Episode 61 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 61

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Salford, a plot in Chatham and a large property in Brampton that could be split into two.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

-Hello and welcome.

-Whether you are a developer or first-time buyer,

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what you will want is value for money.

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In a fluctuating property market, where do you go

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to find out what's happening? Try the auctions.

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Sometimes you know you've bought a bargain,

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and sometimes, well, you're not quite sure.

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The best way to find out is to see for yourself.

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So, did the buyers on today's show get themselves a bargain or not?

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Let's find out.

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In Salford, a property which challenges me to dig deep.

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Superficially, clearly it's dreadful.

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But I'm trying to get into the roots of it.

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There's a plot in Chatham, Kent,

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which may never let you bear the fruits of your labour.

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So, it's all looking rather peachy...but no.

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And in Brampton, near Carlisle, one big property

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which could be cut in half to double your dosh.

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Either way, you know what? There's money to be made here.

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All these properties have been sold at auction.

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We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them

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-when they went under the hammer.

-All finished. Sold.

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This is Salford in Greater Manchester,

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currently undergoing a period of regeneration and investment,

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which includes upgrading of local housing stock.

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Well, just two miles from the university,

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two miles from the train station, reasonable area.

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So why was there a property up for auction -

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three-bed, semi-detached house - with a guide price

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of just £25,000?

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Well, as I said, not a bad area. Does it have holes in the ceiling,

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in a dreadful state? Well, kind of.

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What do you reckon? How about that?

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It's a burnt-out wreck.

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It certainly doesn't look very appealing from the outside.

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But at least there is off-street parking...

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..and the garden, although not massive, wraps around three sides.

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Yes, well, it is as bad as you might expect.

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The first thing you got to consider with fire-damaged properties is,

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how bad is the damage?

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And that will make the decision then

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as to whether you try and refurbish this

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or knock it down and start again.

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That's ideally not what you want to do,

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because it's going to cost a lot more.

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However, if the fire has got into the fabric of the building,

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and I'm talking about the timbers, the joists and the walls,

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it could have cracked the underlying structure of the property.

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If it's that bad, the only option is to knock it down.

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You need to get a builder or a surveyor in here,

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somebody who can tell you how bad it really is.

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Superficially, clearly it's dreadful.

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But I'm trying to get into the roots of it.

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I need a bit more of a look around.

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As far as the internal layout goes, it's a decent-sized semi,

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with a kitchen, dining room and well proportioned living room

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on the ground floor. If the place is structurally sound,

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don't underestimate the effort it will take to sort it out.

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Things like pipe work. The joints will have probably gone,

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and you want to replace that for sure.

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The walls! You can't just paint over this, obviously.

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You'll have to strip it back to the original plaster

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or at least put specialist paint coverings on there,

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so that the blackening doesn't come through.

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The joists, obviously, as I mentioned before,

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they'll need to be checked out, and stuff like the electrics.

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I mean, that's probably all just melted

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as a result of the heat, so you've got to factor that

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into your costings. That said, if you were to restore this place,

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you'd probably want to do the electrics anyway.

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But it's certainly being forced on you in this instance.

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It's not an easy fix to repair a fire-damaged property.

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Even if you don't have to rebuild it,

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it can almost feel like you are, and from scratch.

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And what about those stairs?

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I don't think so!

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'Our fearless cameraman did head upstairs though,

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'adhering to health-and-safety rules, of course,

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'to give us a look at the bedrooms and the damaged bathroom.'

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So, a major project with a minor guide price of 25,000.

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We invited a local expert from the auction house

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that sold it to cast his eye over this charred offering.

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The damage that's been done to the property

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is quite substantial, but there doesn't appear

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to be anything structurally wrong. It won't be a cheap job,

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but you will end up with a house that's fully refurbished,

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so it will end up being a good buy.

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What's the rental market like in this area?

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'A three-bedroom semi in this area would rent really well.'

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We'd expect to rent this out for £550 per calendar month.

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Perhaps you'd be better putting the property up for sale.

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When the property's refurbished,

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I think it'll be worth between £75,000 and £85,000.

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If they decided to do the loft conversion,

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and perhaps put a conservatory on the back,

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that could take the value up to between £90,000 and £100,000.

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Well, fire-damaged properties do offer great potential,

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but they're not for the inexperienced.

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You do need to know what you're doing.

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But if you could get this for anything like the guide price,

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you could be onto a winner. Let's see who fancied the massive challenge when it went to auction.

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OK. Lot 60.

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Fire-damaged three-bed semi.

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I've got proxy bids on this, telephone bids on it.

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What's it got to be worth today? I've got a bid at 20,000.

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20 I have. 25. The lady's bid at 25.

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At 25,000, then. 27. I have 27.

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Do I see 30? 30,000.

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30,000 I had, then. Do I see 31 on the phone, maybe?

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31. 32.

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33,000.

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At 33,000. 34.

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35. 36. 36,000, then.

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37. 37.

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38. 39. 40.

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41. 41,000, then.

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42. 42. 43.

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44. 45.

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46.

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46,000. 47.

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At 47,000. 48 anywhere?

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At 47,000, then, for the first time.

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47,000 for the second and final time.

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Are we all done at 47,000? Lady's bid. There we go.

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The winning bid of 47,000 was made by Angela,

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who gives study support to students with dyslexia.

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She and her builder Pete have refurbished together before,

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and she wants to rescue this one for herself and her family.

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# Won't you come on down

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# To my rescue? #

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-Angela, lovely to meet you.

-And you.

-Congratulations.

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-Thank you.

-I THINK congratulations. THEY LAUGH

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-Hmm.

-So, a bit of work to do, then?

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Yes, you could say that, couldn't you?

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Hmm. Er, why did you want to buy it?

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-I've been looking at it for a while.

-You've been looking at it?

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At the house, because it's been for sale,

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but it didn't get into the auction for quite a few months,

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and I thought it would suit my purposes,

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as a house to live in with my sister and my mum,

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who's quite elderly, and she needs ground-floor accommodation,

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and I thought we could do something with this.

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Between what it's like now and what you want it to be,

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there's quite a hurdle. Why not buy somewhere that's sorted out already?

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Um, well, I do like a challenge, I suppose.

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HE LAUGHS

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And I think, for the money I've paid for it,

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and the budget that I've got to spend on it,

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I should get something really nice for under £100,000,

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whereas if I'd bought something else,

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I would've still had to do something to it, I think.

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And this is sort of a blank canvas. I can start from scratch,

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-and get it exactly how I want it.

-How you want it.

-Yeah.

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-So, this doesn't faze you too much?

-No, not really.

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No. I find it quite exciting.

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I like to take something that looks quite unpromising

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and turn it into something quite nice.

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# Baby, save me

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# Save me...

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I love Angela's understatement,

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calling this burnt-out wreck "unpromising".

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But she can see its potential to become a future home

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that will suit her and her family.

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But it's not quite big enough for her, her mum and her sister yet.

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Well, we're hoping to do a loft conversion,

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and downstairs we'll be changing the configuration

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and making a bedroom for my mum,

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and we'll put a conservatory on at the back, as well.

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What kind of budget have you set aside for the work?

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-About £50,000.

-Don't tell your builder that number.

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-SHE LAUGHS

-Tell him you got 30 to spend.

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THEY LAUGH

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What kind of timescale are you hoping for?

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-Four to five months.

-Right.

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So, how involved in the project are you going to be personally?

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When it comes to the finishing off, I will do some of that myself,

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such as tiling, which I quite like doing,

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and decorating, obviously.

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-So I'll do the nice bits, really.

-Right.

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And let Pete and his mates do all the dirty...

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HE LAUGHS ..horrible jobs.

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-Well, the first bit is going to be a bit unpleasant.

-Yes.

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What does your mum think about all this?

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-Um, she's very keen on it, you know.

-Has she seen it yet?

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No. No, she hasn't seen it yet.

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I'm not going to bring her over just yet.

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-"Mum, this is your new house."

-Exactly.

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Yeah. So I'll wait till it's looking a little more, you know...

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presentable, before I actually bring her over to have a look.

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# Save me

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# Somebody save me...

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Angela has undertaken renovation projects before.

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She worked with builder Pete on her most recent project,

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her current home, and luckily he's on hand

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to help with this one too.

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So, Pete, it's your job...

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-HE LAUGHS

-..to turn this place around.

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-Sure is, yes.

-Oh, wow. What do you think of it?

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I think it's great. Got a lot of potential, indeed.

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It's a good-size property.

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OK, they've got the damage, but structurally it's sound.

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-So, did Angela make the right decision to buy it?

-Definitely.

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Definitely. This is one that even I would have bought.

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What do you think it's going to cost to get it sorted?

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-HE HISSES THOUGHTFULLY

-You did what all builders do!

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-You suck through your teeth!

-HE HISSES

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-THEY LAUGH

-Well, we have a guideline.

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I've worked with Angela before,

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so we have a guideline of what that cost,

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so, you know, we're looking...

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anything between 35, 40.

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-Great. We can hold you to that, can we?

-No!

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THEY LAUGH

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# Save me

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# Somebody save me #

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Well, I'm not going to let on to Pete

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that Angela quoted a higher figure than that for her budget.

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But for Angela, this project isn't really about making a big profit.

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It's more about building a new home and a new life

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for herself after a very difficult year.

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I have moved over to this area,

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having lived in Lincolnshire previously,

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but sadly I lost my husband last year,

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-so, um... Oh, dear.

-Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.

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-Um...

-So you're making a new life in Manchester.

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Exactly, yeah, and this is where my family and friends are, really,

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-which is why I've moved back over here.

-Well, congratulations.

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Good luck with it. A few challenges ahead,

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-but look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you.

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Well, it's a new start for Angela and her family,

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and we wish them all the best with that.

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And hopefully with Pete's help,

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they will be able to transform this wreck of a property

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into a beautiful place to live.

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You can find out how they get on later in the show.

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This is Chatham in Kent,

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popular for its many transport links into London,

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lovely surroundings, and affordable properties

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of all shapes and sizes.

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So, three big ticks already for this part of the country.

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I'm here to see a site today that's being offered with detailed planning permission

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for development of four houses, so that is great news.

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And the guide for this plot? £200,000 to £220,000.

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MUSIC: "Kids" by MGMT

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And this large rectangular plot sits amidst a real mix of properties,

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with excellent access to local amenities.

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It also seems popular with the local wildlife.

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Buying a plot which already has planning permission

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is a great bonus, and will save you having to spend valuable months

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drawing up plans and obtaining permissions.

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The four semi-detached properties for here

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have an open-plan kitchen, living and dining room

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on the ground floor, three bedrooms and a bathroom

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on the first floor, and a master bedroom on the top floor,

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but no bathroom.

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I've got the plans here. I've got a bit of a reservation.

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It feels a little bit top-heavy for me.

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A good number of bathrooms to bedrooms and reception rooms

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is always critical. I just feel the layout might not be ideal.

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It can be really tempting to view extra bedrooms

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as a quick route to a big profit.

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But if that means an undersized kitchen, lack of living space,

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and inadequate bathrooms, you won't see the return you're hoping for.

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I think you'd have to think about tweaking these plans slightly,

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to give the master bedroom an en suite.

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The plot here has a story behind it.

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So here's a little bit of background history.

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You see these three houses here? Well, they've all got together

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and decided to sell off part of their gardens,

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creating a rather lucrative building plot.

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It makes you think, doesn't it?

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If you're on good terms with your neighbours,

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and you've got good access,

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you too could be paying off a large chunk of your mortgage.

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# Somewhere

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# Over the rainbow #

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Forget chasing rainbows! You could find a pot of gold

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at the end of your garden. But if considering doing something similar,

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you must check with the local council

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about the legalities of doing so.

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And that's not my only word of warning.

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Another sound bit of advice - try and make all the design decisions

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before the contractors start on site.

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I know it sounds really obvious, but you'd be surprised

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how many people overlook this when it comes to self-builds.

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Sorting out the fixtures and fittings early

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can really save you money in the long term.

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Worst-case scenario, you have a builder on site without materials.

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That could be a nightmare. And whilst you're at it,

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you must make sure you're on top of your budget,

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and don't forget to factor in the costs associated with borrowing,

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buying and selling.

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There is something lurking beneath the surface of this plot,

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which could make it less appealing.

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So, it's all looking rather peachy...but no.

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There is a drain underneath this plot of land,

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and that could prove to be a huge drain on your budget.

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So you've got to contact the water board

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and work out the costs to relocate this before going to auction.

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We invited a local estate agent to the plot

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to give us her opinion on the proposed plans.

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The plot looks to be a reasonable-size plot,

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although once the properties are erected,

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there isn't going to be a huge amount of garden with them.

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'The layout, for some people, is going to cause the problem.'

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A lot of people don't like the thought of two sets of stairs,

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If you've got very young children,

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it is quite hard going up and down them all the time.

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I would have thought we're looking for professional people

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or people with older children. It would suit them much better.

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The plot had a guide price of £200,000 to £220,000.

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What could the potential profits be?

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I think we'd be looking at renting them out

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at round about £900 to £950 per calendar month.

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I think if we were to sell the properties at the moment,

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we'd be looking about £200,000 per property.

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It's a relatively level site. The setting is ideal,

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and Chatham has got strong transport links.

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Now, the only problem is that pesky drain.

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It didn't put somebody off, though. Let's find out who that was

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as we go to auction.

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Where do you want to start me on this one? 200,000?

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I'm underway at 200.

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205,000. Where are all the developers?

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Pleading with their bank manager, most of them, at the moment. Right at the back, 205.

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I'm obliged. And 210 sitting. 215 at the back.

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215. And 20.

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And 25. And 30.

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235. 240. It's with you, sitting.

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245. And 50. 250.

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And five again. 260 I've got, sitting down.

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And 65. Again, it's against you. 265.

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Drive down that road, see somebody else's scaffolding going up...

0:18:010:18:05

Think, "That could've been me." 265.

0:18:050:18:07

And 70. 270. And five. 275.

0:18:070:18:11

Ooh... What's that - two?

0:18:110:18:13

272, I've got.

0:18:130:18:16

275, I've got.

0:18:160:18:18

And 77. 277. It's worth a try.

0:18:180:18:21

277? Otherwise, for the first time, at 275...

0:18:210:18:25

He's a determined bidder. Second time at 275.

0:18:250:18:28

Third and final time. I'm sure you're all done.

0:18:280:18:31

It was Michael who made the successful bid of 275,000.

0:18:320:18:37

He, his business partner John and son Matthew

0:18:370:18:40

run a property-development business, so they're very familiar

0:18:400:18:43

with purchasing land to build on.

0:18:430:18:45

SONG: "Daddy Cool" by Boney M.

0:18:450:18:49

And they're no strangers to Homes Under The Hammer, either.

0:18:520:18:56

-What are you going to do with it?

-Knock it down.

0:18:560:18:58

-Are you, now?

-We're going to try to.

0:18:580:19:00

'They may have knocked down there, but I wanted to find out

0:19:000:19:04

'what they plan to build up here.'

0:19:040:19:07

Well, you've certainly been busy, haven't you?

0:19:070:19:09

-Yes.

-The last time I saw you two was in Sheerness back in 2007.

0:19:090:19:14

-Yes, it was.

-Gosh! How time flies!

0:19:140:19:17

-So, congratulations.

-We're still here!

0:19:170:19:20

You've bought this plot of land. Have you both been extremely busy

0:19:200:19:24

-since we last meet?

-Yes,

0:19:240:19:26

but we've achieved very little.

0:19:260:19:29

We've had three very bad years.

0:19:290:19:31

We didn't buy... This is the first site we've bought since Sheerness.

0:19:310:19:36

We've done very little, but been busy chasing our tails.

0:19:360:19:40

So, why have you moved on to buy this site and develop it?

0:19:400:19:43

Well, basically, Dad did the bidding at the auction.

0:19:430:19:47

-I wasn't there, unfortunately.

-He'd have stopped me.

0:19:470:19:49

No, I wouldn't have done that. He does a great job at auction.

0:19:490:19:53

And it's a lovely site. Comes with full planning permission,

0:19:530:19:57

which was very much what we like. We can get straight on this site

0:19:570:20:01

and get straight on with it, and that's the really attractive part.

0:20:010:20:04

And the architect had done a good job.

0:20:040:20:07

It's a sensible house that has got four bedrooms,

0:20:070:20:10

it's got a sitting room and a dining kitchen

0:20:100:20:13

-of some size.

-So it really appealed to you to buy this site

0:20:130:20:17

with the planning permission. So you're ready to crack on.

0:20:170:20:20

Hit the nail on the head, yeah.

0:20:200:20:22

Will you be changing anything at all about what you've got on the plans?

0:20:220:20:26

-Internally.

-Yes, some internal work.

-But very minor.

0:20:260:20:30

There's no sanity to it, but in the original plans

0:20:300:20:34

that had been passed, they've got, in brackets,

0:20:340:20:37

the master bedroom doesn't have a shower room.

0:20:370:20:41

And it's a piece of cake to do it,

0:20:410:20:43

so you'll have a general bathroom on the first floor,

0:20:430:20:47

and then it'll be a very nice and spacious master bedroom

0:20:470:20:51

with a shower room or bathroom on the second floor.

0:20:510:20:56

I really think you need to add that shower room,

0:20:560:20:59

because you need access to washing facilities upstairs.

0:20:590:21:02

-It's crazy.

-Is there anything else that's problematic with the site?

0:21:020:21:06

Yes. There is. There always is. There's always something.

0:21:060:21:11

-It was never going to be that easy.

-Never, ever is. It's the drains.

0:21:110:21:15

The drains. We've got a foul that runs from this boundary

0:21:150:21:20

straight out to the centre of the road,

0:21:200:21:22

and that goes under one of the foundations,

0:21:220:21:25

so we've got to reroute that, talk to the water board

0:21:250:21:29

and the powers that be to get it moved and get permission,

0:21:290:21:32

so that will be the difficult part.

0:21:320:21:34

Could that be quite costly? Have you worked out any prices?

0:21:340:21:38

-Yes, it's quite costly.

-Go on, go on. Tell me.

0:21:380:21:40

To get permission, it's around about approximately £2,000

0:21:400:21:44

-just to say hello.

-Just to talk to the people?

0:21:440:21:47

-Just talk to the people.

-OK.

-The work, um...

0:21:470:21:50

I haven't done a full appraisal,

0:21:500:21:52

but it will be around the £8,000 mark to actually do the work itself.

0:21:520:21:57

So, £10,000 to fix the issue with the drains.

0:21:570:22:01

But Matthew wouldn't let something like that get in the way of a build.

0:22:010:22:05

'As for Michael, well, with his background,

0:22:050:22:07

'he's been there, done that, and probably got several T-shirts.'

0:22:070:22:11

Michael, I know you're very experienced,

0:22:110:22:14

-and you have been doing this for many years.

-Sure.

0:22:140:22:17

Some 40 years. Absolutely.

0:22:170:22:19

And built... I don't know. Probably completed...

0:22:190:22:23

must be 70 or 80 different developments,

0:22:230:22:26

-way over 4,000 units altogether.

-Ooh!

0:22:260:22:29

Now, Matthew, you must have learnt a lot from your dad over the years.

0:22:290:22:32

-I have.

-Is this something that you aspire to do?

0:22:320:22:35

It wasn't quite what I had in mind originally,

0:22:350:22:38

but, like all these things, you sort of drift into them,

0:22:380:22:41

and I've enjoyed doing it, so, um, yes. I like building houses.

0:22:410:22:45

It's creative. You come back ten years' time,

0:22:450:22:47

say, "Well, I built that," so it's nice.

0:22:470:22:49

-So, what had you intended on doing?

-Being a model.

0:22:490:22:52

-He was going to be a model?

-I wasn't.

0:22:520:22:54

Yes, he did. Yes, he did. You speak to his mother.

0:22:540:22:58

-She'll tell you.

-He is really embarrassing you now.

0:22:580:23:01

Not really. I'm used to it, because he does it all the time.

0:23:010:23:04

# I'm going to be a supermodel #

0:23:040:23:08

So, perhaps, some less-than-model behaviour from cheeky chap Michael,

0:23:080:23:12

but with his vast experience of over 4,000 property developments,

0:23:120:23:16

and a lot of charm, he gets away with it.

0:23:160:23:19

It's lovely to see such a great relationship between this pair,

0:23:190:23:23

and their optimism is infectious. I'm very glad to see

0:23:230:23:26

that they're both still going strong despite the recent tougher market.

0:23:260:23:31

So, with the property dip, it obviously didn't burn your fingers.

0:23:310:23:35

-You're positive. You want to come back for more.

-Always positive.

0:23:350:23:38

-I enjoy the business.

-Yes.

0:23:380:23:41

And we've got enough experience to make it profitable.

0:23:410:23:45

How long do you think this site is going to take you

0:23:450:23:48

-to get these houses up and running?

-Six months.

0:23:480:23:51

-Certainly no more.

-Have you guys really had a chance to do your sums

0:23:520:23:56

-and work out the build costs?

-I'm doing it at the moment.

0:23:560:24:00

-SHE LAUGHS

-What - right now?

-Pretty much.

0:24:000:24:02

-You're going over in your head the sums?

-Part of it.

0:24:020:24:05

-So, what do you think, Matthew?

-I think... The actual amount?

-Yes.

0:24:050:24:09

-Um, I reckon it's going to be around the 400 mark.

-Yeah.

0:24:090:24:13

-So £400,000 to build all four semis?

-That's correct, yeah.

0:24:130:24:17

And that's everything - kitchens, bathrooms...

0:24:170:24:19

-Even the drains.

-Even the drain removal?

-Yes.

0:24:190:24:23

Guys, great to see you again. Good luck with this.

0:24:230:24:26

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

0:24:260:24:28

Michael, with over 40 years of experience

0:24:310:24:34

building a whopping 4,000 properties...

0:24:340:24:37

I think I can say this project is in safe hands,

0:24:370:24:40

and with Matthew by his side, using all of today's technology,

0:24:400:24:44

I'm sure they will make a success of this.

0:24:440:24:46

The only issue is that drain underground.

0:24:460:24:49

It's an unknown quantity. Will it throw up some problems for them?

0:24:490:24:53

Well, you can see how our father-and-son team do

0:24:530:24:56

later on in the programme.

0:24:560:24:58

Coming up - this property in Brampton near Carlisle,

0:24:590:25:02

an area fit for a prince.

0:25:020:25:04

Blimey! Even Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed here.

0:25:040:25:08

In Kent, did this plot make Matthew and Michael lose the plot?

0:25:090:25:12

I'm the guy that walks by and buys it,

0:25:120:25:16

and then he sorts it all out because I've made a mistake.

0:25:160:25:19

But first, did Angela keep her cool when the heat was on?

0:25:200:25:24

I wasn't fazed by it. Um... I don't know why.

0:25:240:25:28

'Time for us to go back to Salford in Greater Manchester,

0:25:350:25:38

'where support worker Angela bought this,

0:25:380:25:41

'a sadly burnt-out semi, for 47,000.'

0:25:410:25:45

But she was a cool customer when it came to the fire damage.

0:25:450:25:49

Between what it's like now and what you want it to be,

0:25:490:25:51

there's quite a hurdle. Why not buy somewhere that's sorted out already?

0:25:510:25:56

I do like a challenge, I suppose. HE LAUGHS

0:25:560:25:59

And this most certainly was.

0:25:590:26:01

Angela planned to turn this into a beautiful home

0:26:010:26:04

for herself, her sister and their elderly mother to live in.

0:26:040:26:08

We've come back seven months later to see if she rose to the challenge

0:26:100:26:14

she'd set herself.

0:26:140:26:16

Wow! The property looks fantastic,

0:26:330:26:36

not even a hint of the blackened, burned-out shell that it was

0:26:360:26:39

not so long ago.

0:26:390:26:41

The house has not only had an incredible makeover,

0:26:410:26:45

but the kitchen has been extended, two more bedrooms have been created,

0:26:450:26:48

as well as an additional bathroom and an en suite.

0:26:480:26:51

None of this would have been possible

0:26:510:26:54

without Angela's close friend and builder, Pete.

0:26:540:26:56

It was an interesting project. Everything was ripped out -

0:26:560:27:00

the floors, roofs, the whole thing. But it worked to our advantage,

0:27:000:27:04

because we could put a dormer in for a nice loft conversion.

0:27:040:27:07

I'd done one for Angela before, so it worked very well.

0:27:070:27:11

She trusted me and I trust her,

0:27:110:27:13

and as far as doing the burnt-out,

0:27:130:27:16

it was just the same old...

0:27:160:27:19

To us, it's just taking out the old and putting in the new.

0:27:190:27:23

Positive Pete seems as unfazed as Angela was,

0:27:230:27:27

and that's even after most of the graft has been done.

0:27:270:27:30

I've really enjoyed it. It's been a very, very successful project

0:27:300:27:34

for everybody. Angela's going to end up with a very good house,

0:27:340:27:38

and we've had plenty of work with it, so really enjoyed it.

0:27:380:27:43

Luckily he's not the only one who's pleased with the results.

0:27:430:27:47

It has actually surpassed my expectations.

0:27:470:27:51

It's actually a lot nicer than I thought it was going to be.

0:27:510:27:54

I wasn't fazed by it. Um, I don't know why.

0:27:540:27:58

Maybe... SHE CHUCKLES

0:27:580:28:00

I do... I just like doing this kind of thing.

0:28:000:28:04

I just thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.

0:28:040:28:06

And particularly as this is going to be a home

0:28:060:28:10

for herself, her sister Sue and their mother,

0:28:100:28:12

who's going to really benefit from being here.

0:28:120:28:15

She's looking forward to it. She's in a flat on her own

0:28:150:28:19

at the moment, and it's on the second floor.

0:28:190:28:22

She's not very good mobility, so she doesn't really get out much,

0:28:220:28:27

so this is going to be a lot nicer for her, really.

0:28:270:28:30

There's still around two weeks' work left to do,

0:28:310:28:34

mainly in the garden, but with the transformation that's been done here

0:28:340:28:38

so far, did Angela manage to stick to her time and money projections?

0:28:380:28:43

Well, I did think about six months,

0:28:440:28:46

and that's what it's actually turned out to be.

0:28:460:28:49

In fact, from actually buying the property,

0:28:490:28:52

two months went by before anything actually got started,

0:28:520:28:56

so the actual work has been less than that.

0:28:560:28:59

It's only been probably four to five months.

0:28:590:29:02

I had a figure of £50,000 in mind,

0:29:020:29:06

and I think it'll be 60, actually.

0:29:060:29:09

I think I've probably gone 10,000 over budget,

0:29:090:29:13

which, I think, for what we've got, isn't bad at all.

0:29:130:29:17

We asked two local estate agents to come and have a look round

0:29:190:29:22

Angela's new home and share their views.

0:29:220:29:25

'Fantastic property. They've done a really good job.'

0:29:250:29:29

I do like a lot of the touches, like the stripped flooring

0:29:290:29:32

and the open-plan feel downstairs.

0:29:320:29:34

The upstairs has dramatically changed the property

0:29:340:29:38

by adding the second bathroom.

0:29:380:29:41

I'm very impressed with the property.

0:29:410:29:43

They've finished it to a very good standard,

0:29:430:29:45

and it will be a really nice place for them to live.

0:29:450:29:48

Angela purchased the property at auction for 47,000,

0:29:480:29:51

and spent 60,000 on converting it, making her total outlay £107,000.

0:29:510:29:58

What would the agents value it at if she wanted to sell it on?

0:29:580:30:02

We'd see this property fetching between £105,000 and £110,000.

0:30:020:30:07

I would look to market the property at £110,000

0:30:070:30:09

and attract offers in that region.

0:30:090:30:11

Well, that's OK. We obviously haven't done it to make a profit.

0:30:110:30:17

Yeah, that's very pleasing.

0:30:170:30:19

The important thing here was that Angela created somewhere

0:30:190:30:24

that she and her family could call home,

0:30:240:30:26

and she's certainly achieved that.

0:30:260:30:29

It does feel like home, and I've enjoyed seeing my ideas,

0:30:290:30:33

you know, coming into being, and that's been very satisfying.

0:30:330:30:39

I'm in the market town of Brampton, about nine miles east of Carlisle.

0:30:490:30:53

The place is absolutely steeped in history.

0:30:530:30:56

It's on the route of Hadrian's Wall. Look at the age of the buildings,

0:30:560:30:59

from the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

0:30:590:31:02

Blimey, even Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed here.

0:31:020:31:06

This was Charlie's headquarters in 1745,

0:31:060:31:10

when he laid siege to Carlisle.

0:31:100:31:13

Well, just off Brampton main street is the property I'm here to see,

0:31:130:31:16

but before I even get to it, I'm seeing a few issues.

0:31:160:31:19

You've got this fish-and-chip shop there,

0:31:190:31:21

and these are the rubbish bins from the shop.

0:31:210:31:24

They're a permanent feature, and not a very nice entrance to your property.

0:31:240:31:28

This is called a lane, but who knows whether or not it's an adopted lane?

0:31:280:31:32

If it isn't, you're responsible for its upkeep.

0:31:320:31:35

Second slight problem I'm seeing is these cars.

0:31:350:31:39

They're owned by the people who live round here,

0:31:390:31:41

but they're right in front of the property I'm here to see,

0:31:410:31:44

and if nobody owns this road, it's really debatable

0:31:440:31:47

whether or not people can park here, so that could be an issue.

0:31:470:31:51

The property itself is certainly substantial.

0:31:510:31:53

The lower part of this building used to be a pub around 50 years ago.

0:31:530:31:57

It was converted to residential, originally two flats.

0:31:570:32:00

You got one door there, one door over there.

0:32:000:32:02

Now knocked into one. It's going to be complicated,

0:32:020:32:05

but let's take a look inside.

0:32:050:32:08

# It takes two, baby

0:32:080:32:10

# To make a dream come true

0:32:100:32:12

# Just take two...

0:32:130:32:15

Yeah, this property is a toofer - you get two for the price of one.

0:32:150:32:19

So even with the smell of fried fish and slightly dodgy access issues,

0:32:190:32:23

it's still going to be as cheap as chips.

0:32:230:32:26

I get the feeling the layout of this place

0:32:260:32:29

is going to be a difficult thing to get your head round,

0:32:290:32:32

but I will do my best. In through that front door

0:32:320:32:34

to a living-room area here. Good-size space, so we like that.

0:32:340:32:37

Off that is the kitchen.

0:32:370:32:40

Looks fairly grubby, I have to say,

0:32:400:32:42

but the units, I think, could possibly be salvageable.

0:32:420:32:46

Through that little archway there you've got a bathroom,

0:32:460:32:49

storage cupboard, and on to the bedroom.

0:32:490:32:51

The back bedroom in this part of the property

0:32:510:32:54

leaves a lot to be desired, but it just needs a thorough clean.

0:32:540:32:58

The bathroom is in a right old state.

0:33:040:33:06

It needs a really good scrub, and maybe some clever lighting

0:33:060:33:10

would help to lift the gloom from this room.

0:33:100:33:13

Now, that is this flat, which originally was one on its own.

0:33:130:33:17

We know it's been knocked through. But that's the start.

0:33:170:33:20

Then through here into what was the second flat,

0:33:200:33:24

and through this door, the other entrance door,

0:33:240:33:28

into a similar-size main living-room area.

0:33:280:33:32

Looks like there's been a bit of a problem with damp in here.

0:33:320:33:35

That could just be that the property hasn't been lived in for a while.

0:33:350:33:38

But off here, double doors, you've got your kitchen,

0:33:380:33:42

and then it winds round. Another bedroom,

0:33:420:33:44

another bathroom.

0:33:440:33:46

-You got an idea of what it's like?

-HE LAUGHS

0:33:460:33:50

Through here. Let's see.

0:33:500:33:51

At the back of the kitchen, a shortish hall

0:33:510:33:54

leads you to a really large bedroom,

0:33:540:33:56

with fitted wardrobes that go on forever -

0:33:560:33:59

easy enough to sort out.

0:33:590:34:01

And then another bathroom with a few tiny issues.

0:34:010:34:04

Start from scratch here, I think.

0:34:040:34:07

So, as you can see, this unusual property

0:34:070:34:09

has two very nearly self-contained flats.

0:34:090:34:12

So, let's just talk through the financial possibilities

0:34:120:34:16

for this project. Let's say you buy the property

0:34:160:34:20

as it is for around the upper side of the guide price, 50,000 quid.

0:34:200:34:23

You spend £10,000 restoring each flat,

0:34:230:34:27

and I think the way to go is to convert it back into two flats.

0:34:270:34:31

So you've spent around £70,000.

0:34:310:34:33

Each of these flats around here, probably worth around 50,000 quid,

0:34:330:34:38

so £100,000 you're going to get back.

0:34:380:34:40

Take off your costs, you'll make about 25,000 quid.

0:34:400:34:42

The alternative is to think about renting them out.

0:34:420:34:45

Each of these flats would get you about £350 a month.

0:34:450:34:48

That's £700 a month for the two. That's £8,400 a year.

0:34:480:34:52

That is a 12 percent yield on your investment.

0:34:520:34:55

Either way, there's money to be made here.

0:34:550:34:58

The property is leasehold, owned by the upstairs occupant.

0:35:060:35:10

The lease is 1,000 years,

0:35:100:35:12

and it has been renewed in the last ten years.

0:35:120:35:15

So, out the rear of the property,

0:35:150:35:17

and there's this - well, back area. I don't know what to call it.

0:35:170:35:20

It's hardly a courtyard. It's sunken down,

0:35:200:35:23

so it's not somewhere you're going to use very much, I don't think.

0:35:230:35:27

What is quite useful, rear access to the property,

0:35:270:35:29

little lane running at the back there, up those stairs.

0:35:290:35:32

You've also got a bit of extra storage here,

0:35:320:35:36

and an outside loo, and rear entrance to the second flat

0:35:360:35:40

over there.

0:35:400:35:41

And...oh, it's a bit of an unusable space,

0:35:410:35:45

but it's the only garden you've got.

0:35:450:35:48

# It takes two, baby

0:35:480:35:50

# To make a dream come true #

0:35:500:35:52

All in all, an unusual little set-up,

0:35:540:35:56

with two kitchens, two bathrooms,

0:35:560:35:58

and all laid out like it's still two flats. But it's not.

0:35:580:36:02

I wonder what a local estate agent thinks.

0:36:030:36:05

'I think it's a great location.'

0:36:050:36:07

You'd probably be looking at somebody

0:36:070:36:10

that would buy the property to rent it out,

0:36:100:36:12

or perhaps a family looking to get their son, daughter,

0:36:120:36:15

onto the property ladder. It would have great potential for that.

0:36:150:36:19

'It's very comparable with Carlisle city centre as well,

0:36:190:36:22

'so you would have a demand for one-bedroom apartments.

0:36:220:36:25

Obviously it's not as big a demand as if you had a two- or three-bedroom property.'

0:36:250:36:29

One bedroom, the market is always that little bit narrower.

0:36:290:36:33

But, yes, there's definitely a need for it.

0:36:330:36:35

So, a lot of property for the money,

0:36:350:36:38

and I don't think it would necessarily cost too much

0:36:380:36:41

to get this place sorted out. Obviously reconvert into two flats

0:36:410:36:45

for maximum potential and profit. Let's see who fancied it

0:36:450:36:49

when it went under the hammer.

0:36:490:36:51

Lot 13, lucky for some. A spacious ground-floor property,

0:36:510:36:56

originally two one-bed flats. Let's see your hand at 40.

0:36:560:36:59

40 I have. At £40,000. We're up and away.

0:36:590:37:01

I'll take it in ones, nice and easy. You're not in the mood. It's cold.

0:37:010:37:05

41 I have. 41. 42, madam?

0:37:050:37:08

43, sir.

0:37:080:37:09

44, 45.

0:37:090:37:11

Shake of the head. It's with you at 44.

0:37:110:37:14

Are we all out at 44? It's too cheap.

0:37:140:37:17

Don't let her have it. 45, sir.

0:37:170:37:20

Can I say? 45 I have.

0:37:200:37:23

46, madam. 47, sir.

0:37:230:37:25

48. 49.

0:37:250:37:28

50.

0:37:280:37:29

51? Shake of the head at 51.

0:37:290:37:32

It's with you, madam, at 50.

0:37:320:37:34

Bull's-eye.

0:37:340:37:35

At £50,000, then. All done? All out?

0:37:350:37:39

51, 52.

0:37:390:37:41

New position here. 53? Shake of the head.

0:37:410:37:45

All done? All out? First time...

0:37:450:37:47

52 second time, then. Third and final time.

0:37:470:37:50

All finished. Sold to the pretty lady.

0:37:500:37:53

Sold to Anita for £52,000.

0:37:530:37:57

She bought this along with her husband and brother-in-law.

0:37:570:38:01

She's just started out in property development,

0:38:010:38:04

and this is her second purchase.

0:38:040:38:07

-Anita, congratulations.

-Thank you very much!

-Well done.

0:38:070:38:10

-So, what do you do when you're not doing this kind of thing?

-I work for the county council

0:38:100:38:14

-in the libraries.

-Oh, wow!

-A completely different day job.

0:38:140:38:17

-And your husband?

-He works for an oil company...

-OK.

0:38:170:38:20

..in marketing, so again, nothing to do with property.

0:38:200:38:23

-Why did you want to buy this place?

-We came in to have a look at it

0:38:230:38:27

-initially to discount it, really.

-What do you mean?

0:38:270:38:30

We were looking at a variety of properties coming up for auction,

0:38:300:38:33

and the shared yard put me off. But actually, when I came in,

0:38:330:38:37

I loved it. I think it's quite spacious.

0:38:370:38:40

They'll make lovely one-bedroomed flats,

0:38:400:38:42

and they're right in the centre of town,

0:38:420:38:44

so we really like them.

0:38:440:38:46

'Anita went into this venture with her husband and brother-in-law

0:38:490:38:53

'as a three-way share. How did that come about?'

0:38:530:38:55

My husband and I bought one at auction last year,

0:38:550:38:58

and when we mentioned to our brother-in-law

0:38:580:39:01

that we were thinking of buying again, he said he'd like to come in.

0:39:010:39:04

He lives abroad, so he's very much a silent partner.

0:39:040:39:07

He's been home once to see them.

0:39:070:39:09

He wasn't at the auction, but there's three of us in on the project.

0:39:090:39:13

-But helped with the finances, giving you that all-important cash.

-Yeah.

0:39:130:39:18

-How did the last project go?

-It was pretty good.

0:39:180:39:20

We got the property at a good price, but it took longer

0:39:200:39:23

than we would have liked to get all the work done,

0:39:230:39:26

and we learned important lessons on the way.

0:39:260:39:28

-What was the most important lesson?

-I think it's the schedule of work,

0:39:280:39:31

getting the workmen to come in one after the other,

0:39:310:39:34

keeping on top of it and making sure everything's progressing on time.

0:39:340:39:39

Cos if one person doesn't turn up, they have to go away.

0:39:390:39:42

If the plumber doesn't turn up, you lose the plasterer.

0:39:420:39:45

That's it, yeah.

0:39:450:39:47

With the property world in the shape it's in at the moment,

0:39:470:39:50

it's interesting that new recruits are still entering the market.

0:39:500:39:54

Money isn't making an awful lot in the bank at the moment.

0:39:570:40:00

Property prices are continuing to decline,

0:40:000:40:02

so there are bargains out there. So we thought we'd just give it a go

0:40:020:40:06

-and see how we come on.

-What's the plan for it -

0:40:060:40:09

to do it up and sell it on, or rent it out, or what?

0:40:090:40:12

We're open to either. We'll probably put them on the market

0:40:120:40:15

either for rental or for sale, and see what happens.

0:40:150:40:18

We'll be happy to keep hold of them and rent them out

0:40:180:40:21

-until the market stabilises a bit.

-What do you think about this place

0:40:210:40:25

as it is at the moment? What do you like about it

0:40:250:40:27

-and what don't you like?

-I like the fact it's spacious.

0:40:270:40:31

'There's a decent amount of storage in both properties,

0:40:310:40:34

'and the central location. And actually,

0:40:340:40:37

'if you look behind the dirt and cobwebs,

0:40:370:40:40

'there's only one wall to rebuild between the two

0:40:400:40:43

'to separate them back into two properties,

0:40:430:40:45

'so it's a minimal amount of work.'

0:40:450:40:47

That should be a simple fix, then,

0:40:470:40:50

but keeping the plans, and therefore budget, realistic

0:40:500:40:53

will be key to making money here.

0:40:530:40:55

First thing will be to get the new heating system,

0:40:550:40:58

so we're going to have electric storage heaters put in.

0:40:580:41:01

Then we're going to have the new kitchens put in,

0:41:010:41:04

new UPVC double glazing to match in with the upstairs property,

0:41:040:41:08

new doors, and then redecoration, new carpets.

0:41:080:41:11

-Who's going to do the work?

-We've got professionals lined up

0:41:110:41:16

to do all of the work. We'll take the kitchens out,

0:41:160:41:19

take some of the tiles off and things like that,

0:41:190:41:21

-but we'll do the demolition side and they can do the professional job.

-OK.

0:41:210:41:25

-What kind of budget have you got?

-We're hoping to have a maximum spend

0:41:250:41:29

of 75,000. So we paid 52,000 for them,

0:41:290:41:32

so around 23.

0:41:320:41:35

-Right.

-Hopefully 20, with a 3,000 contingency.

0:41:350:41:38

You should to do it for that. Keep a tight rein on the budget...

0:41:380:41:41

-Hopefully less, but...

-Negotiate hard,

0:41:410:41:43

and there are bargains to be had. And timescale?

0:41:430:41:46

Hopefully eight to ten weeks. We may bring it in earlier than that,

0:41:460:41:50

but having learned lessons from the last property, better to err on the side of caution.

0:41:500:41:55

Congratulations. I'm delighted for you.

0:41:550:41:57

I look forward to seeing how you get on.

0:41:570:41:59

So, how will Anita and her partners get on sorting this place out?

0:42:010:42:04

I think they're definitely doing the right thing,

0:42:040:42:07

converting it back into two flats,

0:42:070:42:10

cos there's certainly money to be made.

0:42:100:42:12

All seems pretty much like it'll go to plan,

0:42:120:42:15

but with properties, you just never know.

0:42:150:42:17

Find out how they get on later in the show.

0:42:170:42:19

Well, the plans and dreams seem good at the time.

0:42:220:42:26

The months have gone by. Have those dreams become a reality?

0:42:260:42:29

Let's go back and find out.

0:42:290:42:31

We head back to Chatham in Kent now,

0:42:320:42:35

where seasoned property developer Michael

0:42:350:42:37

purchased this impressive plot at auction for 275,000.

0:42:370:42:42

'But he did so without his son and business partner Matthew's knowledge.'

0:42:420:42:47

Dad did the bidding. I wasn't there, unfortunately.

0:42:470:42:50

-He'd have stopped me.

-I wouldn't have done that.

0:42:500:42:53

He does a great job at auction.

0:42:530:42:55

'So, there was no stopping him at the auction.

0:42:550:42:58

'Let's hope the same goes for this pair's plan

0:42:580:43:01

'to turn the plot into four semi-detached properties

0:43:010:43:04

'within six months. We're here ten months later

0:43:040:43:07

'to see what's been going on.'

0:43:070:43:10

There's still a few weeks' work left to do,

0:43:260:43:28

but this is unrecognisable as the overgrown plot

0:43:280:43:32

of ten months ago. Each property comprises a living room

0:43:320:43:36

and open-plan kitchen/diner on the ground floor.

0:43:360:43:39

There are three good-sized bedrooms

0:43:390:43:42

and a family bathroom on the first floor, and on the top floor,

0:43:420:43:46

a master bedroom and that much-needed en suite

0:43:460:43:50

which was lacking on the original plans.

0:43:500:43:53

Well, this is the master bedroom. We wanted to go for a high-spec

0:43:530:43:57

because these days, that's what sells the house.

0:43:570:44:00

We will be putting cupboards later on in here.

0:44:000:44:04

We think that, er, being the master bedroom,

0:44:040:44:07

more storage is very important.

0:44:070:44:10

And again we went up-spec in the bathroom/shower room,

0:44:100:44:14

and basically, again, it's to sell the house,

0:44:140:44:17

because that's the name of the game these days - to be the best.

0:44:170:44:21

The other change they made to the original plans

0:44:210:44:24

was opting against a completely open-plan ground floor,

0:44:240:44:27

and keeping the living room separate from the kitchen/diner.

0:44:270:44:30

We over-designed the kitchen so that we could having a dining area here,

0:44:300:44:35

which has worked out very well,

0:44:350:44:38

and the big problem was that I have a thing about black and white,

0:44:380:44:42

which you can see we achieved,

0:44:420:44:45

but then I had this area here,

0:44:450:44:48

and I didn't know what to do,

0:44:480:44:50

and so I rang my daughter, who's an interior designer,

0:44:500:44:55

and she said, rather frighteningly,

0:44:550:44:58

"Why don't you use red, dark red?"

0:44:580:45:01

And by sheer fluke, I remembered the tile about four years ago,

0:45:010:45:06

rushed round to the ceramic people,

0:45:060:45:09

walked in and said, "I want six metres of those,"

0:45:090:45:13

and I think they've really done a superb job,

0:45:130:45:16

and I'm very pleased with it.

0:45:160:45:18

The dapper gents had planned on a six-month timescale for the project,

0:45:180:45:23

but came up against a few obstacles.

0:45:230:45:26

We have overrun to what we wanted.

0:45:260:45:28

The schedule hasn't overrun, if you take into consideration

0:45:280:45:31

the cold weather we had, because that's a month and a half.

0:45:310:45:34

We can't build then. There's only so much you can do.

0:45:340:45:37

One of the biggest problems was diverting the main sewer.

0:45:370:45:41

-Absolutely.

-That's really put time on,

0:45:410:45:44

and they're only finishing it now.

0:45:440:45:46

Specialist finishes always take that little bit longer.

0:45:460:45:49

Luckily, the £400,000 budget was another matter.

0:45:490:45:53

-Spot on.

-Spot on!

0:45:530:45:55

Seriously, spot on. Yeah.

0:45:550:45:57

-Yeah. We're very happy with it.

-Yeah.

0:45:570:45:59

The properties will look even better

0:45:590:46:02

when the outside work is done and dusted,

0:46:020:46:04

and finishing touches added inside.

0:46:040:46:07

Opting for a higher spec is an excellent choice,

0:46:070:46:10

particularly in such a difficult market.

0:46:100:46:12

It's corny, but it's going to be a very nice unit to live in.

0:46:120:46:16

This is a higher spec than we normally do,

0:46:160:46:18

and I think we're going to be sticking to it,

0:46:180:46:21

so we'll be ahead, we like to think, of the others.

0:46:210:46:24

The market is so tough today.

0:46:240:46:26

There'll be four buyers somewhere in the area.

0:46:260:46:30

-We have to capture them.

-We want 'em first!

-Yes.

0:46:300:46:34

Well, before they go buyer-catching, we invited two local estate agents

0:46:340:46:39

to give us their opinions on this plot-to-property project.

0:46:390:46:42

'I think they've done a very high specification,

0:46:420:46:44

'and they're really nice houses.'

0:46:440:46:46

They've ticked everything, as long as they finish the gardens nicely,

0:46:460:46:50

they do the front nicely with paving,

0:46:500:46:52

so that it really does give a good impression when you pull up.

0:46:520:46:56

'It's a very nice specification.'

0:46:560:46:59

Especially kitchen, bathroom tends to sell a house,

0:46:590:47:02

and both of them are really good spec.

0:47:020:47:05

The plot was 275,000 at auction,

0:47:050:47:08

and the work cost £400,000,

0:47:080:47:11

making their total outlay 675,000.

0:47:110:47:14

If Matthew and Michael were interested in renting the houses out,

0:47:140:47:18

what return could they expect?

0:47:180:47:20

I think the rental in pounds per calendar month

0:47:200:47:24

could be in a range of £1,000 to £1,200.

0:47:240:47:28

£950 per calendar month to £1,000 per calendar month.

0:47:280:47:32

We're not into renting. It's not in our minds.

0:47:320:47:35

But they're rather reassuring figures.

0:47:350:47:37

So they're all for selling.

0:47:370:47:40

What would the estate agents market each of the four properties for?

0:47:400:47:43

I would value each property individually

0:47:430:47:46

in the region of £300,000 to £325,000.

0:47:460:47:51

I think we'd be looking at somewhere in the region of £250,000

0:47:510:47:55

to £275,000.

0:47:550:47:58

Based on those figures,

0:47:580:48:00

Matthew and Michael could be looking at a pre-tax profit

0:48:000:48:04

of between 325,000 and 625,000,

0:48:040:48:08

minus the usual selling expenses.

0:48:080:48:11

But the pair were dubious about the higher figure.

0:48:110:48:14

I think the three to three-whatever was way off the mark.

0:48:140:48:18

-It's quite high.

-Yeah.

-You can get a lot of property in this area

0:48:180:48:22

that's maybe not new, but a lot of square footage, for that money.

0:48:220:48:26

Now, we would have said the other person was spot on.

0:48:260:48:29

Yes, I agree.

0:48:290:48:31

This duo really do know their stuff.

0:48:310:48:34

So what's the true story behind their teamwork?

0:48:340:48:37

I'm the guy that walks by and buys it,

0:48:370:48:40

and then he sorts it all out because I've made a mistake.

0:48:400:48:43

-Yes, that's the truth.

-That is the truth.

0:48:430:48:45

We're back in Brampton near Carlisle to see how Anita got on

0:48:520:48:55

with her "buy one, get one free" property beside the chip shop.

0:48:550:48:59

Anita bought this property with her husband and brother-in-law,

0:49:020:49:06

keeping it in the family. The flats are spread across the ground floor

0:49:060:49:09

of this building. For some reason they had been knocked into one,

0:49:090:49:13

although they had two kitchens and two bathrooms,

0:49:130:49:16

as well as separate gas and water supplies.

0:49:160:49:19

But Anita wasn't daunted by the scale of the project.

0:49:190:49:22

There's only one wall to rebuild between the two,

0:49:220:49:25

to separate them back into two properties,

0:49:250:49:27

so it's a minimal amount of work.

0:49:270:49:30

Anita had snapped these flats up at £52,000 for the pair.

0:49:310:49:36

She planned to spend £23,000 refurbishing the flats,

0:49:390:49:43

and hoped to complete the work in eight to ten weeks.

0:49:430:49:46

We've come back five months later

0:49:460:49:48

to see how well the flats have scrubbed up.

0:49:490:49:51

Those grimy, dingy rooms

0:50:010:50:03

are now sparkling bright and squeaky clean.

0:50:030:50:06

The division between the flats has been reinstated,

0:50:090:50:12

and there are now two light and fresh one-bedroom flats.

0:50:120:50:15

Planning permission was fairly straightforward

0:50:150:50:18

because they were originally two properties,

0:50:180:50:21

and they'd been put back into one without planning permission,

0:50:210:50:24

so we just submitted the plans and the maps of the area,

0:50:240:50:28

and it came through pretty quickly.

0:50:280:50:30

It's not clear who owns the land at the front of the flats,

0:50:320:50:35

so the only outside space the flats have is at the rear of the property.

0:50:350:50:40

It was a rather dark and run-down area,

0:50:400:50:42

but now it's practically a garden.

0:50:420:50:44

We've decorated the outside, put new windows in,

0:50:440:50:48

new heating, new bathrooms.

0:50:480:50:50

One new kitchen. Refurbished the other.

0:50:500:50:52

New back doors. Redecorated, new carpets.

0:50:520:50:55

Just everything, basically. Just refurbished everything.

0:50:550:50:59

# It takes two, baby

0:50:590:51:02

# To make a dream come true

0:51:020:51:04

# Just take two #

0:51:060:51:07

Of course, buying two run-down flats means replacing everything twice -

0:51:070:51:11

two front doors, two bathrooms... Well, I could go on.

0:51:110:51:15

Maybe it's not such good value for money.

0:51:150:51:17

So this was the new wall that we've had built up

0:51:170:51:21

to separate the properties back into two one-bedroomed,

0:51:210:51:25

which was actually very straightforward,

0:51:250:51:27

but I am a bit of a perfectionist, and these were the original doors.

0:51:270:51:31

We didn't have a budget to replace them,

0:51:310:51:34

and I did spend four hours with a Stanley-knife blade

0:51:340:51:37

cleaning off all the old paint and polishing the glass back up

0:51:370:51:40

to make it a decent finish.

0:51:400:51:42

And this is the brand-new kitchen that we've put in.

0:51:420:51:45

And whilst it's a really old property,

0:51:450:51:48

we did feel it was better to go for a more contemporary look

0:51:480:51:51

to appeal to more people.

0:51:510:51:53

In this flat, Anita felt the kitchen was beyond saving,

0:51:530:51:56

but throughout the two properties,

0:51:560:51:58

she has refurbished and re-used where she could.

0:51:580:52:01

In the bedroom, she decided to dismantle

0:52:030:52:06

all the broken-down wall cupboards. Well, they were a tad dated.

0:52:060:52:10

She treated next door slightly differently.

0:52:120:52:16

So, we decided in this property to keep the existing kitchen,

0:52:160:52:20

simply because, if we do go down the line of renting it out,

0:52:200:52:23

we thought it would be good enough standard,

0:52:230:52:25

but we have had new tiles, a new cooker, work surfaces and sink,

0:52:250:52:29

and put some new handles on just to tidy it up.

0:52:290:52:32

So we think it looks quite good as it is.

0:52:320:52:35

And then in the living room,

0:52:350:52:38

all of these walls have had a damp-proofing course.

0:52:380:52:41

'Through in the bedroom, we do still have a slight issue.

0:52:410:52:44

'There's one small area of damp on the wall,

0:52:440:52:47

'which is the result of a water leak from the property above,

0:52:470:52:50

'but there's been no heating in here up until now,

0:52:500:52:53

'so we'll get it put on. If that doesn't dry out,

0:52:530:52:55

'I will get the damp-proofing people back just for one day,

0:52:550:52:58

'to make it absolutely perfect and get it all dried out.'

0:52:580:53:02

We actually started decorating,

0:53:020:53:04

and we realised that one of the walls wasn't drying out.

0:53:040:53:07

We knew we'd had a water leak in the wall from the property above,

0:53:070:53:11

but when we got a contractor to come out and check,

0:53:110:53:15

they found that we had rising damp,

0:53:150:53:17

so they took the opportunity to check both properties,

0:53:170:53:20

and as they went round, the machine beeped louder and louder,

0:53:200:53:23

and screamed all the way round both houses,

0:53:230:53:26

so we ended up having to have a damp-proof course put in

0:53:260:53:29

just about every single wall in both properties,

0:53:290:53:31

but at least now we know that the work's been done,

0:53:310:53:35

and we shouldn't have any problems in the future.

0:53:350:53:38

The damp problem meant Anita's schedule and budget needed revising.

0:53:380:53:42

The refurbishment took a month longer than the eight to ten weeks

0:53:420:53:46

she'd originally planned, and that had an impact on the budget.

0:53:460:53:50

'We've gone over the original budget slightly.'

0:53:510:53:54

We had built in a contingency,

0:53:540:53:56

but we hadn't counted in the damp-proof course,

0:53:560:53:59

which has actually been our biggest bill for both properties.

0:53:590:54:02

So we've probably gone a couple of thousand over.

0:54:020:54:05

We're waiting for some bills to come in,

0:54:050:54:07

but slightly over, including the contingency.

0:54:070:54:10

So this pair of properties took longer and cost more.

0:54:100:54:13

It's time to find out if this toofer will make double the money

0:54:130:54:16

for Anita and her partners.

0:54:160:54:18

We asked two local property experts for their opinions.

0:54:180:54:22

'The right decision has definitely been made to split them into two.'

0:54:220:54:26

First impressions,

0:54:260:54:28

bright. You can see it's newly painted.

0:54:280:54:30

Internally it's very transferable taste,

0:54:300:54:33

neutral throughout, and some nice features.

0:54:330:54:37

The location of the properties are fantastic,

0:54:370:54:40

in the town centre, within walking distance of all the amenities,

0:54:400:54:44

and the sizes of the lounge are good as well.

0:54:440:54:47

Anita and her partners bought the properties

0:54:470:54:50

for 52,000, and spent between 27,000 and 28,000 refurbishing them,

0:54:500:54:55

bringing their total outlay to around 80,000.

0:54:550:54:58

If they were to go on sale,

0:54:590:55:01

what do the estate agents think they're worth now?

0:55:010:55:04

The value of the first property, now that it's finished,

0:55:040:55:08

is in the region of £49,000.

0:55:080:55:10

The value of the second property is slightly more, due to size

0:55:100:55:14

and the new kitchen, at £55,000.

0:55:140:55:17

The resale value of that one I would see sitting

0:55:170:55:20

in around £50,000 to £52,000,

0:55:200:55:24

and the resale for flat two sitting in between £52,000 and £55,000.

0:55:240:55:29

Averaging out those figures would give Anita and her team

0:55:290:55:32

a profit of between 22,000 and 27,000 before costs and expenses.

0:55:320:55:37

The valuations are lower than I had hoped for,

0:55:380:55:42

but I do accept that the market has dropped dramatically

0:55:420:55:46

even since we bought the properties.

0:55:460:55:48

What about rental values?

0:55:480:55:51

The rental figures for flat one

0:55:510:55:54

would be around £350 per calendar month,

0:55:540:55:57

and for flat two, around £375 per calendar month.

0:55:570:56:01

With regards to letting the properties,

0:56:010:56:03

the first property, I would recommend £325 per calendar month.

0:56:030:56:07

The second property, due to the better finish and size,

0:56:070:56:11

£365 per calendar month.

0:56:110:56:13

I'm quite happy with those quotes for renting the properties out,

0:56:130:56:17

and based on the valuations, we will probably go down the line

0:56:170:56:20

of renting them out.

0:56:200:56:23

Although these flats won't make Anita a lot of money

0:56:250:56:28

in the short term, there are other benefits.

0:56:280:56:31

When I came in, I did fall in love with them,

0:56:310:56:33

and I thought they were really nice properties.

0:56:330:56:36

We've found out that they're actually around 500 years old,

0:56:360:56:39

so it's nice that they're kind of up and running again,

0:56:390:56:45

and ready to be moved into.

0:56:450:56:46

We'll be back next time to receive more news

0:56:490:56:51

from the front line of the property world.

0:56:510:56:54

-Join us then for more Homes Under The Hammer.

-See you.

0:56:540:56:56

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:560:56:57

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:56:570:57:01

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:010:57:06

.

0:57:060:57:06

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Salford, a plot in Chatham and a large property in Brampton that could be split into two. All of these properties have been sold at auction; Martin and Lucy find out who bought them, and what they paid when they went under the hammer.