Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Devon, a former coach house in Kent and a terraced house in Birmingham.
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The UK auction property market
is worth billions of pounds every year.
Those are big numbers so don't be put off by that.
No, the auctions are a level playing field. They're open to everybody.
All you need is a bit of cash and some confidence.
With thousands of lots going under the hammer each year, there's such a huge choice at auction.
So here are what today's bidders decided to buy when they put their hands in the air.
There's a promising property in Devon for me to investigate.
All in all, a good size flat.
You know what? It's ticking a lot of boxes, this place.
I'm at a former coach house in Kent with some unusual Tudor features.
Where are you, Up there?
No, down there?
And in Birmingham, I visit this terraced house where things are a little on the cramped side.
That loo, I mean, if you stood up, you'd bang your head.
All these properties are being sold at auction.
We find out who bought them and for how much when they went under the hammer.
I'm in Torquay on the English Riviera
and what a beautiful spot it is too.
It's popular with holidaymakers of course, so has a thriving tourist industry.
# We're all going on a summer holiday
# No more working for a week or two... #
So what am I here to see? A holiday let or perhaps a retirement bungalow?
No, it's a kind of property that I really like,
it's a mixed-use property which basically means
you've got a shop downstairs and upstairs, there's a flat.
I like these because they give lots of opportunity
and a variety of possibilities.
So what's in store... Ha ha ha!
Behind the door, very funny.
It's actually a shop, or what was a shop at some stage.
As you can see, all these fittings that would have had all sorts up shoppy type things on them.
But it's not a bad size space.
The guide price here was £90,000.
From the front, you might think it's quite small
but through the back there are actually two large storage rooms.
There's also what looks like a workshop of some sort.
The whole place could do with a spring clean
and it's not exactly got the biggest yard in the world
but so far, I am optimistic.
It's quite interesting, the way that the property is divided because through there
is the rear of the shop and as you can see it's connected by that sliding door to the flat.
There's a separate entrance there which is good
but if you were going to separate these out,
which I think you should consider, you'd want to block that off to make it two individual units.
You'd also have to think about creating two individual leases.
As it is, something's been blocked up there, not very well.
Let's see what the flat itself is like.
You could keep this property as it is but if you applied to the council for change of use
back to all-residential, you could end up with two flats here or if converted, a family home.
Well, it's clearly in need of a bit of tender loving care.
A spot of paint and some wallpaper but it's a really nice size, to be fair.
Kitchen there, units want to be replaced but it's a good size space
and then this really big sort of landing area, lots of light coming in. I like that.
And off this, you've got the bathroom. Separate toilet there.
Two bedrooms so all in all, a good size flat.
You know what? It's ticking a lot of boxes, this place.
# You know what they say,
# They say it's all good
# All good... #
As you can tell, I'm really taken with this place.
There's just so much potential.
I asked along a local property expert from the auctioneers
who sold it to tell me what he thinks would be the best use for it.
# You know what I'm saying
# It's all good... #
Obviously anyone looking to develop the property into flats or into
a residential house has to go down the planning authority route
as it doesn't have planning permission in place.
That is pretty easy I'd have thought for this location,
being that you have houses either side and it's predominantly residential in the area.
So that's the process somebody would need to go down.
Would converting the property to fully residential add anything to the value?
Remember the guide price for this was £90,000.
If the property was developed into a three-bedroomed mid-terrace house,
the redevelopment value could be somewhere in the region of probably £150,000.
If somebody was looking to convert it into two separate one-bedroom units of accommodation, flats,
they'd probably estimate about £80-85,000 per unit
so the redevelopment value in total could be pushing 170.
What if the new owner decided to rent it out?
If the property is turned into a residential house, that could
fetch somewhere on the rental market probably £550 per calendar month.
Well, yes, there is some work needed to sort this place out but it's a very flexible property
that I'm sure will appeal to a variety of purchasers.
Let's see who went for it when it went under the hammer.
So who's going to say to us 80,000 in? 80, it's got to be.
75, 75, two of you.
At 75, are you going to... OK, is that all you've brought with you?
75, OK, I'll concentrate on my right. 80, 82, 84?
87 and a half, 87 and a half.
88, 88 and a half.
89? 89 and a half.
And a half.
At 90 and a half.
At 90 and a half. At 90 and a half.
That's nearly a free flat, possibly. Possibly!
90 and a half once, at 90 and a half twice.
90 and a half, all done, second row gets it, at 90 and a half,
at 90 and a half. Good buy.
And that successful bid of £90,500 came from Ryan.
He and his dad Richard are both Torquay residents.
They run a property developing business Richard's happy to take
a step back and let his son Ryan manage the building work.
I caught up with them at the property to find out their plans.
-Ryan, Richard, good to meet you both.
-Why did you want to buy it.
-Basically, it's renovation.
We do a lot of renovation of properties anyway and
obviously being Torquay, we're very interested in properties in Torquay.
And this one here is quite cheap.
It certainly was, they only paid £500 more than the £90,000 guide price.
That was probably a relief for Richard who was on holiday whilst Ryan was at the auction.
-# I need a holiday
-I need a holiday
# I need a holiday with my friends... #
I'd only flown out the day before and I had a phone call on
the Thursday afternoon, said "Dad, I've bought a property at auction."
-The original plan was just to go down there and have a look.
No, we actually came to view the property before it went to auction and put an offer in
-and the lady preferred to see it go to auction than accept the offer.
So did you get it for less or more than you the offer?
We only paid an extra 2,500 more than what we actually put the offer in for so it wasn't too bad.
Wasn't too bad. But you decided you were going to buy it then...?
Well, yes and no!
We were selling another property in the meantime, and that's still going through at the moment
so it was a question of just looking, he went down to have a look,
to have the feel of an auction, to see what it was like. And hence where we are now.
So you got a bit of auction fever, did you?
Yes, I did, got a bit carried away as well.
So at what point did you have to phone your dad?
Basically after the auction, "I've bought a property, Dad and you're not here to sign nothing.
"So they're putting it just in my name."
-"Dad, I've just spent all your money and it's in my name."
# Oh, no! #
Luckily Ryan's dad trusts his judgement and
they're still talking to each other but maybe Richard should go along with Ryan to the next auction.
# When I'm with you I can't control myself. #
So what was it about this property that caught Ryan's eye?
Basically the size of it and with the price of it.
Anything that's under the 100,000 mark is worth investing in.
In this area?
Yes, in the area itself.
OK. The fact that it's mixed-use, the residential and commercial, was that good or bad in your eyes?
-I don't think that made any difference because we'd plan to turn it back into residential.
I've got an architect coming round to see us in the next couple of days
and give us some plans and his views.
So what's the plan with this place then?
We think at the moment, the plan is to turning it back into a house.
We think it might be too costly to turn it into two flats.
On advice tomorrow perhaps of the architect, we might be looking at a different plan.
-But we're hoping to get some local opinion from somebody who's really experienced in it.
Do you have any idea of the budget and what it might cost to do either option?
If we convert it back into a house, we reckon in the region of about £20,000.
And if you were to go down the flats route, any ideas at this stage?
We think from advice from some friends who are in the game,
they think it would be about £25,000 per flat.
-And is the idea then to sell it or rent it out?
-To sell it.
-To sell it.
-So either way, you're going to sell them on.
-At the moment
with the market being the way it is, if it doesn't sell,
or if it comes down to renting, then that's fine.
If we decide to go with two flats, depending on the architect and the other people's professional opinion,
we just basically go with what the flow is really.
# Let it flow Let it flow
# Let it flow... #
It's certainly a good idea to keep your options open just in case.
No matter what happens, there's lots of work to do here
but luckily Ryan's a trained plumber and heating engineer.
I do a lot of the work myself.
With the labouring, Dad does the labouring, you know, ripping and guttering
and then the plumbing side, I deal with all the plumbing and the heating side of it and then
we get a couple of friends, and a few relatives to get involved as well.
-Even my Nan helps out now and again!
But yes, we basically keep it in a group of friends, just come in and renovate the property.
Richard's more than happy for his son Ryan to project manage here and who wouldn't be?
At only 24, Ryan seems to have everything under control.
Do you see yourself being involved in this long-term, Ryan?
Yes. Even though I'm a plumbing and heating engineer,
I needed a trade behind me but I've always had the ambition of being a property developer.
Being my fourth house now, I'm actually starting to
get the gist and I'm enjoying it a lot more than what I do plumbing.
Right, you're doing pretty well for 24, you've four houses behind you
-and the heating and engineering qualification.
-Congratulations, good luck.
-Thank you very much.
I look forward to seeing how you get on, which way you decide to go.
I think Ryan and Richard have done very well here.
Or Ryan has while his dad was away on holiday!
What will they do with this place though?
It really comes down to the numbers.
Look at those and decide, should it be a house, should it be flats?
Make your decision based on that.
What will they do? You can find out later in the show.
I'm in Kent in the pretty little village of Milton Regis, just outside Sittingbourne.
There are many quaint old properties here and plenty of local amenities on the high street.
Lots to put a smile on a purchaser's face.
Now, the auction lot, well, it used to be an old coach house
before it was converted into a two-bedroom property.
I can't wait to get inside and see if there are period features that are still intact.
The guide price, well, £60-65,000.
I think that's a modest sum for a period property like this
because that's not mock Tudor, it's real Tudor.
So straight into the downstairs sitting area, I suppose.
Quite a big room, a little bit disappointing, I did expect it to be
packed full of features and I can just see a little beam across the door.
Very nice windows though, lovely and characterful and of course let's not forget this amazing parquet floor.
This is sensational, I love it and once sanded back, could come up a real treat.
The interesting thing about this room is that it's a very odd shape.
It kind of zig-zags off in all different corners so I wouldn't
quite know where to place the furniture.
This would really need to be well thought out
and the kitchen, well,
interesting use of space for the boiler,
it looks like somebody's just put it on the side there.
The kitchen needs a whole refurb, some money needs spending on it. It all needs to be rearranged.
This property needs a little bit of thinking about.
This place has certainly got a quirky layout.
I would maybe think about opening this out into one big kitchen, dining room and lounge.
Upstairs it all looks fresh and still pretty modern but it's
up on this floor that I finally find some original Tudor features.
I just wasn't expecting to find them right in the middle of the landing!
# Smack dab in the middle
# Smack dab in the middle
# Smack dab in the
# Smack dab in the middle... #
At last this is... Oh, where are you?
Up there? No, down there?
Well, this is where we find the features.
Now I can imagine what this must have been like as a coach house.
It's a lot more interesting upstairs, there's loads of exposed brickwork here.
It's really quite quirky, I like it.
I'm going to have a look in one of the bedrooms.
You can really imagine what this place was like in the Tudor times.
There's so many creaky floorboards. But this beam is supertastic!
It goes right the way through the house and it is what you call a big, large, chunky beam.
It's is a wonderful property, and even though it's a period house,
they're usually small, this does offer quite a bit of space.
This is not a bad sized double bedroom.
In fact, the top part of the house is a lot more spacious than the downstairs. But I really do like it.
It's got a very nice, welcoming feeling up here.
It's really cosy up here, and the great thing is it doesn't need much
renovation work, just a lick of paint and some new carpets, maybe.
That's just as well, because there are restrictions on what you can do to this building.
Now, I haven't told you that this house is Grade II listed
and is in a conservation area, so this will restrict you if you want to change the exterior in any way.
So new windows, for instance, will require permission from the listed office
as well as the conservation officer, and there is no guarantee you will obtain that permission.
They are lovely windows,
but that road out there is quite noisy, and that would concern me.
# The cars hiss by my window
# Like the waves down on the beach... #
They are lovely old windows, but double-glazing would
make it much more appealing to buyers and tenants.
If you can get permission, of course, but that could be tricky.
But now, for some good news.
This property is on the high street, so parking can sometimes be very difficult to find.
Well, you don't have to worry about trying to find a spot out there because, look, this auction lot has
its own private parking. You see, I think this is a real selling point.
And that private parking is even better when you discover
that the road at the front is covered in yellow lines.
So, what does a local expert make of this period property?
I invited one along to tell me.
Overall, the property is not in bad condition.
It'll need some decorating, but not too much.
Maybe a kitchen and bathroom, but overall it's not too bad.
I think the main features here are there's a little bit of character.
It has two good-sized bedrooms and there's off-street parking.
There's one downside to this property though.
Its leasehold, and there are only 69 years left on the current lease.
Could that be a problem?
It is going to be an issue for a new owner-occupier.
But if it's going to be an investor buying this,
it's not going to be so much of an issue in the short term,
but at some stage they will want to extend the lease.
Extending the lease can be a costly business, but that shorter lease
does explain the rather low guide price of 60 to £65,000.
Once done up, what could it sell for?
You might expect to be putting this on the market between 95 and £100,000.
What if the new owner decided to rent it out?
I would expect to achieve somewhere around £525 per month.
It's a lovely characterful property and it doesn't require too much work, but if you did want to make
any structural changes, you would need to obtain permissions, as it's listed and in a conservation area.
Now, that 69-year lease may also put some buyers off. It didn't deter someone though.
Let's find out who that was as we go to auction.
I don't mind where we start. 55, thank you very much.
£55,000 I am bid. At 55, 57, 60 now.
57, I have on my left. At £57,000 I am bid. 60 do I see?
60 I have. And 61?
That's 60,000, that gentleman's bid is sitting at 60,000. 61 anywhere?
And £60,000, it's being sold at £60,000. One do I see?
For the first time at £60,000, for the second time at 60,000, the bid is on my right.
At £60,000, the third and final time at 60,000. Are you all done?
Sold at 60,000. Thank you.
That successful bid of £60,000 came from Daniel and Paul.
Daniel will be project managing on behalf of his stepfather Paul who's financing it.
This is Daniel's first go at property developing,
so I couldn't wait to find out his plans for this Tudor treasure.
Daniel, congratulations. Why did you want to buy this property?
It's a quirky little place, it's got a bit of character to it, and I thought it make someone a nice home.
Yeah, it's a nice building and a bit of history behind as well, so, yeah.
Its quirkiness. You've got this ziggedy-zaggedy floor and with the parquet laying that way.
Yes, it makes you a bit seasick as you walk in.
It's all over the place, but again that gives it its character and it makes you remember it.
It's nice little features and bits like that that make it the place that it is, to be honest with you.
You fit kitchens, what are you going to do to that kitchen?
Because at the moment, it did make me laugh, the boiler literally just having to rest on the worktop.
Yes, it's not ideal, but we are going to keep that where it is
because we don't want to extend the flue, so we'll box that in.
Just make it nice and light and make use of the space that's there, because it's a small kitchen.
Just try and open it up but at the same time give it as much space and storage as you can for someone.
-Are you happy with the price you paid?
-Very happy. Very happy.
We was prepared to pay a bit more, so we bought it at a good price.
We're very happy with it. It gives us the scope for a bit more profit
and maybe do a bit more than what we originally thought.
Daniel's ten years' experience as a bathroom and kitchen fitter
are certainly going to be very handy for the renovation work.
So, this really is the perfect, perfect job for you to come in here and really give it a facelift.
Yes, that's the idea, cos it's a listed building there are certain things you can't do,
so we're just going to bring up the floor, sand it down and make the best of the features it's got.
A new kitchen, possibly a new bathroom. We will look at that.
Modernisation, but also keeping the things that make it the house
that it is and give it its character and quirkiness.
What about these windows? Beautiful windows.
Yes, nice sash windows, and they need a bit of work, re-weighting,
but we're just going to sand them down, paint them up and give them a fresh look.
You can't change the windows cos it's a listed building.
There are certain things we're going to keep, some we'll change,
but on the whole, the outside has to stay the same.
It's music to my ears that Daniel's going to be faithful to the character of the house.
What kind of budget has he got in mind for the work he's going to do?
We've got £10,000
with a £3,000 contingency, but I'm quite pleased
-with that. I don't think that will be a problem. I think that's doable.
-So do you think for £10,000
-you can give this a facelift?
-I can give it a facelift.
Bear in mind we'll keep the windows and things like that.
Yeah, I think it's doable. I've got my fingers crossed, anyway.
How long do you think it's going to take?
-Three weeks?! £10,000 in three weeks.
Oh, you're so optimistic.
Yes, I am optimistic, hard-working and optimistic.
-Are you hard-working?
Well, Daniel's certainly got the right attitude for property developing.
As with all projects, though, you never know what problems could be lying in wait,
so it's best to have an optimistic attitude.
Meanwhile, will he be getting that 69-year lease extended?
Now you have to own the property for two years before you can even think about extending the lease.
-Is that something you'll do? Is this a long-term project?
-It definitely is. We'll be renting it out,
so it's a long-term thing and we'll be looking at in a couple of years' time to see if it is viable
and how much it will cost and things like that.
But 69 years, I think, is long enough to make your money back and a profit, hopefully.
Although it was a consideration, it didn't really put us off to be honest.
Maybe it put other people off, I don't know.
-Well, Daniel, I can't wait to see the outcome.
-I know, I'm excited.
-See you soon.
Will £10,000 be enough to renovate this house,
or will Daniel have to dig into his three grand contingency fund?
You can find out how he gets on with this listed lovely later on in the programme.
Coming up, I'm hard at work at this house in Birmingham.
Well, there are few more practical uses potentially for the garden
other than making snowmen, not that that's not important.
In Kent, has a flood ruined the renovation of this two-bedroom property?
As I've walked through the building, I looked, and my face just dropped.
It was... I was absolutely gutted.
But first, is the future bright down in Devon?
I aim to retire hopefully in 15 years, but we'll have to see how many properties I can get through.
Now it's back to Devon, where this mid-terrace two-storey property in Torquay sold at auction for £90,500.
On the ground floor it was an old shop, but upstairs there was living accommodation.
But its new owners, father and son, Ryan and Richard, had other plans.
We plan to turn it back into residential.
-I've got an architect coming round to see us in the next couple of days.
He will give us some plans and his views.
# Yeah, I'm gonna change everything
# That holds a memory of you... #
And seven months later, as you can tell from the work at the front,
they have succeeded in getting a change of use from the council.
Ryan and Richard showed us what they've been up to.
# I'm gonna start with the walls take the pictures off the walls and burn them
# Move the chairs around Take the window curtains down and burn them
# Everything I see reminds me you were here
# Yeah I'm gonna change everything that holds a memory of you... #
We discussed between ourselves when we first bought the property
whether it would be better off as two flats, or best as one property.
With the market being over-populated with flats, it's better off being one house.
We've raised the level of the front because it was a split level, and obviously we've had to take
the shop front down and put it back in place like the houses either side of us.
So it will look continuous along the street.
Just going back to residential use.
We kept it as one room, rather than having two reception rooms,
because it would benefit the light from one end to the other end.
As you can see, they still have to finish the new bay window, but what a great living space Ryan's created.
Even more impressive is the work is completed in that old workshop through the back.
Upstairs, the layout has stayed the same, but the rooms have been completely re-plastered and painted.
There's new central heating
and now the kitchen is downstairs, they've changed the old one
into a master bedroom, complete with en suite.
# ..Yeah I'm gonna change everything that holds a memory of you. #
OK, what we did, we actually moved the door for the old toilet and put an en suite in here
and put a new shower and a basin in to make it a nice little en suite for the master bedroom.
The old bathroom has been gutted, and a swish new suite put in its place.
Ryan's a plumber and heating engineer, which obviously came in handy when fitting a new bathroom.
He even saved a few pennies on that bath.
Ryan quite surprised me. He came and said, "Dad, I've got a good deal.
"I've got a Jacuzzi bath for £50."
And so now we've got a Jacuzzi bath in the bathroom, which is quite something.
Well, that's all I can say. It does really set it off as a nice standard and a nice feature.
# This is where my heart keeps singing
# Bubaloo bubaloo bubaloo... #
Ryan's done the majority of the work himself, learning a few new skills along the way.
Their plans didn't stop on the inside though, as they've started work out the back too.
# ..Take a look away out yonder. #
Well, as you can see, we've put new French doors on here.
We've also put a new back door on, replacement windows,
and the old lean-to here which was full of damp, we've taken it down.
We've got an outside area here, which we're going to improve.
Out the back we going to put a washing area and also lower
one of the walls down at the back and put a balustrade round where you can sit in the afternoon.
The plan for the property is for me to move in whilst we try and sell it.
It will be going on the market.
Hopefully the valuation is what we expect it to be, it will go on the market.
If not, we will possibly rent it and look for another property to do.
What kind of figure can they hope to achieve
when they do put it on the market? We asked two local experts
to tell us what they think
it'll be worth and what their thoughts are on the work so far.
I think the layout is fantastic.
It's really good-sized accommodation for a family, lots of space.
It's accommodating for families, young couples starting out.
A wonderful size kitchen-breakfast room on the ground floor
and all the rooms actually are very spacious and a good size.
The bathroom is nice and bright and spacious. Always nice and pleasant with a white suite.
Everything else is really fresh-looking.
The kitchen is always the selling point of a house, or so they say,
and it is a wow factor when you walk through the door.
They've all the utilities
and facilities you expect to find in a modern kitchen and it really is very pleasant.
They bought the property for £90,500 and have spent 20 grand on the renovation.
That means a total outlay here of just over 110,000, so what could it resell for?
If the owners continue to refurbish this property to a high standard, which they've done so far,
then I'd expect them to put it on the market for somewhere in the region of 169,950,
but maybe looking to achieve somewhere closer to £160,000.
I believe when the property is completed, the resale value would be between sort of 160 and £170,000.
That's very good. That's a little bit more than what we expected, I think, and, yes, if we get that,
we will be delighted. And, yes, we'll move on to something else quickly
and hopefully we can get the same profit off of the next one.
Fantastic news. I'm over the moon with it.
Just shows my work eventually does pay off.
Of course, if they find the market slow and they don't get much interest
in the house, they may look to rent it out instead.
So what rent could they charge?
On the rental market,
I would expect this property to achieve somewhere between 550 and £575 per calendar month.
I think a good rental value would be between 600 and £650 per calendar month.
I think their rentals are way out on that score because we've got a place at the moment
which is smaller than this and we're getting more than the top rental.
Some areas of Torquay, two-bedroom houses are getting 600, £620 a month.
So I would think their rentals are a little bit out on that score.
I was actually aiming... Well, I was told that possibly we'd get about 700 for this one.
If they did achieve that £700 a month, that would mean a healthy yield of 7.5%.
So far, Ryan and his dad have only developed a few properties together
but they obviously make a strong team, so are they planning more ventures in the future?
# So we've got a good thing going A real good thing going, yes... #
Yes, I'd like to see us go forward. I mean, I don't know how far we want to go forward but obviously
I'm looking to my retirement in years to come and obviously Ryan's looking to his future.
I mean, the more properties that we've got, the less work or full-time work Ryan'll have to do
at the end of the day, and as I say, if you can make your life easier at the end of the day,
then that's got to be the way forward.
I aim to retire, hopefully, in 15 years' time, but we'd have to see
how many properties I can get through!
Well, 15 years might be a little optimistic but something tells me Ryan's going to make a great success
of his new property-developing career.
I'm in Harborne, a suburb of Birmingham, well-known for its green spaces, although today,
they're hidden beneath a blanket of snow.
# Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow... #
Well before I even get to the property, I'm really excited about this location,
because just behind me is the brand new Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which means that any property round here
is going to be a purler when it comes to potential rental. So what have we got?
Well, it's a two bedroomed end-terrace at a guide price of 125 to 135,000 quid.
Doesn't look too bad from the outside if you can see beside all the snow.
Let's take a look inside.
This property is only three miles from the city centre and Birmingham University is right on the doorstep,
so there's tremendous rental potential here for students or staff from the nearby hospital.
# Everybody needs some kind of medicine sometime... #
So what's it like inside?
Well, straight through the front door into the lounge, which is going to give you a bit of a cold issue,
especially on a day like today.
But it's not a bad size space. Gas fire - get that checked out, and I'd like to see a real fire put in there
to give focus to the room. But, it's good to see it has double glazing. Through to the rear...
Whoa! What is that?!
OK, it's a cloakroom, but that loo, I mean, if you stood up...
You'd bang your head! Um, I don't know what you could do about that.
I mean, it's useful to have what is, I presume, a second loo, but not an ideal location at all.
Through to the rear of the property, where you've got the kitchen. It's not huge.
And actually, apart from that little unit there, no units to speak of, so money to be spent here,
but of course, that's a great thing to do because money spent on the kitchen
is always going to get you money back when it comes to sell.
It may need a new kitchen, but on the plus side, the house already has gas-fired central heating.
Though it's always worth having that checked out by an expert.
Another bonus is up in the attic conversion,
where the previous owner has managed to fit in a second bedroom.
Already great news that somebody's gone to the time,
trouble and expense of converting the attic into the second bedroom.
Actually, a really nice job they've done of it too, so down here, you've got the other bedroom, and then,
the ability to have a good size bathroom. Now, this is a bit disappointing, I have to say.
It clearly is in need of total refurbishment.
Get rid of this suite, put a white suite in there.
It's a big space, maybe disproportionately big,
but whether or not you actually reconfigure this into the bedroom, I don't think so.
Leave it as it is, tart it up and then you've got a really nice family bathroom.
A family bathroom perhaps, but there's not much of a family garden out the back.
Just a little courtyard.
It's big enough for a table and chairs but not ideal for small children to play in.
-However, at the front...
-# ..Let it snow, let it snow,
-# Let it snow. #
Well, there are a few more practical uses potentially for the garden other than making snowmen.
Not that that's not important!
But I reckon what's really missing round here is parking.
There's no off-street parking so maybe lower the kerb here.
You'd have to have a word with the council about that. They'd have to come and do it.
Dig out the garden and then you've got that much-improved facility, which would add
a lot of value to the house and not actually cost you very much.
Remember, the guide price for this property was 125 to £135,000,
and I think it's pretty much guaranteed a great rental income.
But what does a local property expert think?
I asked one along to take a look.
What I like most about it is, really, the location.
It's a pretty little house, small, but the location's fantastic.
It just needs a new kitchen, a new bathroom, new decorations.
Floor coverings are pretty grim so they'd need changing.
I think you could spend £5,000 to get this to a rentable standard.
Once that work was done, how much could it earn on the rental market?
Rental value for this, depending on how the refurbishment goes, I would think 550 to £600 a calendar month.
What if the buyer of this property wants to resell?
Depending on the standard of refurbishment, resale value, 165 to £170,000.
So, are the prospects for this place as bleak as the weather?
You know what? I don't think so.
Great location, just a snowball's throw away from the hospital.
Doesn't need too much work and a bit of TLC in that place will really make a big difference.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
This auction lot was near the end of the day,
which explains the empty seats.
Who will bid me? Where shall we start?
125, then, to get it started.
At 125, then.
125, I have right dead in line with me.
Is that 130, sir? At 130, and thank you.
At 130, I'm bid. Is it 135 now? Are you going to come back to me at 135?
Wow, sir, you're going to give up after one bid. My goodness!
Are we all done, then?
The good news for you is I'm going to put this on sale
for the incredible price of £130,000 for the first time.
Are we all done?
At £130,000 for the second time, this is going to go, make no mistake.
At £130,000 for the third and last time, are we all done?
That's yours, sir.
-Despite the auctioneer's best efforts,
the house sold on just the second bid of £130,000, to Robert.
He's an interior designer, architect, property developer and a tree surgeon.
But in weather like this, I certainly wouldn't want to be climbing on any branches!
# We came down from the trees... #
I caught up with him back at his latest buy, to find out his plans.
-Robert, congratulations. Nice to meet you.
-And you, thank you.
-Why did you want to buy the house?
-Basically to turn a shilling.
-Simple as that.
I enjoy, you know, property refurbishment, so looked like a good one to do.
So, what sort of experience have you had in properties in the past?
I've designed all sorts, from educational buildings through to healthcare.
-Done a bit of domestic but not really my forte.
More commercial and healthcare, I guess. And interiors.
I've done lots of health centres, clinics, totally redesigned them, that sort of thing.
-So this is going to be a piece of cake?
-Well, relatively, yeah.
Except it's me doing the work. I'm the contractor, I'm the architect, I'm the builder.
So, yeah, yeah, it should go smoothly.
So what are you going to do to it, then?
Basically, kitchen, guest cloaks, bathroom, rewire, drop a drive in.
There's one or two settlement cracks but nothing structural, really.
So, how long is it going to take you to do the work?
Five months, circa five months, plus or minus maybe a few weeks either side.
And you doing what?
Fitting the kitchen, fitting the bathroom, er, dropping the drive in.
-All on your own?
-Pretty well, yeah.
I've got a mate that's better at plumbing than me.
I'm better at joinery.
So, you know, he's in buy-to-lets, um, so we help each other.
He'll certainly save on costs by tackling the majority of the work himself.
He's budgeted around £12,000 for all the renovation, including redecorating.
There's no major structural work necessary, which was one of the draws for Robert.
But its location was an even bigger one.
You've got a university on the doorstep,
you've got a major acute hospital on the doorstep.
There's letting opportunities and also, you know, sale.
Great area, probably one of the best areas in Birmingham.
So it's win-win, really.
# It's just the nearness of you... #
So, it's in an ideal position and there's not too much renovation required.
But it could easily have been so different.
Despite all Robert's experience, he broke one golden rule of buying at auction.
He didn't read the legal pack before purchasing the property.
So is this a course of action that you'd advise?
No, definitely, definitely not.
No, no, do as much research as you possibly can.
View the property two or three times because there's things that you'll see that,
you know, you'll find as you successfully look again, that you've missed in the first place.
Luckily, I did a good recce outside and the interior didn't throw up any horrors for me. So...
-But in terms of the legal pack?
-Yeah, yeah, quite. I won't do that again.
Although there are no contentious issues with the property itself, he hasn't quite got away with it
because he's uncovered a potentially massive problem nearby.
-There's something I've got to follow up with the Highways Department of the council.
-I don't know.
-I mean, I've checked out, there are road-widening.
-There's road-widening going on
parallel over Bristol Road.
-Is that not quite serious?
-It's only 15 million quid's worth, but that's the other side.
-This side, I think we'll be OK.
Yeah. So I did take a bit of a flyer.
# The long and winding road
# That leads to your door... #
Well, let's hope not literally, and that he doesn't end up with a bit of a flyover in his garden.
-Well, good luck with it all. Congratulations.
-And we look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Yeah, catch me in about four or five months, eh?
Well, Robert taking a real risk buying this place without reading the legal pack.
Certainly something not to be recommended.
How will he get on? Well, as long as they don't expand the road to his front garden, OK.
In terms of his experience, there's no trees to sort out, but his interior design skills
will come in useful refurbishing, which is probably going to take quite a bit of effort.
Find out how he gets on later in the show.
Well, we wait patiently for our buyers
to do work on their properties
and sometimes they make a wonderful job of it.
And sometimes they don't do anything at all!
So what's happened with today's buyers? Let's find out.
Now back to Milton Regis in Kent, where this early-16th-century coach house sold for £60,000.
It needed a bit of modernising, but the new owner was taken with its Tudor charms.
It's a quirky little place. It's got character.
I thought it'd make someone a nice home and it's a nice building.
A bit of history behind it as well so...yeah.
Two months later, we caught up with Daniel back at the house.
Not only has he got a tenant living there now, but it's already looking much more homely and inviting.
# I just want you to understand
# That it feels like home
# That it knocks me out
# Just to feel this way
# And know I broke out... #
Throughout the house,
everything's been redecorated and the whole place feels fresher and brighter.
Most of the work here has been in the kitchen,
but rather than open it up into the lounge, Daniel decided
to rearrange it instead and put the space to much better use.
As you can see, we totally ripped out the kitchen and started again.
A big feature of the old kitchen was the boiler that was hung on the wall.
We've renewed the boiler system but because of the access for the flue,
we've had to keep it in the same place but we've boxed it in. This is a stud wall.
It's been brought forward to allow a free-standing washing machine to go underneath quite freely
with the door on the front to give a streamline effect.
Other than that, it's quite straightforward.
New sink, new oven, new hob.
We made use of this wall with the cabinets, cut down this wall unit here,
just to give it a streamlined, more fitted look.
And there's been more reorganising upstairs in the bathroom.
In the bathroom, we decided to rip out the bathroom and start again.
The boxing that was here before was very big and intrusive.
We investigated whether it needed to be that big.
We found out that the sewer pipe was neatly in the corner,
so we've made all the boxing a lot more streamlined.
This has allowed us to get a standard bath in this way
and put a wall-hung basin and a back-to-the-wall toilet as well,
which makes the bathroom look a lot bigger and a lot more spacious, and modernising it at the same time.
Daniel did all the work himself.
Being a kitchen and bathroom fitter does have its advantages.
As promised, he even sanded down that old parquet flooring.
So why has he hidden it under a carpet?
Well sadly, a flash flood that ran into the property ruined all his hard work.
# That water
# Spreading all around... #
I was absolutely gutted. I honestly couldn't believe it.
It came through the back. As I've walked through the building, my face just dropped.
I was absolutely gutted, but sometimes, these things happen.
With the listing outside as well, to fix the problem, it's now fixed,
but again, we have to consult with the listings people
and the freeholders as to what we can do to rectify the problem, but yes, it was a bit of a nightmare.
A nightmare indeed, especially considering
that all this happened just two days before the tenants moved in.
But Daniel got the place dried out and the carpet down just in time,
so thankfully, now it's just full of furniture rather than water.
It was quite easy to get tenants to be honest.
It's quite a nice area, a nice location, it's got off-street parking
as well which not many places around here have got.
There was six or seven people to choose from. We chose a very nice couple.
It's fantastic news that Daniel managed to rent the property so quickly
as there was always the risk that those draughty period windows might've put some tenants off.
But it looks like his wish to get double glazing fitted
into the back of the house at least might come true.
# Window wishing That's all I do
# Just window wishing Because of you... #
We would've loved to have changed the windows but we weren't able to do that because of the listings,
but we are speaking to the freeholder and the council to see if we can at least put PVC windows
out the back.
The main thing with the listing is,
you've got to play by the rules and you're governed by what the listings people say.
Daniel managed to keep his costs low and spent £9,500 on the work.
That was £500 less than his original ten grand budget.
It helped that he did all the work himself,
with a little help from his eight-year-old daughter, Shannon.
# She's a daddy's girl
# She's Daddy's girl
# She's got him wrapped around her finger
# She's Daddy's girl... #
She came down and helped me do a bit of painting.
She was quite excited to come and give her dad a hand.
She got her whites on and was painting the walls, yeah.
She enjoyed it. She was helping me so I can't take all the credit.
So has Daniel AND Shannon's hard work paid off?
The £9,500 budget added to the purchase price of 60,000
means the total outlay here was just short of £70,000.
Was that money invested wisely?
Let's hear from two local estate agents.
I like the property because it's just a bit quirky,
it's got different levels, there's exposed beams.
It's not your conventional two-up, two-down.
The standard of work's really good.
They've kept the character and brought it up to modern standards.
They've done a good job.
Have Daniel's improvements made any difference to the value of the property?
Remember the total spend is just under 70,000.
I would expect to achieve around £110,000 for this property.
At the moment, I think the property should achieve in the region of 110, £115,000.
I think 110-115 is a fair price, but we're in it for the long haul.
It's rented. That's the way we want to go.
So we're happy to carry on renting it out.
Daniel's charging his current tenants £600 per month.
Do the estate agents' estimates match up?
I'd expect to achieve around £600 per calendar month if we were renting this.
If they were going to rent it, probably put it up for 625, probably achieving 600.
600, 625 is fair.
We've rented it out for 600 so we're happy with that. That's fine, that's good.
So he's spot on rental-wise and has made a great potential profit if he ever decided to resell.
He must be delighted as this was his first attempt at property developing.
Yes, it's gone very well. Pleased with the way it went.
Got the property at a good price at auction so we've been able to make a nice yield on it.
It's been quite an easy first project. Onwards and upwards hopefully.
We're back to Birmingham now, where this two bed end terrace
sold at auction for 130,000.
Its new owner, Robert, planned to renovate it completely for resale,
doing most of the work himself.
But there was a possible problem with the road outside.
-There is something I've got to follow up with the highways department at the council.
-I've checked out, they're road-widening.
Road-widening going on parallel over Bristol Road.
-Is that not quite serious?
-15 million quid's worth.
-But that's over the other side. This side, I think we'll be OK.
Nine months later, it doesn't look like that road has inched any nearer
so that's a relief.
Because of other work commitments,
Robert has started the renovation but not quite finished it.
# I work like a dog with no recreation
# They call me Mr In-Between
# Mr In-Between
# Mr In-Between
# Mr In-Between... #
Since you last came, I've got rid of all the furniture,
which was quite a task, and pretty well stripped out.
I've centred on the outside, repointed.
Made the ground levels better.
And that's pretty well where I'm at.
Ready to fit out now and go.
There's obviously still a lot of work to do here
but it's not like Robert hasn't been busy.
I'm glad to see he's tackled that low ceiling in the second bathroom.
# Beatin' my head against a wall... #
The original landing height was just here
so basically I introduced another step,
raised the half landing by nine inches
to coincidentally increase the head height in the guest cloakroom.
It wasn't quite as simple as you'd think.
Robert had to rethread the joists carefully through the walls
to help create the space, but it's worked a treat
and there'll certainly be fewer bumps in the night.
However, it was the exterior of the house that created far more work
than he had anticipated.
Not only did he have to repoint but he also discovered penetrating damp
round the back of the kitchen.
The first thing I had to do
was really address the potential damp problem,
where the damp-proof course was compromised by too high ground levels
hence getting the angle grinder out,
cutting a trough,
all round the perimeter of the building,
dropping the level to prevent any moisture
from travelling through the main walls, and as you can see,
refenced, garden wall.
Not quite finished. I've got to put some surface treatment
on the slab, and then a nice little patio area.
At the front, Robert plans to dig out the garden
and put in two parking spaces.
He'll need to get the council's help
and permission to drop the payment for access.
If they agree, it will certainly make the property
much more appealing to buyers.
But will the council's own plans to widen the road
wreak havoc with Robert's?
I think it was more a case of yellow lines rather than road-widening.
I think the road-widening was on the other side of the hospital
so there's no danger or no worries on that score.
Even though there's a lot of finishing off to do here,
Robert's still optimistic about coming in on his 13 grand budget.
That still sounds tight to me but depending on the level
of finish and the labour costs he'll be saving by doing the work himself,
he might just do it.
He plans to put it up for resale once it's finish but surely
the rental market is tempting,
with the university and hospital so close by.
# Doctor, doctor, give me the news
# I've got a bad case of lovin' you... #
I shall certainly sell.
I don't want to let it out.
I want it to have a freshness when I sell it
so I won't be letting or anything like that.
Well, I think he may be missing out on a lucrative market.
All those students and doctors would love to rent just across the road.
# Opportunity, opportunity This is your big opportunity... #
What do two local property experts think?
We asked them to take a look.
It's very cute. It's over three floors, which is rather unusual.
It's got a lot of character to it.
It's a typical property of this particular part of Birmingham.
Fixtures and fittings for this house,
it needs to be something durable
because it will attract the tenants
and tenants do tend to not look after a house like a homeowner does.
Robert plans to sell the property.
After paying £130,000
plus the £13,000 he reckons the work will cost,
he'll have spent a total of £143,000,
so what could it resell for?
Once renovated with accommodation as it is,
I would suggest putting it on the market at £165,000.
Fully renovated, this property, in good condition,
would fetch between 170 and £175,000.
I think they're in line with what I expected them to say.
Perceived level of finish, they have no idea what's going in.
You know, degrees of white goods,
things like that, which will all be included.
So I think in a month or two,
when the market picks up a bit, I'm sure I'll exceed that.
Even if it does just sell for the experts' estimates,
he could make between £22,000 and £32,000
but hopefully, Robert is right and once he's completed the work,
the market will have picked up so he can make even more.
Join us next time when we have more riveting stories
from Britain's auction rooms.
-You wouldn't want to miss it so join us then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Devon, a former coach house in Kent and a terraced house in Birmingham. All of these properties have been sold at auction, and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.