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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Hello and welcome to Homes Under The Hammer.
Both of us have been dealing in property for many years
and we've witnessed the fluctuations in the market.
Through it all, we've been convinced of one thing -
you can pick up interesting bargains at the auction.
Well, we've always been fascinated by buying property at auction.
The speed, the excitement and the potential to buy a bargain
are all very attractive.
So, what got our buyers hot under the collar on today's programme?
I'm feeling a little claustrophobic at this property in Cornwall.
I'm already sensing that this house has far too many walls.
There's a bungalow in Dorset that's a blast from the past.
It's dated with '70s geometric psychedelic prints.
And in the northwest of Scotland, I'm excited about this semi-detached house.
I like the rooms, I like the light that is pouring in.
This is fantastic, isn't it?
All those properties were sold at auction.
We'll find out who bought them and what they paid
-when they went under the hammer.
-Third and final time...
Today, I have journeyed to beautiful St Ives in Cornwall
and I have very high hopes for the property I'm here to see.
Because, you know what?
You're never too far away from a castle in this part of the country.
MUSIC: "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers
I do love being beside the seaside
and where better than St Ives in Cornwall?
It's a haven for artists and has won awards
for being one of the most beautiful seaside towns in Britain.
But there's no time for paddling, I've got a property to look at.
I'm here to see a characterful,
semi-detached, four-bedroomed property
that's described in the auction catalogue as "delightful".
You know what? I can see why.
This place had an auction guide price of £275,000.
I only hope the house is as lovely as the garden.
I love the smell of fresh lavender.
Fantastic. So, great start.
I'm in love with this place even before I've got in.
What's the house itself actually like?
Well, I've got high expectations and...
Judging by the kitchen. They may be on the verge of being dashed.
It's a good size and I like the high ceilings.
It's a galley kitchen and that's what it's going to remain I think.
It obviously needs some tender loving care - get rid of these units.
But there's work involved. Does it get any better?
Hmm... Not so sure.
What is this room all about?
I guess this was the dining room but it just doesn't seem to quite work,
there's a little room there.
I'm already sensing that this house has far too many walls.
# Too many walls have been built in-between us... #
It's a real labyrinth down here.
Two reception rooms, a narrow hallway, galley kitchen.
Look, even the bathroom is like a bowling alley.
This won't do, I'm afraid.
Some serious reconfiguration is needed here.
Upstairs there are four bedrooms, all a decent size,
but very, what's the word?
# I used to be colour-blind
# But I met you and now I find
# There's green in the grass
# There's gold in the moon
# There's blue in the sky... #
But even with all these distracting hues,
it feels much more spacious than downstairs
and you've also got those lovely views out onto the garden.
Or, dare I say it? Building plot.
There's easily enough room for at least one other house here,
depending on planning permission, of course.
Another bonus here is the outhouse.
With a bit of imagination,
this could be a studio or perhaps a workshop.
So, is anything getting in the way of this being the most perfect little property?
I'm afraid so.
And it's that age-old problem - access.
Basically, the only access you've got to this property
is down this little pathway. There's no car access at all.
That is a bit of an issue.
There may be a solution.
That is a road there.
As you can see, at the moment there is a pedestrian access here.
You could apply to the Highways Agency
to have that turned into something you could get a car down.
However, that's a pretty nasty road and I'm not sure you'd get it.
If you did get it,
the options for this place
and the potential development on this land are huge.
However, it's all down to the planners!
With that in mind, it's time to ask a local property expert
to give us the lowdown.
What's special about this property is the amount of garden,
simple as that.
In St Ives, a pocket handkerchief is the norm,
whereas here there's an expanse of garden.
Horticulturally and green-fingered,
you could make the garden look very nice,
which I think would be a complete waste.
It needs a house or two sticking on it.
My developer's brain says, "Build the houses."
But I'm a romantic at heart
so I hope this delightful garden will remain.
Bearing in mind the guide price for this property was £235,000,
once renovated, what would be the sell-on value of the house?
You'd probably be pushing £375,000.
You'd have to have a good run to get £400,000 out of it
but £375,000 is a reasonable figure to aspire to.
Well, it's a lovely property
and to have this much land in St Ives makes it a rare opportunity.
If you build on this, boy-oh-boy, is there potential for profit.
But it all comes down to getting access sorted.
Who fancied the challenge?
Let's see when it went to auction.
250 we'll go. At 250.
At 250, at 250.
Oh, 260, here we go.
270, 280, 290.
At 290. At 290.
At 290 for the first time then...
At 290 for the second time...
At 290... Oh, 300, he says.
At 300, at 300..
At 305 or not?
At 300 once...
At 300 twice...
At 300. Sure and done, selling at 300. Sir.
The new owners of the cottage are Tony and his son, Anthony.
They're no strangers to developing, or indeed, Homes Under The Hammer.
We met them in 2008
when they were developing another property in St Ives.
Lovely to see you again!
The last time we saw you, you were embarking on a project in Lelant,
about three miles away.
A little corner cottage?
A tiny little place, yes.
How did it go?
The property went very well with the renovation.
We managed to turn it around in a short amount of time.
Then we actually sold the property
within a week of putting it on the market.
-Which was brilliant.
-That was your first project.
I seem to remember there was a horrid thing that you'd put on him.
-Which was, if you didn't get it done on time, you wouldn't get to go on holiday!
I did go on holiday.
We're two years on, so what happened in the interim?
We've done a number of properties since
and Anthony has developed his knowledge of working on site.
On this occasion, what we've done that's a bit unusual is
we've got two properties at auction, including this one.
-Anthony is going to take one and I'll take the other one.
-And the incentive this time is to see who finishes first.
-It's a race!
-Is it a fair race, is the other one you've bought similar to this?
-It is very similar, yes.
Other than that it's had to be demolished
so I've probably given myself a slightly further back start
-But we'll see how we go.
-What do you think about all this?
I think it's all right, I don't mind a bit of competition.
I know I'll win so, it'll be fine.
Well, that is an unusual challenge.
But if I know these two,
they've already dreamt up some very detailed plans for this place.
Presuming we're allowed access off the road, which is the main thing,
we've come up with two options.
To do a very nice renovation on the existing building.
Maybe a small extension and really make something of the garden,
make a studio in the outbuilding.
The second option is to go for a second property alongside this one.
Obviously, we would lose a bit of space from this one then
but we could also get a decent-sized three-bedroom house alongside it,
subject to planning.
We're just summing up the two options
and seeing which will work best.
So, let's talk through the various options.
First, if you keep this as one building, what would you do?
Basically, every wall would be taken out,
we would try to make it a nice open-plan living area.
Give it plenty of space.
Possibly a glass conservatory on the front for a bit more light,
a bit more space.
There's a very small bathroom upstairs.
-We're thinking of knocking through and creating one en-suite master bedroom.
Then taking out one of the bedrooms
so it would become a three-bedroom house
and we would have a large family bathroom.
-For option one, what's the budget?
-We talked bout £80,000 to make a real...
-£80,000 to make a really good top-of-the-range property.
No kidding! It must be gold taps and automatic this, that, and everything else.
Wow. They're certainly not skimping or cutting corners with that kind of budget.
I can't wait to hear about option two.
Outside, we've measured the distance between this property and the external wall
and we think we could comfortably get a nice space between the two properties
to make sure we don't take any light from that side of the property.
By incorporating the studio, which is a solid granite little building,
as part of the lower ground floor,
we think we can produce a nice three-bedroomed cottage in the corner
and I think it would be very attractive.
It sounds like there is some extensive work ahead
but will Anthony be able to keep up with Dad's enthusiasm and years of experience?
It's a bit nerve-racking really, it's a much bigger property than anything I've done before.
But it's the same principle, so hopefully it will go quite well.
Congratulations and good luck with it.
-I guess they're under starter's orders and they're off!
-Look forward to seeing how you get on.
This father and son team have certainly got the expertise to make this project a success.
However, it's all hanging on getting that access road.
That needs planning permission and that's not guaranteed.
Find out how they get on later in the show.
I'm in North Dorset in the charming village of Okeford Fitzpaine,
on the edge of the Dorset Downs.
Please do not adjust your set, viewers,
because this telephone box is in fact green
and not red, like we're used to.
In 1936, a well-known telecommunications company
wanted to install a phone box.
But a very rich landowner, Captain Pitt-Rivers,
wouldn't allow them to.
His family colours were green and cream
and so the box had to be painted in those colours
before he would allow the phone to be installed.
The cream paint has now been phased out.
But the green... Well, it remains to this day.
Okeford Fitzpaine is the quintessential English village.
Rather excitingly, the property I'm here to see is called in the catalogue,
"Le Petit Chateau", meaning little castle.
I've got high expectations.
It can't be this one because I'm looking for a chateau.
A small chateau, but a chateau all the same.
This address does match the one in the catalogue.
Let's go inside and see if it's more opulent.
The dictionary defines a chateau as the house or castle of nobility or gentry.
But I have to say, this is more bungalow than chateau.
It had a guide price of £160,000.
This really is a standard little bungalow on the inside.
Nothing too glamorous and very un-chateau-like.
It's been dated with '70s geometric psychedelic prints -
enough to set your migraine off.
You're into this lovely big lounge
and that view really is fit for a king -
the selling point for this petit chateau.
Along with the big lounge, the bungalow also has two bedrooms
but the decor is more garish than groovy.
I'd like to see less eye-boggling design and more rural charm.
This bungalow is a rather psychedelic trip back in time.
Nothing to get terribly excited about as it stands.
It certainly needs an overhaul but if you're on a budget,
think about keeping this bath and toilet
and fitting a statement sink, perhaps.
Also, a shower head - that's something you could think about.
A nice chrome heated towel rail here is a must.
Minimum effort and expense required for maximum impact.
By comparison, the kitchen is an oasis of calm.
This bungalow was built in the late 1960s and has remained untouched since then.
It could be developed by extending into the roof space or perhaps by adding a conservatory.
The guide price was £160,000.
I invited a local estate agent along
to get his opinion on this retro bungalow.
It's a cracking property, full of character.
Very dated in its appearance and decor.
However, the property offers the potential purchaser a great deal of potential
to either extend or refurbish what is already here.
Once the place was refurbished, what could it achieve on the rental market?
If the property was refurbished to a reasonable standard, it should
achieve a rental value something in the region of £800 a month.
And sell-on value?
If the property was just refurbished and it was done to a nice high standard,
we could look at a price approaching £200,000.
If the property was extended to a three-bedroom, it could achieve as much as £240,000.
That guide price of £160,000 was very attractive.
Let's see who fancied this one as we go to auction.
Our guide is £160,000, pounds, not euros.
Who would like to start me, please, at 160?
160? 140 to start me then, surely?
140, thank you. 145.
154 at the back. Your bid, sir.
158. 160 in red.
Fresh bidding on my right.
170, 172, 174, 176, 178.
All out seated at 188?
191, 191,000, we are all done and sure?
£191,000, the hammer comes straight down at 191.
The gentleman stood up, congratulations, sir.
It was Jim who make that successful bid of £191,000.
He was bidding on behalf of his mum and dad.
So the new owners are recently retired Roy and his wife, Winnie.
# Oh, the good life. #
Roy used to be a quantity surveyor and they are now selling their home
in Yorkshire to enjoy retirement in their new Dorset property.
# Full of fun seems to be the ideal. #
-I didn't see you guys at the auction.
-We were there but we were three rows from the back.
We had agreed that our son could do the bidding.
We had a figure in mind.
His back was aching - we had been doing a lot of work at his place, so he went and stood at the back.
-Were you happy with the price you paid for this?
Because it's got something there we feel
we're going to be happy with and we can work with and we're pleased.
Winnie, I am desperate to know the story behind you guys wanting to buy this
because forgive me if I'm wrong but do I detect an accent there?
Yes, we're from Yorkshire.
So what brings you to sunny Dorset today?
Our son lives in the village and we just thought we'd like to...
It's something we've always wanted to do, something rural.
So who spotted the potential here? Who found this place in the first place?
My daughter-in-law comes from this area and it's my son who's moved in.
He has enjoyed it and as we have come to visit
now and again, we thought, it would be quite nice to live down here.
But of course we have big ties in Yorkshire - we have two daughters and grandsons up there but they are
getting older now, off to University shortly so they will not miss us very much, but the girls will.
It's a bit of a wrench. You've got two daughters there and a son here.
How do the girls in Yorkshire feel about Mum and Dad going off?
-They're not too happy about it.
-Not too happy.
It's not the end of the world. It's a fair way away but...
it's rural, it's something we fancied doing.
We can see more of our granddaughter. I can keep a few chickens and maybe some bees.
I'm looking forward to that. I've always wanted to do it.
Well, I think Roy will be as busy as a bee renovating his new bungalow.
Roy, I think if you want to up the value of this property,
you really need to think about doing some sort of building work.
For us, the main thing in the development would be to try and
get into the roof space and put a couple of dormers on and a shower room or something.
Maybe a conservatory later. That's what we ought to do immediately.
I've got a drum kit to put somewhere.
What? Are you are keen drummer, Roy?
I do a bit. I'm not particularly good but I enjoy it.
I thought about selling it.
-I sold it once before to get married.
I don't think it will fit in. We'll just have to do what we can.
We're downsizing a bit. You've got to do that some time, haven't you?
Before Roy can start banging his drums in Dorset,
the couple will return to Yorkshire to sell their house there.
The sale price of that will determine how much they have to spend on renovating their new home.
Winnie, I'm quite interested to find out the timescales for the work.
Hopefully, obviously it depends on when we get down here.
A couple of months hopefully and we'll be in.
Do you think you might miss your friends and family?
I suppose at first, yes, but hopefully they will come and visit us
and we will see them quite often. We will go back up there to see them.
I think we'll really enjoy it down here.
It has been lovely meeting you today and congratulations and well done.
Roy and Winnie are looking forward to making this their home. It is quite a move for them, however.
How will they cope with the relocation?
Will they sell their northern property in time to fund this southern one?
Find out what happens later on in the programme.
Coming up - this property in north-west Scotland has a four-bed flat up top and below?
It's the old Post Office!
We find out if Roy and Winnie and making friends around their new home in Dorset.
We have met the neighbours, very nice neighbours and it's a very friendly village.
But first, has Anthony enjoyed developing this place in Cornwall?
I've really enjoyed turning such a wonderful old building into such a nice place.
We're back to the seaside and sunny St Ives now
to catch up with father and son developers, Tony and Anthony.
They bought this semi-detached four-bed house
and decided to introduce a bit of competition into their renovation mix.
We got two properties at auction, including this one.
Anthony is going to take one and I'm going to take the other one.
-The incentive this time is to see who finishes first.
-It's a race, is it?
The plot had a giant garden, which was very unusual for St Ives.
It could easily allow room for a second property without
encroaching on the original house, which needed total renovation.
But any potential profits would hinge on getting planning permission
for vehicle access to the property from a busy road.
Five months later and we're back to see what's happened.
Surprisingly, there's still just one property here.
But they have sorted out the parking access by
stealing some space from the garden and creating a raised parking area.
Inside, the house couldn't be more different.
Dad Tony can't make it along today so his apprentice and son Anthony is showing us round.
But the question on everybody's lips is, who won the race?
Well, I won the competition quite easily, actually
because Dad is only at foundation stage at the moment and as you can see, we're not far off here.
That means he's got to take us all out for a meal.
So, one to me.
They have removed most of the walls downstairs to create a vast open-plan living space.
Although it's not yet complete, the stunning conservatory
will allow the garden to be enjoyed, whatever the weather.
The galley kitchen has remained but is now integrated into the
rest of the house and fitted out to a high standard.
Upstairs, they've made the small family bathroom into a stunning en-suite.
They've turned one of the bedrooms into a beautiful bathroom.
Richard, the builder, has been the man behind most of the changes here.
He's been working with Tony and Anthony on their developments for some years
and for Richard, this was quite a rare opportunity.
It's a beautiful plot, in a beautiful setting.
It's been done in the summer and the weather has been great and
you don't get many like this.
It has been a pleasure to work on.
But why does this plot, with so much potential for further development, still only have one house on it?
You're looking at probably the most expensive apple tree in St Ives or in the country,
because there was a very good chance of getting two more properties on here,
on this plot, around here,
and the architects were quite keen to do that and then one night, Tony was sitting here when he came
down to measure up in the summer and the tree was just in blossom and he sat there and thought,
I just can't do it, I can't take the tree down.
So it stayed at the expense of the other two properties but I'm really glad he did.
As if all this space, greenery and sensitive renovation wasn't enough,
they have also turned this out-house into part of the development.
The outbuilding was originally just a coal shed.
We first of all thought a little studio and then we decided there was enough room to fit
a kitchen, bathroom and a toilet in there, so why not make it a nice little house for someone?
They've clearly done a lot of work in the five months since they bought the property
but did they manage to stay on budget?
The original budget was £80,000, which seemed like quite a lot at the time.
We've actually extended that budget now to about £120,000 to make the property really, really nice.
With a purchase price of £300,000, that brings their total outlay so far to £420,000.
That's a lot for a house that, at the end of the day, is still just a three-bed semi.
Have they really added value?
Let's get the opinion of a couple of local property experts.
The house is quite spectacular. They've done a great job.
The extension at the front,
massive reception room and the clever little annexe.
It works quite well.
It's unique in its way purely because of the size
of the space of the garden and also the studio annexe outside.
If somebody is an artist or should they have an independent teenager
that wants their own space, it's ideal or could be used as a separate letting unit.
Letting this out could be a real goldmine for Tony and Anthony.
There's two rental angles for the house - holiday and longer term.
On a per monthly basis, per calendar month, I would be looking at £750 or £800,
which coincidentally would probably be about the weekly figure
for the peak eight, nine or ten weeks during the summer.
The rental market is very strong in St Ives.
Around £800 per calendar month in this current marketplace.
As a holiday let, the property would be very sought after due to
the gardens and parking and I feel it could achieve £1,000 a week.
But rental is not what this father and son developing team have in mind.
They have already put the house up for sale.
Bearing in mind their total spend of around £420,000, what value do the experts think this house could have?
I think when it is finished, it will be around £500,000.
St Ives' market has an air of mystique about it
so you might be able to achieve that little bit more, subject to market conditions at that time.
If the property was brought to the market all done, it would have a value of £500,000.
There's always the chance of some St Ives magic.
525 or 550 would be a special sale price.
That's great, around the mark we were thinking.
We've actually accepted an offer for the full asking price, which is the high 500s, so that is great.
Wow! To have sold the property before they have even finished yet
and for more than the estate agents' valuations really is magic.
I bet it won't be long before this property-developing duo
are casting more magic spells over the properties of St Ives.
It's been brilliant, I've really enjoyed seeing the transformation
and turning such a wonderful old building into such a nice place. It's been great.
I'm in north-west Scotland, and that is the Kyle of Lochalsh.
Until 15 years ago, it was a thriving ferry port.
Basically taking people across to the Isle Skye, where I am now.
That was until the bridge was built, which basically means you can now drive here directly.
So, let's cross back over the bridge to the mainland now, to the small town of Kyle of Lochalsh.
It's a popular tourist destination, and also a bustling fishing port.
The property I'm here to see is located in the heart of the town.
With a guide price of £175,000,
up for auction was this imposing semi-detached property.
In terms of getting into it, you're spoilt for choice.
One door round the back, two at the front.
Let's try one of the front ones.
The auction lot included two separate properties -
a commercial unit with a four-bedroomed flat above it.
So, through these fairly impressive double doors, into the first part of what is a very interesting property.
And it's the old Post Office.
So, a great-sized space, perfectly located on the high street.
It's going to have the Business Class use, so straight away
I'm thinking this could easily be a shop premises. Ideal, in fact.
# Wait, oh yes, wait a minute Mr Postman
# Whoa, yeah, wa-ay-ay-ait Mr Postman... #
Whatever this property becomes, I'd hate to see
these lovely timber panels simply ripped out and thrown away.
# Deliver the letter
# The sooner the better... #
And there's more. Much, much more.
At the back is the old sorting office.
# Oh, yeah... #
It's massive, with various rooms leading off the main hall.
The Royal Mail have a rental agreement on this part of
the building until 2017, even though it isn't currently in use.
It could be easily divided from the Post Office at the front door,
as it has its own access from the side lane.
# By leaving me a card or a letter
# Mr Postman... #
Let's take a look at the four-bed flat, which sits above the Post Office.
# Please, please... #
So, all good so far. You know what?
It just gets better and better.
Because right next door is a four-bedroomed flat that's included in the lot. So, what have we got?
Bathroom and loo there.
Needs a bit of updating, obviously.
Kitchen, nice size, needs a bit of work. Definitely some nice units in there would make a big difference.
Up another level to two attic bedrooms. Third bedroom there, and fourth bedroom there.
That one definitely looks like it needs a bit of work, hopefully nothing too major.
Finally, into the living room. I love the feel of this place.
I like the fact it's on so many levels, I like the light that's pouring in through the windows.
It does need work, but it could be a fantastic space.
So this is fantastic, isn't it?
Looking past the flat's obvious challenges, I'm excited about its potential.
The entrance stairwell, which is flooded with light from these vast windows,
could make a striking first impression when renovated.
And the kitchen could be transformed from tired and tatty, to a warm and welcoming dining kitchen.
Up top, in the attic conversion, there are two bedrooms.
The plaster work is crumbling, but they offer views over the town and beyond.
This property is a gem, hidden behind crumbling walls and ceilings.
But with some tender loving care it could shine.
# I see a diamond in the rough
# Waiting for someone to show her love... #
The guide price for this auction lot was 175,000.
I invited along an expert from the auctioneers who sold the property
to give us her opinion.
I feel that this property would appeal to
a wide range of owners.
Either somebody who wishes to come in and use the whole property,
that they may live in the flat and use the shop for a front-of-house type of operation.
It's the type of property that's going to require the right person to come along,
I think, and run the right business behind as much as anything.
It is suitable for a number of different uses.
Let's talk figures. The sorting office
is already earning an income of £6,200 per year from the Royal Mail.
Our property expert believes that, with its prime high street location,
the old Post Office could achieve a rental income of £4,500 per year.
And have a sell-on value of around 40,000.
What about the four-bedroomed flat?
Once the flat's been renovated, I would have thought it would have a rental value
around the region of £450-£500 per calendar month.
And the sale value of the flat in its current condition is about £100,000.
What about when it's been done up?
Once the four-bed flat's been renovated,
I think it would have a resale value in the region of £130,000.
Well, it's a very interesting opportunity you've got here.
And one thing for sure, you certainly can't knock the location.
It doesn't get much better than this.
But lots of work to be done.
Who fancied the challenge when it went under the hammer?
Somebody give me £200,000. 200,000 anywhere?
150? 125, to get us started?
£125,000, sitting down on the aisle.
125. Is there 130 anywhere?
130, 135? 135. 140? 140. 145?
155. 160? 165?
Are we all done at £160,000?
165, right at the back. 165. 170?
175? 172 and a half. 175? 175.
At £175,000, going once.
Twice. Third and final time.
The successful bidders were Ewan and his sister, Rhona.
Rhona works as a nurse, and Ewan is a property lawyer.
They bought this auction lot for £175,000 with their sister, Mari, and her husband, Hector.
This is a real family affair.
-Rhona, Ewan, lovely to meet you both.
-Nice to meet you.
-What an interesting
thing you've bought here!
-It is. It is.
-Well, hopefully it will be when we are finished.
Tell me why you wanted to buy it?
Well, it's a sort of family concept.
We have a fish and chip shop, which both Ewan and I help support
financially, but my sister runs it with her husband over here.
And actually it's doing so well that we needed bigger premises.
And this place came up for auction, and we thought, why not go for it?
So your sister and her husband run a fish and chip shop?
Yep, just across the road, actually.
-With a cafe as well.
So the idea would be, the chip shop will move over here,
and we'll extend the cafe across the road, making it a bigger cafe.
The chip shop and the cafe are only a few hundred yards away, and
they're managed by Mari and Hector.
# Fish and chips that's all I want to eat
# Fish and chips with peas and tea... #
When did the fish and chip shop start?
-We've had the fish and chip shop for three years, and the cafe for two years.
-Right. Has it gone well?
-Very well. Touch wood.
-Touch wood. There's money in fish and chips?
-Indeed there is.
-And I bet the fish and chips are fantastic.
-Try them later!
So the old Post Office is to become a chip shop.
Rhona and Ewan own two other buy-to-let flats in the area.
What are their plans for the four-bedroom flat?
The flat upstairs, I think, is our first project.
Because we need to get rent in here to help with the mortgage for that.
Right. Tell me what you're going to do to the flat, then.
Well, that's where Ewan and I are not quite in total agreement.
We're going to do the two bedrooms upstairs.
Downstairs we would redo the kitchen, making it a kitchen-cum-eating area.
Toilet, refurbish that.
And I would quite like to knock through the small room at the front, which is a single bedroom.
I would quite like to knock that into the lounge, to give a bigger lounge.
However, Ewan doesn't agree.
I think if there's a family in the flat, or two different people living in the flat,
it would be better to leave that as two rooms.
So I think we should leave it as it is.
In terms of keeping the bedroom, or expanding the sitting room, I'm with Ewan.
For rental purposes, it's better to have the fourth bedroom.
The budget for the whole project is £80,000, with £10,000 put aside to renovate the flat.
What about the schedule?
So what about timescales for all this?
We've given ourselves three months from just now to have the flat finished and let.
And after that we start the work on converting this place.
-So, all in all, probably between eight and ten months.
To get it all sorted.
-Well, listen, good luck with everything. Very exciting project.
-I'm really looking forward to seeing how you get on.
-Good luck with it.
Well, on the face of this, this would seem an ideal way to expand the family business.
But there's a lot of work involved, isn't there?
Moving the business, sorting out the flat, lots of challenges ahead.
How will they get on? You can find out later in the show.
Well, renovating property can be a very time-consuming process.
Especially if things don't go according to plan.
So, did our buyers' plans even make it off the drawing board?
Time to go back and find out.
Let's return to the village of Okeford Fitzpaine in Dorset.
This is where I met recently retired quantity surveyor Roy and his wife Winnie.
They paid 191,000 for this bungalow, and left their beloved Yorkshire to start a new life in Dorset.
Do you think you might miss a lot of your friends and family?
I suppose at first, yes. But, hopefully, they'll come and visit us.
I think we'll really enjoy it down here.
Inside, the two-bedroomed bungalow, that oh so 1970s style was a blast from the past.
We're returning after six months to see if Roy and Winnie are settling into their new home, and new life.
# I know it's never too late
# To make a brand new start... #
The ramshackle lean-to has been removed.
And a delightfully rustic brick and stone entrance erected in its place.
It was something we always wanted to do straight away.
So we got a local builder in,
and he's put us a nice flint feature in a little gable.
It's amazing how many of the locals have commented on it, as they've gone past it, saying how nice it looks.
-So we're very pleased with that, aren't we?
-Yeah. We are.
I like this stable-style door, too. I'm excited to see inside.
So let's start by taking a look in the kitchen.
What a transformation!
The couple have created a really charming country-style kitchen.
Well, originally there was a chimney breast here.
Quite a big lump of masonry, which we've taken down.
We've got rid of all that to give us this extra space.
We're very pleased.
It's in a lovely spot, too, because the sun streams through there, and it's always sunny indoors.
And it's a really, really nice room.
The curtains are Winnie's handiwork.
This personal touch adds a lovely, homespun feel.
In the lounge, the geometric patterned wallpaper has been stripped away.
The lounge now feels warm and welcoming.
This room in particular has a lovely, cosy feel to it.
I like the cottage feel to it.
The walls and ceiling have been replastered, and new cornice and skirting fitted.
New windows have been fitted throughout,
and the couple have added doors in the side wall, leading out to a new patio area.
Roy and Winnie had planned to extend the property,
and build into the roof space, but currently those plans are on hold.
'Well, as far as extending goes, we probably think within the next'
couple of years about going up into the roof, maybe. Maybe not.
Although there is the space.
We haven't approached the planners.
We'd still like to do it, but it's the cost of it.
No extension means keen musician Roy has had to leave his drum kit in Yorkshire.
But he has brought his banjo!
# Does your chewing-gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight?
# If your mother says don't chew it, do you swallow it in spite?
# Can you wrap it around your tonsils?
# Can you heave it left and right?
# Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight? #
Oh, great stuff, Roy.
You can't beat a bit of banjo. And, talking of bedposts in the bedrooms,
the couple have ditched the dated decoration, and are bringing their own taste to bear on this property.
The second bedroom is now being used to store furniture, as the couple downsize in their retirement.
The once harsh, black and white bathroom is now perfect
for taking a soothing soak after a stroll on the nearby Dorset Downs.
At one stage we thought, with it being such a small room,
we'd dispense with the bath and just put a shower in.
We feel it's worked very well.
Everything is totally new.
Everything sparkly-sparkly, sort of thing.
While working on their new home, Roy and Winnie have also been making friends in the village.
We have met the neighbours, very nice neighbours, and it's a very friendly village.
Nice little pub on the corner.
We go in there and chat to the locals, and that's pretty much like Yorkshire.
-So that'll do for us, won't it?
-We enjoy it.
The renovation has taken four months, and the couple have spent 25,000 on the work so far.
We asked two local estate agents to give us their opinions
on Roy and Winnie's efforts.
'The changes throughout are absolutely wonderful.'
Obviously before, the property was very dated, with period wallpaper
which definitely had to come off the walls.
They've kept everything nice and simple. Nice neutral colours throughout, which makes the property
appear a little bit larger than it was.
I think they've done the property to a nice standard.
One or two detailed features
which I find quite pleasing for the property.
The porch at the front is a very good addition, and yes, I feel they've done a good job.
This property is not so much a financial investment as a new home for the couple.
But has the work carried out added value, bearing in mind their total outlay so far of 216,000?
I think this property could resale in the current market at around £220,000 - £225,000.
I feel the property would resale for £235,000.
So, would those valuations tempt Roy and Winnie to sell?
No. I don't think so. No.
I think it's early days. But...I suppose anything at a price.
But, no, I don't think... We've come here to settle, and if we do settle,
-away from our beloved Yorkshire, then that's it.
So it seems that Roy and Winnie, and the banjo, are here to stay.
Let's return now to the Northwest Highlands of Scotland
and the Kyle of Lochalsh...
..where Rhona and her brother, Ewan, along with their sister, Mari,
and her husband, Hector, bought this property.
It consisted of a four-bedroomed flat with a lounge,
a dining kitchen
and a bathroom.
The bedrooms were split between the first floor and an attic conversion.
Downstairs, there was a commercial unit, which used to be the town's Post Office.
To the rear was the Royal Mail sorting office.
And for all of this, the siblings paid £175,000.
What an interesting thing you've bought here!
Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
Well, it's a family concept.
We have a fish and chip shop, which both Ewan and I help support financially.
But my sister runs it with her husband over here.
And actually it's doing so well that we need bigger premises.
And this place came up for auction, and we thought, why not go for it?
So the Post Office is to become a chippy.
Let's see if, after four months, they've put their stamp on this place.
The exterior's been brightened up.
Let's take a look at the flat's interior.
# Baby, I like it The way you move on the floor
# Baby, I like it, I-I-I like it... #
The once drab and dingy lounge is now bright and bold.
The modern fireplace and vibrant red feature walls
catch the eye instantly.
And the good impression continues in the hall.
How do Ewan and Rhona feel the project has gone?
We're delighted. And seeing the flat come together,
we're just really, really pleased with how things have worked out.
And how did they get on in the master bedroom?
This is the bedroom that had no ceiling.
We replastered the ceiling and the walls, put on new skirting boards,
and decided to put in a fitted wardrobe,
just to maximise the use of the space in the room.
What have the pair cooked up in the kitchen?
Well, the tired and tatty units have been replaced, and they've made
the best use of this rather awkward space.
We've obviously done quite a lot in here.
We had to do some work on the ceilings and the walls.
We re-finished the unit over there.
And obviously the kitchen's quite narrow, so we had to get special
wall units and use them as base units, just to maximise the space.
And obviously a new flooring and cooker as well.
Onwards and upwards to the bedrooms in the attic conversion.
The bedrooms were in poor condition,
with broken floorboards and damaged plaster work.
But Rhona and Ewan have ensured the work has been carried out
to their high standards.
This flat is a buy-to-let investment,
although the siblings haven't scrimped on quality.
But did this attention to detail
push them over their three-month schedule?
We had been hoping that the flat would have been finished
by this time last month, so we're about a month behind schedule.
But, in the scheme of things...
-we're OK with that.
-We're OK with that.
Considering the amount of work undertaken, which includes
the bathroom refurbishment that's been done
to the same high standard as the rest of the flat,
and redecorating the small single bedroom next to the lounge,
four months is none too shabby.
So, have the siblings battered on with the chip shop as well?
We haven't done anything so far.
We're working through planning at the moment, for the conversion of the old Post Office to the chip shop.
And obviously the sorting office is still leased to the Royal Mail.
So nothing else has been done on the rest of the building, apart from painting the outside.
The family have a budget of £80,000, 70,000 of which was to be spent
on the chip shop, and 10,000 on the flat.
Have they kept that split?
We had a budget of £10,000, and we've spent £17,500.
But, from the quotes that we've been getting in
for the chip shop, we think it's going to come in under budget.
So overall, although we've gone over budget on the flat,
we should still be within budget for the total building.
So we're pleased about that.
Before any work was done, the flat was valued at £100,000.
We invited along two local property experts to give us their opinions
on its current condition.
'The purchasers of the property have made a very nice job of freshening the whole thing up.'
New kitchen, new bathroom. It all looks very fresh and bright now.
Lovely property. Very nicely done. Very contemporary.
Bearing in mind the pre-renovation valuation of £100,000 for the flat,
and Rhona and Ewan's outlay of £17,500 doing it up,
what do the local experts believe they could achieve if they sold?
The current market's extremely difficult.
My opinion at this point in time would be something in the region of £130,000 for the property.
For the flat, I think you're looking at achieving a figure in the region of between £110,000 and £115,000.
If sold for the highest valuation of £130,000, that would mean
a pre-tax profit of £12,500,
minus selling expenses and split between the four investors.
Ewan and Rhona intend to rent out the flat, so what could they expect it to earn?
The market in Kyle is not enormous, but our experience would be
somewhere £450-£500 per calendar month wouldn't be unreasonable.
For this property, you'd be looking for between £500 and £550 per calendar month.
Rhona and Ewan know the rental market in Kyle of Lochalsh well,
so do their figures for this flat tally with the property experts'?
That's probably on the low side, actually, considering we've got
-properties up here and we know what we can rent for them.
I would say in the region of 600, 650, you know, considering
the condition of it, and the size of it.
So, no, I'm not terribly impressed.
So, what does the future hold for this property-developing family?
That's us now got a few properties up and running,
and to be honest, I've had enough!
Well, that's it for today's show.
Join us next time for more tales from the front-line of property-developing.
-See you soon for more Homes Under The Hammer.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
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.