Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Cornwall, a large flat in Shepherd's Bush and a terrace house in Gainsborough.
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Hello! Have you ever thought about changing your career?
Property developing appeals to many people looking for a change of lifestyle.
But it's not always as easy as it seems,
but one way to get off to a flying start is to visit your local auction.
Well the lure of the auction room is very strong,
but what should you spend your money on?
You may well set your heart on something only to find you're out-bid.
You've got to do your research on several properties and keep your options open.
Let's see what today's buyers grabbed hold of.
This Cornish house could be just the thing if you hate DIY and have a big family.
There's not a lot to be done and it's a good-sized family house.
There's a large flat in West London that will have you jumping for joy.
I'm quite excited, I love the space.
I think this is going to be a good one.
And this Lincolnshire terrace hides some secrets.
Don't be shy, there's only one way to find out.
Open it! This is what you've got to do when you look around houses because cupboards reveal things!
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.
Thank you, gentlemen.
This is Torpoint in Cornwall.
Not your traditional cobbled fishing village,
but it certainly has a stretch of water to be proud of and gorgeous views to boot.
In fact, the town developed as a base for workers at the dockyard
in neighbouring Plymouth, which is only a short hop across the estuary.
So, Cornish by identity but with Devon connections
and reasonable house prices, I think Torpoint is well worth a look.
The property I'm here to see isn't right on the waterfront, which is a shame.
However it's only three minutes walk away so you can hardly complain.
The good news is that properties that are slightly set back,
and about 20% cheaper than those on the front.
So what we've got here is a three bed.
It had a guide price of 92,000 quid. Let's take a look inside.
From the outside, it doesn't look bad.
Quite pretty in almost pink and its pebble dashed exterior
certainly doesn't suggest any horrors.
Let's hope the inside will be as rosy.
So, through the front door.
Nice little entrance area to keep the drafts out.
You've got this cloakroom which doesn't have a loo in it
but has space to put one in so that's an improvement you might consider.
Stairs up to your bedrooms there.
Front living room, an outdated fire but a good-sized space, I like the bay window.
Then it starts going a little bit wrong because that's the kitchen.
But over here is, I guess, your rear reception room.
Clearly what needs to be done is to take out this wall
and open this all up because the kitchen as it stands is a bit too small
and what you want to really create
is a good-sized family living area.
The whole place needs to be updated.
I think this structural work is a must.
The kitchen's an odd shape and will need to be ripped out and refitted.
Through the cat flap there's a tiny conservatory
and a good-sized garden.
Not laid turf but concrete.
But there is a brick workshop and a garage, so they're a bonus.
What's on offer on the first floor of this mid-terrace
that went to auction guided at £92,000?
So upstairs and on this mezzanine level,
you've got the loo and bathroom.
Not huge and as you can see, in a bit of a state.
I particularly like the water feature in the double-glazed unit!
Clearly that needs to be replaced, but money to be spent there.
Quite quirky though, I quite like that.
The rear of the property, a big double bedroom
and a single bedroom on the left-hand side
and through into a big second double.
There's a lot of space in this property, for a family home, big ticks.
A couple of things I do notice, only one radiator up here.
You're going to have to pay for the central heating to be expanded,
but all in all....
there's not a not to be done and it's a good-sized family house.
# No use crying for you babe, cos there's
# Too many fish in the sea
# Too many fish in the sea... #
The fish tank feature window is a first for me!
But at a guide price of 92,000, I don't think you're swimming
against the financial tide with this place.
It's a solid little house so it's all looking quite promising.
But hang on, what's that I spy in the hall cupboard?
Look at this here in the cloakroom on the rear wall.
You might think, ah! Damp!
But in fact, it's not damp at all. It's actually just condensation.
A lot of modern houses and older houses tightly sealed with double glazing
and things like that do suffer from condensation.
How many times have you seen a property where there's water
on the insides of the windows?
It's basically caused by hot damp air inside,
hitting a cold wall or a window.
In this case there's probably been something pushed
against that wall, hot air inside, cold wall, water's formed and you're left with that.
Simple solution, either open the window,
or just keep the temperature down a bit.
So it's thermostat down and jumpers on
if you want to avoid nasty looking black mouldy patches.
But my advice would always be if you see any signs of damp, check it out.
The good news here is there's no smell of damp so I reckon we're OK.
So although there is work to be done here,
I don't think this place is a disaster.
Time to get some advice from a local estate agent
familiar with the Torpoint area.
The house is generally in quite good order.
There are remedial things that need to be done to the property.
There are areas of modernisation required.
The windows, central heating and such like that.
You look at your bathroom and your kitchen as being main areas for modernisation.
I think by focusing on those areas, it would refresh the property
and give it a new lease of life.
Once the house has had a refurbishment from top to bottom,
how much could it be worth on the open market?
At the moment the property's worth probably between 115 to 120,000.
In a fully renovated and modernised condition,
you'd be looking around about 150,000, maybe a little bit more.
And if the purchaser were a buy-to-let investor,
what sort of income could the house generate if it was rented out?
Once fully renovated, this property
would rent for between £650 to £700 per calendar month.
Well, this is a large house for that guide price
and with the added value of being so close to the water.
Spend just a little bit sorting it out
and I think you could make some money on this one.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Move on to lot number 144.
We have a mid-terraced three-bedroom house here for refurbishment.
Guide price, round about 110. Start me at £100,000.
90,000 to get going. Let's get cracking. £90,000, straight in.
Got a bid of £90,000. 92? You both went up at the same time.
Your bid is first at 92.
I'll come back to you at 94. I've taken 94, it's against you.
£96,000. The bid is here. Are we finished at £96,000? 98.
100. 102, sir?
102. Right at the back of the room, you're out at the moment. 104.
£106,000 it is. It's the standing bid, not seated. Coming again, sir?
£106,000. 107? Go 108, please?
£108,000. 109. 110? 11? 12?
112. It's yours at the moment. I've got 112 already.
You're in control. 113. You need another bid now, sir. 114, please?
114, it's the standing bid, not the seated bid at 115.
116, please? Have to hurry you, 116. £116,000. 117.
117.5? 118, please?
£118,000, I don't want to leave you out. 118.5, sir?
118.5 standing. You're both out here.
Standing bid at 118.5. I need another half.
Last chance, folks at the front. Anybody else?
Be very quick indeed, there was a good interest here before auction.
-That final successful bid of £118,500 came from Gavin.
He's a mortgage broker in Torpoint
so he only had to stroll from his office around the corner.
It's the second investment property he's bought
and I met up with him back at his purchase to find out more.
Gavin, lovely to meet you, congratulations.
-Thank you very much.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place?
Basically, it's for my brother.
He's looking at buying a place in the future,
so I brought him round here to have a look,
and he wants to buy a place for him and his wife,
and I decided I would buy it for them.
They're going to buy it, perhaps in a couple of years, back off me,
so we're going to rent it and then he's going to buy it back.
-You are a very nice brother to have, aren't you?!
-Not too bad, yeah!
The situation with the properties as they are,
it's a good time to buy, and they like the position of it,
so we went to auction and decided to buy it.
# Who squeezed toothpaste round the hall?
# Who put soot in the baby's ball?
# Who drew things on the garden wall?
# My brother. #
-Tell me a bit about you, what do you do?
-I'm a mortgage adviser in the town.
Been established in the industry about 16 years now.
I've got my own premises, been doing that for about four years in Torpoint.
I guess the times over the last few years must have been really tough?
It has been tough, trying to find mortgages has been difficult
and with the economic market as it is, it's been...I've been a bit slow.
-Is mortgage broking something you've always done?
-No, I've been doing it about 16 years.
I used to be a welder fabricator in the dockyard across the river.
I used to work on the submarines and the frigates, welded them up.
-A bit of a shift of career?
-Yeah, a very, very interesting shift, yes.
Very different to go into an office from manual work.
But I do prefer this.
Cleaner and fresher!
In my experience,
dealing with property is not always particularly clean and fresh,
but in this case I don't think the house is too bad.
What are this ex-submarine welder's plans for the property
into which he's sunk £118,500?
I've got a tenant coming in within a week,
so we're just going to basically revamp it,
just quickly touch it up,
and they're in for six, seven months,
and then they're moving away,
and we're just going to come in then for a month and get it all ready.
My brother's going to plan everything out to what he wants
for when he moves in, and that's how we're going to work it.
And after six months, what are you going to do?
We hope to put this into a kitchen-diner straightaway,
knock down the conservatory, double doors out here.
Revamp the bathroom, which definitely needs it,
bring back the fireplaces and, if possible, get the original doors back.
So what's the cost for the immediate simple touch-up job
and also the bigger picture in the future?
We're looking at, immediate work is just touch-up, painting,
cleaning, £1,000 now just for someone to come in
and actually live in it immediately.
In the future plans, we're looking at around seven-and-a-half
to 10,000 to do the rest of the work.
-At what point will your brother decide whether he's ready to move in?
-We're looking two years.
Well, lucky brother, getting what will essentially be
a brand-new house full of character to move into.
But that's what families are for.
Gavin has certainly done his brother a favour, and talking of families,
who's going to be on hand to help him out?
My immediate family, especially my youngest one,
Liam, he'll be in to help out cos he wants to get his teeth into it
and learn a bit about DIY and all that,
so it'll be interesting for him to get his hands dirty.
-Well, congratulations and good luck with it.
-Thank you very much.
Well, from submarines to substandard properties,
Gavin's career has certainly made a shift in direction.
Let's hope in this case it's not a nosedive.
Realistically, I don't think so.
I'm sure he and his brother will do very nicely out of this place.
You can find out how they get on later in the show.
Next up, I'm in Shepherd's Bush, West London.
The opening of a large shopping centre a few years ago really helped raise the area's profile,
and with four tube stations nearby, there can be no complaints about the transport links.
So I'm about half a mile from Shepherd's Bush Green,
and I'm here to see this lower ground floor one-bedroom flat.
At the front, there's a reasonably sized garden
belonging solely to the property, which is a real bonus.
So, with a guide price of 180,000, this place is definitely promising.
To have your own front door in a lower ground floor flat is fantastic.
A bit disappointing when you walk in because it's a bit scruffy, isn't it?
Really, really is. It needs decorating,
but you've got a nice spacious hallway, a bathroom in there,
and this is down as the bedroom on the catalogue description.
I'm laughing because it's massive!
This is a really big room for a flat in London.
You can see there's breeze blocks over the windows,
that's probably to prevent people from breaking in.
It feels dark and dingy, but that's because of the breeze blocks there.
I think it'll be quite light and airy and spacious once they come off.
There's no amazing features in here.
This, maybe, years and years ago, was an old fireplace,
so I'd like to add a little bit more to this room,
but I'm quite excited, I love the space.
I think this is going to be a good one.
This flat has bags of potential.
For me, the one downside is the bathroom.
It's more a wet room, and I'm not keen on that.
I'm a firm believer you should really squeeze in a bath if you can.
However, there is this extra storage space,
and whilst I'm not sure what you could use it for, in London every inch of room counts.
At the back of the property, your living area,!
A huge amount of storage in here,
and I keep saying this, but another really, really good sized room.
Now, something that does worry me is this big old stain up here on the ceiling.
I don't know how long that's been there,
but you may have to think about negotiating with the neighbour
if there's any cost repairs.
You've got to get up there, have a good old look around
and see if there's water penetrating through,
because that would worry me.
You've got the breeze blocks again here,
so you can't actually see how light it is in this room.
And through here, I'm going to say a disappointing room.
It's not big at all. This is the kitchen,
but something that is totally brilliant,
and it's not in the catalogue,
so it just goes to show how much it pays to do your research,
behind here is a door, and there's a communal garden.
So with this flat you get some outside space, which is fantastic.
I really like this property.
# I'm going to move into
# A house without windows... #
As there's no other access to the rear of the property,
until those breeze blocks come down, what lies behind the door is anybody's guess,
so there could be a mystery prize there.
As a developer,
I think the best way to make money is to add square footage
and add bedrooms.
Now, as I've said, this is a really big flat for a one-bedder, so maybe
you could reconfigure the space and squeeze in an extra bedroom.
It could be this kitchen.
Now, it is a bit small,
but you would have access through here,
and of course you could move the kitchen into this room
and make it an open plan living space.
You could put in a door here so it leads out to the garden.
However, you do have to weigh up the costs with these things.
There are a lot of supporting walls with this property,
and more importantly you will need permission from the freeholder.
Something to consider, and a good option.
Despite the scruffy, tired state and its dark, dingy feel,
I like this flat. It's big, with lots of potential.
It just needs modernising. So far, so good.
However, there is one small technical hitch,
a legal clause imposed by the vendor,
in this case, the local council,
meant that this flat could only be sold to someone
who was not intending to use it as their main residence,
so basically they had to be an investor who bought this
to either do up to let, or to sell on.
This restrictive clause is essentially a way for the council
to keep all the money made from the sale.
If the buyer lived in the flat,
the government would receive 75% of the capital,
so it's good for the council,
but of course that does limit its attraction to buyers.
What will a local property expert think of this spacious one-bed flat?
Is it a solid investment, or not worth a cent?
I think the property does require updating,
but it's quite a spacious one-bedroom and has a lot of potential.
In terms of the layout, I think you're dictated by
a lot of load-bearing walls, so I think how it's laid out at the moment
is probably the best route to stay, due to the cost.
Altering those structural walls would increase an investor's budget,
but would making it a two-bed flat be worth the outlay?
With turning the property into a two-bedroom flat,
you're still going to have the same square footage,
and I would say a quality one-bedroom is better than a cramped two-bedroom.
So if kept as a one-bed flat, what rent could you charge
if you let it out?
There would be a high demand for a rental property like this once completed,
and I believe you'd be looking at £1,100 per calendar month rental.
How would resale look for this one-bed flat?
I believe that the value of the property
once the works are completed would be in the region of £250-£265,000.
I like this flat.
It's in a good location, you've got the option to convert it into a two-bedder,
and the bonus of that access to a rear garden.
So let's see who shared my enthusiasm at the auction.
Move over to Shepherd's Bush now.
One bedroom, lower ground floor flat. What shall we say on this?
150, then? I'm not going to go below 150.
I'll take it at the back, 150.
180. 185. 186...
The property generated a lot of interest,
and there were several bidders going for it.
We return when the bidding reaches 215,000.
215 on the phone.
216. 217 on the phone.
217, 218, 219 on the phone.
218 in the room, first time, second time, third and last time.
Have you all done?
Where? Blimey, sorry. I shouldn't have forgot you.
Where am I, 218 or 219?
218. You almost got it.
219, 220. 221, 222.
221, back to you.
First time, second time, third and last time. Have you all done?
Those persistent and ultimately successful bidders
with their final bid of 221,000, were Andy and Anya.
They've been on the show before when they bought and renovated
a one-bedroom flat in Kilburn.
Six months on, these two are still buying property.
I met them at their latest purchase to find out more.
Guys, it's brilliant to see you both again.
The last time I saw you was at your Kilburn flat.
Did you sell that on, or are you still renting it?
We rented it. We had a couple of offers on it at the higher price,
but the banks weren't lending, really,
so we decided to put it onto rental and within half an hour it rented.
-So what property number we are up to now?
-This is property...
-So am I right in thinking property is the love of your lives...
-..apart from each other?
-Yeah, I'd say that.
It means we can work together.
-Anya can do all her design work, which is good.
It's something new always, always looking for something,
and I love shopping, it doesn't matter which one!
Well, with seven properties,
it looks like Anya can indulge in her favourite past time.
# We're S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G
# We're shopping. #
Anya, originally from Poland,
occasionally worked as a voice-over artist and translator,
while Andy used to work in IT.
But after being made redundant in 2009,
he pushed himself into property developing.
Together, they can now devote all their time to their properties.
Why did you want to buy this?
-How did it tick all the right boxes for you?
When we originally looked at it,
Westfield is only about half a mile up the road, and when we were driving out,
Anya saw it and went, "We've got to have that one!"
It is more tongue-in-cheek, really, than anything.
The other reason was it's huge. It is a big one-bed,
and it seemed to not need a great deal of work to it.
I know it looks awful, but a lot of it is cosmetic.
Giving this one-bedroom flat a spruce up wouldn't take too long.
The space here means the couple are considering adding a second bedroom.
The aim is to do up and sell this flat on.
Being careful developers,
the legal clause restricting the sale of this property to investors
didn't come as a surprise to them, unlike the mystery back garden.
We didn't know when we bought the flat,
and later when we got all the documents, we read and found out,
but, yes, it's quite nice to have extra space outside.
We don't know what the back garden's like cos we haven't been able to see it at all.
Once the bricks come off, we'll have a look.
It could be like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, it could be like a safari park!
Until the breeze blocks come down, the rear garden will remain a mystery,
but with the work they've planned,
I think their proposed budget's also rather puzzling.
This time we've got 5,000 only.
I don't think you're going to be able to convert this into a two-bed for five grand.
There will be a lot of configuring to be done.
That wouldn't be expensive, because he would do that,
-so that's not really the cost.
-It's the labour which costs the most,
and because we're doing it ourselves, we don't have to pay labour.
Of course, when it comes to the electrical work, Andy will have to employ a qualified electrician.
Even so, the couple have a proposed turnaround of three months,
and I just can't help thinking five grand won't be enough,
even if Andy does most of the hard work.
Andy, you're not Superman, how about if you get somebody else in to give you a hand?
I would think about doing that, the biggest problem is I'm a perfectionist
and I'd much rather do it myself and get it right
than have someone else do it and get it wrong.
-I think it's a control thing as well.
-So are you a control freak?
-Anya, you have to deal with that!
Guys, good luck.
I'm looking forward to seeing how this works out for you.
So, the plan is to refurbish this to a good standard,
but spend a low amount.
Not sure that weighs up exactly,
and let's not forget, Andy is a perfectionist!
So, will Anya and Andy really manage this,
and will they add that extra bedroom?
You can find out later in the programme.
Coming up, the accommodation in this Lincolnshire terrace
is bigger than you might first think.
Somebody's obviously put an extension on the back to create that really nice sized kitchen.
We return to West London to see just what was behind the bricked-up kitchen door.
When we opened the back door for the first time, "That's huge!"
But first we go back to Cornwall and this house could've got the cream.
We've kind of gone higher spec than we originally were going to go.
Earlier in the programme when we were in Torpoint, Cornwall,
Gavin, a local mortgage broker, had paid £118,500 for this mid-terrace.
He already has one other investment property,
but he brought this one with someone else in mind.
Basically, it's for my brother.
He wants to buy a place for him and his wife
and I decided I would buy it for them.
They're going to buy it, perhaps in a couple of years, back off me,
so we're going to rent it and then he'll buy it back.
-You are a very nice brother to have, aren't you?!
-Not too bad, yeah!
So, the plan was to rent it out to friends initially,
and then eventually his brother, Richard, would move in.
Now, it's just three months later when we meet up with Gavin again
back at the refurbished property.
The red paintwork that matched the neighbouring properties
has gone, along with the glass-panelled front door.
At the back of the house, the conservatory remains,
and the garage has been converted into a carport.
Inside, the front living room has a replacement fireplace,
a two-tone colour scheme, and is already furnished.
The drab hallway is now gloss white with laminate flooring
and leads you to the stunning kitchen-diner that's been created.
It's a stylish room,
much better suited to today's living requirements.
In here was the major work of the house, really.
We've taken down all this wall here, opened it up into open plan.
Back here there was an outside toilet with a wall.
We've taken that down, new boiler.
We've completely re-plastered, new windows,
and basically opened this up for an open plan kitchen-diner,
which I think works well in this house
because it was a very narrow aperture going through here and outside,
and I think that the overall look is very nice.
I could see the potential in creating the kitchen-diner when I first looked round,
but wasn't the plan just to freshen up the house for his friends
to rent for six months and then do the majority of the work?
There was a change of plan.
Basically, we were going to rent it out right away,
but due to the fact there was quite a bit of work to do,
we decided to do the work right away
and then get all the house finished completely,
and as my brother was already renting,
we thought it'd be an ideal situation that he came in and rented from me.
It's meant Gavin's brother Richard, his partner Zoe,
and their cat Murphy, have been able to make a big impact on the style of the house.
Upstairs, a fabulous fireplace was discovered in the front bedroom,
and the floral feature wall...Well, it certainly makes a statement.
Gavin has already spotted the fireplace in the back bedroom
and that room has been decorated in classic white.
The fish tank in the bathroom window sunk without trace
when the window was replaced.
The new white suite and colour-coordinated floor now look a lot better.
As you can see, this is the front living room.
We've done quite a lot in this room, actually.
There was quite a lot of damp in the corner
so we've had all the damp course done, injected.
We've also had the windows done and the bay all renewed.
The whole room's been completely replastered.
Bit more work than we expected, but overall,
I think the finish has been superb.
Originally, Gavin had set a budget of £7,500 to £10,000.
So what happened?
Well, we've definitely gone over that.
We've kind of gone higher spec than we originally were going to go.
We've spent in the region of £15,500.
By the end of it, we should be up around £16,000 total on that.
Time to get the views of two local property experts.
The property was in a good state,
but the work that has been done has enhanced it.
He's done a good job, really.
Everything that needed doing has been done.
Done in a nice neutral manner.
Period features are really popular,
especially in the older style properties.
Having cast iron fireplaces in both bedrooms will definitely help saleability,
if they choose to go down that route.
Gavin's brother is now renting the house.
The long-term plan is for him to buy it,
but how much rental income should Gavin be receiving?
You'd rent this for between £650 and £700 per calendar month.
I feel we could achieve around £575 to £600 per calendar month.
A lot more than I expected, actually.
Cos we're renting at the moment for £600 a month.
Perhaps I'm doing it a little bit cheap!
No, he's your brother
and he's planning to buy it in a couple of years!
Gavin paid £118,500 at auction and has spent £16,000,
so is the house now worth more than £134,500?
If we were looking to market this property,
we would look to market between £155,000 and £165,000.
I would value the house at around £155,000 to £160,000.
On those valuations, there's around 20-30 grand profit here.
Is that around what Gavin was expecting?
Um, yeah, a little bit higher than I thought.
I was expecting £145,000 to £150,000. So that is a bonus.
That's very nice to hear, actually. So all the hard work's been worth it.
Well, there's been a change of plan, as Gavin's brother is now renting
and thanks to the whole family pitching in, the place has been transformed.
So what's next for Gavin?
I provided the finance, but I just helped out here and there.
I would love to do it again and I'm already looking for houses, but I wouldn't be hands-on.
I would just make sure I get a workforce in to do it for me.
This is Gainsborough, a small market town in Lincolnshire.
Once a port, the historic riverside area of Gainsborough
has recently been transformed by a £20 million regeneration project.
And the town certainly has its fair share of grand buildings.
If you like being close to your local amenities,
you will love the place I am here to see.
That's the local supermarket, this is the road the house is in - it's almost like it's Aisle 17!
This is the property I'm here to see. It's a two-bed Victorian terrace
at a guide price of 30 to 35,000 quid. Looks a bit grubby from the outside. Let's take a look inside.
So, very handy if you run out of milk.
# I took her to a supermarket... #
But judging by the exterior,
you might also need to nip in for some filler and paint as well.
Okey-cokey, what have we got?
Lots of space for coats, that's for sure!
And... that is a stud partition wall.
So I'm thinking straight away, do we need that wall there?
I mean, maybe put a porch on instead or something.
That's straight into your living room at the front.
It just takes off too much space, as far as I am concerned.
I don't think you need that corridor. A useful cupboard.
And then, a nice surprise. Into the rear of the property, a second living area.
I reckon you'd spend most of your time in here. You've got the open fire.
It's a bit grubby. Smells a bit damp.
But it's surprisingly likeable, I have to say.
At some point somebody has obviously put an extension on the back to create that nice-sized kitchen.
So, what at the front seems like quite a small property,
surprise, surprise...it's great.
# Surprise, surprise, surprise...
# Surprise, surprise, surprise... #
The kitchen is really quite long
and you could get a good number of units in here.
Upstairs, in this house that went to auction at between 30 and 35,000,
the front bedroom retains some interesting original features.
The rear bedroom has some '70s wallpaper.
But again, a great door and fireplace.
It's a shame the original windows have gone.
At the end of the corridor, you step down into the bathroom
built into the extension above the kitchen.
At the rear of the property you can see the extension which has been added on
at some point to give you that nice-sized kitchen.
There's also an outside loo. You might expect the garden or rear space to end about here.
But no, it carries on. There are these sheds. Then it carries on even further.
You've got this extra space, another shed. But more importantly,
that is a little access road at the back.
So, what would I do? Basically the same as the properties on either side have done.
Knock out this wall, put a gate in there and then you can get your car in the back
to create that all-important off-street parking.
And in difficult market conditions, adding something extra
like parking, could improve the potential for the property.
I'm impressed with this place, especially when you remember the guide price of £30-£35,000.
But where there's the prospect of a bargain, there also often lurks an issue.
So here I am in the lounge. And here is a cupboard.
What could I tell you about this cupboard? Will I say you may want to strip it back
to create the lovely architectural effect of the original features?
Er, no. I'm actually going to say, open it.
This is what you've got to do when you look at houses. Cupboards reveal things,
apart from lots of dust and cobwebs.
This cupboard, for instance, not that interesting apart from this wall.
The start of a clue...
which is even more revealed when you go to the lower cupboard.
Look at this. Damp! Pull this off.
More often than not, people try to disguise the fact...
Wow, The English Picture Calendar from when? Fantastic.
Anyway, to disguise the fact that there are some damp issues.
Inside this cupboard, it is in a right old state.
So, when you are looking round houses, make sure that you delve into the cupboards.
In this case, though, the damp is not difficult to spot,
cos it's on this wall.
Penetrating damp from outside, whatever happens,
it needs to be sorted out.
That was your tip for the day. Check the cupboards!
# Cat's in the cupboard
# You've got to set him free
# Cat's in the cupboard... #
We invited along a local property expert
to give us his views on this mid-terrace.
There's definitely some character hiding in this house.
But are there any other positive features here?
The main plus point is having a separate first floor bathroom.
Most terraced houses like this have a ground floor
or bathroom off a bedroom.
Once refurbished, how much could it be worth on the open market?
With full renovation, I could expect the property to achieve
somewhere in the region of 65-£70,000.
And for a buy-to-let investor,
how much rental income could it generate?
Fully renovated, I would expect the property to achieve
about £350 per calendar month.
Well, there's obviously work to be done here.
-reflected in the guide price. And personally,
I think you are getting a lot of house for the money.
The layout works for me. You've got space at the back,
and you're certainly well located.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
Right. Lot number 15, two-bedroomed terraced house.
If you forget something, it's very handy for the supermarket.
Property for modernisation...
20,000, thank you. At 20,000, 21.
22. 23. 24.
25. 25, 26.
29, near going. 29. 30,000.
£30,000 I'm bid. At £30,000 I'm bid.
At £30,000. 500 anywhere? All done, then?
30,500. Are you both going? All right.
30,500, 31. 500. 32. 500.
Do you want it 500 again?
At £32,000, then, it's going to be sold.
For the first time, for the second,
for the third and last time at £32,000.
Any more bids? Thank you, gentlemen.
That final successful bid of £32,000
was made by local developer, Joe.
He had spent 12 years in the army before leaving to develop property.
That led from houses to care homes,
where the bulk of his business now lies.
I met up with Joe at the property to find out what his plans are here.
-Joe, lovely to meet you. Congratulations.
-Thank you very much.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
-Well, the yields were good.
Property prices have come down.
And I've got an aunty and my cousin coming from Australia
in about two months' time. Now, I've never met them.
I've bought this for them to live in, while they're here.
And I'll rent it afterwards.
So you bought the property primarily for some relatives you've never met,
-who are coming to stay for a couple of months?
That, I think, is the most obscure reason I've ever heard
for somebody buying a property on the show!
-Do they have any idea that you're buying a house for them?
All the family's chipping in a bit
towards the purchase of getting them over here.
You know, buying the tickets and things like that.
And my bit was putting them up, so...
-What's the story of the visit?
-My aunty emigrated to Australia 44 years ago. She's never been back.
-So before it gets too late, you know,
everyone's chipping in to bring her back.
It's as a surprise for my dad, as well. It's 44 years since they left.
-And he's got no idea she's coming?
-Absolutely no idea.
So you're going to have some sort of big party?
Yes, we've got family coming from all over.
-So I'm going to have a party.
-That'll be quite some party, I'm sure!
It'll be great to see his father's face,
and that of his 86-year-old Australian aunt,
when she sees her new temporary home.
# In Australia
# In Australia.... #
What was it about the property you liked?
This wasn't the property I went to the auction to buy.
There was another one that went for about £20,000 over the asking price.
And I thought that was a silly, ridiculous price for the property.
And this was towards the end.
I had a drive around the day of the auction.
It looked OK, a bit of a sag on the roof and a bit of damp, but nothing serious.
So... you know, the price was attractive.
-So this is the one I went for.
-So had you been inside the property?
I had a drive around the day before. I had a look through the windows.
So the structure looked OK, a bit of damp.
So what are you going to do to it?
What they call a slap and mag job.
-A slap and what?
-A slap and mag job.
Slap in a new kitchen,
slap in a new bathroom, and slap a bit of magnolia everywhere.
I love it! It's all in a day's bidding for Joe, isn't it?
Buy it without a viewing, and then give it a quick "slap and mag" job.
And £10,000 later, Bob's your uncle.
Or Mary is your 86-year-old Australian aunt, in this case.
He's already got a builder lined up.
So what exactly is he going to do here?
New bay window, new front door.
Take the wall out to enlargen the front room. New kitchen.
Move the bathroom upstairs and make it into a three bedroom.
Three? How are you going to get a third bedroom in?
The second bedroom, we're going to cut it off,
make an internal bathroom.
When I do get to rent it out, I'll get more for a three-bed than a two-bed.
-When do they arrive?
-They're arriving in two months.
So you've got to get this place sorted out by then?
Yeah. I've got a builder who works for me on a regular basis, Daz.
And he reckons about six weeks to sort it out completely.
-Congratulations. Good luck. We look forward to seeing how it all turns out.
Well, of all the reasons for buying a house, that one is a real corker.
Still, Joe's Aussie aunt is arriving in eight weeks,
so he really needs to get his skates on sorting the place out.
I'm not sure about that third bedroom idea.
And what is a "slap and mag job" going to look like?
You can find out later in the show.
Well, we hope our buyers have been working away on their investments,
and making themselves a tidy profit.
Have they been busy, or have they had disappointing delays?
Let's go back and find out.
It's back now to Shepherd's Bush, west London, where earlier
we met Andy and Anya, who bought this one-bed flat for 221,000.
They've been on the show before, when they bought another flat,
and this was their seventh venture into developing.
The flat needed work,
and Andy now had a lot of experience in doing up properties.
But he's also picked up one habit that could slow him down.
Biggest problem is I'm a perfectionist and I'd rather
do it myself and get it right than have someone else do it and get it wrong.
-And I think it's a control thing as well.
-So are you a control freak?
Well, with possible plans to turn this into a two-bed flat
on a budget of only five grand, that could go against him.
Andy and Anya had reckoned on a three-month turnaround,
but it's six months later and, from the outside, the flat doesn't seem to have changed much.
But inside, removing the breeze blocks has flooded the room
with light, showing those two sash windows off perfectly
and revealing a total replastering job.
The refurb continues at the rear and, while the renovation
is still ongoing, there are now signs of a rear garden.
And a new kitchen, which is now larger, as Andy explains.
We originally had a doorway here, so we opened it out into this lovely
big arch, purely to give it more light and make it look a lot bigger.
We also chose a nice gloss white kitchen so it can reflect
the light and really sort of maximise the space available to us.
I think it complements the flat beautifully and I really like it.
Expanding the doorway does help to create a more open-plan feel -
exactly what the flat needed.
But back along the corridor, the bathroom is still an ongoing
project with the final aim of keeping it as a wet room.
What happened to the other plans to create a second bedroom?
We were not really allowed to open up and do two bedrooms.
And another thing, I don't think I would like to.
I like spacious flats and houses
so I would rather have one big bed than two little bedrooms.
With steel structure walls, reconfiguring the layout down here would have been a costly affair.
But, as it turns out, they have a great sized one-bedroom flat here,
and it's all blessed with a previously unseen garden.
# There's a secret garden she hides. #
The communal garden's a lot bigger than we thought.
We thought it was going to be selected to this plot,
which seems to be across of about four or five properties, which has helped.
When we opened the back door for the first time it was sort of, "That's huge."
While the renovation is soon coming to an end,
getting there wasn't straightforward because of that council clause
stating owners can't live in the flat.
Parking has been horrendous.
Even though we own it, they won't give as a permit unless we pay council tax.
When we bought the place, part of the stipulation was that we weren't
allowed to ever live here, so, by rights, you can't have a council tax.
They won't give us contractor parking,
so basically we've been leaving the cars and vehicles at one of our
other properties in London and then commuting by bus,
so it sort of makes sense to someone, but not me, I'm afraid.
Why did the schedule overrun from three to six months?
Apart from some water leaks from the flat upstairs
that set the renovation back a few weeks,
Andy and Anya have been investing in some bigger projects,
notably a four-bedroom house for their family in Surrey.
That needed work, so that took priority for them.
And they also found time to buy a go-karting race track business.
Was Andy able to put all his DIY experience to good use on this flat?
I've done all the work myself apart from the plastering.
The electrics, I'm not allowed to touch by law.
Um, other than that, everything else has been down to me.
He's done a really good job here.
Especially doing, by himself, almost everything.
There was a lot of trunking which he had to do.
That was the most biggest and heavy job.
Er, otherwise, he's doing really perfect, really great.
The couple reckon there are only seven full days of work
left to finish the renovation, but with other commitments,
that will probably be spread over the next month.
How did the budget hold out?
I think we should still be online for the £6,000 mark
because it's purely been labour and we do it ourselves.
Well, add that to the original purchase price of 221,000
and their total outlay so far is 227 grand.
Time to find out what two local estate agents think
of what the couple have achieved so far.
I think it's a very nice refurbishment underway.
It will be nice to see it when it's completed.
You've got a good-sized lounge and bedroom,
the kitchen works very well, walking onto the garden,
which is nice to have, although it's shared.
I think it's a good flat. Basement flats can often be dark, this isn't.
It's quite bright, it's well proportioned with the kitchen and bathroom being good sizes.
What sort of returns could be made here, first, as a rental?
Once completed, I would recommend
this flat would rent for £1,250 per calendar month.
If this flat came on the rental market, you would easily achieve
£1,250 per calendar month.
That puts the rental just under £300 a week,
which is probably what we were looking at.
We'd probably put it about 285, 290 a week.
But with a total spend of 227,000,
what could they expect to sell it for?
Once this flat is completed,
I would estimate the resale value to be £310,000.
If this were to come on the market for sale,
I would suggest a marketing figure of £285,000.
That would give them a possible pre-tax profit
of between 58 and 83,000.
Very nice. That's a lot more than we were expecting.
A lot more than we were expecting.
Unsurprisingly, with that sort of resale figure possible,
Andy and Anya plan to sell.
But they've both had a hectic couple of months
so can they now relax and enjoy any profits they make?
We've got a holiday coming up soon at the end of next month,
which should be relaxation.
We've just bought a new house, so Anya's deep in designing all that
and, obviously, we've got the karting business as well.
So it's going to be a pretty fun-packed year, at least.
We return now to Gainsborough in Lincolnshire
where, earlier in the programme, Joe, and ex-army engineer,
had paid £32,000 for this mid-terraced house.
He's got plenty of experience with property developing.
He specialises in care home facilities,
but was going to add this one to his buy-to-let portfolio.
But that wasn't the only reason he bought it under the hammer.
The yields were good, property prices have come down
and I've got an aunty and my cousin coming from Australia
in about two months.
I've never met them so I bought this for them to live in
while they're here then rent it afterwards.
That, I think, is the most obscure reason I've ever heard
for somebody buying a property on this show.
Well, it's just nine weeks later and Joe's been busy
transforming the house ready for his aunt's arrival.
Outside the house retains lots of the original character
and a new bay window has been fitted.
Inside, as promised, Joe's decorated the house in magnolia.
The cupboard and damp have gone from the rear living room
and new doors have been fitted leading out onto the garden.
That's opened up the living room into a large dining room
which extends into a spacious refitted kitchen.
The bay-fronted living room at the front has gained some space,
as Joe explains.
In here originally, there was a hallway and a small lounge.
We took the stud walling away to make a larger room for modern living,
new carpets, we've repaired the original plaster work,
central heating and there was a door here with a stud wall
which wasn't safe, so we just moved it back a bit.
The ground floor looks great, but Joe and his builders
have been working to a deadline and the clock's been ticking.
My cousin and my aunty coming from Australia, they're arriving today,
so the inside of the house had to be finished
for them to sleep here tonight.
Just got to move some furniture in now.
Goodness, Joe's sailing pretty close to the wind,
but hopefully there will be enough accommodation
because upstairs he's created an extra bedroom.
The front bedroom remains the same,
but it's a shame the original fireplace has gone.
The second bedroom's lost it's fire as well as half the room
because it's now the bathroom.
At the other end of the corridor, the original bathroom
is now the second bedroom.
While the remaining part of the original bedroom,
that's not being used for the bathroom, takes the total to three.
Joe had originally set a timescale of six weeks,
but there were some delays as his previous job overran
and he had to change the window fitters halfway.
There's still work to do at the back.
Out here, all we've done is clear it off.
Originally there were two sheds here,
a potting table across here and a rotten fence.
So we've taken all them away. Behind you there, we're going to put
a car parking space, a six foot fence along here,
a patio, a path that runs down the side of the property and a back door.
But that'll have to wait as the priority now
is to get the furniture in for the guests who arrive later TODAY.
Joe funded the £32,000 purchase with cash.
Did he manage to stick to his budget?
Er, the original budget was £10,000.
I've come in under budget, £9,372. I'm quite happy with that.
Time to hear what two local property experts think of the house
that Joe refurbished for his Australian aunt.
I think the property's been very well finished to a good standard.
It's been particularly improved by the fact
it now has a double bedroom and two singles.
I'm very impressed. I particularly like the open-plan
dining/kitchen area which I think would work well for a young family
or professional couple.
I think they've done a great job on the kitchen, made it a long kitchen
fitted with all new appliances.
Joe paid £32,000 at auction
and his spend is just under 9,400.
So, is the house now worth more than £41,400?
In my opinion, the property would be worth
somewhere in the region of 70 - £75,000.
I think they've got a property now worth in the region of 75 - £80,000.
That valuation range of 70 - 80 grand would generate
a potential gross profit of between 28 and 38,600
before the usual selling expenses.
Yeah, happy with that.
Yeah, very good.
Once Joe's Australian aunt has left,
how much rental income could he achieve here?
Rental market in Gainsborough is very strong at the minute
and I would expect this property to fetch
about £425 - £450 per calendar month.
In my opinion, the property would rent for somewhere in the region of
between £475 - £495 per calendar month.
My own agent, that I've been dealing with for many years,
has put a value at 475 and she's got someone in mind for the property.
Although Joe specialises in providing care home accommodation,
he bought this property to add to his buy-to-let portfolio,
but judging by the valuation here,
it looks like this one is already on the up
to the top of the property market. So, what's next for Joe?
The next project we're moving on to, starting next week,
is a scheme of seven bungalows and then keep on going from there.
My long-term aim is to have six rentals in town
and develop my care business.
That's it for today's show. We'll have lots more properties
and enthusiastic buyers for you next time.
-So make sure you join us then. Goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Cornwall, a large flat in Shepherd's Bush and a terrace house in Gainsborough. 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.