Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a one-bedroom property with potential in Hammersmith, west London; a model property in Gillingham, Kent; and a 1930s semi in Stockport.
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-Hello, and welcome to the programme.
-Now, it's fairly mild today
but how do you tell the temperature of the property market?
Sometimes it's difficult to tell whether it's blowing hot or cold.
But one way to suss it out for yourself is to visit your local property auction.
Now, when you go along to an auction
you can soon tell whether there's optimism in the room
or if everyone is playing a bit of a cautious game.
It's a very revealing snapshot of the property market,
so let's see how the land lies with the properties
that were up for auction on today's show.
'In Hammersmith, West London,
'we dig deep to find a one-bedroom wreck with potential.'
A lot of space
and a lot of work.
'There's a model property on offer in Gillingham, Kent.'
It's sort of like a doll's house, really. Strange.
'And in Stockport, will there be a fairy-tale ending
'for this drab 1930s semi?'
Well, you don't have to say mirror, mirror on the wall, what's the problem with this hall?
'All these properties are being sold at auctions and we'll find out
'who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.'
'With its tree-lined streets, period properties and great
'transport links, Hammersmith in West London
'is a popular and colourful part of the capital.'
Just a short walk from the tube station,
I'm here to see a one-bedroom flat which had a guide price of £190,000.
For a one-bedroom flat, that sound like a lot of money.
However, when I tell you that houses on this street have sold
for around £2 million, suddenly, maybe it's not such a lot.
'It's a very attractive property from the outside,
'although the side entrance is less appealing.
'I would have preferred to climb the steps
'but this is a ground-floor flat
'and something as simple as a new door
'could improve first impressions.'
Talk about disappointing!
A beautiful building on the outside and walk in here and...
well, look at it.
What a wreck. What a shame.
Still, let's try and see through the fact it's not quite what I anticipated.
It's got a lot of space, bearing in mind it's a ground-floor flat.
A lot of space
and a lot of work.
# It's sad, so sad
# It's a sad, sad situation... #
It is a sad situation, but let's look on the bright side if we can.
The property comes with a garage, three large rooms
and some period features that may be salvageable,
although there's nothing salvageable about that bathroom.
But then things go from tragic to magic.
# Oh, oh, oh, it's magic... #
'This isn't just a garden, it's a building plot.
'There's huge scope for an extension and if you're able to achieve
'half of what the next-door neighbours managed,
'you could create something pretty fabulous.
'But there's another consideration if you're planning to branch out here.'
Trees. I love them.
However, they're not so brilliant close by your property.
As a rule, you have to assume that the roots
will extend out as far as the tree extends upwards.
In this case, you can see the damage it's done to the pavement,
and there's a big drain running through here
so before you do any work extending or modifying this place, you need to get it checked out
and make sure that these roots aren't going to cause any damage in the future.
# There's a tree in the meadow... #
'Trees may be lovely, but cracks in your foundations aren't.
'But you must always check with the local council if you have any plans to chop them down.
'What did a local estate agent
'make of this ground-floor flat with bags of potential?'
First impressions about this property,
it's a bit of a wreck, isn't it? You don't come across
these unmodernised properties too often. Huge potential, though.
Definitely potential to extend out.
The precedent has been set next door.
You're potentially looking at two bedrooms, three bedrooms.
A property with a lovely outside space.
But unlike next door,
you won't be able to build up as this is a basement flat.
However, turning it from a one-bedroom to a two or three
is where the real money lies.
So, how much could the flat be worth if that happens?
Extending this property to a two, potentially three-bedroom property,
would see us achieving 475,000,
maybe just shy of £500,000 at a push.
So, a one-bedroom flat with its own garden and a garage
and the potential to expand it.
What is there not to like about this flat in this good location?
Nothing. Let's find out who bought it at the auction.
Lot seven, who'd like to kick off?
Well done. 200 there. 205, 210.
Ladies first, sorry. 215. 220.
'A popular property at the auction, the bidding escalated
'and we rejoin as the price reaches £290,000.'
292 back in, 293.
293 with you.
The first time, second time.
296 in the front.
295 standing up. First time, second time,
third and last time. 296.
298, 299? 299.
301? 300 with you.
First time, second time, third and last time if you're all done.
It's got a garage and garden. Sold, 300.
# He's a winner, he's number one... #
'With a successful bid of £300,000,
'a whopping £110,000 over the guide, was ex-property surveyor Chris.
'He was bidding on the flat for himself and business partner Robbie.
'They recently started a property business and have big plans for this pad.'
-Robbie, Chris, good to meet you both. Congratulations.
-Why did you want to buy this?
-We bought this property because, first of all,
it was in our search area.
Secondly, as you can see, it's a bit of a project
so there's a fair bit of work to be done, and we think value to be added.
Right. What kind of projects do you look for?
Generally we look for, as Chris said, anything we can add value to.
That's the key to our criteria and this one here
has got a garage in the demise, and we know
we can actually go from a one-bedroom to a three-bedroom, so that's key.
You paid quite a lot over the guide price.
Do you think the guide price was unrealistic?
We tend to find that the guide prices are generally set fairly low to generate interest.
We've paid, yes, significantly over the guide price.
That said, we probably would have went another 20, 30,000 to get it.
We think that we paid 300, that's a reasonable price.
We could have gone slightly higher.
We think there's profit in there at that price.
Well, hopefully we've done our numbers right.
Tell me more about you two.
Our backgrounds are a little bit different.
Chris is from more of a professional background.
I played professional sport for ten years.
-Oh, right, what?
-Rugby League, back in Australia.
I came over in 2006 and I ended up working for
the same investment firm that Chris was doing some property consulting for.
We were sitting side by side
and hit it off and thought we'd give it a crack.
And what about you, Chris?
My background's commercial property so I was buying and selling
shops and offices, industrial buildings,
and developing much larger buildings than this.
I decided to do it with our own capital.
It's pretty much the same process.
The numbers are a bit smaller but the risks are a bit more personal.
We saw on opportunity and weren't going to waste it
so we thought, let's do it ourselves.
Let's put our money together and do it ourselves.
Now, it's all up to us and all our money's in.
This is a joint venture, as it?
-What kind of roles do you both play?
Whoever's got experience in one area,
we tend to let that person get on with it. So I do everything.
I've turned into his handyman, really.
But Chris is brilliant with the numbers and the legals and so forth.
Essentially, I'll just project manage then.
We're fairly hands-on and as you can see there's a fair bit of work to be done,
but we'll get contractors in to do the job and we'll share the work.
# Together forever and never to part
# Together forever, we two... #
'Sounds like a great game plan to me.
'Considering a three-bed garden flat in this location
'could command as much as half a million pounds,
'there's definitely money to be made here
'if the guys have as good a plan for the renovation.'
So, tell me exactly what you're going to do with this place.
To the right-hand side is the garage, accessed from the main hall.
We intend to knock the garage down and build a bedroom at the front,
a bathroom in between
and then a further bedroom fronting onto the garden.
That second bedroom will have an en suite
so it will become a three-bedroom
and there will be a rear extension out the back here
with bifold doors opening onto the garden.
All this garden area here will be either decked or paved.
Right. Have you applied for planning permission yet?
We have, actually.
Have you had discussions with the planners as to whether or not
-they will say yes?
-Yes, we have.
You can never tell, but the feedback's been positive.
I think the important thing is that next door have done
exactly what we want to do, so a precedent's been set, so to speak.
We know we want to extend like they have,
and they've also turned their garage into bedrooms as well.
Also, this property you can see here,
the building line is exactly where we want to build out to.
We're not going two storeys so we are confident that
we are going to get something along the lines we want.
You can never be sure what concessions you'll have to make.
And if they say no, worst-case scenario,
would you just restore it as it is?
-But you don't think that's going to happen?
Well, let's see what happens, but we're confident
we should be what to get a rear extension at least
and we should be able to demolish the garage
and actually put those bedrooms in.
Whether it be one bedroom or the two bedrooms.
'The boys have set a budget for the work of £100,000,
'so if planning permission is granted and all goes well,
'they stand to make up to £100,000 in profit.
'They've got experience on their side.
'This will be the third project these two have tackled together.'
What's the timescale for sorting this out?
We've got a timescale of nine months
and we think there will be two months involved in the planning process,
probably four months on site, four to six months on site doing the work.
Then three months on the other side selling.
Well, I'm really excited to see when it's finished.
I think you're going to do an amazing job so good luck with it.
-Thank you very much.
-We look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, Robbie's certainly got the skills to make light work
of this project and surveyor Chris didn't have too many problems
with those structural issues. They make a great team, actually.
I just hope they get that planning permission that they so want.
Find out how they get on later in the show.
# And this I give for all mankind
# Sail away on an ocean wave... #
'Two English miles from Rochester and one mile from Chatham,
'where the king's ships do lie.
'So Gillingham was described in the 1500s.
'Today, it's still next to Rochester and Chatham,
'but you'll find fewer of the king's ships
'and more super-fast trains to London. How times change.'
The property I'm here to see is minutes from the shops
and a short walk to the train station, which is lovely.
It's also less than ten staggering steps from this pub.
Great if it's your local, far from good
if it turns out they do karaoke till late every Friday night.
It's never simple, is it?
The house itself is here, it's got three bedrooms
and it had a guide price of £70 - 75,000.
Well, do you know how happy it makes me
when I walk into a house and I can't smell any damp?
So far, so good. I mean, you can see it's terribly dated.
You've got this old gas fire down here, the windows are single glazed.
A bit noisy out there and it's quite cold
so I'd definitely look at getting the windows replaced.
The good news is central heating has been installed. Look at all the pipework here.
Probably get that boxed in,
but you've got so much work to do to bring this house up to date, it's a joke.
Look up there - polystyrene tiles, a fire hazard.
You've got to change those.
Down here, oh yes, it's a big spooky cellar,
but great for extra storage space.
The only thing I would say about this property -
it's a bit on the small side.
Feels a little bit cramped, it's sort of like a doll's house, really.
# Got a hammer, nail and a hunk of wood
# I'll build a doll house... #
'Victorian builders worked to standard designs of houses,
'often tweaking them to give them a personal touch.
'This house is definitely on the small side
'and with that massive fireplace in the second reception,
'you'd really struggle to fit in all the furniture needed for a dining room or lounge.
'On the plus side, you'd only need to buy one three-piece suite.
'You could put some of it in the front and some at the back.'
# Cutest place you'll ever see
# Big enough for you and me... #
'No surprises that the kitchen is also fairly mini,
'and unfortunately the bathroom is at the rear,
'as dated as the rest of the ground floor.
'But it's here that I have an idea.'
So why am I staring at that little space there?
That little space actually gives you options and that excites me.
What you could do is take this wall out here, block up this doorway
and just have a much bigger bathroom.
That really may appeal to some people.
But for me, how about using this little room here as a utility area,
somewhere to stack your washing machine, your drier,
because when you look at your kitchen it's very small
and there's nowhere to put anything like that in that space.
I just think then you could hang up your socks and pants
and it would really work and make this space a lot more usable.
'Of course, you'd still need access into your garden
'but you could solve the problem
'by putting a door in the back sitting room,
'where the window currently is.
'The garden itself is a bit of a conundrum.
'In fact, you only get half of this lawn.
'The other half belongs to the house next door.
'I wonder how many people spotted that at the viewing.
'Upstairs there are two bedrooms, or three depending how slim you are.
'There's a good sized double at the front with features
'potentially lurking behind that boarded-up fireplace.
'At the rear, there's another double bedroom with that odd little third room adjoining it.'
The funny thing about this house is the stairs are really steep,
there's a big step to get up in here and then if you walk over here,
look, there's another big step down into here.
I've said it once but I'm going to say it again, it feels very small,
very bijou, this property. Like a little cottage.
Now, there are options upstairs, of course. I've said this a million times.
You could create a corridor along here
so that you turn the stairs around
and use a bit of the space next door.
You then have private access to this area through here.
Now, this room isn't a particularly big room.
In fact, it's rather much on the small side.
Of course, you would lose a lot of space in here by creating the corridor.
So in fact, you'd have two very small spaces
so I really don't think it's worth doing that.
I would use this bedroom as it is.
Potentially you could think about putting a little shower in there,
but it's probably not worth spending the money.
I think you have to look at an office or a little nursery.
Really, they're your options.
# Big enough for you and me. #
'This house is not for the tall or broad,
'but it's cute and there are ways of making it work a lot better,
'and I like it.
'To see if it's worth the £70 - £75,000 guide price,
'we asked a local property expert for her opinion.'
This road in particular is very close to the high street
and it has very good transport links.
I think you need to be very careful about how much you spend.
I don't think spending massive amounts would add particularly
a lot of value to the property.
'But if someone is not afraid of hard work,
'what price could the property command on the rental and sale market?'
After being fully renovated,
the ceiling price I would say would be about 115 to 120.
'What rental could this refurbished skinny terraced house earn?'
This property would fetch about £550 per calendar month.
This place needs a bit more than a good old tidy-up.
It's not terrible, but it's far from terrific
and you would need to buy at the right price to ensure an instant profit.
Let's see who took the plunge at the auction.
Lot six, we go to.
It's well-presented, it's got two reception rooms.
What it needs now is a buyer.
£70,000, not a lot of money for a terraced house. 70 I'm looking for.
-60, I'm obliged. 60 I have.
Give me 2 if you like.
62, 62, 65 and 7, 67.
And 70, at 70 and 2, 72.
One more, 73. That's a £73,000 bid I've got, 4 I'm looking for.
74 I'm obliged, 75 right at the back.
76 may I say, 76 I've got. 7, do I see?
At £76,000 sitting down I will sell for the first time.
£76,000, 77 I've got, right at the back.
78 now. One more. You won't buy houses for this money.
78, I've got. Fresh bid in the front row.
79, £80,000 I've got and one.
81. Just the one bid and that's it?
81 right at the back, 82 it's against you. 82 and he's still smiling.
£82,000 sitting down.
The first time at £82,000,
second time at £82,000.
83, got it. 83.
Why not say 85, try and knock him out?
It works sometimes, works for me anyway.
85, could I say? 85 bid I've got.
£85,000 bid I've got sitting down for the first time,
£85,000 bid for the second time.
I'm selling at 85 for the third and final time.
Yours, sir. Well done, you stuck with it.
'The successful bidder was Mick, who was at the auction with his daughter, Catherine.
'He paid £85,000 for the slimline terrace
'and will be working with his son, Simon, on the development.
'Dad Mick has remortgaged his house to finance this and Simon,
'who is a trained carpenter, will do most of the work.'
-It's quite a busy, bustling auction, wasn't it?
-Yeah, it was.
-Did you always think you were going to get this, Mick?
-We were trying to.
We had a limit where we could go to and it went just below that limit.
-What was your absolute top limit?
-And you paid?
-So you must be thrilled to bits, really?
-Yeah. I really am.
So, father-and-son team here. Is this the first time we've worked together?
-So why has this come about then?
-Basically, to get Simon on the ladder.
Get him started because I see him working so hard
and he's not getting anywhere in the sense that
he can't get the deposit to get his own house.
We thought the best way is buy cheap and get him started.
So, Simon, what is your plan?
You bought this for £85,000 to do it up and sell it on,
or is this a house for you?
We want to do it up and sell it on as quick as possible, really. Then buy another one.
How many of these do you intend on doing before you get your dream home, Simon?
Well, I'm happy living with Mum and Dad at the moment.
Hold on a minute! I don't think you're going to get rid of this one.
That's the problem, have you told your wife?
'Kids these days. They've got the right idea, stay at home and get the washing done.
'But actually, this is a very real problem.
'With mortgages hard to come by and deposits prohibitively high,
'it's either bank of Mum and Dad or pay rent.
'But Simon isn't just here for a free ride.
'As he's a carpenter, he'll be working full-time to get this place ready.'
So, Mick, talk me through the renovations.
-What are you going to do here?
-We're going to skin all the walls.
Obviously putting a new kitchen in, new bathroom in.
We're taking the wall down between the bathroom and the kitchen.
I was thinking of leaving the bathroom where it is
but just having, in front of the door that leads out to the garden,
your washer and drier
and making that a little space for your utility area.
What do you think of that?
-I hadn't thought of that.
-Something to think about, isn't it?
Because where you going to put your washing machine, your tumble dryer?
There is actually an integrated one for our new kitchen.
But that's quite a small space, isn't it?
That's quite a good area to put a washer dryer,
in that little area, and then at least
there's enough room for a clothes horse, you can hang up your socks and your pants and your towels.
-Good idea, actually.
-It's just an idea.
-Yeah, it's worth thinking about.
'I really do think it's worth thinking about.
'This all seems to be well planned but a little bird told me
'that it's wife and mum, Joyce, who got this all knocked into shape.
'She's a schoolteacher and certainly knows her way around a timetable.'
# I love, I love, I love My calendar girl... #
I've been a little bit nosy.
I couldn't help but stumble across this today.
So, on Wednesday 16th March, what's happening?
What's going to happen on Saturday 19th March?
Stripping out the carpets.
You're having your bathroom fittings delivered. That's unbelievable.
-It's good, isn't it?
-I love that. All of you have got a job, a time...
I've never seen anything like it.
Is it like, "tonight, This Is Your Life."?
Are you sticking with that? It's brilliant to have something like that.
Changing it a little bit as we go, but it's all fitting in.
Do you know what, your wife will be devastated
if there's lots of scrubbing out and changing
and arrows going from Wednesday to Friday,
because that is probably what's going to end up happening with that.
Nah, don't believe that. No, it'll be lovely.
Guys, I'm really excited for you both. It's been fun meeting you.
Good luck with this project, and stick to that schedule.
-We will, we will.
So, I don't think Simon and Mick
will be wondering what to do on a day-to-day basis.
There is no such thing as free will in this renovation.
I loved their enthusiasm and I can't wait to see how it turns out,
but let's be honest,
all I really want to know is, are they going to stick to that list?
You can join me later in the programme to find out.
'Coming up - in Stockport there's an emergency for a three-bed semi.'
I think I'm going to have to call International Rescue. Hello?
In Gillingham, we find out if the boys have a two or three-bed house.
We class it as a bedroom.
'But first, we tracked down that Hammersmith hideaway to find out
'if it's finished to perfection.'
I thought I was a perfectionist until I met Robbie.
'Time to head over to Hammersmith in West London,
'where property developer Chris and former rugby player Robbie
'took on a one-bedroom ground-floor flat for £300,000.
'They had big plans for this place, but first they had to tackle
'the division of labour.'
Whoever's got experience in one area
then we tend to let that person get on with it, so I do everything.
'The property was a bit of a wreck, but had potential written all over it.
'So, nine months later, have Robbie and Chris managed to
'turn this place from shabby to chic?'
'Oh, yes. They certainly have.
'This is unrecognisable as the drab pad with bricked-up windows
'and holes in the floor.
'The wide-open hallway allows lots of light into the new bathroom.
'And not one but three bedrooms,
'one of which used to be the dingy garage.
'At the back of the property is a huge open-plan kitchen
'all done to the highest of specs.'
So we're in the kitchen-diner. This will be the area for a dining table.
Obviously, there's an island here.
We've got an in-built music system which you can plug in
your NP3 player and there's an amplifier here for the music system.
Then here, island with the sink
and we've got a boiling hot water tap and filtered cold water there.
Underfloor heating in the floor.
Obviously, you can see it's all oak flooring.
You can see from the finishes we tried to go the extra mile
in producing a property that's of a very high standard.
'He's not kidding, but sometimes it's what's on the outside that counts,
'and that garden has gone from dumping ground to open-plan oasis.'
Well, I suppose the unique selling point of this property
is the fact we were able to actually get an extension to the side and to the rear.
Formerly, there was a garage to the left-hand side of the property
and we were able to actually not only come out to the side but also come back.
It allowed us to get another two bedrooms there
and also en suite and the main bathroom.
What we wanted to do was create open-plan living in the kitchen
and the living room, bringing that all in together
and also integrating that into the garden.
I think we've successfully been able to do that
and that's the wow factor.
When most people walk in down the hall, they can see the garden
straight through the middle of the property.
The fact that we've been able to come out the side and also the rear,
we've doubled the floor space so have gone from 700 square feet to 1,400 square feet.
That's essentially where the profits have been.
'You could easily forget you're in the heart of London here.
'A transformation like this doesn't come easily
'and Chris and Robbie weren't afraid to get their hands dirty.'
At one point, we had gas masks on, goggles, hard hats.
It was like being in a coal mine.
It was pretty messy, but that's part of the job.
You have to roll your sleeves up.
You can't expect to sit in an office and hope things turn out.
You have to get involved.
We quite like the early part, getting in and tearing it apart,
because that's when you see the opportunities.
If you're not on site, if you've got a builder doing that,
you're missing opportunities and missing adding that extra value.
'It sure looks as though they haven't missed a trick here,
'and no wonder with Robbie's eagle eye on hand.'
Attention to detail is what we pride ourselves on.
I thought I was a perfectionist until I met Robbie.
Everything we do, it's "Is that right?
"Does it look straight?" etc, etc.
They do say great minds think alike. Well, some of the time.
Sometimes we fight it out, sometimes we actually toss a coin.
The floor was because I won the toss.
Chris wanted something completely different,
which probably would have devalued the property.
Things like that, you do need that discussion and debate
to work out the best scenario.
Talk about the best scenario, they've done a stunning job here.
After a few months to get the necessary planning consents,
the guys were able to stick to their four-month timescale for the work.
But with a high-end finish like this,
surely they went over their £100,000 budget.
We've increased the spec, so accordingly,
our budget has gone up a little bit. We've gone 30,000 over that.
So we're at 130,000 in total.
The way we weigh it up is that if we spend £1 and we make £2 out of it,
it might be worth doing.
Let's see if two local estate agents agree that the extra spend
on high-end fittings was worth it.
The standard of finish for this property is incredibly high.
It has beautiful integrated appliances.
It's finished throughout to a very high standard.
We don't see many properties of this sort of quality.
The finish and the size is really unique.
I particularly like the size of the garden.
The fact that you have access to a garden of this size
in this location is fantastic.
If they were to put it up for rent, what return could the boys expect?
If you put this property on the rentals market,
you could expect to achieve in the region of £3,000 per calendar month.
This property would be ideal for tenants we have looking in the area
and it would be £3,500 per calendar month.
We were told a little bit higher than that - three bedroom in this area -
but to be honest, we're not in the rental-market game.
So it's the moment of truth. They paid £300,000 for the property
at auction and spend £130,000 on the renovations.
With that total spend of £430,000, will the boys be looking
at a high-end return for their high-spec finish?
I would expect this property to achieve in the region of 750,000.
If we were to put the property up for sale,
we'd expect to achieve figures in the region of 800,000.
These figures give a potential pre-tax profit
of between £320,000 and £370,000,
minus the usual selling expenses.
However, quick off the mark, Chris and Robbie have already sold it
and for the very tidy sum of 850,000 quid!
We're quite happy with the price we've agreed because the buyer...
It's not just about price for us, it's about the speed of completion
and the position of the buyer.
They're in a strong cash position and can do a deal quickly.
We want to reinvest the money as quickly as possible.
That sale price gives them a profit, before tax, of £420,000,
nearly double their money.
And with their next project already in the pipeline,
they must really love the property-development game.
You have to get your hands dirty and that's not for everyone
but we love it.
I'm in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
Once thought of as one of the smokiest, dustiest places
in the whole of the industrial area, nowadays it's cleaned up its act
with a revitalised town centre and a historic marketplace.
This is one of the suburbs of Stockport - Woodley - and I'm here
to see a three-bed, semi-detached house
with a guide price of 90,000 quid.
That doesn't sound like a lot to me for around here
but judging by the exterior...
I think I know why it might be so cheap.
The birds have taken up residence in the bay window,
the tiles are slipping and the fascia boards are flaking.
This house doesn't look good close-up.
Well, you don't have to say, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
"what's the problem with this hall?"
Because pretty much like the rest of the house,
it's in a fairly shoddy state.
You don't even have to come through the door before you see
not a lot of maintenance has gone on here.
All the paintwork is cracked and everything.
It doesn't necessarily bode well.
You come in here and it's pretty much as I might have predicted.
It's a house that needs basically updating.
It hasn't had a lot of work done to it.
A fairly standard layout, stairs up to the bedrooms there.
Down the corridor, we come to the kitchen.
Very small for the size of property
and I think you're going to focus your attention on what you can do
to this area to turn this house into something
that's a bit more practical.
At the moment, it doesn't quite work.
But perhaps the solution is right outside the back door.
Now, a blindingly obvious thing to do with his particular property
is put an extension on the side here, maybe keep the garage
as the ground floor of the extension,
extend the kitchen out this way, put another bedroom on the top,
maybe an en suite or something.
Under normal circumstances, I'm really, really careful
about doing that kind of thing because you don't know
if you're going to get the money back.
It's all about the ceiling price of properties in the area
but when it comes to Woodley,
you'll definitely get your money back so that's what I'd do.
Of course, if you wanted to do more than break even
and make a bit more profit instead, a cheaper alternative to extending
would be to knock the kitchen through into the large lounge,
making downstairs one big open-plan kitchen/dining/living space.
Upstairs, the dated decor continues throughout the three bedrooms.
There are no radiators so no central heating.
But there's a sunbed so you can top up your tan while you freeze(!)
The bathroom definitely needs modernising.
So, one single bedroom, one double bedroom
and at the front of the property, another good-sized double.
But, more indications of the refurbishment work you going to have to do.
What's that? Thought it was a cobweb.
But no, just another example of what's falling apart,
and this whole area certainly is.
All these windows will have to come out,
as you can see they're completely rotten.
What's probably caused it, one thing for sure, not having your
lead flashing in place isn't going to help.
You know what? I think we're going to have to call International Rescue.
Hello. We need help.
While we wait for Mr Tracy to reply,
we asked a local property expert for his opinion on the chances of
recovery for this house, which had a guide price of 90,000.
The kitchen size in a 1930s traditional house,
that's how they were built.
It's worth extending, you've just got to weigh up the value
of the extension versus the cost.
The choice is, do it up and rent it out or do it up and sell it on?
If this house was going on the rental market,
we'd expect to get £650 per calendar month.
If we were selling this property in today's market,
we'd expect to get around 150,000.
Well, I think this is a perfect auction property
and what you should be looking out for.
Yes, the house needs quite of lot of work,
but nothing too structural and you're buying into this lovely area.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
Lot 12 is three-bedroom semi-detached property.
What's this one worth?
Start me off, I'm looking for £80,000.
80, your bid, madam, at £80,000 I have.
Do I see 85? 85 bid, thank you. 90,000, 91, 91,000.
92 it's against, 92, 93?
At 93, 94? At 94, 95?
At 95,000 then, give me 96.
I'm going to sell at £96,000 to the gentleman. No.
Another bid, it's your bed at 95 then, 155 at 96. 97?
97. 98, 99, round it up, 100.
101, 102, 103, 104,
105. 106, 107, 108, 109? 110?
110,500? 110,500. 111?
111, no at 111,000, are we all done?
111,500, 112? 112, 112,500, 113?
113,500, 114. 114,500. 115.
No, at 114,500, the lady's bid for the first time.
At 114,500 for the second and final time. Are we all done at £114,500?
-The successful bid was made by Laura who was at the auction
with her sister, Eleanor.
This was Laura's first time buying at auction
but not her first time buying a property.
She joined the family property business four years ago.
I went to meet her, along with her dad, Graham.
-Laura, Graham, lovely to meet you.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Well, it's what I do for a living actually.
Buy and then do up this type of house and then we rent them out
mainly at the moment.
Tell me about the business.
-The family started it in 2002.
And then after I finished university in 2006,
I took it over as a full-time job and I've been doing it ever since,
-about two a year isn't it?
-So we've got a portfolio of 11 at the moment.
-11 rented and two in progress, so to speak.
-You must be proud of the way it's all developing?
-Yes, she's doing very well.
Laura spotted this particular property by chance.
The family own another up the road and Laura was driving by,
going to check on that one on saw the auction sign outside this house.
Tell me what you're going to do to sort this place out.
I think our plans at the moment are to knock through to make
a bigger kitchen/diner. Just to make it a bigger room
-because the kitchen at the moment is just too small.
-What about this room here?
It used to have a door coming in here.
We'll open that back up and then block the two receptions off again
so it'll be a big kitchen/diner and this front room as a single room.
Instead of having a completely open-plan downstairs.
So create a more open-plan kitchen, living area and this as a room?
-As the living room?
-I like that idea.
Central heating needs putting in, new windows and doors,
sort out a bit of roofing, but the rest of it's just cosmetic.
New kitchen, new bathroom, redecorate.
-A lot of work outside.
-A lot of work outside, yes.
Just needs tidying up because it's a bit of a jungle at the moment.
Get rid of the two sheds that are in the back garden and then
possibly put some French doors out of the kitchen/diner on to a decking area
and then level off the lawned area at the bottom of the garden.
And what will be your involvement in that?
I basically come in and fill skips. That's what I'll be doing -
stripping out wallpaper, stripping the doors and the old kitchen and the old bathroom.
And then from there, just be organising external tradesmen to come in and go from there.
You like the ripping out stuff?
Yes, yes. It's fairly satisfying with a lump hammer.
-And Dad, what will your involvement be?
-I pop back occasionally
when Laura needs some heavy lifting doing or the big lump hammer using.
But, really, most of the technical stuff like putting joists in
and taking walls out and that sort of thing,
we leave to the professionals.
We're very much at DIY skills level in terms of what we can do.
So anything beyond that we always feel it's best to get experts in
-so the place doesn't fall down.
-A very wise move.
Laura's parents are always on hand to give advice and design tips.
So although they're officially taking a back seat in the business,
they're still involved and providing support from the sidelines.
What's your budget for what you're planning?
I think we've budgeted a fair amount, which is 20,000,
but with around about 5,000 contingency.
Because we may find things that need doing
that we haven't thought of so far, like the wiring might need completely redoing.
And if we find something wrong with the roof
when we get that sorted, that might have to be upped as well.
-That's a healthy budget.
-It should be OK.
We're hoping to come under it, so we've left ourselves a generous one.
Now, one of the things I thought you might consider is an extension -
to do a two-storey extension over the garage.
-Have you contemplated that?
-It's got the potential,
but at the moment we're not looking at that.
It could be something in the future because our plans is to get it rented
and then maybe in a couple of years we might look at an extension.
I think given the rental market, you'd not get the extra rent to justify the expense.
And, just at the moment, I don't think it's time to be selling anything.
Obviously if someone comes and wants to buy this at a sensible price
when it's done, we'd let it go.
But we're not banking on that at all because the market is still so slow as far as buyers are concerned.
What kind of timescale have you've got for the work?
We're hoping to have it done and dusted within six months.
You're allowing time to find a tenant as well?
Yes, to find a talent as well, so everything done with a new tenant in.
-Are you proud of your daughter?
-Absolutely, very proud.
She's made a real fist of this and she enjoys it.
I've always been fairly enthusiastic about doing this sort of thing
so I'm very happy, yes.
Congratulations, good luck and we look forward to seeing the transformation.
Thanks very much.
Well, Laura certainly has the experience,
the enthusiasm, to make a success of this project and a healthy budget and timescale.
But with old properties like this,
you never know what you might find, so how will she get on?
You can find out later in the show.
It's time now to go back to those properties
and see how the owners have got on.
Have they managed to stick to their timescales and budgets?
Let's find out.
# Son of my father... #
We're back in Gillingham, Kent to see how Simon and his father, Mick
got on with this long, thin terraced property.
Mick remortgaged his own house to buy this development,
he wanted to help his son Simon get on the property ladder.
Joiner son Simon was going to do his bit
and schoolteacher mum, Joyce, made her special contribution too.
On Wednesday 16th March, what's happening?
What's going to happen on Saturday 19th March?
I don't know yet.
J & S stripping out the carpets. You're having your bathroom fittings delivered. That's unbelievable.
It's good, isn't it?
I love that, all of you've got a job, a time,
my goodness, I've never seen anything like it.
With lots of small rooms and steps in odd places,
this terrace fell like a doll's house than a real house.
# Cutest place you'll ever see
# Big enough for you and me... #
The kitchen was a narrow galley
and everywhere there were strange little under-used spaces.
Mick bought this terrace for 85,000
and they estimated that 15,000 would put it back together again.
It's been three months since we first met Simon and Mick,
so we've returned to find out if they stuck to mum's timetable and their budget.
# Beautiful stranger... #
Mick and Simon have turned this outdated, unworkable Victorian house
into a bright and welcoming first-time buyer's home.
It wasn't bursting with kerb appeal before, but it is now.
The front of the property was quite old and looked very dull.
So Simon put a new door on and we got new double glazing
and I spent about three days painting it, with the help
from the people across the road telling me where I'd missed bits.
So that was quite fun.
The first thing we did was rip out the kitchen then
we worked our way through the rest of the house.
# To know you, is to love you... #
Downstairs, the tiny, badly-laid-out kitchen is unrecognisable.
# Beautiful stranger... #
This is the kitchen. When we got it, it was very dingy.
We put new windows in. Obviously, completely new kitchen.
Even my wife, Joyce, she done the tiling, which is very proud of.
Integral fridge, washing machine, cooker, hob and cupboards.
All the mod cons what you can hope for.
Obviously, new floor and then into the bathroom.
This was a very, very small bathroom.
There used to be a back door here which we bricked up
and we took down the wall and we've made it this nice big bathroom.
Closing off the badly positioned doorway to the garden meant
opening a new door from the dining room.
This is much more practical and gave Simon
and Mick that extra space for the bathroom.
Outside, they plan to finish off the landscaping
and mark the division between the shared gardens with a small fence.
Upstairs, the room layout hasn't changed.
There are still two good-sized bedrooms, now fresh and inviting.
They are still the same odds steps up and down between rooms.
Now, bedrooms. How many of those does this terrace have?
We class it as a bedroom, it's still a bedroom, so it's three bedrooms.
Two decent-sized and one little bedroom.
I think they're been rather optimistic
calling this big walk-in cupboard a bedroom, but it could be a home office.
This was a family effort and of course there was that secret weapon in the boys' arsenal.
-She's the boss.
School teacher Joyce certainly knew her way around a timetable
and it was a big help to her boys.
Joyce chose all the colour scheme and the flooring and everything.
She was the boss and we did it.
Simon's done the floor, the kitchen, all the doors.
Everything to do with wood.
Joyce has done the tiling in the kitchen, all the painting
and chosen all the materials and gone out and price them all up.
And me, well I've just come along for the ride.
Time to find out if it's a family fortune
or another five years in the nest for Simon.
We asked two local property experts for their opinion.
Kerb appeal, if you look at the road itself,
it does stand out from the rest.
Therefore the expenditure on the external painting
will have rewards at the end.
Moving the back door into the second reception room is a good thing.
It's increases the space in the kitchen area and also the bathroom.
It adds a lot of light into the reception room as well,
which makes the house feel a lot more light and airy.
Simon and Mick bought this mid-terrace for 85,000.
They spent £14,000 refurbishing it,
bringing their total investment to £99,000.
What price could the property sell for?
I think the potential resale value of this property would be between £115-120,000.
The resale value of this property would be £120,000.
-Yes, that's right.
-That's OK. Just where we want it.
# Son of my father... #
Those figures would give them a profit of between about 16 and 21,000.
Before costs and expenses.
But is it enough to get Simon on the very first rung of the property ladder and out of the nest?
Yeah, it is definitely a step towards getting on the property ladder
but it is just convenience living with my mum and dad at the moment.
Managed to go a couple of holidays a year,
so...that's the important thing.
We're back in Woodley, near Stockport, to see if Laura and her father,
Graham, have reclaimed this house from its 1930s time warp.
This three-bedroom property had been left untouched
since it was built and needed a complete overhaul.
The tiny kitchen was impractical but there was ample space above the garage to fix that
and add a bedroom but Laura and Graham had other ideas.
We're going to block the two receptions off again
so it would be a big kitchen/diner, and then this front room as a single room.
Laura and her father bought this semi-detached house for 114,500.
They'd set £25,000 aside for the refurbishment
but if the house was covering up other problems,
they would need to dig deeper.
We may find things that need doing which we hadn't thought of so far
like the wiring might need completely redoing.
If we find something wrong with the roof, that might have to be upped as well.
We've returned to see if Laura has ditched the 1930s layout
for something more suited to modern life.
# I wished I lived in the golden age
# Giving it up on the Broadway stage
# Hang with the rats and smoke cigars
# Have a break with Frank and count the stars
# Oh! Sing it out loud Gonna get back honey... #
Laura has transformed this tired old semi into a really lovely family home
but the biggest problem here was the itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny kitchenette.
The kitchen, before, started here on an angled door
and there was one double unit here, a cooker here, and a sink.
And that was it. So what we have done, we've knocked down a wall
to create a big kitchen diner
and made a U-shaped kitchen with all the amenities you would need,
with a nice space for a dining room.
To get all that extra space in the kitchen, Laura and her father
ditched the glass doors between the two ground-floor reception rooms.
They also closed off the old kitchen access to the garden.
Adding much more useful patio doors from the new dining room onto the new decking.
The house before was a real state.
It'd not been lived in since 2008 and I am not sure it had been touched since it was built.
There was a lot of carpet and wallpaper in,
and it took a fair few skips to get rid of that.
I personally had to take off layer and layer of wallpaper,
which took a while and that wasn't fun during the winter but we got through it.
Upstairs, the room layout hasn't changed but the three bedrooms
have each been replastered and repainted.
The bathroom, before, was very old-fashioned.
It was in avocado green which was lovely but my dad spent
most of the time breaking up the cast-iron bath which he had much fun at.
But what we have done here is re-tile everything
and put a brand-new suite in with a separate shower.
The refurbishment has taken six months, which is exactly as long as Laura expected.
I like the task of seeing something and then seeing past
what it is at that state and turning it into something new.
It's always nice to bring something from
where it was into something which somebody can use and love.
But completely refurbishing a three-bedroomed terrace house does not come cheap.
Our original budget was 20 to 25.
We have gone over slightly - we've gone over by 5. So all in about 30,000.
We had to plaster a lot more than we thought we did.
The whole of the downstairs has been replastered and a lot more of the upstairs.
The general cost of things, we found have gone up in price
so that was an expense we weren't expecting.
It's time to call in two local property experts to see
if all that time and money has been well spent.
They've done an amazing job actually, the level of finish is excellent.
They made sure where the walls needed replastering, they've been done.
The doors are nice, the kitchen and bathroom is really well-finished.
The condition of the house - it was original.
So, you could have stepped back to 1930, roughly when it was built
and you saw the same house.
It had just aged and not aged well.
They had a big challenge on their hands, a lot to do and, yeah, they've done a really good job.
They've done a nice job of the refurb,
particularly the kitchen is quite smart.
The bathroom, as well, is a high standard of finish.
I like what they've done to the garden, I think the decking and the lawn is nice.
Laura and her father bought the house for 114,500.
They spent £30,000 on the refurbishment,
bringing their total spend to 144,500.
What could the property be worth now?
The price we'd expect to sell this for would be around £165,000.
In its current condition,
I'd put it in the market at 160 to £165,000.
So if the house was sold it could make a profit of
between 15,500 and £20,500, before tax and selling costs.
The resale figures are generous I think for the market we're in,
because I know some people are struggling to sell their houses.
But that is why we decided to rent for a couple of years
and then in a couple of years' time we will reassess.
So, what kind of rent could it attract?
I think we could rent this house out for £675 per calendar month.
We would expect to rent this property out for £650 per calendar month.
I think that's what we'd expect for a three-bedroom house in this area.
We're actually getting 675.
With a tenant all set to move in, and a tough six months of hard work
behind her, will Laura's very first auction be her last?
I think we would go back to an auction cos we've had a good experience with this.
I think you can find some gems.
Well, that's it for now.
We'll have more tantalising tales from the auction rooms next time.
So make sure you join us then to hear about the highs and the lows.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a one-bedroom property with potential in Hammersmith, west London; a model property in Gillingham, Kent; and a 1930s semi in Stockport. 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.