Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit an end-of-terrace in Manchester, a three-bed house in Kent and a two-bed semi in Derby.
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Hello! Buying at auction gives people the chance
to buy properties in need of a bit of work.
People like to put their own stamp and style on a property
and, hopefully, make a profit along the way.
You might be able to do that buying your next home under the hammer.
We both love the buzz of an auction room.
You can sense the hope and frustration in the air.
Yes, and you never know quite how it's going to go until the last minute.
Let's see what tempted the buyers on today's show.
In Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester,
this end-of-terrace could sweep you off your feet.
..this overall feeling of, like, falling backwards!
There's a three-bed house in Kent with an odd layout,
which leads to a rare decision for me.
I would leave it exactly as it is.
And in Ripley, Derbyshire,
I'm suspicious about the state of this two-bed semi.
I wonder if somebody's trying to cover something up.
All these properties have been sold at auction.
We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
It's yours, sir. Well done.
I'm in Ramsbottom, and this is the marketplace
where I've come to find this incredible sculpture
called the Tilted Vase.
Ramsbottom's located in the Greater Manchester area,
about four miles north of Bury.
The Tilted Vase was created to reflect the town's industrial heritage.
# Oh, industry!
# Whatever will become of me? #
Well, Ramsbottom developed in the 19th century
around the spinning, weaving and printing industries.
Nowadays, as well as being home to this two-tonne piece of art,
it's a lively market town
within easy striking distance of Manchester City Centre.
Don't be fooled by words like "industry" and "city centre".
Lively it may be, but it's also surrounded by some stunning countryside,
so you get the best of both worlds.
# You're gonna find me
# Way out in the country #
The property I'm here to see is about five minutes outside Ramsbottom
in this semi-rural area.
The view is extremely pretty.
Not so good is the fact that we are on a very busy main road.
You get trucks, farm machinery and allsorts of things thundering down here.
It is still a very popular area, so I'm excited about the property.
This is it. It's an end-of-terrace, two bedrooms, at a guide price of ?60-65,000.
Let's take a look inside.
So one of the first things I'm going to be looking for is soundproofing.
Got double-glazing on that window and this little porch thing,
which not only will keep the cold out
but, all importantly, keep the noise out, as well.
Although, in its current state, that's not going to do much at all.
Still, the idea is good!
So into this front lounge. Big fireplace scenario going on.
I think you want to improve that. It's a bit dated.
Big room. But straight away I'm a bit concerned
because it looks to me like the floors are actually...
..sloping off down here
and the ceilings look a bit wonky. That's interesting.
Another thing I'm looking out for is any signs of damp,
because in a stone-built property like this,
damp can be a potential issue.
All in all, apart from the wonkiness, a nice-size space.
But then look what happens! You come into this kitchen!
What an odd shape! I guess this is because it's an end-of-terrace
and it's been shaped to make access possible down this side road.
But it leaves you with this kitchen which is triangular!
Fantastic if you like certain types of cheese and chocolate,
but other than that, it's a bit weird!
The triangular kitchen leads to the back, where there's an access road
but no real outside space to speak of.
However, stunning views like this on your doorstep
do go some way to making up for that.
The exterior looks solid, although I would advise a thorough investigation by a surveyor
to try and get to the bottom of those sloping floors.
So upstairs then.
Two reasonable-sized bedrooms.
I'm quite excited about the fact that the ceilings are really high,
and up there, access to the loft,
which could give you an option to extend up there.
But, again, this overall feeling of falling backwards into this side of the property
as the slope is so intense!
But through to what I think is one of my favourite rooms in the house, strangely, the bathroom.
The shape of it gives it this really nice-sized space.
Yes, it's tired and dated, but spend a bit money and you'd have a lovely family bathroom.
Although, if you were in the bath,
you might find your rubber ducky floated around in an odd way!
# Splish-splash, I was taking a bath
# Long about a Saturday night
# A rub dub, just relaxing in the tub
# Thinking everything was all right #
And if you thought everything else was to your taste,
sorting out the sloping floors would be well worth it.
It came with a guide price of ?60-65,000.
Time to ask the auctioneer who sold it
what he makes of the unique shape of the place.
The first impressions are that it needs some modernisation.
It's an odd shape,
which makes it a little bit quirky and maybe not for everybody,
but it's a good property
and I think you're stuck with the layout.
What sort of figures could someone make here?
I think in the current market, in the current condition,
this property's worth around ?60,000.
When all the work's done it could be worth up towards 100, if not a little more,
but I have a feeling that 100 is the limit
because of that lack of outside space.
A ?40,000 margin to be working with is not too shabby!
What about the rental returns?
From a rental point of view,
I think that we're looking at something in the region of ?525 to ?550 per calendar month.
Well, the busy road, the lack of outdoor space
and the quirky design inside
means the property isn't going to appeal to everybody.
But I still think the location and the space you've got here
means that it is an attractive opportunity for someone.
Let's find out who that was when it went under the hammer.
I'm looking for ?40,000 to start. Straight in at 40,000.
42,000? 42 I've got. 44. 46.
48. Is that 50? It is. 50. 52. 54.
54 we've got. 56. Got it. 58?
No? It's with you, then, sir, at 56,000.
I'll take one if it helps you at 57,000. 58.
59. 60. 61, then. 62. 62 we've got. 63.
Got it. 66. Shaking his head.
Are we all done at 65?
First time I'm going to sell it, at ?65,000. We're all finished.
Second time at 65,000. We're all done.
Ooh. That was close!
65,000 I had. Is that 66? It is.
67. Shaking your head. It's with you, then, sir at 66,000.
First time at 66. Second time at 66,000.
Are we all finished? Yes, we are. Sold to you at 66.
Snapping it up with that successful last-ditch bid of 66,000 was Mick.
He's a full-time developer
with 14 years of experience under his belt.
I've met him on the show before, back in 2007,
when he purchased a property in Bolton.
What properties do you go for? Mainly terraced.
First-time buyers. They seem easier to shift.
Anything where there's a profit in it, if I'm honest.
I caught up again with Mick and his wife Nicola
to hear about their plans for this place.
Nicola, Mick, good to see you. BOTH: Hi.
Mick, nice to see you again! It's been a few years. It has.
How did that all end up? It was fine. We made a good profit.
But shortly after that, the market went steeply downhill and things went from bad to worse.
We couldn't borrow money, we couldn't sell anything, couldn't remortgage.
It was tough, tough times. But we had the good times before, so you can't complain.
Mick, we've met. Nicola, we haven't. We've not met before.
What's gone on here since we last met!
We met just after we filmed the last one. Oh, right! And we got married last year.
Congratulations! Thank you. Fantastic.
But you're now both involved in doing the property stuff.
Yes. Michael's been asking me to get involved
and I've kept out, because I've got a job myself doing hairdressing.
But he knows I'm really interested, so I agreed and said yes.
Are you going to carry on hairdressing, as well? Yes.
How was the auction for you? The auction's superb.
The auctions at the minute, you can pick some pretty good stuff up.
It seems to be a good gauge of where the market's at.
During the lean period, we'd go and there'd be plenty people, but nobody was buying,
but a lot of stuff seems to be selling now, for a reasonable price.
Probably the reserve prices are set at a more realistic level. Yes, definitely.
So despite a few difficult years for the market,
Mick's not been put off.
It seems as though buying at auction has continued to be a fruitful avenue for him.
Let's come on to this house, then. Why did you decide to buy this?
I didn't go for this. I was looking at a couple of other things, which I got outbid on.
But it came up, and I know the area, I know the property-ish,
I'd not seen it before, but it was the right money so I thought I'd go for it.
So, it was the price that attracted you?
Yes, you've got to buy and sell cheap if you're going to do anything.
There's a lot of competition and not a lot of buyers with mortgages.
So, what did you think about this house when you first saw it?
It's lovely. It's a nice house. I love the area.
I think the house, once it's done...
We're going to keep it contemporary and nice.
Nice, quirky little house.
It is unusual, with the triangular shape.
There's somebody for every house. I don't think we'll do too bad out of it.
# Solid as a rock #
So a solid purchase in Mick's eyes,
but one that still needs a lot of attention.
Tell me what you're going to do. We're going to rip it out completely, back to the brickwork.
We'll rewire it, plaster it. Basically everything. New kitchen, bathroom.
I think we'll put something a little nicer than we usually do.
Unique. Let Nicola design the bathroom. Yes.
Put something a bit more unusual in and see how we go.
Tell me what you're going to do. I'll keep the bathroom white.
I fancy doing the clawed bath.
Oh! Something a bit different than the P-shaped bath.
And we're going to keep the kitchen nice and light,
more higher units.
It'll be good. I'm excited.
Mick hopes to turn the house around in six to eight weeks
on a budget of ?15,000.
Nicola will focus on the finishing touches to make it look good.
# Make it good, make it good Somehow #
Once finished, Mick plans to put it back on the market.
What price are you going to pitch it at? Round about 100, 110,
see what response we get.
I think I'll do well at that sort of figure. Yes.
So, there's money to be made in it? Not a massive amount, but a decent profit, hopefully.
Is that the way it's gone in recent times - doing more and getting less from each one?
In the old days, we'd get them and put the price up 10,000 before we'd finished
because everybody wanted to buy.
But at the minute, you've got to turn them round quicker
and get out quicker and onto the next.
Congratulations. Good luck. Maybe we'll meet again in another few years. Hopefully!
Thank you very much. Thank you.
Mick, like many people in the property investment world,
experiencing tough times in the last few years,
but things do seem to be on the up.
The key is, as he spotted, buying properties at the right price,
spending carefully in doing them up and selling at a realistic level.
A few issues, of course, with the road and lack of outdoor space,
but he has got Nicola's help.
So, will it be a success? Find out later in the show.
I'm in the Kent town of Gravesend,
a place definitely on the fast track to success.
# Train of love's a-coming
# Big black wheels a-humming #
Gravesend is benefitting from the Ebbsfleet factor.
That's what the local agents will have you believe anyway.
I think the improved transport links signal good things for this part of Kent.
The high-speed link brings commuters into the capital in 22 minutes
I'm here to see this three-bedroom terrace
and the guide is 95 to 105,000.
The last property to sell on this road
That gives you an idea of the margin you could achieve here.
But beware! Paying too much over that guide price could see you out of pocket.
Light, airy and spacious are not words that I would use to describe a terrace house,
but walking in here, that's what it feels like!
There's so much light coming in through the window
and I really like the way this whole space has been opened up.
It's great the way the stairs have been used as a natural divider
so you've still got your sitting room,
your nice kitchen/diner through here.
OK, it's terribly dated.
You'll need to spend some money to bring it up to standard.
You've got your flock wallpaper.
I think it's great the way this area has already been opened up.
I think people are going to enjoy this contemporary space,
because it's quite a modern way to live.
I'm not so keen on the fact that you've got a very small bathroom down here.
I think that's been put down here for a reason. We'll touch on that a little later.
But as I said, with some money, with some thought behind it,
I think you've got yourself a really nice little house.
Whilst the bathroom doesn't look too happy at the moment,
it's amazing what some new tiling could do to lift it.
The kitchen is in a shoddy state of repair
and the whole of this open-plan reception area
definitely needs cheering up.
But what about the upstairs? There's one front bedroom here with good proportions.
Fine. But at the back, there are two other bedrooms that do have issues
and they're to do with the layout.
Viewers, you have heard me banging on about this before.
It's a common dilemma with these houses
so I've got to get this off my chest.
How do you access this room? Look.
Now, I don't think it would work putting a corridor along here.
You'd have to get rid of this chimney breast,
but then you would lose this window here
and that's not good! Are you with me?
Or you could think about moving the bathroom from downstairs
and putting it in this room.
But then you've got all the plumbing to cost out
and that's not a great idea.
Or you could just leave it all as it is
and have a huge extra room to use as an office
or, ladies, a walk-in wardrobe.
Now, what would I do as a developer?
Well, I'd be looking at maximum profit, minimum spend.
I'd have to be honest on this occasion,
I would leave it exactly as it is.
# I love just the way you are #
Well, maybe "love" is a bit too strong to describe this,
but sometimes you have to accept what you're given.
An alternative could be to turn the stairs
to come out on the other side of the room.
That could cost as much as 20,000,
and with the guide price at ?95 to ?105 grand,
and a ceiling value of no more than 150,000 in the current market,
that wouldn't leave much room for profit.
Still, if you're looking to make this a long-term home, a big spend could be the way to go.
This lean-to doesn't aesthetically add anything to the property.
needs to be replaced with a more suitable material
that might fit in a little better with this house.
While we're here, the garden is as you'd expect.
It needs a haircut and a bit of a tidy.
So roll your sleeves up and get to it.
The garden does need to be reintroduced to the lawnmower.
A little bonus is the rear entrance,
which will prove invaluable during the renovation
as it's handy for moving materials in and out.
But for a second opinion on this house,
guided at 95 to 105,000,
we asked an estate agent for his thoughts
on the best way forward.
With the staircase, I really would recommend reversing it
or getting it up the flank wall
so you can get a landing on that top floor.
Even if you leave it as a three-bedroom,
having that landing and corridor would make a difference.
If you make it a bathroom, you've got to have a corridor.
Would changing the layout have any effect on the value?
If they lost a bedroom, it really wouldn't make much difference.
A three-bed with a ground-floor bathroom
is worth as much as a two-bed with a first-floor bathroom.
Hmm... Food for thought there.
How do the figures stack up? First, resale...
In good condition, this could be sold for ?150,000.
This could be rented for around ?700 per month.
The downstairs bathroom has to stay where it is,
but that's only to keep costs down.
However, creating a corridor upstairs to separate the bedroom is a good option,
but for somebody who wants to live here long-term,
not for an instant profit.
Let's see who wanted this lot as we go to auction.
Then we go to lot eight.
Give me 95 if you like. 95. It doesn't matter where we start.
?95,000 I have. I'm on the way. 95 I have.
100, I'm looking for. 100 bid at the back. 100.
And five do I see? 105, can I see?
102 if you like. 102, I'm bid. 102.
104 I'm bid. 106 do I see?
105 on the phone.
106. He's out of it again. 107 now. 107.
106 I have. 107 I want.
Are we all done at ?106,000
for the first, second, third and final time?
Are you all done? 106. Thank you, sir.
That successful bid of 106,000, one grand over the guide price,
came from Mark.
He lives 16 miles away in Bromley, Kent,
but has lived in Gravesend before.
He's planning a career change to start developing properties.
This is his first project
and he can bring some unique skills to it.
I met him back at the house to find out more.
It's great to meet you. Good to meet you.
What I want to know is, why did you want to buy this house?
Change of career, really. Yes? Yes.
I've been in the building game 30 years. I want to do something different.
What spurred you on to want to do this?
The opportunity arose last year that I sold a house,
got some equity out of it and that's how I'm financing it.
Just a change of career and onwards and upwards.
You were in the building game, doing what? Fibrous plastering.
Tell me all about that!
Decorative and ornamental plasterwork, really.
Restoring old buildings, ceilings, columns, arches, that sort of stuff.
That is quite a specialist job. Have you done any exciting ones recently?
I was in the Savoy Hotel for four months last year...
Wow! ..doing bits and pieces in there.
And most London theatres, worked in those doing bits and pieces and restoration.
Are we going to come back and find unbelievable cornicing, ceiling roses? No, no, no!
It's all going to be contemporary. There's going to be some cornice,
but contemporary rather than ultra traditional,
just to fit in with the style of the rest of the house.
Glad to hear it, Mark.
Lovely as it would be to see lots of ornate plasterwork, this is a business venture
and Mark sees it as the right time to start.
# That this is the time # This is the time
# The time for action # This is the time to be seen
# Time to be seen # This is the time for action
# Time to be seen #
Mark aims to sell on once the renovation's complete.
So, what are his plans?
Nothing really structural needs doing,
apart from knocking one wall down between the kitchen and bathroom
to create a bigger kitchen, and move the bathroom upstairs.
That's the major stuff. The rest of it is decorating and replastering.
How are you going to reconfigure the upstairs to accommodate the bathroom?
There's a chimney breast that runs with cupboards.
I hope to take those out and create a decent corridor,
and put some stud work up to create a room within a room.
Put some glass panels on the top to let some natural light in.
So, that room won't actually have its own natural daylight?
Not natural daylight, but I hope to put some light tubes in there to get some light bouncing around.
I think I'd be more inclined to create a bathroom in the middle of the property,
because having a windowless bedroom is far from ideal.
I haven't ruled anything out at the moment.
I know it's going to be a compromise. But the plumbing involved
and the cost of moving the bathroom to the centre of the house
is a little bit restrictive.
I haven't made any decisions 100 percent,
but we'll have to wait and see, I think.
I don't think Mark's getting the best out of the configuration, but at least he's open to options.
Considering this is his first renovation,
he shouldn't make life too difficult for himself.
He does have a ?10,000 budget, which should get the job done,
but I'm going to try and persuade him one more time to reconsider that layout.
How about if I said to you you could do it on six grand
if you didn't create the corridor,
move the bathroom and you left it as it was? Yes.
Would that appeal to you? It would, yes.
Ultimately, I'm not going to live here, so it's the best deal financially
and aesthetically to whoever's moving in.
So, yes, the cheaper the better.
I get the feeling you want to make this really good.
I've got to, because it's a day job and I've got to make money out of it,
otherwise I'm back on the building sites in the cold and wet.
It's good to see Mark hasn't set his plans in concrete
and understands that keeping the budget down is the only way to make a profit.
He's confident he can turn it around in eight to ten weeks
and seems fairly relaxed about his first ever renovation.
I'm a pretty unfazed bloke. Get on with it and see what happens.
Where do you get your confidence from? Am I confident? Yes!
It's just me, you know? It's just the way I am.
Is it the lucky ring? I hope so! It's going to bring you luck. Touch it for luck.
Good luck. This is an exciting time for this chapter in your life.
Well done. Thanks very much. Thank you.
A windowless bedroom?
I would rather a downstairs bathroom if faced with that option,
and I think would-be buyers would agree.
It's fair to say, there are a few options here.
But if it's purely a money-making scheme for Mark,
I would make the best of that downstairs bathroom.
Let's hope his little beard ring brings him some developer's luck!
You can find out how he gets on later in the programme.
Coming up... In Ripley, this property seems to be suffering from an age-old problem.
More indications, well, of damp.
In Gravesend, Kent,
did renovating this three-bed house go smoothly for plasterer Mark?
The plastering was a bit hard, every room, every wall.
But first, how did experienced developer Mick
and first-timer Nicola get on?
We've had no heated moments!
We're returning to Ramsbottom in Manchester now.
Here, property old-hand
and Homes Under the Hammer aficionado Mick
purchased this end-of-terrace house at auction for 66,000.
This time, he convinced wife Nicola to lend him a hand.
You're not both involved in the property stuff? Yes.
Michael's been asking me to get involved
and I've kept out, because I've got a job myself doing hairdressing.
But he knows I'm really interested, so I agreed and said yes.
The plan was to rip everything out and start again.
We've come back just under three months later
to see if the couple have worked their magic on this quirky house.
So it's back to basics, as Nicola and Mick have gone for a neutral finish throughout.
The house looks all the better for it.
Even the outside has had a wash and brush up,
giving it some all-important kerb appeal.
One of the downsides of this property
was the sloping floors.
The floors were quite uneven.
We thought this was due to some settlement,
but after stripping everything back, we found some old stone flooring,
probably down for about 150 years.
Some of it had settled in parts, so we pulled it up, levelled it out,
re-concreted and re-asphalted.
The money we got for the flags paid for the rest of the floor, so everyone's a winner.
Selling the old stone flooring to pay for new was a great idea
and a novel way of keeping the budget on track.
The original budget was about 15,000.
I've actually spent a couple of thousand less, which is a bonus.
For their ?13,000, Mick and Nicola ripped everything out.
They rewired, replastered, redecorated,
put in a new staircase and kitchen,
as well as a new bathroom.
As you can see, we've gone for a Victorian-style suite.
We've got a roll-top bath and clawed feet.
This was the room that I'm really excited about.
Here, this is what was the cupboard and it had the water tank in.
We've ripped that out and put in a walk-in shower,
because I think people like the choice of a bath or a shower.
Yes, I've enjoyed doing this room. I'm pleased with the bath, everything.
Although Mick's been renovating properties for years,
this was the first time Nicola had come on board.
It looks as though she's done a lovely job here.
But did she enjoy it?
Me having an input, the first time I've actually worked with Mick,
I've enjoyed everything about it. The kitchen, the bathroom...
I've enjoyed working with the lads. We've had good input together.
It's been good. We've had no heated moments, so yes, we're going to do another one. Yes.
With Mick's experience, Nicola's fresh eyes and a reliable team to do the work,
it seems to have been a slick operation.
Everything's gone pretty smoothly. We have a team of lads.
At the moment, we're on with about three or four houses.
The lads go in first and rip it out
then the electrician goes in, then the plasterers.
It's quite a smooth process really.
This all sounds too good to be true.
Surely there was something that didn't go to plan.
We planned for six or eight weeks. It took a bit longer, due to the fact I've got other properties.
You get a problem on one, you've got to take the lads off.
But all in all, it's not dragged on too long.
We're pleased with how long it's taken and the result.
With the couple sounding positive,
we invited an estate agent and the auctioneer who sold the property
to take a look around.
The property looks really good.
The buyer's refurbed what was here rather than changing any layout,
which probably would've been difficult anyway.
He's done a fantastic job. Very straightforward and neat. It looks really good.
I particularly like the bathroom and the fireplace.
I think they go with the feel of the cottage-style property
and they keep that with the modern feel of the kitchen
and the plaster walls.
I really like the kitchen and bathroom fittings.
I think they've got that little bit more detail than the standard
and shows thought has gone into it, and they look really exceptional.
So high praise for the house. But what about the finances?
It cost ?66,000 at auction
and the work another ?13,000,
bringing their total outlay to ?79,000.
we're probably going to have a ceiling, because of the lack of outside space, at ?100,000.
I can't see anybody paying much more.
I might be wrong, but I think that's its ceiling price.
I think, in the current market, we'd be able to achieve ?100,000.
I'm happy with that. There's still good profit in it.
Given those values,
the potential profit here is ?21,000 minus all the usual expenses,
an all-round great purchase and renovation.
We couldn't leave with asking Mick and Nicola
for their tips on buying at auction.
Set yourself a limit if you see a property.
It's very easy to get carried away, bidding well over what you want to pay.
When you're doing the property up, don't do it for yourself.
Do it that somebody else is going to want to live there.
If you get too personal, you spend too much money
and you won't make any, and that's what you're doing it for.
I'm in Ripley, an old industrial Derbyshire town
makes it an ideal commuter town.
The property I'm here to see is on this fairly quiet cul-de-sac.
One of the first things I notice, though, is that it has mixed use.
What I mean by that is, not only have you got residential,
you've also got these commercial units.
That could be an issue, but I'll come to that later.
The property itself looks pretty good.
It's bay-fronted, semi-detached, at a guide price of ?56,000.
Let's take a look inside.
What have we got?
DOOR BANGS Ooh!
A door that doesn't quite have anywhere to go!
Front sitting room over that way and into your rear sitting room.
It's not a bad space.
But straight away I'm spotting a potential problem.
This is a chimney breast and it's been blocked up.
You should always have some kind of breathing block that allows air in,
otherwise that is a potential damp problem.
It's been freshly painted. I wonder if somebody's trying to cover something up.
We'll play around with that later. But not a bad-sized space.
And then off there, into this area of the property, the kitchen.
Not, again, a bad size.
It's a bit tired and dated. It could do with some new units.
But if you were renting it out, you could clean it up and make do.
If you were planning on doing something a bit more ambitious,
there's a bit of building work that you could play around with.
There's this little ante area here, in between the kitchen and the loo.
It probably dates back to the days when it was a building regulation
to have two doors between a loo and a kitchen.
You now only need one door,
so you could get rid of this space and integrate it into the kitchen.
That, I think, would give you a much better feel in this part.
But all in all, it's OK.
The front room isn't a bad size and the house does have double glazing and gas central heating.
It's good to have those two attributes already under your belt.
There are signs of damp, although I don't think it's too serious.
A bit of investigation upstairs could shed some light on the cause.
Two double bedrooms, one at the front and another here.
There's a corridor which leads down to the bathroom.
I think that bathroom, as well as providing useful facilities,
is creating some of the problems,
Because up here, more indications of damp.
But not damp caused by water coming through the walls, but actually condensation.
Living in a house, using a house, creates moisture in the air.
When that hits an exterior wall,
it condenses on the surface and then you get this mould.
Old houses were built to recognise that and to compensate for it.
There were lots of air bricks, lots of natural ventilation.
But you get a house like this, you stick double glazing in,
you stop that natural flow and this is what happens.
The simple solution - get more air into the property
and then problems like this will go away.
# Breath in the air #
Getting the ventilation right in here wouldn't take much.
You could put in air vents into the chimney breasts,
extractor fans in the bathrooms and kitchens,
or just regularly opening windows would help significantly.
If you want more fresh air, there's a pleasant garden at the back.
It's long and laid to lawn
and just needs a bit of trimming back.
But more of an issue are the neighbours on the right.
Next door is a car repairs garage,
which could put off lenders and therefore potential purchasers.
It could affect the marketability of the property.
The good news that a planning application's been submitted to convert the garage into houses,
in which case, the value of this one could rise.
We asked along a local estate agent to get his view on this two-bed semi
which had an auction guide price of ?56,000-plus.
With the garage next door having planning,
that may well be a concern,
not quite knowing what's going to happen in the future.
When the scheme's finally completed, that'll be good news.
In the meantime, it's a little disconcerting.
Whether or not a new development goes ahead,
how do the investment figures stack up?
Once the basic works have been carries out,
it ought to be marketed for sale just shy of the ?80,000 mark.
And the rental? Locally, the rental market is strong.
we ought to return somewhere between 400 and 425 per calendar month
once the house is in good order.
Well, taking everything into consideration,
I think this is a great little opportunity.
Yes, there's work to be done, but for that guide price, a good one to go for.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Lot number 40, a two-bedroom semi with a bay window.
58,000 at the back. Thank you. At ?58,000.
59 I have. 59.
60,000. 61. 61.
62. 63. 64.
65. 65. 66, sir?
68? 68. 69. 70 for you, sir? 69 and a half?
70,000, thank you.
Lady's bid at 70,000. 500 somewhere else? 70 and a half.
70 and a half. 71. 500.
72 and a half.
?76,000, gentleman's bid.
At 76,000 for the first time, for the second time,
third and last opportunity.
Sold at 76. It's yours, sir. Thank you.
That successful bid of 76,000 was made by Nigel and Christina.
For this married couple, who live only a mile away, it's two firsts.
That was their first ever auction and this will be their first ever development.
I met them back at the house to find out more.
Lovely to meet you. And you. Congratulations.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
We wanted a rental property locally, something we can keep our eye on,
and this sort of lended itself for that purpose.
What was it about it you liked, Christina?
The location. Definitely the location.
It's a cul-de-sac, so very few cars coming down here.
Tell me about you two. Is this something you've done before?
No. We're novices! Right!
What prompted you to do it at this particular juncture?
I recently retired
and it's going to be something to occupy me.
And money in the bank's not doing very much these days, so a bit of rental income.
So, take some savings out and plump it into property? Yes.
Are you going to work on this full time?
I won't be, no. We'll have professionals in.
But there's bits and bobs I can do.
I'm thinking of insulating the loft, doing the garden, that sort of thing.
Christina, what about you? I've been made redundant. I'm sorry!
I'm looking for another job at the moment, so I'll help out where I can.
Hopefully, I'll have another job... It sounds a bit precarious, financially.
You retired, you lost your job. Ahh! You just bought a house you have to spend money on!
I suppose. Put like that, it does sound that way,
but we have got money put to one side.
As I say, it's better off in property rather than the bank.
Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed. This might be a new career!
You never know, do you? Yes! We'll see how it goes first!
We are looking around for another one. Oh, really? Yes.
So if this works out really well, we'll go straight into another one.
Despite redundancy and retirement,
Christina and Nigel are going full steam ahead
and undertaking a major new project.
But as first-timers, what do they plan to do here?
One of the best bits of advice we had
was to make sure that we did it really nicely,
and that way, we can attract a really good tenant
and expect not top end of the rental market,
but go for... The best you can get. The best you can get.
Good standard decoration, make sure the electrics are sorted out.
New bathroom, new kitchen, replastered throughout, all the woodwork changing.
We thought new windows, because we don't think the ventilation is quite right.
There's a lot of condensation and mould around, so we thought that could fix it.
That could be air blocks that have been blocked.
Yes, no ventilation in the chimneys, that sort of thing.
So, what about things like the kitchen and the loo downstairs?
It's a bit weird with that extra little room.
Well... We're still undecided on that, aren't we? Yes.
I think we'll probably come down and leave it as it is, er...
Or maybe not. Or maybe not.
For the sake of taking out a wall, I'd take it out!
We did go through that thought process.
And came out the other side thinking? "We'll probably leave it!"
Bearing in mind the property is to be let out and not sold,
perhaps leaving the wall and loo as they are is the right choice.
But do they really need to change the bathroom and kitchen
and replace the windows with new ones?
I don't know, but they've set aside a healthy ?15,000 budget
and a three-to-four month timescale.
One potential issue is the garage next door
and what may or may not be done to that.
What are you aware of that? They've got planning permission.
They put in a planning application which is about to come to an end.
Four town houses. I think that's a good thing
rather than having a garage next door.
In the short term, for the upheaval of the building of all of that,
I think in the long term we'll gain from that.
Congratulations. Good luck with it.
Thank you. We look forward to seeing how you get on. Thank you.
I think Nigel and Christina have done well with this, their first investment property.
I am concerned that they might overspend in terms of sorting it out,
especially when they know it's for rental.
In those circumstances, you've got to keep a tight reign on your budget.
You can find out how they get on later in the show.
Finding good tradesmen is often the key
to getting properties done up to a good standard and on time,
but sometimes people do try to do it themselves to maximise profit.
Are today's buyers getting stuck in or just stuck?
Let's find out.
It's back now to Gravesend in Kent where we met Mark, a plasterer,
who bought this three-bed mid-terrace house for 106,000.
His plan was to makeover the entire place, from top to bottom.
He planned to deal with the odd layout upstairs
by creating a windowless bedroom,
but was keeping an open mind on what else to do.
I haven't ruled anything out.
I know it's going to be a compromise.
The plumbing involved and the cost of moving the bathroom to the centre of the house
is a little bit restrictive.
I haven't made any decisions 100 percent,
but we'll have to wait and see, I think.
As it was his first development,
it's good to hear Mark hadn't set his ideas in stone.
With a background as a specialist plasterer,
restoring decorative and ornamental plasterwork in old buildings and theatres,
it was going to be fingers crossed
that his first project didn't end up as a major drama.
Well, five months later,
we've returned to see how Mark got on.
The exterior has certainly been improved
with a fresh lick of paint, new windows and a door.
The interior is still going through its renovation,
but replastered walls have definitely given the place a lift already.
But the biggest change is in the kitchen.
OK, initially in here,
we had a wall dividing the two spaces,
kitchen and bathroom.
It wasn't very practical at all, so we've taken the wall down
and knocked through at the back.
French windows create an access into the garden
and a bigger, lighter kitchen and better working space.
A definite improvement, allowing light to flood through the entire ground floor.
But where does that leave the bathroom?
Well, upstairs, it looks as though Mark has made what I think is the right decision.
What I decided to do here is move the bathroom,
which was originally going to go in the back bedroom,
into the centre of the house.
I feel it works a bit better, people not having to go through bedrooms to get to the bathroom.
There was a few plumbing issues, but we've managed to sort that out.
At the end of the day, I think it'll work quite well.
I'm so glad Mark kept his options open
and has gone for the bathroom up here.
That still left him with two sizeable bedrooms, both nearing completion.
And though the house isn't a three-bed any more,
it should retain its market value
because of the new upstairs bathroom.
And while there's work to do, it's all looking in good shape
with Mark's plastering skills in evidence throughout.
But has it all been a bit of a busman's holiday for him?
It's been good. I've enjoyed doing it.
Obviously, the plastering was a bit hard, every room, every wall, every ceiling.
That was the real guts of the job, the rest has been finishing off,
and I think it's achieved a nice standard on it.
This wasn't a one-man show, though.
Mark has had invaluable help from two well qualified friends
who have replumbed and rewired the entire house.
Having mates' rates always helps with costs.
Plus he's got some great bargains, especially on new double glazing.
Initially, I was going to put the windows in myself.
I assumed they were standard sizes.
But once I went round and had a measure up, they weren't.
I got in touch with a local guy who done them for me
and a real good price on them.
I think the market was competitive
and he was willing to cut me a deal on it.
Obviously, I didn't have the hassle of fixing them,
they were fixed for me, so that pushed it on.
With him and his friends doing most of the work,
Mark reckons there's only three to four weeks left before it will go on the market.
So, did keeping his costs down to the minimum help the budget?
The original budget was 10,000 to 12,000.
At the moment, I'm 7,300, so I've got a bit of flexibility left.
But there's going to be bills for finishing off,
perhaps another ?2,000,
so I think I'll be spot on with about the 10,000, fingers crossed.
If Mark's cost stay at 10 grand,
his total outlay will be ?116,000.
We asked along two estate agents
to hear their thoughts on his first renovation project.
A great improvement where we've already seen changes.
I love the doors downstairs from the kitchen into the garden
really bringing the garden into the house.
I love the openness, the fact the walls are out now.
Really looking very much better, very different house.
This is my first time in the property and really, really like the layout.
Very quirky, very different.
I like the open-plan layout because it has a modern feel to it.
I really like the upstairs layout. They've done a good job.
The estate agents seem to like it. But with Mark investing 116,000,
he needs to know what it could sell for.
When complete, I would put this property on the market for ?150,000.
When completed, I'd put this property on the market
in the region of ?140-145,000.
That's about as I expected. I'd like to think I could get 150 for it
with the work that's been going on, and new appliances throughout.
That's pretty reasonable. That's what I was looking for.
That could give Mark a possible pre-tax profit
of between 24 and 34,000 -
a great way to start a property-developing career.
If he decided to let the house out,
he could earn a healthy annual yield of just under eight percent.
Mark is using this as a launch pad to go onto more properties.
But while he finishes off this house,
he has a hunch about where the good fortune that came with it lies.
The beard's grown a bit, added another bead or two and...
..it brought me a bit of luck again. Hopefully!
Back now to Ripley in Derbyshire,
where earlier, we met married couple Nigel and Christina.
They'd bought this two-bedroom semi-detached house for ?76,000
with plans to do it up and rent it out.
It should've been a straightforward job
that their 15-grand budget and three to four-month schedule could easily handle.
But when it came to renovating properties, they were total novices.
What prompted you to do it at this juncture?
I recently retired
and it's going to be something to occupy me.
And money in the bank's not doing very much these days, so a bit of rental income.
Four and a half months later, we met up with Nigel
to find out if it was a case of novices' nightmare
or first-time fun.
Well, from the outside, the front is looking smarter and tidier.
And inside, both the living room and dining room
are already looking brighter and fresher,
despite still needing some work.
And the kitchen may look new,
but the changes aren't actually as dramatic as you may think.
Behind me is the downstairs toilet and ante room.
We did think about extending the kitchen right the way though,
but as it's a rental property, we decided against that
and pretty well kept the downstairs toilet as it is.
It's had a new toilet seat. I think that's about it.
We've retained these walls, rather than knocking them out.
Then you come into the kitchen,
and the carcases are from the old kitchen.
All we've done is put on new door fronts and drawer fronts.
But, of course, new worktops, a new sink,
new oven, electric oven,
old gas hob,
and we've got a new radiator going in here
that's still got to be hung,
and generally redecorated.
Upstairs, both bedrooms still need some finishing off.
But it's obvious that changes have definitely been for the better.
Again, the bathroom is not quite complete yet,
but even so, with new units, new tiles,
well, new everything, it's the most improved room in the house.
And for Nigel and Christina, that's not the only improvement.
Christina's got a new job,
so probably up until about three or four weeks ago,
she was helping out here in the house.
But now she'll have trouble getting time off.
Well, big congratulations to Christina.
But were the pair ever tempted to get builders in to do the work?
It crossed our mind to get a builder to do everything
and we got a quote for him to do everything.
We did a lot of work ourselves
and we used a lot of local contractors.
The contactors were called in when needed
to replaster the walls and do some rewiring.
The house has also had its central heating system upgraded and some radiators moved,
which helped solve the damp problem, along with the new double glazing.
We've had all new windows,
and they've got trickle vents
where we've had problems with condensation.
So hopefully, we've cured the condensation side of it
and made it look neater.
And it's been insulated, which it wasn't.
Let's not forget the garden. A trim and tidy up,
plus a fresh coat of paint on the rear walls
has made it far more presentable.
There was a minor damp problem with water from a leaky gutter draining onto the rear wall,
but it's all been sorted out by Nigel.
And with only two weeks to go till the work's complete,
he reckons the level of finish is just right for the rental market,
which is their current plan.
For these first-time developers, the renovation presented
just the right amount of difficulty to make it interesting,
and it seems the couple didn't fall short of the challenge.
But how did their ?15-grand budget measure up?
We did a quick calculation probably last week
and I think we were just creeping up to ?10,000.
I think by the time we've finished it all, we're probably about 12.
Add that to their ?76,000 purchase price
and Nigel and Christina's total outlay could be a possible ?88,000.
We asked two estate agents
what they thought of the couple's first ever renovation.
My first impressions are that it still needs finishing off.
It's done to a reasonable standard. It's a nicely proportioned property.
Two good-size receptions rooms and bedrooms.
The bathroom's a good size. The kitchen's on the small side,
but otherwise it's well proportioned.
The finish in the kitchen and bathroom are good.
They're not quite finished, but I can see where they're going.
The bathroom especially has a touch of luxury about it.
I'd say the finish is reasonable.
It's been done to a standard for the rental market rather than the sale market.
If you were to sell it, you'd do it to a higher standard.
Nigel and Christina still want to rent it out.
What sort of income could they expect?
For rent, I think the property is worth
between ?425 and ?450 per calendar month.
I would expect it to rent quite comfortably at around about ?450 per calendar month.
That's pretty well what we thought. That's good.
If they achieve that sort of rental income,
the couple could expect a healthy annual yield of just over six percent.
But if they wanted to sell,
the estates agents reckon they could achieve a possible ?95,000.
That would give them a small pre-tax profit of seven grand.
Hopefully, for Nigel and Christina, this project could be the start of a new venture
in renovating properties and building up a portfolio.
This is the first time that we've ever bought a place
to do this sort of thing, to resell or rent.
Touch wood, it's all gone pretty well,
so it may be something we may well do again.
Well, that's it for now. Join us next time
as we follow more people buying their homes under the hammer.
Look forward to seeing you then. BOTH: Goodbye!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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Are you meddling again?
You have to tell the police whatever it is that you know.
She was murdered.
Quirke! What have you done?!
Gabriel Byrne is Quirke.
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit an end-of-terrace in Manchester, a three-bed house in Kent and a two-bed semi in Derby. Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.