Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Peckham, south London, a house in Kent and a flat in Staffordshire. They discover who bought them at auction.
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Property continues to fascinate people despite the current downturn.
In fact, the market being less bullish
-means there are bargains out there.
-Buying at the right price is vital
if you want to see any profit at the end of the day.
Going to the auction is a great way to do that.
The three properties on today's show are very different.
One thing they have in common is that the new owners hope
they will be making some money. Let's see what they bought.
I'm in for a rather pleasant surprise at this property in Peckham, south London.
Wow! Did you expect this from the outside?
Be careful you don't catch a cold buying this house in Kent.
My first step would be to get a professional diagnosis
before seeing how much money to part with on auction day.
And in Staffordshire, will this flat float my boat?
Is it grotty or gorgeous?
At first glance, I think it's teetering towards the second.
All these properties went to auction and we'll find out who bought them
and what they paid for them when they went under the hammer.
I'm in Peckham, south-east London.
In 1990, this was one of the most deprived areas in the country,
but there has been a lot of change here since then.
A huge regeneration scheme was started in 1995
with £60 million invested in the place,
and it's certainly taken a turn for the better.
The property I'm here to see hasn't been touched
by the regeneration scheme and that's because
it's actually a Grade 2 listed two-bedroom garden flat in this villa.
At a guide price of 180,000 quid. Peckham's had a bit of a renovation.
Let's see if the flat itself needs the same treatment.
There are a couple of tell-tale signs from the front.
Windows look as though they might need a bit of work
but overall, the place appears to be pretty sturdy. One bonus is off-street parking.
There's space for two or three cars out here
which is a luxury in London.
That's not a very good start, is it?
Clearly, possibly because the house has been unoccupied,
the doors have swollen, so you need to sort that out straight away.
Not the most glamorous of entrance foyers there.
Into the main flat itself, that's nice. Nice high ceilings.
One massive great room there. I guess that's one of your bedrooms.
An unusual set of stairs going down to the kitchen and bathroom,
we'll explore that in a minute, but fantastic!
Look at this! This, I guess, is your lounge, and wow!
Did you expect this from the outside?
How fantastic! Look at this, beautiful old sash windows.
Glorious though they are, judging by the state of those cords,
I'm not sure what kind of state they're in. Only one way to find out.
Oh, they do open, that's good, because it's a specialist job to have these restored
and being a listed building, you would have to put back something like this.
Beautiful views out onto the garden and this is fantastic.
Yes, the space and the size of the rooms with their high ceilings
and original features are great.
Yes, the cracks need investigating but boy, does this look good
for a London flat guided at 180,000!
So, as I said before, down this rather unusual little staircase.
We've got a cellar, that's a bit of extra space. Quite useful.
Bathroom there which is really in a state.
It's almost like this is a flat of two parts.
That bit's gorgeous, this bit... bit of a carbuncle.
Kitchen's not much better unfortunately.
Really needs a total refurbishment
but worse than that it's this building that it's in.
What could you do to this to sort it out? Maybe roof lights,
maybe knocking through here to open it out into the garden, French doors.
Unfortunately, you can't just do that willy-nilly
because the building is Grade 2 listed,
so despite the fact that this is horrible,
it was probably added on years and years and years
after the original flat, the listing probably occurred after this
was here so this is included in the listing so you have
to go through all the consents before you do anything.
That means I think you'd be best to consider a layout change.
This could be a great utility space.
If you move the kitchen to the smaller second bedroom,
and did up the bathroom.
Then with the other two large rooms you'd have
a really well-proportioned one bedroom flat oozing character.
What does a local estate agent make of this period Peckham property?
I think the kerb appeal of the property, when you drive up
you've got off-street parking at the front
but the actual property, where it's situated,
it takes you back in time as you come up to look at it, it's fantastic.
As you walk in here, you can see a lot of the original features.
You've got really high ceilings, really expansive rooms and a lot of space.
I always believe that real luxury is having space around you, not being cramped up.
It might come with a lot of space but it's also a lot of work
and it does have a Grade 2 listing.
Could that be a potential problem?
To do this property up, it's going to be a little bit of a love affair
because there will be a lot of red tape to deal with
to get it to the point of being able to live in it.
Whoever buys it, good luck.
OK, so it might not be easy, but would it be worth doing,
say, as a rental proposition?
Once renovated to a good standard, I think this property here would get
between 1,000 per calendar month and 1,100 per calendar month.
You'd be looking at resale around the £250,000 mark.
So not only could this be turned into a great London pad,
it could also be a very decent investment.
One thing you can't take for granted with flats in London is that
you're going to get any kind of outside space,
but here, another way that this flat scores.
You've got this lovely garden area.
It does need sorting out but not going to take long.
All in all, what a fantastic opportunity.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
I move on now to lot 87.
It's a large three room garden flat, apparently it's massive.
My colleague tells me he's seen it. Big, big three room garden flat.
What about 150 then, help it on its way?
150 I've got, thank you.
155. 160. 165.
165. 170. 175.
175. 180. 185.
185. New place, more competition.
186, 187, 188, 189,
190, 191, 192,
193, 194, 195, 196, 197.
Big flat, 197. Yes? 197, 198, 199. 199.
If not, it's with you, Sir. Bid's at £200,000 against the lady down here.
If not, 200 for the first, 200 for the second, 200 for the third
and final time.
All done? Sold, 200,000.
For £20,000 over the guide price at £200,000,
the new owner of the south London flat is James, an artist.
I was intrigued to know why he was buying a renovation project of a property.
James, good to meet you. Congratulations. I love this flat.
-Obviously you do because you bought it.
Tell me, why you wanted to buy it.
This much space in London has just got to be good.
I'm an artist so again space is something that I'm interested in.
You know, I was just pretty sure it's got to be a good investment
one way or another. I might well want to live in it.
-So you bought it potentially to live in?
-Yes. I'm considering it, definitely.
I live in a one-bedroom flat in central London
and I'm very short of space.
As London flats go, he's now got an abundance of space.
With those big windows allowing lots of light to flood in,
even though James is undecided whether to move in, sell or let it out,
I can see potential for a fabulous studio here.
Tell me more about you. You say you're an artist?
I am a commercial artist. I work as a scenic artist for films.
I paint big back cloths but work's drying up
so I'm kind of trying to venture out into different things.
Maybe finally paint a few pictures.
What kind of movies have you worked on?
Tim Burton films, Eyes Wide Shut, a Kubrick film.
-All the big Hollywood films that are made in Pinewood and Shepperton.
There might be - last film I worked on which was Captain America had 139 sets.
-Wow. So you've worked on some massive films, then?
James has now got his own pretty big set to work on here
but I don't know about Eyes Wide Shut,
I think he'll need them fully open to envisage what can be done here.
So in terms of interior design, clearly,
you are a man who has an eye, what are you going to do?
Basically, keep the two main rooms which are beautiful, keep them original.
The hallway, keep it as original as possible.
The bathroom, a standard bathroom, nothing special.
And then in the kitchen, the end wall in the kitchen, it is not period
so there may be no problems with ripping it down
and putting up double doors and maybe even a glass wall onto the garden.
I've just noticed the sash window has holes up
so they will open ride up high so...
There are exquisite features in this flat which should really be saved.
I found the shutters downstairs in the cellar for the front
or back room so they might be able to go back on.
You hope, you don't know what you're going to find, who knows?
But there could be lovely things and they are well worth saving.
So, James is planning quite a sympathetic refurbishment.
The more he can recover or restore,
the less money he will have to spend.
Roughly, how much might it cost to do what you want?
20 was my kind of marker.
Outside London, that would definitely do it
but there is always that London premium.
You know, for sure, I'm going to sail over it. Maybe I hit 30.
-I hope I don't go over that, we'll see.
-Good luck and we look forward to coming back and seeing some works of art.
-Great, thanks a lot.
Let's hope that James has really got the measure of the amount
of work needed here.
Then this relatively small production could be a big success.
Well, what a perfect location for James to go back to the thing
he loves most, doing his painting.
Surely, that will be the draw that makes him
decide to move into this place once it's sorted out.
Well, you never know. There's a few things to do before then,
lots of work to sort this gorgeous place out.
I'm sure it'll be worth it.
You can find out what happens later in the show.
This is Gillingham in Kent, a place that has seen some ups
and downs financially over the years but last year it caught
a big chill during the coldest winter in recent memory.
# Snowflake, snowflake, snowflake
# Hey, hey, hey, snowflake
-# My pretty little snowflake
# Ooh, ooh, ooh, the change in the weather has made it better for me...#
No, I'm not here to build a snowman here today or go sledging!
I'm here to see a property conveniently positioned
near the train station and town centre.
Now, it's a two bedroom mid-terrace, it's got a guide price of 70-£75,000.
Now, the original bare brickwork hasn't been touched
which I think is such a nice feature.
Let's see if it's as appealing on the inside.
It certainly good to get in out of the cold on a day like today!
Now, first impressions, ever so narrow in here.
There's a doorway here,
I'm wondering whether it would be worth opening that going through into there.
Bits of paper peeling off. The walls, definitely feel a bit crumbly.
I would look at investigating that little area down there.
It's just a bit awkward, isn't it? You've got a doorway here.
Close that, you've got a doorway through into there.
This is obviously the second reception room. Not a bad size.
You've got an old gas fire here.
There's also some central heating with a radiator there.
I'm just wondering whether this old house may need to be rewired,
re-plumbed, straightaway I'm thinking...
It needs a complete and utter overhaul.
The decor does leave a bit to be desired
and it's not as impressive as I'd hoped.
The front room needs a makeover as well.
But the benefit of ripping everything out and starting again
is that the place can enjoy a complete cosmetic upgrade.
At least I'm prepared for the kitchen now.
Well, I think it's safe to say, it's not much better. In fact,
it's a whole lot worse. This kitchen is out of the Ark.
I mean, it's not really a kitchen.
You've got a cupboardy thing here. The thing that's worrying me, are all these walls.
Look at the state of them.
You really need to get somebody in here and take
a look at the structure. I think there's a lot of damp.
So, it's safe to say, it needs an update.
# They call me mellow yellow
# Quite rightly
# They call me mellow yellow... #
It's not just the colour and the state of the walls that caught my attention.
Now something that I've spotted down here worries me.
I think it's damp because of this tell-tale tidemark
around the lower section of this wall.
I'm worried that it could be rising damp. You can see over here
by this condensation on the windows.
They're single glazed.
There's obviously a lot of moisture in the air
which really doesn't bode well.
My first step would be to get a professional diagnosis
before seeing how much money to part with on auction day.
That's a downside.
But down there is an upside in the shape of a cellar,
offering loads of potential storage space.
But get the damp issues looked at first.
It may need a damp-proof course.
And in the garden, well, what's under all that snow
is anyone's guess,
but the chances are it's laid to lawn.
It's also a good size so some positives coming out at last.
So at the top of the stairs, surprisingly,
you've got a massive bathroom.
That's a really big bathroom for the size of this house.
There's a little bedroom which you could still get
a double bed in.
A little cupboard area and the main bedroom. Now, it's quite deceiving.
Once you're in this property, the room sizes are not bad at all.
You've got a fireplace here.
I always want to be a bit nosy and see what's behind there.
You may have an amazing old fire. Wow.
But a good size. You can see over here,
loads of condensation on these windows.
They're soaking wet.
You'd need to change all the windows in the property.
They're all single glazed, no good for the winter.
But, you know, you can see you need to spend a fair bit of money,
but once done, could be quite a good little house.
For those who would be keen to maximise the potential here,
there's the option of using that bathroom as a third bedroom
but although the room sizes are not bad,
finding a place for the bathroom would be tricky
so maybe it's best to leave it as it is.
So, is this a sensible place to invest your cash,
bearing in mind the guide price of 70-75,000?
With the heavy snow conditions preventing the estate agent's
visit we rang them instead.
They said this property fully renovated could sell
for between 110 to 115,000.
And for buyers looking at the long term,
there's a possible rental return of about £600 per calendar month.
So it all looks good from the outside
and very pretty in the snow, I must say.
But it seems to be a bit misleading because it's not looking
particularly attractive on the inside.
Nothing that can't be sorted out without a bit of builder know-how, though.
So let's see who fancied this project over at the auction.
Lot 79 and what may I say, start me, well it's guided at 70-75,
start me at 70?
65, then? I don't mind. 65, I should think so.
Thank you. At £65,000 is bid.
And 67, 67 now I have. And 70.
70, I'm bid. And 70 I have. And 72?
Does that mean one? 71 is bid.
72? 72 I have and 73. 73 I'm bid. And 74.
74 and 75? 75 and 76.
77, and 78. And 80.
80 I have. 81, 81, 82.
And 83. And 84.
84 is bid and 85? No, 84 I have.
You're out at the back at 84,000 in the front. 85 for you?
85 in a fresh place.
And 86? 86 I have. And 87?
Is that one bid and stop?
86,000 I have. Being sold for the first time at 86,000.
Being sold for the second time at 86,000.
Being sold for the third and final time, your bid, sir at 86,000, are you all done?
Sold at 86,000.
The successful bidders who got the lot for 86,000
were married couple Phil and Pat.
They live half-an-hour away in Dartford
and this is their first ever property renovation project.
They got wrapped up and met me to discuss their plans.
-Guys, congratulations, I bet you are thrilled to bits?
-You paid over the guide price, what was your maximum bid?
-It was actually 88,
was the maximum. So very close to top.
-So you just got in there?
-Just got in there.
Pat, what was it about this house that you wanted?
Well, I actually hadn't seen it before we bought it.
Phil had and he decided that it was eminently doable.
It's something we have been talking about for a long time.
He had been in and he said he could do what needed doing
-and I trust him.
-And you believed him!
-I believed him, yes.
When you came round the house the first time,
what was it that really made you think, I am going to bid for this?
I thought it needed lots of work doing to it
but work that I was capable of doing. I didn't want to have to move bathrooms around
and build extensions because of planning permission which I've never done.
But kitchens, bathrooms, plastering, wallpapering, that I can manage.
It was a good one to start with.
For first timers, it's good to hear that Phil and Pat aren't overstretching themselves
and being too ambitious.
Phil's day job as a team manager for an energy company,
while Pat works part-time as an office administrator.
So, their backgrounds haven't exactly prepared them for major redevelopment.
This is the first time we've done anything quite like this.
Pat, why did you choose Gillingham?
The price, really.
We had some cash that I'd inherited from my mother,
when I had to sell my mother's house after she died,
and it's just been sitting in the bank, not doing very much.
We didn't want to get into financing
because that's a whole different ballgame
and for the cash that we had, this was the area that we could afford.
It's not far from home. So here we are.
Where are you starting with the renovations?
Phil wants to start at the top and work down with the bathroom
which is very odd. It's got a strange, slopey ceiling.
It doesn't actually have a wash basin.
Take out everything that's there.
Hopefully move it around a bit so we can put in a bath
where a normal sized person could stand and have a shower.
And, upstairs is mainly cosmetic. It's going to need new windows.
We're hoping to get the windows done fairly soon and the electrics.
Then, the kitchen will be a major task
but we may get some of it under our belt before we tackle the kitchen.
-The kitchen, there isn't really a kitchen.
-That needs doing completely.
It's not just the kitchen that doesn't charm this couple.
There are the damp issues to face up to which Phil and Pat are getting expert advice on.
The couple have given themselves six months to do the makeover
and while a £14,000 budget seems healthy enough for the sort of renovation they want,
I hope that sorting the damp problems doesn't overstretch it.
So are you thinking about letting this out, or do up to sell on?
We've got a slight difference of opinion!
Phil wants to sell it but I think it will be better let.
We probably may have to do both those things.
We may have to let for a year or two, see how the market goes,
see how the prices go and then sell it on.
-What do you want to do Phil?
-I would like to sell it on and move onto the next one.
It depends on what the market is like when we've finished.
If they say it's worth £1,000 more than we spent on it, we'll keep it.
If it's ten grand, it'll be worth going onto the next one and trying it again.
Apart from getting qualified tradesmen in for the certified work,
Phil aims to do the rest himself.
That should certainly help keep costs down and hopefully realise a healthy profit for the couple.
Phil's certainly eager, confident and relaxed about his first renovation project.
What are you most looking forward to, Phil?
Solving the problems. Finding them and solving them.
That's what I enjoy about doing this sort of thing at home.
There's never a problem that we can't manage. There's always a way around it.
And it's the sense of achievement when I found the problem and sorted it.
-Pat, isn't he positive?
If only there were more people like you in this business!
That's a really good positive way of looking at it.
-Do you sometimes worry he may be a little too confident?
# We've got to accentuate the positive
# Eliminate the negative
# Latch onto the affirmative
# And don't mess with Mister In-between #
It strikes me, Phil, you absolutely love it?
Yeah. I can't wait to get started. It's something I enjoy doing.
You don't know what you can do until you try.
I read something that said, "At the end of your life,
"you regret more the things that you never did, that you didn't do."
If we do it, and it doesn't work, well at least we tried.
-Exactly, and if you don't do it, you would never have known.
-Pat, Phil, congratulations.
-Don't spend too much.
These two have got so much passion for this property
and I really admire their attitude.
I just wonder if Phil will have as much enthusiasm after they've tackled this house.
You can join me later in the programme to find out what happens.
Coming up, this Staffordshire flat could be the perfect, little property project.
Pretty much leave it as it is. All in all, good start.
We return to Gillingham in Kent where all seems to have gone swimmingly.
It's a terrific sense of achievement,
when you look around and see what it was to what it is now.
But, first, has James reached his favourite part?
The thing about building work, there is one moment in it
when it's pleasant and that's when it's finished.
In Peckham, a large three roomed garden flat went to auction.
Guided at £180,000, this was one of those properties that,
although in need of attention, definitely had star potential.
So who better to purchase it for £200,000 than James, who works in the movie industry.
I work as a scenic artist for films.
I paint big backcloths but work's drying up
so I'm trying to venture out into a few different things.
What movies have you worked on?
Tim Burton's films, Eyes Wide Shut, a Kubrick film.
All the big Hollywood films that are made in Pinewood and Shepperton.
James had planned to either move into the flat or treat it as a property development.
With a 20 to £30,000 budget, the scene was set for him
to carry out his first renovation.
Well, a full nine months later, we're back.
From the outside, the new windows are the only real sign of any alteration.
It inside where hopefully there is a more dramatic change.
In the large reception room, it looks like he's decided
to tread the boards with stripped floorboards and replastered walls.
Having reinstated the old fireplace,
he's taken a practical approach by putting in a new central heating system.
This sympathetic style continues in the front bedroom.
And, along the corridor to the bathroom.
The bathroom was an absolute wreck.
The main issue was moving the toilet.
Then, really, the design fell into place.
Very simple, clean, little bathroom. I'm pleased with it.
With a no-nonsense treatment of the bathroom,
it was just the kitchen and other bedroom to sort out.
Here originally James had big plans.
It's the end wall in the kitchen, it's not period so there might be no problems with ripping that down
and putting double doors or a glass wall onto the garden.
Unfortunately, in property development, things don't always go smoothly.
The kitchen's been a nightmare which is related to the planning,
to the fact that it's Grade 2 listed.
I wanted to put in French doors in the back wall of the kitchen
and I've put a planning application in to move one wall,
remove one wall in the kitchen, put in the French doors
and put in French doors in the small bedroom and that is just a minefield.
While James waits to see if he gets that all-important planning permission,
he's refurbished the kitchen and back bedroom as they are.
He's still hoping this area could come out of the shadows and into the limelight.
He's also left the cellar as it was.
Even so, this has been an extensive renovation.
Who's played the main role in the story so far?
You need the main trades, you've got to employ the main trades.
I managed to do the plastering myself so I saved a lot on that.
I've done the carpentry myself, I've done a lot of painting
and decorating and labouring.
I had some casual labour in when I needed it.
When James bought this flat, his self-employed work as a scenic set artist
was starting to dry up, but since then work has picked up
so he's had to balance a full-time job with this tricky renovation.
I wouldn't recommend it. It's punishing.
The thing about building work is there's one moment in it
when it's pleasant and that's when it's finished.
That is the only good moment in building.
Now, as he nears the finishing line, has he decided whether all the effort and heartache
is to be for his new home or just a property investment?
# Should I stay or should I go? #
Curiously undecided still, in a way.
A warm day like today, this is the most beautiful place to be.
It's absolutely exquisite. My social life is basically based in west London and I miss that.
Ideally, I would pick it up and move it to where my friends are and put it down there.
So James still does not know whether to bite the bullet
and move in or sell on or rent out.
But, he needs to make up his mind as time is money.
I had this figure of £20,000 which I knew was a little bit optimistic.
So far, on the refurb, I've spent 22,000, around 22,000.
Because the job was protracted, I spent an extra £7,000 in interest
which I didn't calculate for.
That's put me up to nearly 30 so, you know,
it's 50% more than I was aiming for.
A £30,000 spend, on top of his £200,000 purchase price
will take his total outlay to, 230,000 plus costs and fees.
Will his long-awaited low-budget production be a hit?
What do two local property critics think?
Coming into the property, it looks fantastic.
They've done a simple design, everything's been cleaned up.
There's new plaster, it's been rewired, kept the original features,
the sash windows, the high skirting boards, the cornicing...
Even the fireplace, I don't remember it being there.
That looks really good and all the floors have been stripped, they look beautiful.
He's beautified the place and brought out the best of it.
The rooms are well proportioned,
they're a lot bigger than what we're used to seeing.
It's very nice, the decor is nice throughout and the fixtures and fittings are superb.
Favourable reviews but will James's £230,000 investment bring decent returns?
Looking at the current market, I'd be looking to put it on for £250,000.
I recommend marketing the property at £299,995.
I like the better one. I'm quite fond of that.
I wouldn't sell it for 250,000 now. I've just worked too hard.
I wouldn't do it. If that's what it is worth now, I'll sit on it
and, with a bit of luck, things will improve at some point.
Those fairly wide ranging estimates means a potential pre-tax profit of between 20 and £70,000.
James might be in a stronger position to sit on it and rent it out.
Looking at the rental market, you be looking to put it on for £1,100 per calendar month.
I'd be able to rent this out for between £1,200 and £1,300 a month.
I hope it would get £1,300. Let's see, eh?
At the higher £1,300 a month figure, the yield would be around 6%, which is respectable.
Will James be rushing back to the auction rooms for the sequel?
Peckham Property 2 - The Story Continues!
I'm not in a hurry.
Not in a hurry. It's punishing.
This has been a year of absolute hell. And, erm...
You know, I will forget it and I will look back
and think it's a good thing I did it.
But, erm... No, not in a rush.
For the time being, James is downing tools.
He's not rushing to stage a return any time soon but maybe after time,
for reflection, he'll say, "I'll be back."
What could be nicer than to live in the place where you can
drift along on a canal boat, or stroll along the towpath,
yet be in easy reach of Birmingham or Nottingham.
I'm right by the village of Great Haywood,
very close to Staffordshire, just five miles away
and an important junction in the British canal network,
where the Trent and Mersey meets the Staffordshire and Worcestershire.
If you want a bit of the country, the rural life close by,
places like Stafford, you can't go wrong with this really, can you?
This is a pretty spot for both visitors and as a place to live.
With today's auction lot five minutes drive from the village centre,
it's certainly promising as far as location is concerned.
The property I'm here to see is in one of the more affordable parts of the village
but extremely popular, nevertheless, especially with renters.
It's a one-bedroom ground floor flat with a guide price of 35,000 quid.
It's here. You've also got a bit of garden, which is that bit there.
This is the next neighbours and you might want to consider doing what they've done,
having a parking space by lowering the kerb.
That's something for a bit later. For now, let's take a look inside.
And, with what looks like fairly new double glazing,
that decent front garden and a share of the back garden,
this one-bed flat is off to a good start in my books. Let's hope it continues inside.
So is it grotty or gorgeous?
At first glance, it teetering towards the second, which is great news.
Bathroom and loo there, it's not massive
but at least you've got a white bathroom suite.
A bit of money spent in there, I think, would really enhance it
but perfectly serviceable. Pretty much as is the kitchen.
It's not exactly a hand built, solid oak, designer kitchen
but, again, fit for purpose.
If you're renting this out, pretty much leave it as it is.
All in all, good start.
It would not be difficult to bring this up to standard to rent out.
With a lick of paint and some elbow grease, the bathroom,
kitchen and double bedroom could all be turned around.
It wouldn't need much more to get it ready for the resale market.
A tour of a flat this size,
is never going to take this long, so this is the final room.
A good one, it's the living room area and it's a nice size.
What I do notice, though, we've got electric heaters and in here...
Yeah, thought so, a storage radiator and a storage tank.
There's no central heating.
I would swap this and that for a combination boiler in the kitchen
and create even more space in here.
You've got double glazing, that's good,
a fireplace which would certainly benefit from some modernisation
but, apart from that, it is what it is.
A well-presented one-bedroomed flat for a good guide price.
For around that £35,000 guide price,
this place looks like it could be a pretty safe investment.
What does a local estate agent make of this one-bedroomed flat?
It's a nice sized one-bedroom.
It's not in too bad condition,
just could do with a general bit of tidying up.
If it is looking for a resale, then the bathroom
and the kitchen are in need of modernisation.
You could also look into the possibility of putting gas central heating in.
Investing in new central heating won't cost a fortune
but how much could it warm up the value of this flat, guided at 35,000?
If finished to a good standard with new kitchen, bathroom,
it may fetch in the region of 65 to £70,000.
The property would rent for £425 per calendar month.
£425 a month is an annual rental income of over £5,000.
Keep a tight rein on the renovation budget
and this one-bedroomed flat could be a nice earner.
The resale values aren't too shabby, either.
I think this particular property will appeal to quite a few different types of buyers.
A good first-time one, for sure, or a rental opportunity.
There's money to be made here, let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
We now move to the country town of Stafford or just outside
in the village of Great Haywood.
A one-bedroomed, leasehold ground floor apartment,
within a popular village location.
It's going at 25. 25 bid on my right.
At £25,000... 30. At £30,000.
35, is it?
What are you saying? 31,000.
32, to you, sir? New bidder, 32 took it there.
37... And a half?
No? Another half seated? 37-and-a-half.
39-and-a-half. Make it 40.
Another half, sir? Are you sure? You're shaking your head.
40,000... Leaning on the side wall at £40,000.
New bidder, right in the corner, 40-and-a-half.
41? 41, sir?
41-and-a-half? Shaking his head.
At £41,000 then. Bid's left at 41, all done.
Be quick if you're coming back in. 41 once...
Third and final time at £41,000...
Are we all done?
It's yours, sir, well done.
So, at £6,000 over the guide price, for 41,000,
the successful bidders were business partners, Steve and Adrian.
This was to be their first property development together.
But with Adrian away on holiday, it was landscape and builder Steve
who joined me at the one-bedroomed Great Haywood flat.
Well done. Tell me why you wanted to buy this flat?
We thought the market, as it's gone, where the economy is at the moment,
properties are coming up reasonably priced
and this one we heard about was coming up at around the 30,000 mark
and we gave ourselves a leeway and we thought it was a good buy.
-When you say, "we", who's "we"?
-Me and my partner, Adrian.
We went to the auction and we had success on the night.
Are you doing this all the time or is it a one-off?
I have done in the past, in the '80s, I was buying terraced houses
in the Stoke-on-Trent area for four and £5,000 apiece, which is quite ridiculous when you look back.
I've had lull because I've been busy building my own business up. I'm self-employed.
We thought the market's right for getting back into.
-What you do at the moment?
-I do general ground working and paving
and anything to do with ground work.
I've actually built a property recently in a village location, which is quite close.
-You actually built it?
-Not physically, but the groundwork to slab,
because that's the groundwork.
A couple of pals was involved in shared trades, you know, bricking and joinery
and three months down the road you've got this house, which is great.
It's an exciting time to go through.
Nearly 30 years since Steve first dabbled in property development, he's back again.
The plan is that this could be the first of many as he and business partner, Adrian,
hope to build a reasonably sized portfolio.
Tell me what you're going to do?
We're going to put a central heating, plumbing system in.
It's only electrical heaters at the moment.
We will properly put gas central heating in.
We'll take a look at the fireplace, that looks a little bit dated.
The bathroom looks OK. Maybe do something with the kitchen. General refurbishment, really.
-With a view to renting it out?
-Yeah, we'll put it straight back on the market to rent out
and bring a bit of income back.
With a rental market in mind, Steve's taking a sensible approach to the refurbishment.
Not only is a new central heating system more practical,
it could make the flat more attractive to tenants.
What is the budget for the work?
On the preliminary investigation, I think, will get away with about £3,000, or thereabouts.
It's in better condition than what we thought originally?
-What including the boiler and stuff?
-Yeah, you know yourself with the DIY chains as they are at the moment,
everybody's cut pricing and you can get your kit fairly reasonable.
What kind of timescale?
We're hopefully looking at about four to six weeks.
Depending on work commitments, such as myself and my partner, Adrian,
we're busy boys at the moment. We'll slot it in when we can.
The plumbing, we'll sub out to the main contractor.
We've got friends in the trade. We'll have no problem.
-Steve, congratulations, good luck.
-We'll see how you get on.
-Thank you very much. Cheers.
Steve certainly seems to know his stuff
and I think he's bought extremely well here.
Still, a £3,000 budget to sort this place out? Seems a little tight.
How will he get on? You can find out later in the show.
Doing up a property can be time-consuming and expensive?
So have our new buyers stuck to their plans and their budgets?
Let's find out.
Earlier, we braved the worst snow and ice in many decades
to visit this two-bed terraced house in Gillingham, Kent.
# Let it snow, let it snow and snow. #
The weather may have been chilly, but unfortunately the interior didn't warm the heart, either.
Still, it didn't put off Phil, a team manager at an energy company
and his wife, Pat, an office administrator.
They paid 86,000 for the house as a renovation project.
Phil was confident his DIY skills and positive attitude were going to transform the place.
There's never a problem that we can't manage.
There's always a way around it. It's the sense of achievement when I've found the problem
and sorted it.
-Pat, isn't he positive?
If only there were more people like you in this business!
That's a good, positive way of looking at it.
-Do you sometimes worry he maybe a little too confident?
With a £14,000 budget, and a six-month timescale,
the pair were eager to start tackling this yellow peril.
It was 11 months later that we caught up with Phil and Pat
who showed us that the house has changed as much as the weather.
Well, what a transformation.
The corridor wall has been taken down to create a spacious, light filled lounge
and the rear room has been made over in the same style.
The catastrophic kitchen is now a far more efficient place to rattle those pans.
The ground floor has got us off to a flying start.
As you remember, there was a wall that came through here,
the hallway wall and there was a door and a doorway there.
That all came down and a RSJ put in.
This was tongue and groove which made it into a very dark, horrible stairway
so we took that down and I built that thing there.
There was a fireplace here,
just didn't seem to fit in so I bricked that in as well.
I took away the cupboard doors and opened it out.
Upstairs, Phil and Pat have kept the bedrooms nice and simple but by restoring
the fireplaces, they've given the rooms some character.
Down the landing, and the character, the old bathroom had,
has thankfully been replaced by a new contemporary suite.
The layout of the bathroom had to change because the bath was in this corner.
With the sloping roof, installing a shower would be quite difficult.
Now the bath is in this corner.
This has been taken up with the boiler, which is in the cupboard.
The toilet has been moved over and we've installed a wash basin
because, although this room was the bathroom before, it had no wash basin.
A few shelves finishes it off and new windows and there we are.
Phil and Pat have done a great job with the bathroom
but it was also here that they faced their biggest problem.
The most major thing that we weren't expecting was that this wall
wasn't attached securely to the rest of the house.
The previous owners had removed part of the chimney breast and not lengthened the rafters.
When we took the false ceiling away you could see the wall was unsupported.
The outer layer of the wall had to be removed and rebuilt
and now it's all been tied in and made safe.
It's another thing that we're quite proud of that the house that was not in good condition,
is much safer and secure and comfortable to live in, we hope.
Throughout the house, Phil and Pat have added new doors,
new double glazing and have had the place rewired and replumbed.
The cellar has been damp proofed and tidied, making it useful storage space now.
It top marks for this makeover.
The biggest tick must go to Phil, who replastered the property from top to bottom.
I did a week's intensive plastering course, the week after we bought it
and thanks to a really good instructor, I've managed to do every room, ceilings,
apart from the kitchen.
When the guy, the professional came back to do the kitchen, he said I can come and work for him.
I'm quite pleased with the result I've got.
Is there no end to Phil's talents? but he wasn't alone,
Pat took on all the donkey work breaking the rotten plaster and mixing the new.
They reckon they've spent 80 days in total renovating the place.
The only blot in their copybook was that the schedule stretched from six to 11 months.
That was the one thing that we fell down on was our planning.
Anticipating how long it takes to do something.
Because we were only coming down at weekends and because we have quite an active life.
The whole of January we were involved in a pantomime.
We've had significant birthdays, holidays.
We haven't devoted every spare minute to it, which perhaps
if we had, we would have got it done quicker.
Yeah, it's done now.
Pantomime? Well, after this project, perhaps the couple can be
an all-singing, all-dancing renovation team.
But before you can say, "behind you" did they manage to put on this show for that £14,000 budget?
13,900, or thereabouts. Well pleased.
I over budgeted on some things and under budgeted on others
and what we've been able to save on some, we've been able to spend on others.
Yeah, pretty much under budget.
-Spot-on moneywise but a bit out timewise.
Add to that their £86,000 purchase price,
and Phil and Pat's total outlay is about £100,000.
We asked two local estate agents what they thought of the couple's first renovation.
They've done a lovely job on it.
There's a couple of things they could've done different. It's been done really well.
The great point is the cellar because it's an extra room.
The bathroom is a lovely size where it is at the moment
but it'd also make a good further bedroom.
The kitchen is very compact and nice. It's all clean and tidy.
The property is very nice.
I really like downstairs, the way they've opened that up.
It's made the place so much more modern.
It's made it brighter, the whole place has got a nice effect,
without it meaning you haven't got two separate rooms.
But will returns please Phil and Pat?
Remember their total spend is 100,000.
What could they sell it for?
I definitely would put this property on the market at a value
of between 105,000 to £120,000.
Realistically, with the way it's been done, I'd market it at £125,000,
looking to achieve £120,000.
Those sort of figures could see the couple with a possible pre-tax profit of up to 25,000.
That's helped them make their minds up about whether to rent or sell.
-It would be very good. If we could sell it, I think we would prefer to sell it.
If not, we'll let it for a year or so and see what happens.
If they could sell in the next week or two even better.
If they did let the property out, the estate agents estimated values
would mean a healthy 7 to 8% annual yield.
Either way, it looks like the couple will have a healthy return for their efforts.
The final result has left them chuffed but have they discovered a pot of gold
at the end of the rainbow?
Yes, it's taken us a long time but now it's a lovely house.
And, we did that.
Yeah, it's a terrific sense of achievement
when you look around to see what it was to what it is now.
In the pretty Staffordshire village of Great Haywood,
a tiny one-bedroom ground floor flat went to auction.
It was snapped up by business partners Steve and Adrian for £41,000
as their first joint property venture.
It's yours, sir, well done.
For Steve, this was a return to business he first dabbled in nearly 30 years ago.
# We've got to get right back to where we started from. #
In the '80s I was buying terraced houses in the Stoke-on-Trent area for four and £5,000 apiece.
It's quite ridiculous when you look back.
I've had a bit of a lull, I've been busy building my own business up. I'm self-employed.
We thought the market is just right for getting back into.
Steve's a landscape builder with 20 years experience in the building trade
With this little flat, it was more a case of a gentle hop back into the property market
rather than a giant leap as, quite frankly, it didn't need a massive amount of work.
Armed with their £3,000 budget, Steve and business partner, Adrian,
set about upgrading it to rent it out.
# Right here, right now
# Right here, right now
# Right here, right now. #
Was it the right time to get back to investing in properties?
Well, 11 weeks later we're back.
That all-important kerb appeal has definitely been enhanced
with great off-street parking, created from that previously overgrown front garden.
The kitchen, as you could see, was basically fairly new units.
We stripped all the kitchen out and realigned them all up
and while they were out we retiled all the kitchen with white tiles,
put in a new extractor fan, checked all the wiring and redid the floor.
The bathroom, very similar.
We were going to leave the bath, then we weren't and in the end...
For the cost it is nowadays on the DIY stuff, you can put in a new suite in for reasonable
amount of money, without going silly. We put a new bathroom suite in and retiled the bathroom.
It's really brightened it up. It's nice and clean and ready for go.
With a spruce-up in the bedroom,
it was then just a case of sorting out the lounge.
Actually, in this room here, we didn't do a great deal of work.
It was already as it is at the moment.
We just changed the boiler in this area here
and the reason for that was because we've had a specially fitted fire that heats the water up
through the coal fire. It's also electric, so it's the immersion heater, so it does the two things.
We left the old-fashioned style fireplace in to save any major work there.
We thought it was acceptable to do what we did.
Generally, we've just redecorated this in neutral colours
and really it's ready to put furniture in.
All pretty straightforward.
Steve and Adrian contracted out some of the work when they were busy
but did some internal finishing, such as tiling in the bathroom and kitchen.
Their main expertise came to the fore when sorting out the front of the flat.
What we've done here is completely revamped the front elevation of the drive
to make car parking space for somebody who has vehicles.
What we did was bring a machine in, clear all the site off,
dug the hedge out because it was taking up too much space,
put the nice fencing in and gave it some coloured gravel
to finish off and a demarcation line there for the border.
So the off-road parking is ready to go
but they're still waiting to have the kerb lowered to complete the job.
That's likely to cost around £600.
Have they managed to stick to their budget?
The original budget was around 3,000 when we first thought about it.
We've gone slightly over that. We've actually done it for around £4,200,
the whole project.
4,200 all in includes the kerb costs.
With their £41,000 purchase price added,
the boys total outlay here is just over £45,000.
Has this step back into property been a good move?
What do two local estate agents think?
It's a nice property. They've done a good job with it.
It's basically been freshened up.
The new tiling, replastered walls and painted throughout.
Communal garden's always a good bonus,
just have a bit of outside space.
It does need somebody to go out and freshen it up a bit.
I think it's a lovely property.
He's done very simple job, refurb wise.
He could have done a bit more high spec, but I don't think he'd have got the value on it.
What he's done, he has done well.
They were considering this flat as a long-term investment
so aren't immediately looking for a resale return on their outlay of just over 45,000
but how would it fare in the current market?
In the current market, I would expect this one to sell for £65,000.
In the current sales market,
I could see the property achieving in the region of 62 to £65,000
That's superb. That makes me smile because when you work out
what we gave for the property, and what we spent on it,
it's been a very good investment, even if we did have to sell it, that is.
For the immediate future, we will just carry on renting it for a couple of years.
So a potential pre-tax profit of between 17 and £20,000 before the usual deductions.
It's the rental value that's crucial.
In the current market, this property would rent for £425 per calendar month.
In the current rental market, I would see this property achieving £425 per calendar month.
That's the sort of figure we were looking at.
That's ideal, when you work it out on a yearly basis.
The rental yield is around 11%
so it may be a small flat but it should generate big revenue.
It's not a bad return to property investment for Steve, either.
Is this to be the first of many?
Yes, certainly, we'll go to auctions again.
In fact, there's one recently come up around the corner.
We are still having a look because the money what we paid for this project
is only the price of a good second-hand car, basically.
If you think about the investment element, it's a good shout.
That's it for now. We'll have more intriguing properties for you next time.
Make sure you join us then for more Homes Under The Hammer.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a property in Peckham, south London, a house in Kent and a flat in Staffordshire. 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.