Episode 10 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 10

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a terraced house in Leeds, a rural cottage in Maidstone, Kent and a first-floor flat in Harlesden, north London.


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We're always being told to save for the future.

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That's even more important with people searching for ways to supplement or replace their pension.

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Property is an attractive option, so many people are buying their homes under the hammer.

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If, like us, you're hoping that property will be a safe investment,

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you must choose wisely.

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That means doing your research for the bargains.

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-What did our buyers on today's show find?

-Let's take a look.

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'This terraced house in Leeds went to auction at a guide price of 35,000.'

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Not a lot of money. Is it a lot of house?

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'In Maidstone, Kent, the outside of this rural cottage

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'does not match the inside.'

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It's in a state, but there's potential.

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'Behind the scaffolding, there's a first floor flat in north London

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'that's got exciting prospects.'

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Big thumbs-up!

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'These properties were sold at auction.

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

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'Leeds in Yorkshire is a thriving and bustling metropolis.

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'Fabulous shopping abounds and its architecture is easy on the eye.

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'With so many theatres and galleries, it's a cultural hub.'

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Two miles from the city centre,

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in a street that's obviously having a lot of remedial work done,

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I'm here to see a two-bed back-to-back at a guide price of 35,000 quid.

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Let's take a look!

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'If the front is anything to go by, that guide price is understandable.

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'The windows possibly need to be replaced.

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'The garden's a concrete slab and weeds, so maintenance needed there.'

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Not a lot of money. Is it a lot of house?

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Well, reasonable start.

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Into your, I imagine, main living room area. Not a bad size space.

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Kitchen, though, relatively small and definitely needs work.

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Maybe you could open that wall up to create a kitchen/living area.

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That's what I'd do. Big windows. We like that. Yeah. Good start.

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'Those windows are great,

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'and although replacing them won't be cheap, this is a back-to-back,

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'meaning you won't have to replace rear windows - there aren't any.

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'It would be a good idea to get the electricity and plumbing checked,

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'but there is some furniture that could be handy.

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'There is a sizeable cellar that would be useful for storage.'

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Upstairs and, unlike the kitchen, the bathroom is not a bad size.

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Definitely could do with updating but, in terms of space, quite good.

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Similarly for the bedroom - big double.

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But there's only one. Where's the other one?

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Upstairs.

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'It's a top floor decent sized double bedroom which, at a pinch,

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'could be split in two to increase the rental yield.

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'But I reckon best to keep things as they are.

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'So it seems like a straightforward project,

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'but it's not quite as simple as it looks.'

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If you buy this property there is an added complication.

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In this area, and a few other around the UK,

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they're trialling a scheme called landlord licensing,

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which means you have to become licensed if you're going to rent it out.

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To be a licensed landlord, you have to fulfil criteria.

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You have to be checked out from a criminal point of view,

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commit to restoring the property to a certain standard, things like fire doors and insulation.

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You're also responsible for tenants that rent the property.

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It's an incredible list of things you have to do.

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'And it's not as though it's optional.

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'You HAVE to get a licence or face a £20,000 fine.

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'If you don't stick to the conditions, you risk being fined £5,000.

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'This trial scheme, run by the council, could put a lot of people off.

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'It was put in place to protect tenants from being exploited by irresponsible landlords.

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'So, with a guide price of 35,000,

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'let's see what a local estate agent makes of this back-to-back.'

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The area as a whole is very good. We're close to the city centre.

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That's good for your students,

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who are going to the university, and young professionals.

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The city centre is good to commute to.

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'So its location could be a plus, but how does the house stack up?'

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First impressions are very good. Structurally, everything's OK.

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These properties were built in the 1900s.

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The property needs a new kitchen, bathroom and double glazing.

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You could turn the top bedroom into two bedrooms,

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which would enable you to rent the property out for more per month.

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'How would rental figures add up, first as a two-bed?'

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Per calendar month, you'd be looking at a rental value of £375 to £450.

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If it was converted into a three-bedroom property,

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you could increase the rental value by around £50 per calendar month, taking it up to approximately £500.

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'Bearing in mind that guide price of 35,000, what could it sell for as a renovated two-bed?'

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Done up, you could be looking to sell for £65,000 to £70,000.

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If you were to turn it into a three-bedroom property, you wouldn't increase the value by that much.

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You could expect to put on another £5,000, taking it up to £75,000.

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The guide price wasn't huge, but the property IS a lot of house for the money!

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Will that landlord licence put people off?

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For those who don't know about it, it could really catch them out.

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Let's find out who bought it when it went under the hammer.

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'This lot came up towards the end of the auction,

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'which explains why there are empty seats.'

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Just a note on this one. It's an amended guide price.

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I'll take 34, then. 34 new bidder, thank you. At the back.

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34. 35?

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35. 36? Not sure.

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It's £35,000. 36 anywhere else? I'll take a half.

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At the back. 35 and a half. 36?

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And a half? Yeah. 37? And a half?

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38?

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And a half?

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39? And a half?

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40,000?

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And a half? 41?

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And a half? 42?

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And a half? 43?

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Three and a half? He's bid 43 and a half. 44?

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Yeah? And a half?

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Yeah? 45?

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And a half? Yeah?

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46? And a half?

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47? And a half?

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48? Too far.

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At £47,500.

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At the back.

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48 anywhere else?

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All finished, then...? 48.

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Back in. 48,000.

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Nearly. And a half?

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Yeah? 49?

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49 and a half? That's a nod. Yeah? 50?

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And a half?

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At £50,000 we have. 50 and a half, if you like.

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Yeah. 51?

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No. Just too far. 50,500. It could be yours.

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For the first time.

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Second. Third and final time at £50,500.

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'That final successful bid of 50,500 was made by mother and daughter Judy and Gaby.

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'They run a lettings business and plan to add this to a number of properties in the area.

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'I met them back at the house to find out more.'

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Judy, Gaby, lovely to meet you. Congratulations.

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-Thank you.

-Thank you.

-Why did you buy this place.

-I like the house.

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Love the area.

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It's being regenerated, and it's just a nice house.

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-How many properties are you looking after now?

-In this area we've got 16.

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Further afield?

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Three or four commercial properties

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and probably the same number of houses.

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-Tell me about the business.

-It belonged to my father originally.

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He passed it on to me. It was mainly commercial property.

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I've slowly been swapping it to residential.

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'Four years ago, Judy's husband, who was involved in running the company,

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'fell ill and, sadly, passed away a year ago.

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'During this tough time, Gaby stepped in to help run the business

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'and has proved to be a real star.'

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I'd come out of university.

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Had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do and my mother was, like,

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"What a fantastic idea! Come and jump head-first into working for me!"

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-What did you do at university?

-I did psychology.

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-So, completely...

-Learnt a lot about property!

-..the opposite!

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But I love this and my mother's taught me a lot.

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The first house she had to deal with was a burnt-out property.

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-Oh, no!

-It was a total renovation.

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Literally the worst thing. She was like, "You've got a month!"

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'Gaby's been thrown in at the property development deep end.

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'Matters have been slightly complicated

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'by the fact that this duo are going to have to adhere to

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'the new landlord licensing scheme being trialled in this area.'

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-Lots of responsibility.

-A lot of stuff out of your control.

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Like being completely responsible for your tenants.

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Which is a bit difficult, even though you're working together. It can be a bit difficult.

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It's much harder to be a landlord in this area.

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I didn't run away from doing it. We've embraced it, very much so.

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-But it's piling pressure on.

-Yes. Pressure-wise, it's unbelievable.

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'The added pressure is now to get up and running.

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'They plan to fit new windows, install a bathroom and kitchen,

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'and redecorate throughout.

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'They have a £7,000 budget, which should do the job, barring unforeseen problems.'

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-Do you get involved in the physical work?

-Yes.

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-We will clear a house.

-Paint it.

-We've done everything.

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Stripped up carpets. There's nothing that you can't get your hands on!

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-Right.

-That's the best bit.

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-Let me see your nails!

-I've never broken one.

-I'm sorry.

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Those don't look like the nails of somebody...

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Look! Working hands!

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Rubber gloves are a wonderful thing! Never without a pair!

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'Gaby's hands will be spared a lot of wear and tear,

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'as they have a builder to do most of the heavy work.

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'They'll have the electrics and plumbing checked, as they want to get it earning as soon as possible.'

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-What's the timescale for sorting it out?

-Six weeks.

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Good and realistic! We like to be quick.

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-Yes.

-We don't like to sit on anything.

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Once we get keys to a property, we're in there.

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Everything is one after the other.

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-We don't put ourselves under ANY pressure(!)

-No pressure!

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-But it's better to put yourself under a bit of pressure.

-Right.

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Keeps us busy and that's what we like.

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-Congratulations. Lovely to meet you both.

-Lovely to meet you.

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-I've got no doubt you'll do a great job.

-I hope so!

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Us, too!

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Mother and daughter Judy and Gaby clearly making a great team.

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Lots of pressure on. £7,000 budget and six weeks to do it in.

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How are they going to get on? Find out later in the show.

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'In the beautiful county of Kent lies the village of Sandling,

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'just three miles from the county town of Maidstone.

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'It's a pretty little suburb near the River Medway,

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'and home to the open-air Museum of Kent Life.

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'However, a rude awakening from this peace and tranquillity

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'is the nearby M20 motorway.'

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The property I'm here to see is a reflection of rural Kent life.

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Set on this glorious homestead at the end of a no-through road,

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yet less than a mile from junction six off the M20,

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which is what is behind me.

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There is a constant hum of traffic.

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This cottage and stabling offers it all - rural charm, but also close to the amenities of Maidstone.

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It had a guide price of £150,000 to £155,000.

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No horses included, but sounds like it could race ahead to be a winner.

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'From the outside,

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'it looks like a cute cottage, ripe with potential

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'for extending into the stable, which is also part of the lot.'

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Ooh.

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Sadly, I did conjure up in my mind lots of character in this house,

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inglenook fireplace, lots of beams.

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You can see there is none of that!

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I am glad that you've got some new double-glazed windows here,

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to really keep that awful road noise out.

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A big downstairs bathroom, but that does tell me

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there's probably not one upstairs.

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Two good sized reception rooms at the back.

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This is down as the kitchen!

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But you can't really call it that.

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The plaster board's been peeled off. There's no ceiling.

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It's in a bit of a state, but there's potential.

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Upstairs, there's not that much room.

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You've got two little bedrooms and there is no bathroom.

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That could be a bit inconvenient.

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But what I do like are these views right out to the Kent countryside.

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You've got horses chomping on the grass.

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With a bit of character added, you could have a nice little cottage.

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'Don't forget, that's not all there is to this lot.

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'The cottage sits on just over two acres of land at the front and side.

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'And another part could make this a "stable" investment.'

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-TRAFFIC ROARS

-If you want to build your own farmstead in the Kent countryside,

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this is ideal.

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It's expensive to house horses, but with this cottage comes stabling.

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At the moment, it's got plenty of horse boxes and two acres of land.

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There's always room for cows, sheep, a mini zoo, perhaps!

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Or you could try and get permission to convert this into accommodation,

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because there's another whole floor up there!

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'There's certainly loads of potential for development here,

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'providing planning consents are obtained.

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'But what could it be worth on the market?

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'I asked a local property expert for his opinion.'

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I could imagine this property appealing to a vast cross-section of the home-buying community.

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It could be someone who has equestrian pursuits, or a builder

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that needs storage,

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or somebody that wants to convert it into holiday accommodation.

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Somebody could use it as an annex for a relative.

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The possibilities are endless.

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'Sounds like a great investment.

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'How much could the property be worth, once upgraded?'

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Once renovated, if we deal with the property in its entirety -

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a cottage with two acres of land

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and a big storage, or stables for equestrian interests.

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I would think you're looking at £350,000, maybe £375,000.

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'How about on the rental market?'

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I think people may pay a premium for the location, that semi-rural feel.

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It's quite smart. I think £750 to £800 per calendar month.

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'But it doesn't end there. On the same site was this huge barn

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'set on 1.7 acres of land.

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'A separate lot, also available at the auction.

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'With a guide price of £100,000 to £110,000, if you were feeling flush,

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'this could be a welcome addition to the cottage and stables.

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'With the right plan, the sky is the limit on what could be done here.'

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-TRAFFIC ROARS

-After looking around this place,

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I've got the urge to get a smallholding and buy some chickens, goats and donkeys!

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Lucy, calm down.

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It's got bags of rural charm, the possibility of converting the stable and that lovely cottage.

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I could go on and on, and with a guide price of £150,000 to £155,000,

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who was bowled over by its potential as it went under the hammer?

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We move to lot 81, the white cottage and attached stables.

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It's got a guide of 150 to 155.

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Start me at 150. 150 I am bid. 155, sir?

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155. And 160? 160.

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165?

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165. And 170? 170.

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175, sir? 180...?

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'There was clearly keen interest in this lot.

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'The guide price of 150,000 to 155,000 was soon blown out of the water.

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'We rejoin the bidding at a whopping £264,000!'

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..64. And 66.

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And 268. And 270.

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272? 275?

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278?

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And 280? 282? 285?

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288? 288.

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And 290? 292? 295?

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295. Come all the way. At £295,000.

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298, if it helps? For the first time at 295,000.

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For the second time at 295,000.

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Third and final time at £295,000. Are you all done?

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Sold at 295,000.

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And your bidder's number is 8520.

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'That winning bid of 295,000 was made on behalf of the Kent Scouting movement.'

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# Help an old lady cross the street

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# Always be sure your room is neat... #

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'Representing them today are John and Chris.

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'John's a retired building surveyor and the Chair of Trustees for the Kent Scouts.

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'Chris is a Scout team leader.

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'I joined them back at the property and spoke to John first

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'to find out if they were "prepared" for the task ahead.'

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# ..It's fun to be a real good Scout. #

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John, you've bought this cottage and stables.

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-I also heard that you've bought that beautiful barn.

-Yes, we did.

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-Did you always want to buy both lots?

-Yes. It was the plan we had.

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It's the plan we got approval from our trustees to follow through, and the plan we took to auction.

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'What a bonus! Kent Scout movement managed to secure both lots.

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'So they've not only spent £295,000 on the cottage and stables,

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'but a further 170,000 on the barn,

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'making a hefty total outlay of 465,000.'

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How have you raised the finance? That's a lot of money for the Scout group to buy such a plot.

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We actually sold land 20 years ago,

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which put money within the county account.

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That was put there for, one day, for the benefit of Scouting.

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# It's got to be-e Perfect... #

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'All the buildings are to become a centre for the Kent Scouts.

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'There's even a resident cat. That really is perfect.

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'There is a lot of work to do, and extra funds do need to be raised.'

0:22:500:22:56

We need to do some research on where we can obtain grants.

0:22:560:23:00

There are fundraising activities that we can carry out.

0:23:000:23:05

And we have a little residue left over from the auction, which is our building fund.

0:23:050:23:11

'"Be prepared" is the Scout motto.

0:23:140:23:17

'The Kent Scouting movement is no exception.

0:23:170:23:20

'John was keen for me to chat to Scout leader Chris, to find out about the exciting plans.'

0:23:200:23:26

Chris, it's great to meet you. Why are you here?

0:23:260:23:30

-What do you represent?

-I'm a Scout leader and trustee of Kent Scout Council.

0:23:300:23:36

I'm going to push for adventurous activities here - archery, climbing, microlighting.

0:23:360:23:42

So we get all young people here enjoying themselves.

0:23:420:23:45

How will you develop this amazing barn, the stabling and cottage?

0:23:450:23:51

Upstairs will be office space and downstairs, kitchen facilities.

0:23:510:23:56

The stables become bunk houses, offices and conference areas.

0:23:560:24:00

This is a fantastic barn for whatever we need it for.

0:24:000:24:05

We've just got to decide what we want and go for it!

0:24:050:24:10

You're going to be changing a few structures.

0:24:100:24:13

-You need to apply for planning permission.

-We will, and for change of use.

0:24:130:24:18

'That's the bases covered. How long do they think all this will take?'

0:24:260:24:31

-Our first booking is in two months.

-What?

-There's a lot of work to do.

0:24:310:24:35

'Sounds like they're going to need an army of workers. Maybe that's a given.'

0:24:350:24:42

-Can the kids earn themselves badges spending a couple of days here?

-There is a DIY badge for the Scouts.

0:24:420:24:50

They can get another badge for their uniform

0:24:500:24:53

spending a few days here doing work.

0:24:530:24:56

-They could earn their keep and get a badge!

-Definitely.

0:24:560:25:00

I am so pleased the cottage, stables and this beautiful barn

0:25:000:25:04

will be home to the Kent Scouts.

0:25:040:25:07

What a perfect place for all their activities.

0:25:070:25:10

They spent a lot of money buying this.

0:25:100:25:14

Will there be enough volunteers and time to renovate this before their first Scout booking?

0:25:140:25:20

I hope they're prepared.

0:25:200:25:22

And will they get their property developer's badge?

0:25:220:25:26

Find out what happens later in the programme.

0:25:260:25:29

'Coming up, this flat in London has plenty going for it.'

0:25:300:25:35

Inside, it really just needs a bit of tender loving care.

0:25:350:25:39

'Near Maidstone, have the Scouts got their new site up and running?'

0:25:400:25:45

I came here one day and there were people camping on the field.

0:25:450:25:50

'First, did anything hinder Judy and Gaby's renovation?'

0:25:510:25:55

-The weather!

-Yes! Definitely the weather!

0:25:550:26:00

'Back, now, to Leeds where this two-bedroom back-to-back terrace

0:26:020:26:08

'was sold at auction for £50,500.

0:26:080:26:11

'It was bought by Judy and daughter Gaby, who run a lettings business.

0:26:110:26:16

'This is an addition to their growing portfolio

0:26:160:26:20

'and was in for a fast turnaround of six weeks.'

0:26:200:26:23

We like to be quick.

0:26:230:26:25

We don't like to sit on anything.

0:26:250:26:27

Once we get keys to a property, we're in there.

0:26:270:26:31

Everything is one after the other.

0:26:310:26:34

-We don't put ourselves under any pressure(!)

-No pressure!

0:26:340:26:38

'The house was tired and shabby but with no obvious faults.

0:26:380:26:42

'All it needed was some care and attention to bring it back to life.

0:26:420:26:48

'We went back two months later to find out how they'd got on.

0:26:480:26:52

'New double glazed windows have been installed

0:26:520:26:58

'but there's been no work done to increase that kerb appeal.

0:26:580:27:03

'Let's hope there's a warm welcome inside.

0:27:030:27:07

'The living room has been freshened up, a lick of paint and new carpets.

0:27:080:27:14

'A stylish modern kitchen has been installed.

0:27:170:27:20

'What have Judy and Gaby cooked up for the rest of the house?

0:27:240:27:29

'Let's bring them in from the cold to talk through what they've done.'

0:27:290:27:35

There's been quite a significant change in the bathroom.

0:27:390:27:43

We fully tiled. It was only partly tiled.

0:27:430:27:46

Put a new bath in cos the old one needed freshening up.

0:27:460:27:51

We also put in a new shower, and just redid all of that.

0:27:510:27:55

But in terms of the bathroom suite, the toilet and the sink,

0:27:550:28:00

we decided it was fresh enough.

0:28:000:28:03

We just decided to give it a nicer feel.

0:28:030:28:06

'The first floor bedroom has, just like the living room,

0:28:060:28:10

'had a lick of paint and new carpet.

0:28:100:28:12

'Some of that furniture looks like it's ready for use.

0:28:120:28:16

'So far, so good. What about the attic bedroom?'

0:28:160:28:20

We built up the two walls because it was an open space.

0:28:250:28:29

And the wall here, on the lefthand side,

0:28:290:28:34

was loose and not safe.

0:28:340:28:37

So we knocked it down, made a space and built up around it.

0:28:370:28:42

It actually opens up the room and makes it a really good size.

0:28:420:28:47

'Taking advantage of space on the landing has given this room a boost.

0:28:470:28:53

'As it was a stud wall, there was no need for planning permission.

0:28:530:28:58

'This looks like an attractive addition to their portfolio.

0:28:580:29:02

'In fact, for Judy and Gaby, there was only one major problem.'

0:29:020:29:07

-The weather.

-Yes. Definitely, the weather was a...a challenge.

0:29:070:29:14

We had a couple of days where it was too cold for the workmen to work.

0:29:140:29:19

And then the tiles wouldn't dry.

0:29:190:29:22

'That chilly weather is still hanging on but that isn't the reason

0:29:220:29:27

'why Judy and Gaby haven't done the work to improve the kerb appeal.

0:29:270:29:32

'They've had a bit of a bonus.'

0:29:320:29:34

It's a regeneration area.

0:29:350:29:39

They're freshening up the outsides - new roofs, new gutters,

0:29:390:29:45

building walls and putting railings round.

0:29:450:29:49

It would have been silly to put a new front door on

0:29:490:29:53

and to do the work outside when it's going to be done again.

0:29:530:29:58

They've actually asked us not to do anything.

0:29:580:30:01

'Not having to renovate the exterior

0:30:010:30:04

'means Judy and Gaby have kept well within their budget of £7,000.

0:30:040:30:09

'They spent only £6,000, with the windows being the major expense.

0:30:090:30:14

'Add to the 50,500 they paid for the house,

0:30:140:30:18

'and their total outlay is 56,500.

0:30:180:30:21

'It's been down to Gaby to manage the project and keep builders on their toes.'

0:30:210:30:27

Generally, just coming to check up to see how it's going.

0:30:270:30:32

Maybe give them a nudge along.

0:30:320:30:34

They love seeing my face, I'm sure(!)

0:30:340:30:38

Just making sure everything's in order for them,

0:30:380:30:41

that there's nothing they have to wait for on me.

0:30:410:30:45

They can be really left to finish the house as soon as possible.

0:30:450:30:50

'With several years' experience, the renovation went fairly smoothly

0:30:500:30:54

'and was done within their timescale of six weeks.

0:30:540:30:58

'With the house ready to start earning, are the team happy?'

0:30:580:31:03

It's a marvellous feeling when it's finished and you walk in.

0:31:030:31:07

It feels good that all the work's got done.

0:31:070:31:11

There are days when they've not been able to work and you get through and think,

0:31:110:31:17

"Is this ever going to get finished?"

0:31:170:31:20

-Then you walk in and its marvellous.

-It's turned out very well. Very pleased with it.

0:31:200:31:26

'But will the local property market feel the same way?

0:31:260:31:30

'Bearing in mind their total outlay of £56,500,

0:31:300:31:34

'it's time to ask two local estate agents for their thoughts

0:31:340:31:38

on this renovated back-to-back terraced house.

0:31:380:31:42

Yes, it's very neutral throughout, presented very well.

0:31:420:31:46

The refurbishment's been done OK.

0:31:460:31:49

The property looks good, finished to a good standard.

0:31:490:31:52

There's a lot of potential for it.

0:31:520:31:55

The standard of the fittings, the kitchen, bathroom,

0:31:550:31:59

the tiling and decor, and the fact that it's carpeted, is very good.

0:31:590:32:04

The finish looks very good.

0:32:040:32:07

It's been decorated to a high standard.

0:32:070:32:10

'As the house is 20 minutes' walk from Leeds city centre,

0:32:100:32:14

'its location is a bonus.

0:32:140:32:17

'But have Judy and Gaby got enough bank for their buck?

0:32:170:32:21

'Remember, their total outlay was £56,500.

0:32:210:32:24

'What could a resale achieve?'

0:32:240:32:28

We would put it on the market at £65,000 to £70,000.

0:32:280:32:31

The property would be worth between £65,000 to £70,000.

0:32:310:32:36

'That could make this mother-and-daughter team a possible pre-tax profit of £13,500.'

0:32:360:32:44

Well, it would be tempting to sell, but we're long-term keepers,

0:32:440:32:48

so we are going to rent it out, but it is lovely to know.

0:32:480:32:53

'What sort of rental income could this two-bed house achieve?'

0:32:530:32:58

Rental value for a property like this would be £425 to £450 per calendar month.

0:32:580:33:04

I would market it at £450 per calendar month.

0:33:040:33:08

-Too low.

-Yes.

0:33:080:33:10

Because the type of person you're going to get in the property

0:33:100:33:15

is going to be a family.

0:33:150:33:17

And because we rent in this area, we know what somebody would get.

0:33:170:33:22

'It turns out THEY were right.

0:33:220:33:24

'Judy and Gaby have managed to rent it for £500 per calendar month,

0:33:240:33:29

'an impressive annual yield of over 10%.

0:33:290:33:33

'That's none too shabby.

0:33:330:33:35

'For now, they don't intend to add more properties to their collection.

0:33:350:33:39

'I've got a good idea where they'll go when it's time to dive back into the property market.'

0:33:390:33:46

-Definitely do the auction again.

-Yes.

0:33:480:33:50

It's exciting and interesting.

0:33:500:33:53

She always says, "It's my last auction" or "It's my last house."

0:33:530:33:58

It's never the last house! For a while it is.

0:33:580:34:02

'Harlesden in northwest London is a vibrant part of the city.

0:34:070:34:12

'There's great commuter links and affordable housing stock, so no wonder it's popular.

0:34:120:34:19

'Time to see a property that went under the hammer.'

0:34:190:34:22

And here it is. Not too good a start, with this scaffolding.

0:34:220:34:27

More of that later. I'm here to see a one-bedroom first-floor flat.

0:34:270:34:32

Guide price of £145,000. Let's take a look inside.

0:34:320:34:36

'If you can see past the scaffolding, it looks in pretty good order.

0:34:360:34:41

'Original sash windows are in place, plus a few decorative awnings.

0:34:410:34:46

'They always add a touch of character.'

0:34:460:34:49

So, what have we got?

0:34:490:34:51

As layouts go, I think it works OK.

0:34:510:34:54

You've got a kitchen at the end.

0:34:540:34:56

Bathroom and loo there.

0:34:560:34:58

Ooh, hello. That's the very tired and dated boiler.

0:34:580:35:02

The heating has to be sorted. A little landing.

0:35:020:35:06

That needs investigating, a loft!

0:35:060:35:10

Bedroom there, very small, something you could think about working with.

0:35:100:35:15

What I love, a huge living room. Bay window here.

0:35:150:35:19

Put a really nice fire surround in there, make the most of it.

0:35:190:35:24

For a one-bedroom flat, big thumbs-up.

0:35:240:35:28

'The kitchen may not be huge but the lounge makes up for it.

0:35:280:35:33

'I thought it was going too well. The lounge is where the big rooms end.'

0:35:330:35:39

What are your options for sorting out

0:35:390:35:42

the only down side, the small bedroom?

0:35:420:35:45

You don't want to lose space from that living room. Maybe go up?

0:35:450:35:50

Into the attic. That's what a lot of houses in this street have done.

0:35:500:35:55

The down side to that is that the loft is owned by the freeholder.

0:35:550:35:59

You could buy it off him then think about a loft conversion.

0:35:590:36:04

That'll cost about £30,000.

0:36:040:36:06

I've spoken to a local estate agent, and a two-bed flat is worth 210,000.

0:36:060:36:11

A one-bed, about 175 so, financially, I don't think it's worth doing.

0:36:110:36:16

If you're going to live here, it's worth investigating.

0:36:160:36:20

'The bathroom's a squeeze.

0:36:200:36:22

'The suite could be retained, but if you replaced it with a smaller one,

0:36:220:36:27

'you might squeeze in a shower as well.

0:36:270:36:31

'You could decorate the kitchen. Units and the sink look fine.

0:36:310:36:36

'But it could be transformed, it all comes down to your budget.'

0:36:360:36:42

Contrary to what you might think, this scaffolding's really good news.

0:36:420:36:47

The freeholder is undertaking a series of quite extensive exterior renovations.

0:36:470:36:54

It's been repainted, the guttering checked out,

0:36:540:36:57

and whoever bought this flat doesn't have to pay for it.

0:36:570:37:02

'It means that whoever bought it,

0:37:040:37:06

'can spend their money just on the inside of this one-bed flat.

0:37:060:37:11

'I invited a local estate agent to cast an expert eye over this place,

0:37:110:37:17

'that was guided at 145,000.

0:37:170:37:20

'What does he recommend?'

0:37:200:37:22

It needs a lot of refurbishment.

0:37:220:37:25

Every room needs work. I can't see much can be salvaged.

0:37:250:37:29

But the layout is fairly good. On the plus side,

0:37:290:37:34

it's got some original windows, it's got an original feel.

0:37:340:37:38

With a bit of work, it could be very nice.

0:37:380:37:41

'What about going up into the loft?'

0:37:410:37:44

The potential to go into the loft is the main appeal of this flat.

0:37:440:37:49

They're fairly big lofts. Two double bedrooms completely transforms the flat.

0:37:490:37:56

'I know the effect a second bedroom would have on resale value.

0:37:560:38:00

'What about rental prospects?'

0:38:000:38:02

We'd rent it for £800 to £900 a month, depending on the finish.

0:38:020:38:07

As a two-bedroom flat, we'd be able to let this for £1,100 a month.

0:38:070:38:12

So quite a lot of positives for this place.

0:38:120:38:15

The option of the loft, if you negotiate with the freeholder,

0:38:150:38:19

work being done outside.

0:38:190:38:21

Sort out the kitchen and bathroom, great little flat.

0:38:210:38:25

Who spotted it at the auction?

0:38:250:38:27

Move on to lot 13, one-bed flat.

0:38:270:38:32

120?

0:38:320:38:34

Not going to go below 120. 120 anywhere?

0:38:340:38:38

Bidding? 120. 121 in the aisle.

0:38:380:38:41

122?

0:38:410:38:43

122. 123? 123.

0:38:440:38:48

With you. 124?

0:38:480:38:51

Behind you. 124.

0:38:510:38:53

125? 126?

0:38:530:38:56

127?

0:38:560:38:59

128? 129?

0:38:590:39:01

130? 131?

0:39:020:39:04

132?

0:39:060:39:07

133?

0:39:070:39:09

134? 135?

0:39:090:39:13

136? 137?

0:39:130:39:16

138? 139?

0:39:160:39:19

140? 141?

0:39:190:39:22

Have a think.

0:39:220:39:24

140 sitting down. 141 elsewhere?

0:39:240:39:27

140 sitting down. Anyone else? £140,000.

0:39:270:39:32

You're going to lose it. First time. Second time.

0:39:320:39:36

Third and last time, if you're all done.

0:39:360:39:39

Sold 140, madam. Well done.

0:39:390:39:41

'Hiding at the back, the lady who made that final bid of 140,000 was Aideen.

0:39:410:39:47

'Although she raised her hand, it was husband Roger taking on the property.

0:39:470:39:53

'He's a financial professional.

0:39:530:39:55

'He and his wife have spent four years doing up their own home.

0:39:550:39:59

'Roger hadn't seen the place, as Aideen did the viewing and bidding.

0:39:590:40:05

'I met Roger at the flat to find out the plans for it.'

0:40:070:40:12

-Roger, congratulations.

-Thank you.

-Tell me why you wanted this place.

0:40:120:40:17

I've taken a sabbatical from work, primarily to go back to New Zealand, to spend time with my family.

0:40:170:40:24

I had six to seven weeks, the leaving date wasn't fixed.

0:40:240:40:28

I'd always wanted to do a property up so thought, "Give it a go."

0:40:280:40:33

-Just before you go back to New Zealand?

-I am.

0:40:330:40:37

-With a view to what?

-To sell it, hopefully.

0:40:370:40:40

Hopefully it'll sell while I'm away.

0:40:400:40:44

-If not, we'll rent it out.

-Right.

0:40:440:40:47

Is getting the money back from that important for your trip?

0:40:470:40:51

Not so much for the trip.

0:40:510:40:53

It would be good to get the money back now, but if we rent it for a while, that's fine as well.

0:40:530:41:00

-Tell me a bit more about you.

-I work in finance, in a bank.

0:41:000:41:04

Lots of time in an office.

0:41:040:41:06

I enjoy doing DIY and renovation work, so looking forward to it.

0:41:060:41:12

And the sabbatical, what prompted that?

0:41:120:41:14

-I've been away from New Zealand for nearly 15 years.

-Wow.

0:41:140:41:18

I've got an old grandmother and a family.

0:41:180:41:22

No-one's getting any younger so I just wanted to spend time with them

0:41:220:41:26

and take a bit of a career break.

0:41:260:41:29

# So good to be back home again... #

0:41:290:41:34

'A lovely thing to be able to do, but taking on a renovation

0:41:340:41:38

'before flying back home, I suspect would definitely focus the mind.'

0:41:380:41:44

Tell me about the plan. What are you going to do to it?

0:41:440:41:48

I contemplated a number of things, maybe changing the layout.

0:41:480:41:53

The bedroom is smallish.

0:41:530:41:55

In an ideal world, you'd remove the chimney breast,

0:41:550:41:58

but that takes time getting planning permission so it'll be remove all the lovely woodchip wallpaper,

0:41:580:42:06

tidy the place up and install a new bathroom and kitchen.

0:42:060:42:10

-That would fill your time, just to do that.

-That's right.

0:42:100:42:14

-What kind of budget have you got?

-I'm thinking £8,500 renovation-wise.

0:42:140:42:19

Includes a new boiler and getting the central heating system running.

0:42:190:42:24

-Who's doing the work?

-I'm going to do a lot of it.

0:42:240:42:28

I'll get a plumber in to do the plumbing and gas work, obviously.

0:42:280:42:33

I'll install the kitchen and bathroom. I've got a bit of experience.

0:42:330:42:38

-What about timescale?

-Four to five weeks.

0:42:380:42:41

Any longer and I'll be getting calls from New Zealand asking where I am.

0:42:410:42:46

-Have you got a flight booked?

-Not yet.

0:42:460:42:48

-Bit of pressure?

-A little bit of pressure, having not done it before.

0:42:480:42:53

Four to five weeks sounds a long time.

0:42:530:42:56

Having done a bit of renovation work it can drag on a bit.

0:42:560:43:00

-Good luck with it all. Have a great time in New Zealand.

-Thank you very much.

0:43:000:43:05

# So good to be back home again... #

0:43:050:43:10

Restoring houses is a stressful operation.

0:43:120:43:15

Having the extra pressure of an impending trip to New Zealand?

0:43:150:43:19

Find out how Roger gets on sorting out this flat later in the show.

0:43:190:43:25

Doing up a property takes longer than you imagine.

0:43:270:43:31

There are all sorts of reasons why delays happen.

0:43:310:43:35

-Have our buyers raced ahead or been held up?

-Let's find out.

0:43:350:43:39

'Back to Kent, where the Kent Scouts bought this cottage with stables attached

0:43:420:43:48

'plus this beautiful barn for 465,000 at auction.

0:43:480:43:53

'They wanted to turn the site into a recreational centre for Scout groups in Kent.

0:43:530:44:00

'They were pretty confident about their timescale.'

0:44:000:44:03

-Our first booking is in two months.

-What?

-There's a lot of work to do.

0:44:030:44:09

'We've returned 11 months later

0:44:100:44:12

'to see how this massive project has been progressing.

0:44:120:44:17

'The cottage has now been converted from a two-storey dwelling

0:44:170:44:21

'into two flats with access to upstairs via an outside staircase.

0:44:210:44:28

'The two bedrooms there have been turned into one flat.

0:44:280:44:33

'The landing has become a kitchen

0:44:360:44:39

'and they've squeezed in a shower room and toilet.

0:44:390:44:43

'This flat is now occupied by the on-site project manager.

0:44:430:44:49

'Downstairs has plenty of work to be done,

0:44:490:44:52

'but one reception room has been turned into a computer room.

0:44:520:44:57

'The stables and barn remain untouched,

0:44:570:45:00

'apart from the skiploads of rubbish which have been removed from site.

0:45:000:45:06

'However, grand plans are afoot.

0:45:060:45:08

'John, Chair of the Trustees for Kent Scouts,

0:45:080:45:12

'and Kelvin, full-time project manager,

0:45:120:45:15

'have a scale model of a proposed development.

0:45:150:45:18

'A pot of up to 2.5 million, raised from a combination of membership,

0:45:180:45:23

'sponsorship and fundraising, are potentially available.

0:45:230:45:28

'This money will be spread out over time.

0:45:280:45:32

'It should be worth the wait as it will offer the Kent Scouts a truly magnificent facility.'

0:45:320:45:40

It gives us, eventually, dormitory accommodation.

0:45:400:45:43

It gives us areas where we can do our county training,

0:45:430:45:47

where we can hold our meetings and conduct the county's business.

0:45:470:45:52

We will, eventually, bring our county office here.

0:45:520:45:56

'This project really has grown arms and legs.

0:45:570:46:01

'No wonder Kelvin was brought in. There's been a lot of unseen work.'

0:46:010:46:06

This is our camping field.

0:46:080:46:10

There were overhead power cables, which we had to remove,

0:46:100:46:14

with people doing kiting and pioneering projects.

0:46:140:46:17

The youngsters used a mini digger, dug trenches, and cable's gone.

0:46:170:46:23

We've improved the services into the site. We have a new water supply.

0:46:250:46:30

It's larger than the existing water supply was.

0:46:300:46:35

Our usage of water is going to be very high.

0:46:350:46:38

'On a project of this scale, it's important to make sure planning regulations are followed.'

0:46:380:46:45

We've been in constant contact with the Local Authority,

0:46:450:46:50

and are working with them.

0:46:500:46:53

They're very supportive of where we're trying to go.

0:46:530:46:57

They've given us very positive indications of,

0:46:570:47:01

"Yes, it's acceptable" and "We like what you're trying to do."

0:47:010:47:05

'Talking of planning, have the Scouts been doing any?'

0:47:070:47:11

When we came here, this was full of 30 or 40 years of farming debris.

0:47:110:47:16

The young people cleaned it out and marked out how they want the space to be used.

0:47:160:47:22

They've put the chairs there, marked out where the stairs will come,

0:47:220:47:27

and where our access lift will be.

0:47:270:47:29

They've put in toilets and a tea station.

0:47:290:47:33

'The Scouts paid £465,000 for the whole site,

0:47:360:47:40

'and have spent £37,000 doing the renovations to date,

0:47:400:47:44

'making the total outlay £502,000.

0:47:440:47:47

'We asked two local property experts for their opinions.'

0:47:470:47:52

A lot's changed. A great deal's been done.

0:47:530:47:56

It's looking good.

0:47:560:47:58

When I saw the cottage, it was one property.

0:47:580:48:01

I think they've made much better use of the space.

0:48:010:48:06

You come down a nice country lane access so you've got the feeling of countryside.

0:48:080:48:14

You've got fields all around, so a good aspect over that.

0:48:140:48:19

However, very close to the M20.

0:48:210:48:24

'Bearing in mind the overall spend has been 502,000,

0:48:240:48:29

'has the work the group's done increased the value of the site?'

0:48:290:48:34

If this was to be sold now, without any planning permission,

0:48:340:48:40

you've got living accommodation in place, I can see it achieving

0:48:400:48:44

between £600,000 to £750,000.

0:48:440:48:47

'Wow! That could give them a potential pre-tax profit

0:48:470:48:51

'of between 100,000 and 250,000!'

0:48:510:48:56

I am pleased because it's obviously more than we paid at auction.

0:48:560:49:00

It proves that the work we've done has added to the property.

0:49:000:49:05

And it encourages me, particularly, for the future.

0:49:050:49:09

As we continue to develop the site, the value can only increase.

0:49:090:49:14

'One of the estate agents peeked at the model - and was impressed!'

0:49:140:49:20

That very exciting model that has been on display is ambitious.

0:49:200:49:26

But if they can achieve that, the possibilities are endless.

0:49:260:49:31

We could be talking about £4 million or £5 million worth of property, if they achieve their ambitions.

0:49:310:49:39

'In reality, these valuations are by the by.

0:49:390:49:43

'Profit was not the aim of this development.

0:49:430:49:47

'It's for the benefit of the Scout movement in Kent.'

0:49:470:49:51

I came here one day and there were people camping on the field.

0:49:510:49:56

And I thought, "Ah! That's really what we're about!"

0:49:560:50:00

There were a lot of young people racing about all over the place, a couple of hundred of them.

0:50:000:50:06

That really gave me a buzz because that's why we do what we do.

0:50:060:50:12

'Back to Harlesden, north London,

0:50:150:50:17

'where Roger bought this first-floor one-bed flat for £140,000.

0:50:170:50:24

'He was on a sabbatical from his job as a financial professional

0:50:240:50:28

'and was planning to fly home to New Zealand with his wife, Aideen.

0:50:280:50:33

'Before they set off, he thought he'd buy this flat and renovate it, as you do.'

0:50:330:50:40

-Tell me about the plan.

-I contemplated a number of things, maybe changing the layout.

0:50:400:50:46

That's going to take time, so it'll be remove all the lovely woodchip wallpaper.

0:50:460:50:52

Then tidy it up and install a new bathroom and kitchen.

0:50:520:50:56

'Two months on, and we've returned to see if the flat is finished,

0:50:560:51:00

'and whether Roger's got his bags packed.

0:51:000:51:04

'The scaffolding's gone!

0:51:040:51:07

'That lovely bay-fronted living room is now emulsioned and carpeted.

0:51:090:51:15

'The neutral colour scheme continues on the landing.

0:51:160:51:20

'The dust sheets and filler are still stored in the bedroom

0:51:200:51:25

'but the work looks nearly finished, so, for Roger, it's been a busy couple of months.'

0:51:250:51:33

The major changes have been recommissioning the central heating,

0:51:330:51:37

putting a new boiler in.

0:51:370:51:40

In the bathroom, ripped everything out

0:51:400:51:43

and put new back in the same place, a slightly smaller bath

0:51:430:51:46

to try and create a bit more space.

0:51:460:51:48

'It's done the trick.

0:51:480:51:50

'Roger's gone for a white suite. It complements the shiny new paint.

0:51:500:51:56

'Coordinating floor and wall tiles makes this feel more like a wetroom,

0:51:560:52:01

'which is a nice touch.

0:52:010:52:03

'What's the story in the large living room at the front?'

0:52:030:52:08

We've refurbished the sash windows.

0:52:080:52:12

There was lots of thick paint on them and we've peeled that back.

0:52:120:52:16

So that's worked well.

0:52:160:52:19

We've got the radiator working. Installed some coving in the room.

0:52:190:52:24

Then carpeted, painted, which has worked really well.

0:52:240:52:29

It's a lovely bright room, which is fantastic.

0:52:290:52:32

'Adding the coving and a ceiling rose gives the room real charm.

0:52:320:52:37

'Despite a few small jobs waiting to be completed,

0:52:370:52:41

'this room makes a good impression.

0:52:410:52:44

'The refurbishment continues at the back of this flat.'

0:52:440:52:48

In the kitchen, we ripped everything out, brought the gas to this side.

0:52:480:52:53

Had a look at a range of configurations but decided the best

0:52:530:52:57

was to move the washing machine out of the kitchen.

0:52:570:53:02

Put in, obviously, new work top, cupboards and things.

0:53:020:53:07

'Has Roger had any help here?'

0:53:070:53:10

I've pretty much done all of the work myself.

0:53:100:53:13

I got an electrician in for the kitchen

0:53:130:53:17

and a plumber to do the gas work and boiler.

0:53:170:53:20

I've had help from my four-and-a-half-month pregnant wife

0:53:200:53:25

and my sister-in-law, who's been fantastic.

0:53:250:53:28

'It's double good news because Aideen is pregnant with twins.

0:53:280:53:34

'Congratulations to them both.

0:53:340:53:36

'While everything looks to have gone well, there was one problem.'

0:53:360:53:41

I didn't change the radiators when I did the boiler, on the plumber's advice.

0:53:410:53:46

Unfortunately, a couple have sprung a leak so I'll need to replace those.

0:53:460:53:52

'Whoops. A bit of extra cash needed.

0:53:520:53:55

'How much has the refurbishment cost? Did Roger stick to budget?'

0:53:550:54:00

I haven't finalised all the numbers exactly yet.

0:54:000:54:03

I originally budgeted 8,500.

0:54:030:54:07

I've probably come in somewhere between eight and eight and a half.

0:54:070:54:11

I certainly haven't gone over.

0:54:110:54:13

'Have the plans for the flat remained the same?'

0:54:130:54:17

Still intend to sell the property. We have some agents coming round to have a look and start marketing it.

0:54:170:54:25

'We asked two local estate agents to give Roger some expert advice.'

0:54:260:54:32

My first impressions of the property are good.

0:54:320:54:35

All the rooms are the proportions they need to be.

0:54:350:54:39

The kitchen's the size it needs to be.

0:54:390:54:42

The bedroom and the reception are a good size.

0:54:420:54:45

The light in the property is excellent. It'll sell very well.

0:54:450:54:49

When it's finished, it'll be quite nice.

0:54:490:54:53

It needs bits and pieces doing to it, but it's almost there.

0:54:530:54:57

The standard of finish is OK.

0:54:570:55:00

The flat's compact, so the proportions are correct.

0:55:000:55:04

It'll probably appeal to first-time buyers.

0:55:040:55:06

Negatives, a slightly small bathroom and kitchen, but a big lounge makes up for that.

0:55:060:55:14

What's needed is a slightly better kitchen and bathroom because it's competing with so many flats.

0:55:140:55:21

'What's the flat now worth?

0:55:210:55:23

'Roger paid 140,000 at the auction and spent £8,500 on the work,

0:55:230:55:29

'taking his total to £148,500.'

0:55:290:55:33

The resale value of this property is between £180,000 and £200,000.

0:55:340:55:40

I would recommend marketing the flat for £179,950.

0:55:400:55:44

'That range of valuations could mean a gross profit of between £31,450

0:55:440:55:50

'and £51,000.'

0:55:500:55:54

They're within what I thought they'd be, so very happy with that.

0:55:570:56:01

'And rental?'

0:56:010:56:03

To rent out you would achieve in the region of £800 per calendar month.

0:56:030:56:09

The flat would rent for about £866.

0:56:090:56:12

If we can't sell it we'll be forced down the rental thing.

0:56:120:56:17

It's good to know you can get that much.

0:56:170:56:20

'So, the flat's about to go on the market

0:56:200:56:24

'and Roger's getting ready to fly to New Zealand with Aideen.

0:56:240:56:29

'And it sounds as though they'll need new passports for their return trip.'

0:56:290:56:35

Wife's now four and a half months pregnant with twins. We're both thrilled with that.

0:56:350:56:42

We'll have those in New Zealand

0:56:420:56:45

and look forward to bringing them back to the UK next year.

0:56:450:56:50

We'll have more thrills from the auction room next time.

0:56:520:56:56

-Make sure you keep watching Homes Under The Hammer.

-Goodbye.

0:56:560:57:00

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:180:57:21

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:210:57:24

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a terraced house in Leeds a rural cottage in Maidstone, Kent and a first-floor flat in Harlesden, north London. 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.