Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a bungalow in Fife, a plot of land in Chatham and a two-bed semi in Derbyshire. Find out who bought these properties at auction.
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-Hello and welcome to the show.
-Even in these difficult times,
those glamorous properties we see in magazines are still tempting us.
But, for some, they're even more unaffordable right now.
But you can get yourself, quite possibly,
a really impressive property for not much money by going to the auctions.
Well, there are thousands of properties
available at auctions every month and the diversity's huge,
from houses to flats to plots of land that are ripe for development.
Whatever you're looking for, there's something that fits the bill,
so take a look at the properties
that got our auction bidders hot under the collar today.
This two-three bed bungalow in Fife has an unusual line in mod cons.
A rather surprising kitchen accessory.
In Chatham, Kent, the owner will have to dig deep
to make this plot of land work.
Whoever takes this on is going to have some serious excavating to do.
And in Draycott, Derbyshire,
has this two-bed semi-detached got any potential? Who knows?
All in all, bit of a TARDIS, this one.
All these properties have been sold at auction and we'll find out
who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.
You've got yourself a house.
This is the River Eden, which flows through the Royal Borough of Cupar.
You've got Edinburgh to the south, St Andrews to the north
and it's a jolly nice place to live.
With a nature trail running alongside the river
and no shortage of parks, Cupar in the county of Fife
is a place where you can enjoy the great outdoors.
But, on the practical side, the vast road network
and great train links whisk you up and down the east of Scotland,
so, as a commuter town, it's got a lot going for it.
The property I'm here to see is in this highly sought-after
residential area right at the end of a cul-de-sac.
Two to three-bedroom bungalow. Had a guide price of £130,000-£140,000.
Let's take a look.
The bungalow was built by the RAF as married quarters for staff
based at RAF Leuchars Air Base about ten miles away.
It's now been sold off by the Ministry of Defence,
so with good schools nearby, it could be a good catch.
The property's right at the end of the cul-de-sac,
which gives you lovely privacy and, in terms of location,
amazing views over the surrounding hills.
The good news is, neighbours have also put in extensions in the roofs,
so, ooh, I'm getting excited!
As it's detached, that means this bungalow
is surrounded by a garden and, in this case, a good-sized one.
Another bonus is the garage on the driveway, which will save you
having to fight for a parking space at the end of the cul-de-sac.
So, what's on offer?
It's nice to have this entrance area as you come through the front door.
Somewhere to hang your coats and stuff like that.
And into, well, this is a lovely surprise for a bungalow.
A really nice big entrance area.
Generally in bungalows you don't have this. Wonderful news.
Bedroom there. Second bedroom towards the back.
Then a bedroom/dining room there and the loo.
All in all, fairly basic lay-out but what I see straightaway is that.
Now, that is good news
because I'm immediately thinking
a potential to extend up into the loft.
There's enough space here maybe
to put in a spiral staircase to get you up there. Fab!
The bathroom may need work to make it acceptable by today's standards
but, with a modest make-over, the two bedrooms could be good to go.
The same goes for the living room, but you could update that fireplace.
But with plenty of light coming in, and great views looking out,
this room could really be inviting.
Through to the kitchen and a rather surprising kitchen accessory.
Yes, a wheelie bin.
Don't normally see those in the middle of the kitchen.
That's not good. Clearly, some major problem with a leak in the loft,
which is dribbling water down through the electrics. Not ideal.
That's clearly a problem that needs to be sorted out,
but the kitchen itself, nice views over the garden.
Tired and dated units, but it's a good-sized space.
All in all, yeah, fantastic. It's nice.
OK, so this is the dining room then,
or I suppose it could be that third bedroom.
But what I'm thinking straightaway is this wall.
Wouldn't it be fantastic to take this out
and open up the whole of this space?
That would create a really fantastic amount of space. Kitchen diner.
I mean, the only downside, of course,
is you're losing a potential bedroom.
It all depends what you plan to use it for.
Of course, if you extend into the loft space,
then losing a bedroom downstairs wouldn't be so much of a problem.
If this falls within permitted development,
you may also be able to save yourself the hassle
of getting planning permission, but always best to check first.
Getting back to that water problem,
it seems the kitchen isn't the only place suffering at the moment.
The adjacent room seems to have sprung a leak as well.
It's important the new owner sorts the problem as soon as possible,
but with a good-sized garden that needs attention from a lawnmower,
and the guide price of £130,000-£140,0000,
this bungalow does seem very attractive.
Time to find out what a local estate agent thinks.
First impressions, this is bigger on the inside than the outside.
A good-sized property.
Excellent plot. Very large. Very nice views.
In my opinion, quite sellable.
What should the new owner do to add value?
I would be doing a conversion of the attic.
It's my understanding that it is ready-made for conversion.
Well, that would explain the windows already in the loft,
but if the owner did the conversion and put in a kitchen diner,
the estate agent estimates the cost would be around £40,000,
So, with a guide price of 130,000-140,000,
how would the sale return stack up?
If you were to take advantage of the attic conversion and kitchen diner,
I estimated the resale value being in order of £210,000-£215,000.
What could it be rented out for?
I estimate the rental value would be between £800-£825 per month.
So, a few immediate problems to solve
and some modernisation issues to deal with.
However, you can't knock the location.
With the potential to expand, I think this is a great one to go for.
Let's see who agreed with me when it went under the hammer.
Lot number 319.
I now have a proxy bid on this property,
so for someone who couldn't be here today, so I will be bidding
on behalf of the proxy bidder.
I'm going to start with my proxy bidder at an opening bid
Looking for 126 in the room. Is that a bid, sir? £126,000, I've got.
I can go 127, then, with the proxy bidder. Back at 128 it is.
129. 130. 130,000.
131. 132. 133, I can still go.
'The two bidders are locked in a bidding battle,
'determined to buy the lot.
'We pick up when the bidding has reached £149,000.'
I can go for 149,250.
149,750, you're unsurprised to learn.
Round it up to 150.
150,000, it is. At £150,000.
You'll be delighted that the proxy is now out.
£150,000, I'm going to sell at this level, ladies and gentlemen.
Is anyone else coming in? Be very quick.
'That successful bid of 150,000 was made by husband and wife team
'Chris and Liz.
'Liz has recently retired from the health service,
'while Chris works for the RAF as an admin officer.
'So it seems fitting that they have bought ex married quarters.
'The couple currently live in Paisley
'and have high hopes for their new purchase,
'but it seems they might not be the new occupants.'
Chris, Liz, lovely to meet you both. Congratulations.
-Tell me why you want this bungalow.
-We're buying it for my sister-in-law.
She is desperate to move to this part of the country.
Her son is hopefully going to university this summer.
They have pets and, unfortunately,
people don't like to rent to people with pets.
-So we've agreed we'll buy it and they'll rent it off us.
If they don't like it in a few years' time, it's a house we would very happily retire to
when I leave the air force so it's great for everybody.
'In fact, Ann, Liz's sister,
'was at the auction sitting between Liz and Chris.
'No wonder she looks happy!'
# Sisters, sisters
# There were never such devoted sisters. #
It's a lovely gesture to help Liz's sister and her two sons
out of a tight spot, but accommodation here
could be tight as well, so what attracted them to this property?
The potential that it has.
There's windows up there already,
so it'll be comparatively easy to make it into two en-suite bedrooms.
We've got builders coming this afternoon to discuss that with us.
Knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room,
and extend the kitchen into a kitchen-diner.
And we've seen it being done in houses, so we know what can be done.
I'm told they built these houses with the intention that people could extend into upstairs,
so hopefully the roof strength is there already.
-There shouldn't be the extra cost of RSJs that you'd normally need.
-Hopefully the floor's there.
-Hopefully - we haven't seen it.
-You haven't? Right.
-So it's a bit of pot luck.
So what about planning permission for what you've got in mind?
We've already lodged a request with the council.
To see if we need planning permission.
And we're waiting for their response.
Hopefully it shouldn't need it since what we're doing is internal.
I don't think Velux windows count as external,
we're not changing the property's footprint,
so I don't envisage a problem, but these things can take a long time.
'As well as getting permission to install the two en-suite bedrooms upstairs,
'the couple aim to replace the kitchen and bathroom,
'check the wiring and plumbing and redecorate throughout.
'However, neither of them has any experience of developing properties.
'It's all down to finding and hiring the right builders for the job.
'They also have a tight deadline of two months to get the place
'ready for Liz's sister. And the reason?'
I'm in the Air Force. We tend to move round every couple of years or so.
I've been lucky to get a job in NATO in Denmark.
-Hence I'm trying to get things done,
as much as we can done, before we go.
# Come fly with me let's fly, let's fly away... #
So lots to do, and you want it done quite quickly.
That's presumably going to mean a reasonable budget to do it.
We bit into the budget a bit buying the house.
We'd hoped to buy at 130-140, and I had a 170 budget,
so we've got about 20,000 to play with,
which I think should cover most of it.
-If we have to go a little further, we might have to stage the work.
20,000 quid might be a bit tight for putting those two bedrooms in.
So the contingency,
if the quotes come in much higher than that, is what?
Spread the work. I can find a little extra money if necessary.
I can probably take it up to 25, 26 if necessary,
so there is a contingency in there.
-Don't tell the builders that yet.
-No, don't tell him that, no!
'Well, before it's chocks away, Chris and Liz have a short
'space of time and a limited budget to get the work done, so I'm glad
'they've got a contingency fund for those unexpected developments.'
So, in terms of your sister's involvement in the restoration, is she going to have a say?
Oh, yes, definitely.
And we'll all be on, you know, painting duty
once all the building work's done, so yes.
It makes sense because, hopefully, her plan is to live here a long time - 20, 30 years, perhaps -
so she might as well have what she wanted.
What does she say about what you're doing?
-She's just thrilled, absolutely thrilled.
-Well, if you can't help family, who can you help?
-Good luck with it, good luck with the building quotes.
-Yes, thank you(!)
-We look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, this is one of those projects where you SO hope it succeeds.
Chris and Liz buying this house for the best possible reasons.
But I am a little bit concerned about the timescale,
and that £20,000 budget.
You can find out how they get on later in the show.
Today I'm in Chatham in Kent,
an area that's been going through something of a facelift of late.
If the regenerated dockyards are anything to go by,
I reckon investment opportunities round here may be worth
getting into a flap about.
Today I'm in the residential area of Lords Wood Lane,
which, as far as Chatham's concerned, doesn't get much better.
However, the lot I'm looking for is proving rather hard to locate.
I'm here to see a plot of land with planning permission
for a two-bedroom chalet bungalow and a guide of 65 - 70,000.
But, without a set of steps in my back pocket,
I'm going to have to pick my way over next door's gravel.
Don't worry, I have asked!
'Well, it's a pretty unorthodox way of checking out a plot,
'and not perhaps the best shoes for the job,
'but I'm not so sure this development is all about fun.'
Well, apart from being a hassle to view,
the first issue that springs to mind here is that
whoever takes this on is going to have some serious excavating to do
before they get started.
And access up here is always going to be via steps or a steep slope -
not perfect for the less sprightly on their feet.
Remember, this is a shallow bungalow,
which means it will have living space in the loft.
So, buyers expecting a step-free home may be disappointed.
It does mean you get more space for your money.
But what about the plot of land itself?
Now, straightaway, I can see that this was part of somebody's garden.
I think it belonged to this house here, because you can see,
there's a fairly new fence that's been put up.
What I do like is that there are lots of trees here,
so it's shielding you from the road, although
you will have to take some of those out to create that entrance.
And now I'm standing here, I can see this plot of land is on
a slight gradient, so something for the builders to think about too.
You've also got views over the Medway, which is really nice.
So, all in all,
I can imagine this would be quite a nice place to live, and surely,
that's all you're looking for when you're looking for a plot of land.
As the saying goes, "build it and they will come".
And into the bargain, hopefully, buy it.
Despite the issues with the slope,
they are more than compensated for by the surroundings.
But remember, the lot comes WITH planning permission,
so, how do the plans measure up?
It's always exciting for me, looking through plans.
These are quite basic, but it does demonstrate the floorspace.
I can see that the downstairs has got a kitchen/diner,
that runs into the lounge.
Two big lovely double doors that lead out onto the garden,
which make the most of the downstairs space.
You've also got a bedroom here, which is bedroom two.
So, the main bedroom is on the top floor of the bungalow,
which is upstairs in the eaves.
Now, I can see that there is a huge storage space running
all the way around the outside.
Now surely, that is a bit of a waste of space. Do you think, possibly,
we could squeeze another bedroom out of that?
I think by doing that,
you would then really appeal to the family market.
I think that would be worth a shot.
As it stands, with that guide price of £65-£70,000,
I don't think a two-bed bungalow would make that much money
once you've done a decent build.
But add a third bedroom and you'd be increasing
the value by more than the work would cost.
To me, it would make much more sense.
But for a second opinion, I asked along a local estate agent
to hear his thoughts on this plot of land.
My first impressions of the plot are, obviously,
being on a slope will have one or two issues, but the size is very good.
The location, being right on the corner, is very good.
In the garden sizing, it'd be a good size as well.
So, my first impressions are very good, and I'm surprised at the site.
So, access to the site may not be a great problem,
but can those plans be improved upon?
The plans for a two bedroom chalet detached bungalow are good plans,
but I think you could potentially use the size a bit more.
There's a lot of loft space that could be used into a three bed,
make it a three-bedroom home,
which would be more popular with families in the area.
The plot had a guide price of £65-£70,000.
So, how could the returns stack up first for resale?
As a two-bedroom detached bungalow,
you'll be looking in the region of a maximum of 200,000.
For a three-bedroom property, would be
looking in the region of £220-£225,000.
-As a two-bedroom property,
you'd be looking in the region of £750 per calendar month.
As a three-bedroom property, around about £825 per calendar month.
So, it's a climb to get to it, but it's no stretch
of the imagination to see that this plot could be a good development.
Spend too much on the purchase or the build, well,
you're then leaving yourself with a tight profit.
Let's see what it went for at the auction.
Lot 25. Start me where you will on that one. £65,000 anywhere?
65,000 anywhere? I'm looking for £50,000 opening bid.
50, I'm on the way. And five, now, do I see?
Five, that's 60. At 60.
67. 67. 67.
And 70. And two.
And two, I'm looking for. 72.
And five. And seven. 77.
77. And 80.
And 82. At 82. And five.
And seven. 87.
90, to the original bidder.
At £87,000 bid on my right. He's against you in the blue on the left.
First time at £87,000. Second time at £87,000.
Third and final time at £87,000. All done.
It's all yours. £87,000.
That successful bid of 87,000
was made by Frank from Sevenoaks in Kent.
He's a self-employed builder-developer
and has built around 35 homes to date.
I met him back at the plot to find out his plans for house number 36.
-Thanks very much.
How did you feel on auction day when the hammer went down and you had won this plot?
Fantastic. Really fantastic.
Well, to be honest, it was only between me and the other man.
If he had gone over the top on my last bid,
-I would have bowed out as well.
-Yes. So that was very good.
-Were you happy with the price you paid? £87,000?
I didn't think I would get this at that price, to be honest,
-but there you go.
-So how much do you know about building plots?
What were you doing at the auction in the first place?
I'm a builder anyway. I do loft conversions, extensions. That type of thing.
And I used to work for a developer and I was,
if you like, kept down there, but now I've managed to get
a bit of money and bought the odd plot here and there.
You used to work for a developer,
-but you're doing it for yourself now?
-So you're the main man?
-I am the main man.
-The buck stops here! THEY LAUGH
Well, it's great to meet someone who has taken a risk
and seems to have succeeded. Good on you, Frank!
# You can go your own way
# Go your own way. #
But as he says, the buck stops here.
So has he decided what to do about the issues with the slope?
It's not a flat site by any means, you've got to get access in,
which is a ramp, and then once you get in, it makes it worse,
put it that way.
If it had been a flat site, it would have been really hunky-dory,
but there's a little bit of work to be done on it.
How will you overcome this? Will there be an awful lot of excavation going on
to get down onto the lower-level?
No. No. It'll stay at the heart. I'll level it off slightly.
Obviously we've got to take the spall off the front,
because the house to their right is at that level
and I will keep to that.
And then we've got to ramp from the pathway up to this level.
Frank seems quite relaxed about dealing with the slope and the bank here.
He's also seen a better way of getting value from the build
would be adding that third bedroom.
How are you going to squeeze another bedroom out of that?
If you look, that seems to be a waste of space.
Look at the wasted space they've got there.
-That's just loft storage space.
The thing is, you're pitching the roof, and that is quite a wide area.
You could get another bedroom in there.
But perhaps the planners don't want that particular situation,
but it lends itself to another bedroom there.
That'll effect the saleability.
-I really hope that goes your way.
-I would like that as well, yes.
But there again, I bought it with planning for two beds,
so in regards to that, if it comes to it, we'll build it on that.
It's not a disaster if he doesn't get permission for that third bedroom, but just doing
a two-bed chalet bungalow would obviously lower his profit margin.
With a build cost of £80-£90,000,
Frank reckons it would take two months to get things sorted
with planning and a further six months to do the build.
However, this very much depends on how the market is looking,
so things are a bit up in the air at the moment.
But he's an experienced builder,
so I'm sure he's prepared himself for the project ahead.
What is your experience with building, Frank?
I started working when I was 15. In a little firm in Sidcup.
And I was told by my mother to get my best clothes on,
and I was unloading tiles off a roof in the afternoon.
-But I love it. I live and die the game.
-You've come a long way over the years, well done to you.
-Thanks very much indeed.
Frank has got a passion for his work and what a difference that makes!
I think getting permission for that third bedroom is key
to the saleability. And that all-important profit.
Find out if he twists the planners' arms later on in the programme.
Coming up - the staircase in this house in Derbyshire
has already been altered once before, but...
I hate to say it, I think it needs to be moved again!
In Chatham, did the excavation go well for Frank?
Not knowing what the ground conditions were like,
perhaps I should have had a soil sample.
But first, have Liz's sister
and nephews made themselves at home in Fife?
It's like being on holiday or something,
they just absolutely love it.
It's now back to the Royal Borough of Cupar in Fife,
where earlier, married couple Chris and Liz bought this
two to three-bedroom bungalow for £150,000.
The plan was to renovate the ground floor and add two ensuite bedrooms
in the loft that seemed tailor-made for a conversion.
But all that work wasn't for themselves.
We're buying it for my sister-in-law.
She's desperate to move to this part of the country.
Her son is hopefully going to university this summer,
so, we've agreed to buy it and they'll rent it off us.
And Liz's sister Anne, seen here at the auction
seated between Chris and Liz is clearly delighted.
But for the amount of work Chris and Liz wanted to do,
they had a tight budget of £20,000
and due to Chris's work commitments abroad
an even tighter turnaround of just two months.
It was going to be a close call, but three-and-a-half months later,
we've returned to Cupar to see how they've progressed.
And from the outside,
new Velux windows show that some work has been going on.
And stepping inside,
the front room has been transformed into a fresh, comfortable lounge.
And the rear?
Chris and Liz have gone ahead and removed the wall
to create an open plan and bright kitchen dining room.
And the new stairs leads to a stunning new loft conversion,
housing two ensuite bedrooms,
both tastefully decorated by Liz's sister Anne.
She now lives with her two sons.
But we'll leave it to Liz to tell us more.
Up here in this space, there was absolutely nothing at all,
so they have managed to create two double bedrooms,
both with ensuite, built-in wardrobes
and extra storage under the eaves, which is an absolute bonus.
There also was windows already in situ, which was great.
And somewhere along the line, they provided double glazing
to match the rest of the house, which was an absolute bonus for us.
We've also added Velux windows in both the bedrooms,
in the en-suite and in the hall area as well.
Both of these en suite rooms are amazing spaces.
they've utilised the potential of the bungalow to great effect.
And the new kitchen is equally a major bonus.
So, this is the room that we had the most work downstairs done in.
Initially, there was a wall there that we had knocked down.
A cooker point in the corner and a doorway through here.
The doorway was sealed off, new cooker and a complete
new kitchen put in. Room to get all of the usual white goods,
dishwasher, washing machine, and of course, the stairs which
we'd initially planned to have out in the hallway, rather than ruin
a nice, large hallway, the builder recommended
we put it into here from the dining area up to upstairs.
And that's really made a massive difference.
It gives that nice big area that we wanted.
And access here without really ruining what's quite a good dining space.
It's a good move all round.
But of course, this is a new home for Liz's sister
and her two sons, who have all settled in well.
They absolutely love it. They just love it.
They can't believe that they are actually here and living here.
It's like being on holiday or something, they absolutely love it.
The boys' bedrooms have been made into comfortable pads,
just right for the boys' toys.
And the ground floor bathroom has had a small change with a WC
and wash basin remaining, but a new bath and shower installed.
In all, it's been a hassle-free renovation for the couple,
not least because they left everything to their builder.
The hardest thing for us is being away in Denmark now,
because we've not been here to see what was going on.
Fortunately, with computerisation, they were able
to send us pictures throughout the process, so we had a rough idea.
And I'm just so pleased to be home now
so we can actually see it!
# Welcome home
# Come on in
# And close the door. #
Well, it was just as well that Chris and Liz found a builder
who could give them such a welcoming final product.
But before flying off to Denmark, there were some issues to overcome.
As they weren't enlarging the bungalow footprint
or installing dormer windows, planning permission wasn't required.
But the loft conversion meant more work than initially thought,
as the bungalow's structure didn't meet the new building regulations. This held them up.
We didn't need planning permission, but we needed a building warranty.
It wasn't something we'd thought of, but that's required,
and that probably put a four to six-week delay
on what we thought would be the timeframe.
That pushed the original schedule up from two to three months.
But with the speed and quality of the work, it must have been curtains
for Chris and Liz's original budget of 20,000.
We haven't got the final bill yet, but I reckon the decoration,
the carpets and all the work and the extras -
probably about £50,000 on top of the house purchase.
Add that £50,000 to their £150,000 purchase price
and their total outlay is now 200,000.
We asked two local estate agents
what they thought of their investment.
First impressions are very good.
They made an excellent job of the property,
especially the upstairs conversion.
It's perhaps a little bit more spacious
than you would have first thought,
and the fact that they've got two en-suite bathrooms does lift it.
First impressions, it's a lovely house.
I like what they've done to the property. Nice and modern inside
from an older style property on the outside. Certainly modernised.
It's definitely made a difference to this property.
What sort of value does the bungalow now have?
Remember, Chris and Liz's overall investment is around £200,000,
so how much could it sell for?
The resale valuation in the current market for this property would be
of the order of £210,000 to £220,000.
The valuation in my opinion is likely to be
in the region of £210,000 to £220,000.
That's better than we thought.
We figured about 205/210 based on the market dropping a bit,
so that's good news, yeah.
If they ever decide to sell,
Chris and Liz would stand make a healthy profit
of £20,000 minus the usual taxes and expenses.
And there's a possible rental yield of 5%
if they ever choose to let the property.
But this is not about the money, but about family.
The couple have provided a new home for Liz's sister, Anne,
and her two sons. And the youngest, Ross, will drink to that.
Chris and Liz are already planning their next move.
Well, we're in Denmark for the next two years,
and then after that we'll be looking to settle in this area as well.
So, I guess in about a year we'll look at the property market
either at auction again if something comes up in the area, or buying direct from an estate agent.
But now we've done the auction, we may be more inclined
to look at that in preference to an estate agent, so, yeah.
This is Draycott in Derbyshire,
about six miles east of Derby city centre.
It's actually mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The name means "dry place". More recently, in the 1900s,
it was home to one of the largest lace manufacturing mills in Europe.
That's now been converted into flats.
The property I'm here to see is just close by.
'Today, Draycott is a popular commuter village.
'But it grew up around two large mills, so a lot of the housing stock
'was built for mill workers.
'And today's property is no exception.'
And here it is.
It's a two-bed semi on a road which has a mixture of commercial
and residential property. Looks a bit shabby from the outside.
Certainly, the window frames need replacing.
Let's hope that's not an indication of what it's like inside.
Guide price was 65 grand. Let's take a look.
# My whole world's come tumbling down
# I've seen better days... #
So, what's on offer?
Through this front door into your front sitting room, I suppose.
As you can see, it's in a bit of a state, but let's try and look through the mess.
Not a bad size. Obviously, you'll get quite a bit of noise from that road,
so double glazing would be one of the first things to put in.
But, progressing through, there is this glass divide. Not only is that
a real health hazard... What's it there for? It's yellow -
it gives a really weird light to this rear part of the property.
Again, not a bad size. Like the open plan stairs going up there.
My guess is that those stairs have actually been moved
at some point in the past.
So, it gives a really nice open area here.
And then through to the very rear of the property,
where you've got this very long kitchen.
The old boiler needs sorting out
and clearly the units in here have seen better days.
So spend some money in here and transform this room for sure.
But, I mean, all in all, it's a bit of a TARDIS, this one.
'And out the back, you may well need the help of a Time Lord to work out
-'how this garden once looked.
-MUSIC: Theme from Doctor Who
'You might think about incorporating the old outside loo into the kitchen,
'but before getting too carried away, what about the first floor?'
So, upstairs, and has the relocating of the staircase
actually made a big difference?
I'm not so sure. What have we got at the front?
Big double bedroom - serious signs of damp which definitely needs investigating.
But then, down this corridor, second bedroom here, not as big,
but still not a bad size.
But then the corridor continues down there
to that absolutely massive bathroom.
Just doesn't seem to work, as far as I'm concerned.
So, what can we do about it? Well, am I missing anything?
Only thing I can see actually up there, there may be scope to go
upwards to get maybe another bedroom,
and play around with the staircase. Hate to say, I think it needs moved again.
# Get up Get on up... #
'Moving stairs, loft conversions -
'both of these options will to add thousands to a renovation budget.
'The auction guide price for this lot was 65 grand.
'We asked along the auctioneer who sold it to hear his view on the property.'
I think, starting at the top, you've got to look at the roof.
That needs overhauling, the guttering needs replaced as it's the original cast iron
and it's corroded and the water's escaping down the brickwork.
The windows -
right at the bottom you've got some damp-proofing to do.
You need to upgrade probably the bathroom, the kitchen,
central heating, wiring -
that's the usual list and it's all relevant here.
'What would be the best way forward for this property?'
One of the key ways of adding value in a sense here is to make a third bedroom somehow.
Originally, the bathroom would have been bedroom three.
But it's a big room
and there's probably scope to split that somehow,
although it would only make a small third bedroom and a small bathroom. But there is opportunity there.
'Food for thought there.
'What does he think the place could fetch on the resale market?'
I would say, if it stays as a two-bedroomed house,
it probably has got a ceiling value of just short of £100,000.
If you made three bedrooms and it was a sensible arrangement,
then you could probably add £10,000 to that.
Selling on for 100 or 110 grand sounds pretty good to me,
but what if it was rented out?
The rental market around here is pretty strong,
and I would say that when it is renovated,
it would have a rental value of about £485 per calendar month.
So, a bit of work to be done to sort this out,
but I think spend the effort and a little bit of money,
and for that £65,000 guide price this would make
a really pleasant place to live, or a great rental opportunity.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Lot 13, a two-bedroom semi. 65 plus is the guide price.
I'll take 60 to get on. £60,000? 60,000, thank you.
At £60,000, opening bid. 61 anywhere? 61, thank you.
At 61,000, 62 in the centre. 62, 63 is bid. 63, 64 now. £65,000.
At 65, 66? No? £65,000, 66 elsewhere?
66, 66, 67. 67, 68? 68. 69?
68 against you. 69? At £68,000, we are selling for the first time at 68.
Out this side, no mistakes, for the second time at 68.
Third and last opportunity. Sold at 68,000, thank you.
Our cameras may not have spotted them there,
but that successful bid of £68,000 was made by friends Nick, here on the left,
and David on the right.
They know each other from their local hockey club.
David works at the club and when Nick's not playing hockey,
he has his own building company, which could prove handy here.
-Nick, David, lovely to meet you, congratulations.
Why did you want to buy this place?
We've been looking at properties over the last few months
and as we drove past this road we saw this property,
so we stopped and looked at it.
And we went to the auction,
and we thought it might not sell, we were hoping it wouldn't sell.
-You went to the auction, hoping it wouldn't sell?
We thought we'd get it cheaper the following day.
-Ah, after a bargain?
So in the end, we got to the auction, it dropped down to £55,000,
then it started to go back up and I thought I'd put my paddle in the air,
and it got worse, to 68,000, and I ended up getting it, unfortunately.
-Do you think you've overpaid, then?
No, I think we've underpaid, it's just I've got a lot of work to do,
-and so has David, to be fair.
Tell us about you two, what's the relationship?
We know each other through hockey.
We both play and work at Beeston Hockey Club, just down the road.
Nick knew my dad from years ago and yeah,
we've known each other donkeys' years.
How did it move from a relationship based on sport
into the idea of working on a business together?
I set up a couple of businesses last year,
and Nick and I have worked on a few projects, building projects.
He's bailed me out couple of times when it hasn't gone too well.
I'd seen this place three or four weeks before the auction
and thought, it's close to where I live,
I thought it would be an interesting project.
I mentioned it to Nick
and obviously, we went to the auction and bought it...
What preparation did you do
before you bought it, in terms of the legal pack and things?
-So, no legal pack?
-No legal pack.
-You'd seen inside?
We looked through the windows.
-Oh, right, that's all right, then.
-That old chestnut!
We'd looked at the roof from across the road and bits and bobs,
-but it was just a punt.
-Don't think that's going to impress me!
We just felt it was right, we felt it was right to go for it,
and being a builder, there's got to be a lot of damage
not to be able to put right, to lose a lot of money.
If there was plaster the walls and the roof was falling in...
When we got the keys on Tuesday, we walked in
and apart from the damp issues, it seemed OK, so we were lucky.
Won't do it again.
It was the most exciting three minutes I've ever had, to be fair!
Exciting, it may be, but as you know I always advise strongly against
buying a property without viewing it or reading the legal pack.
Ideally you should, of course, do both,
as it could save you a big headache in the long run.
So, what's the plan for it? How are you going to sort it out?
We'll rip all the inside out pretty much, new doors, kitchen,
bathroom, take that lovely yellow thing on the stairs.
We have thought about the outside, there is a lean-to,
we thought about keeping that, putting a flat roof on it
and putting some patio doors out onto the garden.
We're going to look in the roof
to see if there's a chance to put dormer room in the roof.
If not we'll make the back room, which is a bathroom now,
into a bedroom, and then we'll split the middle room into a small bedroom and a bathroom.
That will make it three bedrooms, the same as next door,
so hopefully it will put some value into it that way, with a bit of luck.
What about the position of the staircase?
-It has, I reckon, been moved at some point.
-We think it has been moved.
Depending on the dormer will depend on whether we move it back or not.
What are you going to do with it?
Are you going to sell it or rent it out?
The plan is to sell it, because I have borrowed money
off all sorts of friends, relatives, Mum,
and they need to get their money back.
I actually bought it for £1,000. The rest of it, I've had to beg, borrow and steal, yeah.
-Leveraging your cash, that's for sure!
We want to sell it, really, but you never know...
-So, Dave, what's the budget?
-About 10, £12,000, something like that.
If we can get it done for that and make ourselves £5,000 each
when we sell it, we are going to be laughing.
-A little project in three months.
-That's the timescale, three months?
When it comes to making decisions, how are you going to do that?
We will obviously do the initial labour ourselves,
Nick's guys will come in.
Probably Nick, with his experience,
will pick and choose what's going to go where,
but we are free to chat with each other.
-We'll discuss it for an hour and then we'll do what I want to do!
-And then I'll throw him out the house!
Nice to meet you both, congratulations,
-look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, Nick and David have clearly got a great relationship when it comes to hockey,
but how will that translate to a business relationship doing up this property?
They have already broken the cardinal rule by not looking at it
or reading a legal pack before they bought it.
How will they get on tackling the jobs? Will they stick at it?
You can find out later in the show.
After the work has been done,
the property should be worth a lot more money.
But have our buyers started or have there been delays?
I hope not. Let's go back and see what they've been up to.
Earlier, we were in Chatham, Kent, where the world-famous dockyards
have been going through something of a regeneration process lately.
In the Lords Wood Lane area of Chatham
we caught up with Frank, a builder turned developer
with regeneration plans of his own for this plot of land.
He paid £87,000 for it.
It came with planning permission for a two-bed chalet bungalow,
but Frank had other ideas for the best way to take this place forward.
Initially, there's a bedroom downstairs
and there's one bedroom upstairs with an en-suite.
To the right of it,
there's a roof space which equally could be used as a third bedroom.
I might well pursue that in planning.
Frank reckoned it would cost between 80 to 90,000
and take six months of labour to do the new build.
However, when he started was very much going to depend on the state of the housing market.
Two years later we're back,
and the trees on the bank may have disappeared, but there's no sign of the house Frank wanted.
The foundations have been laid, but it's a sign of the times
that this development has become a victim of an unstable property market.
With the current economic turmoil, Frank wasn't willing to invest in a new build,
but he has got himself ready for that with new footings laid.
We've waited a year and a half, because I had other work to finish.
And then the planning would have lapsed,
so I chose to obviously start it and get it sorted,
so I wouldn't have to pay the planning again, basically.
So, getting the foundations dug and the footings laid
has meant that regardless of when the building work commences,
Frank won't have to reapply for planning permission.
# Time is on my side... #
In fact, what Frank has already done is the difficult part of any development,
and while we have no lovely rooms or bay windows to show you,
we've still got a floor plan for Frank to talk us through.
As we come in the front door we do a left into double doors, into the lounge.
Within the lounge we've got a nice bay window
with some patio doors out onto the patio, there.
We then come out into the hallway, come into the kitchen here,
which is a nice kitchen in regards to a window over the units over there.
Another patio door there.
Looking at the plans, the rest of the ground floor will have
a downstairs loo, a utility room and an en-suite bedroom.
Upstairs, along with the second bedroom,
Frank still believes there is space to create a third.
However, he still has to go through the planning process
to make this possible.
But not only will it add value to the development,
it would make the works worthwhile, because, for Frank, getting this far hasn't been easy.
To level the site, approximately 450 cubic yards of soil had to be removed.
# Can you dig it, oh yeah
# Can you dig it, oh yeah... #
Then, there was the bedrock to deal with.
# Can you dig it, oh yeah... #
When we started the site, not knowing what the ground conditions were like,
perhaps I should have had a soil sample, but I didn't.
I chose to go down the road of getting a five-tonne digger,
which would have normally gone through anything.
This was our problem.
Flint, and then clay within that, and there was loads of it, as you can see behind me.
We had to go through this in order to get to a decent footing, being chalk.
That's as we stand at the moment, and it has been a trial,
but without that digger, we wouldn't have been able to do it.
So, as Fred and Barney might say, it's yabba dabba do for the digger
and yabba dabba don't try it with a spade.
Seriously, though, on top of the year-and-a-half of nothing happening,
it's taken Frank and his team five months to get to this stage.
Up until now he's spent £20,000 on the development.
Adding that to his purchase price of 87,000
takes his total outlay so far to £107,000.
It's a lot of money to have sitting around,
so what are his immediate plans?
Once we've finished the site to the level we are at the moment
with the services in, button up the site
and then I would have said about eight months' time,
have a reassess of the situation and what the market is doing,
to whether we actually go ahead, or we prolong it a little longer.
So, Frank's planning to build after this coming winter,
but with an estimated build cost of 80 to 90,000
added to his purchase price of 87,000,
his possible spend could be as much as £177,000.
What do two local estate agents think of the long-term prospects for this site?
The site is a very good-sized site
and once the property is built it's going to look rather nice.
My first impressions of the site are good.
I think it will be a good-sized bungalow,
and there is garden space, and it is in a nice residential area.
Going by today's prices, what could the two or three-bed house sell for?
If I put this property up as a two-bedroom property,
I would be looking to market this property in the region of £210,000.
If this property was to be sold as a three-bedroom property,
I would be looking to market it in the region of £250,000.
If I was going to market it as a two-bed,
I'd be looking at marketing it at around £210,000, to £230,000.
If it was a three-bed, I'd be looking at about £250,000 for the property.
Erm, yes, in today's market that doesn't sound too bad,
but in regards to that I think possibly in a year's time, it might completely change.
It's difficult to judge how the market will be
when the land is finally developed,
but even if it doesn't reach the valuation Frank's after,
he will happily rent out the property.
While this site has had its challenges,
Frank's long experience in the building game means
he is prepared for the rough times as well as the smooth.
It's been very good through the years, hard work,
but it's been worth it in the end.
Absolutely live and die and love it to bits.
Back to Draycott near Derby now,
to check on the progress of this two-bedroom semi.
It was bought at auction for £68,000 by hockey-playing friends Nick, here on the left,
and David on the right.
The property was in a bit of a sorry state and needed knocking into shape.
But what wasn't so clear was who would be calling the shots on this renovation.
When it comes to making decisions on this place, how are you going to do that?
We'll discuss it for an hour, and then do what I want to do!
And then I'll throw him out the house!
Three and a half months later, we're back.
Nick is on hand for a post-match interview
to tell us if this has been a case of jolly hockey sticks,
or red cards all round.
Looks like the boys have played a blinder.
The old house has been relegated to history,
and been replaced by a striking refurbishment.
We rewired the whole house, replumbed the whole house,
took all the walls back to bare brick, replastered and skimmed.
Took three chimney breasts out, put a new bathroom floor in -
that was pretty smelly and horrible - all new windows and doors.
We've bricked up a door in the kitchen and made patio doors or French doors,
and we've rebuilt the back wall and fenced it.
It's an impressive list.
Upstairs, the biggest change has been rejigging the old two-bed layout,
to create a third bedroom and a new bathroom.
Nick is particularly happy with the improvements to the kitchen.
This was the original back door.
We took the back door out and its old frame,
we've replaced it with these bricks that we reclaimed from the brick wall and the chimney breasts.
It's quite a rustic look now and it fits in quite well.
Most of the work has been done by Nick's builder, Steve,
and Nick seems pretty pleased with the work.
I'm very proud of what Steve has achieved,
but the house was a ramshackled mess, to be fair,
and he's turned it into quite a nice, modern-looking house.
I'm proud of Steve. Steve works hard and David, and they're good lads.
We're a good team, I suppose.
It is a team. There's no I in team, is there?
In fact, builder Steve likes his handiwork so much,
he's decided to move in.
# Everyone's a winner, baby, That's the truth... #
The plan was to sell the house straightaway,
but my builder did all the work, his wife came and looked at it three or four times,
they're looking to move house, and because of the village location,
she quite liked it and she said, "Can we move in and rent it off you?"
I said yes, and in perhaps a year's time, they may mortgage the house and buy it off me altogether.
I think they'll stay here because they quite like it.
Where does that leave David, Nick's business partner and friend from the hockey club?
Right, well, David, we went halves originally, we did all the work,
we've paid all the money in, got everything sorted out.
David's a hockey colleague of mine and he wanted some money out of it,
I wanted to keep the property, so I've bought him out of this house.
We're in the process of looking for another house to do the same again.
It's quite a developing relationship.
So, the dream team lives on.
They were only a week over their two-month schedule
to complete the build, and there's still a bit of landscaping to do.
But what about the budget?
The original budget was £10,000 to £12,000,
but we took three chimney breasts out, re-skimmed those and made them safe,
we rewired the property and had to rejoist the floor in the bathroom,
which is now a bedroom, so that was extra, so it came in at 12,800.
A bit over budget but to be fair,
we did a lot more work than we envisaged originally.
Nick and David bought the property for £68,000,
so their total spend to date is just short of 81,000.
We asked two local property experts
to look around and give us their thoughts.
When I first saw the house it was fairly dire, to say the least.
It needed a total refurbishment project.
It needed somebody, actually, to show it a bit of love and TLC,
and that's exactly what's happened.
I am quite impressed with the property.
It's got a fantastic finish. It is almost like walking into a new house.
What do they think the place could fetch on the rental market?
I believe the property could achieve a rent of £525 per calendar month.
I think this has got a rental value of about £525 per calendar month.
I'm happy with that. I've already let it so we're fine with that.
And if Nick were to change his mind and decide to sell?
On today's market, I think the house has got a value, probably,
of between 100 and £105,000.
I think the property could achieve a sale price of £105,000.
Yeah, fine, that would be quite good. I'm happy with that. Yeah, lovely.
If he sold for 105,000, Nick could be looking at
a healthy pre-tax profit of around 24 grand, minus fees and expenses.
So what does the future hold for Nick and David?
The future for me and David is quite bright,
we're looking for another house as we speak,
hopefully bigger, a little bit better, a bigger budget, more work,
and we'll continue to go from strength to strength, hopefully.
Well, we'll have plenty more auction stories for you next time.
Some with happy endings, others with less fortunate outcomes.
You won't want to miss any of them,
so join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.
-We'll see you then.
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a bungalow in Fife, a plot of land in Chatham and a two-bed semi in Derbyshire. All of these properties have been sold at auction - find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.