Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Stoke-on-Trent, a house in Greater London and a property in Wales, and find out how much they sold for at auction.
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When you buy property, make sure you bought wisely.
It may be difficult to find, but you're looking for value for money.
One way to find that is at auction.
From flats to mansions, there's always something on offer at auction.
Here are the lots that made our buyers put their hands in their pockets.
'I might have found treasure at the bottom of this garden
Ooh, that's exciting.
'At this house in London, there's a kitchen with layout issues.'
If I wanted to get the potatoes out, then needed to get in the cupboard!
'Just outside Tonypandy in Mid Glamorgan, there's a lot that seems too good to be true.'
Great place to live or to rent out. No-brainer!
'These properties sold at auction.
'Find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.'
'Stoke-on-Trent is made up of six older towns
'which form a linear city 12 miles long.'
I'm in the Stoke-on-Trent suburb of Penkhull, a very popular place.
It's got schools, shops and a very fine view over the city.
'Penkhull was probably the earliest inhabited place
'in the area we know as the Potteries.
'The name derives from a Saxon word meaning "wood at the end of a hill."
'I don't think today's house will be quite that ancient.'
The property I'm here to see is on a popular residential street.
It's a mid-terrace Victorian house at a guide price of 60,000 quid.
We're quite close to the university. We're quite close to the hospital.
So you've got students and nurses. Rental possibility?
Let's take a look and find out.
'You'd be forgiven for thinking this doesn't look anything special,
'but you know what they say, never judge a book by its cover.'
Wo! Now, THAT's a surprise.
Stairs up to the bedrooms.
Then this massive great living room. Fantastic space!
Having the stairs open plan really gives a feeling of space.
Strange little corridor, then into a rear sitting room.
Again, really good size. Lots of clutter.
Previous owners' belongings.
But the house just goes on and on backwards.
This is the kitchen. It needs a lot of work but in terms of...
What's gone on with the roof?
In terms of the actual space, this is great!
# So I thought I'd get a little messy... #
'Well, great in terms of space, but not in terms of its condition.
'It looks as though someone started work.
'The hacked-off plaster suggests there might have been damp issues,
'but I'm encouraged by what I see.'
Given the space downstairs, you have great hopes upstairs.
Actually, it's a bit disappointing. There are only two bedrooms.
That said, front room extremely big. Second bedroom, a good size.
Down a corridor, then it starts to get strange.
Come down into the main bathroom. It's not a bad size.
There's lots of light. The suite clearly needs to be replaced.
Big space, and I think it's too big.
In fact, the whole of this upstairs, to my mind, is just wrong.
Two massive bedrooms, this bathroom which doesn't quite work.
I would take out all the dividing walls up here and reconfigure it.
I'd move this bathroom into the middle and make this a bedroom,
and that would make much better use of the space.
# More, more, more
# How do you like it? How do you like it?
# More, more, more
# How do you like it? How do you like it? #
'It's about catering to the market.
'This is a prime rental location.
'Renting each room separately means maximum return.
'More rooms equal more money. You just figure out how to do it.'
At the rear of the property, a real surprise!
An absolutely ginormous long garden!
So, what could you do with it?
At some point, there has been a garage here.
That's because there's access at the back. Fantastic.
Maybe put the garage back? If you rent this place out, the garden is maybe not brilliant.
As there's access, is there any chance you'd get planning permission for building another property here?
Ooh. That's exciting.
'That could be very sweet.
'No plans came with the plot and no other properties are built here.
'It doesn't mean it's a non-starter.
'A chat with the planning department could be worth it.
'What does a local property expert think about what's on offer?'
There's a lot of potential with this property.
It needs to, obviously, be completely renovated,
and the rooms need to be reorganised.
The garden has got great potential to put a garage in,
You may even get planning permission for another dwelling.
'So there is, perhaps, potential at the end of the garden.
'How much would the house alone fetch as a two or three-bedder?'
Once fully renovated,
from a sales point of view, for a two-bedroom property,
I would suggest an asking price of £105,000 to £110,000.
And a three-bedroom property, £110,000 to £115,000.
From a rental point of view,
as a two-bed property, you'd be looking at figures in the region of
£425 to £450 per calendar month.
As a three-bedroom property, you'd be looking at £475 to £500 per calendar month.
So there you go, here is a classic example
of why you must come and view properties before the auction.
From the outside, this place doesn't look much at all.
But you go through the door... Wow! What an amazing little house.
Who spotted it when it went under the hammer?
This is a spacious mid-terrace house in need of modernisation.
45, then. Start me at 45, please, for lot 28?
45? 45 I'm bid. Thank you. At £45,000. 50 can I say, now?
At 50, is it? 50. Thank you.
At £50,000. 55, can I say?
55 it is. At £55,000. 60 now?
At £60,000 on the phone to my left. 65.
70. 70,000 on the phone.
75. 80. 80,000. The bid's in the aisle. Are we all done?
New bidder. 81.
84 and a half.
Are you sure? I'm selling for the first time.
At £85,000 for the second time.
Third and final time at £85,000...
Your lot, sir. Well done.
'For £85,000, 25,000 over the guide price,
'the two-bed terrace in Penkhull was bought by Mike and Vicky.
'Vicky works as a nurse, while Mike's a landscape gardener.'
-Vicky, Mike. Congratulations.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this.
When we arrived, the feeling of open space, the view was just wonderful.
The off-road parking behind, in the garden, we thought that's a bonus.
It's really surprising. From the front, it doesn't look like much.
It's quite big, once you get inside and see the potential.
We were blown away.
'This is Mike and Vicky's first property venture.
'As both work full time,
'they hope to make it a family project with daughters Lucy and Amy lined up to lend a hand.'
What about the idea of property development?
What tempted you to do that?
I'm self-employed, so I was thinking that was something I could do in the winter.
I do garden maintenance and landscaping.
So you bought it in the spring!
Yeah! Should have been a few months earlier but that is the plan.
-What about you, Vicky?
-I'm a nurse two days a week.
Then I work with Mike for two days as well, outside in the gardens.
-Are you going to get involved in the renovation?
I'm not scared of getting my hands dirty.
What about your daughters? Are they excited?
Yes. We're encouraged cos they are really motivated.
'17-year-old Lucy and 13-year-old Amy think they know where they could be most useful.'
We'll work together because Mum and Dad haven't got much taste!
No style! It's awful!
'OK, style gurus, what's the plan for the interior?
'Wow me. Funky modern colours, feature walls, mirrors?'
We're going to keep it neutral because Mum and Dad are thinking about renting it.
You've got to accommodate everyone so we're not allowed to personalise it too much.
We want to add a bit of a twist.
-Yeah. A bit of character.
-Else it's a bit of an empty shell.
'But before any interior design or painting can take place,
'the house has to be brought back into shape.'
What are you going to do?
We're going to do it all up to let it.
So total decoration and new windows all through.
Front door, back door, new bathroom, new kitchen.
-What about the internal layout? Any ideas for that?
We're taking out the wall of the corridor from the lounge to the kitchen.
That will take one door of four out of the kitchen
and give more kitchen space.
I did think it could be three bedrooms.
You could move the bathroom into the middle. Any ideas for that?
We've just seen it as it is and thought, for rental, we'd keep it.
The expenditure bill's rising very quickly,
so maybe it might put the budget up too much.
-What kind of budget have you got?
-About £15,000, give or take.
'They might need every penny of that.
'There may be the opportunity to get some extra revenue.'
-The garden is quite extraordinary.
-It is! It's actually two gardens.
-They purchased the far end a number of years ago.
-That was another property.
-It was another property?
That's why it's such a long garden.
-The fact there was another property there means you could put another property back.
-I suppose so.
-It's a building plot.
-It would be small.
-Who cares? A building plot!
-Could be. Yeah.
-This is not something you considered but...?
-We didn't know till we read all the documents.
-The legal pack?
'Maybe there IS treasure to be unearthed at the bottom of the garden!'
# Can you dig it? Oh, yeah... #
Vicky and Mike have got themselves a great property.
It's lovely the whole family are involved,
although I think they really should consider creating an extra bedroom.
For me, the real joy is to discover there was a house previously at the end of the garden.
Which turns that into a potential building plot,
which also turns it into a pot of gold at the end of the garden.
Find out how they get on later in the show.
'Our next property is a split personality.
'It doesn't know if it's here or there.'
Downham is in Kent, but it's also classed as part of London.
Look at how close we are to the City.
That is Canary Wharf! Wow!
The property is just over here.
# Take back the city for yourself tonight... #
'It takes 25 minutes to get from Downham into central London by train
'from the mainline station at Grove Park.'
It's on this ex Local Authority estate, a mile from the station.
It's got three bedrooms. It's end of terrace.
It had a guide of £120,000 to £125,000.
I think the property looks pretty good and solid.
Of course, there's off-street parking, so very promising.
Let's go inside.
'Hedge obviously needs a trim!
'With off-road parking and double glazing in place,
'the house looks reasonably well maintained.'
I kind of expected this dated decor on the inside.
What this house does have is space.
It feels like a good solid family house.
I'm not sure about the flock ceiling wallpaper.
It always worries me. It may be hiding a multitude of sins there.
I'd get that down.
You've got two really good rooms.
There's a lot you could do. I can see a family enjoying this.
It just needs updating. It's a bit grubby. It needs a clean.
And it certainly needs a good paint job.
'So far, it's just cosmetic. Nothing a good makeover can't fix.
'Then there's the kitchen.'
Not impressed with this kitchen!
If you're an air-hostess, it could work. It's very long and narrow.
There's not much room. This is a three-bedroom family house!
I don't think you could get more than one person in here.
If I wanted to get the potatoes out, then needed to get in the cupboard.
There is just not enough room!
You could think about knocking through into the reception room.
Then you'd have the kitchen there
and the lounge would be far too small at the end there.
You could think about taking this side of the units out,
blocking up that door and having one row of units.
Or there's another solution.
You could extend out the back, but it's a small garden
and it would only make that kitchen longer.
Or extend to the side. The house across the road has done that.
A two-storey extension, so you gain a bedroom and a bigger kitchen.
But if you buy this as an investment, you must be careful
not to exceed the ceiling price of this area.
Adding an extension may not add up in the short term.
'If you buy to sell or rent, extensions don't make much sense.
'They cost too much time and money when you want to turn the property round quickly.
'If this is to be your home, an extension may be worth it.
'A two-storey one would increase the size of upstairs and downstairs.'
Upstairs, there are three bedrooms. You've got a small room,
enough to get a single bed in, two good sized doubles
and the family bathroom.
What I think is impressive is all the rooms are a good square shape.
You've got built-in storage.
It needs a bit of work, but upstairs is in pretty good nick.
'There's tidying-up to do here.
'The immersion tank should be boxed in or, ideally, moved.
'The decor needs sprucing up.
'Pink's fine, but not so attractive to a boy.
'A more neutral approach would be preferable.
'The bathroom, actually, is in pretty good shape.
'For rental, you might not need to change it.
'What does the local property expert think of this three-bed semi?'
A bit dated. The kitchen and bathroom a bit untidy.
Colour schemes are very tired now. Small garden.
Nice end of the road, quite a pretty tree-lined road. It's got good potential.
'If you fulfilled its potential, say, by extending,
'could that pay off for a house guided at £120,000 to £125,000?'
As a three-bedroom house, refurbished, you're looking in the region of £175,000 to £185,000.
As an extended four-bedroom, you're looking in the region of £200,000.
The rental demand here is pretty strong.
You're looking, if it was modernised to a reasonable standard,
in the region of £1,100 per calendar month.
If you made it four bedrooms, it could put it up to £1,200, £1,250.
'That would be a fantastic yield of over 10%.
'Rent or resale, there could be a really good return for relatively little effort.'
This property doesn't need that much work doing to it. The main issue is that tiny kitchen.
You could extend or just do it up quickly, put it back on the market, make a profit and move on.
If only property developing was always that easy!
Let's find out who bid for this at auction.
A freehold terrace house. All as catalogued. Where are you going to start?
Can I see 125,000 to start me?
120, then? 120 I've got. Thank you.
123? 123. 125?
125. 127? At £125,000.
Seven I'm looking for. 127.
And 30. And two? 132? 132.
And five? 135.
And seven? 137? £135,000 I've got.
137 I'm looking for.
£135,000 bid I have. Unless I get another one. For the first time.
£135,000 bid for the second time. Third and final time at £135,000...
Yours at 135, sir. And the number is A204.
'At just £10,000 over the top guide price, for £135,000,
'George is the new owner of this semi in Downham.
'With his father, Ernie, George joined me to explain what they plan to do with their purchase.'
-Why did you want to buy this house?
Well, we wanted an investment and hopefully this will be the one.
I've done it before and it's something I enjoy.
-Is this something that you've always done?
I had a company, which I sold on a couple of years ago.
Which has made me able to do this.
-Do you have spare time to do other stuff as well?
-Yeah. Enjoy meself!
-How do you enjoy yourself?
I spend a lot of time in Spain and thoroughly enjoy my early retirement.
'Based in England, George, his wife and daughter
'soak up the Spanish sun as much as they can.
'George knows he still needs an income so, with his dad, Ernie,
'he's looking at property development to achieve that.'
-Ernie, what is your involvement with this?
-I'm a retired electrician.
I also used to do what we call M&E, mechanical and electrical. Plumbing.
I can do everything except gas fitting.
And I'm not a bad carpenter. I've hung doors and that sort of thing.
And overseeing the building when George isn't around.
-How involved are you going to be?
I'll certainly do the organising of people,
whatever work needs doing that we have to get from outside.
Other than that, decorating
and most of the handiwork.
Yeah. I'll be doing that.
-Who will make sure the contractors turn up?
-You'll phone Dad. Dad will make sure...
It's a bit of a triangle.
-Yeah. But it worked last time.
When I'm here, it'll be all hands on deck and I'll crack on with it.
'It's all about finding a work-life balance.
'It seems that George, with Ernie's help, has got it sussed.
'But buying houses isn't a hobby. He needs to make it pay.'
What do you need to do to bring this up to scratch?
It needs a bit of work. It's mainly cosmetic. The kitchen is very small.
We intend to fit a new kitchen and remove the back door.
-And place patio doors in the other room.
-What budget have you got to spend in this property?
Well, doing the sums, we think between 7,500 to 10,000. Yeah.
-Have you set yourselves a time limit?
ERNIE CHUCKLES We're hoping eight weeks.
I want to get it done quickly so I can spend more time in Spain.
-Having a lovely time with your family!
-That's a really nice family way of life.
-Ernie, you get to stay with them.
-Exactly, thoroughly enjoy it.
It's been lovely meeting you and I hope it turns out really well.
Thank you very much.
'Before sangria and sunshine, there's painting and sanding!
'Then the race is on to get to those sun loungers.'
It's great that the whole family is involved in this project.
George says he's doing this so he can spend more time in Spain.
But he could end up spending more time in the UK renovating property.
Will it mean more paella for George, or will he get delayed in Downham?
Stay with us and find out what happens.
'Coming up, in Mid Glamorgan, is it me or are bedrooms getting smaller?'
Why not call this large cupboard a fourth bedroom(?)
'We return to Downham to see if George is missing the Spanish sun.'
I'm not ready to just live in Spain. I've got to have something to do.
'Back in Staffordshire, who won the battle of the styles?'
We've proved that Mum and Dad have got taste after all!
'Near the centre of Stoke-on-Trent in Penkhull,
'a deceptively spacious two-bed mid-terrace went up for auction.
'It needed a thorough renovation throughout.
'There were also layout issues,
'with odd corridors and a large bathroom but only two bedrooms.
'It came with a large overgrown garden, a potential building plot.
'For 85,000, it was bought by landscape gardener Mike and his wife Vicky, who's a nurse.
'The house was their first property development.'
# Can you dig it? Oh, yeah... #
What about the idea of property development? What tempted you to do that?
I'm self-employed so I was thinking that was something I could do in the winter.
-So you bought this in the spring!
-Yeah. Should have been a few months earlier, but that is the plan.
'So Mike had made it hard for himself,
'working on the house whilst being busy on his full-time job.
'But the hope was that this would be a family effort,
'with daughters Amy and Lucy helping on the interior design.'
We'll work together, cos Mum and Dad haven't really got much taste.
No style at all. It's awful.
'Mike and Vicky were to do the donkey work,
'whilst Amy and Lucy added style.
'Nearly eight months later, had it all gone to plan?
'The outside looks fantastic, with a new bay window
'and double glazing throughout, a new door and fresh paintwork.'
It's been a lot of hard work and... in an ideal world,
we wouldn't have bought it when we did. We'd buy it now.
'But with help from Vicky's sister, all their hard work has paid off,
'as they transformed this house.
'Not only has it got that new bay window,
'but there are now new patio doors leading into the garden.
'There's also been an alteration in the layout.'
We've taken out the internal wall that was in the dining room.
Then blocked off under the stairs
'That created cupboard space
'and reduced the number of doors leading off the kitchen,
'allowing this area to be redesigned.'
The kitchen was a huge job. It was just to take everything out.
We took the ceiling down, plaster off the walls, put a damp course in.
'The kitchen has been completely transformed.
'That dingy falling down area is now bright and modern.
'The front bedroom has been redecorated
'but remains structurally unchanged,
'whereas they rejigged the layout in the other rooms.'
This was the original bathroom.
It was quite lost, so we've turned this into a second bedroom.
Then, moving on, this is now the third bedroom, a single bedroom.
Then the internal bathroom is here and it worked really well.
All the plumbing was quite simple and it's quite effective.
'Splitting that room is a great idea.
'Making this a three-bed house turns it into a family home.
'And what does one of those need? A good garden.
'With Mike's landscaping skills, it's certainly got that now.'
The garden, if you can remember, was in a terrible state.
The soil was up the wall, so a lot of soil has been removed.
That gave me a good opportunity to do my landscaping skills.
We put sleepers in here.
It's blended in quite nicely.
It's an old property so the railway sleepers blend in well.
'They seem to have fulfilled the potential
'and transformed the outside space.
'But there was also the potential of a building plot at the far end.'
We've put all of our energies into the house and the garden.
Now we can think more about what we do with the top of the garden.
'So, for the time being, it remains useful off-street parking.
'Something for another day. Maybe a reward for the hard work.'
'Lucy and Amy were really keen.'
When we started clearing out the house, they loved it.
They were moving all the rubbish.
When it came to the heavy work, I couldn't expect them to help then.
They sat back a bit.
They enjoyed seeing it coming on and at various points
they've come over and seen the plastering and the carpets down.
Just entering into the whole excitement of it.
'How do they think their no-style parents have done?'
-They've done pretty well, actually.
-We've helped along the way.
-We've given them advice.
They've seen the project come along and they like what we've done,
the choice of carpets, tiles, kitchen.
I put me foot down on the kitchen.
They chose a...ooh, horrible thing.
It's all been, "Wow!" Perhaps we've proved that Mum and Dad have got taste after all!
-Don't think so!
'Well, there may be a difference of opinion on style and taste,
'but it's a balance between not over-personalising
'and getting a good finish at reasonable cost.
'If you're renting it out, you're not turning it into the Ritz.'
# If you're blue And you don't know
# Where to go to Why don't you go
# Where fashion sits
# Putting on the Ritz... #
The budget, we have gone over. We'd allowed 15,000.
We'd got an extra 5,000 as a back-up plan,
but we've gone through that as well.
I think, up to press, we stand at about £23,000.
'The £23,000 budget on top of the £85,000 purchase price
'plus costs and fees, makes their total outlay £110,000.
'Is Mike and Vicky's property sideline going to bear fruit?
'What do two local property experts think?'
I think they've done a great job. Nice clean lines throughout.
Neutral colours, great kitchen, good bathroom. Very good job.
Quality of work is very good. The fireplaces, kitchen, bathroom
and the garden should make it very easy to sell.
'Mike and Vicky would prefer to rent the house out.
'How would their £110,000 investment fare if they put it up for sale?'
I would put this property on the market for 123,000, looking to achieve 120,000.
I would put it on the market in the region of 120,000 to 125,000.
-That's pretty much what we were expecting.
-That sounds pretty good.
'At present, there isn't a massive mark-up, perhaps 10,000.
'Long-term, with a building plot to sell on,
'it should be a sound investment and rental values are more important.'
This property should realise between £500 and £525 per calendar month.
From a rental point of view, I would expect £525 per calendar month.
That's what we expected. Yeah.
We'll rent it for a number of years then see how the market's going.
But we're quite happy to rent it.
'£525 per month rental should mean the house is at tick-over value
'and able to financially look after itself.
'Perhaps that would allow the family to do another property.'
I really enjoyed it. We'd do it again.
-Not just yet.
-No. Give it 12 months.
-We may be raring to go then.
-12 months' time. Work on it through winter.
-That'd be the ideal time.
# ..The seasons turn, turn, turn
# And a time to every purpose... #
'They made it hard work for themselves,
'but they still did a great job.
'After they've done a few more,
'they'll be seasoned property developers.'
Today, I'm in Tonypandy,
in the former coal mining Mecca of the Rhondda Valley in south Wales.
It's not a centre for colliers now. Most people go to Cardiff to work.
But there's a great train link, so what more could you want?
# ..Gonna get myself Gonna get myself connected... #
'The coal industry first drew people here.
'Now it appeals to commuters who work in Cardiff but don't want to live there.'
A short distance from Tonypandy is Williamstown.
Not much here apart from a few shops and a hospital,
with the potential to rent to doctors and nurses.
The property, well, this is it.
Three-bed detached house.
Had a guide price of 59,000 quid. Looks a bit shabby. Let's take a look inside.
For 59,000 quid, you're probably not expecting much.
You know what? You're in for a very pleasant surprise.
In through the front door, then a big open-plan living area.
Big living room area here, then a dining area at the back,
which is quite sensibly adjoining the kitchen.
What a very, very sensible layout!
It could do with freshening up, but I reckon, a bit of spit and polish,
you'd sort it out in five minutes.
Great start! Great start!
# ..Take it easy
# For there is nothing that we can do... #
'With detergent and a bit of elbow grease, and at very little cost,
'you could sort the downstairs.'
Upstairs, let's start with the good news - the bathroom!
A decent size. Doesn't have a shower but you could put one in.
It starts to go wrong when it comes to the bedrooms.
There are three, it is true. One at the back, a reasonable sized double.
One towards the front, bordering on a single, I would say.
Then this, your classic box room.
You could just about get maybe a kid's bed in there.
Really, to call this a bedroom? Bit sneaky.
Why not call this large cupboard the fourth bedroom, for goodness' sake!
# Livin' in a cardboard box Livin' in a box! #
Apart from the "third bedroom" being a box room,
there's a serviceable bathroom suite, so it could be turned around fast.
I mentioned good commuter links to Cardiff.
Unfortunately, one of the main roads is at the rear of the property.
The house has got double glazing so inside it should be quite quiet.
-The garden, not ideal.
The garden I don't think has been done from when the house was built.
It's not a bad size space so, apart from the noise, nice to have.
'The garden is the most neglected part of the property.
'It could be improved enormously by replacing fencing,
'mowing the lawn and laying a patio area.
'The road, if you want to rent this out,
'that wouldn't be an issue but it might put off buyers.
'What does a local estate agent make of this house?'
I was pleasantly surprised seeing the condition of the property.
The kitchen could do with tidying up.
And the garden needs work.
On the whole, the property's in good condition.
'Sometimes, buying properties in good condition isn't a great idea because it can be hard to add value.
'So is this house, with a £59,000 guide price, such a property?'
In its current state, you're looking in the region
of around £120,000.
Once it's been renovated, I would expect to market the property for around 130,000.
'That's amazing! £60,000 to £70,000 above the guide price for not much work.
'How could it do as a rental property?'
The rental market is quite good in this area.
You're looking in the region of around £500 to £550 per calendar month.
'This ordinary looking house could yield some extraordinary returns.'
It goes to show, £59,000 can buy you a lot of house.
Not much to do to sort this one out. Great place to live or to rent out.
No-brainer. Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.
On to the modernised detached house with three bedrooms and gas central heating in the Rhondda.
I'll take 58 to start me. 58.
60 on the phone. Thank you.
You coming in, too, sir? At £60,000 and one if you like.
One, thank you. 61 I'm bid. Two if you like.
At 61 down here. Two, can I? Is he coming on the phone?
Yes or no? 62, thank you.
At 62, and three is it, down here? At 62... Three, I've seen you.
63 seated. He's out on the phone.
Ask him to bid quickly, please. 64 I'm bid on the phone. 64.
Five if you like. Five is bid.
At 65,000 seated. 65. Make it six.
66 on the phone.
At 66. Don't get driven out, sir.
At 66. Try another one quickly. At £66,000 on the telephone.
It's a cheap property at that. Seven.
At 67. You're both weakening. Quick if you want it on the phone.
68. 68's on the telephone. I thought you were going to get it.
At 68,000. And nine will you now? Is that a bid? Nine, thank you.
70 I'm bid on the telephone. At 70. One, can I?
One is it? 71 here. At 71,000. They're out on the phone.
At 71,000. Make it two, surely?
All right, I'll take the half there.
At 71 and a half. Two for you, sir? Drive them out!
72. Thank you. That's the way!
At 72,000. I told you to go the full one!
At 72,000. Now it's costing them more.
Are you coming again? You're out on the phone.
Down here's the buyer. Thank you, sir. Buyer number 10.
'For £13,000 over the guide price, but still a reasonable £72,000,
'local couple Mark and Tanya bought this detached three-bed house in Williamstown.
'This was just the start of what they hope will be a new venture.'
# ..You wanna be starting something You gotta be starting something... #
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this.
The main thing about it was, the way interests are in the bank,
money not making a thing.
We've got family involved in property and they advised us to look at investing in property.
Which is why we've bought this.
Is this the first one you've bought?
This WAS the first one we bought.
-Since then, we've bought other properties.
How long ago did you buy this?
-Er, four weeks.
-In the last four weeks, you bought five properties?
'Mark's an engineer, and it seems he and Tanya don't do things by halves.
'They were advised to invest in property, and boy have they done it!
'They funded their purchasing spree with a mixture of earnings and savings.'
-What kind of things have you bought?
-Three-bedroomed, quite close by.
The same mid-terrace in Abercynon.
-We bought these two properties here.
We bought next door as well. LAUGHTER
Any more houses on the street that we don't know about?
And we've bought a development site, an old school, to demolish and put new houses on.
-In four weeks?
-So that's going to keep us busy!
-No kidding? So what experience have you got in property development?
-None at all?
-None whatsoever. No.
'They may appear a bit green, but they have family members who are developers, builders and decorators.
'So they will rely heavily on them.
'Work will be project managed by Tanya's brother, an experienced developer.
'In essence, their job is to provide direction, but mainly the funding.'
So, Tanya, why this house?
There's not an awful lot to do in it.
-It's a quick turnaround.
-New kitchen, bathroom.
-Basically, smarten it up.
-What sort of budget have you got?
-We'd like to keep it within 15,000.
Do you wake up and sort of go, "What?"
In slight disbelief in what has happened?
-Don't have time to.
-Not in the mornings. Usually in the evenings.
"Oh, my God!"
-Are you enjoying it?
# Don't stop me now Cos I'm having a good time
# Don't stop me now Yes, I'm having a good time
# I don't want to stop at all... #
Like the road behind, Tanya and Mark are entering the fast lane of property development.
I am a bit concerned about the speed with which they're doing it.
Have they got too many eggs in the property basket? Find out later in the show.
The clock's been ticking and work should be well under way.
-Have those piles of bricks and bags of cement gone? Is the paint dry?
-Let's find out.
'Back in Downham, not far from the City of London,
'a promising three-bed terrace property was bought for £135,000 by George.
'With his father, Ernie, he planned to do a quick refurbishment,
'then sell the house on so that he could continue his leisurely lifestyle.'
-Do you have spare time to do other stuff?
-Yeah. Enjoy meself.
-How do you enjoy yourself?
-I spend a lot of time in Spain.
Yeah, I thoroughly enjoy my early retirement.
'George owned a road-marking business but sold it a few years ago.
'Now the family divide their time between the UK and Spain.
'In order to fund the family's time in the Spanish sun, he needs his purchases to pay their way.
'Two months later, we're back to see if this one has done that.
'The front has been spruced up, as has the back patio area.
'There's been a bit of musical doors,
'with the kitchen door blocked up and patio doors put in.
'The laminate floors have given way to carpet
'and there's fresh decor throughout.
'The kitchen hasn't been enlarged, but it's bright and updated.'
With the kitchen, even though it was quite small,
we decided not to knock through to the other room.
We took all the units out, removed the door,
and we changed...
Obviously, put new lighter units in,
a nice bright cooker and hood.
We believe it turned out very well.
'Downstairs is ready to go. What about upstairs?
'It's been a case of giving a more uniform look to all three bedrooms.
'The orientation of the bath has been changed, along with the suite,
'so George has been busy.'
The role I've played is, I've, basically, put me hand to everything that's been doing.
And also a supervisory role.
My wife, again, she's got her hands dirty and done very well.
So has my daughter, Becky.
Sandra has been watching the pennies and I've been spending them.
'The other key family member on this project was George's father, Ernie.'
He was an electrical engineer when he worked.
So, yes, lots of advice and he's been ever so good with helping out.
There's not been a cross word and it's been enjoyable.
We've had a great time. Looking forward to the next project.
'George seems to have relished doing the work on this house.
'Surely, he'd rather have been relaxing by the pool in Spain?'
When I initially went to Spain,
I thought I'd be more comfortable than I am.
But now it's actually a reality, it's...
I couldn't point a finger at what I'm missing,
but I'm not ready to just live in Spain.
I've got to have something to do.
'It's not just something to do. George also needs some income.
'So he has to make his purchases work hard for him,
'bringing in a decent return.'
We've done very well with the budget. A shade under 9,000 we've spent.
Which is good but, again, my wife's got an eye for a bargain!
She's done well and looked around,
and we found some lovely things at very good prices.
'He paid 135,000 at auction and had a £9,000 budget.
'That takes his outlay, along with costs and fees, to nearly £150,000.
'So, will it be paella and sangria or fish and chips on the menu?
'What do two local estate agents think?'
It's changed a lot. It's much more practical now.
The door being lost from the kitchen, it's much more useable.
If I'm brutally honest, I'm a little disappointed
there's no tiles in the kitchen or bathroom
to give it that bit extra finish.
The property's been done to a very good standard.
It's got a contemporary feel and it will appeal to a good range within the market.
'In an ideal world, George would sell this property and move on.
'In a slow-moving market, he may have to rent it out.'
For rental, I'd expect it to achieve £1,000 to £1,100 per calendar month.
You're looking between £950 and £1,000 per calendar month rental.
That's what I expected on a rental value,
but we're probably favouring to sell.
'So, could a quick resale bring in a decent return, bearing in mind
'that George spent close to 150,000 bringing this house up to date?'
I would put it on the market in the region of £200,000.
Putting the property up for sale on the open market, it would fetch between £200,000 and £205,000.
'A potential £50,000 pre-tax profit for just over eight weeks of effort. Nice work if you can get it!'
205 would be very nice! Thank you very much.
'This has turned out really well for George.
'Rent or sell, there's a more than decent financial return.
'So, is the plan to continue mixing work, rest and play?'
Yeah. In the future, I'd like to come back,
just do a project for a few weeks, and then go back to Spain...
LAUGHING: ..top up me tan!
# I'm gonna soak up the sun I'm gonna tell everyone... #
'I'm sure once he's topped up his tan,
'he'll be back over here to do more property developing in the future.'
'With Cardiff booming in recent years,
'there's been a knock-on effect on outlying towns and villages.
'Places once dominated by the coal industry are commuter belt areas.
'One such place is Williamstown, just outside Tonypandy,
'where a three-bed detached house went up for auction.
'I say three-bed, but the third bedroom
'was not much more than a box room.
'However, it was in pretty good order.
'Local couple Mark and Tanya snapped it up for £72,000
'as part of what was becoming a property spending spree.'
Is this the first one you've bought?
This WAS the first one we bought.
-Since then, we've bought other properties.
How long ago did you buy this, roughly?
-In the last four weeks, you've bought five properties?
# Can't help myself... #
'Five properties in four weeks! That's going some!
'Mark's an engineer and neither he nor Tanya had developing experience.
'On the face of it, buying property like it was going out of fashion seemed a bit rash.
'But they had family members in the building trade,
'and Tanya's brother's an experienced developer.
'They were able to act predominantly as investors, and relax while the work was being done.
'Two months later, we're back to see if it has been that straightforward.
'At the front, the uncared-for look is now gone.
'With the ramshackle fence removed, there's off-street parking.'
# ..Take it easy
# For there is nothing that we can do... #
'Inside, fitting carpets has helped the flow of the rooms.
'How much involvement did Mike and Tanya have?'
We didn't seem to do a lot.
When I say we didn't seem to do a lot,
the ground work and the professional work, we had contractors in.
We had our brother-in-law, who property managed it.
He did a lot of the running around.
'They may not have carried out the work,
'but there have been significant changes, especially in the kitchen.
'Upstairs, there have been no layout alterations.
'It's been a case of tidying up, skimming a few ceilings
'and giving them a lick of paint.
'The bathroom has undergone the greatest transformation.
'Outside, the garden has been sorted out, creating a more useable space.'
# ..Relax, take it easy... #
When we bought the property, it was all overgrown,
lots of rubbish we had to clear away.
We've laid the patio and the lawn,
put a shingle path and a nice edging.
We've also renewed the fencing.
We've tried to keep it as maintenance-free as possible.
'This place is ready to rent or, ideally, sell.
'It's one of their portfolio,
'which includes a youth club and the house next door to this one.
'How's progress on their other purchases?'
One of them, we're just renting it out now.
The youth club property, we had to wait for reports,
so we were held up on that.
And there's another two properties being worked on at the moment.
'The work on these properties may be done by Tanya's brother,
'but they're the ones providing the money.
'Clearly, it's a costly time for them.'
We honestly thought it was going to be between eight and 12.
We've actually spent 13 and a half
but, all in all, I think we've spent well.
'£13,500 spent on top of the £72,000 purchase price
'with costs, will take their outlay to around £90,000.
'Has this, their first investment, got them off to a good start?'
The finish is pretty good. A good quality kitchen.
A pretty basic bathroom,
but suitable for the purpose of selling or renting the property.
It's a great standard.
They've put the work and money in. It'll help sell the property well.
'Favourable comments but, for Mark and Tanya,
'this is very much an investment and they need to see some return on their £90,000.'
I would recommend putting it on the market for £140,000.
I would put it on the market at 135,000,
to look at offers for £130,000.
-Pleased with that. Yeah, nice turnaround.
'No wonder they're pleased!
'That could be a £40,000 or £50,000 pre-tax profit. How would it fare as a rental?'
I would expect to achieve around about £500 per calendar month.
-Very good. Pleased.
'£6,000 a year return on a £90,000 investment is a yield of just under 7%.
'If they did have to rent it out, it should pay its way.
'How do they feel about their new venture?'
We seem to have come out of it OK, so it's quite pleasing.
If we sell it, it'll be good money we get!
Join us next time, for more brave buyers trying to make a killing or just finding somewhere to live.
Looking forward to seeing you then. Goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Stoke-on-Trent, a house in Greater London and a property in Wales. 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.