Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a site in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, a property in Kent and another in a cul-de-sac in Warrington.
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Hello. Well, whether you bought your property as a home or an investment,
you'll want to make sure that you've bought wisely.
Now, they can be difficult to find,
but what you're actually looking for is value for money.
And one way you might find that is by going to the auction.
From run-down flats to gorgeous, sprawling mansions,
everything's on offer at auction.
So here are the properties that had our buyers
putting their hands in their pockets on today's show.
'I find a demolition site in Ilkeston near Derby
'that thinks it might be a town house.'
They weren't kidding.
'In Kent, I might not need a miner's helmet to visit this property,'
but I'm thinking it's a money pit.
'And this cul-de-sac in Warrington may be on the wrong lines.'
THAT is a mainline railway. So if you're a train spotter, excellent.
'All these properties have been sold at auction.
'And we'll find out who bought them, and what they paid for them,
-'when they went under the hammer.'
-Sold to you, sir.
I'm in Ilkeston, a former mining town
in the Erewash Valley on the borders of Derbyshire.
In October, this is home to one of the biggest street fairs in the world.
It's also one of the oldest, starting around 1200.
However, the property I'm here to see is slightly younger than that.
'I'm heading for the outskirts of Ilkeston now,
'about half a mile from the town centre.
'Most of the properties in the area are small terraced houses and flats.
'Many people rent their homes.
'But, for buyers, you get a lot of house for your money,
'which is why investors are drawn here from nearby Nottingham.'
Well, the property I'm here to see is three storeys,
a four-bedroomed house at the moment.
But the auction catalogue says it has potential for conversion
into two flats. Which, given its guide price, which is £60,000,
makes it an interesting proposition.
However, I do understand it is work in progress.
'The patchwork rendering needs some serious attention.
'As does the rear yard.
'So, not the best start,
'even for an auction property with such a low guide price.
'However, the double glazing means that's one job
'you won't have to budget for.'
They weren't kidding! This needs a bit more investigation.
I need to come round.
# It's a one-way ticket to a madman situation. #
'It's quite a sight to see a house in this state of disrepair.
'It's been taken right down to what looks like foundations.'
Well! Maybe the property was previously owned by a mole,
or somebody with, definitely, a penchant for earthworks.
In case you can't figure out what's gone on, though,
this would have been the level of the ground floor.
Underneath here would have been hidden, and my guess is that,
over time, this has got very damp, which has probably ended up
in the floorboards rotting, maybe even dry rot.
So what somebody's done is got rid of the entire floor and the joists.
They're obviously digging some kind of channels in here,
which I guess would be to create walls, or whatever.
But whatever HAS gone on,
there is clearly a lot of work to do to sort this out.
Not something for the amateur DIY-er.
'This job certainly needs the professionals.
'The plus side to this mammoth renovation
'is that the work already completed here has been done well.
'The joinery is sound, and the electrics are at the first fix stage.
'The brickwork also looks sound,
'and there are even some tools to do the job.'
Well, up on the top floor, more of the same.
Definitely work in progress! So what could you do with this place?
Well, currently it was a four-bedroomed house.
But this place is crying out for conversion into flats.
The auction catalogue said you could get two flats out of this.
I reckon it's three.
'One on each floor. I think there's easily enough space,
'and it looks to me like that's what was being planned here.'
'Planning permission is far from guaranteed
'for developments like this.
'So turning this property into three flats is not a done deal.
'But that guide price WAS a very attractive £60,000,
'so we asked the auctioneer who sold it for his opinion.'
There's a strong possibility you'd get consent here for at least two flats.
I think whether you get a third one,
will be down to whether you can demonstrate that,
to get a third flat,
which inevitably would be on the top floor, you can meet
'the building regulations.
'But it will only be restricted in its floor space.'
'Redeveloping the house into flats is what makes this a great opportunity,
'as the financial returns should be healthy.'
If it was converted into two flats,
then I think we're looking at a rental yield
of something like £750 a calendar month.
If you could get a third flat out of it,
bearing in mind the second flat then wouldn't be quite so large,
'that's going to go up to £850-900 per calendar month
'without any doubt.'
Well, you will either be thinking,
"I wouldn't touch that place with a barge pole," or,
"Oh, good, somebody's done a lot of the hard restoration work for me."
It's a prickly choice. Which camp do you come in?
Let's find out what happened when it went to the auction.
Lot number 14, Ilkeston.
We've got a large three-storey end or corner town house,
where a scheme of up-grading has begun.
Where do you want to bid on this? Start me where you will.
70,000? 65 to start me? Start it at 60, if you will. 60,000.
£60,000, thank you. 61, someone else, 61. 62?
62 is bid. 63? 63. 64?
64,000 at the back of the room. 65. 66?
£65,000. All done with it?
At £65,000 for the first time,
for the second time... 66 is bid.
That's 66. 67? 68.
68,000 is the bid on the left. 69.
At £69,000 for the first time,
69,000 for the second time, third and...
70,000. At 70,000.
No? £70,000, then. All done?
For the first time,
the second time, the third and last time.
Sold at £70,000, thank you.
'The successful bid for this work in progress was made by Tom,
'a local boy, born and bred in Ilkeston.'
# Mr Sandman
# Bring me a dream... #
'Fortunately, he knows a thing or two about buildings.'
Congratulations. You've got yourself a do-it-yourself 'make a house' kit!
Why did you want to buy this?
It's to start a project, really.
A bit of an investment for the future. And hopefully,
-one day, retire early.
Why take on something that's in this kind of state?
I don't see it as a problem. A lot would see a big problem.
I see an advantage, because half the work is done already
and the difficult bits, the unknowns, have gone.
Everything is known now, cos it's back to its bare bones.
-You're a builder then?
-In the building industry, yes.
Builders usually don't like taking on projects that other builders haven't finished.
Often not, but this one -
what's BEEN done has been done to a reasonable standard.
Again, everything can be seen.
There are bits that need altering, bits that aren't quite right.
-But they'll be addressed.
-There's nothing hidden any more.
All the walls have been stripped. You can see it's a framework to build on.
It is. Everything's there.
It's a decent building, there's no real structural problems, as such.
Everything stands fairly well.
And it's all good, really.
This is the third time Tom has been successful at auction.
He's now built up a small portfolio of houses, flats and new-builds.
But is everything going to be straightforward for him on THIS project?
The thing that isn't so good is the planning.
The planning could be an issue, although there are several properties in the adjoining area
that have got planning for three apartments.
I don't see that as a great issue.
I think the price I've paid is a reasonable price, and I think,
if I get the planning, which I'm reasonably confident of getting,
-It'll do fairly well.
-It's a risk though, isn't it?
It is a risk. But anything's a risk.
You need to calculate the risk and what the benefits are in the returns.
That may sound risky, but this property is no gamble for Tom.
As well as being a builder, he's also a qualified quantity surveyor.
So it's not surprising that he did his homework
before he went to the auction.
Right. So what kind of preparation have you done
to know how much of a risk it is?
-Did you speak to the planners?
-I've not spoken to the planners.
When I initially looked round,
I did a bit of a survey of each room,
sketched out what I know I can and can't do from past projects,
to sensible size of rooms.
And I've spoken to an architect friend,
-and he assures me he doesn't see a problem.
The auction catalogue stated it was a four-bed house,
which it currently is in its more-or-less state,
or conversion for two flats.
I believe, having surveyed it, I can get three out of it.
There's reasonable sizes, which will be determined by the planners, ultimately.
They'll have the final say, which I'm sure I can get.
I don't think it suits a four-bedroom house,
cos there's no garden - and just two parking spaces.
But you going for three flats presumably increases your profitability quite significantly.
It does. At two flats, it's OK, and does OK.
At three, it becomes a good investment.
Tell me the numbers.
You've got, it was bought for 70,000 at the auction.
I expect to spend about 60 on it.
So it stands at about 130, when it's complete, hopefully.
And in terms of what you can expect to get for each of the flats, do you have an idea?
If I get £1,000 a month for the three combined, or 1,200, that'd be great.
That's not a bad return on the investment. But key to it is this third flat, isn't it?
It is definitely the key. Like I say, if I don't get it, it does OK.
If I DO get it, it does really well.
What are you going to do now?
I need to get the architect back in, firm up the drawings.
He'll submit them to the local council, and hopefully within,
probably 10-12 weeks, I might get a reply.
The planning should come through, then we're ready to go.
Will you do any work on it in the meantime?
In the meantime, it'll probably be left.
We'll leave it as it is, and we'll talk to the planners
just to make sure we can get what we want to do.
Well, good luck. Quite a challenge, but it sounds like you've got the experience to make it a success.
-There's a lot to do.
-Good. I'll let you get on with it!
So, Tom - the perfect guy to take on this project
that would faze quite a lot of people.
But of course, the big question is,
is he going to get that planning permission?
At the moment, he doesn't have the right to do what he wants.
And of course, planners - well, you never know.
You can find out how he gets on later in the show.
Ah - Snodland in Kent.
It sounds like some kind of mythical town in a children's novel.
But I promise it's real.
Look, it's all here - shops, roads, real people.
Nothing fictional about this part of Kent.
Having said that, there are some bestsellers in the area, and some lovely new editions, too.
The Victorian property I'm here to see
has been in the same ownership for 40 years.
Now, that always gets me excited, because I'm hoping for period gems.
Fireplaces galore, original cornicing, deep skirting,
a ceiling rose, perhaps?!
From the outside - well, I think things look quite promising.
I know I need to calm down, but, as you can see, it hasn't been touched in years.
It's still got the original front door, which is gorgeous.
The guide was set at £90-95,000.
I can't wait to get inside and have a good old look around.
I know the crumbling paintwork and dicey pointing may put people off.
But I think this house is hiding a multitude of gems.
And whilst I'm sure it's not problem-free,
these kind of untouched beauties get me very excited.
Oh, bit of a stripy pink hallway!
Now, what I want to see
is what there is in this lovely little reception room.
Hmm - bit disappointing. Can't see a ceiling rose.
Can't see a beautiful, original Victorian fireplace.
Oh no - something from the '50s!
No deep skirting board.
But what there is is a beautiful old Victorian bay window
with original sashes.
Now take a look at that!
I'm sure whoever takes this house on will rip that out
for something more energy efficient and a lot more economical.
So - so far, not a BAD start.
But I want to see some lovely old features. I'm going on a search.
# Where is the love?
# Where is the love?
# Where is the love?
# Where is the love? #
There isn't a whole lot of love in this house,
and that's unfortunate, because I thought there would be plenty.
A few romantic gestures wouldn't go amiss.
Now it is an extremely cold day today.
But something else this house hasn't got - central heating.
This is the second reception room.
As you know, I'm one for opening up a space, knocking down a wall.
But in this instance, I quite like the fact that there are two separate reception rooms.
So I think I would keep this wall up here, because,
at the back of this property, you could open this space up here.
It's the kitchen.
So you could have a nice kitchen here, a family dining space here.
Although you are going to need to spend a fair bit of money in here.
Because I think it was a kitchen in 1950.
Hmm. There's not a lot going on in here.
This house is great. It has got a certain amount of character.
But I'm thinking... it's a money pit.
# Money, money, money, money
# Money... #
It really could end up costing you a lot of cash, this one.
You'd need a new kitchen, new central heating system, new plaster,
new electrics, new decor.
In fact, new everything!
So upstairs, we've got two bedrooms -
a nice large one to the front, slightly smaller one to the side.
And...a really big bathroom!
Now, I'm walking in here thinking, "This bathroom is a waste.
"It's far too big."
Would it be worth trying to reconfigure up here,
and maybe creating a smaller bathroom over here,
and calling this little area towards the back with the nice window
a third bedroom? Would it be worth it?
You'd get more rental return by doing that.
I think whoever takes this on
has really got to think about the layout up here.
Because it's so important to get it right.
# Money, money, money, money. #
Out back, and there's a really nice-sized garden,
with great access at the rear.
But there's something that actually sparks much more interest next door.
You can see that they've benefited from a single-storey extension.
So maybe the owner of this house could do something similar.
Some minor renovations are classed as "Permitted Development,"
meaning you can carry out works without seeking approval.
Now, this is a terraced house. So the maximum depth
of a single story rear extension is three metres.
And the maximum height is four metres.
That's quite a substantial addition.
That'd give you a much bigger family kitchen.
But before you do start work,
I would check with the local planning office first
to make sure you are within your permitted development rights.
A new rear extension would really signal a big change
for this tired old home.
Plus, it'd give you a much bigger kitchen -
something this place is crying out for.
With a guide price of £90-95,000,
let's hear what an estate agent makes of this terraced property.
Well, it needs all the windows replacing,
central heating putting in,
new kitchen, new bathroom.
The plaster work doesn't look bad.
But of course, when you start removing wallpaper and stuff,
sometimes there may be some plastering that needs doing.
Let's talk figures.
I could put this property on the market, once it was renovated,
for just under £140,000.
And hope to achieve in excess of £135,000.
And, if the new owners managed to turn it into a three-bed?
Then it would take it up to probably £145,000.
Maybe even a little bit more. But certainly not over £150,000.
This is a perfect project
for somebody who's looking to make this into a home.
But as an investment property? You'd need to get this for a bargain price at auction.
It needs a lot of cash spending on it to bring it up to standard.
Somebody fancied it, though. Let's go to the auction and find out who that was.
Lot 83, we move to Snodland. Got a guide of 90-95.
£85,000 to start me?
Thank you very much. £85,000 is bid.
88. 88 is bid.
And 90. 90 I have.
92 is bid. And 94.
94. And 96. And 98.
100. 102. Either of you?
102 I'm bid. 104.
104 at the back.
106 I have. And 108.
108 is bid.
110 I have in a fresh place. And 112.
112 is bid. And 114. And 114 I'm bid.
At 116 for you now. 116.
At 116,000, being sold for the first time at 116.
117, I have. 118 and 119.
119 is bid. 120?
120, I'm bid.
You're both out, 120,000 for the third and final time.
You wouldn't want to read my mind then.
No, at 121, 122 I'm bid.
What are you going to do during the winter?
You'll have nothing to do if you don't buy today!
122 at the back of the room. He still says no.
Being sold for the first time at 122,000.
Being sold for the second time at 122,000.
Third and final time at 122,000 - are you all done?
Sold at 122,000, thank you very much.
Well, that was one exciting auction for Lynne and Julian.
The couple purchased this house as an investment.
Lynne works part-time in communications
and Julian owns and runs his own picture-framing business.
I went to meet them at the property to find out their plans.
-I hear somebody got rather excited on auction day.
I thought she might be reining me in
because we did go over our maximum, but I got encouraged so we got it.
What was your maximum, Julian?
Ideally, it would have been 115, but I knew I'd probably have to go to 124
and we ended up at 122.
So, a little bit over the absolute maximum, but worth it.
The couple are as pleased as punch with their new acquisition.
Ideally, they'd like to turn it around, sell on and make a profit,
but they're fully aware how tough the sales market is at the moment so will also consider rental.
What I want to know is,
how much research did you do into the whole buying of this property?
The usual background searches of what value we expect to get out of it
when it's done up, what sort of rental value
and obviously viewing the property,
checking it out for its condition for what we expect to spend on it.
It is an investment, so it's got to work for us.
Lynne, did you get a chance to come and have a look around the property before?
I didn't actually.
Unfortunately, I was unavailable when the viewings were taking place,
but I just loved the outside and I loved the road and I thought,
"This is going to be a nice place to do up and for someone to live in."
However, Julian did view the property before the auction so I won't be ticking Lynne off today.
You do know how I feel about people buying property without seeing it first.
It's an incredibly risky way to purchase.
"Forewarned is to be forearmed", viewers, and it could be financial suicide if you don't.
What about the fact that you've got a huge bathroom upstairs?
I walk in there and think, "This should be a bedroom."
Do you think there's anything there that you could tweak or play with?
Not really, because we've got to find room to put the boiler in.
Probably leave it as two bedrooms, as it is currently laid out
with the two bedrooms and bathroom upstairs.
But knocking through the wall here so that the two rooms downstairs become one.
It's interesting that you'll be taking that wall out there
because I am assuming that you'll be opening this space up here as well?
No, we'll leave that separate so it will be a separate kitchen
and then make it a through living room, the two front rooms.
I would have seen this as a kitchen diner
and a separate living room
so you could have one big family space here,
leaving that wall up there to have a nice quiet living room at the front of the property.
It's a possibility, I hadn't thought of it that way.
-Have you ever done anything like this before?
-Yes, I have.
The house we currently live in, we extended and completely remodelled.
It went from a three bedroom to a six-bedroom house.
How long did it take you to complete the work on your own house?
It took us a year before we could actually move in
and then it's taken another year and a bit to get it almost finished.
-2.5 years. You haven't got that long for this property, OK?
You got to be quicker than that.
So, how much money have you got to spend on this place? What is your realistic budget?
It's between £11,000 and £15,000.
It would be nice to keep it down to 11,
but when we start talking about knocking walls down, it could go up
and we are talking about moving doors and windows as well.
So it might go up to 15.
What do you think your timescale will be?
We're planning three months - for doing it myself.
If we got an army of people in, we could do it quicker, but it's going to be my occupation.
Let's hope Julian doesn't take 2.5 years renovating this house!
He's given himself three months to do it
and he seems intent on keeping to that.
Will they create that third bedroom
or will Lynne get her airing cupboard?
You can find out how they get on later in the programme.
Coming up... In Warrington, I step back in time
with an old friend and a new property.
-It's seven years ago that we last met you.
In Kent, this unloved house finds romance.
Well, I like it so much I'd like to move in!
You know, it is starting to look good.
First, we track down that Ilkeston building site
to see how Tom got on with the planners.
Possibly a little ambitious, when we look back over what we've achieved.
We're back in Ilkeston near Derby, to see if quantity surveyor and builder Tom
managed to turn a townhouse-come-building-site
into two flats, or even three.
This property was full of...
I suppose you'd have to say "potential".
It had a very big holes, half-built walls and abandoned power tools.
But there was no planning permission
to make the most of those three floors.
The planning could be an issue,
although there are several properties in the adjoining area
that have got planning for three apartments or flats.
It's a risk, though, isn't it?
It is a risk, but anything's a risk.
You need to calculate it and what the benefits are in the returns.
Tom bought this three-storey townhouse when it was being rebuilt.
He paid £70,000, and planned to complete the renovation work for £60,000.
He estimated it would take him six months in total.
Well, doesn't time fly?
We've come back a whopping two years later
to see if Tom has three flats, or two,
or a bigger building site.
Tom has turned an abandoned building site
into three bright, self-contained flats.
He got planning approval to make each floor a separate flat,
and built a rear extension
to make the top two flats an equal size.
He now has two one-bedroom flats -
there's one on the first, and one on the second floor -
and a two-bedroom flat on the ground floor.
The original timescale was about six months, which was a little ambitious,
when we look back over what we've done and achieved.
The house has been completely refurbished, from top to bottom.
Originally, there were cellars, which have been in-filled.
The concrete floors have been installed,
new foundations for the staircase.
I think there was around 2,000 concrete blocks installed there.
Spoken like a true quantity surveyor!
Tom was able to draw on his years of experience as a builder and surveyor
when it came to making the planning application as strong as possible.
The original building is very much as it was, apart from the extension.
We've left the window openings and the door positions as they were,
to ease the planning application. It went straight through,
and we've worked the rooms around the windows
and the openings we already had.
And that actually worked quite well in the end.
Pretty smart, huh? Having the imagination to work around what a building already has
can save you time and money.
If I cast us mind back to two years ago,
this was a big, open cellar at that time.
We've dismantled the chimneys, put them into the cellars, in-filled, compacted,
laid concrete on top with insulation to current building regulations.
And now we have a suitable floor for the carpets to be applied to.
Tom wanted the two flats upstairs to share their own separate entrance
so he squeezed in a staircase.
The staircase we had to design to make it as small as possible so we could enhance the area
of each flat and it made it really quite tight although we have come up with a design which is suitable
and again works quite well to access both the first and second floors.
The flats on the first and second floors are identical.
They have a good size living room with a short corridor
off to a galley kitchen.
There's one decent-size double bedroom and well-designed shower room and toilet.
This is the second floor of the building where we have the second floor extension.
It consists of, on the right, the bathroom,
which has the shower room, a WC and a sink with a tiled floor.
The extension consists of around 1,000 blocks.
and is externally rendered in a white render with a uPVC window to the side.
Well, it took two years, but has Tom done enough to this
former townhouse to attract attention?
We asked two local property experts their opinions.
I think he's done a fabulous job.
The use of space, I think, works very well.
Certainly privacy, it's nice that downstairs has a separate entrance
and off-street parking, which is a bonus.
Demand would be for the rental market.
The decor is finished to a pretty high standard for three small flats.
I'm pretty impressed with the finish.
I see young professionals living in these properties.
They're the perfect first home.
Tom bought the entire property for 70,000 and completed
the renovation work for 60,000, bringing his total outlay to 130,000.
Time to hear how much they think the building could sell for.
In the present market I would anticipate probably
a suggested asking price of around £45-50,000
for the one-bedroom flats and for the two-bedroom flat
I'd probably expect a suggested asking price of around £55,000.
The ground floor flats should achieve between £55-60,000.
The one-bedroom flats should achieve between £40-50,000.
Those valuations add up to between £135-160,000
and would mean a profit of between £5-25,000 before costs and expenses.
Sale value I've not considered too much because ultimately, I do want to let them
although it's something I'd expect to hear.
No surprises there. Both property experts agree
with Tom that rental's the way to go for the short to medium term.
I'd expect around £400 per-calendar- month for the one-bedroom flats
and for the two-bedroom flat I would probably expect around 425.
The ground floor should be achieving around the £400 per-calendar-month mark.
The first and second floor flats should achieve 350,
maybe £375 per-calendar-month.
The long-term future for this property and to suit my needs is to let it out.
I'm happy with the returns at around £400 for each property,
That's the way we will go.
So local developer Tom knew what he was doing
when he took the risk on this place
and it turned out pretty well for him.
I think auctions are the way forward, to be honest.
We seem to be able to buy property at the right price,
which enables us to have money to regenerate them
to a suitable standard for either resale or for letting.
# I got 'em all buzzin' buzzin', buzzin', buzzin'
# Like da-da-da-da-da-da-da. #
I'm in Warrington, 16 miles east of Liverpool
and 19 miles west of Manchester so useful proximity to two major cities.
And with a buzzing town centre and historical architecture,
it provides a pleasant alternative to its more urban neighbours.
# I got 'em all buzzin' buzzin', buzzin', buzzin'
# Like da-da-da-da-da-da-da
# Man, I got the world buzzin'. #
The property I'm here to see is in an area known as Bewsey,
one of the more affordable parts of Warrington.
Lots of development here over the last ten years
but the house that was up for auction was probably built a lot before that.
It's this three-bed end-of-terrace. Had a guide price of £55,000.
Doesn't look bad from the outside, let's take a look inside.
Positioned at the end of a cul-de-sac means that one great attraction
of this place is it will be nice and quiet and peaceful.
So what have we got? Well, nice open-plan layout down here for sure.
Stairs up to the bedrooms there and this is your sitting room.
Somebody's obviously tarted it up at some point,
we have a nice, modern-looking fire
and laminate flooring doesn't make it look too bad.
Through this large double doorway into your kitchen.
Again, it's perfectly serviceable. Fairly modern,
It's not the highest quality,
but actually as a starting point, a few white goods in here
and you could be renting this place out. Ooh!
Bewsey is a popular place to live, which means it's a good place for property investors.
It's the perfect place to pick up a buy-to-let
so with a guide price of 55,000, I'm starting to think this place
has the potential to be a nice little earner.
So upstairs, any big surprises? Well, no, actually. Only good ones.
Three bedrooms, two reasonable size doubles and a box room,
but from a letting point of view, still got three rooms, good news. And then the bathroom.
With a bit of tarting up, in fact not much at all, that's perfectly serviceable.
So all in all, internally, wow! Ready to rock and roll.
Now, you might like a riot of colour in your house,
but others won't share your taste. If you're planning to rent or sell,
then tone it down is always the best advice.
So out the back through the really nice double patio doors there
into the garden and it's a good-sized space.
One of the benefits of being on the end, a nice-size corner plot.
The garden's in need of tender loving care.
These fence panels have blown down.
Now, you should spend a bit of time getting this sorted.
You may be able to use these again, but a fence panel like that will cost £20.
For the sake of an argument with your neighbour, put new ones in, start things off on a good footing.
The only negative out here which I've just noticed
is that that is a mainline railway so if you're a trainspotter, excellent.
If you want complete peace and quiet, hmm, better look somewhere else.
With the double-glazing in reasonably good condition, you might get away with it.
Just a tip, though. If you're viewing a property with a potential noise hazard,
wait until a train or plane comes along before you make your decision.
Then you can decide if it's something you could live with.
It's time to find out if a local estate agent thinks this property
was worth its £55,000 guide price.
Bewsey is a popular area with first-time buyers
and some investors looking to expand their portfolio.
There's good links to motorways.
You can walk to Warrington town centre from here
and there's also good train links from the area.
The railway may put some potential buyers off.
It's not a busy line,
but some people would discount the property on that basis.
Having said that, it is on a quiet road
and I think most people would take that over having houses
looking in or any sort of major, busy road behind the property.
Once renovated, what does the estate agent think it could be worth?
Once renovated the property would achieve somewhere in the region of £80-82,000.
It would rent for around £425 per-calendar-month.
Well, what can you say? This house really does have a lot going for it.
Not much work to do,
you could either move in or rent it out pretty much as it is.
A big bonus and for that guide price, a great one to go for.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
So we move on to lot 167.
Three-bedroom end-terrace house, vacant possession, big property.
Asking you for £30,000. Someone give me 30 for it? 30, here.
Got 30, here. Looking for 35. 35, there.
40, 45. 45 now? 50, sir? 55?
56? 56, I'll take.
I'm looking for 57. Gentlemen furthest away from me at £57,000.
58, sir. 59? 60? 61, 62?
Are you coming in at 62? You are doing.
63, then. It's you, sir. 63 here, he's back. 64? 64.5.
65, sir? 65.5.
Big shake of the head.
Are we all finished? I'm going to sell at £65,000 for the first time,
65.5 next to you. 66 to you, sir? 66.5?
No? Shaking his head. Back with you at 66, sir, for the first time,
second time at £66,000. Are we done?
Sold to you, sir. Paddle number 144, well done.
The new owner of the house isn't any stranger to property
or to the show.
# Baby, come back
-# Come back, baby
Lucy met Adrian seven years ago,
when he purchased a three-bedroom mid-terrace house in Wallasey.
Well, Adrian, the kitchen,
-one of the many rooms that needs a bit of cosmetic attention.
-Just a tad(!) And your budget is...?
-In the region of 6,000.
-For the whole house?
And with that budget of only £6,000, Adrian turned an abandoned
and vandalised house into a light and clean home.
I caught up with him to see how the property market
has been treating him during the last seven years.
-Adrian, good to meet you. Welcome back to the show.
-You had Lucy time last time, I believe?
-It's seven years ago that we last met you.
-Buying properties on the Wirral.
-How's it gone in those seven years?
It's gone very well, Martin, yes. We've expanded the business, more new clients.
It's been tough times in the property world in general.
-At the start of the period, all quite buoyant.
In the latter stages, a little bit not.
There was a quieter period in the middle.
Lately, it's been very good for us with the drop in the prices and the rental demand,
so it's been very good lately.
Remind me what you do.
We source properties on behalf of clients and investors.
We'll source them, offer the package to them,
explain the refurbishment costs, then we do the rental for them, we manage it.
It's basically the whole package.
Adrian's been buying for others for over seven years now
and since his first appearance on Homes Under The Hammer, his business has grown.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
-Basically a good, solid house.
Good, solid investment. Nice three-bedroom, good-size gardens.
Not too much to do to it, basic refurbishment.
Good, solid family house that should rent very well.
In terms of what needs to be done to it, you might not like the colours.
Once we change them, strip the wallpaper,
get rid of the woodchip for a start upstairs.
New carpets, new decor from top to bottom.
We will take down the shed outside, which is a bit of an eyesore,
it's rotting, so that will go away and we'll extend the patio area.
-New fencing. The exterior will be done. So...
-What about the kitchen?
The kitchen can stay. A good, solid kitchen. Nice and modern.
Same as the bathroom. Good, modern suite.
-So nothing too dramatic at all, really?
-No, no, basic.
What kind of costs have you got aside?
For this one, we're looking at between 2,500-3,000 for the budget.
-This will be done in three to four weeks.
I get the feeling that nothing can go wrong with this place.
It's such a straightforward job but is it sound financially?
Very happy with what we paid.
Originally at their peak, these houses were fetching
110, 115,000, so very good value.
Certainly at the price you paid. Would you have gone a bit higher?
Maximum, 70,000 we had so we were very happy it came under that.
By managing all the work required to buy, renovate then rent or sell
on behalf of investors, Adrian has created a business,
which is continuing to do well despite the current market difficulties.
What were you doing before this?
-I was an antiques dealer, Martin, for 17 years.
What made the move from antiques to property?
The antiques business was going down worldwide.
There was a depression in that market,
so I looked for something else to get into.
I've always been interested in property,
it's always taken my eye so that was a good opportunity to get into that market.
But when you were doing antiques, presumably you did auctions as well?
Yes, so I have lots of experience, 20-plus years' experience at auctions.
Is there much difference between antique and property auctions?
Not really, no.
It's a slower auction but they're selling more expensive pieces.
Obviously more expensive products but very, very similar.
-Looking forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, I wonder what the next seven years
have in store for the property market.
Lots of ups and downs, I'm sure.
For now, Adrian has got himself a good buy with this place.
He's not going to spend too much money sorting it out.
I'm sure he'll do just fine.
You can find out how it turns out later in the show.
Well, the clock has been ticking
and work should have started on our properties.
Have those piles of bricks and bags of cement gone?
-Will the paint be dry on the walls?
-Let's go back and find out.
We're back in Snodland, Kent, to find how Julian and Lynn
got on with their two-bedroom mid-terrace house.
It had certainly been unloved for a long time
but that meant there were some enticing opportunities to improve it
and some even bigger opportunities to spend a lot of cash.
I had some thoughts on what to knock down
but then so did Julian and Lynn.
What about the fact you've got a huge bathroom upstairs?
I walk into it and think "this should be a bedroom".
Is there anything there you could tweak or play with?
Probably leave it as two bedrooms.
Principally leaving it as it is currently laid out,
with the two bedrooms and bathroom upstairs
but knocking through the wall here.
So the two rooms downstairs become one.
# Where is the love?
# Where is the love?... #
Julian and Lynn bought this semi-detached house for 122,000.
They had a budget of £11-15,000 set aside for the refurbishment.
Although their last house took two and a half years to redesign,
they were confident they could fix this one in three months.
Well, we gave them a little extra time and came back six months later
to see what walls are still standing and how many bedrooms there are now.
# Only want to make things right
# Well, I only want to make things right... #
Julian and Lynn have transformed this neglected, old mid-terrace
into a really lovely family home.
# Only want to make things right... #
The bijou kitchenette is now a workable kitchen
with good access to the dining room through a much bigger doorway.
Although there are some finishing touches to add -
they still need a banister on this open staircase -
the construction side of the project is complete.
They kept the wall between the front sitting room
and the dining room, giving them two downstairs spaces.
But this house had been hiding one or two major problems
and it became a whole lot more work than it first appeared.
We had to get rid of 40 years of neglect, basically.
So we've done central heating, new windows, new kitchen,
bathroom and we've created a third bedroom as well.
Of course, all the electrics and plumbing,
all the first fit had to be done
because there literally was nothing in here.
So we took it down to pretty much a brick shell with a roof on it
and started again.
So apart from what you can obviously see - it's all been replastered and repainted,
we've had work to do with the floors, under the floors.
There is no one major thing that caused us an issue.
It's just the collection of everything.
-It was just the neglect.
-A very unloved house, it was.
We hope we've transformed it into something that someone else is going to love
as much as we do.
# Only want to make things right... #
Apart from taking all of the walls down from the hallway
right through, past the staircase here,
we also decided to open up the dining room to the kitchen
to make it into a complete kitchen-diner.
Obviously, it's been completely refitted with a new kitchen.
We've got to finish it with all the doors, et cetera.
We think it now makes a much nicer environment as a kitchen/diner
rather than small, separate rooms.
Upstairs, as you may remember,
I thought the bathroom was oversized.
Well, just as I suggested,
that huge room was turned into a third bedroom.
And they divided up the rear bedroom
to make one small bedroom and a bathroom.
You may remember that in this room, we had the bathroom originally.
So, quite a large room for the bathroom.
And then just one bedroom over here.
So we decided to move the bathroom over here
and subdivide the room to create a small bedroom and the bathroom.
That meant taking all of these walls down and rebuilding them
to create those two rooms.
We're very pleased with the result.
# The mo-mo-mo, the money
# Mo-mo-mo, the money... #
So many walls coming and going.
Did Julian and Lynn manage to stay
within their original £11-15,000 budget?
We're around the 15 mark, we haven't got a lot more to spend.
Despite the fact it's not finished,
we've got all the materials to finish it.
And of course, although it may take a bit longer,
you can save a lot of money
if you're willing to get your own hands dirty.
When I was thinking about the schedule,
I did think we'd have other people in to help with the work.
But as I got into it, I started to do it all myself.
'There's still the outside to do.
'We've got to do some work on the front
'and paint the outside at the back.
'If we're lucky, we'll get it done in a month.
'There was one point - we'd got the kitchen almost up to completion,'
and I said, "I like it so much, I'd like to move in."
You know, it is starting to look good.
It's time to call in two local property experts,
to see if they see the love too.
I think they've done a very good job of the renovation.
I think it's a good family home, three good bedrooms,
nice bathroom, quality fittings.
Generally, a very good standard.
I think what they've done is really, very, very nice.
They've created three bedrooms, which is what this property needed.
The whole property is really very, very nice.
Julian and Lynn bought the house for 122,000.
They spent £15,000 on the refurbishment,
bringing their total outlay to 137,000.
What do the estate agents think the property is worth now?
I think when the property is completed,
I think they'll probably be able to achieve around about £150,000.
They might be looking at marketing it in the region of £150,000
If the house was sold, it could make a profit of between
£13,000 and £18,000, before tax and selling costs.
Sounds a touch on the low side.
Because we've had experience of buying other property on this road,
just very recently, so I'd expect we'd get a bit more than that.
But Julian and Lynn are keen to rent it out,
so what could they get for that?
This property would rent very well.
I'd think that they're going to be looking at getting
somewhere around about £725 per calendar month
to about £750 per calendar month.
I think if they were to let this property,
they'd achieve around £750 per calendar month.
750 is absolutely spot on.
Again, we know these houses rent out at 750 at the moment.
Rental values are good at the moment
so that's what we're going to do, perhaps for the next five years.
Well, Julian and Lynn made exactly the right decisions
when they renovated this house, but as this was their first auction,
the question is, will they be repeating it?
I don't want to take on one that needed quite so much doing to it.
It's been a labour of love,
I've enjoyed it and I love the result, so...
But...not quite such hard work.
Something that's a little less intensive would be good,
that needs a quicker makeover,
rather than getting down to the bare bones of a building
would be more preferable, yeah.
We're back on the outskirts of Warrington
to see how Adrian got on with this end-of-terrace
in a nearly quiet cul-de-sac.
The house had gone a teeny bit colour crazy,
so we returned to see if there was a golden property
hiding underneath that rainbow.
Ex-antique dealer Adrian now buys, refurbishes
and manages properties for a number of investors.
He keeps a close eye on the market and knew a bargain when he saw one.
He snapped up this house for only 66,000 quid.
Very happy with what we paid.
Originally, the peak of these houses were fetching 110, 115,000.
So very good value.
With a refurbishment budget of 2,000 to 3,000,
this would have to be a tightly-run development
to stay on time and on budget.
The trick would be to know what to leave and what to change.
We've come back two months later
to see if things have calmed down on the technicolour interior.
# And if this ain't love
# Why does it feel now
# Why does it feel now
# Why does it feel now
# Why does it feel so good? #
Those multi-coloured rooms have been neutralised
with a palette of bright natural tones.
The house is now much more tenant-friendly,
offering a well-proportioned family home in a great location.
Since you were last here,
we've decorated the house from top to bottom.
The kitchen, a general decoration, we've made it nice and neutral.
It was bright orange, the walls.
The tiles, we've left as they are, cos it's a buy-to-let property
so there's no need to change those, just a clean-up.
The same with the units, nice modern kitchen, we've left that as it is.
We've put new light fittings throughout the downstairs as well.
Remember that property manager Adrian is spending someone else's money.
The refurbishment budget was estimated at only £2,000 to £3,000
but he has made that go a very long way.
Upstairs, we've redecorated completely.
It was very bright wallpaper, it was woodchip in the bedrooms.
We had a purple room, a lime green room and a pink room.
We've changed all that, it's all nice and neutral now.
We've put nice, new modern light fittings in,
new carpets throughout
and we've put new blinds throughout the whole house.
The budget we had was 2,500 to 3,000 originally.
We came in under budget, which was great for the clients.
We came in at 2,800 for the complete refurbishment.
This particular client who bought this house,
he's bought one property per year for the last five years.
He's never seen any of his properties,
so it's really important to have the trust element.
He relies on me to buy the right property at the right price,
and to keep on top of the budget.
It's about keeping the client happy and producing the right numbers.
The trick with investments like this
is to keep your personal tastes out the way,
concentrating on what's needed rather than what you fancy
and Adrian does a good job at this.
So, in the landing here, we've just generally decorated,
new paintwork, we've done all the woodwork as well.
Nice, new carpets, nice and neutral colours.
The bathroom, the suite was fine, it's a nice, modern bathroom suite.
We've just put down new flooring and decorated the walls.
This end-terrace sits on a large garden plot
and cost-efficient as ever,
Adrian's sorted out the tired old facade of the property
and the tumbledown fencing at the rear.
With the outside, we've freshened up the masonry paint
and the base of it.
Upstairs, we've timber treated the outside, just for protection.
The main changes are over here on the far side.
Mainly cosmetic work again,
where we've taken away the garage that was crumbling.
It was in a very bad way.
We've created a patio area, made it nice and clean with new fences
and the new gate, so it's quite a nice, open area now.
It's time to find out what two local property experts think of the revamp.
The overall finish to the property is very good.
I think the owner has made some excellent choices.
He's considered the ceiling price of his location
and he's been mindful of that when looking at his budget
First impressions of the property are very good.
It's been finished to a much better standard
than normally properties are that are bought to be let out.
He's gone for a neutral scheme, all floor coverings are nice.
The bathroom and kitchen originally were nice.
They've been kept, so good overall.
Sounds like Adrian is making the right decisions for his business and clients,
as he knows the local area and rental markets.
He bought the house for £66,000
and spent £2,800 on the refurbishment,
bringing his clients' total investment to 68,800 quid.
If it were to be sold, what could it sell for?
In the present market, I'd expect the property to achieve
a resale value of between £80,000 and £85,000.
We'd look to market the property for around 89,950
and would hope to achieve an offer of £87,000.
That would give Adrian's client a profit of between
11,200 and £18,200, before tax and expenses.
Yes, we'll be very happy with those valuations.
We didn't buy to resell, it is for the buy-to-let market
but it's come in at just under 69,000
with the purchase price and refurbishment.
So, very happy with those valuations.
But Adrian is keeping this as a buy-to-let for his clients,
so what rental figures might it attract?
In the property's current condition,
we'd expect to achieve a rental figure of between
475 and £500 per calendar month.
The rental valuation of somewhere between 450 and 495 per calendar month
would most certainly be achievable.
I think those valuations are low, in my opinion.
We do have a tenant signed up and she's moving in next week
at a rental of 550 per month
which is returning 9.6% gross yield,
which, in today's market, is excellent.
We're very happy.
With seven years of property management behind him,
is Adrian feeling the urge to move on to pastures new?
The plan for the future is to carry on sourcing properties -
look for new clients and buy property and rent them out
and manage them on behalf of those clients.
Join us next time as we meet more brave buyers
who tried to make a killing on property
or just want to find somewhere to live.
Yes, join us then for more Homes Under The Hammer.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a site in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, a property in Kent and another in a cul-de-sac in Warrington. 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.