Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a mid-terrace two-bedroom cottage in Cornwall, a two-bedroom first-floor flat in London and a property in Nottingham.
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Hello! If you're tempted to go to an auction, now's the time.
There is so much variety in the catalogues.
Yes, every month there are literally thousands of lots on offer.
Why not nip down to your local auction house
and check out an auction?
Now, people often ask us how to get the best results in the auction room.
A couple of tips, always stand where you can be
seen by the auctioneer and always set yourself a price limit.
And if you are going to bid, make sure you clear,
you are visible and don't exceed your limit.
So, what were the lots that got our bidders
bidding on today's show?
Things are not as bad as they look at this empty shell in Nottinghamshire.
Actually, if you look at this from a building point of view, it is great news.
This compact two-bed flat in Bakers Arms, East London,
takes me completely by surprise.
I can't believe how nice this flat is!
And in Cornwall, we see what the auction catalogue described as a character cottage.
Now, that either means dilapidated or charming.
In this case, it might be both.
All these properties have been sold at auction
and we will find out who bought them and what they paid for them
-when they went under the hammer.
The property I have come to see today is in Nottinghamshire,
close to Mansfield and Chesterfield.
This is Plesley, a former mining village in Nottinghamshire.
The plot I'm here to see sounds attractive.
From the auction catalogue description, it has views over open countryside.
Ah-ha! Sadly, the views of the property itself,
from the outside at least, are not quite so pleasant.
'The guide price for this three-bed corner terrace was just £48,000,
'but no wonder, as it is just an empty shell.'
The render has been removed from the brickwork
and the windows are just plastic-covered holes in the walls.
There are new stone lintels in place
so some restoration work has been started here, which is encouraging.
Time to head inside.
OK, inside, no great surprises.
Like the outside, it has been pretty much stripped back.
You walk through the door here into what I imagine was the kitchen.
Again, imagination required.
But, you know what, I am looking at this and thinking, great.
No, I am not completely losing it!
Because somebody has done a lot of the work for you here.
They have got rid of all the stuff you probably would have taken out anyway, so actually,
if you look at this from a building point of view, it is great news.
Coming through here, for instance, into what would, I imagine, be the lounge...
..Yes, you've got nothing on the walls at the moment,
but you'd have probably had to take that off to put new plasterwork on anyway.
I love the fact you can see what's actually here,
there's nothing hidden, everything's been taken off.
But very interesting, look at this for a bit of social history.
Back to 1984, just bringing you back to the fact that this is and was a coal-mining area.
"Scargill, 1984, the year of the great coal strike."
'This house has obviously had quite a history,
'but what does its future hold, and who would buy it?
'Because there's no kitchen, bathroom, or running water,
'this house would be deemed uninhabitable,
'and therefore unmortgageable by most lenders.
'So, it's cash buyers only for this one.
'The good news is that there's already planning permission to extend at the back.
'More of that in a moment. First, let's see upstairs.'
Well, upstairs, as you can see, like downstairs,
everything's been pretty much ripped out,
all the stud partitions have been removed, which, again, saves you so much effort.
Originally it was three bedrooms, there wasn't a bathroom up here, that was downstairs.
So, when it comes to putting this place together, what do you do?
Ideally, keep those three bedrooms, extend out using the extension that's planned,
get your bathroom, and hopefully, an en-suite upstairs
and you've got a really nice space.
I love the feel up here, I like the beams,
I like the fact the ceiling's got this character to it.
For me, this could be quite sensational.
'What's exciting about this property is its potential.
'It might not be one for novices,
'but with the right experience, you could turn it into something special.
'And the already-approved plans are a great bonus.'
So, a pretty decent house already, but, as I said,
there have been plans passed for an extension.
What's it like? It's not huge, to be fair,
only comes out about two metres.
Goes up two storeys, though, and what it does do,
even in that small space, is it gives you some really vital extra room,
especially upstairs, where it enables that en-suite bathroom.
What have we basically got? Downstairs, an extended kitchen/diner, that's good to have.
Then upstairs, that all-important en-suite and bathroom.
Big, it might not be, but terribly practical, it most certainly is.
The plans also include a detached garage to replace the dilapidated one that already exists.
This will be sited closer to the road, making the garden more private.
The guide price was 48,000.
What does a local estate agent make of this property?
This house came to auction after an investor bought it to renovate it.
She bought it as a project, has done some work to it, has overhauled the roof,
put some new floors in and put new windowsills in.
But lost the heart to finish it off and decided to sell it on
and leave for someone else to take it on as a project and that's why it was sold at auction.
Obviously the place needs a lot of work to make it habitable,
but once that's done, is there much of a rental market around here?
If the buyers chose to rent it out, they'd have no problem renting it out at all.
It would achieve a higher rent as a three bedroom,
although it probably wouldn't achieve more rent with extension than it would without the extension.
If that was the plan, to rent it out, I'd probably just renovate the existing property.
So, extended or not, you'd earn a rent of around
£400 per calendar month here, depending on the finish.
What about the sale value once the house is renovated?
If the property's extended in accordance with the plans we've seen,
three bedrooms, en-suite, new garage, it takes it into a new price bracket.
I'd have thought around £130,000 could be achieved.
Well, buy this place and you're literally getting a blank canvas.
A lot of the preparation work's been done.
All it needs is a bit of finishing off, but more than a weekend's work.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
An attractive town house, right on the edge of the village.
It requires completion of a scheme of renovation and improvement,
which has been started.
Where do you want to bid on this one? Start me where you like.
£50,000 is bid. At 50,000.
Opening bid at £50,000. 51 somewhere else? At 50,000.
51 is bid here. At 51. 52, I've got.
52, 53, 53, 54, 55,000. 56 is bid.
At 56. 56,500.
57. 57,000. 500.
58 on the phone. At 58.
58,500 in the room. 59? 59. At 59,500.
At 59,000 for the first time.
59,500 is bid. 60, quickly?
At 59,500 in the corner.
For the first time, for the second time, third and last chance.
Sold at 59,500, thank you.
After placing just one bid, the property was bought for 59,500,
by brothers and property developing business partners, Jason and Ian.
I met them both at the house to find out their plans.
Jason, Ian, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations.
-A bit of work to be done then?
-Just a bit, yes.
Tell me why you wanted to buy the house.
Basically, it's the sort of project we do.
Someone's already started it and done half the work for us.
We've just got to concentrate on the rebuild side. So, half done.
-Saved us a bit of time.
-Saved us time and money.
It's got planning consent for the extension on the side, which has saved us time and money.
We can get outside straightaway, start moving the earth around, get the extension up
and get straight in and start first fixing.
The plaster's off the wall, the render's off the outside.
We can start throwing pipes and wires about.
While the extension's going up, we can start working on this side.
Where most people will look at it and go, derelict property, what a mess,
you go, somebody's done quite a lot of work.
They've saved us four weeks of work basically, stripping it out.
It works well for us.
Get some windows in first so it can be secured, but other than that.
The brothers have just finished another renovation nearby,
so buying this house fitted in perfectly
with their need for another project.
Tell me more about you two, the business and your relationship.
Five years ago, we started the business together,
doing properties, buying, renovating, selling.
A couple of rentals, as well.
We keep a portfolio to rent out,
but other than that, most of them is buying something disgusting
and turn it into something to live in.
-That's the plan.
-And it's worked OK so far.
And if you can't sell this?
-Somebody'll always buy it, at some money.
The brothers intend to stick to the existing plans exactly.
They'll build a small extension, making a larger kitchen/diner.
Upstairs will have three bedrooms, a family bathroom
and an en-suite in the master bedroom.
We've got the planning consent, so it just costs us time to go
and amend it.
There's nothing wrong with the plans we've got, so we'll use them.
We just need building regs drawings,
which are being built up, and that's it.
-So who's going to do the work?
-Us. We do most of it.
We hire in people as and when we need them,
but generally, most of our properties,
we bring in subcontract plastering, and that's about it.
-The rest of it, Jason's a qualified electrician.
We do the rest of the work between us.
We've got a lad that works for us.
So there's three of us -
well, five if you include the two dogs that come with us every day!
That is a big job for such a small team.
Even if you include the dogs.
So I wonder how long they think it'll take.
-What's the timescale for this, then?
-About 16 weeks.
-We'll give ourselves 16 weeks.
16 weeks, but we're hoping to push that forward from that.
We may fetch some extra labour in,
because we could do with doing this one quickly
to move on to the next one.
We'll probably get somebody to do the extension.
It's a rendered property, so it'll go up quick, cos it's in blockwork.
So we can put the extension up fairly quickly.
The shell should go up fairly quick, and that'll cut down a bit of time.
And once it's all wind and watertight, then, you know,
you can move quite quickly on the inside.
And what about the budget?
Should cost us around 30,000,
-Is that all?
-Yeah. Should do.
There's our labour cost as well, what we pay ourselves,
but because we do the work ourselves,
we don't pay inflated labour costs.
The majority is, virtually, materials and some subcontract labour.
And the pittance that we pay ourselves!
It'll be a heck of a transformation
when we come back, and we're looking forward to seeing it.
-Good luck with it.
Well, there you go, brothers Jason and Ian consider it a bonus
that the property is in the state that it is.
Still, even with their experience,
a 16-week timescale and just a £30,000 budget,
including building the extension, can they do it for that?
You can find out later in the show.
Today, I'm in Leighton in the East of London.
The main route through the town is the High Road,
which formed part of the ancient route to Waltham Abbey.
The surrounding area is known as "Bakers Arms"
named after a local hostelry.
There's no longer a pub here, but the name lives on.
Originally it came from the nearby alms houses,
set up for retired bakery workers.
So, how much "bread" could you make on the property I'm here to see today?
Just around the corner from the High Road is a two-bedroom first floor flat.
It's got a guide price of £110,000.
Now, it's not far from Whipps Cross University Hospital,
so there may be rental potential from doctors and nurses.
You can see it's an end of terrace period property. Let's see what's on offer inside.
'From outside, the building certainly has plenty of kerb appeal
'and the communal areas are in excellent order. So, another box ticked.
'And when it comes to the inside of this first floor flat,
'I'm in for another pleasant surprise.'
So, we're sandwiched between two flats. One above, one below.
We're actually on the middle floor.
Can't believe how nice this flat is!
It's already been decorated, really big bedroom at the end there.
And a tiny bedroom here.
If you can even call it that.
That's more of a sort of nursery/study room.
A bathroom, nice tiles on the floor.
And quite a bijou little lounge.
I don't really know what to say about it.
There's not many features here. Some new double glazing.
It looks as though it's been freshly decorated.
It could potentially do with a new carpet.
Possibly think about changing the layout.
I'd like to think you could open this space up.
There may be a solution.
Follow me, if you will, out of the sitting room,
into the kitchen next door.
Well, this is where you could really make a difference to this flat.
I would take this wall down, box in all of that down there,
add some more units along here.
You could even block up this doorway,
because you don't really need it.
And I'd put some lovely tiles along here.
The kitchen's not great, I think it would glam it up a bit.
Then, you'd be walking into a big sunny room,
with two period-style windows.
I think it would really give this small flat a bit more wow factor
and increase its rental potential and saleability.
Compared with some properties I see,
there's not an awful lot that needs doing here.
Opening up the kitchen and sitting room would be an option,
and a decent shower over the bath wouldn't go amiss either.
But as far as the rest of the place goes,
you can see someone's already done a lot of the hard graft.
We asked an estate agent to cast a professional eye over this flat.
Guide price - £110,000.
It's quite small, if I'm honest, for a two-bedroom.
I think the second bedroom is more like a boxroom.
But it's in reasonable decorative order.
What might it take to transform this place from plain ordinary
to something with the wow factor?
In order to complete the renovation of the flat,
I believe it would cost £5,000-£7,000.
How much might that affect the resale price?
Once the flat has been completely refurbished,
I would say the resale value would be £125-£130,000.
And the rent?
I believe the rental value would be £750 per calendar month.
Well, a bit of a mystery here with this half-finished renovation job.
And a dream for someone who doesn't want to get their hands too dirty.
As far as I can tell, all it needs is a bit of furniture.
Let's see who fancied it at the auction.
Lot 46. A two-bed flat. Reasonable condition.
Start at 100.
Yes? 100,000 straight off. 100 with you.
100,000. Do I have 101?
101 with you. 102.
102. 103? 104.
On my left, 105. 106?
Back to you. 107.
Anyone else? 107. First time.
It's against you now. 110.
112. Back to you.
112, sitting down.
Anyone else? 112.
With you at 112.
Third and last time, if you're all done.
Not quite realising that she held that final bid of £112,000 was Colleen.
She was at the auction with her niece Jade
and her business partner and brother Wayne.
And yes, we have met them before.
# He's my brother... #
Cab driver and scientist Colleen are part-time property developers.
I first met them in 2010
when they did up this one-bed garden flat in Plumstead, Southeast London
to great effect.
They clearly got a lot out of the experience.
-It's been a fantastic project. I really enjoyed doing it.
Me and my sister have got on really well and I'm really pleased.
Yeah, I'm quite pleased with the finish too.
-We work well as a team.
'So, less than a year since we first met, I caught up with them
'to find out whether the dough was going to rise or fall for the siblings
'at this Bakers Arms property.'
Guys, it's lovely to see you. Well done!
I am glad that you're both climbing up the property ladder still.
-And you got this for 112,000!
-Yes, excellent. We couldn't believe it.
So what was it, Wayne, that just ticked all the boxes for you?
I cam in and looked around, and it looked very clean.
The bathroom was nice. You just need the wall taking down
in the front room to make it open-plan.
I was very happy with this flat, actually.
I would say it doesn't really need anything doing to it.
It's not a typical auction property for me.
Well, we're going to add our little touches to it as we normally do.
So, what are your special touches?
Wood floors, nice kitchen, just give it a nice feel.
Do you really think you need to take the kitchen out?
Yes. We want to add a bit more character to the place.
There's nothing wrong with the kitchen, but we don't like it.
We could save some of the carcasses,
because the kitchen looks quite new, and just change the fronts.
Giving the kitchen a makeover sounds like a much better plan.
As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
-So guys, any other layout alterations?
I think we'll leave all the other walls as they are.
The main wall is the living room wall,
and then probably we'll update the bathroom. Although there's tiles
on there, but we have a signature that we use on all our properties.
Yeah, I'm trying to get her out of that at the moment.
Wait a minute, you're trying to get her out of what?
-Of our signature in the bathroom.
-What is your signature in the bathroom?
Tiles all the way round, a border tile all the way around.
I'm just trying to go with bigger tiles, two-foot tiles.
We'll see if he can convince me.
'Much of Wayne and Colleen's success comes from their formulaic approach to property developing.
'They save a lot of time and money by installing the same fixtures and fittings in all their properties.
'It sounds as if Wayne wants to spread his creative wings a little,
'but his business-savvy sister Colleen isn't keen.
'Could this be the first crack in this beautiful relationship, and all over some bathroom tiles?'
Being a brother and sister team, does it really work for you?
-Yeah, we sometimes have a little...
-But nothing major.
-We have a, sometimes a little...
-Older sister or older brother?
-Yeah, you can tell, can't you?
Funnily enough, me and my sister have the same mindset when it comes to property.
We think the same, so I don't really have to explain a lot to her
about it, she knows what I like, and we just get on.
'So, family breakdown averted for the time being at least.
'But I'm still worried that this dynamic duo might be throwing money at this flat unnecessarily,
'especially in that bathroom.'
-What is your budget?
-Probably about £8,000.
-That is a healthy budget
for the work you need to do.
-I think it might be less, but £8,000 including any contingency.
I bet you guys do a good job, but again, I don't think you need to spend all that money,
I think you need to add a shower but I don't think you need to change it.
Yes, we do need to put a shower in.
Just because they are plain tiles, we thought we would make it look slightly better.
-How long is it going to take you?
-Five or six weeks.
We'll give the builder a bit longer on this one in case he has problems.
'Five or six weeks should do it, although they will have to fit it
'all around their main occupations, of course.
'Colleen isn't just working full-time as a scientist,
'she's also in the middle of studying for a PhD, and there's Wayne's job as a taxi driver to work around, too.'
I suppose it works for you, driving a cab, you get to be here, there and everywhere?
I've got time when I just shook off from my job, come down and have a check on the builders,
so I run the building side of it.
You are more hands-on. Colleen, what is your role?
I tend to check all the legal documents and to liaise with
the solicitors and organise loans and whatever else we need,
so I tend to do more the technical side.
Since we use the same format for every building,
we have already worked out what kind of flooring and that,
so I don't need to do that as much, so it is more all the paperwork, I'm very analytical.
I look for all the possible clauses that might trip us up!
-Do you really enjoy this?
-Yes, I love it.
-Or is it about the money?
It's not about the money, it's about being creative.
I like being creative.
This property, there's not much to do but I like something where
there's a bit more work to do and change the whole place.
Good luck with this. I'm sure it's going to be a piece of cake for you
both, but well done, and I'm glad you are still buying more properties.
Colleen and Wayne got themselves a real bargain here.
But five weeks to renovate and a £8,000 budget?
I'm not sure that they will even need that amount of cash and that amount of time.
Join us later in the programme and you can see how they get on.
Coming up in Cornwall, the layout of this cosy cottage leaves a lot to be desired.
I mean this hot water tank here is just dreadful.
In this two-bed East London flat, Wayne sets high standards when it comes to redeveloping.
I wouldn't to a property unless I could live there myself.
But first, in Nottinghamshire, work on this three-bed end terrace is affected by bad weather.
It was so cold, we were putting milk in the fridge to stop it freezing.
We are back to check on this three-bed end-of-terrace
in Pleasley, Nottinghamshire, which was little more than an empty shell last time.
# Start new when your heart is an empty room... #
'Property-developing brothers Ian and Jason paid £59,500 at auction for this rather forlorn house.
'But for Ian and Jason, the half-finished state of the building was to their advantage.'
Basically, it's the sort of project we do. Someone has
already started it and done half the work for us, we just have to concentrate on the rebuild.
'With plenty of experience, a £30,000 budget
'and a 16-week timescale, the brothers were confident
'they could turn the building around as they have on previous projects.'
The majority of them is, buy something pretty disgusting and
turn it into something quite nice for somebody to live in.
-It has worked OK so far.
'Well, five and a half months after our first visit,
'we're back to see how they got on dealing with this empty shell.'
# Hey, show some love You ain't so tough
# Come fill my little world right up, right up
# Some day you're going to realise I want you
# So fill my little world right up, right up, right up... #
Wow, that is a seriously impressive transformation
Ian and Jason have taken this blank canvas and created a masterpiece.
Apart from the external walls, it's almost all brand-spanking-new.
All the plumbing and electrics is all brand-new, fully re-plastered throughout.
New windows, new doors, new staircase.
A new floor in the kitchen, new kitchen, new bathroom,
-new appliances - it's just a new house in an old shell.
# So fill my little world right up, right up, right up. #
The rear extension looks like it's always been there
and it has allowed the brothers to create a really practical family kitchen.
We're now into the new extension part.
As you can see, this has made a nice big kitchen-dining area.
Although the extension is only two metres at the most,
it gives quite a lot more space.
This would be where the original door was into the original house now.
We put a country-style kitchen in to fit in keeping with the cottage style of the house
and we finished it off with a natural stone floor,
which we think has put a good finish onto the overall look.
Upstairs, they have created a family bathroom
and three bedrooms, one of which is en suite.
It's a perfect family home now.
Their hard work is also evident outside.
The old garage has been replaced and the garden has been given a makeover, too.
None of this has been lost on the neighbours.
Since we've been working here, everybody locally has really liked it.
Everybody has stopped and said what a good job we are making, which is really nice.
Somebody stopped the car yesterday and said people
in the village are talking about it, about what a nice job we'd done.
It was heart-warming yesterday. We were really pleased, it makes the job worthwhile almost.
The boys' timescale has slipped from 16 weeks to 5.5 months,
mainly down to working through an exceptionally hard winter.
We didn't work a great deal of December at all, a week or more, because of the snow.
In fact it was so cold in here, we were putting the milk in the fridge to stop it from freezing.
It was that bad. It was -19 in here one morning.
And they're still waiting to get the mains gas connected for the central heating.
But what about their £30,000 budget?
The works come to about £33,000, so we were there or thereabouts.
That £33,000 brings their total outlay to £92,500.
We asked two local estate agents to look around
and give us their verdict on Ian and Jason's work.
First impressions of this property is that it's absolutely fantastic.
It's an incredible transformation.
It was very run-down, almost derelict.
Now it looks fantastic.
Probably one of the best selling aspects of the property now is its complete refurbishment,
so anybody that buys it has got very little to do for a long time now.
What do these experts think the property might fetch on the rental market?
It's rare to get rental accommodation of this quality,
and as such, I think it could attract almost £500 per calendar month.
From a rental point of view, I'd be looking between £500 and £525 per calendar month.
What could Ian and Jason expect to sell it for?
Current resale of the property in the climate would be £115,000 to £120,000.
The resale value of this property is around £140,000, and I think
it's one of those houses where the first the first to see will buy.
Those re-sell valuations would mean a pre-tax profit
of between £22,500 and £47,500 for the brothers.
What do they make of that?
We were hoping for £130,00 to £140,000, that was the initial figure we had in mind.
£120,000 does seem a bit low to what we were hoping,
and £140,000 is at the top end of what we were expecting,
so it's somewhere in between.
We've had it valued ourselves as well, and they said £140,000 as well, so I guess they agree more with
the second valuation than the first, but in this market, who knows?
Are they happy with the transformation from empty shell to full-blown family home?
Yes, I think so. I think it's turned out quite nice.
It's turned out as good, if not better, than we would have expected.
You know, the little touches like the floor in the kitchen,
they've kept that cottagey feel.
I think it's turned out nice from the outside
and from the inside - it's a nice house.
What's next for this three-bed end of terrace?
There is some local interest and hopefully we're going to get some viewings out of that.
There's one lady that wants to come in a couple of days' time
and she, hopefully - you never know - will buy it and save us some estate agent fees.
If not, I think it will sell to somebody local or somebody who knows somebody local.
I hope he's right.
They've turned an eyesore into a sight to behold
and really deserve to have their hard work rewarded.
For the next place that went under the hammer I'm in Cornwall
and on this dull, drizzly day
I'd like to request a property bargain to lift my spirits.
Well, four miles outside Liskeard
is the village of Pensilva and I'm here to see
what the auction catalogue described as "a character cottage."
Now that either means dilapidated or charming.
In this case...it might be both.
This 19th century, two-bed cottage is certainly showing its age.
Its auction guide price of 65,000 reflected its rather run-down state.
This one might call for some divine intervention.
# Oh, we're halfway there
# Oh, oh, living on a prayer. #
It does have a lovely outlook at the front,
though not so good at the back.
What's on offer inside?
It's really not looking brilliant, I have to say.
This little lean-to or sun room, as it's called, ha-ha, that'll be one of the first things to go.
Then through into the cottage, look at the thickness of these walls.
They must be about that thick.
I guess that's what you get with a 200-year-old cottage.
Then basically it's into this one room
and downstairs this is pretty much what you've got.
It's nice to see these beams, although I have to say, "Yikes."
The ceiling looks like it's in a right old state.
Open fire, I doubt this is the original fireplace.
You can have some fun with that, for sure. What else have we got in here?
Doorway leading to...
an under-stairs cupboard. And the kitchen.
Wow! That's small!
This kitchen isn't just small, it's positively tiny.
It's only just wide enough for the sink and you look out through
the window, not at the view, but that conservatory.
But it could be enlarged if you were to knock through to the under-stairs cupboard.
So, upstairs, lots of staining. I guess nicotine stains. Urgh!
Anyway, very small bedroom. Just about big enough for a single bed.
A bathroom there which isn't quite big enough to put the sink in.
I know that because the sink's actually in the second bedroom here.
Here it is. Clearly you're going to have to do something about that. This room, not a bad size I suppose,
but having this hot water tank here is just dreadful.
You'll have to play around with it, sort out the ceilings, sort out the floors,
gut the whole place and start again.
And even after you've done that, it's still a very small cottage.
Small, dinky, compact, call it what you will - there's going to have to be some creative thinking
when it comes to renovating this cottage and, guess what? I've an idea that might just help.
I've been giving it some thought in terms of how you can
actually increase what is a tiny cottage here.
I'm getting inspiration from next door.
They've converted this conservatory/lean-to into a proper extension.
You'll need planning permission, but the fact that that is next door is definitely in your favour.
You could then use this as an extension to the lounge,
you could even possibly think about going up two storeys
and increasing the size of the bedrooms.
Either way you'll end up with at last a kitchen and a bit of breathing space in what,
apart from the lack of space, is a very charming little place.
The cottage has been in the same ownership for over 40 years
and time and the elements have taken their toll.
But it has got a quirky bonus outside.
Now, most houses have either a front garden or a back garden
but in this case, this particular property doesn't have either.
It actually has a plot of land which you have to negotiate across this bit of land here to get to.
That's the garden of the next door neighbour.
This is your plot of land and it gets worse
because this plot of land here is actually your other neighbour's.
So they have access to this over your land
you have access to this over your neighbour's land. It's a nightmare.
You'd really want to talk to the neighbours about changing this,
so you have the strips of land running like this.
It's going to cost a bit,
you'll have to get solicitors involved, but it's got to be done.
The property went under the hammer guided at 65,000.
We invited the auctioneer who sold it to give his opinion
on this tiny two-bed cottage.
What could be the solution here?
Downstairs you've got really quite a big living room and a tiny kitchen.
You could knock the wall out and make it a combined kitchen/living room
which I think would be a bit of a shame.
Or you could do what the right-hand neighbour has done
and build out a bit, put your kitchen in there,
looking straight down the garden and down the woods.
Then have a larger living room space.
I think that would be the best outcome.
There's plenty of hard graft to be done.
It will have to be replastered and rewired.
The plumbing needs to be looked at and there could be a damp issue,
but once the renovation is complete,
and brought up to modern standards,
this cottage could have a bright future on the rental market.
From a rental point of view it would rent out quite easily
on a month-to-month basis at £500-£550 a calendar month.
What could it be worth once the work's finished?
Its maximum value, as lovely as it could possibly be,
would be around £140,000-£145,000.
Well, quirky, quaint, cute - this cottage is all those things.
It's also one heck of a lot of work.
Still, for around that £65,000 guide price
I reckon there's money in it for someone.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
Pretty little cottage. Nice garden.
It's got two bedrooms and a bathroom.
Needs a refurb, but that's a nice cottage in a well thought of village.
Who's going to kick me off at 70,000?
How about 60?
60, thank you. 60, at 60. At 60. 60.
61, you're sat. 62 is stood.
62, at 62.
63, at 63.
At 63 is sat.
At 63, half, 63, half is stood.
64, at 64.
64 is sat.
64 and a half, 64 and a half is front right.
64 and a half, 65.
At 65, 65 and a half.
65 and a half.
66, at 66.
At 66 and a half. And a half I do.
67, at 67. Shake of the head, 67, you're in, sat at the back.
At 67, at 67.
Here we go at 67, all out.
At 67 and done. Sat has it. 67. Well done, sir.
That final bid of £67,000 was made by Joe who was at the auction
with his wife, Michelle.
This will be the third property that they've renovated,
but their first as an investment.
They live in the next road and have been renovating their current house
since 2003, so they know plenty of local tradesmen.
Joe worked in the container business for many years and now does
consultancy work, whilst Michelle used to be in accountancy.
I met up with Joe at the cottage to hear about the plans.
-Nice to meet you, Joe, congratulations.
Got yourself a nice little cottage. Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
We're looking for a project for 2010 and we live just around the corner.
So we bought it as an investment.
Do it up and probably rent it or sell it.
-What was it about the place that you liked?
-Erm, the price.
It was cheap! And, as I say, it was very close to where we live.
It's a sweet little cottage. Emphasis on the little.
-So, what are you going to do to it?
-Just about everything.
Gut it out completely.
We'll even take the plaster off the walls, probably.
Damp proof it, insulate it and we'll probably knock down the porch,
talk to planning about what they'll let us do there.
How are you going to create a kitchen?
We'll have to find out what we can do with the porch first
and then once we've got that, we'll do the designs.
Upstairs I think we'll need to change the layout of the bathroom.
The two bedrooms are about right, the relative size, I think.
We may keep the partition wall between the two bedrooms.
We'll certainly do something about the bathroom.
I'm sure it's going to be an interesting challenge for Joe.
He needs to maximise all the available space in this cottage
which he bought for £67,000 as a buy-to-let investment.
It could be hiding some fantastic original features
but he's just as likely to unearth problems
if the condition of the outside is anything to go by.
And, the worries don't stop at the bricks and mortar.
A big issue is the daft, daft layout of the garden.
What are you going to do about that?
If the neighbours aren't interested in changing it, there's nothing we can do about it.
But if they feel they want to change it
we could come to an arrangement, I suppose.
We're going to rent it out. I suppose it'd depend on the tenant,
whether they felt that was an issue or not.
He will need to do his sums carefully.
The legal costs could outweigh the potential increase in value
of the cottage and might prove to be a long, drawn-out process.
So back to the bricks and mortar. Has Joe set a budget yet?
Erm, we haven't. We don't really do budgets
because we'll do whatever is necessary to do a good job here.
-Roughly, how much do you think you might spend?
-I don't know!
I've only done a back-of-the-envelope calculation. I really don't know.
-What kind of timescale is there?
-A few months, I suppose.
-Up to a year.
-A bit of a random budget and timescale.
Listen, congratulations and good luck.
-We look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thank you very much.
Well, having no timescale is one thing, but no budget...?
Not so sure about that.
You know what, even though it's small, a cottage like this
that hasn't been touched for a long time, could easily swallow up 30,000 quid.
So how is Joe going to get on in his slightly hazard world of property development?
You can find out later in the show.
Well, work often takes longer than you're expecting when you do up a property,
so you need to factor delays into your calculations.
So have our buyers hit their budgets and their deadlines? Let's find out.
We're back in Baker's Arms, Leyton, East London,
to see how brother/sister combo and Homes Under The Hammer veterans
Wayne and Coleen fared renovating this two-bedroomed first floor flat.
They bought it at auction for 112,000.
Beyond knocking through the kitchen and living room I thought there was actually very little to do here.
But with a generous budget of £8,000 Wayne and Coleen
were determined to stamp their usual mark on the place.
We have a signature that we use in all our properties.
And I'm trying to get around that at the moment. We'll see what happens.
-So, wait a minute, you're trying to get her out of what?
-Our signature in the bathroom.
-What is your signature in the bathroom?
-Tiles all the way round, border tile all the way round.
-I'm trying to go with bigger tiles - two-foot tiles.
-We'll see if he can convince me.
So who would win in the battle of the bathroom tiles - big sister Colleen or little brother Wayne?
We're back three months later to see if it's happy families or squabbling siblings.
Looks like Wayne and Colleen have replaced the carpet with laminate flooring.
The sockets and light fittings are all new and shiny.
And the bathroom? Talk us through the changes here, Wayne.
We've taken out the old unit and we've put in a corner unit to save space.
We've changed the toilet and we've put in a shower and all new bath fittings.
Also, we've done our signature tile look, which we do in all our properties.
So it looks like big sister Colleen has had her way. The signature lives on.
Spookily, the bathroom here is almost tile-for-tile the same
as on their other property last time they were on the show.
In the end, we went for the signature look. She overwhelmed me in the end and we went for it.
You may not have won this time, Wayne, but why mess with a winning formula?
And what about the front of the property? It seems they've taken my advice and opened it up.
What was once a non-descript lounge and narrow galley kitchen
is now a light and spacious kitchen/living area much better suited to modern living.
Basically, this was two separate rooms, so we've taken down the dividing wall
and we decided that we couldn't use the original kitchen units because it was too small,
so we've redesigned it to maximise the space,
put in a dishwasher, and washing machine, and new hob.
We've boxed in the boiler and it's given a more open, airy feeling to the flat.
Have they enjoyed the process of doing up this flat?
I came in this property and when I saw it, it was old, it needed a lot of things doing
and I like changing something into something that people can live in.
I get enjoyment out of bringing a property into somewhere that people can live in.
I wouldn't do a property unless I could live in there myself.
Wayne and Colleen gave themselves five to six weeks to do the refurbishment.
Their builder of choice was unavailable for some of that period,
so the project ended up taking 12 weeks to complete. Do they have any change from their generous budget?
The budget was £8,000. £1,000 of that was a contingency plan
and we've actually spent £7,000, so we're in budget.
That £7,000 spend brings Wayne and Colleen's total outlay
to £119,000, including the purchase price at auction.
Have they made the most of their money?
We asked two estate agents to look around and give us their thoughts.
A reasonable job. They've opened the kitchen, so it's open-plan,
which is the desired effect these days.
Other than that, they haven't made too many improvements.
They've done some work to the bathroom and put a new floor in, but it's similar to how they bought it.
It was the first time in the property.
It is a nice flat. They've made the most of the space available to them.
It's a small flat, a Victorian conversion.
They're not going to spend thousands and thousands on the finish,
but they want to make it marketable and sellable and it is that.
What kind of price tag would these experts put on the property if it were to be sold?
I'd market this property between £135,000-£140,000.
I'd put this property on the market at £145,000.
That means Wayne and Colleen would be looking at a profit of between £16,000 and £26,000,
minus tax and expenses if they decided to sell,
but this precious pad is being added to their growing buy-to-let portfolio,
so what kind of rental income could it earn?
For rental, I'd put it on the market for between £750 and £800 per calendar month.
I'd put this property on the rental market for £800 per calendar month.
That's a healthy yield of between 7.5 and 8%, what do they make of that?
-It's fantastic, that's more than I expected to get.
-We were reckoning around £650, so that's excellent.
What does the future hold for this dream team? Are they planning to climb further up the property ladder?
-We've got one in progress.
-We're going to do the work on it now.
Then we'll expand bigger.
Time now to return to Cornwall, where earlier in the programme Joe paid £67,000
for this 19th-century, mid-terrace, two-bedroomed cottage.
He planned to renovate it either for rental or resale.
Joe's a consultant in the container industry and lives locally.
Although he's renovated three properties, this was his first development.
He wasn't too concerned about the money.
-Roughly, how much do you think you might spend?
I've only done a back-of-the-envelope calculation. I really don't know.
-What kind of timescale is there?
-A few months, I suppose, up to a year.
It's a little over a year since our first visit. We've returned to see what Joe's achieved.
And what a transformation!
At the front of the property, the dilapidated lean-to
has been replaced with a new stone-built single-storey extension,
with a bigger footprint.
The chimney and roof have been replaced
and gone is the rotten rendering,
with beautiful exposed Cornish stonework in its place.
Inside is one large, open-plan living area,
with a contemporary kitchen to the left as you walk into the cottage.
There's now a gorgeous fireplace
and the stairs have been moved to the back wall.
And it all started when the lean-to got the heave-ho,
as Joe explains.
Er, right. As far as the layout is concerned,
where I'm standing now, this was where the old lean-to was.
It's now the new extension with the front door here.
We've put the kitchen all down this wall, as you can see
and then this here was the original wall of the old cottage,
where the steel beams are now.
The old staircase used to start somewhere here,
and go up a straight flight up that way.
We've turned it around so it now winds around to the top.
This is the lounge area around the fireplace.
Upstairs, the poky bathroom and bedroom-cum-boiler room
have been knocked through to create one spacious double bedroom.
The smaller bedroom has been sacrificed to become a shower room.
Upstairs, we've changed the layout quite a bit.
We're standing in what is now the only bedroom.
There used to be a second bedroom through there.
There was a bathroom in this corner
with just the bath and the loo in that corner.
The basin was actually inside the bedroom.
We decided that wasn't really up to scratch,
so we made a much bigger bathroom over there now,
which meant there wasn't really room for a second bedroom.
All in all, I think it makes quite a nice one-bedroomed house.
It was really too small for two bedrooms.
Time will tell whether losing a bedroom will mean Joe loses out
on a bigger profit.
But I agree that the accommodation makes much more sense now.
Back downstairs, the wood burner gives tremendous character and heat.
Joe's also had gas central heating installed,
and the property's been rewired and insulated throughout.
With no parking in front, access proved a real headache
as the building materials had to be carried on site by hand.
And because neither of Joe's neighbours are interested
in changing the unusual horizontal garden arrangement,
it will remain as it is for the time being.
How long has it taken to transform the cottage?
We didn't start for about five months after the auction,
so it's taken around about nine or ten months to finish.
I was here most days. I did most of the fetching and carrying
and some of the manual work, a few other little jobs,
but mainly down to the builders.
Now the work's finished, Joe should know what the budget ran to,
so how much has it all cost?
In the end, I think we spent nearly £50,000 doing the job.
£50,000 on top of his purchase price means a total outlay here
Has Joe spent his money wisely?
Let's find out what two local property experts think
of the renovation and his investment.
As you approach the cottage, great feature walling by the front door.
but it continues as you come in
and the fireplace is really eye-catching. Really like that.
One reception room downstairs is a little bit limiting,
but in this condition, people can put their own mark on it.
An attractive cottage.
It was two bedrooms, but they were really small.
So actually, to have one great big, really show-off bedroom...
I don't think's a great harm.
Bathroom, shower, bath, good size.
Immaculately presented again.
The garden is slightly detached, which is a bit of a shame,
but would it put someone off, fundamentally? Nah.
Has all the hard work been worth it?
Remember, Joe paid £67,000 at the auction
and spent another £50,000 on it,
making a total of £117,000.
So what's the valuation now for the property?
I would look to put an asking price on this property of £129,950
to achieve in the region of £125,000.
I think the value of the cottage is about £130,000.
That valuation range of between £125,000 and £130,000
would produce a gross profit of £8,000-£13,000
before the usual selling expenses.
I doubt we'll sell it straightaway.
That would have had to be very attractive for us to sell it
cos the plan was always to rent it.
But, yeah, there's a little bit of a profit margin there, so that's OK.
His intention is to let the cottage out.
So, how much rental income could it generate?
The rental value of this property, he would be looking at between
£450 and £495 per calendar month.
If the cottage was rented out on ordinary residential tenancy,
I'd expect to achieve about £500 per calendar month.
I thought £500 would be about right. £450 sounds a bit low.
Anyway, that's fine, too.
Joe may have taken a bit of a gamble,
converting this tiny two-bed cottage into a larger one-bedroomed property,
but it's certainly benefited from the love and attention it deserved.
And Joe's confident he made the right decision.
My approach to it is always that you try and do it right
and you take as long as it takes and spend as much as it needs
and then hope for the best.
That's always worked for me in the past
and seems to have done this time.
In fact, it's worked a treat this time because, since filming,
Joe has secured a tenant who is paying rent
at the top end of those valuations.
Naturally, he'd delighted.
That's the stories from today's show but, as you know,
anything can happen, and DOES happen, on Planet Property.
So make sure you join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a mid-terrace two-bedroom cottage in Cornwall, a two-bedroom first-floor flat in London and a property in Nottingham. 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.