Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a garage plot in Derby, a property in Kent and a semi in Leigh, Lancashire. They learn how much each home sold for at auction.
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-Hello and welcome.
-All sorts of people buy property at auction.
They attract buyers from all walks of life.
And that's because there are bargains to be had buying homes under the hammer.
Well, there's a huge variety of buyers
and a great selection of properties when you go to an auction.
It really is a race to get the best bargains.
You have to be in it to win it. Let's see what's featuring on today's programme.
'In Derby, there's an auction lot that's just a plot and a garage.'
It may not have a property. What it does have is potential.
'You could face problems in Kent trying to sniff out a bargain.'
No nose on that one. No nose on that one. Not an attractive look.
'And this Lancashire semi has a big kitchen, spacious lounge and large bedrooms.'
However, what is going on at the end here? This is really strange.
'All of these properties went to auction.
-'Find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.'
-And it's yours.
'Derby in the East Midlands is a city that's always moved with the times.
'And with £2 billion being ploughed into a new regeneration scheme,
'the entire shape of the place is changing.'
Well, I'm in Derby on a popular residential street,
close to the city centre, good transport links.
I'm here to see something which had a guide price of 18,000 quid.
Yes, 18,000. So, what do you get for your money?
Well, not a lot by the look of it.
What you don't have is a house.
What you do have is this garage,
and more importantly, the plot of land that it sits on,
because it may not have a property, but what it does have is potential.
# You've got potential
# You're my life
'You wouldn't usually be rubbing your hands with joy at the prospect of owning a garage
'and an outdoor toilet, but if you can look past the rather worn constructions,
'there is a bit of land here.
'It's also a pretty pleasant street within walking distance of the city centre,
'so that garage and loo may not have much kerb appeal,
'but the attraction is that the plot comes with planning permission.'
So, what are the plans that have been passed for the plot?
As if by magic, I have them.
Basically, two one-bedroom apartments in a single unit, double storey.
Detached. Actually quite interesting. It sits into the line of terraced properties there,
access down the side here.
Here's the plans for the two apartments.
The ground floor and then the upstairs one.
Pretty much identical, apart from the fact that you access the upstairs via its own entrance.
One bedroom. Kitchen/living area. And en suite bathroom. Everything you could need.
Your only decision, really, to make is, is this making the most of the space?
And you know that? I think it is.
# It's in the way that you use it
'I suppose the other option you've got here is to build one house
'or possibly even two mews houses side by side.
'But because of the limited space, you may get into difficulties with access
'and they would be rather small.'
So is it worth bothering with changing the plans that have already been approved?
Before you make that decision, bear in mind that not only are you going to have to pay architects' costs,
you have to pay for another submission to the planning department
and they may not approve it. And there's all that delay that's involved.
So only do it if you really have to.
'But before any decisions are made, it would be advisable to research the local market.
'Derby has seen a lot of development in the last few years
'and all sorts of new accommodation has popped up.
'There's no point in building something which is surplus to requirements.
'The guide price for this plot was £18,000.
'So we asked a local estate agent to take a look at it
'and give us her thoughts.'
The existing planning permission is for two one-bedroom flats
and that's probably the best way to maximise the income on it.
By splitting the plot into two units, you maximise your return.
'But, of course, there are other things to think about when adding residential properties to a street.'
# Pull up to my bumper, baby
# In your long black limousine
Parking is quite restricted. It's on-street only, which does mean you do get double parking constantly.
So having two properties in a space where there was a drop kerb
means that parking will be at a minimum.
'The welcome news is that in this area, you don't necessarily need a car.
'There are good transport links and the city centre is close enough to walk to.
'So this all seems great. But do the figures add up?'
The potential rental income for the two one-bed individual flats
would be between £350 and £375 per calendar month.
I believe the resale value would be around £70,000.
So, a chance to take on a new build with potential profits if you keep your budget in check.
Who fancied it? Let's find out when it went under the hammer.
Start me where you like on this one. Guide is 18 plus.
Two one-bedroom apartments.
18,000. 17 to start. 17,000 on the far left.
Thank you. At 17,000.
17,500 in the middle. 17,500. 18 on the left.
At 18,000. 500. 18,500.
And a half?
In the middle at 20,000. It's in the market. We're going to sell.
At the back, 20 and a half. 21 is bid.
21. On the back row, 21,500?
22,000 in the centre.
At £22,000 it goes once.
Twice. Third and last opportunity. All done?
-Sold at 22. Thank you.
'With a successful bid of 22,000, the land was purchased by Janice.
'She's a bookkeeper for the family building firm
'and her builder son Chris would be in charge of carrying out the work.
'I met up with them both to hear more.'
Janice, Chris, good to meet you both.
-Congratulations. Tell me why you wanted to buy this little plot.
It's a start to hopefully move on. Build one, sell it, and a little bit bigger each time.
Another reason why I picked it was because it's keeping us in work as a building firm.
We've got our own generated work.
Cos we're not really out of a recession and work's a bit tight.
-People's prices are tight. So it is killing two birds with one stone.
Tell me more about the family business. How long has it been going for?
Seven years, yeah. Me, my dad, my mum does all the book work for us,
and my brother subcontracts. He's an electrician.
My sister's a builder, she used to work for you. She's branched out on her own now.
# It runs in the family
'So, like many people, this family's business was hit hard by the financial downturn.
'But it's encouraging to see them sticking together as a family
'to work hard and get things back on track.
'The question is, what made them decide to tackle the project from scratch?'
The land that was advertised came with planning permission for a new build,
which was on the plans to do two separate flats, a ground floor and a first floor flat.
But, on a bit of research, most of the estate agents told me
that the city centre is saturated with flats at the minute.
Although we could've rented them, we probably would've had trouble selling them.
-So we decided to change...
-Changed it to a two-bed.
-Well, three beds. He's managed to get a double bedroom and an en suite in the roof space.
-So it was on his advice that we went for three. Fair enough.
So the money that's in that, normally you'd expect a couple of flats
to generate you a better return than just a one-off house.
It would've done were we able to sell them. You'd rent them, but that wasn't going to get my capital back
-to move on and get something else.
-Well done for doing your market research before you started.
Plus, there's not going to be quite so much in the budget to make it into a house
as opposed to flats, because you've not got two lots of services, bathrooms, kitchens.
-So the build should be cheaper, so we'll have a little bit more on the return.
'Janice and Chris seem pretty confident about their intentions for the site.
'But there's one issue that worries me.'
What about planning? Obviously, it's got planning for these two flats. You'll have to start from scratch.
Er, no, cos we're not changing the structure of the house,
-it's just what it's being used for.
-The footprint, as they call it, is the same.
-And the building regs aren't through, anyway, so you've still got to go through building regs.
It will have to go through planning, but it's just altering internals, really.
It shouldn't take as long as starting from scratch.
So any idea how much you've got set aside to do the work?
We're looking at around £60,000, we hope,
-with the cost of buying, 22 was it?
-22 grand, yeah.
-Hopefully we should make a bit of a profit.
-What's the expected value of the property once built?
-We're thinking about £100,000.
-Well, the estate agent said between £105,000, £110,000 for a two-bed.
We've managed to get a three-bed and en suite, so I don't know whether that will up the cost or not.
Probably. But, again, it'll have to keep in with the area.
Talk me through exactly what you need to do. Are you going to demolish the garage first?
Yeah, take the garage down first, and then fence the whole boundary off and then start digging.
-Footings in and then up it goes.
-Right. What's the timescale?
Er, four months tight, probably five at a push, but that's still going some.
# We can work it out
# We can work it out
'With that £60,000 budget and a pretty tight four-month timescale,
'the family will need to call on all their years of experience for this to work out.
'It seems like a great project to get the ball rolling
'and they certainly have high hopes for it.'
-So, basically, you get through the sticky period at the moment and then onto other projects.
Who knows where it could lead? We'll just keep going.
Erm, the next one and the next one, and each time making a bit more money to put in the pot
to go for something a bit bigger next time.
-We might be building 30 houses on a plot soon. We hope.
-You never know.
-Good luck with it and I look forward to seeing what you're going to do.
-Yeah, come back when it's finished.
-Come back and help if you want to.
So, Janice and Chris showing the importance of doing your research
before you embark on any building project.
It's all well and good thinking you're going to make more money out of building flats,
but only if you can sell them. How will they get on with the new build? Find out later in the show.
'Affordable property right on the water and commutable to London,
'Chatham in North Kent is a popular destination for would-be buyers looking to board the property boat.'
Just around the corner from the train station and I'm here to see this end of terrace property.
Now, the guide price, £75,000 to £80,000.
It doesn't look bad from the outside. I'm going to have a look around.
Well, it's quite nice to see the original front door.
It always makes that nice clunking noise.
OK, bit of a nightmare in here. You've got glossy woodchip wallpaper everywhere,
but a nice size sitting room, an original fireplace, beautiful sash windows and look at these mouldings.
Ooh. No nose on that one.
No nose on that one. Not an attractive look.
Now, through into the second reception room. Really, really good size. I like to see this.
A little storage space through there under the stairs, another fireplace.
The kitchen through here. You could think about taking this wall out
and opening this up for a big kitchen-diner. That would be quite a nice space.
Something else that I'm really surprised about, there's central heating in this property.
I didn't expect to see that. This house feels solid and well built.
There's a bit of money to be spent, but I quite like it.
'Structurally, this Victorian end of terrace property seems in good order.
'It's lovely to see the original sash windows and exposed brickwork outside.
'And all the decently-sized garden needs is a tidy up.
'But it is in need of vast improvements throughout the inside,
'from the dated kitchen to the crumbling reception rooms.
'And now we need to venture upstairs.'
Upstairs you've got two bedrooms, really good sizes,
but what I love is this old original fireplace. There is so much detail here.
Now, where's that bathroom? Typically, it's off this room!
You could just leave it where it is
or you could create a corridor along here
and along this wall here, so you come in this way,
keeping this bedroom separate with the window.
It will make this bedroom so much smaller,
but you could look at taking this chimney breast out,
which I think would give you the extra square-footage you need.
'This definitely requires a rethink,
'but creating a corridor to the bathroom will make this house much more attractive
'to both buyers and tenants.'
# Baby, I don't care
'So what will a local estate agent make of this place
'that had a guide price of £75,000 to £80,000?'
The downside at the moment is that the bathroom is off a bedroom.
But the one thing I do really like is that whoever's had it before
has left the fireplaces alone, so even in the bedrooms,
it's got the original fireplaces.
'So we know the pros and cons of the property.
'What would be the best way of bringing it back to life?'
It really depends what the new owners are going to do with the property.
But they'll have to get rid of the windows and put double glazing in, sadly.
They need to treat the damp, upgrade the kitchen and the bathroom
and get rid of this woodchip paper that is very dated.
'How much regular income could the house achieve?'
If we were looking to rent the property out,
then I would be looking at somewhere in the region of £575 to £595 per calendar month.
'And the potential sale value?'
If the new owners decide they want to put it on the market for sale and they did a good job,
I think we'd be looking in the region of £105,000
to £110,000 for the property.
There's a fair bit of work here and that upstairs bathroom really bothers me.
Now, the resale value in this area is not that strong.
My advice to anybody wanting to take this one
is spend as little as possible and perhaps let it out.
Let's see who fancied it at the auction.
Lot 22. It's an end of terrace house for improvement.
All we need is a buyer. Start me where you will. Guide of 75 to 80.
Can I come in at 75? 75,000?
Give me 70 then. Doesn't matter where we start. £70,000 if you like.
70,000 by the door. I'm on the way. At 70 I've got. And 2 do I see?
72 I'm bid. 72. And 4 with you, sir.
74. 74. And 6.
76. And 8. 78 if you like.
A £76,000 bid I've got. 78 sitting down.
Fill it up to 80. At £80,000. 79 if you wish, sir.
79. You're going to save your money for another lot later on. OK.
I've got £78,000 there. 79 I'm looking for.
79 in the blue. And 80.
81 I'm looking for. 81 bid. 82 now if you like. At 82 do I see?
82,000 I'm looking for. Are we all done at £81,000?
Sitting down on the right for the first time.
For the second time. Third and final time at £81,000.
-Yours, sir, at 81. That's A897. Thank you.
'Winning the auction with his bid of £81,000 was Steve,
'who purchased the property along with Ashley.
'The two used to be neighbours and have known each other almost 30 years.
'This is their first investment property.'
# When you've got friends and neighbours
# All the world is a happier place
-Guys, it's great to meet you. Congratulations.
-Thank you very much.
-You tip-toed £1,000 over the top end of the guide price.
-So tell me, what was your upper limit, Steve?
We were prepared to go to about 86. We're glad we didn't.
But we sat down, we targeted six houses
and we went for them in the sequence that they came up and this was the second one, so we went with it.
-So did you research thoroughly the six houses you were going to buy that day?
We downloaded all the legal packs, we went through them,
worked out a price we were prepared to pay for all of them and went for them in that sequence.
I love you two. Do you know how rare it is
-that I meet a couple of guys like you that have done their homework?
-We even costed each house,
what it would cost to actually renovate each house
to the point, almost, of £1,000 for this, £1,000 for that, whatever.
We even looked at the house and said, "Right, it will need a new heating system and new windows".
So we costed everything as best we could, almost down to the last pound,
so that we knew that we could afford the maximum to buy the house. The actual research part of it,
we put every hour that we had into the research.
We spent absolutely hours and weeks doing it.
We've viewed houses for auction, we've viewed houses through estate agents,
through the newspapers, our wives were looking through newspapers.
Any house that was available that we thought was up for renovation, we'd look at it.
-We must have looked at 40, 50 properties.
That's exactly what you should be doing
so you know you've put your money in a good project here.
-We hope so.
'Top marks for this pair. Viewers, please take note.
'Steve and Ashley have really set a benchmark.
'The key to buying well at auction is research, research and more research.'
So let's talk about why you're doing this and how you guys know each other.
And whose idea was it to invest in property? Is this a sideline?
I was in the brick industry for 35 years.
Sadly, that came to an end, and I need something else to do,
and I've been doing this sort of work for other people for years, kitchens, bathrooms, small walls.
-I think Ashley's the same.
-Yeah, pretty much.
And it was a chance meeting at my wife's birthday party last year,
we were sitting there chatting, "What are you going to do next?" and Ashley said to me,
"I'm thinking of going into property development," I said, "That's something I've always wanted to do."
So we had a chat about it and it sprung from there.
Yeah, this is a business for Steve and I. I'm semi-retired and want to retire.
Steve's been made redundant. So we have to make a living some way.
We both enjoy doing this. We think we'll both enjoy working together.
So why not? If we don't give it a try, we'll never know.
'I couldn't agree more. In the case of these two,
'they're not jumping into the complete unknown.
'With their background in building, they have the knowledge and contacts to take this project on.'
What do you like about this property? Why was this property suitable for you?
-Well, one, price.
I mean, I've always had this wording when I find houses, some are honest houses and some aren't.
And we've looked at some really bad houses that people have had and done some really bad work to.
This one's had no real interference from anybody.
It is what it is and it's been like this since it was built almost.
So from our point of view, it's just a house that we can actually bring into the 21st century.
The wall to the kitchen and dining room is coming out, so it'll become a kitchen-diner.
Then we'll have a kitchen-diner and a front room.
And then the false walls are going in upstairs to separate the second bedroom from the bathroom
which will make it much more private.
We've got some remedial work to do on the outside wall and we've taken advice on that.
-So we think we know what we're doing.
-You're lucky. He knows all about his brickwork.
-And he knows all the contacts to find them, as well.
-I used to make them.
# Stone by stone, yeah
# Brick by brick
'So with experience under their belts and enthusiasm a plenty,
'I think these two could have a winning formula.
'But did all their pre-auction planning leave them any time to plan ahead?'
Guys, what's your timescale? How quick do you think you can turn this place around?
We're looking to be two, no more than three months.
Three months tops. Two months would be good. One month would be even better.
What is the ceiling price of this property? Have you done your research
-to find out what the top end of this is?
-We've done some research in this area.
These houses normally fetch in the region of £105,000 to £110,000 against similar properties.
With our buyer price of 81, we've got a budget of around £8,000.
-With the other costs, we think that's quite viable.
-You've got to try and stick to that budget,
because this is a money-making machine for you.
-It's all about getting the money and moving onto the next one.
-I wish you the best of luck with this.
It'll be quite exciting seeing what you do. Good luck.
Everybody needs good neighbours, but these two get on so well,
they've decided to go into business together.
There is a lot of work for the duo here and I worry that Ashley's honest house
may prove to throw up a few issues.
In my experience, houses can be very dishonest,
disguising a whole host of problems.
How will they get on? Well, you can find out later on in the programme.
'Coming up, this Lancashire house has a very strange extension with a kitchen and plastic roof.'
So, all in all, it's got to go.
'In Chatham, Kent, Steve and Ashley have discovered some uncomfortable home truths.'
-He absolutely hates my singing.
'But first, we go back to Derby where this tiny building plot has caused problems.'
It's tricky. A lot of it is smaller than a normal house.
'Earlier in the programme, we were in Derby,
'where Janice had paid £22,000 for this garage on a plot of land
'squeezed between two rows of terraced houses.
'She works as the bookkeeper for the family building company.
'The attraction for Janice and her builder son Chris was that the plot had already got planning permission
'for two one-bedroom apartments in a single double-storey building.
'But their architect had drawn up some revised plans
'that changed the layout of the building and created just one single house.'
He's managed to get a double bedroom and an en suite in the roof space.
-On his advice, that was, to go for three. Fair enough.
Normally you'd expect a couple of flats to generate a better return than one house.
It would've done where we able to sell them. You'd rent them
but that wasn't going to get my capital back to move on.
'The project was a joint business venture for Janice and Chris
'with the finance coming from Janice and her friend.
'Well, it's now ten months later and back in Derby, Chris is keen to show us the results of his hard work.
'The garage has been replaced by a new detached house
'that blends in seamlessly with the original properties.
'On the ground floor, there's a kitchen-living room which runs the whole length of the house.
'The units are already in, with a second fit of the sink and the appliances still to add.
'Chris is an experienced builder, but did he find the scale of this project a challenge?'
Well, it's kind of a standard sort of build,
but it's been tricky because a lot of it is smaller than a normal house,
so to get two and a half bedrooms in such a small plot was a challenge, but it's been interesting.
'Upstairs, the bathroom is plastered and the basin is in. The loo and shower are next.
'At the front of the property is bedroom one. I think you'd describe it as a bijou double.
'While next to the bathroom is the smallest bedroom, which is definitely a single.
'We've seen one and a half bedrooms already, but a third has been created up in the attic.
'Getting access up here has lost some valuable space on the first floor. How did they do it?'
Well, it was down to the architect, really.
Because we had such a small plot to work with and trying to get two bedrooms into it,
to get the stairs up takes up a lot of room,
so the architect designed the stairs like this.
-It was a bit of trouble making them, but it's turned out all right.
-'It really has.
'Up there, they've designed a really lovely bedroom.
'The roof windows and the interesting angles are great.
'It's definitely got character. And there's more. A full en suite. Amazing!
'Outside, the bricks were specifically chosen to blend in with the surrounding area.
'They used a stonemason to copy the details of the neighbouring properties.
'But getting the groundwork done wasn't so easy.'
After the initial dig down to 900 mil,
the building inspector noticed a tree on the back,
so we had to dig down to two metres on the back.
On the second inspection, there was also a manhole at the front.
It was a metre and a half deep, and we have to go 500 lower than the manhole.
So we had to go two metres on the front corner, as well,
which took quite a lot of time with the hand-dig rather than the machine.
'Well, Chris has built the house that was financed by his mum and her friend.
'How much has it cost to build and did he manage to stick to the budget?'
The original budget for the build was £60,000 plus the purchase price
and, yes, we've about made the budget.
We're probably going to be £2,000 over, I think.
'Time to get some expert advice from two local estate agents.
'What do they think of the house?'
It's certainly a unique property for the area.
A little two-bedroom detached house
on a street full of terraces, it's definitely special.
If this was my property, I would make sure it was finished
to a high standard and to quite a funky standard
to appeal to the young person that likes to live close to town.
I like the fact that it's split over three levels.
I wasn't expecting that as I walked through the door
and I think it really works with the house.
I like the big open-plan living area downstairs,
two bedrooms, two bathrooms, quite unusual.
It's got a nice, modern, apartment-style feel to it.
'Chris and his mother Janice plan to sell the property and invest the proceeds in another.
'They paid £22,000 at the auction for the site
'and Chris reckons the budget will come in at around £62,000,
'making a total of £84,000. So what's the place worth now?'
On the sales market, I would imagine this property on the market
at £95,000. I think it would sell quickly at that price.
For sale, I believe I would put it on the market
at approximately £105,000.
'Well, a potential gross profit before the usual selling expenses
'of £11,000 to £21,000.
'Is Chris confident of finding a buyer?'
We've had some interest already, but unfinished, it tends to put people off,
so we'll see what happens when it's finished. If it doesn't shift in six months, we'll look at letting it.
I think, in terms of rent, the property would let for about £475 per calendar month.
Rental valuation, I would suggest between £500 and £550 per calendar month.
'So, bit of a gap between those valuations, but there's clearly lettings potential here.'
Yeah, that's good. Really good.
So it could work as a rental.
'Although the plot originally had planning permission for two flats,
'Chris and Janice did their research and discovered there was already an abundance of flats locally.
'So they persevered and got the plans changed and they built a house.'
I've enjoyed it. I think it's turned out as we expected, really.
They're not the biggest bedrooms, but it's cute, isn't it? Something a bit different.
'Today I'm in the town of Leigh, just six miles east of Wigan in Greater Manchester.
'This post-industrial town has had some hard times picking up the pieces after its industries went.
'But it's now clearly an area of regeneration.
'There's a new sports village development and stadium and a brand new cinema complex, too.
'The property we're here to see is located just about half a mile from Leigh town centre
'in a popular residential area with this park and pond.
'So, if you're looking for a great family location,
'you could be quackers to miss this lot.
'The property is in this road that has several different styles of houses.'
And this is it. Three-bed semi. Guide price was 50,000 quid. Looks all right from the outside.
Nice that it's got off-street parking. Let's hope it's as good inside!
'Well, the windows and door look fairly new
'and there are no gaping cracks in the brickwork. Promising.'
Doesn't look too bad. Good start.
Stairs up to your bedrooms there and then through into a really nice-sized lounge.
I'd like to see a feature fireplace in there, but apart from that, it's a good size space.
It looks a little bit dated, but I've seen a heck of a lot worse.
Somebody's obviously knocked through at some stage into this, which is your dining room at the back.
Fairly standard so far. I like it. What's down here, though?
That is really, really weird.
You've got this little corridor leading through to this extension at the back.
I say extension, it's more like a conservatory. Look at that roof.
Now, it's not a bad sized space, but the issues are...I reckon that's a single-skin wall,
so there's going to be no damp-proofing in here,
and in these days, mortgage companies are very fussy about property and where things are
and a kitchen in an extension like this, which is really not properly built,
is not going to go down too well with them.
So I don't know where it should be. Probably in that dining room area.
But it needs a bit of a rethink, this bit.
'It all started so well.
'But you are limited to where you could move the kitchen.
'The only place really is the dining room,
'but then you'd lose the lovely open-plan lounge.
'If you then converted the extension into more of a conservatory-cum-summer room,
'you'd have to go through the kitchen to access it.
'The problem becomes clear when you go into the garden.'
Well, from the inside, that kitchen area doesn't look too bad.
But come to the rear of the property and you can see what a hideous carbuncle it really is.
None of the other houses have got anything like it, I doubt it's got planning permission
or that it would meet current building regulations.
So, all in all, it's got to go.
'Sorting out this extension is a headache you could do without.
'But with a guide price of £50,000, there could still be a decent margin to be made here.'
So upstairs and no great surprises. Fairly standard layout. Three bedrooms.
Small bathroom, I have to say, but at least it's been recently refurbished, so that's a bonus.
Smaller bedrooms there, then through to your master bedroom. It's a good size, you can't doubt that.
However, what is going on at the end here? This is really strange.
I can't quite figure out the construction.
And a few more problems with water coming through there. That needs to be checked out.
It's either a tile that's loose or maybe a bit of flashing.
Either way, it needs a bit of attention.
All in all, though, I like this house.
'So, apart from the issue of relocating the kitchen,
'this house appears to need just some decent decoration throughout to bring it up to date.
'But what will a local estate agent think?
'How does it compare with other local properties?'
It's good. It's in reasonable condition.
Obviously, the only issue is, the kitchen's in the conservatory,
which you'd probably have to change round. With you having a cooker in a conservatory,
it's fire regulations and things like that. Whether it would be mortgageable, I don't know.
'What are the attractive features of the house that would encourage buyers to take this on?'
I think the positives of the property are it's UPVC double-glazed,
it's in reasonable condition, the bathroom looks fairly new.
It's got good aspects at the front, it's overlooking a duck pond and it's close to local schools.
'What could it be worth once it's been refurbished
'and the issue of the kitchen has been sorted?'
I would expect to achieve, once this property's renovated, £105,000.
'How much could the place generate in rental income?'
The rental value on this property would be £500 per calendar month.
So, a lot of house for the money, and actually, a really pleasant home, this one.
Or a good rental opportunity. Bit of work to do to sort out the kitchen at the back, cos that doesn't work,
but apart from that it's a good one to go for. Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.
OK, lot 22. Lovely looking property, this one. Three-bed semi.
What's this worth? 40,000.
40,000, then. 40,000 anywhere?
40,000 bid. At 40,000. I have £40,000 on my left.
Who's going to give me 42,000?
42,000, then. At £42,000. 44.
At 44. 46.
At £45,000 I have on my left.
At 45,000. Do I see 46?
It's your bid, 46. 47?
No. At 46,000, then. 47 I'm looking for.
47 bid at the back. At 47,000.
Paddle 716 at 47. 48.
At 48. 49, then. 50 at the back, may I say? 50,000.
At £50,000. At 50,000, paddle 716 at the back.
It's got to be sold and I'm going to sell it if nobody else bids.
£50,000 for the first time. 51. At 51,000. 52. 52.
54. 55. 56.
56. 57. 58.
57,000. 57 and a half, I like your face.
57 and a half, he started the bidding. 58.
At 58. 58 and a half? 58 and a half. 59.
59 and a half?
No. At £59,000, then, for the first time.
At £59,000 for the second time.
-Are we all done at £59,000?
'That final successful bid of £59,000 was made by Dave, here on the right.
'He was at the auction with his friend Paul, who's a builder.
'Dave took early retirement from a mobile phone company 15 months ago.
'He's a keen motorcyclist and is also a black belt in karate.
'I met up with Dave and Paul to find out if they could martial the art of property development.'
-Paul, Dave, lovely to meet you both.
-Why did you want to buy this place?
Well, usual thing, I had taken early retirement, got some money, didn't want it wasting in the bank.
Paul is a builder, so we put our skills together, buy a house and see how we go from there.
Right. And had you thought about a collaboration before?
Well, not really. I bought a house last year which I've done up, but it wasn't from auction.
And I thought there's obviously more potential in buying something at auction.
So I thought, seeing as Paul is a builder, I need him to look at it with me.
And we took him along, had a look at it, and thought we could do this and form a little business, as well.
What was your job before you retired?
-I was an O2 technical support type role.
-Nothing to do with houses.
-Not at all. How long have you been a builder, Paul?
-Er, man and boy, about 30 years now.
-So, it's a family firm.
-It's been going 50-odd years now.
-Where did you meet?
-We met through motorcycling, really. Long time ago.
-We've both been keen on bikes over the years. We tend to go abroad once or twice a year now.
# Under neon loneliness
# Motorcycle emptiness
'So these two biker mates have teamed up and hope to start a joint property developing business.'
-So how was the auction for you?
-It was fine.
A bit nerve-racking at first. Never done anything like that before. Been to them before.
-It was strange because the location was the same room I got married in.
-Wow! How long ago was that?
-Erm, I've got to get this right.
-Eight years in March.
-Eight years, OK.
-So, it's been quite an expensive room for me, that. THEY LAUGH
'Well, I can't say that I'm wed to this off-white, artexed and embossed paper here. It's got to go.
'So Dave provided the £59,000 purchase price and Paul provides the building experience.
'But this house wasn't the only purchase Dave made on auction day.'
-So, did you go with the intention of buying two?
-No, we had two lined up to look at,
depending how much it went for, the first one, and we got it at quite a good price.
After the first one went, we did a quick calculation and we could still do the second one
and still have the money to do the work on the houses.
-So we decided to go for the second, too.
-This one is being prioritised, or are you doing the other first?
We think this one. This is a semi, the other one was a terrace so this has more chance of selling.
What did you think about the house when you wandered round it?
Well, the house has got plenty of potential.
This is obviously a slight problem being a kitchen under a plastic roof.
-It will have to come down. But apart from that, the rest is fairly positive.
-So it's going.
-Not even have it as a conservatory, or anything like that?
So, tell me what you're going to do to sort it out.
This is coming down. There will be a window pierced in the wall there. The back window will become
-a pair of French doors.
-The dividing wall is coming down.
-The kitchen will be going in there and across the back room.
-So a new kitchen in there. Bathroom?
-Bathroom is OK.
-It looks like it's been done very recently. It's in very good condition.
A bit of decoration, new floor covering. That's fine.
What about outside? A bit of garden that needs sorting out, the fence has come down.
The only thing on the outside is the front bay.
We think we need to take the front bay down between the upper level and the ground floor window.
-It's sagging a bit.
-There's too much weight above the bay so we'll take it down
and rebuild it with a lighter construction.
'It's thanks to Paul's years of building experience that the sagging bay was spotted.
'And his trained eye and know-how is something that Dave and Paul
'hope their new business venture can build on.'
So, any idea roughly how much it's going to cost?
Well, yeah, we think we've got £12,000. And we've got another £3,000 as contingency.
If we find anything that surprises us. So I think that'll be plenty.
How are you going to cost it out? How are you going to charge your services into it? Or are they free?
-They'll be coming for free and then we'll be then sorting out the profit at the end.
What sort of timescale is it to get this sorted?
From my point of view, I'll probably need around about three weeks.
-From my point of view, the actual building side of it, three weeks.
-There's the decorating and the carpet
but the actual build, three weeks.
Congratulations. Good luck with it all and we look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thank you very much.
So, David and Paul hatching a new business venture.
How will they get on sorting this property out and working together for the first time?
You can find out later in the show.
It's been a while now since we last saw those properties.
-Has any work been done or do they look exactly the same?
-Let's find out.
'Time to head back to Chatham in Kent.
# When you've got friends
# And neighbours
# All the world is a happier place
'Well, old neighbours stroke new property developers Ashley, on the right here,
'and Steve purchased this Victorian end of terrace for £81,000.
'But they didn't jump into this refurbishment before doing their research.'
We viewed houses for auction, we viewed houses through estate agents,
through the newspapers, our wives were looking through newspapers,
-any house that was available that was up for renovation, we'd look at it.
-We looked at 40, 50 properties.
But guys, that's fantastic, that's brilliant, that's exactly what you should be doing.
'So they get a gold star for being armed with information.
'But will they get a gold star five months later when we return to see how they've got on with the work?
'With walls taken down, the woodchip chipped away and new fixtures and fittings throughout,
'the property is nearly finished.
'All it still needs is a top coat of paint and carpets to go down.
'The biggest property puzzle here was the bathroom,
'which could only be accessed via the second bedroom.
'Surely they didn't leave that as it was.'
Well, this is the main bedroom, which we've kept in its original format
except for the fact that this used to be the cupboard,
which we've now created into a hallway so we can separate the bathroom from both bedrooms.
But by losing the cupboard, we then took a piece of space above the stairs
and made ourselves another cupboard there.
Then obviously we've got the false wall there, and this is the second bedroom,
which is what we think is still a reasonable size.
And, again, you've got two doors there, one which comes off the stairs,
and again, the private door to the bathroom, with the skylight above the door,
which gives you light in the hallway. We think it works really well.
'Something else which works much better than before is the newly open-plan kitchen and living room.'
As you may remember from the first time you came,
there was a wall dividing the dining room and kitchen which we took out.
Here we had a chimney breast which we had to take out to square up the kitchen.
And then we've laid laminated flooring and fitted a fully-fitted kitchen. It's a nice open space.
It gives it a sense of openness
where you can actually be, what people like these days, to be able to cook and talk to their company.
The wall that was here was wasted space.
It restricted how much cupboard space you had. By taking that wall out, it's made the kitchen so much bigger.
'They also ditched the dirt that was piling up at the side of the house and put it to excellent use.'
We cleared, I think, about four tonnes of dirt, but we reused that dirt in our back garden.
We levelled the garden off and put a small wall round it. We turfed the garden.
And we put fencing all around the garden now so it gives privacy.
'Steve and Ashley had planned to spend £8,000 on the renovations.'
Straight after we said that, we looked at it and decided,
to fit within that budget, we'd have to do everything cheaply. We didn't want to do it cheaply.
So we haven't gone too dear, but we've bought some nice fixtures and fittings.
'So, they ended up spending £9,500 on the work.
'Achieving the good finish they wanted took five months,
'rather than the original two to three they had hoped for.
'But this was the boys' first project together. It proved an excellent learning curve,
'and not just about property developing.'
-You think you know someone because you've known them 28 years, but you don't really, do you?
-He absolutely hates my singing.
I had to buy a radio because I couldn't stand the singing anymore.
-And I've realised, wherever Ashley is, doughnuts are not too far away.
'In need of an un-sugar-coated opinion,
'we invited two estate agents
'to look round the property and share their thoughts.'
They've made an awful lot of changes and they really are nice changes.
I think they've done a slightly higher spec than I did expect for the area.
But I think what they will do is get either good tenants
or a purchaser that will really appreciate it.
I really like what they've achieved at this property.
I like the way they've mixed the original features
with the modern features, as well.
They've definitely achieved everything that they could to not out-price themselves, really.
'And speaking of prices, if Ashley and Steve were to rent the property out,
'what could they expect to earn from that?'
If they were to rent this then they would get very good tenants because it's such a nice house.
They would be looking at around £600 per calendar month.
If we were to put this on the rental market,
we would look to achieve approximately £625 per calendar month.
I was hoping for 625, 650,
-so that's about where we were thinking.
-So I'm pleased with that.
'The lads' intention is to sell the property, though. They bought it at auction for £81,000
'and spent £9,500 renovating it.
'Which gives them a total outlay of £90,500. How much could the sale value be?'
If I was to put this on the market, I'd be looking to market it
somewhere in the region of £110,000 to £115,000.
If we were to put this on the sales market, we would look to achieve £115,000.
'So with their total spend of £90,500,
'Steve and Ashley could make a pre-tax profit
'of between £19,500 and £24,500, minus the usual selling expenses.'
We'd like to achieve that if possible. We'd be happy with that, wouldn't we?
-That gives us a margin to carry on to the next one.
-Very happy with that.
'Anything they want to do before they move on to their next one?'
-Yeah, I'm going to California in four days' time.
Steve is getting his preparations done for his daughter's wedding.
-And then back to the auctions.
'Back now to the Lancashire town of Leigh,
'where two motorcycling mates bought this semi
'with a kitchen housed in a conservatory for £59,000.
'Dave, here on the left, who is also a black belt in karate,
'had recently retired after years working for a telecom company.
'He provided the finance, while his builder friend Paul was going to do the majority of the work.'
Taken early retirement and got some money. Didn't want it wasting in the bank.
-Paul's a builder, so put the skills together.
-Buy a house and see how we go.
How are you going to cost it out? Are you going to charge for your services?
They'll be coming for free and we'll be then sorting out the profit at the end.
'But builder Paul had spotted some structural issues that needed attention.'
Too much weight above the bay, so I'll take it down
and basically rebuild it with a lighter construction.
# Here in my car
'It's now five months later
'and the two biker boys have turned up in a couple of sporty four-wheelers.
'As for the house, well, that's now moved into the property fast lane, as well.
'The sagging bay window has been rebuilt.
'At the rear, that white box that looked like a square igloo has melted away.
'Both the house and garden look so much better.
'There's new decking, fencing and lawn.
'Inside, the whole house has been replastered and decorated in neutral tones.
'The carpeted living room can now be separated from the new kitchen-diner.
'Extra space was created by removing the corridor that led to the former extension, as Dave explains.'
This wall was an archway, just an open archway a bit further over.
After discussions we decided, rather than have a separate wall with a separate kitchen,
we'd go for this wall reinstated with double doors. This gives a separation between the kitchen and the lounge.
In the kitchen, the back door was a side door.
So we bricked that up, giving us an uninterrupted run of worktops.
The entrance to the igloo was where the sink is now.
So we bricked that up below a new window above.
New hob, oven and extractor. We think the kitchen-diner has come out really well.
The kitchen is a good quality and we're really happy with the result.
'Upstairs, the three bedrooms have all undergone a complete refurbishment.
'The bathroom was relatively new,
'so the only real change in there was the fittings and flooring.
'But as Paul now explains, it wasn't just the bay window where structural problems were discovered.'
Well, one or two surprises. One of them was the boards in this room, that room and the rear room,
basically they were in a shocking state. So we've renewed those completely.
Unfortunately the boards ran through both rooms and this wall had been built on it.
So this wall has been taken out and reinstated on top of the new boards.
We also had a similar problem with the front bay.
that wall had to come out and be replaced because there was too much weight on the lower bay.
'Discovering the problems with the floorboards on top of the issue of the bay window
'could have derailed a less experienced development team.
'But as Paul has years of building under his belt,
'the extra work hardly affected the timescale at all.'
The original timescale was, I think we quoted three weeks to do the work.
Now, that was hands-on time from Paul, but on the day of the auction, I bought two properties.
And the first property, we had a buyer from day one.
So we concentrated on that one. Hence this has gone a lot longer.
But the time actually hands-on has been about six, seven weeks.
'Apart from decorating and other cosmetic work, the roof also needed attention.
'They'd set a budget of £12,000 with a £4,000 contingency.
'So did they manage to stick to that?'
We've gone over budget, mainly because we've come across things we didn't know were in here,
but considering the work we've done, I've no problem with that.
We've gone to £19,000, but that includes legal fees, selling fees,
for the future we've allowed so much. So £19,000 is the total.
'Well, time to get expert opinion from two local estate agents.
'What will they think of the house now it's completely refurbished
'and its structural issues have been sorted out?'
Nicely done, well presented, everything is brand new.
Decent garden, ready to move into,
not overlooked at the front or back, you've got the pond at the side.
They've done a really good job. All new finishings. Kitchen is very good,
bathroom is nice, white bathroom suite,
I think the garden's a big selling point,
what they've done with the decking, and the lawn, as well.
So it's a good standard of finish, good quality.
The sitting room is a decent size with a bay. Kitchen-diner is modern.
Upstairs, the main bedroom is a cracking size,
bedroom three is average, bedroom two is better than average.
Location-wise, it's good, as well. It's close to local amenities,
good access to the motorways and a nice duck pond over the road.
'So is this project a golden goose or a dead duck? They paid £59,000 at auction
'and the budget has expanded to £19,000,
'but they've sensibly factored in other legal expenses and selling costs.
'So is the property now worth more than £78,000?'
I'd put this house on the market for around £100,000.
Erm, I would sell this on for between £100,000 and £110,000.
'Well, that valuation range would generate a gross profit of between £22,000 and £32,000.
'And Dave and Paul have already allowed for all other expenses.'
Well, I'm certainly quite pleased with that. I think, in this market, that's quite a reasonable result.
Yeah, I think that's fine. That's perhaps slightly more than we were expecting. Quite a result.
'If they can find a buyer for this house,
'it will mean that both the properties they bought at auction will have been a success.
'So, have there been any issues working with an old mate?'
It's been good. We've known each other a long time so we know each other's foibles.
Erm, we've obviously had disagreements, but we've compromised and it's worked out well. Pleased.
Yeah, I think it's done well. Like I say, two houses on the trot and I think we'd do it again. No problem.
Well, that's it for now. Join us next time for more auction ups and downs.
For more bungalows, basements, and building sites.
-You've got it all on Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a garage plot in Derby, a property in Kent and a semi in Leigh, Lancashire. All of these properties have been sold at auction and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.