Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a three-bedroom semi in Leigh, Lancashire, a property in Middlesex and a house in Staffordshire.
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Hello. If you've ever been tempted to go to an auction,
perhaps now is the time to take the plunge.
There is so much variety in the catalogues.
Yes, every month there are literally thousands of lots on offer.
So, why not nip down to your local auction house
and check out an auction?
Buying at auction is a great way to get good value for money.
Essential, especially if you're starting a business.
Now, if you've done your research, you've managed to get
your finances available, well, you should make quite a success of it.
So, here's what people invested in on today's show.
There aren't too many structural problems at this semi
in Leigh in Lancashire. Just quite a lot of tarting up.
If you're after a secluded riverside location,
this auction lot in Middlesex might just float your boat.
How exciting would it be to live here?
And this terraced house in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire
could be designed for bigger and better things.
I've been thinking about it, and I think we might have the solution.
All these properties have been sold at auction, and we will find out
who bought them and what they paid for them
-when they went under the hammer.
Today, I'm in the town of Leigh in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan.
Once an industrial town, like many others in the North West
it now relies on smaller businesses and retail.
It's currently undergoing some regeneration,
with a 10,000-seater stadium and sports village being built,
as well as quite a lot of updating of its housing stock.
Well, the property I'm here to see is about a mile from the town centre
in this nice residential area.
A former local-authority house at a guide price of 60,000 quid,
which for a three-bed semi ain't at all bad.
This is it.
It looks like it needs a bit of tender loving care from the outside.
What's it like inside? There's only one way to find out.
Oh, dear. That's not the most welcoming entrance I've ever seen.
Major problem with the stairs, one of the risers has gone.
The whole staircase looks like it's in need of
a bit of sorting out!
Maybe the house will get better as we go further in.
Or maybe not. OK, it doesn't look too good.
We've got double glazing, though, which is good.
Central heating looks a bit old. Gas fire definitely needs replacing.
I'm seeing a mess. What I've got to try and determine is
whether there's anything structural going on here as well,
because it could just be a lick of paint,
new plasterwork, and that would be fine.
But you move through to the kitchen...
No, I have decided it is in a bit of a mess.
The layout, however, works quite well.
You've got that living-room area at the front.
This kitchen, small though it is, I like that it sort of flows
through into this dining room, and then you've got the patio doors
out onto the garden. So, in terms of major structural work,
I don't think there's too much
knocking down of walls to be done, just quite a lot of tarting up.
# I've seen better things... #
I think this is a case where looks are deceptive,
because if you got the whole place replastered, replaced the kitchen,
central heating and maybe the windows, this house would be fine.
Well, downstairs at least.
So, upstairs, and good news - you've got a reasonable-sized bathroom.
It needs refurbishment, like everything else,
but at least it's in the right place, and it's not a bad size.
Bit of an odd layout, this, though.
This corridor leading down to two of the bedrooms
just doesn't quite work,
and then your third bedroom, not exactly massive.
I actually would probably call this a single.
Again, it's just in need of a real good sort-out. So, to sum up,
not a bad house, it just needs some work.
This'll need work from floor to ceiling,
but there's nothing that a good team of tradesmen couldn't tackle.
Most of it's cosmetic, and there don't appear to be any signs of
structural problems - or did I speak too soon?
So, round the back, and a real bonus to what I think could be
a lovely family house - a nice, big garden.
Now, it is in a bit of a state, but a good weekend out here
with a strimmer, I think you'd sort it.
That doesn't concern me. What does concern me more is
just down here, where the soil pipe actually goes into the ground,
you can see that all those flagstones have actually dropped.
Now, my concern is maybe there's a problem with the sewer under there.
Anything underground like that that's a problem is going to be
kind of expensive to sort out.
So, definitely get that checked out by a specialist.
So, there are some structural worries here, but perhaps
they're reflected in the £60,000 guide price.
What does a local estate agent think?
Obviously needs a lot of work.
I feel with a good £10,000 spent on the property,
then it would be a good investment overall.
Would it be worth spending £10,000 on this property
that was guided at 60,000?
'In my opinion, this property would rent out
'for £475 per calendar month.'
Once renovated, I would value this property at £65,000 to £70,000.
So, on the resale market, there might not be much potential profit,
but as a rental, this house could work very well financially.
Well, more than a weekend's work to sort this one out, for sure,
but what you've got here intrinsically is a solid house
in a good area, and I think a nice house to live in,
or good rental potential.
Let's see who went for it when it went under the hammer.
Lot 119 next. I'm asking you for 10,000.
£10,000. 10 I've got there. Can I say 15? 15 right at the front.
20, 25, 30.
30, sir. 35. Do you want to give me 32 at the front?
34, 36? 35. 35?
36, 37, 38, 39. It's with you, sir, at 38.
I'm looking for 39.
Are we all finished at 38? No, we're not. 39 right at the back.
40, 41, 42, 43, sir? Shaking his head. 42 on my right.
Looking for 43. I'm going to sell for 42.
On my right for the first time. 43. 44, 45, sir?
No? At £44,000 on my right. First time at 44.
Second time at 44.
45. New bidder.
46. 47? 47? Just the one bid?
It's with you, sir, at 46. Are we finished at £46,000?
First time at 46.
Second time at £46,000.
Sold to you, sir, and paddle number is...?
And, incredibly, for £14,000 below the guide price, at 46,000,
the successful bidders were David and his business partner Wendy.
She joined me at the Leigh property to explain
why they wanted this house for their rapidly-expanding portfolio.
-Wendy, lovely to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
How lucky am I?!
-Well, you got it for a lot less than the guide price.
46,000, which is a good buy when you look at the prices of the houses
on this street. So, I'm quite pleased.
-It obviously isn't your first time at auction, then?
I go to auctions in London,
I go to every auction in the North West.
-Yes, every auction, just to double-check prices
and what areas and what prices are going for.
Right. So, tell me about you, then.
This is what you do full-time, or what?
I do this full-time. I've got 73 houses now.
How long has it taken you to get that together?
One year. I've done it in one year.
73 in just a year? Amazing! That's more than one a week!
In fact, Wendy and David often buy five or six houses at each auction.
For Wendy, this is a completely new departure,
because she's previously worked in retail buying and customer services.
It's thanks to her business partner David that
this property spending spree has been possible.
So, I guess what's stopping a lot of people doing what you've done
is the money. So, how did you get started on it?
Two or three houses, I can see how you might have refinanced,
even in difficult times, but you need a chunk to start with.
David had a computer company, and he sold the computer company.
-So, in the bank, the interest rate is 1%.
Right? So, why have your money in the bank at 1%
when we're getting back 8 to 12% on every house?
So, what do you look for in the auctions, then, when you're buying?
Cheap! We buy cheap that we can do up and our workmen can go in.
But we stick with the same areas.
We've got accreditations with Wigan, Bolton, Burnley, Bury and Salford,
so I'm in with all the councils.
As an accredited landlord with several local authorities,
she knows there's a high demand for rental homes
and a good supply of council-vetted tenants.
In fact, Wendy and David are so confident in their business plan,
they've bought 26 houses in this area.
Did you actually come in the house before you bought it?
Did I heck! I didn't walk in it.
I don't usually walk in at most of the houses.
-I just look at the street, look at the house.
It's got a roof on, it's got the walls, I'm OK!
It's like going getting a tin of beans!
Don't worry about it, we'll get there in the end!
Did it disappoint or surprise when you walked through the door
-for the first time?
-I laughed, because we've got
a patio door out to the garden - quite a luxury!
This is quite good. A bit of plaster on, a bit of rewiring.
We've got a good team, they'll come in here, in six weeks this will be
a brand-new house, and it will be ready for a family to move into.
Wendy's given herself a budget of £16,000 to turn this place
into that family home.
What's the goal, then, where do you stop?
We want to sell about 20 houses this year
so we keep the pot full with money.
We all need money at the end of the day.
This year, we're working on buying about another 30 houses.
The phenomenal success of their business means
they now employ a team of 12 builders.
Although she's been renovating property for just over a year,
Wendy ensured she knew all aspects of the building trade
from the start.
I went to Salford College to learn how to be a bricklayer.
-Painter-decorator, so that when I did go into this
and I asked for a price on a job,
they couldn't rip me off because I'm a woman.
If you don't take a chance in life, you're never going to do it.
It's no good sitting at home thinking in ten years, "I wish I'd done this."
You've got to do it now, and that's how I look at life.
-Listen, lovely to meet you, congratulations.
-Nice to meet you.
In general, and on this particular one!
We look forward to seeing how you get on.
See you in six weeks!
Well, how about that? A crash course in everything
you need to know about being a property investor successfully.
Wendy, what a year!
How's she going to get on with this place?
Well, I think you know the answer.
You can find out later in the show.
I have come ready for anything today,
as it's a rather unusual location.
Here in the town of Sunbury-on-Thames is
a series of little islands in the middle of the river.
Wheatley's Ait is the one our lot is on today,
and we've got to cross this little bridge to get there.
You certainly don't get too many properties with an approach
like this. Strolling past the swans and the fishermen,
this misty morning is making it all enticingly mysterious.
So, what have I come to see in this idyllic spot on an island?
Well, it's this wooden chalet behind me.
It's timber frame, it's raised above the ground on stilts.
It's a quirky one all right, but how exciting would it be to live here?!
Well, I know it was up for auction with a guide of 135 plus,
and from a distance I think it might have been the setting
that sold this one, but I love it already.
# Hi-tiddly-hi-ti island, everybody wears a smile
# Hi-tiddly-hi-ti island, everybody lives in style... #
'It's certainly a beautiful setting, but it would be too easy
'to let your heart rule your head in a location like this,
'so let's not get carried away.
'First, we'd better see whether this two-bedroom property
'lives up to its promise.'
Let's have a look around this funny little chalet.
You can see on the inside it just needs so much work doing to it.
I'm not sure how safe this place is,
so I'm not going to investigate further, but you can see there are
a few little rooms off this one big room.
You've got a kitchen and a bathroom, and a funny little space over here,
but it does have a really old, romantic feel to it.
And look at that, unbelievable view. Look, the stream!
You know, this could be a wonderful house, but I do know,
having purchased a building like this before,
that this is non-typical construction.
What I mean by that is that it's not made of brick or stone walls
with a slate or tiled roof.
Now, another example of that would be a prefabricated house
which was built during and post-war as cheap housing.
The danger is, mortgage companies don't usually like lending
on these type of homes, so for this, cash-only buyers need apply.
Past the kitchen, there's a good-sized bedroom,
but that sloping floor suggests
there's a fair bit of structural work to be done here.
# Goes around the island, goes around the island... #
The place has obviously been empty for a while and I think it might be best just to knock it down and start
all over again.
You know there is something so charming about the idea of a veranda.
Picture it, sitting outside with your partner, watching
the sunset in a rocking chair with a nice hot steaming cup of tea.
It's very Little House On The Prairie, isn't it?
Well, with our English weather I think that's not going to be possible all that often
but it really is a lovely feature and possibly the nicest thing about this property. You know, I'm sold.
Practically speaking, it's not the house but the location that counts.
This auction lot came with just over a quarter acre of land.
It's definitely room for rebuilding.
So, this is every house builder's dream
but I can see there might be trouble with getting planning permission because of its isolated location
and the tricky fact about it being in a significant flood risk area.
But, hopefully, the planners will rule in favour of a rebuild if
the new house is in the footprint of the existing one.
This is certainly no average house.
Time to get the opinion of a local estate agent to hear where
island properties like this would sit on the market.
One of the disadvantages of living on the island is access.
You can't bring a car here or any building materials.
You have to walk and carry everything unless you bring it by barge.
The building's beyond economical repair so would have to be dismantled and removed from the area.
Subject to planning permission, you could build a very nice chalet bungalow.
The cost approximately would be anything between £150,000 to £250,000.
Bearing in mind that guide price of £135,000,
you'll need the best part of £300,000 to undertake this project.
How much is it likely to be worth once you've knocked down the old building and replaced it with
a new structure.
Depending on the quality of the build and to what standard it is,
my estimate would be anything between £325,000 to £400,000.
Surely once the property is complete
people would be queuing up to rent the place.
The rental market at the moment is very good and I suspect they would get anything up to £1,200 a month.
Well, living on an island is certainly most people's dream
but I wouldn't class this one as a tropical paradise.
But, it's a stunning location and I can see why it would appeal to
many people looking for privacy and an escape from the city.
However, the property itself is not so promising.
Whoever bought this would be running the risk of both
the house flooding and problems getting planning permission to knock it down and rebuild in its place.
Who wanted it despite all those challenges?
Let's find out as it went under the hammer.
Move on to lot 85.
£150,000 anywhere. OK, 150...
I've got, how much 151... OK 152...
153...sir, on my right, 154...155...
This island property has obviously
captured the hearts of lots of bidders.
The guide price of £135,000 has already been left far behind.
We rejoin at a whopping £240,000.
OK. Bid's with the gentleman on my left by the door, it's £240,000.
It's against the gentleman who was sitting there, he's gone.
240...for the first, 240... for the second. How much? 241...
By the door, 245. If not...
He's gone. It's with you, the bid's £244,000 against the gentleman.
He's gone somewhere.
244 for the first, 244 for the second,
244 for the third and final time, are we all done.
Sold, £244,000. Well bought.
After that epic battle the successful bidders with nerves of steel
were newly-wed couple John and Michelle.
Former hotel manager John and doctor Michelle paid £244,000
for their island hideaway. I can't wait to hear why they wanted the property so much.
Guys, congratulations I'm so happy for you.
Do you know what I love? I just can't wipe those big smiles off your faces.
You both looked so happy on auction day.
Absolutely, it's fantastic.
John what is the story behind you buying this plot?
I want to know all the background.
Well, there was no great plan in place at all.
We viewed it on a Saturday, on Saturday night we just kept talking about it and we had a look at all the
legal documents and we looked through everything and there was a huge amount. We thought will we, won't we?
We didn't have any funds to buy and we thought where will we get the money
because we just got married and funds were very, very tight to say the least.
Effectively, we had to borrow off all of our friends to get a deposit and sell our car.
Do you think it was worth the money?
-Absolutely, it's a privilege to live by the river
and it's also a privilege in an almost rural environment.
It's like something from Wind In The Willows. It's gorgeous.
I admit I am as much in love with the place as John and Michelle but I'm not the one
who has to knock this old shack down and build a new home in its place.
# Love shack is a little old place where we can get together... #
Thankfully, John's background
is in the construction industry and he'll be doing the work himself.
I've dealt with the more traditional materials like concrete and block but not something on stilts.
I'm very excited about building on stilts and we know this area floods.
So, that will be a little bit of a challenge and getting the materials
onto the site will be a challenge because we can only access the site by river.
We're going to get very creative and we're going to dig deep and be very resourceful.
We hope to go for an eco home, a timber-framed home, something
that has a very interesting and nice design and is a sustainable home.
So, come on what is the budget?
I'd like to say we can put something together for £50,000.
£50,000 to build a house?
Obviously building a house and having a house on this island
does have a ceiling price. Are you worried about that at all?
We're not worried at all because this is a home it was never bought or going to be built as an investment.
It's going to be home, such a special wonderful you'd never want to sell it, you'd want to
pass it down to your family for years and years and let them have the same enjoyment that we hope to have here.
#Island of love.. #
I think it's fair to say that John and Michelle have fallen hook, line and sinker for this place.
They paid way over the guide price, have a tiny budget and to top it all
they don't even know if they can build anything here at all.
So, you haven't got planning permission yet.
-to build anything at all.
-So, at worse you could possibly build exactly the same footprint as you have at the moment.
Yes. And even that wouldn't be the worse case scenario because
we'd get to live in a beautiful place so, which to us is a great...
Still a great-case scenario.
Do you know what? I am so happy for you two, congratulations.
You deserve to live in a place like this.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
John and Michelle have fallen hard for this place, well the location to be exact.
And it seems to have bewitched them into paying well over the guide price.
But John sounds very capable of getting something built here instead of the chalet.
I really hope when we come back there is a fantastic
eco home here in its place but only time will tell.
And, do you know what? The pressure is on.
You can find out if they succeed with their plans later in the show.
Coming up - this Burton-on-Trent house really could do with a change of layout.
What are the options?
Not sure, need to think about that.
We return to Sunbury, Middlesex, to find out what limitations there are living on an island.
Every last inch or millimetre was used to the best of our ability.
But first back to Leigh in Lancashire to discover the secret of Wendy's success.
Enjoy it, it's good, I love it.
Just outside Wigan, Lancashire, in the town of Leigh
we came across a very rundown three bed semi-detached house.
This property was in a terrible state but had one
overriding appealing feature, a guide price of just £60,000.
It was that price and the area that it was in that attracted local developers David and Wendy.
They snatched it up for just £46,000
to add to their rapidly expanding portfolio.
-I've got 73 houses now.
How long as it taken you to get that together? What?
I've done it in one year.
It was thanks to her business partner David selling his computer business that the pair
had enough capital to go on a property spending spree and as they have
accreditation from a number of local councils, they have a ready market of tenants for their finished houses.
In fact, they can't acquire properties fast enough.
So, has property number 73 been brought up to standard? Well, just two months on we're back.
With a new front door and reinvigorated off road parking area, it's looking good from the outside.
But the main challenges were inside.
This house had holes from every bedroom ceiling down to this floor, this ground floor.
All the plaster was off the walls, the windows had been broken.
The garden, we didn't even know it was that big until we actually got in the garden and cut it down.
That wild, uncared-for garden can now be seen in its true colours as a lovely family garden.
The patio doors no longer lead from a crumbling,
stripped down back room but from a completely renovated space.
That equally sorry front lounge has
also undergone a total transformation.
But perhaps it's the kitchen that's the star of the show.
We've replaced the kitchen completely.
We've designed it so there's a working area and you can use it as a bench for eating.
New cooker, new sink, new boiler, everything, lights and it's got a ceiling now.
So, the kitchen's a great success.
The changes continue upstairs in the three bedrooms.
With new plaster work throughout, radiators, decor and carpets.
A brand new bathroom suite completes the refurbishment but where on earth
-do you start when faced with such a mammoth task?
The first thing was mainly drying out the house and then from that we started
the plastering as we had holes upstairs and we plastered from top to bottom.
And that had to dry out.
Then we started with the boiler, radiators
and then windows, doors,
new kitchen, new bathroom to how it is now.
We went back after eight weeks but all the work
was in fact completed in just six weeks by the 12 people Wendy employs to do all her properties.
I call them the A Team, the team that work for me are brilliant.
I would back them to the hilt.
Absolutely fantastic team.
We've got good electrician, Corgi, plasterer and the foreman he's the best worker you could ever get.
We might not work on one house at a time - we'll be working on two or three houses at a time.
So, when one jobs done they go onto the next job.
I guess when you've bought and renovated 73 properties in a year
you have to keep everyone moving from one place to the other.
Not only is it more efficient it keeps your costs down.
We did spend £15,000 on the house
and we got all the jobs done within a six-week period, which I planned on.
So, overall I'm really pleased at the result.
Wendy might be pleased but with a £15,000 spend on the house
she bought at auction for £46,000
plus costs and fees, she's invested around £63,000.
Will two local estate agents be equally impressed?
First impressions are very good.
The refurb's been done to a good standard.
Considering the location and type of property they've not gone overboard.
It's got a really nice kitchen, a modern bathroom and really plain and simple decoration throughout.
The property is done to a good standard,
in keeping with the area and a credit to the purchasers.
Wendy rents most of the properties to the local council at an agreed rental rate.
In this case for a three bed house it would be £495 a month.
How comparable is that to the current market rates?
From a rental point of view we're probably looking in the region of £425 per calendar month.
You could rent this property out for around £475 to £495 per calendar month.
So, it seems she's getting a good rental deal.
But how does it stack up as an investment with Wendy investing
around 63,000 to get this house back up to standard.
In the current market the property would probably resell for something in the region of £75,000.
You would put this on the market for around £75,000 and hope to achieve something quite close to that.
I put it on the market two weeks ago and now,
very happy, we've sold it for 75, for the full asking price.
People can move in, they don't have to do anything; it's ready for them to move in.
That's not bad, a potential pre-tax profit of £10,000 to £12,000 for six weeks work.
What's the secret of Wendy's success?
To have a good team behind you, so that you work on a budget and your budget works right at the end.
Set a time and work to that scale of time.
And, enjoy it, it's good.
I love it.
# You can get it if you really want
# But you must try, try and try
# Try, try
# You'll succeed at last. #
Wendy's target this year is to reach a total of 100 houses, and with her
'you can do it' attitude I'm sure she's going to get there.
I'm in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, in the very centre of England.
It's often thought of as the brewing capital of Great Britain because
at one time a quarter of all beer sold in the UK was brewed here.
So, will the property I'm here to see be the real deal, or a bit of a home brew?
Well, the property I'm here to see is on this street of terraced houses, very typical of the area.
It's described in the auction catalogue as having two plus bedrooms.
I'm not sure what a plus bedroom is but I guess I'm about to find out.
This is it. Guide price was £59,000.
Let's take a look. It looks pretty neat from the front. Although there's no off street parking,
it's on one of the quieter roads so there's plenty of room to park.
Oh, that's a nice surprise. Nice big open plan living room/dining area I suppose.
Somebody's obviously done a bit of refurbishment on this place in the past and created this one big area.
I like it actually. I'm not sure about the fireplace
and all that kind of stuff but that's easy to change.
An odd little storage cupboard under the stairs there.
Actually it looks as though it continues to be quite pleasant as you go through to the kitchen.
The units look reasonably serviceable.
A bit grubby inside the doors there but over all not a bad sized space.
A small area there where you could put like a kitchen table.
Perfectly serviceable. It looks like the boiler's reasonably OK.
So, all in all a good start.
The laminate floor is reasonably modern and the decor isn't bad.
I'm not sure whether anything could be done
with the cupboard under the stairs, probably best left as storage.
Anyway, I want to check out the bedroom situation now.
So upstairs, huge bedroom at the front,
reasonable sized bedroom there and then down and through this dark and dingy corridor to the plus bedroom.
Basically it is a small room which you walk through to get to the only bathroom in the property.
Clearly it's not ideal.
So, what are the options?
Not sure, need to think about that.
It's a frustrating layout because you have the space
but it just isn't utilised very well.
On the up side it's always best to have the bathroom on the first floor
but it seems such a waste to lose a whole room.
I'm still pondering this one.
So, at the rear of the property there's an added bonus.
A reasonable sized garden and this which is basically, I think...
I thought it was a loo, actually it's not,
it's just a storage little area with another one there.
Obviously when I see this, what am I thinking?
Could this somehow be incorporated into the main part of the house,
maybe the kitchen, maybe a double storey extension.
That could get over the issue of the bathroom upstairs, perhaps.
Give you a chance to jiggle things around which I think it really needs. The only fly in the ointment
is that this bit here is a shared access pathway for people to get their bins in and out.
You couldn't extend along here or rather any further than this.
Apart from that, thinking about it, I think we might have the solution.
Of course you'd have to consult the planning department to check whether you could go up one level.
But if you had that extra space you could relocate the bathroom
and convert the current bathroom and walk through room into a narrow third bedroom.
You'd have to weigh up whether the work would be worth it against the value it would add.
The guide price for this property was £59,000.
What will a local estate agent make of it?
Terraced properties do have various layouts
and this one is no different.
Upstairs you've obviously got to access the third bedroom,
into the bathroom, which isn't always ideal.
Quite often people would turn that into a dressing room or a study,
that kind of thing, or maybe a baby's room.
It seems it wouldn't be possible to put a false wall in or anything like that
and I would just leave the same, possibly create a dressing room of some description.
I'm still convinced you could extend and make a third bedroom but let's talk cash.
How much could this property rent out for?
Rental wise it would comfortably let out, possibly as it is
at this moment, in the region of £450 per calendar month.
With a little bit of upgrading it may increase to perhaps £475 per calendar month.
If it was sold on how would it do in today's market?
I would imagine if somebody did spend perhaps £7,000 or £8,000
that the asking price would be in the region of £80,000.
So, all in all a good little property that I think,
apart from finding a way of turning the plus bedroom into a proper bedroom,
you should pretty much leave well alone.
A good rental or a great place to live.
Let's find out who bought it when it went under the hammer.
Over in Burton on Trent, lot number 12,
start me on this where you like. 56, to start, £56,000...
56 is bid there, thank you.
At £56,000, 57, somewhere else, the opening bid is 56, 57...
58 is bid.
At 59. Thank you.
60 is bid at the back, at 60, 61...
Sir, stick with it. At 61, 62...
Treat you to the same, 62...
£62,000, 500 again.
At £62,000 against you at the back, no mistakes.
All done, for the first time at 62...
For the second time at 62...
Third and last chance, sold to you, sir, at £62,000. Thank you.
The successful bid of £62,000 came from Chris.
He has turned his hand to property developing
since retiring from the brewery trade just under two years ago.
I met up with him at his new purchase to chat about his plans.
Chris, congratulations. Tell me why you wanted to buy the house?
I've got some properties already.
Not been to an auction before, thought I'd give that a try.
I was looking to get something at the right price, but it had to be in
Burton on Trent because I don't want to travel too far.
-And to do it up with a view to selling it on.
A hobby of mine is the DIY side of it really.
So, I just do it for a bit of fun.
If you can make a few bob as well its even better.
Do you work at the same time?
No, I'm retired. I took retirement early from the breweries a couple of years ago now
to spend more time scuba diving actually but I ended up doing a bit of this as well.
Scuba diving, that's a hobby is it?
It's a bit more than a hobby now because I'm an instructor as well, so I teach at weekends.
Also I'm an underwater photographer so go off to exotic places round the world taking photos of fish.
Clearly Chris is a man of many talents
but what are his plans for this place?
I wonder, will he be putting his heart and soul into it?
What do you plan to do with it then?
You'll have noticed the windows don't match the door, so I'll tidy everything up into white windows.
This floor will come up. The whole place will be redecorated.
-What's wrong with the floor?
-It's a bit tatty and loose in places.
I like better quality than this.
I'll put a new kitchen. Although the kitchen looks OK I'm going to put a new kitchen in.
New bathroom in as well and make the room through towards the bathroom
into a dressing room, because you've got to go through it to get to the bathroom.
It's a bit of a dead space otherwise, I think.
-And what about downstairs, here?
-Downstairs I'm going to knock through into those two little
outhouses there and make that into a downstairs toilet set up off the back of the kitchen there.
-So, how much of the work are you going to do yourself?
-All of it. Well, most of it.
I'll get a plasterer in to do the plastering because my plastering looks like a five year old did it.
It's a really tough job.
If there's any significant electrics to be done I'll get that done as well.
And the actual potential extension at the back, are you happy
to take that on, dig the foundations, put the thing up?
Yeah, I'll have a go at that.
Chris doesn't seem fazed by much and by doing most of it himself he'll save a lot of money.
So, what's he got to spend on this project?
I think I can turn this place round for about £8,000
and I paid £62,000 at the auction for it.
So, anything I can get towards the £80,000 make a nice little profit.
And what kind of timescale of got for what you're going to do?
I think I could get I done in about eight or ten weeks I think.
But I've got weekends tied up teaching diving and also a trip
planned in eight weeks' time to go to Sulawesi, underwater photography.
-So, that will be a bit special.
So, that's going to take some time out as well.
I guess three to four months by the time we get it onto the market.
And moving forward?
Once this one's sold I'll look for another one.
Go back to another auction.
Do you actually enjoy the physical work?
Yeah, well, it's a challenge.
I set myself little challenges in life and this is one of them.
Congratulations, well done.
Good luck with it. Look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, Chris has certainly got a great property to practise
his enthusiastic DIY on
but I can't help thinking that he's missing a trick
by not finding some way of relocating the bathroom
and trying to get three bedrooms out of this property.
Will he change his mind
or will taking photographs of fish take priority?
You can find out later in the show.
Well, work should be well underway on our properties now as there has been plenty of time to do it.
So, will there be brick dust and ladders all over the place?
Let's go back and find out.
Time now to return to a place I just adored when I first visited,
a wonderful island near Sunbury on Thames.
It was here down by the River Thames amongst the ducks
and other wildlife, I came across and old chalet.
It was only good for one thing, and that was demolition
but there was a decent chance that permission could be obtained
to replace what wasn't much more than a large wooden shack.
Newly wed couple John and Michelle dug deep into their finances
and called in a few favours from friends to buy the plot and building for £244,000.
This was to acquire this dream location for a chance to build a home,
not just for now but for their future.
It was never bought or going to be built as an investment.
Its going to be home, a wonderful place, you'd never want to sell it,
you'd want to pass it down to your family for years and years
and let them have the same enjoyment that we hope to have here.
Michelle was born in Germany and is a qualified doctor
while John's originally from Dublin.
Although he's worked as a hotel manager for the last six years
he had previous experience in the building trade.
One of their friends is an architect
so they hoped they could build an eco-friendly property
worthy of its location, but with finances tight and a proposed budget
of around £50,000, could they turn this ugly duckling into a swan?
Well, a full 16 months on,
we're back, and, boy, have things changed.
Where once was a falling down shack there's now a striking modern two bedroom abode
fit for 21st century living.
And a new home isn't the only new addition here.
John and Michelle are now proud parents of three month old Marcus but working on a new build
and the arrival of a baby can't have been easy.
Very tough because while I was heavily pregnant, it was winter time,
we had the snow coming in and you didn't have all of your warm clothes ready to put on
and you had to buy new things as well because of the big tummy.
It was quite tough, but then when Marcus arrived, it was just great, it was lovely.
The arrival of baby Marcus added to the pressure for John to finish off the build.
It seems now they've only got just enough bedrooms with one of them being Marcus's room.
Then there's the master bedroom, complete with a rather fabulous en suite.
Eventually there will also be a high quality family bathroom when it's finished.
From the inside, it looks like a conventional home,
albeit one that's finished off to a high standard.
It's only from outside that you realise how radically different it is.
As you can see, a condition of our planning was that the house must be built on stilts.
It's in an area liable to flood so, in the event of a flood,
water must be able to flow through the site unimpeded.
Hence you have the quite narrow stilts rising up into the main structure,
which is also an architectural detail of the building as well
which gives it quite a dramatic impact, I think, anyway.
Not only is the structure built to withstand flooding but it also has impressive green credentials.
Thermally, it's ultra efficient.
Almost half a metre of insulation in the roof.
The walls are over 200 ml deep. Also you can see the floor.
This is the original floor level here and then the internal floor level is here,
so as you can see it's about 200 and then plus my floor level.
So, we have over 200 ml of insulation in the floors as well.
The exterior structure has been designed to a very high specification
and the same level of creative thought and detail has gone into the interior design.
It's to be as usable as absolutely possible.
So, every last inch or millimetre was used to the best of our ability
in accordance with what we would like to use the house as.
The kitchen's important, we love cooking, the storage area is important
if you like cooking as well and everything needs to be close at hand.
So, we've designed a slightly larger kitchen than usual but every single piece of it is essential.
Every piece of it may be essential but every piece of it had to be brought on site -
no simple matter on an island.
It was a little bit of a challenge to get materials on site
because mostly the materials arrived by barge so logistically it was... can be a little bit difficult.
If a barge wasn't available well then we had to go the old fashioned way with wheelbarrows
and had to wheel everything down a lane-way onto the site
but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Hiring barges to transport materials and building a high specification designer home
isn't likely to come cheap.
I'd expect John's original 50 grand budget has floated off down the river by now.
I haven't quite worked out how much it has cost me
but certainly when you build something yourself
you can build it substantially cheaper than if you had a main contractor in.
It would be very difficult for me to work out how much I've spent
but it certainly wasn't too expensive for what we have achieved.
John's a little coy on how much he spent but I guess
it's a tad over that original £50,000 budget.
His view is you can't put a value on this house
but we know two people who can.
So, what do they make of this amazing eco house by the river.
It's fantastic, absolutely wonderful.
It's bright, it's been finished.
It's impeccable. Everything he's used, he hasn't, erm...
He's really thought about the quality of it and it's just stunning.
I think it's a very unique property, it's eco friendly.
It's got very unusual and unique features about it.
Lots of natural products have been used in the flooring, for example, and it's a fantastic setting.
John and Michelle bought the site for £244,000, but John doesn't want to say how much they spent on it.
Even so, what could this unique property command on the resale market?
I'd put this on the current market for £595,000.
We would put this on the market for £575,000.
It's a home.
If you're running a business and that's your business to buy houses and renovate them
and sell them on, then yes, but we're not so concerned about the valuation.
Even if it was a purchase made from the heart,
with those current valuations, I still think it's probably a decent investment too.
But have they turned what was a great plot with a dilapidated shack
into a place they can now call their home?
-Michelle, does it feel like home?
It's great here, we love it.
It's very peaceful, very relaxing, and it's a calming house to live in.
And for John, Michelle and baby Marcus, it really does seem
there's no other place they'd rather be.
Now we're back in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire,
where this two-bed terraced house sold at auction for £62,000.
It was bought by Chris who has been enjoying some property developing since his retirement
from the brewery industry about two years ago,
although there's definitely something else he'd rather be doing.
A hobby of mine is the DIY side of it, really, so I just do it for a bit of fun.
If you can make a few bob, that's even better, isn't it?
So do you work at the same time?
No, I'm retired. I took retirement early from the local breweries a couple of years ago now
to spend more time scuba diving but I ended up doing this.
I wonder if he enjoyed this renovation as much as his beloved scuba diving.
We're back just under eight months later to see how he's got on.
Chris has painted the front of the property and replaced the windows to boost its kerb appeal.
Inside, he's re-plastered, laid new laminate flooring, replaced all the skirting boards,
got rid of that old fire and painted in lovely neutral shades, giving the room a bright and airy feel.
The kitchen has been completely refitted
with stylish cupboards, tiling and new appliances throughout.
A fresh paint job and new flooring give the kitchen a stylish modern finish.
In the kitchen here, I've taken out the galley style kitchen
where the units really closed down the space and made a bit of a corridor.
Gone for more of an L-shaped kitchen which opens up the space in the kitchen area here.
The floor runs right through from the lounge,
giving a feeling of connection with the two
and then these lovely worktops and sink units, they just finish it off.
The stairs and landing have been brightened up with a neutral palette and new carpet.
The master bedroom has been re-plastered and redecorated,
giving it a lovely warm appeal.
The second small bedroom has also benefited from being re-plastered
and the redecoration makes it feel fresh and clean.
That questionable third bedroom has also been spruced up with a skim on the walls and some redecoration.
As for the bathroom, the old suite's been completely replaced, there's been a new floor laid,
new shower installed and it's been completely tiled to give it a much better finish.
This little room here could be a study, could be an emergency bedroom
or even a dressing room, being next to the bathroom.
In the bathroom, what we've done here is taken out all of the old tiling and units.
New units in, new tiles throughout, nice little radiator.
I've kept it a fairly neutral finish so it should appeal to anybody.
In the back garden, the grass has been cut and a general tidy-up has improved the overall look.
Chris is yet to decide what to do with it but even as is, it's a great space.
The back of the house has been repainted and what a difference that makes.
Chris has done a great job here, but his first buy at auction threw up a couple of bigger issues
than he was initially aware of.
Well, the electrics had to come out in the end, which was a bit of a surprise.
Whilst I was taking the paper off with the steamer suddenly a huge flash and bang,
found there was a hole in the electrics which somebody had nicely put a nail through
and not ever repaired, just pulled the nail out and carried on as ever.
So, with things like that to find, I think it's safer to take it all out and start again.
Re-plastering became evident when we took the kitchen units down.
With the kitchen units came the wallpaper and the plaster, leaving bare brick in areas.
It ended up with Chris having to have every room in the house re-plastered and rewired.
So how did that affect his plans to do all the work himself?
We had to get the electrician in to do the connections
and I got a plasterer in to do the plastering, the finishing plastering.
Other than that, everything myself, apart from I got my son-in-law in on a couple of occasions
to climb on roofs because I don't do roofs at my age.
There was obviously a bit more work to do than he anticipated.
How did that affect his proposed £8,000 budget?
I did check up last night and on simple purchasing, I'm under the £8,000 I suggested,
but timescale's put a bit of extra interest in and things like that.
So, all in all, we will get away with less than £11,500, something like that.
Chris spent £62,000 at auction buying the property.
He's estimated that, once finished, he'll have spent a further £11,500 on the renovation
which also includes the usual fees and expenses.
So, with a final total of approximately £73,500, has he made any money on this purchase?
We asked two local property experts to give us their views.
It's had a lot of work done to it.
Great layout, tidy little place, does have a ceiling on price round here,
but really nice little terraced.
Very impressed with the improvements that have been made to the property.
It will enhance the saleability of it.
Chris plans to sell this property, but also knows that this is a very good rental area,
so if he can't sell in the current market, he does have that option.
If we were to let the property out, I'd expect to achieve around £450 per calendar month.
The rent for this property would be in the region of £500 per calendar month.
My figures were thinking about £450, so the £500 is encouraging.
In today's market, how much could he hope to sell it for?
I would expect it to achieve round about £78,000 to £80,000.
The resale value of this property is somewhere between £80,000 and £85,000.
£85,000 is what I was looking for, so I agree with £85,000.
£78,000 seems a little bit on the low side for me.
What's next for Chris, another property right away or will he be heading straight for the sea?
Once this is finished, a little bit to do out the back yet,
I think I'll take a break and go on a nice diving holiday and then look for something else.
Join us next time for more Homes Under the Hammer.
-Yes, we'll have lots more properties and some hopeful buyers for you then. Goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a three-bedroom semi in Leigh, Lancashire, a property in Middlesex and a house in Staffordshire. 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.