Property redevelopment series. Lucy meets a property-developing family in Kent, and Martin meets a father-and-son team in Stoke.
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Welcome to the show!
If you're interested in buying property,
you'll want to make sure you do that at the right price.
How do you know what the market is doing?
Is it going up or is it going down?
Well, one way to find out is to take a trip to your local auction house.
Now, auctions are really exciting and you can easily be tempted
to buy, but to guarantee success you need to do your homework first.
Let's find out what properties created interest
at the auctions on today's show.
There are big decisions to be made at this farmhouse in Kent
but who's going to make them?
There probably will be a few little arguments but
because there's five of us there'll always be a casting vote, I think.
There's space to consider in Stoke.
It's an attic space.
These properties have been sold at auction.
We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them
when they went under the hammer.
You bought it, sir, well done.
I'm in Kent, in the popular market town of Sandwich,
and I've got a big appetite for finding a property
that I can really get my teeth stuck into.
So, here it is.
It's a pair of semis.
Well, it looks like one big old farmhouse.
Now, it could be very attractive from the outside.
The guide price at auction was set at £150,000-£160,000.
You're surrounded by all these fields. I'm quite excited.
But before I get overexcited...
The first problem, before I even get in the front door...
..cracks, lots of them! Come and have a look at this. Look.
Now, it really does concern me
because you can see the lintel is actually cracked.
Look, there's a big one there, over here. Even down on here.
Is there problems with the foundations? Has this house moved?
Does it have subsidence?
I'd definitely want to get that looked at thoroughly before I even
thought about buying this.
There's an air of abandonment about this property.
It's been split into two houses
and it's been a while since anyone showed either a bit of love.
So, from the door to cottage number one. Straight into the lounge here.
Not a bad space. Little bit disappointing, actually, I thought
there might be a bit more character - a nicer fireplace,
traditional windows, perhaps.
You do have a nice outlook, a lovely big field,
lots of open space to look at. Bit of storage in here.
But I can see there's a heater so there's no central heating.
It feels cold, it feels as though nobody's lived here for many years.
But a nice spacious kitchen.
Really good size.
Downstairs bathroom and
no access to out there, because that little bit of garden
belongs to house number two which is round there.
Bit of a shame, that.
However, this cottage does come with the land to the front
so it's not all bad news.
Well, unless you don't have a lawnmower, that is.
So, upstairs in the cottage you've got two double bedrooms.
Really good sizes, actually.
And I think, once upon a time, this area was completely boarded up.
But if I was to open the door...
That is cottage number two.
And what a state.
What a contrast. The first property needed modernising, but this needs,
well, a complete renovation.
# There's a house on my block
# That's abandoned and cold
# And the folks moved out of it a long time ago... #
The property was originally one farmhouse which has been
extended and then subdivided over the years.
But there are definitely bits of history here
I could well do without.
Like its neighbour, it's got two double bedrooms upstairs
and a living room, kitchen and bathroom downstairs.
And it's in a sorry old state.
Also with this lot, well, you get a huge barn.
It, well, looks nice but it takes up most of the garden space
so I think I'd be inclined to probably get rid of it.
So, that leaves us with these two cottages.
Now, you could make it into one big, large family dwelling.
You would need planning permission to do that and sometimes
councils are not that keen to lose housing stock in this way.
But I think, in this case, where the property
was so obviously one house originally,
I think you might just get the go-ahead.
Whether it's financially the best option, well, that's another matter.
Or how about losing the barn, as I suggested earlier,
and - come with me -
extending right the way out to the side here
and squeezing in another cottage down there?
Then you could make three.
You've got quite a lot of options with this plot and it all depends
on what your requirements are and if profit is important to you.
So, it's one house,
two semis or a three cottage terrace with a guide price
of between 150,000-160,000. There could be a good investment here.
The question is which is the right one?
Perhaps a local property expert could solve the puzzle.
I think with this house, it stands well as a pair
and has been used as that for many years.
It would make sense to continue that use.
Supposing the cottages remained as two-bedroom semis,
what would they rent for?
Rental value of a two-bed cottage, with parking, here in Sandwich,
is going to be region of £600 per calendar month.
And what if it was resold?
A two-bedroom cottage here, with parking,
is going to be £165,000-£175,000 each.
But what if the new owner did decide to join the cottages back up again?
If this was made into a nice four-bedroom house,
and with the benefit of the barn, it's going to be certainly £400,000.
Well, will two become one? Or even three?
Will this duo of cottages become one big family house or will
the new owner decide two separate semis is the best way to go?
Whatever option they go for, they have got a lot of work to do first.
So, let's find out who bought it at the auction.
Got a guide of 150-160, and what may I say?
Does that mean 140? 140, thank you.
144 is bid. And 146?
146 and 148. And 150?
Yes? 150. 152?
No? At £150,000, gentleman's bid on my right-hand side.
152 and 155. 158?
158 and 160? 162.
He's come back, 162, the bid. 165, sir? 165.
168? He's now walking away.
At 165,000, then, for the first time...
..165,000 for the second time,
165,000, third and final time, are you all done?
Sold at 165,000.
And that successful bid was from Oliver.
He paid £165,000 for the cottages.
Oliver is a retired building surveyor
and has bought the property with his wife and three of his children.
I met up with them to find out what their plans were.
First, I chatted to Oliver and wife Amanda.
You've bought yourself something serious here at auction.
Is this a family affair,
-have you all pooled together as a family to buy this?
-Yes, we have.
All of our children inherited some money from a relative
a few years ago and it's been sitting in the bank since then.
We've been talking about the idea of having a family consortium
and this was the one that just fell in place.
So, Amanda, how do you feel about this?
Oh, quite excited, actually.
Yes, I think it's nice to have a project
that we can all be involved in.
Oldest daughter Emma has already invested in her own separate project.
So this family have a keen interest in property.
Perhaps they get that from their dad.
Oliver is a retired surveyor and conservations officer
and now works as a consultant.
He's restored many properties before and now he has big plans
to bring this property back to life.
We think we can probably get planning consent for a substantial
extension on the road end.
And, if that were to be successful, then we think we can get
two three-bedroom semidetached cottages, quite spacious cottages.
So, what sort of budget are you looking at for the work here?
We've got £30,000 allocated to this job.
And, now, if we end up just refurbishing what we've got
-that's going to easily cope with it.
If we end up building a new extension then we're going to require some
more funds, in which case we'll just chip in with some more to do that.
I think you'll need to clear that with the rest of the family first!
Talking of which, let's hear from the kids.
Sophie, Alex, John, congratulations.
I love it that this really is one big family affair.
Now, your mum and dad said you've all contributed to this project.
And what a project! How do you feel about it?
Yeah, it needs a lot of work but, yeah.
I'm sure we're all going to get involved and do a bit,
do as much of it as we can ourselves so, yeah, looking forward to it.
Alex, do you have any experience?
Because your dad is counting on you guys helping him out, you know.
Not really. I've been out on a few jobs with my dad,
to get a little bit of experience,
but this is going to be, sort of, the main one for me
in learning a lot about construction and stuff like that,
so it should be good.
And Sophie, how involved are you going to get?
Erm, I think the boys are going to be more hands-on,
and me and Mum are, sort of, going to be in charge of, like, finances
and things like that. I'll still get my hands dirty and help out.
-So, yeah, it's really exciting.
Do you really think you're all going to get on?
-Any family squabbles?
-There probably will be a few. There'll be arguments,
but because there's five of us, there'll always be a casting vote, I think, so...
Good luck. It's a really exciting project,
I can't wait to see the outcome.
This really is going to be a family affair.
Oliver, Amanda and three of their kids, well,
they're taking on this project and hoping to make money out of it.
But will they get planning permission to extend,
and will there be one, two or even three cottages here?
Will it be a case of family feuds or fun times for all?
You can find out how it goes later on in the programme.
I'm in Heron Cross in Staffordshire,
and that there is one of the last remaining bottle ovens
that's actually standing in a pottery, literally, built into the building itself.
Fascinating and beautiful.
# Message in a bottle... #
These legacies of the heydays of the potteries
are very much part of the character of places
like Heron Cross, which is a suburb just outside Stoke.
There are good commuter options via the A50 for the likes
of Derby and Uttoxeter.
Well, close to the A50 is the property I'm here to see.
So, would someone be taking pot luck if they decide to go for it?
Well, I don't think so. Three-bedroomed mid-terrace.
Very typical of the area.
Guide price was £50,000 plus. Let's take a look.
Oh, nice to see that. Bit of porch action going on.
I love porches, they're brilliant at keeping the cold
and the rain and the whatever noise out of the main part of the house.
And that's actually quite pleasant.
Big ceilings. High ceilings.
Good-sized space, and then I really like this open-plan stairway.
It really gives... I don't know, it opens up the room.
In these kind of properties it's always a bit of a question,
where do you put the stairs?
Sometimes they're in the middle, sometimes they're round the edge.
But I think that actually works very well.
And, in fact...
..everything's looking pretty good.
-Continues! Look at this kitchen.
OK, it might not be to everyone's taste, but...
..pretty good condition. I mean, a bit of a sparkle up,
a bit of a, you know, professional clean in here,
and I'd say this was usable as it is.
Classic layout, loo at the back, with your bathroom there.
All in all, fantastic little place.
Time I took a look up those open-plan stairs
to see if the joy continues.
So, upstairs and lots of space. Just a bit of an odd layout.
You've got the bedroom at the front, there, then a little corridor area
there leading to a small bedroom there.
And this, the third, fairly small bedroom.
I don't know what you could do to change this around
but it is slightly small in comparison to the downstairs.
However, this house has one little trick up its sleeve.
Yes, if you think that's a cupboard over there to the right,
you'd be wrong, because behind it is a staircase leading up
to our surprise addition.
It's an attic space. Now, it's been boarded out
but my guess is this wouldn't meet any building regulations.
So, storage, play area but not a bedroom.
An internal playroom would be the icing on the cake
in terms of a family home.
Except for one thing - the outside space is hardly generous.
However, the inside is in good nick,
and for a guide price of 50,000, there isn't a lot to do.
Does a local estate agent rate this property?
First impressions of this property are that it's a good size.
And that it's not in too bad condition at all.
There's even good news on that cramped outside space.
Behind the yard there is access to a communal garden
maintained by the council.
What sets it apart from its compatriots is the communal garden.
Having sold properties with those recently, they are very popular.
But is there anything to be made in terms of profit from this property?
What would it fetch on the open market?
With a little bit of money spent on it, this property is going
to be worth somewhere between £60,000-£65,000.
Well, if that guide price of £50,000 plus is anything to go by,
then whoever buys this low-maintenance pad
is in for a healthy profit.
But how would it do in the rental stakes?
With, again, a little bit of work done, for the rental market
I would suggest a figure of somewhere between £425-£475 per calendar month.
Well, I don't know about you, but I think this is
a lot of property for that £50,000 plus guide price.
A great one to go for.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Lot 70, back to Stoke-on-Trent.
Three-bedroom mid-terrace house, communal garden,
through lounge, diner-kitchen, double glazing, gas, central heating.
So, lot 70. Guiding this at 50.
Shall we say 40 to start?
40 bid on the back row. At £40,000.
At £40,000. 42 can I say now?
At £40,000, standing at the back.
At £42,000. 44?
48? £48,000. 50?
Do you want to go one?
You do. £49,000. 50? £50,000.
No? £50,000 then, against the back wall.
At £50,000, I'm selling it. Are we all done?
£50,000, then, for the first time, £50,000 for the second time,
third and final time, at £50,000...
You bought it, sir, well done.
Sold to one very chuffed Rob who's got himself a very nice, roomy
three-bed house for a mere £50,000.
Rob has a bouncy castle business
and is building up a property portfolio.
I met him and his dad at the house to find out what their plans are.
-Rob, Bob, great to meet you both.
-How do you do?
-You all right?
Good. Yeah. Congratulations.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Well, I've got a few in the area. This came up for auction.
-Thought we'd go for it.
-So, is this a joint venture between both of you?
-Are you father and son? Is that right?
-Father and son, yeah, yeah.
-I do the buying.
-And I do the work.
-Some of the work. Some of the work.
-What's your background?
-Well, I was a newsagent for 30 years.
You know, when I retired, which was nearly four years now,
-I decided to go with Robert.
-So, Dad stepped in to help out?
For all them times when you had me doing them paper rounds for nothing.
-That's right, yes.
-You work for me for nothing now.
-Did you used to get him to do paper rounds for nothing?
-Five o'clock in the morning, on your bike, freezing cold?
Not even a bike, he wouldn't get me a bike.
-He was on the payroll...
-I was when I was 16.
On the payroll at zero.
-I started working fulltime for you, didn't I, when I was 16?
But from the age of 12 it was zero.
Right. And so did you have an interest in property before?
-Just as we were selling the shop, I bought my first one.
And my aim was to do ten in ten years
and I've done seven in three and a half now so...
-..I'm a bit in front of myself.
Rob's party hire work is seasonal
so he has the winters to work with his dad on the properties.
What made him buy this one?
I thought, "Yeah, it's a good size."
Yeah, just doesn't need a lot doing to it, as you can see, so...
..we went for it.
What did you think when you saw it, Bob, for the first time?
Well, you want to see all fitted cupboards,
there's a dishwasher in,
a fridge-freezer, a freezer.
So, tell me what you're going to do to turn it around.
I think a lick of paint, we'll get the stairs painted white,
fireplace white, get the guys in, check the electrics out,
get the plumbing checked. There's a room up in the loft.
Somebody has already started boarding it, so,
finish boarding it, plaster it out, get the electrics up there.
That's about it, really. Just a general tidy-up, really.
Yeah, well, I would have thought so, yes.
So, what's the budget, then, for a few carpets and a lick of paint?
I don't think three. About three. 3,000.
I would've thought so, yeah.
And how long is it going to take?
Six weeks. Up to two months.
-We don't rush, do we?
-No. Oh, no. No.
Unless somebody comes knocking at the door who wants to rent it,
then we get a bit of a spurt on, so...
But is it both of you going to be doing the work
-or is it mostly going to be Dad?
-I don't know.
-You do your fair share.
-I certainly do!
How could you say a thing like that?
Is it fun working together?
It looks like you have a bit of good banter going between the two.
-Yeah, we don't do too bad, you know...
-Sometimes we go home...
I'm a bit of a perfectionist and,
"Oh, you shouldn't bother with doing that," like, you know.
-Sometimes we go home not speaking, don't we?
When we've had a bit of a to do.
What could you possibly argue about when it comes to house renovations?
You always want to spend money what doesn't need spending, sometimes.
Yeah, yeah, I do, yeah.
At the end of the day, I see it as a rental and get it done,
-get somebody in as quick as we can.
-Well, listen, congratulations to both of you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Thank you very much.
-We look forward to seeing how you get on.
While Rob spends his summer inflating bouncy castles,
will he manage to inflate the value of this place
with help from dad Bob, or will it be a bouncy ride?
You can find out later in the show.
Well, it's easy to put things off till tomorrow
but time is money, and delays can be expensive.
So, have our buyers been busy or let the grass grow under their feet?
Let's check them out.
Now we head back to the beautiful market town of Sandwich in Kent
and a tale of two semidetached cottages,
one of which just needed some renovation,
while the other needed a total overhaul.
Originally it was a single house and it had a confusing layout
which fortunately didn't bamboozle Oliver, his wife Amanda
and their family, who, seeing its potential,
bought the house for 165,000.
They planned to sell the cottages on once they'd been given
a new lease of life and were even eyeing up the land to the side.
We think we can probably get planning consent
for a substantial extension on the road end
and we think we can get two three-bedroom semidetached cottages.
Oliver, a retired surveyor and conservations officer,
was hopeful of getting planning permission
for the newly extended property but failing that,
they planned to renovate the two cottages with a £30,000 budget
and on a six-month schedule.
13 months later
and the property looks a whole lot smarter from the outside
and there's an extension, but not where we expected it,
so, the question is - is this one house or is it two?
Wow! What they've delivered is a single stunner
in the shape of one restored house.
The dividing walls have gone
to create one huge open-plan kitchen-dining area.
The house still has two separate reception rooms
but, this time, with some real character.
It's great the family have opted for one large house,
but when it came to adding a new extension, there was no real choice.
On the very day that you came last time, we cleared the ground around
and found the main sewer connection right in the position
where the foundations to the extension would've gone,
and so, that would've involved a huge expense in moving it,
and so, we very quickly started to rethink
and thought that the idea of putting it back as one property
was probably going to be the best,
and then things sort of slotted into place from there.
Because the new extension fell under
the permitted development regulations,
no planning permission was required
and it now houses a utility room on the ground floor,
and, above, two en-suite bathrooms for the refurbished side bedrooms.
Across the landing, the two other bedrooms have been renovated,
though one has given some space over to a new family bathroom.
And, while it may look like a new house,
there's still some of the original charm about it.
We uncovered lots of features along the way.
The fireplaces were there, they were just boxed in,
and we cleaned those up and put them back.
And the little potbelly stove in the dining area we quite liked,
so we cleaned that up and put it back even though it's not
practical to use it.
Retaining that period feel works well,
giving the finished product a real touch of class.
And luckily the cracks that I was so worried about
turned out to be just superficial.
I think it's a brilliant family project to take on.
I think we've all learned a lot along the way and...
-We certainly have.
-..and I think we're all pleased with what
we've achieved at the end of it, so it's been brilliant.
The house has had a complete renovation,
from replastering to new wiring and while Oliver project-managed,
Amanda dealt with the decor and sourced the building materials.
The lads, John and Alex, got stuck into the physical work,
from dealing with the drainage to painting the final coats.
A real team effort, as John explains.
As a whole, it's been all right.
There's been moments but I think there's always going to be
working with the family but, no, as a whole,
I think the project's gone pretty well.
Yeah, and, there being five of us, we've always had a majority decision
so we've had different views on different things,
what we'd like to do, but we've always sort of sat down,
had a vote and it's always been resolved, so it's quite good.
From the new extension to the stunning kitchen,
this has been a first-rate renovation.
But that does leave the barn, which, while repaired externally,
still needs work done inside.
That could very easily be a granny annexe or an office
or a workshop or all sorts of other possibilities,
so we've made the decision not to fit it out in one of those options
which would then restrict the market, so as a repaired shell,
somebody buying the property could decide what they want to do with it.
Bad weather forced the team to extend their schedule
from six to 13 months.
So, how did their planned budget of 30,000 fare
after renovating the two cottages and turning them back into one?
Overall, we've ended up spending around 80,000 on the renovation
but we have included top spec on a lot of the products
that we've included in our kitchen, in our bathrooms,
and putting in a wood stove and things like that,
which were not really in our calculations to start with.
Add that spend of £80,000 to their purchase price of £165,000
and their total outlay is £245,000.
Time to find out what two local estate agents
thought of the family's hard work,
starting with the agent who first viewed the property
before the renovation.
I think it's been done up and converted beautifully.
I think it's a very good layout.
I like the way the house is presented
because it retains the nice character, feel and atmosphere
of the Victorian cottage, and yet, it's combined now
with a good quality kitchen, and very nice quality bathroom fittings.
I think what they've done is terrific.
They've made it into a very presentable family home.
I think it was a good idea to convert the two cottages
into one house. It makes it a far more appealing proposition
in the market today.
The family do want to sell the house on,
so, bearing in mind that total spend of 245,000,
what could a resale achieve?
If this property were sold now,
I would expect it to achieve something in the order
As a family home,
this property should achieve in the region of £340-350,000.
A little disappointed with those kind of values, really.
We thought that maybe it would head towards the 375, maybe 400,000,
something like that, because it is a really unique property,
so we'll just have to wait and see, I think.
It certainly is a unique property
and the right buyer may well pay more,
but even with that top valuation,
the family could stand to make a pre-tax profit of 120,000,
which, even after 13 months, is still a pretty good return.
And if they do decide to let the property,
there is a possible rental income of £1,100 per calendar month,
giving them an annual yield of just over 5%.
Despite the family's success with this renovation,
it's not likely to be repeated soon.
Well, we've put a few projects that we're supposed to be doing at home
on hold, so I'm very hopeful that my new kitchen might happen.
-I've been waiting a long time for it.
We've taken the A50 back to Heron Cross,
just two miles from Stoke city centre,
to this three-bed mid-terrace,
bought by Rob for £50,000 at auction.
Rob works with his dad, Bob,
who was a newsagent before they sold the business to go into property.
This is their seventh venture
and they were looking at a £3,000 makeover budget.
Seven weeks later and we're back to see the changes.
# Well, change in weather
# Change in the sea... #
What have we done? We've replaced windows.
We've replaced windows on the front,
frames - put nice golden oak frames in.
Spruced up the kitchen.
We've put some downlighters in the kitchen there,
and some kitchen lighting, as well, underneath the units.
Spruced up the living room, bathroom,
downlighters in the bathroom.
The electrics as well. All the electrics were shot everywhere
so we've had to do electrics,
carpeted all through, lick of paint, job done.
Father and son's property renovation is a winter warmer
from Rob's summer business of bouncy castle party hire.
I did actually go away for a week, so I was missing for a week.
Dad got cracked on.
-Did a lot of painting, didn't you, while I was gone?
So, yeah, it has been a hell of a lot of painting.
And not just painting. Remember that half-finished loft space?
OK, yeah. Up here in the attic,
we reboarded it, we insulated it all,
replastered, we've put electrics in, smokes, lighting, repainted.
It's looking quite well, I think.
Budget? I think the original budget was about 3,000.
We've gone over with the electrics
because there was more electrical work that needed doing.
We've come in at about three and a half, which is not too bad.
Rob and Bob's spend so far has totalled £53,500,
so, how have they done?
I think the owners have done a great job.
It's very well presented and I'm sure that it'll appeal
to tenants and prospective purchasers.
I feel the property's been done to a good standard throughout.
New carpets, fresh decoration, modern kitchen and modern bathroom
and, obviously, central heating and double glazing.
Do our experts think there's a profit in this property?
If I was to put this property onto the market for sale,
I would advertise it at a price of £69,950
and expect to achieve a sale
somewhere between that figure and £65,000.
-Yeah, that's what I was thinking about that.
At the current sales market, I would expect the property to achieve
in the region of £75,000.
-That's good, yeah.
-That's good. That's good.
Is a potential profit of between £11,000 and £21,000
enough to tempt them into selling?
We've always rented them, haven't we?
Never any intention of selling them.
Never sell them. Always rent. Always rent.
If I was to put this property onto the rental market,
I would expect it would achieve a figure
somewhere around £425-450 per calendar month.
Today's current climate for rental,
I'd expect the property to achieve around £425 per calendar month.
No, we're getting a little bit more than that.
-We're getting 475 per calendar month, so...
-It's quite good, yeah.
Rob and Bob have already lined up a tenant that will earn them
a yield of over 10%.
The tenant came down to look at it, she liked it
and she asked if she could put her own personal touches to it,
so she's been bobbing down with pictures and curtains
and she's chose the colour of the, the colour scheme.
Yes, and even the front windows were double glazed
but she wanted this brown putting in, so...
She's seen one at one of my other properties I'd done.
..we even did that for her.
Put new windows in, which really didn't need them.
-We'd have come in under budget then, wouldn't we?
Well, that's it for today.
Join us next time when we'll have more interesting properties
being sold under the hammer.
Yes, we'll have more flats, maisonettes and plots of land
for you to follow next time.
Lucy meets a property-developing family in Kent, and Martin meets a father-and-son team in Stoke. But does anyone make a profit?