Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a four-bedroom end-of-terrace in need of modernisation in Greater Manchester, a studio apartment in Notting Hill and a cottage in Devon.
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Hello! Not everyone who buys at auction is there as an investor.
It can be an effective and very quick way to buy your own home.
There are hundreds of auctions happening throughout the country.
So take your seat in the front row for today's Homes Under The Hammer!
Tackling a run-down property can tack into skills you never knew you had!
You could discover you're a born decorator
or maybe you should leave it to the professionals!
So let's see how the chips fell on today's show.
This Devon cottage is rough around the edges but has untold potential.
It clearly needs some work,
but as a space, imagine what you could do with it!
In London, is there a gap in the market for this top-floor studio flat?
You've got a big hole in the ceiling and you can actually see the roof!
And this end-of-terrace in Manchester has some strangely-shaped rooms!
Never seen anything like that before!
All of these properties went to auction
and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
For the first property that went under the hammer, I'm on the edge of Dartmoor National Park
in the beautiful village of Hennock.
To be honest, it would be a real disappointment if I were to bring you to such a beautiful place
then show you some dull box of a house.
Fear not, dear viewer, because the property that was up for auction is this.
It was the original bakery in the village,
dating back to the 1700s.
It has three/four bedrooms, had a guide price of 175,000 quid.
Let's find out if it was worth the money
or if it was a bit stale.
The adjoining house to the right was once the shop which sold the bread.
The baking took place in the cottage itself, which was also the family home.
From the outside, it's certainly got character charm,
but the foliage on the roof makes me wonder if it's a bit past its sell-by date!
Wow! What a place!
Huge, thick stone walls,
lots of natural stone exposed.
In the catalogue, it's described as having an inverted lay-out.
We'll find out what that means. Originally, this was your living area.
A big fireplace there, absolutely marvellous.
Imagine it opened up and made to be a feature.
But what's been added on at some stage is this, a loo,
which makes this an en-suite, an en-suite bedroom.
So there you go. The house has got the bedrooms downstairs.
So what's upstairs?
# Upside down, boy you turn me
# Inside out and round and round. #
The rest of the ground floor is made up of two more bedrooms
and a family bathroom which is in surprisingly good condition.
And although you couldn't claim it lacks character,
it does also come with cracks, damp issues
dodgy wiring and it's quite dark.
Still, these bare walls have little to hide
so are there any surprises upstairs?
This is not what you expect in a cottage.
Look at the height of the ceilings, this open beam effect.
It's just so spectacular. So more features,
more glorious bits of stuff.
An old fireplace here.
A bit concerned about that cracking. That wants investigating.
This area was probably the original kitchen area.
The old range cooker there.
It clearly needs some working on, but as a space, can you imagine what you could do with this?
A loft area, a bit strange. I don't know what that's for.
But all in all, what a lovely surprise.
What a turn-up for the books!
Just when you expected more dark, pokey rooms, you get a wonderfully bright open space like this.
And there's another room hidden up here, perfect for a guest bedroom or a small study.
Question is, how to make the most of this place.
Time to take a look from the outside.
So what are you going to do about this place?
The fact you can walk straight out of the main living area into the garden works extremely well.
You could think about digging out the garden to get access from downstairs,
but then you'd lose that whole lofty feeling of the living areas.
And what do you gain? You gain conventionality.
People generally like the bedrooms to be upstairs and the living space downstairs.
Forget that! This house is already charming. It's unique.
But for me, that makes it even more special.
The garden isn't an average square plot, either.
The views from the top are spectacular.
But follow the pathway to the rear of the church and there's more.
this was part of the land of the property that was up for auction.
But it was separated off and was sold with a separate price of £5,000 as a guide.
So why would you want to buy it? It's not going to add a lot of value to the property itself.
But what it does do is it protects your rear outlook.
I've found out there was a lot of interest in this plot of land particularly for parking.
And somebody could even buy it and stick a house on there. You wouldn't want that.
So a guide price of 5,000 quid - I think it's money well spent.
The guide price was 175,000 for the main auction lot,
plus 5,000 for the extra bit of land at the back.
What does a local estate agent make of this place?
It has the basics of a very good home,
a really good home for a family.
But it needs full modernisation.
A new kitchen, new bathroom, decoration throughout,
possibly rewiring and replumbing the property as well.
After it's fully renovated, how much could it achieve on the rental market?
I think the rental value for this property would be between 900 and £1,000 per calendar month.
What about its resale value?
Once it's gone through a full renovation project,
we'd be looking at around 250 to £275,000.
Well, this is one whopper of a project, but one I'd love to take on.
The place is charming, the location, the setting, the village,
it's all just great.
However, it will take someone with imagination and a lot of cash to sort it out.
Let's find out who that was when it went under the hammer.
So the guide is 175.
I don't see why it shouldn't make 175 from the start.
How about 160, then, to get it going?
Not going to start there? 160? 160.
At 160 for lot 26 for the first time, then.
162. At 162. 162.
164. Thank you. Time to think about it. 166.
At 170 for the first time.
At 170 for the second time.
Sure? It's going to be sold. 172.
Four and a half?
At 174 for the first time.
At 174 for the second time.
At 174. Are you sure and done? The last...
At 174,500 we've got.
At 174. And a half! On my right.
At 174,500. Last chance.
At 174,500. Congratulations, sir. Your home. Well done.
So, for £174,500, five hundred pounds under the guide price,
the successful bidders were husband and wife Jim and Verian.
Along with their baby son, George,
they've just moved from Sydney, Australia, to Devon, which is where Verian grew up.
She's a marketing communications expert and Jim is a manufacturing manager.
I spoke to him first to hear his side of the story.
-Jim, lovely to meet you.
-It's one great place.
I'm not sure whether I should be elated. It's a bit of a mess.
Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
Well, it's undecided at the moment whether it's going to be a longer term place to live
or just to renovate and sell.
So we're basically going to move in and decide. It's been a big couple of weeks since the auction.
We found out we were pregnant the week after the auction, I got a job.
So we've moved over here from Sydney.
We've been over about three months, looking for houses in that time.
And it all happened fairly quickly, much faster than we anticipated.
-How cool is that?
-All in one week!
-Well, maybe that's a good omen!
-We think so.
So why this house, then? What was it about it?
It's the area, mainly. It's still the house we're looking for.
It offers scope for us to have a good lifestyle with an outdoor area,
space for a veggie patch, chickens and that sort of thing.
But it's a good location. It's just off the motorway, it's close to shops
but in a nice residential village.
So, it's all about this fabulous location for Jim, Verian and George.
But with the added bonus that the property's bursting with potential, what are their plans?
Rip out the carpet and take away all the junk. Take out this sort of stuff, which isn't structural.
Probably a water tank, new hot water system - a combi boiler - in the boot room.
New simple, not expensive kitchen,
and downstairs looking after the damp situation and replastering. Replaster up here.
Rebuilding work on the chimney.
New wiring. So it's the works.
-Great. What about outside?
-Out the back,
we'll get a digger in next weekend.
Absolutely flatten it, then a bit of simple landscaping.
Then just tidy it up.
Jim and Verian have around £30,000 for the renovation,
but expect that figure may well rise as they progress with the work.
They hope to complete it within three to six months.
Now that Verian's expecting their second child, I'm sure that deadline will loom large in their minds.
By all accounts, it seems as though one was keener than the other to get their teeth into his project.
I didn't spot Verian at the auction.
There was a heated conversation the night before. A lengthy one.
-About whether we bid or not, have a go at it.
But, you know, I'm glad we did.
-What was the result of the heated conversation?
-Verian said we can't buy it without her looking at it.
I said, "Why not? Have a go, if it comes in at a good price."
-So Verian hadn't seen it?
-She hadn't seen it.
-You'd seen it, had you?
I'd seen it once, the day before. Then we had the conversation afterwards about it.
-So very trusting.
-But she said no?
She said no initially, but I talked her round!
-So you went to the auction with her approval?
-With her blessing, absolutely.
Now, further back, heading away from the house,
there's a little sort of access to the church and another plot of land.
-You've bought that plot of land?
-That was the expensive bit!
-How do you mean?
They sold the garden plot out the back separately,
so it was a bit tricky.
We had to buy this first and then try and get the plot out the back.
So we didn't have unknown neighbours and caravans and trucks, access in, all that stuff, out the back.
So to avoid that, we really had to get both.
It was a bit of a risk, but luckily it paid off.
-How much did you have to pay for the land?
-It was about 12,750.
So, according to Jim, he bought the house and that expensive extra plot of land with his wife's blessing.
And everyone was happy.
I think it's time to find out what Verian has to say about this!
-Verian, good to meet you.
Now, tell me your side of the story here. What happened?
I want to know what Jim's told you!
But Jim came home one day and told me he'd bought a house at auction, and I hadn't seen it.
But I wasn't too alarmed.
My family and friends think he's mad and how could I let my husband do that!
But I knew he was looking for a renovation project.
This was, first and foremost, a renovation project, then he could sell it.
But it has so many nice features, he also hoped I would like it and that we could live here as well.
His story is slightly different to the one you just told me!
He gave the impression he told you about it the night before,
you had a long discussion, you were a bit concerned,
but in the end you sent him to auction with your approval to buy this place.
No, we did talk about it the night before, yes.
But I told him I was concerned that I didn't want to buy it.
And he then went to the auction, saying, "I'll just see how much it goes for, and see what happens."
And his version of the story to me is that when he was there,
it was going for such a good price that he couldn't let it go.
Despite the discrepancies in their stories,
they do agree this cottage has attractive character.
But with a new baby on the way, does Verian see this as more than just a renovation project?
We want to have a home now.
We moved over three months ago and we need to start settling down well before the baby arrives.
So my thoughts have turned much more positively towards this house
and the potential that it has.
-Congratulations. Good luck with everything.
-Look forward to seeing how it goes.
Well, new house, new job, new baby.
They say things come in threes.
In this case, happy things, though.
This is the most perfect location to bring up a family.
I can't wait to see how they manage to mix Aussie style with Devon charm!
You can find out later in the show!
I'm in Notting Hill, London,
in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
It's home to Portobello Market, the Notting Hill carnival,
and the streets are featured in numerous films.
It's no surprise, then, that the area is known for attracting
a creative and fashionable crowd.
The local area is brimming with stylish boutiques and trendy cafes
which cater to a Bohemian clientele.
Notting Hill is also known for its attractive terraces
of large Victorian town houses.
So you'll be expecting big things from this place.
Well, the property I'm here to see had a guide price of £240,000
and it's on top of this beautiful building.
So let's go and see if this place is en vogue, or more en vogue!
Despite the rather grand exterior, the auction lot I'm here to see
is a humble attic conversion studio apartment.
It's a long way up, but I'm hoping the view will be well worth it.
That is some serious stair climbing, I can tell you!
We're right at the top of the building. In fact, we're in the eaves.
And it's in a bit of a state!
Look at all this rubbish everywhere.
You've got a big hole through the ceiling and you can actually see the roof.
It is right there.
So a little bit of work to be done here.
One of the bonuses, though, it is nice and light.
You've got a big window there, a lovely big window here.
It's been cut out of the roof.
And over here, look at this gorgeous nice big arched window.
That's such a feature of the room.
And one of the best things is there's that beautiful church just looking at me.
I'd never tire of that.
Now, is there a kitchen in this little bijou place?
# From my window I see the world pass me by
# And the world looks fine. #
The view is glorious and it's a real selling point. But the living space is a right old mess!
Here's the kitchen. And yes, you've guessed, it's tiny.
But it's lovely and light, and there's enough space to rustle up a meal.
Not that you'll want to stay in if you live around here!
But for the right person, I think this could be such a cool pad.
As for the bathroom, it's tucked away in a teeny tiny corner.
Space is at a premium in this apartment.
But with a little imagination, I reckon it could be reconfigured
making it comfortable and cosy rather than cramped and confined.
I notice the properties on both sides have mansard extensions,
a type of roof conversion with steep slopes.
Constructing one of these would require planning permission, but would allow you to turn this studio
into a one-bedroom flat.
We asked a local estate agent to give us the bottom line
on this top-floor apartment
which had a guide price of 240,000.
This particular part of Notting Hill is very popular
and has got a lot more so in the last two or three years.
The type of people that we have traditionally buying here
tend to be late 20s to late 30s,
tend to be City or media based, and it's a very popular area.
I think someone's got the opportunity to create a really nice space here.
You have got the opportunity to add value here, I feel.
And you could turn it into a one-bed flat, which would certainly increase the price.
If the property was renovated to a good standard,
what could it sell for?
If the apartment were refurbished in its current layout,
you'd be looking at a re-sale of between 300 and £320,000.
If the apartment was converted into a one-bedroom,
I feel you'd be looking more towards the £400,000 mark.
And rental income?
If the apartment was renovated in its current layout, I'd expect to achieve £1,400 per calendar month.
If the property was converted into a one-bedroom apartment,
I'd expect it to achieve £1,800 per calendar month.
In a nutshell, it's like being in a nutshell!
It is a tiny place.
But I think it's got heaps of potential.
And the real selling point of this flat has to be this location.
Let's see who was nutty about this one over at the auction.
At 200. It's not going to go below 200. 200.
205. 210. 215.
It's with you at 252.
252 first time.
Third and last time. Have you all done?
With his successful bid of 252,000, the buyer was Colin.
His purchase price was two grand over the stamp duty threshold,
so that rounds his purchase price up to just under 260,000.
He's embarking on a career as a property developer
after ten years running his own bathroom design business.
-Colin, a fantastic auction!
-Yes, I'm very pleased with what I bought.
You were straight in with your bids. You even went up a few thousand before you should have done!
I was nervous around the 250 mark
because of the stamp duty increase.
When someone else went to 246, I thought I'd try and stop it
by going to 250.
-But it didn't work!
-You really wanted this place.
In that auction, I looked at two properties
and this was the one I really wanted of the two.
So why did you want it? What is it about this little flat?
I love the area. It's a super area.
It's a super property.
But I also think it's got the potential to be something very different
and I can do something with it.
A lot of the other places I saw, I couldn't see that potential.
-You weren't put off by it? Walk up all those flights of stairs and think, "Uh-oh!"
-No, I didn't.
It was interesting, because the people who were around me who were also looking,
were all put off by the size.
People literally rotated and went back downstairs.
-But I immediately thought, "I can do something here." I was excited.
-Why are you excited?
What do you think you can do with this little tiny flat?
I can make it a lot bigger. One of the things about this property
is that the walls either side of it actually sail over the roof.
I can make it a lot wider by building between them without too much extra work.
-How are you going to do that?
-Basically, take the roof off.
When this place is underway, half-way through, all you'll see here is a floor.
Nothing else, just a floor, the two outside walls, and then we'll start again.
There are planning hoops to jump through. Have you contacted the council?
I've spoken to them. I haven't got planning.
But I've discussed it loosely with them and I think I'll be OK.
However, I've also got to get past the freeholder. I also spoke to them before the auction,
and they were good enough to email me to say they would be happy to go along with it.
I'm impressed. Colin's contacted all the right people
so as to avoid any nasty surprises.
And, like a true professional, he's done his homework.
So you're going to convert this from a studio to a one or two-bedroomed flat?
-It'll make a nice one-bedroomed flat.
-How big will it be?
How much extra square footage will you be adding?
I think I've worked out it's about an extra 13 square metres
which is about 150 square feet.
Which, as I understand it, around here, you get an extra 1,000 quid a square foot,
so that's quite substantial.
-That is substantially going to add value.
-I hope so.
You only need to look next door and you see quite a lot of people here have done that.
That's why I'm not so worried about planning.
What's it going to be like inside? Will it be uber-contemporary and cool,
or will you leave it neutral?
It'll be contemporary. If you're going to do something and you're passionate about it,
you go by instinct. My instincts are to make it contemporary.
What will it be worth, once you've done that?
-I don't want to be...
-..too confident, but in excess of 400,000.
What sort of money have you got to throw at it? It'll cost a bit to take the roof off the property!
-Yes. I've set aside around 60,000 to do the work.
-Colin, what do you do now?
This is going to be my business.
I was in a retail business until last year which folded after 11 years.
So I had to think, "What am I going to do now?"
There wasn't much I was drawn towards or that I really wanted to do.
So I sold my house. I'd actually built my previous house.
It was my dream house, but I thought there was only way I could do this
so I've sold my place, rented another place, and with the money left over, I decided to do this.
-Hopefully climbing back up the property ladder.
-I hope so.
Good luck with this. I can't wait to see what it's like when you've finished.
Wow! Colin has some pretty ambitious plans for this place!
Replacing the roof? The neighbours are one step ahead and they've already done so.
So hopefully he won't have any planning problems.
The question is, will the extra space bring in the extra cash?
Join us later in the programme and find out what happens.
Coming up, you're in for a pleasant surprise at this Manchester property.
You come here expecting a little terrace,
and you've got a little mansion!
We return to this top-floor London flat.
Did the numbers stack up for Colin?
It's definitely been worth it. More than worth it.
But first, we're going back to Devon, where the weather's been as big a shock as the property!
In Australia, we get one season. It's hot and dry all the time!
Earlier, we were in the little village of Hennock on the edge of Dartmoor National Park.
This old cottage, which used to be the local bakery,
had been sold at auction for £174,500.
It was bought by Aussie Jim and his English wife, Verian,
as their possible future home, or to renovate and sell on.
That was uncertain. But then so was, apparently, the decision to buy it.
-What was the result of the heated conversation?
-Verian said we can't buy it without her seeing it.
-But I talked her round.
-So you went to the auction with her approval?
That's one side of the story. What about the other?
We did talk about it the night before. But I said I was concerned and didn't want to buy it.
Well, they may not agree on how they got here,
but at least their plans aren't half-baked. Nine months later,
we returned to see if Jim and Verian had turned this former bakery into the best thing since sliced bread!
For starters, a fresh lick of paint has got this home glowing again.
There's a new front door and new double glazing
but just wait until you see inside!
The ramshackle, run-down top level
has now been transformed into a truly stunning open-plan kitchen/dining area.
The old cracked baking oven is now a convenient home for a woodburning stove
in the main living area.
And just off to the side, that wood-panelled room is now a playroom
for their son George and newly-arrived baby Max.
For me, the most striking aspect of this top level is the fantastic amount of light available,
as Verian explains.
On this level, we've made three main changes.
Firstly, we've removed the mezzanine level from up here,
which lets in a lot of light from the two existing skylights.
We've reinstated the chimney breast which was very badly damaged.
It had huge cracks in it, lots of rain had been coming in,
so we've rebuilt those here and in the sitting room area here.
And also, the stairs were boxed in with a water tank and a boiler precariously balanced on top!
That was the first thing that Jim removed and that instantly made a difference to this space,
allowing the light to flow through and making it one big open-plan space.
It's lovely and sunny and light and breezy.
The unorthodox layout of the cottage meant the bedrooms were on the ground floor.
Jim and Verian have kept it that way and the rooms on the ground floor
carry on the theme of clean, bright and classic decor.
But they were faced with one significant challenge which Jim in particular wasn't prepared for.
The good old British weather!
In Australia we get one season, really. It's hot and dry all the time.
But I didn't take into account how we'd have to get all the work done
during the good weather last year, so it was a rush towards the end.
We had the coldest winter in 100 years, whatever,
and that caused a bit of trouble at the end.
And there's even more to this wonderful new home,
because on a beautiful day like today,
it's the perfect time to appreciate the other major work at the back.
Out here, we've tried to keep it as simple as possible
and make it a useful space.
We've got simple garden beds on this side, a herb garden there.
A flower bed that you can see from the bedrooms.
We've levelled this as a nice grassed area.
And here we've got paving for kids' bikes and that sort of thing.
A car park here, which we're looking forward to using. A public access area, all clear for the church.
And the garden plot where we're going to be growing vegetables and using as much as we can.
# I'm going to be round my vegetables
# I'm going to chop down my vegetables
# I love you most of all. #
The renovation here is impressive in itself,
but with this newly-landscaped back garden,
the whole plot becomes an amazing package.
Jim and Verian had started off undecided about whether to keep the house or sell it on.
But now it's complete, they've both fallen in love with the result
and see their future here for now.
With his new job over an hour's drive away,
Jim had to project manage the builders from a distance
but they've done a great job renovating the entire house from top to bottom,
wall to wall.
However, something tells me this renovation might have exceeded their original budget!
-We did, optimistically, think about 30 to 50.
-That's the royal "we"!
And it's been double. 110, actually.
And Jim and Verian estimate that figure will rise to 120,000 once everything is finished.
So, was it money well spent?
Time to hear from two estate agents
what they think of Jim and Verian's new home.
First impressions are they've created a superb property.
They have the addition of parking, a mixture of old and new, to a superb finish.
It's worked really well because you walk into big open-plan living,
each of the bedrooms being on the ground floor, they work really well with the lay-out.
It's good for family living.
Ground floor has great size bedrooms, lovely en-suites, wet room,
a really nice finish, family bathroom
and the addition of a utility room.
Sounds like a big thumbs-up from the experts. But has it proved a good investment?
Jim and Verian's overall spend will be around £307,000
which includes the extra bit of land they purchased.
What could it fetch if they wanted to sell it?
In today's market, I would place the property for sale at £325,000.
The re-sale value for this property would be between 300 and £325,000.
We're happy with that valuation. That's fair.
It takes about six months to a year to sell a place here,
so no rush. The market might have gone up by then.
We're happy living here for a few years yet!
So there's a potential pre-tax profit just short of 20 grand to be made here.
But what Jim, Verian, George and baby Max have definitely gained
is a really wonderful home.
Despite their little disagreement at the start,
the whole family have certainly come out winners.
Now that he's renovated it and turned it into a lovely family home,
I have to eat my words slightly.
-But I do want to deprive him of the opportunity of saying...
-I accept your apology!
-..I told you so!
But we're both very happy with how it turned out.
Today I'm in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.
Prices here are cheaper than the centre of town, but it's a great place to live.
Brilliant primary school there, and this is the property I'm here to see.
End-of-terrace, four bedrooms, which is quite unusual,
guide price 75,000 quid.
Let's take a look.
Straightaway, the fact that this property is an end terrace
is a real plus because of the driveway.
That can add a nice little five grand onto its asking price.
Any more bonuses inside?
So, a fairly standard terrace? Well, you'd think so.
But absolutely not.
It's like you've got a terrace here, then you've got a triangular bit stuck on the side.
Never seen anything like that.
But it does give a lot of space.
A lot of space in this entrance area to hang coats, put a bike,
and a lot of space in the rest of the house.
A very large living room there, and then through to the rear.
Where you've got another really large room.
A rear sitting room area.
Even with a huge sofa in, you can see how much space you've got.
The kitchen, a very strange shape.
Patio doors out to the garden. All in all, it's a lot of property!
This property really does feel very spacious,
if a little unusual in its dimensions.
It seems as though it continues this trend upstairs.
Upstairs and it does feel very strange, because it's like walking up on an angle.
But what do we find? A smallish bathroom. I'd increase the size of that if I could.
But on the plus side, a massive great landing.
Lots of space, but possibly a waste of space, if you like.
Stretching off it, four bedrooms,
all reasonable size,
but there could be scope for reconfiguring here, even going into the loft.
Trying to make more of this.
But all in all, you come here expecting a little terrace,
and you've got a bit of a mansion, really!
# The mansion I own
# Has captured your heart. #
So a large house with a fair-sized plot around it to boot.
But in the garden, I have a seed of doubt in my mind.
Well, the rear of the property could certainly do with a lick of paint.
What you've got is this paved area and then this bit of grass.
Now, the interesting thing about this bit of grass
is that you don't actually own it.
The council do. You have to pay a ground rent of £100 per year.
Not too much of an issue in its own right,
however, if somebody else owns it,
then you never know quite what they might do with it.
To get to the root of this issue and find out more,
we asked a local estate agent for his thoughts on this four-bed house
that had an auction guide price of £75,000.
There's obviously a bit of a niche with this property.
With it being a terraced property with four bedrooms,
it's not your typical terraced house.
The garden area at the rear, part of it is owned by the local authority.
It's let back to the owner/occupier
or a short-haul tenancy basis.
They are usually flexible with any new owner/occupier
retaining the rights over it.
And the ground rents are fairly nominal and not too onerous.
How do the numbers stack up?
How much could it achieve if rented out?
For rental purposes, I'd expect to achieve approximately 550 to £600 per calendar month.
And once renovated, what could it sell for?
I'd expect this property to achieve about 120 to £125,000.
So, a substantial house for not a substantial amount of money.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
Guide price 75,000. I've got a bid here of 75,000 already. At 75,000.
I have 76 in the room.
77,000 on the phone. Do I see 78?
78,000. 79 it's against.
79 I have. Do I see 80?
At 80,000 I have. 80,000 bid. 81?
At 84. At 84,000, then.
85, if you want to come in on the phone.
85. He's in. At 85. 86?
No? At 85,000 he's in on the phone.
At 85,000 for the first time.
At 85,000 for the second time. Are we all done?
Too late. Sorry. 85,000.
The successful bid of 85,000
was made on the phone by Andrew, who lives locally.
He's a sales manager, and, along with his partner, Cheryl,
and three-year-old daughter Abigail
they bought the property as their family home.
I met him at the house to find out more.
Why did you want to buy the house?
I first saw the property in January, February time this year.
It was up for 110. I came to view it, and looking at what needed doing, it put me off.
So I continued looking round the area, looked at over a dozen properties,
and we found one we thought we were going to buy,
but it was down-valued a couple of weeks before exchange of contracts and we couldn't agree a price.
So we went back to the drawing board and I typed in the wrong number when I was looking online,
and was starting off looking at four-beds at 150-plus
and I typed 50 and I saw this come up at 75 at auction.
So that's how I ended up getting into looking at this property.
Unfortunately, the auction was while I was on holiday.
So with very little time to spare, I contacted the estate agents and sorted out a telephone bid.
-After one or two conversations and arm-twisting,
I managed to get Cheryl to agree to go for it!
-Why did she need arm-twisting?
-Because the place we thought we were going to get
was twice the size of this place.
It's a compromise, but for the next five years, once it's done, it'll suit us and our family needs.
So, what about those rather unusual dimensions here?
It's kind of like a terrace-and-a-half.
It's one of the things that appealed because looking at the kitchen,
and the shape of some of the bedrooms,
it means we can do something different with it
and make it bespoke and unique.
-Tell me what you're going to do.
-Pretty much every room will be gutted.
It will all be ripped out.
There'll be a brand new fitted kitchen, the room there will be a dining room,
I've got people coming on Saturday to tell me if we can build up into the attic.
It's currently four bedrooms.
But that's going to change into three with the back two bedrooms being made into one
with a walk-in wet room area.
And the current bathroom and separate toilet will be knocked through to make one bathroom.
Right. What about the landing upstairs? It gives a great feeling of space,
-but it's kind of a waste of space.
-Yes, it is.
That's another area which...
I'm doing the labouring. I'm not the expert, so I'm waiting for the people that know what they're doing
to have a look at that because if I can do something in the attic,
that area can lend itself to putting stairs in and make the house bigger again.
Sounds as though Andrew has all the right ideas and is willing to work hard.
But not everything is in his hands.
Is he concerned about the issue of not owning the rear half of the garden?
It's a little worrying, but it won't stop me developing it and making it a nice garden.
One of the reasons we like it is the grassed area where we can have a play area for Abigail.
So I'll be keen to get it sorted out as quickly as possible.
It's a bit of a worry until they can secure the purchase of that land.
With Cheryl already having reservations,
how did Andrew convince her this property was the one?
I've agreed that Cheryl will be the one in charge of what comes in, and the style and colours,
and the kitchen and bathroom, and everything, really.
I'm just the hired hand ripping things out!
What's the timescale for the work?
Three to four months. I'll be doing the basic work myself.
Evenings and weekends and using my own annual leave.
I'll take time off work to get it done. That'll keep costs down.
For the technical stuff, rewiring, plumbing, electrical,
kitchen, bathroom fitting et cetera, I have good contacts who I've used before.
-I'll try to keep a handle on costs and hope it's finished in four months.
-What are the costs?
I've budgeted £20,000 for the property.
If it takes more, there's resources there to do that as well.
-Well done. Congratulations.
-I hope it's a lovely family home for you.
Andrew seems delighted about his new purchase,
although I'm not so sure about what partner Cheryl thinks.
Will she grow to love it, and will that area of grass prove to be a problem?
You can find out later in the show.
They've bought the property, ordered the paint, bathroom suite and are ready to rock'n'roll.
-But have they got five-star reviews or the thumbs-down?
-Let's go back and find out.
Time to return to fashionable Notting Hill in west London.
Earlier in the programme, Colin had bought a studio flat in the attic of this imposing building
But the tiny flat needed a total refurbishment.
Colin had run his own bathroom retail business for 11 years,
but had been forced to close it.
So he was hoping that property development would be his future.
-What can you do with this tiny flat?
-I can make it a lot bigger.
One thing about this property is the walls either side sail over the roof.
I can make it a lot wider by building between them without too much extra work.
Four and a half months have passed and we've returned to see how he got on.
From the outside, things don't look too different.
It seems as though Colin wasn't able to stick to his original plan
of extending the roof space.
But inside, he has completely transformed the place.
Despite being refused permission to convert the roof,
he's still managed to alter the layout,
turning it from a studio into a one-bedroom flat.
The front of the former living area has been divided into two
creating a luxury galley kitchen on one side.
The other side of the divide has been combined with the former kitchen
and now makes the bedroom.
The rest of the living space at the back of the flat has been opened up.
And the bathroom's been transformed into a wet room.
It has a new skylight and luxury fittings.
Because he was refused planning permission to extend,
Colin had to be creative about how he used the space in this renovation.
As you come into the flat from the stairs,
one of the things I thought was most imposing was the wall that was here
and the door that went across here.
So I took that out
and brought this whole space into the hall area,
which I think makes it feel a lot bigger.
I've also curved this wall here behind me.
Over here, I've removed this wall here over a little bit
to make the kitchen narrower and make the bedroom bigger.
Coming into the kitchen, one thing I thought would help in a very narrow space was this oven.
When you pull it down flat, the door tucks away. It's great,
particularly in a very tight space.
The flat's been rewired and the plumbing's been replaced.
Colin's done the vast majority of work himself
but who else has helped?
I used an electrician who I'm related to.
My cousin, he helped out for most of the job. We both did decorating.
I had a carpenter for six of the ten weeks we were here.
Other than that, just plasterers.
With it being a top floor flat, getting materials in and out wasn't easy.
But judging by the finish, it's been well worth the effort.
In the eaves here, normally a dead space,
I've put these sliding cupboards into that space.
They're the same on both sides.
There's a drawer in the top here.
There's a bit of storage in the top here,
but also a rail in the middle for hanging your clothes underneath there.
So that's the idea.
As space was at a premium, Colin used a frameless shower door in the bathroom
and a wall-hung loo and basin.
They keep the floor clear, adding to the feeling of space.
But how much has he had to spend?
I'd planned to spend around 60,000.
That was with a new roof.
I think my budget, in terms of the build cost, is coming in at about 35.
I would have spent about 20 to 25 on the roof,
so the numbers have pretty much come up to expectations.
But Colin did have to arrange some more expensive short-term finance
to complete on the flat as the original loan fell through.
What effect did that have on the numbers?
It's probably easier for me to think in terms of how much I've spent altogether
including purchase price, stamp duty, solicitors' fees, et cetera.
I would say the flat owes me about £315,000.
So whatever I can get for it after that would be my margin.
Time to get some valuations and professional verdicts
from two local estate agents.
I like what they've done with the storage.
They've put time and thought into it and it's come out well.
To create that extra space, with the hanging being so low level, they've done well.
There's not a lot of space to work with.
But by removing corridors and opening the space up,
you're getting the most out of the space that's there.
They've done a good job on the bathroom, with the natural light.
By raising the loo and the basin, it creates a feeling of bigger floor space.
The kitchen is designed to a high standard. They've got it all in, despite the limited space.
How much is the flat now worth? Colin paid 252,000 at auction.
Taking his outlay into account, he needs over 315,000 to show a profit.
I'd anticipate being able to achieve around 380,000 for the sale of this property.
I would expect the property to achieve something in the region of 400,000.
That valuation range would produce a gross profit
of between 65 and £85,000.
380 to 400 is better than I would have thought.
Either one would be quite good! I'm quite happy with that.
You have to admire Colin's attitude.
Having lost his bathroom retail business after 11 years,
he's certainly picked himself up.
And judging from this, it looks like this could be a springboard for the future.
It's definitely been worth it.
More than worth it.
Money aside, I've enjoyed it. It's been a great experience.
But the numbers you've just given me make it even better. I'm very pleased.
We're back in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester
where this four-bed end-terrace sold at auction for 85,000.
Sales manager Andrew bought it
hoping to turn it into a new family home for himself, his partner Cheryl, and daughter Abigail.
It appears luck played a hand in them even finding out about this auction lot.
I typed in the wrong number
when I was looking online.
I was looking at four-beds at 150-plus,
and I typed 50. And I saw this come up at 75 at auction.
When they bought it, Cheryl needed a bit of convincing that this was the right house for them.
So I wonder if this refurbishment has changed her mind.
We're back five months later to see how they've got on.
The hallway downstairs was a bit gloomy and tired
but it now looks fresh and inviting.
Andrew has created a doorway to the kitchen
and installed a new banister on the staircase.
He's made much more of this space, and it's a great improvement.
The front sitting room has been turned into the dining room
and with fresh paint and new wooden floors,
it should be a great room to enjoy a dinner party.
The sitting room needed brightening up
and now, thanks to some light, white walls, new wooden floors and stylish furniture,
this is a lovely relaxing space.
The kitchen has been totally modernised.
The units have been replaced and there's a breakfast bar and huge fridge-freezer.
But that quirky and awkward shape can't have been easy to work around.
This part of the kitchen was shaped like a 20p piece!
I've tried to retain as much of that as I could
but it did cause some real problems in fitting the kitchen.
In particular, I wanted to make sure we had room for a range cooker and large fridge-freezer
and the breakfast bar area for weekday evening meals
and the plumbing for a built-in washing machine and dishwasher.
Up the stairs to the first floor and it's like a different house!
Sparkling white walls and new carpeting throughout.
This landing used to be a rather wasted area.
But Andrew has used the space cleverly
by creating a staircase up into a converted loft area.
This is now his very own office and sports room
where he can relax in peace and watch the footie!
Back to the first floor and the space has been totally reworked.
The separate toilet and bathroom set-up has been cleverly altered.
The bathroom now has a new suite including a toilet and luxury roll-top bath.
The separate toilet has been incorporated into the newly-created master bedroom.
That was previously two smaller bedrooms which have now been knocked into one.
Originally this room was two rooms. There was a partition from the middle of that window
that came across with an entrance to this room
and an entrance in that wall there.
So we blocked off one of the doorways, knocked it all down, and made it into one main room.
We put this doorway in that wasn't here. There was a doorway to a single toilet that we blocked off
and built an en-suite wet room into that room.
One of the other bedrooms has been decorated with new carpets and white walls.
And this bedroom has been transformed
into the perfect little girl's room for Abigail.
Outside, the garden has been completely cleared
with new fence panels erected,
making it a safe and spacious place for Abigail to play.
The back of the house has been repainted
and the entire roof has been replaced.
Andrew had originally intended to do most of the renovations himself,
but his job has recently required him to be away from home a fair bit,
so what impact did that have?
My original plan was to be working here in the evenings after work.
That delayed things slightly so I've had to pay more out for labour.
But what I have been doing when I've been back is working here at weekends and evenings.
So it's been a struggle but we got there in the end!
It may have been a struggle
but he really has transformed the property.
What about that potentially thorny issue of the plot of land at the back
which Andrew doesn't own?
I've been in touch with the local housing association that own part of the rear land.
They aren't willing to sell me the land at present.
However, it still stays within the current boundary that I've got
and is paid on a ground rent.
Andrew pays £100 a year ground rent to the council
which doesn't seem too high a price to pay for more green space.
He's since found out that there are no future plans to develop the land
so there's nothing to worry about.
But what about the budget? Did he manage to stick to it?
Originally, I'd planned to spend 20,000.
Due to additions like replacing the roof
and because I'm going to be living here myself,
I decided to go a bit extra on some items and I've ended up spending 32,000.
Andrew and Cheryl paid £85,000 for the property at auction
and spent a further 32,000 on the renovation
plus £3,000 on fees and expenses.
That makes a total outlay of £120,000.
We asked two local property experts for their opinions.
There's been a massive change to this property, structurally, cosmetically.
A huge improvement.
Right the way through, a good final finish. A world away from when I saw it first time.
Absolutely gorgeous interior.
It really does impress from the minute you walk in.
The kitchen is stunning. All the way through a high standard of refurb.
If they did decide to sell the property, how much could they expect to get for it?
If I put this on the market I'd be looking at £135,000.
Today I'd market this at £130,000.
So that valuation range between 130 and 135,000
would give Andrew and Cheryl a possible pre-tax profit
of between ten and £15,000 minus the usual selling expenses of course.
I think that's pretty reasonable
considering what I've spent on it
and the amount I bought it for.
That's a bit of profit. That wasn't the main aim of the project.
It was to give a family home.
But it's good to know I've retained the investment I put into the property. I'm pleased.
That's all the auction action for today.
Join us next time for more budding bidders on Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a four-bedroom end-of-terrace in need of modernisation in Greater Manchester, a studio apartment in Notting Hill and a cottage 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.