Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Ilkley, Yorkshire, a semi-detached home in Southampton and an end-of-terrace in Shropshire.
Browse content similar to Episode 88. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Hello. When it comes to buying property,
there's nothing quite like the thrill of the auction room.
With fast-paced bids and pounding hearts, the auction room can sometimes be electric.
Yes, so join us now on the exciting rollercoaster ride that is going to the auction.
Well, whether it's a flat in Fareham, a semi in Stockport
or a bolthole in Borrowdale, you'll find what you're looking for at the auctions.
Today we'll meet some people searching for their perfect property.
Let's see what tickled their fancy,
'In Ilkley, Yorkshire, there's the whiff of a bargain with a not-so-fragrant neighbour.'
That is the sewage works.
'I turn detective at this semi-detached in Southampton.'
I've got to work out what is going on with this layout.
And where's the rest of the house?
'And in Shropshire, there's an end-of-terrace that bugs me.'
There is a slight fly in what is, up to this point, a pretty good bit of ointment.
'All these properties have been sold at auctions. We'll find out who bought them and what they paid
-'when they went under the hammer.'
-Sold to you, sir.
'Ilkley in West Yorkshire is a really lovely spa town and popular tourist destination.
'The moor above the town is the subject of a cautionary folk song.'
# On Ilkley Moor baht'at
'The song warns about courting in the open air without a hat.
'So will the property I'm here to see leave me cold
'or will the buyer be crowning themselves in glory?
'The guide price was £180,000 to £200,000,
'which on paper sounds like a real bargain.'
So, I am genuinely very, very excited.
But that guide price being so low, it's just...
It's started some alarm bells ringing, for sure.
This part of town, you could almost say it's the dead end part of the town
where the cemetery is, is where the property is located.
Not necessarily a bad thing in its own right. Quiet neighbours, for sure.
However, it gets worse, because that is the sewage works.
You can see it but you can't smell it
and just thank your lucky stars you can't. It is pretty pongy.
But the property itself...is lovely.
So maybe there's light at the end of the tunnel. Let's take a look inside.
# Ooh, that smell
# Can't you smell that smell?
'The roof may need a bit of TLC, but I think this property has the whiff of something special about it.'
So what have we got? Well, straight through the front door, and a nice one it is, too,
imagine that stripped back, I bet it's beautiful wood,
into this little reception area. Somewhere to hang your coats.
First living room over that way and then the second living room here.
Reasonably high ceilings and it could be in a worse state.
I like the fact you've got this little reveal here with lots of light coming in.
And as a second space, it's not bad.
However, it starts to go a bit wrong when you come over to this side because that is the loo.
Er, off the living room?
'It gets even better, because it's not just a loo off the sitting room.
'In fact, it's your only bathroom off the sitting room.'
And then through to the kitchen. Again, I'm just not getting that feeling of things being right
when it comes to the layout. The kitchen itself, well, I suppose you could live with it.
I'd want to spend some money in here really turning it into something a bit more attractive.
But more than that, I want to do something with the layout to make it work!
# Come on, come on, let's work together
'There's got to be a way of making this layout work.
'Here's hoping you can move the bathroom off the ground floor.'
Well, upstairs, and it seems that with every step you take, the problems get worse.
Wallpaper coming off here. All sorts of damp patches just up there. Then you get onto the landing.
The bedroom on that side, what is going on there?
All this wallpaper, lots of mould. I mean, that's the smallest of the bedrooms.
Let's try and be positive for a second, cos there's two really nice sized doubles here.
But look at this. Same problem. It probably all goes back to the same thing, a real issue with the roof.
And it doesn't feel like it's been lived in for a while,
so all that damp has had a chance to really seep into the property.
First thing, get that sorted out.
Second thing, you can start thinking about what you might want to do with this place.
Given that this is such a big room and that toilet downstairs doesn't really work,
maybe there's a way of rejigging the layout to incorporate an upstairs bathroom.
I'd certainly do that as second priority. First priority, the roof.
# I got a house that leak
# I got cold, cold in my feet
'But get a roofer on the case and hopefully things will dry out.
'Then you can start playing with the layout, and it looks like the garden is ripe for a rejig, too.'
# Yeah, I'm ready, I'm ready for love
Well, out through the back door into a little courtyard, but straight away, that smell!
It's quite intense, to be honest. But anyway, what have we got?
A little courtyard area.
A storage area there. You can never have too much of that kind of outdoor storage,
somewhere to store your mower or your bike. There's another bit here, which is good.
That could possibly be integrated with the house, but I'd keep it as it is.
This is your main leisure area. As you can see, it's laid with this gravel stuff.
And lots more of the natural stone which gives the property its charm.
This would be an ideal place to have your table and chairs for your outdoor barbecues and stuff.
But you are going to have to invest quite heavily in scented candles.
# Because there's something in the air
'What does a local estate agent make of the place?
'Remember, its guide price at auction was £180,000 to £200,000.'
First impressions of the property driving up to it,
it's a fantastic Victorian building, lots of character.
First impressions walking through the door, it's in a bit of a state,
needs quite a lot of work. It's a real doer-upper, a real refurbishment prospect.
'What could it fetch on the rental market?'
My thoughts are, in refurbished form, we'd probably be looking at
in the region of £650 to £700 per calendar month.
'What about the resale market?'
I think the challenge is, will it break the stamp duty threshold of £250,000?
I certainly think, refurbished to a decent standard, £245,000 to £250,000 is very achievable.
It's just a question of whether you can find somebody to break through and pay that additional stamp duty.
Well, what you've got here is a really substantial house
in a much sought-after part of the country.
The issues, of course, are the graveyard, the light industry and the smells.
Yes, there's a bit of work to do, but forget that.
Reality is, in other parts of Ilkley, this would be a lot more expensive.
So you pays your money, you takes your choice.
Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.
Lot 105, the vacant three-bedroom detached stone-built lodge house.
170 to start things off?
170 if you will. Thank you, sir.
Straight away at £170,000. 170 I've got. 171 I need.
It's £170,000 we have.
171 somewhere else.
Are we all done at £170,000? Sorry.
New bid at 171. 172, then. Yeah? 172. 173?
It's £172,000 we have.
173, new bidder. 173.
174, then? 174 he will. 175.
It's £175,000 we have.
176 I'm looking for.
Anywhere else at 176?
It's £175,000 we have.
Are we all done at £175,000?
Selling, then, for the first time at £175,000.
-Third and final time, all finished?
-Thank you, sir.
'That successful bid of £175,000 was placed by William.
'He's a full-time property developer from Leeds
'who used to run a business hiring out marquees.'
# William it was
# Really nothing
'So, will this venture be all about champagne and celebrations
'or a bit of a damp squib?'
-William, great to meet you. Congratulations.
-What an interesting property.
-It wasn't something I intended to buy at the beginning of the auction.
-What do you mean?
I was actually there to buy a couple of other lots
but with this being where it is and what it is,
I'd seen the guide at between £180,000 and £200,000,
when the auctioneer was getting bids at 170,
I thought, "I'll bid it up to 175 and let other local investors take it from there".
And I took it to 175 and there wasn't a local investor to take it further,
so it's ended up with me, from Leeds, stepping into the Ilkley market and getting a little bit involved.
So tell me about this property. What are you going to do to it?
Well, I think one of the things with orphan properties you often find
is they tend to be orphans within the property market.
-What's an orphan property?
-It's one that really, on the open market, can't find its own way.
-Erm, you know, who has run out of love along the way.
And a property like this really has. It's a great property.
It's stone-built, it's got big rooms. It has perhaps gone a little bit too far for a DIYer to say,
"I'll just jump in and sort that out". It now needs someone who says, "I'm going to throw a team at it,
"we're going to sort it out quickly, efficiently, bring it back up to standard and spec
"and then get it back on the open market."
'Sounds like William might have a career care plan for giving this orphan property a second chance.'
# Whoa, whoa, whoa, sweet child of mine
'But this is going to be no walk in the park.'
What about the roof? Obviously a problem there.
What you've had, I think, is a situation where over time there's been some lead stolen from the roof
and then there's been a bad repair, you've got a few slipped tiles.
So key thing to do is to make the envelope of this house absolutely watertight
and to bring the roof back up to standard. So I've already got a chap going up on Monday.
He'll be up on the roof, photographing, preparing a report,
working out exactly what needs doing, then we'll get that done.
As soon as we've got that done, we'll have the house ripped out,
we'll have got all the old carpets, all the old wallpapers, all the old woodwork, everything out.
We'll reskim the house.
We'll be adjusting plumbing, electrics, et cetera, as required with all the necessary certification.
And as soon as we've got that, we'll start bathrooms, kitchens, et cetera.
'William's plan includes sorting the layout downstairs
'and moving the bathroom upstairs, which I think is a great idea.
'He's giving his team 10 to 12 weeks to do the work.
'How much does he think he'll spend?'
I've budgeted about £25,000.
I employ my own staff, so I'm looking at cost of works being the best possible price.
I'm also very aggressive on getting the best prices for bathrooms, kitchens, et cetera.
So I feel like I'm well prepared to operate sensibly and within the realistic budget.
So the things which would've probably put some people off,
the cemetery, the smell from the surrounding works,
you've factored that into your calculations?
The thing is, everything has a price in the marketplace.
And realistically, for the same price I'm selling this,
you'd be getting probably a fairly average 1930s semi.
Now, when you look at the opportunity to have a beautifully stone-built house
and you think, "There's an opportunity there and there's a buyer for that."
So you've got to say, "Where's my buyer? At what price can I attract that buyer?
"And from that price, can I then have enough money to renovate the property
"and purchase the property while still making, say, £40,000?"
And that's the sort of margin we're working in with this property.
Lovely to meet you. Congratulations. Good luck with it.
-I look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, has this orphaned property found a good foster parent in William?
I think probably so. The bigger question for me is
will William find a buyer who's so inspired by what he does to the place
that they put up with the smell that's outside?
Will William, in fact, come up smelling of roses?
You can find out later in the show.
I'm in Southampton in Hampshire, the city with strong maritime history.
In the early 20th century, the docks were and still are a major employer in the area,
home to luxury yachts and liners as well as commercial traffic.
Indeed, in 1912, the doomed Titanic set sail from this very port.
Southampton is looking at a more buoyant future, however,
with investments in the town centre, redeveloped docklands and a thriving university
which constantly achieves status as one of the best in the country.
I wonder if the property market is more super yacht or sinking ship.
# Big ship following me
# Love is a big ship following me
Here in the suburb of Freemantle, I'm just a couple of miles from Southampton City Centre.
The property I'm here to see has got two bedrooms,
it's a semi-detached house and it's got a guide price of £100,000.
Now, I know that was lowered by the auction house from £115,000 to £120,000,
presumably to attract more interest.
Well, here it is. It's a house and a half!
Let's get inside and see if it's halfway decent.
# Half a minute
'Very strange. It's like a chunk has been taken out of the side of the house.
'It's obvious that a new side extension was added at some point
'but for whatever reason it was just made single storey.
'At least there's a decent driveway
'and from the outside it looks as though the place is in reasonable condition.'
Well, this is very odd. You walk into the new extension
and you're confronted with a shower room with no bath
and then you've got the kitchen.
It's not been integrated into the main part of the house at all.
And the general feel of the place is tired and dated.
But you learn to expect that from auction properties
and it does give you scope for improvement, which is a good thing.
But I would suggest a new kitchen, though. Definitely get a bath in that bathroom.
But before I even think about cosmetics,
I've got to work out what is going on with this layout. And where's the rest of the house?
# Upside down
# Boy, you turn me
# Inside out
# And round and round
'This area feels like a little annex
'and I hardly think it's practical to have your only bathroom by the front door.
'Let's hope the rest of the house is, well, more coherent.'
From the kitchen, you enter this small dining area
with the narrowest stairs I think I've ever seen. Not good.
Into this living room. I've walked almost a full circle from the front door.
But I think the obvious thing to do here would be to put a door here on this wall
so you've got access from the hall. And personally, I think I'd get rid of this wall, as well,
to create a large open-plan living space. Now, that means that you will lose the separate dining room,
but I think it will just feel much more spacious and open.
Now, one slight worry of mine is that in this far corner down here, can you see this?
The floor is actually bouncing.
This half of the house is old, it's Victorian, so it's likely there's some damp down there.
I'd definitely get that checked out.
'I was hoping for coherence, but all I'm getting is confusion.
'The rest of the house gets even more creative with its layout.
'There's the tired old extension at the rear, complete with inside/outside loo.
'Up the teeny-weeny stairs, there's a teeny-weeny bedroom
'complete with an internal window.
'At the front of the house, there's a decent size bedroom complete with worrying cracks.
'One saving grace is this well-proportioned garden
'and it comes with your very own supply of cheerful garden gnomes.'
I think the solution to this confusion is clearer from the outside of the house.
As it stands, we have an extension which is crying out to be continued upwards.
At the moment, it just looks like the builder ran out of bricks and has chucked on the roof.
By extending upwards, you'll be able to move the bathroom upstairs and with some clever design,
fit in another bedroom. Downstairs you could then open up the kitchen into this former shower room
and still retain a separate living area with access from the front door.
What needs checking is the reason why this wasn't done in the first place.
Was it the decision of the owner or was it a planning problem?
And costs certainly need to be considered here.
In my opinion, though, this house needs help and I think this is the best way forward.
# Help, I need somebody
# Help, not just anybody
# Help, you know I need someone, help
'What does the local estate agent think of this odd house
'with its discounted guide price of £100,000?'
The house in the layout at the moment is still flawed.
If this was my property, I'd apply for planning permission
to take the single-storey extension to a two-storey extension
and then refurbish it into a two or three-bedroom house from there.
# Half a minute
'Although planning permission can't be taken for granted,
'what would doubling the height of the extension do for the value?'
I think if the property was converted into a three-bed,
it would be worth about £165,000.
This house is a muddle, but there are solutions to the mess.
It all depends whether you want to do a quick refurb and let it out
or actually reorganise this semi.
But it's in a good location and with the lowered guide price, it's much more appealing.
Let's see who agreed at the auction.
OK, then, ladies and gentlemen, we'll start with lot number one
in Freemantle, Southampton.
Let's start the bidding. Very cheap. Do we have a bid of 80,000?
We do, sir, thank you. That's 81. Thank you. 81.
Back to you at 82 in the centre. 82 is bid.
83? 83, right-hand side. And 4? 84, thank you.
85 we have. 86? 86 in the centre.
87 on the right-hand side. 88,000 we have.
89, back out on the right. 90?
You're thinking about it. 90.
91, sir? 91 on the right-hand side.
Is there 92 elsewhere in the room?
92, same bidder. 93. 93 is with you, sir.
Yes, 94, but very laboured.
95 I have. £95,000 I have for the first time.
95,000 I have for the second.
95,000 I have. 96, new bidder on the back wall.
Nearly had the hammer down then. 96. You were nearly there, sir.
It's 96 with you. I'll give you 500, you've been there from the start.
Yep? 96 and a half we've now got.
96 and a half. 97? No?
96 and a half still with you, sir. 96 and a half once.
96 and a half twice.
-96 and a half for the third and final time.
Sold to you, sir, £96,500. Well done.
'The successful bidder was builder Andy who lives in the area.'
# The concrete and the clay beneath my feet begins to crumble
'Andy usually builds new houses but is taking on his very first renovation
'and his very first auction purchase.
'I met him at his wayward new property to hear what plans he had for imposing some order.'
-You must be so pleased.
-I think so.
-What was it about this house that you liked so much?
It just seemed right that I could maybe convert it into a couple of small houses.
-Convert it into a couple of small houses?
It obviously needs a lot of renovating anyway and the house is a strange layout.
It needs altering and I felt that was maybe a better way to go with it than just creating another two-bed house.
It's quite incredible that you would think that. When you walk in, you're right, it completely doesn't work.
But two houses? That is something I didn't even think about myself.
Have you spoken to the local council?
We're just doing it at the moment, so nothing's been done yet,
but we're going down that route now with the planning permission.
-What do you think the realistic chances of that happening are?
-I think it's fairly good.
But my worry with that is that you would have two incredible small houses.
-I mean, this is quite a small house as it is. You would literally have one room above another room.
Except we're planning an extension out the back, a fairly big extension,
and going up on the lean-to at the side to create a two-bedroom house on this side
and a one-bed on the left-hand side.
-So you've almost bought one and you're trying to get one free.
-Buy one, get one.
'So Andy thinks it's a two-for and there are actually two houses here, not one.
'He'll do most of the work here himself and he has fellow builder Steve to help him.
'But I want to hear more about how those figures stack up.'
-How much is it going to cost you to build the extensions?
-All in all, I could spend £70,000.
And how long do you think it will take you?
I think possibly six months when I've got planning permission.
Would you be happy to hold onto this and try and make it work if you didn't get the go ahead?
I might be better just to put it back in auction and sell it again if we can't.
Maybe sort out a few of the obvious things that are wrong. The lean-to on the back is very damp
and in a dreadful state. That will have to come down and we'll put an extension up out there.
-What about that square footage upstairs? How will you improve that?
it needs more square footage upstairs but I think if I don't get planning permission,
it's going to be costly, on top of the lean-to.
I don't think I'd get my money back on the property.
So I might just stick with the downstairs extension and just leave the upstairs as two small bedrooms.
-And just improve the outside space out here?
I can see why that would be cost-effective for you, but it is incredibly small upstairs.
-There's not even a bathroom up there.
-That's right. The bathroom could do with being up there.
If I move the bathroom upstairs, I will have a room downstairs which I don't know what to do with.
It could be a small office. But it might be worth me building a two-storey extension out the back
-and maybe putting the bathroom above that.
-I really think so.
How much more would it cost you to go up a little bit more?
Probably about £10,000, £15,000.
-Andy, congratulations. This will be an exciting project. I hope you get planning permission.
-So do I.
-Let me know what happens. Well done.
I think Andy's grand plans for two houses makes economic sense
but I wonder if he's just not making double trouble for himself.
If he keeps it as one house, I'm glad he's planning to extend
but I think he really needs to increase that space upstairs.
This is a tricky one. Find out how it goes later in the show.
'Coming up, in Telford, what you see isn't necessarily what you get.'
If you look a bit closer, it's actually just single-glazing.
'In Southampton, is it double trouble turning one house into two for Andy?'
I felt like just doing it up, painting and decorating and selling it.
'But first, it's back to Ilkley to see if the orphan house has a brand new family.'
I've given it all the fostering it needs.
'We return now to Ilkley in West Yorkshire where full-time property developer William
'snapped up this three-bed lodge at auction for £175,000.
'He was undeterred by the sewage works that's nearby and the graveyard next door.
'He was determined to give what he described as an orphan property a fresh start in life.'
-What's an orphan property?
-One that really, on the open market, can't find its own way.
You know, it's just perhaps gone a little bit far for a DIYer to say, "I'll jump in and sort that out".
It now needs someone who says, "I'm going to throw a team at it
"and then get it back on the open market."
'William gave his team 10 to 12 weeks and a budget of £25,000
'to fix the leaky roof and rejig the clunky layout.
'15 weeks after our first visit, we're back to see if this orphan property
'has turned into a troublesome teen or whether William really is the daddy.'
# Daddy, daddy cool
# Daddy, daddy cool
# Daddy, daddy cool
# Daddy, daddy cool
'Ten out of ten for parenting skills, William.
'First thing to note is that the roof's been totally overhauled. But what about the changes inside?'
The first thing you notice about this room is the light and space created by the removal of the chimney.
We had originally a wall straight across here
which had a good three foot of chimney each side.
The space that's been generated there
has created a kitchen which feels big and spacious
and then also a dining area that has enough space for everything you'd want of your dining space.
'The old downstairs bathroom has become a bedroom.
'William has knocked through into one of the old outhouses to make an en suite
'and into the other outbuilding to make a walk-in cupboard.
'Upstairs the small bedroom has become a family bathroom,
'leaving two good size doubles, one of which now has an en suite shower room.
'It's a proper grownup now.'
I think I've given it all the fostering it needs.
You know, we've taken what was a roof that leaked
and we've got now a roof that doesn't leak.
We've taken small kitchens and small lounges
and made them into a big, open-plan, modern living space.
This house couldn't have asked for any more. We've taken it
and we have brought it absolutely up to date.
# She loves her daddy
'William also moved the wall in the garden, which opened things up
'and created a really lovely space.
'But surely the sewage works next door are an issue.'
I haven't found the smell to be a problem at all.
When we have done viewings of the property with prospective buyers,
more of them have actually said that they're not quite sure about being next to a graveyard
more so than the water treatment plant.
So I'm really not seeing that as a problem at all.
'There's still some work to do to finish the downstairs en suite, but how has William found
'the process of renovating here?'
It's been a really easy project.
The contractors are all in place.
We use the same guys wherever we go.
They know how I work and they know the quality of finish that I expect
and there just hasn't been any problems.
'Since William stuck to his £25,000 budget,
'his total outlay on the property is £200,000.
'What do two local estate agents make of the work he's done here?'
Really nice. There's a great mix of old and new with the style.
It's in a great location, great part of Ilkley, very popular
and it's a credit to the owner. He's done a very good job of the property.
I think the dining/living/kitchen is absolutely superb.
I think the quality of the finish is extremely good
and it's a lovely building.
'What could the property fetch on the rental market?'
I expect the rental to be in the region of £850 per calendar month.
We would look to market this property with a rental valuation of £1,200 per calendar month.
Whether it's £850 or £1,200 a month, it doesn't really matter.
I'm here to sell the property, not to rent it.
'What about that all-important resale value?'
I would put this property on the market at £287,500
with a view to achieving a figure of £280,000.
We would look to market this property for sale for prices in the region of £280,000 to £300,000.
I think £280,000 for this house is exactly right.
It's exactly what I expected it to be worth given what I've spent on the property
and what I purchased the property for.
Looking at it, we've got it on the market at the moment at £310,000.
It allows for an offer at ten percent below the asking price, which is acceptable to me.
'A sale at £280,00 could make William a pre-tax profit of around £80,000
'minus the usual fees and expenses.
'So has he enjoyed doing this renovation?'
Working on this property has been an absolute pleasure.
It's been great to take a house that was unloved, uncherished and orphaned and bring it back to life.
I can't wait to get it sold and I can't wait to show the new owner round.
'I'm in Donnington, a suburb of the new town of Telford.
'It has strong transport links
'and with many bus routes and motorway access close by,
'there's easy access to places like Birmingham and Stoke.'
The property I'm here to see is situated on this little cul-de-sac. Nice and quiet.
A place for the kids to play. Guide price was £55,000 plus.
That's the property. Two-bed end-of-terrace. Looks OK from the outside. Let's take a look inside.
'The roof appears to be in good condition
'and just look at the size of that garden. It's huge.
'Also, it seems as though the new owners benefit from double-glazing. Or do they?'
So, what's on offer? Well, properties like this do tend to have a fairly standard layout,
so let's see if that's the case in this instance.
Through the front door, entrance hall here.
Nice big window, lets lots of light in, so we like that.
Stairs up to your bedrooms and bathroom.
Kitchen there. Nothing too untoward so far.
And then into your lounge/dining room
which is actually a really nice size space.
But something to be aware of.
At first glance, these look like double-glazed windows. You've got the UPVC surrounds.
But if you look a bit closer, it's actually just single-glazing. You can make it double-glazed,
but clearly that's not ideal.
The room, however, I think could be a really nice space once you've got rid of the polystyrene tiles.
The other thing I'd like to see in here is this door maybe opened out,
extended with some kind of supporting beam above it
and patio doors out onto the rear garden.
And then you've got the makings of an extremely nice little house.
# If you want my love then take my advice
# Treat me nice
'Treat this house nicely and I think you'll end up with something quite desirable.
'I can't really fault the layout. Sitting room where it should be and the kitchen also in a good position.
'But then I stumble upon an additional room that I'm not sure about.'
So, through the kitchen and you come to this rather unusual extension.
Bit of an oddity, this. It's got this floor which obviously isn't ideal.
I don't know if that's got a damp-proof course. In terms of the construction, the walls,
are they single-skinned or double-brick with some kind of air gap in between
to give you insulation and damp-proofing? I don't know. That needs investigating.
The other thing I'd want to check out is the ceiling, or rather, the roof underneath there.
Erm... Oh, dear. That doesn't look good.
If you go into this little cupboard, you can actually see what's on the roof. It's corrugated sheets.
Now, judging by the age of this house, my concern would be that they weren't made from concrete
but from asbestos, and if they are, that's quite serious.
You have to have them taken away by a specialist company.
Asbestos, not good.
But in terms of the fact that it's here, in terms of planning permission and stuff,
you've got an established unit, it's a useful space which you can build on.
# Treat me nice
'Like everything down here, it's tired and needs a serious wake-up call.'
# If you really want my loving
# Treat me nice
Well, upstairs and no great surprises as to the layout.
Top of the stairs, where it should be, the bathroom and loo.
Now, at the moment, they are separate. Loo on one side, bathroom with the bath in it on the other.
It's the age-old debate. Do you knock this wall down to create one large bathroom with a loo combined
or do you leave it like it is? I tend to err on the side of leaving it where it is
cos if you've got a family full of people, having access to the loo separately is a good thing.
But hey-ho, each to his own. Bedroom at the back, a decent size.
But a really big bedroom at the front here.
Big enough almost to think about incorporating this little alcove area, currently with the boiler in,
and possibly making two bedrooms out of this. It would certainly increase the rental potential
and also the value of the place. So, something to consider.
But it's not quite that simple because there is a slight fly
in what is, up to this point, a pretty good bit of ointment
and that's that before you do any work on this, you have to have the approval of the previous owner.
There's a covenant on the property. The previous owner wants to protect the integrity of properties here,
they're a housing association, so before you do any work, you've got to ask them.
If they say no, you can't do it.
# No, no, no
# You don't love me and I know now
'I'm not necessarily falling out of love with this property,
'it's just a hurdle you need to jump over before you start any major work.
'The bedrooms are both good sizes, but yes, if you wanted to maximise your investment,
'then creating a third bedroom may well be the way to go.
'At that guide price of £55,000
'what does a local estate agent think of this place?
'We invited one along to find out.'
Donnington's a good family area.
Most of the properties were built in the 1960s
and now many of them are in private ownership.
The property has a fantastic garden, very, very good size,
and consequently, there's lots of things you can do with the garden.
You can put decking there or, in the future, there's potential to build a fairly large conservatory.
'Let's talk figures. What could it achieve on the resale market?'
As a two-bedroom, I'd put this on the market for £95,000 if it was in good condition.
'How much could it sell for once you'd converted upstairs and created a third bedroom?'
As a three-bedroom, I'd be looking to put it on the market for around £105,000.
Well, a good, solid house here that would benefit from some improvements
especially in the bathroom and kitchen areas and, of course, that nasty roof to get rid of.
And the issue with the covenant could be a problem. But, all in all, I think, a good property to go for.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Right. Lot number nine.
This is a two-bedroomed end town house in a pleasant position.
Can we get it going at 45? 45 bid. Thank you. At £45,000.
55. At £55,000. 60.
75. Somebody want to bid seated or are they out? You're in. 76.
It's his first bid. At £76,000 then. First time.
At... Back in 76 and a half.
79 anywhere else? If not, 78... Back in, 79.
You're shaking your head now. 79, gentleman seated.
At £79,000. All done now?
79 first time.
79 second time.
Back in, 79 and a half.
You're shaking your head now. 79 and a half standing, first time.
79 and a half standing, second time. Third and final time.
-At £79,500. Are we all done?
'The successful bid was made by James with his partner Jo.
'James used to work as a transport and logistics manager, but decided to move into property developing.
'Jo is a clinical nurse specialist who runs a Botox business in her spare time.
'This is the very first property in their portfolio.
'I went to meet them and find out their plans for giving this place a nip and tuck.'
-Jo, James, good to meet you both. Congratulations.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
-Well, we looked round a few houses in the auction,
and it was the worst house in a nice street.
-So, in area terms, you know the area?
-I do. I used to be a district nurse in this area.
So I knew it well. We felt that it was a really good location because there's a really good park nearby,
great garden, it's a cul-de-sac, it's a good family-sized house and location.
'James is just starting out as a developer. He admits he doesn't have much property developing experience,
'apart from doing up his own home, but Jo will be there to support him.'
# Stand by me
# Oh, stand by me
I was really supportive of him doing this cos the climate at the moment is rubbish,
-especially for guys getting on a bit.
He doesn't look like he's getting on that much.
But, no, it's a good time, it's a good time in our life to do it.
We've got the cash behind us to do it, and why not?
'For a couple starting out in the world of developing, this is a great house to get stuck into.
'So, what's the grand plan?'
This lounge is pretty well going to stay as is. Obviously needs decorating.
The kitchen and the outside room will be knocked through into one to make a nice big dining/family room
with some nice French doors opening out onto the patio.
Then upstairs, we're knocking the bathroom and toilet through to make one big family bathroom.
The one double bedroom is staying the same, and the large double bedroom will be sectioned off,
we're going to make a small third nursery/study type bedroom.
And retain two double bedrooms and one small one, to give a bit of flexibility if people want to rent.
'James and Jo plan to add a window to the divided room so each room will have a view out.
'But this house has that special covenant which could interfere with any development plans.'
The covenant states that any change of structure
has to be approved by Wrekin Housing Trust who sold the house.
-And all the changes we've proposed seem to be no problem,
-as long as we get building regs clearance, as well.
-Talk me through the money. What's your budget?
-We've done quite a lot of work on the budget.
We probably don't want to spend more than £10,000 on the property.
We hope to spend seven or eight but we thought £10,000 gives us a cushion.
Great. So, in terms of timescales, then?
-I love this laughter.
There's a laughter at the budget, there's a laughter at the timescale. That always worries me.
Well, the plan is three months to have it all done and somebody in.
Fingers crossed. If things don't go wrong.
-Well, listen, good luck with it. Congratulations. And I look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, Jo and James laughing about the timescales and budget.
Let's hope that laughter doesn't turn to tears because time is money in the business they're now in.
You can find out how it all goes later in the show.
Well, when we left our auction aficionados, they had dreams and high hopes of success.
-Have those properties been giving them sleepless nights?
-Let's go back and find out.
# Half a minute
'We're back in Freemantle near Southampton to see how Andy got on
'with that semi-detached house with a semi-height extension.
'Externally, it seemed fine. But inside, the layout left a lot to be desired.
'It was an upside down, topsy-turvy collection of rooms.
'There was a shower room by the front door.
'A bedroom with an internal window.
'A strange little extension out back.
'And, of course, there was that under-sized one-storey add-on to the side.
'I thought it would be a simple job to add height to the side extension,
'then you could shuffle the rooms round to make a lovely three-bed house,
'but builder Andy had other ideas.'
I could convert it into a couple of small houses.
-Convert it into a couple of small houses?
'So Andy thought he'd bagged himself a proper bargain and bought two houses for the price of one.
'He paid £96,500 for them
'and had set aside a budget of around £70,000 to turn one house into two.
'He thought it would take him around six months.
'We've come back a whopping three years later to see what took Andy so long!
'Did he pick up a bargain or were they damaged goods?'
# Don't stop me cos I'm having a good time, having a good time
# I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky
# Like a tiger, defying the laws of gravity
'Well, it must be double bonus points day for Andy.
'Those two front doors tell you he obviously got the go-ahead
'to make two small houses out of one smallish house with a large garden.
'On the right-hand side, he's squeezed in a two-bedroom house, and on the left there's a one-bedroom.
'The old lean-to at the side was demolished and he built a brand new one-bedroom house in its place.
'But this has not been an easy ride for him.
'What should have taken him six months took almost 36 months.'
It's taken a lot longer than what I originally said, six months, but that's due to planning issues we had.
It's been turned down twice for planning by the council.
And therefore I had to go to appeal.
Not really a problem, just lots of issues to resolve and time-consuming.
'One of the problems Andy had to deal with was a party wall.
'A party wall is when the dividing walls between two neighbouring buildings are shared,
'or are in close proximity. For any work to be done it requires the cooperation of the neighbours,
'which can hold things up, especially as in Andy's case he had two to deal with.'
# Pushing down on me
-'But Andy's perseverance paid off.'
-I felt like just doing it up, painting, decorating and selling it,
but it was not my original plan so I kept on.
'Andy's one-bedroom house was built on the site of the old half-height side extension,
'so it's very long and thin.
'This one has an open-plan kitchen/sitting room combo on the ground floor.
'And although it's been completely rebuilt, the shower room is still beside the front door.
'Upstairs there's a tiny toilet and a small double bedroom,
'but fitting two houses onto such a small site was always ambitious and it has led to compromises.'
The garden we've split into two.
I wanted to keep it quite low maintenance so I've laid patio slabs and we put a shed at the end.
We've laid a synthetic lawn just to add a little bit of colour. And I'm pleased with the way it's turned out.
'To redesign the original two-bedroom house, Andy demolished the dodgy old rear addition
'and built a double-height extension at the back.
'On the ground floor, you enter straight off the street into the living room
'with stairs off to the upper floor at the back of the room.
'Leading off the sitting room there's a well laid-out galley kitchen
'which makes the very most of the available space.
'Up those same narrow stairs, Andy has squeezed in a bathroom on the first floor,
'as well as retaining two bedrooms.
'At the front, there's still a good-sized double bedroom.
'But at the back he's been left with a very compact single bedroom.'
I've tried to keep it a nice level of finish but without really spending too much on it.
I wanted to spend £70,000 on it really,
and I think, at the moment, it's running at about 68.
'Andy bought the property for £96,500.
'And since he's spent £68,000 on the renovations,
'that brings his total outlay to £164,500.
'Let's hear what two local property experts think of his endeavours.'
This is my first time back to the property since the renovation.
I think the changes have been very good.
Obviously, there's been some issues with planning.
And subsequently the properties got slightly smaller.
But what they've done with it is very, very good. Attention to detail particularly good.
I think he's done the right thing making it into two properties.
Obviously, that will raise the resale values.
And as a buy-to-let investment, you're going to get a greater income.
Overall finish is very good, to a high standard.
Perhaps not luxury standard but certainly very good.
Having parking with the one-bed and the two-bed is a great selling point.
This particular road is particularly busy, so off-road parking is a great feature.
'It's time to find out what the properties could sell for.'
I would look to sell the two-bedroom property for £135,000.
I would recommend an asking price of £135,000 to £140,000 for the two-bed.
'And the one-bedroom house?'
I would look to sell the one-bedroom property at £110,000.
For the one-bed, I recommend an asking price of £110,000 to £115,000.
'Those valuations give a combined total
'of £245,000 to £255,000 for both houses.
'That would give Andy a profit of between £80,500 and £95,500,
'before costs and expenses.'
Yeah. I had hoped for a little bit more for the one-bed. But otherwise I think it sounds very good, very fair.
# Crazy little thing called love
'Andy's very first refurbishment has paid off.
'It might have taken a while but this project filled a gap during a quiet time for new builds.
'It also paid him a wage, as well as turning a decent profit. So, will he be back for more?'
It has been worth it because it's kept me employed all this time and I've made some money on it.
I will go back to auction. I shall keep my eye on the brochure, see what comes up for sale.
And in the meantime, I'll do my normal work that I do, bathrooms and kitchens and extensions and things
and go from there.
'Back to Donnington in Shropshire where earlier we met James and his partner Jo.
'They'd bought this two-bedroomed end-of-terrace at auction for £79,500.
'James worked in transport and logistics before starting his property developing company.
'Jo works as a clinical nurse specialist who also runs a Botox business in her spare time.
'This was a great starter property for a face lift, but it did have its share of problems.
'There was a covenant which stated that
'any changes had to be approved by the housing association before any work started.
'Work like dividing bedrooms to make more bedrooms, for example.'
We're going to make a small third nursery/study type bedroom,
and retain two double bedrooms and one small one for flexibility if people wanted to rent out.
'Renting was definitely a key goal for James and Jo
'as this was the first of hopefully many properties for James's new business.
'We returned four months later to see what's changed.
'Well, it's work in progress everywhere.
'There are new double patio doors into the garden,
'and inside the dark, pokey kitchen is now light, bright and much more family-friendly.
'The reason it's not complete is James ran into massive problems when he started on the ground floor.'
I had to start digging the floor up in the extension part.
And I found a lot of damp underneath it.
And after investigation around the house, I found damp everywhere.
It turned out the water supply coming into the house had been leaking since the house was made.
So subsequently, I had to dig all the floors up and replace the lot.
'By digging the floors up by hand, James found the leak and fixed it.
'He could then finally get on with his very first renovation.'
Right, well, this was the kitchen and an outbuilding,
and what I've done is put a Catnic across here and then took the wall out
and in the out-building, replaced it with a proper roof
and a proper ceiling on the inside here
with thermal barrier on the inside to bring it up to modern specs.
Also removed a door and a coalhouse.
We blocked up the original rear door and put a large French door
so you can sit down and look out on the garden.
'Although the garden looks a bit like a building site at the moment,
'opening up the kitchen has certainly made great use of the space.
'The extra window and patio door really help brighten up what was once a very dark room.
'James has also converted the pantry into a downstairs toilet, which is a useful bonus for families.
'So, what's changed upstairs?'
Right, well, upstairs there's been quite a few changes.
The bathroom was originally a separate WC and a very small bathroom alongside it.
What I've done is remove the wall between the two
and put one access door of a proper size into the room
which has made a nice proper family-sized bathroom.
'James has also utilised the area above the stairwell to create space for a third bedroom.
'And he's also added an extra window.
'It's a bit cosy in here, but at least the master bedroom is still a good size.
'James set up a company with his girlfriend, Jo, to do this and future projects.
'How has that been going?'
Jo's helped at weekends and around work but I've been mainly doing all the work myself.
Doing this job between us has been quite stressful at times. We've had a few...
..differences of opinions on things.
But Jo usually tells me and I have to come round to that way in the end.
'The bathroom and kitchen still have to be installed and the whole place needs painting and decorating.
'Did they manage to stick to their original budget of ten grand?'
I did say I had a contingency at the time up to £10,000. I've currently got to £9,500.
I was hoping to be finished by now, originally,
but the extra time the floor has taken has added at least another six weeks on,
so I'm hoping to have things wrapped up in another month.
'With a purchase price of £79,500 and renovation costs of £9,500,
'that's a total outlay of £89,000. We asked two local estate agents
'to give us their opinions on this property.'
First impressions are he's made it absolutely superb inside.
With what he'll do to the kitchen, I think he's maximised the space there.
I think making it into three bedrooms is better saleability,
He's still got two double rooms and one single, which works really well.
There's nothing I would have done differently
with this property with the existing footprint
to maximise the rental value and the sale price.
I think the purchasers have done everything they could possibly do to maximise both.
'Let's talk money. What kind of resale value could you expect here?'
I would value this, once completed, between £95,000 and £100,000.
Once finished I believe the property would be on the market for £100,000 to achieve a sale price of £95,000.
'That's a potential profit of between £6,000 and £11,000 minus taxes and the usual expenses.'
Slightly disappointed with that. I was hoping for £10,000 or £15,000 more.
That would definitely make up my mind to keep it for now, rent it out and sell it when the market picks up.
'So what about rental?'
I would put this on the rental market at between £550 and £575 per calendar month.
I feel the rental value of this property is £525 per calendar month.
'That's a healthy yield of between seven and eight percent per annum.'
That sounds about what I thought it was going to be.
Erm, I've got somebody interested who's hopefully moving in at the higher end of that scale.
'Has James enjoyed developing his first property?'
I've enjoyed it so much I'm looking to do it again and keep on doing it for the foreseeable future.
Look forward to seeing you next time on Homes Under The Hammer.
-We'll have lots more interesting properties and ambitious buyers for you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Ilkley, Yorkshire, a semi-detached home in Southampton and an end-of-terrace in Shropshire. Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.