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Hello! Ever fancied buying a property at auction, but don't know where to start?
Well, perhaps we can show you some tricks of the trade.
Join us as we follow more people buying their homes under the hammer.
Auction houses aren't intimidating places. Anyone can buy there. All you need is the money.
Today we talk to some intrepid buyers who took the plunge.
Did they sink or did they swim? Here's what they bought.
You can ring the changes inside and outside in this house in Cheshire.
This is a big money-making opportunity.
With so many rooms, this bungalow in Peterborough
gets top marks for its homework!
Lots of ticks on my list, which is a good thing.
And I head to Devon, where you should keep your head down in this unusual property!
This is the door out to the back garden!
All these properties went to auction. We'll find out who bought them and what they paid
when they went under the hammer.
I'm in the historic market town of Sandbach. It's grown rapidly in recent years
as it's an ideal commuter town for Manchester and Merseyside.
Sandbach is also home to one of the world's greatest brass bands,
But will the house I'm here to see require a lot of huff and puff too?
Let's find out.
Sandbach here is a terribly nice place to live.
Surrounded by the Cheshire countryside, I used to cycle round here on my bike.
But I'm a bit perplexed because I'm here to see this,
a two-bedroomed end-of-terrace at a guide price of 180,000 quid.
I don't care how good it is inside,
that's a lot of money for a terrace.
# It's gonna take money
# A whole lot of spending money
# It's gonna take plenty of money #
The average price for a two-bed terrace on this street is 170,000,
10,000 less than the guide price was for this property.
Let's investigate why.
Well, nothing too spectacular so far.
A bit of a dark and dingy entrance. Front sitting room.
Nice floorboards and an open fire, which is good to see.
Stairs up to your bedrooms there.
Through into the rear living room area.
This is nice, a big stone fireplace. That's lovely.
Not quite worth the money on its own, though, I have to say.
A larder there. A useful storage space.
Maybe the kitchen holds the key. Through here.
I guess if it had some hand-made bespoke kitchen units,
we could see the value, but... Nope.
At the end there is the bathroom.
And the loo. No whirlpool bath in there!
Got me flummoxed!
So, why was the guide price 180,000? Hmm.
The plot thickens. Perhaps this mystery calls for Sherlock Holmes,
pun, of course, intended!
# It's a mystery
# Oh, it's a mystery
# I'm still searching for a clue
# Is it a mystery... #
Well, maybe upstairs hides the clue. What have we got?
Fairly standard layout. Bedroom on that side,
and over here to another bedroom.
Good sized doubles, but nothing spectacular at all.
The whole house is in reasonable condition.
That's the answer!
# Into the great wide open
# Under the skies of blue... #
As you may have guessed, the reason this place had such a high guide price
was not the house itself.
It's the plot of land that's right behind it.
It's absolutely gi-normous.
It stretches all the way back there.
That in itself wouldn't necessarily up the value,
only a small amount,
but what's key is that this plot of land has outline planning permission
for the building of two houses.
Judging by the size, I reckon you could get even more on here.
So that is a potential windfall. Absolutely fantastic.
The only fly in the ointment is it hasn't got official approval for an access road down the side.
But in the scheme of things, it's not a big issue. This is a big money-making opportunity.
That guide price of 180,000 now seems a bargain.
Time to consult a local estate agent.
The land to the rear of the property was formerly a smallholding.
It had some stables on it originally. Pigsties.
It currently has outline planning permission for two dwellings.
How much monthly rental income could this property generate?
The property, as it stands, with some basic improvements,
the rental per calendar month would be in the region of £500.
How much could the house alone be worth if sold on?
If the property was to be renovated, I think the value would be in the region of 130, 125, £130,000.
Surely this is a developer's dream?
With full planning permission, the land alone would be worth as much as 150,000.
How much could the proposed houses sell for?
With regard to the plots outside, the two semi-detached houses, when complete,
would have a value in the region of 125 to £130,000, depending on specification.
Well, the house itself, then, is fairly cute
but the pot of gold in this instance is that building plot which is the garden.
Fantastic opportunity. Let's see who spotted it when it went to auction.
So, what shall we say for Lot 10?
End-terraced house with a building plot for two.
150,000 I'm bid. Standing right. At 150,000. Anything bid?
160, can I say?
At 150. You're saying 155, sir?
At 155, the bid is seated. At 155.
At 155. Looking for 160, now.
New bidder, 160.
At 160. 165?
170, is it? 170.
175. Saying one?
At 171. 172?
At 171. 172.
Bid seated at 179.
Against you standing at 179.
Half, you say? At 179,500?
I think he's waning.
180? At 180. Another half?
At £180,000, I'm selling it, then.
First time. 180.
Third and final time at 180. Are we all done?
You've bought it, sir. Well done.
Sandbach residents Chris and his wife Carolyn
were the successful bidders.
The former hoteliers and restaurant owners
are now embarking on a property developing career.
I caught up with Carolyn back at the house.
-Carolyn, lovely to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
I think you wanted to buy this because of the back. But tell me why you wanted to buy the house.
The house has a lot of potential for extension. It's two bedrooms, two receptions,
-and a very peculiar kitchen!
And the bathroom. With the extra space on the side, we can extend to the side,
make it three bedrooms, bathroom, en-suite upstairs.
And an extra garage and downstairs room.
-Turn it into a three-bed end-of-terrace.
-Nice. Quite a project.
-Tell me more about you.
-About 13 years ago, we bought an old property
and doubled its size. That became our family home.
From then, we've done bits and pieces.
Last year, we bought a property for my son to live in at university.
-We extended that so there were four bedrooms instead of three.
In terms of pure investment and development projects, is this something you've done before?
No, not pure investment, no, or development, no.
For a first timer, Carolyn is jumping in at the deep end.
Let's just hope she's not out of her depth.
In terms of the development of this bit, how long to do the house conversion?
The house we're thinking about 12 months
because obviously we'll wait three months for planning permission, minimum.
We've got to get the plans done first, so it's more like four months.
Then we've got to get the builder to have the space to fit it in.
The house needs totally rewiring, central heating, new windows.
-Obviously a new kitchen as well.
-What's the budget for that?
-About £40,000, we think.
-Obviously the main reason you bought this is outside.
-So shall we go out into the garden?
Carolyn has big plans for the house and a budget to match.
Outside, however, is where the really big bucks are to be made.
-This is it. It's huge, isn't it?
-Yes, it is!
-At first I thought it was just this bit, but it stretches over there as well.
Talk me through what you'd like to do with it.
-At the moment, it's got outline planning permission for two properties.
When we came to have a look, we thought there was potential for at least four properties.
-I'll show you the plan.
They just gave them outline planning for two.
But we feel if you come in and round onto the plot from this position,
you can fit two properties there and then two here at least.
Have you spoken to the planners to get an idea if that would be approved in principle?
-No, not yet.
-We've instructed the architects. They've had a look round
and they don't see a problem with what we're suggesting.
As gaining access from the side of the current house is an issue,
the solution could be to enter from the existing close at the rear.
But I still have concerns about those unresolved planning issues.
Given this is your first development project, it's a big thing, building houses from scratch.
-What do you feel about that?
-We wouldn't build them ourselves.
-No. We want to go for full planning permission,
and then sell the plot on to builders.
Oh, wow. So keep the house.
Keep the house and do that up. Within six months get full planning permission for the land and sell it.
Why not do it yourself?
-Um, no. We're not builders.
-Right. You can employ builders.
We'd rather have the quick turnaround.
As a first time developer, I think Carolyn's wise to get the money in the bank,
giving her the funds to purchase another property.
-You've got the developer bug, have you?
What is it about it you like?
I'm not sure, really. It's just quite exciting, doing it.
Congratulations, and good luck with it all.
-Thanks very much.
-I'll see how you get on.
So, Carolyn and her partner are buying this for the obvious development potential at the back.
But let me stress, it's only got outline planning permission at the moment,
not full planning permission. It may not even happen.
That's the jeopardy. Want to know what happens? Find out later in the show.
For the next property that went under the hammer,
I'm wrapped up warm and headed for just outside Peterborough.
Just ten minutes from the town centre and we're in popular residential area territory.
It seems a nice neighbourhood and the property I'm here to see looks OK, too.
It's this bungalow with a guide price of 135,000.
What do we reckon? Two bedrooms? Three, maybe?
Nope, guess again.
It's got five! But where?
Let's go inside and find out.
The front looks a little small - dinky, even!
Maybe there was a misprint in the catalogue.
We know the previous owner had already started work on this house.
I have to say, first impressions are really good.
You can almost still smell the paint in here.
It is in really good nick. There's a huge lounge, fantastic for entertaining.
A coal effect gas fire here to keep you nice and warm.
Two big windows letting in lots of light.
Some radiators, so there's gas central heating,
fantastic, and the best news for me is it's nice and warm in here
because out there, it's freezing today.
So lots of ticks on my list, which is good.
-# I really can't stay
-But baby it's cold outside
-# Got to go away
-Baby, it's cold outside... #
I can't count the number of chilly, draughty and damp places I've viewed for this programme.
But this little bungalow is toasty and dry.
That means the potentially major jobs like windows, central heating and insulation are all fine.
And the place is well presented. So far, so good!
I'm pleased to see this kitchen is at the back of the property
because I always harp on about the fact that it's nice to have instant access to the garden.
Talking about kitchens, what a mighty fine kitchen we have here.
This cooker is brand new. The kitchen is in really good condition.
I'd say that's new as well.
There's a breakfast bar so you can sit and eat here.
Something that does worry me slightly is this conservatory.
It is freezing out here,
on a day like today. There's no heating, no radiators at all.
So I wouldn't necessarily call it a dining space, though you could fit a dining table and chairs out there.
So I'd need to improve on that area.
But once again, another fine room in this house.
What I want to know is, where are those five bedrooms?
There's certainly one to the front with these built-in wardrobes
and there's a small room that could be a single.
There's an odd tiled room at the back, which could be a dining room,
but apart from the bathroom behind the stairs, that's it.
It's a bungalow, but there's nothing else downstairs. So the hunt's on upstairs.
# Call me the seeker
# I've been searching low and high #
Now, the other three bedrooms are upstairs in this converted roof space.
You'd usually only get a couple of rooms out of a bungalow attic.
Maybe an en-suite as well. So three does sound excessive.
But what I think it is is that this bedroom is particularly small
and it's crying out to be turned into a bathroom.
Nobody likes traipsing downstairs in the night to the loo.
The space up here means you don't have to. So that's sorted.
A few thousand pounds spent up here is all you would need to convert this into a bathroom.
You'd lose a bedroom, but I reckon four is enough for a bungalow anyway.
When you go into the garden,
you can see that pushing the extension up instead of out
has meant preserving valuable outside space.
And with that 135,000 guide price,
you can get a place that's ready to move into straight away.
I asked along a local estate agent to see if he was as impressed as me.
The layout itself I feel potentially could be improved upon.
On the ground floor is the main bathroom.
With the three bedrooms on the first floor,
potentially you would benefit from putting a further bathroom on the first floor.
So with it guided at 135,000, what sort of resale figure could it fetch?
If the property was renovated to a high standard, I'd suggest that
it would be worth somewhere in the region of 195 to £200,000.
What level of rental income could it achieve?
I'd say if you were to put this property up for rent,
in a renovated condition, you'd achieve in the region of 700 to 725 per calendar month.
This bungalow isn't bad. Somebody's already done some great ground work.
You can only improve on their thinking with a few small alterations here and there.
The guide price is realistic and still leaves some potential profit.
All in all, I think it's a great little opportunity.
Let's see who agreed at the auction.
So, lot number four. Where will you start me? 150 for it?
140. 130, if you like.
130 to start? 130,000 I'm bid.
132 here. 132.
134. 136 here.
£138,000 at the back of the room. 138. I'll take one.
139. 140 may I make it?
140,000 I'm at. 140 I'm bid.
141 on the telephone. 142 if you want to bid me, sir.
OK. It can be sold. We're in the room at 141.
At £142,000. Back of the room. 143.
At £143,000. Make no mistake, it's going to be sold. £143,000. 144.
144,500. 144. 144,500. 145, may I make it?
At £145,000. The bid standing at the back.
At £145,000 for the first time. It's going to be sold.
Fresh bid here at 145,500.
At 145,500. 146 now? At 145,500 for the first time.
Second time. Third and final time at 145,500. Yours, sir.
-204. Thank you very much.
Those last-minute gate-crashers were Robin and Susan
who bagged the bungalow for £145,500,
12.5 grand over the guide price.
The couple are both recently retired after both taking early redundancy from their jobs.
Robin worked for a fork-lift company
and Susan for a mail-order business.
This was to be a new home for them. I met them there to find out more.
Guys, congratulations. That was a cracking auction. Your first and only bid!
-Yes, just the one.
-145,000 and a half!
Yeah. Excellent, wasn't it?
Is that your first auction, Robin?
It's the first property auction I've ever been to and I have to say it was nerve-wracking!
-Were you quite scared?
Our hearts were coming out of our chests, sort of thing!
Just think, Robin, for 500 quid, you could have lost this.
-You didn't know whether to do that bid, did you?
No. We'd done some research on the price of properties round here after viewing it.
We had a discussion and we set our price at 145,000. Our limit.
Susan then said to me, "If we get to the stage where another 500 would secure it,
"are we going to go for it?" So I said for another 500 we would go for it.
It only took that extra 500 and you got it!
-I know. What a scary time that was!
-How did you celebrate after the auction?
Came home and had a cup of tea!
# Oh, how I love my tea
# Tea in the afternoon! #
I would have cracked open a bottle of bubbly myself, but champagne's not everyone's cup of tea!
But what is their cup of Darjeeling is that they only live five minutes down the road.
They'll rent their old house out for the time being.
The pair know they've got a good deal here. Why did they want this bungalow in the first place?
We always said that when we retired, although it's semi-retirement for me,
we decided a long time ago that we'd like to live in a bungalow.
This came up and we just went for it.
What is it about a bungalow, or a single-storey?
It's an age thing, really, I suppose.
Oh, come on, you two!
Running up and down stairs, things like that.
I don't know why I like bungalows. I've really always liked them.
Saying you like bungalows, there's a lot of rooms upstairs!
You'll be needing to go up those stairs a lot.
Occasionally, I suppose.
Robin and Susan do plan to turn that small bedroom upstairs into a bathroom,
leaving them a total of three doubles and one single.
With a three grand budget, which should be enough for the conversion, they're sticking with the rest.
Susan doesn't like the kitchen floor tiles
but in this era of belt-tightening, they're right not to go crazy.
-Am I right in thinking you've had a bit of bad luck with your current jobs?
-Depends how you look at it.
I think my wife and I basically view it as good luck, really.
Hand on my heart. My wife was just coming up to retirement age when she was made redundant.
The company she worked for closed down.
I had the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy
so we discussed it and did that, we got our redundancy money,
and our lump sums from our pension.
-That gave us the advantage of being able to buy this property.
-How does that make you feel?
-I don't know. I miss work.
I will say that. This is a bit of a project to keep me busy for a short while.
-What I'll do when I finish what I need to do in here... I'm a big DIY fan.
So I'm quite happy. I'm pleased with it. Well pleased.
Is he ready with his DIY skills? Do we have the belt at the ready?
-The drill, the hammer?
-He has got everything.
What will he be like to live with?
He can't be any worse than what he is now! So...
I can probably get rid of him for a couple of days and I can stay in the house there and do what I want.
But then I'll be here to clean up and tidy up
and a little bit of painting. I'm not that good at DIY.
I don't know. I suppose I could do a bit of painting. But it probably wouldn't be to his standard.
Do you think your retirement probably has brought you a bit closer together?
And you've got a really happy future doing things in this wonderful bungalow?
I think we've always been close together.
We've never been in each other's company as much as we are now.
I know everybody says it, but we don't argue. We have disagreements.
-But we always go to bed smiling.
-That's what I want to hear.
-This really is a happy ending for you, isn't it?
-Can't wait to see it when it's finished.
-Thanks very much.
-Thank you, Sue.
Sue and Robin have turned what could have been a difficult year
into a really exciting time.
A few changes here and there will see this bungalow really shine.
The big question is, will Sue's DIY meet Robin's standards?
You can find out how it all goes later on in the programme.
Coming up: lots to do in this Devon property, but there's one redeeming feature.
One thing you can't take away from this property is that you have got a sea view.
We go back to Peterborough to see if Robin and Susan
are enjoying retirement.
I do miss my job, yes. But you chill out. Enjoy old age.
First, we return to Cheshire to check on the new development and the progress of the original property.
It's made the house into a family home.
When we were last in the Cheshire town of Sandbach,
Carolyn and her husband Chris had just bought this two-bed semi for 180 grand.
Quite a lot, but it included a large building plot at the rear
with outline planning permission for two dwellings.
They intended to reapply for planning to build a pair of semi-detached houses on the plot.
And the house, they were going to apply to build an extension on the side
then completely renovate it and sell it on.
Well, 14 months have passed
and we met up again with Carolyn at the property
where, true to her word, an extension has been added.
As you can see, we built a two-storey extension.
We have a garage and dining room on the ground floor
and an extra bedroom, a bathroom and en-suite on the floor above.
I'm really pleased with the results of the extension. It's a family home now.
The inside of the cottage had two very tired and dated rooms.
But now the front living room has lost that brick fireplace.
A stylish fire has gone in and the whole house has been rewired
and new windows fitted.
Downstairs, the original bathroom is now a cloakroom
and what was the kitchen has become a utility room.
A fabulous new kitchen has been built in one of the former reception rooms.
Originally, this was the room with an open stone fireplace.
We removed the chimney breast and made the whole kitchen a much bigger room.
We put new units in but kept it very modern with the stainless steel.
I'm really pleased with the way it is.
Carolyn's project managed the work and husband Chris did a lot of the labouring and decorating.
But how much did it cost? Did they stick to their £40,000 budget?
The whole of the work on this property has cost £65,000.
The extension itself has probably cost £55,000 including architect's fees and planning permission.
So Carolyn's budget for the house has expanded to 65,000
including architect's fees for the extension.
We've now got the property on the market.
We're hoping to sell it ourselves and not go through an agent.
So, good news. The first part of the jigsaw seems to be going to plan. But what about the land?
The outbuildings have been demolished. So what's been happening?
We were thrilled when we took it to the architect and he started working on it.
Because everything fitted in perfectly.
We thought there would be no problem in getting planning permission.
But there was a problem.
The outline planning permission was for two detached houses.
Carolyn's application for four semi-detached properties was initially rejected.
But after an appeal and various committee hearings, the planners gave the go-ahead.
These are the plans that have been approved.
We'll have a pair of semis in that gap there
and another pair of semis here
with the garden backing onto the existing house.
We're really pleased with the plans that were approved.
They'll be basically starter homes, two up, two down, two-bedroomed.
In between the two will be the access from the close
with parking for the vehicles for each of the two properties.
Although the intention to sell the existing house remains the same,
Carolyn and Chris's initial idea for the building plot has changed.
We were intending to sell the land on to a builder.
But we had so many traumas getting the planning permission through,
that we feel attached to the land now
so we've decided to build on it ourselves.
How much will it cost?
We estimate that the houses on the land will cost 35 to £40,000 each to build.
So the four houses would require a budget of 140 to 160,000 to build.
Time for some advice from two local estate agents.
What do they think of the extended house that's up for sale
and the potential for the four new properties?
They've done a very good job indeed, extending it, creating a third bedroom
and an extra room downstairs.
The additional garage on the side is a big plus.
The extension was really well worth doing.
It's improved the property by about a third in size.
It's a stylish design. It almost looks like a new house inside.
The plans for the land are very good.
There's a demand for that type of property. They'll be popular.
What valuation would the experts now put on the current house?
Bear in mind they bought it for 180,000
and the renovation and extension cost 65,000,
making a total of 245,000.
In the current market, I would expect this property
to achieve around 190 to £200,000.
I would expect it to achieve on the open market somewhere between 185,000 to £190,000.
On that range of valuations of 185 to 200,000,
they're looking at a loss of between 45 and £60,000.
We've got it on the market for 215.
If we have to drop the price and sell it for nearer the 200 mark, we won't be too disappointed.
Of course, the real money to be made here will come from selling the four new houses.
They'll cost between 140 and 160,000 to build
and Carolyn's already spent £12,000 on architect's fees
and the cost of removing the outbuildings.
So how much could these four houses be worth?
A two-bed semi, I would market that at around 125 to 130,000.
The two-bed semi-detached properties proposed to the rear,
I would expect to achieve around 130 to £135,000 each.
If they do achieve that top valuation of 135,000,
then the four new houses and the land could produce £540,000,
a potential gross profit of £368,000.
Once the loss from the original house of £60,000 is allowed for,
overall, the potential gross profit for the whole project
could be £308,000
before the usual expenses.
Yeah, we were thinking around 130 each, so that's about what we would imagine.
Of course, the houses have yet to be built and the budget will have to be carefully monitored.
But their first very ambitious new-build project is looking promising.
So how would Carolyn sum up the experience?
It's been a number of things. It's been really nerve-wracking, exciting, fascinating,
and, overall, very enjoyable.
I'm in Paignton in Devon,
not far from Torquay, which forms part of what's called the English Riviera
due to its unusually warm climate.
It sounds great, so grab a bucket and spade.
But before we begin, I've got a rather less exciting word of warning.
Now, I'm aware there's a history of movement in this particular street.
But you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out,
when you see something like this, yeah, there is seriously a problem.
The side of that house was looking like it was going to fall down.
So with that in mind, I'm going to approach the property I'm here to see with caution.
Now, being near the sea is one thing.
But you don't want your house heading closer and closer to the beach!
This whole road was built on a very steep gradient.
Great for views, less so for foundations, it seems!
Still, let's keep an open mind.
The property I'm here to see is a three-bedroomed detached,
which is nice in a street full of primarily semi-detached and terraces.
At a guide price of 120,000 quid,
it's set high up off the road.
Let's take a look. Hiking boots on!
And a hike it is.
Immediately this place rules out anyone with mobility issues.
Let's hope the house is worth the effort.
Nice little entrance hall here.
A divider between here and the lounge.
Straight into here. The whole house is just so, what, late '60s, '70s?
The old varnished stone round the fire! Something like that.
And this ceiling, it reminds me of a train set that's been put upside-down.
It's very, very unusual.
Through to the rear sitting room.
More stonework - lovely, lovely!
Let's go and find the kitchen.
The kitchen is decent enough,
with reasonable units.
But it is small, there's no two ways about that.
It's a shame, and it gets worse.
1930s properties like this often had small kitchens. Fair enough.
But what you don't expect is to have built onto it a fairly monstrous conservatory affair here.
It has got a loo, which is quite sweet.
Plastic sheets on the roof. Not good at all.
It gets even better. Look at this!
This little lean-to.
Maybe the people who lived here were just terribly, terribly small!
That's the door out to the back garden!
No, it isn't an optical illusion. This is the tiniest back door in the world! Probably.
The good news is, once you do manage to get through it and out into the garden, that is a good size.
And you have the tremendous added bonus of a garage at the back. So,
so far, we have a large garden and lots of living space.
What's on offer up on the first floor?
So, upstairs. Again, it's actually not a bad size.
It just needs messing around with, for sure. A separate loo
and a bathroom there. You could knock those together.
Double bedroom there. Box room, and through to another double bedroom.
Again, not a bad space, just need to get rid of all this clutter.
One thing you can't take away from this property is the fact that you have actually got a sea view.
Well, I say view. It's actually more of a sea glimpse,
but it is there, nonetheless. Meanwhile, things have improved on the first floor.
There are three bedrooms, two with washing facilities. I think that despite all the DIY distress,
this house could prove to be a solid investment.
What would a property expert from the auction house who sold this lot make of it?
Looking over the property, it mainly does need cosmetic works,
such as a new kitchen, new bathroom,
decoration from top to bottom.
The guide price was 120,000.
How much could it achieve in this condition and after a refurbishment?
The property as it stands could be worth in the region of 120 to £125,000.
The likely price of this property once refurbished could be in the region of £175,000 to £180,000.
Could a buy-to-let investor find tenants and how much rent would be feasible?
There's a strong demand for rental properties of this type in this area of Paignton.
You should get around £650 per calendar month.
So an interesting auction lot, and plenty to reflect on.
So, not a lot of money in this one.
But a good solid property that would make a great family home.
All you've got to hope is that the slight instability of the surrounding ground
means it doesn't get even closer to the sea!
Let's find out how it got on when it went under the hammer.
Three-bed, two-storey detached house.
Garage at the rear. Who's here for Lot 21?
100,000 straight in. Nice and simple. 100.
At 100. 100 I've got.
100. At 100. At 100. At 100. He's happy!
At 100. At 100.
104. One hundred and... 104.
And 14. 114. 114.
114. At 114.
At 114, then.
At 114 once. 15.
At 115. At 115.
He's right in front of you. Out of kicking reach!
At 115 once.
At 115 twice.
At 115. Sure and done?
Here goes. Gentleman in the aisle seat. 115 and going.
Yours. Congratulations. Well done. Well done.
That final successful bid of 115,000 came from James and Martin.
They're a local pair who braved the climb back up to the house to tell me more about their plans.
Congratulations. Tell me why you wanted to buy this house.
We just saw a lot of potential as far as the development and the return on it.
-Is this something that you do?
-We've been in property maintenance together for almost six years.
I'm from a building background and managing director of building firms and things.
Martin used to work with me for six years.
I left the company I was managing director of in July to take a sabbatical and what have you.
Unfortunately, as a result, the company collapsed and 30 or 40 people were made redundant.
-Martin's one of them, and so I spoke to him and said, "Would you like to do this with me?"
-So you've set up a partnership?
What did you think, Martin, when James gave you a call
-and asked if you wanted to go into business?
It's a lot better than working for someone and lining their pockets,
whereas we'll be lining our own, which is quite exciting.
Well, they're not wrong. It's exciting times for the new venture.
James will provide the cash and Martin the expertise
in a partnership that could be going places.
What are you going to do with the place?
A full strip-out to begin with.
These beautiful ceilings with those features are all coming down.
Kitchen out, bathroom out.
Dividing wall between the bathroom and toilet, that's down.
So a full bathroom including shower enclosure.
We're going to swap where the kitchen is to being a utility
and where there's the first extension with the corrugated roof, slate it and put a kitchen in.
-Knock down the conservatory that's on there. Put a nice conservatory in. Is that it?
Obviously all the remedial works outside. Guttering, rendering.
All new windows going in to bring it up to spec.
-It'll look nice when it's done.
-How much have you set aside for the work?
That seems quite tight for the amount of work to be done,
especially considering there's also central heating to be fitted.
But they're confident and have set an ambitious timescale of just ten weeks.
They'll certainly need to get the best out of their skills. So how will it work?
We'll work together. I'm not hands on trade background, but Martin is a tradesman extraordinaire.
I know the sort of theories of it and how it's done.
I've trained surveyors and what have you,
but I've not got my hands dirty,
so this is a new evolution for me, rather than sitting at a desk or doing a survey.
-So you're going to be hammering and chiselling and sawing?
-Screwing and all that?
-Under my tuition!
How are things going to work between you?
I guess you've been the boss in the past, haven't you?
And now it's a bit more level. How will that work?
When me and James were working together, he wasn't my boss, if you know what I mean. We were more
buddies, friends, than him being a managing director and me being an employee.
-I mean, we've always got on very well.
-Yes, we have.
Right. Do you see this expanding?
Potentially, yes. We'd like to get a few under our belt and employ more,
and do it on a grander scale.
We've got our eyes on two or three more at the moment.
-A couple of informal tenders.
-Anything in particular?
-There's one near here.
-Almost across the road.
-Not the one that's falling to pieces?
-The subsiding one.
We did a lot of subsidence repairs on the insurance side, the company.
I put Martin and a couple of tradesmen on a course to do all the underpinning, stitching and so on.
Any worries about subsidence in this house?
There has been a lateral restraining system put on here, a strapping system.
Apparently there was an escape of water from a guttering system.
So that's been done. The property is stable. We've got a certification of stabilisation.
-So past problems have been sorted out.
Unfortunately, the visuals provide an image that this place isn't as level as it is.
With the windows on a tilt and the staircase on a tilt.
All the extension parts are again on a tilt. So as you look around,
you think, "Which way am I going?" But that will all be levelled out when we do the works.
-I wish you all the best with it.
-I look forward to seeing how you get on.
It's good to hear James and Martin get on so well together. Any partnership needs solid foundations.
Let's hope they're on a more level footing than the house is!
James and Martin have certainly got the experience to make a success of this.
I think they'll make a great team.
Still the £14,000 budget, there's a lot to do for that money.
And how will James cope with finally getting his hands dirty?
Find out later in the show.
It's been a while now, since we last saw those properties.
So have the renovations been plain sailing or a bumpy ride?
Time to find out.
Earlier in the programme, local couple Robin and Susan
bought this Peterborough bungalow for £145,500.
They'd both recently been made redundant, so decided to use their money
to buy this property, partially renovated by the previous owner.
It's been six months now, and at the bungalow, the work is finished.
We met up again with Robin and Susan to get the lowdown on the refurbishment.
The large living room has been totally redecorated in neutral colours
and it looks great. Plus a new carpet has been laid.
And on the ground floor, the master bedroom has also been transformed.
We moved in within about three months of starting the project.
Not all the work had been completed.
It's been ongoing as we still have our other house to work on as well,
to get it ready for letting.
So new tenants have moved in to their old house and they're settling in to the bungalow.
But it's not just downstairs. Robin's been hard at work upstairs, as well.
Basically, in the hall and landing it's been totally redecorated.
We've kept the carpet. Painted all the spindles white.
In here, this used to be a single bedroom
which I've converted into a bathroom.
I'm very pleased with the result. A nice double-ended bath there.
And I think it looks very good.
That's a great use for the fifth bedroom, converting it into the bathroom.
So with the shower room downstairs in the original bathroom,
there are still three bedrooms even though two have gone.
One is now the bathroom and the other a study.
Who's been responsible for all the work?
I've done the majority of the work myself. Susan has helped with the jobs I don't like!
Painted 32 spindles on the stairs. Rubbed them down, undercoated and painted them.
I think they were OK, cos he's not done them again himself!
I'm still an apprentice. Still learning!
Robin's got high standards!
Just look at the tiling in the kitchen.
I've done tiling to the splash-backs all round.
We fitted a new windowsill.
My wife wanted a new hob and oven.
Basic decoration and floor tiling finished.
It's turned out nice. We colour co-ordinated with the cupboards that were already here.
My wife's pleased with it. So am I.
It feels just like home.
Well, it is home, obviously, but it's just nice.
-Feels like we've always been here.
The finish is really good.
So how much have they had to spend? Did they keep to their budget?
It's three to four we were looking at originally,
when we based that budget on just the house itself.
But we've had a lot more work done outside.
We've spent probably about £11,500.
Any overspend is never ideal,
but in this instance, Robin and Susan are sensible to do all the work at once.
And the garden certainly looks great.
Let's see if two estate agents
will give the bungalow the thumbs up.
I think it's lovely. I really do.
It's walk-in standard all the way through.
There really isn't anything that needs doing.
The colours are really good.
The bathroom they've put in is top drawer.
The bathroom being built upstairs is fantastic. Great idea.
They've also kept the downstairs toilet
which is very good, especially if someone's elderly.
By block-paving the front, it's provided more off-road parking,
which is a brilliant idea.
Robin and Susan have now let out their previous house
and are living here. How much income could the bungalow generate?
This would rent for, in current condition,
between £700 and £725 per calendar month.
They're competing against four-bed houses locally.
This, because of the condition, would rent for 750 per calendar month.
That's good, but no, we purchased this property for ourselves.
We're quite happy to be living here.
I thought he'd say that. So how much could the bungalow sell for?
They've spent £11,500 doing it up
on top of the £145,500 they paid at auction.
So a total of £157,000.
I would currently value this property between 180 and £185,000.
Even in the current market, 180,000 - in that kind of area -
would secure a sale on this property.
180 to 185,000 would produce a gross profit
of between 23 and 28 grand before the usual selling expenses.
It's good it's a profit. Any profit's good. Yeah,
-I'm pleased with that.
-Very pleased, yeah.
-More than we would make in a bank, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
That's a familiar story that we hear quite often.
With interest rates now extremely low, I reckon that may continue.
Sounds like Robin and Susan have put their redundancy money to good use.
They say good things happen and there is life the other side of work.
-I'm quite happy with the situation, yes.
-I do miss my job,
yes, I do. But let's face it, chill out!
Enjoy old age!
Time to return to Paignton on the English Riviera in Devon.
Earlier in the programme, we saw James pay £115,000 for this detached property
in need of some repair.
Former managing director of a maintenance company
specialising in fire- and flood-damaged homes he was well-qualified.
He was teaming up with one of his former employees, Martin,
a highly experienced builder, and they were both going to tackle the work.
Well, six months had passed when we met up again to check on the refurbishment.
Starting round the back, the derelict lean-to has been transformed.
Which means that inside, the muddled layout which led to the lounge is now a modern, open-plan space.
The neutral colours continue upstairs on the landing
and in the three bedrooms.
They've chosen a colour scheme that really enhances the place,
making it look lighter and more spacious.
But I'm sure the rooms feel bigger too. James explains why.
There had been layer upon layer of cladding and timber batoning
where the previous owner had hidden very poorly plastered walls.
So it was a complete strip-out. We were back to brickwork throughout.
The rooms were increasing in size by ten to 15%, just because they'd been cladded over.
We've re-levelled the floor in the lounge
cos that had a bad lean on it, and replastered, and new ceilings.
New ceilings and replastered walls throughout the entire property.
It didn't stop there,
because the 1930s house has been rewired. The boiler was fairly new, so that remained.
But plumbing was the main requirement upstairs.
Obviously, when we bought the house, there was a separate W.C. with a wall and everything.
So we knocked that out and turned it into a nice family-sized bathroom.
And also we've incorporated a full walk-in quadrant shower,
which has enhanced the bathroom.
You can now take your pick. A long soak or a quick shower.
OK, this is the kitchen and utility room.
The kitchen was an extension that had been put on by the previous owner.
The pitch of the roof was adjusted and new timber framework was installed.
Then an artificial slate roof with roof lights to bring in a lot more natural light.
That's continued into the utility room as well.
Martin is a qualified plasterer and master of numerous building skills.
But James's background was in management.
Although he was determined to do the hard graft, he recognised his limitations.
There was certainly a lot of the work that I didn't have the skills to do.
Martin's been very patient with me.
So I've been doing things that I could do and learning a lot of skills I didn't have before.
He's been excellent all the way through. He really has.
He's not frightened to get his hands dirty, pick up the tools and have a go at it.
I mean, he's been spot on, haven't you?
New skills are very satisfying. But what about the cost?
With all that cladding to remove and the time that took,
did they manage to keep to their budget of £14,000?
Budget-wise, we've gone a little over by about £1,000 or so. Not much more than that.
Martin and James's first project is almost finished.
Although their informal offer for that subsiding property was rejected,
they have bought another property to work on.
Time to hear how two estate agents will rate this house.
Will they approve of James' and Martin's first development project?
The layout is very good. It flows very well.
You have lounge and dining room with a kitchen to the utility
and upstairs, three bedrooms and larger than average bathroom.
What a transformation from the first time I came.
It's refurbished to a high standard.
The incorporation of the kitchen and utility area works really well
and the bathroom has a shower cubicle as well. A wonderful job.
The best selling feature of the house is the size of the rooms,
it's decorated very neutral, making it light and airy.
They've used the right colours and good quality fitments.
The finish of the work is to a very good standard.
The plan for this house is to sell,
but it could be useful for James and Martin to hear the rental potential.
The property should return in the region of £750 per calendar month.
The rental value is in the region of £800 per calendar month.
What do they think of that income opportunity? Could it tempt them to hold on to the place?
We haven't really discussed it, have we?
The intention was to buy and sell.
-For our first one. That might be later down the road.
Potentially, that is a good rental. Very good.
Nice to know. Are they looking at any profit here if they do sell?
They paid £115,000 for the house at auction
and have spent about £15,000 on refurbishing it.
So, do the experts value it above 130,000?
If I were to put this property on the market,
it would be somewhere in the region of £175,000.
I would value the property at £180,000.
That range of valuations would generate a gross profit
of 45 to £50,000 before the usual selling expenses.
So, are they happy with that?
Yeah, that's not too bad. We know the market is difficult just now.
It's still quite a decent profit for what we've done.
I feel really satisfied with the work that me and James have put in.
We look forward to our next one!
That's it for thrills and spills from the auction room.
Join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd