Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, a small cottage in Hythe, Kent and a plot of land in Chippenham, Wiltshire.
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Hello. Now, if you've been tempted to go to the auction
but haven't quite taken the plunge yet, maybe now is the time.
There is always such variety on offer!
Absolutely. Thousands of lots are offered for sale every year,
so why not go down to your local auction house and check out the action?
People often ask us, Martin, don't they,
how to behave in an auction room.
Well, there are no hard-and-fast rules but here are a few tips.
Always sit where you can be seen by the auctioneer.
And set yourself a price limit, and stick to it.
That's right. If you're going to bid, be clear,
be visible and do not exceed your limit.
Well, here's what people bid for on today's show.
It seems the time has come
to revamp this house in Bishop Auckland.
It's a little bit dated, but that's it.
You've got yourself a great property here.
In Hythe, Kent, I discover a small cottage
where there's more room than I expected.
Fantastic! Look at that space!
While in Wiltshire, there's a lot
that brings out the naturalist in me.
Here in the undergrowth of the garden,
you never know what you might find.
All these properties went to auction,
and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them
-when they went under the hammer.
-And are you all done?
I've come to Bishop Auckland in the North East,
a coal-mining town with its own castle.
The castle has been home to the Bishop of Durham,
rather than a king, for 800 years - hence the town's name.
# Like a king without a castle
# Like a man without a home... #
Sadly, coal-mining has all gone but the town has a charming centre and it's full of character.
Well, just ten minutes from the town centre,
and you leave the medieval architecture behind.
And in its place, 1950s suburbia.
But it's really well-kept - big open streets. So, we like that.
And you'll be even more impressed
when you see the property that was up for auction.
It had a guide price of 45,000 quid. This is it.
End of terrace. Let's take a look inside.
It may be over 50 years old, but the brickwork looks excellent.
Local authority houses like this were nearly always well-built,
and it's also got a decent-sized front garden.
So, a promising start. I wonder what it's like inside.
So, fairly standard layout there.
In through the front door, little entrance hall.
Then through into your living room/dining room area.
I mean, straightaway, you're seeing it's a little bit dated. But nothing too untoward.
No smell of damp, no major structural issues as far as I can see.
I mean, you might want to create some extra space by getting rid of this fire surround.
That would modernise the look.
But, in terms of layout, I really like it. It's very simple.
In through there, living room /dining room area here.
You've your kitchen off there. Now, again, you could live with it, I suppose.
But spend a few thousand on that and you'd really transform it. Then through here,
some nice patio doors out into the garden. Can't go wrong!
# I can't, I can't go wrong... #
Famous last words, of course!
But this property seems to have been very well maintained.
It could certainly do with some cosmetic enhancement.
But overall, I'm impressed. And the garden?
Well, that's a very good size, complete with a half-made pond.
But it's from here that you can clearly see the signs of the real work that needs to be done.
New guttering and fascia boards, for sure.
And only some of the windows have been double-glazed.
So, upstairs and a nice surprise. Good-sized landing.
The fact that you're on an end terrace is good news, as well,
because you get that extra window. So lots of light in here.
A bit of storage. The old hot-water cylinder, there.
Put a combination boiler in and you could create even more space.
Something else - at the current time, you've got a bathroom and the loo separate.
Do you knock that wall out? Well, it makes the bathroom bigger
but I quite like the functionality, especially in a family home, of having a separate loo.
And then you've got your two bedrooms. One at the back there,
and then a decent-sized one at the front.
So, I mean, all in all, it's a little bit dated, but that's it.
You've got yourself a great property here.
At the guide price of 45,000, this looks to be quite a good buy.
Realistically, you'd need to budget about £10,000 to do it up.
But once you've replaced the windows, sorted out the exterior and modernised throughout,
that's about all it would take,
provided you don't find any hidden nasties.
But perhaps there's a way of making more of it.
Well, one of the benefits of the property's location
on the end of the terrace here
means that you HAVE got the option to do a fairly simple extension.
On the side here, two storeys. Maybe extend the kitchen, or whatever, over this way,
and then a bedroom above. Certainly increase your living space.
But would it be worth it financially? Not so sure.
It would cost around £20,000 to do that,
and only add about that to the value.
So, yes, if you're going to live here, want the space, do it. If it's an investment, don't bother.
It's always a good idea to have a clear plan of what you want from a property.
Around here, there are plenty of other three-bedroom houses to choose from.
So, unless you're particularly attached to this plot,
I think, if you wanted more space, you'd just go and look elsewhere.
Time to find out what a local estate agent thinks of the house
that went to auction guided at £45,000,
and hear a bit more about the estate that it's all built on.
The estate was constructed in the 1950s and '60s,
originally to house villagers from the old mining villages.
As the mines closed and there wasn't work for them,
they were brought into Bishop Auckland town to live.
I understand some families didn't really want to come,
which can't have been a good start for the estate
but now it's very popular and very good value for money.
They're well built houses, and good-sized
and they ARE quite sought after.
How much could it be worth once it's been refurbished
but left as a two-bedroom house?
The property, in the current market, in its current condition, is probably worth around £50,000.
Fully refurbished to a good standard,
that would probably increase to about £70,000.
For a buy-to-let investor, how much rental income could it generate
as it stands at the moment, as a two-bedroom property?
There's quite a good demand for rental properties in this area at the moment
and we'd probably look at achieving £420 per calendar month.
What you've got here is a really good-sized house
which benefits from this brilliant family-sized garden.
And I think a keen DIY-er could easily sort out the inside.
So, if it was bought for anything like the guide price,
a great one to go for. Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.
We move to lot number 38.
It's a two-bed family home.
I'll start at 40 if it helps. 40,000 bid on the right.
I've got the one bid of 40,000.
The one bid, of 40,000. 41,000 at the back.
It's against you. It's at 41.
42 bid on the phone. And I'm going to sell.
You're both out. I'm at 42 on the phone.
I'll take 500 from either.
I'm going to sell it at 42.
I'm selling it once at 42. You're both out.
I'm selling for the second time. At 42,000, seems cheap.
Is there anything else?
Selling for the third and final time at £42,000.
Sold on the telephone for 42.
Well, that was short and sweet.
The successful bid of £42,000 was made on the phone
by husband-and-wife team Alison and Sean.
They live in Manchester, although Alison, who's a PR manager,
is originally from the North East.
Sean's a mechanic in the industrial sector,
and this is their first purchase at auction.
I met up with them to hear about their plans.
-Alison, Sean - lovely to meet you both. Congratulations!
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Well, we saw it a while ago.
And it's in my home town, which is nice. So we know the area.
And we came to look at it about six months ago,
-but it was really expensive and out of our league.
-What was it?
It was about 67,950, I think. Which was out of our budget.
We sat on it for a while and looked at other things and then spotted it up for auction at a lot lower,
-and decided we'd take a punt on it. And it paid off, so...
-And at the auction and you got it for less than the guide price!
The plan was just to be cheeky and we weren't actually going to get it.
-When it went through, we were like, "Did we actually buy a house?" weren't we?
-I know, gawping.
-Why did you want to buy it? What's the plan here?
-We've got a couple of other houses to rent out.
-So that's what we're going to do with this.
-We don't want to wait until we're 70 to retire!
-That's the big one.
-We're a bit nervous about a pension pot, or lack of.
So we thought we'd think ahead and be sensible.
So it's a rental investment. Are you going to do it up and keep it?
Exactly, yeah. For as long as we can, yeah.
Brilliant. It sounds like you're from slightly further afield than Manchester.
-Yeah, from Canada, yeah.
-So what brought you to England?
Well, yeah. That's quite the story, isn't it?
Well, my friend Jenny was seeing a Canadian at the time.
And then Sean came over to Salford, where we lived then,
to hang out with his friend Ben, who was seeing my friend Jenny.
And Jenny rang me one day, and said, "I've got these two Canadians. I'm going out with one,
"but I don't know how to amuse the other one." We all went to the Comedy Store and I wasn't keen.
I was like - "Oh, God, who are you setting me up with?" But then I met Sean and we clicked.
-But then he had to go back to Canada 24 hours later.
-Yeah, so that was quite traumatic.
So you met your guy, fall in love. Not love but, you know...
-In 24 hours. And then he has to leave.
But I was doing university radio at the time,
and Sean rang in and requested a song on my show.
And I thought, "Oh, how romantic. Englishmen don't do that!"
-So from then on it was a winner, wasn't it?
And Sean requested this very song.
# And I said
# What about
# Breakfast at Tiffany's?
# She said I think I
# Remember the film... #
I'm not sure why, but it certainly did the trick,
as Alison had soon hot-footed it over to Canada to be with him.
A year later, the couple moved back to the UK, and now they're married.
Anyway, back to the reason we're here.
What are the couple going to do with their new investment
that they've spent £42,000 on?
What we're going to do is the least amount possible, to rent it.
I mean, obviously, there's quite a bit that needs to be done.
The bathroom, for one, needs to be renovated.
The kitchen we're going to leave. We're just going to clean it up and maybe re-tile.
Just the minimal we can do.
We need to get rid of some of the awful features, like this...wall.
-The garden needs a lot of work.
-There's lots of stuff out there.
So, how much experience in DIY and building work have you got?
We've done... Well, this is...
-We've done a few houses, now, haven't we?
-This is the third.
-So, we know...
we've been through it before, kind of the same.
So it shouldn't be too hard.
Sean's really handy with plastering and grouting,
and all his gardening-type stuff.
-And I just sweep and wallpaper.
-She's admin! She's admin.
So what kind of budget have you got for sorting it out?
We're hoping it won't be any more than five. 5,000.
It could go over that, but I don't think it will.
So, what kind of timescale for getting it sorted?
We're hoping three to four months.
From experience, that's how long we think it'll take us.
Hopefully we'll be faster cos we've done it before. In four months, fingers crossed, we'll have tenants.
-Congratulations. I wish you all the best.
-I look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, there you go.
Romance isn't dead. And neither are good property investments, it seems.
Sean and Alison have already made some big decisions in their life,
and now, here they are securing their financial future.
I'm really excited for them and can't wait to see
how they get on sorting this place out. You can find out later in the show.
Hythe in Kent is a pretty little coastal town
with shops, restaurants and pubs aplenty.
It's an attractive, quaint part of the country
where people enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.
I'm here to see a charming cottage
that's in need of improvement and refurbishment.
The guide for this two bedroom property was set at 80 to £90,000.
And it's just off the high street! Up this fantastic little lane.
So, it's a prime spot for the town centre.
But it's not such a great position
to get anything to or from the property.
Also, parking might be an issue. But, on the up side, it looks pretty good from the outside,
with its traditional tile cladding and sash window.
Now, I'm not going to walk in here and expect it to be amazing.
Because, after all, it's an auction property.
And it does need a bit of work! But that window is beautiful.
And I'm really feeling in a holiday mood, funnily enough.
I'm thinking somebody might want to buy this as a holiday home.
It's certainly got the space. It is incredibly dated.
Straight away, I'd like to take this wall out.
You could really, really open it up. A big RSJ there.
These stairs really eat into this room.
Potentially, you could think about a different type of staircase,
maybe pushing it all back and along.
You've got windows there, leading out to a little courtyard garden.
Not so sure about the stone cladding!
On first glance, I thought, "Oh, that's nice slate."
But when you look closer up, it's incredibly naff.
And I think you could quite easily just rip the whole thing off.
You've got a tiny little kitchen there. But again, it serves a purpose.
And the doors there lead straight outside to the courtyard. I'm going to explore.
Once that unnecessary partition is out of the way,
this room will benefit enormously.
And it'll also look better without the false beams and the, er,
And yes, the kitchen may be a tad small
but clever storage would make this a very usable space.
Outside may be a bit on the snug side, too,
but how lovely to have some outside space!
What about the rest of the cottage?
Upstairs, we've got two bedrooms and a bathroom. So a great space here. Look at this!
For a holiday home, this is absolutely ideal.
You've got a nice big window.
Although it's not as attractive as the beautiful Georgian sash one over there!
But I don't think it'd be worth spending money and changing this.
And round here... now, what is this?
Fantastic! Look at that space!
Now, my guess is they may have been keeping washing machines and stuff in here.
You've got a brand new boiler, which is a big thumbs up. All the plumbing is in here.
So straight away, I'm thinking, "Let's get an en suite upstairs."
You could fit a bath in there and a shower.
Imagine a beautiful bedroom with an en suite bathroom.
This place is really ticking all my boxes!
I seem to have become this cottage's number one fan.
I think it's because it's so versatile.
With a new bathroom suite and a spruce-up in the bedrooms,
this place could be a gem.
What does the local estate agent make of the potential
of this tucked-away town cottage?
Internally, I would say it pretty much needs a full refurbishment,
as in kitchens, bathrooms, etc.
In respect of the two rooms downstairs as well,
I think by opening those rooms into one, that would also improve it.
But you would need to look at the structural issues in respect to doing that.
So, there are some changes you could make
but one thing you can't change is access to the cottage and the parking.
There's no immediate parking that actually goes with the property.
But there is parking in various places quite close to the property
and I don't think that anybody buying a central property
would find that of a great concern.
Now, let's talk figures. How could it do on the rental market?
I think you'd be looking somewhere in the order of £675 per calendar month.
And potential re-sale values?
I think when refurbed we would be looking at an asking price of around £175,000.
Hoping to achieves between a band of £170,000 to £175.000.
That's a massive jump up from what was an £80-90,000 guide price.
So, to me, this cottage just gets more and more attractive.
Well, you can tell I'm totally sold on this place.
People like me will be really attracted to its central location.
I think others might be put off by the lack of parking and vehicular access.
Somebody wanted this cute little cottage.
Let's find out who that was, as we go to auction.
Lot 32. Lovely little cottage, needs everything doing to it.
For improvement and refurbishment. Guided at £80,000 to £90,000.
Lots of interest here, start me at 80,000 to start. 80, I have. 85.
85 is bid and 90 and 95. 95. I'm bid 100. 100, I have. At 105. 105.
105, I have, gentleman's bid by the door,
but I think the lady's got control.
At £105,000, I'm bid. All out in front at £105,000. 108, do I see?
£105,000 then. Being sold for the first time at £105,000.
Being sold for the second time, gentleman's bid on my right-hand side at £105,000.
Being sold for the third and final time at £105,000, are you all done?
Sold at 105. That's B531. Thank you very much.
So, for £105,000, the successful bidders for the Hive cottage
were Trevor and Jan.
Trevor's a painter and decorator, while wife Jan has worked as a PA.
I wondered why they felt this place was the right buy for them.
So, Jan, when you first walked into this property, explain to me how you felt?
Well, what happened, we came to have a look around before the person came with the keys.
We were looking through the window and I said, "Oh, I love it, I love it!"
Obviously, we came in and you just think, "oh".
It's got this fantastic feel to it. It's ideal for what we want, which is, sort of, a holiday home.
So the reason for buying this is not for investment.
-It's for you guys to enjoy it?
So, Trevor, tell me, why this area?
Well, we've lived about an hour away for 23 years
and we just love it down here.
There's so much to do. Lots of nice restaurants, pubs.
It's a, sort of, old fashioned sort of place as well.
-It's got a nice feel about it.
-Everybody seems to say good morning.
Hythe itself might be friendly,
but how are they going to improve the user-friendliness of their cottage?
This will be just one big area.
We'll open it up to the garden and we'll have decking out there,
so we can sit outside.
Upstairs, what changes are you going to make up there?
-Talk to me about the bathrooms and the en suites.
-The back bedroom has, obviously,
been used as a washing machine facility.
So, what we're going to do in there,
we're going to re-configurate everything so we've got a toilet in there
-and put a door on it.
-That will be an en suite to that back bedroom, effectively.
Then, doing much the same thing in the front bedroom.
Doing the toilet, but just having a shower in there and re-configurate that.
So anybody who stays in the other bedroom has got their own facilities.
-So, guys, what's your budget?
-If I was doing it up, I'd probably spend £6,000/£7,000 doing it up.
Just basic. And probably selling it on.
For our own use, I've budgeted £20,000.
-Oh, so you're going the extra mile?
-Yeah. Well, we can afford it and we want to do it.
So, Jan, tell me your vision. What do you think it's going to look like, the end result?
I think it will be quite contemporary,
but with a, sort of, nice period cottage feel to it as well.
Upstairs I want it to be quite romantic with nice, sort of, Victorian brass beds.
A bit of rosebud sheets.
Really, as it's a holiday home, we don't want it to be too much work.
-Because we do enough of that in our own home.
For me, I want to come here, it's, sort of, work-free.
We can go to some nice restaurants, won't have to do much cooking.
Make it as user-friendly as possible.
-# I need a holiday
-I need a holiday
# I need a holiday with my friends.
-# I'm working every day
-I need a holiday
# I'm working every day For the weekend... #
This cottage might eventually be their holiday home
but it's going to be far from a holiday
to turn it into that contemporary, but cosy cottage that Jan hopes for.
And there is a lot of work to do, but once you strip it back
and reinstate everything, you know, it all comes together, doesn't it?
-And, are you quite confident that you can do that?
-I am pretty confident, yeah. Yeah.
-I've been in the building trade all my life.
-So what do you do?
-I am a painter and decorator.
-Ah. So this has got your name all over it then?
-Get the paintbrushes out, write Trevor all over the walls.
-Not necessarily putting Trevor on it.
No, that wouldn't look good, would it? So, Jan, what do you do?
I was a secretary for many years, PA and that sort of work. I also sing.
Last year I was successful in joining a group called The Harmonies, The Voices Of The WI.
-What's she like then, Trevor? Is she a good singer?
-Well, I think so.
I'm her biggest fan. I must admit, I think she's excellent.
-Does she sing while she's doing the housework?
-Jan sings all the time.
-Where ever she is. Yes. She sings all the time.
-Go on, Jan, give us a line.
# Somewhere over the rainbow
# Way up high
# There's a land that I heard of
# Once in a lullaby... #
Do you know what, that's the first time on Homes Under The Hammer somebody's ever sung to me.
-That's my favourite song.
-Is it? Oh, blimey!
-That's a lovely song. Listen, good luck with everything.
I want lots of singing and working on this beautiful holiday home.
-Thank you, Lucy.
-I cannot wait to see what it looks like.
-Really lovely to meet you both today.
-Congratulations, good luck.
# Somewhere over the rainbow... #
So, with Jan singing her way through the refurbishment,
while Trevor tries to hit the right notes with the changes,
let's hope their dreams for this cottage really do come true.
# The dreams that you dare to dream
# Really do come true... #
One thing's for sure,
Trevor and Jan are head-over-heels with this place.
They can't wait to get started. How will they get on refurbishing it?
The lack of parking and vehicular access may cause a real problem for the duo.
But what I am sure of is that this is not a money making exercise for the couple,
but a sure-fire way of just enhancing their lifestyle.
You can find out how they get on later in the programme.
Coming up, a plot in Wiltshire with planning permission to build a three-bedroom house.
Giving the guide price was £45,000, it sounds very interesting.
Back in Kent, Trevor's been learning the ropes of renovation.
I looked up some old seaman's knots
and I can tie anything on that roof rack now.
But first, in Bishop Auckland,
there's a shock in store for Alison and Sean.
-Oh, my God! For real?
We return now to Bishop Auckland where Alison and her husband Sean
paid £42,000 for this end of terrace in Alison's home town.
She's a PR manager and Sean's a mechanic
and they now live in Manchester.
They're both in their early 30s and have already started to build
a small portfolio of properties for their retirement.
They've financed the purchase from a mortgage and some financial help from Alison's dad.
Although the house was tired and dated,
Sean was confident they could turn it round.
Obviously, there's quite a bit that needs to be done. The bathroom, for one, needs to be renovated.
-The kitchen, we're going to leave.
-We need to get rid of some of the awful features, like this wall.
-And the garden needs a lot of work.
-Yeah, the garden, there's lots of stuff out there.
It's now just four months later.
Alison and Sean have worked fast and the house is finished.
The garden's been tidied up and the picket fence's been painted.
Plus the upstairs windows have been replaced.
Inside, one of those trusty old magnolia makeovers has worked again.
The brickwork and cladding have gone from the chimney breast
and the large living room is now tastefully decorated.
Sean and Alison have already found a tenant, so the house is a home.
Although the kitchen only needed a good clean,
the place has been redecorated throughout.
What else did they concentrate their efforts on?
The big thing for us was that we didn't want to go over the top
and spend a whole bunch of money on stuff that didn't need to be done.
The main thing was to make sure the central heating was working.
To do that job properly.
Apart from getting a new boiler,
extra radiators were also required downstairs.
Upstairs, the two bedrooms accommodate the new tenant's belongings
and the former bathroom and loo have been amalgamated, as Alison explains.
Well, this was originally two separate rooms.
We knocked it through to create a bit more space while we updated everything.
We kept the bath because it was cast iron, in quite nice condition.
We just got a new toilet and sink. We re-plastered everything.
Did the new tiling. Installed a new shower. So, brought it up-to-date.
This two-month makeover didn't end INSIDE.
In the back garden,
we probably went through the biggest transformation and the hardest work.
There were two ponds with rocks and bramble growing all over it.
So we took it all out.
We tilled the whole back garden, all the grass and re-seeded it.
We made a nice fence in the back to cover up that old shed and repainted everything -
just to make it look a lot nicer - and threw some stone down.
Alison and Sean live a couple of hours away in Manchester
and both work full-time. They've worked every weekend on the house
and even took a week's holiday at the end to get it finished.
We spent a whole night, it was like a Saturday night, tiling the bathroom, which is fun.
-I cut the tiles, she stuck them on.
-Like a production line.
-It was good.
It's nice to have little ways to do stuff. It was fun.
I go painter's elbow. Just magnolia on every wall.
We kept thinking that it'll pay off one day, so it'll be worth it.
Well, it has. They've already got a tenant.
There's high demand for rented accommodation locally, so they've bought in a sensible area.
But have they stuck to their budget?
Our original budget was three to five.
But we went to five and then we went to seven.
Time to see what two local estate agents think of this makeover.
Returning to the property, it's been re-decorated throughout
and new carpets, looks very light, bright and clean.
The property's been decorated to a modern standard.
It's a nice family home
and I think the garden is a good size.
But Alison and Sean always intended to rent it out,
and have sensibly concentrated on replacing the boiler,
ensuring the house is safe to rent and adequately decorated.
So, what rental income could they achieve?
In the current market, the property would probably achieve
something in the region of £430 per calendar month.
In the current market,
I see this property achieving £400 per calendar month for rental.
We're renting it out for about 380 at the moment,
so we thought that was more or less right.
So, yeah. It's good to know that we're not too far off the mark.
Has their investment increased in value?
They paid £42,000 at auction, and their budget was 7,000.
So they've got £49,000 invested here.
A property like this, in the current market,
I'd recommend an asking price in the region of £85,000.
In the current market,
I would see this property achieving in the region of £85,000.
-Oh, my God! For real?
We never - we thought it would have a five on the front at best.
Yeah, we were thinking around 50, to be honest with you. But I'd say...
I'd say we should put it up for sale, to be honest with you!
I can see why! After just four months,
they've made a potential gross profit of £36,000 here.
But they have a regular income
and could possibly re-mortgage at a higher value,
allowing them to release some capital for their next project.
I think we'll rent it out, for the time being.
We've got a young mum living here, who's very happy.
So I think we'll stay as is for the moment.
-And then further down the line, who knows, we might live in it ourselves, one day.
-Or extend. Or sell it on, if the market picks up.
-We're already getting 80 grand for it!
I'm in Bradenstoke, a small village in Wiltshire,
close to the towns of Chippenham and Wootton Bassett.
Bradenstoke's history dates back to medieval times
and it grew up around the local priory.
So, am I here to see some half-timbered, beautiful property?
It's a plot of land, formerly part of the garden of this property here.
And here it is. It's nice and level, which is good news.
Even better, it's got planning permission granted
for the construction of a three-bedroom detached property.
Which, given the guide price, which is just £45,000,
is sounding very interesting.
Now, for pricey Wiltshire, that's a low guide price.
I reckon that's because the neighbours might be a bit noisy,
as RAF Lyneham used to own the plot behind this house.
Although the low cloud base means you can't see those huge Hercules carriers taking off,
you can certainly hear them.
So, whatever develops here, they'd better install triple glazing.
These are the plans that were passed. And the first thing I notice
is the positioning of the property on the plot. Much nearer the road than this house, which is good news.
You want to keep as much separation between this house and the new house as possible.
A detached house, three bedrooms, with a separate detached garage. We like that.
And it looks like it's in keeping with the local area.
Upstairs, basically three bedrooms - one big one and two smaller ones.
Downstairs, a lounge and dining room, a kitchen, and stairs in the middle.
All in all, pretty good. Though you could think about
putting something else on the plot in place of this.
However, do that at your peril. I've done a bit of digging around
and I've discovered that it took seven years to get these plans passed.
If you chose to stick to the plans,
then the house also has to be constructed in Cotswold stone,
with a slate roof and cast iron guttering.
However, before you start to build,
there may well be a slippery problem to deal with.
-HE IMPERSONATES DAVID ATTENBOROUGH:
-Here in the undergrowth of the garden,
you never know what you might find.
And in this part of Wiltshire, it might even be a great crested newt.
Now, the great crested newt is actually an endangered species.
And as part of the planning consent for the construction of the house here,
and, in fact, all round this area,
you have to have a great crested newt survey done before you can build.
That's going to cost you about £300.
If you find newts, you have to re-house them.
In this case though, the good news is it's an newt-free zone.
Well, good news for the developers, anyway.
'Well, I suppose no newts is good newts, in this case!'
But it's not just newts and noise that you have to deal with here.
There's also financial issues.
The plot also has a Section 106 contribution attached to it.
Section 106 is sometimes known as a tax on developers.
Basically, they have to pay a certain amount of money when they buy a plot,
which goes to building low-cost housing or maybe helping with the local infrastructure -
parkland, or whatever it might be. Whatever happens, it has to be paid.
And in this case, it's around £32,000.
You have to keep in mind that that £32,000
must be paid on top of the purchase price at auction
which, perhaps, accounts for that low £45,000 guide price.
The actual amount of Section 106 contribution varies from build to build.
Basically, the more people likely to live in a property, the more you have to pay.
We asked a local property expert, from the auction house that sold it,
to give us his opinion on this Bradenstoke building plot.
The plans dictate for a three-bedroomed detached house
with a garage.
It's as good as you're going to get on the plot. It's not the biggest in the world.
Bigger house means very little garden and that's overdevelopment.
But what about the problem with those noisy neighbours?
The plot is situated virtually under the flight path from RAF Lyneham
which currently is, obviously, a problem. It can get quite noisy.
However, the airfield is supposed to be closing down in,
I don't know, three or four years' time.
So once the house is up and lived in,
shortly, it shouldn't be such a problem.
That's good news but will that Section 106 charge
of nearly £32,000 put off buyers?
The Section 106 on the building plot is very normal.
In North Wiltshire all village plots have a Section 106 put on them.
Any developer/builder takes that into account in the amount of money they're going to spend on the plot.
Once built, what are the options?
What sort of value could the new build fetch?
Once the property's completed and built to the existing plans,
I would expect to achieve a re-sale figure in the region of £275,000.
Is there a healthy rental income market here?
The property, once completed, I think would rent very well
and I would expect to achieve in the region of £900 per calendar month.
So, a few noise concerns from adjoining RAF Lyneham
but, apart from that, it's a good building plot,
in a popular village and it does have the huge advantage
of that planning consent already being in place.
Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.
We come to lot number five,
which is the building plot at Bradenstoke.
Start me at £50,000 someone. 45, the guide then.
45, OK we'll start there. 45. We'll go on one, shall we?
At £45,000 I'm bid for lot number five. At 45. At £45,000. 46. 47.
£47,000, eight no say. At 48. OK at 48, now nine no say. 49 anyone?
49, fill it at 50. At £49,000. 50, somebody, please. 50, anyone?
50, I've got over there. OK £50,000 I'm bid. It's over there at £50,000.
I'll take one from anyone. Yeah, 51. I've got it OK to the hand. 51, 52.
It's against you now, sir. 53, to the front. 53.
And, at the back, 54, if you like. 54, I've got at the back.
Now to you, sir, if you like, 55. 55. 56, the hand. OK.
57 to you, sir. 57. 58, come again sat down. At £57,000.
OK, it's back to you with the glasses, at £57,000.
I'll take from eight from anybody or £500, if you like. £500.
I've got you, sir. 57,500 sat down. OK, 58 on the wall. 58. 58,500, sir?
No. At £58,000. Then, OK, we mean it this time.
At £58,000 then for the first time.
£58,000, your bid then for the second time.
£58,000. It's going to be sold, no mistake.
£58,000, third and last time. And your number, sir, is?
That final successful bid of £58,000
was made by Wiltshire-based business partners Chris, on the left here, and Adrian.
The pair have been property-developing together since 2004,
but this is their first purchase at auction.
And what could be better than to meet up at their local village pub
to find out about their plans for the plot?
Chris, Adrian, lovely to meet you both, and much more sensible
-to meet in the local pub rather than at the freezing cold plot.
Tell me why you wanted to buy the bit of land.
Well, we've been working together since 2004.
We formed the company together. I rent houses.
Adrian's an extremely good builder.
We started by building a house and selling it.
We've continued to build two houses that we rented.
So we've got a small portfolio. We have been looking for some time
to try and find the right type of property to carry on the business.
And, finally, after looking for a couple of years, we found this one.
-What was it about this particular plot that you liked so much?
-The location really.
That was the main thing and it suited our budget,
because we couldn't buy too large otherwise we couldn't afford to build.
It sounds as though, after a long search,
Chris and Adrian have finally got the perfect fit for their next project.
But it seems that the current plans may need a re-think.
We've had a meeting with the planners.
They have said that one of the criticisms
was that it looked very much like a townhouse in the middle of a village.
We feel that it should look very much like the property next door.
Apart from that, the planners have said, if we wish to make any changes at all,
we have to re-apply for permission.
If we're going to re-apply, we've decided to completely re-design it.
-It took seven years to get the planning through.
-This is what we've heard.
And you're going to start again?! You can't risk it taking seven years, can you?
We've still got something,
if we have to, we can still build the original one because we've got the permission.
In an ideal world, Chris and Adrian would like to get planning permission in eight weeks
to change the original planned three-bed detached to a slightly bigger four bed,
with the new build, hopefully, completed in six months.
The team hope that the extra bedroom will make the whole project a financial success.
Talk me through the numbers, Chris. Cost to build and potential sale?
Well, there was the purchase of the land, which was 58
so with solicitor's fees say 60.
Cost to build, what would you say a conservative estimate?
We've got a budget of £100,000 to build.
And, hopefully, we will get a property worth £250,000 on there.
But there is the case of we have to pay 106 contributions of £32,000.
So that's a big chunk out.
So it's going to be critical that we keep to the £100,000 in order to make a profit.
All those outgoings could total a possible £192,000.
So, Chris and Adrian will be watching the build costs closely.
As for the future of that development,
they feel that market forces mean this one won't be added to their portfolio.
I think, in this instance, we'll probably just build to sell this one
because, in the past what we've done, is we've built flats
and we've rented them out, but that market has really, sort of, bottomed out.
We've decided to build and sell for the time being.
We look forward to seeing how it progresses in the next few months.
Well, Chris and Adrian have, certainly, got the experience needed
to make this project a success, but I'm a bit concerned about the fact
they've decided to go back to the drawing board on the planning.
I think that might take them slightly longer to get past than they anticipate,
but you can find out how they get on later in the show.
Well, doing up property always takes longer than you think.
You need to factor delays into your calculations.
Have our buyers hit their budgets and their deadlines?
Let's return and find out.
In the popular Kent seaside town of Hythe, tucked along an alleyway,
just off the town centre,
I discovered what I thought could be a potential gem.
Yes, this two-bed cottage was tired and run down,
but it had so much scope for improvement.
I wasn't alone in thinking this, as Maidstone-based couple, Trevor and Jan,
snapped it up at auction for £105,000.
We were looking through the window and I said, "Oh, I love it!"
And, obviously, then we came in. You just think, "oh" it's just got this fantastic feel to it.
It's just ideal for what we want, which is a holiday home.
Trevor's a painter and decorator with over 30 years in the building trade.
He hoped that with his experience and around £20,000,
that he could make this the holiday home that he and Jan had dreamed of.
Well, just three-and-a-half months later, we're back.
What an impressive start!
Freshly painted - which was only to be expected with Trevor in charge -
with a smart black door, this place looks so much more inviting already.
Basically, we've renovated everything.
The only things that have stayed is the two front windows
and, luckily, the boiler.
Are those arches and stone cladding a thing of the past?
Oh, yes, they certainly are.
What a fantastic transformation.
From sad and neglected to warm, bright and vibrant.
I love it! And the kitchen?
Well, you'd hardly recognise that it was the same space.
Well, it was very dark. It wasn't really fitted.
There were some pine units which were all falling apart
and a dark green oven that was taped up because you couldn't use it.
There was a window here but we decided to take the door out
and put in the big window which has really brightened it up.
I'm quite amazed how we fitted everything into such a small space
and now it looks quite big, actually.
They were able to get rid of the kitchen door by changing the way out through the courtyard.
Basically, what we did was,
one of my pet hates was the plastic windows, and I hated them.
We put new windows in, we ripped down this bottom one
and put bi-folding doors and done away with the back door
and put a nice window in there.
I'm really pleased how it's turned out.
It's given it a cottagey feel and it's more in keeping with the area.
With the new, decked courtyard, the fantastic new cladding
and more traditional windows,
Trevor and Jan have done wonders with this cottage.
But what about upstairs?
Remember those dreary rooms and wasted space?
Well, they're certainly not that any more.
The master bedroom has its own en suite...
..while the smaller bedroom has exclusive use of the old bathroom area,
which is now a modern shower room.
I'm so impressed by what a great job the two of them have made of this cottage.
Basically, I've done all the manual work.
I've been coping with things being delivered at the house
and, obviously, looking for things for this house,
sourcing tiles, choose the furniture, so I've been doing a lot of things like that
and, obviously, feeding him when he gets home.
Trevor retired three months ago so he could concentrate on this
and worked with builders he knew from Maidstone.
Not only did he have a two-hour round trip every day,
but once he got here, he had the tricky task of getting materials in and out of the cottage.
Basically, how I got over it is,
fortunately I've got a roof rack on the van
and that got a real hammering and I've learnt to...
I've looked up some old seaman's knots
and I can tie anything on that roof-rack now.
I've brought everything, virtually, here.
Getting rid of rubbish has been sometimes an issue.
Trev will come home with it and then I will put it in my car and take it to the tip.
-We've had lots of... Well, you've had...
-We've had three skips here.
It was thanks to the local residents and neighbouring shops
that helped him accommodate the skips and found some parking for him.
Otherwise, this job could have been a nightmare.
But now, all the to-ing and fro-ing is finished, how much has it all cost?
Basically, outlay including buying it is 130,000.
A total outlay of 130,000, including buying the cottage,
seems fantastic value.
What do two local estate agents make
of what Trevor and Jan have achieved here?
Absolutely fantastic property in a great central location.
Really smart, beautifully done.
The owners have done absolute wonders - really, really good.
The property is superb.
For a town-centre cottage, it oozes character.
The only negatives really are the parking.
It is difficult, it is a bit cosy with parking in the town centre
as it's so busy, but it's not a deal breaker.
Although they are unlikely to let it out, as they really bought this for their own use,
could it command a decent rental return?
We would be looking towards a rental price for a long-term rental
of around about £695 per calendar month.
Per calendar month, I would suggest £650.
That's good. Very good, yeah.
The agents estimate about £500 a week could be achieved on a holiday let.
More importantly, how has their 130-grand-investment fared?
If the property came on the market at the moment,
I would suggest an asking price of £220,000.
I think in today's market, you'd be looking to market the property
at a price of approximately £225,000.
-Oh, my God!
-Didn't expect that.
-No, I'm completely blown away by that.
-I did a bit of research and I thought 175.
I thought 185 at most. I said that to Trevor earlier.
-Blown away with that.
-My God, that's amazing.
That's pretty impressive!
They could potentially see a pre-tax profit of 90 to £95,000. Joy!
They've obviously got an aptitude for this sort of thing,
but would they be tempted to do another?
-Not for a while.
-Yeah, have a rest.
-We've got to reconfigure things first.
-Go on a nice holiday.
-# I need a holiday
-I need a holiday
# I need a holiday With my friends... #
Well, if Trevor wants a holiday, he doesn't need to look too far for one.
It's now right on his doorstep.
In the Wiltshire village of Bradenstoke,
one of those rare commodities came up for auction -
a piece of land with outline planning permission for a three-bed detached house.
But this plot did have a few potential downsides.
It had what's known as a 106 on it.
That means that on completion of the new build,
£32,000 has to be paid to the local council
towards building community housing.
Also, this plot was right next door to RAF Lyneham.
But none of this put off Swindon-based property team Chris and Adrian,
who purchased the land for £58,000 at auction.
Despite it taking seven years to get its current outline planning permission,
they thought some changes would do the development some good.
# A change
# A change will do you good
# Do you good... #
We've had a meeting with the planners
and they have said that one of the criticisms
was that it looked very much like a town house in the middle of a village.
We feel that it should look very much like the property next door.
Apart from that, the planners have said if we wish to make any changes at all,
we have got to reapply for permission.
If we're going to reapply, we've decided to completely redesign it.
Changing hard-thought-through plans was a risk
and could delay the process,
but armed with a round £100,000 budget, the pair pushed on.
And now, 17 months later, we're back.
Well, it's up and it looks pretty good.
Built in local stone but was it what they wanted?
We did a separate application to try
what we thought was to improve the overall design of the property,
which was rejected by the planning authorities.
We were left with no choice.
We decided to build what was already there.
# Oh and it's all right And it's coming on
# We gotta get right back To where we started from... #
So, they did have to go right back to where they'd started from.
This delayed the work so the inside's nearly finished but not quite.
The kitchen and utility area are all plastered
and underfloor heating and utilities are in place.
A good-sized lounge is being prepared to help the green credentials of the house.
So this is the lounge.
This is the flue for the wood-burning stove.
Two reasons why we're having a wood-burning stove put in.
One is it looks the part in a country cottage.
The other one is because it helps with our energy-efficiency ratings.
Upstairs, the three bedrooms
and bathroom are also nearly ready for second fix and then decorating.
But despite being tied to the original plans,
they did manage to do some tweaks to the house.
Well, the planning restrictions were frustrating
but, obviously, we had to deal with it.
It meant using the real stone, real slates
and the cast-iron guttering and downpipes.
One of the other planning restrictions
is that we couldn't have any windows showing at the back of the house
because of overlooking the other property.
The way that we dealt with that was to have the architect draw up plans
which meant we could use roof lights
which would throw light down on to the hall
and, similarly, in the main bedroom,
there is another roof light that throws plenty of light
into the main bedroom from the rear of the house.
What that means is that we have plenty of natural light
coming into the house.
Once decorated, I can see this place being light and airy.
They hope to finish it in another month.
So, how has their partnership coped
with the ups and downs of this new-build project?
Adrian and I work extremely well. We've got total trust in each other.
We complement each other.
He lets me carry on with the building
and we have other properties which we rent out
and he deals with the rental and other issues involved with that.
Clearly, it's a partnership that works very well
and they both appreciate each other's roles.
But in order to be successful, they still have to make money.
So in the end, how much did it cost
to build their three-bed detached house?
So far, we've spent about 80,000.
The original budget was just over 90,
so we think we're quite within our budget.
A £90,000 spend on top of the £58,000 purchase price
plus the addition of the £32,000 they have to pay on completion,
takes their total outlay to around £180,000.
So, does it all add up to be a good purchase?
What do two local estate agents think?
The impressions are very good. It's well built, it's nicely presented.
It needs finishing off obviously, but the quality of workmanship
seems to be very high, which is a good selling point.
I think the property's in keeping with the local village.
I think the nature of the brickwork they used,
and the reconstituted stone, helps the look of the property.
Gives it that cottage feel.
They're very keen to sell this house
but surely renting out could yield a decent return?
You would rent this house out for £650 a month.
Rental, I would anticipate achieving a rental income
of 850 to £900 per calendar month.
As soon as this house is occupied, we have to pay the council
for 106 contributions of about £32,000.
To hold onto it and rent it is not an option, really.
We do need to sell.
They're clearly determined to sell, come what may.
But with over £180,000 invested in their traditionally stone-built house,
in the current market, is selling really the best option?
The property would sell for £230,000.
I would happily put the property to the open-market at £235,000.
It sounds a little bit low, to be honest.
Almost in the realms of not worth doing.
Clearly, they're slightly disappointed,
but there still could be a potential pre-tax profit of 50 to £55,000.
So, how do they feel about this new-build project now?
With the current market, I think, everybody's taking a hit
so we're just going to have to take that hit as well.
We have got the next one ready to move straight onto
so were quite pleased about that.
Well, that's the stories of the buyers on today's show.
We'll have more for you next time and, as you know,
anything can and does happen on planet property.
Look forward to seeing you then for more Homes Under The Hammer.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, a small cottage in Hythe, Kent, and a plot of land in Chippenham, Wiltshire. 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.