Episode 56 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 56

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a bungalow in Middlesbrough, a property in London and a house in Bolton, and find out how much they sold for at auction.


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Property continues to fascinate us, even though the current conditions

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mean that it's harder to finalise a deal.

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Buying at the right price is imperative if you want to get any profit at the end of the day.

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Yeah, and going to your local auction is a good place to start.

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The properties on the show today are all very different.

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But their owners will all have the same hopes for them, that they make them some money.

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So let's find out what they bought.

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In Hemlington near Middlesbrough there's something that reflects quite badly on this bungalow.

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Don't like glass like that. I'll come back to that in a minute.

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I have high hopes for a London property that could be on the up.

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Let's hope it gets better the higher up we go. Onwards!

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And in Bolton there's a house that's off to a false start!

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All in all, not a bad... I was going to say "not a bad start", but what is that?

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All these properties are being sold at auction and we'll find out who bought them

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and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.

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Third and final time.

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Ten minutes' drive from busy industrial Middlesbrough brings you to Hemlington,

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a surprisingly green suburb.

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A farming community until the 1960s, you don't have to go far to get your fix of fields.

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So for those who like a taste of the outdoors within reach of a city, it might be worth a spin.

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Well, I'm on this rather nice estate, especially pleasant in this sunshine,

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here to see, I don't know, a pretty attractive-looking little bungalow.

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Got a lovely driveway here, you've got a garage, two bedrooms,

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at a guide price of £59,950. What does that get you for your money? Let's find out.

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The area gives a taste of suburbia, and this two-bed semidetached bungalow

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comes with a single garage and easy-to-maintain gardens at the front, side and back,

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so there'll be no messing with the outside. But what about inside?

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Well, you find all sorts of different layouts in bungalows. I wonder what this one will be like.

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OK. Well, in through the front door. First bedroom there. Not a massive size, but...mmm

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OK, we can live with that, I suppose.

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Don't like glass like that. I'll come back to that in a minute.

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That's your living room. You've got a bathroom, a little bit tired and dated,

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but at least it's clean and it's white and you could definitely live with that.

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Much bigger bedroom at the back. That's certainly much better news.

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Then, wow! Look at this. Absolutely lovely.

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It might not be to everyone's taste,

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but it's fairly new and perfectly serviceable.

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So I'm already thinking this bungalow doesn't need a lot of effort to sort it out.

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So the kitchen's already cooking on gas, but the rest of the house is in need of some updating.

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It's clear to me this wobbly window should be first for the chop.

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So we come to that living room. The first thing I'd do is get rid of this glass.

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Glass indoors, glass in panels like that is such a dangerous thing.

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So certainly replace that. But in here, it's a good size, but again very dated.

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So what are we going to do to this place to sort it out?

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Well, despite the fact you've got good schools around here,

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I think the reality is not that much room to extend,

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so it's more likely to go to maybe a retired couple.

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In that case, try and make it as... Well, sort it out as possible,

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so, you know, clean walls, maybe laminate flooring,

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just give it that sense that there's no jobs to be done,

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and you could just live here and enjoy it.

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You know what? I think if you made it feel like it was built yesterday, you'd find a buyer tomorrow.

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At the right price, of course.

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But the cost of modernising this bungalow wouldn't need to be a budget-buster.

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And there's always added value in good outside space.

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# Let's go outside... #

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So...a real surprise out here!

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A good-sized garden. And I like the fact that it's fairly low maintenance.

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You've got this shingle. At least there's a bit of interest going on with this little pathway.

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But it's not only over this side. It gets better. Because round the other side of the bungalow,

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towards the back... Keep going!

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..there is this enormous extra space.

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Yeah, more shingle, more low-maintenance shrubs.

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But a real bonus. I mean, you could even think about opening it out with some French doors.

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And of course as the sun tracks round you could move your sun-lounger and your glass of wine.

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How great is that?

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This semidetached bungalow had a guide price of £59,950.

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We asked a local estate agent to take a look

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and give us his take on who'd be best suited to live here.

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I think the bungalow would appeal to a range of different people,

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going from younger couples up to the older generation.

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Definitely, a retired couple, it would be ideal for them.

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You've got easy-to-maintain gardens.

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Just a nice good-sized bungalow.

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It doesn't need a great deal of work. Maybe a new bathroom suite, new decoration, new flooring,

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and you've got yourself a nice little bungalow.

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If that work was done, how much could it sell for?

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Once fully renovated I would expect the property to achieve around about £110,000.

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How easily would it rent out and for how much?

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This property would rent well. Looking around about £450 per calendar month.

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Well, at that guide price this place almost seems too good to be true, but I can't see much wrong with it.

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Yes, it needs a bit of smartening up, but similar bungalows around here,

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well, they're going to sell for a lot more than that, so there's money to be made.

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Let's see who spotted it when it went under the hammer.

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Anybody want to start me at 60?

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Anybody in the room?

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I'll take 58 to start.

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Is that a bid at the back? 58 bid.

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59. 60?

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61. 62.

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63. 64.

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65.

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66,000. New bidder at 67.

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68. 69. 70.

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70,000 bid.

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71. 72.

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73. 74.

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I'll take 500.

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73 and a half. 74. 74 and a half? 74 and a half.

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75? 75 bid. And a half?

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New bidder. 75 and a half.

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76, yeah? 76 bid.

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76 and a half. 77.

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76 and a half. Gentleman in the black T-shirt. Selling it once...

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Going to sell for the second time

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at £76,500.

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For the third and final time.

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Sold. 76 and a half. Gentleman in the middle.

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# Bungalow

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# Bungalow... #

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Successful with his bid of £76,500 was Chris,

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bidding on behalf of himself and future father-in-law Andrew.

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The pair have recently become business partners

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with a view to becoming full-time property developers,

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but did the bargain for a bungalow?

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# Bungalow... #

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Chris, Andrew, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations. Tell me why you wanted to buy the bungalow.

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-Well, it was a bit of an accident, really.

-An accident?

-Yeah.

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We were actually at the auction to buy a different property,

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and the price went a lot higher than what we were prepared to pay.

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We'd seen this one in the brochure. I know the area quite well,

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and thought it was quite a reasonable starting price, so we went in for it.

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That was basically it. We had actually bought another one at the auction as well.

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-Wow!

-Both in Middlesbrough without even seeing them, so...two accidents, really.

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So we've got our hands full!

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This is a classic case of having money in your pocket burning, isn't it?

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Especially when it's someone else's, yeah!

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-So, having seen them, how have they turned out? Are they OK?

-They're great.

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Soon as we walked in this one, especially,

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we instantly knew that there wasn't much that we needed to do. It's not going to take us very long.

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We're going to whizz round it quite quickly, just modernise it, you know, bring everything up to date,

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but the main things like the kitchen, that's OK,

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but the bathroom could do with maybe bringing it up to date.

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-But buying like you did, it could have been a disaster, couldn't it?

-Yeah.

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It could have been, but I was quite confident because I know the area very well.

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And I know the type of house. Saw some...we saw the photos,

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and sometimes you have to take a bit of a chance, don't you?

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It's a lot of money to take a chance on!

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Yeah!

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I've done it before.

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Do you sail by the seat of your pants in life in general?

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-Sometimes.

-Sometimes you have to.

-Sometimes you get your fingers burned, but...

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you know, if you don't try, you'll never know, will you?

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There's also the expression "try before you buy", but these two are a gutsy pair.

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They've bought five properties together so far and the plan here is to do some work, then sell it on,

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possibly to an investor. But what are they going to do to make it more saleable?

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In this room, especially, I think, obviously, take the wallpaper off, probably re-skim,

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skirting boards off, flooring up...

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-We don't know whether we're going to do wood or carpet yet, do we?

-No, we're not sure.

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-We're not sure yet.

-That's coming out.

-We'll take the frame out and put some nice double doors in.

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Some of the houses we've already done, you know, have been in really bad condition.

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So this one's going to be quite a pleasant surprise to work in, isn't it?

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-Definitely.

-Bathroom, I think we should put that right and retile it.

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When we take it out, we'll probably come across some nasty surprises anyway

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once we've pulled everything out,

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so if we have it in our head that we're going to do the full lot,

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-then we can't go wrong from there really, can we?

-No.

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And how are you going to divide the workload between the two of you? What will each of you do?

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Well, I'm going to do very little. Chris is going to do it all.

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Which is the case in most houses.

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Basically, I'm quite hands-on, but Andrew helps out in most of the...

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-I help.

-He's usually my labourer, so...

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-He's quite a good one. He's a well-paid labourer.

-No kidding!

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-Do you actually both do the sort of graft?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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-We get our hands dirty, yeah.

-We're both in it. It'll just be us two on this, definitely.

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So how did you two meet?

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I'll let you tell that story.

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-Well, I'm engaged to his daughter.

-Oh, really?

-Yeah.

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-Yeah, we've got two kids now, so...

-Fantastic!

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So that's how it came about, wasn't it? Andrew was in the mortgage business and I was driving machines,

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and then obviously with the houses, we got close, and we started doing a bit together, didn't we?

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-And it just developed from there.

-At what point did you meet his daughter? Before or after?

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-No, before. She came first.

-The kids came first as well! Yeah!

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Just started enjoying my life a little bit and then the grandkids came along and I'm tied up now!

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You don't look old enough to be a granddad, I have to say.

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-Don't say that!

-Is he going to be unbearable now, is he?

-I knew you might say that!

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Andrew's 41 in case you were wondering.

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The timescale they have to turn this place around is one month. Sounds reasonable,

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but both are in full-time jobs,

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so will be relying on evenings and weekends to get it done. Brave chaps!

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How much are they expecting to spend here?

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We were sort of thinking maybe spend about £5,000 on it.

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But now we've been back, I think it might be a little bit more, maybe another couple of thousand quid.

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-I think we might do it for 5,000 yet.

-We'll see.

-Yeah, we'll see.

-I know what you're like!

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How does the financial arrangement work between you?

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We don't know!

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No... Obviously in the past we've been working full-time through the week,

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so on a weekend it's just been a case of getting in at the properties, getting them done,

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and it's been a bit of like sort of light-heartedness, but now it's serious, it's basically 50/50,

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so what we'll do is I'm financing it,

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after the finance costs, whatever we make on the properties is split 50/50.

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Obviously, that's the only fair way to do it.

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What next?

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-Buy more.

-Buy more, yeah.

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-Sell, buy...

-It's what we want to do full-time.

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Basically be doing it five days a week and having the weekend off,

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instead of working five days a week and working the weekend.

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Well, listen, congratulations. Good luck with it and we look forward to seeing how you get on.

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Cheers.

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"If you don't try, you never know"?

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Well, yes, but if you don't look at property before you buy it,

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you could get yourself into a whole heap of trouble.

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However, in Chris and Andrew's case, I think they've actually ended up falling on their feet

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with this lovely little bungalow. How will they get on restoring it?

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You can find out later in the show.

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North London now, and our next auction lot's in Stoke Newington.

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Known to locals as Stokey, it's a buzzing, vibrant area that attracts young professionals,

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which pushes up property prices accordingly.

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Arguably, the most desirable road in the area is this one,

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with bars and restaurants just that way

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and Clissold Park literally there and stacks of lovely houses,

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and that is what English Heritage thought because vast swathes of these properties are Grade-2 listed,

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including this one I'm here to see today.

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In fact it's not one property, it's four one-bedroomed flats,

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all with a guide price of only £440,000-480,000.

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One-bedroomed flats around here can go for over 250,000,

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so with that guide price it sounds like you get four flats for the price of two!

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A straight-up double-your-money bargain? You and I know it's rarely that simple.

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Not a great start when you have to walk in through a metal security door!

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It's a bit grotty in here, holes in the walls, it's dark and dingy...

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I think that was the kitchen down there. Another metal grille on the door. A bedroom and a bathroom.

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It's fair to say it's in a bit of a state,

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but all is forgiven when you walk into a lovely big room like this. OK...

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it needs a lot doing to it, this space,

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and when you think that it's in a conservation area, it's a listed building,

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there are no beautiful hidden features anywhere, but that is something you can rectify,

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you can put those back in. So I would say not a great start.

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Let's hope it gets better the higher up we go. Onwards!

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# The only way is up... #

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You can't blame me for wanting to get out of here fast. It's not exactly a pleasant flat.

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Is that asbestos in the kitchen ceilings?

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And the bathroom... Well! Will I have more luck in the first-floor flat?

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Oh, well, I'm pleased to say this flat's in better condition.

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You've got the bathroom as you walk through the door, but I like it!

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Look at the size of this room.

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You've got a huge bedroom there with double doors leading out to a little balcony,

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wonderful ceiling height in here.

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You've got cornicing, deep skirting boards. This is a truly impressive room. I love it!

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And of course you've got the kitchen through here.

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Now, quite a small space, but I think it's quite nice that it's separate from the living area.

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And of course look at this, a wonderful bay window,

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and of course look at that view!

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I wouldn't get tired of looking at that park all day. Just fantastic!

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These beautiful sashes make a world of difference to this property.

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In fact, the bay window isn't original. It was added in Victorian times

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following the latest architectural fashion, but the house was built in the mid-1700s.

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But another bonus is the space here. This house is starting to win me over.

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Will that continue in the top-floor flat?

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It feels really spacious!

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It feels a lot bigger than the one downstairs.

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You've got the bathroom here on the half-landing,

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You've got this sort of double void area, a nice, big window here, a window through there,

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so loads of light, a really good-sized double bedroom. That's what I love to see!

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You've got the kitchen here. I think somebody's already started ripping that out.

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And to the front of the property, a fabulous sitting room,

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and all the rooms are really big.

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In other parts of London, developers would be knocking walls down to try and create another bedroom,

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but do you know what? I think it would be criminal to carve this space up,

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because it works so well as a one-bedroom.

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It's beautiful, I'd leave it as it is.

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The final flat's on the lower ground floor and doesn't convey such a positive feeling.

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The rooms are serviceable but pretty desperate

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and could really do with some work to bring them back to life.

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One way forward could be with a ground-floor extension,

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taking advantage of the huge back garden,

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but there are already some substandard add-ons here,

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and before you can say "planning permission", I've found a potential problem.

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If you have a listed building, it doesn't mean that you can't make alterations,

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especially if they would improve the house, as in this case,

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but it wouldn't necessarily be easy and you would need listed-building consent before you touched a brick.

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Now, the rules are there to make sure you don't alter the character of the property

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or destroy what makes a building special.

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Unfortunately, in this case, the listings department have stated that the rear of the property

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is an integral part of the building's character.

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So getting planning permission to change it might be problematic. That's disappointing,

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as it's the bit you'd probably want to alter,

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but the properties either side have large extensions, so maybe it's negotiable.

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Overall I'm impressed, bearing in mind that guide price of 440-480k.

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We asked along a local estate agent to hear what he thought was the best way forward.

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In my opinion, I wouldn't spoil these flats.

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There is a very fine dividing line between getting a good rent

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or selling well

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a very nice large one-bedroomed flat,

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or spoiling it and getting disproportionately small rooms.

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So my view would be leave it as it is, make them nice,

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and they will either sell or let very easily.

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My opinion exactly. But with the agent reckoning the house will need about £125,000 of renovation,

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would the returns be good?

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First, if sold?

0:18:530:18:55

If you extended the downstairs flat and it were a very attractive, large one-bedroom flat,

0:18:550:19:03

possibly 300,

0:19:030:19:05

and then probably 250-260, 265 for the upper flats.

0:19:050:19:11

Obviously the cost of the renovation will have to be factored in,

0:19:120:19:16

but those figures could mean the final value of the house could be over one million pounds.

0:19:160:19:21

What about rental values?

0:19:210:19:24

For a one-bed lower ground-floor flat, extended, I would say probably around £300 a week mark,

0:19:240:19:30

which would be £1,300 per calendar month.

0:19:300:19:33

And with the upper flats, I would say most probably about £1,150-1,200 per calendar month.

0:19:330:19:40

This lot is worth double the guide price and more.

0:19:410:19:45

But that is in good condition and it's certainly a long way off that at the moment.

0:19:450:19:49

But you are in amazing location. I love it!

0:19:490:19:51

And it's a fantastic opportunity,

0:19:510:19:53

but suited to somebody with deep pockets and lots of patience to work with this Grade-2 listing.

0:19:530:19:59

Let's see who that was at the auction.

0:19:590:20:02

Lot 136.

0:20:050:20:06

-Somebody start me at 450?

-500.

-Thank you.

0:20:060:20:10

That's a very nice bid. 500 I'm bid. 510 may I say?

0:20:100:20:14

510. Thank you, sir.

0:20:140:20:16

520, somebody?

0:20:160:20:17

520. 530? 530. 540?

0:20:170:20:20

540. 550?

0:20:200:20:22

550. 560? 550 here. 560 anywhere else?

0:20:220:20:26

560 at the back. 570?

0:20:260:20:29

570 now. 580, sir?

0:20:290:20:31

570 here with you, in the brown jacket.

0:20:320:20:36

570,000 I'm bid.

0:20:360:20:37

This property was clearly generating a lot of interest,

0:20:370:20:41

and its original upper guide price of 480,000 was left far behind.

0:20:410:20:47

We rejoin the bidding at a whopping 700 grand.

0:20:470:20:51

700, thank you. And 5?

0:20:510:20:54

And 5. 10, sir? 705.

0:20:540:20:57

Back with the lady. Any more?

0:20:570:20:59

At £705,000, then, against you, sir, just here on the left.

0:20:590:21:04

First time at 705.

0:21:040:21:06

It is your bid, madam. Don't worry, I've got you. Second time at 705.

0:21:080:21:13

Thank you, sir. 710. 715?

0:21:130:21:16

715? 715.

0:21:160:21:19

720, sir?

0:21:190:21:22

715, we're back with the lady at the back. First time at 715.

0:21:220:21:26

Second time at 715. Third and final time. It is your bid, madam.

0:21:260:21:30

Are you ready to buy it? There you go. Sold to you, madam.

0:21:300:21:35

That successful bid of £715,000 was made by Viv.

0:21:350:21:40

A Hackney local, a professional electrician,

0:21:400:21:43

Viv's the woman who will hopefully put a spark back into this place.

0:21:430:21:47

I met her in my favourite flat on the first floor to find out more.

0:21:470:21:53

-Viv, how lovely to meet you.

-Lovely to meet you.

0:21:530:21:57

That auction, I have to say, was quite funny because you did outbid yourself a few times!

0:21:570:22:00

Were you unaware of what was going on?

0:22:000:22:03

I was a bit unaware! And when they kept saying, "The bid's with the person at the back,"

0:22:030:22:07

I was thinking, "Well, am I at the back or is it the people behind me?"

0:22:070:22:11

I was getting very anxious. I was determined to have the house!

0:22:110:22:14

-You must be so pleased?

-I am really pleased. It's a bit of a dream project for me, so...

0:22:140:22:19

You did pay a fair bit over the guide price.

0:22:190:22:22

I was expecting it to go well over the guide price, so I wasn't surprised by that.

0:22:220:22:27

It would have been fantastic to have got it less, obviously, but I think we got a fair price for it.

0:22:270:22:33

How well do you know this part of London now?

0:22:330:22:35

I know this part of London really, really well.

0:22:350:22:38

Clissold Park, I brought my children here pretty much three or four times a week for about 10 or 15 years.

0:22:380:22:43

-So we know it very well.

-What do your kids think? I know you've got your son living downstairs currently.

0:22:430:22:48

That's right. He's looking after the building for us,

0:22:480:22:51

because it has had a history of being squatted and we were a little bit anxious about that.

0:22:510:22:55

So he's moved in here, he's looking after the development just before we can really get cracking on the works.

0:22:550:23:00

When the work does start up, Rory, her son, who's just finished a fine arts degree at university,

0:23:020:23:07

will take on a new role as trainee project manager. Viv herself is no newcomer to redevelopment,

0:23:070:23:12

as she's done several projects with her partner over the past nine years.

0:23:120:23:17

She's built up a small rental portfolio, but I was keen to find out more about her main day job.

0:23:170:23:23

You don't meet too many female electricians.

0:23:250:23:27

There's not too many of us, but there are a fair few tradeswomen around doing our thing, you know?

0:23:270:23:32

But mainly we are sort of self-employed.

0:23:320:23:36

We don't tend to really like to work on the big construction sites,

0:23:360:23:39

we don't feel too comfortable there, so mainly we're working in people's houses.

0:23:390:23:43

They're normally comfortable for us to be there and we like that.

0:23:430:23:47

With 30 years' experience in the business, Viv's picked up a lot of other skills,

0:23:470:23:52

which should some in handy on a job this size.

0:23:520:23:55

Although she's never tackled a listed building before,

0:23:550:23:57

it seems the future of this lovely house is in safe hands.

0:23:570:24:02

We are going to keep it as four flats. It's pretty much going to stay the layout pretty much as it is.

0:24:020:24:07

-It is a listed building...

-I know.

-And that means we do need listed-building consent

0:24:070:24:12

on anything we that we want to do. We can't actually start doing any work until we get that,

0:24:120:24:17

so that's quite a constraint. On the other hand, it is a beautiful house, with beautifully proportioned rooms,

0:24:170:24:25

and it would be a shame to cut it all up into very small rooms.

0:24:250:24:28

I did notice you've got those big old outbuildings downstairs outside.

0:24:280:24:33

-They're a bit ugly. I think they need to be linked up in some way, don't they?

-Yes.

0:24:330:24:36

That's where the major part of the work's going to be, and probably the largest expenditure

0:24:360:24:41

is we would hope to take both of those little extensions back down and rebuild them,

0:24:410:24:46

hopefully, going across.

0:24:460:24:48

That's where I'm a little bit worried about planning

0:24:480:24:51

is whether they consider any of that the original structure from Georgian times.

0:24:510:24:56

If we have to keep that, that will rather scupper any plans of linking them up,

0:24:560:25:00

but I'm hopeful.

0:25:000:25:02

Are you worried about the cost implications? It can start to get quite expensive.

0:25:020:25:06

-I am very worried about that.

-There are quite a lot of time delays as well.

0:25:060:25:10

Yes, I am very worried about that.

0:25:100:25:11

That's why I'm trying to, as far as possible, work out what they want in advance,

0:25:110:25:16

so that we can get the planning process through with the minimum of hold-ups.

0:25:160:25:20

I'm afraid Viv will just have to keep her nerve on this project,

0:25:200:25:24

and it may not be easy to get the necessary paperwork signed and sealed.

0:25:240:25:27

Having borrowed a good chunk of the money to help finance this purchase,

0:25:270:25:32

what did she have in mind for her renovation budget?

0:25:320:25:35

-My absolute top-whack budget...

-Today!

-..is £350,000.

-And that's it?

0:25:360:25:42

I can't squeeze any more pennies out of you?

0:25:420:25:44

Well, I really, really hope I don't have to, because obviously I can't stop part way,

0:25:440:25:48

but as soon as I know what the plan is then I can start getting the prices in,

0:25:480:25:52

so it's a little bit of an unknown at the moment,

0:25:520:25:54

mainly because I don't know what Listed Buildings are going to want me to do.

0:25:540:25:59

-That takes this whole building to well over a million that you've invested.

-Yes.

0:25:590:26:03

-A lot of money.

-It is a lot of money.

0:26:030:26:05

Does it make you nervous that you've taken on quite a big project here?

0:26:050:26:08

It does make me a bit nervous, but I'm hoping that I've done my research well enough,

0:26:080:26:14

and, if everything progresses well, I think we should be all right.

0:26:140:26:18

This project is the chance of a lifetime.

0:26:200:26:23

It's a sensational property, I love it!

0:26:230:26:26

But it requires serious commitment and vision from Viv.

0:26:260:26:29

She's the right woman for the job, but will she overcome the listing loopholes,

0:26:290:26:34

and will she see the profit that she's hoping for?

0:26:340:26:37

Find out what happens later on in the programme.

0:26:370:26:40

Coming up, this Bolton pad proves it's a dedicated follower of fashion.

0:26:410:26:46

I was laughing at this, because... This is back in fashion, you know?

0:26:460:26:50

In London, we discover whether Viv survived the rigours of renovating four flats.

0:26:510:26:57

I don't think I could do the property development full-time. It really is full-on.

0:26:570:27:01

But first, did Chris and Andrew come to blows over the bungalow?

0:27:020:27:07

I came back in and Chris had knocked them off the wall, so I didn't really get a say in that one.

0:27:070:27:11

We're heading back to Hemlington near Middlesbrough

0:27:130:27:16

where Andrew and future son-in-law Chris bagged themselves a bungalow for 76 grand.

0:27:160:27:23

It was a risky purchase as they hadn't even viewed it before the auction,

0:27:230:27:26

but they took it all in their stride.

0:27:260:27:29

-Sometimes you have to take a bit of a chance, don't you?

-It's a lot of money to take a chance on!

0:27:290:27:33

Yeah!

0:27:330:27:34

Did their gamble pay off? The grand plan was to turn this place around,

0:27:360:27:41

doing the majority of the work themselves, despite both having full-time jobs to juggle too.

0:27:410:27:46

Well, two months later, and the property is transformed

0:27:460:27:50

from the '70s throwback to contemporary cool!

0:27:500:27:54

The kitchen was the one area of the house which had already recently been done,

0:28:060:28:12

but a new floor has been put in to make it in keeping with the rest of the property's new look.

0:28:120:28:17

But what about the living room with the wobbly windows and the old-fashioned carpets?

0:28:170:28:21

Yeah...what we started with was the doors.

0:28:310:28:34

Obviously we needed to replace the old glass panelling and the old door.

0:28:340:28:38

We put a new doorframe in, replaced the doors with nice glass doors.

0:28:380:28:42

We then took the old skirting boards off and replaced them with new.

0:28:420:28:47

Took all the wallpaper off, sanded the walls, redecorated right through to brighten the room up,

0:28:470:28:51

new fireplace, and obviously we've wallpapered the chimney breast.

0:28:510:28:57

Put new carpet down, but the main thing was to brighten the room up and make it nice and homely.

0:28:570:29:03

And it's not the only area to have undergone a big change.

0:29:030:29:07

So basically what we had out here was a lean-to of greenhouse/conservatory.

0:29:160:29:21

So we took it all down and we were left with a base.

0:29:210:29:24

We weren't sure if we should break up the base,

0:29:240:29:27

and then Andrew came up with the idea of putting a deck on top of it, so that's what we did,

0:29:270:29:32

and I think it looks really well.

0:29:320:29:34

The bathroom has benefited from the addition of a bath and some new tiles,

0:29:340:29:40

which was a bit of a surprise to Andrew.

0:29:400:29:42

We had a bit of an incident with the tiles because I was hoping we were going to keep those.

0:29:420:29:46

I popped out to get some materials,

0:29:460:29:48

and came back and Chris had knocked them off the wall, so I didn't really get a say in that one.

0:29:480:29:52

Cheeky Chris! Hopefully, Tilegate wasn't enough to put them off working together again.

0:29:520:29:57

It's nice to work with Andrew, because we both have similar ideas of how we want the house to look

0:30:000:30:06

at the end of the day, so it's quite easy,

0:30:060:30:08

cos we do get on like best mates.

0:30:080:30:10

# He's my best friend... #

0:30:100:30:14

The aims was to do the work for £5,000.

0:30:140:30:18

£4,000 is what we spent, because we did all the work ourselves.

0:30:180:30:22

Kept the cost down quite a bit. So I think we did well.

0:30:220:30:27

20% under budget is certainly doing well.

0:30:270:30:30

And not only that but they also beat their original four-week timescale.

0:30:300:30:35

Our original timescale was a month. but we just pushed on and got it finished in the three-week margin.

0:30:350:30:41

Our original plan was to sell the property but a couple got in touch with us about renting the place,

0:30:410:30:46

and basically they came, viewed it, we were still undecided,

0:30:460:30:52

but as soon as they'd viewed it, they were really positive and wanted to move in straightaway basically,

0:30:520:30:57

so we are a bit undecided on what route we'll go in the future, but we're not in any rush.

0:30:570:31:03

# I'm gonna get lucky

0:31:030:31:06

# I'm gonna get lucky this time... #

0:31:060:31:08

It sounds as if luck has really been on their side and they've landed on their feet.

0:31:080:31:12

But I can't stress enough that purchasing a property without viewing it

0:31:120:31:17

is not something that you should do, even if Andrew might.

0:31:170:31:20

I think we will view them in the future, but if we are at an auction and a property comes up

0:31:200:31:24

and it's the right price, I still would take a risk.

0:31:240:31:27

They have now both committed to property development full-time, which was a big part of the plan,

0:31:270:31:33

and is paying off in more ways than one.

0:31:330:31:36

It gives us a lot more freedom than a 9-to-5

0:31:360:31:38

especially when we're doing a couple of properties at the same time, we can jump from one to the other,

0:31:380:31:43

so it's the freedom and obviously the finished result as well, when we've finished the house

0:31:430:31:48

and you can sit back and look at what you've done. That's the enjoyment we get.

0:31:480:31:51

Let's hear what two local estate agents

0:31:530:31:55

have to say about the property

0:31:550:31:56

now it's undergone a revamp.

0:31:560:31:59

This is the second time I've seen the property.

0:32:010:32:03

They've done a really good job, kept the property nice and neutral,

0:32:030:32:06

it's ideal for a resale.

0:32:060:32:08

I think the vendors have done a good job.

0:32:080:32:10

It's neat and tidy, it's got nice, neutral colours throughout,

0:32:100:32:13

good kitchen, good bathroom. Yeah, they've done a good job.

0:32:130:32:16

I think this is ideal for the rental market, again, nice clean bathroom suite,

0:32:160:32:21

nice and neutral, ideal in that it's what tenants are looking for.

0:32:210:32:24

Although not in any rush to sell, if they put it up for sale, how much could they expect to achieve?

0:32:240:32:32

I would put this property on the resale market for £110,000.

0:32:320:32:35

I would put this property on the market for resale for £110,000.

0:32:350:32:39

That's good, considering we only paid 76.

0:32:390:32:42

-Yeah, definitely. Happy with that.

-Yeah, I'm happy with that, yeah.

0:32:420:32:46

Well, they actually paid 76,500 and spent £4,000 on the work,

0:32:460:32:51

making their total outlay 80,500, so they could make a pre-tax profit of 29,500,

0:32:510:32:58

minus the usual selling expenses.

0:32:580:33:00

The property's already tenanted, so are they getting the right return?

0:33:000:33:03

I'd put this property on the market for rent at £550 per calendar month.

0:33:030:33:08

I'd put it on to the rental market for £550 per calendar month.

0:33:080:33:12

-Yeah, that's what we're getting.

-Yeah.

-We'd agree with that as well.

-Yeah, we'd agree with that.

0:33:120:33:18

£500 per calendar month is giving them an impressive rental yield of over 8%,

0:33:180:33:23

so the boys have done well, but do they think it was worth the leap of faith?

0:33:230:33:29

Yeah, I'm definitely enjoying my new career here. It's all been pretty plain sailing at the minute...

0:33:290:33:35

-Don't tempt fate, though!

-No, I won't tempt fate, but it's been really enjoyable,

0:33:350:33:40

and hopefully there'll be many more to come.

0:33:400:33:42

I'm in Bolton, a town in Greater Manchester,

0:33:440:33:48

ten miles northwest of Manchester city itself.

0:33:480:33:52

Well, this part of Bolton is called Tonge Moor,

0:33:520:33:54

which apparently is derived from the old English word "tang" or "twang" meaning "fork in the river".

0:33:540:34:01

Well, the property I'm here to see is this two-bed mid-terrace.

0:34:010:34:05

It had a guide price of £42,000.

0:34:050:34:08

Not sure about fork... I wonder if it might be a "knife" little earner! Oh...!

0:34:080:34:15

The property is in a great location about a mile from the town centre.

0:34:150:34:19

There's easy access to motorways and two primary schools close by,

0:34:190:34:23

so it could be an attractive purchase.

0:34:230:34:25

So, through the door, and straightaway, I love the fact it's got this little porch.

0:34:270:34:32

That really keeps the outside cold and noise out of the main lounge area.

0:34:320:34:37

Fairly standard layout apart from that.

0:34:370:34:40

Straightaway I can see a bit of damp on this wall,

0:34:400:34:44

and you never quite know if that's gone into the floorboards or the joists,

0:34:440:34:48

although it feels pretty sound.

0:34:480:34:50

Definitely have a closer look at that if you had a bit more time.

0:34:500:34:53

Er...a real fire...

0:34:530:34:56

I was laughing at this, because... This is back in fashion, you know?

0:34:560:35:00

To have basically a fairly simple room and a very interesting chimney breast

0:35:000:35:05

with some fairly wacky wallpaper. So you might even leave that like it is,

0:35:050:35:09

but open that up to make a central feature.

0:35:090:35:11

All in all, not a bad... I was going to say "not a bad start", but what is that?

0:35:110:35:16

Oh, dear! I don't know what's going on there, but parcel tape holding a ceiling together

0:35:160:35:21

is never a promising sign. This is possibly indicative of a water leak

0:35:210:35:26

and will need some attention or at least replastering.

0:35:260:35:29

# Drip-drip, drippity-drip... #

0:35:290:35:32

So good news at the back here. The kitchen is a good size.

0:35:330:35:36

The bad news? It needs complete refurbishment.

0:35:360:35:40

But I reckon spend £1,500-2,000 and you'd really transform this place.

0:35:400:35:45

While I was doing that, though, I would certainly get rid of this wall.

0:35:450:35:49

It's just partition, it would be very easy to take out, and it would open it up.

0:35:490:35:53

What it's there for, I've got no idea.

0:35:530:35:55

Another slightly unusual feature is this!

0:35:550:35:58

It throws quite a lot of light into the room, but apart from that...

0:35:580:36:01

You know what? I think you're going to have to leave that,

0:36:010:36:04

because it'll be far too expensive to do anything with it. Mmm!

0:36:040:36:07

It's a frustrating feature

0:36:070:36:09

because having a bay window here prevents a straight run of units against this wall...not ideal!

0:36:090:36:15

But what does this property have to offer in terms of outside space?

0:36:150:36:18

Well, definitely a bit of sprucing-up needed here. Yuck!

0:36:180:36:23

You can also see the source of that damp in the kitchen.

0:36:230:36:26

There seems to be water penetration from outside, so a damp-proof course may be necessary.

0:36:260:36:33

Well, upstairs it's a case of more good news and bad. The bathroom is at least upstairs,

0:36:350:36:40

which is the good news. The bad news again, it needs a bit of money spending on it.

0:36:400:36:44

But, you know...I'd trade having it up here for the fact it needs a bit of refurbishment any day!

0:36:440:36:49

Two bedrooms, quite a smaller ones there and a very large one at the front.

0:36:490:36:54

I like the layout of this house, and I think it really works.

0:36:540:36:58

With a guide price of 42,000, is it a tempting prospect or just a terribly tired terrace?

0:36:580:37:06

We asked along a local estate agent to give us his views.

0:37:060:37:09

The property's a good-sized,

0:37:090:37:11

two-bedroomed terraced house.

0:37:110:37:13

Nice big lounge, good-sized dining-kitchen,

0:37:130:37:16

two good bedrooms for renting the property, and a good-sized bathroom.

0:37:160:37:20

So let's talk cash. In terms of resale and rental values, once the house is renovated,

0:37:210:37:26

-how much could it achieve?

-The rental that we'd achieve for this property

0:37:260:37:31

would be £425-450 per calendar month.

0:37:310:37:35

If we were marketing this property, we'd put it on the market at roughly £65,000.

0:37:350:37:41

Well, I like this place. For a first-time buyer

0:37:420:37:45

or somebody who wants to get themselves on the investment property ladder,

0:37:450:37:48

a good one to go for. Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.

0:37:480:37:52

Vacant two-bedroomed terraced house,

0:37:550:37:58

£30,000 I'm bid, and we're away at 30,000.

0:37:580:38:01

£30,000. 30,000 bid. I'll take yours at 32. At 32,000. 34.

0:38:010:38:06

At 34. 36. At 36?

0:38:060:38:09

No, 35. Good grief! 35. 36? At 36,000?

0:38:090:38:13

35,500? 35,500. Same to you. 36?

0:38:130:38:17

36. 36,500?

0:38:170:38:19

36,500. 37.

0:38:190:38:21

37. 37,500? 37,500. 38?

0:38:220:38:26

At 38,000?

0:38:260:38:27

38,500. At 39? 39,000. At 39,500. Give me 40.

0:38:270:38:33

At 40,000. No? At 39,500. What's going to make it? 39,000. 39,750?

0:38:330:38:39

39,750. 40?

0:38:390:38:41

At 40,000. 40,250?

0:38:410:38:44

Shake your head. No. Forget it. At £40,000, then.

0:38:440:38:47

At £40,000... Sorry, 40,250.

0:38:470:38:51

40,500. 40,250 for the first time.

0:38:510:38:54

Second time at 40... There we go, so it's 40,500.

0:38:540:38:58

40,750. 41.

0:38:580:39:01

41,250. 41,500.

0:39:010:39:03

41,750. 42.

0:39:030:39:05

42,250. 42,500.

0:39:050:39:08

42,500. 42,750. 43. 43,250. It keeps going up there. 43,250.

0:39:080:39:14

43,500. 43,750. 44. Shall we make it easy? 45.

0:39:140:39:19

At 45. 46.

0:39:190:39:21

At 46,000. 47. 48.

0:39:210:39:23

At 48. 49.

0:39:230:39:24

50. 51. 52.

0:39:240:39:27

53. 54. No.

0:39:270:39:29

53,000, then. 53,500? Try another 250.

0:39:290:39:34

Might as well. We've done it all the way along.

0:39:340:39:36

53,250? 53,250. 53,500.

0:39:360:39:40

No? At 53,500, then, for the first time.

0:39:400:39:43

Second time at 53,500. Third and final time at 53,500.

0:39:430:39:48

That successful bid was made by retired fireman Bob.

0:39:480:39:53

# Yeah, they call me the fireman

0:39:530:39:56

# That's my name... #

0:39:560:39:58

He's a regular at property auctions.

0:39:580:40:01

I met him at his new Bolton house to find out more.

0:40:010:40:04

-Bob, congratulations.

-Thank you.

-Well done.

0:40:040:40:07

-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.

-Mainly as an investment,

0:40:070:40:11

and refurbish it...

0:40:110:40:13

Perhaps look to sell it on. If not, I'll be renting it out.

0:40:130:40:18

-Have you done this sort of thing before?

-Yes, it's the fourth property I have.

0:40:180:40:23

Done over a period of four years, I've just done one a year.

0:40:230:40:27

I don't consider myself a property developer, but I have four properties.

0:40:270:40:32

And is the idea you buy them, do them up and sell them or do you keep them?

0:40:320:40:36

I've always bought them with a view to doing them up to a nice standard,

0:40:360:40:40

then trying to sell them. Obviously, the market like it is at the moment,

0:40:400:40:45

-all the properties have ended up being rented out.

-Have they?

0:40:450:40:48

I was going to say.

0:40:480:40:49

The four years you've been doing it have been topsy-turvy times in the property world, haven't they?

0:40:490:40:53

Absolutely, but more by good fortune, it's all worked out in my favour.

0:40:530:40:58

So Bob's plan is to do this up and sell it on.

0:40:580:41:03

But if that doesn't pan out, he'll let it just like the other properties he owns.

0:41:030:41:07

He's been doing up houses for four years now, but has actually been rescuing them for much longer.

0:41:070:41:13

-So tell me more about you. What's your background?

-I was a fireman for 32 years.

0:41:150:41:19

-Oh, congratulations!

-Up until retiring four years ago.

0:41:190:41:23

And since then I've done one property each year, during the winter months.

0:41:230:41:28

Keeps me occupied and I have all the summer to myself.

0:41:280:41:33

-Great! That presumably supplements your pension a little bit?

-Yes.

0:41:330:41:37

Like I say, it just keeps me occupied during the winter months. It's something to do.

0:41:370:41:42

# In the summertime when the weather is high

0:41:420:41:45

# You can stretch right up and touch the sky... #

0:41:450:41:48

Bob keeps himself busy doing renovations during the winter months,

0:41:480:41:53

then, once the weather improves, he and his wife Helen enjoy travelling. Sounds great,

0:41:530:41:58

but before he can jet off to sunnier climes he's got a house to fix up. So what's his plan here?

0:41:580:42:05

First of all, I'm going to get the fabric of the building checked over,

0:42:050:42:08

the roof, the damp-proof course, obviously, the services, the gas and electric,

0:42:080:42:13

that'll all be done straightaway.

0:42:130:42:15

-Then I intend moving the wall in the kitchen, make it a large kitchen-diner.

-Oh, wow!

0:42:150:42:21

Hopefully! Change the front doors. The windows are already uPVC,

0:42:210:42:27

but the doors haven't been done, so I will be doing those.

0:42:270:42:29

And when we've got the main fabric of the building all sorted out,

0:42:290:42:34

I'll plaster it up, then we'll get a new bathroom, new kitchen, and decorating all the way through.

0:42:340:42:41

It's quite a comprehensive programme of refurbishment, that.

0:42:410:42:43

I'll be nice when it's done.

0:42:430:42:46

It certainly sounds like Bob will be doing a full job on this house.

0:42:460:42:51

He's expecting to get it done in three months. How much is he planning to spend?

0:42:510:42:55

-I don't expect to be going much over £8,000.

-Right.

0:42:570:43:01

I do most of the work myself anyway, but I do have a network of good builders at good prices,

0:43:010:43:09

good quality works, and I will call on friends and family.

0:43:090:43:13

-Well, congratulations. Good luck with it.

-Thanks.

-I look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you.

0:43:130:43:17

Well, former fireman Bob certainly seems to have got his work-life balance just about right,

0:43:170:43:23

working on properties in the winter and having the summer off. Sounds idyllic.

0:43:230:43:27

But can he really get this place sorted out for just £8,000?

0:43:270:43:30

You can find out later in the show.

0:43:300:43:33

Doing up property can be time-consuming and expensive.

0:43:360:43:40

So have our new owners managed to stick to their timescales and budgets?

0:43:400:43:43

Let's find out.

0:43:430:43:45

We've returned to Stoke Newington where electrician Viv bought this Grade-2 listed building

0:43:460:43:52

for £715,000.

0:43:520:43:55

Ripe for redevelopment, it comprised not one but four separate flats.

0:43:550:43:59

She's a brave lady to take on this job and a half!

0:43:590:44:03

Does it make you nervous that you've taken on quite a big project here?

0:44:030:44:06

It does make me a bit nervous, but I'm hoping that I've done my research well enough,

0:44:060:44:12

and, if everything progresses well, I think we should be all right.

0:44:120:44:16

But did her optimism pay off?

0:44:160:44:19

And she manage to get the planning permission necessary to make the changes she wanted?

0:44:190:44:25

It's now 16 months since her purchase of the property

0:44:440:44:47

and some major changes have taken shape in the two top flats.

0:44:470:44:51

Viv has completely transformed them in a contemporary style and has really opened up the space.

0:44:510:44:57

This room was originally two rooms. We decided to make it one kitchen-living room.

0:44:590:45:04

We've replaced the windows with double-glazed windows

0:45:040:45:07

and incorporated a lot of shelving and extra storage.

0:45:070:45:10

Finally, we've laid this lovely oak floor, and I'm really pleased with the finished result.

0:45:100:45:16

The bottom two flats have been gutted and are ready for decoration.

0:45:230:45:27

But first Viv had to get rid of some old extensions to allow for something a little different.

0:45:290:45:34

This is the area that was between the two existing extensions which we've demolished.

0:45:370:45:41

And Hackney Planning allowed us to put this lovely glazed extension on,

0:45:410:45:45

so that we could get maximum light into the two bottom flats.

0:45:450:45:48

I think it's worked really well.

0:45:480:45:50

This is an inspired idea of Viv's.

0:45:500:45:53

By tweaking the layouts, this has created more space in both lower flats.

0:45:530:45:58

Luckily, getting that crucial planning permission wasn't the headache it often is.

0:45:580:46:03

Planning permission wasn't as difficult as we imagined.

0:46:030:46:06

We met with the local conservation officer here at the property,

0:46:060:46:10

and she ran through with us what would be acceptable and what wouldn't be.

0:46:100:46:14

Hackney Council seem to be quite comfortable with combining the traditional and the modern,

0:46:140:46:19

so I thought they were very accommodating.

0:46:190:46:22

As an experienced tradeswoman herself, Viv was unafraid to get her hands dirty.

0:46:220:46:27

I've done all of the electrics, but I've also done all the project management of all the other trades

0:46:270:46:33

and the design, so I've been very hands-on.

0:46:330:46:36

And I'm very proud of what we've managed to achieve.

0:46:360:46:39

As well she should be!

0:46:390:46:41

# London pride has been handed down to us

0:46:410:46:44

# London pride is a flower that's green... #

0:46:440:46:48

Viv seems to have really poured her heart and soul into this place,

0:46:480:46:51

and so far it looks absolutely fantastic.

0:46:510:46:54

She'd aimed to spend a maximum of 350,000 on it

0:46:540:46:58

and have it finished in just over a year.

0:46:580:47:00

But once she got stuck in...

0:47:000:47:03

The top two flats have been completed for about a month now.

0:47:030:47:06

We're continuing work on the basement and ground-floor flats.

0:47:060:47:11

I would really hope that both of those are finished in about three months' time.

0:47:110:47:15

Our final spend will be about £420,000.

0:47:150:47:18

So she's gone over her original budget by about 70,000.

0:47:190:47:23

We invited two estate agents to ask if she'll see a return

0:47:230:47:27

on her investment.

0:47:270:47:28

It's lovely. Cracking terrace as a whole. The whole building is very, very attractive.

0:47:280:47:32

And I...

0:47:320:47:34

sense the owner is very passionate about the finished product,

0:47:340:47:38

so, yeah, very impressive.

0:47:380:47:40

Sometimes with period buildings,

0:47:400:47:41

people can almost make them into museums, and it's quite nice

0:47:410:47:45

to see something where you've got a real mixture of contemporary architecture

0:47:450:47:49

that blends in well with the original building.

0:47:490:47:52

The estate agents gave rental estimates for all four flats

0:47:520:47:57

of between £1,300 and £1,800 a month,

0:47:570:48:00

but Viv's plan was always to sell.

0:48:000:48:02

So what could the flats reach on the market?

0:48:020:48:06

The resale value for the flats...

0:48:060:48:08

For the top two, the first and the top floor,

0:48:080:48:11

I would put those on the market for £375,000.

0:48:110:48:15

Particularly on your top floor you'd be looking to achieve somewhere in excess of £350,000.

0:48:150:48:21

The one-bedroom flat below, smaller, but with the terrace,

0:48:210:48:25

a similar figure, 350,000.

0:48:250:48:27

For the ground floor and the lower ground floor flats with the garden and the extension,

0:48:270:48:34

I would put those on for £500,000.

0:48:340:48:38

The raised ground floor would be the most popular unit.

0:48:380:48:41

I think that could be nudging close to 500,000, but I don't think it'll go above that point.

0:48:410:48:46

The lower ground floor, slightly smaller garden, little bit darker,

0:48:460:48:49

£450,000, £460,000.

0:48:490:48:52

I'm very excited about the resale prices for the bottom two flats.

0:48:520:48:57

I wasn't expecting them to be valued so highly, so that's brilliant.

0:48:570:49:00

The top two flats are much in line with my expectations.

0:49:000:49:04

Viv's total outlay has been £1,135,000.

0:49:050:49:11

The top valuations from the estate agents would put the four flats at £1,750,000,

0:49:110:49:18

so that could be an incredible pre-tax profit of 615,000,

0:49:180:49:22

minus the usual selling expenses,

0:49:220:49:25

but, even with those impressive figures, Viv's not tempted by a career change yet!

0:49:250:49:31

I don't think I could do the property development full-time. It really is full-on

0:49:340:49:38

for the time that you're doing it, and I need a little rest from that.

0:49:380:49:41

But I will always be keeping my eye open for a good development opportunity.

0:49:410:49:45

# Yeah, they call me the fireman That's my name... #

0:49:480:49:52

We're going back to Bolton where former fireman Bob purchased this two-bedroom mid-terrace for £53,500.

0:49:520:49:59

This was the fourth property he'd bought to renovate since retiring,

0:49:590:50:03

when he discovered the key to a perfect work-life balance.

0:50:030:50:06

I've done one property each year, during the winter months.

0:50:060:50:10

Keeps me occupied and then I have all the summer to myself.

0:50:100:50:15

So did Bob manage to see the sunny side of this fixer-upper?

0:50:170:50:21

His aim was to complete the work in three months.

0:50:210:50:24

Well, five months later, and is the house shipshape and Bolton fashion?

0:50:260:50:31

Downstairs the funky wallpaper's been ditched

0:50:560:50:59

and Bob's chosen cream and a funky fireplace instead.

0:50:590:51:03

And that nasty-looking taped-up hole in the ceiling is a distant memory.

0:51:030:51:08

So...in the lounge we had an old-fashioned fireplace in situ.

0:51:090:51:15

That's now been replaced with a nice feature fire

0:51:150:51:18

which was a bargain off an auction site.

0:51:180:51:22

We had surface-mounted main gas supply pipes the full length of the walls.

0:51:240:51:31

Fortunately, the gas engineer was able to replace them and put them underneath the floorboards.

0:51:310:51:38

That makes our look a lot more tidy.

0:51:380:51:41

It certainly does. In the kitchen, that pesky bay window has been taken out, and new units fitted.

0:51:410:51:49

Something else is missing here now.

0:51:510:51:53

One of the walls is no longer and the kitchen feels much more spacious.

0:51:530:51:58

The kitchen initially had a wall into a corridor.

0:52:040:52:08

We've removed that wall, we've moved the bay back level with the wall,

0:52:080:52:13

which allowed us then to get a good run of units.

0:52:130:52:17

There was another window towards the corner of the kitchen, which we blocked up.

0:52:170:52:23

We didn't want to move the boiler,

0:52:230:52:25

but by blocking that window up, it's now allowed us to get a good run of cupboards, wall units

0:52:250:52:32

and base units.

0:52:320:52:34

It's now made the kitchen a whole lot more practical.

0:52:340:52:37

Bob's clearly grafted hard to turn this place around.

0:52:370:52:41

The house has been completely gutted.

0:52:410:52:44

A number of the walls and ceilings had to be replastered.

0:52:440:52:48

And walls have been knocked down, structural work...

0:52:480:52:52

new doors put in...

0:52:520:52:54

a new bathroom, new kitchen,

0:52:540:52:56

and completely decorated all the way through.

0:52:560:52:59

The damp-proof course was fine.

0:52:590:53:02

The problem however was the gutters at the top had failed.

0:53:020:53:06

As a result, we had to have the gutters replaced at the back. It's been quite a lot of work.

0:53:060:53:12

That is an awful lot of work.

0:53:120:53:14

Was it possible to do all that and keep within his £8,000 budget?

0:53:140:53:19

It's come in probably just short of 9,500.

0:53:190:53:24

There was a few hidden costs that I hadn't taken into account early on.

0:53:250:53:30

I still think that for this sort of transformation, less than £10,000 is pretty good going.

0:53:340:53:41

Bob was able to achieve this with a little help from his friends.

0:53:410:53:44

# I get by with a little help from my friends... #

0:53:440:53:48

I used the same lads, a builder, gas engineer, electricians...

0:53:500:53:57

They're all good lads and they all look after me and come in at the right price.

0:53:570:54:02

Is he happy with the end result?

0:54:020:54:04

It's nice, fresh, modern.

0:54:040:54:07

Anybody who gets the house has got a nice sturdy house that looks the part.

0:54:070:54:13

Despite a harsh winter holding up his start date,

0:54:130:54:16

Bob did complete the work within his three-month timescale.

0:54:160:54:21

What do two local estate agents

0:54:230:54:25

make of Bob's latest project?

0:54:250:54:27

It's finished to a very high standard.

0:54:270:54:29

It's got a new kitchen, new bathroom,

0:54:290:54:32

two good-sized bedrooms.

0:54:320:54:35

It's very well-decorated the front and rear of the property, extremely well presented.

0:54:350:54:40

The finish itself is very, very good.

0:54:400:54:42

Normally, at this level, it can be questionable, but here,

0:54:420:54:45

as you can see, all of the fittings are of a very good standard,

0:54:450:54:48

the paint finish is very good and it will portray the property in a good light.

0:54:480:54:52

So far so good. Bob's plan is to sell. What sort of price could the property be marketed for?

0:54:520:54:57

If I was to put the property on the market for sale, we'd be looking to achieve £75,000,

0:54:570:55:02

and as a result we'd put an asking price on it of around £78,000.

0:55:020:55:07

I'd be looking to place this property on the market in the region of £77,000,

0:55:070:55:11

with a view to achieve £75,000.

0:55:110:55:14

That's ideal. My target right from the outset has been to achieve 75,000 as a sale price.

0:55:140:55:22

If I can achieve that, I will sell.

0:55:220:55:25

With the purchase price of £53,500, plus £9,500 on the work,

0:55:250:55:30

Bob's total outlay is £63,000.

0:55:300:55:34

So selling for 75,000 would give him a pre-tax profit of £12,000, minus the usual selling expenses.

0:55:340:55:41

If this is not achievable in the current market, he's willing to consider renting.

0:55:410:55:46

What sort of rental could he make here?

0:55:460:55:49

You'd be looking between £425 and £450 per calendar month.

0:55:490:55:52

To rent the property we'd be looking to achieve around £475 per calendar month.

0:55:520:55:57

I've had a number of inquiries already from local people

0:55:570:56:02

who are prepared to pay £450...

0:56:020:56:05

which will give me over an 8% yield, so that's ideal if I can achieve that as well.

0:56:050:56:13

Despite a well-earned break over the summer,

0:56:130:56:15

ex-fireman Bob won't be giving up on property renovating any time soon.

0:56:150:56:20

It's enjoyable,

0:56:200:56:21

hard work, but ultimately it's nice when you see the end result,

0:56:210:56:28

and it's nice when it's finished.

0:56:280:56:30

# Goodness gracious, great balls of fire! #

0:56:300:56:34

Well, that's it for now.

0:56:370:56:38

We'll have another selection box of properties for you to take your pick from next time.

0:56:380:56:42

-So make sure you join us then. See you.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:420:56:45

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:56:500:56:54

E-mail [email protected]

0:56:540:56:59

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a bungalow in Middlesbrough, a property in London and a house in Bolton. 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.