Episode 78 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 78

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a building plot in Warminster, a Victorian house in Selkirk and a top-floor flat in Faversham. They learn how much each sold for at auction.


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Transcript


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We all know that the price of property

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-can go down as well as up.

-It pays to buy at the right price.

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One way is to buy your home under the hammer.

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If you're thinking about buying at auction,

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now could be the time to start.

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The market's always changing, so judge when it's the time to buy.

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-Today's buyers put their money on the line.

-Here's what they bought.

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'I'm digging up the truth about this site in Warminster.'

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Not a perfect site, but it's also not a nightmare.

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'I'm sold on this Victorian house in Selkirk.'

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I LOVE this place.

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'And this top floor flat in Faversham has a secret garden.'

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Kids would love it here. Grown-ups would, too.

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These properties have been sold at auction.

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We'll find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.

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'I'm in the picturesque village of Mere in Wiltshire,

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'surrounded by designated areas of outstanding natural beauty

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'which are described as "jewels of the English landscape".'

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The lot I'm here to see is just south of the town centre.

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It's in a mainly residential area, but it's not a house.

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It's a plot with planning permission for a three-bedroom property.

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The guide price is £100,000.

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It's good to be well-dressed for these occasions.

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I've got me boots on ready to go. Let's have a look around.

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Oh, my goodness!

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My first consideration with a building site is access.

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It's a make-or-break factor with a potential development plot.

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This is off the road, which makes it easy for workmen and machinery.

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The site does look quite small for a three-bedroom detached house,

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but it's not unfeasible.

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There are no utilities, but they run nearby so it shouldn't be much of an issue.

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So it's a plot of two halves.

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Not a perfect site, but it's also not a nightmare.

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'The main selling point

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'is that planning permission has already been granted.

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'The plot was created from a neighbour's garden - a pot of gold for them.'

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# Somewhere over the rainbow

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# Skies are blue... #

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These are the plans that have been passed.

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The square footage is extremely generous.

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1,500 feet. I know houses with five bedrooms with that square footage.

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You've got a kitchen diner.

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There's a nice living area, a utility space.

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All the bedrooms have got their own bathrooms, which is really nice.

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We are in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

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The planners rejected an application partly on the basis of materials.

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The stipulation is for natural stone on the elevation facing the road.

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The building will be attractive and practical. I'm quite impressed.

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'The house recently built next door had the same stipulations

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'about the use of stone.

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'Nearby is a small estate of new-builds,

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'also built to reflect the area they're in.'

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A rule of thumb for development sites is to spend a third of the overall end value on the land,

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a third on the build and the final third should be your profit.

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In this case, if you spend 100,000 on the land,

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100k on the build,

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then you should be bagging a very healthy £100,000 profit.

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Three-bedroom houses around here go for £300,000.

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With that theory, it could play out.

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However, we are in the throes of an economic crisis.

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Buyers are sitting on their hands and property prices are tumbling.

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I would recommend anybody who takes on a development now

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to be careful with their budget and be prepared to rent the house out,

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at least in the short term, while we ride out this storm.

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'The guide price for this plot of land was £100,000.

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'I asked a local estate agent for some local knowledge.'

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We've got a traditional town centre with stunning countryside around.

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Gillingham, about four miles away, has a mainline station

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giving access to London.

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In my opinion, this is a good plot on the edge of the village.

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The planning permission granted for this property is right for the plot.

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Any increase in bedrooms would be overdevelopment.

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'The current plan means there would be a garden that would be small in relation to the house.

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'What would the market value of the property be once completed?'

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I value the proposed dwelling at £295,000.

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'And the rental income?'

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If the property were to be rented out, I believe it would rent for £850 per calendar month.

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This development plot is in a great location.

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These plans really work for me and the figures appear to stack up,

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despite economic doom and gloom.

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Somebody has already done the hard work by getting these plans passed.

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Let's see who took this project on at the auction.

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Who'll put me straight in at 100,000 for this building plot?

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Lot 17 in Mere, ladies and gentlemen. 80,000. 80,000. 85.

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90.

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90,000. 92, is it?

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92. 94.

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96.

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All done, ladies and gentlemen? Lovely building plot at £96,000.

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98. 99.

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99? No? Please, don't fan yourselves.

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You nearly bought a building plot for 99,000. 98,000.

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Sorry to mess you about. All done, then, at £98,000...

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'The successful bidder was 25-year-old Daniel.

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'He paid £2,000 less than the £100,000 guide price.

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'Daniel works for his dad, Terry, in the family building firm.'

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Congratulations. There was a bit of confusion, Daniel, after your bid.

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I bid at 98. Somebody at the back waved their hand.

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They called it 99. They were fanning themselves with the programme.

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-So he came back to me at 98.

-I bet that was a relief.

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-It was. I didn't want to go any higher.

-How long have you guys been building for?

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I've been building over 35 years.

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-I've been working with you for...about five years?

-Yeah.

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-Daniel, has your dad taught you everything you know?

-A fair bit!

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He's learned most things himself on site, but he is site manager.

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I keep an eye on things. Daniel runs the day-to-day operation.

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He knows a lot about everything now. We do shops, offices, house builds.

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Have you done anything like this? It's a big project to actually build a house from scratch.

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Well, we do it all the time. We've built over a dozen.

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-It's all on his shoulders now.

-So this is your project? It's solely your own project?

-Yeah.

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-He's done one before. He bought an old bungalow, extended it, improved it and sold it.

-Yeah.

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-Tell me about that.

-It was another auction property. It was derelict.

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I put a back extension on it, a side extension, went upstairs.

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I turned it into a four-bed house with a garage. It was just a one-bed bungalow before.

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You turned it into a four-bed house. Sold it on?

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-Made a fortune?

-Made a lot of money.

-Did quite well.

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-Good.

-Just before the market came down a bit.

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'Daniel intends to do the bulk of the building work himself,

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'while also working full time for his dad.'

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How are you going to find the time?

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-I'll be here weekends, evenings.

-He's due some holiday.

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-That'd be nice.

-Hasn't had a holiday for three years.

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-How hard on him are you?

-Not too bad. He does a good job. He's his own boss, really.

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-Are you going to get involved?

-I'll help where I can. I'm semi-retired.

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Daniel's the oldest of nine children.

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-NINE children?

-Yes.

-What's their age range?

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Daniel being the oldest at 25. The youngest is a little boy who's nearly four.

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We've got three girls and six boys. I haven't got time to go to work!

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-How does your mum cope with you lot with your muddy boots?

-She shouts.

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-"Take 'em off!"

-She's got us well trained. They're all taken off before they come in.

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-Any chance you might want to live in it?

-It depends on the market.

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If it looks like I can sell it, then I probably would.

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If not, I'd move in.

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-Terry, how does it feel to see your son following in your footsteps?

-I'm pleased. Building's very simple.

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It's not particularly complicated, but he does a good job.

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I'm more a do-er. He's very good on the accounts, on the record keeping.

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-Yeah, I do enjoy the building.

-A builder with brains.

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'Daniel not only has the brawn but he has the brains to match.

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'He's viewed the new-build next door,

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'which has a fourth bedroom in the attic.

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'He will try to amend the plans for his site in the same way.

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'That will add value,

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'without detracting from the already small proposed garden.'

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It came with plans for a three-bed house. Have you thought about tweaking them? Are they perfect?

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It's quite tucked up in this far corner.

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I'd like to get more garden at the back so it's not all at the front.

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There's a bit of noise from the road.

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Maybe add a garage and go up into the roof, like next door, to add another room.

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How much do you think it's going to cost? Have you done any sums?

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I'm hoping less than 100.

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-But...

-Yeah. I think so.

-Obviously do a lot myself.

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How long will it take to build your house?

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Hopefully, finished in a year. It's not as quick as if you were doing it full time.

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Six months on a normal project but in his own time, nine months to a year.

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Good luck with this. I can't wait to see the finished product.

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Daniel and Terry are an experienced team. I'm sure they know what they're doing.

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I hope Daniel's prepared to move in while the market picks up.

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And I hope they don't over-spend.

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I think this is a great project in a lovely location.

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Find out how they get on later in the show.

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'I'm in the small town of Selkirk in the Scottish borders.

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'Residents are traditionally known as souters, meaning cobblers,

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'as, in the past, shoes were made here.

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'Let's hope we won't find the property down-at-heel.'

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Up for auction was a five-bedroom detached house

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with a guide price of 275,000 quid.

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From the catalogue, it sounds pretty grand.

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You know what? Oh, yes! It is absolutely beautiful!

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Look at the symmetry, the grey-black stone with sandstone inserts.

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It's glorious. That stone, as a matter of interest,

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is so hard and tough it was used as the core of Hadrian's Wall.

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Let's hope it's as grand and impressive inside.

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'This house is simply stunning

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'and has immediately made a strong impression on me.

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'Everything is big, bold and beautiful.

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'It's listed, meaning that any changes must be appropriate

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'and sympathetic to its character.'

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Look at this door! Huge! Really great start.

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What is that?

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Fan-tastic!

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Look at THAT for a front door key!

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You wouldn't want to lose that. Wonder if it works.

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Yeah! That's great.

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Through into your entrance.

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-SIGHS

-High ceilings!

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You've got this cornicing.

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The detailing hasn't been lost

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through years of painting.

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You're faced by this staircase. It's elegant, it's gorgeous.

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You've got this mahogany banister.

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Instead of wooden railings, these are cast iron.

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-WISTFUL:

-Oh, it's a great start.

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CHUCKLES

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'It gets better and better.

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'Three huge reception rooms complete with wonderful character features

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'waiting for original fireplaces to be installed.

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'Past the old bathroom

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'there's what's probably a dining room, again a grand size.

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'Then down to earth with a bump.

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'I'm falling hard for this house and I'm afraid the kitchen hurts.'

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The kitchen is a disappointment, certainly not befitting this house.

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You've got this other room here,

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which I think is the natural place for the kitchen, to create a heart to the house.

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But it's not quite big enough. You could to take out this wall.

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However, it's two feet thick so that's out the question.

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I reckon you should knock through this wall, maybe an archway or RSJ.

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That's through to a reception room. You've got enough reception rooms.

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You need this big family space so, kitchen here and living area there.

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That is what I would do to get that heart that you need.

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'As far as hearts go, mine is lost to this place.

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'I can't wait to venture up that beautiful staircase.

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'On the landing is the bathroom.

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'Its harsh black-and-white design feels at odds

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'with the soft curves of the rest of the house.

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'Let's explore the bedrooms.'

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You've got five bedrooms, four of them good sizes.

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You've got high ceilings.

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Absolutely glorious. It hasn't really been ruined, this house.

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You've got sash windows. They look like they need specialist care.

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But they are original.

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You can it's the original glass. There's defects in it.

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And surrounding the windows...

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Oh! Shutters!

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These have been painted so they don't open

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but have it dipped, stripped

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and you would have these beautiful pine shutters. I LOVE this place!

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'This is a time capsule, showing what it must have been like

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'100 years ago.

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'And this house still has more to offer.'

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I've seen five bedrooms

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and the auction catalogue says that's all there is.

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However, up here on the very top floor are two more rooms.

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These would make great kids' rooms. You've got a problem with height.

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Why not think about taking out that, going into the attic space?

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Maybe taking out this wall, possibly to create two kids' rooms

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or one huge great play area.

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Fantastic! I mean, the options for this house just go on and on.

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'And I could go on and on about the grandeur.

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'Then I step into the garden,

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'which not only has a beauty to match the house but also potential,

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'with outbuildings ripe for development.

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'With a guide price of 275,000, time to hear what a local property expert thinks

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'of this marvellous place. The fact that it's listed

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'will also affect how much has to be spent to bring it up to standard.'

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It's a very substantial property. The building's listed, Category C.

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The costs of repair and improvement is obviously going to be influenced

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by the level of finish,

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but I would think you're very quickly going to spend £50,000

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and that could rise quite easily to 70,000.

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Who knows? Maybe even a wee bit more.

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'This gracious house does deserve that loving touch.

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'After a renovation, what could it be worth?'

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I would have estimated its value

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will very quickly rise to around 350,000,

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could even be 370,000.

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This really is a rare opportunity to own a truly staggering home

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that basically just needs a bit of tender loving care.

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I don't think it'll be the size of someone's wallet that influences who buys it.

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Somebody is going to fall in love with it. Let's find out who that was when it went under the hammer.

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Lot 41. Somebody start me at 200,000?

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Just to get us started. 200,000 anywhere?

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200. Thank you, sir. Sitting down in the middle. 200.

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205 anywhere? Thank you, sir. 205.

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205. 210? 210.

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215? 215.

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220? 220. 225?

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225. 230?

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235? 235.

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240? 245?

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245. 250? 250.

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255? He's shaking his head.

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We're at £250,000.

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I'm looking for 255.

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Are you coming back in? 255. 255.

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260? 265?

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He's shaking his head. OK, we're at 260.

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That's £260,000. Are we all done?

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Going once, twice, third and final time.

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£260,000. Thank you very much, gentleman who got me started.

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'The successful bidder who got the house for 260,000

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'was Fergus, or Ferg, as he's known.

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'He was at the auction with his father-in-law.

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'Ferg's a part-time engineering consultant, part-time house husband,

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'and his wife Claire is a paediatric consultant in the local hospital.

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'They bought this house as a home for themselves and their children, Rory and Isla.'

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-Ferg, congratulations.

-Thank you.

-I can't believe it went what it went for.

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-I was very pleased at the price.

-Why did you want to buy the house?

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It's quite a long story. We had to move to Selkirk for my wife's job in the local hospital.

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We couldn't sell our house in Glasgow so we rented a place here more than a year ago.

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One of the first houses we looked at was this one.

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At that point, we rejected it. It was too expensive.

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-Needed too much work and was too close to the road.

-How much was it?

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-It was "offers over" 325,000, which means they wanted £400,000.

-Right.

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After we'd moved to Selkirk, we're living three minutes walk from here.

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We're looking at it every day as we walk past thinking, "That's a very nice house."

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When we saw the auctioneer's sign outside, because it wasn't selling,

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we thought we'd better go for it.

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It just happened that our house in Glasgow sold at that point

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so we could buy a house and it all worked out well for us.

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-The timing is right. It was meant to be.

-That's right.

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'So determined were the couple

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'that when the auction clashed with a holiday, Ferg flew back early

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'to buy their dream home.'

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Tell me what the plans for the house are.

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The dining room and the kitchen, we're going to knock them together.

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This is all going to be limited by what we're allowed to do because it's Grade C listed.

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The idea is to have a big open-plan dining kitchen with sofas at one end

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the kitchen at the other end and a table in the middle.

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We fancy putting some French windows in the kitchen and the sitting room.

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The top floor, at the moment, that's going to stay as box rooms.

0:22:550:23:00

Then we've got the outhouse as well.

0:23:000:23:03

My aspiration is that will be my study and workshop.

0:23:030:23:08

Whether I can get budget approved from the family, I don't know.

0:23:080:23:13

'That's a lot to do for starters.

0:23:130:23:16

'Getting it for only 260,000 has freed up finances

0:23:160:23:19

'so they've got a budget of £80,000.

0:23:190:23:23

'As he's a dab-hand at DIY, Ferg plans to do a lot of renovation himself.

0:23:230:23:29

'Fortunately, a survey taken before the auction showed that,

0:23:290:23:33

'apart from minor damp problems, the house is structurally sound.

0:23:330:23:38

'They're hoping that in six months' time they can be enjoying living there.

0:23:380:23:44

'With 16-month-old Rory, who Ferg was showing around,

0:23:440:23:48

'it looks like they can't wait to get started on the place.'

0:23:480:23:53

-How do you feel about getting it?

-Delighted. It's very exciting.

0:23:530:23:58

It's great to think this is ours, this is where we're going to live.

0:23:580:24:03

I can't wait to start ripping out these horrible carpets, taking down some of the wet plasterwork.

0:24:030:24:10

I am truly delighted for you. Congratulations.

0:24:100:24:13

-We look forward to seeing how you restore this beautiful house.

-OK.

0:24:130:24:18

What a great step on this house's journey back to its glory days!

0:24:180:24:23

What a wonderful family home this will make for Ferg, his wife and their children.

0:24:230:24:29

A few hoops to jump through getting planning permission. I can't wait to see how they get on.

0:24:290:24:35

You can find out how it goes later in the show.

0:24:350:24:38

'Coming up, I look on the bright side of this flat in Faversham.'

0:24:390:24:44

Someone's made a good attempt at brightening this place up.

0:24:440:24:49

'We return to see how Ferg got on with the beautiful Victorian house.'

0:24:500:24:54

I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out. I'm looking forward to moving in.

0:24:540:25:00

'First, it's back to Wiltshire,

0:25:000:25:03

'to see if Daniel found time to build his house.'

0:25:030:25:06

I've been working weekends and evenings, fitting it around my work.

0:25:060:25:11

'Let's return now, to the village of Mere in Wiltshire...

0:25:140:25:18

'..where I viewed this plot of land.

0:25:230:25:26

'Planning permission had already been granted for a three-bed house.

0:25:260:25:31

'It had to be built using natural stone on the front elevation,

0:25:310:25:35

'similar to the new-build next door.

0:25:350:25:39

'The land was bought for £98,000 by 25-year-old Daniel,

0:25:400:25:44

'who works for his father Terry in the family building firm.

0:25:440:25:48

'Daniel planned to do the majority of work

0:25:480:25:52

'while also working full time for his dad.'

0:25:520:25:56

How will you find the time to build this house?

0:25:560:25:59

-I'll be here weekends, evenings...

-He's due some holiday.

0:25:590:26:04

Hasn't had a holiday for three years.

0:26:040:26:07

'But Daniel would have to be content with a busman's holiday.

0:26:070:26:11

'Now we're back to view the results of all his hard work.

0:26:110:26:16

'It's been 20 months since our last visit.

0:26:220:26:27

'And it would appear to be time well spent.

0:26:310:26:35

'Daniel has made modifications to the original plans.

0:26:400:26:44

'It's now a five-bed, rather than a three-bedroom house.

0:26:440:26:48

'He's added a garage and a room above using natural stone

0:26:480:26:53

'and I can see that a second floor's been added.

0:26:530:26:59

'The quality of the workmanship's outstanding.

0:27:000:27:04

'This has been a massive undertaking for Daniel.'

0:27:040:27:08

Weekends and evenings, fitting it around my work.

0:27:080:27:12

I've had a few trades in - plumbers, electricians, plasterers -

0:27:120:27:17

but everything else I've done myself.

0:27:170:27:20

'The property has a large living room.

0:27:200:27:24

'French doors make it feel even more spacious.

0:27:240:27:28

'No corners have been cut on the finish. The units are oak.

0:27:290:27:34

'As are the doors and floors.

0:27:340:27:36

'A utility room at the back leads to the garage,

0:27:360:27:40

'a feature Daniel added before reapplying for planning permission.'

0:27:400:27:44

I put in the new application for the planning, which I got.

0:27:440:27:49

Permission to put two more rooms in the roof, a big room above the garage and a few changes inside.

0:27:490:27:56

'The bedroom above the garage is one of three big bedrooms on this floor.

0:27:560:28:01

'The master bedroom has an en suite shower room.

0:28:010:28:05

'Let's head up to the second floor.'

0:28:100:28:13

These are the two rooms that weren't on the original plans.

0:28:150:28:19

I've got a bedroom in there with a small office area here.

0:28:190:28:24

This bedroom's slightly bigger. I think they're worth doing.

0:28:240:28:28

'Daniel used the floor space wisely.

0:28:340:28:36

'These rooms would have been the attic so they don't use ground area.

0:28:360:28:41

'That's important, as the size of the house in relation to the garden

0:28:410:28:46

'has always been an issue.'

0:28:460:28:48

The house originally was tucked into the far corner,

0:28:500:28:55

with this end of the house

0:28:550:28:58

being the boundary.

0:28:580:29:00

I brought it this way so I could get the garage on,

0:29:000:29:04

better access for the drive.

0:29:040:29:06

I think the house sits here OK.

0:29:060:29:09

Not a lot of garden left but it's a good amount of parking.

0:29:090:29:13

'This is a family sized property without a family sized garden,

0:29:130:29:19

'which could put off potential purchasers.

0:29:190:29:22

'It's already been attracting interest,

0:29:220:29:26

'even though it's not quite finished.'

0:29:260:29:30

I hope the house will sell quickly. People come round and they like it.

0:29:300:29:34

It's a big house so I'd hope for 320,000, 3250,000.

0:29:340:29:39

'Let's see if two estate agents agree with Daniel's valuation.

0:29:390:29:44

'His 12-month schedule has long since passed.

0:29:440:29:48

'But even with a few finishing touches still to do,

0:29:480:29:52

'he will hit his £100,000 budget.'

0:29:520:29:55

I think the property is very nice indeed.

0:29:570:30:00

It's finished to a high standard.

0:30:000:30:02

There's solid oak units in the kitchen, oak floors, oak doors.

0:30:020:30:07

I like that the property has five bedrooms

0:30:070:30:10

over three floors - ground floor, first floor, second floor.

0:30:100:30:14

Two good bedrooms in the top.

0:30:140:30:17

The fact that it's a stone-built property with the brick,

0:30:170:30:21

I think that's a nice touch.

0:30:210:30:23

It blends in well with the area and fits very well.

0:30:230:30:28

The only negative would be the size of the garden.

0:30:280:30:33

That's not to say it won't appeal to somebody.

0:30:330:30:36

Not everybody wants a large garden.

0:30:360:30:39

He's developed the plot as much as he can.

0:30:390:30:43

The question is, has it been overdeveloped,

0:30:430:30:46

in so much the garden is too small for a five-bedroom house?

0:30:460:30:50

Only time will tell.

0:30:500:30:52

'Daniel spent £98,000 on the property but estimates he will keep to his £100,000 budget.

0:30:550:31:02

'Which means his total outlay should be £198,000.

0:31:020:31:07

'What could this place achieve, if sold?'

0:31:090:31:12

I would market this property with a guide price of £330,000.

0:31:150:31:19

I'd value this at £320,000.

0:31:190:31:22

'Those figures would give Daniel a pre-tax profit of £122,000 to £132,000.

0:31:240:31:31

'Will he carry on with his busman's holiday, building day and night?

0:31:310:31:36

'Weekdays and weekends?'

0:31:360:31:38

It's been a good experience.

0:31:380:31:41

Hopefully, I can sell it and do something else.

0:31:410:31:44

# Daniel, Daniel

0:31:440:31:48

# Look what you've done Look what you've done... #

0:31:480:31:51

Welcome to Faversham, the ancient capital of Kent.

0:31:560:32:00

The town attracts thousands of visitors each year.

0:32:000:32:04

Shakespeare even made a visit here.

0:32:040:32:06

Will I be comparing the auction property to a summer's day?

0:32:060:32:10

To be or not to be? That is the question.

0:32:100:32:14

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears as I go off in search of today's lot.

0:32:140:32:19

That is enough!

0:32:190:32:21

'Although this is one of the most charming market towns in Britain,

0:32:210:32:27

'it's not cut off from modern life.

0:32:270:32:29

'The M2 is half a mile away.

0:32:290:32:32

'The M20 is a 20-minute drive, for easy access to London and the south.

0:32:320:32:37

'The property I'm looking at is just down the road.'

0:32:370:32:42

I'm here to see a three-bedroom flat on the first floor of this building.

0:32:420:32:47

The guide price was set at £60,000 to £65,000.

0:32:470:32:51

Let's take a look inside.

0:32:510:32:54

'It's nice to see a splash of colour in a garden.

0:32:540:32:57

'But the exterior of this '60s flat may not be to everybody's taste.

0:32:570:33:03

'The stairwell isn't the most uplifting introduction, but things get brighter inside.'

0:33:030:33:09

Zero out of ten for the communal entrance. Very drab.

0:33:090:33:13

I'd like to throw some paint around, really brighten it up.

0:33:130:33:17

Inside, somebody's made a good attempt at brightening it up!

0:33:170:33:22

You've got loads of space in here.

0:33:220:33:25

The kitchen is towards the front. A nice big sunny window.

0:33:250:33:29

You'll have to get rid of these units and think about

0:33:290:33:33

redesigning this kitchen.

0:33:330:33:35

I can see a bit of extra space.

0:33:350:33:38

I'm just wondering whether you took this wall out

0:33:380:33:42

you could sneak a bit more space in the back.

0:33:420:33:45

Yes! Now, once you get rid of that water tank,

0:33:450:33:49

you've got all this room to play with. Fantastic!

0:33:490:33:54

'Elsewhere, space is not lacking.

0:33:540:33:57

'The three bedrooms are spacious and bright,

0:33:570:34:00

'but it's the colour scheme that takes my breath away!'

0:34:000:34:04

# Take my breath away... #

0:34:040:34:08

'It looks like someone's had great fun decorating this flat.

0:34:080:34:12

'Thankfully, the bathroom's a little more neutral.

0:34:120:34:15

'That suite could be ripped out and a modern one put in.

0:34:150:34:19

'Even though the colours aren't as bright something's equally shocking.

0:34:190:34:23

'Damp.'

0:34:230:34:26

A-ha! There is the culprit! Look!

0:34:290:34:32

Rotten fascias and soffits.

0:34:320:34:35

It surprises me how often I see this.

0:34:350:34:38

The damp in this house could have been so easily avoided.

0:34:380:34:42

Maintenance of fascias and soffits is all-important,

0:34:420:34:46

and those need replacing as soon as possible.

0:34:460:34:50

This is leasehold so I would contact the freeholder

0:34:500:34:54

and ask them how they intend to rectify this situation.

0:34:540:34:58

The cost may be passed on, so that needs to be factored into the budget.

0:34:580:35:03

'It's definitely worth checking to see if you will incur extra costs.

0:35:030:35:09

'Another detail worth checking out is around the back.'

0:35:090:35:13

This is a three-bedroom flat, which is quite standard, but this isn't.

0:35:130:35:18

It's a wonderful garden! It's huge!

0:35:180:35:21

Full of beautiful flowers and secret hiding places.

0:35:210:35:25

Kids would love it here. Grown-ups would, too.

0:35:250:35:30

# Let the children play

0:35:300:35:32

# Let the children play... #

0:35:330:35:35

'It's unusual for a first-floor flat to have a lot of space.

0:35:360:35:41

'It's got loads of room, which is an unexpected bonus.

0:35:410:35:46

'But a less exciting aspect is the road at the front.'

0:35:460:35:51

You may see this road as a bit uneven, there are lots of potholes.

0:35:510:35:56

According to the Highways Authority,

0:35:560:35:58

a road like this will not be maintained by the council.

0:35:580:36:01

It's up to the owners of the properties here to look after this.

0:36:010:36:06

The upkeep of an unadopted road doesn't stop at the surface.

0:36:060:36:10

It includes drainage, lighting, potholes and general maintenance.

0:36:100:36:16

And that lot doesn't come cheap.

0:36:160:36:19

'So, there are pluses and minuses.

0:36:200:36:23

'What does the local estate agent make of it?'

0:36:230:36:26

This property is large.

0:36:300:36:33

It needs a lot spent on it, but it's an interesting combination.

0:36:330:36:37

And nice to have a flat with a garden.

0:36:370:36:41

It is rare for a flat to have a garden and a parking space,

0:36:410:36:45

and that will always help when it comes to letting it or selling it.

0:36:450:36:50

'What could this three-bed flat rent for in the current market?'

0:36:500:36:55

Renovated, it would probably let for £550 to £600 per calendar month.

0:36:550:37:01

'Renting sounds like a really good option here.

0:37:010:37:05

'What if it was done up and resold?'

0:37:050:37:08

When renovated this property possibly has a value of £100,000 to £110,000.

0:37:100:37:17

To sum up, great flat, WONDERFUL garden,

0:37:180:37:22

but I hope the person who buys this knows about that unadopted road before the auction.

0:37:220:37:28

Otherwise, it could come as a shock.

0:37:280:37:31

Let's find out who adopted this flat, as we go to auction.

0:37:310:37:35

Then we go to lot 68.

0:37:350:37:37

A first-floor flat. Start me where you will on that one.

0:37:370:37:41

A guide of 60 to 65. Anyone going to pop in at £60,000? 60.

0:37:410:37:45

And two now, do I see?

0:37:450:37:49

62, I'm bid. 65? It's against you. 65. 67, may I say?

0:37:490:37:53

67, may I say? £65,000 I have.

0:37:530:37:57

67. And 68.

0:37:570:38:00

And 70. And 72, and four, and six.

0:38:000:38:04

76. And eight.

0:38:040:38:06

And 80? At 80.

0:38:060:38:09

At 78 on the righthand aisle.

0:38:090:38:11

80, the original bidder. And two. And four?

0:38:110:38:14

84, may I say? 84. And six?

0:38:140:38:19

And eight sitting down. 88 in the original bidder?

0:38:190:38:23

88 do I see? No, at 88, sitting down?

0:38:230:38:26

I've got it on the righthand side at £86,000 against you two.

0:38:260:38:30

Do I see 88 from either of you? If not, at £86,000.

0:38:300:38:34

On the end of the aisle. I will sell for the first time unless I get 88.

0:38:340:38:40

£86,000 bid for the second time.

0:38:400:38:43

Is everyone out of it?

0:38:430:38:46

At £86,000 I'm sel...

0:38:460:38:48

88,000 I've got. Fill it up to 90. And two. 92, may I say?

0:38:480:38:53

It can't be your only bid.

0:38:530:38:56

It could be. 92, can I say?

0:38:560:38:58

£90,000 for the first time.

0:38:580:39:02

£90,000 for the second time.

0:39:020:39:04

All done at £90,000? Sure you're all done, sitting down?

0:39:040:39:09

BANGS GAVEL Yours at £90,000, sir.

0:39:090:39:12

And the number, please, is 132.

0:39:120:39:15

'That winning bid of 90,000 came from Richard.

0:39:150:39:19

'He's a local full-time property developer

0:39:190:39:22

'and has run his own company for eight years, amassing 25 buy-to-let properties.'

0:39:220:39:28

Richard, great to meet you. Thank you so much for coming.

0:39:380:39:42

Why did you want to buy this property?

0:39:420:39:44

I'd identified it because Faversham looked very good.

0:39:440:39:49

It's got good transport links - roads, rail.

0:39:490:39:53

I looked at the house from the outside.

0:39:530:39:56

The garden looked very nice.

0:39:560:39:59

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see inside.

0:39:590:40:02

Why did you not arrange it so you could have a viewing?

0:40:020:40:06

I didn't have time. I was too busy.

0:40:060:40:09

Having said that, I'm happy with the price I paid.

0:40:090:40:13

-As a developer, yield is crucial for any purchase.

-Absolutely.

0:40:130:40:18

It's very, very important and, although it's good to buy at a good price,

0:40:180:40:24

the key, if you're in it for the long-term, is yield.

0:40:240:40:28

At the very minimum, my recommendation, it should be 8% at the very least.

0:40:280:40:34

What did you think when you came inside for the first time?

0:40:340:40:38

Initially, I was disappointed with the condition.

0:40:380:40:43

There was some damp in the corners of two or three rooms.

0:40:430:40:48

I normally do a complete refurb. It's a rip-out, to be honest.

0:40:480:40:53

We need to renew the central heating system. The wiring's not too bad.

0:40:530:40:58

Everything else. We'll remove the doors. New bathroom, new kitchen.

0:40:580:41:04

We've given ourselves three weeks to do it and move on.

0:41:040:41:09

'Three weeks sounds quick for all this work.

0:41:090:41:13

'But remember, Richard's been doing this for years.

0:41:130:41:16

'He'll subcontract the work while he's keeping an eye on his tight budget of 15,000.

0:41:160:41:22

'He was a support engineer for 25 years.

0:41:240:41:27

'Why did he switch to property development?'

0:41:270:41:32

You can get up and make your mind up how you plan your day.

0:41:320:41:36

You're your own guv'nor.

0:41:360:41:38

To me, that means an awful lot.

0:41:380:41:41

When you get to my age,

0:41:410:41:43

and I'll be 60 in a few weeks, then that, to me, is very important.

0:41:430:41:48

I'm not the retiring type. I need something to do.

0:41:480:41:52

'With a complete refurbishment,

0:41:520:41:55

'his plans here will keep him busy.

0:41:550:41:58

'What about that damp and the leaky roof?

0:41:580:42:02

'Will that cause him floods of problems?'

0:42:020:42:04

The roof is sound. Not a problem. Went up into the loft. That's sound.

0:42:040:42:09

The gutterings are blocked. Water is getting in behind the fascia.

0:42:090:42:14

That's not helping, so we'll remove all of that, renew the lot. Then we can look at the damaged plaster.

0:42:140:42:22

Improve the ventilation because we've got condensation problems. Then I'm sure it'll be fine.

0:42:220:42:29

Now, you've got an unadopted road as you enter the property.

0:42:290:42:33

-What can you tell me about that?

-It's clearly a private unmade road.

0:42:330:42:38

I guess we'll have responsibility in some way for the upkeep of that.

0:42:380:42:44

I've had a word with the neighbours who've lived here for several years.

0:42:440:42:48

-It doesn't appear to be a problem.

-Richard, good luck.

-Thank you.

0:42:480:42:54

Savvy Richard will not buy anything that doesn't give him 8% yield.

0:42:540:42:59

I'm a little worried, by the time he's spent his £15,000 budget,

0:42:590:43:04

he won't achieve that comfortable yield he is so used to.

0:43:040:43:08

Find out what happens later in the programme.

0:43:080:43:11

Time is a great healer, but it can be your worst enemy when you're against a deadline.

0:43:140:43:20

-What has happened to those properties?

-Let's find out.

0:43:200:43:24

'Earlier, we were in the Scottish borders

0:43:260:43:29

'where this wonderful Victorian house in Selkirk sold for 260,000.

0:43:290:43:36

'It was bought by part-time engineer and house husband Ferg

0:43:360:43:41

'for his family to live in for years to come.

0:43:410:43:45

'First, some very tender loving care was required.'

0:43:450:43:50

It's great to think this is our home, where we're going to live.

0:43:500:43:55

I can't wait to rip out these horrible carpets.

0:43:550:43:58

'The house was going to have some loving owners - just as well,

0:44:010:44:05

'seeing as the property is listed.

0:44:050:44:09

'But that was 13 months ago.

0:44:090:44:11

'From the outside, it seemed like there's still work going on.

0:44:110:44:16

'But inside...

0:44:160:44:18

'Well, it may be work in progress,

0:44:230:44:26

'but boy, what progress!

0:44:260:44:28

'The original front room, dining room and kitchen have been combined

0:44:280:44:33

'to create a fantastic open-plan kitchen living area.'

0:44:330:44:38

There used to be a hideous 1960s gas fire here.

0:44:380:44:43

We've taken that out so we can see the nice stonework behind.

0:44:430:44:47

We're going to put a stove in here.

0:44:470:44:50

There was a wall here dividing these two rooms.

0:44:500:44:54

I wanted a big family room so we've taken that wall out.

0:44:540:44:58

The nice old original features,

0:44:580:45:00

the maid call and the pulley, we've kept them partly for practicality,

0:45:000:45:06

partly just because we like them.

0:45:060:45:09

We've taken the old flagstones that were in the kitchen,

0:45:090:45:13

laid them on a new kitchen floor.

0:45:130:45:15

We put in a whole new kitchen.

0:45:150:45:18

I'm particularly fond of my kitchen clock on the cooker hood.

0:45:180:45:24

Two new skylights makes this a nice light airy room.

0:45:240:45:28

Particularly about 5 o'clock in the evening, when the sun streams in.

0:45:280:45:33

'With more light through those new French windows,

0:45:330:45:37

'it's easy to imagine this room being the heart of the house.

0:45:370:45:42

'The old scullery is still the back entrance,

0:45:420:45:45

'but with a new shower room added.

0:45:450:45:48

'The ground floor bathroom

0:45:480:45:51

'has been turned into a practical utility area.

0:45:510:45:56

'The changes aren't limited to the ground floor.'

0:45:560:46:00

This used to be the smallest bedroom,

0:46:000:46:03

but we wanted the bathroom here.

0:46:030:46:06

All I did was partition off part of it to make the airing cupboard for the hot water cylinder.

0:46:060:46:13

I've taken the sink and the toilet out of the old bathroom

0:46:130:46:17

and fitted a new bath and shower.

0:46:170:46:20

'So, the mid-landing bathroom has now gone,

0:46:200:46:24

'hopefully to be replaced one day with an office.

0:46:240:46:28

'One of the large front bedrooms has been given an en suite shower.

0:46:280:46:33

'The remaining bedrooms have been redecorated and the floors stripped.

0:46:350:46:40

'Everything looks ready for the family of four to move in. Four?!'

0:46:400:46:45

Last time, we had two children, Isla and Rory.

0:46:450:46:49

They've got a baby brother, Ewen, who's five weeks old.

0:46:490:46:52

'It's just as well they've got two bedrooms upstairs

0:46:520:46:56

'still waiting to be overhauled.

0:46:560:46:59

'There's work to be done but getting this far has taken 13 months.'

0:46:590:47:04

It took six months to get planning permission.

0:47:040:47:07

It was another couple of months until the building consent arrived.

0:47:070:47:12

So we couldn't start the major parts until we got all that in place.

0:47:120:47:16

It's been fast and furious, working for the last four months

0:47:160:47:21

every day, non-stop, to try and get this finished.

0:47:210:47:25

'And the work continues, especially outside.

0:47:250:47:28

'French windows to finish, a patio to create,

0:47:280:47:31

'and a ditch to be dug around the outside to solve a drainage problem.

0:47:310:47:36

'Four months of hard work seem to be paying off.

0:47:360:47:39

'Ferg can take a lot of the credit.'

0:47:390:47:41

Everything that's not major structural work.

0:47:410:47:44

Knocking down the walls, I had builders in do to that.

0:47:440:47:48

Everything else - fitting the bathrooms, kitchen, the plumbing,

0:47:480:47:53

the wiring, most of the joinery - I've done that all myself.

0:47:530:47:59

'It's an impressive piece of DIY but there were some low points.'

0:48:010:48:07

I've been doing this project throughout the coldest winter in recorded history.

0:48:070:48:13

I've been working with no central heating.

0:48:130:48:17

Some days, it's been minus ten and I've had three fleeces, a coat, two pairs of gloves

0:48:170:48:23

and still freezing.

0:48:230:48:25

# Cold hands, warm heart... #

0:48:260:48:29

'Ferg and family are certainly eco-friendly.

0:48:290:48:33

'The unusual bathroom splashback is made of recycled plastic

0:48:330:48:38

'and was sourced online.

0:48:380:48:40

'The original budget was £80,000 but, with a few jobs to be done,

0:48:420:48:48

'Ferg reckons the final bill will stretch to £130,000.

0:48:480:48:53

'As the house cost £260,000, that would make the total £390,000.'

0:48:530:49:00

I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out.

0:49:000:49:04

I'm very happy with the shapes and sizes of the rooms.

0:49:040:49:09

I'm really looking forward to being able to live here.

0:49:090:49:13

'Ferg and his family will, hopefully, be in in a few weeks.

0:49:140:49:19

'For now, it's time to find out what two local estate agents think

0:49:190:49:23

'of their £390,000 dream home.'

0:49:230:49:26

Fantastic period property. Very spacious. Ideal for a family.

0:49:260:49:32

A first-class restoration job. He's trying to retain the character,

0:49:320:49:38

with the sash windows, the stone floors he's retained

0:49:380:49:43

and he's made a feature of the timber floors.

0:49:430:49:47

'Ferg's done an amazing job,

0:49:470:49:49

'but is that total outlay of 390,000 a good investment?

0:49:490:49:54

'What could the house achieve if resold?'

0:49:540:49:58

I would market this property at £400,000.

0:49:580:50:01

I would anticipate that the property would be marketed at a figure of £400,000.

0:50:010:50:08

It's not relevant to us because we don't expect to sell it, but very happy with that.

0:50:080:50:15

'Rory looks like he's settling in,

0:50:150:50:17

'which reminds us that this was never about making money,

0:50:170:50:22

'but building a home for the family.

0:50:220:50:25

'Ferg has achieved a great transformation. Will he be tempted to try this again?'

0:50:250:50:31

If we needed to move and the right house was there,

0:50:310:50:35

then yes, we would buy a house at auction again.

0:50:350:50:38

'And if this house is anything to go by,

0:50:380:50:41

'for Ferg, it will be as easy as riding a bicycle.'

0:50:410:50:47

'We're back in Faversham, Kent, where this three-bedroom flat

0:50:500:50:54

'sold for £30,000 over its 60-grand guide price.

0:50:540:50:59

'It may have a great size garden, but the dated kitchen and bathroom,

0:50:590:51:03

'outrageous colour scheme and damp problem

0:51:030:51:06

'were not what new owner Richard was hoping for.'

0:51:060:51:10

What did you think when you walked in through the door?

0:51:100:51:14

Initially, I was disappointed with the condition.

0:51:140:51:20

'But being a full-time property developer,

0:51:200:51:23

'he wasn't going to let a little renovation work bother him.

0:51:230:51:28

'Even that leaky roof didn't worry him.

0:51:280:51:31

'Has that cool temperament paid off?

0:51:310:51:33

'We caught up with him to find out how he got on.'

0:51:330:51:37

# I'm on my way

0:51:400:51:42

# And listen here, mama

0:51:420:51:44

# Play it cool, play it cool

0:51:440:51:48

# Cool. #

0:51:480:51:50

Since you were last here, what we've done is rip everything out.

0:51:500:51:54

We, more or less, reduced it to a shell.

0:51:540:51:57

We've replastered all the ceilings, new coving.

0:51:570:52:02

We've repaired the damp.

0:52:020:52:04

Taken off the guttering, the fascia, the soffits.

0:52:040:52:07

Very pleased with what we've done.

0:52:070:52:10

'So he should be. What a difference he's made to the flat!

0:52:100:52:15

'Those calm neutral colours are a great relief

0:52:150:52:18

'from that rather vivid palette.

0:52:180:52:21

'He's not just been busy in the bedrooms. Remember that kitchen?

0:52:210:52:26

'You won't - once you've seen this new one!'

0:52:260:52:29

This wall came down completely.

0:52:290:52:31

It's increased the room and makes a lot better use of the space.

0:52:310:52:38

There was a cupboard in that corner.

0:52:380:52:41

The wall there was taken away and a new kitchen fitted.

0:52:410:52:46

Over here, you'll see that we've got a replacement combi boiler

0:52:480:52:53

located within this cupboard.

0:52:530:52:56

I think it works very well.

0:52:560:52:59

'It seems like Richard's cool and calm approach has paid off.

0:52:590:53:04

'The bathroom doesn't look like it caused too many worries, either.

0:53:040:53:08

'Even with that damp issue.'

0:53:080:53:12

# No problems, no problems Only solutions... #

0:53:120:53:17

We had a condensation problem in the walls.

0:53:170:53:21

We believe we've overcome that

0:53:210:53:23

with the ventilation, the heating system

0:53:230:53:27

and replacing the fascias.

0:53:270:53:30

I think it looks very good.

0:53:300:53:32

# No problems, no problems Only solutions... #

0:53:320:53:40

'Even the roof repairs didn't give him a trickle of trouble.'

0:53:400:53:44

That's a cost that will be shared between myself and the freeholder

0:53:440:53:49

who lives in the ground floor flat.

0:53:490:53:52

That's not a problem. That cost will be shared 50/50.

0:53:520:53:55

'Richard makes property developing look easy.

0:53:550:53:59

'On top of all that, he's come in under budget.'

0:53:590:54:03

I originally hoped to keep the budget within £15,000.

0:54:070:54:11

What we've done, I'm hoping that the overall cost of the work

0:54:110:54:16

will be just over £14,000.

0:54:160:54:18

When you add on the legals and the auction costs, it comes to just over £15,000. I'm very pleased with that.

0:54:180:54:25

'The only thing left to have gone wrong is that tight three-week deadline.

0:54:250:54:31

'How did that go?'

0:54:310:54:33

In terms of timescale,

0:54:330:54:35

we took just over two weeks.

0:54:350:54:38

It took a lot of project management, but I had a very good team.

0:54:380:54:43

At one stage, we had eight or nine people here working in parallel.

0:54:430:54:47

They did very well to get it done in those timescales. I'm very pleased.

0:54:470:54:52

'But what do two local estate agents make of Richard's renovation?'

0:54:520:54:58

Good quality fixtures and fittings in the kitchen and the bathroom.

0:55:030:55:08

There's not really anything I would have changed with this property.

0:55:080:55:13

The property is on an unadopted road

0:55:130:55:16

which may put some buyers off.

0:55:160:55:18

The finish quality and the size of the rooms would outweigh this.

0:55:180:55:23

'Richard's already found some tenants

0:55:230:55:27

'and is charging £700 per calendar month.

0:55:270:55:30

'What do the experts think it's worth?'

0:55:300:55:33

I would expect this property to achieve a rent in the region of £625 to £650 per calendar month.

0:55:330:55:41

This property per calendar month would rent for £700.

0:55:410:55:45

With the rental that I will be getting at 700,

0:55:450:55:49

that's a sound investment and I'm happy with that.

0:55:490:55:53

'Crucially for Richard, that rent will give him a yield of 8%,

0:55:530:55:58

'exactly what he was hoping for.

0:55:580:56:01

'He spent £90,000 on the property and another £15,000 on work.

0:56:010:56:05

'So his total outlay here is 105,000.

0:56:050:56:09

'If he decides to sell, what do the experts think he could make?'

0:56:090:56:14

In the current market, this property would achieve a price of between £110,000 and £115,000.

0:56:140:56:21

This property, in the current market, I would resale at £125,000.

0:56:210:56:25

I can't be disappointed in that.

0:56:250:56:28

'Richard makes this look simple - a great yield,

0:56:280:56:31

'a healthy profit and a hassle-free renovation.

0:56:310:56:35

'Not all developments are stress-free, but something tells me he wouldn't let it bother him.'

0:56:350:56:41

I will keep my eyes open, keep moving and while I can do this,

0:56:410:56:46

then I will do.

0:56:460:56:48

It's my living now and I need to do something. That's what I'll do.

0:56:480:56:52

We'll be back with more action from the auction rooms.

0:56:550:56:58

-So join us then on Homes Under The Hammer. Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:580:57:03

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:200:57:23

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:230:57:26

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a building plot in Warminster, a Victorian house in Selkirk and a top-floor flat in Faversham. All of these properties have been sold at auction, and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.


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