Episode 76 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 76

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Cornwall, a bungalow in Dorset and a semi-detached house in north-west Scotland.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to Homes Under The Hammer.

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Both of us have been dealing in property for many years

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and we've witnessed the fluctuations in the market.

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Through it all, we've been convinced of one thing -

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you can pick up interesting bargains at the auction.

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Well, we've always been fascinated by buying property at auction.

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The speed, the excitement and the potential to buy a bargain

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are all very attractive.

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So, what got our buyers hot under the collar on today's programme?

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I'm feeling a little claustrophobic at this property in Cornwall.

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I'm already sensing that this house has far too many walls.

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There's a bungalow in Dorset that's a blast from the past.

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It's dated with '70s geometric psychedelic prints.

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And in the northwest of Scotland, I'm excited about this semi-detached house.

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I like the rooms, I like the light that is pouring in.

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This is fantastic, isn't it?

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All those properties were sold at auction.

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

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-when they went under the hammer.

-Third and final time...

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Today, I have journeyed to beautiful St Ives in Cornwall

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and I have very high hopes for the property I'm here to see.

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Because, you know what?

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You're never too far away from a castle in this part of the country.

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MUSIC: "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers

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I do love being beside the seaside

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and where better than St Ives in Cornwall?

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It's a haven for artists and has won awards

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for being one of the most beautiful seaside towns in Britain.

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But there's no time for paddling, I've got a property to look at.

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I'm here to see a characterful,

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semi-detached, four-bedroomed property

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that's described in the auction catalogue as "delightful".

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You know what? I can see why.

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This place had an auction guide price of £275,000.

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I only hope the house is as lovely as the garden.

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I love the smell of fresh lavender.

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Fantastic. So, great start.

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I'm in love with this place even before I've got in.

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What's the house itself actually like?

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Well, I've got high expectations and...

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Judging by the kitchen. They may be on the verge of being dashed.

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It's a good size and I like the high ceilings.

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It's a galley kitchen and that's what it's going to remain I think.

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It obviously needs some tender loving care - get rid of these units.

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But there's work involved. Does it get any better?

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Hmm... Not so sure.

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What is this room all about?

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I guess this was the dining room but it just doesn't seem to quite work,

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there's a little room there.

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I'm already sensing that this house has far too many walls.

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# Too many walls have been built in-between us... #

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It's a real labyrinth down here.

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Two reception rooms, a narrow hallway, galley kitchen.

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Look, even the bathroom is like a bowling alley.

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This won't do, I'm afraid.

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Some serious reconfiguration is needed here.

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Upstairs there are four bedrooms, all a decent size,

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but very, what's the word?

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Colourful.

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# I used to be colour-blind

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# But I met you and now I find

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# There's green in the grass

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# There's gold in the moon

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# There's blue in the sky... #

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But even with all these distracting hues,

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it feels much more spacious than downstairs

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and you've also got those lovely views out onto the garden.

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Or, dare I say it? Building plot.

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There's easily enough room for at least one other house here,

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depending on planning permission, of course.

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Another bonus here is the outhouse.

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With a bit of imagination,

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this could be a studio or perhaps a workshop.

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So, is anything getting in the way of this being the most perfect little property?

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I'm afraid so.

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And it's that age-old problem - access.

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Basically, the only access you've got to this property

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is down this little pathway. There's no car access at all.

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That is a bit of an issue.

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There may be a solution.

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That is a road there.

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As you can see, at the moment there is a pedestrian access here.

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You could apply to the Highways Agency

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to have that turned into something you could get a car down.

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However, that's a pretty nasty road and I'm not sure you'd get it.

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If you did get it,

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the options for this place

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and the potential development on this land are huge.

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However, it's all down to the planners!

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With that in mind, it's time to ask a local property expert

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to give us the lowdown.

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What's special about this property is the amount of garden,

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simple as that.

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In St Ives, a pocket handkerchief is the norm,

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whereas here there's an expanse of garden.

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Horticulturally and green-fingered,

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you could make the garden look very nice,

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which I think would be a complete waste.

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It needs a house or two sticking on it.

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My developer's brain says, "Build the houses."

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But I'm a romantic at heart

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so I hope this delightful garden will remain.

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Bearing in mind the guide price for this property was £235,000,

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once renovated, what would be the sell-on value of the house?

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You'd probably be pushing £375,000.

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You'd have to have a good run to get £400,000 out of it

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but £375,000 is a reasonable figure to aspire to.

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Well, it's a lovely property

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and to have this much land in St Ives makes it a rare opportunity.

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If you build on this, boy-oh-boy, is there potential for profit.

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But it all comes down to getting access sorted.

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Who fancied the challenge?

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Let's see when it went to auction.

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250 we'll go. At 250.

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At 250, at 250.

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Oh, 260, here we go.

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270, 280, 290.

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At 290. At 290.

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At 290 for the first time then...

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At 290 for the second time...

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At 290... Oh, 300, he says.

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At 300, at 300..

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At 305 or not?

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302?

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301?

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At 300 once...

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At 300 twice...

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At 300. Sure and done, selling at 300. Sir.

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The new owners of the cottage are Tony and his son, Anthony.

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They're no strangers to developing, or indeed, Homes Under The Hammer.

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We met them in 2008

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when they were developing another property in St Ives.

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Lovely to see you again!

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The last time we saw you, you were embarking on a project in Lelant,

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about three miles away.

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A little corner cottage?

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A tiny little place, yes.

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How did it go?

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The property went very well with the renovation.

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We managed to turn it around in a short amount of time.

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Then we actually sold the property

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within a week of putting it on the market.

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-Wow.

-Which was brilliant.

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-That was your first project.

-Yeah.

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I seem to remember there was a horrid thing that you'd put on him.

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-Which was, if you didn't get it done on time, you wouldn't get to go on holiday!

-Correct.

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I did go on holiday.

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We're two years on, so what happened in the interim?

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We've done a number of properties since

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and Anthony has developed his knowledge of working on site.

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On this occasion, what we've done that's a bit unusual is

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we've got two properties at auction, including this one.

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-Anthony is going to take one and I'll take the other one.

-Wow.

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-And the incentive this time is to see who finishes first.

-It's a race!

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-Is it a fair race, is the other one you've bought similar to this?

-It is very similar, yes.

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Other than that it's had to be demolished

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so I've probably given myself a slightly further back start

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-But we'll see how we go.

-What do you think about all this?

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I think it's all right, I don't mind a bit of competition.

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I know I'll win so, it'll be fine.

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Well, that is an unusual challenge.

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But if I know these two,

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they've already dreamt up some very detailed plans for this place.

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Presuming we're allowed access off the road, which is the main thing,

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we've come up with two options.

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To do a very nice renovation on the existing building.

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Maybe a small extension and really make something of the garden,

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make a studio in the outbuilding.

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The second option is to go for a second property alongside this one.

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Obviously, we would lose a bit of space from this one then

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but we could also get a decent-sized three-bedroom house alongside it,

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subject to planning.

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We're just summing up the two options

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and seeing which will work best.

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So, let's talk through the various options.

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First, if you keep this as one building, what would you do?

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Basically, every wall would be taken out,

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we would try to make it a nice open-plan living area.

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Give it plenty of space.

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Possibly a glass conservatory on the front for a bit more light,

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a bit more space.

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There's a very small bathroom upstairs.

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-We're thinking of knocking through and creating one en-suite master bedroom.

-Wow.

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Then taking out one of the bedrooms

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so it would become a three-bedroom house

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and we would have a large family bathroom.

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-For option one, what's the budget?

-We talked bout £80,000 to make a real...

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-£80,000?

-£80,000 to make a really good top-of-the-range property.

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No kidding! It must be gold taps and automatic this, that, and everything else.

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Wow. They're certainly not skimping or cutting corners with that kind of budget.

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I can't wait to hear about option two.

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Outside, we've measured the distance between this property and the external wall

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and we think we could comfortably get a nice space between the two properties

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to make sure we don't take any light from that side of the property.

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By incorporating the studio, which is a solid granite little building,

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as part of the lower ground floor,

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we think we can produce a nice three-bedroomed cottage in the corner

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and I think it would be very attractive.

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It sounds like there is some extensive work ahead

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but will Anthony be able to keep up with Dad's enthusiasm and years of experience?

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It's a bit nerve-racking really, it's a much bigger property than anything I've done before.

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But it's the same principle, so hopefully it will go quite well.

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Congratulations and good luck with it.

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-I guess they're under starter's orders and they're off!

-Thank you.

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-Cheers.

-Look forward to seeing how you get on.

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This father and son team have certainly got the expertise to make this project a success.

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However, it's all hanging on getting that access road.

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That needs planning permission and that's not guaranteed.

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Find out how they get on later in the show.

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I'm in North Dorset in the charming village of Okeford Fitzpaine,

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on the edge of the Dorset Downs.

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Please do not adjust your set, viewers,

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because this telephone box is in fact green

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and not red, like we're used to.

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In 1936, a well-known telecommunications company

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wanted to install a phone box.

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But a very rich landowner, Captain Pitt-Rivers,

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wouldn't allow them to.

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His family colours were green and cream

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and so the box had to be painted in those colours

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before he would allow the phone to be installed.

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The cream paint has now been phased out.

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But the green... Well, it remains to this day.

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Okeford Fitzpaine is the quintessential English village.

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Rather excitingly, the property I'm here to see is called in the catalogue,

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"Le Petit Chateau", meaning little castle.

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I've got high expectations.

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It can't be this one because I'm looking for a chateau.

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A small chateau, but a chateau all the same.

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This address does match the one in the catalogue.

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Let's go inside and see if it's more opulent.

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The dictionary defines a chateau as the house or castle of nobility or gentry.

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But I have to say, this is more bungalow than chateau.

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It had a guide price of £160,000.

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This really is a standard little bungalow on the inside.

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Nothing too glamorous and very un-chateau-like.

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It's been dated with '70s geometric psychedelic prints -

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enough to set your migraine off.

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You're into this lovely big lounge

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and that view really is fit for a king -

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the selling point for this petit chateau.

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Along with the big lounge, the bungalow also has two bedrooms

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but the decor is more garish than groovy.

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I'd like to see less eye-boggling design and more rural charm.

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This bungalow is a rather psychedelic trip back in time.

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The bathroom?

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Nothing to get terribly excited about as it stands.

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It certainly needs an overhaul but if you're on a budget,

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think about keeping this bath and toilet

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and fitting a statement sink, perhaps.

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Also, a shower head - that's something you could think about.

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A nice chrome heated towel rail here is a must.

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Minimum effort and expense required for maximum impact.

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By comparison, the kitchen is an oasis of calm.

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This bungalow was built in the late 1960s and has remained untouched since then.

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It could be developed by extending into the roof space or perhaps by adding a conservatory.

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The guide price was £160,000.

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I invited a local estate agent along

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to get his opinion on this retro bungalow.

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It's a cracking property, full of character.

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Very dated in its appearance and decor.

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However, the property offers the potential purchaser a great deal of potential

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to either extend or refurbish what is already here.

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Once the place was refurbished, what could it achieve on the rental market?

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If the property was refurbished to a reasonable standard, it should

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achieve a rental value something in the region of £800 a month.

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And sell-on value?

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If the property was just refurbished and it was done to a nice high standard,

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we could look at a price approaching £200,000.

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If the property was extended to a three-bedroom, it could achieve as much as £240,000.

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That guide price of £160,000 was very attractive.

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Let's see who fancied this one as we go to auction.

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Our guide is £160,000, pounds, not euros.

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Who would like to start me, please, at 160?

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160? 140 to start me then, surely?

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140, thank you. 145.

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150. 150.

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152.

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154 at the back. Your bid, sir.

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156.

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158. 160 in red.

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162, 164.

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Fresh bidding on my right.

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At 164.

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166, 168.

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170, 172, 174, 176, 178.

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180.

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182, 184,

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186, 188.

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All out seated at 188?

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190.

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191, 191,000, we are all done and sure?

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£191,000, the hammer comes straight down at 191.

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The gentleman stood up, congratulations, sir.

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It was Jim who make that successful bid of £191,000.

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He was bidding on behalf of his mum and dad.

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So the new owners are recently retired Roy and his wife, Winnie.

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# Oh, the good life. #

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Roy used to be a quantity surveyor and they are now selling their home

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in Yorkshire to enjoy retirement in their new Dorset property.

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# Full of fun seems to be the ideal. #

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Guys, congratulations!

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-I didn't see you guys at the auction.

-We were there but we were three rows from the back.

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We had agreed that our son could do the bidding.

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We had a figure in mind.

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His back was aching - we had been doing a lot of work at his place, so he went and stood at the back.

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-Were you happy with the price you paid for this?

-Yes.

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Because it's got something there we feel

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we're going to be happy with and we can work with and we're pleased.

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Winnie, I am desperate to know the story behind you guys wanting to buy this

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because forgive me if I'm wrong but do I detect an accent there?

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Yes, we're from Yorkshire.

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So what brings you to sunny Dorset today?

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Our son lives in the village and we just thought we'd like to...

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It's something we've always wanted to do, something rural.

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So who spotted the potential here? Who found this place in the first place?

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My daughter-in-law comes from this area and it's my son who's moved in.

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He has enjoyed it and as we have come to visit

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now and again, we thought, it would be quite nice to live down here.

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But of course we have big ties in Yorkshire - we have two daughters and grandsons up there but they are

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getting older now, off to University shortly so they will not miss us very much, but the girls will.

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It's a bit of a wrench. You've got two daughters there and a son here.

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How do the girls in Yorkshire feel about Mum and Dad going off?

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-They're not too happy about it.

-Not too happy.

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It's not the end of the world. It's a fair way away but...

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it's rural, it's something we fancied doing.

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We can see more of our granddaughter. I can keep a few chickens and maybe some bees.

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I'm looking forward to that. I've always wanted to do it.

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Well, I think Roy will be as busy as a bee renovating his new bungalow.

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Roy, I think if you want to up the value of this property,

0:20:400:20:43

you really need to think about doing some sort of building work.

0:20:430:20:46

For us, the main thing in the development would be to try and

0:20:460:20:52

get into the roof space and put a couple of dormers on and a shower room or something.

0:20:520:20:56

Maybe a conservatory later. That's what we ought to do immediately.

0:20:560:21:01

I've got a drum kit to put somewhere.

0:21:010:21:03

What? Are you are keen drummer, Roy?

0:21:030:21:06

I do a bit. I'm not particularly good but I enjoy it.

0:21:060:21:09

I thought about selling it.

0:21:090:21:11

-I sold it once before to get married.

-Yeah!

0:21:110:21:14

I don't think it will fit in. We'll just have to do what we can.

0:21:140:21:18

We're downsizing a bit. You've got to do that some time, haven't you?

0:21:180:21:22

Before Roy can start banging his drums in Dorset,

0:21:230:21:27

the couple will return to Yorkshire to sell their house there.

0:21:270:21:30

The sale price of that will determine how much they have to spend on renovating their new home.

0:21:300:21:36

Winnie, I'm quite interested to find out the timescales for the work.

0:21:380:21:41

Hopefully, obviously it depends on when we get down here.

0:21:410:21:46

A couple of months hopefully and we'll be in.

0:21:460:21:49

Do you think you might miss your friends and family?

0:21:490:21:52

I suppose at first, yes, but hopefully they will come and visit us

0:21:520:21:56

and we will see them quite often. We will go back up there to see them.

0:21:560:22:01

I think we'll really enjoy it down here.

0:22:010:22:06

It has been lovely meeting you today and congratulations and well done.

0:22:060:22:10

Roy and Winnie are looking forward to making this their home. It is quite a move for them, however.

0:22:110:22:19

How will they cope with the relocation?

0:22:190:22:21

Will they sell their northern property in time to fund this southern one?

0:22:210:22:26

Find out what happens later on in the programme.

0:22:260:22:29

Coming up - this property in north-west Scotland has a four-bed flat up top and below?

0:22:300:22:36

It's the old Post Office!

0:22:360:22:39

We find out if Roy and Winnie and making friends around their new home in Dorset.

0:22:410:22:46

We have met the neighbours, very nice neighbours and it's a very friendly village.

0:22:460:22:50

But first, has Anthony enjoyed developing this place in Cornwall?

0:22:510:22:55

I've really enjoyed turning such a wonderful old building into such a nice place.

0:22:550:23:00

We're back to the seaside and sunny St Ives now

0:23:040:23:08

to catch up with father and son developers, Tony and Anthony.

0:23:080:23:13

They bought this semi-detached four-bed house

0:23:130:23:17

and decided to introduce a bit of competition into their renovation mix.

0:23:170:23:21

We got two properties at auction, including this one.

0:23:230:23:29

Anthony is going to take one and I'm going to take the other one.

0:23:290:23:31

-The incentive this time is to see who finishes first.

-It's a race, is it?

0:23:310:23:35

Yes.

0:23:350:23:37

The plot had a giant garden, which was very unusual for St Ives.

0:23:370:23:43

It could easily allow room for a second property without

0:23:430:23:46

encroaching on the original house, which needed total renovation.

0:23:460:23:51

But any potential profits would hinge on getting planning permission

0:23:510:23:54

for vehicle access to the property from a busy road.

0:23:540:23:58

Five months later and we're back to see what's happened.

0:24:000:24:04

Surprisingly, there's still just one property here.

0:24:080:24:12

But they have sorted out the parking access by

0:24:120:24:15

stealing some space from the garden and creating a raised parking area.

0:24:150:24:21

Inside, the house couldn't be more different.

0:24:210:24:24

Dad Tony can't make it along today so his apprentice and son Anthony is showing us round.

0:24:310:24:38

But the question on everybody's lips is, who won the race?

0:24:380:24:42

Well, I won the competition quite easily, actually

0:24:420:24:45

because Dad is only at foundation stage at the moment and as you can see, we're not far off here.

0:24:450:24:51

That means he's got to take us all out for a meal.

0:24:510:24:52

So, one to me.

0:24:520:24:55

They have removed most of the walls downstairs to create a vast open-plan living space.

0:24:550:25:01

Although it's not yet complete, the stunning conservatory

0:25:010:25:05

will allow the garden to be enjoyed, whatever the weather.

0:25:050:25:09

The galley kitchen has remained but is now integrated into the

0:25:110:25:14

rest of the house and fitted out to a high standard.

0:25:140:25:19

Upstairs, they've made the small family bathroom into a stunning en-suite.

0:25:210:25:27

They've turned one of the bedrooms into a beautiful bathroom.

0:25:290:25:33

Richard, the builder, has been the man behind most of the changes here.

0:25:360:25:40

He's been working with Tony and Anthony on their developments for some years

0:25:400:25:44

and for Richard, this was quite a rare opportunity.

0:25:440:25:48

It's a beautiful plot, in a beautiful setting.

0:25:480:25:51

It's been done in the summer and the weather has been great and

0:25:510:25:57

you don't get many like this.

0:25:570:25:59

It has been a pleasure to work on.

0:25:590:26:01

But why does this plot, with so much potential for further development, still only have one house on it?

0:26:010:26:10

You're looking at probably the most expensive apple tree in St Ives or in the country,

0:26:100:26:15

because there was a very good chance of getting two more properties on here,

0:26:150:26:20

on this plot, around here,

0:26:200:26:23

and the architects were quite keen to do that and then one night, Tony was sitting here when he came

0:26:230:26:30

down to measure up in the summer and the tree was just in blossom and he sat there and thought,

0:26:300:26:35

I just can't do it, I can't take the tree down.

0:26:350:26:38

So it stayed at the expense of the other two properties but I'm really glad he did.

0:26:380:26:43

As if all this space, greenery and sensitive renovation wasn't enough,

0:26:450:26:51

they have also turned this out-house into part of the development.

0:26:510:26:55

The outbuilding was originally just a coal shed.

0:26:560:26:59

We first of all thought a little studio and then we decided there was enough room to fit

0:26:590:27:03

a kitchen, bathroom and a toilet in there, so why not make it a nice little house for someone?

0:27:030:27:09

They've clearly done a lot of work in the five months since they bought the property

0:27:090:27:15

but did they manage to stay on budget?

0:27:150:27:17

The original budget was £80,000, which seemed like quite a lot at the time.

0:27:170:27:22

We've actually extended that budget now to about £120,000 to make the property really, really nice.

0:27:220:27:29

With a purchase price of £300,000, that brings their total outlay so far to £420,000.

0:27:290:27:36

That's a lot for a house that, at the end of the day, is still just a three-bed semi.

0:27:360:27:44

Have they really added value?

0:27:500:27:52

Let's get the opinion of a couple of local property experts.

0:27:520:27:57

The house is quite spectacular. They've done a great job.

0:27:570:28:01

The extension at the front,

0:28:010:28:02

massive reception room and the clever little annexe.

0:28:020:28:06

It works quite well.

0:28:060:28:07

It's unique in its way purely because of the size

0:28:070:28:10

of the space of the garden and also the studio annexe outside.

0:28:100:28:13

If somebody is an artist or should they have an independent teenager

0:28:130:28:15

that wants their own space, it's ideal or could be used as a separate letting unit.

0:28:150:28:20

Letting this out could be a real goldmine for Tony and Anthony.

0:28:200:28:24

There's two rental angles for the house - holiday and longer term.

0:28:240:28:29

On a per monthly basis, per calendar month, I would be looking at £750 or £800,

0:28:290:28:38

which coincidentally would probably be about the weekly figure

0:28:380:28:41

for the peak eight, nine or ten weeks during the summer.

0:28:410:28:45

The rental market is very strong in St Ives.

0:28:450:28:48

Around £800 per calendar month in this current marketplace.

0:28:480:28:52

As a holiday let, the property would be very sought after due to

0:28:520:28:54

the gardens and parking and I feel it could achieve £1,000 a week.

0:28:540:28:59

But rental is not what this father and son developing team have in mind.

0:28:590:29:05

They have already put the house up for sale.

0:29:050:29:08

Bearing in mind their total spend of around £420,000, what value do the experts think this house could have?

0:29:080:29:15

I think when it is finished, it will be around £500,000.

0:29:170:29:22

St Ives' market has an air of mystique about it

0:29:220:29:24

so you might be able to achieve that little bit more, subject to market conditions at that time.

0:29:240:29:28

If the property was brought to the market all done, it would have a value of £500,000.

0:29:280:29:36

There's always the chance of some St Ives magic.

0:29:360:29:40

525 or 550 would be a special sale price.

0:29:400:29:45

That's great, around the mark we were thinking.

0:29:450:29:48

We've actually accepted an offer for the full asking price, which is the high 500s, so that is great.

0:29:480:29:55

Wow! To have sold the property before they have even finished yet

0:29:550:29:58

and for more than the estate agents' valuations really is magic.

0:29:580:30:03

I bet it won't be long before this property-developing duo

0:30:030:30:07

are casting more magic spells over the properties of St Ives.

0:30:070:30:11

It's been brilliant, I've really enjoyed seeing the transformation

0:30:110:30:15

and turning such a wonderful old building into such a nice place. It's been great.

0:30:150:30:19

I'm in north-west Scotland, and that is the Kyle of Lochalsh.

0:30:360:30:39

Until 15 years ago, it was a thriving ferry port.

0:30:390:30:43

Basically taking people across to the Isle Skye, where I am now.

0:30:430:30:46

That was until the bridge was built, which basically means you can now drive here directly.

0:30:460:30:53

So, let's cross back over the bridge to the mainland now, to the small town of Kyle of Lochalsh.

0:30:560:31:02

It's a popular tourist destination, and also a bustling fishing port.

0:31:020:31:08

The property I'm here to see is located in the heart of the town.

0:31:110:31:16

With a guide price of £175,000,

0:31:160:31:21

up for auction was this imposing semi-detached property.

0:31:210:31:26

In terms of getting into it, you're spoilt for choice.

0:31:260:31:28

One door round the back, two at the front.

0:31:280:31:30

Let's try one of the front ones.

0:31:300:31:32

The auction lot included two separate properties -

0:31:320:31:35

a commercial unit with a four-bedroomed flat above it.

0:31:350:31:39

So, through these fairly impressive double doors, into the first part of what is a very interesting property.

0:31:430:31:50

And it's the old Post Office.

0:31:500:31:52

So, a great-sized space, perfectly located on the high street.

0:31:520:31:57

It's going to have the Business Class use, so straight away

0:31:570:31:59

I'm thinking this could easily be a shop premises. Ideal, in fact.

0:31:590:32:02

# Wait, oh yes, wait a minute Mr Postman

0:32:020:32:07

# Whoa, yeah, wa-ay-ay-ait Mr Postman... #

0:32:070:32:11

Whatever this property becomes, I'd hate to see

0:32:110:32:14

these lovely timber panels simply ripped out and thrown away.

0:32:140:32:19

# Deliver the letter

0:32:190:32:21

# The sooner the better... #

0:32:210:32:23

And there's more. Much, much more.

0:32:230:32:26

At the back is the old sorting office.

0:32:260:32:29

# Oh, yeah... #

0:32:290:32:32

It's massive, with various rooms leading off the main hall.

0:32:320:32:37

The Royal Mail have a rental agreement on this part of

0:32:370:32:40

the building until 2017, even though it isn't currently in use.

0:32:400:32:45

It could be easily divided from the Post Office at the front door,

0:32:450:32:49

as it has its own access from the side lane.

0:32:490:32:53

# By leaving me a card or a letter

0:32:530:32:56

# Mr Postman... #

0:32:560:32:59

Let's take a look at the four-bed flat, which sits above the Post Office.

0:32:590:33:03

# Please, please... #

0:33:030:33:05

So, all good so far. You know what?

0:33:070:33:09

It just gets better and better.

0:33:090:33:11

Because right next door is a four-bedroomed flat that's included in the lot. So, what have we got?

0:33:110:33:17

Bathroom and loo there.

0:33:170:33:19

Needs a bit of updating, obviously.

0:33:190:33:21

Kitchen, nice size, needs a bit of work. Definitely some nice units in there would make a big difference.

0:33:210:33:26

Up another level to two attic bedrooms. Third bedroom there, and fourth bedroom there.

0:33:260:33:31

That one definitely looks like it needs a bit of work, hopefully nothing too major.

0:33:310:33:36

Finally, into the living room. I love the feel of this place.

0:33:360:33:40

I like the fact it's on so many levels, I like the light that's pouring in through the windows.

0:33:400:33:44

It does need work, but it could be a fantastic space.

0:33:440:33:48

So this is fantastic, isn't it?

0:33:480:33:50

Looking past the flat's obvious challenges, I'm excited about its potential.

0:33:500:33:56

The entrance stairwell, which is flooded with light from these vast windows,

0:34:020:34:06

could make a striking first impression when renovated.

0:34:060:34:11

And the kitchen could be transformed from tired and tatty, to a warm and welcoming dining kitchen.

0:34:110:34:18

Up top, in the attic conversion, there are two bedrooms.

0:34:230:34:27

The plaster work is crumbling, but they offer views over the town and beyond.

0:34:270:34:33

This property is a gem, hidden behind crumbling walls and ceilings.

0:34:330:34:37

But with some tender loving care it could shine.

0:34:370:34:40

# I see a diamond in the rough

0:34:440:34:46

# Waiting for someone to show her love... #

0:34:460:34:51

The guide price for this auction lot was 175,000.

0:34:510:34:57

I invited along an expert from the auctioneers who sold the property

0:34:580:35:02

to give us her opinion.

0:35:020:35:05

I feel that this property would appeal to

0:35:050:35:07

a wide range of owners.

0:35:070:35:09

Either somebody who wishes to come in and use the whole property,

0:35:090:35:13

that they may live in the flat and use the shop for a front-of-house type of operation.

0:35:130:35:19

It's the type of property that's going to require the right person to come along,

0:35:190:35:22

I think, and run the right business behind as much as anything.

0:35:220:35:25

It is suitable for a number of different uses.

0:35:250:35:27

Let's talk figures. The sorting office

0:35:290:35:32

is already earning an income of £6,200 per year from the Royal Mail.

0:35:320:35:38

Our property expert believes that, with its prime high street location,

0:35:380:35:42

the old Post Office could achieve a rental income of £4,500 per year.

0:35:420:35:47

And have a sell-on value of around 40,000.

0:35:470:35:50

What about the four-bedroomed flat?

0:35:530:35:56

Once the flat's been renovated, I would have thought it would have a rental value

0:35:560:36:01

around the region of £450-£500 per calendar month.

0:36:010:36:05

And the sale value of the flat in its current condition is about £100,000.

0:36:050:36:11

What about when it's been done up?

0:36:110:36:13

Once the four-bed flat's been renovated,

0:36:130:36:16

I think it would have a resale value in the region of £130,000.

0:36:160:36:20

Well, it's a very interesting opportunity you've got here.

0:36:220:36:26

And one thing for sure, you certainly can't knock the location.

0:36:260:36:29

It doesn't get much better than this.

0:36:290:36:31

But lots of work to be done.

0:36:310:36:33

Who fancied the challenge when it went under the hammer?

0:36:330:36:36

Somebody give me £200,000. 200,000 anywhere?

0:36:390:36:42

150? 125, to get us started?

0:36:420:36:47

£125,000, sitting down on the aisle.

0:36:470:36:51

125. Is there 130 anywhere?

0:36:510:36:54

130, 135? 135. 140? 140. 145?

0:36:540:36:59

150? 155?

0:36:590:37:02

155. 160? 165?

0:37:020:37:06

Are we all done at £160,000?

0:37:060:37:09

165, right at the back. 165. 170?

0:37:090:37:12

170.

0:37:120:37:14

175? 172 and a half. 175? 175.

0:37:140:37:21

At £175,000, going once.

0:37:210:37:25

Twice. Third and final time.

0:37:250:37:28

The successful bidders were Ewan and his sister, Rhona.

0:37:300:37:34

Rhona works as a nurse, and Ewan is a property lawyer.

0:37:400:37:44

They bought this auction lot for £175,000 with their sister, Mari, and her husband, Hector.

0:37:440:37:52

This is a real family affair.

0:37:520:37:55

-Rhona, Ewan, lovely to meet you both.

-Nice to meet you.

-What an interesting

0:37:570:37:59

thing you've bought here!

0:37:590:38:02

-It is. It is.

-Well, hopefully it will be when we are finished.

-Right.

0:38:020:38:06

Tell me why you wanted to buy it?

0:38:060:38:08

Well, it's a sort of family concept.

0:38:080:38:12

We have a fish and chip shop, which both Ewan and I help support

0:38:120:38:14

financially, but my sister runs it with her husband over here.

0:38:140:38:20

And actually it's doing so well that we needed bigger premises.

0:38:200:38:23

And this place came up for auction, and we thought, why not go for it?

0:38:230:38:27

So your sister and her husband run a fish and chip shop?

0:38:270:38:30

Yep, just across the road, actually.

0:38:300:38:32

-With a cafe as well.

-Right.

0:38:320:38:34

So the idea would be, the chip shop will move over here,

0:38:340:38:37

and we'll extend the cafe across the road, making it a bigger cafe.

0:38:370:38:42

The chip shop and the cafe are only a few hundred yards away, and

0:38:420:38:46

they're managed by Mari and Hector.

0:38:460:38:49

# Fish and chips that's all I want to eat

0:38:490:38:53

# Fish and chips with peas and tea... #

0:38:530:38:56

When did the fish and chip shop start?

0:38:560:38:58

-We've had the fish and chip shop for three years, and the cafe for two years.

-Right. Has it gone well?

0:38:580:39:03

-Very well. Touch wood.

-Touch wood. There's money in fish and chips?

0:39:030:39:06

-There is.

-Indeed there is.

-Plenty.

0:39:060:39:08

-And I bet the fish and chips are fantastic.

-Try them later!

0:39:080:39:11

SHE LAUGHS

0:39:110:39:12

So the old Post Office is to become a chip shop.

0:39:140:39:17

Rhona and Ewan own two other buy-to-let flats in the area.

0:39:190:39:23

What are their plans for the four-bedroom flat?

0:39:230:39:25

The flat upstairs, I think, is our first project.

0:39:270:39:30

Because we need to get rent in here to help with the mortgage for that.

0:39:300:39:34

Right. Tell me what you're going to do to the flat, then.

0:39:340:39:36

Well, that's where Ewan and I are not quite in total agreement.

0:39:360:39:40

-Aligned.

-Yes.

0:39:400:39:42

We're going to do the two bedrooms upstairs.

0:39:420:39:46

Downstairs we would redo the kitchen, making it a kitchen-cum-eating area.

0:39:460:39:53

Toilet, refurbish that.

0:39:530:39:54

And I would quite like to knock through the small room at the front, which is a single bedroom.

0:39:540:40:00

I would quite like to knock that into the lounge, to give a bigger lounge.

0:40:000:40:03

However, Ewan doesn't agree.

0:40:030:40:06

I think if there's a family in the flat, or two different people living in the flat,

0:40:060:40:08

it would be better to leave that as two rooms.

0:40:080:40:12

So I think we should leave it as it is.

0:40:120:40:14

In terms of keeping the bedroom, or expanding the sitting room, I'm with Ewan.

0:40:140:40:19

For rental purposes, it's better to have the fourth bedroom.

0:40:190:40:24

The budget for the whole project is £80,000, with £10,000 put aside to renovate the flat.

0:40:260:40:34

What about the schedule?

0:40:340:40:35

So what about timescales for all this?

0:40:390:40:41

We've given ourselves three months from just now to have the flat finished and let.

0:40:410:40:46

And after that we start the work on converting this place.

0:40:460:40:49

-Right.

-So, all in all, probably between eight and ten months.

0:40:490:40:53

To get it all sorted.

0:40:530:40:55

-Well, listen, good luck with everything. Very exciting project.

-Yes.

0:40:550:40:59

-I'm really looking forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you.

0:40:590:41:01

-Thanks.

-Good luck with it.

0:41:010:41:03

Well, on the face of this, this would seem an ideal way to expand the family business.

0:41:060:41:11

But there's a lot of work involved, isn't there?

0:41:110:41:14

Moving the business, sorting out the flat, lots of challenges ahead.

0:41:140:41:18

How will they get on? You can find out later in the show.

0:41:180:41:21

Well, renovating property can be a very time-consuming process.

0:41:250:41:29

Especially if things don't go according to plan.

0:41:290:41:32

So, did our buyers' plans even make it off the drawing board?

0:41:320:41:36

Time to go back and find out.

0:41:360:41:38

Let's return to the village of Okeford Fitzpaine in Dorset.

0:41:420:41:46

This is where I met recently retired quantity surveyor Roy and his wife Winnie.

0:41:500:41:55

They paid 191,000 for this bungalow, and left their beloved Yorkshire to start a new life in Dorset.

0:41:550:42:03

Do you think you might miss a lot of your friends and family?

0:42:090:42:11

I suppose at first, yes. But, hopefully, they'll come and visit us.

0:42:110:42:16

I think we'll really enjoy it down here.

0:42:160:42:19

Inside, the two-bedroomed bungalow, that oh so 1970s style was a blast from the past.

0:42:220:42:30

We're returning after six months to see if Roy and Winnie are settling into their new home, and new life.

0:42:300:42:37

# I know it's never too late

0:42:380:42:42

# To make a brand new start... #

0:42:430:42:47

The ramshackle lean-to has been removed.

0:42:500:42:52

And a delightfully rustic brick and stone entrance erected in its place.

0:42:520:42:58

It was something we always wanted to do straight away.

0:42:580:43:00

So we got a local builder in,

0:43:000:43:03

and he's put us a nice flint feature in a little gable.

0:43:030:43:06

It's amazing how many of the locals have commented on it, as they've gone past it, saying how nice it looks.

0:43:060:43:12

-So we're very pleased with that, aren't we?

-Yeah. We are.

0:43:120:43:15

I like this stable-style door, too. I'm excited to see inside.

0:43:150:43:20

So let's start by taking a look in the kitchen.

0:43:200:43:24

What a transformation!

0:43:290:43:31

The couple have created a really charming country-style kitchen.

0:43:310:43:36

Well, originally there was a chimney breast here.

0:43:390:43:43

Quite a big lump of masonry, which we've taken down.

0:43:430:43:46

We've got rid of all that to give us this extra space.

0:43:460:43:49

We're very pleased.

0:43:490:43:51

It's in a lovely spot, too, because the sun streams through there, and it's always sunny indoors.

0:43:510:43:56

And it's a really, really nice room.

0:43:560:43:58

Really nice.

0:43:580:44:00

The curtains are Winnie's handiwork.

0:44:000:44:02

This personal touch adds a lovely, homespun feel.

0:44:020:44:06

In the lounge, the geometric patterned wallpaper has been stripped away.

0:44:090:44:13

The lounge now feels warm and welcoming.

0:44:160:44:20

This room in particular has a lovely, cosy feel to it.

0:44:200:44:23

I like the cottage feel to it.

0:44:230:44:24

The walls and ceiling have been replastered, and new cornice and skirting fitted.

0:44:290:44:34

New windows have been fitted throughout,

0:44:340:44:37

and the couple have added doors in the side wall, leading out to a new patio area.

0:44:370:44:42

Roy and Winnie had planned to extend the property,

0:44:460:44:49

and build into the roof space, but currently those plans are on hold.

0:44:490:44:53

'Well, as far as extending goes, we probably think within the next'

0:44:530:44:58

couple of years about going up into the roof, maybe. Maybe not.

0:44:580:45:03

Although there is the space.

0:45:030:45:04

We haven't approached the planners.

0:45:040:45:07

We'd still like to do it, but it's the cost of it.

0:45:070:45:10

No extension means keen musician Roy has had to leave his drum kit in Yorkshire.

0:45:110:45:16

But he has brought his banjo!

0:45:160:45:20

# Does your chewing-gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight?

0:45:200:45:24

# If your mother says don't chew it, do you swallow it in spite?

0:45:240:45:29

# Can you wrap it around your tonsils?

0:45:290:45:31

# Can you heave it left and right?

0:45:310:45:33

# Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight? #

0:45:330:45:36

Oh, great stuff, Roy.

0:45:360:45:39

You can't beat a bit of banjo. And, talking of bedposts in the bedrooms,

0:45:390:45:44

the couple have ditched the dated decoration, and are bringing their own taste to bear on this property.

0:45:440:45:50

The second bedroom is now being used to store furniture, as the couple downsize in their retirement.

0:45:580:46:04

The once harsh, black and white bathroom is now perfect

0:46:070:46:10

for taking a soothing soak after a stroll on the nearby Dorset Downs.

0:46:100:46:15

At one stage we thought, with it being such a small room,

0:46:170:46:20

we'd dispense with the bath and just put a shower in.

0:46:200:46:22

We feel it's worked very well.

0:46:220:46:24

Everything is totally new.

0:46:240:46:26

Everything sparkly-sparkly, sort of thing.

0:46:260:46:29

While working on their new home, Roy and Winnie have also been making friends in the village.

0:46:320:46:37

We have met the neighbours, very nice neighbours, and it's a very friendly village.

0:46:370:46:42

Nice little pub on the corner.

0:46:420:46:44

We go in there and chat to the locals, and that's pretty much like Yorkshire.

0:46:440:46:49

-So that'll do for us, won't it?

-Yeah.

-We enjoy it.

0:46:490:46:52

The renovation has taken four months, and the couple have spent 25,000 on the work so far.

0:46:550:47:00

We asked two local estate agents to give us their opinions

0:47:050:47:09

on Roy and Winnie's efforts.

0:47:090:47:11

'The changes throughout are absolutely wonderful.'

0:47:110:47:14

Obviously before, the property was very dated, with period wallpaper

0:47:140:47:17

which definitely had to come off the walls.

0:47:170:47:20

They've kept everything nice and simple. Nice neutral colours throughout, which makes the property

0:47:200:47:25

appear a little bit larger than it was.

0:47:250:47:27

I think they've done the property to a nice standard.

0:47:270:47:30

One or two detailed features

0:47:300:47:32

which I find quite pleasing for the property.

0:47:320:47:35

The porch at the front is a very good addition, and yes, I feel they've done a good job.

0:47:350:47:41

This property is not so much a financial investment as a new home for the couple.

0:47:420:47:47

But has the work carried out added value, bearing in mind their total outlay so far of 216,000?

0:47:470:47:55

I think this property could resale in the current market at around £220,000 - £225,000.

0:47:580:48:03

I feel the property would resale for £235,000.

0:48:030:48:09

So, would those valuations tempt Roy and Winnie to sell?

0:48:110:48:15

No. I don't think so. No.

0:48:150:48:17

I think it's early days. But...I suppose anything at a price.

0:48:170:48:22

But, no, I don't think... We've come here to settle, and if we do settle,

0:48:220:48:27

-away from our beloved Yorkshire, then that's it.

-Yes.

0:48:270:48:32

So it seems that Roy and Winnie, and the banjo, are here to stay.

0:48:330:48:38

Let's return now to the Northwest Highlands of Scotland

0:48:510:48:55

and the Kyle of Lochalsh...

0:48:550:48:57

..where Rhona and her brother, Ewan, along with their sister, Mari,

0:49:000:49:04

and her husband, Hector, bought this property.

0:49:040:49:07

It consisted of a four-bedroomed flat with a lounge,

0:49:160:49:20

a dining kitchen

0:49:200:49:23

and a bathroom.

0:49:230:49:25

The bedrooms were split between the first floor and an attic conversion.

0:49:250:49:30

Downstairs, there was a commercial unit, which used to be the town's Post Office.

0:49:330:49:38

To the rear was the Royal Mail sorting office.

0:49:390:49:43

And for all of this, the siblings paid £175,000.

0:49:460:49:50

What an interesting thing you've bought here!

0:49:500:49:53

Tell me why you wanted to buy it.

0:49:530:49:56

Well, it's a family concept.

0:49:560:49:59

We have a fish and chip shop, which both Ewan and I help support financially.

0:49:590:50:03

But my sister runs it with her husband over here.

0:50:030:50:06

And actually it's doing so well that we need bigger premises.

0:50:060:50:09

And this place came up for auction, and we thought, why not go for it?

0:50:090:50:13

So the Post Office is to become a chippy.

0:50:130:50:17

Let's see if, after four months, they've put their stamp on this place.

0:50:170:50:23

The exterior's been brightened up.

0:50:270:50:29

Let's take a look at the flat's interior.

0:50:290:50:31

# Baby, I like it The way you move on the floor

0:50:330:50:37

# Baby, I like it, I-I-I like it... #

0:50:370:50:41

The once drab and dingy lounge is now bright and bold.

0:50:410:50:45

The modern fireplace and vibrant red feature walls

0:50:450:50:49

catch the eye instantly.

0:50:490:50:52

And the good impression continues in the hall.

0:50:560:50:59

How do Ewan and Rhona feel the project has gone?

0:51:020:51:06

We're delighted. And seeing the flat come together,

0:51:060:51:10

we're just really, really pleased with how things have worked out.

0:51:100:51:14

And how did they get on in the master bedroom?

0:51:160:51:19

This is the bedroom that had no ceiling.

0:51:250:51:27

We replastered the ceiling and the walls, put on new skirting boards,

0:51:270:51:33

and decided to put in a fitted wardrobe,

0:51:330:51:36

just to maximise the use of the space in the room.

0:51:360:51:39

What have the pair cooked up in the kitchen?

0:51:390:51:42

Well, the tired and tatty units have been replaced, and they've made

0:51:440:51:49

the best use of this rather awkward space.

0:51:490:51:52

We've obviously done quite a lot in here.

0:51:520:51:55

We had to do some work on the ceilings and the walls.

0:51:550:51:58

We re-finished the unit over there.

0:51:580:52:00

And obviously the kitchen's quite narrow, so we had to get special

0:52:000:52:05

wall units and use them as base units, just to maximise the space.

0:52:050:52:09

And obviously a new flooring and cooker as well.

0:52:090:52:11

Onwards and upwards to the bedrooms in the attic conversion.

0:52:140:52:18

The bedrooms were in poor condition,

0:52:180:52:21

with broken floorboards and damaged plaster work.

0:52:210:52:24

But Rhona and Ewan have ensured the work has been carried out

0:52:260:52:30

to their high standards.

0:52:300:52:32

This flat is a buy-to-let investment,

0:52:320:52:35

although the siblings haven't scrimped on quality.

0:52:350:52:39

But did this attention to detail

0:52:390:52:42

push them over their three-month schedule?

0:52:420:52:45

We had been hoping that the flat would have been finished

0:52:450:52:49

by this time last month, so we're about a month behind schedule.

0:52:490:52:52

But, in the scheme of things...

0:52:520:52:55

-we're OK with that.

-Yeah.

-We're OK with that.

0:52:550:52:58

Considering the amount of work undertaken, which includes

0:53:010:53:04

the bathroom refurbishment that's been done

0:53:040:53:07

to the same high standard as the rest of the flat,

0:53:070:53:11

and redecorating the small single bedroom next to the lounge,

0:53:110:53:15

four months is none too shabby.

0:53:150:53:17

So, have the siblings battered on with the chip shop as well?

0:53:200:53:24

We haven't done anything so far.

0:53:240:53:25

We're working through planning at the moment, for the conversion of the old Post Office to the chip shop.

0:53:250:53:32

And obviously the sorting office is still leased to the Royal Mail.

0:53:320:53:36

So nothing else has been done on the rest of the building, apart from painting the outside.

0:53:360:53:40

The family have a budget of £80,000, 70,000 of which was to be spent

0:53:400:53:46

on the chip shop, and 10,000 on the flat.

0:53:460:53:48

Have they kept that split?

0:53:480:53:51

We had a budget of £10,000, and we've spent £17,500.

0:53:520:53:58

But, from the quotes that we've been getting in

0:53:580:54:01

for the chip shop, we think it's going to come in under budget.

0:54:010:54:04

So overall, although we've gone over budget on the flat,

0:54:040:54:07

we should still be within budget for the total building.

0:54:070:54:10

So we're pleased about that.

0:54:100:54:11

Before any work was done, the flat was valued at £100,000.

0:54:130:54:19

We invited along two local property experts to give us their opinions

0:54:210:54:25

on its current condition.

0:54:250:54:28

'The purchasers of the property have made a very nice job of freshening the whole thing up.'

0:54:280:54:33

New kitchen, new bathroom. It all looks very fresh and bright now.

0:54:330:54:37

Lovely property. Very nicely done. Very contemporary.

0:54:370:54:42

Bearing in mind the pre-renovation valuation of £100,000 for the flat,

0:54:420:54:48

and Rhona and Ewan's outlay of £17,500 doing it up,

0:54:480:54:53

what do the local experts believe they could achieve if they sold?

0:54:530:54:58

The current market's extremely difficult.

0:54:580:55:01

My opinion at this point in time would be something in the region of £130,000 for the property.

0:55:010:55:07

For the flat, I think you're looking at achieving a figure in the region of between £110,000 and £115,000.

0:55:070:55:15

If sold for the highest valuation of £130,000, that would mean

0:55:150:55:19

a pre-tax profit of £12,500,

0:55:190:55:23

minus selling expenses and split between the four investors.

0:55:230:55:27

Ewan and Rhona intend to rent out the flat, so what could they expect it to earn?

0:55:320:55:38

The market in Kyle is not enormous, but our experience would be

0:55:400:55:44

somewhere £450-£500 per calendar month wouldn't be unreasonable.

0:55:440:55:48

For this property, you'd be looking for between £500 and £550 per calendar month.

0:55:480:55:54

Rhona and Ewan know the rental market in Kyle of Lochalsh well,

0:55:550:56:00

so do their figures for this flat tally with the property experts'?

0:56:000:56:05

That's probably on the low side, actually, considering we've got

0:56:050:56:08

-properties up here and we know what we can rent for them.

-Yes.

0:56:080:56:11

I would say in the region of 600, 650, you know, considering

0:56:110:56:16

the condition of it, and the size of it.

0:56:160:56:20

So, no, I'm not terribly impressed.

0:56:200:56:24

So, what does the future hold for this property-developing family?

0:56:260:56:31

That's us now got a few properties up and running,

0:56:310:56:34

and to be honest, I've had enough!

0:56:340:56:36

Well, that's it for today's show.

0:56:420:56:45

Join us next time for more tales from the front-line of property-developing.

0:56:450:56:50

-See you soon for more Homes Under The Hammer.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:500:56:53

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:010:57:05

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:050:57:11

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Cornwall, a bungalow in Dorset and a semi-detached house in north-west Scotland. 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.