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From cottages to flats, all sorts of properties are sold at auction.
Whether you're a buy to let investor or looking for your first home, you might find just what you want.
One big advantage of buying at auction is that when the gavel goes down, you have exchanged contracts.
No chains. You bid, you buy, it's all so simple,
-but also quite easy to get carried away.
-So were today's purchases a risky gamble or a sure thing?
In Stoke, I think I might have found a great property.
This is a solid, well-built, well-designed, lovely house.
This maisonette and basement conversion in Kent is in desperate need of some TLC,
but...I'm not loving this place right now.
And just outside Nottingham, I visit a colourful house with some smashing features - but not this.
Whenever I see glass doors like this, I say get rid of them!
All these properties have been sold at auction. We'll find out who bought them and how much they paid
when they went under the hammer.
I'm in Trentham in Staffordshire and you'll have to excuse me if I get a little bit nostalgic.
During school summer holidays I used to come to Trentham Gardens,
which is around here like a theme park.
That used to be a special treat and it's where I learnt to swim.
It's just up the road. Ah. Anyway, I'm here to see this, a fantastic looking house.
The guide price is just 150,000 quid, which for a three-bedroom detached property is marvellous.
So what have we got?
Oh, straight through the front door and I'm thinking, "I like this!"
It's early 1900s, classic design.
Look at the floor. Great start.
The rooms look to be in reasonable condition. Nice big front sitting room.
Stairs up to the bedrooms. Kitchen...
Well, it doesn't look too bad.
It could do with some tarting up, but perfectly serviceable.
And through into... a classic, lovely living room.
Open fire, good to see again, the stripped floors are good.
Some original features still here. And then this lovely little area goes out onto the garden.
I'm getting a really good feeling about this house.
Upstairs, I'm still desperately hunting for something wrong with it. I don't think I'll find it.
It's a good size, I even like the nice landing area.
Three good-size bedrooms. Loo and bathroom exactly where it should be.
It needs updating, the decorating could benefit from modernisation,
but that is small fry. This is a solid, well-built, well-designed, lovely house.
This handsome house was built around 1910 and the previous owner had been living here since the '70s.
It's been well looked after over the years, but is now showing signs of age.
It's a substantial brick-built property with driveway and garage.
There's not much at fault with the house downstairs.
The two reception rooms are spacious and well-lit. Upstairs, though, there is room for improvement.
One of the bedrooms is small and probably better suited for storage or a study.
The bathroom is rather small and outdated.
To make the best of this property, an extension will really help meet the needs of a modern family.
Outside, and the three-sided garden is a glorious opportunity to develop either an idyllic place to relax
or their own vegetable patch.
In fact, there's easily room for both.
This old wooden lean-to is well past its best and will probably need to be taken down.
So what are the best options here.
I asked a local estate agent's opinion.
It's a little bit small upstairs so I think extending will give you
a bit more room for a family. Cost-wise to extend the property and also to update the rest of it,
you'd be looking somewhere in the region of £50,000-£55,000.
It's got a lovely appeal. The only downfall is the lean-to from the kitchen to the garage.
I think that lets it down a bit.
You'd look to return, with an extension, 235 to possibly 250.
So building an extension could give the new owner extra space and add extra value.
What if they put the property on the rental market as it is?
For a rental valuation, I would think somewhere in the region of around £650 per calendar month.
Well, what is there not to like about this house? It would make an absolutely glorious family home.
Maybe it's a bit to do with nostalgia, but I don't think so. It's a great property.
And for 150,000 quid, let's see who was lucky enough to get this when it went to auction.
A substantial three-bedroom detached house.
Nice period property, this.
125, going to say?
Thank you. 125 I am bid.
Is that a bid in the middle? 130 in the middle. 135 can I say?
135 it is. At 135.
140, is it? £140,000.
Bidder here now. 147.
At 147. 148. 148.
150, is it?
At 150,000. On the back row.
At £153,000. For the first time.
At £153,000 for the second time.
At £153,000 for the third and final time.
No mistake. The bid is seated. At £153,000.
You bought it, sir. Well done.
'The house was bought for £153,000 by husband and wife Guy and Emma,
'who are originally from Stoke. They currently live and work 45 miles away in Birmingham,
'where Guy is a sales manager fir a water technology company and Emma's a school librarian.
'They have two young daughters and look forward to coming home.'
-Guy, Emma, congratulations.
-Thank you very much.
-This is a great house.
-Yes, it is.
-Tell me why you bought it.
-Family, very close. Next door, in fact.
-If we look out of our spare bedroom, we see my in-laws' bedroom.
-Which doesn't put us off too much. My sister's round the corner, then my parents.
Oh, my goodness. Extraordinary.
We left Stoke when we were 18. We're now a bit older, so we're returning back to our families.
'In fact, Emma knows the property very well.
'As a child, she used to play here with a friend who lived in it.'
We came to look round it and thought, "We could have some fun with this."
We've done one house before, so we move to the next project and to shatter my parents' retirement.
We spend a lot of time back here anyway because we've got a massive extended family here.
Tell me about you two, then. What do you do? What's your background?
We met when I was 16 and you were 14. So childhood sweethearts.
We stayed together and got married in the year 2000 for a millennium wedding.
-So you've got kids of your own?
-Five and two, Skye and Maisie.
-Two blonde bombshells.
-And this is a wonderful family house.
-Yes. And it will get better with the plans we have for it.
'Emma and Guy plan to turn this house into a five-bedroom property
'by demolishing the garage and the lean-to to extend outwards.
'This will create an open dining and kitchen area on the ground floor and two additional bedrooms.
'The existing kitchen will become a downstairs cloakroom and allow space for a bigger hallway.'
So who's going to do the work? What plans do you have for budget and timescales?
Right. We reckon we're going to plough probably £70,000-£80,000 into it, I would say.
Lots of contacts with most of the family being in this area. We've got a few sized up already.
-And we'll do it quickly.
-Give me an idea.
-In six months.
Definitely. Sooner the better.
-Where will you be in the meantime?
-We'll be here most of the time,
but when the knock-through happens, we might migrate...maybe next door!
Yes, yes, just nip through the fence.
What about the finances for it? Are there any flies in this ointment?
-It's a very annoying story. We can't find any, but there may well be some there.
-We haven't sold our house.
Yeah, we've just had it on the market. This happened very quickly.
-You skipped over that!
-"There is that."
So until you sell your house, you can't really do the work.
Not the big plans, no. We'll do the immediate things so that we can live comfortably.
I hadn't thought of that.
-Oh, don't let me bring you down!
-No, you're right. We do need to sell the house.
-But it will go quickly.
-Congratulations. I'm delighted for you.
I can't wait to see how you get on here.
Ah, I love stories like this.
Could it be more perfect? Guy and Emma know this house back to front already!
Emma used to play here. An amazing story. Wonderful.
And they've got a great family home. A few jobs to do and some ambitious plans with that extension
and there is the small fact that they do have a house to sell before they can finance it,
but how are they going to get on? You can find out later in the show.
Today I'm in Kent in the town of Chatham, which has been pretty neglected over the years.
Since the decline of the dockyards, it has been smartened up
and regeneration projects are giving the area a new life.
I'm in an area of Chatham confusingly known as Luton.
It's five minutes from the town centre. It's not really the most desirable part of town,
but for me the glass is half full. I'm here to see an end of terrace arranged as two flats.
The guide is just £60,000-£65,000.
'Yes, that's right. Two flats, not one, arranged over three floors.
'At the front is a two-bedroom maisonette taking up the ground and first floor.
'With its own entrance down the side street is a lower ground floor single bedroom studio flat.
'It's got a kitchen and bathroom extension and comes with its own garden.
'From the outside, this Victorian end of terrace is in a sorry state.
'And its kerb appeal is zero - too much kerb, not enough appeal.'
Oh, so inside...
and, sadly, it's no better.
There's just rubbish bags dumped in the corner,
it smells a little bit, you've got an old gas fire. There's no beautiful features.
And whatever this is... It's some sort of... Look. A bit of partitioning here
and it goes round to here, there's half the kitchen there.
And for some worrying reason, I think the bathroom may be on the other side of this partition.
It's really not working. Somebody has carved it up.
The kitchen needs stripping out. This whole place needs ripped back to the bare bone.
One thing you really notice is the noise from the road.
So, for me, I'm not loving this place right now.
There are very few redeeming features. The kitchen was split down the middle to squeeze in a bathroom.
The front room, which overlooks a very busy road, is actually quite spacious.
Upstairs in this split-level flat and the two bedrooms are of a very decent size.
There's even an attractive period feature lurking here and there.
But this house needs really a lot of work to turn it around. I say house - it's two flats.
So where's the other one?
Outside and around the back.
So this is the back garden. More like a dumping ground.
Bit of a clear-up job needed here, I think.
This doesn't make the flat very appealing.
People have been using the open area off the street as a rubbish dump.
Horrible, nasty, dark, damp, dingy. That's just a few words that spring to mind.
This is the sleeping area. It looks like a little cellar at the back,
but I think that was the original coal hole.
And the ceiling's fallen down!
The kitchen - less said about that the better.
This is what I would call a studio flat. You'd be hard-pushed to turn this into a one-bed.
But actually I think you'd be hard pushed to do anything with it.
It's going to be a challenge for anyone trying to turn this into a light, airy living space.
So my instant reaction - turn this back into one property, open up this lower ground floor,
get the kitchen down here, maybe even open this up into the garden. Big folding doors!
That's a complete fantasy. Done up to a decent standard as one house,
it wouldn't achieve much more than 100 grand and it would cost you £30,000 to do all the work needed.
Whoever takes this one will have to keep this as two units
and that means making that subterranean apartment and grubby maisonette a nice place to live.
That is a pretty big job.
Whether this is a renovation best suited for rental or a quick resale, I'm just not sure,
but both of these properties will take a huge amount of work
to turn them into pleasant places to live. The area around the building also needs a lot of attention.
Two flats needing full renovation.
Are they best rented out? Or put back on the open market? What are the options here?
We're in Luton Road, not one of the most sought after areas in Chatham.
It needs lots and lots of work. Big project.
The upstairs needs to be converted into a decent-sized two-bedroom split level.
-And the studio flat?
-This flat here could be used best as a one-bedroom.
The size of flat, it's a good size.
If you rent the studio, you'd get 395 per calendar month.
As a two-bedroom, you'd be looking at 495.
Once done up, then, these flats could potentially provide a decent rental income.
What about their resale value?
Once they've been renovated, the studio would be in the region of £55,000.
The two-bedroom, split-level flat would be about £70,000.
There's money in it, but this isn't a quick refurb and a rent out.
This property demands some real thought and whoever takes this on
will need to put some serious effort into the place. Let's see who took this on at auction.
Luton Road in Chatham is an end-of-terrace property. Can I see £65,000 for it?
65,000 do I see?
Give me 60, then. Start me. £60,000 bid I have.
And 2 now do I see? 62?
62. 64. 66. 68.
68...? 68? 68 I'm bid.
68. 70,000 I have. And 2.
72. And 4. 74.
74, thank you, madam. And 5.
And 6? Going once. Make it easier for you.
76? Definitely no?
At £75,000, then. 76 I've got. And 7.
And 8. 78. 78.
78 right at the back behind you. Fill it up to 80?
£80,000 bid I've got. And 2 now? 82 do I see?
At £80,000, then. For the first time.
£80,000, unless I get another bid, for the second time. Third and final time. All done at 80?
All done? Yours, sir. Well done. You stuck with it.
The lot sold for £80,000 - £15,000-£20,000 over guide price.
John is the new owner. He used to run a skiing academy in Austria,
but has now returned to the UK to be a property developer.
He lives in the area and this is his fourth property purchase in a year.
John, congratulations. You paid £80,000 for this. What was the auction experience like for you?
It's OK. I've been to a few before. So I knew what to expect, but it's always exciting.
-Did you view this property first?
-Yes, yeah. It didn't put me off at all. I was OK with it.
My next question was: where are you going to start? I mean... there's a lot going on here.
There's a lot of work to do. But once you get rid of the rubbish, take down some of the walls,
it can be like an open canvas. And it makes sense then. You can see what you're doing.
-What attracted you to this property in the first place?
-It was quite large, the price was right.
It's good for rent in this area, which is what I'll do with this.
I'll convert it to two apartments and then rent them out.
Let's talk about this flat as it is. It's not working for me!
-What are you going to do to improve this?
-I'll take down the partition.
I'm going to change the bathroom, the way it is down here.
Under the stairs, I'll utilise that space. I'm not going to do a lot, but it doesn't work for me, either!
-But it doesn't need a lot of work. You just have to see through the way it is at the moment.
John, what do you mean there's not a lot of work here? I beg to differ. There's quite a lot of work to do.
Perhaps I meant when you first look at it, it seems more than there is.
Yes, there is a fair amount of work, but it's not something that would scare me
and I think quite quickly you'll get the place together.
Clearly it's not worrying you. You're very calm.
-At the moment!
-Think what you'll be like when we come back!
-You'll be tearing your hair out!
So that's the most basic changes John wants to make, but he knows there are more serious problems.
There's evidence of damp, signs of rot,
a hole in the roof and the gable end has started to move.
The gable end has moved slightly, so I need to get a structural engineer in to look at that.
I'm hoping I might get away with just tying it in. If not, I'll have to rebuild it.
So that's probably going to be a bit of an expense to do.
-So you've got money to spend here.
-All these little costs are mounting.
-They will mount up.
-I haven't got a budget.
-Oh, dear! A man with no budget! You're a walking nightmare!
I've been told that, but I am very cautious with what I spend and what I spend it on.
-Financially, have you done the maths?
-I haven't done the maths.
Why? This is a really important factor to property developing.
-That's where you've got to start. Work out your end costs.
I'm doing that in reverse!
I'm going to use this as a bit of an experiment,
controlling the costs as I go. What has to be done has to be done. In the cheapest possible way.
-So what are we talking? £10,000?
-I would hopefully do it for that.
-So you're thinking around the £10,000 mark?
-If it comes to a bit more, it's not a worry.
How long do you think it's going to take you to get it in good order.
-I would think, hopefully, two months.
If it takes longer, that's not a problem, but as quick as possible.
I'll be full-time on here.
It's going to be really exciting seeing the end product. At the moment it's not exciting me much!
-I've seen worse...
-..I have to say.
This odd-shaped kitchen. It's going to be really interesting seeing the way you work it all out.
And plan it out, I think.
I think it'll be quite good. Not fantastic because I'll keep the cost as low as I can,
but I think you'll see a marked improvement and think, "Wow!"
-John, good luck with this project. I hope it works out.
Skier John has got no budget for the work. That is a slipper slope to disaster if you ask me.
The rent could be good, but there IS a lot of work to do.
I'm worried that this is all going to go wrong. Am I being pessimistic?
You can find out later on.
Coming up: outside, this property in Nottingham looks great, but inside it's falling apart.
Hmm. That's not too good, is it?
We return to Kent to see if John's renovation budget is under control.
I did not really have a clue what it was going to cost.
But first, in Stoke, have those extension plans collapsed?
We put the plans on hold. We got them passed.
'We're back after a year to see how Guy and Emma have fared in their three-bedroom
'detached house in Trentham in Stoke. Bought at auction for £153,000,
'£3,000 over the guide price, this property really is a case of location, location, location.'
-Tell me why you bought it.
-Family very close. Next door.
'They have turned this empty shell into a comfortable, liveable home.
'All the rooms have their own personal touch,
'but they had ambitious plans to extend to a five-bedroom house and to redesign the ground floor.
'There are no signs of any major structural changes here. Their house in Birmingham was sold,
'so they should have been ready to roll. So what's going on?'
Originally, our plans were to have the extension done, ready for my husband's 40th birthday.
Unfortunately, he lost his job during the summer.
Luckily, we put the plans on hold. We got them passed, but didn't get the builders in.
'It was a wise move to postpone the planned extension.
'To date they've only spent around £1,000 on the house, just to make it more homely
'for themselves and their daughters. They have allowed themselves one luxury - a hot tub.
'But they do have plans to install solar panels later to offset this indulgence.
'They now have most of their furniture dotted around the house
'and have decorated the front and back reception rooms, making warm, inviting living spaces.
'In the kitchen, they've installed a new cooker and replaced some of the existing cupboards.
'They seem to have settled in well.'
It feels like home. It felt like home immediately.
So many people said it's like you've been here a long, long time.
'Upstairs, they're using the small bedroom as a makeshift dressing room
'and they've decorated the two main bedrooms.
'Skye and Maisie's room is, well, see for yourself.'
# Pretty in pink
# Isn't she
# Pretty in pink? #
'Guy has now secured a new job as a process engineer for a green energy technology company,
'so Emma gave us a guided tour of their extension plans.'
We're moving from a three-bedroomed house to a double-fronted four-bedroomed house
with extra bathrooms and bigger downstairs living area.
So you can see we're moving the garage that's existing to the opposite side of the house.
And then having a big family eating kitchen and snug room downstairs.
Then we go upstairs and the existing two bigger bedrooms remain as they are.
And we're having a solar panel room upstairs that will then lead into
the master bedroom, another spare bedroom and the wet room upstairs.
We're trying to make it a slightly eco house as well.
I really love what we've designed. The architects worked really well with us and built in all our ideas
and some that he'd suggested from other properties he'd worked on
but looking at them now I'm really excited to see them come fully into commission.
'Has the amount they're planning to spend changed at all?'
We're still looking at a budget of £70,000-£80,000. That includes a total rewire of the house
and that should also include any utilities we need to put in and the solar panels.
So we hope to stay on budget. Everything's ready, raring to go.
'To make an assessment of the property's potential, we asked two local estate agents to evaluate it.'
Having looked at the plans, very impressed.
It adds a lot of space to the property and things that are missing.
What I like about the plans is the kitchen especially,
turning it into a living dining kitchen. The office in the garage, especially with the mezzanine.
The plans are quite sympathetic, so it will look properly done and it's a sensible use of space.
I think adding additional bedrooms and making the property bigger is a good idea
making the resale a lot easier.
'Guy and Emma have no intention of renting this property.
'They bought it just over a year ago for £153,000 and have spent £1,000 on decorating.
'Has the value increased much in that time?'
I'd put the property on the market at £189,950.
I would value this property somewhere in the region of £180,000 as it stands.
I'm quite impressed with the value of the property as it stands.
We've made the right decision, it's already making money for us,
but we don't intend selling it now anyway.
'If they do invest around £70,000 on the extension,
'in addition to the £154,000 already spent, that would make a total of £224,000
'plus the usual fees. So, crunch time - what would the resale value be with the extension?'
If the property had the extensions that it has planning permission for,
it would be put on the market for £269,000.
I would market it at £250,000.
Values once the extension is done, I'd like to see it slightly higher
when somebody sees the potential of a family home.
They've seen it from when it was empty to what it is now and we haven't done that much,
so fingers crossed it'll be worth more.
'Me and my husband met at the patch of land next to the house 26 years ago this year.
'It would be nice to think that the children have their happy teenage years here as well.'
So no plans to move for a long time.
I'm in Annesley Woodhouse, about 7 miles outside Nottingham,
in the very interestingly named Fox Street.
I know the property market hasn't been BOOM BOOM recently,
but there are some cunning opportunists out there.
So what's the property like? Let's hope it's a bit sunnier and more positive than the weather.
'I'm just glad I brought my brolly.
'This property may be on Fox Street, but you needn't be wily to hunt out shops, schools and other amenities.
'They're all within handy walking distance. This house had a guide price of £50,000
'and looks in good condition, but what about the inside?
'The first thing to catch my eye is that carpet.'
My mum and dad had this in our lounge at home. They said, "Spend more on a really good carpet
"and it'll last." I reckon that's been down for about 30 years and it's still going strong.
What have we got? The lounge here.
Hmm, that's not too good, is it?
It doesn't feel too damp, but there's indications there of previous damp for sure.
But it's not a bad size room, open fire there.
And then through to the rear room. Now... it's a bit of a campaign of mine,
but if ever I see glass doors like this, I say get rid of them. They are so dangerous. Look here.
I'm not going to take it off, but that's obviously cracked, smashed, whatever.
Imagine a small child running into that. Please get rid of that.
Rear room here - again a good size. An open fire, we like that.
A fairly standard layout, but there's a glass door right at the kitchen.
Imagine a slippy kitchen floor, falling into that? Not brilliant.
The kitchen needs a bit of sorting out. It's not huge, but usable.
'You could rip out those old units and fixtures and create a modern galley kitchen.
'That rear room would make a smashing dining room. I went upstairs to see what else I found.'
There's a bathroom and a loo and then you go from one colourful bedroom...
'The decor in the house is pretty dated and pretty colourful, too.
'Things are slightly more muted in the bathroom. It definitely needs modernising,
'especially if you wanted to rent it out. Around the back, there's a manageable little garden
'with a handy shed for storage.'
# Blue is the colour of the sky-y-y in the morning... #
'With a bit of work, maybe this could be a good rental or a profitable resale.
'What does a local estate agent think?
'This is an ideal property for a first-time buyer.'
Wants doing up, but the location is ideal.
Proportion-wise, I'd leave the rooms as they were. It needs modernising.
People still love their two reception rooms, especially with children.
'The property's guide price was £50,000, but once all the work is done, how much could it resell for?'
When renovated, I would suggest an asking price of around £79,950 for this property.
'So after renovations, it could make a reasonable profit.
'What about its rental value?'
Being the two bedrooms, which will hold the price, obviously,
I would be looking between £350 and £375 per calendar month.
'Sounds like renting could also be a good option. Let's see who bought it when it went to auction.'
Lot number 64 is in Annesley Woodhouse.
45? 45 I have there.
At £45,000, opening bid.
At 45,000. 46 somewhere else? 46 is bid here.
At £46,000. 46. 47 is bid. At 47.
48. 48. 49?
At £48,000. 49 somewhere else?
49, thank you. At 49. 49,500.
50,000. At £50,000. 50 and a half?
£50,000 I have. 50 and a half somewhere else?
At £50,000. 500. 50 and a half.
Out across by the bar, 51?
At £50,500, then. Once.
Twice. Third time. Sold at £50,500.
That bidding was so quick and competitive, our camera couldn't quite keep up.
The successful, but unseen bid was from Gary and Nicola.
# Raindrops are falling on my head... #
They are a local married couple and managed to get the property for £50,500.
Nicola's a full-time mum to their two kids, while Gary is a self-employed joiner,
which is always useful for the renovation.
-Nicola, Gary, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations.
-Why did you want to buy this place?
-We were looking for an investment property,
something long-term. A little nest egg, along those lines.
-What spurred you into doing that?
-Well, I've given up my job and Gary's self-employed,
so we hope we might, if we're successful with this, build up a little property portfolio
-for the future.
Not had any work for quite a while.
So it seemed an ideal opportunity to buy something like this to turn around quickly
-and hopefully rent it out.
But as fate deals its hand,
I got a job starting next week.
'Originally, Gary was going to do most of the work himself,
'but with only a week to go before he starts his new job, he'll need to get some help.'
We may employ people to decorate and to sort out the garden.
-When I say employ, I mean parents and brothers and friends.
But I'm still looking to be working on it evenings and weekends
-so 99% of it we're going to do ourselves, aren't we?
'They had planned to do the work in just eight weeks, but to accommodate Gary's new job
'they've extended that to 18 weeks.'
So tell me what you're going to do.
Complete renovation, really, isn't it? It needs central heating in, a new kitchen...
New bathroom, obviously decorating throughout, carpets, doors.
It's not exactly gutting it, but everything will be new and fresh
and starting from the beginning, really.
'Nicola and Gary have budgeted £10,000 for the work,
'but they're also thinking about an extension to the kitchen or maybe building on top of it
'to create a third bedroom. That would increase their cost considerably,
'but Nicola has other ways of saving money.'
-We've done some real bargain hunting and got some good deals.
We've bought a kitchen and it was one that was being discontinued.
So all the cupboard door fronts and drawer fronts were 99p.
For the door fronts and drawer fronts. So that was a huge saving.
We've shopped around and bargain hunted for appliances.
So, as I say, with it being a rental property, we're going to make sure that things are of a nice quality,
but we wouldn't be choosing to our own taste.
'Gary and Nicola are planning to rent this property out over a long period.
'They have had a bad experience trying to make a quick sale on a bungalow. It took 14 months
'so they're hedging their bets now.'
-How does the experience you had last time affect you?
-Of course, it was a learning experience,
but with this one we've decided we want this as a long-term investment,
so we plan to have it for the foreseeable future for us to rely on for our own retirement.
So I'm quite positive about it.
So, thankfully, Nicola and Gary not too put off by their first experience of property investing
and returning to property as a way to secure their financial future.
I'm a bit concerned about their timescales, especially with Gary's job, as time is money.
How will they get on? Find out later in the show.
Well, time moves on. Hopefully, work will have progressed.
-Have our buyers experienced success or seen their investments wither away?
-Let's find out.
'We're back in Chatham in Kent after four months to see how former skiing instructor John
'has got on renovating the property he bought for £80,000.
'Consisting of a split level, two-bedroom flat above and then a studio flat,
'it all needed serious attention.'
-Did you view this property?
-Yeah. It didn't put me off at all! I was OK with it.
'Well, John has certainly treated this as a bit of a mission.'
# I will try to fix you... #
'Moving upstairs, and although not yet finished, John has stripped back the bedrooms
'and replastered the walls.
'Most significantly, he has turned the divided kitchen/bathroom into two practical spaces.
'By moving the bathroom into the spare area beneath the stairs,
'he has made room for a more functional kitchen.'
The original partition wall was here. You see the line.
We've taken that down and the other side of this wall in this very tiny space
was the bathroom and toilet. So we've moved the whole bathroom underneath the stairwell.
'By taking this innovative step, John's made the kitchen really family friendly.
'Around the back, in the garden that was once a dumping ground, is now a building site!
'John plans to divide this area between both properties,
'providing off-street parking for the maisonette and garden space for the studio flat.
'Inside, and the flat is barely recognisable from the derelict and dingy place it was previously.'
This part of the basement flat, the roof was falling down and the ceiling.
The floor was rotten. It had floorboards and they were completely rotten. We've taken that up
and put a concrete floor down.
We're going to put glass blocks over there. We've put new doors over here
so there's going to be light coming from the front all the way through to the bedroom.
Lots of natural light.
We've got the kitchen here.
What we did here, we moved that wall back six inches
so we could have a nice galley kitchen.
Still yet to be tiled. And behind you we've got the bathroom and a separate toilet.
Got a little bit of work in there. It all has to be tiled. Basically, that's it.
'John's undertaken a complete overhaul of what was once a neglected and dilapidated building.
'He's done a great job of turning this place around.
'John was rather vague about his renovation budget,
'but it looks like there's been a lot of work done inside.
'And what happened with the gable end that had started to move?'
The roof at one time had actually moved slightly.
We think that's because of the change of tiles from slate to concrete. They weren't supported properly.
-It pushed the gable end wall out.
-'To do the repair actually involved removing the wall.
'A complex arrangement of scaffolding was involved on every floor
'so the work could be done safely.'
When the wall came down, the roof didn't move. It was a nervous time, but it worked well.
-'I remember there was a damp issue, too.'
-We suffered from lateral damp here in the basement,
penetrating damp upstairs and throughout the house, and rising damp.
The plaster was in ruins. So every bit of plaster in the whole house had to come off.
Quite a long job, boring job, but we did it.
'All of this must have impacted on John's non-existent budget.'
Well, I did not really have a clue what it was going to cost.
It was suggested about £10,000. I went with that.
I shouldn't have done! I'm way out. I didn't think it would cost me as much as it did.
It's going to come in only just under £40,000, I think. That's with everything finished.
So it was a bit of a shock to me! But I've learned a lot.
I don't think I could do it cheaper.
'Having bought the property for £80,000 and spending around £40,000 on the refurbishment,
'that's a total of £120,000. Is there any chance he can recoup this money?
'We invited a couple of local estate agents round to evaluate the property as it stands.'
A major difference when I first saw the property. The condition's good,
the size is a lot bigger than I remembered. Obviously, it's all been cleared et cetera.
-A major improvement.
-The flats are quite unusual. The top flat is very large, two bedrooms,
lounge, kitchen and bathroom. It's almost the size of a house.
The bottom flat is different.
And some people may not like it, being so cellar-wise,
but for somebody young, maybe they'd like it. It was quite cute, actually.
The lower ground floor flat is nice, it's open plan,
made very good use of the living accommodation. Looks very good.
'The estate agents reckon that renting both flats could bring a combined yield of 9%-10%.
'But having spent so much on the renovation, John is keen to resell the property.'
I think the resale valuation on the basement flat is going to be somewhere between £70,000-£75,000.
The lower ground floor, one bedroom maisonette, we'd look to resell in the region of £70,000-£75,000.
That's good. I'm pleased. I was looking at 70.
The upstairs, two-bedroom, split level, much more desirable,
but again you need to take into account the area and it would probably resell for £80,000-£85,000.
For the two-bed flat, I would put it on the market with a guide price of £85,000-£95,000.
90 I would be happy with. I was hoping for 90. That would be good.
'By selling both flats, he could be looking at upwards of £150,000.
'That should give him a profit of around £30,000 before tax and any legal expenses.
'Is he tempted?'
I'm probably going to look to sell,
especially if I can achieve 90 for the top maisonette and 70 for the basement flat.
That would be great. I've made a decent profit then.
Then I've got another project to go onto.
'John has clearly put a lot of effort into turning these run-down properties
'into desirable places to live. His previous mantra of doing it the cheapest possible way has gone,
'giving way to a desire to make comfortable homes.
'Any profit he might make would be well earned. After all this work, he must be pleased.'
I'm pleased about that, the overall finish of it, really.
A few minor design faults that I could have rectified, but nothing much.
I'm happy with everything.
'We're back in Annesley in Nottinghamshire where Nicola and Gary bought this two-bedroom house
'for £50,500 at auction. They hoped to turn this Fox Street property into an appealing little den.'
-Get central heating in, new kitchen.
-New bathroom, decorating,
-Everything's going to be new and fresh and starting from the beginning.
'So how did they get on with the work? We caught up with them four months later to find out.
'And what a transformation!
'They've replastered every wall in the house, they've repainted and refloored in every room.
'On top of that, they've installed a brand-new central heating system throughout.
'The rather dated fireplaces have been replaced with trendy new ones.
'And upstairs in the bathroom, well, the results speak for themselves.'
OK, as you can see, we've had a complete new bathroom suite
and we have done a bit of manoeuvring around from where the suite was originally positioned
to create a better use of space, really. We think this is quite a nice family bathroom now.
We did toy with the idea of doing a separate walk-in shower,
but instead Gary suggested doing a shower over the bath with just a shower screen.
That's meant we've been able to keep this cupboard here, which is great storage space for a family.
And kept it nice and neutral, so hopefully it will appeal to all tastes. Gary's done a great job.
'The other main room to get a complete overhaul was the kitchen.
'It's not only brighter, it also has a lot more room
'and is fitted with stylish appliances, units and brand-new worktops.
'Gary has done pretty much all the work himself.
'He's been sending evenings and weekends here, fitting around his day job as a joiner. That's handy.'
Here we are, the kitchen. I've spent a lot of time and effort in here trying to reorganise it.
It was quite tight in here before. It had units down both sides and was really narrow galley style.
We put a new window in, opened up the doorway, complete new units and worktops.
We're really happy with how it turned out. It works well.
He's done the majority of the work himself, but he doesn't like to admit that.
He has had a partner for a few days, but pretty much it's been a one-man job.
'Gary's been pretty busy out the back, too.
'He's cleared away the clutter, ready for grand plans in spring.'
There's a little bit we'd like to do extra, but we're going to leave that until the nice weather comes around.
Do it in sunshine rather than this cold, damp weather.
'Gary's hectic work schedule means he's had less time to spend on this,
'so the timescale has stretched from the original 18 weeks to 20.
'But has the budget stretched, too?'
Well, originally, we estimated about £10,000.
Then once we'd actually got the keys and we'd time to really have a close look at things
and confirm our plans, we then brought that down to about £8,500.
And I've done a final calculation on what we've spent so far
and we've actually come in £1,000 under that budget at £7,500 for the complete renovation,
so we're quite pleased with that.
'They haven't just come in under budget. It seems that Nicola and Gary's shrewd accounting
'took the pressure off in other ways, too.'
We've been lucky in a way that it hasn't actually cost us too much during that time
when there's not been much happening while Gary was away on the other project.
Had we had lots of costs to contend with, it would have really tipped the numbers
and maybe made it unfinancially viable.
So we've been quite lucky that we haven't had those costs.
'Let's see if two local property experts think the work has paid off.'
My first impressions of the property are that the owners have made a really good job
of the refurbishment. It's done to a very good standard.
It's well presented, an ideal first-time buyer property.
In the modern style.
It will attract investors and first-time buyers.
'So has the renovation added value? Remember, Nicola and Gary paid £50,500 at auction
'and they've done £7,500-worth of work.
'Their total spend here is around 58 grand.'
I would estimate the property to be put on the market for £69,950.
I'd value this property at £75,000.
'That's a great return of £12,000-£17,000 pre-tax profit,
'minus any legal fees, of course. That's good to know,
'but Nicola and Gary plan to rent it out first.
'How will those figures stack up?'
I would say rental of £375 per calendar month.
For a rental figure, I'd expect to achieve £385 per calendar month.
'In fact, Gary and Nicola have since managed to rent out the house for the middle of those valuations.
'The rent is £380 a month, which gives them a great yield of just under 8%.
'But getting a good financial return hasn't been the only reward on this project.'
I think a combination of coming in under budget and just seeing the finished product
is always good and very satisfying to see that all the hard work that's gone on over the weeks
has come together and it all seems to have come together at the last minute to make it really worthwhile.
Well, that's it for today. If you're prospecting for property gold,
hopefully it's inspired you, but also made you aware of the pitfalls.
We'll see you next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2010
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