Episode 57 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 57

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a semi in Doncaster, a Victorian property in Camberwell and a house in Norfolk, and find out how much they sold for at auction.


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When you buy property, you want to know what's happening to the prices.

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How do you know what the market's doing? Is it going up or down?

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One way to find out is to go to your local auction house.

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Auctions are really exciting and you can easily be tempted to buy.

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But one way to guarantee success - you must do your homework first.

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So let's find out what properties created a buzz on today's show.

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'There's only one way to the kitchen in this Doncaster semi - by going out of the house!'

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That is the only way you can access the kitchen.

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'In Camberwell, South London, it's easy to get touchy-feely with this Victorian, three-bed house.'

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Just makes you want to give it a hug.

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'And in Attleborough, Norfolk, this semi-detached might have some serious problems ahead.'

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Something about that wall isn't quite right.

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'All these properties were sold at auction.

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-'We'll find out who bought them when they went under the hammer.'

-Yours, madam.

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I'm in Bentley just outside Doncaster

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where up for auction was a two-bed semi.

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It had a guide price of 40,000 to 45,000 quid.

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It looks OK from the outside. Let's take a look.

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It really does appear to be in decent condition from outside -

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double-glazed windows, a new door and brickwork that looks in fair order. It's all too good to be true!

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So... I'm not a big fan of that. You walk through the front door and you're faced by a wall.

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It's a door and not the stairs cupboard. It's very cramped. See if you can change that layout.

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You've got a front sitting room, then through into the rear sitting room. Not a bad size.

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But again, what is happening here in terms of layout?

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You go out through these doors into what is basically this conservatory area

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and that is the only way you can access the kitchen.

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How disastrous is that? It gets worse because back there is the only toilet in the property.

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The kitchen isn't a bad size and you have got this little serving hatch,

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but really, come on - major modifications required!

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This doesn't flow well at all and as things stand, it's way too complicated to remain.

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# Why do you have to go and make things so complicated? #

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That bathroom isn't ideal either.

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On the bright side, the other rooms are in good order and are a nice size to boot.

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Outside, it's far simpler.

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The garden is sizeable and you could even think about extending the property.

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It could take it, but there would be a ceiling price in the area,

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so you'd have to do your sums before any structural work.

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So upstairs, just two bedrooms - one at the rear of the property and another one at the front.

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A few things going on here - a bit of dampness on the wall. I don't think that's too much of an issue.

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Probably just a loose tile off the roof or guttering that needs clearing out. It doesn't concern me.

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Up here, I'd like to see a bathroom facility - maybe just a loo or an en-suite.

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I don't know what you could do. But compared to the downstairs, upstairs is actually quite peachy.

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So if you got that kitchen-conservatory layout sorted,

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then at the £40,000 to £45,000 guide price, this house could prove an attractive investment.

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But would a local estate agent be equally positive?

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We invited one along to find out

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and started off by asking about the awkward layout here.

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The layout of these properties

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are all the same, all traditional, but some have knocked them through.

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It is the formal lounge and dining set-up.

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Two up, two down. All the area is the same.

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So buyers in the area will be aware of the layout, but what exactly does the house need?

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This property needs a full renovation - a new kitchen, a new bathroom. It needs the full works.

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Let's talk money now. How much could someone make here? First, on rental.

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In a good condition, we are looking at a region of £400 per calendar month up to £425.

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And if renovated, how much could a re-sale achieve?

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I would put this on the market for £69,950.

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A nice enough little property,

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but whoever bought this is going to have to sort out the layout issues at the back.

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That kitchen area just doesn't work. Let's find out who that was when it went under the hammer.

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We're going to Bentley in Doncaster now

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and this is a two-bedroom, extended semi-detached house. Start me at 35?

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£35,000. £35,000 sat down. At 36 anywhere?

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36. 37?

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37. 38. 39.

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40. 41.

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42. 43?

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42 and a half. 43 shall we say...?

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43 and a half.

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44. 44 and a half?

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44 and a half. 45. It's against you now at 45,000. 45 and a half?

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Yes, 45 and a half. 46.

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46 and a half? 46 and a half. 47?

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Thank you. 47. It's against you now.

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47 and a half. 48?

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48,000. 48 and a half?

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No. For the first time at 48,000...

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The second time at £48,000. The third and last time at £48,000...

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It's yours, sir. Well done.

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'The man who snapped up this lot for 48,000 was Graham.

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'He owns a haulage company and came along for a chat with two of his children -

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'Mason on the left here and Jordan in the middle.

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'But they weren't just here for the ride. They had a vested interest in the property. More of that later.

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'I spoke to Graham to hear more.'

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-Graham, congratulations.

-Thank you.

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-Why did you want to buy this house?

-We'd been looking for something for a while.

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This seemed close enough to where we live. We went to the auction and bought it.

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Buying it as an investment or somewhere to live?

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Really just an investment.

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In the first instance, we thought we'd buy it just to overhaul it and sell it.

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-What prompted you into property developing?

-We've had a little bit of an association with our business.

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We've always wanted to do it and I've never had enough time.

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But things have changed recently, so I thought this was the time to do it.

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-Why this particular property?

-It seemed a good price

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and pretty close to where we live, so it's accessible very quickly.

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-It was just the right money.

-It's a good little property. Some quirks need to be sorted out.

-Yeah.

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But in general, it's a good place.

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'The house does have its plus points, but this rear layout isn't one of them.

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'Graham will re-model the downstairs floor plan into a more practical area, starting with the kitchen.'

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-That is clearly the biggest, weirdest bit.

-Oh, yeah.

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The house is pretty straightforward. It's just clean it up, tidy up, new carpets, a few doors.

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That'll be simple. But back there is just a bit more...

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We can tidy it up and leave it like it is. That's simple.

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But if we were keeping the house, we would definitely go for making the kitchen bigger,

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a bigger utility room, just so as it would be better.

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'Major alterations would require planning permission and building regulations,

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'but would be worth the effort if it improves the rear layout.

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'Graham is not taking on this project alone.'

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My three children will help us. They've put some of their savings into it.

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-So they've got a vested interest in it.

-How old are they?

-18, 16 and 15.

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-They've put some of their savings into the house?

-Yeah.

-Tell me more.

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They like to save. They're very canny in what they do with their money.

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They're not earning a lot of money in the bank at the moment.

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As we said we'd buy this, it seemed a way of earning some money faster for them, or hopefully.

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-And how much money have they each put in?

-They've put 12.5% of the purchase price in between them.

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-Between them, they've put in about £5,000?

-Yeah.

-Quite a chunk?

-Yeah.

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-They've bought a share of the building.

-They've bought work.

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-Right. How do you mean?

-They're going to have to help us do it to get their money back, aren't they?

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Because they're getting to a working stage of their life,

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we're trying to get them into something that could be a future for them.

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-Property renovations might be that.

-Right.

-They're eager to make money. They're eager.

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'His children have earned the money by working for their dad's company and put their savings into this.

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'To find out more, I met the new investors in the garden.'

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-So, Mason, Jordan, you're two members of the three children buying team.

-Yeah.

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-How did this all come about?

-Mum and Dad came to us and said, "We've bought a property.

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"Do you want to put some of your money in towards it, so you can have some more money later on?"

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Our money in the bank were not really doing anything. The interest has gone down.

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So it was just put money in to invest really.

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-Mason, what were your thoughts?

-I thought it were a good idea.

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Rather than keeping money in the bank, you can invest it in something else.

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Hopefully with profits, rather than sat around.

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# But he's got high hopes

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# He's got high hopes... #

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'Mason and Jordan have got their financial heads screwed on and are keen to get their money working hard

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'but it's also a chance for them to discover the pitfalls of property ownership.'

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It's a good thing to get a bit of experience with houses,

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so when you get older and need to buy one, you know a bit about it.

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'Wise words from our budding young entrepreneurs. I'm very impressed.

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'The property world had better watch out.

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'But there's a long way to go before they'll see a return on their investment.

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'It's down to how much they spend.'

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The budget is very dependent on how intense the kitchen gets.

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If we've got to build new walls, that'll be more expensive than we thought.

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But I'm thinking we should easily do it between maybe £10,000, £12,000.

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That depends on the extension, of course.

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-What kind of timescale?

-We're a bit held up with the builders maybe.

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I'm thinking 12, 16 weeks if we can get people on site quick enough.

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You must be very keen that this is successful for lots of reasons.

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It's got to be. They'll be disappointed if they don't make money.

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-I hope it's a big success for you. I look forward to seeing how you all get on.

-Great. Thank you.

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What a great idea and how smart of the kids to get involved in property at such an early age!

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Still, the pressure is now on to make this a success.

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How are they going to get on? You can find out later in the show.

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This is Camberwell in south-east London. The nearest railway station is a mile away at Denmark Hill

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with good links to central London.

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The area is rich with Georgian and Victorian housing stock.

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This part of Camberwell also has links to the early days of silent film.

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This is Clockwork Studios, previously known as The Fun Factory.

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It was run by Fred Karno, a notable music hall comedian,

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and he trained the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy, of course,

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in this very building.

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# Welcome to the house of fun... #

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The Fun Factory was closed in the 1920s and, for the last 25 years,

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was used as a studio for local artists.

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Let's hope some of that creative flair is in store at the auction lot I'm here to see.

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It's gorgeous with those corbels and that really nice cornice above the window.

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And you've got these black and white tiles. It's so reminiscent of the Victorian era.

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I know it's a three-bedroom cottage, but it's terribly elegant, isn't it?

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This charming house had an auction guide price of 260,000.

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How can you be so wrong? Inside, elegant it ain't!

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Look at these cork tiles wrapped all over the walls. It's suffocating.

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I've seen these laid on the floors, but not like this.

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But what I do love is this gorgeous, curved end.

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Look, it just makes you want to give it a hug!

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This house is packed with hidden little features.

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You've got that beautiful window in the sitting room, complete with lovely old wooden shutters.

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You've got the elegant fireplace there, deep skirting boards everywhere.

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It's fabulous, this house. There's so much more to it.

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I would love to just get my hands on this, tear it all apart

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and just put back the love and character it deserves.

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But I think I'd have to start with that kitchen!

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Yes, the kitchen is small and disappointing

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and needs not just an injection of love, but a complete rethink.

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Also on this floor, there's another reception room and a downstairs toilet.

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There's a lot of character here, but parts of it are dark and oppressive.

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Upstairs, there are three double bedrooms, all a good size

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with lovely sash windows and original fireplaces, but again there's work to be done.

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Something is missing up here. You're right - no bathroom!

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Outside, you've got a good, wide, decent-sized garden

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which is really nice to see in a London property,

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so with planning permission, you could think about extending into this side area.

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Let's face it. This lean-to at the back has to come down.

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However, look at this. It's the only bathroom in the property!

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And, um, hello! Well, I've seen hot tubs outside, but not baths!

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# I'm out in the cold

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# Body and soul... #

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Yes, no toilet here either and this bathroom is pretty basic.

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It comes with a serving hatch into the kitchen,

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so you could at least be served with a hot cup of tea to warm you,

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but this set-up isn't acceptable for today's modern living.

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An alternative will need to be found by adding a two-storey extension

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or by losing one of the bedrooms

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to accommodate a bathroom. Overall, there's plenty of potential here.

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What does the local estate agent make of it?

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It wouldn't take a huge amount to return it to a decent condition, but one thing is quite important.

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That's to put the bathroom back upstairs.

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Having bathrooms downstairs can be difficult.

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It makes a property less saleable.

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Is it perhaps worth extending the house to accommodate a bathroom?

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I'm not sure whether I personally would do that.

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I'd like to have a nice garden, but you'd lose a bedroom, so that's something to consider.

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What sort of rent could you achieve here?

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Once restored and refurbished, depending on the quality of the refurb,

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you're probably looking at somewhere in the region of £1,300 to £1,400 per calendar month.

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And what kind of resale value could you hope to achieve for a house that was guided at 260,000?

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Once the refurb has been done as a two-bed with a bathroom upstairs,

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I would value it at circa 425,000.

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So bought at the right price, you could afford to spend some money here and still see a decent return.

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Let's face it. This cottage just needs gutting and a complete overhaul.

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The outside bathroom is a real no-no and although you'll lose a bedroom,

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it definitely needs to be moved inside and upstairs,

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so who was ready to take on this Camberwell cottage? Let's find out when we head to auction.

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Lot 15, really attractive, semi-detached, three-bed property.

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3 anywhere? How much...? 290. 290 in the front.

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295 anywhere?

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I've got it in the room, 295, sitting down.

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300?

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296, yeah? 296.

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You're here. 297. 298, sir?

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299.

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300.

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301. 302.

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303?

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You're together, yeah? 303.

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Sometimes it's amazing. 303. I should never assume. 304...?

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Ah, Geoff, 304. At last!

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305. 306 on Geoff's phone...?

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306.

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307.

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308 on the phone.

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309 in the room.

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310 on the phone.

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Yes or no? If not, 309 in the room.

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First time. Second time.

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Third and last time, if you're all done, you're going to lose it...

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Sold - 309. Well done.

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'The final bid of 309,000 was made by London-based architect David

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'with a bit of help from his friend Ruben.

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'I met David in Camberwell to find out about the plans for his new property.'

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-David, congratulations. This is fantastic news.

-Thank you.

-You've got a great house here.

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What is the story and why did you want to buy this at auction?

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Well, I sold my house last year

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and decided with my friend Ruben, long-term friend

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and sort of business partner,

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that we would buy a place and try and do it up and maybe live in it or sell it in the future,

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so we went along to our first auction, not imagining we would ever end up with a house,

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but came away with this place.

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It was your first auction? You didn't intend on buying on the day?

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Well, we had seen this house in the catalogue. We had both independently spotted this one house.

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We had a look at it on a Saturday, then realised the auction was on the Monday, so we went along unprepared.

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You had been inside the house, you'd seen inside it?

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Yes, we trooped around the house with lots of other people and loved it, really liked it,

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and thought it was worth a try.

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# I love you Yes, I do... #

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'This is a place you can fall in love with,

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'but much of that is to do with its potential and what it once was.

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'I wondered why David felt he might be the man to bring the love back to it?'

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-What do you do, David?

-I'm an architect.

-So you're in this business anyway?

-Yes.

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I do this for clients every day.

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I work on old houses and restore them for clients and I thought,

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"Why not do it for myself?"

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I can be my own client, I can make all my own design decisions quickly and just get on with it.

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-You really are the perfect new owner for this lovely cottage.

-Well, I hope so.

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'David is unsure whether this will be his and Ruben's new home,

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'along with some friends, or a development project.

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'It depends on whether he can turn his plans into reality.'

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What are the major changes you'll be doing here?

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OK, well, the first thing is to get as much natural light into it as possible.

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The entrance hall, I'm going to take the roof off and put a glass roof on there,

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so you'll get daylight into this area here.

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To knock out the whole side of the house to put utility rooms and a shower room on the ground floor.

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And the rear of the house, to knock it all into one big, open-plan kitchen-dining-living space.

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And the rooms at the front, I'm going to keep them separate,

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so you could use one of them as an additional living room and another as a bedroom,

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put a bathroom upstairs and retain two bedrooms,

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so it would become a three/four-bedroom house.

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-Will you be using any new, modern materials?

-Yes.

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What I'd like to do is to contrast the existing and the new.

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So as you go through to the back of the house,

0:21:350:21:38

the new extension is going to be timber-framed and timber-clad on the outside

0:21:380:21:44

with zinc kind of detailing and a grass or a sedum-planted roof.

0:21:440:21:50

What sort of budget have you got for the work?

0:21:500:21:53

I think it's going to cost us about 100, 110, 120 maybe,

0:21:530:21:59

depending on if I can control myself with the finishes.

0:21:590:22:02

-David, it's going to be brilliant seeing the outcome of this. Well done.

-Thank you very much.

0:22:020:22:09

David has got some fantastic plans for this place

0:22:140:22:17

and it should be a real show home for his architect business,

0:22:170:22:21

but will his plans get passed and will David and his business partner Ruben end up living here?

0:22:210:22:27

Or will they be tempted to go for the money and sell it on?

0:22:270:22:31

Find out what happens later on in the programme.

0:22:310:22:34

'Still to come, in Norfolk, a crack in the wall doesn't bode well.'

0:22:350:22:40

Something like this could mean rebuilding the whole end wall.

0:22:400:22:44

'In Camberwell, London, David had some unwelcome residents.'

0:22:460:22:50

A neighbour called me to say that the house had been squatted.

0:22:500:22:55

'But first, in Doncaster, were Mason and Jordan hands-on with the renovation?'

0:22:560:23:02

They've just done what they've needed to do.

0:23:020:23:05

It's back now to Bentley near Doncaster where earlier,

0:23:110:23:16

Graham bought this two-bed house at auction for 48,000.

0:23:160:23:20

He runs a haulage business, but he bought this as an investment project to do up and sell on.

0:23:200:23:26

But he wasn't alone on it as his three kids stumped up some of the 48,000.

0:23:260:23:32

Two of them are here - Jordan on the left and Mason on the right.

0:23:320:23:36

Because they're getting to a working stage of their life now, we're trying to get them into something

0:23:380:23:44

that could be a future for them. Property renovations might be that.

0:23:440:23:49

Help with finances wasn't the only education Graham felt they needed.

0:23:490:23:55

He also expected them to help with ripping out, renovating, decorating

0:23:550:23:59

and sorting out a really odd kitchen layout.

0:23:590:24:02

Well, six months later, we've returned and the outside is looking very presentable.

0:24:040:24:10

The front living room is much cleaner and modern

0:24:110:24:14

with a striking feature wall and wood flooring.

0:24:140:24:18

And the kitchen?

0:24:190:24:21

Well, it's far more workable and spacious with lots of lovely natural light flooding in.

0:24:220:24:29

This is the kitchen.

0:24:290:24:31

It was a kitchen before, but it was about two-thirds of the size,

0:24:310:24:35

so we knocked the old outside wall down and built a new extension to give it a lot more space.

0:24:350:24:41

We've just got a few finishing touches, but I'm quite pleased with the kitchen.

0:24:410:24:47

The layout still features a bathroom downstairs at the back,

0:24:470:24:51

but with new units, tiling and flooring, it's definitely a nicer place for a soak.

0:24:510:24:57

Upstairs, the rear bedroom has been made over

0:24:570:25:00

and now has a useful addition.

0:25:000:25:03

We've re-plastered everywhere, skimmed the ceilings, coving.

0:25:030:25:07

We thought it lacked a bit of something and so we put the en-suite in.

0:25:070:25:12

In the corner, there was a cupboard, so we just ripped that out and put the shower in there.

0:25:120:25:18

Sink and basin, put a new floor in and studded wall, there we are - en-suite.

0:25:180:25:23

With the front bedroom also in the same style as the back

0:25:230:25:27

and a garden spruced up with new fencing and a lick of paint,

0:25:270:25:31

I reckon this is now an attractive proposition.

0:25:310:25:35

But it's the new kitchen extension that really steals the show.

0:25:350:25:39

It makes the whole house much more appealing and surely raises the value overall,

0:25:390:25:45

so hopefully, Mason, Jordan and Connor can look forward to getting a return from their investment.

0:25:450:25:52

But were they equally hands-on with the renovation?

0:25:520:25:55

They've just mucked in and done what they've needed to do.

0:25:550:25:59

They've enjoyed it to some degree, but it's taken a lot longer than they thought it was going to do as well.

0:25:590:26:06

For the last two weeks, we've been here every day from nine till five o'clock at night,

0:26:060:26:11

trying to finish it all off.

0:26:110:26:13

I've learnt tiling, putting wood floors down and everything,

0:26:130:26:18

plastering as well sometimes.

0:26:180:26:20

I did a lot of painting. I did the painting outside on the new extension.

0:26:210:26:26

I painted all that with my mum.

0:26:260:26:29

I cleaned up the house and demolished it to start off with. The kitchen, I took that down.

0:26:290:26:34

Well, it seems the kids have definitely pitched in.

0:26:340:26:37

Jordan has had to split her time with her university studies,

0:26:370:26:41

but this experience has certainly broadened their DIY skills.

0:26:410:26:45

# The kids are all right

0:26:450:26:48

# The kids are all right... #

0:26:480:26:52

There are still some finishing touches to do around the house,

0:26:520:26:56

but with an interior from new,

0:26:560:26:58

including re-plastering, rewiring, new central heating and not forgetting that kitchen extension,

0:26:580:27:05

did the team hit their target timescale for the renovation?

0:27:050:27:09

No, we didn't stick to the timescale. We thought we'd be about four months and we've gone over that.

0:27:090:27:15

It was due mainly to the bad weather.

0:27:150:27:18

Only being able to work weekends for some of the people that were helping us, so it just dragged on a bit.

0:27:180:27:24

But, you know, we're close now, so we're near the end.

0:27:240:27:29

With the family funding the renovation from their savings, did the delay over-extend their budget?

0:27:290:27:35

The original budget we said would be between 10,000 and 12,000.

0:27:350:27:39

I think we're very close on 13, maybe hovering a few hundred just over, but we're not far away.

0:27:390:27:46

And with what we've had to do, we haven't done too badly.

0:27:460:27:50

Add that £13,000 to their purchase price of £48,000

0:27:500:27:54

and Graham's family have spent a total of 61,000.

0:27:540:27:58

The question is, should the kids have kept their money locked away or was it a wise investment?

0:27:580:28:04

We asked two local estate agents what they thought of the renovation

0:28:060:28:10

and the family's 61 grand investment.

0:28:100:28:14

It's nicely finished throughout, a very modern approach.

0:28:150:28:19

It'll definitely appeal to a lot of buyers at the moment.

0:28:190:28:23

Nicely finished bathroom, nice to see a nice en-suite up there

0:28:230:28:27

because a lot of these properties do have the downstairs bathroom.

0:28:270:28:31

And the kitchen. It's all nicely done, very clean and fresh.

0:28:310:28:36

It's a nice contemporary style. Well decorated. Easy to move into and easy to maintain, I'd think.

0:28:360:28:43

I like the kitchen and I like the layout.

0:28:430:28:47

'But will it generate a decent return for the family?

0:28:470:28:51

'Graham and his kids have spent £61,000 on the property

0:28:510:28:56

'and aim to sell it on, so what could it go for on the market?'

0:28:560:29:02

I would place it on the market up to a maximum of £80,000.

0:29:020:29:06

For the sales market, a valuation of £69,995, offers in the region of,

0:29:060:29:11

with a view to accepting £65,000-£70,000.

0:29:110:29:17

We were hoping to achieve 75 and would be happy with low 70s, so I'm quite happy with that.

0:29:170:29:24

'Those valuations could land the family a pre-tax profit of £4,000-£19,000,

0:29:240:29:30

'but with a rental income of up to £425 per calendar month, offering a healthy 8.5% annual yield,

0:29:300:29:38

'could the team be swayed by the rentals?'

0:29:380:29:42

I think we will put it up for sale and see what happens for maybe one or two months.

0:29:430:29:49

And if it doesn't go, then we'll rent.

0:29:490:29:53

'It's been a slightly longer project than expected, but hopefully Graham and the kids can put some cash back

0:29:530:29:59

'into their savings soon, but this is about more than raising money.

0:29:590:30:04

'It was to give Mason, Jordan and Connor experience of financial management.

0:30:040:30:09

-'And I reckon it's given them a taste for more.'

-This is only the first. Hopefully, we'll do some more

0:30:090:30:15

and they'll get done quicker. You learn from your mistakes.

0:30:150:30:20

# The kids are all right

0:30:200:30:23

# The kids are all right. #

0:30:230:30:28

'Welcome to Attleborough in Norfolk. It's a busy little market town, 15 miles from Norwich.'

0:30:330:30:41

I'm here to see a property right on the high street - a three-bed end of terrace

0:30:440:30:50

at a guide price of £70,000-£80,000. Let's take a look.

0:30:500:30:54

'it's right by Attleborough high street.

0:30:540:30:57

'There's plenty of hustle and bustle. Put plainly, it's noisy. Very noisy.'

0:30:570:31:03

# Hush hush

0:31:050:31:08

# Early in the morning Late in the evening... #

0:31:100:31:13

Ooh.

0:31:150:31:17

Nice-sized living room. I like that. Big, high ceiling. Nice fireplace.

0:31:170:31:22

A good-sized room. Through to the rear of the property.

0:31:220:31:27

A rear sitting room. Looks like a fire there.

0:31:270:31:30

Then it gets a bit bad as you travel towards the rear.

0:31:300:31:35

Fairly traditional layout. The kitchen's in need of refurbishment and on to the only loo, bathroom,

0:31:350:31:42

in the whole property. Bit of work to be done.

0:31:420:31:45

Let's take a look upstairs. The jury's out on this one.

0:31:450:31:50

'Upstairs are two bedrooms. The master one looks out onto the front,

0:31:530:31:59

'so I'd recommend double glazing. However, as noisy as the road is,

0:31:590:32:04

'it's nothing compared to the Paisley pattern inside! Traffic may hurt my ears,

0:32:040:32:09

'but this hurts my eyes.'

0:32:090:32:12

# Cover my eyes

0:32:120:32:15

# Dangerous colours and shapes

0:32:150:32:19

# Ferocious designs... #

0:32:200:32:23

Very intriguing layout up here. One bedroom at the front there, another bedroom here.

0:32:240:32:30

It's nice to have original features.

0:32:300:32:32

Sink - very odd. But what's really unusual is you come through here to another set of stairs

0:32:320:32:38

up to another floor.

0:32:380:32:41

Oh. Up here, a really nice-size attic room. Got a dormer window.

0:32:440:32:49

It's all a bit shabby, but a really nice-sized space. Gable wall here at the end of the property.

0:32:490:32:55

Hm. You see the plaster - that's all coming off. Not too much to worry about.

0:32:550:33:00

But...you just get a feeling about something.

0:33:000:33:04

There's something about that wall I don't think is quite right. I need to go outside and check.

0:33:040:33:10

Actually, you know what? Now you look for it, you can see what's going on here.

0:33:120:33:18

See how this gable end here is coming away from the building?

0:33:180:33:23

My guess is that there's an internal wall and an external wall.

0:33:230:33:27

Between them, metal ties hold the two together.

0:33:270:33:30

Over time those ties rust and, in extreme cases, they break.

0:33:300:33:35

That basically means this end wall is falling away from the house.

0:33:350:33:39

What's the solution? You can get special things to pull it back,

0:33:390:33:43

but more often than not this could mean rebuilding the whole end wall.

0:33:430:33:48

That's not going to be cheap.

0:33:480:33:51

# Money, money, money, money

0:33:510:33:54

# Money... #

0:33:540:33:56

'On the plus side, there's a decent-sized back garden

0:33:560:34:00

'and a bonus as it leads out onto a residents' car park. Very handy.

0:34:000:34:05

'The guide price for this property was £70,000-£80,000.

0:34:050:34:10

'Time to find out what a local estate agent makes of this three-bed end of terrace.'

0:34:100:34:17

It's cracking. There's a lot of potential.

0:34:170:34:21

It's going to appeal to a wide variety of buyers.

0:34:210:34:24

'Cracking is one way to describe the place, but what should the buyer do about that peeling gable wall?'

0:34:240:34:30

There's a problem with the gable end. I would advise any potential buyer to get that checked out

0:34:300:34:37

via a structural surveyor.

0:34:370:34:39

'If that wall was fixed and the entire house renovated, what return could the owner expect?'

0:34:390:34:46

It's a very buoyant rental market. When done to a reasonable standard,

0:34:460:34:51

I'd expect to achieve in the region of £575 per calendar month.

0:34:510:34:54

Once it's been renovated to a decent standard, I would expect somewhere in the region of £120,000.

0:34:540:35:02

Well, not a bad-sized space, but not really an ideal location,

0:35:040:35:09

surrounded by commercial units,

0:35:090:35:11

but by far the most worrying thing is that wall. It's a real unknown and could be a major expense.

0:35:110:35:18

I think it's buyer beware on this. Let's see who bought it at auction.

0:35:180:35:22

80 for it? 70 to start? £70,000 bid.

0:35:220:35:26

72 here, 72. 74.

0:35:260:35:28

At 74. 75.

0:35:280:35:31

76. 77 for you, sir?

0:35:310:35:34

76 here. 77 at the back. 77.

0:35:340:35:37

78. At 78. 79 for you at the back, sir?

0:35:370:35:41

It's cheap. 79,000.

0:35:410:35:43

80 for you, sir. At £80,000. At £80,000.

0:35:430:35:47

81.

0:35:470:35:49

At 82,000. 83. 84.

0:35:490:35:53

84 and a half. 85 for you, sir. At 85,000.

0:35:530:35:58

85 and a half. 86.

0:35:580:36:01

£86,000. You're shaking your head.

0:36:010:36:03

At 86...250. 86 and a half.

0:36:030:36:08

86,750.

0:36:080:36:11

87,000.

0:36:110:36:12

87,250. 87 and a half.

0:36:140:36:17

87,750.

0:36:190:36:21

88,000.

0:36:210:36:23

88 and a half. 89.

0:36:230:36:25

Throw it up to 90. 90 with me? 90,000 bid.

0:36:250:36:29

92 and a half I'm now bid. At 92 and a half.

0:36:290:36:33

Shaking your head. For the first time. For the second time.

0:36:330:36:38

-92 and a half, third and final time. All done?

-'It was Greg who made the successful bid of £92,500.

0:36:380:36:45

'Greg's a local lad who runs a furniture shop in town.

0:36:470:36:51

'He bought this house with some financial help from his parents.'

0:36:510:36:56

-Greg, congratulations.

-Yeah!

0:36:560:36:59

That's an interesting response. How do you feel about buying it?

0:36:590:37:03

Well, everything starts now, really, to be honest with you.

0:37:030:37:07

That's the start of a long period of work to come.

0:37:070:37:12

-Why did you want to buy it?

-To get my first step on the property ladder.

0:37:120:37:17

And I'm in business. I've got a little shop down the road, sells second-hand furniture.

0:37:170:37:23

I've had it two years now. Hopefully, if the council let us,

0:37:230:37:28

we can maybe use the downstairs as the shop and upstairs as living accommodation.

0:37:280:37:34

So the idea would be to convert downstairs into a commercial unit?

0:37:340:37:38

That is our first objective. It's to get it sound and get the downstairs open as a shop

0:37:380:37:45

and get the place earning money.

0:37:450:37:48

-You rent your shop?

-I do and that is another reason.

0:37:480:37:52

Because it's dead money. You're always giving money away. Whereas this is an investment.

0:37:520:37:58

'Before opening his shop, Greg will have to apply to the council for business usage.

0:37:580:38:04

'That's not a done deal at all, but if successful he'll have a prime business location

0:38:040:38:10

'in the heart of the high street. But he'll need to fix that wall.'

0:38:100:38:15

# And I can't hold on forever

0:38:150:38:20

# Even walls fall down... #

0:38:200:38:23

-Clearly, the wall, the gable end...

-That's something we were aware of.

0:38:230:38:28

I've been led to believe that it is basically not subsidence or a settlement issue.

0:38:280:38:35

It's what's holding the clay inside and the external brick wall together that's corroded.

0:38:350:38:40

-What's the worst-case scenario?

-Taking it down and rebuilding it.

0:38:400:38:45

We have planned for that at this moment in time.

0:38:450:38:49

Obviously, the upstairs isn't as important as ensuring the structural stability of the building is there

0:38:490:38:55

and then trying to make sure we can open the shop up first,

0:38:550:38:59

-which is where the money will be going before living above it.

-Right.

0:38:590:39:03

So do you have any idea how much it might cost to put that right?

0:39:030:39:08

Potentially £20,000-£25,000 is one price I've been given at this moment in time.

0:39:080:39:13

-A lot of money.

-It is, but it's worth doing at the end of the day

0:39:130:39:17

because it protects your investment, which is the most important thing.

0:39:170:39:23

-What if you can't get change of use?

-I've got a couple of options.

0:39:230:39:27

Get the gable end done, contact some mortgage companies, get a buy to let mortgage, do it to a high standard,

0:39:270:39:34

let it out to a family. It's a lovely family home.

0:39:340:39:39

And the rentable value of it will more than cover the mortgage.

0:39:390:39:43

First and foremost, I want to live here. I've lived in and around here all my life.

0:39:430:39:49

I enjoy the job I do, which is a bonus as well.

0:39:490:39:53

So, first and foremost, a shop and living accommodation.

0:39:530:39:58

'Greg has no fixed budget yet as he still has to decide

0:39:580:40:02

'on the best course of action for the gable end, but I'm sure he'll drive a hard bargain on costs.'

0:40:020:40:10

What's the kind of timescale for sorting it out?

0:40:100:40:14

I'm looking at 3-4 months to get the downstairs sorted out.

0:40:140:40:19

As and when for the rest, I'm afraid.

0:40:190:40:22

-So your budget at the moment doesn't include sorting out upstairs.

-No.

0:40:220:40:27

I've been stretched too far. I want to make sure we can achieve everything for the shop.

0:40:270:40:34

There are quite a few risks.

0:40:340:40:36

-Possibly.

-How do you feel about that?

0:40:360:40:41

As far as I'm aware, what we've done is put ourselves in a position

0:40:410:40:45

where we've tried to ensure we've got a good investment at this moment that we can afford.

0:40:450:40:51

We haven't overstretched ourselves so it's not that much of a risk.

0:40:510:40:56

It is a calculated gamble.

0:40:560:40:58

-Good. Well, I hope it pays off.

-Thank you.

-Congratulations. Good luck with it.

-Yeah, cheers.

0:40:580:41:04

Well, an interesting idea to run his business here,

0:41:080:41:12

but I wonder if he's doing the right thing. For a start, getting change of use for the downstairs part.

0:41:120:41:18

But by far the biggest issue is that wall and the unknown amount it'll take to sort it out.

0:41:180:41:25

How's he going to get on? You'll have to join us later to find out.

0:41:250:41:30

It's very easy to put things off until tomorrow. Delays can be expensive and time is money.

0:41:330:41:39

So have our buyers been busy or let the grass grow under their feet? It's time to find out.

0:41:390:41:46

'Earlier, we were in Camberwell where this wonderful looking mid-Victorian terrace sold

0:41:490:41:56

'for £309,000.

0:41:560:41:58

'David bought it, along with his friend and business partner, Ruben, to do it up

0:41:590:42:04

'and live in or sell on. There was character a-plenty,

0:42:040:42:08

'although out of kilter with the 21st century.

0:42:080:42:12

'But it appears that David was the man to bring it up to date.'

0:42:120:42:17

-What do you do?

-I'm an architect.

-So you're in this business.

0:42:170:42:21

Yes. I do this for clients every day. You know, I work on old houses

0:42:210:42:27

and restore them for clients. So why not do it for myself?

0:42:270:42:31

'Well, as you can imagine, with a budget of up to £120,000 to spend on the house,

0:42:310:42:36

'David had some grand plans to rejuvenate the place.

0:42:360:42:40

'16 months later, the front has been spruced up

0:42:400:42:44

'with fresh paint and new iron railings,

0:42:440:42:48

'but there are signs that the makeover might not be complete yet, so let's step out to the back.

0:42:480:42:54

'Wow! That has seen an amazing transformation. I love it.

0:43:000:43:04

'A stunning extension has been built out over that old dining room, kitchen and outdoor bathroom

0:43:040:43:11

'to create a truly magnificent living space.'

0:43:110:43:15

Well, this was the original dining room at the back of the house.

0:43:260:43:30

Very dark space.

0:43:300:43:32

That's the original window. We built the kitchen around it with flush cupboards.

0:43:320:43:39

This was the original side wall of the house, which we took out

0:43:390:43:44

and glazed the roof, built right up to the next house.

0:43:440:43:48

We tried for as much light as possible.

0:43:480:43:51

And demolished the kitchen and bathroom that were here

0:43:510:43:56

and built a full-width extension as far out as we could get into the garden

0:43:560:44:01

to create a living area,

0:44:010:44:04

sofas next to the kitchen dining space, for when we have friends over

0:44:040:44:10

and family. We can basically just live in this room

0:44:100:44:15

and also access the garden in summertime.

0:44:150:44:18

'Accessing the garden can also be done through the bi-folding doors

0:44:180:44:23

'installed in the now-extended back room.

0:44:230:44:27

'Just around the corner, the cool, contemporary shower room was created out of the old toilet.

0:44:310:44:37

'So far, everything is bright and modern and that's key to David's thinking.'

0:44:400:44:45

Daylight is incredibly important in architecture and it brings spaces to life,

0:44:450:44:51

it creates excitement and drama.

0:44:510:44:54

'Unfortunately, just before any work was due to start,

0:44:540:44:58

'there was some unwanted drama to contend with.'

0:44:580:45:02

A neighbour called me to say that the house had been squatted.

0:45:020:45:06

I came round and all the locks had been changed and a complete stranger answered the door. I couldn't get in.

0:45:060:45:12

So that was a bit demoralising. We had to get a County Court order to have them evicted,

0:45:120:45:19

which took about three months.

0:45:190:45:22

'Once he was rid of the squatters, David got on with creating this stylish home.

0:45:220:45:28

'The front living room is a store room at present and upstairs...

0:45:280:45:33

'..the middle bedroom has been transformed into a very striking new bathroom.

0:45:360:45:41

'The two bedrooms up here have been made attractive and comfortable,

0:45:420:45:47

but just glance out of the rear bedroom window - David has created a rooftop garden

0:45:470:45:53

-'and while we're discussing the outside...'

-One thing that is the same is we kept the tree.

0:45:530:45:59

We pruned it back, chopped off some of the dead bits,

0:45:590:46:03

and also saved some of the roses and the rhododendrons that were here before.

0:46:030:46:10

But we completely re-landscaped it. We raised this area so it's flat

0:46:100:46:14

and put a lawn here.

0:46:140:46:16

In the sunken area by the house, we put a water feature

0:46:160:46:22

which eventually will have a trickling water sound, hopefully, that you hear from inside.

0:46:220:46:27

'Overall, there's no denying the style, elegance and wonderful open feel David has created here.

0:46:270:46:33

'It is a truly spacious and light contemporary home, but did he splash more cash than he anticipated?'

0:46:330:46:41

Originally, we envisaged spending probably a bit over £100,000.

0:46:420:46:47

Maybe 110, something like that.

0:46:470:46:49

We've probably spent more like 140.

0:46:490:46:52

And there's still a few things to pay for as well,

0:46:520:46:57

so, yeah, it ended up costing more, as it probably always does,

0:46:570:47:02

but I think, we think it was probably worth it.

0:47:020:47:06

'But will two local property experts agree?

0:47:060:47:10

'David and Ruben bought the house for £309,000,

0:47:100:47:14

'so their total outlay is a possible £449,000.

0:47:140:47:19

-'Do the estate agents think it's money well spent?'

-Very nicely done.

0:47:190:47:24

I'm very impressed by the garden family room.

0:47:240:47:29

That really adds something to it. I very much appreciate the quality of the bathrooms.

0:47:290:47:34

I was wowed by the property. A significant difference from before. Lovingly refurbished.

0:47:340:47:40

'The light in the property is fabulous. Everywhere you go, lots of light, glass ceilings,

0:47:400:47:45

'lots of windows and light.'

0:47:450:47:48

And a fabulous garden.

0:47:480:47:50

'For now this will be David and Ruben's home,

0:47:500:47:54

'but bearing in mind that £449,000 spend, what sort of retail value could it achieve?'

0:47:540:48:01

I would be very comfortable to put it on the market at £435,000-£440,000.

0:48:010:48:07

I would market this property at £420,000.

0:48:070:48:12

Well, it's lower than I thought, but I guess you don't make money easily in property,

0:48:120:48:18

especially at the moment. We're not aiming to sell it. It's our home. We will live here.

0:48:180:48:25

But, yeah, a bit disappointing.

0:48:250:48:27

'With the estate agents estimating it could make a possible rental income of £2,000 per calendar month,

0:48:270:48:34

'would David be happier doing that?'

0:48:340:48:37

Rental is a possibility. That's quite a good return, actually,

0:48:370:48:42

so that's something we might consider.

0:48:420:48:45

'I get the feeling this project has had its ups and downs.

0:48:450:48:49

'After creating such a wonderful home, would he ever be tempted to try it again?'

0:48:490:48:57

I don't think anyone can quite appreciate at the outset

0:48:570:49:01

how much stress and expense any house renovation project entails.

0:49:010:49:08

And if you did, no one would embark on it!

0:49:080:49:11

But we're at the end of that process now and we're very pleased with our new home.

0:49:110:49:17

I'm sure when the wounds have healed in a few months' time,

0:49:180:49:23

we might be looking to do it all over again!

0:49:230:49:27

'It's back to Attleborough in Norfolk where this end of terrace house went to auction

0:49:320:49:39

'with a guide price of £70,000-£80,000. Large rooms and a good garden were plus points,

0:49:390:49:45

'but it had two significant negatives - the gabled wall that was possibly peeling away

0:49:450:49:51

'and a really noisy traffic junction outside.

0:49:510:49:55

'But they didn't deter local man Greg. He bought it for £92,500

0:49:570:50:02

'and for him its busy location was ideal.'

0:50:020:50:06

The idea would be to convert downstairs into a commercial unit?

0:50:070:50:12

Yeah, that is our first objective. It's to get it sound and get downstairs open as a shop

0:50:120:50:19

and get the place earning money.

0:50:190:50:21

'Well, it would be perfect with all the passing trade.

0:50:210:50:26

'11 months later, it looks like Greg has achieved one objective

0:50:260:50:31

'in turning this into a new base for his second-hand business.

0:50:310:50:35

'But enough window shopping. Let's see inside.

0:50:350:50:40

'The former living room has been redecorated to be the main showroom,

0:50:410:50:46

'while the back room also houses more of the furniture that Greg will be selling from here.'

0:50:480:50:54

This is the front room, the first room we sorted out. We've done a little decorating.

0:50:580:51:03

It was just the floor in that corner that wasn't too good.

0:51:030:51:08

We just replaced the joist in the floor and that was it, really.

0:51:080:51:13

The shop is quite nice. You get a large variety of people

0:51:130:51:18

from the old to the right young and on the main road we've got a good footfall, which is important.

0:51:180:51:24

With any business, you can't discriminate against passing trade. That's your bread and butter.

0:51:240:51:30

# The bargain store is open Come inside

0:51:300:51:34

# The bargain store is open Come inside

0:51:340:51:37

# You can easily afford the price... #

0:51:370:51:41

'Greg's had the business up and running for two months now.

0:51:410:51:45

'He's been busy shifting his wares, but was it easy to shift from residential to commercial?'

0:51:450:51:50

The gaining of the actual planning consent for change of use to A1 business use

0:51:500:51:56

was a little bit time-consuming at the end of the day.

0:51:560:52:01

But everyone I spoke to said we got away quite lightly. It took about six months.

0:52:010:52:06

The gentleman who drew my plans up done a blinder on it, really, and swung it with the council.

0:52:060:52:12

'So with one of his main objectives out of the way, Greg has started work on the kitchen,

0:52:120:52:19

'uncovering some wonderful floor tiles and installing a new Belfast sink.

0:52:190:52:25

'But with one problem solved that still left problem number two - the peeling gabled wall.'

0:52:250:52:31

We consulted a structural engineer about the gable end

0:52:310:52:36

to make sure there wasn't any subsidence. He told us it was just a case that the ties had rotted away

0:52:360:52:43

due to weathering on the wall. They gave us three options -

0:52:430:52:47

one was to rebuild it, another was to just re-joint it up and wait and see if it moved,

0:52:470:52:53

and the third one was to have it pinned, which was what we done.

0:52:530:52:58

'It's one big headache out of the way for Greg. He can now look forward to renovating the bedrooms,

0:53:000:53:07

'which currently look more like stockrooms than living quarters.'

0:53:070:53:11

We'll move in here one day! There's a bit of work to be done,

0:53:110:53:15

but once the kitchen's in, the house is pretty much liveable.

0:53:150:53:20

A bit of paint won't do no harm, as long as there's no damp.

0:53:200:53:24

Some time in the next year.

0:53:240:53:26

# One day soon I'll come back

0:53:260:53:32

# And I'll stay for ever more... #

0:53:320:53:37

'It's just as well Greg didn't pressure himself with a moving-in date as he's devoting all his time

0:53:370:53:44

'to getting the shop sorted. With no idea of what work was needed, he also didn't predict a budget.'

0:53:440:53:50

To have the gable end re-pinned was about three and a half in the end,

0:53:500:53:55

which worked out a lot cheaper than having it rebuilt, which was 17 or 18.

0:53:550:54:00

At the end of the day, it's been about £4,500.

0:54:000:54:04

Not too bad. I didn't really put a budget in place. I just did it cheap!

0:54:040:54:10

'Add that £4,500 to the £92,500 that Greg paid for the house

0:54:100:54:14

'and his total outlay so far is £97,000. There's no doubt that his final spend

0:54:140:54:20

'will be higher, because apart from getting the living quarters fixed up

0:54:200:54:25

'he plans to turn the garden into a mini-garden centre. He's definitely putting down roots.

0:54:250:54:33

'But what will two local estate agents make of Greg's new shop

0:54:350:54:40

'and his £97,000 investment?'

0:54:400:54:42

My first impressions of it are that it still needs some updating.

0:54:420:54:47

The change of use is in place to use the front and rear garden.

0:54:470:54:52

The guy's already trading now. So it's a good use of space for a town property and town shop.

0:54:520:54:58

The commercial unit slots in well. There aren't any others in the area.

0:54:580:55:03

I think it does fulfil a need, especially in these times.

0:55:030:55:08

For the residential space to reach its true potential, you need to update the kitchen and bathroom,

0:55:080:55:15

maybe move a few walls, put a few stud walls in to change it.

0:55:150:55:19

But it's doable. It just needs a bit of work.

0:55:190:55:23

'Getting the property to reach its true potential is still some time off, but after 11 months

0:55:230:55:28

'how does Greg's investment of £97,000 stand up?'

0:55:280:55:32

Combining the residential space and retail unit in its current condition,

0:55:320:55:37

I'd recommend a value of £135,000.

0:55:370:55:40

In its current condition, I would estimate the property to be worth £110,000-£120,000.

0:55:400:55:45

'As it is now, the property could earn a £13,000-£38,000 pre-tax profit.

0:55:460:55:52

'What about once renovated?'

0:55:520:55:54

After a period of work, I'd suggest the top valuation could be in the region of £160,000.

0:55:540:56:00

If it was fully renovated, I'd up that valuation to £145,000-£155,000.

0:56:000:56:06

'That could give Greg a whopping pre-tax profit of £48,000-£63,000.'

0:56:060:56:12

At the moment, property prices are dropping in Norfolk so that's... that's quite nice.

0:56:150:56:21

That can't be wrong, can it? Not too bad.

0:56:210:56:25

'So there may be some first-rate profits in this second-hand shop for Greg,

0:56:250:56:31

'but for now it's a place that he's bought into and the plan is to see it grow and expand.'

0:56:310:56:37

I'm happy with what I've got.

0:56:370:56:40

Two or three years ago, I didn't think I'd be sitting in this garden, so that's lovely really.

0:56:400:56:46

That's it for now. Join us next time for more riveting properties going under the hammer.

0:56:480:56:54

-We'll have more flats, houses, plots of land and maisonettes.

-Join us then.

-Bye-bye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:540:57:01

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2011

0:57:130:57:17

Email [email protected]

0:57:210:57:23

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a semi in Doncaster, a Victorian property in Camberwell and a house in Norfolk.

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.