Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a semi-detached house in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, a three-bed terrace in Tonbridge, Kent, and a house in Dawley, Shropshire.
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Welcome to the show.
If you've ever bought a house and got caught in a property chain,
you'll know what a nightmare it is.
Yes, so how can you avoid that situation?
One effective way to cut through the links of the property chain
is to buy your home at auction.
All sorts of people go to auction with different budgets
looking for many sorts of property.
There are all sorts of choices available,
so what did our buyers bid for on today's show?
There's only one thing to say about this £160,000 semi
in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire.
This is a lot of house for the money.
In Tonbridge, Kent, will this three-bed terrace hit the spot?
The first thing that hits me
when you walk in this property is the interesting artwork.
And in Dawley, Shropshire, this house has the potential to satisfy.
When you look at what's on offer for the money,
you can't go wrong, can you?
All these properties have been sold at auction,
and we find out who bought them and what they paid
-when they went under the hammer.
-Your lot, sir.
I'm near Swindon in the market town of Wootton Bassett,
which has recently become synonymous with the military.
It also has a great architectural heritage,
and you only need to look at the high street
to spot some of its Georgian buildings.
The location's pretty handy too, just two miles from the M4
and close to the extensive facilities of Swindon.
Well, just a short walk from Wootton Bassett high street
is this quiet residential area,
made up of largely 1950s ex-local authority houses.
Now, this is the one I'm here to see.
Three bedroom, had a guide price of £160,000.
Looks pretty good from the outside, let's take a look.
This house is on a corner,
which means it benefits from a little more driveway space.
And seeing as these properties are very likely to appeal
to families, extra parking certainly won't go amiss.
I'm a huge fan of ex-local authority houses,
because, generally, they're really well made
and there's lots of space.
And this one is actually proving that's no exception.
Big entrance hall, here, and then through into your lounge.
Big space and, it get's better, it's been knocked through.
Whether or not this is an extension, I don't know,
but I really like that it's a big open plan area, here.
Views out on to the garden through the double doors.
Lots of space, lots of light, and then through into the kitchen.
Well, no surprises in here, it's a good-sized space.
However, as you can see, it is very old-fashioned.
This is a room I think you could spend some money on
and totally transform the house.
Just put a beautiful kitchen in here,
you've certainly got the space for it, and...
Wow. I'm loving this place.
# Could it be I'm falling in love With you, baby
# Could it be I'm falling in love Whoo-oh-oh... #
And it goes on. Just off the kitchen and leading you back
to the entrance hallway is this second reception room.
It has an interesting fireplace, which some might want to update.
But I can see this either as a dining room, playroom
or just a cosy snug.
So, upstairs, as you might imagine, lots more space.
Bit of an odd layout, I have to say.
This, kind of, very small landing area here,
and then two bedrooms going off it. I mean, good-sized rooms, though.
But then you, sort of, wiggle your way round to this little corridor.
Again, good news, you've got your main bathroom and toilet here,
but, again, spend some money on that
because it makes the house look a lot older
than, actually, it could do if you put a nice new suite in there.
Then through to the rear of the property,
another big double bedroom, views out on to the garden.
I mean, this is a lot of house for the money.
It certainly needs decoration up here, but structurally,
there doesn't seem to be anything to worry about.
There's another bonus downstairs, a second loo by the back door.
That's useful in a family home, and handy when you're gardening.
Well, come into the rear of the property, here,
and, once again, you just get that impression
that that is a house that has really been
looked after, lived in and loved.
Not only have you have got that little bit of grass, there,
you've then got these green houses with tomato plants,
and here, a vegetable plot that's obviously really been set up well,
and given somebody, probably, a lot of pleasure.
I think this well-loved property would be a great investment.
It certainly needs some cosmetic work, but it's pretty sound.
Let's see if a local estate agent agrees.
The condition of the house is rather dated,
and, as a result, just needs complete modernisation, now.
The layout on the first floor,
you've got three very good-sized bedrooms and a family bathroom.
The bedroom sizes and the layout I don't think need to be changed,
but it would be quite nice if there was something you could do
to alter the size and layout of the family bathroom.
But if you did want to develop the house
and make the most of all that space, what are the options?
There is potential to extend the property to the side
and to the rear.
I think to the rear, you would be restricted
to perhaps a single-storey extension,
kitchen, breakfast room, that type of thing
whereas, to the side, I think you might be able to,
subject to planning, get a double-storey extension.
Lots of alternatives, but how do the figures stack up?
Putting all planning issues aside,
what could it make on the resale market
if renovated as it is, a three-bed house?
Remember, its guide price was £160,000.
Once renovated, I believe the property would sell
in the region of £210,000 to £220,000.
How about on the rental market?
I believe that you'd be able to achieve £750 per calendar month.
If the new owner did extend the property
to make it a four-bed house, how would that alter its sale price?
We sold a property just recently at the end of the road.
A four-bed semi, very similar layout and size,
and we sold that for £240,000.
And what about rental value?
I believe he could rent the property
for approximately £800 per calendar month.
Well, yes, there's a bit of modernisation required,
but what you've got here is a really solid house
that would make a great family home. Well, what is there not to like?
Let's see who bought it at the auction.
Lot a 15, a semi-detached house close to the centre.
Somebody, 160, someone? Or somewhere near?
150, if you like. Maybe drag it up through.
At £150,000 I'll take two. 152, thank you.
154. At 154,
156, to you, sir. At 156.
161, OK. 161. 162, 163,
164. 165, anyone?
165, just the middle. 166 to you, sir, it's against you now.
167 in the middle, sir? 167?
No? At 167, in the red shirt.
At 167, smack in the middle, for the first time...
I'll take 500, sir.
167 and a half. 168, you, sir. 168 and a half. 168 and a half.
and a half, 170? No?
I think he means it this time. £170,000, then, for the first time.
£170,000, then, for the second time.
And 170, third and last time. You're done.
It was seasoned property developer Nick
who picked up the house for £170,000.
I caught up with him to find out what he had planned for the place.
Nick, nice to meet you. Congratulations.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Well, I normally do new home builds,
but the property market is such that there aren't many of those about.
This came up in the right area for me
so we decided that if it was at the right price, we would go for it.
So, tell me a bit more about you and your background.
I'm trained in surveying, got a degree in land management.
I worked my way through the ranks in an estate agency,
left in, about, 2000 and started my own company
because I had been doing property development
for four or five years prior to that whilst working.
Thought to myself, "Well, it's a better job, better lifestyle."
Nick certainly has plenty of experience in the housing arena,
but surprisingly, as he's always focused on new builds,
this is actually his first renovation of an old property.
So, why did he go for this particular one?
It needed some essentials, a new bathroom, new kitchen,
And at the end of the day, we're here to make a profit,
so there was an opportunity for that within this house.
OK, talk me through the potential thought processes
on the potential profit.
You need to buy at a figure that, once you've spent the money on it,
gives you a return.
I had a figure in my mind as to what I wanted as a return.
This one, at the right price, with the work that needed doing,
gave me that return.
Can you talk me through the actual numbers?
With this house, I'd think that it would cost £25,000 to refurb it.
170 was the purchase price
and they reckon it would sell for about 220, 225 when done.
So, the figures worked out at, sort of, £20,000, £30,000 profit.
Nick's certainly got his business head on,
and there's definitely some profit to be made on this place,
But what will he do to sort it out?
First of all, I'm going to come in, take out everything that's old.
The kitchen, the bathroom. Maybe doors, skirtings, architraves.
And then start again. New kitchen.
Bit of a "wow" factor in the kitchen, cos that sells houses.
As does the bathroom. We hope to put an en suite in the main bedroom
because, again, that's something that this house doesn't have
and people like nowadays.
The garden is very vegetable orientated,
and I think we need to make that more of a lawn,
so we are going to take out all the vegetables and lay it all to lawn
and hopefully make it look a lot bigger, as well.
So, sadly, it's goodbye to the vegetable patch.
But, as Nick plans to resell the property,
it's a good idea to make it as attractive to buyers as possible.
Nick has his own team of tradesmen ready to do the job,
including builders, carpenters, plumbers and electricians.
He will also do some of the work himself with the help of his dad.
With so many hands on deck,
presumably he's aiming for a quick turnaround.
Well, not unknown, but it's difficult to say exactly,
but I'm hoping to have it done between six and eight weeks.
Wow. So, how many people will be working on it?
If you came in here when we're at full bore, you'll probably have
six to eight people working in here at any one time.
Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, builders outside.
So, even doing it with professionals,
you're still going to manage to stick to the £25,000 budget?
Yes. You know, you have to be tight with the budget,
and, you know, the guys know they've got certain lengths of time to do it.
I've tied a few of them down on the prices of things
such as the plumbing and the kitchen.
-But you're confident you can do it for that?
-I am, yeah.
Well, listen, congratulations.
Good luck with it, and we look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, Nick's certainly got the experience
to make a success of this project,
but with so many professionals working on it
can he really keep to that £25,000 budget?
You can find out later in the show.
I am in the market town of Tonbridge in Kent.
It's got one of the best-preserved Motte-and-Bailey castles in the country,
and the town is home to double Olympic gold medal winner
Dame Kelly Holmes.
But is the property that went to auction going for gold too?
Now, I'm in the southern part of Tonbridge today,
and I'm here to see this three-bedroom mid-terrace house.
It had a guide price at auction of £120,000 to £125,000. Let's go in.
The property is close to the town centre
and train station in a cul-de-sac.
The downside of that location
is that on-street parking is very limited.
But the house does have the bonus of already being double-glazed.
Right, first thing that hits me when you walk in this property
is the interesting artwork on the walls.
I'm not quite sure about that. But looking at the room dimensions,
it doesn't feel too cottagey here. The ceilings aren't too low.
Quite a good space, and if you walk towards the back, here,
we've got a room almost identical in size.
Now, this is a great shape for a kitchen,
although it will need a complete refurb.
Brand new kitchen, all of the wallpaper needs stripping off,
and if you come through here,
you can see there's a toilet and a bathroom
and I happen to know, that is the only one in the house,
which is a really big downside for me.
I know there's three bedrooms upstairs.
I'm just wondering whether you could get a bathroom up there.
Let's have a look.
The existing bathroom down here is in a pretty poor state,
so even if you don't move it, it definitely needs
a complete overhaul, and my preference would be,
if possible, to just rip it out.
So, the main bedroom is to the front of the property,
and at the back, you've got a small double.
Yes, this is not a cupboard, I have to say,
There's some rather steep stairs going up to the loft space,
and the third bedroom is up there.
Now, can you get a bathroom up here?
Yes, I would like to think so.
What I would do would be to put a wall up here,
bathroom in there,
corridor through here.
So, you've got bedroom one,
upstairs bathroom. Sorted.
Of course, moving the bathroom up here
would reduce this place to just two bedrooms,
which could affect its value.
However, because you have to access the top floor
through this bedroom, it's pretty impractical as it is.
Outside, the property benefits from a good-sized but narrow garden,
which, like the rest of the house,
needs a good tidy up.
Now, the auction catalogue mentions there's potential for an extension
to the rear of the property, subject to all necessary consent.
Now, with these new regulations concerning permitted development,
you can extend a terrace house at the rear up to three metres
for a single storey, and that's without going through planning.
It does get a little bit more complicated
when you want to go up two storeys,
as it depends how close you are to the boundary line.
Personally, I don't think I would bother extending here,
because if you're doing this to make money,
I don't think you'd recoup all your costs straightaway.
There are some big decisions to be made
about how to renovate this property.
It had an auction guide price of between £120,000 and £125,000.
Let's hear the views of a local estate agent.
If I was going to rent it out,
I would just do a complete refurb inside,
leave the bathroom where it is and keep it to a minimum. Rent it.
If I was looking, long-term, to stay
then I would definitely consider extending the kitchen
and move the bathroom upstairs.
That's good advice.
What sort of rental income could this terrace house generate?
Rental per calendar month, you'd be looking in the region of £750
once the various works have been carried out.
And the resale value once renovated?
Market value, once the property's been refurbished,
you'd be looking for resale between £175,000 to £180,000.
Would my idea of moving the bathroom to the first floor
significantly affect the value?
Making a bathroom on the first floor and losing a bedroom,
you would still be looking for resale of more around the £175,000 range.
This Victorian terrace needs quite a bit of work,
but I think the biggest renovation decision here
is whether to move that bathroom upstairs and so lose a bedroom.
I personally think that would be the right decision in this instance.
I don't think the value would be too badly affected
by making this into a two-bedder,
but will the new owner think it's a sacrifice worth making?
Let's find out who bought this Tonbridge terrace at auction.
It's a vacant house for improvement
in a pleasant cul-de-sac in the town centre.
Where are you going to start me on that one?
Give me 110, then. I'm obliged.
115, now, do I see? Thank you, madam, 120.
And five. 125.
125 and seven, 127. 130.
And two from the gentleman, 132, and four and six.
136 at the back. 138 now.
And 40. 140, it's with you. And two,
142. And five, in the aisle, first bid, sitting down, 145.
147 anywhere else? 147, madam, thank you.
148. 148, I'm bid. 149. I'm looking for 149 in a fresh place.
150 sitting down, can I say? At 149, might be the lucky bid.
149, I've got. 150, now, if you'd like. Thank you, madam, 150.
And one. 151? 151. And two? 152?
At 151,000, then, I'm selling on my left for the first time.
£151,000 for the second time. At £151,000 over on my left.
Are you all done? It's yours at £151,000, sir.
The final bid of 151,000 came from local man Ian.
But Ian actually bought the property for his eldest son.
21-year-old Martin, on the right here.
But Ian's youngest son, 19-year-old Sean, on the left here,
is in on the deal, too.
Confused? Well, I certainly was,
so I met up with both Martin and Sean to hear more.
Now, who is it that's bought this house? Is it both of you?
No, it's my house. Sean, my brother, was at the auction for us,
he bought the house.
Right, so, already I'm confused. So, tell me the story.
Actually, it's his house for him eventually to live in, hopefully.
And then I'm going to be doing it up by my own, mainly.
We might bring other people in to do the work I can't do, obviously.
So, Martin, why just "hopefully" might you be living in this house?
Well, I mean, if the profit is going to be quite a bit
then, obviously, I may sell and move on and do the same again.
But if there's not a lot of profit then live here for a little while
and then see what it's like in a few years.
So it's a great exercise for both of you, really.
You're prepared to do all the hard work,
you're hopefully going to live here, depending on how good his work is!
Both of them are carpenters by trade
and younger brother Sean has just left college.
This will be his first big project, and he'll be under massive pressure,
as he's doing the work for his older brother.
I'll be going and inspecting his work.
So, he won't get away with any little bits.
I'll be snagging all of his work, that's for sure.
I'll be here, probably, most nights and Saturdays and Sundays
just to check up and help him out when he needs to.
Sean, you are under huge pressure, mate.
-Yep, quite a bit.
-Sorry, but you really are, aren't you?
I know. It's going to be a bit scary
but it's a bit of an experience, isn't it? So it's got to be done.
And it's great that it is your brother,
so, obviously, you can all work on this together.
Yeah, and he can't moan at me too much!
Sean doesn't seem to fazed
by having his big brother's watchful eye over him.
But I think he's going to have his work cut out with this property.
You have got a downside to this property,
and that is the fact you have a bathroom here,
three bedrooms up there, but two of them a little bit tricky
because you have to go through one to get to the other.
How are you going to work that out in terms of layout?
If we can, we would like to go up at the back, here,
just to give another room on the first floor.
That is a big thing, trying to get the bathroom upstairs.
so we'll put the planning in for that and see what we get out of it.
A two-storey extension would certainly transform the house,
but I'd be concerned you might not make your money back
on what would be quite expensive and extensive work.
So, if you decide not to have an extension
and just want to leave it as it is, how do you think you will do that?
I think the corridor up in that bedroom, just to separate it.
Otherwise the privacy for whoever's in that bedroom... There is none.
You will then leave the bathroom downstairs?
We would look at getting maybe a toilet, just a small toilet
with a sink, upstairs somewhere
if we can find the space for it. They are already small bedrooms.
And have you thought about
just having two good bedrooms with a bathroom upstairs
and not really worrying about the third bedroom?
Well, I mean, we're trying to take all accounts into it.
We haven't had a real good sit down yet,
and gone through and planned everything out.
We are still looking at ideas
and looking at other houses so we can get ideas from it.
But nothing's a "no".
Sounds like the lads need to get their thinking caps on.
But it's good to hear
that they're keeping their options open at this stage.
What's your budget, then?
We've got a budget of around £15,000.
It's not definite yet, obviously. We'll see how it goes.
It could be more, it could be less.
Is that including your wages?
Give or take, yeah, probably.
Have you worked out the hours and the timesheet and all of that?
It's going to take a while to do on my own, yeah, but...
Time, I'm not bothered, I'm living at home, so...
If he takes four months, he takes... Well, it better not take a year!
No. I hope not.
The sooner the better, but I'm not going to rush him.
He's learning, so... I'll be here to help, so...
And how do you feel about the fact
that your dad has done a really good thing,
really helped both of you out, get your foot on the property ladder?
Well, it's been a lot of help, we couldn't have done it without him.
It's a big thanks to him.
And I'm sure he will be on our backs just as much as I'll be on his back.
In other words, a lot of pressure on me. So, we'll see how it goes.
So, you really are going to be checking up on him, aren't you?
Yeah. All the time.
Guys, good luck with this,
it's going to be a great project for both of you.
Martin, well done. Sean, thank you.
Now, forgive me if I'm wrong, it seems to me
that Martin is on to quite a good deal, here.
Dad bought it, brother Sean is doing most of the work,
and he just gets to decide whether to move in or sell on.
So, will it all go smoothly
and will Martin approve of his little brother's workmanship?
You can find out how it all goes later in the show.
Coming up, will this three-bed in Shropshire have a fairy-tale ending?
This ugly duckling could certainly deliver an interesting nest egg.
In Kent, did Martin play the role of big brother to Sean?
I kept him on his toes,
making sure that his finishing skills were up to scratch.
But first, in Wiltshire,
did Nick give the doomed vegetable plot a reprieve?
The other vegetables went in the composter.
In the Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett, this three-bed semi
offered a fresh challenge for full-time property developer Nick.
I normally do new home builds
but the property market is such that there aren't many of those about.
This came up in the right area for me
and we decided, if it was at the right price, we would go for it.
And that right price turned out to be 170,000.
170, third and last time, you're done.
Armed with a £25,000 budget and his team of professional tradesmen,
Nick set about his renovation project.
Just 11 weeks later, we are back. So, what's changed?
The exterior is now looking clean and fresh,
and the driveway has been tidied up with new gravel and re-Tarmacked
But what about the interior?
We've basically stripped the house out completely.
So, it's out with the pink and red
and in with a warmer, more neutral feel.
What a kitchen!
It's now been completely refurbished
and comes with everything a buyer or tenant could desire.
Originally the kitchen was very old-fashioned.
We had an old-fashioned breakfast bar, here
and all the units were very dated, very 1960s.
So we decided to rip the whole lot out and start again.
When we did it, we thought, "We need to have modern appliances,"
so we've got integrated dishwasher,
integrated washer dryer, obviously a hob extractor.
We put little touches such as the plinth lighting,
just to give it a bit of ambience
and, to be honest, I'm very pleased with the way it's come out.
Downstairs, Nick has worked with the existing layout.
But what about upstairs?
We've created a fourth bedroom by changing the staircase.
By turning the stairway through 90 degrees
he was able to take space off both the landing and the bathroom.
This left him, still, with a decent-sized bathroom,
but he also made an extra bedroom,
which turned this into a four-bed house.
We've put an en suite in the master bedroom.
Not only has he got an extra bedroom,
but the master bedroom is now en suite.
And the inside of the house is looking great.
We've changed the garden completely.
Well, the garden before was a mismatch of vegetables, tomatoes,
greenhouses, sheds, paths...
You name it, it was here. So, we decided to clear the lot.
We took the wall down cos it was falling over, put a new fence up
and re-turfed the whole lawn to make it far more family friendly.
I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out.
It is a much more practical garden than was here before,
but what happened to all of those lovely vegetables
we saw growing here on our last visit?
The vegetables were plentiful.
Scott, my carpenter, is very keen on gardening.
He stripped all the tomatoes and, I think, made tomato puree out of it.
He's yet to give me a tin, I need to ask him for that.
Or a jar of that, so...
But the rest of the vegetables went in the composter
because they were at the end of their lives, really.
Well, he may have had some benefit from what he found in the garden,
but by turning those three bedrooms into four,
he has certainly maximised the space in the house,
Working out layout changes was a new challenge for Nick.
Normally he specialises in new builds,
where he's following plans and building to an agreed specification.
Of course, here, he had to work with what he'd got.
The big difference with this is the shell was already here,
so there was no muddy groundworks to do.
I would still want to do new builds but I would definitely look
for another quick turnaround one, like this, again.
Nick originally looked at doing property renovations
rather than new builds
because of the downturn in the new-build market.
He and his team actually managed to turn this around
in just a few months. It's much quicker than a new build
and there's a much smaller budget to manage.
The budget was 25.
The extras that I didn't anticipate doing
are things like changing the staircase around.
We weren't going to make it into a four bed,
so, that's an extra expense.
We put a new boiler in, spending, from the 25 original budget,
we ended up spending about 32.
A £32,000 spend on top of the purchase price of £170,000
along with costs would see a total expenditure of nearly £205,000.
So, has this change of direction worked out well?
Kitchen and bathroom have obviously been done to a high standard.
The neutral decor throughout is obviously good.
I think the addition of the fourth bedroom was a very good move.
It's certainly going to allow the developers
to ask a premium for the property.
Ideally, Nick would sell,
but in a slow-moving market he may have to consider renting it.
He'd be looking at around £800 per calendar month.
I'd look to market this property, in terms of rental valuation,
for an initial price of £850 per calendar month.
It's probably about where I thought.
800 to 850? Yes, that's pretty good.
Those valuations mean it would just about reach tick-over point,
with an annual yield of about 4.5%.
But how has this £205,000 investment fared?
I'd place this property on the market at £240,000 to £245,000.
I'd look to put this property on the market
for approximately £250,000 to £260,000.
Yeah, I'm pleased with the higher one, conservative for the lower one.
But, you know. Just wait and see what happens.
As £250,000 is the stamp duty threshold at the moment,
it may not go for more than that figure.
But the estate agents' valuations could see it make a potential
pre-tax profit of between 35 and 55 grand,
pretty good going for such a fast turnaround renovation.
It's been a very enjoyable project.
Different to a new build but one that I would definitely do again.
I've thoroughly enjoyed doing it.
I think all the guys who work for me have also enjoyed doing it,
something different for them.
So, yes, it's been a good eight weeks
and I look forward to doing another one.
So, it looks like Nick's change of direction
has worked out well for him, and you know what they say...
a change can often be as good as a rest.
This is Dawley in Shropshire, on the outskirts of Telford.
It is the birthplace of Captain Matthew Webb, who, in 1875,
became the first person ever to swim the English Channel.
# ..Night swimming
# Deserves a quiet night... #
So let's see if the next property will sink or swim.
Well, the property I'm here to see
is on a housing estate built in the 1960s, early 1970s.
Um, not necessarily the most attractive-looking house
from the outside, but let's hope you can't judge a book by its cover,
cos what we've got here is a three-bedroomed house
which has the guide price of just £55,000.
The house is tucked away on the edge of an estate
with lots of trees and a patch of greenery in the middle
to help pretty things up.
So, what's on offer?
OK, interesting start, I like the fact there's a downstairs loo there,
that's very practical, and a nice little area here,
somewhere to hang your coats and put your clutter.
Already I'm liking the practicality of the house.
Through to your front sitting room area, not a bad size room.
I mean, it's obviously in need of a fair old bit of decoration,
but I'm liking the space. Although I have to say,
I would have expected that wall not to be there,
make a really nice, sort of, kitchen/dining room.
Look at your costing, see if that's worth doing, it may well be.
But something that's quite nice, obviously the central heating's
been updated in the not-too-distant past.
All in all... Yup, good start.
It may be basic, but it's also bare,
which means less to clear and no wasted time
lugging someone else's stuff out.
The kitchen is small, but at least it's practically square,
and as I mentioned, you could look at knocking through
into the dining room to make more space.
Well, upstairs, again, you've got to see through the, kind of,
state of the decoration to the layout of the property,
and the combination on offer which, again, is really good.
Upstairs bathroom and loo, lots of storage space here,
that's got the central heating stuff in it.
This is a big cupboard, there.
Two good-sized bedrooms, a double at the back
a double one at the front, there.
I mean, even the third bedroom isn't a bad size,
so, all in all, when you look at what's on offer for the money,
you can't go wrong, can you?
# ..Pretty in pink
# Isn't she? #
So, it seems as though this property is likely to leave you tickled pink,
but, more importantly, will it put your bank balance in the black?
It looks like it will only need some cosmetic work here,
so it shouldn't cost much to get this place looking better.
But will it add up to a solid investment?
So, we're all agreed that the property doesn't need that much
to liven it up, but could it liven up your pension pot?
Well, I think it might. Say you bought this for £55,000,
spent £10,000 on it, that's £65,000,
you could rent it out for around £550 a month.
That's a 10% yield.
Well, when the banks are struggling to give you, what, 3 or 4%,
that is very interesting indeed.
It might not be ever a golden swan, but this ugly duckling
could certainly deliver an interesting nest egg.
It's certainly something to consider.
This is a perfect family pad, with three bedrooms
and a good-sized garden, in a pleasant, quiet spot.
Not too far from here is a possible bonus
that could make this whole proposition more exciting
and potentially more lucrative.
Well, it's never good when the house you are thinking about buying
is opposite a bit of wasteland like this.
However, that all changes when you see this,
because not only is the high street being done up,
but the regeneration is filtering down here.
One of the first things I'd do is phone the council,
find out what's planned, cos it could turn out
that the property is in the middle of something very exciting.
Every developer wants to be the one to find the next hot spot,
and for those in Telford, this could be it.
At that £55,000 guide price, this typical terrace
becomes a whole lot more attractive.
Time to find out what a local estate agent
makes of this three-bed terraced property.
This house is a very good-sized accommodation,
all the bedrooms are a very good size.
Downstairs is OK in terms of sizing.
The only disappointment, I would say,
compared to the rest of the house, is the size of the kitchen.
Most people prefer open-plan kitchen diners now
as opposed to small kitchens and big dining rooms.
That could be the way forward, so, what would be the cost
of a full renovation, plus creating an open-plan kitchen dining area?
I would anticipate, probably,
depending on whether you did the work yourself,
but it would certainly cost between £5,000 and £10,000
to complete all the work.
After a renovation, how would the numbers stack up here?
The ceiling price for this property once the works have been done,
I would say is around about £85,000 £90,000.
I would expect to achieve, in rental terms,
approximately £550 per calendar month.
Well, there's work to be done,
but it is a solid, practical little house.
It's practically risk free.
It could also be a great little investment
if you got it at the right price.
So, let's waste no more time, and see what it sold for at the auction.
Lot number four, 40 to start.
35, then. Start me at 35.
35, I'm bid. Thank you very much. At £35,000.
40, can I say now? Yes, 40. At £40,000.
£45, can I say? At 40... £45,000, seated.
At £45,000 seated.
50, can I say?
£50,000 standing there,
60, 65, 70.
I'll take ones if it helps. 66, 67,
68, now. 68...
He's shaking his head. £70,000, standing, then.
At £70,000 for lot number four.
At 70,000 and I'm selling it for the first time,
for the second time,
third and final time at £70,000...
Your lot, sir. Well done.
It was local taxi driver Chiranjit
who picked up the auction lot for £70,000,
£15,000 over the guide price, but it was his wife, Baljit who I met
to hear about what they had planned to do with this place.
Baljit, lovely to meet you.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Why I wanted to buy it? Didn't really want to buy it.
-Right, that's interesting.
-We weren't quite ready to buy it.
How do you mean you weren't quite ready?
We just went to the auction to just have a look round,
see what was there and that was it.
What was it that made you plump for it?
I think my husband just took the plunge. And just thought,
"OK, that seems like a good price," and just went on with it.
-So, had you been to visit it beforehand?
-Not at all?
-No handling of the legal pack?
So it's literally a spur-of-the-moment decision?
-What was so appealing in that spur of the moment?
I don't know, I think something just took over him,
and he just didn't bother asking, telling, he went on with it.
So, at what point did you know that your husband was going to bid?
When he put the bid in, and my son goes, "What's he doing?!"
I said, "I don't know!"
Is property development or investment something which you and your family have done a lot of?
No. No, it's the first time.
What prompted the move into doing it? What took you to the auction?
-We've watched you for years.
-So it was all my fault, then?
Well, let's hope I'm not in the doghouse
if things don't work out on this impulse purchase.
# It was the heat of the moment
# Telling me what my heart... #
I always recommend a detailed research
before bidding on any property.
But how do Baljit and her husband intend to ensure
this heat-of-the-moment purchase doesn't boil over?
Well, obviously it just needs plastering,
and the kitchen needs doing.
The bath will probably get a tidy up, and the flooring. Stuff like that.
-Right. Who's going to do the work?
-That's undecided as well, yet.
We haven't decided whether I'm going to do it,
my son or my husband so, we're still working on that.
Right. Uh, "budget", he says, expecting an answer...?
Around £1,600, maybe £2,000.
Oh, wow. Quite low, then. Keeping it low.
Yeah, so, I think that's an indication
of us trying to do a major part of it.
So, can you do it for those kinds of numbers?
I don't know. We shall have to wait and see.
You'll have to excuse me,
but it seems a bit random, this whole thing.
It is. It is completely.
Gosh, I don't know what we've let ourselves in for!
# Suddenly I'm in too deep
# To ever get out... #
Similar properties in this area have sold for up to £90,000,
so that £70,000 purchase is starting to look good value,
whether they decide to sell or rent it out.
It's a bit undecided whether we're going to do it up and sell or let,
so we're just looking at our options at the moment.
Have you looked into the numbers
in terms of how much you could potentially get from renting it out?
Yeah, we've made a few phone calls, so they said around 500, 550,
depending on whether it's furnished or unfurnished.
That's a good return on the money you've had to pay for it.
Yeah, yeah. Well, I don't do all the maths or adding up,
I just leave that to my blokes! I just let them do it.
For Baljit, it seems that when it comes to your husband,
it's best to expect the unexpected!
But she does expect her daughter, 17-year-old Happy,
and the rest of the family to help.
So, what's the timescale?
We're hoping not to take more than a month
if we're going to put it up for rent.
You know, it's not a bad investment.
It's a very good investment, actually. You've done really well.
But, you know, the first time's always nerve-wracking.
Is it something you would do again?
I think we're going to have to take this a step at a time first.
-Deal with this one.
-And see where it goes.
Well, wow. Well, it's an interesting story.
But congratulations, anyway. And I think in the long run,
I'm sure it'll turn out just fine. Good luck with it.
Well, Baljit's certainly got a few decisions to make on this one,
and it does all seem a little bit random, doesn't it?
However, I don't think she's been as daft as she thinks she has.
In terms of buying it, it's a good investment
and could be a great little earner.
Find out how they get on later in the show.
Time has passed, and we hope that the money has been well spent.
It would be wonderful if all those splendid plans had worked out.
Let's go back and find out.
It is back now to Tonbridge in Kent,
where earlier we saw this three-bedroom cottage
sell at auction for 151,000.
It was bought by Martin, here on the right, with help from his dad, Ian,
to give him a start on the property ladder.
But it will be his brother, Sean,
who will attempt his first renovation, here.
As the brothers are both carpenters,
there will be some serious quality control.
I'll be inspecting his work,
So, he won't get away with any little bits,
I'll be snagging all of his work, that's for sure.
It's great that it's your brother, so you can work on this together.
Yeah, and he can't moan at me too much, so...
Well, the whole house may have needed total renovation,
and the less-than-perfect layout definitely needed fixing.
But for Sean, it seemed the real test was to give big brother Martin
a product to be proud of.
Well, it's been eight months, now,
so it's time to catch up with the brothers.
From the outside, the house is looking tidier and smarter.
Inside, the living room has been refurbished,
and it's now a fresher space,
with a tasteful Victorian fireplace giving it character.
The old kitchen is now a dining room, with the staircase exposed.
And the bathroom has become a warm, stylish and practical kitchen.
How did the boys get on upstairs?
The first major thing that we've done upstairs
is open this staircase right out to give it the feel of more space,
and to let more light through to downstairs,
obviously, in through the whole place.
This was originally the door for the entrance to the second bedroom
and access upstairs to the third bedroom.
But as you can see, we've opened it right out,
created the hallway and opened it out for the bathroom.
So, this is, obviously, the bathroom,
we've got a bath and a shower in here now, a towel rail,
your basin and your toilet.
We've built this out, just so that you can't see no pipes,
to make everything more tidy.
We raised the bath slightly to give a really nice finish
on the window, to give it that more flowing feeling to it.
I think it's made such a difference to the house,
bringing the bathroom upstairs, and the space you have got in here,
to fit a bath and a shower in here and still have room,
I think is pretty good going, really.
I am so pleased they chose to put in a bathroom upstairs,
even though by doing this they had to lose a bedroom in the process.
There are still two others, one at the front...
..and one at the top.
And, as you guessed, both spacious and airy.
What about the kitchen?
When we bought the place, this was originally the bathroom.
Had a wall straight down the middle, here, with a doorway into it.
So, we got the whole place re-plastered, new electricity,
new plumbing. Went and bought a new kitchen, fitted it all.
Bit of a nightmare because the walls are absolutely miles out,
but we managed to get around that, and just fit the whole thing.
And it's come out quite nicely.
Along with that bathroom, these two spaces
certainly add "wow" factor to the place.
But it wasn't just down to Sean.
Martin's work commitments came to an end,
so he was able to lend his younger brother a hand.
I kept him on his toes, making sure that his finishing skills
were up to scratch. But I mean, no, he's good at working,
he knows what to do anyway. So, no, we both cracked on
and made sure we got everything done correctly.
Got it done a lot quicker, that's for sure.
With Martin on board, the brothers managed to do this renovation
within their timescale of four months,
though, in fact, it was spread over eight months.
At the back, Sean and Martin turned the shabby yard into something
that will be a lot more appealing when it comes to barbecue time.
So, has Martin decided if he's the one who will be cooking here?
Plan for the house is that I'm going to move in
once I get furniture and stuff sorted out.
When did he make this extremely difficult decision?
As it was getting to the end of the job,
when it started to look really nice!
I didn't fancy moving in at the beginning, that was for sure.
I certainly don't blame you, Martin.
# You take me up Oh-oh
# You take me up to a higher ground... #
As mum, Cheryl, and dad, Ian,
helped them to get on the property ladder,
were they impressed by the outcome of the renovation?
I think they've done an absolutely fantastic job.
Really, really proud of them. Yeah, they worked very hard.
Yeah. I think their attention to detail
has been a lot better than expected, so...
Yeah, very pleased to come in,
and I'll certainly let them loose on my house now.
Real praise coming from Ian, there.
And Cheryl hopes that Martin will discover the virtues
of being house-proud.
Yes, yes. His carpets, his kitchen, it'll be clean. Unlike at home.
It's a possibility. We'll find out, I think.
Come back in a few weeks and see what happens.
I reckon that even Martin might keep this place spick-and-span,
considering the work he and Sean have put into it,
and the money they've spent.
I think we originally said £15,000 to do the whole place,
and we did it, I think it was just over £17,000 where it ended up,
for the whole lot. So, yeah, it's worked out pretty good.
For such a good renovation, that's not much of an overspend.
Add to that the purchase price of 151,000,
and the total outlay, here, is 168 grand.
For a first-time job, Martin and Sean have a lot to be proud of.
When I walk in the front door, it makes you swell,
cos I think we've done such a good job.
I'm very pleased with it.
It shows what me and my brother can do, cos this is
the first property we've done together
and it just shows what can be done.
With a total investment of 168,000,
it's time to find out what two local estate agents think
of the brothers' work.
First impressions of the property, outstanding. The finish is wonderful.
The bathroom in particular has been done to a great standard,
including the shower cubicle, is something that people want.
I think the overall impression is 100% excellent
and it would fall into rental and for-sale purposes.
The kitchen is first rate, bathroom moved up to the first floor,
including a shower cubicle, is excellent.
Both estate agents thought moving the bathroom upstairs
at the expense of a bedroom
actually improved the potential of the house.
But has it raised its value?
Remember, the lads' total outlay was 168,000.
So, what could it sell for?
If the property was to go up for sale now,
it would be on the market at £185,000.
This property, on the market, would go for about £190,000.
Well, if you could get 190 for it
that would be quite a bit of profit, wouldn't it?
Yeah, so that wouldn't be bad, yeah, if it sells for that amount of money.
We would make money in this sort of market, so, yeah, that'd be good.
There could be a possible pre-tax profit of 22,000, here.
If Martin decides to rent,
they could expect a possible £750 per calendar month,
adding up to a healthy annual yield of 5%.
So, either way, they should be smiling.
For now, though, Martin will move in and enjoy the results
of all his and brother Sean's hard graft,
but I reckon this has whet their appetites for more.
Well, by the way this one's gone
we'll definitely go into property development,
buying other properties and doing the same as this,
cos it's worked out quite well, hasn't it?
Yeah, we've enjoyed doing this
and we know that we can do a decent job doing it so, yeah,
carry on, definitely.
We return now to Dawley in Shropshire, where earlier,
this three-bed terraced house sold at auction for £70,000.
Chiranjit, a local taxi driver, bought it,
but it was his wife, Baljit, who came to meet me
and explain why they wanted this property.
Didn't really want to buy it.
-Right, that's interesting.
-We weren't quite ready to buy it...
How do you mean you weren't quite ready to buy it?
We just went to the auction to have a look round,
see what was there and that was it.
I didn't think this would be a decision Baljit would regret.
With Dawley going through a regeneration process
and a development plan just across the road,
once brought up to scratch, this house could be worth 90,000.
But whether to sell or to rent?
That was the big dilemma for the family.
So, the plan was to do a basic refurbishment.
Four months later, we met up with Baljit and her daughter Happy
to see if they managed to get this house earning, one way or another.
The tired through-lounge has been redecorated
in fresh, neutral colours, and new laminate flooring put down.
Next door, the kitchen has had some redecoration
and new doors added to the carcasses and, again, some new flooring.
Well, downstairs the floorboards, you know, they were really gone.
And upstairs in the bathroom
there was nothing there on the floor either.
So, we just decided to lino
and, in the kitchen also, we had to put lino in.
The rooms were just floorboards as well, so we thought we'd carpet them.
The same carpeting was laid throughout upstairs.
Although it may not be to everyone's tastes,
it's enabled the family not to exceed their £1,500 budget.
But with only one room decorated,
it's obvious there's still a good deal to do.
Sadly, due to a family bereavement,
they haven't been able to devote as much time and energy
to the house as they would have liked.
Meanwhile, they've decided to rent it out.
My husband heard that the council was running a scheme
for people who couldn't afford housing, so we went to them
and they brought us a client.
He's going to sign a 12-month contract
and he said he's willing to do the rest of the house up
in a way that he likes it. So, that would be great.
It's great news that the house is paying for itself
and that the tenant is planning to finish off the renovation.
So, there are positive signs that this place
could soon be looking good.
But getting it this far was down to Baljit and her daughter, Happy.
I just couldn't believe that my parents bought a house like this.
I was just a bit like, "Why?"
There was a lot of, after school, coming here
and stripping paper and...
It was a lot to do.
Well, she's been a star, and she helped me strip the paper,
put it on, paint and...everything, really.
Baljit and Happy should be very proud of what they've achieved here.
With that £1,500 spent,
they kept well within their £2,000 original budget.
Added to the £70,000 purchase price,
that makes a total outlay of £71,500.
How long has it taken them to get to this point?
Ages. Too long.
Yeah, I think it's taken us a good four, five months.
Maybe six, I don't know. I haven't counted.
Maybe this basic renovation doesn't set the world alight,
but with a tenant lined up, the house is paying its way.
And with that regeneration scheme coming soon just across the road,
its location will definitely give it a front seat on the rental market.
Now it's time to hear what two local estate agents think
of the family's £71,500 investment.
There are some positives with the property.
Good-spaced accommodation, double glazing's already in
and, obviously, it's got gas-fired central heating
with what looks like a fairly recent boiler.
Um, so... Some work does need to be done, but it's not a total refurb.
The positives on a property like this
are that the rooms are a great size, ideal for families and, generally,
the area's fairly nice as well.
The house already has a tenant lined up,
but have Baljit and her family got the best deal?
What rent do the estate agents think could be charged
in its current state?
I would suggest a rental value of £450 to £500 per calendar month.
I would recommend a rental value
between £475 and £500 per calendar month.
Um, yeah, I think that's...
We're achieving between 500 and 550, so we're OK with that.
Their rental income gives them a whopping 9% annual yield,
so that's excellent news for Baljit.
But what would the house achieve if the family decided to sell?
Remember, their total outlay so far is £71,500.
I would suggest a marketing price on this property of £70,000.
I would put this on the open market for £72,950.
Yeah, um, well, when we come to sell, we'll think about everything then.
But at the moment we're OK in renting it.
But if Baljit and her family can renovate
with a new kitchen, bathroom and decoration,
the resale value could reach £90,000.
They hadn't really planned to buy this one,
but with that sort of potential profit,
would they consider buying at auction again?
Not if we have anything to do with it. We wouldn't do it.
Well, that's it for now.
Did we inspire you or put you off trying for yourselves?
Well, either way, we'll have more stories for you next time,
on Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Email [email protected]
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a semi-detached house in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, a three-bed terrace in Tonbridge, Kent, and a house in Dawley, Shropshire. All of these properties have been sold at auction, and Martin and Lucy find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.