Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Kent, a property on the Isle of Wight and a property in Ripon, and find out how much they sold for at auction.
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-Even in the currently challenging property market,
we still both enjoy buying property.
We like the idea of getting a good deal,
but in today's competitive market, well, it's not always that easy.
But one way you could get a bargain is to buy under the hammer.
Well, buying land and properties at auction is becoming more and more popular these days.
Million of pounds' worth of property is sold every month
all around the country in auction rooms everywhere.
So here are the properties that we're featuring on today's show.
In Kent there's a house where you'd have to be careful not to bite off more than you can chew.
This property is going to eat up your money!
I take a ferry trip over to the beautiful Isle of Wight.
Let's see if this place has got as much appeal as its surroundings.
And this property in Ripon, North Yorkshire,
could be fantastic,
But there's a lot of work before you get to that stage.
All these properties have been sold at auction.
We'll find out who bought them and what they paid
-when they went under the hammer.
-It's yours, sir.
Folkestone's had to be adaptable throughout its history.
Beginning life as a fishing community,
the port was continually battered by storms.
Then - hurrah! - in 1843, the railways arrived.
They linked the town to London, so along came the tourists,
with all their money. When that industry floundered,
so, to an extent, did Folkestone. But now, with a high-speed rail link
that goes to London in under an hour,
suddenly Folkestone's future looks brighter.
Sadly the same can't be said of the property I'm here to see.
Probably the worst one on the street. Three bedrooms.
Had a guide price of £65,000 to £70,000.
Let's take a look inside.
It may be the worst house, but it also seems to be the biggest.
It's double fronted, with four floors.
All this for a guide price of £65,000 to £75,000
doesn't seem to be that bad.
Or does it?
So, what are you going to get for your money?
-Ooh, I say, this is rather pleasant!
Surprising! Big double-fronted kind of living-room area here.
It's in a right mess, obviously, with lots of people's belongings
left here, but, as a space, quite surprising.
Lots of light in here as well.
Um, yeah. I'd certainly do something with this.
Let's hope it carries on in this vein!
'Well, it's not a bad start. Through the door,
'and I've got a choice - up the stairs or down to the basement.
'Well, I think for now the only way is up.
'Or maybe not.'
So, upstairs, and it starts to really deteriorate,
I'm afraid to say. Believe it or not, that is actually a loo
on the landing there, but everything is, as you can see, not at all good.
All the walls are a little skew-whiff.
The door frames are all over the place.
That, believe it or not, is a bathroom.
Absolutely enormous. Far too disproportionately big.
Maybe what you could consider doing is splitting that in two
to create an en suite for this bedroom. The bedroom's not bad -
big window there, letting lots of nice light in.
But again, it's in a right old state. The floors feel boingy.
I'm just seeing straight away, this is one of those properties
that's going to eat up your money.
SONG: "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by The Righteous Brothers
All my loving feelings are gradually disappearing, room by room.
And the top floor doesn't exactly rekindle my affections.
Low, sloping ceilings, cracks, damp...
So, we've had the tour -
or have we?
Where exactly is the kitchen?
Oh, dear. It's down in the basement.
So, here in the basement, a joy to behold,
or a dark, dingy cavern?
I'm afraid it's the latter.
This is where the kitchen is,
and also some kind of little ancillary area there.
It's dark, as I've said. It's cold. It's damp.
And you know what? It's going to take a lot of work to sort this out.
HE CHUCKLES AND SHIVERS
"Subterranean" is not a word I want to use
to describe a kitchen, but there it is.
However, I may well have a solution.
Well, that's your outside space. Good news. The bad news is,
you can't actually get to it at the moment.
That's because it was added at the last minute to the auction lot,
so you'd have to create a new door in the property to get to it.
The good news is, I think that should go in the basement,
and that would bring a lot of light to that dark, dingy area.
So all in all a bonus, but yet more work to be done.
And more money to spend,
but it's a real chance to add value at the same time.
I asked a local estate agent what he thought of this four-storey terrace.
My first impressions are that it's lovely
to walk into a double-fronted house.
It's always a pleasure, no matter what street it's in.
When you walk in, there's rooms either side of the hallway,
and you get an immediate feeling of spaciousness.
Well, at least the estate agent can see its potential.
With a guide price of between £65,000 and £70,000,
what could the resale value be once renovated?
I think potentially this property could be worth in the region of £155,000.
This could be a sound investment, then.
What about its rental value?
There's a strong demand for rental property like this
in the east end of town. I think rent on this house
would be something in the region of about £650 per calendar month.
So, potentially a nice little earner, rental-wise.
There's hope for the old place yet.
So, the house has lots of space but very little style.
Adding that is going to cost you money
in an area where prices are traditionally quite low.
But spend carefully, and you could still make money on this one.
So, who saw through the mess and bought it at auction?
Let's find out.
We move now to Folkestone, double- fronted house for improvement.
It's got three bedrooms. And what may I say?
65,000, bottom end of the guide? I have.
At £65,000. 70 I have.
75. And 80.
80 is bid. And 85. 82.
84? 84. And 85?
85 in a fresh place. And 86?
86. And 87? No.
£86,000 I am bid on my left-hand side.
Coming back in, sir? At £86,000 on my far left-hand side.
87. At £87,000 I'm bid, front row.
It's being sold for the first time at 87,000.
Being sold for the second time at 87,000.
Gentleman on the front row. Being sold for the third and final time.
At 87,000, then. Are you all done?
-HE BANGS HAMMER
-Sold at 87,000.
For £87,000, 17,000 over the top guide price,
the new owner is 25-year-old Bradley.
He's a builder who hopes to start a career in property developing.
I met him back at his first purchase to hear his plans.
-Bradley! Great to meet you.
Why did you want to buy this rather unusual house?
It's just a property that interested me.
It's double-fronted, and it needs a lot of work done, so...
Not fazed by it at all, then?
No. I've got a strong team, so they'll come in and knock it out.
What kind of experience have you got in property developing?
No experience. I've been building for seven years, so...
You've been building? What kind of stuff?
Just general maintenance on houses and...
OK. You've got the experience on the practical side.
-Who will your team be?
-A team of labourers that I've got.
I've got a plasterer coming down, an electrician and a plumber.
-So, why now?
-The money became available,
-and it was the right property.
-So I jumped in.
SONG: "Jump" by Madonna
Sometimes that's the best way.
Bradley lives in Surrey, but decided to invest in Kent
as the property prices were lower there.
It's also an easy commute. That's just as well,
as he plans to work full-time on the house
to get it finished and on the market so he can move on to another one.
What was it about this place that made you so enthusiastic to buy it?
Um, the location, really. It was... Looking on the road,
all the houses are well maintained,
so hopefully it'll be a quick-selling property.
And in terms of the internal layout and stuff?
-I hadn't seen it before I bought it, so -
-Just didn't have the opportunity, really.
I came down to the area to do some investigating,
but didn't get into the property.
So what did you think when you walked in?
Um, first thoughts were...
it's a lot of work.
But other than that, I was pleased with what I've got here.
Right. You do know that buying blind is a highly dangerous thing to do?
Oh, yeah. It was a big gamble.
Hopefully it'll pay off.
SONG: "Build It Up, Tear It Down" by Fatboy Slim
# Tear it down #
It's a risky business,
especially when taking on your first project.
But Bradley's been lucky,
as there don't seem to be any major structural issues.
He's given himself three months and £35,000 to get the place sorted,
so what exactly is he going to do?
I'm going to juggle things around.
I'm going to bring the kitchen from downstairs up onto the ground floor.
-Where we are now?
-Where we are,
with a dining room, as well.
And then downstairs I'm going to open it up,
and make it into one big sitting room,
and then upstairs just decorate throughout,
-and put a new bathroom in.
-Where will the bathroom go?
There's an existing bathroom up there,
-so I'm looking into splitting that into two.
-Cos it's huge, isn't it?
Yeah, and putting an en suite for the master bedroom, and one bathroom.
As for the outside space, Bradley plans to pave the courtyard
and put in double doors leading from the new living area.
That's quite a challenge for his first development.
-Are you at all daunted?
-Um, no, not really.
Just eager to crack on and get it done, so no looking back.
What's the big plan for you, then? What's next?
If this one goes well, which I'm praying it will,
go on and do more.
-And will you look at the next one before you buy it?
-Yes, I will.
Because it's dangerous ground.
Well, I've said it a thousand times. You should always look at a property
before you bid on it at auction.
Bradley taking a big gamble on his very first property purchase.
There's a lot of space in this property,
but there's also a lot of work to be done to sort it out.
Will he make any money out of it? You can find out later in the show.
SONG: "Welcome To My Little Island" by Patrick Nuo
# This is paradise
# You can't deny #
Lucky old me! I have travelled to the Isle of Wight today.
Now, it's a popular tourist destination,
and apparently one of the sunniest places in the UK.
Now, I'm in the northeast part of the island,
and stretching out onto the sea is Ryde Pier.
Now, it was originally built in 1814
to save sailors traipsing half a mile over wet sand.
It's still used today as a major transport link into the island.
TRAIN BELL RINGS
SONG: "Good Day Sunshine" by The Beatles
# Good day sunshine...
Ryde is the second-largest town on the island,
and is famous for its summer sailing regatta.
Just off the seafront is the property I'm here to see,
a two-bedroom first-floor maisonette.
Now, it's got a guide price of £50,000.
Let's see if this place has got as much appeal as its surroundings.
# Good day sunshine #
Look at me, with a big smile on my face today!
I really feel in the holiday mood. The sun is shining.
Let's have a look around this maisonette.
The geography... It feels quite large.
You're upstairs. We're towards the back of the property.
Got a kitchen here, which is not bad.
We've got a little bedroom, a bathroom,
second bedroom and lounge to the front of the property.
What I like is that it's painted peppermint!
Look at this! A really nice little pastel colour here.
So all in all it's got a good feel about it,
but I can smell something rather musty,
which is not good. I'm going to investigate.
SONG: "That Smell" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
# Can't you smell that smell? #
The foetid fragrance isn't coming from the bathroom or kitchen,
which is the best thing I can say about these two rooms.
The two bedrooms are not the source of the stench either.
Only one room left.
So, here's the lounge. Well, it's apricot,
but you've got a nice bay window here which adds character to the place.
But here's the bad news. You know I mentioned that musty whiff?
Well, there are signs of damp up here.
Look! You can see up here, you've got paper peeling.
Now, that suggests there could be a problem with the roof.
When the roof is leaking, you are talking big money
to get things sorted. I would look at getting a damp expert in here
to inspect this ASAP, and just keep my fingers crossed
that it won't cost the earth. But if you're in a maisonette,
it means there could be somebody else to share the cost with you -
the people living downstairs. Now, there's no hard or fast rules about this,
so never assume you're going to be able to half the bills,
because it all depends on your lease and the freeholder of the building.
So I think there's a bit of homework to do on this property.
Despite the damp and dingy condition of the maisonette,
it does have one major plus point.
This could be a fantastic holiday rental.
I've chatted to a few local agents,
and they've told me this would let in peak season
for £425 per week!
So the good news is, financially you could make a good return here,
but the downside - you'd have to let it out in the best months of the year.
The auction guide price for the property was £50,000.
I invited a local estate agent to give us her opinion on it.
This property has excellent potential for holiday lets,
because the location being just off of Ryde Esplanade,
with all the transport facilities and the beaches,
so I think it would be very popular, in the right condition.
Once the place has been done up, what would the sell-on value be?
I would estimate the resale value, once the property has been renovated,
to be in the region of £80,000 to £85,000.
What if it was let out as a long-term rental?
Once the property's been renovated, with a modern kitchen and bathroom,
the rental income per calendar month
should be in the region of £375 per month
to £425 per month.
So, it needs a bit of work. I would get the damp looked at
and the roof sorted. But for me, the selling point is this location.
You're in the centre of a beautiful town
with the beach right on your doorstep.
What could be more perfect?
Mmm! Let's see who fancied this maisonette at the auction.
Does somebody wish to start at just £40,000?
40,000 we do have. Thank you, madam.
Bid here straight away of 40.
45, madam? 45 I have.
50. I now have 50.
53? Looking for 53.
53,000 is now on the phone. 54,000 is in the room.
54 in the room. Looking for 55.
55 is on the telephone.
55 on the phone. 60? 60's here bid in the room.
60,000 is here in the room. 61 we have.
62,000, madam, here in the room. You might be getting lucky now on that.
62,250. 62 and a half now here in the room.
I have 62,500, then, once...
62,750. I thought you'd done it then.
I should have been a bit quicker, shouldn't I?
I know. 62,750.
Back at 63, the lady says yes to.
63 with the lady in the room.
Is he out? 63,000, then, with you, madam,
hopefully, then. Once.
63,000 third, final time.
It was Helen who made the successful bid of 63,000.
She lives in London,
and, with her husband Kieran, owns an IT recruitment agency.
Helen now leaves the management of the company to her husband
while she builds their property portfolio.
-Thanks for inviting us today. It's lovely to meet you.
Why did you want to buy in the Isle of Wight?
Well, about four years ago we started looking for a seaside bolt hole,
because we live in Southeast London, and we went further and further south
and eventually came to the island and loved it,
and about 18 months ago we bought a second home here,
and we thought it would be quite a good idea
to have properties here and combine work and play.
'Helen's hoping to let this maisonette out.
'With a second home already on the island,
'purchasing other properties here is a good way for Helen and her husband
'to combine work and leisure. The couple have four children
'aged from seven up to 20, but it's not just property developing
'and looking after the kids that keeps them busy.'
What else do you do?
Well, our other business is an IT recruitment business,
Headhunters, so I was involved in that a lot
up to about six years ago,
and as I got more interested in the property
and things became more weighted on the building side,
I decided I'd have to pass to my husband
and let him deal, really, with that one.
So, um, yeah. I just don't think about it.
Just keep moving on.
# Don't stop moving
# Find your own way to it
# Listen to the music #
Helen and her husband certainly have a lot of plates spinning,
but she seems to thrive on it.
So, what sort of potential did you see in this flat?
Well, I'd been looking at two-bed cottages, actually,
around this area and in Ryde in general.
And I thought, well, the rental market is quite strong,
the holiday-rental situation is quite strong -
OK, let's talk about the downsides. You walk straight in the door
and you get that whiff of damp, don't you?
What kind of investigations have you done?
I've had my builder round already, and we've looked at what needs doing.
Also the main thing here really is the roof,
which we have to sort out sooner rather than later.
It is a combined-responsibility situation,
not just with me or the downstairs flat
but also the building to the left of us.
We think it's just superficial, but we're going to delve deeper
to make sure none of the timbers need replacing or anything,
so that's the first line of attack, really.
We will do a complete rewiring,
bring in a new heating system.
There's no gas in the building, so we have to bring that in, actually.
New kitchen, new bathroom, flooring, etc.
What sort of budget have you got in mind to spend here?
All going well, I'd like to think I could come in
at less than 26,000. 25, possibly.
25,000 sounds a healthy amount to play with,
but if the roof does turn out to be a major problem,
then, that budget might literally go through the roof,
and the proposed two-month timescale might also go out the window.
So, who's going to crack on in here and do all the work?
Well, I'm going to start doing the stripping off,
with maybe one or two children, hopefully.
Not on the sunny days when we should be on the beach, though,
but I quite like to do things myself,
and the paint job at the end I'll probably do myself, actually.
When the work starts, I anticipate being here every four to five days.
That's what I've done in the past.
Helen, you've got lots to think about, lots to do here. Good luck.
-Thank you very much.
SONG: "Don't Stop Movin'" by S Club 7
# Don't stop movin' to the funky funky beat #
So, Helen is hoping to get a bit more of a work/holiday balance
in her life. And who wouldn't, in a place like this?
But I'm still worried about what she might find with that roof.
Find out how she gets on later in the programme.
Coming up - in Ripon, North Yorkshire,
there's a property where you'd be wise to look before you leap.
A lot of hoops to jump through.
Back on the Isle of Wight,
Helen's renovation has been a real family effort.
They like to be involved, and we do things together.
But first we return to Folkestone in Kent,
to see if Bradley regrets buying sight-unseen.
In future I will definitely have a look round.
Earlier we met Bradley.
He'd just bought this three-bed double-fronted terrace in Folkestone
for £87,000, £17,000 over the guide price.
And considering that this was his first development,
he certainly wasn't playing safe.
-I hadn't seen it before I bought it, so...
-Um, just didn't have the opportunity, really.
I came down to the area to do some investigating,
but didn't get into the property.
You do know that buying blind is a highly dangerous thing to do?
Oh, yeah. It was a big gamble, but hopefully it'll pay off.
Builder Bradley planned to renovate this four-storey house completely,
from top to dark-and-dingy bottom, in just three months.
So, five months later,
had his gamble paid off?
From the outside it certainly looks like it's had a bright start.
But what about inside?
SONG: "Ray of Light" by Madonna
Well, he might not have moved the kitchen,
but the subterranean basement's been transformed
into a bright, modern kitchen/diner.
I just can't believe how much bigger it looks.
# And I feel like I just got home
# And I feel #
The living room, one floor up, feels light and fresh.
The changes continue on the first floor.
The unnecessarily huge bathroom has made way for a fourth bedroom,
and a new, albeit compact bathroom has been created
between the two bedrooms.
On the top floor, there are two further bedrooms,
and another bathroom.
Up here, I've taken a bit of space out of this bedroom
to create this bathroom.
I've installed a skylight to give as much light as possible,
and a new bath suite.
Bradley's certainly been busy.
I've done the majority of the work.
I've called in favours from friends and family,
but other than that, the work I couldn't do was subcontracted out.
Bradley has spent long days on the house,
but by doing the majority of the work himself, he has saved money.
He originally planned to spend £35,000.
'I spent under budget. I've gone in at about £32,000,
'so I'm very happy with that.'
It was a saving on the boiler,
because the boiler was here when we first came, which was brand new.
It's savings like that which have afforded Bradley
a few little luxuries.
I've put all new lighting in. There's 84 spotlights throughout the house,
so it's very light.
SONG: "Light My Way" by Audioslave
# Won't you light my way? #
With 84 spotlights, the words "dark and dingy"
can never be applied to this place again.
And adding patio doors leading to the newly created patio area
brings plenty of light into the revamped kitchen/diner.
Right. We've knocked through the wall here to create room
for these double doors. We put a dividing fence through
and slabbed the whole area. It was a real bonus
to get this bit of land. It's finished the house off nicely.
Bradley always planned to use the profits from this house
to purchase more. So what sort of profit is he hoping for?
I haven't got an idea of the price range yet.
Just wait and see, fingers crossed.
Well, here come two men who can put Bradley out of his misery.
He paid £87,000 for the property,
and spent £32,000 completely renovating it,
making a total outlay of £119,000 plus other costs.
So, has all his hard work paid off?
What a change! What a difference from previously!
The place is full of light, full of nice modern fittings,
and it's been well finished off.
It's a difficult property to work with, a kitchen in the basement.
Some people don't like that. But the way they've designed this,
I think they've made good use of the space.
The best selling point of the property
is probably a combination of the open-plan living/kitchen area
and the fantastic garden at the back here,
that's accessible from the patio doors.
I think they're going to shift the house very quickly.
Just what he wanted to hear!
But will the valuations sound as good?
Remember, his total spend here was 119,000.
Resale value for this property at the moment, in today's market,
is between £145,000 and £150,000.
I think the resale value of this property is about £155,000.
If Bradley does manage to sell the house for 155,000,
that would give him a pre-tax profit of £36,000.
That could provide a decent deposit for his next development.
If I can achieve them prices, I will be happy.
But will the rental figures sway his decision to sell?
On the rental side, I think somewhere between £800 and £850
per calendar month.
Realistically, you're looking at about £700 per calendar month in this area.
I can't afford to rent it out, financially,
so it's just best for me to sell it and move on with the next one.
I'm really impressed with the work that Bradley's done on this,
his first property development.
I'm sure he'll go from strength to strength,
but just hope he views his next one before he buys it.
It hasn't cost me too bad not viewing the property first,
but in the future I will definitely have a look round.
Today I'm in the beautiful ancient city of Ripon in North Yorkshire.
Founded over 1,300 years ago,
some of the buildings have stood here since the seventh century.
I'm here to see another historic property,
this one built in 1750.
It's a part-commercial, part-residential unit
with a double frontage onto this road.
The first thing I'm noticing is that it is on one of the main routes
into the centre of Ripon, and it's right by this set of traffic lights,
which could explain the £50,000 guide price.
Let's take a look inside.
This roadside position is definitely a big negative.
With narrow streets and pavements, the house seems to shake and rattle
every time large vehicles pass by.
SONG: "Shake, Rattle & Roll" by Bill Haley & His Comets
Hm! It's hard to imagine this as a shop, really,
apart from these huge great windows looking out onto the street.
Given that this is listed, that could be a good or a bad thing,
because one thing the planners would not want you to do
is change the windows.
If this was going to be a residential place,
big windows like that out onto the main road
might not be ideal. But, at the moment,
throwing lots of light in here, which we really like.
Couple of original features - the fireplace there...
Through to a sort of second front room.
Again, not ideal that the rooms are right on that road there,
right by the set of traffic lights, so not really brilliant.
Clearly it's in a bit of a state.
Um... Intriguing, I think is the word!
Of course there's nothing you can do about the proximity of the road.
Owing to its listed status,
UPVC double glazing would be out of the question here,
so replica windows will have to be made.
Is there anything else that should make buyers hesitate to buy this?
None of the door frames standard height.
If you're tall, you'd be banging your head quite regularly.
But it does give a certain sense of charm, as does things like this -
the floor. Yorkshire stone, absolutely beautiful.
The only issue is, it doesn't have a damp course, I would guess,
and it's going to be expensive to do something about that.
Maybe you'd take it up, which would be a shame,
but that is the only way to get that important damp course in.
-HE PLAYS A FEW NOTES
-Piano, nice little touch...
This, I imagine, at some stage was the kitchen,
judging by the fireplace and things like that.
At the moment, it's like the rest of the house, a bit higgledy-piggledy.
You've got this lower-height ceiling in here,
windows out onto a small courtyard. It is the natural place
for the kitchen in the house to be.
But there's a lot of work before you get to that stage.
'So, there's flooring to be sorted along with damp-proofing.
'The walls need to be skimmed and plastered.
'The ceiling's seen better days,
'and there's probably wood treatment to be done, too.
'And that's just downstairs.'
Upstairs here, my guess is that this was the flat
associated with the shop downstairs. You've got a little room there,
bedroom there, stairs up to the attic room.
I'll come back to that. A living-room area there,
and through to... Well, judging by the fact it's a sink,
I guess this was where the kitchen was.
As you can see, it's extremely basic, and it gets worse,
cos there's also a door which leads onto the bathroom and loo.
So, not ideal whatsoever.
However, what this property does offer is options.
You could potentially keep the unit downstairs as a commercial unit,
you could convert upstairs into a much better presented flat,
you could convert downstairs to a flat.
But don't forget, this is a listed building,
so all those things will have to have Building Regulations approval,
planning permission and listed-buildings approval,
so there's a lot of hoops to jump through.
But there's a lot of property here, when you bear in mind
it was guided at just £50,000.
In addition to the first floor, there's also an attic space
which could be converted, though that would take a lot of work.
I'm not sure why there are concrete floors here.
They definitely need to go. With the large bathroom,
if you converted this into living accommodation,
and move the kitchen downstairs, you could make a four-bed house
with bags of character.
SONG: "Jump" by Van Halen
So, would it be worth jumping through all those hoops
and splashing the cash, or is it too much work for too little return?
What does the auctioneer who sold it think of this Grade II property?
I look at this building, which is much larger than one would think
when you come into it, that it could actually convert into two,
the ground floor into a one-bed apartment.
With the upper floor, which is largely what it is now,
as residential accommodation, in fact it would make a three-bedroom maisonette.
But the two-flat option would be much more complicated and costly.
What sort of revenue could that earn?
In the order of £100,000 for the ground floor,
and then, for the maisonette, up to 125.
And as a single house?
Given the restrictions of location,
lack of car parking, lack of amenity space,
I think we're talking £125,000, £130,000.
So, two flats could almost double the sale value,
and significantly increase the rental return.
'Um, for the house as a whole,
'we're talking maximum £700 per calendar month.'
As two units, the ground-floor apartment
would let in the order of £500 a calendar month.
The maisonette, which would have three bedrooms,
would be 625 to possibly 650.
Again, two seems better than one.
But as the auction guide price was just £50,000,
either approach could be a winner.
But I still think this is a case of "buyer beware".
Well, an interesting property for sure,
but not one for the faint-hearted or inexperienced.
This place could swallow money up like there's no tomorrow,
and one thing for certain - because of the complications of the commercial unit,
the fact that it's listed, it's well worth getting a solicitor
to check out the legal pack before you buy.
Let's see who went for it when it went to the auction.
OK. Moving on, we come to Ripon now.
We're skirting around North Yorkshire a bit, aren't we?
So, two-storey, with a very, very useful attic.
Somebody give me 40,000 for it.
40 bid straight away. Thank you. At £40,000,
and two at the back. 42. 44, will you, sir?
44. 46, may I now?
At 46. Will you make it eight, sir?
At 48 bid. 48 bid. I'll take nine.
Nine, new bidder. 49 against you, sir. Will you make it 50?
50 is now bid. Against you, 51.
52, may I now?
At 52. 53.
Four, will you? 54.
Five, is it? 56, is it now? 56.
Seven, may I? 57.
58, will you now? 58 bid. 59, may I?
63. Will you make it four, sir?
64. 65, may I? 65 is bid.
66, sir? 66?
And a half if you want it, sir. 66 and a half.
Seven. 67. 67...
And half again. 67 and a half.
68, may I now?
68 is bid. Eight and a half.
Nine, may I?
£68,500, gentleman standing. All out, seated.
£68,500. All done?
-HE TAPS HAMMER
-It is yours, sir.
Thank you very much. And the price is 68,500.
So, for £68,500,
the new owners of the Grade II listed corner shop in Ripon
are Giles and Claire. I met them back at the property
to hear about their plans.
Giles, Claire, congratulations!
-Big property for the price.
-Yeah. Absolutely, for the price.
Why did you want to buy it?
Um, well, it was really to get on the market,
to get on the market in the UK. This is the first property that we own.
-Heck of a starter home!
-Yeah, a good start.
-OK. So, you talk about "in the UK".
-Have you got...
-We've got a property in the French Alps.
Yeah. It was just something that we've got as a base here, as well.
How come you've got a property in the French Alps?
We run a business there. We run a catered chalet.
-Oh, great! Whereabouts?
-In La Plagne, Montalbert. Yeah.
Giles and Claire met in the French Alps.
They'd always dreamt of running a chalet in France,
and achieved that in 2004.
But with that work being very seasonal,
they decided they needed another project,
an investment in the UK which they could work on for part of the year.
SONG: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Diana Ross
With family and friends in the local area,
Ripon seemed the ideal spot.
But, boy, what a project they've taken on!
-What experience have you got in this kind of thing?
-I can paint!
-I'm a painter and decorator.
-And Giles is a plasterer.
-I'm a general builder by trade,
-but plastering's my skill.
-So that'll keep me busy.
I thought you were going to say, "I'm excellent at snowboarding,"
and you were going to say, "I can do some fantastic parallel turns."
But, no, you can plaster, and you can paint and decorate.
That's brilliant. Can you both ski, though?
Yes. Yeah. We can ski quite well, yeah.
Well, I've represented England, and...
-Oh, that well, then!
-Represented England in what?
Well, I think Giles's plastering skills
and Claire's decorating ability might be more useful here.
But it's going to be an uphill struggle
to turn this property around.
What are you going to do with it?
We're going to have the kitchen downstairs.
The shop front will be living area, lounge,
um, and then upstairs...
three, four double bedrooms,
and, going into the attic, we'll just renovate that, as well,
into maybe office space/bedroom.
How much have you planned to spend?
Um, probably 20, 25. I mean, a lot of the work -
-Is going to be self-build.
-Is going to be done between us,
and family and a few friends,
so hopefully we could keep it quite low.
So, what about the legal pack?
Yeah. That's one thing that we haven't got yet, so -
-You haven't got yet?!
-You still haven't seen it?
-No, we haven't.
-You're supposed to read it before the auction.
Especially somewhere like this, that's listed, part commercial...
Yeah. It's one mistake that we did make,
but we'll be fine.
How dangerous a skier were you, when you used to ski?
Pretty dangerous. THEY LAUGH
Point down the hill, skis parallel, and zap!
-That's the one, yeah.
So, it looks like it's heads down and go for it.
Let's hope it pays off!
MUSIC: "Ski Sunday Theme"
Well, Giles and Claire's enthusiasm is without doubt infectious.
However, I am concerned about the amount of preparation they've done
before they bought this place, and the hurdles that lie ahead.
They haven't even read the legal pack,
which could throw up all sorts of issues.
It's listed, which WILL throw up all sorts of issues.
And this place in general I think is going to be a bit of a money pit.
It's going to be a slippery slope!
Find out how they get on later in the show.
It's been a while now since we last visited those properties.
Now, there should have been some work done, but you never know.
All sorts of problems can arise. What have our buyers had to deal with? Let's find out.
Now, we set sail for Ryde on the Isle of Wight,
and this two-bedroom first-floor maisonette.
The leaky roof had caused damp,
and its stale stench permeated through the property.
But Helen, who has a nose for business and an eye for a bargain,
purchased it for 63,000.
She intended to renovate and let it out.
Helen lives in London with her husband and their four children.
The family also have a holiday home on the island.
She intended to tackle the project with a mixture of work and play.
I'm going to start doing the stripping off
with maybe one or two children, hopefully.
Not on the sunny days when we should be on the beach, though.
Helen planned a complete makeover on this maisonette,
which would be added to her burgeoning buy-to-let portfolio
of ten properties.
Four months later, we were back to take a look at her handiwork.
SONG: "Hardworking Woman" by BB King
# She's a hardworking woman
# She works hard all the time...
The kitchen is all new and shining bright,
and, just as importantly, smells fresh.
No traces of the dank odour of damp now!
The kitchen's changed an awful lot, as you can see.
Our first main problem was the wall here,
which was an uneven return, so we had to level that all out
to enable us to position the kitchen units
on the floor and also on the wall.
We then decided to come round fully in relation to the kitchen units.
We chopped a bit into the window, introduced a window sill,
and that enabled us to position the sink here.
We extended the plumbing all around.
We had one extra kitchen unit here as well,
and I think that's worked really well.
The once mildew-ridden lounge is now fresh, bright and airy.
# What I like about that woman
# She won't quit until the job is through #
And Helen has added a lovely touch to the bay window.
We introduced this window seat here
because we had just a bit of a void space here at the window,
and we thought that we could utilise it a bit better,
so we built this here as a window seat,
and some storage underneath,
and so you can spend a bit of time
looking out and enjoying the view.
Helen set aside quite a large chunk of her £26,000 budget
to repair the leaky roof.
The section that was damp on the ceiling
wasn't as bad as what we thought,
so we just had to replace some tiles and some lead-work and some flashing,
so that sorted the problem out.
Money saved on the roof repairs was spent on ensuring a high-quality finish throughout.
The bathroom has a new suite, plus new tiles on the floor...
..and the walls,
and a shower's been fitted.
So, what was Helen's total outlay?
The total budget is just slightly above 80,000,
with the purchase of the flat and what I've put into it,
so roughly £18,000 is what the cost has been to refurbish the flat.
So, under budget. But did she come in under her four-month schedule?
We started the work and finished probably within a six-week period,
so we started and finished earlier than we thought,
which was all good at the end.
That's not bad - a developer who comes in under budget
and ahead of schedule!
But, as is evident from the quality of work,
there's been no skimping on style, making it the model of success.
But was Helen as successful at corralling her kids
into lending a helping hand?
From the outset, the children were very interested
in seeing what was happening, so they were keen to choose the odd colour
and the bathroom and the tiles,
so it helped me in selecting things and buying things
and transporting things, so they like to be involved, and we do things together.
Helen has spent a total of 81,000 buying and renovating.
Has she invested wisely?
We asked two local estate agents for their opinions.
Really, really surprised.
It's lovely compared to the last time.
The colour schemes are nice. It seems much lighter and brighter.
She's done it very, very well.
'The kitchen has wow-factor. The last time I saw it,
'it was very dated. She's completely modernised the kitchen,
'and she's placed a sink unit under the window, which is nice, so you've got a nice outlook.'
The decorative schemes are very nice.
They've steered away from a simple magnolia.
And, of course, where it matters, the kitchen, the bathroom,
they've put a lot of effort into.
Bearing in mind Helen's total spend of 81,000,
what could this property achieve if sold?
The resale value of the property, I would say,
would be in the region of £90,000.
In the current market, my feeling is,
the resale value of this property would be in the region of £95,000.
Those valuations would mean a pre-tax profit
of £9,000 to £14,000, if she sold it.
But for Helen, this is all about rental returns.
Based on the rental value of the property,
I would suggest possibly £500 to £525 per calendar month.
This property would have no problem achieving
in the order of £525 per calendar month.
In fact, Helen's done better than that,
and got a tenant in at £600 a month.
So not only has she delivered this property under budget
and ahead of schedule, it's also bringing in a decent income.
With their holiday home on the island
and now with this property as well,
might the family eventually relocate to the Isle of Wight?
# Welcome to my little island...
I would like to see us coming here eventually, yes.
It's not going to be in the near, near future cos my children are still at school.
# Welcome to my little island...
So maybe someday it might be her family's permanent base.
But for now, it's a destination for work and play.
# Welcome to my little island #
The city of Ripon in North Yorkshire
has an abundance of old and historic properties.
Some of them are in good condition, and others, if not quite ruins,
have definitely seen better days.
And that was the case for this 17th-century Grade II listed former shop and flat
not far from the city centre.
Built before the advent of the motor car,
it was on a busy road, and had windows, floors and doors
from another age. With its rather higgledy-piggledy layout,
turning it around would be an uphill struggle for most people.
But for married couple Giles and Claire,
tackling a mountain of work was nothing new.
Yeah. We've got a property in the French Alps.
Yeah. It was just something that we've got as a base here, as well.
How come you've got a property in the French Alps?
-We run a business there. We run a catered chalet.
Having paid 68,000 to get a foothold in the UK market,
and armed with an £11,000 budget,
former top slalom skier Giles and his wife Claire
set about turning the old shop and flat into one large home.
14 months later, we're back to see the results.
MUSIC: "Ski Sunday Theme"
Well, the outside's a big improvement,
with snowy white walls and a new black front door,
Well, on the face of it, it's not quite so impressive.
But, as with any assault on a mountain,
the key to success is preparation.
OK. As you can see, one of the major changes
was opening up this wall,
cos we like the idea of open-plan living.
Um, and then the other change was,
we had to, er, take up the old floor,
one, because of damp issues.
We took out about five tons of rubble,
DPC'd and insulated it and put the Indian slate down,
and now it's just waiting to be plastered and finished.
So in fact the amount of work done here is deceptive.
They've made structural changes, rewired,
re-plumbed and damp-proofed throughout.
By moving the kitchen downstairs, they've altered the layout,
so there are now four bedrooms upstairs.
But owing to the Grade II listing, there were some things they couldn't change.
With the windows, we decided to make them good ourselves,
because they'd be too expensive if we got brand-new ones.
So we burnt off all the old paintwork,
then sanded them down, filled them and painted them,
and then we got somebody to help us re-weight them
and re-cord them, and they've come up pretty good.
They're good. We're pleased with them.
Stripping and repainting windows is time-consuming.
This means there are unfinished bathrooms and an attic space
where the concrete floor's been removed,
but it's some way off being habitable.
Similarly, the outside area is work in progress.
OK. So, what we did was, we had to replace an old rotten oak beam,
so we took that out, got some strongboys and supported the wall,
put a separate lintel here for the door,
and then we had to put a lintel over the window as well.
As Giles and Claire run a chalet business in the French Alps,
they're only here for part of the years,
so they've made good progress in the four to five months they've worked on the building.
-How much have they been here?
-All the time.
-Giles was, all the time.
-This is, I mean...
The only guys that we've actually had in
to do the major works is the people doing the floor.
I got some specialists who worked with groundworks.
That was it, really. The rest is all myself...
-Friends and family.
-My brother unfortunately was out of a job,
so he... I got him in straight away.
And my father's good at electricals,
so he was helping our friend who was doing the electrical bit.
But unfortunately my father fell through the floorboards
-in the bathroom, but he was OK.
He didn't actually end up in the kitchen.
With friends and relatives dropping in to help,
quite literally in Claire's father's case,
they should have been able to keep their costs down.
I think at the moment we're up to £11,000.
And I would like to say that we won't go over £25,000.
A £25,000 spend
on top of their £68,500 purchase price,
plus other costs,
means the couple will have spent about £100,000
by the time it's all done.
Then it would be a four-bed house with a family bathroom
and office space. But will all their efforts be worth it?
What do two local property experts think of progress so far?
The work that's been done has been very sympathetic
and in keeping with the property, done to a very high standard.
Obviously there's plenty still to do,
but if the general standard is kept to that level,
it'll be a fantastic family house.
I think the only negatives are the fact
that the parking will be difficult, plus the busy main road outside.
However, there are plans afoot to possibly pedestrianise the area.
That would be fantastic if it happens,
and, long-term, would add value.
I really like the open-plan aspects that immediately hit you.
The breakfast-kitchen will be fantastic,
and the open plan into what will be the family area.
Going up onto the next two floors, excellent accommodation,
and very much look forward to seeing it once it's completed.
Encouraging comments, but will the lack of parking and garden
limit its rental potential?
If the property was modernised to a high standard,
I could see it fetching between £800 and £900 per calendar month for rental.
I think you're looking between £600 and £650 per calendar month.
-Well, that's good.
-That is very good.
-Yeah. Yeah. Pleased with that.
-That's really good!
Even a rental of £600 a month on a £100,000 investment
would mean a yield of over seven percent.
That's not bad. How would it fare if resold?
I think if the work was finished,
and it was presented to a good standard,
you'd be looking at a figure between £170,000 and £180,000.
I think once renovated, you're looking between £175,000 and £190,000.
-That's good as well.
-Yeah. I really like that.
Wow! No wonder they're pleased. That could be a pre-tax profit
of between £70,000 and £90,000.
With the skiing season fast approaching,
it will be time to down tools and up sticks -
or should that be ski poles? When they return six months later,
will they turn it into their home or sell it on?
We might live in it for a little while,
and then rent it. See what happens, really, won't we?
Yeah. Yeah. I think a good idea would be to live in it for a few years.
SONG: "Slip Slidin' Away" by Paul Simon
Well, whether it becomes their home or just an investment property,
in terms of the amount of work here, for the most part
it should be all downhill from here.
In the ever-changing world of property,
there is always something new to learn,
and we'll have more advice for you next time.
-So join us then for more Homes Under The Hammer.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Kent, a property on the Isle of Wight and a property in Ripon. All of these properties have been sold at auction; Martin and Lucy find out who bought them, and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.