Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Derby, a property in Gravesend, and a picturesque cottage in Dorset, and find out how much they sold for at auction.
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Hello. Whether you're a seasoned property developer or a first-timer,
-you want to make sure you get value for money.
-That can be difficult in a fluctuating property market,
and that's why more and more people are decided to buy at auction.
Sometimes you know you've bought a bargain and sometimes you're not so sure.
But the only way to find out is to test the market.
Here's what today's buyers bought.
'In Derby, I've spotted a perfect sledgehammer opportunity.'
Take out this wall, create yourself a really nice kitchen/dining room area.
'This property in Gravesend, Kent, is crying out for a modern touch.'
It needs a whole new fresh update.
'And I'm at this picturesque cottage in Dorset.
'But is the inside as idyllic as the outside?
'All these properties have been sold at auction.
'We find out who bought them and for how much when they went under the hammer.'
'This is Derby in the East Midlands.
'As a centre for the industrial revolution in the 18th century,
'this city had one of the first factories in Britain and the first public park.
'It's now a university city and development continues today
'with the construction of a huge new shopping centre.
'There are further plans for a new bus station and apartments on the riverside.'
So, two miles from Derby City Centre and just a mile from the university
is the property I'm here to see.
Good start. Rental potential, possibly.
It's a three-bed semi. Had a guide price of 115,000 quid.
In need of a bit of updating. Looks all right from the outside.
# Hey, good looking
# Hey, good looking
'It looks like a typical solidly-built 1930s semi from the outside
'with the added benefit of most of the windows being already double-glazed.'
So, through the front door, what have we go? Fairly nice hallway.
I like the tiles on the floor. Stairs up to your bedrooms.
A front reception room there. Gas fire. I'd like to see that opened up to create a nice-feeling place.
A rear reception room there. We'll come to that in a minute, because I think that has scope.
Where the property immediately starts to go horribly wrong is in the kitchen. It's very small,
it's extremely dated, so rather than just replace this with alternative units,
there isn't a lot of space to do that, why not do something a bit more serious?
A couple of days with a sledgehammer and somebody who knows what they're doing,
take out this wall, create yourself a really nice kitchen/dining room area.
That would create a family area for this house and it's what it needs. Let's take a look upstairs.
# I wanna be
# Your sledgehammer
# Why don't you call my name?
So, upstairs, no great surprises, apart from the bathroom.
It's actually a really good size. At the moment, there's just a bath, a basin and a loo.
I think there's space for a free-standing shower unit, which would be not too expensive
but a real bonus to have. Good-size double there.
A box room here. And a third bedroom sort of a cross between the two.
All in all, a lot of accommodation for the money,
lots of light coming in through the windows, it's a nice house.
'So far, so good. There's really no major work to be done here.
'You could get away with just a cosmetic upgrade,
'a new kitchen, bathroom and redecoration.
'But I think this three-bed house has more to offer than meets the eye.'
At the rear of the property, a lovely find, a really nice garden.
It's tiered, it's got some lovely shrubs, mature bushes, good to see.
Also at the back here, I think, some opportunity.
At the moment, there's this little porch area
and a fairly shabby exterior toilet.
Knock those down, replace them with a slightly larger extension.
On a semi-detached like this, you can come out three metres without getting planning permission.
That's definitely worth doing. In terms of two-storey, I think that would add too much to the price.
But single-storey on there, sort out the garden a little bit and you've got yourself a lovely house.
'You could also do some work on the front.'
One improvement you might consider doing is to put on off-street parking in the front here.
You'd have to lower the kerb, apply to the council to do that, take down this wall.
It's going to be a process that's going to take you about 12 weeks.
As long as you put down a porous driveway, you don't have to have planning permission. Is it worth it?
Sounds like a lot of effort to me, but it can add quite a lot of value and saleability to the property.
'Lots of positives and loads of scope here, then.
'But what will potential buyers make of the place?
'I asked the auctioneer who sold it for his opinion.'
I think there are two main issues with this house in terms of
making the best out of it. Firstly, you have to get off-road parking,
and a lot of people have converted their front gardens into forecourts for that purpose.
I don't think you'd get more than one car on, but one is better than nothing.
The other thing is, it needs some sort of extension at the back.
There isn't sufficient space to go sideways.
Many of these properties have been extended to the back,
but I think, logically, you'd probably only do a single-storey extension,
which means the upstairs accommodation stays as it is.
'In rental terms, what could be achieved here?'
If you were upgrading the house to let it out as a single unit,
it would have a rental of about £600 per calendar month.
If you rented it out to students, you would get £55 per week per room,
probably not over a full 12-month period.
It might be a retainer basis over the summer.
And I suppose you could probably rent out four rooms here.
'So, as a student let, you'd earn around £880 per calendar month
'if you rented out the front reception room as a bedroom.
'But what about its resale value,
'bearing in mind its guide price at auction was £115,000?'
I think, if you refurbish the house as it stands now,
you could probably push its value up to about £165,000,
but you'd have to do the job really properly to achieve that.
With a single-storey extension on the back to enlarge the rear living room and the kitchen,
which would be very sensible but quite pricey, unless you could do it at cost,
you could probably push it up to about £180,000.
So, all in all, a pretty solid little house.
Yeah, there's improvements I'd make, but I reckon you could just tart this place up and rent it out.
Let's go to the auction and see who bought it.
Lot 78. Start me at 115.
115. Thank you, £115,000.
116 somewhere? 116.
116, thank you. 117.
21 I've got. 122.
23. 123. 124.
125. 126 in the corner.
127 in front of me. 128.
129. 130. 131 on the right.
Either of you? 133. 133. Bids are yours.
134 in front of me. 135.
136 I've got. 137.
141. 142. 500.
Twice. Third time. Sold at 148.
'That final bid of £148,000, £33,000 over the guide price, was made by Doug.
'He and his wife Jo have bought the house together.
'Jo is originally from Ireland and is a retired care worker,
'while Doug used to own and run a large dairy farm.
'So why are this couple buying a semi in the suburbs of Derby?
'After all, there's not much room in the garden for livestock.
'I met them back at their purchase to find out more.'
Doug, Jo, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations. Nice little place.
-Yes, we think so.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
Erm, well, we buy a lot of properties to rent out, really,
around this area especially, and we usually let them to students
and, of course, the university is only up the road
and the town centre is only down the road, really.
-So why this particular property?
-Well, it looked a good investment
and we thought we'd go for it and do it up and sell it.
And then we thought, the market doesn't seem to be moving much,
so maybe we'll let it out to professionals, go down a different route with this one.
And I would love to get a professional person in
that will look after this lovely little garden.
How did you get into property developing?
Well, when I was full-time farming, I decided to pack most of it in
-and invest in the houses.
-So no more early mornings.
-No, no. No more five o'clocks.
-Why did you choose to go into property?
-We thought it was a good thing at the time, good investments
-and they have turned out to be.
-How are you going to sort the place out?
We're going to... Because the kitchen is quite narrow,
we're going to knock it all through and make it into a sort of dining/kitchen.
And the bathroom is quite a good size and we're going to turn that into a bedroom.
And one of the bedrooms is more like a little study
-and we're going to make that into the bathroom.
'So, great ideas which should maximise the space in the property as it is.
'That should attract that kind of professional tenants they're after, but that's not all.
'Although they don't intend to create off-street parking at the front,
'they've got plans for around the back.'
-So what about an extension?
-Yes, that's what we are doing.
Out to where the old toilet is.
And make it into a bigger kitchen.
'The couple expect to spend around £15,000 and be finished in three months.
'That doesn't sound a lot for a full refurbishment and an extension,
'but they have a handy helper on board.'
My son, Paul, will do the work, because he's a builder anyway
and he's got a good team that works with him.
He does all our maintenance with our student houses.
-Congratulations, good luck with it, and we look forward to seeing how you get on.
-BOTH: Thank you.
Well, handy having a builder in the family who can do the work,
but a bit of a departure from the norm of letting out to students for Doug and Jo.
And will they end up renting it out or selling it on?
You can find out later in the show.
'I'm in the town of Gravesend in Kent.
'Set on the banks of the Thames, it's within easy commuting distance to London.
'It's home to the world's oldest cast-iron pier
'and is also the last resting place of the legendary Pocahontas.
'She was the daughter of a Native American chief
'who was the first such person to visit England.'
Gravesend is the closest major town to Ebbsfleet International Train Station
which is just two and a half miles away, so you can now get from here to London in around 20 minutes.
Or you could opt to travel on to Paris instead.
Regardone a la propriete, or let's go and look at the property.
'Unfortunately, the approach road isn't the most attractive.
'It's all garages and graffiti. But don't let that put you off this place.'
Once you're actually inside this cul-de-sac, well, it's not bad at all.
I'm here to see this purpose-built flat.
It's on the ground floor, it's got two bedrooms and it had a guide price of £55,000 to £60,000.
Let's get a good old look around inside.
'This property comes with a nice little garden round the back,
'complete with a little shed. But what's it like inside?'
OK, look beyond the dated decor, look beyond the electric heater
and look at this lovely wide hallway.
First impressions to me, this is good, I really like it.
It offers loads of space. You've got a really good size double bedroom to the front
and through here is the sitting room. This is a great size.
You've got to remember, as well, this flat was built in the 60s
so there are no beautiful architectural features,
but what you do have is lovely, big, square rooms.
I think, once you've thought about the cost of the heating and the general upgrading the flat needs,
you've got yourself a good little property here, and if you get it anywhere near the guide price
of £55,000 to £60,000, it could be a bit of a winner.
'The bathroom is at the back, as is the second bedroom.
'They need modernising, but at least they're not bad sizes.'
So here's the little kitchen, tucked at the back of the property.
A back door leading out to a pretty garden.
If this were my flat, I don't think I would want to change that much.
The layout's pretty good, although I would strip this place back to the bare bone.
As you can see, it's incredibly dated, you've got strip lighting, it needs a whole new, fresh update.
But then you'd have a really nice, spacious two-bedroom flat here.
'So far, this property's ticking all the boxes
'and its guide price of £55,000 to £60,000 makes it even more appealing.
'But it's not all good news.'
Now, one major issue with this property is that it only has a short lease.
There's only 49 years left remaining.
So this means that the flat is unmortgageable at the moment.
However, once you've owned it for two years,
you can apply to the freeholder to extend the leasehold.
Of course, there will be a charge for this, and generally speaking,
the shorter the lease left, the more it will cost.
And the greater the market value of the property, the larger the fee.
But a new longer lease will increase the value of this flat
and it will make it much easier to sell on.
So, in my opinion, it's worth doing.
# Waits for no-one
# If you wait too long
# You could turn around and I'll be gone, gone, gone
'So the purchaser of this flat will need to keep that in mind when budgeting,
'not only for the renovation work, but also for that extension.
'What does a local property expert make of this place?
-'We asked one along to tell us.'
-# Time, time, time
It would benefit from... I'd say to take down all the wallpaper,
redo the floor, kitchen, bathroom, tidy up and it'll be perfect.
'How could the 49-year lease affect the property's new owner?'
It would always be beneficial to look into that before you make your purchase,
because you might incur large legal bills if you've made your purchase and then look at extending the lease
and, at the same time, there's a cost involved with extending the lease.
'That cost could be anywhere between £5,000 and £15,000.
'With this in mind, how much does she think this ground-floor flat could sell for?'
Once the property's renovated and the lease is extended,
I would expect to achieve around the £125,000 mark.
'What if the purchaser decided to rent it out?'
This property would rent very easily and I would expect to achieve around £600 per calendar month.
This flat needs a cosmetic overhaul, but that's pretty much all you can do with it.
I wouldn't start knocking walls down. And, don't forget, there's also the issue with the short lease.
So were the bidders put off or did they buy? Let's find out when we head to auction.
Onto lot 141. Where do you want to bid me?
Start me at 60. 60. And 2. 62.
62. And 4.
66 at the back. 68.
It's against all of you in the front. 68, it's with you. 70 I have. And 2
72. I've got. And 4. 74 at the back.
76 at the back. 77.
And 8 at the back. 8 I have.
79. And 80.
80 I've got. 81 against you at the back.
82. 83 in a fresh place on my right.
84 now. At 84.
-Well, I've got 84 from you, madam, at the back.
You were just ahead. 84. 85.
It's against all of you now. 86 I've got.
88, it's against you at the back. At 88.
For the first time at £86,000.
For the second time at 86. Are you coming back one more time?
For the third and final time, if you're sure you're all done.
There we are, 88,000 in a brand new place on the left.
90. This was a popular lot, wasn't it? Are you going to go for 90?
90, get there first. 90 I've got. And 2. 92.
92. And 4. 94.
You've got 96. And 7.
97. You can't say no now.
One more, 97,000. 97.
One more go and you might get it. Go on, 97.
I can't work without you. Well done. 97 I've got.
And 8. 98.
He's shaking his head, there you go, I've done you a favour. At £97,000 for the first time.
97,000 for the second. Third and final time, if all of you are done.
-Third and final time.
-It's your at £97,000.
'That final excited bid of 97,000 came from Kevin,
'who let his son Chris do the bidding.
'Kevin and his brother Andrew have been property developers for over 20 years now.
'In fact, we first met them on the programme in 2004.
'Now, six years on, we've caught up with the brothers at their latest purchase to find out their plans.'
Guys, lovely to see you again. I'm glad to see you've weathered the storm of the property market
-and you're still out there buying.
-We're still in, holding on.
-What were you doing at the auction? Obviously buying this.
-I went with my son.
-He was bidding!
Got a bit carried away and paid a bit more than I should've done,
-but we're pleased with it.
-I wasn't there to keep an eye on him.
Wait a minute. You went along, you didn't go, you took your son.
-You let him bid far too much for the property.
-He got carried away.
-Was it him that got carried away or you?
-No, it was him.
-But I've got to pay the consequences.
-How much had you set in your minds to pay for the property?
We initially said about 90 top.
But we just went that little bit more.
'The success of this developing duo,
'who have around 18 rental properties in their portfolio,
'seems to be down to good teamwork.
'Kevin manages the finances whilst it looks like Andrew may have drawn the short straw.'
-Who does the actual properties up?
-So you do all the hard graft.
-About 90 percent of it.
-Does that annoy you?
-No. Well, I'm the better one at it.
-I can't do anything.
He'll strip the wallpaper and I'll do the rest.
So what are you going to do with this flat?
Pretty much the usual. We're going to strip it all out,
replaster all the ceilings, all the walls,
put in extra sockets where need be, cos there's only a limited amount,
-new kitchen, new bathroom, and it should look really nice.
-And central heating.
-Oh, yeah, and central heating.
-What are you going to do to really make it stand out?
Because you don't have any hidden little features, do you? It's got that 60s feel to it.
We'll just try and make the kitchen as nice as we can, the bathroom as nice as we can and...
-Make it look more modern.
-What's your timescale? How long will it take to get this place sorted?
We should be able to do it in about six weeks, hopefully.
Yeah, from start to finish, about six weeks.
'They have an estimated budget of around £4,000 to £5,000 for the work.
'Kevin thinks it will cost another £9,000 to extend that 49-year lease.
'But remember, they'll have to wait two years before they can actually do this.'
Guys, good luck. Let's hope it's not another six years before I see you again.
-Well done. Thanks.
It's good to know Kevin and Andrew have managed to weather the property storms of the last few years
and that their brotherly partnership is still going strong.
Although I do think they might have paid top dollar for this flat,
so they will really need to watch their budget when they renovate.
You can find out how they get on later in the programme.
'Coming up, I'm in my element at this cottage in Dorset.'
It's higgledy-piggledy, it's quirky, it's got so much character.
'Back in Gravesend, not everything's been going to plan.'
We had the carpet fitter laying all the carpets and just as he was about to finish,
he'd gone through one of the central heating pipes.
'But first, in Derby, Jo's builder gets high praise.'
We're always very pleased with his work. That might sound biased, cos he's my son.
'We return to Derby now, where this three-bed semi sold at auction for £148,000.
'It was bought by Jo and Doug, who are spending their retirement investing in property.
'That's certainly a world away from Doug's previous life as a dairy farmer.
'They often rent their properties out to students, but they had different ideas this time around.'
I would love to get a professional person in who will look after this lovely little garden.
'When we last met them, it was in the height of summer.
'Now, five months later, the garden may not be in full bloom,
'but has the interior of the house blossomed?
'We caught up with them to find out.'
# The sun and rain
# Fell from up above
# And landed on the earth below
# In my garden of love
'As you can see, the living room has been transformed
'into a modern, bright living space
'with brand new flooring and a chic new fireplace.
'The back room has been turned into a dining space with new patio doors
'so you can enjoy a full view of that garden from the comfort of a warm living room.
'And they've been busy upstairs, as well.'
Originally, there was two good size bedrooms and a box room
and we thought if we moved the bathroom into the box room, it would make sense,
because then we'd have three good size bedrooms.
Funnily enough, now that the bathroom is in the box room,
it makes the box room look bigger.
'The small, cramped kitchen downstairs has also benefitted from a rejig
'and is now a much more spacious room
'with a wall knocked through to open it up into the dining area.
'It's brighter, more modern and much more appealing.'
Well, the kitchen was very small and narrow
and we decided, because we'd got an outside loo and a lean-to that needed something doing with it,
cos it was rubbish, we had a door going out into the yard here
but we decided to not have a door, just put a nice window there,
so we're looking out into the garden.
We had a window here that we removed
and put these patio doors going out into the yard,
which I think suits the property and is very modern, as well.
'The finished result isn't just modern, it's also of a very high standard,
'as all the work was done by Jo and Doug's builder son, Paul.
'He insists on nothing but the best.'
He does go for a high standard always.
He's a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to doing the houses up for us.
Sometimes I think he takes a bit too long
but he always says it's better to do it right than cut corners.
He's very particular and likes to have it all spot-on
so he doesn't have to come back and do any of it again.
We're always very pleased with his work.
That might sound biased, because he's my son, but...
-But, you know, he does a marvellous job,
-so thank you, Paul, very much.
# I want to thank you
# For being so nice
'Because of other work commitments,
'Paul wasn't able to do the job within the two to three months timescale.
'It's taken nearer five months.
'But did the project go over that £15,000 budget?'
It has mounted up to about 19 now, unfortunately.
But then, saying that, sometimes I think when people say, "It's only going to take £5,000 to £10,000,"
I think they can't be doing a proper job, personally.
So you only get what you pay for, really.
'But has their money been well spent?
'We asked along two local property experts
'to tell us what they think of it now.'
First impressions are great. The property has been finished
to a very high standard and it's all very neutral, ready to move into.
It's a lovely property. It's had a really nice scheme of modernisation
and updating carried out, it's a traditional house,
popular location, I think it will go very well on the market.
I think the open space of the kitchen and dining area is fantastic.
It's a very usable space and going out onto the garden is a fantastic idea.
The bathroom's got a lovely hotel feel to it.
Nice big tiles, white suite, very clean. Perfect for this property.
'How much value do the experts think the renovation has added to the house?
'Remember, Jo and Doug paid £148,000 at auction
'and have spent about £19,000 on the work,
'making a total outlay of around £167,000.'
If we were to put this property on the market, we would expect it to achieve around £180,000.
I would expect to sell the property at approximately £180,000.
-That's round about what we thought.
-Mm. Very good indeed.
'But in the current climate, Jo and Doug have decided to sit tight and let the property out,
'preferably to professionals if they can, but they may consider students otherwise.
'How much rent could they expect to charge.'
If you were to let this property to professionals, I would expect a rental figure
of approximately £650 per calendar month.
To students, you can expect a lot more.
However, the wear and tear on the property is considerably more.
But I would expect to achieve up to about £900 per calendar month.
If you were to let the property to professional people,
I'd expect you would achieve around £600 per calendar month.
If you were to let the property to students,
I would expect you would achieve more like £1,000 a month.
We would actually hope for a bit more, private letting.
Yes, we would. It's a bit low, that is.
Yes, it is rather. So we'll just have to see what happens.
'Going by these valuations alone,
'they would make a higher yield of over six percent with student lets for around 44 weeks of the year
'than the four to five percent they'd get for a year-round professional let.
'So, some serious thinking for Jo and Doug to do,
'but it certainly hasn't put them off developing further properties.'
Well, it's keeping me young in some ways, because it's keeping my mind active. I enjoy it.
-It's just I get tired sometimes, which is to be expected at my age.
# Lust for life
# Got a lust for life
I'm in the village of Wimborne in Dorset in the southwest of England,
and glorious it is, too, even when they're building houses just across the road there.
I'm here to see a property that's of non-standard construction.
Collective gasps I hear! But don't worry, my little hammers,
this one, I assure you, is very mortgageable
and worth every penny of the £275,000 guide price.
'The property I'm here to see sounds absolutely delightful.
'It's a grade II listed thatched cottage with three to four bedrooms.
'It's in a lovely, secluded spot and I can't wait to see it.'
The property is actually hidden up this little pathway.
You come through this hedge and then... Oh, wow!
Look at that!
Hansel and Gretel, here we come. I just hope it lives up to expectations on the inside.
# Because you're gorgeous
# I'd do anything for you
'This cottage is simply breathtaking.
'With its glorious thatched roof and cute little porch,
'it's like something from a fairytale.'
You know, that's just brilliant.
Often you come into a house that looks so beautiful from the outside
and the inside has been so messed about.
-What a delight.
-This is really incredible.
Look, fantastic old beams. And look at that fireplace.
I'm sold already. I don't need to see anything else.
Just this inglenook fireplace. My goodness. Look, it's even got the old bread oven, a place to sit.
It's obviously had this new wood-burning stove put in to make it more practical.
What a find!
# And my heart is heavy
# As I gaze upon
# A cottage for sale
'OK, so, looking beyond its obvious charm, which is hard to do,
'are there any problems here?
'Well, there is damp in the sitting room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom.
'All need extensive work.
'But I just love the quirky character of the cottage.
'It'll need a lot of money spent on it, but my word, it'll be spectacular when it's done.'
This property is clearly everything that a modern house isn't.
It's higgledy-piggledy, it's quirky, it's got so much character you just don't know what do to with it.
It's fantastic. Upstairs, you have the bedrooms, one there, one here.
This is an extension that's been built on at some stage,
it's not quite as cutesy-wutesy as the rest of it, but it does give you a bit of much-needed space.
And here, you can really see the construction of this property. It is timber frame, extremely unusual,
but more importantly, you're really going to have to get an expert,
a specialist who knows all about this kind of construction to sort it out for any renovation works.
'That goes for the outside, too.
'You'd need to find an expert local thatcher to keep it maintained
'and fireproofed to satisfy insurance companies.
'The cottage also comes with these outhouses, which are a bit run down.
'However, the paddock in front of them is perfect if you have some horses or ponies.
'But it's round the back where I finally discover something I dislike about this place.'
# Ain't that a shame?
# My tears fell like rain
# Ain't that a shame?
Oh, what is going on here?
As the rest of the house is beautiful, this conservatory is absolutely horrendous!
If it was stuck on the side of a modern house, it might be all right,
but attached to this beautiful property? The irony is,
depending on when this house was listed,
this actual new conservatory could form part of that listing,
because if it was in existence when the listing was done, this would be listed,
crazy though it may be, and if you want to take it down,
you've got to get listed buildings approval.
Hm. Well, whatever, it would be worth the effort, because whatever it took to get rid of this,
it's got to be done.
'But I think it's still well worth the £275,000 guide price,
'although whoever bought it needs a healthy renovation budget.
'What does a local property expert think?
'Let's find out if she's as smitten as I am.'
The cottage is a typical, quintessential English thatched cottage
and highly desirable because it has a lot of features that people want,
the beams, the inglenook fireplaces,
the staircases, even to the well in the front garden.
This property is in need of complete renovation.
There are a lot of damp problems.
The bathrooms need replacing.
There is quite a lot to do and we would estimate that one could spend
anything between £70,000 and £100,000 to get it in excellent order.
'What kind of value could the work add to the cottage?'
In the current market, we would estimate that it would be valued at between £450,000 and £475,000.
'What if the buyer decided to rent it out?'
We would estimate that one could achieve in the region of £900 to £1,000 a month rental.
Well, properties like this don't come up for auction very often at all,
and testament to the fact, before the auction,
over 100 people came to see it.
Who couldn't fall in love with a place like this?
Let's see who the lucky bidder was when it went under the hammer.
We've left it until last because it's the star of the show.
You've seen it, there's no need for me to say any more. Bid me please.
250. In the stalls at 250,000.
Taking £5,000 bids, then. At 250. 250.
275. 280. 285. 290.
295. 300. 305.
305. 310. 315.
340. 345. 350.
355. 355 in the stalls.
At 355. Thank you for your bidding, sir. 360.
365,000 in the stalls on my left.
I'll take 2 if it helps you.
370. 370 in the stalls on my left.
All done and sure? I'll call the bidding three times.
370 for the first time.
Have another little chat, take some good advice. 375.
At 375,000 for the first time.
375 for the second.
-Third and last time, then, at £375,000.
'It was Andy who came in with that final bid of £375,000,
'a whopping £100,000 over the guide price.
'He was actually bidding for one of his clients and he'll be in charge of the renovation work.
'He's a chartered surveyor, a property renovation supervisor
'and has even been a fine art and antiques auctioneer.
'I caught up with him back at the cottage to hear about his master plan for the place.'
-Andy, lovely to meet.
-What an amazing property.
-What did you think when you walked down the drive?
-I thought, "Fantastic."
And I was just surprised to find a timber frame in here,
because it hadn't been mentioned in the agent's particulars.
And, of course, it's been rendered on the outside, so you can't see it.
-In general, what do you think about the condition?
When you consider that you're standing in something that has been up for about 450 years,
it is in pretty amazing condition.
OK, there's things to be done. Obviously, the damp has to be dealt with
and unfortunately it does mean that all the floors down here we're going to have to take up.
It's going to be quite a costly job, because it's all going to have to be done by hand,
and replace it with a concrete floor, fully insulated and damp-proofed.
And the front wall, as well, it's only a thin wall and it's quite damp,
so we're going to have to insulate that on the inside
and we're going to use black wool insulation, so that'll be a natural wool fibre.
'It seems that Andy's going to give this cottage the sensitive, loving renovation that it deserves.
'But by the sound of it, the thatched roof will need some major work.'
The thatch is in pretty good shape.
It's combed wheat reed, which has a pretty good life expectancy
The great shame is that, when it was last redone,
which would've been quite a major job, the opportunity wasn't taken
to put any fire barriers in.
I always advise my clients, with thatched roofs,
when they come to a major overhaul, they should strip the whole lot off
and completely encapsulate the roof with a fire barrier and then re-thatch.
'This is obviously going to be a big job.
'So, in terms of the whole house, how expensive is it going to be?'
I've advised my client he's going to be looking at about £50,000
to bring everything up together.
And then, beyond that, there's the standard fitting out, bathrooms, kitchens, that sort of thing,
which will be to his budget, and that can be fairly elastic.
What timescale have you got for sorting this place out?
We need to get building regulation consent in place,
so we're looking at starting in about three or four weeks' time
on the majority of the works.
Probably an overall period of about six months.
How does it feel to do this for somebody else's house?
I've spent my life doing it, so I actually get quite a buzz out of it,
particularly when you've got a house like this. There's a lot of satisfaction in taking something
which has been a bit unloved or has got a lot of potential
and then realising that potential or bringing it back to its former glory.
-What are you most looking forward to?
-Funnily enough, sorting out the rather poorly-planned back
and that conservatory. I mean, that is such an eyesore.
It's going to be good to do that.
It'll be a fascinating project to follow and we'll certainly do that. Congratulations.
Thank you very much.
Well, taking on a project like this is always going to be a time-consuming undertaking.
However, having somebody like Andy to do it for you, it's the best of both worlds, really.
He's going to have some issues to deal with, digging up that floor will throw up all sorts of problems,
and everything has to go through the suitable planning authorities.
I can't wait to see how this place turns out. You can find out later in the show.
The plans and dreams seemed promising at the time.
-But have those dreams become a reality?
-I think we should find out!
'Now we're back to Gravesend in Kent where this ground-floor flat sold for £97,000 at auction.
'Property developing brothers Kevin and Andrew bought it.
'They'd first appeared on Homes Under The Hammer six years ago.
'If anyone could inject a bit of oomph into this rather featureless flat, I reckon it would be them.'
What are you going to do to really make it stand out? Because you don't have any hidden features.
It's got that 60s feel to it.
We'll just try and make the kitchen as nice as we can,
-the bathroom as nice as we can and...
-Make it look more modern.
'So what did they end up with? Well, it was a good-sized two-bedroom flat,
'perfectly fine, just in need of some modernising.
'We caught up with the brothers two months later to see how things have gone.'
Since you were last here, we've stripped all the flat out,
took all the old coving out,
stripped all the wallpaper and basically took it back to basics ready to put it all back together.
We had to rerun all the electrics, put in new wiring.
We've had to central-heat it,
renew all the skirtings, plaster it all.
The bathroom originally had a bath, but we've taken that out. We've got a shower. We've retiled it,
put in a nice closet-style toilet and new units.
I think it's come out really well. I think it looks really modern.
Andrew's worked very, very hard on it and we're really, really pleased.
'In all the brothers' property ventures, Andrew takes charge of the renovation side of the work.
'One of the main rooms here that needed money spent on it was the kitchen.'
If you remember the kitchen before, we had a big built-in cupboard that came across here.
We've ripped the cupboard out. We had a lot of electrics running up the wall here, so we boxed that in
and run all new electrics and fitted the kitchen.
'The design of the kitchen makes much better use of the space.
'The modern units are less cluttered and they've fitted new workspaces and a gas oven.
'It may look fantastic now, but it took a while to get it right.'
We had the people out to design it about three times, and every time they did it,
we kept having problems, I don't know why.
Then when they done the last design and Andrew was fitting it in,
this particular worktop here came across and you couldn't get through.
So we had to take it all out and change it all over again.
So it was a little bit of a nightmare. But I think it looks well now and looks really smart.
'Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of their problems.
'In fact, they've still got one repair left to do.'
We only just finished yesterday and we had the carpet-fitter in laying the carpets
and as he's about to finish, he went through one of our central-heating pipes
so we had to dig up the back bedroom floor and redo the pipes.
So a bit of a nightmare, but apart from that, everything's gone well.
The project's been really good. Everything went quite smoothly.
A couple of little hiccups on the way, but you expect that.
So, all in all, it went well.
'Their original budget for the work was around £4,000 to £5,000. Have they managed to stick to that?'
We've probably done about £8,000 or £9,000, so we've gone a little bit over-budget,
but, as you can see by the standard, I think the money's been well spent,
it's well justified, and I think the flat's come out really well.
'The reason they spent more than they'd planned on the renovation
'was that Kevin decided he was going to move into the flat,
'so he wanted to make it that little bit more special.'
I'm going to move in, because I've just downsized. I live in the next road.
My children moved away and they both live in Derbyshire,
so now that they've left, I've got a chance to downsize and get rid of them,
so I'm going to move in here.
'Kevin's son Chris helped him bid at the auction
'and he's now designated the second bedroom to Chris for when he comes to visit at weekends.'
My bed's going to go over there and my chair's going to go there.
It's going to be really big.
And I'm going to have lots of stuff in here.
I'm going to have my Xbox here with all my games on top.
Yeah, it looks good and I can't wait to move in.
'So the flat gets Chris's thumbs up.
'But what do two local property experts think?
'We asked them to tell us their thoughts.'
First impression, very impressed.
I think the work that's been carried out
has been done to a very high standard
and I think it would sell well in today's market.
The kitchen particularly, the workmanship that he's put into it,
the arrangement, as well, because it's a nice square kitchen,
the appliances are all built-in, it's just organised really well. It's lovely.
I think the bathroom is very nice. Would suit younger people
as opposed to older people with the shower, but that shouldn't detract from its saleability.
I think this property would interest a very wide audience
because it is a ground-floor flat with a garden.
It's close to local shops and amenities
and it's been internally designed and decorated to a modern standard,
so I think there'll be quite a large audience.
'If they decide to sell the property in the future,
'could Kevin and Andrew make a profit?
'Remember, they paid £97,000 for the flat at auction
'and have spent around £9,000 on the renovation,
'making a total outlay of £106,000.'
If I was to put the property on the market, I would expect it to achieve in the region of £120,000.
If we put this property up for sale, I think we would achieve
within the region of £125,000.
The 125 would definitely be better.
Yeah, I thought around 120 or so.
-Anything over that would be really great, especially in the current market.
-Yeah, it's good.
'Remember, there could be further expense of between £5,000 and £15,000
'should they decide to extend that lease, but for the time being, the brothers are happy to sit back
'and see how the market fares for this property.
'If we meet them again in another six years,
'what do they think they'll be up to then?'
-We'll still be doing the same thing, probably.
-But it's very difficult to find them, but if we can find them, we'll carry on doing them.
'Now we're back in Wimborne in Dorset
'where this delightful thatched cottage
'sold at auction for £375,000.
'Chartered surveyor Andrew had bid for it on behalf of a client.
'He was going to oversee the renovation of this gorgeous grade II listed property
'and it sounded like it was going to be a passion project for him.'
I get quite a buzz out of it, particularly with a house like this,
and there's a lot of satisfaction in taking something which has been a bit unloved
or has got a lot of potential
and then realising that potential or bringing it back to its former glory.
# Give a little, take just a little
# Let your poor heart bleed a little
# But baby, that's the glory of love
'So, has that love and attention paid off?
'A year later, from the look of the outside, it has.
'Andy is recovering from a sports injury
'but, happily, is still able to show us around.'
'Inside, although there are finishing touches to do,
'a tremendous amount of thoughtful and sympathetic restoration work has been taking place.
'The walls have been stripped, insulated, finished with specialist plaster and repainted.
'The cottage has been carefully rewired and new lighting added.
'All the flooring on the ground level has been taken up and replaced
'with under-floor heating now added.
'And in the kitchen, once permission was granted, of course,
'the wall was knocked down through to the utility room
'to create a much more spacious area.'
Well, here we've gone back to basics, stripped out all the plaster,
stripped out the floor and the main change is this wall here,
where we've taken the wall out to open the room and enlarge it into what was an old utility room.
And it's been replastered, new floor's gone down
and everything's now ready for the new kitchen to come in.
'Throughout the rest of the house, the rooms have been treated to the three Rs,
'they've been replastered, redecorated and restored to their former glory.
'The former oil-fired heating system has gone and been replaced.
'No, not with something from a nuclear power station,
'but a high-tech and eco-friendly air-source heat pump.
'Bathroom still needs to be fitted, but this will happen soon.
'As you can see, the house is still being worked on.
'The tradesmen aren't even stopping for the cameras.
'Delays have been due to builder availability, getting listed building consent
'and it's been no easy task to sort out that damp problem.'
We had to start outside, because the main primary cause of the dampness was the high ground levels.
The ground had built up enormously over the years. So there's been a huge amount of excavation outside
and laying of land drains. There'll be landscaping going on over the next month as the final part of that.
So that's got all the ground below the level of the internal floors so there's no water coming in now.
Inside the house, we've had to take all the floors up and relay them with damp-proof membranes,
insulation and under-floor heating.
And then the walls themselves, which were very thin,
they've been increased in width,
insulated with sheep's wool and then replastered using a traditional lime plaster.
I think it's worked really well. If you didn't know what had happened in here,
I hope you would think nothing's actually changed.
# I was still the same old me
'The cottage's listed status means everything has to be planned in detail
'and you need to stay on the right side of the conservation officer.
'It's very important to set realistic timescales in order to do the job properly.'
It just does take a long time with listed buildings.
You're using traditional materials which just don't work as quickly as modern materials.
The lime plaster, for instance, you have to let about ten days between coats.
With the modern gypsum plaster, it's a day.
I think the pleasing thing is that, although we have done an enormous amount of work,
when you're going round, hopefully, it doesn't look as if we've done anything.
It still looks as it would've done 50, 100, 150 years ago,
bar the electric lighting. HE LAUGHS
'So far, the work has cost around £100,000,
'although Andy thinks he's probably going to spend around another £27,000.
'Luckily, the roof was in adequate condition
'and didn't need any upgrade for the time being,
'so there was no extra cost there.'
The budget has gone pretty well according to plan.
The only thing which has really gone over is the air-source heat pump,
which is a more expensive installation,
but will reap the rewards in the long term.
'With that £100,000 for the work, plus the £375,000 paid at auction,
'the total outlay here has been around £475,000.
'So have they added any value to it?
'We asked two local experts to have a look and tell us their thoughts.'
The current owners have done a super job modernising this property
whilst retaining the original character and integrity
of the cottage.
They've taken advantage of timbers and very much kept the property
in keeping with the 16th century age of the cottage.
I think the addition of the heat pump and the under-floor heating are an excellent improvement.
Whether it will have too much effect on the value, I don't think so,
but for comfort and convenience, it's a great improvement.
In my view, this would sell well at the right time of the year,
which ideally is in the spring or summer,
and I don't think you'd have a problem finding a purchaser.
'Andy's client plans to move in once the work is complete.
'Bearing in mind that the total investment here is around £475,000,
'if he did decide to resell, what could he hope to get for it?'
Once this property is completed,
we would expect to put this property on the market for between £560,000 and £580,000.
I think it would market at about £600,000.
I think that's a good price and I think he'll be very happy.
I always felt he got it at a bargain price at the auction
and I was confident that it was going to accumulate, which has proved to be the case.
'I'm sure Andy's client will be delighted with the renovation done here
'and can look forward to many years living in this very beautiful home.'
I mean, we are custodians of these properties
and I think my client will be leaving it in a 100 times better state than when he first took it on
and it should last a good few hundred years more now.
# Same old me
# Same old me
That's it for now. Join us next time for more news from the front line of the property world.
-Ooh! See you then!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Derby, a property in Gravesend, and a picturesque cottage in Dorset. 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.