Episode 94 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 94

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a semi in Manchester, a house in Derbyshire and a cottage in Wiltshire, and find out who bought them at auction.


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Hello, and welcome to the show. In today's uncertain property market,

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it can be difficult to buy your own piece of home heaven.

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But large or small, auctions are a great place to start.

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Yes, today we're following brave buyers

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who've bought their home under the hammer.

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Well, if you've decided to take a gamble

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and place a bet on property, then auctions could be a place to go.

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The auction room is electric, the action, well, it's fast and furious.

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Let's see what inspired the buyers on today's show.

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I'm in Blackley, Manchester,

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where I certainly can't dance on the ceiling of this semi.

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..is a bit odd. I can't for the life of me figure out why.

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In Derbyshire, the first person I'd call is a kitchen fitter.

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Look at this. Look. Whoever fitted this kitchen - urgh! -

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didn't do it very well!

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And this cottage in Warminster, Wiltshire

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has me reaching for the paracetamol.

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But that's just a headache in every single sense of the word!

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All these properties have been sold at auction,

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and we find out who bought them

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-and what they paid when they went under the hammer.

-Yours, sir.

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There are two types of buyers around the city -

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those who like living in a cul-de-sac

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and those who like to live where it's busy.

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You don't get much busier than this.

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Blackley is handy for buses, motorways

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and is right on the main artery road into Manchester.

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I'm in northern Manchester, on a major bus link into the city centre.

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So, what do you reckon it's going to cost you

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to buy a three-bed semi-detached, well, exactly here?

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Well, I tell you what, how about this place? It was sold at auction.

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What do you think the reserve price was?

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50,000? 60,000?

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80,000? 100,000?

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It was nil. Nada. Nothing.

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If you had been the only person in the auction room on that day,

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you would have been able to buy this place for £1.

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The property was auctioned without a reserve

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specifically because of the challenges of renovating it.

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A low reserve or one of nothing

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brings a lot of interest to the market.

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It may seem incredible, but that is just the way that auctions work.

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Now, to be absolutely accurate, there was a minimum deposit,

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which had to be paid, of 2,500 quid,

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but still, that's not much money for a house like this.

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Let's find out what that could buy.

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Narrow staircase to the bedrooms upstairs.

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Down the corridor... looks like it's got central heating, which is good.

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Front sitting room there. Nice brick fireplace.

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Try and keep that if you can.

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And then through a bit of a wiggly corridor to the kitchen.

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Now, here's where it starts to go a bit wrong.

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Large holes in the floor

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and some very nasty-looking cracks up there.

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Obviously in need of total refurbishment.

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Still, remember how much it was.

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O...K! Er, yep, this is the rear sitting room.

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Some lovely features here(!) How about this bar? Yes, very 1970s.

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Love these lions' heads. Excellent.

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And there are other throwbacks to the '70s. A lovely kitchen hatch.

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I'm not sure you'd want to keep this.

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Maybe take this wall down, create a nice open-plan kitchen/diner.

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# You will always find him in the kitchen at parties

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# You will always find him in the kitchen at parties... #

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This house is such a '70s throwback.

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That theme carries on into the hallway and stairs,

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with the lovely little features from its original 1930s construction

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only just making themselves heard.

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Well, upstairs, three good-sized double bedrooms

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and a decent-sized bathroom, so that's good news.

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Also, some really amazing features. I mean, look at that.

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Up there in the attic, there is this incredible arch.

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It's actually, I think, the old chimney stacks

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from the fireplaces downstairs on either side,

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and they form this arch, which goes up into one stack on the roof.

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Beautiful. I'd love to see that incorporated to the house somehow.

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Maybe create a room up there and strip back that brick.

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It would be absolutely beautiful.

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But the fact that I can see it,

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the fact that there's no ceiling, all over the upstairs here,

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is a bit odd. I can't for the life of me figure out why.

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# It's a mystery

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# Oh, it's a mystery

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# I'm still searching for the clue... #

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They could have been removed for any number of reasons -

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asbestos, pests, some sort of rot.

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But whatever the reason, this is a huge job to be carried on.

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The bedrooms should be stripped back, plastered and painted and given new windows,

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and the banisters all need renovating, too.

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Well, everything I've seen so far doesn't particularly worry me.

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Yes, there's lots of work to be done,

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but it's stuff that you can cope with.

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Much more serious is the front of the property itself.

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If you look at it from a distance,

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it's actually got serious subsidence.

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Now, it seems that this corner of the front is actually sinking.

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Down there, I reckon that's the culprit,

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a drain that looks like it's broken.

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It's probably been leaking water into the ground.

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That's got very soggy,

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so the corner's just sunk into the mud.

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That could mean you're going to have to rebuild the whole of the front,

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and that is going to cost you a quid or two...

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# A-ha...

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# All the things I could do

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# If I had a little money

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# It's a rich man's world... #

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So, lots of potential, but you'd have to dig deep into your pockets.

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Let's see what the local expert from the auction house thinks of it all.

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The property's an interesting property built in the 1920s, '30s.

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It's got lots of character, lots of challenges for the new owners.

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But they can make something really beautiful out of this.

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What about the condition of the property?

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The renovation job of this house is massive.

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There is no stone that will be left unturned.

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The front bay is falling away from the house,

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so they've got to decide whether to rebuild the bay,

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what they do with certain rooms, how they configure the house,

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where they put kitchens, bathrooms.

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So they've got lots and lots of challenges here,

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which could be seen as lots and lots of fun.

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So whoever bought this will have their work cut out.

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But will all that fun add up if and when the property is sold on?

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If they were putting this on the market,

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I would imagine this would sell for about £120,000.

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Not bad, especially if it went for £1.

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But is this a good rental property?

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To rent this out would be popular. I would imagine they'd get

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between £550 per calendar month and £600 per calendar month.

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Well, no reserve price may seem like an absolute bargain for this,

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but what you've got here is a house with serious structural problems

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that is going to cost quite a lot of money to sort out.

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And what on earth has gone on with the ceiling upstairs?

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Let's hope the person who bought it knew the answer

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when it went under the hammer.

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10,000? First bid.

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£10,000.

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10,000.

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15,000. Who's going to give me 20?

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20. Right, there we go. £20,000 first, then. 25, sir?

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25,000. At 25,000. May I say 30?

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30. 30,000.

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At £30,000. 35?

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35. 35,000. Do I see 40?

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40,000. New bid, 40,000, gentleman in the middle.

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Do I see 45? 45,000.

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At 45, seated.

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Do I see 50? At £50,000.

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At 50. Do I see 55 anywhere?

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It's against you, sir. I've got 55 seated. 60?

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At £60,000. 65?

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No.

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At 60. Give me 61, then.

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61. 62. 63. 64.

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65. At 65,000. 66.

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May I say 67? At 67. 68? At 68,000.

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69?

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At 69. Round it up?

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70? At £70,000, then. At £70,000.

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Is anybody going to give me another bid? It's going to be sold. I'll take 500.

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At 70,000. 70,500. May I say 71?

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At 71,000. 71,500? 71,500. 72? 72.

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72,500? No. At 72,000, then, for the first time.

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At 72,000 for the second and final time. Are we all done at £72,000?

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That's yours, sir. Can I have your paddle number? 889.

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It was John and his wife Linda who made the winning bid of 72,000.

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John's a plumber by trade,

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and he's certainly going to have his work cut out here.

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I met up with them back at the house to find out more.

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-Congratulations!

-Thank you very much!

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A bit of work to be done.

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-Oh, yeah!

-I think there's more than "a bit", yes.

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It's a great house. Tell me why you wanted to buy it.

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I've got a few properties,

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and work's been really quiet the past 12 months or so,

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so I thought I'd give meself something to do.

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-What do you do?

-I'm a plumber by trade, but building work generally.

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-So you can turn your hand to most things.

-Yeah.

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Linda, what's your involvement?

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-Well, I'm his wife.

-Excellent!

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Of course I have lots of involvement there!

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Well, I'll help where I can.

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I mean, obviously, I'll try

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and come in and do lots of knocking plaster off and what have you,

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but my bits will be when we're doing

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the decorating stage and the gardens,

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and I'll have my input then, really.

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So, why have you bought it?

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It's pointless having money in the bank,

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so property's always been the way to go, for me, really.

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And the idea is that you do it up and sell it on?

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I'll try and sell, but you never know in the market, so I may rent it.

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Probably rent it, I think.

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For a little while, anyway, until the market picks up.

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It's a massive undertaking for the couple,

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made slightly easier by the fact they only live a few miles away,

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so John won't have to get up too early to be on site.

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So, tell me exactly what you're going to do to sort it out.

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Oh, start at the top and work down.

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New roof, fascias, gutters, window frames.

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Depending on the structural engineer, what he says,

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possibly drop the front of the house.

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-"Drop" it?

-Yeah. It's leaning in two different directions.

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Depends what he says.

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Whatever the structural engineer says, I'll do.

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-When you say "drop", what do you mean?

-The brickwork's falling

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-to the right and the left.

-So what will you do?

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It might need to come down.

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-What, the whole of the front?

-Maybe, yeah.

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-Are you OK about that?

-Yeah. I've done it before, so...

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-Second nature.

-I might do it again!

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-It's a big job!

-It is, it is, but it's got to be done.

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John and Linda had viewed it before the auction

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and knew what challenges they would face.

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Apart from that major work required at the front of the house,

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what else do they plan to do?

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New window frames, probably a porch,

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push the front door forward to give some more room in the hallway,

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new kitchen, relocate the kitchen to the back,

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and French windows where the kitchen window is now,

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and possibly a bedroom in the loft. I'm not sure about that yet.

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-Just knock it down and start again?

-I could do.

-We did think about that!

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Cheaper! We did think about that, yeah. We did think about that.

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-The neighbours wouldn't like it!

-Next door might have a grumble at that!

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John's obviously prepared

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for the serious issues that have to be tackled here.

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But there is one thing that I really wanted to ask them about.

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-Why is it open to the loft? I can't figure it out.

-One word -

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-pigeons.

-Pigeons? What, they've eaten it?!

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-No, no, pigeon infestation in the loft.

-Right....

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And I got together with the council and the vendor.

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I agreed that it was OK to remove the ceilings

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to get rid of the pigeon problem.

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So, what had happened?

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-Pigeon guano six inches deep through the loft.

-Ew!

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-Mm!

-You don't want to work in that. I wouldn't let anybody work in it.

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-It was coming down into the bedroom.

-Yeah, you could smell it.

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And feathers were coming through. You could hear them cooing.

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# Little pigeon, fly away... #

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That must have been a relief, to have them out of the way

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and be able to start with a clean canvas.

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John will do a lot of the work himself - obviously, the plumbing -

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but will subcontract the rest.

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He hopes to complete this major renovation in about six months.

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So, how much is all that going to cost?!

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I'm hoping about 30 grand-ish,

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but I would imagine another five on top, possibly. 35.

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-What, to even do the front?

-Mm, not sure on that.

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The engineer says it doesn't have to be done,

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but, you know, if it does, it does.

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-And that would add another...?

-It's scaffolded for the roof anyway,

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so you can drop the front at the same time.

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Well, congratulations. Thank you for solving my mystery.

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-A pleasure.

-And good luck with it.

-Thank you, Martin. Thank you.

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So, finally, the mystery of the upstairs ceiling is solved.

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It was pigeons!

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Anyway, John and Linda certainly seem under no illusions

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about the amount of work it's going to take to sort this out.

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But especially if they have to rebuild that front wall,

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is their budget going to be enough? I don't think so.

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You can see how they get on later in the show.

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This is the market town of Belper in Derbyshire.

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Belper's cotton mills once churned out cloth and hosiery.

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It is even said that Queen Victoria's stockings

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and Lord Nelson's vest came from here!

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The last mill standing is now a museum

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and Belper has become more of a commuter town

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for nearby Derby, Nottingham and Manchester.

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The property I'm here to see is less than a mile from Belper town centre.

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This development behind me was built in the '70s,

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and this house here was built around 40 years ago.

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I wouldn't describe it as "pretty",

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but at least the guide price was attractive.

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It was up for auction for £100,000.

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Similar properties around here can go for 50 grand more than that,

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so this house is exciting me.

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But this is not, because it's the only way in, up this steep driveway.

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So wish me luck. No bottom shots, please.

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# Shake, shake, shake Shake, shake, shake

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# Shake your booty... #

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'It's a good start as there's double glazing

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'and a reasonably-sized garage, though a very steep drive up to it.'

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So, the '70s feel is apparent inside as well.

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You've got this classic brown staircase here,

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the exposed brickwork.

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You could get rid of this if you wanted to,

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but there's so much you could do to change this room.

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You could paint all of that, get rid of this fireplace.

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I think the good thing here is there is a chimney breast,

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so you can have a focal point.

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But what I like about this is the big window here, letting loads of natural light in,

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a really big family entertaining space.

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So, although the house doesn't tick all the boxes for its beauty prize,

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you've got loads of space here, which is a real bonus.

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You've got a good size reception room here

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and the kitchen. Again, I really like the space.

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There's a lot you could do here. You could take this wall down,

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open it up, so you've got a nice kitchen diner,

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views into the garden.

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Look at all this! I love a bit of storage.

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Look, one, two, three, four... loads of cupboards!

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What you could do is take them out and put all your units along here.

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I would block up the side door and put some lovely French doors here,

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leading straight out to the garden.

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But here's a funny thing - take a look at this.

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Whoever fitted this kitchen...

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didn't do it very well. You can't quite get into that cupboard!

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Definitely needs a bit of a rethink.

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But, you know what? It could really work.

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'Upstairs are two well-proportioned doubles and a single bedroom,

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'all of which could do with redecoration,

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'new carpets and general updating.

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'The same applies to the bathroom. It's also a bit on the small side,

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'but adequate.'

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A bit of a downside to this property is the garden is not huge.

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Bit of a postage stamp.

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Also, you've got a busy main road behind that wall.

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You can really hear the traffic thundering past.

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One way to rectify this garden, to make it a bit bigger,

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would be to take down this conservatory.

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It's not the most attractive of structures,

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but I happen to think it's quite useful.

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If it were my house, I'd probably keep it there.

0:17:220:17:25

It's a good place to store the kids' bikes, painting on a rainy day,

0:17:250:17:29

you can hang your washing out.

0:17:290:17:31

It just offers another room.

0:17:310:17:33

I think I would be inclined to keep something like this.

0:17:330:17:36

'Let's get an assessment of this house

0:17:360:17:38

'with its guide price of £100,000.

0:17:380:17:40

'Who better to ask than the auctioneer who sold it?'

0:17:400:17:44

It's quite a standard three bedroom house of the style that was built

0:17:440:17:49

back in the '70s.

0:17:490:17:50

Straightforward accommodation, not huge, but adequate.

0:17:500:17:54

It has actually been quite well maintained - new windows,

0:17:540:17:58

fireplace that I'm leaning on.

0:17:580:18:00

Kitchen's quite nice, so it's been reasonably kept up-to-date.

0:18:000:18:05

'If bought to let, what rent could be achieved here?'

0:18:050:18:09

I would say that when this is improved,

0:18:090:18:12

although actually there isn't a great deal to do,

0:18:120:18:15

the rental value would be around £600 per calendar month.

0:18:150:18:18

'And the sale value?'

0:18:180:18:21

If you pushed this to its optimum,

0:18:210:18:23

I think it would have a value of around £170,000.

0:18:230:18:26

The going rate for these sort of properties,

0:18:260:18:30

if they're in good order, is somewhere between 165 and 180.

0:18:300:18:34

This is slightly smaller than some of the three-bedroom varieties round here,

0:18:340:18:39

but that's, I think, where it would be.

0:18:390:18:41

This is a hard house to fall in love with.

0:18:430:18:45

Personally, I've never been a fan of '70s architecture,

0:18:450:18:49

unless you make it really, really modern.

0:18:490:18:52

But it is a practical property. It just works.

0:18:520:18:55

It's detached, it offers quite a lot of space,

0:18:550:18:58

and there's potential to add value by just redecorating

0:18:580:19:01

and fitting a new kitchen and bathroom.

0:19:010:19:04

So, who bid for it? Let's find out when we head to auction.

0:19:040:19:08

Who's got 100,000, for a three-bed detached

0:19:080:19:10

in the good residential location of Belper?

0:19:100:19:13

£100,000?

0:19:130:19:15

100,000 is bid, thank you.

0:19:150:19:17

At 100,000, opening bid. 101 somewhere else?

0:19:170:19:20

100,000. 101.

0:19:200:19:22

101, 102.

0:19:220:19:24

103.

0:19:240:19:26

104.

0:19:260:19:28

104, 105.

0:19:280:19:30

106.

0:19:300:19:32

107.

0:19:320:19:33

108.

0:19:330:19:35

109.

0:19:350:19:37

110.

0:19:370:19:39

111?

0:19:390:19:40

Don't stop yet.

0:19:400:19:41

110,000, this side.

0:19:410:19:43

111.

0:19:430:19:44

112.

0:19:440:19:46

112. 113?

0:19:460:19:49

No? Is that it? First and last bid.

0:19:490:19:52

£112,000.

0:19:520:19:54

Once...

0:19:540:19:55

twice,

0:19:550:19:57

third time.

0:19:570:19:58

Yours, sir, thank you, 112.

0:19:580:20:01

# You'd better knock... on wood, baby... #

0:20:010:20:05

'It was carpenter Chris who made that successful bid of 112,000.

0:20:050:20:11

'He, his wife Poppy, and son Harry,

0:20:110:20:14

'have recently moved to the area after living in Surrey.

0:20:140:20:17

'I met them at the property.'

0:20:170:20:19

Guys, congratulations. It's lovely to meet you both today.

0:20:190:20:23

Tell me why you wanted to buy this house at auction.

0:20:230:20:26

I was made redundant, so we've got a little boy, Harry,

0:20:260:20:30

and I'm from Derbyshire originally, just down the road.

0:20:300:20:33

We thought we'd change our careers,

0:20:330:20:36

so Chris decided it was something he'd love to do,

0:20:360:20:41

to do property. He's done one before.

0:20:410:20:43

So we thought this would be the perfect one, really.

0:20:430:20:46

'The family's move north prompted Chris to try his hand

0:20:460:20:49

'at property development.

0:20:490:20:51

'After being made redundant from her casting job in television,

0:20:510:20:55

'Poppy's set up a youth theatre and casting agency.'

0:20:550:20:59

Walking around, there's not that much to do.

0:20:590:21:02

Yes, it does need updating,

0:21:020:21:03

but what are you guys going to do to change this property?

0:21:030:21:07

New kitchen and knock right through into the dining room.

0:21:070:21:11

Maybe take this wall out behind, so you can see right through,

0:21:110:21:16

so it's all open-plan, really.

0:21:160:21:19

New bathroom.

0:21:190:21:21

And just modernise, really.

0:21:210:21:23

'As well as the interior changes,

0:21:230:21:26

'Chris plans to render the outside front wall

0:21:260:21:29

'and put a pitch on the garage and porch as well as move the front door

0:21:290:21:33

'from the side to the front'

0:21:330:21:35

The front door? Yes, it will look great.

0:21:360:21:39

How much expenditure is that going to cost?

0:21:390:21:42

Not a lot, really. Just work. It's just knocking a hole,

0:21:420:21:46

knocking a hole through and moving it round the side.

0:21:460:21:49

-Aesthetically, it'll look better.

-A lot of houses have moved them.

0:21:490:21:54

-It looks like there's something missing when it's on the side.

-Mm.

0:21:540:21:58

What about that conservatory you've got out the back?

0:21:580:22:00

It's not big enough to do anything with,

0:22:000:22:03

yet it'd be a shame to knock it down...

0:22:030:22:05

And it's quite ugly as well.

0:22:050:22:07

Cos there's no glass at the bottom. We're thinking of taking it down

0:22:070:22:12

and extending the patio area, so you have a nice seating area outside

0:22:120:22:16

and put some French doors on instead.

0:22:160:22:18

Tidy up that way.

0:22:180:22:20

It's a shame to get rid of an extra room, isn't it?

0:22:200:22:23

I really don't know what I'd do. I think I'd probably leave it there.

0:22:230:22:27

-We're still like that on it.

-It's not really a room at the moment.

0:22:270:22:31

You couldn't put much in it, I suppose. We'll see.

0:22:310:22:34

What about the colour schemes at the moment?

0:22:340:22:36

Lots of brown wood, brown doors.

0:22:360:22:39

-Are you going to be changing that?

-Yeah.

0:22:390:22:42

We're going to replace the stairs for more modern, square spindles

0:22:420:22:46

and tidy that up.

0:22:460:22:48

New skirting throughout, and architraves and doors.

0:22:480:22:52

'The timescale for the refurbishment is eight to ten weeks.

0:22:520:22:56

'Chris will do most of it, apart from the electrics and plumbing.'

0:22:560:23:01

What's your budget to spend here?

0:23:010:23:03

About 8,000.

0:23:030:23:04

Hopefully, we might not need to use it,

0:23:040:23:07

but it doesn't matter if it goes over a little bit.

0:23:070:23:10

Now, because you guys got this at quite a good price,

0:23:100:23:14

how much do you intend to sell this for?

0:23:140:23:17

Hopefully, put it up for sale about 160.

0:23:170:23:22

-So there's a fair bit of profit in it for you?

-Yeah.

0:23:220:23:25

There's others on the estate up at that price.

0:23:250:23:28

And this'll obviously be like a brand-new house,

0:23:280:23:32

so this'll be better than the competition, hopefully.

0:23:320:23:36

Poppy, how involved are you going to be?

0:23:360:23:38

I'll bring him sandwiches and cups of tea.

0:23:380:23:42

It's really difficult with Harry.

0:23:420:23:46

I like painting, so maybe I'll do a bit of that.

0:23:460:23:49

Are you slightly worried about your whole change of job, change of plans,

0:23:490:23:53

you've moved from the south to the north,

0:23:530:23:55

you have a new career ahead of you.

0:23:550:23:57

How do you feel about that challenge?

0:23:570:23:59

It's exciting, though, isn't it? If we were ever going to do it,

0:23:590:24:04

the time was now to make the jump.

0:24:040:24:06

If it doesn't work, you go back to what you were doing before.

0:24:060:24:11

Guys, this is a big step for all of you and I really hope it works out.

0:24:110:24:15

-Good luck with all of this.

-Thanks.

-Lovely to meet you.

0:24:150:24:19

'Chris and Poppy made a bold move,

0:24:190:24:21

'leaving Surrey and both starting new careers.

0:24:210:24:24

'Will they be able to turn this place round in eight to ten weeks?

0:24:240:24:27

'Find out whether the couple are in the money or in over their heads later in the show.'

0:24:270:24:33

'Coming up, in Wiltshire, I find the low ceilings in this cottage are fine...'

0:24:340:24:39

..as long as you spend most of the time...sitting on the floor.

0:24:390:24:43

'In Belper, Derbyshire, outside,

0:24:440:24:46

'things were back to front for Chris and Poppy.'

0:24:460:24:50

The trees were holding the fence up, actually, that was left.

0:24:500:24:54

'But first, in Manchester, John and Linda have certainly impressed a local property expert.'

0:24:550:25:00

This is probably one of the best refurbishments I've seen.

0:25:000:25:04

'Now back to Blackley in Manchester,

0:25:120:25:14

'where John, a multi-skilled plumber, and his wife, Linda,

0:25:140:25:18

'bought this three-bedroom semi-detached property for £72,000.

0:25:180:25:22

'After removing the ceilings to get rid of the pigeon infestation,

0:25:220:25:27

'there were still some major problems to fix,

0:25:270:25:29

'including the holes in the kitchen floor.

0:25:290:25:32

'But it was the front of the house that was the real concern.'

0:25:320:25:36

-The brickwork's falling to the right and the left.

-What will you do?

0:25:370:25:41

It might need to come down.

0:25:410:25:43

-The whole of the front of the house?

-Maybe.

0:25:430:25:46

-Are you OK about that?

-Yeah.

-Done it before, so...

0:25:460:25:48

-Second nature.

-Might do it again.

0:25:480:25:50

'Well, we're back almost a year later, to find out if Linda and John have managed to banish the birds,

0:25:500:25:57

'or have the pigeons come home to roost?'

0:25:570:26:00

'On the ground floor, they've opened up the whole area,

0:26:100:26:14

'leaving one large, interconnected living space.

0:26:140:26:18

'Obviously, the kitchen has now moved - but where?'

0:26:210:26:24

Yes, the kitchen. We had an existing,

0:26:240:26:27

well, a lean-to extension on it, but it was collapsing.

0:26:270:26:32

It was about a third the size of this, so we dropped the whole thing.

0:26:320:26:35

We reused all the brick from the existing extension

0:26:350:26:38

to create the outer skin and the rest is brand-new.

0:26:380:26:41

It blends in with the house, really.

0:26:410:26:44

Then we put this rather nice kitchen in, but it's not quite finished.

0:26:440:26:49

See the handles missing?

0:26:490:26:51

'It's very nearly all there.

0:26:510:26:53

'They have also created a utility room at the end of the kitchen

0:26:530:26:57

'and they didn't stop there, making a new toilet under the stairs.

0:26:570:27:01

'Upstairs, they swapped the bathroom with the back bedroom.

0:27:010:27:07

'Now it's a spacious room, fitted out with a good quality suite.

0:27:070:27:12

'The two bedrooms and old bathroom have been stripped back,

0:27:130:27:17

'replastered and decorated.

0:27:170:27:19

'They now have a ceiling and, above it,

0:27:230:27:26

'there is another small addition.'

0:27:260:27:29

We've put a complete new floor in,

0:27:290:27:32

because the existing floor wasn't suitable.

0:27:320:27:34

The rafters were that big and we put proper joists right through.

0:27:340:27:38

It's all re-boarded, skimmed, insulated.

0:27:380:27:41

We've put this wall in,

0:27:410:27:43

with some access for storage right the way round the place.

0:27:430:27:46

This is insulated, eight, nine inches deep, really,

0:27:460:27:50

which created a problem because it brought the ceiling level down,

0:27:500:27:54

which meant the stairs on the plan weren't suitable,

0:27:540:27:57

so they had to be replaced

0:27:570:27:59

by these paddle stairs - not my favourite, but they do the job.

0:27:590:28:03

'The worrying signs at the front of the house,

0:28:030:28:06

'where it appeared to be sinking, were not as bad as first thought.

0:28:060:28:10

'After a structural engineer examined it,

0:28:100:28:13

'John rectified the problems.'

0:28:130:28:15

We had to unpin the front corner of the house,

0:28:150:28:18

where they had a drainage problem.

0:28:180:28:20

They'd rebuilt the front of the house, but not remedied the problem, which was two leaking drains.

0:28:200:28:25

We did that, underpinned it and built a porch on it in the end.

0:28:250:28:30

'Outside, in the garden, there was also a lot of work to do,

0:28:300:28:34

'as Linda explains.'

0:28:340:28:36

Outside, my first job was to clear a path through the mud and the weeds,

0:28:360:28:41

to enable us to put some building stuff there,

0:28:410:28:44

so I spent about two weeks

0:28:440:28:46

clearing the weeds and cutting some of the trees back.

0:28:460:28:49

Biggest brambles I've ever seen in my life.

0:28:490:28:52

We couldn't tell how long the garden was for about two days.

0:28:520:28:57

We couldn't see the back fence.

0:28:570:28:59

So, it's much improved now. Very different, nice and open.

0:28:590:29:02

'The couple's original budget was about £30,000,

0:29:020:29:06

'but with all the extra work they've done, including the extension,

0:29:060:29:11

'they must've exceeded that.'

0:29:110:29:13

It's probably cost an extra five grand, on the insulation, really.

0:29:130:29:17

That's not just buying it, that's fitting it as well.

0:29:170:29:20

Even the ground floor's done right through now.

0:29:200:29:23

Once you change a little part of it, it becomes a renewal, so you have to do the whole floor.

0:29:230:29:28

That took a big chunk of the budget.

0:29:280:29:31

Probably spend about 40 now.

0:29:310:29:34

'Adding that £40,000 to the original purchase price of 72,000

0:29:370:29:41

'makes a total of £112,000.

0:29:410:29:45

'What do two local estate agents make of this substantial refurbishment?'

0:29:450:29:50

They've done an amazing job of it, it's a great size.

0:29:500:29:53

They've done a full refurb on the property,

0:29:530:29:56

including the attic bedroom,

0:29:560:29:58

which, I think, will make it very saleable for a larger family.

0:29:580:30:02

The property's absolutely fantastic. The owners have done a superb job.

0:30:020:30:07

This is probably one of the best refurbishments I've seen

0:30:070:30:10

on a traditional three-bedroom semi-detached house.

0:30:100:30:14

'How much would they get if they sold it?

0:30:140:30:17

If I was placing this property on the market, I'd be looking to try

0:30:190:30:22

sort of, late...£159,950.

0:30:220:30:27

I would expect this property to achieve about £140,000.

0:30:270:30:32

I'm not surprised by that at all. I think that's about right.

0:30:320:30:36

I know similar properties up for similar prices,

0:30:360:30:39

so I'm not surprised.

0:30:390:30:40

But there might be a prospect to keep and rent it at that price.

0:30:400:30:44

'That would give John and Linda a pre-tax profit

0:30:440:30:47

'of between £28,000 and £48,000.

0:30:470:30:50

'What rental could they expect to achieve?'

0:30:500:30:54

This is a very desirable property for rental purposes.

0:30:540:30:57

It's a large, family home.

0:30:570:31:00

I would think it would achieve around about £600, £650 per calendar month.

0:31:000:31:05

Rental valuations in the current market,

0:31:050:31:08

I would value this at £650 per calendar month.

0:31:080:31:11

-That's what we thought?

-It's about what I thought.

0:31:110:31:14

It's in line with our thinking.

0:31:140:31:16

'That would mean a yield of around 6.5% to 7%.

0:31:160:31:21

'What do they now plan to do with the house?'

0:31:210:31:24

We'll probably put it up for sale, I think, first of all.

0:31:240:31:28

-See how that goes.

-Try it for a couple of months, I think, on the market.

0:31:280:31:33

If that doesn't move, say by Christmas, think about renting.

0:31:330:31:37

'How would Linda and John sum up the whole experience?'

0:31:390:31:44

It's been an absolute joy.

0:31:450:31:47

-We've really enjoyed it, haven't we?

-Yes, we have.

0:31:470:31:51

I'm in Wylye, deep in the heart of Wiltshire.

0:31:530:31:57

It's got a lovely local pub, there's a cute church,

0:31:570:32:01

lots of chocolate box houses. And, yet, you've got the convenience of Warminster and Salisbury close by.

0:32:010:32:07

What more could you possibly want?

0:32:070:32:09

Oh! How about a house here?

0:32:090:32:11

'The village is popular with commuters

0:32:110:32:14

'who need the nearby stations and road access,

0:32:140:32:17

'but also want the peace and tranquillity of the countryside.

0:32:170:32:20

'I can see that once you've moved here, it would be hard to leave.'

0:32:200:32:24

Well, being in this part of the country, I'm expecting to find something with a bit of character.

0:32:240:32:30

I am not disappointed!

0:32:300:32:32

This is a 19th century thatched cottage.

0:32:320:32:35

At a guide price of £220,000,

0:32:350:32:38

it seems like a lot of property for the money. Let's look inside.

0:32:380:32:43

'Thatched cottages aren't everyone's cup of tea,

0:32:430:32:46

'due to the maintenance required,

0:32:460:32:49

'but they do tend to sell for a premium.

0:32:490:32:51

'From the outside, this one's certainly very pretty.

0:32:510:32:54

'Time for a nosey about.'

0:32:540:32:56

Wow!

0:32:580:32:59

That is ridiculous.

0:32:590:33:02

I'm expecting a low ceiling - that's kind of characterful...

0:33:020:33:06

But that's just a headache in every single sense of the word!

0:33:080:33:12

Seriously, that would put me off buying this place.

0:33:130:33:17

That's not just me, it would be a lot of people.

0:33:170:33:20

I'm 6' tall, so, I guess if you were going to sell to someone not as tall as me...

0:33:200:33:24

But why would you limit your market so much?

0:33:240:33:27

Let's try and be a bit positive. Look what someone's done to create more headspace -

0:33:270:33:32

they've chiselled through one of these beautiful old beams.

0:33:320:33:35

You don't hit your head on this side, as opposed to this side, which you do!

0:33:350:33:39

Ha! Good news, though, look over here.

0:33:390:33:41

How beautiful is this?!

0:33:410:33:44

A fantastic inglenook fireplace.

0:33:440:33:46

OK, OK, the cottage is starting to redeem itself.

0:33:460:33:49

As long as you spend most of your time...sitting on the floor,

0:33:490:33:54

not going to be a problem, is it?

0:33:540:33:57

# I'll light the fire

0:33:570:34:00

# You place the flowers in the vase that you bought... #

0:34:010:34:07

'As much as I would like to sit in front of a roaring fire,

0:34:070:34:11

'I've got work to do.

0:34:110:34:12

'There's plenty more house to explore.

0:34:120:34:14

'One thing worth mentioning is that although this cottage isn't listed,

0:34:140:34:19

'it is in a conservation area, so any external or major changes

0:34:190:34:24

'would need planning permission.'

0:34:240:34:27

Rear sitting room there. Up a few steps, you've got a loo,

0:34:270:34:31

access to the rear garden. Then, at last,

0:34:310:34:33

through to a room that at least has a bit of head height - the kitchen.

0:34:330:34:37

Unfortunately, this is probably the room with the least character,

0:34:370:34:41

but I reckon with a really nice, handmade kitchen in here,

0:34:410:34:45

you'd at least have a room...

0:34:450:34:47

where you didn't have to be ducking all the time.

0:34:470:34:50

'In the rear extension out back, there's a separate boiler room or airing cupboard,

0:34:500:34:55

'which might be better used as something else.

0:34:550:34:58

'Great to have a downstairs loo, and having a shower is a bonus,

0:34:580:35:03

'though that depends what's lurking upstairs.

0:35:030:35:06

'I hope there's a decent bathroom.'

0:35:060:35:09

So, upstairs, bedroom there, bedroom there.

0:35:090:35:13

A few hidden hazards, a step where you're not expecting it.

0:35:130:35:16

The whole place has got hazards,

0:35:160:35:18

places you can bang your head, trip up. It all adds to the character,

0:35:180:35:23

but what was it in olden days? Were they just shorter?

0:35:230:35:26

Did I eat too many breakfast cereals as a child, so I'm abnormally tall?

0:35:260:35:30

Anyway, bedrooms, bedrooms.

0:35:300:35:32

Bathroom here, looks in reasonable nick.

0:35:320:35:35

'The bathroom's nice enough, but needs freshening up.

0:35:350:35:39

'And then into the decent-size master bedroom,

0:35:390:35:43

'with windows at the front and rear giving lovely views over the garden.

0:35:430:35:49

'This English country garden comes complete with a shed and apple tree.

0:35:540:35:59

'The garden is level... with the back windowsill,

0:35:590:36:01

'so, to give more light into that room,

0:36:010:36:04

'the ground should be landscaped back.

0:36:040:36:06

'Although this cottage is charming and has lots of rooms inside,

0:36:060:36:11

'the low ceilings are a concern. There is potential here, though.

0:36:110:36:15

'We asked a local estate agent to give his verdict on this property,

0:36:150:36:19

'guided at £220,000.'

0:36:190:36:22

The first thing is it's very deceptive.

0:36:220:36:25

It looks like a traditional, rambling cottage.

0:36:250:36:27

Actually, there's a lot of room, a lovely big sitting room here,

0:36:270:36:31

with an inglenook fireplace.

0:36:310:36:33

The kitchen and dining room,

0:36:330:36:35

there's potential there, good size dining room.

0:36:350:36:38

And, for a cottage, the bedrooms are sensible.

0:36:380:36:41

I think each will take a double bed.

0:36:410:36:43

And plenty of potential to rearrange that, as well.

0:36:430:36:47

'Let's talk resale values.'

0:36:470:36:50

The property, as it stands,

0:36:500:36:52

I would suggest the open market value

0:36:520:36:56

to be in the region of £225,000 to £235,000.

0:36:560:37:00

As a refurbished property,

0:37:000:37:02

I think it could comfortably make £300,000 to £315,000.

0:37:020:37:07

'That would be a fantastic profit,

0:37:070:37:09

'obviously depending on how much was spent doing it up.

0:37:090:37:12

'What rent could it achieve?'

0:37:120:37:15

I would anticipate a rental value of £800 to £850 per calendar month.

0:37:150:37:21

Well, if it's character you're after,

0:37:210:37:23

this place has it by the bucket-load.

0:37:230:37:26

But, with that character, comes potential for huge expense,

0:37:260:37:30

one of those things that could just eat up the money.

0:37:300:37:33

I'd have a real issue with those low ceilings.

0:37:330:37:36

I'm sure they were throwing their hands in the air at the auction.

0:37:360:37:41

Let's find out who was successful when it went under the hammer.

0:37:410:37:44

Pretty village, pretty cottage.

0:37:440:37:46

Roof is done, the most important thing, being thatched.

0:37:460:37:50

There we are. 200?

0:37:500:37:51

190?

0:37:510:37:53

180?

0:37:530:37:55

170, if you like.

0:37:550:37:56

170. £170,000, I'm bid, I'll take five to get on.

0:37:560:38:00

175, 180, to you.

0:38:000:38:02

185. 190, 190,

0:38:020:38:05

to the lady at £190,000, sat down.

0:38:050:38:08

It's against you over there. I'll take five.

0:38:080:38:10

Or two and a half, if you like?

0:38:100:38:12

Yes or no, otherwise £190,000 to you.

0:38:120:38:16

For the first time, I shan't dwell.

0:38:160:38:18

£190,000, then, for the second time.

0:38:180:38:21

And £190,000, third and last time, you're done at 1-9-0.

0:38:210:38:25

'Catherine is the happy new owner of the cottage,

0:38:300:38:33

'especially as she got it for £190,000,

0:38:330:38:35

'30,000 under the guide price.

0:38:350:38:38

'She has just returned from two years working abroad.

0:38:380:38:42

'I met her in the garden to find out her plans for the place.'

0:38:420:38:46

-Catherine, congratulations!

-Thank you.

0:38:480:38:50

I'm glad to see you're not super tall!

0:38:500:38:53

I know, some of those ceilings in the property are quite low. It's OK for me.

0:38:530:38:57

Is that why you bought it?

0:38:570:39:00

No, not at all.

0:39:000:39:01

I bought it because I thought it would be a good value property

0:39:010:39:05

in terms of the amount of property you get for the price,

0:39:050:39:09

particularly in this area. I was looking to buy here

0:39:090:39:12

and it's just what I wanted.

0:39:120:39:15

I wanted a chocolate box type property. They don't normally come up at auction, so I was really lucky.

0:39:150:39:21

What are you going to do to it?

0:39:210:39:22

I've got a lot of plans and ideas and I'm getting some architects and builders in,

0:39:220:39:27

because I want to do more to the property than just redecorating.

0:39:270:39:32

There's a lot of things that, structurally,

0:39:320:39:35

might need to be looked at, in particular the back garden here,

0:39:350:39:38

and the way it's built up against the back wall.

0:39:380:39:41

I want to make sure it's something that is OK to leave

0:39:410:39:46

or, possibly, to lower that down by about three feet,

0:39:460:39:49

to get it level with the back of the property.

0:39:490:39:51

Then looking at getting rid of the back extension,

0:39:510:39:54

possibly putting a dining conservatory on as well.

0:39:540:39:57

So there's a lot of work I want to do.

0:39:570:39:59

'If Catherine could lower the ground at the back,

0:39:590:40:02

'that would definitely help the light situation.

0:40:020:40:06

'She also plans to move the kitchen.'

0:40:060:40:09

-Why would you do that?

-To bring the kitchen into the centre of the home,

0:40:090:40:13

because entertaining, for me and my friends and family,

0:40:130:40:16

is really important. I really like the kitchen diner concept.

0:40:160:40:20

At the moment, the kitchen and dining room are separated

0:40:200:40:23

and I'd like to see if I could bring that into the main house.

0:40:230:40:27

So, quite a lot you're planning to do.

0:40:270:40:29

There is a lot and I think I'm going to have to break it down into phases one and two.

0:40:290:40:34

Phase one being getting the property into a state I can move into,

0:40:340:40:38

and live in, and phase two, possibly in four to five years' time

0:40:380:40:42

of adding a dining conservatory extension onto it.

0:40:420:40:45

'What's the budget for these ambitious plans for a phased refurbishment?'

0:40:450:40:52

I've had people have a look at it.

0:40:520:40:54

What I've done is give them a budget and asked them whether what I want is achievable within it.

0:40:540:40:59

What we're going to look at is them telling me what they can do in that budget -

0:40:590:41:05

-about £40,000 to £50,000.

-Oh, wow.

0:41:050:41:07

See what they can achieve with that.

0:41:070:41:10

I'll get as much done as I can and that that I can't do now,

0:41:100:41:13

hopefully in five or six years,

0:41:130:41:15

once I've saved more money, we can do phase two.

0:41:150:41:17

'It's Catherine's own project,

0:41:170:41:20

'but she has had help with planning from friends and family,

0:41:200:41:24

'in particular, her mum.'

0:41:240:41:26

She's very good at visualising projects and she's done quite a lot of these projects herself,

0:41:260:41:32

so she's drawn up some architectural designs,

0:41:320:41:35

'which have been really helpful going to architects and builders,

0:41:350:41:39

'trying to describe to them'

0:41:390:41:42

-what I want to have as a finished product. She's been great.

-Will she be involved as you go along?

0:41:420:41:47

I'm going to keep her informed, but she's not running this project.

0:41:470:41:51

It's certainly my own, but she's got a keen interest in it.

0:41:510:41:55

Good luck with it all. Delighted for you.

0:41:550:41:57

-Thank you very much.

-Much happiness in your new home.

-Thank you.

0:41:570:42:01

Well, Catherine has got herself a bargain

0:42:010:42:03

and I like her way of negotiating with the builders,

0:42:030:42:06

But my concern is that this place,

0:42:060:42:08

being a character property of this age,

0:42:080:42:11

could turn into a money pit.

0:42:110:42:14

You never know.

0:42:140:42:16

You can find out how she gets on later in the show.

0:42:160:42:19

The moment of reckoning has arrived.

0:42:220:42:25

So, have our property gambles paid off

0:42:250:42:28

or have our buyers backed the wrong horse?

0:42:280:42:31

Let's find out.

0:42:310:42:33

'Now back to Belper, in Derbyshire, where Chris and his wife, Poppy,

0:42:330:42:38

'bought this three-bedroom house for £112,000.

0:42:380:42:41

'The couple had recently moved to the area with their son, Harry.

0:42:410:42:45

'Chris, a carpenter, was getting into property development,

0:42:450:42:50

'starting with updating this '70s house.'

0:42:500:42:53

We thought we'd change our careers,

0:42:530:42:55

so Chris decided it was something he'd love to do,

0:42:550:43:00

do property. He's done one before.

0:43:000:43:03

So we thought this would be the perfect one.

0:43:030:43:05

'We're back eight weeks later to meet Chris, Poppy and Harry

0:43:050:43:10

'to find out if this '70s throwback has been brought up to date.'

0:43:100:43:15

'The exterior looks great, with some work gone into repositioning that front door

0:43:150:43:21

'and the garage roof now has an added pitch.

0:43:210:43:25

'As for the inside...

0:43:250:43:28

'..well, it's bye-bye '70s.

0:43:290:43:31

'The stairs have been replaced

0:43:310:43:32

'and, apart from the obvious new fireplace and the plastering,

0:43:320:43:36

'there seems to be a bigger entrance to the dining room.'

0:43:360:43:40

Came into here, removed this wall and doorway,

0:43:430:43:47

so it flowed right through.

0:43:470:43:49

Then we came into the - this was the dining room -

0:43:490:43:52

removed the wall from the kitchen, to make a kitchen diner.

0:43:520:43:56

Put in a breakfast bar. We spent an extra bit of money on the kitchen,

0:43:560:44:01

just to make it look a bit smarter. We're quite pleased with it.

0:44:010:44:06

'They had planned to remove the small conservatory at the back,

0:44:060:44:10

'but it appears to still be there.

0:44:100:44:13

'Did they take my advice?'

0:44:130:44:15

Um...she said it was a great extra piece of space for a family.

0:44:150:44:19

And I thought it was quite ugly, so we were going to get rid,

0:44:190:44:23

but we didn't. We agreed with her in the end.

0:44:230:44:26

It was all right, once it was cleaned up.

0:44:260:44:28

'And what's happened upstairs?'

0:44:280:44:32

The main things we've done up here

0:44:320:44:34

is replace this full-length old cupboard door

0:44:340:44:37

with a new door and frame,

0:44:370:44:38

to match the rest of the doors on the landing.

0:44:380:44:42

New handrail and spindles.

0:44:420:44:45

Fitted a new bathroom and really just decorated

0:44:450:44:49

and kept it all neutral, bright and fresh.

0:44:490:44:52

'Apart from that new fitted bathroom,

0:44:520:44:54

'all the bedrooms have been freshened up.

0:44:540:44:58

'Time to look at the garden.'

0:45:030:45:06

SONG: "Match Of The Day" Theme

0:45:070:45:09

'OK, so it's not a big garden to you and me,

0:45:160:45:19

'but big enough for Harry.

0:45:190:45:21

'But where have the trees gone?'

0:45:210:45:23

They were really big and tangled in the fence.

0:45:230:45:26

The fence was all broken.

0:45:260:45:29

The trees were holding the fence up, actually, that was left.

0:45:290:45:33

So we got the saw out and cut them down,

0:45:330:45:36

cut them into logs and gave them away.

0:45:360:45:39

'What was Poppy's role during the refurbishment?

0:45:390:45:44

I came every day to drop some sandwiches off and then I left.

0:45:440:45:48

I did a bit of painting, and that was it, really.

0:45:480:45:51

'It's hard with Harry,

0:45:510:45:53

'cos there's so many tools around it's quite dangerous.'

0:45:530:45:56

So, that's my excuse!

0:45:560:45:58

'Did this development throw up any unforeseen issues?'

0:45:580:46:02

The porch... As we were cutting a new front door,

0:46:020:46:07

onto the front,

0:46:070:46:09

the wall that was remaining gave way.

0:46:090:46:12

So, um...

0:46:120:46:14

we took it all out and rebuilt it.

0:46:140:46:16

So, that was the unexpected part of it.

0:46:160:46:19

'Their initial budget for the refurbishment was £8,000.

0:46:190:46:23

'Have they kept to this?'

0:46:230:46:25

I think by the time we've finished everything, with the gardens,

0:46:250:46:29

it'll be...nearly ten.

0:46:290:46:32

The extra cost came from putting a slightly more expensive kitchen than I was going to.

0:46:320:46:38

There was extra skips that we didn't anticipate,

0:46:380:46:41

for the amount of rubbish that we had.

0:46:410:46:44

And some extra labour costs I hadn't anticipated either,

0:46:440:46:47

because I was going to do most of it myself,

0:46:470:46:50

but I got some extra labour in to help,

0:46:500:46:52

so that's where the extra money went, really.

0:46:520:46:55

'When added to the purchase price of £112,000,

0:46:550:47:00

'that makes a total outlay of £122,000.

0:47:000:47:03

'We invited two local estate agents to give us their opinions.'

0:47:030:47:08

I think it's a lovely property.

0:47:080:47:09

I like the layout, it's a good location.

0:47:090:47:12

Some of the choices they've made are very good, the kitchen and bathroom.

0:47:120:47:17

Generally, very positive.

0:47:170:47:19

The work the owner has done here has cleaned it up very well.

0:47:190:47:22

The new roof on the garage is a practical step forward.

0:47:220:47:26

The replacement kitchen and bathroom make it up to date.

0:47:260:47:29

One thing I do like is they've taken the wall out

0:47:290:47:33

between the lounge and kitchen, which really opens it up.

0:47:330:47:36

It gives that open-plan feeling which is popular.

0:47:360:47:39

'What rent could be achieved here?

0:47:390:47:44

The property will return about £600 per calendar month on the rental market.

0:47:440:47:48

This property I would put on the rental market for £595 per calendar month.

0:47:480:47:54

Yeah, that's...

0:47:540:47:56

-I'd imagine that would be...

-We hadn't really thought about rental.

0:47:560:48:00

-We're never going to rent it out. It's nice to know.

-Yeah.

0:48:000:48:03

'But what they're really interested in is those sale valuations.'

0:48:030:48:09

Putting it on the open market for sale,

0:48:090:48:12

I'd be looking at offers of £160,000.

0:48:120:48:15

It ought to be marketed at between £150,000 and £160,000,

0:48:150:48:18

depending upon the time available.

0:48:180:48:21

Yeah, that's exactly what we anticipated, really.

0:48:210:48:24

There's a few on the estate going for that price.

0:48:240:48:28

So, we thought if we were the same price, but we were all renovated,

0:48:280:48:33

it puts us ahead of the game, hopefully.

0:48:330:48:36

'That sounds pretty good, giving them a pre-tax profit

0:48:360:48:40

'of between £28,000 and £38,000.

0:48:400:48:43

'When this project's completed, what do the couple plan to do next?

0:48:430:48:47

Hopefully, as soon as we get this up for sale, start looking for the next one, and carry on.

0:48:480:48:54

-Maybe look before.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:48:540:48:57

'Back now to Wylye in Wiltshire,

0:49:050:49:07

'where Catherine bought this scenic cottage for 190,000.

0:49:070:49:12

'After a period working abroad, she was going to make this her new home.

0:49:120:49:16

'She planned to do the work in two phases and hoped to make a new kitchen-dining area.

0:49:160:49:21

'She was dealing with her builders in a unique way.

0:49:210:49:24

What I've done is given them a budget and asked them whether what I want is achievable within that budget.

0:49:240:49:31

Really, what we're going to look at is them telling me what they can do.

0:49:310:49:35

About £40,000 to £50,000.

0:49:350:49:38

'It's now three years since we saw Catherine and her thatched cottage.

0:49:380:49:44

'Let's see how she got on.'

0:49:440:49:46

'She's managed to create that all-important extra headroom by raising the ceiling.

0:49:590:50:04

'Now it's an easy stroll into the lounge,

0:50:040:50:07

'with the lovely inglenook fireplace.

0:50:070:50:10

'And there's a newly-created window seat.'

0:50:120:50:16

Here, in the lounge, I've made a lot of significant changes.

0:50:180:50:22

The most obvious one here is this new beam,

0:50:220:50:24

which we've put in to replace the old beam that was cut in half.

0:50:240:50:28

It was also supported by a pillar or beam itself.

0:50:280:50:32

We've taken that all out and raised the ceiling.

0:50:320:50:36

We've kept some of the old beams from the hallway.

0:50:360:50:39

They've been put back in here to create that character.

0:50:390:50:43

It now creates a room that's got character,

0:50:430:50:45

it's a more functional space, but it's cosy as well.

0:50:450:50:49

'Continuing on the ground floor,

0:50:510:50:53

'the dining room now has French windows looking out onto the garden.

0:50:530:50:58

'Heading through to the kitchen, it has been completely changed around

0:51:020:51:06

'with French windows installed

0:51:060:51:08

'as well as a brand-new range cooker taking centre stage.'

0:51:080:51:12

The kitchen itself is not yet complete.

0:51:140:51:17

There's quite a few things that need to be done to the kitchen, to get it finished.

0:51:170:51:22

The granite surface needs to be put in and there'll be an alcove built

0:51:220:51:27

over the AGA, with another original beam from the cottage.

0:51:270:51:30

But the room itself really came out of the redesign of that room,

0:51:300:51:36

in terms of knocking through what was a very thick wall with a small window

0:51:360:51:41

and creating a large patio door type area,

0:51:410:51:45

with lots of light coming into it,

0:51:450:51:47

which then floods that area with light,

0:51:470:51:49

so it makes it a really bright, practical kitchen.

0:51:490:51:53

'Next door to the kitchen is the new utility area and a new toilet.

0:51:530:51:58

'Does upstairs match the ground floor for surprises?'

0:52:000:52:04

Up on the first floor, we opened up each of the bedrooms,

0:52:040:52:08

so they are all vaulted up to the beams,

0:52:080:52:11

so you can see some of the rafters.

0:52:110:52:13

I also included an en-suite bathroom to the master bedroom

0:52:130:52:17

and we levelled out the floors upstairs

0:52:170:52:21

so it creates a much better flow upstairs as well.

0:52:210:52:25

'Big changes in the bathroom, with a stylish new suite and redecoration.

0:52:260:52:32

'The other two bedrooms look more spacious too,

0:52:370:52:40

'with that added ceiling height.

0:52:400:52:43

'Let's take a look outside.'

0:52:470:52:49

Outside here, the garden's been completely re-landscaped.

0:53:010:53:05

It was about three to four feet higher in this particular area,

0:53:050:53:09

with the utility area coming out onto quite a dank, dingy decking area.

0:53:090:53:14

That's all been reduced down by three to four feet,

0:53:140:53:17

creating a patio area for entertaining

0:53:170:53:19

and the steps leading up to the garden,

0:53:190:53:22

which is on the same level as before.

0:53:220:53:24

The only thing that hasn't changed is my thinking stool - a tree stump,

0:53:240:53:28

which I used to sit on during the renovation

0:53:280:53:32

and just look at the cottage, out the way of the builders,

0:53:320:53:35

and make sure it was being developed into a cottage just perfect for me.

0:53:350:53:39

'And I think Catherine missed telling us about something new.'

0:53:390:53:43

I've installed, as part of the garden renovations, a treat for myself,

0:53:430:53:48

which is a hot tub, which I know that my mother finds particularly ghastly!

0:53:480:53:55

But, actually, it's a fantastic thing to have,

0:53:550:53:58

to come home from a hard day's work and sit in the hot tub

0:53:580:54:02

and shake the stress away.

0:54:020:54:04

'And, if all those bubbles weren't enough,

0:54:040:54:07

'she's left something else for a future owner.'

0:54:070:54:11

During the renovation, we put a time capsule into one of the cottage walls

0:54:110:54:15

which incorporates some history of the cottage I found out in the library

0:54:150:54:19

and a bit about myself and what we've done.

0:54:190:54:22

That was wrapped up with a bottle of wine for the finder

0:54:220:54:25

and put into one of the walls whilst it was being renovated.

0:54:250:54:28

'Originally, Catherine planned to renovate the cottage in two phases,

0:54:290:54:34

'with a budget of £40,000 for phase one.

0:54:340:54:37

'Did she stick to that plan?'

0:54:370:54:41

In the end, after quite a considerable period of looking at what I wanted to achieve,

0:54:410:54:47

I realised that, in order to get it to a standard

0:54:470:54:50

where I didn't feel I had to do any more work in the near future,

0:54:500:54:54

I realised it would cost a lot more money.

0:54:540:54:57

So, I released some finances and increased the budget to £100,000,

0:54:570:55:02

which actually includes everything.

0:55:020:55:05

It also includes a lot of the things I've put in

0:55:050:55:08

that I wouldn't have done had I not been coming to live in the cottage myself.

0:55:080:55:13

'Adding that combined phased total to her purchase price of £190,000

0:55:140:55:19

'makes her total outlay £290,000.

0:55:190:55:23

'We invited two local property experts

0:55:230:55:25

'to give their opinion on the revamped cottage.'

0:55:250:55:29

Impressions are very good. I think it's an absolutely superb cottage.

0:55:300:55:34

The renovation has been done to a high standard.

0:55:340:55:37

It's very, very well done.

0:55:370:55:39

In terms of the finish, the white walls give it a very clean...

0:55:390:55:43

The best thing about the property is the beams,

0:55:430:55:45

bringing out all that character and exposing that. It looks brilliant.

0:55:450:55:50

'What would they value it at now?'

0:55:500:55:53

I would recommend an asking price for the property of £395,000.

0:55:530:55:58

If I was to market this property,

0:55:580:56:00

I would place a value of £350,000 on it.

0:56:000:56:03

Wow! That's really... I'm pleased with that,

0:56:030:56:06

though I have to bear in mind that I never did this for any profit at all.

0:56:060:56:11

It has been done for me to live in,

0:56:110:56:13

so I've done it to the standard I wanted.

0:56:130:56:16

I've spent a lot of money on things I wouldn't have done had I been just wanting to sell it on.

0:56:160:56:21

'That would give Catherine a pre-tax profit

0:56:210:56:24

'of between £60,000 and £105,000.

0:56:240:56:28

'With the cottage going to be her home for the next few years,

0:56:280:56:32

'would she consider another such project in the future?'

0:56:320:56:35

One day, I probably will sell, and I would be tempted to buy another property and do it up,

0:56:350:56:40

cos I have enjoyed doing this. So, one day, yes.

0:56:400:56:45

Whether you're a seasoned property developer or a novice,

0:56:470:56:51

do join us next time for more auction stories.

0:56:510:56:54

We'll see you then for more Homes Under The Hammer.

0:56:540:56:57

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:570:56:58

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:180:57:22

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a semi in Manchester, a house in Derbyshire and a cottage in Wiltshire. 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.