Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property close to transport links in south London, a house in County Durham and a home in Rochester, Kent.
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-Hello and welcome.
-For some, buying a property is a dream.
But for others, it is a reality.
So are you a doer or dreamer buying your home under the hammer?
Buying at auction is very thrilling but it's also very quick.
You could be the owner of a property in just a few seconds.
So if you are planning on buying at auction, make sure you're prepared.
Yes, cos when the hammer goes down, that property it yours.
'In South London, you know I'm always saying it's good to be close to transport links...'
But I'm not sure whether I'd really want to be that close!
'I'm left weighing up the options for this property in County Durham.'
Do I like this place or not? Haven't quite decided yet.
'While in Rochester, Kent, keeping the status quo just isn't an option.'
In this economic climate, you can't afford to do that.
'All these properties have been sold at auction.
-'We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.'
'I've come to the southeast of London to Crystal Palace.
'There are plenty of wide-open spaces to enjoy here.
'But nestled below the gorgeous period buildings,
'there's one bit of space hidden away from the bustle of the city.'
# Oh, give me land, lots of land
# Under starry skies above
# Don't fence me in
I'm here to see a unique property today, so naturally, I'm quite excited.
We've visited lots of them in the past but I've never found one in a London location.
Today, I give you a one-bedroom bungalow built in 1935.
It had a guide price of £175,000.
Let's go inside and see what it's like.
'Tucked away in the hollow of an extremely overgrown garden,
'this single-storey bungalow comes with a series of differently-shaped outhouses.
'With all its straight lines and corners,
'this unusual property might not win any beauty contests
'but there's plenty of scope for some imaginative development.'
# I'm living in a box
So, basically, this looks like a white square box from the outside.
Inside, it's a bit of an unusual layout.
You've got a shower room here and this hard ceramic tiled floor everywhere.
It just feels a bit clinical, a bit like a dentist's waiting room.
So this is a really good size lounge. You've got nice views of the outside.
A bedroom leading off the lounge. Not much privacy.
I think I would change that entrance and have it off the hallway.
You've just got this safety glass everywhere. Look at this.
You've got a dining space. Well, nothing to get terribly excited about here
but it's spacious, it's detached and it had a low guide price for London.
'I'd say a guide price of £175,000 is certainly not to be sniffed at.
'I wonder if that low guide price is something to do with the rather whiffy issue under the bungalow.'
This bungalow does have a slightly murky side.
It's built over a public sewer
and it's got special foundations as a result.
Now, they are called pier foundations.
They're columns that the structure is built on.
I know it sounds a bit scary but building regulations and the council have checked this when it was built
so everything is safe and above board.
The only problem is that it may jeopardise any future developments.
If you wanted to add value by extending the property out,
you would have to obtain permission from the local water board.
And if you wanted to add another level and go up,
you'd have to employ a structural engineer to see if it's even possible.
# Down in the sewer
'On top of that, there's a covenant on the site forbidding a full-scale development.
'There's only permission for a single dwelling here
'so that could put developers off, too.
'Unfortunately, there are a number of other down sides to this property.'
Now, it's always good to be close to transport links,
but I'm not sure whether I'd really want to be that close.
'The railway's a bit too close for comfort. But what about the neighbours?
'Plans have been submitted to build a small tower block overlooking this site.
'And if you think you can easily clear that foliage, think again.'
The trees, yes, you've guessed it, they've got tree preservation orders on them,
so before you get your chainsaw revving, you've got to think twice.
'But it's not all negatives. Those outhouses at the entrance come with the property
'and have exciting scope for development.'
Now for some background history. This place used to house lots of cats,
around 300 at one point in fact. It used to be a cat sanctuary.
But I think you could really utilise this space. It could become a studio,
a home office, even create some off-road parking or a garage.
It's a bit extra that's included in the price.
I like that. And at last, something positive.
# What's new, pussycat? Whoa-whoa-whoa-ho
# What's new, pussycat? Whoa-whoa-whoa-ho-whoa
'The cats may be long gone, but I don't think that whoever got their paws on this place
'will find its potential has disappeared with them.
'What does a local property expert think?'
It is a very unusual property. When you come down here,
you wouldn't know exactly where you were. You could be anywhere,
which is a very good thing. It means that somebody could live here
and get away from it all. There is a lot of scope with it going upwards.
But it's one of those things you'd have to look into deeply before you did it.
'If the new owner went for a straightforward renovation,
'how much could they expect to rent this one-bed bungalow out for?'
In terms of rental, because of the unusual nature of the property and where it's located,
I think you'll get, top end in the summer, £800 per calendar month, £850 per calendar month
and in the winter time, £750 per calendar month,
so it would be better to start rentals in the summer or spring cos you'll get more money.
'What about resale values?'
If you refurbed it as a one-bed, you'd put it back on the market around £230,000.
'If the buyer chose to add another floor, turning it into a three-bed property,
'what could that sell for?'
I think they'll be looking at probably £300,000, around that sort of figure,
maybe a little more because of the unusualness of it. But that can work against you, too.
Floating foundations, issues surrounding future extensions,
a train track running past the property and the threat of a development spoiling your view.
This unassuming little bungalow does have a number of sticking points, but I still love it.
It's unusual and it's just got something about it.
Let's see who wanted it when we go to auction.
'It was one of the last lots of the day,
'but some bidders were determined to stick it out.'
Who'd like to get me started on this, lot 122?
How much? 165?
170, new place. 171.
180, more competition. 181.
'This is exactly what you want if you're a seller at auction,
'two bidders ping-ponging the price up furiously.
'Let's rejoin this pair £18,000 later.'
213. 214. 214, sir?
No? If not, back to you, sir.
213 for the first. 213 for the second.
-213 for the third and final time. All done?
Sold, 213. Well bought.
'At last. Well, it was an epic battle, but he's got there in the end.
'It was Rob who made that final bid of £213,000.
'Rob's an IT manager and bought the bungalow so that he could eventually move into it with his girlfriend.
'I caught up with him there to find out what he's got planned.'
Rob, congratulations. I bet you're really excited about having bought this at auction.
I am. I'm very excited. It's such a lovely place. Very unusual.
-So you obviously weren't put off by the railway line that's very close.
-No. It's very close
but the railway isn't a regular line
and, to be honest, you get used to it very quickly,
so it wasn't such a negative factor for us.
Let's talk about the property that you've got here.
Are you going to change the layout at all?
I think I would firstly look at whether we're going to put a second floor on
and if we were to do that, then down here would be the bedrooms.
So then we would think about laying it out in the right way, perhaps putting in another bathroom, as well.
'The fact that Rob isn't going to extend around the building
'means that he avoids any potential problems with the pier foundations over the sewer.
'His designs for the second-floor extension may involve a glass structure
'which will let a lot more light in.
'How heavy on the pocket will that be?'
I think what I'd be prepared to spend is something in the order of £50,000 to £70,000.
And, at the moment, I've just got to try and find out what I could get for that.
And depending on what the foundations are,
what materials you would build up on the first floor,
would determined whether it can be done for that kind of price.
What are you going to do with the rest of the land you're going to have?
I think, certainly out the back, there's more land
and I was thinking for a quieter garden, maybe something like a Japanese garden
with a water feature might be quite a nice retreat to go to,
a sanctuary within a sanctuary you could say.
You've got tree preservation orders. How will that affect your development?
Well, probably I wouldn't build near to where the tree preservation order covers.
It's quite a large area but it's at the top of the garden.
But what I would hope to do is to manage the trees
and maybe thin them out a little so that we can get more light in this area.
-Ah, wonderful. And what about any pets? You've got an amazing cattery out there.
-Yes, we have.
We'd certainly like to have some pets, perhaps one cat, not 300.
One or two possibly. And we're also hoping to have some chickens.
-And keep those perhaps at the top of the garden and have fresh eggs for breakfast.
-Fantastic. So a little mini farm in London.
-Exactly. A mini city farm.
'It looks like creating a mini farm will be one of Rob's first jobs.
'The long-term plan is to apply for planning permission and build another floor.
'Meanwhile, he plans to refurbish the bungalow and make it home for himself and his partner Beverley,
'along with the animals, of course.'
# My animal home
What I'm really pleased about is the fact that there was a train line,
a sewer, lots of these things that would've put so many people off,
and it just hasn't put you off whatsoever because you want this as your home.
I persevered with this one cos I did like it
and I'm still happy about it, so those negative aspects
haven't detracted from the enjoyment that I've had so far.
I'm very excited for you and cannot wait to see what you do here.
-It's been lovely meeting you. Congratulations.
-Thank you very much.
Rob wants to create a mini city farm in South London.
I think that's a great idea! He's certainly got the outside space to do it.
But how will those chickens feel about trains whizzing past them?
More importantly, how will Rob get on with this renovation?
Stay tuned and you can find out what happens later on in the programme.
'This is Seaham in County Durham,
'rich is mining history and also in a spectacular coastline
'neglected during the Northeast's industrial years.
'Today, Seaham's harbour and beaches are protected
'and like much of the town, have been regenerated.
'That's led to 159% property-price increases over the last decade.
'So if you want to buy here, you best be quick
'before those bargains wash away.'
# Coming by
# Goodbye, goodbye
So with such a massive increase in prices,
you might think that property round here is going to be really expensive. Well, not so.
The average price of a house round here is 94,000 quid.
That's less than the national average for sure.
And what am I here to see? Two-bedroom bungalow, had a guide price of just 35,000 quid.
This is it. Doesn't look too bad from the outside.
But I can't quite decide if that's the back door or the front door.
# Back to front, front to back
# Will you come backwards with me?
# Backwards with me
Well, whatever, it gets you into the house at least and straight into the kitchen.
The kitchen itself, not huge but not in bad condition
and it's nice that you've got the appliances, so if you're renting this place out, it saves money.
Through the kitchen into your lounge and not a bad size space.
Things like that fireplace, it's not bad. The rest of it does feel a little bit dated.
Do I like this place or not? I haven't quite decided yet.
'But the bungalow does look as though it's in good condition.
'There are two decent size bedrooms.
'A slightly out-of-date but perfectly respectable bathroom.
'But to get the full picture, we need to take a look from the back, or the front, whichever it is.'
At the opposite side of the property to where I came in, you find what I think is the front entrance.
Although, to be fair, I don't think many people use it.
You also find a pretty decent size garden. It's mostly laid to flagstones here.
But it's not a bad size and, even better, it opens out onto this woodland area which is really nice.
But you can also see what some other people have done to their properties, extended slightly.
Is that a good idea? It all depends on how much it's going to cost and what value it would add.
Something you might want to consider is some patio doors coming out here.
So you've just got to figure out, is it worth doing? Adding it up, I think probably not.
'That wonderful view could be just what buyers are looking for.
'But they have to be careful not to spend too much
'as there's a definite ceiling price on bungalows around here.
'It may be small, but for someone looking to get their foot on the property ladder,
'it could be a great opportunity, particularly as it is being sold under a local auction initiative.'
If you fancy the idea of buying at auction but haven't got the ten percent deposit that's required,
what can you do? Well, in this part of the UK, they've come up with a really interesting idea.
It's called Option Two and it means if you go to the auction and you're successful in bidding,
instead of the usual "hammer goes down, you have exchanged,"
the hammer goes down and you have to basically pay £3,000, no matter what the cost of the property is.
You've then got 28 days to exchange contracts and a further 14 to complete.
It gives you more time to sort out your mortgage, you have to find less deposit
and it really opens up the market to people who maybe wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise. Great idea.
'It's up to the seller to decide to auction the property under Option Two.
'Although it makes it easier for the buyer to arrange a mortgage, there are down sides.
'For an Option Two property, the seller doesn't have to provide a legal pack
'so you do need to do your research
'before committing to that £3,000 deposit.
'We asked a local estate agent for his thoughts
'on this bungalow's potential.'
It doesn't need a lot doing to it. It has UPVC double glazing
and a new combi boiler, so it doesn't need
a great deal of money spending on it
to bring it up to modern-day specifications.
'Not much to spend on the interior, then.
'But would it be worth going to the expense of adding an extension?'
It's very common for properties round here to be extended.
With this property, it's quite close-knit and there's not a great deal of room out the back to extend
so I think possibly a loft extension would be a great asset to the home.
It might not make a big difference in terms of value
but if it was a family home, it'd be a great addition.
'The bungalow had a guide price of just £35,000.
'So what's his estimate of the current value?'
Currently I think this property's worth around about £75,000.
I think, if you were to spend £10,000 on it,
you could probably gain around £90,000.
'Renting it out could make sense, but would that extension be worth it?'
If you were to leave the property as it is,
you'd achieve about £450 per calendar month.
If you were to put the loft extension in, you'd probably gain about £500 per calendar month.
So, all in all, a solid little property that I think would suit a variety of buyers.
And at the guide price, money to be made,
despite the fact that we have seen huge increases in prices here.
Let's see who fancied the opportunity when it went under the hammer.
We now move to Seaham.
Prime position with elevated southward views.
Do we have any bids at £35,000? Right in the centre at 35.
37 on the front row. 39 bid. 41.
43. 45. 47.
49 on the front. You're out on the telephone. I'll take one.
50,000 at the far back. 51.
50 and a half. 51?
51 bid. And a half. 52.
And a half. Gentleman in the front at 52 and a half.
53 bid. And a half. 54.
54 bid. And a half.
55. 55 bid.
And a half.
Gentleman on the front row, 55 and a half.
It's your last chance on the phone. Gentleman on the front row.
I'm selling it once, 55 and a half.
Selling it twice at... A new bidder's come in, 56.
And a half?
New bidder at 56 on the right hand side. I'll take 250. Selling at 56.
Selling once at 56. Selling it twice at 56.
Sold to the gentleman on the right hand side, £56,000.
'The successful last-minute bid of 56,000 came from Kathryn and her husband Neil.
'Kathryn's currently on maternity leave from her job with a firm of solicitors
'and Neil's an off-shore crane engineer.
'They live locally with their two children, daughter Maddie and baby boy Mason,
'in a house the couple built themselves.
'I couldn't wait to find out their plans for this property.'
Kathryn, Neil, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations. Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
We saw this property, it seems a lovely house, it could be a lovely family home again.
It's just a lovely little area.
Right. So why exactly have you bought it? To live in?
No, we bought it to renovate it and sell on pretty soon, hopefully.
Is this something you've done before?
We've never bought to renovate and sell on
but we've renovated a property that we've lived in
and we've also done a self-build which we currently live in.
'So they've had a fair bit of experience in building and renovation, then.
'Exactly how much do they plan to do here?'
We plan on doing the basics, new kitchen,
new bathroom suite, rewire,
stripping all the old decor and redecorating.
The bare minimum, but enough to put it back on the market.
-So no plans to extend, taking out walls, anything like that?
The property's not big enough for any major changes to it.
Just keeping it the same, basically, but a new facelift.
How much money have you got set aside to do it?
We've got £10,000. That's what we hope we can do an awful lot with, £10,000.
It's only a little property.
'Neil's a qualified electrician and Kathryn's brother's a plumber,
'so they'll all be working together to make things happen for this little bungalow.'
# Let's make it happen
# Give it up, step on out, I know where, you know how
# Let's make it happen
'They're planning the work around Neil's engineering job off shore.
'How long does he think it will take?'
12 weeks is what we're aiming for.
Because I work away, I've got three weeks left of this leave and then I have to go to work,
and another four weeks when I return, so hopefully in that time
we should have it turned round and get it to a point where we can put it back on the market.
-Great. Congratulations. Well done.
Well, Kathryn and Neil have certainly done well here and there is money to be made.
But can they sell it within their required timescale?
I'm not so sure. You can find out later on in the show.
'Coming up, in Kent, it's time to play the numbers game.'
Whoever takes this on had better be good with figures
to stand a chance of making a profit here.
'Back in County Durham, we hear why there's been a break in Neil and Kathryn's renovation work.'
Till he gets his arm fixed, he isn't going to be touching that for a while.
'But first, we return to South London
'to see why Rob's square house ticks all the boxes.'
It's a beautiful home for us.
'It was in Southeast London where I first found this one-bedroom bungalow
'which went to auction with a guide price of £175,000.
'When I say found, I do mean found,
'because it was hidden away behind fencing in its own little valley.'
# Live in a hiding place
# It's the only way to feel safe
'At first, this secluded spot appears idyllic,
'a sanctuary from the London sprawl.
'However, there were a few down sides.
'It was next to a railway track, built over a public sewer
'and was formally a cat sanctuary.
'But for IT consultant Rob, none of these issues were catastrophic.
'He paid £213,000 at auction
'to turn the bungalow and the plot into his new home.'
What I'm really pleased about is the fact that there was a train line, a sewer,
lots of things that would've put so many people off and it just hasn't put you off whatsoever
-because you want this as your home.
-Yeah, I persevered with this one cos I did like it
and I'm still happy about it.
'Rob was positive he'd made the right decision.
'His dream was to turn the garden into a mini city farm
'where he could raise chickens and grown vegetables.
'He had a long-term plan to add another floor to the house to create more space.
'But his main aim was to make this unusual property a relaxing and enjoyable home.
'So seven months on, is Rob still happy with his auction purchase?
'Well, from the outside, new paintwork has emphasised the property's shape.'
# It's hip to be square
-'A unique design.'
-# Hip to be square
'Well, this square building has been transformed from a cold shell to a warm and inviting home
'with splashes of colour lifting the previously dull rooms.
'By making small but subtle changes,
'Rob's taken what was already here and made it look as good as new.'
Yes, we've spent quite a number of months now
mending and changing things,
painting in the colours that we've chosen.
The other major change is we've taken the gas fire out that was in the living room
and gone back to the original coal fire.
So I think we've put our own stamp on it now
and for that reason, it definitely feels like our home.
'He's undoubtedly made his mark on the interior space.
But for Rob, the land that came with the bungalow was almost as important as the property itself.
'So could he overcome all the obstacles to brighten up that rambling and overgrown garden?'
All of the trees in the upper half of the garden are subject to a tree preservation order.
But we applied to the local council to have two of them removed
and they were two yew trees that were very dense in their foliage
so didn't let much light in.
So now that they've been removed, it's much brighter, I think.
'It's amazing how much brighter and less oppressive the site feels with the trees removed.
'Rob's continued to work his magic
'by adding character to those outbuildings that used to house the old cattery.'
This outbuilding used to have a wire frontage to it.
A local handyman did the cladding.
The window came from a local flea market.
And the windows down here came from a recycling website and were kindly donated by a person who lives nearby.
And I think they look great.
'So the cattery may now be a storage shed
'and there might only be one cat on the premises,
'but there are additional animals, too.'
We've got four chickens, Blackberry, Daisy, Iris and this is Darcy here.
And we've got two pigs. This is Plum and this is Tiger.
'Rob's well on the way to creating the smallholding he'd hoped for and the bungalow looks great, as well.
'So is that the end of the tale?
'Only he knows the answer when it comes to the plans for that second floor extension.'
It's still a work in progress. We've consulted a number of architects
and also structural engineers
and I think that's something we'll be taking up and moving up.
'He hopes to get at least an extra bedroom up there, possibly an en suite and maybe a lounge.
'Potentially, that's an expensive project. How much has it cost to complete phase one?'
We've spent about £2,500.
And we've basically been doing it at a DIY rate
and that's taken about six months.
'£2,500 spent on top of the £213,000 purchase price
'with costs and fees would take Rob's total outlay to about £217,000.
'So, has it been a good move? What do the two local estate agents think?'
Second time back, the loft conversion hasn't been done yet.
However, he has changed the gardens, made it very liveable.
There's a few animals running around, which is great. Feels very homely.
He's put a splash of paint on, put pictures up, furniture in, cleaned everything up, it looks really nice.
I'm blown away by how unique it is.
Totally different to anything I've seen in the area,
not just because of the land, but just the style of house.
Being close to a railway, you'd think instantly that would put a downer on things,
but it doesn't really come into it because the property's so unique.
'This is certainly not an average run-of-the-mill property.
'But has Rob invested £217,000 wisely?'
If I was currently putting it on the market as it is,
I'd put it on around the £250,000 mark. However, what sort of price it'll get
depends on what somebody's prepared to pay. It's unusual. You'd see what offers you got.
In the current condition, in the current market, I'd suggest £250,000
just because of the stamp duty threshold. Any higher would be pushing it.
Great to know, but for us, it's a place to live
so we're not intending to sell it any time in the near future.
But I'm very happy with that.
'That's encouraging. A potential pre-tax profit of just over £30,000.
'If Rob went for a big glass extension to add another floor,
'what kind of return could he expect then?'
If they maximised the space, put the extension on the roof, depending on the design,
I believe it'll achieve around £300,000.
Should there be an extension pushing upwards, two bedrooms,
I think you would be looking at an asking price of £325,000.
'Rob estimates a budget of £70,000 to £80,000 for building the extension.
'So at those valuations, it wouldn't generate much extra profit if he was to sell the property.
'But for Rob, this has never been about making money.
'It's about creating country living style in a city space.'
We've had a great time living here and it feels like a home where we can go out into the garden
and enjoy the sounds of the countryside
and it's a beautiful home for us.
# Yeah, going back to country living
# That's where I was meant to be
# Gonna take life nice and easy
# Going down to my own home town
# Gonna live as I please
'And when the sun's out, like today, I can really see why Rob is so content
'with his country retreat in the city.'
Today I've travelled to Rochester in Kent.
Charles Dickens called this city home
and penned many of his works whilst living in the town.
The question is, will today's auction property be a bleak house that's fallen on hard times?
Or will it fill me with great expectations?
# Every day, every day, every day
# Every day I write the book
'Rochester may have changed a little since Dickens' time.
'Certainly the amount of housing stock has significantly increased. But then so have the prices.'
# Every day, every day, every day
The average price of a property in England and Wales
stands at around £165,000.
I'm here to see a property that had a guide of just 80 to 85 grand,
so well below the current average, which is good news.
And I bring more glad tidings, because it looks to be in really good condition.
You've got sash windows, exposed brickwork, and look!
It's even got its own Victorian boot scraper.
Now, all set to get on with my viewing. Let's take a look inside.
'There's no doubt this looks pretty good from the outside with that nice red brickwork
'and sash windows giving the front a tidy appearance.
'It's not too shabby from the back, either.
'But how does the interior fare?'
Now, first of all, this needs to go. It's like a sort of Swedish shower effect, I think.
Tongue and groove everywhere. You could take this out because it really eats into the room.
You've not got a huge space in here anyway. Loads of woodchip wallpaper. That's got to come off.
But you've got a fireplace, so you could upgrade that,
that could feel lovely and special and warm.
You've got these lovely little architectural features here, as well. That adds something.
Your second reception room. Now, this feels a little bit bigger.
You've got a nice storage cupboard over there.
It just needs a bit of attention, a bit of TLC.
There's no carpet anywhere. I think once you got your paintbrush out and your stripper for this stuff,
you'll be all right. The kitchen. Now, it's actually not a bad size.
You obviously need to upgrade this, get new units in and really give it a nice splash of paint,
but actually, I think it's all right.
# All right now
# Baby it's all right now
'Yes, with the boiler looking in pretty decent nick
'and the downstairs rooms generally all fine, I can see this as a solid little rental property.
'Upstairs, the two bedrooms are a good size.
'There's just one problem.'
The big down side for me is this bathroom over here,
which I have to say is a really big bathroom.
It comes off this bedroom only, which is never ideal.
Now, I would definitely think about creating a partition up here
along this wall perhaps and making some kind of corridor
so both bedrooms have got their own independent access.
This house isn't listed so you will not require planning permission, but you will need building regs.
Leaving things as they are will no doubt put buyers and tenants off.
And in this economic climate, you can't afford to do that.
# I said something better change
# I said something better change
'There definitely needs to be a change here somehow.
'The route to the bathroom needs to be partitioned off or the layout altered
'because a bathroom only reached through a bedroom will put potential buyers or tenants off.
'It might be possible to extend out the back. There's already an outhouse with a toilet in it
'and there's certainly space, but this type of house will have a ceiling value
'and building an extension could well exceed that.
'What does a local estate agent think?'
The property isn't as bad as you think it's going to be.
It's got central heating already
and the decor is OK, the walls look not too bad,
so I think, as a base, it's quite a good property.
'Structurally, it might be all sound,
'but could the layout detract from this house's appeal?'
One of the problems with the property is that the bathroom is off a bedroom.
It's a difficult one, because if you're going to try and start to turn stairs and alter the layout,
then you're talking about quite a bit of money.
It does stop some people liking the property
but generally, whether you go for selling or rental, some people accept it.
'Let's talk figures. How much could someone make here?'
Rental-wise, I'd be looking at around about £600 per calendar month.
I think this property would sell in the region of £120,000 to £125,000.
'That £80,000 to £85,000 guide price did look tempting
'as both rental and resale figures are potentially encouraging.'
It's a nice enough house but it does need some money spending on it.
Whoever takes this on had better be good with figures
to stand a chance of making a profit here.
Let's find out who went for it as we go to auction.
Lot 59. Terraced house, two bedrooms, in need of improvement.
Start me where you will. 70 to get me on the way. £70,000.
I'm on the way at 70. And 72. 72.
72. And 4. 74. And 6.
76. And 8. And 80.
And 2. And 4. 84. And 6.
£84,000 I've got. 86 I'm looking for.
86 anywhere else? 86 I have in a fresh place. 88 it's against you.
And 90. At 90.
At 90,000. And 2.
And 2. £92,000.
And 3. 93. And 4.
95. And 6.
At £95,000 standing on the left hand side.
96 I'm looking for. 96, he's back. 97.
One more go. You've been with it all the way. 97? Can't tempt you?
£96,000 on the right hand side, then, for the first time.
96,000 for the second if you're sure you're all done. One more chance. He doesn't want it.
-96 for the third and final time, if you're sure you're all done.
Yours, sir, at 96.
'At £96,000, the successful bidder was Kent-based manager Gary.
# Take that to the bank
'Gary works in banking so I was intrigued to know
'why he calculates that this house would make a promising investment.'
-Why did you want to buy this house?
Well, it was one of five that we shortlisted. I hadn't seen any of the houses and this was the last one.
I think I got to the stage, it was the last one of the five and I was a little bit more determined.
How much research did you do into the prospect of buying this house?
Hardly any. I remember before I was putting my suit on that morning,
we looked through the internet at a few things, just checking the prices in the local area.
We did those on a number of properties. I hadn't looked at the legal packs
and just turned up at the auction and went for it from there.
-So you didn't even view this property before the auction?
-Oh, my goodness! So you took a massive risk!
-Have you never watched our programme before?
-I'm an avid watcher
but clearly I've gone against the trend you and Martin set.
'Yes, ignore us at your peril. Gary's broken all the rules.
'He seems to thrive on giving himself different challenges
'because apart from his full-time banking job,
'he has done a few other roles, as well.'
I was a football referee until just a few years ago,
semi-pro level I refereed on.
What was you most highlighted game?
I was very fortunate to have officiated on one Premiership game
four years ago now, and that was rather by accident, but hey, it counted.
-It was Fulham against Aston Villa.
-So that was superb.
And are you still as involved these days with refereeing?
I've been coaching and mentoring referees until recently
and now I'm with a club as secretary and vice chairman, so I'm heavily involved in football.
And now property. Why have you decided to take property in, as well? You've got a lot going on.
This isn't our first property that we've done and bought at auction
so with that knowledge that we've built from the first one,
it's just another opportunity and if I see an opportunity, I like to grab it and got for it.
And hopefully it'll be for the long term.
'Now, his goal is to build up a property portfolio to act as his pension fund.
'But first he needs to score success with this house
'and to do that he must tackle the layout issues.'
Initially we wanted a property with a bathroom upstairs
but I didn't realise the bathroom here was only accessible via the second bedroom.
So there are some plans that may involve changing some of the layout.
We're going to knock through and extend the kitchen into a downstairs area that's currently outside.
Upstairs, we may flip the stairway round and we'll be putting a stud wall in
-that will separate the two bedrooms and make a separate access into the bathroom.
-Are you on a tight budget?
-The budget can be fluid.
-So how much are we talking about?
I think the work will come to about £15,000 to £17,000.
'That's quite a healthy budget, but Gary's got to be careful that he doesn't overspend.
'With his £96,000 purchase price
'and that estimated 17 grand spend,
'he'll be pushing his outlay towards that ceiling value of £125,000.'
What is your timescale? How long is it going to take you to get the work done?
I'm hoping we can do this inside the next eight weeks.
The electrician starts tomorrow. I've got great decorators called family, they start this weekend,
they'll be stripping every room in the house. I'm not a DIY person.
I don't do DIY. I have people around me that are quite good at DIY but that's not me.
I'm told that I go round with a clipboard most of the time.
-Good at telling people what to do.
-And you'll be ticking it off on your clipboard as you go.
-I love it.
-Good luck with this. I can't wait to see what you do. Well done.
# It's all in the game
'Well, the whistle's gone and with a planned eight-week turnaround,
'Gary and his team will need to get going to achieve the results he's aiming for.'
Ex-referee Gary may need to call time on renovations
if he wants to make a profit here.
There's a ceiling price on the road and I worry he'll be over the line if he's not careful.
He needs to play a tactical game if he wants to be man of the match
and have this completed in two months.
You can find out if he's successful later on in the programme.
Making the correct decisions can seriously affect the profit you make on property.
It's exciting seeing your ideas come to reality
but did our buyers get it right? Let's find out.
'Time now to return to Seaham in County Durham.
'Earlier in the programme, Kathryn and her husband Neil paid £56,000 for this mid-terrace
'with great views from the back across park land.
'Kathryn's on maternity leave and Neil's an off-shore crane engineer and qualified electrician.
'They planned to renovate the property and sell it.'
We plan on doing the basics, new kitchen, new bathroom suite, rewire.
-So no plans to extend, taking out walls?
No, the property's not big enough for any major changes to it.
'Well, four months have now passed when we meet up again with Kathryn and Neil back at the property.
'Or is it the front? They're still not sure, either.
'There's still some work to be done on the garden,
'but inside, the bungalow has been brought right up to date.
'There's a smart new kitchen with a stylish finish.
'The whole place has been rewired.
'Dated decor, Artex ceiling and woodchip wallpaper have gone
'in favour of a clean, modern look.
'There are new carpets in neutral tones and the porch has been retiled.
'The tasteful colour scheme continues in the master bedroom.
'They've replaced the bathroom suite and retiled the walls and floor.
'It's an impressive makeover that's given this old bungalow a fresh, contemporary feel.'
It's been approximately three and a half months since we got the keys.
We started off by stripping back to the bare brickwork.
It's been rewired, alarmed. We've had it all replastered.
When we originally got the property, the boiler was in the rear bedroom which was unacceptable,
so we put it into the outhouse.
And all the pipe work runs through the back wall into the outhouse so there's no pipe work on show.
'Neil works off-shore so can concentrate on doing the renovation work during his on-shore periods.
-'Kathryn's been busy, as well.'
-I've been here as much as I could.
I've been more on the decorating side, the finishing touches.
Apart from pulling out bathrooms and kitchens, I lent a hand there, and stripping off tiles,
but the majority has been Neil, the electrics and plumbing.
'It was all going so well and they'd almost finished when disaster struck.
'Neil broke his wrist and had to have a special cast fitted,
'making those leftover jobs rather tricky.
'Before his accident, Neil had installed a new stud wall between the bathroom and kitchen
'and brought in some help with the plastering.'
Yeah, we basically ripped the old kitchen out,
we had the walls all skimmed, new kitchen fitted,
new appliances all installed into the kitchen, finished off by tiling the floors and the walls.
'Despite the broken wrist, Neil makes it sound so easy
'and the couple clearly worked hard to achieve the impressive finish.'
In this room, we stripped the walls back,
we put new skirting boards in, new doors.
We revamped the fireplace, which was just an old wooden fireplace.
And we put new lights in, new ceilings, repainted the whole room.
'The interior of the house is nearly done. How much more is there left to do?'
Neil's got a lot of work to do still at the front of the property.
But until he gets his arm fixed, he isn't going to be touching that for a while.
'Neil plans to lay lawn to one side of the path and decking on the other side.
'They're on the home stretch but how much have they had to spend?'
We originally budgeted £10,000
and we're currently just under £7,000.
But by the time we carry out the work in the front, we should be round about £7,500.
'We invited two local property experts to give their opinion
'on Neil and Kathryn's first venture into property developing.'
There have been a great deal of changes.
It's been finished to a very good standard.
Higher than I would've expected, actually.
The fixtures and fittings are very good. Very impressive.
First impressions are very nice. There's a lot been done.
I think it's got a bit of a wow when you walk in.
It's ready, somebody can say, "Right, nothing to do". That's what people look for.
'Their intention is to sell, but if they were to let it out, how much rent could the property generate?'
I think in the current market you would be looking at £475 per calendar month.
I think probably in the current market you would be looking between 450 to 475 per calendar month.
Good, yeah. That's kind of what we were expecting. That's good.
'Will they be as happy with the resale valuations?
'Remember, they paid £56,000 for the bungalow
'and estimate that their budget will rise to £7,500,
'making a total of £63,500. How much is it now worth?'
I think, in the current market, if the property was put up for sale,
I think you would look at an asking price of around £90,000.
I think in the current market you'd be looking at offers around £90,000.
'Those valuations would mean a gross profit, before the usual selling expenses, of around £26,500.'
-Yeah, that's good.
-Really good. Again, what we were kind of hoping for, so that's good news.
'If they successfully found a purchaser,
'would they return to an auction and buy another home under the hammer?'
We would certainly go through the auctions again and definitely look at doing another property up.
I'm pleased the end result and the way we've finished off the property.
We'll look at the auctions and see what we can come up with. Hopefully something good like this in the area.
'In the Kent town of Rochester,
'a two-bed terraced house went to auction.'
-Yours, sir, at 96.
'It was bought for £96,000 by Gary who, along with being an ex-referee,
'is vice chairman of a football club.'
# Chairman, chairman of the board
'As well as dabbling in property development
'and running hospitality suites at brands Hatch motor racing circuit,
'he's a business manager for a local bank, so he's a pretty busy man.'
# I'm a businessman, I wheel and I deal wherever I can
# Cos I'm a chairman
'And a man you'd expect to do thorough research before he made any investment for himself.'
I haven't looked at the legal packs. I just turned up at the auction and went for it from there.
-So you didn't even view this property before the auction?
-Oh, my goodness! So you took a massive risk!
'So Gary, someone who normally follows the exact letter of the law,
'threw out the rule book when it came to his own property purchase.
'But luckily for him, this house was structurally sound,
'but in desperate need of refurbishment. The biggest headache was the upstairs layout,
'as the main bathroom was only accessible through one of the bedrooms.
'Luckily, Gary seemed confident he could rise to the challenge.
'Just over two months on, has his gamble paid off?
'The signs definitely look good on the outside with new windows and doors.
'But how's progress inside?
'The front reception room has been completely replastered and rewired,
'as has the rear dining room.
'In fact, they aren't far from the finishing stages.
'Whereas the kitchen area still needs a bit more work.'
So into the kitchen here. We're extending the kitchen and providing more utility space
by creating an additional through area
that was formerly an outside WC and a coal barn.
We've put all the new windows and doors in, as well,
so there's a great view of the garden from in here, which I think will be advantageous for any family.
It will be finished to a high standard.
'Gary's certainly utilised the space he had downstairs to the maximum.
'The stairs previously went from left to right when you entered.
'He's spun them around 180 degrees
'so they can now be accessed via the rear reception room.
-'So he has significantly changed the upstairs layout.'
-# You spin me right round
Turning the stairs... # You spin me right round
..enabled us to have separate access into the bathroom and created a second independent bedroom.
# You spin me right round, baby, right round
# Like a record, baby, right round, round, round
'So now there's a corridor directly to the bathroom.
'At least, there will be once there's an actual bathroom to get to.
'There's a bedroom off that corridor. It might be a tad smaller now
'but you can still fit a double bed in there.
'The other bedroom remains the same size
'but is now accessed from the other end of the room.
'So turning the stairs around has been a neat trick for this house.
'But for Gary, the more difficult trick was juggling all his work and leisure commitments.'
It's very difficult in terms of time with all the things I tend to do
at the race track, at the football club
and my normal day-to-day job.
So I am a very busy person but I thrive on that type of environment.
I don't know what sitting around really is.
'It's a good thing he does enjoy it
'because both garden and house are far from finished.'
We're two weeks away from finishing at this moment in time.
A couple of real key jobs to come in now, plumbing being the main job and, of course, the kitchen.
Apart from that, it's cosmetic finishing.
My team of decorators is really my family.
They really wanted to get involved in this project.
I'm confident that my father will make an excellent job.
'With Gary's family helping out, he's pretty close to the final whistle
'and it couldn't come a moment too soon.'
We had a board in the window for lets.
We've been lucky, we've created a lot of interest. It's a fairly busy street.
But in doing so, it has given us a little bit of choice.
We're currently referencing a couple that would like to move in at the end of the month.
'It's great news that he's found a tenant.
'That gives him a deadline to aim for.
'But did he hit his budget target of £17,000?'
I anticipated originally it would cost around £17,500.
It's going to end up costing a little bit more, it'll be about 23.
'A £23,000 spend on top of Gary's £96,000 purchase price
'will take his total outlay to about £120,000.
'So has his impulse buy paid off? What do two local estate agents think?'
I think what they've done with the space is really great.
I love the fact that they've put a little extension on the rear
and that they've moved the stairs to allow the two bedrooms to have a separate bathroom.
I personally like this house
and I like its location and I like what he's done to it.
And I can see what once he finishes it, it'd going to be really nice.
'Gary bought this as a long-term investment.
'But with £120,000 already spent here,
'how would it fare if he sold it on?'
If we were to put this property on the market in the current time,
I'd like to say to him that we'd be putting it on and testing it at £130,000.
Once finished and completed, we would look to achieve approximately £130,000.
I'd be pleasantly surprised, in the current market, if we were to achieve 130.
'So not a huge profit in the resale market to be had at present
'but for Gary, rental is the name of the game here.'
If we put this on the market for rental, I'd be looking at renting it at £650 per calendar month.
I would put this property on the rental market for approximately £650 per calendar month.
650 is on the money, I think.
And that's what I've got the house rented out for from next month, so on the money.
'£650 a month makes £7,800 a year,
'a yield of 6.5 percent.
'As Gary would know, that's better than most bank rates.
'So it appears his gamble has paid off.'
# What do you say to taking chances
# What do you say to jumping off the edge?
It was a risk. I'm not really a risk taker to that degree.
But I've done it once. I would do it again.
You know, you take a chance on all of these things
and if you don't take the opportunity, you'll never know the outcome.
We hope you've enjoyed our insight into the property world of auctions.
-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 property close to transport links in south London, a house in County Durham and a home in Rochester, Kent. All of these properties have been sold at auction. Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.