Episode 74 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 74

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Sunderland, a flat in London and a cottage in Somerset. They learn how much each home sold for at auction.


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Whether you're looking for a first home or a lucrative development

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the auction may have something for you, right, my little flower?

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Thank you! In these challenging times, there are bargains to be had,

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as long as you avoid the pitfalls.

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Join us, as we show you the ropes.

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A wave of a catalogue, a nod of the head or a sly wink,

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it doesn't matter how you bid if you get the auctioneer's attention.

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-Today, we'll meet some people who did just that. Which properties caught their eye?

-Let's find out.

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A mid-terrace in the suburbs of Sunderland leaves me lost for words.

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-LAUGHS

-Wow!

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In Streatham, London, I'm at a flat with expensive tastes.

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The service charge is a staggering £3,000 a year!

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In Somerset, there's a very pricey cottage with very noisy neighbours.

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195,000 for that? You've got to be kidding!

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All these properties have been sold at auction.

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We'll find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.

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'Sunderland in Tyne and Wear is steeped in a rich heritage

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'of coal and ship building.

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'Recently, a lot of new development and the university

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'have resulted in the place going student-mad!'

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The property I'm here to see is five minutes' walk from the university

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in an area known as Eden Vale.

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Also called, not surprisingly, Studentville.

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This is it. It's a four-bedroomed house.

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Had a guide price of £80,000 plus.

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I'm going to give it a thorough examination.

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Will it come out as an A-grade or bottom of the class? Let's find out.

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'Within walking distance of the university, Eden Vale has a variety of properties,

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'from small terraces to new-builds,

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'to rather large houses like this one!'

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-LAUGHS

-Wow!

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Just look at this!

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I... I don't know. From the outside, I just didn't expect

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this kind of amazing entrance.

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You've got this little porch area. You've got the original glass. Wow!

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And then this archway leading into this beautiful big welcoming central

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hallway area, I suppose.

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Stairway that you can imagine women in long frocks drifting down.

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Am I going over the top here? I like it - if you can't tell!

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Big front room with the bay window.

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Look at the ceiling!

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Fantastic!

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-CHUCKLES

-Rear room.

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Same thing with the ceiling.

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This strikes me as a house that's just waiting...

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to be sorted out.

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'Well, the grandeur didn't stop with the front room.

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'The second reception room is also not short on style or space.

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'What a wonderful start to a property.'

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What are we going to find back here?

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Well, a very big kitchen.

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In this part of the house, you think "Yeah, there's work to be done."

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The ceiling's got a hole, probably from a leak in the bath

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or something like that.

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It's a bit icky, isn't it? Needs stripping out.

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You've got a lot of light, a lot of space.

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For a communal area, if you're thinking about renting to students, a great place to have.

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A bit of a utility room, but what you're getting with this house

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is so much space!

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'This house goes on forever.

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'Off the utility area, there's a shower room.

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'There may not be much of a garden, but it does have a parking space.

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'Back inside to have a look at the first floor.'

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Well, upstairs, and that feeling of space just continues.

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In some ways, there's too many open areas.

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Look at this landing and this area here.

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It gives this openness. Maybe not the most efficient use of space.

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It pains me to say it, but maybe you want to rejig the layout a little.

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We've got a bedroom, a bathroom.

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Up the stairs onto another landing, we've got three more bedrooms.

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So what could this place be, other than a majestic family home?

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Let's put the pieces together. We're close to the university.

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We've got big rooms that could be let out individually. It is a student let.

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Work to be done to get into that condition,

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but you've got the makings of a fantastic opportunity.

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'We invited a local estate agent to see what he thinks

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'about the £80,000 guide price for this massive property.'

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The property would appeal to an investor in its current state,

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given that it's seen far, far better days.

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It would be very nice to convert it back into a family residence

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that it once was 100 years ago.

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There's enough flexibility in the house for any investor

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to get easily four or five bedrooms.

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'If it was refurbished as a family home,

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'what does he think it might be worth?'

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Converted back into a family residence,

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you could easily get £165,000, £170,000.

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'Since this is studentland,

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'if someone converted the house to student accommodation,

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'what would that do to its value?'

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Sold as a fully let student property

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we're looking at, at least, £200,000.

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Clearly, lots of work to be done to sort this place out.

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But it ticks every single box for a student let.

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And student lets equal loads of potential money! Great opportunity.

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Let's see who caught it when it went under the hammer.

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Lot number 52, a vacant four-bedroom mid-terraced house...

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'This lot was late in the day

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'and although the crowds have gone, there was still keen interest.'

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Guide price at £80,000.

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£78,000 I'll take. Thank you. 78,000 is bid.

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78 and a half at the back.

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79. And a half, sir?

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80. And a half?

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81...

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'These two battled it out with £500 bids.

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'We rejoin the auction at £90,000.'

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..90,000?

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90 and a half?

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91? And a half?

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92? 93? 94?

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95? 96? At £96,000.

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97?

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Can see you're hovering. Yeah. 97.

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98? 99?

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He's definitely shaking his head. Could be yours, sir, at £98,000.

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99,000 anywhere else?

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Selling, then, for the first time at £98,000.

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Second. Third and final time at 98,000...

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'David made the successful bid of 98,000.

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'He runs a property development company,

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'which is very much a family affair.

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'I met up with David's dad, Dave,

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'and business partner Mark to find out their plans for the place.'

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-David, Mark, lovely to meet you.

-Pleasure.

-Congratulations.

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-Why did you want to buy this place?

-It's what we do. We buy properties.

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We renovate them. We let them.

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And then we sell them on, mainly as joint ventures with investors.

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-So why this particular house?

-We've already bought a house in the road,

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which we renovated last year.

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It rented very quickly and sold to one of our existing clients again, very quickly.

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'The pair paid £18,000 over the guide price,

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'but with all their experience, they're confident

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'this place can become a profitable earner.'

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What are you going to do to get this place up to scratch?

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What we're looking to do is to bring stock like this back to life.

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-Yeah.

-To stop it being what it is at this point.

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At one point in history, Sunderland had a grand past.

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These houses were built on that wealth.

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What we're trying to do...

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You won't bring back the grandeur, but you'll bring it back to life.

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They'll be lived in and, hopefully, there'll be good memories for the students in years to come.

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In terms of maintaining the grandeur,

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it is grand for sure, is that something you're going to do?

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We keep original features where we can.

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You'll see the likes of the ceiling work will remain.

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Some stuff will be affected because of regulations.

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We have a team of contractors we've worked with for a number of years.

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They know exactly the spec we want.

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They will be in here tomorrow.

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They will rip out the kitchen, bathrooms, carpets.

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Windows are double glazed. They will more than likely stay.

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Then we will rewire, replumb,

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new bathroom, new kitchen, hard-wired smoke alarms.

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Recarpeted throughout and furnished with brand new furniture.

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We don't use any second-hand furniture.

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We don't cut any corners.

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Our contractors will be in and out within four weeks. It'll be a very handsome house when you come back.

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'They have a passion for properties and are combining their preservation of the place

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'with regenerating it for the student market.

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'What will they do to transform it into a property for multiple occupancy?'

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In terms of rooms, it's big enough to knock some out and create more.

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Are you going to keep it like it is or go for maximum number of rooms?

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We never split the rooms. We'll leave the big Victorian rooms as they are.

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It's a great selling point that, at £100 per room per week,

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you can have a purpose-built room that will come with a certain size,

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but for £80, £85 per room per week,

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you can effectively swing cats in these rooms.

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No, the size is a wonderful feature and we wouldn't want to adjust that.

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What about cost? What's the budget?

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In terms of budget, we've got £24,500 plus VAT for the renovation.

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That's precise!

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-Yeah, well...

-We do this so we know.

-We costed it out.

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That's all in, so that's furniture,

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all the redecoration, everything being done.

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We know what we want to spend for the kitchen. We know the spec, where we're going to buy it from.

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The furniture packs are all lined up.

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We've got a little logistical operation taking place.

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'David and Mark have done their homework when it comes to figures,

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'but there is a lot to do to this place.

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'With their regular team, they're confident it will go without a hitch.

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'These two seem to have a solid working relationship as well.'

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How did you meet? How did you get together?

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Mark's family and our family have known each other for years.

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Our working relationship goes back three years, but the family connection goes back many years.

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-Back to great-granddads and all that.

-Really?

-Yeah.

-Wow.

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So, do you still get excited about turning this kind of place around?

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Absolutely. Ay. Absolutely. Love it.

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Um... But I think you have to do what you love.

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Maybe I played with Lego too much when I was a kid!

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No, we love the houses.

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It's still good to be star-struck, to have a look at a house like this

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and come back a few weeks later - and we all do it -

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open the front door and go, "Wow!"

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It's just a lovely feeling.

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If you like property, this is the kind of thing to do.

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-Listen, congratulations. I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

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Well, Mark and David clearly know exactly what they're doing.

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It's not surprising that they went for this place.

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I am delighted that they are going to pretty much keep it as it is.

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It would have been so easy to change what is an amazing place

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just for profit.

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Find out how they get on later in the show.

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I've travelled to Streatham, south London,

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where transport links and affordable property

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make this part of the capital very popular indeed.

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'Bus routes galore and several train stations

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'all keep this part of the capital connected.

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'Just a short walk away is Streatham Hill,

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'where I find today's auction property.'

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I'm here to see a two-bedroom purpose-built flat.

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It had a guide price of 135,000.

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That's extremely good value because a similar two-bed flat in this block

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is on the market for 215 grand!

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Built in 1933, a time when the three-piece suite proved popular,

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most homes had a plumbed-in kitchen

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and three out of four households had a radio.

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It's an attractive frontage

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and I can't wait to get inside and take a closer look.

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'The flats were designed by Frank Harrington in the Dutch style,

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'with a mansard roof incorporating dormer windows.

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'I'm hoping the gutters aren't clogged up.

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'There are tulips, but this garden has some impressive rose bushes too.

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'They look fairly well established.

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'Inside, the building is showing its age.

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'But in a good way - the letter boxes, the newel posts.

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'This place really has retained its 1930s' charm.'

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Now I'm not going to get too hung up on the fact that I've had to walk up two flights of stairs.

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I've never seen such wonderfully decorated communal parts.

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I can't say the same about this flat. It's in a bit of a state.

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But you have got lots of storage.

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Good size kitchen and a really lovely size lounge.

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The thing I like about this flat is that all the rooms are big,

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they're square.

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You need a complete overhaul.

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Somebody needs to get in and strip the place back.

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But one nice thing - you have fantastic floorboards.

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They're in really good condition.

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You could get away with having lovely wooden floorboards.

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You've got beautiful windows. My guess is you can't change them.

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Everything in this building has to look uniform.

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You can hear the traffic, but once they've been painted, they will look lovely.

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This is a great flat. I love the outside. I love the interior. A big tick.

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I'm a fan of this flat. The bones are here. The configuration works.

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'Having said that, looking around,

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'it becomes clear that the flat does require a serious cash injection.

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'The cracks in the bedroom give me a bit of a sinking feeling.'

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What do YOU want to get out of your bathroom?

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You want to lay in a warm, soapy, bubbly bath, light some candles,

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luxuriate and relax!

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Funny! I don't think I could do any of those things in here!

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'I usually paint the town red after enjoying a bath.

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'It looks like someone decided against going out, and stayed in

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'to paint their bath blue!

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'An odd choice, so this entire suite will have to go.

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'The second bedroom is larger than the first.

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'Once all this clutter is gone, it'll be a really good space.

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'Again, single pane windows, but at least you look out onto the garden.'

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There's not much of a grassy area,

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but you do have the benefit of this lovely communal garden

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complete with pretty flowers and this wonderful old ornamental pond.

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I could sit out here for hours. How absolutely fabulous, darling!

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'Oh, well! With such a little Eden tucked away,

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'you get the best of both worlds - peace and quiet

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'and access to great transport.'

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I like this flat.

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It's got an attractive frontage,

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glorious communal gardens, but it does come at a price, I'm afraid.

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The service charge is a staggering £3,000 a year!

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This does include all hot water bills and central heating charges,

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but still, that is a substantial amount to pay annually.

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If you fail to read the legal pack, it could come as quite a shock!

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'But is this flat value for money at its guide price of 135,000?

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'We asked a local estate agent for his opinion.'

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It needs TLC. It needs modernising and just a total makeover.

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It has a lot of potential. Excellent for a first-time buyer or investor.

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I'd love to see it once it's been modernised.

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'Once it's beautified, what would the rental and resale values of this flat be?'

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Once this flat is modernised,

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this flat could be put on the rental market for approximately £1,100 per month.

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Once refurbished,

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the maximum I could put this on the market for would be £210,000.

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The £3,000 service charge will put some buyers off,

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but the lovely period features, this fabulous communal garden

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and convenient location will win people over

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and make them forget about that astronomical annual payment.

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Let's see who fancied this 1930s gem as we go to auction.

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Right, next flat, Streatham Hill, SW2. I don't know, start at 120.

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Not going to go below 120.

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120 sitting down. 120. 125?

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125 with you. 130.

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135.

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140.

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145.

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146, new spot. 147.

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148? 149?

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150? 151?

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152? 153?

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154? 155?

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156?

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157?

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158? 159?

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Oh, you've got to! Looking for 159. Well done.

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160? We'll go 161?

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162?

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163? You must do.

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Where? Oh, 163! Sorry.

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163. 164?

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165? 166?

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167? 168?

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169? 170?

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171? 172?

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If not, it's 172, sitting down. The first time. Sec...

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173. 174?

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175?

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174 with you. First time.

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Second time. Third and last time, if you're all done...

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Sold, 174.

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'The successful bid of 174,000 was made by Barbara.

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'She divides her time between Italy, where she lives, and the UK,

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'where some of her family are.

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'She's no stranger to property and no stranger to this programme.

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'Barbara appeared on the show in 2010.'

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-Barbara, lovely to meet you. We've seen you on the show before.

-Yes.

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-What's the story behind this property?

-It's the usual story.

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I just kind of look when I'm ready to buy again

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and this one cropped up.

0:20:580:21:00

-This was the last one on my list.

-How long have you been buying and selling property?

0:21:000:21:05

Hm. 1988?

0:21:050:21:07

-Years of experience.

-Lots.

0:21:070:21:10

-What were you doing prior to that?

-I was working for a top-end kitchen company.

0:21:100:21:16

And met up with a friend

0:21:160:21:18

who was actually buying property and letting to students.

0:21:180:21:22

So, basically, I thought I'll have a go.

0:21:220:21:25

That's what started it off and I've had lots and lots of properties since.

0:21:250:21:31

Wow! Go on, roughly how many?

0:21:310:21:34

Well into the 30s. 40, you know.

0:21:340:21:37

But, I mean, I've kind of worked at the same time.

0:21:370:21:41

It's always been a sort of pastime which I've thoroughly enjoyed.

0:21:410:21:46

Because interior design is my profession, if you like.

0:21:460:21:51

So...this went very nicely with that role in my life.

0:21:510:21:58

-You really have got an eye for detail.

-Yes.

0:21:580:22:02

You obviously don't live in Streatham. Have you researched this area and this block in particular?

0:22:020:22:09

No, but my daughter is in the business.

0:22:090:22:13

She actually sourced this particular one.

0:22:130:22:17

-I trust her and she's rarely been wrong.

-You and your family have got the finger right on the pulse.

0:22:170:22:25

-So do you intend to sell or let this flat?

-This one I'm going to sell.

0:22:250:22:30

'I've no doubt Barbara and her team will do a sterling job here,

0:22:350:22:39

'but there's one thorny issue that does come with this flat.

0:22:390:22:44

'That's the three grand a year service charge!'

0:22:440:22:47

It's quite high. Very high, in fact.

0:22:470:22:50

It may put the odd... It might put someone off, I don't know. We'll see.

0:22:500:22:56

-It didn't put you off.

-It didn't put me off, no.

0:22:560:22:59

I think it'll sell reasonably well.

0:22:590:23:02

The position is good.

0:23:020:23:04

Fingers crossed.

0:23:040:23:06

'Let's not forget that service charge does include heating and hot water bills.

0:23:060:23:11

'It's not all for maintenance of the building.

0:23:110:23:14

'What will Barbara do to set this flat apart from others in the block?'

0:23:140:23:19

Everything new.

0:23:190:23:21

New kitchen, new bathroom.

0:23:210:23:24

Details are important if you want to sell sooner rather than later.

0:23:240:23:31

The quality of one or two of the items, the kitchen, the layout.

0:23:310:23:36

I don't like things done cheaply, to look cheap.

0:23:360:23:41

You can buy really well and tight on the budget,

0:23:410:23:45

but you don't really want to make it look

0:23:450:23:49

as if it's just the average refurb.

0:23:490:23:53

What budget have you got in mind for this type of property?

0:23:530:23:57

I told the builder I've got ten grand to spend on this property, so that really means buying right.

0:23:570:24:04

And we've managed it. Everything's bought already.

0:24:040:24:09

How long's it going to take you and your professional guys to get out and get it on the market?

0:24:090:24:14

-Four or five weeks.

-Really?

-Yeah.

0:24:140:24:16

Provided nothing goes wrong.

0:24:160:24:18

I'm not quite sure. It's a fairly solid block.

0:24:180:24:23

I don't have to worry about exterior walls.

0:24:230:24:26

We're two storeys up.

0:24:260:24:28

And gable ends - I've been there, done that.

0:24:280:24:31

'And when she's not in the UK buying property,

0:24:310:24:36

'does Barbara live la dolce vita in Italy?'

0:24:360:24:40

We are building a couple of villas at the moment.

0:24:420:24:46

-Wow!

-We just saw this wonderful piece of land

0:24:460:24:51

He said, "Let's build a couple of villas." So that's what we're doing.

0:24:510:24:56

But that wasn't enough! You need a two-bedroom flat in Streatham!

0:24:560:25:01

I do nothing in Italy.

0:25:010:25:03

But I sit in the sunshine, you know, swim in the pool.

0:25:030:25:07

And it's very nice but, you know, you can get bored.

0:25:070:25:12

-You need work to do.

-Yes. I love it.

0:25:120:25:14

It's fun. It's fun.

0:25:140:25:16

Do your homework!

0:25:160:25:18

Do it right and after a few goes it becomes, you know, pleasurable.

0:25:180:25:25

Top tip from top property developer, Barbara.

0:25:250:25:28

-Good luck with this project.

-Thank you so much. Fingers crossed.

0:25:280:25:32

From Italian villas to a two-bedroom flat in Streatham Hill.

0:25:340:25:38

Barbara can turn her hand to anything, big or small.

0:25:380:25:43

But a timescale of four to six weeks, is that realistic?

0:25:430:25:47

Will she complete this for just £10,000?

0:25:470:25:50

You can find out what happens later in the programme.

0:25:500:25:53

'Coming up, I meet the neighbours, the church, the goat.'

0:25:540:25:58

And one other thing - Yeovilton Royal Naval Air Station.

0:25:580:26:03

'In Streatham, southwest London, is it arrivederci Italy for Barbara?'

0:26:040:26:10

Big question mark now, but I'll keep you posted on that one.

0:26:100:26:14

'First, back to Sunderland, where property students should take note.'

0:26:160:26:20

This has worked very nicely for us. We will be buying at auction again.

0:26:200:26:24

'We return, now, to Sunderland, to see how David and Mark got on

0:26:260:26:31

'with their mid-terrace in Studentland.

0:26:310:26:35

'Outside, the four-bedroom mid-terrace was showing its age.

0:26:350:26:39

'The rear yard was a dumping ground with a car space.

0:26:390:26:43

'The traditional layout remained and there was tons of space.

0:26:430:26:47

'Two reception rooms...

0:26:470:26:51

'four bedrooms...

0:26:510:26:53

'and two bathrooms.

0:26:530:26:56

'Property investment managers Mark and David planned to renovate the house for the student market,

0:26:560:27:02

'but they had a soft spot for a period property.'

0:27:020:27:06

You won't bring it back to the grandeur but you'll bring it back to life.

0:27:060:27:10

'David and Mark paid £98,000 and have a keen eye for a budget.

0:27:100:27:15

'They allocated £24,500 for everything, including fixtures and fittings.

0:27:150:27:22

'They planned to turn this large house around within four weeks,

0:27:220:27:26

'with a crack team of builders.

0:27:260:27:29

'We've come back eight weeks later to see if Mark and David have reclaimed the house from neglect.

0:27:290:27:36

'Outside, the house has been freshened up.

0:27:390:27:43

'That sad rear yard is now a useable space.

0:27:430:27:46

'The kitchen is unrecognisable,

0:27:460:27:49

'and the downstairs shower room now looks like somewhere

0:27:490:27:52

'you might actually want to get clean!

0:27:520:27:55

'They've turned the living room into a bedroom,

0:27:550:27:58

'so the four-bedroom house has become a five-bedroom house,

0:27:580:28:02

'without sacrificing any original features.'

0:28:020:28:06

All of the features that were in the property remain.

0:28:060:28:09

We tried to keep the character of the building.

0:28:090:28:12

We don't want to put false ceilings into a lovely Victorian house.

0:28:120:28:16

The ceilings are all beautiful.

0:28:160:28:18

They're all original. That's the reason we've kept them.

0:28:180:28:22

'David and Mark are developers with respect for the heritage of a building.

0:28:220:28:27

'That needs to be combined with good commercial sense.

0:28:270:28:31

'Multiple occupancy lets like this

0:28:310:28:34

'are subject to strict health and safety requirements.

0:28:340:28:38

'It's not as simple as it looks.'

0:28:380:28:40

We've done quite a lot of work. It's had a full rewire.

0:28:400:28:44

It's had a fire alarm put into the property, emergency lighting,

0:28:440:28:49

a new boiler, all done to a very good standard.

0:28:490:28:52

Yeah. We're right happy with it.

0:28:520:28:54

'Upstairs, the four original bedrooms have been rejuvenated

0:28:540:28:58

'with the same palette of colours and fabrics.

0:28:580:29:01

'I'm starting to see a pattern emerging.'

0:29:010:29:04

The finish we've gone for is a standard finish.

0:29:070:29:11

We have a number of student properties round the country.

0:29:110:29:15

In any of our properties you'll see the same kitchen,

0:29:150:29:19

the same wallpaper and the same furniture.

0:29:190:29:23

'Standardising the look of their properties

0:29:230:29:25

'does not mean standards drop for these developers.'

0:29:250:29:29

The bathrooms are a matte travertine tile, which is modern and chic.

0:29:290:29:34

It'll let well and, hopefully, sell well.

0:29:340:29:37

'That readiness to let or sell is key to how Mark and David's business operates.

0:29:370:29:43

'Once they've refurbished a property they sell it on, tenanted,

0:29:430:29:47

'and offer to manage it on behalf of the investor.'

0:29:470:29:50

We tend not to buy burned-out shells

0:29:500:29:54

or anything with subsidence or major defects.

0:29:540:29:58

We tend to buy "Grandma's house", which is what this was.

0:29:580:30:02

It was a tired old house. It was structurally sound.

0:30:020:30:05

It needed some TLC, which is what we've done.

0:30:050:30:09

'Mark and David have shown the love to this house

0:30:090:30:12

'and have turned it from a four to a five-bedroom property.

0:30:120:30:16

'Needless to say, they stayed bang on their budget of £24,500.

0:30:160:30:21

'So, since they bought it for £98,000,

0:30:210:30:25

'their total outlay is £122,500.

0:30:250:30:29

'Time to find out what two local experts think of their work.'

0:30:300:30:34

First impressions, it's a very well-modernised four to five bedroom terraced house.

0:30:340:30:40

There's a ground floor shower room as well as a first floor bathroom.

0:30:400:30:46

The whole feeling of the building has changed completely.

0:30:460:30:50

It's gone from what was quite a wreck to a multi-let student home

0:30:500:30:55

or a nice big family home.

0:30:550:30:57

It's a triple-M - a money making machine.

0:30:570:31:00

It's a great investment opportunity.

0:31:000:31:02

'High praise, indeed. What do they think the place could sell for?'

0:31:020:31:08

Resale value, current market, around about £155,000.

0:31:080:31:13

In terms of selling price now, as a much-improved property,

0:31:130:31:18

easily, the market value we're talking £150,000 or £160,000.

0:31:180:31:23

'Those valuations would give Mark and David a profit

0:31:240:31:28

'of between £27,500 and £37,500 before costs and expenses.'

0:31:280:31:33

It's on the money. We were looking for 155.

0:31:330:31:37

We've worked our figures on 155.

0:31:370:31:40

We think we'll get a touch more than that based on the yield.

0:31:400:31:44

-If someone offered that tomorrow, we'd say yes and move on.

-Yes. Happy with that.

0:31:440:31:50

'The business model for their company is to sell properties tenanted and offer to manage them

0:31:500:31:55

'on behalf of the new owner.

0:31:550:31:57

'The estate agents estimated an income for the house as a five-bedroom student let

0:31:570:32:03

'of between £1,400 and £1,600 a month.

0:32:030:32:06

'That could mean a very impressive annual yield of around 15%.

0:32:060:32:10

'It's clear these guys know their market extremely well.'

0:32:100:32:15

We buy in areas that are suitable for our tenants,

0:32:150:32:19

which is within 20 minutes' walk of a university.

0:32:190:32:23

This has worked very nicely for us. We will be buying at auction again.

0:32:230:32:26

I'm in one of the most beautiful counties in Britain,

0:32:310:32:35

in a little village called Yeovilton in Somerset.

0:32:350:32:39

There's no pub. There isn't a shop, just a church and some pretty houses.

0:32:390:32:44

Oh! And one other thing - Yeovilton Royal Naval Air Station.

0:32:440:32:50

Which means there is lots of air traffic and lots of noise.

0:32:500:32:56

# In the background noise comes the world of choice

0:32:560:33:00

# In the distance, a familiar voice

0:33:000:33:04

# It's the one, it's the one I adore... #

0:33:040:33:09

'Not the standard traffic noise that most buyers are used to.

0:33:100:33:15

'With lovely stone cottages, surely there's more than meets the ear.'

0:33:150:33:20

I'm here to see a two-bedroomed end of terrace house.

0:33:200:33:26

This is it. Looks fairly unassuming.

0:33:260:33:29

Guide price, 195,000 quid.

0:33:290:33:32

No. You heard right. 195,000. That's not 95,000.

0:33:340:33:38

195,000 for that?

0:33:380:33:41

You've got to be kidding!

0:33:410:33:43

'This property does look a bit small from the outside,

0:33:430:33:48

'but as it's an end of terrace, there's potential to extend.

0:33:480:33:51

'And with a guide price of 195,000, that's the least you should expect.'

0:33:510:33:57

# Going back, I'm going back

0:33:570:34:00

# I'm going back to country living

0:34:010:34:05

# Where the air is fresh and clean... #

0:34:050:34:09

Ignore that price for the moment.

0:34:110:34:13

What have we got? Through the door, downstairs loo.

0:34:130:34:17

Then into the kitchen which, frankly, is a bit disappointing.

0:34:170:34:21

You expect a cottagey feel for a cottagey type place like this.

0:34:210:34:25

It's utilitarian and I suppose it does the job.

0:34:250:34:29

Dining area over there.

0:34:290:34:31

It's not a bad size space but I'm not seeing anything that's deserved of the price, so far.

0:34:310:34:38

'A property in need of serious space enhancement, if ever I saw one.

0:34:410:34:46

'The living room's on the small side.

0:34:460:34:49

'Upstairs, I find the bathroom. It's basic and feels pretty cramped.

0:34:490:34:53

'And two smallish bedrooms, all in need of refurbishment.'

0:34:530:34:58

The property backs onto the Royal Naval Air Station here in Yeovilton.

0:35:030:35:08

It means lots of noise from helicopters taking off, planes, whatever.

0:35:080:35:13

The whole area has a Category D noise classification, which means unacceptable levels of noise!

0:35:130:35:19

It also affects planning applications for any houses that might be built.

0:35:190:35:24

The good news is that it looks like

0:35:240:35:28

the station is going to be reclassified as Category C.

0:35:280:35:31

Lower levels of noise. That could have very interesting implications.

0:35:310:35:36

# It's a beautiful noise

0:35:360:35:38

# And it's a sound that I love

0:35:390:35:41

# And it fits me as well

0:35:430:35:45

# As a hand in a glove

0:35:460:35:49

# Yes, it does

0:35:490:35:51

# Yes, it does

0:35:510:35:53

# What a beautiful noise... #

0:35:530:35:57

At the rear of the property things start to get really interesting from an investment point of view.

0:35:570:36:03

The property comes with this bit of land. It's 0.6 acres.

0:36:030:36:07

It's fairly flat. It's got access onto the road.

0:36:070:36:11

It's got services from the house. What is that? It's a building plot!

0:36:110:36:15

Could you build on there?

0:36:150:36:17

It all comes down to the noise classification of the air base.

0:36:170:36:21

If the review drops that classification, this becomes a very viable building plot.

0:36:210:36:27

I reckon you could get six, maybe seven houses on there.

0:36:270:36:32

Suddenly, that £195,000 guide price seems a bit of a snip.

0:36:320:36:36

'So it's outside where this lot literally takes off.

0:36:400:36:43

'We asked a local estate agent for his view of the property.'

0:36:430:36:48

The land is a big selling point for this property.

0:36:480:36:53

We've got a two-bed end terrace. They can extend the property.

0:36:530:36:58

A four-bed house on this site will fit well with the land.

0:36:580:37:02

'What price would this cottage fetch if extended and sold on?'

0:37:020:37:07

If they downgrade the noise band

0:37:070:37:11

and this property is extended

0:37:110:37:13

it should be worth in the region of £300,000.

0:37:130:37:17

If you didn't extend it and just renovated the cottage as it is,

0:37:170:37:22

it would sell for probably in the region of £250,000.

0:37:220:37:25

'What about the rental market?'

0:37:250:37:28

If this property was renovated, extended and let out,

0:37:280:37:32

it should achieve, with the paddock, about £750 a month.

0:37:320:37:36

If you didn't extend it and renovated as it is,

0:37:360:37:41

it would let for £500 per calendar month.

0:37:410:37:44

It looks like I'm going to have to eat my words.

0:37:440:37:47

This place could be a great investment.

0:37:470:37:50

Even if you didn't get permission to build houses on the land,

0:37:500:37:54

just by extending the property, you could do very nicely, thank you.

0:37:540:37:58

Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.

0:37:580:38:01

Two-bedroom end of terrace cottage with a wonderful garden.

0:38:010:38:07

Our guide is 195,000. Would someone like to put me straight in?

0:38:070:38:11

Can't work out the hieroglyphics. 170. 170, thank you.

0:38:110:38:15

175. 180.

0:38:150:38:18

185. 190.

0:38:180:38:20

190.

0:38:200:38:23

190. 192.

0:38:230:38:25

195. 195.

0:38:250:38:28

At 195,000.

0:38:280:38:30

At £195,000...

0:38:300:38:35

-BANGS GAVEL

-Congratulations. 195.

0:38:350:38:38

'Former estate agent Nick has bought this place for its tremendous development potential.

0:38:380:38:44

'I caught up with him and his wife Janet at the cottage

0:38:440:38:48

'to discuss the options here.'

0:38:480:38:51

-Nick, lovely to meet you. Congratulations.

-Thank you.

-Tell me why you wanted this place.

0:38:510:38:56

It's got a bit of land, which is unusual for a small cottage.

0:38:560:39:00

It gives it potential to extend

0:39:000:39:02

and possibly potential beyond that, depending on planning permissions.

0:39:020:39:07

You paid 195, the guide price.

0:39:070:39:09

When I first heard that figure, I was like, "What?"

0:39:090:39:12

It sounded a lot for the cottage but, presumably, it's the land

0:39:120:39:17

that's the key putting it at that price.

0:39:170:39:20

I hope you're wrong.

0:39:200:39:22

-What? That's it's a lot?

-That it was a lot.

0:39:220:39:25

Most things shot up over the guide price.

0:39:250:39:28

I was very pleased to get it for what I paid for it.

0:39:280:39:32

I think it was fairly well priced.

0:39:320:39:35

-Without the land, what would this cottage have cost?

-Probably about 135,000.

0:39:350:39:40

-About 60 grand for the land?

-Yeah.

0:39:400:39:42

'Nick plans to extend at the side of the property,

0:39:440:39:47

'creating a two-storey extension.

0:39:470:39:49

'That will give greater living space downstairs and bigger bedrooms upstairs.

0:39:490:39:54

'Much needed, I'd say.'

0:39:540:39:56

All of that, of course, is subject to planning permission.

0:39:570:40:01

Planning permission's been a sticky old wicket, hasn't it?

0:40:010:40:05

Yes. I gather planning in this area is not the easiest,

0:40:050:40:09

due to the air base at the rear of this cottage.

0:40:090:40:12

-That doesn't put you off?

-No, I don't think so.

0:40:120:40:15

We're hoping there'll be a reclassification of the noise.

0:40:150:40:19

It's Category D at the moment.

0:40:190:40:21

The MOD wants to build within the air base for the servicemen, so they can cycle to work.

0:40:210:40:27

And, hopefully, that will result in a declassification of the noise.

0:40:270:40:32

Which may change the planning potential for property in this area.

0:40:320:40:36

The best case scenario is that you can put an extension on the side.

0:40:360:40:42

In 2004, the owners put an application in

0:40:420:40:45

for a terrace of four cottages to continue in line with these four.

0:40:450:40:50

Which, potentially, could fit another two or three detached properties on.

0:40:500:40:55

Wow! So you could have four terraces that way.

0:40:550:40:59

Then three detached properties on the paddock?

0:40:590:41:02

That would be the best possible scenario. Yes.

0:41:020:41:06

Would you do that or get that planning then sell it on?

0:41:060:41:10

-I'd sell it on.

-With that planning?

-Yes. I'd do the extension.

0:41:100:41:14

But I would sell with planning. I'm not a builder.

0:41:140:41:17

'Not a builder, but a very shrewd businessman, it seems.

0:41:170:41:22

'That is IF he manages to pull this off.'

0:41:220:41:25

# Mr Businessman

0:41:250:41:27

# You tell me that you haven't got no time

0:41:270:41:31

# Cos you believe that money makes a man, Mr Businessman... #

0:41:310:41:36

If you got planning permission for that

0:41:360:41:38

best case scenario, do you have any idea what the land you would sell would be worth?

0:41:380:41:45

Yes. It would depend on the timescale.

0:41:450:41:48

But at current prices, you're talking a little shy of about a million pounds.

0:41:480:41:53

-But that's a scenario that is unlikely.

-A million?

-Yes.

0:41:540:41:58

-One-zero-zero...?

-Six noughts, yes.

-Wow!

-Including the cottage.

0:41:580:42:04

-Oh, right. OK.

-The cottage, terrace and three plots on the front.

0:42:040:42:08

-But not doing any building, just selling it?

-Only the extension.

0:42:080:42:12

'What kind of a budget does Nick estimate for this cottage?'

0:42:120:42:18

If the extension goes on the side, I'd reckon on spending up to £35,000.

0:42:180:42:23

But we've got to see what size extension.

0:42:230:42:26

This is a two-bedroom cottage. They might not want it over-extended.

0:42:260:42:30

It's a fascinating story. Thank you for sharing it with us. Good luck!

0:42:300:42:35

I need it. Yeah.

0:42:350:42:37

I can't remember a story which has such a range of potential outcomes.

0:42:390:42:44

From Nick just breaking even to, potentially, making around £750,000 worth of profit.

0:42:440:42:50

It all comes down to reclassification of noise levels

0:42:500:42:55

and, of course, getting that planning permission.

0:42:550:42:58

You can find out what happens later in the show.

0:42:580:43:01

Our property owners were certainly eager beavers when we left them.

0:43:040:43:09

-Did they grab the bull by the horns?

-Let's find out.

0:43:090:43:13

'We're back in Streatham, south London,

0:43:140:43:17

'to see how kitchen designer Barbara got on

0:43:170:43:20

'with a characterful 1930s flat in this mansion block.

0:43:200:43:24

'Splitting her time between Italy and the UK,

0:43:250:43:28

'Barbara has developed over 30 properties since the late 1980s.

0:43:280:43:33

'Inside, the two-bedroom flat had been unloved for a long time.

0:43:330:43:37

'There were some original features buried under paintwork.

0:43:370:43:40

'There wasn't much of a kitchen

0:43:400:43:43

'and the bathroom had been given the blue treatment with paint!

0:43:430:43:48

'Barbara has an eagle eye for detail

0:43:480:43:51

'and fully intended to bring it to bear on this property.'

0:43:510:43:56

We don't really want to make it look as if it's just the average refurb.

0:43:560:44:02

'Barbara paid 174,000 for the flat

0:44:050:44:08

'and had set aside a budget of £10,000 to spend refurbishing it.

0:44:080:44:13

'With her trusted team of builders,

0:44:130:44:16

'she planned to turn it around in four to six weeks.

0:44:160:44:20

'We've come back just seven weeks later to see if Barbara's

0:44:200:44:24

'put the sparkle back into this classic London home.'

0:44:240:44:28

# Oh, life could be a dream

0:44:280:44:30

# If I could take you up in paradise up above

0:44:300:44:33

# If you would tell me I'm the only one that you love

0:44:330:44:37

# Life could be a dream, sweetheart. #

0:44:370:44:39

'The tired old flat has been completely rejuvenated.

0:44:390:44:43

'The sitting room is now comfortable and stylish.

0:44:430:44:47

'It has a fresh contemporary look which manages to incorporate

0:44:470:44:51

'the very best of the 1930s details that were originally here.

0:44:510:44:55

'The small kitchen didn't look like

0:44:550:44:57

'it was ever going to be a fun space to spend time.

0:44:570:45:01

'But kitchen designer Barbara knew exactly how to fix it.'

0:45:010:45:05

I have to say the kitchen was really awful.

0:45:050:45:08

I don't know how they used it before.

0:45:080:45:12

But we've managed to turn it around

0:45:120:45:15

and make a very reasonable functional kitchen.

0:45:150:45:21

Dishwasher, washing machine

0:45:210:45:24

and all the appliances that you need.

0:45:240:45:26

# Life could be a dream, sweetheart Hello, hello again... #

0:45:260:45:30

'She makes it sound straightforward but it's quite a feat

0:45:300:45:34

'bringing such a forlorn flat back to life.'

0:45:340:45:38

Pretty awful. It was seriously neglected.

0:45:380:45:42

I think nothing had been done for 30 years-plus.

0:45:430:45:48

We tried to keep the doors, the originals.

0:45:480:45:50

There's only one that we, in desperation, had to get rid of.

0:45:500:45:54

We've got original features where possible, including the fireplace.

0:45:540:46:00

Well, it was a matter of do we paint the hardboard white

0:46:000:46:06

or do we just have a look,

0:46:060:46:09

see what's behind it?

0:46:090:46:11

We had a look and we found the oak surround fireplace.

0:46:110:46:16

'One place she was not keen to retain the original features was the blue-painted bathroom!'

0:46:190:46:25

The bathroom was equally as bad as the kitchen.

0:46:250:46:30

But as you can see, we've managed to make a very, very decent job.

0:46:300:46:36

Top to bottom travertino, which is rather nice in a bathroom.

0:46:360:46:40

One or two interesting features, and here we are.

0:46:400:46:46

'Not everything went Barbara's way.

0:46:490:46:51

'The flat is on a busy road and would benefit from double glazing.'

0:46:510:46:56

The windows, we did apply to change them for double glazing.

0:46:560:47:01

But, apparently, it's a conservation area,

0:47:010:47:04

so therefore, we can't actually change them.

0:47:040:47:08

We can do some sort of double glazing on the inside.

0:47:080:47:12

It's nice that it's in a conservation area.

0:47:120:47:15

The minus is that you have to leave the windows.

0:47:150:47:19

'The windows are an original feature Barbara would have liked to change.

0:47:190:47:24

'Perhaps that meant she saved some of her £10,000 budget?'

0:47:240:47:28

We got a little bit carried away.

0:47:280:47:32

We actually reached 11,300, in the end.

0:47:320:47:35

Um...searching, cherry picking for bargains, basically.

0:47:350:47:40

And we got there.

0:47:400:47:43

'Barbara bought the flat for 174,000

0:47:430:47:47

'and spent £11,300 on the refurbishment,

0:47:470:47:51

'bringing her total outlay to £185,300.

0:47:510:47:56

'It's time to find out what two local experts think of her work.'

0:47:560:48:01

It's been extremely well refurbished.

0:48:010:48:04

Quality of the finish is good. There are stone tiles in the bathroom,

0:48:040:48:09

which look really nice.

0:48:090:48:12

All the surfaces and stainless steel looks really good.

0:48:120:48:15

Sometimes with something that's newly refurbished,

0:48:150:48:19

you can see some issues with it.

0:48:190:48:22

Here, it's been well done. A nice mixture of contemporary finish

0:48:220:48:26

with some good period and character features.

0:48:260:48:30

'What could the property be sold on for?'

0:48:300:48:34

I would recommend putting this on the market

0:48:340:48:38

for £245,000.

0:48:380:48:41

I'd put it on between £235,000 and £240,000.

0:48:410:48:45

'Those valuations would give Barbara a profit of between £49,700

0:48:450:48:51

and £59,700, before costs and expenses.

0:48:510:48:55

Very good. Gosh!

0:48:570:48:59

Um... That's excellent, really. I'm very pleased with that.

0:48:590:49:03

I wasn't quite imagining that

0:49:030:49:06

but you have to look at the worst case scenario

0:49:060:49:10

when you're doing this work.

0:49:100:49:12

That's pretty good.

0:49:120:49:14

# When the moon hits your eye like a big-a pizza pie

0:49:140:49:20

# That's amore... #

0:49:200:49:21

'When she bought the flat, Barbara was clear she had plans to sell it on.

0:49:210:49:27

'Has the Italian-based developer discovered a new love?'

0:49:270:49:31

I quite like it as a pied-a-terre.

0:49:310:49:35

We've been here a couple of weeks now.

0:49:350:49:38

Really, that was just to put a little bit of furniture round,

0:49:380:49:42

make it feel a little bit more comfortable.

0:49:420:49:45

We've had some time we thought we'd spend in London, for a change.

0:49:450:49:49

So... Hm.

0:49:490:49:51

Big question mark now, but I'll keep you posted on that one.

0:49:510:49:55

'We're back in Yeovilton, Somerset, to see how retired estate agent Nick

0:49:590:50:04

'got on with that end terrace.

0:50:040:50:07

'It looks as though it's on a movie set.

0:50:070:50:10

'A war movie set. When the neighbours are one of the busiest military air fields in the UK,

0:50:130:50:18

'this property seemed very pricey at 195,000,

0:50:180:50:22

'but it did come with just over half an acre of land.

0:50:220:50:26

'Nick saw the potential in all that land.

0:50:260:50:30

'He thought the house needed a two-storey extension

0:50:300:50:34

'to make it a livable family home.

0:50:340:50:36

'His knowledge of the market came in very handy.'

0:50:360:50:40

Do you have any idea what the land which you would sell would be worth?

0:50:400:50:45

Yes. It would depend on the timescale.

0:50:450:50:49

At current prices, you're probably talking a little shy of about a million pounds.

0:50:490:50:54

-A million?

-Yes.

0:50:540:50:56

-One-zero-zero...

-Six noughts. Yeah.

0:50:560:50:59

-Wow!

-That's including the cottage.

0:50:590:51:01

'Nick paid £195,000 for the house

0:51:010:51:04

'and straight away applied for planning permission

0:51:040:51:07

'to add a two-storey extension.

0:51:070:51:09

'He had set aside a budget of £35,000 to build the addition

0:51:090:51:14

'and thought it would take him around four months.

0:51:140:51:17

'We've come back just over 18 months later to see if Nick has doubled the size of his cottage.

0:51:170:51:22

'And does he have a field of property or goats?'

0:51:220:51:26

'He definitely got the planning permission for the extension.

0:51:360:51:40

'This is now a substantial family home.'

0:51:400:51:44

# You should come back home back on your own now... #

0:51:440:51:49

Well, tried to keep everything in keeping.

0:51:490:51:52

The original cottage was in a local stone called blue lias.

0:51:520:51:56

So the extension is in blue lias.

0:51:560:51:58

It's a very hard natural stone

0:51:580:52:01

and very much in keeping with the rest of the cottages here.

0:52:010:52:05

Then we've had a different kind of natural stone

0:52:050:52:08

to go round the pathway and parking area.

0:52:080:52:11

We've incorporated some very old historical flagstones

0:52:110:52:15

in the pathway round the house because it's part of the history of the house.

0:52:150:52:21

'Inside, Nick has kept the original layout

0:52:210:52:24

'and most of the old part of the house.

0:52:240:52:27

'The kitchen has been spruced up with new work surfaces.'

0:52:270:52:31

Since you visited the property,

0:52:310:52:34

the extension is, of course, the main addition.

0:52:340:52:37

The whole house has been redecorated. It's being carpeted.

0:52:370:52:41

So there won't be a surface which is as it was.

0:52:410:52:45

It's taken me far longer than I would have liked, 18 months.

0:52:450:52:49

But planning permissions,

0:52:490:52:51

building, it just seems to drag on sometimes, but we're there now.

0:52:510:52:56

This is the new extension, probably my favourite room in the house now.

0:52:570:53:02

Windows on two sides.

0:53:020:53:05

Some lovely patio doors overlooking the garden and countryside beyond.

0:53:050:53:10

It's light, bright, very airy.

0:53:100:53:12

And I think, without much doubt, the feature of the house.

0:53:120:53:17

'This huge living room takes up all of the downstairs in the extension.

0:53:170:53:23

'Upstairs, Nick has added two further bedrooms,

0:53:230:53:27

'one good sized double with built-in storage,

0:53:270:53:30

'and one double with an en suite.

0:53:300:53:33

'But he had to add a small corridor to link the four bedrooms,

0:53:330:53:38

'so the two original bedrooms are now a little smaller.

0:53:380:53:42

'And he has not added a central heating system to the house!'

0:53:420:53:47

What I've done is put in some electric radiators in the bedrooms

0:53:470:53:54

and some fan blowers in the bathroom for instant heat.

0:53:540:53:59

Somebody who buys it may want to go for an oil-based system or an LPG central heating system.

0:53:590:54:05

'Nick bought the place for 195,000

0:54:050:54:08

'and completed the renovation for 45,000,

0:54:080:54:11

'which was £10,000 more than his original estimate.

0:54:110:54:16

'So his total outlay was 240,000.

0:54:160:54:19

'Time to find out what two local property experts think of his work.'

0:54:190:54:24

Very nice. He's done a very good job.

0:54:240:54:28

Turned it from a small cottage into a four-bed house. Should sell well.

0:54:280:54:35

My first impressions are that the property has benefited significantly

0:54:360:54:40

from the large extension to the side.

0:54:400:54:43

However, I do feel that has compromised the bedroom sizes.

0:54:430:54:48

What I would have done is only have three bedrooms rather than the four.

0:54:480:54:53

Having the four bedrooms has led to a compromise in the bedroom sizes

0:54:530:54:59

and made them, perhaps, slightly tight.

0:54:590:55:02

'Not a resoundingly positive reaction from one expert. What do they think the house is now worth?'

0:55:020:55:08

I would estimate the value of this property to be between £255,000 and £265,000.

0:55:080:55:15

You could sell this property on for £275,000.

0:55:150:55:18

'Those valuations would give Nick a profit on the house alone of between

0:55:180:55:23

'£15,000 and £35,000, before costs and expenses.'

0:55:230:55:27

Those figures are pretty much spot-on, what I had in mind.

0:55:270:55:31

'The big opportunity lies in the land.

0:55:310:55:34

'Even as a paddock, you could expect to sell it for around £20,000.

0:55:340:55:38

'Now that Yeovilton has been reclassified to allow building,

0:55:380:55:43

'it could become a building plot with planning permission

0:55:430:55:47

'and its value will change dramatically.'

0:55:470:55:49

As a building plot for four developments, I estimate the value to be between £300,000 and £340,000.

0:55:490:55:56

I think those figures are about right.

0:55:560:55:59

340,000 with four houses would be a good figure to get for it.

0:55:590:56:04

'Nick hasn't applied for planning permission yet

0:56:040:56:08

'but knows what his dream development would be.'

0:56:080:56:12

I think it would be very nice to be able to build four cottages.

0:56:120:56:16

It would be good for the village and give young people something to buy

0:56:160:56:20

in a village environment where they're normally excluded.

0:56:200:56:24

'Does former estate agent Nick

0:56:240:56:26

'think he's likely to buy under the hammer again?'

0:56:260:56:30

One of the things I like about auction is that it's binding.

0:56:300:56:34

You know where you stand.

0:56:340:56:37

You know if you've bought it or if you haven't.

0:56:370:56:39

Rather than by private treaty where you can be buying it for two months then find it's been withdrawn.

0:56:390:56:46

From perfect homes to shrewd investments.

0:56:480:56:51

-Join us next time for more auction action on Homes Under The Hammer. Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:510:56:57

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:150:57:18

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:180:57:21

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Sunderland, a flat in London and a cottage in Somerset. 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.