Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a cluttered property in Derbyshire, a semi-detached property in Kent and a three-bedroom terraced house in South Wales.
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-Welcome to the show.
-They say home is where the heart is,
but is your heart in buying a property at auction?
Today we find out who's willing to put their heart and soul
into buying their home under the hammer.
Buying at auction can be the road to success,
but it's important to tread carefully.
Yes. Even developers can make the wrong moves.
So what got people excited at the auctions on today's show?
In Derbyshire, a whole lot of clutter
leaves me almost lost for words.
Um... I mean... Well, the thing is, what a mess!
In Kent, the garden of this semi drives me wild.
The garden goes all the way down until it reaches farmland.
I love it!
And this three-bed mid-terrace in Aberfan, South Wales,
takes me completely by surprise.
I continue to be quite shocked! It is so big!
All these properties have been sold at auction.
We'll find out who bought them and how much they paid
-when they went under the hammer.
-It's yours, madam. Thank you.
Today I'm in Riddings in Derbyshire, near the town of Alfreton.
The village of Riddings originally grew up
around the heavy industries of iron and coal in the 19th century,
but the property I'm here to see, on a busy main road,
has a very different history.
This is it. It's actually a former commercial unit
which looks like it's been converted to residential at some point.
Had a guide price of 38,000 quid. Doesn't look too bad from here!
With its substantial double-fronted facade,
you might think commercial use was the way forward for this property,
but there are a lot of boarded-up shops around Riddings,
so perhaps residential is the better option.
From the outside, it doesn't look like the worst I've ever seen.
Inside, it seems,
um, slightly different matter.
Gosh, it's a bit of a mess, really.
A few indications of its previous life as a shop.
There's a suspended ceiling, for one.
Apart from that, basically just two rooms here,
separated by this...
Um... I mean... Well, the thing is, what a mess!
SONG: "Messy" by Gabriella Cilmi
# I thought I'd get a little messy
# One day before it gets too heavy #
It seems like someone has used this property
as some kind of dumping ground. But fear not, canny buyers.
Simply put on your developer's goggles,
and you'll see right through this clutter to what lies beneath.
And that is four large reception rooms downstairs,
plus a smallish kitchen at the rear.
Space-wise, you're quids in here.
I know it's hard, but think less "mess" and more "modernise".
Well, if you thought downstairs was bad,
upstairs is an absolute disaster!
Got a bedroom round the corner, bathroom here...
I mean, it looks like it's been started,
in terms of the sanitary ware looks reasonably new,
but then there's these corridors, steps, low ceilings...
I mean, another bedroom there that you couldn't even get into
because it's full of clutter, and then through to the third bedroom,
which is at the front of the property, and, surprise, surprise,
is absolutely full of rubbish.
So the first thing you'd have to do with this place is,
get yourself some skips and get rid of all this stuff,
and then at least you can see what you've got,
because actually there's quite a lot of space
hidden here somewhere.
You might even find a pot of gold under there if you're very lucky.
Ever the optimist, I'm still seeing the potential here,
and I'm determined not to be put off,
although the area out the back is still to come.
Well, at the rear of the property,
you do get a flavour of the poor state of repair this place is in.
I mean, look at this window frame - falling to pieces.
But a bit of good news - a garden,
actually a big garden,
and you got this outbuilding.
So, yes, it is in a state,
but it is quite a lot of property for the money.
We asked a local estate agent to brave the elements
to give us an opinion on this shop turned house
turned dumping ground.
At the auction, the guide price was £38,000.
It needs entire renovation,
maybe knocking about completely to make it into a good family home,
or potentially to change it into two dwellings.
Apart from all this stuff that needs removing,
are there any downsides to the property?
Negatives of a property like this are the lack of parking,
it's on a very busy main road, and opposite a pub as well.
No access to the rear garden, and it's straight onto the pavement.
On the upside?
Positives of the property, it's got a fairly spacious interior.
It has got potential to become a good family-size property.
It also has a very good-sized back garden.
Let's talk hard figures. If you do the work on this house,
what could you expect to rent it out for?
Rental valuation, once the property is completed
to a three-bedroom dwelling, I would expect to achieve
a rent of approximately £550 per calendar month.
And if you were to sell it?
I would expect to achieve...
approximately £140,000 to £150,000.
Just out of interest, what would it be worth on the open market
as it is now?
In its current condition...
It will struggle to achieve 50, I would expect.
There's clearly profit to be reaped here.
It just needs a bit of vision and a good deal of hard graft.
And it would also help if you could block out that traffic noise.
If you're looking for the quiet life, not the property for you,
but remember that guide price - 38,000 quid.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
Lot number 12,
extensive double-fronted two-storied property.
Needs a bit of TLC.
£40,000 to start me? 40?
38 to move it on?
Seven? 37 I've got on the far side, thank you.
At £37,000, opening bid.
At 37. 37,500 somewhere else?
37 and a half? 37,000 is my opening bid.
37,500, quickly? 37,500.
39 is bid.
39,500. At 39. At £40,000.
At £40,000. Out in front of me. 500 somewhere else.
At £40,000, then. All done with it?
And a half. 40 and a half.
At 40 and half. 41.
All done? For the first time...
For the second time... Third and last opportunity.
Any higher bid? I can't do it at 40,500, ladies and gentlemen.
Remember, the guide price is not the same as the reserve.
The minimum price the vendor was willing to sell for here was higher.
But in this case, setting the reserve didn't do the seller any favours.
That's because, by doing a deal after the auction,
Steve and his father Dennis got the property for just 40,000.
Steve and his dad are full-time developers,
with a portfolio of around 300 rental properties,
both commercial and residential.
I met Steve to find out what's in store for this property.
They bought it on a whim after successfully bidding for two other properties at the same auction.
-Steve, good to meet you.
So, you ended up buying three properties at that auction!
Had you any idea before you went that you might buy this place?
No. No. We'd seen it in the brochure,
but we weren't going to buy it, no.
-Right. Had you been to visit it beforehand?
-Have you read the legal pack?
Um... Wow! So...what do you think of it?
Er, it needs a bit of loving, tender care, don't it?
Er, sorting out.
First thing, we'll get it cleaned out and measured up,
and have a look what wants doing.
It sounds like it's a bit inconvenient in some ways!
Well, on the actual details in the auction,
we looked at it, and we thought, right, we might get the opportunity
to buy it, get it done up in a couple of months,
then get some rent on it. But, er,
might be a bit longer than that, maybe.
Right. I mean, I always say to people,
look at the properties before you buy them.
Um, do you wish you'd looked at it before you bought it?
-Not really, no. It is what it is.
Well, I'd have preferred it to have been a lot better,
but we've got it and we'll work with it.
You've got to admire Steve's laid-back approach.
But it comes from years of doing up and renting out
places just like this. If you're not as experienced or confident,
you might find it easier on the old ticker
to look round the property before the auction at the very least.
Talk me through exactly what you're going to do.
Get it cleaned out, measure it up,
see what wants doing regarding central heating, services,
if they're all intact. Windows, it needs.
Get 'em ordered. Get a team of men here and get it done.
What are you going to do with the contents of the house?
I'll be coming down tomorrow with three lads
and a couple of vehicles, and we'll be sorting through it.
There's three gas fires in there and a cooker
that'll go to a gas-training college, so they come in use.
Anything else that's any use, we'll pass on to charity shops or stuff like that.
Any other will be disposed of.
So the gas fires will be used to train gas fitters how to...
That's what we've done before. We've passed them on to a college
that we've used to train people up for gas, so...
So it will go to good homes.
Yeah, basically, some of it. Yeah.
What kind of budget have you put aside for it?
Er, until we get it cleaned out and have a good look,
we don't really know, but it won't be anything over 7,000.
-Nothing over that.
-And the timescale for doing it?
Once we start, from start to finish
it'll probably be about six to eight weeks, somewhere like that.
Well, congratulations and good luck with it.
-It's a bit of a surprise, but I hope it turns out great for you.
So, a bit of an unexpected purchase for Steve.
He's certainly got the experience to sort this place out,
but I really wonder if he knows quite what he's taken on.
Probably not, because he didn't see it, did he?
Anyway, you can find out how he gets on later in the show.
# If you take my advice
# There's nothing so nice
# As messing about on the river #
Today I'm in Kent.
Here the Hoo peninsula lies between the estuaries of the River Thames
and the River Medway, which is just here.
Rumour has it that William the Conqueror
once gave his brother the large estate of Hoo,
and that is a pretty generous gift!
SONG: "Who Are You" by The Who
Those puns on "Hoo" abound round here,
and with history that goes back to Saxon times,
all within easy reach of London, "Hoo" could complain?
The property I'm here to see is in the popular village of St Werburgh.
Now, we're on the main road to Rochester,
not far from the M2 motorway, and that's handy to know,
especially if this 1960s semi makes me reach for the car keys and a quick exit!
However, with a guide price of 100,000 to 110,000,
I think it's definitely worth a look inside.
'OK, so it may not be steeped in ancient history,
'but I've a feeling there may be Saxon treasure to unearth here.'
What's surprising is that this is the main front door into the house.
I don't know about you, but it feels wrong.
That's more like a side-door entrance to me.
And I've got to say, what a kitchen!
If anything, it needs to be stripped out completely
and thrown in the skip. Even a clean-up wouldn't suffice in here.
It really is in a bit of a state. Let's look through the lounge,
if you go that way...
Here we go. This is the main lounge to the property.
As you can see, there are no beautiful architectural features
in here. It really is what you see is what you get.
Artex ceiling, which you know is not a favourite of mine.
The property is lacking a lot of love, a lot of attention.
I just think it needs completely stripping out and starting over.
The auction catalogue said it needed a lot of work doing.
It wasn't kidding!
SONG: "Should I Laugh Or Cry" by ABBA
I've got mixed emotions about this one.
The ground-floor configuration definitely needs a rethink,
but I think the answers may be at the front.
Having seen the layout inside now, I can see how you could extend
to make the most of the land available,
and you could increase the number or rooms.
Now, here at the front of the property,
there's ample space for a single-storey extension,
just like next door have done, which could mean a decent-size living room
at the front of the property, along with maybe a porch,
making a more formal entrance to the house,
which I personally think this property needs.
You could also enquire about changing this carport
into a garage, as you wouldn't need this side door any more.
You would lose a bit of this front garden out here,
but a small price to pay for what would definitely increase the amount of room inside
and add huge amounts of value to this house.
But hold on.
There's still more to see.
Upstairs there's a small and decidedly grubby bathroom
and three bedrooms, all of which are slightly on the small side.
Now, this is the master bedroom. It's not that big.
The size of these rooms up here clearly let this house down.
There's no radiators, which means no central heating.
It probably all needs a rewire.
I can see there's only one plug socket over there.
But that said, that's a great view.
Aha! I think we may have found the hidden treasure at this property.
The back garden is vast - kind of overgrown, but huge.
I see potential here.
Outside, you can see there is plenty of space for a rear extension.
But just look down here!
This must be the property's main draw.
The garden goes all the way down until it reaches farmland.
Absolutely beautiful! And with a bit of landscaping,
I think it's going to be a real gem of a garden. I love it!
There's so much garden here
that a double-storey extension would fit in no problem at all,
allowing for better-sized rooms upstairs
and possibly another reception room downstairs.
The fact that the neighbours have already done it
is a hopeful precedent for getting planning permission.
Does a local estate agent share my vision for the property?
The guide price at auction was £100,000 to £110,000.
'The property, on my first impression,
'is very much a 1960s style of house.'
It hasn't been touched since the day it was built,
and I think to do anything with it,
you'll have to do something pretty drastic,
to give it some sort of lift and some attraction to it.
In its current condition, the estate agent thinks it might rent
for 750 per month.
If you did the work on it, what could you sell it for?
If they decided to extend it on the back
and on the front as well, then, I think, if I was to market it now
with all that work done, block-paved, nice garden,
I'd be looking to market round about the 200,000,
maybe a little more, in this market, to test.
It's a lovely area, and the amount of plot the house is built on
is big, which means it makes fantastic potential
for redevelopment, and that really does excite me.
But the house itself realistically needs an awful lot of time
and money and love spent on it
to turn this into a liveable modern home.
Let's go to auction and find out who bought this Hoo property
when it went under the hammer.
Lot 47 now is the vacant semi-detached,
needs refurbishment. Loads of potential with this one.
Will you give me £100,000 to start me?
£100,000 straight in. I'm on the way at 100.
100. 105. 105 I've got.
And ten. 110.
110 in the aisle. 112 I'll take from you if you like.
112. And 14 again.
I'll take 116 at the back.
116. At 18 now. It's against both of you.
118. 118,000. 118.
It's back with you. Maiden bidder. 120.
And two. 122.
122. At £120,000 I've got.
122 I'm looking for.
122 I have. And four. 124. At six.
126. It's worth it. You won't get another one of these.
126. And eight. 128.
And 30. 130.
With you now at 130. 132.
132. And four. Got 34? He's shaking his head.
You're not supposed to do that. £132,000 I've got.
134 I'm looking for. Are we all done at £132,000?
Still good value for money. 134 on the right-hand wall.
136. 136. Keep with him.
And eight. Still worth it. 138. And 140 now if you like.
140. And two. 142.
141, he says. And two. 142.
142. At three? 143.
And four. 144.
144. And five.
145. At 146? 146?
147 now. It's against you.
No? £146,000 I've got, sitting down, then, towards the back,
for the first time. £146,000 for the second.
If you're sure you're all done... Third and final time, £146,000.
147, just in time. 148. I think you might have it.
And nine. It's against you again.
£148,000 I've got for the first time.
148 for second.
Third and final time, if you're sure you're all done.
-£148,000, third and final time.
-HE TAPS HAMMER
After a hard-fought battle,
the successful bid of 148,000,
38 grand over the upper guide price, came from John.
He's a self-employed plumbing and heating engineer from London.
SONG: "Who Let The Dogs Out" by Baha Men
John already lives here in the village,
but has bought this as his new home.
I met him at the property with his new bulldog puppy, Winston,
who was keen to have a sniff around.
What was the main draw for you about this property?
The garden. The garden. I bought myself a little dog, Winston,
and I thought, "I'm not really a park person."
He's got his own park out the back now.
-How long have you and Winston been together?
-Five or six weeks.
He's still only a little pup.
And I just think the garden's going to be great
for the children when they come over. We'll have a little den for them.
-So you've got kids and Winston?
-Oh, yes. Yes.
Tell me about the children. What do they think?
Well, they're quite bemused by the garden.
It was just so overgrown. I got them down here last weekend
to help me out, and they weren't that keen on it.
But I did say to them we would build them a little den down the bottom,
and they'll have their own space.
SONG: "Walk On The Wild Side" by Lou Reed
It's a bit on the wild side at the moment for sure,
but there's great scope here for a garden of delights
for John's four children and Winston the dog.
Hey, you could lose a lot of people here!
But what about the house?
So, what plans have you got to change this house?
Because it does need everything doing to it.
-I just want a little lick of paint, really.
No. Double extension on the back,
so the whole back will actually open up completely to the garden.
The main bedroom would go across the extension with an en suite.
Kitchen would be a lot bigger. The door will go to the front.
Hopefully I'll get the permission to put the garage on the side,
and it'll be a nice-size house.
So you really are almost going to double in size here.
Hopefully, yes. That's the way I'm going.
I don't see a problem, because the neighbours have already done it,
and one up the road has done it as well.
That will come at a price. How much have you budgeted for the work?
Initially I'm looking at... If I can get it all done and complete
for under 50 grand, I'll be happy.
The budget now, with the house... I paid 148.
If I can keep it under 200 grand, I've got a nice house.
My only concern is, John,
that you might exceed the actual value of the property
with the amount of money you're planning to spend.
To be honest with you, Lucy, it wasn't an issue.
It's going to be a family home that, you know, if...
If it doesn't break even or whatever, it all pans out eventually
with property, goes up and down.
-So you're not worried about overspending?
-Not at all.
You might think John's taking a risk here,
but if he's got his heart set on living here,
why not push the boat out and go that extra mile?
John, how long is it going to take you
before this place is looking fabulous?
I really hope, in six months, that's my home.
Hopefully once the planning comes through...
I will start the other works on the electrics and plumbing.
There's no heating in here at the moment, so I'll start on that
while I'm waiting for planning to come through.
But initially I've got six months.
Tell me what it's going to look like inside.
What will the feel of the place be like?
I want a log-burning fire. I want a modern house,
-but I've got to have the log-burning stove.
-So a bit of tradition...
Traditional countryside, right, but I want it ultra-modern in here,
a really nice en suite...
I have visions of you toasting your marshmallows in the fire
-and all sorts going on.
-Dog burning his nose up against it
-as he tries to nick 'em.
-John, I'm just going to say congratulations.
I'm so excited for you, and I hope you and Winston
-both really enjoy living here.
-Hopefully. Thank you.
On a nice day like today, that garden will be a delight,
and I'm sure Winston will love running round in it whatever the weather.
However, John's plans for two extensions
as well as the internal work - well, that's going to take time.
Will he do it in six months, and on budget?
You can find out later on in the show.
Coming up - in rainy Aberfan, my doubts are washed away
by this three-bed mid-terrace...
This is a great little property!
In Kent, an estate agent is blown away by this '60s semi.
I just cannot believe what the guy has done.
It's absolutely amazing.
But first, in Derbyshire the locals get carried away with recycling.
They actually physically came into the house and took things out!
We're back in Riddings, Derbyshire,
to check out the progress at this four-bed house
and former commercial property. On our first visit,
there was a whole lot of mess around.
# Yeah, do the mess-around
# Everybody's doing the mess-around
# Now, let me have it there, boy #
The property, along with all this clutter,
was bought at auction for £40,000 by full-time property developer Steve
and his dad Dennis.
They rent out around 300 properties,
but broke all the rules by not viewing it before the auction.
However, with all his experience, Steve didn't seem worried.
-Do you wish you'd looked at it before you bought it?
It is what it is.
-Well, I'd have preferred it to be a lot better,
but I've got it and we'll work with it.
Steve gave himself a budget of £7,000
and between six and eight weeks to transform the place
from dumping ground to tenant-ready family home.
Well, 16 week after our first visit,
Steve is here to show us what he's done.
# No sign of hope
# As far as I can see
# Then you came
# And rescued me #
Now, that's what I call a proper clean-up,
inside and out back.
First question - what happened to all the junk?
The day after you visited,
we came down, and it was their bonfire night.
So we decided to have a bit of a bonfire in the back garden,
which we did. Er, very successful.
And there were a lot of other stuff that we couldn't burn,
so we placed that on the main road, on the pavement,
to go on the van later on.
Three or four trucks, vehicles, pickups, whatever, pulled up,
and they said, "Do you want that?" "No, not really."
They took it, and I don't know where it went.
They actually physically came into the house
and started taking stuff out of the house,
so they emptied a lot of it for us. There was a lot of stuff in here,
a lot of stuff.
That was a recycling stroke of luck if I ever heard it!
And, true to his promise, Steve has kept the old gas fires
to donate to local colleges to help train heating engineers.
With the building cleared, it was time to get cracking on the renovation -
re-plumbing, rewiring, plastering throughout,
as well as rejigging the old kitchen
to give a downstairs shower room and utility.
Upstairs has had the same treatment as down,
and Steve really has made the most of the space up here.
On the first floor,
we decided to open the staircase up and put a balustrade in,
bring some light into the staircase, landing and all.
Also on the first floor, we decided that the bathroom was too big,
so we decided to contain the bathroom into this area here,
and therefore was able to provide a fourth bedroom-cum-study
cum-secondary bathroom, because we've left the services
just the other side of the stud wall,
which we constructed to split the bathroom to the bedroom,
so that room has now got multiple uses.
You get the feeling Steve's done this before, and he has.
In fact, the pressures of other projects,
plus a spell of bad weather, means he's already two months behind schedule.
How has all this work impacted on his £7,000 budget?
Well, we paid 40,000. With fees and everything,
it's come to £41,500.
And then it'll cost us in the region of £7,000 to £10,000
by the time we've done. So £51,000 for a four-bedroom house...
is probably OK.
OK? I'd say so.
An estimated total spend of £51,000 by the time he's finished
really is pretty good going.
So, what's Steve's plan now?
We'll hopefully have it done a week today,
on the market for letting-out purposes.
We asked two local estate agents to take a look around the property
and give us their thoughts on the renovation.
'I think there's been a dramatic difference
'in the property since I was last here.'
Everything removed from the house, so a dramatic difference.
This is an interesting property, with a few options
as to how it could have been developed.
The owner has taken a simple view to creating a nice-sized family home.
'What I like most about the property now
'is the space inside.'
The obvious downside is the lack of parking.
It's a single yellow line out the front,
so it's very difficult to find parking in the area.
Even without parking space,
the estate agents value the place for resale
at between £120,000 and £140,000.
That would mean an amazing profit
of between £69,000 and £89,000.
But in the current climate, he intends to rent it out,
so what might it fetch for that?
In terms of rental, the property's likely to return
about £525 a calendar month.
I would expect to achieve between £525 and £550 per calendar month.
Those rental valuations mean that, given Steve's estimated total spend
of 51,000, he could be looking at a yield
of about 12 or 13 percent.
So, is he happy with a rent between £525 and £550 per month?
Yeah, it's probably round about that figure.
It's all going to depend on what the tenant negotiates with us.
They'll come in and say they'd like it carpeted, for instance,
so rent will go to its top whack,
or they'll carpet it themselves and it'll stay at bottom rates.
That's how we proceed.
Would he return to an auction and do it all again?
Yeah, we'd do an auction again. This seems to be quite successful
with the figures presented.
Although we've got a large portfolio of assets that we're carrying out,
we'll be looking after them, but you never know.
Something comes up, we might have a go.
Today I'm in a decidedly soggy Aberfan,
20 miles from Cardiff.
# Oh, oh, oh
# Look at the rain...
Well, I hope you're nice and dry where you are,
because here in the valleys of South Wales it most certainly is not.
But the plus side of the property I'm here to see,
walking distance to the train station,
guide price 40,000 quid, which for a three-bed terrace
doesn't seem too bad either. Let's take a look inside.
# Oh, oh, oh
# Umbrella day #
The exterior decoration is rather distinctive,
but it certainly stands out from the neighbouring properties.
There's a new UPVC door and double glazing, though,
which is a good start.
Whoo! Nice to be out of the rain into the dry.
What have we got? Reasonably sized entrance foyer here,
stairs up to your bedrooms, and through into... Wow, look at this!
Fantastic! A huge great living room/dining room.
It's obviously been knocked through at some stage
to create this absolutely massive space,
not at all what you'd expect for this type of property.
Obviously it needs a bit of updating here and there,
but what a fantastic start! Does it get any better?
Well... The kitchen, again, what a lovely surprise!
Obviously been refurbished relatively recently.
Perfectly serviceable, especially if you're renting this place out,
and there's space for a kitchen table here,
so it's a real family space. And, better than that,
you've also got a downstairs bathroom
with a shower, a loo... I mean, this is a great little property!
What am I saying? This place is far from small.
There's a lot of property to love here.
But go round the back, and things aren't quite so cheery.
# Will you still love me
# When I am grey?
There is a garden of sorts, although today's an indoors kind of day.
'So, what else does it have to offer?'
Well, upstairs, and I continue to be quite shocked!
It is so big inside this property
compared to what it looks like outside.
You got three good-size bedrooms. As well as that bathroom downstairs,
there's a bathroom up here too, which is great to see.
And the decor is equally fabulous.
Well, at least it was, back in a previous era.
I'd erase the purple bathroom
and eradicate the Artex walls without hesitation.
It's time to haul this outdated but roomy three-bed terrace
into the 21st century.
What does a local estate agent make of this place
that was guided at 45,000?
First impressions, needs a bit of general upgrading,
but overall, not a bad property.
Needing bathroom, shower room and general decor,
but not too much to do.
So, how does he see the property post-renovation?
Would he advise selling or renting it out?
I think in the current climate, the safest bet
is probably to look towards the rental market,
as the sales market is still quite depressed,
so rental is probably the safest for them.
What kind of rental income might it generate?
Rental value here,
probably somewhere in the region of 450, perhaps 400 to be safe.
And if the buyer decided to sell?
When fully renovated, I think the value
is in the region of about £70,000.
So, a surprisingly spacious property
where most of the big things have already been done for you,
and it is actually just a case of a bit of cosmetic work to be sorted out.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
Lot number 24 we're onto now, ladies and gentlemen,
which is the mid-terraced house for improvement.
It's a three-bedroomed house. Nice little house here.
What am I bid for it? Who's got 50 for it?
Put it in, then. Bid me 48 to start.
48. 46. Let's get started. 40, can I?
Thank you, two bids. 42, will you, sir?
42. 44. Thank you. At 44,000.
Your bid at 44,000. Five, then, thank you.
At 45,000. At 45,000.
This is no money for it. At 45,000. I'll take them one by one
as I said. It's your bid.
At £45,000. And six, can I? Six. Thank you.
At 46,000. At 46.
Half, then. Thank you. 46 and a half.
Where was your bid? It's 40... Where...
Oh, over this side. I can see. Yes, thank you.
Yeah, you were waving well, too. 47 I'm bid from the lady.
47. Half behind. 47 and a half.
Eight. I know where to look now. 48.
Just... You're out. 48 and a half.
49, can I? 49 for the lady on the aisle there.
At 49. You're out behind.
At 49,000. It's the lady's bid.
At 49,000. Don't shake your head, sir.
You don't get them by doing that. At £49,000.
I'm going to sell it. I'm not going to dwell. Quick if you want it.
You've been in all the way. It's the lady's bid, though.
At £49,000... Have you all done?
At £49,000. It's yours, madam. Thank you.
The successful bid of £49,000 came from Val and her husband Terry,
who live in Cardiff. Val used to work for a firm of chartered surveyors,
while Terry is a retired policeman.
I met them at the house to hear about their plans.
-Val, Terry, lovely to meet you both.
-We think so.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
-It was the right house
in the right place. We saw it. We thought it was big,
didn't have much work doing to it, and we thought we could get a tenant.
Right. So you bought it to rent it out.
Where else in Britain can you get a three-bedroom house
-for less than £50,000?
-Well, one in this kind of standard
and size and everything. So, tell me about you two, Terry.
-Is it something you've done before?
-Yes. I retired from the police
in 2001, and now I just do some volunteer driving.
-Yeah, drive for a charity.
-Vans and things like that?
-Little buses, yeah.
And the property side of things is a bit of a sideline.
-A pension type thing?
-It's a pension.
-It's to prop up my pension.
Which doesn't exist, basically! SHE LAUGHS
Many people are looking at property as way of bolstering their pensions.
Val and Terry have a strong portfolio
of buy-to-let, including three in their home city of Cardiff,
which they hope will do just that.
So, what was it about this particular place
that you thought, "Yeah, this is it"?
It was a mid-terrace. We like mid-terraces.
It was big. Very big! We didn't expect it to be.
And the kitchen. I loved the kitchen. And that was it, really.
-Didn't need a great deal of work.
-What about all the swirly plasterwork stuff?
Is it? Stuff on the walls and on the ceilings?
Because you like it, or because...
No, no. No!
If we were doing it to sell it,
we'd probably smooth the ceilings and the walls,
but there's a tenant coming in here,
and as long as it's clean and presentable...
-And they might like swirly walls.
-And they might like swirly walls.
Exactly! Unless they say, "We won't move in unless",
-it's staying. We're not even going to paint the hall.
-Oh, come on! Stick some magnolia on it,
-No, it'll be pink when you come back.
What's wrong with pink?
Well, you can't say I didn't try.
But Val and Terry just cannot be swayed on the swirls.
They have a super-speedy timescale of just a fortnight
to get the house ready for some tenants who've already expressed their interest.
How much are they going to spend in those two weeks?
We reckon about £5,000.
Yeah. Maybe a bit more, because we're going to laminate the floor.
We didn't plan to do that, but, er...
Given your attitude of doing the minimum possible,
what's wrong with that carpet? Bit of shampoo on it, it'll be fine!
The only reason we're doing that
is because we've got to take the fire out,
and then we've got to take the stone fireplace out,
so that will leave a gap, and we couldn't match the carpet.
-Otherwise you would've done.
What we may do is move the carpet to the bedrooms upstairs.
-You're spendthrifts, aren't you?
-Some might say mean.
-I was trying to be polite.
Well, there's a lot to be said for saving money,
especially if you're renovating somewhere for the rental market
and already have a tenant lined up
combined with a timescale of a mere two weeks.
But when it comes to doing the work, Val will have to get a builder in,
because it seems DIY just isn't Terry's thing.
So, how bad is Terry's DIY?
Oh, he's missing a DIY gene! It's just not there.
Our sons are good.
-My father-in-law was good. My husband...
-I'm just useless.
Useless. His brothers are good!
But somewhere it just avoided him.
-I tried with a bathroom once.
I thought it would take me half a day and cost 30 quid.
It took three days and cost about a hundred quid,
and I had to pay somebody to do the job in the end anyway, so...
it's easier to just get somebody else to do it.
Well, it's important to know your limitations, isn't it?
Well, listen, congratulations! Good luck with it.
-We'll come back in a few weeks and see how you've got on.
-Great! Pink walls!
-Yes, pink walls.
So, Terry missing out on the DIY gene, then,
but at least he and Val have got a team of builders lined up
to sort the property out. But can they do it in two weeks?
You can find out later in the show.
Getting your property for the right price
is the first step to success.
But the next stage is just as important.
Sticking to timescales and budget is the best way to a decent profit.
So, let's find out how our purchasers are progressing.
We're back on the Hoo peninsula in Kent,
to see how plumbing and heating engineer John
and his bulldog Winston have got on with renovating
this rather tired 1960s semi,
which he bought at auction for 148,000.
The crowning glory of this place had to be its enormous garden,
ideal for Winston and John's kids.
John intended to move into the house once renovated,
and his plans were on the ambitious side.
Double extension on the back,
and main bedroom would go across the extension with an en suite.
Kitchen will be a lot bigger. Hopefully, if I get permission,
put a garage on the side, and it'll be a nice-size house.
John allowed himself a budget of 50,000,
and six months to do the work.
One room he was clear about was the lounge.
I want a modern house, but I've got to have the log-burning stove.
I've had visions of you toasting your marshmallows in the fire
-and all sorts going on.
-The dog burning his nose up against it as he tries to nick 'em!
It's now 19 months later.
Winston, John and John's brother Jason
are here to show us what they've done to the property.
It may not be finished, but the house is almost unrecognisable.
The kitchen and sitting room have practically doubled in size
thanks to extensions at the front
and at the back.
That double-height extension to the rear
has given John the well proportioned en-suite master bedroom
he yearned for.
My favourite part is the en suite bathroom,
with the bath, where it's positioned, you can actually lay in it
with the doors open and enjoy the views of the countryside.
And thankfully, with just garden and fields beyond,
there won't be anybody taking in the view from the other direction!
One reason John's already over a year behind schedule
is that he had to resubmit his application to the planners.
Originally he wanted to convert the carport to a garage,
but now, as part of the front extension,
he's created an annexe he's very proud of.
Right. Well, this used to be the actual carport.
We've now done the extensions with a bathroom here,
bedroom, and then through here...
..this is a little lounge/dining room,
and hopefully we're going to put a little small kitchen into the corner,
so it's fully self-sufficient, and I think it's been maximum use of space.
It really is a versatile space - play room, home office,
granny flat, you name it.
John's brother Jason has helped out with the build
with a bit of project managing and grafting,
and has already moved in.
Originally it started out that I'd just be giving John a hand
when he needed it. My circumstances changed,
and I ended up moving in with John, and taking on a more hands-on role.
John's been juggling work full-time
as well as doing the build.
Have there been any big surprises along the way?
When I was putting the rear roof on, the roofer decided
it would be a good time to actually strip the roof,
re-felt, re-batten, complete new fascias.
The whole house has been completely replastered.
Everything's brand new skirting-wise, brand-new doors.
Basically it's like a brand-new house again.
# Hey, honey, take a walk on the wild side #
The biggest draw for John was the garden.
It certainly looks very different now.
But what's his plan for all this space?
I want a really big decking.
I'll probably put borders in the middle,
and then I want to put a really big summerhouse in.
I mean, this is going to be a proper party garden.
But I was always worried John might blow his budget completely
on this project. So how has he fared with the finances?
The original budget was 50,000,
and, um, with, obviously, a few other things that I've changed
along the way, I think it's come out
to around just under £60,000.
But that's not including the work in the garden.
Surely that will cost a bit!
Look at it realistically. If I can get the driveway done,
the gardens, for about £20,000, I'd be happy.
John paid £148,000 for the house at auction.
Add to that his expected spend of £80,000 plus fees and expenses,
and that's a total outlay of over £228,000.
We asked two local property experts to look around
and see what they thought of the work.
This is my second time,
and I just cannot believe what the guy has done.
It's absolutely amazing,
and the extensions are wonderful,
and the quality of work is just so good.
'There's several very salient features about the property.'
The views from the rear over the farmland,
the spacious accommodation in the property,
having the annexe for the teenage child
or elderly relative works very well,
so I think there's a lot going for the property.
John may have overspent on his budget,
but could he still have added value?
Remember his total outlay here, once he's finished,
will be around 228,000.
Fully completed, I feel the resale value of the property
would be in the region of £250,000.
I would suggest that we put it on as a guide price
of somewhere around 250,000 or offers in excess of,
and see what somebody's prepared to pay.
If John were to sell, he could be looking at a pre-tax profit
in the region of 22,000. What does he make of that?
That's not over-surprising. That was the sort of figure I had in mind
in today's current market. But, you know, to be honest with you,
it is a house that I want to live in, so whatever I spend on it,
it is for my own enjoyment, really,
and I think this could be a lovely house.
I think it is, too, but there's a bit to do
before this is home, sweet home. John's next priority,
to get the place feeling more homely,
is to install central heating and that all-important wood-burning stove.
I know someone who'll be happy about that. Good boy, Winston!
SONG: "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
What's John looking forward to the most here?
Not having to come home in the evenings,
do work, do work at the weekends on it.
I just want all the garden complete,
and I don't want to do a thing at weekends. Absolutely not.
We're back in Aberfan, South Wales,
to see how Val and Terry got on with this three-bed mid-terrace
which they bought at auction for 49,000.
With a budget of £5,000 and a timescale of two weeks,
they weren't planning a major overhaul,
but I felt the decor was crying out for some attention.
What about all the swirly plasterwork stuff?
-Is it? The stuff on the walls and on the ceilings?
It's staying, and we're not even going to paint the hall.
Oh, come on! Stick some magnolia on it at least!
-It'll be pink when you come back.
-What's wrong with pink?
Well, just four weeks have passed since we were last here,
and we've returned to see how they've got on.
Nothing has changed out front,
and at the back it's as grey as ever.
But it's inside where changes have taken place.
They haven't touched the kitchen,
but the downstairs shower room has had an overhaul,
with a brand-new shower and enclosure.
True to their word, the pink swirls in the hall have stayed,
as has the bright-red carpet,
but the upstairs bedrooms have all had a makeover.
But hold on! I recognise that carpet.
That's from the sitting room downstairs.
We believe in recycling.
I think it's too easy to get wrapped up in the enthusiasm of things
and just start spending money that you don't really need to.
I'm all for a bit of recycling,
and the upstairs bathroom has also been improved at minimal expense.
In the bathroom we were hoping to keep the suite,
and not change much at all,
but we had to change the cistern, because it was purple.
That was the main reason we changed the cistern.
We put a new bath in, because the old bath had marks on it
and they weren't going to come out without a lot of scrubbing.
I don't do scrubbing. So that had to be changed,
but the hand basin and everything else is the same,
except for the walls. We've papered the walls and painted them,
and it looks nice and bright and clean.
It does look quite different,
and Terry even managed to pinch a few pennies on the sitting room.
The big fireplace that was the whole length of that wall,
initially I thought we might get away with keeping it,
but we found out afterwards that the other fire wasn't safe,
so if we were going to move it, then we might as well go the whole hog.
The other problem that presented us with
was that the carpet wasn't then big enough,
so we thought about putting laminate floor down,
which was our original intention,
but when they took the carpet up, they found the floor was so uneven
it wasn't possible to do that,
so we ended up having to use carpet.
But the good news was, it saved us a bit of money.
Very canny, Terry!
They did have to fix a damp patch in the sitting room,
and still need to install a vent in one of the bedrooms to deal with condensation there.
Added to having to put in the new shower downstairs,
these unforeseens mean that Val and Terry's timescale
has slipped from two weeks to closer to four.
How have they done on the budget front?
The builders have cost 4,750, which is under budget.
They've still got a couple of things to do,
which will be... I don't know.
I think that will bring us up to budget.
We've had to buy a couple of other things on top.
-We had to buy the carpet.
-We bought the fire for the lounge.
Cost us a hundred quid.
But then, swings and roundabouts, we had to buy a new shower.
But if you add the materials,
-it's probably a little bit over 5,000, but not a great deal.
Val and Terry bought the property at auction for 49,000.
If their spend ends up hitting the £5,000 mark,
their total outlay will come in at around £54,000,
plus the usual fees and expenses.
We asked two local estate agents to have a look
to see what they make of the work done here.
This is the first time I've been inside the property,
but it's a nice property. It's a lovely family home.
'First impressions, not a lot has changed here from the first visit.'
They've done some cosmetic work, relaid some carpets.
I was hoping that a little more had been done.
Well, we appear to have a difference of opinion.
But can these experts agree on a resale value here?
If I was to market this property for sale,
I would advise an asking price of between £55,000 and £60,000.
If I was to market the property, I'd put it on
between £70,000 and £80,000.
Those valuations between 55,000 and 80,000
could see Val and Terry either just about break even
or making a pre-tax profit of around 26,000.
But the rental market is strong in this area,
and easier to predict, so what do the estate agents feel
the property could fetch if rented out?
If I was to put this house on the rental market,
I would put it on between £425 per calendar month
and £475 per calendar month.
If I was to market this property for the rental market,
I would suggest £450 per calendar month.
Not such a big difference there.
Those rental valuations could mean a healthy yield
of between 9.5 and 10.5 percent for Val and Terry,
which is not to be sniffed at.
We have it on for 425, and we have some interest at 425.
I think in this area,
you'd struggle to get 450 or 475.
-They're the experts.
-But they're the experts, but...
I still think you'd struggle.
We're perfectly happy with 425.
Good for them!
So, what do Val and Terry make of the process
of renovating this property?
'We've really enjoyed this project. We like the house.'
We liked working on it. And now it's finished,
we think it's done well.
We're pleasantly surprised by the valuations
and the final result,
-so perfectly happy.
Has all this whetted your appetite to buy a property at auction?
If so, we'll have lots more stories from the auction rooms
-on Homes Under The Hammer.
-We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a cluttered property in Derbyshire, a semi-detached property in Kent and a three-bedroom terraced house in South Wales. 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.