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Hello, welcome to the show.
We're always being told we need to save for the future.
That's even more true these days
when people are being asked to supplement their pensions.
Yes, but property can be a very attractive option as an investment,
which could explain why more and more people
are heading to the auctions.
If, like us, you're hoping that property will be a safe investment,
you need to buy wisely.
That means doing your research to really find those
good value properties.
So, what did the buyers who went to the auctions on today's show
come up with?
When it comes to casting light on the matter,
there's a big problem with this Maidstone property.
There's no natural daylight,
there's no window in here.
And this two-bed terraced house in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
is also missing a vital ingredient.
Could do with a front door though.
But this two-bed flat in Cricklewood, London,
has a little bit extra.
This is probably one of the longest corridors I've seen
in a two-bed flat.
All of these properties have been sold at auction,
and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them
when they went under the hammer.
It's yours, sir.
I'm in Maidstone in Kent, and that's no bad thing.
Excellent train links and an attractive town centre.
And sometimes, just sometimes, some real bargains in the auction room.
Just over a mile from the town centre, this area
has more of a suburby feel with plenty of local shops and amenities.
And the property I'm here to see, well,
it too has a commercial past, but as a business
we all eventually need, but most of us would sooner forget.
Yes, this building here was a funeral directors.
Mm, it has a ring of a rather hard sell about it.
Still, for the guide price of £60,000-£70,000,
it's worth taking a look.
Quite a practical space inside.
You can see it's terribly dated,
you need to get rid of the carpets, the wallpaper.
It's got quite a commercial feel about it.
Look, there's strip lighting up here.
So, straightaway, there's a lot you could do to improve this space.
You've got the stairs leading down to the bottom rooms,
and the second reception room.
Now, this room, I can't say it any other way, stinks of damp.
And you can see why.
Look, there's obviously been a huge leak.
First things first,
I would go up and have a chat with my neighbour,
because I think either a washing machine,
or a bath has been overflowing. Something's gone wrong there.
So, this place, I would say it's not huge,
but it's not in bad nick.
And someone's tried to jazz up the exterior already
with some pastel tones.
But there's no painting over the history of this property
as a funeral directors,
which will always put some people off.
Still, you get the ground and lower-ground floor
included in the guide price,
and the freehold to the entire building.
As I've mentioned, the flat upstairs is not yours,
and is already let.
I've got to be honest though, I'm just not convinced that
this is the right location for another commercial premises.
So, I'm hoping that downstairs will enable me to keep my options open.
Well, it gets a little darker and dingier downstairs.
You've got two rooms.
Fairly good size here with a little door that leads outside
to the outside space.
But this is where...
Well, it's just a little bit tricky.
Not a fantastic space in here.
I suppose you could knock through, you've got a little sink,
open this area up.
But I am thinking I would like to turn this into residential.
But, there is a huge problem.
Have you noticed it?
There's no natural daylight.
There's no window in here.
So, how can I go about getting some light in this room?
Well, I've seen this done before.
You could try and get a sort of light well here.
A big piece of thick glass, because the pavement is just there.
And therefore, daylight would stream through.
You could then even call this a bedroom.
But it would work, and it would tick the box,
and then you could turn this from commercial into residential.
Suddenly, with light at the front of the property, you have options here.
You'd have two apply for "change of use" to the council,
but once you'd achieved that, you could have your bedrooms upstairs,
and the lower ground floor could be your kitchen and living room area.
Outside is winning a lot of brownie points as well,
with its potentially lovely garden and a massive garage
which, as always, has got me thinking...
This garden and garage are a significant bonus,
particularly as they're on a corner plot,
and you've got independent access off the road.
Could you even think of building another dwelling here?
Other people have approached the council in the past,
and the response has been negative,
which doesn't mean a bit of perseverance wouldn't pay off.
But if the answer were still a big, fat no,
then maybe look to rent this garage out as a workshop.
200 quid a month could be a very nice little bonus to living here.
# You have that extra something and what is more
# You have me... #
A little extra income is always handy.
But what does the local property expert think of this flat?
Let's find out.
I understand this property, at the moment, has commercial use,
and it's subject to a planning application to change the use.
If it gets residential use, of course,
it would make a really nice, smart, ground and lower-ground floor flat,
with its own garden, which is excellent.
Like me, he doesn't seem to think there is a commercial option here.
This particular stretch of the road is dotted
with small, commercial units,
and they're quite often vacant or converted to residential use.
So, it's not a great demand for commercial,
so I can't see that being viable.
I think residential is the way forward.
And if whoever bought it, achieved the change of use to residential,
what kind of value are we looking at?
Providing they're able to convert it
into two reasonable-sized bedrooms,
I would anticipate this property selling for
something in the region of £110,000.
So, a potentially decent, if not staggering, profit
if it was bought for anything near that 60,000-70,000 guide price.
But what if it was rented out?
If the property were to be rented, I would anticipate achieving
something in the region of £600 per calendar month.
That's more like it.
Buy for the guide price of 60,000, spend 20 grand on the work,
you're looking at a yield of 9%.
But what if the owner did decide to keep it as commercial
and lease it out?
For a continued commercial use, I would anticipate somebody
renting or leasing this property for about £4,000, maybe £5,000 per annum.
Pretty in pink from the outside,
but this property's past will always be a sticking point for some people.
Get over that, and you could have yourself a decent rental investment.
Let see who wanted it at the auction.
Freehold commercial premises. Start me at 50 then.
50 over at the back.
Can I take 55 from you? 55.
And 60 I'm looking for.
60 I have.
And 65 now. 65.
Now, is anybody else coming in?
£70,000, I have in the aisle.
75, it's against you. 75, it's with you.
And 80 now, if you like.
80 I've got.
82, if it helps you.
82 I've got. 84.
And 84? It's a shake of the head.
At £82,000 on bid, and 84 I'm looking for.
At £82,000 then.
I've got for the first time...
At £82,000 for the second time.
Third and final time if you're sure you're all done.
-It's going to be sold.
-HE BANGS GAVEL
And that successful bid of 82,000 was from Debbie.
Debbie is a property developer,
but she used to be a detective in the Metropolitan police.
She's also a Kent local.
And she hasn't bought this property for herself,
but on behalf of someone else...
I met her back at the former funeral directors to find out more.
Debbie, lovely to meet you today.
I want to know all the story, and why you wanted to buy this.
What was it about this property that took your eye?
Um, well, the price was probably the most important factor,
and the fact that it can be changed quite significantly into
a very nice dwelling, I think, or residential property.
And not only the flat,
but also the three-berth garage out the back,
the back garden that...
you know, we knew we could sell on separately for profit.
Do you think you might have a problem selling this on
because it's...or it was a funeral directors?
I don't think so, no.
I think by the time we've finished here it's going to look so different,
and it'll totally lose the feel of what it has been in the past,
because there's no windows downstairs and it's a bit musty,
and you know, the partition walls are in.
But once we've taken all those out and put a window in,
and put patio doors in, and made the garden into a feature,
I think it'll come up really nice.
Debbie has purchased on behalf of a client
who owns a company in the UK,
but is actually a non-resident in Saudi Arabia,
so couldn't come over to do the job himself.
We provide an auction buying service for anybody really.
Any investor who wants to do this sort of thing, refurbish and sell on,
but doesn't have the time to do it themselves.
So, you know, we can do it on their behalf.
And you obviously take a percentage of...the end result?
At the moment I'm taking a flat fee for all the research
and the actual buying side of things at auction,
but, yeah, ultimately, I'll take a small percentage of profit as well.
For her £5,000 fee, Debbie not only finds and buys the properties
for her client, she also project manages the renovation as well.
Now, she's not going for my idea of having the living space
on the lower-ground floor.
So, you're planning on having both bedrooms downstairs with a bathroom?
Yeah, and the bath will go under the stairs
to make maximum use of the space.
And your master bedroom will be lovely
because it'll have access out into the garden.
Yeah, yeah, we've got all sorts of plans for the outside, and
I actually think that's going to be the...the thing
that really shines this up.
Upstairs, you're living areas...
Mm-hm, this is going to be the lounge area,
and we'll be putting new windows in, and new flooring, etc.
So, it's a good size room for, you know, a two-bedroom flat lounge.
And the room behind us is going to be the kitchen, which again,
is going to be a good-sized room, and we'll put a little...maybe
an island or some sort of table and chairs by the big window out there,
so that, you know,
just come somewhere nice to sit and have a coffee.
So what sort of budget are you looking at?
We've got a top budget of 20,000 for this...
-..property but I'm hoping not to use all that.
See, I was going to say that's not a huge amount to do
what I think you need to do here.
I have access to a team of contractors that have done
a lot of properties for us in the past,
and they will all do things at a very good price,
and if we start heading up...
too close to the budget line, then
my kids come in quite handy and, you know.
SHE LAUGHS Well, I'll come down here with a
paintbrush myself and finish it off, so, you know,
we will come in under budget one way or the other.
How soon do you need to get this done for your client?
We need to turn the whole project over in six months.
So what's more exciting?
This, or being in the police force?
-This is, definitely.
-Yeah, I think so.
-Certainly more stressful!
-Yeah, well, there is...
It does take a bit of...bit of nerve sometimes, doesn't it?
Debbie, I'm so excited to see what you do to this place,
and how you turn it around.
Good luck with this project.
So, Debbie's now pursuing profit rather than criminals,
and she finds it more exciting, which is brilliant.
This place throws up a few challenges though,
and I will be intrigued to find out how it goes.
You can join us later to see how she gets on.
I'm in Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent,
where they came up with a really interesting concept
for bringing back houses that have been...
-..left unoccupied for quite a while
back into use.
Selling them off for £1.
Before you start raiding your piggy bank,
be aware that this isn't a free for all.
It's a scheme that isn't open to developers or anyone hoping to
make a quick buck.
Strict criteria ensures that
124 houses will be bought and lived in
by local families.
35 were sold in the first tranche.
The council spends money on the houses
prior to the new families moving in,
and it's paid back over a period of time.
It's a great way to provide homes and regenerate an area,
and it can be a plus for developers too.
An area in the process of regeneration
is a great place to invest your money.
Well, about 15 minutes walk from the centre of Hanley
is the property I'm here to see.
So, relatively close to the A500 and Festival Park which is good news.
Now, this particular house didn't cost £1, however,
the guide price - just £20,000.
Plus, still pretty good for a two-bed mid-terrace.
Could do with a front door though.
Well, actually, wait a minute.
You have actually got one, it's just not attached.
But straight off the pavement into your front sitting room,
very standard design for these kind of houses,
which probably would have been built for the local factory workers
maybe in the potteries.
What's not so usual is this sort of staircase here,
with the return there.
I just...I don't know. It makes it very bulky.
Um, but, you know...hey-ho.
This is then a bit of an odd room,
cos you've got the sort of semi-open-plan stairs there,
and I don't know quite what you'd use this for.
Maybe a dining room.
Originally, that's where the house would have finished, but
obviously, we've now got an extension on here
which houses the kitchen.
You know, I mean, it's... Could you salvage this?
Probably. Boiler looks semi-okay.
I mean, it's sort of here or there.
Bathroom, there at the back,
very classic layout for this kind of property.
So, thinking it through, coming back to that price...
A lot more than I expected.
OK, 20 grand isn't as good as £1, but it's an amazing guide price
for what appears to be a solid little house.
The layout of these houses is always a compromise,
and there are bits of damp here and there.
And while the condition isn't terrible,
the shutters don't exactly lift the spirits.
But, imagine them gone, and what you've got here is a
great investment opportunity, or a great first home.
# If you want it, here it is
# Come and get it
# Make your mind up fast... #
So, upstairs, and surprise-surprise,
two decent-sized bedrooms connected via a little landing.
A very standard layout.
But what this house absolutely brings to focus
is the difference in prices between the north and south of Britain.
I mean, it is talked about a lot,
but I was recently in Chelsea, SW10, OK?
Top end of the London housing market
where obviously the flats 50 square metres or so,
and I worked out,
that done up, this flat would be worth a million pounds, OK?
That's the property market there.
That translated to basically £19,000 a square metre. So...
here's the choice.
You either have a house in London where you could buy, oh,
about that much floor...
Or, you could have this whole house in Stoke-on-Trent.
In the north. Hm...
Property price divide in the UK?
The craziness of those property market differences aside,
this area is definitely going to be up and coming,
and that means whether it's £1 or 20,000,
chances are, you'd be quids in if you buy in this part of Hanley.
At the back of the property,
really nice that you've got rear access via that little alleyway.
Um, out here though, not much extra space.
Bit of a courtyard area here.
But most of it taken up with the extension which looks like it's had
some sort of extra...
I don't know, layer on the outside to provide damp proofing,
maybe get over some of the problems it's had in the past.
It does looks like somebody's taken some care of the property,
and it just adds to what is already a surprisingly big house.
Yep, a big house, but with a rather cramped courtyard.
And, looking up, the roof doesn't seem to be in the best of health.
So, it may be advisable for the new owner to get it checked out.
But apart from that, this house had a lot to offer for 20,000.
And it's time to find out from a local estate agent
what they thought of this two-bed house in Hanley.
This property's ideal.
It's close to the Hanley town centre,
there's local schools available, and also to amenities.
It's easy to get onto the A500 for people
who want to commute onto the motorway,
the Hanley town centre is actually being regenerated as well,
with a new shopping centre.
So again, it's an up-and-coming area,
not just here but actually in the town centre as well.
Clearly, this area has a long way to go
and prices might increase in the long-term.
But for the moment, what could this house fetch on the market
I think this property will fetch
And talking of income, what sort of rentals could the house achieve?
I think this property, when fully renovated,
will fetch £375-£400 per calendar month.
It will take time for this part of Hanley to upgrade.
So, does she think there is a demand for properties
like this in this area?
Definitely. There is a demand in this area.
Obviously, there's a shortage of houses at the moment.
So, with what the council's doing locally is ideal
for first-time buyers, and also for families
what are finding it difficult at the moment to find properties to live in.
Well, this house just goes to prove that you can still find
property bargains if you know where to look.
Let's see who did spot it when it went under the hammer.
And not surprisingly, given the demand for the property,
and the regeneration going on,
the guide price was amended on the day of the auction.
Lot 15, mid-terraced house.
Two bedrooms, gas central heating.
Guide price, increased to £28,000 on this one.
25 again to start.
Got to be that. 25 bid.
Thank you. At £25,000.
26, going to say now.
At 25. 26 against the back wall. 26.
28. 29. 30.
Nope? £29,000 then.
30, anyone else?
30 in the aisle now. At 30,000.
New bidder there. 31.
Half, you're saying. 34 and a half?
Nope, you're out. OK.
34. Bids in the aisle at 34.
35 anywhere else? 35.
38. Shaking his head. Still with you in the aisle, sir.
£38,000, all done now.
38 once then.
Third and final time. It's 38,000.
-HE BANGS GAVEL
-Yours in the aisle, well done.
And the successful bidder, getting the lot for £38,000 was Toby.
Toby, from nearby Stafford, has been on the show before,
when at the same auction, he also bought and renovated
this three-bed semi in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.
Toby told us how his injuries in a serious motorbike accident
led him to start a career in development.
And today, his grandfather Alan has come along too
to tell me their plans.
Alan, Toby, Great to meet you both.
-Pleased to meet you.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this house.
-Well, I was looking for three of them in the same street.
So, obviously, group lot all together.
Didn't quite go to plan.
Went for more than what I expected.
A lot more, twice the book price.
So, why did you want to buy?
What was the reason?
The area's an up and coming area,
the houses in the street are all getting done up theirselves,
-so the area's going to come up.
And it's quite a lot of house for the money, isn't it? Even at 38,000.
-So, Alan, you're Toby's grandad?
-I am, yes.
How did you get involved in all this?
He just wanted some moral support when he went to the auction,
I was there for him.
And he set himself a price, and when the prices went up,
he did all right, but the others were out of his reach.
-But I'm still pleased with what he's done, achieved.
What do you think of the house?
-He's got some good plans for it and good ideas...
..and I'll be there just to give him some support where he needs it.
It's great that Toby has Alan's support.
And I'm sure his advice will come in handy,
as Toby doesn't really have any experience in any of the trades.
Toby is funding his property buying with the compensation he got
after his accident.
So, something positive has come out something that was very traumatic.
But what exactly are his plans for the house?
new kitchen, cos what's there isn't doable.
And then, just try and get the rest of it liveable.
And what sort of work are you going to get involved in yourself?
Um, everything apart from double glazing.
That's the only thing. Just going to let a professional do that.
And then everything else is mine.
Alan, what about your involvement? Are you going to get...hands dirty?
I'm just there... No, I'm just there in an adviser capacity.
-He wants to do it hisself.
He wants to do this project hisself but I shall be there in the wings
like if he needs any advice or anything, yes.
-So, what's the budget going to be?
-So, doing a lot of the work yourself, I assume.
The main bit is windows.
That's a big chunk of the budget gone.
And then the rest, hopefully, there'll be a bit left over
off this one.
Toby plans to have the place ready for the rental market in two months,
and is hoping doing the renovation himself will teach him new skills.
So, what about your mates?
They're 23. Are they doing what you're doing, or...?
No, not at all.
What do they think about what you're up to then?
They think that I'm lucky.
They do think that I'm lucky.
-As in the fact that I've got...had the money
-to be able to do it.
-All right, yeah.
That's the lucky side. Yeah, the accident wasn't the lucky side.
The almost-death bit is like...
Yeah, that's the side that they don't deal with.
-They just see the good...
-..money bit, but...
They don't see the other bit.
Can you see yourself sort of getting a property portfolio together?
That's where I want to be going, hopefully, yeah.
But it's going to take a few years
-to start sorting all that out.
-I'm quite happy where I am at the minute.
-Good luck with it.
-Thank you very much.
-Look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, I think Toby got a good buy
when he bought this particular house.
But, £7,500, is that enough to sort it out?
You can find out how he gets on later in the show.
In London, I've already got the furniture in this flat sorted out.
Sofa along there, a sofa along here, TV in the corner.
It does really work.
And was work the name of the game for Toby in renovating this house
I'm going to do it on my own. Yes.
-His famous last words, weren't they?
Let's go back to Maidstone now, where earlier, we saw this old
funeral directors bought at auction for 82,000.
It was bought by Debbie.
She's a property developer who purchased this
on behalf of a client abroad.
The plan was to turn the whole place into a two-bedroom flat.
So, what sort of budget are you looking at?
-We've got a top budget of 20,000 for this...
-But I'm hoping not to use all that.
See, I was going to say, that's not a huge amount
to do what I think you need to do here.
I have access to a team of contractors
that have done a lot of properties for us in the past,
and they will do things at a very good price.
And if we start heading up...
too close to the budget line, then...
We will come in under budget
one way or the other.
Let's catch up with Debbie six months later to find out
if she's managed to do just that.
Since you were last here, we've made quite a few significant changes.
We've basically made a two bed flat.
The lounge is upstairs.
The master bedroom is upstairs.
This is the second bedroom
which is downstairs with a light well.
And the kitchen at the back.
We've put in a bathroom, put totally new plumbing, electrics,
new heating system. And add to that acoustics and insulation as well.
So, quite a significant amount of work done here.
Debbie's gone for a natural feel throughout
with a white and beige colour scheme
and reconstructed oak flooring,
trying to keep the place as much of a blank canvas as possible.
And I'm glad to see that Debbie did manage to get a light well
into the downstairs room.
What we've done is opened up what was an old coal chute.
All these houses along here have got them because obviously,
in the old days the cellars were used as a storage place for coal.
Um, and to make it easier, they just had a little slide
and a tip that you would pour the coal down.
So all we've done is open that up so that
it let's in a bit of light down here.
It's not a huge amount, but it's better than nothing,
and it's kind of quirky.
It's a nice little touch,
and it's always good to see some creative renovation work.
And talking of light,
even though the planning office said
those original shop windows could go, Debbie's decided to keep them,
because their size allows the living room to be flooded with light.
They have though, been replaced with new double-glazed units
for better soundproofing, and keeping the warmth in.
And there've been some changes out the back too.
This little square looks like it would have been easy to form,
but in actual fact
it was really quite hard work.
There's a sheet of ragstone under here
that's absolutely rock-solid.
And we did need specialist help to come and remove it,
or remove part of it
so that we could get the decking down low enough
so that it's in a level surface.
So, this very small area was probably more challenging than
everything that was done inside.
But I'm really pleased with it.
I think it's a nice little area for whoever buys it to come and sit
in the summer, and sit out here and have a drink.
So, it was worth it in the end.
In fact, this was the only aspect of the build that delayed
the completion time,
pushing the schedule a month over -
from six to seven months.
Now, Debbie had been very determined that she could come in
under that 20 grand budget.
So what happened to that?
Slightly more than that, unfortunately.
Um, no, we've actually ended up spending 30 on this.
But it wasn't entirely by accident.
We got kind of halfway through the project,
and then an estate agent came out,
and, um, we had a good discussion about whether or not
we should do the garden and a few extra bits and pieces
to hopefully increase the value of it.
And at the conclusion of that, we decided that, yeah,
we would spend a little bit more on it to take it up just that
And there must have been a bit of good karma in the air,
because even though Debbie went 10,000 over budget,
there was a nice little earner at the bottom of the garden -
in the shape of that garage.
My assistant simply sent out letters to all the neighbours saying that,
"We've got a garage for sale.
And we ended up having multiple bids for it.
And the bids went from 22,000 to 28,
which is what we got for it in the end. 28,000.
Well, the sale of the garage
covers nearly all of their renovation costs.
What a bonus.
Let's find out if the work Debbie has done here
has taken this quirky flat to the next level.
We invited along two property experts to give us
their thoughts on the flat and the work done.
The whole standard has been quite simply done.
It's not excessive, and doesn't need to be
for the rental market or selling on.
I think someone'll put their own stamp on it if they want,
if they do sell.
I think the layout works really, really well.
I think the property definitely takes in enough light,
especially with the two rooms upstairs.
But also, a bonus with the kitchen,
with having the garden at the end definitely soaks in all the light.
And I think they've really made the most of the space.
That's quite an unusual thing for this type of property,
as a flat, to have a little garden.
So, yeah, that's a real benefit.
On to figures then.
Debbie has spent 30,000 on the work
and paid £82,000 at auction.
So, her total spend here has been £112,000.
However, she did recoup £28,000 with that garage sale,
so, in fact, her spend was only £2,000.
That means her total investment was 84,000.
I think this property is worth £125,000.
I would value this property at around £140,000.
Yeah, I'd say 140 is about right.
Obviously, I'd like to think 125 is too low.
We won't be marketing it at that price, so...
but, yeah, I'd say 140. Yeah.
because we've got the garden.
But we'll see, won't we? We'll soon find out.
If it did sell for that £140,000 valuation,
then that would give Debbie's client a stonking pre-tax profit
of 56 grand.
So, will Debbie be forging ahead with developing
for herself and for her clients?
I will be going back to purchase more properties at auction, yes.
In fact, that is the only way that I buy properties now.
Because we've got the strategy in place
for bidding for multiple properties,
we can pick up the bargains at auction,
and it's a gamble, but
it seems to pay, so, yeah definitely...
Remember Martin talking about London property prices earlier?
So, how do you find a bargain in London?
Get very familiar with the fluctuations in the local market.
It's inevitable in any city,
that where one area becomes so popular
that the prices go through the roof
and people start looking around for a nearby alternative.
In North London, Kilburn has been seeing that kind of effect
from North Kensington and Notting Hill for some time now.
And right next door is Cricklewood.
Now, prices here are around 10% lower
than neighbouring West Hampstead.
And with regeneration money flowing into the area,
Cricklewood is certainly on the rise,
which could make it a great place for hunting down property.
# We're all going to Cricklewood... #
This London suburb has had many notable residents over the years,
including, famously, The Goodies,
who cited their address as
"No Fixed Abode, Cricklewood".
But a lot has changed in this London suburb since the '70s.
And with a £4 billion regeneration scheme under way,
there's a lot going on in the area.
And there's one fixed abode that I'm particularly interested in.
The property I'm here to see is a two-bed ground-floor flat
with a guide price of £270,000 plus.
Not the lowest price you'll find for a two-bed flat,
but since the average asking price for a two-bedder
around here in Cricklewood
is well over £400,000,
that makes it...bit more tempting.
Let's see if the inside is as promising.
It's a purpose-built block with allocated parking.
But the location of this property is key.
It's near Cricklewood station
which will have you at Luton Airport in 35 minutes,
and you're 10 minutes from Kilburn Underground.
I think it's a real bonus this property's on the ground floor.
But can I just say,
this is probably one of the longest corridors
I've seen in a two-bed flat.
Can you imagine coming home?
-"Hi, honey, I'm home."
Goodness me, it must be about 50 feet,
but it does make it feel spacious.
Now, I know this property's not changed ownership
for many, many years, and you can see,
it's...you know, really, really dated.
It needs a complete overhaul.
But this is nice.
It could be a wonderful lounge,
because it's got everything you need, lovely ceiling height,
little picture rails, nice cornicing,
view out to some green grass,
which is always good when you're in London.
And I know this property comes with a garage as well, so,
Could be good in here. Just right for the furniture.
Sofa along there, a sofa along here, TV in the corner.
It does really work.
But what's not working for me is this compact kitchen.
Now, traditionally, purpose-built blocks like these
usually have really small kitchens,
which is such a shame because it's just not how we like to live today.
I am wondering if you did get permission from the freeholder,
could you knock down the wall between the kitchen and the lounge?
That would be lovely. You could open the space up.
You've got some storage here.
In a funny way, this corridor does work,
because all the rooms do lead off it perfectly.
Nice-sized bedroom there,
rather a small one there,
and here, I'm just thinking,
could you knock the loo and the bathroom,
put a wall up here to create more space?
More of a luxurious bathroom.
So, all in all, there's a lot you could do with this flat
to really bring it up to scratch.
OK, I've got the virtual sledgehammer out
and might be getting carried away knocking down walls.
I know what I'm like.
And like I said, it's a leasehold flat,
so that does mean it hinges on the freeholder,
or the managing agents letting you make the changes.
But the lease does have a positive side,
there's still 101 years left on it.
I'm really struggling to find things to be critical about
with that property.
It's not a bad size,
and, well, it's not going to take a lot of work to get it up to scratch.
So, let's think about this as a potential investment.
Who is it going to appeal to?
It's a two-bed flat,
so young professionals are a possibility, I suppose.
And of course, it is on the ground floor,
which could appeal to young families.
But for this property, I think,
it's all about the location.
You're on the doorstep from plenty of local amenities,
and your 10-minute stroll to Kilburn Underground.
And, let's not forget, just 12 minutes along the Jubilee line
from Bond Street and all the shops, which is fantastic.
I suppose it makes this a property
that could have quite a broad appeal.
With a good location, great potential for refurbishment,
and even a garage, and a seemingly low guide price of 270,000,
could this property really be the perfect investment opportunity?
Or have I missed something?
Let's see what a local property agent thinks of the flat.
Would he recommend deploying the sledgehammer?
With regards to this property, I wouldn't actually change it.
I would keep the layout, it's perfect for the area, perfect for the market
that we would be looking to sell the property, or rent the property to.
Could this really be the perfect property with no faults whatsoever?
Single bedroom is...it's a little bit small,
but type of area, you'd probably get a young professional couple,
second bedroom would be ideally an office.
It seems even its faults can be turned into positives.
So, how does all this potential translate into actual figures?
Once the property was modernised to a very high standard,
it would achieve, for sale, somewhere in the region of £400,000.
The rental market in this area is very, very good.
It should easily achieve somewhere in the region of
£1500-£1600 per calendar month.
Ripe for development, I think this flat
could be full of potential and profit for the right investor.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Not going to go below 250.
250 with you, sitting down.
With a packed house, there was plenty of bidding on this property.
And we rejoin at 337,000.
340, first time.
Third and last time, if you're all done.
-HE BANGS GAVEL
-Sold, 340. Well done.
Bought for 340,000.
70 grand more than the guide price.
It seems the potential in the property wasn't missed
by the buyer, Yemi.
Yemi is an acquisition agent with 21 years of experience of
buying and selling properties.
And for the last 10 years, he's been running his own property business.
He's been on the show before
when he bought, renovated, and sold
a property in Islington, North London.
With him at his latest purchase is his cousin Kola,
who will be project managing the renovation.
Congratulations. Now, Yemi, we've met you before.
-You were on the show many moons ago.
Tell me, what have you been up to since then? Still developing?
Buying properties, having fun.
So, now, I know you're an acquisitions agent.
-Are you still doing that?
Tell me, what that exactly is.
Buying properties on behalf of clients,
ensuring they get what they want,
looking at where their plan is in the future
and ensuring we get something to fit in.
So, you're a property investor.
Do you buy for clients abroad, or is it mainly people in London?
Clients abroad and I network clients in the UK,
like your footballers that wouldn't be able to go.
They don't have the time to go around, so what we do is
buy on their behalf.
-So, high fliers.
Kola, so I take it that your background is in the building trade.
-And what is it you actually do?
I mean, how much do you get your hands dirty?
-Yeah, I'm a carpenter by trade.
And I get my hand really dirty, and I don't just stand back,
I get involved, and I don't just pass instructions to the boys,
we do the work together.
Meanwhile, you're in the office, crunching the figures,
-is that right?
-Looking for the next deal.
Looking for the next deal. Look at you guys in your hot suit.
So, tell me, what was it about this property that attracted you?
And do you feel that you got this at a good price?
I do. Um,
I started off in the industry in the area in West Hampstead.
So, I bought properties in this block late '90s for 100,000, 90,000.
So, I know their history.
We manage properties in the block.
I know what's happening in regards to the regeneration of Cricklewood.
So tell me about this property.
What can you do to turn this into a princess?
Because at the moment, it's a bit down at heel, isn't it?
We're looking to bring in more light by dropping the ceiling,
having more spotlights where necessary.
We're looking to turn one of the rooms to an en-suite bedroom,
and by moving the walls around.
It's quite an interesting property.
The rooms are fantastic, really spacious,
but yet, the kitchen's a bit on the small side.
The bathroom's a bit on the small side, you have a separate loo.
Is there anything you can do to maybe...
open the spaces up a little more?
Well, it depends on the managing agent.
What we can do is to knock the wall between the bathroom
-and the toilet together to have a very big bathroom.
But that, in another sense is, you know,
when somebody's trying to use the toilet,
and they have to wait for the... you know.
And one person's trying to use the bathroom, they have to wait.
So we might consider not doing that.
-And you do need to get permission from the freeholder.
-And of course, that can be time-consuming.
We've commenced the process already.
Another thing with a flat in this location is, um...
..people that rent here do not really cook, you know.
-So, the kitchen...
-Hold on a minute.
That's a bit of a... That's a bit of a sweeping statement.
So, somebody that comes to rent this flat, doesn't want to cook.
They need the microwave more, and the sink. You know, so...
-So, are you saying it's going to be for a busy professional?
-And what sort of budget do you think somebody's going to need
to turn this flat around?
Because it's actually quite a spacious flat
and it does need a lot of work.
I have to give them the budget as well.
So, you tell him how much he's got to spend?
-Yeah, they get carried away.
-I get carried away.
I just want to spend, do a nice kitchen, do the flooring,
and have a wooden flooring, so I'm limited.
How much budget are you going to give Kola for this?
I offered him 15, he's trying to itch me up to 20.
But, we'll see.
-I'll keep an eye on it.
I think you could easily spend £20,000 here.
I think that's quite a sort of fair price.
-Yeah, but you know, if I don't start low, it will go up.
He's already saying 25 now, so I will stick at 15, hoping to get it at 20.
How long have you got to turn this place around?
How quickly do you need to get this property rented?
-And I am assuming you are renting this.
-We are renting this.
-I've given him 10 days to turn it around.
-Now, hold on a minute. That's 10 days?!
It can take ten days to put in a ceiling.
Can you do this in ten days?
I'm asking for three weeks.
So you want three weeks, you want 25 grand, and he's saying no.
You can have ten days and 20 grand.
-So...so, how's this going to work, guys?
We'll meet halfway, somewhere.
-You'll meet halfway.
It's going to be interesting.
I'm really excited to see what you do here,
and to see if you can turn this place around in ten days.
Hopefully, if you can.
Anyway, guys, it's been lovely to meet you.
Yemi, Kola, good luck with this project.
I can't wait to see how it all turns out.
-It's a pleasure, Lucy.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
Well, with so much experience behind them,
it sounds like the boys have the property game all sewn up.
All they have to worry about now is the pressure of producing
a good return for their investors.
And that means getting this property turned around and ready
in just ten days.
You can find out if they do it
and how they get on later in the programme.
Doing up property always takes longer than you think.
Yeah, there are all sorts of delays that crop up.
So, have our buyers been held up or have they raced ahead?
Let's find out.
We've returned to Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent,
and the opportunity to invest
in an open coming area was not missed by 23-year-old Toby.
He was starting his career in property
under the watchful eye of his grandfather Alan,
and had bought this two-bed mid terraced house at auction
Toby was involved in a serious motorbike accident
just over a year ago,
but now recovered,
has decided to invest the compensation money he received
Toby has got himself a solid house.
And with no renovation experience,
plans to install a new kitchen and bathroom himself.
So, Alan, what about your involvement?
-Are you going to get...hands dirty?.
-I'm just there...
No, I'm just there in advisor capacity.
He wants to do it himself.
Yeah, he wants to do this project hisself.
But I shall be there in the wings,
like if he needs any advice or anything, yeah.
Toby reckoned a two-month schedule and £7,500 budget
should be enough for all the changes.
And once complete, planned to make his money work
by putting the house on the rental market.
So, when we returned two months later, how had Toby got on?
Well, the grim shutters are now gone,
and are replaced by a new front door and double glazed windows.
Inside, the front lounge has been given a fresh coat of paint,
as has the small, rear lounge.
Both done in the neutral tones that are perfect for the rental market.
But as for the kitchen, well, the original units are still in place.
But a good spruce up and redecoration
has improved this room no end.
And the same goes for the bathroom.
The perfectly serviceable white suite now looks crisp and clean.
Toby had originally thought
he might replace the kitchen and the bathroom.
So, what happened to those ideas?
I haven't gone forward with my plans cos basically,
put it all on a computer and it came to be quite expensive for everything.
So, I've decided to save money and cut my losses basically,
and not ask a bit more
that would have been justified
with the bathroom and everything else being done.
It looks like Toby has quickly grasped
one of the most important rules of making money from property.
# If it ain't broke
# Don't fix it
# If it's fixed don't try to mix it.
# Think before you speak
# And look before you leap... #
Leaving these units in place
has certainly saved him some costs.
But it seems that Toby's plans to do all the work himself
also had to be shelved.
-You've done most of the work in this house.
-Most of the work.
Yes, I did.
Well, Toby has been busy.
He now has a bricklaying qualification,
and is starting a landscape gardening business.
But that meant Alan had to face up to those primary colours.
This kitchen was like bright red.
And I put the first coat on - nothing.
I ended up putting seven coats on it.
And it's finally covered now, and it looks...
Liveable and clean and tidy.
I'm pleased with the results.
Upstairs, and again,
the two bedrooms have had a new coat of paint to bring them to life.
With Alan providing the bulk of the labour,
Toby got on with project managing the renovation,
dealing with the installation of the new double glazing units.
And thankfully, for Toby and Alan,
there were very few problems to deal with.
We had trouble with the electrics,
but we just found out that the contractors
who'd done the outside of the house had just snipped a wire off
and it was dangling in the rain, and it was...
Every time it rained it was blowing the fuses.
Yeah, but apart from that, it was OK, yeah.
There was damp coming through from the neighbouring property
which was solved with a quick chat with the owner.
And once carpeting has been laid,
the house will be ready for its first tenant.
Quite a few people have been posting notes through the door, saying,
"Ring this number, we want to rent."
-We've had about three or four.
So... And that's with no advertising.
So I think it'll go pretty quick.
Being a straight,
no-frills renovation meant the job was completed in only five weeks,
way within its original two-month timescale.
But with just those new double glazed units
and a sturdy back gate
making up the bulk of the spend,
how did Toby's budget stand up?
Original budget was seven-and-a-half...
Barely done three.
Just over three.
Add that total spend to Toby's purchase price of 38,000,
and his total outlay on the house is just over £41,000.
So, were Toby's steps to building his portfolio a success?
Time to find out what two local estate agents think of the house.
The property is pretty much ready to move into,
although the finish is on the basic side.
It's neutral, clean and fresh, and it's what most tenants would expect.
It's a very nice property.
They've updated it.
It's ready to either rent or sell.
Toby plans to let the house out.
But do the agents think that's the right way to make money here?
I would imagine the stronger demand would come from tenants.
So it would be a good property to maybe have let
for a period of time,
and hopefully, if the area does improve as planned,
there will also be future capital growth in the property.
What sort of rental return could Toby expect?
If I was to market the property to let,
I would recommend a figure of £395 per calendar month.
I would expect rental income in the region of £400 per calendar month.
-It's about what we were thinking.
-Yeah, made my day.
I'm not surprised that made your day, Toby.
That's a very healthy yield of nearly 12%.
But having invested £41,000 on this house,
if you did fancy reselling it, what could it fetch on the open market?
I would place this property on the market in the region of £55,000.
I would put the property onto the market at £60,000,
with a view to getting between £55,000 and £60,000.
-That's good, isn't it?
-Honestly, I'm impressed with that.
-I didn't think anywhere near.
-Anywhere near that.
Those valuations mean that Toby could, before taxes and fees,
make a £14,000-£19,000 profit.
Not bad going.
But for now, this house is for the rental market.
And if Toby takes on another renovation project with
the intention of doing all the work, Alan knows not to go near it.
Don't believe him. The kid - it's all bravado.
'I'm going to do it on my own.' Yes.
-His famous last words, weren't they?
# Do the Cricklewood shakedown... #
We're back in the London suburb of Cricklewood,
where The Goodies used to live.
But property in Cricklewood is being much more seriously these days.
Well, I found a seriously good example in this purpose-built block.
A spacious two-bed ground-floor flat that had
possibly the longest hallway in a property I think I'd ever seen.
I've really liked this property.
But the years had certainly caught up with it,
and hadn't been modernised in a generation.
And the split bathroom and toilet was also a hark back to the past.
It was definitely time for the flat to say hello to the 21st century.
This is where cousins Yemi and Kola came in.
Yemi is an acquisition agent with a fondness for hats.
He bought the flat for a client for 340,000.
With the help of project manager, Kola,
the plan was to bring the flat up to top spec for the rental market.
But when it comes to the thousands that need to be spent,
what limit was Yemi thinking of?
I offered him 15, he's trying to itch me up to 20.
But we'll see.
-I'll keep an eye on it.
Oh, dear, it's the clash of the cousins.
And how long does Kola get to do the work?
-I've given him ten days to turn it around.
-Now, hold on a minute. That's ten days?!
Can you do this in ten days?
I'm asking for three weeks.
Oh, dear. I hope this isn't going to end in tears.
Three weeks later and we're back.
How's the transformation gone?
Has Kola even finished yet?
Well, the long corridor is looking very smart.
The living room has been made over into a lighter space.
The loo has been integrated into the bathroom.
And the larger bedroom has been made ensuite.
So, the flat has a second loo.
But what about the compact kitchen?
How long did it all take to achieve?
Yemi's ten days or Kola's three weeks?
Yemi won on this case. Yemi won.
The managing agents...
We need their consent
to do the alteration in terms of the en-suite.
That took three days, so, I believe they got by about nine days.
Nine days? I thought three weeks was tight.
But nine days to do this flat?!
Well, yeah, I wanted three weeks initially,
and um... But Yemi said it'll be ten days.
And then later I got a call from him, he pushed it to nine days.
Nine days indeed.
There are still a few bits and pieces to be done,
but the place has been totally transformed.
What about the budget? Yemi's 15,000 or Kola's 25,000?
I had to concede a little bit to him, and
he got an extra 1,500.
So, we finished off at 16,500.
That's still pretty good.
How did the cousins get along?
We disagree on most of the things,
and when I put my reasons through, and
he come to understand what we were going through,
It's hard working with him, but I can still tolerate him.
Well, at least Kola's still laughing.
My duty is to push down, to get the best out of them.
And with this now, the next project,
I'll probably look for...give them a shorter timescale.
What are Kola's team going to say about that, I wonder.
Obviously they'll battle.
And we'll see who wins.
OK, joking aside now. What does Yemi think of the flat?
This flat has not been touched in 24 years.
We won't need to do anything here for a long time.
Electricals, plumbing, the carpets,
the lights are cool,
as you can see the hallway. So, I'm happy.
I'm happy with it.
So, with Yemi happy, we asked two local estate agents
to cast their professional eyes over the property.
The property has been almost completely refurbished in terms
of the work isn't yet complete.
And when it is, it'll be a very high standard.
The bathroom, kitchen especially,
finished to a very high standard,
decoration throughout, very neutral,
very light. Perfect refurbishment.
I think the selling feature of the flat would be the location.
The fact that it's ground floor, the overall condition.
and the really nice communal gardens.
A garage came with the flat but Yemi's taking that out of the equation.
He'll probably use it as a tool store.
So, without the garage,
how would our estate agents value the property?
If this property was put on the market for sale, I would imagine
achieving around £390-£400,000, with an asking price of £400,000.
This was exactly the same estimate as our other estate agent.
After a total outlay of £356,500,
that would mean a profit, before tax and expenses,
of between £33,500 and £43,500.
What about the rental value though?
On the current market, this property should achieve a rental figure
of around £1500-£1600 per calendar month.
If I put the property on the market for rental,
I would put it on for £1,650 per calendar month,
and look to achieve around 1600-1650.
The estate agent's valuation would mean a yield of 5%-5.5%.
That should make for a happy client, as well as a happy Yemi.
So, what about Yemi and Kola as a team for the future?
We get the results.
They complain when...
the work's ongoing,
but they love it and feel good.
The team feels good.
We're growing, we're improving,
the client is happy.
Life is good.
Well, that's it for today. We'll have more tales
of thrills and spills from the property auctions for you next time.
So, make sure you keep watching Homes Under The Hammer.
-Bye for now.