Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a one-bedroom flat in London, a two-bedroom cottage in Derbyshire and a bungalow in Wiltshire.
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-We both know how property prices can fluctuate.
Yes, but over the years, as we have found,
property has been a pretty good place to put your money.
So if you're thinking of investing, why not go down to
your local auction house and see what's on offer?
There are literally hundreds of property auctions held
every year, so you are spoilt for choice.
Let's take a look at the properties that made our buyers
part with their hard-earned cash on today's show.
Coming up in Kilburn, London,
this one-bed flat won't appeal to any chefs out there.
The smallest kitchen I think I have ever seen. I mean, that is tiny.
This two-bed cottage in Derbyshire has a real surprise in store.
However, what do you think is through this door? A cupboard?
And in Wiltshire,
this bungalow doesn't exactly offer a relaxing soak.
I think I'm right in saying it's just half a bath.
All these properties are being sold at auction
and we find out who bought them and what they paid for them
when they went under the hammer.
Sold, on the back wall.
Kilburn may not be the most prestigious part of north London
but as it rubs shoulders with West Hampstead, St John's Wood
and Maida Vale, it gains kudos from those areas,
so buyers who hanker after the attractions of those places
but can't afford it might well look to Kilburn instead.
That's all it takes to walk from the tube to the property
I am here to see, not bad.
So, the lot has location on its side. But what about curb appeal?
Mansion blocks aren't everyone's cup of tea, but this one,
built in the 1930s, is really rather attractive, and inside waits
a one-bedroom flat that had a guide price of 180,000.
MUSIC: "My Baby Just Cares For Me" by Nina Simone.
The block rises from the ground
rather like a grand old cruise liner.
It's big and imposing and really rather impressive.
Inside, it's certainly shipshape with gleaming polished brass,
spotless stairs and beautifully tended courtyard.
The entrance to the flat is along an internal walkway.
Oh, the interior is certainly not as well-maintained
as the areas outside the property.
There's a bedroom to the left,
a really nice reception area and a little seated area here.
And the smallest kitchen I think I've ever seen. That is tiny.
It certainly doesn't match the rest of the proportions in the property.
You have a nice alcove area here
with a fire that I think was probably installed in the '30s.
It's obviously an original piece. (But it's going to have to go.)
Nice big window here of letting lots of light through.
You can see there's central heating and the bedroom,
a bit of an odd shape and not huge.
It's quite strange, this, because you have a big space
in the middle and then these two little rooms dotted at the end.
I think I'd need to come in here and rearrange the space.
Maybe knock a wall down or two. But it's not bad.
I'm not sure what you can do about the size of the bedroom.
Get rid of some of those built-in cupboards for sure,
but I think you're stuck with the proportions of that room.
On the subject of bedrooms,
I think you could squeeze more out of this space.
It might not be the biggest flat in the world but in London,
believe it or not, it's certainly enough to consider turning this
into a two-bed.
Perhaps the only way to do this is to move this kitchen
into the living room and make this into a kitchen-living-diner.
You could make the kitchen and this seating area the second bedroom.
That would increase the rental return, for sure.
But I think it's in the resale you could really see a return.
It could add as much as 30 grand onto the value.
Bearing in mind the high guide price and the state of this flat, I would
go as far as saying that making the change is an absolute must,
and perhaps your only way to make an instant profit.
The guide price on this property was 180 grand,
not far off what a fully renovated one-bedroom in this block goes for.
So as far as I can see, it's two bedrooms or bust.
And if you cast your mind back to that beautifully maintained
courtyard, there's some important information to consider
when you're doing your sums.
Buying in a beautifully managed block like this means that
you have to contribute to the upkeep in the form of service charge.
It is something that's often overlooked
but you can be asked to pay up to £1,000 or more per year,
especially if the blocks have lifts to maintain,
roofing issues or gardens to tend to.
Here, I am afraid to say, it's more than that.
In fact, it's triple that, at £3,000 per year. Ouch. Do the maths.
It's a whopping £250 per month to find on top of your mortgage,
or £250 less in rental returns.
The gardens may look pretty
but all of this loveliness comes with a hefty price tag.
It does sound a lot but since that three grand also goes towards paying
for gas and electricity, it could be worth paying if you are going
to live here but as an investor, it's not money I would see back
in terms of rental returns and could make the flat hard to sell.
It's a tricky one.
With a guide price of 180,000,
I asked a local estate agent what he thought.
My first impression of the flat is it has a very large reception room.
The bedroom is quite small.
There is an option to make a second bedroom within the living room.
So, making it two bedrooms does seem like the best option.
But how would the returns stack up? First, if rented out.
As a one-bed, I think this property would rent out
for approximately £900 per calendar month.
As a two-bed, this property would rent out
for approximately £1,200 per calendar month.
What's the resale value for both of these options?
The property would be worth approximately 200,000
as a refurbished one-bedroom property.
If this property was turned into a two bed,
I would say it would be worth around £225,000.
It seems there's a great flat here with potential,
but it could be hard to make a profit.
This flat needs work.
The margins are tight.
So what happened?
Let's find out.
A one bedroomed first floor flat.
Somebody want to start me off?
Thank you. 160 I've got.
170, 175... 180.
194, 195, 196...
197, 198, new place,
202, 203, 204,
205, 206, 207...
208, 209, 210,
With you again,
211 for the first, 211 for the second,
211 for the third and final time... all done?
That successful bid of 211,000,
30 grand over the guide price,
came from Ziad, who bought the flat with his dad.
I met up with him to find out his plans.
Ziad, lovely to meet you today. Congratulations.
-Why did you want to but this property?
Well, um... It's a development, basically.
As the market is quite bad,
we think it is a good time to buy a property
and do it up, and hopefully, when the market picks up
we can sell it on for a profit.
Where did you spot this property? Was it in the auction catalogue?
It was in the auction catalogue,
but I didn't actually see this property before I bought it.
We saw a couple of other properties which we were interested in at the auction.
They went for a lot more than we were expecting, and...
I knew this area,
I knew this building, kind of, I mean, I've passed it before.
-So you didn't have a chance to do any background research on this at all?
-No, no, not at all.
-Did you even know the service charge on a property like this?
-No, I didn't know.
-Do you know the service charge now?
I do, yeah, but I don't know it off the top of my head right now
cos I haven't written it down, but it's not unreasonable.
OK, well, I can tell you what the service charge is - £3,000 a year.
-I think that's quite expensive, actually.
Well, for the area, no, it's not.
For this area, for where it's located,
for the kind of building it is, I think it's quite reasonable to pay.
This is a development, we're going to do it up, we're going to sell the property on.
So, it's a cost that we'll have to incur for one year, maybe, but I'm not going to keep this property.
So, it's do up and sell on for Ziad.
He trained as a carpenter and is studying to be a construction manager,
so is well placed for this project.
He's got experience and know-how and was after a blank canvas,
but does he know how to make money from this place?
This is a decent-sized one-bedroom property as it stands.
How are you going to make the most out of this?
Well, I plan to extend the kitchen, make it bigger and make that into a bedroom.
And the kitchen will then move into the living room
and it'll be an open-plan kitchen/living room.
So are you going to be taking that whole little seated area
and using that whole space to create a bedroom?
Not the whole seated area.
Part of it will be for the bedroom, part of it will be for the kitchen,
so the kitchen will also be incorporated into the seating area.
-That's going to be one tiny bedroom!
I would've thought you could have taken that whole space,
that would be adequate for a bedroom.
Why don't you use all of the space?
Well, we haven't got set plans, so that is an option.
The only thing with that is if we use this whole space, the kitchen, where does that go?
This little alcove, I think, is ideal for a little kitchen.
You could put a few units, a little cooker,
you could perhaps turn that into your kitchen space.
That's an option. That's an option that we could look at,
cos we haven't actually got any set ideas yet.
We still have to speak to the freeholder,
find out what we're allowed to do and can do, but that is an option.
This is a tricky one, but I'm glad Ziad sees that this is where the money is going to be made here.
A second bedroom, however small,
will immediately boost his potential profit.
# Give me some money
# Give me some money. #
So, what sort of budget are you intending on spending on this?
We haven't done all the calculations for that yet, so we haven't got an exact budget,
but I'm guessing it'll take at least 20,000 to do everything properly.
You know, the kind of projects I've done in the past,
the standard that I've done, they're quite nice,
so we don't want to do anything less than that.
Ziad's aim is to have the flat back on the market in three-four months,
and he plans to give it a high-quality finish.
If you do it properly up, really well,
and you make it desirable for people,
they will be willing to pay a market value for the area.
I mean, we're in Kilburn, but we're just next to Maida Vale,
St John's Wood, so I think that will have an impact.
I really hope this works out for you
and that you sell this at a profit. Well done.
-Thank you very much.
There are a lot of question marks with Ziad's plans,
and fair enough, he needs time to think.
Find out how he gets on later on in the programme.
I'm in Derbyshire, right beside the River Derwent.
From here, the beautiful Peak District is only half an hour's drive,
while Derby is just ten minutes away.
This is Milford, a pretty little former mill town
between Belper and Duffield in Derbyshire.
It is quite gorgeous, and I'm here to see the kind of property
that will set the auction rooms on fire, cos it's one of those ones
that people will just fall in love with,
and it's through this alleyway.
Now, the only slight problem with the alleyway is the fact
that that is the only entrance to the property.
Not too much of an issue on a day-to-day basis,
but when it comes to restoration work and you're bringing in
building materials and taking out rubbish, not ideal.
However, more than compensated for by the property itself.
It's a two-bedroom cottage, it is cutesy-wootsy beyond belief.
At a guide price of 58,000 quid, I love it already.
It's not the only one you could fall for around here.
Many of the older houses in Milford were built by the Strutt family.
They owned and ran the mills in the area, and this cottage could
very well have been home to mill workers back in the 1860s and '70s.
I'm just hoping it's as lovely inside as it is out.
Oh, please, please, please be nice inside! Yes!
Well, no, actually.
Good start, high ceilings, shame it hasn't got any beams, but, well, one large room here.
But it talks about a kitchenette in the catalogue and that's it!
It's pretty small and it gets worse, cos this is the door up to the bedrooms.
Open that and the kitchenette disappears completely.
OK, well, this is your living room.
It's not got a lot of character, but the rest of the house has, so that kind of makes up for it.
But what it does have...
for some odd reason, is some very, very damp walls.
Now, that's too high to be rising damp,
so my guess is it's coming in from outside -
possibly a leaky downpipe or something like that.
I also need to check out the sanitary ware upstairs and see if that's leaking.
But this is the room here.
Nice original doors which would be beautiful stripped back.
Nothing there apart from a sort of small storage area.
However, what do you think is through this door?
A cupboard? Oh, no!
There is a really interesting thing.
I don't know how I'd describe this. I guess it's some kind of cellar.
I mean, I'm thinking straight away to some kind of a wine cellar.
Talk about character, this bit is absolutely brilliant.
The only problem is you're now underneath the house
that's actually backing on to this property, so, before you dig around and change things in here,
you've got to be very careful, cos the last thing you want to do is have their 42-inch plasma screen
come down on top of your head as you took out a supporting wall.
Check it out before you do anything, maybe think about digging down.
Flying freeholds like this could cause a problem on the mortgage,
so you want to get yourself an indemnity policy, but who cares.
This, for me, makes the house very interesting indeed.
In general, it would be an understatement to say this place needs work.
Aside from the damp and that super-thin kitchen,
there's no central heating, just old storage heaters.
The windows need replacing and the decor, well, it is dated.
Well, much as I love this place, it does start to go a bit wrong when you come upstairs.
The layout's not ideal at all,
because in order to access the second bedroom on the second floor,
you have to come through the first bedroom on the first floor.
So, really not a good scenario.
And here's the other slight problem. This is the only bathroom in the property,
and to say it's the bathroom, it's not actually, it's your shower room. As you can see, it's tiny.
It's only marginally bigger than the kitchen downstairs,
so you definitely want to do something about that.
The problem is, I don't know where you could put it. Still, we still love it.
# I put a spell on you
# Cos you're mine... #
Yet for me, this place oozes a strange sort of charm.
Even with that second bedroom on the top floor needing a total makeover,
it still has an original cast iron fireplace to give it a stamp of character.
But with a guide price of £58,000 I reckon there will have to be
a pretty hefty renovation budget on top of that to get the best out of this place.
For a second opinion,
let's ask the auctioneer who sold the place what he would do with it.
It's got a lot of character to it because it's on three floors
and only one room deep effectively.
Obviously it has got its limitations as to what you can achieve from it.
There's quite a lot of damp. The window frames need replacing cos they've got wet rot in them.
I think you've got to improve your bathroom arrangement somehow,
and clearly the kitchen arrangement is substandard.
It depends how far you want to take it
but I think you could spend £15,000 on it in putting it right.
You might be able to do it for £10,000 if you do it fairly modestly.
With its guide price of £58,000, how do the potential returns look?
This would fetch, I would say, on today's market, around £100,000 when it's renovated.
What about the rental figures?
You'd rent it for about £350 a calendar month, I would guess.
Well, if the cottage itself doesn't hook you,
the view out of the window certainly will. It's great.
Let's be honest, this is the sort of property
that people absolutely fall in love with so I'm sure it was
a very emotional purchase for the person who bought it at the auction.
Lot 26, where do you want to be on this one, ladies and gentlemen?
May I say 60,000 to start me?
Put it in at 55 if you will?
55,000 is bid down the centre, thank you.
At £55,000 it's a cheap house, ladies and gentlemen.
55 is my opening bid. 56 on the left.
57, 58 is bid. 59. At 59.
And a half. 60,000?
60,000. And a half?
60-and-a-half, 61, 61,500?
61-and-a-half somewhere else?
And 61,000 it's going to be sold, ladies and gentlemen.
At 61,000 once, twice,
third and last chance, all done at £61,000.
Down the centre, 61,000, sold, thank you.
That final bid of £61,000 was made by Rachel.
She's a trained physiotherapist who currently lives in Derby.
She plans to live here and, although it isn't Rachel's first ever property,
it will be her first renovation.
I met her back at the cottage to find out more.
-Rachel, lovely to meet you.
-Yes, nice to meet you too.
-Congratulations, this is a lovely little place.
-Yes, it's fantastic isn't it?
Originally we were kinda looking to do a development type thing.
We saw it and now I've been round it again, it's for me now, definitely!
-What was it about it that you fell in love with?
Obviously not the decor! It's just it's the area itself as well,
when you come in, it's just beautiful. I really love old houses.
There is just so much potential to put in to make everything
really lovely and bring it back to life
and just give it a real homely feeling, really.
On the one hand it hasn't had a lot of things done to it
but that's in some ways a positive thing, isn't it?
Absolutely, it's a blank canvas to work with. It's very exciting.
I've got lots of ideas and it's going to be a case of
reigning those ideas in more than anything else, really.
-So initially it was an investment idea.
Well, we got the idea of buying at auction
because there was one near our house in Derby
and that's when we just kept looking at the web pages and seeing what was coming up.
When we saw this, it was so different to everything else in the brochure, really,
so we came and had a look around and that was it, it was like, yes, we can do something with this place.
-Is this something you've done before?
-Absolutely not, no.
I bought a house that I live in but it was a case of
whack some paint on and make it mine. It was nothing like this. So it's...
I don't know, it's quite brave, I think.
I reckon that even for an experienced DIY enthusiast,
this house could be a daunting prospect.
While the renovation goes ahead, Rachel will continue to live in Derby.
What do you do when you're not doing this?
-I'm a physiotherapist and I work in stroke rehab so...
Yes, it's fantastic. I love it.
-That's a very, very worthwhile thing, isn't it?
-I think so.
I really enjoy it and I know that I make a big difference.
It sounds very corny...
No, my mum had a stroke and the rehab work
which your colleagues in other parts of the country did was massively important to her.
Rachel plans to go back to basics
and renovate the entire cottage from top to bottom.
She also intends to move the stairs in the middle bedroom
to better utilise the space up here.
But where does that leave the unique back room?
This is very exciting for me
cos it is just so different to what you see anywhere else.
-I struggle to think what we could use it for.
-Wine cellar! Wine cellar!
-Yes, but our wine never lasts long enough to fill it!
But, yes, ideally! But we thought we might get the floor lowered
and then be able to open it up as a bit of a kitchen
and then have a kitchen-dining area down here,
and then I'm not really sure.
If we move the stairs we might be able to put a bathroom down here as well.
It isn't ideal having a bathroom on the ground floor
but I think because of the size of the rooms upstairs,
I wouldn't want compromise much of the space upstairs.
So this rear room could house a new bathroom which would free up that middle bedroom.
All this work could throw up many potential problems
but Rachel's given herself a healthy six-month period to get it done.
I just hope her budget is equally healthy.
We've definitely got between £20,000 and £30,000
and we'll see what we can do with that.
That's a lot of money.
Yes, but for example, the damp work.
Because all the floors have got to come up and everything,
you're looking at about £10,000 just for that.
And that's before you have done anything nice to the place.
Like I say, we've never done this before, we don't know who's good and who's not
and there are a lot of cowboys out there and it can go wrong.
We've just had a kitchen fitted and that was a nightmare,
just getting a kitchen done and not being able to get it done properly.
That was a tiny project and this is a much bigger project.
Lots more potential for it to go wrong
but hopefully lots of potential for it to go right as well.
-Well, I'm delighted the house found you.
And good luck with it all. I can't wait to see what you do with it.
-Yeah, me too!
Well, it started out as an investment purchase but clearly
Rachel has completely fallen in love with this place and you can understand why.
I'm a bit concerned about her budget and the fact she doesn't particularly have a timescale,
but, whatever, it is going to be a great project.
Find out how she gets on later in the show.
In Wiltshire this bungalow has some serious decorating issues.
Now somebody has really gone to town with that!
Was Rachel's first-ever renovation in Derbyshire a positive experience?
I got a builder in and had a bit of a difference of opinion and kind of fell out a little bit.
But first, did Ziad's ideas for the flat go according to plan?
The managing company gave us a very good reason why
we couldn't build the bedroom in the existing kitchen.
Back to Kilburn in Northwest London,
where earlier in the programme,
Ziad bought a one bedroom first floor flat
in this imposing block, for £211,000.
A carpenter by trade, he currently lives in West London,
and is doing a construction management course.
He has a small portfolio of properties,
and bought this flat with his dad to renovate and sell on.
This is a decent-sized one bedroom property, as it stands.
How will you make the most out of this?
I plan to extend the kitchen, make it bigger,
and make that into a bedroom.
The kitchen will then move into the living room,
and it'll be an open plan kichen/living room.
Turning this into a two bedroom flat
was definitely the right way to go.
Although the property has a hefty £3,000 annual service charge,
it does at least cover gas and central heating.
We return to sunny Kilburn seven months later,
to see what Ziad has achieved with his flat in this large development.
The yellow, crumbling lounge is now tastefully decorated
in various shades of coffee and beige.
Carpenter Ziad had built a bespoke media centre in the alcove.
It just needs the 3-D display.
The layout in the bathroom hasn't changed,
but the suite most certainly has.
To maximise the space in the bedroom,
more purpose-built furniture has been installed.
The new doors add to the quality appearance here.
But Ziad's initial plan to convert the kitchen into the second bedroom
Originally the idea was,
"We'll take the kitchen out. We'll move that somewhere else,
"and do the bedroom in there".
The managing company gave us a very good reason
why we couldn't build the bedroom in the existing kitchen.
All the plumbing in the building runs through the kitchen,
so we had to rethink our plan,
and it's worked out better than we originally thought it would.
What has Ziad done to that kitchen seating area?
What we did with the second bedroom was,
this living room was very large and long,
so we felt we could create a second bedroom.
We built this third wall, here, at a 45 degree angle,
to create some extra space between the hallway and the bedroom.
We blocked the kitchen opening, which is there,
and we've created a nice, big kitchen opening here.
Surprisingly, it still creates a lot of space within this living room,
and we're very happy with that.
The kitchen's been equipped to a high standard,
with a washing machine, hob and microwave.
He's certainly squeezed a lot in.
The management company for the property
put on other restrictions as well.
They wouldn't allow hardwood flooring,
because of possible noise for the flat below.
And Ziad's request to replace the window in the new second bedroom
was also refused.
But his clever design has certainly maximised the space here.'
As we did the first fix with the project,
we realised that we should put the furniture in,
purely because the main bedroom is quite awkward in shape,
and putting fitted beds or fitted wardrobes in would make sense.
Ziad designed the furniture himself,
and project-managed the team that did the refurbishment.
I don't do too much building work.
But when it came to the fitted furniture,
it's something I like doing, so I helped out in that.
The work has taken a little longer than planned,
but there was a delay starting,
while the management company considered the application
for the second bedroom.
So, how much has Ziad had to spend?
I've spent about £25,000
in building work on the flat, so far.
My initial budget was about £20,000.
Ziad's not concerend that the £3,000 service charge
might deter potential tenants, or a buyer,
as he sees it as a fixed cost in a variable market.
It covers central heating and gas.
We live in an age where gas prices are going up.
The service charge is fixed in this building for quite a number of years,
so I think that's quite attractive to people.
Time to get some local expert property advice.
Will the added bedroom get the thumbs up?
He's done a better than average job here.
Nicely decorated. He's put some really decent design features in,
in terms of the custom-built bed,
the custom-built desk in the living room.
Nicer than average bathroom.
Overall, I'm impressed.
I think it's very nice.
They've done some nice decorative features with the media centre.
The kitchen looks very, very nice, as well.
Both bedrooms are small, but they've actually kept a decent-sized
living room, which is the most important room in a flat.
We would market this as a two bedroom flat,
even though the second bedroom is a little small.
It possibly lends itself to being a study,
a separate dining area, or an occasional guestroom.
Ziad and his father paid £211,000 for the flat,
and the building costs have hit 25 grand.
So, is it now worth more than the £236,000 they've invested here?
This flat should sell for around £275,000.
If I was to put this on the market, I would certainly put it on
I would expect to get offers in excess of £270,000.
We just put it on the market last week,
and it's on the market for £279,950.
If it sells, we're happy.
If it doesn't sell, it's a perfect place for rental.
If the flat did sell at that price of just under £280,000,
it could generate a gross profit,
before the usual selling expenses, of 44 grand.
But, how do the rental figures look?
I would put this flat on the rental market
at between £1,500 and £1,300 a month.
If I was renting this property,
I would rent it for
certainly in excess of £1,000 per calendar month.
And would be disappointed if I got less than £1,200
per calendar month.
I'm happy with the rental figures.
That's exactly what I thought it would go for.
If it doesn't sell in the time that we've got in mind,
which is about two months,
then I don't mind putting it up for rent.
Since filming, he sold it for £262,000,
meaning a gross profit of 26 grand.
Although the management company rejected his initial plan,
he's created an impressive flat.
But, would he buy freehold in the future?
I would like to buy and invest in properties in the future.
As far as manage block's concerned, I would think long and hard,
depending on the kind of block it is.
There were some problems, but they weren't major problems.
They're problems we can go around. I wouldn't mind doing it again.
This is the beautiful village of Tisbury, in Wiltshire.
Popular with commuters because of its direct line links
to London and Exeter.
It's also only 13 miles to Salisbury,
and it's believed stone quarried in this area
was used to build Salisbury Cathedral.
Just a short walk from that pretty village centre,
is the property I'm here to see today.
It's a three bedroom 1960s bungalow.
It had a guide price of £200,000 to £225,000.
Now, I've got to say,
it's not hugely attractive.
But bungalows usually prove to be popular,
because they don't really get built any more.
I'm going to have a look around.
They do say looks aren't everything,
and this bungalow does have a lot to offer.
For example, it already has double-glazed windows,
and a detached garage and driveway.
So, the single-storey house.
It's not always for everybody,
but I happen to think it offers so much more space.
For starters, look at this hallway. It's absolutely huge.
And really welcoming.
There are two types of central heating here.
A bit excessive. I'm not sure why that's there,
so I'd probably get rid of this.
You have three really good-sized bedrooms here,
a kitchen, and let's go in here,
and look at this rather interesting ceiling.
Somebody has really gone to town with that. Wow!
Can't say I'm a huge fan of Artex.
I think the first thing I would do would be to get rid of that.
But you have a wonderful room.
It could really do with a bit of 2010 modernisation, I think.
Lovely garden. Yeah, I really like it. It ticks all the boxes.
MUSIC: "Theme from The Big Country" by Jerome Moross
It's the space here that's impressive.
This lounge is massive.
The kitchen's almost a kitchen/diner,
and the bedroom sizes aren't too shabby, either.
Wow! It all looks so spacious.
And then there's the bathroom.
STYLUS SCRATCHING VINYL
"What's she doing in the bath?" I hear you say.
Well, I'm a small person.
Which means this is an extremely small bath.
In fact, I think I'm right in saying
it's just half a bath. No good.
When you look at this house, there is space, space, space everywhere.
All the bedrooms are doubled.
It's a bit disappointing to get into the only bathroom in the house,
and find it this small.
What I think I would do is knock next-door into the loo,
open this space up,
and have one lovely luxury room.
MUSIC: "So Small" by Carrie Underwood
This bathroom seems so small,
compared with the rest of the space available here.
But it really shouldn't be too difficult
to open this up into a better-sized bathroom.
And it's not just the inside of the bungalow
where there's room to relax and unwind.
This house sits slap bang in the middle of this plot,
so there's no large garden at the back here.
Instead, it's sort of wrapped around these three sides.
So, you could extend out here, I suppose.
But look at the pitch of this roof.
I reckon you could easily do a loft extension here.
You could put a dormer window up there,
and there you have a master bedroom with its own en suite.
I think it would really add bucks to this bungalow,
and take it into another league.
MUSIC: "Turn It Up" by The Feeling
Turning this into a dormer bungalow could really turn up the value.
And, for me, that's got to be the way to go.
What does the local estate agent think about this Tisbury property?
It probably has been decorated for 10, 15 years.
So it does need some tidying up.
But, other than that, it's in good order.
It could do with a new kitchen, new bathroom.
But it's not that bad.
Would he recommend extending it?
With regard to extension, probably wouldn't go out.
Essentially, within its plot, there's not too much to the sides.
You could put a conservatory off the kitchen.
What I probably would recommend, though, is,
because of the pitch on the roof, you could go into the roof,
and create more rooms there.
So there are opportunities to improve here,
but would it be worth it, particularly for the rental market?
There is a strong rental market, but I don't think you'd get any more
than about £700/£750 a month.
Once refurbished, what about the sale value for this place,
that was guided at between £200,000 and £225,000?
If you tidied the property up, as it is at the moment,
I think you could probably put it on the market for £235,000.
If you went up into the loft space,
then you could get to £275,000.
However, stamp duty stands at £250,000,
so you've got to do a very good job
to push it substantially above stamp duty at £250,000.
Financially, the loft extension could be a gamble.
Done well, it could pay dividends.
Otherwise, it may not add much value at all.
This bungalow offers space.
It only needs a basic refurb and modernisation.
And it has the potential to go up into the loft, or to extend.
Hey, what's not to like?
Let's see what happened when it went under the hammer.
Lot four is our guide of £200,000 to £225,000.
Someone like to put me at the higher part of the guide, at £225,000?
£200,000. Thank you very much.
Looking for £5,000 bids. £205,000.
£210,000. £215,000. £220,000.
£226,000. Treat you the same?
In the stalls, then. At £227,000.
Hammer comes straight down again.
HAMMER BANGS Well done, Emma.
The winning bid of £227,000,
just above the guide price,
was made by local couple, Emma and Nick.
Nick's an electrician,
and Emma works for a patient aftercare service,
but is currently on maternity leave,
looking after their five-month-old son, George.
How did you find out about this bungalow, Emma?
It all started after a conversation with my brother
about how much we could get for a mortgage.
We went onto the internet, had a look to see what was about,
and we saw this property.
A lightbulb went on in our heads,
as if, "Can we get it?"
Within a couple of days, we'd come to see it.
We put an offer in with the owner,
to try and get it before the auction, and he refused twice.
Then we went on to think, "Let's apply for a mortgage.
"Get a survey done. Talk to a solicitor,
"and go the auction and see what happens".
Can I be cheeky and ask you how much did you offer on this,
prior to auction?
It was £225,000 to start, and then we went up to £230,000.
We left it at that when he said he wants substantially more.
And you paid £227,000? Wow!
That was such luck for you, wasn't it?
It was very good, yeah.
So, at last, they've got the place they wanted.
As they're currently living in rented accommodation,
this will be the first property of their own.
But, even at the price they paid at auction,
getting the bungalow has been a stretch financially.
We had a mortgage in the process of being sorted out.
But then we didn't go with it, in the end.
On the day, we didn't have a mortgage at all, when we won the house.
We've managed to get a mortgage, and get it all sorted out
-in four weeks to the day, wasn't it?
Oh! So, how stressful has it been for you?
Probably one of the most stressful things, ever, that's happened,
because it was looking like they were going to refuse our mortgage.
In the end, they gave us £13,000 less than we needed.
So, I've got big thanks to my mum and dad,
who've bailed us out and lent us the money.
We're going to repay them, on top of the mortgage we've got.
How much money has that left you for renovations for this house?
Literally, you have nothing to spend on this house?
Well, once we get our deposit back from our rental property,
we've got £1,000.
But, until then, nothing.
MUSIC: "Money's Too Tight To Mention" by Simply Red
£1,000? That's not much. But this place IS liveable now.
A few pots of paint would do wonders,
and Nick's an electrician, so they can do THAT on the cheap.
They plan to do one of the bedrooms up fully for George,
then do some work on the living room and garden.
So, £1,000 is not going to get you very far.
Have you got a really long-term plan for this?
-We were thinking about eventually, at some point,
putting a conservatory off of the kitchen.
So it would come out in the same place as the patio is now.
And then maybe extending into the loft.
I think there's space for another bedroom, an en suite,
and maybe some storage.
But, ultimately this is going to be a family home for us,
hopefully for a good few years.
So, a fourth bedroom will be handy,
but it's not so much about the resale,
it's about making it big enough for us to all live in.
So, is this your dream home, would you say?
Have you found the right place for you to mature as a family?
It's nice cos we have a big garden, we've got a vegetable patch.
I've got one where we are now. We've got enough room for the chickens.
It's going to be a good home for life.
Bar a win on the lottery, I'd say it's what we wanted.
So, when are you moving in? The big question.
In a couple of days' time? Guys, good luck.
I'm so pleased you managed to get this property in the end,
and I know George will love his new home.
-Great. Thank you very much.
-Lovely to meet you.
MUSIC: "Home At Last" by Steely Dan
# Could it be that I have found my home at last?
# Home at last. #
I love the fact this bungalow will become Em and Nick and baby George's
"home for life", as Emma says.
But they basically have next to no budget to do any work here.
So, will that dated decor still be in place?
ill that ceiling still have all that Artex smeared all over it?
I hope not!
Find out what happens, later on in the programme.
Work should be well underway on our properties.
There's been plenty of time to do it.
When we return, though, will there be pots of paint,
brick dust, and ladders everywhere?
Or will they look brand-new?
I think we should go back, and find out.
Back by the river Derwent now,
and the gorgeous village of Milford, near Belper.
Here, Rachel, a physiotherapist from nearby Derby,
bought this lovely two bedroomed house for £61,000.
She didn't exactly have the ideal background or experience
to tackle a cottage with some serious renovation conundrums.
None more intriguing than the cellar at the back.
Is this something you've done before?
I bought a house, that I live in,
but it was a case of "wax and paint on, and make it mine".
But it was nothing like this at all.
I don't know. It's quite brave, I think.
That was just under three years ago.
Most renovations don't take this long,
so let's see what Rachel has achieved.
Well, the outside has been given a make over,
with new windows and a lick of paint.
Inside, the living room is now light and airy,
with the added bonus of a beautiful, large open fireplace.
And that kitchen has gone, so is it where I think it is?
MUSIC: "Right Moves" by Josh Ritter
# Am I making all the right moves?
# Am I singing you the right blues? #
In here, you had to step up into this room.
It wasn't really usable space before.
So, we actually had to have the floor lowered,
which turned out to be a major piece of work.
All the walls needed underpinning,
and this room isn't actually really part of my house.
It's effectively the cellar of the house above.
That was a big job, making sure that was done properly.
I just thought it was perfect space for a kitchen.
It's turned out really well.
I've got these oak units in here,
and I think that looks quite good,
in keeping with the country cottage-style theme.
In here, obviously there was a major problem with damp.
Wallpaper was kind of falling off the walls,
so I had to take everything back to the stone.
The only thing in the whole house that didn't need doing,
at the time when I bought it,
was the ceiling in this room.
But actually the pipes burst last winter, so there was a major leak.
So this ceiling had to come down.
But, actually, happy accident, cos it has these lovely beams now.
So, a bit of extra work, but not too much of a problem.
I like how it's turned out.
A happy accident, indeed, Rachel.
The beams have put the cottage look back into this room,
and the quirky but stylish kitchen looks great, too.
OK, so there's no natural light at the back,
but there's still ample lighting to make up for it.
So that's one problem solved.
Time to head up to the first floor,
where Rachel's done some reconfiguration
to make the space much more practical, and create a corridor.
So, in here, originally there was a bathroom over in the other corner.
I got sledgehammer-happy one weekend,
knocked that down,
and put up this wall, here,
to make a separate bathroom.
And then you've got your separate spare bedroom here.
Previously you had to walk through the bedroom
to go up to the main bedroom.
So it separates everything else.
Another problem solved, with a bathroom also added.
Up on the top floor, a total refurbishment
has given the main bedroom,
with its original floorboards and doors restored,
a lovely warm, rustic feel.
So, was the renovation
a heart-warming experience for Rachel?
This room was actually one of my first jobs.
I set about demolishing all the plaster straightaway,
but I had to get a professional in.
I got a builder in, and put my trust in him.
I had a bit of a difference of opinion, and fell out a little bit.
And went our separate ways.
With only half the work complete, the fall out with her builder
hampered Rachel's enthusiasm for the project.
So, metaphorically, she closed the door on the renovation
for over a year and a half.
If I'm honest, I never really felt the push to get things sorted,
because, financially, the climate as it is at the moment,
the market wasn't very good to sell.
So I knew I had a bit of breathing space, anyway.
After getting her breath back,
Rachel restarted the renovation eight months ago,
and did some of the demolition jobs, as well as project managing.
There are only a few days' work left
before the house is 100 percent complete,
but it seems that Rachel won't be around to enjoy it.
Unfortunately, three years, obviously lives change.
I've been very fortunate enough to be given a career break from my job,
for six months.
So, I'm actually going travelling.
It would make more sense for me now to put this on the market,
and hope that it sells.
I go in four days,
so it doesn't give me long to get things tied up.
But, nothing like living on the edge.
Good for you, Rachel.
But, while she may feel she's living on the edge,
did the long delay push her 20 to 30 grand budget over it?
I haven't done my final sums yet.
We're nearly there, but not quite yet.
But I'm think around the £25,000 to £30,000 mark.
So it wasn't too far out.
Add that to her original purchase price, back in 2009,
and her total outlay could be a possible £91,000.
So, what do two local property experts make of her efforts?
First impressions are actually quite lovely.
It's far different to when I first saw it.
Clean, tidy, appealing.
And got some lovely character to it, too.
I suppose it always had that. It's that it's been exploited.
First impressions, it's been finished very well.
It's light and bright, which is unusual for a cottage.
I particularly like that she's put character windows in here,
that it's got the oak finish in the kitchen,
the original fireplaces.
It still has quite a lot of character.
Looking at the quality of what's been achieved,
I would say quite a lot of thought,
quite a lot of care has gone into it.
And the workmanship appears to be good.
Specification of the kitchen is fine. Bathroom looks good, too.
And, looking around,
I think she's done all she could do with it.
So, with Rachel planning to sell it,
and bearing that 91 grand outlay in mind,
how much could this property achieve, if sold?
I would suggest it would probably have a value of about £120,000
I'd market this property at £138,000.
Hopefully to achieve £135,000.
That range of sales figures
could give Rachel a potential pre-tax profit
of between 29,000 and 44,000 quid.
Obviously, that's a fairly decent profit,
even if you go for the lower amount, if it was only to fetch £120,000.
So, I think I'd be happy to say that's quite a good success!
Well, let's hope that Rachel can make that sort of profit
before she ups sticks and starts her travels.
Then, what are her plans for the future?
# Am I making all the right moves? #
The plan for me now is obviously, in four days,
I'm jetting off on my travels, for six months.
Then, when I come back, I'll definitely be looking
for somewhere to live, somewhere to buy.
So, watch this space.
It's now back to Tisbury, in Wiltshire,
where earlier we met Emma and Nick,
and their five-month-old baby, George,
who bought this three bedroom bungalow for £227,000.
This was going to be their first family home.
with lots of space and potential, the future looked rosy.
OK, the decor was dated,
and there was a bathroom you had to squeeze to get into,
but financing the move had put a real squeeze on their finances.
How much money has that left you for renovations for this house?
Literally, you have nothing to spend on this house?
Well, once we get our deposit back from our rental property,
we've got £1,000.
But, until then, nothing.
It's just as well for Emma and Nick that, apart from its tired state,
there wasn't a lot wrong with the bungalow.
But it will be interesting to see what they did
with that £1,000 budget.
Well, 13 months later, and the living room hasn't been redecorated.
But with furnishings, it does now look much more
like a cosy family space.
But the kitchen has had a mini make over, as Nick explains.
Right, this is the kitchen.
We've done a fair amount of work in here.
We've painted the cupboards, we've painted the walls.
We've put in some under-cupboard lighting, as well,
to give it a nice feel later on in the evening.
Next step is to change the work surfaces, and then do the floor,
and then we're done.
There's also been a splash of paint in the main bedroom,
with the walls redecorated.
The spare bedroom has also had the same sort of refurbishment.
Unfortunately, Nick and Emma's tight budget
means the bathroom and loo have remained untouched,
although they hope to rectify that soon.
But out of all the rooms, it's toddler George, now 17 months,
whose bedroom had the five-star treatment.
Right, this is George's room.
We've painted the walls quite a nice yellow.
We've re-carpeted it. He really likes it in here.
He loves sitting in here, and reading his books on his own
George is in the living room now,
clearly at home in his new surroundings.
It appears it didn't take Nick and Emma long
to get settled in, either.
The house wasn't unliveable.
It's just not to our taste.
We've literally been doing stuff up until two days before you came.
I was doing stuff last night, I think.
Yeah. I was sweeping the drive, or trying to.
So, it's an ongoing project.
They will redecorate the living room next,
which means getting to grips with the Artex ceiling,
and getting that bathroom sorted.
Fortunately, as their budget was limited,
there were no big surprises.
There haven't really been any problems,
but we both work. We've got George.
And it's just a matter of time.
Nick works long hours,
so by the time he gets home, the last thing he wants to do is DIY.
But we haven't had any major problems.
In fact, one area full of changes and surprises was the garden,
where the couple have embraced the good life.
And it's not just vegetables they're rearing.
Nick has built a large chicken coop,
and, with Woody the dog on guard,
hopefully there will be lots of fresh eggs on the menu.
MUSIC: "Do The Funky Chicken" by Rufus Thomas
# Do the funky chicken now
# Do the funky chicken now. #
And it's out here that with their budget already thinly-stretched,
they had to purchase a new oil tank for the heating.
Obviously, spending money on the oil tank has been a pain,
because if we had a choice,
we wouldn't choose to spend money on an oil tank.
We'd probably do something different,
but, unfortunately, that's the way it's happened.
Yeah. You need heating.
HE LAUGHS C'est la vie.
Along with the other improvements,
the new oil tank has pumped up the budget
from £1,000 to £2,500.
Add that to the purchase price of £227,000,
and the couple's outlay is just under 230 grand.
Was it money well spent?
Time to hear the thoughts of two local estate agents.
I think they've made a good start.
Obviously, I did expect to see more,
but they have made a good start, and it looks in good order.
It's a very nice bungalow, lovely location.
Tisbury's a very popular village,
and people look for those aspects when considering a move to an area.
Both agree that the bungalow still needs upgrading.
For the present, though, this will be a family home.
Bearing in mind their total spend of around £230,000,
what sort of resale figure could it achieve?
In terms of sale price,
I would recommend an asking price
in the region of £250,000 for the property.
I would see the property selling somewhere in the region of £250,000.
-That's about right.
-That's what we sort of expected.
Yeah, I expected that.
That figure could give the couple
a possible pre-tax profit of £20,000.
But the real value for them is having a lovely family home.
And any work that needs doing, well that can just wait its turn.
MUSIC: "WE Have All The Time In The World" by Louis Armstrong
# We have all the time in the world. #
We are planning to stay here for a long time.
Moving is so stressful, I don't think I can cope with it again.
So, we're not intending to move.
We can build up into the loft,
and make it a bit bigger,
and generally I think we can grow into this quite well.
Yeah. We're really happy here,
so I don't think there's any reason to move.
Look forward to seeing you next time, on Homes Under The Hammer.
Yes, we'll have lots more interesting properties,
-and ambitious buyers for you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a one-bedroom flat in London, a two-bedroom cottage in Derbyshire and a bungalow in Wiltshire. All of these properties have been sold at auction. Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.