Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Derby, a chapel in Chelmsford and a flat in London, and find out how much they sold for at auction.
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Hello. Buying property isn't always as easy as it seems.
It can have its highs and lows, especially when you're stuck in a chain.
But you can eliminated that process when you buy at an auction.
-There are all sorts of properties being sold at auction.
-And their buyers have all kinds of plans
to sort them out, and all sorts of budgets.
So let's see what's up for grabs on today's show.
'I uncover some hidden period treasures in Derby.'
'This chapel in Chelmsford has real potential.'
It's quite exciting to think what you could do with a space like this.
'And you're unlikely to lose your shirt investing in this London flat, but you may lose some weight.'
Ooh! Well, climbing up all those stairs would certainly keep you fit.
'All these properties have been sold at auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid
'when they went under the hammer.'
'I'm in Derby, renowned for its Georgian and Victorian architecture.
'The city is now adding a modern twist.
'Derby is moving forward whilst also celebrating its past.
'Ten minutes' walk from the city centre is the property I'm here to see.'
These red-brick Victorian properties are very typical of the area.
You're close to the local schools and facilities, so they make great places to live,
or maybe as a buy-to-let investment.
Here's the one that I'm going to see. Guide price was 55,000 quid.
Let's take a look.
Nice that you've got the double glazing before you start. Good news.
Straight into the living room. Very standard layout.
Open fire, we like that. But if ever you come into a property and the carpet has been peeled back,
you should start to investigate a bit further.
Oh, blimey. Yes, the floor is actually moving pretty badly.
That's not good. That needs investigation.
In fact, I don't think I can look at very much more of this property
without finding out what's going on there and maybe... A-ha! The cellar.
I think the answer's down there.
'Let's see what horrors lie beneath in the basement.'
# Don't be afraid of the dark
Now, intrinsically, cellars are a wonderful thing to have in a property.
They can make great games rooms or additional space, cinemas, et cetera,
but they can also be the source of major problems, and as you can see, the...
The joists are absolutely rotten.
I better not pull too much more otherwise I might end up having that come down on my head.
What has happened is that, basically, the air vents to this cellar have been blocked off
and this has become the perfect place for the formation of both wet and, more seriously, dry rot.
And the annoying thing is, it could've all been prevented
by just having an air flow, some air bricks so you can get a flow of air.
If you've got a cellar, do me a favour, go down there, make sure you can feel a breeze
and that your cellar isn't as dank as this one is and you can avoid these problems.
As it is, for the person who buys this, they'll have to spend a bit of money sorting that out.
'For the cellar to be converted into a liveable space, it will need to be water- and damp-proofed.
'This process is known as tanking.
'Meanwhile, back on the ground floor is the back sitting room and the kitchen.
'Both are in poor condition. I'd recommend getting the plumbing checked and also the electrics.
'Let's head up top.'
So, upstairs, I like the look of that.
That's a roof light. Stick something in the roof itself
to bring in a bit of natural light, that would be lovely. A big double bedroom at the front.
Down this corridor, another double bedroom at the back, two really good size rooms.
And another bit of good news, upstairs bathroom and loo,
it's old, it's dated, it needs sorting out, but at least it's in the right place.
'Like the rest of the house, the bathroom needs modernising.
'But, in contrast with the rest of the property, upstairs feels spacious and bright.'
One of the nice things about the property is that a lot of the original features are still here.
You've got the doors, which I'd strip. Some of these old skirting boards are nice, too.
And look, behind here, there is, I hope, an old fireplace.
This has probably been covered up like this for 20, 30 years.
What could possibly be behind here?
Look at that! And, listen, just hang on a second.
I wonder if we can see what date it is on this newspaper?
Fantastic. Daily Mirror, Friday November 13th, 1959.
# I used to be a headline
# Now I'm just old news
'A blend of period detail, modern design and comfort can successfully be achieved.
'It would be a travesty if these fireplaces were simply ripped out and thrown in a dark cellar.
'I invited the auctioneer who sold it to shed some light
'on this property, which had a guide price of £55,000.'
From first glance outside, you think it looks in quite good order.
That's because it's had new windows put in.
But when you get inside, you see what hasn't been done over a course of many years.
So it needs quite a bit of hard work doing to it, really.
'Once the property has been renovated, what could be the value if it was sold on?'
Renovated to a good standard, it would have a market value, on today's market, of around £90,000.
'And the rental value?'
Assuming full renovation and good standard,
its rental value would be about £450 per calendar month.
Well, you are going to have to set aside a reasonable chunk of your budget
to sort out the dry rot problem and, of course, the floor.
But apart from that, this is a really good little house.
All the rooms are in the right place and either as a place to live
or a buy-to-let investment, it's a good one to go for.
Let's see who spotted it at the auction.
Guide price is 55-plus. Would someone like to start me at 58?
58. 56? Start me where you like.
56, thank you very much. 56,000 I have at the back.
At £56,000. 57 I've got on a proxy bid.
At 57,000. 58, sir? 58 is bid.
59 is bid on a proxy.
59,000. £60,000, thank you very much.
At £60,000 only bid. £60,500? £60,500.
At £60,500. 61? 61,000.
62? £62,000. 62,500. It's in the market, the bids are yours. 63.
63,500. 64,000. 64,500.
65,000. 65 and a half. 66?
66 is bid.
At £66,000. 500 somewhere else?
It's in the market, we're selling. The bid is £66,000.
500. He's had second thoughts. 67, sir? 67.
At 67,000 again.
68,000, definite? At £68,000, going for the first time.
Second time. Any higher bid?
-All done at £68,000?
-Sold at 68,000. Thank you.
'The happy chap there with his successful bid of 68,000 was Roger.
'He's a car industry consultant and I met him back at his new property.'
# Jump in my car
# I wanna take you home
-Roger, lovely to meet you.
-And you, Martin.
-Thanks very much.
-A great little house. Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
Well, I needed somewhere to live and I didn't want to have a mortgage
and I've been to auction before many, many years ago
and I started looking at houses at auction and I ended up with this one.
I just want a house for me. Occasionally, my youngest son will stay with me
or my other son will come up from London and stay,
so I just wanted a house big enough, didn't want a big garden,
-and I wanted something that's a project.
And this is. Not a big project, but it's enough of a project.
'Whoops. Be careful where you stand, Roger.
'The first job will be fixing the rotten floors caused by the dry rot in the cellar.'
I knew about the floor, I knew what state that was in
because I was bouncing up and down on the floor when I came to look at it the first time
-and the estate agent said, "Don't do that!"
-Never a good sign!
-"Don't walk to heavily on the floorboards," always sets those alarm bells ringing.
-Yeah. And then lots of other things to do to it.
-Talk me through exactly what you're going to do.
Right, well, obviously, a new floor.
New floor in here and in the kitchen.
And the bedrooms will just need decorating and rewiring, central heating,
the normal run-of-the-mill things on top of that. I'd like, if I can afford to, have the cellar tanked.
But we've got to look into the cost of that.
-Would be a good extra room.
-It would, yeah.
-I would think more of a Scaletrix.
Yeah. My boys love Scaletrix and we've always had one
and I had them when I was little and we love it.
-So you'd have a permanent Scaletrix track in the cellar? Oh, whoa!
# Toys for boys
# Toys for boys
# Play with us
'Racing cars in the basement would be very cool.
'But does Roger face a race of his own to get this job done on time and on budget?'
What kind of budget have you got?
I've got 20 with a contingency of five and then another contingency of five on top of that.
Wow. Why are you calling it two lots of five rather than ten?
I don't want to spend the second one at all, to be quite honest.
'A £30,000 budget is certainly not to be sniffed at,
'but what about his schedule?'
-What kind of timescales to get this sorted?
-I would like to be, by the end of the three months, actually living in the property.
-Who's doing the work?
-I've got a builder lined up. He's a friend and he'll project-manage it all.
Oh, great. What do you do when you're not doing this?
-I'm a motor industry consultant.
-Ooh. What does that mean?
Well, I work with larger dealer groups improving the business, the customer service
-and also incentives with manufacturers and programmes, network planning.
-So cars in your work and cars in your play with your Scaletrix.
I know what I prefer! The cars in play!
I'm going to have to come back and have a play!
-If I've got it, yeah, you can do!
-Well done. We look forward to seeing how you get on.
# Jump in my car
I think Roger's got a great place here,
but do you honestly think that he will sort out other parts of the property
before he tanks his cellar and gets his slot car racing stuff installed?
I don't think so! Find out how he gets on later in the show.
Today I'm in a very peaceful part of Chelmsford in Essex.
To be precise, I'm in a graveyard and I'm here to see a chapel,
a museum, a lodge and over 0.2 acres of land.
Better get started or we'll never get time to see it all!
'The chapel and the lodge alongside were built in 1886.
'The grand and dark cloister is awe-inspiring,
'and while the view of the cemetery may not be to everybody's taste,
'I find it quite beautiful on this cold and crisp winter's morning.
'The guide price for this vast auction lot was £400,000.
'There's a great deal to see here,
'so let's begin by exploring inside the chapel.'
This would've been the original chapel of rest.
Wow! What an incredible space.
You've got fantastic ceiling height in here. It's really echoey.
And these beautiful big windows letting all this light in.
Look at these. Big old stone pillars here.
It does seem a bit strange to have all of this machinery in here,
but once you've cleared it, you've got a really big room.
It's quite incredible to have a look around. Over here there's some old stained glass.
That would originally have sat over there in the doorway.
If you rip all the boards off that window, you've got a beautiful stained-glass window.
I did go round the outside and have a look at it.
It's a big room and it's quite exciting to think what you could do with a space like this.
'The stonemasonry here is craftsmanship of the highest order.
'Whatever happens to this building, I'd like to see as much of its character retained as possible.
'Opposite the chapel is the lodge.
'This property has recently been used as an office
'but was originally the cemetery-keeper's house.
'There are three rooms downstairs and three upstairs
'and once again, there are some lovely original features.
'Converting a church into a residential property is quite common
'and extremely popular, but can be a mixed blessing.
'The grand architecture churches offer can sometimes mean compromised living spaces.
'And as heavenly as stained-glass windows are, they are draughty,
'meaning it will cost more to heat your home.
'Tucked in between the archway and the lodge is the cemetery waiting room
'with yet more beautiful stained-glass windows and an imposing fireplace.
'Adjoining the lodge is what was previously a museum
'for the Chelmsford Archaeological Trust. And it's huge!
'This extension was built in 1991
'but was designed to complement the Victorian gothic style of the lodge and the chapel.'
This place is amazing! But you and I know it can't stay this way.
It must have planning permission to convert it, right?
Well, yes, it does.
It comes with planning for the conversion of the existing building
to provide five two-bedroom cottages,
one three-bedroom house which is here
and three one-bedroom duplex apartments.
So you can see, this is going to be one big old project! But an exciting one.
'So, planning permission has been granted to turn the old museum into five two-bedroom cottages.
'The lodge will become a three-bedroom house.
'The chapel will become two one-bedroom duplex apartments.
'And the cemetery waiting room will also be a one-bedroom duplex apartment.
'This auction lot had a guide price of £400,000.
'I invited a local estate agent
'to give us his opinion on the place.'
The property is excellent. Exactly what Chelmsford needs.
We have a lot of modern housing estates, so a conversion like this
would be high in demand.
'How much could the one-bedroom duplex apartments,
'the two-bedroom cottages and the three-bedroom house be rented out for?'
For the one-bedroom properties, the rental value would be £700 per calendar month.
For the two-bedroom properties, the rental value would be £850 per calendar month.
The three-bedroom house we could rent for £1,100 per calendar month.
'That's a combined rental income of £7,450 per calendar month. What about sell-on valuations?'
The one-bedroom properties we'd start from £150,000.
The two-bedroom properties we'd start from £205,000.
We would put the three-bedroom house on the market for £300,000.
'That adds up to a tidy total sale valuation of just over £1.7 million.'
A massive project but a lucrative one if all goes to plan.
The return will be quite staggering, so I think it's a fabulous one to go for,
but living beside a graveyard isn't going to be for everybody.
Let's find out who wanted this as we head to auction.
375,000. As good a place as any. Thank you.
Yep, 385. 390.
410. 415. 420.
435. 440. 445.
And 50. 55. And 60.
And 65. And 70.
And 75. And 80.
And 85. And 90.
And 5. No?
Fresh place, 505.
510. 515. 520.
And 30. 35.
535. 540. And 45.
You sure? 540, still with you in the blue shirt. For the first time. Second time.
-Third and final time at £540,000. Got to go. Sure?
'Holding his nerve to win the day was Peter with his bid of £540,000.
'Peter and his business partner Ryan are specialists in converting barns and period and listed buildings.
'They have a little history with this property.
'I met them back at the lodge to find out more.'
-Thank you very much.
-This is really good news for both of you.
-Peter, you were the brave bidder on auction day.
-Yes, I was indeed.
-How did that work out?
-It was good. We knew where we were going to go with it, or what level.
We didn't think we'd get so much opposition when it got to a figure we would've liked it to have been.
But there's always someone comes in on the late side and pushes you up for that extra few quid.
How much would you have paid for this site?
Probably between six and a half to seven.
-So you got a bargain!
-Yeah, we feel so.
I'm intrigued, Ryan. How did you stumble across this?
About two years ago, we were doing a barn conversion down the road
and we happened to drive by going to our architect's and spotted a board up and made a couple of phone calls
and liaised with the agent, came down to have a viewing
and we were going to put an offer in, but due to financial restraints
and the way the market had turned, we were unwilling to proceed.
And we didn't expect it to come back up.
By chance, coming across the bridge, we saw the board back up.
-And that's two years on?
We were sad we couldn't bid on it in the first place, but it came round again.
-It was meant to be, boys!
'Perhaps destiny has played a part in bringing Peter and Ryan to this divine chapel.
'I'm keen to hear about their vision for this property.'
So what is the big old plan with this site?
At the moment, with the structures as they are,
we're going to get nine residential units out of it.
That'll be five two-bed apartments, one three-bed house, which is a part of what we're standing in now...
Which is beautiful. It's going to be stunning.
And three one-bed apartments.
So it lends very well to what it is
and it keep the external of the building as it was
and enhances the internal, particularly the likes of the chapel, which will be two lovely apartments.
It's 25-foot-high ceilings, so that'll be wonderful.
-We'll restore everything back to its original state.
-Are these buildings listed?
-They're not listed. So how far can you go with ripping them apart, taking the windows out?
-How far can you go?
-We don't like to rip out any of the beauty already in existence.
Work with it, enhance it, make it a feature of the property and bring it along.
Rather than take the heart out of it, retain it and make use of what's existing on the footprint.
'The duo have a passion for property
'and will try to develop this site respectfully
'with sensitivity to its heritage and location.'
How long do you think it'll take to develop this site?
Probably six months we'd expect to get some of them finished and done.
We'll see how the market goes, see what interest we get over the next few months and go from there.
Bearing in mind, it's all internal works, so we can start it immediately.
What's your budget for the total project? How much do you have to spend?
-Well, do we have to disclose that?
How much will it cost you to develop something like this?
Because you really are starting from scratch.
Yes, but the structures are already there, so it's internal finishings and that.
We're probably talking well under half a million.
Guys, I think this project had your name on it. It's very exciting.
I can't wait to see what they all look like.
-It's been lovely meeting you. Ryan, thank you very much. Peter, well done. Good luck.
This lovely collection of buildings has certainly fallen into the right hands.
Now, it is a major project for them, but will they do it in just six months
and how will the property market be? Will they sell or will they rent?
You can find out what happens later on in the programme.
'Coming up, I'm charmed by the kooky but cosy corners of this flat in London.'
It's a likeable little one-bedroom flat.
'Have Peter and Ryan succeeded in keeping the character of this period property in Chelmsford?'
We don't want just straight boxes for anybody. We'd rather have something quirkier and more interesting.
'But first, Roger's happy to have bagged a bargain on his fixtures and fittings.'
I got a cracking deal on those.
'Let's return to Derby and this two-bed terraced house.
'Roger purchased the property for £68,000
'and he planned to turn this house into his home.
'Already plans were being hatched about converting his cellar.
'I had a suggestion or two of my own as to what it could be used for.'
-No, I would think more of a Scaletrix.
My boys love Scaletrix and we've always had one.
-So you'd have a permanent Scaletrix track in the cellar? Oh, whoa!
'So, has Roger revved up the renovation or has it broken down and is in need of a jump start?
'Four months later, we're back to find out.
'Not much change outside, but let's head on in to see what's happening inside.
'The once tired and tatty rear sitting room and kitchen
'is now a stylish living room and kitchen area.'
I think a good kitchen is worth having and worth spending the money on.
But I was very careful where I sourced the units from and so on,
and I've made some great savings on the internet with that.
'Roger has maximised the space in the living area
'by removing the chimney breast.
'Let's take a look upstairs.
'The two drab and dreary bedrooms are now bright and bold.
'In the front bedroom, I uncovered a wonderful Victorian fireplace
'which I felt, once restored, would make a fantastic period feature.
'I'm sorry to see it's gone.
'But although Roger did attempt to revive the fireplace, he found it beyond repair.
'Let's see what he's been up to in the bathroom.
'Roger and his team of builders have worked wonders.
'They have managed to find room not only for a full-size bath but a shower cubicle, as well.
We turned the bath round, put it under the window
and so that allowed us to have a corner shower unit and the wash basin.
Again, looking round, searching for prices,
I got a cracking deal on those.
'Roger likes a bargain but he's not a penny pincher.
'He's been good to himself and his new home by buying quality.
'So has he managed to stick to his £30,000 budget?'
I spent more than my budget. I'm about £4,000 over the original cost.
But it's because we've done things properly, I think,
and I'm going to live in it, so nobody's to blame but me.
# Be good to yourself
# When nobody else will
'In the downstairs front reception room, work is ongoing,
'but the rotten floor has been replaced.
'As I discovered, this was caused by dry rot in the cellar.'
The joists are absolutely rotten.
'Roger has treated the dry rot and also carried out major structural work.
'A supporting wall was knocked down and replaced by a support beam
'and he has dug down to give an extra seven inches of floor-to-ceiling height.
'But never mind all that, when does the model car racing track get fitted?'
My youngest son wants a gambling den down there.
He has his four friends that he plays poker with.
'Oh, no! Where will the racing track go?'
The Scaletrix track will go up in the roof.
We're going to board the floor out, build studded walls
and make that a self-contained room.
'So a poker table in the basement and racing cars in the loft.
'Roger is three weeks behind with his three-month schedule
'and has spent £102,000 so far buying and renovating this place.
'We inviting two local property experts
'to give us their opinion on Roger's home.
'Let's begin by finding out what the auctioneer who sold it thinks of its transformation.'
It's a delight to come through the door of a house you've seen before.
You're intrigued to see what's changed. This is quite impressive.
It's interesting because, in this instance, he's doing it for his own occupation rather than to rent out
or to sell on, and therefore I think you give a lot more attention to detail and quality.
First impressions of the property are fantastic.
I like the use of space in the kitchen and dining area.
Taking out the party wall and having it open-plan means it's a more useable space.
The bathroom's very impressive. It's quite amazing what you can get into a small space.
A standard four-piece suite, and including a large bath,
I think is almost bordering on the miraculous, but it's really good.
'So the experts are impressed.
'This super-stylish and contemporary home
'is undoubtedly worth a great deal more than the £68,000 Roger paid for it at auction.
'He spent £34,000 on the renovation, meaning a total outlay of £102,000 so far.
'So has he crashed through the ceiling price for property in the area?'
In terms of resale value, sensibly I think you'd put this on the market at about £105,000.
I would expect to achieve a sale price of around £107,000 to £110,000.
That's what I was hoping for, to be quite honest,
because that means I'd get my money back and a little bit of profit.
So I'm happy with that. The 110 one would be nice.
But, yeah, that's fine, I'm pleased with that.
'It's been a pleasure to see so much hard work and heart and soul
'poured into the place to make it a home.
'And it appears that Roger's neighbours have taken an interest in his renovation.'
As people say, a terraced house is a terraced house. It's what's inside it.
A lot of people in the street have been really pleased that I'm actually going to live in it
and it's not going to be rented out to students.
And a lot of people, the neighbours, are dying to get inside here.
But they're not coming in till it's finished.
'I'm in Catford in the borough of Lewisham, Southeast London.
'And just as the name would suggest, on Catford high street
'there's a giant cat over the entrance to the shopping centre built in 1974.
'The area has experienced a lot of rebuilding in the 1960s
'and the 1990s, and with all this development, it's a busy place.
'So, for finding a bargain, could it be the purr-fect location?'
The property I'm here to see is certainly great for transport connections.
You've got a train station there about three minutes' walk, that'll take you into central London.
Five minutes from the town centre. However, this is a very busy main road,
so I wonder if that will put people off, because this is what I'm here to see,
or rather, a flat in this building.
'That main road is just off the busy South Circular so it's no wonder it's hectic.
'The flat itself is a one-bed that came guided at £80,000.
'Unfortunately, it's up three flights of stairs. Yep, right up there.'
Whoo! Well, climbing up all those stairs will certainly keep you fit.
This is a top-floor flat, of course,
but in this instance, I think that's not a bad thing cos you are furthest away from the road and the noise.
So up this final set of stairs into this little kind of lobby area.
Faced with a wall, which is a bit of a strange old layout,
and then something quite unusual, because for a one-bedroom flat,
you would expect a fairly small kitchen, but not in this instance.
It's actually quite a nice sized space.
It's tired and it needs sorting out, but you've got the room to do it.
And reasonable head height, as well.
So, spend a bit of money on this and you will transform this little area.
I wonder if there's anything you can do to get rid of that wall.
It is only a stud partition, which is good news, so it wouldn't be too much effort to take it out.
However, the thing I did notice, it's got electric light switches,
and worse than that, it's got the main fuse board,
and that'll be where the main electricity supply comes into the flat.
So that could be quite expensive to get rid of.
Worth doing though, I think, cos it would really open up this area.
Actually, for a one-bedroom flat, this is pretty spacious.
This is your main living room area. Two windows, lots of light flooding in,
reasonably high ceilings, a bit of detail from the fact that you're in the attic of the building.
Yeah, it's a good size space. Let's see if it carries on.
'So, the flat's relatively spacious, light and airy
'and the short commute into London City Centre is undoubtedly a selling point.'
Back into the little foyer area and you've got your loo there.
Bit of a shame because it isn't in that good a condition.
I'm wondering if there's any way of maybe increasing the size
by changing the position of that stud partition wall to create a slightly bigger toilet and loo.
That needs some attention. Then through into the one bedroom.
It's on the front of the property so I might be susceptible to noise from that road,
but being on the top floor, that is mitigated slightly. Not a bad size.
To sum up, it's a likeable little one-bedroom flat.
'If you get the bathroom sorted and you redecorate and refurbish those rooms,
'at that guide price of £80,000, this flat really has got something going for it.
'And it doesn't end there. It comes with a decent size patch of garden out the back
'and down the lane at the side of the house.
'It doesn't look like it's seen a lawnmower for some time.
'Still, it's definitely a bonus.'
# It's you and me
# We just lay down in the garden
'But has it got what it takes to impress Catford's property market?
'I asked along a local estate agent to give us his thoughts on this one-bedroom flat.'
First impressions, the overall building is very attractive.
The flat itself is a good size.
Obviously need a bit of TLC
but once it's done, it'll attract a lot of attention.
The convenient thing with this property is it also benefits from a garden, a massive selling feature.
The fact that you can have some outside space will make it very saleable.
'So, at around that £80,000 guide price, how could this add up?'
I believe the resale, once it's renovated, will be in the region of £150,000.
'And the rental figures?'
Once the property's been renovated, I anticipate a rental income of around £750 per calendar month.
What do you think, for £80,000 as a guide price, this one-bedroom flat?
Well, good connections, bit of a noisy main road, doesn't need much work doing to it.
All in all, I think it's a great one to go for. Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Lot 28. Who'd like to start?
50,000. I'll take it, you're bidding. 50,000.
55 anywhere? 55. 60.
70. 75 at the back. 75 elsewhere?
75, new spot. 80.
82. Back to you at £81,000.
82, new spot.
83. 84. 85.
86. 85 in the room. Looking for 86.
If not, 85 on my left.
First time. Second time.
86 at the back.
89 on... 90, yes. 91.
91 on my left. First time. Second time. Third and last time, if you're all done.
'The successful bidder was Peter, who snapped up the lot for £91,000.
'He's a building surveyor who spotted the potential of this little flat.
'I met him back at his purchase to find out more.'
-Peter, lovely to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, too.
Nice little flat. Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
Well, I know the area cos I travel through here to get to work,
so I know it fairly well and I looked at the auction catalogue
and it looked fairly cheap so I thought I'd go along and have a look at it
-and give it a go to try and buy it.
-Right. So why have you bought it?
I'm looking for an investment, really, so looking to do it up
and then hopefully sell it. If that's not possible
or not feasible, then I'll probably look to let it out.
-You're a building surveyor.
-Yes, that's right.
-That sounds like an ideal job to do what you're doing.
It is useful, yeah. We don't do the regular building surveying valuations and things like this,
we do project work, so we renovate whole estates on a grand scale.
-What kind of thing?
-The Decent Homes scheme, which is run at the moment by the government,
renovating run-down estates and estates which need regeneration.
Internally, kitchens and bathrooms,
externally, the fabric of blocks of buildings.
-Is this the first time you're doing something like this for yourself?
-Yes. So I'm a little bit nervous.
Now it's my money I'm spending, so I'm going to have to be a little bit more careful and do it property,
so I'm putting my neck on the block and giving it a go.
'Peter may be putting his head on the block here,
'but I reckon that with his experience, he won't be losing his head about what to do.
# Where's your head at?
'So, what plans does he have to execute a good renovation?'
Well, really, it's not too bad. So kitchen and bathroom definitely need doing
and lots of woodchip wallpaper everywhere, on the ceiling, as well,
which is going to be a nightmare, but I'm going to get a steamer this afternoon and get started.
So there could be a lot of skimming and plastering once that comes off.
-Why are you taking it off?
-Well, I just don't like it.
-I can't stand it.
-Is the house for you?
But if I'm going to sell it, I want it to look decent.
-Have you ever tried to strip this stuff?
-No, I haven't.
Think as bad as it could possibly be. I guarantee, in an afternoon, you'll clear a square metre.
-It's a nightmare. It's there for life.
-I'll do a square metre, then.
-Time it. Set the stop watch. Steamer, forget it.
'Peter has a generous budget of £10,000 and an equally generous schedule of eight weeks.
'But with only evenings and weekends to dedicate to the project,
'that time could disappear quickly, unlike the woodchip.
'He plans to sell the flat on when the renovation's complete.
'I reckon this is a sound investment, especially given the bonus he wasn't aware of at first.'
With the sale, they had an amendment to the auction catalogue
which said it came with a garden, as well, which I didn't know. That was a real bonus.
So I checked in the legal pack and it's got the lease with it marked, how much of the garden I've got.
It's about a quarter of it, cos there's four flats here. It's quite nice.
-Great. A real bonus.
-Yeah, a real surprise.
-Congratulations. Good luck and we look forward to seeing how you get on.
So, Peter finally realising that his professional skills can be used to personal use
in terms of knowing about properties. Building surveyors certainly should.
How is he going to get on with this place? He seems to have the right ideas
but will we come back to find a man destroyed from trying to get the woodchip off?
You can find out later in the show.
Well, it's been a while since we saw those purchases.
Have the new owners been racing through the work?
-Have they been or has everything ground to a complete halt?
-Let's go back and find out.
'Let's return to this vast auction lot in Chelmsford
'which sat adjacent to a cemetery.
'It consisted of the cemetery chapel with its vaulted ceilings,
'magnificent stonemasonry and grand windows,
'and there was also the cemetery-keeper's lodge and the cemetery waiting room
'with lovely stained-glass windows.
'The lodge and chapel are connected by the grand arch cloister
'and were built in 1886.
'An extension was added in 1991
'as a museum for the local archaeological trust.
'Peter and Ryan purchased all of this at auction for £540,000.
'They specialise in converting period and listed properties
'and strive to retain the original character of the buildings they develop.'
So how far can you go with ripping them apart, taking the windows out?
-How far can you go?
-We don't like to rip out any of the beauty that's already in existence.
Work with it, enhance it, make it a feature of the property, rather than take the heart out of it.
'11 months later and we're back to see if this pair's passion for property
'enabled them, as Ryan said, to keep the heart of this building.'
# You keep my heart alive
'Let's begin with what was once the museum,
'where Peter and Ryan planned to create five two-bedroom cottages.
'The ground floor's an open-plan living and kitchen area
'and the French doors flood the room with natural light.
'A brushed-steel handrail and glass up the staircase are further stylish additions.'
Being a listed building contractor, cos that's where our experience comes from,
he's tried to introduce some contemporary things, like contemporary handrails, glass,
which it never had before, just to give it some more light.
And light paint and light carpets.
So we've just tried to give it a bit of a contemporary feel.
They're quirky buildings, we're making them more liveable and enjoyable.
'The stairs link to the first floor, where there are two bedrooms and a bathroom.
'New windows have been added to the building and the light and airy decoration continues.
'The bathroom has no windows, but its all-white finish gives the impression of space.
'And in a change to the original plans,
'Peter and Ryan have added a second floor.
'The master bedroom has a staircase which leads to a dressing area
'and an en suite shower room.
'Each of the five cottages has the same floor plan
'but the pair put these properties on the market at the design stage,
'which allowed potential purchasers options on finishes.'
We were able to give customers the choices of ranges of kitchens,
carpets, tiles, white goods, et cetera.
It gives the purchasers coming in more chance to bespoke their own property.
That's what happened here and we got a lot better response from people coming to look at it.
'They certainly did get a good response.
'In fact, all five cottages are already sold.'
We knew if we kept a good standard of work, that would set us aside from other developers.
We've done them a little bit better. The quality of workmanship shows. Quite surprised how quick they sold.
'On now to what was previously the cemetery-keeper's lodge.
'Peter and Ryan have created a modern three-bedroom house
'within this Victorian property.
'The mix of contemporary and period styles
'sit sympathetically side by side
'with the seemingly contradictory styles enhancing the beauty here.'
We've tried to keep as many original features as we can
so we can just enhance the beautiful character of the building.
'The cemetery waiting room is being converted into a one-bedroom duplex apartment.
'They've achieved this by extending into the roof space
'to create a bedroom and a bathroom.
'By extending into the cloister, they've created a kitchen.
'This is undoubtedly a clever use of space,
'but I feel the extension has diminished the once spectacular archway and stained-glass windows.
'However, as with the two-bedroom cottages and the lodge,
'they have already sold this apartment.
'Peter and Ryan are 11 months into this development
'and had hoped to be further ahead at this stage.'
We set a timescale to do it and we've got slightly out of that
because we applied for some additional planning
and that held the scheme back from where we were going.
So we're probably two to three months over where we wanted to be.
'This delay is most noticeable in the chapel,
'which is being converted into two one-bedroom duplex apartments.
'The stained-glass windows have been beautifully restored
'and the high vaulted ceilings have been retained.
'I think Peter and Ryan are doing a particularly good job on these apartments,
'both of which have already been sold from plan.
'The original budget for this project was between £500,000 and £600,000
'but now, including their £540,000 purchase price,
'they estimate they've spent closer to £1.5 million.
'Let's find out from two local estate agents
'what they believe the value of each of the properties to be
'and how much Peter and Ryan actually sold them for.'
It's really contemporary inside now, so what they've done with the character is really good.
The way that it's been developed is the correct amount of units
and the correct amount of different styles of property.
I think they've done a really good job.
They've embraced the building. It's got a lot of character.
The finishes are high-end, good quality kitchens and ceramics,
all these little things that make it stand out.
'What do the estate agents estimate the sale value of the two-bedroom cottages to be?'
The resale values for these would range from £210,000
up to £225,000.
The two-beds, I would expect to get anywhere between 210 and 225.
Yeah. Obviously, each one of them is slightly different, but for that sort of level,
that's where we wanted to be in the beginning and that's where we've ended, so we're happy.
'And the three one-bedroom duplex apartments,
'two in the chapel and one in the former cemetery waiting room.'
I think the one-bedroom duplex apartments would range from £150,000 up to £160,000.
I would put the one-bedroom units on the market between £150,000 and £160,000.
Yeah, we achieved on that. And that's what we sold them for.
So we're quite happy with that. Very good.
'Good going so far. So, lastly, the three-bedroom house.'
The resale value for the three-bedroom house would be £300,000.
I would put the three-bedroom house on the market between £280,000 and £300,000.
-We got a couple of quid under the 300, so we're quite happy with that one.
-Yeah, very good.
'That's a combined total sell-on value of between £1,800,000
'That gives Peter and Ryan an estimated pre-tax profit
'of between £300,000 and £405,000.
'This property developing duo thrive on a challenge
'so what's next on the horizon for them?'
We don't want to do just straight boxes for anybody.
We'd rather have something quirkier, much more interesting.
It's been enjoyable, it's been fun to do.
It's not been a hair-puller, it's been really good, can't ask for a better project, really.
# Keep my heart alive
'We're back in Catford, Southeast London now to catch up with Peter
'who bought this one-bed flat for £91,000.
'He's a building surveyor by profession, but this is his first solo project.
'The idea was to renovate and sell this property quickly,
'although his plan to remove the woodchip wallpaper was an ambitious one.'
-I just don't like it.
-Have you ever tried to strip this stuff?
-No, I haven't.
Think as bad as it could possibly be.
'Peter set himself a schedule of eight weeks to get the work done.
'So, two months later, we return to find out whether removing that woodchip wallpaper
'also stripped him of his enthusiasm.'
'Well, on first impressions, it looks like Peter's done a good job.
'The flat's been redecorated and recarpeted
'and he's also given the kitchen some serious attention.'
OK, in the kitchen, we've completely replaced all the units in here,
just totally redesigned it, as well.
So we've actually swapped the sink with the oven
cos I wanted a little bit of worktop by the side of the oven and also the sink,
so you can stack your dishes and stuff before you wash up.
And also put units on this side, as well, just to give some extra storage space
and just give a bit of a galley style to the kitchen, which I think works well.
'The bathroom is looking great.
'Peter used larger tiles to create a more spacious feel
'and it's now the perfect place to have a relaxing soak.
'Not so relaxing was the prospect of removing that woodchip wallpaper.'
Removing the woodchip wallpaper was a bit of an issue
because, as Martin said, it was going to be a bit of a problem.
We did remove it in the kitchen because I had to replace the whole thing, and the bathroom.
All that was taken down. We kept the woodchip wallpaper and just painted and freshened it up.
'So Peter did listen to my advice after all.
'And the woodchip which he hasn't stripped away, he's painted.
'That has given the flat a fresh feeling.'
# Old paint is peeling
# This is that fresh, that fresh feeling
'But fresh wasn't exactly how Peter felt
'when combining his day job with renovating the flat.'
Grabbing weekends and evenings sounds like a good idea but it is actually very tiring.
But it's something that I was prepared to do, and I'd be prepared to do it again,
so I was happy with it, but a lot harder work than I initially thought.
'It's been hard graft, but Peter's done a grand job
'ensuring the flat was ready to rent within his eight-week schedule.
'But did he make any savings on his ten grand budget?'
I think renovating the actual flat is going to come in round about £5,000 to £6,000.
But I was quite fortunate because the boiler didn't need changing.
And most of the electrics were OK. Only the bathroom and the kitchen needed rewiring.
-I had a few savings there.
-'Even including legal fees and mortgage repayments,
'Peter's total outlay is still under £100,000.
'So does he plan to sell or rent it out?'
I want to sell it. I want to get rid of it, move on to the next one.
But if I have to rent, then I'll do that, so it depends on the valuations.
'Here are some experts to help Peter make up his mind.
'We asked two local estate agents to tell us whether Peter's investment will pay off.'
The property, compared to what it was like last time,
massive transformation. Before, it needed everything doing,
and he's replaced everything that needed to be done.
The standard of finish could've been a little bit better in places.
But the kitchen and bathroom more than makes up for that.
'The flat seems to get the thumbs-up from the estate agents.
'So what could a resale achieve?'
I believe the property would resale for £150,000.
This property could resale for £150,000.
Wow! 150,000. That's very good.
That's a lot more than I thought it was going to be, so I'm very, very pleased with that.
'On his first attempt at property developing,
'Peter could make a pre-tax profit of around £50,000.
'So I reckon that's helped make up his mind here.'
In terms of selling it, yeah, I'm definitely going to be looking to do that first.
I'll probably take an offer of something reasonable on that
and move on and hopefully get onto the next one as soon as possible.
'But even if Peter sticks with the flat, the estate agents reckon he could make a rental income
'of up to £775 per calendar month.
'That would give him a possible annual yield of over nine percent.
'You won't earn that from any high street bank.
'After the sale of this flat, he plans to get another small apartment to renovate
'and the success of this one means he's going back to you-know-where.'
I'll definitely buy property at auction again. I found the whole thing really exciting on the day
and you can sometimes get a bit of a bargain, hopefully. I'll definitely do it again.
The world of property is never static or boring.
You need to know what you're doing. And we can help with that.
So join us next time for more cautionary tales and success stories from the nation's auction rooms
-on Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Derby, a chapel in Chelmsford and a flat in London. All of these properties have been sold at auction; Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what was paid for them when they went under the hammer.