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Hello, and welcome to the show.
Now, property auctions might be for you
if you're the kind of person who likes to get things done quickly.
Yeah, it might only be four weeks before you get the keys in your hands.
Yes, but how quickly you go after that, well, it depends on you.
So, do you fancy buying YOUR home under the hammer?
There are as many stories as there are auction lots
and if only we had time to hear them all.
Yeah, that could be a really long show. But we do have three.
Yeah, let's have a look at what they are.
In this two-bed terrace house in Tyne & Wear,
I'm getting a bit touchy-feely.
And these cupboards, we had these in Leicester back in the '70s.
But there's nothing softly-softly about my approach to this
semidetached in Dudley.
Get rid of this wall, get rid of that wall there, Bob's your uncle.
And in Kent,
I'm the one who's in danger of being knocked over by the smell.
Well, I know it used to be a fruit and veg shop.
You can smell...cabbages.
All of these properties are being sold at auction.
We'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them
when they went under the hammer.
Well done, sir.
The iconic Angel of the North looks over
the town of Birtley in Tyne & Wear.
# Does an angel
# Contemplate my fate? #
Erected over a disused coal mine,
Anthony Gormley's famous statue symbolises the area's
transition from the industrial to the information age.
It took four years to construct, at a cost of £800,000.
The property I'm here to see today is slightly less expensive.
It's a two-bed, mid-terrace house with a guide price of £50,000.
Let's take a look.
Right, straight into the lounge, front room area here.
It is a bit dated, not everybody's taste.
And the beams here, looks like they've tried to create
a bit of a cottage feeling in this property.
Stairs going up to the bedrooms.
Through into the kitchen where...
Bit of a '70s feeling continuing in here.
Small dining area just there.
And a corner hob and cooker which is definitely, definitely '70s feeling.
The green as well gives it that touch.
And these cupboards, we had these in Leicester back in the '70s again.
But it's an odd shape.
Now, I wonder what's behind here?
I'll give you a minute to have a guess at that
while I pop upstairs and have a look around.
# (Guessing games)
# I don't play those guessing games... #
Upstairs to the two bedrooms.
You've got a bathroom here to my left.
It looks like somebody's already tried to renovate that
and tidy that up.
Another bedroom there.
Some wardrobe space as well, which is always handy.
Big wardrobe space, actually. Into the master bedroom.
Here, you'd quite easily get a double bed in here and some wardrobes.
It doesn't look too bad, but there is a big damp patch there.
You have to get that looked at as soon as possible,
find out the cause of that.
And a door frame which doesn't look straight to me.
So that could be subsidence, maybe? Get that checked as well.
I'm not... Is it my eyes? Are we level here?
Or is it just me being a bit wonky? I'm not quite sure.
# (Guessing games)
# I don't want to play no... #
Anyway, back to the mystery room.
If you guessed a garage, then you get top marks.
But this particular garage is a bit of a puzzle.
No other house on the street has one, as there are plenty of spaces
to park at the front and the back of these properties.
So, if you don't need a garage,
you could always reclaim that space and make a bigger kitchen.
And that's my tuppence worth.
But I'm interested to hear what our local estate agent has
to say about the potential of this house.
The rooms are a good size, it's a really popular street.
There are some good things going for it, the kitchen's a good size,
the bathroom's not terrible.
Yeah, it's got double glazing.
Yeah, there are some good things going for it.
I would look to really rebalance the living space and the sleeping space.
It seems that the garage cuts into that kitchen and that would make
a great dining kitchen, so taking away the garage,
there's plenty of on-street parking, so no need to have that there.
If it was my property, I would take it to a reasonable standard.
It doesn't have to be too high,
there's plenty of tenant demand in the area.
And really, I would let that for four-to-five years.
In four-to-five years, the valuation on sale's going to be
so much higher, so it would definitely be worth
keeping hold of this for quite some time.
And what is the potential value of this property on the current market?
I think after this property's been renovated, it will achieve 85,000.
It should go on maybe even to £90,000.
Taken to a good condition, this property on the rental market
would achieve £500 per calendar month.
This is your basic two-up two-down house in need of some modernisation.
Now, I think it's perfect for a first-time buyer.
Let's see who fancied it when it went to auction.
Two-bedroom terraced property, garage to the rear.
Anybody here for this? Say £50,000 to start?
At 50 am I bid?
At £50,000, I need a bid.
45 then? 40? Start me... Know where we start.
At £40,000, anybody?
I'll take it away if there's no bids...
At 40... 40 here, just beat you to it, sir.
Can I say 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46,
47, 48, 49, 50?
You're out. Here at 49.
At £49,000, are we all done?
Are you sure then? At £49,000, first time...
49, 50, new bidder.
51, 52, 53, 54, 55,
56, 57, 58, 59?
Not sure with you, sir, at 58.
I'll take a half, if it helps?
No, here at 58, 500.
Been with me all the way then, at £58,500, with you,
against you too, first-time, second time, third time and you're done...
Selling it, are you sure, sir?
Well done, sir.
With some determined bidding on display,
it was Joanne and 16-year-old son Luke
who came out on top with a final bid of 58½ grand.
Joanne bought the flat with her husband Colin, who works in France.
I met up with them back at the house to find out their plans.
Joanne and Luke. Congratulations, first and foremost. Well done.
-Tell us about your auction experience? Who went?
-Well, we went, didn't we?
-Yes, the whole family.
We took my mam along and my sister and also Luke's younger brother.
-So, Luke, you knew how much to bid?
His dad had told him how much to bid, so I held his hand every time
he had to go up £1,000!
-I just squeezed his hand every time!
-Proper family auction day out.
-Yeah. It was a good night!
-Connecting all the way through!
Don't do it and then you can do it, that's very clever!
-Very clever. Would you go again?
Oh, definitely, yeah.
-It was an excellent experience, yeah.
Well, you've got your property now, the one you wanted.
What are you going to do with it?
Well, we're going to skim all the walls, replastering them all,
new kitchen, new bathroom, we're hoping to save the electrics,
-but we're going to get a new box in.
-Fuse board, yeah.
Yeah, new fuse board.
Save the plumbing...
Who's going to do the work?
I'm looking at you now thinking you're going to do it, is he going to do it?
-You're not going to do it?
-Well, er, yeah.
My dad's a plumber anyway, so he'll do all the plumbing.
He'll get an electrician into check the fuse board,
once we've finished.
But me and my mam will do most of the main work, yeah.
With dad Colin having to spend most of his time in France,
it sounds like 16-year-old son Luke is taking on a huge
responsibility with this renovation.
But help's always at the end of the phone.
So there'll be lots of conversations between your dad and yourselves?
-Overseas conversations, "Can I do this, can I do that?"
Is that how it will be?
Yeah, I'll ask him for some advice on stuff,
but I'll just try and get as much done as I can by myself.
-And Luke goes to school around the corner from here.
So it is handy.
He's always wanting to come from school, do some work,
and so I'm just going to let him do a lot of the work on his own.
-I've got other things to do.
I never would've guessed you're at school, Luke.
You're speaking like you know you doing, you've got everything under control.
-Mum's just keeping a watchful eye over you?
-You're very mature.
-Well, I've done quite a lot of work with my dad.
I fitted a roof with him in France.
I'm used to doing quite a lot of work with my dad, yeah.
Is it something you'd like to take forward in the UK,
as in property developer, maybe when you leave school?
Maybe, yeah. I don't know.
Well, I want to work in, like, media once I leave school,
but I might work a bit with my dad. Yeah, definitely.
-He's taught you well. And you, of course, Mum.
I think, with living... Well, we lived in France for seven years.
So I think we learnt to do a lot because, you know,
you've got to do the work on your own there.
You've got the freedom to do it.
Obviously, you've got... You're not next-door to people,
you can just get on with it.
Obviously, it makes a little bit of a difference when it's 80 degrees outside.
-Yes. Shorts and T-shirt.
But, just, you know... You've done all sorts, haven't you?
Oh, yeah, everything.
He's grown up being bathed in a little sink,
-where things have been renovated around him.
-Around us, yeah.
So, I think, he's got it already in his blood.
Joanne and Colin have set aside a budget of £8,000,
but finding the time to complete the work is a harder estimate.
Colin will use his limited time back in the UK to do as much as he can,
but Luke will have to juggle DIY and schoolwork.
You should be a tired young man, after school.
Yeah, well, I'll be working a lot of weekends on it, yeah.
When the holidays come up,
I'll, hopefully, work right through my holidays,
getting a lot done.
Yeah, but after school every day, I'll be down getting bits done.
I'll try and find time for my mates
but this will take a big part of my life.
Maybe your mates can be drawn in. You know, maybe they can give you a hand.
As long as it's not like a painting party.
It's a great responsibility for you.
-Are you happy to take on the responsibility?
-Really happy, yeah.
Just getting as much experience in different things as I can. Yeah.
I think I need to take a step back
and let Luke start doing things for himself now.
-I think it's good for him, for school, and...
-You've got the reins.
-You've well and truly got the reins.
-So you spent seven years in France with your father.
You obviously speak French,
so I'm going to give you time to show off now. OK?
Just in case there's any girls watching.
What are you going to do with the bathrooms and kitchens, Luke?
Erm, je vais les remplacer et je vais tous les dechirer.
Les remplacer, tres bien.
Now, if I was you, I'd have answered exactly the same way.
-Good luck, young man.
-Thanks a lot.
-Thank you very much, thank you.
What a brave young man Luke is, taking on this property
as his first project.
Now, his father is away in France
but his mum is going to be right there by his side.
I think he'll be OK.
You can find out how he gets on later on in the programme.
I'm in the West Midland town of Dudley, that's sometimes
referred to as the capital of the Black Country.
A couple of miles from the town centre
is a residential suburb called Woodsetton,
which is the birthplace of industrial pioneer Abraham Darby
who developed the process of smelting iron ore using coke.
# This is a industry... #
So, a nice quiet residential street
and up for auction with a guide price of £68,000-£73,000 was what?
Well, it was that.
Three-bed, semi-detached, off-street parking, which is good.
Garden could do with a bit of tender loving care, but not bad condition.
Let's have a look.
Well, good news, it's got double glazing.
Although it is looking a little bit grubby.
That said, so is, er...the house on first glance.
A bit of damp in the corner there. You've got polystyrene tiles.
They've definitely got to go.
I quite like this reasonable-sized entrance foyer, here,
with stairs up to your bedrooms, fairly classic layout.
Front sitting room there.
Then, as you progress into the property - huh! - kitchen.
Really small for the house, that.
I'll come back to that in a second,
in terms of what we might be able to do.
Because, as you travel on, you come into this room here,
a rear sitting room. So, what's the plan?
Well, this house is, I think, just crying out to be made open-plan.
Get rid of this wall. Make a really big, sort of, lounge area here.
Even better, get rid of that wall, there,
to create a sort of kitchen-living area.
Stick a set of patio doors in there and Bob's your uncle.
Open-plan is definitely the way forward
for this ground floor layout,
provided you don't knock down any load-bearing walls, of course.
And my search for extra space continues beyond the kitchen.
So, out the back door from the kitchen
and a possible way of getting some extra space in here.
At the moment, you got this strange little lean-to affair
with a roof that really isn't working,
but there is a bit of useful space
and I've seen it where this is integrated
quite successfully into the kitchen.
Put a better roof on here, create a really nice,
sort of, utility area here.
That, I think, would enhance this pretty well.
Otherwise, just knock it down.
Upstairs, you'll be delighted to hear,
there's another demolition opportunity.
As well as three bedrooms,
we have a bathroom and, right next-door, we have a loo.
The choice is yours
but wouldn't it make more sense to knock down
that separating wall, perhaps?
# Reunited and it feels so good... #
Well, at the back of the property, a real nice-sized garden.
You could definitely do things with this.
It's obviously been cleared,
which is going to save you a bit of effort.
But one bit - ahem! -
of the garden that hasn't been cleared is the greenhouse.
# People in glass houses Don't throw stones, no, no, no. #
Apart from the opportunity to open a bramble jelly factory,
I think this house has lots of potential.
Let's see if a local property expert agrees with me?
It's a nice-sized family property.
To renovate the property back to, what I would term, habitable,
you'd probably want to go for a new kitchen, a new bathroom,
Erm...central heating doesn't look too bad. I'd get it checked out.
After that, it's more decoration than anything else.
And what about potential sales and rental values?
Once the property has been renovated,
I would imagine that the property would sell
in the region of £125,000.
If you were to take the rental route,
you'd achieve somewhere in the region of £550 per calendar month.
Well, yes, it could do with a bit of modernisation
and, certainly, some of the downstairs walls could come out,
but, apart from that, this is a good house
that would make a really nice family home
and, potentially, a bit of profit for somebody.
Let's see who bought it when it went under the hammer.
It's a vacant freehold, semi-detached property.
How much for that? Ought to be 80,
but you can start me on less than that. 75, anywhere?
No-one fancied that starting price
and, so, to get the bidding started,
the auctioneer dropped down to £50,000.
We rejoin the action with the price sitting back up at 70,000.
70, sir? 70.
Are you sure, sir? I have 72.
At £71,000. Do I hear two anywhere? It's cheap.
First hand, 72. Thank you very much, sir. 73, now, sir?
No. 72 is there. Do I hear 72,500? Anywhere?
At 72,500, at the back, the lady has come back in. 73?
Yes. 74, sir?
Can I say 75?
At £74,000. The bid is on my left.
It is being sold, make no mistake. Fresh bid at 75. 76, sir?
76. 77, right at the back, sir? 77. 78. 78. 79?
£78,000 is there.
For the first time, then, and being sold.
Third and the very last time. You're all done.
Bid on the left, sir. It's yours.
For 74... £78,000, even! Your number, please. 270.
The successful bidder was Mohammed
and that £78,000 bid just bought him his first ever auction property.
He joined me back of the house to tell me
why he wanted to invest his money here.
# It feels like the first time... #
-Mohammed, good to meet you.
-Good to meet you, too.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this place?
Er,...well, I've seen a good potential in this property.
I think there's a lot of works to do.
We can convert it to a nice living place for a family. So...
OK. What was it about it you particularly liked?
-Well, I didn't like anything about it, other than potential.
Something to convert...
In terms of more, like, larger rooms,
and upstairs, like, larger bathroom, and, erm, kitchen and all that.
Right. So you saw the ability to modify it to your specifications?
-Yeah, that's right.
-In terms of property developing,
is this something you've done a lot of?
Not for myself but I used to run a company that used to do
a lot of work like this, in terms of conversion and extension.
So, yes, quite familiar with this kind of work
and quite confident that we can make something nice out of this.
-But is this the first one you have done for yourself?
-For myself, yes.
-Right, so why now?
Well, with the help of my friend, now it's been possible to do this.
And I hope that I can do this to the best possible, really.
-# Feels like the first time
-Feels like the very first time!
With childhood friend Marcus supplying the finance,
Mohammed will be responsible for the day-to-day work.
# Open up the door! #
Any resulting profit will be split equally.
So, tell me what you're going to do to it?
Obviously, we're going to knock this wall down
and convert this to one large living room
and, probably, the open kitchen.
we're going to knock the wall between the bathrooms out.
And make it nicer looking.
Taking everything down and replace the new things.
Right. OK. And outside?
Outside, as well, yeah. A lot of work to be done. In the garden.
For sure. What about the little strange extension?
What are you going to do with that?
We're just going to have to change the roof and let the sun sink in.
Not much more than that. Yeah.
So, who's going to do the work?
Well, it's going to be mainly me.
I'm prepared to do most of the work required.
But with the help of my friends and, probably, some other workers.
So, what kind of jobs can you actually do?
Well, I can do plumbing. I can do any aspects of plumbing.
-Plumbing, OK. Are you a plumber?
-Erm...not by trade but...
Well, the thing is, I can carry out this kind of work.
-I have done it in the past.
So, what's the sort of timescale?
Well, I give it about two months. Yeah. About eight weeks.
-It should be all done.
-And what about a budget?
Budget? For my budget, is about 15,000.
-Yeah. I hope that I can round it up to 15,000. All in.
Then the idea is to, what?
Is it to rent it out or to sell it on?
Well, the idea is to sell it.
As soon as possible.
As soon as it is finished, put it back to market
and go to the next job. So, that's what we want to do.
But, by the look of it, I don't know, at the end of the day,
if it comes to something that is to my taste and my wife's,
-so, maybe, we move in.
-Oh, really? Oh, wow. Have you got a family?
-Well, just married.
-It would make a lovely family house, actually.
-It would be.
So lots of options. So, can you see yourself doing more of this?
Erm, yes. Possibly.
In the future. Let's see how it goes on this one.
And, then, at the end of the show, we can, probably, get back to this.
Yeah. Good idea.
-Good luck with it.
-Cheers. Thank you.
-We'll see how you get on.
-Yeah, thank you.
So, Mohammed doesn't like too much about the house
as it currently stands but he loves its potential.
So much so that he could see himself and his wife living here.
How will they get on sorting it out? You can find out. Later in the show.
Still to come,
the buyer of this shop premises in Kent receives some alarming news.
There was a possibility that I might be sued for breach of contract.
And there's a decision to be made in Dudley.
We want to sell it, but if the missus like it,
we might take it for ourselves.
Let's see what she thinks.
But first it's back to Tyne and Wear where earlier in the programme
I visited this two bedroom terraced house in Birtley,
a few miles south of Gateshead. It actually felt like coming home.
# So come on home... #
A bit of a '70s feeling there.
It is a bit dated, not to everybody's taste.
And these cupboards, we had these in Leicester back in the '70s.
One thing my house in Leicester didn't have was a garage
squeezed in beside the kitchen, but despite that I thought
for the guide price of £50,000 this place had potential.
It was Joanne and son Luke that came out on top at the auction
with a final bid of 58½ grand.
They too were coming home.
Having lived in France for seven years,
but husband Colin was staying behind to fulfil work commitments.
With Colin only able to work on the house on his trips back to England
and Joanne taking time to look after her father,
the success of the project was resting largely in the capable hands
of 16-year-old Luke.
I'll be working a lot of weekends on it, yeah.
I'll try and find time for me mates, but, yeah,
this will take a big part of me life.
A tall order for a lad of 16,
but Luke has been surrounded by DIY since the day he was born.
-You've done all sorts, haven't you?
-Oh, yeah. Everything.
He's grown up being bathed in a little sink
-where things are being renovated around him.
So I think he's got it already in his blood.
STAR WARS THEME PLAYS
A young man named Luke with an unfulfilled destiny
whose father lurks in the background,
and all that's missing is a Millennium Falcon
parked in the garage.
Luke, it's time to use the Force.
But obviously get your dad to do the plumbing.
Eight months have passed and we're back to see
if this refurbishment will be the new hope or a bit of a Phantom Menace.
Wow! That's certainly a makeover with added warp factor.
With really high quality finishing, this is a job that Joanne, Luke
and dad Colin can be really proud of.
The '70s kitchen has been brought right up to date
and the introduction of a breakfast bar
and bench seat adds a touch of class to this impressive room.
And that's not the only change in the kitchen.
This part here was a bit of a dead space,
so we decided to put a stud wall up and make it into a utility room.
It's obviously got room for a dishwasher, washer machine,
dryer, just a good useful space, so I think it really works.
And upstairs the leaky roof has been fixed
and the bedrooms have been completely revamped.
We first of all fixed the staircase cos that needed some attention.
We've carpeted throughout and then in the bedrooms
we ripped the old wardrobes out, just to give more space
cos they were old-fashioned and plastered throughout
and it's just gave the place a new lease of life.
MUSIC: "Teenage Kicks" By THE UNDERTONES
Now, as any teenager will tell you, kicks are important.
Well, how did Luke get on juggling school,
friends, and the massive DIY project?
I recently got a Saturday job, it's a struggle to find the time
to work on this place, but I helped out as much as I could.
any time me mam asked us to do some work I would come over,
or after school she'll pick us up and take us straight here.
So I found the time to do it, but it has been busy.
-It's been a rush cos he's been doing his GCSE exams as well.
So we've just sort of had to fit in...
Trying to juggle everything, yeah.
Pretty good juggling then, apart from hiring an electrician
and a plasterer, the family have dealt
with every aspect of this project.
Although it's been eight months since they've purchased the house
they've actually only spent nine weeks completing the work.
But how much did they end up spending on the refurbishment?
The budget originally was 8,000
and we've spent just around 6,300.
We on Homes Under The Hammer don't often see projects completed
under budget, so I doff my cap to these guys.
But will congratulations be forthcoming
from these two local estate agents
when they've had a look around the property?
This is my first time at the property
and I think the property has been renovated to a very high standard,
combining both old with the new.
It looks like it's been done to a really high standard, nice finish.
Use of different colours and some different materials,
so very good, yeah.
I think the utility room's going to be
a great advantage to the property.
Obviously additional storage to get the washing machine,
fridge freezer out the way.
That's a unanimous approval for the quality of refurbishment here.
Well, how does all the hard work translate into value on the sales
and rental market?
Purchased for £58,500, Joanne and Colin have spent
another £6,300 on improvements, bringing a total spend to £64,800.
I would put this property onto the open market
of offers in the region of £89,950.
For sale I would think you're going to be looking
somewhere around £90,000.
We were looking at more than that, so let's see what happens.
Joanne has a price in mind, and it's not £90,000.
However, a sale at that price will realise a pre-tax profit of £25,200.
That's not a bad return in a small space of time. What about rental?
For rental we'd be looking in the region of £500 per calendar month.
I would put this property onto the rental market
for £495 per calendar month.
Some food for thought there.
A rental income of £500 per calendar month equates to
a yield of slightly over 9% - that's a good investment.
Are they tempted to follow the agents' advice
and hold on to the property for a few years?
That's better than what we thought.
That actually is a little bit higher than we thought for rental.
But obviously rental is not something that you wanted to do,
so we'll just see what happens.
So the house is up for sale now and most people might be tempted
to put their feet up and relax for a few months, but not this family.
Since we saw you last, Colin's moved back over from France.
We've bought another house at auction, so me
and Luke's going to be starting that tomorrow.
And Luke and Colin have bought another house in France,
the opportunity came along and it was too good to miss.
So they're going over in August for a month to start the work.
So we've got a lot of work to go.
# I've found sunshine and I found you... #
Sitting on the outer reaches of the Thames estuary in northeast Kent
is the village of Birchington-on-Sea.
It's a lively place
and in summer day-trippers flock to the nearby beach at Minnis Bay.
Now not far from Minnis Bay in the village of Birchington
is the lot I'm here to see.
Well, it's quite something. It's unusual.
It's a stone's throw from the sea, and at just £40,000 to £42,000...
Well, look, you've got this rather lovely empty shop.
It's got a basement and it's got an office.
I can't wait to investigate.
Well, this shop really is bursting with character. Wow!
It's got quite a '20s influence if you look up, look at the wallpaper.
The one thing I recognise instantly is that
I know it used to be a fruit and veg shop - you can smell cabbage.
You can still smell them!
You can imagine them all lined up along here -
apples, pears and plums.
Look, over here as well. All the wares in the window.
How lovely it would have been in its time?
But obviously this little area has quietened down.
It's a secondary part of the high street
because the main footfall is further up the road,
so you've got to think carefully what would you use this shop for.
It's a very big shop.
You've got a lot of frontage here and there's also room out the back.
Now I think this might have been the office. It's a fantastic room.
It's quite spacious.
Although, I think something a little sinister has been going on upstairs.
The flat is privately owned,
so it might be worth chatting to the neighbours about
whether they've had a washing machine leak or a bath overflow.
So some work to do in this area, and before you go get excited
looking out there thinking,
"Wow, we could have a big extension. Look at that garden."
We can't. That doesn't belong to this shop.
What you do get with this shop
is that little bit of land just out there.
# It's a golden opportunity. #
Well, it's not much, but that thin sliver of garden could make
all the difference as could the basement downstairs.
Yes, it's dank and its dingy, but there's definitely something
sweeter in the air than the smell of old cabbages.
Do I detect the faintest whiff of an investment opportunity?
Walking around to the back of the property.
Well, it just puts it all into perspective.
It shows you what state it's in.
I mean, the render is literally falling off the walls,
exposing the brickwork.
The windows are in a very bad state,
but you get a good bird's-eye view of the little bit of back yard
that you've got, or garden, let's call it.
But when you stand here you can see you've got the back of the shop,
you've got the big shop area, you've got the basement downstairs,
you've got this little bit of land
than you could potentially build out.
Can I smell residential opportunities?
I think so.
With nothing on the shelves but dust and empty boxes,
this shop doesn't fire the imagination,
but look at the building's footprint.
See beyond the decay and you might decide that
a £40,000 investment here could bear fruit in the future.
What will a local estate agent think of this
fascinating old fruit and veg shop?
I think it's in a fantastic location.
I think it's got a lot of potential,
but I do feel there's a little bit of work to be done, but once
that work is completed
I think there's a lot to be taken on here.
I think it's a case of just increasing the back
and then it does become a possibility to extend
the back to become a one-bedroom flat to keep the shop,
the commercial property at the front.
The agent feels that
if a one-bedroom flat were added to the rear of the property
it could rent for around £450 a month,
and the shop for around £800 a month,
giving a total rental income of £1,250.
And he gives approximate sales values of £50,000 for the shop
and £80,000 for the proposed one bed flat.
This is an exciting opportunity
because I think by stealing some of the shop space,
using that little room at the back and the basement and maybe extending
out into the yard, well, subject to planning permission,
could you create some residential units here,
maybe a flat or two?
Let's see who wanted to buy this and what they were thinking
when we went to auction.
Start me at the bottom of the guide.
£40,000, do I see?
40, anywhere? 40, can I say?
Give me £30,000, then.
£30,000 for this property.
£30,000, I'm on the way. 32.
32. 34. 36.
38. 38. 38. 40, now.
I'm looking for £40,000. At 40, I have.
42, now. 42.
42. Shake of the head. 42. £40,000 is the bid.
You're both out. There's three of you out.
Lady's bid of £40,000.
Do I see 42 anywhere?
42 for any of you.
Well, then, at £40,000 I shall be selling.
For the first time at £40,000.
For the second time at £40,000.
Both out. Third and final time at £40,000.
You quite sure you're all done?
Sold, madam. J422.
The lady making that successful bid of £40,000 was Jenny,
a retired shop owner who has been investing in property for 18 years.
What does she plan to do with her latest purchase?
I met her back at the shop to find out.
# Let's talk... #
Jenny, lovely to meet you today.
-Thank you very much.
So why the old, empty shop? What was it that took your eye about this?
I think basically it was the price and it was local
so I can work on it from home.
Just pop in and see how things are going when the builders start.
Are you from this area?
Originally from London, but I've been down here for about 30 years.
Tell me, what do you think you're going to do
with something like this?
Well, hopefully let it and so just do a basic refurbishment
and tidy it up
and then put the 'To Let' board up and see what happens.
The only thing that I've been thinking in my mind is,
it's not the main high street.
You've got every single shop you can possibly imagine and then
just a little bit further along are a smattering of a few shops here.
What sort of potential does it have as a shop?
I've been discussing it with the neighbours
and they think maybe a craft shop or a cycle shop.
Because it's going to be something
-that's not 100% reliant upon footfall, really.
Because there's plenty of parking outside and I think
if people advertise well something like a party shop might go.
# Kick it... #
Yeah, party shop isn't a bad idea.
But on such a quiet part of the high street I'd be worried that
it might have to fight for survival in fact...
# You gotta fight for your right
# To party... #
But whatever the future holds for the shop there is still
the tantalising prospect of some residential development.
Has Jenny been thinking along those lines?
Hopefully I'm going to have two
one bedroom self-contained flats at the back.
I've had a chat with the local planning officer and he seems
to think there shouldn't be any problems at any stage with that.
I mean, it will be great to get two flats,
but how spacious will they be and how much building
are you going to have to do to get those flats looking right?
They measure about 32 square metres.
And to have a one-bedroom flat you need 40 square metres,
so I'm hoping to take some space off the back of the shop for this one
and come in further into the basement on the downstairs one.
When you bid for this on auction day,
you took a bit of a punt, really.
-Did you know what you wanted to do with it?
Obviously I came to view it and I wasn't overly impressed,
but then I walked around the back
and saw what the neighbours had done and they'd both built on
either side, so I thought there was plenty of scope to make it bigger.
So for £40,000 you've got a lot with quite a lot of potential.
Yes, with three lots of rent, hopefully at the end of the day.
Now if you think that sounds too good to be true you might
just be right because there's a bit of a rotten apple that comes
with this fruit shop - there doesn't appear to be any title deeds.
I didn't realise until a couple of days before completion
my solicitor pointed out that it had never been registered.
-So it didn't have any title deeds?
-So it didn't belong to anybody?
-And not even you after you'd paid for it?
You'd spent £40,000
-and you didn't have a piece of paper saying it was yours?
So then what happened?
I had the option of completing or not completing.
My solicitor said there was a possibility that
I might be sued for breach of contract if I didn't continue,
and as I only had a day to think about it I said,
"I'll just carry on."
Have you managed to sort it and is it rectifiable?
All the legal pack has been sent off to the land registry
and hopefully they'll just register it as a new registration.
-So you did take a bit of a risk, didn't you?
But it might end up paying off if you can get permission
to convert this with two flats on the back.
-What sort of budget have you got for that work?
I think between £50,000 and £60,000,
that will be for the shop and the two flats.
-Have you got a plan B?
If I don't get planning permission
I'd probably just put it back up for sale
once I've got the title deeds sorted out.
Have you got anybody that's going to help you do this
or is this solely your own venture?
It's my venture. I have a builder that I use regularly.
He's coming along this afternoon and can start pricing things up.
Jenny, I can't wait to see the outcome and I really would like
to see two flats here and a lovely shop, whatever it may be.
-Lovely to meet you.
-Thank you very much.
There's a lot going on with this property.
No title deeds, no planning permission. Wow!
Nothing fazes this lady.
But if she does get planning permission for flats, well,
she'll be getting three rentals, and that is a great return
for your investment, certainly not to be sniffed at.
Will it all come together for Jenny's enterprise?
You can find out how she gets on later in the programme.
Well, I love seeing how many ways there are to renovate properties.
-We've seen one, but how have the other two done?
-Let's find out.
It's time to go back to the West Midlands and the town of Dudley.
Early in the programme I viewed this three bedroom semidetached house
up for auction at a guide price of £68,000 to £73,000,
and by my reckoning it was a prime candidate for layout change.
Get rid of this wall, make a really big lounge area here.
But even better,
get rid of that wall to create a kitchen/living area.
At the auction, Mohammed was the last man standing
and his bid of £78,000 secured his first ever auction purchase.
With silent partner Marcus providing the cash,
it was left to Mohammed to provide the labour.
I used to run a company that used to do a lot of work like this
in terms of conversion and extension.
So, yes, quite familiar with this kind of work
and quite confident that we can make something nice out of this.
With a maximum budget of £15,000 and quite a few walls to knock through,
it looked like Mohammed would have his hands full
for the next couple of months.
Well, we're back eight months later to see the results.
Looks like the sledgehammer has been doing overtime in here.
The two reception rooms and kitchen are now one enormous open-plan area.
And the feeling of space is heightened with
the addition of sliding patio doors leading into the back garden.
With the removal of the supporting wall the weight of the upper floor
is now taken by this reinforced steel joist, or RSJ.
My favourite part of this project is this LED lights which
we managed to run a box around it, to make it look like a box.
But we actually hide the RSJ beams, so I think it's a nice feature.
But the sledgehammer hasn't just been swinging downstairs.
Upstairs, Mohammed was just as keen to create as much space as possible.
Upstairs we took the chimney breast out of the bedrooms
and there used to be a wall between the two small bathrooms,
we took that off and it's now as one bathroom.
Three piece and two windows and all tiled and everything new.
The dreaded polystyrene tiles have all been removed, the walls
and ceilings reskimmed and decorated
and new carpet has been laid throughout.
But the renovation has been more than just cosmetic.
The electrics, plumbing and heating have all been renewed.
To the side of the house the utility area has been tiled up
and outside the front of the house has been enhanced
by the addition of a canopy.
At the back in the garden although the decking adds a wow factor,
some additional landscaping work wouldn't go amiss.
And standing at the back of the garden
is something I almost didn't recognise.
Like a heavily-bearded friend who's recently had a shave,
the greenhouse looks half decent without all the brambles.
# I'm still standing
# Yeah, yeah, yeah... #
The greenhouse remains intact,
but can the same be said for Mohammed's £15,000 budget?
We ended up spending about £20,000
and originally we wanted to spend about 15,
so I think we overspent a little bit,
but we wanted to do a nice job and we don't mind about that.
So five grand over budget and with work commitments
and other delays the plan schedule of two months
has also slipped by a matter of four months.
But regardless, Mohammed is certainly happy with the end result.
What will two local property experts make of Mohammed's handiwork,
and more importantly do they predict a worthwhile return
on the total investment of £98,000?
I really like the changes made to the properly.
The owner was most definitely right in knocking through
before it was three small, pokey rooms.
The new layout now suits modern living a lot better.
And the upstairs, they've altered the bathroom
and toilet accommodation now into one large room,
which again is much more suitable.
Rather than having two small rooms they've got one nice size one now.
So thumbs up for open planned living,
but is there a demand for this type of property in the local market?
The property market's recently taken a boom time, as it were,
and most of all the local agents are now struggling to get
instructions in, not selling them.
The sales and lettings market is particularly buoyant at the moment
and I would imagine that this property will appeal to both markets.
Good news, then.
So what about the all-important valuations, starting with rental?
On the rental market I would market this property
at £575 per calendar month.
I would imagine that the rental on it would achieve
something between £575 and £600 per calendar month.
At the moment we're now looking to rent this property.
But if we were, I think 600 sounds a bit reasonable.
It doesn't sound like Mohammed is tempted by that potential yield
of over 7%, but what about sales?
If the property's marketed for sale then
I would imagine it would achieve
in the region of £120,000 to £125,000.
On the sales market I would market this property
at offers in the region of £125,000.
I was hoping for a little bit more, in the region of 130.
But as long as we can achieve 125, sounds all right.
A sale of £125,000 would net Mohammed
and Marcus a profit of £27,000 before tax and fees.
But before they sell there's one other person to include
in the decision making.
So the plan originally was that we want to sell it,
but if we liked it, if my missus like it,
then we might take it for ourselves.
Still, she hasn't been here since it's just finished
a couple of days ago and let's she what she thinks.
# And soon you will find
# That there comes a time for making your mind up
# For making your mind up... #
Back now to Kent and the village of Birchington-on-Sea
where earlier in the programme I explored this former greengrocers
not far from the village centre.
Lying empty for a number of years,
this shop was no longer the place to find your five a day.
But a look around the back convinced me that there was potential
for a healthy profit.
You've got the back of the shop, you've got the big shop area,
you've got the basement downstairs, you've got this little bit of land
that you could potentially build out.
Can I smell residential opportunities?
I think so.
Well, 40 grand was all it took to buy this auction lot
and the new owner was Jenny, who had been investing in property
since her retirement in 1997.
Her plans to build two one bedroom flats at the back
of the property and rent out the shop came to a sudden stop
when her solicitor noticed a slight problem with the paperwork.
I think there might be a problem with the title deed.
My solicitor pointed out that it had never been registered.
Turns out the £40,000 was a bit of a gamble,
so before anything could progress the property would need to be
filled in Jenny's name on the land registry which meant more money,
more time and more worry.
# Casino Queen... #
It's been almost a year since our first visit.
Has Jenny's proposed development come to fruition
or did the whole thing slip up on a banana skin?
Well, it's all change at the front of the property.
And a new tenant has taken the lease and is now a camping shop.
But at the back there are no signs of any development.
Here's Jenny to tell us why.
I was going to build, but I found it quite stressful cos it took
almost a year to get as far as I got now.
We had to go to the land registry and re-register the property
and that took 4½ months.
But it was more than just dealing with the land registry
that caused delays.
I had plans drawn up initially for the two one bedroom flats,
but we had a slight issue with the drainage,
so when I spoke to the builder we decided to change to one
two-bedroom flat which we applied to the council for the planning,
that took about two months to come through.
Beset by inevitable delays on the planning front,
the reality of leasing out the shop was straightforward by comparison.
I found the tenant through word of mouth.
Somebody said I was letting
and he was looking for something in this area because he's local.
We got together over a coffee and thrashed out a little agreement.
The condition of the empty shop meant that
improvements had to be made before the tenant could move in.
It needed complete refurbishment, so we had the walls skimmed,
new suspended ceiling put in,
rewiring and the cloakroom area.
Jenny has spent £5,000 on building work,
plus a further two grand in fees.
Adding these to the original purchase price
and her total spend comes to 47,000.
With the deeds now registered in her name
and planning permission granted for a two-bedroom flat
Jenny could continue with the project,
but after a frustrating year she's come to a decision.
The gentleman that's renting the shop
showed an interest in purchasing the whole property.
I thought it's probably better to sell and go and put my feet up.
# It's time I took a holiday... #
So the deal to complete the sale
of the freehold has still to be finalised,
but it looks like Jenny may get her wish
for some time to put her feet up.
Here are two people afforded no such luxury.
Estate agents are on their feet all day
and we've invited them to stroll over
and take a look around Jenny's property.
I think looking at the shop
the majority of the work's happened there.
You've now got a really good unit that's been rented out.
I think it's very good, obviously not much has happened at the rear.
I think that the work in the shop has been carried out
to a fairly good standard.
I can see that some plastering has been carried out,
some wiring and some additional heating,
which certainly makes it a more saleable property.
Now I'm sure you all love hypotheticals,
so let's get some values on the basis that a two bed flat
does eventually get built onto the rear of the shop.
I would be expecting the flat on its own to be
worth in the region of around about £120,000.
You're then adding on the retail space which
I would expect it to be in the region of 60.
So between them you could be looking up to £200,000.
The retail price to include the shop,
the freehold and the two bedroom apartment would be £195,000.
Assuming building costs of around £40,000
and adding the £47,000 that Jenny has already spent,
a sale of £200,000 could net a pre-tax profit of £113,000.
But Jenny is in the process of selling the property as is,
complete with planning permission.
So how much do the agents reckon this is worth on the sales market?
The price for the shop, the freehold
and including the planning permission would be £90,000.
I would expect it to be worth in the region of around about £100,000.
I'm very pleased with those valuations, it's what I expected.
If Jenny sells for £100,000,
that would make her a tidy profit of 53,000 before tax and expenses.
If that isn't a good excuse to put your feet up,
I don't know what is, Jenny.
How will she reflect on her experience?
It has been quite a challenge, but it's been enjoyable
and hopefully it will come to a happy ending.
Have we given you food for thought
if you're thinking about visiting your local property auction?
Well, even if you're planning on staying right
there at home there is a way for you to share in the excitement.
Yeah, go on. Get involved. You, sitting on your sofa.
Join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.
-See you then.