Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a development in the Kyle of Lochalsh, a property with a converted stable block in Kent and a mid-terrace in Liverpool.
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-Hello and welcome to the programme.
-We love property, especially when it comes to snagging a bargain.
In today's very competitive market, that's not always easy.
But you know what? Put the odds in your favour by going to the auction.
Buying at auction is becoming increasingly popular these days.
That's because there's no messing.
When the hammer falls, the property is yours.
So what were the properties that sold at auction on today's show?
We revisit a property on Scotland's west coast to see if the planners finally played along.
Straight away, I'm thinking this could easily be a shop premises.
I'm backing a winner in Kent with a converted stable block.
Sometimes, auction lots, well, they just stand out.
And in Liverpool, there's a mid-terrace that shouldn't take too long to refurbish.
Somebody has done a lot of the refurbishment work for you, which is a great start.
All these properties have been sold at auctions and we'll find out who bought them
and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
Yours! Thank you very much.
Back in 2010, I headed way up north to the west coast of Scotland
and stopped off right across the sea from the Isle of Skye in Kyle of Lochalsh.
It's a popular tourist destination and also a busy fishing port.
The property I'm here to see is located in the heart of the town.
With a guide price of £175,000, up for auction was this imposing semi-detached property.
In terms of getting into it, you're spoilt for choice. One door round the back, two at the front.
Let's try one of the front ones.
The auction lot included two separate properties.
A commercial unit with a four-bedroom flat above it.
So, through these fairly impressive double doors into the first part of what's a very interesting property.
And it's the old post office!
A great-size space, perfectly located on the high street.
It's going to have the business value
so straight away I'm thinking, this could easily be a shop premises.
Ideal, in fact.
# Wait, oh yes Wait a minute, Mr Postman
# Wait, wait, wait, Mr Postman. #
Whatever this property becomes,
I'd hate to see the lovely timber panels simply ripped out and thrown away.
# Deliver the letter The sooner the better. #
And there's more. Much, much more.
At the back is the old sorting office.
# Oh, yeah... #
It's massive, with various rooms leading off the main hall.
The Royal Mail have a rental agreement on this part of
the building until 2017, even though it isn't currently in use.
It could be easily divided from the post office at the front door,
as it has its own access from the side lane.
# ..By leaving me a card or a letter
# Mr Postman... #
Let's take a look at the four-bed flat, which sits above the Post Office.
# ..Please, please... #
So, all good so far. You know what? It just gets better and better.
Because right next door is a four-bedroomed flat that's included in the lot. So, what have we got?
Bathroom and loo there. Needs a bit of updating, obviously.
Kitchen, nice size, needs a bit of work. Definitely some nice units in there would make a big difference.
Up another level to two attic bedrooms. Third bedroom there, and fourth bedroom there.
That one definitely looks like it needs a bit of work, hopefully nothing too major.
Finally, into the living room. I love the feel of this place.
I like the fact it's on so many levels, I like the light that's pouring in through the windows.
It does need work, but it could be a fantastic space.
So this is fantastic, isn't it?
Looking past the flat's obvious challenges, I'm excited about its potential.
The entrance stairwell, which is flooded with light from these vast windows,
could make a striking first impression when renovated.
And the kitchen could be transformed from tired and tatty, to a warm and welcoming dining kitchen.
Up top, in the attic conversion, there are two bedrooms.
The plaster work is crumbling, but they offer views over the town and beyond.
This property is a gem, hidden behind crumbling walls and ceilings.
But, with some tender, loving care it could shine.
And with a guide price of £175,000,
you're getting a lot of property for the money.
Well, it's a very interesting opportunity you've got here.
And one thing for sure, you certainly can't knock the location.
It doesn't get much better than this. But lots of work to be done.
Who fancied the challenge when it went under the hammer?
Somebody give me £200,000. 200,000 anywhere?
125, to get us started?
£125,000, sitting down on the aisle.
125. Is there 130 anywhere?
130, 135? 135.
140? 140. 145?
155. 160? 165?
Are we all done at £160,000?
165, right at the back. 165.
At £175,000, going once.
Twice. Third and final time.
The successful bidders were Ewan and his sister Rhona.
Rhona works as a nurse, and Ewan is a property lawyer.
They bought this auction lot for £175,000 with their sister Mhari and her husband Hector.
This is a real family affair.
-lovely to meet you both.
-Nice to meet you.
-What an interesting thing you've bought here!
-It is. It is.
-Well, hopefully it will be when we are finished.
Tell me why you wanted to buy it.
Well, it's a sort of family concept.
We have a fish and chip shop, which both Ewan and I help support financially,
but my sister runs it with her husband over here.
And actually it's doing so well that we needed bigger premises.
And this place came up for auction, and we thought, why not go for it?
So your sister and her husband run a fish and chip shop?
Yep, just across the road, actually.
-With a cafe as well.
So the idea would be, the chip shop will move over here,
and we'll extend the cafe across the road, making it a bigger cafe.
The chip shop and the cafe are only a few hundred yards away,
and they're managed by Mhari and Hector.
# Fish and chips that's all I want to eat
# Fish and chips with peas and tea... #
When did the fish and chip shop start?
-We've had the fish and chip shop for three years, and the cafe for two years.
-Right. Has it gone well?
-Very well. Touch wood.
-Touch wood. There's money in fish and chips?
-Indeed there is.
-And I bet the fish and chips are fantastic.
-Try them later!
So the old post office is to become a chip shop.
Rhona and Ewan own two other buy-to-let flats in the area.
What are their plans for the four-bedroom flat?
We're going to do the two bedrooms upstairs.
Downstairs, we would redo the kitchen, making it a kitchen-cum-eating area.
Toilet, refurbish that.
And I would quite like to knock through the small room at the front, a single bedroom.
I would quite like to knock that into the lounge, to give a bigger lounge.
-However, Ewan doesn't agree.
-I think if there's a family in the flat, or two different people,
it would be better to leave that as two rooms. So I think we should leave it as it is.
The family plan to spend four months renovating the flat and then turn their attention to the post office.
We caught up with them after four months, to see if there was a three- or four-bedroomed flat.
# Baby, I like it The way you move on the floor
# Baby, I like it, I-I-I like it... #
The once drab and dingy lounge is now bright and bold.
I was delighted to see there were still four bedrooms,
but what had the pair managed to cook up in the kitchen?
Well, the tired and tatty units have been replaced, and they've made
the best use of this rather awkward space.
We've obviously done quite a lot in here.
We had to do some work on the ceilings and the walls.
We re-finished the unit over there.
And obviously the kitchen's quite narrow, so we had to get special wall units and use them as base units,
just to maximise the space.
And obviously new flooring and cooker as well.
Onwards and upwards to the bedrooms in the attic conversion.
The bedrooms were in poor condition,
with broken floorboards and damaged plasterwork.
But Rhona and Ewan have ensured the work has been carried out
to their high standards.
This flat is a buy-to-let investment,
although the siblings haven't scrimped on quality.
But did this attention to detail
push them over their three-month schedule?
We had been hoping that the flat would have been finished
by this time last month, so we're about a month behind schedule.
But in the scheme of things...
-we're OK with that.
-We're OK with that.
More time usually means more money,
and although they had set aside £10,000,
they'd already spent £17,500 refurbishing the flat alone.
But the brother and sister team had bought this property
not just for the flat, but for the commercial space downstairs.
The former post office would make an ideal location for their existing family chip shop.
But change of use requires planning permission,
which can take time to get.
We haven't done anything so far.
We're working through planning at the moment, for the conversion of the old post office to the chip shop.
And obviously the sorting office is still leased to the Royal Mail.
So nothing else has been done on the rest of the building, apart from painting the outside.
You can find out if they manage to get planning permission to move their chip shop
hook, line and sinker into the old post office
when we catch up with them later in the show.
Welcome to the very beautiful village called Shipbourne.
Now, it's situated between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge,
and it's a very popular rural area.
It's incredibly sought-after.
However, amenities are limited, there's no local shops here,
I'm afraid, but you do get a local pub.
Since this is a classic Kent village, you also get a beautiful green,
a village hall and very well-appointed tennis courts.
I don't think I'll have to do any more courting, as I've met my match and fallen in love.
Shipbourne has my heart!
Sometimes auction lots, well, they just stand out.
Today's auction lot is called the Old Stables,
and straight away, it sounds idyllic, doesn't it?
Well, I can tell you, it certainly lives up to its attractive name!
It's a four-bedroomed property
and the guide was set at £320,000 to £340,000.
I'm going to have a look around.
Well, the horses have trotted off into the distance,
but what a salubrious stable location this must have been!
The property forms the major part of a two-dwelling conversion
of the stables, originally undertaken in the early 1960s.
One obvious downside is the shared access,
but there's a garage tucked away down there - a real bonus,
as parking's at a premium in this village.
Ooh, a nice big entrance hallway.
The strange thing is, the house is Victorian-looking on the outside,
and it does have a bit of a '50s makeover feel inside.
It'd be lovely if all this beautiful parquet flooring
ran right the way through here.
I wonder if, underneath this carpet, there's wooden floors.
But you've got a nice downstairs toilet.
The kitchen to the side of the property - hmm, a little bit dated.
And, um, yes, a dated hatch to go with it!
Now, I would like to get rid of this dining room.
Do people still have separate dining rooms? I'm not so sure.
How about taking this wall out
and opening this space up for a real, good family living space?
Somewhere really nice to have your breakfast and supper.
It seems particularly odd that the kitchen is so pokey,
given the amount of space downstairs.
The huge double-aspect lounge and well-proportioned dining room
simply swamp the pine-clad kitchenette.
Do you know, what I really like about this house is how light and bright it feels.
I'm not so keen on this '50s-style slatted banister.
I think I'd have to do something to change this.
But there's so much flow up here. You've got those two big corridors, lovely rooms,
great proportions, incredible views...
Bit of a blue bathroom, but all in all,
I actually think the upstairs is a bit better than the downstairs.
So, if the upstairs bedrooms are good,
and the downstairs layout is bad,
then what would that leave as the ugly?
MUSIC: Theme to "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly"
That blue bathroom certainly needs to be beautified.
But there's something else up here which you can't change
and you wouldn't want to change even if you could.
Check out that view!
The rear bedrooms of this lovely house
overlook fields and countryside. Glorious!
There's one more treat in this property -
I've spotted a way of adding value.
There's space up there to add another bedroom.
A basic loft conversion should start at around £35,000.
So, if you've got a large family
it's good that this house offers that potential.
My only concern is that small garden.
Therefore, you could be in danger of over-development.
Neither the front nor the back garden are spacious
and if you add even more bedrooms then you could be left with a top-heavy house
that doesn't have the space outside to accommodate the occupants.
But having said that I'm still pretty keen on this place. It's fantastic!
But will a local estate agent
share my enthusiasm for it,
bearing in mind its £320-340,000 guide price.
It's set in the most tranquil position.
Lots of scope for improvements so it could be a lovely family home.
The garden is small
but as properties don't become available that often in Shipbourne,
people will overcome that because you've got all the surrounding countryside.
Well, he clearly doesn't think the house has too many problems either.
What could it sell for, once refurbished?
Depending on what they finally do with the renovation work,
you would be looking in excess of £500,000
if the work was done to a high standard.
Well, this is a lovely property.
It's got scope to extend up in the loft and add value
and it's in an incredible setting.
What's not to like? Well, the shared drive and the small garden.
I think that may put some buyers off.
Let's see who wanted this at the auction.
Now we go to Shipbourne in Kent.
It's a village house for refurbishment, good views,
lovely family house.
Start me where you will on that one. 340, can I say to start me? 340?
Give me 330 then. Doesn't matter where we start. £330,000 I have.
330, I have. And 40, do I see?
340, do I see? 340, sitting down.
350, it's against you. 350, I'm bid.
360, do I see? 360, 360 and 70.
370, do I hear? 370 and 80.
380, may I say? 380, I've got. 385, madam.
Just five more. You won't find another one like it.
I've got 380 with you at the front, sir. 380, I've got.
And five I'm looking for from anybody else. 385, do I see?
385, do I see? If not, it will be sold at £380,000.
Are we all done? I'll take two.
Otherwise I'm going to be selling for 380. I'll take another two.
Front row at £380,000, I'm selling for the first time.
£380,000 bid, for the second time. If I don't see another two.
£380,000, for the third and final time if you're sure you're all done.
Well done, you've bought yourself a house.
# Make me what to cry...#
Phew, what an emotional rollercoaster that auction was
for Kate and Tom.
Kate is pregnant with the couple's second child
and they were clearly relived and thrilled to buy this house for £380,000.
I went to meet Kate and Tom and their daughter, Lucy,
to hear about their plans.
Guys, what an auction. Now, Kate, you looked like you were crying.
You had your head in your hands at one point.
Yeah, it was quite emotional.
We weren't sure we'd get the house so we were relieved.
We didn't go in there with any expectations.
We'd set our limit, but our thoughts were
it was going to go for so much more.
When the hammer came down on us and he strung it out for so long
it was so tense. It was rather emotional at the end.
Did you think you would walk away with this on the day?
I said to Tom, "Let's sit back and relax and see it as experience
"because we might find another property at auction.
"We're not going to get this, so let's just put it down to experience."
-But we did.
-We very nearly didn't even come.
Yeah! That is why I love auction. You guys deserve this property.
So, 380, that was your absolute top limit, was it?
It was 375 and we changed our mind in the car at the very last minute.
We thought, we love this house, it's a life house,
it's for the family and we've got a new one on the way.
We thought we'd stretch ourselves a bit more
and we managed to push it out another £5,000 which was lucky.
-That car journey cost you £5,000!
Is it worth £380,000 to you two?
It is for us, definitely.
The property market's fluctuating and there's talk about a double dip
but when you're looking at a house long-term, not as a development opportunity, as a family home,
hopefully we'll be here for 15-20 years, maybe more.
So, it really is a long-term project for you.
Tell me, Kate, how well do you know this house
and what's the history behind you wanting to buy this?
We just fell in love with the area.
We are sort of local, we are ten minutes away.
Tom's family have lived here for 20 years and we wanted to stay local.
We just love the house.
So, how much did you know about this property before you went to auction?
We knew it was on the market for 450 with the estate agent before,
which was out of our price range.
So, you've saved yourselves £70,000 by going to auction to buy this.
It's a huge saving on what is clearly their dream home
in their dream location, although that dream home does need some work.
But chartered surveyor Tom is ready for action.
The interior doesn't match up to the outside of the house.
It's a period building, but you come in and it's quite '50s in its style.
We're going to put our personal touches on it.
The hatch in the wall and the colour of the bathroom, the banisters...
Yes, the banisters. They're not for me.
Do you like that kind of thing?
No, we don't. Also, it's a safety thing for the kids.
They can climb up them and stuff like that. We need the uprights.
It's a long-term project. We can't afford to do everything in one go.
I think we're going to strip the walls...
We're going to live with it for a while, get to know the house...
-Live with the space.
-..and see what we want to do.
Sometimes that's the best way, if it's a long-term project
and you want to live here for a long time.
Kate and Tom are taking the right approach with this house.
Since they bought it as their forever family home
they want to take their time and get it right.
Plus they did spend every penny they had on the purchase.
What's your budget for that work?
Erm, it's not a set budget. I'd say we're within the £10,000 mark.
We did stretch ourselves, but as we've got a blank canvas
and this is a long-term project.
I think, it's clean, it's dated, but it's clean and we can live in it.
Absolutely. It's habitable, yeah.
Habitable maybe, but not loveable.
I think my first task would be to banish the blues from that bathroom.
But with one young child already and another on the way,
are the couple worried about taking on too much?
You've got to do that at some point, take the big step for your family
and we've managed to do that now, which is great,
because it's saved time and money because it is expensive moving
and buying a house as we found out.
Hopefully we'll be here for the next 25, maybe 30 years
and watch Lucy grow up and go to school. I think it's perfect for what we dreamt of.
We didn't think we'd be able to find a house in this area
and we're absolutely delighted.
Guys, congratulations, it's been great meeting you today. Well done.
I've seen it so many times over the years this programme has been running.
Auctions can make homes affordable for people
who otherwise couldn't afford to buy in their desired area.
Tom and Kate have saved themselves £70,000 in the process.
So they're going to need to inject some serious cash into this house
but before all the finishing is complete,
the family need to move in.
You can find out what happens later on in the programme.
Coming up - In Liverpool I realise you can't judge a book by its cover.
What on the outside doesn't seem that brilliant
has, in fact, proved to be a top property.
In Shipbourne, Kent, have Kate and Tom over-stretched themselves?
The plaster came off which revealed some cracking and weakness in the walls.
But back in Kyle of Lochalsh, is extravagance the order of the day?
-Some better specification.
It's over a year since we were last in the magnificent West Highlands of Scotland
in the bustling village of Kyle of Lochalsh.
Here, brother and sister, Ewan and Rona,
had bought a substantial building on the main street for £175,000.
Sister, Mhairi, and brother-in-law Hector,
already run a chip shop and cafe in Kyle of Lochalsh.
The family were pulling together to shift the chip shop into a new home
and expand their successful cafe into the former chip shop space.
Quite a shuffle around.
£175,000 buys a lot of space in Kyle of Lochalsh.
On the ground floor a post office had occupied the front of the building
while at the rear there was a huge space
which the Royal Mail will lease as a sorting room until 2017.
As if that wasn't enough,
there was also a four-bedroom self-contained flat.
When we first returned to meet them
four months after they'd bought the property, they'd done a great job
on the flat conversion, but the line had snagged on the chip shop.
We haven't done anything so far.
I'm working through planning at the moment for the conversion
of the old Post Office to the chip shop
and the sorting office is still leased to Royal Mail,
so nothing else has been done apart from painting the outside.
It's been just over a year since our last visit
and 17 months since the siblings splashed out on the building in Kyle of Lochalsh.
Now it's time to find out if the chip shop has put new SOLE into an old Post Office!
What a difference.
With a fresh, contemporary look, Hector and Mhairi's chip shop is definitely good to go.
Inside, there are state-of-the-art fryers and business is booming.
We hoped originally to secure planning within three months,
and that the building work would take a month to six weeks,
and unfortunately planning took us nearer five months.
The actual building work took nearer two-and-a-half months.
Once we'd finalised the design and Hector was comfortable it was
going to give him all the equipment he needed
and the layout worked for him, it was a question of going in for planning.
When it's a hot food takeaway you're dealing with,
there are obviously concerns, and they have to be addressed.
With planning permission finally in PLAICE - ha-ha! -
the chip shop fixtures and fittings could be bought,
but it turned out they had special requirements, too.
We had initially thought that the electricity supply would be
adequate for electric fryers,
but it became apparent that wasn't going to be the case
so we had to get a new electricity supply put in.
The general fabric and structure of the building was sound, which has been a bonus.
While the bricks and mortar were sound,
that didn't mean the chip shop simply sailed into the former Post Office.
Old buildings often have surprises for buyers.
The first issue we had when we started the work was this wall here -
it was supposed to be solid, but when the builders started
they realised there was another wall behind it,
so we had to open it up, which wasn't part of the original plans.
The really big issue in this building was the pillar.
It's structural, so everything, including the fryers,
has to be designed around it, which caused a few problems
for the design and for the suppliers, as well.
And with the practical details finally sorted,
the fun part of the refit could begin.
Both of us, and Mhairi and Hector, wanted something very clean cut,
easily maintained and looked fresh, and it was the architect
and yourself that came up with the design,
you very much had hands on, didn't you?
I think we all wanted something quite contemporary and emphasising
the quality of food, something that looked high-quality, as well.
So, with such high-end tastes, how did their budget fare?
The original budget was about £70,000 for the chip shop.
We've gone about £7,500 over that,
and that's been a variety of reasons.
Some extra equipment, some...
Some better specification, as I would say,
on how the chip shop looks.
Ewan and Rhona bought the former Post Office building for £175,000.
They spent £17,500 refurbishing the four-bedroom self-contained flat,
and £77,500 refitting the chip shop in its new location,
bringing their total outlay to £270,000.
Time to find out what two local property experts think of their work.
They've done a great job, it looks really good.
I like the outside, because it's still very traditional but obviously
it's very modern and new here, so they've done a really nice job.
I like the whole fresh approach they've brought in
and the colour scheme, with the black, white and grey.
It's very clean, fresh and appealing to customers, I should imagine.
It's time to hear what they think this property might sell for.
Remember, it will include the refurbished four-bedroom flat
and, although it's rented out until 2017, they will also include
the large sorting room area at the back.
In the current market, where the whole property
would be offered to the market as a single lot,
a figure in the region of £200,000-£210,000 would be about the right mark.
For all three properties as a job lot,
you're probably looking at a figure in the region of £210,000.
Based on those valuations, Ewan and Rhona would make a loss
of between £60,000 and £70,000 - before costs and expenses.
That's a load of absolute rubbish.
It was valuing at more than that when we bought it last year.
I don't believe the market's dipped
and we've obviously spent a fair bit of money dealing with some defects
and bringing back into use the old Post Office.
So I think it is very, very short.
Even the flat on its own is a much better spec.
You know, to us it's totally irrelevant
because it's an ongoing business with great potential.
We would definitely get more than that if we decided to sell.
It certainly seems business is booming and with a tenant in their flat,
the chip shop is not the end of their plans for their family food empire.
You can see this is the original cafe,
which we're hoping over the winter period to extend into the old fish and chip shop.
We've opened a new one across the road just 150 yards away,
so it's easily seen for customers that don't know where the new place is.
Has this family affair been catch of the day or did it flounder?
It's been pretty plain sailing, I think.
I think we've all got along and that's stage two finished
and we're still speaking, so that's a positive.
# Pigeons, widgeons, seagulls, sparrows
# All the birds come here to nest
# But of all God's little creatures
# Liverpool birds beat all the rest. #
Today I'm a Liverpool. Famously its symbol, the liver bird,
sits proudly on top of the famous Liver Building.
Legend has it that if the liver birds were to fly away,
Liverpool would cease to exist.
Well, just 10 minutes from Liverpool city centre is the area of Walton
and the property I'm here to see.
It's this three-bed mid-terrace at a guide price of 40,000 quid.
Let's take a look.
Straight into the front door
and straightaway it looks like refurbishment work has been commenced.
Nice new front door there.
Plastering being done, ceiling also been plastered with new lights,
and it seems that the electrics have been done as well.
Somebody's obviously done a lot of the refurbishment work which is a great start.
Front sitting room there, good size.
You can see the walls chased out for the new electrics.
Through to the rear sitting-room.
More refurbishment in here,
if you can see it through the piles of rubble.
But it's a good-sized space and leading through to
a fairly standard lay-out.
The kitchen right at the rear of the property.
What I'm thinking straightaway is A, somebody's done lots of the work for you,
but B, the loo isn't down here. I might have expected that.
That's another big plus because it seems the loo might be upstairs.
Only one way to find out.
You can never be guaranteed of the lay-out of this style of terraced property.
Sometimes the loo and bathroom are at the back with just two bedrooms upstairs.
But if this house, that went to auction guided at £40,000 plus,
did originally have the bathroom downstairs,
there's no sign of it now.
The catalogue details say the property has three bedrooms.
Time to investigate further.
Well, upstairs and straightaway you can see what somebody's done here.
You've got three bedrooms
and the one at the back was a pretty decent size.
It's been sectioned off to create what will be the bathroom and loo.
It makes that room quite small, but the advantage of having the bathroom up there far outweighs it
because you've got a pretty decent double there
and then, highlight of the property for me, this master bedroom.
Absolutely lovely with the bay window.
Obviously again it's not quite finished off yet,
but it's a great space.
All in all, what on the outside doesn't seem that brilliant
has in fact proved itself to be a really top property.
# It's just a nice surprise
# It's just a nice surprise. #
Apart from the electrical work and the plumbing in the bathroom,
it's great that replacement windows have been installed throughout.
The bay window retains the character of the house
and I spotted nice original features upstairs and down
in this partly refurbished property.
I just hope the new owners will hold onto them.
A lot of the work has been carried out on the inside.
But outside on the front, the paintwork's peeling off
and the cast-iron downpipe looks original,
so they will need replacing and it's just as bad at the back.
At the rear of the property, a small courtyard with - ow! - prickles.
Actually it's not necessarily a bad thing.
If you're looking to rent it out, a small area outside is a good thing.
Tenants generally don't look after gardens.
While I'm out here, double glazing is good.
It doesn't look to be in too bad a condition.
You might consider an extension out here
but I think probably not, pretty much leave it as it is.
Although the house is in a bit of a mess,
there is beauty amidst the thorns.
# There are the roses
# And there are the thorns... #
To find out if this will prove to be a prickly property
or a dandy dwelling,
we invited an estate agent to dig deeper.
The property is a good-size three-bed terrace.
It's been half renovated
with UPVC double glazing throughout, the doors, French windows.
A good little buy for somebody.
What could the house achieve in rental income?
Rental value I think is about £525 per calendar month.
Maybe if you're lucky £550.
I definitely think there is a demand for properties of this type in this area.
The price you're buying it at and how much you're getting per month equates to a 12% yield.
What about the sales market?
Once done up, how much could this house hope to sell for?
Sales value for this, I would imagine around £70,000.
Well, a bit of money and effort required to sort this one out
but I think you'd end up with a good rental property here.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Property, three bedrooms.
New rewire, stripped out, ready for re-plastering and refitting.
Let me see 30,000. Got to sell this one. Bid me 30,000. 30 I'm bid.
One in front, sir? 31, 32.
32 here. 33 now. 34. 35.
36. 37. 38.
At 39,000, seated bidder.
Would 500 help? 500.
40,000. 500, sir? 41.
43. 500. 44.
44. Seated at 44.
You'll regret it if you miss it. 44,500.
44,500 at the back of the room now.
At 44 500, we'll go for the first call, then. It's going to be sold.
45,000. New money. At 45,000. 500?
New bidder at 45,000. First time again, then.
Second time now. 45,000.
Third and final time, it's the seated bidder this side.
Yours. Thank you very much.
The successful bid at 45,000 was made by Alan.
After 23 years in the army, he's trying his hand at developing for the very first time.
He'll be working alongside skilled joiner Kevin.
I went back to the property to meet them.
Good to meet you. Congratulations.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Well, I left the armed forces back in March.
I bought a house over on the Wirral.
It needed quite a bit of work doing to it.
-Kev was on hand to do most of the work.
But he goes back more as a family friend, going back a fair few years.
I needed something to do, so it's an outlet for both of us.
Tell me about the relationship between you two.
I had my gratuity and some other savings doing nothing in the bank.
So we came up with a business plan of buying a property at auction, see if it works out.
Do you provide the financial side of things and you the building expertise?
A little of both. I'm a joiner. Alan's got a background in electronics, so we'll combine that.
So why now? Just because now is a good time for you?
Jobs-wise I've got quite a few interviews coming up
so at some point in the build and getting the house ready
I might have to shoot off and start work.
Right. The idea is to build a portfolio of how many properties, do you think?
Not necessarily. The idea is to see how this one goes.
It might be a case of selling straight off and run away with the profits.
If the market isn't up to it, we might rent it out.
So these two mates both bring something to the development table.
The plan is for Kevin to do all the structural work
while qualified electrician Alan will undertake all the electrical work and everything else.
-# I got work to do
-I got work to do
# I got work to do. #
So it sounds like a good start for this business relationship.
But what attracted them to this particular half-started property?
It's local to where Kev works, but a bit further for me.
He's got lots of building friends, roofing friends that can help out with the project.
What did you think of the house itself?
Compared to some of the ones we actually inspected,
it was in relatively decent condition.
Quite a bit of work is already completed so it seemed the obvious one to go for.
Taking on a project somebody has started, what will you do
to make sure that the work that's been done is up to standard?
Everything in existence will have to be tested, inspected properly,
-and we'll go from there.
-What's the plans for it?
Building-wise we're going to knock downstairs into one through-lounge.
At the moment it's two separate rooms.
The roof needs a lot of work doing to it.
We need a full kitchen, bathroom.
-So you'll be doing most of the physical building work, Kevin?
What's the biggest challenge going to be?
I don't really see any big challenges.
It's just the order in which we do things
to try to make sure it's continuous and completed as soon as possible.
So what is the timescale?
We're hoping for around four weeks
but that's dependent on other things.
There's no power so we have to get the power company in
and other contractors for the likes of the roof and the gas.
-What about the budget?
-We've got a budget ceiling of 10,000.
-We're hoping to come well under that.
-Congratulations. Good luck with it.
We look forward to seeing how you get on.
# I got work to do I got work. #
Well, Kevin's clearly got the experience to make a success of this
but with him and Alan's plan dependent on the sale of the property in these tough times,
will it be a success or not? You can find out later in the show.
It's been a while now since we last saw those properties.
Yes, work should have been done, but as we know from bitter experience,
that's not always the case.
Problems can arise. Let's go back and see what's happened.
We're back in Shipbourne near Tonbridge in Kent
to see how Tom and Kate got on with their semi-detached stable conversion.
Externally the house looked fine
but inside it needed some serious upgrading.
It was a mishmash of styles and periods.
There was that serving hatch leading to a tiny, pine-clad kitchenette.
Upstairs lurked a psychedelic blue bathroom.
With one small child and another on the way,
Tom and Kate had spent almost every penny they had buying the place,
so they had very little left to fix it up.
We did stretch ourselves but we've got this blank canvas
and this is a long-term project.
You know, it's clean. It's dated, but it's clean and we can live in it. It's fine.
Absolutely. It's habitable, yes.
Kate and Tom paid £380,000 for the four-bedroom house.
They had a budget of £10,000 to sort out the most urgent things.
The plan was to move in after a couple of months
and complete the renovation over the longer term.
We've come back 14 months later
to see how Kate and Tom's first year has gone.
Outside, the house has been freshened up
and in the back garden there's a brand-new double doorway punched through,
allowing access from the house.
The pokey pine-clad kitchen has been knocked through to the dining room.
There is a new flow to the downstairs,
making the most of the vast amounts of light which bathes the house.
Kate and Tom have had their hands full with much more than this lovely home.
Toddler Lucy has a brand-new baby brother, Max.
And so much for spreading the renovation work over the long-term.
The place has been completely transformed, from top to bottom.
This room was the trigger, the catalyst, for the whole project.
Starting with this, which used to be a wall.
We took the wall down, which left a wooden beam,
which we had to strengthen.
We realised after we'd taken the wall down, that it wasn't strong enough to support upstairs,
so we had to put some steel plates that we had made either side of that wall
This used to be where the hatch was
and there was a very small galley kitchen here.
We bought a kitchen which I assembled. We got a friend to fit it.
When I look at this room now, it's a perfect room for a family.
We've got this doorway that we've put in that used to be a window.
To connect a large family room and living space with outside
is what we always wanted in a house.
# Home is where I want to be
# But I guess I'm already there. #
The couple were on a roll
and their enthusiasm carried them away beyond sorting out the kitchen.
Well, we knocked the wall down in the kitchen
and then we decided if we've done that, we should do this and it just snowballed.
We had to keep costs down because it has been a stretch to buy the house.
We've had to roll our sleeves up and call on the family for help.
Not financial help, help as in getting their hands dirty
and coming here every weekend and helping.
It got more and more exciting as the project evolved
and we suddenly saw this house open up and we saw the potential.
Everything we've done we knew we would do eventually.
# Hand me that list of what's not to be done
# And I'll start doing it today. #
So go on, Tom and Kate, give us the list.
We've ploughed acres of woodchip off the walls and redecorated.
We've had to put a damp course in throughout the whole of downstairs,
so all the plaster came off which revealed some cracking and weakness in the walls.
So we strengthened those walls with HeliBars.
-Redid the bathroom.
-We've redone both bathrooms, upstairs and downstairs.
We've replaced all the electrics.
We've replaced the boiler system and the heating system.
We had to tie the roof in and insulate it.
We replaced a couple of windows as well, didn't we?
Yes and all of the banisters.
Re-carpeted the whole house, re-painted the whole house, replaced all the doors.
-I think that's probably it.
-And we got the fire.
Yes, we recommissioned the fireplace as well, because you can't live in a cottage without a fire.
Upstairs the four tatty bedrooms have been transformed.
Lucy has her bedroom.
And Max has his.
Tom and Kate's master bedroom is a haven of peace with a heavenly view.
During the project we were lucky enough to live at my parents' house,
which was fantastic because it was a dangerous building site.
Floorboards coming up, walls coming down, etc.
So it was a place we didn't really want the children.
There was no way we could have lived here.
There was rubble everywhere, the wall was down. It was dangerous, basically.
No heating, no electrics. So we had to get the project done very quickly.
We pushed on with it, really.
Tom and Kate have completed an incredible amount of work here
but it's taken them every evening and weekend for just over a year
to make this tired old house into their dream home.
I think my favourite bit of the house is probably the sitting room.
It's really nice to sit here in the evening and watch a film.
This works really well as a family home because there's a bedroom each for the children
and there's just so much space. We love the space here.
They did almost all the work themselves,
as well as pulling in help from family and friends.
So just how did their budget fare?
We haven't worked out exactly how much we've spent yet
but I think the figure, give or take a couple of thousand pounds,
that comes to mind is about £35,000.
They bought the property for 380,000
and spent £35,000 on the refurbishment,
bringing their total outlay to £415,000.
It's time to find out what two local estate agents think
of all their hard work.
First impressions of the property, stunning. The location is fabulous.
It's a very popular area and it's been done up very well.
I think the standard that they've finished the whole project to is very good.
The kitchen having white fittings makes it very light and airy
and the colour schemes throughout make the property feel very light.
Clearly Tom and Kate have no intention of selling this house in the short to medium term,
but what do the local experts think it's worth now?
I would expect the property to achieve in the current market
somewhere in the region of £525,000-£550,000.
I'd expect this property to achieve in the region of £500,000.
Those valuations would give Kate and Tom a profit
of between £85,000 and £135,000 before costs and expenses.
-Wow, that's good.
-Pleased with that. We've done pretty well on that.
That's more than we expected.
So with their forever family home in their ideal village,
have Kate and Tom finally finished tinkering with it?
We enjoyed the challenge. It was great fun as it went on.
With houses, these things will continue
and there is potential with this house to go up into the attic.
There's a huge room up there
where we could have an en suite and a separate master bedroom.
-Perhaps that's something we'd consider in the future.
-Not yet though!
We're now returning to Liverpool where, earlier in the programme,
this three-bedroom end of terrace was bought for £45,000 by Alan.
He had recently left the armed forces after 23 years.
He's a qualified electrician and although he'd funded the purchase,
it was a joint investment project with his builder friend Kevin.
They were going to split any proceeds when the house was sold.
-So you'll be doing most of the physical building work, Kevin?
What's the biggest challenge going to be?
I don't really see any big challenges.
It's just the order in which we do things
to try and make sure it's continuous and completed as soon as possible.
Well, it's now two and a half months later
and Alan and Kevin have invited us back.
The flaky, crumbling exterior has gone.
It's now repainted red and black.
Inside, the door to the front room has been bricked up.
The living room has been knocked through to make one large open-plan room.
The door to the kitchen is now straight off the living room.
A mid-range kitchen and appliances have been installed.
A new boiler has been put in but, as Kevin explains,
the house had some serious damp issues.
Obviously the property had been vacant for a while
and there was an issue with the down spout which had been blocked.
That had been shedding water down the brickwork which caused rot on the floor.
The joist we had to replace, damp proof it
and help the neighbours get a night's sleep
because Niagara Falls was pouring every time it rained.
So the leaking downpipes were replaced front and back
and the brickwork repointed and painted.
It took longer than they'd initially planned
as the gas and electricity supplies needed attention.
But when they'd got that sorted they thought they were ready to crack on.
As soon as we got power in, we were motoring ahead
until we hit the brick wall called the roof,
which was the original roof dating back well over 100 years.
Everything inside and underneath was rotten.
When they found the rot, the roof had to be fixed.
The house had been empty for eight years, we found out from a neighbour.
Eight years of water seeping through.
Pretty much every wall had to be torn down and replaced.
Although the property appeared only to need decorating
with a new kitchen and bathroom to be installed,
in fact, behind the plaster, the wall and timbers had damp rot.
So the whole lot had to be stripped out.
However, they did at least manage to keep the windows
and front and back doors.
Everywhere had to be re-plastered.
There was rot on the floor that we had to replace.
All the doorframes, doors. Basically new everything.
But finally the three bedrooms and bathroom
are now ready for decorating.
Upstairs-wise myself and Kevin
have pretty much got to finish off the electrics, tidy up.
We've sorted loft access out through the rear and the main access there.
Finally, we've got to tidy the electrics and the paintwork.
Then we're done.
So Kevin's been busy plastering and plumbing in the new central heating.
But what about all the electrical wiring that had been installed?
A lot of the electrics, believe it or not, were sound.
I tidied some of them up.
There were a few extensions to a few sockets, lights,
tidying up and making things safe.
Kevin and Alan worked together to start with
but when Alan got a job as a plant maintenance technician,
he could only come down at weekends.
So who ended up doing all the work?
I'd say percentage-wise Kev's probably done 70-80% pretty much all by himself.
What effect does has all that extra work had on the budget
which Alan had initially set at £10,000?
How much does it look as though it will cost now?
We'll either be on budget or slightly over once we've got the carpet in and the wooden floors have been laid.
Time to see what two local estate agents think of the house,
with its new roof and open-plan living room.
A few things that stand out
about the property are it's a nice kitchen-diner,
it's quite a nice bathroom fitment as well.
When it's finished, it will be quite a good job.
Looks good. They've got a new fitted kitchen, new bathroom suite.
They've decorated neutral which everybody wants.
I'm not a great lover of turning two rooms into one.
I would rather have kept it as two separate rooms and not knocked through into one.
Alan's plan remains the same - to sell the property
and hopefully take a profit.
But if he has to rent it out, how much income could he generate?
The rental market round here is quite good,
so it should fetch around about £500 per calendar month.
Rental-wise I think it will fetch around £550.
That's £6,000 a year, isn't it, essentially?
During that time the value of the property can creep up,
so it's a last option, basically.
How much could the house sell for?
Alan paid £45,000 at the auction
and even with all the problems,
thinks he should get the budget to come to £10,000.
So is it worth more than £55,000?
In the current market this should fetch in the region of £80,000.
Sales terms, probably around £75,000-£85,000.
That range of valuations would generate a gross profit
before the usual selling expenses of £20,000-£30,000.
A little below what I expected.
I think by the time we've finished it,
the property will be a little bit more than that.
With that leaking roof and all the damp issues,
this first joint property development project turned into a baptism of fire.
So has it been a good experience for Kevin?
Yes. Eventful. It's been emotional.
So would they do it again?
-Yes, I would think so.
-Possibly. We'll keep our friendship alive.
I think the wife's got some ideas of home improvement
so I think Kev's in the line for that.
There you have it, another set of property owners who have experienced
the dizzy heights and worrying lows of buying houses at auction.
Make sure you join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.
-We'll see you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a development in the Kyle of Lochalsh, a property with a converted stable block in Kent and a mid-terrace in Liverpool. All of these properties have been sold at auction - find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.