Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a bungalow in Consett, County Durham; a property in Canterbury, Kent; and a house in Staffordshire.
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The UK auction property market is worth billions of pounds every year.
Those are big numbers, so don't be put off by that.
The auctions are a level playing field. They're open to everybody.
All you need is a bit of cash and some confidence.
With thousands of lots going under the hammer each year,
there is such a huge choice at auction.
Here are what today's bidders decided to buy
when they put their hands in the air.
'I find there's more than one way to tackle this bungalow in Consett, County Durham.'
Two options. It all depends on what your plans are for the property.
'In Canterbury, Kent, this property got a thumbs up from me as soon as I stepped inside.'
Wow! What a lovely, sunny shop front!
'And in Staffordshire,
'I get to grips with the ups and downs of property development.'
I always worried I'd end up in the gutter.
'All the properties went to auction.
'We'll find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.'
You bought it. Well done.
# Bird flying high
# You know how I feel
# Sun in the sky
# You know how I feel
# Oooh, drifting on my... #
This is Consett in County Durham,
but it's a very different Consett from that of 100 or even 30 years ago
because this was a major steel town,
with the local steel mills employing over 6,000 people
and, amongst other things, making the steel for Blackpool Tower.
But when those mills closed in the 1980s,
it was obviously devastating to the local economy.
But in recent times, there has been a lot of investment
and when that happens, the property developers are back.
# It's a new dawn, it's a new day
# It's a new life for me
-# And I'm feeling good.
'It's just a short stroll from this rolling countryside to the property that was up for auction.
'But before I even arrived, I had a good feeling about it.'
The property I'm here to see is in this terrace of former pit bungalows
built around the 1920s, at the same time as a new pit was sunk locally,
to house and probably attract workers.
Compared to some run-down terrace, these would have been a delight.
They remain very popular even nowadays.
So what was on offer?
A three-bedroom bungalow with a guide price of £30,000-£50,000.
Let's take a look.
'It's always hard to tell with these terraced bungalows
'which is the front and which is the back.
'To sort the mater out, this is the back yard but this is the front door.
'At the back is the garden and what looks like the front door.
'So, all clear, then?'
So, what have we got?
It's a bit confusing as to which is the main entrance,
because you've got an entrance on the other side which could be,
but this is the one I think, practically, you would use more.
Unfortunately, that leads straight into this part of the property, which is a tiny kitchen
and that, which is the only bathroom. Not a particularly favourable start.
But it gets better the further in you go.
A really nice size room here. I guess this is your living room.
A big fireplace there. A real fire would be lovely.
A storage area there and then three bedrooms.
But just look at the size. Look at the...the space you've got.
You've got high ceilings, three big bedrooms,
and it's a very practical house straight away, apart from that bit(!)
# Backwards all day
# Hopes are down... #
'There always has to be some dilemma for us to sink our teeth into.
'The condition of the bungalow would be plenty to keep you busy.
'It's tired, dated and has an odd concrete feel to it.
'In fact, this is probably the first time I've ever seen concrete skirting.
'It's a very basic space, but I'm assured the build is standard brick construction
'so you shouldn't have any mortgage issues to worry about.
'You just need some very springy underlay and good quality carpeting to keep your feet comfy.
'Now, back to the bathroom dilemma.'
What about that layout? What are we going to do?
Well, I guess it comes down to how much you value the bedrooms
and how much it's going to affect any potential rental on the property.
You could quite considerably lose one of the bedrooms
and then move the kitchen into this room, knock through that wall
to create a really nice kitchen/dining room.
That would be lovely.
If you do want to keep the bedrooms, however -
and it's worth talking to an estate agent if you're renting out
to find out how much difference that would make to your rental income -
you could look at creating your extended kitchen there
and then adding or taking, rather, some space off one of the bedrooms
to create an internal bathroom.
Two options. It all depends on what your plans are for the property.
'Bearing in mind that guide price of £30,000-£50,000,
'we asked a local estate agent along to hear his thoughts.'
I think the bungalow has fabulous potential.
The room sizes are very generous.
The countryside is a particular draw to people.
There's possibilities of moving upwards as well as outwards
and the internal space could be re-jigged to suit your needs.
'There is space for a loft conversion
'but the cost of doing it might not be added back on to the resale value.
'So, for a quick sale, it won't be worth your while,
'but could be something to think about if you plan to live here and wanted the extra space.
'What could the rental be here?'
In good condition, the property would probably rent for
in the region of £475 per calendar month,
up to a maximum ceiling of £500 per calendar month.
'What about a resale value?'
The property, in its current condition,
would probably be worth in the region of £55,000.
When the property was renovated,
it has the potential to go up to in the region of about £85,000-£90,000.
'These are valuations for a three-bedroom property.
'If you turned it into a two-bed, you could lose approximately £10,000 from the resale value
'and £50 a month off the rental.
'You'd definitely need to re-jig the bathroom, but in a way that maintains the three bedrooms.'
I really like this little bungalow. There's lots you could do here.
And either as a place to live or something to rent out, a really great one to go for.
Who wouldn't want to buy a property in a place like this?
Let's find out who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Moving on to Lot 17, this is a quite deceiving property.
Three double bedrooms, a terraced bungalow.
Guided at £35,000-£50,000.
20? Get me away at 20. Thank you. We're in at 20.
22. And 24. 26.
28. And 30. 35. And 40?
Shake of the head. 40, anywhere?
40, fresh bidder. 41. 42.
42.5. 43? 43.5.
That's a nice round figure.
Yeah, 50. I thought you would.
51? Shake of the head.
At £50,000. Do I see £50,500 anywhere?
52? 52.5? A shake of the head.
At £52,000, with the gentleman standing up at 52.
At £52,000, then. We're going to sell for the first time.
At £52,000 for the second. Are you all done at £52,000?
For the third and final time. Sold! Thank you very much. Well done.
'That winning bid which secured the bungalow for £52,000 came from Steve and his partner, Gemma.
'They own and run a rural pub nearby and have another three properties which they rent out,
'but will they reap the rewards from this, their first ever auction purchase?'
# You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
-# As we walk in fields of gold.
'I met Steve at the property to hear about their plans.'
-Steve, good to meet you.
-How are you doing?
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
I'd never been to an auction before.
We went down, had a look and we were just buying it as an investment, really.
A house to do up, just to see what we could do with it,
-because we've bought three previous and it's something a friend told me to get into.
Try and invest for the future, basically.
And it's gone well since that advice?
It has. It's just a slow process of trying to build up a portfolio of properties
and just have them for the future.
-With the idea of keeping them and renting them out?
Did you know this particular area at all?
I'm from around here.
I only live two miles away. I've lived here all my life.
It's a case of buying properties in the area that you know.
It's easier to keep a check on things.
-How was the auction?
-It was very intimidating.
I was quite nervy when I went in because I'd never been to one before.
We thought we were going to get the property for £43,000
but a guy in front kept bidding against me,
so in the end, we got it for £52,000, which is a little over guide price.
'As Steve experienced at his first auction, the process can be quite nerve-racking.
'You have to stay in control when you really want a property
'because the adrenalin can push your maximum bid sky high in a heartbeat.
'Now it's theirs, what next?'
The plans are...
the kitchen/bathroom will be turned into a kitchen.
Knock the wall out that's adjoining that.
And probably to put a bathroom in one of the bedrooms
and make one bedroom smaller. The garden all needs redoing.
New double-glazing and it looks like the walls need plastering.
-So it looks like there's quite a bit to do.
-What's the budget?
The budget started at around £10,000
but I'm seeing it's going to be close to £15,000.
What's put it up by 50%?
The main thing would be digging up the yard.
You have to dig up the yard and the work for the bathroom -
knocking down walls, reposition all the doors, et cetera.
A lot of the properties around here have put in a dormer. Is that something you'd consider?
Possibly, but not at this moment in time.
If we were to sell the property, it's something we possibly could to try and add value
or possibly put a conservatory on the back of the property.
That's a sensible idea.
Steve's goal is to turn it around and get it on
the rental market in two months, ideally.
So if he wants to hit that deadline, there's little point in getting carried away.
Steve and one of his friends will do much of the work themselves
and hire in trades when required.
What's the long term plan here?
To sit on it and hopefully buy some more.
Keep it for 10, 20 years, for the future for my little one.
Is it a boy or a girl?
It's a boy. He's 21 months and he's a little devil.
-So you're building up an inheritance for him?
-It's the way forward
because there's no point in money in the bank. You may as well invest it.
-Property seems the way forward.
-Listen, congratulations. Good luck with it.
-Thank you very much.
-I look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, it's great that Steve's building up a future for his son
from a bit of Consett's industrial past.
I think this will prove to be a great investment.
How will he get on moving that bathroom
and will his budget hold out?
You can find out later in the show.
# I passed by the old cathedral
# As the organ played. #
Today, I've travelled to the garden of England.
I'm in the cathedral city of Canterbury, Kent.
Historical buildings galore, pretty winding medieval lanes
and loads of shopping opportunities.
Hey, what's not to like?
Plus the high-speed rail link whisks you into the capital
in just over an hour.
Let's hope the property I'm here to see
is just as inspiring as its surroundings.
A two-minute walk from the beautiful cathedral of Canterbury
and I'm here to see today's auction lot.
It had a guide price of £150,000 to £160,000.
I think that's quite modest when you discover, for that price,
you can get all of this.
A former hairdresser's and offices upstairs on the first floor.
Interestingly, the auction catalogue hints at its potential. Excited?
Well, I am. So, a substantial and attractive property for the money.
The downside is that it doesn't come with any parking space
but the upsides are exposed brickwork, sash windows
and your very own period lamp.
It's certainly a cut above many hairdressers.
# Get your hair cut, get your hair cut
# To be absolutely blunt
# With your hair cut like a coconut
# You look as if your head's on back to front. #
Wow! What a lovely sunny shop front.
You can obviously see what it used to be,
because there's mirrors just everywhere,
but it's really bright in here in a fantastic corner of Canterbury.
You really are just off the main high street here.
In really good condition,
you've got these gorgeous, beautiful sash windows.
They look fab but they are single-glazed
and I know for a fact you can really hear the traffic outside.
You've got another part of the shop area to the back.
Again, in quite good nick. It looks like it's recently been painted.
So far, so good.
# Mirror, mirror on the wall
# Listen to me, hear my call. #
There are three good-sized rooms down here,
a small kitchen and stairs up to the first floor,
where there are another three rooms.
This may look like a bedroom but was used as an office.
This place would be ideal for someone wanting to move
their business in and start trading right away.
However, you could also think about making the upstairs into a one-bed flat
or double up and convert the whole building into two flats
or one residential property, but for that, you'd need to get
change of use from commercial to residential and make sure you have
planning permission before knocking any walls down.
# You're looking good
# You're looking good to me. #
With its dizzying number of options
and a guide price of 150,000 to 160,000, we wasted no time in inviting
a local estate agent around to hear his opinion.
In terms of location,
we're in the heart of the cathedral city of Canterbury,
surrounded by some fantastic period buildings.
We're a three-minute walk from the high street
with all the shops and pubs Canterbury has to offer.
I think, given where it is,
an established residential location in the middle of the town,
I think you're really going to try and look for
a couple of big one-bedroom flats or some form of student let.
Great minds think alike,
but there is one other way of rejigging the layout
that could accommodate both the retail and residential properties.
One of the options is to keep the commercial space downstairs,
perhaps just hive off the front bit for commercial, and then use
the upper part and the rear of the ground floor
for residential accommodation.
You could easily have a living room and kitchen downstairs,
two, maybe three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.
That would make quite a good student let in this location.
How much could that achieve in rental?
As a student let in this accommodation,
you're comfortably going to get £300 per calendar month for each lettable room.
But if the purchaser decided to convert both floors
into one-bedroom flats, how much could they generate?
A one-bedroom flat in this location,
you're comfortably looking at £700 a calendar month.
And if put on the market for resale?
A couple of one-bedroom flats here, and they'd be big one-bedroom flats,
I think they'd get £160,000 each.
It is just fantastic to have options, isn't it?
With this lot, well, you've got a multitude, choices galore.
I think I'd be tempted to turn this from commercial into residential
and really maximise my investment.
Let's see who wanted this when it went under the hammer.
Start me where you will. Can I see £150,000 for it?
150, doesn't seem a lot.
You must be able to get 15 grand a year for that, I'd have thought.
150 can I say? Where else do you get 10% return?
130, then. 130. I'm on the way. 130 I've got
and I should think so. And five, now, may I say?
135 bid I've got. 140 in front of you. 140 I'm bid.
145 in a fresh place. 145. 150 now.
150. There's four of you after it. 150.
At 152,000 I've got. Five, I'm looking for.
I got 155, there. 157, do I see?
157? For the first time, then, at £155,000,
the bidder at the back.
155 for the second time.
Third and final time, everybody's out of it, all done, 155, sir, it's your bid.
Lurking in the background but successful with his 155,000 bid
He's a scaffolder by trade, also owns a sandwich shop in nearby Faversham,
and has a small portfolio of buy-to-let properties.
He wants to make the upstairs here residential,
keeping the commercial usage downstairs.
I caught up with him three and a half months after the auction
when he'd managed to get those change-of-use plans in place.
Colin, I always love coming to Canterbury.
Why do you like it so much? Enough to want to buy somewhere here?
When I first saw the property, with having a sandwich shop in Faversham,
I thought about opening a sandwich shop here,
with all the offices around the area,
but with making some investigation,
I found out, really, there's quite a bit of competition here.
So, basically, now we've gone for just to rent it out as a property.
When you bought this property on auction day, it was completely commercial.
You've now been able to get the planning
to turn it into residential upstairs.
How long did that take you and how hard was that?
It was quite easy, actually. We had no problems at all.
We just put in a standard application
to apply for residential use and I think the biggest problem we had
was we didn't show a wheelie bin area for the commercial shop.
-And that was it?
-That was it, that was the only amendment we had to make.
It's great that the process went so smoothly.
We know all too well at Homes Under The Hammer
that planning can take the most unexpected twists and turns.
What has Colin got in mind for the commercial unit?
We don't know exactly yet.
Obviously, we've got to complete the property first.
I've had a couple of enquiries,
one from someone who wanted to open an art gallery,
and one from a hairdresser's anyway, but at the moment, I've no fixed plans.
Well, I did say this property was all about the options.
With interest already, Colin should have no problem renting out the commercial space here.
His experience as a scaffolder and property developer
will stand him in good stead, and with his sandwich shop also on the go,
he's certainly got a lot on his plate.
How many corned beef sandwiches do you make a day in your shop?
No corned beef, just gammon ham!
Do you actually get involved in that as well?
Thursdays is my day working.
Do you actually get stuck in with the sandwiches?
I thoroughly enjoy it. It'll make you laugh, I make the cakes.
-I actually do.
So did it kind of excite you
to think you could possibly potentially have brought a bit of that business to Canterbury?
That was the initial thought to actually come here,
but obviously, as I said, we're not going to do that now.
I think it's got a really nice ring to it, Colin the Baker.
-It could be a little bakery shop for you!
-I don't think so.
-That's a no, then!
-That's a definite no!
# If I knew you were coming, I'd have baked a cake
# Baked a cake Baked a big fat cake
# If I knew you was coming I'd have baked a cake
# How'd you do? How'd you do? How'd you do? #
So Colin won't be persuaded to don his baker's hat.
I'm also surprised that he wasn't persuaded
to go for the more lucrative residential option here.
The first thing I thought
when I walked along the streets of Canterbury,
which I do happen to know quite well, this area,
I think this would do extremely well, all of it, as a residential property.
What about two flats? Have you thought about that?
That was one of the problems. What do we do with it?
Because there are many options with it.
We could have it as commercial,
we could have a flat upstairs and commercial downstairs,
we could have it as two flats,
we could go for an actual... entirely just a house on its own.
That was a little bit of a sort of, what options do we take,
so we're sticking by keeping the commercial at the moment and residential,
and we'll see how it goes in the future.
If the demand dies off a little bit,
obviously then we can decide what would be best to do
with the property at that time.
So you don't want to set up a business yourself here.
Is this for you to rent out to a business?
At the moment, yes, but obviously, with owning the property,
if me or my family want to set up a business here,
we have the option to do that, so we have another option.
I can see logic behind Colin's plan,
but close as it is to the high street, this is a smidgen off the beaten track.
Many businesses might be put off by the potential lack of passing trade.
Colin should also bear in mind how long a business would be willing to rent the premises for,
particularly in the current choppy financial market.
And speaking of money...
So with what you're going to do at the moment,
as it currently stands, what's your budget?
-Erm, I'd say 15 to a maximum of 20.
-OK, is that likely to change?
No, I think we should be on target for that.
-And your timescale for the work?
-Hopefully a maximum of six months.
-To do everything?
-Good luck with this. Thank you.
# How'd you do? How'd you do? How'd you do? #
Colin is certainly keeping his options open.
I like a man who dabbles in property, scaffolding,
and making fairy cakes!
I'm just not convinced that leaving it part commercial will be the most lucrative option.
I'm really intrigued to find out what business will work in there.
Join me later in the programme and you can find out.
Coming up, I find a potential beast of a property in Staffordshire.
Do something there and create yourself a really monstrous kitchen.
In Canterbury, Colin has already decided what to do after this development.
Get myself a little toy of a boat or something and play more golf, hopefully.
But first, in County Durham, it seems Steve's as enthusiastic as ever.
I think it just drives you on to do another one, you get the bug.
Time now to head back to the beautiful area of Consett in County Durham,
where earlier we met Steve, who lives locally with his partner, Gemma.
They've been running a rural pub here for the last three years.
Steve had bought this three-bed terraced bungalow at auction for £52,000.
This was his fourth property,
as he thinks it's the best way to save money for the future and his family.
The bungalow was tired and dated,
with lots of concrete floors and skirting.
And the back garden was a bit of a jungle,
but the biggest question of all was what Steve was planning to do.
Plans are the kitchen/bathroom will be turned into a kitchen,
knock the wall out that's adjoining that, and probably to put a...
a bathroom in one of the bedrooms and make the one in the bedroom smaller.
The garden all needs re-doing, new double glazing,
and it looks like all the walls will need plastering, so there's quite a bit to do, really.
Steve set a budget of between £10,000 and £15,000 and a timescale of two months,
as he intended to get it on the rental market as soon as possible.
Three months later, have things gone to plan?
Well it's certainly looking a whole lot better, both outside and in.
Upstairs, the three bedrooms are almost unrecognisable.
This is what I call a transformation!
Steve's stripped it right back and started afresh
with neutral carpets, newly plastered and decorated walls, heating, windows and doors,
but what about that tired old kitchen and bathroom?
This was where the bathroom was, where I'm standing, this is where it ended.
We've moved the bathroom into the other part of the bedroom
and taken some space away there, and made a much bigger kitchen.
Put a better kitchen in because we're going to sell,
and as you can see, I'm very pleased with it.
It seems the plans to let this out have changed as much as the kitchen.
Steve and Gemma have decided that they would prefer to release the equity
as they're buying another two investment properties.
So the renovation was upgraded for the resale market.
In order to improve the bathroom, they needed to adjust one of the bedrooms slightly.
So basically what we've done, we've shortened this bedroom here,
made it into a single, probably queen-sized bedroom.
We had to move the electrics, which were above, they were in the bathroom.
That was quite a big job but the whole house has been rewired anyway.
We've turned this into a wet room, as you can see.
Rather than just tile it half,
we've tiled it full-tile floor-to-ceiling
because we're now going to sell the property rather than rent it.
Initially, here was a pantry, and the door was here,
and we've had to move it to make a corridor to make a bigger bathroom.
Steve has certainly been busy, and the reconfiguration
works much better, but there's no doubt that this has turned out to be a major project.
Basically, we've had to gut the whole house,
so we had to do all the ceilings.
All the walls have been re-plastered, the boiler was no good
so a new central heating system.
The other thing, the garden was quite a mess,
so we had to then completely rip all the trees out,
take all the lining up and re-turf that, put some decking down.
That's a serious amount of work,
but he's had help from some builders and his brother-in-law.
But as Steve was still managing his pub at the same time,
he admits he didn't do as much as everyone else.
I pitched in where I could, to be honest,
but it's a first-time project for one of this size,
so the credit really goes to the two builders that sorted out most of the work.
So, how did the budget fare?
The budget was between £10,000 and £15,000. Erm...
initially, we thought that would be a conservative budget,
but the budget went to about 23,500.
Quite a substantial budget overspend, then,
and the turnaround was one month longer than planned, too.
But the bar was raised when the house was fitted out for resale
instead of rental, so Steve must be happy.
It is a nice house and it's turned out really well,
and I think it just drives you on to do another one.
You get the bug, sort of thing.
Let's tot up some figures, then.
The bungalow's purchase price of 52,000,
added to Steve's £23,500 spend makes a total outlay of 75,500.
Let's hear from two local estate agents what it could be worth now.
The property has a great wow factor.
The owner has put a very high standard of finish
for a refurbished property, thus will attract higher rent,
a better quality of tenant,
and also achieve a higher selling price on the market.
The property is excellent.
It's been really refurbished to a very high standard.
I think the new owners have done an excellent job on the property.
the new kitchen is superb, as is the new bathroom.
Everything's really clean and it's a really nice home.
Remembering Steve's total outlay here of 75,500,
what's the bungalow's potential resale value now?
I'd value the property between £80,000 and £90,000.
I'd expect to sell this property in the region of £95,000,
if it were put back onto the market for resale.
That seems about right. That's what I valued it at.
I'd say probably top end, 95 is what we hoped to probably get. Close to 95, anyway.
That's a potential profit of between £4,500 and £19,500, minus the usual selling expenses.
Whilst I hope he can achieve the higher figure,
is rental still a viable option?
The rental income for this property would start between £450 and £495 per calendar month.
For a rental valuation,
I'd expect to be achieving somewhere in the region of £475 per calendar month.
That's probably what I'd expect.
I mean, we were going to rent it but now we're just going to sell it.
So he's not even tempted by those pretty healthy yields of between seven and eight per cent.
This is going back on the resale market,
but Steve and his team have done a great job here, so he must be pleased.
I think it's really, really nice. It's that nice, my mum wants to buy it!
I'm in Stafford, south of Stoke-on-Trent,
north of Birmingham, and about 30 minutes from each.
Stafford goes way back and has always been an important centre for this area.
It's said James I even called it Little London.
Certainly, the town centre still hints of its rich heritage,
with the largest timber-frame townhouse in England.
So, will it be a timber-framed house or just a terrible one for me today?
First impressions, they're so important when it comes to houses.
It's said that people make the decision to buy or not
within the first 30 seconds of walking through the front door.
But actually, it begins before that. It's called curb appeal.
If a property works when you drive up, again,
you're more likely to have success in terms of buying or selling it.
You can't complain about this estate and this is the property I'm here to see.
Nice lawns, nicely tended plants, it's a good start.
£75,000 was the guide price. Two-bed semi, let's take a look.
Yes, all looks fine so far.
OK, so the windows and doors are a bit dated
and may need replacing, but with that decent-sized front lawn
and the fencing in good condition, along with the park just opposite,
this house and surroundings have a lovely well-kept feel about them.
So, it's an ex-local authority house, which I think is a really good thing
because they're normally extremely solidly built and with lots of storage.
So, is this one an exception? Let's find out. What have we got?
From living room, lots of light coming through the windows.
Nice to have that opened up to some kind of patio door perhaps out onto the garden.
Through to the kitchen, which unfortunately isn't massive,
and the units are obviously very dated.
But there's a solution, because you've got this very strange little room just off the kitchen there.
I guess it was the dining room, but why have it separate?
Knock this wall through, put some kind of joist across the top,
an RSJ and bingo, you've got yourself a really nice kitchen/dining room area.
And if that's not enough, there's more good news out here,
because masses of outdoor space.
You've got this fairly substantial covered walkway area
going out to what I suppose is the utility room.
But if you weren't happy with that space,
do something there and create yourself a really monstrous kitchen!
# Is it a monster?
# Is it a monster? #
This area would certainly benefit from a complete refit.
Taking the hotchpotch of rooms and combining them to make a kitchen diner,
ideally in a properly-built extension, surely would be the way to go.
Upstairs, I don't think any such drastic changes are needed
with the two bedrooms and bathroom, other than a little updating and modernising.
With that large back garden, you could end up with a good-sized family home.
So far, investing in this property
looks to me like anything but pouring money down the drain.
I always worried I'd end up in the gutter!
But in this instance, it's for a good reason
because this is actually a dropped curb right outside the property.
So what, you might ask. I'll tell you what that is.
That's a way to instantly add value and saleability to the house
because what does it lead to?
Off-road parking, and that is what everybody wants.
If there wasn't a dropped curb, you'd have to apply to the council
and you'd also have to obviously pay for it to be done.
In this case, it's there, a bit of gravel on here, bingo.
I rather like this patch of green at the front,
but with such a good-sized garden at the back, I can't see you actually using it that much,
and off-street parking would add saleability for sure.
I think this is a really sound property with room for improvement.
But at the same time, you could just upgrade
and modernise what's already here.
What does an estate agent think about its state
and the best way forward for this place guided at 75,000?
It's a solid house, good-sized rooms.
There's a lot of potential here,
especially the little extension on the side, offers great scope
to either extend the kitchen or even add a small utility to it.
So, what kind of returns might be achievable here once it was refurbished?
The property in its current condition is probably worth in the region of about £85,000.
Finished to a good standard,
this property should market for about 120,000,
and it would rent for about £525 per calendar month.
So, this tidy house could also be a tidy investment.
Well it's a good, solid, practical house, this one,
that would make a lovely first-time buyer's house
or possibly something you could rent out.
Spend a bit of money on it sorting it out,
and you'd recoup your investment, I'm pretty sure.
Let's see who fancied the opportunity when it went under the hammer.
Lot 10. To Stafford now, the county town of Stafford.
A semi-detached house, requires modernising. Gas central heating.
60 then, let's get it going. Can we say 60? It's got to be worth that, surely. 60 bid, thank you.
At 60,000, took it there. Do you want to go 65, sir? £65,000. At 65.
70, is it now? At 65. 70.
75? £75,000, standing right. £75,000. 80, is it?
At 75... One, you're saying. 76.
77. 78. 79.
At 79,000. Standing right at 79. At 79 then.
Bids right, standing right, at 79,000. 80 anywhere else?
If not, 79 for the first time. 79 for the second time.
Third and final time at £79,000...
Your lot, sir, well done.
For 79,000, the successful bidder on the two-bed Staffordshire house was Peter.
He's a retired college lecturer
who now drives a minibus for a small firm.
His wife Helen also drives a minibus for the college Peter used to work at.
I met them to hear what drove them to buy this place.
-Peter, Helen, lovely to meet you both.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Our daughter is looking for somewhere to live.
She finishes university this week, actually,
and her and her fiance will need somewhere to live.
She's expecting a baby, so we thought we'll buy this for her
-and it'll give them a start.
-Wow! Well they're lucky, aren't they?
We've got four daughters altogether and this is the third one we've done it for.
It's normally just paying for the wedding,
it's not normally buying them a house. You know that, don't you?
Well, it is bought very much as a business, erm...
thought, you know, with business in mind. They'll pay rent on it.
-Why this house, then?
-Well, it was quite simple.
We wanted somewhere in Stafford and at auction, this was the only house.
-# I am the one and only.
Well, I guess that made it easier when deciding which house to go for!
Luckily for all concerned, it fits the bill nicely.
It's a good family starter home at a decent price and in Stafford.
With three daughters housed and other previous developments,
this certainly isn't their one and only property project.
-I think we've had about 10 we worked out, didn't we?
Over the years, yes.
-Great, and always spurred on by some family interest, or...?
We've got an unusual situation,
as much as we live in tied accommodation, which goes with the job.
I was a lecturer in agriculture, now retired as of last August,
so we initially started buying houses so it's some way
to try and build up a nest egg for ourselves over the years.
Unfortunately, the majority of the nest egg has been spent on daughters, but...
But they are getting some rent from their daughters,
and I guess they're pretty good tenants.
Well, I hope they are anyway! So, it's not a total money drain.
So, tell me what you're going to do to sort it out.
Well, the first thing to be done is the windows.
We'll replace all the windows,
possibly put a porch on the front.
We understand the guttering is leaking, so that's all got to be checked and replaced.
The roofing has got to be checked.
We want to create some form of off-road parking out there for them as well.
Internally, sort of replacing doors,
re-tiling and redecorating throughout.
Check the electrics, check the gas.
What about anything more elaborate, like an extension?
It's a possibility, but I suspect the budget will restrict us.
-So what's the budget?
-We're looking at 10 grand, I think, at the moment.
£10,000 will certainly do a decent refurbishment here,
but I think the extension will have to wait,
as they have some more pressing issues of their own.
So what's next on the agenda?
I think a property for ourselves, you know, somewhere to live.
As I say, we're expecting to be out of our property in the next 12 months,
so we want somewhere to be able to set up ourselves and go and live.
Ideally I'd like a six-bedroom farmhouse with a granny annex,
40 acres of ground overlooking the hillside,
but I suspect I may be a bit over the top on that one!
Well, congratulations, good luck with it.
-We'll look forward to seeing how you get on.
# I am the one and only
-# Can't take that away from me.
Well, it turns out having four daughters was a bit of an expensive thing for Helen and Peter.
I bet they're glad they didn't have a bigger family!
But it's just as well that the only house available in Stafford
was such a good investment.
How will they get on sorting it out? And will they end up with a house of their own?
You can find out later in the show.
Well, we wait patiently for our buyers to do work on their properties
and sometimes, they make a wonderful job of it.
And sometimes, they don't do anything at all!
So what's happened with today's buyers? Let's find out.
We're back in Canterbury in Kent, where scaffolder, sandwich shop man,
and small-time property developer Colin
bought this former hairdressers and office at auction for 155,000,
but the plan wasn't to move one of his businesses into his latest acquisition.
So you don't want to set up a business yourself here.
Is this for you to rent out to a business?
At the moment, yes,
but obviously with owning the property, if me or my family want to set up a business here,
we then have the option to do that, so again, we have another option.
And options are something this property certainly wasn't short of.
Fortunate to be able to have his cake and eat it, too,
Colin wanted to convert the upstairs into a residential flat
and maintain the commercial space downstairs.
Seven months after I first met Colin, is the former hair salon looking trim,
or is the renovation far from cut and dried?
True to his word, Colin has split the usage into commercial
and residential, although the plans have changed slightly.
Downstairs, the front and middle rooms are now the commercial unit with kitchen and loo.
But this area is slightly smaller than originally intended.
That's because Colin decided to create a three-bed flat
split over the rear of the ground and the first floor.
That meant separating off the stairs,
the kitchen and the former washroom, which is now the lounge,
with new separate access to the flat.
The rooms upstairs have been converted into bedrooms,
and what was just a loo is now a shower room,
so the property now houses a three-bedroom duplex maisonette.
The downstairs rooms have been renovated to make them more in keeping with their new use.
The changes we've made here,
this used to be part of the commercial area.
There was a line of sinks along here, and into the kitchen here
we've obviously fitted a hob and everything and tiled it all and everything,
and we've also added these units here, because it is a small kitchen,
to give it a bit more room to actually store stuff in.
At the moment, we have a little bit more to do but it's nearly there.
All that's left to do to this part of the property
is some additional decorating, and the flooring in the living room.
But otherwise, all internal work is complete.
The roof has been repaired, central heating installed throughout,
and a new electrical system put in.
Did Colin manage to do all this within his original budget of 15,000 to 20,000?
I've spent about 18,000 at the moment.
There was a little bit more cost than we anticipated on things
but we should be getting in within about 20,000 to 21,000 when the final bills are in.
So, only a little over budget, and his timescale has gone over somewhat, too,
with bits and bobs still left to do.
But he's a very busy man.
I'm a little bit behind on the schedule.
Basically, I had other commitments elsewhere,
other properties that needed maintenance, people moving out.
I have a student property that I had to make good,
but time goes by so quickly!
Yep, it sure does!
Colin plans to rent the maisonette out,
and has found someone to take on the commercial space downstairs, close to home.
Since buying the property, my son has taken an interest,
and he's actually going to turn this into a takeaway food shop,
sandwiches, baguettes, and so on, and I've been fortunate enough
to allow him to have it rent free for a year, so I think I'm quite lucky.
Glad to hear you've retained your sense of humour, Colin,
and that's a lovely gesture to your son.
But do two local estate agents
think that what he's done here
is just as lovely?
A lot of conversion works have been done, a bit of subdivision.
Complete redecoration throughout.
I think it works really well.
This is a good property and a great location.
It's close to the city centre.
If I owned this, I might have done it differently and made it two residential units
or one large residential unit, but it's a good idea
to have a spread of income from both commercial and residential.
Colin purchased the property for 155,000
and estimates his spend will be around 21,000.
Altogether, that makes £176,000, and with his plans to rent it out,
what would two estate agents recommend charging for that?
In terms of renting a flat out,
we're looking at around £900 per calendar month.
The rental value of the flat upstairs is probably £650 per calendar month.
If you let to students, the rent would be higher.
They pay £320 roughly per person per month,
so you'd be looking at £960 per month but the use is more intensive.
The student figure, I was aware of that
because I do have some students at the moment,
so that was the ballpark that I know is feasible, sort of thing.
What about the commercial section?
I'd put the rental in at around about £400 per calendar month.
The shop would let for about £600 per calendar month,
so it has an annual income of around £7,200 per annum.
Funnily enough, I was thinking of somewhere in between there,
but I can't complain.
It's quite a nice figure. I look forward to my son
being a success and he'll move on
and I can get some money for the property, so I hope time flies.
No wonder Colin's keen for his rent-free son to move on,
because those estimates mean that from the lower rental valuations
up to the best case scenario, he could earn a yield of between seven and just over 10.5%!
If he did decide to sell both units as a whole,
the estate agents gave valuations of between 220,000 and 240,000,
so his pre-tax profit would be between 44,000 and 64,000, minus expenses.
With those impressive figures, and the work nearly done,
what's next on Colin's agenda?
I've told my family I don't intend to get any more property
and they've all turned round and said, "Yeah, wait until you see a bargain", basically!
But now I'm intending to hopefully - I'm not getting any younger -
take life a little bit more easy.
Get myself a little toy of a boat or something and play more golf, hopefully. We shall see.
I've heard that before!
In the ancient midland town of Stafford, I came across a two-bed semi that was generally pretty good.
# I am the one and only. #
It was in a pleasant area,
had loads of space back and front, and just needed updating.
For retired lecturer Peter and his wife Helen,
it was exactly what they were looking for.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Our daughter is looking for somewhere to live.
She finishes university this week, actually,
and her and her fiance need somewhere to live.
She's expecting a baby so we thought we'd buy this for them and give them a start.
# Is it really true? Oh, lucky you. #
As they have four daughters,
this was the third time they'd done this.
They paid £79,000 at auction to help Kerry and her partner
start life as new parents, but then there was the small matter
of completing the renovation before Kerry's baby was due.
Armed with a £10,000-12,000 budget, they set about their task.
So, has their lucky daughter got the house she wanted?
Four months later, we're back.
On the outside, they've made the most of that already lowered curb
by creating some off-street parking.
Along with new windows, doors, and a more suitable porch roof,
they've created a tidy-looking property.
And inside, their daughter Kerry has moved in,
along with new arrival Archie, who's now two months old.
Since we moved in, we've completely re-done the house, top to bottom.
We've had windows taken out, doors put in.
Now it's started to become a home,
but at first, Kerry and fiance Jamie lived here whilst the work was going on.
As the house was being done up, at points the kitchen was in the lounge,
I didn't have a washing machine,
didn't have a dishwasher, and it was just a little bit of a mess.
Luckily that's all behind them
because now she has a fully-functioning kitchen with all mod cons.
But of course, the renovation was just one of many things
that have been happening in the last four months.
I've also had a baby in that time, graduated from university,
erm, yeah, and obviously moved in with my partner for the first time in our relationship,
and planning a wedding!
So, yes, we've kind of got all life's big events going on.
Crikey, that's a fair amount to take on,
but at least one thing she can tick off
is that the bulk of the refurbishment work on the house is now done...
..with the upstairs bathroom being given a thorough makeover,
along with the separate toilet.
The two bedrooms are now vibrant and bright.
Although this house was bought to help Kerry and her fiance
get off to a good start in their first family home,
they're going to pay rent to Peter and Helen, who still own the property.
The grandparents were heavily involved in the refurbishment, too.
I've done the majority of the work but Helen has come along
and helped out where she can.
Kerry and Jamie have done a lot of the decorating.
Getting down on her hands and knees until late on in pregnancy,
painting skirting boards and walls etc.
Generally, this has been a real team effort
but there was one area which needed more work than others.
This is our main area, which we've been very pleased with.
This was an outhouse and sort of like a coal shed,
and we've had water put out here and drainage,
and all the walls have been insulated, so we've got the utility room out here.
We've got the freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer,
it's all been tiled, decorated, and we managed to get a toilet out here as well.
The biggest challenge is, we couldn't go on to the main sewerage, so we've had to put a macerator on there,
which gives us... Our grandson was amused when he came in here and wanted to use the electric toilet.
That's worked well.
Although there's been a big improvement, there's still more to be done.
Long-term, there are still plans for a new extension,
and there's certainly plenty of room in the garden to accommodate it.
But to have done it now would have certainly meant overspending on their budget.
The budget was originally set at around 10,000-12,000,
but since then, we've put the kitchen in, which was £1,000.
We've also done the utility room,
and put the extra toilet in. The extra toilet alone was getting on for £1,000.
So the budget is probably...
We haven't worked it out exactly but it's around 14,000.
A £14,000 spend on top of the purchase price of 79,000
makes the total outlay here £93,000 plus costs and fees.
Although this was bought with their daughter in mind,
it was still acquired as an investment, with Kerry paying them rent.
So, does it stack up as one? What do two local estate agents think?
The place is a lovely place.
I think he's done a good job on the refurb.
I particularly like the off-road parking addition
that was originally the grassed area at the front.
I also like the introduction of the utility area into the main house as well,
and the WC has also added value to the property as well.
It's nice to see the new kitchen in it.
Adding the driveway is always a good bonus
but it could do with a few extras adding, updating the fires,
things like that, just to give it that bit more of a wow factor.
First and foremost, this is a rental property with their daughter being the tenant,
but have they invested their 93,000 wisely?
The current value of the property, I'd expect to achieve in the region of £115,000.
I'd put a valuation on the property of £110,000.
-I'm pleased with that.
-Very pleased with that.
I'm not surprised they're pleased.
There's a potential pre-tax profit of £17,000-£22,000,
which isn't too shabby.
But how could it fare on the general rental market?
Rental, it would fetch £525,000 per calendar month.
Rental wise, I've put a valuation on the property of £500 per calendar month.
That's good value.
Kerry being our daughter, we're charging her less, but we're happy with that.
Open market prices would bring an annual rental yield of between 6.5% and 7%.
Even at the lower rate, this should still be a decent investment.
Are they happy with their purchase?
Yes, we are, we're very happy.
It's been a big project but it's provided its purpose.
It's provided a good home for Kerry and Jamie and will continue to do so.
So, the parents are delighted, but how about daughter Kerry?
Very, very grateful. I'm very, very lucky for what my parents have done.
If they hadn't have been able to buy us the house and rent it out to us,
I'm not sure that we'd actually be in our own place by now.
We could still be living with our parents with a baby,
so we're very, very grateful to them!
Join us next time
when we have more riveting stories from Britain's auction rooms.
-You wouldn't want to miss it, so join us then.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a bungalow in Consett, County Durham; a property in Canterbury, Kent; and a house 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.