Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a one-bed flat in Stockport, a castle and house in Kent and a small bungalow in Devon, and find out how much they sold for at auction.
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Hello. The weather is pretty warm today, but how do you tell
-the temperature of the property market?
-Sometimes it's difficult
-to judge whether it's blowing hot or cold.
-One way to find out is to go down to your local auction.
When you go to an auction, you can soon tell whether there's confidence in the room
or everyone's playing a cautious game.
Mm, it's usually a very revealing snapshot of the current property market.
Let's see what happened on today's programme.
'In Stockport, Greater Manchester, there's a one-bed flat that looks tempting.'
All in all, I think quite a lot of flat for the money.
'There's a castle and house in Kent. Could there be treasure, too?'
I'm still looking for those old, grade II listed, hidden features in this house.
'And in Devon, there's a small bungalow where the real attraction is outside.'
This side of the property, there are some amazing views.
-'All of these properties went to auction.'
-'We'll find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.'
-That's a nice house.
'Our first property is in the borough of Stockport in Greater Manchester.
'It's a great area to live with a real sense of community.
'There are plenty of shops and railway stations handy for the 20-minute journey to Manchester.
'All that and the airport's only a mile away. Noisy but nice.'
I'm in Heald Green to see a one-bedroom flat in this building.
The building itself is actually really interesting.
It was initially a house, then a nursing home.
It fell into disrepair. It was almost demolished to make way for an airport car park.
And it's rumoured to be haunted! Crikey!
'It's certainly an imposing building, haunted or not.
'The property's now made up of a mixture of one and two-bedroom flats
'and a communal hallway.
'The one-bed flat I'm going to see is on the ground floor. Let's hope there's nothing too spooky inside.'
Well, the guide price was 55,000 quid. What does that get you for the money?
Er, well, it doesn't get you a carpet, that's for sure.
But your corridor here, your bathroom and loo there, not a bad size, in reasonable condition.
I love that, though. Your living room is a really nice space.
Quite surprising for a one-bedroom flat.
It gives the whole... It gives space to the whole unit. Superb.
Down the corridor a bit more, into the kitchen.
Not exactly huge but it's reasonably kitted out.
Somebody's left the washing machine and everything.
If you were renting this place out, I think you could leave this pretty much as it is.
Which just leaves the bedroom, the one bedroom.
But first, another nice to have, a cupboard there.
In a flat like this, storage like that is always going to be at a premium.
Bedroom itself, it's not huge, but all in all, I think quite a lot of flat for the money.
'The flat's in a fairly manageable state. It could be perfect for a first-time buyer
'as there's not much to do at all.
'Let's take a look outside.'
One of the nice things about the property is that it is situated in these fairly pleasant gardens.
But, of course, whenever you buy a flat in a property like this,
you must read the legal pack to make sure you're absolutely clear on what you're responsible for
both in terms of maintenance of the building and the land around it.
'The flat has a 999-year lease from 1985, so that's all fine.
'There's a service charge of £50 a month.
'The outside of the building looks in good condition and the communal land around is lovely,
'but there is a noisy neighbour.'
Well, the property is located very conveniently for Manchester Airport.
Actually, a little too conveniently. It's right under the flight path.
'So, all in all, an interesting property, even if it is on the flight path.
'But, luckily, there's not just double but triple-glazing in place
'to keep out the sound of those planes.
'What does a local estate agent make of this flat
'in a former nursing home that went to auction guided at £55,000?'
It could probably do with a lick of paint.
The grounds are fantastic, lovely gardens and plenty of parking.
'But what about the proximity to the airport and the roar of those planes?'
It is under the flight path, but you don't really notice it if you live in the area.
You either love or hate it and I don't notice them at all, living in the area.
'If your budget's tight, you could easily leave the kitchen and the bathroom. They're fine as they are.
'But what would the advice be if you were looking to sell the property or rent it out?'
I would probably give it a lick of paint, put some carpets in and rent it out.
I would expect, once renovated, to get around £450 per calendar month.
'If the budget was stretched to give the flat a full refurbishment,
'what could the potential resale value be here once the work was finished?'
I would expect to put this on the market, once renovated, at £75,000 to £80,000.
There you go. A nice enough little flat in a good part of Manchester.
Rental potential, not a bad place to live. Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
We've got a telephone bid on this one, as well. OK.
Vacant one-bedroom ground-floor apartment
with a guide price of £55,000. Do I see 55,000 anywhere? 55 may I see?
55, lady's bid at 55,000. Do I see 56?
56? 56,000. 57, then?
Lady's bid, 57. 58?
Between two of you. 58. 59?
59 now. May I say 60 on the phone?
£60,000. At 60,000. 61, madam? No?
At 60,000. It's in the market. I'm going to sell, you walk away, you don't get it. At 61. 61,000.
62 may I say on the phone?
61 and a half. 62. 62,000. 62 and a half?
62,000 at the front, then, for the first time.
At 62,000 for the second and final time. Are we all done at £62,000?
-It's yours. Paddle number 46.
'That final successful bid of £62,000 came from Mike.
'He lives just ten minutes away and runs his own business.
'He's delighted to have bought the flat, and made three visits before the auction to check it out.
'I arranged to meet up with him back there to find out his plans.'
-Mike, good to meet you.
-Pleased to meet you.
Thank you for dressing up so splendidly for the interview.
-I just thought I'd bring some glamour to your show.
-Thank you! I don't think we've have a bow tie!
It's lovely! Tell me, why did you want to buy it?
I've been at my mother's for two years
and I lost a house a few years ago
and I've been basically just waiting to get back onto the property ladder
and something that was affordable and not too big for myself.
So why this one, other than the price?
I like the area. It's close to where I have my own business
There's the trains, the airport,
and it's a nice location, really.
What led you to this place in your life? What's your background?
I have a waste disposal business
and I just have two employees.
It's a small little business and we clear out void properties
and we clear up student properties,
deaths, bereavements, we clear houses.
-So you bought it for yourself to live in?
I bought the place as, basically, a bolt hole.
And maybe, in a few years, I'll move out of it and think about renting it out.
-So what are you going to do to sort it out?
-Well, in the lounge,
I'm going to drop the ceiling by a couple of inches and put some soundproofing in,
because upstairs, when they're walking, there's a little bit of noise coming through the floor.
I'm going to put some recessed lights into the ceiling.
All the edge of the ceiling, I'm going to have cornice going round the edges.
Right. And what about the triple-glazing?
-That's cos of the planes.
Yeah. We do get the planes that fly over quite low,
but it is relatively quiet, so the glazing's got to stay.
-That's this room. What about the rest of the place?
-We're going to put a new kitchen in
and, again, cornice, sunken lights,
some extra sockets, move the pipe work, et cetera, new flooring. And that's about it.
'Mike also intends to add cornicing to the bathroom
'which he would ideally like to make into a wet room.
'But it seems he's most excited about his plans for the bedroom, or should I say boudoir?'
I want to make the bedroom cosy and a fun place.
I'm going to put fitted wardrobes,
mirrored ceiling with lights that come down.
My inspiration for that is Hugh Hefner.
-He of Playboy fame?
So I'm theming the property on Hugh Hefner
and Austin Powers and Cliff Richard.
'Well, those four plain walls are saying anything but "groovy, baby" at the moment.
'Mike's certainly got his work cut out if he wants to create the bachelor pad he's dreaming of.'
The Cliff Richard side, one of his great songs, All I Want To Be Is A Bachelor Boy.
-I'm starting to believe that you're actually serious here.
-Yeah, totally serious.
It's going to be a totally unique flat.
I want to enjoy the place for only a matter of a few years
and then move on and, with a property like this, if it's got that X factor about it,
it's going to be able to command a little bit more rent
than something that was just a bog-standard one-bedroom flat.
-It'll attract a certain kind of person.
-Yeah, it'll probably attract other local playboys.
-Right. Is that what you see yourself as?
-Yeah, a bit of a playboy.
Fair enough. How much money are you going to have to spend to get it to be like that?
I'm estimating to do this for between 5 and 10.
Can you really achieve what you want to achieve with the flamboyance and dripping with whatever?
100 percent. I have contacted a glass company about the mirrored ceiling in the bedroom
and they're a specialist in that and they've told me they can put the lights into the ceiling.
-Wow. Did they smirk when you asked?
-They said that, within this area,
they've had quite a few people who've asked for this particular service.
'Mike's certainly got ambitious tastes.
'I hope his budget can match them.'
-So what about timescales?
-I'm hoping to complete this in four weeks, five weeks.
-Who's going to do the work?
-Well, I've got a number of friends who are in the building business
and my lads are going to do a bit of the ripping out and labouring
and we're going to take out the bathroom and kitchen ourselves
and then I'll call in the experts to do the joinery, electrics, et cetera.
We'll have a lot of fun and I'm sure it'll be a new, neat property they've not worked on for a long time.
So where did you get your...lovely attitude to life from?
I've always been like that. I've always lived for today
and I'm very laidback with everything.
-I really can't wait to see this one!
-Yeah, you'll be totally impressed!
# He said, son, you are a bachelor boy
# And that's the way to stay
Well, that is one of the things I love about Homes Under The Hammer.
You never know who you're going to meet and what they're going to do to the properties they buy.
Can't wait to see how this one turns out. Join us later in the show to find out.
'For the next property that went under the hammer, I'm in Stone near Dartford in Kent.'
I'm quite excited about today!
The village of Stone actually has its own castle. And there it is behind me. It's lovely.
It was originally built in the mid-11th century.
This castle has its own stable block behind, a detached cottage with it
and nearly two and a half acres of land, and it all went to auction for the grand total
of £700,000 to £750,000!
That sounds like a huge bargain! Why do you think that is?
Exactly! Because we're in the middle of a housing estate!
'That guide price of £700,000 to £750,000
'is still a lot of money, but you do get a castle!
'And, as some neighbouring three and four-bedroom apartments were recently marketed at £380,000,
'this property could be a real winner.
'The castle's currently occupied by commercial tenants, so we couldn't film inside,
'but from the outside, you can see this is one special lot worth storming the ramparts for.'
The castle and the stable block over here have been converted into offices
and are currently being let to long-term tenants,
in situ for the next four years.
Now, the landlord of this lot will rake in £47,000 in rent per year.
Today, we're going to look around this detached cottage,
and this property is soon to be vacant, and it's grade II listed. I'm going to get in and have a look.
'It looks great from the outside and comes with a good size garden round the back.
'I can't wait to see the character features inside.'
So, this is the main reception room in the cottage. What have we got through here?
Ah, another one to the left. Quite a big space through there.
You could use that as a dining area, I suppose.
And a bathroom off the living area.
Not ideal, and it is the only bathroom in the house.
And sadly, there's not as much character on the inside as I'd hoped.
It's much better looking on the outside.
There's the kitchen. So, it's situated at the back of the property.
Not a huge space, and I really think it could do with an overhaul, some new units,
it could do with being moved around a bit. You have got a beautiful feature window.
But I'm still looking for those old, grade II listed, hidden features in this house.
'Because the main castle is tenanted for the next four years,
'it's only really the cottage you'd be able to alter and add value to.
'The auction catalogue described the cottage as having two bedrooms.
'Whether you use this as a tiny third bedroom or maybe a study, it's extra space.
'Ideally, it would be great to move the bathroom up here.'
Because this cottage is grade II listed,
you'll need to get listed building consent from your local council
if you want to alter the building in any way which might change its character.
That also applies to the inside as well as out.
So you can't go around knocking down walls,
replacing those windows or pulling out fireplaces
without getting the go-ahead from the conservation officer first.
Now, it's actually a criminal offence to do unauthorised work on a listed building.
You could be prosecuted and forced to reinstate all the altered features. You have been warned.
'Time to speak to a local estate agent for a bit more information
'about this very unusual lot that went to auction
'guided at £700,000 to £750,000.'
With the cottage itself, it's the only part that's residential.
The rest of the castle is all now commercial.
The car parking area for the castle itself
is right outside the front door, so that could be off-putting to certain buyers or tenants.
'The castle is already producing an income, but how much rental could the cottage generate?'
The property itself, I understand it's currently let around about £650
which is probably about the current rental market value for the property in its current condition.
If it was to benefit from some modernisation,
then we could look at perhaps increasing the rent to around £800 per calendar month.
'Would it be possible to divide the castle and cottage and perhaps sell off the cottage separately?
'How much could it be worth on its own once renovated?'
If you were to renovate the property to a good standard,
keeping the current accommodation as it is, perhaps put in a bathroom upstairs,
you're probably looking in the early 200,000s.
'What a fascinating auction lot. A real piece of local history.
'Yes, it's slap-bang in the middle of a housing estate,
'but you're also getting a very lucrative rental investment.'
So, who wanted to be king of the castle? Let's find out when we head to auction.
Lovely one here. Historic, grade II listed, freehold castle
with a detached cottage in the 2.5 acres of grounds.
Stunning building. Lots of interest in it.
Where are we going to start? We've got a guide of 700 to 750.
£700,000 do I see to start? 700 can I say?
700,000 on my right at the back.
At 700 I have. 720 now do I see?
720 sitting down. 720 I have.
740 now can I say? 40 I'm looking for.
Are we all done? 740, I'm obliged. 760. 760.
780. 780 now, it's against you.
At £760,000 I have. 780 I want.
Are we all done at 760? Loads of property there. A real stunning purchase.
At £760,000 I will sell for the first time.
£760,000 I'm selling for the second time.
Should be worth a lot more than that.
£760,000, you're all done. Third and final time, on the left-hand side.
'That final bid of £760,000 was made by entrepreneur and businessman Gilly.
'He dabbles in property as a side line.
'Gilly and his business partner, Bill, run a company which, among other things,
'invests in renewable energy sources.
'But their main business is commodity trading in the city.
'I met them back in the chapel of their newly-acquired castle next to the cottage.'
Guys, congratulations. You've bought yourselves a castle!
What's the story behind you wanting to buy this, Gilly?
Well, we went to the auction to buy another property, which was a shop.
And we were flicking through the catalogue and we saw this castle.
I love castles, because I've already got a castle in France,
and I just said to Bill, "If it goes at decent money, we might as well buy it."
-And that's what happened.
-What is it about castles that you love and why do you need another one?
I didn't really need another one, but the company is doing very well
and we were looking for an investment and this was quite cheap.
Bill, what I find amazing is, on this development site across the way,
some of the flats were £380,000,
and then you've just bought a castle, a cottage, acres of land, for £760,000.
It's a no-brainer, isn't it?
What did you think when you came onto this site?
Obviously, you bid for this at auction, you'd seen a photograph in the auction catalogue,
over there, brand new housing estate.
Do you think that's detrimental to this building?
We thought it was quite attractive as you drove up. The physical appearance of the castle
as you drive up the drive was very warm and refreshing.
It was quite exciting. It was like, "Wow!"
I have to say, the interesting thing for me is, I like to see the beginning and end of a project.
Is anything going to change in this castle over the next year?
Not in the castle itself, but the cottage, that's all going to be changed.
We're going to modernise that to a very, very high standard.
We'll probably spend £50,000 to £100,000 doing it up.
£50,000 to £100,000 on renovating the cottage?
-Surely you can't spend that much on it.
-We're going to put an extension on it, extend the back and side,
try to make it into a three to four-bedroom. All depends on the permission from the council.
They should be all right if we make it look old. That's why the cost is high, for specialist bricks.
'So, Gilly bought this entire lot, castle and cottage, completely on a whim
'without viewing it first or reading the legal pack.
'And, with office tenants resident in the castle for the next four years,
'you'd understand if he'd just raked in the rental income.
'But his plans don't stop at just doing up the cottage. He's also got designs on the room we're in.'
This place used to do weddings. This is the chapel and they used to do weddings,
so we're going to do that, but where they used to do weddings in a tent,
we've already approached the council
and they're willing to sit down and talk to us about some schemes.
'That's in the field at the back.
'The ideas include a function room above a conference hall
'and also an underground car park. Big plans indeed.'
Can we throw some figures around? How much money do you think you're going to spend on this development?
If we get the planning permission for the function hall and the banqueting
and the conference centre, we're looking at a budget of about
maybe £2 million to £3 million on getting that built up.
'But before the ambitious wedding and conference centre can be built,
'there will be a huge amount of planning and conservation red tape to wade through.
'The castle's got tenants in it for four years,
'but the cottage is vacant and crying out for refurbishment.'
How is that pretty little cottage going to fit in with all of this?
The amount of money we're going to spend on it, I don't think we're going to rent it out.
We'll just use it for weekends. Once we do the weddings, we'll leave it as a honeymoon cottage for couples.
We'll chip that in when they have the weddings here.
Guys, this is an exciting one for me. Gilly, lovely to meet you. Well done. Bill, good luck.
Gilly and Bill went to auction to buy a shop and came back with a castle! Like you do!
And what is more, it's just another one to add to Gilly's growing collection.
The guys have got ambitious ideas for this whole site
and also grand plans for this little cottage.
'It's going to be a few years before they can tackle the castle,
'but we'll find out what they do to the cottage later on in the show.'
'Coming up, this two-bed bungalow in Devon does have potential for an extension.'
And you generate that much-needed space in the bungalow itself.
'Nine months on, the new owners of this castle and cottage in Kent
'have no regrets about their purchase.'
We were in the right place at the right time. Very lucky.
'But first, in Greater Manchester, has Mike worked hard on his bachelor pad?'
I've had to project manage the whole flat by myself.
'Earlier in the programme, we were in Heald Green, a suburb of Greater Manchester.
'Local waste disposal businessman Mike had paid £62,000
'for a ground-floor one-bed apartment in this unusual property,
'which was under the Manchester Airport flight path.
'Mike was going to transform the property into a groovy Austin Powers pad
'with a touch of Hugh Hefner and Cliff Richard thrown in.
'After living with his mum for the last few years,
'Mike had grandiose plans to transform it into a stylish bachelor residence.'
I want to make the bedroom cosy and a fun place
and I'm going to put fitted wardrobes,
a mirrored ceiling with lights that come down.
I'm theming the property on Hugh Hefner
and Austin Powers and Cliff Richard.
'Now, just six weeks later, we're back in Manchester
'and it looks like Mike's getting the drinks in ready for a house-warming.
'But has he managed to turn it into a groovy pad?
'Inside, Mike has transformed the living room into somewhere to relax with his friends.
'And there's a very fancy fire which also shows pictures.
'It looks like he's gone for a black and white theme for the room
'with just a splash of colour.
'The original kitchen wasn't bad, but Mike has refitted it with some bargain buys from the internet.
'The bathroom has also been refurbished and the layout's changed
'so you now soak in the bath on the other side of the room.
'Mike has transformed the place. But what's been the story behind this speedy makeover?'
I've actually added a few more things than I anticipated.
It's just been little extras that I thought made a nice touch,
like the gas fire in the chimney breast, changing the bathroom suite a little bit.
I also put a new central-heating system in.
'So Mike's bachelor pad has got a kitchen to prepare the party food
'and a lounge to entertain his guests.
'But every playboy needs a bedroom.
'So how did his boudoir turn out?
'Thankfully, the mirror's on the wall, not on the ceiling. I was expecting a few more down lights.
'So why the change of heart?'
I tried to open it up a little bit, to make it a bigger room than it actually is.
'I agree, it does open up the room, even if it is a far cry from what he originally planned.
'It's lovely, but despite the mirrored wardrobes and red leather bed,
'I have to say, after his original promises, it's not what I was expecting.
'Moving swiftly on, it's time to reflect on the changes Mike has made in the kitchen.'
Originally, we had the cooker here, we had a small fridge
and we had the washing machine in this corner.
We've put the washing machine into the hallway to create more space, so we've got this fridge freezer.
'It all makes practical sense. And Mike made some pretty impressive savings on the kitchen units.'
I got the kitchen off an auction site.
It was £120 and it included the worktops, the sink, the plinths, et cetera.
So that was my best buy of the flat.
Then I got the fridge freezer from another auction site,
which was 140 quid.
We've had a new boiler, which was about £1,400.
But that was the biggest expense of the flat.
'A lesson there for anyone. Don't be put off it you're on a tight budget.
'And as Mike's proven, with some shrewd internet buys,
'you can still refurbish your property to a good standard.
'But how much has Mike's total budget stretched to?
'Did he manage to keep within the £5,000 to £10,000 he'd allowed?'
I did expect to spend 10, but I've spent about £7,000.
If it wasn't for the kitchen, we would've put another £2,000 on the bill.
'Clearly Mike's been watching the budget. But who's been doing the work?'
I've had to project manage the whole flat by myself.
I've had a couple of electricians, a couple of plumbers,
and I've also had two plasterers.
So it's just been a bit hectic. A little bit stressful.
'But has it all been worth it for this bachelor boy?
'How long does Mike see himself living here? Is this his ideal home?'
No, it's not my dream bachelor pad. There's a Jacuzzi missing.
But it'll certainly do for the next six months.
# Son, you are a bachelor boy
# And that's the way to stay
I plan to rent it out next year
and then, eventually, I'm going to use the property as a deposit to buy another property.
'Given Mike's long-term plans to rent out and eventually sell on,
'it's not surprising he decided to tone down his plans for the flat.
'The style he's gone for, and lack of a mirrored ceiling,
'should make it much more attractive to potential tenants and buyers in the long run.
'We invited two local estate agents to take a look
'at Mike's one-bedroom flat conversion.
'What will they make of the finish here?'
I think he's done it to a very nice standard. He's certainly improved it.
The bathroom's excellent, modern suite with a bath-shower,
nice lighting, modern colours.
I like the kitchen in that, while it's not the biggest kitchen,
we must remember it is a one-bedroom flat
and that size is in keeping with the property.
The kitchen's very nice. Nice units, plenty of working space. It's a nice, compact kitchen.
I think this property would appeal to a single person, being a one-bedroom flat.
Its location's handy for the airport and Manchester City Centre.
I would expect to achieve, in the rental market, between £450 and £500 per calendar month.
If I was renting this property out, I'd look to put it on the market at £550 to £600 per calendar month.
'What does Mike think of those figures? Did he realise his bachelor pad could generate such an income?'
I had no idea, living at Mum's and paying 25 quid a week.
I'm surprised how much people charge on the rental market. That's amazing.
'Remember, he paid £62,000 at auction
'and spent £7,000 doing it up.
'That's a total spend of £69,000. So what's it worth now?'
If I was to place the property on the market, I'd expect it to achieve £75,000.
If I was putting this property on the market for sale, I would expect £65,000, maybe touching £70,000.
'That valuation range of between £65,000 and £75,000
'represents a loss for Mike of £4,000 or a profit of up to £6,000.
'What does he think of that?'
I think that 65 is a bit harsh, to be quite honest.
The 75,000 I think is realistic.
I'm quite happy with selling it for 75,000.
I think it's certainly worth 75, 80. It's all about what somebody will pay.
'That's right. And don't forget, it's only taken Mike six weeks
'to turn a potential profit on this place.
'And, for this, his first project, Mike thinks he's got it just about right.'
There's always the thing of how much you spend, and you can't overspend,
and I feel as if, with this, it's appealing to somebody a little bit older
and it's also appealing to somebody even younger, so I think I've cornered two bits of the market.
'I'm in the Devon market town of Newton Abbot.
'Without a doubt, the real highlight of this place has to be the annual cheese and onion fayre.
'No, really. So the question is, will today's property be a tasty treat or make your eyes water?'
Well, just outside the town, it is bungalow central.
And there's nothing wrong with that. They cater really well
for the slightly older generation who move to Devon for the sea air and the beautiful climate.
So, what was up for auction? Well, it's this specimen.
Had at guide price of 145,000 quid, two bedrooms, let's take a look.
# Lazing on a sunny afternoon
'It's certainly a beautiful spot for a bungalow. The street itself is also lovely and leafy,
'so the stresses and hassles of the real world seem a long way away.'
So, what's the accommodation that's on offer in this particular property?
Er, well, it's not exactly massive when you walk through the front door,
that's the first impression you get. Fairly standard layout.
Kitchen there. Not in too bad condition, to be fair.
Bathroom there. And then through to your main living area.
I mean, it's clean, it's tidy, it needs a bit of refreshment
and it's obviously fairly dated, but you're not expecting massive amounts of space
and you don't get them,
but it's made up for by the fact that, certainly out of the windows of this side,
there are some amazing views.
'Although it's dinky inside, the vista makes it feel vast.
'So, coupled with the fact there's a good patch of front garden,
'it's a lot more private and less pokey than I thought it might be.
'The place isn't in bad nick, either, and the bathroom has just been redone.
'In fact, I can't see an awful lot to do here,
'though I suppose you could try and make it just a little bit bigger.'
So, what to do about the smallness?
Well, the good news is, at the rear of the property, there's this pretty decent-size garden
and also this monstrosity of a garage, which I would suggest you take down,
increase the size of the garden and create an area at the back that's ripe for an extension,
which is exactly what the next-door neighbours have done. Bring the living space towards the rear,
you get open access into the garden here, really nice, you get the sunshine,
and you generate that much-needed space in the bungalow itself without sacrificing too much space outside.
'Sorted. You might not get those splendid views, but the outlook at the back isn't half bad,
'and it would make much more of the outside space.'
Well, while you're thinking about an extension, why not think bigger,
or, more specifically, higher?
Lots of bungalows along this street have gone for a dormer conversion. So is that a good thing to do?
Well, it'd certainly create a room with a spectacular view.
But from adding value onto the bungalow point of view?
Well, the ceiling price for a semi-detached bungalow around here is around £190,000,
so if you got the bungalow for 145, you've got £45,000 to play with. It's not much.
So, if you're doing it for yourself, then yes,
if you're doing it to make money, it's touch and go.
'This place certainly has bags of potential.
'So, with that guide price of £145,000,
'it's time to hear the opinion of a local estate agent.'
The area around here is very popular with a majority of people.
You get some families around here and also retiring people
coming to live in the bungalows locally. I think the property
would benefit from just really tidying up what is already here.
The best thing would be to leave it as it is and make good of what is here.
'Once renovated, could this be a viable rental unit?'
I think this would be a very good property to rent out. It would appeal to quite a lot of people.
You'd be looking at couples or people with a small child.
In terms of value for the property, I think you'd achieve between £600 and £650 per calendar month.
'What about its resale value?'
In today's market, I think the property's worth £150,000.
If it was fully renovated, I'd be looking at between £175,000 and £180,000.
'If the new owner built an extension, how much value could that add?'
I think if you were looking at extending the property,
I don't know whether you'd push the value up by too much.
You'd be looking at a maximum of £190,000.
Well, it's location that counts, and in this case, the property couldn't be much better located.
Close to the town, great views, and in this lovely community.
That's why bungalows are popular and it deserves its guide price.
Let's see who bought it at the auction.
Two-bedroom semi-detached bungalow. That's going to tick a lot of boxes.
How about 140 straight in?
140 straight in.
How about 130, then?
130. Happy to stand my ground at 130.
130, thank you. 130. At 130.
If you're happy... I'm sure he's happy! 130.
At 130 for lot 35. 130 once, then.
At 130 twice. At 132.
What can I do? 136.
You're in, 139. 139.
140 I've got. At 140.
A half somewhere? 140, then, on my right.
You're missing that bungalow. At 140, first, second, third and last time. Here we go.
At 140 and done. Sir, yours. Well done.
'That successful bid of 140,000, which was £5,000 under the guide price,
'came from former car dealer Steve.
'I met him at the bungalow to find out what had got him revved up about it.'
-Steve, good to meet you.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy the bungalow.
-I wanted to buy some property
and this looked like quite a good property cos it's quite close to where I live, to do up and rent out.
Is this something you've done before?
No, not to rent out, but I have bought quite a few properties in the past for myself.
So what tempted you into the world of buy-to-let?
Really, it's to have an income. I've had some money in savings, which is making no interest at all,
and talking to people, it seemed the right thing to do.
-What's your background?
-My background is the motor trade.
-I was in dealerships and car sales for many, many years.
Did you venture into the auction world while you were doing that?
Yes, quite a bit. We bought at closed auctions quite a few nearly-new second-hand cars.
Did you bring any of the techniques from your motor auctioning days into the property auctions?
Only researching and setting a top price.
Exactly the same as you do in the trade, you know when to stop bidding
-and you don't get carried away and emotional.
-Did you manage to adhere to that?
Yes, that's why I only bought this one.
'Smart cookie Steve certainly seems to know what he's doing.
'Let that be a lesson to us all to keep emotions under wraps when at auction
'or risk driving up the price and accelerating past the top of your budget.'
Tell me exactly what you're going to do with it.
The kitchen needs completely demolishing. It's old and fuddy-duddy.
There's what you might call a pantry, that needs knocking out to make a bigger kitchen.
In here, we have to get rid of the gas fire
and we need to strip the wallpaper off, new flooring,
and make it fresher and more modern.
-The bedrooms aren't too bad, it's just basically upgrading.
-What about outside?
Outside, it's just freshening up. We need to jet-wash the gutters.
We need to rub the paint down and repaint the exterior.
But the good thing is, it's got UPVC double glazing throughout,
so it is only masonry paint we're doing.
The drive is awful, it's got cracks everywhere with grass growing up.
That needs sorting out. And the garden's just overgrown,
as you'd expect with a property that's been unoccupied for some time.
'Steve's left no stone unturned when assessing what he's got to do with this place.'
# You are safe with me
# In the eye of the storm
'It's not often that I hear jet-washing the gutters and pulling up weeds on the driveway
'featuring on lists of things to do.
'So often, these are the little details that get overlooked
'and end up adding to the timescale and budget.
'And although Steve's got a very sensible three-month schedule, he won't let anything slow him down.'
-What's the budget for the work?
-We think around £8,000 to £8,500,
but we might need to add a little bit more as a contingency.
But it is just upgrading, so it's nothing too major.
There is one thing you could potentially do, which is add a dormer in or extend.
-Is that something you've considered?
-I think I would do that if I was moving in here myself
to expand the property, but for the rental market, it's not a good investment.
-What next for you?
-A lot of work here, actually, over the summer period.
And then, once this project's completed, what then?
We'll look at one or two more.
We've bought a couple of industrial unit recently, so we're going to rent those out.
But they don't need anything doing to them. So we're going to be busy this year.
So what's the advantage of industrial units?
I think it's more a case of how useful they are,
whereas this will be sold on how nice it looks, and so on.
-Congratulations. Good luck.
-Look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, Steve has got himself a solid little bungalow in a nice area.
Still, there's work to do to sort it out.
And will those rental income figures match his expectations?
You can find out later in the show.
It's time to go back to those properties and see how their owners got on.
Have they managed to stick to their timescales and budgets? Let's find out.
'Time now to return to Kent. Earlier in the programme,
'this grade II listed castle and cottage and about 2.5 acres of land
'were bought by Gilly, on the left here, for £760,000.
'He owns a company that produces environmentally-friendly energy.
'His director, Bill, was with him at the auction and did the bidding.
'But their main business is commodity trading in the city.
'The castle had a wedding licence, and although it came already tenanted for the next four years,
'Gilly's long-term plan was to convert it into a hotel
'and build a new wedding and conference centre on the adjoining land.
'But it was in the cottage where initial work was to begin.'
The amount of money we're spending on it, I don't think we're going to rent it out.
We'll just use it for weekends. Once we do the weddings, we'll leave them with a honeymoon cottage.
We'll chip it in when they have the wedding here.
'Eight months later, we returned to see how the conversion had gone and how the cottage looks.
'As Gilly unexpectedly had to fly to Italy on business, it was Bill who was our guide.
'Outside, there doesn't seem to be any sign of an extension to the cottage.
'But inside, the kitchen has been totally refitted.
'While upstairs, the back bedroom is now an office.
'And the former small box room is now a bathroom.
'But it's downstairs where the plans for the luxury cottage have really changed, as Bill explains.'
When we first came here, there was a big wall here.
That wall's been now removed. Obviously, we put a lot of wood flooring in here.
We will retain the windows, as well, because it's a grade II listed building
so the windows still need to remain wooden windows.
And, of course, you can see the lighting up here is now also different from what it was before.
We've got plasma screens going on that wall over there, there'll be a settee over there,
and all the presentations can be done in-house onto a plasma screen.
'It's very impressive. The grade II listed cottage is now a high-tech office for Gilly,
'Bill and their team of commodity traders, who can work inside
'or take their laptops outside.'
Well, as you can see, you are stepping onto fantastic decking, which wasn't here before.
And the garden was a complete mess when we walked in here.
There was no fencing here at all. And the idea is to create this whole thing
into a fantastic entertainment place for entertaining our clients.
'What about all those grand plans for a multi-million-pound conference centre with underground parking?'
As far as the plans for the conference centre are concerned,
we weren't aware of the buildings that have gone on behind us here,
and keeping that in mind, I think we'll have a problem
with putting a conference centre up. So we're putting those plans on hold.
'Frustrating. And there's been even more bad news.
'A licence for weddings in the castle chapel expired,
'so they're now using the chapel as their company's boardroom.
'But at least Gilly's £760,000 investment has secured a cottage, a castle
'and about 2.5 acres of land.
'Apart from the chapel in the castle, it's only the cottage that's seen any real change.
'So how much has it cost to convert the property?'
We've spent something in the region of about £35,000
on just materials, just getting so far.
I think if you put labour cost into it, it's in a region of £45,000, £50,000 or there abouts.
'We invited two local estate agents to have a look at the cottage.
'One of them specialises in commercial properties.
'So, was the conversion of the former residential cottage a good idea?'
I think it's all very nicely done, it's a nice standard of finish,
companies could move straight in here and start working straightaway.
I think the owners have done a good refurbishment.
The standard is good. It's interesting that
it's now for commercial use,
when their original intentions were residential.
The one thing I particularly like is the fact they've utilised the space upstairs for another en suite.
Having two bathrooms upstairs is possibly a bit of a luxury for office use.
Perhaps it may have been better to keep the en suite as an office or a storage room.
But other than that, it's all good.
'Remember, Gilly paid £760,000 for the property and land.
'They've got grand plans to convert the castle into a hotel, but that's some years off,
'as the tenants have four years left on their lease.'
'They've already spent about £50,000,
'but what's the cottage now worth, either as a residential property
'or in its current commercial state?'
If the owners were to get planning permission to sell it as a residential property again,
I would suggest a marketing price, in the current climate, in the region of £275,000.
It's a very unusual property from a business sale point of view.
It's not the sort of thing that comes along every day, so it would need to find its own level,
but the figures suggest quite a low-sounding number, in the order of £150,000 to £160,000
for the freehold of the building.
'So, that commercial valuation range of £150,000 to £160,000
'is over £100,000 less than the £2750,000 valuation
'if the cottage was returned to residential use.
'That's largely due to the relatively small size of this as a commercial property,
'as office valuations are calculated by the square foot.'
I think the valuations are fairly standard.
We were aware of those kind of figures.
The added value of this whole thing is much, much more than the tangible value
in terms of selling it next month or next year.
'No, this is a long-term investment, and the castle could prove a real asset
'if they do eventually convert it into a hotel.
'But the big bonus has been this fabulous working environment,
'where Bill and Gilly's team have been relocated.
'So has it been a good outcome so far?'
Absolutely. 100 percent.
I think we were in the right place the right time. We've been very lucky.
'And what next?'
The next thing is to bring loads of our clients here
and have lots of parties and that's when the fun starts, I think.
'Back to Newton Abbot in Devon now, where this two-bedroom semi-detached bungalow sold for £140,000,
'£5,000 below the guide price.
'Second-hand car dealer Steve bought it and was able to use some hard and fast auction experience
'for his first dip into property developing.'
Exactly the same as you do in the trade,
you know when to stop bidding and you don't get carried away and emotional.
-And did you manage to adhere to that?
-Yes, that's why I only bought this one.
'Steve was planning to rent out the bungalow. Five months later,
'we returned to see if he'd managed to supe up this tired jalopy
'into a shiny new motor.
'Well, from outside, a fresh lick of paint and cleaned-up gutters
'have done a good job of adding some kerb appeal. Inside...
'..and the living room has been freshened up and it looks as though Steve now has some tenants
'who are giving the place seasonal cheer.
'But have his other changes also cheered up this bungalow?'
Well, lots has happened in the kitchen.
We found out when we started taking tiles off and looking at the units
that the best thing was for everything to go.
I remember knocking the tiles away here
and a huge lump of plaster came out.
So we needed to reinstate the plaster. Then we decided that everything,
including the walls and underneath, needed tiling, so we tiled the whole lot.
We put units in. They're new units, and new sink and worktops.
And over here, we had the pantry,
which was taking the space right up to here.
Of course, we took the wall out to increase the size of the kitchen.
That created a few more problems.
We had the situation where the ceiling just dropped down and so we had to do something with the ceiling.
But we also found the wall levels were all different, so we needed to pack them out with plasterboard
and plaster them before we could fit the units and do the tiling.
As you can see now, you wouldn't know there'd been a pantry here.
'It's certainly a more practical space now.
'Elsewhere, the bathroom was in good nick,
'although Steve has wisely added a shower unit.
'The two bedrooms have been redecorated in fresh magnolia
'and new carpets have been laid.
'The hall, kitchen and bathroom have also got new vinyl flooring.
'So, in all, it looks to have been a straightforward refurbishment.'
The state of the property looked, at face value, OK,
but it hadn't had any real maintenance or care
for probably 20, 25 years.
So when we started looking, we found gas leaks,
we found problems with floorboards
and so there was quite a few small, but not major, jobs to do.
'The lounge needed replastering, there were some electrics to be sorted
'and that garden had to be tidied up.
'But the end result is a very decent renovation which, unfortunately, took up more of Steve's time
'than he had anticipated.'
Through the summer, I'm a very keen sailor, and I've wanted to be out on the water sailing
and I've had to come here many times and work over the weekends,
so it's basically been a weekend project through the summer months.
'In fact, it took four months, a month longer than Steve's original estimate of three,
'to finally complete the renovation. But did the changes mean he had to sail close to the wind
'on his original budget of £8,500?'
Because we did some quite cute buying, going round the DIYs to get the best price,
we were able to complete the whole project
for around £5,500.
Also, some of that has to be down to the fact that we used friends and relations
to do much of the work.
'Ah, that old mates'-rates trick!
'But Steve's done a nifty job of hunting down bargains
'and getting the costs down to that £5,500.
'Including his purchase price of £140,000,
'his total outlay was £145,500.
'And it didn't take long to start earning some of that money back.'
We asked an agent to come and have a look, and before it was even completed,
they'd shown some people round and some nice people have moved into the property.
'But has Steve made the best of this bungalow?
'Bearing in mind his total spend of £145,500,
'we asked two local estate agents what they thought of his renovation.'
Coming back to look at the property a second time round,
you can see a big difference. The property looks a lot fresher
and more up-to-date than it did when we first came.
My first impression of the bungalow is that it's just about right
in every respect. The standard of work is pretty good.
Some nice touches, some nice contemporary tastes
without going too wacky for a semi-detached bungalow.
I think the standard of work is very good.
You can see that they've made an effort in tidying up every room
and it looks really fresh throughout.
'Both estate agents reckon that renting the bungalow out is currently the best option.
'But is Steve getting the best out of his investment?
'What sort of rental income could he earn?
I'd expect to achieve about £600 per calendar month.
If the property were to go up for rent, we'd be looking at £600 to £650 per calendar month.
We have a rental of £650 a month.
'So, Steve's getting a respectable five percent annual yield for this bungalow.
'But if he ever decides to sell, the estate agents reckon
'he could achieve a possible £170,000.
'Bearing in mind his outlay of £145,500
'that could mean a potential pre-tax profit of around £24,000.
'So, with this bungalow proving to be a nice little earner,
'what's his next step?'
To take a break for six months and then try to do it all over again.
Well, we'll have more excitement and action, passion and problems from the auction room next time.
-So make sure you join us then for those heady highs and lousy lows. See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a one-bed flat in Stockport, a castle and house in Kent and a small bungalow in Devon. 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.