Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Cornwall, a bungalow in Nottinghamshire and a mid-terrace house in Kent. They find out how much each went for at auction.
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-Hello, and welcome to the programme.
-We both enjoy dabbling in the property market
and we're always looking to snag a bargain.
But in today's competitive market that's not always easy.
One way you could possibly secure yourself a good deal is to go to the auctions.
Now, buying at auction is becoming increasingly popular.
That's because there's no messing about. Once that hammer falls,
you've exchanged contracts.
So, here are the three properties we're featuring on today's show.
I've spotted a rather odd storage solution in Cornwall.
What a very strange place for a kettle!
In Nottinghamshire, the decor's had enough of this bungalow.
..literally coming down.
And there's plenty of room for improvement at this mid-terraced house in Kent.
But I'm not put off.
All in all... It's kind of cute.
All these properties have been sold at auction
and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
I'm on Cornwall's south coast,
just outside the market town of St Austell.
It's an area often referred to as the Cornish Riviera.
St Austell is famous for its china clay pits,
which have played a key role in shaping its history.
But although the town may have a foot in the past,
it's looking to the future, due to the success of the nearby Eden Project,
new developments and a regeneration of the shopping area.
Well, on this busy, busy main road just outside the town centre
is the property I'm here to see.
And let's hope it's slightly more appealing inside
than its exterior would lead you to believe.
Seems quite reasonable in size, though - three bedrooms,
semi-detached at a guide price of 70,000 quid. Let's take a look.
The distinctive colour of this house could leave some potential buyers
feeling a little green around the gills.
But let's see if inside it will make me green with envy.
So, ex-council property, and I like those -
you generally have a lot of space for the money and they're pretty solid.
that's not too good a start.
I thought the rendering on the way in looked a bit dodgy,
and it looks to me like that might be penetrating or potentially rising damp.
But, in through the front door, turn left,
you come to this room, your main living room area.
You've got an open fire, which is nice. Reasonably high ceilings.
And already, I like the feel of this place.
The damp may be a problem, but there's something quite comforting and cosy about this room.
Even though I'm not the biggest fan of that serving hatch in the kitchen.
# There's a hole in my life... #
So... Ooh, squeaky door.
Into the kitchen and, erm...
..what a very strange place for a kettle!
Very odd. Anyway, in terms of a space, not too bad.
Range cooker there, really like that. With a service, I'm sure you could get that working
and it could create a really nice focal point for the room.
Lots of light coming in through the windows.
Clearly the units and everything could do with replacing,
maybe just replace the fronts, perhaps, if the actual carcasses are OK.
But, hang on a minute, that is a bit more serious.
That is the only bathroom in the property. It's not even a loo,
it's just where the bath, the shower and the little sink unit are.
Clearly, right off the kitchen isn't ideal.
Maybe there is space for it upstairs. I'm going to have a look.
Up here, there are three bedrooms and the toilet.
Straight away, it's clear that shifting the bathroom up here is not a viable option
unless you sacrifice the boxroom.
And I don't think that would work.
This feels like a decent-sized three-bed family home,
but maybe there's an alternative at the back.
So, at the rear of the property, this fairly obnoxious aluminium lean-to.
You definitely want to get rid of that.
And in its place, how about building some kind of extension?
You've got the space for it, because the garden is huge.
Stretches all the way here. Unfortunately, at the moment it's more like a concrete jungle.
So, landscaping definitely required.
You have got this little pond area here, which is quite nice.
And you certainly can't knock the views. But this is not too pleasant.
When it comes to that extension, is it worth it?
I'm not sure how much value you're going to add to the property by putting it on.
Need to investigate that. And there's one other thing I haven't told you about,
and the word "concrete" is a bit of a clue.
# Concrete jungle... #
Not all of the garden is so heavily paved.
At the bottom there's a secluded area, that, once cleared and tidied, could be a real bonus.
However, I do have some concrete concerns here.
Before the property was sold, it underwent a concrete report
and, you guessed it,
it turns out that it is built of non-standard construction.
So that could make getting the mortgage a bit of a problem.
It gets worse, because we're in Cornwall, where mundic -
that's block made of, basically, waste from the mines -
were used to basically construct the properties. It's not good.
The good news is, however, that only part of the property
is actually made of mundic block. It's the chimney, that will need to be addressed.
So, good news and bad news.
And as long as whoever buys this is aware of the potential problems, then you're OK.
But one thing's for sure, it means that this decent-sized house
with its fabulous garden space and great views,
will be a darn sight cheaper than a property of standard construction.
I asked a local estate agent for his opinion on this place,
that was guided at £70,000.
It's a nice, large property, albeit in need of quite a lot of modernisation and renovation.
Things like remodelling the kitchen, maybe moving the bathroom,
which is currently downstairs, and redecoration.
It's quite a project, but one that's worth doing, I'd say.
Moving the bathroom could lose you a bedroom, unless you go for that extension.
Then you'd have to think about exceeding the ceiling price for this area.
So how do the numbers add up for this house?
I'd say the property as it stands now is worth around £90,000.
If the changes are made and the updating is done
and the mundic issue is resolved, it's more like £135,000.
What about using it as a rental investment?
The rental market around St Austell is very strong
and the property would fetch around £600 per calendar month.
So, not without its problems, it is going to take some time to sort out inside
and that non-standard construction means
that there will always be a ceiling price on this particular property.
Still, it is a lot of house for the money, so, at the right price,
a good one to go for. Let's see who bought it at the auction.
Lot eight for you.
So who's going to say 70 for me for the house? 70 or not?
Nobody want to start me at 70? Soon move along. Thank you. 70, we've got a 70.
At 70. At 70.
At 72. At 72, 72.
At 74, at 74.
78, at 78.
80. At 80, at 80.
84, at 84.
84. 86. 86, 86.
At 87 once, on my right then.
88, good girl. 88.
88 I've got sat once.
At 88 twice.
the lady on the left has it.
All done at 88 and selling at 88.
Madam, yours, congratulations, well done.
That delighted successful bidder was Donna, who got it for £88,000.
She works for Cornwall Council
and currently lives in rented accommodation in Bodmin with her two daughters.
This house in St Austell is a step onto the property ladder
and I met her back at the house to find out more.
-Donna, lovely to meet you.
-Yes, very exciting.
-You looked delighted that the auction.
-Yeah. Big grin on my face since. So, yeah, it's great.
-So why were you so happy when you bought it?
-Because I got it.
I didn't think I was going to actually get the house beforehand.
Because it was a last-minute dash to the auction
and then I'd just got there and was thinking things were against me.
But, yeah, it just happened.
Tell me about that last-minute dash. What was that about?
I was about to exchange contracts, prior to the auction.
-On this property?
-On this property.
And got to the solicitor's office, was about to sign the papers
and then they called the solicitor
and they said they wanted to go down to auction.
-And that the auction was when?
-At 1 o'clock.
-So, a quick dash down there.
-It's not really cricket, is it?
No, not really. But, yeah, it all worked out in the end.
Well, I suppose it was the vendor's prerogative to do that.
But Donna's determination won through in the end
and she ended up spending only £3,000 more than she'd originally offered.
It wasn't the way she planned it, but despite that,
she was determined not to let this place slip through her fingers.
# One way or another I'm gonna find ya
# I'm gonna get ya, get ya get ya, get ya... #
Donna's recently divorced.
So, with such a significant change in her circumstances,
she was keen to find the perfect place for a fresh start.
When I walked through the front door, I just loved the feel of it.
I could see past all of the decoration
and certain things that were wrong with the property
and could just see what I wanted to do with it.
So, it's an ideal home, family home for me and my two daughters.
Really excited about it.
So, an exciting new project for an exciting new chapter in her life.
# To make a brand new start... #
She's already got a builder lined up for the work.
The first job will be to rid the chimney of the mundic,
after which, the mortgage company will release the funds they held back
until that important work is complete.
What else has she got planned?
I've got a Rayburn in the kitchen
so that's going to be all serviced and make sure that works.
Remove the conservatory-cum-greenhouse attached to the house.
Paint the outside, do the rendering, get all the damp sorted.
Plaster, and get new carpets and everything.
That's the things to do in the next two weeks before I move in.
-I'm very pushy.
-So, do you have to move in in two weeks?
-Yes, the removal firm's all booked.
So, yeah, it's all go.
A fortnight for all that? That is pushing it.
Well, at least Donna doesn't plan to move the kitchen and bathroom,
though she will perhaps install new units
and also wants to put a loo in the utility room.
She has an initial budget of five to six grand, although when all the work's complete,
she thinks the final bill will be about 20 to 25 thousand.
-What are you most excited about?
-Just to have a home of my own, I think.
Just moving in with the girls, and just doing what we want to the house and it's ours,
and having a foot on the property ladder again.
-Well, listen, congratulations. And good luck with it.
# To make a brand new start. #
Well, 14 days to sort this place out is a challenge by anyone's standards.
But Donna has certainly got the enthusiasm
and how fantastic that she has once again got a home to call her own.
Find out how she gets on later in the show.
I'm near Nottingham in the small semi-rural village of Kelham.
Unsurprisingly, because of all this greenery,
it's an area popular with farmers and families.
Newark and Southwell are nearby for shopping and schools,
and if you're a fan of the countryside, there's plenty of fresh air on offer.
# I'm going back to country living
# Where the air is fresh and clean... #
Now the property I'm here to see is this three-bedroom bungalow.
It's got a guide price of £165,000.
Now, it was built around the 1940s/50s
and certainly isn't short on garden.
So, lots of space on the outside -
let's see if it's as generous on the inside.
# Going back to natural living
# Where the grass grows tall and green
# And the sky can be seen. #
Well, I'm glad to say it is.
An incredible hallway - really wide, really long,
but there is some damp setting in down here. Look at this, it's actually wet to the touch.
You can see there's some rotten wood. Not too promising.
You've got a lovely-sized lounge through here, though,
nice and big and bright.
You've got wallpaper... Ugh!
..literally coming down.
And, two really good-sized rooms here.
It's a great property and it feels spacious.
But there's an awful lot of work to do. Excuse me.
# Ooh, what a feeling
# When we're dancing on the ceiling. #
Well, it seems the wallpaper is distancing itself from this property,
and perhaps with good reason.
The kitchen needs a complete refit and the bathroom needs updating
and the back bedroom is riddled with damp.
The house doesn't end here, though.
Now, this looks rather precarious.
Now, I can see a wallpapered room up there, which is rather strange.
You know, it looks as though somebody's tried to extend up there into the loft.
Now, these steps, they're not regulation.
However, it does suggest that this place does have the potential to extend, which is fantastic.
Under regulations that came into effect in October 2008,
I know that a loft conversion for your house
is classed as Permitted Development, meaning you don't have to apply for planning permission.
But there are quite a few conditions and guidelines
so it really is worth checking it out with your local council first.
Adding another room or two in the attic
would really help increase the value and saleability of this place.
This large hallway could easily accommodate a regulation staircase without losing too much space.
What really, really wins this place over for me
is this huge space out here.
You've got lawns to the front and to the back
and you are surrounded by fields.
So, plenty of room to build out here
without losing too much of this garden space.
You know, it really is the perfect location for a keen gardener
and somebody who loves a stroll in the countryside.
One thing definitely worth mentioning here
is the possible cause of all that damp.
The house is in an area designated as being within flood zones 2 and 3.
This means there's a medium to high chance of flooding from the nearby River Trent,
which could affect both insurance and mortgage-ability.
There's also no mains gas, so plenty of reasons here for some thorough pre-auction research.
Time to find out what a local estate agent thinks of the property
and its potential.
There could be an argument to actually take the property down
and build one larger two-storey home on it, potentially.
I don't think the planners would be particularly favourable
in allowing you to put more than one on the site itself.
If the buyer decided to keep the property as it is
but do a complete upgrade and sort out all that nasty damp,
there could be money to be made here.
I think if you kept the property in its current footprint
and refurbished it, with new bathroom, new kitchen, rewiring,
I think you could be looking at somewhere in the region of £180-200,000.
I would imagine that your rental valuation on a property like this,
in, obviously, refurbed condition,
you'd be looking at £650 to maybe £700 per calendar month.
So, what are the possibilities with this place?
Well, it's in pretty poor condition, so it's tempting to knock it down and just start again.
Having said that, it's a great layout with spacious rooms
and with a bit of an extension,
I think this place could scrub up and make a lovely family home.
Let's see who went for this one when it went under the hammer.
Lot number four is brought to the market with a guide price of £165,000.
We'll start at 135.
140, fresh plates, 140, 145.
At 147. 147.
I'll take another 500, sir, if it helps. 500? 148.
149 at the back of the room. Thank you very much.
At £151,500 seated.
third and the last time of selling at £151,500.
Sold to the gentleman here.
I'm going to give him a round of applause.
£151,500. Thank you.
Railway route controller Andy snapped up the bungalow for £151,500.
£13,500 under the guide price.
He and his wife Jenny are expecting their first child
and this is to be their new family home.
I caught up with him to find out more.
Andy, congratulations. It's not every day you get a round of applause in an auction room!
Yeah, caught me out by surprise as well. I bolted after that.
You paid £151,500 for this property. Were you happy with that price?
Very happy, yeah.
I was happy to go up to 150, a little bit over, but not too bad.
So tell me the reason why you wanted to bid for this property.
We saw it on the internet, saw how much land it was, and that was it.
We thought allotment, animals, things like that. It'll be great.
Great for little kids running around, nice and quiet. Great area.
So where's your wife today?
She's having a few pains at the minute.
I think she might be going into labour, so...
You're being serious? She's actually in labour today?
Well, she's had a few pains, a few twinges.
She's got the machine on, so I think she's ready to go.
-So do you think, by the end of today, you'll be a dad?
Well, it's ten days overdue, so I think it could be today.
'With a little one on the way, I'm surprised Andy has got time
'to think about the house, let alone stop for a chat.
'It's not uncommon to meet people who've bought
'a property for a baby that's imminent, but I've never been
'talking to someone whilst his wife is actually going into labour.
'Let's hope she holds fire for the rest of our chat.'
So, how much time did you have to research this property before the auction?
Ooh, about two weeks.
I spoke to the neighbours about the flooding issues
and things like that. That was all right.
We had a word with getting gas sorted, but that was...
We can't really do that, it's about £20,000 to get it
connected to gas, so we didn't bother doing that.
But apart from that, we got a survey done,
about two days before the auction, and they gave us the go-ahead to go for it.
Then about a week after we got it, we got the mortgage all sorted.
So you're quite lucky that it all went in your favour
and you managed to get a mortgage on this property.
The mortgage advisor was a bit worried about retention
on the property, but he came and had a look round and found no problems.
So, that was all of a bonus, all sorted.
I am so glad Andy did his research here.
He discovered that it hasn't flooded for 15 years,
so he wasn't put off and has got big plans for the bungalow.
So, let's talk through the renovations you're going to do in here.
First of all, the damp issue, with the floor.
Get all the carpets up and then put
this black bitumen down on there, so that should act as a membrane.
Sort out the bathroom, new kitchen, sort out the electrics.
We're going to finish off the conversion upstairs,
make that into a guest room.
Hopefully, get the inside sorted out first
-and then we'll start on the garden after that.
-What sort of budget have you got?
Everyone keeps laughing when I tell them it's £10,000.
But we're going to tidy it up and then we'll look in the future,
a few years' time, and we'll see about extending out onto the back.
But you're not going to do that in the short term?
Not for the first three years, no.
Get it sorted as it is now, get it liveable, get it nice,
clean for the baby, and then we'll see how we go then after that, three or four years.
So, when do you intend to move your wife and baby into this house?
Well, give it about six months to get it all sorted, so about six months' time.
Well, with a new baby arriving and a huge renovation on his hands,
I just have one very important question to ask.
So, how do you think your wife feels about you having taken this on?
She thinks we're crazy. But you have to look for the long term,
long term, once it's done,
and then we can relax, and it'll all be sorted. It'll be worth it.
-Surely both must be very excited as well.
-Excited and nervous, yes.
It's just all coming at once.
Andy, I am so excited for you. But get out of here, you've got a baby to have!
-I've got to go right now.
-Just let me know if it's a girl or a boy.
-Good luck, mate!
-Thank you very much, I've got to go.
-Go on, hop it! Out you go!
-Man coming through!
-See you later.
-Bye, good luck!
So, Andy has got a lot on his plate -
a massive renovation job and a new baby on the way.
Is he going to get this done in six months
and is he going to stick to his £10,000 budget?
Will it be a boy or a girl? I can't wait to find out.
Join me later in the programme and you can see what happens.
Coming up, I'm in Kent where this mid-terraced house could cause panic.
When you talk about moving a staircase,
there are a lot of people who go, "Argh! It's going to cost a fortune!"
Back in Nottinghamshire,
it seems the budget's run off with the family car.
Sold the wife's car to get a bit more budget -
she wasn't very pleased about that, but...
all for the cause.
But first, has Donna's independent venture been successful?
Living in a house that you're doing up is very, very hard work.
Earlier, in St Austell in Cornwall,
we met Donna, who bought this three-bed semi for £88,000.
It was to be a new home for her and her two daughters
and it required a fair bit of work.
Donna's plan was to remove the conservatory,
paint the outside, re-render the walls, sort out the damp problem
and re-plaster, all in a very ambitious timescale.
-That's the things to do in the next two weeks, before I move in.
-I'm very pushy.
Once she'd moved in, the plan was to fit a new kitchen,
new bathroom and downstairs loo.
No mean feat considering it was to be her first ever renovation project.
Well, it's been five months now, and from the outside, the pea-green
soup exterior has been replaced by a fresher, more appealing white.
Donna and her youngest daughter, Laura, came to show us
how work's progressing, and things are looking good.
At the back, the old conservatory's gone,
and the garden has been trimmed back, which really opens up the space.
Inside, there's still some work to do in the living room,
but Donna is fast turning this house into a home.
At the back of the property, although it still needs to be decorated,
Donna's delighted with her new kitchen.
In the kitchen, we've put new sides...there was brown sides here.
brand-new cooker where the old Rayburn was.
I absolutely love this part of the room.
Obviously, we've got some decorating to do and bits and pieces to finish off.
And then through into the utility room,
this was the most hideous green.
We've just basically lined the walls, plastered,
just some decorating in here, and we found some plumbing,
which used to be the outside toilet,
and we've basically made a downstairs toilet now.
So there's just a small amount of decorating to do,
but after it's finished, it'll look absolutely fantastic.
The bathroom is still next to the kitchen,
but the suite has been completely replaced, so it's looking much better.
Donna's rolled her sleeves up and is doing the tiling herself,
so she's really getting stuck into the DIY.
Keeping the bathroom downstairs has allowed her to keep three bedrooms
upstairs, which means her two teenage daughters can have separate rooms. Always a good idea.
There were electrical problems and issues with some of the plumbing,
and the old mundic chimney has been replaced with a new brick stack.
This set Donna back, both in time and money.
And it's certainly not been easy living in the house while it was being renovated.
It was a big mess, and having to unpack boxes and everything else
and living in a house that you're doing up is very, very hard work.
That would be enough to test anyone's resolve,
although Donna is very positive about her new life and new home.
But how did she get on sticking to a budget of between five and six grand?
It was more, sort of, 5,000, 6,000 probably for the labour costs in itself,
and then you've got all your bathroom suite, your kitchen.
So, together, I'd say, I've probably spent about 14,000, 15,000 at the moment.
Add that to the 88 grand that Donna paid for the house,
and her current total outlay is about £103,000.
But after going through a divorce, creating a new family home
for herself and her daughters is where the true value lies.
This is a huge jump in my life - huge everything, really.
It's a new start for me and both my children.
It's been a difficult few years and it's just...
I feel very, very proud of myself that I've done this on my own.
So, yeah, it's huge.
Donna plans to live in the house for some time.
We asked two local property experts along to tell us whether all her
hard work might mean a decent return on that £103,000 investment.
They've made some decent first improvements -
particularly the addition of a downstairs WC is a huge
advantage, and from what I've seen of the kitchen, it looks very nice.
My first impression of the house is that, here's a family house,
right in the making.
I like the property, due partly to its scale, it's not petite,
it's quite a reasonable size.
Some good bedrooms upstairs. But what I like is the back,
because that is the money shot. It's just beautiful.
The positives are, it's quite a large property for the money.
It's on a very large plot, it does have the nice views.
The downside is that it is against quite a busy road,
but that shouldn't deter many buyers.
Donna has no plans to sell, but if she does decide to move on,
what sort of resale value could be house fetch?
Remember her total spend so far is around £103,000.
When the house is in the best order that it can be,
I can see it on the market at £145,000.
Once the works are completed,
I would recommend an asking price of around £140,000.
There's a little finishing work to be done here,
but that valuation could give Donna a possible pre-tax profit of £37,000.
Oh, my goodness!
I didn't expect that at all.
That's all I can say, wow!
Well, there's still a long way to go,
but Donna has every right to feel pleased.
She's created a lovely new home, which not only represents a sound
financial investment but the start of an exciting new chapter in her life.
It's...getting my independence back
and just doing something on your own, yeah...
I just feel a lot stronger now than I did 12 months ago.
I'm in Kent. Chatham, to be precise.
Chatham has suffered an image issue in the past, but as with many
other Kent Medway towns, regeneration is more than just talk.
Investment in the area is already making a big difference.
The dockyards have been transformed, public transport is due for some improvement,
and housing is springing up all over.
So it seems that things are looking up in Chatham.
Well, the property I'm here to see is just outside the town centre,
about a mile from the railway station,
on this street of classic Victorian workers' cottages.
It is a two-bedroom mid-terrace at a guide price of £67,000 to £70,000.
Looks all right. Like the brickwork. Let's take a look inside.
The exterior is lovely and appears to be in pretty good nick as well.
I'm glad that the previous owner resisted the temptation
to customise the front with render and paint.
As colourful as it makes the street, I prefer the original brick.
Will inside have many period features?
So what have we got? A nice bit of blue corridor.
That's a tiny reception room, I have to say.
Nice fireplace, though, and I love the floorboards. Could be kind of cosy.
Let's keep positive. Upstairs to the bedrooms.
Through to a rear reception room. This is a bit more like it.
It's obviously in a bit of a state, and there are indications of damp.
Then through to the kitchen. Not ideal either, I have to say.
Clearly in need of a bit of a total rework.
And I'm thinking, maybe you make that the kitchen and this
kind of like a utility area or knock through to create a bit more space.
Good news, though - the bathroom, which you may well have expected
to be at the rear of the property, isn't, it's upstairs.
So that's a plus point. All in all, it's kind of cute.
So, the bathroom isn't off the kitchen
as is the norm in a traditional mid-terrace like this.
But there is a downstairs loo.
If you ripped that out, you'd have more space to play with down here.
The garden is, as you may have come
to expect from the gardens at auction properties, a messy jungle.
Oh, well, onwards and upwards.
So, a bedroom over that side with an open fire.
And, joy of joys, same thing over here. We love that.
Love these fire inserts. Great stuff.
Lots of light coming in through the windows, so it's all looking good.
Now, I mentioned the fact that there was a bathroom upstairs.
Well, that's the good news. Here it is.
The bad news is, how do you get to it?
Because you've got the door here to the bedroom
and the door here to the bathroom.
You'd have to walk through the bedroom to get to it. Not ideal.
At all. I need to think about this.
The fact that those two bedroom doors are diagonally opposite each other
means you can't do the usual solution of creating
a separate corridor straight across from the stairs to the bathroom.
Hmm. Complicated. So, how could this be solved? Let's go downstairs.
So what's the solution? Well, I've come downstairs again to try a and figure that out.
And I think the solution is all about the staircase.
Now, when you talk about moving staircases,
a lot of people go, "Argh! It's going to cost a fortune!
"All the mess, whatever."
But do it now, and I think it could definitely be worth doing. Here's the idea.
Instead of having the staircase going that way,
you could theoretically just have the staircase going that way,
which would partially solve the problem.
But I say if you're doing that, going to all the trouble
of taking the stairs out, why not go the whole hog?
Actually put the stairs here, and then you've created this massive
great open-plan area downstairs, which is lovely,
and solved your problems upstairs.
It's not going to be cheap, but, I think, definitely worth doing.
It would make this into more of a family home,
giving extra space and just creating more of a modern feel.
Still, it comes down to cost and would mean you'd have to fork out quite a hefty sum.
So, you'd really need to do your research on the local housing market
to see if it justified the expense. I'm heading outside to check the ups
and downs of the property's surroundings.
Well, the area has lots of amenities. There's a school, down the hill. The shops, down the hill.
And the train station, you guessed it, down the hill.
Now, if you're a mum with a pram, I'm not sure you'd want
to actually have to climb up these kinds of hills every day.
They'd tax an Olympic athlete.
Maybe struggling up here with your bags of shopping?
Well, it just ain't going to work, is it?
So, does that really matter?
Well, actually, in today's market, I think maybe it does.
Because times are tough -
the last thing you need is another mountain to climb.
It may be a small thing - well, actually it's quite big -
but this hill makes your property a tiny bit less than perfect.
Buyers today are pickier than they've ever been
and more than usually worried about parting
with their cash for fear of making the wrong investment.
The auction guide price for this house was £65,000 to £70,000.
I asked a local estate agent for her thoughts.
The property itself is quite a solid little house.
And it looks as though it needs a bit of looking after.
It seems to have the benefit of central heating,
although that hasn't been tested but it's there.
And also, it looks as though the roof has been done at some time.
So, basically, it's quite a good little property.
The rental market is strong around here,
so this could earn a healthy return.
The sort of figure that we'd be looking at would be £575
per calendar month.
Maybe, depending on the work that has been done,
pushing it to £595 per calendar month.
So, with a guide price of 65,000 to 70,000,
what sort of retail figure could this fetch?
The sort of price we would be looking to achieve would probably be round about the sort of £110,000.
If they put the staircase in and turned it, then I think the price
would be in the region of 115, maybe pushing towards 120,
but I think, that may be more difficult
to achieve at the moment in this market.
Well, these properties have stood the test of time
and they make great starter homes or rental properties.
And this one does seem to have a good guide price.
However, I would urge whoever bought it to keep a check on the old budget for renovation.
Otherwise, they could see their profits tumbling down that hill.
Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.
Mid-terrace house, two bedrooms, first-floor bathroom.
65 to start me. 65,000, 65 I have. 67 I have and 70.
70 I am bid. 72 for you.
74. 76 I have. And 78.
78. And 80? No.
78 at the back of the room. At 78. And 80 I have in a fresh place.
And 82? No. At £80,000. 82 do I see?
82 is bid and 83.
83 in a fresh place and 84.
84 is bid and 85. 85 is bid and 86.
86 and 87? No. £86,000. You've stayed with it a long time.
At £86,000 I'm bid. 87 for anyone else?
Being sold then for the first time at 86,000,
sitting on the right-hand column.
86 for the second time. 86 for the third and final time.
At 86,000 then, are you all done? Sold at 86,000.
The successful bidder was Jackie, who sealed the deal at £86,000.
She's a part-time driver who has recently turned her hand
to property developing, along with her husband and brother.
I met up with her to find out their plans.
-Jackie, lovely to meet you.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
We're looking in the area for properties to rent
or possibly sell on, obviously depending on the market.
-And I just really liked the area.
-When you say we. Who's we?
My husband and family.
We've got a large family, and everybody wants to get involved.
-How big is your family?
-Well, I've got six children.
And two grandchildren. So they all want to get involved.
So, have you done anything like this before?
No, we've been thinking about it for a couple of years
and we've just purchased another property, actually,
so we're going to have two on the go.
So, what tempted you into doing it at this point?
My husband is a self-employed plumber, and obviously last year was a bit slow.
So he really needed to branch out and find other avenues, really.
-So what about you? What's your background?
-I'm a van driver.
I deliver motor parts.
-It means you get to drive around the area and you get to see...
-Yes I do. I have driven round
and seen... I had my eye on a couple of properties.
Driving around for work means she's been able to learn about
the locality, and she knows this area in particular is ideal for rentals.
But there's a lot of work to do before anyone is going to pay to live here.
So, tell me what you're going to do with this place to sort it out.
The plan we'd like to do, is because the bathroom is upstairs
and it's off a second bedroom,
I think we'd like to turn the staircase round,
so it gives it a landing.
Have you looked into the costings of moving a staircase?
I think between 15 and 20,000, we were thinking for budget.
So, we're hoping, if it definitely keeps within that, then we should do it.
So, if you can do the whole place up and move the staircase within that...
Yes, obviously new bathroom, new kitchen, new windows.
Literally refurb completely.
Take all the wallpaper off and see what's behind it, really.
£15,000 to £20,000 sounds like a fairly decent budget,
but Jackie is right to be cautious.
You never know what lurks behind thick old wallpaper.
However, Jackie's husband can turn his hand to most DIY jobs
as well as plastering, which could prove very handy.
What about the rest?
Getting a builder in to do like the staircase
and anything structural that needs doing.
And then, hopefully, the family will come in and do the rest.
-So what's the timescale?
-Six weeks to two months.
-So not too long, then?
-Well, listen, congratulations.
-Good luck with it all.
-Thank you very much.
-We'll look forward to seeing how you get on.
-OK, lovely. Thank you.
Well, Jackie has certainly spotted a good one here.
But even though it's only a small house,
moving those stairs could escalate the cost.
What she needs to do is get those six kids involved.=, working for their mum and dad.
You can find out how she gets on later in the show.
It's been a while now since we last visited those properties.
-Yes, there should have been work done, but you never know.
-All sorts of problems can arise.
Let's find out what they've had to cope with.
We're back in Kelham near Nottingham, where this three-bedroom bungalow sold for £151,500.
Andy, a railway route controller, had bought it to create the perfect
home for himself and his wife, Jenny, who was expecting their first baby.
Well, we saw it, saw it on the internet,
we saw how much land it was, and that was it, we thought...
allotment, animals, things like that, It'll be great.
Great for little kids running around. Nice and quiet. Great area.
So tell me, where is your wife today?
She's having a few pains at the minute.
-I think she might be going into labour.
-You're being serious?
She's actually in labour today?
Well she's had a few pains, a few twinges, she's got the machine on.
So, I think, she's ready to go.
'Thankfully, Andy made it back in time to see his baby's arrival.
'But was it a bouncing boy or a gorgeous girl?
'Seven months later, we're back, and this time
'Andy is joined by his wife, Jenny, and their beautiful son, Sam.'
It all went well - a couple of days later, we had little baby Sam.
All went well. He's now a little bouncing baby, seven months old. So, it's all going well.
Sam's obviously been thriving on lots of love and attention,
but how has the renovation of the house fared?
Well, from the outside, it's so far so good. Let's head inside.
It's been really hard work. But Andy and a small number of tradesmen have transformed
this tired, damp bungalow into a warm, dry and cosy family home.
The electrics have been replaced around the property, and there's a new damp-proof course
to ensure no more wallpaper removes itself from the walls.
The bedroom at the rear was dated and dreary -
it's now been replastered and redecorated
and is now a bright and happy nursery for baby Sam.
The master bedroom has had a total makeover and been decorated
and carpeted in calming, neutral tones.
Light streams in through the large double-aspect windows.
The bathroom was very last century but has been dragged
into the new millennium with a modern, white suite and new flooring.
The most dramatic change, however,
has been to the adjoining third bedroom and kitchen.
They've knocked down the wall and combined the two separate spaces
to create this fantastic open-plan kitchen diner.
As you can see, in the kitchen, we've knocked out the larder room,
we've put in a nice, new, oak kitchen, Belfast sink.
And we've also put in this nice, new Rayburn for the central heating,
to heat the radiators and also do the cooking,
which is excellent at the minute.
We've also knocked out this wall here,
so we can have a nice easy through kitchen-diner, which makes it
a lot easier, more friendly for the family and things like that.
So, all in all, we're pretty pleased with it.
No wonder he's pleased. It looks great!
But doesn't creating a new open-plan kitchen-diner mean they've lost a bedroom?
Well, patience, patience, there's more to this story.
Remember that rickety old metal ladder leading up to the attic?
Let me present to you one gorgeous new wooden staircase -
it goes up to what were two dusty old rooms
but is now a fabulously converted and spacious third bedroom.
As you can see, the loft space changed quite a bit since we were last here.
There was a partition wall here which we've taken out
and put some nice props in to support all the purlins
and the extra weight of what the plaster is going to be.
We've got some eaves space there for the storage
and obviously we've changed the window,
cos the old window was practically falling out,
so now you can see the views. It's all quite nice.
When Andy and Jenny bought this house, there was one obvious disadvantage -
no gas supply.
Is this something they can work around or will they invest for the future?
We did make inquiries to the National Grid about putting
the gas mains in, but that's about £20,000, they quoted.
So, unless we can get all the neighbours in to make it viable,
that's something we can maybe think about in the future.
But as yet, we've got no gas. So it's all electric, and the Rayburn is going
to do all the central heating, so we're all right for the time being.
Andy thought six months would be enough to get the work done
and by the look of the house, he estimated pretty accurately.
We've basically ripped it back to the bare minimum, rebuilt it,
and it's taken approximately six months to do that.
However, his £10,000 budget wasn't quite so on the money.
Yes, the budget was optimistic at best.
But as we went on, we thought, we'll do the job properly.
So that's why it cost more.
So we sold the wife's car to get a bit more budget.
She wasn't very pleased about that, but...all for the cause.
We've borrowed a bit of money off friends and family,
so eventually we've got it to a standard we like.
There's still a little bit more to do, but we can do that over time.
So, come on, Andy, what is the final figure?
20 plus. Ish. 25. Ish.
Maybe 28. About that, yeah.
Andy has confessed to a pretty big overspend there - adding that 28,000
to the purchase price means an investment just short of 180 grand.
Plus fees and expenses of course.
So was it worth selling Jenny's car in the process?
It looks like money well spent here,
but let's see what two local estate agents think.
I think what I particularly like about the property
is what they've done in the kitchen.
They've opened it up, so they've now got a proper kitchen-dining room.
And the natural staircase up to the loft area was a real success,
My first impressions of the property are the situation here,
the views from the front of the house,
really light and airy rooms, big windows and the garden.
With such a large garden around this property, there's the temptation to extend.
Would this be worthwhile for the couple?
I think, as regards extending the property any further,
it's a sort of price point issue.
I think it's probably reaching its peak where it sits at the moment.
I think the accommodation is pretty well optimised at the moment
and I don't think I would recommend an extension.
The plot would take it, but looking at the present market,
I would say it fits into a price range which is well saleable
as it stands at the moment.
The estate agents reckon it could earn £600 to £675
a month on the rental market.
But of course, this is Andy, Jenny and little baby Sam's new family home.
So, have those changes added value,
bearing in mind their total spend of around 180 grand?
If you were going to be putting the property on the market
in the near future, I'd expect to be guiding the property at around £250,000.
I'd expect the property to achieve
a price of 245,000 to 250,000 in current market conditions.
-Ker-ching, yes. Let's get selling!
That's fine. We thought it might be in the region of about 220 to 250, so 250 is quite good.
I suppose the big question is, was it all worth it?
-Yes, but never again.
-Yeah. I don't recommend it.
Having a baby and moving at the same time.
Now we're back in Chatham, Kent, where this two-bed mid-terrace house sold at auction for 86,000.
Jackie had bought the property with her husband, Keith.
They were hoping it would prove to be a successful new business venture for their family.
We've been thinking about it for a couple of years
and we've just purchased another property, actually,
so we're going to have two on the go.
So what tempted you into doing it at this point?
My husband is a self-employed plumber, and obviously last year was a bit slow,
so he really needed to branch out and find other avenues, really. And obviously,
he's been talking about doing this for such a long time. We thought, right, now's the time.
So, has their new business taken off?
We've caught up with Jackie six months later,
and although there is still work to do, things have certainly progressed in the right direction.
# I want a brand-new house With an old brown jug
# And an old spinning-wheel... #
The most dramatic change has been shifting the troublesome staircase
against the wall on the right-hand side
and opening up the two reception rooms.
Now they have a spacious open-plan living area
with light streaming in from front and back windows.
When we decided to take the wall out,
we had the inspector come round and obviously we had to do the footings.
But it wasn't too bad - we had a builder come in
and actually did the through lounge for us. So that wasn't too bad.
But it has opened the downstairs up quite a lot.
But it seems opening up the space also opened a can of worms.
We found woodworm in the floor when we took the staircase out.
We had to change all the joists. The floorboards weren't too bad,
but it was near enough all the way through.
So, it's not so springy now and obviously a lot quieter.
So, no more creaky floorboards if you want to creep in late at night.
The new living area leads into the kitchen at the back -
once old, tired and yellow, it's now a fresh and modern galley style.
And where the old downstairs loo used to be, beyond the kitchen,
there's now a brand-new bathroom awaiting the finishing touches.
I can't help but wonder, if the bathroom is now downstairs,
Well, moving the stares across has given them
much more flexibility on the upper floor, as Jackie explains.
When we came, there were two bedrooms
and a third bedroom, which they were using as a bathroom upstairs.
Because you had to come through the second bedroom to get to the third one,
we decided, if we took the staircase out downstairs
and re-angled it to the side,
we can get a third bedroom plus a toilet up here as well.
We're very delighted, because it's opened it up completely.
It certainly has.
By moving that staircase, they've managed not only to gain a third bedroom
but also to keep a loo upstairs, next door to the boxroom.
Period features like the old fireplaces may have gone,
but Jackie wanted a modern feel to the whole house.
It's been completely rewired and replumbed, with a new boiler
and central heating.
And remember that garden?
It looked like a cross between a jungle and a fly-tipper's paradise.
It's now a low-maintenance outdoor space, laid with paving slabs and gravel.
Jackie and her husband plan to add a raised decking
area at the back, which will certainly help cheer it up a bit.
After a visit from the building inspector, the rear extension
has been completely rebuilt
and dramatically improves the overall look of the property.
We've had to have a new extension done because they condemned it.
So, the best thing was to completely knocked it down, rebuild, which will house the bathroom.
Obviously, that added to the initial cost that we were hoping for.
We've had all new windows, the rendering, new drainage,
and we're really pleased with how it's turned out at the moment.
Initially, Jackie estimated six to eight weeks for the work to be complete.
So, six months on, what happened?
We've gone over the timescale,
basically because we'd bought another house at the same time, which we had already
started and we needed to finish that, complete that first.
And obviously, because of the extension,
we needed to get permission and get all the building regs sorted...
which obviously added to the amount of time it took.
Obviously, the couple have come across unforeseen
situations during the renovation, which will surely have had
a knock-on effect on their original budget of 15,000 to 20,000.
Up to this point, we've spent probably about 23,000
with probably about another 2,000 - or 1,500 to 2,000 - left to complete the project.
The property cost £86,000 at auction,
and there's an estimated 25,000 to be spent on the renovation,
making a total of £111,000.
So, has the work done here added any value?
We asked two local estate agents for their thoughts.
Having moved the stairs round has made it so much better
and it's made the bedrooms upstairs into three separate bedrooms
and just given it a lovely through lounge.
I think the layout is good.
Having a through lounge, it's definitely a fair trend nowadays.
The kitchen's done well.
A little bit concerned about the bathroom being straight off the kitchen.
Some buyers don't like that. They like to have a bit of a separation
between kitchens and bathrooms.
Jackie and her husband, Keith, have decided to rent the property out for the time being.
How much could expect to get per month?
Once the property is completed, because it's at such a nice standard,
I think they'll be looking at somewhere around £625 to £650
per calendar month.
We'd suggest to put this on the market for a rental income
within the region of £625 per calendar month.
That's a healthy yield of around 7%,
so letting does seem a sensible option here.
What would it make on the resale market, though,
bearing in mind their total outlay of 111 grand.
This property would resell in the region of £95,000 to £100,000.
I think in the current market, because of the amount of work
they've done, and it is so good, once they've finished it,
we're going to be looking somewhere between £115,000 to £120,000.
So, with one valuation suggesting a minimum loss of £11,000
and the other estimating a maximum profit of only £9,000,
what does Jackie make of it all?
I think definitely the first one was very underpriced.
I can understand if he was buying the house as we bought it
for 100,000...yes, I can say it was probably worth that.
But obviously, with all the work we've put into it, no way.
The second price is what I think we were expecting.
Jackie and Keith have done an impressive job on this property.
Would they do it again?
We're going to start another project. We shall go to more auctions
and when the right property comes up, we'll carry on from there.
Well, we'll have plenty more property owners who have experienced
the highs - and lows - of buying at auction for you next time.
So, join us then for some more auction action on Homes Under The Hammer.
-We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Cornwall, a bungalow in Nottinghamshire and a mid-terrace house in Kent. 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.