Episode 75 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 75

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in London, a bungalow in Hampshire and a cottage in Norfolk. They learn how much each sold for at auction.


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Transcript


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Even in this volatile market,

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many of us are still hooked on houses.

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We are, especially when it comes to buying properties at auction,

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where thousands of people every year buy their homes under the hammer.

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We are constantly amazed by stories we follow from the auction room -

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real-life drama and some real-life successes.

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We have found three more properties, so what stories do THEY have to tell?

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'I'll be in London - prime location but maybe not a prime property.'

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In need of a bit of care and attention.

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'This bungalow in Hampshire is not all it's cracked up to be.'

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They are everywhere!

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'And you'll need green fingers to get into this cottage in Norfolk.'

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How about THAT for an entrance porch? An old greenhouse.

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'We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them

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'when they went under the hammer.'

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'First off, I'm in the capital city.

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'Just a few miles from Westminster is up-and-coming Clerkenwell.

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'As you'd expect, in this part of the country, house prices are at a premium.'

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The property I'm here to see is Georgian.

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I love Georgian properties. It's three storeys.

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Had a guide price of 475,000 quid.

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It sounds like a lot of money however, around here, a one-bedroom flat can go for about 300.

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Suddenly, it sounds very interesting.

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'Those ugly steel shutters

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'can't hide the Georgian charm of this terraced house.

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'It's a listed building in a conservation area

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'so there will be plenty of rules when it comes to renovating.

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'There are two flats in this house,

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'one at ground level and one spread over the top two floors.'

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Not quite the grand Georgian entrance with sweeping staircase I was hoping for.

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Not to worry. Let's hope the flats get better. First flat is here.

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Well, it's not huge but let's see what we've got.

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Main living area here.

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Reasonable sized kitchen.

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Although definitely in need of a bit of care and attention.

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Then the flat disappears off that way.

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I don't like the fact that, in a small flat, which this is,

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so much is taken up with corridor.

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Doesn't seem to be a good use of space. Bathroom there.

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One bedroom there. Neither are particularly large.

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It's not stacking up that well.

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Don't know about stacking up. How about cracking up? Look at that.

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Here's something very interesting. This is a crack down the wall.

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There's a strange remnant of something on here.

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I reckon they had a surveyor come

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and he's put a special device which monitors for subsidence.

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It's a strip that shows, over time, whether the crack is getting worse.

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You want to know what he found.

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I wouldn't buy this until I'd seen that report.

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'The flat's pretty small and restricted.

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'Any developer would have to be creative.

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'It does have a little back garden,

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'which could lend itself to an extension.'

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Thankfully, once you head upstairs, the house starts to redeem itself.

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That's where the second flat is. Much better size, over two floors.

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You've got a living room area. Not too bad a size.

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Then through into the kitchen.

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It does need, like the other one, complete refurbishment,

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but it's a much more liveable size.

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It does benefit from a roof terrace, which is a real bonus in London.

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'Both the bedroom and bathroom are on the top floor.

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'It looks like someone's been trying their hand at some DIY demolition.

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'Time for a local estate agent to give us his opinion.'

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The owners need to spend a considerable amount of money.

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Certainly new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, walling.

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There's always hidden extras that might crop up

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when they start the refurbishment.

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'Bearing in mind the guide price of 475,000,

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'how much could the two flats be worth when the work's been done?'

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If the ground floor was renovated, in the region of £375,000.

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The upstairs apartment, in the region of £425,000.

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'Of course, London has a vibrant rental market.

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'What could these flats pull in?'

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After refurbishment, the ground floor flat in the region of £350 per week,

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with upstairs in the region of £400 per week.

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A property that's almost worth its weight in gold.

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Keep it as two flats, you've got a great rental machine.

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A few issues regarding listed status but, all in all, great to go for.

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Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.

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Great property. Great location. 500? Don't mess around on this.

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500. 510?

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520?

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520. 530? 540?

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535, yeah? OK, 535. 540?

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545? 550?

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-551? >

-There's always a chancer!

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551. 552? 553?

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554? 555?

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556? 557?

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No? 557, new place.

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560?

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565?

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You want to come in? 570?

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575? 580,000?

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585?

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590?

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591? 592?

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No?

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591 for the first.

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591 for the second.

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591... 592.

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More competition. 593?

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594? 595?

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596? 597?

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598?

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599?

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600,000? 601?

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602?

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No? 601 for the first, the second...

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Sold. It's a good buy, that.

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'That hard-fought battle was eventually won by George,

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'with his final bid of £601,000 -

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'a whopping 126 grand over the guide price.

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'I met him to discuss his plans.'

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-George, congratulations.

-Thank you.

-Why did you want to buy this?

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I haven't actually bought it. My two sons have bought it with a friend.

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The three of them are buying it. It's their first joint development.

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I've helped them financially, as their friend's father helped him, financially.

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-How much influence did you have on what they bought?

-Quite a lot.

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I've got some experience in property development.

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I was looking for a good property in a great area.

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With the market as it is, a London property, you can't go too wrong.

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'So there are actually five people involved - George and his two sons, Alex and Fraser,

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'their friend Clark and his dad, Pete.

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'The three boys are being given a leg-up

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'by their more experienced developer dads.'

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The issues are cosmetic. There's no structural issues.

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There is a remains, what looks to me, of some kind of testing

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for subsidence.

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We've had the architect down here.

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There's a little bit of movement under a lintel over a window,

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which caused some cracking downstairs.

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Nothing that can't be sorted out.

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We're looking to make the upstairs flat,

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which is over two floors, a two-bedroom flat.

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That's got a big terrace.

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The ground floor flat, we're going to extend

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and make a very big reception area.

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If we get permission, we're looking to spend 80k, something like that.

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-I should go and have a chat with your lads.

-OK. Great.

-Well done.

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'George's eldest son, Alex, and his co-investor friend Clark have both come along.

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'The third member of the younger team, Fraser, is working for an estate agency.

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'Alex and Clark have taken a riskier career path.'

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-Professional poker players.

-Wow.

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That's your job? A business card would say "poker player"?

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-PPP, as we like to say.

-Professional Poker Player!

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-Oh, yeah. Please! Not amateurs!

-Yeah.

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-Is that where you make your money?

-Yes.

-You can make guaranteed money playing poker?

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-If you're good enough, you could say it's guaranteed.

-You've just got to win more than you lose.

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Do you see this as a gamble?

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Of course. Anything's a gamble in terms of investment. Anything could happen. Hopefully, a good one.

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'This building could be a profitable gamble.'

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# I'm a roving gambler I gamble all around... #

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'It cost £601,000 to buy the place.

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'The team plan to spend around £80,000 on the work

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'and get it finished within six months.

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'Luckily for the lads, the ace up their sleeve is both of their dads' years of experience.'

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At what point did you bring in your fathers?

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Pretty much at the beginning, due to the experience they both have,

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and their encouragement to look in the auctions rather than estate agencies.

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Cos you might find a better property in the area. So, from the start.

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How is it going to work in terms of what you'll physically do?

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-What's your involvement going to be?

-We'll leave it up to the builders.

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It's going to be a high-spec finish so if we did bits and pieces...

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We might do the clearing out at the beginning,

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but any proper work - plastering, putting the kitchen in - it's better to get professionals to do.

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Is this a start of a property developing career for you both?

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It would be nice to take the profit from this and move on.

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Keep going till we're millionaires!

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Good luck. I don't think it's too much of a risk but we look forward to seeing how you get on.

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So, what's on the CARDS for George and the boys?

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Will they be FLUSHED with success?

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A lot of people involved in this project and that can bring problems.

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Find out how they get on later in the show.

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Ten minutes from the centre of Southampton is Bitterne Park.

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On the River Itchen, the suburb was developed in the 19th century,

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on sloping parkland which formed part of Bitterne Manor.

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It is a lovely spot and the property today is just a few roads away.

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'With walks along the river, moorings and a mainline station,

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'this place ticks a lot of boxes.'

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Many thousands of bungalows were built during the inter-war period,

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springing up in previously rural suburbs.

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They've had critics who coined the scathing phrase "bungaloid growth"

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to describe their invasion.

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They are often boxy and unadventurous

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but you get good square footage and a garden,

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usually in desirable locations.

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So open your bunged-up mind for our lot today. It IS a bungalow.

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It's got three bedrooms and a guide price of only 100,000.

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'That guide price is certainly an attention grabber.

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'Built in the 1950s, it has off-street parking,

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'a small garden and hilltop views of the city.

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'I wonder if the interior is as impressive.'

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At the front of this property,

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you've got what I presume is a bedroom.

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It goes through into the equally small room.

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But I think this is a partition wall.

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Somebody sub-divided this and it really doesn't work.

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You've only got this access, and that's too small as a living room.

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You either need to make this all one room

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or move this entrance so you have access from the hall.

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Both rooms are a slightly odd shape. You've got these corner windows.

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Slightly odd start.

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'There's another small bedroom to the rear.

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'Although I've seen worse layouts, this place needs sorting out.

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'It can't seem to decide whether it's two or three bedrooms.'

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# ..Been dazed and confused for so long it's not true... #

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The kitchen has a nice area for a table here,

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doors leading out to the garden, but I'd like to open up this room here

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and have the area as one big space

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to make the most of the view.

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I've got a sinking feeling that pokey space isn't all these rooms have in common.

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Look at these cracks.

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And up there.

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They are everywhere.

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'As if on a mission for equality, each room has a multitude of cracks.

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'For a 60-year-old house, a few cracks in the plasterwork aren't a massive concern.

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'When you find a place sporting as many as this, you need to ask some serious questions.'

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Remember that little piece of history I told you earlier?

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The area was developed on sloping parkland.

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That takes a sinister turn when you see windows like these.

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I've never seen anything like it.

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The windows are straight

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but the bungalow appears to be slipping down this hill.

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Yes, you've guessed it. This house has got subsidence.

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The slope in the land and often-inadequate foundations

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mean this area is more susceptible than other parts of Southampton.

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So far, so worrying. You can forget a mortgage on this place.

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This lot is for cash buyers only, and ones with deep pockets at that.

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This problem is an expensive one to fix.

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# There's danger, danger Danger ahead beware! #

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'It's like the house has had one tipple too many.

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'The scary thing is, this isn't obvious from outside.

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'A lick of paint before an auction has fooled many amateur developers.

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'I'd get a survey done straightaway.'

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# ..There's danger ahead, beware Beware... #

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'This might be serious enough to warrant knocking the place down

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'and starting all over again.

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'It's time to call in a local estate agent.'

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My advice would probably be

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to let the property out with a minor upgrade, possibly.

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Have a structural engineer find out what's right and wrong then act on that.

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There's a possible resale value later. Currently, you're best off letting the property out.

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'What kind of income could that bring?'

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You'd look to rent this property around £750 per calendar month.

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'Food for thought, but still a risky venture.

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'What about knocking down the bungalow and starting over again?'

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The resale for a new-build on this plot

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would probably be worth between £200 and £225,000.

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'And if you tried to rescue the existing structure by underpinning

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'and restoring the bungalow?'

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In today's market, I consider this property to be worth, in A1 condition, £170,000 to £175,000.

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It's in a good location.

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Bungalows hold their value in tricky markets.

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But without the subsidence, there's work to do to get the best from this property.

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Whoever takes this one on needs to be under no illusions. This is a big job.

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Let's see who that brave soul was.

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A three-bedroom detached bungalow. Requires some updating.

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I will give you this opportunity and open the bidding at just £80,000.

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Thank you, sir. 80,000 I have got sat down.

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85,000. Now need 86.

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86 he does. 87,000. £87,000, then.

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87,000 once.

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87,000 twice.

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500.

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87,500

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88,000?

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88,000. 88 and a half?

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88,500. 89?

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89,500?

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Round it up to 90, sir? Might do the job.

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90,000 I have bid. They're shaking their head. 90,00 I have once.

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90,000 twice.

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90,000 for the third and final time.

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Well done. Your property.

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'The new owner is Peter, a kitchen-fitter from Southampton.

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'This father of three is a busy man so he wanted to come away from the auction with a property to do up.

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'And what a project he's got! I met up with him to find out more.'

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What I want to know is why did you want to buy this property?

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I'd viewed a few other properties.

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I went to the auction with a view of buying them and they sold for more than I wanted to pay.

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Saw this in the catalogue. It was a property I could afford to buy.

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So I bought the place...

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Stop right there! You bought this by just looking at a photograph?

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Yeah. Well, I knew the road.

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It said in the catalogue "cash buyers only" and that you should do your own investigation.

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-You didn't do any investigation, a survey.

-No.

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Tell me about the house structurally. What do you know?

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Er, I know that the foundations aren't man enough to hold it up.

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-Are we talking the big S word?

-Yeah.

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It's definitely subsiding. You can look around the place.

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There's huge amounts of movement.

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When I realised how bad it was I thought, "Looks like I might have to knock it down."

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-I think it's a building plot, basically.

-No?

-Yeah.

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You've gone from wanting to buy a house to renovate to buying a plot to build a whole house!

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-It's exciting.

-Look how your week's changed!

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'Peter's rolling with the punches and has already had a structural surveyor round

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'to confirm his suspicions.

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'He wanted a project, but a demolition job?

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'That's a scary and costly prospect for any developer.'

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I've got enough money to get a shell up, I reckon.

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I can do all the rest of it, and do that at a time that suits myself.

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That really is the way to go. It could be good news for you.

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Any house with subsidence will always have that stigma attached.

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You'll never find it easy to insure it,

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get a mortgage on it, when it's had repairs done to it.

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-Have you thought about your demolition costs?

-No, no, no.

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-But it's a bungalow. You can do it from a pair of steps!

-Get away!

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I'm going to see you with a sledgehammer?

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It's in the back of the car. I'm ready to go.

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'Peter's spent 90 grand buying the property.

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'Building a brand new house is a very expensive proposition.

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'Will there be any equity left when he's finished?'

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-It's going to cost about 60,000...

-To build a whole house?

-Yeah.

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If I'm doing the interior stuff, I think that's what it should cost.

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'If Peter does achieve the build within his budget,

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'the new house could be worth as much as 225,000.

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'He's a single parent, so tries not to work over the school holidays.

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'But he'll have plenty of time to crack on and, luckily,

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'doesn't have to be too strict about his timescales, either.'

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Let's just say I'm going to leave it six months. That'll do plans.

0:22:510:22:56

Once I've started, the shell will go up pretty quick.

0:22:560:23:00

That's going to be another month or so.

0:23:000:23:03

Then I'll leave myself another six months to finish the interior.

0:23:030:23:07

12, 15 months. Something like that.

0:23:070:23:10

What a difference a day makes.

0:23:130:23:15

In the blink of an eye, Peter has gone from a renovation job

0:23:150:23:19

to a full-on new-build and he wasn't even intending to buy this property.

0:23:190:23:24

He's very positive, but to do it for 60,000, he'd need to be.

0:23:240:23:30

I can't wait to find out how it goes.

0:23:300:23:33

'Coming up, this century-old cottage in Norfolk

0:23:340:23:38

'takes open-plan to a new level.'

0:23:380:23:40

THAT is really, really weird.

0:23:400:23:43

'We return to Hampshire to discover the fate of the subsiding bungalow.'

0:23:440:23:50

If the walls start cracking again, I'll have to review the situation.

0:23:500:23:55

'First, how our development team capitalised on their London investment.'

0:23:560:24:01

We stand back and watch the money roll in!

0:24:010:24:05

'We're back in Clerkenwell, London,

0:24:090:24:12

'to catch up with George and his extensive team of developers.

0:24:120:24:17

'They bought this listed Georgian terrace house for £601,000.

0:24:170:24:22

'Inside, there were two one-bedroom flats begging to be renovated.

0:24:220:24:28

'The investors consisted of property developer George, his two sons Alex and Fraser, their friend Clark

0:24:280:24:35

'and his dad Pete.

0:24:350:24:37

'Clark and Alex, professional poker players,

0:24:370:24:40

'were ready to stake the team's money on this development being a success.'

0:24:400:24:46

Do you see this as a gamble?

0:24:460:24:49

Course. Anything's a gamble in terms of investment. Anything can happen.

0:24:490:24:54

'The master plan was to extend the ground floor flat

0:24:540:24:59

'and create a second bedroom in the upper flat.

0:24:590:25:02

'We're back eight months later to see how they've got on.

0:25:020:25:07

'Well, they've extended the ground floor apartment...

0:25:180:25:22

'..to give it an airy open-plan layout complete with terrace.'

0:25:240:25:30

We got planning permission for an extension, which we're standing in.

0:25:310:25:37

It has made this one-bedroom flat really spacious.

0:25:370:25:41

You can open up the whole of the flat

0:25:410:25:44

from the front, to the back of the garden.

0:25:440:25:48

'The old sitting room will be the bedroom.

0:25:480:25:52

'And what was the kitchen is now a sleek en suite bathroom.

0:25:550:26:01

'They continued the open-plan theme upstairs in the second flat,

0:26:020:26:07

'by making the lounge and kitchen into one.

0:26:070:26:12

'On the top floor, they reorganised space to create a second bedroom...

0:26:160:26:22

'..and a stylish, if somewhat smaller, bathroom.'

0:26:250:26:29

It was a one-bedroom flat on two floors.

0:26:310:26:34

We reconfigured the top floor to get two good sized bedrooms.

0:26:340:26:39

We had a few difficulties with the listed building people.

0:26:390:26:44

We had to conform to what they wanted.

0:26:440:26:47

'The team paid £601,000 for this listed Georgian property.

0:26:470:26:52

'After six months' renovation work, are they on budget?'

0:26:520:26:56

We had two budgets, one with and one without an extension.

0:26:560:27:00

The one with the extension, our budget was about £75,000, £80,000.

0:27:000:27:06

We've pretty much come in on budget.

0:27:060:27:08

We might be 5k over, perhaps come in at £85,000.

0:27:080:27:13

There's still a little bit of work. Not a lot. Just a bit of painting.

0:27:130:27:18

'The majority of the work has been overseen by George's youngest son, Fraser.

0:27:200:27:26

'He's worked closely with John, their builder.'

0:27:260:27:30

We've relied on John pretty heavily. He's been based here full time.

0:27:300:27:35

Doing seven-day weeks a lot of the time.

0:27:350:27:38

He's been project managing, making sure materials turned up on time.

0:27:380:27:43

Doing everything, basically. I've just been popping in day-to-day.

0:27:430:27:47

I've worked for Liz and George before and that's been really good.

0:27:470:27:52

Working for Fraser's been really good as well. I haven't seen much of the other two, though!

0:27:520:27:58

'Professional poker players Alex and Clark were the silent partners,

0:28:000:28:05

'and they've kept themselves well out of the way.'

0:28:050:28:09

There were so many partners in this project

0:28:090:28:12

that we didn't really need to get involved.

0:28:120:28:15

We had builders doing building work, the architect doing the drawings.

0:28:150:28:20

We just sat back and watched the money roll in.

0:28:200:28:25

'But WILL the money roll in or are the odds stacked against them?

0:28:250:28:30

'The five-strong team bought the property for £601,000.

0:28:300:28:34

'Add to that the 4% stamp duty of £24,000

0:28:340:28:38

'plus the renovation budget of 85 grand

0:28:380:28:41

'and that's a total outlay of £715,000.

0:28:410:28:47

'Do two local property experts think they've invested wisely?'

0:28:470:28:52

I'm actually very impressed.

0:28:520:28:55

They've done the best they can with what they've got.

0:28:550:28:59

The extension massively opens up the ground floor,

0:28:590:29:02

which was a bit of a worry before.

0:29:020:29:05

It's nice and bright so it's going to be very attractive to people.

0:29:050:29:10

It's done to a good standard. Location's beneficial.

0:29:100:29:15

The outside space is a big plus.

0:29:150:29:17

I can't see them taking long to sell.

0:29:170:29:20

'Great first impressions but what about the figures?

0:29:200:29:23

'First, the ground floor flat.'

0:29:230:29:26

I would put the ground floor one-bed on the market for £420,000,

0:29:260:29:31

to achieve something around the £400,000 mark.

0:29:310:29:34

The ground floor, you'd be looking between £330,000 and £350,000.

0:29:340:29:39

'Is this is line with what George was hoping for?'

0:29:390:29:43

We've had a valuation and it's about 375 for the downstairs one.

0:29:430:29:48

That's halfway between the two, really.

0:29:480:29:52

'What about the two-bed flat? Well, opinion varied here,

0:29:520:29:56

'with the market being so hard to judge at the moment.

0:29:560:30:00

'The returning estate agent valued it at £485,000,

0:30:000:30:05

'whilst the other estimated between £430,000 and £450,000.'

0:30:050:30:09

Well, 485 ties in very much with our valuation.

0:30:090:30:16

So, the returning agent at 485 is pretty much in line with ours.

0:30:160:30:23

'According to those figures, the combined values of both flats

0:30:230:30:27

'is between £760,000 and £885,000.

0:30:270:30:32

'This could mean a gross profit of between £50,000 and £175,000 - quite a difference!

0:30:320:30:39

'What about the rental option?'

0:30:390:30:42

The ground floor flat's somewhere in the region of £400 per week.

0:30:420:30:47

The two-bedroom upstairs, in the region of £440 per week.

0:30:470:30:51

For the one-bed, in the region of £325 per week.

0:30:510:30:54

For the two-bed, you'd be looking closer to 350 to 375.

0:30:540:30:59

'That's a potential combined rental income of around £3,000 a month.

0:30:590:31:04

'Does that interest George?'

0:31:040:31:07

We don't intend renting it, unless we have to.

0:31:070:31:11

But I would have said that £800 for the two of them is the right figure.

0:31:110:31:16

'If George manages to sell the flats for the figure he has in mind,

0:31:180:31:23

'there could be a pre-tax profit of over £100,000 - to be split five ways, of course.

0:31:230:31:30

'Since filming,

0:31:300:31:32

'the team have put the ground floor flat on the market for £399,000

0:31:320:31:37

'and the two-bed flat is on for £499,000.

0:31:370:31:41

'They've had a lot of interest but, as yet, no firm offers.'

0:31:410:31:46

'I'm in Buxton in Norfolk.

0:31:520:31:55

'This village has a mixture of 17th and 18th-century houses

0:31:550:31:59

'together with modern estates, and lies eight miles north of Norwich.

0:31:590:32:04

'Buxton got a mention in the Domesday Book.

0:32:040:32:08

'Will today's property be all doom and gloom or a revelation?'

0:32:080:32:14

Guide price, £100,000 to £105,000.

0:32:140:32:16

A three-bedroom cottage, and how about that for an entrance porch?

0:32:160:32:21

It's an old greenhouse.

0:32:210:32:23

Doesn't quite work, does it? Most unusual porch I've ever seen.

0:32:230:32:27

I'd better go in round the back.

0:32:270:32:30

'This 100-year-old semi-detached looks in pretty good order outside.

0:32:300:32:36

'The greenhouse might catch the sun,

0:32:360:32:39

'but clambering over runner beans isn't the best way in and out of your front door.

0:32:390:32:45

'Let's hope there are some more redeeming features inside.'

0:32:450:32:50

You've got this strange room here.

0:32:500:32:52

Somewhere to put your wellies, I suppose.

0:32:520:32:56

The bathroom's there, and the loo. Very odd.

0:32:560:33:00

Somebody's got a new bathroom suite ready to stick in place.

0:33:000:33:04

Through into the kitchen. Again, you just walk through it.

0:33:040:33:08

It's got too many doors, almost. Four doors!

0:33:080:33:12

It just doesn't work. The units, a right old state.

0:33:120:33:16

This room here, I guess that's a utility.

0:33:160:33:19

Upstairs to the bedrooms, then into the lounge. Not working for me yet.

0:33:190:33:24

'The lounge is a decent size, but very long and narrow.

0:33:240:33:29

'There is potential lurking.

0:33:290:33:31

'Behind the heater is an old fireplace.

0:33:310:33:34

'I'm convinced the floorboards will be original. These are details.

0:33:340:33:39

'The layout needs to be sorted first.

0:33:390:33:42

'If you think downstairs is bad, wait till you see upstairs.'

0:33:420:33:46

THAT is really, really weird.

0:33:460:33:49

It's a three-bedroomed house, but this is the third bedroom.

0:33:490:33:54

It's like they've forgotten to put the dividing wall in.

0:33:540:33:58

You can't complain about the size

0:33:580:34:00

and, what's more, two other really good size double bedrooms.

0:34:000:34:04

You need to do a few bits and pieces.

0:34:040:34:07

First of which, a couple of stud partition walls.

0:34:070:34:11

'Open-plan living can be great, but not in the bedrooms.

0:34:190:34:23

'The guide price was £100,000 to £105,000 but whoever bought it

0:34:230:34:28

'will need to set money aside for a serious rethink of the configuration

0:34:280:34:33

'to make the most of the space.'

0:34:330:34:36

There's scope to expand this property, unusually, on three sides.

0:34:380:34:43

If you're moving that bathroom upstairs,

0:34:430:34:45

it's something you want to consider.

0:34:450:34:48

If you get it for around the guide price,

0:34:480:34:51

then think about an extension here, sort out the front elevation,

0:34:510:34:56

some sort of a conservatory.

0:34:560:34:58

If you pay over the odds, then it's about what you want to do with it.

0:34:580:35:03

If you're going to live in it, it could be worth expanding.

0:35:030:35:07

To sell it on at a profit, keep hold of your budget.

0:35:070:35:11

'So, for that £100,000 to £105,000 guide price,

0:35:130:35:16

'the buyer gets a 100-year-old cottage with great potential.

0:35:160:35:20

'More importantly, they get THIS.

0:35:200:35:23

'It's surrounded by open fields and has a good size country garden.

0:35:250:35:30

'So, plenty to think about.

0:35:300:35:33

'I asked an estate agent with the auction house for his impressions.'

0:35:330:35:39

A lot of people want to live

0:35:390:35:41

in a cottage in the country - that's what this property has to offer.

0:35:410:35:46

It's got rural views, unspoilt. There is potential to extend.

0:35:460:35:51

Either to add an upstairs bathroom or to have an extra reception room.

0:35:510:35:55

This would add value as well.

0:35:550:35:58

'It all sounds positive.

0:35:580:36:00

'Surely, the village location makes it a popular rental investment.'

0:36:000:36:04

There is rental potential.

0:36:040:36:06

The village has amenities. It's a popular area to rent in.

0:36:060:36:11

I'd expect to achieve £550 to £575 per calendar month.

0:36:110:36:15

'How many thousands of pounds are we talking for resale value?'

0:36:150:36:20

If it were renovated, we'd expect between 160 and 170.

0:36:200:36:24

There's obviously work needed, but what I really like is the potential for expansion,

0:36:240:36:30

and you can't knock the location.

0:36:300:36:33

For £100,000 guide price, great one to go for. Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.

0:36:330:36:39

Start me at 105, if you like.

0:36:430:36:46

105. 110.

0:36:460:36:48

115.

0:36:480:36:50

120.

0:36:500:36:52

125.

0:36:520:36:54

You're shaking your head.

0:36:540:36:57

130. 135.

0:36:570:36:59

£135,000.

0:36:590:37:02

£135,000 here. Half.

0:37:020:37:05

Been with me all the way. 136.

0:37:050:37:07

136 and a half.

0:37:090:37:12

I'll take 250, if it helps you.

0:37:140:37:17

136,750. He's shaking HIS head, now.

0:37:170:37:21

136,750, then, for the first time.

0:37:210:37:24

136,750 for the second time.

0:37:260:37:29

Third and final time at 136,750.

0:37:300:37:33

BANGS GAVEL Yours, sir. Well done.

0:37:330:37:36

'The successful bid of 136,750 was made by Kevin and his wife, Angela.

0:37:370:37:44

'Kevin's an insurance technician.

0:37:440:37:46

'Angela's a teacher, and they both work in Norwich.

0:37:460:37:51

'They have two small children and live just five miles away.

0:37:510:37:55

'Is this house going to be their dream home?

0:37:550:37:59

'I met up with them to find out.'

0:37:590:38:01

Kevin, Angela, lovely to meet you. Congratulations.

0:38:010:38:05

-Thank you.

-Why did you want to buy this place?

0:38:050:38:07

Well, our son goes to school in Buxton.

0:38:070:38:11

A lot of our friends are in Buxton.

0:38:110:38:13

We tried several other properties in Buxton, which we didn't get.

0:38:130:38:18

This one came up so we decided to buy this.

0:38:180:38:21

-This is for YOU, is it?

-Yes.

-Family home.

-Great.

0:38:210:38:25

-You've got a place where you live at the moment?

-We sold ours in July.

0:38:250:38:30

We moved into rented accommodation and went from a four-bedroom down to two.

0:38:300:38:36

So where's all your stuff?

0:38:360:38:38

In storage, in the garage, and in the house. And in the garden.

0:38:380:38:43

'So, space is what they need,

0:38:430:38:46

'not something there's an abundance of here, at the moment at least.'

0:38:460:38:52

We do plan to extend, develop it to fit our lifestyle.

0:38:520:38:56

We will be adding a bedroom and a new lounge.

0:38:560:39:00

Tell me more about the extension.

0:39:000:39:03

This wall's going to come down.

0:39:030:39:05

We're going to have an open kitchen-dining room area

0:39:050:39:10

with a utility, downstairs bathroom,

0:39:100:39:12

-family bathroom...family room and a lounge on the side.

-Wow!

0:39:120:39:18

What about upstairs? The layout is just so strange.

0:39:180:39:21

Um... Yeah.

0:39:210:39:23

We're hoping to put four bedrooms, a family bathroom,

0:39:230:39:29

and the main bedroom will be en suite as well.

0:39:290:39:33

That's how the plans have been drawn up. We should get away with it.

0:39:330:39:38

-One of those will be in the extension?

-Yes.

-Master bedroom.

0:39:380:39:42

-Why don't you buy a bigger house?

-Because it's too expensive.

0:39:420:39:46

And it's the location.

0:39:460:39:48

To buy this already done is way above what we can afford.

0:39:480:39:53

So we thought we'd do this and at least we've done it ourselves.

0:39:530:39:58

-It's the challenge.

-Yeah.

0:39:580:40:00

-It sounds like you're gutting it.

-Yes, we are.

-Plaster off the walls.

0:40:000:40:05

Ceilings all coming down. Everything's going.

0:40:050:40:08

'They've got a healthy budget of £50,000

0:40:100:40:13

'and hope to bring this cottage back to life

0:40:130:40:16

'as a comfortable family home.'

0:40:160:40:18

So, what kind of timescale for all the work?

0:40:270:40:31

-We are looking from start to finish, four months.

-Yeah.

0:40:310:40:35

-Four months?

-Yeah.

-That's not long.

0:40:350:40:38

-Not to build an extension.

-I'm very demanding!

0:40:380:40:41

You want to be in here!

0:40:410:40:43

-We do. Yes.

-Our builder, Liam, already knows how I'm going to be, kicking his bum.

0:40:430:40:50

Congratulations, and we look forward to seeing your family running around.

0:40:500:40:55

-It would be nice. And it'll be finished, as well.

-Well, good luck.

-Thank you.

0:40:550:41:00

So, there are grand plans afoot for this little house,

0:41:000:41:05

certainly challenges ahead for Kevin and Angela.

0:41:050:41:09

And demanding Angela? Will she keep those builders under control?

0:41:090:41:13

And the budget within 50 grand?

0:41:130:41:16

You can find out later in the show.

0:41:160:41:19

Time and tide wait for no man and, in the property world,

0:41:220:41:27

time usually means money.

0:41:270:41:29

Let's go back and see how that time and cash has been spent.

0:41:290:41:33

'We're heading to Southampton, to catch up with kitchen-fitter Peter.

0:41:350:41:40

'He bought this bungalow in the Bitterne Park area for 90,000.'

0:41:400:41:45

# ..Start all over again... #

0:41:460:41:50

'Amazingly, he hadn't even seen the place before he parted with his cash

0:41:500:41:55

'and, boy, was he in for a surprise!

0:41:550:41:58

'The property was riddled with cracks and suffering from subsidence.'

0:41:580:42:05

When I realised how bad it was, I thought, "Looks like I might have to knock it down and start again.'

0:42:050:42:12

-I think it's a building plot.

-No?!

0:42:120:42:14

# There's danger, danger Danger ahead

0:42:140:42:19

# Beware! #

0:42:190:42:21

'So, in one day, Peter had gone from buying a property

0:42:210:42:25

'to be his first renovation

0:42:250:42:27

'to having a complete demolition and rebuild job on his hands.

0:42:270:42:31

'19 months later, how's his building project coming along?'

0:42:310:42:35

'The first surprise is that the original property is still here.'

0:42:410:42:47

# ..All right now

0:42:470:42:50

# Baby, it's all right now

0:42:500:42:54

# All right now

0:42:550:42:58

# Baby, it's all right now... #

0:42:580:43:02

'After consulting with local planners, Peter changed his mind

0:43:020:43:07

'and decided to renovate the original subsiding bungalow.'

0:43:070:43:12

It would have been not a problem to get permission to rebuild,

0:43:120:43:17

but I wouldn't have got permission to build a house, just a bungalow.

0:43:170:43:22

So I thought I could probably renovate it to sufficient standards, as you can see today.

0:43:220:43:29

'So it's been renovated to a safe and liveable standard

0:43:290:43:33

'and is now rented out to a family who are happily settled in.

0:43:330:43:38

'By not dealing with the subsidence in a permanent way,

0:43:380:43:41

'there could be further movement in the future.'

0:43:410:43:45

If the walls start cracking and that sort of thing seriously again

0:43:450:43:50

then I'll have to review the situation,

0:43:500:43:53

and it's likely I'll go back to the original plan, knock it down.

0:43:530:43:58

If it stays where it is, and there's no reason why it should move, it's a good rentable property.

0:43:580:44:04

'Peter's done all the work himself, spending £10,000 on materials.

0:44:040:44:10

'He's replaced the roof, rewired, replumbed and fitted a new boiler,

0:44:110:44:16

'put new flooring down and redone the kitchen and bathroom.'

0:44:160:44:21

This room was originally a dining room and a bedroom.

0:44:240:44:29

I've knocked the wall out and made it into a lounge-diner.

0:44:290:44:33

As you can see, an open-plan kitchen arrangement as well.

0:44:330:44:37

To make the kitchen bigger, there was a chimney breast in here,

0:44:370:44:42

so I knocked it out which gave me room to fit everything comfortably.

0:44:420:44:46

'Peter's finished everything to a very high standard.

0:44:480:44:53

'Although not a long-term solution to the problems,

0:44:530:44:56

'he's made sure that it's a very comfortable home in the meantime.'

0:44:560:45:02

When I bought the property, there was a door in this wall.

0:45:020:45:06

To get to the room, you had to come into this room.

0:45:060:45:10

So I've blocked that off and I've now put a new doorway here.

0:45:100:45:15

So you don't have to go from one room to the next.

0:45:150:45:20

'With a family renting the bungalow, new landlord Peter's hard work

0:45:200:45:25

'is already starting to pay off.

0:45:250:45:28

'How did he find his tenants?'

0:45:280:45:30

Whilst I was working here, I was quite friendly with the neighbours,

0:45:300:45:35

which I find is a good thing to be.

0:45:350:45:38

My next-door neighbour's daughter was looking for a place to move into

0:45:380:45:43

so she approached me.

0:45:430:45:45

No work on my part! And she's now here.

0:45:450:45:48

'How convenient! Finding a tenant was the easy part.

0:45:480:45:52

'When it came to the renovation,

0:45:520:45:55

'Peter wasn't the only person putting the hours in.

0:45:550:45:58

'He also got a little help from his children.'

0:45:580:46:02

They've been doing all sorts. They've been clearing the garden.

0:46:020:46:07

They did a lot of preparation work, taking off wallpaper, help with the painting.

0:46:070:46:13

My sister did quite a lot.

0:46:130:46:16

She did lots of painting the radiators

0:46:160:46:19

and the doors and the walls.

0:46:190:46:21

We had to knock the shed down.

0:46:210:46:24

Then we made the concrete base.

0:46:240:46:27

It was raining but we still did it.

0:46:270:46:29

# ..The kids are all right... #

0:46:290:46:33

'Did Dad pay them handsomely for their help?'

0:46:330:46:37

On the way here, I got money for doing the work

0:46:370:46:41

and we stopped off at this, like, cookery place

0:46:410:46:45

and it did really nice doughnuts.

0:46:450:46:47

'Glad to hear it, Jack!

0:46:480:46:51

'Peter spent £100,000 on the house,

0:46:510:46:53

'including his £10,000 renovation budget.

0:46:530:46:57

'Has he invested wisely?

0:46:570:47:00

'Let's get the opinion of two local estate agents

0:47:000:47:05

'to hear what his options are.'

0:47:050:47:07

It's a complete transformation.

0:47:070:47:10

It's a nice little house now. New kitchen, new bathroom.

0:47:100:47:15

It's got a nice feel to it.

0:47:150:47:18

The finish is very good.

0:47:180:47:20

It's very neutral. I think it will be to a lot of people's tastes.

0:47:200:47:25

'Great first impressions but, since subsidence is still an issue,

0:47:250:47:30

'the property's unmortgageable.

0:47:300:47:32

'Does this make it unsaleable?'

0:47:320:47:34

If the structural issues are ongoing,

0:47:340:47:38

it's a waste of time putting this property back to market.

0:47:380:47:42

It needs to be rectified.

0:47:420:47:44

If there was no problems with it,

0:47:440:47:47

I'd value the property at £200,000.

0:47:470:47:51

However, if it does need to be knocked down, that sort of thing,

0:47:510:47:56

it's purely a plot.

0:47:560:47:58

Really, you're going to attract cash buyers or auctions again.

0:47:580:48:04

If it was being sold as a plot, it's only worth £80,000.

0:48:040:48:09

'With Peter's total outlay of £100,000 here,

0:48:090:48:13

'that could see him making a loss of 20 grand if he tried to sell now.

0:48:130:48:19

'As he knows, his best option is to continue letting it out whilst he works out a long-term plan.'

0:48:190:48:26

I will certainly consider rebuilding the place.

0:48:270:48:31

As it stands at the moment, it's doing its job.

0:48:310:48:35

There will be a stage when it will need more repair. That's when I'll rebuild it.

0:48:350:48:41

'Peter's getting a rental income of £750 per calendar month.

0:48:410:48:46

'Is he hitting the right mark with that figure?'

0:48:460:48:51

He could rent out a property like this for £800 per calendar month.

0:48:510:48:55

Rental, we'd be talking about £825 to £850 a month.

0:48:550:49:00

'That's potentially a healthy annual yield of over 10%.'

0:49:000:49:05

Well, that's pretty much in line with how it's all worked out.

0:49:050:49:10

I think I probably got it right.

0:49:100:49:12

'This has been a baptism of fire for Peter.

0:49:120:49:16

'Has it put him off buying property at auction and developing them?'

0:49:160:49:21

If I had the time and the money to do it, yes, I would.

0:49:210:49:25

It's just being in the right place at the right time.

0:49:250:49:29

'Earlier in the programme, we met Angela and Kevin.

0:49:330:49:38

'They'd sold their four-bed house, so the couple and their two boys

0:49:380:49:43

'were searching for a family home in Buxton in Norfolk.

0:49:430:49:48

'They bought this three-bed semi-detached cottage for 136,750.

0:49:480:49:54

'It was in their dream location but the property was far from ideal.'

0:49:540:50:00

It sounds like you're gutting it.

0:50:000:50:02

-Yes, we are.

-Definitely. Plaster off the walls.

0:50:020:50:06

Ceilings down, plaster coming off. Everything's going.

0:50:060:50:09

'So there were big changes ahead.

0:50:110:50:14

'They imposed a strict four-month deadline

0:50:140:50:16

'to be out of rented accommodation and into their new home.

0:50:160:50:21

'Four months passed. Then, five. Then, six.

0:50:210:50:25

'After a difficult eight months being let down by builders and tradesmen,

0:50:250:50:31

'has the cottage become the family home they were working towards?'

0:50:310:50:35

Originally, it were half a house, really.

0:50:440:50:47

We've extended onto the side of the property,

0:50:470:50:51

which has given us a master bedroom that's en suite and a nice wardrobe.

0:50:510:50:57

And then downstairs,

0:50:570:51:00

we've got a nice size lounge

0:51:000:51:02

and we've got the additional office/play room,

0:51:020:51:07

which we do need these days.

0:51:070:51:09

'The cottage is almost completely unrecognisable.

0:51:090:51:13

'Whilst the two extensions have increased the footprint,

0:51:130:51:18

'pretty much every interior wall on the ground floor has been removed

0:51:180:51:22

'to give a wonderful sense of space.'

0:51:220:51:26

This was the original lounge.

0:51:260:51:29

We've knocked through to make it a kitchen-diner,

0:51:290:51:33

so we've got modern living.

0:51:330:51:36

Then we've put the stairs up the back, rather than the middle,

0:51:430:51:48

to incorporate the bathroom upstairs.

0:51:480:51:51

It's much more convenient, especially when you've got children.

0:51:510:51:57

'The old layout upstairs was never going to be practical,

0:51:570:52:02

'so they moved the stairs, allowing for a completely new configuration

0:52:020:52:07

'with four bedrooms plus family bathroom.'

0:52:070:52:11

Total modernising, but trying to keep the character of the property

0:52:110:52:17

back to the cottage style that it really needed.

0:52:170:52:22

'It's not been an easy first renovation project for the family.

0:52:220:52:26

'They'd given their notice on the property they were renting

0:52:260:52:30

'so, despite it not being finished, they were forced to move in.'

0:52:300:52:35

I've not had a cooker for three weeks.

0:52:350:52:38

They managed to just get us the water

0:52:380:52:41

so we could actually bath and use the toilet.

0:52:410:52:45

Other than that... To be honest, it's been a nightmare.

0:52:450:52:49

'Certainly far from ideal with two small children.

0:52:490:52:53

'Angela did say she wanted a challenge!'

0:52:530:52:56

This was certainly a challenge.

0:52:560:52:58

I think the challenge we were looking for

0:52:580:53:01

was more of a fantasy,

0:53:010:53:03

thinking we were just going to buy a building,

0:53:030:53:07

do it all up and enjoy the whole process.

0:53:070:53:11

Reality is, you know, there were several headaches along the line.

0:53:110:53:16

There's been a lot of stress

0:53:160:53:19

but, at the end of the day, we are very happy with what we've achieved.

0:53:190:53:24

'Kevin seems pretty relieved the end is in sight as well.'

0:53:300:53:34

Now that we've finished all the major work, it's lovely!

0:53:340:53:39

We're really happy with the house that we've actually got now.

0:53:390:53:45

'Who was the main driving force behind this renovation?'

0:53:450:53:50

-Kevin would say that I was boss.

-Angela's the boss.

0:53:500:53:54

We do make a lot of decisions together.

0:53:540:53:57

But I think the fact that I've got a pink kitchen will tell you

0:53:570:54:02

that I choose most of the fabrics.

0:54:020:54:04

She IS demanding. She wants what she wants.

0:54:040:54:08

Which is fair enough, so I play along with that.

0:54:080:54:11

'But what Angela wanted came at a cost.

0:54:110:54:14

'Their original budget was £50,000 and so far they've spent 80,000.

0:54:140:54:19

'But they do have a really lovely family home to show for it.'

0:54:190:54:24

# ..Cos, baby, now I know There ain't no place like home. #

0:54:240:54:29

'Let's see what two local estate agents think of the changes.'

0:54:290:54:34

First impressions are it's got loads of space.

0:54:340:54:38

They've done a fantastic job to a high standard.

0:54:380:54:42

I'm particularly impressed

0:54:450:54:47

by the way they've done the extensions.

0:54:470:54:51

Doesn't feel like a modern bit added to it.

0:54:510:54:54

The overall accommodation works very nicely.

0:54:540:54:58

'Angela and Kevin paid £136,750

0:54:580:55:02

'for the cottage.

0:55:020:55:04

'They've spent £80,000 on the extensions and renovation,

0:55:040:55:08

'giving them a total outlay of £216,750.

0:55:080:55:15

'They aren't interested in renting it out as it's their family home,

0:55:150:55:20

'but have their improvements added value?'

0:55:200:55:23

I'd put this property on the market between £200,000 and £225,000.

0:55:230:55:28

The property should be marketed at an asking price of £225,000.

0:55:280:55:33

'As things stand, they've broken even.'

0:55:330:55:37

I'm OK with it.

0:55:370:55:39

-We've not done it to sell it, but to live in it.

-It's true.

0:55:390:55:43

I mean, it's disappointing, because we would have hoped for a bit more.

0:55:430:55:49

But as Angela says, we're going to live in it for a few years

0:55:490:55:53

and hope the market picks up.

0:55:530:55:56

'They haven't made any money yet,

0:55:560:55:58

'but they are living the country life they craved

0:55:580:56:02

'in a beautiful home they've completely transformed.

0:56:020:56:06

'Would they consider another renovation project?'

0:56:060:56:10

-I'm not going to say no, but not just yet.

-Yeah.

0:56:100:56:14

-I'll back that up.

-We need to get over this first.

0:56:140:56:17

It's been a traumatic time, to say the least!

0:56:170:56:20

# ..Let me go home

0:56:210:56:27

# I'm just too far From where you are

0:56:280:56:31

# I wanna come home. #

0:56:310:56:34

We hope you've enjoyed today's property portfolio.

0:56:360:56:39

-Join us next time for more brave buyers on Homes Under The Hammer.

-Goodbye.

0:56:390:56:46

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:020:57:05

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:050:57:08

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in London, a bungalow in Hampshire and a cottage in Norfolk. All of these properties have been sold at auction, and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.


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