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-Both of us have been dealing in property for many years now
and we've witnessed the fluctuations in the market.
But we've been convinced of one thing,
you can always pick up a bit of a bargain at the auction.
We've always been fascinated, haven't we, buying under the hammer?
Yes, the speed, the excitement, and the possibility of a deal, it's brilliant.
Well, let's see what got our buyers hot under the collar on today's show.
There are great views from this building plot but there's a problem
with the wall, you could either lower it or take the whole wall about half a metre back.
This South London flat has limited accommodation and is in a bit of a state,
but these properties weren't built to be huge and spacious and glamorous.
And in Lanarkshire, this bungalow has big rooms and you get the red carpet treatment.
The thing you see the moment you come in through the door here is that view.
-All these properties went to auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid...
-when they went under the hammer.
I'm in beautiful Derbyshire, that's the valley of the Derwent and I'm just outside Belper.
Now a plot of land here, that's got to be worth taking a look at, 600 square metres
at a guide price of £95,000, right on the edge of the town, I can't wait to see it.
Well, the plot is right by the side of one of the main roads
into the town, right on the edge of the village as I said,
with these fantastic open views down to the Derwent Valley,
absolutely glorious, you can't knock it for that.
Let's take a look.
Belper is a small market town
just eight miles north of Derby
and prime plots here don't come up too often.
The plot is fairly level, so that's great news, there are some shrubs
and mature hedges that will need removing,
but as plots go this looks to be a good one.
There is however one obstacle that needs to be dealt with.
Now one of the big stipulations in the planning permission
concerns the access to the road, in particular this wall.
Now basically your driveway creates a new access onto the road,
that is going to throw up issues with the Highways Agency
and what they want is good visibility for cars pulling out of this new driveway.
What they've insisted is you need 100 metres visibility
in that way and 70 metres visibility in that way.
The only way you're going to achieve that is by either dropping the height of this wall to one metre
above the height of the carriageway or take the whole wall about half a metre back.
Both are expensive, clearly the first option is going to cost you less,
but it's a factor that you've really got to put into your budget.
The other thing is, that house there wants to share the driveway,
so basically your entrance to the driveway has to go here.
So what looks like just a wall could really catch you out if you weren't
aware of the planning permission and the stipulations therein.
You may think you can move mountains and tackle hurdles head on,
but often you're at the mercy of the planners.
We asked the auctioneer who will sell the property
to give us his views on this plot
that had an option guide price of £95,000.
We've got a fabulous plot here right on the edge of Belper,
literally beside the last house in the town,
with stunning views, the sort of thing that you would never find from one year's end to the next.
Quite a rarity hereabouts then, so how much could it sell for?
'It's extremely difficult to value.
'It all depends on whether'
a builder's really going to go for it and build something super
or whether private individuals, possibly more importantly, want to do a self-build.
And if the latter is the case then they're not interested in profit margins, it's all about location.
So it could make anywhere between £100,000 and £150,000, it could even make more than that.
And when something's built here, how much could it make?
'We've got planning consent for one detached dwelling
'and there's no suggestion as to how large or small that dwelling might be,
'so my guess is,'
that you're going to go for at least four bedrooms, probably five,
on a two and a half storied house
and it could be worth up here anything up to £400,000.
Well, you certainly can't knock the location of the plot, can you? But it's not without its issues,
not least moving that wall and the shared driveway.
But at that £95,000 guide price, I'm sure there was a lot of interest when it went under the hammer.
Lot 77 is a residential building plot with planning permission
for one detached dwelling, lovely situation,
how much may I say for it?
Start me at 100, if you will,
£100,000 is bid, thank you.
115, 120...125, 130...135?
I'll take 62 on the corner, 162 I've taken on the corner...
163 either of you? 162 and a half...
166, and a half...
167, and a half... 168...
£167,500... going once, twice, third time.
It's yours, sir, £167,500 thank you.
After that keenly contested auction,
the winning bid of £167,500 came from Mark.
He manages garages but has built and renovated houses before.
He purchased this lot to build a family home for himself, wife Wendy,
daughter Tori, and twin sons.
I met up with him to find out more.
-Mark, good to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
You're a man who wanted this plot of land, aren't you?
You might say that, yes. We've been looking for a long time
and I was going to have it no matter what.
What price would you have stopped at?
Yes, it got close.
Why were you willing to pay so much money for it because
that's almost double the guide price, isn't it?
For the views,
look at the views round here, where would you find these views again?
Tell me more about you and why you're buying it then.
Well, it's going to be a family house,
we've got a six year old daughter
and twin boys that were one yesterday.
I want my children to grow up in the country air with fields,
I want just to be able to sit outside in the morning
and have breakfast looking out over the fields,
at night sit on the patio
and have a glass of wine and just enjoy the views.
So you're basically building your dream house,
-which is going to be your home.
-It is, yes.
# I'm going to live where the green grass grows
# Watching my corn pop up in rows
# Every night is being tucked in close to you
# Raise our kids where the good Lord's blessed
# Point our rocking chairs towards the west
# Plant our dreams where the peaceful river flows
# Where the green grass grows. #
Mark's dream is on the way to becoming a reality,
he's already had plans for the house drawn up
so I met the architect to discuss these in more detail.
So talk me through the actual internal layout.
What we're doing here is we're creating a front entrance door there,
entrance hallway, nice sitting room
with aspects on two elevations which enjoy the views, breakfast kitchen on the rear, utility room
linked through to the garage so we can go straight from the garage
through the utility to the kitchen.
We've got a galleried landing,
a complete walk-round landing, the master bedroom wanted to be here.
We've got a walk-through dressing room here
and an en suite to the master suite,
a large family bathroom,
and then three double bedrooms, one of which has got an en suite as well.
This certainly looks like a dream home.
But one question I didn't ask the architect was about the shared
access from the road, Mark was able to fill me in on his plans for this.
Now one of the big stipulations for the outline planning of course is this road and
the wall and the shared driveway. What you know about that and what are you going to do about that?
What I'm actually going to do is lower in it to a metre
because it's the easiest and quickest way of
doing it, and the shared drive is not the end of the world,
and the neighbours are very nice.
Right, so what about a timescale for this great project?
It's probably going to take a year but I would like to think I could do it inside eight months.
So what kind of budget have you got set aside for doing this?
I've not got a set budget in stone,
it'll come at whatever it comes at, you know what I mean.
So paying more than you anticipated I imagine for the plot, yes?
It's hurt the budget.
Mmm, yes, I'm going to have to shop around for very,
very cheap materials and very cheap labour.
Let's hope Mark hasn't overstretched himself on this one,
but there has been some welcome news too.
The size of the plot is actually better than I thought it was.
-Tell me more.
-Well, the plan when it was first drawn up,
the plan that was advertised, showed it to be
two-thirds the size of what it actually is,
so by the time I came on site with the architect
and took all the measurements,
we'd probably got one third more area than we actually thought we had.
So it's meant we can put a bigger place on and have more garden.
Great, so you bought what you thought was a smaller plot and still paid all that money for it.
-And you ended up getting a bigger plot.
-Yes, so I am happy from that point of view.
# Happy, happy
# Put it in the ground where the flowers grow. #
Every time I come up here
and I look at these views and I stand here
I'm even more happy every time.
Great, lovely story, congratulations.
Can't wait to see how you get on building it.
Well, Mark paid a lot of money
for this plot of land but great news that it turns out to be bigger
than he first thought, that's a major result.
I'm a bit worried about his finances and I think he's maxing out a bit on
how much he's going to spend to build his dream home, but wow
what a home it will be, I can't wait to see it
and you can find out how he gets on later in the show.
Next up we're in London, south of the river.
Sydenham in southeast London was transformed from a Kent countryside
hamlet by the arrival of the railways in the Victorian era.
It prospered due to its fresh, clean country air and grand villas.
Today, it's definitely less fashionable but with plenty of parks,
attractive period conversions, and decent transport links.
It's certainly got a lot going for it and rather excitingly it
seems to have some really reasonably priced property.
Sydenham isn't the most glamorous of areas but it's more affordable than its neighbouring suburb
of Crystal Palace and with the centre of London only half an hour away
plus plenty of open spaces nearby, it could be a good area to invest in.
The property I'm here to see is less 1850s and more 1950s, which is a bit of a shame,
but it's on this decent road and it's just over half a mile from the train station, which isn't bad either.
Now the lot I'm here to see is in this block, it's a two-bedroom
flat, it's on the ground floor, and it's got a guide price of £90,000.
For two bedrooms in London that's relatively cheap, OK it's not much
of a looker from the outside but often it's what's inside that counts.
It's a bit of a bonus having a nice little porch, you can stuff all your coats and hats
and boots in there on a rainy night, and it's quite secure so I like that.
But oh, dear it's quite small in here, there's the kitchen, there's
the bedroom, there's the bathroom, and it's really, really dated.
Look, you can see there is woodchip wallpaper everywhere,
you've got polystyrene tiles up there, storage heaters,
old gas fires, there's no plumbed in central heating anywhere,
really old-fashioned carpet.
Now I know I'm not sounding terribly enthusiastic and that's because I'm not,
but these properties weren't built to be huge and spacious and glamorous,
they are what they are, and where
can you buy a flat in London for the guide price of £90,000?
With that said, it's quite good.
You've just got to keep reminding yourself of those good points.
Yes, the flat is grubby and the two bedrooms aren't that huge,
but if you stripped it all out there could be a solid square space to work with,
and there's the small but welcome bonus of a little garden out back.
It's overgrown but with the help of some secateurs it could be very pleasant.
But just when I've talked myself into quite liking this lot, something in
the legal pack comes along to throw a spanner in the works.
We have a problem, a big problem and it's with the 99-year lease
that only has 44 years left to run.
First and foremost the property is currently unmortgageable,
it's unlikely anybody will lend
to you with that lease length, secondly because the lease is
particularly short, it's going to cost a lot of money to extend and I mean a lot of money.
In fact, I'm aware that the vendor's already looked into it and they were quoted a whopping £40,000.
So if you buy this place you have to pay cash and that cash
will be tied up in this place until you spend yet more cash renewing the lease so you can sell it.
This property is not a bad investment at the right price
but paying the right price is crucial.
Of course paying the right price for a property is always important
but being aware of the pitfalls here is absolutely vital.
# You've got to look before you leap
# There's heartaches around every corner... #
The flat will only ever reach its full market value
if another £40,000 is stumped up to extend that lease length
but it is a vital move if the buyer wants to sell its arm
and make a decent return.
Letting it out with a short lease will only put off the inevitable fact
that in the future, extending it will become more expensive.
So although it may not be impossible to find a lender,
it could prove a real challenge.
So that £90,000 guide price isn't looking such a steal
but to get a second opinion we asked along a local property expert
for his thoughts on this short lease problem.
There has been some investigation made and it would be around
£40,000 to possibly renew the lease, we're up to that sort of figure.
Now there are two ways of doing it,
that figure could be just plucked from the freeholder, so we need to
get two things done, one speak to a surveyor to get it valued and get a
quick valuation, then they need to speak to a specialist in leases
to look at going to the LVT, Leasehold Valuation Tribunal,
and see if the valuation is lower, argue that through the LVT
and through court.
So there are options available that could make extending the lease less
painful but if the lease wasn't extended,
what would the flat be worth?
If the property was renovated but retained the short lease,
realistically it would be looking at about £120,000.
And with an extended lease?
With a new lease, the property could increase in value to
about £150-160,000 in value, which is market level.
How about the rental possibilities?
If I had to put this property up for rent in good condition in the current market,
you would be looking at some between £600-700 per calendar month.
A decent home, a little dinky but decent.
However that lease does need to be renewed if
ever you want to sell it on or release your money, and that is going to require a significant outlay.
I just hope whoever bought this at auction
was aware of the potential pitfalls, let's find out who that was.
Lot 20, a two-bed purpose-built garden flat,
requires a bit of improvement.
Over to you, where would you like to start, £90,000?
Thank you, 90,000 at the back... 91?
91... 92, 93...
104 to you, 105 elsewhere?
104... first time,
third and last time if you're all done...
sold 104, well bought.
That successful bid of £104,000 was made by Sam.
He's a South London lad who runs a building company with his dad
and this is his first property investment.
I met him at the flat to find out more.
-Why did you want to buy this flat?
Invest my money in something instead of spending it elsewhere.
So have you been busy spending all your money! Are going to get sensible?
I'm only 22 and I thought why not get into property now.
Are you interested in property or is it something you thought, "I'd be sensible if I buy something?"
No, well I've been a builder, I've just always loved working on houses and all that so I just thought
why not, a little place like this.
How long have you been a builder?
-Six years now.
-So you've got quite a good knowledge of property.
Yes, do a lot of work with the Housing Association, so I've worked
six years in people's houses so I'm used to it now.
-Did you view this property prior to the auction?
-What did you think when you first walked in?
-Perfect size really,
I didn't want nothing too big it's my first project.
I've got to say it's brilliant at the age of 22 you've got yourself on the property ladder,
and it is a neat and tidy project for you because it is just a refurb.
Is that what you were after,
-something that you could completely...
-Yes, nothing too major but nothing too little,
so I thought yes, this will do.
At the tender age of just 22,
Sam's taken that first difficult step onto the property ladder
and is hoping that this will be the first of many developments.
But while this place will do, there's no avoiding the subject of the lease.
-So, Sam, you paid £104,000 on auction day.
Now that is relatively cheap for a flat in London.
Yes, it was my mistake, the lease.
There's about 40 years left on the lease so that's why it was pretty cheap,
but hopefully we'll get over that.
So you obviously didn't do any research?
-Didn't read the legal pack.
-And just went to auction and bought it.
-That's it, yes.
When did you find out about the lease, tell me the story.
That day, after I've bought it and I actually went through it all and realised then.
I didn't know much about leases and all that until I spoke to my solicitor, I was just, "Oh!"
It come to me then.
'Well, that experience will give Sam a crash course in the pitfalls of leases,
'but all his woes could have been prevented if he'd read the legal pack,
'and that little oversight could cost him dear.'
The big question is how much money have you allowed to renew the lease, how much will it cost you?
Between £5,000-£10,000 - don't want to go no more than that.
I'm hoping it's not going to be more but I've got a feeling it might be more than that.
For the price we got it, it was cheap, if it is,
then we'll have to find the money somewhere, but it's not much of a problem.
Sam seems very relaxed about the potential costly problems ahead, but unfortunately it didn't end there.
The short lease meant the first mortgage he applied for was turned down and he had to put more cash in
to secure a loan.
So did you start to panic and start to think, "Oh, no"?
Yes, it was getting stressful then because the contract date was coming up
and it was literally a couple of days before the contract date was to be renewed.
Remember, if you don't complete within the allotted time, usually 28 days,
you forfeit the deposit you've paid to the auction house.
In Sam's case that would have been £10,000.
A painful lesson, but in the end he DID get a mortgage even though it was at a higher rate.
His long-term plan is to rent out the flat or live in it for a year and then sell on but for now,
with his experience and contacts in the building trade,
Sam plans to renovate the flat totally on a budget of £10,000.
What sort of look is he after?
Obviously just normal walls and then we'll see, none of this polystyrene stuff,
bog-standard kitchen, bathroom, and that's about it, really.
-Plain carpets throughout.
-So it's just going to look neat and tidy.
-How will you fit it in? You're busy working.
-A couple of hours a night and weekends.
-Congratulations! Can't wait to see it all shiny and new.
-Me and all.
-Thanks very much, cheers.
Well, money makes the world go round or so they say, and Sam obviously agrees.
Still, good on him for investing his cash,
but I am so worried about that lease extension because that could cost him much, much more than he thinks.
You can find out later in the programme how it goes.
Coming up in Lanarkshire, if you think you've sniffed out a property bargain, beware.
It's the whiff from the nearby landfill site, gulp.
We go back to check on Sam in Sydenham, what has been his biggest challenge?
The lease obviously at the moment.
But first we return to Derbyshire where progress has been slow.
Originally I was hoping to have the house built within 12 months.
Back to Belper now where Mark, who manages garages,
had paid £167,500 for this plot.
It had stunning views and planning consent for an impressive detached house.
Mark and his wife Wendy were going to make it their family home.
But apart from building the house, Mark also had to meet strict rules about the boundary wall.
Now one of the big stipulations for the outline planning is this road
and the wall and the shared driveway, what are you going to do about that?
What I'm going to do is lower it to a metre because it's the easiest and quickest way of doing it,
and the shared drive, it's not the end of the world and the neighbours are very nice.
Well, it's now a year and nine months later and we met up with the family again.
The plot of land now boasts a superb four-bedroom detached house.
This magnificent four-bedroom property is built from local Derbyshire stone
and has been constructed to a very high standard.
The finish inside is just as impressive with superb oak doors, staircase, and oak skirting boards.
The house is almost ready to move into, there is a dual-aspect,
large living room and a separate study,
plus a utility room and, at the back, a magnificent kitchen's been installed.
It lets in lots of light and as Mark explains, the place was all purposely designed for family life.
In the kitchen here we've tried to make it as usable as possible
and as family-friendly as possible with enough cupboard space and worktop space for Wendy to cook.
We've put a hot tap in which means we'll never need a kettle.
We've put a breakfast bar in so that we can have the meals in here
and open the doors in the summer to look at the fields.
Kept it open plan so that we can have the children in there watching television and playing,
so we can keep an eye on them, so it will all work very nice for the family.
The living accommodation is bigger up on the first floor
as it extends over the double garage.
There are four double bedrooms, two with en suites...
..and the master bedroom has a separate dressing area, plus a separate family bathroom.
Everywhere the fixtures and the build quality are top-notch.
There's still a bit of finishing off to do and then finally the family will move in.
Originally I was hoping to have the house built
and us actually moved in and living in it within 12 months.
Because of two bad winters, it's taken 22 months so, really,
we're ten months over where I really wanted to be.
Apart from the weather, planning permission took a bit longer as Mark reapplied to put two drives in,
one for the new house and a separate one for the neighbour, rather than a shared entrance.
That was agreed but the issue of the dry stone wall wasn't negotiable.
When I first bought the plot of land this wall was twice as high,
and to get planning permission to build the house on here,
I've had to lower it to half the size,
so that when you came out, you've got visibility both sides.
Then I had to take the wall down,
right down to next door's house as well
and put a new wall in, between us and the next-door neighbour
out of the dry stone walling to match in.
It's a big house which sits very comfortably on the plot,
the lawned garden at the back is lovely and the views from the rear windows are delightful.
Mark hasn't been able to spend as much time on site as he would have liked
and admits that not being on hand at all times slowed down the build.
What effect did the overrun have on the budget - how much HAS it cost?
I think I'll have spent somewhere between £350,000-£400,000.
So with an overall investment of around £400,000 on this project,
including £167,500 for the purchase of the plot,
Mark really has put a lot into making this a perfect family home.
His daughter Tori can't wait to move in.
It'll be exciting to live in a new surrounding.
I like it because it's a lot bigger
and it's just going to be very nice.
We asked two local estate agents to come and give us their opinion
of this house with a view.
'It's a nice house, it's set well on the plot,'
obviously a great position. It looks like it's been well built too.
I like the position of the house.
That is what's sold the plot and what would sell the house now.
The kitchen is a great feature of the property,
there's plenty of natural light, it's quite funky, which is nice.
I think what the people have done in the design of this property
is they've put some big windows in the big rooms to take advantage of those views
and that's really special.
How much is the property now worth?
Mark paid £167,500 at the auction
and thinks his total investment could end up at around £400,000.
In the current climate, I think this property would go on to the market at £495,000.
If I put this property on the market for sale,
I would advertise it just shy of £500,000
and I would expect an offer between £450- 475,000.
That valuation range between £450-495,000 would mean
a gross profit of between £50-95,000 before the usual selling expenses.
What does Mark think of those estimates?
That's probably what I thought it was worth,
but looking around at what's out there and what's for sale,
and quality and position and location and views,
there isn't anything at £500,000 that's as good as this.
Once they've moved in, Mark and the family will stay put...
or will they?
I don't think I'm going to live here forever,
Wendy and the children probably would want to.
Now I've done it, I'm thinking I could do this again,
and I'm going to look around for another piece of land
and probably build another one, but don't tell the wife.
Today I am in the Cumbernauld area, an overspill town for Glasgow.
It was created in the 1950s and made famous in the romantic comedy Gregory's Girl.
Just a few miles away from the town centre of Cumbernauld is the little village of Greengairs,
it's got everything you want - Post Office, shop, local school.
And you certainly can't complain about the beautiful rural location
and yet you've got easy access to both Glasgow and Edinburgh.
What more could you possibly want? How about this?
It's a two-bed bungalow it had a guide price of £100-130,000, let's take a look inside.
The bungalow is the front one of two separated by their garages.
So what's in store?
Through the front door, a nice, big entrance hall, I like that.
In-built storage, which is always useful.
Sometimes you feel a bit cramped when you come into bungalows but not in this one.
Bedrooms down there, kitchen there,
and then through into your main living room area.
Bit of a feature fireplace. Nice, big space, but the thing is,
you see, the moment you come in through the door here is that view.
How fantastic is that to have this beautiful picture window?
In fact, why not put a picture frame round it, almost?
Cos that is gorgeous.
That sells this place for me straight away.
# All I want is a room with a view
# A sight worth seeing, a vision of you... #
Even on this overcast day, the view's great,
there are three mountain ranges in the distance.
And the red carpet treatment continues in the very blue kitchen.
The units look almost new, there's a range cooker,
a separate utility room, and the guide price was £100-130,000.
The first of the two bedrooms has fitted wardrobes
and, like the rest of the bungalow, is ready to move into.
I'm aving a bit of a struggle trying to find ways to improve this place!
A bit of carpeting here and there, bit of a paint job, but other than that...
Well, here's one thing you might consider.
At some stage, this was actually a three-bedroom bungalow.
This huge, great second bedroom here was originally two bedrooms.
There was a dividing wall here, a stud partition,
and previously door into this bedroom would've been there.
Now if you wanted to, you might consider going back to that way of being being,
I guess it's about talking to the local estate agents,
finding out how much that would add value or detract from it.
At the end of the day, if it's your house -
do you want two big bedrooms or three smaller ones?
Your choice, but it is at the something that you could do to this place.
This is a great-looking property which appears to be in excellent condition,
even the bathroom looks like it's been recently refitted.
The only downside is that there's no bath
but that's being a tad picky, otherwise it's a big thumbs up.
So, really, apart from a few bits and pieces,
nothing to criticise about the inside of the bungalow,
but come out the back here and a few issues,
first of which is you've got oil-fired central heating
but the cooker is actually powered by propane
and that's not necessarily the most cost-effective way of doing things,
but there's probably no mains gas here so maybe no option.
This is your garden.
Not a bad-sized space, but when you come out here,
the second issue... You can't see it...
..but you can smell it.
Take in a deep breath.
What you get? The beautiful Scottish countryside?
No, it's the whiff from the nearby landfill site. Gulp.
# Lord I smell trouble ahead of me
# Oh, yeah... #
One thing that may reduce the impact of the occasional nasty niff
is the fact that Greengairs landfill gas collection system
is used to generate electricity for the National Grid,
so it's playing its part in saving energy.
To find out more about the prospects for this bungalow,
we invited a local estate agent to give us his expert opinion.
If someone's looking for a semi-rural location,
I would say that this is definitely a positive,
something a bit out of the way.
if they don't want to have a lot of people round about them
and a bit quieter, then I'd say this is excellent.
Apart from being close to the motorways, there's a good bus service
plus stations in Airdrie and Cumbernauld with train links to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and beyond.
So with that in mind, what kind of rent could the property generate?
I'd say, once renovated, if you converted one of the bedrooms
and make it into a three-bedroom, I would say you're potentially looking at £650 per calendar month.
After some refurbishment, how much could it be worth on the open market?
Once renovated, on the market, you're looking about £110,000.
# Oh, yeah... #
So absolutely nothing to dislike about this place,
apart from the occasional whiff from the nearby landfill site.
Still, will it prove to be the sweet smell of success for whoever bought it?
Let's go to the auction and find out.
The bungalow was one of the later lots on auction day,
-which explains the empty seats.
-Let's look for a start say £90,000?
80, phonne bid, you heard it. £80,000.
82, thank you. On the aisle, £82,000. 84 on the phone, just two of you at the moment.
86? £86,000. £88,000 on the telephone.
90,000? Go 89 if it helps you.
£89,000 back in. 90,000 will be the next bid if you want to take that?
£90,000 it is on the phone. It looks like a resigned shake of the head.
£91,000? Anyone else coming in?
Looking for 91,000.
Got 90,000, it's on the phone.
No, well, I can't sell at that level, I'm afraid. We are short of the reserve.
But Tracy, who was bidding for the property, made an offer after the auction and it was accepted.
I met up with her and her daughter, Sarah, at the bungalow to find out exactly what happened.
-Tracy, Sarah, lovely to meet you.
-So what happened there, then?
Well, it didn't meet the reserve so I had to sit back down and see what happened.
But the auctioneer came and spoke to me
and said because I was in the auction room, he could put a price to the vendor
and ask if he would accept it, whereas the person on the telephone, who was doing a telephone bid,
would have to seek legal advice, you know, go to get to a lawyer and get a lawyer's letter, etc.
So I made an offer and it was accepted.
So you stopped at £91,000, you eventually bought it for?
Why didn't you carry on up to 95 in the auction?
Cos I hadn't viewed the property.
I didn't know what inside was like, I didn't know if it was viable to put this much money into a place
and have to then spend another maybe £50,000 if you're doing the ceilings and walls.
Wow. So, at what point did you up your offer?
When the auctioneer came and said to me.
So you still hadn't seen it, so you still upped it by £4,000
and still didn't know if it had a roof or a ceiling.
No, but I thought, "Don't lose it for £4,000, give a nice, round number." I like fives.
She knows the area well - she's lived and worked in the town for many years,
and I wanted to find out more about her business interests around here.
I'm the postmistress and the local shopkeeper. I also run the pallet yard as well.
The pallet yard and a postmistress?
Yes, my father has a pallet business so when I started there, that's what I do.
I've been known to drive forklifts and trucks.
You've got an HGV licence?
Yes, I have class two.
I know, I know, and I do this - properties - for a pension.
-Busy, I'm busy.
-How many other members of the family have you got?
I have three daughters, Sarah's my oldest. I have a 19-year-old, Emma, and an 18-year-old, Amy.
There's no stopping Tracy. Apart from everything else,
she's currently installing a kitchen in the Post Office and the shop.
The bungalow has fabulous far-reaching views to three mountain ranges
but Tracy bought the property without seeing inside.
So did she get a shock?
You walked through the door for the first time having bought it, what did you think?
I was actually really happily shocked because the two main rooms
were really nice, the bathroom and kitchen, very little to do.
-Sarah, what's your involvement in this?
-Not very much this time round.
I'm hoping she's going to go in the nesting season.
Tell me more. What..?
-She's going to do cleaning.
-Cleaning mainly this time.
-You're about to have a baby?
-How long is it till it's due?
-Ten weeks left.
-So you really are going to be slightly out of action
-in terms of helping out. Or will Mum have you...?
-She will, she'll have me stripping the wallpaper.
It'll be Sarah's second child but it sounds like tireless Tracy won't give Sarah much time off.
What do you thinkof your mum's various ventures? She sounds like an incredible lady.
So tell me what you're going to do then to sort it out.
Every room needs the wallpaper taking off and get rid of the 80s Artex kind of thing.
There's some dodgy floorboards in the hall.
I'll have to lift the wooden floor that's down to see why it's moving.
It has two bedrooms but it would have been a three-bedroom bungalow.
We'll put it back to three bedrooms. It makes sense for renting out.
So what about the fireplace in here? It's not to everyone's taste.
No, but some people think it's nice.
Somebody came into the shop and told us it was a fireplace to die for.
-Have you told them that they can have it?
-I have offered to people...
..but nobody wants it.
# Ooh, ooh that smell
# Can't you smell that smell... #
The only negative I came across was a little bit of a whiff from the landfill site, isn't there?
I think today's just been an off day.
There is a landfill site about two miles away
but that'll be ceasing soon because the landfill is moving to an incinerator.
-So that'll be all getting covered over, so that should reduce.
So what's the budget for doing the work?
Because it's only cosmetic, I think we'll be within £6,000 because it's really just...
every room having to get plastered on the ceilings, and the flooring for the living room and the hall.
-I've got up to £10,000 in case there's a major issue.
-And what kind of timescale?
-Probably about ten weeks.
Good luck, and good luck to you in the impending birth of your son or daughter,
-and I look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Oh, I bet you do!
Well, the clock is definitely ticking, will Tracy and the family team
manage to give this place a new lease of life
before Sarah produces life of a different sort?
You can find out later in the show.
Now, renovating property can be a very time-consuming thing.
Especially if things don't go to plan.
So did our buyer's plans get off the drawing board? Let's find out.
Back now to Sydenham in South London, where 22-year-old builder Sam
had bought this ground floor two-bedroom garden flat for £104,000.
It was his first investment purchase and he was delighted with the price,
but he'd failed to spot in the paperwork that there were only 44 years left on the 99-year lease,
that meant it would be tough to get a mortgage.
The lease could be extended but rookie developer Sam wasn't sure how much that would cost.
Big question is, how much money have you allowed to renew the lease?
How much do you think it'll cost you?
Between £5,000-10,000. I don't want to go no more than that.
Ooh, I'm really hoping it's not going to be more than that
but I've got a feeling it might be!
Well, for the price we got it at - because it was quite cheap -
if it is, then we'll have to find the money somewhere but...
still not too much of a problem.
Four months have passed when we meet Sam back at the flat to see how he's been getting on.
MUSIC: "Fill My Little World" by The Feeling
The front looks very similar but the overgrown back garden has been cleared and new fencing put up.
Inside, the bedroom that overlooked the garden had lost the wardrobe.
It's been decorated and is just awaiting the choice of flooring.
Work's well advanced on the living room at the front.
The dated fireplace has been removed and laminate flooring been laid.
The kitchen that overlooked the garden has been stripped bare and decorated...
..but Sam decided on a layout change.
This used to be the front bedroom, now turned into the kitchen.
It wasn't too much of a major problem moving everything around.
Obviously, we've put in cupboards, oven, microwave, dishwasher.
Yeah, so I'm really happy with it now.
The dated avocado bathroom suite has gone to the skip
and, judging by Sam's new tiles, it's going to look a whole lot better.
A corner shower unit is about to be plumbed in but there's no sign of a bath.
So the front of the flat now has the living room and the kitchen,
and the two bedrooms are now next to each other at the back, overlooking the garden.
It was a bit of a mess as a kitchen but, obviously, we've moved the kitchen to the front,
blocked the doorway up, rerun the gas to the front - it's a bit extra cost to the property.
I think losing the kitchen door that led out to the garden was a mistake,
as you now have to walk down the side path to get to it.
22-year-old Sam has been a builder for six years, since leaving school.
He owns a small building firm with his dad and has been doing the refurbishment in his spare time.
What's been the hardest part?
The lease, I would have said at the moment.
I'm used to this stuff, day in, day out, but I suppose all the paperwork side of it.
I was worried that the £5,000-10,000 Sam had budgeted to extend the lease wouldn't be enough.
He thought he'd find the extra money somewhere but he got a big shock when he contacted the freeholder.
They come back, they wanted £40,000-odd to renew the lease. I just haven't got that at the moment
but in a couple of years' time, I'll go for it again.
During that time, I'm going to rent it out and see how it goes from there.
So, the lease continues to count down from just 44 years and Sam can't afford to extend it.
But how has his budget fared for the work? Has that stayed on track?
I allowed for 10,000 at the beginning. I've gone over that.
About 13 at the moment, probably got another couple of grand more.
Let's see what two local estate agents think
of Sam's first development venture.
The property so far is not quite finished
but you can see the quality - nice flooring,
colours look quite nice, nice kitchen.
I think it should be a very presentable property.
The problem with this property
is he swapped a kitchen for a bedroom and taken a smaller kitchen
and put it into a bigger room and taken a bigger bedroom and put it into a smaller room.
Not having direct access onto the garden could be a problem for the property.
One of the benefits of having a garden flat is being able to open the door straight into the garden.
One of the biggest complaints we have when people go to
things with walk-in showers or wet rooms, is there's no bath.
My advice would be, take the shower out, put bath in now,
reconfigure it slightly while you can. It will help him a lot.
As Sam can't afford the £40,000 for the lease extension,
he's going to let the flat out for the next two years.
How much income could that achieve?
Most renters, to get a good rental, want two double bedrooms.
I think you'd be looking round £750 per calendar month, which is the top end of a one-bed.
For rentals, per calendar month, I'd be looking at £800.
I was looking at 750 minimum so, yeah, that should keep me happy.
Sam paid £104,000 for the flat and reckons his budget will end up around
15,000 - a total outlay of 119,000 but, without the lease extension,
the estate agents have valued the flat between 120-130,000,
just between one and 11 grand more than he spent.
How does Sam feel about that?
Not too good. It will be no good to me, that, which is why I'm going to
keep it for a couple of years and see how we go from there.
If Sam had paid £40,000 to extend the lease, taking his total spend
to £159,000, valuations would have been much higher.
If I was putting this on the market, I'd be putting it on for around £170,000 mark.
I would put this property on the market for somewhere in the region of £165-170,000.
Based on those valuations, if Sam had been able to finance the lease extension,
there could have been a gross profit - before the usual selling expenses -
of between 6 and 11 grand.
But, at 22, Sam has his foot on the property ladder and in a couple of years,
if he extends the lease, getting a mortgage shouldn't be a problem so he could release some capital from it.
How would he sum up his first development project?
It's been quite stressful with the lease but hopefully
I'll get round it. It's just the long wait I'm dreading at the moment.
I will hopefully do it again sometime
and next time I will read all the paperwork side of it up first.
Back now to the north Lanarkshire village of Greengairs, where Tracy,
the local postmistress, who also runs the village store,
had paid £95,000 for this bungalow to add to some residential properties she already lets out.
The property enjoys stunning views, but there was one problem that could really get up your nose.
# Lord I smell trouble
# Ahead of me... #
The only negative I came across was the little bit of a whiff from the landfill site.
I think today's just been one of them off days!
There is a landfill site about two miles away but that will cease soon
because the landfill's moving to an incinerator.
-So that'll be all getting covered over so that should reduce.
Tracy's husband, Martin, is a lorry driver and they have three grown-up daughters.
The eldest, 23-year-old Sarah, was expecting her second child, but was going to help with the work.
Well, it's now three months later.
MUSIC: "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson
We met up with Sarah and Tracy back at the bungalow.
The red carpet and the fireplace have gone from the living room...
..but the view is just as impressive through a new window.
The laminate flooring continues into the adjoining room, which has been restored back to a dining area.
The neutral colours continue in the hall and the original rear bedroom.
The bungalow now has three bedrooms again...
..as the large bedroom has now been converted back into two separate rooms.
But losing the fireplace proved a big job, as Tracy explains.
Well, this room, the biggest thing is we took away the fireplace.
It was wall-to-wall brick, it took us nearly a whole night and a skip full of stuff.
We had to replace most the wall because we had to replaster and fill it in, cap the roof at the top
for the chimney and cap the bottom, and we fixed the window and it gives you a fabulous view.
Both the kitchen and bathroom were well equipped and in good condition so didn't require much work at all.
The big difference is in the utility room, where the old oil-fired boiler has been moved to the garage.
-We put new worktops in the kitchen.
-Painted the walls.
-Painted the walls, tidied it out, and cleaned it.
The bathroom was just cleaning, new blind.
Tracy's worked really hard to turn this place around, but her daughter Sarah, who normally lends a hand,
has recently given birth to baby boy Riley.
Did that mean she could still help out?
Not too much this time, I had a baby five weeks ago so I really just
helped the choice of the curtains and wall colours.
Every room is a little different with the colours and the curtains.
In this room, the living room, it's more creams and browns.
As you go through the house, you see the bedrooms are cream and aqua, cream and black.
Tracy has plenty of experience
when it comes to renovating houses but however experienced you are
in the property game, there are always pitfall, as Tracy found out - quite literally!
I was painting the dining area and I put the stepladders back
and it fell through the floor and I went through with it. It was sore!
It was sore and I had to get my dad up to put the floor back in.
As well as this, the central heating needed to be replaced, as the pipes had corroded.
Outside, there were a couple of leaks in the roof that were
fairly straightforward to fix and the garden's been transformed.
Out here, we've neutralised and painted all the fence from blue to brown,
took away the big shed, and jet-washed it all, and it's all been landscaped so it looks quite pretty.
Whilst we were doing that, we relocated the central heating from the utility room to the garage,
so it made more sense to bring the oil tanker up to this end of the garden cos all the pipes were closer.
Moving the tank and replacing the central heating cost around £6,000.
What effect did that have on Tracy's budget,? How much has she had to spend?
My original budget, I thought I would do between £5,000-8,000.
I think I probably estimated, I'm actually sitting just under £12,000, finished.
-I was on site every day after work.
-Before work, some mornings I'd be here at 5am.
My husband was great because he'd bring me food up, so that was quite good!
Time to see what two local estate agents make of this bungalow.
It does look very nice but still has the disadvantage of a whiff from the local landfill site,
I think they've done a fabulous job certainly throughout the property.
I like that they're adding a dining room,
and I also like what they've done with the bedroom - splitting it into two.
The modifications they've carried out have been very good.
They've created a new dining area
and created a third bedroom, which should enhance the value.
A further improvement would be to take advantage of the nice countryside views,
so I would maybe enhance the front garden with some timber decking.
Tracy plans to add this to her other buy-to-let investments, so how much rental income could it generate?
I think you're looking at anywhere from about £600-650 per calendar month.
Rental values for this area would be somewhere between £600-625 per calendar month.
How much is the bungalow now worth?
You may remember that Tracy paid 95,000 and has spent another 12,000, making a total of £107,000.
In the sales market, you tend to be looking about £125-130,000.
We would anticipate a value of between £145-150,000.
That valuation range would generate a gross profit of between £18-43,000 - quite a difference!
When we got it, this house came with a Home Report and it did say the valuation
would be about 150, so we expected, with it done up to today's standard, that it would achieve that.
Tracy is now having second thoughts about renting.
I think I'll sell this property and do another one.
I did go a bit over budget but I have enjoyed every minute of it,
even falling through the floor! So I definitely would go and do another property.
Well, that's it for today's show but we'll have more tales
from the front line of property developing next time.
So make sure you join us then for more Homes Under the Hammer.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a building plot in Derbyshire, a flat in south London and a bungalow in Lanarkshire. 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.