Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a three-bedroomed terraced property in Accrington, Lancashire, a property in need of full-scale renovation in Kent and a barn in Devon.
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Hello and welcome. When you buy at auction,
just a nod of a head or a wink of an eye and you could end up with a property.
Whatever you end up with, you've got to decide are you going to live in it,
turn it for a quick profit and sell it on
or keep it as a long-term investment?
Lots of options. Let's find out what happens on today's show.
Buying under the hammer can be a quick and efficient way to purchase property.
But whatever you do, make sure you do your homework,
otherwise it'll be a case of act in haste, repent at leisure.
Let's see what inspired our buyers on today's show.
'In Devon, it's not just the location of this lot that excites me.'
As barn conversions go, this is looking fantastic.
'This house in Sittingbourne, Kent, has an odd layout so you don't know if you're coming or going.'
It's almost like the house is the wrong way round.
'And in Accrington, there's a grand-looking house with an interior that's far from it.'
But see through that to what it could be. You know what? It's brilliant!
'All these properties went to auction and we'll find out
'who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.'
I'm in Devon in an area of outstanding natural beauty known as the South Hams.
You've got Dartmouth that way, Kingsbridge that way,
Plymouth's only 30 miles away, and you've got this kind of scenery.
It is incredible. Not surprisingly, it's a highly desirable place to live.
'It is truly beautiful and it's where we find today's property
'in the village of Chillington, tucked away in this lush rural setting.'
Well, apart from the scenery and the wildlife, this is what I'm here to see.
It's a two-storey barn set in around one and a half acres of land.
It had a guide price of £185,000, which sounds like quite a lot
until you know that it had planning permission for conversion and extension. Ooh! Now it's exciting!
# May I sleep in barn tonight, mister?
# It's so cold lying out on the ground
'From the outside, this barn looks in remarkably good condition.
'Let's hope it's equally attractive inside.'
I have to say, I'm really impressed with the external condition. The brickwork is great nick.
Then through the door of the barn, you've got two rooms, basically, and two levels.
This room on the left. But of a higgledy-piggledy floor, but it's not a bad space.
Then a similar-sized room this side. But the thing that's getting me really excited
is the fact that you've got reasonable-sized windows.
When it comes to actually getting barns converted into places to live,
one of the biggest issues is they hate it when you put new windows in.
But here you've got the windows in place already. You've got a big door on that side. It's looking great.
I also really like the head height. Really nice and high. You will dig out the floor a bit
and put in some kind of damp-proof course, but apart from that, as barn conversions go,
this is looking fantastic!
'And the news gets even better on the first floor.
'There are solid floorboards, some great-looking roof beams and a skylight window, as well.'
But, of course, when it comes to converting something like this,
there are rules and regulations by the bucketload,
especially in an area of outstanding natural beauty like this,
so you're going to have to talk to the conservation officer, the local planners,
it all gets very complicated. However, the good news is somebody's already done that for you
cos the plans have been passed, and they include things like using the natural stone,
reclaimed slate work, which is what you'd want,
and actually building something which is in keeping with the area,
which again is something that you'd absolutely want.
'From the plans, you can see the extension that's been approved as part of the barn conversion
'is going to be constructed below the existing level of the floor.
'It will house a utility room.
'The front of the extension will have lots of glass to maximise the views across the field.
'The pitch of the barn's roof will continue down over the extension,
'so softening the impact on the surroundings.
'We invited a local estate agent
'to give us his opinion of the opportunity here.
'This is a lovely barn
'with that all-important planning permission for conversion and extension.
'It had a guide price of £185,000.'
The plans that the property's been sold with are actually quite interesting.
It's a very good use of the space.
It still retains three bedrooms, a couple of bathrooms,
a good open-plan living space and it makes use of the natural gradient,
so you have an interesting split level as well as useful accommodation.
'So, with his experience of local barn conversions,
'how much does the expert think that this one could cost?'
If the current plans are utilised by the purchaser, I would imagine
to renovate it to a good standard would be probably between £150,000 to £200,000.
'Once the barn has been converted in accordance with planning permission and conservation regulations,
'how much could it be worth?'
Once the property is renovated and if a good standard is achieved,
I'd imagine the resale value being somewhere in the region of £450,000.
Well, lots of work to do to get this place sorted out
but the hard job as far as I'm concerned has been done
because it has got planning permission. And what would you create?
An amazing place to live or potentially somewhere that you could rent out as a holiday let.
So is it worth it? Oh, yes, it's definitely worth it.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
58, a pretty detached two-storey stone barn,
consent for conversion and extension to create a highly desirable...
There's the makings of a wonderful house there.
185, guide price, that's where we're going to go. 185. Two hands.
190. 190. At 190.
192. 192. At 192.
202. 202. 202.
206. I know he's right next to you but he's allowed to be. 208. 208.
210. At 210.
15? Think of the home. 216.
218 and a half.
219 and a half.
220. Straight in.
At 220. At 220.
At 220 once. At 220 twice.
You're both out at 220, it's going to be sold at 220.
-Good bidding, sir. 220. Well done.
'That final bid of £220,000 was made by Colin and his wife Carol.
'They come from a farming background, so converting a barn should be right up their street.
'I caught up with them to talk through their plans.'
-Colin, Carol, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations.
This has such fantastic potential, doesn't it?
-We thought so, didn't we?
-Yeah, we did.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
-There's several different reasons, really.
We were looking for a home for ourselves
and we thought that this would be ideal.
And the other thing is, we own the barn next door, which we actually rent out to holidays.
-The one on the right-hand side.
-Oh, right! OK.
-So you're the immediate neighbours!
-We are. And we also recently,
beginning of the year, bought the lane and the field next to the barn, as well.
-So it really was worthwhile considering purchasing it, wasn't it?
-It was, yeah.
-Wow. Absolutely ideal for you, then, cos you own everything in this little area.
We do now, yes.
So what do you think about it as a project?
-We're really excited, aren't we?
-Yeah, we are.
We're really looking forward to it because we're actually doing this for a project for us to live in,
-so that's really quite different to doing it to sell on.
What kind of experience have you had up to now of construction?
Well, we were farming for 30-odd years
and then 15 years ago, we bought a barn complex where we live now
and we've got a holiday complex there,
built a bungalow on the farm and then we built two houses in East Allington.
The daughter's in one of them. And obviously this barn here, the top one. So a little bit of experience.
'A wealth of experience, I'd say.
'As well as their holiday home at the top of the plot, they already own the next field
'and have recently bought the road access to the plot, as well.
'So they're perfectly placed to take on this barn conversion.'
So tell me what your plans for this place are, then.
The size of the barn, there'll be another size going on it, as well.
-So it'll be a something-hundred square feet three-bedroom house.
'The couple plan to stick to the approved external plans
'but they hope to make some alterations internally
'which will involve rethinking where the kitchen and lounge will be.
'The previous owners had a two and a half year wait to get planning permission for this plot
'so, in my opinion, Colin and Carol would be wise not to try and deviate much from what's been approved.'
-What's your involvement going to be in all this?
-Well, we like to add different aspects to the projects.
Colin's got responsibility for the overall project.
But my involvement will be the interior design and things like that. It works very well.
We both know each other's strengths and the plan is just to work to that, really.
-So that's how we hope to do it.
-And do you have to reign him in a bit?
Erm, at times.
What normally happens, I've got all the ideas
and Carol says, "I'm not sure about that"
and we have a talk about it for 20 minutes and then we decide I was right.
THEY LAUGH And that's how we work.
'The couple have already roped in friends and family to help them complete the work.'
This could be a dining area here.
'That should save them quite a lot of money.
'But how much do they think they're going to have to spend?'
That's what we think we can do it for.
I do all the buying and the son-in-law's got the diggers.
What kind of timescale are we looking at to get it sorted?
-I'd like to think we would finish in eight months.
It's worked just right because my son-in-law's finishing on a site
-and he's moving in here tomorrow.
-Yeah. So we'll be right on with it.
-You must be delighted in general.
I'm really excited about the barn because it's in such good condition, isn't it?
-You've got a good one. Congratulations.
-Thank you, Martin.
-I look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Yeah, that's right.
Well, Colin and Carol have got themselves a fantastic property here
and it's ideal for them, especially given what they own in the immediate vicinity.
Still, that budget seems a little bit tight,
even if Colin and their family are going to do a lot of the work.
Will they manage to stick to it? And what will they build in this beautiful location?
You can find out later in the show.
'This is Sittingbourne, a town in Kent about eight miles east of Gillingham.
'In the Middle Ages, it was a favourite place for pilgrims to take a rest on their way to Canterbury
'and it's still a popular commuter town. You can get to central London by train in around an hour.'
The house I'm here to see today is on this neat little development.
It's almost got a villagey green feel to it.
You've got this lovely old period college behind me,
a really nice house here, another nice house here.
And yes, you've guessed it, the auction house I'm here to see today is there!
Sticks out like a sore thumb, doesn't it? Yep!
# Blue moon
# You saw me standing alone
Well, here it is. It's a three-bedroom detached house
which once housed the caretaker for the nearby college.
Now, I admit it, I'm not a huge fan of 70s architecture
and this house does look a bit different from the others,
but on the positive side, it is on a good plot, it's surrounded by beautiful Kent countryside
and it looks like it's got quite new UPVC double-glazed windows.
Shall we see if it's a little more to my taste on the inside?
'This property also has another plus point.
'It's guide price was £215,000 to £220,000.
'That's relatively cheap for a three-bed property in this part of the country.'
Ooh. Well, there's certainly no wow factor walking in here.
Really small kitchen with touches of pink.
It just feels rather narrow.
A little bit boxy, as well, partitions everywhere.
And it feels as though you've walked in through the back door
and this look like the front door.
So it's almost like the house is the wrong way round, which is rather strange.
But good news, you've got a really big reception room here.
This is what I like to see, loads of space, great views out of both windows.
Not many features. Lots of woodchip everywhere. A little bit disappointing for me.
# Back to front
'It turns out that when this property was built, it was designed to face onto the then access road
'with the college and green behind. But when the development was built behind it,
'a new access road was also built, so the new houses looked out onto the college green,
'leaving this one seemingly the wrong way round.
# Back to front
OK, let's see what the upstairs has to offer.
There's a champagne bathroom suite with a corner bath. Not to everybody's taste.
And three bedrooms. Two not a bad size, one small box room.
I don't know what it is about this house, but it just feels like you could push the walls over.
It's got a real sort of cardboard-boxy feel to it.
Something else I've noticed upstairs, no central heating.
So all in all, there's just such a lot of work to do.
Great location, but the house, could do better.
'Yes, this caretaker's lodge might need to go back to college
'before it'll get top marks on appearance and finish.
'All the bedrooms are OK and the bathroom certainly needs updating,
'but I think a more radical approach is called for.'
Now, one thing that is attractive about this house is that it offers plenty of potential to extend.
Under new regulations, there is a certain amount of permitted development allowed
that you can do without having to go through planning.
With this house, it makes sense to extend to the side. There's plenty of room here.
You could add a single storey under permitted development.
Of course, there are sometimes exceptions to every rule,
so it's always best to contact the local planning office first to discuss your proposal.
'There are some definite plus points here.
'It's certainly a good-size plot which gives plenty of room for expansion
'and still leaves a decent-size garden.
'You even get a greenhouse, a boat and a caravan. What more could you want?
'So with a guide price of £215,000 to £220,000,
'what does the local estate agent make of this back-to-front building?
'Is it worth adding more square footage here?'
Definitely worth extending. I would recommend that they extend
maybe a two-storey to make extra bedrooms
and extend downstairs to make a bigger kitchen.
'It sounds like an extension is definitely the way forward here.
'Bearing in mind that guide price of £215,000 to £220,000,
'what could the property sell for?'
If the property was renovated and had the two-storey extension,
then you would be looking at a value of approximately £285,000 to £290,000.
However, if it was in its current position and current state but renovated,
then you'd probably be looking around about the £250,000 mark.
This sad 70s house is less dazzling disco diva
and more worn-out wallflower. It definitely needs an update!
But there is potential here and there's plenty of room to improve.
You can extend or even potentially knock down and redevelop.
So who was ready to take this house in hand? Let's find out when we head to auction.
Lot 45. Start me at 200.
At 200. 200, I'm on the way. At 200 I'm bid.
200. Now 205. We've got 205 standing.
210 now. At 210.
And 15. 215 I've got.
220 it's against you. 220 I've got.
225 now. Shake of the head. £220,000 I've got for the first time.
£220,000 sitting down for the second time.
220 for the third and final time, if you're sure you're all done.
Well done, sir. It's yours at £220,000.
'So for spot on the guide price of £220,000,
'the 70s Sittingbourne caretaker's house was bought by married couple Bill and Margaret.
'Bill's a qualified plumber and has worked in the building trade for many years.
'But this was the couple's first time as auction goers.
'They just spotted the property on the internet and decided to go for it.
'I met them back there to find out more.'
-This is really good news.
What was it about this house that you liked enough to bid for it?
The location. It's nice and quiet here. It's close to the town.
-It's close to my family and granddaughter. South-facing is the main criteria.
-And it was south-facing.
-The granddaughter's going to the school up the road.
Have you bought this house to live in yourselves?
Yeah. Well, hopefully.
Do you feel the same way about this house as Margaret does?
No, I don't. It's just a house.
She gets too excited about houses. It's just a house!
To Bill, a house is a house, but I think for a woman, a house is a home
and I can make this a nice home.
'After selling their own bungalow a little while ago,
'Margaret and Bill have been living in rented accommodation and on the look-out for a house,
'or should that be a home, for some time now.
'But it doesn't strike me that this is an obvious choice.'
I've got to be honest, you don't walk into this property and think, "Great house, fantastic layout."
-It's round the wrong way, for starters.
-Yeah. I don't think that at all.
I think, I love where it is, I love the garden,
I love the location and I know he can turn it around for us.
So, Bill, what makes you the man to be able to turn this house around?
Well, I've worked in building all my life. I do plumbing, heating. I know most of the trades.
I'm not worried. There's nothing daunting about it, it's only going to have a bit stuck on the side.
So this is bricks and mortar to you. You can turn this into whatever you want.
Yeah. It is, bricks and mortar.
'With all his years of experience, maybe it's not surprising that Bill just views this as brick and mortar.
'But I'm intrigued to know what he plans to do to make this pile of bricks more to their liking.'
Put an extension on the side, put a bigger kitchen on, get rid of that silly little kitchen.
Then go upstairs, put a bedroom with a nice en suite on the side.
So I'll do a two-storey extension on it.
And have a little downstairs cloakroom and then just do the place up.
-How much money have you go to spend?
-Realistically, we'll go to about £80,000.
So £80,000 to do your extension and get your extra bedroom and bathroom upstairs.
-I think that's quite a healthy budget.
-Alter the back a bit. Or the front.
-And you'll be getting everything at cost price.
-I hope so, yeah.
-And good tradesmen on site.
So are you going to be getting up early every morning, coming onto site, getting your team in place?
-And are you going to be out there choosing colours, tiles, bathrooms?
-Oh, yeah, I'll be directing!
Tea, coffee, sandwiches, yeah.
'On top of his full-time plumbing job,
'Bill will project-manage the work and of course do all the plumbing here.
'They hope to have it all completed in six to nine months.'
Aren't you supposed to be taking it a little bit easy, enjoying yourselves,
-not taking on a huge project like this?
-He will never take it easy.
-This is easy!
He will never take it easy, full stop. We didn't think we'd be doing it still at this age.
-But that's the way it's gone, so we don't really mind.
-Any arguments on the way?
-Are you a happily married couple?
-But you get over them, don't you?
-That's what the caravan's for.
-Cos you know you're going to be out there!
-It's somewhere to live!
I'll pop in there for a couple of nights, I'll be back again, no problem at all.
Guys, it's a big project but I think you are both going really enjoy it
and I can't wait to see what the outcome is.
-I hope you do live here, Margaret.
-I hope so.
-I think you want to.
-Well done. Lovely to meet you.
# I want a brick house
Bill thinks of this as brick and mortar, just another house.
And Margaret wants to make this their home.
So will they be able to transform this place
and make it somewhere they are both happy to call their own?
Join us later in the programme and you can find out.
'Coming up, in Accrington, the sorry state of this house will leave you confused.'
Here's your kitchen. I say that because it needs quite a bit of imagination at the moment.
'Was working together on their Sittingbourne home a happy time for Bill and Margaret?'
Stressful moments when he could've strangled me, there's been moments when I could've strangled him.
'But first, has Carol and Colin's barn conversion done its bit for the local economy?'
We're really pleased. We've used all local workmen.
'Earlier in the programme in the Devon village of Chillington,
'local farmer Colin and his wife Carol
'paid £220,000 for this dilapidated stone barn set in one and a third acres.
'It had planning consent for conversion and extension.
'Their plan was to convert the barn and move in and make it home.'
Colin's got responsibility for the overall project
but my involvement will be the interior design.
-Do you have to reign him in a bit?
-I've got all the ideas
and Carol says, "I'm not sure about that"
and we have a talk about it for 20 minutes and then we decide that I was right.
That's how we work.
'Well, it's now 14 months later.
'The original desolate barn has been converted into a magnificent country house.
'As you move around the property, the first glimpses of the extension appear
'but the full impact isn't apparent until you reach the back.
'Where the stunning oak extension is clearly visible.
'Inside on the ground floor, a beautiful living room
'enjoys wonderful views across the countryside.
'There's oak everywhere and the build quality is faultless.
'In the original barn where the cattle once stood...
'..the conversion has been equally impressive.
'An exquisite open-plan kitchen/diner has been built.
'There's beautiful slate flooring and oak beams.'
The kitchen is much larger than we initially anticipated
because it was originally two separate rooms.
But we've taken down a wall which went from the other side of the door across the room,
recycled all the stone and stone walling externally
and had a hand-painted kitchen. The only thing that we would add
is just an island here in the centre
so that we've just got a little bit more worktop and we can speak to our friends and family while they sit
in the dining area over there.
'Upstairs in the original barn, there are now two bedrooms, one at each end.
'Plus a shared bathroom.
'Everywhere there are oak timbers and wooden floors.
'As you step into the new extension, you find the huge master bedroom.'
To comply with building regs, we actually had to bring the landing through into the bedroom
and have some form of steps down into the bedroom.
But I think it's turned out to be a really nice, unique feature of the room now
so I'm really pleased with it. There's a nice big area here for the bedroom.
We don't need a lot of furniture because through there we've got a dressing room
and then we've got our own bathroom, shower room and en suite to the side, and well.
'Before any building work could start, the surrounding land had to be prepared,
'so Colin roped in the family.'
Me and my son-in-law, we started doing the roadway and clearing the fields.
My brother, Philip, he came to help with foundations.
And then the chippies came in and started to put the roofs on.
We're really, really pleased. We've used all local workmen
and we've used the different skills. We're not builders ourselves.
Colin has managed the whole project.
'The oak timbers were sourced from Europe but a local mill, about five miles away,
cut the timber and it was assembled on site.
I just can't believe what we've actually done here thanks to all the men, really.
And when it comes to the workmanship, they're in a league of their own.
'Apart from the house, a separate garage has also been built,
'blending perfectly with the former barn.
'Originally they didn't plan to use oak in every room,
'but having decided to make it a feature, what effect did it have on their budget of £120,000.'
It cost around £165,000 in the end
and that's with all the legal fees, the architect fees, all the fees included.
'Well, an overspend, but on this project, you can clearly see where the money's gone
'and I think they made the right decision.
'Do they still intend to make this their home?'
The plan is that we'll move in ourselves within the next month.
There's just a few more jobs that we'd like to finish.
'Time to see what two local property experts think of the barn conversion
'with its superb extension and lovely views.'
I'm very, very impressed. They've used a lot of very nice materials
in terms of the light oak. They've created a very light feel.
I particularly like the rounded reveals on the render, actually.
It's really good attention to detail.
Personally, I like a house that flows,
rather than doors you've got to keep opening and hallways
and here you've got the kitchen and the breakfast/dining area
and then it flows into the living room where I don't think I'd bother turning the telly on,
-I'd just want to look out of the windows.
-The land is a big bonus,
bearing in mind that the main accommodation looks out onto the land, it's a great amenity.
There's an obvious level of quality of work and materials.
But when you look at the little stuff,
they've really thought about this and done just an amazing job.
'What's the value of the property now? Remember, Colin and Carol paid 220 grand at the auction
'and have spent £165,000 on it,
'making a grand total of £385,000.'
If we had to put this up for sale, I would be talking about an asking price of £575,000.
The house and its grounds and its land is worth over half a million pounds.
I'd probably ask £595,000 and then negotiate hard to get as close as I could to that.
'Wow! That valuation range could give Carol and Colin
'a staggering pre-tax profit of somewhere around the £200,000 mark.
'Is that what they were hoping for?'
It's roughly what I would've thought it would've been.
-I didn't expect it to be any less than that.
I think, after a couple of years of growth in the gardens,
it will be worth all of that.
'Would they contemplate taking the profit, or after all their hard work,
'is this property just too nice to leave?'
No, we're not tempted to sell. We're going to make this our home.
We feel it's unique and it would be difficult to get another barn to convert with land surrounding it.
I wouldn't change anything about it at all.
It would be done exactly as it's done if I had to do it again.
'I'm in the Lancashire town of Accrington now on the western edge of the Pennines,
'20 miles north of Manchester.'
Famous probably for, amongst other things, Accrington Stanley Football Club,
but more importantly, as the centre of the mill industry in the north in the 1800s.
And a lot of character still remains.
'Accrington may no longer be the centre of the material world,
'but judging by the catalogue's description of this property, it's anything but run of the mill.'
A lot of the social and industrial history of the area
permeated through to the housing stock.
Your basic factory workers would've lived in your two-up, two down terraces
and your middle management of the time, I suppose your factory foremen,
would've lived in the kind of house I'm here to see.
Built in 1843, three-bedroom mid-terrace,
had a guide price of £55,000 to £60,000. Let's take a look.
# Got brass
# In pocket
'This sort of house was for someone who had a bit of brass in their pocket
'and could afford something a little more imposing.
'From the outside at least, it doesn't disappoint.'
So, great anticipation as you walk through the front door.
And straight away you're not disappointed.
It's in a bit of a state but we've got a really grand entrance here,
nice corridor, and look at some of these features. Love that archway. Get that cleaned up.
Front sitting room there. Again, pretty shoddy state
but you could do great things with that. Some original features still there.
Liking it to start off with.
Through to your second rear sitting room, I suppose.
Again, high ceilings. Look at that ceiling rose. Absolutely beautiful.
This is a classic case of what on those properties there you've got to see through the state that it's in,
which to be fair, isn't that brilliant.
But see through that to what it could be. You know what? It's brilliant.
Right at the rear of the property, you've got what I guess is your kitchen.
I say that cos you need quite a bit of imagination at the moment. But it's not a bad size space.
A little area that you could have as a utility room, lots of light through this unusual window area.
It's obviously going to need completely gutting and sorting out.
But look. One thing you don't have to replace is the cooker! It's perfect.
# I like the way you cook
# The whole production and how you serve it up
# The whole seduction...
'Oh, dear. This really is in a sorry state.
'There's damp all over the place and the house is beginning to rot.
'As far as the kitchen's concerned,
'it needs to be completely stripped back and started again.
'There's really very little worth saving.
'But the rest of the downstairs is more encouraging, with some fantastic plasterwork on the ceiling
'and those old ceiling roses.
'There are some stunning features hidden beneath the grime and decay.'
So, upstairs and there's a real great feeling of space,
really high ceilings even up here on the first floor.
And a bathroom. That's great to see. Lots of room in there.
Clearly, again, total refurbishment required, but at least you've got the space to do it.
One thing you'll have to sort out straight away in this banister.
It's way dangerous, especially if you've got children, they could topple over there.
So that needs to be sorted out straight away.
Stairs, well, a temporary ladder up to the loft. I wonder if you could go up there.
At the moment, it is only three bedrooms. Not a bad size.
But I reckon there could be scope to extend upwards.
Let's have a look at the bedroom.
'This really is quite an intriguing house and still potentially a great one.
'The three bedrooms and that enormous bathroom mean this is a good size property.
'The outside space is a bit disappointing with just a small yard at the back.
'But at what was a guide price of £55,000 to £60,000,
'I reckon this has potential to be a successful development purchase.
'What does the auctioneer who sold it think?'
It needs a full overhaul. I think I'd start at the top and work down.
The roof needs checking. It's been so long since
it's had anything done to it.
It needs a damp-proof course, electrics, central heating. It needs ripping out and starting again.
'Clearly there's an enormous amount of work to be done on the house.
'Its location is good and it's got three bedrooms.
'So once done up, how would it fair if rented out?'
I think probably, for rental, about £500 per calendar month.
'And if it was sold on?'
I think once the property is renovated, we're probably looking at a value of £110,000 to £115,000.
Well, it may be in a bit of a state now, but in its day, this would've been a really grand house
and I think, spend a bit of money on it and you could get it back into its glory days.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
Lot 135. 40,000 anywhere?
40 I've got there. 45 we're looking for.
45. 45 I've got there.
50 now we're looking for. 50 off you, sir, far right.
55 we're looking for. I've got it.
60? Is that 60, sir?
It is. 60,000. 65, then.
65 I've got. 70.
70 I've got there. There was several hands I noticed go up.
70,000 I've got. 75 we're looking for.
I'll take 2 if it helps anybody. Does that help?
New bidder, 72, striped T-shirt.
72 I've got, then. 74 we're looking for.
74. New bidder here, 74 I've got. 76?
76 back on my right. 78,000.
78 I've got. 80 we're looking for.
I'll take one if it helps anybody.
One, it does help. That's 79. 80 then I've got, straight up.
New bidder there. 80 I've got. 81 we're looking for.
81 there on my left.
82 then. 83.
83. 84. 85.
85 I've got. 86.
86 I've got. 87, then.
87,000 we've got there. 88.
89. 89 we've got. 90.
91. No. Back with the gentleman right at the back in the blue T-shirt, 90,000.
Are we all done at 90,000, then? First time at 90,000.
Second time at 90,000. Third and final time.
-Paddle number 567. It's with you, sir.
'The successful bidder at £90,000 was Francis.
'He owns a number of commercial and rental properties.
'Along with his eldest daughter, Alyssa,
'he joined me back at the Accrington house to explain the plans for this one.'
Francis, Alyssa, lovely to meet you both.
-Nice to meet you.
-Tell me the story behind you buying this house.
Well, we've been involved in buying an odd one or two properties over a short while now that we've renovated.
This is a little different because Alyssa lives in Accrington
and her and her sister are going to move into it, so this is one to keep rather renovate and sell or let.
Oh, great. So were you involved in the decision process to buy this?
In the area, yeah. It's the better area, I think, in town. So, yeah.
-What was it about this house that you liked?
It's oozing character. I know it's hard to see now but the features,
-the bathroom, things like that, brilliant.
-Is this going to be your house to live in? Do you own it?
How does the financial thing work out?
Actually... I've paid for it.
THEY LAUGH It's in my other daughter's name at the moment.
-It'll probably finish up in both of their names and then they'll live here.
-Are you going to give them it?
Yeah, ultimately they'll have the house. The other houses I've funded.
But I'm expecting a refund of the purchase when they sell or rent them.
'The plan for the property is that his daughters, Alyssa and Olivia, will live there with their mother.
'Dad Francis used to run a gas company which he sold off.
'He's now semi-retired and lives off the income from his investment property portfolio
'so he's in the fortunate position of being able to help them out.
'Eldest daughter Alyssa certainly has a clear vision of how she wants her new home to look.'
I want to keep some of the old features, definitely, but then completely modernise it, as well.
-I want to get a big roll-top bath in the bathroom.
-The bathroom's fantastic.
It's huge, yeah. Proper pamper room.
And then downstairs, new kitchen, but I still would like a bit of a 60s feel,
-so I want to go right through it.
And how much involvement in the design are you going to have?
Hopefully all of it, really. Yeah, I want to choose pretty much everything in it.
'Well, it's all very well having grand plans for this former grand property
'but there's a fair amount of work to be done before any of Alyssa's plans come to fruition.
'It's also going to cost a few grand to put it right, as well, I would think.
-Talk me through exactly what you're going to do.
-To start with, we'll to strip the room,
get all the rubbish out and get all the paper off the walls.
In the damp area which is more towards the back,
we're going to knock all the plaster off back to brickwork,
damp-proof the back, new kitchen,
new bathroom, as she's described, new central heating
and decorations right through and keep all the original features
and look to source some others to put in to make it look how it would've done in years past.
And an idea of how much you're going to spend?
Erm, I think we'll be lucky to get out of this for less than £15,000 to £20,000.
'Francis not only bought this house but will fund the renovation.
'In addition, he'll project manage and will no doubt get involved in some of the finishing-off tasks.
'With a planned timescale of two to three months,
'how much practical involvement will he get from his two daughters?'
# Here come the girls
You're moving in with your sister. Are you going to split the workload?
-Erm, she's more into stripping walls and things like that.
-Are you sure?
-Would she say that if she was here?
Yeah, she's quite hands-on. She'll mix the plaster.
I'll come in when it's nearly finished
to do the painting, boss people around.
-Wouldn't you get your hands dirty and do stuff?
-It's just now that it's a bit too much for me at the moment. But I will do, definitely.
-Good luck with it.
-We look forward to seeing what you do to it.
It's great to hear that Francis and Alyssa
both want to keep the wonderful features that this old house has.
However, it hasn't really been touched for a long time,
so what are they going to uncover when they start the renovation process?
You can find out by joining us later in the show.
It's time to find out how those property purchases have progressed.
-Has it been an uphill struggle or a walk in the park?
-Let's go back and find out.
'Back now to Sittingbourne in North Kent where married couple Bill and Margaret
'bought this three-bed detached house for £220,000.
'It was fairly unexciting to look at
'and the inside didn't get the pulse racing, either. But Margaret was already getting rather attached.
'As their family live in the area, she could see a future here.
'Bill wasn't convinced, though.'
-Do you feel the same way about this house as Margaret?
-No, I don't.
It's just a house. She gets too excited about houses. It's just a house.
To Bill, a house is a house.
But I think for a woman, a house is a home and I can make this a nice home.
'Margaret was hoping that once the work was done, Bill would fall for the place.
'The plan was to build a two-storey extension at the side and fix the layout which was back to front.
'11 months later we're back to see not only if this house was turned round
'but also whether Bill had a turnaround on how he felt about it.
'And right away, from the outside we can see
'a fantastic new extension and a whole new frontage has really added some kerb appeal to this place.
'The extension houses a new garage.
'And upstairs there's a new master bedroom with an en suite.
'From the back garden, that makeover looks just as successful.
'Inside, the new kitchen really does catch the eye.
'Bill and Margaret have really transformed this from a rather drab, unremarkable 70s-style house
'into a stylish and modern home.
'But how did they literally turn this place around?'
What is now the front of the house was the back of the house. That was the back garden.
And now what is the back of the house was the front with the front door, so we took the front door off,
took the patio windows out and just moved it round.
So now the back of the house is the front of the house.
'Well, let's face it, that does make sense.
'Bill and Margaret were sensible about the original house,
'keeping the living room but giving it a makeover to make it look fresh and neutral.
'It looks like it's now all ready for the sales market.
'But it seems like Margaret may have finally got her own way.'
It feels like home cos it's nice and bright, which I like,
and I've spent a lot of time down here
and the more I came down, the more I thought, "No, I don't want to sell it, we're going to stay here."
'Well, in fact, Margaret has indeed won the argument here.
'Like the downstairs living room, the original upstairs bedrooms have retained their shape
'but they've been completely overhauled with fresh decoration and new central heating and wiring.
'Bill and Margaret are moving in pretty soon.
'Having the family nearby was always a big factor in choosing this house
'and granddaughter Lace is impressed by what her grandparents have achieved here.'
It was just awful. It was so tiny.
You wouldn't have thought it would look like this now compared to the start.
And I thought it would've taken a bit longer than it has
but I think they've done it quite quick, actually, considering what it was like.
'In fact, building that extension and renovating the old property took nine months.
'But I'm sure that Bill and Margaret got on like a house on fire!'
Most of the time, it's been fine.
Erm, there's been stressful moments when I'm sure he could've strangled me.
There's been moments when I could've strangled him. But most of the time, we work well together.
-I'll take the Fifth Amendment.
'Bill, being a plumber by trade, installed all the new central heating throughout
'while his grandson-in-law Luke did the brickwork.
'His contacts in the trade did most of the building work. So how did the £80,000 budget bear up?'
We've done about 68, I suppose.
So we're under-budget, really.
'With the house costing the couple £220,000,
'their total spend would now add up to 288 grand.
'Surely with that sort of outlay, Bill must now find something to love about his new home.'
It's a house. It's somewhere to come home to, somewhere to live, that's all.
It's a house. They're all houses. You can't love a house, can you?
'Well, Bill finds it difficult to love this house
'but let's see if two local estate agents feel any passion for it.'
I think the property's been extended and converted to a really high standard.
They've really paid attention to detail, especially with the kitchen.
And adding a garage is a great idea.
It's an amazing property. They've obviously extended it,
they've done a fantastic job, great position, great location,
a very, very desirable property.
Very good finish. I mean, you can see everything in it has been fitted
and done to a very, very high standard.
I mean, it's absolutely immaculate. It's absolutely beautiful.
'Both estate agents give the house a big thumbs up.
'But was it money well spent? Remember, Bill and Margaret invested £288,000 building their new home.
'So what could a resale fetch?'
I would put this property on the market for £320,000.
Sale price would be probably between £330,000 and £350,000.
-Yes, that seems pretty fair.
-We were thinking something like that.
330, 335. But at the moment, we're not thinking of selling it.
'That top resale value would give the couple a possible pre-tax profit of £62,000.
'That must be something Bill could fall in love with! But for now, this will be a home for the couple
'and there are many reasons why Margaret's not planning to sell it.'
I just like it so much. I like the south-facing garden,
I like what Bill's done.
Him and Luke have worked very, very hard on it and I just don't want to up and leave it now.
It's near the family, it's just everything I want.
So what's your excuse for not selling it?
I haven't got one now, have I? THEY LAUGH
'In the Lancashire town of Accrington,
'we came across what would've been a very grand house in its day.
'But sadly its outward appearance was not reflected on the inside.
'This place was in a very sorry state of repair.
'But despite the crumbling walls and dilapidated condition,
'it was bought for £90,000 by local man Francis.
'Along with his daughter Alyssa, they had grand plans for it.'
We've been involved in buying one or two properties over a short while now that we've renovated.
This is a little different because Alyssa lives in Accrington
and her and her sister are going to move into it, so this is one to keep rather than renovate and sell or let.
'Francis used to own a gas company that he sold on a number of years ago.
'He's since developed a number of properties and has also worked as a building site manager.
'So, armed with a £15,000 budget,
'he hoped he had the experience and know-how to bring the house up to scratch
'to make a home for his daughters, Alyssa and Olivia, and their mother to live in.
'Five months on, we're back. Alyssa's hair may have changed from last time we met her,
'but has the house undergone a transformation?
'Well, with new windows and doors, there's a crisp and cleaner look to the outside.
'But it was the inside that really needed more than a short back and sides.
'Well, it certainly doesn't disappoint. The house has been brought bang up to date,
'a sympathetic mix of old and modern, adapting the materials where necessary to fit their surroundings.
'So, Francis has married new materials into the old structure,
'with modern double-glazed windows blending in with traditional panelling and architraving.
'Remember that terrible kitchen?
'Well, that's now been consigned to the past.
'It's now fully-fitted and contemporary, complete with French doors to the back yard.'
Yeah, the French doors were quite a substantial bit of work for us.
Previously they were a very old bay window that was dilapidated and falling down.
So we took that out, supported the wall and installed the doors. It's quite good now.
'And the sleek refurbishment continues upstairs
'with a master bedroom now incorporating an en suite bathroom.
'The other two bedrooms are completely ready to move into.
'And did Alyssa get her dream bathroom?
'Well, what do you think?'
OK, a lot of the bathroom suite is mix and match.
It was just generally shopping around and looking at a load of different bathroom suites.
For instance, the taps didn't come with the bath,
so I ordered them separately, just to make it how exactly I wanted it.
'Well, Alyssa may now have got her bespoke bathroom but it was an enormous task to get to this stage.
'To start with, it took Francis four to five weeks and five skip-fulls just to clear the house
'before any of the renovation work could begin.
'Even though it's five months since we've been back, the bulk of the work was done in just ten weeks.'
Well, I made a lot of the arrangements for the hands-on physical stuff,
the clearing of the place and so on, and then my daughter helped with the attentive bits,
the colours and so on, carpet choice and a little bit of painting after we'd finished.
It's brilliant. Obviously, I'll be sharing it with my sister and my mum at the moment,
but cos I've done it to how I like, it's just...
I know I'm really lucky.
'Alyssa, her sister and mother hope to move in in around a week's time.
'With this house destined for his daughters, Francis acted as a project manager
'with Alyssa in effect being the client. So, how did that work?'
Yeah, it's been great. It's brought us together a little bit more. We've seen a lot more of each other.
But at times, we have had our arguments. But, yeah, we're closer than ever now.
# My girl
'One area there was no disagreement about was the desire to keep or reinstate
'as many character features as possible.
'Not necessarily the cheapest approach,
'it was always likely to stretch Francis's proposed £15,000 budget.'
We've gone a little over that. We're probably over £20,000, maybe even £22,000 now.
Predominantly, that's because some of the fixtures and fittings we put in were of a better standard
than the cheaper-end stuff, so that's why we've bust the budget a little, but my daughter encouraged that.
'A £22,000 budget on top of the £90,000 purchase price
'plus costs and fees will take Francis's total outlay here
'to around £115,000.
'So, has he made a wise investment choice for his daughters?
'What do two local estate agents think?'
I think it's absolutely superb and the amount of work
that's been put into it is absolutely excellent.
I like the fact that they've actually put a lot of traditional character back into the property
but kept it modern for today's requirements.
The property's done to a fantastic standard.
It's fantastic that they've kept original features
like the windows, which are in keeping with the building,
and the coving. It's a very good finish.
'Does that good finish equate to good returns?
'How, for instance, would the house fare on the rental market?'
We could rent this house out for £600 per calendar month.
I'd be able to rent this out for £575 per calendar month.
Yeah, I think that's probably a fair rental in this area.
But I think Alyssa would be most distressed if I rented it out now.
'Yes, Alyssa may not be ready to rent it out quite yet.
'But has dad invested around £115,000 wisely
'on her and her sister's behalf?'
In the current market, we'd be able to sell this property on at around £140,000.
I'd be able to market this property for £140,000.
Yeah, quite chuffed about that.
That's what we expected. But obviously we're going to keep hold of it
and if the time comes, it won't be for a couple of years yet, to sell.
'With a potential pre-tax profit of £25,000,
'not only has Alyssa got her first new home, but thanks to dad,
'she's also starting out on a firm financial footing.'
I'm just glad that I've been able to help them out to get their foot on the housing market ladder.
Yeah, I mean, I know I'm really, really lucky to get this helping hand
and I'd be really struggling for years to come if I didn't have my dad to help me out.
Well, we hope you've found our advice useful and our ideas inspiring,
-even in today's economic climate.
-So from Martin and I, we'll see you next time.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a three-bedroomed terraced property in Accrington, Lancashire, a property in need of full-scale renovation in Kent and a barn in Devon. 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.