Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a two-bedroom mid-terrace property in Gorton, Manchester, a flat in East Dulwich, London, and a property in Derby.
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Hello and welcome! Buying a property can be a long-drawn-out process,
but not when you buy at auction.
You should have the keys to the property you want in just 28 days.
Yes. It really is that quick, buying your home under the hammer.
Buying at auction can be a bit of a gamble,
but not if you do your research first.
So, are the buyers today on a winning streak?
Here's what they bought.
In Greater Manchester, there's a two-bed mid-terrace which has a room with a view.
An added advantage - an outside loo.
In Southeast London, this ground- floor flat shows great potential.
What is I like about this flat is you can definitely add value.
There's lots of scope.
And this three-bed end house in Littleover, Derby,
definitely wins me over.
You know, sometimes you try to find problems in properties...
and there aren't any.
All these properties have been sold at auction. We found out who bought them and what they paid for them
-when they went under the hammer.
-Sold at 161 and a half.
I'm just a few miles outside Manchester
in the old industrial heartland of northwest England.
The traditional industries are long gone,
but when you look around, you still very much get a sense of the past.
I'm in Gorton, Greater Manchester.
Like many places around here, a strong industrial heritage.
Things like the old factories and mills still remain.
And in fact, the property I'm here to see in this row of terraces
would probably have been lived in by one of the workers.
Now, here's an interesting fact. Often in these terraces,
there was no garden in the front. Do you know why that was?
It was so the factory or mill foreman would come along in the morning with his stick
and wake the workers up. Isn't that fascinating?
Well, those days are long gone,
but these houses are standing as strong and popular as ever.
The guide price was 35,000 quid, which for a two-bed terrace
seems pretty good value in anyone's books to me.
What have we actually got, then? Fairly traditional layout,
through the front door straight into your living room.
Don't know what's going on there. Need to take a look at that.
Hopefully that's not damp. Not a bad-size space.
Very dated. Everything is dated. The fireplace wants to come out,
as does the fire. Open that up, make a central feature there.
It's pretty much what you'd expect so far.
Through to the back, and exactly as I might have expected,
this is your kitchen. Well, a kitchen - it's got a sink,
so it has got that much going for it.
But it is a very traditional style, I have to say,
apart from the fact that I might have expected a loo here.
There isn't. That bodes well. Let's go upstairs.
Interesting to have the stairs at the very rear of the property,
but what it's actually done is created more space.
In fact... Yeah. Fantastic.
The loo is up here. There's only a shower, not a bath,
but it's good that it is at least upstairs.
And then two bedrooms. The one at the front is pretty big,
the one at the back is not exactly massive.
You'd get a single bed in here or maybe bunk beds.
All in all, it's a good little house.
For the guide price of £35,000, it really is a lovely little house.
At the rear of the property, this little courtyard, funnily enough,
is almost in better condition than the house.
Nice shrubs, and it just shows, with a bit of effort,
you can create a nice space in these little courtyards.
So big plus, and an added advantage...
..an outside loo.
Useful when you're gardening or having a barbie!
When you've got to go, you've got to go,
and that loo certainly needs to go to make the most of this little pad.
Time to hear a local estate agent's opinion.
Gorton's quite a family area, really.
You're about a mile and half from the city centre.
If you were to drive from here in the other direction,
you could quite possibly be at the airport within 15 minutes,
so it's got quite a lot to offer.
Sounds promising so far, but what about the property itself?
I would suspect there is possibly some damp in the property,
some timber problems, so you're going to do quite a lot on it.
Kitchen, bathroom, decor, heating...
Maybe the electrics might need some attention.
You could spend up to £20,000 renovating the property.
It's certainly not going to be a quick job,
so let's cut to the chase. What can it be worth after all that work?
Fully modernised, you would be likely to get about £72,000 for this particular property.
Could it bring in a decent rental income?
Rental values around here tend to be quite static and steady.
You will get between £400 per calendar month
to £425 per calendar month.
Well, yes, there's work to be done,
but I reckon spend ten or 12 grand on this place
and you'll end up with a really lovely little rental property or a nice place to live.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
The guide is £35,000.
Who's going to start me off, then?
It's in the market at 35,000.
Who's going to give me 36? 36,000?
43 anywhere? Lady seated,
at £42,000, then. Any advance on 42? 42 and a half? New bid at the back.
It's going to be a bit of a fight, I think, this one.
42 and a half by the door. 43.
43. 43 and a half. 43 and a half. 44.
44. 44 and a half? No.
At £44,000. Are we all done?
44,000, then, for the first time. Second time at 44,000.
Third and final time at 44... Oh!
44 and a half. 45? 45,000.
Reach out. You might be able to knock him out.
45,000 seated. At 45 and a half, sir?
Lady's bid, 45 and a half. 46.
46. 46 and a half?
46,000 for the first time. Second time at 46,000.
Are we all done and dusted? It's yours. There you go. How's that?
The successful bid of 46,000 was placed by Mimi
and her husband Paul, who are both dance teachers.
SONG: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston
# With somebody who loves me #
I'm at the back of the property to find out
if this purchase had left them tap-dancing with joy.
-Mimi, Paul, lovely to meet you both.
-Yeah. To meet you too.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Well, location and price, really.
We were looking at a few houses in the catalogue,
and I saw this one, and I thought, "Well, it's a good location,
it's a good price, and we need to get it."
Right. So is this what you do - buy and sell property, or...
Well, we do now.
-My wife has been doing it for the past ten years...
-Yeah, with the whole of my family,
-Whereabouts in China?
-Er, Beijing, capital.
-Gosh! So you've been buying and selling there?
Yeah. Buy property and do it up and sell it,
so I know about this business. Just now turned the place to here.
Paul was working in China as a dance teacher when he met Mimi.
They recently relocated to England to be close to Paul's family.
Mimi has years of property-developing experience
in China, and is keen to get started in the UK.
We were thinking, in the future, if we have kids and stuff,
it's going to be easier here than in China,
so we thought we'll come over here. We've still got property in China,
which is obviously getting money for us,
so we just want to set up base in both countries.
Wow! And tell me about how you two met.
Um... I was... Well, in 2003 I got a call-up
to say would I like to work in China for four months,
-and I said, "Yes, I'll do that."
-As a what?
A teacher, teaching dance in a school in Beijing.
-Wow! What kind of dance?
-Tap-dancing and jazz,
street jazz, and also choreographing as well.
Um, so...four months turned into seven years.
-And that's when I met my wife.
I'm a dance teacher too, just Chinese dance.
-That was why we met each other.
# I just wanna dance with you...
This dancing duo hope to combine their business acumen
with artistic flair, to give this place some pizzazz.
We're going to rewire the place, gas central heating,
sort out the walls, new skimming and stuff.
New kitchen, new bathroom, get rid of the toilet outside
and keep that as a storage-space shed.
And that's it, really. Just a complete overhaul of the place.
What kind of budget have you got for the work?
-£6,000? Well, a bit tight!
-Central heating as well?
We've got some good bargains so far,
because we've got the Chinese mentality of getting prices down.
Really? You're a shrewd negotiator, are you?
-She's the best.
Have you got some quotes for this work?
I'm a bit worried about this 6,000 quid.
-We have got some quotes.
-It seems it should be okay.
-We've got some good quotes.
I need you to come and negotiate at my properties.
They'll definitely need to be creative to make that £6,000 budget
cover all the work that needs doing here,
but there seems to be no stopping them.
We're going to live in the property for at least a year,
and then we're going to rent it out.
And what is the plan, the bigger plan?
You're going to live in it, and in that time buy more properties?
Yes. We've already had a look at the next catalogue,
and we've seen something, so we're going to buy some more properties,
because we've got a couple of properties in the centre of China
that the price now has gone sky-high cos there's a new subway,
so we're going to sell a couple of properties in China
and then transfer the money. We aim to have another two properties
within the next four to five years.
And in the meantime, work-wise... Are you working,
-or will this be your full-time job?
-We'll still have our own work,
like me now teaching dance every weekend.
Saturday and Sunday, I have regular classes,
and then during weekday, I normally go to, like, primary schools
to the workshop, Chinese dance and a culture workshop.
-I'm going to go back into the acting world.
-That's what I did before I went to China.
-Tell me more!
-Yeah. I started when I was a kid.
I was fortunate enough to do lots of work.
I did a lot of work in the late '70s with Les Dawson.
-I did that until I was about 15,
then went back into education, went to drama school
and graduated in '93, then continued with the acting,
again, TV, commercials and theatre,
and in 2003, that's when I got the call.
I asked my agent, "Is that OK?" He said, "Yeah, that's fine."
And, um, yeah - the rest is history.
Let's hope this showbiz couple can perform wonders on this property.
They've given themselves three months to get everything done,
including buying furniture and moving in.
And what inspired you to go to the auction?
Oh, it was last year, first time I saw this programme.
-Home Under Hammer.
-This is what my wife said to me.
She saw the programme, because there's no auctions in China.
She said, "I want to buy a house and be on Homes Under The Hammer."
-That's what she said.
-It's become true.
There you go. We're delighted to have helped out. Brilliant!
Well, listen, great story. Welcome back.
Good luck with your project, and we look forward to seeing how you get on. Nice to meet you.
-Cheers. Thank you.
# Oh, I just wanna dance with you #
Well, what a lovely story -
Paul and Mimi extending their property portfolio
from Beijing to Gorton in Greater Manchester.
But even with Mimi's expert negotiating skills,
can they really sort this place out for just £6,000?
You can find out later in the show.
"An almost perfect example of a Victoria suburb"
is how East Dulwich was described by a local historian,
and many would argue it's actually an almost perfect place to live.
But it hasn't always been this way.
Before the 1990s, it was a bit of a forgotten village,
until those priced out of other postcodes moved in
and carefully renovated the beautiful Victorian housing stock.
Today the area is highly desirable, with a bit of an arty edge.
So if it's period property you're after and organic lattes,
well, look no further.
With its happening high street and peaceful wide-open spaces,
East Dulwich in the Borough of Southwark, Southeast London,
has the best of both worlds. It's family-friendly
but with a youthful vibrancy and vitality.
The only thing that lets this spot down is its transport.
Deep in the heart of these Victorian streets,
you really are a brisk 20-minute walk
to the nearest over-land station - not unthinkable as a commute,
but well worth remembering.
SONG: "Itchycoo Park" by The Small Faces
Unfortunately the property I'm here to see
is not this delightful Victorian terrace
but a one-bedroom conversion on its lower ground floor.
It had a guide price of 150,000.
I love the fact with this flat you get your own front door.
You really feel sort of self-contained.
But I don't love that it is quite dark in here,
a little bit oppressive. The ceilings aren't terribly high.
This was ex-local authority. You can tell by the flooring.
Not a bad-size lounge. It's got beautiful windows.
But again, the wallpaper needs to come off.
You need to add flooring, a fireplace,
and, um, this, in London, is an incredible waste of space!
I mean, I think you'd call this a bedroom in London.
I would definitely want to do something about this,
and see if you could change it, maybe a tweak with the layout.
Now, through here is the bedroom, the only bedroom in the flat,
and I think it's really, really small.
But the good thing is, there is a solution.
You've got all that space out there. You could push this wall back
and open it up tremendously. It would look fantastic,
really add some nice decoration.
Bit of a worry - loads of water here,
but I'm hoping there's just been a leak,
because all the windows are double-glazed, so that is a big plus point.
What I really like about this flat is, you can definitely add value.
There's lots of scope.
And scope is the developer's dream,
the opportunity to add value.
The chimney breast could also be removed to create more space.
Alongside is a shower room. I'd have to get the tape-measure out
to check whether you could sneak a bath in here.
It would be tight fit! And the kitchen's to the rear.
The kitchen is really squeezed in at the back as an afterthought.
Hmm. Now, this layout is just not working for me,
especially since you have that wonderful garden out there
that's part of this lot. That means not only outside space
but an opportunity to make this flat much, much more special.
They say money doesn't grow on trees,
but this garden could transform this little flat into a big earner.
Extending over the side return, like the properties next door,
could create a kitchen/dining area.
However, if you extended even further out,
you could convert this one-bedroomed flat
into a spacious two-bedroom apartment,
still with a good-size garden.
For that, people in London would be prepared to pay a premium price.
Let's ask a local estate agent for her opinion on this location
and property, which had a guide price of 155,000.
Prices have trebled in the last ten years
as more people have realised this is a great place to be.
It used to be a cheap place to move to and start a family.
It's now a not-so-cheap but great place to move to and start a family.
Once renovated, how much could this place achieve if sold on?
This property, refurbed, without an extension,
a pure tart-up, would be in the region of £240,000.
And if an extension were built on the side return,
creating a kitchen/dining area?
If you extend the property,
you would get in the region of £280,000
to £310,000, depending on spec.
How might it fare as a rental?
As a tarted-up one-bed,
this property would get between £900 and £1,000 a month.
As an extended one-bed with all the bells and whistles,
it could achieve up to £1,100 a month.
At that guide price, this flat is a hot, hot property.
There's room for improvement, scope for extension,
and it could make somebody some decent cash, or a lovely home.
So let's see who went for it at the auction.
OK, start the other way. 130.
Not going to go below 130. 130.
Got 130 here. 135.
161 on the phone.
162. 163 on the phone.
164. 165 on the phone.
166 in the room.
167. 167 on the phone.
170. 171 to the phone?
170 in the room.
First time... Second time...
Third and last time at 170...
And it was Mansur who made the final bid of £170,000.
Mansur's a full-time developer,
and, judging by the gleam of his shiny sports car,
a very successful one, I'd guess.
Let's discover the secret of that success.
-How well do you know this area?
I started up in this area back in 2003,
buying houses to subdivide into flats,
and that was very early on, before the area started to kick off.
-People really rave about East Dulwich.
-Yes, they do.
Everybody thought I was bonkers when I came down here.
They said, "You need Peckham or Camberwell."
But now it's very much up-and-coming, and it's pretty well established.
-What sort of properties do you develop?
-We look for a nice house
which will give us at least three units. Less than that,
and it doesn't stack up as a deal.
And we predominantly build a two, one and a three-bed flat.
We'll sell the three-bed flat, retain the other two units.
You've got to get added value. This particular unit,
we hope to achieve, with planning consent,
a two-bedroom from a one-bedroom flat.
Worst-case scenario, we retain it as a one-bedroom unit,
but there's enough meat on the bone to justify us doing it.
Have you applied for planning to extend this?
We put the application in soon after the auction.
We do this on a regular basis. It's pretty much the same routine
on everything we touch, and the same format.
The planning application went in straight away.
Hopefully at the end of the transaction
we'll have a one- or two-bedroom flat which we can sell.
If we can't sell it, we'll rent it out.
So, talk me through your vision for a two-bedroom flat.
We'll make it almost a reverse accommodation,
so living accommodation will be at the front,
bathroom in the middle, and two bedrooms at the rear.
And then a nice big garden.
Mansur plans to create an open-plan living-and-kitchen area
at the front. He'll do this by removing the dividing wall
between the living room and hallway,
and taking space from the current bedroom,
with the leftover becoming an internal bathroom.
This could be a sacrifice worth making,
as it means there'll be two double bedrooms in the proposed side-return
and garden extension.
Of course, this all depends on planning permission being approved.
So, Mansur, if you don't get planning permission
to extend out the back, will you still think about
-potentially extending to the side?
-And how would you change it then?
-If we don't get consent
to go out the back, only out to the side,
in keeping with the rest of the street,
that would make it a very large one-bedroom flat.
And you think it's worth doing that work
-just to have a bigger bedroom?
because again, what a lot of people don't take into account,
you may not get the extra uplift in the value
that you spend on the extension, but you'll sell it quicker,
pay the bank back and move on to the next development.
You've got to keep an ongoing production line.
It's not absolutely imperative to get top money.
It's imperative to get the units done quickly,
efficiently, correctly, and move the cash on.
Exactly. Sell them, move on to the next project.
If you don't get the extra bedroom, it will be a very small one-bedroom flat, but a very sexy one.
SONG: "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake
I do admire Mansur's desire to ensure high spec,
high-style finish, while never forgetting it's all in aid
of one thing - a high return on his investment.
It's not just sexy. It's also sound business sense.
You said your one-bedroom flat would be incredibly sexy.
What sort of spec do you give your flats?
We use the same spec on all of them, which is solid-wood flooring,
Italian kitchens, Italian bathrooms, porcelain tiling,
high-chrome finish where necessary, flat-screen TV,
and that's about as far as you can go.
Very neutral but very, um, desirable when you walk in.
What sort of budget have you in mind?
A total build, without the extension, of 30K.
With the extension, add another ten.
-Well, I'll hold you to that.
-Good luck with this.
Mansur is a man who knows what he's doing,
and I like the way he feels the key to success
is saleability, not milking every penny from property.
And I really hope he gets that planning,
because then this flat could nearly double in value.
You can find out how it goes later in the programme.
Coming up - in Littleover, Derby, I'm bowled over
by this three-bed end terrace.
All in all, it's great!
In this one-bed flat in Southeast London,
Mansur is confident all his experience will pay dividends.
When you've been doing it this long, you can't get it wrong. Or you shouldn't!
But first, in Greater Manchester, Paul can't wait to do it all again.
I'm going to be ready in the next month or so.
Oof! THEY LAUGH
We're back in Gorton, Greater Manchester,
to check on progress at this two-bed mid-terrace
which dance teachers Mimi and Paul bought at auction
The property was in a fairly sorry state,
and their plan was to give it
a much-needed head-to-toe refurbishment.
We're going to rewire the place, gas central heating,
sort out the walls, skimming and stuff,
new kitchen, new bathroom, and that's it, really.
Just a complete overhaul of the place.
The couple had recently returned from living in China,
where Mimi is from originally. Both buying a property at auction
and, indeed, appearing on this programme
was something of a dream come true for Mimi.
This is what my wife said to me. "I want to buy a house in auction,
and I want to be on Homes Under The Hammer."
This dancing duo had a budget of £6,000
to do all the work, which I thought was pretty tight,
but they had faith it would be enough.
Five months later we're back to see if that belief carried them through.
# Don't stop believin'
# Hold on to that feeling
# Streetlight, people
# Oh, oh, oh #
I'd say these guys have definitely got a talent for renovation.
This mid-terrace is almost unrecognisable.
When I first came here, this house was very dark,
and inside very dirty, like, old curtains and dust everywhere.
But this good size and the high ceiling,
I think that this house got potential.
I could imagine when it done, it would be very good.
There's little doubt that Paul and Mimi have realised the potential
of this two-bed mid-terrace, but it has taken a fair bit of effort.
OK. Um, kitchen before was a complete mess.
There was a lot of things that needed to be done.
One of the main concerns was the chimney breast.
Obviously we got rid of that because it creates much more space in the kitchen.
And, um, new fitted kitchen.
The ceiling had to be taken down as well,
because there were problems with damp and stuff like that,
so we've got new ceiling. The floor has been taken away
and we've got new tiles here. There's a new boiler here, as well,
because there was no central heating in the property.
Everything's pretty much new in the kitchen,
and it's created much more space. It's light, it's bright.
So I'm quite happy with it.
Addressing the damp in the ceiling upstairs
turned out to be a bigger job than they'd anticipated.
# Oh, what a feeling
# When you're dancing on the ceiling #
The first ceiling that we saw that we needed to change
was the bedroom one, and that's where the leak from the roof was coming from.
So the ceiling literally was being held together by the wallpaper.
So once we took that down, we thought, "Let's check the others,"
and there were little problems with the other ceilings,
so our builder advised us to... If you're going to do it,
get rid of all the ceilings, so that's what we did in the end.
But the good news is that Mimi's negotiating skills
have been put to good use,
especially when it came to the all-new gas central heating.
The central heating total price is 2,200,
include everything. Labour's free and the materials,
and for five rooms. I think that's really good.
I think that's pretty good, too.
But did their overall budget stretch as far as they'd hoped?
The original budget was £6,000, and I think we would've stuck to that
if we'd come to the original plans of keeping the chimney breast
and taking down one ceiling. But because the house is so old
and there needed to be so much work,
we needed to do all these extra repairs to the house,
and that obviously pushed the budget up.
So in the end the budget reached closer to 10,000,
but it was OK. It was still good value for what needed to be done,
so that was OK.
Their three-month timescale has slipped to four and a half months.
But Paul and Mimi have moved in, and are making this their home.
We asked two local estate agents to look around the property
and give us their thoughts.
'Having seen it last time round, I have to say the new owners have done a fantastic job.
'It's nice. It's clean. It's bright throughout.'
When we last came here it was quite dull, dingy
and smelly. They've done a great job.
New shower room, new bathroom,
bright colours throughout. It's lovely.
I like the property. The refurb they've done is to a good standard.
I like that it's nice and bright. It's a nice job of the kitchen
and the shower room upstairs in particular.
Paul and Mimi's total spend, including the purchase price
of 46,000, is £56,000.
What could it sell for now?
This particular property would be marketed and sold
for around £65,000.
I would put this property on the market today at £65,000.
Those resale valuations could mean a pre-tax profit
of £9,000 for Paul and Mimi, which isn't bad at all.
What might it fetch on the rental market?
This property itself would rent for £425 per calendar month.
This property would rent for approximately £450 per calendar month.
What do Paul and Mimi make of that?
That's what we think. Yeah. That's good.
At the moment we're not going to sell the property.
We'll keep it, and if we do move on to another project,
we'll rent it out. It's good. We're very happy. Pleased.
Yeah. It's good.
When do they think they might embark on their next renovation project?
We're already planning maybe later this year
to get another one, so... But we need a little bit break,
and then the work we can start again.
I think I'm going to be ready in the next month or so.
Oof! THEY LAUGH
I'm in the village of Littleover, a suburb of Derby
in the East Midlands. It's a much- sought-after place to live,
which prides itself on its warm community atmosphere.
Well, location-wise, you're definitely not going to go far wrong
with the property I'm here to see. Close to Derby city centre,
Littleover village not too far away, and the hospital,
so rental potential. This is it - three-bed semi-detached,
at a guide price of 120,000 quid. Let's take a look inside.
Even on a damp and dreary day like today,
this is still a lovely-looking house,
with a pleasant little garden path leading to the door.
Well, let's hope it's as positive news inside.
You know what? Doesn't look too bad.
Fairly standard layout for a semi like this.
Little hallway here, stairs up to your bedrooms.
Down here, lots of light coming in through the glass there
to the living room, but you've got, um, kitchen.
It's in a bit of a state. Needs a bit of work, I would say.
But lovely thing to find here,
and basically I think two rooms knocked into one.
Absolutely love that. And then you've got this little lean-to area
with double doors out onto the garden.
So all in all... Yeah, it's great!
This house had an auction guide price of 120,000.
It was built in the late 1930s,
and many of the period features remain.
But I'd like to see it transformed into a modern family home,
so I'd knock down the lean-to and build a kitchen extension.
This is a highly desirable area of Derby,
so I think that would really add value here.
Well, upstairs, no nasty surprises, only pleasant ones.
Your bathroom there - yes, it could do with a bit of refurbishment.
Maybe put a white suite in there to freshen it up a bit,
but it's a good size. Three bedrooms - two really decent-sized ones
and a bit of a box room, but this is your master.
You've got this bay window, which is really good. It's a good size.
Bay window, double glazing...
You know, sometimes you try to find problems in properties,
and there aren't any. That's certainly the case here.
# If it ain't broke, don't fix it
# If it's mixed, don't try to mix it
# It always helps to make it easy on yourself...
There don't seem to be any fundamental problems with this place -
just a bit of updating required.
I'd like to see this fireplace brought back to life
with a new mantelpiece and inset,
and the three bedrooms should be given a contemporary but cosy style.
So the house is great.
The garden going to be a bit of a let-down?
It so isn't. Look at that.
Goes all the way back to the trees at the far end there,
and especially autumn like this, it's gorgeous.
I like the fact it's tiered. A real selling feature for the house.
# And if it's short, don't make it long
# If it's right, don't make it wrong
# It always helps to make it easy on yourself #
We asked the auctioneer who sold it to give us his opinion
on this house, which had a guide price of 120,000.
This is quite a sought-after residential area.
It's established, and the garden at the back, south-facing,
very secluded. So a nice feel to it, nice touch to it, really,
but internally probably slightly outdated.
If this was my property, I would spend some money on upgrading it,
and then I would sell it,
because even though the market may not be as good as it could be,
this is an area that's in demand, and it would sell,
and it would sell at quite an advantageous price.
However, if it didn't, then, I would rent it out, in the short term.
Once renovated, what could it achieve as a rental?
It would have a rental value when renovated,
I think probably around £700 to £750 a calendar month.
And if sold on?
Once renovated, I think it would have a market
probably near to 200,000.
So, a really nice house in a good area.
What is there not to like about this place?
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
135 to start me.
130 is bid. Thank you.
156. Against you at the back.
158 and a half. 59.
At 161 and a half.
161 and half thousand pounds.
Third time... Sold at 161 and a half.
It was Carl who made the successful bid
He and his partner Mary have bought the property
as a buy-to-let investment.
Carl owns a packaging-supply company,
so will he be boxing clever with this purchase?
-Good to meet you both.
-And you, Martin.
-Thank you very much.
-Why did you want this place?
Mainly for investment, I think, with the market the way it is
at the moment. But it's a good time to buy.
-Right. So why this particular house?
-The area. Superb area,
very close to town. Very quiet area. The street's absolutely beautiful,
and the house has got great potential.
-Are you happy with what you paid?
-I am, yes. I think it's a good buy.
Mary, have you done this kind of thing before?
No, I haven't. I'm just here supporting my partner...
..with the cosmetic side.
-Obviously he'll do the main...
..er, structure of the bathroom and the...
-Kitchen and stuff like that.
Right. And you're going to swan in and do the fun stuff?
-What are the plans for it? What are you going to do?
Initially it needs a new kitchen, it needs a new bathroom.
-We've already been out and bought the bathroom.
Ready for fitting. There's wiring that needs to be done as well.
That's contractors I'll get outside.
But predominantly the bathroom, kitchen, we can do ourselves.
Any plans for any major structural changes at all?
I can't see any structural changes needed in the property.
It's more cosmetic, more than anything.
What's the bigger picture for it? Will you sell it on or rent it out?
I think it's a long-term investment more than anything.
We have got potential renters for the property already.
-That might be short term,
and then perhaps in two, three years' time,
reintroduce it back to the market and hopefully pick up a profit from it.
I should hope so! It's a lovely property,
and its enchanting back garden is a great selling point.
What did you think when you first saw it?
From the outside, I knew I loved it, without even seeing it inside.
It's just the location, the privacy, the area itself
that I loved.
-One of the joyous features is the garden.
-Garden's superb, yes.
It's stepped, fruit trees at the back,
nice paths either side.
That has got great potential, as well.
-Any plans for the garden, Mary?
-Obviously it's overgrown in parts.
I do like gardening. I'd get lost in it.
But haven't done a lot in recent years
with having a family, you know.
Didn't get much time. But I'm looking forward to that.
While Mary brings the garden into full bloom,
Carl will be hard at work on the interior.
So what's the budget?
10,000 to 12,000.
That's what I'm hoping to keep inside. I think it's achievable.
And what kind of timescale?
Timescale... It's going to be between three and four months.
-Because I'm obviously operating the businesses I have,
your normal life. This is an in-between,
and it's not something I can obviously allocate full time to.
So, er, it's achievable in three to four months, I would say.
So what do you do when you're not doing this?
I'm a managing director to a company.
We supply throughout the country,
So, done that for the last 20 years, and enjoy it.
-My daughters run the business now, so it gives me time to do things like this.
-It is quite enjoyable.
-Any other family members
-you're going to get involved?
-I'm sure my daughters will.
My eldest one in particular, she's got quite a flair,
so she's quite excited about getting down and having a look at the place,
and obviously put her mark on it, I'm sure.
-Mary, what are you most looking forward to?
-Seeing it completed,
and looking at how it was, and...what it will be then
once we're done, and having achieved something,
and getting the gratification and satisfaction,
-putting in a lot of hard work.
-Well, good luck with it.
-We'll look forward to seeing how you get on.
This really is a lovely house to start with,
and it can only be enhanced by what Carl and Mary are planning.
You can see the changes they make later in the show.
Well, time has passed. Let's return to find out what happened to those properties.
Are we confident they will look as good as new?
Let's find out.
Back now to Southeast London, and East Dulwich in particular,
where a one-bed flat in this grand Victorian house
sold at auction for 170,000.
No, I'm afraid it wasn't one of those up there
but that one down there.
But the small, dark and tired rooms
didn't put off successful developer Mansur.
He was all ready to apply his tried-and-tested formula to the property.
Have you applied for planning to extend this?
We put the application in soon after the auction.
We'll have either a one- or two-bed flat which we'll be able to sell.
If we don't get the extra bedroom, it will be a small, one-bedroom flat,
but it will be a very sexy small, one-bedroom flat.
# I'm bringing sexy back, yeah #
Mansur felt that he and his team only needed 14 weeks
to turn this place around, and true to his word,
when we returned, the one-bed flat
was near the end of its transformation.
And, boy, is the difference impressive!
It's not exceptional from the outside,
..the old flat has been gutted,
to create a large open-plan kitchen/dining area.
The rear part of the old bedroom is now an amazingly stylish bathroom.
Out back, Mansur has got his rear extension out to the side
and out into the garden.
The extension houses two good-size bedrooms,
buffed up and ready for the sales market.
Mansur arrived on foot this time
to tell us how he achieved such an amazing transformation,
starting with the kitchen/diner.
As you can see, we've put a fully fitted kitchen here
with all the appliances - a washer/dryer integrated there,
a coffee machine, a microwave oven, a wine chiller.
You've got all the structural work that we did,
the majority in the front half of the house.
You've got steel beams going through this way and that way,
and then on the back of this kitchen wall,
that's the supporting wall which is the main member
going up through the centre of the building.
This open-plan living area and bathroom really works well,
but getting this space meant saying goodbye to the original layout.
The first job was to shore up the building
and remove all internal walls. We took everything out -
all the plasterwork, all the old electrical fittings,
all the old pipe work, ripped it back to the bare essentials.
We usually start with a blank canvas and follow through.
Our initial ideas were to make this into a two-bedroom flat.
What I had to do, because we didn't have planning permission at the time,
I had to arrange it in such a way that if we didn't get all the planning permission through,
whatever work we had done up to that point wasn't going to be undone.
So it's a bit of a jigsaw to start with.
But those pieces seem to have come together brilliantly
at the back of the flat.
This is the master bedroom. This is where we got the side extension,
we got the planning consent for. It finished here,
the original flat. We've extended to the full width of the house,
so you've got a nice big space, and the patio doors going out into the garden.
We managed to put in two extra skylights to give it more light.
But the biggest bonus here, which we're very pleased about,
is having this lovely wet room which we have created,
which gives it an added feel factor.
The whole property has been beautifully put together,
with the clean, neutral colours hitting it off
with the natural tones of the wood flooring.
Mansur intends to sell the flat,
and knows what sort of market he's targeting.
I've seen a lot of flats in this area, and houses,
so we have got a predominantly middle-class market with two people who are professional,
so we've got a very high-standard finish, plasma-screen TVs, coffee machines, wine chillers,
and it's designed for the modern person for modern-day living.
# This is the life
# Here's where the living is #
Mansur clearly knows his market,
and I reckon he's scored a bull's eye here.
As for the timescale, apart from a few days needed to finish off the garden,
the renovation's been done in its scheduled 14 weeks.
So another target met, and it's all down to experience.
'We always try and work to a set programme.
'The team's been with us for many years.'
We know exactly what we're going to do when we come into a building,
and there's only two, three ways you can cut and carve a flat like this,
so your budget is pretty much spot-on.
If you've been doing it this long, you can't get it wrong. Or you shouldn't!
Mansur planned a 40-grand budget for an extended flat.
So was he right again?
I think my final spend would be between 42 and 44,
and that's mainly because we've added a wet room at the rear,
which was an extra £2,500, plus some additional work
on the structural side. So we've come pretty much close in to the penny.
For such a radical overhaul,
I reckon Mansur must be pleased that the overspend is so low.
Add to that his 170 grand purchase price,
and the total outlay on the flat
will be a possible 214,000.
Time to find out what two local estate agents think of the renovation.
First impressions are it's a very nicely refurbed property.
Done all the usual things, which is white walls, keep it bright,
open-plan lounge, kitchen to expand the space, get maybe an extra bedroom or so.
I think the finish is very good. It's built to last.
The smoothness... It's retained some period features,
which is great.
In East Dulwich, the gardens are postage stamps generally,
but to have a flat with a garden that's a good 30 or 40 feet
is a real bonus, so that will make the property move very quickly on the market.
The layout of the property is designed with lifestyle in mind,
so we've got a combined kitchen/diner
and reception room, which is where most of the living will be done,
and that will be really appealing for younger clients.
With Mansur aiming to sell the flat,
what could he expect to get in return?
Remember, his total spend so far is 214,000.
So what would its market value be?
I would say the resale value was £300,000 to £315,000.
I think the resale value of this property
should lie somewhere between £310,000
Pretty much spot-on. It's actually on the market at 310,
and we did receive a close-to- asking-price offer yesterday,
but not close enough yet. The person who's interesting in purchasing it
is going to have come and a second look now the flat's almost completed and finished.
Well, at Mansur's asking price,
selling it could make him a pre-tax profit
It's an incredible return on his investment,
and another example of his successful format.
Although it's a tried-and-tested formula,
it doesn't mean he can't have any fun with his renovations.
Oh, immensely, because every time you come onto a new project,
you have a small opportunity to be a bit more creative.
But it is a challenge, because you've got to be well organised,
and I do like organising things.
Back now to the desirable Derby suburb of Littleover,
where this three-bed semi sold at auction
It was bought by Carl and his partner Mary.
Paul owns a packaging-supply company,
and was hoping he'd wrapped up a good investment.
What's the bigger picture? Will you sell it on or rent it out?
We have got potential renters for the property already.
-That might be short term, and perhaps in two, three years' time,
reintroduce it back to the market,
and hopefully pick up a profit from it.
So, have they managed to make the most of this beautiful house?
We're back just under five months later
to see how they've got on.
They've completely revamped the sitting room
by replastering the walls, fitting a new carpet,
and decorating in warm tones. Worryingly,
when they looked at the French doors that led out to the conservatory,
they discovered there was no support for them.
They've installed a lintel and fitted some new doors,
so thankfully it's now safe.
As far as decor goes, it now feels so much more homely
and inviting - a big improvement.
They've not quite finished the conservatory yet,
but it's been rewired, and the roof and windows have been replaced.
Once the floor's been laid and some personal touches added,
this will be a lovely relaxing spot to enjoy the garden,
come rain or shine.
The kitchen needed a complete overhaul,
so it's now been entirely ripped out and a new one fitted instead.
The door that once led out to the conservatory
has been removed to make more space for the cabinets.
They've also rewired, not only in here
but throughout the whole house.
The kitchen, we first started with removing the boiler
and moving that into the garage. That freed us a lot of space
for the design of the kitchen. Doorway we had here,
which we've blocked up, as you can see.
We've put a window in, again giving us a lot more work surfaces,
and moving the sink across to this window
has allowed us to have beautiful views into the garden.
When they lifted the carpet in the hallway,
they found the original 1930s tiled floor,
which is absolutely beautiful.
Oh, wow! I picked the carpet up
to discover these beautiful mosaic tiles.
Originally these properties were built in the 1930s,
and that's all back in fashion now. So I was delighted.
A fresh paint job and new carpet have spruced up the stairs
and landing, giving them a much more modern look.
The bathroom has been completely changed,
with light and fresh tiling, a beautiful big bath
and new suite.
They also removed an airing cupboard to install a shower in here.
It really is a great bathroom now.
The first bedroom has been redecorated
with new laminate flooring, and looks much more modern and inviting.
The box room has been brightened up
with a lick of paint and a new carpet.
And the master bedroom has been given a makeover,
with a new carpet and a bright paint job.
They've tidied up the garden too,
with some of the trees being cut back,
but there's still some landscaping to do.
Carl and Mary have done a great job here,
and made it seem pretty straightforward. But was it?
I would say the kitchen and bathroom have been the hardest.
Lot of work involved in both those rooms,
as opposed to the rest of the house
where it was general decorating, really.
There's a lot of electrical and plumbing works,
and time-consuming, far more than the other rooms.
Now all the hard work's behind them,
how do they think they've worked as a team?
-There has been heated moments.
-And stress times, but, um...
-..it's been very good.
The couple's three- and-a-half-to-four-month schedule
has slipped to five months, with a bit of work still to do.
But they have done up another property in that time,
so we'll let them off. Carl had originally hoped to spend
between £10,000 and £12,000 on the renovation,
so now that most of the job is done, how much have they spent?
We've gone on to about 17 and a half, I would say,
to where we are at this present time,
and probably another 800 to 1,000 to finish the conservatory.
Carl and Mary paid 161 and half thousand pounds
for the property at auction, and by the time the conservatory's complete
they will have spend a further 18 and a half thousand pounds
on the refurbishment. They also had to spend two and a half grand
on the usual fees and expenses, making their total investment
182 and a half thousand pounds.
So, have they made any money on the purchase?
We asked two local property experts to give us their views.
My first impressions of the property are that it looks very appealing.
It's clean, it's tidy, it's neatly presented,
well fitted, and... yeah, it looks good.
First impressions, the property's a nice, bay-fronted,
semi-detached home that's had some good work carried out to it.
Carl and Mary have kept the property in the family
by letting Mary's two sons stay there.
But if they were to advertise for tenants,
how much could the house achieve?
The rental value of this property is about £650 a calendar month.
The owners could look at a rental return
of around about £690 a calendar month.
-Gosh! Very good.
-That's great news.
It's what I think we thought.
If they were to change their minds and sell up
as soon as all the works were complete,
how much could they expect for this house?
Assuming time wasn't important, I would put this on the market
The property's likely to sell now for between £200,000 and £210,000.
-That's very good news.
-It certainly makes all the hard work worthwhile.
They have every right to feel pleased.
Those valuations would put Carl and Mary in line
for a pre-tax profit of between £17,500 and £27,500.
So will we see them at an auction house again any time soon?
Well, I think after this project, we're going to have a little rest.
-A little rest for a while.
-Perhaps a holiday, and...
-Maybe in the future.
-Maybe in the future, certainly.
-We'd tackle another one.
We'll be back next time to whet your appetite with more auction properties.
And we hope we've inspired you and given you an insight
-into the world of auctions here on Homes Under The Hammer.
-We'll see you then!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a two-bedroom mid-terrace property in Gorton, Manchester, a flat in East Dulwich, London, and a property in Derby. All of these properties have been sold at auction, and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.