my sister have got on really well, and I'm really pleased.
Yeah, I'm quite pleased with the finish, too.
-We work well as a team.
We're back in Gwent, south Wales,
where this three-bedroom house sold for £41,000 at auction.
It was bought by developer, Geoff, who already had a portfolio of 20 properties.
He's been renting properties since he gave up his City job in London
six years ago, and has picked up a few skills on the way.
Started off with bricklaying, moved on to plastering, did carpentry,
then an introductory course on plumbing.
-Then subsequently, I've done two years' plumbing to become a qualified plumber.
But five months later, it's his wife Janet's gardening skills
that catch the eye when you first arrive at the property.
# Roses are red, my love
# Violets are blue
# Sugar is sweet, my love But not as sweet as you. #
Well, at the front basically we just painted over the render.
It was pebble-dashed, so we just tried to make it look a bit more attractive.
Then my wife with the flowers, put them all out ready,
just to give it a bit of kerbside appeal so whatever we do with it,
if somebody comes to look they'll have it straight away, hopefully.
Once their attention has been grabbed outside,
they can appreciate that Geoff has completely transformed the inside too.
It now looks brighter and more spacious,
making it even more tempting to potential tenants.
I replastered all the walls, because they were artexed originally.
Most of the ceilings were replaced because they were artexed,
some of them had dropped or sagged, so we just replaced those.
And then just skimmed it and decorated it throughout.
But it's not just his plastering and decorating skills that have been put to the test.
With help from his sons he's re-floored every room throughout the house,
but it's been in the bathroom and the kitchen that he's been busiest.
OK, well, in the bathroom here, there was a hole in the ceiling,
so we replaced the ceiling.
The bathroom suite was already here, so we took that out,
skimmed the walls, tiled the walls, replaced the bath, tiled all the floors,
and then once we'd finished that, we moved into the kitchen.
In here, the kitchen was all fitted, so we just took it out because the walls were in a bit of a state,
plastered all the walls, again tiled the windowsill,
tiled the back of the units, put it all back in,
tiled the floors, and that's what we did in the kitchen, really.
Whilst renovating the kitchen, Geoff discovered more leaks in the ceiling,
and that their source was the roof round the back.
# I've got a leak in this old building
# Got a leak
# Leaking in this old building
# It gives me a mighty bad feeling... #
Mostly it was gutters blocked,
some of the fascias were damaged so we replaced those,
cleaned all the gutters, replaced some of the pipework, and it was OK.
Thankfully everything is now watertight,
which is just as well in the valleys.
# I get rain, rain, rain
# I get rain, rain, rain... #
And there's something else out the back that's a bit more weather-proof, that old shed.
# There's a hole in this old building... #
The shed was damaged, so we just replaced some of the wood on the bottom of the shed,
and then stained it all.
The next-door neighbours put a new wooden fence up, which was handy.
Geoff's latest training course came in handy too.
Two days a week I've been doing a gas course,
so I can do all the central heating, so I managed to sort that out here.
One of the bedrooms was missing a radiator, so we put a new radiator in and ran all the pipework,
so we can now do everything apart from electrics.
And that's next on the agenda.
# We'll always be together Together in electric dreams
Geoff and Janet had budgeted £10,000 for all the work,
but it actually came in at just under 5,000.
They did it on schedule as well, taking only around eight weeks.
But what will a local property expert make of their work?
We asked one along to have a look.
The house from the front does actually look quite attractive,
and having four or five steps up to the front door may preclude
some of the older buyers we sometimes see,
but a typical family buyer wouldn't be a problem at all.
It's been modernised with a fair degree of consideration,
neutral colours and reasonably good quality fixtures and fittings.
The kitchen layout is fairly typical of these sort of properties.
It's been well fitted out with space for a washing machine,
and of course it's got the oven and hob already built in which is what most people want round here.
The bathroom has been well fitted out. It's got a shower screen as well,
electric shower, and Jacuzzi-style bath
is always a very popular style to have in a property.
So how much value has Geoff's work added to the house?
Remember he bought it for £41,000,
and has spent £6,000 buying the leasehold and £5,000 on the work.
So a total outlay here of around £52,000 plus legal fees, of course.
I'd recommend an asking price of £75,000 on this property.
We've spent about £55,000, so we've made about £20,000 for eight weeks' work, so yeah, more than pleased.
So a great potential resell profit,
but Geoff's planning to let it out and has already had interest.
How much rental should he charge?
The rental figure for this property should achieve in the region of £425 per calendar month.
Yeah, that's what we've let it for. It's let for 425.
So that's spot on. Geoff and Janet really seem to have taken to this new property managing career
since their move from London six years ago.
We spend more time together and there's a lot less pressure.
we both worked for high-street banks in the City,
and so to come back out to the countryside and take things a little bit easier, it's much nicer.
We prefer this type of lifestyle.
Just as well, because they've already been on the lookout for their next project.
# I just can't get enough I just can't get enough... #
We've got another project lined up, it's about two miles away, similar sort of property,
we bought it at auction, different auction, so we should be starting that shortly,
and we're looking now to find another one ready for Christmas,
so we'll get a little winter project organised
so then we're ready, it'll take us into the new year.
Well, we hope you've enjoyed our insight into the world of auctions.
So join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.
-We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a three-bedroom semi in Cornwall, a one-bedroom flat in London and a house in Gwent. All of these properties went to auction, and Martin and Lucy learn who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.