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Hello and welcome to the show.
-Now we three - just like you, love the idea of grabbing a bargain.
It's not always easy in today's competitive market.
No, but one way you can stand a good chance
is by visiting your local property auction.
Well, buying under the hammer has always been popular
but choose well, and you could get yourself a really good investment.
Yes. I wonder if the bidders on today's show managed to do just that.
Let's take a look at what they bought.
In Earlsfield, London,
a spacious one-bedroom flat is straight out of the '70s.
You've just got to love this yellow wallpaper.
It's nearly come back into fashion.
While in Wombourne near Wolverhampton, a three-bed semi takes me back to the '80s.
Two types of wallpaper. Haven't seen that in some time.
And in Ynyswen, Wales,
this two-bed has features that don't belong in any era.
What's that? It's a rabbit hutch!
All these properties were brought at auction.
We'll find out who got them
and how much they paid when these homes went under the hammer.
Welcome to Earlsfield, a part of south-west London that is very well positioned.
Earlsfield used to be thought of as a place that was
a bit stuck in the middle - not quite Wimbledon,
and not quite Wandsworth
but with the overspill of people being priced out of both
of those areas, Earlsfield is increasingly becoming very popular.
# I'm a little lost, in a spin... #
It comes under the London Borough of Wandsworth
and the area has its own plentiful selection of shops
and amenities and the local railway station can take you to
central London in only 12 minutes.
The property I'm here to see is on this busy main road,
full of shops and restaurants and traffic.
It's a one-bedroom flat in this converted mid-terrace property.
Now, it had a guide price at auction of £275,000.
It's on the second floor, so there are a few stairs to climb first.
Being two floors up means the access isn't ideal for everyone
but let's be positive. Oh, this flat's a good 'un!
Straight away, I love the fact that you've got these high ceilings,
this character here. It goes right the way back.
Look at this lovely staircase. Fantastic.
There's a lot you could do with a place like this.
You've got a separate loo and bathroom,
so you could knock those into one, so straight away, you're just adding, adding, adding
to a property like this.
And the kitchen, right at the back - now, not a bad space at all.
I think one of the good things is you can get a little table along here, so you could sit down
and eat in this kitchen but currently, it's just a bit dated.
It's dirty. It's a dump. But it does have potential.
Hmm. It's been a while since this kitchen was anyone's dream
but new units and flooring will fix it.
# I'm going to make you make it better
# I'm going to get the best and lock it up and swallow the key. #
You've just got to love this yellow wallpaper.
It's nearly come back into fashion. Right, where are we?
So we've got a single bedroom.
Actually, I think you could call that a double.
You'd easily get a double bed in there and right at the front
of the property, you've got the sitting room, a great space,
really lovely high ceilings but the only problem - it's quite noisy.
All the London traffic is humming away outside those little
single panes of glass.
So you'd have to exchange those for something a little more
efficient, I think but I'm just wondering -
I don't think this is the best use of space.
I think you could possibly move the kitchen
right the way down the end of the hallway and bring it up here.
This is such a big room, it can take it.
You can put all the units along the back here, even
think about incorporating a little bit of this space on the landing.
You can even move the doorway to that bedroom
down a little bit, so you'd just open this whole place up.
Then you'd free the kitchen up and you'd make that
into a bedroom, turning this into a two-bedroom flat, so you'd be
increasing the value of the property by not adding any square footage.
You would of course have to ensure that any work like this meets
the building regulations.
Or another option - being the second floor,
above us is the roof space, so what about a loft conversion?
Now, you'd have to check the pitch of the roof to see if it's feasible
but before that, you'd have to check if you actually owned the space.
Check the deeds and the legal pack, because the loft up there,
it could actually still belong to the freeholder and not to you.
This is a leasehold flat with 125 years left
but any plans to swap that kitchen round or go into the loft will
have to comply with the terms of the lease and then there's the sums.
We asked an agent what he thought of this flat,
guided at 275,000, could be worth in its various configurations.
As a one-bed, I would value this property after refurbishment
As a two-bed, with the conversion of the kitchen into the second
bedroom, I would value this at £525,000 and with the conversion up
into the loft,
you'd be looking at a valuation around about
Assuming the flat's modernised to a good standard,
the agent recommended asking for £1,400 per calendar month
if it stays as a one-bedroom flat or 1,800 if it's changed to two.
Well, with this flat, I think there's lots of room to add value.
You could just refurbish what's here
and make the best of what you've got, or I think a better option
is to change the layout, change that kitchen into a second bedroom.
So let's see who fancied this flat at the auction.
Really good location. You're near the station and shops.
Who'd like kick-off on this,
200 anywhere? 200. 205 anywhere? 205. 210.
215 on the phone. You should be here. 220. 225.
255 with you.
As you can see, the bidding from the phone was, well, a little slow.
But once it moved into the room, the price shot up.
We rejoined the bidding at 350,000.
350. 351. 352. 353.
354. 355. 357, 358.
He's nodding like one of those dogs in the back of the car.
358, back in. 359. 360. Just round it off to 360. You never know. Yeah.
361. Sorry, 362. 361.
First time, second time, third and last time if you're all done.
Sold. 361. Sorry, madam.
That determined bidder was Mahmoud.
Mahmoud is a technician for the media industry
and with his successful bid of 361,000,
this becomes his first property bought purely as an investment.
I met up with him and his wife to find out their plans.
Mahmoud and Lami, lovely to meet you both today. Congratulations.
-This is a great opportunity.
And there is so much you can do with this property.
I'm really intrigued to find out how you both see it
and what you both think you ought to do here.
I'm trying to convert the flat into two bedrooms
and the flat needs throughout refurbishment, kitchen,
central heating and everything, more or less,
because, I don't know, it's been neglected.
-So, Lami, what do you think?
-Yeah. I think we'll do a fantastic job.
I can see it already, really.
-With a bit of his touch and an obsession with tiles...
Yeah, we have both a bit of an obsession there.
Let me into the secret. What do you mean, an obsession with tiles?
-I think we both have. We both do, don't we? We both like tiles, so um...
-Yeah, I like tiles a lot.
I think we'll be adding some of our touch in the place.
I think judging by you two, it's going to be a good job.
I think...I hope so. I hope so.
-If you don't add too many quirky little things in.
-I hope so, yeah.
Can we talk about that? Lami, how quirky is he? Like what?
Like what would he add that's too quirky?
He might find a bit of a tree outside and bring it inside and...
-Decide to add that as a piece of art.
OK, Mahmoud, don't get too personal. Lucy tip.
Don't get too personal with this.
-No, I mean, I have ideas but I'm not going to tell you. Tell me!
You have to tell me. That's what you're here for.
-Until you come again, and you will see and say, "Oh, wow!"
-He's got a few surprises, obviously.
-"Mahmoud, I like your ideas. I think I'm going to need you in the future."
-Now, that is just cheating, Mahmoud.
You're supposed to tell me.
-And then I'm supposed to come back and say well done!
# Tell her about it, tell her everything you feel
# Give her every reason to accept that you're for real... #
Yeah, come on, Mahmoud. Let me know what your plans are.
Well, I'm getting nowhere with this.
Let's sneak back and find out what his ideas are
for the more major changes.
So you mentioned to me you'd like to turn this into a two-bed flat.
-How you going to do that?
The kitchen, I can knock the wall and make it a through kitchen,
living room, but I can see that living room's going to be small.
Having looked around myself, I think
the best option would be to bring the kitchen, that's currently the kitchen,
into this room and free up what is now the kitchen as a bedroom.
And then you'll have...
You could even have an en-suite, so maybe have two bathrooms,
cos that'll be quite a good-sized bedroom, so you could
maybe have a nice shower room and loo in that master bedroom.
So that would really, you know, make this a top-end flat.
That's a good idea, to be honest. I'd never thought about it.
I think if you're doing it, you might as well do it.
I mean, don't forget, we have the loft as well,
but that loft is not... Still belongs to the freeholder.
I'm going to leave the loft to whoever wants to buy it.
It's another potential for them, so to...
Yeah, to convert it to another bedroom with an en-suite, so, yeah.
How long do you think it's going to take you guys to get the work done?
Well, because I might go with your plans,
it's going to hold my contractor, which he's going to start tomorrow.
For now, have I just put a little spanner in the works?
-Absolutely, absolutely. Now you make me basically...
-Hold my horses.
-That's what I'm here for. To make you hold your horses.
Ah, thank you very much.
Lucy Alexander, schedule destroyer!
Yes, if they follow my suggestion,
Mahmoud and Lami will need a bit longer than their plan of six
to eight weeks, but they have a healthy budget of 35,000
and Lami's ready to get involved too, reluctantly.
Well, she's going to be my project manager.
-I'm going to be very busy with my work.
-I'll be here.
So I'm just going to call her and tell her what to do.
-So I'll be up and down, really.
-And just make sure...
-Basically, he's just handing it over to you.
Not exactly what I wanted.
This is more of his project than mine but, yeah, I'll be watching it
over and making sure those builders aren't taking too many tea breaks!
Look, I'm really excited to see the outcome of this.
I think you've got a great property in this still up-and-coming area.
-Thank you very much.
So lots of options and lots of decisions I had for Mahmoud
Will we come back to a two-bedroom,
two-bathroom beautifully tiled flat with a tree?
Oh, yes - Mahmoud has promised us so many surprises.
Join us later in the programme and you can find out what they are.
Four miles from Wolverhampton is the village of Wombourne.
It might look quiet and picturesque, but during the
Industrial Revolution, it was a major producer of nails.
Nails and hammers - sounds like a perfect mix.
The property I'm here to see is on this peaceful residential estate.
Now this is a three-bed, mid-terrace,
with a guide price of £100-105,000.
I'm going to have a closer look.
Outside, very presentable and a relatively modern home.
Is it the same inside?
OK. A bit of a small porchway here. I will come back to that later.
Straight into the lounge area, which is a little bit dated.
Two types of wallpaper. I haven't seen that in some time.
You've got a fireplace over there. No fire. And one of these false...
Yes, false arches into a small dining area here.
You'd get a small table and chairs there and the kitchen is here -
which is small but there's enough size in there to turn.
A bit of TLC, maybe freshen that up a little bit. So far, so good.
Yes, the rooms are a bit small and dated
but there's a surprise on the other side of the hall.
So into the other reception room downstairs,
I'm pretty sure this was the garage at some stage
and somebody's tried to create a bit more space.
It feels a little bit disjointed from the main part of the house.
You could actually try and knock through this wall here.
It is a supporting wall, so it might cost you a few quid. What could you do with it?
It could be a kiddies', I don't know, playroom, maybe? Office.
Or maybe an adult's games room. I know which one I'd choose.
Nice big telly, comfy couch. This could be an ideal man cave.
Upstairs, there's more caveman in terms of decor.
Three bedrooms, all of a good size but needing updating.
Speaking of updates, you might want to have a look at the bathroom suite.
# In the pink
# in the pink... #
Out the back, a good-sized garden but look up and you might see a problem.
Now one thing I haven't mentioned are those pylons
and there have been studies of late that have linked pylons to health issues.
Now there is no conclusive evidence of that but I'm pretty
sure it would put some people off buying a property so close.
Again, I stress there is no official link between pylons
and ill health but they don't make for the most attractive surroundings.
We asked an agent from the auction house that sold the property
what he thought.
Pylons? They do have some issues.
It can cause a problem with buying or selling a property.
But it's mainly if they're overhead.
I do know there are some building societies who won't even
give mortgages on them if they're overhead.
So even with no definite link to health problems,
one reason lenders could still be reluctant is that pylons could put
prospective purchasers off and future saleability may be affected.
But to modernise the property, it wouldn't take a lot.
I think the bathroom suite probably wants a change.
It's a little dated now.
Kitchen, a revamp of the units more than change.
And really, possibly, redecorate, clean the carpets.
That's about it, really.
Not much work needed here.
So could there be profit on the guide price of £100-105,000?
Once the property is completed, I would anticipate that on the
open market, a figure in the region of £125-130,000 could be achieved.
It's a very good rental area.
However, I would have thought that anybody buying this
type of property would find that the rental income wouldn't
justify the capital outlay in the first place.
I would imagine that people would pay
up to about £600 per calendar month.
The agent in this case thinks the yield isn't great.
As he's taken into consideration the cost factors like property
insurance and maintenance and of course,
if you choose to use a rental agent, that can take 10% of your rental
as well but still could well be better
than just putting it in the bank.
This three-bed mid-terrace
doesn't need a lot of work doing to it at all and you could turn
it around pretty quickly but will people be put off by those pylons?
Let's see how it got on at auction.
Would make a lovely family home and a tremendous residential investment.
Very, very popular. Who will bid? 125,000, anyone? 120?
Where are we going to start? £100,000, am I bid?
£100,000, anyone? £90,000, three-bedroom house? 85, then?
If I move on, you'll miss it. Thanks.
85 I'm bid. Is it 95 now?
We're all done at 85. Do I have 95 anywhere? 95, sir? 90, then.
Thank you. At 90. At 90. 95? 92. 92.
92. Is it 95, sir? It's four. 94.
96, sir? 96. Thank you. 98. 98, sir?
98. Thank you. 98. Up to 100? Thanks.
102? No? You need to make your mind up. Here we go.
At £100,000 to number 234.
First time. Second time, third and last time, are we all done?
Richard finally managed to get the mid-terrace for the bottom
of the guide price at £100,000.
He lives four miles away and knows the property market here.
He came to tell us more about this addition to his small portfolio,
while his partner Jane went off to have a look around.
-Richard, nice to meet you. Congratulations.
-No problem, thank you.
Was this the property you wanted when you went into auction?
-Was it the only one?
-It was around ten I was looking for.
But obviously you don't win them all. Well...only to buy one.
Not to buy ten, it was to buy one.
But obviously this one came along at the right price, at the right time.
Now, tell me, what are you actually going to do? Now you've got it,
-are you happy with it?
-Basically, I need to replace the windows at the rear.
The front are OK. It needs a new bathroom.
Slight tidy in the kitchen and just a basic redecoration,
but apart from that, not a great deal.
And tell us about the area, because there are quite a few pylons.
-It's not a problem to you?
-For me, the schooling and the area itself
will outweigh that.
So it should resell or rent very easily,
particularly with families, because those schools are excellent.
Have you got people that are waiting to help you out?
I do majori... Majority, I'll do myself.
I'll get my partner Jane, she'll...
she can strip some walls, no doubt.
Richard has clearly made his decisions about the division of labour,
but has he made decisions about how he will revitalise that dated decor?
Basically, keep it neutral as possible, really.
We don't imprint our personal touch on it too much
-because, as I say, it is not going to be our property.
-What are you going to do, are you going to sell or rent?
Well, I shall either look at... If there is enough money in it,
I shall just resell it.
If there is not enough money once I've done the work,
I'll just add it to my rental portfolio.
Richard has got this right for sure.
Don't get too personal about the property and always have a plan B.
I'm glad he is saying bye-bye to the bathroom,
right after interview, in fact.
I think creating this new, sleek bathroom here should really add value.
-And what kind of budget have you given yourself?
I'd say between 3,500 and 5,000 should be plenty.
To do everything, from this to what you want it finished?
As I say, because you do the work yourself, you can
keep the budget down.
Richard is hoping to get some input on the interiors from partner Jane.
The one area of course he can't,
and no-one who isn't qualified should ever, attempt are
gas fittings, but he will, as he said, do loads himself,
including plumbing and decorating.
Richard describes himself as a part-time developer,
but he's not always been in the property game.
-So my main job is in sales.
And I was travelling throughout the country and overseas, which is
not good, as I say, with a couple of young kids.
Jane and I then purchased a traditional sweet shop, three or four years ago.
Sweet shop, you say? I do like sweets by the way, you can see this.
-Figure of strength, sir.
-Might look at that.
So, yeah, we had a traditional sweet shop.
During that time I purchased some properties,
which I've rented out.
But now...it is getting to a point where the properties is taking
up most of my time, so this is going to be more of my field now.
-# He's a sweet talking' guy
-Sweet talking' guy
# But he's my kind of guy
-# Sweet talking' guy...
I can't sugar-coat it. I think
Richard has made the right decision building up his portfolio,
and it gives him time to follow his favourite football team.
We're in the Midlands, so could it be my old club,
Aston Villa? Wolverhampton Wanderers?
The Wolves? Oh, I hope not.
-I follow the Wolves, for my sin.
-Now that is a sin.
But I'll allow it... on this occasion. Being an ex-Villa.
-I know you like Villa as well, don't you?
-That will be a "no" then, won't it?
-I liked playing at Wolves, actually, at Molineux, because I always tend to score...
-You do, always.
-Sorry, I had to get that in there.
-You should have scored a few own goals. That would be better.
There was that as well. There was that as well.
-Listen, I wish you all the best.
-I know you'll do well, and you are very positive.
-If you've got Jane by your side you'll be fine.
Now, Richard seems confident enough to do all the work himself,
and with him knowing the area,
he feels positive he will be able to get a quick sale at a good price.
You can find out how he gets on later on in the programme.
Coming up in Ynyswen, Wales,
a design disaster changes three bedrooms into two.
It has now got two doors leading into it, which is really weird.
And in Wombourne, Richard, too, is dealing with disaster...of the flooding kind.
All the water started flooding to all the ceilings.
Earlier in the show, I was in the popular
London Borough of Earlsfield to see a one-bedroom flat that
was in need of updating, starting with the retro wallpaper.
# And though time goes by
# I will always be
# In a club with you
# In 1973... #
You've just got to love this yellow wallpaper.
It has nearly come back into fashion.
But there was massive potential when it came to the layout.
And right at the front of the property, you've got the sitting
room, a great space, really lovely high ceilings,
but I'm just wondering.
I don't think this is the best use of space.
I think you could possibly move the kitchen from right
the way down the end of the hallway and bring it up here.
This is such a big room, it can take it.
You could even move the doorway to that bedroom down a little bit,
so you just open this whole place up.
Then you would free the kitchen up and you would make
that into a bedroom, turning this into a two-bedroom flat.
Mahmoud and his wife Lami chose this '70s flat as their debut
development, and parted with 361,000 at auction,
but while they were going to upgrade the decor and sell it on,
they both professed a love of tiles.
And Lami thought Mahmoud might have some quirky design ideas.
Lami, how quirky is he? Like, what would he add that is too quirky?
He might find a bit of a tree outside and bring in inside, and...
-Oh, come on.
-..decide to add that as a piece of art.
Mahmoud was certainly keeping some ideas close to his chest,
but I did manage to change his mind about the plans for the lay out.
Because I might go with your plans, it is going to
hold my contractor, who is going to start tomorrow.
For now, have I just put a little spanner in the works?
Absolutely. Absolutely. Now you've made me basically...
-..hold my horses.
-That's what I'm here for, to make you hold your horses.
They had originally intended on the renovation taking six to eight weeks.
We're back six months later, but did they really take on my advice?
It seems they did take my advice and it's now a two-bed,
and a very modern, stylish one at that.
# You better hear what I'm sayin'
# You better hear what I'm sayin'. #
At the back of the flat, originally it was the kitchen.
The idea was to relocate the kitchen, to have the bedroom at the back,
which is less noise and less hassle for others who want to sleep.
-It was a bit awkward, wasn't it?
The kitchen was just sort of dumped at the back
and this felt like it could be a combination, so we thought, why
not have a kitchen here and combine this and utilise that a bedroom?
And create also an en-suite in the back of the bedroom.
I'm quite happy with the en-suite, actually.
-Yes, I think the finish was...
-The en-suite, yeah.
-It's quite a sweet little ensuite shower room.
Keeping the original bedroom
and then making what was the kitchen into another bedroom
and adding an en-suite in that bedroom is exactly what I suggested.
I do like their idea of merging the original loo and bathroom.
That will certainly add more value,
and the quality of finish throughout is a very high spec.
We have a fondness for tiles generally.
-We didn't want to go too cheap on the look.
-That's right, yes.
We may have spent a bit more...
To be honest, I didn't care about the money,
I just wanted to make sure that the flat looks nice, homely, beautiful...
I think we treated the whole project really like it was our own place,
so we gave it every detail.
Even till now, to the last touches, we're making sure
they are 100% because we are treating it like our place.
They've taken longer than intended. I hope that wasn't my fault, chaps!
Holidays and various mishaps did also cost time but,
as I've often said,
getting too personally involved in the renovation of a property
you're not actually planning on living in can make costs soar.
What impact did that have on their budget?
Our original budget was 35K. I got it completely wrong, to be honest.
-I did say that.
-She said that.
I mean, to be honest, now it's 65K plus.
During the building, we changed our mind...
You did, not me! He did.
My wife eventually took over
-as project manager.
-Not quite planned!
And she was very helpful, and every time she called me up and said,
"This is the price," I said, "Just pay it."
And here we are.
Yes, here we are, Mahmoud, 30 grand over budget! Oospie!
And here we are inviting two local estate agents to give us
The property has overgone a complete refurbish to a good standard
and it will certainly attract
plenty of buyers in the local market.
The refurbishment has been done to a high standard.
The kitchen and bathroom fittings look of a high quality.
I think they'll appeal to anybody buying a property like this.
So, after spending a total of £426,000 acquiring
and renovating the property, can Mahmoud and Lami make a profit?
This agent thinks the flat will sell for between 475,000 and 500,000.
The other agent has valued it at 550,000,
based on his opinion that the loft space would add value, as would
Earlsfield's growing popularity, thanks to regeneration nearby.
At 550,000, that could mean a pre-tax profit of £124,000.
So, what do they make of those values ?
I'll go with 550.
Yeah, I think 550 sounds more or less a sort of ball figure...
-That's right, yes.
-..that we think this is worth, really.
That's right, yeah.
Top rental valuation given by the agents
was £1,650 per calendar month,
which would give just a 4.6% yield.
No surprise, then, with those figures, that
the couple are dead set on selling.
They should make a tidy profit, despite their overspend.
But given Lami was left to get on with project managing,
what is Mahmoud's verdict on her efforts?
-Good job, good job.
-Good job, good job.
-I'm looking forward to a nice holiday somewhere.
# These mist covered mountains... #
If it's a holiday you're after, how about some fresh mountain air?
Maybe here in Wales.
This is Ynyswen, a Welsh valley village near to Treorchy.
Well, like other parts of the Rhondda Valley, Ynyswen was once
just green valleys and hills.
But with the advent of the coal mines came coal miners
and coal miners' cottages, like these.
In addition to its beautiful setting,
Ynyswen has a direct train line
to Cardiff, so those trains nowadays are carrying commuters, not coal.
So, what am I here to see?
Well, it's a classic Welsh valley property. Two-bed end-of-terrace.
Guide price £34,000, plus elevated position. Like the stonework.
Let's take a look inside.
And I also really like the views. Look at that!
So...what's it like? Well, quite a good first impression.
Well, if you ignore the complete mess.
A good open plan feel - we like that.
The stairs to the bedrooms there and there's this large space here.
You've got a fireplace there, so there's an open fire.
And then through to...what?
This would have originally been a two-up, two-down,
so this is obviously some kind of extension at the back. My word!
This is the kitchen.
You've got a downstairs loo, which is a surprise.
And then it gets a bit weird as you head over here.
Kind of...this lean-to bit with this extremely large beam
going across there.
It's a rabbit hutch!
A range cooker.
THEME FROM PSYCHO
I hope the two aren't linked!
# A bunny-boiler, baby. #
Oh, there was me thinking Welsh rarebit was cheese on toast.
# A bunny boiler, baby. #
I should say at this point that no animals,
rabbits or otherwise, were harmed during this production.
Now, back to this kitchen. What is going on with the roof?
This will need fixing,
as will some of the damp areas in the living room.
But upstairs there is some good news born out of a bad layout.
So, upstairs, currently, two bedrooms,
but that wouldn't be that difficult to change because...
..this front one, as you can see, has been
converted from two bedrooms originally.
It's now got two doors leading into it, which is really weird.
Yes, it's a good sized space and yes,
it's lovely that you have views out of two windows, but really,
put the dividing wall back in here,
turn it back into two rooms as it originally was.
# Don't make no sense
# Don't make no sense, baby. #
You need two entrances to this bedroom like you need
a rabbit hutch under the sink. In other words, you don't.
So split the room and you have two bedrooms to add to the other
Hey presto, a three-bedroom house.
My next trick isn't a rabbit out of a hat, it's a
surprisingly spacious garden.
Well, for a terraced property, you might expect a fairly small
rear garden, but that's not the case here.
It's obviously very steeply inclined.
Well, we are built on to the side of a Welsh hill, for goodness' sake.
But lots of space. You've got a pond, this little shed thing here.
And over this way, this rather intriguing construction.
It is actually a garage. That's good news. Why?
Because it's not in that good a condition.
However, what you've got to get into it is rear access,
so that's brilliant.
Garage parking is a bonus and a summer house is very nice, too.
This house has additional accommodation,
but sadly, it's a neglected old caravan.
I see potential in this lot, guided at £34,000.
Does a local property expert see any more potential problems?
It looks as if the plaster walls have been renovated.
So that's a big plus for it. The doors and windows look pretty sound.
Upstairs, I think, needs a little bit of work.
I saw some old-fashioned polystyrene tiles to the ceilings,
which would need to be replaced.
But overall, I think it's a pretty sound property.
So, some positives
and some fire hazards with those polystyrene tiles.
Downstairs bathroom - should you move it upstairs?
That's always the question.
I think the downstairs bathroom isn't an issue in the valleys.
We do accept that bathrooms are kept downstairs to ensure there's
three bedrooms or more than two bedrooms.
So three bedrooms upstairs, bathroom downstairs is quite acceptable.
It's always good to know the expectations of a local market and
save yourself some time and money leaving the bathroom where it is.
Upstairs, though, am I right about the big knock-through bedroom?
One way to find out is to compare values.
Once the refurbishment has been complete, resale value,
if it was kept as a two-bedroom,
would probably be in the region of about £65,000 to £70,000,
and if it was converted back to the three bedrooms,
I would expect the valuation to be in the region of £75,000.
Well, there's obviously work to be done but, intrinsically,
it's a solid house,
and for that guide price I don't think you can go too far wrong.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
So, lot number 14, which is an end-of-terrace house, two bedrooms.
Guided at £34,000. Where will you start me?
30,000? Make it 25, then, if you want.
25. Wave your hand at me. Thank you. 25. I've got you there. At 25.
26, can I see?
25 at the back. 25 then,
with the main bidder. Here we go again. Thank you, 26. How about 27?
27. 28. 29?
29. 30. 31.
31? 31. 32. 33.
34,500, if it helps you.
34,500. 35, back to you. No. At 34,500. Are you sure?
At £34,500, for the first time...
35. Thank you. If I can't see you, feel free to shout.
35. Back to you at 35,500? No. At 35, then here.
For the first time...
third and last time, at £35,000...
Yours, sir. Thank you, number 13. Thank you very much.
The successful bidder was Oliver, paying £35,000.
He has been developing properties as a sideline for 12 years
and he appeared at the end terrace with the in-built rabbit hutch
to tell us his plans.
-Oliver, good to meet you.
-You, too. Have you got a rabbit?
-For the hutch in the kitchen?
So, tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Just the location - it's near the train station,
it's in Treorchy, which I'm a big fan of. It's a very bustling Welsh town.
-So it's nice. I liked it. It had a good feeling.
Doesn't sound like you've got a Welsh accent.
-Are you from these parts?
-That's quite a schlep from here.
-Yeah, I've got property in the area,
so I've had it for 10, 15 years.
OK. What originally attracted you to this part of the country?
Um, just the return on your money, the yield.
In terms of investment to return, it's about 12%, 13% here.
-And the people are lovely. Welsh people are fantastic.
So why this particular house?
I didn't see it before you asked me. I didn't come inside.
I just did a drive by, saw the garden,
saw the size, looks at the neighbours¹ houses...
-You didn't see the rabbit hutch?
-No, I didn't. I couldn't get through, no.
The neighbours¹ houses looked well-kept, the area looked nice
and the house looked a good size for the money.
Do you often not look at them before you buy?
No, I tend to go in, but I couldn't get down for the open day,
it was too far.
What did you think when you walked through the door?
"Oh, my goodness!" No, nice, but it's... It was OK.
It's better than I thought in that it had been plumbed and rewired.
-So had you seen it inside, would you still have bought it?
For the money, definitely.
Oliver has broken a Hammer golden rule,
but he is experienced and knows the area well.
Now that he's actually seen inside, what's his plan?
Well, I'm going to replace the flooring in here, damp-proof course
the walls and exterior wall, renew the kitchen, bathroom.
Try and keep as much of the bathroom as we can to save money.
What are the plans for upstairs?
I'd like to put a toilet and hand basin into the landing area
where there is a bit of area to put them into.
At the moment it's a two-bed. I'd like to put it back to a three-bed and then tidy it up
and make it look half decent and make it presentable for the rental market.
How much are you going to spend?
Between...I'd like to say between 5,000 and 7,500.
It is probably going to be more like 7,500 to 8,000.
-Does that require you doing a lot of work?
-Yeah, most of the work.
-Are you handy?
-Yes, I try to be, as best I can.
-What's your background?
But I learned from my father, an interior designer,
who worked in London and spent many summers learning
-the trade from him so I picked it up and I really enjoyed, it's good fun.
Is there anything you can't turn your hand to?
Obviously the specialist stuff - electrics and plumbing.
Even though I'll have a go at first fix
and let the chaps come in and do all the vital connections.
As much of it as I can do I will do.
# Oliver's army is here to stay
# Oliver's army are on their way. #
Oliver might not have an army of tradespeople coming to help him
other than for the tricky bits, but the general is looking
to march this to market in two to three months.
If he's coming all the way from Dorset,
that could be a very long march indeed.
-How are you going to do it?
-Your home is in Dorset.
-Are you going to base yourself here?
-I'll come and live on site.
Camping, as there is a caravan in the back garden.
Came free with every purchase!
-Well, that's quite convenient.
And then on to the next project?
Yeah, I've got another one in Dorset starting after this one, so we'll see.
Flats, conversion to flats.
-Well, congratulations. Good luck.
Look forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, it seems like it will be Oliver on his own
without his army who will be sorting this place out,
but he's certainly chosen well
when it comes to a property that can deliver a good yield.
How will it look when he's finished? You can find out later in the show.
Well, time has passed but we've already caught up with one property.
But we still need to check in on two more.
Did they stick to their timescales and budgets? Let's find out.
Back to Wombourne, a village outside Wolverhampton,
where I found a three-bed semi that needed...
well, virtually nothing doing to it, except maybe a move into this decade.
The dated decor and the pink sink needed to go, but there was only
one thing that I could see that might put some buyers off.
There have been studies of late that have links pylons to health issues.
Now, there is no conclusive evidence of that, but I'm pretty
sure it would put some people off buying a property so close.
Former salesman, sweet shop owner and part-time property developer
Richard wasn't put off by the pylons.
Having bought this for £100,000, he was ready to do the work himself.
I doubt he told his partner Jane how he planned to divide the workload.
I'll get my partner Jane, she can strip some walls!
We're back three months later to see
if Jane has torn a strip of him or the walls.
Looks good to me!
Richard has done a great job here, if he did it all himself.
Or did he have a little help and get a chance to sit back
and play foreman?
I obviously was the foreman but I did a lot of the jobs myself.
Obviously all the electrics.
A guy I know quite well, he's helped me decorate.
Another guy has helped me with a bit of plastering.
I can plaster patches but not complete walls.
And I've had a little help with the gas works, as well.
I will deal with the plumbing but not the gas side of things.
So with a little bit of help from friends,
Richard has brought this house into the 21st century.
Replacing the bathroom suite was a must but it led to big problems.
The biggest problem with the property was definitely the plumbing.
It's something you don't envision you have to replace the lot.
I had to rip the bathroom out,
but before I ripped the bathroom out I had to pull the floorboards out,
because when I turned the stopcock on,
all the water started flooding through all the ceilings.
So it was a case of having to replumb the whole house
because every single joint had corroded.
For some reason they'd used compression fittings
as opposed to a soldered joint
and there were actually stainless steel pipes with a brass or
copper fitting, and I think it was a reaction between the two metals
that caused the leakage.
It's not a costly exercise, it's more a time-consuming exercise.
And that flood had a knock-on effect in the kitchen.
The original plan was just to basically tart up the original
kitchen, but because of the water leakage problems, I found
when I opened all the cupboards that all the carcasses are now rotten,
so it was a case of, "Right, we need to change the kitchen as well."
I thought Richard said it was time consuming and not costly!
New kitchens cost. How much did it eat into his budget?
The original budget was between 3,500 and 5,000.
I'm fractionally over the top level at 5,200.
But that does include a brand-new kitchen
and also I've re-carpeted the whole house top to bottom, as well.
So, to be only 200 over, with new kitchen and carpeting, I think
I've done quite well, really.
He's done well with his dosh,
but it's not surprising he's gone a little over timescale.
I was hoping to get the job completed within ten weeks.
I'm a fraction over that - I'm up to 12 weeks,
but that's due to school holidays, and I thought it was more
important to spend a few quality weeks with the children.
A tiny bit over budget is forgivable,
considering the bathroom disaster.
And you can't begrudge a timescale extending to have good family time.
Now we need the thoughts of two local estate agents to see
if the hard work was worthwhile.
This is the second time I've been into the property.
And in the main, a lot of what they've done has been cosmetic.
They've redecorated, they've put new carpets in.
They've made it very nice.
I like the idea with the carpets going all the way through.
The kitchen and bathroom seem to have been done to a good standard.
Richard's total spend is just over £105,000,
and if he can make a profit on resale,
that was the way he wanted to go.
Otherwise, he was into his rental portfolio.
The resale market value for this property
I would place at around £135,000,
and the rental market for this property
I would place at around £650 per calendar month.
If the current owners wish to resell the property, then I would
imagine they would achieve in the region of £130,000 to £135,000.
But alternatively, if they wish to rent the property out,
they would probably achieve in the region of £650 per calendar month.
Obviously, it would be just under £30,000 profit in a few weeks, which is not bad.
Nearly Premier League football, eh, Dion?
Yeah, it might be nearly Premier League wages with that pre-tax
profit of just under £30,000,
but your banter is definitely lower league, Richard.
He could get 7.4% yield at rental, so what's he going to do?
Regarding selling on, it's something I'll definitely be doing.
I always envisioned around £25,000 - £30,000 profit, so, yeah,
I'll be at the auction in two days' time and maybe get another one.
# He's a sweet talking sugar-coated candy man
# A sweet talking sugar-coated candy man. #
Richard has decided to stop being a candy man and sell his sweet shop.
But life is still sweet for the Premier League property developer.
I plan to get a new property shortly.
That'll probably give me a month,
six weeks off while legals are sorting things out.
Allow me to spend time with Ellie and George, the kids,
and my partner Jane and her son Harry.
Earlier in the show I was in the Rhondda Valley village of Ynyswen.
At a guide price of £34,000, and with views to die for,
this two-bed semi seemed a steal.
Until the rather eccentric modifications inside brought
you back down to earth with a bump.
And then it gets a bit weird as you as you head over here.
Kind of this lean-to bit with this extremely large beam
going across there.
It's a rabbit hutch!
Yes, you know it's going to be a strange day on Homes Under The Hammer
when a rabbit hutch under the sink in the kitchen isn't
the weirdest thing about a property.
Because upstairs, I found out that the two-bed house had in fact
been a three-bed house, but was now missing a partition wall.
I said, "Put the wall back and give it a proper layout."
Fixing all those oddities fell to Oliver.
He paid £35,000 for it and could call
upon 12 years of experience developing property as a sideline.
-Have you got a rabbit?
-For the hutch in the kitchen?
But Oliver would have to make like a hare - ha-ha! -
to meet his two to three-month timescale.
He planned to sort out this kitchen
and fix some damp areas on the gable end wall, too.
-So what are the plans for upstairs?
-At the moment it's a two-bed.
I'd like to get it back to a three-bed and then tidy it up and make it look half decent.
And make it presentable, really, for the rental market.
Four months on, the exterior is looking good.
The property's steep but very large rear garden has been tidied,
but let's see what it's like inside.
Cleaner, brighter, better.
Oliver took a wise step, in my opinion,
putting the large bedroom back to two bedrooms.
The third bedroom has been redecorated, too.
This is now a three-bed house and, as Oliver promised,
he has even managed to get a new shower room on the top floor.
Despite having the help of a friend, it's all taken four months rather
than his original estimate of two to three, but there was a lot to do.
We've done pretty much everything - dry-lined the house, new kitchens,
new bathrooms, new flooring, new carpets, new paintwork...
A lot, yeah, from last time you were here.
Downstairs, it was open plan when we got it,
so we just refreshed the paintwork, put new flooring down, new skirting
boards, new radiators, and we turned it from a two-bed into a three-bed.
What was a cupboard is now a bathroom/shower room,
a small shower room.
And the cupboard would be not used, really,
so I thought turn it into a toilet/hand basin.
But then I thought it would be nice to have a shower as well,
seeing as the plumbing was up there.
We thought why not? So we put it in.
An upstairs shower room is a good idea and should add value.
It also meant he can keep the downstairs loo
that sits at the back of a revamped kitchen.
So, this is the kitchen.
We replaced the roof initially because it was leaking,
letting in a lot of water. Now it gets in much more light.
That was a problematic area with the water.
Once the kitchen was fitted we found big puddles of water every morning.
We dug down and it was a leaking pipe,
which we fixed and replaced all the floor.
Renewed all the units, as you see, new wall units.
And replaced what was the Edwardian sort of ship's timber
and made it look much more modern and it's come out really well.
I like it.
Digging up floors and unexpected plumbing problems can be
In fact, Oliver hoped his budget would be between £5,000 and £8,000,
but he has spent...
Not including my labour, so...
Not bad at all, given the amount of work Oliver
and his friend have done.
But what did two local agents think of the work?
Let's start with the agent who saw it before.
A good job has been made.
Improved the kitchen, bathroom facilities,
made it into three bedrooms.
I believe it was two bedrooms initially.
Which is more beneficial for the property.
And overall, a very nice job.
I particularly like the size of the property.
At the rear there is a good-sized garden
and that the front we have an outstanding view of the valley.
Oliver wanted to add this to his rental portfolio but,
having spent a total of £43,500 on the property,
might there be profit in selling it?
I would recommend the property be placed on the open market
at an asking price of £79,950.
We would probably be looking at an asking figure
of between £75,000 and £80,000.
Yeah, that's about right, 74,000...
That's roughly what I thought, between 74,000 and 79,000, for the area.
Not hugely shocked, a little bit shocked but, yes, it's about right.
Yes, that is about right,
but that £36,500 pre-tax profit is not enough to change Oliver's mind.
He still wants to rent.
So, what do the agents estimate it could be worth on the rental market?
And how does that compare to the rate he's already
charging his current tenants?
Rental-wise, in the current market,
it probably would achieve between £450 and £475 per calendar month.
I would recommend the property be placed on the market
for rental of £400 per calendar month.
Yeah, I'm actually getting the top end of that -
475 is what the tenants pay. So, yeah, that's again about right.
A little bit more than other properties,
but I spent a bit more in terms of inside and everything else.
It's much nicer.
Oliver has achieved a 13% yield
and is planning to expand his portfolio further.
He was camping on site to develop this property.
Any desire to do that again?
I'd like to say I wouldn't camp on site,
but sometimes needs must, so we'll see.
Hopefully, the next house won't be as bad as this,
or it may be worse, so we might have to not camp on site, we'll see.
Well, that's just about it for today's show.
But there is always something new to learn in this business.
-So join us next time for more auction tales.
-We'll see you, then.