Episode 29 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 29

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a cottage in Cornwall, a bungalow in Staffordshire and a flat in London, and find out how much they sold for at auction.


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Transcript


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-We've witnessed the ups and downs of the property market.

-Buying for investment or as a home,

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you want the price to go up!

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Make sure you buy at the right price.

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Visit an auction room and buy your home under the hammer.

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-We're aware of the changing fortunes of the property market.

-Buying at auction is simple.

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-Your hand goes up. The hammer comes down. You've bought it.

-Just like when today's properties were sold.

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'In Cornwall, I'm gearing up for great things at this cottage.'

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You know what? As a start, this is great!

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'This bungalow in Staffordshire doesn't look quite so appealing.'

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It feels a bit makeshift, so not the best first impression.

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'And it's all about location, when it comes to this London flat.'

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This is a very desirable part of the capital.

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'These properties were sold at auction.

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'We'll find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.'

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I'm in Cornwall, about eight miles from St Austell, in Gorran Haven.

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Situated in a secluded bay between two sandy beaches,

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it's obviously a popular tourist spot.

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Big question is, what's it like when it comes to investing in property?

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# Everybody loves the sunshine... #

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'The natural beauty of the area will be sure to attract investors.

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'How will the property I'm here to view fare?'

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# ..Everybody loves the sunshine... #

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The property I'm here to see is on this row of fishermen's cottage.

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It all looks terribly quaint -

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until you look a bit closer.

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For a start, where's the front door?

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'This cottage was built in the 18th century,

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'when keeping it warm was a little more tricky.

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'My guess is that, to shelter occupants from bracing sea breezes,

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'the main entrance was put at the back.

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'So, the front door is the back door.'

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# Open up your back door... #

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Never know quite what to expect with these little cottages.

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A pleasant surprise - a big kitchen/dining room.

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We like this. I even quite like the kitchen units.

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It's got a bit of character, and fits in.

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Beams. It's looking good so far and it doesn't feel cramped,

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which is a major bonus.

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Through to the front, where you've got another open-plan room.

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Open stairs up to the bedroom and a nice big fire.

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A real fire, just what you want.

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But surpassing all of that is the view.

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Absolutely fantastic. You know what?

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As a start, this is great.

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'Cottages can often seem dark, but the open-plan layout

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'maximises the daylight and gives it a lovely bright feel.

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'So, what else is on offer?'

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Upstairs, it still has that nice feel.

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The white walls give a nice feeling of openness.

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Three reasonable sized bedrooms.

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What is unreasonable is the space wasted with this.

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That is a hot water cylinder. It's absolutely gargantuan.

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It looks old, so replace that with a combination boiler in the kitchen.

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You've now created much-needed space upstairs

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which, in a small house like this, is absolutely great news.

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'Another area where things feel a little cramped is the bathroom.

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'You can barely open the door.

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'Apart from losing a bedroom, I'm not sure you can do much about this,

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'apart from installing a shower instead of a bath.

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'It depends what you want to do with the place.

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'This could make an ideal holiday cottage,

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'a scenic seaside getaway.'

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# Down by the seaside

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# See the boats go sailing... #

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Clearly, that is the main asset to this property, the fantastic view,

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but it's not making the most of it.

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One thing that would be nice would be to have a front door.

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The only option is to take out one of these windows and put a door in.

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That could lead out onto some kind of a decking or a patio.

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What are you going to do here?

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Sit here with your cup of tea or glass of wine and look at that!

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'And it's not just the outdoor space at the front that has potential.

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'At the back, there's just the spot to while away a summer evening.

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'All it needs is a bit of landscaping.

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'This is ticking a lot of boxes so, with a guide price of 165,000,

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'I want to know what a local estate agent makes of it.'

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A holiday home is probably its primary function now.

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There'll be a good income potential.

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'What could a new owner do to increase value here?'

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The first thing would be to excavate space for parking at the front.

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It would be a huge bonus and increase the value.

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'The lack of parking could be a drawback,

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'especially if the owner was looking to let it out.

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'What sort of rent could they expect?'

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The rental for this property would be around £700 per calendar month.

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'How would that compare to the rate for a holiday let?'

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The holiday rental, roughly, in the peak season would be £750 per week.

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'That could make a lot of sense.

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'What about the resale value if they decided to refurbish and sell on?'

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If the property was renovated, the resale value would be £210,000 to £215,000.

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Not cheap, but a very appealing property that I think would make a very good investment.

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Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.

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Fantastic location. Great sea and headland views. Three bedrooms.

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Who'll open the bidding? £150,000?

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£150,000 I'm bid. 160 anywhere?

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160 I'm bid. And 170?

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170? 170 I'm bid. And 180?

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I'll take five. Five? 175,000 I'm bid.

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180? 180,000 I'm bid.

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May I say 185? 185 I'm bid.

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And 190? 190? At £185,000.

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187 and a half. 187 and a half I'm bid.

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And 190? 190? £187,500.

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I'll take 1,000 if you like.

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188 and a half. 188 and a half I'm bid.

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190, madam? 190 I'm bid. May I say 191?

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191? £190,000 in the room.

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£190,000 for the first time.

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At £190,000 for the second time.

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And third and last time. Congratulations, it's yours at £190,000.

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'That successful bid of 190,000 came from Carolyn and husband Richard.

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'Richard's a sound engineer and song writer.

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'Carolyn's a self-employed consultant in the motor industry.

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'I met up with Carolyn at the cottage to hear about the plans for the place.'

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-Congratulations.

-Thank you.

-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.

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We were looking as an investment as a holiday home

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in an area where you've got a sea view, pretty village.

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That certainly will attract the sort of audience we were looking for.

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-Why this part of Cornwall?

-It's completely unspoilt.

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Proper Cornish village. St Ives is very nice but also quite expensive.

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You've got Heligan, Eden Project, St Austell, all on your doorstep.

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So, really, it's the perfect place to be.

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Tell me about you, then. Is this something you do as a general rule?

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No, it's not! I've always worked for British motor manufacturers,

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which are no longer in existence.

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So I do consultancy work for either dealer groups or manufacturers,

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but I've always had an interest in interior and garden design.

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-What prompted you to do it now?

-I've been looking for quite a while.

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We live in Hampshire, where anything that comes up for renovation or restoration

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goes for absolute megabucks.

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So then you think we'll look on the coast for something we can use, for friends and a holiday let.

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'But holiday lets aren't all plain sailing.

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'There's a lot to consider, especially when you live 200 miles away.'

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-How long does it take to get here?

-Three and a half to four hours.

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Depending on the traffic and who's driving.

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Long-distance renovation can throw up some issues. How are you going to deal with those?

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We've been fortunate to find a local builder who has done work on these cottages and maintains them.

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So that's one hurdle.

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And obviously, I can live down here while renovation goes on.

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And managing the property once it's up and finished?

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We've discovered a lady who lives close that looks after holiday lets,

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and she's offered to do change-overs and maintain it for us.

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'The property might not be on her doorstep,

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'but with the right people on board, it could be a profitable venture.

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'Why was Carolyn attracted to this cottage?'

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It has a nice sea view.

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It's got lots of character. I felt it got everything that we needed.

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-And the negatives?

-Lack of parking.

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Which is a big issue. We're applying for planning permission.

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That was the biggest negative. We've found a few since, but no parking is the biggest issue.

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-How are you going to resolve that?

-I've spoken to Cornwall Council.

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They've asked me to drop them a line.

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They felt we might not need planning but we may need an engineer's report

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because of the proximity to the building.

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-So the idea is to dig out the front garden?

-A certain area, so you can get a car in.

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Then make a nice terrace with a door going through to it.

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'It wasn't just the parking that was a problem.

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'Carolyn has more to do to make this a successful holiday let.'

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We've got a chimney breast to take out to make more room in the bedrooms.

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Sort the garden out, so you've got a nice patio area.

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Just general refurbish throughout.

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One unusual thing is that there isn't a front door.

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My plan was to have a door put in, which meant moving the stairs.

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Because of the proximity to next door, that's a non-starter.

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So I'll take out this window and have that made into a door.

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'With a budget of £10,000 and three months to get the job done,

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'it's just as well Carolyn has found a reliable local builder.

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'He'll be in charge of a few major structural changes,

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'with a front door being put in and the driveway dug up.

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'What else does she have planned for the outside?'

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I used to think a garden was to sunbathe in and if my mother said to mow the lawn, I'd go to the pub!

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Now I've got an interest in gardens so I've put a design together

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to go with the property and make it a very pleasant sitting area.

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-Congratulations. We look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you.

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With views like this you can understand why Carolyn would want to buy here.

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Running a holiday home makes financial sense, but it's a lot of hard work.

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How will she get on? Find out later in the show.

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'Staffordshire is in the heart of England.

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'Whilst Norton may not be the country's lifeblood,

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'its many transport links keep the area popular.

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'I'm here to see a property with a guide price that made my heart skip a beat.'

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It was £55,000, which I think is very modest.

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It looks like the property is, too.

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It's a one-bedroom bungalow. I'm going to check it out.

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'The front garden looks promising, but will this bungalow live up to its looks?'

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The main front door is accessing a lean-to with a cheap plastic roof.

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Not terribly welcoming and something I'd like to change.

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So you can keep prams and bikes out of the elements,

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but there's no huge advantage and it feels a bit makeshift.

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Not the best first impression.

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'It leads straight into the kitchen.

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'You don't want muddy boots traipsing through here.

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'No, no. This won't do.

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'A serious reconfiguration is needed, I'm afraid. But hang on.

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'What's this?'

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There has been major damage up there. Probably water damage. Possibly a leak.

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Have this checked out by a builder or a roofer before the auction.

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At the moment, it's a big unknown and the budget could spiral out of control.

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'This place really needs to be rescued.

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'The living room seems sad and soggy.

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'The only thing flourishing here are the mushrooms. Yuck!

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'The bathroom is suffering from a serious case of damp, too.

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'Quick! Someone call for help!'

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# Save me! Save me!

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# Save me...! #

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'The bedroom's escaped the worst of the damage,

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'but the whole bungalow needs to be thoroughly dried out before you think about improvements.'

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I look at property and always think, "How can I add some value?"

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I would like to add some extra square footage here. This is just a one-bedroom bungalow.

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I'd think about extending to the side. There's plenty of space.

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Then you could create a second bedroom.

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It could add £40,000 to the end value, so well worth considering.

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'You've still got a pleasant garden at the back,

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'so you won't miss the space at the side when the extension's complete.'

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It's a fairly small garden, what you'd expect with a house this size.

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I would like to have had a window

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on this back wall cos it's a bit bland to look at.

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I'm not sure if some reconfiguring would give you access into this garden. It really does need that.

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'This little bungalow needs new life breathed into it.

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'Time to get the opinion of a local estate agent.'

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The bungalow needs lots of work, repair and replacement throughout. It has had water damage.

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The ceiling needs to be repaired.

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I recommend a buyer checks the roof

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to see the extent of work needed.

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'Once the damage has been dealt with and the property renovated, how much could it be worth,

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'bearing in mind that guide price of just £55,000?'

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I would estimate the property be worth in the region of £90,000.

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'I see more potential here, so how much value could you add by increasing its square footage?'

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The main way to add value to the property

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would be to extend.

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It's only a one-bedroom accommodation, which is limiting for either rental or resale.

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After it's been extended, the property would be in the region of £125,000.

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'What about the rental potential?'

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The rental income as a one-bedroom property would be in the region of £400 to £450 per calendar month.

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As a two-bedroom property, it would be closer to 500, 550 per calendar month.

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I think this little home could make someone a pretty penny.

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It may be small, but if you were to extend, it could give a big return.

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Who wanted this? Let's find out, as we go to auction.

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Detached bungalow in need of attention. 50, can I say?

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Start me at 45. It's got to be worth that. 45 I'm bid. Thank you.

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At £45,000.

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Yeah. 50 I'm bid.

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Lady's bid now. At £55,000 seated.

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I'll take one if it helps. New bidder seated. £56,000.

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57. 58.

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59. 60.

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61. 62...

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62 and a half, then.

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63. Another half.

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63 and a half. 64.

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64,000, gentleman on the back row.

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At £64,000. New bidder.

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64 and a half. 65.

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70.

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75. 75, then, lady in red.

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At £75,000 first time.

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75 second time. Third and final time...

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Your lot, madam. Well done.

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'The successful bid of £75,000 was placed by retired shopkeeper Rose.'

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# Lady Rose

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# My lady Rose... #

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'She bought the property with her partner, Tom.

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'The couple live locally in a three-bedroom house and are looking to down-size.'

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Tom and Rose, lovely to meet you. Congratulations.

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-Why did you want this bungalow?

-We wanted somewhere small so we didn't have to do so much gardening.

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And less housework. We're getting older so we need less work.

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-You bought it to live in, Rose?

-Yes.

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-Tom, what do you like about this property?

-The same reason. Less work.

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'Hang on a minute. LESS work?

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'I can see that when it's completed this will be a low-maintenance home,

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'but it's going to take a lot of effort to transform it into the perfect retirement bungalow.'

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What can you tell me about the huge gaping hole in the hallway?

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-Is that water damage?

-Yes. What's happened over the severe winter,

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I think the house was left empty with the water connected.

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Everything froze up, pipe burst and goodness knows how long

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it was running from the ceiling, which caused the damage.

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All the floors were soaking wet,

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so probably a bit bleak underneath, I don't know till I take a board up.

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'Tom's a retired heating engineer, so knows about plumbing, and their son is an electrician.

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'So they've got several trades covered already.

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'Rose, who was born in Norton, will be responsible for the decoration and sorting out the garden.

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'How much are they going to spend on making this their new home?'

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At little as possible!

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Wants central heating straightaway so have to cater for that. New bathroom, kitchen.

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I'm looking at about 15,000, something like that.

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There's room on the side for an extension, probably at a later date.

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We want to do all the main work first,

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and then sit back and see what else can be done to improve it.

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'One of the improvements Tom and Rose are considering

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'is how to sort out the awkward layout.'

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I like the idea of a lounge on this side, a bit further back.

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Have this room as a bedroom and then the bedroom as a lounge.

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I think that's a great idea because to have some access at the back

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out to the garden is what is needed here.

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You've only got views to the front. It's quiet and green out the back.

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-And you can't see it!

-No.

-So that's a great idea.

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'The couple reckon they'll take four months to do the work.

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'With lots of family living locally and willing to help, they're relaxed about getting it done.'

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We're in no big rush to move in.

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We've got no reason to rush at our time in life, have we?

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You're supposed to be taking long holidays and you've taken a project like this, what are you thinking?

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-I think we needed motivating.

-Did you?

-Yeah.

-Why's that?

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Because we spend a lot of time doing nothing.

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You need a project, to be doing something to look forward to.

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-Tom, do you agree, or do you enjoy doing nothing?

-Well, I do enjoy reading me paper!

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-Is this Rose giving you a boot up the backside?

-She thought I was getting a bit thick round here.

0:22:210:22:27

She said, "We'll buy a bungalow!"

0:22:270:22:30

I asked her before the auction if she really wanted to. She'd got her mind set on it, so here we are.

0:22:300:22:38

-Good luck with this project. I hope you do eventually get time to chill out.

-Thank you.

0:22:380:22:44

It's been really nice meeting you. Rose, thank you.

0:22:440:22:47

This is a homecoming for Rose. She is looking forward to living here.

0:22:470:22:52

There'll be no time for Tom to put his feet up and read that paper.

0:22:520:22:57

Will they extend and make the most of this bungalow? Find out later in the programme.

0:22:570:23:02

'Coming up, space is at a premium for flats in this part of London.'

0:23:040:23:09

Looking for more? There isn't any.

0:23:090:23:13

'We return to Staffordshire, where Tom and Rose are spending retirement turning this into a dream home.'

0:23:140:23:21

It was a nightmare!

0:23:210:23:23

'But first, it's been no holiday at this cottage in Cornwall.'

0:23:250:23:29

Living in a house that you're trying to renovate is not easy.

0:23:290:23:33

'Now we're back in Gorran Haven, Cornwall,

0:23:360:23:40

'where this cottage sold at auction for 190,000.

0:23:400:23:43

'It was bought as a holiday let by Carolyn, a consultant in the motor industry, and her husband.

0:23:430:23:50

'It had a lot going for it, including those wonderful views.

0:23:500:23:55

'The biggest issue the couple had was the four-hour commute from home to their new purchase.'

0:23:550:24:02

-What prompted you to do this now, this property development idea?

-I've been looking for quite a while.

0:24:020:24:09

We live in Hampshire, where anything that comes up for renovation or restoration

0:24:090:24:15

goes for absolute megabucks.

0:24:150:24:17

Then you think we'll look on the coast for something to use for holidays, friends and a holiday let.

0:24:170:24:25

-How long does it take to get here?

-Three to four hours, depending on the traffic and who's driving.

0:24:250:24:32

'So, did they manage the long-distance renovation?

0:24:320:24:35

'We're back four months later to see how their holiday let is faring.

0:24:350:24:40

'The front of the house has been transformed.

0:24:450:24:49

'Traditional white paint and new windows give the cottage a facelift.

0:24:490:24:54

'The most important change is the addition of a new front door.'

0:24:540:24:59

When we bought the house, all we had was two windows and no front door.

0:25:010:25:06

In the morning, it is beautiful so to come out to the front you had to walk all the way round.

0:25:060:25:13

It made sense to take out the window and put the door in.

0:25:130:25:17

Once we'd been here for a couple of weeks we realised, with an east wind,

0:25:170:25:22

that sashes look very nice but they weren't very practical.

0:25:220:25:26

So we took the decision to replace the rest of the windows.

0:25:260:25:31

'Inside, the living room isn't quite finished yet,

0:25:310:25:36

'but it's already a brighter space since the addition of the door.

0:25:360:25:41

'Once redecorated, this will be a warm and cosy room.

0:25:410:25:45

'The kitchen needed brightening up

0:25:460:25:48

'and Carolyn's done a great job.

0:25:480:25:51

'The paint, tiling and work tops

0:25:510:25:54

'have given the room a refreshing new finish.

0:25:540:25:57

'They've also put in a table and chairs

0:25:570:26:01

'to fully utilise the space.'

0:26:010:26:04

The kitchen was so dark, so that all had to go.

0:26:040:26:07

Re-tiled, new work tops, new sink.

0:26:070:26:10

Paint the units because they'd been hand-built,

0:26:100:26:14

and just redecorate.

0:26:140:26:17

'They've also rewired, fixed the plumbing and installed new heating,

0:26:170:26:22

'which means that old immersion heater has been replaced.

0:26:220:26:27

'The stairs have been cheered up with a new carpet and paint job.

0:26:270:26:33

'And that bathroom where you couldn't even open the door

0:26:330:26:37

'has been reorganised, with a shower installed and the bath removed.

0:26:370:26:42

'It's all so much better.

0:26:420:26:45

'The master bedroom has been redecorated with a splash of blue

0:26:450:26:49

'to give it some seaside style.

0:26:490:26:52

'This bedroom was mainly used for storage.

0:26:530:26:56

'Now, it's been redecorated and is a light well-proportioned double room.

0:26:560:27:03

'This room's floor space was restricted by the chimney breast.

0:27:030:27:09

'Carolyn had that removed, so there's room for two single beds,

0:27:090:27:14

'increasing the letting potential.'

0:27:140:27:16

One of the things with this room was the chimney breast across the corner

0:27:160:27:21

which looked nice with a Victorian fireplace, but it had to go.

0:27:210:27:25

Which wasn't easy because it was made out of stone.

0:27:250:27:29

It's made such a difference to open up that corner.

0:27:290:27:32

'Carolyn and Richard have lived here as much as possible

0:27:320:27:36

'to save commuting between Cornwall and Hampshire.

0:27:360:27:40

'They've done a really good job on the renovation, maximising their accommodation upstairs and down.

0:27:400:27:47

'Have there been any nasty surprises?

0:27:470:27:50

'What issues did they find most difficult?'

0:27:500:27:53

The plumbing and some of the wiring. They're the main horrors.

0:27:530:27:58

When you live four hours away, you can't just pop in, do a bit of work and nip home again.

0:27:580:28:05

Living in a house that you're trying to renovate is not always easy.

0:28:050:28:09

'Previously, Carolyn was determined to get a driveway at the front.

0:28:090:28:15

'There's no sign of that having been started,

0:28:150:28:19

'so have there been problems?'

0:28:190:28:21

We originally wrote to Cornwall County Council and they finally responded

0:28:210:28:28

to say we need to be referred to the Highways Department. I left several messages.

0:28:280:28:33

They sent me lots of forms to fill in.

0:28:330:28:36

Then they did a site visit and said, "No.

0:28:360:28:39

"It's nothing to do with us." And referred us to Cornwall Council.

0:28:390:28:43

'How frustrating!

0:28:430:28:45

'Carolyn and Richard decided to apply for full planning permission.

0:28:450:28:50

'Unexpected delays are common with renovation projects.

0:28:500:28:54

'Carolyn planned to spend two to three months on the work.

0:28:540:28:59

'Four months on, and there's still some left to do.

0:28:590:29:02

'Until the driveway's complete, plans for the garden are on hold.

0:29:020:29:07

'So, the timescale's slipped. What about the budget?'

0:29:070:29:11

The original budget was 10,000, including the parking.

0:29:110:29:15

Because we decided to do extra work like the new windows, the chimney breast, the bathroom,

0:29:150:29:21

I've spent just under 10,000! LAUGHS

0:29:210:29:25

So the parking will be in addition to that.

0:29:250:29:29

'So, with the purchase price of 190,000

0:29:290:29:33

'and a further £10,000 spent on the refurbishment so far,

0:29:330:29:37

'that makes a total spend of £200,000 plus the usual fees and expenses.

0:29:370:29:43

'So, have Carolyn and her husband added any value to the cottage?

0:29:430:29:47

'We invited two local property experts for their perspective.'

0:29:470:29:51

The improvements are very good.

0:29:510:29:53

It appears to be a lot lighter than when I was here last time.

0:29:530:29:58

It did feel a little oppressive when you came in, but that's all changed.

0:29:580:30:04

They made a really good job

0:30:040:30:06

of maximising the letting potential of the cottage.

0:30:060:30:09

It's got everything in the right places and the right scale.

0:30:090:30:13

'This holiday was bought as a holiday let investment.

0:30:130:30:17

'So, after the refurbishment,

0:30:170:30:19

'how much could they hope to get for it per week?'

0:30:190:30:24

In peak season, per week, £750 to £800 as a holiday let.

0:30:240:30:29

On a weekly basis, height of the holiday season,

0:30:290:30:32

the cottage would probably attract the better part of £800 per week.

0:30:320:30:37

If you take the front out and have the parking right by the door,

0:30:370:30:41

as much as £900 per week.

0:30:410:30:43

I'd be very happy with that. Yeah. Earn its keep.

0:30:430:30:48

'If they decided to rent this out in the more traditional sense, how much could they get per month?'

0:30:480:30:54

Per calendar month, you're looking at around £650 to £700.

0:30:540:31:00

I'd expect the cottage to achieve something in the region of £600, maybe £625 per calendar month.

0:31:000:31:08

'Obviously, they have no intention of selling this on any time soon.

0:31:080:31:13

'If circumstances changed and they were to put it up for sale,

0:31:130:31:17

'how much could the property achieve?'

0:31:170:31:20

The resale value is around £220,000.

0:31:200:31:23

As it stands today, the property has a value in the region of £220,000.

0:31:230:31:29

If they get permission to dig out the front and put parking right here

0:31:290:31:34

that value could increase to £240,000.

0:31:340:31:38

I'm not selling, but I think that's realistic.

0:31:380:31:41

'Things seem to have gone smoothly for Carolyn and Richard's first investment property.

0:31:410:31:47

'Are there plans for more?'

0:31:470:31:49

We'd certainly consider more properties.

0:31:490:31:52

Something perhaps a little closer to home, rather than a four-hour drive each way.

0:31:520:31:58

I wouldn't rule that out for the future.

0:31:580:32:00

'I'm in Islington, north London,

0:32:030:32:06

'a metropolitan area with easy access to the centre of the city.

0:32:060:32:10

'But it wasn't always like this.

0:32:100:32:13

'Originally, an agricultural village on the fringes of London,

0:32:130:32:17

'its main function was as a stop-off for cattle on their way to market.

0:32:170:32:22

'It might be more cars than cows, but it's a popular place to live.'

0:32:220:32:27

The property I'm here to see is in this block of flats.

0:32:270:32:31

They were built, the whole estate was, to house police workers.

0:32:310:32:35

They're now being sold as individual units.

0:32:350:32:39

The one I'm here to see, three bedrooms, guide price 325,000 quid.

0:32:390:32:43

Let's take a look.

0:32:430:32:46

'Although the building might not win architectural awards,

0:32:490:32:52

'it does benefit from a green at the front.

0:32:520:32:56

'Appearance wise, it's not a great start, but for a guide price of 325 grand for a flat

0:32:560:33:02

'surely you'd expect something enticing inside.'

0:33:020:33:06

If you're not from London, there's a few things you've got to understand.

0:33:060:33:11

This is a very desirable part of the capital.

0:33:110:33:15

So you don't really get a heck of a lot for your money but bear with me.

0:33:150:33:21

Front room there. Kitchen there. Then down this corridor

0:33:210:33:26

which, to my mind, takes up a bit too much space.

0:33:260:33:30

Bathroom there, then three bedrooms.

0:33:300:33:32

You're looking for more? There isn't any.

0:33:320:33:36

Still, remember, smart part of London.

0:33:360:33:40

'It's not pretty but it's got potential.

0:33:410:33:45

'Getting rid of that sofa will free up some space in the hall.

0:33:450:33:51

'Once you have a good look around, the layout works well.

0:33:510:33:56

'There's a lot of light. The bedrooms are doubles.

0:33:560:33:58

'The flat's in poor condition and the decor is tatty, but structurally

0:33:580:34:03

'everything seems in good shape.'

0:34:030:34:06

They say that a kitchen is the heart of any home.

0:34:060:34:11

If that's the case, then this flat is not so culinary as having a bit of a coronary.

0:34:110:34:18

Yes. Not ideal.

0:34:180:34:20

'With the rest feeling spacious, it's a shame to be let down by the kitchen.

0:34:200:34:26

'But a change of layout, new units, some sparkling white goods

0:34:260:34:31

'and you never know, the heart could learn to beat again.'

0:34:310:34:36

The lounge is a major selling point for this property.

0:34:400:34:44

A good size. Needs a few features being updated.

0:34:440:34:48

Like the gas fire there.

0:34:480:34:51

But you've got a lot of light coming in.

0:34:510:34:53

Views over the gardens and somebody else's garden.

0:34:530:34:57

At least you've got a balcony.

0:34:570:34:59

It needs cosmetic work, certainly the kitchen and bathroom,

0:34:590:35:04

but not too bad - for the money.

0:35:040:35:08

'And that guide price of 325 grand is growing on me, too.'

0:35:080:35:14

-# You're really growing on me

-I'm really growing on you

0:35:140:35:17

-# You're really growing on me

-I'm really growing on you... #

0:35:170:35:22

What else? It's a flat so there are costs associated with owning it.

0:35:250:35:30

£500 a year is the management charge, so not too bad. The ground rent is only £1 a year.

0:35:300:35:37

The property is leasehold but nine years ago

0:35:370:35:40

that lease was renewed so it's now 125 years, minus nine years.

0:35:400:35:45

That is really nothing to worry about.

0:35:450:35:48

'So, that's the lowdown.

0:35:480:35:51

'But with a guide price of 325,000,

0:35:510:35:54

'what does a local estate agent make of it?'

0:35:540:35:57

It needs a lot of work doing to it but the structure is very good,

0:35:570:36:03

the room proportions are very good, it just seems like cosmetic stuff.

0:36:030:36:09

'With a little help in the looks department,

0:36:090:36:12

'could this be an attractive investment for sale or rental?'

0:36:120:36:16

Flats are popular in Islington.

0:36:160:36:19

This place is going to appeal to sharers.

0:36:190:36:22

When you're living in an expensive part of London, being able to share the rent or purchase price is key.

0:36:220:36:29

'How much rental return could you achieve on a flat like this?'

0:36:290:36:34

Somewhere in the region of about £2,000 per calendar month.

0:36:340:36:39

'If it was renovated and resold, how much might you expect to make?'

0:36:390:36:44

Refurbished to a decent standard, you could look at a resale value of between £430,000 to £450,000.

0:36:440:36:51

If you can look past the condition and forgive the fact that there's no outside space,

0:36:510:36:57

I think it could be interesting to go for.

0:36:570:37:00

Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.

0:37:000:37:05

A second-floor, three-bed, purpose-built flat.

0:37:050:37:09

Needs a bit of upgrading.

0:37:090:37:11

Over to you. 300, then?

0:37:110:37:14

300 sitting down. 305?

0:37:140:37:17

305. 310. 315. 320.

0:37:170:37:22

325? 330?

0:37:220:37:25

335? 340?

0:37:270:37:30

345? 350?

0:37:300:37:33

355? 360?

0:37:350:37:38

365?

0:37:380:37:40

370!

0:37:400:37:42

375?

0:37:420:37:44

376?

0:37:450:37:47

377?

0:37:470:37:50

378?

0:37:500:37:52

379?

0:37:520:37:54

380? 381 on the phone?

0:37:540:37:57

382?

0:37:590:38:01

382, new spot. 383?

0:38:020:38:05

384? 385?

0:38:060:38:09

386? 387 on the phone?

0:38:090:38:13

388? 389?

0:38:130:38:16

390?

0:38:160:38:18

391 on the phone?

0:38:190:38:22

392 in the room?

0:38:220:38:24

If not, 391 to the phone. First time...

0:38:250:38:29

392 in the room.

0:38:290:38:32

393?

0:38:320:38:33

392 in the room. Anyone else? 392 first time.

0:38:350:38:40

Second time. Going to lose it.

0:38:400:38:42

Third and last time, if you're all done. Sold.

0:38:420:38:46

392.

0:38:460:38:48

'Well, he almost let it go but after a last-minute decision,

0:38:480:38:53

'the successful bid of £392,000 was placed by Yemi.

0:38:530:38:57

'He's an acquisitions agent and bought it on behalf of a client.

0:38:570:39:01

'I met him to discuss what he's got planned for this purchase.'

0:39:010:39:07

-Congratulations.

-Thank you.

-Tell me why you wanted to buy the flat.

0:39:070:39:11

We bought for a client. He was looking for a good location close to the City.

0:39:110:39:16

What was the remit that you had? What property was he looking for?

0:39:160:39:21

Something with a good cash flow, a good rental income.

0:39:210:39:25

-In a good location with proper equity appreciation.

-Right.

0:39:250:39:32

-Why did you pick this place for him or her?

-I love the location.

0:39:320:39:37

I love the square. It's not the best property in the neighbourhood.

0:39:370:39:42

Close to the station, close to the City,

0:39:420:39:46

the high street shops and all that.

0:39:460:39:48

-And very expensive houses about.

-Yes.

0:39:480:39:52

# I'm a fixer

0:39:520:39:54

# And I've only just begun

0:39:540:39:57

# I just snap my fingers And the fixer gets it done. #

0:39:590:40:04

'It's about location and a good rental income for Yemi and his client.

0:40:040:40:09

'What do they intend to do here?'

0:40:090:40:13

We're looking at fitting in a second WC

0:40:130:40:17

and making the big room an en suite.

0:40:170:40:19

Wow. Putting an en suite in. That'll be nice.

0:40:190:40:22

Another thing we're going to do is change the system.

0:40:220:40:26

The heating system at the moment is the tank system. We're changing it to a combi system.

0:40:260:40:33

-Create a bit of extra space.

-Yes.

0:40:330:40:35

The kitchen, not ideal. What are you going to do with that?

0:40:350:40:39

We'll update the kitchen.

0:40:390:40:42

Change the floors to wood floors in the hallway and the living room.

0:40:420:40:47

-And new carpets, new decor.

-Right.

0:40:470:40:50

-What kind of cost is it coming in at?

-We're looking at 20.

-20.

0:40:500:40:55

-What kind of timescale?

-Three, four weeks, max.

0:40:550:40:58

-Three or four weeks?

-Yes.

-Quick in and get it sorted?

-Yes.

0:40:580:41:02

-Is the idea to get a tenant in...?

-Yes. We have interest already but we'd rather update the flat.

0:41:020:41:08

'I think £20,000 is a healthy budget but three to four weeks is tight.

0:41:080:41:14

'Yemi seems confident though

0:41:140:41:16

'that with builders who work on his projects he'll meet the deadline.

0:41:160:41:21

'He thinks it's worth the investment for the postcode alone, as his client was only too aware.'

0:41:210:41:28

-What did you think about the price? It went above the guide price.

-The client wanted it.

0:41:280:41:34

And he was there at the auction on the day.

0:41:340:41:37

He went slightly over our... our budget. About 10,000 over.

0:41:370:41:44

-Right.

-But we paid the premium for the area.

-Great.

0:41:440:41:48

-Congratulations. Good luck with it.

-Thank you.

0:41:480:41:51

Well, as the old adage goes, it's all about location.

0:41:510:41:55

Islington seems to have fared pretty well in the tough market conditions of late.

0:41:550:42:01

It's a lot of money, and there's more to spend on the refurbishment.

0:42:010:42:06

How will the valuations stack up once it's completed? Find out later in the show.

0:42:060:42:12

We hope our buyers set themselves realistic timescales and budgets.

0:42:150:42:20

There is only one way to find out - catch up with them after all the hard work.

0:42:200:42:26

'Earlier, we were in Staffordshire in the village of Norton.

0:42:260:42:32

'We met local couple Tom and Rose, looking to down-size from their family home.

0:42:320:42:37

'They'd bought this one-bedroom bungalow for 75,000.

0:42:370:42:41

'What they got was a hole in the ceiling and damp,

0:42:410:42:45

'damp, damp.

0:42:450:42:47

'A challenge for anyone, but especially for a retired couple.'

0:42:470:42:52

You're supposed to be taking long holidays and you've taken a project like this. What are you thinking?

0:42:520:42:59

-I think we needed motivating.

-Did you?

-Yeah.

-Why's that?

0:42:590:43:03

Because we spend a lot of time doing nothing.

0:43:030:43:05

You need a project, you need something to look forward to.

0:43:050:43:11

-Tom, do you agree, or do you enjoy doing nothing?

-I do enjoy reading me paper.

0:43:110:43:17

'Tom and Rose hoped to move in when work was completed on their four-month schedule.

0:43:190:43:25

'But nine months later we got the call to say that their renovation was breaking news.

0:43:250:43:32

'It's turned out to be much more than just a renovation.

0:43:340:43:38

'The bungalow has an entrance on a side extension

0:43:380:43:42

'and a first floor has been added - truly impressive.

0:43:420:43:46

'And inside...

0:43:460:43:48

'that extension means that the old bedroom

0:43:480:43:52

'is a large lounge with front and back aspects.

0:43:520:43:55

'The former lounge is a dining room and a corridor from the front door.

0:43:570:44:02

'The kitchen still has some way to go.

0:44:040:44:07

'The old bathroom is transformed into a smart and modern shower room.

0:44:100:44:15

'Tom and Rose are rightly proud of their hard graft.'

0:44:160:44:20

This is the new extension.

0:44:200:44:22

Here we have a recess.

0:44:220:44:26

The front door comes into the hall here.

0:44:260:44:31

I thought it nice, rather than coming straight into the lounge.

0:44:310:44:36

The French windows I particularly like because of the patio area

0:44:360:44:40

that hopefully we will have.

0:44:400:44:43

It's a south-facing wall, so when the sun shines we get it all day.

0:44:430:44:49

As you can see, it's nice, it's light, it's bright.

0:44:490:44:53

And when the furnishings are in, the curtains, carpets,

0:44:530:44:57

I think it'll be nice.

0:44:570:44:59

'From outside the living room, you see how impressive the extension is.

0:44:590:45:04

'What a difference an extra floor makes!

0:45:040:45:07

'Back inside, a new staircase leads up to two bedrooms -

0:45:070:45:11

'a double

0:45:110:45:13

'and an even larger double-size bedroom.

0:45:130:45:16

'And also there's a new bathroom.'

0:45:160:45:19

It's virtually a new building - all new, all the woodwork, the roof.

0:45:190:45:25

All the walls, completely new. Every bit of timber in the house is new.

0:45:250:45:31

Except the floorboards downstairs.

0:45:310:45:34

'That's not my idea of down-sizing.

0:45:360:45:39

'What made Tom and Rose throw away their original plans?'

0:45:390:45:44

The architect came up with such a good plan we decided to go with it.

0:45:440:45:50

'With their finances bolstered by some investments maturing,

0:45:500:45:54

'they decided to go for a full loft extension.

0:45:540:45:57

'They were taking to developing like ducks to water -

0:45:570:46:01

'and there was plenty of that!'

0:46:010:46:03

Because it was so wet, we had to take most of the floorboards up

0:46:030:46:08

to dry out because all the joists underneath were wet.

0:46:080:46:14

So that was quite a big thing.

0:46:140:46:17

And then we put it back together.

0:46:170:46:20

Then they took the roof off and then it rained and rained and everything got wet again.

0:46:200:46:26

# I can't stand the rain against my window... #

0:46:270:46:33

'Everything seems right as rain now and there are no holes in the roof.

0:46:330:46:38

'The work was a family effort, and Tom and Rose were glad of the help,

0:46:380:46:43

'especially as the project was bigger than expected.'

0:46:430:46:47

This is part of the new building.

0:46:470:46:50

The bathroom is all completely new.

0:46:500:46:53

My brother gave me a hand doing the tiling.

0:46:530:46:57

I finished off with the plumbing with his help as well.

0:46:570:47:01

'Builders were contracted to do the build,

0:47:010:47:05

'while Tom and Rose's son did the electrical work.

0:47:050:47:08

'Apart from finishing off the kitchen,

0:47:080:47:11

'reinstating the lean-to and turfing the garden,

0:47:110:47:16

'there's not much else to do before they can move in.

0:47:160:47:19

'So, with the job taking nine months, five more than planned,

0:47:190:47:23

'was Tom pleased with Rose's retirement project?

0:47:230:47:26

'What were his favourite moments?'

0:47:260:47:29

There wasn't any. It was a nightmare.

0:47:290:47:33

'Don't worry, Tom. You'll soon be back to that newspaper.

0:47:330:47:37

'But one good thing has come out of it.'

0:47:370:47:40

I've lost a bit of weight. That's the best thing for me.

0:47:400:47:44

'Tom has found a new weight-loss programme

0:47:440:47:47

'but when it comes to losing pounds, surely this took the biscuit.

0:47:470:47:53

'The original budget for a much smaller extension was 15,000.'

0:47:530:47:58

The thing snow-balled, with going up in the roof.

0:47:580:48:02

You've got to be looking at 50,000, so it's gone a lot over.

0:48:020:48:08

'Tom and Rose bought the bungalow for 75,000,

0:48:100:48:14

'so that 50-grand renovation pushes their total outlay to 125,000.

0:48:140:48:20

'Time to find out what two local estate agents think of their efforts.'

0:48:200:48:26

Really impressed with the property. It's been completely transformed.

0:48:280:48:33

By the standard of what they've done it's going to be a fantastic job.

0:48:330:48:38

I think the property has been done to a really good standard. It's almost like a new-build.

0:48:420:48:49

On completion, it'll be ready to move straight into.

0:48:490:48:54

My favourite bit has got to be the lounge.

0:48:540:48:58

It's different than your standard square box.

0:48:580:49:01

There's plenty of light. It's got nice views of the back garden.

0:49:010:49:06

'Having spent 125,000, what could they get if they decide to sell it?'

0:49:060:49:12

On the open market, I'd recommend an asking price of £149,950.

0:49:130:49:20

On the sales market, I would estimate an asking price in the region of £150,000.

0:49:200:49:26

It's not a seller's market at the moment.

0:49:260:49:30

It's a buyer's market, so they'd try to knock you down, I would think.

0:49:300:49:35

'If they chose to rent it out, they could expect £600 a calendar month.

0:49:350:49:40

'But they've no plans to do that.

0:49:420:49:45

'From a modest bungalow, they've created a lovely two-bedroom house to call home.

0:49:450:49:51

'And they seem to have made a decent investment into the bargain.

0:49:510:49:55

'It's time they put their feet up and enjoyed the benefits.

0:49:550:49:59

'What does Rose think the future holds?'

0:49:590:50:03

Sitting in there with the sun shining through those patio windows.

0:50:030:50:08

Hopefully!

0:50:080:50:10

'Now we're back in Islington, north London,

0:50:150:50:18

'where this spacious but shabby three-bed flat sold for £392,000 at auction.

0:50:180:50:24

'I met Yemi, an acquisitions agent who bought it on behalf of a client

0:50:240:50:30

'who was hoping for good returns on his investment.'

0:50:300:50:33

-Tell me why you wanted to buy it.

-We bought for a client.

0:50:330:50:37

He was looking for a good location, close to the City.

0:50:370:50:40

What was the remit? What kind of property was he looking for?

0:50:400:50:45

Something with a good cash flow, a good rental income,

0:50:450:50:49

in a good location with proper equity appreciation.

0:50:490:50:55

'Yemi was under pressure to stick to a budget and turn it around

0:50:550:51:00

'to make sure the flat was earning money for his client.

0:51:000:51:04

'So we're back just five weeks later to see how he got on.

0:51:040:51:09

'Yemi has banished the heartache that was the old kitchen

0:51:150:51:20

'and brought the space back to life

0:51:200:51:22

'with contemporary units and a stylish finish.'

0:51:220:51:25

We were able to update the kitchen,

0:51:280:51:31

create more room, give it a city feel.

0:51:310:51:35

'The living room looks much better, having been completely redecorated.

0:51:350:51:40

'The old fireplace has been removed and the walls given a lick of paint.

0:51:400:51:45

'New wooden floors help create a smart living space.

0:51:450:51:49

'The hallway needed sprucing up and with a paint job and flooring,

0:51:490:51:53

'it's now a bright and inviting entrance way.

0:51:530:51:57

'Yemi got rid of the old airing cupboard to make a new shower room.

0:51:570:52:01

'It's an economic and stylish use of space.'

0:52:010:52:05

Taking out the airing cupboard really enhanced the flat.

0:52:050:52:09

A three-bed flat could do with two utilities, and that's what we were able to get.

0:52:090:52:15

'Which leads us on to Yemi's second stroke of genius.

0:52:150:52:18

'That sofa's been banished

0:52:180:52:20

'and the separate toilet and bathroom blocked off

0:52:200:52:24

'to create an en suite in the first bedroom.

0:52:240:52:27

'Sticking to the same style as the main bathroom,

0:52:270:52:30

'the en suite is a welcome addition.

0:52:300:52:33

'The creation of a second bathroom in a small space is fantastic.

0:52:330:52:38

'The en suite bedroom just needed refreshing.

0:52:380:52:42

'New carpet and light walls have done just that.

0:52:420:52:47

'Bedroom two needed brightening up.

0:52:470:52:49

'With a lick of paint and new carpet it looks modern and clean.

0:52:490:52:54

'The third bedroom is small but with a new carpet and decoration,

0:52:540:53:00

'it feels lovely and light now.

0:53:000:53:04

'So, this place feels completely different.

0:53:040:53:07

'It's a much more contemporary living space.

0:53:070:53:11

'It seems that Yemi's done a great job. Did he encounter any problems?'

0:53:110:53:16

The neighbours were not happy works being done on Saturdays.

0:53:160:53:20

So that we lost a day a week on that basis.

0:53:200:53:24

But we got by pretty well.

0:53:240:53:28

'Yemi's fixed it to make sure everything worked out.'

0:53:280:53:32

# I just snap my fingers

0:53:330:53:36

# And the fixer gets it done. #

0:53:360:53:38

'Job done, Yemi.

0:53:400:53:43

'He's done this place up very efficiently. What's the secret to his success?'

0:53:430:53:49

To have builders that deliver on time and would not cut corners, I think is a plus.

0:53:490:53:57

'Having a good team is an advantage when it comes to renovations.

0:53:570:54:02

'Yemi's contacts and experience paid off.

0:54:020:54:05

'When we first saw the property, he estimated

0:54:050:54:08

'the project would take about a month and cost £20,000.

0:54:080:54:12

'Now the work's finished, how are those targets looking?'

0:54:120:54:18

We actually saved cost. It cost less than £17,000.

0:54:180:54:23

And the project was delivered in three weeks.

0:54:230:54:28

'Yemi's client paid £392,000 for the property plus another £14,000

0:54:280:54:34

'in fees and stamp duty.

0:54:340:54:36

'Adding the £17,000 cost of the renovation

0:54:360:54:40

'brings his total outlay to £423,000.

0:54:400:54:43

'Was it a wise investment?

0:54:430:54:45

'We invited two local property experts for their views.'

0:54:450:54:51

They've done a really good job with the refurbishment.

0:54:510:54:54

The addition of a second bathroom

0:54:540:54:56

is key if they're looking at professional sharers.

0:54:560:54:59

It's a good level of finish and very appealing.

0:54:590:55:02

I think it's been refurbished to a fairly high standard.

0:55:020:55:07

It's got an en suite, a bathroom,

0:55:070:55:09

wood flooring, it's in the right area.

0:55:090:55:12

I like the kitchen. Neutral colours. It should sell quite easily.

0:55:120:55:18

'Yemi's client always intended this flat to be rented out.

0:55:180:55:22

'So, according to the experts, how much rental return could they expect per calendar month?'

0:55:220:55:29

I would put it on the market for £2,000 per calendar month.

0:55:290:55:33

This property can be rented out per calendar month for £2,400.

0:55:330:55:39

'That's an impressive maximum yield of just under 7%.

0:55:390:55:44

'Will it be enough to keep Yemi's client happy?'

0:55:440:55:48

He's exceeded our expectations at 2,400.

0:55:480:55:53

'If they changed their mind

0:55:530:55:55

'and put the flat up for sale what could they hope to get?'

0:55:550:56:01

Somewhere in the region of £430,000.

0:56:010:56:05

This property we would market at about £465,000.

0:56:050:56:11

Looking to realise about 450 to 455.

0:56:110:56:13

Not bad. Not bad for an investment you bought five weeks ago.

0:56:130:56:21

'So, with the flat now finished, on time and within budget,

0:56:210:56:25

'how does Yemi's client rate the experience?'

0:56:250:56:28

The client is very happy.

0:56:280:56:30

He's happy because the flat's come out good in a short time frame.

0:56:300:56:36

He's convinced, as we are, that we'll be able to get good tenants

0:56:360:56:41

that will take care and appreciate the money he put into it.

0:56:410:56:46

Those stories have been added to our Hammer archives.

0:56:480:56:51

We'll have plenty more next time on Homes Under The Hammer.

0:56:510:56:56

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:560:56:58

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:160:57:19

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:190:57:22

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a cottage in Cornwall, a bungalow in Staffordshire and a flat in London. 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.