Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Cheshire, a two-bed mid-terrace in Lancashire and a property in Cornwall, and find out who bought them at auction.
Browse content similar to Episode 92. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
-Hello and welcome to the programme.
-Even in the current property market,
we still both enjoy buying property.
We like the idea of getting a good deal,
but in today's competitive market, it's not always that easy.
One way you could get a bargain is to buy under the hammer.
Buying land and property at auction
is becoming more and more popular these days.
Millions of pounds' worth of property is sold every month,
all round the country in auction rooms everywhere.
Here are the properties we're featuring on today's show.
In Bredbury, Cheshire, it's all about colour.
Come in here and find yourself marooned in a sea of plum.
In Darwin, Lancashire, I may have found my lunch.
Mushrooms on toast, anybody?
Look what I've spotted in the corner.
A collection of fungus.
And, in Torpoint, Cornwall, there are easy fixes to do.
That is a change I would make straightaway
and you totally transform the living space in this house.
These properties are being sold at auction and we find out who bought them
and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
I'm in Bredbury, a Cheshire village on the outskirts of Stockport,
just six miles from Manchester city centre.
Bredbury's a really popular, residential area,
very popular with families and you can see why.
The property I'm here to see is on this quiet cul-de-sac, which is even better.
It's this, a 1930s semi-detached.
It looks a little bit tired and dated from the outside,
but the good news is the guide price - £90,000.
Similar properties around here are going for a lot more than that
so, I think, there could be money to be made on this one.
I can see straightaway there is potential to extend to the side
and there would still be room for off-street parking at the front.
There's also a garage, although by the looks of it
that's an asbestos roof, so you'd really need to get that checked out.
I wasn't quite expecting that!
Yes, a bit of mock-Tudor in a 1930s semi.
Always looks interesting, so to speak.
It gives a very cramped feel to the entrance here.
You've got lots of mock woodwork and ironwork going on.
It's not really ideal.
Does it get any better when you come into the lounge?
No, the theme continues. At least, it's consistent!
I'm seeing straightaway
it's a house that would really benefit from some modernisation,
especially the decoration.
I don't know how you get rid of this.
I guess, you would take it off and plaster over the top,
if you don't like it which, to be fair, it's not most people's taste.
In terms of the size of the room,
it's been knocked through at some point.
I'm thinking there might be some playing around with the layout
of the kitchen and this room. That's to be thought through.
But, as a starting point,
let's try and focus on the space which is good.
Everything else is a bit... urgh.
The kitchen definitely needs replacing.
The units are very old and it's a bit on the small side.
You could knock through to the living room
making it all one big, open-plan space.
Or, if you did extend to the side, it would enlarge the kitchen that way.
It doesn't look like there will be much room to extend at the back.
Well, at the rear of the property, not the huge family garden you might have been hoping for.
It's been flagged stoned for this bit.
The bit that is terribly overgrown and then this drop-off.
The good news is, really nice to overlook the woods like that.
As an additional bonus,
this is storage which goes underneath the whole of the property.
It's not a bad space to have, but I would like to see it improved, somewhat.
# It's a long way down... #
For a family home, it would definitely be essential to fence securely along the back.
It really is a long way down to the forest floor.
So, upstairs, nothing too surprising.
Small box room there, larger double bedroom at the rear
and a really nice-sized double bedroom
at the front benefiting from that bay window.
Where it all goes a little bit eclectic,
is in the bathroom.
Come in here and find yourself marooned in a sea of plum.
If you've a bathroom like this, please forgive this comment.
It really needs to go, doesn't it?
White, please, would improve the room dramatically.
It may have a plum coloured bathroom, but is it a plum-vestment?
We asked a local estate agent for his opinion
on this three-bedroom semi that had an auction guide price of £90,000.
Every room needs some attention in it...
New kitchen, new bathroom.
I would suggest that the property is re-plastered
and with an inspection we would need to possibly look at the electrics, as well.
An extension on this property would add a lot of benefit.
You could possibly get an extra reception room downstairs,
or, with planning permission,
you could add another bedroom
which would be an added value for any families living here.
What could you earn if you rented this out?
There is a huge demand for three bedroom properties in this area.
To rent this property out
would be very attractive for the rental market.
And sale value, once renovated?
On the open market, I would value this property between 130 and £140,000.
It's a good-sized property in a nice area.
It really just needs to be modernised
and brought out of the era it's in into the 21st Century.
Let's find out who fancied buying it when it went under the hammer.
OK, Lot 3, a vacant three-bedroomed, semi-detached house,
guide, £90,000. What's it worth?
Too high for you, give me 75 and we're away.
75,000 bid, thank you.
Your bid, madam. £75,000 I have then.
Do I see 80?
80 bid. 80, thank you.
81, then, keep it going.
At £80,000... Do I see 81?
Do I see 82 now? 82, I have.
82,000... It's against you.
83... OK, at 83,000. 84?
At 84. 85?
At 85,000 we're at now. Do I see 86?
At 86,000. 87, are we all done?
87, then for the first time.
At 87... At 88,000.
Good job you came in, the hammer was going down.
The bid's at 88, do you want to come back in? It's going to be sold.
At £88,000 on my right, for the first time.
Second time at £88,000...
Are we all done and dusted at £88,000?
I don't want to bring the hammer down,
but there you go.
Can I have your number, sir. 922. At 88,000... Goodbye.
It was husband-and-wife Jonathan and Georgina
who made that successful bid of 88,000.
Jonathan's a director at an economic development consultancy
and Georgina's a financial adviser.
They live nearby in Manchester.
I met them at the property to find out their plans.
-Jonathan, Georgina, lovely to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place?
Basically, we've just been looking for a project to do
and we thought this was the perfect opportunity.
We saw it in the catalogue.
We thought there's probably a bit of money to be made on it.
It clearly needs work.
We thought this was probably a good property to start with.
Is this something for you to live in, do up and sell on, rent out?
The plan is to do it up and sell it on.
We've got a bit of a contingency plan, as well.
-If that doesn't work out, we can move into it.
That's the worst case scenario.
-We are looking to sell it, really.
Jonathan and Georgina already have two rental properties,
but this is the first time buying at auction
and the first time they've bought to sell.
It's also their biggest project to date.
What prompted you to get into property developing?
It's something that we've been thinking about for quite a while.
George, used to work in property.
She used to be an estate agent, so she's got some decent contacts.
We've just been saving some money up so we had a bit of a deposit
and we saw this advertised in the auction catalogue.
-We thought we'd go for it.
-Decided to take the plunge and...
Right. What do you both do now?
-I'm a financial adviser.
-Oh, right, that's useful.
That was handy. Jonathan works for...
I run an economic development consultancy.
The house itself, what did you like and dislike about that?
It's got a nice setting.
I like the fact that the back of it looks out over the woods. That's nice.
The fact it's a cul-de-sac as well.
That's good if kids are playing out in the street and what have you.
-The outside looks good.
-The bathroom is a particular bonus as well.
As soon as you come into the property, its "Oh, God."
There's clearly a lot of work needs to be done to it.
-We like a challenge, don't we?
As their first major doer-upper, Georgina and Jonathan
have decided to keep the project as simple as possible.
They've discounted building an extension because of the time factor
and because they don't think there would be much additional profit in it.
So, what are their plans for the place?
Everything's going to come out down here.
We're going to re-skim the whole house.
Knock down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room
-and then put the wall back up here.
Make it like an open-plan kitchen/diner.
-New bathroom, obviously!
-You're not going to keep that one?
A nice shade of maroon.
Get rid of the garage because that has asbestos on it.
-We've got to sort out the garden.
-Make the garden into lawn
and make it more usable for a family.
Are you going to keep the half-timbered effect? THEY LAUGH
-Yeah, the mock-Tudor.
-The mock-Tudor, it's nice, isn't it? 1930s, mock-Tudor.
No, we probably won't keep that!
It's not exactly our taste.
I'm sure someone liked it at one point.
I don't think, for the market we're going for,
I don't think they'll want that.
With a healthy budget of around 23,000,
and the timescale of around three months,
the couple have lined up builders to do most of the work.
What are the builders going to do?
They're going to... Basically, we're getting one contractor
and they'll project manage it for us.
We don't have the time, we both work full-time.
We don't have the time to do that.
But we'll do the unskilled stuff, taking the carpets up,
taking the wallpaper off the walls,
pulling the kitchen apart.
Once this project's completed, what's the plans then?
Sell it and do another one. Hopefully make some money!
As George says, we should make a bit of profit out of this
and then put that into the next development.
Congratulations, good luck with it.
-We look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, will Jonathan and Georgina's plan to do up this place
and sell it on work out in these tough, financial times
when it comes to buying and selling property?
More importantly, will they manage to get rid of all the mock-Tudor,
all will they be Eliza-beaten(?)
You can find out, later in the show.
Just outside Blackburn is the market town of Darwin.
Formerly, an industrial mill town,
the buildings reflect its wealthy status in Victorian times.
Although, it's suffered some decline over the years,
recent investment has seen an influx of new companies
and it seems to be on the up.
Like many towns in Lancashire,
Darwin was a centre for the cotton and cloth industry
during the Industrial Revolution.
One legacy of this industrial past is a wealth of terraced houses,
built to house the former mill workers.
I'm here to see one of those little houses today.
With easy access to the town centre, views across the moors
and bowling green, today's lot is in a pretty decent spot.
The guide price for this property is just £28,000.
Unfortunately, the security shutters on this two-bedroomed mid-terrace
are more than a little off-putting.
Let's not judge it on face value.
I'm going to cross over and take a closer look.
The house formerly belonged to a housing association.
The auction catalogue described it as being in poor decorative order
and it's been vacant for some time.
So far, from what I've seen, I'd hardly call it pretty.
Maybe, inside will be better.
Well, it's deceptively spacious once you come in here.
A little dark because you have these big, old shutters on the front of the windows.
Polystyrene tiles... You know, I always harp on about this
but they've got to come down because they are a fire hazard.
They don't to the property any justice, anyway.
As well as this fireplace, it totally dominates the whole room.
Not to my taste, but you could do a lot with it.
I think, there's the possibility of a little bit of damp down here.
It feels rather wet, so get that looked out
and a rather unusual place to house a meter.
They've put it into the wall.
Overall, a really good-sized room.
Yeah, not bad.
Tiles and fireplaces aside, I'm quite encouraged,
but let's hope that damp isn't a sign of things to come.
It does get a little darker and dingier as you move through the property,
but it's great news that you've got a large second reception room.
Kitchen's a little bit on the small side, but it is adequate,
and because it's tucked away, you could have this space as your dining area.
You've got central heating in here, once these shutters have come down,
I know the light will just flood through.
In fact, this is a really big window area, so quite a bonus, I think.
Obviously, the whole room is going to need replastering.
There's obviously been some damage up there,
though I did suspect earlier there was a damp problem...
Mushrooms on toast, anybody? Look what I've spotted. Little collection of fungus.
I think there's potentially a problem up there,
so some damp coming from the roof, the bathroom, maybe,
so whoever takes this on, I'd get that checked out.
It's always worth getting an expert opinion.
This might be a sign of a bigger problem such as a leaky roof,
or, more likely in a house like this that's been unoccupied for a while,
it might just be a case of getting some airflow back in to let it breathe.
With a little tender loving care,
the place could easily be brought back to life.
Let's hope nothing untoward lurks upstairs.
Now, properties of this era wouldn't have been built with an indoor bathroom.
From the 1970s onwards, the plumbing was gradually moved inside,
but often, the bathroom was just tagged on the back downstairs,
and let's be honest, who is a fan of a downstairs bathroom? Not me.
So one good thing here is that the bathroom has been installed upstairs.
Much more desirable, but I think it could do with a total refit.
Well, the refit and renovation needs to be done throughout,
with the two bedrooms definitely needing some work.
But the bare bones of a decent property are here.
Not much outside space,
but it's adequate to hang your washing out here.
My feeling is that this could potentially be a nice little earner as a rental property.
But what does a local estate agent make of this two-bed terrace
that was guided at just £28,000?
It's convenient and it suits a price need,
it's at the budget end of the market.
The property needs some modernisation, some TLC.
I think the biggest issue is the size of the kitchen.
And other properties in the area, what developers have done quite cleverly
is to open the second reception room
into the kitchen to make it a combined dining kitchen,
with the existing kitchen becoming more of a utility area,
and that would probably work quite well.
The rest of the property is straightforward and doesn't need too much alteration.
So would it be better to sell this place or do it up and let it out?
The current climate, it's likely that it would favour the rental market.
That's not to exclude the budget end of the sale market,
but probably the rental market.
So rental might be the best option. Let's talk numbers.
I would normally expect to achieve £375 per calendar month.
Once properties are refurbished, I would expect it to resell
at a figure in the region of £60,000-£65,0000.
A resale value of £65,000 or a rent of £4,500 a year
on a property that was guided at just £238,000
sounds like a potential money-maker to me.
Once these old security shutters are off,
and light is allowed to flood in,
I actually think this could be a decent little property.
And certainly a viable buy-to-let.
So who wasn't deterred by the darkness?
Let's head to auction and find out.
This Darwen terraced house was one of the last lots of the day.
So it was a quiet auction room preparing to do battle for it.
I move on now to Lot 116, looking for 20?
Thank you, 20 I've got.
Thank you, 21. 22?
24 if you want.
Thank you. 25. 26.
26, new place.
30 back in, 31.
32, sir? No? It's with you.
31 for the first, 31 for the second, 31 for the third and final time...
For £31,000, the successful bidder was semi-retired orthodontist Chris.
He's based over two hours away in Worcestershire,
and has a small portfolio of mainly commercial properties.
I wondered what attracted him to this run-down terraced house.
-Chris, it's wonderful to meet you today, congratulations!
-Thank you very much indeed.
So, what made you want to buy this property at auction?
Well, I saw it, and it looks a fantastic area, little parkland and a view over the tower,
and there's a bowling green, so I thought this should be a good rental.
Is this the only property you bought in the auction?
No, I bought two others in Darwen that are slightly better condition,
and some land in Essex.
-Wow, so you did go on a job lot that day, didn't you?
So Chris has been on a bit of a spending spree.
Residential properties will see a better return than leaving his money in the bank.
Although he lives a distance away in Worcestershire,
he bought the house in Darwen because he knows the area.
His son already owns a house here,
and his future daughter-in-law's family live here too.
So, Chris, what do you do?
Well, I used to be full time in orthodontics, hospital and practice,
and retired a couple of years back, and just work two days a week.
And since retiring, I took a tourist guide course,
and I've got a thing called a Blue Badge,
which is a national qualification to, really to allow you to tour guide,
unsuspecting Americans, anywhere in the heart of England.
Now, you said retired.
It hardly seems like you're sitting back with your feet up at the moment.
Not yet. Maybe one day.
-Perhaps the bowling green over there in a few years' time.
I'll come back in a few years and see you with your bowls!
Creaking and groaning.
With Chris's increasingly busy life, it could be a while before the bowling green beckons,
and with this house, he's got plenty to get his teeth into.
So, Chris, how do you intend to upgrade this place?
The ceiling needs either removing or plastering over,
the walls taken down and skimmed, the floor's fine,
and the central heating looks as though it's not too bad.
The front room has got some...
Those polystyrene tiles, lovely, that need to come off,
and then to be stripped down and replastered and skimmed.
Now what about the little mushrooms that we can all see in the corner?
Aah! Yes, yeah. They, any botanist here would know they're harmless.
-I can't do a David Bellamy accent, but...
I'm willing to try, they are lovely mushrooms.
But hopefully they're not causing any problems at all there.
-Did you get a survey on this property?
-No, I haven't had a full survey.
Looked around it, it looks pretty sound.
No great cracks, it's been here since 1890, something like that,
so I think it'll last me out.
It's always risky not getting a survey.
Let's hope this orthodontist
doesn't discover more to straighten out than expected.
He's bracing himself to do this in 12 weeks,
and will need a fairly decent budget.
How much money are you going to spend on this little house?
We'd look at probably about £13,000-£14,000.
-I mean, that's quite a healthy budget.
-That should hopefully be all right.
-So, are you going to be doing any of the work here?
-No, I don't think so.
I might do a bit of skivvying, a bit of labouring, but that's about it.
You really want to keep those extra five days off as your days off!
-Very, much so, yes!
-Chris, I'm excited to see what it turns out like. Congratulations.
-Thanks very much indeed.
-Nice to meet you.
From fixing teeth to tourist guide to property developer -
hmm, Chris certainly likes to keep busy.
And he's supposed to be retired! I don't think so.
But I do think he's made a wise purchase here.
If he can get this place fixed up for £13,000, and rent it out,
well, that could indeed prove to be a solid investment.
Now, that is offering a yield of around 9 to 10%.
But of course, there's plenty that can go wrong with property renovating, as we know.
So will it all go smoothly, or will it be more like pulling teeth?
You can find out what happens later on in the programme.
'Coming up, in Cornwall, a closer inspection worries me...'
Once you start delving deeper into this property, I think it could turn out to be a bit of a money pit.
'An estate agent is impressed by Chris's renovation in Lancashire,'
Quite remarkable, really.
Changed quite an ordinary property into something that's very nice, very modern.
'But first, have Jonathan and Georgina put paid to the plum?'
-We've taken out the kitchen and bathroom.
-That was quite good fun, actually!
'Back now to Bredbury in Cheshire,
'where husband and wife Jonathan and Georgina purchased this three-bedroom Mock Tudor semi for £88,000.'
'It was their first ever purchase at auction.'
Just been looking for a project to do, and thought this was the perfect opportunity.
We saw it in the catalogue, we thought there was probably a little bit of money to be made on it,
it clearly needs some work, so we thought this was probably a good property to start with.
'The couple bought the property as an investment.
'The intention was to refurbish completely, and once finished, put it back on the market.
'We returned five months later to see if this Mock Tudor semi has been brought into the 21st century.'
'The property has been transformed.
'The fake dark oak beams are no longer,
'the dividing wall between the dining room and living room has been reinstated,
'and an open plan kitchen/diner has been created at the back of the house.'
'Gone is the woodchip wallpaper and tired linoleum flooring,
'replaced by warm, neutral colours, carpets and original floors.'
'It's a nice touch keeping those original 1930s doors and rejuvenating them.'
We sort of took most of the rooms back to brick, so we ripped the plaster off.
-Taken out the kitchen and bathroom.
-That was quite good fun, actually!
-One of the better jobs, wasn't it?
We've had it fully rewired throughout, and we've got new central heating.
-New central heating. Just pretty much everything, really.
New skirting boards, um, dipped and stripped the doors.
-Couple of new windows, new kitchen and bathroom.
-And we've also painted the exterior of the house as well.
We think it's just freshened it up a little bit.
The garage was here originally, and that was one of the first jobs I'd done.
It wasn't in great condition, and it had an asbestos roof,
so we decided to get that taken down, so...
It was a relatively quick job to do.
But we've also done the garden. That was a bit of a nightmare.
We got four tons of topsoil ordered, and the day that we were moving it down the back,
it was chucking it down with rain and we had this old rickety wheelbarrow
which the guy who had the house before left us.
After the first ton, one of the handles fell off the wheelbarrow,
so trying to get it down there and into the back was a bit of a nightmare.
But that was literally the only problem we had doing the house,
It's been, sort of, a good experience, and we're looking forward to the next one.
'It had been Jonathan and Georgina's intention to employ professional help
'in the form of a project manager, as they both work full time.
'How did that go?'
We thought that would be easier for us, with us both working full time,
-we thought, just dealing with one person.
But we had a couple of quotes for that, didn't we?
Yeah, and it ended up being a lot more expensive than we thought,
and to be honest, we thought we'd be better off doing it ourselves,
cos we'd have a bit more control over what was going on.
'So a job well done. How did they get on keeping to budget?'
The original budget we said was, sort of, anywhere between 20 and 23,
but we've spent a little bit more than that, we've spent 24.
But there was things that we've got done that we hadn't originally.
-Yeah, there's a couple of things, like the lintels above the windows needed doing...
-..and we didn't factor that in, so we've gone a little bit over budget.
'Jonathan and Georgina purchased the house at auction for £88,000,
'and spent a further £24,000 on renovation,
'giving them an overall outlay of £112,000.
'We asked two local property experts for their opinions on the result.'
Well, fantastic, just absolutely great.
You know, they've done such a good job,
considering how it was when they bought it, brilliant, wonderful.
I think the finish of the property has been done really nicely.
They've thought about what they've done,
they've put time and effort into it,
and they've not scrimped on anything to try and save money,
and it's been well planned.
'How much could the property be worth if it were sold, now it's been refurbished?'
I'd like to market the property for £135,000.
I believe you could put this property on the market for £155,000.
-I'm really pleased with that.
-Yeah, there's, that's good, isn't it?
-Even if we get the lower figure, I'd be happy with that.
-Yeah, we'd be more than happy with that.
'On the basis of those valuations,
'that would give Jonathan and Georgina a pre-tax profit of between £23,000-£43,000
'before the usual deductions.
'What could the potential monthly rental income be if the property were rented out?'
I think if the property went on the rental market,
I'd be achieving £675 per calendar month.
I think for the property in the rental market, you'd be looking to achieve £650 per calendar month.
-That's a good price, isn't it?
But we're not looking to rent, we're looking to sell, but it's good to know.
Yeah, it's nice to know that we'd get a decent amount for it.
'Jonathan and Georgina have now accepted an offer of £138,000 for the house.
'So, is it thumbs up for their first auction speculation?'
It's been a really good process, I think we've learnt a lot through doing it,
there's been some tricky times, but it's been good, I've enjoyed it.
This is Torpoint, the gateway to Cornwall, quite literally.
Plymouth is just 500 yards across the estuary there,
but just because you're only seven minutes away from Devon,
don't think the people here aren't proud of their Cornish origins, based around the dockyards.
Big question is, will I find a property to be proud of?
'The Torpoint Ferry runs regularly, connecting these two counties,
'and making this area a very viable commuter option for those working in busy Plymouth.
'Hopefully you won't have to use that submarine
if the ferry's out of order.'
Well, houses with a sea or estuary view are always highly desirable and command higher prices,
so I'm delighted to say that the property I'm here to see is this -
it's a four-bed mid-terrace, at the guide price of £145,000.
And from the exterior, it's as stunning as its outlook.
'For an auction lot, this property is surprisingly neat and tidy,
'with attractive paintwork and a lovely little front garden.
'Let's hope the interior matches the exterior.'
So what have we got? Well, through the front door.
Nice you've got this little porch area there, keeps the wind and rain and the cold out.
Down this corridor and straightaway, the house is a lot longer
and deeper than it would first appear, which is a good start.
Then this room...is absolutely sensational, really big,
lots of space, great bay-fronted window, looking out
across the estuary, making the most of those views.
This room, nice size, but straightaway, I'm seeing,
the decoration doesn't match up with the quality on the outside.
It's a classic - people paint the outside of the house,
so it looks good in the photos, when they're trying to sell it.
Look in the auction catalogue, and you'd think inside was nice as well.
Classic example of that not being the case.
'So, don't be fooled by those exterior photos -
'check the interior, too.'
# And I started looking for a warning sign... #
'Because, despite its great size and good views,
'this is a disappointing start to the property.'
You see straightaway some of the modifications that you would make.
Right through to the back, you find the kitchen in a right old state.
But why on earth isn't the kitchen in this room?
It would make more sense - it's bigger,
it's perfect for a decent-sized galley kitchen, and you'd have that,
then, as your utility area - that I would change straightaway,
to totally transform the living space in this house.
'The garden is another area that needs some serious work.
'And it doesn't get much better upstairs.
'The rooms themselves are nice enough, though not huge.
'A bedroom at the back which, in the past,
'has apparently been used as a woodwork room.
'The bathroom in the middle, with a decent double towards the front.
'But I've saved the best bit till last.'
This is the most spectacular of the bedrooms.
Nice size, with cupboard space, or whatever. However,
views out onto the estuary there could be better.
It's got double glazing, but I'd like to see sash windows in here,
to lift up to get the noise of the seagulls and the smell of the ocean.
And it looks like there's some rot in the floorboards.
So, at first glance, it's OK, but delve deeper into this property,
and I think it could turn out to be a bit of a money pit.
'It's never good to see an exterior wall from the inside of a room!
'That ought to be investigated.
'The double glazing also needs looking at.
'It has been poorly fitted and some of the windows don't even open.
'But, you know, the bones of this place are in good shape.
'It could be a lovely family home - there's a great vibe here,
'or is it just the sun and sea air? Time for a second opinion.
'So, with the house guided at £145,000,
'we asked a local estate agent what he thought of the place.'
The location is fantastic, due to the proximity to the water,
and it's only ten minutes via the ferry to Plymouth city centre.
'For that £145,000 guide price, this could be a plum buy
'for any investor.
'But when its problems are sorted and the interior spruced up,
'how would the figures stack up?'
If the work's done well, I'd be looking at £200,000.
'And the rental figures?'
I would expect it to rent for at least £750 per calendar month.
Sadly, the interior doesn't quite live up to the exterior -
there's a lot of work to do to sort this place out.
But somebody will love it because of that view, and who can blame them?
Let's find out what happened when it went under the hammer.
Lot 67, it's 145,000.
145 straight in, bang - knock out the competition! 135?
Not going less than 130, I tell you... I don't have to.
Thank you. At 130.
At 132? 132. 134?
136 is stood on there. 138.
140 on my right, I've got. 140.
At 140... Is there a one somewhere?
141, got you, at 141. 142.
142. At 142...
143. 144. 144...
At 146. Madam - 146.5.
-148 - thank you. 148.
148. 149. 149...
At 150 once,
at 150 twice, at 150 - second, third and last time,
all done at 1-5-0 and out.
150 - madam, miss, yours, well done.
'Making that successful bid of 150,000 was Wendy.
'She currently lives in London but is originally from the West Country.
'Her plan is to return to this part of the world, move into this house,
'and enjoy the views all day long.
'I met her in the sunshine to find out more.'
-Well, you can't knock the spot, can you?
-No, it's a lovely place.
Apart from this, why did you want to buy the house - or was this it?!
Obviously, the location is fantastic - that was one reason.
And I've been trying to move to Cornwall for about 2½ years,
-so this is ideal.
-Why do you want to move here?
I love the countryside, I like watersports - surfing, windsurfing...
So, tell me more about what you do?
I work in health and fitness,
-I'm a personal trainer and pilates instructor.
-And currently where?
-In the London area at the moment.
-Why do you want to move back here?
-Well, I just love it.
Beautiful countryside, love the sea - long-term plans coming to fruition.
-That's wonderful. You couldn't get much closer, could you?
'And on a day like today, who wouldn't want to live here?
'I can see a great partnership - an out-of-condition property
'and a fitness instructor - what a perfect match!'
# Fit as a fiddle, ready for love
# I could jump over the moon up above... #
As you can see, it's a bit of a project. It's got enough space -
I'm running my business from home,
and in order to get the size, it had to be something in need of doing up.
The survey has thrown up a few things.
-That you didn't know about?
-I wouldn't have, without the survey.
-So you had it done before?
-Yes, just the day before the auction.
And what needed to be done?
Erm, quite a few things - roof, damp-proofing,
plasterwork... Yeah, quite a long list.
Which bits were a surprise?
-A bit more work on the roof than I expected.
-It doesn't look too bad...
Yeah, the front's OK, it's more the little tenement roof at the back.
And there's some floor issues, some damp problems,
those kind of things, obviously all the plumbing, rewiring.
-It's got a very old kind of boiler in there!
'It's a good lesson to get a pre-auction survey done.
'In Wendy's case, discovering those problems mean she held back £10,000
'from her auction limit, which will go towards the renovation work.'
-What exactly are you going to do to the house?
-OK, so, first of all,
clear it all out - going to start with the back yard.
We can't do anything until that's cleared out.
It's holding a lot of water in that area.
Then strip off all the wallpaper, do the re-plastering,
get the roof done, there's work to be done on the windows,
and then take it from there, really - probably plumbing next after that.
One thing I thought was an obvious improvement was to
-bring the kitchen further into the house.
-Yes, into that middle room.
-Keeping the open-plan living area as it is?
-I would think so, yes.
-It's lovely and big.
-Put a wood floor in there - that would be nice.
-Make the most of the views.
-What about upstairs?
-Probably keep the layout pretty much as it is.
The smallest bedroom would be a storeroom for my fitness equipment.
So, not a great deal - the bathroom would more or less stay where it is.
-But be updated, presumably.
-Yes, obviously, yes.
I don't think primrose yellow will fit in, in that style!
-And what timescale have you got?
To do the major work, three to six months.
Obviously, I'm still freelancing in London as well,
so I'll be to-ing and fro-ing a bit, and will need to organise
all the work - do quite a lot ourselves, with friends and family,
and get some people in for the more specialist stuff.
'The house may be a bit tired,
'but fitness instructor Wendy has a healthy budget of £25,000.
'If she does get family and friends onboard, it should be enough
'to see this house transformed from out of puff into a medal winner.'
-What are you most looking forward to?
You've a great place, and an amazing location,
-And good luck with it.
Well, fitness instructor Wendy has got a big job on
to get this place into shape, but with views like that,
it's going to be worth it - so, will we return to find a healthy house
or will it still need a workout? Find out later in the show.
It's been a while now since we last visited those properties.
There should have been some work done, but you never know.
All sorts of problems can arise for buyers - let's find out about ours.
Just outside Blackburn in Lancashire was where I found
a traditionally-built, stone terrace, two-bedroom house.
This property may have had fine views out,
but it was not the prettiest of sights within.
With security shutters over the windows, damp walls
and collapsing ceilings, this place had certainly seen better days.
It was, to say the least, a little down in the mouth.
Who better to fix it up than semi-retired orthodontist Chris?
He snapped this property up for just £31,000,
but being based in Worcester, and still doing part-time orthodontistry
along with working as a tour guide,
had he bitten off more than he could chew?
So, will you be doing any of the work?
No, I don't think so, maybe a bit of skivvying,
a bit of labouring, but that's about it.
You want to keep those extra five days off as your days off!
Very much so, yes.
# Today I swear I'm not going anything, nothing at all... #
So, apart from providing £13,000- £14,000 to a builder to do the work,
Chris was hoping to be fairly hands-off!
Four months later, has his hands-off approach paid dividends?
From the outside, it's certainly improved.
He got rid of the security shutters, put in new windows and doors
and gave it a fresh lick of paint, too. And inside...
The changes we made in this room - the fireplace,
brick fireplace, has gone, opening it out to make it brighter and cleaner.
And the awful ceiling - polystyrene tiles -
that's gone, and a new window,
and generally, flooring and re-plastering.
That's a much-improved first impression.
With wooden flooring laid throughout,
it flows naturally into the rear reception room.
There's been a fair bit of change in this room.
The debate was whether to put the kitchen in here,
and leave that as a utility room.
But we decided to leave it out there, because this is a nice-sized room,
and it makes it two reception rooms rather than a kitchen-diner.
The other changes made - obviously new window,
re-plastering, and the floor again.
There's an alcove there that can be used as storage and various things.
Chris is planning to rent this house out. As a rental property, I think
leaving the kitchen where it was was definitely the right decision.
Upstairs, it's also been a case of making good the existing rooms.
New plasterwork, decoration, carpets and windows
in both of the bedrooms.
The sorry old bathroom has been rejuvenated with new flooring.
With the back yard tidied up, this house looks ready to rent,
so, is Chris happy with the end result?
Really pleased with it. I saw it for the first time yesterday
decorated - it was only finished last week -
and so we've only seen it in stages.
Chris has been in regular contact with his builders throughout,
so he was across all the problems.
There was a great big fungus on the floor there.
There was some damp in the wall -
possibly a leaking pipe from next-door that we're looking at.
But nothing major - everything else has gone smoothly.
Let's hope he gets to the root of that damp soon.
Generally, this house has worked out really well,
but it wasn't the only house Chris bought in Darwen at the auction.
Three in Darwen - one has been let about a month ago,
tenants settled in and seem very happy -
it's done nicely like this one.
The other one's on the market about a week ago,
and this one's raring to go as soon as the cameras go out.
All these properties were bought as an investment,
to get a better return on his savings.
As they say, you have to speculate to accumulate.
Having bought this house for £31,000 at auction,
Chris had set a reasonably healthy budget of £13,000
to get it up to scratch to rent out.
It's not quite gone according to budget, but not far over.
It's ended up at £15,800, which is about 2,000-3,000 over the budget.
With a £31,000 purchase price
and his budget of £15,888,
that's a total outlay just short of 47,000, plus costs and fees.
So, has this been a solid investment?
What do two local estate agents think?
Quite remarkable, really. Changed quite an ordinary property
into something very nice, modern, contemporary.
Very fresh-looking, well-presented.
It's a traditional, mid-row, terraced property,
but done to a very good standard - the amenities are superb,
and it's ready for use.
Although he really bought it as a rental,
Chris does have nearly £47,000 invested here -
so, how might it do on resale?
If it was placed on the market for sale, you would probably place it on
with an initial asking price of £65,000.
We would value this property in the region of £70,000.
Much more than I'd anticipated, with the market being poor.
So, yeah, great news.
So, he's nearly doubled the value -
that would be a potential pre-tax profit, before tax and expenses,
of between £18,000 and £24,000.
But this one's more about rental.
On the rental market, it should achieve a rental
of around £425 per calendar month.
On this property, we could achieve about £425 per calendar month.
I was expecting a lot less - between 350-375.
But 425 is fantastic.
He's right - £425 a month IS fantastic.
That's £5,100 a year, or an impressive 11% yield
on that £47,000 investment.
So, he must be pleased at how it's all gone.
As a development, it's been good, because I haven't had to do anything.
So, apart from stumping up the money,
Chris has been able to take a back seat AND make a healthy return.
# Nothing at all... #
If only it was always this straightforward!
Back now to Torpoint in Cornwall, where fitness instructor Wendy
bought this four-bedroomed, mid-terraced house for £150,000.
Originally from Devon, she's lived in London for 12 years,
and was keen to move back to the West Country, to live by the sea.
But the property needed a lot more work than it might have seemed,
as a pre-auction survey revealed.
-What did it say needed to be done?
-Quite a few things.
Roof, damp-proofing, obviously plasterwork, and, er,
yeah, quite a long list.
16 months later, we've returned
to a less sunny Torpoint than the one we first visited,
to see if Wendy's managed to whip this old property into shape.
The renovation is a fair way from being over, but work has been done
to strip back and re-plaster the living room.
It's the same story with the rooms at the back.
Wendy had hoped to be living here by now - why isn't she?
The front of the house was finished, the new windows were in
and everything, the roof was done, all re-plastered, etc.
And then...the only final bit of roof that hadn't been done
was the bay window roof,
so we had that done as a separate job.
But unfortunately, the heat work on the roof, obviously,
sparked onto a timber and started a fire.
The front of the house was declared unsafe,
as major structural joists had been badly damaged,
adding time to the repair.
The tough winter had already slowed the refurbishment down.
The fire slowed things down further,
as Wendy had to wait for the insurance to be sorted out.
What other damage did the fire do?
The damage was fairly localised to the front of the house on two floors.
Erm, but there was a lot of soot and smoke damage, and obviously,
that permeates through the whole house,
so it was all quite black!
What a huge shame.
But I'm glad Wendy can still look on the bright side,
and whilst it's been an undoubted setback,
structurally, everything is fine now.
Although it may not look like it superficially,
a lot of the hard graft has already been done.
Even the back garden has all been sorted.
However, given the circumstances, Wendy's plans have now changed.
Because it took so many months to sort out, I just though, "Really,
"I need to... By the time I've then refurbished,
"I'm going to be at the ceiling value for the area,"
and I'd really lost a little bit of heart on it, to be honest,
so I thought, "Well, I'll just put the property back on the market,
"and see what the response is." For anyone coming in now,
a considerable amount of the work has been done.
Maybe they'll come in with renewed enthusiasm, energy and so on,
and just take it, take it to the end.
That is sad, but with the fire repairs covered by insurance,
hopefully she's not lost out too much financially.
How much has the renovation cost?
I've probably spent about 20,000 in total, yeah.
The major costs I suppose would be on the roof,
er, quite a few new windows
and some building work
in terms of, sort of, repair of the walls -
the rear wall had to be tied in to the property,
because it hasn't been tied in properly,
and quite a lot of wall repairs in terms of plastering,
and I don't know if you remember,
but upstairs there were some holes in one wall,
some big, major cracking repaired,
which was more than superficial cracking, and things like that.
Added to the purchase price of 150,000
Wendy's spend of £20,000 brings her total outlay to 170,000.
What do two local estate agents think of it now?
It's a lovely, period, terraced property,
in a fantastic waterside location within Torpoint.
Since the fire damage, the property has had structural works done,
and it's been cleared out, so it's more of a blank canvas now,
rather than such a large project.
With its prime location, what rent could it earn?
I would put it on the rental market for around £800 per calendar month.
I would expect it to achieve £750 per calendar month.
Erm, I would say that's about right - there's not been a lot of change
in the rental market since I bought it, so it sounds about on target.
That would give a yield of around 5.5%, but Wendy is selling,
so what sale price would they estimate?
In today's market, I would expect the property
to achieve in the region of £175,000.
If I was to put it up for sale,
I would be happy to market it in the region of £190,000.
You know, there's a big difference between them.
I think 190, in its current condition, is quite optimistic,
but somewhere between the two I think is about spot on.
That would give Wendy a pre-tax profit
of between £5,000 and £15,000.
The project has had its challenges - how would she sum it up?
It's been a big project that I took on. I learned a lot doing it.
Having the fire - I certainly know a lot more about fire than I did.
It's an experience, yes!
Have the challenges she faced made her reconsider her decision
to relocate to the South-West?
Absolutely not. I love Cornwall,
I've wanted to live here for over two years.
I'm definitely staying in the county.
In the world of property, there is always something new to learn,
and we'll have more advice for you next time.
-Join us then for more Homes Under The Hammer.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a house in Cheshire, a two-bed mid-terrace in Lancashire and a property in Cornwall. All of these properties have been sold at auction. Martin and Lucy find out who bought them, and what they paid when they went under the hammer.